2015 Ahoy!

Last year was amazing for me. After two years at NextBigWhat, I moved back to The Economic Times.

The idea is to work on some good stories, some great stories and focus a lot on writing. I’ll try to break news, write features and hopefully pass a comment or two about the tech & internet scene in India.

There are some very talented and highly accomplished journalists in the newsroom right now and I’m happy that I get to spend some time with them.

I’ll also be working with a team that’s bringing out a brilliant web product for the paper (more about that later). This is even more exciting for me personally as it offers a great opportunity to learn and experiment.

I’m excited about how this blog is shaping up. In the last month or so, traffic has increased steadily. The site is now hosted on a stable server and I’ve become more regular with posts (one a week). I hope that 10000hacks becomes a hub for journalists to share lessons and ideas (if you’d like to contribute, please drop in an email to 10000hacks@gmail.com).

I also helped organize a data journalism workshop for a small group of people. This year, I’d love to do more of that.

I couldn’t ask for more, but like always, I will. Here’s to a great year gone by and a great year ahead!




My Days in the Underworld by Agni Sreedhar: A Review

I shouldn’t probably call this a review. Because it reeks of fan-boyishness. I’m between two other books right now: Arguably by Cristopher Hitchens and Business Maharajas by Gita Piramal.  And the third book, which is My Days in the Underworld by Agni Sreedhar*, is what I have difficulty putting down.

This is one of the best narrative I’ve read about a city. Sreedhar chronicles Bangalore’s underworld (in the 70s & 80s) with an uncanny ability which only comes from someone who has been on the inside.

My Days in the Underworld by Agni Shreedhar

My Days in the Underworld by Agni Sreedhar

Agni Sreedhar was an underworld don, who became a journalist and a writer.  The book starts with his days as a student in Bangalore. From silly brawls in the campus to bigger things, it leads him on to a life of crime. Soon he finds himself in the middle of a raging feud between two of Bangalore’s biggest dons– Kothwal Ramachandra and M P Jayaraj. Ramachandra is finally killed by his arch rival Jayaraj with the help of Shreedhar.

The books makes no bones about the politicians who shielded underworld dons, the degeneracy of it all and ultimately Sreedhar’s own disgust with the life of crime.

Sreedhar’s style is crisp and simple. And the narrative is gripping. If you are a Bangalore fan like me, you should pick up the book. There’s a movie based on the book, called Aa Dinagalu. It was critically acclaimed but to be honest, I don’t think it did justice to the book.

*This post contains affiliate links.