The New Organon, Francis Bacon
I read this in college and what stood out was its central theme— the only way to really understand things is to be active. Ever since, this has been one of my guiding principles—to be action-oriented and be engaged in whatever I do. Ideas are easy. Getting something done isn’t.
My childhood was steeped in the myriad stories, and charactersof the Mahabharata. I always loved the stories about Karna, and admired his sense of duty and honour. There’s always something uniquely inspirational about stories of underdogs fighting against the odds.
Life of Pi, Yann Martel
I loved this story. What’s interesting is the conversation this book generates after you read it. Essentially, this book tells you whether you are an optimist or a pessimist. It was great to reconfirm that I am, at my core, an optimist!
Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns
Goodwin When I was moving to India, I read Team of Rivals—the story of Abraham Lincoln’s fight against slavery. In many ways, we are trying to effect positive change by promoting information transparency and access in India through technology. Lincoln’s example taught me the importance of the pace of change—not too fast and not too slow. That’s the pace that will be absorbed by most.
Freedom at Midnight, Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins
I read Freedom at Midnight at school. It fuelled my naive optimism that you can overcome any challenge and make a difference. Living in America, I identified culturally with the story of Indians at the time of Independence.
—As told to Anumeha Chaturvedi
A book review