Peter Griffin
Peter Griffin
Always a student.

At Forbes india, we celebrate success. And we’re always on the lookout for individuals who, while making a difference to the world around us, are also achieving personal success. And with India’s famous demographic dividend starting to give us returns, we want to hear from young people who are out there, taking chances and creating lasting value.

If you are a young entrepreneur, please fill out this form (also embedded in this post, below). If you are a young professional (or know someone who fits the bill), go here instead (or to the second embedded form below).

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Guest post by Kishore Singh, friend, ForbesLife India columnist and art expert. Kishore also interviewed Christie’s CEO Steven P Murphy for us a couple of days ago. You can read a version of the interview here.

Christie’s inaugural auction in India couldn’t have had a better start as lot after lot went under the gavel. But for a couple of lots that were withdrawn, there was only one—strangely, a nude Hussain—that remained unsold.

And, oh, the records!


Image By: Vikas Khot

V S Gaitonde claimed India’s most expensive tag at Rs 20.5 crore (that’s before the buyer’s premium and VAT), Tyeb Mehta bested himself at Rs 17 crore (another lot sold for Rs 8.2 crore), Manjit Bawa at Rs 3.2 crore, and Ganesh Pyne at an amazing Rs 1.9 crore.

As the two auctioneers announced the paddle numbers, the buzz couldn’t have been more incredible, starting with a palm-sized Gaitonde fetching Rs 80 lakh and Ramkinkar Baij winning Rs 42 lakh. Ram Kumar managed Rs 2.9 crore and M F Husain Rs 1.25 crore. The National Treasure artists—works that cannot be exported—did considerably less well, with Amrita Sher-Gil matching her lower estimate at Rs 3 crore, Rabindranath Tagore at Rs 2.4 crore, and Nandalal Bose mostly selling under estimates. (All prices exclude a buyer’s premium of 20-25 per cent, 12.5 per cent VAT, and 12.36 per cent service tax on the buyer’s premium.)

Its success scripted through strategic networking, prices for the masters will continue to consolidate, providing a leg-up for Indian art, which has been in the doldrums ever since 2008.

Last year, we twice invited several prominent authors to write some short stories for us. Very short stories. Very very short stories. Short enough to fit into a single Tweet. You can see the efforts by some of the authors short-listed for the Crossword Book Awards here, and another selection here.

We enjoyed those so much that we decided to bring out another collection. So we wrote to several of the authors from this year’s Crossword Book Awards short list to take a bash at it. After all, if you’re going to put up a challenge like this, who better than the cream of India’s writing talent to throw it at, right?

So here you go, their 140-character fiction, each one followed by a short introduction to the writer, in their own words.

(Lest we forget, all language is breath) He would listen, each night, until the one before they would part, in the silence, to her stories.

Janice Pariat lives between Brighton and many places in India. Boats on Land was awarded the Sahitya Academy Young Writer Award 2013.

Love affairs = bus journeys. Childhood defeats = water shortages. Grief = whiskey. I was trying to net life, only got difficult pleasures.

Anjum Hasan is a fiction writer, poet, critic and editor at Caravan.

What you say to yourself you say to no one. You fill a gaping hole with a photo with lipstick mark. There is no home, only homelessness.

Rahul Pandita is the author of Our Moon Has Blood Clots, a memoir of a lost home in Kashmir.

‘I couldn’t write till I was drunk and in Dozakh, Manto bhai.’
‘I couldn’t get drunk till I went to Dozakh to write, Mirza sahib.’

Arunava Sinha translates whatever he can, whenever he can

Stop singing! Shouted Moin. Plug your ears, said the monster, chucking two banana peels at him. That’s how Moin’s mother broke her arm.

Anushka Ravishankar writes under duress.

He struggled to build an empire, his son expanded it, the grandson frittered it all away.

Rashmi Bansal is author of Stay Hungry Stay Foolish & Poor Little Rich Slum

“Actions speak louder than words,” she whispered into his ears. She then walked over to the sink to wash the knife that she had used.

Ashwin Sanghi

This one’s a bit over the specified length.

The cat chased shadows but the girl made him stop. Too dangerous. Alien shots fired. She grabbed the cat. He clawed. She ran. Her shadow lengthened to a new, loping gait.

Uma Krishnaswami

2200 AD. Everything has run out: food, fuel, even words. 140 characters left. Writer of last whodunit falls short of three words: who did it

Payal Kapadia

Think you can do better? Tweet your stories at @ForbesLifeIn, and if we like them enough, we’ll retweet them.

By the way, the Crossword Book Award results are being announced today. So go ahead and wish your favourites luck. I shall probably tweet the results from the venue later today, from my personal Twitter ID, @zigzackly

Forbes India Philanthropy Awards 2013

The Forbes India name is associated in many minds with our Rich List and our Leadership Awards. But that’s not all we do. Part of our genetic make-up is the belief that business can be a force for good. And when, last year, we launched our Philanthropy Awards, it was just a formal expression of this belief. These awards seek to recognise the efforts of individuals who have created model institutions, people who inspire others to follow their example. Our winners—and our jury members—are role models for active philanthropy in corporate India, people who have devoted time, money, skill and considerable expertise to the creating sustainable models of giving. Their time is valuable, and spoken for many months ahead. The chance to meet and chat with them is something young organisations in the social development sector would value greatly.

That’s why, this year, we’d like to give a few promising young NGOs a chance to do just that. This opportunity is open to young NGOs working in core areas: literacy and education, child rights and abolition of child labour, health and nutrition, and environmental protection (but a great effort in other areas is also eligible).

Please go to this form to apply. Do please pass the address on to people you know who are doing excellent work. We look forward to hearing from many bright, enthusiastic and socially conscious people.

(Forbes India Philanthropy Awards: home page, categories, methodology, jury, last year’s winners, watch last year’s awards evening.)

Update: We’re closing applications on Wednesday 13th November, 4pm IST.

ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 2 (the monsoon edition)

ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 2 (the monsoon edition)

“The food that to him now is as luscious as locusts, shall be to him shortly as bitter as coloquintida,” wrote the Bard, in Othello. ‘Luscious’ as a descriptor for ‘locusts’? Old William hitting the mead too hard? Not really. It’s only our modern Westernised sensibilities that make us a little queasy at the thought of chomping on insects. Around 1,900 species of insects are regarded as rather traditional fare.

This I discovered thanks to my colleague Sumana Mukherjee, who anchors our cover feature on the future of food. Chefs, she tells us, are experimenting with new ways to make the creepy crawlies less, well, creepy to our palates. And it isn’t just some flavour of the month thing; the world’s population continues to grow, and we’re running out of the resources that have kept us fed thus far. We need to find new sources of food and that means, among other things, looking seriously at the nutrient-rich six-legged creatures. To get a different perspective, Vikram Sheel Kumar, our resident loony doctor, puts on his researcher’s toque blanche to check what is brewing in the labs. And Jasodhara Banerjee rounds it off with an easy-to-digest summary of how food is moving around the world. This three-course offering starts on page 52.

A quick sampling of the rest of the menu? My now-ex-colleague Shishir Prasad, and Shravan Bhatt, our promising young cub, got to hang out with table tennis legend, Peter Karlsson, who was visiting India to help coach young Indian players. Shishir even got to play a game with him, much to the envy of the rest of us TT fans in the office. The story is on page 92. Then Amruta Patil, the very talented graphic novelist, has compiled a selection of must-reads (p 26). And Madhu Kapparath has curated an unusual edition of our Beautiful People section: this time the focus is on the beauty of aspiration for a better life. That’s at the very end of the book. And yes, I had the opportunity to chat with another legend, Rahul Ram, a member of one of my favourite Indian bands, Indian Ocean, which has been rocking concerts all over India and the world for 23 years now; that’s on page 36.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, all this writing has made me very hungry.

Bon appetit!

That was my edit letter from the new issue of ForbesLife India, which should have got to our subscribers a week or so ago, at least. It’s also in bookshops, and all the better news-stands across the country, so make sure you grab your copy.

To give you more of a taste of what’s in the issue, here’s the table of contents, and our Contributors pages. We hope you enjoy the issue and, as ever, look forward to your feedback!

Table of contents, ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 2 (the monsoon edition)

Table of contents, ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 2 (the monsoon edition)

Contributors 1,  ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 2 (the monsoon edition)

Contributors 1, ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 2 (the monsoon edition)

Contributors 2,  ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 2 (the monsoon edition)

Contributors 2, ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 2 (the monsoon edition)















Ahmed Ali [Photo: Amit Verma]

Ahmed Ali [Photo: Amit Verma]

Bastar – A Lost Heritage
A retrospective of black-and-white photographs of the 1950s by Ahmed Ali, curated by Renu Rana
11am – 7.30pm, 12th – 14th July
Gallerie Romain Rolland, Alliance Francaise de Delhi, Indo-French Cultural Centre, 72, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi 110003

Mr Ali, who is now 91, has been shooting since the 1940s, starting with portraits of British families, going on to advertising and industrial photography as well. But, to quote from a note sent to us by his daughter Nafisa Ali:

His ‘grand’ moment that is still very dear to him, was when he was asked to undertake an expedition into the remote jungles of Madhya Pradesh to capture the images of the tribal people of Bastar, which he accomplished with rare sensitivity. What led him to this project was sheer chance.

“It was a Swedish Film Director Arne Sucksdoff, considered one of cinemas greatest documentary film makers, who was making a movie of a tribal boy, called The Flute and the Arrow in 1956, that again brought about a once in a life time experience for me. They needed a live tiger for a particular scene, and all their efforts to get one were in vein; someone advised them to try a professional animal exporter, George Munro, who lived in Calcutta. Munro knew of a rich family who had reared a tiger cub, which was now fully grown and tame, like a house pet. Munro managed to persuade the owner of the tiger to sell it to him, and he in turn sold it to Suckdoff, who when asked Munro to transport the tiger in a special steel cage, to Narayanpur in Bastar. Munro, a good friend and shooting companion of Ahmed Ali, requested him to come along for the trip. As the film was to be shot in the Bastar Jungles (then Madhya Pradesh), this was how my photography of the Bastar region and tribals came about. We all stayed in Narayanpur. The Adivasis of Bastar, whom we lived amongst in the village, fascinated me. I took hundreds of photographs of the Muria and Marias. It was at the weekly ‘Haat’ (market) that Adivasis would gather, coming from remote jungle areas in a 20 mile radius, to buy and trade their local produce for city benefits ranging from soap to salt. I captured unique images of the Adivasis – their incredible jewellery, tattoos and hairstyles and style of dress, in 1956.”

Ahmed Ali with Nafisa Ali [Photo: Amit Verma]

Ahmed Ali with Nafisa Ali [Photo: Amit Verma]

The shots you will see at Gallerie Romain Rolland capture an era and a lifestyle that no longer exists.

Ms Ali is looking to bring out a coffee-table book featuring these photographs at some point, but until then, this exhibition will be your only chance to see them. The exhibition opened on Friday, and, alas, will close on Sunday, and it won;t be travelling to other cities, so try and catch it.

Ahmed Ali with one of his favourite photographs in the exhibition. [Photo: Amit Verma]

Ahmed Ali with one of his favourite photographs in the exhibition. [Photo: Amit Verma]

Amit Verma, from our photo team, visited the exhibition and got a few shots of Mr Ali with his daughter and with his work.

Art For Uttarakhand
Artists Of Delhi: Day-Long Exhibition & Sale
11am – 7pm Sunday, 14th July 2013
Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan Gallery,
35 Feroz Shah Road New Delhi 110001

More than a hundred Delhi artists have donated works, including painting, graphics, pottery, sculptures, prints, and photographs, which will be sold, the proceeds going to the victims of the Uttarakhand floods.

The artists include A Ramachandran, Arjuna, Alka Raghuvanshi, Anjolie Ela Menon, Anupam Sood, Atul Sinha, Chameli Ramachandran, Harshawardhan, Gopi Gajwani, Jatin Das, Jayashri Burman, Krishen Khanna, Kishore Shinde, Manish Pushkale, Manu Parekh, Madhavi Parekh, Paresh Maity, Parthiv Shah, Raghu Rai, Rajeev Lochan, Ram Rahman, Santosh Verma, Shamshad Hussain, Shakti Maira, Shobha Broota, Vivan Sundaram, Veer Munshi, Vasundhara Tiwari and others.

All contributions are eligible for 100% tax relief, under section 80G of the Income Tax Act. Note that only payments via crossed cheques or demand drafts to “Chief Minister Relief Fund, Uttarakhand” (no cash will be accepted).

Contact Gayatri Tandon, Programme Officer at Lalit Kala Akademi, at or +91 11 23009231.

A short while ago, we were told that we were on the short list for the first IE Business School Prize for Economic Journalism, for the ‘Best Journalistic Work’ category.

It’s now official: we won!

Here’s the press release:

IE Business School Announces Winners of Prize for Economic Journalism in Asia

Winners of the first edition of the IE Business School Prize for Economic Journalism in Asia include writers from Forbes India, The Straits Times, and The Economic Times.

  • Sponsored by CAF development bank of Latin America, the competition’s overriding aim is to increase the flow of economic information between Asia and Latin America.
  • The judges of the competition included journalists from América Economía, CNN, El País, Expansión, and the International Herald Tribune

More than 130 articles from 60 different media organizations in Asia were submitted and the three winning articles were chosen for their depiction of how global trends are impacting the spending power of Asia.

The winners are:

Best Journalistic Work: Shishir Prasad, Dinesh Narayanan, and Pravin Palande of Forbes India for “BRIC Countries Hit a Wall

Best Journalistic Work on Latin America’s Economy: Himaya Quasem of The Straits Times (Singapore) for “Latin America Beckons for Singapore Firms

Best Regional Economic Media: The Economic Times (India)

Sponsored by CAF development bank of Latin America, the competition’s overriding aim is to increase the flow of economic information between Asia and Latin America in order to forge closer economic links and interests between the regions.

The prizes will be awarded on June 20th, 2013 at the Casa de América in Madrid, Spain.

The judges of the competition included journalists from América Economía, CNN, El País, Expansión, and the International Herald Tribune, along with business experts from IE Business School and CAF–Development Bank of Latin America. Additional judges represented International Enterprise Singapore, Brightstar, and Finnair, as well as Saudi Arabia’s Effat University.

The June 20th event will also include the presentation of the prizes for the second edition of the IE Business School Prize for Economic Journalism in Latin America.

Please join us in congratulating Shishir Prasad, Dinesh Narayanan and Pravin Palande.

Here’s the winning story: BRIC Countries Hit A Wall

Our colleagues in Forbes in the USA just put out their list of the world’s highest-paid sportspeople. And it makes for some interesting reading.

But let’s get the India bit out of the way first.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni press meet

Photo: Getty Images

Mahendra Singh Dhoni broke into the top 20, with USD 31.50m (3.50m on the field, and 28m in endorsements), and Sachin Tendulkar came in at #51, with USD 22m (4m on-field, more than Dhoni, but a more modest 22m in endorsements).

Trivia: both are in the last 5—Tendulkar at 96, Dhoni at 97—when it comes to just salaries and winnings, but Dhoni is at a very healthy #7 worldwide on income from endorsements, and Tendulkar is #14.

Right then. So who was khiladi number one worldwide?

Tiger Woods put all his troubles behind him and climbed back from #3 last year to the top spot he held through most of the 2000s, with USD 78.10 million, USD 13.10m from winnings and USD 65m from endoresements.

Roger Federer follows at #2, with USD 71.50 m, with USD 6.5m on court, and a whopping ten times that from endorsements. (He and Woods tie for most money earned from endorsements.)

At #3 and #4 are American basketballers Kobe Bryant (USD 61.90m) and LeBron James (USD 59.80m). At #5 and #6, US football players Drew Brees (USD 51m) and Aaron Rodgers (USD 49m). Golfer Phil Mickelson is #7 (USD 48.7m). And three maestros of the Beautiful Game round off the top ten: David Beckham (USD 47.2m), Cristiano Ronaldo (USD 44m), and Lionel Messi (USD 41.3m).

Two clear facts spring out from the list.

One. it’s a man’s world still. There are just three women in the top 100: Maria Sharapova, from Russia (rank 22), Serena Williams, USA (68) and Li Na, China (85); all tennis players.

And two, if you want to make money playing sport, America is indeed the land of milk and honey. Six of the top ten are Americans, with an interloper at #2 playing tennis, very popular in the USA, and it’s only at #8, #9, and #10, with the footballers, that the rest of the world gets a peek in.

That’s not all. A whopping 63 of the top 100 are US citizens. The other 37 are from the UK (5), Spain (4), Argentina and Venezuela (3 each), Brazil, Cote d’Ivoire, Germany and India (2 each), and Cameroon, China, Dominican Republic, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine (1 apiece).

Out of these 37, another 19 either make their fortunes playing the bulk of their sport in the USA (like basketball, or baseball) or play a sport that’s hugely popular in the USA (like tennis or golf).

Join me in a chorus of America The Beautiful, anyone?

A little more about the data. The top three on the basis of on-field earning alone all play American football: Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Joe Flacco. The American boxer Floyd Mayweather is #4, with another American football player, Tom Brady at #5. Then comes Alex Rodriguez (baseball), F1 driver Fernando Alonso, basketballer Kobe Bryant, and another boxer, Manny Pacquiao from the Philippines. At #10, another F1 driver, Lewis Hamilton.

Usain Bolt is all the way down at #100 for on-field earnings (USD 200,000), but he makes more than a hundred times that in endorsements (USD 24m).

On endorsements alone, the world order goes thus: Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Phil Mickelson, LeBron James, David Beckham, Kobe Bryant, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Usain Bolt, Maria Sharapova and Cristiano Ronlado.

At the other end of the scale, 35 members of the list make less than a USD 1 million from endorsements, with two of those (boxer Floyd Mayweather and American football player Carl Nicks making nothing from the advertisers.

The list as a whole reflects this, with these elite sportspersons making a cumulative USD 839.2 million as salaries and winnings, and less than half that, USD 784.8 million, in endorsements.

Overall, the top hundred make about USD 2.6 billion between them. Small change when it comes to the Forbes India Rich List, but hey, they get to make all that money playing sports!

Here’s a quick glance at the top 20. (For the full list, go here , see a slide-show featuring the list members here, and read related features here.)

Figures in millions of US dollars. Values calculated June 2013.

Rank Name Country Sport Salary/
Endorsements Total Pay


Tiger Woods USA Golf





Roger Federer Switzerland Tennis





Kobe Bryant USA Basketball





LeBron James USA Basketball





Drew Brees USA American Football





Aaron Rodgers USA American Football





Phil Mickelson USA Golf





David Beckham UK Football





Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Football





Lionel Messi Argentina Football





Tom Brady USA American Football





Derrick Rose USA Basketball





Joe Flacco USA American Football





Manny Pacquiao Philippines Boxing





Floyd Mayweather USA Boxing





Mahendra Singh Dhoni India Cricket





Kevin Durant USA Basketball





Alex Rodriguez USA Baseball





Peyton Manning USA American Football





Fernando Alonso Spain Car Racing





A bit of useless trivia? The only two in the list who are known by just one name are Brazilian footballers Kaka (#79) and Neymar (#68).

Post updated to correct the terrible, terrible error of listing Messi’s country as Brazil. May his legion of fans forgive me.


ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 1

ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 1

A little secret: I’ve always wanted to start a religion. With the number of god-men and -women that we seem to produce, it couldn’t be that difficult. Get some decent research done, retrofit some promises to the findings, bring in a few image consultants, maybe persuade some of my old advertising buddies to help out with some communications, get some conjuring lessons from the PC Sorcar family, and grow a beard (I already have the hair). Selling the promise of happiness, here on earth or ever after, seems to me to be far easier than this journalism thing. People want to believe. They’re begging for easy answers and it seems to be a shame not to make their earthly stay a little less stressful, while ensuring that my corporeal self has the comforts it would like to be accustomed to.

So, I’m shooting myself in my hand-woven sandals with this issue. Because in our cover package (pages 27–38): we give you a very practical how-to on being happy, grounded in hard science, by Dr Vikram Sheel Kumar; we tell you where you have the best chance of finding a happy life (our young, but very well-travelled, colleague Shravan Bhat collates research on the happiest places on earth); and we round it off with a list of recommended reading, by Charles Assisi and Sumana Mukherjee.

And yes, those Sorcars: on page 83, Shamik Bag takes a deep dive into the best known family in the Indian magic world. Dinesh Krishnan and Jasodhara Banerjee also had a chance to spend time with the Symphony Orchestra of India, watching how they put together a performance (p 106). And Shishir Prasad and Dinesh again (lucky so-and-so) also hung out with Ustad Zakir Hussain, pretty much Indian classical music’s global ambassador (p 39). And if all that’s too intense, Kishore Singh has curated a set of paintings that rest very easy on the eye, a brief walkthrough of the history of the nude in Indian art (p 61). Of course there are all our usual coumnists sharing thoughts and ideas in their fields of interest. And for those of you who start flipping pages from the back-of-the-book, you’ll start with a set of extremely well-dressed men from the Republic of Congo.

Until next issue, then, fare thee well, mortals.

The above text is from my edit letter in the new ForbesLife India, which has just hit bookshops and all the better news-stands. Below, the Table of Contents pages, to whet your appetite. [Click on the thumbnails to see larger images.]

Contents 1

Contents 1

FLI_V3_i1_TO Contents 2

Contents 2


Of course there’s more than the stories mentioned above. Like our columnists Meenakshi Shedde on unusual cinematic experiences, Jai Arjun Singh on the literature of the underprivilged, Deepanjana Pal on art as décor, Uday Benegal on the music of protest, Manjula Padmanabhan with her quirky ‘inventions,’ Anand Ramachandran on games India needs, and the intrepid traveller Ashwini Kakkar on what to see and do in Sydney. And Madhulika Liddle gives us her pick of the (film) songs that defined our decades, Sirish Chandran lists five drives that test driver and machine, and Manta Ray Comics has a thought-provoking graphic story, Nila. Plus our team members Sumana Mukherjee on breakfast, and Rohin Dharmakumar on why you should acquire a few programming skillz. As usual, a few picks from our US edition: a very interesting home set up for espionage, a luxury resort in grizzly bear land, a fashion spread featuring golf icons, and the personal collection of a vintage car auctioneer. And to round it all off, our usual Interesting Tools, Objets, and Toys.

We look forward to your feedback, here, or via email, Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

p.s. You can subscribe to ForbesLife India here.

Peter Griffin
I handle the 'Life' section of Forbes India and oversee social media.
In previous lives, I was an advertising creative director, voice-over artist, RJ, TV host, web producer and content architect, freelance travel writer, columnist, and consultant to NGOs.
I've been blogging since 2003, and co-founded the South-East Asia Tsunami & Earthquake and Mumbai Help blogs (which, with other similar initiatives later became the WorldWideHelp group), and the writers’ community, Caferati. I'm a keen student of collaboration and online culture. I've also co-curated the Literature section of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival from 2006 to 2012.
Aside from Twitter (link below), you could also follow me on Facebook or Google+.
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February 08, 2014 03:21 am by Roy Someshwar
Hi Peter, Glad to see the final list of 30 under 30 being released! Good Work! With Nadella catching up all the Indian media attention this past week, I guess its high time to launch a new call for 30 under 30 Indian NRIs (not PIO but NRIs who have graduated from India). Isn't it the right...
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