The Curious Case of... Ajay Bhat

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(All of us are born curious. Some of us actively practice it, irrespective of age. Our Curious Cases series gives you a glimpse into the minds of such curious folk. May they rub off you the right way!)

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Name Ajay Bhat

Location Hyderabad

What I do I work on cloud and mobility-related software at Kony.

On the Curiosity scale, I am... Plain Curious

What I prefer to consume (in descending order of preference): In terms of frequency, Twitter! But I like reading books, both physical and on the Kindle. I consume a lot of online media (news, longform articles). I skim the newspaper most days, and listen to 3-4 podcasts regularly.

Number of books and movies I get through in a year Books - ~15. Movies, probably 30.

One book I'd recommend to a friend / colleague: Haroun and The Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

My best source for book / movie / website recommendations: For books and movies, it's a combination of Amazon recommendations, newspaper/magazine reviews along with word of mouth. For websites, it's Twitter, plus the Longform app on my phone/tablet.

One movie / show I've loved that hardly anyone else has watched Once, a modern-day musical set in Dublin.

I am currently reading: The Startup of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

One place on Earth that I am very curious about: Iceland.

Website(s) that I get a lot of useful info from: I learnt a lot of tax and money stuff on Value Research, especially after moving back to India. For business/current news on the LiveMint website. For tech news and information I rely on TechCrunch, Recode and The Verge

One topic I am super-opinionated about: Grammar. If you use incorrect grammar or spellings, I'm likely to be very judgmental about it.

People come to me to find out what I think about these topics: Books, music, technology. A lot of people also ask me about life after moving back to India from the US. It's great! Different though.

What I prefer to use (in descending order of preference) Twitter > Facebook > LinkedIn. I'm not really big on Quora, though I browse it occasionally.

The strangest food item I have eaten I had a seaweed dish in a Korean kimchi place in the US once. I'm vegetarian so there are less 'out there' options for this.

If I could spend a day in the mind, body, and shoes of a person, it would be... Neil Gaiman. He writes the strangest, most wonderful stories. I'd love to know how he thinks them up.

One interesting / fun fact I recently learnt: NDA graduates get degrees from JNU.

I stay up-to-date by doing this... I get most of my news updates from Twitter.

One interesting/fun fact about myself When I lived in the US, I used to host a radio show focused on music from South Asia on the Seattle-area community radio station, KBCS (www.kbcs.fm).

I express my curiosity by doing these things: I read, a lot! I find reading general purpose magazines or listening to podcasts on general topics help you learn a lot about things you didn't know much about before.

The one thing I am very interested in Sleep. Seriously though, books and music have been abiding passions my whole life. I'm also curious about how the world works, which may explain my (amateur) enthusiasm for economics and things like user interface design.

A habit or skill I'd love to acquire: Procrastinate less.

A movie or TV show that taught me something new House of Cards - the details of American politics: getting bills passed, the give and take involved etc.

If there was one mystery I'd like to solve, it would be Why did Ram Gopal Varma's filmmaking fall off a cliff?

I would love to do this at least once Road trip, Kashmir to Kanyakumari or Gujarat through Arunachal Pradesh.

People I would like to ask all these same questions to: Rahul Dravid.

Curiosity is important to my work because... It's important to understand how the world works, and where it's going, especially with the rapid evolution of technology. My work involves building the technologies that enable this transition, so curiosity is definitely important to my work.

Someone I know who asks a lot of questions My wife, Ketaki.

My curiosity tip "There's no time for hatred. Only questions."

Where you can be found online @ajayvb on Twitter. I used to blog frequently at some point, but I'm now more curious about learning than sharing my opinions.

 


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