Category Archives: Australia


My daily life is replete with ugly sights, foul smells, and sad sounds. Such is the life of practising doctors. I had accepted this long back as a part of surgical life, and trained myself to disconnect my non-professional life from the feedbacks of life with the sick and suffering.
A very minor taste of this:

My nephew, award-winning car designer Harsha Ravi, lives in a different world, as do many of you.
Here is what he is up to. Take a look.

Is it small wonder, then, that I strongly discourage youngsters from getting into medicine? With so many things to be passionate about and excel in, why choose medicine, with all the tensions, ugliness, etc.? What do you think?
One other thing, too: I consider youngsters like Harsha to be not merely lucky to have lives like this, but also smarter, in that today’s kids know what not to do!

Pics: patient pics mine; others from Harsha’s article.


On the occasion of India’s famous and historic victory over Australia in the Commonwealth Series today, we interviewed some celebrities. We reproduce their comments.


Eye yam verry happy begauze we played fentastick krickett. Jay baarut madha kee?!


I am so happy… I am hungry for maaki..we showed what a roti team they have. Never a daal baal mo(ve)ment in Oz…We taught them not to twist our tails. By the way, let me introduce you to my new girlfriend, Simian….


It is all because we have changed our styles. I mean our hair styles. Look at us. We are united in our diversity: from Sehwag to Ishant Sharma….


I shouldered the responsibility of catching Dhoni when he dived at the ball deflecting off Hayden’s bat. Now I am sore we are all going to have a big insider party. You can always have Reliance on us. Oil will be well! You know, at our parties, the chips are blue and triangular and taken off the same old block. Bingo!

Sharad Pawar:

On this great occasion, we will give the cricketers a grand party in Delhi. At Rashtrapati Bhavan we will give them farmer status. Therefore they can expect our banks to loan them Rs.100,000 crores at low interests which we will wave off before the next general elections. If the Finance Minister does not do this, I will commit suicide.

(Mr. Pawar, because he has had jaw surgery, sounds as if he is chewing a pound of cotton in his mouth).

P Chidambaram:

We notice the agricultural shots Dhoni keeps making. He gives the opponents a run for their money, just like I make taxpayers run for their money. As Mr. Pawar said, once the loans are waved off by our Madam’s hand, the stock prices of the PSU banks like SBI will collapse. Our farmer cricketers can then buy these shares and capitalise on the returns. Of course, we will also return after the said election, if there is anything left to return to.

Bal Thackeray:

It is all bikaas of Sachin. He is a true Ma(ha)rathi, and therefore a true Indian. We will celebrate in style tumaarow. We will thrash up all the Bihari taxi wallahs in Mumbai, unless they can bat like Sachin. But don’t lick this out, as the fun will be lost if they run away before this.

Prakash Karat:

We are totally against the Commonwealth. We are for common poverty. We want everyone to reflect the misery that the US nuclear deal makes us feel. As far as the cricketers are concerned, we will felicitate the left handed players like Sourav, Sourav and Sourav with plots of land in the desert, er, I mean, in Nandigram. We are also keen to encourage our cricketers to take up farming and agitculture agriculture. We will grant them 123 liters of a new insecticide we are giving all our formers farmers in Bangall, called Genocide. We give this without Mamata, but with kshamata. With Genocide, our enemies have nowhere to Hyde, you know.



I have seriously wondered if genius has genetic, hereditary roots. Or is it something geniuses eat?
Jeeves, the brainy genius of a “gentleman’s personal gentleman”, was fond of eating fish, which did a lot to energise his brain cells, Bertie Wooster always told us. Apart from the Curies (Marie and Pierre), my feeble mind cannot, off the cuff, recall other families where geniuses flourished. Oh, yes, the Marx brothers.
“Well, get to the effington post, will ya?”, you say, not without a less-than-benevolent look on your ugly face?

Well, here is the beef.

(Harsha with parents Kala and Ravi)

Harsha Ravi has been awarded, this very month, the title of the Australian Young Designer of The Year by Wheels magazine. He is, I am proud to say, my nephew. Hence the thought of genius being familial. Has mine rubbed off on him? A more reliable part of my brain asks me if there is any hope for his brilliance rubbing off on me, at an age when one fears that, tomorrow, one’s arteries could become stiffer than one’s sexual organs, especially in times of need.

What was the competition for the car design all about? Wheels said this before the competition:

On the 50th anniversary of the Fiat 500, we shall use the intervening technology to completely reinvent the urban vehicle. Functional, frugal and fun, our 500 will be a 2+1 design doubly true to its name: 500cc, 500kg. Design it.


Harsha just did that. And outdid himself, too.
Hear this from the judges and critics:

“[He has] applied technology in a way that made sense.”

Take, for example, its carbon-neutral, bioplastic body with 12 percent petroleum-based/88 percent corn-based plastic that reduces the energy needed to manufacture the panels by 30 percent.

The design presented as a wild concept, yet it brought thoroughly considered, integrated design with enough tech detail and illustration to flesh it out. Sargeant and Stolfo agreed: “He has obviously done a lot of research before even putting pen to paper.”

Despite its ahead-of-time technology — the zinc-air fuel cell, nano-paper battery and airless tyres were just the beginning — attention was also given to regional manufacture, right down to the illustration of a basket-weaver manufacturing the woven seat material, one of many touches that delighted and amused the judges.


What, essentially, is this car, GM Globetrotter, about?
Harsha says:

The GM Globetrotter is inventive as a lightweight, nimble urban vehicle aimed at various emerging and developed markets in 2017. A decade from now, the worldwide culture will be one of environmental consciousness, where increased awareness of climate issues will have engendered a scrutinising and well-educated Gen-Y consumer niche. They will demand aunthenticity and transparency in how a product’s lifecycle is managed
to reduce environmental harm.


Harsha goes on:

Given the likelihood that tomorrow’s consumers will be environment-sensitive, Globetrotter is designed from the ground-up and inside-out to be customisable and minimalistic at every step. It aspires to be functional, frugal, and fun, and gentle on the environment as well. The level of individualisation this offers to the consumer market allows for the car to seamlessly fit into virtually any global context.

What is it like to design a car? I asked Harsha.

The automotive design process begins by laying out vehicle architectures to act as templates for designers to start sketching over.
Car designers are often also art nuts, and have a profound understanding and appreciation of various creative media, which we draw upon for inspiration to create the visual surfaces of the car both inside and out.


He continues:

Once a 2D representation of the designer’s vision is seen to have potential, it is then translated by computer modelers into 3D space, a developmental process which runs in parallel with a tangible sculpture being carved out of a unique automotive clay. Often, it takes several iterations of the designer’s sketch, together with a dedicated team of designers, modelers, engineers, and software whizzes all combining their efforts over a 4-5 year period to ready the vehicle for manufacture.

Harsha says that automotive design is “deeply satisfying” for him, like a dynamic sculpture, “full of visual and emotive appeal.”

Now, considering that he is barely twenty, that is really insightful and philosophical. And lest I sound like the patronising uncle I don’t want to be, I shall stop right now.

Related reading: Harsha’s take on new car designs in Show And Tell, Wheels magazine.