The People of India Project: Darby Raju

A couple of nights ago, I went to meet a friend I hadn’t seen for three months, we had lots to catch up on, and quite a lot to celebrate. Our drink of choice was sparkling wine, Indian sparkling wine, pink and chilled and crisp, it hit the spot perfectly.  Indian wines have been coming into their own over the last 10 years or so, a friend of mine has a wine bar where that is all they sell. Here in Delhi there are now numerous wine events, dinners and even award ceremonies. However,  it’s an aspect of India few people outside of India or the trade consider and so, I would like to introduce to you, as part of my People of India Project, Darby Raju, an Indian vineyard owner. Enjoy….

  1. dn-raju-darby-1Who you are (naturally!)

Someone who thinks seriously.. but is not a serious person!

  1. What inspired you to create your particular business / join your particular industry?

My profession is “Acoustics and my passion is “Wine and Viticulture” …both were inspired by quietness

The quest for quietness inspired me to take up  “Applied acoustics and Industrial noise control “ which I continue to pursue even now in association with Indian Institute of science.. as my primary profession.   

The same liking  for serenity lead me to find my life’s purpose and passion, I became an avid traveller to discover nature’s pristine places.. One such tranquil place.. I am fortunate to own now,  is our 100 acre lake fronted vineyard where one can soak in the silence while enjoying a glass of wine and dining experience with stunning 360 degree views,  away from the din and buzz of Bangalore, the IT capital of India.  

  1. An anecdote which epitomises your India?

visitor to our vineyard said  “ India is an amazing country” the way he was gushing it seemed like he really meant it !, and just to prod him I asked what is it about India that made him think India was amazing..? not only he, but the whole expat group joined him in giving reasons …India is amazing because of its..  Divinity, diversity.. vibrancy..spirituality, colourful festivals and cultures and cuisines, innumerable fabrics in varied hues draped in so many ways.. etc etc..they went on and on....but I was waiting to hear words we normally  associate with advanced countries..which we think is a great!....such as  cleanliness, super efficient  infra structure, great public transport, road sense, giving right of way to pedestrians, ease of doing business , public  hygiene.. etc... but alas I didn’t hear even one such word l. Well nothing wrong in that.. At least we know India has a glorious past and an amazing soul and is famous for reasons completely different from those that we associate with other advanced countries..So be it.. Let’s try to bridge the gap in other fields too.. 

  1. One thing that you can’t live without?

My senses! 

  1. One thing that you hate?

Noise! As opposed to peace, I mean noise is just not sound..alone..any kind of buzz, be it in life.thoughts, urban chaos ..its all a kind of noise! 

  1. If  you could change one thing about India what would it be?

Complete lack of concern for others in India by Indians.

  1. Who is your greatest inspiration?

My mother, unlike Mahatma Gandhi  who  “became great because he was simple” my mother was simple and remained simple all her life.  She had a simple agenda…. to see that her children were shielded from pain, remained healthy and happy, at the cost of her own pain and hardship and made us feel we were the best in the world by believing in us 100 % which in turn made us believe in ourselves.

  1. What is your favourite quote?

Reason abounds in quietness”  To be creative, to find reasons to a problem or reason out a situation you need a quiet background and a quiet mind.

  1. Over the last few years I have noticed huge changes in India, but what is the biggest change you have noticed in India over the last 10 years?

The most noticeable change in India is not physical..the change in recent years is the mindset and self confidence of the educated IndiansThere is a tremendous leap of faith in Indians.

  1. What do you think are the biggest challenges India faces over the next ten years?

Given the demographic advantage India has with its  young, educated population combined with the growth potential..a whole young nation is going to be restless and hungry for power, food, and infrastructure! So the greatest challenge for India will be to fulfil  these needs at the earliest  to match the projected growth..

  1. Which is the destination at the top of your bucket list?

South America!

  1. What is the one place you visited that you have NO desire to return to?

Bihar in India , Central states in USA

  1. Book or Movie?

Book of course!

  1. I am doing a survey to find India’s most popular breakfast, what is yours? 

My most popular breakfast item would be  a good crisp Masala Dosa, and I know where that is available in Bangalore. If you mean a whole breakfast, then a south Indian breakfast consisting of Idli, wada,  dosa sambhar, chutney; chicken curry with dosa as non veg option in lieu of sambhar is getting to be a universal favourite! 

  1. In retrospect, what is the one thing you wish you could have told your 20 year old self?

Oh yes… I would definitely tell my 20 year old self..“ Your laid back attitude and procrastination is going to cost you 4 years delay in reaching your retirement plan of owning a picturesque vineyard and developing it into a global destination for wine and vineyard tourism. 


FB Page – http://www.facebook/Bangalore Soma Vineyards


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.