Transitioning from crunching financial models to cooking up healthy, Indian-inspired food may seem like a radical leap. But Basu Ratnam's gut wouldn't have it any other way. After realizing that the risks you don't take can often weigh heavier than the ones you tackle with audacity, he left his job in finance to launch INDAY on 26th and Broadway. And if there's one thing more visually appealing than a bowl of their signature "not rice" with seasonal vegetables, it's the welcoming space they created to serve up their signature good karma. Hospitable by nature as well as by trade, Basu let us take a peek behind the scenes one morning for the latest installment of our Fit Profile series.
If you had to wear one outfit as your “uniform” for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I like to keep it simple and already stick pretty closely to a uniform: dark blue cotton khakis, a black fitted t-shirt, dark Common Projects, and a navy quilted bomber jacket.
If you had a free ticket to any one event in history, what would it be?
Going to a relevant heavyweight title fight is high on my bucket list, so I’d have to go with Ali vs. Frazier in 1971 at the Garden. Even though Ali lost, it was one of the great sporting and social events of the 20th century. There were so many interesting subplots and characters in the mix, and it would have been amazing to see the interplay of all those icons in one place.
If you could transplant your life anywhere, where would you go?
Probably Istanbul. It’s the only other city I’ve visited that I feel like I could live and be happy in. Everything from the food, the people, the history, and the architecture is so special and unique. I’m not sure what I’d do there, but I’d figure something out. I wonder if they’d like healthy Indian-inspired bowls...
If you could speak any foreign language fluently enough to write poetry in, which language would it be?
Bengali, which is my mother’s native language. Bengal is a part of India that has an incredible poetic and literature history, most popularized by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. I would love to understand it in its original script and share that experience with my Mom.
If you could give advice to a younger version of yourself, what would it be?
Learn a language and pay more attention in class.
If you were giving a Nobel Prize acceptance speech, who would you thank?
I guess it depends on on what I won for. But most likely, my parents—they gave me everything I needed to be a reasonably thoughtful person—and my mentor Phil Suarez, who taught me just about everything else.
If you could replace your non-dominant hand with anything, what would it be?
A more dominant hand, so I could be truly ambidextrous.
If a huge meteor was going to crash into the earth tomorrow, what would you do with your last big day?
I’m going to let Mase, DMX, and the Lox take this one.