Uncle Kari’s single-most important contribution to Indian sport has been the FISSME, a sort of desi Formula Ford. Even though racing had existed in India for a while, it was merely a hobby for the rich. Kari had a keen interest in developing the sport and had a great eye for spotting and nurturing talent. J Anand, Akbar Ebrahim and myself were inducted into his team as upcoming talent and I stayed with Kari’s team throughout. He built a dozen or so Formula Marutis during 1993/94, and I enjoyed the foremost preference of picking the car I liked, over other drivers.
By 1995, Kari had already finished designing a brand new 1800cc single-seater with a racing gearbox. Everything was custom made, the moulds were done and the car would have been on track in six months. It would have certainly put Indian motorsport in the fast lane, just like the FISSME had done almost a decade earlier. Unfortunately with his untimely death, we lost the guiding light of Indian motorsport which created a huge void. Things haven’t and will never be the same again.