"A bit of an overload."

That was what Nobel Prize winner, Abhijit's Banerjee's brother had to say of yesterday's news. Abhijit Banerjee, along with wife Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer were awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics.

Abhijit and Aniruddha Banerji

But for Abhijit's brother, Aniruddha, it was not a complete surprise.

Obviously, there is extreme joy. a Nobel is a seriously big deal, and now we have two of them in the family. But there have been talks about them getting this sort of recognition for a while. What they have done is revolutionary in the field of developmental economics. So yes, it's a pleasant surprise, but not out of the blue.

In a conversation with ScoopWhoop, Aniruddha says he and his brother are primarily great friends and then siblings. And like any other sibling combo, there's always some good-natured ribbing, Nobel or no Nobel.

When I spoke to him, I told him I'm feeling very proud of him, especially after I taught him everything he knows. That's the kind of relationship we have.
Abhijit and Aniruddha Banerji with their mother, Nirmala Bannerji

The sons of Nirmala and Dipak Banerjee, both eminent economists, Abhijit and Aniruddha were raised in Kolkata, where they studied in South Point High School. While Aniruddha went on to forge a career in advertising, Abhijit followed his parents' path. And according to all accounts, he excelled at it from a young age.


But growing up with an elder sibling who was held in high regard by everyone around him might add undue pressure to most, Aniruddha says he never felt the comparison in their childhood.

The parents never put pressure. They always wanted me to do what made me happy. However, teachers have always wondered how I could be Abhijit Banerjee's brother.

And while his achievements in the field of academia have always been a source of pride for the family, Aniruddha says that's not what he found inspiring in his brother. Rather, he looks up to his him for the person he is.

I think in all honesty, his academic achievements have never been an inspiration to me. Of course, I'm proud of him. but what has really inspired me is who he is as a person.For instance, he'll come to Delhi for only 2 days, jet lagged, will do a meeting, a press conference, and then meet up with friends, family, ask us to come and discover a new place he's found.
Abhijit and Aniruddha Banerji with Esther Duflo

But beyond the field economics, Aniruddha believes there's another area where his brother truly deserves more accolades. 

He's an amazing cook! And you won't even realise it while he's in the midst of it. He could be talking to people, sending work emails, laughing and cracking jokes and the next thing you know, he's prepared a proper 3 course meal.Let me put it this way. If he ever decides to quit everything else and start a restaurant, I will be right there, putting my money (and my food) where my mouth is.