Karti had his first contact with politics when he was two or three years old.
His mother would read the newspapers out to him.
"By the time I was 13 or 14, I was clear that I wanted to be in public life" he says. Many of his friends stayed on in Europe or the US. "I could have stayed back for a few years too. But my future is in India, taking into account my public ambitions."
Karti returned in 1995-1996 in the eye of a political storm.
Angered that the Congress - led by P V Narasimha Rao at the time - had opted to ally with J Jayalalithaa, P Chidambaram and G K Moopanar broke away to form the Tamil Maanila Congress.
The TMC became a game-changer, not just in state politics but also at the national level.
The TMC "was born in our house, 16, Pycrofts Road. I got the computers organised from my uncle's offices; I remember rushing the cycle symbol off to election commissioner TN Seshan in Delhi."
At around this time, Karti happened to visit his aunt and spotted a young woman coming out of a neighbouring house.
She took his breath away.
Srinidhi (seen here), a doctor and well-known Bharatanatyam dancer, and Karti married a few months later.
Image Courtesy: Srinidhi Chidambaram