1. Why did you leave India?
Money/Want to jump around as much as I can before I settle down.
2. Do you plan to return to India to settle down?
Yes. In Patna - Bihar (my home state).
3. What do you like most about being abroad?
Freedom from spending 80% of our energy around a corrupt system which favors the cunning. Here the rules are the same for all.
4. What do like least about being abroad?
Miss my family and Indian food.
5. Would you be concerned about raising your family outside India?
Haven't given thought to family - but I guess not.
6. What are your thoughts about marrying outside your immediate community, someone who speaks a different language or practices a different religion?
Well, if we both can connect - I believe we'll bring out the best in each other - what else would matter if this could be?
7. What would be the first thing you would do if you became the Prime Minister of India?
Build accountability into the political system. I know it is easier said than done - but I believe all evils of India are because of our politicians' mental depravity.
8. What do you think are India's greatest strengths?(max 3)
(1) We the people (2) Our tolerance (now it is working against us) (3) Indian women - I believe it's time we give things in their hands - our men have played enough havoc.
9.What do you think are the biggest problems facing India? (max 3)
(1) Unaccountability has spread like poison into the fabric of the nation. (2) Our Politicians (3) Apathy.
10. Do you think that a presidential form of government would better serve the needs of India's democracy?
It's not the form but the country's inhabitants who will make a difference. The Presidential system won't suit the collage that is India.
11. For whom do you have the highest regard amongst living Indians?
Atal Bihari/ Dr. Kurien of Amul fame (he is alive I trust) / Sabeer Bhatia/ Sachin /Aamir Khan
12. Do you think that the national obsession with Cricket has helped or has it hurt India as a sporting nation?
It brings the people together at least. As for time lost - it is not a highly regarded commodity back in desh anyways.
13. What do you think are India's greatest achievements since Independence? (max 3)?
IITs; our self reliance in defence technology and agriculture; we've held together through the bad times.
14. What is your favourite pastime?
Reading / sleeping / watching beautiful eyes / dreaming.
15. What is your happiest memory?
My brother getting through campus placements.
16. What's your most memorable journey?
Bunking engg. classes for a trip to Kathmandu without telling my parents
17. What is your ultimate food dish?
Khichdi + chokha (bharta) + tamatar ka chatney + papad + aam ka achar(how's that?)
18.What are your favourite movies? (max 3)
Anand, Love Story (English), Platoon.
19.What are your favourite books (please list authors as well)? (max 3)
The Fountainhead , To Kill a Mocking Bird , Sesher Kobita (by Rabindranath)
20.A message from you to other NRIs
I feel so alone in spite of so many Indians being around - may be I will also be indifferent to some freshy when I am a taklu uncle with a wife and kids - lol.
Ajit Sharma. He currently lives in Michigan, USA, and works in the IT industry.
Published - March 2000
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The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.