1. Why did you leave India?
For more money. To improve my family economically and to have work experience in the world's most developed country.
2. Do you plan to return to India to settle down?
Absolutely. Our birth place, Chennai.
3. What do you like most about being abroad?
The self confidence and self respect of Americans.
4. What do like least about being abroad?
5. Would you be concerned about raising your family outside India?
6. What are your thoughts about marrying outside your immediate community, someone who speaks a different language or practices a different religion?
Absolutely not. Atleast same religion and different language is okay.
7. What would be the first thing you would do if you became the Prime Minister of India?
Remove ignorance about the history of India, social security & clean and beautiful cities.
8. What do you think are India's greatest strengths?(max 3)
Only the greatest civilizations which has transformed as a way of life and as a religion within us.
9. What do you think are the biggest problems facing India? (max 3)
No problem. Everything is fine. Everything will be alright in coming years. Corruption is present wherever humans live. India has low level
corruption because when the British left, even safety pins could not be indigenously manufactured. Everybody wanted to get rich and be Westernized.
For this more money is required, hence corruption started. Dowry which was omnipresent when I was a child is rare these days atleast in Chennai. India
has a flexible, democratic society.
10. Do you think that a presidential form of government would better serve the needs of India's democracy?
Current forms are great.
11. For whom do you have the highest regard amongst living Indians?
Few people: Greatest PM of India- Shri. Vajpayee, Greatest Cricket Star - Sachin Tendulkar, Greatest musician - Mr. Ilayaraja, Great Modern Human - Mr.Rajinikanth.
12. Do you think that the national obsession with Cricket has helped or has it hurt India as a sporting nation?
Obsession itself is a negative word, so it hurts. Passion is required but not to a level where professionalism is not respected and maintained.
13. What do you think are India's greatest achievements since Independence? (max 3)?
In 15yrs of independence we mastered atomic technology. In 30yrs we tested rockets and satellites. In 50yrs we are top in IT and space
technologies and many other fields like biotech. In social reforms we had enough transitions. We have numerous achievements.
14. What is your favourite pastime?
Seeing and thinking of my lovely wife before marriage regularly for 4yrs.
15. What is your happiest memory?
The day god opened a new chapter in my life by giving a break in my career which gave me everything until now.
16. What's your most memorable journey?
A trip from south India to north India via many places visiting Jammu, Pathankot, Himachal Pradesh, Golden temple etc.
17. What is your ultimate food dish?
Spicy south Indian rasam or sambar.
18.What are your favourite movies? (max 3)
1) Baby's day out - English
2) New Delhi - Malayalam
3) Mouna Ragam - Tamil
19.What are your favourite books (please list authors as well)? (max 3)
Swami Vivekananda's books and some Swami Chinmayananda's books are good books that I remember.
20.A message from you to other NRIs
Dont ever open your mouth comparing a few hundred year old countries with our mother land. Mother India is a very old and wise lady who
gave birth to numerous generations and a great civilization which has lived for thousands of years and will lead the world in the years to come. Never
dream your children in a different country will be Indian. Let them live according to that country or take them to India often enough to teach them
Indian values. Teaching Indian dance or Indian language does not make one an Indian. Bharat Ma ki jai.
Do not forget your roots.
Meet Praseeta K Mundayattu.He currently lives in Tucson, Arizona, USA.
Published - February 2002
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The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.