1. Why did you leave India?
My parents relocated to Europe.
2. Do you plan to return to India to settle down?
No professional plans to return at the moment. If returning, I would like to live in Delhi or Bombay.
3. What do you like most about being abroad?
Variety of openings and opportunities to travel.
4. What do like least about being abroad?
I miss the variety of Indian food, and the summers are too short in Europe!
5. Would you be concerned about raising your family outside India?
Not at all.
6. What are your thoughts about marrying outside your immediate community, someone who speaks a different language or practices a different religion?
I believe the only reason for marriage should be love. If religion is an issue, one should join a monastery.
7. What would be the first thing you would do if you became the Prime Minister of India?
8. What do you think are India's greatest strengths?(max 3)
1) Intellectual capabilities
2) Cultural identity in diversity
3) Natural resources
9. What do you think are the biggest problems facing India? (max 3)
2) Lack of education
3) Position of women in society
10. Do you think that a presidential form of government would better serve the needs of India's democracy?
11. For whom do you have the highest regard amongst living Indians?
Shabana Azmi. For her intellect and perseverance in presenting important issues despite opposition from small-minded bigots and zealots.
12. Do you think that the national obsession with Cricket has helped or has it hurt India as a sporting nation?
If we were as good in cricket as we obsess about it, then the obsession would be fine. The cost of our obsession has been total lack of absence of India in any other sport.
13. What do you think are India's greatest achievements since Independence? (max 3)?
1) Democratic framework
2) Progress in science
3) Upliftment of rural women (though much more still needs to be done)
14. What is your favourite pastime?
Travelling and fitness.
15. What is your happiest memory?
My college years in London, when I met my wife :-)
16. What's your most memorable journey?
Too hard a choice. On air: watching a sun-rise over snow-clad Hindu Kush while flying into India. On land: driving over the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco.
17. What is your ultimate food dish?
Bengali style steamed prawns in coconut-mustard curry, Lucknow style mutton curry & my wife's fish curries!
18.What are your favourite movies? (max 3)
1) Lord of the Rings
2) Umrao Jaan
19.What are your favourite books (please list authors as well)? (max 3)
1) The Little Prince by Antoine de St.
2) The Inscrutable Americans by Anurag Mathur
3) The Entire Works of Oscar Wilde
20.A message from you to other NRIs
Let us present and represent India with pride and dignity.
Meet Aashish Mukherjee.He currently lives in Holland.
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.