1. Why did you leave India?
To experience the opportunity of living in a different culture.
2. Do you plan to return to India to settle down?
Definitely, by July 2002.
3. What do you like most about being abroad?
Pollution-free environment. Roads that actually have no pot-holes! Weather(in summer, spring and fall).
4. What do like least about being abroad?
Being a minority that is ridiculed by the media here. Living in a pseudo-secular nation where religious holidays exist only for the majority religion (that means having to go to work on Diwali, Pongal
etc). Not being able to completely fit-in.
5. Would you be concerned about raising your family outside India?
Depends on the country. A country that celebrates diversity truly(like India) is cool, but not a country that supports diversity only on
paper but pounces on the chance to eliminate minorities and other cultures at the drop of a hat (or a plane on certain skyscrapers)!
6. What are your thoughts about marrying outside your immediate community, someone who speaks a different language or practices a different religion?
No problem at all, except one of us would definitely have to learn the other's language!
7. What would be the first thing you would do if you became the Prime Minister of India?
Eliminate corruption. Get rid of all old politicians who are on their way to the graveyard. Appoint young, dynamic, liberal men and women as the nation's lawmakers.
8. What do you think are India's greatest strengths?(max 3)
1) Religious diversity & Tolerance
2) Information Technology
3) Importance given to education
9. What do you think are the biggest problems facing India? (max 3)
2) Close-mindedness of most people over 40
3) Our politicians, Hindutva & Lack of civic sense
10. Do you think that a presidential form of government would better serve the needs of India's democracy?
Definitely - if it means I can choose who the leader of the nation would be instead of just which political party gets to rule the country.
11. For whom do you have the highest regard amongst living Indians?
Infosys chairman, Mr. Narayana Murthy, Mr. Abdul Kalaam & Mr. Vidhyakar of Chennai based "Udhavum Karangal"
12. Do you think that the national obsession with Cricket has helped or has it hurt India as a sporting nation?
Heck yeah! There are other sports like football, athletics, swimming, tennis, hockey etc.. which we have been ignoring, or atleast not
appreciating as much as we do cricket! And cricket isn't even part of the Olympics! Cricket is very cool, as long as we support other sports as well.
13. What do you think are India's greatest achievements since Independence? (max 3)?
Maintaining secularism despite the numerous problems we face. Working towards technological prowess at least since the early 90s. Excellence achieved in I.T.
14. What is your favourite pastime?
Watching movies, listening to music. Surfing the web and filling out forms like these!
15. What is your happiest memory?
Any day spent in India during Deepavali and Pongal are always the best of my happy memories! Also, time spent in college at PSG Tech!
16. What's your most memorable journey?
Hmmm.... every day is a journey in this world of life... Philosophy aside, it would be my first journey on a plane(to the US).
17. What is your ultimate food dish?
Parotta with mutton kuzhambu(korma) found at the roadside stalls of Madurai, India!
Sausage and pepperoni pizza at Donatos!
Shephard's pie, lasagna, sesame chicken, general tso's chicken, pongal, rava
upma, masala dosai, biryani, puri.... hey, the list is endless!
18.What are your favourite movies? (max 3)
1) Mouna Raagam (Tamil)
2) Dil Chahtha Hai (Hindi)
3) Memento (English)
19.What are your favourite books (please list authors as well)? (max 3)
1) Timeline (Michael Crichton)
2) Honor among thieves (Jeffery Archer)
3) How to know God (Deepak Chopra)
20.A message from you to other NRIs
While in Rome, do as the Romans do! It's cool to be Indian, but don't let it be a cause of annoyance to your non-Indian neighbors and
co-workers! Use cologne and cut down on garlic and onions! Be adventurous, don't be a tightwad, fight for your rights and help eliminate the negative stereotypes that people have about Indians! Have fun as much as you can!
Meet Sathya. He currently lives in Columbus, Ohio, USA.
Published - April 2002
Participate in 20-Questions
The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.