1. Why did you leave India?
My parents left in 1975.
2. Do you plan to return to India to settle down?
No. But I love to go back and visit. If I had to return, I would either live in Mumbai or a remote hill station.
3. What do you like most about being abroad?
The "ease of life" and the equal opportunities. Not having to worry about my children's lifestyle (when I have them).
4. What do like least about being abroad?
The difficulty in finding a "good Punjabi boy".
5. Would you be concerned about raising your family outside India?
No. I would be more concerned about raising them in India.
6. What are your thoughts about marrying outside your immediate community, someone who speaks a different language or practices a different religion?
I don't take issue with caste, but would want someone that spoke the same language so that we could pass that on to our children. Preference would be same religion, same language.
7. What would be the first thing you would do if you became the Prime Minister of India?
Put it under Military Rule and try and alleviate some of the corruption.
8. What do you think are India's greatest strengths?(max 3)
1) The people 2) The people 3) The people.
9.What do you think are the biggest problems facing India? (max 3)
1) Population 2) Pollution 3) Corruption.
10. Do you think that a presidential form of government would better serve the needs of India's democracy?
I'm not sure that that would be enough to solve India's issues. The problem is that the country is so diverse in cultures and beliefs that no one set of policies will be accepted by everyone. India's diversity is therefore its greatest strength and its greatest enemy.
11. For whom do you have the highest regard amongst living Indians?
12. Do you think that the national obsession with Cricket has helped or has it hurt India as a sporting nation?
I can't believe that you used one of your 20 questions on this.
13. What do you think are India's greatest achievements since Independence? (max 3)?
1) IIT 2) Privatisation of core services 3) Can't think of another.
14. What is your favourite pastime?
Spending quality time with excellent people.
15. What is your happiest memory?
New Years Day 2000.
16. What's your most memorable journey?
Agra - Jaipur 1992 (Mum, Dad and my siblings will remember this!!)
17. What is your ultimate food dish?
Anything that my mother cooks, but especially her butter chicken, chilli paneer and her dhaal's (now I'm hungry!!!)
18.What are your favourite movies? (max 3)
1) The Usual Suspects 2) The Sixth Sense 3) Earth (Deepa Mehta).
19.What are your favourite books (please list authors as well)? (max 3)
1) The Little Prince 2) The Moral Animal 3) The Poison Wood Bible.
20.A message from you to other NRIs
Hold on to our heritage and be proud of the way that you (individually) choose to balance east and west. No one can control your destiny but live life to the fullest and be rich in your culture.
Meet Priya Bhasin. She currently lives in Sydney, Australia, and works in the legal profession.
Published - May 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.