1. Why did you leave India?
My parents left back in 1977 when I was about 3 years old, and I grew up in Dubai.
2. Do you plan to return to India to settle down?
Yes, definitely. Saare jahan se acha... hindustan hamara.
3. What do you like most about being abroad?
Broadens your outlook on life by giving you a closer insight into other cultures.
4. What do like least about being abroad?
Miss the freedom of home.
5. Would you be concerned about raising your family outside India?
No, not really. I haven't turned out too bad. So, I guess it's just a matter of passing on the values that my parents have passed on to me.
6. What are your thoughts about marrying outside your immediate community, someone who speaks a different language or practices a different religion?
I personally have no problems with it. However, where I come from, it is frowned upon. I guess I'll deal with it when the subject arises.
7. What would be the first thing you would do if you became the Prime Minister of India?
Try and ensure that every town in India has uninterrupted electricity. We talk big of bringing India to the new digital age. I cannot, for the life of me, see how this can be done when most of the country still does not have adequate electricity.
8. What do you think are India's greatest strengths?(max 3)
Diversity and the persevering nature of its people.
9.What do you think are the biggest problems facing India? (max 3)
Lack of focus on immediate issues as opposed to long term goals.
10. Do you think that a presidential form of government would better serve the needs of India's democracy?
I think so. It would definitely help identify who is to be held accountable for what is going wrong with the country.
11. For whom do you have the highest regard amongst living Indians?
I cannot pick one particular person. Broadly, I would say that women are the future of India. While men while their time away in corruption, women are going out and bringing home the laurels.
12. Do you think that the national obsession with Cricket has helped or has it hurt India as a sporting nation?
A little bit of both, really. In support of the "obsession", I think it has brought us pride and joy to see our countrymen take the name of the country to new heights.
13. What do you think are India's greatest achievements since Independence? (max 3)?
Well, the population explosion is NOT one of them. I think our greatest achievement has been our people. We are EVERYWHERE. I'm pretty sure you cannot name a country that is not populated by at least one Indian.
14. What is your favourite pastime?
15. What is your happiest memory?
Watching Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai and just last night, Lara Dutta stun the world with their brains... oh, and they're pretty good looking, too.
16. What's your most memorable journey?
Kerala to Jaipur by train back in 1982. It was a 3-day trip and I thoroughly enjoyed. I was only 6 years old, but I still remember that I enjoyed it.
17. What is your ultimate food dish?
Dal and roti.
18.What are your favourite movies? (max 3)
The Magnificent Seven, Bombay, Karma, and your run-of-the-mill dance-around-trees-with-women-young-enough-to-be-your-granddaughter movies. I'm not ashamed of the way we make our movies. We're Indian. So, go ahead and sue us.
19.What are your favourite books (please list authors as well)? (max 3)
My Experiments With Truth - MK Gandhi
20.A message from you to other NRIs
Be proud that you are from the land of Gandhi, Tendulkar and Govinda :O).
Meet Nitin Mathew. He currently lives in Dubai and works in the IT industry.
Published - May 2000
Participate in 20-Questions
The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.