The Indian-American in Andheri East


The Indian-American in Andheri East

Illustration: Sushant Ahire


hen I was but a wee five-year-old boy, barely able to master the famous Indian nod, my parents moved to Singapore. I grew up as a young Chinaman but before I could master Mandarin, I was bundled and taken to Madras where the Mandarin mingled with the Tamil making for an unholy mix. To this cauldron, Hindi was added when I finally moved to Mumbai.

It was a confusing time; I kept my mouth shut during Hindi class, and felt laughter bubbling in my stomach when I was asked to read out loud. When I did speak Hindi, I sounded like Aishwarya Rai from Josh and looked like Hrithik Roshan from that Jadoo movie. So I played safe and just focused on English, which really seemed to work everywhere. Plus the Fresh Prince of Bel Air had debuted on TV and through it, a fourth culture made its way into my life. Americana.