THIRD CULTURE KID. ANCHO CHILE, GARAM MASALA, AND TRUFFLE OIL RUN THROUGH MY VEINS
Name: Meera Chandrasekaran
I currently reside in: Austin, TX
I currently work as: Dentist in the public health sector during the day. And at night, I’m a singer in a local Afropop band, Bamako Airlines.
I do this because: My eyes are always drawn towards detail (and teeth!). I sleep well at night knowing that I’m helping out a population that would ordinarily have difficulties finding access to health care. Music is a passion. Many of my friends and family members are musicians…I think it keeps us sane.
What are some Indian traditions you still follow? No chappals in my house.
Bollywood or Hollywood, and why? Hollywood. I have a 97 minute attention span, so 3-hour Bolly films are tough. But I have a soft spot for Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Bobby, and RD Burman.
Favorite movie? Cinema Paradiso. Guilty-pleasure: Zoolander
What’s your favorite thing about Indian culture? Having been to India over a dozen times, I love juxtaposing my tempered Austin environment to the intensity of day-to-day life in India. In India, the colors are bright, emotions run high and are strongly expressed, and pani puri simultaneously explodes with sweet, sour, spicy, salty. If you stand at a bus stop in Bombay or Madras (I’m old-school when it comes to city names) and close your eyes, you’d hear several languages mashed together, interspersed with ringing cell phones, honking from ricks, and the clip-clop of the occasional cow strolling by. It assaults my senses in wonderful ways.
What’s one piece of advice your parents have given you that should probably be or are abiding by? My parents taught my brother and I to live beneath ones means. My penchant for fancy cheeses may stretch that, but I think I live by that guideline.
So, are you a Good Indian Girl? Maybe. Aunties love the Indian Classical music background and homemade kulfi. But my Spanish is far better than my Tamil and Hindi, so I lose big points here.