My love for India

Views from India


Shivateja Vemireddy, Managing Editor

Views from India has sort of become a trashing-on-Indian-culture column over the past year, so I will try to go for a more positive approach. Despite my constant nagging, I can’t imagine being where I am today without being a part of this community. And the sense of community is one of my favorite traits from the Indian culture. See, most people know that India’s population is growing at an alarming rate, but what is not commonly known, is the fact that the country is getting a foot smaller every year. It has something to do with the tectonic plates making the Himalayan Mountains a foot taller each year and India a foot shorter. But, with a combination of these two events, people are going to start plopping off the edge of the country into the ocean. This physical lack of space, however, forces people to bond with the people around them, and this sense of community continues well beyond the confines of the country. I have found many times that I can walk into a room full of strangers and feel a mutual connection with any Indian person who happens to be there. It isn’t really a matter of race, but the fact that we can relate to similar experiences, or sometimes even a literal genetic relationship.

If you didn’t know, my full name is Shivateja Reddy Vemireddy. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “Wow! Reddy is his middle name!” Yes it is. But more importantly, the “Reddy” part of my name is kind of like a caste name, so I am more closely related to other people with Reddy in their name than just another Indian. The easiest way to make a connection with an Indian person is to find out their heritage. For example, if you are South Indian or North Indian you have can get an instant fist bump with a person from the same half as you. Additionally, if you delve further and find out that you are from the same state and maybe even city, congratulations, you have a new friend! If they speak the same language and even have the same caste name as you, watch out you are either meeting your relative or getting an arranged marriage. I am a South Indian from Hyderabad/Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh who speaks Telegu. If you fit the same descriptions and have “reddy” somewhere in your name, I guess you and I are friends now.

Being Indian sometimes has its drawbacks (as you have probably learned by now), but also its benefits and I can attribute many of my successes to my cultural experiences. My parents are probably the most hardworking people that I know. I’m not just trying to be a good kid here and kiss up to my parents, but they literally had to pick themselves up from a village overrun by cows and somehow make it halfway around the world. My link to India stems from my parents and the experiences and beliefs they have shared with me. Their work ethic, interesting traditions and great taste in food have all come from India and they have allowed me to share these experiences with you. I know that Indians aren’t the only ones who can relate to my stories and I didn’t write them just for Indians. These are my views from India and they are meant for everyone.

Thanks for tuning in!