Why is Yr. Obt. Svt. not part of this podcast? Aren’t you glad I’m not?
The Culture Clash series has – from the feedback we’ve heard – been well received. Thus far it’s been Americans talking to our comrades in performance management arms about their experience in their home country and in North America. What we’ve not had is someone from another country talking to his countrymen. This podcast deviates from that model because my Objectively Younger, Taller, Smarter and Subjectively Better Looking Brother From Other Parents is from India and is speaking with two of his Indian friends, Kishore Mukkamala and Sumit Deo. It was – and this was quite difficult for someone who has figuratively kissed the Blarney Stone – my idea to redact myself and Natalie and Tim from the podcast as we simply don’t have the background to do justice to this episode, thus, Celvin as the host.
One of the things that makes this such an interesting episode is that Celvin really understands the immigrants journey – all three of them have had very different experiences and yet all three have had ones that are awfully close. Because of this, I think you, oh Gentle Listener, will find nuance and understanding in this episode that may very well be unique.
They came for opportunity. They left for family.
One of the things that I found so interesting about this podcast (your hosts and our guests listen to all of our episodes before they go live, the former for OMG-is-this-any-good and the latter for OMG-am-I-going-to-get-fired-over-this-content) is the effort and challenges Sumit and Kishore underwent as they came to the States and built a life only to return to their homeland. Their reasons differ slightly but commonly share the threads of family ties and duty. One cannot but admire their undoubtedly hard (have a listen to what they had to go through to get into this country and work here – it ain’t easy) decisions, for this is what real men (and women but c’mon, they are quite literally guys) willingly sacrifice for their families.
Their paths here (and I include Celvin) are interesting, their careers varied, their love of Essbase similar. They are inspiring stories and (for once) I as a listener was quite moved. I am sorry they left the States as I would very much like to meet them in person.
A couple of key things to listen for: guns, sports (American sports), movies (Hollywood is more accurate than one might imagine), personal space, Americans’ openness and friendliness, and just where are the servants.
A world united by Enid Blyton
At the end of every episode we (well, Celvin this time) ask our guests who in history they’d like to have dinner with, what they like to read, and the movies that they like in an attempt to know the real person.
I am as a native born American, somewhat taken aback by the well-read nature of our guests in this series. Kishore and Sumit are from their answers, people whose interests go far beyond just work and sports (I fear I do a disservice to my fellow Americans but let’s be real: how many philosophers does your average USAian list in his I’d-like-to-have-dinner-with-this-person) . But most importantly, how many Americans are fans of the Famous Five? Hah! I am. Well, I think the Secret Seven were better, but the Famous Five are just fine as well.
I’m not an Indian, I’m not even an Honorary Indian (there are many times I wish I was), but I am a huge Enid Blyton fan, courtesy of my father’s USAID contract in Guyana. From the Cameron Lackpour library, photographed on his office desk:
I’m not sure if listening to this podcast will convince you to dive into the really quite magical world of Enid Blyton, but if you have children, I urge you to dip your toe into the metaphorical water of Peter, Janet, Pam, Barbara, Jack, Colin, and George and of course listen to our two fascinating guests. It really is a superb episode.
Join us, won’t you?