Two Indias | KUOW News and Information

Two Indias

Taken at the second Storywallahs event; the theme was Coming Home.
KUOW Photos/Bond Huberman

The 24-year-old man didn’t have a home.

So he came up with a bold plan: Go to the nicest neighborhood in Grand Rapids, Michigan, knock on the doors of 10 mansions and ask if he could move in.

Pujpha Bania, 33, and her daughter Manisha, 8, are migrant workers from Odisha state in northeast India. They travelled several days by train to work at a brick kiln near Hyderabad, India.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

HYDERABAD, INDIA – The road to Hyderabad winds through a landscape of ancient boulders – some three or four stories high. The earth-colored stones fill wide gaps between the sleek, high-rise towers that push the city’s skyline and suburbs to new limits.

Students sit in a computer science class taught by professor Chakravarthy Bhagavati at the University of Hyderabad.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

HYDERABAD, INDIA – If you ask engineering students in India about their career paths, the conversation often leads to America and if they’d like to go there.

“Obviously,” is a typical response.

Apurva Koti, 16, plays tabla drums in his living room in Hyderabad, India.  Apurva also plays electric guitar. Apurva and his family moved to India from Redmond, Washington in 2008.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

HYDERABAD, INDIA – Decades ago, when immigrants moved to Seattle from India, they asked each other: “Why would you ever leave the U.S.?”

But now, a growing number of Indians are doing just that. And they’re doing it largely so the families they start here can bond with their homeland.

REDMOND, WASHINGTON -- Two young Indian co-workers face off across the table at a café on Microsoft’s main campus. The challenge? Who can eat the most panipuri: bite-sized Indian street food made up of a fried shell stuffed with spicy potatoes.

Mahadevan Iyer and a friend sit outside his apartment at a senior living community near Chennai, India.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

BANGALORE, INDIA – Three generations live under the same roof in this bustling home: two rambunctious kids, their weary parents and an 80-year-old grandfather.

The grandfather, Raj Krishnamurthy, is an eager host, and keeps offering me Indian snacks as we talk on the couch. He serves up a homemade yogurt drink specially made today for a Hindu holiday. Then he leans closer, as if to tell a secret.

The RajGuru family was one of the first Indian families to move to Redmond in 1969. Matriarch Madhavi Rajguru's saris would often inspire curiosity.
Courtesy of Devki Rajguru

REDMOND, WASHINGTON – Long before Microsoft set up its headquarters here, and before the 520 highway extended this far, the RajGuru family moved to this Seattle suburb they knew almost nothing about. The year was 1969.

Share Your Feedback On Our Two Indias Series

Nov 17, 2014
Aeshalla Krishna

Give us your feedback on our Two Indias series. Have a personal story you think fits with the series? Share it with us! Have a question or a comment about something you heard? Send that along, too. 

If you’re interested in attending future KUOW events inspired by this series, sign up for email updates here. Note: We will not share your information or use it for any purpose other than communicating about our Two Indias series. 

You can also join the discussion on Twitter when you tweet with #TwoIndias.

KUOW reporter Liz Jones conducting an interview in a farmers market in Hyderabad, India.
KUOW Photo/Harsha Vadlamani

Liz Jones traveled to Hyderabad, India this summer to report on its deepening connection with the Seattle area. She tells Bill Radke what she found and what we'll hear in her upcoming six-part series, "Two Indias, Near and Far." Get the story behind the photo at our Facebook page.