101 Chai Chats

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Episode 7 of Monali & Meena Narayanaswami's talk show, "101 Chai Chats".

What is 101 Chai Chats?

Monali is a technology executive who has worked at companies like Google, Twitter and Box. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband, Sekhar, and children Meena (her co-host) and Naveen. Monali was born and raised in Chicago and it's suburbs, which was not very racially diverse. Her parents came to the US from Maharashtra and Karnataka. So she grew up very much as a second-generation Indian-American trying to fit into a mainstream culture which was not very racially-diverse. She also spent 2 years studying in France, which gave her an opportunity to reflect on her Indian-American identity while living outside of it. She moved out to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1999 during the tech boom, and it felt a bit like culture shock to be surrounded by such a diverse population including so many Indians and Indian-Americans.

Meena is a sophomore in high school in the Bay Area where she lives with her parents, brother and dog. She’s lived in the San Francisco bay area her whole life. Meena has been dancing Bharatanatyam since she was six and still enjoys it today. She also plays the guitar, debates, and likes spending time with her puppy, Oski, in her free time.

Monali and Meena’s realization that their upbringings and experiences were so different in some ways, yet similar in others, was the catalyst for this podcast.

Reach out to Monali and Meena at: 101chaichats@ruckusavenueradio.com.