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Saturday April 27, 2013
By BAVANI Mbavanim@thestar.com.my Photo by RAJA FAISAL HISHAN
INDIAN expat, Rajendra Okade, could have chosen any where to work, but picked Kuala Lumpur due to its similarities with his motherland, India.
The chemical engineer with oil and gas company Technip has been working in the city for more than six years, and many things here remind him of home.
“The traffic is terrible, parking is a constant problem yet the Hindu temples are beautiful, the parks are lovely and you can get virtually all the ingredients and spices from the Indian shops, like in Little India in Brickfields. It’s simply marvellous,” said the 42-year-old native of Karnataka.
Rajendra’s enthusiasm is shared by his family, wife Deepa Okade, 35 and children Samanyu, 12 and Snigdda, five.
“My wife, Deepa, was a professional dancer back home and when we
had to relocate here, she was upset that she had to leave behind her
dancing which she loves,” explained Rajendra.
But Deepa soon found a place to carry on with her passion when she was introduced to the Temple of Fine Arts in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.
“I was trained in Yakshagana, which is a traditional Karnataka dance and I was keen to take up Bharathanatyam, another classical Indian dance form originating from the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu,” she said.
“But I had to put my plans on hold when we moved to Malaysia.
“When I found the Temple of Fine Arts and heard that they teach the dance form, I enrolled immediately.”
Okade family’s daily routine on weekdays is that while Rajendra is at work, Deepa will be training at the Temple of Fine Arts.
“I spend a lot of time there,” she said.
On weekends, the family spends quality time at the Lake Gardens which they love and shopping at the malls.
“We entertain quite a bit as there are always friends and relatives from India coming down and staying with us,” Rajendra said.
Despite living in KL for six years, the Okades do not speak Bahasa Malaysia or Tamil.
“Our mother tongue is Tulu and we also speak Kannada and Hindi.
But as everyone speaks English over here, learning another language has never been a necessity and we have managed to communicate quite well so far,” added Deepa.
As for the food, they have no problems although they are vegetarians.
“There are many good Indian restaurants in the city and we enjoy the food,” said Rajendra.
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