State of change

After an eventful political period in the US, expats and NRIs in Bengaluru look forward to the new leadership in the country 

Published: 21st January 2021 06:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st January 2021 06:54 AM   |  A+A-

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the US by Chief Justice John Roberts as his wife Jill Biden holds the Bible at the Capitol, Washington on Wednesday | AP

Express News Service

BENGALURU: When the USA catches a cold, the whole world sneezes, so it’s about time they come out of  hibernation and back onto the world stage, believes Dr Viqar Syed, a second-generation American, who currently lives in Bengaluru. There’s much excitement in his family and friends’ circles, with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris finally taking over the office as president and vice president, respectively, of the United States. The last term, expats unanimously agree, was nothing short of exhaustive. 

Illustration: Express

“Biden has all the great qualities and characters expected from a US president. He can connect with all Americans to bring them back together after the divisions that have been created by the outgoing president. Of course, it will take time and he has too much on his hands to tackle, including Covid,” says the cancer care entrepreneur and oncologist. 

Meredith Mehra was particularly invested in this election, especially with her teenage children closely following the proceedings. “Biden’s vision for the country is what interests us since there’s much healing that America has to go through,” says Mehra, who works at the Canadian International School.

The pandemic only furthered this interest with Mehra looking at how the new candidates will tackle the raging pandemic, which has severely impacted the economy and country. Not to forget, the vaccine roll-out and the increase in its supply are also important. “Of course, the first 100 days will be important with the cabinet to be formed and things to take shape,” says Mehra, who hails from the East Coast in Boston, and has now been in India for the last 12 years.

With the elections being the much-talked about topic over the last several months, Prasanna Kumar, founder of Blr Brewing Co, found it only right to organise a screening of the swearing-in ceremony. The restaurant set up two projectors for the same. “This is just like IPL or any other sports event. We have a lot of corporates coming into our restaurant – considering our location in Electronics City – and we felt it’s relevant to our profile of customers,” he says, adding, “We have to keep pace with the trend.” 

Having spent over a decade in the US, Candice Lock Mirchandani, head chef and partner at Chinita, shares the excitement that’s in the air. “It was incredibly upsetting to see what happened. Hopefully, it won’t be too violent,” says Mirchandani, who now looks at the entire happenings from an “outsiders’ point of view.” Or as Syed sums it best, “Wherever we may be, we are definitely enthused and hoping for a better tomorrow for the US and the world at large.” 


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