Interview With Padma Lakshmi

Asian Enough


Bodmer. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you, I think it's really cool. What you're doing because I would have loved something like this when I was in Asian American teenager. So I'm pleased that you know this generation of young Asian Americans will have that. Maybe they can grow up without some of the baggage that we have. Baggage and should but yes. I wanted to talk a little bit about you. Know your upbringing in your memoir, which is called love loss and what we ate. You talked about growing up in new. York and L. A. and I had no idea you. You grew up in in Los Angeles. Where did you grow up in L. A.? And what were your experiences like? I grew up in La. Puente which is in the San Gabriel, Valley Yeah. Winter Workman, highschool my mother got transferred from Sloan Kettering Hospital in New, York, to city of Hope Hospital in Duarte or are Katie I. Guess, and so that's why we moved and I went to High School in San Gabriel Valley, so yeah. I mean I consider myself such a New Yorker, because of the New York's along. It was my first point of entry into the United States when I immigrated here when I was four in. So you know that's what winds up getting a lot of play in my personal history, but I have very slowly formed deep memories. Of My years in La Pointe. Day, and you know my mother still lives in the house. I grew up in so whenever I come to La I always wind up going there, of course. Did you like growing up in L. A.? Did you like growing up La Puente? Was it a cool place to grow up, I, did not. Bad at my mother for moving to Los Angeles for years I, really? How's it against her? My poor mom, she's a single mom, and she's from south India and so she couldn't take the cold. And you know expensive to live in Manhattan, and so I understand as an adult, and as a parent all the reasons that she, of course you know moved us across the country as a child, it just seemed hugely inconvenient and down because in new. York I was much more independent because everybody walks, and you're in a very densely populated metropolitan area in Los Angeles says you buy as no like there's no center. There's no downtown in especially in La Pointe Day I was in a suburb and you need a car to get. In so, I felt like my independence was with stifled drastically, just moving cities, and then I was also I was in La Pointe Day I wasn't in like Sherman oaks or something. So you know in the eighties. When I was in high school, there were a lot of gangs in la, Puente and other than South Central. La It was a very seriously dangerous place we had. Had, Mexican. Gangs. We had a lot of Tolo and SCHOLLA's. And some of them are friends, but some of them also bullied me, and so I had my little conclave of friends who were mostly Filipino because our school did have a lot of Mexicans a lot of Filipinos lot of African Americans probably the most Mexican, and also Caucasian, but from my freshman year my senior. Senior year, you could really see the population of the schools you much more ethnic, in Brown and so I found it hard. You know because I'm Indian, and my skin is Brown on face value you could think I was Mexican may be, but then once I opened. My Mount was obvious and I don't think they were enough Indians at my school for anybody to form any. Any kind of opinion about me except other you know actually I'm curious. You mentioned that you were not super happy about the move to La for a while, not happy that your mom made that move and of course. That's a huge move from New York. New York is a huge move from India. Where much of your family is? When did you and how did you? come to understand your mom's journey and your mom's reasons for moving both of you so far well I understand that those moves were born of necessity. I understood why she didn't feel totally comfortable in New York, but I'm different than my mother, you know my my mother is is not as curious about being in the world, and just traveling and bumping up against other people, whereas that's all I wanNA do. You, know so I knew very very early on even when I was four that the reason we were leaving India is because it was very taboo for my mom to be a divorce. A divorce just didn't happen in Indian culture in growing up and going back to India I still don't know I know one person in India. WHO's divorced? You know, and so I knew that we were leaving to have a better life, you know. My mother left when I was two and I lived with my grandparents, and I didn't see my dad so I had no recollection of my real father I didn't even know what his face looks like. Because they had ripped up all the pictures so from two to four. I didn't see either of my parents so I literally was so excited to come to America, because America to me, meant being reunited with my mom.

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