Newsweek SocietyNewsweek 
Newsweek
March 22, 2004

Power and Influence

They are novelists, painters, scientists, athletes, inventors, chefs. They are our friends, our neighbors, our bosses, our doctors. A new generation of South Asians is transforming the cultural landscape of America. Multilingual, able to move easily between the old and new worlds, they bring together the best of the East and the best of the West. Here, in alphabetical order, are a few people you should know about.

Related story: American Masala

SABEER BHATIA, 35. After landing in the United States as a Caltech undergrad, Bhatia cofounded Hotmail in 1996. When he sold it to Microsoft for $400 million, the became the Indian Bill Gates.

FLOYD CARDOZ, 43. As executive chef at New York's Tabla, Cardoz created a culinary sensation by infusing haute cuisine with the vibrant flavors and spices of Goa, India, his family's home state.

GOTHAM CHOPRA, 29. Chopra, son of author Deepak, is a media figure and co-owner of New York hot spot K Lounge. Now he's coproducing a musical about Buddha with director Shekhar Kapur.

DINESH D'SOUZA, 42. A former policy analyst in the Reagan White House, D'Souza, author of the best seller "What's So Great About America," is a leading neocon thinker.

ATUL GAWANDE, 38. Despite a brilliant career as a surgeon (specializing in the removal of endocrine tumors), wunderkind Gawande is better known for his writings on the fallibility of doctors.

AAMER HALEEM, 36. The host of VH1's "Top 20 Video Countdown" and the wildly popular "Bands Reunited," Haleem's cheerful humor and heart-melting smile have turned him into a desi Carson Daly.

KAMALA HARRIS, 39. Upon being elected San Francisco's district attorney in December, Kamala became that city's first female D.A. and the first South Asian D.A. anywhere in the United States.

ANSHU JAIN, 41. As head of Deutsche Bank's powerhouse division of global markets, Jain oversees $400 billion worth of trades a day for many of the world's biggest corporations.

BOBBY JINDAL, 32. A Republican political prodigy and former assistant secretary of health, Jindal lost a close race last year for governor of Louisiana. Now he's running for Congress.

ANAND JON, 28. Known for partying with celebs as much as for dressing them in luxurious fabrics, designer Jon's client list includes Paris and Nicky Hilton, rapper Eve and Nadja Swarovski.

NORAH JONES, 24. An eight-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, Jones, daughter of sitarist Ravi Shankar, single-handedly rejuvenated pop CD sales with her mesmerizing style.

JHUMPA LAHIRI, 36. A Pulitzer Prize winner for her debut short-story collection, "Interpreter of Maladies," Lahiri attracted a broad audience for her 2003 best-selling novel, "The Namesake."

PARMINDER NAGRA, 28. After costarring as the soccer-playing heroine of "Bend It Like Beckham," this London-reared actress became a regular cast member on NBC's hit drama "ER."

DJ REKHA, 31. Few Americans had heard of bhangra when this pioneering New York DJ began weekly "basement bhangra" parties in 1996. Now, her exhilarating blowouts are replicated nationwide.

MITESH SHAH, 34. The youngest member of the American Hotel and Lodging Association's board of trustees, Shah heads an Atlanta group that operates 62 hotels nationwide with nearly 9,000 rooms.

M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN, 33. Already earning comparisons to Alfred Hitchcock, Shyamalan, who grew up in suburban Philadelphia, is best known for his blockbuster flick "The Sixth Sense."

SHAHZIA SIKANDER, 35. Sikander's one-of-a-kind miniature paintings and multi-media installations have spiced up the transatlantic art scene by exploring issues of cultural identity.

VIJAY SINGH, 41. The No. 2 golfer in the world behind Tiger Woods, he topped last season's PGA Tour money list. Singh worked his way up from Fiji's Indian underclass to 37 worldwide wins.

SREE SREENIVASAN, 33. By day he reports for New York's WABC-TV and teaches journalism at Columbia Univ. At night "Sree Sree" is a media power broker, publicizing the work of leading South Asians.

SRINIJA SRINIVASAN, 32. As Yahoo's fifth employee, Srinivasan was instrumental in building the start-up into a $30 billion company with 2.1 billion page views a day.

© 2004 Newsweek, Inc.
 

advertisement

   Try MSN Internet Software for FREE!
   MSN Home  |  My MSN  |  Hotmail  |  Shopping  |  Money  |  People & Chat  |  SearchFeedback  |  Help  
  © 2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of Use Advertise TRUSTe Approved Privacy Statement GetNetWise Anti-Spam Policy