Family Karma's Anisha Ramakrishna reveals more about her life off camera

The Indian-American entrepreneur also talks about how challenging it was to shoot season two of the popular reality show
Anisha Ramakrishna from Family Karma
Anisha Ramakrishna from Family Karma

Family Karma, the American reality TV series focused on immigrant Indians, is quite a hit in the US. Now the show comes to India and is streaming on the newly launched OTT platform Hayu. The show follows a group of young Indian-American friends and how they deal with their lives, relationships, and career. Among them is the 36-year-old Anisha Ramakrishna. The dynamic entrepreneur owns a size-inclusive clothing line and is one of the main characters on the show. In an interview with Indulge, she tells us more about her experience and what the audience in India can expect from the show! Excerpts:

How has the whole Family Karma journey of moving back with your parents, starting your own clothing brand, and simultaneously being on a reality show like Family Karma been for you? 
Oh, my gosh! It’s been wild, it's been scary at times because I had a very good job in New York, I was a fashion executive and then I moved back home at 33. My parents were like, 'why are you doing this? Why not get married and settle down? You have travelled and you have a good job.' But I think it was time to pursue my dream as I have lived for so long checking boxes, I was living for other people. But I am finally living for me now and that can be scary at times. I am always questioning if I made the right choice but I guess that’s in every area of life, and we only have one life so might as well do what we want.

Do you think American Indians are more traditional and community-driven compared to Indians living in India?
I have heard this a lot, but I think it depends. For example in India, I have cousins who are very modern, while I may be living in America but in my house, we are very conservative. I am now thirty-seven and I have fought a lot of battles to get here only now, if we shot Family Karma in our twenties, I don't think I would be allowed to be on the show. I only got to this point after fighting and rebelling but I have a lot of cousins from India who are modern and a lot of them who have a strict family. I think it all depends on the individual’s family. When we moved to the USA, we all moved at the same time. The community was all we had, we were all immigrants and we didn’t really know anybody, you are generally drawn to people of your culture so I would say, that’s kind of why those roots are there because our parents have been friends for over thirty years.

A lot of people have drawn comparisons between The Real Housewives and Family Karma, what’s your take on it?
For me the comparison would be like there is an ensemble cast, there are so many people in our show and they all have different journeys, that’s also one thing I love about our show. But what’s different about our show is that we have multiple generations,  we have grandparents, the aunties and we have the kids even though we are all in our mid-thirties.

You all shot season 2 during the pandemic, how was the experience then?
It was tough because we didn’t get to do the things that we would usually do. A lot of our events were just the main cast. Instead of a big Diwali party, we had a small one. We were tested twice a week and it was very safe and we were in a bubble. I would say it was limiting, for example, we couldn't go on a cast trip. But I am glad we got to film it. I am grateful!

We saw how everyone in the show has a history of friendship. Do you share a similar bond of friendship with people outside the show?
Yes, absolutely! I have my Indian group of friends and then I have my non- Indian group of friends, and many of my close Indian friends are on the show.

Who is your favourite person in the show?
On-screen, I would have to say Bali. She crosses the diva and the aunty, she spans all the generations. From the guys, I would say it’s all of them because they have all got such unique stories. But Vishal gives a lot! He has a lot going on and to put that all out there, it's not easy.

If you were to supposedly go on a date with someone from the show itself, who would you pick?
No one! They are all like siblings, I grew up with them, that would be like dating my brother. Or let’s just say Amrit because he doesn’t like my team, so it's like, can you like me?
Can we expect a season 3 of the show?
I hope so. But there’s no news that I know of yet.

Are you excited about the show being aired in India on Hayu?
I am! I am really excited about it. We have been wanting it for so long. Now that it's finally happening I really hope that Indian viewers in India can know that there are Indian- Americans out there who deal with the same things. Even though we live differently in different cities, at home we are all the same. We are still getting yelled at, we are still being told to get married.

If we were to have a broader perspective of Anisha outside of what’s on the show, what would that be like?
In Family Karma I would say, I am in my mid-thirties, I am starting my business and my mom wants me to get married. But that’s not who I am, there’s to all of us, not just me. I love comedy, I do actually get along with my family and friends and we have fun together.

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