Family Tree

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
New beginnings
New beginnings

My amma was born in Chennai, India in 1970 to Ramamoorthy and Padma Thiagarajan. Appa was born in Kolkata in 1969 to Pattabhiraman and Jayalakshmi. My thatha (grandfather) on my mom’s side had a government job so my mom’s family moved around a lot, even living in Saudi Arabia for a couple of years. My dad grew up in Kolkata, playing cricket and soccer with his brother and friends from their apartment in the narrow alleyway next to their house. Both my parents were of Tamilian descent and when a child becomes of marriageable age, it is customary for the parents to visit a Guru to seek blessings. It is also a way to get the word out that you are looking for a match for your son/daughter. Both of my grandfathers visited Guru Shankaracharya and that’s how my parents were able to eventually marry each other and move to America. 
I often look to my grandparents for inspiration. My grandfather on my mom’s side was an actor later in his life and my grandfather on my dad’s side owned a music venue and was a huge supporter of the Carnatic (Indian classical) music scene in Calcutta. Both of them, while they were still alive, encouraged me to embrace my musical aspirations and to never give up Carnatic music. I have fond memories of performing songs for my grandparents in their houses in Chennai and Calcutta. Music is how I keep their spirits alive within me. It helps me create a bridge over the vast Atlantic Ocean between America and India and I know I can travel across that bridge whenever I sing a familiar tune. 

Place(s): Chennai, India

– Krithi Krishna

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant