Krishna Khunti aka Urban Yogi has been living in Mumbai on and off for over eight years, and the journey, she says, has been fulfilling. “I was initially drawn to living in India as it’s where my ancestors come from. Although born and raised in the UK, my parents kept us in touch with our Indian roots. I was forced to learn Gujarati and I am forever grateful as I am now fluent in Gujarati and Hindi, which makes life in Mumbai so much easier,” says the TedX speaker and DJ.
In Mumbai, Khunti, who is a presenter as well as wellness facilitator, merges wellness and music by hosting and DJing what she calls Conscious Parties. “We’ve held several of them for the last one year,” she adds.
NYC rapper Jay Kila has had a similar journey from America to Mumbai. The man who has Indian-Jewish parentage, moved here two years ago. “As kids, we’d come to Mumbai for Christmas and New Year’s. Moving here was a different story and it did take some time to get used to, but Mumbai is an exciting city, both for work and to live life in general. Getting into the hip-hop scene here as well as watching it grow has been cool,” he says.
Together, the duo has launched Expats India, where they discuss everything from food and dating to culture shock and nightlife.
Expats India went live in April and is available globally on Rukus Avenue Radio (an online radio platform). Each episode includes a 20-minute discussion, followed by 30 minutes of music curated by the duo. “In the West, we are very sheltered, therefore I feel one of the initial challenges as an expat in India was to beat the feeling of being overwhelmed, the sensory overload and the lack of personal space,” Khunti says. What she is happy about is that she is finally recognised as a local. “After the adjustment period, I found people here to be warm, welcoming and helpful to anyone new to the city. The idea is to share these experiences with freshers.”
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