My Family: I live with my family in Edison, New Jersey. The rest of my family is in Hyderabad, India. I belong to a fairly large clan called the Vuppula clan and they number close to 500 people.
My Havens: I have lived in six cities including Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, London and New York and I have great memories of each city. My son was born during our time in Bangalore and it was Mumbai that really transformed me.
I have a strong love for Hyderabad. Hyderabad has a unique charm, probably because of its mix of Islamic, Anglo-Indian and Telugu cultures that make the city so modern and yet so quaint. Oh the Hyderabad Biryani: You must taste it at least once.
“One of my pet peeves is when people casually call me “Sunil Roberts” or “Andy Roberts” And yes, some even asked if I am related to Julia.. Grrrr…“
I am incredibly passionate about India. I thought that was quite normal for an immigrant but my non-Indian friends tell me that I come alive when I start expounding, no pun intended.
Movies: I love movies. Mostly because I am fond of stories, and each movie tells a visual story. My first movie was “Hare Rama Hare Krishna” My parents exhorted me about how I should love my sisters just like the hero did. I didn’t quite follow that advice and we always had catfights but I was so enamoured by the song “Phoolon ka taaron ka” that I picked up playing the guitar.
I am quite vulnerable to sentimental stuff. ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ and ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’ made me cry although I don’t know if I cried because the latter was weighty or long. These days I relish the sports drama genre.
Music: I have been exposed to music and musicians all my life, both Indian and Western. My current leaning is more towards Eric Clapton. You will find me humming songs by Westlife, U2, Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar. There are also some Telugu songs that I have grown up with and still replay in my mind.
I consider Dr Zakir Hussain is a polymath on the Indian classical music scene. I had the joy of watching and interviewing Dr L Subramaniam and was held breathless by this virtuoso violinist.
Sports: I am a pukka Indian cricket fan. I have grown up admiring the ‘Fab Four’ of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. I have had the honour of watching Sachin play his second Ranji Trophy match in Hyderabad and the opportunity of interviewing Dravid.
Azharuddin was a cricketer I idolised. I was devastated when the match fixing scandal broke and Azhar and Hansie Cronje were implicated.
Right now, I admire the spunky attitude of the current team of giving back as good as it gets. With the formation of IPL, I believe that we will continue to perform strongly in all shorter versions of the game.