The Fictional Series

“Sweet Om Atlanta: Living the (South Asian) American Dream” is a fictional, episodic podcast about South Asian lives in the greater Atlanta area converging upon a few characters at a small, liberal arts college. Over 9 episodes narrated by different characters, including a teenager who is frightened at the prospect of having to move back to India, a Hindu priest, a misunderstood Muslim college student, and an angry and neurotic middle-aged busybody, Season 1 explores some universal ideas that divide and unite people within different cultural communities, and it focuses on the inner drama brought about by immigration across different generations. Each episode is the result of original writing, production, and music by students and faculty at Oglethorpe University.

Characters

Alina Chandaraman: age sixteen, socially withdrawn, skipped a grade; crushing on Jaysan Bivahani after he comes home with her sister to complete a college bio project

Dr. Manu Chandaraman: Alina’s father, who is denied tenure at large research university and may have to take the family back to India; his threatening to leave the U.S. causes stress in the family

Priti Chandaraman: sister to Alina, a brilliant sophomore at the local liberal arts and sciences university; she has a secret that she is hiding from her parents and community

Mrs. Kali Reddy: best friend to Dr. Chandaraman’s wife; an irritable, uppity woman and community busybody who works in Information Technology

Jaysan Bivahani: freshman at the university, a Muslim whose grandparents are from India; has a crush on Priti Chandaraman; currently indifferent about his studies

Suma Modi: a young bride and would-be matchmaker who is brand new to the U.S.; becomes employed as part-time housekeeper and cook at Jaysan’s parents’ home

Sri Ampathy: a Hindu priest at a local temple who has been in the U.S. for a decade and is questioning his line of work

Dr. Mala Singh: a second-generation Indian American adult who is a counselor at the university; her unmarried status is a “problem” within the community, but her involvement in other people’s lives distracts her from it

Mrs. Ruchi Singh: Dr. Singh’s mother; a first-generation veteran of immigrant life in Atlanta who is in the middle of planning her son’s wedding