Message from the President's Desk
I am a Bunt. You are a Bunt. We are Bunts. Proud Bunts. Successful Bunts. Entrepreneurial Bunts. Professional Bunts. NY Times, in an article few years ago, reported that the last name Shetty was more likely to be a doctor than any other last name in the US. Ergo we are Doctor Bunts!!
But what does it really mean to be a Bunt – is it the language, the cuisine, the DNA, the Aatta, the Kambla, the Kola, the Tambila, the Traditions, the common Ancestry (speaking of which, if we all trace our ancestry back to a common person – what does the First Bunt look like?).
All these questions and more swirl through my head as the Texas Bunts and I, assume the mantle of serving BANA from Shirish Shetty and his enterprising coterie of Atlanta Bunts.
My name is Mahesh Shetty. I came to Dallas from NYC over 25 years ago with my bride Sandya (she is a gifted artist). We have two boys (now men): Sharan (Senior editor at New Yorker) and Rohan (clerk at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals).
As your President, I am focused on four major initiatives:
BANA 2024: We are excited about hosting all of you in 2024 and look forward to welcoming you to the great state of Texas! Stay tuned for additional updates…
Membership: We need to embrace and bring on board every Bunt and wrap their families in a collective Bunt hug – this is our collective responsibility and I need everyone’s support and participation. Each and every one of you.
Structure: Build on the foundation of BANA founders and former Presidents and develop a sustainable organizational structure.
Culture: Weave a BUNT quilt that helps us connect the dots between our families and the houses (Guthus) that we all hail from. In effect, reinforce the matriarchal (Aliyasantana) lineage of our culture and bring that to reality in a digital tapestry – it will transcend borders and generations and bring us closer together.
The Texas Bunts believe that if we are successful in these initiatives then the success of BANA 2024 will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I am surrounded by talent (embarrassment of riches to be more specific) – the key folks in the organization will be Shrinivas Shetty (Vice President), Deviprasad Bhandary (Vice President), Jairaj Hegde (Vice President), Divya Shetty (Treasurer) and Veena Shetty (Secretary). Brilliant is their middle name!
We are advised by an active cohort of long-time Texas residents and a sterling cast of volunteers – over the next 12 months, you will meet them all, so you can attach a name and a face to the hard work that is happening in the background. We are laying plans to bring our extended families in Houston, Austin & San Antonio into the planning process and take their guidance. The Texas Bunt family is over 300 strong and growing!!
We have spent the better part of the last two months getting our act together – bank account, website, and event planning et al. We have made cosmetic changes to the website and will keep up the communication cadence throughout our tenure directly, through BANAVANI, WhatsApp/FB, and through our network of regional representatives.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday) I am reminded of all the things we need to be grateful for – starting with winning the DNA lottery and being born into this community, the values and inspiration provided by our parents, to the past generations of Bunts, the BANA founders, the former BANA Presidents and the BANA Board for their dedicated and selfless service to our community over the last forty + years. We walk in the footsteps of giants that have preceded us.
Please add a Bunt cuisine item to the traditional Thanksgiving repast - it will be a constant reminder of our heritage and our journey to this land. Let’s make this our own Bunt Thanksgiving tradition. Every story we create, creates us and carries us forward.
Finally, we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to this country. To quote Scott Burns, a financial columnist in the Dallas Morning News – “America is still the best place to be. Say what you will about our flawed past, our problematic present or our uncertain future, America is still the best place to be. And America, so far in history, is the best we very flawed humans have managed to do. That’s as good as it gets. The really great thing is that so many of us believe that we can do better. We can all be thankful for that”.
I could not have said it better. America will continue to evolve and transform into a strong tapestry of one nation with multinational roots, multiracial, multilingual and culturally rich citizens.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends and Bunts!!
On behalf of the Texas Bunt family