by Tajrean Rahman – Follow @browngirlmag
As a man of many hats, Dr. Romesh Japra not only serves as a cardiologist in the Bay Area but also works on a variety of initiatives that range from founding a Hindu Temple to owning a vineyard and starting a fundamental celebration known as “Festival of Globe.”
Brown Girl Magazine was honored with a chance to speak to Dr. Japra about his achievements and vibrant life experiences.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your background. What drew you to the field of cardiology?
I take pride in being a cultural and social entrepreneur. I have been empowering Indian American community for the last 25 years by hosting Festival of India and Parade every year. It grew from 5,000 to 150,000 people during this time. Now we are engaging other ethnic communities, going from local to global, and aiming for a million people.
Besides performing arts, visual arts and folk arts, I jumped into film arts and entertainment, as well integrating diverse communities of the globe. Silicon Valley is the place where ideas transform into realities.
After getting my medical degree from AIIMS, New Delhi and Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, I developed a fancy to the most dynamic and rapidly growing field, cardiology. I completed my cardiology fellowship from Cleveland Clinic.
2. For our readers who may not be aware, please share the inspiration and mission of the “Festival of Globe.” What were some of the challenges in starting it?
Festival of Globe’s (FOG) mission is to empower and integrate global cultures and communities through the film, performing, visual and folk arts. FOG creates various platforms and activities to champion various social causes, such as women’s issues, child advocacy and preventing child abuse, youth development, elderly and senior support, ending hunger and homelessness, free health care, support for the physically challenged, disaster and relief efforts and individual freedom.
Mobilizing and empowering immigrant communities to give back to our local communities is a vital component of our goal of working with all ethnic communities towards these objectives. For the last 25 years, Festival of Globe has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to building collaboration and creating opportunities for ethnic communities to work towards solving some of the most complex issues facing the United States. Through various events, FOG has worked towards promoting art and culture as the common theme by which we can create greater awareness amongst each other.
The effort of Festival of Globe – Silicon Valley has been in recognizing the need for communities to work together for a larger good. Through film, culture, dance and art, we plan to be the largest festival that aims to engage global participation. Festival of Globe will provide interaction between participants, brands and audiences. Also, through the Global Movie Festival, we want to amplify some of the burning issues of the day so they can reach a larger audience. Another goal is to introduce the global talent pool of movie makers to Silicon Valley investors.
The only challenge has been that it is a long drawn-out process. Things move slower than you plan, but I take it as an ongoing journey and keep treading on.
[Read Related: The Journey East: How Queens Native Prashantt Guptha Broke into Bollywood]
3. As a leader in immigrant Indian communities through organizations like the Federation of Indo-Americans, what advice do you have for immigrant youth who are concerned with the current state of American politics?
Never be scared or intimidated by adversities. Try to be an insider, and work towards the change you want.
4. Could you provide some insight on how you manage to take on so many roles in the community despite your busy schedule? What advice do you have for those who want to do a lot, but fear being overwhelmed by everything?
Pure passion! Medicine is my first love. It never tires me. That gives me lots of time and unspent energy to engage in my other passions. My other activities function like meditation, which continuously feeds more energy and stamina. My only advice is not to pick up any initiative you don’t like.
5. Do you have any other projects that you plan to pursue in the future?
Writing a book, and making a film!
This was just a little insight into the incredible journey of Dr. Romesh. For the path ahead, keep up with Dr. Japra on Facebook.
An unapologetic and opinionated Muslim brown girl who types faster than she thinks. But sometimes these nonsensical ramblings make sense.