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As one of the cast members of Bravo's new series, which follows a group of seven young Indian-American friends and their families in Miami, Vishal is both eager and trepidatious to let viewers into every intimate aspect of his life.
"I'm excited to, honestly, showcase my life and show my friends and my family and how we are as a culture — we're one big extended family," he told The Daily Dish during an interview in New York City on March 2. "I'm nervous for them to see all the issues that I have in my relationships. I am very nervous because no relationship is perfect, and mine is far from perfect. So opening that up for the world to see, I am nervous about that."
That relationship that Vishal is talking about is with his longtime fiancée, Richa. At the time the series kicks off, Vishal and Richa have been engaged for two years with no signs of walking down the aisle anytime soon. It hasn't exactly helped that Vishal and his future mother-in-law aren't always on the best of terms, either.
However, Vishal is staying positive about sharing his struggles, hoping that viewers will also be able to relate. "It's going to show that maybe a lot of the issues that I'm going through, a lot of other people are experiencing the same things," Vishal said. "Having mother-in-laws that don't approve of you, having issues between families, you know what, I'm experiencing it, some other people might be experiencing it. If that can be shown and people can relate to that and know that they're not alone in these issues, especially in the Indian culture, where we don't talk about these issues, about family dramas, yeah, I'm excited about that."
Family Karma has also allowed Vishal to be more open about other parts of his life, such as living with Crohn's disease for the past 20 years. He said he hopes to show "people out there that even if you have an autoimmune disease you can still have a great quality of life."
"At first, I was always very reluctant about disclosing what I had," Vishal shared. "But since meeting Richa, she's been making me more open about it, more comfortable, and getting me to work out. And I feel less stressed if I'm able to share some experiences. And if that helps people out, I'm actually very excited for that aspect of the show, to be able to help people in that regard."
Just the very fact that Vishal and his friends will be on TV is huge. Family Karma is the first U.S. docuseries to feature an all-Indian cast.
"It definitely is TV history. Growing up, people would always ask me, 'Name a famous Indian-American actor,' and I never saw any Indians in mainstream media growing up. Seeing people of your culture on mainstream media, it definitely affects how other people view them, as well as how you view yourself," Vishal said. "So I am very excited to see how we're progressing because representation definitely matters, and showing these cultures that are different but beautiful and relatable, it's super exciting."
Though Family Karma may be Vishal's first time appearing in a reality TV show, he is no stranger to Bravo, having watched the likes of The Real Housewives of Orange County, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Below Deck, Shahs of Sunset, and Vanderpump Rules with Richa for years. Vishal said he can party even harder than some of the Vanderpump Rules cast members, by the way.
"I love it," Vishal said of watching the drama unfold in several of Bravo's series. "Seeing other people having issues, and there's always someone that, you're like, 'Oh, s--t, yeah, I would act the same way.' Or, 'I wish I could have the balls to act the way you do.'"
Don't worry, there's plenty of drama among the Family Karma crew as well this season, even among their relatives, who we will see get involved in the series like never before. "I think that's something that's totally different from any other Bravo show out there right now, that you're going to see every aspect of our life. This is from our families to our individual lives," Vishal said. "You have the whole spectrum where you're going to see families involved in our lives versus us trying to pave our own life as well."
Family Karma premieres Sunday, March 8 at 9/8c. Get your first look at the newest Bravo series above and below.
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