Born and raised in New Jersey, Krishnagopal Reddy is the typical boy next door: handsome, athletic, and adventuresome. The only son of immigrant Indian parents, he has adopted the American ideal of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll, as his credo. He has long resisted the Indian traditions and values that his parents have tried to enshrine in their home. Fueled by the need to fit in with his peers, Krishnagopal has shortened his birth name to the more palatable 'Kris' while striving to become the best 'American' he can. Kris' home is infused with what he finds as embarrassing traditions. The smells, sounds and tastes continually remind Kris of his Indian heritage. His over-attentive mother with her religious fervor constantly smothers him. His father, a successful accountant, cannot detach himself from the cultural and political scene in India despite a comfortable life in America. Kris cannot help but feel alienated from his family. He is what a knowing ex-patriate desi (literally "one from our land") would call an American Born Confused Desi. Kris' dream has always been to leave home so he can finally live his own life. Accepted into the engineering program at the local State University, he eagerly departs for college in the hopes of finally living a normal 'American' life. During a college party, Kris falls for a beautiful Indian girl named Nina Shah . As Kris vies for the affection of Nina, he is opposed by the smooth-talking, but slimy Rakesh who wants to thwart Kris' attempts at happiness.