Ananda Mandir 269 Cedar Grove Lane Somerset, NJ 08873 Return Service Requested
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October 2012 A Quarterly Publication of Ananda Mandir, New Jersey
Ananda Mandir Expansion – An update By Ashok Rakhit , Chair Construction Project
Ananda Mandir Calendar of Events (Dates are subject to change) Please check our website frequently:
www.anandamandir.org Tel: 732-873-9821
Ananda Mandir Expansion
Dear Friends: I am sure if you visited Ananda Mandir in the recent weeks you would have seen bulldozers and heavy construction equipment in the field cleaning up all the grassy areas and trees in the far boundary of our property in preparation of site work for construction of parking lot and the foundations for expanded temple as well as the new community hall. It is an exciting moment for our community that we have been planning for the last 2 to 3 years. The bank loan was finally closed on July 16th, 2012 for $3.5 million. We raised $600,000 last year and will need to raise another $400,000 this year to meet our initial contribution of one million dollar as a part of our commitment to the bank. While we are excited to see the beginning of our dream of a fully functional heritage center come true, we have many challenges ahead. To raise the needed funds, we organized our Annual Fund raising Luncheon on Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 from 12 noon to 5 pm. As of the time of writing this article, our volunteers and BOT members have been calling every member of the community for enlisting their help in the fund raising effort. Thanks to those few families who made the second installment of their large donation pledged last year for this construction. We still need to raise another $200,000 from rest of our membership like last year. We earnestly look for your generous donation at the same level as last year so that we can meet our financial obligation to the bank by the
end of this year. We are confident that we will reach our goal with your help. I am proud of our Bengali community that has come forward to show that it can also build a heritage center like other Indian communities. This is an investment for the future of our children and grand children. We all came with empty pockets to this new country with big hopes and dreams like every other immigrant community in America. We established ourselves, prospered in our careers, raised children; now it is time to build our heritage center where we can come and freely celebrate various religious and cultural activities without worrying about the rules of a landlord from different culture or religion. We can enhance our cultural classes with better curriculum and facilities so that our children and grand children can learn the language, the music and the arts of our rich heritage. It will be our contribution to this mosaic society so our culture will not be forgotten as new generations come. We have many challenges ahead - completion of the construction in time and within budget. We need to develop sound fiscal policy to administer the center so that we can pay off the bank loan in a reasonable time. We need to expand our activities in many more areas than what we are currently doing to make the center fully functional. Please talk to the President, Chairs of various functions and BOT members to give your ideas. Tell them how you can help and which committees you would like to join. Please get involved. The future of the center depends on your engagement to make sure that we are on a path that serves the community at large and helps us grow. Please send your comments and suggestions to our Chief Editor Pronoy Chatterjee or President Dr. Dipak Sarkar.
OCTOBER Ananda Prabhat (Mahishasura Mardini) Sunday, 14, 4:00 am Shyama Puja Sunday, 14, 7:30 pm Tila Tarpana Monday, 15, 9:30 am – 1:00 pm Maha Sasthi Saturday, 20, Bodhan, Amontran O Adhibas, 4:30 pm Maha Saptomi Sunday, 21Puja 9:15 am, Pushpanjoli 11:45 am Stuti & Sandhya Arati 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Maha Astomi Monday, 22 Puja 9:15 am, Pushpanjoli 12:15 pm Stuti & Sandhya Arati 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm MAHA SONDHI PUJA 12:17 am – 1:05 am Maha Nabomi Tuesday, 23 Puja 9:15 am, Pushpanjoli 11:45 am Stuti & Sandhya Arati 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Vijaya Dashomi Wednesday, 24 Dashomi Krittyadi 10:00 am, Pushpanjoli 11:45 am Sindoor Khela & Sandhya Arati 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Kojagori Lakshmi Puja & Satyanarayan Puja Monday, 29, 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm Sahitya O Alochana Friday, 26, 8:00 pm NOVEMBER Maha Kali Puja Tuesday, 13, Puja 5:00 pm Pushpanjali & Arati 9:15 pm Foundation Day We d n e s d ay, 1 4 , T i m e t o b e announced Jagaddhatri Puja Mon-Fri, 19 - 23, Time to be announced Satyanarayan Puja Sunday, 25, 5:30 pm Raas Purnima Wednesday, 28, 9:30 – 11:30 am Ananda Sandhya Friday, 9, 8:00 pm Sahitya O Alochana Friday, 30, 8:00 pm DECEMBER Shyama Puja Wednesday, 12, 5:30 pm Satyanarayan Puja Sunday, 23, 5:30 pm
Special Religious Services: Upon request, the priest of Ananda Mandir offers services such as in-house Sradhyas, Rituals associated with Cremations (Anthesti Kriya), Death Anniversaries, Pre-weddng rituals (Nundimukh, Ashirwad, etc), Upanayan ( Pa i t e y ) , A n n a p ra s a n , We d d i n g Ceremonies & Wedding Anniversaries, Griha Prabesh (Bhumi Puja), Consecrations of new cars (New Car Pujas) and others. If you have needs for any of the above or more, please feel free to contact Biswabhai @ 732-873-9821
E D I T O R I A L
A Periodical Newsletter Published By
successful completion of the construction. However, beneath this euphoria lies a strenuous anxiety on meeting the financial obligation that had to be committed to the bank for securing a 3.5 million dollar loan. In order to complete the task that had such a joyous beginning, the Board of Trustees of Ananda Mandir has been working diligently behind the scene burning their midnight oil to come up with a plan to secure another half a million dollar now, before the end of the year. Now is the opportunity for all, who have long sought for a decent temple of our own and a community center for our socio-cultural activities, to come forward and join hands with the Board of Trustees of Ananda Mandir in meeting the dire need of half a million dollar now, today, not tomorrow. We praise the Fund Raising Committee for already getting the pledge of a few hundred thousands dollars from a handful of families. We now call on you, the writers, reporters and readers of Ananda Sangbad to join with the group to fill the gap. You may send your contribution, whatever you can or wish, to the fund, which would be an investment for the future of our heritage, for strengthening our bond in the community and the identity of our roots. It's not just for us only, but for our next generation and the generations to follow.
Fund Raising! For what?
(A Tax-Exempt, Non-Profit Organization)
269 Cedar Grove Lane Somerset, NJ 08873 Ph: 732-873-9821 Website: www.anandamandir.org
Editorial Board: Editor-in-Chief
Pronoy Chatterjee Assistant Editors
Guru Chakravarty Debajyoti Chatterji Co-Editors
Amitabha Bagchi Bhaswati Bhadra Biman Bhatta Subrata Bhaumik Jayashree Chatterjee Sushmita Dutta All queries, articles, news reports and letters should be directed to the Editorial Board:
What could be more important for Ananda Mandir today than sending the words out on its multimillion dollar expansion to accommodate hundreds of more devotees at the temple and providing the community with the state-of-the-art auditorium for performing arts and other socio-cultural activities? The construction has begun, turning the dream into reality. There is no more stipulation, no more imagination; it's real that soon this place will become 'The Cultural Center' for all the Bengalis in the area, members and non-members alike. If you now step into the property of Ananda Mandir at any weekend, you will see the tractors and bulldozers strewn around on a vast piece of leveled ground bordered with greeneries at a distance. By next year there will lay a sprawling temple with a spiritual dome at the top, adjacent to a partly finished framework of a new building that we would call our community center. The complete construction of the building is expected to be over in next two years. It's a happy beginning for all the members of the community and a triumph of those who worked hard for years to raise fund, planned the architectural design, convinced the township to clear its approval and successfully closed the loan from the bank. It's also a deep satisfaction for those who have Sincerely, generously contributed to the construction fund with the hope that one day it can lead to attain the glory of the community. Pronoy Chatterjee It's well and good, there is joy and happiness, for the Editor-in-Chief start of a beginning of a two-year's tough journey to the
2012 Gayatri GaMarsh Memorial Awards
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recognize outstanding works published in North For general information, please America-based literary magazines within the last contact the following Executives of Ananda Mandir: five years. One award will be given to an author of Bengali works, and another will be given to an
Dipak Sarkar President Jaiprakash Biswas Vice President Suprasad Baidyaroy Vice President Chanu Das Treasurer Suranjan Choudhury Secretary Chitra Mondal Assistant Secretary Acknowledgement The Board of Trustees of Ananda Mandir expresses its appreciation to Santosh and Ambalika Mukherjee for financially sponsoring this publication. Designed & Printed by NABADIGANTA PRAKASHANI Kolkata, West Bengal, India
author in English. Each award will consist of $500 in
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Bengali categories have been received and they are being processed by the Award Committee "The winners will be announced in the next issue. Stay tuned!" In case of questions, contact Pronoy Chatterjee (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Guru Chakravarty (email@example.com)
Chakravarty (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your correct address, and we will send you another copy.
Ananda Mandir Seniors Forum "Seniors Helping Seniors" Invites retirees and near-retirees to participate actively in Forum meetings and activities.
Dear Members of Ananda Mandir, As you all know by now, the cultural events presented by Ananda Mandir (musical shows during Kali Puja, Durga Puja, Live Mahalaya to name a few) have gained great popularity in our community of music lovers. One such routine event is the monthly event ANANDA SANDHYA, presented usually on second
Future Meeting Dates: Sunday, September 30 (1:00 pm – 2:30 pm) Sunday, November 04 (1:30 pm – 3:00 pm) Sunday, November 25 (1:30 pm – 3:00 pm) No meeting will be scheduled in December Meeting Date/time may change for various reasons. Please call Debajyoti Chatterji (973-586-2505 hom; 908-507-9640) to confirm date/time ahead of the meetings.
Friday evenings. This is the wonderful platform where our community musicians get a chance to showcase their talents. Are you interested to do an Ananda Sandhya program at Ananda Mandir as a solo artist, or present a group program? If you have attended any, you know that this is a 2 hour program of high quality. If you are “WILLING, ABLE, AND CAPABLE”, please contact our cultural secretary Arun Bhowmik at email@example.com, or call him at 908-672-1452 for details. We look forward to hearing from you.”
Heritage Day A Great Success!
“Bon Bhojan” – Picnic at Ananda Mandir
Reported by Krishna Dutta Roy
Reported by Sushmita Dutta
Ananda Mandir celebrated Heritage Day on August 19 with much pomp and excitement. Children and adults participated in Prabhat Pheri (morning procession), holding Indian and American national flags in their hands and singing Bande Mataram and other patriotic songs. After the procession the Indian flag was hoisted by our president, Dipak Sarkar. National anthems of India and the US were presented by Manasi Stoker. Dipak Sarkar talked about the purpose of observing Heritage Day, and Amitava Sengupta explained the meaning of different colors of the Indian flag and of the “Wheel of Ashoka” in the middle of the flag. The celebration was continued inside the temple with a variety of cultural programs. The students of Reeta Baidyaroy, the well-known artistic director of Ritam Academy of Indian Dance presented two dances. The first was "Akhilandeshwari" a dance dedicated to Parvati, the supreme divine Mother. The participants Jazmine Dev Prana & Mahasweta Gayen gave an excellent performance in this duet. The second dance was 'Meera's Dream." Set to two popular Meera bhajans, Subha Samanta danced beautifully as Meera, and Mahasweta Gayen was adorable as Krishna. Both dances were much appreciated by the audience. Aratrika Dey, impressed the audience with her sweet rendition of several patriotic songs. When she finished her encore presentation of “Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon”, there was not a dry eye in the audience. The next part of the program featured our own Ananda Mandir Volunteer Choir, consisting of Susmita Biswas, Lopa Das, Chitra Mondal, Soma Rakhit, Ranjana Sanyal and Rik Sen. In this maiden appearance of the choral group, the members demonstrated talent, enthusiasm, and team spirit – to great enjoyment on the part of the audience. We hope to see this talented group in many of our future events. Following the choral group, Amitabha Sengupta recited several poems. The last part of the program was by Geeta Sudha Music School. Both young children and adults participated. Chorus participants were Anwesha Sen Gupta, Ruhiks Chatterjee, Shreya Ghosh, Poorna Chatterjee, Roshni Mukherjee , Saurav Pramanjk, and Sanhita Pramanik, and their performance was commendable. Partha Sengupta , Aparajita Sen Gupta and Jaya Chatterjee impressed the audience with their patriotic songs like “Ekber Bidaya De Ma” and “O Amar Desher Mati”. Tabla accompaniment by Gokul Panda added rhythm for all the singers. All in all, Heritage Day celebration was a grand success, thanks to the overall planning and coordination by Rita Bhowmik and Krishna Dutta Roy. At the conclusion of our cultural program, everybody joined the Ananda Mandir Annual Picnic. A separate report covers the details of that event in this issue of Ananda Sangbad.
Lovely week-end afternoon, lush green outdoor, the autumn sky painted with few strokes of soothing clouds keeping the noon pleasantly cool, you are hungry and you are served with hot, perfectly fried “luchis” , “alu-potoler torkar”, “singara” and “jeelebi”, what else a Bengali would ask for, and then naturally followed the “jamano adda”, croonings of popular Rabindra sangeet in
chorus, some memebers getting into outdoor games like vollyball, badminton and the whole bunch of joyous kids jumping into the swings, slides and other games. That was the picnic at Ananda Mandir on Sunday, August 19, 2012. “Who cooked this lovely “Shorshe Begun?” asked some members. “Suprasad da” said another member. Suprasad Baidyaroy deserves a good round of applause from all of us for those typical Bengali items he volinteers to cook during most large gatherings at Ananda Mandir. He does that with joy which probably blends into the tastes that come around. With him this year, Anupam Saha, Joyprokash Biswas, Chanu Das and Saurav Ghosh were the organizers of the picnic and incharge for delivery of “Bon Bhojan” menu that was pre-publicised on Ananda Mandir website and met our expectations. Items for lunch were - Singara, Veggie Burger, Luchi, Alu-potoler torkari, Jeelebi and dinner included - Polao, Chholar Daal, Pakora, Paneer with Alu, Shorshe Begun and Chatni. Special menu for kids had Macaroni Cheese. Corn on the cob and Pizza. And, of course for our health-concious appetite, there were a variety of freshly cut fruits like cucumber, pineapple, canatalope, watermellon served with a concoction of grapes and blueberries. Thanks to all who volunteered to prepare the “luchis” in hundreds, and kudos to all who helped in making the picnic yet another successful event at Ananda Mandir. If you have missed it this time, please join in next year.
Discovery of “God Particle” in July 2012
Bengalis in Recent Physics News
By Pronoy Chatterjee
By Amitabha Bagchi
Why was there a big commotion about the discovery of a new particle that became hot news in almost all the major newspapers in the world on July 4, 2012? We had been hearing about new particles all these years since a new discipline was carved out of the general physics and named “Particle Physics.” Why is it so much publicity this time? What is the uniqueness of this particle? Let's take a look at it. The particle is called Higgs-boson and it also has a nick name, “God Particle,” coined by Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman. Apparently, the scientists first expressed it Satyendranath Bose with Einstein as “goddamn particle,” because it appeared like an illusion, hard to find in the nature although, in theory, its existence had been predicted decades ago. Later, to make it sober, the name was revised to “God particle,” and because of the word God, it apparently got so much media attention. Many people thought it had something to do with God; maybe its existence would in turn prove the existence of God. Alas! It has nothing to do with the existence or non-existence of God. Nonetheless, it's a particle, which was predicted in the 1960s as a carrier of mass that gave the mass to all the particles that created our material universe. It is a vitally important elementary particle that existed in theory so far. Talking about the particle physics, we started believing that atom was the ultimate particle which was indivisible. Later it was discovered that's not the case,
A number of Bengalis, both in India and abroad, have been prominent in physics news in recent months. First came the news in May of Shouryya Ray, a German 16-year-old born of Bengali parents, who apparently solved a mathematical problem first posed by Sir Isaac Newton more than 300 years ago. The early news reports quoted the Sunday Times of London to say that “Shouryya Ray [had] worked out how to calculate exactly the path of a projectile under gravity and subject to air resistance.” He discovered a complete mathematical solution that would obviate the need for numerical calculations using computers with approximate or partial solutions. There was a lot of initial hoopla over the news. Ray won a research award for his efforts and was labeled a genius by the German media. But then there was a more sober assessment of his work by a pair of German mathematicians. They put the young man's research in context and pointed out that (1) Newton did not pose a problem per se but merely set it up as a differential equation, and (2) the exact solution of the differential equation in the form of a series has been known to experts. The mathematicians do state, however, that Ray is fully deserving of the research award and all the accolade for the “exceptional and remarkable methods” used by a high-school student. (For additional details, see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/21/16-year-old-geniusshoury_n_1616085.html). Next came the announcement on July 4 jointly by two research teams (CMS and ATLAS) at CERN that they had independently confirmed, through their experiments at the Large Hadron Collider, the formal discovery of a previously unknown boson of mass between 125 and 127 GeV/c2. (For comparison, the mass of a proton or Hydrogen nucleus is a bit below 1 GeV/c2.) This is the first solid (if incomplete) experimental evidence for the existence of Higgs boson – a proposed elementary particle in the Standard Model of particle physics. Elsewhere in this issue, Pronoy Chatterjee has a lot to say about the Standard Model, its predictions and the discovery of the so-called “God Particle.”
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Highlights of Recent Puja Activities Reported by Krishna Dutta Roy Ananda Mandir's puja calendar for the May to August period was a very busy one indeed. We celebrated Phalaharini Kali Puja on May 20. We had a sizeable gathering that evening because this was a very special puja. During his lifetime, Shri Ramkrishnadeb worshipped Shri Ma Sarada Debi as Shadoshi (in Bengali it is said as “Shoroshi”) on this puja day. Phalaharini Puja is celebrated in West Bengal as a major religious event. On May 20, after puja, arati and Anjali were performed and then prasad was distributed. June was a very active month for us. Besides the monthly Shyama Puja and Satyanarayan Puja, we celebrated Shri Shri Jagannath Maha Prabhu's Rath Yatra on June 21. On this auspicious day the rath (chariot) was pulled by devotees while chanting hymns and singing devotional songs, accompanied with instruments like khol, kartal and dhol. It was a very colorful parikrama. The chariot was nicely decorated with flowers and other items. Although June 21 was a weekday, there was no shortage of devotees. After the Rath Parikrama, puja, arati and anjali were offered. Manisha Chokravorty sang a number of devotional songs. On this occasion, we also arranged a mela (fair) where we sold house plants, snacks and other items while vendors sold saris and jewelry from their stalls. This Rath Yatra Mela brought back sweet memories of similar fairs from our childhood days in India. At the end there was the special attraction of good food. On June 26 we celebrated Bipad Tarini Puja. June 29 saw the return of Jagannath Mahaprabhu to His home from His aunt's home (known as “Ulto Rath” or Chariot Return), and this event was celebrated with much enthusiasm and excitement.
Ananda Sangbad In the Month of July, there were no special celebrations other than the monthly Shyama Puja and Satyanarayan Puja. In August we celebrated Jhulan Purnima and Rakhi Purnima. On Jhulan Purnima, Shri Krishna and Shri Radha were set on a swing (jhula). In the evening Bhagabat Geeta Path and Naam Kirtan were done by Monisha Chokroverty. Same day in the morning we performed Baastu Yagna and Yatra Puja to mark the beginning of the construction of our community center and the extension of our temple. On August 9, we celebrated Janmastami to observe Lord Krishna's birth. Celebrations started from early morning with Krishna Naam jop. Devotees performed 12,000 naam jop by taking turn. Puja, Stuti and Aarati continued until 9:00pm.The celebrations ended with delicious food cooked by our Food Committee members. Janmastami celebrations spilled into next day's monthly Anada Sandhya program. Our Youth Group led by Bhaswati Mallik presented a very enjoyable program, “Krishnanjali”. It offered a great variety and featured very talented young artistes from the Ananda Mandir community. Bhajans were performed by our youth group with the accompaniment of instruments and dances. Songs were presented in Hindi, Bengali Sanskrit and English. Noteworthy vocal artistes were Bhaswati Mallik, Sudipto Mallik, Renee Dutta Rostad, Malika Bhaumik Sadowski, Tania Roy Chowdhry, Shreya Chowdhury and Adam Sadowski. They were very ably supported on various instruments by Egil Rostad, Adam Sadowski and Sudipto Mallik. A dance program by Brinda Guha and Riya Das Gupta added a special feature. Narration was given by Arun Bhowmik. The whole presentation was very enjoyable, more because it was totally organized by our Youth Group. Aghor Chaturdasi and Shyama Puja were celebrated on August 16 and 17, respectively. The monthly Satyanarayan Puja was celebrated on the 26th of August.
Housing Options for Seniors By Debajyoti Chatterji When children grow up and leave home and seniors begin to think about retirement, many begin to wonder if they should downsize their home to cut expenses and reduce home upkeep hassles. If there are health issues to consider as well, this question about future housing options becomes more pressing and complex. In this article, we discuss briefly the housing options available to seniors - and list useful references for further research. Part 1: Housing Without Health Care Support Active Adult Communities “Active Adult Communities” have become popular housing options for people 55 years or older who enjoy “active life-styles”. These are usually large, planned housing developments, often with facilities like guard-gated entry, club houses with swimming pools, exercise rooms, tennis courts, libraries, etc. You can buy individual homes in these communities, and some complexes may also offer condos or townhouses. You pay a monthly maintenance fee to the community association, and the association takes care of outside maintenance such as lawnmowing, snow-cleaning, etc. The monthly fee also includes access to the club house facilities and programs. You should note that most “active adult communities” do not allow anyone under18 years of age to live permanently in your home, and you can sell your home only to someone 55 years or older. “Active Adult Communities” do not provide any medical facilities or home care service nor do they provide restaurants or dining rooms. There are at least four active adult communities within five miles of Ananda Mandir: Four Seasons Sterling Pointe, Renaissance Raritan Valley, Somerset Run, and Canal Walk. If you are interested in any of these communities, you should seek the help of a professional real estate salesperson regarding availability, price, club house and other amenities, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, association dues, etc. If you would like to find “active adult communities” in other parts of NJ, you may find the website www.activeadultliving.com/NJ/newjersey.htm useful. It provides summary information on over 330 active adult communities in the state. Senior Apartments: Senior apartments are housing arrangements subsidized by Federal and/or State governments for low to moderate income seniors with certain age restrictions. Rent is usually determined by government agencies and follow
(Editor's Note: Ananda Mandir Seniors Forum is developing an “Information Sourcebook” for use by the elder members of the community. This article is from that Sourcebook. Please note that this article is only intended to provide useful information, not professional advice.)
income-based formulae. Some senior apartment complexes may provide limited meal and housekeeping service for additional fee. Residents may enjoy amenities such as club house, library, transportation to doctor's office, etc. No home care support is provided. Since rent to be paid is based on income, average cost for a senior apartment in NJ is not a meaningful number. Part 2: Housing With Health Care Support In-Home Care-Giver Services At some stage in their lives, seniors living at home may find that their medical conditions require them to seek services of a personal care attendant on a regular basis. They then face the choice of living at home or in a facility that can provide personal care on a contractual basis. Not surprisingly, many seniors prefer to live at home and arrange the services of a home health care aide. In most situations, home care is a less expensive alternative to institutional care like “assisted living”. Besides providing help with medical matters like giving prescribed medicines at scheduled times and taking blood pressure, home care services can include other support like shopping, laundry, cooking and companionship. The challenge is to find a qualified (and affordable) care-giver. Home care agencies are usually the sources for such care-givers. Services of a skilled or a semi-skilled care-giver can be arranged for patients of all ages, and care-givers can be hired on the basis of daily, monthly or hourly visits – and even on a round-the-clock, 24-hour support basis. Note that insurance companies, including Medicare may or may not pay for home care services, and patients should check with their insurance carriers before hiring care-givers. Cost for home health care aides in New Jersey can range from $30 per hour for hourly arrangements up to $3000 or more on monthly contracts. Adult Day Care Facilities When an individual requires personal care or medical support at home over an extended period of time, the care-giver may need occasional relief. Similarly the patient may benefit from visiting a safe and friendly place where he/she can socialize with others and engage in supervised and structured activities appropriate for his/her medical condition. Adult day care centers, operated by non-profit organizations or commercial establishments, can provide such coordinated programs of professional support for adults in a communitybased group setting. As the name indicates, these are care facilities and are open during normal business hours during weekdays. These facilities do not provide Turn to page 08
Discovery of “God Particle” in July 2012 By Pronoy Chatterjee Continued from page 03
atom could be split into proton, neutron and electron. Subsequently, it was further discovered that they were not the ultimate particles, but they were built by quarks and leptons that include electron and its equivalent but neutrally charged neutrino. Now finally physicists are telling us that all the matters that we see in this universe, including celestial objects, stars, planets, etc., all are built with these fundamental particles - quarks and leptons. But confusion still remained over the question that at the time of Big Bang when the universe was evolved and particles formed where did they get mass from? Well, it needs a brief discussion to grasp this issue. The physicists tell us that the universe is built with two uniquely different kinds of things: Elemntary paticles, such as, quarks and leptons which are the building blocks of the universe and are called fermions; and forces, such as weak force, strong force, electromagnetic force and gravity which interact with the elementary particles to create and maintain the structure of material universe. Then it was theorized that the forces couldn't exist or interact by themselves, they would have to piggyback on certain particles and those particles were characteristically different from quarks and leptons. These kinds of thoughts subsequently gave rise to a concept that the universe is really structured with two kinds of basic particles, called: ? Fermions, viz., quarks of 6 types and leptons of 6 types and their nature was defined by Femi-Dirac statistics. The name “fermion” was given by Paul Dirac in honor of Enrico Fermi who with Paul Dirac developed the statistics of these particles. ? Bosons, viz., gluon that carry strong force, W & Z that carry weak force and photons that carry electromagnetic force and their nature was defined by BoseEinstein statistics. The name of these particles “boson” was also given by Paul Dirac in honor of Satyen Bose who initially developed the statistics of those particles that later was modified by Einstein. Fermions and bosons make up the whole universe; as well as gravity, which is still vaguely defined as associated with a particle named graviton, which is also a variation of boson. Fermion and boson are entirely different kinds of particles, the former has mass, the latter does not have mass but it, under certain conditions, carries mass and imparts that mass to fermion and that's the way all fermions gain mass. Physicists around the world widely accepted this concept and developed a mathematical model in early 1970s, called “Standard Model” that took care of the elementary particles and forces of the nature. The 'Standard Model' of particle physics is one of the greatest achievements of theoretical physics. Now is the question on how bosons, whose main function is to carry forces, acquire their own mass? There comes a great theory by Peter Higgs. He said that though it was assumed that there is a uniform field where the particles exist in symmetry, there is also a field pervading in the entire universe where the symmetry breaks down. That field is now called “Higgs field.” The phenomena of symmetry and symmetry-breakdown in another field can be explained by a simple analogy as follows: if we distribute iron filings evenly on the floor, there exists a symmetry, but if we place a small magnate in there, some iron filings will form clusters around the magnate and hence the symmetry breaks down. In this case, the symmetry breakdown occurs because of the appearance of a
magnetic field. Peter Higgs proposed that particles normally exist in the nature maintaining a symmetry, but, as mentioned earlier, there is also a field pervading in the nature that breaks down the symmetry and that's now called “Higgs field.” The cause of symmetry break down has an effect on certain boson particles viz., gluon, W & Z particles and graviton but not photons. Those bosons which get affected are identified as “Gauge bosons.” Gauge bosons are gluon, W & Z particles and graviton. Photons do not interact with Higgs field and they are not called gauge boson. As gauge bosons move at a high speed (with high kinetic energy) in Higgs field they get slowed down because of the symmetry breakdown effect of the Higgs field. Due to the slowing down process, their kinetic energy is proportionally converted to mass as per the law of conservation of total energy and Einstein's famous equation of E=mc2. Thus, gauge bosons gain mass derived from the reduction of their kinetic energy and they are now called “Higgs-boson” particle. Higgs-boson, carrying mass, is believed to interact with other particles giving them mass and that's the way all elementary particles acquired mass and therefore all the matters that we see have mass. Higgs-boson was predicted in the 1960s but was never proven of its existence. Conceptually, Higgs-bosons were formed within a millisecond of the Big Bang and they imparted mass to other particles. However, Higgs-boson's life span is considered as infinitesimally small and it has an exceedingly high mass for its relatively small size. Scientists could not artificially produce it with the available equipment for decades until recently. So there was no proof that such a particle existed. Then they built a multibillion dollars huge cyclotron, called Large Hedron Collider or LHC (a particle smasher) located at the Franco-Swiss border at an European research agency CERN at Geneva. In LHC, they speeded up a particle at an immensely high velocity before smashing with another speeding particle coming from the opposite direction and created this long sought Higgs-boson particle, the source of mass of all particles in the universe, which lived only a septillionth second. Bravo to the modern digital technology that captured its track almost instantaneously. Finally, the Higgs-boson or God particle was discovered. It may not have anything to do with the existence of God, it certainly tells us how God gave our identity by imparting mass. This is a triumph of immense magnitude. Salute to the modern physicists, engineers, technicians and managers who made it successful and thanks to the Governments and private foundations which funded this project. CONGRATULATIONS to Peter Higgs and our own Satyen Bose for their breakthrough scientific theories. Satyen Bose passed away many years ago but Peter Higgs enjoyed the celebration of this final moment when at CERN they announced the discovery of Higgs-boson on July 4, 2012. Peter Higgs will probably get the Nobel Prize soon, but Nobel is not given to any one posthumously, so Satyen Bose's name will not be associated with the prize. Nonetheless, he is our hero, he is the pride of India, his imagination and his theory contributed in unraveling a big mystery of God's creation of the universe. We bow our heads in his memory.
Bengalis in Recent Physics News Continued from page 03
Interestingly enough, the word “boson” harks back to the seminal work in 1924 by the Bengali physicist, Satyendra Nath Bose (1894-1974), on the statistical mechanics of light quanta or photons. He had sent his derivation of Planck's Law (of Black-Body Radiation) by statistical methods to Einstein, who was so deeply impressed that he translated the manuscript into German and had it published. Einstein then proceeded to generalize the derivation to the statistics of the ideal monatomic gas. A key element in the derivation was the assumption that multiple elemental entities (photons, ideal gas atoms) could stay indistinguishably in the same state. This was followed within a few years by wave mechanics and the Pauli Exclusion Principle that posited that particles like the electron had a very different property: two of them could never occupy the same state simultaneously. This led to an alternate formulation of statistical mechanics for such particles by Enrico Fermi and Paul Dirac. Dirac coined the term “boson” to describe the first kind of particles, which we now know are characterized by integral spin, and “fermion” to describe the second class of particles which are characterized by half-integral spin. The apparent discovery of the Higgs boson led to a flurry of articles in the Indian press bemoaning the fact that Satyen Bose did not receive the same acclaim and recognition as his European contemporaries who worked in the same field. The final recent news concerned the announcement in August of the award of a new prize in “Fundamental Physics” by Yuri Milner, a Russian billionaire and a physics drop-out. Of the nine recipients of the first year's prize, each worth $3 million, seven work in the United States, one in Europe (in the outskirts of Paris), and one in India – the Bengali physicist, Ashoke Sen, currently at the Harish Chandra Institute in Allahabad.
By Amitabha Bagchi
Ashoke Sen, born in 1956, studied at Presidency College, Calcutta (Bachelor's), IIT Kanpur (Master's) and SUNY at Stony Brook (Ph.D.). He is widely recognized and respected for having made seminal contributions in an esoteric branch of theoretical physics known as “String Theory.” The simplest way of looking at String Theory is that it attempts to reconcile quantum mechanics (or quantum field theory) and general relativity. In that sense, it is sometimes viewed as the Theory of Everything (TOE). It assumes that elementary particles (i.e., electrons and quarks) are not 0-dimensional objects but rather 1dimensional oscillating lines (“strings”). Over the period of several decades, the theory has evolved from multiple Superstring theories to an eleven-dimensional theory called the M-theory. It has obvious appeals owing to its scope, but it is currently handicapped by the absence of “novel experimental predictions at accessible energy scales.” The theory, as a result, has fervent advocates as well as highly respected detractors. (See for reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_theory.) It is sensible to view String Theory in the context of the physicists' long search for the holy grail of a “Unified Theory” that would explain the interaction of all fundamental forces (strong, electromagnetic, weak and gravitational) and elementary particles (e.g., quarks, leptons) in terms of a single field. In the early twentieth century, Einstein and many others tried unsuccessfully for years to unify electromagnetism and gravitation (per the General Theory of Relativity) into a “Unified Field Theory.” Sheldon Glashow first successfully advanced a partially unified Electro-Weak theory that encompasses electromagnetic and weak interactions. But its unification with strong interaction has not yet been successful; thus strong and elecro-weak forces coexist peacefully in the Standard Model. Unification of quantum mechanics and gravitation presents its own enormous challenges. String Theory provides the most promising approach to unification at present, but it does so by going from the 4-dimensional space-time of Einstein's relativity to an even more arcane 11dimensional M-theory.
Altius, Fortius, Citius Every four years, the summer Olympics bring an inevitable recrimination and despondency to countries like India rather than any sense of achievement or goodwill. Greece, the founding country of the Olympic Games, to whom we will be forever grateful, got a grand total of two medals. The Olympic motto is Altius, Fortius Citius which means higher, stronger and faster. The Summer Olympics are an uncomfortable test where the brawn of every country is measured and dissected in front of the entire world. We have an embarrassing largesse in terms of population and corresponding paucity of medals. So what stat is more important? The population of a country, the athletic resources or a function of how many people are playing the sport? One stat that is quite irrelevant for the most part is the population of a country. The Indian sub-continent has a certain artistry, a certain flair in sports that is subliminal but unfortunately also ephemeral. It is also important to keep the flame alive regardless of the medals won. It is important to enjoy a sport in the context of the artistry and the grace and not be disappointed when it may not match up against international competition. It requires an analysis of the games to realize what is feasible and what is patently infeasible. Roughly classified, the summer games are split into the categories listed below: Swimming and Diving Gymnastics Track and field Collaborative Games like soccer, field hockey, tennis Skill like archery, shooting Martial arts like wresting, boxing, judo Assorted like Dressage! In the first three categories, India is a nonfactor and truly a marginal player. These are progressive development activities which require training from a young age till the athletes are ready for extreme competition. It seems that the only way for India to compete in these disciplines is to import athletes of Indian origin from abroad where they have benefitted from training and competition. Let's drill into Swimming and Diving. I analyzed the city of Chennai for the number of swimming pools there. There are about 20 swimming pools in the Chennai going by a variety of searches. Most of these are recreational in nature and the number of pools that are of Olympic standards are closer to five, probably lesser. Chennai has a population of roughly 5 million people. Hence there is 1 Olympic pool for every 1 million people. This statistic is played out in every metropolitan city in the India. Essentially this is a no contest when the Indian National records are compared with US High school records. The US boys are vastly superior to the Indian national swimmers. This is due to a lack of infrastructure, lack of coaching and the complete absence of any regulated system of competition in India. I do not know of any school in India having a swim team and most people cannot swim. It is quite meaningless to compete in such a discipline. The analysis on diving is quite futile. I have not seen any diving facility in India. If the government has some facility it may be feasible to train divers if there was government sponsorship. From what I have seen, diving skills stem from training in gymnastics which again is extremely weak in India.
In athletics, where raw power and speed is required, like in the short distance sprints, the people in the Indian subcontinent are completely outclassed. Again the fastest sprint timing for US boys is comfortably better than the Indian National champion's record. Strangely enough, many of the Indian records were set 5 to 30 years ago (800 m- Sriram Singh)! The track stars need a level of physical conditioning and strength which starts from the school system. Having seen first-hand the level of training that goes into all track and field in the USA it would be almost impossible to compete with this level and training and the physically stronger body structures. Yet, I do think that we have a shot at the middle distances from the 400m through the 1500m. Milkha Singh and P.T. Usha came close to winning medals in the 400m and the 400m hurdles and there are some recent athletes who have made headway in the 400m. Counter-intuitively though sometimes training is less of a determinant in the short distances or the long distances than raw talent, as we see in the Jamaican sprinters or the Kenyan long distance runners who dominate. The USA despite all its training, all its history, is being relegated to an also-ran status in these events especially in the men's competition. When I was in school, we had a schoolmate who was a National Table Tennis champion. His name was V. Chandrashekhar, whose career and life was tragically altered by a botched knee operation. He was a few years senior to us and is part of our Alumni association. But his sport, his legacy was absent on the school premises. There was no table tennis board in school when we were there. This meant that all his skills were developed outside of school premises and none of his skills was ever handed down to the students in the future batches. Hence no tradition existed. On the other hand, my school had huge playing fields but nonexistent coaching in any sport. I played most sports in my school but with no training or proper equipment. The sport I did not play at that time, cricket, seemed to be the only one which had sufficient equipment and also probably the most amount of interest. In my opinion, the following parameters are determinative in the success in international sports. The examples below I give are for the Indian sporting system. Resources – Most Olympic events need a resource base to train on. Most of these resources are freely and widely available mostly in developed countries. An example would be swimming pools which is a scarce resource in India. On the other hand, the abundance of resources in US colleges available to athletes has greatly influenced their success. Committed or participating athletes – The population of a country is immaterial, if there is not enough participation in a sport. It could be commercial or even casual but it requires a pool of dedicated players. A good example is beach volleyball. India has some of the best beaches in the world but nobody plays beach volleyball which was developed in USA and Europe. Organized competition – Other than certain elite sports, most sporting events have hardly any competition outside of school boundaries. The only way to raise the bar is through collaboration and competition. Governmental Resources – The Chinese communists always seem to do it this way with much success but their success is not worth the human and psychological cost of regimentation and deprivation of family from their lives. Prodigies – I think our early international prodigies were Ramanathan Krishnan in tennis and then
By Tathagata Ghosh
Prakash Padukone in badminton. They embodied the true brilliance of the Indian sports genius. Sania Mirza and Saina Nehwal are the latest in that breed of prodigies. Even Mary Kom is a genius, unheralded and supreme in her field of women's boxing. Their development and achievement are their sole individual achievement and they did it with very little assistance from the government and their development was entirely due to private resources. Parental involvement – This is probably quite discounted but almost every athlete in the USA and many other countries would admit that the involvement of their parents financially and with their time and encouragement has been invaluable in their progress in the sporting career. This brings me to the point about where the Indian genius can shine. The sportsmen and sportswomen in the Indian subcontinent will find it hard to be the fastest, the strongest or the one with the most endurance. What the subcontinent can challenge the rest of the world is on spell-binding skill and smarts and partnership. Collaborative Games require smarts. These are games like field hockey, tennis and even soccer. These are the games where you do not have to be the biggest or the strongest. The smartest could control the game with a few good players. Brazil and Mexico showed the way in soccer this Olympics. Yes we seem to have lost our way and so many other countries are ahead of us. Indians and Pakistanis used to play a brand of field hockey which was mesmerizing. The recent Olympic matches that I saw reminded me more of soccer than of traditional hockey. India has come in dead last amongst the 12 teams that competed. A debacle proclaimed Indian news outlets. An even bigger international public fiasco was the composition of the tennis doubles team. Paes and Bhupati's public dueling made it evident that a dismal result was inevitable. I recently watched a US high-school soccer game. One team was comprised of who could typically be termed as all-American kids. They were strong, tall and fit. The other team primarily comprised of South American immigrants, small and light of their feet. It was a mismatch; the smaller immigrants ran circles around their stronger rivals and won that match. That is the lesson we need to learn. We can still win by using some old-fashioned dribbling jaadu. I could be wrong, because the rules and the game like field hockey seem to have been skewed to favor the kind of power play which suits the European and the Australians. It is also very encouraging to see the growth in interest and positive results in skill based sports like shooting and archery. Indians were seeded number one in the world in some cases and it certainly speaks of the quality of our archers and marksmen. They did not perform as well as they could have in this Olympics. But it is the Olympics, it is an exceptionally difficult competition. In Martial Arts, India has had good success in wrestling. This is probably because we have had tradition, training and good competition. Luck, pluck and skill probably played a part in that success. It is important for a country to persist, experiment and not to always measure success by the medal tally. Training, collaboration and competition is all part of a healthy sports program. There are only three medals in every event where every country in the world is a potential competitor.
RADIO – A Commuter's Best Friend By Guru Chakravarty As I drive to work every weekday morning at 6 – 6:30 AM, I tune in to my favorite radio program. It is the morning bhajans in the EBC Radio 1170 AM, hosted by Sangeeta. Commuting to work using your car is a routine for most people. True, many people use public transportation whenever that option is available, but a vice of the suburbia living is having to drive, through multitude of traffic lights and fighting off offensive drivers. Anytime I mention to my friends that I drive 35 miles one way to my work, I get a sympathetic look – “Oh no, poor Guru, how can you live with that?” So, I hasten to add that I really enjoy my driving because I am listening to my favorite radio program. Yes, I enjoy the morning bhajans program called “Man Mandir” greatly. One of the reasons of my loving it is of course the great coverage by the host. Sangeeta seems to be quite knowledgeable about the popular religious practices of Indians, namely, prayers of Lord Shiva, Guru Saibaba, Sikhism, Ramji-Hanumanji and others. She has dedicated the Mondays for Lord Shiva, because she says a lot of people observe the day as Lord Shiva's day. Similarly, specific days are set for Saibaba and for Sikhism. In between bhajans, Sangeeta ad-libs about the religious practices, albeit in a somewhat stumbling way, instead of reading a script. But I definitely like to listen to her every morning. What's more –it keeps me from thinking about the job and getting all stressed up. The second reason of my interest in the bhajans is, interestingly enough, physiological. It is an intriguing explanation that may not appeal to some, but it is based on medical reasoning. Here I am quoting the words of a medical practitioner who meditates at 4 am every morning: The practice of meditation early in the morning has been performed by Hindus for centuries. The early morning time is called the “Brahma Muhurta”. The Pituitary, the master gland which controls all the endocrine or hormone secreting glands of the body is active in early morning. The pituitary is controlled by a portion of the mid brain...the hypothalamus. Hypothalamus controls all the emotions of human system. We can control our emotions better when the
pituitary secretes all the stimulating hormones. In addition, when we practice meditation with positive thoughts, there is secretion of two natural substances from brain - encephalin and serotonin. These two are natural tranquilizers and thus we sense a feeling of tranquility, a sense of well being. This can carr y on for the entire day for those who practice meditation regularly. So, there you go. I listen to bhajans in the morning because I enjoy them and it is a good positive thing to do. The afternoon period during my return home is generally a talk-back type of radio show called “Evening Drive Time” that is apparently promoted by the EBC management to attract commuting listeners. I have no fascination for this program because the hosts generally lack the creative intelligence to hold an interesting dialogue. Still, there is no shortage of listeners calling back, and it is generally about “nothing”. But when Kulraaj Anand, the director of the station comes in, time to time, that's another matter. First of all, Kulraaj has a great voice that is quite attractive, and his delivery, especially in Hindi, is ornamental and pleasant to listen to. He generally takes over other hosts in that time slot whenever special guests come in. For example, a few days ago, he was interviewing the popular politician Upendra Chivukula who was at the Democratic Convention at Charlotte. The next day, he was talking with the famous Bollywood musician Bappi Lahiri, who was at the EBC studio. Kulraaj is a versatile speaker, and can mimic voices of different personalities. Almost all commercials broadcasted in this radio are created by him, where he is the main actor. Sometimes he is a salesman, sometimes an indecisive husband, sometimes a traffic police officer giving a ticket, and many other characters. So what else happens in the EBC Radio! Well, being a Bengali, I like to tune in the program “Prabaha” – the 10-11 am slot every Sunday for Bangla music. Abhijit Sanyal runs it very timely and entertainingly. Although this is not a commuter time program, I like to listen to him because his coverage reminds me of the “Anurodher Aasar” that I grew up with in the sixties. He
mixes his presentation with songs from modern and olden eras, film, Rabindrasangeet and sometimes quizzes about who is the singer or what film is it, and thus holds our attention. But no matter what the host does, the inevitable thing that comes with the programs is the dreaded commercial break. It runs for about 8 minutes or so at the start of the hour and for another same period at the half-hour time. But luckily, not all commercials are dreadful. I like to hear about opening of new restaurants, announcements of programs in Durga Mandir, current mortgage rates etc. In fact, I did refinance my mortgage when I heard the voice of my long-lost friend Naren Chawla who was advertising his mortgage finance business in EBC Radio. It is interesting to note that all commercials during the Bengali program are Hindi based, meaning no Bengali companies have come forward to help with this Bengali production. An interesting medical information program called “Heartbeat” happens on Saturdays at 12 noon, hosted by Dinesh Singal, MD. A lot of good information is covered in this show, particularly in the fields of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and many other things. If I am driving around that time, I keep my ears open for this program. I remember one diabetes specialist from India, who was introduced by Dr. Singal as the largest researcher in the world, meaning studying the largest number of diabetes patients. A really good musical program is run by Dev Joshi on Tuesday afternoons, called “Sangeet Ke Anek Rang”. I don't get to listen to him much, but my wife does, and she is very appreciative of his program, because he really does research on his materials. He gives out a lot of background information about his “theme” of the day, be it a singer, a composer or an actor. So, listening to the radio, as people did in the olden days, is alive and thriving even in this day of sophisticated technologies. From the two-way conversations that I hear in the radio clearly tells me that the recent first generation “Techies”, are very much in tune with it. I hope that EBC Radio, or any other Indian Radio for that matter, prospers with time, widens the timing of coverage and increases the range in distance for the benefit of commuters.
Do you drink grapefruit juice? By Jerry GaMarsh Woke this morning, face was red Guess it's time to take my Pred. Must eat first, I'll eat an egg, Hope Neurontin helps my leg. Before I eat, I need to take Protonix so my tummy won't quake. In the kitchen, can't recall why I walked in here at all! Plaquenil is just the thing for the brain fog that Lupus will bring. OH...the egg, that's right! But now Can't remember where the oil is anyhow. Shrug, I'll just have some bread Can't remember--did I take my med? I can now take Tylenol three Makes me goofy, but pain-free. Now it's time for Aprazolam-keeps me calm but WHAM! BAM! Trazadone will have to wait, Can't take that until it's late. Guess I'll go and lie down too-Until the next time my meds are due. [Unknown author] The above poem references an unknown individual who obviously has many medical problems but taking this many medications could lead to even bigger problems. The question I would ask is “do these drugs interact with each other or with anything else this person might eat?”
It is a bit of a segway, and the title of this article may seem a bit bizarre but the answer to the question could kill you. Read on. Amy Karch, R.N., M.S., of the School of Nursing at the University of Rochester Medical Center wrote a paper in 2004 concerning a man taking a statin drug who moved to Florida for the winter and began drinking two to three glasses of grapefruit juice each day. Two months after he had gone to Florida he suddenly had muscle pain, fatigue and fever, and went to the emergency room. He had become critically ill as a result of an interaction between grapefruit juice and his cholesterol-lowering medication. The patient ended up going into kidney failure and ultimately died. How did this happen? It is only one of a string of incompatibilities that may occur between grapefruit (and Seville oranges, tangelos and pomolos) and many prescription drugs on the market today. Although doctors are unsure which of the chemicals in grapefruit is responsible for the problem, the most mentioned is furanocoumarin. It doesn't react with the statins but it does bind an enzyme in the intestines known as CYP3A4. This enzyme reduces the adsorption of certain medications. The result is that the medication passes from the gut to the bloodstream in some cases resulting in abnormally high and dangerous levels. The list of drugs affected this way is extensive and includes calcium channel blockers (Procardia), immunosuppressants (Cyclosporine), benzodiazepines (Valium) and psychiatric drugs like Zoloft. While still on the subject of statins, it is interesting to note how many are unaware of the fact that statins interfere with the body's capability of producing CoQ10, a coenzyme required at virtually every level of enzymatic activity in the human body. CoQ10 also contributes to heart health by lowering triglyceride levels in the blood. Turn to page 08
Housing Options for Seniors By Debajyoti Chatterji Continued from page 04
personalized medical care; their services are usually limited to transportation, social activities, snacks and meals and personal care. In some facilities, limited amounts of therapeutic service are offered. Cost depends on many factors, and insurance companies may or may not pay for these services. Please check with your insurance carrier. Your social ser vice representative may be able to provide useful information in this regard. Continuing Care Retirement Communities Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) or Life Care Communities (LCC) offer “a continuum of care options” in a residential campus setting. Available housing and living (and health care support) options can range from independent living to assisted living, to skilled nursing homes and hospice care facilities. Since these options are available in one campus, individuals (and spouses) needing medical support can move from one level of housing and living option to another and then to another, if and when the need arises for more intensive medical support. Level 1: Independent Living: Seniors who do not need yet need medical care but like the idea of being in a “continuing care retirement community” may find the option of renting a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment within such a community for “independent living” – with the privilege of 24-hour onsite supervision and worry-free maintenance. Such living arrangements usually – but not always -- offer meal service in a restaurant-like setting and laundry and housecleaning help. Also included in monthly fees are some social activities such as group recreation and classes. Insurance, including Medicare, rarely pays for this type of housing arrangement, and seniors must pay rent (and optional charges, if any) from their own funds. Average cost for independent living apartments in NJ is in the $3500 to $4000/month ($42,000/year to $48,000/year) range for a couple. In some communities, a one-time initiation fee may be required as well. While the monthly fee may appear steep, please note that this kind of arrangement frees the senior and his/her spouse from burdens such as property taxes and home maintenance like lawn care, snow removal, etc. Level 2: Assisted Living: “Assisted living”, as the name suggests, is a housing arrangement that offers apartment-style housing with dining and housekeeping services -- and personalized health care support (e.g., helping with timely dispensation of medications) as well as assistance with daily living tasks such as bathing, grooming, dressing, eating, etc. While these kinds of facilities provide “living assistance”, they do not offer skilled medical support like nursing or physician visits. Assisted living facilities can be found within Continuing Care Facilities or as free-standing entities. Assisted living quarters usually consist of 1 bedroom apartments – and the healthy spouse is usually not allowed to live in these apartments. Average cost in New Jersey is reportedly in the range of $5000 to $5500per month for one adult resident ($60,000 to $66,000/year). If the resident has long term care insurance and qualifies under the terms of his/her policy, the insurance carrier may pay a part or all of the costs involved. Medicare usually does not cover long term care in an assisted living facility. – Some assisted living facilities offer specialized programs for individuals with Alzheimer disease or other related memory impairments.
Level 3: Nursing Homes Nursing homes in most states are licensed, regulated and certified by state agencies because they offer not only room and board and personal care support but also skilled medical service such as nursing and protective supervision. Average cost of nursing homes in New Jersey can be as much as $ 7500 per month per person ($90,000/year). The cost depends on the type of care needed:
s Basic Care:
Personal Care, ambulation and
s Skilled Care: Above plus regular services of a registered nurse for medical procedures or treatments
s Sub-Acute Care: Above plus specialized service for patients who has had acute medical condition and needs greater support. (Service at this level is similar to sub-acute rehabilitation care). Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance may cover certain number of days of nursing care. Amounts not reimbursed by insurance must be paid from the patient's private funds. Level 4: Hospice Care When a patient reaches a stage when his/her physician believes that the patient is likely to die within six months from a terminal condition and continued medical intervention will not benefit the patient, the physician may recommend the patient go into hospice care. Hospice care can be given at home, in a nursing home or a hospice facility. The objective of hospice care is to give the patient a compassionate and supportive environment to spend his/her last weeks and months in a dignified manner. No further medical treatment is provided but pain management, spiritual support and family interactions are encouraged so that the patient may die as peacefully as conditions could possibly permit. Usually hospice care is fully covered under Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance. There is virtually no cost to the patient or the family for hospice care. Useful References: “Alternatives for Seniors”, a comprehensive booklet (approximately 100 pages in length), is published twice a year by a company, Residential Marketing Concepts, Inc. It lists numerous NJ-based home healthcare services as well as facilities offering adult day care, independent living, assistant living, nursing home living and hospice care. Latest issue of this booklet may be available in your local library or senior citizen center. If you wish to get a personal copy, please write to Alternatives for Seniors, PO Box 833, Southfield, MI 48037-0833 (Phone: 800-350-0770). Are there assisted living/nursing homes catering to the dietary and other needs of the ethnic Indian community in NJ? We are aware of one such program at this time (no doubt more will come along in the near future): ArtistaCare Indian Program. AristaCare manages several continuing care retirement communities, and in some of these communities (in Alameda Center/Perth Amboy, Cedar Oaks/South Plainfield, and in Whiting) they have launched a program to provide long term care to ethnic Indians, while providing Indian food, translators, entertainment, etc. If you are interested, please contact Mukund Thakar, President, AristaCare Indian Program (Cell: 732-8299178).
Do you drink grapefruit juice? Continued from page 07
By Jerry GaMarsh
Significantly decreased levels of CoQ10 have been noted in a wide variety of diseases in both animal and human studies. A CoQ10 deficiency may be caused by insufficient dietary CoQ10, impairment in CoQ10 biosynthesis, excessive utilization of CoQ10 by the body, or any combination of the three. Insufficient levels of CoQ10 may result in liver damage, muscle weakness or nerve pain, which are all serious side effects experienced by more than a few individuals taking statin drugs.Medical conditions such as heart attack, cardiac arrhythmia, angina, hypertension, coronary heart diseases, congestive heart failure, and atherosclerosis have been associated with low levels of CoQ10. Dr. Mehmet Oz recommends 200 mg of CoQ10 daily for anyone using a statin drug. But enough about statin drugs. Another problem you should be aware of is bacterial. Or to be precise, antibacterial. When you go to a doctor's office or are admitted to a hospital for treatment or surgery, a strange thing may happen. The treatment or a prescription may cause problems as bad as the original medical condition. Case in point: C. diff. In the past few years I have had two family members and three friends who have had to deal with Clostridium difficile after surgery. The main problem stems from the antibiotics given post surgery to prevent infections. There are a myriad of different bacteria in the human intestinal system but the problem of C. diff is becoming more common, more serious and harder to treat. The irony is that only somewhere between one and three percent of healthy adults harbor small amounts of C. diff in the gut. Despite the insignificant numbers of this bacteria, over 300,000 cases of C. diff related diarrhea are reported each year in the United States. It is important to realize that C. diff can be transmitted to and spread by the hands, utensils and foods through poor hygiene practices. Moreover, although any antibiotic may create a suitable environment for C. diff to establish itself and flourish, some of the most widely used antibiotics such as broad spectrum penicillins are also the most likely to alter gastrointestinal bacteria. When C. diff multiplies, it produces toxins that attack the lining of the colon resulting in diarrhea and inflammation. The symptoms may range from mild to severe and can progress to be life threatening, especially to those over 65 and patients already weakened by other medical conditions. The good news is that many clinical studies have been done and after the offending drugs have been withdrawn, it has been found that probiotics reduce the risk of diarrhea from antibiotics. A review of over 60 clinical studies concluded that probiotics are associated with a 42% reduction in the risk of diarrhea due to antibiotic administration. These include Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei which significantly reduced the incidence of C-diff and other antibiotic induced diarrheas. All of the above may seem quite frightening and a bit out of the ordinary to the average reader but the matter of fact is that an informed patient is better prepared, along with the doctors involved, to make sound decisions concerning his or her health. Of primary importance is reading and understanding the instructions which the pharmacy includes with your prescription. Modern medicine has experienced a quantum leap in improving the general health of mankind as seen by an almost doubling of life expectancy in the past hundred years. And the really important news is that research into the treatment and control of cancer, heart disease and other life threatening conditions are ongoing with new findings being reported continually from Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School and Tufts Medical School just to name a few. But the point and bottom line of this article will remain the same. Be knowledgeable about your medications and medical condition. It is your life.
Reported By Arun Bhowmik & Guru Chakravarty
Recent Sahitya O Alochana Sessions at Ananda Mandir Reported By Subrata Bhaumik
Ananda Sandhya has truly become one of the best regularly scheduled programs at Ananda Mandir, that involves not only the music-loving members of the community, but also the young second generation members who regularly perform at these events. Whereas the youngsters must be coaxed or sometimes even Program by students of Hemant Kulkarni forced by the parents to come to the puja events, the musical events do just the opposite. For this, generally, the young students of music teachers are the main performers, so, they bring their parents along, and so, everyone wins. Our Ananda Sandhya for July 20 featured the students of “SWARA SANGAM MUSIC SCHOOL”, led by their talented teacher Sri Hemant Kulkarni. The musicians started with a “Ganesh Bandana”, followed by different compositions in various ragas. Sri Kulkarni concluded the program himself by presenting a beautiful Bhajan in raag Bhairavi. On August 10, a day after Janmashtami, a lovely program titled “Krishnaanjali” was presented during Ananda Sandhya by our second generation musical talents. This was a tribute to Lord Krishna through music and dances. Jhumpa choreographed the presentation. Participants were Jhumpa, Shontu, Renee, Egil, Tanya, Malika, Adam, Shreya, Brinda, and Ria. On September 14th, a special Tabla Recital was presented by the young Tabla students of our community. It is amazing to see the mastery they achieved with able guidance from their gurus. Also bhajans and devotional songs were presented by students of the renowned classical singer Mitali Bhawmik. In October, instead of Ananda Sandhya, we will do ANANDA PRABHAT in the form of live “Mahishasura Mardini” (MAHALAYA program). That will be on October 14th at 5 am. This annual event has become the "signature" program at the Mandir in the best tradition of starting off the Durga Puja celebrations.
Sahitya O Alochana is a monthly literary and topical discussion forum under the aegis of Ananda Mandir that endeavors to achieve its motto “Alochana Brings Good Things to Mind.” It held several exciting and thought provoking discussions in the June – August 2012 period. Given below are brief commentaries on those sessions. June - This session featured a discussion about the works of Rohinton Mistry, the famous Canadian author of Indian origin who was on the Booker Prize shortlist for more than one time. The session was led by Debajyoti Chatterjee and covered most of Mistry's works, which are set in the Indian Parsee community that provides the backdrop for Mistry to develop characters in a tale. It was also noted in the discussion that he would often superimpose the larger Indian milieu on to the Parsee community, and, in the process, intricately paint “a view” of the cultural, social and political fault lines that confront the overall Indian society. Excerpts from his international bestselling novels and famous short stories including “A Fine Balance,” “Family Matters,” and “Tales from Firozsha Baag” were also read in the session. It was a very good session and was attended by a robust crowd. July – In the July session, the discussion explored how Philosophy, Theology and mathematical thinking have influenced each other in a variety of ways throughout history. Specifically, the session examined, on a high level, such relationships and the extension of the geometrical concept of congruence amongst religions with special reference to epistemological work by Ludwig Wittengenstein, the famous Austrian/British philosopher and citation of similarities amongst religions of the world. It was an interesting discussion, which was led by Dr. Salilesh Mukhopadhyay, a mathematician who wrote a book on the subject. August – This session was one of the more heavily attended and acclaimed sessions thus far and was entitled "Portrait of the Bengali Mother in Bimal Kar's Janani and Other Short Stories." The discussion included reading of “Janani”, the famous short story by Bimal Kar, and a review of this unconventional portrayal of mother, which is a far cry from the traditional concept of the role that is expected to arouse awe, reverence, and a sense of purity. The discussion stirred up serious interactive exchanges amongst the participants who also expressed animated appreciation of such a rare portrayal of mother as an ordinary human being whose aspirations, actions, and emotions are not very different from those of an average person. It was a wonderful session that earned very positive feedback from a large number of attendees.Amitabha Bhagchi led the session. Future sessions – Quite a few exciting sessions are in the pipeline for the next few months including one devoted to readings of original works by local writers, a presentation on the grammar of Bengali poetry, and a discussion on social media (Facebook), etc. The friends of Sahitya O Alochana would like to thank Ananda Mandir for its continued support for the forum's contribution to the cultural enrichment of the local Bengali and Indian community.
Ananda Sandhya -A Monthly Evening Soiree
My Experiences With Greenpeace By Paroma Sengupta “More equality and the equitable sharing of the planet's finite resources are our only chance to save the planet for the future.” -Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director of Greenpeace Greenpeace is an independent organization that is devoted to protecting our environment. It is active in 41 countries all over the world and has close to 2.8 million supporters. Greenpeace was started in 1971 when the founders of the organization came to know of the U.S. underground nuclear testing that was to take place at Amchitka, a tiny island off the West Coast of Alaska. So they sailed to Vancouver, Canada in a small fishing boat. They said they were going to "bear witness” to what would be done in this biodiverse area. The nuclear testing ended later that year and the island was later declared a bird sanctuary. I worked with Greenpeace in New York for a month as a Frontline Representative. My job was to raise funds for Greenpeace campaigns and to spread awareness about issues that many of us know only vaguely about. The job involved fundraising on the sidewalks of one of the busiest cities in the world, which in itself was a huge challenge. My first week at Greenpeace involved rigorous training and on and off site canvassing practice. Our first day began with an orientation on the background of Greenpeace and the motivation behind what the organization does. As frontline representatives, we had essentially the most fundamental job at Greenpeace: raise money for the campaigns and spread the word. The basic tenets of the job were developing basic canvassing skills and then honing them. Extensive practice on how to approach people and then pitch a campaign to that person was done. We were divided into groups with experienced canvassers in each group. We worked on our body language (no slouching, always smile whether it is 90 degrees on the street or pouring rain). We were each asked to chose a campaign that we would pitch (mine was deforestation), and asked to develop a skeleton for our pitch. Once we had developed confidence in this, we went to canvas on site. Warm ups were conducted (fun as well as challenging; pitching an experienced canvasser is the hardest thing to do!) and then we would start the day. We were trained to work with people who would outright object to what we
were saying, and also trained to always be polite, no matter what! Various workshops were conducted by the more experienced canvassers, and training sessions were always open to anyone who wished to hone their skills. I faced numerous challenges. Sometimes people would not stop at all; many would just show a lot of enthusiasm but not actually want to do anything about it. Many people assumed I was a hippie, and told me to “peace out”. But those challenges were immediately worth it when a passerby would stop, listen and then tell me that I was doing a great job. During my time with Greenpeace, I also had the opportunity to go for outstation canvassing in Bar Harbor, Maine. Apart from the fact that the town itself was beautiful, I also learnt how to work with (in this case, pitch to) people from a different part of the country. One of the methods that Greenpeace uses to campaign, and the one that I find most interesting, is creative advertising. When Greenpeace was campaigning against the toy company Mattel for contributing to deforestation, the advertisement (it can be viewed on You Tube) showed Ken telling Barbie how sad he was that she came in packaging made from endangered trees! I had wonderful coworkers who never failed to cheer me up and always rallied around me. That is perhaps the most important thing that I learnt from the job: the fact that team spirit is always the best spirit. There was always a laugh, a pat on the back and words of encouragement. It was wonderful to be able to share your small personal triumphs with a group of dedicated young people who were doing what they could, everyday, to save the planet. I started working with Greenpeace on the 4th day after arriving in the United States. I was always made to feel welcome, with my coworkers painstakingly explaining the subway system and showing me tourist spots in Manhattan. As an environmental educationist, teacher and resource developer, I enjoyed my time with Greenpeace because I learnt more about how to put across ideas and issues to different types of people. I learnt how to command a person's interest (imagine speaking to someone on a sidewalk in Manhattan at rush hour!). It was an interesting way to begin my first visit to the United States and one that I am not likely to forget!
A Political Rally, Kolkata's Maidan & The Calcutta Ladies Golf Club By Jayashree Chatterjee It was February 2011. Emotions ran high at a set of very different headquarters in the city of Kolkata. The then party in power was planning a massive rally at the maidan, and a lot of effort was being put into the event because it was the last major rally before the state elections. At the Calcutta Ladies Golf Club, acting captain Minakshi Chanda was frantically trying to save her club's 9-hole course from the after-effects of rallies held at the maidan, where the club's course was situated. What had always happened in the past was that on the morning of a rally, party supporters were bussed into the city at about 6 a.m., and then left to assemble at the maidan in the vicinity of the Ladies Club's golf course. There they washed, cooked a meal, and got ready for the day. All this ruined the green - the grass was trampled upon so thoroughly that it generally took from 5 to 6 months to grow back again. Also, litter consisting of chicken feathers and a lot else was strewn all over the place. That February, Chanda was determined to save her club's course from destruction. What increased her resolve was the fact that the club was hosting The Gold Cup Tournament that was coming up shortly, and, in previous years, when big rallies had taken place just before a tournament, the club had earned a bad name for having an extremely poorly maintained course. When Chanda visited the office of the party then in power, she found the officials too busy to listen to her entreaties. The rally was important because the upcoming election was a particularly difficult one. Besides, in a country beset by a myriad problems, the major ones of which included the painful reality that most people were not even able to afford a square meal every day, golf and the state of the green at the maidan were the last things on the officials' minds. To them, golf was an elitist sport, and a curious piece of detritus left over from colonial times. Their spokesperson had said before to the press that if it was wrong for villagers to converge on the maidan with their chire and gur then it was also wrong for the ladies at the clubhouse to be able to eat on the maidan, and that if it was wrong to dig holes in the ground to erect stages, then it was equally wrong to dig holes to play golf. Now their comment was, “If the club members want to participate in the rally, we will welcome them. If they want to eat, we will even provide them food.” So Chanda went to see the Joint Commissioner of Police. '”I want to save my club”, she told him. He replied that he couldn't do anything alone, and that the land belonged to Fort William. She would have to get the help of the military. If they agreed to help her, the police would do the same. At the offices of the military's Bengal Division and Eastern Command, the officers-in-charge agreed to help her, and so Chanda went back to the police with the good news. At her request, the day before the rally, the police cordoned off the area with bamboo staves. So the police and military headquarters were the third set of offices that were abuzz with activity that February day before the rally. On the Sunday on which the rally was held, the police chief himself came to the Ladies Club and stayed there from 6a.m. to 2 p.m. The maidan OC and the
maidan police, together with the military, guarded the course all day, and Chanda, too, kept a close vigil on what was happening. Meanwhile, the local press had also given the story wide coverage and pointed out that in 2007 the High Court had banned cooking in the open within 3 km of Victoria Memorial, but that that hadn't stopped any party from turning the maiden into a “giant kitchen and parking zone” during rallies. Green activist Subhas Dutta was also quoted as speaking about the problem, and bemoaning the ravages that rallies in the past had inflicted on the maidan. But this time, the golf course of the ladies club was spared destruction. Those attending the rally met in the grounds of the Victoria Memorial instead. The next morning, the Indian newspaper The Telegraph's headline read: “Golf's V-Day is Victoria's Pain.” Many club members, who usually avoided going to the club after a rally, flocked to the maidan once they heard the good news. The club's management had postponed announcing the dates for the Gold Cup Tournament. Now they proceeded to do so with alacrity. In another statement to the press, Chanda told The Telegraph that she believed that the party holding the rally had “instructed its cadres to co-operate with the administration” and spare her club. “We are thankful to them”, she added. The police and military authorities chimed in by saying that they had been able to prevent the mauling of the green due to a “team effort”. In the two rallies that followed, the Trinamul victory rally in July last year and the same party's rally in July this year, the Ladies Golf Club course was spared again. Now Chanda feels confident that a lasting precedent has been set for the future. This whole episode raises a number of interesting questions. The first one deals with the game itself. In a country like India, where the average monthly household income is about Rs 5,000, golf is not a sport that everyone can afford to indulge in. The fees that the Ladies Club charges are much less than those of the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, but they are steep nevertheless. There is an entry fee of Rs 40,000 and a monthly fee of Rs 350. Members also have to pay a daily fee of Rs 30 whenever they play on the course. Of course golf is a costly sport in any part of the world due to the high maintenance fees that are required for the upkeep of a golf course. But in a country where the disparity in income between the different economic groups is so stark, questions about maintaining such a sport are bound to arise. Then, though the Ladies Golf Club is part of Kolkata's history, it is part of that portion of the country's history that Indians would rather forget - its colonial history. The club was established in 1891, a date which will be remembered in the history of golf because Calcutta's ladies club was the second women's golf club to be established in the world and the first in Asia. But in 1891, Indians themselves were far more concerned with other pressing matters like protesting the anti-Indian proposals of the then Secretary of State for India, Lord Cross. Then again, the club was formed by a group of British women because women were not allowed to be
members of the Royal Calcutta Golf Club. But it was membership for British women that was being advocated- not Indian women. But the arguments for keeping a golf club going in a country like India are equally sound. Golf is an internationally recognized sport, and so why should Indians be discouraged from playing it. As for it being a colonial sport, sports like cricket and football were also introduced to the country by the British. Besides, in part due to the pace at which it is played, golf is an internationally recognized sport for people who have achieved a certain degree of success in their careers. This makes it an excellent game to play for networking and other career and business-related purposes. Today, some Indian businesswomen members of the club are reported to be making use of these additional opportunities as well. Another factor on the plus side is that golf is being brought to the masses in a wonderful way at the Ladies Club. In 2009, golfer and coach Indrajit Bhalotia started a golf academy called Protouch for youngsters between the ages of eight to fourteen from Ek Prayaas, a school for children from the slums. These children come from homes that lack many basic necessities; but they are being introduced to a sport that their parents would never dream of being able to play. Bhalotia says he is giving them a chance to learn a trade – that of becoming caddies. These youngsters are given free training and equipment, and for many of them, the training makes them optimistic about what they can do with their lives. In an India Today article, eleven-year-old Tanishka, one of the children being trained by Bhalotia is quoted as saying, “I love to play-----I want to be a champion one day.” Indrajit Bhalotia has taken the game to children from the middle class as well. With the help of golfer Vandana Agarwal, he has started a yearlong program, also at the Ladies Golf Club, for children from middle class families who would normally be exposed to cricket. In order to enroll for the course, these children do not need to have mothers who are members of the club. They pay an annual fee of Rs 800, and they are trained in the sport on the weekends. The equipment is loaned to them free-of-cost. The Ladies Golf Club has also hired Anwar Wahab, a reputed physical trainer, to help train them. Then there is the question of the preservation of the maidan itself. This is a matter of vital importance. The maidan has been called the “lungs of the city” for obvious ecological reasons. Every city needs its parks and stretches of green for climatic and environmental purposes, and so it is good to note that green activists like Subhas Dutta are concerned about the need to keep the maidan's grass in good condition. But political parties also have to be able to hold rallies, and so require a place to assemble their supporters. The use of the Victoria Memorial grounds and the consequent devastation of those grounds is no answer to the problem. It would be good for political parties and the city authorities to work together towards solving this problem. The life of a city is constantly evolving and things change with time. They have to. But there are some needs that have to be addressed by the residents themselves. Hopefully, this will remain an example of an instance where an optimistic individual with a lot of initiative like Chanda can initiate much needed change.
Otho Google Uvacha
An exploratory report on Google Search By Sushmita Dutta
As enlightening phrases in visualize yourself as a web search program Bhagavat Gita begin with “Otho Sanjaya c a l le d ' C ra w le r. ' Yo u h a ve b e e n Uvacha” in Sanskrit, meaning “Thus Sanjaya programmed by your master called said”, Ananda Mandir priest Biswajyoti, with 'Google' to read the alpha-numeric his unique sense of humor said “Otho (alphabets and numbers) values of Google Uvacha”, “Jai ho” when I presented a searched words and then go around the report on “Sri-phal” after a quick Google web (which has a defined boundary) to see search. Google has become the most which web pages relate to the searched popular search engine, which understands words. You then locate web pages, their Sanskrit words like Sri-phal and also associated links to many other web pages understands pure Bengali words like “Joba”, housing a whole bunch of data on the “Shorshe begun” and “Alu Posto”. On joba searched words and you return to Google word search we get multiple links to the to deposit all that information over a data flower pictures and related gardening repository. Your gathered information information and, of course, searches on containing links (URLs), text documents, With the wireless industry's expected boom, Google has launched a $120 million project to construct “Shorshe begun” and “Alu Posto” display images, videos etc. are then indexed under buildings screened against external radio waves, which can be used to test advanced wireless projects. links to recipe web pages like “Bong Mom's specific categories just like a library catalog for CookBook: Alu Posto and Musurir Dal for lunch…” ease of 'search finding' and then displayed over a search result page on search One of the most significant factors of Google search is the speed at which requested by a user. That's how all web-based search engines work. search results are displayed. How does Google make this happen? What contributes to Here the term metadata needs a bit of clarification because it's one of the Google's success? With some such notes, this is a special report on Google Search for key factors which help populate a searched result page. Search engine's automated Ananda Sangbad readers. Enjoy! programs like Crawlers read primary information and information related to the First of all, what made Google so popular? Here is a very broad overview that primary information (metadata). For example, our search words “Bengali Music” relate justifies a “market niche” where Google fits in very well. to a list of sub-level information like Rabindra Sangeet, Shyama Sangeet, Baul etc. And From the Electro-mechanical era (1840 – 1940) when we first learned that then sub-sub level information relates to Rabindra Sangeet artists, Shyama Sangeet information could be converted into electrical impulses to our journey through the artists and Baul artists. Related information to these terms link to record companies discovery of punch card computing system introduced by IBM when we knew how to like HMV, SAREGAMA etc., and then further related layers of information include store and retrieve information (the electronic era -1940 to present), we have come a linked web pages displaying availability, price tags, shopping carts etc. So, for two long way. Now, as Bill Gates terms it, we are living in an “Information Era.” The advent of searched words - “Bengali Music”, we see pages and pages of searched information. personal computers in the late 1970s and then the easy and cheap access to Internet If we type a word or a phrase which is probably unknown, Google relates the in the early 1990s brought about a change in our life style. We embraced technology in search to already crawled and indexed links that match the typed words and displays our daily living. Crossing all borders, boundaries, races, classes and language barriers, results. For example, I typed two very Bengali words - “Ogo Shuncho” and Google Global Communications Networking brought distant information to our desktops instantly displayed information like – (this is funny) “Two lovers on a Chittagong making us information hungry. We realized the power of re-usable information, and beach, gesturing towards the vendor: Ogo Shuncho” and then, “Shyer Sengupta's blog Google stepped into the scene just at the right time with a very dedicated and focused - Ogo Shuncho”, and, link to a Bengali's Facebook page captioned “Ogo Shuncho.” goal – “To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and Amazing! useful.” That's Google Corporation's mission statement, and I think that vision made One may question reliability of searched documents provided by search Google.com the world's best search engine site leaving competitors like MSN and engines. No search engine, including Google, can be held responsible for linked Yahoo far behind. documents. In this era of freely available information with multiple views, opinions and How does a search engine work? Without getting into technical interpretations, one has to be a subject matter expert to make a distinction between terminologies, I will make it rudimentarily simple for all readers to understand. reliable and un-reliable content. However, Google does offer a service page where we Google's co-founder and CEO, Larry Page, describes a search engine as one that can report dead links, spam and objectionable content found on Google search result understands exactly what people mean and gives back exactly what people want. pages. Google delivers just that and here is a quick recap of how the Google search engine What makes Google more efficient than others is the algorithm (defined mechanism works. logical steps) applied to search engine programs like the crawlers ants or spiders. Search engine is a process that applies programs to search documents Founded in California, Google has many other products besides Google.com that run related to specific keywords that are typed-in by an information seeker like you and I. on web technology. With offices in more than 60 countries, 180 Internet domains, The search engine then displays documents that match the searched words. For Google search is available in more than 130 languages. People across the globe write example, the word “Joba” has data linkages within the World Wide Web that archive the content in their own language contributing to the universality of Google.com. The flower pictures, nursery information, and even persons named Joba. And as such, a corporation's report says, “We build products that we hope will make the web better whole bunch of information related to “Joba” is displayed on its search result page. and therefore your experience on the web better…we want to make it simpler and Fundamentally, a web search engine like Google.com helps find and retrieve faster for people to do what they want to online.” information from the vast repositories of information (data) that reside within the One new addition that I found on Google's search page is interesting. For the World Wide Web. Searches through databases of web-based documents, site past several years, there has been a display on Google.com home page which reads “I locations, links, images, icons, videos and texts are initially gathered by a robot (a am feeling Lucky”. If you mouse-over that phrase now, you will see “I am feeling program that runs automatically without human intervention) which returns puzzled”, “I am feeling playful”, “I am feeling hungry” and some more similar phrases. searched data over to a central repository where information is indexed and then I was curious to know about this and found that “I am feeling puzzled” links to puzzle displayed over a searched result page. Such search engine automated programs are pages, “I am feeling playful” links to Google games and “I am feeling hungry” links to called Crawlers, Ants or Spiders. There are some manual processes as well like human restaurants which are paid information. Behind all these search results, there is a submission of data and a hybrid of automated and manual processes. money game somewhere. Google makes money from numerous search result paid A search engine crawler is an automated software, which is programmed to displays and advertisements, which are related to the search words that you and I type visit web sites related to a search word; gather primary information and related not knowing that we are actually helping Google make money. As they say in information (metadata - data related to data) from linked pages, sub-linked pages, and Economics, “There is no such thing as a free lunch” - whatever information Google sub-sub linked pages; analyze the way web pages relate to other pages; and then delivers to us is paid by someone, somewhere out there existing in our huge network return all that information to a central data repository. To make it more simplistic, called the World Wide Web. Reap the benefit
Religious Tolerance Contrary to the seeming fundamentalist tone of the country, more and more Americans believe “many religions can lead to eternal life” according to a recent Newsweek article. Thirty percent of the Americans call themselves “spiritual, not religious.” The article goes on to quote the Rig Veda, "Truth is One, but the sages speak of it by many names." A Hindu believes that there are many paths to God, and that none is better than any other; all are equal. Such views are obviously at odds with the traditional conservative Christian Sunday school teaching that their religion is true and the others are false. From that perspective Jesus said, “I am the way, truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” Recently, I came back from a trip to Prague. I learned that defenestration (the act of throwing someone out of a window) was used in a number of occasions as a means of religious conversion. In 1419 the Hussites threw Catholics out the window for their beliefs. In 1618, when a Hapsburg-backed Catholic clergy tried to reclaim land under imperial order, members of the Czech Estates argued that it was not the church land and convicted two government officials, sentencing to throw them from the high castle windows. They landed on a pile of manure (some say this was divine intervention) and escaped serious injury. This defenestration has been captured in a lot of paintings in Prague. Today, people do not have to depend on piles of manure to save them from their religious beliefs. While in Prague, I met two monks from the state of Kerala, India. They were traveling to Prague and a few other European cities to teach meditation. The monks reported that many were interested in Hinduism. They described their visits to the houses of a few Czech people who worshipped Lakshmi and Ganesha and explained that as a result of the Communist domination of the Czech people some years ago, they had quit going to church. I also met International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) supporters in Prague, who showed me how they were decorating the Ratha (the Holy chariot of Lord Krishna), for the upcoming Ratha Yatra (the journey on the chariot) on the Charles Bridge over the Vltava river. Likewise, far away in Africa, in Rwanda, the ethnic strife there has died down, but religious tolerance isn't assured. A filmmaker and journalist friend, Ananya, went to Rwanda this summer to see the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide fifteen years later. She discovered that Rwanda has become the safe ground for peace. While working in Rwanda Ananya encountered other filmmakers and enjoyed conversing on controversial issues. They talked for a length of time about the ethnic intolerance between the Hutus and Tutsis, which they claimed has now come to an end. Nevertheless, at dinner she was surprised to hear a Christian Evangelist filmmaker suddenly comment “Let's all pray that we do not pay any respect to the elephant-headed god of India.” She could hardly believe such a bald insult stated so directly in her presence during an otherwise friendly setting. The insult infuriated Ananya so greatly that she immediately grabbed the filmmaker's plate and dumped the contents into the trashcan. Ananya's response caused uproar, but people really admired the courage and audacity of this young woman. “I will never allow this kind of derogatory remark from anybody especially since we have come to work as International filmmakers.”
By Mandira Chattopadhyay
Though Hutus and Tutsis live in harmony, other forms of intolerance still exist. Apparently, one or the other group will always try to assert an upper hand. After the genocide, Rwanda government tried to erase the horror from peoples' minds. Recently some TV programs tried to revive that story in form of fiction and that has inspired some of the new filmmakers to remember the past. Ananya received a scholarship from the government of Netherlands to find out what the native Rwanda filmmakers are producing while still remaining in the fear of airing that horror. The radio in Rwanda back in 1993 was dominated by the Hutu majority who demonized the Tutsi minority leading to widespread fear and distrust. Now the same radio has apparently become the instrument of peace and reconciliation. In the eyes of the public, Rwanda is a peaceful country now, but do they have full religious tolerance? The question isn't only for Rwanda, but for all countries and all religions. The recent shootings of six Sikhs, peacefully worshipping in their gurdwara, in Oakcreek, Wisconsin by a gunman with ties to the white power movement show that not all share in the apparently more tolerant mood of the nation. His motives are a mystery, but it's clear he saw their temple as something alien, un-American. The terrified visages of young children, men, and women were broadcast on television. The children ran to warn the rest of the congregation. The women in the kitchen were preparing the Langar, the communal vegetarian meal of daal, yogurt, and roti, a staple of Sikh services. While some of the children might eagerly change out of their Indian garb into jeans, they likely enjoyed the tranquility and peacefulness of the women draped in white, chanting hymns. A new generation of Indians seems able to pursue western careers in such fields as law and medicine, and still maintain the Bhangra beats of their heritage. No doubt some of their acquaintances object to overt signs of difference, uneasy over those who dress and talk differently. It's hard to know how to respond to such attitudes. They ask everyone to be more like them, forgetting their own idiosyncrasies that they refuse to see as such. They believe everyone should mold themselves to their ways and forget their own, forget those of their parents--and their parents' parents. They believe everyone should forget their own stories and accents, and take up those stories and accents that they feel more familiar. Apparently, they feel it's easier to forget one's parents in order to blend in better. It is heartening to see that others in the surrounding areas in Oakdale were quick to send their support: people of all skin colors and faiths gathered to hold vigil with candles and white head scarves. The Sikh community was surprised by such expressions from their neighbors, surprised by the profusion of flowers, well wishing and even large sums of money. Thankfully, the shooter's hatred failed to destroy the community. Rather than breaking it apart, he pulled them--and everyone--closer together.
Summer Internship Program for College Students And High School Seniors Ananda Mandir has launched Summer Internship for college students and high school seniors. This year it recruited three interns in biological science area . It will continue recruiting the internship for the next year again. The program will include learning and helping research works in the areas of biological science, physical science and engineering at various laboratories in New Jersey. Additional internship opening will be in the area of pharmacy in New York City. Some internships are paid, others are voluntary. Paid interns have to be minimum 18 years old and US citizens or permanent residents. For the next year's internship, application with resume indicating the area of internship interest should be sent to Dr. Pronoy Chatterjee, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org by the Spring of next year.
SOUTH ASIAN THEATER FESTIVAL Reported By Dipan Ray Editor's Note: Dipan Ray may be contacted at (email@example.com)
November 15, Thursday Theater Festival Kick-off of SATF with a wine and cheese reception, followed by a play reading session in a workshop format, entitled, New Voices from New Generation, directed by Gargi Mukherjee and Sibusiso Mamba. This is an open-forum session where the intent is to create a dialogue with our youth and gain their feedback on the play. A free event. November 16, Friday Panel Discussion with audience Q & A on Theater, a Salve for a Repressed Society. A free event. November 17, Saturday Aadhe Adhure, written by Mohan Rakesh, directed by Amol Palekar, and produced by Natyabharati of Washington, DC Gandhi and Sarahad, directed by Sailesh Trivedi, produced by Shakuntal Arts, New Jersey November 18th Chaos Theory, written by Anuvab Pal, directed by Veda Kumariguda, produced by Nazarra, a South Asian Theater group in Columbia University Bhopal, written by Rahul Varma, directed by Joanna Sherman, produced by Bond Street Theater, New York and Epic Actors' Workshop, New Jersey.
Ananda Mandir is pleased to announce the launch of a program to award financial grants to support
Community Service Projects aimed at helping the South Asian community in the Greater New Jersey area Project Proposals Are Welcome From Organizations and Individuals
Please visit www.anandamandir.org for program details and application requirements or Contact: Pronoy Chatterjee (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Debajyoti Chatterji (email@example.com)
Ananda Mandir Board of Trustees has established a program to recognize
Outstanding Volunteers If you are a Life Member and believe that someone deserves this recognition, please feel free to e-mail nomination to
Pronoy Chatterjee (firstname.lastname@example.org) Details of the program and the nomination form can be seen in our website www.anandamandir.org
N J PA C o r n e r
ICC Corner By Prabir Sarkar Annual summer picnic of ICC was held on Sunday, 29th July at Loantaka Brook Reservation, Morristown from 10AM to 4PM. This is the fourth time that we went to this picnic spot. It is a very nice location with excellent facilities. The picnic was free for the members, and for non-members there was a nominal charge. Members came in flocks and enjoyed fun and food all day. There were soccer, musical chair, children's race and other sports and games. The morning started with jhal-muri, donuts and hot tea. Soon there was a variety of snacks available. Meanwhile grills were fired up and juicy spicy chicken legs were on the grill. The day was balmy but sunny. To alleviate the balminess there were four fans blowing air and guests were at ease and relaxed. Around noon the kids lined up for hot dogs, chicken drums and pasta. Adults had goat curry, hot parboiled rice, 'masoor daal' and green salad on their menu. There were a variety of beverages. Post lunch there was ripe watermelon to juice up the mouth, followed by ice-cream. We all enjoyed the ICC picnic of 2012. The Executive Committee is planning for the upcoming Durga Puja. Durga Puja being the biggest event on the ICC calendar, the EC members are putting in extra hours and efforts in making the event a grand success. This year our Durga Puja will be taking place on Oct 27 and 28. We have started the process of fund-raising through advertisements in our Annual Durga Puja brochure. The two-day celebrations are being planned out in detail, prime artists are being lined up, menu is being firmed up, and rehearsals are starting. E-mail announcements have gone out, invitation cards are ready, and web site WWW.ICC-GS.ORG has been updated. We are ready for the grand Puja. On behalf of the Indian Community Center of Garden State (ICC-GS), I cordially invite all to our Durga Puja celebrations. There will be special Bengali community dinner on both days. One of the biggest attractions will be the cultural program with an exciting line-up of famous artists from Kolkata. So please come, worship and enjoy.
Kallol Corner By Biman Bhatta Kallol's summer picnic held on August 18, 2012 at the Merrill Park Grove 3C in Woodbridge Twp, New Jersey turned out to be a very successful event. Even though I could not be there myself physically due to my present health condition, I learnt from a few attendees that the event was quite enjoyable. One important point was that this year a larger number of younger generation members joined the picnic. I imagine our annual picnic's one big selling point is the quality and quantity of the food items. The elegant menus of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the beverages that got served that day were fabulous. The merriment began at around 11 in the morning and lasted until dusk. The eagerness displayed by our participants for the sporting activities such as volleyball, cricket, and the musical chair was outstanding. The airwave was filled with contemporary music by our Committee DJ. Right before the evening dinner was served, the picnic committee very affably gave away various prizes to the children as well as the adults recognizing their skills and fervors. Kallol's Durga Puja, the biggest event of the year, is scheduled to commence on Friday, Oct 19 and last through Sunday, Oct 21 at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Somerset, New Jersey. Every year this three day event is the most impatiently awaited by our community members because it delivers the highest level of contentment to all of our friends and families. And with all the preparations going around, we are not expecting anything less this year. Mata Vandana during the day, community dinner in the afternoon, and variety entertainment programs in the evening are primarily the key features on which our Durga Puja activities are hinged on. On the following Saturday, October 27, we will hold the Lakshmi Puja at the John E. Toolan Kiddie Keep Well Camp, Roosevelt Park, Edison, New Jersey. Like every year, it will be the experience of a pleasant evening as if being in a family circle surrounding. Our last event of 2012, the New Year's Eve Party, will be held on December 31, Saturday. The venue for the event is not finalized yet, but the Executive Committee expects to settle the issue very soon. We promise it will be the pinnacle of thrill for the year, and thus a not-to-be missed event for anyone. All updates on our future activities will be regularly posted on the website www.kallol.com. So please visit this link every so often to stay informed, and please make your best attempt to join us at all our upcoming events. Stay well and enjoy the life.
By Kankana Sengupta Lehrein: A Musical Extravaganza On July 23rd of this year, NJPA embarked on a new venture: a singing competition which was one of a kind. Lehrein 2012 was intended to bring together all music enthusiasts to showcase their singing prowess in reality show style with high drama and action. The singers were grouped by age, the competition was open to all, and the contestants could choose any genre and the song that best represents their vocal abilities. There were about 35 participants in all and each was given a total of 4 minutes. The judges for the competition were Mr. Arun Bhowmik, Sharada Khadivalli and Partha Sengupta who are all highly trained and well-known figures in Indian music in the tri-state area. They were so overwhelmed with the amount of talent presented to them that it was difficult for them to decide on the winners. Part of the fascination of singing competitions is the lovely, flawed idea that you can use to extrapolate the current and future states of music. And this is exactly what happened when the contestants performed in this platform for discovering new talent. Avani Deshpande in the children's category won the coveted award for singing “Jao, jao nand ke lala.” Her rendition to this Lata Mangeshkar classic with her soft delicacy had everyone speechless. The winner in the adult category Subramanium Dharamrajan was raised in a house full of music, where his love for singing was only encouraged. "My parents were very much musical, and we always had music in the house," says Dharamrajan, who grew up singing along popular songs and bhajans. His rendition of Shanakra Nada Sarira Para in Telegu, a devotional offering to Lord Shiva with his scintillating techniques and virtuosic flair mesmerized the judges and the audience alike. The winners of this competition not only will get an opportunity to perform at future community events, but received trophy and cash prizes. However this was not all. The audience was then entertained by Torsha Sarkar, an Indian idol finalist in an electrifying performance. Her energy and rocking performance wowed the audience and had them dancing all along. Her melodious voice had touched the hearts of Indian idols fans over the years. Singing is not about being professional. It is about joy and expressing yourself and NJPA will continue to work hard to increase the level of success and talent in the competition year after year and intends to gather more support from the community. NJPA's Annual Picnic We need to take an extra day off every now and then. Taking the time to recharge the batteries – and this is exactly what NJPA family did in its traditional annual family picnic on August 25. It was a time to rejuvenate the body and refocus the mind at the beautiful pristine settings of Beechwoods Park in South Brunswick. A combination of food, fun, gossip, reminiscence, and cementing of bonds makes this picnic special and unique year after year. NJPA has gone social. Please connect with us on Facebook (under NJPA Parivar) and do not forget to check us on http:// njpa.net. Looking forward to seeing you all at NJPA's Kali puja to be held on November th 10 at Judd Elementary School, North Brunswick.
NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
Global Bengali Entrepreneurs Network
A Bold New Initiative Ananda Sangbad readers may be interested to learn that an ambitious initiative has been launched by a group of US-based Bengali entrepreneurs to promote investment and job creation in the land of our origin, Bengal. Global Bengali Entrepreneurs Network (known as GBEN) is a not-for-profit, voluntary and non-political association of Bengali entrepreneurs across the globe. The primary objective of the organization is to facilitate informal networking opportunities among Resident and Non-Resident Bengali entrepreneurs worldwide with the sole purpose of building, expanding and fostering business ventures in Bengal. By 2015, the Global Bengali Entrepreneurs Network (GBEN) aspires to bring in at least: ? Ten small to medium size business ventures in Bengal, initiated and facilitated by GBEN ? A total $15M+ of investment in small to medium businesses in Bengal, facilitated by GBEN – and thus create 5000+ skilled and semiskilled jobs in Bengal. For more information on GBEN, please visit www.globalben.org and register to get updates on the plans and activities of the organization. Additionally, GBEN is keen to receive your comments and ideas – and welcomes phone calls (855-257-9320) and email (email@example.com). Source – Pijush Chakraborty, Debol Gupta and Sanjoy Nandy - Entrepreneurs affiliated with GBEN
CINEMA @ 100 Celebrating 100 Years of Indian Cinema A man with vision and courage pioneered the revolution. Mumbai, called Bombay then, had no idea of what was about to take place. On April 21, 1913, at the Olympia theatre, Dadasaheb Phalke premiered the first ever fulllength film, Raja Harishchandra. A silent film based on the legend of King Harishchandra, it was released for the masses on May 3, 1913. Ten decades have gone by. Today, the nation is paying a tribute to the date that Phalke had immortalized with the first public screening of his film. India being a nation where more than 1,000 films are made in various languages every year, the medium's growth deserves a special narration for those who wish to understand what cinema in the country is all about. Indian film industry was prolific in terms of the number of films being made every year. But the man who showed the power of Indian cinema to the world was the celebrated Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray. Ray's epic Pather Panchali (1955) was awarded for being the 'Best Human Document' at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival, establishing him as a major international filmmaker. Till today, it is considered to be one of the greatest films ever made. (Source – NGI Magazine )
World Bank Appoints Kaushik Basu Chief Economist WASHINGTON, September 5, 2012 – World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim today announced the appointment of Kaushik Basu as the institution's new Chief Economist and Senior Vice President. Basu, an Indian national, most recently served as Chief Economic Adviser of the Government of India, Ministry of Finance, while on leave from his position as Professor of Economics and the C. Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University. He also served as Chairman of Cornell's Department of Economics and Director of Cornell's Center for Analytic Economics and headed the Program on Comparative Economic Development. "Having worked in a Ministry of Finance, in addition to his impressive academic achievements, Kaushik is uniquely suited to help us offer evidence-based solutions and advice to client countries and provide innovative excellence in leading our development research,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “Kaushik brings first-hand experience from a developing country and will be a terrific asset to the institution.” Basu, who holds a PhD from the London School of Economics, founded the Centre for Development Economics at the Delhi School of Economics in 1992 and is a founding member of the Madras School of Economics. He has held visiting professorial positions at Harvard University, the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, the London School of Economics, and M.I.T. Basu is a fellow of the Econometric Society and has been awarded India's National Mahalanobis Memorial Award. In May 2008 the president of India awarded Basu one of the country's highest civilian awards, the Padma Bhushan, for “distinguished service of high order.” Basu begins his term October 1, 2012. Source: Press Release from World Bank
Ananda Mandir's membership category changes for the second quarter of 2012
Outstanding Volunteer of Ananda Mandir The Award and Recognition Committee of the Board of Trustees of Ananda Mandir is pleased to announce that the board accepted and approved the committee's nomination of Manjuli Ray as the “Outstanding Volunteer” for the third quarter of 2012. Manjuli Ray, popularly known as Manju di, had made Ananda Mandir her home and served as a very dedicated volunteer during its infancy. In the Manjuli Ray mid 1990s, she and her husband, Late Nirmal Ray, both became involved in plans to build a Bengali cultural center in NJ. In 1998, they had moved to North Brunswick to be closer to Ananda Mandir, which they were both very eager to support. After Nirmal Ray passed away in 1999, she chose to stay in NJ, because she wanted to continue to volunteer at Ananda Mandir. Living alone, she spent almost all of her time working for Ananda Mandir at the time. Manju di played a major role as a Founder, as Chairperson of Puja Committee, as Assistant Treasurer, and taking care of all rental activities by various cultural groups using Ananda Mandir's facilities. She also helped the construction committee for meeting financial commitments on time. A number of times, she showed up at Ananda Mandir at odd hours to write checks to the vendors, be it the concrete supplier who would not deliver the concrete to the site without receiving a check, or to attend to other emergencies. At other times, she would be called to open the door of Ananda Mandir to let people in for their cultural classes. Many of us got assignments almost every week from Manju di for Puja preparations. After pujas, Manju di collected money, always asking for extra donations. Since 2005, Manjuli Ray is living in the Pacific Northwest, where her two children are settled. Health related issues made her children bring their mother near them. There would never be a more passionate advocate than Manju di for the success of Ananda Mandir. The Board will continue to recognize one or two “Outstanding Volunteers,” every quarter selected from the nominations received from the Life Members of Ananda Mandir. The application form for nomination is available at www.anandamandir.org (see announcement elsewhere in this newsletter)
Ananda Mandir Members Honored at NABC 2012 Reported By Debajyoti Chatterji Two well-known members of the Ananda Mandir community, Sudipta Bhawmik and the late Prabir Saha, were honored at the recently held North American Bengali Conference in Las Vegas, NV, with Distinguished Service Awards by the Cultural Association of Bengal, the host organizers of the conference. Sudipta Bhawmik, “the soulful voice of Bengali immigrants”, is a prolific playwright whose original works have been staged to rave reviews not only in many parts of the US but also in India. “Ron”, “Phera”, “Taconic Parkway”, “Rajar Chithi”, and “Cassandra – or the Story of a Chair” are just a few of his plays that have enthralled audiences everywhere. Sudipta is also an accomplished actor, director and Sudipta Bhawmik cartoonist. An active participant in literary panels and other activities, his pioneering blog, NYNJBengali.com, has attracted a large and loyal following. We congratulate Sudipta on the recognition given to him at NABC and wish him continued success in the future. Prabir Saha was a tireless community leader who played central roles in organizing and nurturing many Bengali organizations in the NY-NJ area such as Ananda Mandir, Hindu Milan Mandir, Late Prabir Saha ICC, and Cultural Association of Bengal (CAB). He held leadership positions in many of these organizations. His untimely death in 2011 left a big void in our community, and we miss him dearly. In honoring him posthumously, CAB brought honor to itself and to his memory.