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Monthly Community Paper | | 512-828-6709 | Vol. 10 No. 04

16th Annual South Asian Festival The South Asian New Year Festival, or “Pohela Boishakh”, is an FREE annual outdoor celebration showcasing the culture and diversity of South Asia. Now in its 16th year, The South Asian New Year Festival draws over 5,000 people each year. (Continued On Page 11)

Austin/Central Texas Community Shows Unity At Sunday Vigil By Sameer D. Shah , Austin, TX, 3/5/17 Lead by the Indian American Co-

by the tragic recent killings of South Asians in hate crimes, the community came together to ex-

2nd Annual South Asian Indie Meme Film Festival By Sumaiya Malik Indie Meme is all set to showcase its second film festival at the Arbor Cinema at 9828 Great Hills Trails in Austin, from Thursday, April 21 to Sunday, April 24.

Simple Spring...............04 Classical Music For The World Announces.........05 Arun’s Scribblings.........06 SAIVA Tour...................06 AADI Hosts..................06 Sunday Vigil.................07

The recipient of Austin Chronicle’s Best International Passport, Indie Meme plans to yet again live up to it’s name and bring out a collection of thoughtful cinema from India, Pakistan, Iran, Nepal and Afghanistan. (Continued - page 16)


May 2017 Summer Special

Classical Music For the World 512-828-6709

Featuring “World of Joy” Six Suites for Cello Solo by J.S. Bach

Sri Purandaradasa is considered to be the grand old man, ‘Pitamaha’ of Karnataka Sangeetha.

alition of Texas (IACT)’s Board, members of the South Asian and greater communities came together in a show of solidarity on Sunday evening. Saddened and motivated

press its sorrow but also show Austin and the world at large that they cannot be intimidated by random acts of violence. (Continued On Page 07)

His devotional compositions celebrating ‘Purandara Vithala’ are (Continued On Page 12)


April 2017

with Francesco Mastromatteo, Violoncello, April 21 & 22, and “Musical Kaleidoscope, from Chopin to the Present, from Classical to Jazz,” performed (Continued On Page 05)

Malik’s Page........08,16,26 Who Wants Whole Truth? Colleges With..............07 Time And Budget Tips..09 Tips For Moms.............09 Water To Thrive...........10 GAMA-SaReGAMA 2017.11 Indie Meme Film Festival 2017.......................14,15 Shopping Local Benefit.16 Children’s Page...17,22,23 BAPS...........................18 Adiyogi........................19 Smart Tips To Prevent..20 Community Calendar....21 Vitamins Supplements..23 Entertainment.........24,25 An Unexpected Oasis....27



Austin South Asian | April 2017



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A Simple Spring Cleaning Checklist It’s the time of year to roll up your sleeves and do some spring cleaning. Experts point out that it’s helpful to streamline the tools you use to do the job and the tasks you seek to accomplish.

improvement television shows. Devlin’s first tip: look to reduce the number of products in your cleaning arsenal. “Along with high-quality sprays and cloths, I use one all-purpose

strategies for critical areas of your home. • Stove and range hoods: While you should be cleaning these areas regularly after food preparation, take this opportunity to conduct a more thorough cleaning. Spray cleaner directly on the mess for up to two minutes. Wipe clean with a sponge or cloth. Then rinse thoroughly with clean water. • Sinks and countertops: Sinks and countertops can be a trap for food, grease, grime and soap scum. Generously spray nonporous surfaces with your cleaner then rinse with clean water.

“An all-purpose cleaner and a tough degreasing agent can be used in so many areas of the home,” says Jeff Devlin, a licensed contractor who’s appeared on several home

cleaner that also contains degreasing ingredients.” Devlin, along with Mean Green and its line of heavy-duty, all-purpose cleaners offer these different

• Stove exhaust filter: The grease buildup that collects on the stove’s exhaust filter can be a tough nut to crack. In a sink basin, mix 8 ounces of a

concentrated multi-surface cleaner and 1 gallon of hot water and submerge the filter. Place the filter in a sink or dishpan and pour in concentrated cleaner to cover. Allow the filter to soak for 30 minutes. Drain the dishpan and rinse thoroughly with hot water. • Floors: Give your floors a mopping. Mix 4 ounces of cleaning solution with 1 gallon of warm water. Apply with mop or sponge. • Garbage cans and diaper pails: Bags often leak nastiness into the bottom of the garbage can, which can easily be missed when quickly replacing the bag. Turn your cleanser’s nozzle to spray and generously cover the can. Wipe or brush any areas that have any residue. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. • Showers, tubs and tile: Use your cleaning agent at full strength and generously spray surfaces directly. Allow it to penetrate the soap scum for up to two minutes. Do not allow to dry. Wipe away with a coarse sponge or cloth. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

• Toilets: Let’s face it. This isn’t anyone’s favorite job but it has to be done. Turn that nozzle to spray and generously spray the outside of the toilet. Wipe clean with a paper towel, then give a quick rinse. • Patio: For patios, outdoor furniture, concrete, vinyl fences and siding, use the same cleaner outdoors: simply spray, then wipe clean with a cloth or sponge and rinse surfaces with clean water. While you’re at it, consider removing grease and grime from tools, engine parts, tires, sports gear and lawn equipment. For efficiency, consider cleaning solutions that don’t require precleaning, such as Mean Green Super Strength Cleaner & Degreaser, the strongest all-purpose cleaner available. More tips for getting your spring to-dos completed can be found at “Make spring cleaning simple and effective by using smart strategies on every surface of your home,” said Devlin. (StatePoint)


Austin South Asian | April 2017

Classical Music For the World Announces Artists’ Concert Series Spring 2017 (Continued From Page 01) by guest musicians from Poland, Michał Korzistka, piano, and Marcin Hałat, violin, May 6 Austin, Texas - Fresh off the heels of its recent Spring Love Concert - a benefit for a locally run charity - Classical Music For the World (CMFW) announces its Artists’ Concert Series Spring 2017. All concerts are free and open to the public (all ages are welcome) and all events are followed by a reception with the artists in attendance. In “World of Joy,” Six Suites for Cello Solo by J. S. Bach, CMFW Artistic Director Francesco Mastromatteo, Violincello, performs these extraordinary works, as Mastromatteo puts it, “in a journey which erases gravity, frees desires, creates a future, and nurtures hope in Life, in a World of Joy, which transfigures Sorrow into Perfect and Music, Eternal in its Beauty.” The program is divided into two parts: the first (Bach Cello Suites I, II, III, & IV) takes place on Friday April 21, 7 p.m. and the second (Bach Cello Suites V & VI) on Saturday April 22, 4 p.m., both at Oak Hill United Methodist Church 7815 W. Hwy 290, Austin, TX 78736. On May 6, CMFW presents “Musical Kaleidoscope From Chopin to the Present, From Classical to Jazz,” with Polish artists Michał Korzistka, piano, and Marcin Hałat, violin, for an unforgettable journey through time and emotions featuring the music of Chopin, Szymanowski, Glenc, Wieniawski, Bartok, Grandos and Gershwin. The concert takes place Saturday, May 6, 4 p.m. at Oak Hill United Methodist Church 7815 W. Hwy. 290, Austin, TX 78736. CMFW passionately believes in the life-enhancing power of classical music. We commit ourselves to performing and sharing classical music for people of the world who long for beauty and inspiration in their lives. Classical Music For the World’s Artists’ Concert Series presents solo and chamber music concerts featuring distinguished local and international artists.

Like all of our events, these family friendly, professional-level concerts are free of charge. Through our Artists’ Concert Series, attendees are afforded the thrilling experience of hearing beautiful classical music performed by artistic masters. Please visit www. for more information about CMFW, musician biographies, program details, and upcoming events. This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Francesco Mastromatteo, cellist
 Described as a “virtuosic and passionate musician” by the Dallas Morning News, the Italian-born cellist Francesco Mastromatteo keeps performing in Italy and U.S.A. He is the artistic director of Associazione Amici della Musica “G. Paisiello” in Lucera (Italy) and he is also artistic director of the non-profit organization Classical Music for the World in Austin (Texas). From 2008 to 2013 he has been the artistic director of the concert series “Spring of Harmony” held at S. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Dallas. He is currently Professor of Chamber Music at the Conservatory “U. Giordano” in Foggia (Italy) – Residency of Rodi Garganico. Francesco performed as soloist with Meadows Symphony Orchestra in Dallas, Round Rock Symphony, Balcones Community Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica “Città di Pescara”, Orchestra Sinfonica della Provincia di Foggia, the orchestra “Suoni del Sud”, Meadows Wind Ensemble and Starlight Symphony. He also performed J.S. Bach’s solo suites in the US and in Italy at the prestigious Ravenna Festival in 2009. He keeps a busy schedule as chamber musician and is now the cellist of the Duo & Trio Mastromatteo. He performs in duo with pianists A. Wright, C. Wright-Ivanova and M. Schneider. He also collaborated in duo with A. Pompa-Baldi recording Grieg’s cello sonata op.36 for Centaur Records. Francesco has been invited

to perform solo recitals and teach master classes at Oklahoma City University, University of Nevada – Las Vegas and Southern Methodist University. Interested in performance practice as well as in contemporary music, Francesco performed with baroque ensembles like Concerto Italiano and Camerata Anxanum. He also performed the world premieres of T. Sleeper cello sonata, and of works for cello solo by S. Taglietti (Symplex), R.Franck (Taberah) and K. Hanlon (That’s It). He won first prize in the National Cello Competition “G. Turci” in Ravenna and first prize as duo cello and piano with Tommaso Cogato in the International Competition “Città di Padova”. He was Principal Cellist of Orchestra Sinfonica Umberto Giordano of Foggia from 2003 to 2004. Francesco completed his Doctoral degree in Cello Performance at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin in 2012 working with B. Tsang, he also holds a Master Degree and an Artist Certificate from Southern Methodist University where he studied with A. Diaz. In Italy he worked with teachers like A. M. Mastromatteo, M. Shirvani and L. Piovano and R. Filippini. Following an inborn love for various artistic paths, Francesco also holds with honours a Master Degree in Literature and History of Arts from the Università “Aldo Moro” in Bari. He published a volume on Italian composer Umberto Giordano for Bastogi Editrice and an extensive article on Kodàly Solo Sonata op.8 for the International Journal of Musicology. Dr. Michał Korzistka, pianist A prolific performer and academic educator gave many concerts in Poland and abroad, among others, at the revered Chopin Mansion in Żelazowa Wola, Poland, at the famous concert series at the Chopin Monument in the Royal Łazienki Park in Warsaw, at “Atma” in Zakopane, at the Pszczyna Castle, as well as in Great Britain, Ger-

many, the Czech Republic, and in the United States. From his early years, Michał performed many concerts, both solo and with the accompaniment of the orchestra. He has a special place in his heart for classical and romantic composers: Beethoven, Mozart, Liszt, Szymanowski, and Chopin. Over the years, Korzistka has made a number of recordings, including a live recording of his concert with an orchestra in Weston, Great Britain, a “Music in Bielsko-Biala” CD, recordings for the 2nd Channel of the Polish Radio, and archival recordings for his alma mater, the Academy of Music in Katowice. Dr. Korzistka is currently a full professor of the Cieszyn Branch of the University of Silesia, where he teaches piano and a number of other music courses. He is Vice President of the Bielsko Music Society. He also organizes international master classes for young pianists, under the auspices of the University of Silesia. His dual career – as a performing artist and a classical piano professor – leaves him precious little spare time which he devotes mostly to his family. Dr. Korzistka performed in Austin before, twice solo as a guest of the Austin Polish Society, the Classical Music For the World, and the University of Texas at Austin (and as a guest of the legendary KUT radio host, John Aieli), and once in a duet with the violinist Marcin Hałat, with whom he will share the stage today in a very different new program. Dr. Marcin Hałat, violinist Classically trained and active classical musician, Marcin Hałat is no stranger to jazz and improvisation. He regularly plays in a jazz trio, in classical chamber ensembles that present music of the 19th and 20th century, and in a symphony orchestra. He collaborated with the acclaimed Polish jazz pianist Adam Makowicz and worked with the “Atom String Quartet”, the first jazz string quartet in Poland, that won two “Fryderyk” awards of the Polish phonographic industry: “Jazz Phonographic Debut of the Year” and “Album of the Year-Jazz music”.

In 2003, Dr. Hałat began his collaboration with the orchestra of the city of Cracow, Sinfonietta Cracovia, where he had the opportunity to play under the baton of such conductors as Christoph Eschenbach, Lorin Maazel, Valery Gergiev, and John Axelrod. Over the many years of cooperation with the Sinfonietta he has participated in many recordings for the prestigious European labels. He played at major international festivals in France, Germany, Russia, Austria, Switzerland, Italy. In Poland, Marcin Hałat performed as soloist, chamber musician, and member of a symphony orchestra at such festivals as the Warsaw Autumn, Music Festival in Łańcut, Karol Szymanowski Festival in Zakopane, Easter Festival of Ludwig van Beethoven, Sacred Profane, Zamość Jazz Festival, Circles Arts Festival in Cieszyn, and Jewish Culture Festival in Cracow. Mr. Hałat holds a doctoral degree in musical arts performance and has been teaching at the Institute of Music of the University of Silesia in Cieszyn since 2006. This is the second time Marcin Hałat is performing in Austin with pianist, Michał Korzistka. About Classical Music For the World (CMFW) Mission - CMFW passionately believes in the life-enhancing power of classical music — that its timeless beauty can brighten the darkest lives; its symmetry can bring order to chaos; its delicate ability to touch the soul can restore one’s faith; and its universal appeal to the senses can unite people of disparate cultures. We commit ourselves to performing and sharing classical music for people of the world who long for beauty and inspiration in their lives. Admission - Because Classical Music For the World believes that artistic music, like the beauty of nature, should be free for all to enjoy, we do not charge admission for our performances. However, tax-deductible donations are gratefully accepted to help continue our mission. Thank you! www.classicalmusicfortheworld. org


Austin South Asian | April 2017

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Scribblings By Arun SELFISH AND STINGY

There lived a selfish man who was too stingy. Kept his purse always zipped tightly and his pockets empty. For him spending is splurging unnecessarily, But it is clever to save niggardly for only his future and his family. Cunning was he at the same time. With sweet mesmerising words, knew to befriend potential victims Plead and force them to loosen their purse To quench all his own thirst and desires.

later explode. As all can never be kept continuously fooled.

AADI Hosts Qawalistan And Aziz Ibrahim By Sumaiya Malik

hosted a small dinner for the visit-

Austin Arts and Drama Initiative’s executive committee includes Dr. Fida and Uzma Khan, Kirin and Omer Dossani, Sahar Ali and Jahanzeb Khan and Dr. Nadeem and Sumaiya Malik.

Selfish people end up only having their self and lonely. Caring and sharing always, one should live wisely. Letting others too to live happily To enjoy their life wholly.

The group has to date brought five Pakistani films to Austin and arranged a free concert for the community.

Any foxy attitude would sooner or

Editor: Bala Kumar Marketing: Jayachitra Vijay -512-828-6709 Production: Jyothi Mariswaran Admin: Sharada Dayanidhi Publisher: Vidya Kumar Circulation: Vasooda Kumar

©All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof be published without the wirtten consent of the publisher. The deadline for advertisement and article is 20th of every month.


at the Mirchi Restaurant on Parmer Lane. AADI live-streamed short interviews with the artists and posted them on their AADI Facebook page.

Though his faulty attitude was completely exposed He never tried to change or mend Until he was badly treated Like an insect neglected unworthy to be cared.

Austin South Asian

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Austin Arts and Drama Initiative

ing artists on Saturday, March 18

South Asian American Tour - SAIVA

The South Asian community is not only one of the fastest growing communities in Austin, but also highly influential in the Austin community. SAiVA will be providing a tour of Austin with a South Asian American spin on it for interested people coming soon. The advocacy organization, which services Austin’s older adults of South Asian heritage utilize the tours to engage the community. Similar tours were done in August of 2015. This year’s South Asian American Tour of Austin is an expanded version, and will include places such as the University of Texas at Austin, the Texas Capitol, Austin City Hall, and the Asian American Resource Center. SAATA will also provide information on prominent South Asian American living in the Austin area. SAiVA provides the tours with hopes to join diverse populations and increase awareness of their organization. The tour is open to everybody in the Austin community- visitors and townies alike. Interested participants are invited to join the tour and celebrate South Asians’ civic engagement and diversity. SAATA will be held on May 6th. This day correlates with the CelebrAsia event at the AARC on the same day. In order to enjoy the celebration and celebrate culture, a stop will be made at CelebrAsia during the tour. Hope to see you there!


Austin South Asian | April 2017

Austin/Central Texas Community Shows Unity At Sunday Vigil

(Continued From Page 01) The South Asian community has been rocked in the last few weeks by a spate of hate crimes marked

by the perpetrators shouting racist comments like “Go back home!” or “go back where you came from!” Two recent attacks include the murder and shooting of two Indian immigrant IT workers in Olathe, Kansas and the shooting of Sikh immigrant at his home in Kent, Washington. The incident in Washington occurred over the past weekend. In response to these crimes, IACT

held a Condolence and Unity vigil at the Texas State Capitol’s south steps. The event drew out a few hundred local residents, from a diverse group including the South Asian community and other ethnic groups. Additionally, the event drew attendance by local officials, including three Austin City Councilmembers: Alison Alter (District 10), Gregario Cesar (District 4), and Jimmy Flannigan (District 6). Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez was also present. The event began with a solemn walk around the south capitol lawn, followed by a few comments from George Thomas, IACT President. Thomas stressed the importance of continued vigilance in the face of hate crimes, and the need to ensure that every single incident is report-

ed to police, thereby allowing authorities to investigate crimes and track trends.

After Thomas spoke, the local officials each took a few moments to express their solidarity with the South Asian community and share their personal perspectives on the current issues. Councilmember Alter talked about the personal nature of this issue, as her children are of South Asian descent. Councilmember Cesar pledged his strong support of the community, and Councilmember Flannigan talked about his district which is home to the largest Asian

population in Austin. Sherriff Hernandez also communicated her support of the community, and her office’s commitment to ensuring safety for all. The event provided a way for the community to come together to express sorrow but also show resolve. “It’s important of the community to come together in moments like this. We need the world to know that we’re aware of what is going on, and we will remain vigilant. Our community will work together to ensure safety and security for all of our residents. I am encouraged and inspired by the strong showing we had today, and IACT will continue to provide leadership on issues like this,” Thomas said.

About The Indian American Coalition of Texas (IACT) Founded in 2005, the Indian American Coalition of Texas is a 501(c) (4) nonprofit that is designed to increase bipartisan political engagement in the Indian American community as well as the larger Austin and Texas demographic. The organization works to ensure participation through education and engagement, which are intended to drive empowerment. Its past accomplishments range from monitoring and reporting on the status of Texas state legislation that could impact its constituents, establishing youth civic engagement programs, and organizing a civic engagement day for Indian Americans that was recognized on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives. IACT enjoys bipartisan support and participation by Austin’s and Texas’s elected officials.

Who Wants The Whole Truth? Colleges With Holistic Review By Ryan Murphy Many students assume that colleges only care about grades, GPA, rank, and SAT/ACT scores when determining admissions. Since these are the primary indicators of academic performance in high school, it makes sense that people would consider these the main factors that decide an acceptance or rejection. However, while each college has different methods for measuring a student’s likely future performance and contribution, there has been a widespread trend to use what’s called “holistic review” to determine if a student’s fit for admission. Holistic review--sounds appealing, right?

It should be, unless you’re a student who cranked out long hours of study, acing one class after the next like a robot programmed for perfection. Amazingly enough, colleges are not looking for Perfect Student 1.0; they want people who show passion, curiosity, and humanity. They are not always so interested in seeing where the student has been, but where she is going. So while colleges obviously do care about your academic performance, it is not what makes or breaks an application. It is one piece to a much larger puzzle, one that includes your identity, and your potential. You may have spent a long time

perfecting that academic piece, but unfortunately it won’t be enough to get you into the most selective universities. And even for less prestigious schools, or ones with higher acceptance rates, outstanding academics won’t be enough to guarantee a particular major or a scholarship opportunity.

scores, is passed for Student B, with a 3.5 GPA and above-average SAT scores. Why’s that? Because Student B started her own company. Because Student B spent summers working retail and wrote an articulate essay about the service industry.

The bottom line is that studying hard is no free ticket to places like Stanford or Harvard.

The point is that you cannot take anything for granted on your college application.

While you may think that your hard work should be enough to gain acceptance, it is only a guarantee that you have a seat at the table, that the most selective universities will give your application attention.

Anything that you can list or state as a potential asset should be used.

And it may even be that Student A, with a 4.0 GPA and perfect SAT

If you have that golden ticket, that immaculate academic record, don’t let it go to waste with a tepid application. And if you don’t, work to shine

your rough edges. Like it or not, there are thousands of students competing against you. When faced with these numbers, it’s no time to be humble or to shy away from making yourself stand out.

For AD’s Contact 512-828-6709


Austin South Asian | April 2017

Young Filmmaker From Pakistan Takes Part In “Inspiring Global Change Through Stories”

By Sumaiya Malik On Tuesday, March 14, Sarah Jahaan Khan, an 18 year old student and film maker from Pakistan took part in a panel discussion at the SXSW called, Inspiring Global Change Through Stories.

tivist who wants to make social change through meaningful film in Pakistan. At a young age Sarah went to Chakwaal, in Punjab, Pakistan.

She decided to make a film about this and show it to bigger organizations who had the power to make a difference in the lives of the girls in these under privileged communities.

Lila Igram, founder of Connecther, a crowd funding non-profit from Austin, had invited her in the panel along with Dr. Alaa Murabit, UN High-Level Commissioner for Health Employment and Economic Growth, and Sakena Yacoobi, founder of Afghan Institute of Learning. Each speaker talked about their experience with women from under privileged areas whether in Pakistan, Afghanistan or the US. Sarah Jahaan Khan said that any scientific information and statistic should have a human face and a real life story so that people are more interested in fixing the problem. Sarah talked about how she got into filmmaking. She said her role model is her mother who is an ac-

ton pickers face due to excessive use of chemical pesticides, and the importance of organic farming was later screened at the Asian Development Banks Judicial Roundtable on Environmental Justice in Colombo. Ever since, Sarah has continued to highlight women stories through film to make a social change. “When people are reminded of the human element, their indifference goes away,” said Sarah. Sarah continues to make films of women who are success stories in Pakistani rural areas and shows these to women in other areas in the hope that the ideas of helping themselves will propagate.

She saw that young girls where given the work of hauling water for their household from wells which were far from home. These girls were missing school as the families had no choice. Sarah realized that climate change was ‘in our face’.

In 2014, Sarah made her first film Harvesting Hope, which won an award at the international Girls Impact the World Film Festival in Harvard and was presented the award by environmentalist and actor Ian Somerhalder.

She gave the example of Fatima, a council member, who set up a kitchen garden after attending one of her films and the social talk that followed. Fatima’s friends did the same and soon all the women around her set up their own kitchen gardens.

The film, which was about the health complications women cot-

Dr. Alaa Murabit of UN added that even the women in the US need ef-

fective role models and should stay clear of ‘the Kardashians!” She emphasized effective role models for young girls and youth so that the women learn to help themselves. Sakena Yacoobi, who set up undercover schools for young girls in Afghanistan in the time of Talibaan and who now runs AIL told the audience that in order to help any group of people, “build the trust and stay with the community, and then do something. Commit [to them] and don’t abandon them. No one will work with you unless you commit long term.” About 80 people attended the panel from different backgrounds who had signed up for SXSW interactive. Connecther film festival awards are coming up on Sunday, April 9 from 3 to 5 p.m. at St. Andrews High school on SW Pkwy in Austin. Tickets are available at: girls-impact-the-world-film-festival-red-carpet-awards-2017

Zoe Viccaji, Singer/Songwriter From Pakistan Performs At The SXSW By Sumaiya Malik Zoe Viccaji was in Austin in October 2016 for the first time on invitation from a friend who himself was visiting to sing in the Sahara Lounge. She loved the musical interaction of Austin so much that she decided to come again in a bigger way. She came as a showcase singer in SXSW 2017! A young woman in late twenties, singer/songwriter Zoe Viccaji arrived two days before her first performance. Zoe sets her aim high, works hard and succeeds. That was her plan for SXSW and she executed it to the T. Her pleasant nature and attractive

personality brought her a bigger audience than she expected. She

rehearsed every night with a new set of musicians who were able to pick up on her eastern style. Zoe said, “I am here for work and all I do is practice with barely a few hours of sleep.” For Austinites, Viccaji was not new. They already knew her on YouTube and through Coke Studios. According to Wikipedia, Viccaji joined Coke Studio in 2010 and collaborated with Strings and Bilal Khan and released the singles Mera Bichra Yaar and Anjane featuring Strings and Bilal Khan.

Mera Bichra Yaar was nominated at 11th Lux Style Awards for Song of the Year. Viccaji performed first at Speakeasy, a bar on Congress Avenue on the night of March 16, and later at the City Hall Amphitheater on March 18. Fans from all backgrounds were at the venues. One could see iphones and Samsungs live streaming Viccaji’s songs through social media. People chanted “Allah-hu” [Dear God] with arms extended upwards to the sky, mimicking her style to show their approval. Ishrat Kundwala, who danced to the tune of Zoe Viccaji at Speakeasy said, “It made me so happy that the music I love and my father loves is playing at SXSW.” She bought Zoe’s CD for her dad.

Zoe started her career at the age of seventeen by joining a local band Ganda Bandas. Few years later she moved to the United States where she studied in Hamilton College, New York. She also worked in stage musicals Mamma Mia! and Chicago, both alongside Sanam Saeed.[9] After returning to Pakistan, she released her debut single Thinking About You in 2009. Zoe Viccaji is open to plans about coming back to Austin. She has met musicians from all backgrounds and attended discussions about music and film interactive at the SXSW. It would not be surprising to see her return either at SXSW next year, or trying a new avenue for which she has already started working hard.


Austin South Asian | April 2017


By Lisa Wahlgren Photography By Andy Sams

Tucked among far South Austin’s well-manicured lawns, an oasis of fruit trees, vegetables, herbs and ornamentals flourishes in a 40- by 60-foot backyard that serves as both an outdoor laboratory and labor of love for Venkappa Gani and his wife, Ratna.

He left Boulder for Poughkeepsie, New York, where he was offered a position with IBM. Then, while on a trip back to India, he married Ratna.

quarters, papyrus, bay laurel, thryallis, Swiss chard, coriander, dandelion, curry plant, tarragon, bitter gourd, hibiscus (for tea), butterfly weed, pequín chili pepper, okra, rosemary, oregano, tomatoes, broc-

In 1997, following Venkappa’s 30year engineering career, the couple retired to a neighborhood undergoing construction of hundreds of new homes.

Every year, as they moved up a grade, they were given a bigger plot. Formal education was customarily expected to end at the eighth grade, but as the top student in his class, Venkappa advanced to the local high school—walking three miles to and from school, every day. Graduating at the head of his high school class, he went on to the B.V.B. College of Engineering and Technology, where he again rose to the top his class and graduated with a B.E. in electrical engineering. The next stop for Venkappa was Boulder, Colorado, in 1966, where he earned a M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado.

When a crop exceeds what they can consume—which is often—it’s sold through co-op yard-to-market booths at the Sunset Valley SFC Farmers’ Market on Saturday and the HOPE Farmers Market on Sunday, where the couple can often be seen chatting with customers and sharing gardening tips.

In 2005, the Texas Master Gardeners Association named him Gardener of the Year. Accolades and other projects aside, Venkappa’s home garden continues to be a beloved and comforting personal haven.

He’s a life member of the Travis County Master Gardeners Association, a member of The Garden Club of Austin and a past president of the Austin Organic Gardeners club.

They managed to opt out of sod in favor of soil, and got started planting a border of fruit trees.

To help the village thrive, all students were given a plot of land to cultivate, which required hauling buckets of water to tend their plants.

training and workshops on organic gardening, rainwater collection and solar energy.

Over the years, Venkappa has become a solid fixture in the localgrowers circle.

At the time, the yard was slated as a flat canvas for St. Augustine, but the Ganis had other ideas.

“I grew up in the garden,” says Venkappa—explaining that growing food was at the core of the school curriculum in the farming village where he was born in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka.

cant source of sustenance to Venkappa and Ratna, who are both lifetime vegetarians.

Eventually, IBM led the couple to Austin where the seeds that were planted during elementary school took root in a retirement that’s redefining what’s possible on a modest plot of land, and turned Venkappa into an award-winning and sought-after local gardening expert. Entry to the Ganis’ backyard is via a dense canopy of crimson-flowered Rangoon creeper vine, then suddenly, a wildly prolific, Edenlike setting is revealed. Venkappa appears to have defied any number of well-accepted notions of what can thrive amid Central Texas’ scorching heat, occasional freezes and often subpar soil. Fruit trees—primarily along the edges—include pomegranate, persimmon, papaya, peach, fig, jujube, Texas red grapefruit, Meyer lemon, kumquat, Dorset apple, olive, pineapple guava, Orient pear and banana. In the center of the fertile plot, divided by limestone blocks and brick pathways, are edibles, ornamentals and leafy herbs that are indigenous to just about every corner of the globe and include lamb’s

coli, peas and garlic. Growing up without running water or electricity, Venkappa takes neither for granted. He was among the first to benefit from the City of Austin’s rebate program for solar energy in 2004, and put his electrical engineering degrees to work to install solar panels on his roof. City rebates also came into play the following year with the installation of two 1,500-gallon tanks for rainwater harvesting. As is his tradition, Venkappa never uses chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. A hearty compost heap is the source of an occasional nutrient boost to the soil, and if there’s a secret ingredient, it might be his all-natural Gani Coco Coir product. It’s made by extracting coconut husk fibers from coconut shells and compressing them into lightweight blocks that serve as an extremely water-retentive planting medium. Venkappa sells the blocks at various gardening centers around town. The backyard garden is a signifi-

He is also the founder of the Organic Farm & Learning Center at Green Haven Ranch in Hutto, Texas—a community-wide education initiative that offers hands-on

When asked whether Ratna’s love of the garden is at the same level as that of her husband’s, she says unequivocally “I love it more!” And then she offers one of her favorite ways to cook their bounty: “Add whole mustard seeds and whole cumin seeds to hot oil,” she says. “When the seeds start to pop, add onions and vegetables and sauté. Finish with curry powder, salt, lemon and tamarind, to taste.” Yum. Reprinted from EdibleAustin magazine

APPEAL TO NON PROFITS Please help us in updating the contact information. Please email correct information if you think the published information needs update. We appreciate if you can also provide a contact number so that your members / community can reach you. We will also carry this on our website and keep it updated for the benefit of community. email: 512-828-6709

Austin South Asian Invites Contributions From Readers And Community CHILDREN ARTICLES


Austin South Asian | April 2017


AUSTIN, TX — Join Austin non-profit Water to Thrive as they present the 2017 Pump Run, a 5K family-friendly race event to support the mission of providing clean water in rural Africa. The Pump Run will be held Saturday, April 8th, 2017, on the campus of Concordia University in Austin. In addition to the timed 5K, there will be a Kids’ K one-kilometer fun run. The day’s events will include kids’ activities, games and raffles for prizes. The event is also pet friendly (on leash). Runners who are unable to join the event in person can participate in a Virtual Run at any time during the week before the race, submitting their time to be included in the race results April 1 through midnight April 8. Registration is open at pumprun. Each registration comes with a Pump Run 2017 t-shirt. The 2017 Water to Thrive Pump Run is being hosted by Concordia University Texas for the second year. Concordia has supported Water to Thrive from the very beginning, serving as a longtime sponsor for the 5K and raising funds to build 13 water projects to

date. Their Service-Learning student organi- under) and Virtual Run zation has aided Water to Thrive in planning When: April 8, 2017 the race, specifically the kids’ activities. Registration/Check-In, 7 a.m.; Kids’ K, 8 a.m.; 5K, 8:30 a.m. Volunteers are needed for the race as course marshals, water stop team, set-up and tear- Virtual Run, submit times week of April 1, down team, and kids’ activities supervisors. until midnight April 8 Go to and click Where: Concordia University, 11400 Con“Volunteer” to sign up. Water to Thrive is a cordia University Drive, Austin, TX 78726 faith-based non-profit dedicated to the mission of bringing clean, safe water to those who need it in rural Africa. W2T works with donors in the United States and implementing partners in Africa to bring lasting change. Since its inception in 2008, W2T has funded more than 750 wells providing clean, safe water to more than 400,000 people.

Contact: Jazzy Schwolert Telephone: (512) 206-4495 Email: Website:

Simple Ways to Incorporate Exercise into Your Daily Life

When constantly struggling to juggle the unending daily responsibilities of both work and family life, trying to squeeze in time to exercise can be a daunting task.

For more information on The Pump Run, Throughout the day, you may be faced with including registration, visit or contact Outreach and Communications Coordinator Jazzy Schwolert at AT A GLANCE: What:

Entry fees: 5K: $30 Kids’ 1K: $15 Virtual 5K: $30

5K Run, 1K Kids’ Fun Run (12 and

the difficult choice: to move or not to move. Luckily, there are many simple changes you can incorporate into your daily routine to squeeze in that extra bit of movement, such as parking a bit farther away from your destination or opting to take the stairs versus riding the elevator. Additionally, experts recommend isometrics, a form of exercise that involves tensing muscles without moving them, which has been shown to be an effective way to increase strength and boost metabolism, as well as maintain a healthy weight and improve overall health -- all in ways that fit a busy schedule. In fact, with just 15 minutes per day, isometric exercises have proven to increase strength by 30 percent over six weeks, according to studies. Among its many health benefits, isometrics can also improve stamina, combat osteoporosis, reduce pain and even lower blood pressure. While it’s often today’s technology that keeps people strapped to their chairs and chained to their couches, certain new technological advancements encourage just the opposite,

serving as exceptional healthy lifestyle resources. One such program harnessing the benefits of isometrics is Activ5 from Activbody. This new and innovative portable, handheld fitness device works with a downloadable companion app to coach users through fun and simple fiveminute, low-impact isometric workouts that can be performed discreetly at work, in the comfort of home or when traveling. Featuring over 100 unique workouts personalized for users’ individual fitness levels, it includes a suite of games to make fitness more fun -- as though you have an enthusiastic, animated personal trainer right in your pocket. “Most of us sit way too much. Although we all want to be more fit, for many of us it’s nearly impossible to carve out time to get to the gym,” says Activbody CEO, Leo Griffin. “We wanted to create a way for people to get a full body workout quickly and effectively during their downtime, while still having fun and being entertained.” The Activ5 app also measures data such as strength, precision and other personal metrics, giving users an opportunity to track their progress. To learn more about isometric exercise or to download the app, visit While the idea of heading to the gym after a jam-packed day may sound exhausting, making health a priority and incorporating some extra movement in your day is easier than ever before. Whether it’s as simple as playing with the kids in the yard or squeezing in a five-minute game using a fitness app at your desk, by keeping fitness fun and convenient, you will be more likely to embrace it as part of a healthy lifestyle. (StatePoint)


Austin South Asian | April 2017

GAMA - SaReGAMA 2017 (Kids’ Talent Show) When it comes to showcasing performances by talented children, Austinites have to look no further than SaReGAMA, an annual talent show presented by the Greater Austin Malayalee Association (GAMA).

with the intention of bringing the community together, and SaReGAMA is one of the most popular event of them all. SaReGAMA is organized in two parts for children from 5 to 18 years of age. The first

GAMA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for Indian Americans, whose objective is to spread the ideals of compassion, care and support, thus preserving culture in the true tradition of peace and brotherhood. GAMA organizes a variety of cultural and charitable events throughout the year

16th Annual South Asian festival (Continued From Page 01)

able in the Bazaar.

The Hillside Theater Stage on April 8th, 2017 (11am-8pm) will feature live dance and music performances along with authentic programs highlighting the colorful diversity of South Asian Culture.

With food, ethnic clothing, jewelry, crafts, henna & more - this festival has all the ingredients to represent the rich tapestry of South Asian Culture.

The event is organized by the Texas BenOff stage, visitors will be enticed to enjoy gali Cultural Alliance (TBCA) a non-profit organization aiming to preserve, practice, and promote the South Asian artistic and cultural heritage while introducing South Asian traditions to the ethnic diversity that is shaping our region. FREE ADMISSION the wonderful foods and merchandise avail-


non-classical music and dance performances. The Visual / Literary event was conducted on February 25, 2017 and had more than 100 participations. The Performing Arts/ Stage event of SaReGAMA 2017 is scheduled on Saturday, April 8 at the following venue: Lago Vista Performing Arts Center 5185 Lohman Ford Rd, Lago Vista, TX 78645

part is a Visual/Literary event where children showcase their skills in pencil sketching, painting, essay writing and poetry. The second part is a Performing Arts/Stage event, which includes classical as well as

The event starts at 10:30 AM and concludes with prize distribution for the winners. Food and snacks will be available for purchase at the venue. Visit to know more about SaReGAMA and GAMA.

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Austin South Asian | April 2017

Sangeethotsava- An Annual Musical Event By Austin Kannada Sangha

(Continued From Page 01) mainly in the Kannada language- a language spoken by more than 50 million people in the state of Karna-

to celebrate the life and contributions of composers of ‘dasa sahitya’, ‘vachana sahitya’ and other categories of Carnatic, Hindustani

perform while honoring the great poets and saints for their contributions to our rich language and culture. This is a free event, open to all and usually conducted during the month of February every year. This year, the program was organized on Saturday, 11th February at the Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church in Cedar Park.

The auditorium offered a great sound system and a cozy ambience enhancing the overall experience for the audience who enjoyed the many mesmerizing performances.

taka and around the world. Musicians commemorate the death anniversary, ‘Aradhane’ of Sri Purandaradasa on pushya bahula amavasya, usually in the month of January-February. The Kannada community in Austin metro area also gathers every year,

music. ‘Sangeethotsava’ – a community engagement musical event has been an offering by Austin Kannada Sangha since its inception in 2000. It is indeed a special musical afternoon that provides a platform for local artists and young talent to

The program lasted nearly 4 hours and was well moderated by two young emcees who provided insights into the various ragas and shared interesting tidbits about composers. They also regaled the audience with their outstanding solo performances. There were 33 songs performed and the list of participants included many seasoned performers as well as young ones who recently commenced their musical


There were also a few who were new to Austin and availed the opportunity to showcase their proficiency on the local stage. Most performances were accompanied by ‘mrudanga’ or ‘tabla’ which complimented the singing and provided a lively, concert-like experience. The coffee break half-way through the program provided a wonderful opportunity for everyone to socialize and offer appreciation in person to the artists who had performed till then. The Pancha Veena (5 Veena) instrumental performance needs special mention. 5 women on their veene played the Purandara dasa kriti- Sharanu Siddhi Vinayaka in beautiful unison, which was appreciated by one and all. A visiting parent from Bengaluru, India, also took to the stage with her singing and later by speaking

a few words of appreciation and encouragement. The program was co-sponsored by the various music schools in the Austin metro area and was well represented by performances from students of these schools. The teachers provided guidance and moral support to their students, encouraged all the performers by their presence and also performed during the event. Overall, the event provided an interesting amalgamation of fresh and professional talent. Although it was held thousands of miles away from home, Sangeethotsava helped in continuing the tradition of appreciating the contributions of our forefathers to the wonderful art form of medieval India; thanks to Austin Kannada Sangha! Please bookmark for more details of this yearly event.

Resources To Help You Stick To Your Goals Making goals and achieving them is difficult without direction or the advice of experts.

you stick to your goals.

Luckily, there are plenty of great resources to help, no matter what

From quinoa and chia seeds to spinach and pomegranate, “Super

Clean Eating

porate unfamiliar ingredients into everyday dishes. The book explores the incredible health properties of each super food and includes tips on how to maximize its health benefits, allowing readers to work toward specific goals. For instance, you can create a food plan to boost energy, have a healthier pregnancy, limit jetlag, reduce aging, and more. Achieve More

you are trying to accomplish. Here are four books that can help

Clean Super Foods” is a colorfully illustrated, comprehensive guide that shows readers how to incor-

Whether you are seeking improvement in your career, relationships, or in your overall performance, “Success: The Psychology of Achievement,” can help equip you with the tools you need to drive yourself toward success using proven psychological strategies and expert advice.

From positive thinking to worklife balance to learning how to say “no,” the lessons in this dynamic infographic guide, authored by an organizational psychologist, are tailored to your personal situation through questionnaires and selfanalysis exercises. Smart Meals Bowls are a delicious way to lose weight and eat healthy, but they can also be laden with hidden calories. Inspired by the very latest bowl food trend, “100 Weight Loss Bowls,” features color-coded recipes engineered to come in at under 400, 500, or 600 calories, allowing you to easily build a nutritious meal plan that meets your daily target for gradual and sustained weight loss. Workout Buddy

The first full-color fitness book that teaches you how to actively engage a partner in your workout routine, “Partner Workouts” features bodyweight exercises, yoga positions, cardio and more. Three long-term, comprehensive exercise programs provide regimens so you and your partner can motivate each other to achieve your fitness goals over a period of time. From choosing your partner and setting your goals to tracking your progress and nutrition, this guide doesn’t require a gym membership or expensive fitness equipment. Start your goals off on the right foot. Relying on books, tools and other resources can help you succeed. (StatePoint)


Austin South Asian | April 2017


Austin South Asian | April 2017

Indie Meme Film Festival 2017 APRIL 20th - APRIL 23rd TO ATTEND #IMFF2017: Film Badges for ALL screenings (with preferred seating) & Opening night party Member Badges pre-festival $50 Member Badges at the venue $65 Non-Member Badges $75 Single film tickets $10-12 (members) $12-15 (non members)

APRIL 20, Thursday /Meme-er Night A FREE SCREENING for all INDIE MEME CURRENT MEMBERS plus festival badge holders & guests. To get your free member tickets please register at (become a member/ renew membership at NO INDIVIDUAL TICKETS SOLD FOR THE SCREENING. 6:30-7:15pm Member Mixer with all visiting filmmakers at theatre. 7:15 pm- 9:20 pm Shor se Shuruat - 2h 5min (India/Anthology/Fiction/ Hindi & English) Shor Se Shuruaat” is an omnibus feature of mentored short films, around the central theme of “Shor”noise. These films have been made by budding directors, mentored by India’s

APRIL 21, Friday Opening Night & After Party

5:45 pm - 7:00pm Red Carpet Film :7:15pm- 9:00pm- Insignificant man - 1hr 40min (India / Documentary / Hindi & English) At the heart of An Insignificant Man is the most polarising man in India today – Arvind Kejriwal (Q&A post screening with Filmmakers Vinay Shukla & Khushboo Ranka in attendance) 9:30 pm- 11:00 pm- Opening night Party (Manuel’s, Great leading filmmakers. (Q&A post screening with Producer - Hills with complimentary hors d’oeuvres) Raghavan Bhardwaj) APRIL 22, Saturday 11:00 am- 1:00 pm- Leeches(27 mins/ India)​+ Parting- 1hr 18min​ (Iran/Afghanistan / Fiction / Farsi & Dari) “Parting” follows young Afghans in love and on the move. Years after the woman leaves the country with her parents to seek refuge in Iran, her admirer seeks her out for a journey to Turkey, Europe and a better life.

1:45 pm- 3:45 pm - The New Machine​(10 mins/ US)​+ Cinema Travelers​-1hr 36min​(India / Documentary/ Hindi & Marathi) A benevolent showman, a shrewd exhibitor and a maverick projector mechanic bear a beautiful burden - to keep the last traveling cinemas of the world running.

(Continued On Page 15)


Austin South Asian | April 2017

Indie Meme Film Festival 2017

(Continued From Page 14

4:15 pm- 6:30pm- Chronicles of Hari -1hr 45min ​(India / Fiction /Kannada) “Harikatha Prasanga” (Chronicles of Hari) is set in a coastal town of southern India. It narrates the story of a Yakshagana artist Hari who has gained extreme popularity portraying female roles. (Q&A post screening with Filmmaker Ananya Kasaravalli & Music Director in attendance)

7:15 pm- 9:30 pm- Sameer & the Giant Samosa(5mins/ US) ​+ Phobia -2hr 3min​​(India / Fiction /Hindi). A psychological thriller, the film stars Radhika Apte in the leading role as Mehak, an artist suffering from severe agoraphobia. (Q&A post screening with Filmmaker Pawan Kripalani in attendance) APRIL 23, Sunday 11:00 am - 1:00 pm- The Robe (18mins/ Myanmar)​ + White sun -1hr 27min​(Nepal / Fiction / Nepalese). A portrait of post-civil war Nepal during the fragile deadlocked peace process as Anti-regime partisan Chandra confronts physical, social and political obstacles for his father’s funeral. 2:00 pm - 4:15 pm- Me, Chabbar & Abu Chachu (32mins/ Pakistan)​+ Mukti Bhawan - 1hr 43mins​(India Fiction / Hindi). Faced with his father’s untimely and bizarre demand to go and die in the holy city of Varanasi and attain. Salvation, a son is left with no choice but to embark on this journey

5:00 pm - 7:15 pm- Lipstick Under my Burqa - 2hr 12min​ (India / Fiction / Hindi) Set in the small town of Bhopal the film chronicles the secret lives of four women in search of a little freedom. Though stifled and trapped in their worlds, these four women claim their desires through small acts of courage and stealthy rebellion.(Q&A post screening with Filmmaker VIA SKYPE - TBC)

Audience Award Announcement at 7:30pm & WRAP UP *Please note: schedule subject to change


A Passport To South Asia Through Indie Meme Film Festival

(Continued From Page 01)

Four days of independent cinema, the festival promises travel into the minds of thoughtful people from South Asia, from an array of cultures similar in many ways to us in the US and alien in others. The festival will be an intimate association and a rare insight one does not get when travelling as a tourist to Asia. Founded by Alka Bhanot and Tripti Bhatnagar, the festival starts on a Thursday night with a member appreciation party. Each member can bring one guest for free to see Shor Se Shuruaat, an anthology of 7 short films linked together by the idea of shows, made by young filmmakers (they will be present), preceded by a member mixer and announcements to thank the sponsors. This show is only available to the first 100 memers who register on the festival website. We asked Alka Bhanot, which is her favorite film in the lineup. Expecting the answer to be Lip-

stick Under my Burka, a much talked about controversial film banned in India, Bhanot surprised us with her answer. “Chronicles of Hari [my favorite] is like the nuggets you find in a festival.” Friday is the opening night. Red Carpet, glitz and glamor, press, fanfare! All the filmmakers will be present to answer questions. The festival will have total of nine full-length feature films and 5 short films. Bhanot is excited about all of them. Another film greatly anticipated is An Insignificant Man; a documentary based on 400 hours of live footage edited to 100 minutes about Arvind Kejriwal, a polarized man in India today. The film follows Kejriwal and his new insurgent polital party called, The Common Man’s Party. The film follows the chaos of Indian politics and agendas of politicians. Bhanot mentioned The New Machine, a short film directed by Sai Promod, the programming director of the festival. This film was shot entirely in the US and is about how people adapt to new technology when old machines become obso-


Mixers around the movie theater follow the festival and its films. The opening night mixer is at Manuel’s, an upscale Mexican restaurant a minute away from the Arbor Theater.

Austin South Asian | April 2017

What To Know Before Replacing Home Flooring Whether you are building a new house or making upgrades on a current home, there is a lot to consider when it comes to flooring. It’s important to keep in mind that the choices available have changed in recent years.

Indie Meme has an impressive list of sponsors backing up the festival. The festival is co-presented by MovieOK, Daman and KLRU are sponsors from last year continuing their support. Star Gold, Sukha International, Arts in Context, Cultural Arts City of Austin, HEB, Congnitive Scale, and the Austin South Asian. Festival badges are currently at Early Bird Special price. Individual movie tickets are also available. Please refer to website below for ticket information and trailers of films in the lineup. Join the festival and travel to South Asia.

Choose Style When people choose flooring products, they may be ruling out a large swath of options because of the associations they have with specific materials. For example, you may not associate vinyl with luxury but new products on the market are redefining vinyl flooring, offering fashion-forward high-quality products in striking elegant designs. Ensure Durability If you love the look of traditional hardwood floors, consider all of your options. New vinyl technologies are allowing homeowners to

get the same elegant style engineered to withstand the wear and tear to which wood is susceptible. For example, Mohawk SolidTech, a luxury vinyl tile, has a thick, rigid construction and planks that look and feel just like real hardwood, but are designed to resist scratches, scuffs and indentation, and maintain stability under heat and temperature change. The planks also fit together to create an impenetrable lock so that the floors remain waterproof and odor-free. Consider Maintenance Make sure the flooring you opt for is easy to clean and requires very little maintenance. If you have pets, you may want to consider getting extra protection with a special warranty designed for pet owners, such as Mohawk’s All Pet Protection and Warranty, which covers all pets and all accidents. More information can be found at Before making flooring decisions, get savvy and weigh all your current options. These days, it is possible to find flooring products that combine style, durability and low maintenance (StatePoint)

Shopping Local Can Benefit You And Your Community If you have home improvement plans this spring, it’s important to consider where you will be doing

For many people, the first stores to come to mind are big box retailers because of the widespread assump-

lection and better prices. Keep in mind, though, that when it comes to items needed for your home projects -- whether it be new flooring, paint or a kitchen renovation -- more often than not, experts say that your local independent retailer can offer as good or better selection, be competitive with pricing, and provide a superior customer service experience. What’s more, shopping at local businesses can benefit your household and the community. At a locally owned store, you will be more likely to find interesting items and products that set your home apart.

your shopping.

tion that chains can offer better se-

And more of your dollars will stay put when you give them to business

owners who pay taxes locally, hire locally and may be more inclined to support community charities and organizations. You may also find independent retailers that can offer some of the same benefits as a large chain. For example, when small business owners belong to a cooperative, they come together to scale buying power, access goods and services at a lower cost, and create opportunities not available to them as individual businesses. For you, this can mean more and better choices of products and affordability. In the case of Flooring America for example, this means being able to offer a wide selection of products,

including hard surfaces like hardwood, laminate and tile, and soft surface flooring, paint, cabinets for kitchen renovations and even closet organization solutions. Their retailers can be found in local communities throughout the country, with a varying product selection depending on location. So, if you are looking to make home improvements this spring, check out your local retailers that not only offer great product selection, but also contribute to your community in a positive way. (StatePoint)


Austin South Asian | April 2017

MOHENJO-DARO: One Of The Oldest Cities In The World By Vijay Ganju, for the ASAN’s Young Person Page Mohenjo-daro, located in what today is Sindh, Pakistan, was one of the oldest cities in the world. It was built in 2500 BCE, more

lined the main streets. (Although this is what we expect today, this was very advanced thinking 4500 years ago!) The city had public baths, and one


(Adapted by Vijay Ganju for Austin South Asian News) Akbar was one of the great emperors of India. He had a clever minister named Birbal and there are lots of stories about his smart responses and how he resolved difficult problems and conflicts.

this story.

But Birbal was not fazed by the ridicule. He said, “I too had the same dream,

We walked a long way but couldn’t find any place with water. So the only solution was for each of us to lick the other clean.”

Other ministers in Akbar’s court were often jealous of Birbal because he was Akbar’s favorite, and so they were always trying to outwit and get the better of him. One day, one of the ministers told the court about a dream he had the previous night. In the dream, both he and Birbal were walking along a wet road. The minister slipped and fell into a crystal pool that was filled with flowers and it was like falling into a perfumed bath. than 4500 years ago. It was abandoned in about 1900 BCE, 600 years later, and then was a lost city for several thousand years. Then it was rediscovered about 100 years ago, in the 1920s. It was one of the earliest planned cities, built at about the same time that the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Crete were flourishing. Besides Mohenjo-daro, there were many other cities and townships, but Mohenjo-daro was the largest city of the Indus Valley Civilization, also known as the Harappan Civilization. At its peak, the Indus Valley Civilization spanned most of what is now Pakistan and North India. Mohenjo-daro was the most advanced city of its time. It was a planned city based on a street grid of well laid out brick buildings. The city had a central market place, and waste water was channeled through covered drains that

house had an undergroung furnace for heated bathing. One housing complex had 78 rooms! Archaeologists who have been digging around the ruins of the city have found copper and stone tools, carved seals, gold jewelry, and children’s toys. Many of these objects can be seen at the National Museum of Pakistan in Karachi and the National Museum of India in Delhi. A couple of the more famous artifacts are a bronze statuette of “The Dancing Girl” and a sculpture of “The Priest King.”

Birbal walked on, and he too slipped. But Birbal fell into a dirty, muddy, smelly gutter full of garbage and dung. Everyone in the court laughed. The minister thought that he had got the better of Birbal by telling

except my dream went on a bit longer. After we got up from where we had slipped, we went on, and were looking for a place where there was water so we could wash ourselves.

Akbar the emperor laughed at how Birbal had once again got the better of the other minister. The other minister raised his hand and smiled, acknowledging how cleverly Birbal had turned the tables.

Children Email Us Your Articles To See It In Print

QUIZ And PUZZLES 1. Shakuntala and Meera were playing with their dolls. Meera said to Shakuntala: “If you give me one of your dolls, we would have the same number of dolls.” Shakuntala thought about this, and then said to Meera: “If you gave me one of your dolls, I would have twice the number of dolls that you have.” How many dolls do Meera and Shakuntala have? 2. A plane flew 500 miles north from Austin, then flew 500 miles east, and then 500 miles south, and then flew 500 miles west. But the plane did not get back to Austin! WHY NOT?

The seal of the zebu bull is also identified with Mohenjo-daro.

3. What were three things that Akbar, the great emperor of India, famous for?

What happened to Mohenjo-daro?

4. Who was Shakuntala in Indian mythology?

It was destroyed and rebuilt seven times before it was finally abandoned.

[Please submit your answers to: before 10th April 2017. Only children below14 years are eligible.

Flooding by the Indus river is thought to be the cause of its destruction.

If there are more than three correct answers to all the questions, a lottery system will be used to select winners from the pool of young persons who answered correctly. Correct answers and the names of winners will be given in the next issue of ASAN.


Austin South Asian | April 2017

BAPS Celebrates Indian American Culture At The Texas Capitol Building In Austin, TX

A prominent Hindu organization in local communities across Texas, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) hosted a celebration of Indian American Culture at the historic Texas State Capitol in Austin on February 1, 2017. The celebration was sponsored by

learning experience for senators and representatives,” said Representative Rinaldi , as he and fifteen other Texas State Senators and Representatives joined dozens of prominent community leaders to celebrate Indian-American Culture in Texas. Throughout the celebration, speakers shared their thoughts

American diaspora go beyond simply the economic realm,” said Ketan Inamdar of Missouri City, TX. His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the current spiritual leader of BAPS has always inspired the Indian American community to celebrate our shared culture and develop a sense of identity and pride in our heritage.

“We look forward to celebrating this type of event again in two years and continuing the great work started today,” said Representative Rinaldi in his concluding remarks to the gathering. About BAPS

State Representative Matt Rinaldi of House District 115, who represents a BAPS mandir (house of worship) in Irving, TX. On the morning of February 1, 2017, a group of BAPS representatives were recognized during the 85th Legislative Regular Session where a resolution commemorating this first-ever event was read. The resolution also noted the myriad of contributions by Indian Americans to the Lone Star State and lauded BAPS’ commitment to community service in Texas and across the nation. Throughout the day, BAPS members from across Texas met with their respective State Representatives and Senators to share background on the Hindu faith and on the Indian American community’s history and growth. All told, BAPS members met with over fifty State Representatives and Senators to engage them and their respective staff in an active dialogue about issues important to the Indian American community. “This event is not only a chance for Indian Americans to learn about government, but also for their government to learn about Indian culture and to provide a

on the diverse contributions of Indian Americans to the economic and cultural fabric of Texas. “We value what BAPS has done for our community, from its Walkathon to its Health Fair...BAPS works tirelessly to make Irving Texas and our District a better place,” remarked Representative Rinaldi. “I am honored to be here this evening. I know firsthand from my work and relationship with BAPS about what a great job it does and how it impacts thousands of lives across the state. We are proud to call BAPS a friend,” remarked Mr. Chris Wallace, President of the Texas Association of Business. His remarks highlighted the importance of nurturing and advancing the relationship between the growing population of over 275,000 Indian Americans in Texas and state government. The program also touched on the unique role of BAPS mandirs, which provide a prominent platform for India’s rich culture and heritage. “Inspired by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, places of worship, such as the beautiful, hand-carved stone mandir in Stafford, Texas, reflect the diverse culture of our State and demonstrate that the contributions of the Indian

The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a worldwide socio-spiritual organization in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, is dedicated to community service, peace, and harmony. Motivated by Hindu principles, BAPS strives to care for the world by caring for societies, families, and individuals. Through a number of social and spiritual activities, BAPS endeavors to produce better citizens of tomorrow who have a high esteem for their roots - their rich Hindu culture. Its 3,300 international centers out of which over support these activities of character-building. BAPS aspires to build a community that is morally, ethically and spiritually pure, and free of addictions. About Mahant Swami Maharaj His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj is the

sixth and current spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He was ordained a swami by Yogiji Maharaj in 1961 and named Sadhu Keshavjivandas.

As he was appointed the head (Mahant) of the Mandir in Mumbai, he became known as Mahant Swami. His devout, humble and service-focused life earned him the innermost blessings of Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Mahant Swami Maharaj travels throughout the world inspiring people through his insightful spiritual discourses and disciplined conduct. His virtuous lifestyle and profound devotion to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and gurus are ideals toward which devotees strive. Mahant Swami Maharaj became the guru and President of BAPS upon Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s passing in 2016. About Pramukh Swami Maharaj Pramukh Swami Maharaj was the fifth spiritual successor of Bhag-

wan Swaminarayan. Under his leadership, BAPS grew into an international spiritual and humanitarian organization with over 3,300 centers worldwide. He dedicated his life to the well-being of others, traveling throughout the world to foster love, peace, harmony, righteousness, faith in God, and service to humanity. With genuine care and compassion, he reached out to all members of society irrespective of class, color, or age. Recognized and respected as one of India’s greatest spiritual teachers, he lived by and promoted the principle: “In the joy of others, lies our own.” CONTACT: BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir – Irving, Texas Name: Gunjan Shah Phone: 972-515-9858 CONTACT: BAPS North American Headquarters Phone: 732-777-1414 Email: SOURCE: BAPS


Austin South Asian | April 2017


17th February 2017, Coimbatore: Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi will unveil a 112-ft tall face of Adiyogi – the Source of Yoga, designed and consecrated by

manity. This iconic face symbolizes liberation, representing the 112 ways in which one can attain to one’s ulti-

people each in the coming year, and touch at least 100 million people before the next Mahashivaratri. The Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India has included the Consecration of this glorious face in its official Incredible India campaign as a destination. The unveiling of Adiyogi is part of the largest Mahashivaratri celebrations in the country which will be telecast live, simultaneously in 7 languages to over 5 crore people through over 23 satellite television channels and several online platforms.

Sadhguru, founder - Isha Foundation on Mahashivaratri (Feb 24) at the Isha Yoga Center, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. This will be the largest face on the planet, recognizing the first yogi’s unparalleled contribution to hu-

mate through the science of yoga. As a tribute to Adiyogi, the Hon’ble Prime Minister will light the sacred fire to commence the Maha Yoga Yagna across the world: 1 million people will take an oath to teach a simple form of yoga to at least 100

As there is a natural upsurge of energies in the human system on this night due to the planetary positions, there is immense benefit in keeping one’s spine erect. At 11o latitude in India, because of the tilt and precision in the spin axis of the Earth, the centrifugal force is nearly vertical, and Isha

Yoga Center by virtue of being on this latitude becomes an ideal place to be on the night of Mahashivaratri The festivities of Mahashivaratri begin at 6 PM and conclude at 6 AM, the next morning. The nightlong celebrations include the powerful midnight meditation & discourse by Sadhguru, cultural performances by Kailash Kher, Rajasthan Roots with Kutle Khan, Sounds of Isha (Isha’s home grown, anomalous group of musicians) and dance troop Nritarutya. Maha Annadanam or the offering of food will be made for all. Describing the significance of Adiyogi, Sadhguru said, “It is essential that the next generations of people on this planet are seekers, not believers. As philosophies, ideology, belief systems that don’t stand the test of logic and the scientific verification will naturally collapse in coming decades, you will see the longing

Books Make Great Easter Gifts For Kids Filling Easter baskets for the kids? Think beyond the typical sweets and treats and consider including books as well.

perience fun for parents and their children,” says Rachel Barry, vice president of marketing and publicity at DK, a publisher of adult and

language skills and early reading skills. As part of DK’s Touch and Feel Series, “Really Feely: Farm” introduces babies and toddlers to a favorite pre-school subject: farm animals, including fluffy ducklings, woolly sheep, and a bristly pig. Learning Adventure Help build your baby’s identification and language skills. In “100 First Words,” photography and labels introduce primary concepts like shapes, colors and animals, and encourage pointing, naming, and talking. Favorite Animals

“All kids love books, even if they’re too little to read. For babies and toddlers, choose kid-sized books full of bright photos that they will love looking at again and again. There’s so much research showing how important reading is for a child’s development. You can build on it by making the ex-

children’s books. This Easter, consider these seasonal selections. Fun at the Farm Cushioned, bumpy and shiny pages encourage sensory development,

A classic board book, “Baby Touch & Feel: Animals,” helps children develop their knowledge of animals while increasing the use of their senses. Babies will meet puppies, kittens, penguins and other animals throughout the pages of this book that features photographs and touch-and-feel textures.

Pop-Up Surprises For children who love farm animals, consider an interactive book featuring flaps, touch-and-feel textures and incredible pop-out surprises. Promoting memory, imagination and parent-and-child interaction, “Pop-Up Peekaboo: Farm” enhances the reading experience. Feel the Love Celebrate love and promote sensory development and early language skills with this USA Today Bestseller, “Baby Touch & Feel: I Love You,” which features soft bunnies, fuzzy teddy bears, sparkly hearts and more. More kids’ books for Easter can be found at To make sure your Easter baskets include gifts that can be enjoyed beyond the holiday, include books that will become young readers’ all-time favorites. (StatePoint)

for liberation will rise. When that longing rises, Adiyogi and the science of Yoga will become very important.” “In Tamil Nadu, Amavasya is considered the most important day in the month. We will leave the first offering to Adiyogi to the local people as a way of honoring the common people of the land, as an expression of their love and devotion.” –Sadhguru Preceding Mahashivaratri is the three day Yaksha festival, aimed at preserving and promoting India’s classical music & dance forms by the most accomplished artistes of India. This year’s artists include Violin duet by Dr. Mysore Manjunath and Dr. Mysore Nagaraj, Bharatnatayam performance by Padma Shri Smt. Meenakshi Chitharanjan and Odyssey dance performance by Smt. Bijayini Satpathy and Smt. Surupa Sen on 21st, 22nd and 23rd February respectively. On the occasion of Mahashivaratri at Isha Yoga Center, all are invited to witness the unveiling of this glorious face of Adiyogi – the largest face of its kind. An exact 21-ft replica of the face of Adiyogi has also been established by Sadhguru in the United States, within the ‘Abode of Yoga’ at the Isha Institute of Inner-sciences in Tennessee, a leading center for inner exploration and complete wellbeing. “For the first time in the history of humanity, Adiyogi introduced the idea that the simple laws of nature are not permanent restrictions. If one is willing to strive, one can go beyond all limitations and attain to liberation, moving humanity from assumed stagnation to conscious evolution.” – Sadhguru For more details, contact PR@ A report of the actual event on Feb 24 and photos can be provided. https://isha.sadhguru. org/msr


Austin South Asian | April 2017

Giving Up Your Favorite Activities To Pay For Medical Bills? After the work day is over and the long list of household chores is completed, there are important things young adults want to do with their free time.

pected happens and you’re faced with going to the hospital, there is a chance your finances will be impacted.

the hook for unexpected medical expenses. Having to pay for even a sliver of that cost could throw your budget for a loop, and in many cases, the first casualties of a budget cut are the stress-reducing, mood-boosting, quality-of-life activities. With that in mind, would you be willing to give up the following things if an unexpected medical event led to a pile of bills from a hospital visit?

Whether it’s gut-busting hilarity at the new comedy club or sweating out those toxins at the hottest yoga class in town, these activities cost money. However, when the unex-

Today, the average cost of a hospital stay is $11,000, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and standard health insurance plans may leave you on

1. Weekly date night, girls’ night or any night out with friends. Are you afraid of missing out on fun with friends and loved ones? Well, if you are trying to pay a hospital bill, you just might suffer from FOMO trying to pay out-of-pocket expenses that are putting a strain on finances. 2. The gym membership. Working out makes you feel your best and

can potentially stave off illness. Why side-step your fitness goals following an unexpected hospitalization because of finances? Once you are back on your feet, medical bills shouldn’t put you behind. Insurance like Aflac’s offers flexible coverage that can help protect income for such daily expenses. 3. Streaming video services. Since cutting the cord, you have been able to keep up with the latest genius programming online. Even though a membership with various streaming video services doesn’t seem like a lot of money, having to pay for a broken arm or unexpected surgery can mean that you need to cut inessential expenses – including your ability to binge watch the latest show. 4. Those daily lattes. A daily latte can add up to more than $1,000 a year, according to an employee survey on payroll tax and spending

habits by Accounting Principals. While many people believe that major medical coverage is enough, high-deductible health plans are on the rise, which could leave you paying $1,000 or more before your coverage kicks in to help. Should that mean saying goodbye to the daily dose of caffeine that gets you through your workday? To help keep your lifestyle healthy, consider supplemental hospital indemnity insurance, such as plans offered by Aflac. To learn more, visit For many people, it is already hard enough to budget for everyday activities and expenses, let alone cover the costs of an unexpected hospitalization. Even if you are young and healthy, it’s important to prepare for whatever life may throw your way. (StatePoint)

Smart Tips To Prevent Identity Theft More than 13 million U.S. consumers fall victim to identity theft each year, according to Javelin Strategy and Research, with more than $15 billion stolen. Fortunately for consumers, many of these crimes are preventable.

“Falling victim to identity theft can be financially devastating for many consumers, a consequence that only further emphasizes the importance of safeguarding your

personal information,” says Guy Abramo, president of Experian Consumer Services. The identity protection experts at Experian recommend the following tips to better protect yourself.

• Protect your home: Your home is your castle and identity thieves know this is where your most valuable possessions are likely stored. Diminish your vulnerability by us-

ing a safe to store sensitive information, such as birth certificates, social security cards and passports. You should also use a shredder to reduce your paper trail. Pay and immediately shred utility bills, credit card statements and other paperwork that includes your personal information. • Be cautious at work: “Familiar fraud” is common and occurs when a victim’s identity is stolen by someone he or she knows. At work, store personal items like wallets and smartphones in a locked cabinet. Don’t copy or scan sensitive documents, as memory functions can save your data. At night, turn your computer off and sign out of sensitive sites. Change passwords often. If you have any concerns with the way your company stores personnel records, talk to your employer or human resources department about their protocols. • Get smart with your smartphone: Smartphones and other devices can be a data goldmine for identity

thieves. Use locking features on all your devices, including your laptop. Don’t use automatic login features and always log off when you are finished. Always keep your computer’s anti-virus software up-todate and be cautious when using public wi-fi. Finally, when upgrading your mobile device to the latest model, be sure to scrub all the data from your old device before switching to your new phone. • Monitor your credit: Consider enrolling in a credit monitoring product such as Experian CreditWorks, which offers additional peace of mind through real-time notifications of any changes to your Experian Credit Report. Changes to your report are important to review, as they may be signs of fraud. The newest CreditWorks feature, Experian CreditLock, can be especially helpful in taking greater control over your credit information. This product feature al-

lows you to easily lock and unlock your Experian Credit Report in real-time without formally freezing your credit report, which can be a cumbersome process. By locking your Experian Credit Report, creditors no longer have access to it (except for soft inquiries from creditors with whom you already have a financial relationship), which means criminals can’t apply for credit in your name. This should help deter identity thieves, as well as block unwanted inquiries that result in extensions of credit, which can impact your credit scores. In addition, if a creditor or lender tries to access your report, you’ll receive a real-time alert via email and app notification so you can take action immediately. By safeguarding your information and monitoring your credit, you can better ward off the threat of identity theft. (StatePoint)


Austin South Asian | April 2017

April 2017 Community Calendar We have compiled this event listing based on the information available on the web site (where ever possible) of the community/organization as of third Friday. Please check with the organizers to confirm its accuracy. We request all South Asian organizations to email us ( their community calendar on or before 20th of every month, for the events happening next month. We will carry listing of all South Asian non-profit organizations in Austin. If the Name, Contact info is not correct or has changed email us (info@ the changes you want to see. E&OE.

SCHEDULE: April 01, Saturday, 06:00 PM, SAXOPHONE MAESTRO KADRI GOPALNATH CONCERT is at St. Michaels Catholic Academy, 3000 Barton Creek Blvd, Austin, TX 78735. For more

information, call India Fine Arts, Inc at 512 918 1351. April 01, Saturday, 09:00 PM, Desi Dhamaka - Austin’s Biggest Bollywood Dance Party is at Rock Rose Hall, 11420 Rock Rose, Austin, TX 78758.

For more information, call DESI PARTIES AUSTIN at 512 576 7740. Online Tickets - General Admission - $20 At The Door - General Admission - $25

knowledge, you can save money, protect the environment and bring the best features of your home to life. Here are four quick tips to get you started: • Opt for LED. By 2020, half of all residential sockets will have converted to LEDs, which is good news, as LEDs can last over 10 years and use up to 85 percent less energy than the traditional lighting you may use today. Available in a variety of shapes, sizes, wattages and color temperatures, they are becoming increasingly affordable,

too. Just a few years ago, LEDs topped $40, but today you can find a high-quality LED for less than $5. • Pay attention to color tempera-

tures, wattages, shapes and quality of light. A few lighting facts can help you make useful purchases. For example, an average 60-watt replacement bulb would require about 800 lumens. The higher this number is, the brighter the light will be. And remember: when you invest in an LED that’s expected to last more than a decade, you want one that’s going to reliably live up to your expectations, so brands that have been around for a while and have proven their commitment to quality truly matter in this space.

For more information, contact 512918-1351.

07:30 PM, Classical / Semi Classical Vocal Concert by Manjusha Patil is at Round Rock Library (Room A), 216 E Main St, Round Rock, TX 78664.

April 08, Saturday, 12:00 PM,

April 21, Friday,

Event Details Admission:$20 & $25

• Identify how you use each room and the mood you’d like to create. Use comfortable, soft white light in cozy places like bedrooms, family rooms and dining rooms. Active spaces like laundry rooms and playrooms can benefit from an energetic daylight bulb. Feature pure, clean lights in kitchens, bathrooms and craft and hobby spaces that tend to benefit from light that delivers exceptional color contrast and brightness. Today, select manufacturers such as GE, are taking the guesswork out of the equation by listing whether each bulb has a warm or cool tone and by offering room and use recommendations on the packaging. A warm white light will have a lower K (Kelvin) number, while a cool daylight will have a higher K number.

You may think of your bathroom as a relaxing oasis. Unfortunately, bathrooms are actually the site of

for getting in and out of the tub, as well raising or lowering yourself onto the toilet.

200,000 injuries annually nationwide, according to the National Safety Council.

Because people of all ages are prone to injury, adding these safety features is a good idea for every household.

4 Tips To Flip The Switch To A More Beautiful Home The average home has 45 light sockets which means you probably have more light bulbs than just about any home product, and yet the lighting aisle can still be a daunting place. With the right

MUSIC & DANCE FESTIVAL (MUSICAL RAMANAVAMI UTSAVAM)is at Lanier High School Theater, 1201 Payton Gin Rd, Austin, TX 78758.

• Put your home in its best light. Even with the right colors, perfect accessories and trendy furniture, a home can look lackluster. Look for new options, such as GE’s High Definition LED light bulbs which are engineered with a higher color rendering index for greater color contrast and boldness over an average bulb. This means the colors and features in each room can look even better. Just imagine a room makeover in five minutes simply by changing your light bulbs. With today’s advanced options, there’s no better time than now to shed some new light in every room in your house. (StatePoint)

Easy Ways To Make Your Bathroom Safer

These incidents happen to people of all ages -- from young children who may see the bathroom as a play area, to expecting women whose balance may be off kilter, to seniors. You can reduce the risk of falling by adding grab bars near the toilet, along the showerhead wall and on the back wall of the tub or shower. Grab bars also provide assistance

And these days, you can do so without compromising on style -brands like Moen offer grab bars in different sizes, finishes and styles, so these elements can blend seamlessly into any décor. With a few simple considerations, you can prioritize safety in your home’s bathrooms. (StatePoint)

To Advertise In ASA 512-828-6709


Austin South Asian | April 2017 THEME: MARCH MADNESS

ACROSS 1. Big Ben’s face 6. “C’____ la vie!” 9. Hefty competitor 13. Water-resistant wool cloth 14. William F. Cody, ____ Buffalo Bill 15. Domenikos Theotokopoulos, a.k.a. El _____ 16. Food-borne bacteria 17. Bro to sis or sis to bro 18. Bat dwelling? 19. *It lights up the sky 21. *S’more cooker 23. Turkish title of respect 24. Sensational promotion 25. *Take a first aid one on a camping trip 28. Lover of Aeneas 30. *____ and field 34. Singular of #26 Down 36. Lagerlöf’s “The Wonderful Adventures of ___” 38. Where there’s trouble? 40. Ripped 41. Labored breaths 43. 43,560 square feet 44. *Done to get in a race 46. Stash in the hold 47. Multicolored horse 48. Type of car 50. Greek Hs 52. *Picnic invader 53. Make like a cat 55. Nuke 57. *High ride 61. *Requires luring 65. Roundish 66. Variable, abbr. 68. “Roots” author 69. Shoe binders 70. Shoshonean 71. Discrimination against seniors 72. Soon, to a bard 73. The day before 74. “The Second Coming” poet

DOWN 1. Fat Man or Little Boy 1. Staff leader 2. Places 3. Carbon monoxide lacks this 4. “The Late Show” guest 5. Stabbed 6. No problem 7. *Used on powder and water 8. Brindled kitty 9. Tennis great Steffi 10. First name in jeans 11. Maple, to a botanist 12. Doctor’s order 15. Genus in plural 20. What Pinocchio was doing? 22. Make a choice 24. Gun sleeve 25. *On a string 26. Paintings in an Orthodox church 27. Layered cake 29. “Days” in Havana 31. At a great distance 32. Served hot in winter 33. God’s revelation to Muhammad 35. Financial aid criterion 37. Dick and Jane’s pet 39. *Camping abode 42. Mbabane native 45. *Shoot this? 49. Teresa of Calcutta, e.g. 51. Move sideways 54. A variety show 56. Bacteriophage, informally 57. French novelist Émile 58. Popular Russian name 59. Little bit, in Mexico 60. Right to a property 61. “Born ____,” movie 62. Pelvic parts 63. Home on a limb 64. Fitness centers 67. *For any terrain



Please email your sudoku answers to Name and photo of the inviduvidual with first correct answer will be published in May 2017 issue.

To Advertise In ASA Call 512-828-6709


Austin South Asian | April 2017

What To Know Before Taking Vitamins Or Supplements

As Americans look to improve their health, many will turn to vitamins and supplements as part of their healthier routines. However, experts stress the importance of understanding the poten-

Among its many benefits, biotin can help keep your eyes, liver and nervous system healthy, as well as contribute to healthy skin, hair and nails. Some doctors are recommending

side effects, taking biotin can affect certain brands of blood test results, which can lead to a misdiagnosis or unnecessary treatments for heart disease, thyroid conditions, breast cancer, pregnancy and fertility. “If you take a multivitamin, biotin supplements or pre-natal vitamins, be sure to talk to your doctor before your next blood test, so that he or she can ensure the lab uses a test that is not affected by biotin,” says Ramani Wonderling, PhD, associate director for scientific relations in diagnostics at Abbott, a global healthcare company. Dr. Wonderling advises patients to ask their doctors the following questions. • Will the tests you order be impacted by my taking biotin?

tial interactions supplements can have with medications and some brands of medical test results. One notable example is Vitamin B7, also commonly known as biotin, which is frequently the top selling supplement online, and found in a number of multivitamins.

using biotin to help with multiple sclerosis and diabetes, too. It’s important to research side effects or ask your doctor about them before taking any supplement. For example, while biotin supplements are not associated with any

• I prefer not to stop taking my supplements. Can you use a blood test that is not impacted by my taking biotin supplements? Wonderling also advises that those who take supplements read labels carefully and do their own research about supplement brands, for opti-

mum safety and health benefits.

says Wonderling.

To learn more about supplements, biotin and blood tests, visit abbott. com/biotin.

“But before embarking on a regimen, be sure you understand all the possible effects of each supplement you take.”

“Taking supplements can be an effective way to fill nutritional gaps,”


MEN CAN COOK! Info@AustinSouth


SAIVA promoting well-being, belonging and fulfillment for older adults of South Asian heritage is looking for volunteer drivers in Austin geographic locations to periodically transport seniors to/from activities. We need several in these areas: Cedar Park, Avery Ranch, Canyon Creek, Spicewood and Westlake/Bee Caves. The need is only 5-6 times a year and varies from weekday morning hours to special events on weekends. If you have time to give back to the senior community, please send email to

March 2017 Sudoku Answer Mr. Yudhveer Bagga

Mr. Rajnish

Ms. Richa


Austin South Asian | April 2017

Priyanka Chopra Welcomes Hema Malini Turns Emotional At Jon Kortajarena To ‘Quantico’ India Today Summit And Awards Priyanka Chopra has welcomed Jon Kortajarena, a Basque modelactor, to the cast of her American drama series “Quantico”.

Veteran actress and BJP MP Hema Malini on Friday said she is proud to be part of the transition going on in India.

Priyanka on Thursday night took to Twitter, where she shared a photograph of herself along with Kortajarena.

“I am proud to be a Member of Parliament, representing my party which is doing wonderful work and thanks to our Prime Minister Narendra Modiji, we are seeing a great transformation in our country.

“Top secret no more. Welcome Jon Kortajarena aka Felix to the ‘Quantico’ cast,” she captioned the image.


Children Email Us Your Articles To See It In Print

Hema became emotional as she was about to honour winners at the India Today Summit and Awards. She said: “Without any goal, one cannot achieve anything, specially without the support of their parents, their good words and encouragement. My mother was a great supporter

Kortajarena has been part of campaigns for labels like Just Cavalli, Versace, Giorgio Armani, Diesel, Pepe Jeans, H&M, Zara, Guess and Tom Ford. Priyanka got global recognition through her stint in ‘Quantico’, where she is seen playing an FBI recruit named Alex Parrish. The actress will also star in Hollywood film ‘Baywatch’, in which she is playing negative character Victoria Leeds. The film, which is adapted from the popular 1990s TV series “Baywatch”, also stars Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron.

Bombay Express Authenitic Indian Cafe 100% Vegetarian and Vegan Friendly Tuesday - Sunday 11:00 am - 9:00 pm 1300 N IH35 Building #12, Unit # 216 Austin, Texas - 78753


(Take-Away is possible on all items on the menu)

I’m proud to be part of this transition,” Hema, who represents the Mathura constituency, said here. Widely known as Bollywood’s ‘Dreamgirl’, the 68-year-old - with a sari-clad look defying her age -

for me. She had a dream for me, she groomed me... She sacrificed a lot to make me achieve my goals. I am really grateful to her for making me what I am today. Wherever you go, you must leave your footprint... I remember her beautiful words always.”


Austin South Asian | April 2017


By Bharathi Ranganath

Salt - to taste Oil 2 tablespoons Butter 1 tablespoon



Salmon fish with skin Cut in to medium pieces Ginger garlic paste - 1 teaspoon

Sauce: Make the same marinade mix..

Grilled Salmon

Lemon juice - 1 tea spoon Chilly power - 1 teaspoon Pepper powder - 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder - pinch


Add into deep stick with ter.

that a nonpan wa-

Clean wash fish pieces and rub the mixture on the fish nicely and marinade for at least an hour(longer is better) in the fridge. Heat the oven to 420 degrees. Take a nonstick pan which is also

butter on the top, immediately put the pan inside the oven and bake it for 8 to 12 mins depends on thickness of the fish (use fork poke into fish to check. Cooked fish feel soft.

Add some butter. cook in slowly on low heat until spice smell goes away add half & half cream, mix well and cook for 1 or 2 minutes till comes to sauce consistency

Jyothika’s ‘Magalir Mattum’ Release Date After making a grand comeback with the critically acclaimed hit flick ‘36 Vayathiniley’ in 2015, actress Jyohika has acted in a female oriented film ‘Magalir Mattum’ directed by Bramma who has earlier

Mix ginger garlic paste, chilly powder,pepper powder, turmeric Powder,lemon juice and salt keep it aside.

The film also stars Bhanupriya, Saranya and Urvashi in other important roles. Now sources reveal that ‘Magalir Mattum’ is most likely to hit the

oven safe heat the pan spray some oil and when it is hot put the fish( skin side up) cook it for 2 to 3 mins and turn the pieces upside down put some

(DO NOT overcook the fish else it will be very dry). Take the pan out leave it on the counter for 2 mins, add sauce on top and enjoy your fish with optional steamed broccoli or grilled asparagus.

Leading Hero To Play Gemini Ganesan’s Character In Savithri Biopic As we all know, the biopic on veteran actress Savitri is presently being made as a Tamil-Telugu bilingual. Keerthy Suresh plays the role of Savitri while Samantha will be playing an important role in the film which is said to be that of another yesteryear actress Jamuna who was Savitri’s close friend. The film has been titled as ‘Nadigaiyar Thilagam’ in Tamil.

Ever since the project was officially announced, everyone was eager to know who will play the role of veteran actor Gemini Ganesan who fell in love and married Savithri. The Gemini-Savithri is one of the much adored pairs of Tamil cinema. They married and had kids before

getting separated. Now we learn from a reliable source that leading star Suriya will be playing the role of Gemini Ganesan in the film and it will be that of a cameo appearance and not a full fledged character. Suriya and Keerthy Suresh are presently shooting for ‘Thaanaa Serndha Koottam’ directed by Vignesh Sivan. If the above news is true they will be pairing up again in quick succession.

directed the National award winning ‘Kutram Kadithal’. ‘Magalir Mattum’ has been produced by Jyothika’s husband and leading star Suriya under his 2D Entertainments banner.

screens on May 12, 2017. The film crew opines that this film will be a game changer in the history of female oriented films in Tamil. We will have to wait for an official confirmation on the theatrical release date of the film.

We will have to wait for an official confirmation about the inclusion of Suriya in ‘Nadigaiyar Thilagam’.


Austin South Asian | April 2017

From Trump To Trolls: How The Muslim Media Fights Back By Sumaiya Malik The SXSW page described Pakistani American writer/playwright Wajahat Ali as ‘public intellectual of an emerging generation of was in Austin for an interactive talk at the Hyatt Regency called, From Trump to Trolls: How Muslim Media Fights Back.

tant for the U.S. State Department. He helped launch the Al Jazeera America network as co-host of Al Jazeera America’s The Stream, a daily news show that extended the conversation to social media and

said Wajahat Ali as he guided the audience in how he successfully fights back trolls in the social media chat pages with humor. He gave examples of how he re-

Other speakers included Sharaf Mowjood of the Huffington Post, Amanda Qureshi of AMANDA QURAISHI is the Digital Media Consultant at DarkMatter Digital Media and the Principle Web Media Strategist for BlogathonATX and Eman Hassaballa Aly is a health communications manager at NORC. She also directs communication at the Health Media Collaboratory (HMCollab), a social data research center housed in NORC. Wajahat Ali is a journalist, writer, lawyer, an award-winning playwright, a TV host, and a consul-

to respect him as a human being. This was clearly evident in the chain of responses. Amanda Qureshi classified the kinds of trolls in the media. She said that Muslims are a small group (4 million in the US according to Wajahat Ali) and need to have allies. They should recognize people who are the trolls on the making the Huffington Post a safe place for preapproved comments. He said the magazine is serious about respect to everyone at all costs.

beyond. He writes for the New York Times and the Washington Post. Wajahat Ali touched upon subjects of anti-Muslim sentiment in the Trump administration. “Be the Bugs Bunny and not Daffy Duck,”

sponds to tweets on his Twitter account. With a following of 56K people Wajahat replies to all kinds of favorable and hateful tweets with humor. Eventually, people who dislike him because of their own issues, begin

Aly helped move the conversation along and tweeted anything that was relevant in the talk. At one point Shakeel Rashed, business of software and consulting for more than 20 years at the forefront of all emerging technologies and transitions, commented about the Islamic Center of Lake Travis fire nd Aly tweeted the link to the donation website.

web, Islamophobes, concerned citizens, supporters, celebrators (people who have their own beliefs but can coexist with other beliefs) and defenders. She urged the Muslims to use effective tactics. She said it would help to humanize the opponent. Sharaf Mowjood is a senior producer for political video at the Huffington Post. His work covers editorial videos for politics and all digital verticals at the Huffington Post, ranging from breaking news coverage to long form videos. He also talked about the environment in which the trolls in the media. He said that Huffington Post is getting more and more alert in making their chat rooms more respectful to all. They moderate the comments before they are posted. Most of the attendees were journalists. However, this talk was relevant to all.


Austin South Asian | April 2017


Austin South Asian | April 2017

Austin South Asian. April 2017  

Austin South Asian. April 2017

Austin South Asian. April 2017  

Austin South Asian. April 2017