DT Oct-Nov 2022 Web

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Vol. 13

PROFESSOR AVTAR VIRDI:

| issue 6 | Oct-Nov 2022

www.desitoday.ca

NOVI JETTE:

A Cancer survivor, fighter

Breaking Barriers and Blazing a Path

DR NEELAM VERMA:

DIWALI GREETINGS:

Exclusive on Canadian immigrant’s life

from Acting High Commissioner of India

Commonwealth Gold Champion

PM 40013094

AMARVEER DHESI Wrestling For A Cause




what’s inside

Join Our Team C A L L U S TO D AY

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Features 8 10 20 33 36 40 42 48

AMARVEER DHESI:

Dave Haye: Giving Outstanding Services to community Amarveer Dhesi: Wrestling For A Cause Avtar Virdi: Following footsteps of Terry Fox Asa Singh Johal’s legacy Ravina Toor: Celebrating Diversity in the Meadows Delta’s Super Cop Jaspreet Sahota Four Indian-Americans in Forbes 400 rich list New Children's Book Celebrates Diwali in North America

Interviews 16 Inspector Novi Jette: Breaking Barriers and Blazing a Path 24 Diwali Greetings from Acting High Commissioner of India 58 Expert advice for parents from Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Columns 30 Musings: Empty Nester Regrets by Neelam Batra Verma 38 Work is Worship by Zile Singh

Health & Wellness 50 Understanding Your Paycheque 52 Teach your kids good money habits 54 Six tips to stay motivated throughout the school year

WRESTLING FOR A CAUSE 60 Age-appropriate Online Activities for Kids 62 Food Fraud: What You Should Know 92 Vedic food: The way of the future

Beauty & Entertainment 68 Akshay Kumar on ups and downs in life 70 Paras Kalnawat on his exit from ‘Anupamaa’ 76 Actor, Singer, Puppetteer The many sides of Raghubir Yadav 81 Five Punjabi entertainers to watch out for in 2022

Auto 84 2023 Honda HR-V 86 New CUV is Adventure ready! 88 2023 BMW iX xDrive50

Recipes 94 Air Fry Falafel Sliders 95 Delicious leftover turkey ideas for weekday meals

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HOME STAGING • INTERIOR DESIGN • COLOR CONSULTATION Year sin i Bu

Diwali has become a global festival. The US government has declared it a federal holiday. Many countries in Asia have been celebrating Diwali in the national spirit. Diwali is the festival of lights. We celebrate the spirit of victory of good over evil. After tough 3 years with COVID-19, Diwali 2022 celebrations will be memorable. The celebration will be louder and more colorful with family and friends. But as BC’s top doctor says, though the restrictions are lifted, the pandemic is still around us. We are not out of the woods yet. So, celebrate with friends but celebrate with care. Think about people who are immune-compromised and old. Follow health orders. After all, Diwali is about giving and caring. The Desi Today team, with its range of articles, gives you many reasons to celebrate this festive season. There is a reason to celebrate the Punjabi community with our cover story on Surrey-born wrestler Amarveer Dhesi. It discusses how the Punjabi community is raising a generation of world-class wrestlers without much infrastructure and governmental support. There is a reason to celebrate life with our story of two times cancer survivor professor Avtar Singh Virdi. It shows how the spirit of survival made Professor Virdi not just come out of Cancer but walk across Canada like Terry Fox to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. There is a reason to celebrate parenthood with a nostalgic column by established writer and novelist Dr. Neelam Verma. She talks about how we think of living our lives once kids are grown up and how we miss them once they step out and start their lives. There is a Diwali message for readers from the Acting High Commissioner of India, Manish. He also discusses India-Canada relations in his interview. Read and celebrate! Happy Diwali! Sanjeev Katyal Rakesh Gupta

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Desi Reader’s Rajesh Vora: Capturing Iconic Punjab’s rooftop sculptures I was amazed to read about the unique sculptures constructed on top of houses in Punjab. A story never told before, it was very unique of Rajesh Vora to capture the sculptures. I had heard so much about the NRIs and how they change the villages in Punjab, but never seen it. But on the other hand I would like to say, sculptures are not important than human beings and NRIs should invest more in real human issues like education and health care in the Punjab.

e c i o V WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU!

We are eager to hear from you about our magazine. Send us your thoughts on editor@desitoday.ca or leave us a comment on our Facebook page Desi Today Magazine.

- AMY

Aman Grewal : The Beating Heart of Healthcare It was nice to read what Aman Grewal had to say about nurses. They are really the backbone of the healthcare system. I have seen the suffering being in the system. The weight of deteriorating health care system has fallen on nurses, threatening not only their own mental health and wellbeing, but also the working conditions.

Ishan Sandhu : Celebrating masculinity What a wonderful story on masculinity and showcasing it through the medium of theatre. We are grown up with social expectations that men cant cry. Men are humans too. They need platform to express their feelings. If they cry they are called cowards. If they express love they are called too feminine. It is perhaps the reason men develop heart diseases. They are asked to hold their emotions. Thank you for discussing a very important concern. - SAMMY Characters like Raj exist around us who want to express what they feel, however socially defined parameters of masculinity come in the way. Therefore, a need for such plays becomes important. And when it comes to South Asian males, the perspective on masculinity becomes more flawed because of the stigma attached to mental health. The lack of expression of feelings can lead to mental health problems. It is time we all stop categorizing masculinity under one umbrella, celebrate it for the million different things, and support each other when we express ourselves. - RYAN www.desitoday.ca

- JASPREET

Canucks Sign Surrey’s Arshdeep Bains It is amazing that South Asian especially Punjabi community is always in the news because of the negative deeds. But here are Punjabi players making our community proud. Thanking you for your effort to feature them. Youth should get inspired from them. Also government should invest more on sports facilities than on cannabis. - Sukh OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

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FEATURE

THE QUEEN ELIZABETH II'S PLATINUM JUBILEE MEDAL AWARD WINNER

DAVE HAYER Giving Outstanding Services to Community

D

ave S. Hayer MLA from May 2001 to May 2013, who is proud to call Surrey his home since 1972, was awarded The Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee Medal Oct 11, 2022 for his Outstanding Service to Community. Dave Sukhdip Singh Hayer was born in 1958 in India. He is proud to call Surrey his home since 1972. He has raised his family in this city. He went to Queen Elizabeth Secondary, SFU, UBC, Douglas College and BCIT. Dave was first elected to the BC Legislature as MLA for the riding of SurreyTynehead which includes Guildford, Fraser Heights, Fleetwood, Port Kells and Tynehead areas, in the 2001 provincial general election and was re-elected in 2005 and 2009. He also served as the Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism and Immigration from 2005-2011, where he worked closely with the Minister of Science and Universities and the Minister of Regional Economic and Skills Development, which was responsible for the Provincial Nominee Program. Before entering politics, Hayer was a Surrey businessperson, Assistant Publisher of the Indo-Canadian Times, Kwantlen

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University College Governor, real estate agent, and worked in the restaurant, newspaper, construction, transportation and forestry industries. In addition, he has worked as a labourer in a steel factory and during his teenage years worked on farms, in greenhouses, in a grocery store and even delivered both the Sun and Province

newspapers. In 2007, Dave received a prestigious award from the Government of India. The Pravasi Bharatia Samman Award is annually given to people of Indian heritage, no longer living in India, who have achieved excellence in their chosen fields of endeavor. Dave has also worked closely with the police since 1985. After seeing the hard, dedicated service of the Surrey Police’s team, Dave helped to start the Surrey Police Officer of the Year Awards in 1997 when he was the President of Surrey Board of Trade. At the presentation ceremony, Dave was described as a "great friend of India” for having been a strong voice in the IndoCanadian community against terrorism and violence. He was the only Canadian among 15 people to receive the Pravasi Bharatia Samman Award that year and to date Dave was the second Canadian to be presented with this honour. On February 10th 2013 he was again presented with a Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Canadian Coalition Against Terror (C-CAT) for his contribution to the advancement of sound public policy on terrorism issues in Canada. www.desitoday.ca


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FEATURE

DESI TODAY

COVER

AMARVEER DHESI:

WRESTLING FOR A CAUSE BY SURBHI GOGIA

I

t was a dark day in the history of the Punjabi community when Vancouver police issued a list of the 11 most wanted gangsters in Canada. Out of those 11, 9 were Punjabi-origin Canadians. "I still cannot get over that unfortunate news," said Amar Dhesi. The Surrey-born and raised Commonwealth gold medalist was narrating his journey of winning the gold at the Commonwealth games. Dhesi's mind lingered on the negativity community attracts but gets ignored for putting Canada on the world map of wrestling and many other sports. He said wrestling runs in the blood of some Punjabi families who carried the legacy from India, like his father. The Punjabis of Canada have sacrificed for generations to produce world-class wrestlers competing and winning at international levels, making their country proud. But Canada has failed them! "Wrestling, unlike soccer or hockey, is not

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a popular sport in Canada. You drive around in Surrey, and how many wrestling facilities do you see? Very few. Those existing are due to the solo effort of our community," Dhesi asserted. "There is so much recognition for other athletes, countrywide. But wrestlers are not as popular." Forget about the federal or provincial government; Dhesi said he struggled to meet local city councilors to appeal to invest in this sport. "We are sending wrestlers to Olympics. I do not have exact statistics behind this. Still, I do know that BC, especially our Punjabi community, is generating major talent. If we are producing gold medalists with just the help of our community imagine what we can achieve if we have support from our government. Imagine how much negativity we can take away from our community." Dhesi touched upon the problem of drugs and gangs. He said, unfortunately, the Punjabi community was in bad books when the police released the list of the 11

most wanted gangsters. Nine out of 11 were Punjabi origin. Just a week after, the Canadian Punjabi community made international headlines again. But this time, for all the right reasons. Five Punjabi-origin athletes made Canada and their community proud by winning medals and hearts at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth games. Surrey's own Dhesi won a gold medal in the men's 125 kg wrestling event, and Abbotsford's wrestler Nishan Randhawa won a gold medal in the 97-kilo category at the games. Jasmit Phulka added a bronze medal to the bunch after the men's 74 kg event. Team Canada's basketball athlete, Bikramjit Gill, won a bronze. Also, Canadian Punjabi woman boxer Priyanka Dhillon stepped onto the podium to collect the bronze medal she won in the women's 48kg boxing event. Dhesi, received a first-round by and faced Jamaica's Aaron Johnson in the quarterfinal. Dhesi could score big with an ankle lace and www.desitoday.ca


Photo by Sukhwant Dhillon

Commonwealth gold medalist and international star wrestler Amarveer Dhesi shares his struggles to get wrestling the recognition it deserves in his Canada

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Photo by Sukhwant Dhillon

But all those sounds of victory faded. Dhesi met with the sad reality of Canadian wrestling again. Though he had participated in the Commonwealth Games with hopes of making it an attractive sport for the future generation. After making the glorious winning stroke, he was asked if he got any recognition from the government. He answered, "I love that you asked that question. We get zero recognition from the governments. It is sad. But as athletes, we are used to it now. We are very used to not getting recognized for what we do. I won in the Pan Am games. I was one of the eight people in the history of Canada to win that tournament, but there was no recognition. It's sad. I hope it changes one day for the generations to come, for my kids, for my club kids." When asked about why wrestling has been left behind in popularity compared to other

Photo by Sukhwant Dhillon

took the win 10-0. Then, Dhesi drew a tough match-up against Mohit Mohit of India in the semifinal. After a tight first period, he took over in the second and picked up the win 122. That win pit Dhesi against Zaman Anwar of Pakistan for gold. After giving up his only two points, he scored early and found himself in a dominant position. He was able to turn it into a pin and took the win by fall, securing the first gold for Canadian wrestlers. Winning gold in the 2022 Commonwealth games for his country earned Dhesi a dream welcome at the Vancouver International airport when he returned home. The wrestlers were greeted with garlands and dhol once they landed at Vancouver International Airport. Colorful turbans and garlands were bestowed on the players who brought a ray of hope to the community struggling with the sad realities of shootings and gang wars.

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My father started Surrey wrestling club in 1976 which grew into Khalsa Wrestling club. He trained a lot of great wrestlers before me. And I was fortunate to get training after 20 years when the club was well established. sports, Dhesi had no clear answer. Instead, he reiterated that the early immigrants from Punjab came here for a better lifestyle. On the way, many also started wrestling clubs here. "Their life in Canada is good, but not this sport." Dhesi, while talking about his father Balbir's early days in Canada, said he came from a family of elite wrestlers in Punjab. "My father started Surrey wrestling club in 1976, which grew into Khalsa Wrestling club. He trained a lot of great wrestlers before me. And I was fortunate to get training after 20 years when the club was well established." Dhesi started going to the club with his father and older brother Parm when he was 5-6. "But I just ran around entering my first competition when I was 8-9 years old." But he accepted he was not a great wrestling fan at the beginning. "I would cry when I got beaten up in the game. I thought of quitting it a couple of times. But as I grew up, my feelings changed. The sport disciplined me physically and mentally." It often makes people laugh, Dhesi said he still identifies his gold medal from the provincial championships in Grade nine as one of his proudest moments because it was the first time he realized he could be good at wrestling, making it the starting point of his career. Dhesi made his first splash on the international scene when he won 120kg gold www.desitoday.ca



I knew I will get opportunities there. Luckily in America, wrestling is very popular, and you can make a career and financially support yourself and your family.

at the 2014 World Junior Championships. The lack of infrastructure and financial support for a wrestler in Canada made his move to Oregon State University. "I knew I would get opportunities there. Luckily, wrestling is very popular in America, and you can make a career and financially support yourself and your family." He had his best college season in 2018 when he won the second of his three Pac-12 titles. He finished third at the NCAA Division I Championships, which resulted in him being named Oregon State Male Athlete of the Year. He completed his collegiate career as a three-time All-American.

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He earned his way to Tokyo 2020 by first winning the 125kg weight class at the national trials in December 2019 and then reaching the final at the Pan American Olympic Qualifier in March 2020. Dhesi also won 125kg silver at the Pan American Championships. As part of his preparations for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Dhesi won gold at the Matteo Pellicone Tournament in March 2021. Then came the golden stroke at the Commonwealth games. His next big dream is to win a gold Olympics for his country and community. Even after struggling for recognition, he wants to excel and become a world champion. "I know it is selfless and

selfish at the same time." Before his Olympic dream can become a reality, Dhesi has endured three ACL tears in six years and underwent two reconstructive surgeries and 3 knee surgeries. "People always want to hear about success stories. But I love to hear and talk about the failures and pain athletes endure to become successful. The sacrifices you make on the way are your learning points." According to Dhesi, many athletes often struggle financially, emotionally, and physically before, throughout, and after their championship journey. As prestigious as winning a medal is, the Olympics and other international championships are not something you do to get rich. "You do it so that you can represent your country performing in a sport you love and inspire others to join," he added.

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INTERVIEW DES I T ODAY S P E C IA L

I knew I would never come across something like this. I took a leap of faith giving up something I was comfortable with, but I wanted to have influence in Surrey’s new policing model and build something important here...

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www.desitoday.ca


NOVI JETTE SURREY POLICE SERVICE OFFICER

BREAKING BARRIERS AND BLAZING A PATH BY SURBHI GOGIA

B

ecoming a police officer, particularly a generation ago, was rare for women and rarest for women of South-Asian origin. But Vancouverborn Novi Jette decided to trailblaze this path after attending an information session on policing. Jette who wanted to pursue a career in law and be a lawyer was intrigued by law enforcement and decided to join the police. “It was a big deal for my family when they learned about my career choice,” she says. Not that she was being encouraged to join a much more traditional career as a South Asian woman, but Jette says her parents were more concerned about her safety. “They thought I was going through a phase.” But Jette was

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determined and, after putting her family’s concerns at ease by explaining no career was risk-free, she became the third South Asian female police officer in the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) in 1998. “I was very fortunate to work with some amazing and inspiring male leaders who helped shape my career and provide me with support and opportunities,” says Jette. That being said, Jette explains there were fewer women in leadership roles when she started her career. “I certainly never saw many leaders who looked like me or were juggling work and being a mom.” But once she was in policing, Jette discovered the most amazing facets of this

career in terms of opportunities for a female police officer. “I never regretted my decision.” There was never a dull moment in her career with VPD. Jette says policing is not just about patrolling. There are various sections and the opportunities are unlimited. “It is not a job where you are doing the same thing for the next 30 years. You can go into policing and work six to seven different positions in one career, which is what makes it so exciting. There were just so many opportunities in my career that I was never bored.” Jette worked in Patrol in southeast OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

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We are bringing in incredible people from different organizations to come to the table collectively and build what this community needs.

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Vancouver, southwest Vancouver and on the downtown eastside. As a constable, she also worked in the Drug Unit for almost six years and did a six-month secondment at CFSEUBC. From there, she moved on to the Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit for another 7 years. In 2015, Jette was promoted to Sergeant and worked in the Professional Standards Section, Human Resources Section, and the Major Crime Unit. “I had a great career where I learned every day and was being challenged,” she says. When it comes to being a female police officer, she discovered how policing is a great choice. Parents’ concerns are related to safety because of the violence associated with the career. But Jette says, “Parents need to understand that they raised smart women. Women are great at diffusing serious situations.” Jette feels that we need more women to join this career. “For me, it is very important to be an active participant in helping to increase diversity in all ranks and inspire others to join policing as it truly is an incredible career.” Gone are the days when policing leaned heavily toward physical attributes, such as height, weight, and brute strength. The job still requires a great level of physical fitness; however, excellent interpersonal, problemsolving, and conflict-resolution skills are also extremely important. And women are often extremely good at all these skills. This shift in policing style can be attributed to a new, proactive style of policing called “community policing”. Essentially, it’s about establishing relationships in the community — with residents, business owners, and community groups — and collaborating with those partners to proactively reduce and prevent crime. It is for the reason of connecting with the community that, after 23 years with the VPD, Jette decided to move to the new Surrey Police Service (SPS) in 2021. A common shared attribute among all SPS staff is a commitment to community and strong personal attachment to the city they serve. “Surrey is my community. To be able to work in the community where I live and where my kids go to school, and to help build a police department from the ground up was such a unique opportunity. I knew I would never come across something like this. I took a leap of faith giving up something I was comfortable with, but I wanted to have influence in Surrey’s new policing model and www.desitoday.ca


build something important here,” she said. At SPS, Jette is the inspector in charge of the Employee Services Section. Her duties involve overseeing wrap-around care for all employees from the start of their career to retirement. She also oversees the Wellness Unit that is responsible for looking after SPS employees involved in critical incidents and providing peer support. “Statistics show when you have preventative measures in place to look after your employees throughout their careers instead of only after they have been involved in a serious incident there are higher chances of keeping them healthy and retention. We look after our employees from the beginning and throughout their careers. We want them to retire healthy and happy, and we are their point of contact when they need help.” According to Jette, SPS has a unique policing model customized to the needs of the city of Surrey, which is why Jette believes Surrey needs its own police service. The cornerstone principles of SPS are community policing, employee wellness, and innovative policing. Surrey Police Service officers have come from almost 30 different police agencies across Canada, although the majority come from the Lower Mainland. “We are bringing in incredible people from different organizations to come to the table collectively and build what this community needs. It is harder to do it in an established organization, but here we have a unique opportunity to bring in the best policing practices based on research and community needs,” she said. SPS is now continuing the historic and monumental policing transition that will see the municipal police service replace the Surrey RCMP. Surrey is a diverse and growing community and SPS has worked to reflect that in the hiring of both experienced and recruit police officers and invaluable civilian support positions. “Approximately 22 percent of our officers are South Asian, with many in leadership positions,” Jette informs. In just over 18 months, Surrey’s new municipal police service has grown from one employee to 327 employees, which is made up of 274 police officers and 53 civilian staff. SPS is now the second largest municipal police agency in B.C. Jette feels proud and lucky to be part of this police service and hopes to set the path for many more South Asians to join a career that not only challenges them but allows them to serve the community they live in. www.desitoday.ca

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FEATURE

AVTAR VIRDI

Following Footsteps of Terry Fox

Avtar Singh Virdi at Ground Zero from where Terry Fox started his Marathon of Hope. Virdi started his walk in June from St. John’s, New Foundland & Labrador to walk across Canada through 13 major cities to raise funds for Cancer awareness and research BY SURBHI GOGIA

M

any have attended his English classes in Surrey, and many have read his books on English grammar, but this time Avtar Singh Virdi has set out on a new journey to teach us some new lessons on cancer. He is a survivor who has become an inspiration to all of us when we lose hope during a difficult time. It is hard for us to drive or go to a grocery store after a viral fever or a minor illness. But professor Virdi gathered courage and

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decided to walk across Canada to raise awareness about cancer a few days after his surgery. A two-time cancer survivor, Virdi began to walk across Canada through 13 major cities from East to West to raise funds for Cancer awareness and research. Virdi started his walk in June from St. John’s, New Foundland & Labrador, the exact spot where Terry Fox began his journey. Next, he walked through 16 major cities in Canada, concluding his journey in Vancouver’s Stanley Park. Virdi says he aims to spread awareness about this life-threatening critical illness. Cancer, according to research, will grip every second person in the coming years. However, there is a lack of awareness about the treatment and why we get cancer. So he embarked on his journey to raise funds that will help in promoting more research on why we get cancer? A question that Virdi says he asked himself and the doctors but did not get an answer to when he got to know about his Colon Cancer in 2017. Virdi, who runs GTP Marvelous College, which offers training for CELPIP and IELTS exams in Surrey, moved to Canada in 2004 with his family. An engineer by profession, but a teacher by passion, Virdi has been imparting English speaking skills and

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A twotime cancer survivor and lifelong teacher Avtar Virdi follows legacy of Terry Fox to spread Cancer Research awareness across Canada

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training to many students. He feels GOD gave him everything in abundance, but he started feeling something was wrong with his body. “It was a shock to my family and me when I was diagnosed with Colon Cancer,” he says. He could not understand why he got it. “But I have faith in medical science and treatment. I started following every Chemo or radiation therapy they offered me. They declared me cancer free. However, my cancer relapsed within 2 years. I went through treatment again and was declared cancer-free on March 28,” he recalls. He decided to raise awareness about it. “I read about various conflicting theories. I read how people refuse to take treatment. The more I read, the more I became determined to create awareness,” he says. Virdi also read about Terry Fox during that time. "I was immensly inspired by his short but great life of only 22 years. He spread cancer awareness in 1980 with an amazing spirit despite his half leg being gone by cancer. Terry Fox has inspired millions of people, including me. He started to walk across Canada from St. John’s, New Foundland & Labrador in 1980.”

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And now Virdi feels it is his turn to contribute. Terry Fox was a legend who inspired millions. "If I can attain even a fraction of what Terry Fox did, I will consider myself lucky. I feel Terry Fox lives in our hearts." Virdi was determined to complete this mission even if no one supported him. But many community members and organizations stepped forward to help him. Gurudwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib in Surrey sponsored the event. They did Ardaas for him to complete what he started. His aim was to walk 600Km and raise funds. All the funds were raised for BC Cancer Foundation. The Foundation wrote a letter of support appreciating Avtar Virdi and his Cross-Canada Walk for BC Cancer. His message, “I decided to follow Terry Fox to remind the whole world, if possible, to save more and more people from cancer. It was a big challenge for me as I am not an athlete. My family was worried about me. However, I accomplished more than what I aimed. I thank people across Canada for their support." For more information, you can contact Avtar S. Virdi at 778-895-3340

www.desitoday.ca


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INTERVIEW

Diwali Greetings from Acting

High Commissioner of India

I

ndia and Canada have long-standing bilateral relations with Canada having the largest Indian diaspora in the world on a per capita basis. The increase in international students from India has further strengthened people to people and economic relationship between the two countries, with Indian students bringing in approximately 7 billion dollars worth of revenue to Canada. The exponential rise in the Indian diaspora on Canadian soils over the past few years has led to increased awareness about India‘s

24

OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

rich culture, rituals, and festivals. Along with the community, the office of the Consulate General of India in Vancouver under the leadership and guidance of Mr Manish has played an important role in this. Mr. Manish has been appointed as the Acting High Commissioner of India to Canada in September 2022. He joined the post of Consul General of India in Vancouver in August 2020. Before becoming Consul General, he headed the Overseas Indian Affairs Division of the Ministry of External

Affairs in New Delhi. A career diplomat, he joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1997. He has worked in various capacities in several Indian Missions and Posts abroad such as Moscow, Tashkent, Prague, Colombo, and Jakarta. He has handled both bilateral and multilateral relationships and has rich experience of handling different aspects of diplomatic relationships such as political, cultural, commercial & economic and press and information, etc. www.desitoday.ca


Canada is a very open and welcoming society offering great pathways to work and grow. Make use of these opportunities. Do not get swayed by anything that might hamper your career.

INTERVIEW BY SURBHI GOGIA

Thank you for taking time for our readers. What’s your message to the community on the occasion of Diwali? DT

I would like to convey my greetings and best wishes to all the people of Indian origin, Indian diaspora and my Canadian friends on the occasion of Diwali. May this Diwali bring peace, prosperity, and good health for everyone. Diwali is the festival of lights. It is the celebration of good over evil and light over dark. Over the past few years, Diwali has become an important global festival and it is celebrated by non- Indians with equal enthusiasm. This year’s Diwali holds special significance, since we will be celebrating it in person after a gap of 3 years. As we come out of the pandemic, I would like to remind everyone to celebrate Diwali with their loved ones, family, and Canadian friends by following all health and safety protocols.

DESI Y A D O T E V I S U L C EX

At the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi he headed the Division responsible for managing bilateral relationships with ASEAN countries, Pacific Island countries, Australia & New Zealand, and issues relating to the setting up of Nalanda University. Desi Today caught up with him to bring his message to the community on Diwali and discuss various other issues related to India and Canada relations. www.desitoday.ca

Desi Today congratulates you on being appointed as Acting High Commissioner to Canada. You have been engaged with the community during your tenure as Consul General. How is your experience so far living in Vancouver? DT

Thank you for your warm wishes. Vancouver

is a great place to live and work. I have moved here two years ago, and have always got support from our community members and leaders. We have also made special effort to reach out to different diaspora groups in Canada. Diaspora members are the real Ambassadors, they are like a bridge between our two countries. Our work here would not have been possible without the support of our diaspora friends, community members, and Canadian MPs and politicians. With the support of diaspora friends, we have been celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav events since March 2021. Due to pandemic, most of the events were taking place virtually, but whenever we got a chance we organized in person events. Most recently, we were able to organize a big celebration on the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, by hosting a National Day Reception in Surrey on August 15, where more than 600 people participated. On August 16, we presented Amrit Mahotsav Concert at Michael J Fox Theatre, Burnaby, where diaspora artists performed to full house. The concert was organized to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of India’s independence, its glorious history, heritage, and culture of the people of India and the Indian Diaspora abroad. Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is dedicated to the people of India and its Diaspora who have not only been instrumental in bringing India thus far in its evolutionary journey but also hold within them the power and potential to enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

25


Acting High Commissioner paid homage to the Father of the Nation garlanding the statue of Gandhiji with Mahatma Gandhi Peace Council of Ottawa

Cricket is becoming a popular sport in Canada among Indo-Canadians and South Asians. CG @ManishGIfs inaugurated the second edition of Saskatoon Premier League organized by ICCA, Saskatoon.

of activating India 2.0, fueled by the spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India. The official journey of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav commenced on 12th March 2021 which started a 75-week countdown to our 75th anniversary of Independence that we celebrate on 15th August 2022. The celebrations will end after one year on 15th August 2023. Recently we also organized Namaste Canada. It was a mega cultural event, where 25 Indian cultural societies and groups from Greater Vancouver Area, including over 300 artists participated to showcase Indian art and culture. We have also celebrated and recognized the contributions of our Indian ex-servicemen who are now living in Canada. A big event was organized in Calgary on 23 September. During all these events we got full support of diaspora and Canadian politicians. I would like to extend my gratitude to many of Lower Mainland’s city mayors who have supported us during India’s Independence Day celebrations and issued proclamations. BC’s legislature too lit its building in tri colors. These are signs and symbols of maturing friendships between India and BC.

What do you think about current India and Canada relations? And how do you see the future of the relationship? DT

Consul General celebrated #Onam2022 festival with Phoenix Richmond Malayalee Association in Richomd.

Consulate General was pleased to be part of the celebrations #IndiaAt75 organized by Lakshmi Narayan Temple and other diaspora associations. 26

OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

India and Canada are sister democracies and strategic partners. There is a strong and growing partnership between our two countries in all areas, including people to people, business, investment, trade, political and culture. Over 1.6 million Indian-origin people are living in Canada and growing. Over 250,000 international students are bringing $7 billion in revenue to Canada There are constant meetings and dialogue at all levels regularly. Enhancing our economic engagements is on the top of the agenda. There is approximately more than 100 billion dollars worth of exchange between India and Canada in the economic sphere, with more than 15 billion dollars of bilateral trade in goods and services. The Canadian Pension Fund investments in India have grown from $5 billion to over $60 billion from 2015 to 2022. Indian companies have also invested in Canada. India is the fastest-growing economy that offers great www.desitoday.ca


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Other controversies are related to their behavior. We all know what happened at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Plaza when they got into an argument with a Canadian law enforcement officer. What is your message to international students?

Consulated General was blessed to visit Akali Singh Sikh Society in Vancouver and met with President and other board members me. He was warmly welcomed at the Gurudwara.

A reception was hosted by CG to celebrate #IndiaAt75 to as part of #AmritMahotsav75. The celebrations was attended by George Chow as Chief guest; several MPs; MLAs from BC; and consular corps and Indian diaspora.

On the occasion of #IDY2022 #CNIS led by Dr Arun Garg and in partnership with Consulate General of India launched a conference on Integrative healing and thinking focusing on women health issues. opportunities for Canadian investors. We are further diversifying our engagement after the pandemic. Both countries have restarted the renegotiation of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) following the meeting of Trade Minister in March 2022. We hope to conclude an Early Progress Trade Agreement by early next year. We are also cooperating in field of science and technology, agriculture, education, start28

OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

up and innovation, health etc. I see a bright progressive future between the countries..

The increasing presence of international students in Canada has also created a lot of controversies. Some are related to their safety like students becoming a victim of unprovoked attacks. DT

My advice to Indian young friends is to keep focus on their main objective of coming to Canada and earn a good education. Canada is a very open and welcoming society offering great opportunities to work and grow. Make use of these opportunities. Do not get swayed by anything that might hamper your career. Your parents have made huge investments for you to get an education and make a good career. We as the government of India representatives are always there to guide you and help you. Consider our Consulate as home away from home. We also request all Indian students to register themselves with their nearest High Commission or Consulate office or at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs portal. The registration will help us reach out to you, in case of emergencies.

There is a common perception that there are long lineups at the BLS office to get visas or passports and more should be done to access these services. What would you like to say? DT

We have a responsible, robust, and friendly public delivery system and we try to do our best to provide timely service based on the requirement for each service. Our services are prompt and faster than many other countries, which have very long processing times. Once a “good to go” visa application reaches the Consulate, visas are issued within 5 to 7 working days. The biggest challenge for us is that many applications are full of mistakes or incomplete, sometimes the details do not match, the names are spelled incorrectly, which makes the application process longer. I would like to appeal to people to fill the application carefully and submit the documents needed to avoid any delays. We have implemented an appointment system for visas and OCI, which is a good way to get services by planning in advance. If there are emergencies or unfortunate events back home, we try to process visas the same day at the Consulate. www.desitoday.ca


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COLUMN

Dr Neelam Batra-Verma

MUSINGS:

Empty Nester rets Reg

BY NEELAM BATRA-VERMA

A

t a ladies lunch this summer, the hostess decided to play a game. We have always played many games during parties, be it antaakshri, cards, dumb charade etc but never this one – Name one thing in your life that you could change. It was expected to be a fun game where we were sharing those moments of our lives, which we had not shared with anyone before. Not even this close group of friends who had known each other for twenty years or more. But yet not shared those emotions, either due to shame or for being judged or just because there never was an opportunity to open up your hearts beyond your family. All 30

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of us, who had lived in Vancouver and whose husbands had all gone to the same school, DMET, back in Mumbai, India and were close to each other, the wives eventually became close friends. By the end of the game, instead of a smile or laughter, which is how one should end a fun game, there were unshed tears in many of our eyes - those tears which we should have shed years ago, those emotions that should have been calmed by now or buried somewhere at the bottom of our hearts, were now on the fore. Many of us make or have made decisions in our lives, which we regret later, is nothing new. But to have a common

is a Canada based writer who has been writing professionally for about 30 years. Recently she published a book The book 1971: A War Story which is an emotional tale of a family’s anguish whose only breadwinner goes missing.

remorse at making that one common decision came as a shock for most of us. Personally, I thought, when my turn came I would say that moving to Canada and leaving my family and rising career behind, is the biggest regret of my life. But thinking back, yes it is one of the biggest regret of my life and it will always be. Had I stayed and continued with my job as a News Producer at a TV station, pretty sure I would be a Managing Editor or something, somewhere at a News channel or newspaper or any publication. But look at me now. Nowhere near and had to make big compromises to survive, to take up a job, just to pay bills and see the kids through college, as that was the only goal of relocating to Canada. Had the children been in India, I doubt they would be able to gain admission in a college or university equal in status as the University of British Columbia. Not because they are not smart or lack the intelligence, but more due to the reservation system in Indian colleges, universities and government jobs, which takes away a hefty 59.5% of total seats leaving just 40% seats for the general populace like us. In case you didn’t know, in Indian colleges/universities 15% of seats are reserved for Scheduled Castes, 7.5% for Scheduled Tribe, 27% of Other Backward Classes and 10% for Economically Weaker sections of society. In some states like Tamil Nadu, reservations can go up to 69% and it is www.desitoday.ca


as high as 80% in Arunachal Pradesh, which can only be termed atrocious. As of now, there is another group of society in India, which is fighting to take over a portion of the leftover pie from the general population. The reservation system was a gift to India from the British Monarchy who first introduced some elements of it in the Government of India Act in 1909 and what the British did to India and in India, can be nothing good to talk about. Divide and Rule was their policy and…. oops! the Queen just died and I should hold my tongue. Don’t get me wrong. I totally understand that weaker sections of society should be given an opportunity in life too and some kind of quota should be given to that section of society. But there should be a line drawn somewhere, like if a father had taken advantage of the quota system to get a job or a seat in a prestigious college, none of his kids or grandkids should be allowed to use the quota again. For ensuring that his family does not fall through the cracks and go back to being weak again, would be his responsibility and so on. No wonder, you see Indian students taking out huge loans and moving off shores for higher education. Once there, do they ever go back to India? You know the answer and I shall not elaborate here. This is a brain drain, which no politician will ever talk about. Once there, do they ever go back to India? You know the answer and I shall not elaborate here. This is a brain drain, which no politician will ever talk about. I was a victim of this system, as I had to change the path of my career, due to the endless quota regime, when I could not get into my choice of career and did not want my children to go through this. Sorry, my emotions got the best of me. No, reservation was not the name of the game we were playing. To remind you again, we were supposed to talk about one thing in our lives which we sort of regret. It was nice to hear many of us opening up their hearts and talking about their various feelings – some regretted at not being able to bring their parents to Canada, for others it was a regret for chopping off their hair when it was as long during their younger days while for others, it was just getting married etc. It was shocking to hear that many of us had to terminate at least one pregnancy each, almost around the same time as we had moved to Canada, no matter when, how and where from the move had taken place. www.desitoday.ca

In fact, now is the time I am going to live my life – party hard, vacation hard, go back to the hobbies I had left behind when I had my first born and enjoy time with my friends. Relocating to Canada had been a big shock for most of us, especially after the kind of lives we had been leading back in India or Dubai or Kuwait or whatever. All of us had already moved with at least two little kids in tow and without a nanny or a cook or cleaner at home and getting household chores done in between running to grocery stores, cooking, activities for children, dropping and picking the children up from school etc was taking a toll. Living a life without family or nanny support was anyway difficult for most of us and to take responsibility of another baby was a dreadful thought. If any one of us had been in India in that situation, would we have let that decision take the better of us? I doubt it. I had heard stories of how many women had regretted their decision of terminating a pregnancy for whatever reason, but never given it a thought and had mostly scoffed it of as a temporary phase. But that day, when I had dropped my youngest child to university and had come back to an empty house devoid of activity, my mind had wondered back to the time, when I had taken that decision. Only if I had continued with that pregnancy, I still would have something to look forward to – another goal in the net,

another game, another graduation, another milestone or another wedding. The silence of the empty house was screeching and bone chilling. No voice to ask what’s for lunch, what’s for dinner, I am hungry or the regular thumping of the soccer ball on the driveway, which my ears were so used to hearing, now were rendered to silence. My ears yearned to hear those voices again. Instead all I heard was the ringing of my own ears and the even the chirping of the birds in my backyard, which I had always enjoyed listening to, were no more music to my ears. For years I had yearned for this day when I would be free of all responsibilities and the kids would be on their own. So now that I have it, why do I have regrets? Regrets are only for the dying. I am not dying – not yet. In fact, now is the time I am going to live my life – party hard, vacation hard, go back to the hobbies I had left behind when I had my first born and enjoy time with my friends. A regret or a common regret, will not hold me or my friends back for living our lives, zestfully. No, we haven’t crossed the finish line yet. We have miles to go before we sleep, miles to go before we sleep. (The views expressed are that of the author) OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

31


FEATURE

ASA SINGH JOHAL’S

Legacy OF

SUPPORTING BC CANCER

Lives on

It didn’t have to be personal to Dad — if it meant a lot to the person asking, that was reason enough to give.

I

Credit : Vancouver Sun

n addition to growing his lumber empire, Asa Johal, was a leader in the Sikh community who believed in using his success to help others. Now his family are continuing his philanthropy — and encouraging others to follow in his footsteps. When Darcy and Manjit Johal’s 10-yearold granddaughter Mikaela was assigned a school project to do a speech on someone she admired she immediately chose her “Babaji,” her great-grandfather, Asa Johal. The family patriarch (Darcy’s father) passed away in 2021, leaving a giant void in the Johal family and the Indo-Canadian community. Mikaela proudly told her class of Asa’s 32

OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

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Asa Johal and his wife, Kashmir, celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary in 2018 (Credit: Vancouver Sun)

early struggles. He came to Vancouver from India as a toddler in 1924, the Depression decimated his family financially, and forced him to quit school at 14 to work in a sawmill. By the time he died, just shy of his 99th birthday, he had grown that 25 cents-an-hour job into Terminal Forest Products (B.C.’s largest independent lumber company), received an honourary doctorate in law from UBC, was appointed to the Order of Canada and B.C. and (with his wife, Kashmir, leading the charge) donated millions to wherever it was needed most. Asa’s endless beneficiaries included a girls’ school in his home village in Punjab, the Sikh Temple in Richmond (which he founded), local hospitals, children’s charities and the BC Cancer Foundation. BC Cancer sat particularly close to his heart. Asa was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1996, and was grateful for the care that enabled him to continue to helm the company he loved for 20 more years. “He never said ‘no,’” says Manjit, adding, “It didn’t have to be personal to Dad — if it meant a lot to the person asking, that was reason enough to give.” (She recalls a stranger who boldly wrote asking for the down payment on a house, and the Johal family half-jokingly wondering if they should pluck the letter from the pile on his desk, just in case it moved Asa to write a cheque.) “He went back to work after a week. This guy,” says Darcy (speaking of his own more recent prostate cancer diagnosis) was in bed for two months.” Not true, scolds Manjit, www.desitoday.ca

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33


In honour of Asa Johal, Darcy and Manjit Johal announced to match donations to the Beyond Belief Campaign “Dad was out for six weeks. We had to tie him down but …” “He was like a general,” says Darcy. Up at 5 a.m. every day in order to drive to Washington to check on the plant there until he was 89. He didn’t officially hand over the company to Darcy until he was 96. In addition to his success, Asa lived by the Sikh principle of sharing and giving back, says Manjit. “Even his name, ‘Asa,’ means hope, which he gave to so many people.” He proved that through hard work, anything is possible, says Darcy, and not only would he have wholeheartedly believed in the most ambitious healthcare fundraising campaign in B.C. history, he would have been first in line to support it. In honour of Asa, Darcy and Manjit Johal announced to match donations to the Beyond Belief Campaign. The BC Cancer Foundation launched the historic $500 million Beyond Belief fundraising campaign to advance cancer research and enhance care across British Columbia in September. In anticipation of this launch, the Foundation has secured over $250 million in donations from the generous community of philanthropists in B.C. “With the launch of the Beyond Belief campaign, every British Columbian has the opportunity to be part of a transformational moment for cancer research and care, not just in our province, but nationally and globally,” said Sarah Roth, President & CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation. 34

OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

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FEATURE

ARTIST

Ravina Toor CELEBRATING DIVERSITY IN THE MEADOWS

Ravina Kaur Toor is a self taught multidisciplinary artist whose artwork respects a microcosm of collectiveness, visually encapsulating her deep admiration for her Punjabi-Sikh roots. Local Edmonton artist, Ravina Toor, recently unveiled a mural celebrating the rich diversity of the city she calls home. Commissioned by the Meadows Community League, Ravina created an original art piece for the ice rink at Larkspur Park as well as 36

OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

the garage door adjacent to the community league building. The objective of the mural was to create a welcoming environment for residents and visitors while incorporating elements of cultural diversity, beautifying the park, and fostering community and youth engagement. In order to co-create the mural with local youth, Ravina held two paint workshops to collect ideas for the final piece. “It was incredibly important to the

community league and myself for this to be a mural that represented the values and sentiments of the local community. I was inspired by the art pieces created by the children and it was a meaningful experience to incorporate their ideas into the final artwork,” she said. “Growing up in Millwoods where there is so much cultural diversity, I never saw that represented in traditional art spaces. This mural was an opportunity for me to www.desitoday.ca


create artwork in which people could see themselves represented in the city they call home,” she said. Born and raised in Edmonton, Ravina has been creating art since she was a child but started sharing her work publicly through social media in 2020. She notes that she has amassed over 75,000 followers on her social media platforms and has been involved in a number of creative projects including a commission for Disney, a feature in a Rails, Jails and Trolleys Documentary, a publication in the Art Table Book by Product of Culture and much more. She has also been featured in a number of exhibitions across Canada. In August 2021, Ravina painted her first mural in partnership with Harneet Chahal and Zoe Harveen Kaur as part of the YYC Bump Festival. The mural was inspired by the farmer protests taking place in India and the three women used art as a form of advocacy. Ravina is a self taught multi-disciplinary artist whose artwork respects a microcosm of collectiveness, visually encapsulating her deep admiration for her Punjabi-Sikh roots. Fusing art with personal experiences as a second generation child, she engages with the conversation of dual-identities and the

www.desitoday.ca

importance of celebrating one’s ancestral roots. Ravina is extremely passionate about pushing boundaries and exploring new mediums. “My artistic practice has focused on digital illustration this past year. My art has been strongly rooted in my curiosity of life, the divine, and deep admiration, love and respect for my Punjabi and Sikh background. Through my artwork, I bring forth my advocacy by challenging social norms and promoting dialogue. I have been successful in using art as a way to build community conversations, raise awareness on social justice issues and open doors to have conversations in households on how to transition to healthier practices.” By integrating, expanding, and regenerating advocacy in art, she brings light to the importance of showcasing how connected we truly are, and the power of standing as one. Born in 1997 to immigrant parents in Edmonton, she studied Human Resources and Marketing at the University of Alberta graduating in the midst of a global pandemic in 2020. With navigating life in a manner that was far from what we had known, Toor made

the decision to give her art the time she had now been gifted with. In less than two years of operating, she has launched a successful international business representing art platforms. RAVINARTOOR officially launched in the year of 2020. The year that exposed and expressed a lot of change, for every being. “This business of art expression and create has been years in the making.” Ravina strongly believes that when things fall apart, it is really the universe making room for things to actually fall together. Thus, RAVINARTOOR was created. This art platform represents the start of something new, the start of creating space for brown representation across the world.” Ravina is also working on her very first Children’s Illustration book that focuses on celebrating our roots and the influence land has on our identity. As an artist and facilitator, she is motivated in working with youth to create artistic opportunities that she wished she had growing up. More can be found on my website https:// ravinartoor.com and my instagram https:// www.instagram.com/ravinartoor/

OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

37


COLUMN

WORK IS WORSHIP

BY ZILE SINGH "Work is the open sesame of every portal, the great equalizer in the world, the true philosopher's stone which transmutes all the base metal of humanity into gold." - Sir William Osler Work is a magic word. The dictionary meaning of work is 'an activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or a result.' The purpose can be earning an income, a status, or a name. Work can be termed as labor, toll, exertion, industry, and service. Worship means giving reverence to some apparent, notional, or hidden power to seek 38

OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

blessings to achieve our desired results. It comes from the old English word 'worthship,' which means giving worth to something. All achievements, happiness, developments, and bright futures emanate from this magic word' work.' Thus, work is the very essence and elixir of life. From the stone age to modern times, the great inventions and discoveries of development in all fields are by dint of hard work. When the wise ones said, "work is worship', they meant doing what we do with a sense of worthiness and respect. When we

Zile Singh

is a Columnist and a former Indian diplomat. He can be reached at zsnirwal@yahoo.ca

understand that any work – big or small - is valuable and done with reverence, then our work becomes Worship. In 19th century Britain, Thomas Carlyle, one of the bright stars, wrote eight simple words that express his lifelong philosophy: "Blessed is he who has found his work." Today Carlyle's words have a deeper significance than ever, "Get your happiness out of your work, or you will never know what real happiness is." Thomas Carlyle knew better than most men. He struggled against poverty, illness, uncertainty, and despair all his life. He took up several jobs: minister in a Church, teaching, and other professions, but gave up when he could not accept the bigotry, stupidity, and narrow creed and found no joy in his work. Finally, he turned to writing, which he enjoyed throughout his life. In finding the work he loved, he found purpose, direction, and inner satisfaction. Khalil Gibran, another eminent philosopher, is worth mentioning here pertaining to the dictum' Work is Worship'. He said, "If you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you leave your work, and sit at the gate of the temple, and take alms of those who work with joy." Only when our work is useful, productive, and wholesome for society can we say that 'work is worship.' Otherwise, it will become monotonous and boring. Many people believe that luck plays the most important part in their lives; they avoid work waiting for some miracle. They forget the phrase 'God helps those who help themselves. The paramount role of www.desitoday.ca


action, ' karma' in Hindi, has been admitted and given significant importance by all religions. There is no alternative to hard work done in earnest and with full devotion, even without expectation of any result from work. Because, very emphatically and religiously, it is said in the Gita, the holy scripture of the Hindus by Lord Krishna, "karmanye adekarastu, ma phalesu kadachnna" – which means that your duty is to work without expecting any reward for it. The work itself is the reward, giving you happiness and satisfaction provided the work has been done as Worship. The work done in compulsion without putting your heart into it is a sort of punishment. Slavery or bonded labor is nothing, but work done under pressure and with fear of punishment. One of the most important teachings in Guru Granth Sahib, the eternal Guru of the Sikhs, is "kirat karo, naam japo and vand chhako" (do your work, remember God, and eat the fruit of your work by sharing it with your fellow man). Priority must be given to work. All other worldly affairs come afterward. Let us see what the Holy Bible tells us about work, "Honest hard work, this is something God seeks from all of us. Working hard but with faith in mind can lead to the great things God has planned for us. A sluggard's appetite is never filled, but the needs of the diligent are fully satisfied. Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense that only hard work brings profit. Mere talks lead to poverty". In Islam, work is given special importance to the extent that it is considered an act of Worship. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was a hardworking person even before he was chosen as a messenger of God. In Buddhism, the 'right efforts' is a central teaching of the Eightfold Path. I remember the following words while undergoing a ten-day Vipassana meditation course taught by the late Shri S.N. Goenka, "Work. Work. Work. Work diligently, work ardently, work intelligently, and work patiently and persistently. You will be successful." It is necessary to understand that only hard work brings greatness in life with aim and purpose. Work is real Worship. Without work, our life is a waste. The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. 'Work like a Trojan' means work extremely hard. Work done as Worship works wonders. So let us work like an eager beaver. www.desitoday.ca

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FEATURE

D

elta Police Constable Jaspreet (Jessy) Sahota has been recognized with a prestigious award: the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Top 40 under 40 Award. The award recognizes police officers from around the globe exemplifying leadership, dedication, and service to the law enforcement profession. This year’s winners come from the United States, Australia, India, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada. Constable Sahota is being recognized for promoting community safety and well-being through his work with at-risk youth, focusing on cultivating resiliency and empowering youth to avoid the perils of drugs, gangs, crimes, and violence. As a Youth Liaison Officer, Constable Sahota works with at-risk and high-risk youth in the community with the goal of stabilizing the youth by establishing positive connections with police, schools, counsellors, and mentors. His dedication to steering youth toward a positive and resilient path is a passion; he incorporates this passion for his on-duty work and off-duty through volunteer coaching, serving as a mentor for countless youth. Constable Sahota, a three-time Canadian National Champion in wrestling and kabaddi superstar, believes that team sports are an

DELTA’S

SUPER COP

JASPREET

SAHOTA 40

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essential catalyst to connect with, teach skills, and empower youth. Earlier this year, he spearheaded the DPD’s Youth Wrestling Program, which has been more successful than imagined. “We are honoured to learn that Constable Sahota has been selected as one of the recipients of this esteemed recognition,” says Chief Constable Neil Dubord. “Through this award, we celebrate his service, achievements, and dedication to community safety. Constable Sahota has a steadfast commitment to working with and developing the future of our society: our youth, and we are proud to have him on our team. The Delta Police Department is lucky to have so many talented employees.” “The professionals chosen as the 2022 40 Under 40 awardees represent the rising leaders of policing, regardless of rank. They serve their agencies and communities with excellence, whether they are civilian staff, line officers, supervisors, or chiefs of police. This year’s class represents every element of policing—patrol officers, investigators, command staff, PIOs, school resource officers, researchers, training coordinators, community engagement officers, and more. They serve communities around the globe, representing law enforcement from seven countries across four continents. Their home agencies range from small, local police departments to large national police agencies, and include every size or type in between,” said a release by IACP. These extraordinary individuals are motivated to lead their agencies into the future, and they encourage colleagues to grow professionally and personally, striving daily to provide best-of-class services that lead to a safer, more inclusive, and more peaceful world. Regardless of role, rank, or agency, these professionals have dedicated their efforts to raising the bar for policing, and they serve as role models to those they work with and the community members they serve each day. The members of the 2022 40 Under 40 cadre each bring their own talents, personalities, and motivations to the policing profession, but they all share important characteristics—the spirit of collaboration, the drive to help others, innovation and creativity, leadership, and the desire to make a difference in their communities and www.desitoday.ca

Delta Police officer Const. Jaspreet (Jessy) Sahota is pictured here on the medals podium at the recent World Police and Fire Games. profession. Each winner was chosen for his or her demonstration of strong values, leadership capability, and commitment to the law enforcement field. They emit positivity, compassion, and energy, despite the challenging circumstances that all law enforcement personnel face. They provide training and mentorship for others,

develop more effective methodologies for their agencies, and drive advancements in technology and policy. The awardees consistently show their dedication to their communities through community service, outreach, and education, going beyond their roles in the law enforcement field to make the world a better, safer place for their loved ones, the public, and future generations.

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D E S I T O DAY

FEATURE

IND IA NS SH INING

ROMESH WADHWANI

RAKESH GANGWAL

JAY CHAUDHRY

VINOD KHOSLA

FOUR INDIAN-AMERICANS IN FORBES 400 RICH LIST

I

ndian-Americans Vinod Khosla, Romesh Wadhwani and Rakesh Gangwal made it to the Forbes 2022 list of 400 wealthiest Americans with Zscaler CEO Jay Chaudhry leading the pack with a net worth of $8.2 billion. Overall, Tesla's Elon Musk earned the top spot for the first time, unseating former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who had held the top spot for four consecutive years. As a group, the 400 wealthiest Americans are worth $4 trillion, $500 billion less than last year, Forbes noted. Chaudhry, 63, who founded the cybersecurity firm Zscaler in 2008, is ranked 79. He and his family members own 42 per cent of the Nasdaq-listed firm which went public in March 2018. 42

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Before Zscaler, Chaudhry had founded four other tech companies that were all acquired -- SecureIT, CoreHarbor, CipherTrust, and AirDefense. In 1996, Chaudhry and his wife quit their jobs and used their life savings to launch SecureIT, their first startup. Chaudhry had moved to the US in 1980 to attend graduate school. He now lives in Reno, Nevada. With a net worth of $5.2 billion, Vinod Khosla (67) was ranked 181. His firm, Khosla Ventures, invests in experimental technologies such as biomedicine and robotics. Khosla had co-founded the computer hardware firm Sun Microsystems in 1982 with Andy Bechtolsheim, Bill Joy, and Scott McNealy. Romesh T. Wadhwani (67), founder and chairman of Symphony Technology Group,

was ranked 196 with a net worth of $5.1 billion. He stepped down as CEO of SymphonyAI at the start of 2022 in a move to ready the firm for a potential public offering. He is also the chairman of ConcertAI, an AI company focused on healthcare and life sciences that was valued at $1.9 billion by venture capital investors in March 2022. With a net worth of $3.7 billion, airline veteran Rakesh Gangwal (69) made his fortune from InterGlobe Aviation, the parent outfit of budget airline IndiGo, India's largest by market share. He started his airline career with United Airlines in 1984 and went on to run US Airways Group as its chief executive and chairman. Gangwal had cofounded IndiGo with Rahul Bhatia in 2006 with one aircraft. The Miami www.desitoday.ca


resident, who is ranked 261 on the list, owns close to 37 per cent of the company. Indian-Americans Vinod Khosla, Romesh Wadhwani and Rakesh Gangwal made it to the Forbes 2022 list of 400 wealthiest Americans with Zscaler CEO Jay Chaudhry leading the pack with a net worth of $8.2 billion. Overall, Tesla's Elon Musk earned the top spot for the first time, unseating former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who had held the top spot for four consecutive years. As a group, the 400 wealthiest Americans are worth $4 trillion, $500 billion less than last year, Forbes noted. Chaudhry, 63, who founded the cybersecurity firm Zscaler in 2008, is ranked 79. He and his family members own 42 per cent of the Nasdaq-listed firm which went public in March 2018. Before Zscaler, Chaudhry had founded four other tech companies that were all acquired -- SecureIT, CoreHarbor, CipherTrust, and AirDefense. In 1996, Chaudhry and his wife quit their jobs and used their life savings to launch SecureIT, their first startup. Chaudhry had moved to the US in 1980 to attend graduate school. He now lives in Reno, Nevada. With a net worth of $5.2 billion, Vinod Khosla (67) was ranked 181. His firm, Khosla Ventures, invests in experimental technologies such as biomedicine and robotics. Khosla had co-founded the computer hardware firm Sun Microsystems in 1982 with Andy Bechtolsheim, Bill Joy, and Scott McNealy. Romesh T. Wadhwani (67), founder and chairman of Symphony Technology Group, was ranked 196 with a net worth of $5.1 billion. He stepped down as CEO of SymphonyAI at the start of 2022 in a move to ready the firm for a potential public offering. He is also the chairman of ConcertAI, an AI company focused on healthcare and life sciences that was valued at $1.9 billion by venture capital investors in March 2022. With a net worth of $3.7 billion, airline veteran Rakesh Gangwal (69) made his fortune from InterGlobe Aviation, the parent outfit of budget airline IndiGo, India's largest by market share. He started his airline career with United Airlines in 1984 and went on to run US Airways Group as its chief executive and chairman. Gangwal had cofounded IndiGo with Rahul Bhatia in 2006 with one aircraft. The Miami resident, who is ranked 261 on the list, owns close to 37 per cent of the company.

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lobal coffee chain Starbucks recently named Indian-born Laxman Narasimhan its next CEO. Narasimhan, who currently heads health and hygiene company Reckitt, takes over from its iconic interim CEO Howard Shultz in April. Narasimhan joins the growing ranks of Indian-descent CEOs heading leading US corporate giants such as Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Sundar Pichai of Alphabet, Shantanu Narayen of Adobe, Punit Renjen of Deloitte and Raj Subramaniam of FedEx. Major former Desi CEOs include Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo and Ajay Banga of Mastercard. The incoming Starbuck CEO studied mechanical engineering at the University of Pune and then he headed west, picking up Masters in German and International Studies from The Lauder Institute at The University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania. "Starbucks commitment to uplift humanity through connection and compassion has long distinguished the company, building an unrivaled, globally admired brand that has transformed the way we connect over coffee. I am humbled to be joining this iconic company at such a pivotal time, as the reinvention and investments in the partner and customer experiences position us to meet the changing demands we face today and set us up for an even stronger future," said Narasimhan, adding, "I look forward to working closely with Howard, the Board, and the entire leadership team -- and to listening and learning from Starbucks partners -- as we collectively build on this work to lead the company into its next chapter of growth and impact." He will relocate to Seattle, Washington, from London and will work closely with Shultz before taking over formally in April. "Laxman is an inspiring leader. His deep, hands-on experience driving strategic transformations at global consumer-facing businesses makes him the ideal choice to accelerate Starbucks growth and capture the opportunities ahead of us. His understanding of our culture and values, coupled with his expertise as a brand builder, innovation champion, and operational leader will be true differentiators as we position Starbucks for the next 50 years, generating value for all our stakeholders," said Shultz. Shultz's handpicked successor Kevin Johnson retired in April after five years and

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DES I TODAY

INDIANS SHINING

INDIAN-BORN

Laxman Narasimhan iS NEW CEO OF STARBUCKS

www.desitoday.ca


He is a big shot in the business world, but he is just a regular guy who does regular things with us. He goes to music concerts a lot and posts about them. Shultz returned to take back control of the company as interim CEO and a search got underway for a long-term head, which ended with Narasimhan being announced on Thursday. Shultz will remain a member of the Starbucks board, the company said and he will "remain closely involved with the company's reinvention and act as an ongoing advisor to Narasimhan". Narasimhan’s school friend and classmate Nitin Joshi told ToI, “At heart, he is still the humble, warm and approachable guy we all grew up with." Joshi said that they have a WhatsApp group of the 1982 batch of Loyola’s School, where Narasimhan regularly posts updates of his life and shares photos. “He is a big shot in the business world, but he is just a regular guy who does regular things with us. He goes to music concerts a lot and posts about them. A few days ago, he posted a photo with his mother and wife. He is always active in the group. A few days ago, he messaged that he won’t be posting anything for a while. This morning, we woke up to this amazing news and the group has been flooded with congratulatory messages," Joshi, who is a businessman, was quoted as saying. Narasimhan previously worked with PepsiCo, including as global Chief Commercial Officer, as a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, before that. At McKinsey he had been focused on its consumer, retail and technology practices in the US, Asia and India. www.desitoday.ca

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FEATURE

UBC Medical Student

SUKHMEET SINGH SACHAL receives CaRMS 2022 Student Award for LEADERSHIP

S

ukhmeet Singh Sachal, a UBC medical student, was recognized for his outstanding leadership skills, as the 2022 recipient of the Sandra Banner Student Award for Leadership (SBSAL). The Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) Board of Directors launched the SBSAL in 2013 with the aim of encouraging the development of future leaders in medicine. The annual award recognizes the exceptional leadership of one undergraduate medical student and one postgraduate medical trainee. Each of this year’s winners will receive up to $3,000 in leadership development funding. Sachal, the 2022 Undergraduate Winner in Canada, is an award-winning social entrepreneur, speaker, author, and humanitarian. As a medical student, he serves as the Health and Wellness Ambassador for the Canadian Medical Association, and a member of the Council of Health Promotion for Doctors of BC. He is also the co-founder of Break The Divide Foundation, an international organization which connects youth globally with one another to discuss climate change and mental health, and drive local solutions to global problems.

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Sachal is the founder of the Sikh Health Foundation, which aims to improve public health interventions in South Asian communities across Canada. During the pandemic, this charity made waves globally for creating awareness about COVID-19 in a culturally effective manner. Through his advocacy and innovations, he received $175,000 in funding to help bring an end to COVID-19 and inform policy changes at the national level. Sachal has been named as one of Canada’s Emerging Leaders, been recognized by Dr. Theresa Tam in helping keep Canadians safe, and recently honored as one of ten COVID-19 Commonwealth Youth Heroes worldwide. His love for research, medicine, innovation, and his effective leadership skills have resulted in Sachal being named this year’s undergraduate recipient of the Sandra Banner Student Award for Leadership. IN his acceptance speech, Sukhmeet Singh Sachal said: “I would like to thank CaRMS for naming me as the recipient of the prestigious Sandra Banner Student Award for Leadership. In Sikhism, there is a concept known as Seva, which means selfless service. Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to have many wonderful mentors who have guided me to this path of selfless service. “Having gone through medical school through a pandemic was challenging to say the least. However, seeing the heroic actions of physicians, allied health workers, and my fellow medical student colleagues inspired

In Sikhism, there is a concept known as Seva, which means selfless service. Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to have many wonderful mentors who have guided me to this path of selfless service. me to take action. “A lot of what I do stems from seeing the problems or barriers around me and trying to find ways to work with community members to enact change. This is how the Sikh Health Foundation was born. “I am proud that this organization has helped educate over 250,000 people across Canada since the pandemic started. As well,

the organization now serves as a hub for youth to get involved with research, knowledge translation, and enacting policy changes. “I would like to thank the entire CaRMS committee for this honour. I dedicate this award to every single person across Canada who did their part to help bring an end to this pandemic. As we continue into new health challenges, I urge us all to bring out the leaders within us to continue making a difference.”

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FEATURE

C

elebrating Diwali, the festival of lights in Northern Hemisphere is a completely different experience for young families especially the kids who have just moved to Canada or America. After experiencing Diwali in India, kids can find it difficult to relate the festival in North American settings. They miss the celebration of Diwali with family and friends. They miss the lights, the fire crackers, gifts and sharing sweets with neighbor. But if you and your kids have made Canada or America your home country, why not celebrate Diwali here with same enthusiasm. A new book children's picture book "Diwali in My New Home," by author Shachi Kaushik tells the heartwarming story of experiencing old traditions in new ways and in a new country. The story follows Priya, a young girl who moves to America but misses the traditions of Diwali in India. No one in Priya’s new neighborhood knows about Diwali but with her parents she tries to follow the familiar

New Children's

Book Celebrates Diwali in North America

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traditions of decorating house with lights and rangoli art, dressing the way they did in India, praying and singing, and Priya’s favorite part: lighting sparklers. As she celebrates with her new neighbors, she feels hope and joy. While not the same as celebrating in India, Priya’s new experience is still special. Author Kaushik, this Diwali, wants to make every kid’s experience special through her book. This beautiful 32-page story is perfect for celebrating diversity and introducing Hindu festivals to kids. With wonderful illustrations, a relatable story, an easy-to-understand explanation of Diwali, and a glossary at the end, this book is perfect for young readers and their families. Whether you're learning about Diwali for the first time or celebrating a beloved holiday, "Diwali in My New Home" is a delightful read. Born and raised in India, Kaushik currently lives in Vancouver with her husband. A lawyer by profession Kaushik found a passion for storytelling in the United States. When she first moved to the US, she quickly became an active member of her local library, where she started a Hindi-English storytime. It was there that she realized the joy children express when they listen to stories. Inspired by this, Shachi dedicated herself to children's media, writing children's books that would not only entertain, but also educate. She is passionate about sharing her culture and traditions with others while promoting diversity and inclusion in her books. Her new life passion for storytelling and enthusiasm for creating children's media content has never waned. She is constantly working on new material. In "The Picture Book World," a monthly column from Austin South Asia, Shachi focuses on topics such as cultural diversity and authenticity to promote content that is engaging for young readers. Additionally, she started SmartyHathy a free downloadable monthly activity book for children which has become a hit with parents. SmartyHathy's goal is for kids to learn about various festivals by doing things like coloring pages, completing connect-thewww.desitoday.ca

dots activities, making crafts, and reading books. SmartyHathy gives book suggestions for parents and even does a special author interview every month. Shachi also has a YouTube channel for children called "Happy Hindi Learners" where she posts videos teaching about the Hindi language and Indian culture. She is currently working on "The Guava Juice Show," a new YouTube Original animated series. Where You Can Get Her Heartwarming New Book "Diwali in My New Home" has already been released to the public, available for preorder. For more information about Shachi and her work, you can follow her on: Facebook: storiesbyshachi Twitter: KaushikShachi Instagram: storiesbyshachi Website: StoriesByShachi.com

This beautiful 32-page story is perfect for celebrating diversity and introducing Hindu festivals to kids. With wonderful illustrations, a relatable story, an easy-tounderstand explanation of Diwali, and a glossary at the end, this book is perfect for young readers and their families

Author Shachi Kaushik with illustrator Aishwarya Tondoon. Shachi was finally able to take a trip to India and met her in Jaipur.

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Understanding Your

Paycheque

W

hether it’s your first job and you’re surprised by how little your take-home pay is, or you’re a career veteran who’s never really thought about the regular deductions that come off your paycheque, it’s important to understand what’s being deducted and why. Canadian employers are required to make three deductions from employee paycheques. The first covers income tax, the second is a contribution to Employment Insurance (EI) and the third goes into the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Fund. There can be others – union dues or covering an employer-sponsored retirement plan for example – but these three apply broadly.

INCOME TAX The amount of income tax deducted is based on how much you make and includes deductions for taxable benefits, such as parking or a leased vehicle. 50

OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE Employment Insurance premiums are deducted from your pay at a rate set each year by the federal government. Your employer also contributes to EI, which provides you with temporary financial assistance while unemployed and looking for work or if you’re upgrading your skills.

CPP CONTRIBUTIONS The CPP Fund is designed to provide you with a portion of your retirement income, in addition to what you can save elsewhere. It is funded through employee and employer contributions, along with investment earnings. The Fund provides workers and their families with a basic level of income in retirement. The contribution is deducted from your pay if you are 18 years of age or older and earn more than $3,500 per year. Government enhancements to expand CPP are designed to replace about a third of

your average annual wages, up to an annual limit.

HOW THE DEDUCTIONS ARE USED While your deductions for income tax and EI go into general government revenues, CPP deductions are treated differently. They are credited to a special ‘CPP account’ that can only be used to pay out current retirement and other benefits and CPP expenses. Any funds left over are transferred to CPP Investments, the professional investment organization that invests the CPP Fund independent of government. Investments are diversified by asset class and geography so that the Fund remains resilient as it achieves growth in global markets over time. This active management approach has resulted in assets of $523 billion and an average annual return during the past ten years of 10.3 percent after all costs, as of June 30, 2022. The Office of the Chief Actuary, the independent government body that assesses the viability of the CPP, confirmed in its latest study that the CPP is sustainable for the next 75 years – good to know if you’ve just received your first pay cheque and are wondering what that deduction means. To learn more about CPP Investments, visit cppinvestments.com. www.desitoday.ca



HealtH & wellness

Money Talks TEACH YOUR KIDS GOOD MONEY HABITS

Talking to kids about money management and financial literacy can be intimidating, especially if you feel like you’re not a financial whiz yourself. Perhaps you never got much financial education from your parents, or you grew up with financial insecurity. According to Statistics Canada, one-third of Canadians indicate that they struggle to manage their day-to-day finances, and many avoid talking to their kids because they feel they’re too young? Here are some helpful reminders for talking about money with kids. 52

OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

Talking about money isn’t taboo In some households, money is attached to self-worth, in others to poor choices, and for some, they just aren’t comfortable discussing it. However, learning about money at home can help teach kids that money is not something to avoid talking about – and that’s a valuable lesson to carry into adulthood where financial confidence leads to more success. It doesn’t always have to be a structured conversation. You can use everyday activities as teachable moments or try digital learning tools like Mydoh to empower kids for their future.

Keep the conversations honest Despite some fears adults have, open discussions about money among the family will help kids have the knowledge and

confidence they need to make money-smart decisions. Honesty is truly the best policy, but if it feels daunting, take a family-first approach. This could mean setting a savings goal for a vacation together, having in-themoment conversations about money at the grocery store, or simply being honest about your money mistakes so that your kids can learn from them.

Start the discussions early The earlier you start talking to your kids and teens about financial literacy, the more confidence they’ll have in managing their own money down the line. Given responsibility, experience and a little guidance, kids can get a head start in shaping strong financial futures for themselves. Find a starting point to help your kids understand money at mydoh.ca or download the app. Newscanada.com www.desitoday.ca


Fighting inflation, making the most of your purchasing power Inflation is quickly raising prices of goods and services, and significantly impacting monthly budgets. But there are ways to help lessen the effects. The first thing to do is figure out where inflation is hurting your household budget the most, likely with gas and groceries. To help offset high gas prices, plan your errands and routes to cut down on travel time. Set up a carpool for your daily commute or the kids’ activities, and take public transit, bike or walk when the distance and weather permits. For groceries, try to find in-season local produce, check weekly flyers for sales and plan your meals to avoid unnecessary waste. Further stretch your savings by growing your own greens, fruits and vegetables in a garden at home. When substitutes aren’t available, find ways to mitigate costs. Rewards programs can help you save on future purchases and adventures. If you’re not part of a rewards program, look for one that maximizes the money you spend, such as the BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard. Travel, entertainment and dining don’t need to be put on the backburner due to inflation. It’s been a long two years and many of us are eager to get back to the activities we’ve missed out on. Use your earned rewards points towards hotel rooms, flights and tourist attractions. With a plan in place and early preparation, you’ll be able to enjoy your summer holidays within budget. Newscanada.com

FINANCIAL WELLNESS 101 Your financial wellness is as simple or complicated as you want to make it. If your money supports the life you choose to live – for as long as you need it to – then consider yourself successful. Money sometimes feels overwhelming. It doesn’t have to. Here are some tips to help:

Track your spending Budgets are like dental floss. Boring, and sometimes a little painful. They’re also easy to do and worth the effort. Know what your take-home pay is each month. Subtract the amount you need to commit to basics like housing, food and other obligations. What’s left can go in one of two directions – in or out. Decide what you want to save each month and do your best not to spend it. Credit cards are convenient, and a useful way to build a credit rating. If you can pay your full credit card balance each month, you won’t have to pay interest in addition to the amount you’ve borrowed.

Expect the nexpected If the 2020s have taught us anything, it’s that life can go sideways in a hurry. Jobs can be lost, sometimes with little or no warning. A serious illness or injury can also put you out of work. For most of us, any one of several scenarios could mean real financial difficulty. www.desitoday.ca

So, it’s important to manage these risks with the right insurance coverage. If you can build one, an emergency fund is also valuable.

Look ahead to your retirement We live in a country that combines the freedom to create a financial life for ourselves and our loved ones, with programs that can provide assistance. Understanding how these programs work helps ensure you’re covering what you need to with your personal savings, insurance and investments. The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is an example. It’s designed to provide you with a portion of your retirement income, in addition to what you can save elsewhere. If you are at least 60 and have made one or more valid contributions, you qualify for CPP benefits. CPP Investments manages the Fund in the best interests of the CPP contributors and beneficiaries. With more than $523 billion (as of June 30, 2022), the Fund is sustainable for the next 75 years. There is real value in maintaining a long-term perspective. The more you’re able to think about money priorities over your entire adult life – as well as your immediate income and expenses at any given time – the more successful you’ll be in building real financial wellness for many years to come. Newscanada.com OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

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Photo: Laura Sou

HealtH & wellness

Six tips to

stay motivated throughout

the school year It’s a marathon, not a sprint, says an expert who offers advice to help students, teachers and parents build motivation that will go the distance.

F

or many students and teachers, the new school year has added a new set of challenges to the big ones they’ve already been dealing with for nearly two and a half years. And though it may be simple enough to “switch on” motivation to get things done in the short term, sustaining it 54

OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

throughout the entire year is a different matter, according to a researcher at the University of Alberta. “In school, things are more of a marathon than a sprint,” says Lia Daniels, professor in the Department of Educational Psychology. “There’s an undeniable structure to when

the school day starts, when it ends, and what pieces are going to look like in the middle. Students and teachers have to figure out their motivation within that structure that’s fairly non-negotiable.” To help prepare students and teachers for the year ahead, Daniels shares a few tips and tricks to strengthen motivation for the long haul.

Praise the process, not the person When it comes to giving students a boost as they battle with their motivation during tough stretches, Daniels recommends avoiding phrases like, “You’re so smart,” noting that this kind of “person praise” can actually be damaging to motivation. “Sometimes when we praise people, it starts to become tied to identity and selfworth,” she explains. This can cause issues if a student encounters a situation that’s more difficult. Suddenly, they don’t just doubt their ability to complete that task — they begin to doubt everything about who they are, causing their motivation to plummet. Instead, shift your praise to statements that focus on the process, such as, “You worked really hard on that,” or, “I can see you invested a lot of time in this.” These are more www.desitoday.ca


Staying motivated through the school year can be challenging for students, teachers and parents alike, but taking a longterm approach helps build motivation that will stand the test of time. LiA DANieLs, eDUCATiONAL PsYCHOLOGY ReseARCHeR

helpful for building long-term motivation.

Cultivate a growth mindset As Daniels explains, people with a growth mindset believe their abilities and skills can grow and change over time, whereas those with a fixed mindset assume that’s just not possible. “A lot of motivation exists in our heads. It’s our thoughts, our thought processes, that influence the decisions we make,” she says. For example, a child who feels they’ve never been and never will be good at mathematics may struggle in math class because of their fixed mindset. A child who is at the same general skill level at the start of the semester but who believes they have the ability to learn the concepts, even if in a different way or in a different time frame than their peers, will progress much more and be more motivated to do so. “We need teachers, parents and kids to all actually believe that growth is possible, and then to create conditions in which growth can happen.” That might involve something like creating worksheets at different levels, if what’s given to the entire class is a bit too challenging for a particular student at first. It could also be www.desitoday.ca

something visual like a chart or sticker board where kids can see their progress — even if it’s a small boost, like going from getting zero questions on a worksheet right to getting just one question right on the next. “You want to build success experiences so they see themselves getting better.”

Prioritize motivation from within It may be tempting for teachers and parents to dangle treats, stickers or other rewards to motivate a student. But Daniels says intrinsic motivation is far more effective in the long term, and suggests it’s always the place to start. “Extrinsic motivation is anytime we bring something external to a student to get them to do something,” she explains. “If intrinsic motivation is there, you don’t need a sticker box.” To build intrinsic motivation, three basic psychological needs must be met: competence, autonomy and relatedness. Competence involves “giving students an opportunity to feel like they are growing and making progress, having the right level of challenge.” Autonomy is a matter of cultivating an environment where kids have a choice, even if it’s something as simple as the colour of pants they wear to school on a given day. “Motivation comes with us in our bodies when we show up in a classroom,” explains Daniels, so these small practices done before a student even walks through the school doors can be beneficial for their motivation. Relatedness is the process of teachers

wanting to know more about their students and learn about who they are, something Daniels says comes naturally to most teachers.

Know there’s a time and place for extrinsic motivation Daniels notes that extrinsic motivation can be effective in certain scenarios when a little boost is needed, but should be used sparingly. “If the intrinsic motivation is not online, sometimes we need to use external things to trigger it, to bring it online, and then peel them back a little bit and replace them with this basic psychological satisfaction.” One reason external motivators are less effective is that we’re always weighing them to determine whether the reward is worth the effort — and the goalposts often change because “kids are really smart,” says Daniels. One week, a single cookie might be enough to convince them to do their homework, but the price might go up to two cookies the following week. This kind of weighing doesn’t occur with intrinsic motivation, which is why it’s a more solid foundation for long-term motivation.

Appeal to interests Whenever possible, try to find ways to involve kids’ interests in an area they’re struggling to find motivation in, advises Daniels. “The more you can attach whatever it is you have to do to something you actually like doing, the easier it is to stay motivated.

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We need teachers, parents and kids to all actually believe that growth is possible, and then to create conditions in which growth can happen “This is a space where students and teachers can really pull together,” she adds. For example, if a class is doing a project on dinosaurs and a student is fascinated by the T. Rex, their motivation will likely skyrocket if they’re allowed to pursue a project on that particular creature, whereas they might struggle if assigned a random dinosaur they have little interest in. For older students, it could mean incorporating sketches and 56

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illustrations in science study notes if they’re more artistically inclined.

Go with the ebbs and flows

In a marathon, giving 100 per cent of your effort looks different at various points — there are certain stretches where you’ll slow down a bit and others where you kick it into high gear, but such adjustments are a strength not a weakness of motivation. That’s also the case during the school year, according to Daniels. “You’re going to ebb and flow in your motivation. It’s OK to have some days where you’re not super enthused about things. You’ve just got to not let it plow you over.”

When you’re struggling with motivation, sometimes it’s best to take a step back rather than trying to push through at any cost. “Like everything, motivation is a finite resource. The cost of continuing to invest effort in something that is a really bad fit can take a toll in other areas. Giving yourself a break and some space is OK.” And in some cases, Daniels says, it may be best to strategically throw in the towel. That may not be possible with required school subjects, but if a student is finding it increasingly difficult to muster motivation for an after-school activity or elective they’ve chosen, there comes a point where pushing through can make things worse. “If you’ve really given it your all in your cooking class or your elective, it is motivationally adaptive to know when you need to stop and say, ‘I should re-engage somewhere else.’” Courtesy: Folio.ca www.desitoday.ca


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Children have entered a fourth school year in a pandemic EXPERT ADVICE FOR PARENTS

As children start a fourth school year with COVID-19, many parents are hoping their kids will be able to enjoy a mostly normal school experience. But with new variants circulating and respiratory virus season on the horizon, many also have concerns and questions about what the new school year will look like. Dr. Manish Sadarangani, a pediatrics professor at the UBC faculty of medicine and father of three, shares his perspective and advice for parents.

Dr. Manish Sadarangani, investigator and head of the Vaccine Research Center at BC Children’s Hospital and associate professor in the department of pediatrics at The University of British Columbia 58

OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

You have three kids yourself — how are you feeling about the school year ahead? I would say I’m cautiously optimistic. Our children had three school years that were dramatically disrupted by COVID-19, and we’re realizing more and more how much

of an impact that has on their social and emotional development. So, I’m hopeful that we can start to see something resembling normal childhood interactions in the school year to come.

Are you concerned about the new variants and the potential for a fall/winter wave? We are going to continue seeing waves of different variants, but it’s difficult to predict right now how frequently those waves will www.desitoday.ca


come or how severe they will be. As parents and as a society, we need to remain nimble and open to the possibility that the situation could change rather quickly. Fortunately, we’re now in a very different place than we were at the beginning of the pandemic. Vaccines have provided a high level of population immunity, which means the school year ahead can be very different than those previous.

So, what can parents do? Vaccination is the safest way to build immunity, and we’re very lucky that anyone who’s six months and older can now be vaccinated in B.C. If your child hasn’t received their vaccine, there’s still time to build a robust immunity for the school year and the best time to go would be as soon as possible. Some children may also be eligible for booster doses and parents can check the Immunize BC website for the latest information.

Kids have to feel comfortable in their environment, and as parents, we need to talk with them and be supportive of the decisions they want to make. who are at increased risk, it’s best to speak with the healthcare professionals responsible their treatment and care. There may be other times when parents want to take extra precautions to make sure their kids aren’t going to get sick, whether that’s an upcoming performance, a sports tournament, a family vacation or a visit with an elderly or vulnerable family member. It’s also important to remember that children have their own views and opinions. Kids have to feel comfortable in their environment, and as parents, we need to talk with them and be supportive of the decisions they want to make.

How do you recommend parents talk with their kids about COVID-19 leading up to the school year?

Parents know their kids best — try to use language they understand and gauge what level of detail they want to hear. Most importantly, keep the conversation going. Check in with them to see how the school year is going and find out what they’re talking about with teachers and classmates.

What if my child is feeling anxious? It’s normal for children to have some level of stress and anxiety as things change. Try to re-emphasize that just because things are changing, it doesn’t mean they’re any less safe. Make sure they know it’s okay not to have a mask, and on the flip side, that it’s okay if they still want to wear one. We have to respect people’s individual choices and empower our kids to do the same.

With higher levels of immunity, do we still need extra precautions in schools? By and large, what’s happening in schools should reflect what’s happening in the community. We have a lot of data, including from studies here in B.C., showing that transmission within schools largely reflects transmission in the community. So, schools aren’t really higher risk environments and the protective measures we take in schools should reflect those we take elsewhere in our lives.

Under what conditions should parents consider masks for their children? It will vary from family to family. For children www.desitoday.ca

OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

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HealtH & wellness

Age-appropriate

While kids are growing up with these digital tools and activities as second nature to them, it’s still important to make sure they’re staying safe with appropriate activities.

Online Activities for Kids

E

ven if you wanted to, it would be hard to opt out of the online world today. Searching the internet, watching videos, playing online games and using social media can make life easier and more enjoyable. While kids are growing up with these digital tools and activities as second nature to them, it’s still important to make sure they’re staying safe with appropriate activities. Here are some ideas that can be scaled up or down for different age groups as needed:

Exploring a faraway world close to home Augmented reality games that get kids active and out into the neighbourhood can be a great online activity for various age groups. Games like this, such as Pokémon Go or Dragon Quest Walk, take players on a digital scavenger hunt in the physical world. You can play together with younger kids or let them meet up to play with friends if they’re old enough. Classic geocaching is the same 60

OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

principle without the augmented reality. Just be aware that these games require GPS location data, so protect your privacy by disabling location access when not in use.

aware of red flags for phishing scams and block any strange requests. Let them know they can always come to you if they aren’t sure about something.

Getting into gaming

Navigating social media

Playing video games can be super entertaining and even educational for all age groups. With online connectivity in popular games like Minecraft, Fortnite and Roblox, it’s important to do your own due diligence about whether they are suitable for your child – especially since many younger kids are playing. Built-in messaging and in-game purchasing can pose safety and security risks for kids, who could be lured into clicking on scams or spending lots of money. Fortunately, you can often modify parental controls to make them somewhat safer. Whatever age your players are, be sure to have conversations with them about how to stay safe in online games. Teach them to be

As scary and unknowable as social media might feel for parents, it can be an important way for teens to stay connected with their peers and explore their interests. Stay up to date on the features and risks of social platforms like Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram and have ongoing conversations with your teens about how they use the platforms and what they need to know to stay safe. If younger kids show interest, creating content together – whether you post it or not – can be tons of fun and open valuable conversations about what’s appropriate to share online. Find more information at GetCyberSafe. ca Source : Newscanada.com www.desitoday.ca


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HealtH & wellness

d o Fo d: u a Fr t You a h W ld u o Sh w o Kn W

e often don’t think twice about buying groceries in the store, but despite Canada’s strict regulations we can still fall victim to food fraud. This is when a product is misrepresented, like when something is advertised as sodium free but doesn’t meet the threshold, or sugar syrup is added to a jar of honey labelled as pure honey. The next time you go shopping, keep some of these tips in mind so you can have peace of mind that you’re feeding your family exactly what you want to be. 62

OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

Know what to look for on the label

Canada has specific requirements for food labels. Food products that are intentionally or unintentionally mislabelled, can mislead consumers about the character and quality of the food they’re buying. It can even be dangerous if, for example, food allergens are found in food that aren’t listed on the label. Learning how to understand a food label through resources like the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website can help you become an informed consumer the next time you go shopping.

Know what foods are in season

One way to spot potential food fraud is by knowing when different produce items are in season and should be available. For example, seeing pineapples labelled as “Product of Canada” would be a red flag since we don’t have the climate to grow this type of food here. Knowing when you should be able to find foods from different regions the next time you’re in the produce section can help you know when something might not be what it seems. www.desitoday.ca


3 TIPS FOR

Sustainable GROCERY SHOPPING

Shopping for food is a regular activity for most families, but have you considered how little changes you can make at the grocery store could have a big impact on the planet? Making sustainable choices doesn’t need to be daunting. Here are three easy tips to make your grocery shopping greener:

Prioritize eco-friendly packaging

Know how much things normally cost

Food fraud can also happen when producers try to sell an inferior or adulterated product while making it seem like a higher-quality counterpart. Comparing prices with trusted brands and being aware of average prices for products can help ensure you’re getting what you expect in the food you buy. Should you, for example, find a bottle of honey at half the price of the others, it might be diluted with other sugars even if the label says it’s pure. Often, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. www.desitoday.ca

Single use food and beverage waste make up a startling 26.6 per cent of all Canadian according to the World Wildlife Foundation. On your next visit to the grocery store, look for products with recyclable or compostable packaging. Remember to dispose of packaging correctly at home by building an efficient recycling and composting system that your whole family can get involved with – even the kids.

Choose better food for a better planet

Food producers such as Maple Leaf Foods have been developing innovative ways to create delicious meals while offsetting carbon production. Offsetting carbon means that business practices don’t contribute to global warming and climate change. Look for foods from its range of sustainable proteins that have fully recyclable packaging.

“Upcook” your meals to reduce food waste

We all throw away food we don’t use on a weekly basis, whether it’s well-intentioned excess ingredients or uneaten takeout. Next time, don’t leave your leftovers behind – “upcook” them in fun ways to reduce your food waste. Plan ahead and buy in bulk to maximize creativity in meals and save money on your overall grocery bill.

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d o Fo d: u a Fr tial n e t po ct on a p im allets W r ou With food prices rising due to inflation and supply chain problems, our grocery bills are getting bigger and budgets aren’t stretching as far. That’s why it’s more important than ever to get value for your dollar. Sometimes people might buy a food product that isn’t quite what they think it is. In some cases, this could be food fraud which occurs when food is misrepresented. There are different types of food fraud: 64

OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

Substitution

When a product is substituted for another, such as pollock for cod fish.

Adulteration or dilution

When ingredients or elements are mixed in, such as adding sugar syrup to honey.

Mislabelling

When a product is misrepresented on its label, such as labelling an apple or cereal as organic when it’s not.

False claims and statements

Similar to mislabelling, false claims or statements also misrepresent a food product. This is usually done with a health claim that

is misleading or untrue, such as indicating a product is “fat free” or “low cholesterol” when it isn’t. When food fraud happens, you’re likely to find yourself spending more than the product is actually worth. In such cases, you’d be buying a lower value product thinking it’s actually of higher value. Some tips to help ensure your hardearned dollars aren’t going to waste include checking labels, considering the price, and purchasing from trusted sellers. If a deal seems too good to be true, it likely is. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has strict regulations and labelling requirements to help prevent and deter misrepresented food. You can learn more to help inform yourself about food fraud at inspection.canada.ca/food-fraud. www.desitoday.ca


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Consider the price

Sometimes a deal can seem too good to be true and be difficult to pass up. But it could be a sign the product isn’t authentic or has been diluted or adulterated with ingredients not mentioned on the label. Knowing how much products typically cost or comparing prices with trusted brands can be helpful in figuring out if a product is what the label says it is.

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Contact the experts

If you’re unsure about a product’s quality or authenticity, reaching out to the store or the company’s customer service line is a great way to learn more about the information on the food’s label or how the item is made. Actively seeking out and confirming information about food products is also important for keeping companies honest in their labelling and stores vigilant about the quality of the food and brands they carry. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency works to protect consumers from food fraud by conducting inspections, analyzing food samples, verifying food labels and more. Find more information about what they do and what you can do as a consumer at inspection. canada.ca/food-fraud. www.desitoday.ca

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HealtH & wellness

Participating in social media networks like Facebook, Instagram or even TikTok later in life can be great fun – a rewarding way to reconnect with far-flung family and old friends – maybe your friends are even bugging you to take part. However, navigating the social niceties can be a bit perplexing for some of us who came of age without the internet. To help give you a leg up, here are a few handy dos and don’ts for interacting with others online.

Social media etiquette: What’s rude online?

HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD BE PRACTICING ONLINE DO: Use PUNCTUATiON AND eMOJis • Without facial expressions or tone of voice, punctuation like an exclamation point or emoji smiley face can help express a positive attitude. • Conversely, a one word reply with a period may indicate displeasure. • Several emojis or exclamation points is overkill so keep it light.

DO: iGNORe A MessAGe OR ReQUesT FROM A sTRANGeR • It may feel impolite, but ignoring a stranger’s

message online is a normal and safe choice. • Unsolicited messages or requests from strangers often turn out to be scams. The person may threaten you or solicit you for money or personal information. So, it’s best not to engage.

DO: CHeCK YOUR FACTs • With lots of misinformation circulating on the web, take information you see with a grain of salt. • It’s nothing personal to go to the source of a friend’s post or investigate it further on reputable sites.

HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD AVOID DOING TO BE SAFE AND POLITE ONLINE DO NOT: POsT sOMeTHiNG YOU WOULDN’T sAY iN PUBLiC • Being kind should be a nobrainer, but it can be easy to forget yourself over on the internet. • As a rule, don’t say something online you wouldn’t say to the person’s face in public.

DO NOT: siGN YOUR NAMe ON DiReCT MessAGes • It’s not necessary or expected. The person will know who you are based on your profile or account.

• If it’s the first time ever you’re messaging the person, then you should certainly say who you are at the start, but not as a sign off.

DO NOT: OVeRsHARe • A few pics of your pets may be a nice diversion, but no one wants to know every detail. • In fact, sharing too much online can be a security risk. Many cyber criminals are on the lookout for information they can use to personalize scams so you’re more likely to fall for them.

Find more information on how to stay safe on social at GetCyberSafe.ca. 66

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www.desitoday.ca


TOP TIPS FOR

Newcomers play a critical role in the social and economic development of Canada, but many struggle to access the resources and advice needed to find their footing and thrive in their new home country – such as professional networks or in-language support and advice. Your bank might not be the first place that comes to mind when looking for support on everything from housing to jobs. But thanks to people like Heidi Hemdan - once a newcomer herself - this is exactly what you might find. “As a newcomer, it’s extremely helpful to have access to a team of people that are able to provide unique support, guidance and relevant resources based on your experience and language skills,” says Heidi Hemdan, branch manager at RBC and a leader of one of RBC’s Newcomer Advisor Teams. “One of the special things about our team is that we are all newcomers ourselves, who intimately www.desitoday.ca

NEWCOMER SUCCESS understand the obstacles faced.” Moving to another country and arriving without credit or a local reference meant it was challenging for Heidi to get a lease on an apartment or trying to find a job – facets many newcomers struggle with. But, as a Heidi learned during her journey, there are a few tips for success to help newcomers settle in sooner:

Set realistic goals

Research your resources

Develop your own personal brand and advertise your skills to help you move forward in your goals, whether it’s in your career or life. For more information, visit rbc.com/ newcomers. Newscanada.ca

There are lots of resources available both online and when you land to help you get settled and it’s important to know about them before arriving. Working abroad or traveling is very different from living in a new country.

Be flexible and ready to pivot. For example, credentials from one country may not be applicable elsewhere. Use what transferable skills you have to get started and learn more about the new environment you’re in.

Network, network, network

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BeaUtY & ent.

Bollywood’s very own ‘Khiladi’ Akshay Kumar has seen the highs of highs with films such as ‘Sooryavanshi’, ‘Kesari’, ‘Baby’ and ‘Holiday-A Soldier Is Never Off Duty’ among many others. He has also tasted failure with his recent releases such as ‘Bachchhan Paandey’ and ‘Samrat Prithviraj’. The superstar, recently was seen in film ‘Raksha Bandhan’ directed by Aanand L. Rao, does not feel affected by it as he says that ups and downs happen in everyone’s life. Over the years, Akshay has pushed the envelope and has given out films such as ‘Padman’ and ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’ to name a few, which helped in raising issues and gives out a strong message. Asked if he feels any responsibilities as he has worked in genre-bending movies, Akshay: “No, we are making films. We are not taking responsibilities. Yeah, a man would think that his film works so that he has the strength to go forward to make films as there are so many other issues. But responsibilities, don’t want to think that much. My last two films did not work. People came up to me and said that you have to do something now, I made films and did not work.” Akshay then spoke about how he had seen failure in his career earlier too. “This has happened several times in my career.. Ups and downs happen in everybody’s life. Already, a man puts in everything in making a film and after that doing the publicity of that film that too takes a toll.” What about mixed responses, does that take a toll too? “Only till Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The three days of release that affect and from Monday different work starts,” said the actor, who was named in the 2019 Forbes list of highest paid entertainers in the world, ranking 52nd. The 54-year-old actor has been in the industry for over three decades and has worked in over 100 films. He made his debut with ‘Saugandh’. He was then seen in films such as the ‘Khiladi’ franchise, ‘Andaaz’, ‘Dhadkan’, ‘Namastey London’, ‘Airlift’, ‘Hera Pheri’ franchise, ‘Special 26’ and ‘Rustom’ among many other commercial blockbusters. Looking back at his journey, Akshay feels like it was just yesterday that ‘Khiladi’ and ‘Saugandh’ were released. “When I look back, I don’t know how these 31 years just passed by. It feels like I just did ‘Khiladi’, ‘Saugandh’... It feels amazing. The time just flew by and I didn’t even realise what all had happened. It’s amazing. Things have happened so fast.” 68

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AKSHAY KUMAR ON FLOPS:

Ups and Downs Happen in Everyone’s Life

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PARAS KALNAWAT ON HIS EXIT FROM ‘ANUPAMAA’

I am a hard worker. So when I want to achieve something, I want that thing to happen at any cost. After playing a dancer in the popular fictional show ‘Anupamaa’, actor Paras Kalnawat is not only making headlines for being part of the dance reality show, ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 10’, but also because of his sudden exit from ‘Anupamaa’. During a conversation with IANS, he commented on the allegation against him and how he feels being part of the dance reality show. He said: “ When I signed ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’, I wanted to speak to the makers. I wanted to speak to them about doing the show, but they were completely against me doing any shows for Colors. And they told me that I can’t do any other show which is on a competitive channel. But then I had / NOV 2022 70 OCT News With A Desi View

to choose and I chose ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’ because I wanted to explore a better side of me and I think there was nothing left for me in that show (‘Anupamaa’) because my track has not been there since last one year now. And I’ve just been standing next to the other characters in the show. So, I wanted to come out of it.” He added on the allegations of breaching the contract: “Contracts are being made by the producers. And I did not even know that anything like that was going to come out by Rajan sir (Rajan Shahi) and I spoke to him even before signing the contract. There was no breach of the contract because we were very politely told by the makers that if

someone wants to leave, they can happily leave any time. That’s what we were told.” He showed his respect for the producer and said that he didn’t want to give any statement against them. “I don’t want to put any quote on this because I respect Rajan Sir a lot and I respect the makers and the channel as well. So definitely, I would not want to quote anything on that. I will just be in shock whatever he has said and whatever he has done, I will still respect him and I’ll still stay with the love I have for him.” He elaborated on his interest in dance and taking formal training at the age of 17 at the Terence Lewis Professional Training Institute. “I wanted to be an actor and if you think of being an actor, so dancing comes along, I had that thing in my head that I want to be an actor with a proper Bollywood style dance form and I have to learn everything. So I joined Terence Lewis academy, where I learned the basics, I did a three month course where I learned different dance forms. Terence sir has been my guru since then and whenever I do any project, I inform him about it. He has been guiding me throughout acting and dancing both.” He continued: “So, when ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’ was offered to me I thought this is an opportunity and I have never been part of any such reality show, so I immediately said ‘yes’ to it. This is the first time I will be performing on the stage and facing the judges, I am really very excited about it.” The actor, who made his debut in 2017 with ‘Meri Durga’ , opened up about his journey in the entertainment industry and said: “It was back in 2017 When I got my first break for an established show called ‘Meri Durga’. That was my debut show. But before that I modelled, I walked ramps, and I was just learning bits and pieces of acting and dance. It was not easy for me to get into the industry. It took me three and a half years before my debut show. I used to audition every day. I used to travel from Chembur to Andheri and then Chembur to Bandra for my workout. So I used to travel a lot. “I am a hard worker. So when I want to achieve something, I want that thing to happen at any cost. I participated in a modelling competition and later also in Lakme Fashion Week. After rounds of auditions in the production houses I got my first show.” If not an actor or dancer, what would he be: “I wanted to be a public servant,” he concluded. www.desitoday.ca


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MADHURI DIXIT: ERA OF BOXING PEOPLE AND CHARACTERS IS OVER

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ollywood actress Madhuri Dixit, whose streaming movie ‘Maja Ma’ released recently, is chuffed with the response so far to the film. The actress is playing the role of a lesbian in the film, and making a statement on the new-age brave content from Bollywood, she shared her thoughts on the subject. Excited about the response that the movie has been receiving, Madhuri Dixit shared: “Maja Ma’ proves that the era of boxing people and characters is over. Pallavi’s sexual orientation is just one of the many facets of her identity. She is much more than that – a brilliant dancer, a doting mother, a friend

and above all, a human being who can inspire others around her.” Further talking about the arc of her character in the film, the actress said: “The storyline depicts a journey of evolution and Pallavi’s character showcases that journey with a myriad of emotions and feelings a” ranging from confusion, fear, to acceptance and courage to accept one’s own true identity.” “This movie is about love, family and acceptance, but all of it is said without being preachy. In a way, Maja Ma encourages people to not be judgmental and embrace others for who they are,” she added. ‘Maja Ma’ is currently streaming on Prime Video.

Maja Ma encourages people to not be judgmental and embrace others for who they are: Madhuri

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BIG B IN A NEW JERSEY HOME

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n Indian American has installed a life-size statue of film star Amitabh Bachchan outside his home in New Jersey state. The statue is a glass enclosure and it was installed on Saturday amidst much celebration. Gopi Sheth, the New Jersey resident, announced the installation in a tweet which noted that lots of Amitabh fans gathered for the inauguration ceremony. Sheth also posted pictures of the statue, flanked by his family. The statue was designed in Rajasthan and cost Sheth $75,000, according to reports. Sheth is an internet security engineer and came to the US from Gujarat in the 1990s. He lives in Edison, a city that is home to lots of Indian Americans and had a thriving one-street market with only Indian cuisine restaurants and apparel stores. Sheth is a huge Amitabh Bachchan fan and says the film star is “like God” to him. “The biggest thing that inspires me about him is not only his reel life, but also the real life a how he manages himself in public, how he conveys and communicates everything you know,” he said, according to a report. “He is very down to earth. He takes care of his fans. He is not like so many other stars. This is why I thought I should have his status outside of my house.”

www.desitoday.ca


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KALKI KOECHLIN, DEEPTI NAVAL SIGNED FOR DEMENTIA FILM ‘GOLDFISH’

I

ndian actresses Kalki Koechlin and Deepti Naval will star in the upcoming film ‘Goldfish’ directed by cinematographer Pushan Kripalani. The film will explore the subject of dementia. The film follows the story of Anamika, a half-Indian half-English woman, who returns home to the UK, to deal with her mother’s dementia and the scars of her childhood. “It’s very difficult to make independent cinema, as it does not get funded easily and so it’s taken me this long to get to make this film. I feel that dealing with larger questions is only possible by examining the smaller parts of human relationships. I feel that my job is to further the human conversation and this was a wonderful way to attempt to do that, Kripalani told Variety. Kripalani is returning to the director’s chair seven years after his acclaimed directorial debut ‘The Threshold’. “Dementia is also going to be one of the greatest concerns in the next decade or two. I think everybody will soon have

if they haven’t already had a contact with someone with this condition,” Kripalani added. As per Variety, the cast also includes Gordon Warnecke, Rajit Kapur and Bharti Patel. Naval told Variety: “It didn’t take me much to research for this role because I’ve known somebody with dementia - it is part of my personal experience. I’ve known someone close to me suffering from dementia. So when I read the role, I thought here’s my chance to interpret something that I’ve known closely.” She added: “Dementia is a very common condition of old age. So it’s not something rare or out of the ordinary we see it all around”.

I’ve known someone close to me suffering from dementia. So when I read the role, I thought here’s my chance to interpret something that I’ve known closely. 74

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PRANITHA SUBHASH:

IF YOU DON’T GET THE RIGHT VIBE, CUT THEM OUT FROM YOUR LIFE

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ctress Pranitha has suggested to her fans and followers that they either take a step back or completely cut off from people from whom they don’t get the right vibes. Taking to Instagram recently, the actress said: “This is specially for postpartum mammas because it’s a very emotional and sensitive phase which no one will understand.” Taking a leaf from her personal experience, she mentioned: “I’ve made that mistake of trying to be a people pleaser and it has backfired sometimes. One advice I can give new mammas or in fact, anyone is ... if you are not getting the right vibe from someone, make sure you cut them out of your life or make sure you take a step back.” “It will be hard. There are times when people have wondered if I was ‘avoiding’ them. But if it makes you happier, then do it. You’re not obligated to hang out with anyone out there. Also so glad my husband has been so supportive of me through things like these,” her post further stated. Making an important point, she concluded her post saying: “It’s very hard to tell if someone is being toxic but if you feel uneasy after meeting them, if you find yourself trying to remember everything you said while you were with them etc, it clearly means the vibe wasn’t healthy.” www.desitoday.ca


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BeaUtY & ent.

Actor, Singer, Puppetteer The many sides of Raghubir Yadav’s creative career

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udiences may know and adore him for his impeccable acting in some of the milestones of Indian cinema, and the most recently in ‘Panchayat 2’, actor Raghubir Yadav is equally versatile when it comes to other forms of creative expression. An alumnus of the prestigious National School of Drama (NSD), Yadav has performed as an actor and singer in more than 70 plays and about 2,500 shows, travelling in caravans, living in tents and performing from makeshift stages in villages and small towns across the country with the Parsi Theatre Company. He has been with the Rangoli Puppet Theatre, Lucknow, where he performed with glove puppets. He has also contributed to music, sets, costumes and masks. A true artiste, Raghubir spoke about his craft, the importance of a huge risk appetite and working on projects which are aimed at 76

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children or involve working with them. For him, music is a part of his habits. He may not always get the time to polish his vocal skills, but he does riyaaz at every opportunity that he gets. Interestingly, acting happened to him because of music. The senior actor says, “I became an actor in the first place because of music. I have done theatre which was predominantly related to music. I was in the Parsi theatre where music was an integral part. I spent six years there (1967 to 1973) before venturing into cinema. The singers and actors there sang with their heart. That is something that I learnt and imbibed from them.” And that holds true, the actor has composed and sang in films. Remember the song ‘Mehngai Dayain’ from ‘Peepli Live’, yes that’s Raghubir lending the razorsharp edge to the song’s poetry with his vocal chords.

In addition, he has performed as a singer and composer in films like ‘Maya Memsaab’, ‘Massey Sahib’, ‘Rudaali’, ‘Samar’, ‘Darna Mana hai’, ‘Billu’, ‘Dilli 6’ and countless TVCs. Every artiste seeks fun in their work, the same drives Raghubir’s passion as well. But his avenue for fun is the risk that’s involved with every new creative work. He shares, “There is no fun without risk. All my life I have only taken risks. I left my home when I was young, taking a plunge without a safety net is a risk right?” Having received an affirmative response, he continues, “What matters is your intent and your vision. Success might come to you a bit late but you have to keep at it, work honestly and try your best. Persistence and perseverance are the biggest assets for any artiste.” “I never felt that I was taking a risk. And www.desitoday.ca


I never felt that I was taking a risk. And whatever challenges I take, I see them as an opportunity to learn something new. whatever challenges I take, I see them as an opportunity to learn something new. I have always focused on learning new things. I’ll be a learner forever.” The actor has lent his voice to the title track of a kid’s show ‘HaGoLa’ which airs on Sony Yay! Ask him what is the best thing about working in projects that are related to kids and he says, “Children are honest and very emotive. So whenever you are creating something for kids you have to trade really carefully.” Speaking from his monumental experience, he adds: “I did ‘Chacha Chaudhary’ because I wanted to do it for kids and to create something which kids will like. You have to put in the same honesty and emotions like a kid. Words like ‘commercial’ and all the other industry jargon do not usually work for kids and all that matters is that you are responsible while creating work for the kids and you have to have a pure heart.” Signing off, he says: “I personally have a lot of fun while working for the kids and you can see that with my works like ‘Chacha Chaudhary’ and ‘Aasman Se Gira’.” www.desitoday.ca

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SAYANI GUPTA:

BEING VOCAL ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS CAN SOMETIMES BACKFIRE

J MAANVI GAGROO:

SEX, INTIMACY MUST NOT BE TREATED LIKE TABOO TOPICS

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ctress Maanvi Gagroo, who plays the affable Siddhi Patel in the web series ‘Four More Shots Please!’, talks about sex and intimacy being a taboo topic even in this day and age. She said that it has been taught to us to keep it very personal. Actress Maanvi Gagroo, who plays the affable Siddhi Patel in the web series ‘Four More Shots Please!’, talks about sex and intimacy being a taboo topic even in this day and age. She said that it has been taught to us to keep it very personal. Talking to IANS about what according to her is responsible for the hesitation to discuss openly issues relating to sex and intimacy, Maanvi said: “I think culturally we have been taught that when we speak about physical intimacy, we keep it very private, very hush-hush because it’s extremely personal. Well, to each their own. If you want to keep your sex life or love life private, its completely up to you.” She added, however, that sex and intimacy must not be considered taboo topics. “People who want to talk abut it should also be allowed to do so as long as you don’t go into details that might offend somebody. I think, similarly, Siddhi had notions about how she led her life and it changed, which happens to all of us.” Season 3 of the ‘Four More Shots Please!’ will also see Kirti Kulhari, Maanvi Gagroo, Bani J, Prateik Babbar, Lisa Ray, Neil Bhoopalam, Rajeev Siddharth, Amrita Puri, Simone Singh, and Samir Kochhar reprising their respective roles. Jim Sarbh, Sushant Singh, Shilpa Shukla and Rohan Mehra are the new faces this season.

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ust like her character Damini Roy from ‘Four More Shots Please!’, actress Sayani Gupta always speaks her mind. She agrees, though, that it can backfire sometimes. Just like her character Damini Roy from ‘Four More Shots Please!’, actress Sayani Gupta always speaks her mind. She agrees, though, that it can backfire sometimes. Sayani in a conversation with IANS said: “It always backfires but that’s not the point. You say something because it bothers you and you feel like you need to lend your voice to it.” “You pick and choose your battles but you don’t shy away from speaking your mind for injustice so that is something I have lived by all my life,” she added. Sayani agrees that she is under more scrutiny as she is an actor. “The fact that I am an actor makes want to get better but it doesn’t stop me from saying what I believe in. But having said that, we are getting older... figuring lesser battles to fight because you feel sometimes what is the point.” Season 3 will also see Kirti Kulhari, Maanvi Gagroo, Bani J., Prateik Babbar, Lisa Ray, Neil Bhoopalam, Rajeev Siddharth, Amrita Puri, Simone Singh, and Samir Kochhar reprising their respective roles. Jim Sarbh, Sushant Singh, Shilpa Shukla and Rohan Mehra are the new faces this season. ‘Four More Shots Please!’ Season 3 is a part of Prime Video’s festive line-up for the Great Indian Festival 2022.

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BeaUtY & ent.

UPCOMING

Phone Bhoot

Yodha

Cirkus

November 11, 2022

December 23, 2022

The film stars Sidharth Malhotra, Disha Patani, Raashi Khanna, Shovon Jaman and Pramod Kumar. The movie will be based on an Aeroplane hijack where a soldier helps the passenger and fight against the terrorist. But the damage to the flight engine made it very tough to survive the situation. In the past, Sidharth and Karan have collaborated on numerous films, including his debut Student of the Year. Karan Johar stated, “After conquering the peaks, I am proud to present Sidharth Malhotra back with power in the first of the action”.

A circus operator and his gymnast friends belonging to a big circus company ‘juggle’ with their lives and try to bring back the extinct circus culture to the public. The film revolves around two sets of identical twins who were accidentally separated at birth. In Cirkus, Ranveer will essay a double role for the first time in his career.

| November 4, 2022

A horror comedy that follows a shop with ghost busting services. The film has Katrina Kaif, Siddhant Chaturvedi, and Ishaan Khatter in lead roles. Katrina Kaif who is one of the lead trio shared a short clip from Phone Bhoot that offers a glimpse at the film. The clip sees a car crash into a ghostly figure dressed in white. It teases the film’s hilariously scary vibes before revealing the animated ghost logo.

Maarrich

Banaras

December 9, 2022 Directed by Dhruv Lather Maarich is an extremely thrilling story with suspense and unexpected events. It is full of suspense and suspense, which makes this thriller different. Tusshar will be seen in the role of a sharpwitted police officer who will be involved in solving a complex and double murder case. He will be reuniting with his former co-star Anita Hassanandani in the upcoming film. Naseeruddin is playing the role of a priest in this film.

November 4, 2022 Banaras is a Mysterious love story film that explains the beauty, Rich heritage, Culture of Banaras. Hero Zaid Khan, who debuts with this flick, tells his lady love played by Sonal Monteiro, that he’s her husband from the future. Then come a series of visuals that go back and forth in time, while also telling the audience that at its core, Banaras is a love story. 80

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www.desitoday.ca


MOVIES

Avatar: The Way of Water

| Friday, December 16, 2022

Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water follows the journey of Jake Sully and Neytiri’s newfound family of five children. Despite their best efforts to keep their family together, a familiar threat resurfaces and forces Jake, Neytiri, and their children to flee to the land of the Metkayina clan in the Pandoran oceans.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever November 11, 2022 Queen Ramonda, Shuri, M’Baku, Okoye and the Dora Milaje fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with Nakia and Everett Ross to forge a new path for their beloved kingdom.

Falling for Christmas November 10, 2022 In the days leading up to Christmas, a young and newly engaged heiress experiences a skiing accident. After being diagnosed with amnesia, she finds herself in the care of a handsome, blue-collar lodge owner during the Christmas season.

emancipation December 2, 2022 After being whipped nearly to death, an enslaved person named Peter escapes from a Louisiana plantation, outwitting cold-blooded hunters, as he makes his way North, where he joins the Union Army. The film is based on the true story of Gordon. Photographs of his bare back, heavily scourged from an overseer’s whippings, were published worldwide in 1863, giving the abolitionist movement proof of the cruelty of American slavery. www.desitoday.ca

i Wanna Dance With somebody Wednesday, December 21, 2022 From New Jersey choir girl to one of the best-selling and most awarded recording artists of all time, audiences are taken on an inspirational, poignant— and so emotional—journey through Houston’s trailblazing life and career, with show-stopping performances and a soundtrack of the icon’s most beloved hits as you’ve never heard them before. Don’t you wanna dance? OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

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LAUNG LAACHI 2 ‘Laung Laachi 2’ is the sequel to the 2018 romantic drama, ‘Laung Laachi’, and will hit the silver screen on August 19. The film will repeat the star cast of Amberdeep Singh, Neeru Bajwa, and Ammy Virk. Amar Noori and Jaswinder Bhalla will also join them in the sequel. The movie has been written and directed by Amberdeep Singh. The first movie depicted how a couple played by Ambardeep Singh (Mehnga) and Neeru Bajwa (Laachi), after their initial honeymoon period part ways due to some misunderstandings and reunite later. The title track of ‘Laung Laachi’ went on to garner over one billion views on YouTube.

Five Punjabi entertainers to watch out for in 2022 Backed by established production houses, directors, and actors, these stories signal a brand new era of Punjabi cinema. The history of Punjabi cinema is a chequered one. From devotional classics like ‘Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam’(1974) and ‘Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun’ (1976) to National Award winning classics like ‘Chann Pardesi’ (1981) and ‘Marhi Da Deewa’ (1989) to all-time hits like, ‘Carry On Jatta’, ‘Chal Mera Putt’, ‘Chaar Sahibzaade’ and ‘Shadaa’, the industry has seen tremendous highs and also scores of forgettable films. This year, ‘Chann Pardesi,’ which raised the bar for Punjabi cinema over 40 years ago, was re-mastered for a worldwide release and was also screened at the UK Asian Film Festival. This was indicative of the tremendous love and emotion Punjabi films continue to evoke. To raise the bar, even more, young filmmakers and producers are now creating cinema that can break regional and language barriers and go global. Here is our pick of the forthcoming or released films that are all set to do so and must not be missed.

JIND MAHI While a romantic song, ‘Shiddat’ sung by Gurnaam Bhullar and shot in the beautiful locales of London continues to melt hearts on YouTube, fans wait breathlessly to see the film that features this hit. ‘Jind Mahi’ is a romantic drama directed by Sameer Pannu and stars Sonam Bajwa, Ajay Sarkaria, and Gurnam Bhullar in lead roles. Sonam plays a free-spirited young woman whose life collides with that of Harry (Ajay Sarkaria) but as a one-sided love begins to bloom, there is another angle to this story that complicates everything. The film promises stunning foreign locales, great comedy, and a heart-warming love story. It has made it to the big screens today. 82

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www.desitoday.ca


VICH BOLUNGA TERE

Vich Bolunga Tere is directed by Manjeet Singh Tony, Gurmeet Saajan and will feature Ravinder Grewal, Molina Sodhi, Jimmy Sharma and Nisha Bano as lead characters. Other popular actors who were roped in for Vich Bolunga Tere are Sukhi Chahal and Anita Meet. This story is not of Saab but of his ghost. Saab loves Sift and does not want to let her got married to any person. A lot of comedy arises in the film because of this a lot of tension arises in the family of Sift for the same reason.

OYE MAKHNA

This is a rom-com that will once again portray the magical chemistry of Ammy Virk and Tania after their hits ‘Qismat’, ‘Sufna’ and ‘Qismat 2’. All set to be released, ‘Oye Makhna’ is helmed by Simrerjit Singh, the man behind superhits like ‘Angrej’ and ‘Nikka Zaildar’. The film promises to explore all shades of love and human relationships and is expected to be a big hit. Sharing the update, Ammy said, “We have invested a great deal of passion and love in this film and the audience will see it for themselves on November 4. All of us on the sets share great chemistry and we are sure that Oye Makhna will be a treat for the audiences and fans.”

YAAR MERA TITLIAAN WARGA

Helmed by the debutant director Vikas Vashisht, ‘Yaar Mera Titliaan Warga’ will be released on September 2. Singer-Actor Gippy Grewal and Tanu Grewal will play the lead roles along with Karamjit Anmol and Raj Dhaliwal. The movie revolves around a couple who create fake Facebook Ids to relieve their marital boredom of six years but eventually befriend each other on social media and promises to be a fun take on love in the time of virtual relationships. www.desitoday.ca

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New look, performance boasts Superior Changes

2023

HONDA HR-V

W

ith aspirational qualities beyond its segment, the all-new 2023 HR-V appeals to young, active buyers with a stylish, sporty exterior and roomy, feature-rich interior. All-new hightech interior features standard digital instrumentation, available wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration With a larger, more responsive engine, and sophisticated body and suspension design, the new HR-V is both more refined and fun-to-drive. Stylish and sporty with a roomy, feature-rich interior, the all-new 2023 Honda HR-V gains aspirational qualities beyond its segment. A larger, more responsive engine, an all-new platform with a smooth-riding independent rear suspension, and a clean, high-tech interior with standard digital instrumentation and Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration, take HR-V to a new level. The new HR-V will start to arrive in dealerships this month. The new second-generation HR-V was designed and engineered without compromise. Longer and wider, it’s more comfortable yet also sportier and more funto-drive than its predecessor, while featuring more rear seat legroom and one of the largest cargo areas in its class. For a smoother ride, HR-V’s wheelbase has been extended and its tracks are significantly wider, creating an athletic stance and improving stability. Classleading safety features include standard

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Honda Sensing®, next-gen front airbags, as well as standard side-impact and knee airbags. “The new HR-V is the perfect size for those looking for a SUV that can park in tight spaces and carry all their gear while delivering a fun and sporty driving experience,” said Steve Hui, Assistant Vice President Honda Canada. “HR-V’s upgraded and enhanced features will solidify its position as a segment leader that will attract a new generation of Honda customers. We expect it will be popular with young and diverse consumers representing a variety of lifestyles.” Key HR-V Features: Clean, sporty, and upscale exterior and interior styling, Standard digital instrumentation, Standard 7-inch colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay® & Android Auto™ integration Available HD 9-inch colour touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay® & Android Auto™ integration (EX-L Navi), Enhanced Honda global architecture combines the best of the CR-V platform with the new 11th-generation Civic platform, New fully independent rear suspension, Larger, more responsive 2.0-litre engine, Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control™ Standard Honda Sensing® system with new front wide-view camera, new Traffic Jam Assist (TJA) and Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) Standard knee and rear passenger side-impact airbags.

PROS :

Highs Newfound driving verve, comfortable seats, excellent outward visibility.

CONS:

Lows Wimpy four-cylinder engine, joyless CVT transmission, slightly less cargo friendly than before. PRICING FOR THE NEW HONDA HR-V STARTS FROM

$28,730 – $39,080 www.desitoday.ca


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New CUV is Adventure ready!

2023

MAZDA CX-50 F

or 2023 the very popular Mazda CX-5 CUV will be replaced by the new Mazda CX-50, although will be sold together for now. The new CX-50 is longer, lower, and wider than the CX-5. with a design departure notable in appearance, the sleek, fastback design is enhanced by an aggressive broadshouldered look complete with chunky black fender cladding, big fender flares, and an urgent square front-end. The CX-50 looks more aggressive, with its wide grille and chunky presence. The side pillars are also thicker pillars and especially strengthened to hold roof-top tents. The CX-50 is aimed at the outdoorsy set and will handle mild trails, but don’t expect

big chunky tires, factory lifted suspension, and under body skid plates, but the reinforced roof can handle heavy loads and people sleeping in a tent up there. AWD is standard issue on the CX-50 that it arrives with a choice of two engines. The base engine is a 2.5L I4 making 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is rated at 9.7 L/100 km City and 7.9 L/100 km on the highway. The more powerful 2.5L turbocharged Four-cylinder unit makes 256 hp and 320 lbft. on 93-octane grade fuel and 227 hp and 310 lb-ft on regular gasoline. Fuel economy figures for the Turbo unit are rated at 10.4 L/100 km in the city and 8.1 on the highway. The transmission is a six-speed auto unit with selectable drive modes and AWD as

THE GOOD • Long list of features • Satisfying acceleration • Plush, well-padded seats • Plenty of space for passengers and luggage • Fuel-efficient and performance-oriented engines

THE BAD • Down-market interior quality • Over-reliance on touch screen for some controls 86

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standard, The 2023 Mazda CX-50 will be available in Canada in three trim levels. The base trim is the GS-L at $37,900 and includes as standard equipment across the range: panoramic sunroof, heated seats and steering wheel, dual zone climate zones, 10.25″ touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Every CX-50 comes with all-wheel drive, a drive mode selector with sport and off-road settings, roof rails, and a height-programmable power tailgate. The mid-level $42,850 GT trim, adds leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a 12-speaker stereo, builtin navigation, satellite radio, a wireless phone charger, and a head-up display. On the safety front, there’s a surround-view monitoring system, traffic sign recognition, low-speed reverse automatic emergency braking, and front and rear parking sensors, along with a few other features. The GT version also adds: LED headlights and taillights, leather seating, and a 360-view camera. The top range GT Turbo as tested is $45,350 and also adds features such as: paddle shifters, larger exhaust tips, a selectable tow-mode, and a 3,500-pound towing capacity. Safety is high with advanced safety and driver-assist items like blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assistance, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control are also standard. The interior of the CX-50 offers space for five passengers in two rows of seats. Inside,

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is a tastefully upscale interior with a visually interesting mix of colors and materials throughout. Some great detail such as the raised stitching detail on the dash look super cool, along with the truck-like vertical HVAC vents. There are comfortable seats front and rear and excellent room in all quarters. Cargo space is increased with flat folding seats with 889 L of cargo room with the rear seats upright and 1,595 L with them folded. Standard roof rails, and a height-programmable power tailgate also add to the versatility.. The CX-50 rides very well on the highway with decent acceleration and smooth gear changes. There is also a sport mode which changes the transmission shift points for better response and enhances the G-vectoring control performance for sharper steering response and optimizes traction

2023 MAZDA CX-50 PRiCeD FROM:

$37,900–$45,350 TURBO MODeL As TesTeD:

$45,350

control when accelerating. The turbo engine has plenty of power and is the option to get if you can stretch to it – especially as it allows for more towing ability. The CX-50 has an offroad mode which holds the transmission in lower gears, optimizes the traction control for increased grip on loose surfaces, and gives the front and rear axles a nearly equal torque split. Off road mode is tailored for use in low or high-speed situations. Overall, the CX-50 is fun, relaxed, and easy to drive. Negatives are few, the infotainment system could be easier and less distracting to use, but that’s about it. To sum up, Mazda have taken the correct step in providing an on-trend compact crossover with a rugged appeal and light trail duty ability. I predict this will be very successful vehicle for this sporty brand. Positives include attractive styling, driving dynamics, safety, and as standard features. Highly recommended and good value for money. More fun to drive, easier on the ryes than its competitors! OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

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DE S I T ODAY AUT O

Premium, Performance Electric SUV is the one to get!

2023

BMW iX xDrive50 • Powerful and responsive electric motors • IRL range easily meets EPA estimates • Gorgeous interior design • It’s kind of weird looking • Steep tech learning curve • One of the priciest in this class

B

MW has introduced a very worthy entry into the BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) segment with the arrival of the new BMW iXDrive50. A reimagined take on the luxury premium SUV, the iXDrive50 is a mid- sized five- seater with unique styling cues inside and out. The iX has excellent range, and a truly wonderful interior, and is also built sustainably. It is a tall, wide vehicle with a big greenhouse, trademark twin kidney grilles and a tidy LED lightbar rear end. It is about the same size as BMWs mid-size X5 and X6 crossovers, and its passenger and cargo space is equally comparable. The powertrain comprises a 105.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that drives two electric motors, one on each axle for an All-Wheel Drive setup. In total, the ixDrive50 produces 523 hp and 564 lb-ft of torque and will reach 0-100 km/h in a respectable 4.6 seconds, with a creditable 521 km of all-electric range on a single charge. The large battery will need overnight Level 2 AC charging and will require DC fast charging wherever you can. The iX 88

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uses a CCS socket and can charge at 200kW. The iX is set to compete with established allelectric rivals such as the Audi e-Tron and the Tesla Model X. In Canada there are three levels of the iX, from the iX xDrive40 (C$82,825 MSRP) through to the xDrive50 at $92,825k), or the M60 at 124,585. with a 610-hp all-electric powertrain capable of a 0-100 km/h time of 3.8 seconds, that’s quicker than the legendary BMW M3! We tested the mid-range iXDrive50 in a very attractive Dark Graphite Metallic paint and with Design Loft, Stone Grey interior. The iX’s cabin design is wonderful, you gain sumptuous diamond-stitched leather trim on the seats and an optional, crystalglass finish on the iDrive controller, volume control and gear selector. There is classy walnut veneer trim between the seats in the optional luxury package. The smart ergonomic controls can be accessed by tactile switchgear, iDrive controller, steering wheel buttons, touchscreen, voice, and

gesture control. Other high-tech elements include a gorgeous, curved touchscreen instrument panel and a hexagonal-shaped steering wheel. New on the iX SUV is BMWs nextgeneration infotainment interface, which it calls iDrive 8. The software can customise menus and graphics, as well as control a voice-activated assistant. A large 14.9-inch infotainment display is paired with a 12.3-inch digital gauge. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and BMW also offers a WiFi hotspot with a 5G cellular connection. Options on our tester (base price $89,990) included: Sport Package with 22inch Aero Wheels, 1021, Multicolour 3D Polished, Perf Non-RFT, Premium Enhanced Package comprising of: Soft Close Doors ,Heat Comfort Package, Front and Rear, Interior Camera, BMW Iconic Sounds, Electric Parking Assistant Plus including . Surround View, Bowers and Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound and System, and BMW Drive Recorder. Also added was the Premium Essential www.desitoday.ca


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BMW IX XDRIVE50 BASE PRICE:

$89,990

PRICE AS TESTED:

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Package, BMW i Blue Seat Belts, Universal Remote Control, Glass Controls with Walnut Console, Driving Assistant Professional, and Gesture Control. Other highlights include the new augmented-reality-enhanced navigation system, which overlays direction arrows on live video of the road as you approach an intersection. The rear cabin is equally spacious with its own separate climate controls and USB sockets integrated into the front seatbacks. Headroom and legroom are excellent in all quarters and on par with the BMW X5. The rear cargo hatch at 1,005L is very good, but note there is no front trunk or:”frunk” as its known. BMW offers a comprehensive set of standard driver-assistance features in the iX too numerous to mention. On the road, the iX has strong, near silent very quick acceleration and offers a smooth, comfortable ride. The single -speed transmission is pretty faultless in operation. Handling is good, the large heavy underfloor battery makes for good stability and control around corners. The iX is a bit of porker in terms of overall weight but is still pretty maneuverable in tight parking lots and crowded urban road areas thanks to the rear wheel steering system. The brakes are also well modulated with three levels of braking regeneration adjustment. BMW also offers an Adaptive Mode, which automatically detects obstacles in front and adjusts the amount of regenerative braking automatically if needed. Not many negatives, the rear windows don’t roll all the way down, there is no front trunk, and in typical BMW fashion your eyes will water as your tick the options boxes for extra equipment packages and features! But to sum up, the BMW iX is a game changer with its excellent range, superbly executed cabin and smooth ride. This all-electric premium SUV is a winner for both BMW afficionados and buyers new to the legendary performance and luxury car maker. www.desitoday.ca

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89


HealtH & wellness

Vedic food

IS THE WAY OF THE FUTURE

CHEF SUNIL SONI

Author of Jashn-e-Oudh: Romance of the Cuisine

H

e revived Awadhi cuisine in the US through two restaurants he set up in Boston and Cambridge in Massachusetts; served as an advisor to a Saudi Arabian prince who heads a hospitality chain in the kingdom; and tickled the taste buds of foodies in countries as diverse as Kuwait, the Seychelles and Kenya - and is now charting a new course popularising Vedic cuisine, the ingredients of which “have been used for centuries” and “is the way of the future.” “Vedic food interests me as the ingredients used in it have been used for centuries in our culture and are hence time-tested. It promotes food items like regional fruits and

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vegetables, roots, herbs, teas and legumes, wild seafood and many more,” Chef Sunil Soni, who currently serves as an advisor to a slew of Indian hospitality majors, told IANS in an interview. It is the way forward as “the food chain across the world is contaminated,” he added. “There are a lot of issues with the edible items including pesticide use, antibiotics, genetically modified crops, and water contamination. This has resulted in all kinds of animal food and crops getting contaminated. All those issues have led to (food) processing and that itself is an issue. This has created a variety of health issues across the planet,” Soni explained. “Most meat and its products are heavily contaminated and are the root cause of a lot of diseases including obesity and high cholesterol. Hence the move is towards plant-based protein that has similar texture and taste but totally made from plants. The process remains to be scrutinised for future consumption,” Soni added. Against this, he said: “Evidence from the Vedas suggest that the diet of the Vedic people consisted of cereals, initially barley but later dominated by rice, pulses such as masha (urad), mudga (moong), and masura

(masoor), vegetables such as lotus roots, lotus stem, bottle gourd and milk products, mainly of cows, but also of buffaloes and goats.” In Ayurveda, Soni said: “There are six tastes or rasas: astringent, bitter, pungent, salty, sour, and sweet. Vedic cooking recommends incorporating each taste in every meal according to your personal constitution in order to achieve balanced nutrition and good health. It involves naturally existent food that has been used in our culture for centuries, hence is more conducive to our bodies.” Bitter/astringent fruits and veggies, such as spinach, broccoli, and asparagus, Soni pointed out, “are lighter and cleansing. Many herbs and spices also have a host of health benefits. For example, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon include anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is known to aid digestion. And black pepper can act as a diuretic and preservative with digestive properties.” Soni also stressed on the need for healthy cooking oils. “Ghee is an Ayurvedic nutrition and a superfood because it promotes healthy digestion, decreases inflammation, and can help reduce the risk of cancers and other

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DESI TODAY RECIPE diseases. Coconut oil can raise HDL (good) cholesterol and help you burn fat. Extra virgin olive oil (it should not be heated) has antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties,” he elaborated. Then, there’s basmati rice and herbal tea. “In Ayurveda, basmati rice is said to balance all three doshas (vata, kapha and pitta that control a person’s physiological, mental and emotional health). “Tea, as such, provokes all three doshas. For kaphas, caffeinated beverages like coffee may stimulate energy, whereas vatas may feel overly depleted by it. Herbal teas, which are caffeine-free and don’t rev up the doshas, are great for all constitutions and have shown that they reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease,” Soni elaborated. Noting that “we as a society have to choose the right type of food”, Soni said: “Our culture has given us Vedic food that is time-tested over centuries. After a full cycle, we are realising that a Vedic diet provides all the food ingredients that are healthy and are conducive to human bodies. The shift is going to be permanent towards Vedic food. “It is the way of the future. Western countries are beginning to follow the oils that we use, the spices that are used in India and their herbs are filling the shelves of supermarkets. Their benefits are visible. Most simple ailments can be easily rectified by switching to Vedic foods. It may prevent various major illnesses that we have seen rise in societies in the world and we know prevention is better than the cure,” Soni contended. In this context, what were the culinary shifts that he noticed during the pandemic? Will there be a gradual shift back to the preCovid days or are the changes permanent? “Covid has changed the world. It is here to stay and its variants will keep coming. The best way to fight it is to develop a good immune system. It is prudent to consume good food that will keep us healthy and develop a strong immune system. People are now looking for a change in lifestyle and eating habits. They are gravitating towards non-meat products like more vegetables and fruits and bringing it into their eating habits. “More people are trying to grow their own food for personal consumption. This has brought a change in the food industry that is going to stay. This is more in line with our ancient culture and religion. The population has become more health conscious as bad eating habits have led to various diseases like liver and kidney failures,” Soni concluded. By VISHNU MAKHIJANI (IANS)

AN AVOCADO TOAST WITH A TWIST

Avocado Breakfast Bagel Add a Canadian twist to the classic avocado from Mexico toast. By replacing the bread with a bagel, a whole new world of flavours will open up. Trust us, you’ll want more. PREP TIME: 20-30 MINS COOK TIME: 8-10 MINS PORTIONS: 2

Ingredients: • • • • • •

2 bagels 3 tablespoons butter 2 eggs 4 slices bacon, cooked 2 slices Swiss cheese 1 medium avocado from Mexico sliced into wedges • 1 cup arugula salad • Hot sauce or mayo to taste • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Slice bagels in half and spread the 92

OCT / NOV 2022 News With A Desi View

butter on the cut sides. 2. Preheat a large pan (or griddle) over medium heat and, once hot, toast the bagels cut side down until golden brown. Set the top half aside and flip the bottom over and drop more butter in the pan before cracking an egg into the hole. Cook until just set and then flip for one minute or desired doneness. Season with salt and pepper. 3. Flip back over and top each with 2 slices of bacon and the Swiss cheese. 4. Remove from heat. Add your avocado slices, arugula, and drizzle hot sauce or mayo to taste. 5. Top with the other half of toasted bagel and serve. www.newscanada.com www.desitoday.ca



WEEKNIGHT RECIPE SUCCESS WITH

AIR FRY FALAFEL SLIDERS

Want a healthy dinner that’s sure to be a hit for the whole family? Look no further than Anna Olson’s air fry falafel sliders. Packed with nutrients and topped with a tahini lemon yogurt, enjoy this Mediterranean spin on a classic dish. COOK TIME:12 MINUTES PREP TIME:15 MINUTES SERVES: 12

Ingredients: FALAFELS: • 19 oz (540 ml) can chickpeas, welldrained • 1/4 cup (50 ml) chopped yellow onion • 1/2 cup (125 ml) roughly chopped fresh parsley • 1/2 cup (125 ml) roughly chopped fresh cilantro • 3 tbsp (45 ml) all-purpose flour or chickpea flour • 3 cloves garlic, chopped • 1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh lemon juice • 1 tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil • 2 tsp (10 ml) finely grated lemon zest • 1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin • 1 tsp (5 ml) ground coriander 94

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• 1 tsp (5 ml) fine salt • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) baking soda TAHINI LEMON SAUCE: • 1/2 cup (125 ml) plain Greek yogurt • 1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh lemon juice • 1 tbsp (15 ml) tahini sesame paste ASSEMBLY: • Mini pitas, sliced radishes, sliced cucumbers

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 ° F. With the LG ProBake Convection Slide-In Range you can use the air fry setting at that temperature. Line a baking tray or the air fry rack with parchment paper. 2. Place all the ingredients for the falafels into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined. 3. Use an ice cream scoop or two spoons to portion the mixture into 12 balls and

place onto the baking tray or air fry rack lined with parchment paper – the mixture will be soft. Use the palm of your hand (wet your palm to prevent sticking) and gently press the falafels down to flatten them a little. 4. Bake or air fry the falafels for 12 minutes, until they brown lightly all over. Let the falafels cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a platter. 5. For the sauce, stir the yogurt, tahini and lemon juice together and spoon into a serving bowl. Assemble the sliders by adding cucumber, radishes and falafels to the pita and drizzle with sauce. Or arrange them on a platter or bring everything to the table and let everyone assemble their own. Leftover falafels can be wrapped and refrigerated for up to 4 days and reheated for 4 to 5 minutes at 400 °F on air fry. Source : Newscanada www.desitoday.ca


DESI TODAY RECIPE

If you value not wasting food and prefer your leftovers to become an entirely different meal, this tasty recipe is the perfect way to repurpose your Thanksgiving extras. “Cooked turkey, stuffing and cranberries are baked into a stuffing-like base in these ‘buddies’ — a name I give to any savoury, portable item that is baked in a muffin tin,” explains chef Anna Olson. “This recipe has all the familiar tastes and textures of a holiday dinner and makes creative use of your leftovers.”

Delicious leftover turkey ideas for weekday meals

Turkey and Stuffing Lunchbox “Buddies”

PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES COOK TIME: 45 MINUTES MAKES: 12

Ingredients: • 4 cups diced 2-day-old multigrain bread, cut into ½-inch cubes • 1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped • 1 medium celery stalk, roughly chopped • 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped • 1 garlic clove • 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 tsp poultry seasoning • ½ cup dried cranberries • 4 large eggs • 1 tsp Dijon mustard • ¾ tsp fine salt • ¼ tsp ground black pepper • 1 cup chicken stock www.desitoday.ca

• 1 ½ cups cooked turkey, cut into ½-inch cubes • 1 ½ cups grated Cheddar cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a muffin tin with extra-large paper liners. If your bread feels soft (still fresh), spread cubes onto a baking tray and place in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes to dry them out. Cool bread before using. 2. Pulse onion, celery, carrot and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, but not liquefied. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add oil. Add vegetables and cook until softened and any liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. The gas cooktop on the LG ProBake Convection range is great for this, as the quick heat and fine-tuned temperature controls ensure that the onions won’t

overbrown or stick, creating the flavour base for the “stuffing”. Stir in poultry seasoning and cranberries and stir 1 minute more. Set aside to cool. 3. Whisk eggs with mustard, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl; then whisk in stock. Add bread cubes and toss well to coat. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir in turkey, cheese and veggies, tossing well. 4. Spoon this mixture into a muffin tin and bake for about 45 minutes, until the top of a “buddy” springs back when pressed. The LG ProBake Convection range ensures that these “buddies” bake quickly and brown nicely on top, while cooking easily all the way through. 5. Let the “buddies” cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes before removing. Once cooled, they can be refrigerated or frozen, and reheated or enjoyed at room temperature. Source : Newscanada OCT / NOV 2022 95 News With A Desi View


EASY APPETIZERS TO ELEVATE YOUR NEXT GATHERING

Balsamic Strawberry

DESI TODAY RECIPE

BURRATA CROSTINI

PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES COOK TIME: 5 MINUTES SERVES: 10 CROSTINI

Ingredients: • 10 slices baguette bread • 350ml California strawberries, hulled and sliced • 225g burrata cheese • 10 fresh basil leaves • 1 tsp balsamic reduction

Directions:

1. Toast bread to desired crispiness. 2. Place a large spoonful of burrata onto each piece. 96

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The more the merrier when it comes to appetizers. These gathering-friendly recipes are delicious and sure to be an instant conversation starter. Using bright red strawberries in your appetizers, which are available yearround from California, is a spectacular way to “wow” your guests. Whip up something sweet or savoury with these bright beauties the next time you want to impress your company.

3. Place sliced strawberries on top. 4. Drizzle with balsamic reduction and top with fresh basil.

• ½ lemon, juiced • salt and pepper to taste • 2 sprigs thyme

ENDIVES STUFFED WITH STRAWBERRY SALSA

Directions:

PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES SERVES: 16 APPETIZERS

Ingredients: • 16 endive leaves approx. 3-4 heads of endive • 8 California strawberries, diced • 30g cucumber, peeled and diced • 65g avocado, diced • 4 mint leaves, finely minced

1. Cut the base off the head of the endive and separate the leaves. Wash thoroughly and dry gently. 2. Place strawberries, cucumber, avocado, mint and lemon juice in a bowl. 3. Gently toss with salt and pepper to taste. 4. Divide the filling between endive leaves and top off with fresh thyme. 5. Serve cold. Find more delicious recipes at californiastrawberries.com. Source Newscanada www.desitoday.ca



lIFe & etC.

For entertainment purpose only

Know what your star says

Horoscope Nov 2022 BY MOON SIGN

Aries (Mar 21-Apr 19) Rather than allowing yourself to be controlled by your appetites and desires (a move that could lead to significant frustration), you prefer to connect with your inner world to get the correct information in October. This will allow you to avoid misunderstandings and other mistakes that could pollute the atmosphere if you follow the path of ego rather than wisdom! Jupiter will be in the shadow of your sign until December 20th, inviting you to look inward rather than forward! Take advantage of Novmeber that may be calmer! You will be less solicited or in a hurry to act. Take a step back from the events to prepare for the next step with a clear conscience and the time to refine your plans and strategies!

Taurus (Apr 20-May 20) This month will take a step toward the other, whatever your aspirations and goals. It’s out of the question to isolate yourself, camp resolutely on your positions without listening, and even less take into account what the other person says. If you feel you are not being understood or that your initiatives are being blocked, turn to those around you. Those you love could be excellent advisors. You will have free hands to act and prepare for the future. Take advantage of relatively clear skies and a strong desire to influence those around you and events to start placing your pawns on the chessboard... to your advantage!

Gemini (May 21-June 21) It’s on the everyday terrain that you’ll work primarily in November. It will be a matter (whether in love or at the office) of doing your best to settle the current affairs and manage the stewardship in the most fluid way possible! If you find it difficult to cope, understand that you must first and foremost put yourself at the service of the community as much (more?) than yourself! You should have a smooth autumn month, supported by the elements. Take advantage of this relatively serene climate to strengthen your alliances (pro, private) and get everyone on your side!

Cancer (June 22-July 22) You are not lacking in November! Use it to achieve your goals, realize some of your ambitions, and broaden your horizons, even if some have to deal with obstacles that may block their way a little! You will have to find ways to act without triggering hostilities around you. You will have to rely on your influence to work, convince, serve and seduce without trying to force your way through! An autumn month that invites you to think collectively rather than focusing on your personal goals. Take the time to listen to those around you! Discuss the measures

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to be taken so that everything runs smoothly without hesitating for a second to put yourself at their service!

Leo (July 23-Aug 22) It is indeed in the family, in the private circle, that you will have to intervene, it seems, in priority this month! You will have to keep the dialogue open, not to break the banns, but to find a way to make the links evolve in the right direction. The one that will preserve or improve the agreement and lead to a positive transformation of exchanges! This month invites you to make efforts to communicate with those around you in a constructive way! A relatively sunny autumn month in which nothing seems to get in the way of your happiness. Surf without reserve on these carrier flows to improve the ordinary, shine in society, and blossom in love!

Virgo (Aug 23-Sept 22) This month it will be a question of communicating! Take care to respect each person’s opinion if you wish to make the debates evolve and win the game. Even for some, weave very harmonious links and enter in osmosis with the other! On the other hand, if you find it challenging to make yourself heard, if you have the feeling that you are not understood, do not try to convince anyone and wait for your time to get back on track! No need to force the movement in November when the watchword seems to be summed up in one primary injunction! Getting closer to your loved ones and having a good time together! You will certainly not be asked to do so!

Libra (Sept 23-Oct 22) Appetites and desires that you will be thirsty to satisfy as quickly as possible? Don’t express excessive needs! Give up (at least temporarily) on fulfilling specific fantasies or giving in to all your dreams (financial, among others). Stop pushing your banker too much. You will have the opportunity to move back to certain obstacles that keep you stuck in your tracks. And if everything is going well for you, take advantage of this to improve your life without delay! This month you should be surrounded and appreciated! You’ll find the right words to keep the mood up and make everyone want to hang out with you. Keep up the excellent work!

Scorpio (Oct 23-Nov 21) Charismatic and determined to open a new cycle of expansion to your idea? Why not, if you agree to take into account specific recurring blockages that could manifest themselves on the family level. No one will be equal when faced with a situation that will offer the seventh sky in a direct line to some, while others will have to deal with a persistent cloud cover! It’s up to you to surf on the good waves

that blow the heat and warm up the atmosphere when it becomes icy! An autumn month is somewhat cooperative in your fulfillment. Jupiter, who contributed to your happiness (between May and the end of October), will return on December 20th to finish his work! Until then? Simply enjoy!

Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21) Rather than allowing yourself to be controlled by your appetites and desires (a move that could lead to significant frustration), you prefer to connect with your inner world to get the correct information in October. This will allow you to avoid misunderstandings and other mistakes that could pollute the atmosphere if you follow the path of ego rather than wisdom! Jupiter will be in the shadow of your sign until December 20th, inviting you to look inward rather than forward! Take advantage of a month that may be calmer! You will be less solicited or in a hurry to act. Take a step back from the events to prepare for the next step with a clear conscience and the time to refine your plans and strategies!

Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 19) In November, you will tend to move forward with your eyes on the future! A project in mind and a situation that encourages your initiatives? Some will have no trouble getting your troops to join in the adventure, convincing their loved ones to follow them. In contrast, others will undoubtedly struggle a bit more! A lack of means, obstacles on the way? In any case, this month invites you to make plans for the future! A month where you will be more comfortable and productive by keeping yourself away from the world’s noise. It’s not a question of isolating yourself completely but of taking the time to think about what you want to do from now on!

Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18) This month, you will want to perform well in the professional field and not let any opportunity pass by to show what you are capable of! However, some will be less successful than others. If your charisma seems indisputable, you can adapt to respond to what is expected of you, but that could get stuck! Therefore, you should rely on your creativity in November to impress people and try not to stick to your positions if you find that they are not unanimously accepted! A month to unite thanks to an undeniable charm and to projects that have everything to please. Jupiter will be back with a (positive) charge from December 20th. Prepare the ground for your ideas to take shape soon!

Pisces (Feb 19-Mar 20) You’ll be thirsty this month to expand your horizons, to go beyond yourself. Whether on the sentimental or professional level, some have what it takes to hover at fifteen thousand feet, push back certain previous limitations, and blossom as they please. However, others will have to confront some aspects of the past on which they will have to bend over backward to draw some edifying lessons! It is a challenge to take up to grow and, above all, to free themselves from everything that keeps pulling them back! in November lightness and even a certain fluidity could allow you to have a good time, enjoy surfing with a certain ease, and recognize that feels good. Why would you deprive yourself of this?

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