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—EDITORIAL— THE POWER OF EDUCATION Education is the key to success, is commonly said but how seriously it is taken by parents and children among the Fiji community here in USA, is to be thought about. The decision making time for further studies for high school graduates is nearing. Academic studies is where you continue studies in colleges and universities to become lawyers, doctors, teachers, accountants, engineers etc. The study has its own advantage however learning a trade has its advantage too. Education is simply

INdia Fiji Today Publisher & Editor Arun Maharaj Hayward, California California Jaycees Senator Jaycees International Senator Past National President Fiji Jaycees 510 : 875 0568

Contributing Writers Jai P. Narayan Rajendra Nair

Correspondents Mahesh Bharadwaj Delhi, India Indar Nair Sydney, Australia Subhash Chandra Auckland, New Zealand Indar Mudaliar Toronto, Canada

learning anything that is useful to one’s life which can provide a decent living. The parents have a role in guiding their children for their future after they complete their high school. The opportunity of education here is unlimited. It is normally said by most parents when migrating from Fiji, ’That they are leaving Fiji for their children’s future, but how many actually remember this when they settle here in America with their new lifestyle . Arun Maharaj

FROM THE PUBLISHER A considerable number of former Fiji residents live in USA today and most are settled on the West Coast State of California. Fiji community came into sight here in the mid - fifties and since then migration from Fiji to America started and after the political upheaval of 1987, migration sped from Fiji and it continues to do so today. The Fiji community has generally adapted itself well here and has created its identity as the people are engaged in various walks of life. India Fiji Today has been set up to keep the Fiji community here informed about the happenings back in their former home, Fiji and the Fiji community abroad. It is obvious that the Fiji community here has an interest in the affairs of Fiji. Since the majority of the former Fiji residents settled here are of Indian origin, materials and articles on India has been included for their interest.

Disclaimer Fiji Today/India Today Fiji Lifestyle is the editor’s review on the major happenings back in Fiji based on the information from Times of India, other Indian publications, Fiji Times; Fiji Sun; visitors to and from Fiji and other Fiji publications. These are editor’s own views based on the information from those sources. The articles are the editor’s original articles and any error/s are regretted and the editor / publisher is not responsible for any such error/s and or further discussions.

Advertisements The claims made by the advertisers are entirely their own and the editor / publisher does not necessarily support or endorses these claims.


T HE R ETURN OF W ATER T ANKS AND W ELLS E RA Wells and water tanks were in use for water supply to homes throughout Fiji up to the sixties. Water was in limited supply therefore it had its value felt by the people. Anything which is scarce has a great value and demand. Everything depended on the rainfall, the wells and water tanks needed rain to fill them up. Some wells had spring water and provided constant water supply. Sometimes it did not rain for a long time and as such the wells and water tanks dried up. It was particularly difficult for schools to cater for water supply to the children during dry spells of weather and water had to be brought in bottles by the children from their homes. Gradually things changed and pipe water system was

set up in most parts of Fiji.The sight of the sixties became history in those areas.

History is repeating itself as the period of sixties and prior to that are seen in Suva today. To alleviate the water shortage in Suva water tanks have After decades of enjoying been installed to store constant pipe water supply rain water for water and taking the supply for needs as the water supgranted, as anything in ply problem continues. In abundance does not have the outer areas where its recognition, water supply water supply has ceased, is not adequate today. to the apart from water tanks, huge population of Suva even old wells are and the greater Suva area. cleared to hold water. It is There are just too many hard to only depend on houses now as compared to rain for water supply and decades back when the people have to resort to pipes were laid down for creeks and rivers for wawater supply. There are ter when it does not rain. constant water cuts in most parts of Suva. The problem in prevalent in other parts of So, history does reFiji too as even in some rupeat itself and alral areas the pipe water though Fiji is sursupply has ceased due to rounded by water, wadamages and wearing out of ter problem pipes.

P EOPLE K RISTEEN P RAKASH – M ISS F IJI U SA 2010—S ACRAMENTO CA Kristeen Prakash of Sacramento, California is a beauty pageant titleholder who won the Miss Fiji USA 2010. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Raven Prakash and is currently majoring in Biology at the Sacramento State University. She is the first generation in her family to attend a university directly after high school. Her future plans are to attend medical school to become a pediatrician. Besides her studies and volunteer work, Kristeen’s hobbis include spending time with friends, dancing and pageants. She started participating in pageants in 2007. She first competed in the American Coed Pageant and was placed third runner—up for talent and was awarded Miss Photogenic! Along with this pageant she also competed in Miss India Northern CA and in the Donald Trump Miss CA USA Pageant. Kristeen’s parents have always supported her in all her goals. She said, “One of my biggest achievement is winning the Miss Fiji USA 2010 Title.” She said it is nothing better than representing my heritage! She further said, “This would not be possible without my mom, she is the best coach and my papa is my biggest fan!

I NDIA F EATURE T I E S S T I L L S T RO N G A F T E R O V E R H U N D R E D Y E A R S O F S TA Y I N G A PA R T .. When the Indians left their homes for Fiji more than one hundred years ago they had little clue as to what their future will be like and that the leaving of their homes in India will become a historical event for both the countries. They defied the then general norm, of extended and collective living style that is still practiced in rural India today. Among them was a young, energetic and foresighted Gajadhar Maharaj from Ayodhya, who along with his wife and a baby daughter took the challenge of working abroad in Fiji. He had earlier worked in other British colonies but he may not have been aware that his Fiji bound trip was the last of such trips and that would separate him form his home in Ayodhya for good. His stay in Fiji was successful as after a brief stay in Lautoka he moved to Suva and settled at Nasinu 8 Miles, where some of his descendents still live today. The Maharaj family was extended to four sons and four daughters and Gajadhar Maharaj never saw his Ayodhya home again and died in 1943 and much later, about two decades, his wife also passed away. The contact with his home back in Ayodhya was passed on to his children and his youngest son Mr. Shiu Prasad, a former Chief Education Officer with Fiji’s Ministry of Education, now settled in Auckland New Zealand, during a trip to India in 1962, visited his father’s home village in Ayodhya. Since then many of the Maharaj family members have visited the Halkara ka Purva village in Ayodhya and till today the bond between the Fiji based family and the Ayodhya family is very strong. In 1985 the Maharaj family from Fiji invited the senior member of the Ayodhya family,

Mr. Lal Ji Dube and his wife to visit Fiji, and they spent about three months in Fiji with them. Recently a temple was established in the Ayodhya village by a committee there and a member of the Maharaj ancestry in Ayodhya, Anil Dube is an active and prominent member of the committee. With his initiative the Maharaj family, who are settled today in Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America have supported towards the establishment of the temple in Halkara ka Purva village in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. Late Mr. and Mrs. Gajadhar Maharaj, while leaving their home in India had no idea as to how far the relationship between their home village in India and their descendants in Fiji will go. The Maharaj family is honored to be linked with their ancestral home back in India.

Arun Maharaj (left)—a Maharaj family member settled in USA and publisher of ‘India Fiji Today’ with his Ayodhya relatives at his ancestral home in Ayodhya— India, recently.




In a highly professional Koffee with Karan ‘set’ the past queen of Bollywood meets the possible future queen of the industry. The elegant looking Madhuri Dixit and the upcoming celebrity, Sonakshi Sinha, daughter of veteran actor Shatruhan Sinha ‘meet’ at the ‘Koffee with Karan’. The Madhuri ‘fever’ still seems to be going on in India as her entry back to the country, where she reigned in the film industry, makes her a film star celebrity much into the ‘Bollywood world’. Having worked in the Indian Film Industry for many years must be hard for her to exclude herself from the industry. Although she resides in US now her presence in India must be generating interest among her fans and it must be difficult for her to be just a visitor there. In India even today she is a front runner celebrity much adored than any other former actresses of her time. The brief insight of her lifestyle in America must have been blessing for her fans in India who wish to see her on the silver screen or just wish to have her in India. The Koffee with Karan seems to have become a prestigious tv show with a high standard of



Interview by Karan Johar. The theme of the show, the interview of film stars makes ita highly watched tv program. The stunning newcomer, Sonakshi Sinha, the potential queen of Bollywood presented a great match to the veteran Madhuri Dixit on the set of ‘Koffeee with Karan’. She presented herself to the two veterans, Karan Johar, a successful filmmaker and Madhuri Dixit with great confidence and professionalism. In the ’quiz’ cession she proved to be smarter than the visiting partner and eventually won the popular Karan Johar hamper.

Her debut film Dabang with Salman Khan and the subsequent winning of the awards made her an overnight celebrity in India and among the Indian community abroad.


I NDIA ’ S F OCUS ON G ANDHI W EDDING Any news about Gandhi—Nehru family becomes national news for India. The family generally regarded as the most popular Indian family. The Gandhi’s and Nehru’s gave enough to the country to be regarded as the leading family politically. They produced three prime ministers, almost four, if Sonia Gandhi had accepted the prime minister’s position after her Congress Party had won the election a few years ago. The family also lost three lives tragically, of which two were politically related. The recent wedding of Varun Gandi, the son of late Sanjay Gandhi and Maneka Gandhi again generated interest among the Indian community as Varun Gandhi is a grandson of late Indira Gandi and great—grandson of late Pt. Jawarhar Lal Nehru, India’s first prime minister. The Wedding is believed to have taken place in Vanarasi, U.P. The focus of the people in the wedding was the absence of Sonia Gandhi family at the wedding.

The two Gandhi families are believed to be in dispute for almost three decades . The differences in the families seems to have come about soon after the death of Sanjay Gandhi, who was the second son of late Indira Gandhi who was killed in a place crash. After his death the non— inclusion of his wife in Gandhi politics seems to have triggered the dispute which has lasted for over three decades. Sanjay Gandhi was Indira Gandi’s political ally and possibly the next in line to take her position and his wife Maneka was quite involved in politics too. Varun Gandhi also has a political career and is a member of the BJP Party. He has a long political career ahead of him.




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Attorney Irina Puhachevksy


T HE PASSING A WAY OF I NDIAN A CTOR NAVIN N ISCHOL ………. An Indian actor, Navin Nischol’s passing away recently in lndia was learnt with sorrow by the Indians. The actor was in his mid sixties. He is believed to have had a sudden death while traveling to Pune. Navin Nischol came to the Indian Film Industry in 1970 with his first film Saawan Bhadon which became a hit. The film also saw the introduction of Rekha into the Indian Film Industry. He entered the Indian Film Industry at a time when Rajesh Khanna was the superstar and his popularity was shadowed by the superstar’s image. He acted in many films during his film career including character roles. He was married twice and his second wife’s committed suicide and making allegation against the actor His last film was Break ke Baad in 2010. He also acted in some tv. serials later in his life.

The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is a major airport in India both for international and local flights. Its Mumbai—Delhi route is a highly busy many daily routes.


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BRIEF HISTORY OF INDIAN CINEMA... The beginning of the Indian Cinema goes back to over hundred years. It is believed it was in the year 1886 when the first soundless film was made in Bombay, now Mumbai by the ‘Lumiere Brothers Cinematographe’. When something is produced or developed, it is easier to develop on it later. Soon after the release of the first film, Indian film makers in Calcutta and Bombay started making films. India’s first feature film Raja Harishcahandra was made in 1913 by Dadasaheb Phalke who is known as the father of the Indian Cinema. Later more and more films were made and by the 1930’s the film demand greatly increased to over two hundred films per year A remarkable change came in 1931 when the first sound— film was produced in India and the soundless films became obsolete. The late forties saw the production melodious films. This period of post—independence is seen as the Golden Era for the Indian Film Industry

with the emergence of Raj Kapoor as a film maker who gave hit after hit with his favorite heroine and close friend Nargis. This was also the Black and White Era when artists like Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Balraj Sanhi, Madhubala, Ashok Kumar. graced the Indian Cinema. Later in the sixties, it was the period of Rajendra Kumar along with Shammi Kapoor, Manoj Kumar, Sunil Datt, Vijayanthi Mala, Meena Kumari, Wahida Rehman and the introduction of color films was made. The seventies saw the first super star, Rajesh Kahnna take his stand, whose popularity rate then has been unmatched to date. Later on Amitabh Bachchan came and conquered the Indian Film Industry for good. Today the film making is highly commercialized and is a leading industry in India making hundreds of films on annual basis, making it the largest film making worldwide.

DEV ANAND’S VIDYA BALAN MAKES A MARK IN INSPIRATION FOR BOLLYWOOD FILMS YOUNGER ARTISTS Born in South India she grew up in Mumbai. A graduate in Sociology she her Masters Degree fro Mumbai University. She is among the most educated heroines in the Indian Film Industry today. Her presentation in the films portrays her high level of education. Recently she won the Best Actress Award in the Star Screen Awards.

Now 88 years old, the veteran artist has fascinated the Hindi Cinema fans for many decades. He started his acting career with film Vidya in 1948 with Suraiya as his lead actress. He has not looked back since.. He married actress Kalpana Kartik and they gave hits like Baazi and taxi Driver. He has been an actor, and film producer and his passion for films has kept him involved in the film industry. His Hum Dono released over forty years ago will be seen in color soon.

A Perspective APRIL 2011

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS Most things we do in life are driven by the motivation to be happy. Without happiness, life would be dull and lack meaning or significance It is not easy to define what happiness is, just as we can’t easily define other emotional states. We all understand, however, that happiness is just a state of mind and the mental state continues to vary depending on the situations and experiences we encounter. Happiness is never a sustained state unless, perhaps, if you are enjoying the bliss of meditation! In the process of living, we acquire numerous things; some are very basic to our existence while others are not so essential, but desired by us to improve our well-being. We buy food, clothing, build or buy bigger and better houses, buy expensive cars, luxury goods, travel to other countries, and so on. We do these to be happy. While happiness is a state of mind and it has to do with our emotions and feelings, we generally try to achieve this by acquiring material possessions. This endless pursuit of satisfying an intangible mechanism with material things seems to be a paradox of life. The pursuit continues and we never reach the ultimate destination of fully satisfying ourselves. The more we have, the more we want, and this insatiable appetite keeps growing. We all

Jai P. Narayan

seem to be caught in this web, without exception. Of course, the strength of our urge for material things differs depending on our psychological and spiritual make up and our individual circumstances. Let me add here that I am not suggesting that we should not improve the quality of our lives. We should all do our best to progress and prosper in life and make ourselves as comfortable as possible. The point I am making is that the endless pursuit of material things will not bring about happiness. Instead, satisfaction with what we have may provide a better foundation for happiness. Jai P. Narayan Former General Manager Administration Fiji Sugar Corporation Ltd.—1990–1998 Currently HR Director-Innovative Circuits Engineering Inc.

A Perspective APRIL 2011

I NNOCENCE OF C HILDREN In this world dominated by of their teen and from there stress, jealousy, agony and onwards the other qualities unhappidominate the ness, the innocence notion of quality and it innocence starts to fade of children away but is can guide not completely us through lost. and make us come out In this world of the divided along ‘quagmire’ race, religion, of life. The culture, sect, children’s clan and other Arun Maharaj innocence divisions the towards life concept of projects a highly noble ‘innocence of children’ can message that can have tre- provide great relief to the mendous positive effect on suffering beings. The chilpeople’s lives. The children dren are devoid of the qualare taught to live, firstly by ity of selfishness, jealousy, their parents and later the hatred etc and everything teachers teach them in and everyone is alike to schools but in return what them, this is pure innothe children teach the adult cence. The peace they enworld is something worth joy is probably the sweetest pondering about. It is bepart of human life. The innolieved the element of inno- cence quality does not die cence is dominant in chilout in adults but is somedren up to the beginning what subdued and can be

brought back to life again, changing the lives of adults for good. It is accepted that as adults we have some requirements to fulfill in order to live a successful life. These requirements or obligations in the form of earning money, having a family to take care of, having other ‘wants’ that have turned into needs today, will lead you to a successful practical life and happiness, which can sometimes be temporary. Only meeting these demands of life will allow you to live a life devoid of peace and maybe full of happiness, which may be temporary. It is peace that we are trying to attain in our lives. Arun Maharaj Former Teacher—Fiji Jaycees International Senator California Jaycees Senator Past President Fiji Jaycees


N AUSORI H ORRIFIC M URDER OF T WO ... Murders seem to be quite common in the small population of Fiji. The crime seems not to be confined to any particular town or area and just takes place across Fiji. The double killing of a man and a girl near nausori seems to have created concern among the community there. The deceased girl is believed to have been living with her grandparents and her younger sister as her parents lived in another town. Her disappearance is believed to have been noticed by her grandmother when she did not return home one Saturday evening after an outing to Nausori town with her younger sister. Her body was allegedly found along with a male friend’s body near her home the next day.

The New—Look Morris Hedstrom Complex in Suva is the hub and a landmark of the capital City.


E ATHQUAKE AND T SUNAMI P REPARDNHESS Following the Japan earthquake and tsunami concern for the disaster has gripped the entire world and Fiji is no exception. It is believed Fiji’s Mineral Resources Department is in the process of upgrading its monitoring devices for earthquake and tsunami. Apart from the existing additional equipments would be installed at various stations. Fiji has experienced earthquake in the past during the fifties and some later on with not much damages. Fiji has had good facilities on predicting weather for the country for the last many years. Hurricane and flood warnings have been provided to the residents and in many cases the warnings has saved damages. The new earthqauke and tsunami warnings should give a new look at the natural disasters awareness.and preparedness.

The Sea Wall Nasese Suva A Favorite Site for Leisure Time



T HE S ENTENCING OF F ORMER S UVA M AYOR D HANSUKH L AL B HIKA Fiji Court’s sentencing of Suncourt Hardware’s Dhnasukh Lal Bhika and former senior officer of Ministry of Agriculture ends a long awaited court case. The two are believed to be sentenced for their fraud in the Affirmative Action Program implemented by the previous Fiji government. It is believed a lot of money was paid to Suncourt Hardware for supplying farm equipments. Dhansukh Lal Bhika has served as the mayor of Suva for many years but his community involvement has worked against him while being sentenced by the court. as a community leader does not indulge in such schemes which are illegal. He is believed to have received four and a half years jail term while the other senior government officer received five years.

The Carnegie Library Suva City


T HE I NTRODUCTION OF S MOKELESS S TOVES The recent Women’s Day celebration in the north seems to have generated interest among the participants on various issues relating to their housekeeping. A smokeless stove introduced by the workshop seems to have given the women a new hope in their house work. The new stove will conserve energy and provide faster service. It will also save natural resources. Collecting and cutting fire wood for daily cooking has been a task for the village and rural based women. Furthermore the new stove will save on the gas and kerosene which is expensive and not easily available in the rural settlements. Fiji has had the services of many voluntary organizations in the past which educated the community on various aspects of lifestyle. Many organizations ceased to function but those that are in operation provide assistance.

The Botanical Gardens Suva A Landmark of Suva


S UGAR S HORTAGE — H AVOC IN B USINESSES The ailing sugar industry seems to be having impact on the local supply apart from its export. Some Suva cake shops seem to be in desperate need for brown sugar for their cakes. Instead they have to use white sugar which is more expensive. The individual homes may be affected by the sugar shortage too. It is believed the country now depends on imported sugar to meet the local demands. Sugar industry has been in bad shape for many years and has reached the stage where the local demands are not being met. It seems the country will have to live with the problem as nothing seems like to be changing as the cane farms lie idle even if they are offered for farming. The good days of cane farming seems to be history.

Roadside Scene Queens Highway Suva—Nadi





F IJI —O NE OF THE F RIENDLIEST NATIONS ‘Fiji is the Way the World Should Be’, the slogan once used by Air Pacific may not be quite true now as the other nations around the world are more friendlier than Fiji. Even after the political upheavals of the recent past Fiji is still ranked as one of the safest countries to visit. It is believed the country has been ranked as the twelfth friendliest nations in the world by the Forbes Magazine. Thailand has been ranked as the most friendliest. Fiji’s welcoming ways and friendly manner seems to have played the important part in Fiji’s ranking. This will have positive effect on Fiji’s tourism. It is the only nation among the South Pacific island nations to get the top ranking.The carefree living style of the multiracial community of Fiji seems to have been admired by the tourists over the years.

The Government Buildings Suva A Major Landmark of Suva


The Northern Indian City is built on steep slopes at the foot of the Himalayas at an altitude of around seven thousand feet. Regarded as the summer capital of India, it remains generally cool during summer when most of India experiences scorching heat. During winter heavy snow fall is seen making it a magnificent site. Local and foreign visitors flock to Shimla, particularly during summer . It is also a popular film shooting location for the Indian Film Industry.


indiafijitoday april issue  
indiafijitoday april issue  

Lifestyle magazine published in USA