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Friday, August 03 2012 | Vol. 31, No. 31

Indo American erican News

$1 Published weekly from Houston, TX

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First Ever Eye Clinic at India House

Narang Saves India from Olympic Duck


Page 25

eview Movie R e 17 Pag

Fourth year optometry student Caroline Wells examines Shakuntla Malhotra

Over 25 patients went through the Mobile Eye Clinic last Monday, July 30th.

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August 03, 2012

Packed Schedule Greets First Eye Clinic at India House

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: “We’re done, Doctor G! “ called out Caroline Wells from the front exam room of the long van, as she finished with her first patient for the morning. The schedule for eye exams for the day was packed back-to-back and the next patient was my elderly mother. “Excuse me a minute,” said the energetic Dr. G, more formally known as Dr. G. Gavin Gerondale, the last name harking back to a Belgian ancestry, as he jumped off his chair near the entrance to the van and hurried in to do a follow up to the exam report that Wells, a fourth year Optometry student at the University of Houston had completed. Deftly and with an experienced eye, Dr. G made his evaluation and confirmed her results. Gerondale and his two interns – the second, Carmel Cletus, was in the back exam room – were in the mobile eye clinic of the University of Houston’s Eye Institute giving exams to 25 people who had called for an appointment at a discounted rate, especially to lower income earners. It was the first time that the van had made a call to India House and “the response has been overwhelming,” said Dr. Virendra K. Mathur, a trustee of the community facility. Along with fellow trustee Dr, Durga Agrawal (see box for related story), Mathur had seen the possibilities in serving the community when they reached out to UH and initiated the clinic. And so, come Monday, July 30, starting from 9 am, the long red and white van with the black stripe down the middle (with a plaque identifying it as a gift from the people of Saudi Arabia) hummed along on generator power, the A/C blowing cold air with a stream of people going through. “The clinic isn’t limited to Indians alone,” explained Yolanda RobertsonBenoit, the Programs Manager at

veniles who are in jail or among the 4,000 children on probation living in their own homes. The huge demand for the clinic caught India House by surprise. “We have already agreed to have the mobile eye clinic here twice in September and also in October,

with plans for more,” explained Mathur. This will compliment the medical clinic held at the facility every Saturday from 9am to 1pm, with plans in motion to extend that to all weekend and perhaps other days too.

10 Years after Acid Attack, She’s an American Citizen

India House General Manager Anil Jindal and Programs Manager Yolanda Robertson-Benoit helped register and direct the patients. Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

India House Elects First Slate of Trustees

Dr. G. Gavin Gerondale is the founding director of the Mobile Eye Clinic which goes around town to schools, other clinics and jails to dispense eye care

HOUSTON: Although the positions have been officially listed in the its bye-laws, India House finally got round to electing its first slate of Trustees for the next four years, renewable as need be. The five trustees - it has been a tradition in the community to also name their wifes – are: Gopal and Urvashi Savjani; Chowdary and Angela Yalamanchili; Bal and Rita Sareen; Dr. Durga and Sushila Agrawal and Dr. Virendra and Nalini Mathur.

India House. “Many people from the mainstream community also came by,” she added as she registered patients and took their payments, which were as low as $25 and were based on need. Helping her in the effort was Anil Jindal, a retired former banker originally from Lucknow, India who has just moved to Houston two months ago with his wife Anjali and is now India House’s General Manager. Gerondale, a professor at UH

for 5 years, was happy to see the turnout and is quite used to these type of exams, as he is the founding member of the mobile eye clinic. “I spend a third of my time going to different schools and with the support of the Eyecare for Kids foundation have given away $250,000 in glasses alone.” The other third of the time he spends at other clinics – Hope Clinic, several Shifa Cinics and the Pasadena Helath Clinic. The final third he takes care of 13 to 17 year-old ju-


BY SUSAN CARROLL HOUSTON (Chronicle): In a cavernous auditorium on the city’s north side, Julie Aftab raised her hand to take the oath of citizenship, tears streaking down her smooth, left cheek, a patch of creamy skin left unscathed by battery acid. Aftab was 17, scared and unable to speak a word of I never thought I would be the English, when she came person I am today,” Julie Aftab to the United States for told her fellow naturalized citizens treatment at Shriners HosPhoto: Melissa Phillip pital for Children. She was ashamed of the swirling scars that covered much of her face and upper body from an acid attack 10 years ago in Faisalabad, Pakistan. In Houston, Aftab, now 26, built a new life with the support of a loyal host family and a devoted church congregation. She underwent dozens of surgeries, all donated by doctors and hospitals in Houston. She graduated from high school, and then from San Jacinto College, before enrolling at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. “This day means so much to me,” Aftab said, moments before taking the naturalization oath with some 2,240 other immigrants in the M.O. Campbell Educational Center. Aftab was 16, working as a call operator in a tiny store, when a man confronted her about the silver cross dangling from her neck. She and the man argued. He returned with a friend and doused her with battery acid, leaving her with bone-deep burns on much of her upper body. With the help of a nondenominational bishop in Pakistan, Aftab came to Shriners for treatment in February 2004. She found a new home in Deer Park with a retired couple, Gloria and Lee Ervin, who had heard of her case through their congregation at Deer Park United Methodist Church. Aftab sought help with her immigration case from Catholic Charities of Galveston-Houston, which found a prominent Houston law firm, Baker Botts LLP, to take on her asylum case without charge. Aftab was asked by U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt, who presided over the ceremony, to make a brief speech after taking her oath on Tuesday morning. Although she had prepared some remarks, she decided instead just to share her feelings. She thanked God, the Ervins, and others who helped her to build a new life in America and become a citizen.



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Documentary Shows Indian Government’s Callousness towards Poor Asylum Seekers

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: With close camera angles and shooting with natural light in cramped quarters, a group of five amateur film makers in India have captured a tale of woe and bungling government bureaucratic insensitivity that befuddles the mind. The topic they captured on video is the wretched condition of a group of 151 Hindus who overstayed their tourist visas while seeking asylum status in September 2011 and ended up holed up for six months in a compound in New Delhi. How their misery is compounded and the tale of their voyage to flee religious persecution is the subject of the documentary The Human Boundaries which was screened to about 100 people last Thursday, July 26 at India House under the auspices of the Hindu American Foundation which is also taking the film to 12 cities across the US. The film follows the 151 people over three days while they are living in makeshift tents in the Dera Dhuni Baba Camp in New Delhi. These are Hindu families who fled, en masse, from Hyderabad, Sindh in Pakistan by train, crossing the border at Lahore to Amritsar and then continuing onwards to New Delhi. They arrived on six-month tourist visas and were not allowed to work. Learning of their tale, community activists came to help them when they found out that they did not intend to return to Pakistan where they told of religious persecution, physical and mental harassment, assault and forcible conversions. “I was searching for my first venture into film making,” explained the producer and director Rahul Riji Nair who graduated from the Amrita School of Engineering and works as a Business Analyst in Kerala, but has a passion for filmmaking. He was on hand to talk about his experience, the film and field questions. “I had heard of the plight of these people and had approached their advocacy group with an idea and needed a couple of weeks to write the script,” He never got that opportunity as he received a call to come to Delhi right away as the stranded Hindus was going to be forcibly evacuated within a few days. “Without knowing even the basics of filming or editing or even a script, the three

Rahul Riji Nair, the producer and director of the documentary The Human Boundaries.

Gaitry Sharma who was born in Pakistan, spoke of her family’s experiences and hardships there.

Jay Kansara, Associate Director in Washington, DC for Hindu American Foundation.

of us flew to Delhi on the next flight,” Nair described. “We then returned home and edited the film in 28 days and had it screened at Delhi University on the 29th day.” Nair was referring to the group of friends who had formed a production company to make the film. So far, the movie has screened in 15 states in India and has won an award at a film festival in Kolkata. In the film, some men and women reluctantly recite their story, occasionally weeping openly, but each emphatically declares that they would not go back to Pakistan, that they wanted to die in India and have the freedom to be cremated, which they could not do in Pakistan. Eventually, the police forcibly evacuate them to another camp in Ghaziabad, UP but their forced deportation is stayed by a ruling of the Delhi High Court and they are given another six-month tourist visa. The film is narrated by Nair in a gentle soundover making the case that humanity and goodwill should always prevail. After the screening and a short Q&A session, Gaitry Sharma, the daughter of the late Nehal Chand Sharma who was the priest of the Hindu Worship Society for several years in the mid ‘80s spoke about her experience as a child and that of her sister and other relatives who still live in Hyderabad, Pakistan. There have been recent news reports of forced conversions, beatings and rapes in

the Sindh area and Gaitry insisted that it is this mistreatment of Hindus that she hears about from her relatives in Pakistan. A couple of representatives of the Ahmadiya Muslim community were also on hand and spoke of the harsh treatment that their group receives in Pakistan too, where the majority Shia and Sunni sects do not even consider them as bonafide Muslims. The event was emceed by Jay Kansara, the Associate Director in Washington, DC for the Hindu American Foundation, which is an advocacy group for Hindu rights and issues. The HAF was formed in 2003 and

has been a fierce fighter for Hindu issues not just in the US like the depiction of Hindus deities in textbooks in California but has also raised its voice on issues worldwide, like the plight of Hindus in predominately Muslim Bangladesh. It has led the charge for greater awareness of these issues among lawmakers on Capitol Hill and also among Hindu Americans themselves in the US. The Houston chapter of HAF is headed by Rishi Bhutada, who along with his father Ramesh, is one of the founders of the group and briefly addressed the meeting.

WRITERS ... TAKE NOTICE Writers are requested to limit their words to 500. The deadline for advertising and articles is 4 pm on Tuesday of each week. For more information, call 713-789-NEWS (6397) or email us at: Indo American News (ISSN 887-5936) is published weekly every Friday (for a subscription of $40 per year) by IndoAmerican News Inc., 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036, tel: 713-789-6397, fax:713-789-6399, email: Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Indo American News,7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036


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August 03, 2012

When You Wonder Who Can Help, You Find that IACAN Helps

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: Although never a pleasant topic of discussion, cancer strikes countless people when they least expect it and often catches them ill-prepared to handle the myriad of facets that arise from its treatment and survival and their impact on family and friends. When placed in the context of an Indo American setting, the cultural and religious roots can also often be deeply strained, leading to further emotional upheaval for all those involved. A simple matter like not being able to fast on a Tuesday, as some Hindus do to honor the deity Hanuman, can have profound effects on the body and psyche. Recognizing this and all the other areas of the mental framework and the dietary constraints and challenges that a South Asian would have to deal with, the relatively young and fledgling Indo American Cancer Network has been building up its resources and base of volunteers over the past two years to help educate the South Asian community about the real facts of cancer treatment. But more so, IACAN’s emphasis has been to bring to light the resources for support – both financial and emotional – that are available offer and a clear simple message for Indo-Americans: You are not alone! In that spirit, IACAN presented another in a series of informative seminars this past Sunday, July 29 entitled The Keys to Healthcare Access: Navigating the Pathway to Obtaining Cancer Treatment. About 80 people attended the midafternoon seminar which featured talks by Diana Burkett, Community Manager Gulf Coast Region of

IACAN Board members with guest speakers Photo: Bijay Dixit

the American Cancer Society; Denise LaRue, Outreach Health Educator with the Harris County Hospital District; Lindsay Madden, Regional Vice-President of the annuity division of Guardian Investors Services on Social Security and Medicare and Irene Mensah, Senior Health Information Specialist with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. With most of the IACANB Board members present, President Kanchan Kabad welcomed guests and the Board Director Dr. Julie Nagia introduced each of the presenters as they came to speak. Burkett explained the numerous services that the ACS offers, ranging from wigs to prosthetics, comfort pillows, language translators and vouchers

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for taxi service at little or no cost. LaRue went over the services offered through the three hospitals in the district and how to pay for them, including the Gold Card (which is good for a year) and can offer discounts based on family size, income and need and how it can be used along with Medicare coverage.

Madden went through a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation on Social Security, how to estimate what income you could receive at retirement and the ins and outs of Medicare Parts A, B, C and D coverages. Mensah wrapped up the two-hour seminar with a quick synopsis of how a patient could be admitted to M. D. Anderson Hospital, how the referral process works and what payment options were available. A brief Q&A session followed and several cancer survivors spoke about their experiences, including frustrations with payments to MDA. Board member Gayathri Kongovi helped guide some of the questions that she has discovered most people want answers to. Outside the main hall in the lobby there were booths offering handouts from the ACS, MDA and HCHD as well as a bone marrow registry booth with an appeal made by to register and also make the effort to donate when the call came in so that it could help any leukemia patients. The program offered a good insight to some of the vital information one would need in a time of great stress and certainly built up the awareness level. If anything, it was an overpowering amount of information, and hopefully the IACAN will follow through by focusing on each separately in future seminars.

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AAPI Plans Shreya Ghoshal Concert for Sept. 29

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: Plans are proceeding in great earnest as the Indian Doctors Association organizes its annual gala on September 29. But this year, an added element is the national 9-city tour by Indian playback sensation Shreya Ghoshal, who will perform that same night in Houston after the gala dinner. The organizers of this year’s Indian Doctor’s Association An excited group of a Gala met at Madras Pavilion restaurant in Sugar Land to go dozen local physicians over their plans which include a concert by Shreya Ghoshal met over lunch at the in benefit for the Indian Doctor’s Charity Clinic. Madras Pavilion restaurant in Sugar Land this past Saturday to in attendance to hear how the all-volunteer, listen to the preliminary details of the event free-of-cost clinic will stand to receive its as they were described by Dr. Nik Nikam total annual expenditure from the proceeds who has been active in IDA circles for many of the concert. The IDA gala is planned to attract more years. They heard from Dr. Jayesh Shah, the than 200 guests, with booths and medical Vice President of American Association of seminars as well as a catered dinner at the Physicians of Indian Origin, better known Houston Room at the University of Housby their acronym AAPI, and the group’s ton’s Main Campus. After the show, guests next President Elect. Shah explained how will walk the short distance to the Cullen AAPI had gotten involved in the Ghoshal Auditorium to listen to Ghoshal perform concert tour in the US. The IDA’s President, some of her favorite songs from the movDr. Kulwinder Bajwa described the local ies. Shreya Ghoshal gained prominence afgroup’s plans for the educational seminars and the gala that are planned for the same ter participating in Sa Re Ga MA Pa and her performance for the movie Devdas for night before the show. This year’s gala and the proceeds from the which she won the Filmfare Award for Best Ghoshal concert are earmarked for the Indi- Female Playback Singer, as well as Filman Doctor’s Charity Clinic, started in 1999. fare’s RD Burman Award for New Music Two of its founders, the husband and wife Talent. She has won many other Filmfare team of Sunita and Suresh Moonat, were awards and sings in six Indian languages.


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August 03, 2012

G.O.D. Conducts Its 4th Annual Heritage Youth Summer Camp

Kids singing devotional songs during the cultural program.

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MANVEL: The Gopa Kuteeram Youth Summer Camp 2012 for children aged 9 to 15 was conducted by Global Organization of Divinity (G.O.D.) at Houston Namadwaar from June 13 through July 25. This unique camp, which was conducted every Wednesday afternoon for six weeks, was designed to immerse the participants in Indian culture and spirituality while at the same time engaging them in several creative and fun workshops and activities. Highlights of the camp included workshops in Indian Folk-Puppetry, Photography, Ethnic Art, Ayurvedic Cooking and Indian street games, a field trip to the brandnew Asia Society Texas Center Museum and Rothko Chapel, Tri-Yoga sessions focusing on yoga for the body, mind and spirit, and several other culturally and spiritually oriented activities. The camp culminated on July 25 with a cultural evening where the children presented a Puppet Theater that they had themselves produced, with a show titled “Why Incarnation”. The participants also presented several devotional kirtans composed by

HH Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji that they had learned during the camp, and also gave short talks on specific devotional topics. Many awards were given out at the end of the program. The top performers in the various workshops and activities included Tejna Dasari, Shroothi Ramesh, Shilpa Sadagopan, Muktha Nair, Raghav Baskar, Kishore Iyer, Mukund Nair and Karun Salvady. Sruthi Srivathson was adjudged the Best Overall Performer, and Shroothi Ramesh won the prestigious Gopa Kuteeram Spirit Award. G.O.D. Houston has conducted this youth summer camp for the past four years. This was the second year with the one-day-aweek for 6 weeks format and has been quite successful in engaging the kids over an extended period of time. The Sanskrit term ‘Gopa Kuteeram’ refers to the play-house of the Lord and His playmates from ancient Indian epics. G.O.D. conducts Gopa Kuteeram camps as well as year-round children’s programs in several cities in the USA including Atlanta, Boston, Bay area California, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Michigan, Milwaukee, New York, Richmond and Seattle; and also in many countries around the world including Australia, India, Middle-East, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and others. In Houston, apart from creative spring and summer camps, bi-weekly Gopa Kuteeram sessions are held at Houston Namadwaar from September through April, every Saturday morning. For more information about Gopa Kuteeram camps and programs in Houston, call 832-515-1251 or email houston.god@

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A Mid Summer Night’s Dream

BY SONAL BHUCHAR The Indo-American community has now come of age. As first generation immigrants, we have worked hard, made tremendous strides in every professional field from aerospace engineering to zoology research. We have built businesses, big and small, led corporations, established roots and raised our families here. This community, like all the others before it, brought its traditions and culture with it. And it also brought with it a desire become a part of and amalgamate within its new home and environs, much along the lines of “mixing as sugar in a glass of milk”. With that in mind, the community has given freely of its time, talents and resources, becoming engaged philanthropically, socially and certainly through an aggressive introduction to its cuisine and culture. In a world class, international setting like Houston, Indo Americans are recognized for their prowess in medicine, engineering, business leadership, research and education. A big part of our success story lies in one key element - Education. It is a value we hold dear, often to the point of obsession. That obsession, together with a firm understanding of democratic principles and

religious secularity, empowers our community to adapt to and enhance the world that we live in. And yet, a key element that is missing within our community and is the missing piece in this puzzle, is our civic involvement. Indo Americans must understand that the value we bring to the communities we live in, can grow tenfold by our engagement in civic activities. This can range from a simple act of going to vote, serving on school PTOS, HOAs, City and County boards and being part of the process that ultimately affects us all at a very personal level. Our involvement at our places of worship, must translate to a responsibility to encourage participation in civic duties at every level. Our media that focuses on primarily community events, must continually provide information on the process and how to, of this important task. And we, individually must take on the onus of sharing our value systems, which are very similar to those of this nation. It would be erroneous to suggest that no effort has been made to engage in civic activities. Our increasing involvement in every sphere of service and volunteerism is evident in our schools, hospitals, non- profits, businesses and municipalities.

August 03, 2012

Certainly, several from within the community have run successfully and served in elected offices – a commendable task, and made more so by the high quality of their service. That run for a public office has not come as a willy nilly decision to grab power but to serve and enhance the quality of the organization. It then is imperative that as a community, we wholeheartedly support those efforts, from those that have the will and courage to do so. And yet this is not a unilateral effort from the Indo-American community. It must, by its very nature, have the support of the mainstream community , that understands our ability to serve, our cultural background and philosophy of service and truth (Karmanye vaadhika rasye and Satyameve Jayate) and our emphasis on education. That comes with the appreciation that the Indo American community is itself a vast storehouse of intellectual horsepower and experience. That support can come only if we all work together to break down barriers of poor understanding, imperfect knowledge and preconceived notions. This epiphany for both will only come as fast we let it come, till then we can dream of the perfect world.


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Swami Mukundananda Enlightens Devotees through Lecture Series Across America

In times when faith, healing and compassion is need of the hour, people across USA have had the rare opportunity to listen and associate with one special saint who is an embodiment of these virtues. Seldom does a saint draw such a reception in almost every city he has visited. Swami Mukundananda’s programs have gathered a tremendous following year after year, and it was no different at the D/ FW Hindu Temple in Irving, TX during his 7-day lecture series. Hundreds of enthusiastic people thronged the centre to listen to his awe-inspiring words that makes one wonder, “Where was I all this time?” The gathering sat unmoved for the entire duration of two hours, while he unravelled the mysteries of the ancient Hindu scriptures and the meaning of each verse with masterly authority. Swami Mukundananda hails from Vrindavan, India and is one of the most renowned saints in the path of Radha Krishna Bhakti. His words echo profound philosophical truth with enormous ease, leaving everyone spellbound with his lectures filled with Divine knowledge. Outstanding! Truly Inspirational! Commendable, are the words of some of the people who have been touched by the words of wisdom and the personality of Swami Mukundananda across the nation. Swamiji is currently in Aurora, CO, as part of his 15 state tour of USA, his longest till date. Year after year, Swami Mukundananda has touched thousands of souls across USA with his soul-stirring lectures and devotional songs. Jagadguru Kripaluji Yog (www. has organized a series of Yoga, Meditation, and spiritual discourses in nineteen cities across USA this summer. Led by Swami Mukundananda, these programs kicked off on April 2 at Sugar-

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Swami Mukundananda

land , TX and will conclude in late November, after a whirlwind tour across 15 states. Swami Mukundananda has pioneered the ground breaking, “Jagadguru Kripaluji Yog” – a holistic system of Yoga that incorporates physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual health of humankind. Swamiji teaches the true philosophy of attaining God realization by practice of sincere devotion as per the Vedas, Upanishads and other sacred texts. In order to achieve this goal, a healthy body and mind is absolutely essential. His programs imbibe the age old traditions of Yoga, Meditation & Pranayam to purify the body, and Divine knowledge to cleanse the mind, which leads to the true upliftment of the soul. In every city of his visit, a weeklong program with Yoga sessions in the mornings and/or evenings is organized. The first part of the session focuses on Yoga & Meditation. The second session focuses on devotional chantings and spiritual discourses to purify the mind. Teresa Castro (Hyatsville, MD) and Tirthankar Bhowmick (Sunnyvale, CA), who attended his program at Swamiji’s special ‘spiritual retreat’ say, “Very purifying, thought provoking, enjoyable and increased inspiration towards surrendering and practically devotional service.” Many such participants and dev-

otees feel enlivened by Swamiji’s life transforming techniques. Swamiji has made a tremendous impact on thousands of people who came to see and hear him speak at the various venues across the country. Deeply inspired by Swamiji’s discourse, Kishor Patel from Long Beach, CA has this to add, “Excellent! Indescribable! Each and every aspects of day to day life were enriched.” Speaking at the highly successful program at Irving very recently, Constantine adds, “His saintly personality is highly inspiring. His simple yet powerful way of explaining even the most complex truths is astonishing. His tour will now move to Charlotte, NC, Canton, MI , Houston and Plano, TX before he begins his final leg of his 8 month long tour of USA. A special, 2-day spiritual retreat has also been organized in the 1st week of September at Hilton Garden Inn, Temple, TX for aspirants to recharge their spiritual batteries. Swami Mukundananda, received his degrees in Engineering and Management from two world famous institutes in India- Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) respectively. However, the call of God was so strong that a short while after landing a top corporate job, he renounced his professional career to take sanyas, in the quest for God-realization. Since the last two decades, Swamiji has been travelling far and wide in various states of India and also in Nepal, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, USA, and Europe, awakening hundreds of thousands of seekers. For a complete list of programs, visit: For more information, call Shreya Bhat at 972-527-6195 or email

For more information about Swamiji’s visit, see the ad on page 26.

Temp News Photographer / Live Truck Operator

KTRK-TV, the ABC O&O located in Houston, TX has an opening for a temporary News Photographer/Live Truck Operator. Candidates should have a minimum three years experience in all facets of television news photography including lighting, audio and editing, and show exceptional knowledge and creativity in these areas. Applicants should have a good eye for news photography, be able to work in the field unsupervised or with various reporters and be able to work in deadline situations. The ideal candidate will have experience or be able to operate a microwave live truck and must be able to lift and carry 30 lbs. of equipment.

13100 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, TX 77478


All interested applicants must apply on-line at by uploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references. Interested applicants should also send a resume tape sample of your news related work to: Human Resources, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005. Please Reference Job ID: 56639BR on all materials submitted. No phone calls please, and no third parties. Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V.



August 03, 2012

United4 Change Launched to the Public Houston based organization welcomes all to learn about Sustainable Development Projects

HOUSTON: On Friday, August 10, United4Change – Center for International Development and Globa Citizenship will officially launch to the public at The Tasting Room in Uptown Park at 7pm. United4Change (U4C) is an independent, 501(c)(3) not-forprofit corporation that advocates sustainable development. It provides individuals, corporations, governments, and organizations a platform to learn, connect, and work together in the implementation of positive and lasting environmental, economic, and social projects. One of its featured projects is recognized and received an award from former President Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2009. In addition to celebrating its second anniversary, this growing

organization is actively promoting its work to the public in order to serve communities, individuals, and businesses at-large. Currently, U4C’s headquarters is located in the United States in Houston, Texas and has a branch in Bolivia. U4C’s main mission is to engage in and inspire local and global sustainable development, which represents a balanced integration of social and environmental objectives with economic development

through research methods and advocacy tools. On August 10th, U4C invites all interested individuals to join them in their kick-off celebration. U4C will display information about the organization, ongoing projects, and its vision of positively impacting the well-being of humanity and the planet. Hep make this kick-off a successwhile enjoying music, door prizes, hors d’oeuvres, and wine & beer at Uptown Park’s, The Tasting Room. To RSVP for U4C’s Launch Party, e-mail For for more information, visit or call Samrat Bhattacharya at 713525-0985. Tickets are $15 per person, and will be and will be available at the door.

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12 August 03, 2012

Indian Choir from Cincinnati Wins Big at the World Choir Games

CINCINNATI, Ohio: The Greater Cincinnati Indian Community Choir founded and led by visionary composer Kanniks Kannikeswaran (Mason OH) won two silver medals in the prestigious Champions category in the just concluded World Choir Games that brought over 360 choirs (about 15000 singers) from about 48 countries to Cincinnati - in what is the Olympics of choral music the largest international choral competition in the world, held every two years. The Games were held in the United States for the first time from July 4-14 in Cincinnati. ‘The World Choir Games’ is the signature event of Interkultur, Germany-based organization that produces choral events all over the world. Of the 48 countries participating in the games, the United States fielded the largest number of choirs. The next largest contingent was from China with more than 55 choirs. There were only three choirs from India (The Akshayam Choir from Chennai and the Cambridge school choir from Mumbai who both competed in the Open category and the well known Shillong Chamber

Choir). Conductor Kanniks Kannikeswaran who led the Greater Cincinnati Indian community choir to victory is hailed as a pioneer of the Indian American choral movement. He first started creating raga based choral music in 1994 and has gone on to expand his repertoire. His first choral production ‘Bas-

with silver medals in the Spirituals and Pops categories. In the ‘Music of the Religions’ category, the 36 member choir with cello, tabla and piano accompaniment showcased ancient Sanskrit chants for peace (including a ghanam chant) from the 1st millennium CE as well as contemporary compositions written by Kannikeswaran. Vidita Kanniks (17) sang the lead vocals. In the ‘Scenic Folklore’ category Kanniks included choreography in his choral arrangement of verses from the Sangita Ratnakara, Gita Govindam and his own chaturang in raga charukeshi. The 54 member team of singers and dancers aroused the 2600 member audience at the packed Aronoff Center to a spontaneous standing ovation on Friday, July 13. To many in the cast, “.. much work went into this effort. Our life was all about the games in the weeks that led to the final moment. That moment was worth it.. when the audience just kept standing and clapping on and cheering us when we just concluded our performance.. In terms of audience reaction we were on par with some of the best choirs from around the world..” “It is a matter of great pride to have won two silver medals in the prestigious champions category at the games. It is a celebration of world music on a global platform. It is a celebration of the Indian diaspora in the United States. I am grateful to all of the singers that have worked with me during the last 18 years’, says Kanniks as he reflects on all the choral work that he has done in various cities across North America. Kanniks is also known for his award winning research on the Indo-Colonial music of Muthusvami Dikshitar and for his collaboration with the Gundecha Brothers. He presents his work regularly during the Music Season in Chennai. He also teaches Indian Music Theory and History at the University of Cincinnati in the capacity of an Adjunct Faculty. He is the recipient of the prestigious McKnight Fellowship and the Ohio Heritage Fellowship. Kanniks and theGreater Cincinnati Indian Community Choir delivered a stellar performance and left their friends, families and fellow Cincinnatians and a global audience elated. They have also left a firm imprint of Indian American choral music on the World Choir Games.

ant - A musical celebration of Spring’ and his 1996 collaboration ‘The Blue Jewel’ are still remembered in Cincinnati. Of course, Kanniks is remembered most for his magnum opus ‘Shanti - A Journey of Peace’ - the first ever oratorio in Sanskrit in Indian ragas cloaked in choral and orchestral harmony that has been performed in three different cities. Shanti was performed by an all Houston cast in 2010 as a fund raiser for AIM for Seva and was the talk of the city for months. “I am grateful for the support and encouragement of the Houston community that cheered this choral work. Even as the audience cheered us in Cincinnati at the World Choir Games, I was flooded with memories from our Houston performance in collaboration with the United Nations Association International Choir”, says Kanniks. The Cincinnati choir’s participation in the Games has one more connection with Houston. The choir performed a rhythmically complex chaturang in raga kiravani with 7 different vocal parts that was accompanied on the tabla by Houston’s own Anuraag Shah,son and leading disciple ofeminent tabla exponent and Guru Pandit Shantilal Shah. The 17 year old Houstonian describes it as an unforgettable performing experience. The Greater Cincinnati Indian community choir that Kanniks founded in Cincinnati is a diverse mix of professionals and students speaking over 8 languages spanning a range of professions. Kanniks has also founded similar choral work in Houton, Allentown, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Minneapolis and more. Kanniks also competed in the World Choir Games in Shaoxing China in 2010 along with his daughter Vidita Kanniks where they sang as Contact us at: 281-677-4619 part of ‘Singcinnati’ a diEmail: verse choir that Website: walked home

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August 03, 2012

Anita Rao’s Arangetram: Brilliant, Outstanding very energetic dances were the electrifying Nagendraharaya depicting the glories of Lord Shiva and an exuberant Tillana. While sticking to the traditional elements of the Kuchipudi style, the guru and the disciple collaborated in presenting an innovative variety of songs that elevated the quality of the entire performance. The performance was accompanied with live music: Nattuvangam by Rathna Kumar, vocal by Srikanth Gopalakrishnan, percussion by N. K. Kesavan and flute by B. Muthukumar. In addition to her dance achievements, Anita Rao, (16 years of age, a 11th grader at the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Sciences, in Denton, Texas) of Pearland, along with 20 others has been selected to serve on the 2012-2013 Youth Advisory Board for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an orgaPhoto: Navin Mediwala

CLEAR LAKE: On Saturday, July 28, Anita Rao, celebrated her birthday by performing her Kuchipudi Rangapravesham (debut solo dance recital) for an audience of 500, at the Bayou Theater in Clear Lake. Anita began her three hour long performance with the enthralling Vinayaka Stuti composed by Balamuralikrishna. This was followed by the Mandooka Shabdam, (a two-fold depiction of the lives of forest animals, in particular the frogs), weaved into the legend of Gajendra Moksham (as per a predetermined, past life destiny, an elephant is saved from the grip of a crocodile by Lord Maha Vishnu, who throws the sudharshan chakra to release it). Anita captured the audience with her depiction of the agony of the elephant Gajendra who is in the clutches of the crocodile. Anita demonstrated brilliant footwork, with well executed adavus. Strong on her feet, with a good grasp over rhythm, she performed eight traditional pieces clearly exhibiting her prowess in the elements of grace, power and expression. Her pieces reflected her decade long training by her guru Dr. Rathna Kumar (founder and director of the Anjali Center for Performing Arts), a disciple of Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam. The centerpiece of the evening was the Tarangam based on

Narayana Teertha’s Srikrishna Leela Tarangini. During this 30minute long performance, Anita vividly expressed the mischievous deeds of Krishna, culminating in a spell-binding finale where she danced with her feet settled on the rims of a brass plate. Next was Sudhamayi Sudhanidhi where Anita as Goddess Devi alternately emoted sweetness and then stormed the stage exuding the rage that consumes demons. Two

nization founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation. Anita is entering her second year of service on the Board. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation Youth Advisory Board is one of the only youthled advisory groups in the country focused on childhood obesity issues. The alliance believes that young people play a crucial role in in creating healthier communities by engaging and educating their peers, and advocating healthy eating and physical activity. As a Youth Advisory Board member, Anita facilitated a host of successful community health endeavors: - A community 3K/5K-walk in collaboration with the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin - Successfully introduced the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program as a student member of the Pearland Independent School District’s School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) - In January 2012, Anita was invited to Palm Springs, California to be a panel member for the William J. Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters Conference moderated by Chelsea Clinton “Making small changes in the way you eat, workout, spend your free time and sleep can have a large impact on your health and well-being. Making one change at


a time can reduce any overwhelming feelings and may help you to stick with it,” says Anita. Anita is passionate about the issue of poor sleep hygiene in teens and its impact on their health. Taking the results of her science fair projects as a call to action, Anita founded Project SIESTA (Students Involved in the Education about Sleep hygiene for Teen Adolescents) in 2009 to educate adolescents about the importance of sleep hygiene. She presented her results at the CHEST Conference in Vancouver, Canada. Then, inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama, Anita started CHOOSE HEALTH (Childhood Obesity Overcome by Sleep Education, Healthy Eating, and Aerobically Loving the Heart) in 2010. Anita’s posters showing the link between childhood obesity, sleep deprivation and parental limit setting were presented at the ACCP Conference in Honolulu in 2011, and at the Sleep 2012 Conference in Boston. In recognition of her efforts, Anita was twice selected as Texas Grand Champion for Community Problem Solving. While dance is an art form she pursues, she is also passionate about the other side of such a physical hobby - health and fitness. Who could be a better messenger of health and fitness than a dancer, who lives by principles of good health!


14 August 03, 2012


Abha Dwivedi Receives Brian H. Early Frontline Excellence Award

Abha Dwivedi, FSS, receives her Brian H. Early Frontline Excellence Award from American General Life and Accident Insurance Company senior regional vice president Shelby L. Ware Jr., LUTCF (second from left), accompanied by LoTT Taskforce member Michael D. Becker, ChFC LUTCF (left), and Brian Early’s son, Jason (right). The award was presented at GAMA’s annual LAMP conference in March 2012.

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FALLS CHURCH, VA: Abha Dwivedi, FSS, has received GAMA International’s Brian H. Early Frontline Excellence Award. The honor recognizes superior frontline and second-line managers who are directly responsible for a portion of an agency or firm, including recruiting, launching and supervising new agents or advisors. Cited for outstanding leadership, Dwivedi, who is a manager with American General Life and Accident Insurance Company, was among 16 managers who accepted the award at LAMP, GAMA’s annual conference, this past March in Orlando. The Brian H. Early Frontline Excellence Award allows companies to recognize managers who are role models for others and are seen as emerging leaders in their companies. The award is named in honor of the late Brian H. Early, who was a managing partner with Northwestern Mutual and an active GAMA member. Before his untimely death in November 2007, Early served on GAMA’s board of directors, GAMA’s Leading Practices faculty and the board of the MDRT/ GAMA International Mentoring Council. Dwivedi and the other recipients of this year’s Brian H. Early Frontline Excellence Award appear in the July/August 2012 GAMA International Journal.

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August 03, 2012

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16 August 03, 2012


Mulana Azad Alumni Meet in Houston for the First Time

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: If you happen to be from New Delhi, or for that matter, happen to be an Indian medical graduate, the name of Maulana Azad Medical College rings a familiar bell for the excellence in medial education that the institution is known for. And it by no small coincidence that many of its graduates took the route overseas after finishing their MBBS degrees. “There are probably a thousand MAMCO alumni in North America, most of them along the East Coast,” said Dr. Randeep Suneja,

Job Posting:

himself a fellow graduate, “and every year for the past 28 years we have held an alumni reunion and gala – a convention - in the last week of July.” But never in those 28 years has the convention been held in Houston. So Suneja, a cardiologist with a thriving practice in Katy took it upon himself, aided by his wife Seema, to hold the Convention this year in the Bayou City. The MAMCO Alumni Association of North America was established in 1985, well after many of its alumni had settled into practices and careers in the US. Its current


Are you a New Business Closer? Do you thrive on prospecting and lead generation? A great opportunity is now available to work for the LIVE WELL NETWORK / KTRK-TV, an ABC-TV Owned Television Station. The LIVE WELL NETWORK is seeking to fill a New Business Sales Account Executive position. Candidate selected must be an assertive, self motivated closer with a successful track record in closing new business. Candidate must be an excellent communicator with strong relationship building skills. Candidate must have computer skills including Excel, Word, & Powerpoint. Applicant must have knowledge of the electronic media business including Traffic, Promotion and Marketing. Prior broadcasting, cable or radio sales experience is a plus.

From left: Seema Suneja , Dr. Randeep Suneja (organizing committe co-chairs) , Dr. Bupesh Kaul (MAMCO President) and Dr. Rita Kaul (co-chair)

Candidates must apply on-line at by uploading a resume file and cover letter. Please reference Job ID: 57717BR on all materials submitted. No phone calls please, no third parties. Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V.

Dr Bupesh kaul giving award to Dr Rakesh Nanda , CME chair.


president is Dr. Bupesh Kaul of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and last year’s convention was held in Philadelphia. Next year’s convention is set for New York City. The convention combines CME courses with an evening of entertainment and opportunity for some sightseeing. Following those guidelines, Suneja arranged for the convention to be held in Hotel Sorella in the swanky upgraded CityCentre part of the Town and Country Village development on the Westside, with CME courses offered by the University of Arizona and coordinated by Dr. Rakesh Nanda. About 75 people attended this year’s convention – about 6 of them from the Houston area - and participated in a tour of NASA on Friday, June 27 followed by a dinner cruise on Galveston Bay. This year‘s guests from India were Dr. P. S. Saharia and his wife and Dr. Sushil and Reva Chaudhary. The Gala on Saturday, July 28 was held at Hotel Sorella with the support of eleven industry sponsors and was followed by a DJ and dancing.


August 03, 2012

Kyaa Super Kool Hai Hum: A Treat for the “Dirty Minds”

BY MADHUREETA MUKHERJEE MUMBAI (ToI): A dumb & dumber situation arises when a struggling actor chases his lady-love to Goa; along with his jobless DJ buddy who owns a pug that shags for a living. Movie Review: Disclaimer: This review is A-rated. Purely ‘adult’erated even. Keeping with the flavour of the film - a series of gags on ‘dildo-la-re’ puns, doggie shots, bitches (read: beaches), bikinis and bared bums, sizes (‘bade acche lagte hain’ anyone?) and sex-changes. Tusshar Kapoor (Adi) is a struggling actor, who dreams of making a grand debut in Bollywood with films like ‘Chingham’, ‘Adi’das (Devdas), ‘Bra-One’ ‘Ekta-Tiger’ etc, but Mr. Dufus ends up with embarrassing teleshopping commercials for vibra weight-loss, constipation remedies and body-whitening creams (it hilariously turns him from Afro to Blond). He believes planet Rahu has turned his career into Rahul Roy (ouch!), and is advised by a Tarot reader that the only one who has the power to change his destiny is a lady-love. Cue for Simran (Neha Sharma). Sid (Riteish Deshmukh) is

a DJ (read: hard ‘Dicks’ Jockey); who’s grown up ‘bajaoing’ (music), and living off his pug, ‘Suckru’, the Vicky Donor ofAnimal Kingdom, who dutifully mates to His Master’s (Voice) Music; for money. The ‘threesome’ take off to Goa, where Adi swears he will ‘macho-doonga’ (ie: flaunt his machismo with a semi bared-butt like John Abraham) to win over his girl. On the other hand, Sid risks losing his manhood at gay bars, while model-girl Anu (Sarah Jane Dias) falls for him, and Suckru gets busy on the Goa ‘bitches’ (Oops: Beaches). There are weirder specimens on this riotous ride. Mr.Marlowe (Anupam Kher), who’s obsessed with Bollywood memorabilia. From Vidya Balan’s red

Sonakshi Shows First Item Number to Dad in Hospital Veteran actor turned politician Shatrughan Sinha who is recuperating in hospital after a bypass surgery is thrilled to see his daughter Sonakshi Sinha’s first item number ‘Go Go Govinda’from the film, ‘Oh My God’which is a Janmasthami special song. As he was not able to see the rushes, Sonakshi bought a CD for her father in the hospital and he was shown in a laptop. Shatrughan Sinha enjoyed the song. Shatrughan says, “Popular Govinda numbers like Shor Mach Gaya Shor Dekho Aaya Maakhan Chor and Teen Batti Waala Govinda Aala were filmed on me, so I enjoyed Sonakshi’s Go Go Govinda from Akshay’s film. I feel fortunate that Govinda songs are all in the family.” The Khiladi Kumar had roped in his lucky charms Soankshi Sinha and Prabhu Deva for the Govinda track in the film based on Paresh Rawal’s play.

Sherlyn Chopra to Pose for Playboy BY BRUCE BAKER CHICAGO: Sherlyn Chopra, a Bollywood actress in Mumbai, is set to pose nude for Playboy. She becomes the first Indian actress to strip naked for Hugh Hefner’s popular branded magazine. This past Friday, the Huffington Post reported on the milestone that is shaking up Hindi entertainment, Christian and Muslim values across India. Of Sherlyn Copra posing nude for Playboy, a critic had this to say about the Bollywood actress: “One wonders if Sherlyn Chopra’s pictures wound a woman’s integrity.” However, she fired back and said: “I have become the first Indian to pose naked for Playboy and nobody can take away that achievement from me. I was worried only about my sister and mother... what they would say. I think one should not think too much about Sherlyn Chopra, with Playboy founder others, whether industry will give me work or Hugh Hefner not or people will respect me or not.” The Bollywood actress, proud of her accomplishment, shared a few pictures on Twitter of her tour at the Playboy Mansion and with Hugh Hefner. Chopra, 28, has starred in Bollywood films with small roles. However, Hefner’s magazine features Sherlyn as a “legend.” It hits newsstands in November. Sherlyn Chopra’s decision to pose for nude for Playboy has the religious and moral establishment in India up in arms. Bear in mind that her mother grew up Muslim, while her father was raised a Christian. Caught in the middle, this likely explains her challenging the status quo.

‘dirty’ blouse, to Ramu kaka’s (Sholay) handsoap; only ‘coz Thakur didn’t have hands (sic); More weirdos coming up - fat-ass, dope-head Trippy (Kevin Dave) and the vile Baba 3G ( Chunky Pandey) who communicates with the ‘higher beings’ through broadband. ‘Stand-up’ to applause if you please, but there’s more coming your way. Mental stimulation (or masturbation), whatever!!! Tusshar Kapoor is quite a ‘master of his domain’, we mean the comedy genre, alright. Riteish Deshmukh adds to this melee with his canny knack for comedy, and together the boys tune their comedy timing with tact, if not precision. Neha Sharma is pretty, pleasant and acts


well; Sarah Jane Dias looks hot in her bikini act and catwalks through her part with confidence. Anupam Kher has shown us a funnier bone in the past, and Chunky is too wasted and over-thetop, even for a brainless comedy. Director, Sachin Yardi’s film will appeal to an audience who trips over ‘hard-core’ sex comedies. There are scenes that ‘vibrate’ with humour, and squeeze ample laughs (some forced), but it’s mostly a bleak story-line with random scenes which are padded with pun-fulls of adult humour, sexual innuendo, and expletive oneliners. For a sex-comedy, the film is a tad long (size really matters, can’t help it!) and songs like ‘Dil Garden Garden Ho Gaya’ slow the pace. If you were sex (comedy) starved after Kyaa Kool Hai Hum, this sequel force-feeds you a double dose. This one’s for teens who get a ‘boner’ out of bad jokes, but it may get a rise out of some adults too. Watch at your own ‘risque’. Tip Off: Some of the humour, dialogues and gestures are X- plus; so chances are you might squirm and scream.

Aditya Chopra on Romantic Date with Rani Mukherjee Aditya Chopra and Rani Mukherjee’s love story is at the peak. The couple currently hit the headlines for an expensive gift, an Audi A8 from Aditya to Rani and now they are again in the news for a romantic dinner date.Aditya Chopra and Rani Mukherjee were spotted at Chinese restaurant, Hakkasan in Bandra, Mumbai. Unlike, last time the duo did not make an effort to hide their love. They now moved like a bindas couple and did not bother being clicked by paparazzi. Both dressed in black, they look like a perfect couple. Rani Mukherjee and Aditya Chopra’s relationship dates long back but they never disclosed it. In the past, Rani Mukherjee was not accepted by the Chopra family as they were much inclined to Aditya first wife’s Payal but finally they accepted Rani. Rani also occasionally spotted at Chopra’s home, Adityodaya, in Juhu. Aditya divorced Payal Khanna in 2009.

Manisha Koirala’s Marriage is Over Another Bollywood marriage has gone kaput. Ever since Manisha Koirala tied the knot with businessman Samrat Dahal in 2010, she has been making news for her troubled wedding. If we recall back, after marriage when Manisha came to India, she was spotted in a disturbed state. Manisha Koirala’s troubled marriage hit the rock ever since the actress had posted on a social networking site about her unhappy state of mind. Manisha now spends most of her time in Mumbai with her friends. “Manisha is in Mumbai and happy,” revealed a friend of the actress. In fact, the couple took a decision to move separately couple of weeks back. “But Manisha still goes to Nepal. After all, her family lives there,” said the friend and added, “Certain marriages work out, some don’t. Manisha and Samrat have taken it in their stride.” However, Manisha was not at first ready to beak-up her marriage and she tried to make peace with Samrat Dahal but unfortunately things did not work. To get a peace of mind and to gather strength to cope with her troubled marriage and to make her marriage work again, she joined the Oneness University near Chennai in January but unfortunately, spirituality even failed to save their marriage. Manisha is keen to be back in Bollywood and it is heard that she will resume her acting career soon. Bollywoodmantra




August 03, 2012

Dance of God Particle

Reeling from Reality


It is not merely out of some art connoisseur’s fancy that a twometer high statue of dancing Natraja gets the pride of place in front of the headquarters of the CERN collider project in Geneva. The statue, symbolising the cosmic dance of creation and destruction, was installed in 2004. Shiva’s frenzy was seen as a metaphor for the flux of the subatomic, or ‘God’, particles being observed by CERN’s physicists. The dance is the central theme in physicist Fritjof Capra’s bestseller The Tao of Physics. A special plaque next to the statue at CERN explains the metaphor of Shiva’s dance with quotations from Capra’s work: “Modern physics has shown that the rhythm of creation and destruction is not only manifest in the turn of the seasons and in the birth and death of all living creatures, but is also the very essence of inorganic matter,” and that “For the modern physicists, then, Shiva’s dance is the dance of subatomic matter.” He further writes: “Hundreds of years ago, Indian artists created visual images of dancing Shivas in a beautiful series of bronze. In our time, physicists have used the most advanced technology to portray the patterns of the cosmic dance. The metaphor of the cosmic dance thus unifies ancient mythology, religious art and modern physics.” Indian religious iconography often provides inspiration to scientists as they seek answers to questions that lie beyond our own dimension of time and space. When the first explosion of the atomic bomb took place, J. Oppenheimer, the father of the project, recalled a verse from Bhagvadgita to describe the scene: “If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One….Now I have become the destroyer of the worlds.” The ‘damaru’ in Shiva’s upper right hand heralds the new beginning, but the stoic expression on the dancer’s face makes the exercise an objective reality, devoid of any ‘meaning’ or purpose. This is the spirit that imbued the researchers at CERN. Lalit Mohan in Hindustan Times

As we approach the centenary of Dadasaheb Phalke’s 1913 silent film, it is only natural that many actors who had played their part have departed from the scene. Of late, even those with whom my post-independent India generation grew up have begun to leave us, the latest being the universally recognised first superstar of Hindi cinema, Rajesh Khanna. There have been superstars in the film world in the southern states. Tamil cinema has had the likes of Sivaji Ganesan and MG Ramachandran (also known as MGR), Telugu had its share of an NTR (NT Rama Rao) and Nageshwar Rao. Now we have the multi-lingual Rajinikanth. Bengal produced greats like Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen among others who gave a new grammar to cinematography. Superstars acquired cult status with MGR and NTR later becoming chief ministers of their states and leaving behind a political legacy as well. Rajesh Khanna was Hindi cinema’s first superstar who rolled out 15 superhits between 1969 and 1972 in a career spanning a decade. The current batch of Khan superstars have been around for two decades. Much has been discussed about the factors that constituted the superstar status — a charming smile, or perhaps a particular nod of the head. There are, however, deeper factors. Raj Kapoor gave expression to the rising aspirations of our youth, irrespective of their social or economic status, post-independence. Dev Anand was the eternal romantic. Bimal Roy dwelt on socio-economic problems like land reforms (in Do Bigha Zameen), creating immortal characters like the one portrayed by Balraj Sahni, and untouchability (Sujata). Shyam Benegal contributed much to the portrayal of realism. Manmohan Desai claimed that his success lay in not allowing the audience to think as they watch the film. There is, of course, this element of transposing the audience

into a wonderland as an escape from the pains of real existence. These films nevertheless provoked a reflection on contemporary reality. The late 1960s and the decade of the 70s was witness to a deep churning in our society. Young people, who met at academic institutions or workplaces, decided to spend their lives together breaching the tradition of arranged marriages in a larger number than before. Those facing the trials and tribulations of an uncertain future empathised with ‘Safal hogi teri aradhana’. The discussions in colleges centred around the questions of existence and meaning of life under the intellectual shadow of Jean Paul Sartre’s existentialism or Herbert Marcuse’s onedimensional man. Coupled with the growing burdens in rural India, these sentiments found expression in superhits like Safar and Anand. Remember the philosophical strain in songs like ‘zindagi ka safar’ or ‘zindagi kaisi hai paheli’. The problems that arose from the breakdown of an old order found reflection in Amar Prem or Khamoshi. The intensification of the class divide and agonies of the working people found reflection in Namak Haram. Thus, there was a strong undercurrent of the contradictions faced by people in most of Rajesh Khanna’s movies that catapulted him to a cult status. Subsequent developments like educated

unemployment, ruptures in the rural agrarian order gave rise to a deep discontent which was politically capped by the declaration of internal emergency in 1975. This was a perfect setting for the launch of the ‘angry young man’, paving the way for the emergence of the superstardom of Amitabh Bachchan — Rajesh Khanna’s ‘babu moshai’ in the film Anand. I recollect watching Sholay during the emergency while being underground along with my comrades from JNU, crossing the rocks and dunes of what is today a mall at Delhi’s Vasant Kunj. After watching the film, we spent a long time deliberating on the need to send professional revolutionaries to liberate Indian villages! Every actor that we remember in Indian cinema is invariably associated with song and music. The explosive combination of RD Burman, Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle created magic with the lyrics penned by a Sahir Ludhianvi or Anand Bakshi, a Kaifi Azmi or Shakeel Badayuni and several others who gave flesh and blood to the story of the age. These songs are heard over and over again and every time, the expressions of the superstar flash across our mind. Superstars are created by their times. Films that give expression to these times are the product of a wide range of creative talents that go into making a superhit. As times change, superstars fade away. A new generation creates its own superstars. In this context, recollect what the inimitable Johnny Walker had once said when asked how he reconciled to being a ‘nobody’ later in life after having ruled the cinematic roost at one time. He said that Tenzing Norgay once climbed Mount Everest and stood at the top of the world. He could not have continued to live there. Hence, he came down. The same is true for everybody. Alas, this truth is seldom gracefully accepted by superstars. HT Sitaram Yechury is CPI(M) Politburo member and Rajya Sabha MP

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Indian-Origin Law Student Sues Preet Bharara

NEW YORK (Topnews): A second-year Indian-American law student has filed a lawsuit against Manhattan’s famed Indian-American US district attorney Preet Bharara and the US Marshals Service for seizing her phone illegally. The lawsuit filed July 10 by Benula Bensam accuses Bharara of instigating involvement of the US Marshals leading to the illegal seizure of her cell phone during the high-profile insider trading trial of former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta, according to JD Journal. According to court rules, members of the public are not allowed to bring cell phones into the US District Court in Manhattan and need to leave their electronic devices with the security when entering the building, the legal news journal said. The event happened after Bensam started writing letters to Judge Jed Rakoff during Gupta’s trial. Bensam claims she was attending the Gupta trial as a law student “to understand the process of litigation”, but to understand things better she began writing letters to the judge. When the fact of the law student trying to communicate with the judge in the high-profile matter came to notice of the marshals, according to the complaint of

Preet Bharara

Bensam, the marshals told court security to seize her cell phone and keep it overnight, the Journal said. The lawsuit mentioned that Bensam’s phone had been returned the next day, but there was a probability that it had been turned on and searched.

Undeterred by the event of having her cell phone seized overnight June 4, the law student tried June 6 to deliver a fourth letter to Rakoff. On that day, the judge called her before the bench and asked her to refrain from communicating with him, because it might seem as if she were trying to influence the outcome of the case. However, Bensam maintains that the US Marshal’s Service illegally seized her phone, and “the US Marshals are to be held responsible for actions taken by court security officers for their role in the seizure of my phone”. The lawsuit accused concerned officers of “unreasonable search and seizure”. It also claimed “it is not a crime for a disinterested party to write letters to a judge on the subject of a trial”

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Speedo’s Robinson: It’s All about the Drag

BY ARUN JANARDHAN (Mint) There are probably not too many people who can talk passionately about a pair of shorts or break down the rather simple garment into an object of extreme scientific achievement. David Robinson is one such person. The president of swimwear company Speedo International started as a salesman in the company 17 years ago but there’s still quite a bit of the salesperson left in him. “The Fastskin³ is made of a revolutionary proprietary fabric,” says Robinson about Speedo’s upcoming range, “which soaks a thin layer of water into it, creating a water barrier on the suit. This gives water over water contact which is the lowest possible drag. It’s made of a multi-compression weave. Each suit is individually woven in a piece of fabric. It has higher compression around certain areas of chest and hips; lower compression around the stomach to aid breathing and also has bonded seams end to end to lower drags. “That technology is just incredible,” adds the soft-spoken and fabulously polite 40-year-old. A pause in conversation allows Robinson to take a bite of his risotto. We are at the Italian restaurant Mezzo Mezzo in the JW Marriott in Juhu, Mumbai. Robinson’s jacket is draped over his chair, a consequence of the unforgiving heat in the city. Robinson’s visit to India was a result of the company’s desire to grow in this market. This led the company, with a global sales figure of over $500 million (around Rs.2,790 crore) for 2011, to open two stores in the country—at the DLF Place in Saket, Delhi, in April, and Phoenix Market City in Whitefield, Bangalore, in June. The company’s president says he wants to inspire people to swim, to make available better products which are culturally appropriate. He himself, expectedly, swims wherever he travels—he had earlier looked wistfully out of the window at the swimming pool under renovation which was denying him a chance to cool off. “Swimming can be the first and last sport you can do. There is no collateral damage—cycling is dangerous on these roads,” he says, laughing. “There was research over a 30-year period in which scientists monitored cyclists, runners and swimmers, who had 50% less chance of early mortality compared to the others.” Robinson joined Speedo as a salesperson in the UK, rising to the position of country manager in 1999. He became the general manager of the equipment and footwear division in 2001 and following a successful tenure, was made senior vice-president, responsible for global products and marketing, in 2005. He became the co-president in 2006, before taking over his current position two years later, in Nottingham, UK. No single sports goods company dominates a sport as much as Speedo does with swimming. In this Olympic year, it would make sense to explain that dominance through Olympic statistics—in 2000, Sydney, 83% of all swimming medals were won

by athletes wearing Speedo; in Athens 2004, Michael Phelps became the first swimmer ever to win eight medals—wearing Fastskin FSII. In fact, more records are broken in swimming than in any other sport and many believe this is because even small changes in technique and training can produce considerable effects on performance. Robinson talks passionately about the Speedo research facility, called Aqualab, in the UK which has about 20 people but has consultants across the world. Speedo itself, he says, is an energetic company where the average age is 35, with a predominantly and coincidentally female workforce. Aqualab, he says, is full of bright people, sports physiologists, fabric specialists and scientists skilled to produce any item. Their latest, Fastskin³—a “complete racing system”—was launched in November and will be used by swimmers at the forthcoming London Olympics. “We start with the swimmer and put him/her at the centre of everything,” Robinson explains their working. “We look at the way they breathe, their bodies move, fat moves around their body… FS³ is designed like a F1 car. The most important piece is the nose and tail, the way it pierces the air/water and manages it over the body and releases it at the back to reduce the drag. This allows for a higher streamlined form and the lowest possible turbulence, which ultimately helps swim faster.” Speedo’s enthusiasm for design has not been without its share of problems. The world swimming body, Federation Internationale de Natation (Fina), banned Speedo’s revolutionary bodysuit designed with help from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), the LZR Racer, in 2009, after it helped create a rash of records. Around 23 records were broken at the Beijing Olympics wearing LZR Racer. “To be an innovator and committed, it’s expensive and difficult,” says Robinson. “Our LZR Racer was successful but the governing body banned it. It said people swam too fast and

changed the rules. So we have the next generation, the cap, suit and goggles together as a racing system.” But Robinson insists that apart from that episode of conflict, the 84-year-old company and the sport’s governing body have enjoyed an amicable relationship. He smiles as he recollects an irony. A swimsuit developed by the company in the 1930s created a controversy because it showed too much skin—Australian Clare Dennis, who won a gold medal in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, was accused of “showing too much shoulder”. “Because it was an innovation, Speedo reduced coverage so people could move arms more freely,” says Robinson. “In 2008, another technology brought the fully covered bodysuit and people were shocked. In our 80-odd years, we are still creating controversies, this time for covering too much,” he adds, laughing. The question of covering too much or too little shadows Speedo even when it’s designing for people who do not swim the 100m butterfly in less than a minute. That’s how, Robinson says, the company’s able to be present in 175 countries. “We have swimwear for South America/French Riviera and full body coverage from head to ankle where you cannot see any shape at all, for places like the Middle East, Malaysia, etc. The ‘skirtini’ is particularly popular. As part of our R&D, we have a body scanner to understand the differences in body shape. There is always a style that will make you feel your best.” In India, he says, there are both needs—“some consumers prefer more coverage, others are choosing styles with less coverage, which seems to be a growing trend”. I can’t resist asking about Phelps, who is attempting a return to the big stage in London, to add to his eight medals in Beijing 2008. “Phelps has spent many hours every day for a majority of his life pushing himself as hard as he can and making himself uncomfortable. Anybody who lives like that is incredibly driven. “Swimmers, on the whole, are incredibly nice people. My theory is that in swimming it’s difficult to achieve Olympic status; if you haven’t got the ability to leave your ego at home and work hard, you will not make it.” Robinson has already been to the Olympic facility in London, which he calls the most beautiful he has ever seen. “When you are inside, everything has a radius, everything is curved, the building feels organic. It made me understand the impact of design and architecture on the way we feel and behave as humans in buildings. “The feeling of people coming together (at the Olympics) is magical. Imagine being able to see and later tell people that you saw the fastest any human being has ever run.”



August 03, 2012

Stuffed Green Pepper

Ingredients: 3-4 Green Bell Peppers (Medium Sized) 2 Potatoes (Boiled and mashed)

2 Green Chillies (finely chopped) 1/2 Tsp Chopped Ginger 1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds Salt- Per Taste 3/4 Tsp -Red Chilli Powder or Per Taste 1/2 Tsp-Turmeric Powder 1/4 Tsp -Garam Masala 1/2 Tsp -Coriander Powder 2 Tsp Chopped Coriander Leaves

5 Tbsp Oil ( 2 Tbsp for Making mashed potatoes and 3 Tbsp for Stir Frying Bell Peppers)

Method: Preparing Mashed Potatoes: 1. Heat 2 Tbsp of Oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds once the oil is hot. As soon as it changes color, add green chillies and chopped ginger. Stir Fry for 15-20 seconds. 2. Add all the dry spices and saute for 15 seconds. 3. Add in the mashed potatoes and

mix nicely so that the potatoes gets nicely coated with all the spice. 4. Let the potatoes cook for 5-7 minutes while stirring. 5. Turn off the gas and let them cool off a little. Then add the chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Stuffing and Stir Frying Peppers: 1. Wash the Green Peppers. Cut the tops of the peppers and remove the seeds. 2. Stuff the potatoes into the peppers nicely. 3. Heat 3 Tbsp of oil in the pan and add the Stuffed Bell Peppers. Stir Fry the peppers. Using tongs keep rotating the pepper so that it gets nicely done from all the sides. (We like it dark and nicely done...Its gives a wonderful taste) 4. Take off the gas when its done and put it on the paper towel to remove the extra oil. Serve Hot! Both Recipes by Vaishali Sharma Visit or visit https://www. pages/ZestyflavorsAdding-Zest-toyour-Cooking/145518712165348 Also “Like” Zestyflavors on Facebook


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Three Indian American Scientists Honored with Early Career Awards by President Barack Obama WASHINGTON D.C. : Three Indian American scientists has been honoured with the ‘Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers’, by U.S. President Barack Obama. “Discoveries in science and technology not only strengthen our economy, they inspire us as a people.” Obama said announcing the awards. “The impressive accomplishments of today’s awardees so early in their careers promise even greater advances in the years ahead. The award which was established in the year 1996 is the topmost honour given by the United States Government to talented professionals in the field of science and engineering, during the beginning stages of their research careers. Here are the three scientists who have been recognized by the U.S. government-

and developing point process models of single neurons. Sarma holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science respectively from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sridevi Vedula Sarma Sridevi Sarma is the assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Institute of Computational Medicine, John Hopkins University. Her research areas include developing control-oriented input-output models of basal ganglia nuclei, designing feedback control algorithms

Pawan Sinha Pawan Sinha is an associate professor of computational and visual neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. He conducted research on vision impaired people and children with autism and also did experimental

Sridevi Vedula Sarma

Pawan Sinha

work on a specific category of children who got back their eye sight after going through stages of congenital blindness. Based on this study, Sinha came up with a humanitarian and scientific programme, named “Project Prakash”, aimed at the betterment of blind children. Prof. Sinha is also the recipient of James McDonnell Scholar Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship in Neuroscience, the John Merck Scholars Award for research on developmental disorders, the Jeptha and Emily Wade Award for creative research, and the Troland Award from the National Academy of Sciences.

Parag Pathak

Sinha completed his degree in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi and did his Master’s and doctoral degrees from the Department of Computer Science at MIT. Parag A Pathak Pathak is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and he also directs working group on Market design at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Pathak received his Ph.D. in Business Economics, a Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University.

Baby Born on Train to be Delhi Metro Mascot A baby girl who was born on a Delhi Metro train on Sunday will become the railway network’s mascot, a spokesman has said. The infant was born to a woman named as Juli, who went into sudden

labour a week before she was due to give birth. She gave birth at 07:28 [01:58GMT] with help from two female passengers near the Khan Market station, reports said. A spokesman for the Delhi Metro

Rail Corporation (DMRC) said they had decided to honour the baby girl. Juli, who is a resident of the Faridabad area, was on her way to Safdarjung Hospital for a routine check-up when labour began. Launched in 2002, Delhi’s hi-tech metro system has become the lifeline of India’s capital city and is used by at least 1.8 million people daily. Parts of the network are underground while some sections use elevated tracks. The system, which covers some of the city’s most congested streets, is seen as the answer to Delhi’s traffic chaos and has helped in lowering air pollution levels.

Sahara Group Buys NYC’s Plaza Hotel for $570 Million

Bangalore: Sahara Group will be buying a major stake of $570 million (Rs 3100 crore) in Plaza Hotel, New York, said Elad properties, a real Estate company owned by an Israel group, reports Reuters. Plaza Hotel is a landmark 20story luxury hotel with 130 rooms and is jointly owned by Elad Properties and Saudi-based Kingdom Holdings Company. Yitzhak Tshuva, an Israili businessman who is the governing head of Elad Properties told that they will be getting an amount of $400 million, for its 60 percent stake and the rest will be taken by Kingdom Company. Kingdom Holding Company is a public holding company headquartered in Kingdom Centre in Riyadh and is controlled by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. According to sources, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc, which is managing the hotel for the last many years, will continue to operate it. This is the second time Sahara group is acquiring a prominent hotel, after it recently purchased the famous Grosvenor House Hotel in London for an amount of 470 million pounds.

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August 03, 2012

Tracing the Fragrant Attar to Charminar

BY SOHINI CHAKRAVORTY HYDERABAD (The Hindu) A walk around the chaotic streets of Charminar especially during the month of Ramzan is always a revelation. Numerous old shops stand shoulder to shoulder. Tucked in corners are a few small shops selling attar, some of which have been here since 1897. To any casual observer they almost look like curio shops. Despite attar losing its popularity to international branded perfumes and deodorants, it still has many takers in the Old City of Hyderabad. The strong fragrance of the attar meanders around the shops beckoning some of the curious passers by. Rows of shiny bottles line the walls of these shops. Small steps lead to the elevated shops and the owners sit on a takht with roll pillows neatly placed on either side as they ask their customers to comfortably settle down. The process of dabbing a small drop of attar on hand and taking a long strong whiff is what follows next. “Attars are perfumes without alcohol and that’s important for the Muslims,” says Divesh Kothari whose ancestors migrated from Gujarat and started the attar shop Bhagwan and Company during the time of the Nizams. He says it’s not just the Muslims, even people of other religions use attar for their auspicious ceremonies. Some of the natural perfumes have been in the market for 60 to 70 years but synthetic perfumes give more scope of mixing different fragrances. “Natural perfumes have sandalwood oil which is why they are very expensive. Only the Nizams could afford it, while the synthetic ones are cheaper. Even the odour lasts longer,” informs Divesh Kothari. Ashwini Kumar is the fourth generation attar seller of the famous Purnadas Ranchhoddas shop. He says due to the numerous government

Attars seller with bottles of attar which are in huge demand during Ramzan. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

restrictions on sandalwood oil, natural attars are difficult to make. While floral and herb extracts go into making natural attars, aromatic chemicals are used to get the desirable fragrance for the synthetic one. “There are two different ways of making attar — one is the distillation process used to make the natural ones and the other is blending. It’s blending of essential oils,” he explains. About 3 ml attar can cost Rs.30100 depending on the variety. Attar has a huge market among the foreign tourists as well. If it’s not the smell of the perfume, the beautiful glass bottles attract these customers. Tourists from all over the world come to these shops hunting for attars as a souvenir.

However, there are people like S.A. Gaffar who claims to make natural attars. Apart from attars, he has surma and few books on Islam. Snugly fitted between a glass cupboard and a wooden bench, he takes out a bottle of sandalwood oil and says, “I make them at home, and it takes almost three to four months to bring out a bottle of attar.” In a year he makes around 10 kilograms of attar and the price range also starts from Rs. 200. The aromas of attar may have lost their fragrance in modern times, but the age old attar sellers are unwilling to give up their family business. Simply walking down these shops makes one realise why, after all a slice of Hyderabad is blended into these attar bottles.


What is Ramadan? Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Every day during this month, Muslims around the world spend the daylight hours in a complete fast. During the blessed month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs during the daylight hours. As a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, and practice self-sacrifice, Ramadan is much more than just not eating and drinking. Muslims are called upon to use this month to re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance. We are to make peace with those who have wronged us, strengthen ties with family and friends, do away with bad habits -- essentially to clean up our lives, our thoughts, and our feelings. The Arabic word for “fasting” (sawm) literally means “to refrain” - and it means not only refraining from food and drink, but from evil actions, thoughts, and words. During Ramadan, every part of the body must be restrained. The tongue must be restrained from backbiting and gossip. The eyes must restrain themselves from looking at unlawful things. The hand must not touch or take anything that does not belong to it. The ears must refrain from listening to idle talk or obscene words. The feet must refrain from going to sinful places. In such a way, every part of the body observes the fast. Therefore, fasting is not merely physical, but is rather the total commitment of the person’s body and soul to the spirit of the fast. Ramadan is a time to practice self-restraint; a time to cleanse the body and soul from impurities and re-focus one’s self on the worship of God. INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, AUGUST 03, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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How to Say “No” to Distractions BY PRAKASH IYER Have you heard the story of the mahout and the temple elephant? In a little town in Kerala, there was a temple elephant. Everyday, the elephant would be taken out for a stroll through the busy bazaar streets. As it walked along, the elephant would do as it pleased. It would reach out with its trunk for a bunch of bananas hanging in front of a store, and before the hapless shopkeeper could react, the bananas would be inside the elephant’s mouth. Or it would grab a coconut from the woman selling coconuts on the road, and crunch it in its mouth like a walnut. The mahout would try and stop the elephant from doing all of this, but to no avail. The elephant would just do as it pleased. The mahout even tried beating the elephant with his stick, but the elephant wouldn’t listen. The bananas and the coconuts were just too tempting to resist. And then one day, the clever mahout had an idea. As the elephant was leaving the temple gates for his evening walk, the mahout held his stick out for the elephant to hold with his trunk. The elephant obediently took the mahout’s stick and curled his trunk around it. Now as it walked through the busy bazaar street, the elephant longingly eyed the bananas but since it had the stick in the trunk, it left the bananas alone. To grab the bananas, it would have to drop the stick – and that would mean offending the mahout. So the elephant held on to the stick that the mahout had given it – and walked through the street, without disturbing the merchandise in the shops. And the shopkeepers were delighted and they often handed over gifts to the mahout – for the elephant. If you think about it, we are all a bit like the elephant. As we go through our lives, we get distracted by the temptations around us. And even

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though our mahouts – our parents and our teachers - tell us not to get distracted, we continue doing it all. We spend time watching television shows, sleeping the extra hour and chatting non-stop. What we really need is that stick to hold. And that stick is usually a goal – a purpose – that excites us and keeps us on track. Once you have a goal, you suddenly find yourself focused. Like an elephant’s trunk, our minds wander too. We need something to keep it focused. We need that stick! Have you ever been told “Don’t do that” when you were doing something you shouldn’t be doing? And remember how you still went ahead and did it? Problem is we need something to do. So the best way to stop a person from doing something he shouldn’t be doing is to give him something good to do. Don’t want to watch too much TV? Get yourself a good book to read. Don’t want to eat another pack of those chips? Eat a fruit. Don’t want to become a couch potato? Start running. Most of

our problems in life start when we don’t have anything meaningful to do. Having no goals means not having to work towards achieving them. Not having a hobby or a passion means spending long hours idling away. And that old saying is still true. An idle mind is indeed a devil’s workshop. So starting today, get yourself a goal, a purpose that drives you to action. That’s not all. Play a sport, indulge a passion, spend time on a hobby – but don’t just sit there doing nothing. Unlike the temple elephant, not all of us are lucky enough to find a mahout who gives us that stick to hold. But we all need that stick. That goal! You’ll find a stick for yourself today, won’t you? - Prakash Iyer is Executive Coach & MD, Kimberly-Clark Lever and author of ‘The Habit of Winning’.

Upcoming Event 12 hour satsang at Shri Kripalu Kunj Ashram on Sat August 4 from 9am to 9pm. For more information, call 713-344-1321. The event is open for all. On Sunday regular weekly satsang will be held from 11am to 1pm.

To list your Religious Organization events here, please call us at 713-789-6397 This service is available for $150 / yr (52 issues) to advertise to all South Asian communities E-mail: | Subject Line: Religious Events


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RELIGIOUS SERVICES Shri Kripalu Kunj Ashram 713-344-1321

Shri Kripalu kunj Ashram, 2710 Ashford Trail Drive, Houston TX 77082, 713-344-1321 , 713-775-6588, established by Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj, is an exclusive place to learn practical aspects of selfless devotion to Shri Radha Krishna. All aspirants of true devotion are cordially invited to attend weekly satsang every Sunday 11am – 1pm followed by Aarti and Maha Prasad. email: or call 817-528-5027


Sri Ashtalakashmi Temple, JET USA Houston Chapter invites you to the Grand Celebrations of Deepavali, Acharya Thirunakshatram, Sri Rama Kratuvu, and Sahasra Kalasa Abhishekam from October 26th to October 31st, 2011. Please join us in celebrating this Historic 6-day Event in the Divine presence of His Holiness Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji.


For more information, please visit: Ph: (281) 498-2344

Sargam school of music, is offering a Summer workshop, in teaching Hindustani Vocal, Classical music, light music, Harmonium , keyboard lessons for Adults and Children. Please call: Mangala Sane at 281--498-6126. Email : Website :


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India Fest 2012

India’s 66th Independence Day Celebrations

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Sunday Aug 19, 2012 The Stafford Center 10505 Cash Road, Stafford, TX 77477 Timings 11 AM to 7 PM.

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In Tiny Bean, India’s Dirt-Poor Farmers Strike Gas-Drilling Gold

BY GARDINER HARRIS LORDI, India (NYT) Sohan Singh’s shoeless children have spent most of their lives hungry, dirty and hot. A farmer in a desert land, Singh could not afford anything better than a mud hut and a barely adequate diet for his family. But it just so happens that when the hard little bean that Singh grows is ground up, it becomes an essential ingredient for mining oil and natural gas in a process called hydraulic fracturing. Halfway around the world, earnings are down for an oil services giant, Halliburton, because prices have risen for guar, the bean that Singh and his fellow farmers raise. Halliburton’s loss was, in a rather significant way, Singh’s gain — a rare victory for the littlest of the little guys in global trade. The increase in guar prices is helping to transform this part of the state of Rajasthan in northwestern India, one of the world’s poorest places. Tractor sales are soaring, land prices are increasing and weddings have grown even more colorful. “Now we have enough food, and we have a house made of stone,” Singh said proudly while his rail-thin children stared in awe. Guar, a modest bean so hard that it can crack teeth, has become an unlikely global player, and dirt-poor farmers like Singh have suddenly become a crucial link in the energy production of the United States. For centuries, farmers here used guar to feed their families and their cattle. There are better sources of nutrition, but few that grow in the Rajasthani desert, a land rich in culture but poor in rain. Broader commercial interest in guar first developed when food companies found that it absorbs water like a souped-up cornstarch, and a powdered form of the bean is now widely used to thicken ice cream

Rawat Singh and his son Sohan, rear, in the family’s new home in Lordi, India, built with profits from guar farming. Their old mud hut is now used by goats. Photo: Kuni Takahashi

A powdered form of the bean, shown dehusked, is now widely used to thicken ice cream.

and keep pastries crisp. But much more important to farmers here was the recent discovery that guar could stiffen water so much that a mixture is able to carry sand sideways into wells drilled by horizontal fracturing, also known as fracking. The fracking boom in the United States has led to a surge in natural gas production, a decline in oil imports and a gradual transition away from coal-fired power plants. Fracking may also have spoiled some rural water supplies and caused environmental damage in parts of the United States, but it is hard to find anyone in Rajasthan who sees fracking as anything but a blessing.

“Without guar, you cannot have fracturing fluids,” said Michael J. Economides, a professor of engineering at the University of Houston who is a fracking expert. “And what everybody is worried about is that there is virtually no guar out there now.” India produces about 85 percent of the world’s guar. As worries rose about the prospects for this year’s monsoon, which is vital for an adequate crop, speculation over guar production built to a frenzy. Trading in guar futures was even suspended, and with the monsoon still behind schedule, it remains postponed. Ramesh Abhishek, India’s chief commodities market regulator, said guar trading would resume when supplies proved adequate. “If the physical market doesn’t provide enough supplies, then the futures market causes more harm than good,” Abhishek said. Now, an international effort is under way to ensure that guar supplies come closer to meeting the soaring demand, and hundreds of thousands of small farmers here have been recruited in the effort. Leading the way is Vikas WSP, an Indian company that specializes in the production of guar powders.

Many farmers sold their seed stock last year when prices shot up, so Vikas has held rallies in small towns to pass out free seeds, including new highproduction hybrids. The company persuaded farmers with irrigated land in the state of Punjab, north of Rajasthan, to plant guar in the spring instead of cotton. That crop is now coming to market. And Vikas signed contracts with farmers guaranteeing a return of nearly $800 per acre if they planted guar, no matter what this year’s monsoon brought. “Whatever they produce, we will buy,” said Sanjay Pareek, a Vikas vice president. Anticipating a heavy crop, Vikas is more than doubling its processing capacity by building two new plants in Jodhpur, the second-largest city in Rajasthan. By next year, the company will be able to produce 86,400 tons of guar powder each day, it said. Smaller producers are taking similar steps. “Last year was an extraordinary year,” said S. K. Sharma, managing director of Lotus Gums and Chemicals in Jodhpur. “In 35 years in this business, I’ve never seen that.” Sharma said his company would soon open a second plant dedicated entirely to serving gas companies, adding that he was cautiously optimistic that guar prices would remain robust. “But we know there are efforts to grow guar in China, Australia, California and elsewhere, and it has us worried,” he said. Despite the expanding supply, many analysts believe that guar prices will remain high for the foreseeable future. Neil Beveridge, an oil analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, said demand for fracking services should continue to grow rapidly as the industry expanded outside North America. “We’re already starting to see a big increase in Eastern Europe, Argentina, Australia, China and India



itself,” he said. Susan L. Sakmar, an energy analyst in San Francisco, cautioned that the fracking boom could slow and that guar alternatives could be developed. But Economides, the Houston fracking expert, dismissed such talk. “There are no easy or cheap alternatives to guar,” he said. That is good news for guar producers. Farmers, traders and processors around Jodhpur admitted fulfilling some long-held dreams with the profits they made last year. Some took trips to Europe; some bought gold; others got married. At a Massey Ferguson tractor dealership in Jodhpur, where sales have doubled in recent years, Nathu Parjapat of Haripura was buying a tractor for his father-in-law, whose own profits from farming guar allowed him to provide a dowry of 12 grams of gold and half a kilogram of silver when Parjapat married his daughter. “So now I’m buying a tractor for him,” Parjapat said as his father-inlaw stood next to him, nodding with grave approval. Singh, the farmer with the new house, said he would plant his entire field with guar this year instead of spreading his risk among other crops. His family is able to sleep on the stone roof, where a constant breeze keeps them cool. His old mud house, now occupied by goats, has a roof made of sticks that did not allow such a luxury. Singh’s sister, Issa Rathore, showed off a silver ankle bracelet and a toe ring, both bought with guar profits. But her smile quickly vanished when she was asked whether she expected a similar windfall in the coming months. She glanced at the sky, and the children around her grew hushed. “Will the monsoon be enough this year?” she asked. “Who knows?” - Sruthi Gottipati contributed reporting.


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Massive Electric Power Outages Hit Nothern India ... Twice BY HARMEET SHAH SINGH NEW DELHI (CNN): India suffered its second huge, crippling power failure in two days Tuesday, depriving as much as half of the vast and populous country, or up to 600 million people, of electricity and disrupting transport networks. The first power grid collapse, on Monday, was the country’s worst blackout in a decade. It affected seven states in northern India that are home to more than 350 million people. But Tuesday’s failure was even larger, hitting eastern and northeastern areas as well. Both blackouts cut power in the Indian capital, New Delhi. The power companies that operate the affected electricity grids reported Tuesday’s collapse on their websites. With about 1.2 billion people, India has the second-highest population of any country, behind China. At least 300 trains were held up in the affected regions, said Anil Kumar Saxena, a spokesman for Indian Railways. Delhi’s metro system, seen as a lifeline for commuters, also suffered delays. Miners in the Burdwan District of West Bengal state have been hit by the blackout too. The district’s top administrator, O.S. Meena, told CNN that 150 coal miners were working underground when the outage happened, stopping lifts. Authorities switched to emergency supplies to run elevators to bring the miners up, and more than 60% have been brought above ground, he said. “The others will be brought up very soon. All are safe,” Meena said. Authorities have urged people not to panic about the safety of the miners. The two consecutive days of disruption are embarrassing for India, a nation growing in international stature and the third-largest Asian economy, and have raised questions about its investment in infrastructure. The power companies said they were working to restore service. It was not immediately clear whether the blackouts were partial or total in the different regions. India has an annual power shortfall of 8%. Monday’s grid failure struck in the early morning. Residents spent the rest of the night drenched in sweat amid humid weather, and many backup power systems had run out by daybreak. Power was partially restored after about six hours, authorities said. That blackout left passengers stranded at train stations, and signal failures caused traffic snarls that choked the Indian capital’s already congested roads during office hours. Airports and hospitals have been running on backup power, so have remained operational, but many businesses say they have lost out because the blackouts have cut productivity, said

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An electric power station on the outskirts of Jammu on Tuesday. Passengers sit on the platform at train station in New Delhi

Girls study by candlelight at a school in Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi during a power failure Monday, July 30.

Employees manually fill containers with diesel in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Jyoti Kamal, senior editor for CNN-IBN. The blame game between political parties has already begun, Kamal said, but the root cause of the problem is that demand is surging but power generation is just not keeping pace. Many people, especially in northern India, are hugely frustrated by the problem, he said. Indians have not been strangers to power cuts, which become more common during the summer when demand shoots up. Some of the increased demand this summer has been caused by farmers using more energy for irrigation and other tasks, in part because monsoon rains have been delayed. People are also using air conditioning units more. The Indian power minister, Sushilkumar Shinde, has ordered an investigation into Monday’s outage. He said the last time that an entire grid failed in north India was 10 years ago. He said that the reason for the latest blackouts is not yet known but that some states, particularly those with a lot of agricultural activity, may have been using more than their share of energy. India relies on coal for much of its energy needs but also uses hydroelectric power, which has been affected by the delay in monsoon rains. Observers say the crisis has exposed the need for India to update its infrastructure to meet the power needs of businesses and the country’s growing population. “Economic growth is constrained by inadequate infrastructure,” among other factors, the U.S. State Department’s country report on India says. “Foreign investment is particularly sought after in power generation,” it adds, as well as areas including telecommunications, roads and mining. The United States is India’s largest investment partner, the State Department report says, with U.S. direct investment in India estimated at more than $16 billion through 2008.

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Narang’s Bronze in Air Rifle Lifts Olympic Spirits

LONDON (ToI): Having drawn a blank on the first two days of competition, India finally made it to the medals board on Monday when Narang finished third in the men’s 10m air rifle competition. It was at the same event in Beijing four years ago that Abhinav Bindra won the country’s first ever individual Olympic gold medal, raising hopes that there was more to Indian sport than just cricket. Bindra failed to make the eightman final in London, while Narang stepped on the podium after losing at the qualification stage in the previous two Olympics in Athens and Beijing. Narang’s bronze earned frontpage coverage and Sports Minister Ajay Maken, who is in London, was confident the medal was just the spark India needed to make a mark. “One medal by Gagan has totally changed the mood of the contingent! Everyone is so ecstatic and motivated!,” Maken tweeted. Maken told reporters in London that Narang, like all other Indian medal winners, would be offered a top government job as a reward for his efforts. The entire Olympic contingent will be offered more junior coaching jobs in state-run sports institutions. “India goes gaga over Gagan,”

said The Times of India, while The Hindu newspaper wrote that the medal had “infused life into the Indian challenge”. India had their best ever finish in Beijing in 2008 when wrestler Sushil Kumar and boxer Vijender Singh added bronze medals to Bindra’s gold. The duo spearhead the challenge of living up to the expectations of Indian Olympic officials, who had predicted a higher tally in London before the Games began.

India are looking to win medals in shooting, archery, badminton, boxing and wrestling where the main hopefuls are still in contention. Narang has two more events left and other shooters in the fray include Ronjan Sodhi, a world record-holder in the double-trap event who won the Asian Games gold medal in Guangzhou, China in 2010. World number five Saina Nehwal has raced through her first two

matches in women’s badminton, while teenager Deepika Kumari will look to justify her status as the top-ranked woman archer after failing in the team event. Medal hopes also rest on fivetime world champion Mary Kom as women’s boxing makes its Olympic debut. The field hockey team, returning to the Olympic fold after failing to qualify for Beijing, fought hard in a 2-3 defeat to the third-ranked Dutch men on Monday.

India Takes ODI Series Lead vs. Sri Lanka with Kohli’s Chase BY SIDDHARTH TALYA COLOMBO (ESPN Cricinfo): India 255 for 4 (Kohli 128*, Raina 58*) beat Sri Lanka 251 for 8 (Tharanga 51, Tiwary 4-61) by six wickets Virat Kohli was once again the architect of a successful Indian chase, one that clinched the ODI series for India - they took an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match competition. Kohli anchored India’s response to 251, and was helped along by Suresh Raina, who struck his third halfcentury of the series, each of which came in an India win. Both had their moments of fortune, just when Sri Lanka had fought their way back, but once set, they

approached the target confidently, never allowing the required-rate to go above six and often being imperious in their shot-making. A game that promised to be close at one point eventually produced a comprehensive winner. Sri Lanka had edged ahead when Manoj Tiwary was trapped in front trying to sweep Jeevan Mendis to make it 109 for 4. Kohli had survived a run-out chance when on 19 and after he lost Tiwary, it was Raina who went through some jitters. An appeal for caught-behind was turned down when on 2, a run-out was missed when he was on 19 and Mahela Jayawardene dropped a sitter at slip two balls later. Kohli then survived a close

shout for lbw while on 77, and was put down after his century - though, by then, India’s task was all but complete. Sri Lanka’s fielding, though occasionally impressive, was below-par for the bulk of the game - they leaked at least 11 runs in overthrows. Those lapses could have been decisive but were rare incidents of discomfort for the two batsmen. On a track favourably disposed to batting, such moments of anxiety were easy to put behind, as both Kohli and Raina drove assuredly through the line, used their feet well against spin and found it easy to step up and go over the top when a victory seemed within striking distance. Kohli played

the supporting role when Virender Sehwag was going strong, was an equal contributor in a rebuilding stand with Tiwary and took the lead in the company of Raina. The transition from one role to the other was seamless. Kohli began his innings with an audacious pull off Lasith Malinga but in a partnership of 49 with Tiwary, after India were 60 for 3, struck just one boundary. sweep off Sehwag shortly after and India’s part-timers proved so effective that Zaheer Khan, their best bowler, bowled just six overs. Tiwary was an unlikely bowling hero for India; the stars with the bat had already built a solid reputation.



Mystery Marcher at Olympics Opening

LONDON: If you thought the woman in blue and red looked strangely out of place among the yellow-clad Indian contingent at the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics, you’re not alone. Not even the Indian team, made up of 40 athletes and 11 officials, knew who she was. On Saturday, the Deccan Chronicle, an Indian newspaper, identified her as Madhura Honey, a student from the south Indian city of Bangalore. On Sunday, the Times of India quoted London Games organizing committee chief Sebastian Coe as saying the woman was just a cast member of the gala show and did not pose a security risk to the team. The paper said Coe planned to meet with the Indian delegation to discuss the matter. “She was a cast member who clearly got slightly overexcited. She shouldn’t have been there,” Coe said. He insisted that the unidentified woman posed no danger to the Indian team or the proceedings because, as a cast member for the Opening Ceremony, she had to go through all the security checks that everyone else does to get into the Olympic Stadium.

August 03, 2012


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32 August 03, 2012

Cultural Events & musical concert on Thursday, Aug 9, 7:30 pm & Sunday Aug 12, 5:30 pm

Prasadam & decorations sponsored by Char Dham Hindu Temple (SKAI foundation)


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