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Friday, May 11 2012 | Vol. 31, No. 19

Indo American erican News

www.indoamerican-news.com Published weekly from Houston, TX

7457 Harwin Dr, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036 713.789.NEWS (6397) • Fax: 713.789.6399 • indoamericannews@yahoo.com

Partnered & Syndicated with Times of India, Sulekha.com, Google, Yahoo & Bing

New Indian Passport Process

Chariots of the Gods

HOUSTON: Consulate General of India, Houston has engaged VFS Global as an outsourced agency for facilitating the process of obtaining passport related services, with effect from May 18, 2012. VFS is located at 1415 North Loop West, Suite 205, Houston, Texas 77018. Applications can be submitted in person or delivered by mail on or after May 18, 2012 to the address of VFS Global. The outsourced agency has set up a website www. vfsglobal.com/india/usa and a call center, whose number is +1-202-800-7412 for the assistance of the service seekers, both of which are now functional. Consulate General of India, Houston, located at 4300 Scotland Street, Houston, Texas 77007, will accept applications for passport related services, either in person or through mail, till May 17, 2012. Applications received at the Consulate after May 17, 2012 would be returned to the applicants after charging the return mailing fee.

India Shines at OTC

American Completion Tools, a subsidiary of Parveen Industries Ltd. India, participated in the OTC conference held in the Reliant Center T.J. Sinha, General Manager (left), Ahmad Said-Sales Executive, Aanchal Gupta-Sales, Prabhat Kumar- Director, Mr. Sanjiv Arora, Consul General of India (Houston), Dev Sinha, Sales Manager.

PEARLAND, Texas: In all their superlative resplendence, the gods were transported on a silver chariot and colorful palanquins in procession around the Sri Meenakshi Temple following the sacred nuptials of the resident goddess to her consort Lord Sundareswara. The Thirukalyanam event marked the grand finale of the ten-day Annual Chittirai Mahotsavam Festivities that included music, dance, and religious discourse programs, special poojas, and the coronation of Sri Meenakshi.

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INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


Iam NEWS Since 1982

Partnered & Syndicated with Times of India, Sulekha.com, Google, Yahoo & Bing

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Thirukalyanam Marks Grand Finale of Chittirai Mahotsavam at MTS

BY KALYANI GIRI PEARLAND: The very atmosphere was festive. Vibrant jewel-toned silk sarees proffered a fitting backdrop to the pandal that was flanked by banana trees and festooned with garlands of radiantly hued flowers. Against the sonorously stately tones of the nadhaswaram, a bevy of priests reverentially chanted from the sacred scriptures that once again bound Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswara in holy matrimony. Bearing witness to the ceremony were the gods Vishnu, Ganesh and Muruga and over 1000 devotees who gathered at the Sri Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS) Kalyana Mandapam on May 6, 2012, the grand finale of the ten-day Annual Chittirai Mahotsavam. The Mahotsavam began with the hoisting of the flag bearing an image of Nandi on the Dwajasthambam on April 27 that officially marked the start of the Mahotsavam. The day before, the resident priests conducted the Vaasthu Shanthi prayer. Every morning and evening during the event, yagasalas poojas were performed to generate positive energy. Music and dance programs and religious discourses drew crowds to the temple every evening during the festival. Meenashi Pattabhishekam, the coronation of Sri Meenakshi was held on April 28. The wedding celebration on Sunday, May 6, commenced with the Ganesh pooja and a procession from the temple to the Kalyana Mandapam bearing marriage gift items. The ceremony was conducted according to traditions maintained at the Madurai Meenakshi Temple in South India. Following the rituals, the celestial family made a vividly colorful circumambulation around the temple, halting at the Dwajasthambam to witness the ceremonial lowering of the flag. Thereafter, guests were treated to a delicious sit-down wedding luncheon served on banana leaves. For more information about the Sri Meenakshi Temple visit www.emeenakshi.org.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

Photos: Krishna Giri Above: Chariots are lined up before the procession Left: A segment of devotees at the Thirukalyanam

Above: MTS Chairman Tupil Narasimhan receives blessings


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May 11, 2012

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


5 Club 24 Donates $75K During Night of Philanthropy

COMMUNITY BY PRAMOD KULKARNI

HOUSTON: Under a full moon evening last Saturday, May 5, Club 24 members offered a full measure of their generosity to a dozen local and India-directed charities to the tune of $75,000. The elegant “Signature Evening of Philanthropy” took place at the Memorial home of Jay and Viji Raman with about 100 Club 24 members and their guests. Club 24 is a social organization founded six years ago by prominent Indo-Americans Club 24 is an organization that was founded by members of the Indo-American community in Houston six years ago club with a primary mission to build bridges with the broader community in Houston and provide opportunities for up-and-coming young generations of Indo-Ameircans to participate in mainstream charity and social organizations. Prior to the dinner catered by Bombay Brasserie, Club 24 Executive Chair Sangeeta Pasrija presented checks to the charity organizations with event chairs Madhavi Kavadi and Hiru Mathur and treasurer Kamna Sharma. The club makes a contribution above the donations made by individual or a group of members. The first organization to receive a check was Save a Mother (SAM) foundation, which works in partnership with local NGOs in India to develop healthcare solutions for the poor, with maternal mortality reduction as a first step. Club 24 donors were Sushma Bhan, Aku Bedi and Nat Murthy. Accepting on behalf of SAM were Chicago-based founder Shiban Ganju and local chapter president Veena Kaul. Mani and Anuradha Subramaniam followed with a check to the Indo-American Charity Foundation (IACF) President David Raj. IACF itself is a charitable organization that helps the underprivileged and needy with monetary and volunteer work contributions. Lisa Tripani Shumate, executive director and general manager of Houston’s Public Broadcasting System (PBS) accepted

WRITERS ... TAKE NOTICE

May 11, 2012

a check from Vivek Kavadi, Ashish and Aparna Kamath and Satish Jhingran. Sam and Omana Abraham presented the check to the Houston Symphony. For the first time, a Club 24 check was presented to United Service Organizations (USO), which provides support and encouragement to U.S. military families. Bal and Kamna Sharma presented the Club 24 check to USO Houston’s Paul Pool. Next on stage was the Memorial Spring Brach Rotary Club. Lt. Governor Eric Lu accepted the Club 24 check from donors Ashok Garg and Venu Rao. The hosts Viji and Jay Raman’s designated charity was Sewa International, a local organization that provides helping hand to low income families in Houston through community development and charity initiatives in Houston. Maju Gupta and Vasudev and Sonya Singh accepted the check. Ashok Danda and Subhash Gupta and a large group of volunteers accepted the Club 24 check from Kiran and Pradeep Gupta, and Raj and Jugal Malani. The charity wing of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is a non-profit organizaition holds annual heath fairs and performs relief efforts during times of natural disaster. Viral Desai and Kalpesh Patel accepted the check on behalf of BAPS from donors Mr. & Mrs. Aku Patel. Shiva and Gus Gill made a contribution to Tahirih Justice Center through Club 24. Accepting the check was Houston Director Anne Chandler. Tahirih protects immigrant women and girls fleeing violence. The 12th check of the evening went to Daya, which promotes healthy family relationships in the South-Asian community by providing services that include counseling, referrals, legal advocacy, and financial support to women and children affected by family violence and sexual assault. Mani Subramaniam and Viji Raman accepted the Club 24 check from donors Sheela and Ashok Rao, Prita and Biki Mohindra and Jyoti and Pramod Kulkarni.

Writers are requested to limit their words to 500. The deadline for advertising and articles is 5 pm on Tuesday of each week. For more information, Call 713-789- NEWS (6397) or email us at: indoamericannews@yahoo.com

Sharing the podium for Ekal Vidyalaya were Raj Malani (left), Kiran and Pradeep Gupta, Jugal Malani, Ashok Danda and Sangeeta Pasrija.

Club 24 executive committee includes Treasurer Kamna Sharma (left), Nat Murthy, Pradeep and Kiran Gupta, Hiru Mathur, Madhavi Kavadi and Sangeeta Pasrija. 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: indoamericannews@yahoo.com. 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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An Indian Lad Leaves Corporate Life to Rule His Own Restaurant

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: It’s the kind of dream that all driven young people harbor at some point early into their lives in the corporate world with 18-hour workdays and continuous travel. If I can do this for them, why can’t I do it for myself? That was the question that faced Deepak Doshi, now 29. as he traveled the globe a Regional Development Manager for Pep-

sico International, the worldwide arm of the soft-drink and consumer foods company. After graduating from the University of Houston, Doshi landed a job with the Frito-Lay division of Pepsico and spent two years developing the brand in Dubai. But he gradually became disillusioned with corporate life. Along the way, in 2008 he bought the 76year old building on the corner of Dowling and Holman, two blocks east of Hwy 288 in a transitional part of Midtown. When he returned to Houston in 2010, he started retrofitting the building; using 90% recycled materials and furnishing it with a 100-year old upright piano with an eye to opening a coffee shop. Doshi opened Doshi House three weeks ago and works the long-hours at his own business. He has involved the local community, some work there; others like the wondering Black minstrel recite poetry while strumming their guitar. Doshi wants the place to appeal to students since he is at the crossroads to UH, TSU and HCC’s Central Campus. His dad, Anil and two sisters Seema and Sudha are proud of him and pitch in sometimes. “Not too many desis know about us,” said Doshi as he made two mean tandoori chicken and fusion sandwiches over chai for a client. “But my friends are spreading the word.” Even late on a Sunday night, he still had plenty of pep to work his dream. Doshi House is located at 3419 Dowling, Houston, TX 77004, 713-528-0060 or visit www.doshihouse.com.

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Co-chairs and the Honoree of the event; From left: J. Kent and Ann Friedman, Shahzad Bashir (IM’s 2012 Honoree), Bobby and Jasmeeta Singh, Carrin Patman and Jim Derrick

Gala Shows off the Rich International Tapestry of Interfaith Cooperation BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: The elegant setting of the main ballroom at the Hilton of the Americas for the Interfaith Ministries Fourth Annual Tapestry Gala was punctuated by the mix of languages, deference to etiquette and variety of dresses among the 700 multi-cultured guests who strode in to take their seats. They reflected the cross-pollination of faiths and their inherent perspectives that make up the essence of the organization now. The Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston has evolved through the decades from when it first started in 1955 as the Church Welfare Bureau to the Protestant Charities in 1964 when it joined with the Jewish community to 1969 when it was officially chartered as IM. Since 1992 it has received support from the diverse base of faiths – Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Muslim, Sikh, Unitarian Universalist and Zoroastrian - that have settled in Houston. IMGH currently has seven South Asian directors – Ajit Giani, Sushma Mahajan, Jasmeeta Singh, Karun Sreerama, Nizar Charania, Shaukat Zakaria - on its Board, including this year’s Chairman, Dr. Fatima Mawji, an anesthesiologist originally from Mumbai, India. Along with President and CEO Elliot Gershwin, the Board oversees its core activities: Meals on Wheels, refugee services, disaster preparedness and interfaith dialogue. Appropriately, this year’s Fourth Annual Tapestry Gala held last Thursday, May 3 was co-chaired by couples from three faiths - Jasmeeta and Bobby Singh (Sikhs), Ann and J. Kent Friedman (Jews) and Carrin Patman and Jim Derrick (Christians). “We have

worked hard together to bring this event tonight,” said Bobby Singh in his trademark white turban when welcoming the gala from the podium, “and we are counting on your support to make our organization stronger.” He words were prophetic. By the end of the evening, the gala had raised over $1 million for IMGH. Gurkaran Singh and Jupji Singh brought the event to a start with bhangra beats on their dholuks. The emcee for the evening was Len Cannon, news anchor for KHOU TV, who was followed by a reading from the Quran by Sheikh Mamdouh Mahmoud, Imam of Masjid Al-Ansaar and a musical invocation by the ensemble jTunes from the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston. The Shingari School of Rhythm dancers performed to two Bollywood numbers. Kenneth Gayle and his ensemble rounded out the evening with songs and musical numbers. A short video shown on four video screens across the vast ballroom allowed guests to see the IMGH’s achievements. In addressing the gala, Dr. Mawji revealed that the IMGH had acquired 2 to 3 acres of property on Fannin and Elgin, almost across from the HCC Administration Building to build a $10 million campus which would eventually hold a distribution center, meeting place and administration offices for staff and allow for sending out 10,000 meals a day. The gala honored Shahzad Bashir, a co-founder of the Huron Consulting Group and Huron Legal by showing a video tribute and presenting him with the Tapestry Award in recognition of his work for the betterment of Houston and the world.

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COMMUNITY

May 11, 2012

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Jesal Shah Weds Jennifer Leighton

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: Jesal Shah, 32 and Jennifer Leighton, 28 were married in a Hindu ceremony on Sunday, April 29 at The Parador, a State Historical Site which was built in 1928 as the Third Church of Christ Scientist and has now been converted to a social and corporate venue in the Museum District. The couple were married in the courtyard garden under a mandap with Pandit Uday Kumar Gullapalli of the Sai Puja Temple in Sugar Land officiating. The bride is a student of Child Psychology at the University of Victoria, Canada. She is the daughter of Wayne and Dianne Leighton of Duncan, British Columbia, Canada where they are both actively involved in community service and the church in addition to working full time jobs. Jennifer’s

brother Jeffrey and his wife Amanda with their 9 month-old son James live in Winnipeg and her sister Dawn lives in Toronto. The groom works for the Canadian Government in Victoria, British Columbia as an Environmental Engineer concerned with Flood Policy for the province. His mother Meenu Shah has been a longtime resident of Houston and apart from business interests works in banking and finance. His father Vipin, who was an IT specialist working for Aramco in Houston, passed away in 2000. His sister Tejal Shah is an internal medicine physician at the Texas Medical Center. Jesal recently was accepted at Rice University into the MBA program. The newlyweds will live in Victoria until Jennifer graduates but plan move to Houston to be close to family.

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Harjit and Seema Galhotra at the Incontinental Hotel last Wednesday, May 2 with the 2012 Better Business Bureau’s Award of Distinction

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: The luncheon last Wednesday, May 2 at the Intercontinental Hotel on the West Loop had a record turnout of 900 people as the Better Business Bureau gave out its coveted 20th Annual Awards for Excellence to area businesses which are members of the organization. Over 250 firms were finalists in this year’s competition for the four to ten best businesses among each of 30 categories. The winner of each category received the Pinnacle Award, the BBB’s highest honor while the others received a Distinction Award. Among the Indo-American businesses which received Distinction Awards were Galson Auto & Body, Abrahams Rugs and Lone Star Air Systems. Sam Abraham, who is also on the board of the BBB, accepted the award for his company while Darrell “Tilak” Singh (who is from the West Indies and runs the firm with his brother Clint) accepted for Lone Star. Harjit Galhotra accepted for his firm Galson Auto & Body, which has won consistently for the past six years, having won the Pinnacle Award in 2005 and 2007. Galhotra, a former consulting engineer who segued into auto repair after losing his job in 1993,

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May 11, 2012 COMMUNITY A Gala Fundraiser to Save Mothers Across India

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BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: In a departure from last year’s masquerade gala, held also at the Chateau Crystale on S. Gessner and Westheimer, this year’s fundraiser for the Houston Chapter of Save a Mother was more direct and instead featured a chart that was colored in as the pledges from the floor rolled it. Within 10 minutes, over $10,000 was pledged by the 200 guests, which was in addition to the amount collected before. All told, over $50,000 was collected for the charity. Proceeds will support the four-year old Save a Mother NGO that operates in India, primarily in the state of Uttar Pradesh which

Jodha Akbar performance by Shingari School of Dance

Houston Chapter President Veena Kaul thanking guests

has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world and also beyond to Karnataka. SAM aims to minimize suffering and death due to pregnancy and childbirth. SAM hopes to expand to every village in UP by the end of 2012. SAM trains health activists from within the community to spread health literacy by educating women about pregnancy, nutrition, immunization, delivery and care of the

child and has trained over 2,000 activists so far. Through SAM’s efforts, it has successfully reduced maternal mortality by 93% and neonatal mortality by 66%. SAM plows all the money raised through its chapters in Houston, Chicago, Washington DC, New York, Boston, London and Bangalore back into field work and spends about $100 per village in one year to achieve these results

SAM founder Dr. Shiban Ganju explaining the latest developments

and spends next to nothing on administrative costs while adding interns and volunteers in all its chapters. Save a Mother founder Dr. Shiban Ganju was on hand at the Gala to describe his vision. Ganju is a graduate of AIIMS, Delhi and has specialized in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology for years, with a practice in Homewood, Illinois a southern suburb of CONTINUED ON PAGE

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(281) 564-9500 BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA STAFFORD: The story of Sai Baba came to life and the village of Shirdi in Maharashtra to which his name is attached came to life on stage at the Old Stafford Civic Center this past Sunday, May 6 in front of 700 people. The play is set in a single scene – the village square – which is carefully put together with props of the well, gardens, the masjid where Baba lived and preached from and the village shops, chaiwallah and mochi (cobbler). Over 40 actors all of whom have regular day jobs but spent months rehearsing their parts – took part in the stage production, including many children. The shopkeeper’s stalls were at the foot of the stage, an arm’s length from the audience. The story of Sai Baba unfolds from the moment he arrives in Shirdi and murmurs begin about the young man who lives for years under the neem tree. Soon word

spreads about his inner peace and powers of healing after a scene in which a leper is cured by his touch. The villagers adopt him as their own and look after his needs. He takes over the local masjid as his home, endearing himself to the Muslims in the village. This fostering of close affectionate relations between the Hindus and Muslims becomes a central part of Baba’s life and the narrative. Slowly, Baba’s message of all, regardless of religion or caste spreads wide and far, and is considered revolutionary in late 19th century India. Ek aims to capture the tense Muslim-Hindu dynamics of the time and show why Shirdi Sai Baba remains a religious icon for millions decades after transforming the lives of those in one small village. The story of Sai Baba is told in English dialogue, music and song. Many of the dance scenes, especially those when Baba resists

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

temptation and another when he cures a devoted follower of a cobra bite, are captivating, as well as a qawalli performed in celebration, towards the end of the play. The script was written by Usha Akella, a well-regarded and published Austin-based poet for whom this play was her maiden effort. The choreographer was Vinitha Subramanian, director of the Natyalaya School of Dance in Austin. Ek was brought to Houston by Surender Talwar of Media Circle & Art Promotions, with major sponsorships by David Raj, Bobby Singh, Swatantra Jain, Pradeep Gupta and Sanjay Lodha of Anmol Nayantara real estate developers from Nashik, India. After the show, the crew, writer and choreographer met with invited guests at Sankalp restaurant for dinner and a short presentation on the real estate opportunities that Anmol Nayantara offers in Nashik.


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May 11, 2012

A Gala Fundraiser to Save Mothers Across India

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Playback singer Mahalaxmi and Hardik performing

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9 ences. The evening’s program was Chicago. Ganju’s younger brother Tej emceed by Simrit Singh and Rohit and sister, Veena Kaul live in HousKaul who aggressively raised the ton. Kaul started the local chapter in donations and also involved Ishya 2009 and has been the president for Kachru, the youngest volunteer the past three years. who sold many a raffle ticket. After A short video presentation prior a buffet dinner catered by Dawat to the evening’s festivities showed Catering, entertainment was proa health activist sitting on a charvided by Shingari’s School of pai explaining, in Hindi, how Rhythm dancers doing two SAM has helped the women Bollywood numbers and in her village. The program songs by Hardik Jain provides health activists and Mahalakshmi Kriseducational sessions and hanan. training kits to use in To learn more, reaching child-bearing contact SAM Housmothers. Another video ton Chapter Presishowed women sitting dent Veena Kaul at in the village square 713-202-7036 or visit singing plaintively www.saveamother. Ishya Kachru, youngest enthusiastic volunteer since about birthing experiorg.

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COMMUNITY

12 May 11, 2012

Scriptures, Keertan and History Competition Enlighten Young Sikh Minds

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: The youngest participant in the speech competition was Harekas Singh Bindra as he belted out his prepared response to several written questions about Sikhism and its true meaning. His father Witty beamed proudly as he sat cross-legged in the main hall of the Sikh Center Gurudwara on Prairie in northwest Houston. He was among the three groups (differentiated by age brackets) of kids – about 8 to a group – who had made the cut through the first round of competitions had at four area and San Antonio and Dallas Gurudwaras and were at the Zonal Round last Saturday, May 5. The competition has been held each year under the auspices of the Hemkunt Foundation, which will take the winners of this round to a international meet in Detroit in August where the gold medal winners of each group will emerge. The Hemkunt Foundation was founded by Sardar Shamsher Singh in 1980 in Williston Park, New York in order to convey the message of Guru Gobind Singh to the children and youth ages 6 to 25 of the Sikh diaspora. He imported books on Sikh history, philosophy and principles for distribution to children and organized a symposium on these books, awarding gold medals to the winners. The participation has grown to over

Event Coordinators and Judges

2,000 and reached across the US, Canada, UK and Kenya, with 69 Gurudwaras participating. On Saturday, the participants in each group were judged on their content, elucidation, diction, annunciation and use of Punjabi (gaining proficiency is a large part of the point system). And as each spoke at the podium, some loud, others louder still, their scores were being tallied by the judges. In 2007, Sardar Shamsher Singh (who passed away in 2011 at the age of 87) added a Keertan Darbaar competition for the recitation of shabads with three different raags each year. The purpose is to revive the use of string instruments (rabab and saranda) to accompany the recitals. Winners in this competition also receive gold medals.

The Zonal Round Darbaar was held on Sunday, also at the Sikh Center, and was an all-day affair starting at 9 am with several teams competing. The Hemkunt Foundation is named after the Gurudwara Hemkunt Sahib which is devoted to Guru Gobind Singh the tenth Sikh Guru. Hemkunt Sahib is a pilgrimage site for Sikhs in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand, India, which sits at an elevation of 15,200 ft beside a glacial lake surrounded by seven mountain peaks in the Himalayas. Hemkunt Sahib is accessible only from May to September by a 8 mile trek on foot from Gobindghat (about 171 miles from Rishikesh) to the village of Ghangaria and then on a 3.7 mile stone path that climbs 3,600 ft.

Speech Winners: Group I (6-8 years):1st: Rajveer Singh; 2nd: Mahnek Singh; 3rd: Sahib Singh Group II (9-11 years):1st: Jujhar Singh; 2nd: Gurleen Kaur; 3rd: Sargun Kaur Group III (12-14 years):1st: Noorpreet Kaur; 2nd: Jaipaul Singh; 3rd: Jasleen Kaur Keertan Winners: Group I: 1st: Raj Karega Khalsa (Houston): Harleen Kaur Bhatia, Harleen Kaur Bains, Gurleen Kaur and Agam Singh; trainer: Bhai Jagir Singh 2nd: Youth Classicle Jatha from Houston: Gurleen Kaur Jasman Kaur, Jodhveer Singh, Sargun Kaur, Keerat Singh; trainer: Balkar Singh 3rd: Mehran Jatha (Houston): Divya Kaur, Gur Gopal Singh,

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

Sukhvinder Kaur Group II: Gauri (14-18 years) 1st: Akal Roop Keertani from Houston: Simran Kaur, Agampal Singh, Karaman Singh, Arshdeep Kaur; trainer: Bhai Jagir Singh: 2nd: Akal Purkh Di Fauj (Austin): Harnaina Kaur, Sarabnidhan Singh, Kamalnain Kaur, Dilnoor Kaur, Simarraj Singh (of Tyler), trainer: Bhai Inderpal Singh 3rd Winner: Gurmat Sangeet (Houston): Kiranjot Kaur, Jaipaul Singh, Pooja Kaur, Sandeep Kaur, trainer: Bhai Bhupinder Singh Paras Group III: Raag Sri: 1st: Guru De Sevak Jatha: Ampalvir Kaur, Deshmesh Singh and Simren Kaur For more information of the Hemkunt Foundation, visit www. hemkunt.org.


13 Local Filmmakers, Musicians Win Awards at WorldFest

COMMUNITY

BY KALYANI GIRI HOUSTON: The oldest and fiercely independent film festival that recognizes creative excellence in filmmaking honored local musicians and movie-makers at a glittering awards night held at the Marriott Westchase Hotel on April 21, 2012. Well-known Hindustani Classical musicians and teachers Chandrakantha and David Courtney’music video “Jaijaivanti” was the unanimous first choice of a panel of judges, and garnered the Gold Remi Award in the WorldMusic/Techno category at the 45th WorldFest International Film Festival. The video showcased the prodigiously gifted musical duo and a coterie of about 80 of their students and friends performing a piece titled “Tarana” set to Raag Jaijaivanti in Ektal and Teental. The music video was filmed and edited over four months during 2011, and presented against a backdrop of picturesque New Mexico and Colorado. The Courtneys’ are much sought-after gurus in the vocal and tabla disciplines and have performed the world over, been featured regularly on the India’s SaReGaMaPa program, and have produced numerous CDs and several authoritative publications pertaining to the Indian classical arts. Additionally, David Courtney is presently contesting for the seat of Texas Senate. Prolific filmmakers from the

May 11, 2012

Katleen Haney, WorldFest Aries that played on different tistic and Program Director, screens at the AMC Studio told Indo American News 30 Theatres, and docuthat the main focus of the mentaries and movie festival is on stories well shorts, with a liberal dash told. of symposiums crammed “In the ten days of with authoritative talks by WorldFest we renowned filmmakers, the can do no more festival ran over than 60 films ten days from a year. We April 13 – feel that it is April 22. This impossible year’s lineto properly up deemphasize livered Team “Semper Fi” and “Inside Out” with two remis at the awards individual m o v i e banquet. Left to right: Front row : San Banarje, Emily Rose, Drew films l o v e r s Brown, Brian Watson. Back row : Trisha Ray, Omar Scanu w h e n with a the festiplethora Indo American community, pro- son, Lance Stodghill, and Emily val screening of choices ducer Trisha Ray and director San Rose. “Inside Out”, produced schedule is too with 15 world Banarje, also saw their work feted jointly by Ray, Banaje, and Brian large. We try to Dr. David Courtney premieres from 53 feaat the festival that has previously Stewart, was scripted by Stewart keep high stantures, the annual Italian launched the careers of stalwarts and featured Hollywood actor Joe Panorama with a comedic flair; a dards and concentrate only on the in the epic ilk of Steven Spielberg, Estevez, the brother of actor Martriple whammy from the Russian very best new American and forGeorge Lucas, Ang Lee, Robert tin Sheen. This is the third year sector; an Israeli Special Focus eign independent films and honor Rodriguez, Robert Townsend, that the creative duo premiered with director, Dani Menkin at- those,” Haney added. Spike Lee, and John Lee Hancock, their movies at WorldFest. In For more information on tending for his film “Je T’Aime, to name a few. Ray and Banarje’s 2010, they took home the PlatiI Love you Terminal”, and even WorldFest, visit www.worldfest. films, “Semper Fi” and “Inside num Remi Award for Banarje’s a film from Eritrea. Other special org. Out”, produced under the ban- suspense thriller “Bodhisattva”, To watch the award-winning highlights were Henry Jaglom’s ners of Next Actor Studio and Sri and a Gold Remi for Ray’s “Sugbrand new film, “Just 45 Minutes video “Jaijaivanti”, follow the Shirdi Sai Pictures of Houston, arbaby”. All of the Ray/Banarje from Broadway” and the poignant link http://youtube/8lsEtLbcGQ4. and shot in this city, were also collaborative films are for sale on closing film, “America” directed For information about the Ray/ the recipients of the Gold Remi Amazon. by Sonia Fritz of Puerto Rico. Di- Banarje collaboration and movie Awards. Both films debuted at WorldFest was founded 45 rectors attended 95% of this year’s sales, visit www.lakecampproducWorldFest this year. “Semper years ago by the award-winning premieres at WorldFest. Celebrity tions.com. Fi” was written and directed by producer/director Hunter Todd. For more information about star in attendance for his opening Banarje and co-produced by him There are 12 major categories night film “Smitty” was veteran David and Chandra Courtney, and Ray. The cast included Omar and 200 sub-categories. With a visit www.chandrakantha.com. actor Louis Gossett. Scanu, Drew Brown, Brian Wat- packed schedule of several mov-

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14 May 11, 2012

COMMUNITY Joint initiative by Consul General and India House: Festival cricket match full of fun and friendship India House Team Wins in An Exciting Finish

BY SHOWRI NANDAGIRI HOUSTON: On Sunday April 29, there was a festival cricket match between India House and Consulate General of India. For cricket lovers who crave exciting finishes, the finale of this match was just that - the most nerve wrecking ever in Houston! The 70 odd spectators and players had a wonderful camaraderie, topped off with a fabulous lunch after the match. The Consulate team was headed by the Consul General who showed his personal commitment to this initiative by arriving from an official tour on Saturday night and was present throughout the event. He played all through the game, and provided guidance, motivation and encouragement to his team. He also displayed his fielding and bowling skills, taking one wicket in the only over bowled by him. For India House, President Jugal Malani was equally committed to put together a good team, and even though he was a non playing captain, he was on the side line all day long encouraging his team. Both captains greeted and cheered each other’s teams. The match started at 10 am with both team captains calling for the toss. Consul General Arora won the toss and put India House to bat. The India House team had a judicious mix of senior citizens exhibiting their fine cricketing skills, ably assisted by younger players including Andy Bhardwaj. They scored 139 runs in 20 overs. Rameshwar (41), Ramesh (31) and Dharmendra (20)

Consul General of India Sanjiv Arora, President of India House Jugal Malani, Cricket Match Organizers P. V. Patel and Showri Nandagiri at celebratory Cricket Luncheon held after the match. Photographer: J R Lakhani

were the principal scorers. For CG’s team, Kaushik bagged 3 wickets for 27 runs. The only unfortunate episode during the innings was that the Secretary of India House Board, Paul Madan had to be taken to the emergency for minor bruises after he fell while running between the wickets. He was later discharged and joined the team during the luncheon. The CG’s team went in to bat chasing a score of 140 runs to win in 20 overs. Some of the young players were hitting out to score. The CG’s team needed three runs to win in the last over of the game, with nine wickets gone for a score of 137. Kaushik (31), Gopal (20), Manu (18), Abhishek (14), Sundy (13) and Shivkant (9) were the main

scorers. Encouraging other team members to play, the Consul General did not have a chance to bat - when he came to the field towards the very end, there were no runs taken by the batsman at the striking end. For India House, Andy and Ramesh Rao respectively bagged 3/23 and 1/25 wickets. Spectators were on their feet during the last over, which was a do or die situation for both sides. Thanks to a super play effort by Dharmendra (two run outs and one catch) and a fine piece of bowling by Andy, the remainder of the over did not yield any more runs, and India House won by a narrow margin of two runs! This Cricket Match is another example of

how Consul General Sanjiv Arora actively reached out to the community and also promotes “public - private partnerships” as he stated at the luncheon. Consul General Arora, as an advisor to India House, suggested to India House President Jugal Malani to host a friendly cricket match. President Malani swiftly implemented the idea after getting approval from the IH Board. He requested Board members Showri Nandagiri and Prakash Patel to be the chief coordinators and make all the necessary arrangements for the match. They put a team together and got them some much needed practice. On his part, Consul General asked his Executive Assistant, Raghuvir Singh to coordinate. As the Consulate has limited staff, CG’s office welcomed the offer of Mr. Witty Bindra, President of IIT Alumni of Greater Houston (IITAGH) to include a few of their members in the team. IITAGH’s Gopal Agarwal agreed to be the Vice Captain. The result was an entertaining cricket match on a beautiful afternoon for the Indian Community of Greater Houston. At the luncheon after the match, the CG presented the trophy to the winners, India House. CG also applauded the efforts by President Malani and his team for the excellent cooperation and coordination in arranging this match. He also thanked IITAGH President Witty Bindra and his colleagues. Both CG and President Malani announced that this match would be an annual feature. The audience responded with a Texas sized applause.

Child Kidnapping in a Love Triangle

SUGAR LAND (Houston Chronicle): A woman who is accused of kidnapping the 9-year-old boy may have abducted him to get revenge against his father for a past sexual relationship she had with the man, officials said. Kismat Momin, 34, is charged with kidnapping, a third-degree felony, after she allegedly nabbed Amsal Dhuka about 3:30 p.m. Monday when he got off his school bus at his apartment complex. She allegedly kept him overnight and dropped off him unharmed about 6:20 a.m, Tuesday outside the Ismaili Cultural Center, 10501 Corporate Drive following massive search for the boy.He has been reunited with his family. Momin surrendered Tuesday afternoon at the Fort Bend County Jail. She is being held in lieu of $125,000 bail. Authorities during a news conference Wednesday released details about the relationship between Momin and Dhuka and what may have led to the alleged kidnapping. Momin’s husband told authorities his wife confided in him Sunday the day before the Amsal disappeared that she intended to abduct the boy as revenge against the boy’s father for sexual advances he had made against her, said Fort Bend County Sheriff’s office Cheif Deputy Chief Craig Brady. He also told authorities early Tuesday morning that his wife had contacted him and said she had the boy. How the kidnapping would exact revenge on the boy’s father was not clear, Brady said. He said Momin and Amsal’s father had a three-year-long sexual rela-

tionship, which had ended. He was uncertain when the relationship had started, when the couple broke up or who had ended the contact. However, he added, Momin had continued to try to stay in touch with the Dhuka family. A complaint in the case reveals other details about the alleged kidnapping, including Amsal’s father contacting Momin after the boy disappeared and asking her if she had abducted him. She strongly denied she kidnapped him and questioned how his father could make such an accusation. The document also explains the friendship between Momin and the Dhuka family. She was considered a friend and Amsal called her “Auntie.” Amsal’s mother knew about the previous relationship between Momin and the boy’s father. On the day he disappeared, Amsal told investigators, Momin was at his bus stop and told him it was alright for him to get into her car with her because his mother wasn’t around, according to the document. While they were together, Momin drove Amsal to various spots and they slept in the car. At one point, she told him gang members who had guns were chasing them. She bought him gifts and told him he wouldn’t attend school the following day. But then Amsal’s family was called early Tuesday morning and told that the boy had been left at the Ismaili Cultural Center. He was found sitting on the sidewalk in the dark, officials said.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

Gearing Towards the First NATA Convention

HOUSTON: The very first North American Telugu Associations’ (NATA) Convention is all set to happen June 29, 30 and July 1 in Houston. This grand and mighty show is backed by a $1.3 million budget. The George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston is the venue for this meet. Interestingly, George R. Brown convention center is also celebrating its silver jubilee this year. The convention center that offers Southern hospitality with a cosmopolitan twist, will be delightfully decorated with a Telugu touch, taking one back to one’s roots the minute one steps in through the doors. The entire two million square feet space of the convention center has been reserved for this unprecedented Telugu convention. Over 130 individual vendors are putting up their stalls during the convention in the exhibition hall. Authentic Telugu food will be cooked on site in the state of the art kitchen and served fresh in two huge dining rooms for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Two cultural stages will showcase talent from India and USA with over 100 different cultural items, literary events and a grand concert by three

music directors. With 100 meeting rooms available, there will be a vareity of events going on which will cater to wide ranged tastes - business, women’s interests, medical, youth, spiritual, sports, literary and other Telugu related events. The George R. Brown Convention Center is conveniently attached to the 5-star grand hotel, Hilton Americas – Houston. A full service establishment, Hilton Americas is the place to stay and enjoy Texas size hospitality. The convention organizers have reserved 300 rooms exclusively for the donors of the convention. Hilton Americas is offering special rates for NATA convention attendees. Along with Hilton, nearby hotels, Embassy Suits and Holiday Inn are also offering special rates to the conventioneers. Houston is home to many attractions such as NASA, San Jacinto monument, Texas Medical Center, Sri Meenakshi Temple and Galveston island, to name a few. This convention might be a good opporutnity for some sightseeing in and around Houston! For more information visit www.nata2012.org.

May 11, 2012

15

Indian Presence Growing at OTC

Sales employees pose at the Chemoil stall in the Reliant Arena during the Offshore Technology Conference. Chemoil is a division of Unique Industrial Valves owned by Pradeep Gupta and Jugal Malani.

HOUSTON–Making the rounds at the annual Offshore Technology Conference makes one aware of the growing presence of Indians in the 86,000+ delegates. There are, of course, delegations from the leading Indian oil companies such as ONGC. Increasingly, there are oil and gas equipment manufacturers and service companies with Indo-American ownership or employees. These include American Block, Chemoil, Zentech and Kalsi Engineering. Indian conglomerate Tata drew crowds at its large Tata Steel exhibit in the Reliance Center, touting recent contracts won by its UK-based division manufacturing steel

pipe in the Gulf of Mexico for pipelines. This year, Ganesh Thakur is the president of SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers), the host organization for the OTC. The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) South Central Asia chapter held a dinner on Wednesday, May 2 evening. The leading executives moving this chapter forward are former Houston residents Arun Karle of Askari International and Sanjaya Sood of Transocean. Consul General Sanjiv Arora also toured the Offshore Technology Conference and greeted several Indian oriented exhibitors.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


16 May 11, 2012

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY Houston witnessed one of largest Life Transformational program of its kind this weekend starting May 4th through 6th. Inner Engineering delivered by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev - founder of Isha Yoga - himself was attended by close to 1000 people from in and around Houston as well as around the country. It was a unique spectacle of people from all religions, races and walks of life. The two and a half days of intense initiation into the ancient Yogic practice of Shambhavi Mahamudra left the audience overwhelmed with the immensity of the experience. The program offered them tools of self transformation which will allow them to handle their inner self with greater ease, and impact health and wellbeing in a big way. As Sadhguru emphasized, what he is offering is a method. It is like a technology and for one to use technology his / her background is immaterial. Willingness to try the technology is what matters. It was beautiful to witness people of all backgrounds, religions, races and cultures, come together for this event. Their differences in backgrounds weren’t a hindrance to their ability to extract value from the experience. The program left everyone in tears of bliss and a feeling of ecstasy. As Gordie Howe, a student exclaimed “Beautiful, Supereffective due to the authenticity, destroys all doubts again and again.”

May 11, 2012

Inner Engineering Draws Diverse Group of Over a Thousand for The Weekend of Transformation

For others like Rajendra Badapanda, a software engineer from Microsoft said, it turned out to be a unique blessing. He said “What a mother/father cannot give even to his/her child, this program gave me”. The program was organized by Isha Foundation, a 100% volunteer run, non-religious organization with headquarters in the foothills of Vel-

liangiri mountains near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu in Southern India. The US center - Isha Institute of Inner Sciences - is in McMinnvile, TN. During the two and half days, not only did the participants get to understand the philosophical, spiritual and the physical underpinnings of Shambhavi Mahamudra, but also had a chance to interact with Sadhguru on

17

also showcased the amazing value brought to the table by hundreds of dedicated and hard working volunteers of Isha who created the experience with utmost care and love. Hundreds of out of town volunteers came on their own from around the country to help out with such a large event. Isha Foundation regularly conducts such programs around the US, and more information on the upcoming programs in Houston and other cities of US is available at www.IshaUSA.org “Problem is not with the content of your life. You have simply missed the context of your life!” “Intuition is a different dimension of Computing and not a different dimension of perception. - Sadhguru

many topics. The regular Q&A sessions provoked interesting questions and witty answers from Sadhguru, leaving the audience in raptures. Sadhguru’s dream of “World full of Love, Light and Laughter” was evident in the Ballroom of George R. Brown Convention Center this weekend. As powerful as the program was for the participants, the program

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 11 , 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


18 May 11, 2012

Rise & Fall of Indian Economy

India has dropped two places to sixth position with an aggregate score of 61 in the latest Geopolitical Power Index. The United States, though down by one point, retains the top slot with a score of 79 (on a maximum of 110). China moves up from 72 to 74 points to stay in second place in the overall rankings (see chart). GPI 2012 is a copyrighted biannual index created by Global Intelligence Review, our independent Mumbai-based policy think-tank. Using a proprietorial mathematical model to analyse 11 parameters ranging from economy and governance to military and innovation, GPI 2012 measures both the ability and potential of the world’s ten most important countries, dubbed the G10 , to project hard and soft power globally. Political uncertainty, stalled economic reforms and the prospect of a hung parliament in the next Lok Sabha election have diminished India’s ability to punch at its geopolitical weight. New Delhi is struggling to nuance its role in global crises – from Iran and Sri Lanka to Afghanistan and Syria – and a faltering strategic partnership with the U.S . Apart from India’s disappointing performance, the big story of GPI 2012 is the rise of Brazil (63 points) in the rankings from eighth to fifth place, just behind Germany (up to third place from sixth) and Britain (down a spot to fourth place) but ahead of France and Russia, down to seventh and eighth position respectively. The eurozone crisis has significantly weakened the French economy (it lost its triple A credit rating earlier this year) while budgetary austerity has diminished Britain’s geopolitical influence. Political tensions following Russia’s controversial presidential election have meanwhile clouded Moscow’s ability to project its global influence. Germany’s relatively robust economic leadership of the eurozone crisis and Brazil’s continuing rise as a Latin American economic powerhouse have broadened both countries’ geopolitical footprint. The overall GPI 2012 (H1) ranking shows that the US remains the world’s most influential nation. Its problems in Af-Pak, Syria and Iran in a bruising presidential election year have, however, seen its aggregate score slip marginally. India’s global clout has waned over the past year on account of misgovernance and corruption. But with the economy likely to regain its growth trajectory in the second half of 2012, the geopolitical momentum could swing back in India’s favour. The GPI captures trends. By definition, its rankings are forwardlooking. Despite poor political leadership at the centre, India’s fundamentals remain strong. But warning signs abound. The demographic dividend will last till 2030. However, it could turn into a demographic debt if India’s economy either does not create enough jobs for the millions of new working-age people or does not give those workers the skills needed in a modern, highproductivity economy. Stability of tax laws governing investment, too, can play a major role in attracting – or driving away – foreign investors. Times of India

EDITORIAL

Teetering on the Edge BY AYAZ MEMON One need spend barely a few minutes outside CST or Churchgate Station — the two bestknown symbols of the city after the Gateway of India — and watch the Central and Western lines spew out thousands upon thousands of commuters to know what the railway services mean to Mumbai’s citizens. Alas, sometimes these services also end up causing many deaths and untold misery, as we saw last week. Three young men died on Thursday after a pole jutting out near Mulund station hit them. The previous day, the Central Railway’s main and harbour lines collapsed because a fire broke out near a signal system at Kurla. I have often wondered why Mumbai never got an underground railway system like London or Paris. Such a system dates back more than a century, so the technology wasn’t unknown. Perhaps stepmotherly treatment is the price for being a colonial subject. But even more dismaying is the lackadaisical approach we have taken since Independence in matters of public benefit. Ironically, at around the same time as the rail accidents, India successfully launched Agni-5 into space, putting the country in the league of elite nations with such a capability. What this suggests is that while we are capable of making big technological and scientific leaps, we seem incapable of understanding the value of human life. In countries where space research is advanced, it is natural to expect the quality of everyday life to be high. Not so here. It’s a conundrum that needs serious study. Of the more than seven million people that the suburban railway networks carry every day, between 10 and 15 people die in accidents, a rate that reveals the abysmal state of our safety procedures and, at a deeper level, our callous attitude towards human life. The recent rail accidents showed how fragile the systems that drive the city are, and how easily we can fall over the edge. They highlight

Of the more than seven million people that the suburban railway networks carry every day, between 10 and 15 people die in accidents, a rate that reveals the abysmal state of our safety procedures and, at a deeper level, our callous attitude towards human life. Officials claim that after laying the tracks – six different lines on Western and Central Railways – hardly any space is left for installing cables and wires next to them deep into the ground. These cables are responsible for transmitting signals, power and for various other functions. “We have to think over and over before digging, while maintaining or laying the cables. There is hardly any place to lay them deep beneath the tracks,” said a senior railway official on the condition of anonymity. So at most places, cables are found exposed or are only covered by ballast. The tracks have also become a favourite haunt of drug addicts, gamblers and anti-social elements. “These people frequently steal important wires and cables and sell them for petty gains, causing technical faults in signals and tracks,” said a rail official. The railway police claim that they are posting RPF officers at important locations to keep such trespassers out.

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EDITOR: PRAMOD KULKARNI BUSINESS MANAGER: JAWAHAR MALHOTRA MANAGING PARTNER: KRISHNA GIRI COMMUNITY REPORTER: KALYANI GIRI COMMUNITY EDITOR: MANASI GOKHALE ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER: VANSHIKA VIPIN GRAPHIC DESIGN: SAQIB RANA CORRESPONDENTS CHICAGO: NAND KAPOOR, UK: ASEEM KULKARNI NEW DELHI: RAJ KANWAR ®All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the written consent of the publisher. The deadline for advertising and articles is 5 pm on Monday of each week. Please include self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of all unsolicited material. Published at 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, Texas 77036. Tel: 713-789-NEWS or 6397 Fax: 713-789-6399, email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com, website: indoamerican-news.com

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 11 , 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

Mumbai’s two enduring problems: a burgeoning population and the lack of transport infrastructure. Traditionally, because most government and corporate offices were located in the island city, the traffic would move in the northsouth direction in the morning and back in the evening. As the city has grown, newer residents have settled in Thane and Navi Mumbai, rather than in the saturated south or expensive west, but most still have to travel to the island city for work. At some stage, housing shortages, traffic jams and rising real estate rates were inevitable in the absence of a coherent plan to facilitate the expansion of the city’s services. Policy makers did anticipate some of Mumbai’s problems, such as housing shortages and traffic jams. For instance, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s Regional Plan 1973 talks about how its main goals are “containing Mumbai’s growth, reducing congestion and over-crowding and bringing about balanced regional development through dispersal (sic) of population and economic activity.” By 1985, the proposal had been adopted. The plan included developing townships outside Mumbai city and shifting major markets there. While some markets did move out, because township growth did not keep pace, the main magnet remained Mumbai city. Most important, the government refused to shift. An update on the plan admits to a failure to decongest the city. The problem was not in ideation, which was bold and robust, but in execution and implementation. But if the city has to thrive, it needs much better infrastructure, public transport and to use the phrase of the moment, good governance. HT When he is not following sport, Ayaz Memon writes about the city and its different worlds.


INDIA

income tax

India Expands Visa on Arrival List to Woo Tourists

NEW DELHI (TOI): The Indian ministry of external affairs has approved the tourist visas on arrival for residents of France, Germany and Russia, joining two other European countries – Finland and Luxembourg – and bringing the total to 14 countries which will can avail of this facility. India currently issues VoA to 11 countries - Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar, Finland, Luxembourg and New Zealand. MEA sources said the decision will help

Visit

19

May 11, 2012 the government meet its objective to double the international tourist footfall in the next three-four years. “The criteria for providing the facility to any country include security implication - how much is the presence in that country of people inimical to India’s interests - and tourist inflow from there. These three major countries made the cut but 6 other nations too will soon get the approval,” said a source. Though not yet confirmed, these countries may include Spain and Malta. There still, however, seems no

consensus within the government on including the names of some central Asian countries in the list. “In this regard, names of countries like Kazakhstan and Ukraine are being discussed positively, but they may have to wait for a while,” said an official. The government is also not looking at mutual reciprocity in extending the policy as France, Germany and Russia don’t offer VoA to Indians. As an official said, the main idea is to attract international tourist traffic and turn India into a major tourist destination.

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Indians Prefer Long-Term Job Security to Salary: Survey

MUMBAI (TOI): Uncertainty in the markets makes Indian employees prefer financially healthy companies and long-term job security over salary and employee benefits, says a recent survey by Randstad India. Long-term job security and financial health of the company are the most-often selected factors by 64 per cent employees, followed by career progression opportunities (50 per cent), says a recent Randstad India report. Salary and employee benefits, which topped the chart in 2011, has dropped to the third position, it adds. Long-term job security seems to

be the top preference in the telecom sector, but not in the automotive sector. Competitive salary and employee benefits were rated as top factors by employees of the transport and logistics sector, while the same were rated lowest by those in the travel and tourism sector. International career opportunities was rated the top factor by the energy sector employees. The survey also showed that men tend to prefer innovative companies that are financially healthy and offer quality products and services, good training and career prospects, whereas women look for factors like easy acces-

sibility, flexible work arrangements, pleasant atmosphere. While older respondents had greater concern for strong management, values and image, quality products and good work atmosphere, the younger workforce look for technological innovativeness, flexible working arrangements and global career opportunities. Unmarried employees look for higher salary, career prospects. Thesurveywasconductedamongst 8,500 respondents from over 150 biggest employers. The research was conducted by the global research agency, ICMA International.

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Archie Panjabi –Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series BY SOWMYA NANDAKUMAR Archana Kaur Panjabi, (Archie Panjabi), was born on May 31, 1972, in Edgware, Middlesex, England. Her parents, Govind and Padma Panjabi are from India. In an interview to India blogs, NY Times, she mentions that her mom, a school teacher and her dad, a businessman, were completely supportive of her desire to be an actress. They were extremely open minded in general, embracing the Christian culture, and attending midnight mass at times, and also rooted in their own culture, celebrating Diwali and other Indian festivals, and cooking traditional Indian food. When Archie was eight her family moved to Mumbai for a short while which gave her the opportunity to experience the land of her origins. She says in an interview to India Blogs NY Times, that she had known when she was quite young that she wanted to act. She took drama lessons outside the UK and in 1985 she got a response from the film East Enders. Although she had a casting call she did not end up getting the part she was called for, but she got herself an agent and started to look for other roles. In 1989 she was awarded the versatility cup (awarded to the most versatile of all the performers) at a local drama festival. This made her realize that she had the talent to make her dream of becoming an actress come true. From 1994-99 Panjabi acted in TV mini-series and TV movies including Siren Spirits (1994), Bideshi (1995), Under the Moon (1995), and The Thin Blue Line (1996). Although most Indian parents do not necessarily encourage their children to pursue a career in acting that easily, according to Panjabi, this was absolutely fine with her parents, but they wanted her to have an education. She graduated from Brunel University with a degree in Management Studies in 1996, when she was 24. In 1998 she married, Rajesh Nihalani, a tailor. In 1999, she acted in her first film, a comedy, East Meets East. Her big break came in 2002 when she got the role of Pinky Bhamra in Bend it Like Beckham starring Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightly, directed by Gurindher Chadha. In the film, Pinky (Panjabi) is the elder sister of Jesminder Bhamra (Parminder Nagra). Bend it Like Beckham brought her to the forefront. She acted in a number of television series and TV movies in early 2000, including, Tough Love, My Family, and White Teeth in 2002, This Little Life, and Canterbury Tales in 2003.

Archie Panjabi Accepting the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (The Good Wife, CBS series), in Aug 2010

In 2004, she played Yasmin Husseini, in the film Yasmin. She is a young Muslim woman living in Britain, who campaigns for the release of her husband who has been detained in a holding center. In 2005 she acted in Constant Gardener, which was her second big break. She also did the TV movie, A Very Social Secretary (2005). A whole year after Yasmin, Panjabi was recognized for it. She won The Shooting Star Award at the Berlin international film festival in 2005. This award is given to “the most exciting and emerging actors from across Europe”. Panjabi was selected for this award from among hundreds of other actors! For her role in Yasmin, she also won the Best Actress Award at the Reims Film Festival in 2006. From 2006-2007, she appeared in two episodes of the popular BBC television series, Life on Mars. In 2007, she acted in A Mighty Heart which perhaps furthered her career. The movie was an adaptation of a book by Mariane Pearl, wife of the journalist Daniel Pearl. Panjabi played the role of former Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Nomani, starring opposite Angelina Jolie. In February 2008, Panjabi appeared on the BBC Four World CinemaAward show

arguing the merits of five international hits including The Lives of Others and Pan's Labyrinth with Jonathan Ross and Christopher Eccleston. In 2009, she started to act in the popular CBS TV series, The Good Wife as Kalinda Sharma. This role won her quite a few accolades: The New York Times Magazine (Sept 11, 2011 edition), in the cover story, named her one of the "Eight Actors Who Turn Television into Art", Variety named her one of the “Top 10 faces to watch on TV” and finally, Kalinda Sharma probably won her the greatest honor in her career – the 2010 Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Apparently, Panjabi is fantastic with accents from Scottish to Indian toAmerican. In the major film and TV roles she has played, she has had to adapt to accents other than her own. Archie Panjabi, reportedly, was always told by agents in LA that a person of Indian origin would never quite make it in Hollywood. With an EmmyAward, some great roles to her credit, and her versatility as an artist, she has certainly proven all those “things they usually say” completely wrong! Kudos to that!

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COMMUNITY

TNF Idol Fever Grips Texas HOUSTON: TNF IDOL 2012 semifinals were conducted at the Sri Meenakshi Temple on April 22. Nine participants in the adult category and 12 in the Junior, competed to become the finalists who will represent Houston in the Grand Finale on May 12. The event was sponsored by Bharathi Kalai Mandram. G.N. Prasad, BKM President delivered the introductory speech. Rajan Radhakrishnan (Cultural Comm. Chair) emceed the show. Raj Thiagarajan (Cultural Comm. Co-ordinator) and Janarthanan(Idol Co-ordinator) spoke about the competition and introduced the judges. The panel of three judges included Karthika Mahadev( Idol Co-ordinator), Prahlad Kalidas, and Tara Balakrishnan. The competition was very intense.The high caliber of singing forced judges to evaluate on extremely tight technical criteria. The Junior female category ended in a tie between Srisanvitha Sridhar and Kruthi Bhat. In the tie-breaker that followed, Srisanvitha edged out Kruthi literally by a whisker. Adarsh Suresh won the Junior Male Category. Anantha Iyer announced the winners for the Junior Idol.

In the adult categories Vaishnavi Narasimhan and Barani Krishnan were unanimously declared winners by the judges. All contestants were required to sing from two genres: Fast folk (kuthu) and pathos. Judges provided immediate, valuable feedback after performances. The show was lively and interactive, with the audience cheering on their favorites. Janarthanan managed the audio technicalities. Vijaya Rajan, Revathi Thiagarajan and Ponni Sivaraman took care of the registration and food arrangements for the committee. At the end of the program, Raj Thiagarajan gave the vote of thanks. TNF Conveners, Padmini Ranganathan and Sam Kannappan addressed the audience updating them on various TNF activities. TNF Grand Finale for Junior and Adult Idol is to be held on May 12 at the Sri Meenakshi Temple, starting 2.30 pm ,where finalists from Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio will compete against each other. Popular Playback singer Roshini of Pottu Thaaku fame will judge the finals. This event is free to the public.

May 11, 2012

21

TNF Cooking Contest Are Men Ready for The Challenge This Time? STAFFORD: The TNF Cooking Idol – Samaiyal Champion of Houston provided an opportunity for budding chefs in the Houston area to exhibit their cooking prowess. The first round of the cooking contest was in Sugar Land. The second round was held on April 28, at the Sunandha Nair School of Dance, Stafford. Sunanada Nair was of immense organizational support. Around 70 people attended the contest. Dr. Bala Iyer, Anusuya and K. Ramanath, popular South Indian food critics from the Houston area were the judges. There were also three tasters . The appetizers had to be made with onions, potatoes or cauliflower, and the soup with any vegetable. The participants (men and women) stunned the judges by preparing mouthwatering appetizers and soups. The dishes prepared were delectable and highly nutritious. Some appetizers had accompanying side dishes including chutney, ketchup etc. The food presenatation was also commendable. Placards placed next to the dishes carried their names and nutritional values. Vijaya Venkatesan, Srividya Sridhar and Radha Stan along with Dr. Padmini Ranganathan and Rajan Radhakrishnan (head of the Cultural Committee of TNF), were the think tanks behind the event. Leela Mami, Venkatesan, Shridar Srinivasan,

From left : (Top row) Rajan Radhakrishnan, Vijaya Venkateshan, Radha Stan and Srividya Sridhar. (Bottom row) Dr. Bala Iyer, K. Ramanath and Anusuya, the judges.

Priya Senthil, Jayasree Gurunathan, Nithya Damodharan, Ganesh Rajamani, Napinnai, Senthil Kumar, Ram Ganesh, Srinivasan, and Vijayakumar helped out as volunteers. Ramanathan came all the way from Clear Lake and took pictures. Priya Ravi won the first place in the appetizer category followed by Luckmi Pawa who was second. In the soup category, Natarajan Krishnan with his “Oh Mahazeeya Soup” (a unique combination of different vegetables and beans), came first. The finals will be on May 12. The winner will receive a gift from Anitha Kuppusamy, popular celebrity chef & entertainer at the convention.

A jewelry exhibit by Mano Selvam and a food station (where homemade spice powders, snacks and pickles were sold) were other attractions. All proceedings go towards supporting the TNF Convention in Houston from May 26 - 28, which aims to strengthen educational opportunities for the under privileged in rural Tamil Nadu. For additional information please visit: www.tnfconvention.org or call 832-377-1863.

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22 May 11, 2012

INDIA

Both national parties shy of naming their candidate

The Importance of Being Pranabda

BY RAJ KANWAR IAN INDIA CORRESPONDENT Now in the twilight years of over four decades of his distinguished parliamentary and ministerial career and several landmarks behind him, Pranab Mukherjee today finds himself standing at crossroads. Should he continue to stay in the Manmohan Singh cabinet as a finance minister or should he aspire to become India’s 13th President? At 77, Mukherjee is not growing younger and his ministerial workload is the most arduous of all in the cabinet. Apart from his responsibilities as the country’s finance minister, he is also UPA’s only trouble shooter. Additionally, Mukherjee is burdened with the job of chairing several cabinet subcommittees and groups called Group of Ministers (GoMs) and Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoMs) which are appointed to look into specific issues of vital importance. Even though this underscores his importance in the UPA scheme of crisis management, yet it nevertheless makes his working day much longer than any of his cabinet colleague. Now that the Indian Presidential

elections are looming large, there is a growing clamor that Mukherjee be declared the official candidate of Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA). Ironically, Pranabda is like a candle that flickers more brightly when it is nearing its end. Even though, the UPA-II’s performance by and large has so far been lackluster, Mukherjee’s own image remains bright enough and has evoked support for his presidential candidature from almost all of the UPA allies. Notably among them are Karunanidhi’s DMK, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). Politics indeed makes strange bedfellows and it is quite probable that the compulsions of Bengali chauvinism could compel both Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Left Front to extend their support to Mukherjee despite their mutual antagonism and pathological hatred for each other. In that event some other allies and regional parties might even join the Mukherjee bandwagon. The earlier speculation that both the

Pranab Mukherjee

major parties viz. the Congress and BJP would try to bring about unanimity on a consensus candidate has died a natural death. BJP has now taken a categorical stand that it would not support a Congress candidate under any circumstances. A statement by leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj saying that the party would not support the vice president Hamid Ansari since he lacked the required ‘stature’ for this top post has evoked criticism from Bihar’s chief minister Nitish Kumar, its major ally in NDA. BJP now has officially taken the stand that it would announce its candidate only after the Congress declared its presidential nominee. It is now fast becoming a game of poker; neither the Congress nor the BJP willing to reveal their cards. Thus this ‘skirmish’ of one-upmanship might prove a costly blunder for BJP since it faces the clear

prospects of losing the support of its NDA allies who have no patience to wait and possibly have already made up their minds on supporting either Vice President Hamid Ansari or even Pranab Mukherjee, if these names are proposed. Strangely, both the major national parties viz. the Congress and BJP are very coy about opening their cards. Each is waiting for the other to first announce its candidate. As of now, the Congress, its allies and other parties supporting UPA from outside commands the allegiance of 650,000 votes in the Electoral College of 1.1 million votes. The additional support will come from some of the parties like the Left, SP, BSP and JD-U. In a way, by its strange “you-reveal-your-handfirst” attitude, BJP seems to be running out of options. Interestingly, the Muslims have larger names of probable candidates in the ring than the majority community of Hindus. Among them are former President APJ Abdul Kalam, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi and K Rehman Khan, until recently the vice president of the Rajya Sabha. This has made BJP’s position even more vulnerable since it might not support a Muslim candidate and there is no other visible candidate barring of course Pranab Mukherjee. It is a strange dilemma for this Hindutva party whose very raison d’être is its anti-Muslim plank. Mukherjee is certainly by far the most qualified of the probable names that are currently being talked about. Son of a veteran freedom fighter,

who had spent more than 10 years in the British jails, Mukherjee has had a brief academic career as a lecturer in a college in Birbhum district of West Bengal before he unexpectedly found himself as a Congress Rajya Sabha member in 1969. That was Mukherjee’s baptism in politics. He was reelected to Rajya Sabha on four occasions. His ministerial career began in 1973 as a deputy minister in Indira Gandhi’s government. Even though at that time, he kept a low profile, his talents were undoubtedly evident. In 1982, he rose to the important position of finance minister. So brilliant was his performance in this position that Euromoney Magazine rated him as the ‘best finance minister’ of the world. From then onwards, Mukherjee, barring for a brief period, was in almost every government. Thus the hesitancy of the Congress high command in not clearly stating its position on Mukherjee’s candidature is perplexing. One version is that Mukherjee is considered indispensable to the UPA government for his multitasking roles and his importance as a successful troubleshooter. There is another version that says that the Congress high command, meaning Sonia Gandhi, does not fully trust Mukherjee’s loyalty. Be that it may, the continuing uncertainty over Mukherjee’s candidature for the president’s office could cause all round embarrassment and even possibly make those parties who have already announced their support for him to change their mind.

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SKINCARE

May 11, 2012

Get Ready for Summer: Sunscreen vs. Sunblock

(TOI): Sunscreen: Absorbers

a screen and does not block the harmful rays. On the contrary, it absorbs UV rays that have a potential risk for your skin.

up of chemical blockers like oxybenzone, avobenzone, and sulisobenzone.

What is sunscreen? According to Cosmetologist and Dermatologist, Dr. Udhay Sidhu from Apollo Hospital, Bangalore, “A sunscreen is also referred to as a chemical sunscreen. It is absorbed into our skin and in return absorbs the UV radiation. It primarily absorbs UVB and only some of UVA. These are cosmetically more acceptable but may cause allergic reactions.” What’s in it: Your sunscreen is made

What not to do: The next time you shop for sun protection, Dr. Sidhu says, “Avoid products with ingredients such as Para- aminobenzoic acid and parabens.” These chemicals can cause redness, itchiness and other skin problems. Sunscreen - Yes or No: Since we are faced with the harsh sun for most of the year, sunscreen may not be the apt option. As the name suggests, sunscreen is

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Sunblock: Reflectors What is sunblock? On the other hand, Dr. Sidhu says this about sunblocks: “They provide protection against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. They act by reflecting UV radiation before it touches the skin. These are also referred to as physical sunscreens.

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These tend to be greasy and thick on application, but cause very few allergic reactions.” What’s in it: The ingredients to look for in your sunblock are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are physical blockers. What you need: Dr. Sidhu explains, “Look for products that mention Broad Spectrum (protects against UVA and UVB rays), water resistant sunscreen, with an SPF of at least 15. This should be

23

used all year round on exposed skin. For fair skinned individuals with light colored hair it is preferable to apply sunscreen with a higher SPF.” Sunblock - Yes or No: Since sunscreens are mostly used to screen some part of sunlight while absorbing the rest, they are better suited for tanning or lower sun damage threat. Sunblock seems to be a better option when it comes to sun protection for us Indians. It reduces aging, brown spots, sun burn, skin cancer and wrinkles.

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OPINION ENTERTAINMENT

24 May 11, 2012

Aamir Strikes the Right Chord with ‘Satyamev Jayate’ MUMBAI (IT): The much-awaited television show Sataymev Jayate has turned out to be another masterstroke from Aamir Khan. The star evoked a range of emotions as he dealt with the sensitive topic of female feticide and its repercussion on the society in the first episode of his maiden TV venture that went on air Sunday. There were many moist eyes among those in the TV audiences and many more at homes and offices across India as people tuned in to watch the programme, which Aamir said in his ads he wanted to replicate the phenomena created by the epic Mahabharat and Ramayana teleserials of yore on Sunday mornings. “My ammi (mother) was not here, she was in Pune. She liked the show and messaged, Dil pe lag gayi aur baat ban gayi. It was very overwhelming that she liked the show. I had tears in my eyes. I am really happy,” Aamir told thereporters on Sunday. “I was watching the show with my wife, the core team of the show and son Azad. I don’t know how much Azad understood. I had tears in my eyes. I got good response for the show through industry people, various people, twitter reactions. Even our website crashed because of the traffic,” added the 44-year-old. Equipped with well-researched instances and case studies, Aamir’s one-and-a-half hour programme was simultaneously beamed on Star Plus and Doordarshan, a first. Not only that, in a bid to reach out to everyone, special screenings of the show were held in some villages in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat where people do not have access to televison. The maiden episode highlighted how unethical medical practitioners are hand in glove with families wanting to kill the female unborn baby. Aamir also dispelled the perception among people that female foeticide is practised by rural people or

those living in small towns with Mitu Khurana, a Delhi-based doctor being asked by her orthopaedic surgeon husband and in-laws to abort her girl twins just after 20 weeks of conceiving. Finally, she left home to save her twin daughters from death. Viewers have given the thumbs up to Satyamev Jayate, saying it is a gutsy, hard-hitting and sensible programme that strikes an emotional chord with the audiences. “What Aamir Khan is doing is fantastic. He has shown all aspects of the issue - the minuses and what could be done to prevent it. He has not left it hanging in the middle. He has shown the total picture. He has done it in a way that it will touch the hearts of people,” said Ranjita, a Delhi-based counselor.

The show’s success can be estimated from the fact that it occupied the “top five trends” on the social networking site Twitter. Even before Aamir could wrap up the episode, 2,254 tweets were notched up. If that’s not enough, Satyamev Jayate received such an overwhelming response that its official site crashed within minutes of the end of his programme due to huge traffic. In terms of business too, Aamir has managed to draw big brands and loads of moolah to sponsor a reality show that puts the spotlight on the invisible people in the country. Airtel is the title sponsor, while Aquaguard Axis Bank, Berger Paints, Skoda, CocaCola, Johnson & Johnson and Dixcy Textiles paying crores for the show.

About the Show

Satyamev Jayate (English Translation: TruthAlone Triumphs) is an Indian television program that airs on various channels within Star Network along with Doordarshan’s (DD National), every Sunday at 11:00 am.. The show premiered on 6 May 2012 and marks the television debut of Indian Bollywood actor and filmmaker Aamir Khan. While Hindi is the primary language of the show, it is also dubbed and simulcast in several other Indian languages such as Marathi, Bengali,Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu. The concept of the show was not revealed in the Indian media till the show officially went on air on 6 May 2012. However, various sources reported the show to be based on “the common man” rather than being fictional. Also, based on its content, it was mostly referred as a talk show discussing social issues like child labour, health problems and other issues affecting the country. Aamir Khan, who is known for keeping secrecy for his movies, was quoted saying, “I don`t want to talk much about how the show and about its format. I want everyone to see it directly on TV.” However, commenting on the theme of the show, he said, “The show is about meeting the common man of India, connecting with India and its people.” He also added, “Through this show we understand the problem of the people, we are not here to make a change. I am no one to change anything. I don`t think I am in the position to change anything else. I feel understanding a problem and feeling it or holding one`s hand or hugging is also important. I may not have the solution, but at least I can hear and understand. For further details and to watch full episodes, visit www.satyamevjayate.in Also like their facbook page, www.facebook.com/SatyamevJayate

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ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20: This is a week of mixed fortunes. Financial matters, business meetings and deadlines will keep you busy. It may turn out to be hectic for you, but if you use your energies judiciously, you can competently meet the spate of demands that the world around seems to be making on you.The positive offshoot of this is that you will become more worldly wise. TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21: This is an eventful week for you. At first it seems to be crammed with meetings, seminars, appointments with clients, communications, etc. But you will enjoy this crazy pace. You will show a penchant for all things intellectual, such as analysis, brainstorming sessions with colleagues and bosses, and uplifting debates. You have put in sincere work in recent months, and now is the time to reap the dividends. You will find your peers and superiors holding you in great awe. GEMINI May 22 - Jun 21: A lot of cosmic pulls and pressures are being exerted on you this week. The opposing forces - desire for enjoyment and the desire for working harder to enhance monetary income may be tearing you apart. Understand that it is difficult to have the best of both worlds, so what you need to do is strike a compromise between the two, points Perhaps you could slog five days a week, and enjoy the weekend to the hilt. Some family concerns may demand your attention, such as the flailing health of elders and the ever-increasing pranks of the children. CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 23: Pondering over incidents that have taken place in your past, you may be in an introspective and gloomy mood this week. Try to get out of this negative mood, and get on with your life, because there is nothing you can do to alter what has already happened.. What you need to do is learn the lessons from whatever has happened and be careful of not repeating the mistakes you have made. Interacting with people from all walks of life will help you get into a more positive frame of mind. LEO July 24 - Aug 23: Your instability this week might lead you to be fickle minded resulting in indecision and lack of focus. However, there will be a distinct sense of optimism, and you may not see this flaw at the first go. It is very likely that you may get swayed by this ‘feel good’ sense. You may also be driven by a desire to make some quick money, which may goad you to take undue risks and to indulge in uncontrolled speculative transactions. Be careful and calculative in such transactions. VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23: Intellectually, you may not be able to think and communicate effectively, and shall even be quite confused this week. This can have a negative bearing on your outlook. Try to squeeze some time out for meditation and relaxation, as that will help you stay positive and grounded. In fact, you look set to be on the brink of a paradigm shift. Apart from staying calm amidst the storm, you need to get rid of the old mental baggage. Muster your creative resources, and do something that will cheer you up.

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LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23: You shall be spoilt for choices during this phase. There will be too many things trying to grab your attention, and you may feel unsure of the course to take. On one hand, you’ll feel like slogging harder, but on the other you may feel like taking a long break to unwind. As you have put in enough labour in the recent past, now is the time to enjoy the fruits. Alternative healing therapies shall catch your fancy. SCORPIO Oct 24 - Nov 22: There is a shift now from financial matters, as you realise that money is not everything. So you turn towards spirituality with great intensity, but you will not altogether abandon your quest to strengthen your financial foundations. You will also give more importance to personal relationships and relationships with your colleagues. SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 22: There may be an undercurrent of some depressing thoughts in your mind, which may briefly manifest in you becoming a little introverted. You may nurture a desire to switch jobs, but it will not last long and shall soon pass. There is something unexpected on the cards, which is bound to cheer you up. You will gain in wisdom, become more tolerant and get rid of many negativities which will be appreciated both at your home and workplace. CAPRICORN Dec 23 - Jan 20: After having waded through the flood of obligations, this week you will have enough time to put your feet up, relax and unwind. You will prefer to spend quality time with your family and friends, and your jovial mood shall be infectious. People will seek out and enjoy your company. This as a good time to make new beginnings, maybe initiate a new project, and plan for your future and the investments. Motivation and reinforcement from unexpected quarters will help setting right your priorities. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19: Your priority will be maintaining a good rapport with people you associate with. You will give importance to resolving some long pending personal issues. A sense of satisfaction, which stems from responsibilities duly complied with, shall pervade your mood. It will make you feel genuinely happy, and you shall share it with your loved ones. It may seem that you are taking things lightly, but deep inside you are sorting out ideas and awaiting the right time to get into action. PISCES Feb 20-Mar 20: The main theme of this week will be expanding your circle of friends, both in the real world as well as through social networking avenues in the virtual world. This will lead to a much desired broadening of your outlook, your objective perspective will vastly improve. You will also be very optimistic and work towards your goals in a very systematic and realistic way, going against your normal tendency to be over-idealistic. There are chances that you may have to undertake tours. You will grow in all-round maturity.

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STOCKS • FINANCE • SOUTH ASIAN MARKETS • TECHNOLOGY

Nine Indian Americans with the Midas Touch

The top three Indian Americans with the Midas touch, according to Forbes magazine, are Aneel Bhusri (left), Rob Chandra and Sameer Gandhi.

NEW YORK –Nine Indian Americans have made it to the list of 100 dealmakers with “Midas Touch” compiled by the Forbes Magazine. The Forbes list comprises of venture capitalists who had made investments in start-up companies and then sold off their stakes with handsome gains. Aneel Bhusri the co-CEO of Workday -- a cloud-based financials and human resources software company was ranked 25th in the list. The list was topped by Jim Breyer of Accel Partners, who had bet $12.7 million on a Harvard drop-out with a social network (Facebook), a deal that turned into a “once-in-a- generation investment” Forbes said. With an 11 per cent stake, Accel Partners, is Facebook’s second largest shareholder after Mark Zuckerberg. Breyer personally owns 1 per cent in Facebook. Bhusri is accompanied by 8 other

persons of Indian origin on the list, including Navin Chaddha (46th) -- an IIT graduate who heads India investments of Mayfield Fundand well-known venture capitalist Vinod Khosla (34th). Chaddha’s current investments include those in mobile app platform, Appcelerator, cloud storage company, StorSimple, a social media company, Gigya, fashion app, Poshmark, and Indiabased Bharat Matrimony. Others on the list include Rob Chandra (28th), Sameer Gandhi (33rd), Neeraj Agrawal (36th), Ajay Agarwal (95th), Asheem Chandna (96th) and Subrata Mitra (99th). Rob Chandra had a string of IPOs on India public markets, including IL&FS Transportation Networks (2010), Orient Green Power (2008), Shriram EPC (2008), OnMobile (2008) and Motilal Oswal Financial Services (2007). His current investments include Avnera (semiconductors), Tilera (multi-processors) and Applied

Solar Technologies (energy services). Gandhi’s current investments include growth investments in hot music startup Spotify and celebrity-focused ecommerce site BeachMint, as well as social browser StumbleUpon, an India online shopping site called Flipkart and custom men’s pants retailer Bonobos. Neeraj Agrawal’s current investments include some hot companies such as Marketo and Wayfair, as well as Brightree, Glassdoor and Sprinklr. Mobile, internet and software investor Ajay Agarwal invested in warehouse robot company Kiva Systems, which was sold to Amazon for $775 million in March 2012. Chandna’s current investments include Aquantia, AppDynamics, Delphix, Sumo Logic, TechProcess, Xsigo Systems, and Zenprise. Subratra Mitra had invested in Flipkartm which recently raised a new funding round reportedly at a $850 million valuation.

Siblings Sell SlideShare for $119 MM SAN FRANCISCO–Rashmi Sinha and her brother Amit Ranjan, who grew up in Allahabad, have sold the world’s largest slide-sharing site SlideShare to professional networking site LinkedIn.com for about Rs 640 crore ($119 million). The website, which was the brainchild of Sinha’s husband and co-founder Jonathan Boutelle, is headquartered at San Francisco with an office in Delhi. Ranjan, an alumnus of Delhi’s Faculty of Management Studies, runs the India office. LinkedIn will pay 45% in cash and the rest in stock, the social networking firm said in a statement on its website on Friday. SlideShare joins the league of other internet-based firms started by Indian entrepreneurs and sold to dotcom giants. Last month, Tagtile, started by two IITians, was sold to Facebook in a cash and stock deal. Last year, Walmart bought Kosmix, a data analytics firm started by two Indians Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, reportedly for $300 million. More than a decade ago, in 1998, the two had sold comparison-shopping site Junglee to Amazon for $250 million. Sinha, a graduate of the University of Allahabad, is SlideShare’s CEO based in San Francisco. “We could not be happier about this,” Sinha wrote in her blog, posted on SlideShare. The community, which was founded in 2006, has 16 million registered users and about 60 million monthly visitors. “We think this is the right step for the SlideShare community, the site, and our team,” said Sinha, a PhD in cognitive neuropsychology

127

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012 • WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

from Brown University in the US. “Presentations enable professionals to discover new connections, aligning perfectly with LinkedIn’s mission,” the professional networking site’s CEO, Jeff Weiner, said. LinkedIn has about 161 million members. In October 2006, soon after launching SlideShare, Ranjan introduced the service in his personal blog: “Think Powerpoint and then think YouTube. Does it ring a bell somewhere? Well that’s SlideShare for you.” Nearly 7.4 million presentations are hosted by SlideShare, which has received about $3 million in funding from angel investors and venture capital firm Venrock. The servers from where the portal delivers the slides to users across the world are named after actresses Aishwarya Rai, Celina Jaitley, Bipasha Basu and Dia Mirza. And Ranjan likes to introduce them to users as his “beautiful servers”. Less than two weeks after the launch, Sinha wrote that it would not be an exaggeration to say her life had been changed forever. “Tending to a new application is like having a baby. You enjoy all the things it does, worry about it if it is quiet for a while and bore friends by talking about it too much.” The marriage between LinkedIn and SlideShare was not unforeseen because the two firms were flirting with each other for almost five years, working together on the LinkedIn platform helping professionals share content. Rashmi Sinha, a graduate of Allahabad University, is the company’s CEO based in San Francisco.


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Clinton’s India Visit to Reinvigorate Ties

KOLKOTA (HT) – Hillary’s visit comes amid hopes of reinvigorating a relationship seen as losing steam despite years of efforts to bring the world’s two largest democracies closer. Clinton will be wading into a row over Iran, which is sending a large trade delegation this week to New Delhi despite US threats to slap sanctions in a matter of weeks on countries that buy the Islamic republic’s oil. Yet Clinton may find her final stop on a three-nation tour the most easy-going, after a tense visit to China defusing a crisis over a dissident and a stop to urge reconciliation in polarised Bangladesh. Clinton said that she saw ample progress in relations with India, pointing to rising trade and cooperation in areas from education to clean energy. “I think it’s like any relationship -- there is progress in some areas that we are very heartened by, and there is more work to be done,” Clinton told reporters. “But that’s the commitment that we make when we say to another country, we want to be your partner,” she said. The United States and India, which had uneasy relations during the Cold War, started to reconcile in the late 1990s under former president Bill Clinton and reached a symbolic milestone when his successor George W Bush championed a deal that ended India’s decades of isolation over its nuclear programme. But longtime champions of the relationship have begun to voice disappointment, with US businesses upset that India’s Parliament has not passed legislation they seek to enter in the nuclear and retail sectors. India has bristled at a US law that would impose sanctions on banks from countries that buy oil from Iran due to concerns over its contested nuclear programme. Only EU nations and Japan have so far been given exemptions to the law which starts on June 28. India has been reducing oil imports from Iran, but is highly dependent on foreign energy and has historically enjoyed friendly relations with Tehran. TP Sreenivasan, a former Indian ambassador to the United Nations,

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit is an attempt to reinvigorate a relationship seen as “losing steam.”

said that expectations for the USIndia relationship had not been met but that Clinton had the advantage of being considered a friend of New Delhi. The visit “comes at a useful time as there is a certain amount of strain in relations that needs to be rectified,” he said. “The relationship has lost momentum partly because there is nothing new that either side can think of and also both are preoccupied with their own internal problems,” he said. But C. Raja Mohan, a distinguished fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, said that India and the United States had the same objectives in Iran and would likely want to “keep their differences to manageable limits.” “Contrary to what one might think, the relations are reasonably on track in terms of their engagement. The US is in election mode; India has its own problems,” Mohan said. Experts noted that the United States made little fuss last month when India tested its nuclearcapable Agni V missile, which can reach far into China, a far cry from fierce US condemnation of New Delhi’s nuclear efforts in the 1990s. “Now the US views India as a strategic partner with growing economic and political clout that will contribute to promoting security and stability in Asia,” said a paper by Lisa Curtis and Baker Spring, fellows at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative US think tank.

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India has recently worked to repair relations with historic enemy Pakistan, removing one potential headache for the United States whose own relations with Islamabad have been in crisis since last year’s killing of Osama bin Laden.

Pressing India vs. Iran

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will use a twoday visit to India this week to urge further reductions in Indian imports of Iranian oil. A senior official traveling with Clinton in Bangladesh ahead of her arrival in India on Sunday said the matter will be at the top of the secretary’s agenda in talks with Indian leaders. India, which has tremendous energy needs to fuel its rapid growth, has made some progress in easing its dependence on Iranian oil, but the official said the U.S. wants to see more. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to preview Clinton’s private discussions in Kolkata and New Delhi, said the “trend lines are good” but “we really need to receive assurances that they are going to continue to make good progress.” The official noted that India had recently stepped up imports of oil from Saudi Arabia to make up for the reduction in Iranian oil and that the U.S. was eager to see the Indians explore other alternatives.

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Rupee Drop Troubles Locals NEW DELHI (TOI) – The depreciation of INR against the US dollar has not just troubled economists, policy planners and India Inc, the common man in the city has also been feeling the ripples. Right from those planning to study or holiday abroad, or wanting to dine at a restaurant of their choice, everyone has been forced to loosen his purse strings with the rupee standing at a little over Rs 53 per dollar. “We are hit in the worst possible manner,” says Chef Saby of Olive Bar and Kitchen. The restaurant imports many ingredients-cold cuts, cheese, meat- and Saby says they pay more than double for the items now. “Our costs started rising in December, but now they’re even more. We constantly have to cut corners. We cannot even afford new tools and knives,” he says, adding, “Earlier I could sell a pepperoni pizza for Rs 400 - Rs 500, but now I have to charge about Rs 900. Customers are definitely unhappy, and it’s not a pleasant situation for us either.” But it’s not just outside meals that have been burning holes in the consumer’s pocket. Should the rupee devaluation continue, imported groceries will also cost a lot more. Kunal Kumar, owner, Modern Bazar, says the orders they place now will only come in by August. “If the rupee value continues to stay low, we may have to increase prices,” he says. For now, they have reduced bulk orders and advance payments. Though he anticipated a price rise in December, too, a brief climb of the INR in February allowed them to absorb the added costs to please customers. “But that was just a freak case. Generally, it tends to fall further.” Bookshops across the city follow the pricing standards given by the National Book Trust - each month they receive an exchange

rate against the USD and pound sterling, and they price the books accordingly. “This month, the rate is Rs 54.60 against the dollar and Rs 87.70 per British pound. Last month the figures were Rs 53.10 and Rs 84.20 respectively,” says K K Ghosh of Full Circle. C l e a r l y, t h e c o n s i s t e n t depreciation of the rupee has implications beyond the corporate sector or stock market. Naresh Malik, a businessman, says he is forced to shell out more each month to pay for his son’s education in Boston. “He has just moved into an apartment so there are added bills as compared to dorms. I not only have to pay more in rupees for the same amount, but also have to increase his monthly budget in dollars to accommodate the bills,” says. When it comes to foreign exchange, even those who are planning their summer vacations may have to drastically alter their plans. Apart from flights and hotels, even basic daily expenses abroad will soar. “Compounded with the post-budget service tax, this will affect tourism in a big way. International travel will go up by 10 - 15% at least, and it will also eat into our profit margins,” says Anurag Agarwal, managing director of SA Southend Travel. He says that as people are not likely to completely abandon their travel plans, they choose to alter them instead. “People take shorter trips, cover fewer destinations, and even delay plans. Earlier, they chose the destination first, now they look at the price,” he says, adding that destinations like Hong Kong, Thailand are more popular, while bookings for the US are fewer. . On the other hand, the cheaper rupee and deep discounts offered by developers through these portals has triggered a substantial jump in property-related enquiries from NRIs in the US, UK and the Middle East in the last three months.

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May 11, 2012

Seti River Flood Kill 13, 3 Russian Tourists Still Missing

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was also affected. “Two buildings were swept away. Tourists flock to this area because there is a hot-water spring. There hasn’t been any rain recently, so we were surprised when the flood occurred at 9:30 am. “The water has risen so high that it was up to a bridge. I found two truck drivers who had survived by fleeing to a hill nearby.” Three injured people have been taken to hospital in Pokhara, a tourist hub about 200 kilometres (125 miles) west of the capital Kathmandu, police said. “Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has ordered the authorities to conduct the rescue operation without any delay,” the premier’s spokesman Bishwadeep Pandey said.

“Bhattarai is monitoring the incident and is in touch with the authorities in Pokhara. An army helicopter with experts has also been despatched as per his request.” River flooding normally occurs later in the year, during the monsoon season, and the cause of the disaster was not immediately clear. But Pradeep Mool, a glaciologist at the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), said a combination of an avalanche and landslide were likely triggers. “It’s possible that those two dammed the river for a few hours or even whole night and it burst later, resulting in the flood.” The Annapurna region attracts thousands of trekkers, both local and foreign, each year.

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BY DEEPAK ADHIKARI KATHMANDU (AFP) — A river near one of Nepal’s most popular Himalayan resorts killed 13 people and left 17 missing—including three Russian tourists when it burst its banks and swept away a village on Saturday. Most of the dead appeared to be locals, said conservationist Bishnu Paudel, who described how terrified people had fled to the hills to escape the sudden deluge. Fast-flowing floodwaters from the swollen Seti River smashed into two buildings and a number of shacks in Kharapani village, in the shadow of Mount Annapurna, one of Nepal’s most popular tourist destinations. “There are 13 dead and 17 missing, including three Russian tourists. The missing include two young students who were in a group of 16 on an outing,” said Ramindra Chhetri, a spokesman for the Nepalese Army. “Two army helicopters and a private airliner have been deployed to the area. We have army rescue teams scouring five villages for survivors.” Paudel, of Annapurna Conservation Area Project, who reached the devastated site a few hours after the flood hit, said: “Most of the victims were shopkeepers in Kharapani, on the banks of the Seti River. “Another village, Machhapuchre,

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Nita Ambani: A Picture of Self Reliance

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MUMBAI (Outlook)–Nita Ambani was the high priestess that Saturday evening in late April. Slim, svelte and sophisticated, she mwahmwahed and made small talk with a carefully chosen set of guests, drawn from the industry, the arts and activism, at her billion-dollar Altamont Road home, Antilla. As the night descended over the city of Mumbai, and lights lit up her 27-storey home, the 250-strong well-heeled audience watched as Nita escorted Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations secretary general, to his and his wife’s table. If there is a high point in the Nita Ambani evolution narrative, it has to be this. The typical middleclass Gujarati girl from suburban Bombay, whose passion was Bharatnatyam and whose mother’s modest aspirations for her stopped at chartered accountancy, could not have imagined playing the perfect soiree hostess to the UN secretary general some day. It was the secretary general’s only private reception during his visit. For Nita, it was something of a coup. To host Jimmy Choo would be a Page 3 achievement; to have the UN secretary general dine in your ballroom is much more. There, the Ambanis committed themselves to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. At 49, Nita is clearly more than Mrs Mukesh Ambani. She has helmed the big-budget enterprises started under the company (or the family) name in education, health and cricket—fields that were not necessarily her forte. She has forayed into activities more characteristic of Reliance’s CSR initiatives—girl child issues, supporting the visually challenged, pushing for a ‘Real Heroes’ campaign that saw news channel CNN-IBN, in which Reliance is a stake-holder, honour selfless social workers and personal achievers. She has also been, since November last year, a non-executive board member of EIH Ltd that manages the Oberoi and Trident hotels. Next on her to-do list is the

setting up of a private university and the Reliance group’s ventures into the arts and entertainment. Of course, for years, Nita has chaired the Reliance Foundation as well as the Dhirubhai Ambani Foundation. Nita has her own office, her core teams for various ventures, set of advisors, her agendas and, now, a well-defined role. And suddenly she seems to be everywhere. Just in April she flew (in her private jet) filmstar Shahrukh Khan to Yale University for a lecture (her 19-year-old daughter studies there). She also made the news pages for receiving the ‘Corporate Citizen of the Year’ award from the All India Management Association. “Nita is now a brand in her own right. She’s a strong personality, extremely ambitious, capable and decisive. And, there has been a careful positioning of a planned package,” says Shobhaa De, chronicler of Mumbai’s rich and beautiful. Nita is now the soft power behind the $58-billion Reliance Industries Ltd, in that she has helped create and manage a certain fuzzy, feelgood environment about the petrochemicals conglomerate. In fact, husband Mukesh added a liberal dose of cement on Nita’s makeover by referring to her as ‘Reliance’s real programme manager”. This evolution, or makeover, began about a decade ago after the patriarch passed away in July 2002; her earlier experience of helping build townships in Hazira and Jamnagar came in handy when she set up an international school for Mumbai’s elite in his name the very next year. It was an instant hit. From then on, she has led one venture after another. “Till Papa was around, she was the typical Gujju bahu attending to guests at home and Reliance AGMs,” says Jayanta Saha, family photographer for years. “After his demise, it was as if a barrier was broken. She always had a desire for the big and glamorous, and Mukeshbhai has whole-heartedly supported her in getting to where she now is.”

Nita, the then relatively gauche and unglamorous of the Ambani daughters-in-law, has walked in her father-in-law’s footsteps, say those close to the family; among Dhirubhai’s mantras was that one should never be satisfied with what one has and his daughter-in-law today exemplifies this more than anyone else, they add. The setting up of the school was followed, closely, by the famous corporate battle between the brothers, where Nita for the first time played a primary role in corporate strategy. She had become a player. After the split, it became even more important for RIL to acquire a wellrounded image; Nita stepped in. Cultivating her set of eclectic achievers has been part of this makeover endeavour in the last few years. Her circle is not the vacuous glam brigade, but the intelligentarty-glam A-listers in various fields, such as Aamir Khan and Sachin Tendulkar. In October 2010, she spoke at the hallowed London School of Economics, on building institutions of excellence. More recently, she hosted the dean of Harvard School at a soiree. While pursuing her own goals, Nita is clearly trying to cast Reliance in a kinder light at a time when big business has come in for some stick.“For the first two years of IPL, she was quite clueless, but then she read up a lot, consulted regularly with seniors like Shaun Pollock and Sachin Tendulkar, and herself did the number-crunching for the player auctions next time around,” says a former consultant to the franchise. All said, Nita’s evolution is a mix of a well-crafted image-building process and her meticulous efforts to be an achiever. As De says, “Mukesh is the driver in this plan. It is a joint mission. This is not only about her; it’s about them.” She is Mukesh’s partner and, personally and professionally, his equal. It’s a telling sign that the name-plate on her office door simply says: Nita Ambani. CONTINUED ON PAGE 32

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INDIA

May 11, 2012

Nita Ambani: Evolutionary Role CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31

“Cricket is her baby, ask her,” remarked Mukesh at a gathering in February when asked about his team’s prospects this season. Nita’s evolution has clear professional and personal strands, though one neatly segues into the other. As she set about accomplishing strategic tasks, she gained in confidence and, coupled with the discreet backchannel coaching in wellness and grooming, it helped evolve a distinctly new personality. Family watchers say she has been through grooming and finishing sessions by the best in the business, from European/ French finishing schools, weight-reduction programmes, and numerous photo-shoots during which she picked up the “best angles” to show the camera. “Nita bhabhi was always conscious of her looks and appearance,” recalls Saha. “She would have photo-shoots done regularly to check herself out, she would ask if she’s looking too fat and so on. Now, she looks very smart and sophisticated.” The image matters; no one knows how deeply it matters to the Ambanis more than the former public relations dynamo Niira Radia, who in taped conversations let on that Nita was being more touchy about her profile in Society than she should be. In fact, Niira’s image-management brief for Reliance included Nita as well. Mumbai A-lister and Upper Crust editor Farzana Contractor remarks, “After the Ambani School, it was as if the new, improved, confident Nita wanted to break free. She has become a lot bolder, acts

on impulse, is spontaneous and shows her emotions in public, but she is still intrinsically the same caring person. A new look was the logical thing to do.” The salwars and churidars have been replaced with coordinated chiffons, smart casuals, saris worn the Gujarati style and even the occasional knee-length black dress. And a Nita Ambani portfolio today is incomplete without her IPL franchise Mumbai Indians tee, of course, specially tailored for her. Through it all, the five-carat diamond ring and four-carat earrings have been steady. Nisha JamVwal, well-known stylist and luxury brands consultant, says: “She is not just a stylist’s job and this isn’t about a Birkin bag. She could have been like other corporate or star wives, idle or busy with a boutique, but she’s gone beyond, which lends her the grace to carry off any wardrobe.” The Nita narrative, of course, has loyal fans; hardly anyone talks about it without a percentage of gush-gush sentiment. In fact, some of her friends and associates refused to be interviewed saying “they would have to seek her permission before talking”, displaying their anxiety about not upsetting her. There are but a few measured reactions to her metamorphosis. As a corporate-watcher put it, corporate wives, say in the Birla or Bajaj families, have typically dabbled in education and health; the only reason Nita stands out is because of the scale of an Ambani project. As for her philanthropy, given the sheer size of the family fortunes, it’s not exactly legendary, yet.

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SPORTS

May 11, 2012

IPL 5: Mandeep Singh’s 75 Leads Kings XI to Win A Future Star?

“Mandeep Singh is going from strength to strength. I think he’s one of the future players for India in all three forms of the game,” said Kings XI captain David Hussey.

HYDERABAD (ESPNCricinfo): An aggressive knock of 75 by Mandeep Singh and the superb performance by its bowlers helped Kings XI Punjab outplay Deccan Chargers to clinch a crucial tie by 25 runs in Indian Premier League (IPL) at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here Tuesday night. Kings XI grabbed two points to move up to the fifth position on the points table and remain in the hunt for a place in the play-offs while Chargers continued to languish at the bottom with their ninth defeat in 12 matches. Playing their first match at the home ground, Chargers came a cropper once again. Chasing a target of 171, the team could score 145 in 20 overs.The visitors failed to break the jinx at the home ground as the visitors dominated the game.Shikhar Dhawan and Cameron White, the two most successful batsmen of Chargers in the tournament so far, fell cheaply after scoring eight runs each while captain Kumar Sangakarra (4) failed yet againHarris (30) was top scorer for the hosts while others gave up without a fight. Harris fell to captain David Hussey in the 11th over. White departed in the same over to leave the home struggling at 71 for four.Four balls later Sangakarra was stumped off Praveen Kumar. In a span of eight deliveries, the Chargers had crumbled. With the asking rate mounting, both Jhunjhunwala and Akshath Reddy tried to cut loose but could not carry on. They added 43 runs for the sixth wicket. Praveen Kumar, Awana and Hussey claimed two wickets each while

Praveen Chawla bagged one. Earlier, continuing his good form, Mandeep Singh helped Kings XI to post a competitive target. Put into bat by the hosts, Kings XI were off to a comfortable start with Mandeep Singh and Shaun Marsh adding 55 runs. Marsh, who scored 22 off 20 balls, fell to a flatter from Shikhar Dhawan. Nitin Saini (2) was unlucky to be declared leg before by umpire Dharmasena to a ball missing the leg stump. At 58 for two in eighth over, the visitors were struggling.Mandeep Singh and captain David Hussey (16) added 39 runs for the third wicket before Hussey was caught by Harris off Veer Pratap Singh Holding the fort from one end, Mandeep played some delightful shots all around the wicket. His brilliant knock of 75 included eight boundaries and three hits over the fence. After scoring 100 runs in 12.1 overs, Kings XI were looking set to post a huge total but Mandeep’s exit in 16th over followed by Azhar Mahmood’s run out put a break on the scoring. Some late charge by Miller (28 not out) helped Kings XI to post a competitive total. Playing without Dale Steyn, their most successful bowler in the tournament, the Chargers were under pressure right from the word go with Veer Pratap Singh going for 18 runs in his first over, the second of the innings. Yet to recover from the injury, Kings XI Punjab’s full-time captain Adam Gilchrist had to sit out once again playing the role of a non-playing captain and coach.

Full name Mandeep Singh Born December 18, 1991, Jalandhar, Punjab, Current age 20 years 143 days Major teams India Under-19s, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, North Zone, Punjab, Punjab Under-19s Playing role Allrounder Batting style Right-hand With their away win against Deccan Chargers, Kings XI Punjab are once again in the reckoning for a play-off spot in the IPL-5. Terming it to be a good win, Kings XI stand-in skipper David Hussey said that they haven’t played well at home, but his team would like to change all that. Hussey was also in praise for young Mandeep, who made a match-winning 75, and said that he was the one of the future players for India in all format of the game. “We batted well. The batsmen set the tone for us. Mandeep in particular is going from strength to strength. I think he’s one of the future players for India in all three forms of the game,” said Hussey, adding that he had a good day with the ball. “We have two better spinners than me in the team. I am happy picking up two crucial wickets. As for our performance in home and away games, we haven’t played too well at home. But we hope to change that,” said Hussey. Decan Chargers captain Kumar Sangakkara said that the difference between the two teams today was the the bowling in the first four overs. “We bowled too short on a wicket that still had something in it for the bowlers. Kings XI showed us how to bowl and where to bowl. Mandeep and Dave batted really well,” said Sangakarra. “Mandeep batted well and capitalised on the mistakes we made. It is a case of getting our basic right. In T20, you need to limit the opposition score to probably 150. We did pull things a bit but the first 12 overs cost the match,” he added. Meanwhile, man-of-the match-Mandeep Singh said that he had received immense support from David Hussey and that has helped him perform. “He has shown a lot of faith in me. I’m really satisfied today as from the beginning of the tournament I wanted to stay till the 15th over and I got the runs for the team.” “I wanted to bat normally and in the end it was good. We have to keep winning and we have to do our basics right and hopefully we will win rest of the games,” he added.

33

Women Boxers Eye Olympics

NEW DELHI: In a historic year for Women’s boxing, with the discipline making its debut at the Olympic Games in London, women boxers looking to create Olympic history will have to pass the crucial test of qualification at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. The Championship will take place at the Olympic Stadium in Qinhuangdao, China from May 9th - May 20th, 2012. A nineteen member strong Indian boxing contingent including 10 boxers and support staff will depart for the port city in China on Tuesday from the IGI Airport in New Delhi. The seventh edition of the tournament will serve as the only qualifying event for the London 2012 Games. At the Olympics, there will be three weight categories for women, which will be flyweight (51kg), lightweight (60kg) and middleweight (75kg). However, the World Championships features ten categories in total, from light flyweight (46-49kg) to super heavyweight (over 81kg). With 24 quotas places up for grabs - eight in each of the Olympic weight categories - the 2012 Women’s World Boxing Championships is sure to be fiercely competitive. Asia has been awarded 2 quota places in both the fly and the light weight division and 1 quota in the middle weight class. National coach D Chandra Lal believes Indian boxers have a good chance to qualify, but a lot will depend on the draw of the championship. He added, “Asian Championships earlier this year was the big litmus test for us and our girls passed with flying colours. It was a great performance that has brought us into the fray in a big way. With only five quota places available for the Asian continent, winning a qualification will be tough, but we have two prime boxers in our side, Mary Kom and Sarita Dev, who are well prepared and all set to give their best”. With five world titles already to her name, MC Mary Kom (51kg) will be gunning for a sixth consecutive gold medal at the championships in Qinhuangdao. Kom, who is no less than a living legend in sport of women’s boxing, has won world titles four times in the pinweight and once in the flyweight division, which was at Barbados in 2010. This will be the first time the 29 year old will compete in the 51 kilogram weight class. The veteran boxer gave a sterling performance at the Asian Championships bagging the flyweight title; she beat the reigning world champion in 51 kg and the 2010 Asian Games gold medallist Ren Cancan of China en route to winning the gold. Talking about India chances at the world championships chief coach Anoop Kumar said, “All the girls selected to partake in the event are the best in their weight division and are peaking at the right time. We we are hopeful of a good performance”.

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May 11, 2012

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