Page 1

Friday, February 23, 2018 • Vol. 37, No. 8

Indo American News READ US ONLINE at www.indoamerican-news.com | Published weekly from Houston, Texas. USA

Like Indo-American News on Facebook

7457 Harwin Dr, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036 • PH: 713 789 6397 • Fax: 713 789 6399 • indoamericannews@yahoo.com


Childhood to Livelihood

4th Annual Magic Bus Gala 2018


Magic Bus Houston Board Members with Matthew Spacie (Magic Bus Founder) at the 4th Annual Magic Bus Gala on Saturday, February 10 at the Royal Sonesta. Standing: Brij Kathuria (left), Gaurav Khandelwal, Narayan Bhargava, Kapil Mathur, Amit Bhandari, Dr. Dharmesh Patel, and Ajay Patel. Sitting: Dr. H.D. Patel (left), Matthew Spacie, Dr. Namrata Sharma Goel, Dr. Amita Bhalla, Swatantra Jain, and Jugal Malani. (Missing board members: Dr. Nikita Malani Shukla and Swapnil Agarwal).



Sri Meenakshi Temple


Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir of Houston

MITRA / CAMDEN TRAVEL Consolidators for Turkish Airlines and Asiana Airlines

We have completed 25 successful years 12808 W Airport Blvd Suite 252 Sugar Land, TX 77478

We have special low fares on Emirates

WHOLESALER FOR S MAJOR AIR CARRIER • Emirates • Gulf Airways • Kingfisher • Singapore Airlines • Jet Airways • Sahara Airlines • Indian Airlines • Eva Airlines • Asiana Airlines • Qatar Airways • PIA • Air India • Royal Jordanian • China Airlines


The temple priest, Sri Ganesh Satyanarayanaji, led the puja at Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya, Chinmaya Mission, Houston

281-530-3000, 1-888-811-LESS Emergency Contact 281-236-9475 Please call us to get these special fares

WHOLESALE CONSOLIDATOR OF QATAR & EMIRATES AIRLINES Call us for competitive and confirmed seats on all major cities in Texas to any city in India.Call us for Summer and December seats now

Last minute fares to Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore,

Calcutta and many more...

For Summer and December fares please call us now. www.faregurus.com/ camdentravel@aol.com



February 23, 2018



February 23, 2018


Club 24 Plus Celebrates Valentine’s Day with Family, Fun and Philanthropy BY PRAMOD KULKARNI


Sunday, February 11 was a cold, overcast day. Once Club 24 Plus members arrived at Magiano’s in the Galleria in their red and pink fineries, the atmosphere quickly changed to the warmth of a joyous Valentine’s Day celebration. This was the first event of 2018 for President Manisha Gandhi, who took over from Immediate Past President Pradeep Gupta. “I am truly honored to represent Club 24 this year,” said Manisha. “My special thanks to Pradeep for his leadership last year as well as past presidents, Asha Dhume and Sangeeta Pasrija, and to Kiran Gupta for setting up this event before going to India, and to foundermember Ashok Garg for being the backbone of the organization.” “I think this club represents a family, an accomplished group of members of Who’s Who of the Indo-American community in Houston,” continued Manisha. “I want the club to progress in terms of diversity and bringing in more members such as Harris Country Judge Michael Landrum and his wife Mary Grace.” Manisha suggested a new theme for Club 24: “East meets west and west meets east”, which takes the Indo-American community into the mainstream and vice versa, so we can both learn about each other’s cultures and assimilate. We have many outreach events planned for this year to accomplish this goal.” Social Events Chair Hansa Kothari and member Nimmo Bhagat had arranged for special Valentine’s Day portraits by professional photographer Bijay Dixit and parting gifts in bright, red Valentine’s Day gift bags. They also organized a game that called on representative couples

Club 24 2018 President Manisha Gandhi with founder-member Ashok Garg. Photos: Bijay Dixit

Social Events member Nimmo Bhagat (left) and Chair Hansa Kothari did a super job of setting up the Valentine’s Day décor, portrait sessions and parting gifts.

Sangeeta Pasrija serenades her husband Arun with a romantic song as part of the Valentine’s games.

Sharing a table at the Club 24 Valentine’s Day party were Tej & Sita Ganjoo (left), Hansa & Atul Kothari, Dr. Suresh Moonat, Nimmo & Ratan Bhagat and Alpa Shah.

from each of the tables to perform a romantic gesture to their partner such as performing a love song. “Valentine’s Day is about friendship, love and caring, and creating bonds with each other,” explained Manisha. “This events fits another of Club 24’s theme of family, fun and philanthropy.” Manisha then introduced

new office bearers for 2018. These included: Treasurer: Rajni Jain, Committee chairs: NominationsAshok Garg, Special events - Hansa Kothari, Signature events - Alpa Shah, Outreach - Mary Grace Landrum, and Communication- Venu Rao. Manisha then introduced new members to the club. They were Drs. Chand and Veena Mathur, Drs.

Suresh and Sunita Moonat, Bhavna Sharma and Dr. Rahul Puri, Ratan and Judge Nimmo Bhagat, Vishakha and Sumit Deora, and Vanitha and Bharat Pothuri. Absent new members were Madhu and Anil Goel, Vijay and Marie Goradia and Dr. Ramesh Krishnan. New members, who

will be inducted in March 2018, will be Sita and Tej Ganjoo. On a somber note, Ashok Garg mentioned to Club 24 attendees about senior member Dr. K.T. Shah being in the ICU and urged the members to send him their best wishes and speedy recovery.



February 23, 2018



February 23, 2018


Bollywood Magic Mixes with Mumbai Youth @ Magic Bus Gala 2018 BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA & VANSHIKA VIPIN VARMA

HOUSTON: This city is defined

by its generosity – whether that means coming together and supporting each other through Hurricane Harvey, supporting local environmental and social causes, or reaching across the globe and supporting humanitarian causes wherever needed. On Saturday, February 10, Houston once again rose to the occasion and raised over $950,000 for Magic Bus, a leading global charity that uplifts, empowers and supports disadvantaged children, especially in India. There’s a reason Houston is ranked #1 by Charity Navigator, the largest charity evaluator in the USA. The event on February 10 was the fourth fundraiser for the Houston Chapter of Magic Bus, a 19-year-old, award-winning, nonprofit organization that works with children and youth living in poverty. Its mission is to help ensure that disadvantaged youth complete secondary education and develop the skills required to transition successfully into the world of work. Magic Bus facilitates this journey from Childhood to Livelihood and enables young people to break out of the poverty cycle through programs such as: life skills training, learning enhancement programs, work readiness coaching, and leadership development, all of which are enhanced through sports, play and communal activities. Over 400,000 children in India participate in Magic Bus, resulting in dramatic decreases in poverty, child marriages, and school dropouts. In all, over 600 people attended the event at the Royal Sonesta hotel, which was hosted by philanthropists Amit & Arpita Bhandari, the founders of the BioUrja Group, a global energy and agricultural commodities trading and supply group. But the star of the

Amit Bhandari, Chairman, Magic Bus USA

Abhishek Bachchan, Magic Bus Patron & Guest of Honor.

Utkarsha Mahadeshwar, Magic Bus Participant with Abhishek Bachchan

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


15 Years of Solid and Trusted Experience Book Keeping & Tax Services Income Statements & Balance Sheets Filing of all individual Business Returns 1040, 1120, 1120S, 1065 Free Consultation

event was Abhishek Bachchan, the famous Bollywood actor, who captured the crowd’s attention, not by his acting skills, but by explaining how he became involved with Magic Bus as a global ambassador several years ago, at the encouragement of his wife, Aishwaria Rai Bachchan. Abhishek shared his experiences in seeing first-hand how young people’s lives have been

Matthew Spacie, Magic Bus Founder

changed through involvement in Magic Bus. The showstopper was the 17-year-old Utkarsha Mahadeshwar, a Magic Bus participant from the Dharavi slums of India. She described her journey in Hindi, starting in a community with only one toilet that was a ten minutes walk from her home and with an expectation that she would become a child bride, and ending

Photos: Bijay Dixit

up with enrollment in one of the most prestigious college in Mumbai “Ruparel College of Arts, Sci-

BOOK KEEPING | PAYROLL | INCOME TAX Incorporations: C and S Corporations, LLC’s Sales Tax and Franchise Tax Returns Income Tax and Sales Tax Representation Payroll and Payroll Tax Returns

Cell: 832-877-9625 | Fax: 713-977-2221 | Email: acct77036@yahoo.com | web: www.asu2020.com 6666 Harwin Dr, Suite 335, Houston, TX 77036 INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


For Photo Collage, see page 4



February 23, 2018

Shivratri, The Great Night of Lord Shiva, Celebrated at Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir

HOUSTON: Shivaratri falls on

the 13th (or 14th) day of the dark half of Phalgun (February-March). The name means “the night of Shiva”. The ceremonies take place chiefly at night. Shiva was married to Parvati on this day. People observe a strict fast on this day. The Shiva Lingam is worshipped throughout the night by doing Rudrabhishekam and chanting “Om Namah Shivaya” continues. He, who utters the names of Shiva during Shivratri, with perfect devotion and concentration, is freed from all sins. He reaches the abode of Shiva and lives there happily. He is liberated from the wheel of births and deaths. Every year, the Maha Shivratri festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm at the Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir of Houston located at 6640 Harwin Drive. This year Shivratri took place on Tuesday, February 13. Shiv Shakti temple

has the First Jyotir Lingam, a replica of God Somnath and Maa Shri Ambaji in Houston. Thousands of devotee’s started coming early in the morning to the temple for Darshan and Blessings. The head priest of the temple Pandit Virat Mehta as always welcomed all who came to the temple. Celebrating the festival of Shivaratri devotees observe day and night fast and perform ritual worship of Shiva Lingam to appease Lord Shiva. There was a cultural program in the evening, an enchanting dance drama performed by the local nonprofit Kalakriti Performing Arts (www.kalakritiusa.org), depicting the episode of Lord Shiva’s life where he marries Parvati. The 30 min episode was full of colorful costumes and charming choreography by artistic director Kusum Sharma. The crowd applauded the musical play through out with chant of “Har Har Mahadev”. At

the conclusion of the program, Priest Virat Mehta came on the stage to honor the participants and volunteers and thanked Kusum Sharma and Kalakriti Performing Arts for helping the temple at every occasion. The Maha Arti was done at 7:00 pm followed by Maha Prasad that was served to couple thousand


devotees made by temple volunteers at the temple. Over 5000 people visited the temple during the day. Starting at 8:30 pm and throughout the night Four Prahar Pooja’s were held by temple priest Virat Mehta, Hardik Raval, Prakashbhai Adhavaryu and Pralay Pandya, with full energy, passion and thoughts filled only with the glory of his Lord, and ended

the next morning at 6:00 am. For details on Shiv Shakti Temple visit www.shivshaktimandir. org Kalakriti Performing Arts next event is RAAS All Stars X in Dallas, TX on March 31. For more details visit www.kalakritiusa.org

Same Day Filing Capability If You Qualify

Crisis & Challenge ? Guiding Families at Crossroads Since 2002

* Child Custody ( When the best parent is the only parent) * Protective / Temporary Restraining Order * Free Consultation with Attorney * Divorce complete in 61 days

Receipt of BBB Gold Star Certificate for Outstanding Performnce

Michael G. Busby. Jr. (U.S.M.C. Veteran) Early Evening and Saturday Appointments Available Visit us at :

713-974-1151 / 800-DIVORCE ( Phones are answered 7 days a week)

www.busby-lee.com Principal Office:

2909 Hillcroft, Ste 350, Houston, Texas 77057 Harris and Surrounding Counties




Auspiciousness Marks Mahasivaratri at Saumyakasi Sivalaya



February 23, 2018

Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya, Chinmaya Mission Houston (CMH), once again became the spiritual epicenter for the Mahasivaratri celebrations of the Greater Houston Hindu community on February 13. Mahasivaratri, the great celebration of Lord Siva who is the very embodiment of Consciousness and auspiciousness, elevates every spiritual seeker to a higher level of contemplation. So, despite it being a weekday, hundreds of devout devotees streamed into the Sivalaya for a darshan. They also had an opportunity to perform kshirabhisheka (milk offering) to the utsav murti, throughout the day. The temple priest, Sri Ganesh Satyanarayanaji, led the puja and the atmosphere was replete with continuous, powerful Vedic chanting. The grandeur of the Mahanyasa purvaka Rudrabhiseka performed that Tuesday morning was matched by the glory of the Laghunyasa purvaka Ekadasa Rudrabhiseka conducted in the evening. Watching the different offerings made to the resplendent Sivalinga during the abhisekams was an open passport to all for a soul-stirring spiritual journey. The Sri Rudram - Chamakam and Namakam chanted during the whole day ushered in the aura of the Vedic past. The Sivalaya at Chinmaya Prabha Houston provided the opportunity to the public for per-

Beautifully adorned Siva Lingam.

The priest, Sri Ganesh Satyanarayana, Sri Raghuram Bhat and Sri Harish Bhat performing puja.

Acarya Gaurang Nanavaty performing the Ksirabhiseka to the Utsava Linga. All the devotees had an opportunity to offer abhisekam with milk to the Utsava Linga. Photos: Rajesh Thatte

sonal spiritual interaction through the various pujas. The cold, mist-filled day seemed a perfect fit to the theme of the mini Kailas set up in the temple basement; as eager devotees lined up to worship with their own chance to do abhiseka at that altar, it felt as though each was teleported to

that mystic abode of Lord Siva. Against the horizon, the main Sivalinga- shaped temple was brightly lit to capture the glowing spirit of the day. When the pujas for the day concluded with aarti, the most awaited part of the auspicious evening arrived – an hour of silent meditation that reminded

Hundreds of people gathered to chant the potent Mrtyunjaya Mantra 108 times for the physical and spiritual well-being of family and friends.

the bhaktas, the true nature of Siva who is above all expression. That silence and bliss and provided a deeper meaning to the daylong events.

The holy celebrations began even a weekend prior when Brahmacarini Shweta Chaitanya in-





February 23, 2018

Solve Word Search & the Names of the Winners will be published in Our Next Issue

Find 10 words on BASKETBALL: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Assist Backboard Basket Block Center Court Dribbling Foul Free Throw Half - Time Passing Power Forward Referee Shooting Guard Time - out

R���� �� W��: • Like us on Facebook, Indo-American News • Solve the Word Search puzzle • Email us the screenshot of our liked Facebook Page, and the solved puzzle at indoamericannews@yahoo.com • Email by Wednesday, February 28, 2018 • For first 3 entrees only, 1 submission per month, 1 per Household

Last Week Word Search Winners

1) Misha Charaborty 2) Naina Maheshwari 3) Vinod Chandra Shah INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


February 23, 2018

Launch of NTV Houston


Saturday, February 17, was an evening filled with fun and music at the Holiday Inn, Southwest Freeway Houston featuring a tribute to Late Jagjit Singh by Jatinder Sharma and guest artist Payel Mitra, organized by NTV Houston to introduce the new channel to a selected crowd of prominent Houstonians. The evening started with a presentation about NTV and the programming of NTV Houston. NTV started about 6 months ago, an initiative of a local Houstonian Navroz Prasla who is also the President of the company. NTV Houston is available on 15.5 local antenna and all the current internet platforms across the world. They also have their Smartphone apps, which can be downloaded for free to watch NTV Houston Live. Director Programming and Events Arif Memon introduced the concept and the thought behind launching this unique channel, which not only presents entertainment in form of Films, songs but also has programs that have been produced by the NTV Houston team in India like – Talking with Stars. Among the programming that

are locally produced in the studios of NTV Houston, located on Murphy Road are – Bollywood Masti Time presented by Asma Jilani and 4 local news bulletins giving the current news of the world in our language by reporters Sophia Jamal and Usman Khalid. Currently they have also started an astrology show by the name of Astro Guru. Among the new shows that have been lined up are Desi Videsi Swaad featuring various local restaurants, talking with the Doctor, Information on immigration, travel shows and many more. Apart from this NTV Houston is also active in a lot of community events and is making its presence felt all over. NTV Houston is in the process of building a 20,000 sq ft studio based on the lines of mainstream studios. This will the first of its kind for a South-Asian channel all over US. To be a part of the NTV team or get more information on advertising and their programming, contact at info@ntvhouston.com or visit their website at www.ntvhouston.com



10 February 23, 2018



February 23, 2018

Local Democrat’s Infighting Attempts to Smear Sri Kulkarni


Pradeep Sulhan, P.C.

Certified Public Accountant 14340 Torrey Chase Blvd. | Suite 110 | Houston, Texas 77014 (281) 583-2993 | (281) 580-8700 | Fax(281) 580-7550 www.sulhancpa.com | pradeep@sulhancpa.com

Over 25 years experience


For Any Ceremony Contact Pradip Pandya 832 466 9868 Email: pradippandya2000@yahoo.com

Indo-American US Congressional District 22 candidate Sri Preston Kulkarni surrounded by his supporters at a recent event.


SUGAR LAND: The five-way

race among Democrats for the US Congressional District 22 seat currently held by Republican Pete Olson just got a little meaner as Doug Beaton, the leader of the Fort Bend Chapter of One Revolution, a progressive Democratic splinter group, lobbed a blindsiding blow against the candidacy of Indo-American Sri Preston Kulkarni in the upcoming March 6 Democratic Primary. Beaton unsurfaced a 22 yearold drug charge against the then 17 year-old Kulkarni. The charge went through a “deferred adjudication” and was dismissed after Kulkarni went through a two-year probation. Since then Kulkarni has received security clearance

for his successful career as a diplomat in the US State Department. Like many other youngsters going through their tumultuous teen years, Kulkarni attributed the episode to youthful indiscretion, similar to what George W. Bush, Barak Obama and Bill Clinton experienced in their youths. But Beaton, who is backing candidate Steve Brown in the primary, is throwing out all sorts of minor issues to sideline Kulkarni’s bid. He has challenged Kulkarni’s full name, his residency in the district, his voting record and even his registration application saying he wanted to run in Massachusetts. Inspite of these diversions, the Indian American community as well as the rest of the South And East Asian communities are staunchly behind Kulkarni and

they have shown it by the sheer numbers who have come to his events and are donating funds to his campaign, sensing a chance to have an Asian in Congress from the Metroplex. They came together last night, Tuesday, February 20, at Madras Pavlion to rally behind Kulkarni and push back against these charges. Encouraged, Kulkarni is counting on their support. “We’re pushing back against this stigmatization and slander,” Kulkarni said. “The Asian communities need to come out and vote to get us over the top in the primary.”

vShri Lakshmi Puja vHindu Wedding vMarkand Puja vEngagement vShri Ganpati Puja vSimant vLaghu Rudra vVastu Shanti vMundan Sanskar vNavchandi Puja vShanti Havan vShri Gayatri Havan vShri Satyanarayan Puja 5645 Hillcroft Ave. Suite 701 Houston, TX 77036 | TIMINGS 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Have you planned for your future? People don’t plan to Fail, They Fail to Plan

Bollywood Magic Mixes with Mumbai Youth @ Magic Bus Gala 2018 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 ence & Commerce”, where Aishwaria Ria Bachchan is a noted alumni, Bachchan translated for the mesmerized audience. Other highlights of the event included presentations from Matthew Spacie, the founder of Magic Bus, as well as some brief remarks from Indian Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray. Aanya Bhandari and Kate Posner, both of whom participated in the Magic Bus Leadership program, described their experiences interning in Mumbai, showing a short video clip. Neeraj Salhotra, who started a Magic Bus Chapter at Harvard Law School, also gave a small speech. Chintan Bakiwala, the winner of the K for Kishore television program, pro-

vided entertainment. Building on the success of the event on February 10, Magic Bus also held its first-ever fundraising gala in New Jersey on February 15, which was attended by 400 people from the tristate area and raised almost $300,000, a stunning success for an inaugural event. Magic Bus plans to expand its outreach to more cities in 2019 and beyond. More information about Magic Bus can be found at Magicbususa.org. The Houston chapter leadership includes: Amit Bhandari, Swatantra Jain, Jugal Malani, Dr.

H.D. Patel, Brij Kathuria, Ajay Patel, Dr. Amita Bhalla, Dr. Dharmesh Patel, Gaurav Khandelwal, Kapil Mathur, Dr. Namrata Sharma Goel, Narayan Bhargava, Dr. Nikita Malani Shukla and Swapnil Agarwal.

For Photo Collage, see page 4

for advertising call 713-7 8 9 - 6397

To plan your future, contact:

Jesal Patel ARPC, CLTC, LUTCF Financial Adviser*: Eagle Strategies LLC Life Member MDRT Ph: 281-221-5061/713-499-7670 Fax: 832-201-5394 Website: www.jesalzpatel.com *Financial Adviser offering investment advisory services though Eagle Strategies LLC, A Registered Investment Adviser. Registered Representative offering securities through NYLIFE Securities LLC-Member FINRA/SIPC, A Licensed insurance Agency. Agent with New York Life Insurance Company. 3200 Southwest Freeway, Suite 1900, Houston, TX 77027 (713) 9614545 California Insurance License # 0F53803



12 February 23, 2018


Maha Sivarathri Celebrated @ Sri Meenakshi Temple



Sri Meenakshi Temple celebrated Maha Sivarathri with devotion and religious fervor in the honor of Lord Shiva on Tuesday, February 13. Lord Shiva is regarded as the God of immense power and destroyer of evil. This special day is not for celebrations and merry-making but to worship Lord Shiva, introspect and become

meditative. Maha Sivarathri is celebrated in the dark fortnight or Krishna Paksha at the 13th night or 14th day of the month Maagha or Phalguna (February or March). Sivarathri comes once every month, Maha Sivrathri or the “great night of Shiva” comes once in a year in the month of Maagha. On this night, the northern hemisphere of the planet is positioned in such a way that there is a natural upsurge of


• Located in KATY • 1535 square feet

More Info Call: 1-855-647-6226

spiritual energy in a human being. There are several legends around Maha Sivarathri. According to a legend, Maha Sivarathri was the day when Shiva drank poisonous negativity to protect the world. Another legend says that it is the night when Shiva performs the heavenly dance of creation, preservation and destruction, while some believe that this is the night marking the convergence of Shiva and Shakti. Lord Shiva depending on his various qualities, have been recognized and called by 108 different names: Bholeshankar, Parameshwara, Shiv Shambu, Mahadev, Shambhunath, Ardhnarishwar, Devadideva, Kailashnath, Nataraj, Mahayogi, among others. There was a steady stream of devotees through out the day and swell to a big group for the evening’s main event. Priests performed initial rituals of Sankalapam, Vigneswara puja and Punyahavachanam (purification). It was followed by Ashtothra Satha (108) Sanku (conch) Puja and Homam while priests and devotees chant the most divine Sri Rudhram. One could feel the spiritual vibrations from Rudra Japam inside the temple. Priests performed Abhishekam to Lord Sundareswara in the sannidhi

with the sanctified water from 108 sanku and decorated with beautiful Alankaram. When the sanctum doors opened, going into raptures all the devotees started chanting loudly the sacred ‘Om Namah Shivaya’. A special Archana was performed with gold Bilva leaves while the devotees’ recited Vedic mantra led by priests. Nandi (vahana of Shiva) was beautifully decorated with fruits and flowers garlands. Since pradosham also fell on the same day, Pradhosha moorthy on a Rishaba vahanam was taken in a procession around the temple with Chenda Melam performed by young MTS devotees. The evening puja concluded with the Maha Aarthi and Aathmalinga puja where all devotees lined up to perform their own milk abhishekam to the Shiva Lingam. This year the silpis, priests and volunteers worked hard to setup the magnificent special exhibit of Maha Pradosha Thandavam. M.K. Sriram explained about the exhibit: At the holy Kailas Mountain, during the most auspicious time of Pradosham, Lord Shiva dances to the absolute delight of Sri Parvathy and all the Devas and Devathas assembled there. Lord Brahma sets the beat to the heavenly music accompanying the

divine cosmic dance, while Lord Indra plays the flute and Lord Vishnu plays the drums. Many children after the school gathered at the temple and participated in the cultural program at Nataraja Sannidhi. Partha Krishnaswamy coordinated the cultural program on this auspicious day. These children mesmerized the audience with their Carnatic talents and beautiful voice and dance. All the dances were wonderfully choreographed on the theme of Lord Shiva by many of Houston’s dance schools including Abhinaya School of Dance, Silambam. May Lord Shiva bestow all the blessings on these children and the gurus. Temple stayed open through out the night and several ardent devotees observed jagaram at the temple by participating in Chaturkala Puja at midnight, 1:30AM, 3AM and 4:30AM and by chanting Shiva Bhajans. MTS Chairman Dr. Padmini Ranganathan thanked the priests, staff, Board and volunteers. M.K. Sriram, Muthukumar and Pandu N coordinated this blissful event. A brief video of the event can be found at: https://youtu.be/va0uwuFw-mc



SUGAR LAND: Prayer in Latin is called

Precari “to ask earnestly, beg, and entreat”. It is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. Prayer is also a plea to God to support and help the devotee with whatever he or she is about to undertake or has done. Though the origin of folding the hands at prayer is unknown, a version can be found by followers of many world religions. In Hinduism, mudras are used to receive and gather an alleged energy that is said to inhabit the universe. While there are many different kinds of mudras, one of these called Anjali mudra prescribes bringing the palms of the hands together over the heart from the root Anj, ‘to adorn,’ ‘honor,’ and ‘celebrate.’ The hands held in union signify the oneness of an apparently dual cosmos, the bringing together of soul and matter, or the Self meeting the Self. In Hinduism, many kinds of prayer have been incorporated from fire-based rituals to philosophical musings. While chanting involves ‘by dictum’ recitation of timeless verses or verses with timings and notations; concentration involves deep meditation on the preferred deity/God. The object of prayers could be a person referred as Devta, Trinity or incarnation of either Devta or simply plain formless meditation as practiced by the ancient sages. Prayers can be directed to fulfilling personal needs or deep spiritual enlightenment, and for the benefit of others. Ritual invocation was part and parcel of the Vedic religion and as such permeated their sacred texts. Vedas are the highest sacred texts, having a large collection of mantras and prayer rituals. We may pray to the highest absolute God Brahma, preserver God

February 23, 2018


Why We Pray with Folded Hands

Vishnu and destroyer God Shiva. Why do we fold hands and close our eyes in front of God while praying? There are valid scientific reasons behind it. Historians also say the gesture of praying with folded hands comes from the idea of a shackled prisoner’s hands with rope which came to symbolize submission. In ancient Rome, a captured soldier could avoid immediate death by joining the hands together. Just as waving a white flag today, the message was clear. “I surrender.” Subjects demonstrated their loyalty and paid homage to their rulers by joining their hands. In time, clasping the hands together communicated both an acknowledgement of another’s authority and one’s own submission to that authority. There is a left-side and right-side polarity

of the body. The right hand constitutes positive energy and left hand negative and when we fold our hands the electromagnetic field of the body becomes neutral which creates a reflex action in the nerves, ultimately resulting in the secretion of the pituitary gland. This creates a resonance rhythm in the brain which creates a state of meditation. Hindu mythology is based on scientific angles and there is a good reason behind each and every step that we follow in our rituals. In conclusion we can win the heart of millions of people with folded hands. The gesture is a symbol of obedience, submission, sincerity and repentance. When we fold our hands in prayer, we are symbolically communicating with respect and honor to God, pledging to Him our fidelity and loyalty

and requesting guidance to fulfill our true purpose on earth, to ensure that when our soul leaves our physical body, that we bring “home” the experiences and learnedness that was expected of us during our time on earth. God doesn’t care how we pray - if we are standing, sitting, lying down, or kneeling. The most important thing we can do every day is to pray -- talk to God and tell Him our troubles, share our gratitude and your prayer will be heard without any reservation.

Mahasivaratri at Saumyakasi Sivalaya CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 spired the minds of the Chinmaya Mission members by giving an elaborate insight into the significance of Mahasivaratri and the glory of the Siva Manasa Puja. Continuing that trend of spiritual upliftment, the festivities of Sivaratri concluded with the Mahamrtyunjaya Homa at Chinmaya Smriti on Saturday, February 17, when hundreds of people gathered to chant the potent Mrtyunjaya Mantra 108 times for the physical and spiritual well-being of family and friends. Every year, this time of collective prayer leaves all those who participate overwhelmed by the power of those deeply healing spiritual vibrations. One cannot escape the wonderment of how CMH pulls off such a feat every year - a majestic reminder of the spiritual legacy left by Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji ably carried on by the resident acharyas – Gaurang and Darshana Nanavaty, fondly known as Uncle and Aunty to all. The magic lies in the dozens of volunteers who eagerly offer themselves for seva. CMH volunteers once again sparkled as they translated the spirit of Sanatana Dharma into practical action on a grand, auspicious scale. For more information on Chinmaya Mission Houston, Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya and its activities visit www.chinmayahouston.org, www.saumyakasi.org or call temple 281 568 1690 or Jay Deshmukh 832 541 0059 or Bharati Sutaria 281-9330233 INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

14 February 23, 2018


Pre Valentine’s Day Hindu Vivah Event Rocked


HOUSTON: Feb 11 already had

a Valentine’s Day feel in the air. Hindu singles from Houston and the rest of the US found a platform to meet eligible partners of the opposite sex at Maharajah Restaurant’s banquet hall. The event consisted of a round robin meet-up of bachelors and bachelorettes divided into two age groups, 35 and under, and over. A brief one-onone tete a tete was arranged only for Hindu participants, followed by a mixer. The turnout was respectable and it was interesting and encouraging to see quite a few participants over the age of 35, confirming the popular belief that, “Love has no age limit.” This is the 4th event that the Houston chapter of hinduvivah arranged and now there are several chapters active all over the

country, including Atlanta, Dallas, Austin, New Jersey and of course Houston. The most recent success story and feather in its cap is the couple who met through hinduvivah’s Atlanta chapter, which culminated in marriage. HinduVivah (www.hinduvivah. org ) is a US based non-profit organization whose charter is to facilitate the meeting of Hindu singles for the purpose of matrimony. It is engaged mainly in the arranging of meetings where Hindu singles get a chance to mingle with likeminded suitors who are implicitly ready for marriage. These meets help break the ice and introduce Hindu singles to each other, at which point Vivah’s work is done, and these singles are left to explore and select a life partner from amongst the singles they meet at the events. Vivah requests Hindu singles to not use these events to date for dating sake. The services are meant to be used by those that

are serious and contemplating marriage. Since Vivah is funded by the Hindu community, its events are free of charge to all its attendees. Research shows that in-person meets have a much higher chance of leading to finding a partner suitable for marriage; than do online matching/dating sites based strictly on professed personal profiles. At some point in the future if some kind of online presence can complement these in-person meets, Vivah is open to exploring that avenue. The event was very well organized and many participants stopped by the Volunteers’ desk to compliment the event coordinators. They were all praise for the wonderful efforts put together by a great team of volunteers. A suggestion by one of the participants was to include Sikhs of Indian origin in the mix, which will be considered by organizers of future events. This time around, there were 24 matching pairs. Pavel Ahmed of Maharajah restaurant went all out to make everyone comfortable and provide free tea to the participants and benevolent sponsor Umang Mehta of Deep Foods provided snacks and juice. Elite Top USA founders Satish and Meenakshi Varma who have a thriving real estate and roofing tile business, were also sponsors for the event. Please check the website www. hinduvivah.org for updates and notifications of future events.

An Ode to Harmony – Eastern and Western Music & Dance Ensembles

MANVEL: A beautiful bouquet


Indo-American News

Rao’s Satish CAF E UDIPI









Indo ican In Amer News







RADWAJ ! Great ANDY BHA Team India aretoplayed: ations

34 on page


Teams Participating


, TX 77036 t, Houston 5821 Hillcrof

ALI HAPPY DIW elers Jew Maharaja Store


matches All Congratul the boys! Dhoni and and full grounds job, pitches d ball s - On full - With a semi-har on Saturday - Exclusively

RA. One Breaks Barriers

Story ali with Fripagesds Frien 3,9 & 14 brate Diw , Family and m into Cash Story on ians Cele / Platinu metal Houston Feasts, Fireworks Gold / Silver the above $ for all Turn your We pay top Festivities,

OF HOU 2011

Spr MD ASSO all Taped B rnament Cricket Tou

gram. The musical ensembles for the evening include Vidushi Smt. Rajarajeshwary Bhat and students of Krishna Gana Sudha Music Academy; Smt. Maha Krishnan, Sri Sandeep Kumrouth and students of ShreeKrithi School of Music; Fort Bend Brass – Brass Quintet; Pasadena Memorial High School - First Edition Choir; Madhurageetham group; and children of Gopa Kuteeram. The dance ensembles include Smt. Divyaa Unni and Sreepadam School of Arts; Smt. Shiva Mathur and Shivangini Academy of Arts; J&H Dance School – Chinese Folk; and a unique depiction of a scene from a future GOD production, Dhruva the Musical, set to music by ShreeKrithi School of Music and presented by Smt. Meenakshi Venkataraman and group. The event is open to the public and tickets ($10 only) are available at www.tinyurl.com/ odetoharmony. Sponsorships are welcome. Both Love to Share Foundation America and Global Organization for Divinity are 501(c)3 non-profit organizations. For more information, please call 281-402-6585 or email contact@ lovetosharefoundation.org.

of music and dance ensembles from different genres will be presented on February 25, 3 to 6 pm at the Stafford Civic Center (located at 1415 Constitution Ave, Stafford TX), in honor of the 8th anniversary of Houston Namadwaar, a Center for Universal Harmony located in the Pearland/Manvel area. Titled “An Ode to Harmony”, the event will celebrate the harmony of humanity through that of music and divinity, and will be presented by Love to Share Foundation America and Global Organization for Divinity. The Honorable Mayors of the cities of Stafford and Manvel will be present at the program. Several Houston-area music and dance schools and artists will present short pieces of various western and eastern genres, and will come together again in the end to showcase universal harmony. The keynote will be presented by Sri Ramanujamji and Sri Poornimaji, disciples of HH Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji, and worldrenowned inspirational speakers. A giving program with clothes and supplies donations to “The Well on Masters Road” a Manvelbased community non-profit will also be part of the evening’s pro-

673 713-784-5

Jewelry Diamond


h Satis

Subscribe to

s Rao’




feusa.com www.udipica

ng: • Cateri

4-2716 281-91

Indo-American News Today

We cover your world!

Name: ____________________________________ Phone: ____________________________________ Address:___________________________________ __________________________________________ Number of Years: (Circle One)

1 $40

3 $100

Credit Card: Master Card / Visa (Circle One) _________________________________________

Your Signature:

Exp Date: ___/___ 3 digit code:______


Do cut and mail to: 7457 Harwin Dr, Ste 262, Houston, TX 77036 (OR) Scan and E-mail to: Indoamericannews@yahoo.com • Call us at 713-789-6397 • Call us to sign up for E-mail Blast Indo-American News is community oriented. We thank you for your subscription & support.


February 23, 2018



16 February 23, 2018


Love Goes Both Ways as the Young Serenade Their Elders


HOUSTON: It didn’t matter that

it was three days after Valentine’s Day, it was the weekend afterall. What mattered most that the older people of the community - and especially the elders – had a chance to participate in the tradition and were showered with affection and care, even if they were far away from their loved ones. It made all the difference to them to be appreciated. That has been the modus operandi for Club 65 ever since it was formed almost 5 years ago to cater to the needs and well-being of its senior Indian members, most of whom at present are first generation immigrants to this country. C65 is an offshoot of the Indian Muslim Association of Greater Houston, itself a relatively young organization which has become visibly prominent through many events over the past seven years. And from the start, Paru McGuire has been an active volunteer and the C65 President for the past three years. McGuire served as the emcee for C65 Valentine’s Day party held this past Saturday, February 17 at the Savoy Banquet Hall on Wilcrest and West Airport and was heartened that almost 90 people attended. The party featured two vendors who exhibited their products at the event: Lawrence Torres

The Drum Beat Orchestra Abdul Merchant, keyboards; singers Shamim Khoja, Jasmine and Shamir Danani (seated) and Sharif Maradia, electric drum – serenaded the guests. Vendors exhibited their products at the event. From left, Lawrence Torres and wife Sarai of Sylvan Beach Aesthetics and Dr. Abdul Moosa and wife Ashma Khanani-Moosa of Grace & Heart.

The ever-energetic 90 year-old Tayeb Shipchandler belted out a song and even danced a jig!

Club 65 volunteer Saeed Pathan sang a special number for his wife (seated in the crowd).

and wife Sarai of Sylvan Beach Aesthetics who offer massage therapy and beauty products and Dr. Abdul Moosa and wife Ashma Khanani-Moosa of Grace & Heart who sell jewelry made by women

in third-world countries. Ashma is a breast cancer survivor who is very active in reaching out to help other women who may have the disease. Each vendor gave free demonstrations of their products.

Club 65 President and chief organizer, Paru McGuire, served as the emcee

Each one of the nearly 90 guests received a deep red rose and paid a nominal $5 charge to defray some of the costs of the buffet lunch and other arrangements, with IMAGH

picking up the difference. The crowd was serenaded by the Drum Beat Orchestra made up of Abdul Merchant on keyboards; singers Shamim Khoja, Jasmine and Shamir Danani and Sharif Maradia on the electric drums. Volunteer Rozina Zafarali busily took pictures of the whole event. But not to be outdone, 90 yearold Tayeb Shipchandler, affectionately known as “kaka”, with a penchant for English songs, sang one with his strong, still unwavering voice and even danced a jig later. Volunteer Saeed Pathan sang two numbers for his adoring wife in the audience and others also chose to sing their own tunes. Towards the end, everyone joined in to dance the garba.


February 23, 2018

Job Posting:

Temp Broadcast and IT Systems Specialist

Job Posting:


Broadcast and IT Systems Specialist

KTRK-TV, the ABC/Walt Disney Company owned station located in Houston, TX is seeking an experienced Broadcast and IT Systems Specialist.

KTRK-TV, the ABC/Walt Disney Company owned station located in Houston, TX is seeking an experienced Broadcast and IT Systems Specialist.

This position will be responsible for providing technical and IT troubleshooting for all systems within the station, installing, configuring, and maintaining broadcast television and IT equipment and interfacing with third party vendors and support technicians. Other duties include responding to user submitted help desk tickets and phone calls, testing and updating software and adhering to local and corporate IT policies and best practices for Broadcast IT Infrastructure.

This position will be responsible for providing technical and IT troubleshooting for all systems within the station, installing, configuring, and maintaining broadcast television and IT equipment and interfacing with third party vendors and support technicians. Additionally, responsible for responding to user submitted help desk tickets and phone calls, providing back-up Master Control support as needed, testing and updating software and leading projects for new system installations. Must adhere to local and corporate IT policies and best practices for Broadcast IT Infrastructure and assist with facility support.

The ideal candidate must meet the following criteria: Associate degree in a television or IT related field, or at least two years experience in television or IT related industry and basic knowledge of computerized television broadcast equipment and systems including but now limited to master control and newsroom automation, asset management systems, non-linear editing systems, and networked storage systems. Also, strong administrative and troubleshooting skills for computer workstations, laptops, and servers and knowledge of IT networks, switches, routers, and firewalls as well as the ability to work a schedule that may include weekdays, nights, weekends, and holidays. Candidate needs excellent organizational and documentation skills and must be able to lift 50lbs.

The ideal candidate must meet the following criteria: Associate degree in a television or IT related field, or at least five years experience in television or IT related industry, advanced knowledge of computerized television broadcast equipment and systems including but not limited to master control and newsroom automation, asset management systems, non-linear editing systems, and networked storage systems. Should have strong administrative and troubleshooting skills for computer workstations, laptops, and servers, knowledge of IT networks, switches, routers, and firewalls and proven track record managing projects. Also must be able to work singly as well as with clients and colleagues, work a schedule that may include weekdays, nights, weekends, and holidays and must be willing to be on call and/or work overtime. Should have excellent organizational and documentation skills and must be able to lift 50lbs and be self-motivated and possess strong interpersonal skills.

To be considered all interested candidates must apply online at disneycareers.com, ref job # 525782BR. Please upload a cover letter, resume and list of references.

To be considered all interested candidates must apply online at disneycareers.com, ref job # 525776BR. Please upload a cover letter, resume and list of references.

KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity


18 February 23, 2018 Wean India Off Imported Oil & Gas

India must redouble its efforts to wean the economy off

oil. In January, India, already the world’s third-largest oil importer, notched up record imports of crude oil, at a rate of 4.9 million barrels of oil per day. Domestic fuel demand grew at double digits. India imports around 80% of its oil requirement. Granted, a part of the imported crude gets exported as refined products that are net foreign exchange earners. Yet, there is no gainsaying the steady increase in domestic demand for petroleum-based products. India can and must make use of domestic coal and clean coal technologies, to curtail dependence on imported oil and gas. The long-term solution is to make electric vehicles viable. In India’s case, a mass switch from internal combustion engines to electric ones to drive road transport is a necessity not only from the point of view of combating climate change and abating pollution in towns; it is also a question of macroeconomic stability via reining in oil imports and, thus, the current account deficit. While battery storage technology evolves to make this possible, India can take measures to reduce the demand for petro-fuels by making public transport more efficient. Delhi’s metro rail network is a good example of efficient public transport removing a significant number of vehicles that run on petro-fuel off the roads. Other cities must follow the example. The Railways can save a quarter of the energy they spend on haulage by insisting that they will carry only beneficiated coal. The Railways devote about half their haulage to coal, nearly half of which is really not coal but shale and rock that do not burn. Beneficiation can bring down the ash content of coal to 20%, slashing cargo volume by half. Using dry beneficiation will prevent adding moisture to the weight of the coal to be transported. The power sector can contribute a lot, too. Clamp down on theft and reorganise billing and collection; small towns will stop using diesel generators to power themselves and rely on the grid. Efficient power production and distribution will allow elimination of cooking gas and kerosene from cooking, apart from firewood. -Economic Times


Human beings are being made

redundant by something they created. This is not a humanoid, robot, or computer but money as capital We have all read stories, or seen films, about robots taking over. How, some time in the future, human beings will be marginalised, effectively replaced by machines, real or virtual. Common to these stories is the trope of the world taken over by something constructed of inert material, something mechanical and ‘heartless’. Also common to these stories is the idea that this will happen in the future. What if I tell you that it has already happened? The future is here! In fact, the future has been building up for some decades. Roughly from the 1970s onwards, human beings have been increasingly made redundant by something they created, and that was once of use to them. Except that this ‘something’ is not a humanoid, robot, or even a computer; it is money. Or, more precisely, it is money as capital. It was precipitated in 1973, when floating exchange rates were introduced. As economist Samir Amin notes, this was the logical result of the “concomitance of the U.S. deficit (leading to an excess of dollars available on the market) and the crisis of productive investment” which had produced “a mass of floating capital with no place to go.” With floating exchange rates, this excess of dollars could be plunged into sheer financial speculation across national borders. Financial speculation had always been a part of capitalism, but floating exchange rates dissolved the ties between capital, goods (trade and production) and labour. Financial speculation gradually floated free of human labour and even of money, as a medium of exchange. If I were a theorist of capitalism of the Adam Smith variety, I would say that capitalism, as we knew it (and still, erroneously, imagine it), started dying in 1973. Amin goes on to stress the consequences of this: The ratio between hedging operations on the one side and production and international trading on the other rose to 28:1 by 2002 — “a disproportion that has been

Robotisation has already taken place: it is only its physical enactment (actual robots) that is still building up. constantly growing for about the last twenty years and which has never been witnessed in the entire history of capitalism.” In other words, while world trade was valued at $2 billion around 2005, international capital movements were estimated at $50 billion. How can there be capital movements in such excess of trade? Adam Smith would have failed to understand it. Karl Marx, who feared something like this, would have failed to imagine its scale. This is what has happened: capital, which was always the abstract logic of money, has riven free of money as a medium of exchange. It no longer needs anything to exchange — and, hence, anyone to produce — in order to grow. (I am exaggerating, but only a bit.) Theorists have argued that money is a social relation and a medium of exchange. That is not true of most capital today, which need not be ploughed back into any kind of production, trade, labour or even services. It can just be moved around as numbers. This is what day traders do. They do not look at company balance sheets or supply-demand statistics; they simply look at numbers on the computer screen. This is what explains the dichotomy — most obvious in Donald Trump’s U.S., but not absent in places like the U.K., France or India — between the rhetoric of politicians and their actual actions. Politicians

might come to power by promising to ‘drain the swamp’, but what they do, once assured of political power, is to partake in the monopoly of finance capital. This abstract capital is the ‘robot’ — call it Robital — that has marginalised human beings. I am not making a Marxist point about capital under classical capitalism: despite its tendency towards exploitation, this was still largely invested in human labour. This is not the case any longer. Finance capital does not really need humans — apart from the 1% that own most of it, and another 30% or so of necessary service providers, including IT ones, whose numbers should be expected to steadily shrink. Robotisation has already taken place: it is only its physical enactment (actual robots) that is still building up. Robots, as replacements for human beings, are the consequence of the abstract nature of finance capital. Robotised agriculture and office robots are a consequence of this. If most humans are redundant and most capital is in the hands of a 1% superclass, it is inevitable that this capital will be invested in creating machines that can make the elite even less dependent on other human beings. MyAmerican friends wonder about the blindness of Republican politicians who refuse to provide medical support to ordinary Americans and even dismantle the few supports that exist. My British friends talk of the slow spread of homelessness in the U.K. My Indian friends worry about matters such as thousands of farmer suicides. The working middle class crumbles in most countries. Here is the underlying cause of all of this: the redundancy of human beings, because capital can now replicate itself, endlessly, without being forced back into human labour and trade. We are entering an age where visible genocides — as in Syria or Yemen — might be matched by invisible ones, such as the unremarked deaths of the homeless, the deprived and the marginal. Robital is here. -- The Hindu Tabish Khair is an Indian novelist and academic who teaches in Denmark.


CHICAGO: NAND KAPOOR INDIA: ASEEM KULKARNI ®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 4 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: 713-789-6397 email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com, website: www.indoamerican-news.com



February 23, 2018


Houston Maharashtra Mandal’s Poetry Paradise


HOUSTON: A rainy afternoon;

wet streets and dripping branches, a slight nip in the air and stray renditions of Indian Classical vocal music! What more can one want besides beautiful poetry to accompany it! Around sixty lucky souls witnessed the recitation of the famous Marathi poet and writer Purushottam Shivram Rege’s poetry entitled, “Srujanrang” (Creative Colors) at the First Colony Conference Center in Sugarland on February 10; another of Houston Maharashtra Mandal’s (HMM) endeavors. The idea and direction was that of Shubhangi Damle, an actress, T.V. personality and a literary/cultural activist visiting from Pune, India. The poems and short, short stories were eloquently presented by her and Houston’s very own Akshay Deshpande, Samir Karandikar, and Anil Rajguru. Poet and writer, Late Pu.Shi. Rege (1910-1978) despite being an economics graduate from the University of Mumbai and London, his poetry and short stories are a poignant mix of romanticism, symbolism, and bear the strong lust of life. Srujanrang started with a short poem portraying the poet’s thought of writing poetry in order to gauge the limitlessness of, both, his and the reader’s mind. Rege’s poetry often effeminates nature, as was evident in his poem, entitled, Bolne. Given the time period in which he wrote, his poem, Tu havis hyat na paap (There is no sin in wanting you) is quite revolutionary and an embodiment of listless love. Often, his poetry appears to be the epitome of romanticism and yet effaces all traces of lust or any other negative traits of love. Rege’s short stories like Supriya or Rajammachi Gosht - Lacchi are symbolic of the traits of the human mind; how it is


Stay tuned every Sunday,

opportunistic in the former story and how, if conditioned, can be a constant stream of happiness, in the latter. The poet has an uncanny knack of changing adjectives to verbs in order to bring forth the meaning as is evident in his poem Pushkala (Abundancy) where he describes a woman using the word abundant as various parts of Speech. There is almost sacredness in his poems which at face value seem lustful as is his Lampat Ole Vastra Hoooni (Becoming a Lustful Piece of Clothing). His romantic poems evidently come from the heart and could easily be any girl’s dream of her sweet heart writing them for her. In the short story Ramakakichi Gosht (Story of Ramakaki), Rege once again portrays colors of the human mind; how it can be, both, a ghetto of pride and haughtiness and a house of love and gratitude. Along with full-length poetry, Rege also wrote short four line poems that brimmed with meaning; for example one that means, “there are only two things we must avoid – you me and me you!” And at the next instant he writes about the three forms of Radha – the fluid, unreachable, like a star in the sky Radha, then the relentlessly in love Radha, and finally the mature, poised Radha

who has become one with Krishna, in his poem Tridha Radha (Three Forms of Radha). The last poem presented, Ghadyal (Clock) portrays the poet’s thoughts as life’s dusk approaches and yet the unmistakable romance with life continues. Bits and parts of the poetry recital had a background score of Indian Classical music – starting with Raag Bhairav and going onto Raag Nand that further accentuated the mood of the poems. The presenters’ traditional attire of colorful kurtas ranging from beige, olive green to bright yellow and red and Mrs. Damle’s chequered silk saree in shades of purple and pink were the icing on the cake. The presenters very aptly changed the tonal quality of their voices according to the content, which was a treat for the listeners as the meaning came through even stronger. HMM presented token gifts to all the presenters. This poetic afternoon was a part of HMM’s endeavor, “Joining the Communities” which hopes to offer programs on a range of subjects like health, finance, visual arts, etc. HMM will make an effort to have these programs in various parts of Greater Houston, which will encourage a bigger matrix of attendees.


to from 2.30pm to 3.30pm





Geetanjali Radio AM 1320 Sat & Sun 2-6 PM For your business ads

Cell: 832-878-4338 Tel: 713-545-4749 shobajoshi999@gmail.com


20 February 23, 2018


8th Annual Hindu Youth Awards

Highly-skilled Indian Professionals Step Up UK Protests


Mukund Nair, Harsh Mehta, Siddhant Ahuja, Govinda Ramirez, Shial Gajjar, Nikita Zamwar, Haripriya Sundara Murthy, Suhag Shukla (Chief Guest), and Devinder Mahajan. Picture from last years award ceremony. to inspire devotees, especially the


OUSTON: Hindus of Greater Houston (HGH) is proud to announce their 8thAnnual Hindu YouthAwards and Fundraising Gala on March 3, at ISKCON of Houston (1320 W 34th St, Houston, TX 77018) at 5:30 pm. The purpose of this event is to recognize young Hindu leaders for their achievements in academics, service, and leadership. Award winners are given an opportunity to share their personal experiences and to inspire and encourage other youth attendees to take initiative in making a difference in the community. This event allows for Hindu youth with similar beliefs, values, and interests to connect and create a strong and well-knit community. Additional highlights of this event include recognition of donors and organizations for their commitment and support to an important cause, speeches from special guests interspersed with a cultural program. HH Rtadhvaja Swami who was born and raised in North Dakota will be the guest speaker. He travels

youth. Swapnil Agarwal, Founder and CEO of Nitya Capital, who was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017 will be the guest of honor. There will be an exclusive youth session from 5:45-6:30 pm during which the youth will have the opportunity to speak directly to the special guests and ask questions. Partha Krishnaswamy, HGH President, stated, “Every year we see increasing number of nominations for the youth award which not only reflects the value this recognition creates, but it also demonstrates increasing youth involvement in selfless community service, which is a healthy indicator in our society”. Bhawna Luthra, Hindu Youth Awards Coordinator and HGH Board of Director, commented, “It has been a great pleasure collaborating with ISKCON Houston for this year’s Hindu Youth Awards. I am looking forward to making this event a huge success. I hope that this event can continue to inspire youth in the community to follow the footsteps

of those recognized and to excel in service, academics, and leadership”. With the support of generous donors, Hindus of Greater Houston works to promote unity among Hindus through various events such as Janmashtami and Hindu Leadership meets. Hindus of Greater Houston would like to thank you for your support in helping us further the mission of HGH and strengthen its foundation. Donations will be used for all our activities and will allow to continue to bring about harmony and solidarity among ourselves and outreach to all others. You can sponsor a table on behalf of your organization to celebrate this event with a donation of $1000, $500 or $250. Any amount of donation is welcome. Donations can be made to Hindus of Greater Houston by mailing the check to: 4002 Sutton Shadow Ln, Katy, TX 77494. For more information, please contact, Komal Luthra, Youth Coordinator, at 281-904-4085.

ONDON: Indian professionals have stepped up their fight against what they characterise as hostile immigration policies of the UK government and joined forces with migrants from other countries for a major protest outside the UK Parliament here this week. The Highly Skilled Migrants group, which represents nearly 1,000 doctors, engineers, IT professionals and teachers from countries outside the European Union (EU), will bring together migrants from South Asia and Africa for one of its biggest protests so far on Wednesday. The professionals and their families, mainly from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria, will protest against UK Home Office delays and unjustified refusals related to their applications for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in Britain. More and more people are joining in as it becomes clear they are being denied the right to live and work in the UK on no valid grounds, said Aditi Bhardwaj, one of the organisers of the group which held its first protest outside Downing Street last month. The professionals, who entered the UK on a Tier 1 (General) visa years ago, are entitled to apply for ILR or permanent residency status after five years of lawful residency in the UK. While the visa category used by numerous software professionals from India among others was discontinued

in 2010, former applicants are eligible to apply for residency in Britain until April this year if they meet the necessary requirements. However, the Highly Skilled Migrants group claims to be aware of hundreds of cases where these applications are either held up in lengthy delays or refused on grounds of a section of the UK Immigration Act which is aimed at criminals and tax evaders. Skilled migrants with excellent educational and professional skills are being refused ILR and being referred to as a threat to the country just because they might have filled their tax late or had to maybe amend their taxes, which is permitted by law, said Bhardwaj. Her group has gathered nearly 22,500 signatures on an online petition on change.org, titled Stop creating hostile environment for immigrants[TM], addressed to British Prime Minister Theresa May, UK home secretary Amber Rudd and Opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn. -timesofindia.com



February 23, 2018

These Ladies Recall their Lives in the Old Country for Future Generations



UGAR LAND: She was a bit nervous at first, which was to be expected, and perhaps a little vexed that her husband had pushed her to take part, but once Kanwal Bhalla started recalling her past memories and how her life had waxed and waned as it moved from India to the US, she warmed up and forgot that the camera was on her. The petite 82 year-old with the twinkle in her eye and a sweet smile reached back through the decades and remembered her family’s large estate northwest of Lahore in British-0ccupied India and reminisced about her immediate family. Bhalla was taking part in the Foundation for Indian Studies program’s Oral History project and is the latest person who was having her story videotaped for posterity. Coincidentally, her husband, Dr. Raj. S. Bhalla, a most admired and beloved elder of the community, was the first person whose life history was recorded about eight years ago, with this reporter serving as the interviewer. The second person interviewed right afterwards, on the same day, was Dr. Paul Mehta, now deceased, who was the Dean of Education at Prairie View A&M University. Almost a decade later, Raj Bhalla was able to convince his devoted wife that she should take part in this project, and she sat for it in her living room in Sugar Land. Slowly, she related how she and her husband first came to the US in 1960 for a year of study for him and then, after he retired from the Indian Army, came back to settle with their two young boys in Long Island, New York. She told of the Indian restaurant called Paul’s Mughlai which she owned and operated for ten years

Shakuntla Malhotra (left) and Kanwal Bhalla sat for interviews of their lives for the Foundation of Indian Studies Oral History Project this past Saturday, February 10. Jawahar Malhotra (center) conducted the interviews

and how they moved to Houston 15 years ago when Raj was transferred and then later retired here. But before that, she recalled how she was a young 11 year-old when the Partition of India happened and how her family was able to transfer some of a large portion of their wealth to Delhi just before the fateful moment on August 15, 1947. After Kanwal Bhalla’s interview, another elderly and equally respected and loved member of the local community had a chance to talk about her experiences during the Indian Partition. Shakuntla Malhotra, now 89 years-old, was a young 19 year-old who waited with her husband Jagdish Chander Malhotra at the railway station in Lyallpur (since renamed Faisalabad) when the Partition took place. They waited for 3 days for the train to come, “and when it finally came it was so crowded and packed,” she remembered as clearly as if it was happening now, “that my uncle had to throw me onboard through an open window.” She and her husband had gone back to Lyallpur a


few days before the Partition date to get some valuables and were almost stuck there. Malhotra has previously been interviewed for the Oral History Project and this is her second time to add to it with her recollection of the Partition. In halting but careful English, she remembered how her extended family was dispersed throughout East Punjab and how some were able to come together again, eventually living in a two-room flat in Delhi. Her family also were zamindaars (landowners) who lost everything as they left their homes. “My grandfather would say ‘Governments change but not the people’ and had faith that we would come back after a few days.” She remembered. Of course, that was not to be the case. Both ladies were interviewed this past Saturday, February 10 by this reporter, who couldn’t resist the opportunity to guide Kanwalji and his own mother, Shakuntlaji! Their oral histories will be available with all the others on the Houston Public Library’s servers.

Looking for Newspaper Distributors Job Requirements: • Valid License and Reliable Vehicle • Friday Mornings (3-4 hours) • Flexible • Works on time

Contact: 713-789-6397



22 February 23, 2018


Place a Number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. Send us the correct answer before February 28, 2018. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036. Send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published (for first three entrees only & 1 submission per month).

Solution Next Week

L��� W���’� SUDOKU S�������

L��� W���’� SUDOKU W������ 1) Kirit Suthar 2)Harish Shah 3) Saheli Thakkar

Job Opportunity

Capricorn Travel Requires Full Time Experienced Travel Agent. For Appointment: Please Call: 713-339-2222


Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Atte di Pinni (Sweet Wheat Flour Balls)

In response to reader’s request, here is a reprint of one of Mama’s much asked for recipe. Since it has first been printed almost five years ago, this has been Mama’s most popular recipe, getting over 400 views each week. Mama’s Atta di Pinni recipe is simple, tasty and a wonderful accompaniment to a cup of hot tea or coffee on any day. This is presented here with some additional directions. Pinnis are a uniquely traditional Punjabi sweet dish that are sometimes mistakenly called laddus by non-Punjabis. The main difference is that laddus are usually made of fried dough and are then formed into balls, whereas pinnis are made with flour (or crushed moong dal) that is browned in a kadai or wok. There are other differences too: pinnis are not drenched in syrup and most also contain mewa (dry fruits), ajwain or a bitter til which a uniquely Punjabi taste.And their taste is completely different from the traditional laddus. Pinnis are usually made and served in the cold winter months in the Punjab as they give lots of warmth and energy. Because of the way they are prepared, they can be kept in a tightly closed container for weeks and even months and not go bad. There many styles of pinnis, and the ones of Amritsar are considered exceptional, in fact many people ask visiting relatives to pick up cases of pinnis from the city. Do not use chasani (sugar syrup) because the granulated sugar you get here is very fine. If you make pinnis with sugar syrup, they do not keep for very long. Pinnis made with dry sugar do not go bad even for a very long time and do not need to be refrigerated. In the old days, before refrigerators, we used to keep the pinnis in pipas (tall tin cans) without any problems. Pinnis aren’t hard to make, and the preparations leading upto making the round balls are not time consuming as many ingredients are

available in most Indian households. Our family used to make them at home for our large extended family when we had our ancestral lands and home in Lyallpur (which became part of Pakistan after the Partition). My grandmothers and mother brought the recipes with them and would make pinnis every winter in Delhi. Ingredients: • 1 kg atta (wheat flour) • 500 gm chinni (white granulated sugar) • 500 gm ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil • 250 gm khoya (congealed sweet cream) • Mewa (to taste): badam (almonds), piste (pistachios), kishmish (raisins) Directions: 1. Heat the ghee or oiive oil in a kadai or wok over low heat. 2. Throw in the flour and brown it for about 20 minutes, stirring often as you don’t want to have the flour get too brown as it may give a burnt smell. 3. After the flour is slightly brown, thrown in whatever dry fruit you desire and mix well.

4. For added flavor, use khoya in the pinnis. If you like, throw in the khoya, but first brown it over low heat too. 5. Turn off the heat and throw in the sugar and mix well. 6. After the mixture has cooled down and can be touched, take a small amount of the mixture and form into a 1.5 inch ball in the cup of your hand. Grease your hand with a little oil if the pinnis start to stick. 7. Place the balls on a tray or plate to cool down and congeal further. Eat when the balls are cool. Some people actually like to eat these warm as they say the pinnis taste better. Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the oldfashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India (since renamed Faisalabad) before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her late-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share her delectable Punjabi vegetarian recipes for future generations.




As a young girl gr owing up in Lyall pu how important it w as to use everything r in the 1930’s, I learnt just wisely and not to w especially food. With aste things, no phones to call ah pop up at your hous ea e, so the family kitch d, you never knew who may en was always read type of prepared fo y with some od. And, often in the co ld er m onths, and es was cut and the m olasses were reduce pecially after the sugarcane d by cooking in hu would make swee ge vats, we ts w which were coated ith the gur (jaggery) and then use the utensils inside with a swee t sweetened chai (te a) for everyone. Th layer, to boil water and make is way, all the gur w up after preparing as easily used sweets.

For advertising contact: 713-789-6397

Award Winning Customer Service & Best Rates in Town Proudly Serving For Best Rates to: India, Europe, Cruises & Vacation Packages South Asian Community Toll Free: 1-866-956-0758 - Tel:713-339-2222 for Past 3939 Hillcroft Ave, Suite# 110, Houston, TX 77057 30 Years



February 23, 2018



Aiyaary: Manoj Bajpayee Carries the Film on His Shoulders form, who are deeply righteous and patriotic, going after robbers, arms dealers and terrorists. In fact, as a writer and director Neeraj Pandey has created a brand of thriller with them that he can call his own. He often creates a heightened sense of drama aided by music, that’s almost a constant; stylised images with generous use of slo-mo; and, of course, the necessary twists and turns to make the cat-and-mouse game engrossing. This time, Pandey spins the story around two men — mentor Colonel Abhay Singh (Manoj) and acolyte Major Jai Bakshi (Sidharth) — who are part of a special unit of Indian Army’s military intelligence. The latter goes rogue when he discovers deeprooted corruption and flaws in the system. This sets his mentor on his chase as the action shifts from Delhi to Central London. It would have been interesting to watch two men, who have deep regard and love for each other, tackle their conflicts even as their

ideologies clash. This lays bare the generation gap, the questions and cynicism that the younger ones have. Yet, the film does not go deeper into these issues. Aiyaary, for which Pandey gets the story, script and direction credit, isn’t taut enough to qualify for an edge-of-the-seat thriller. The plot is emaciated. The narration, which revolves around deception and sense of duty, is long-winding. Even though the movie puts together an impressive ensemble cast comprising some of our best actors,

it takes a lot of time to establish their characters. A veteran in Pandey’s movies, Manoj Bajpayee carries the film on his shoulders. But, one expects more from this collaboration, especially since Manoj is a versatile actor. As a former army man turned arms dealer, Adil Hussain brings his usual finesse to the screen. What is particularly disappointing are the sketchy women characters. Even though Pandey has written and produced Naam Shabana, which revolves around a woman

spy, he fails to create any remarkable woman characters. Though Rakul Preet Singh is introduced as an IT wizard, she is reduced to being Sidharth Malhotra’s love interest. Neeraj Pandey has perfected the art of weaving opinion on the political scenario, the hankering for money and power, the prevalent corruption in the system and the state of democracy in his stories. At one point in the movie, Singh explains to Bakshi that the Kashmir issue is never going to be resolved as it is like an “industry” since too many people stand to gain from the conflict. Pandey has, in the past, deftly woven reallife scams and incidents into the narrative. In Aiyaary, he fictionalises the Adarsh Housing Society scam in Mumbai. The result, this time, is not very impressive. Had the film been closely edited to make it pacy, it would have sent out the message it intends to. As of now, it remains as lost as the purpose behind some of the film’s long drawn chase sequences. -indianexpress.com

Secret Superstar Crosses 900-Crore Mark in China, Aamir Khan Calls For Party!

Aamir Khan‘s movie

While Aamir’s previous movies 3 Idiots, PK also did remarkably well on the Chinese box office but the Indian musical drama has smashed all the records to become highest grossing Aamir Khan movie in China. Reportedly, Aamir is planning to

Secret Superstar might have made average business in India but it is getting all the love from the Chinese audience. Yes, the movie is a big hit in

China and has even crossed 900 crore mark. Yes, you read it. The movie not only surpassed Aamir Khan’s Dangal in terms of opening day collection but also broke the weekend box office collection by earning 174 crore.

throw a massive party for the team of Secret Supertaster on February 21. “The film’s team had been demanding a party for some time now. Since Aamir was busy with the shoot of Thugs Of Hindostan, he kept stalling

it. He first told them that he will throw a party when it crosses the Rs 100-crore mark in China. When it did, he good-naturedly joked that he’ll wait till it makes Rs. 500 crore. Now, he has zeroed in on a date,” a source close to Aamir told MidDay.”Aamir is currently shooting at nights for Thugs Of Hindostan. However, he will change it around and shoot through the day on February 20 and 21, so that he can host the party on Wednesday night,” the source added.

There are no reports on who will be on the guest list of Aamir Khan. For the uninitiated, the story of the movie revolves around a girl from Muslim conservative family. The young protagonist, played by Dangal fame Zaira Wasim, dreams to become a popular singer. On the work front, Aamir will be seen soon on the big screens along with Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh in Thugs of Hindostan. -india.com

Karan Singh Grover February 23, 1982

Happy Birthday

It is all too familiar: men in uni-


Sanjay Leela Bhansali February 24, 1963

Pooja Bhatt

February 24, 1972

Shahid Kapoor

February 25, 1981

Danny Denzongpa February 25, 1948

Urvashi Rautela February 25, 1994

24 February 23, 2018 T20 vs SA: Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Give India 1-0 Lead BY KARTHIK KRISHNASWAMY


fo): On a flat pitch, in the thin air of the Highveld, India’s batsmen piled up 203 for 5, and that total proved more than adequate against a South African line-up missing a number of its biggest names. A 28-run win, with starring roles for Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, gave India a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series, but they may not have left the Wanderers entirely thrilled about their performance, particularly with the bat. India’s batting in T20s often seems more risk-averse than the format demands, built on a platform-setting template borrowed from ODIs. This innings was different. Short and wide bowling from Dane Paterson to Rohit Sharma allowed them to plunder 18 from the first over, but they kept going after the bowling even when it wasn’t so charitable. Suresh Raina took it to an extreme, exposing all his stumps and slogging at everything to score a chancy 15 off 7 at No. 3. Dhawan also kept going hard, his top-edged hoicks over the keeper making the same impact on the scorecard as his pristinely-timed flicks over square leg and slaps either side of point. This approach, aided by the bangit-in tactics of South Africa’s seamers, who didn’t vary their pace nearly as much as they could have, brought India 78 runs in the Powerplay. By the time a Tabraiz Shamsi skidder trapped Virat Kohli in front in the 10th over, their score had already motored past 100. A pair of leg-side boundaries from Dhawan in the 14th over, off the debutant Junior Dala, moved India to 149 for 3. Getting to 200 seemed like a given now; the question was how much more they could get. Dhawan fell in the 15th over, lapscooping an Andile Phehlukwayo slower ball to the keeper. From that point, India simply weren’t able to keep their momentum going; they only managed 46 off the last five overs, with Manish Pandey only managing one boundary in an unbeaten 27-ball innings. SouthAfrica’s bowlers, particularly Paterson who nailed his slower balls and yorkers in the 18th and 20th overs, brought

Variation in pace did the trick for India’s paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar to pick up his maiden five-wicket haul in T20Is.

the innings back under some sort of control at the death, but Pandey struggled to come up with answers to the questions he was being asked. Still, 203 seemed like a winning total, despite the last four T20Is at this venue going to the chasing side

- but how might things have panned out had South Africa fielded a fullstrength batting line-up, or even if they had AB de Villiers available? Even without de Villiers and the rest of the big names, there were moments during South Africa’s innings

when they seemed capable of chasing down this total. The first 15 balls of their innings, for instance, brought 28 runs, with Reeza Hendricks and JJ Smuts hitting merrily on the up. But, in Bhuvneshwar, India had a bowler who could get the ball to move sideways as well as use imperceptible changes of pace. His knuckle ball brought them the wickets of Smuts and JP Duminy, and put India firmly back on top. When Hardik Pandya followed up with a slower-ball dismissal of his own to send back David Miller, South Africa were 48 for 3 in the seventh over. Hendricks and Farhaan Behardien clattered 81 in 8.4 overs, and at one point during their fourth-wicket partnership the equation was a difficult but doable 86 off 41 balls. With all the risk-taking that task demanded, however, a wicket was always around the corner. It fell to Yuzvendra Chahal, Behardien holing out to long-on for 39. Then Hendricks and Heinrich Klaasen took 25 off the next two overs, leaving 50 to get off the last three, with six wickets in hand. It took only six balls for India to wipe out four of those wickets and end the contest abruptly, South Africa crumbling in their desperation for boundaries; Bhuvneshwar grabbed three of them, in the process picking up his maiden five-wicket haul in T20Is, and a run-out did for the other.

“Lot of Work Needed on Our Spin Bowling” - Raj looking forward to this year. POTCHEFSTROOM: Mithali Raj has identified spin bowling and lower-order batting as key areas of improvement as India build towards the Women’s World T20 in November. India go into the tournament seeking a change of fortunes, having suffered first-round exits in each of the last three editions. Currently, though, they are in the middle of a highly successful tour of South Africa. Having beaten the hosts 2-1 in the ODI series, under Raj’s captaincy, they hold an unassailable 2-1 lead in the T20Is as well. Their top-order batsmen have been in sensational form, running down targets of 165 and 143 with ease in the first two games. But that in turn has left the lower order untested, and

South Africa exploited this weakness especially well in the third T20I, knocking over the last five wickets for nine runs. “I definitely want the team to do well in this format, because we’ve not really done very well in T20s, be it World Cups or bilateral series,” Raj told bcci.tv. “So that’s something I’m

“Obviously, T20 World Cup is a different format from the one-day format, and the team definitely has lot to work on in T20s. We’ve been doing well in the last two games against South Africa. There’s still work to do in preparation of the World Cup, but the team looks good, with the kind of top-order batting we have.” West Indies, where the World T20 will take place, features a lot of slow and low pitches and as such spinners could play a very important role in the tournament. “A lot of work is needed in terms of our spin,” Raj said. “The wickets are batter-friendly and more conducive for high scoring, so the spinners have a lot more to work.”


Kidambi Srikanth Wants 21-point Format to Remain

MUMBAI: Top Indian shuttler Ki-

dambi Srikanth would not prefer any drastic changes in the scoring system, being contemplated by the World body, and reckons that he can grab the top rank in the 2018 season. BWF has proposed a new scoring system in which five games of 11 points may replace the current three games of 21 points format. The proposals will come up for discussion and voting at BWF’s Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on May 19 in Bangkok. “A couple of things are happening but I have not heard anything official. They had asked (about it) a couple of years back - before the Rio Olympics. I personally haven’t tried the 11-point format. The 21-point (format) is working well for me and I prefer it to be the same way,” Srikanth emphasised. On the service rule change to come into force from next month’s All England event, Srikanth felt it would affect the taller players more than the shorter ones. “The new rule will not affect most players; only the tall players will get affected. The 6-plus footers.” Having narrowly missed the world number one rank during a highly successful 2017, Srikanth is optimistic about his chances this year. “I have not completely missed it. I still have a chance to be the world no. 1. I can definitely be the world no. 1 by winning tournaments in the next 3-4 months,” Srikanth said after being announced as one of the new brand ambassadors of tyre company Bridgestone which is associated with the Olympic movement. Srikanth, who lost to Chinese great Lin Dan in the quarter-finals of the men’s singles in the 2016 Rio Olympics, conceded that a tough season lay ahead with some big events lined up,

Srikanth is optimistic about his chances this year of becoming World No. 1.


February 23, 2018


Fraud: A Growth Industry

India’s IT Firms Expect Continued Growth Amid Shift to New Tech in India’s Banking Sector NEW DELHI: The CIBIL datadigitized services from its clients HYDERABAD: India’s software Major companies such as Infosys base has details of wilful defaulters services industry expects growth of as much as 9% in fiscal 2019 as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd and its peers strengthen automation and adapt to the rapid onset of digital technologies. Sales will rise 7-9 % in constant currency terms in the fiscal year ending in March 2019, the National Association of Software and Services Companies, or Nasscom, said on Tuesday at its annual meeting in the southern city of Hyderabad. In the current financial year, revenue from the industry will rise 7.8 % to $167 billion. India’s IT industry, led by Tata, is groping for a new business model as automation and artificial intelligence upends decades of billing customers for hourly work. That’s being compounded by uncertainty over visas in the US, the industry’s largest market, where politicians as well as lobby

groups are demanding protectionist policies. “The current outlook is cautious optimism,” R. Chandrashekhar, president of Nasscom, said at a media briefing. “There is still some turbulence and it is not clear how some of the known uncertainties will play out, however FY 2019 is likely to be a better year, based on our current assessment.”

Until a couple of years ago, even the biggest IT services companies grew at double digit rates and hired by the thousands as they provided software services for companies including Citigroup Inc. and General Motors Co. Nasscom’s Chandrashekhar said the Indian sector, which likely hired 100,000 net additional people in the current fiscal year, is now in a better position to capitalize on demand for

and Wipro have posted improved earnings in the January-March quarter and information technology executives in Hyderabad also expressed optimism about a continued recovery as the sector diversifies into more lucrative digital segments such as cloud computing and big data. Indian firms continue to steadily leverage the external ecosystem more systematically while also being flexible in creating new engagement models that share in risks and rewards with clients. Some new engagements bear very little resemblance to the cost-saving outsourcing models with which India’s IT industry started the journey. This unique combination of new capabilities, client centricity, ability to harness global intellectual property, and execute on scale could prove to be unbeatable.

Donald Trump Jr. is in India to Help Sell Luxury Apartments

NEW DELHI: “Trump has ar-

rived. Have you?” shout the barrage of glossy front-page advertisements in almost every major Indian newspaper. The ads, which have run repeatedly in the past few days, herald the arrival not of the American president but of his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., who is in New Delhi to sell luxury apartments and lavish attention on wealthy Indians who have already bought units in a Trump-branded development outside the Indian capital. The newspaper ads promise that buyers who order apartments in the development by Thursday will get “a conversation and dinner” with Trump Jr. a day later. President Trump has pledged to avoid any new foreign business deals during his term in office to avoid potential ethical conflicts. While the projects that Trump Jr. is

promoting in India were inked before his father was elected, ethics experts have long seen the use of the Trump name to promote even existing business ventures as tricky territory. The distinction between old and new projects can be hazy, they note, and new deals can be shoehorned

into old. Donald Trump Jr. posed for photos Tuesday morning in New Delhi with Indian developers building complexes in four cities. Among the business partners accompanying him was Kalpesh Mehta who heads Tribeca, the firm described as the main Indian

partner for Trump brand real estate projects. Mehta came to notice soon after President Trump’s November election victory, when pictures of him and two other Trump Indian real estate partners with the presidentelect in New York made a big splash in Indian and American media. Later in the week, he is scheduled to make a speech about Indo-Pacific relations at a New Delhi business summit, sharing the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In Gurgaon, the sprawling and ever-growing New Delhi satellite city where a new Trump Towers will eventually rise, the construction site is just mountains of dirt and unruly shrubbery, one of many residential projects yet to be built. The Trump Organization has licensing agreements with all its Indian business partners, who build the properties and acquire the Trump name in exchange for a fee.

(a euphemism for those who have defrauded banks) with loans outstanding of over Rs25 lakh, in which lawsuits have been filed. The total amount outstanding of these suitfiled accounts has gone up from Rs 28,416.93 crore as of 30 September 2013 to Rs1.11 trillion four years later, as of 30 September 2017. That works out to a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40.82%. Clearly, frauds are a growth industry. As of 30 September 2013, nationalised banks accounted for 32.8% of the total amount outstanding in these wilful defaulter accounts. Four years later, their share had gone up to 58.7%. The CAGR of the amounts in these accounts with nationalized banks was a staggering 62.92%. For Punjab National Bank (PNB), the CAGR was an eye-popping 95.13%. For State Bank of India and its associates, the CAGR of dues in these accounts over these four years was 25.07%. For banks in the private sector, the CAGR was 25.67%. The amount for foreign banks is too small to be material to the overall figures. The question is: will these numbers goad the government and the regulator into action, resulting in a complete overhaul of corporate governance in banks, or, once the hoopla over the PNB fraud dies down, will it be back to business as usual?

The CBI has arrested Vipul Ambani, the president (finance) of Nirav Modi’s Firestar Diamond, in connection with the Rs11,384 crore PNB fraud, making it the first high-profile arrest in the case, officials said.


26 February 23, 2018


February 23, 2018




February 23, 2018


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.