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Friday, April 27, 2018 • Vol. 37, No. 16

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Infused @ Rockets Half Time Show !!!


CLUB 24 Evening of Philanthropy



Uplifting & Hilarious The three poets (from left) Sarvesh Asthana, Gaurav Sharma and Sonroopa Vishal at the 11th annual Hasya Kavi

Sammelan at India House on Sunday, April 22.


Dr. Kuldip Kaul (left), Alpa Shah (Event Chair), Manisha Gandhi (President), Veena Kaul and Ashok Garg (Founder) on Saturday, April 14 at the annual philanthropy event by Club 24 Plus, hosted by Dr. Kuldip and Veena Kaul.

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April 27, 2018



April 27, 2018


JSW Group, Creating Hundreds of New Jobs & Sharing Profits with India House BY VANSHIKA VIPIN VARMA


JSW Group, the multi-billion-dollar conglomerate and a part of O.P. Jindal Group, has played a key role in India’s growth story. It has a presence in Steel, Energy, Infrastructure, Cement, Ventures and Sports. From humble beginnings with a single plant in 1982, JSW Steel is now India’s leading manufacturer of value-added and high-end steels. Their plants in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have a total capacity of 18 million tons per annum (MTPA). Sajjan Jindal leads the JSW Group, which is ranked among India’s top business houses. JSW USA operates one of the widest steel plate & pipe mills in North America. Located in Baytown, Texas the unit services the needs of the energy, petrochemicals, defense and other heavy equipment industries in USA who need high quality carbon plate. The Group continues to strive for excellence with its strengths, differentiated product mix, state-of-the-art technology, excellence in execution and focus on sustainability. Last month, on Wednesday, March 28, while the Jindals visited USA for their $500 million investment deal between JSW and Governor Greg Abbott of Texas, a musical evening was hosted in the honor of Sangita & Sajjan Jindal and Anushree & Parth Jindal. JSW USA agreed for an investment of $500 million in phases in developing its steel-manufacturing infrastructure in Baytown, Texas. This investment will be used to expand the company’s Plate & Pipe Mill unit. A Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) grant offer of $3.4 million has been extended to JSW Steel (USA) Inc. and this investment is expected to create hundreds of new jobs for JSW Steel. The tuneful evenfall, open to India House members, JSW employees and India House guests was held at In-

dia House. The event commenced with some interesting presentations about India House by President Jugal Malani and Executive Director Col. Vipin Kumar. They wonderfully demonstrated the progress of India House over the years, to Parth Jindal who attended the event with his wife Anushree. Incidentally, the Jindal family was the first to donate $1 million to India House, and the first phase of the project has been named after Parth Jindal’s grandfather O.P. Jindal. India House Trustee Dr. Virendra Mathur then introduced the guest of honor for the evening and invited him to address the attendees. Parth Jindal stated, “The deal is a part of our long term strategy to enhance

our US footprint. It reiterates our commitment to stay invested and grow in the US market. It also provides JSW USA an opportunity to participate in USA’s infrastructure development and job creation priorities. Access to natural gas at extremely economical prices and the abundant availability of scrap steel in Texas make conditions very conducive for manufacturing through the Electric Arc Furnace route. JSW USA wishes to create a world class fully integrated steel complex that will bring precision manufac-

turing of high quality steel plate and pipe to Texas, USA.” Jindal also added that the company was in need of modernization and with this new channel of investment it is bound to become a state of the art pipe making facility. Parth Jindal looked excited as it was his first time at India House, and he gladly learnt about the progress of India House. He congratulated the India House team on their superlative performance and appreciated their noble deeds of giving back to the community.

He assured that JSW will be an integral part of India House and will support its cause, and will also share 2 percent of its profits with India House, as soon as the company starts to make a profit. To an overwhelmed audience, he also stated that JSW would help in launching the phase 2 of India House. Learning about the cricket team and cricket matches held weekly at India House, he shared that The Delhi Daredevils, a franchise cricket team representing the city of Delhi in the Indian

Photos: Pixel Studio

Premier League (IPL) is owned by the JSW Group and requested the audience to support it. The emcee for the entertainment section was Arif Memon and while he charmed the audience, some mesmerizing songs by GlobalDesis kept the spirits high. The sound was provided by Darshak Thacker of Krishna Sounds, while the scrumptious dinner was served by Bombay Brasserie.



April 27, 2018


5 April 27, 2018 COMMUNITY Infused Performing Arts 6th Halftime Performance, Showcases Best of Bollywood BY AKHILA KUMAR


As thousands of viewers filed into the Toyota Center on Saturday, April, 7, they had no idea they were in for more than just a show down between James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Houston’s premier Bollywood dance company, Infused Performing Arts, took to the courts for their sixth halftime performance. The dynamic husband-wife duo, Tina Bose-Kumar and Kiron Kumar overlooked both the choreography and direction. There were 51 performers ranging from all ages and starting at the mere age of five, with all kinds of diverse cultural backgrounds of Indians and nonIndians alike. The illuminating production represented the best of Bollywood bringing together a colorful and ornate performance showcasing the traditional side with a western flair. The most memorable moments of the dance were the incredulous stunts and synchronized turns and jumps during the Ghoomar segment. All the while the boys performed Khalbali as strong and vigorous as Ranveer Singh himself. Infused displayed a variety of styles such as hip-hop, classical, folk, and bhangra all in the span of just four minutes. The high-energy performances sprinkled with numerous acrobatic stunts were completed with the support of the boys. Infused Performing Arts is the largest male team of Bollywood dancers. Infused is known to be one of the first groups to perform all the latest and up and coming hits. This year they featured numerous chart toppers like Swag Se Swagat, Khalbali, Ghoomar, Sodakku, and Gal Ban Gayi. Every year the Houston Rockets half time performance is a show all dance company members look forward to. Who wouldn’t want

the prestigious opportunity to perform on the same stage that James Harden and Chris Paul took moments before! Eight-year-old performer Sofi Patel said, “We worked hard to accomplish our routine in a short period of time. We learned lots of new dance moves and had lots of fun. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to do it again.” The dancers were not the only ones who

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had an enjoyable time. Performer Mahadev’s mom, Vinitha Manoj, said, “Our son, Mahadev, has enjoyed every minute of being in the team and loved performing at such a huge event. It was an immense confidence booster and he looks forward to all future Infused events. As a family we have great pleasure in being part of such a close-knit group and thank them for all their help and opportunities that they send our way.” Infused Performing Arts Bollywood Dance Co. is now holding open auditions for professionals interested in paid shows, weddings, concerts, and productions. The dance company’s 8th annual recital “INFUSION 2018-A Bollywood spectacular” will take place on December 8, 2018. Infused teaches all styles of

dances for all ages. Classes for boys and girls begin at the age of three. For adults wanting a new and energetic fitness class, BollyX workout classes are currently being taught as well. Not only do they perform but also specialize in custom choreography with private classes and also teaching first dances for brides and grooms. The studio is located on 12220 Murphy Rd, Suite K, Stafford, TX 77477.

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Photos: Murali Santhana

For all the latest information on Infused follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For questions and inquiries call the studio at 724-638- 7338 or visit www.infusedperformingarts.com

For Photo Collage, see page 4


April 27, 2018


7 Club 24 Plus: Cool Waterfront Party, Cooler Philanthropy


April 27, 2018


HOUSTON: Saturday, April 14 was the

date for Club 24 Plus annual Evening of Philanthropy. In the morning, the sky was alive with thunderstorms, lightning, and even hailstorms in some areas. Hosts Dr. Kuldip and Veena Kaul were not certain whether to hold the party inside or out on the front of their palatial home in Webster. By the afternoon, the sun came out and the Kauls decided to host an outdoor event, advising guests to bundle up against the cool breezes blowing from the lake. During the cocktail hour, about 75 Club 24 members and guests enjoyed the lakefront view with hors d’oeuvres catered by Dawat Cuisine of Madras Pavilion. Alpa Shah, Chair of Club 24’s Signature Events committee, welcomed the gathering with an appropriate message for the Evening of Philanthrophy: “Charity is about compassion for humanity. True wealth is measured by the good we do in this world.” Club 24 President Manisha Gandhi thanked the Kauls for being such gracious hosts and providing a wonderful ambience for the Evening of Philanthropy. Gandhi also thanked founder-member Ashok Garg and past presidents Pradeep Gupta, Asha Dhume, Sangeeta Pasrija and Anuradha Subramanian for laying the groundwork for creating the legacy of the philanthropy event, which has been running for the past 12 years. “The Evening of Philanthropy is my personal favorite,” Gandhi explained. “This is when Club 24 members give back to charitable organizations in Houston and also in India. Club 24 matches a small portion of those contributions. This is important because Club 24 has members, who are not only accomplished, but also are passionate about making the world a better place.” Gandhi then proceeded to call on stage the various charities, which received philanthropic funding. Ekal Vidyalaya, which runs one-teacher schools in the remotest rural and tribal villages of India. Pradeep and Kiran Gupta accepted the donation check. Additional donors are Jugal and Raj Malani. “I’ve seen photos of an Ekal school taking place under a tree and the blackboard consists of the back of a water buffalo.” Kinkaid School, which is a private K-12 school in the Memorial area of Houston. Kinkaid Director of Advancement Tom Moore and his wife Jenny accepted the check with Club 24 members Rahul Purie and Bhavna Sharma. Museum of Fine Arts of Houston, which is currently running the “Peacock in the Desert” exhibit featuring the treasures of the Royal House of Jodhpur. MFAH Senior Development Officer Valerie Greiner accepted the check with Club 24’s Anuradha Subramanian. Ovarcome, a foundation which provides treatment support and options to underprivileged women suffering from ovarian cancer. Ovarcome Board member and Club 24 member Dr. Arpana Kamat accepted the check. Club 24 member Juuhi Ahuja is also on Ovarcome’s board. Pratham, which educates children in the urban areas of India. Founded in 1995, the organization has educated 50 million children in India. Accepting the check was Pratham President Asha Dhume, who is also a past-president of Club 24. Other Club 24

Rahul Purie and Bhavna Sharma (members, left) with Tom Moore (Kinkaid Director of Advancement), Manisha Gandhi and Alpa Shah.

Veena and Dr. Kuldip Kaul (Club 24 Evening of Philanthropy hosts) Photos: Bijay Dixit

tests. The Bhadekars sang both Bollywood Golden oldies and classic ghazals and also allowed some Club 24 singers to join them on stage.

For Photo Collage, see page 6 Anu Subramanian (member, left) with Valerie Greiner (MFAH Senior Development Officer), Manisha Gandhi and Alpa Shah.

members joining Dhume on stage included Past-President Ash Shah, Annu Naik Savita Rao and Ashit Yagnik. Memorial-Spring Branch Rotary Club, which is a global network of leaders and problem-solvers who take action to create lasting change through scholarships and other activities. Rotary members include Ashok Garg and Jagdip Ahluwalia. Accepting the check for the Rotary was James Brown on behalf of President Dona Burke. Save-a-Mother, which was started in 2003 to eradicate maternal and infant mortality in India. “We’ve been able to reduce such mortalities by 90% in 2,300 villages,” said Veena Kaul, who is the president of Save-a-Mother. Club 24 member Veena Mathur is also active with the charity. West Houston Leadership Institute, which runs a 10-month program to engage leaders – and future leaders – in the issues of the day. Ken Graham accepted the check along with Club 24’s Mary Grace Landrum. Daya, which aids domestic violence victims with counseling, education and shelter. The donation check was accepted by Annu Naik and Jyoti Kulkarni. Club 24 members who support Daya include Pradeep Gupta and Swatantra Jain. This was followed by the introduction of new members by Ashok Garg. These included Tej and Usha Ganjoo, Dr. Ramesh Krishnan, Heather and Paul Canfield, Dr. Bharat and Falguni Gandhi, Dr. Anil Dara, and Krishna Shivram and Uma Krishnan. After dinner catered by Dawat Cuisine, the guests were treated to a concert by Salil and Aishwarya Bhadekar. Salil is the winner of both Marathi and Hindi Saregamapa con-



April 27, 2018


Celebrating Bengali New Year in the Heart of Texas

Photos: Saurabh Sengupta and others

HOUSTON: Houston Durga Bari celebrat-

ed Poila Baishakh in the heart of Texas with a day full of fantastic events on Sunday, April 15. It brought the Indian and Bangladeshi communities, Durga Bari and Tagore Society of Houston , together at our home away from home right here in Houston, celebrating Poila Baishakh. The Tagore music connoisseur, Shreya Guhathakurta, a part-time Houston resident, along with Mou Das organized a fabulous Baishakher Amontroney program with almost 90 participants from the Indian and Bangladesh communities. That program, which celebrated Tagore’s vision of universal peace and love, with a mesmerizing mix of song, dance and recitation. Consisting of three parts, Bhanusingher PoCONTINUED ON PAGE 10



April 27, 2018


When You Tickle the Funnybone in Hindi, it Just Feels More Hilarious! BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: This 11th annual

Hasya Kavi Sammelan (Laughing Poet’s Society) organized, once again, by the local chapter of the International Hindi Association in conjunction with the India Culture Center was held again this year at India House on Sunday, April 22 in the late afternoon at 4:30, starting with a tea and snacks social hour. This popular annual function provided the audience of over 300 a chance to rekindle their attachment to the national language of the Old Country. The poetry, usually in the form of pankte or couplets, was equal parts verse and lilting song and patriotic, absurd, mocking but always engaging. For a non-stop 150 minutes, the three poets kept the audience engrossed and in stitches with laughter. The main hall was filled close to capacity in rows of chairs with an estimated 300 people. In shudh (pure) Hindi, past IHA President Sangeeta Pasrija introduced the poets while IHA national president Swapan Dhairaywan and IHA Houston President Dr. K.D. Upadhaya welcomed the crowd. Upadhaya described the launch of IHA’s Hindi classes at India House, VPSS Haveli and the Gauriya Nath Mandir. Event Chair Rajiv Bhavsar appreciated the enthusi-

Past IHA Presidents Sangeeta Pasrija (right) and Swapan Dhairaywan (left, currently the IHA national president) with current IHA Houston President Dr. K.D. Upadhaya (second on left) giving Charlie Patel a service award, presented by India Culture Center Trustee Dr. Raj Bhalla.

astic attendance and Charlie Patel was honored for his service. After the show, guests were treated to a buffet style dinner of catered by Madras Pavilion restaurant. Darshak Thakkar of Krishna Sounds provided the sound system. The three poets and comedians Sarvesh Asthana, Gaurav Sharma and Sonroopa Vishal - came to Houston after shows in Dallas and Indianapolis. Their next show will be in Detroit and then 20 other cit-

ies in the US till May 28 as part of a tour of 24 cities which have chapters of the Antharrashtriya Hindi Samithi (International Hindi Association) which organized the nationwide event. This was the third visit to Houston by Asthana, who was the emcee of the show, introducing his other two poets. Both he and Sharma kept the audience entertained and howling with laughter with their one-liners, witty pankte and descriptions of absurd events.

Event chair Rajiv Bhavsar offered thanks to the performers and audience

Sonroopa (as she is widely known) offered the more serious and lilting voice with poetry sang out. Sarvesh Asthana of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh is a famous satirist who has participated in Kavi Sammelans and Mushairas since 1989. He is a highly celebrated Hindi poet and finds humor in the ups and downs of life. A law graduate and journalist by profession, Astana is widely published with six books and two documentaries and is a regular on radio and


in two TV comedy serials, Hero Koun (Who’s the Hero?) and Miss Ramkalie. This is his sixth visit to North America and he has also performed in the UK, Thailand, Dubai, Indonesia, and Oman. Gaurav Sharma of Mumbai hails from Rajasthan and is the son of renowned poet Shyamsunder Sharma. He is one of the most popular young humorist in India who has performed in over 2600 kavi sammelans and is known for his style of engaging humor and CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

10 April 27, 2018 When You Tickle the Funnybone in Hindi, it Just Feels More Hilarious! CONTINUED FROM PAGE 09 penetrating satire poetry and signature one liners, sometimes in the Marwari language. Since 2014 he has made 135 performances on Johny Lever’s live shows. He won the Laughter Challenge on Star TV, Comedy Ka King Kaun on SUB TV, and Hasya Kavi Muqabla on Zee TV. He has performed in over 32 countries, including multiple times in Canada and the US. Sonroopa Vishal of Badaun, Uttar Pradesh

(about 160 miles southeast of New Delhi), a gifted poetess, vocalist and ghazal singer with a melodious voice and spellbinding renditions, is a language and music graduate with a PhD in Hindi literature. She is a freelance writer, a director of three cultural and non-profit social organizations and has two published and co-authored several books. Sonroopa has recited her poems at India’s prestigious national Kavi Sammelan at the


Red Fort; the Sahitya Academy and on TV shows. This is her first visit to the US and Canada. While Astana and Sharma regaled the audience with their attire and witty delivery of daily events and other incidences, Sonroopa appealed to the romantic and feminine side, often with uplifting themes (“We don’t die because we drown, we die because we don’t swim”), ending with a poem entitled “Ladkiyan, Ladkiyan, Ladkiyan” (Girls, Girls, Girls) which interposed that line with a three adjectives that described what roles Indian females played. It received a standing ovation.

Celebrating Bengali New Year in the Heart of Texas

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 08 dabali, Barsha and Prem, the presentation tries to capture the essence of love through depicting not only the divine love between Radha and Krishna, and in various other forms, in nature and in real human lives. Celebrating the joy of union as much as the agony of separation of the tormented souls, the show captured the beauty and power of this most exalted and yet little understood feeling, and how it alone, essentially takes creation and life forward. Aided by most imaginative choreographies by celebrated Nritya-gurus and exponents of multiple dance gharanas and styles, like Odissi, Manipuri and Kathak, Shreya directed an ensemble of singers, dancers and musicians, to bring to life the magic of love through harnessing the sheer power and beauty in Thakur’s poems and songs. The selection of the pieces was super; the choreography and execution by the dancers were simply out of the world and finally, the rendition of the songs was top notch. Shreya’s creativity and direction to make so many diverse talents work together in creating this extraordinary show drew rapturous applause. Poulami Bhattacharya, Suchetana Mukherjee and team brought the best of Bengali cuisine to the Food Fest, where a packed house enjoyed the Bengali delicacies right here in Houston. Kicthen Food committee led by Pradip Saha and Rajib Datta, also made sure the event was a success. Food fests at Durga Bari are a huge hit in the local community and the tradition continued with the overflowing crowd at the stalls. They cannot wait for the next event to relish the experience again. Piyali Chatterjee and team put together the Mela, which was a super hit. Nothing like buying new clothes for new year! From latest couture to dazzling jewelry, the stalls had an amazing array of items to buy and revel in for the rest of the year. Balaka Ghosal held informative and engaging Earth Day where the kids and the adults learnt so much about sustainability and environment and how to reuse things. The lessons and the videos were a hit even after the event. Trees were planted as part of the event. The entire day started with Surya Pranam and temple celebration. April 15 was a day to remember and savor and feel lucky to have Durga Bari right here in Houston. It is our home away from home, where we celebrate every facet of our culture and tradition.

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April 27, 2018

Book Launch Event Benefits Pratham’s Beauty Entrepreneurship Program

Author Rajani Katta (left) and Pratham Houston President Asha Dhume.

HOUSTON: Dermatologist and

author Dr. Rajani Katta recently released her latest book, on eating for younger skin, at an event held to raise funds for Pratham. At the book launch event held on Friday, April 13, all proceeds from the sale of Glow: The Dermatologist’s Guide to a Whole Foods Younger Skin Diet were donated to the Pratham Beauty Entrepreneurship Program. During the event, held at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, event goers learned about Pratham’s Beauty Entrepreneurship Program. The program provides vocational training for women in India, and supports the development of beauty businesses. “I’m so honored to be able to support such a worthwhile program with the proceeds from my book launch party,” said Dr. Rajani Katta. “I’m so thankful that my friends and fellow Pratham supporters are coming together this evening to benefit such a worthy cause.” Attendees included Pratham board members, Asha Dhume, Pratham Houston president, and many Houston Pratham supporters. As Asha states: “ Edu-

cated & Trained women are empowered to make better choices. Give women a chance. Unleash their potential.” While serving as Professor of Dermatology at the Baylor College of Medicine for over 17 years, Dr. Katta was often asked about how diet can affect the skin. “After researching and writing multiple medical articles, I was determined to share the science and evidence on how our dietary choices impact our skin,” said Dr. Katta. The book delves deep into the research but presents the information in a practical and engaging manner, allowing readers to easily incorporate the recommendations. The book highlights Skin Saving Foods, including everyday foods such as ginger, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and many herbs and spices. Dr. Katta maintains a blog at SkinAndDiet.com. About the Author An accomplished dermatologist and professor, Dr. Rajani Katta has extensively researched how diet can affect the skin and the body’s overall health. Widely sought out for her perspectives and insight, she has been interviewed by and

quoted in multiple media outlets, including The Oprah Magazine, Dr. Oz Magazine, and Glamour. She has also been featured in news programs on the ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC networks, as well as NPR. She serves on the Clinical Faculty of the Baylor College of Medicine and the McGovern Medical School. About the Book Glow: The Dermatologist’s Guide to a Whole Foods Younger Skin Diet (MD2B, 2018, ISBN 978-1937978-09-9, SkinAndDiet.com) is available at bookstores nationwide and from major online booksellers. About Pratham Established in 1995 to provide education to children in Mumbai slums, Pratham (which means “first” in Sanskrit) is now one of the largest and most successful non-governmental education organizations in India. Working in collaboration with governments, communities, parents, teachers and volunteers, Pratham focuses on innovative interventions to address gaps in the education system. The clarity of the mission—“every child in school and learning well”—drives the focus to make an impact on the lives of India’s children. With operations in 20 of India’s 29 states, Pratham reaches millions of children and youth each year, from Kashmir to Tamil Nadu. Pratham USA is a volunteer-driven organization with 14 chapters across the United States that raise awareness and mobilize financial resources. Pratham USA will be hosting its 2018 Houston Gala on Saturday, May 12, at the Hilton Americas in Downtown Houston. For sponsorship opportunities and more information on Pratham USA please contact Vikas Bahl @vbahl@prathamusa.org or visit prathamusa. org. Tel: 713 774 9599.


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12 April 27, 2018 Candidate Sri Kulkarni Shares His Platform at Rao’s Fundraiser



HOUSTON: Ever since he announced his

candidacy for the District 22 Congressional seat, this Democratic contender, Sri Preston Kulkarni, has stolen the hearts and minds of many of the desi community. Not only is he a product of growing up in a tough Alief neighborhood, and later went to the University of Texas to get his bachelor’s degree, Kulkarni still has many friends from among the desi community who remember his time here and his family. Several of them were among the 50 peo-

Ashok Rao introduced Sri Preston Kulkarni, the democratic candidate in the upcoming May 22 Democratic primary runoff for the District 22 Congressional seat, at a fundraiser in his house on April 17.

ple who came together at the fundraiser held last Tuesday, April 17 at the house of Ashok and Sheila Rao in the Memorial area and rubbed shoulders with the candidate who is in a Democratic Primary runoff against Letitia Plummer on May 22. In the March 6 primary, Kulkarni garnered 31.81% of the vote (or 9,466 votes) to Plummer’s 24.3% (or 7,230 votes). Early voting runs from May 14 through May 18. The 22nd District includes Sugar Land, Richmond-Rosenberg, most of Ft. Bend County and even Manvel, Alvin, Pearland and parts of Friendswood. Ashok Rao welcomed the guests to the event which was held by the backyard pool, with appetizers and a buffet dinner catered by Songkran Thai Kitchen, of which the Raos are part owners. There was a spirited discussion and Q&A session afterwards. The candidate was introduced by his campaign coordinator Karim Farishta, who made a passionate case for the democratic alternative for district 22 which has been represented for the past nine years by Republican Pete Olson who is seeking his sixth term. Kulkarni began by asking for a moment of silence in homage to the passing earlier that day of former First Lady Barbara Bush. He went on to describe the tough neighborhood he grew up in and how he was bussed to Lamar High School in the upper-class River Oaks district where he was constantly reminded of the grim part of town his home was in. As a biracial child of an Indian father and an Anglo-American mother, Kulkarni recalled how was taunted for looking different from the other kids. He went on to earn a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University, work in the Foreign Service and serve as a policy and defense advisor to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Kulkarni said his 14 years in the US Foreign Service has taught him that we are not all perfect but current events, especially after the 2016 elections, have tried to separate us and make the US like a conflict zone. “We need healing in this country even if we don’t agree on policy,” he said. “People say they believe in my values. Well, these are also Hindu values and it goes to show that we are not as divided as it seems.” Kulkarni added that his campaign was based upon going out to all communities and connecting with them to build a larger community spirit. Even high school students have volunteered and his campaign has 93 youth volunteers. As a result of his campaign, over 4,000 Asians voted in this past primary compared to only 338 in the previous mid-term elections. “It’s about increasing civic engagement,” he said. “If you don’t vote, you don’t count.”



April 27, 2018


Judge Sandill Meets YLDP Students BY TARINI KUMAR

HOUSTON: On Saturday, April

7, the students of YLDP met with Honorable Judge Ravi Kumar Sandill at the Harris County Courthouse. Judge Sandill is the only person of South Asian decent to hold a high-ranking public office in the state of Texas. Judge Sandill was born in Canada to immigrant parents from India. His father later joined the Military, and as a result he moved around quite a bit as a child from Canada to India, to Philadelphia. His parents eventually ended up in Detroit, while a young Judge Sandill lived in Toronto with his grandparents for schooling reasons. He completed his high school education in England, and attended the University of Texas at Austin where he received an undergraduate degree in government. I remember Judge Sandill recounting that during his childhood, living in military bases as well as in Canada, he did not have much exposure to other Indians. However, when he attended UT, he was suddenly surrounded by people of his culture and color. I couldn’t help but draw compar-

YLDP students with Judge R.K. Sandill

times we are quick to judge others based on only our own experience, and the things that were told to us, which can often lead to an incor-

isons to my own life from Judge Sandill. My father moved from India to Canada before settling in Houston with his parents. My family later moved to Philadelphia for a brief period of time before returning back to Houston. And like Judge Sandill, I am attending the University of Texas at Austin next fall. However, unlike Judge Sandill, I grew up around a plethora of Indians, and I have a very strong resonance with my culture in that sense. The main topic of Judge Sandill’s talk was about optimism, and how Judge Sandhill’s optimism allowed him to persevere through

the life threatening cancer he was diagnosed with when he was just 27 years of age. But the main thing that stood out to me about Judge Sandill was his humility. He opened his talk with a piece of advice. He told us that you cannot believe it when people tell you are great. For me this meant that you cannot just take someone’s word that you are great because there is not an endpoint and you have to continuously work to better yourself. This connected to a later part of his talk, where he was talking about how he could not comprehend how people could hate things they did not understand. Too many

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rect judgments. I found these two pieces of advice to be what stood out to me most during the course of Judge Sandill’s talk.

14 April 27, 2018


CRY America’s Annual Volunteer Conference Held in Houston HOUSTON: CRY, Child Rights & You

America Inc, a non-profit that works towards ensuring underprivileged children their basic rights, held their Annual CRYAmerica Volunteer Conference in Houston on April 7 and April 8 at the Four Points by Sheraton Energy Corridor Hotel owned by Juuhi and Prakash Ahuja. It was well attended by volunteers, Action Center leaders and staff including Patrick Bocco and Lipika Sharma and board members from all partsof the US and India. It was an opportunity for volunteers to share about their activities from the past year and discuss their plans for the upcoming year. National plans and reviews were highlighted by CRY India’s Vatsala Mamgain and CRY America’s President Shefali Sunderlal. Action Centers and volunteers were recognized for their accomplishments and presented with appreciation awards. Par-

ticipants attended informational workshops on all aspects of CRY America such as the grant process, projects, resource generation and information technology. Attendees got to know each other better by participating in bonding activities and a fun Saturday night outing! CRY America works with grass-root Projects, communities and local government agencies to ensure children have quality education, health care and are protected from child labor, child marriage and gender discrimination. CRY’s child rights model has stood the test of time and delivers impact that brings lasting change in the lives of the communities and the children it serves. CRY is well known for its professional project planning, monitoring and selection process in the field. CRY America has been able to impact the lives of 695,077 children living across 3,350 villages and slums through support to 73 Projects. For more information about CRY America, please contact the Houston Action Center Lead Dina Patel at 832-515-3103 or Advisory Board member Dharam Bali at 832-341-1142 or support@cryamerica. org or visit http://www.america.cry.org About CRY America: CRY - Child Rights and You America Inc (CRY America) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that is driven by its vision of a just world in which all children have equal opportunities to develop to their full potential and realize their dreams. With the support of over 25,153 donors and 2,000 volunteers, CRY America has impacted the lives of 695,077 children living across 3,350 villages and slums through support to about 73 Projects in India and USA. All donations are tax deductible.

CRY America’s Upcoming Houston Gala Dinner with Abhay Deol

HOUSTON: CRY, Child Rights & You

America [CRY America], a 501c3 non-profit that works towards ensuring underprivileged children their basic rights, is hosting their Annual Gala Dinner in Houston on May 4, 2018 to bring people together for the cause of children’s rights. This year, the CRY Gala Dinner is at the Sweetwater Country Club. Speakers include Celebrity Guest Abhay Deol who joins CRY America to amplify the voices of underprivCONTINUED ON PAGE 16


April 27, 2018



16 April 27, 2018

COMMUNITY Laughter is the Best Medicine for Health and Happiness BY KRISHAN GUPTA



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Humans are naturally attracted to those who laugh because it makes them feel good. Laughter is the best medicine to make you feel good and relieve your tiredness and sickness. It gives you a positive upbeat frame of mind, trigger’s healthy physical, emotional changes, boost and strengthens the immune system. It is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, lighten burdens, and enhance relationships. The power of laughter is a part of life and can never be underestimated. It is extremely beneficial to the human body, and it has no known side effects. Cheerfulness and contentment are great beautifiers and are famous preservers of youthful looks. Cheerfulness suggests good health, a clear conscience and a soul at peace. Laughter stimulates the heart and lungs, reduces allergies, improves memory and digestion. A lively laugh enhances the intake of oxygen, stimulates circulation and relieves discomfort. Laughter releases good hormones like endorphins and serotonin, which can lower stress, decrease pain, relax muscles, lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, reduce the risk of heart attack, burn calories, lighten anger’s heavy load, increase resilience and combat depression to give an overall feeling of contentment. Neuroplasticity is a process by which the human brain learns to evolve with changes in our behavior and environment. Neuroplas-

ticity enables us to train our brain to be humorous, laugh and become more positive. Laughter also has a good physiological effect which helps to guard against weight gain, heart strains and lack of sleep. Laughter is a great workout, raising the heart rate and exercising the diaphragm, stomach and shoulder muscles, and it does not end there. Along with the social, chemical, and physical effects, laughter gives us a mental clarity in difficult situations and diffuses stressful ones. It provides a perspective that can encourage creative thinking and enhance problems solving skills. Laughter a powerful tool and universal language that can improve communication, relationships, and decision making. Wherever you are in the world, the slightest hint of a smile can connect you to a stranger. It is recognized by people and cultures across the globe. It is one of the most versatile communication tools. The remarkable thing about positive laughter is it’s contagiousness. Think about how many times you’ve laughed just at the sound of someone’s laughter as our body prepares muscles in

our face to laugh. The secret of happiness is to let your interests be as wide as possible and let your reactions be friendly rather than hostile. Your ability to laugh can be cultivated with practice so start by prioritizing fun. Remember, laughter, like smiling, is never depleted when you share it. So much of our attitude about life and our capacity to meet life’s challenges depends on the quality of the relationships we have, especially our most intimate ones that, when they sour, life tends to feel bleak. Because the quality of our relationships has a powerful effect on physical and mental balance, as well as our sense of satisfaction in life, it’s important that we keep our relationships rewarding and fresh. So, join a Laughter Yoga Club, visit a comedy club and use positive language, not just verbally but in your internal dialogue as well. Be aware of the things that make you laugh and build a mental stock of these laughter triggers to be recalled at stressful times. If you are under stress, stand in front of a mirror and laugh as loud as possible, relax for a while, drink glass of water, and keep a smiling face. Spend more time with the people who make you laugh and less time with “mood hoovers” who leave you drained. You don’t stop laughing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop laughing. So for the sake of a healthy and enjoyable life, just laugh: it may be just the medicine you need.

CRY America’s Upcoming Houston Gala Dinner with Abhay Deol CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14 ileged children, Shefali Sunderlal, President of CRY America, Dr. Rolee Singh, Program Director of Dr. Shambhunath Singh Research Foundation (SSRF) and Surendra Adhana, Deputy Consul General India. Apart from raising awareness for the cause, plans include an enjoyable evening with dinner, cocktails, auctions, entertainment, music and dancing. Performances by Oliver Rajamani of Flamenco India will be part of the evening’s program. Auction items to be featured are donations by famous Indian painters including the late Ram Kumar, late Badri Narayan JMS Mani, Prakash Deshmukh, Suresh Gulage, Sachin Sangare, Dinkar Jadav; fashion ensembles donated by Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla, Ritu Beri, Ritu Kumar, Tarun Tahiliani,

Anita Dongre, Payal Singhal; evening clutch bags donated by Sabyasachi & Joy Bags and Jewelry donated by Rosentique, Aquamarine, Kareena Nahar and Amrapalli. While India has made great progress economically in the last decade, her children continue to battle violations of their rights every day. Millions of children are denied their rights to education, healthcare and forced into child labor, child marriage and abuse. CRY America works with grassroot Projects, communities and local government authorities to ensure children have quality education, healthcare, and protection from child labor, child marriage and issues which hinder their development. Shefali Sunderlal says, “CRY America believes that “YOU” can empower children’s dreams and your support allows us to ensure


that thousands of children are able to go to sleep educated, healthy and protected.” She appealed for people to join CRY America as donors, volunteers and supporters and visit http://www.america.cry. org for more information. With the support from over 25,000 donors & 2,000 volunteers, CRY America has transformed the lives of over 695,077 children in 3676 villages and slums. CRY America welcomes the support from sponsors, media, donors and volunteers to make the CRY Dinners a big success. For more information or to attend the CRY Gala Dinners in Houston contact: Dharam Bali dharambali@yahoo.com 832341-1142 or Patrick Bocco patrick.bocco@cryamerica.org 617959.1273 or visit america.cry.org


April 27, 2018

Save A Mother, Celebrating its 10th Anniversary

HOUSTON: Young mothers die during

childbirth in poor countries with limited resources. Rural India has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. In 2008, a group of volunteers joined together in Houston and Chicago to start ‘Save A Mother,’ an organization dedicated to reducing maternal and infant mortality in rural India. What began in 20 villages ten years ago, the organization has expanded to 1100 villages in three states - Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana. With the resources and direction of the organization, they have been able to reduce maternal mortality by 90% and infant mortality by 60% in the villages they serve. This success rate is almost unbelievable. In 167 villages in the district of Gadag in northern Karnataka, there was not a single maternal death in 2017 and there was only one death in 2016, which is almost the high standards of developed countries. Rahul Singhal, an IT entrepreneur and Chicago native, who has been with the organization since its inception believes that it is the dedicated field volunteers and supporting volunteers in the U.S.A. that made it happen. Save A Mother President, Veena Kaul shared, “It has been my privilege and honor to be the leader of Save A Mother for the past 10 years. Our rate of growth is steadily increasing commensurate with the expanded healthcare services we have provided for women and children in the remote villages of India. In our quest to make a dramatic shift in the lives of underrepresented women and children, I have the distinct pleasure of a dedicated, talented and most of all, agents of change to serve as volunteer board members. Our board represents a cross section of young, vibrant leaders who are committed to make quantum leap changes in embarking and more importantly advocating in enhancing health care education and services. I would be remiss if I don’t extend my deepest gratitude and admiration to the amazing donors whose generous contributions and encouragement over the years from Houston community has resulted in SAM’s 10th year celebration”. Nat Murthy, CEO of his own company in Houston, joined the organization five years ago. Although in his mid-70s, his goal was to make a difference. He is an inspirational volunteer and serves as the treasurer of the organization. He strongly believes in the vision to provide maximum benefit to the under privileged with minimum overhead expenditure. He advocates that prudent expenditure should make Save a Mother a leading innovator in healthcare delivery. He says, “We achieve our goal, by spending approximately $150 annually per village, which is about 25 cents per capita per year”. An incredibly dedicated volunteer board and generous Houston community has enabled Save a Mother to continually expand its program. Dr. Madhuvanti Ghose, Curator of Indian and Islamic Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, visited a program village recently and met some of the participating women. After enduring a tortuous and tiring journey through the dusty villages, it was a transformational experience for her when she witnessed the hope, enthusiasm and empowerment that Save a Mother program has brought to the women. Save a Mother is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year to honor all the volunteers who made its success possible. They will hold evening events in Chicago on May 5 and in Houston on May 6. Shabana Azmi, well known social activist, legendary film personality and past Member of Parliament

will be the chief guest at both the events. To participate in these great events or organization, please contact at 630-3623119 or visit www.SaveAMother.org



18 April 27, 2018 Are We All the Same? Take a look at the populations of India and Pakistan, and one finds people are divided by ethnicity, linguistic and religious groups, and caste. A new research delivers a blow to the belief that people of South Asia are born with religion, caste, language and ethnicity as we find them today coded in their genes. The paper, ‘The Genomic Formation of South and Central Asia’ (goo.gl/7uEEs7), sheds light on the origins of these populations—where they came from and when they arrived in South Asia—by studying ancient DNA. And the finding: South Asians belong to the same genetic stock. According to the paper, ‘Indus Periphery’-related people—those who were in cultural contact with the Indus Valley Civilization—are the single most-important source of ancestry in South Asia. The study is based on the ‘generated genome-wide data from 362 ancient individuals, including the first from eastern Iran, Turan (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan), Bronze Age Kazakhstan, and South Asia’. The research shows that thousands of years ago, populations in that region repeatedly intermingled. The paper states that nearly all ethnic and linguistic groups—religion came much later—of the subcontinent are the product of the mixing of three ancient populations living in Eurasia. These groups were West Asian farmers, local huntergatherers and Central Asian herders. Three similar groups also mingled in ancient Europe, giving rise to populations as we find them in a large part of the modern-day continent. Studies into human origin is one of the most contentious areas of research. Moreover, those researchers who base their claim on DNA are often challenged, quite legitimately, on the quality of material. In the Indian subcontinent, where the high temperatures often degrade ancient DNA and chances of contamination are quite common, this job becomes more difficult. This research appears to be consistent with earlier findings. One area where it may kick up a debate is the arrival of Aryans in India and how far they moved into peninsular India. The researchers claim that after 1300 BC, as the Indus Valley Civilisation declined, some Indus Periphery groups moved into the southern peninsula and mixed with indigenous populations there. This ‘mixing’ formed the ancestral population of South India that, according to the paper, is more prominent in people who speak Dravidian languages The last part of the migration story ‘as told by genes’ is quite explosive. While the mixing was happening in the south, herders from the Russian steppes moved into the north of the subcontinent. These herders, along with remaining Indus Periphery people, mixed and formed ancestral north Indian populations. And today’s populations of the subcontinent were born out of the mixing of the ancestral south and north Indian populations. So, segregation is not in our genes. Believe in the evidence, or get stuck in the ‘proof ’ provided in the Mahabharata. -- Debkumar Mitra in Times of India

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY India and China: Over to the Leaders

BY C. RAJA MOHAN If war has become too important to be left to the generals in the modern era, high-stakes diplomacy is too important to be left to the diplomats. In agreeing to an “informal summit” between themselves later this week in the city of Wuhan on the banks of the Yangtze, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Chinese President Xi Jinping have chosen to take charge of the relationship. Leader-led engagement may not have come a day too soon for India and China. Few major bilateral relations in the world have been as bureaucratised as the one between Delhi and Beijing. A handful of professionals on both sides now speak in a code that few of their own foreign office colleagues can understand. Such a terribly narrow interface between the two large nations might have been alright if it had helped address longstanding bilateral problems, small and big. The sad fact is it has not. To make matters worse, diplomats wrap the public articulation of the relationship in such high-minded goals as heralding an “Asian century” or constructing a “multipolar world”. Such soaring rhetoric has become vacuous given the scale of differences. Consider the simple fact that the two establishments don’t even agree on the length of their disputed border. Delhi puts it at 4,000 km. Beijing says it may be about 2,000 km. A prolonged failure to address differences on such essential issues has long given a surreal character to the India-China relationship. While the format of an informal summit meeting might be new between India and China, both of them have experimented it with other nations. Xi has held such meetings with Obama (at Sunnylands in California) and Donald Trump (at the Mar-aLago in Florida). Modi too has sought to inject an informal dimension to his engagement with key international interlocutors. But the two-day encounter with Xi in Wuhan is probably Modi’s first full blown informal summit. It is also no surprise that the decision to have such a summit comes after one of the worst years in bilateral relations. The 72-day standoff in the

Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

summer of 2017 between the two countries in Doklam could have easily escalated into a full blown war between the nuclear-armed Asian giants. Last year also saw the sharpening of differences on the question of Pakistan’s support for cross-border terrorism and on India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. A new explicit area of divergence has also emerged on the question of connectivity in Asia. India became the strongest critic of Xi’s signature Belt and Road Initiative. Even before the summit has taken place, we have the familiar surge of hyperbole. The adjective, “historic” is already being appended to the Wuhan summit. High-level engagement is often useful to fix specific problems. Recall that informal talks on the margins of a multilateral conference last year helped the two leaders to push their bureaucracies to defuse the Doklam confrontation. But in 2016, the direct conversation between the two leaders could do nothing to resolve the differences on India’s membership of the NSG. Given the depth and breadth of the problems between India and China, it will be unwise to expect dramatic breakthroughs at the Wuhan summit. Consider, for example, the current state of the relationship. Talks have long stalled on resolving the boundary dispute even as the structure of the frontier has become more prone to standoffs between the two armed forces. Tibet and Kashmir continue to complicate the resolution of territorial dispute between the two countries.


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The difficulties on the frontier are not just bilateral; they involve third countries — Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan — on the northern frontier. The friction has confined to the great Himalayas — it is mounting by the day across the Indo-Pacific. On the economic front, trade deficit with China is continuing to balloon and forms more than a third of India’s total deficit with the world. These issues are not amenable to resolution in a single meeting between the two leaders. Nor can Modi and Xi alter the nature of their relationship with third parties to please each other. Delhi should have little reason to bet that Wuhan will lead to chinks in China’s all-weather partnership with Pakistan. Nor can Beijing expect that India will hold back from strengthening its ties with the United States and the West. The nature of the issues bedeviling the ties between the two nations has certainly not changed between 2017 and 2018. What has changed though is the international context. President Trump’s willingness to confront China on trade issues and his bold effort to alter the status quo in Beijing’s Korean frontyard has cast a shadow over the sense of China’s inevitable and indisputable primacy over Asia. After a few years of signaling that major powers and neighbours have no option but to adapt to China’s rise, Beijing is now hinting at a measure of flexibility to cover the massive geopolitical risks engendered by Trump. As it explores potential compromises with the United States, China is also reaching out to its Asian neighbours, including Japan, Vietnam and India That, in turn, has opened up some room for Delhi. Informal summits are not about negotiations between leaders. At Wuhan, Modi and Xi have an opportunity to better appreciate each other’s concerns and interests, reflect on the multiple problems between the two nations, imagine a redirection of the relationship, set practical goals and mandate the bureaucracies to produce those outcomes. -- Indian Express The writer is director, Carnegie India, Delhi and contributing editor on foreign affairs for The Indian Express


April 27, 2018


VYASA Houston’s Annual Yoga Retreat 2018


VYASA-USA (Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana) Houston chapter recently conducted its 6th annual Yoga Retreat from 13 to 15 April in Camp Cho-Yeh near Livingston, an ideal setting for practice and contemplation of the great gift that India has offered to the world – Yoga. Yoga, a scientific way of life crafted by ancient Indian seers, has often been seen by West in a limited scope as an exercise consisting of difficult physical postures (asanas). The other aspects such as breath-regulation, emotion-culturing, exercising intellect, and self-awareness that make Yoga a holistic approach to health are not widely known, or seldom talked about. VYASA’s mission is to spread the awareness of Yoga as a science and holistic approach to better physical, mental and spiritual health, through Education, Research and publications. This year’s retreat was presided by Yogashree N. V. Raghuram, professor of Yoga Sciences from SVYASA Yoga University, Bangalore. He is an eminent speaker on Indian Philosophy and ancient Yoga texts. He is founder president of Yoga Bharati, a non-profit organization with a vision of enhancing health, happiness, knowledge and peace in life through a holistic approach to Yoga. He, through multiple lectures presented an overview of the educational, research and clinical aspects of yoga at SVYASA. The theme of this year’s retreat was Meditation. This was a handson workshop on “MSRT” (Mind Sound Resonance Technique), an advanced meditation technique that’s involves sounds and mantras which is used for improving physical, mental, emotional health and treat stress-related disorders. MSRT improves focus, plasticity and adaptability of mind, and strengthens body’s immune defense and nervous system. The insights into the practice of MSRT for self-healing and in yoga therapy sessions were taught and led by Ms. Smitha Mallaiah. Dr. Sudha Rajan, current president of VYASAHouston led a session on Pranayama and its importance in healing. The retreat was a synthesis of lectures, discussions, Yogic games (krida-yoga) that brought out the spirit of camaraderie, wholesome vegetarian food, music and fun-

Attendees at the VYASA Yoga Retreat

Graduated students from 200hrs Yoga Teacher training course

filled campfire at night, as well as dedicated Yogasana, Pranayama and mediation sessions early in the morning. Raghuram ji led the group with insightful discourses on Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga, the science behind an integrated approach to yoga therapy and emotional-culturing through Bhakti Yoga. Separate Yogasana sessions for adults and children, tailored for level of experience were led by Mr. Vishwarupa, Ms. Suveena and Ms. Satya every morning. Children participated with separate tracks and activities that included discovering nature, archery, and discussions on Yamas and Niyams among others. SVYASA offers multiple courses in the mainstream education paradigm, starting from a yoga instructor’s course, to Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral level programs. The Yoga Instructor Certification Course (YICC) is also conducted in the Houston branch as a 200-hour curriculum, including didactics, asana, pranayama, kriyas and meditation training as well as equal opportunity to lean yoga philosophy and a 40-hour internship in teaching provision. Students who began the YICC in 2017 and completed all requirements took part in a graduation ceremony during the retreat. The learning atmosphere of the Yoga retreat blissfully continued for the next three days in a free event for Houstonians, where Raghuram ji lectured on the “Message of Upanishads in everyday life”. The lecture series took place in KeshavaSmruti and was attended by over 75 participants every day. Sri Raghuram’s eloquent lectures on the topics like – “TeacherStudent Symbiosis” based on the Shanti Mantra “Om Sahanavavatu”, “The Pancha-Kosa Concept of Existence” from Taittireeya Upanishat, “States of experiences that define us” from Maandukya

Upanishat, and “Universal Love and Consciousness” based on the Shanti Mantra “Sarve Bhavantu” are received with great admiration. The lectures were followed by a Q&A session with insightful responses by the ever-encouraging and ever-approachable speaker. The retreat exceeded all expectations in terms of bringing together people with similar goals, attitudes and interests. Yoga is not a new concept. On the contrary, it is one of the oldest disciplines known to humankind. It has withstood the trials of time, only because of its inherent strengths and benefits. For the same reasons, it has also undergone many variations and iterations. There can be no greater testament to the principle of going beyond tolerance to whole-hearted acceptance in Vedantic philosophy, than the enduring science of Yoga. VYASA fulfills an important mission in constantly reinforcing the comprehensive nature of yoga. The unspoken, yet implicit connection to spirituality was palpable throughout the retreat. VYASA Houston offers yoga teacher training program, yoga therapy training, general yoga classes and yoga therapy research. The young and dynamic couple, Sri. Vishwarup kashyap (Director) and Smitha Mallaiah (Program Director and researcher at M.D. Anderson) are the leading forces behind VYASA-USA Houston center. They are also the lead teachers for all of VYASA’s educational endeavors in the area. This retreat was a glimpse of the breadth and depth of this organizations capacities, all performed with simplicity and adherence to principles of Karma yoga (duty without expectation).


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20 April 27, 2018


The Spectacular Utsavam at Sri Guruvayurappan Temple, Houston BY CHITTOOR K. RAMACHANDRAN


Greater Houston is looking forward to this season of Indian cultural extravaganza. Year after year, this is the time hundreds of families from nearby towns look forward to rush to Sri Guruvayurappan Temple. The annual festival (Utsavam) of this temple falls this year during April 26 through May 5. Unique style of rituals and certain art forms presented in this festival are distinct from other Hindu temple celebrations. Although Sri Guruvayurappan Temple at Houston has been in existence only for less than 10 years, one can notice a tremendous

increase in the number of visitors attending the events in this festival. Year 2018 Utsavam is special because of the extended (initial four days) of rituals associated with the addition of a new shrine within the Temple to worship Sri Shiva. Several priests, professional ‘melam’ percussionists, classical musicians, and associated volunteers have already started turning the temple surroundings into a festival ground. Every evening has been filling a temple with devotees and art lovers. From the first day of Utsavam that begins formally with flag hoisting ceremony, enormous activities of Utsavam begin. Series of a variety of classical music con-

certs, daily precessions around the temple with traditional chenda melam. The stage in the temporarily raised tent will serve as the shelter for conducting all cultural events. Classical music and dance recitals, and several rare

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Santoor was brought from folk music to mainstream classical music by Pt. Shivkumar Sharma. In his lifetime, he achieved this great feat and as a result the world got to hear this incredibly sweet instrument as the lead instrument. Prior to that santoor was part of the folk and Bollywood background music.

Ustad Zakir Hussain similarly was largely responsible in popularizing Tabla around the world by discovering the incredible facets that the instrument could offer. Both these artists have made an indelible mark on Hindustani Classical Music for generations to come. For the lineage to live-on, discovering new dimensions through talented students who remain steeped in tradition but unfold the sounds and the music in unique ways, is absolutely essential. Rahul Sharma (who is both a student and the son of Pt. Shiv-


art forms like Kathakali, Ottam thullal, and Chakyar kooth will be featured during the festival. A variety of melams will be played almost all evenings that would make this event a spectacular event. The events will be concluded with a grand display of firework. Please visit www.guruvayurappanhouston.org for details of the festival. Or call (713) 729-8994. Address 11620 Ormandy St, Houston TX 77035

kumar Sharma ) and Aditya Kalyanpur (who is the student of Ustad Zakir Hussain ) will be doing just that on April 28, in Chinmaya Hall in Sugarland at 5pm. Rahul Sharma (a Sangeet Natak Academy award recipient) has the distinction of not only being an extremely sought after musician in the classical circles around the world, but in fusion and world music as well. The album Namaste India with the saxophonist Kenny G, and his earlier album Confluence with the pianist Richard Clayderman, became extremely popular. Rahul has also composed music for Hindi films just like his father! The 26yrs Indian Music Society of Houston, is proud to present this lineage presentation. For tickets please go to www.imshouston.net.

April 27, 2018


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22 April 27, 2018

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Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Rotiyan da Atta (Dough for Flatbread) By popular demand, here is a reprint of Mama’s Rotiyan da Atta recipe, which is at the heart of all Punjabi meals. The atta (dough) will determine how big, thick and tasty the roti (flatbread) will be and how much delicious they will taste. It is reprinted with some additional information and directions. For a Punjabi, a meal without roti (flatbread), or some sort of bread, is like a day without sunshine! It’s practically impossible for most Punjabis to eat their daily meal without rotis, paranthas, naan, kulche, bathure or puris – all different types of flatbread (generally referred to as “rotiyan” or breads) made of wheat or white flour. Just as a person from South India, Nepal or Bengal must have white rice to finish off their meal, a Punjabi does not feel content until he or she can scoop up a dish with some roti. So central to the day’s meals is roti that for there are streetside corner tandoorwalas (clay oven vendors) or dhabas (roadside food stalls) which make and sell rotis - some make them with the atta (dough) that you bring you – and the lines can be long. A few decades ago, the tandoors were pits dug into the ground and the tandoorwalas would sit under a thatched roof, even offering different curried dishes and daals which cooked on vent holes around the main opening. These days the tandoors are smaller, portable units that are set up to one side of the shop. To make roti, you have to start with good wheat flour. Growing up in Lyallpur, my nana’s (maternal grandfather) extended joint family of 20 would receive jute bags filled with wheat that was grown in our fields in Jhung. My mother and the other women would have them taken to the chakki (stonemill grinder) in the bazaar and then store the flour in large pippas (tall tin cans with hinged tops). These days, with so many different brands of flour available, I still try to find flour that uses good roti wheat, not a blended grain, and does not become too stringy and sticky when the dough is formed. Usually you make atta that can last for two or three days in the fridge after it is kneaded. In the old days, we would make dough fresh each day as it would not keep in the hot weather and turn sour overnight since we had no refrigeration. Good dough should stay a slightly

dark creamy-colored the next day; but if the dough turns camel-color dark then the wheat is not good for rotis, which will also turn out dark. In India, it is expected that the women of the household would know how to make rotis. But in America, I am amazed at how many Indian women – especially those who have been born and brought up here – do not have any idea how to make the atta dough, let alone make the rotis. And of those women who came from the Old Country, I am equally amazed at how many choose not to make rotis at home! They choose instead to buy them in frozen packets or order them by the dozens from some enterprising lady who runs a home kitchen. The best way to make atta dough is kneading the flour with your hands in a wide brimmed bowl. As this is a relatively simple process, again I am surprised that even middle-aged Indian women in the US use a mixer to make the dough. It takes more time to clean the mixer than it takes to make the dough by hand! And also, hand kneading lets you estimate if the dough is too wet or dry. So, this is not a recipe but a guide for those women who are interested in cooking fresh rotis at home. It is the first step in making a good Indian meal!! But the best guide is to get a demonstration and if some people want, I can do so. Just send a request to indoamericannews@yahoo.com Ingredients: 1. 4 cups atta (unbleached wheat flour). Makes 12 rotis 2. 2 cups thanda pani (cold water) Directions: 1. Choose a brand of atta that has good wheat content and is not too

finely ground. There are many on the market and you can only tell which you prefer by trial and error. 2. At home, open the bag of flour and pour it into a large bucket or tin with a tight lid to keep moisture and insects out. This makes it easier to reach the atta and get it out when you are ready to cook. Also, the atta can stay for a long time. 3. When ready to cook, pour the flour in a wide mouthed bowl. Form a small crater and slowly pour the water in while kneading the dough with your hand till it becomes a nice, tender but firm ball, but make sure it is not thin or stingy to when pulled. 4. Dab the surface of the ball with a little water to keep it moist, cover the bowl and set aside for an hour. You can then place it in the fridge for longer duration. If the dough is too hard, the roti will also be hard. 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 recipes for future generations.




ta for rotis few small steps that seems like an easy task, and it is. Bu t ther w enough that you ca ill make sure that the rotis come out so e are a n scoop the curries ft but firm an hard, like you som etimes find in resta d daals easily and yet are not urants. First, make used for kneading sure th the thinner. Also, too m flour is cold: warm water will make e water th uch water will mak e the dough hard to e dough balls and roll out. A nd, if the dough is make into too hard, the rotis w hard too. Of course ill co , if be torn off into scoo you are used to making paper thin rotis me out ps, no amount of tip that can’t s will help you!!

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April 27, 2018


Political Drama with a Cute CM: What’s Not to Like? Raised in London, Bharat is a typical youngster who’s yet to figure out what to do in life after graduation when circumstances force him to become the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. New to the place and with no political knowledge, Bharat learns the ropes quickly and governs efficiently. However, while he endears himself to the masses, he makes enemies out of the political class, including his own party members. With the people within and outside his party gunning for him, can the young CM succeed in effecting change in the society? Make no mistake, Bharat Ane Nenu isn’t your usual political drama full of mind games and manipulation. The film revolves around a larger-thanlife hero, a bad guy (several of them in fact), a love interest, and a bit of family drama to go along with it. The only difference here is that the hero also happens to be the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. In fairness to Koratala Siva, he has unabashedly declared that Bharat Ane Nenu is a fictional political drama and transports the viewers into his fictional political atmosphere, where one man tries to bring a change. After losing his mother at an early age, Bharat (Mahesh Babu) goes to London to stay with his uncle. He grows up there and like every other youngster, is clueless about what he’s going to do after graduation, when he learns of his father’s demise. The sudden death of his father, also the AP CM, leaves a political vacuum in the state. Sensing instability in the party and a risk of it breaking up into two factions, party chief Varadarajan (Prakash Raj) asks a reluctant Bharat to take over as CM of the state. Thrown into the job, Bharat uses the values his mother taught him — never to break a promise — in his

governance. It’s not long before he gains in popularity and new enemies as a result of it. With Bharat endearing himself to the masses, the corrupt and now threatened politicians work round the clock to oust him. But can they succeed? Any comparisons to the real world political scenario would be futile. In Bharat’s world, the house is not adjourned, and proceedings only come to a close when he takes his leave. Within minutes of taking charge, he imposes large traffic fines, and issues G.Os at will. He also goes to Rayalaseema and gets involved in a fist fight to show that he has the strength to back his words. Trouble is that what starts off as an engaging journey to change the system and politics of the state, suddenly turns into a bit more routine encounter. There is a rather forced romantic track, where Bharat sports a fake moustache to hid his identity as he takes his girl friend Vasumathi (Kiara Advani) on a ride on his Royal Enfield (Yes, while he’s still CM). Unlike good political dramas, which has mind games and manipulations, Bharat’s political battles are mostly physical ones — where he single-handedly bashes up hundreds of goons. And that’s where this promising political drama loses its fizz. Bharat’s declaration about how he can bring change with a snap of his fingers seems far-fetched, even by the film’s exaggerated standards. His rant against the media for sensationalising issues for TRPs is equally amusing. And yet, a weak climax notwithstanding, there’s a lot to like about Bharat Ane Nenu. Koratala Siva deserves credit for the way he handles the script. You inevitably end up rooting for this charming, young CM and the director keeps you gripped to the journey of Bharat.

Mahesh Babu declared that this was his best ever performance. And while the jury is still out on that, he most certainly has delivered a performance his ever growing fan base would enjoy watching on-screen. Devi Sri Prasad’s music and background score elevates this movie and Mahesh’s performance. Kiara Advani doesn’t have much to offer,

while Prakash Raj is terrific as the manipulative politician. A political drama with a young and good looking CM at the helm, what’s not to like? But you can’t help but wonder if the director did the right thing by veering away from an intense political drama into ‘songdance-fights’ routine, commercial potboiler. -- Times of India

“Bharat Ane Nenu”: Mahesh Babu Film Earns Rs 125 Crore Telugu superstar Mahesh Babu is on cloud nine as his latest film Bharat Ane Nenu continues to rake in the moolah. On Tuesday, the second collaboration of Kortala Siva and Mahesh Babu crossed Rs 125 crore mark, confirmed the producers. The Kortala Siva directorial was declared a blockbuster on the second

day of its release after it earned Rs 100 crore gross from its worldwide theatrical collection. According to reports, the film had earned more than Rs 50 in its opening weekend in Telugu states alone. And it also did an impressive business in the international market. The film set a new record for a

Telugu film, barring director SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali: The Conclusion. when it debuted at the US box office by raking in $1.5 million (Rs 10.15 crore) from just 305 screens. As of Sunday, the film had made more than Rs 16 crore from its ticket sales in the US. “Telugu film #BharatAneNenu has an EXTRAORDI-

NARY opening weekend in USA… Will be interesting to see how it performs on weekdays” posted trade analyst Taran Adarsh on his Twitter page. Bharat Ane Nenu is said to be the fastest Telugu film, of course excluding Baahubali 2, to have collected $2.5 million at the US box office.


Ranbir Nails Sanjay Dutt’s Look in Biopic After a long wait, the teaser of Sanjay Dutt’s biopic titled Sanju, starring Ranbir Kapoor, was released on Tuesday. Directed by Rajkumar Hirani, Sanju has Ranbir Kapoor playing the titular role and has an ensemble cast of Sonam Kapoor, Manisha Koirala, Paresh Rawal, Anushka Sharma, Dia Mirza and Vicky Kaushal. After watching the short teaser, one can definitely root for the biopic being one of the best Bollywood has produced in the recent past. The teaser has no signs of the female leads of the movie but we are not even complaining as Ranbir has owned every frame. His every look in the teaser is a reply to those who scoffed when his name was announced to play the role of Sanjay. The more than one-minute long teaser begins with Ranbir walking out of Yerawada Central Jail and continues with him narrating the different phases of Dutt’s life–his obsession with drugs at the age of 22, his days of leisure in the hotels of New York, him begging on the streets to the days he spent in prison. Out of his several looks, the one where he is seen in the jail is the most compelling one as Ranbir aces Dutt’s mannerisms. At the teaser launch, Ranbir Kapoor said, “I have always been a Sanjay Dutt fan. So for me, it was a fan playing his icon. So the hardest thing for me was to give myself the confidence to do it. I consider Sanjay Dutt a very flawed person but a wonderful person. He’s a pop icon. It was scary.” Sanju chronicles the tumultuous life of Bollywood’s Khalnayak Sanjay Dutt. He also mentioned that they have not glorified Sanjay Dutt in Sanju. Hirani also revealed that Sanjay Dutt has not seen the film yet. In the movie, the role of Sanjay Dutt’s mother Nargis Dutt will be reprised by Manisha Koirala and Paresh Rawal will be seen as Sunil Dutt. Dia Mirza has stepped into the shoes of Dutt’s wife Maanayata Dutt.


24 April 27, 2018 Archer, Gowtham Hand Mumbai Final-Over Defeat BY KARTHIK KRISHNASWAMY


AIPUR (ESPN Cricinfo): Rajasthan Royals 168 for 7 (Samson 52, Stokes 40, Gowtham 33*, Hardik 2-25, Bumrah 2-28) beat Mumbai Indians 167 for 7 (Suryakumar 72, Kishan 58, Archer 3-22, Kulkarni 2-32) by three wickets At the player auction in January, Rajasthan Royals spent INR 7.2 crore (USD 1.1 million approx) on Jofra Archer and INR 6.2 crore (USD 9,70,000 approx.) on K Gowtham. That’s a lot of cash to splash on two uncapped players. Given his T20 exploits, the bidding war for Archer wasn’t a surprise; Gowtham, a solid, late-blooming offspinning allrounder at first-class level, wasn’t as much of a known quantity in T20 cricket. On Sunday both announced themselves in the IPL with performances that swung an exceedingly tight game. First up, Archer, returning from a side strain and making his IPL debut, bowled with effortless pace and grabbed 3 for 22, all three of his wickets coming in a 19th over that sucked all momentum out of Mumbai Indians’ innings and helped restrict them to 167. Then Gowtham, coming in at No. 8 with Royals needing 43 off 17 balls, clattered an unbeaten 11-ball 33 to win it with two balls to spare. For the fourth time in five games this season, Mumbai suffered a finalover loss. The seeds of the defeat, however, were sown much earlier, in the last five overs of their own innings, in which they only managed 32 for 5 after a second-wicket stand of 129 between Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan, off only 82 balls, had set them up for a total of 180 at least. In the 21st match of this IPL season, Rohit Sharma became only the second captain to choose to bat first. He felt the large boundaries at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium could aid the team defending a total. Though he ended up on the losing side, the events of the match showed there was logic behind his decision. There were 29 twos and only ten sixes in the match, and Mumbai hit seven of those sixes. A team being so far ahead on the

K Gowtham swivels during a pull, Rajasthan Royals v Mumbai Indians, IPL 2018, Jaipur, April 22, 2018.

six count generally doesn’t lose; Mumbai, however, didn’t make that advantage count. Six of Mumbai’s seven sixes came duringtheSuryakumar-Kishanstand, which showcased some of the cleanest ball-striking you can see from two uncapped players. Suryakumar’s wristwork was a delight to watch, the highlight of his innings a flicked six off Dhawal Kulkarni. In the same over, the fifth of Mumbai’s innings, Kishan showed off the full arc of his bat-swing, high backlift flowing into a full follow-through, to launch the ball high over wide long-on. When their partnership came to an end in the 15th over, Mumbai were perfectly placed for an end-overs blast, with Rohit, Kieron Pollard and the Pandya brothers to follow. As it happened, that fearsome middle order managed a combined 32 off 29 balls. Royals’ other bowlers played some part, varying their pace and forcing the batsmen to try and muscle the ball to the long boundaries, and there was one needless runout, which took out Rohit Sharma, but the chief architect of Mumbai’s slide was Archer. He showed no aftereffects of his side strain, pushing the speedgun needle towards the 150kph mark

on multiple occasions, giving his bowling attack a dimension it had sorely missed in previous games. Two of his wickets came via the fast and full route, Hardik Pandya and Mitchell McClenaghan bowled off successive balls, and the other by means of a change-up, in this case a knuckleball that Krunal Pandya miscued to long-on. There was only one six in the first 17.4 overs of Royals’ chase, this despite Ben Stokes, one of the cleanest strikers around, and Sanju Samson, a man who had struck 10 sixes in an innings just over a week ago, batting through a significant chunk of that time. This was down to some good bowling from Mumbai. Samson had to do a lot of running this time, only hitting four fours in his 39-ball 52. The required rate inched slowly upwards, and when Samson holed out off a Jasprit Bumrah slower ball in the 17th over, Mumbai were perhaps favourites for the first time since the three-quarters mark of their innings. Bumrah produced a fast nip-backer to bowl Jos Buttler off the next ball, and Royals were 125 for 5, needing 43 from 21 balls. Three successive dots from Bumrah to Archer made it 43 off 18.

Heinrich Klaasen fell off the first ball of the 18th over, to Mustafizur Rahman, bringing Gowtham to the crease. The third ball he faced was a length ball, on middle stump or thereabouts, and he was perfectly placed, with front leg out of the way, to heave it over long-on. It still needed some runs from the other end and a little more luck, and both arrived in the next over. Bumrah’s control deserted him, and Archer and Gowtham each picked up slapped fours off wide long-hops. Then Gowtham smeared one past square leg off the inside edge to pick up four more. Eighteen came off the over, leaving only 10 to get off the last six balls. So far this had been an innings of muscle and good fortune, but the second ball of the final over, after Archer had holed out and the batsmen had crossed, showed Gowtham had more in his locker. Deft hands, quick feet, and presence of mind, to be precise, and a wide yorker from Hardik Pandya went flying hard and flat over short third man. That left only six to get, and Gowtham did it with one shot, getting a short ball from Pandya that he carted a long way beyond midwicket.



Indian Shuttlers Face Stiff Test at Asian Tournament

HYDERABAD: Fresh from their

success in Commonwealth Games, Indian shuttlers arrived in Wuhan for a severe test in the continental championships. Despite shining bright at various events the Indians are found wanting at the Badminton Asia Championships which begins on Tuesday. As almost all the top world shuttlers are from Asia the field is always quite strong at this championships None of the shuttlers from the current lot including star shuttlers PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth and have won this title so far After a dominant show at CWG, Saina and Sindhu face a tough challenge in Wuhan. The going gets tougher for Saina from the second round where she is likely to face world champion Nozomi Okhura of Japan or China’s Fangjie Gao Sindhu, however, is expected to reach the semifinals without much difficulty. In the semis, Sindhu might run into Chen Yufei of China. However, Sindhu says that the draw is quite tough. “It is not at all an easy draw. To do well in an event likeAsian Championships I need to give 100% from the first match itself,” Sindhu told ToI. Former world No.1 and top seed in men’s singles Kidambi Srikanth and his compatriots have got a tough draw. Srikanth, who begins against Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto, is likely to face Wong Wing Ki Vincent of Hong Kong in the second round. With little time for practice, Srikanth says he is not thinking too much about the results. “I personally feel that I played like 11 matches in ten days at Commonwealth and I gave my 100% there. And after coming back from there I didn’t get too much time to train...it was about four days or something. So I was not really thinking too much about the tournament it is more about taking it match by match,” Srikanth said.

Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal (left), Srikanth and P.V. Sindhu.

April 27, 2018

TCS: First Indian Firm to Breach $100 B Capitalization N

EW DELHI: Tata Consultancy Ser-

vices (TCS), the country’s largest IT outsourcing company created history on Monday by becoming the first Indian company to reach the $100 billion market capitalisation (m-cap) mark. The shares of the IT behemoth were trading 4 per cent above previous closing mark at Rs 3,545 on the BSE at 10.30 am, thus hitting an all-time high. The market value of the company stood at Rs 6,79,332.81 crore ( $102.6 billion). By definition, market capitalisation is the value of a company that is traded on the stock market, calculated by multiplying the total number of shares by the present share price. Last week, when the markets closed on Friday, the company was at the verge of the milestone as the m-cap stood at slightly above $99 billion. TCS stock had surged more than 6 per cent on Friday. The rise in the TCS scrip’s fortune came after the it posted a rise

of 4.5 per cent in its Q4 net profit. In the January-March quarter, the company reported a net profit of Rs 6,925 crore, up 4.57 per cent against Rs 6,622 crore posted in the same quarter last year. On top of that, the company announced a 1:1 bonus for its shareholders. This is the third bonus share offering by the company since its listing in 2004. TCS had allotted 1:1 bonus shares in 2006 and 2009. The Tata group flagship, which contributes around 85 per cent of the group’s profit, reported a revenue growth of 8.2 per cent at Rs 32,075 crore for the three months to March. In dollar terms, the company had its highest revenue growth in 14 quarters at 11.7 per cent. “With robust deal wins and greenshoots in banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector, there is definite possibility of double-digit revenue growth. With growth acceleration, scale up in digital and


too is seeing higher output. On the brighter side, India’s domestic steel demand is in good form. It was in line with the 2017 forecast and demand is expected to increase by 5.5% in 2018 and 6% in 2019. That makes India the fastest-growing market for steel among top 10 largest steel markets by volume. While that gives domestic companies an edge, higher domestic supply also means exports will continue. That leaves them exposed to the risks of slowing demand and its effect on steel prices. Indian firms are estimated to have churned out a record amount of steel in the year that ended in March as the government took steps to protect steel makers, construction activity rebounded and China shut down illegal factories. India produced 86.7 million tonnes (mt) in the nine months to December

What the NRI Earn in India is Taxed in India I am a US citizen since 2015. I had an Aadhaar card before that. From March 2017, I started living in India but go to the US at least once a year for 1-2 months. I have NRO and NRE (non-resident external) accounts. What should be my tax residency status? Can I still use my Aadhaar card? If I get income during my stay in the US, will I have to pay taxes in India? —Anju Bansal

support from currency, margins are ready for uptick as well, implying return of double-digit revenue/earnings growth after 3 years,” Edelweiss Research said in a note. he rise in the TCS scrip’s fortune came after the it posted a rise of 4.5 per cent in its Q4 net profit. In the January-March quarter, the company reported a net profit of Rs 6,925 crore, up 4.57 per cent against Rs 6,622 crore posted in the same quarter last year. On top of that, the

company announced a 1:1 bonus for its shareholders. This is the third bonus share offering by the company since its listing in 2004. TCS had allotted 1:1 bonus shares in 2006 and 2009. The Tata group flagship, which contributes around 85 per cent of the group’s profit, reported a revenue growth of 8.2 per cent at Rs 32,075 crore for the three months to March. In dollar terms, the company had its highest revenue growth in 14 quarters at 11.7 per cent. -- ToI

India’s Steel Demand: A Dark Cloud and a Silver Lining

EW DELHI: One of the determinants of the steel industry’s health is demand and while prices may have risen in 2017, demand fell short of expectations. Global steel demand came in at 1,587 million tonnes, according to the World Steel Association’s April short range outlook report, falling 2.2% short of its October prediction of 1,622 million tonnes. That has led to a 2% paring of its 2018 forecast to 1,616 million tonnes. The main reason for the cuts is lower-than-expected demand in China, which is forecast to decline in 2019 also. Weaker global steel demand could be a concern, especially as it comes during a year when the US wants to restrict steel imports. Recent news reports indicate that after the winter cuts, Chinese steel mills are ramping up output. India


from 73.96 mt in the previous year, according to provisional figures from the steel ministry. Exports rose to 7.6 mt from 4.98 mt in the previous year. India’s steel exports rose to 7.6 million tonnes in the nine months to December 2017 from 4.98 million tonnes in the previous year, making the country the second largest exporter of the alloy. Photo: Bloomberg

India’s steel exports rose to 7.6 million tonnes in the nine months to December 2017 from 4.98 million tonnes in the previous year, making the country the second largest exporter of the alloy. Indian firms churned out a record amount of steel in the year that ended in March as the government took steps to protect steel makers. -- Live Mint


To report your income and to pay taxes, you must find out your residential status. In India, ITR is filed for a financial year (FY). Residential status must be found out for each FY. A person may be resident or non-resident in India. A resident may be resident and ordinarily resident (ROR) or resident but not ordinarily resident (RNOR). To be a resident of India for tax purposes, you must meet any of the following ‘conditions’ and both the ‘additional conditions’. The ‘conditions’ are: you are in India for 182 days or more in the FY; or you are in India for 60 days or more in the FY and 365 days or more in the four FYs immediately preceding the relevant FY. ‘Additional conditions’ are you are resident in India in two of the 10 FYs immediately preceding the relevant FY; and you are in India in the seven years immediately preceding the relevant FY for 729 days or more. If you do not meet any of the first set of conditions you would be a non-resident in India. If you meet the first set of conditions but not the additional conditions, you would be RNOR in India. Since you spend a majority of your time in India, starting March 2017, you are likely to be RNOR for tax purposes in India. Your Aadhaar is still valid. As soon as you return to India and intend to stay for most part of an FY, you must redesignate your non-resident accounts to resident accounts. For an NRI and RNOR, only income earned in India is taxed in India. -- Archit Gupta

26 April 27, 2018 Pearland Indo-American Store Clerk Charged with Soliciting Murder BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

PEARLAND: It was a bizarre

case or spurned affection that ended with Rajesh Bakshi being arrested and charged with soliciting a hit man to kill his former girlfriend and three other people. Only he did not realize that the hitman was actually an undercover Houston police officer who he handed over a $1,500 down payment to for the contract killing. “This operation saved lives in a very sensitive situation,” District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “Imagine how bad this could have been had it not been uncovered before it got to a real hitman.” Pearland resident Rajesh Bakshi, 54, was arrested on Tuesday, April 17 after he allegedly paid the police officer to the money and photos of the three people he wanted to have killed: his ex-girlfriend, her current boyfriend and her parents. He went over their schedules

Rajesh Bakshi, 54, faces four charges of soliciting capital murder.

and patterns of daily life, made suggestions how they could be killed, provided photos, asked for cocaine powder to be sprinkled over their bodies and asked for photos of the victims after they had been killed. Bakshi had $13,000 in cash on him when he was arrested. According to a report by the

Harris County District Attorney’s office, Bakshi has a wife, twin daughters and a teenage son and works as a convenience store clerk at the Dixie corner Store earning $1,400 a month and lives with relatives. He had dated the girlfriend for some time before she broke it off but then started a pattern of harassment for months and was allegedly violent with her, according to court papers. After continuing to be rejected, he sought to have the girlfriend, her parents, and her new boyfriend (whose identities have not been revealed) shot and killed, the court documents said. Bakshi made his first appearance in court on April 19 and was charged with four counts of solicitation of capital murder, and faces life in prison if convicted. The judge set bail for $150,000 for each count and mandated that should he make bail, Bakshi, who is an Indian citizen, must surrender all travel documents.



IMAGH, IACAN & The Rose at Cancer Screening Fair

OUSTON: The Rose, a nonprofit organization that provides mammograms for women with and without insurance, held a screening at the Health Fair organized by the Indian Muslims Association of Greater Houston in collaboration with the Indo American Cancer Awareness Network this past Saturday, April 21 at the Altus Houston Hospital in Chinatown on the city’s westside. For every 3 women that have their mammogram at The Rose, the group pays for one woman who does not have insurance. The event was coordinated by Ashma Khanani-Moosa, a breast cancer survivor who had her first diagnosis at The Rose, and her husband Dr. Abdul Moosa. Ash-

ma is on the Board of IMAGH and The Rose. About 21 women were able to be screened at the event. Gayatri Kapoor with IACAN also offered Bone Marrow registry. Pictured in back row from left: Munir Ibrahim, IMAGH President; Tuba Kumal, Andy Chen , Ayesha Shaikh, Mishel Ybarbo and Dr. Abdul R. Moosa; front row from left, Vanessa Ho, Ashma Khanani-Moosa and Tamie Walker.

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April 27, 2018




April 27, 2018


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