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Friday, May 09 2014 | Vol. 33, No. 19

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Indo American erican News

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

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

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Bus Creates The Magic

Puzzles/Recipe P24

P6

Farhan Akhtar with Magic Bus Board Members: Mona Parikh, Jugal Malani, Amit Bhandari, Dr. Sunita Moonat, Arpita Bhandari (missing board members: Gopal Savjani, Dr. H.D. Patel. Brij Kathuria)

Houston Hums With Hindi Humors P5

Indian Influence Grows At OTC

The premier energy event in Houston features a growing influence of executives of Indian origin. P9

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May 09, 2014

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COMMUNITY

May 09, 2014

3

Detectives: Husband Murdered Wife, Wounded 2 Kids, then Committed Suicide

Deputies were called to the house in the 4800 block of Russett Lane shortly after 6 a.m. Monday and they found Karim Kamdar, 46, and his wife, Nikhat Kamdar, 37, dead inside. Photo Credit: KHOU 11

BY KHOU.COM STAFF SUGAR LAND: Fort Bend County Sheriff’s detectives say preliminary investigation of the double-fatality shooting incident Monday in New Territory indicates that the husband murdered his wife, wounded his two children and then committed suicide. Deputies were called to the house in the 4800 block of Russett Lane shortly after 6 a.m. and they found Karim Kamdar, 46, and his wife, Nikhat Kamdar, 37, dead inside. Investigators said the couple’s 15-year-old daughter managed to call 911 to report the incident. She was found in the front yard of the house with a gunshot wound. Her 11-year-old brother, who also suffered from gunshot wounds, was inside the house. Both victims were transported via Life Flight to Memorial-Hermann Hospital. They both underwent surgery. They were still in the hospital Wednesday, in stable condition, and expected to recover, deputies said.

The shootings happened around 6:15 a.m. Monday in the 4800 block of Russett Lane. Photo Credit: KHOU 11

The loss is starker and the grief is darker when tragedy hits close to home especially in our own community.

Photo Credit: KHOU 11

Detectives said scene investigation, forensics analysis and interviews conducted indicate Karim Kamdar was the shooter in the case. They said evidence shows Karim Kamdar used a handgun to murder his wife, and then attempted to kill his daughter and son before turning the gun on himself. For nearly 12 years, Karim Kamdar rented and operated the Superway Food store in Richmond.

But about one year ago, he was forced to pack up and leave. Mrs. Kamdar owned a day care called American Heritage Academy and Child Care in Rosenberg, according to friends. Child Protective Services officials say they now have custody of the couple’s children and they are trying to get in contact with relatives in Pakistan and India. - KHOU.com

Indo-American News wishes to convey heartfelt condolences to the family members of the deceased couple. Words cant begin to express the plight of the children, we wish them courage and hope and keep them in our prayers as they live through this dark hour.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 09, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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May 09, 2014

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 09, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


May 09, 2014 COMMUNITY Hasya and Vyang in Houston

BY VANSHIKA VIPIN HOUSTON: Long before the advent of stand up comedy on Indian television, there was “Hasya Kavi Sammelan” – a group of poets gathering to deliver verses with humor infused in them. Often satirical, sometimes emotional and always amusing, these poems were thought provoking and ribtickling at the same time. Telecast often at odd late evening hours on Doordarshan during the 1980’s, poets like Shail Chaturvedi and Surendra Sharma became household names. However, after the advent of cable TV, these shows became less popular. Houston however has continued the trend of inviting some of these extremely learned and talented poets over to the US for annual Hasya Kavi Sammelan. India Culture Center (ICC) and International Hindi AssociationHouston Chapter (IHA) hosted the 7th Annual Hasya Kavi Sammelan at India House on Saturday May 3. Starting promptly at 5 pm after a social hour, event coordinator, Nisha Mirani – ICC Director welcomed the audience. ICC President Charlie Patel then welcomed the Poets to Houston and the audience to India House. He also spoke about ICC’s activities and its role in the community. Charlie Patel announced the upcoming Leaders Conference on June 7 and India’s Independence Day celebrations on August 16. IHA Houston chapter president Swapan Dhairyawan informed the audience about the ICC-IHA partnership throwing light on events such as the National Adhiveshan, Kavita Ki Shaam and Holi ke Hindi Bol. He also talked about the online newsletter ‘Gunjan’ and Hindi speaking community engagement. He thanked the sponsors – Mass Mutual, MD & Associates, Wallis State Bank, Paradise Gifts, Maheshwari Mahasabha of North America, Madras Pavilion, Darshak and Mona

IHA and ICC members along with the three poets. Seated from left: Sarvesh Asthana, Pradeep Chaubey,

and Alok Shrivastav.

Thakkar for Sound and India House for the facility, all print / voice media for support and TV Asia for coverage. After thanking the core committee of IHA and all volunteers, Swapan invited Nita Mehta and Bacchuben Bhavsar to light the traditional lamp and commence the program. Dr. K D Upadhyaya set the tone of ‘hasya’ and ‘vyang’ as he introduced the three poets. Sutrashanchalan was done by Sarvesh Asthana. Kavi Alok Shrivastav, the youngest of the three spoke first. His nickname or ‘takiya kalam’ is ‘rishto ke shayar’ (the relationships poet) and fittingly his ghazal “Amma” mesmerized the audience. While it will be futile to repeat the ghazal in print – here’s the last verse of the ghazal “baabu ji guzre, aapas mein sab cheezein taqseem huin, tab-main

Photos: Aditya Shah

ghar mein sabse chhota thha, mere hisse aai amma” (loosely translated as “when father passed away, all property was distributed, at that time, I – the youngest in the house, inherited amma ‘mother’ )…. Followed by ‘wah wah’ from the audience. His poetry has touched the hearts of millions. He has won numerous awards, including M.P. Sahitya Academy’s “Dushyant Kumar Award’ and Russia’s ‘International Pushkin Award’. Sarvesh Asthana read his amazing poems next. Asthana’s unique style during emceeing the show as well as presenting his poems had the audience in a thoughtful and humorous mood. He is from Lucknow, India and has been participating in national and international Kavi Sammelans since 1989. A receipient of numerous awards, he is also associated with many

charitable organizations in India. He has published many books and is a regular on radio and TV. Pradeep Chaubey was the last of the visiting poets. Hailing from Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, he is the brother of legendary hasya kavi late Shail Chaturvedi. Poetry and humour run in the family – Pradeep Chaubey is a kavi of his own might – his work is recognized and appreciated by past president of India Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma as well. The audience was treated with classic hasya kavita (humorous poems) filled with Vyang (satire) and Hasya (Humour). The poets visiting from India enjoyed the audience’s reaction and participation in the program as well. Sarvesh Asthana said that he found the Houston audience most amiable and socially connected. These learned poets are on a whirlwind tour of North America during which they have over sixteen scheduled shows, out of which Houston was their tenth program. About 350 people in Houston attended the Kavi Sammelan. The icing on the cake was the refreshments and kadak Chai (tea) served by Madras Pavilion. Even as the unique evening drew to a close at 8:00 pm, neither the humour in the poets’ verses nor the chants of ‘irshaad’ and ‘wah wah’ faded amongst the audience. Houston is proud of its Hindi heritage and we look forward to the next Hasya Kavi Sammelan to come by soon.

IHA- Houston chapter president Swapan Dhairyawan (right) and his wife Pallavi with Sarvesh Asthana.

For further information about future events visit www.icchouston.org or call 281-382-0348

Indo American News (ISSN 887-5936) is published weekly every Friday (for a subscription of $40 per year) by IndoAmerican News Inc., 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036., tel: 713-789-6397, fax:713-789-6399, email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 09, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

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COMMUNITY

May 09, 2014

Bollywood Superstar Farhan Performs at Arena Theatre

Farhan Akhtar

Photos: Pixel Studio Productions

HOUSTON: On May 3, Houston had the privilege of welcoming one of Bollywood’s most famous superstars, Farhan Akhtar, to the Arena Theatre, where he put on a special concert to benefit Magic Bus USA. Farhan is an ardent supporter of Magic Bus and serves as one of its spokespersons. His performance, for which he received no fee, attracted almost two thousand five hundred Houstonians, who together raised over $175,000 for the Magic Bus charity for un-

privileged children. Magic Bus is a nonproft organization (MagicBus.org) based in Mumbai with over 8000 volunteers and operations in fourteen states in India that impact over 250,000 children. The organization’s goals are simple – to change the course of children’s lives, one game at a time. Specifically, Magic Bus uses a unique, activity-based methodology to teach children about education, gender equality, health, and social issues by engag-

Magic Bus Founder and Executive Chairman - Matthew Spacie.

ing them in games that reinforce positivity. Sunday’s show began with Masala Radio’s Sunil Thakkar engaging the audience with amusing banter, followed by spectacular dance performances by Naach Houston and the Infused Performing Arts group. Rahul Brahmbhatt, Executive Director of Magic Bus USA, provided the audience with a brief overview of Magic Bus’ award winning charitable programs through a short film, highlighting the transformative nature of the organization’s activities on children. The real rockstar of the evening, though, was Matthew Spacie – the Founder and CEO of Magic Bus. Matthew was working in Mumbai when, on a whim, he invited children from slums to join in a game of rugby. This simple gesture showed Matthew how participation in sports could be used to teach valuable life lessons and help kids develop physical, social, and personal skills. That rugby game sparked Matthew into action, and he, with other volunteers, soon began transporting street kids from the slums in buses to various destinations near Mumbai for a day of fun and mentoring via a sports-based curriculum; hence, the “Magic Bus” was formed. Matthew was followed by the president of Magic Bus Houston Council, Amit Bhandari, who articulated how he and his wife Arpita, and their children, spent time in Mumbai slums to understand how Magic Bus worked. Clearly impressed with Magic Bus, Amit Bhandari requested Houstonians

to donate, noting that the sum of just $25 a month can change the life of a street child in Mumbai. Magic Bus India is endorsed by Abhishek Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, Karan Johar, John Abraham, Sachin Tendulkar and others. Amidst the thunderous applause and chanting of excited fans, Farhan took the stage and captured the audience with his familiar Bollywood hits and an unforgettable display of energy, including doing fifty push-ups on stage between songs, as the audience counted down and cheered him on in a frenzy. Fellow vocalist Shannon Donald also shared the stage with the Bollywood superstar, performing a variety of musical scores. Along with Shannon Donald, Farhan was accompanied by his talented band members: lead guitarist Sarosh Izedyar, bass guitarist Dibyajyoti Nath, drummer Darshan Doshi, and keyboardist Umaang Doshi. Nalini Kannan of Décor One provided decorations for the evening at no cost, Mahesh Shah of Madras Pavilion provided refreshments at no cost and Faisal Kamal of Embassy suites provided complimentary rooms. A private reception for major donors preceded the concert. In the aftermath of a massively successful show in Houston, Magic Bus USA plans to host more fundraiser events through galas, concerts and sports related activities. The magic created by Magic Bus foundation USA and Farhan will be etched in the memories of the audience for a long time to come.

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COMMUNITY

May 09, 2014

Travels and Cultures Inspire to Launch Earthredz

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HOUSTON: Three friends with different backgrounds, inspired and moved by their travels and exposure to different cultures, decided to combine their talents and passions. Earthredz took its first breath. Blending cultures, originality and function, we have created a contemporary, unique and affordable collection of handbags, totes and clutches that will appeal to even the most discerning eye. We use weaves and colors by combining natural fibers with re-cycled saris, handloomed Ikat, embroidery and soft leather, all made in India. Earthredz supports the self-reliance of the underprivileged women of rural India. We encourage them by giving them the tools and opportunity to be able to support themselves and their families with confidence and dignity. With this in mind, we have started the initiative “Project Loom”. Starting with one loom at a time, we hope to help these women create a self- sustaining industry that will provide them with a regular income. For every banana fiber product that we sell, a percentage of the profits will go towards the purchase of a loom Earthredz is

going to have its first exhibition and sale as a one day ‘Pop-Up Shop’ event on May 10, from 10AM to 6PM at 2800 Kirby Drive West Ave at River Oaks, Suite B 105. This Pop-Up Shop concept is an exciting one that provides a platform for new brands to step into the market by allowing an opportunity to setup a shop without having a shop. The ‘shop for a day’ of Earthredz handbags on the eve of Mother’s Day is a prime social event where the customers can mingle with refreshments while making selections from the wide range of beautiful Earthredz products. For further information on Earthredz visit our website: www.earthredz.com

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

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 09, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

May 09, 2014

9

Offshore Technology Conference Sees Rising Indian Influence

BY PRAMOD KULKARNI HOUSTON: Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) is the premiere conference of the oil and gas industry. Over 90,000 delegates from around the globe gathered earlier this week in Houston, the energy capital of the world. A small but highly influential segment of the OTC gathering consists of executives with an Indian pedigree—managers of visiting Indian oil and gas companies, entrepreneurs of Indian origin and Indo-Americans, who are affiliated with local or international oil and gas operators, service companies and equipment manufacturers. Delegations from India included executives from public sector E&P companies such as Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC), Oil India and private companies such as Reliance Industries. Prominent exhibiting companies included Worldwide Oilfield Machinery (WOM), a manufacturer of gate valves; American Block, a manufacturer of rig equipment; and American Completion Tools, a Texas based subsidiary of Parveen Industries. Hundreds of Indian origin employees of operators such as BP and Shell, service companies such as Schlumberger and Baker

Arun Karle of Askara International welcomed guests to the ONGC-Indian Technology Meet with a display of a variety of headgear, including the 10-gallon Texas hat, a Gandhi topi and an oilfield helmet.

Parveen Kumar (left) CEO of Parveen Industries joins Rebecca Sinha, Business Development Manager; TJ Sinha, Vice President; and Dev Sinha, Sales Manager; with American Completion Tools.

Hughes, and equipment manufacturers such as Cameron, were also in attendance. ONGC MD D. K. Saraf could not attend but the leadership task was assumed by T. K. Sengupta, ONGC Director (Offshore). Over 200 delegates of Indian origin and their guests attended a Tuesday evening reception hosted by ONGC.

President and Chevron VP Ganesh Thakur, Indian Consul General P. Harish and a representative of the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC). “ONGC produces 1.2 million barrels of oil per day, which represents 75% of the country’s production,” said Sengupta. But that is far below the domestic consumption above 3.5 million barrels per day.

The objective of the reception was to create a collaborative atmosphere between ONGC and international companies that could provide leading edge oil and gas technologies. Mr. Sengupta delivered the opening remarks, followed by a presentation of ONGC activities by A.K. Dwivedi, Exploration. Joining them on the dais were former SPE

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“We need more technology,” Sengupta urged. “Most of our fields are 35-40 years old. Mumbai High is now 40 years old.” Nevertheless, ONGC is implementing an ambitious 5-year plan to increase production to 3 million barrels per day.” Of note for Houstonians was the announcement that ONGC was planning to establish an office in Houston.


10 May 09, 2014

COMMUNITY

Chithirai Thiruvizha at Sri Meenakshi Temple

utsava Murthis around the Main temple praharam. A large number of devotees chanting slokas and songs joined the procession. Live Nadaswaram and Thavil music in the procession added to the spiritual vibration already emitting from a gorgeous sunset background. The Mahotsavam event took 12 months of planning,1500 labor hours, 5000 red and white carnations and over 50 volunteers to help decorate the pallaku and to make the event a grand success. MTS provided dinner for all devotees (coordinated by Jeyam Thiagarajan); the Mahotsavam continues to have an excellent variety of cultural programs (coordinated by Mala Gopal). Special thanks to the event coordinators, S. Balakrishnan and C. Vijayarajan, and Religious activities committee’s M. Sriram, Sasidaran Pillai and RAC chair S. Narayanan with all volunteers for the wonderful organization of the event for the devotees enjoyment. Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Thirukalyanam will culminate the temple’s Annual Mahotsavam on May 11. The kalyanam will be followed by a procession of the deities in the silver chariot (Rathosavam) and later a kalyanam style lunch on banana leaves will be served to all. All are invited to come and enjoy the festivities and the feast and to receive Goddess Meenakshi’s blessings,

Sri Meenakshi with the Grand Scepter in Coronation splendor. The coronation ceremony at Meenakshi Temple.

BY PONNI SIVARAMAN PEARLAND: Chithirai Thiruvizha (Festival celebrated during the Tamil month of Chithirai) is an annual celebration in Madurai, India during the month of April / May. It is one of the longest celebrations of the world and lasts for nearly a month. Following that tradition, Sri Meenakshi Temple in Pearland, also commenced its 12 day celebration on May 1, with Vigneswara and Vasthusanthi poojas. On May 2, (day 2) Sri Manicka Sundara Bhattar hoisted a flag bearing an image of Nandi on the Dwajastambam or kodimaram, de-

claring the festival officially open; the flag will stay hoisted until the end of the festival. Day 3 was the much awaited Meenakshi Pattabhishekam or the Coronation of the Queen. Hundreds of Devotees gathered at the temple on a beautiful breezy evening of May 3, and were speechless spectators to the glorious crowning of the Goddess as the Empress. Legend has it, that Meenakshi was born (rose from the yaga Agni) to Madurai King Malayathuvaja Pandian and his queen Kanchanamalai. Celestial voices instructed the royal couple to raise her as a son and train her

1 BUSINESS & POLICY

in the art of warfare as she would be the heir to the throne. In time, Meenakshi proved herself a mighty warrior, met and chose Lord Sundareswarar as her husband and later married him. Hence Meenakshi Pattabhishekam is celebrated with great joy and it is also believed that this is a transformation of power from Lord Sundareswarar to Goddess Meenakshi who will reign as Queen for four months, and later in the Tamil month of Aavani (August / September) the power reverts back to the Lord. To see the Goddess adorned with her crown (a replica of the diamond crown given to Madurai Meenakshi by Appaji Rayar of Krishnadevaraya’s times) and scepter was a rare sight.

In ancient times the scepter was received by priests as representatives of Meenakshi. However in modern times the Chairman of the board of Trustees of Sri Meenakshi temple receives the Scepter. At Pearland’s Sri Meenakshi temple, this honor is given to the current Chairman of the board Dr. P. Vaduganathan, who accompanied the procession with his wife Nach. An added jewel to the crown was this year’s Poo (Flower) Pallaku (organized with volunteers led by Roopa Balakrishnan and Dhanam Thiagarajan), which was an unbelievable creation in which the Goddess was taken in a procession along with the other

Asia Society Texas Center in collaboration with McKinsey & Company Present All-Star Panel to Discuss Book

Reimagining India: Unlocking the Potential of Asia’s Next Superpower

Contributors to the book include Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Reliance Industries Limited CEO Mukesh Ambani, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Google chairman Eric Schmidt, The Coca-Cola Company chairman Muhtar Kent, and many more leading executives, entrepreneurs, economists, and foreign policy experts and more.

Featuring Leading Thinkers on India

Thursday, May 22 Asia Society Texas Center 5:30 PM Welcome and Networking 6:30 PM Panel Discussion

Vishakha N. Desai

Ed Emmett

Patrick French

Barnik Maitra

Drayton McLane

Adil Zainulbhai

President Emerita of Asia Society

Harris County Judge

Writer and Historian

Partner at McKinsey & Company

Chairman of McLane Group

Former Chairman of McKinsey India

To purchase tickets, please call 713.496.9901 or visit AsiaSociety.org/texas. 1370 Southmore Boulevard at Caroline Street | Houston, TX 77004 | AsiaSociety.org/Texas |

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INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 09, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

May 09, 2014

11

Sewa International Awarded by Alief Independent School District

  

   

      



       

Sewa Houston president, Saroj Gupta (center), with Sewa AmeriCorps VISTAs, Alexis Angelo and Laura Frye,

HOUSTON: On Tuesday, April 29, Sewa International was recognized by Alief Independent School District at their annual Business Partners Appreciation Breakfast. Sewa Houston president, Saroj Gupta, and Sewa AmeriCorps VISTAs, Alexis Angelo and Laura Frye, accepted a plaque in honor of “creating a bright future for Alief students� presented by AISD superintendent, H.D. Chambers. Sewa currently offers afterschool tutorials to students in the Language Institute for Newcomers program (LINC) in Alief ISD. The LINC program is geared specifically towards high school students who have been in the United States for less than two years. Sewa partnered with AISD and LINC to provide further instruc-

tion in English development after school. The students Sewa serves in the LINC program come from a variety of backgrounds ranging from refugees to immigrants from all over the world. Many LINC students have received minimal formal education upon arriving in the US so in addition to learning a new language and culture they must also learn the education system and expectations. In addition to offering afterschool tutorials in Alief, Sewa also offers college readiness and future planning programs, summer academic support to students attending the Summer Language Institute, and summer immunization drives in partnership with the Texas Children’s Mobile Clinic. In

the Fall of 2014 Sewa will launch a mentorship program aimed to further assist LINC students to better develop life skills. Sewa’s goal in AISD is to assist newly immigrated students in their academic pursuits, instill self-motivational skills, emphasize the importance of high school and higher education, and establish English fluency. To get involved with Sewa and programs impacting recent refugee and immigrant students contact vista@ sewausa.org

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INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 09, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


12 May 09, 2014

COMMUNITY

GIBV Leaves no Stone Unturned for Getting Modi Elected

Gujarat Volunteers

HOUSTON: NRIs, under the aegis of GIBV (Global Indians for Bharat Vikas), have embarked on a multi-pronged initiative to support the National Democratic Alliance’s quest under Narendra Modi to form the next Government of India. To this end, a Loka Kshema Homam was performed at the Shiv Shakti Mandir in Houston, on Saturday, April 26. Pandit Udaykumar conducted the function in a traditional manner, accompanied by Vedic chants. He was ably assisted by GIBV volunteers Viswasankaran Kartick and Vivek Natarajan, who served as co-officiating priests. The function began promptly at 9:30 AM in a makeshift Yaaga Shaaala just outside the Mandir. It started with a Mahasankal-

pam, which stated the purpose of the Homam and the time-space coordinates in which it is performed. The purpose of the Homam was clearly articulated as Loka Kshema, which means “Benefit of the world”. The belief of all attendees of the function was that “A prosperous India will result in a prosperous world and Narendra Modi is the best person to lead the country”. The Mahasankalpam was followed by a ritual chanting of mantras and culminated in a Poorna Ahuthi, which is an offering to Agni, who is the messenger to the Gods. Amidst enthusiastic participation by nearly 100 people, the Homam concluded at around 1 PM. This was followed by the chanting of 108 names of Shiva and an Aarthi inside

NRI meeting in Hyderabad.

the temple. Lunch was served for all guests, courtesy Dr. Bimal Talati. Post lunch, GIBV volunteers participated in a Geetanjali Radio program hosted by Shobha Joshi, where they shared their perspectives on the ongoing elections in India. Apart from offering prayers, the GIBV volunteers are making innumerable phone calls to their friends and relatives in support of NDA and also calling specific swing constituencies. Some volunteers are on ground in India to campaign. Gujarat: A group of dedicated GIBV volunteers from Houston and other parts of the US have parachuted into the battleground

states of Anand and Khera. Gujarat needs no introduction to Narendrabhai, but the volunteers are leaving no stone unturned to ensure a high voter turnout on election day. South India: GIBV volunteers are busy campaigning in the politically crucial state of Andhra Pradesh, where elections are held in two phases. The volunteers are campaigning in both Seemandhra and Telangana states, each of which has its own political dynamics. Their on-the-field efforts are complemented by the reference calling efforts of hundreds of volunteers in the US and around the world.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 09, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


May 09, 2014

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DO NOT ALLOW PARTY POLITICS TO AFFECT YOUR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION OR YOUR TAX DOLLARS. ALLOW FACTS TO SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES AND DECIDE WHO YOU VOTE AS YOUR TRUSTEE FOR FBISD POSITION 1. Endorsements from Current and former Elected Officials: Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen Sugar Land City Council Member Harish Jajoo Missouri City Council Member Floyd Emery Stafford City Council Member Ken Mathew Fort Bend Precinct 4 Constable Trever Nehls Former FBISD Board President Sonal Bhuchar Former Houston City Council Member MJ Khan Former Sugar Land Council Member Thomas Abraham

Election Day: Saturday May 10, 2014

www.rameshforfbisd.com Political ad paid for by the Ramesh Cherivirala Campaign,

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 09, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


14 May 09, 2014

COMMUNITY

Nepalese America Journalists’ Association Holds 4th Annual National Convention in Houston

Newly Elected Board

Sri Meenakshi Temple Society 17130 McLean Road, Pearland, TX 77584 Invites all Devotees to the Grand

Meenakshi Sundareswarar Thirukalyana Utsavam Thursday May 1st to Sunday May 11th 2014 Thursday, May 1st

5:00 PM to 8:30 PM -Anugnai, Vigneswara Puja, Vasthusanthi & Mruthsangrahanam

Friday, May 2nd

10:00 AM - Dwajarohanam 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM - Raksha Bandhanam & Yagasala Puja begins.

Friday May 2nd thru Saturday May 10th

Daily Morning 10:00 AM & Evening 6:00PM - Puja, Homam and Abhishekam for Utsava Murthis

Sunday, May 11th

Meenakshi Sundareswarar Thirukalyanam 9:30 AM – Seervarisai, Procession from Ganesh Temple 10:00 AM – Oonjal in front of Kalyana Mandapam 10:30AM - Kanyadhanam, Mangalya Dharanam, Mangala Aarthi

Rathotsavam

Followed by A magnificent procession around the temple with all the Utsava Murthis in their respective Vahanas

Sponsorship: Kalyanam $31, Kanyadhanam $51, Kalyanam & Kanyadhanam $81 Grand Sponsor $251

Sit down Lunch on Banana leaves will be served after the Thirukalyanam For information, contact Bala at bala@anbsystems.com or Vijayarajan at C_vijayarajan@yahoo.com or Sriram at mksriram.mts@gmail.com or Sasidaran Pillai at nsapillai@aol.com Or the Temple Office at 281-489-0358 Extn 100, 101. Please sponsor online at www.emeenakshi.org Chithirai Mahotsavam Cultural Events daily: For details contact Mala Gopal gopal.mala@gmail.com

HOUSTON: The 4th annual general convention of Nepalese America Journalists’ Association (NEAJA) was held in Houston from May 2 to 4. The convention was supported and arranged by the Nepalese Association of Houston (NAH), the umbrella organization of over half- a-dozen Nepalese groups in Houston serving various sociocultural and economical needs of the local Nepalese community. According to the NAH General Secretary, Dr Rupak Rauniar, “Journalists and their work serves as the greatest example of Freedom of Speech, the first Bill of Right, and it is our pleasure to host this national level convention in great city of Houston to honor the work and dedication of Nepalese Journalist residing in the USA.” Fair, accurate and timely reporting of news event, and providing a thorough and bias-free perspective on the current events are basic principles of news and media journalist, he added. The 2 day convention was attended by over 45 delegates from all over the US and Canada. The welcome remark of the convention was given by NAH President Madhukar Amatya and the letter from the Prime Minister of Nepal Honorable Shushil Koirala was read to the participant. Various current topics and issues related to journalism were discussed by some of the senior Nepalese journalists attending the event, such as Aang Chiring Sherpa and Tara Baral whose columns and news reports have been picked by Associated Press (AP) and other popular news agencies on regular basis. “Advances in web-based technologies and social media has brought dramatic changes to the ways how news gets reported and communicated” stressed Bittu KC, who is a Houston based Nepali journalist. She added as reporters, we have to be ahead with the technologies so that the people can receive valuable news and articles in a timely manner. The convention also discussed the risk of endangering life and imprisonment of news reporter while reporting news from different parts of the world. The committee called upon the attention of all political parties and government to safeguard and protect journalists who are reporting from the ground as event unfold. NEAJA also held its election for the working committee that are appointed for next two years. The inaugural publication of NEAJA, “Prayas” or Attempt was also launched during the meeting. The convention was acknowledged to be a grand success by the participating journalists and local Nepalese community that had the opportunity to meet and listen to prominent journalists from Nepal.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 09, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

May 09, 2014

15

Birla Institute Alumni Ring the NASDQ Opening Bell

NEW YORK: BITSAA International, a global alumni association of Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences (BITS), Pilani, was invited by NASDQ, New York to ring the opening bell, a unique honor bestowed on any Indian educational institution, as a curtain raiser to it’s Golden Jubiliee celebrations held in Hyderabad. “The NASDQ opening bell ceremony is a wonderful recognition of the growing impact that alumni of India’s top Universities and BITS Pilani in particular are having on America as the leading innovators and job creators of tomorrow.” said Raju Reddy, Chairman, BITSAA, Advisor to Chairman, Hitachi ITSC global business. Distinguished BITS graduates (known as BITSians) who attended the ceremony were: Raju Reddy, Chairman of BITSAA International and Advisor to Hitachi ITSC global business, Prof. S.P. Kothari, Deputy Dean and the Gordon Y Billard, Professor of Management at MIT’s Sloan School ofManagement, Prem Jain, co-founder of Insieme Networks, Atul Bhatnagar, CEO of Cambium Networks, Preetish Nijhawan, co-founder of Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM), Viggy Mokkarala, Executive Vice President, Envestnet, Inc. (NYSE:ENV), Nasir Memon, Professor and Department Chairman, Computer Sciences and Engineering, NYU, Shashikant Khandelwal, cofounder and CTO of TheFind, and 40 other BITS alumni spanning the fields of health care,academia and finance, BITS,Pilani which was founded 50 years ago in association with Ford Foundation and MIT by late G.D.Birla, a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi in India’s freedom

One Million Dollar Check presented to BITS Pilani by BITSAA Ringing the Bell on the Floor of NASDQ floor. Copyright 2013, International in the Golden Jubilee celebrations held in The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. Hyderabad. Copyright 2013, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

struggle, has become a premiere private in- BITSAA International the honor to ring the stitute of Technology in India offering qual- opening bell, a unique recognition rarely beity education with world-class curriculum stowed on an Indian alumni association. and largest industry-university partnerships. During the Golden Jubililee celebrations It has the distinction of being the only Indi- of BITS Pilani, a one- Million Dollar check an institution to operate an off shore campus (see photo) was presented by BITSAA Inin Dubai, in addition to its three campuses in ternational to BITS Pilani. This money will India, at Pilani, Goa and Hyderabad. support ongoing projects like: enhancing The institute is one of the most selective the quality of education (Embryo, OLAB), in the world with less than 1.5% admission promoting entrepreneurship (NVC, BITS rate, administered through an online exam Spark, BITS2Startup), enhancing rural educalled BITSAT. cation and employability (Atmanirbhara), For further information, visit www.bits- networking the campuses (BITSConnect, pilani.ac.in. BITSConnect2.0) and supporting profesAbout one fourth of the institute’s world sional development of alumni and students wide alumni of 50,000 have come and set- (BITS2MSPHD,BITS2IAS, BITS2Btled in USA and several of them have estab- SCHOOL, BITSAA Miles). lished highly successful technology comFor further details on these projpanies in Silicon Valley and many others ects, contact Kalyan Krishnamani, VP, became Senior Executives of multi-national Communications,kalyan@bitsaa.org, companies in America. In recognition ofT:10”tel.+1 408 658 9276. their achievements, NASDQ has accorded For further information about BITSAA

International, Houston Chapter. call Mr. Krishna Vavilala,Tel. 713-795-5169.

Read us online at indoamerican-news.com

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INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 09, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


16 May 09, 2014

COMMUNITY

Lalgudi Samarpanam: Houston’s Musical Homage to the Violin Maestro BY DR. LAKSHMI SRIVATHS HOUSTON: The lives of great men remind us that each one of us can make our lives sublime” goes a famous adage. A monumental example to this popular quote is none other than the violin virtuoso, Padmabushan Lalgudi Shri G. Jayaraman. Born in the sishya parampara of the great saint Shri Thyagaraja, the multifaceted Carnatic musician Shri Lalgudi Jayaraman enhanced and enriched the ocean of Carnatic music through various roles as an outstanding violinist, an innovative and exemplary composer, a creative musicologist, an affectionate and dedicated Guru and a kind philanthropist. “Lalgudi Sir has truly revolutionized the violin playing techniques in Carnatic music; it is an honor and privilege for his students to imbibe this immaculate technique perfected by the great legend as it is the straight path to success in Carnatic violin performance”, states his direct disciple violin vidhwan Shri Vittal

Ramamurthy. “Lalgudi Samarpanam”, a musical homage to this great legend and guru, was planned, choreographed and executed on May 4, at Anjali Center in Houston, with dedication and musical excellence by his disciples, renowned violinist Shri Vittal Ramamurthy and Houston’s proficient Carnatic vocalist and devoted teacher vidhushi Smt. Rajarajeshwary Bhat. They were ably assisted in this role by the members of Houston Youth Music Association (HYMA) and supported by Krishna Gana Sudha Music Academy (KGSMA) and Samskriti. The program, a beautiful garland of Lalgudi compositions, was led adeptly by vidhwan Shri Vittal Ramamurthy on the violin, Smt. Rajarajeshwary Bhat on the vocal music, and Shri Poovalur Sriji on the mridangam. Adding to this musical delight was the visual treat of Bharatanatyam dances for some of the compositions, choreographed and executed by our Houston’s own renowned South

Indian classical dancer and loving guru Dr. Rathna Kumar. The event was eloquently emceed by Smt. Uma Ranganathan. The support of innumerable volunteers and parents of KGSMA who worked energetically contributed to the success of the event. The opening varnam on Lord Ganesha “Vallabhai Nayaka” rendered enthusiastically with a brisk tempo by the students of KGSMA, both young and old, set the ambience for the event. Followed by this was the krithi about Goddess Durga in ragam Durga, a melodious rendition presented alongside their Gurus by the youth vocalists of Texas, Chinmayee, Thanmayee, Keerthana and Kruthi and complemented skillfully by the young violinists from various cities in the United States, Sujatha, Subha, Vikram, Neha, Sharada and Pavani. The pada varnam in Charukesi, an outstanding composition that never fails to evoke tender emotions in one’s heart, was rendered with passion and perfection by Sri Vittal Ramamurthy and the young violinists, supportIf writing is your passion – here’s your chance to work for a station that has taken producing to a ed by the vocalhigher level. If you know how to write in active voice, understand how details can add color to a ists. This song story, and can sift through information to find the most interesting lead – we want to hear from you. and others were made wholeKTRK-TV, the ABC O&O station in Houston, TX is accepting applications for an Associate Producer. some with Shri The person hired for this position will write stories and edit video – with the goal of becoming a fill-in Poovalur Sriji’s mridangam line producer as well. that thundered and caressed, If you’re a producer in a smaller market, this is an opportunity you won’t want to pass up. Applicants echoed and remust have at least two years of experience working as a line producer. verberated in ENPS /Aurora/Ignite experience a plus - as is good understanding of social media and how it can accordance with be used to reach viewers and create content. Candidates must be able and willing to learn both nonthe music. The linear editing and writing for our digital platforms. Applicants must be willing to work overnights, krithi “Then weekends and holidays. Madhurai Vaazh Meena All Interested applicants must apply online at disneycareers.com, ref job #186415BR Please upload Lochani” was a cover letter, resume and list of references. an apt choice for the venue as In addition, please mail writing samples and a DVD of or link to your latest newscast to: Robin it is in praise of Freese, Executive Producer, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005. Reference, No the reigning de-

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Associate Producer

ity of Houston, Goddess Meenakshi. It is set in the unique ragam Hamsarupini, another valuable contribution to Carnatic music by Lalgudi. This was followed by the invigorating varnam in ragam Garudadhwani. Lalgudi’s devotion for his family deity Lord Muruga was completely manifest in the krithi “Kandhan Seyalanro” in ragam Natakurinji, an earnest rendition by the artists. The thillanas in ragas Behag and Karnaranjani, are two of Lalgudi’s masterpieces that glowed like precious gems. Perhaps the navaraga malikai varnam on Goddess Meenakshi “Angayarkanni”, was written by Lalgudi with our Houston Goddess Meenakshi in mind! This unique composition is a great example of the musical brilliance of the illustrious composer. Every phrase is adorned by the precise choice of ragam, impeccable alignment of swara korvai and enriched with lyrical beauty to suit the mood of the message conveyed. The adept and captivating rendition of this song by Kruthi Bhat was brought alive by the spirited and skillful execution of Bharatanatyam studded with navarasa bavas and abhinayams by Dr. Rathna Kumar and her student Samyuktha Iyer. Goddess Meenakshi was unquestionably brought in our midst by of the greatness of the composer, the melodious musicality of the singers and instrumentalists and the superlative portrayal by the

KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 09, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

dancers. Maand Thillana sung in praise of Goddess Kamakshi showcased a stunning mix of Carnatic and Hindustani flavors, another audio-visual delight that immersed the audience in absolute bliss. Yet another illustration of the musical genius was the Grahabedam Jatiswaram, encompassing the ragams Sindhubhairavi, Janjooti, Behag, Mohana Kalyani and Thilang. The concluding song was the melodious thillana in Desh, rendered ardently by all the artists and joined fervently by the students of KGSMA. The event concluded with Shri Vittal Ramamoorthy sharing the memorable moments he had experienced with the legend and felicitation of all the senior artists by HYMA. An added blessing was the attendance by Smt. Gowri Ramnarayan, a feature writer for the English daily The Hindu, a veteran writer, journalist, author, playwright-director, music critique and Carnatic vocalist, who expressed her passionate thoughts about the violin maestro and conferred compliments on the organizers and the participants for a homage well offered. After witnessing such a heartstirring homage, one could not fail to feel the poignant emotions intricately woven into Lalgudi’s music and remain in wonderment of what a stupendous musician and eminent composer we have had the privilege to share this century with! At the end, the gathering was left with the bliss of a divine musical evening and a passing pang of reminiscing the loss of this legend, wishing selfishly that the Almighty had blessed the great composer with an everlasting life! These thoughts were immediately replaced by the fact that even though the musician is no longer amidst us, the outstanding music he has left behind is with us and will resonate in our heart, mind and soul forever!


COMMUNITY

Local Girl has a Chance to be Miss Teen Texas

Jahnvi Besherdas

For advertising Call: Vanshika Vipin at 713.789.6397

Vaisakhi Celebrations in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO, TX: The San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro joined thousands of Sikhs on Saturday, May 3 for Vaisakhi celebrations. Welcoming about 1,000 participants in the Vaisakhi Parade, the Mayor addressed the Sikh and Non-Sikh crowd highlighting the importance of diversity for all communities. The mayor specifically mentioned the Oak Creek Wisconsin tragedy and called for greater appreciation for heritage that creates a richer community for all. The Mayor was also recognized by the local Sikh community for his outstanding leadership, commitment to education and continued support of the Sikh Community. Juspreet Kaur said, “Community service and charity are important to many world religions and cultures. But for followers of the Sikh Faith, Seva goes beyond just service, it is an act of Love. There is a long standing Sikh tradition of recognizing members of the community who are particularly active and dedicated to the needs of the underserved by giving them a saffron colored cloth called a siropa. Siropa in its native Panjabi means Sir tho lakey pao takh, which is literally translated as head to feet. Figuratively it describes the complete commitment within a person’s actions. Today, we would like to bestow this honor on Mayor Julian Castro.” The Parade was led by the Panj Piarey who are members of the local community who are also baptized leaders of faith. They walked along the streets of San Antonio symbolically clearing the way for the procession of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scripture in a beautifully decorated float. Sikh crowds marched behind the float chanting prayers of peach and carrying banners that read “Recognize all of humankind as one race.” Along the long procession, Sikhs from all over the Texas, dressed in colorful clothes marched to drum beats as loudspeakers blared music in the city’s unique little village of La Villita. Leaders of local area churches, the Chamber of Commerce, the Indian Association and many local government organizations also joined the Vaisakhi parade which traveled briefly along the famous Riverwalk of SanAntonio not far from the Alamo, a historical monument of the state of Texas. The parade ended at the historic La Villita, which was filled with stalls and tents for additional festivities for parade goers and tourists alike. From learning to Tie a Turban to face painting,

and even a station which allowed visitors to learn to write their names in native languages, booths attracted crowds of visitors to the activities. “We really appreciate you doing it here in the heart of city of San Antonio. It has really opened our eyes about Sikhism” said one visitor. In a large tent at the center of the square, Sikhs were singing hyms and listening to speeches. Amarjit Singh Taan led the congregation on a reflection of Vaiskahi for the Sikhs and there was a Martial Arts Demonstration of Gatka by young Sikhs. Members of the Sikh Youth also presented speeches on the importance of Justice and Human Right and the need to abolish social or class divisions amongst the people. Harjot Kaur said “Sabhey eykai pehchanbo: Recognize the human race as One, Realize that beneath the names, the titles, the class, the gender, the skin color, the nationality -- beneath everything, realize that we are all infinitely connected into One Eternal Being. Realize that we are all individual drops within an infinitely large ocean.” Dilawal Singh, a high school students, said “As Sikhs, we are obligated to help anyone in need and that means anyone and everyone.” Local Area Sikhs definitely took this message to heart as they featured two community service projects during the celebration. Visitors brought gently used books for a book drive to benefit San Antonio Youth Literacy. There was also a Food and

Fund Drive coordinated with the San Antonio Food Bank. Chief Development Officer, Michael Guerra of the San Antonio Food Bank was there to accept the donations. While thanking the Sikh Community, Guerra highlighted that the generous $5,000 donation would bring food to over 35,000 Texans. T:6” The event concluded with a lively

martial arts demonstration in the square and attendees enjoying the free food, cold drinks and snowcones offered at the event. Attendee Susie Livesay said “This tradition of serving and distributing food is part of the Sikh way of life so it makes perfect sense to do it here and show San Antonio how much Sikhs care about the greater community.”

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INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 09, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

T:4”

SUGAR LAND: Jahnvi Besherdas, a student at Stephen F Austin High School has been chosen as a State Finalist in the National American Miss Texas pageant to be held on June 15 and 16, at the beautiful Royal Sonesta Hotel in Houston. The newly crowned Miss Teen Texas will receive a $1,000 cash award , a trip to Disneyland in California to represent the state of the Texas in the national pageant as well as other prizes. Besherdas activities include being an active member of the National Honor Society, the activities director of the French Club and a member of Naach Houston – a Bollywood Dance studio. She also enjoys playing bingo and crafting with the elderly at an assisted living center where she is known as the “Queen of Hearts”. This is not only for her amiable personality but for her drive to become a surgeon one day. Besherdas is sponsored by Envy Couture by Anil Rana, Indian Spices and Snacks by B. Patel, C2 Education by Nile Nguyen, Keller Williams Agent – Lupita Deeal, Willalon Callis Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontists, Hope Tree Home Loan Agent JoAnn Cooper and New York Life Agent Jayshree Patel. National American Miss is dedicated to celebrating America’s greatness and encouraging young leaders. Each year, the pageant awards thousands in scholarships and prizes to recognize and assist in the development of young ladies nationwide. All activities are age-appropriate and family-oriented. The focus of this organization is to create future leaders and to equip them with real-world skills to make their dreams a reality. For further information about this outstanding youth program visit www.namiss.com or contact Jahnvi Besherdas at geminidivyesh@hotmail.com or 832-407-2697.

17

May 09, 2014


18 May 09, 2014 Patriarchal Politics Lives on in 2014 Elections The election campaigns of mainstream and alternative political parties in the general election, in Mumbai and rest of the country, have shown us the mirror: politics continues to remain a deeply classist and patriarchal field. As it turned out, three of the four serious women candidates in Mumbai – Priya Dutt, Poonam Mahajan and Meera Sanyal – were wealthy and belonged to the right caste-class combination. The one who did not, Medha Patkar, soldiered on the strength of her internationally recognised record of socio-political work, but she was the exception. In Mumbai and rest of Maharashtra, the political rhetoric was markedly different from the discussions of the last 15 months following the Delhi gang-rape and then the Shakti Mills gang-rape. When campaign plans were being drawn up, there was talk about gender justice. It included a wide basket of issues, from safety of women in public places and imposed dress codes to educational opportunities and political influence. Women’s empowerment, the buzz-phrase for most of 2013, seemed to have become a part of the political agenda and election rhetoric. As the campaign winds down – and turns more shrill, sexist and abusive than any other in recent history – the noise is centred around the old campaign faithfuls: secularism, caste and economic development. Women’s empowerment or gender justice as an electoral theme has long been left behind. Gender-insensitive and offensive comments during election campaigns should be treated on par with hate speech and offenders booked. This election has given the Election Commission many good reasons to make genderoffensive comments punishable under the model code of conduct, but that’s another battle to fight. Of the three key campaigners, the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi paid lip service to the issue through his campaign after making a gesture of soliciting ideas

on the subject from well-known women’s rights activists to be included in the party manifesto. The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, the man who boasted of his “56inch chest” in a typical macho projection, has not even bothered to talk seriously about gender justice. The Aam Aadmi Party’s view on the subject was best delineated by its poster-boy Somnath Bharti’s shenanigans during the party’s 49day government in Delhi, never mind the progressive and radical philosophy of some of its leaders. Election Commission data shows that fewer and fewer women, as a percentage of those who contest, have been winning Lok Sabha seats. Studies have shown that the more gender-unequal a state, fewer women contest and even fewer win a major election. This has a poignant significance in 2014 when women voters across the country form nearly 49% of the total electorate. In Maharashtra, 47.2% of the 8.06 crore electorate are women. The EC data on voter turnout shows that, in 16 constituencies, more than 60% of women voters turned up to cast their franchise. In some tribal constituencies like Gadchiroli, more than 70% of the women electorate voted. It means women come out to vote irrespective of whether their issues are represented and articulated in political manifestos. It means women voters are worthy enough to be wooed but are not good enough to represent. The general election has shown why this affirmative action is needed even in circa 2014, more than a year after it became a drawing room conversation subject. It’s really simple: until there are more women in the field, the discourse and agenda is unlikely to change. And, given the unwillingness of parties to put up deserving women candidates without affiliation to powerful political families, the 33% reservation may be the way to go ahead. -Hindustan Times

EDITORIAL

Believing in India Again

It is a matter of confidence, credibility and trust. Whatever be the political hue of the next government and whoever its leader, the challenge will be to reinvigorate investor confidence in the political stewardship of the economy, restore the credibility of the executive and rebuild trust in the sanctity of policy and contracts. Else, the much-needed investment in infrastructure and manufacturing will not be forthcoming and the numbers of un- and underemployed will continue to mount. Corruption scandals have hogged the headlines, but arguably the most damaging effect on investor sentiment over the past several years has been the activism of the tax authorities and the twists and turns in the interpretation of policies and contracts. A fly on the wall of the board rooms of Vodafone, Nokia, Microsoft, BP, Shell, Posco, Tesco, Walmart and many more would be struck by the paradoxical tenor of conversation. All would accept that notwithstanding the slowdown in growth and the lacklustre leadership over the past three years, the fundamentals remain intact and India remains on track to be an economic giant. They would endorse the view that relative to opportunities elsewhere, India is an attractive destination and that it would be imprudent to push it off their agenda. That said, they would collectively hesitate to put their signature on further new investments, other than perhaps for amounts required to sustain existing activities. They would substantiate their hesitation by allusions to the arbitrariness of the tax charges on MNCs, the announcement by the BJP to reverse the UPA government’s policy on multi-brand retail, the unilateral tightening of contractual conditions that assured petroleum companies market-related prices for gas and the right to market it freely, the labyrinthine approval procedures that have bogged down major mining and power sector projects, the reluctance of the bureaucracy to take decisions for fear of attracting a vigilance enquiry and the long lead times in judicial decisions. The thread linking all such conversations would be the loss of confidence and trust in public institutions. Cornell Professor Eswar Prasad’s

wonderfully written book, The Dollar Trap: How the US Dollar Tightened its Grip on Global Finance, brings into sharp relief the positive impact that confidence and trust in public institutions has had on the direction of capital flows in our globalised and connected world. And, by implication, the negative consequences of loss of confidence and trust. Prasad writes that, notwithstanding recurring bouts of financial crisis in America that should have led to an outflow of capital, rising interest rates and a falling dollar, US treasury securities and dollar denominated assets have continued to be a favourite haven for investors. In September 2008, for instance, following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, US financial markets went into a downward spiral, the credit markets froze and Dow Jones was on the skids. Economic fundamentals suggested there would be a run on the dollar. What happened was just the opposite. There was a net inflow of half a trillion dollars into US treasury securities, nearly all of it from private investors and the dollar rose in value against all other currencies. In July 2011, the government came within a day of declaring a technical default on its debt. The credit rating agency Standard and Poors did, in fact, downgrade US government debt from AAA to AA+ on August 2. There was an inflow of nearly $180 billion in August and September, and again mostly from the private sector. In December 2012, the economy once more headed towards a “fiscal cliff”. The US Congress was at an impasse over the government’s borrowing limits. Economists wondered whether this would push the dollar off its perch and deliberated on the extent of the spike in interest rates. The dollar remained steady and the yield on US treasury bills continued to range around 2 per cent. Prasad’s message is that economic logic and fundamentals are not the only determinants of capital flows.

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There are “softer” factors with strong explanatory force. Investors moved money into dollar assets, even though they at times received a negative real return, because they had confidence and trust in the fairness and transparency of US public institutions and because the dollar was the safest relative bet. As he put it, “if not the dollar what else”, in a market roiled by volatility., Private capital will not flow towards India until and unless confidence and trust in its public institutions have been restored. Investors did at one time regard India as a relatively “good bet” because of its strong fundamentals and the integrity of its institutions. They did fret about the bureaucracy, red tape and corruption, but they felt assured that once these entry hurdles had been scaled, the playing field would be kept even and that they would be treated fairly. Today, however, their views have altered. They are no longer confident about contract sanctity and worry they may be subject to the exercise of discretionary and whimsical authority. The new government must change this perception. This will not be easy. It will require many policy changes and the executive will have to untangle projects from red tape. But more than that, it will require the new leadership to engage in a personal “charm” offensive. Every company, irrespective of size, geography or ownership, is ultimately run by a small handful of people. It is this group that determines when, where and how the company’s money is to be spent. Their subjective predilections are a major determinant of investment decisions and often more important than sophisticated, process driven and quantitatively rigorous project analysis. A frictionless first step would be for the new prime minister to invite the top leadership of major companies involved in the sectors most important to us, like energy, infrastructure and mining, for a personal tete a tete with him and his key cabinet officials. His personal commitment to due process and the framework of law would go a long way to allay the “gut” concerns of this corporate elite.The writer is the chairman of Brookings India and senior fellow, Brookings Institution. -Indian Express


COMMUNITY

BY SANCHALI BASU HOUSTON: It is a great moment of pride for the Houston Durga Bari that Dr. Bishnupada Goswami, its head, resident priest has been awarded the honorary D. Litt (Doctor of Literature) certificate by the Indian Institute of Oriental Heritage on Vedic Karmakanda. On the occasion of the 37th Annual Conference of the Institute, this honor was bestowed on Dr. Goswami, at a ceremony held in New Delhi, on March 2. Amongst several dignitaries from various organizations including the Bharat Sevashram Sangha, Ramakrishna Mission, vice chancellors of universities, ministers and representatives of

11000 Richmond Ave, Ste 300 Houston, TX 77042

political parties, Dr. Goswami was given this honor in recognition of his contribution to the cause of research, development, propagation, modernization and popularization of Oriental learning. Unfortunately, the president of India, Honorable Sri Pranab Mukherjee, who was supposed to be the keynote speaker could not attend the conference. In his acceptance speech, Dr. Goswami drew attention to the lofty ideals of Indian philosophy and religion which spreads the universal message of prayer, brotherhood, goodness, prosperity and removal of sufferings encompassing all, irrespective of caste, creed or religion. He also emphasized that compared to the developing

world, although India is still considered to be “economically poor”, the wealth of the spiritual awareness in its masses makes it overcome all population issues and hurdles. He thanked the Institute for ably promoting and continuing the work of propagating along with Indian philosophy, the fields of Astronomy and Astrology. He mentioned a few pioneer stalwarts in each area and thanked the institute for the prestigious honor. Houstonians should indeed feel proud to have him in the metropolis being the harbinger and messenger of peace, well-being and unity amongst various Hindu religious organizations.

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HEALTH

CANCER CURE & PREVENTION SERIES

Cancer Prevention through Healthy Lifestyle Choices

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Texas Oncology is proud 4. Adopt A Healthy Diet to partner with Indo AmeriFollowing a sensible, can News on an educational nutritious diet has many series for our community. health benefits, including Over the next year we will reducing cancer risk. Eating explore various topics reless sugar and fats, limiting lated to cancer. We will start alcohol intake, and adding with three articles on cancer foods that boost your imprevention, healthy lifestyle, mune system, such as five screening and genetics. The daily servings of fruits and/ first will be presented by or vegetables, can help preDr. Sonal Sethi, a medical vent cancer. Also, drinking oncologist who practices There’s no miracle cancer prevention solution, plenty of water should be in the Clear Lake area and and anyone can be at risk. That’s why it’s part of your daily healthy Pearland. One recurring important for everyone to be committed to nutrition program. theme you will see through- healthy lifestyle choices that are known to help 5. Protect Yourself From out the year is the need to prevent cancer. UV Exposure process healthcare informaSkin cancer, the most these five behaviors: tion. It is important to distinguish common cancer, is caused by 1. Quit Smoking what is known to be true or “provexposure to ultraviolet, or UV, Quitting smoking and tobacco en” vs. what is merely conjectured rays, by way of the sun or tanproducts are a key part of prevenbut presented as fact. Oncology is ning lamps. Texas is expected to tion. About 87 percent of all lung a rapidly evolving field and some rank fifth in the nation for newly cancer deaths are attributed to of the conjectures may ultimately diagnosed cases of melanoma, the smoking. In Harris County, lung come to fruition. However, as most deadly form of skin cancer. and bronchus cancer are expected physicians and scientists we serve By applying SPF 30 or higher sunto cause the most cancer-related our patients best when we follow screen and reapplying as directed, deaths during 2014. Quitting is an evidence-based approach in wearing hats and, when possible, tough, but well worth it, and there our recommendations to and in long sleeves, pants, or skirts, you are countless resources available to decision making with our patients. can reduce your risk of this highly help you quit. The American Can— Vivek S. Kavadi, M.D. preventable cancer. Additionally, cer Society offers free counseling, checking your skin monthly for information and support over the BY SONAL SETHI, MD changes is an easy cancer screenDoes drinking lots of coffee help phone at 1-800-227-2345. ing – no appointment needed. 2. Get Screened prevent prostate cancer? AccordMake sure to show suspicious Some forms of cancer can be ing to yet another study, the anchanges to your doctor. swer is definitely maybe. With so found before they cause noticeThere’s no miracle cancer premany cancer studies in the news, able symptoms. Cancer treatment vention solution, and anyone can making practical sense of them is more effective when the disease be at risk. That’s why it’s imporis detected early. For a comprehencan be mindboggling. tant for everyone to be committed But there are fundamental life- sive list for both men and women, to healthy lifestyle choices that are style choices that experts agree detailing when you should be known to help prevent cancer. You can decrease your risk of develop- screened, go to TexasOncology. have the power to begin writing a ing cancer. For example, a 2014 com. new, and more likely cancer-free, 3. Incorporate Physical Activity report by World Health Organizafamily history for you and your According to the Centers for Distion found 30 percent of all cancer loved ones. cases are preventable through a ease Control, more than 50 percent combination of healthy lifestyle of the U.S. population fails to routinely exercise. Experts suggest up choices. Dr. Sonal Sethi Approximately 119,000 Texans to 40 percent of several major canis a medical onwill be diagnosed with cancer dur- cers may be attributed to obesity cologist at Texas ing 2014, but this number could and lack of physical activity. This Oncology– be reduced. Cancer is caused by includes colon, postmenopausal Pearland, 10970 both internal factors, like genetics, breast, endometrial, kidney and Shadow Creek and external factors, like poor diet esophageal cancer. Establishing Parkway, and and tobacco use. While you cannot physical activity and healthy eatTexas Oncolochange your genes, you can take ing habits to prevent being overgy–Deke Slayton steps to lower your chance of de- weight or obese can reduce the risk Cancer Center, 501 Medical Center veloping the disease by adopting of many cancers. Blvd. in Webster, Texas.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 09, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

May 09, 2014

21

Ground Breaking Ceremony of Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Plaza

DALLAS, TX: The Ground Breaking Ceremony of ”Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Plaza” in Thomas Jefferson Park, happened on Saturday, May 3, in Irving, TX. Nikki Haley, Governor South Carolina, Beth Van Duyne, Mayor of Irving City, and India’s Consul General from Houston, Parvathaneni Harish and many other dignitaries attended the ceremonies. “The 7 foot tall 30 inch wide Bronze statue was cast in Andhra Pradesh, India and will be installed on a 6 foot tall pedestal with a big flat form, and a granite wall in the back will be adorned with inscriptions from Gandhi’s quotations and sayings from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Albert Einstein, President Obama and many more. Grand Opening ceremonies are set for October 2, (Gandhiji’s Birthday) and are expecting Mahatma Gandhi Family, Martin Luther King Family and Nelson Mandela Family members besides many other invited dignitaries form the USA and India”. said, Dr. Prasad Thotakura, Chairman of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial of North Texas (MGMNT) ”. The estimated total project around $700,000 is borne entirely by the community and not a dime will come from the Irving City funds. However, people can donate generously and more information can be obtained from www. mgmnt.org or from the project Chairman, Dr. Prasad Thotakura at 817-300-4747 or prasadthotakura@gmail.com. Nothing ever happens in the world without the drive of an individual and his or her supporters. For the last years, under the leadership of Dr. Prasad Thotakura, Chairman, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial of North Texas (MGMNT) the entire team has been working very hard to have an iconic representation of Mahatma Gandhi in Dallas area. MGMNT team is led by Dr. Prasad Thotakura, Chairman, Taiyab Kundawala, Co-chair, Swati Shah, Co-chair, Rao Kalvala, Secretary, Dilip Patel, Treasurer, and Directors – Piyush Patel, Shabnam Modgil, Jack Godhwani, Paul Pandian and Fundraising Chairs – John Ham-

mond, Sudhir Parikh, Kuntesh Choski and Advisory Board of Directors like Padmashri AK Mago, Prof. Caroline Brittle, MVL Prasad and many more. The event was graced by Nikki Randhawa Haley. She is the first woman Governor of South Carolina, the youngest Governor in the United States, and the first Indian American female Governor. The Governor said, “ that there is no reason we cannot have peace and love with everyone, and one thing he constantly said was if we want to truly have peace and love, we have to start with Children. By putting this statue in this park, we are starting out with children, reminding them who he was, reminding them what he was about, and reminding them of the celebration he wanted his life to live on”. She then turned to Dr. Prasad Thotakura and said, “ Prasad, there is nothing you could not do.” Indeed, that is the truth. She continued, “When I look at the statue, I see a man of the peace. To walk in the state house of South Carolina as a first Indian American woman as Governor, I hoped that’s exactly what he wanted for all communities, for all people, and for all minorities to be able to be free as they wanted to be, as peaceful as they wanted to be, and to get to contribute to the world, and that is what we are celebrating today”. She said, “Indian American community is the least dependent community on receiving aid from the state, most affluent and the most educated communities in America.” Mayor Beth Van Duyne appreciated the community for funding it entirely on their own and she asserted that Zip code 75038 in Irving had the most diverse population in America. Consul General of India, Parvathaneni Harish attended the ceremonies as a Special Guest of Honor and congratulated the MGMNT Team and the Dallas area community for planning to make one of the greatest monuments in the USA. Mahatma Gandhi’s soul would be smiling at the people gathered in the park today. He lived and sacrificed his life for the unity of people of

the Subcontinent. Indian flag colors like orange, white and green and also US flag colors like red, white and blue balloons were released into the bright sunny blue skies. It was beautiful sight to

see with an imagination of smiling affectionate face of Mahatma Gandhi – seeing the community members from all regions, religions and races joining hands to get the memorial built as a reminder of unity. Indeed it is a great accomplishment for the people of Dallas.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 09, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


22 May 09, 2014 LEARN TO DRIVE TODAY!

INDIA

Indian Woman Journalist Wins Plaudits Abroad as Jefferson Fellow BY RAJ KANWAR IAN INDIA CORRESPONDENT

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When a young Indian journalist Anupma Khanna was chosen last February for the prestigious Jefferson Fellowship Program 2014 that took her on a 30-day long odyssey through Honolulu (Hawaii), Indonesia and then Myanmar, she could have hardly imagined that the journey was destined to become a momentous landmark for her and experience of a lifetime. BORN and raised in Dehra Dun, it was the first ever foreign visit by this 29-year old journalist who works as a senior feature writer with The Pioneer in addition to managing as a director the business of her family’s prestigious educational institute that offers graduate and post-graduate courses in a variety of disciplines. Her academic bouquet includes law degree (LL.B), an honours degree in journalism from Delhi College of Arts and Commerce and a master’s degree in business management from New Delhi’s Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management. The Jefferson Fellowships were launched in 1967 and is the East-West Center’s oldest and the most widely recognized seminar program. This year too, like every year, 15 journalists from across the United States, Asia and the Pacific Islands region were invited to the East-West Center. Khanna was the sole journalist from India to have joined this select band while other Jefferson Fellows came from the US, China, Pakistan, Tonga, Indonesia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Afghanistan and the Philippines. Incidentally, the East-West Center was established by the American Congress in 1960 and is ranked today as one of the more renowned American Institutions for public diplomacy. As Khanna stood awestruck, admiring the work and architectural majesty of the East West Center, she was fascinated by the sheer magnetism of its grandeur. “I was thrilled being in such an inspiring ambience. The wonderful people at EWC absolutely loved Indian culture and I felt proud of our heritage,” she recalls of that first day at the world famous Center. She was confidence personified and enthusiastically participated in all of the scheduled deliberations there. Soon enough, her first achievement came when she won the ‘Mary Morgan Hewett Award’ that is given once in two years only to a lone female journalist from the entire America-Asia-Pacific region; some of its past recipients included Melanie Kirkpatrick of The Wall St. Journal, Trudy Rubin of The Philadelphia Inquirer, California, Afshan Subohi of DAWN et al. “The Award was in the shape of a beautiful golden plaque; I felt really humbled that I was chosen for that honour,” Anupma says with a glint of pride in her eyes. In the course of a month long program, the Jefferson Fellows explored the theme of ‘Challenges of Democratic Transition’, travelling from Honolulu to Jakarta and Banda Aceh

Fellowship programs as an outstanding speaker. Later, she was made a panelist at the high-profile International Media Conference in Yangon (Myanmar) at which 400 journalists from 31 countries gathered. Here she spoke on the ‘Status of woman journalists in India’. And not surprisingly, there too she was acclaimed as one of the best panel speakers. It was therefore no wonder that her panel was among ‘the most successful’. Khanna describes her visit to Myanmar’s new capital Napydaw as a highlight of her tour. “Built from Anupma Khanna scratch only a decade ago, Napydaw is the seat of Parliament and minin Indonesia and then to Yangon and istries. With ostentatious gold and Naypyidaw in Myanmar. “Like other marble palatial architecture studFellows, I spent the month across ded with precious jades and rubies, the three countries interviewing key the sparsely populated new capital decision makers and leaders on is- has an eerie charm. Every ministry sues that are critical to democratic has its own sprawling and luxurious consolidation. In all, I have had 90 building; even the smallest campus, meetings. Even though it was a very I was told, stretches to 3000 acres. hectic schedule, it was nonetheless Napydaw stands out as a sore thumb very enriching and rewarding. There in the midst of mass poverty and was never a dull moment,” says this deprivation in Myanmar. Here, there Indian journalist of her odyssey. is 24-hour power supply, 12-lane Some key dignitaries she inter- highways, Vegas-like hotel zones, golf viewed were Indonesian vice presi- courses, landscaped roads, shopping dent Boediono, Jakarta governor malls, theatres and even a national Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and the gov- zoo, but no people! It is like a gliternor and vice governor of Aceh tering ghost -town,” she explains the province besides the heads of the new capital’s opulence. Indonesia’s National Commission Summing up her adventure, the on Human Rights and Corruption young woman says, “The Jefferson Eradication Commission. Her meet- Fellowship has been an unmatched ings with law makers, senior bu- exploit in myriad ways. I have learnt reaucrats, ministers, social activists, from and networked with leading policy analysts and of course fellow journalists from almost the entire journalists in both Indonesia and world. Besides being among the hapMyanmar were highly satisfying and piest episodes, for me as a journalist gave her new perspectives about the the month long study- tour has been two countries. an extraordinary educational opAmong the dignitaries at Yangon portunity. The program was like this was Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel knowledge capsule that is rather Peace Laureate and general secretary unimaginable for many of us. I of National League for Democracy have returned with a strong underwith whom the visiting journalists standing of complex issues related to had a luncheon meeting. The Myan- democracies, development and good mar legend spoke with some passion governance. Every experience is a on the ‘Challenges of a Free Press form of exploration but being a Jeff in Emerging and Established De- is a means to realizing the perfection mocracies’. “We all were very much I pursue.” enthused and thrilled by her sheer Raj Kanwar is a presence. Hilary Clinton was there Dehra Dun-based too but via video participation,” she author and freeadds. lance journalist. Her public speaking fluency became evident in Honolulu itself where she was highly commended

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Place a Number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. Send us the correct answer before MAY 14, 2014. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036. Send us your picture and we will publish it if you are a winner (for first three entrees only).

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Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Paneer Di Bhurji (Crumbled Cheese & Onion Mash) Paneer (fresh milk soft cheese) is a favorite all over India, but its nationwide use has only grown rapidly over the past dozen years. Up till the mid 90’s, paneer was still a specialty item and used sparingly in select dishes like palak paneer (spinach and cheese), a universal favorite. But ever since the Green Revolution, milk has been in abundance and large wholesalers have turned to making paneer since it has a higher profit margin. In most restaurant menus, paneer is now the most often used ingredient with any vegetable. The flip side of this overuse of paneer is that even vegetarian dishes are now quite fattening, leading to heavier people, especially when used with cream. In addition, there are large paneer pakoras, paneer samosas, paneer paranthas and of course, the sweetmeats like ras mallayi or ras gullas. In the Punjab, two or three paneer dishes have been popular for decades – palak paneer and paneer mutter (paneer and peas) – which most families make at home usually. The recipe here is one that is a favorite of both mothers and children as it is both easy to make and still has lots of flavor and can be eaten with roti. As it doesn’t have any curry to it, it is also fast to make. Paneer is an unaged, acid-set, non-melting farmer cheese made by curdling hot milk with lemon juice or vinegar to separate the whey. Although it is simple to make, it is somewhat time consuming to make paneer, so since paneer is easily available in stores now, if you like, you can use the ready-made variety for this recipe. Ingredients for making paneer: • •

1 liter doodh (whole milk) ½ cup sirka (white vinegar)

Ingredients for making paneer: • •

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2 large pyaaz (onions) – red onions will add more color 1 tbsp tael (olive oil or vegetable oil) 1 medium tamater (tomato) – chopped 1 tsp rang wali mirch (coloring red pepper) – this gives off its red color Spices: 2 tsp dhania (cori-

ander powder), ½ tsp garam masala, 1 tsp lal mirch (red pepper) and salt to taste. Directions: 1. Pour the milk into a pot and let it come to boil over medium heat. When it begins to boil, add the vinegar and the milk will begin to separate into whey. 2. Pour the liquid through a strainer lined with a soft cloth to capture the whey. Tighten the cloth into a ball and tie it off in a knot and let the water drip from the ball. 3. Peel and chop the onions, then place in a medium skillet with the oil over medium heat till they are slightly brown. Do not overcook as the onions will lose their taste. Add the lal mirch and salt and stir. 4. Add the tomato and red pepper to give the bhurji a nice reddish color and stir.

Now add the paneer to onions, crumbling it in hands as you drop it in. it lightly but thoroughly.

6. Add the garam masala and dhania and stir in. Cover the skillet and turn the heat off and let it sit for five minutes. This dish tastes best with warm paranthas or roti. Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India 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 mid-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes.

MAMA’S TIP OF THE WEEK GROUND UP CLOVES TO ADD TATSE AND COLOR

Cloves are a spice that is used sparingly in traditional Punjabi cooking and most people are in the USA are surprised to find them – as well as long pieces of dal chini (cinnamon sticks) - in dishes like rice and chole (garbanzos or chickpeas) since most restaurants here do not use them at all. Cloves add taste and color and when making Punjabi chole, it is important to have the dark color and lingering spiciness. The trick is to take some cloves and roast them on a tava or flat plate, then let them cool down and grind them. Keep them powder in a tight sealed jar and use over chole for the dark color as well as to aid in digestion to cut down on gas.

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ENTERTAINMENT Movie review: Purani Jeans

BY SHUBHRA GUPTA Purani Jeans – A few times, the drama threatens to get exaggerated. But ‘Purani Jeans’, despite its weknow-where- this- coming-of-age arc is going, gets a lot else right. I went into ‘Purani Jeans’ expecting nothing, and was rewarded by a film that kept me with it. The storyline is solid even if not terribly new. It has believable characters, and an arc that moves and is moving. Anyone who has grown up with a gang of inseparables will instantly connect with these Kasauli Cowboys. Sid (Tanuj Virwani) is a fatherless boy whose mom (Rati Agnihotri, also his mother in real life) has set her heart on his going to the US. Sam (Aditya Seal) is a ‘khandaani raees’and has an alcoholic mother (Sarika) who lives unhappily with her second husband (Kapoor). The other three, Bobby, Suzy and Tino (Baidwan, Kakkar and Kathuria respectively) make up the group. Sid and Sam have known each other since they were five, and are the kind of friends of that are constantly out of each other’s houses, know each other’s secrets. Trouble begins, as it does usually, with a girl. Pretty Nayantara (Izabelle Leite) arrives in town and catches the boys’ attention. Love strikes and things change forever. I have a couple of quibbles. The guys all look just a tad older than they should: this is a gang that’s giving entrance exams for higher studies, so presumably school and

college-leaving is behind them. But this story of first love and heartbreak feels like it belongs to adolescents, and adolescents have a gawkiness and gangliness that’s unmistakable. These boys have gone past it. Also, some of the plot points are predictable: you know, for example, how one of the main characters will end up, right from when he shows up. A few times, the drama threatens to get exaggerated. But ‘Purani Jeans’, despite its we- know-where- thiscoming-of-age arc is going, gets a lot else right. The film is set in the 90s, and much of the film is spent looking back, but the nostalgia never becomes mawkish. It opens with Sid in New York, where he has been for a dozen years. Circumstances compel a return to Manali, and the flashback takes us to when the gang was young and carefree. Livewire Sam organises the parties and the fun times, and song and dance follows. But again, it is kept in check: it’s a bunch of best

friends goofing around, not synthetic dancers doing rubberized moves. It’s all very boysbonding-over-beer-and-other-things, and the perspective is a young guy’s: those looking for a girl’s point-ofview, this is not that film. Most times, it is the rhythm of the young, how they speak, dress and inhabit space which Bollywood gets wrong. ‘Purani Jeans’ is bang on in this crucial aspect: the conversations flow and feel real. The girl, acting wise, is a weak link, but comes off pleasant enough, and that’s all she needs to be. Aditya Seal as the poor little rich boy who has everything but love, does a good job. Virwani is bland, but gets the quieter, more earnest vibe. The other three are well– defined: one of them does something wrong and leaves town. The rest scatter, and only when Sid returns year later, in a very ‘Summer of ’42′ touch, things come together. -Indian Express

May 09, 2014

Revealed: What Happened at Rani-Aditya Reception

Filmmaker Aditya Chopra, who got married to actress Rani Mukerji in a private ceremony in Italy late last month, hosted a reception for his friends at the Yashraj Bungalow on Sunday night. Several Bollywood celebrities like Karan Johar, Anupam Kher with wife Kirron Kher and choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant attended the party. A report says that security was beefed up for the reception and no photographers were allowed around the venue. The couple did not even step out for a moment to pose for curious photographers and did their best to keep the party away from the media eye. Earlier in the day, Rani was clicked

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by a fan at the Mumbai airport. She was dressed casually in jeans and a red jacket. Aditya and Rani were dating for a few years before they got married on April 21 and announced their marriage through a statement the next day. -Times of India

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Gold, Silver Surge on Wedding Season Buying, Global Cues

Gold in New York, which normally sets the price trend on the domestic front, rose 1.5% to $1,302.90 an ounce, the biggest gain since 12 March . Photo: AFP

NEW DELHI : Nearly a year after it blocked India’s $5 billion deal to take stake in Kashagan oilfield, Kazakhstan has offered ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) a stake in medium-sized Abai oil block in Caspian Sea. The block Abai, which was previously being operated by Statoil of Norway, is adjacent to OVL’s Satpayev exploration block. Kazakhstan made the offer at the meeting of the joint working group in Astana late last month, official sources said. OVL, the overseas arm of stateowned Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC), has been offered 25% interest in the Abai block, which according to Kazakhstan government estimates has 2.8 billion barrels of oil reserves. However, the Indian firm believes reserves may not that high and will study data before accepting the offer. Kazakhstan had last year blocked OVL’s $5 billion deal to buy an 8.4% stake in the Kashagan oilfield from US energy giant ConocoPhillips. Kazakhstan exercised its pre-emption right to first buy the ConocoPhillips’ stake and then sell it off to Chinese firm—China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). In 2005, India

NEW DELHI: Gold staged a strong recovery on Saturday by surging Rs320 to Rs 30,710 per 10 grams in Delhi bullion market on emergence of buying by stockists to meet the ongoing wedding season demand amid a firming trend overseas. Silver also snapped its three-day falling streak and spurted by Rs1,050 to Rs42,700 per kg on increased offtake by industrial units and coin makers. The white metal had lost Rs1,750 in the previous three sessions. Traders attributed the rebound in precious metals to buying by stockists for the ongoing wedding season

demand. Besides, a firming global trend where gold advanced the most since mid-March as tensions between Russia and Ukraine increased, boosting demand for the precious metal as a safe haven, also boosted the sentiment here, they said. Gold in New York, which normally sets the price trend on the domestic front, rose 1.5% to $1,302.90 an ounce, the biggest gain since 12 March and silver by 2.6% to $19.54 an ounce, the biggest gain since 14 February. In Delhi, gold of 99.9 and 99.5%

Kazakhstan Offers Oil Field to ONGC Videsh

Kazakhstan had last year blocked OVL’s $5 billion deal to buy an 8.4% stake in the Kashagan oilfield from US energy giant ConocoPhillips. Photo: Bloomberg had lost a $4.18 billion deal to buy PetroKazakhstan to China. “They (Kazakhstan) realise that they were more than unjust to India and have put all their eggs in one basket i.e. China. And so they are now making overtures,” an official said. Statoil had in February 2013 given

up the Abai offshore block spending about seven years negotiating to start exploration. State-owned KazMunaiGaz National Co. held 75% interest in the block with an estimated 387 million tons of resources (2.8 billion barrels). Statoil had 25% interest which is now

being offered to OVL. Delays and cost overruns have dogged Kazakhstan’s efforts to expand offshore production of oil and gas. OVL had planned to drill two exploration wells on Satpayev in 2014 and 2015 but delivery of a drill rig has been delayed and will now be

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purity spurted by Rs320 each to Rs30,710 and Rs30,510 per 10 grams, respectively. It had lost Rs195 on Friday. Sovereign followed suit and rose by Rs100 to Rs25,100 per piece of eight grams. Silver ready recorded by a whopping rise of Rs1,050 to Rs42,700 per kg and weekly-based delivery by Rs1,105 to Rs42,080 per kg. On the other hand, silver coins remained steady at Rs80,000 for buying and Rs81,000 for selling of 100 pieces. -Livemint.com

available only next year. OVL bought 25% of Satpayev in 2011. It paid $13 million as a signing amount to Kazakhstan. In addition, it will pay $80 million as a one-time assignment fee to KazMunaiGas (KMG). On top of this, OVL had committed a minimum exploration investment of $165 million and an additional optional expenditure of $235 million to the project. The Satpayev block, measuring 1,582sq.km, is located in the North Caspian Sea, in water depths of 6-8m, and has two prospective areas that hold an estimated 256 million tonnes of oil and natural gas resources. It lies near four major discoveries. OVL estimates a peak output of 287,000 barrels per day from the Satpayev and Satpayev Vostochni (East) structures. -Livemint.com

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28 May 09, 2014

BY ABHISHEK PUROHIT MUMBAI: A calculated charge from Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard amid indisciplined bowling from Royal Challengers Bangalore set up Mumbai Indians’ victory, their second on the trot at home. Rohit and Pollard came together at 84 for 4 in the tenth over and accelerated late to add 97 in the next ten. Combined with 25 extras, including 12 wides, it was well beyond Royal Challengers’ reach, though they had reached 94 for 1 in the tenth over. Harbhajan Singh then claimed Chris Gayle for 38, and

Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers went soon after as the visitors’ challenge melted away. With one side of the ground smaller than the other, and a furiously quick outfield, both sides wanted to chase, and Royal Challengers did. Mumbai Indians’ top order of Ben Dunk, CM Gautam and Ambati Rayudu could not really get going on a pitch with pace and bounce, but the numerous extras served up by the Royal Challengers quick bowlers ensured the run-rate stayed reasonably high. The visitors hit back with quick wickets

BY UMAR FAROOQ Former Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis has been appointed national coach for a period of two years. He will join the team in June, having previously served as bowling coach of the Pakistan side in 2006-07 and briefly in 2009, and as head coach in 2010-11. “I am extremely pleased to have been selected as the head coach,” Waqar said. “My immediate aim would be to prepare the team for the upcoming busy cricket season including the next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.” A committee comprising Intikhab Alam (director domestic cricket operations), Haroon Rashid (director game development) and Moin Khan (chief selector) met today in Lahore to review the applicants for the coaching job and “unanimously” recommended Waqar, a choice that was endorsed by the PCB chairman. After Dav Whatmore’s contract with Pakistan ended in February, Moin, who had been the team manager, was named coach and was in charge until the World Twenty20 in April, when the same PCB administration under Najam Sethi that had appointed him, gave him the dual roles of team manager and chief selector of the national team. Waqar had previously quit as Pakistan coach reportedly because of personal reasons, but his differences with former captain Shahid Afridi were a factor during Ijaz Butt’s term as PCB chairman. When asked last week if he was okay with working with Afridi, Waqar said: “Pakistan cricket is like my family and differences aren’t

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 09, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

the end of life, so things get better. I am here to serve cricket and want to return what I have learned from my playing career.” During Waqar’s previous stint as Pakistan coach between March 2010 and August 2011, Pakistan endured several off-field controversies - the spot-fixing scandal in England and Zulqarnain Haider fleeing to the UK mid-way through a tour - but their performances were satisfactory. They drew a Test series against South Africa, won one in New Zealand and reached the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup. After his term came to an end, Waqar applied for the Australia job but did not make it past an interview with Cricket Australia. Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent.

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Rohit Sharma accelerated to hit an unbeaten 59 off 35

as the halfway mark of the innings approached, when Pollard joined Rohit. With only Aditya Tare and the bowlers to come, the pair was forced to play cautiously for some time. The first five overs of the partnership produced only 29, despite some poor fielding. With about six overs left, Rohit and Pollard gradually opened up. Amid throwing his bat at Mitchell Starc in an ugly flare-up, Pollard contributed 43 off 31. Rohit cut loose in the penultimate over bowled by Varun Aaron. A couple of top-edges flew fine for six, there was a straight hit for four and a sliced six over deep cover as 24 came off the over. Rohit lofted Starc for four over extra cover off the last ball of the innings to surge to 59 off 35 as Mumbai Indians ended on 187 for 5. Gayle and Parthiv Patel responded with an opening stand of 53 in five overs. Parthiv did the early running before Gayle took Pawan Suyal for four successive boundaries in the third over. Rohit turned to Harbhajan, and after a quiet opening over, the offspinner had Parthiv bowled on the slog-sweep off the first ball of his second. Gayle wasn’t done yet. He swung Harbhajan for consecutive boundaries in the same over. Rohit persisted with Harbhajan, who sent down a tight third over. Harbhajan was given a fourth on the trot, the first four balls of which went for 12. Gayle attempted a slog-sweep off the fifth, missed and was bowled for 38 off 24. In walked de Villiers and calmly reverse-paddled Harbhajan first ball for four. When Mumbai Indians reprieved both batsmen in the space of four deliveries, it seemed the chances could cost them. Royal Challengers needed 72 off the last eight with Kohli and de Villiers looking good. However, de Villiers was bowled in the 13th over, missing after having backed too far across to Jasprit Bumrah. Kohli swatted Suyal straight to long-off in the next over. The askingrate climbed rapidly now. Pollard ran out Yuvraj Singh, and though Rilee Rossouw tried, Royal Challengers had ceded too much ground with all those extras. Abhishek Purohit is a senior subeditor at ESPNcricinfo

Waqar Younis Given Second Term as Pakistan Coach

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May 09, 2014

Cong, BJP Heavy Weights Take Poll Battle to Amethi, Varanasi VARANASI: Election 2014’s biggest turf war is on. As saffron forces flood Gandhi bastion Amethi to prepare for Narendra Modi’s big rally there on Monday, the Congress has deployed a contingent of heavyweight leaders in Varanasi — the BJP prime ministerial candidate’s seat — for smooth election management. It is also considering sending party vice-president and Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi to the temple town, though a final decision is yet to be taken. Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, sources said, is camping in Varanasi and has been there for a few days already. “He is our chief coordinator. He handles everything, from distribution of campaign material to the list of speakers for a rally,” a party strategist said. The others include foreign minister Salman Khurshid, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma and senior partymen Mukul Wasnik and Subodh Kant Sahay. The sources said the party was mulling the option of having Rahul campaign in Varanasi but “a final decision will be taken only after polling in Amethi gets over on May 7”. They added that Congress chief Sonia Gandhi won’t be travelling to Varanasi. Earlier, there was talk of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra going there and offering puja at the Sankat Mochan Hanuman mandir, though not actively taking part in any campaign. The Congress’ local MLA Ajay Rai takes on Modi and AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal in Varanasi on May 12. Wasnik, a prominent SC leader, is

BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi waves to supporters as he arrives in an open vehicle to file his nomination in Varanasi. (AP photo) slated to attend a few rallies while Sharma is regularly seen alongside Rai in the latter’s tours. Khurshid is set to campaign in select pockets. Rai had earlier told the media Priyanka had assured him of all help. In Amethi, preparations were in full flow on Sunday for the big show ahead. With Monday being the last day for campaigning, BJP candidate Smriti Irani plans to release her vision for Amethi — listing promises on the education, health, employment, women’s security and power fronts — while the Parivar is contemplat-

ing releasing a two-minute film on the region’s backwardness, sources told HT. On Sunday, Priyanka went to some Amethi villages to hold interactions with the people, assuring them of better communication in future and asking the villagers to ensure higher turnout. At the meetings of booth management committees, some Congress leaders had demanded the party should also hold another rally of Sonia Gandhi in the region. Meanwhile, addressing two ‘maha

chaupals’, Rahul targeted Modi for snoopgate and giving cheap land to the Adani group in Gujarat. “Modi should respect women and assure them he would not indulge in phone tapping instead of bringing out posters declaring power to the fair sex,” he said.“We do not need leaders who talk of giving powers. Instead, we need those who think power is within us and know how to harness it,” said Rahul. He also attacked other candidates contesting the Lok Sabha election

and said, “You see two to three new faces every five years.” The saffron brigade descended on Amethi after the BJP’s UP in-charge Amit Shah spent all of Friday there holding strategy meetings. Breaking the unsaid rule of keeping off a political rival’s turf, the BJP had announced Friday that Modi would hold a rally in the constituency — days after Hindustan Times broke the news that such moves were afoot and that the Congress could reciprocate. “It’s sad that the Congress has chosen to neglect this constituency. Imagine, even for a postmortem, people have to travel to Sultanpur,” local BJP leader Ravi Dutt said. The Gandhi stronghold lacks a degree college for girls and is plagued with rising unemployment despite returning a Congress candidate on all but two occasions, he added. “We have high hopes from Modiji’s rally. It’s going to be a mammoth show of saffron wave on Gandhi turf,” said state unit chief Laxmikant Bajpai, camping there since Saturday. Along with Bajpai and numerous BJP workers, senior RSS leaders like Bal Mukund are also in the district. Alleging that the Congress was rattled, the saffron sources said Sonia had had to visit Amethi to ask the people to take care of “her son” while Priyanka’s “extended” stay there was proof the party was no longer as confident of a win. -HindustanTimes

Pakistan Violates Ceasefire Again, Third Incident in Nine Days

On 28 April, Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire by firing on Indian posts along the LoC in Bhimber Gali in Rajouri district.

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JAMMU: Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire for the third time in nine days by firing with small arms and automatic weapons on Indian posts along the line of control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district. Army troops guarding the borderline retaliated and the exchanges between the two sides continued till 2345 hours Saturday night. “Pakistani troops resorted to small

arms and automatic weapons firing on Indian posts along the LoC in Mendhar sector in Poonch district from 11:30 pm last night,” a defence spokesperson said on Sunday. Army troops guarding the borderline fired back resulting in intermittent exchanges of fire, he said, adding “firing exchanges continued for 11:45 pm.” There was no loss of life or injury to anyone on this side of the LoC, the

spokesperson said. This is the third incident of ceasefire violation in the past nine days along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. On 28 April, Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire by firing on Indian posts along the LoC in Bhimber Gali in Rajouri district. Earlier on 25 April, they had fired with small arms and mortars on Indian posts in Doda battalion areas in Poonch district. -Livemint.com

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