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Friday, June 03, 2016 • Vol. 35, No. 23

Indo American News READ US ONLINE at www.indoamerican-news.com | Published weekly from Houston, Texas. USA 7457 Harwin Dr, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036 • PH: 713 789 6397 • Fax: 713 789 6399 • indoamericannews@yahoo.com

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June 03, 2016


Friday, June 03 2016 | Vol. 35, No. 23


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May Showers Bring ASIE Power The ASIE presents a check for $10,001made out to the Greater Houston Community Foundation to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner at the group’s May meeting at the Omni Hotel on Woodway on Thursday, May 26.

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June 03, 2016


ASIE’s May Meeting a Power Luncheon with Mayor Turner BY DINESH SHAH HOUSTON: The American Society of Indian Engineers and Architects’ May meetings have traditionally become the venue to invite the Mayor of Houston and this year marked a speech by newly elected Mayor Sylvester Turner. The luncheon event was held on Thursday, May 26 at the Omni Hotel on Woodway, where the banquet hall and reception area were packed with over 300 guests socializing and networking; most of them engineers and architects (E&A) of various firms and sponsors from all across the Greater Houston area. The event has also traditionally coincided with the annual fundraising event to benefit an Engineering and Architecture Student’s scholarship. ASIE started

ASIE Program Committee members including U of H students ready to welcome more than 300 guests for their name tags and sitting assignments. Photos: Navin Mediwala

Mayor Turner addressing the Engineers and Architects audience.

the scholarship twenty-two years ago with the goal of providing a platform for professional development and networking for E&A of Indian origin and since then it has grown to benefit the engineering community of Greater Houston. ASIE is taking an active role in MathCounts, Houston’s Science Fair, Engineers Week events and Future Cities Competition. In these 22 years, ASIE has provided over $50K in scholarships to engineering students at local universities in the Greater Houston region. This year a special donation was

made to help the members of the community affected by the recent floods. All this has been made possible by the generous contributions from sponsors of the Indo-American E & A companies. This year’s program was organized on short notice as it was difficult to invite the Mayor in advance due to his busy schedule. The Program Committee head by Chetan Vyas and the Fundraising Committee came into action and planned an elegant program and made a sold out successful event. The program started as soon as

Mayor Turner arrived and lunch was served. Naresh Kolli with Geotest Engineering and the current President of ASIE, welcomed the Mayor as the keynote speaker who would share his perspective on Houston infrastructure. Kolli also welcomed the table sponsors and their invited guests. ASIE Past President Sanjay Ram made opening remarks and emceed the event. Ram, who has just been re-appointed by Turner to a 2-year term on the Board of Metro, welcomed the invited guests from various governmental

Mayor Turner addressing more than 300 Engineers and Architects.

agencies and private companies. He was followed by Dr. Karun Sreerama, ASIE Life Member, a successful entrepreneur, and a leader in the community in civic, business, philanthropy and advocacy levels, who introduced Mayor Turner by sharing his accomplishments in the five months since he has been in office, particularly for getting the budget passed unanimously by Council; for promoting economic development and prosperity; tackling flooding and drainage issues; and getting potholes in roads quickly fixed.


Mayor Turner gave an overview of the City including the past, present and future issues, introduced his City Council team, and elaborated the topic of budget, road pot-holes, and his perspective on infrastructure. Later, the ASIE Board and Advisory Council presented the Mayor with a check of $10,001 made out to the Greater Houston Community Foundation for use in flood relief. ASIE Life Member and current Vice President, Dinesh Shah closed out the event with thanks to the attendees and sponsors.


June 03, 2016



June 03, 2016


First National Level Youth Cricket Tournament Hosted in Houston

HOUSTON: In the game of Rain

v/s Cricket, Cricket eventually won as the rain could only dampen the fields but not the enthusiasm with which more than 250 young cricketers (24 teams) from all over the country gathered in Houston for National Youth Cricket League’s tournament. Following a wet opening ceremony at Paul Rushing Park in North Katy on Friday, May 27. The tournament caught up with all the games by the time prizes were handed out on a humid but sunny afternoon on Memorial Day. After a total of 44 games, Houston’s own Triggers Colts Cricket League (TCCL) Cobras were champions in the 10U age group, East Bay Youth Cricket Association (EYCA) won the 14U age group while Texas Cricket

Academy (TCA) won the 18U championships. Cricket Academy USA (CAUSA), TCCL Houston and Southern California Cricket Association (SCCA) were the runners up in U10, U14 & U18 respectively. Individual Awards were given to the following outstanding cricketers: U10, MVP Ishaan Roy (CAUSA, Atlanta), Best Batsman Arya Kannatha (TCCL, Houston), Best Bowler Rishabh Shimpi (DYCL Dallas). U14, MVP Ahan Bhakare (TCCL, Houston), Best Batsman Joshua Kind (MYCA Missouri), Best Bowler Dev Thadani (EYCA California). U18, Best Batsman Kishan Das (TCA Dallas), Best Bowler Karthik Lappathi (TCA

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

Dallas). Its worth mentioning that this year, there was a significant increase in the number of girls participating with as many as 5 girls on 1 team. The National Youth Cricket League (NYCL) is supported by generous sponsors like New Inning Foundation, SG Cricket, Bedessee Sporting Goods and Dream Cricket. Playing for the first time in a national tournament of such kind, the 10U TCCL Cobras created an upset of all sorts by winning on their debut. Full credit to Coaches Prashant Manne, Krishna Sikharam, Kiran Kantheti and Adarsh Srikanthan for working hard with the young cricketers and guiding them to victory. The 14U TCCL team, also in their debut tournament came close to the championship. Ably coached by former USA captain Sushil Nadkarni, this team won all their

league games including two back to back games in scorching heat on Sunday May 29, and completing a previously rained out game on the same day. They went down fighting against the formidable EYCA team from California This was the first event of its kind ever hosted in Houston. Surya Saladi, Nanda Kumar & Krishna Sikharam of TCCL pulled off this herculean task of hosting over 24 teams playing 4 T20 matches each in a short span of 4 days. The tournament was sponsored by Sunoco LP and supported by Houston Cricket League (HCL). TCCL’s program for youth cricket is thankful for generous contribution from Judge Ed Emmett and Ms. Jesal Patel amongst other sponsors. TCCL conducts leagues for kids under the age of 14 years in leather ball & tape ball categories from various clubs around the

Houston area, namely Katy Youth Cricket (KYC), Energy Corridor Cricket (ECC), North West Cricket Club (NWCC) and Sugar Land Youth Cricket Club (SLYCC). Youth Cricket Houston has gained tremendous momentum in the last few years. Beginning with tape ball cricket in late 2013, all clubs now offer coaching in leather ball as well as tape ball. The first ever leather ball league started in March 2016 and runs every weekend till July in two age groups – U11 & U14. Each team plays 9 games in the spring / summer session. TCCL has more tournaments planned for kids all year around. TCCL encourages boys & girls of all ages to take up this sport. Please visit www.triggerscolts. org for more information on a cricket club near you.




June 03, 2016

Over the Hills and Valleys of Vocal Music with a Maestro BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA THE WOODLANDS: The fierce rainstorm last Friday afternoon, May 27, threatened to derail the much anticipated private concert of vocalist Pandit Vinayak Torvi but thankfully, it abated just in time for people to make the long voyage from the hinterlands to this community 45 miles north of central Houston. Though nervous at the prospect of driving through high waters to the Auburn Lakes Clubhouse, and they still had to contend with a rising Willow Creek which had swallowed up Grosling Road making it unpassable by nightfall after two days of heavy thundershowers in the Montgomery County area. But for those 80 or so people who came – mostly Woodlands residents – the hour-long musical session by Torvi was a treat that could not be replicated in any concert hall for its upclose and intimate appeal. The artist and his accompanying musicians Pandit Ashis Sengupta on the table and Dr. Vinay Mishra on the harmonium as well as his disciple the young 19 year-old Shiddartha Belmannu who sat close by and on a few occasions followed the maestro’s vocalizations. The four have been on a tour of 14 cities in the US and after this Houston stop

The intimate concert with Pandit Ashis Senguptaji on tabla, Torvi, Dr. Vinay Mishra on harmonium and Torvi’s disciple Shiddartha Belmannu was held at the Auburn Lakes Clubhouse in The Woodlands

Deena Patil opened up with introductions of the artistes

Organizer Rashmi Gupta (left) was overcome with emotion at the concert

Pt. Vinayak Torvi in front of a photo of Aruna Gupta, whom he remembered for her passion towards Indian classical music.

were scheduled to head out to San Jose and then from there back to India. That they came to perform to such an intimate audience was a testament to the esteem that Torvi had for the late Aruna Gupta who was a well-known classical music promoter and noted artist in her own right. She had often pulled together concerts in Delhi for Torvi and “I was always sure that she would be there in the front row,” said Torvi as he paid homage to Gupta, whose framed photo hung behind him on the fireplace. Visibly touched by Gupta’s apprecia-


tion of his art and the impact she had on the classical music scene in Delhi, Torvi said, with hands folded, that ”we could not pass up the chance to perform at her daughter’s invitation here in Houston, it is like having her here with us again.” It brought tears to the eyes of Gupta’s daughter, Rashmi Gupta who lives in The Woodlands and has also acquired her mother’s appreciation for good Indian classical music. Her mother was a Nritya and Sangeet Visharad (master’s degree in classical dance and singing) but could not perform herself as she was married into a conservative Banaras Business family yet managed to imbibe the same passion in her family. In turn, Rashmi has for past four years turned her home into a salon to showcase visiting Indian artistes like Padam Bhushan Pandit Rajan Sajan Mishra and Ustad Raza Ali Khan, the grandson of Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan. “This has truly become my passion and I feel so connected to my mom through music,” said Rashmi of the avocation that she pursues while being a successful real estate agent. “I feel responsible in carrying out her mission of promoting Hindustani Classical music.” CONTINUED ON PAGE


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Over the Hills and Valleys of Vocal Music with a Maestro CONTINUED FROM PAGE

The beneficiaries of her passion are her group of friends and acquaintances who get a front row to musical events that she plans, usually in her home. This evening, a friend, Deena Patil gave the introductions to Torvi and the other musicians for the powerful concert in which the maestro showed his skill at navigating the highs, low and all the other subtle tones in between; Sengupta played a few incredible solo pieces on the table and both he and Mishra caught the taals and musical chords effortlessly, “since we know the grammar of the music,” Mishra quipped later after dinner! Pandit Vinayak Torvi is a gifted vocalist with a resonant voice, rich in melody and rhythm. Born to a family of keertanakars in Ranebennur, Karnataka, he developed a passion for music at a very early age and was a child prodigy. He received training in Hindustani classical vocal music in Gurukul system first from the legendary Gyanacharya Gururao Deshpande from Gwalior Gharana and later from Bharata Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi from Kirana Gharana. During his Post Graduate studies in music in Karnataka University Dharwad, he was influenced and musically reinforced by musical greats. He is an acclaimed All India Radio and Doordarshan artist and has participated in major

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music festivals and conferences nationally in India and all over the world, receiving many awards. He is the heir apparent to Pt. Bhimsen Joshi. Pandit Ashis Senguptaji is a dynamic, versatile tabla mastero from Benaras Gharana. He trained initially under his father Ranjit Kumar Sengupta and later by Pt. Nanku Maharaj, Pt. Mahapurush Mishra and Krishna Kumar Ganguly. His high aesthetic perception of tabla enables him to express a range of emotions with his instrument. He is the recipient of Taalmani award and is one of the most sought after artiste both as a soloist and accompanist but above all he is a performing percussionist. He has also written books like “Facets of Tabla Playing” and “Mridangam to Tabla- A Journey”. He is a member of the faculty of music and fine arts at the University of Delhi. Dr. Vinay Mishra is an accomplished harmonium player born in Varanasi and trained at Banaras Hindu University and Delhi University. He was tutelaged under Ustad Mahtab Khan Saheb and Ustad Chand Khan Saheb and guided by gurus in Varanasi and Pt. Appasaheb Jalgoankar. He has accompanied many vocalists and is building a name as a soloist too. He is also a member of the faculty of music and fine arts at the University of Delhi. Credit: Deena Patil contributed to this story | Vol. 30, 28 2011 October Friday,







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10 June 03, 2016


MS University of Baroda College of Architecture Class of ‘96 Holds Four-Day Reunion in Houston

The attendees at the Holiday Inn Westchase, left to right, Jawahar Patel, New Jersey; Mahendra & Sukeshi Vaishnav (hosts); Randhir & Sunila Sahni (hosts); Madhu Patel & Suzan Sakhuja, Chicago, Ill.; Suhas & Jyotsna Pawar, West Berlin, Wis,; Chandrika & Dinesh Shah (hosts); Nita & Suresh Shah, NJ; Usha & Navin Patel, Detroit, Mi; Vinod & Mina Dave, Atlanta, Ga.; Bharati & Harish Bhatt, El Ceritto, Cal.; and Vijay & Asha Jadhav, Los Angeles, Cal.



OUSTON: Three longtime residents of Houston invited their classmates, M S University of Baroda graduates of 1966 to celebrate the 50th graduation anniversary. The reunion lasted through May 20-23, 2016 and took the form of four days of celebration. Bus tours over the four days included showing off the magnificent buildings that form the downtown skyline of the city, Theater District, Uptown/Galleria Area, Museum District, Rice University, Rothko Chapel, Asia Society building and the world’s largest Medical Center. “We feel enlightened and did not realize that a city so new, yet with a long history, and world class in-

stitutions and buildings, existed in Texas”, observed a California resident, and a New Jersey classmate chimed in a total agreement. University of Baroda has over 3,000 graduates who have chosen the US as their home. A quarter of the graduating class members of the class of 1966 chose to accept the invitation and attend the event with their spouses. The Friday dinner was attended by the classmates and their wives, the highlight of the evening, each one of the attendees took a few minutes, to describe their 50-year journey after graduation. What a treat for others to learn the unique path each one chose after receiving the same sheepskin. Some continued the on the path of architecture and excelled, some became suc-

cessful artists others made use of the academic learning to manage flourishing businesses. A six-hour bus tour was organized on Saturday, important to architects to see famous buildings and complexes planned and designed by world famous architects such as Phillip Johnson, the creator of Post Oak Central and the Pennzoil Building, the Water wall by John Burgess, Four Leaf Towers by Cesar Pillie, Asia Society Center by Yoshio Taniguchi, The Quad at Rice University, Texas Medical Center institutions and buildings, and Ben Taub Hospital. The bus tour continued on Sunday with visits to Chinmaya Mission and VPSS temples. After a day long bus tour of Houston, the guests spent the evening at a for-

FIS’ Vavilala Presents Keynote Speech at Asian-Pacific Heritage Celebrations


OUSTON: “Walk Together-Embrace Differences-Build Legacies” was the theme of the Asian Pacific American Heritage celebration hosted on May 19th by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security honoring the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Mr. Krishna Vavilala (center), founder-chairman of the Foundation for India Studies (FIS) was in-

vited to give the keynote speech. Erik Shoberg (left), Area Port Director of Houston/Galveston Seaport, Dept. of Homeland Security presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Mr. Vavilala, who was the keynote speaker. Standing next to him was his wife, Lakshmi Vavilala (right). The Certificate read “Thank you for your inspiring presentation and participation in our Asian-Pacific American Heritage.

mal reception attended by other MSU architects and non-architects, living in greater Houston area. The highlight of the evening was a medly of movie songs from the 1960s filling the room with music from the college days. A throwback in time it was! A number of attendees chose to spend time in San Antonio to visit

the world famous shrine -The Alamo and extended their stay to see more of Greater Houston-Galveston area. What was expressed as a surprising by the visitors, included, the size of Houston and the hospitality receives by the visiting guests, for which Texas is famous




June 03, 2016

Skin Specialty Series Part II


HOUSTON: In Part I of the Skin

Specialty Series we discussed three basic steps to healthy skin; Cleanse, Exfoliate and Moisturize. Between each step is the opportunity to improve the tone and texture of your skin, and prevent further damage. Know your skin type. Your skin is either normal, oily, dry or combination. As we age, our skin texture and tone change. During this transformation skin can benefit by adding additional products to a basic beauty regimen. Understanding the science behind your skin is the most effective approach in treating the effects of natural aging, environmental, chemical and genetic changes that take place. The skin consists of three layers. You can control the health of the top layer (epidermis) aka, the barrier, and the second layer of cells. Both ultimately protect the bottom layer. The barrier can be protected or replenished depending on the current needs of your skin. On that same note, if you do not protect the barrier, the cells underneath can become damaged.

Step I – Understand your skin type: Oily skin – Over-production of oil glands Dry skin – Lack of moisture (sometimes caused by under-active oil glands) Normal skin – The ultimate goal Step II – Determine your skin needs: All skin types can have similar issues. Acne – Caused by bacteria, increased oil, clogged pores Aging skin – Causes are natural such as loss of volume, fine lines. Other causes are preventable such as smoking, pollution, poor nutrition and sun exposure Dehydration – Caused by lack of moisture or decreased oil production Sensitivity – Caused by allergens Rosacea – Caused by bacteria Pigment-damage – Caused by sun damage, environmental contaminates Genetics – Freckles, internal aging Step III – Choose your products: First choose a product to normalize your skin. Secondly, choose products to repair, rejuvenate, and prevent further damage. Look for ingredients essential to your particu-

lar skin type and needs. Ingredients to look for: Wrinkle prevention – Look for antioxidants, collagen, elastin, vitamin C, copper peptide, ginger, grape seed oil and hyaluronic acid Oiliness – Look for salicylic acid Acne – Look for benzoyl peroxide, retinol, salicylic acid, tea tree oil, zinc, and beta hydroxyl Brown spots – Look for skin lighteners containing retinoids, vitamin C, cucumber, hydroquinone, niacinamide and licorice Sensitivity – Look for salicylic acid, aloe vera, arnica, green tea and red algae Sun-damage/Prevention – Look for vitamin C Step IV – Follow a regimen for your skin type and needs: Morning & Night 1.PRE-CLEANSE 2.CLEANSE 3.TONE 4.MOISTURIZE 5.TREAT & PROTECT 6.EXFOLIATE The key to knowing how to care for your skin is to understand skin type and individual needs for improvement. The best results will depend on your choice of products, regimen, lifestyle, environment and personal commitment. Your skin is a result of what goes in your body, and outside element exposure. Care and prevention are the best solution, however nature and technology work together to provide us with options to rejuvenate our skin and correct past damage. There are many resources available through retail outlets, personal consultants and professional physicians. The more knowledge and education you have on the basics of skin and the ingredients available, the more confident you will be in pursuing your skin care goals.


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14 June 03, 2016


Hanuman Jayanthi Celebrations at Sri Meenakshi Temple BY M.K. SRIRAM

from his extraordinary devotion to Sri Rama. Legend has it that he once appeared before Sri Rama covered from head to foot in sindoor (kumkum). When Sri Rama asked him why so, he replied that if the little sindoor on Goddess Seetha Devi’s forehead made Sri Rama so happy, he being a dasa covered himself entirely to give Him even a small fraction of the happiness Sri Sita Devi can give! Wherever there is the sound of Rama, and whenever there is pravachan (discourse) of Ramayana, there without being seen by us, Anjaneya stands and listens to it with tears of joy pouring down. The puja started with Sankalpam, then pujas to Sri Vishwak-


The very name “Hanuman” or “Anjaneya” or “Pavana Putra” evokes a torrent of bhakthi and joy among all Hindus. And such was indeed the case at the Hanuman Jayanthi celebrations at Sri Meenkashi Temple on Saturday, May 28. More than 200 devotees thronged the beautifully decorated Corner Mantap that houses the Hanuman shrine, so much so they overflowed into the tent placed outside. Hanuman is first and foremost the greatest bhakta of Sri Rama. His enormous strength, energy, courage, intelligence, and all other superlative qualities are derived


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sena, followed by Kalasa puja which is the invocation of Hanuman in the kalasam. The devotees next joined with the priests in reciting the most powerful “Pancha Mukha Hanuman Moola Mantra”, with the help of handouts provided by the temple. The highlight of the event was the Abhishekam for Sri Anjaneya performed with the accompaniment of the recital of the most famous Hanuman Chalisa, originally composed by Tulsi Das. Devotees from the very young to the elderly all recited in unison, and there was an indescribable energy and devotion in the air. More bhajans followed as the priests did the alankaram behind the curtain.

Finally Lord Hanuman appeared in all his resplendent glory, most beautifully decorated , with garlands made of his favorite vada (vada mala) round his neck, a crown made of betel leaves, his lotus feet covered with more vada mala’s and showered with flowers, it was a most divine sight that brought tears of joy to the eyes of the devotees. The MTS temple priests Sri Sreedharan Raghavan, Sri Pawan Kumar Sribhashyam, and Sri Sriman Narayana Charyalu performed the puja authentically and with great devotion. MTS Board of Directors, the Religious Activity Committee, the administra-

tive staff and the artisans together organized the well-executed event. Many devotees rejoiced by offering prasadams, fruits and flowers to Lord Hanuman. Sri Anjaneya is the most perfect example of total and unconditional bhakti to the Supreme Lord, so the primary focus of this celebration was Bhakti and Bhakti alone. Sri Anjaneyaswami bestows on his devotees intellect, strength, fame, determination, fearless heart, health, alertness and the power of speech all with overarching humility. All in all, the devotees were utterly spellbound by partaking in this most wonderful and fulfilling puja.

Ramesh Maini: Silver Lining in a Dark Cloud BY PRADEEP ANAND

HOUSTON: The oil and gas in-

dustry has never been for the faint of heart. It is harder for immigrants to be successful in it, especially with dark clouds of recession hovering over it. In this cloud of gloom, Ramesh Maini is an Indian American silver lining. Maini is the Founder and CEO of Zentech Inc., a company that has been providing innovative engineering solutions for the upstream oil and gasindustry for over 37 years. Through excellence in rig design and engineering, he has established himself as an innovative force, locally and globally. His reputation has been built through substantial experience in the design, construction, supervision, and rig moves of jackup drilling rigs. He was the principal architect in the design and construction of the jackups Dyvi Beta and Dyvi Gamma for Norwegian drilling contractor Dyvi A/S. In 1977, these jackups were the largest ones capable of operating in the tumultuous waters of the North Sea. Maini was also responsible for the engineering and construction of two new mat-supported jackup drilling rigs. Both are currently operating -- one in the Gulf of Mexico and the other in offshore Angola. Additionally, he has been involved with major design modifi-

Ramesh Maini at OTC 2016 with the Hart’s Meritorious Engineering Award

cations and enhancement of over 100 jackup drilling rigs, MOPUs and MSVs. His game changing, innovative jackup rig design, the R-550 D was finally built in 2015. With its introduction, Maini is receiving the industry recognition he deserves. At the 2015 World Oil Awards, the innovator and the innovation were recognized. Ramesh Maini was a finalist among the Most Innovative Thinkers in the World; the R-550D was a finalist for Best Drilling Technology Innovation of the Year. At the recent Offshore Technology Conference (OTC 2016), the R-550D received the prestigious Meritorious Engineering Award from Hart Publishing. Addition-


ally, Ramesh Maini was selected to be one of only eight Fellows in 2016 of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME). Growing up in India, Ramesh Maini received his B.Tech from I.I.T Bombay and his master’s degree from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Ramesh Maini, with his work ethic and innovation excellence, is a superb example of how the Indian American community can contribute locally, in creating a better world. Pradeep Anand is a veteran oil industry consultant and adjunct professor at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business.


June 03, 2016

Local Entrepreneur Launches an Incubator for Eastern India

HOUSTON: Rick Pal, a Houston

businessman, has launched the first private incubator and accelerator in Kolkata to spark innovation and entrepreneurship in eastern India. Known as Innokul with a tagline of “gurukul (school) for innovators”, he plans to incubate 6-10 early-stage startups every year. A program is already underway that will encourage building innovative solutions through a sixmonth acceleration curriculum that will give them access to co-working space, mentors, industry expertise, access to local and global resources, and seed funding. The goal is to get selected start-ups validate their ideas, develop a prototype, make necessary adjustments to their business plan, and build a good team – all of which are needed to garner next level of investment. According to Rick, “due to several political and social reasons, eastern India particularly Bengal was not able to take advantage of the IT revolution. However there is a strong desire within its population to be not left behind further. The level of interest we have seen in younger folks is very encouraging. I am hoping Innokul can jumpstart some of these young folks and put Bengal and eastern India on the innovation map”. In its first few months, Innokul has already made good progress. They have signed MoU with Indian In-

Rick Pal (center) with Gaurav Kapoor (right) looking at rural innovations in Jharkhand.

stitute of Management (IIM) at Calcutta and have co-hosted several programs with them including Start-up Weekend and Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Similar arrangements are in the works with several other institutions in the area. They are also working closely with local

Practical Bhakti Yoga – Bhagavad Gita Lecture Series by Sri Poornimaji

MANVEL: Sri Poornimaji, disciple

of His Holiness Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji and an excellent speaker, will inspire devotees in Houston through “Practical Bhakti Yoga”, a 4-day lecture series on Bhakti Yoga from the Bhagavad Gita. The discourse series will be held from Thursday June 9 to Sunday June 12 starting at 6:45 pm every evening, at Houston Namadwaar prayer house located at 3642 Bailey Ave, Manvel TX in the Pearland area. Bhagavad Gita parayana (recitation of the entire Gita) will precede the discourse, and go from 5:45 pm to 6:45 pm daily. Lord Sri Krishna’s Bhagavad Gita presents the core message of the very purpose of our existence, and here the Lord Himself speaks to us directly. However, the Lord’s words are not always clearly understandable. But when a great mahatma casts light on it through his own actual experience, the true meaning of the Lord’s words are revealed in the right context. Sri Poornimaji has studied the Gita directly from her Guru, and has thus been able to understand and absorb the essence of the Gita through the enlightening words and experiences of the great saint. And when presented by her in her own powerful discoursing style, we are all sure to be inspired immensely in our own path of devotion to Bhagavan. Sri Poornimaji enthralled Housto-

nians with an amazing Ramayana katha in March this year, and Bhagavad Gita being such a sweet yet profound subject, is sure to delight and inspire as much or more. Her talks are so deep and encompassing that they sate the appetite of those craving intellectual food, those who want to savor the bhakti rasa, as well as those who just want comfort food for the soul - practical life learnings. Global Organization for Divinity invites everyone to attend this free event. Dinner prasad will be served on all days. Prasad and flower sponsorships are welcome and appreciated. For more information about Sri Poornimaji’s programs in the US, or about Namadwaar and G.O.D., please call 281402-6585, email houston.god@ godivinity.org, or visit godivinity.org

government and organizations like Kolkata Angels, Nasscom and TiE. Gaurav Kapoor, a longtime entrepreneur in Kolkata, is managing the operations of Innokul as its first executive director. Besides keeping an eye on daily activities, he travels all over eastern India meeting potential incubees, mentoring selected start-ups, signing partnerships, and giving presentations to encourage entrepreneurship. According to him, “the need and challenge is to develop the ecosystem. We need to have solid ideas, people who can execute, investors who can fund, mentors who can help, government that can make things easy, and industries that can support it. Launching Innokul is the first step. Getting all these pieces to work together is the final goal.”



16 June 03, 2016


DAV Montessori School Scaling New Heights

HOUSTON: Sunday, May 22,

was the 16th Annual Day of the DAV Montessori School (DAVM), run by Arya Samaj Greater Houston. As the first and only DAV school in North America, the school has grown from a Montessori only program to include traditional elementary classrooms with teacher to student ratios of under 1 to 10. DAVM students and teachers wowed the overflowing audience with performances starting with the children as young as 2-1/2 reciting Vedic mantras flawlessly by heart. As the audience wondered if they had been transported to an ancient gurukul in India, the school director Arti Khanna attributed the successes of her school to her teachers, staff, and 50 parent volunteers. That the founding members and two original teachers are still involved in the school, speaks to both its success as well as the strength of conviction of those affiliated with the school. Qualified teachers cater to the needs of pre-school, kindergarten, first grade, and elementary school students, also offering after-school care. A parent whose son has attended since he was four years old shared his perspective. “DAV children are performing much beyond their current grades on a nation-wide set of standardized testing for private schools, as demonstrated by their “Iowa

Tests of Basic Skills” scores. Their participation in competitions like Private Schools Interscholastic Association (PSIA) and North South Foundation (NSF) has been very encouraging and enriching.” Lamenting the prevailing environment in public schools, he continued: “Unlike public schools, you must have observed that in DAV, there is zero bullying and zero-bad language usage among students.”

Parents and teachers of DAVM work in true and close partnership for the common goal of OUR Hindu children’s holistic development, as was demonstrated by a video documenting the school’s all-round activities including Havan, Vedic recitation, Indian history and customs, Yoga, Hindi conversation, Indian music, dance, etc. The school leaves no opportunity to inculcate positive human

values, be it Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Diwali, and India Republic Day. The children hone their public-speaking skills. The “chamak” and fun of the dances relayed the confidence and lack of stage-fear of the children. Consul R. D. Joshi from the Indian consulate and the school director ushered the graduating kindergartners to the next phase of their education.


When children 2-1/2 years to 10 years light up the stage radiating self-confidence to the delight of the audience, the return on investment of time and money is evident. For more information on this indeed unique school, you may visit their website www.davmschool.com or call the school at (281) 759-3286.


June 03, 2016


The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi


orn more than 130 years ago, the life and times of the man who would grow up to be universally known as The Mahatma, still resonates until today. Mohandas Gandhi had an ordinary childhood in Porbandar, on the coast of Kathiawad in the western state of Gujarat, a loved and pampered son of very ordinary parents. He grew up to inspire legions of people globally by his fearless ideology that uprooted an empire, to bring freedom to the land of his birth. With his message of non-violence, he roused the nation and earned the title of Great Soul. For the next several weeks, Indo American News will bring you his life story, and of how he continues to be an inspiration to the world and mostly to millions of oppressed people everywhere. Born on October 2, 1869, to Karamchand Gandhi and his wife Putlibai. Young Mohandas hailed from a family highly regarded for the moral ethics and strength of character. His grandfather Uttamchand belonged to a humble family of merchants, but rose in the ranks to become the Dewan of Porbander. His son Karamchand, who had very little education, succeeded him but was a fine administrator. Putlibai, Karamchand Gandhi’s wife, was a deeply religious woman and strong-willed woman. She was widely respected for her wisdom and good sense. People often sought her advice on various matters. Mohandas was the youngest of the six children of Karamchand and Putlibai Gandhi. He was the favorite child of the family and was called Moniya by his parents and their friends. Moniya adored his mother. He loved his father too, but he was a little afraid of him. As a child, Moniya seldom liked to stay at home. He would go home for his meals and then run away again to play outside. Moniya was just seven years old when his father left Porbandar to become the Dewan of Rajkot, taking the family along. At Rajkot he was sent to a primary school. He was shy and did not mix easily with the other children. Every morning he went to school in time, and ran back home as soon as school was over. His books were his sole companions and he spent all his free time alone reading. He had one friend, however; a boy named Uka. Uka was a sweeper boy and an untouchable. One day Moniya was given some sweets. He ran at once to Uka to share them with him. But Uka told Moniya not to go near him as he was an untouchable. It was the first time that Mohandas encountered India’s cataclysmic social divide. Stunned by the revelation that in India one was identified by one’s caste, he took hold of Uka’s hands and filled them with sweets. His mother, watching from a window, ordered Moniya in the house. She told him that high caste Hindus did not touch “untouchables”. When her son questioned her, she responded that Hindu customs forbid it. When Moniya



disagreed, his mother had no answer but was angry with him. Karamchand Gandhi loved all his sons, but he was especially fond of the youngest. He often advised him to study well and take up a profession. Moniya worked hard, and did his lessons carefully. But he did not enjoy memorizing and was therefore weak in Sanskrit. Geometry was his favorite subject because it involved reasoning. Moniya had a friend named Sheikh. He was tall and strong. Sheik was a meat-eater and he often told Mohandas that if he ate meat he would also grow tall and strong. There was also at that time a reform movement for a change in the orthodox beliefs and practices of Hindus. Mohandas himself had heard that many well todo people had started eating meat, so he, too, tried meat. He did not like the taste of meat but as time went on, he started to like meat curries. Whenever Mohandas had a meat meal outside, he had to give his mother some excuse for not eating his dinner. He knew that his parents would not forgive him. This feeling was gnawing

at his heart and finally he decided not to touch meat again. Mohandas had also taken to smoking with Sheik, his brother, and another relative. He had to pilfer small amounts of money to buy cigarettes. One day, in order to pay off a debt which his brother had incurred, Mohandas stole a piece of gold jewelry. Stealing was a great sin. He knew that he had committed a great crime. He resolved never in his life to steal again. He wrote down a confession of his crime and handed the paper to his ailing father. Karamchand Gandhi read the confession. He tore up the paper without saying a word. The bits of paper fell to the floor. He sank back on his bed with a sigh. Mohandas left the room, tears streaming down his face. From that day on, Mohandas loved his father more and more. Every day he hurried home from school to wait on him. His father’s condition grew worse and at length he died. The house was filled with sorrow. Mohandas was only sixteen when his father died.

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Mahatma Gandhi Library, Inc. CITY-WIDE CONTESTS

Coloring Poster Speech iTribute Essay The contest are open to all children in the greater Houston Area. The winners of these contests will be recognized at the 1000 Lights for Peace, a celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday, on Sunday, October 2, 2016. For more information and registration visit www.gandhilibrary.org INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 03, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

18 June 03, 2016


A Not-So Cold War

For the two great theocratic regimes that glower at each

other across the Persian Gulf, Iran’s decision not to send its pilgrims to this year’s Haj marks a significant heating up of their not-so-cold war. Iran is, in essence, asserting that the House of Saud are poor guardians of the most sacred places of the Muslim ummah, or nation — the foundational legitimacy of Saudi Arabia’s monarchy. Last year, 769 pilgrims were killed in a stampede during the Haj. Saudi Arabia blamed the carnage on Iranian pilgrims, saying they failed to comply with authorities’ instructions. Iran, though, refused to sign on to new terms insisted on by Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage groups. Negotiations were complicated further when the two countries severed diplomatic relations in January, following a mob attack on Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran after the kingdom executed a prominent Shia cleric. The showdown is about power, not just faith. Its genesis lies in Iran’s 1979 revolution, which brought Iran’s new Shia clericalled regime into frontal confrontation with Saudi Arabia’s Sunni-theocratic order. In 1981, Iranian pilgrims chanted political slogans in the Masjid al-Haram and the Prophet’s Mosque, two of Islam’s most sacred sites, resulting in violent clashes. Tensions rose further that year when King Khalid Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia endorsed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s invasion of his eastern neighbour, calling on him to “crush these stupid Iranians”. In spite of efforts by both sides to manage tensions, matters came to a head in 1987, when 402 mainly-Iranian pilgrims were killed in clashes with Saudi security forces, after anti-Israel and anti-US protests. Iran stayed away from the Haj for three years thereafter — and, enfeebled first by the war with Iraq, then by years of sanctions, ceased to be a credible threat to Saudi Arabia’s hegemony in West Asia. In recent years, though, Iran has emerged resurgent. Saudi Arabia faces an Iranian ballistic missile program — which Tehran says is necessary to defend itself against vastly superior, Western-equipped Saudi forces. Its oil revenues are declining, even as its restive youth population is drawn to violent Islamism. It is increasingly worried, too, that US support can no longer be taken for granted, as the superpower seeks to balance-out its regional policy by engaging Iran and other old adversaries. For India, with energy and economic interests across both sides of the Iran-Saudi divide, the situation is a deeply uncomfortable one — a fact that has led some to call for it to interject itself as an honest broker. Wisdom, however, lies in steering clear of the morass. Times of India

Regional India, Global South Asia



heir presence at the G-7 summit at Ise-Shima, Japan, last week was hardly noticed in India. But among the six leaders of the developing world present in the outreach session were Sheikh Hasina, prime minister of Bangladesh, and Maithripala Sirisena, president of Sri Lanka. The Japanese invitation to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka underlines the remarkable rise in Tokyo’s strategic interest in the Subcontinent. It also highlights the growing salience of South Asian nations on the international stage. Japan is a late entrant to this game; China has already begun to integrate India’s neighbours into its larger international and regional strategies. The $ 46 billion ChinaPakistan economic corridor is only one example. In another, Beijing has given Colombo and Kathmandu the status of a “dialogue partner” in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. As other powers begin to devote quality time to engaging South Asian nations, big and small, Delhi must lend additional depth and energy to its current “neighbourhood first” strategy. Above all, it must come to terms with the unfolding globalisation of the Subcontinent. Much of the international discourse on South Asia often gets reduced to the India-Pakistan relations; this only helps mask the significance of the other nations in the region. And the reference to them as “smaller nations” of the region is largely inaccurate. In terms of population size, Bangladesh is the eighth largest in the world with its numbers standing at more than 160 million. Afghanistan (33mn) Nepal (29mn) and Sri Lanka (21mn) are at 40th, 46th and 57th positions respectively. Only Bhutan and Maldives, with their populations below 1 mn, may be termed as mini states. Since independence, India has been compelled to pay special attention to a Pakistan that punched way above its weight in the world. An Islamic identity, critical geo-

India must stop seeing itself as the “lone ranger” in South Asia. It must also learn to collaborate with friendly powers, wherever possible, in shaping the regional environment. political location, association with Western military alliances and the possession of nuclear weapons have given Pakistan much weight in regional affairs. India has also devoted considerble energy towards Afghanistan that has been at the centre of the Great Game for more than two centuries. It has become a vital part of India’s strategy towards Pakistan and the battle against violent religious extremism. With its focus on the Af-Pak region, however, Delhi has tended to miss the growing strategic significance of the other nations in the neighbourhood. Bangladesh is today one of the fastest growing economies of the world and is open to massive investments in the infrastructure sector. No wonder, China and Japan are competing vigorously for project contracts in Bangladesh. Both Beijing and Tokyo also see the country as the fulcrum of the eastern subcontinent and a bridge between South Asia, China and South East Asia. Long viewed as India’s buffers to the north, Bhutan and Nepal have now become theatres of contestation with China. To the South, Sri Lanka is rediscovering its central location in the Indian Ocean, as all major powers like China, US and Japan pay unprecedented attention to Colombo. Maldives, which straddles the vital sea lines of communication in the Indian Ocean, has now become a highly coveted piece of maritime real estate as China turns its gaze upon the Indian Ocean. The new geopolitical dynamism animating all corners of South Asia poses a number of important


HOUSTON: AKASH MISHRA CHICAGO: NAND KAPOOR INDIA: RAJ KANWAR, ASEEM KULKARNI ®All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the written consent of the publisher. The deadline for advertising and articles is 4 pm on Monday of each week. Please include self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of all unsolicited material. Published at 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, Texas 77036. Tel: 713-789-NEWS or 6397 Fax: 713-789-6399, email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com, website: indoamerican-news.com


challenges for India. One, Delhi no longer has the luxury of viewing the region as India’s “backyard”. It must begin to recognise the growing gulf between its claims of primacy in the region and the growing economic, political and military influence of China in the Subcontinent. Two, the new international opportunities have allowed the ruling elites in our neighbourhood to pursue greater “strategic autonomy” from India. This means Delhi will have to work harder than ever before to retain its historic leverages in the neighbourhood. Three, the economic geography of the Subcontinent was inherently in India’s favour. Partition, the inward economic orientation of socialist India, and the neglect of connectivity and commerce at and across the frontiers has seen Delhi squander many of the inherited advantages. Modi’s India is trying hard to compensate but the scale and scope of its initiatives are no match to the Chinese efforts to reconfigure the economic geography of the Subcontinent. Four, India’s “neighbourhood first” strategy is complicated by its deep involvement in the internal politics of the South Asian nations. Unlike in the past, those who resent India’s intervention don’t have to merely lump it. They have countered it by seeking intervention of other powers. Delhi, therefore, will have to rethink the nature of its intervention in the internal affairs of its neighbours. Last but not the least, India must stop seeing itself as the “lone ranger” in South Asia. While it must necessarily compete with rival powers when they threaten its interests, it must also learn to collaborate with friendly powers, wherever possible, in shaping the regional environment. This requires a new mindset in Delhi that focuses on strategic regional outcomes rather than the right to unilateral means. The writer is Director, Carnegie India, and contributing editor on foreign affairs for The Indian Express.


June 03, 2016

Ninth Season of the MetLife South Asian Spelling Bee Announced

NEW YORK: At a glittering event

held in New York to mark the 9th anniversary of the South Asian Spelling Bee, Touchdown Media Inc., the leading multicultural advertising firm, announced the launch of the ninth season of the MetLife South Asian Spelling Bee. MetLife, a leading global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management, returns as the title sponsor of the contest. The event is open to children of South Asian descent up to 14 years of age. It will give South Asian children a chance to test their spelling skills in their core peer group. Interested spellers need their parent or guardian to register them online at www. southasianspellingbee.com. Organized by Touchdown Media Inc., the 2016 MetLife South Asian Spelling Bee will be conducted in 12 locations across the United States starting on June 11. Regional level events will be held in LosAngeles, the

Bay Area, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, D.C. Metro, New Jersey, New York and Boston. All events will be free to attend and open to the public. Accra, Ghana was announced as the 13th center from where spellers of South Asian descent will qualify for the finals. “For the past eight years, the Bee has consistently provided a firm platform for the community to come together and hone their craft. It’s become a family activity that contributes towards the overall development of the child. We are proud to enter our eighth consecutive year and look forward to engaging some of these wonderful spellers,” said Rahul Walia, founder of the South Asian Spelling Bee and CEO of Touchdown Media Inc. Each competition will begin with a written test of 25 words. The participants must spell 15 or more words correctly to advance to the afternoon

oral round, which will be conducted by experienced pronouncers and judges. The top three in the oral round will receive prize money. The top two spellers of each regional competition will advance to the finals to be held in New Jersey in August. Similar to previous years MetLife has once again funded the $10,000 champion’s grand prize that will be awarded to the winner at the finals. This year, the Bee is proudly presented by Britannia - Britannia Industries Limited is India’s leading food company and marketer of cookies, dairy products and bread, while Kawan- the world’s most popular Roti paratha brand returns as the powered by sponsor and as always, SONY Entertainment Television Asia is the exclusive broadcast partner for the MetLife South Asian Spelling Bee and will be airing the series across 120 countries. Britannia is extremely happy and

excited to continue its association with this platform as a presenting sponsor. With its 120+ years of golden heritage of making healthy, fresh & delicious food, Britannia is a household name among South Asian consumers. This unique platform will help Britannia to reach out to Gen Z & showcase some of its popular brands like “Milk Bikis” and the new introduction, “Milk Bikis Creams” which are perfectly suited for the budding spellers. “Kawan is proud to return as a sponsor and we have tremendous faith in contributing towards crucial


family time for the community. We look forward to getting to know the spellers and their families through this wonderful journey,” said Tim Tan, Managing Director Kawan Food. “Year over year, the MetLife South Asian Spelling Bee has made for great programing that gels with our ethos of compete family entertainment. We are all about family values and encourage platforms such as these that highlight the talent of our community,” said Jaideep Janakiram, Head of North America, Sony Entertainment Television-Asia. For a complete schedule, registration and any other information, please visit: www.SouthAsianSpellingBee.com.

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20 June 03, 2016


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 June 08, 2016. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036. Send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published (for first three entrees only & 1 submission per month).


Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Daal De Poode (Lentil Flatcakes)

Solution Next Week

There are many ways to eat daal and not just with roti (flatbread) or chawal (rice). Some people will fry it, then mix in some spices and eat it dry like a snack. Others make a thick soup with rice and eat it like khichaddi (watery daal and rice), eaten often when one has an upset stomach or feels ill. Others grind the daal into a coarse powder and make bhallas (lentil donuts) to soak into yogurt.

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An Indian meal just feels incomplete without some type of daal, even if you aren’t vegetarian. Daal contains 3.5 times the protein of rice and 2.5 times that of wheat. It is typically around 25% protein by dry weight, but when cooked daal contains only 9% protein, 70% water, 20% carbohydrates and 1% fat. As extra water is added to cooked daal, like in sambar, the proportions of proteins and other nutrients will be further reduced. And there is yet still another way to eat daal; make it into a pooda (flatcake) as Punjabis call it, or chilla as Gujaratis call it. It is made of the split green chilkewali moong daal or the whole green moong daal, first soaked and then ground into a medium coarse paste. The only difference is that the whole green moong daal must be soaked overnight.

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The paste is then mixed with spices and then poured onto a tava or flatplate and cooked into a 6-inch round, ¼ inch thick pancake. Once cooked, these poode are eaten with chutney or achaar or for young people, even with ketchup! Just like with pakoras (fried fritters), poode taste great on a rainy day, with warm tea. Poode can be a snack, but a really filling one as you can’t resist eating only one!

Ingredients: 2 cups moong daal (split moong lentils with skin or whole moong lentils) 4 cups garam pani (warm water) ½ cup besan (yellow gram flour) 2 tbspn olive oil 1 medium adrak (ginger) – peeled and chopped or use powdered ginger 1 small piyaaz (onion) - peeled and chopped 2 hari mirch (long green chillies) – ends cut and chopped Spices: lal mirch (red pepper); namak (salt) – to your taste Directions: 1. Place the moong dal in a bowl, wash it thoroughly in cold water. 2. If the moong daal is the whole type, then let it soak in 4 cups of warm water overnight not in the fridge. If it is the split moong lentils with skin, then let it soak in 4 cups of warm water for a minimum of 6 hours. 3. Gently pour the daal with the water into an electric grinder a little at

a time and run it till the daal becomes a paste. Scoop out into a bowl and repeat till all the daal is done. 4. With the last batch of daal, throw in the onions, ginger and chillies and grind together. 5. Pour all the ground up daal in the bowl, add in the besan and mix thoroughly. Now add the salt and red pepper to your taste. 6. Pre-heat a tava (flatplate) or non-stick frying pan over high heat and then turn it down to medium. Sprinkle a half teaspoon of oil to coat the tava, then pour the mixture with a large spoon and spread to make it 6 inches round. 7. When small holes appear in the pancake, gently flip it over with a spatula. Sprinkle a little oil around the edges and let it cook till it is slightly brown on both sides. Keep to the side on a large plate and repeat till all the mixture is done. 8. Serve with chutney or achaar (pickles) of your choice. 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 (since renamed Faisalabad), India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition. 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 recipes.



One big complain t from many peop le especially moong daal - always messe is that cooking daals – s up their cooktops boil over and spill as they out of the pot. The main reason for th they want to cook at is that the daal quickly an d so The proper thing to do is cook the daal place it over high heat. initially on medium heat; then when it appears like it will high start to boil, reduce to low and let the the heat daal simmer. Of co urse, this still requ to keep an eye on ires you the daal! One sure-fire way to avoid having the da al spill over is to co a wide rimmed pot ok it in or preferably deep frying pan or a kada The wide face allow i (wok). s the heat to dissipate a chance to form an and the daal never air dome that will gets rise up and spill ov er.

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June 03, 2016


VEERAPPAN bite Story: The story speaks of the rise and fall of the world’s most notorious sandalwood and ivory smuggler, Veerappan. Koose Muniswamy Veerappan (Sandeep) born

finesse, Varma provides you that vicarious pleasure. The first half, has its moments. Watching Veerappan stride across the screen, killing men and animals mindlessly does get you to hold your breath. Of course, the blood, gutspilling and his crude methods of smashing his victim’s faces with a boulder make your skin crawl. Warning: if you are faint-hearted, you may only open your eyes to soak in the

to the jungles in South India, took to killing while still in his teens. Till he was ambushed on October 18, 2004, he had killed approximately 97 policemen and 900 elephants. Review: Since everything about Veerappan made headlines in his lifetime, the story has no surprises. Also the docu-feature style narrative doesn’t have too many edge-of-the seat thrills. But if you are keen and curious, to see the life and times of one of the most dreaded criminals, who twirled his moustache and brandished his gun with equal

lush-greens and the milky waterfalls of Karnataka that have been captured breathtakingly. Or, you may find yourself smiling, when you catch the romantic banter between the dacoit and his dharam-patni, Muthulakshmi (Usha Jadhav). The second half needed bite. It should have been more gripping. The plan made by the Special Task Force (STF) to wipe off Veerappan needed drama. Here, it is left to one officer (Sachiin) to tell you about ‘Operation Cocoon’ that was made to lure the dacoit out of his lair. Also the


Veerappan has the bark, but lacks


After an unfortunate incident Ma-

hek (Radhika Apte) starts suffering from agoraphobia, the fear of places and situations that may cause pain or embarrass her. Initially her psychologist tries therapy, but due to repeated panic attacks; her boyfriend Shaan (Satyadeep Mishra) gets her a place of her own so that she can face her fears. Determined to beat it, Mahek starts on a positive note but soon begins to notice weird things in the house. Is she imagining it or something truly amiss with the place? Review: Watching a horror film that has no chudail, no exorcist, no graveyards and no ugly make-up is almost like a breath of fresh air. Finally some can scare people without using the quintessential paranormal props. Director Pawan Kripalani does a fine job of weaving the story of a woman who is overpowered by her phobia. The credit here truly goes to Radhika Apte. She makes you buy into her world of eerie laughter, black cats, a cut finger amidst ice cubes and the story of a dead woman who

had lived in her house before and had mysteriously gone absconding. Her agony and her helplessness look palpable as she takes us through her disturbing world. The film makes no pretenses. The point blank title gives away its plot. And yet, it is cleverly deceptive, leaving you in the lurch guessing what happens next. The macabre is built with beauty and makes you stare at every element suspiciously. From gloomy paintings to old diaries and a forsaken vintage ring, there is mystery in everything. The heavy background score and slow zooms are aptly used to build fear. The only downside is that the writers fail to see the script till the end. In the second half, its flow gets restless. The chills are fewer and logic lapses are too many. Why would friends and family decide on keeping Mahek alone or why would anyone keep a knife next to her during therapy? But these are minor glitches in this thrilling fare. In the end, Phobia is an unnerving movie that plays skillfully on the fear of the unknown. -indiatimes.com



screen-proceedings fell into place too conveneintly. Wish the director, who gave us unforgettable mafia material like Satya, Company and Sarkar, had packed in some extra punches. In all fairness, Sandeep brings Veerappan alive and the National Award winner Usha as Muthulakshmi is convincing. Though not in top form, RGV does redeem himself to some degree. And his film does allow you to get up, close and personal with the notorious criminal who made a monkey of the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka Governments, because he knew the loopholes in the system. -indiatimes.com

Shilpa Shetty June 8, 1975

Sonam Kapoor June 9, 1985

22 June 03, 2016 IPL 2016 Final: Sunrisers Choke RCB to Seal First Title BY SHASHANK KISHORE


ENGALURU (ESPN Cricinfo): Sunrisers Hyderabad 208 for 7 (Warner 69, Cutting 39*, Jordan 3-45) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 200 for 7 (Gayle 76, Kohli 54, Cutting 2-35) by eight runs In their first IPL final, Sunrisers Hyderabad showed their intent early by opting to bat against Royal Challengers Bangalore at a venue where tall scores have been chased down nonchalantly. David Warner, their captain, top-scored with a 38-ball 69, before Ben Cutting finished the innings with an unbeaten 15-ball 39 to help them post 208 for 7. Eventually, however, it was Sunrisers’ bowling attack, the best in the tournament, that delivered their maiden IPL title with an eight-run win at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Royal Challengers had passed 200 three times previously at home this season and there was no reason why they could not do so again on Sunday, except the pressure of chasing in a final. It did not affect Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli, though, as the opening pair wiped out 114 in 10.3 overs. Gayle alone contributed 76, with four fours and eight sixes. Sunrisers’ attack was under pressure, but they clinically applied the brakes after Gayle’s wicket. Even with Gayle, Kohli and AB de Villiers dismissed, 47 off 24 balls was still within reach. Shane Watson, Stuart Binny and Sachin Baby had to contend with two threats. One was Mustafizur Rahman’s cutters, delivered with unfailing accuracy after a rough second over in which Kohli took him apart. The reward for his persistence was the wicket of Watson, who miscued a slog to cover. Bhuvneshwar Kumar then delivered four successive yorkers in the 18th over, leaving the hosts 30 to get off the last two overs. Then, with 18 to defend off the final over, he once again held his composure. Shane Watson had a rare off day with the ball. He fed the batsmen an assortment of hittable deliveries - short, wide and full - to concede 61 off four wicketless overs,

Sunrisers Hyderabad celebrate their maiden IPL title, Royal Challengers Bangalore v Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2016, final, Bangalore, May 29, 2016.

including 24 in his last over, the 20th of the Sunrisers innings. Royal Challengers, however, had their batting guns. With only one fifty in nine innings leading up to the final, there were question marks over Gayle, but he was unperturbed, launching Barinder Sran for three sixes in his first two overs and lifting Royal Challengers to 42 for 0 after four. Gayle brought up his half-century with another six, off Moises Henriques at the start of the seventh over, getting there in 25 balls. His rate of scoring gave Kohli the space to overcome a patchy start that brought him only one four in his first 18 balls, that too off a thick outside edge. Then an insideout hit over the infield nearly carried to a diving Warner at long-off. Gayle finished that over, bowled by Henriques, with two sixes and a four. Warner brought back Mustafizur in the 10th over, and Kohli finally got going, squeezing him past cover for four and then lofting him over the long-off boundary. With the asking rate under control, Gayle tactfully rotated the strike. Royal Challengers were cruising.

Gayle, Kohli and de Villiers fell in the space of 20 balls, and Royal Challengers slipped to 148 for 3. They needed 61 off 37 and they needed Watson to make up for his lapses with the ball. He swatted Henriques for six over long-on, but his dismissal in the 17th over, immediately following that of KL Rahul, left Royal Challengers with too much to do in too little time. The platform for Sunrisers’ win was set by Warner. With Kohli employing a deep point to block his cut, the Sunrisers captain brought out the straight lofted hits. When the ball was not in his half, he was happy to back away to open up the off side or carve the ball behind square. The result was eight fours and three sixes for his ninth fifty. Yuzvendra Chahal bowled more floaters than legspinners to Warner, but they skidded on and ended up giving the batsman hitting room. Warner used that room to cut him for two fours in the ninth over to bring up his fifty off only 24 balls, equalling the record for the fastest half-century in an IPL final. As his innings progressed, he was not afraid to walk across the stumps, and use the depth of the crease to

get underneath full deliveries. Yuvraj Singh, who came in at 97 for 2 in the 10th over, sustained Sunrisers’ momentum. He got going with a punchy off-drive off Watson, and then flicked Chris Jordan for six behind square. The swagger and the the free-flowing bat swing were back. With four fours and two sixes, he raced to 38 and before he fell to Jordan’s slower ball. Yuvraj’s dismissal came in the 17th over, soon after those of Warner and Deepak Hooda. At 148 for 5, it looked like Royal Challengers could reel back Sunrisers in the slog. Cutting ensured that wouldn’t happen. He stayed deep in the crease, shortening the length of attempted yorkers, and clobbered the low full-tosses and half-volleys. Batting on 16 off 10 at the start of the final over, he hit Watson for 4, 6, 6 and 1 before coming back on strike for the final ball of the over, which he launched high over longoff. That over went for 24 and proved match-turning: playing their third final, Royal Challengers lost for the third time. Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo.



Former Captain Somaya: “Team Moving as a Unit”


MM Somaya is usually reticent, speaking only when spoken to. But when the 1980 Olympic Gold medal winner in hockey speaks, he inspires. Somaya, who is mostly based in New Delhi these days, was invited by the Olympic Gold Quest ( OGQ ) to give a motivational speech. “He spoke of the experiences that we never expect. We prepare for all the right experiences but he reminded all the Olympic hopefuls of what to do when you don’t expect things to go your way. It was a very motivational speech,” said shooter Prakash Nanjappa . Somaya later showed the gold medal he was carrying so nonchallantly in his trouser pocket. The medal did not look a day older though it has been 36 years since they won it in Moscow. The ribbon looked a little worn out. Somaya felt the Indian hockey team would perform much better than 2012. “The team is moving better, their fitness has improved by leaps and bounds. The team is also malleable. Leave aside Sardar Singh, who is in a class of his own, the others can play in any position. The team moves well into defending and offensive positions.” Somaya also felt that playing a world class coach like Roelant Oltmans is making a difference. “Terry (Walsh) was a very good coach but the team is playing its best under the Dutchman. Oltmans has the ability to bring the best out of the players,” said Somaya. Somaya felt the Indian hockey team would perform much better than 2012. Somaya was invited by the Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) to give a motivational speech to the Indian team going to Olympics

Former India Hockey captain MM Somaya shows his prized possession, the Olympic gold, to Prakash Padukone in Mumbai.

June 03, 2016

Indian Economy to Grow 7.7% in This Fiscal

NEW DELHI: Indian economy

will grow 7.7 per cent in the ongoing fiscal amid likely improvement in the industrial and agricultural sectors’ performance on account of good monsoon, though the investment cycle is expected to take at least 6 months to witness a pick-up, says a survey. “The growth in 2016-17 is expected to be supported by an improvement in the agricultural and industrial sector performance. Prediction of a good monsoon after two consecutive years of sub-optimal rainfall backs the improved outlook in the current fiscal,” according to the the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s Economic Outlook Survey that puts across a median GDP growth forecast of 7.7 per cent for FY 2016-17. The Reserve Bank last month had forecast a 7.6 per cent growth for the current fiscal on the back of favourable monsoon, a notch lower than the upper end of government’s range of 7 per cent to 7.75 per cent. Moreover, the agriculture sector is expected to record a median growth of 2.8 per cent in 2016-17, with a minimum and maximum range of 1.6 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively. Industrial growth is expected to grow by 7.1 per cent in 2016-17, while services sector growth is estimated at 9.6 per cent.

The survey was conducted during April/May 2016 among economists belonging to the industry, banking and financial services sector. The economists were asked to provide forecast for key macro-economic variables for the year

2016-17 as well as for Q4 (January-March) FY16 and Q1 (April-June) FY17. In addition, economists also shared their prognosis about the expected recovery in the investment cycle. A majority of them were of the view that investment cycle will take at least two more quarters to witness a pick-up. A majority of the economists also felt that while the government and the RBI are working together to address the issues at hand, recovery in the banking system will take time. “It was unanimously felt that a

turnaround in this fiscal year looks unlikely and an improvement in numbers would not come until next financial year,” Ficci said. The economists observed that the passage of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Bill , 2015 is a very positive step to deal with the challenging issue of exiting unviable businesses. Easy exit for a business would help in speedy winding up, productive redeployment of capital and ensure greater availability of credit by freeing up of capital. The median growth forecast for index of industrial production (IIP) has been put at 3.5 per cent for the year 201617, with a minimum and maximum range of 3 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively. However, the outlook of the participating economists on inflation remained moderate. The median forecast for Wholesale Price Index based inflation rate for 2016-17 has been put at 2.2 per cent, with a minimum and maximum range of (-)1.3 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively. The Consumer Price Index has a median forecast of 5.1 per cent for 2016-17, with a minimum and maximum range of 4.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent, respectively. Significantly, economists were asked whether government will be able to achieve the fiscal deficit target of 3.5 per cent in 2016-17. “A majority of the participating economists believe that the fiscal deficit target for the year 2016-17 seems achievable,” Ficci said. -indiatimes.com


India Leads in Air Travel Growth: IATA

India’s domestic traffic has soared 21.8%, marking the 20th month of double-digit traffic growth, says IATA


NEW DELHI: India’s domestic

air traffic market grew the fastest in the world for the 13th consecutive month in April, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in its report on Monday. The market grew at nearly 22%, it said. “India’s domestic traffic soared 21.8%, marking the 20th month of double-digit traffic growth and the 13th consecutive month it has led the domestic markets,” IATA said. Growth is being propelled by a relatively strong economy as well as by substantial increases in service frequencies, it added. Internationally demand for domestic travel climbed 4.1% in April compared to April 2015, while capacity increased 3.8%, causing the load factor to rise 0.3 percentage points to 81.4%. All markets reported demand in-


creases with the exception of Brazil, which showed a 12.1% decline, reflecting the country’s economic recession and political turmoil. China’s airlines recorded 9.5% domestic traffic growth. The disruptive impact of the Brussels Airport attack weighed on the April figures. IATA estimates that in the absence of the attacks, demand growth would have been around 5%. “The disruptive impacts of the Brussels terror attacks will likely be short-lived. There are some longerterm clouds over the pace of demand growth. The stimulus from lower oil prices appears to be tapering off. And the global economic situation is subdued. Demand is still growing, but we may be shifting down a gear,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

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June 03, 2016



June 03, 2016


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