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Friday, June 10 2016 | Vol. 35, No. 24


Indo American erican News

Ashok Dhingra Mourned

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June 10, 2016


IACF Gives 30 High School Grads a Head Start with Scholarship


by Raj, who passed away two years ago but aspired to keep the group running and left it in Gir’s able hands. Gir, a retired executive from Schlumberger, has run the group ably since and has received commendations for the remarkable progress made by the schoolkids. She encouraged the high schoolers who were graduating to work as tutors, for which they would be paid at $12 per hour.

SUGAR LAND: For the third

year in a row, the Indo American Charity Foundation teamed up with the Fort Bend Independent School District to hand out scholarships to deserving young graduates from area high schools. Two years ago, the event was held at the Aloft Hotel in the Galleria area and it was a mob scene worthy of an opening night for celebrities. Last year, the IACF held it instead at the FBISD Annex Building meeting room on Sweet Water Blvd. in Sugar Land, where it was once again held this year on Wednesday evening, June 1. Over 200 people showed up to congratulate the 30 outstanding senior high school students who were recipients of this year’s IndoAmerican Charity Foundation’s scholarship. The coordinator for the event in his third year in that role, past President Dr. Ramesh Cherivirala explained how laborious and rigorous the task was for the Scholarships Committee to cull through the numerous applications that the IACF had received. “They had to do a qualitative and quantitative analysis,” Cherivirala explained, “and out of these, only 30 graduates were selected”. The scholarships were awarded based on grade point average, SAT/ACT scores, personal essay, recommendation letters, and need. The number of scholarships is a record for the IACF ever since it started giving them 27 years ago, which has been a flagship event for the organization. The room was filled with enthusiasm from teachers, administrators, and dignitaries who gathered to recognize the outstanding achievements of these honorees. Dignitaries included Sugar Land City Council Member and Mayoral candidate, Harish Jajoo, FBISD Trustee KP George, former FBSID Trustee Jim Rice and Sam Merchant, community liaison for Congressman Al Green who sent in a Proclamation in honor of the event. Dr. Terry Sheneman of FBISD, College and Career Readiness Coordinator of FBISD helped to organize the event, including the snacks that were available to the guests, supplemented by Indian snacks. He was instrumental in making the event successful, and

opened the ceremony with introductions of FBISD personnel who helped with the event. This year, for the first time, students from Alief ISD were also included, nine of them receiving scholarships, while Tyra Walker, AISD Director of Career and College Readiness was at hand to applaud her students. The event was emceed IACF Director Shweta Arora who later called out all the graduates to receive their awards. Using a slide presentation, IACF President Nanda Vura explained the mission of the Foundation and how this year it has added volunteer committees which will be very focused. He also pointed out to Karpali Laxmidas who is a previous IACF Scholarship recipient. She had come with her parents Jin and Chandrika Laxmidas who donated to the IACF again this year, just like last year. Vura’s message was that IACF is not only dedicated, but that the non-profit is also enthusiastic about its mission to provide help to the local community. The students were noticeably excited about receiving the scholarships as this represents a step towards them achieving their dreams and the future looks bright for the students who received a headstart from IACF. The talent varied vastly among the students, who have ambitions of becoming entrepreneurs, veterinarians, doctors, speech therapists and engineers. Scholarships amounting to $30,000 were distributed among the thirty students as their names

Photos: Roy Photography

were called and they came to the podium to receive the award certificates from previous IACF Directors and other noted individuals. Sushmita Mahankali, who is graduating from Hightower High School, was presented with the David Raj Scholarship – named for a late former president of IACF - which is the highest award IACF

presents each year to a student pursuing a career in medicine. Previous IACF President Kamala Raghavan recognized Roopa Gir, the president of iEducate, an organization that provides mentors for kids in three elementary schools in HISD where the children were failing in math and science. The organization was started


2016 IACF Scholarship Recepients Eduardo Lopez, Austin HS Lauren Robertson, Austin HS Ava Sanjana, Austin HS Daniel Wang, Clements HS Han Wen Zhang, Clements HS Kathryn Carrabine, Dulles HS Victoria Levin, Dulles HS Perla Macias, Dulles HS Ariel Nguyen, Dulles HS Allen Watson, Elkins HS Oluwafunto Amy Bolanle Akindona, Hightower HS Jada Ceasar, Hightower HS Susmitha Mahankali, Hightower HS English Pratt, Hightower HS La’Tayra Watts, Hightower HS Mohogany Antoine, Marshall HS Samitra Baldon, Marshall HS Rhian Collier, Ridge Point HS Lauren Freemount, Travis HS Javier Cervantes, Willowridge HS Lapria Oppenhammer, Willowridge HS Brian Bui, AISD Grace Akinyemi, AISD Jannette Nguyen, AISD Trever Dinh, AISD Phan Angel, AISD Wafeeq Ahmad, AISD Do Harrison, AISD Dara Hall, AISD Cristel Castaneda, AISD

For photo collage, see page 06


June 10, 2016



STAFFORD: The Pakistan Show

was back this year in its 2nd edition for an outstanding 5-day exhibition at the Stafford Center. The event was held from June 2 to 6, and was organized by Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry and managed by Pakistan World Trade & Expo Centre, with the support of Handicrafts Association of Pakistan. The grand opening ceremony was held on Thursday, June 2, and it was attended by Congressman Al Green, Consul General of Pakistan and President of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce. The cultural patterns of Pakistan speak of their rich heritage and traditions. The Pakistan show has been a sequel of Pakistani exhibitions being organized since 2007, across the globe in countries such as India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Mauritius and UK. The first edition of The Pakistan Show had bowled over Houstonians last year. Such was the smashing success of this event that the city was really looking forward to the event, this year. The Pakistan Show is not only an exclusive exhibition of Pakistani products but also a mix of cultural showcase that Pakistan is endowed with. Although traditions have changed over the thousands of years and since the beginning of time, jewelry remains an integral part of Pakistan’s religious, regional, and social life. The event witnessed a host of 68 exhibitors across various genres including jewelry and handicrafts. Needless to mention, these stalls were packed with people who were seen discussing personal adornment, amidst the gorgeous collection of clothes and charismatic pieces of jewelry. More spark was added to this event with the Indus Couture Fashion Show, where fashion models from Houston dazzled the ramp with some outstanding and marvelous classic collections featuring modern, traditional and contemporary outfits for women. Ruchika Dias from Bollywood Shake organized the fashion show, and it showcased some top-notch brands like Lala’s Textiles, Fashion Factory

June 10, 2016


Houstonians Get Enthralled: The Pakistan Show

by AmnaFarhan, Shirts & Style by Asif, Nobeen Durrani’s Traditional Outfits, Meer Designer by Shahzia Fahed and Shireen’s collections. The models left the trail blazing with trendy, stylish and attractive Pakistani style kurtas, suits, lahengas and bridal wear. This extravaganza was extended over a period of two days to accommodate the pouring crowd, Friday June 3 at 7:00 pm and Sunday June 5 at 5:00 pm. Raza Hasan graced the fashion show with his superlative choreography and Deco Art made the venue look beautiful. A spectacular musical program thrilled and entertained the crowd, as a live performance from Nadeem Ashrafi’s band was being played. It wasn’t only the glam quotient that shook up this event. Several forerunners in the real estate space also participated in this event. Amidst all the glamour and the traditional quotient, consumers from around the world were presented with best options for investment and leading insight into the market trends. In an exclusive conversation with IAN, Fahad Barlas, Director of Pak World Trade & Expo Centre said, “Houston surely doesn’t let us feel away from home! It proves to be a city with big Heart! We are happy with the turn out and we look forward to our event next year.” That is such a true statement for Houston and with the cultural prowess and the legacy of diverse cultural heritage that Pakistan has to offer, Houstonians would be looking forward to many more of such exciting events.

Indians & Bangladeshis, which have a common string of cultural flavors sewn between them. The objective of this show is to bring to the palette the vast richness that the country has to offer through its products and services. Behind the Scenes: They say, people behind the scenes are directly associated with the success of an event. True that. The Pakistan Show is honored to be backed by some of the highly experienced and talented members mentioned below: Mian Humayun Pervez (President, Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & industry) M. Khurshid Barlas (President, Handicrafts Association of Pakistan, Chairman, Inter regional Trade Committee at Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry) Fahad Barlas (Director, Pak World Trade & Expo Centre) The next edition of The Pakistan Show will be held in Dallas between August 19 to 22, at Embassy suits by Hilton in Frisco. With the huge success of this event and the massive participation and registrations, the organizers anticipate the next event to be extravagant and majestic. Stay tuned for more information.

More about The Pakistan Show: The Pakistan show not only attracts the Pakistan community living abroad, but also other similar communities like

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

Photos: Sheikh Najam and Jasleen Kaur Photography



June 10, 2016

Indian Film Festival of Houston Collaborates for a Memorable Evening

HOUSTON: The Asia Society

Texas Center was the venue for The Indian Film Festival of Houston’s special screening of “Waiting,” writer/director Anu Menon’s second feature film. IFFH, as the cultural organization is called, began in 2009 and was voted the Best Film Festival in Houston-2014 by readers of The Houston Press. This year, IFFH and the Asia Society TC began a collaboration that will be mutually beneficial. Guests attending a cocktail reception with Indian hors d’oeuvres at the iconic building designed by Yoshio Tanaguchi were treated to the sounds of Moodafaruka’s multicultural music before going into the Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater. One of the goals of IFFH is to bring quality films with universal themes promoting the Indian perspective to diverse audiences. “Waiting” certainly reached that goal. Attending the screening

not previously shown elsewhere were dignitaries including consuls general, city officials, and cinemaphiles from many ethnic communites. The film is about two strangers from different generations who meet in a hospital while their spouses are in a coma. It reveals how each deals with grief while helping the other person get through the trauma. Although some of the scenes are emotional, bring tears to those in the audience, Menon balances the story with unexpected flashes of humor. The writing, acting, and score are outstanding and are worthy of awards for which they will no doubt be nominated. This is the first time that IFFH has had a “mid-year” screening. The full festival will be held October 28 and 29 at the Asia Society Texas Center, so mark your calendars for a unique experience.


From Left: Stephanie Todd Wong (Director of Arts & Culture), Atul Badwal (IFFH Board Member), Gianander Dua (Guest from India), Sutapa Ghosh (Founder & Festival Director, IFFH).

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From Left: Atul Badwal (IFFH Board Member), Amey Prakash (President of IFFH), Anupam Ray, (Honorable Consul General of India, Houston), Sutapa Ghosh (Founder & Festival Director, IFFH) , Nat Krishnamurty, Jose Grinan (IFFH Board Member). Photos: Krishna Giri

See article on page 3


June 10, 2016





June 10, 2016

Ashok Dhingra 1946 - 2016

An Architect of Community Togetherness Passes BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: When he was just an


architectural student at the University of Houston, the thin 26 year-old young man from India already stood out for two things that stayed with him throughout his life: an easy and infectious smile and laugh and a thick and wide chevron moustache that covered the top border of his upper lip. Ashok Dhingra never got rid of it nor his laugh. His habit of short nasal snorts, clenching of eyes and rounding of the shoulders usually meant that he was going to let loose another funny witticism. Dhingra passed

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away last Friday, June 3, 2016 at 6:24am at St. Luke’s Hospital where he been taken last December for a dangerously low platelet count that eventually made his liver fail and then his kidneys too. He received transplants for those organs and was on the mend when suddenly two weeks ago he had two subcranial hematomas or strokes that left him in a coma from which he did not recover. Dhingra was 69, just shy of his 70th birthday on June 29. Dhingra was born in Maghiana, West Punjab in 1946 before the Partition of India. His family moved to India and he started architecture school there before venturing to the US to continue. He came to Houston in 1972 and completed his Bachelors in Architecture in 1976 at the University of Houston. During that time, he was involved with the India Students Association and helped with the activities held at the University – like weekend movies at Agnes Arnold Hall – arranged by the small

group of Indian families in the city. Upon graduating, Dhingra worked at Brown and Root, and then went back home to get married to Vijay on July 18, 1980. They started a family together and in October 1985, Vijay opened up a small biosciences business and soon after it grew, Ashok joined in too. It has since become a distributor of laboratory, chemical and industrial equipment & supplies with products exported around the world. In 2000, the company moved to its large office and warehouse space on Rockley Road off South Wilcrest. Each year, Dhingra would delight in holding a Christmas party for his friends, employees and associates at the large back warehouse area and he would gleefully hand out bonuses and awards to his employees. Very mindful of his Indian and Hindu heritage, Dhingra stayed involved with community activities and was a supporter of many organizations and events. He served as a Director and President of the India Culture Center. His architectural background helped immensely when the plans for India House were being developed and he worked ceaselessly to manage the construction through the opening day. He was a founding board member, and eventually became an early President of India House and left to return full time to his growing business. He was also a regular supporter of the Arya Samaj of Houston. But above all, Dhingra was a family man who adored his children and three grandchildren. He is survived by his wife, Vijay; daughter Anu and husband Manav Malik and kids Armaan and Meera; daughter Nikki and husband Manmeet Vedi and daughter Veera; and son Abhishek and wife Avni. He was much admired for his straight forward style and disciplined approach to issues and life in general. He was generous to his friends and showed such caring that many were immediately drawn to him. The extent of the way he cultivated his relationships showed in the mass outpouring of grief as nearly 400 people arrived for the standing room only service that was held for Dhingra at Garden Oaks Funeral Home on Bellaire and Synott on the morning of Tuesday, June 7. Prayer services for Dhingra will be held at the Arya Samaj on Schiller Road at 4pm on Saturday, June 11.


June 10, 2016



10 June 10, 2016 Pandit Suman Ghosh and CICMH Proudly Present their New Website


Women’s Cricket Tournament

HOUSTON: The Honorable Consul General of India, Anupam Ray formally inaugurated the website for Pandit Suman Ghosh and his organization - CICMH and Gurukul - Saadhana Pariwar on June 2. www.panditsumanghosh.com


HOUSTON: Winning and loosing aside,

the Houston Maharashtra Mandal (HMM) vs. NextGen Club Women’s cricket tournament was organized to promote sporting activities for women and kids. HMM would like to thank the NextGen Women’s Cricket Team, Umpire Saurabh Malhotra, Coach Haribabu Chittibabu, Coach Sharad Annaldasula, Scorer Satish, Sanjay Agarwal, Col. Vipin, HMM 2016 Committee Members, and India House for their efforts. HMM women’s team won the final against a Tough local women’s Cricket team, NextGen. Practices for this final match were going on for the past two months and it was for the first time that both teams met each other in full force on 5/22. The weather was cool and pitch was a bit moist due to the rain. HMM Team bowled extremely well and only gave 45 runs in 12 overs. NextGen team also bowled very well but HMM won by 3 overs remaining and 8 wickets in hand. Captain of NextGen Cricket team Tanu Bedi, Vice- Captain Amudha Valli Narasimhan, Captain of HMM Team Megha Ozarker and Vice-Captain Shilpa Nagle all agreed that the match was very competitive and players from both sides gave their personal best. They all agreed that women should play more competitive sports for fun and exercise. Overall it was a very exciting fun filled event even for the spectators. A 100m kids race was also organized at the same time to keep the kids engaged during the match.

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June 10, 2016

Indian Journalists Take a Close Look at How Indo-US Business Works


HOUSTON: Journalists are not

accustomed to having the cameras suddenly turned on them and being the focus of attention, but on Tuesday, May 31, a group of five of them from India on a three-city tour of the US found themselves uncomfortably in the spotlight at a reception in their honor held at the residence of the newly installed Indian Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray. They had a chance to mingle with a cross-section of local businessmen, politicians and media and learn about the impact of Indo-Americans on the Texan marketplace. The journalists were on a US State Department sponsored tour of three cities – Washington, DC, Columbia, South Carolina and Houston – where they visited with businesses that were dealing with India or had Indian roots, but for the most part were mum about the thrust of their journey to the US. The journalists were Avinash Nair, Indian Express; Summit Khanna, Daily News and Analysis; Syed Abrar Hussian Peerzada, The Hindu; Richa Pinto, The Times of India and Varun Aggarwal, Hindu Business Line and though Tamanna Inamdar, CNBC Awaaz was scheduled to be in she was not part of the group. Ray introduced the journalists to the cross-section of guests, saying he saw no contradiction between being Indian and American and that everyone in the room was worthy of an interview. “I thought it was an opportunity for us to show them that India-US relations actually extend far beyond Washington and New York,” Ray said. “It extends into areas which are real economic drivers of the United States and Texas is one of them.” In his short time in the Bayou City – he has only been here less than two months – Ray has been making inroads to the local market, working with Indian organiztions and even has old college friends from medical school and some relatives on his wife’s side who live in the area. Among those who were invited was Harris County Commissioners Court Judge Ed Emmett who came with his wife Gwen; Jay Guerrero, Regional Director in US Senator John Cornyn’s office; Sam Merchant, Asian Community Liaison with US Congressman Al Green’s office; the managing director of Mahindra Tractors; local businessmen and community activists Vijay Goradia and Dr. Durga Das Agarwal and Ashok K. Mago, a businessman and community leader from Dallas. Ray hailed Indian businesses in the US for creating jobs and contributing to the US economy. Emmett echoed these sentiments and expanded on his longtime as-


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Indian journalists Avinash Nair, Indian Express; Varun Aggarwal, Hindu Business Line; Richa Pinto, The Times of India; Syed Abrar Hussian Peerzada, The Hindu; and Summit Khanna, Daily News and Analysis visited Houston recently as part of a three-city tour of the US. They were feted at a reception at the Indian Consul General’s residence on Tuesday, May 31. Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

Newly installed Indian Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray spoke about Indo-US business ties.

sociation with Indo-Americans saying “it goes back long before I was County Judge.” He agreed with Ray that the economy is a two-way street and gave the example of the decision Anand Mahindra, the Chairman and Managing Director of the Mahindra Group, made to expand into the US market by buying a local tractor firm in Texas. He looked forward to giving the journalists a tour of the Houston Emergency Center the following day. Agarwal, President and CEO of Piping Technology and Products and a Member of the University of Houston System Board of Regents talked about his experience in leading a delegation from MD Anderson Cancer Institute to India to help set up co-operation agreements for cancer treatment in India with All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Tata Memorial Cancer Center and SVYASA (the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana). “People did not understand the purpose,” he recalled. He also commented on last year’s International Day of Yoga which was celebrated in Houston with over 3,000 people at the George Brown Convention Center. Not to be left out, Mago commented on the importance of the Dallas-Ft. Worth region towards the economic growth of Texas. He is a Padma Shri recipient, Chairman of the Greater Dallas Indo-American Chamber of Commerce and a Regent of the University of North

Texas. “Not too many people pay attention to Texas in India though the Texas economy as big as that of India’s, $2 trillion,” he said. He added that DFW alone contributed $545 million and lauded its many other attributes like 65 million airport passengers and 23 Fortune 500 companies. With an expanded population, he expected Texas’ share of Congressional seats to increase from the current 36. He added that India’s Nuclear Agreement with the US “would have gone nowhere without the support of Texas, which had 40% of the sponsors of the bill.” Ray concluded the brief speeches by noting that the University of Houston’s Engineering Building will inaugurate a whole floor after Durga Agarwal later this year, adding “This is how accomplished and successful and how invested the India community stays in being good Indians and good Americans.” The visit of the Indian journalists came just a week before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi started his second official visit to the US to cement better economic and military ties. Modi addressed a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, June 8, becoming the fifth Indian Prime Minister to do so.

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June 10, 2016


Sri Meenakshi Temple: June 4 & 5

Photos: Srini Sundarrajan


athi, Puja was done for all the Utsava Murthis starting from Maha Ganapathi, Ayyappa, Murugan, Ramar Parivar, Anjaneya, Radha Krishna, Durga, Jothi, Kannika Parameswari and Nataraja with individual sankalpam for all the families. Devotees got the Brick from the priest to carry to the corner Temple of their choice. Utsava Murthis procession was a beautiful sight to watch. With Chanda Melam in the front the devotees


MTS board is renovating the Corner Temples and this was an Aarambha puja for the project. By god’s grace, the weather was unbelievably perfect in the middle of rainy days. Saturday evening the Anugnai puja was done at the Ganesh temple. Sunday morning devotees gathered early to start the Ganapathi Homam. After the Homam and Abhishekam for Prasanna Ganap-

followed the procession. All the devotees went to Main Temple and got Anugnai from Siva, Meenakshi, Venkateswara and Padmavathi. MTS board released the beautiful model of the CTRP project which includes expanding and connecting all the four Corner Temples and connection between the Rajagopuram and the Main Temple. The South and North connecting Mandapams will house Hindu saints Alwargal and Nayanmargal. The model was so nice the devotees surrounded it very quickly to appreciate the beauty of the CTRP project. The devotees went to each Corner Temple and puja was done sequentially stating from Maha Ganapathy. Devotees left the Sacred Brick in the respective Corner Temple. This was also a fundraising puja for the project and the fundraising team raised an amazing total of $330,000 in about fifty days which includes more than $25,000 donated on the Aarambha Puja day. All the devotees were happy to participate in the puja for all the twenty five deities in Meenakshi temple on a single day which is a very rare occasion. Chairman thanked all the priests, Staff, Board and Advisory Council Members and Fundraising Committee Members for their hard work and cooperation for the project and the Aarambha Puja. Everyone appreciated the model which was done by Silphi Ramanathan.


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d Conditions: r in this advertisement •No refund, no exchange, no credit, no rain checks •Sale price valid till supply last •Sale items are not for any wholesalers or retailers INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

16 June 10, 2016 BY SHALINI KONDE

HOUSTON. When summer be-

gins its bright shine, the spirit of graduation manifests everywhere, from the ripening acts of nature to the maturing landmarks of academic endeavors. As secular education in schools culminates after another year of learning, a new generation of graduates step into the wider world of higher collegiate learning to begin another journey of academic discovery and achievement. Keeping with that cycle of growth and maturation, when the fresh and eager Class of 2016 emerged ready to fly out into the portals of higher education, the happy and proud family of Chinmaya Prabha Houston gathered to celebrate, empower, and inspire its graduates through a significant Bala Vihar graduation ceremony on the morning of May 28. The Bala Vihar Class of 2016 were thrice blessed on their graduation this year. First, their Bala Vihar studies that helped mold their spiritual and cultural personalities from kindergarten to 12th grade reached the graduating landmark to coincide with the memorable Chinmaya Centennial (19162016) year. Next, their graduation was celebrated in the presence of the auspicious Chinmaya Jyoti that invoked the very presence of the Master, Pujya Gurudeva Swami Chinmayananda himself. And, the graduates had the great fortune of three-fold blessings from


Chinmaya Prabha Celebrates its Class of 2016 Bala Vihar Graduates

the Acaryas Sri Gaurang and Smt. Darshana Nanavaty, their parents, and Bala Vihar teachers along with the wishes of an entire Chinmaya community. The Graduation ceremony commenced with an ardent puja in Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya conducted by the priest Sri Ganesh in the presence of the Acaryas. After that prayer, the bright graduates were led by their beloved Acharyas into the Chinmaya Smrit Hall after prostrations to Pujya Gurudev’s pratima. As they took their places in the hall after the Vedic chanting of Sri Ganeshji and the melodic wishes of “Om Mangalam,” it was a moment of pride and gratitude for all gathered there. In Houston, Chinmaya Bala Vihar is the culmination of Pujya Gurudeva’s divine vision for ev-

Photos: Jayesh Mistry and Rajesh Thatte

ery new generation and a mother’s love for her children at its best! Pujya Acarya Smt. Darshana Nanavaty has tirelessly spearheaded the Houston Chinmaya Bala Vihar with a team of dedicated Bala Vihar teachers since 1982. Many of graduating students of the Class of 2016 have benefited from their learning about Hinduism, Indian culture, and universal values from classes even from kindergarten upto 12th grade. Bala Vihar students draw inspiration from spiritual guidance and teachings every Sunday to strive for their best, forge beautiful friendships, and participate in further volunteering in the community. Parents receive immeasurable comfort and assurance that their children will be good citizens of this world and carry forth with them the ethical

integrity and moral values. Once the students were seated in Smrti Hall, the Graduation ceremony continued with Pujya Gurudeva’s Paduka Puja followed by the Convocation address from Taittiriya Upanisad by Acarya Sri Gaurang Nanavaty. Basing his discourse on the ancient revered Vedic text which imparts advice on the best tenets of ethical living, Gauranguncle reminded the new graduates with humor, love, and thoughtful fatherly affection that the centuries-old message of that ancient graduation was still the most relevant and surest means of Self-unfoldment and secular success. Using metaphors from many aspects of daily life, the Acarya emphasized how alert and consistent practice is important to fortify value-based achievement and how


every graduate must exemplify the values of Sanatana Dharma in every aspect of higher learning and living. This inspiring discourse was followed by the ceremonial lighting of the lamp by both Acaryas after which every graduate came up on stage, lit his or her own light of new beginnings, bowed to the Acaryas and received a blessing memento which had Gurudev’s words inscribed: “Keep your mind where your hands are working,” to signify efficiency born of inspired concentration. Concluding with the time-honored Vedic tradition, to show a mark of their utmost respect and deep gratitude for the spiritual education they received, the new graduates of 2016 offered Guru Dakshina to the Acaryas, making their first contribution to the Chinmaya Jeevan Darshan project of the future. As the new graduates lined up, looking resplendent in their traditional Indian clothes with their joyful smiles, in front of the assembled audience, the Bala Vihar Graduation Ceremony of 2016 concluded with the resonance of ‘Abhinandanam’ – the Chinmaya Graduation Song, the Chinmaya Pledge, and the Universal Peace Prayer – “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah.” For more information on Chinmaya Mission Houston and its activities visit www.chinmayahouston.org or Jay Deshmukh 832-541-0059 or Bharati Sutaria 281-933-0233


June 10, 2016


The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi - Part 2

Upon completion of high school,

Mohandas enrolled at Samaldas College at Bhavnagar. He was discontent with the classes; they did not stimulate or engage him, so he returned home after the first ten days. At home a huge surprise awaited him. His eldest brother and a family friend suggested that Mohandas should go to England to study and become a barrister. Mohandas was thrilled. It was a great opportunity to see the world. His mother, however, disapproved. She did not like the idea of her son being so far away from her. There were also the financial implications. And she was fearful that he would lose his caste if he crossed the oceans, an age-old taboo against overseas travel among the high caste Hindus. The family friend assured her that there would be no such difficulty and all would be well. She had reservations and talked to him about it. She worried that he would eat meat, imbibe alcohol, and fall victim to bad influences. Mohandas vowed to do none of those, and pled with her to be permitted to go. Putlibai at last gave in and allowed him to go to England. Mohandas was sorrowful when he left Rajkot for Bombay, because he had to leave behind his mother, his wife, and son Harilal, who was only a few months old. On September 4, 1888, Mohandas left Bombay to set sail for England. Dressed in western style, he stood on the deck as the ship slowly steamed out of the harbor. Mohandas never forgot his first morning on board. He felt uncomfortable in his black suit and shirt and tie. He was quite sure that Indian attire was more suitable. A glance in the mirror made him feel proud of himself. He thought he looked very impressive. Mohandas was shy. He rarely left his cabin. He even ate by himself. He was not sure of all those unknown foods served on the ship. He thought they might contain meat and did not wish to break his vow to his mother never to eat meat. So he lived mainly on the snacks and sweets he had brought from home. On landing at Southampton he looked around and saw that all the people were in dark clothes, wearing bowler hats and carrying overcoats. Mohandas was embarrassed to find that he was the only one wearing white flannels. In London, he stayed at first at the Victoria Hotel. Dr. P. J. Mehta, a friend of the Gandhi family, was the first to meet him. Mohandas was impressed with Dr. Mehta’s silk top hat. Out of curiosity, he reached out and touched the pile of the silk. Dr. Mehta then gave him his first lesson in European manners cautioning him not to touch other peoples’ things. He advised Mohandas to never ask too many probing questions, and not to talk loudly. Young Gandhi found everything around him strange. He was homesick. He almost starved until he discovered a vegetarian restaurant. Struggling to learn western man-

ners and customs, he rented a suite of rooms. He bought well-tailored clothes and a top hat. He spent a lot of time before the mirror, parting his straight hair and fixing his tie. He took lessons in dancing, but soon gave it up as he had no sense of rhythm. He tried his hand at playing the violin, but failed. He took lessons in French and elocution, but went to sleep. His attempt to be an Englishman lasted about three months. Then he gave up the idea. He converted himself into a serious student. “I have changed my way of life,” he told a friend. “All this foolishness is at an end. I am living in one room and cooking my own food. Hereafter I shall devote all my time to study,” he said. His meals were simple. He avoided expenditure on transport and went on foot everywhere in London. He started to keep an account of every penny he spent. Mohandas joined the London Vegetarian Society and soon found himself in its executive council. He wrote articles for the magazine, Vegetarian. The bar examination did not require much study and Gandhi had ample time to spare. Oxford or Cambridge was not possible as study at those institutions would entail long course work and much financial resources. He therefore decided to appear for the London matriculation examination. It meant hard work and sacrifice, but he enjoyed hard work. He passed in

French, English, and chemistry but failed in Latin. He tried again, and this time passed in Latin too. Meanwhile, he progressed in his study of law and in November 1888 was admitted to the Inner Temple. It was the tradition of the Inns of Court for the students to dine together at least six times each year. The first time Gandhi dined with his fellow students, he was nervous. He was sure the boys would tease him for refusing meat and alcohol. When wine was offered, he refused to have any. He did not touch the meat either, and sat there, quite content with his bread, boiled potatoes and cabbage. He was pleasantly surprised to find that his strange habits did not make him unpopular. The next time he went for the dinner, he had a pile of law books with him. He was taking the books to his room to study. The other students were amazed by his dedication to learning and very surprised to find him reading Roman law in Latin. Some friends suggested he read abbreviated versions of the law instead of bothering unduly over such tomes. Gandhi explained to his lighthearted friends that he worked so hard for sheer interest in the subject, and that he wanted to acquire knowledge for its own sake. After a short trip to France, he prepared for the final law examination. The results were soon declared. He had passed with high marks. On June 10, 1891, Gandhi was called to the bar. He was admitted as a barrister and the next day was formally enrolled in the High Court. The following day, June 12, he sailed for India. Gandhi’s three-year stay in England was eventful. Those were days of great intellectual activity, and there was tolerance for every school of thought. The country as a whole was a living university. As Gandhi sailed for home on the S.S. Assam, he felt that, next to India, he would rather live in England than any other place in the world. To be continued next week...



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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 10, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

18 June 10, 2016 Heartfelt Goodbye to A1 One by one, the first generation of stalwarts, who helped build the Indo-American community in Houston is passing on. The latest to leave us is Ashok Dhingra. With so many men in our friends circle named Ashok, he was designated A1. I first came into contact with A1 at the University of Houston in 1975. A1 was in the UH School of Architecture and the president of the India Students Association. I was in the MBA program and my wife, Jyoti, was doing her MPA in public administration. We used to meet A1 in the UH Student Union at the table tennis courts and the screening of Bollywood movies at Agnes Arnold Hall. After an early career as an architect, A1 and his wife Vijay built a highly successful business: Expotech USA, world class distributor of laboratory, chemical, and industrial equipment and supplies. A natural community leader, A1 has left a remarkable legacy of accomplishments with many of the Houston Indian organizations, including the Arya Samaj and India House. I recall numerous meetings that I attended at A1’s ExpoTech office to discuss India House affairs before Phase I building was built. The Indo-American community, and I personally, will miss A1’s big smile and big enthusiasm for community projects. Pramod Kulkarni

More Rajan

Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan has shepherded the economy in an uncertain phase. He must stay at the helm to finish the job. Rajan took over in September 2013 at a time when almost all macroeconomic variables, especially those most closely influenced by monetary policy, such as inflation, were running amok. It was his single-minded focus on containing inflation by keeping the interest rates high that has contributed to India weathering the global economic maelstrom. Despite the fact that India is still struggling to control inflation, it is relatively better off than many of its erstwhile equals. Rajan also brought about long-pending structural reforms in the banking sector. He has ushered in a new regime of banking that stresses on differentiated banks, which specialise in reaching specific categories among the vast number of the unbanked in India. Rajan has been a voice of reason on matters of fiscal policy. Time and again, he has predicated monetary policy cuts on the government walking the talk on fiscal prudence. Rajan has countered uncertainties by following a wellarticulated and well-argued policy stance. It is time for the government to take the cue, and end the uncertainty over his extension as the RBI governor. Indian Express


BY C. RAJA MOHAN Celebration and consolidation. That is how Indian diplomats are describing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fourth visit to the United States in less than two years. There is, indeed, much to celebrate as Modi and President Barack Obama reflect on the successful rejuvenation of the bilateral partnership that had become comatose in the second term of the UPA government. The two leaders will also try and tie together many loose ends on a range of issues including nuclear cooperation, defence partnership, counter terrorism and climate change. Beyond celebration and consolidation, the PM would also be looking ahead. Until now, Modi’s focus was on completing the unfinished agenda that he had inherited from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He now has the opportunity to restructure the relationship with the United States. Many of the big ideas about recasting India-US relations were first articulated by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he described the US as India’s “natural ally” in September 1998 just a few months after confronting Washington with a series of nuclear tests. The dialogue with the Clinton administration provided the basis for an honest discussion of long-standing political differences on nuclear proliferation, Kashmir, Pakistan and China. The resolution of these differences, however, began only under the Bush administration. President George W. Bush discarded multiple orthodoxies about India, including the notion of parity between India and Pakistan. He put an end to the nonsense about the US mediating Pakistan’s Kashmir dispute with India. Bush also viewed India as a rising power with the potential to shape the Asian and global balance of power. He opened the door for an expansive defence and security cooperation with Delhi. Even more important, Bush made

a bold bid to end India’s extended atomic isolation on the international stage. Manmohan Singh and his advisers seized the opportunity, but could not sustain the momentum, thanks to the cold feet in the Congress party. By the time, Modi rode into Delhi, the historic nuclear initiative was in a limbo and the defence cooperation in disrepair. Modi moved quickly to resolve the outstanding disputes in the nuclear domain within the first few months and revived India’s defence partnership with Japan and expanded security cooperation in the trilateral format with Japan. Modi’s visit might also signal that the first fruits of the historic nuclear initiative are at hand — in the form of a contract for the US company Westinghouse to construct six atomic reactors in Andhra Pradesh. If the 1950s and 1960s saw expansive nuclear and advanced technology cooperation between India and the US, the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s saw its disintegration amidst ever advancing US sanctions against India. As Delhi and Washington put behind three decades of nuclear recrimination, Obama and Modi must begin to reimagine the possibilities for high technology cooperation between the two countries, ranging from outer space to artificial intelligence and the maritime domain to microbiology. Even more tantalising is the prospect for greater understanding between India and the US on our troubled northwestern frontiers. For nearly six decades, differences over Pakistan have been the principal source of political mistrust


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


between India and the US. Obama has begun to change certain aspects of this policy, for example, in attacking Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan in 2011 without informing Islamabad. More recently, last month, Obama droned the Taliban chief Mullah Mohammed Mansour to death. The frustration in dealing with Pakistan is deep and finally welling up in Washington. The new dynamic in Washington has created the space for Modi and Obama to have a fresh conversation on terrorism, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The two leaders can push their suspicious security establishments towards more productive intelligence sharing and on joint operations against international terrorism. Even more important is the prospect that Delhi and Washington will finally find a way to coordinate their policies towards Pakistan. Delhi and Washington are painfully aware that neither has the power to unilaterally alter Pakistan’s behaviour. But working together, they might have a better chance. All these decades, Delhi and Washington have talked past each other on Pakistan. But working together to nudge Pakistan towards moderation is an idea whose time may have finally come. For Modi and Obama, a new partnership to shape the future of Pakistan must necessarily be part of a new framework for geopolitical burden-sharing between India and America. Whoever the next president of the US may be, the US establishment is under considerable popular pressure to downsize Washington’s expansive international commitments. Modi, in turn, has begun to position Delhi as a leading power that is ready to take larger responsibilities in the region and beyond. Taken together, these two trends create the basis for reordering India’s relations with the US. The writer is director, Carnegie India and consulting editor on foreign affairs for The Indian Express


June 10, 2016


Vedanta Society of Greater Houston Now an Official Center of the Ramakrishna Math, Belur

HOUSTON: The devotees and the

Board members of the Vedanta Society of Greater Houston (VSGH) announce with great joy and jubilation that VSGH is now a direct Branch of the Ramakrishna Math, Belur. http://www.belurmath.org/centres/ display_centre.php?centre_id=HST Swami Sarvadevanandaji Maharaj, Minister, of the Vedanta Society of Southern California, Hollywood, is the Minister in Charge of VSGH and Swami Vedaswarupanandaji Maharaj, who is expected to arrive from Belur in a few months, will be the Resident Swami in Houston. We offer our most revered and humble pranams to Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi & Swami Vivekananda for fulfilling this ardent desire and convey our heartfelt thanks to the Revered General Secretary Swami Suhitanandaji Maharaj and the Trustees of Belur Math for accepting our petition and granting the affiliation. Now the Arati song “Khandana Bhava” will be sung forever in the center. Jai Thakur, Jai Ma, Jai Swamiji

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20 June 10, 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 15, 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

Karele Di Burji (Bittermelon Mash) - Quick Dish

Solution Next Week

Many people these days are looking for organic foods that are both antioxidants and can reduce certain abnormal conditions in the body, such as elevated blood sugar, which can be a precursor to diabetes; triglycerides and cholesterol, all of which can attribute to heart disease.

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Although we know that bad eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle contribute to these conditions, eating the right foods can just as well positively affect the functioning of the organs of the body. For example, studies show that dark chocolate cacao flavonoids can reduce LDL and increase HDL and fish oil can reduce triglycerides. Similarly, the ingredients in karele (bitter melon or bitter gourd) have been shown to reduce blood glucose. Most of the medicinal and antioxidant benefits of karele comes from the green exterior skin as well as the juice extracted from the bitter tasting vegetable. Some companies even sell gel capsules made of the karela extract. Karela is one of the few vegetables you can cook and eat entirely; seeds, peels and all! The Chinese variety of karela is much bigger and not as bitter or tasty for Indian cuisine.

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Karele ki bhurji (bitter melon mash) uses just the exterior skin of the karela which has the most bitter taste and is the most beneficial. Because of the exterior skin is made of veins and undulations, it usually doesn’t come off in one layer but crumbles as its is scrapped off. It can also be used to make paranthas. For those on salt restricted diets, amchoor (dried green mango powder) and dahi can substitute for the salt flavor.

Ingredients: • 5 medium karele (bitter melon) choose green ones and not too fat • 2 tbsp tael (vegetable oil) use olive oil if you desire • 1/2 cup dahi (plain yogurt) 2 tbsp pani (water) • 1 medium piyaaz (onion) peeled and sliced • Spices to taste: namak (salt), mirch (red pepper), haldi (tur meric), amchoor (green mango powder) and sukha dhania powder (dried coriander seed powder) Directions: 1. Wash the karele well then dry lightly. 2. Scrape off the karele skin. Keep the peeled karela aside to make stuffed masala bharva karele. 3. Heat the oil in a karahi (wok) and pour the scraped peels and the onions in at once. Brown both and then add

the spices. Stir until the mixture starts to get a little crispy. 4. Pour in the yogurt and the water, stir and cover the wok for ten minutes. 5. Serve with hot roti. This recipe tastes better when it is a bit crispy. 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 named Faisalabad), 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 recipes.


wing Karele In H


Garden It seems like many homeowner have some sort of home or strip of land whe garden re year I also grow bh they grow their favorite vegetables. Every indi (okra) and ka rele facing west and us ually I get a fairly in a long strip of earth decent crop that las through the end of summer. ts us For those growing vine crops, like kare las, it is important to sure that tiny snail s do not climb up make the leaves and infe The best thing to do st them. is scatter slug cont rol granules of at th and then check the e roots, lea are mild in the Sout ves to dislodge any snails. Also, as w in h, remember to pr otect the roots as th ters will regenerate and e vines produce a stronger and more plentiful following year. Do crop not can trim the runner pull out the vines, though, by Februa the ry, s and leaves that ha ve become shrivele you d up.

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Me to brain : leaving you behind for a bit, don’t mind Brain : oh, you are off for one of those, huh? Me, weakly : yes, ‘Housefull 3’ Brain : bye, bye birdy. See ya later, alligator Me : groan. Please don’t use those tired old puns. Brain : humph.


June 10, 2016


Housefull 3

Happy Birthday Mithun Chakraborty June 16,1950

Two and a half hours later, we are united again.

Brain to me : so? Me : mmmph Brain : huh? Oh you mean you went and subjected yourself all over again to a bunch of people trying to make fun of the disabled, the coloured.. Let me see, what did I leave out? Community, race, class. .This is a film which gets a fellow to say, ‘apna moonh kaala kiya naukrani ke saath’ or words to that effect, and the camera cuts to Black uniformed women. Baarf. Me : mmmph Brain, sternly : Speak up, willya? Do I have to pick up every crass thing by osmosis ? Isn’t Akshay playing a guy in a wheelchair AND a split personality, Sandy and Sundi, the better to rhyme with , oh wait, better not say it here, families and all. And Riteish, what’s he called.. Me : Teddy.. Brain : He plays blind, right? And Abhishek goes by the name of Bunty who plays dumb, and

Akshay has a scene featuring red ants-inflamed crotch- and a vaccuum cleaner, hahaha. Me : See, see, you’re laughing too.. Brain : laugh? You call that a laugh? That’s a bitter chortle being dragged out of me. And those three hotties. Sorry, sorry, that’s sexist, Let me rephrase . And Jacqueline, Lisa and Nargis playing lassies in short skirts going by the name Ganga, Jamuna and Saraswati, coming up with the worst lines ever. ‘Woh mere seb ki aankh hai’ ( He’s the apple of my eye) .Hahaha Me, relieved : well that’s sort of funny, innit? Brain : what can I say, that’s a helpless smirk Me : uh ok.

Brain : And Boman Irani playing a Gujju billionaire, how many times will he wear a bad wig and make with accents? Now ol’ Jackie Shroff as a `goonda’ with a golden heart, I had hopes of, he’s still so cool, but what he can do, poor fellow, when he has to say : ‘yeh toh mere BHK hai. Baaiyen Haath Ka Khel hai’. Unbelievable. Any other line which rivals this? Me : too many to recount, but what about this one? ‘Latakte hain’. Which, according to one of the lovely ladies who mouths it, amounts to : ‘let’s hang out’. Brain, pointing and laughing : you mean, hang it, right? Serves you right for abandoning me. LOL -Indian Express

Sonakshi Sinha in ‘Aaj Mood Ishqholic Hai’

Aaj mood Ishqholic hai’

because Sonakshi Sinha makes her single debut with a bang. Looking every inch a beauty in a bohemian look, Jr Shotgun now joins the league of singer-actress, Priyanka Chopra, who has established herself not just in Bollywood but also in the world of international television and music. Sporting a cool and trendy look in ‘Aaj mood Ishqholic hai’, Sonakshi is oozing oomph in the peppy music video which has all that it takes to rule the music charts in the time to come. Featuring as the dominating girlfriend who kidnaps her boyfriend to party for the day, Take it as her Christmas treat, the ‘Lootera’ girl

seems to have set the mood for the New Year celebration early, calling out her fans to join her on the festive occasion. The song has been shot by Gifty of ‘Desi Kalaakar’ fame which too featured Sonakshi Sinha alongside Honey Singh. Composed by Meet Bros and written by Kumar, ‘Aaj mood Ishqholic hai’ marks the full-fledged singing debut of Sonakshi Sinha. - Times of India


22 June 10, 2016




June 10, 2016

Club 65 and Golden Club Jointly Organize a Historic Memorable Picnic

HOUSTON: Houstonian Seniors of Club 65, in collaboration with Golden Club, jointly organized a joyful and unforgettable historic picnic at Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site on Sunday, the May 22. The club members enjoyed the tour of the Independence Hall where a formal Declaration of Independence from Mexico was signed. It was the location where 59 elected delegates gathered on March 2, 1836 to declare Texas’ independence from Mexico. The Club 65 boasts having Senior Houstonians of considerable diversity in the background of nationalities, cultures, religions and languages. Together, the Club 65 and the Golden Club shared their rich vision of diversity and pluralism, thus adding value toward the experience of rich cultural and social interactions. Every diverse group looked beautiful, seeing each other through the lens of love, tolerance and mutual respect, enjoying delicious food in the background of music and people singing. There was a large turnout of club members and the two clubs had to arrange two buses to transport all of them. The program started with a warm welcome from Paru McGuire, President of the Club 65. She The entire picnic arrangements were made jointly by Paru McGuire, President of Club 65, and Mazahir Khan and Jamil

Chunawala of Golden Club. The members of both the clubs spent a couple of hours playing Antakshri singing Bollywood songs. Antakshri is a spoken parlor game in which each contestant sings the first verse of a movie song that begins with the consonant on which the previous contestant’s song selection ended. The key participants were Paru McGuire, Jamil Chunawala, Tasneem Khan, Akber Lakhani, Diamond Mohammad and Zarina Mohamed, Yunus Munshi, and Noor Pasha. The success of the programs would be impossible without the Club 65’s team of trusted pros, like Club 65’s leaders like Paru McGuire (President), Rahat Kalle, Rozina Jafferali and Farida Jinnah, who are well versed in invigorating and inspiring the seniors. This also explains why more and more seniors of the Greater Houston Area are seeking to join the Club 65 to be included in the regular picnics and entertainment put together by the Club volunteers. The club has traditionally engaged high turnouts of membership every time there were celebration activities, such as Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Diwali, Easter, Christmas and Eid Milan. Club 65 is a non-profit organization under the umbrella of IMAGH (Indian Muslims of Greater Houston). To find out more about Club 65 or to become a member, please

Members of Club 65 and Golden Club

visit, www.imagh.org or call Paru Mcguire at 440-390-1763.

From left: Paru M, Mike (county bus driver), Farida B, Farida J, and Rozina J MADRAS N PAVILIO T & DAAWA CATERING

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24 June 10, 2016 Kohli’s Extreme Clarity of Mind and of the Game BY SIDHARTH MONGA

BENGALURU (ESPN Cricinfo): Over seven weeks, across eight cities, against seven different bowling attacks in varied conditions (at one point playing nine matches in three weeks), Virat Kohli scored 973 runs at an average of 81.03 and a strike rate of 152.03 in this IPL. These are freakishly staggering numbers. They go against the grain of the format. This is consistency unheard of, almost undreamt. The fickleness of the T20 format is such that it is still up for debate whether such freakish batting is less desirable than three big hitters sharing the duties between them and in the process striking at a higher rate. In the two big tournaments this year - the IPL and the World T20 - eventually the big hitting trumped the contributions of batsmen seeking perfection. This tussle of style will make for interesting viewing in the leagues to come, but Kohli’s amazing consistency is worth looking back at. After all, for eight IPL seasons before this one, no one had managed an aggregate of over 750. Kohli battered it in one go. Two men who worked with Kohli at Royal Challengers Bangalore are not surprised by his numbers. Trent Woodhill, the team’s batting coach, and Ed Smith, a former England batsman, now a sportswriter, who worked as a consultant to the franchise in the lead-up to this IPL, watched Kohli prepare and knew he was going to do something special this season. As cricket gets shorter, it is now more frequently compared with other sports, and Woodhill and Smith have no hesitation in putting Kohli in the bracket of prime athletes like Novak Djokovic in tennis. To break Kohli’s feat down technically, to understand how it came about, is difficult for an outsider, but these two close-in observers saw a man at the peak of his fitness, competitiveness, mental health and technique. Woodhill’s explanation for Kohli’s mind-boggling consistency is

simple. “He has trained himself to repeat. “What I mean by that is that before going out into the match, he is playing the same game. It’s not like he is trying to play a certain way and then can’t repeat that. When he wants to hit the ball to a certain area, he is not thinking how he is doing it technically. He is just repeating. He is seeing the opportunity and taking that opportunity. “It’s the whole holistic channel. From his diet to his fitness to how he prepares for his innings is the same every time. So the consistency is there. The fitness is there, so he can physically do what he wants to do. Mechanics are sound, so he is able to mechanically perform the way he wants to perform. Because he is stronger and fitter, he doesn’t have to manufacture shots. Now when he is hitting the ball aerial, they are landing ten metres beyond the rope. “He is not fighting physics or mechanics. Himself and Davey Warner were consistent because day in day out they had the physical attributes needed to back up the mechanical structure they had put in place over a period of time.”

“What I have found out about Virat, through [Shankar] Basu, our fitness coach, and through Virat, is that because of his complete determination to be the best, he is physically at the top of his game. There is no one more physically fit than Virat. There are people as good. Davey Warner, for example. But no one better. “Others are willing to do it a little bit. Kohli and Warner train harder in all aspects of their life. You can’t just decide you are going to bat four hours a day and be the best batsman in the world. You have to put it all together. “Virat is a complete player. He is not fighting anything that is not natural. The beauty of him and Davey is that they are not interested in what other people think of their mechanics. They are just looking to repeat what they do day in day out. That’s the first part of the journey. Every time you hit a cricket ball, it has to be with the mechanics you are able to repeat.” It sounds like a simplistic way to explain such a low-risk approach to T20 batting, one that has given Kohli so much time at the wicket. But perhaps the knowledge that he can now hit sixes if he com-

mits fully to an aerial shot, that he can runs twos when the ball has only travelled as far as the 30-yard circle, means that he rarely goes slow, and doesn’t have to play lowpercentage shots when he does fall behind the pace. Consistency of preparation has brought consistency of results. “The big thing about AB, Warner and Virat is that they take their techniques out of play,” Woodhill says. “They commit 100% to every ball of every game, practice session and pre-match warmup, so the finished product looks so pure and refined when really they’re only doing what they have done from a young age.” “A lot of it is inbuilt,” Woodhill says. “The Messis, the Ronaldos, the Nadals, the Federers, the Lebron Jameses, they make sure they are at the top of their game to compete with so many good sportsmen. The day they don’t give 100% to their preparation, they give the opponent an opportunity. Kohli and Warner worked it out that if they have complete commitment to what they think they do best, it is really hard to have weakness.” Sisharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo.



Saina Keen to Make Her Mark in Australia Series HYDERABAD: Having failed to get any additional ranking points in Indonesia, Saina Nehwal will be keen to make a mark as the badminton bandwagon moved down under for the Australian Open Super Series in Sydney. The world No.8, who is finding it difficult to put it across top shuttlers, and her junior PV Sindhu are expected to reach the quarterfinals. Saina won the title here in 2014. The victory, many think, had strengthened Saina’s belief that she should go for a new coach. Saina did not meet her then coach Pullela Gopichand or gave any credit to him for that victory and after a couple of months she left Gopichand for Vimal Kumar. Like in 2014, when she was struggling to win a title, Saina will look to strike form at the same tournament again. But for that to happen, the Indian ace should get the better of her familiar foes. One of them, Carolina Marin, will not be in Sydney. The Spaniard, who ended Saina’s campaign in Jakarta last week, pulled out at the last minute. Saina, who begins against Australian youngster Joy Lai on Wednesday and may meet Canadian veteran Michelle Li in the second round, will face her first big battle against second seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in the quarterfinals. A win here may pit Saina against either Wang Yihan of China or Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei. Getting past through these important stages will be crucial for Saina as performance against these players will help the Indian assess her game. Meanwhile, the pull out of Marin will help Sindhu. The lanky shuttler is expected to face Nozomi Okuhara of Japan or Sun Yu of China.

Saina Nahiwal hopes for a comeback in Australia Super Series.

June 10, 2016

Leela Group, Qatar Group Agree to Build Hotel Near Taj

DOHA: India’s Leela Group and

Qatar’s Al Faisal Group agreed to build a five-star hotel near Taj Mahal in Agra with an FDI of about Rs 500 crore. The signing of the agreement is coinciding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Gulf state. The 250-room hotel, to be built in 30 months, will entail an FDI of about Rs 500 crore, Leela Group Chairman Vivek Nair told PTI after signing the pact with Chairman of Al Faisal Group Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani. The agreement was signed after Modi’s interaction with top business leaders of Qatar here in which Sheikh Faisal was also present. The hotel will be built under the brand name ‘Aiana’ and will be the sixth such hotel in India, said Amruda Nair, Joint Managing Director and CEO of Aiana Hotels and Resorts. The hotel will be built on an area of seven acres, just one km from Taj Mahal, Amruda said. “We will be developing a two-hotel complex with a total of 250 rooms. There will 100-room Leela Palace and 150 room-Aiana on top of a shared podium...,” she said. She noted that Leela had launched the brand ‘Aiana’ in India about a year ago and this will be the eighth

such hotel across India, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The hotel will be named as ‘Aiana Agra’ and Leela and Aiana will be its operator, Amruda said. Vivek Nair said the project will entail 100 per cent FDI. Amruda said Sheikh Faisal is keen to support the brand with additional properties in other locations as well -- Europe and Maldives. “So we continue to look at opportunities.” Nair said Leela also has a plan, on its own, to build a 60-room hotel in the Prime Minister’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi in 24 months. “We have now gone into asset-like strategy. Developers come to us and say ‘please develop a hotel like Leela Palace or Leela Goa’. So, apart from Agra, we are putting up a hotel in Jaipur and a 1,000-acre property in Chandigarh -- a 27-hole Golf course and villas and a 150-room hotel,” said Nair. “Internationally, we are just about to execute an agreement in Dubai with the royal family there for a hotel facing the Burj Khalifa. It will be a 250-room hotel. Another hotel in business bay,” he said. - TimesofIndia


Indian-origin Brothers Get Caught in UK Pharma Imbroglio


ONDON: Two Indian-origin millionaire brothers were today caught in a controversy for allegedly exploiting a loophole in Britain’s state-run National Health Service’s pricing controls to overcharge for the sale of generic drugs, according to a media report. Bhikhu and Vijay Patel, the founders of pharmaceutical empire Waymade Plc, have been named in a special ‘Times’ investigation for charging “extortionate” prices for drugs by dropping an existing brand name of a medicine and instead selling it under its generic name. The investigation claims that Atnahs, a company the brothers set up in 2013, specialises in buying the rights to older medications that are still used by patients but are no longer of interest to major pharmaceutical companies to be able to overcharge for the same drug, ultimately paid by the UK taxpayer. “Waymade is not commenting on today’s news,” a company spokesperson told PTI. The Kenya-born businessmen are well-known in the UK’s British-Indian circuit for their rags-to-riches story, having arrived in the 1960s with not much in their pockets and going on to set up a profitable pharmaceu-

ticals empire. Bhikhu, 68, and his brother 66year-old brother Vijay have risen up the ranks of The Sunday Times ‘Rich List’ over the years, with their personal wealth pegged at 675 million pounds in 2016. The businessmen, based in Essex a county north-east of England, also have a property portfolio and own a company offering chauffeur-driven


cars. They also run the charitable Shanta Foundation, which funds educational and medical projects in Kenya and India. UK’s Department of Health said the country’s Competition and Markets Authority is investigating abuse of generic medicine pricing, but there is no indication that the Patels’ firm is among them. A spokesperson said: “No pharmaceutical company should be exploiting the NHS. The Competition and Markets Authority is already investigating a potential abuse of generics pricing, and as part of a public consultation we have asked for views on government powers to limit the prices of generic medicines where there is no competitive market.” According to the latest findings, the NHS is paying an extra 262 million pounds a year for more than 50 drugs for which prices have increased greatly since 2010. -TimeofIndia

26 June 10, 2016


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June 10, 2016


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