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Friday, August 28 2015 | Vol. 34, No. 35


Indo American erican News Published weekly from Houston, TX

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August 28, 2015



August 28, 2015


To Protect the Tigers, First Take Care of the Needs of the Villagers

At the meet and greet fundraiser for the Prakratik Society; left, US Chapter Head Rajiv Singh; emcee Mrs. Bollywood Nina Deasi on the right; Society Founder Dr. Goverdhan Singh Rathore (in safari suit) and event organizers and managers (from left) Piyal Sengupta, Sailaja Bandyopadhyay and Dabaashish Mumu Chowdry of Aalponaa Event Designers. Photo: Jawahar Malhotra

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA STAFFORD: With his grey handlebar moustache, wide-rimmed glasses, brown safari suit with the cargo pants, tan boots and stiff pose for pictures, arms folded behind him, Dr. Goverdhan Singh Rathore looked more like a Park Ranger than the physician that his is. And, in fact, he has spent the majority of his life being raised and later working in the vicinity of the Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan, a 1,000 sq km preserve set aside for the protection of tigers. Rathore was in town this past weekend for a meet and greet with close to 100 people who came to learn about the tigers that roam in the park which is situated 160km south east of Jaipur and further south of the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and Sariska Tiger Sanctuary

which are stops for tourists on the Delhi-Agra-Jaipur Golden Triangle circuit. Further to its’ east is the Palpur-Kano Wildlife Sanctuary. Since their creation, this area has become a magnet for eco-tourism and safaris. The fact that Rathore was imbibed in the Ranthambhore National Park by his father, the legendary Tiger Man, Fateh Singh Rathore who went on to become synonymous with the Park, explains the source of his bearing. RNP was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary (after the nearby town of that name) in 1955 by the Government of India and was declared one of the Project Tiger reserves in 1973. It became a national park in 1980 and was expanded in 1991 to include the nearby Sawai Man Singh and Ketadevi sanctuaries. Fateh Singh joined the Rajasthan Forest Service as a park ranger in

1961, grew to love it and became interested in conservation while he was a game warden in Sariska and Mount Abu Game Reserve. In 1973, when Premier Indira Gandhi started Project Tiger to protect the dwindling numbers of wild tigers, Fateh Singh became the Field Director at Ranthambhore and was noted for his pioneering work in relocating villages from inside the Park, almost losing his life in 1981 in a dispute with villagers who resented losing their ancestral lands. RNP has since become well-known due to the efforts of conservationists Jeffery and Diane Ward, actor Amitabh Bachchan and Bill Clinton. As Dr. Rathore explained with slides and a video clip, the population of the villagers in and around RNP has grown from 70,000 in 1973 to 250,000 today, putting a lot of stress on the eco-system as

the people contest with wildlife for land, firewood and sustenance. Like his father, Rathore and his family have dedicated themselves to educate the villagers in the value of eco-tourism for their livelihoods and many small businesses – tour operators, hotels, restaurants, shops – have sprung up to cater to this need. Trained as a physician, Rathore started in 1988 by running a mobile clinic visiting 33 villages every week in the park area for eight years. In 1997, he started a 100-bed hospital, the largest in Sawai Madhopur, a close-by small town of 150,000, and now has a staff of 120, including 15 doctors. But, being a small facility, most acute cases are sent by ambulance to the larger hospitals in Jaipur. And it was this lack of facilities and

equipment that Rathore was in town to raise money for. As he spoke, a postcard with price tags listed all the items that would benefit the hospital, including, chief among them, $28,000 for a properly equipped ambulance to deliver patients over the two-hour trip to Jaipur. The event raised about $18,000 and a followup fundraising gala is planned for next March. The event was organized by Rathore’s close high-school friend and fellow Rajput, Rajiv Singh, a local businessman in the coffee business who broached the idea of a fundraiser when he visited the park. He was impressed by the $30,000 donation for a neonatal and maternity unit that the hospital got last year from the Carmel-by-the-Sea, California Rotary Club at the Rotary District Convention in Reno, Nevada which Rathore was invited to. Singh felt that the Houston community could do the same and has since become the head of the US chapter of the Prakratik Society, the environmental and social NGO that Rathore founded in 1994 to find solutions to the conflict between people and animals at Ranthambhore and runs the hospital. PS is also engaged in the Tiger Watch program that engages villagers to monitor any poaching activities. The event opened with the patriotic song “Yeh Bharat Desh Hai Mera” sang with intensity and emotion by Pankaj Kikani and was emceed by the current Mrs. Bollywood, the radiant Nina Desai whose reign comes to an end this weekend at the new contest. It was arranged by Aalponaa Event Designers, whose partners Sailaja Bandyopadhyay, Dabaashish Mumu Chowdhry and Piyal Sengupta were on hand to run the program, Hors d’eouvres and a buffet style dinner for the guests was catered by the Great W’Kana restaurant whose owner, chef Sunil Srivastava was on hand.

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August 28, 2015


August 28, 2015





August 28, 2015

FUSION 2015: Bollywood Extravaganza at NRG Arena

BY VANSHIKA VIPIN HOUSTON: The NRG Arena was bustling with the enthusiasm of jam packed audience swaying to the stellar performances put together by the Bollywood Superstars in the biggest production of the year – FUSION 2015 on Friday, August 21. Organized by Rehan Siddiqi of Hum Tum fame, Fusion 2015, a mega block buster starring Akshay Kumar, Madhuri Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha, Chitrangada Singh, Prabhu Deva and Badshah kickstarted in USA with its first show in Houston. Not only was the audience spell bound to the glitz and glamour of the bolly-

wood stars, but they were also tickled with slapstick humour doled out by the famous Gutti (Sunil Grover) and Bua (Upasana Singh) from Comedy Nights with Kapil. A special VIP meet and greet was held a day prior to the show with the starts. All the stars were very friendly and interacted patiently with the media and answered all their questions. In spite of all the traveling and rehearsals the stars were kind enough to stay till the end of the event and happily clicked pictures with everyone in the room. The biggest production of the year, FUSION 2015 began sharp on time as prom-

ised by Akshay Kumar at the press conference. The dramatic high rise entry of Singh is King famed Akshay Kumar, dressed in beard and turban while playing his character for his upcoming movie Singh is Bling, Akshay Kumar enthralled the audience as he rose up 30 feet from the centre of the audience playing the Dhol. The Khatron ke Khiladi could not have asked for a better synced stunt entry than this. His first performance, Singh is King, got the Houstonians revved up for the concert. Then came in the Dhak Dhak girl, USA’s very own Marathi mulgi, Madhuri Dixit who danced on ‘humko aaj kal hai’ while the million hearts watched her with bated breath. Her iconic dance on ‘Ek do teen’ got many people in the nostalgia of the 90’s Bollywood and the bygone times. The cherry on the cake was a standoff between

Madhuri Dixit and Prabhu Deva, the two dancing legends of Bollywood, on the very famous song ‘ K Sera Sera’. While no one can match the grace and finesse of Madhuri, it’s impossible to find an equal who matches Prabhu Deva’s agility and verve. He stunned his fans with his gripping dance performances. The current protégé of Prabhu Deva and famed as the Dancing queen of South Asia, Sonakshi Sinha wowed the arena with her desi belle moves. Chitrangada Singh set the temperature soaring high with her sensuous item numbers, once again reaffirming that she is the reigning temptress of the Bollywood masala numbers. Badshah and his troupe entertained the jam-packed audience




August 28, 2015





August 28, 2015

Kitchen Gardening Presentation to Cancer Survivor Group by Master Gardner Mary Demeny

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HOUSTON: Mary Demeny, Master Gardener from Galveston County Master Gardener’s Association gave a presentation on Kitchen Gardening to Indian American Cancer Network’s (IACAN) Cancer survivor group. This event was very educational and was well received by the participants. Mary talked about the importance of having raised beds for the vegetable garden, adding mulch to discourage weeds and how to compost. Newspaper, pine needles and dry leaves can be used as mulch. She showed picture of a compost structure which holds kitchen and garden waste materials to be composted. She stated that coffee grounds can increase soil nitrogen and can suppress some common fungal rot. The layer of coffee grounds should be no more than half inch thick around the plants. Don’t throw those banana peels! just toss them near a Rose shrub which enjoys the potassium in the banana peel. Rinse the egg shells, crush and sprinkle them in the garden. The rough edges of the egg shell deter snails, slugs and cutworms and the calcium is beneficial to Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplants. Mary shared recipes to treat fungus and kill Aphids on the plants, and a fertilizer recipe for the vegetable garden. The fertilizer recipe calls for 2 cups each of alfalfa pellets and Epsom salt, 1 cup hasta gro, 20 drops of SuperThrive and 1 cup of fish emulsion to be mixed in a 20 gallon container, fill with water, mix and water the plants with it. Use rubber gloves when mixing the fertilizer to avoid skin burns. Pictures of different varieties of lettuce and vegetables from her

garden made everyone want to run into their yards and start digging to prepare for a garden. Growing garlic Chives as a companion plant for Roses is a good tip. Orange peel is a deterrent to ants and works especially well for the potted plants. Mary and her husband Roger brought cuttings from various plants to share with the attendees. Mary also shared bread, muffin and salad recipes which utilize the produce from her garden. She brought homemade bread, dried Louisiana purple fig (grown in her garden) slices, and orange rind prepared with honey for the presentation. All items were delicious. The jams and preserves Mary brought (prepared by Mary herself) as door prizes were appreciated by all. The attendees asked many questions which were answered by Mary and Roger. It was a very educational presentation. IACAN schedules activities for cancer survivors every couple of months or so. The activities are chosen in order to provide emotional support, sense of accomplishment and general wellbeing. For example previously offered activities include healthy cooking, yoga, making necklaces with beads and Rose gardening. The survivors are encouraged to bring a family member or a care giver. The survivor activities are generally free and sometimes with a nominal charge for the family member. Next survivor activity is painting which is tentatively scheduled for second or third week of September 2015. For information about IACAN:, Phone: 7133703489.



August 28, 2015

IITAGH Hosts Career Insights into Investment Banking

Help Wanted Seeking a bookkeeper and an accountant for a company in SW Houston. email resume

Panelists addressing the audience questions

From left: Mohit Singh, Shantanu Agarwal, Pratish Kanani, Anuj Sharma

HOUSTON: It sounds like the beginning of a joke when you hear “Three investment bankers walked in.” The IIT Alumni of Greater Houston (IITAGH) hosted another successful event in their Career Insights series, with this one focused on Investment Banking and Private Equity. It was no joke when the three panelists shared their collective wisdom to 60 or so participants that attended. The event was kicked off by Pratish Kanani, President IITAGH, who highlighted the IITAGH partnership with the Rice Indo American Business Club to host the Career Insight series. Professor K. Ramesh, Academic Dean for Special Initiatives, welcomed everyone to Rice University. The moderator for the event, Sundy Srinivasan, then went on to introduce the panel that included, Mohit Singh, Head of Business Development / SVP Northern BU at BP Lower-48 (and previously at RBC Richardson Barr and Goldman Sachs), Anuj Sharma, Investment Director at Mercuria Energy Group, and Shantanu Agarwal, Partner at Energy Ventures. Shantanu shared that, “you will likely burn through 30 million dollars before you become a good venture capitalist,” explaining what it takes to truly learn the ropes. Mohit

explained, “Investment bankers work on lots of proposals for their clients until they lock on a deal that actually moves forward,” when explaining how deals get structured. When asked about the hours, Anuj shared that “the first 3 to 6 months are tough and grueling, but then you start delivering and earning everyone’s respect.” The group went on to answer questions about the difference between investment banking and private equity, as well as what it takes to get a job or move into the field. There were various questions about the need for an MBA, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of having an engineering background and then moving into the field. In closing, Sundy masterfully probed the panelists, asking if they felt they had added to humanity. Shantanu explained his role in technology commercialization and supporting nascent technologies, and therefore this contribution to the betterment of society as a result. The panelists stayed on for an additional hour after the event answering questions and spending time with the audience. The

three investment bankers then walked out. IIT Alumni of Greater Houston (IITAGH) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We help our members connect, develop, and give back to the local community. For more information, please visit




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August 28, 2015


“ANUBHAVA” A Mesmerizing Musical And Dance Experience

BY SUPARNA SALIL WOODLANDS:The bells adorning the dancers’ ankles chimed softly as they waited behind the curtains to perform in “Anubhava”, an Indian classical music and dance production hosted by The Hindu Temple of The Woodlands. The musicians took their places and with the first lilting notes of Carnatic music, the audience found themselves instantly enthralled. Choreographed and composed by the 12 dancers and musicians who performed in the production, “Anubhava”, meaning “experience” in Sanskrit, more than lived up to its name. “Anubhava”, comprising youngsters in their late teens and early twenties was formed earlier this year, in February 2015, with Bharatanatyam dancers Shriya Srinivasan (from Cleveland, OH), Joshua George (from Chicago, IL) and Nivedha Ramalingam from Toronto, Canada. Together they began choreographing a production for the Cleveland Aradhana festival held in April 2015. They teamed up with other dancers Mathangi Sridharan (from Cleveland, OH), Bhavya Kumaran, and Sutikshna Veeravalli (both from Chicago, IL) and started working on the repertoire. Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music have an intricate relationship - the raga (melody) of the song, as sung by the vocalist and played by the instruments in the orchestra, determines the dance sequence and the sahitya (lyrics) of the song determines the dancers’ interpretation of the song. Even the jathis (percussive footwork) performed by the dancers and accompanied solely by the nattuvangam (a type of cymbals) can be considered music in their own right. The musicians for the dynamic production were Mathura Sridharan, nattuvangam (from New York, NY), Keerthana Sankar, vocalist (from Detroit, MI), Sushmitha Ravikumar, violinist (from Dayton, OH), Shashank Subramaniam, flautist (from Novi MI), Athrey Nadhan,

mridangist (from Chicago, IL), and Arthi Nadhan, veena (from Chicago, IL). “Anubhava” first opened at the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana festival in April 2015 to a rousing audience. The troupe was invited to perform in other cities across the U.S. Members of The Hindu Temple of The Woodlands (HTW) heard about the popular production. No stranger to hosting successful and well-attended Indian classical arts productions, HTW decided to bring “Anubhava” to The Woodlands, a town of more than 100,000 people outside Houston, TX with a thriving South Asian population. On Saturday, August 1, bells announced the dancers’ entrance onto the stage at the Nancy Bock Auditorium, and the orchestra opened with the traditional Mallari. The dancers followed with an Alarippu, with sharp, perfectly synchronous head movements and matching flashes of dramatic eyes. Next, the artists prayed to Lord Ganesha with the song Shri Mahaganapathim Bhajeham. The main piece of the evening was the Varnam (Shri Krishna Kamalanatho). In this dance, the group soulfully portrayed the troubles of Nanda, during the birth of his son Lord Krishna. The dramatic story unfolded with expressive but subtle skills. For example, the dancer playing Putana, a demoness who stole infant Krishna to kill him, gracefully took Krishna from his unwary caretakers with only a sly glance to the audience to signal her nefarious intentions. (Spoiler alert: Krishna survives by killing Putana.) The artists then moved on to showcasing the most popular piece of the night - scenes from the Ramayana, during Rama and Sita's 14 years in the forest (Aranya Kandam). The performance showed the thoughtfulness and talent of the show’s creators. The evocative music wound seamlessly through the story (as when the vocalist called out “O Sita! O Lakshmana!” as the deceptive golden deer). The dancers adapted the Carnatic musical tradition of Ragam Tanam - Pallavi in choreographing

and structuring the piece and every dancer excelled in the portrayal of their character (including a wonderful Hanuman who simulated airy flight without the benefit of wings). The production culminated with a lively thillana, a tribute to the maestro, Lalgudi Jayaraman. The nuanced emotion and intricate jathis of the dancers, skilled energy of the musicians and incredible vocal range of the singer demonstrated the inspiring beauty of Bharatnatyam and Carnatic music through each of the pieces. The composition and choreography of the youngsters was on par with experienced artists in these art forms. They adhered to the age-old traditions, while simultaneously exercising their creativity. It was easy to see that the artists are perfectionists - the dancers’footwork,mudras (hand gestures) and formations were flawless and the confidence, energy and range of the musicians echoed throughout the auditorium. Mesmerized by the immersive show, the audience gave the artists a standing ovation. Smita Centala, president of the HTW Youth Club, noted that “this event, performed by inspiring students brought up in America, provided an incredible example of youth growing up in a Westernized culture and still managing to nurture and be dedicated to their close ties with Indian and Hindu culture.” When asked about how the team could rehearse while living dispersed across North America, Shriya Srinivasan acknowledged that it was difficult to work with the geographical distances and many styles of Bharatanatyam they had learnt, but the group made full use of technology, communicating with each other constantly and having online training sessions. They have now evolved as


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Prime Minister Modi’s Visit to Silicon Valley Draws Support from Almost 500 Organizations

SAN FRANCISCO,CA:Organizations across the West Coast are gearing up for the Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi’s visit to the Silicon Valley on Sunday, September 27, 2015. In the seven days since registration opened, almost 500 diverse organizations from across the West Coast have registered to show support for the event. These organizations, called the Welcome Partners, will decide most of the individual registrations for the event. The Indo American Community of West Coast (IACWC), a coalition of organizations tasked with organizing this grand event in which more than 18,000 people are expected to attend, concluded the registration process for organizations yesterday evening. “Of course we are all very proud of our Indian heritage.” Rakhi Israni, IACWC spokesperson, stated, “However, being a part of this historic event and seeing firsthand the amazing response, gives me a tremendous sense of how much the Indian diaspora believes in the power that is India and how much they believe in Prime Minister Modi. Prime Minister Modi has done a superb job in his first year in office, and it is evident by the public’s response to the upcoming event how excited the Indian diaspora is about the future of India.” The IACWC hosted speech in California will follow Mr. Modi’s address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. It is expected that several leading American government officials as well as CEOs of many of the top technology companies will be in attendance during Mr. Modi’s speech at the SAP Arena in San Jose on September 27. Mr. Modi’s arrival will mark the first visit to California by an Indian Prime Minister in 33 years. The reception is timed around the scheduling of many high impact meetings and programs, all of which stand to promote the shared ideals of innovation and entrepreneurship that define both Vibrant India under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and Silicon Valley. The visit shall also highlight the contributions of India and Indian Americans in the technology and clean energy sectors. At a registration launch meeting last week, the coalition announced that the complimentary passes to the event will initially be distributed through the Welcome Partners. Once that process has been completed, any remaining passes will then be opened for general registration. IACWC seeks to strengthen ties between the Silicon Valley and India in order to further connect the innovation and technology of the West with the growth of India. For more details on the event, please visit For media inquiries: press@pmmodiinca. org For more information:


August 28, 2015



14 August 28, 2015



FUSION 2015: Bollywood Extravaganza at NRG Arena



with his music and jugalbandhi with the Dhol Players. He engaged the crowd by coaxing everyone to turn on the flash lights of their mobiles creating an effect of gushing sea wave on a starry night. Just like a Bollywood masala movie, this concert too had the right spices of dance, glamour, action, stunt, music and rib tickling comedy. Sunil Grover aka Gutti and Upasana Singh aka Bua from the ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’ took the audience to the sets of the show and recreated the charm of Kapil’s extended family. ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’ – a show widely appreciated across the globe became the laughter gas through the night. Akshay Kumar while addressing the audience during the break told that he had never witnessed such a huge gathering for a concert. He was truly impressed with the energy and the vigour of Houston crowd. The show progressed to a nonstop dance sequence with all the stars including Akshay Kumar, Madhuri Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha, Prabhu Deva and Chitrangada singh shaking their legs to the groovy numbers. The evening finally came to a magical end with champagnes, confetti and teddies being showered on the audience. Rehan Siddiqi, the back bone of this event, roped in various sponsors including Coca Cola to fund this mega project costing 1.2 million dollars. Known to host the best gigs in the city, Sid-

diqi outperformed himself with the flawless execution of Fusion 2015. The event management was seamlessly handled by Arif Memon from DMMS. The backdrop, stage, visual effects, sequence lighting, state of the art Audio and LED screens gave the audience a three Dimensional effect, a memory worth 1.2 million dollars, that would stay etched in their hearts forever. After the successful completion of the event, Rehan shared in an exclusive interaction with IAN, “It was my first biggest star show ever. I am glad that I picked up this project as it turned out to be one of the most successful ones. The show had all the elements of a successful show including gigantic production, flawless timing, the endless energy of the Bollywood stars and the dances”. He added, “An entire team of 200 people have given their heart and soul to the event. It would not have been successful without contribution from Flying Tiger, the team from India who put Fusion 2015 together. The venue - NRG Arena folks are thrilled with the show and the audience turnout. Last but not the least I would like to thank the Houston audience without whose support this show would never have been accomplished ’’. Houston just got Bollywoodised that night, once again. For upcoming shows, contact Rehan Siddiqi at 713-545-4115 or visit Hum Tums Shows at www.

August 28, 2015

New Monthly Tastings at Great W’Kana for those Delectable, Hard to Find Dishes

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA MEADOWS PLACE: So, when was the last time you got a chance to eat a dozen varieties of kebabs all at one sitting and for a great prix fixe? Some people would go crazy for it, especially if you have eaten at the establishments in India which do this regularly, like BarBQue Nation, a franchise restaurant with outlets in major cities. The Great W’Kana restaurant, never shy for experimenting with concepts and run by the husband-

wife team of Sunil and Anupama Srivastava has once again launched the once-a-month focused menu night featuring a new item or the really hard to find dishes that make you think of back home. During the upcoming holiday season, Great W’Kana will feature dishes suitable for Dussherah, Diwali and Christmas, announcing the featured items in advance. “We’re keeping the old traditions alive, “ said Sunil who has trained with the master chefs of Dump-

ukth and Bukhara fame. “We are bringing out the forgotten cuisine of India every third Thursday of the month.” For kebab night, the restaurant featured vegetarian chukander ke galouti, Guchhi malai mirchi, Tandoori Phal,Sarson Phool, Achari paneer tikka, Bhati ke murge, Lahori Sheekh Zafarani Murgh tikka, Mahi, tawe ki machhli, shami kebab, murgh chapali kebab, potli murgh, dal makhani and naan and missi roti. The Great W’Kana has been featured among the 100 best restaurants in Houston for 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the Houston Chronicle.



one unit and feed off each other's ideas. Noted gurus from the Houston area, Dr. Rathna Kumar, Pandit Suman Ghosh, Mrs. Sravanthi Modali, and Vidushi Rajeshwari Bhat graced the performance. As renowned artists and teachers to Indian American students in and around Houston, the gurus had a special appreciation for this artist-driven production. Pt. Suman Ghosh and Dr. Kumar were very generous in their appreciation of the program and applauded the young artists for their commitment to excellence. The Woodlands community would not have had the chance


to experience “Anubhava” without the relentless efforts by members of the HTW Board and Executive Committee, especially Jagan Allam, S.R. Pinnapureddy, and Krishna Hari. Rajee Hari as emcee and numerous other volunteers from HTW, ensured the production was a success. Of course, neither the artists nor HTW are resting on their laurels. The “Anubhava” artists are on a constant path of improvisation and planning newer pieces. And HTW is looking onward to the next eagerly anticipated cultural event it’s hosting - violin concert by the world famous duo, Ganesh and Kumaresh, at the Berry Center in Cypress, TX, on Saturday, September 5th. I look forward to enjoying more classical art from the “Anubhava” artists and from HTW!


16 August 28, 2015


Well Received Barnali by Tagore Society of Houston (TSH)

From left: Sanchali Basu, Partha Sen, Sanghamitra Bhattacharya, Aloke Roy, Bidyut Ghosh, Kamalpriya Roy, Rupa Ghosh. Photos:Pradip Ghosh

HOUSTON: This is the one program of the year that Tagore Society indulges in performances of all genres and not necessarily Tagore related. And, August 23 did turn out to be quite an entertaining evening at the Houston Durga Bari Sur Auditorium when TSH celebrated Barnali. Sharmishtha and Subrata Kolay, a well loved musical couple got the audience going with their medley of songs ranging from Rabindra Sangeet, folk, retro and current Bengali and Hindi songs. Subrata on his electric steel guitar, and Sharmishtha in her sweet, lilting voice complimented each other very well and were very charm-

ing. Shalini Das was graceful with her opening dance, Megh Pallavi, a quick rhythmic dance in the Odissi style, conveying the various moods of the rainy season and strangely enough, it actually started pouring right after this dance. Maumita Chaudhary the runner up at the North American Bengali Conference (NABC)Idol 2015, held recently in Houston, next presented a couple of popular Rabindra Sangeet, Aakash bhora and Aamar parano jaha chay with tremendous poise and control Shreya Mandal performed “Abhishar”, a dance in Odissi style, based on Tagore’s poem of the

same name. She portrayed the story of compassion between dancer Basabadatta and monk Upagupto very passionately. Shyama Mishra, the local favorite who had impressed everyone at NABC Houston impressed everyone again with her choice of 2 uncommon songs, one in Hindi from the movie Lootera and a Rabindra Sangeet. Sohinee Adhikary brought a different flavor to the evening with a contemporary ballet performance. In her lyrical rendition of , “Elastic heart”, she conveyed how resilience and strength can bring inner peace even through sadness. Kheya Banerjee, a graduate of

SHREYA MANDAL Visva-Bharati University sang a Geeta Dutt favorite, Ei shundor swarnali shondhyay very apt for the evening, and a Rabindra Sangeet, Megh bolechhe jabo jabo Rhittika Roy brought some funk to the evening with her jazz dance composition to, “Uptown funk” and made everyone in the audience feel like gettinu up on their feet and dancing. Sangeeta Mondal, another graduate of Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan also paying tribute to her alma mater sang two Rabindra Sangeet, Aami Kaan Pete Roi and Aamar Praner Maajhe Sudha Ache really well. Ritvik and Ritika Bhattacharjee,

the brother and sister duo wrapped up the dance performances beautifully with a fast paced thillana showcasing all the complex elements of Bharatanatyam. Sanchali Basu, Saikat Ghosh, Biren Das Biswas, the executive committee members of TSH were felicitated by president Ruma Acharya, and a special award was given to Supradipta Dutta, the well respected Odissi danseuse and teacher for her regular contributions to TSH activities. The highlight of the evening was a special Geeti alekhya (song and narration routine), Robir Notun Bouthan directed by Sanghamitra Bhattacharya from Philadelphia. Sanghamitra flew down and collaborated with locals Partha Sen, Kamalpriya Roy, Rupa Ghosh, Bidyut Ghosh, Aloke Roy and Sanchali Basu and presented the heart-wrenching, yet uplifting relationship between Rabindranath Tagore and his sister-in-law Kadambari Debi (Notun bouthan), in an excellent audio visual format. It was applauded by the audience. Sanchali Basu, emcee for the evening, carried the audience through the program ably. Jhal Muri, Peyaji, vegetable chop and dahi wada all got sold out and Tagore posters and picture post cards were available for sale.

In Odissi dance, dancer Shreya Mandal



August 28, 2015


Gandhi Fights British Attempt to Divide Hindus Great Summer Project For children! EnterMahatmaGandhi Week 2015 Essay, I-Tribute, Poster and Speech contests. Visit gandhilibrary.orgforregistration and more information. All school going children can participate! Thesecontestsarebeingorganized to create higher awareness of the inspiring life and work of Mahatma Gandhi to promote universal values of Truth, NonViolence, Love and Service. The story thus far…Early in 1932 Gandhi wanted to meet the new Viceroy, Lord Willlingdon, but the Viceroy made it clear that the days of negotiations were over. Gandhi informed the authorities that he was again starting a civil disobedience movement. The Viceroy thought it was a threat and had Gandhi arrested and lodged in Yeravada Central Jail. Several other leaders and many followers of Gandhi were also arrested and jailed. At home Gandhi found that the Government had returned to thepolicy of repression. There were widespread arrests and the Government seized the properties and bank balances of people and organizations who were hostile to their interests. Early in 1932 Gandhi wanted to meet the new Viceroy, Lord Willingdon, but the Viceroy made it clear that the days of negotiation were over. Gandhi informed the authorities that he was again starting a civil disobedience campaign. The Viceroy thought it was a threat. He had Gandhi arrested and imprisoned in Yeravda Central Jail. Several other leaders and many of Gandhi’s followers were also arrested and sent to jail.In March the struggle entered a new phase. Gandhi had always insisted that the untouchables were a part of the Hindus and must be treated as Hindus. Now, however, it was announced that the British proposed to set up separate voting for the untouchables. That meant that untouchables could vote only for members of their own caste. Gandhi regarded the Hindu religion as one and indivisible. He saw the game the British were playing. It was an attempt to weaken Hindu society. “Separate treatment of untouchables cannot be allowed,” Gandhi declared. “Here is an attempt to make untouchability last forever. Unless untouchability is destroyed we shall never have self-government.” “But what can you do about thiselection law now?” asked a friend.“I can die,” was his prompt reply.“I will resist this evil provision with my life.” Gandhi announced that he would soon start a fast unto death unless the plan for separate electorates was changed. The public announcement of his intention threw the country into panic. The Indian leaders were shocked at Gandhi’s decision. Even Jawaharlal Nehru thought that Gandhi was

Mahatma Gandhi Week is being observed in Houston from September 26 to October 2,2005. Various activities are being planned, including essay competitions for children, lectures, exhibitions, seminars, etc. This will be done in collaboration with several Houston area Indian and American cultural and religious organizations. For more information, call Atul Kothari at 713785-3900 or visit taking a drastic step on a side issue. During the time between the announcement and the day when Gandhi’s fast was to begin, streams of visitors arrived at Yeravada jail. The authorities, anxious to avoid any tragedy, allowed everyone to have free access to Gandhi. But all efforts to dissuade him from fasting unto death were of no avail. The die was cast. Gandhi was going to fast. Rabindranath Tagore sent a telegram: “It is worth sacrificing precious life for the sake of India’s unity and her social integrity. Our sorrowing hearts will follow your sublime penance with reverence and love.” Gandhi started his fast on September20, 1932. The first day of the fast was observed all over India as a day of prayer and fasting. Many temples were opened to untouchables and meetings were held all over India urging the removal of untouchability. Outside the jail political activity came to a boil. Leaders of upper case Hindus and untouchables met and discussed various measures to try to arrive at a compromise that would satisfy Gandhi. Proposals and counterproposals were made and considered. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the most powerful leader of the untouchables, met Gandhi and assured him that he would try his best to find a just solution. On the third day of the fast, Gandhi’s condition caused anxiety to all his friends. He was very weak and had to be carried to bathroom on a stretcher. His voice was feeble, his blood pressure was rising. The authorities grew panicky. They sent for Kasturba and allowed all his friends and followers to be with him in jail. On the fifth day of the fast, Hindu leaders finally reached an agreement

and signed a pact that would do away with the separate electorates. Gandhi, however, would not accept the pact unless it had been ratified by the British rulers. News came that the British had approved the pact; but still Gandhi would not break his fast until he had seen the text of the approval. The official document of the British government’s approval to the pact came and Gandhi accepted it. Gandhi was released from prison in early 1933. Shortly thereafter he suspended the mass civil disobedience movement but sanctioned individual civil resistance resistance to the government’s policy of repression. For the next seven years, Gandhi worked hard for the social and spiritual awakening of the people. Many leaders, including Nehru, did not approve of many of Gandhi’s activities. “But,” said Nehru, “how can I presume to advise a magician?” Sabarmati Ashram had been seized by the government during the salt satyagraha. So Gandhi established a little retreat at Sevagram near Wardha in Maharashtra. This became his headquarters. New reforms sponsored by the government got little support from the people. However, many people, including Congress workers, wanted to try them out as a means of furthering the Swaraj movement. In 1939, the Second World Warbroke out. England and France declared was on Nazi Germany. Without consulting Indian leaders, Britain declared India also to be at war on the side of the allies. Though Gandhi’s sympathies lay with the British, he believed that all violence was evil and therefore he would have nothing to do with the war effort. The Indian National Congress wanted to help Britain and fight on the side of the allies, but only as a free nation. But to grant India independence seemed ridiculous to Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his government. They had no intention of letting India go by default. Britain refused to accept the cooperation offered by the Congress. As a protest, all the Congress ministries in the provinces resigned. The government took over the administration and they too all measures that would help the was effort. Acting on the goodwill and restraint taught by Gandhi, the Indian leaders showed no reaction. However, events in Europe were having repercussions in India. The Congress Working Committee found itself unable to accept in its entirety Gandhi’s attitude to the war. In particular, they would not accept his view that the defence of India should not depend on the armed forces. Congress leaders met several times in Gandhi’s room at Sevagram and talked of their desire to start some action. Finally a proposal was put forward that all provincial governments should join with the British authorities in the defence of India, but the British rejected the offer. — To be Continued


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18 August 28, 2015 Let Them Ride On Uber and Ola, the ride-sharing aggregators that match cabs with passengers through smart phone applications, have become extremely bullish in their bid to outstrip each other. Ola, the home-grown competitor to the global operator Uber, is spread across 100 cities in India and records 700,000 consumer rides a day. Uber counts 200,000 trips in 18 cities. To maintain the lead, Ola is intent on maximising its capital. In June, it attracted an investment of $400 million from the Russian billionaire Yuri Milner. Since then there have been reports of more money coming Ola’s way. This has sent Uber into a tizzy, and it recently pumped in $1 billion into the Indian market. More money means more cars plying, and history shows such growth cannot continue without regulation. But the government is yet to fathom the concept of “aggregation”, which provides an algorithmic advantage that makes app-based taxi services more in the nature of community organisers than contractors. The techheavy aspect places them under IT laws, which the companies are happy to comply with. But this also helps them evade motor transport laws. Can a government put a cap on such operations that organise drivers and facilitate business for them, they ask. That’s where the debate stands in other countries. But in India the debate is in its infancy. It’s only after December 2014, when an Uber driver in New Delhi was convicted of raping a passenger, that the government sharpened its focus on ride-sharing apps. Consumer security became the focus of the regulation debate, and it remained so until a ban was recently imposed in New Delhi on appbased taxi aggregators. Since a majority of the Uber and Ola vehicles are diesel-run, the government said they posed an environmental threat. Karnataka is now weighing a similar approach, as is Kolkata. Is suspending them the right solution? There are about 500,000 taxis attached with Uber and Ola nationwide. Most of them have been bought on high-interest loans, and the companies are adding 200-300 chauffeurs a day. The Delhibased ones are brushing aside the ban and continuing to operate. The police are fining them, even impounding some cars. Several hundred drivers who have stopped working are in distress; many have missed their loan repayments or are on the brink of defaulting. The Central government must intervene and stop allotting new licences to diesel-run taxis while letting the existing ones to operate. It should devise a regulatory framework to make aggregators such as Uber and Ola accountable to consumers, and end predatory pricing, market saturation strategies and similar practices. But let them ride on. The Hindu

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY Doing ‘Katti’ with Pakistan

BY AKAR PATEL Quiz question: Which of these 12 statements is a part of our official Pakistan policy? We will talk to Pakistan. We will not talk to Pakistan. We will not talk to Pakistan so long as it keep firing across the LoC. We will talk to Pakistan only after it stops exporting terror. We will not talk to Pakistan if it talks to Kashmiri separatists. We will talk to Pakistan but only about terrorism. We will exchange sweets with Pakistan. We will not exchange sweets with Pakistan. We will do cricket diplomacy. We will never have cricket diplomacy till terror ends. We will reply to each bullet with a bombshell at the LoC. We will pursue peace but alas, Pakistan is continuing firing at the LoC. The right answer is, of course, all of the above, which have come out of the mouths of ministers of this government over the last 15 months. I am quite sure I have left out a few other absurd contradictions that have passed for policy (remember the bizarre episode of V K Singh at the Pakistan High Commission?) but my head is spinning. There is no strategy, there is no thinking. There is only reaction to the immediate event. Look at the comical manner in which the Hurriyat leaders were held and then freed. What must the world make of “the world’s largest democracy” locking its citizens up for fear that they will gossip with the enemy? But have we seen any shame or embarrassment? Not a chance. Let us remember again why we are supposed to be talking. To make sure Pakistanis stop coming over to do terror, something that Pakistan says it wants to help with. How will not talking solve this? I cannot wrap my head around that. Nations manage disputes in three ways. The first is mediation, which India does not want. The second is war, which hopefully India does not want, but which in any case is off the table as an option because of

“Doing ‘katti’ is not particularly effective diplomacy.” the N-word. There is only one other option, and that is to talk. The BJP is passing off sulking as a strategy, but I am afraid it is not. If we are serious about getting something out of them, we have to engage with them. Also, and I wonder if this has occurred to those who are paid to think about such things, it is inevitable that at some point we will have to bend. Doing ‘katti’ is not particularly effective diplomacy. One reason not to talk to Pakistan is that terrorism in India is at an all-time low. This will surprise those who only get their news from our fine television debates, but it is true. Violence in Kashmir peaked 14 years ago. It has dropped each year since and total deaths have fallen from 4,507 in 2001 to under 200 in each of the last four years. You have to be particularly innocent or stupid to think that all violence in Kashmir is the doing of Pakistan. But even if you do, if we insist that Pakistan is responsible for ratcheting up terror in India, we must conclude that it is responsible for bringing it down. That is something, of course, that this government will not do. Terrorism in Kashmir, I repeat, is at its lowest level since 1990. Weirdly, this is what has given India the freedom to not engage with Pakistan. I suspect this is one reason, though perhaps not the main one, why the Modi sarkar is playing fast and loose

on a subject that it claims to be serious about. It can afford to, because what we want from Pakistan — an end to cross-border terror — we are already getting without talking. What happens if, and I hope that it does not come to pass, this changes? If the Pakistan army decides to again calibrate terrorism to a higher level, what will we then do? Will we still sulk? It astonishes me that such a fatal weakness in our foreign policy is being continued. And yet it is, because Hindutva has a Pavlovian response to the word ‘Pakistan’. It is difficult for such people to put our national interest above their emotion. I have been on TV debates this week and there has been no respite from the enthusiasm of the armchair generals. It was said of that overrated warrior, Field Marshal Montgomery, that he had one essential battlefield talent. He had ‘grip’, meaning that he was in control of the actions of his side. Compare that to the helter-skelter manner in which we are being led in this important engagement. Observe the total lack of control and direction in those 12 statements above. I am absolutely sure that this government has not understood it, but what we have done is give Pakistan a veto over our relationship. This policy, if it can be called that, has made us smaller. ToI Aakar Patel is a writer and columnist based in Bangalore.


HOUSTON: MALAY VYAS 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:, website:


August 28, 2015



20 August 28, 2015


Free School Supply to Over 500 Refugee Kids

HOUSTON: On August 16, free School supplies were given to over 500 refugee kids from Hawa Foundation (Hawa Masjid) along ICNA USA. The event was attended by City



Council member Richard Nguyen and Lane Lewis. Rahman Moton President Of Hawa Foundation & MACC would like to thank every parent, volunteers, officials, and all

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for ZEE Americas stated "Shri Maan Sahab is no less than a legend himself. I have never seen as high voltage and engaging performer like him, he can single handedly carry a 3 hour show by himself and still not be tired. It is our privilege to be part of this historic moment and bring an opportunity to our viewers to meet with him in person." Text ‘ZEE’ followed by your ‘full name’, ‘email address’ and ‘concert city’ of your preference to 54500 OR email: For concert schedule and details check out the event site here www. ZEE Americas A pioneer in South Asian entertainment, ZEE TV has become synonymous with unparalleled quality in broadcasting for more than 20 years. An undisputed leader that reaches more than 169 countries, 959+ million viewers globally, ZEE TV has created strong brand equity and is the largest media franchise serving the South Asian Diaspora. As a global brand, ZEE is committed to delivering top notch international content. ZEE TV Canada is one of the fastest growing SouthAsian channels in Canada and is available on all Cable, Satellite, Telco and IPTV platforms.


August 28, 2015



22 August 28, 2015


In Life, Consider the Energy Quotient and Save Energy for the Future

BY RAVI PODURI HOUSTON: Often, we think we know that something, somewhere is fundamentally wrong, but despite our honest and sincere efforts, our attempts to tackle personal and even global problems, fail in vain, causing frustration in our life. Even an intelligent man like the late Indian President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam or a successful political administrator like Indian Premier Narendra Modi might have tackled problems in many ways only to see them spiral into much bigger issues. The reason seems to be that humans have gotten entangled in a vicious cycle where we tackle our social, economic, academic, employment, agriculture, water management, transportation, power production and distribution, marriage, business and management systems on the wrong foot, by trying to find solutions from the top down. This only makes the problems grow larger and more complex when we try to remedy them. Perhaps a better approach is to ask, and answer, simple questions to issues we come across in our daily lives and examine them deeply. What is happiness? This is a question that can be answered at many levels but the

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truth remains that happiness is a pure state of mind. Likewise, “what is the purpose of human life?” can be answered in many ways but the simple answer is: to seek energy and save energy for future generations. All problems can be brought down to simply an excess consumption of energy; whether financial, economical, personal, mental health, physical health, in private or public life. By wasting energy in the pursuit of happiness and planetary development, we cause unrest and add to global pollution and environmental damage. Philosophically speaking, a mumukshuvu or the Liberated Human is a person who consumes the least amount of energy. Such a person or system should be called the most developed or most efficient rather, but other the other hand, society considers systems that consume the maximum energy as rich. When you apply this concept, you soon realize beyond any reasonable doubt that if we make it our purpose to find energy and consume energy optimally, and save abundantly for future generations, we will grow spiritually, mentally, bodily and socially and attain better levels of happiness and prosperity. Ignoring the energy from celestial bodies like the Sun, the energy available on Earth is finite and by extension, this makes all goods and services finite too. Hence, we shouldn’t measure goods and services in terms of a negotiable instrument like money but rather value them in units of energy, like Joules or Calories. We will then manage energy, not money, and we see how to conserve for the future. This concept can even be extended to education, employment, marriage, raising children and so on. It will help humans to live in YOG (harmony) with nature, but it requires that we unlearn many concepts and relearn to consume energy optimally and save energy abundantly.

Digital Producer

KTRK-TV, the ABC owned station located in Houston, TX, is looking for a Digital Producer who can do it all. The ideal candidate will have minimum three years of experience working in major market television or print news Internet operation or a comparable digital background, with Photoshop experience and experience creating and editing video for distribution on multiple platforms and social media. A strong writing ability is a must. Candidate must thrive on breaking news and have a ‘Do-it-now’ mentality to excel in our fast-paced environment. Though the primary function of this position is the create news content for distribution on web and mobile platforms, the ideal candidate must be able to adapt to any changes deemed necessary for the benefit of the department. Absolutely no beginners. This position does involve evenings and weekends. To be considered interested applicants must apply on-line at www.disneycareers. com by uploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references. Please reference Job Requisition # 294638BR. No Telephone Calls KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, AUGUST 28, 2015 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


August 28, 2015

8-year-Old Boy in US Gets New Ears Grown by Indian-Origin Doc “The body naturally wants to smooth everything out as it heals, so we always have to go back a couple of times to help create the natural curves of an ear,” said Murthy. “It is an artistic procedure,” he said. “He loves his ears. He’s very, very, very proud of them,” said Bell. -HindustanTimes

WASHINGTON: After a series of ‘miraculous’ surgeries, an Indian-origin doctor in the US has successfully grown outer ears from rib cartilage in an 8-year-old boy. Elijah Bell, a second-grade student at Frazer Elementary in Canton, Ohio, was born with bilateral atresia microtia, a rare birth defect where the outer ears are undeveloped, and, in Elijah’s case, had no openings to the middle and inner ear. On July 28, Elijah completed a final round of surgeries at Akron Children’s Hospital to craft a set of outer ears. Dr Ananth Murthy, director of plastic surgery at the hospital, made ears from Elijah’s rib cartilage. “We consider it to be a miracle in our family,” said Colleen Bell, Elijah’s mom. “The changes we’ve seen in Elijah



are really remarkable,” Bell said, adding that her son has a new outlook on life. Elijah’s middle and inner ear developed normally, giving him the ability to hear. But the lack of an opening meant that sounds had trouble getting through. Elijah had to wear a bone-anchored hearing aid. The procedure to grow outer ears required five surgeries, starting when Elijah was 4 years old. Along with harvesting cartilage to create the ears, Murthy had to use a skin graft from Elijah’s thigh to create a gap between his ears and his head. During the final surgery in July, Murthy gave Elijah’s ears detailed “hills and valleys”, reported.


24 August 28, 2015


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 September 02, 2015. Email us at or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036.

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Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Daliya Palao

(Cracked Wheat Pilaf) Slow Cooker Recipe Due to an error in the layout last week, we are reprinting the entire recipe again this week. Daliya is nothing more than cracked, roasted wheat, but it is not so easily available in many stores as compared to coarse wheat flour or even suji (semolina); though it is not very expensive. Cooking with daliya requires a little patience, since it takes longer to cook than regular rice; but unlike rice, it is not usually eaten as a base to accompany other food. Rather, it is best appreciated when it is cooked with other vegetables, like a pilaf or as a porridge. When daliya is cooked sweet, it is in the form of a popular breakfast dish downed with hot tea of warm milk. But Indian palates can just as easily eat daliya salted with other ingredients, much like a rice palao, at breakfast or at any time of day. The advantage over rice palao is that daliya has much less sugar than rice (especially the white variety) and so is better alternative for those who have to watch their sugar or are diabetic. Since the daliya grain is thicker and denser than rice grain, it usually takes longer to cook. For this reason, it more convenient to make it in a slow cooker that allows the daliya to simmer over a long time. This allows you to take care of your other activities while taking the guessing out of the preparation. The slow cooker is very convenient for cooking ingredients that will take several hours to simmer and become easy to chew and digest. You can cook for several hours or overnight without concern for overheating or burning the food; yet the design of the slow cooker makes it safe for cooking for long periods. Ingredients : 1 cup daliya (cracked wheat) 5 cups pani (water) 2 tbspn olive oil 1 small tamater (tamato) – cut into medium-thin half-slices 1/4 cup matter (peas) – fresh 1/2 cup phul gobi (cauliflower) – fresh 1 medium aloo (potatoes) – peeled and large cubes

1/2 cup gajjar (carrots) – peeled and 1 large piyaaz (onion) Spices: namak (salt), garama masala, lasan (garlic) powder – to your taste

Directions: 1. Pour 1 cup of daliya into 5 cups of water in the slow cooker and turn it on the high setting for an hour. 2. Check to see if the daliya has become a little tender then add the vegetables and oil and leave the setting on high for 30 minutes. 3. Open the slow cooker and check if the daliya tender and cooked. If it looks like there is too much water, let it cook without the cover on low, since the steam needs to rise off.

4. When it is cooked, sprinkle with garam masala and garlic powder before serving with achaar (pickles) or dahin (plain yogurt). Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her mid-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes.


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Living in the US can force you into using lots of paper towels while cooking or cleaning up. Although this is can become a habit, most of the time, using a soft, clean cloth to handle hot pots and pans as well as while making fresh, hot rotis (flatbreads) is just as convenient. In Punjabi, these are called paundas (you have to roll the “d”, with a slight “r” sound) and are commonly used in kitchens.

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Paundas are also good for the environment as you can reuse them. The trick is not to throw these in the washer with the rest of your laundry. An ultimate, environmentally friendly idea is to collect all the small left over pieces of hand soap; throw them into a pot of boiling water, throw in all the used kitchen cloths and let the water boil for a few minutes. Then, let the cloths soak for a while, stirring often; then throw out the water and rinse. The cloths should be clean enough to be reused!


August 28, 2015


Movie Review: All Is Well

BY ROHIT VATS NEW DELHI: For any movie reviewer worth his salt, director Umesh Shukla's All Is Well is the last word in occupational hazard: You sit through a two-hour-plus film waiting for one spark of creativity, or even half-a-fun moment. By the time you're walking out of the hall, you don't know whom to curse more: the filmmakers or your editor who put you through this. Yes, nothing is well with All Is Well! Inder Bhalla (Abhishek Bachchan) is a struggling singer in Pattaya, ready to do whatever it takes to make it big in life: If it means making funny facial expressions to make a Hindi film song look intense, so be it. A caricature of a music producer (interestingly, the film is produced by T Series) wants to buy and master Inder’s songs for some other singer, but he is not yet willing to give up. Nimmi (Asin) is another clueless Indian in Thailand who has a fetish for Rhonda Byrne’s bestseller The Secret. She is such a big 'fan' that she can't put it aside even in a car full of five goons. Wait! Wasn’t she kidnapped? Who cares! Mr and Mrs Bhalla (Rishi Kapoor and Supriya Pathak), Inder's parents, live in Kasol and are very sad with their life. The two, however, look more miserable than their characters. Guess they actually read the script before shooting! An utterly stupid

and intolerable bad guy, Kartar Singh Cheema (Zeeshan Ayyub) is making their life hell for money, but somehow everyone is holding on as they wait for Inder to arrive in India. Eventually, he does and the film becomes even more intolerable. Everything about this film is an affront to the intelligence of any normal film buff. In the middle of a chase, Mr Bhalla has to stop every five minutes. Why? Because he suf-

fers from polyuria. His wife matches him in absurdity: She suffers from a ‘mental illness’ that comes and goes according to the ‘demands’ of the scene. And what’s the ‘mental illness’? She suffers from Alzheimer’s. Not feeling repulsive yet? Consider this dialogue from Mr Bhalla: “Hum bhalle hain, hum muh se nahi dil se khaate hain.” Nimmi, who has decided to entertain herself with the antics of the Bhallas, has an equally carefree family. Nobody worries even if she is out of her house just hours before her marriage. It’s a big Sikh family where everybody wears the same kind of glasses. Did you just say stereotyping? Again that’s nothing. If Abhishek Bachchan can pass off as a college boy by wearing a checkered shirt, then these people must be for real. -Hindustan Times


Amol Palekar to Head India's Oscar Jury

Veteran actor-director Amol Palekar, known for portraying the middle-class Indian in a string of films such as Rajnigandha, Ek Chhoti Si Baat, Chitchor, Gol Maal and Gharaunda in the 1970s, is now the new chairman of India's Oscar jury. The jury is responsible for selection of the country's official entry in the best foreign film category of the 88th Academy Awards. He has also directed National Award-winning films like Dhyaas Parva and Quest.

The 70-year-old actor, whose film Paheli was India's official entry for the Academy Awards in 2005, will be heading the 17-member jury. "We have selected Amol Palekar as the head of India's Oscar jury. He is an eminent film personality," Supran Sen, Secretary General of the Mumbai-based Film Federation of India (FFI) said. An elated Palekar said the process of selecting the film to represent India at Oscars 2016 is yet to begin. "I am happy that I have been appointed as the chairman of India's Oscar jury. We haven't decided on any criteria for selecting a film for Oscars. I will have a meeting first with our esteemed members and work out the selection criteria," he said. The 88th Academy awards event will take place in Los Angeles on February 28, 2016. -HindustanTimes


26 August 28, 2015


Friday, June 10, 20152011 com . st 28, Augu y -news a id Fr erican m a o ind www.

August 28, 2015


IndoAmerican News

Business IndoAmerican News


Amul to Triple Cheese Production Capacity, Invest Rs.750 crore The investment will be made to set up a new cheese plant and to expand production capacity of its existing facility NEW DELHI: Dairy major Amul will invest Rs750 crore to triple its cheese production capacity, in a bid to tap the growing market for the milk product in the country. The investment will be made to set up a new cheese plant and to expand production capacity of its existing facility. “The cheese market in India is growing and we are looking to tap this market. Therefore, we are tripling our cheese production capacity to 120 tonnes per day from 40 tonnes at present,” GCMMF Managing Director R

S Sodhi told PTI. He said that the total investment on tripling the capacity will be around Rs750 crore, out of which Rs600 crore will be invested in setting up of a new plant in Gujarat’s Palanpur. “About Rs150 crore have been invested at our cheese plant in Anand to double its capacity to 80 tonnes per day,” Sodhi added. The Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), owner of the Amul brand is also consolidating its position in northern

India as the company’s new processing plant having capacity to process about 15 lakh litres per day will start

operations in October this year. This will be Amul’s fourth plant in Haryana, after one plant each

at Rohtak, Manesar and Dharuhera to cater north India especially the national capital region. “As of now, Amul holds 65% share of the total cheese market in the country,” Sodhi said adding that the the cheese market is growing at a healthy pace so we want to tap this market more. He also said that currently the cooperative’s focus is on expanding its foot print in the country. Meanwhile, the cooperative has recently entered the Hyderabad market. GCMMF turnover in the year 2014-15 increased by 14% to Rs20,730 crore from the previous year’s Rs18,143 crore. In this fiscal, the company is aiming to reach Rs24,000 crore mark.

Indian Oil Stake Sale to Aid Govt Post Best First Half in 7 years NEW DELHI: Looking to garner Rs.9,300 crore from Indian Oil Corp. Ltd share sale on Monday, the government expects its disinvestment kitty so far this fiscal to swell to Rs.12,600 crore—making it the best first-half in 7 years. So far, the government has sold minority stake in three PSUs—Power Finance Corp. Ltd, Rural Electrification Corp. Ltd and Dredging Corp. of India Ltd—to raise over Rs.3,300 crore so far this fiscal. It has scheduled a 10% stake sale in Indian Oil on Monday. “We have already completed three issues and on Monday we will have the fourth one. Although we are more than a month to go from the first half to end, this will be the best ever first half in past seven fiscals,” disinvestment secretary Aradhana Johri said. In the first half of the last fiscal 201415, the Department of Disinvestment could not divest stake in a single PSU,

Govt expects Rs.9,300 crore from IOC stake sale taking its disinvestment total in the fiscal to Rs.12,600 crore 2010-11, DoD garnered Rs.2,400 robust pipeline of stocks and the work

while in the same period of 2013-14 it had sold stake in six PSUs to garner Rs.1,300 crore. In first six months of 2012-13 as

well, no divestment took place, while one issue could materialise in the same period of 2011-12 to collect Rs.1,500 crore. In the first-half of

crore through minority stake sales in PSUs, while the figure for the first half of 2009-10 was Rs.4,200 crore. The disinvestment department has been set a mammoth target of Rs.69,500 crore in the current fiscal. Of this, Rs.41,000 crore is expected to come from minority stake sale in PSUs, and another Rs.28,500 crore from strategic stake sales. So far this fiscal, Indian equity markets have been volatile amid slump in Chinese market and Greek crisis and fears of impending rate hike by the US Federal Reserve. The BSE Sensex has dropped by over 3% since the beginning of the current fiscal, but the three disinvestments so far have been successful with strong demand from retail and institutional investors. “Investors feel India is an outlier among emerging markets. We have a

is to keep the ball rolling,” said Johri, who took charge of DoD in October last year. The DoD has lined up over two dozen PSUs, including ONGC, BHEL, NALCO, NMDC, MMTC and Engineers India, for stake sale. The government would sell 10% stake in IOC on Monday at a floor price of Rs.387 a share—about 2% discount over last closing—which is likely to fetch Rs.9,302 crore to the exchequer. The government, which holds 68.6% interest in IOC, will sell 24.28 crore shares through an offer for sale (OFS). Johri further said investors who are allotted shares in the IOC share sale, would also be eligible for dividend of Rs.6.60 per share. IOC board had at its meeting on 29 May declared this dividend.



28 August 28, 2015


India vs. SL 2nd Test: Excellent India Get the Job Done, Finally BY SHARDA UGRA

COLOMBO (ESPN Cricinfo): In Galle, India came excruciatingly close to the perfect Test: it began with their bowlers, was followed through by their batsmen in the first innings, and then they were as good as home with half the Sri Lankan line-up dismantled by the third afternoon. Then, however, they were hit by a dangerous cocktail: a batting performance out of an action comic, inexperience, and a brain and feet freeze in chase of 176. The match left the Indians clutching empty air, trying to work out answer a complex algebraic equation - how did seven sessions to India and three to Sri Lanka end up with three growing larger than seven? Within the space of five days, though, India found their moorings again and were able to restart and go on to efficiently finish what they had set out to do in Galle: play the perfect five-day game; win their hyperactive, energised, fellow “bro” of a captain his first Test as leader. If defeat in Galle was “heartbreaking”, as R Ashwin called it, victory at the P Sara Oval was sweet relief. This is India’s first win after the stunner at Lords in 2014, and will reconfirm their belief in what they think of as their “brand” of cricket - five bowlers, 20 wickets, aggression, intent, fearlessness. The five bowlers and 20 wickets part of the equation was never considered a problem in Galle, either by Kohli or team director Ravi Shastri, because from where they saw it, despite Dinesh Chandimal’s innings, their bowlers had given them the 20 wickets. It was for the batsmen to run with their side of the bargain. At the P Sara Oval, the roles were reversed: it was up to the batsmen to give the bowlers some numbers to bowl against and they did so, both times. Kohli said the victory was “satisfying especially knowing we came pretty close twice before - in Adelaide and Galle. We’ve spoken about that, if you win six sessions in a game, you expect your side to win the game. I think Galle hurt us in that way.” He complimented his side for being able “to get yourself

Ajinkya Rahane played a reverse sweep of sorts, Sri Lanka v India, 2nd Test, P Sara Oval, Colombo, 4th day.

together, put yourself in and play the same way again”. Play the same way again. This meant not wiping clean the memories of Galle, but two other things: finding a way to reduce the emotional bruising from that game, and performing a forensic analysis of the defeat and identifying the most useful clues as to how that particular cricketing accident occurred. One problem area from Galle identified and addressed by the batsmen in Colombo was their ability to keep the game moving along without risk or reservation. Moving forward and ahead, using their feet to scuttle length, and turning the forward defensive into singles. KL Rahul’s century in the first innings, in which he took on the Sri Lankan spinners, was one example, that too from a batsman who had scores of 7 and 5 in the first match. With reference to the bowlers, it was two things: drying up runs by holding their “shape” when it came to lines, and tackling a counterattacks by switching tactics quickly if Plan A wasn’t working. At one point on day two at the P Sara, there were no boundaries to be had off the Indian bowling across 113 balls - more than 18 overs. Also key to their strategy of being able to play five bowlers (or in this case, four and a half, as Ravi Shastri put it) alongside only six specialist batsmen, was the lower

order contributing with the bat. At the P Sara, led by legspinner Amit Mishra, this was done. In the first innings, the final four Indian wickets added 74; in the second innings, when pushing for quick runs to enlarge the target, the lower five aggregated 63. There was another element in play at the P Sara. Kohli said he wanted to use the collective intelligence of his team and have his team-mates do the same. And this is what was behind the constant chatter between Kohli and his team, whether it was M Vijay stepping in with suggestions to the bowler or Rohit Sharma offering Kohli his opinions. “I want guys to be more expressive and I want guys to share their ideas with me. I want them to speak their mind because they are intelligent cricketers.” The single cause was, he said, winning: “By speaking their mind, some ideas strike me. I might not be able to think about them because there is so much going on. We want to make the guys feel more responsible and more involved in the game throughout. They are thinking about the game every over, which is a good thing for the team.” One of the most memorable parts of P Sara Test, though, was not about how quickly the Indians were able to claim the last eight Sri Lankan wickets - in the course of a session and a bit. It was about what they did afterwards. When the final

wicket fell, the team’s celebrations were joyful but not overblown. A set of hugs and handshakes among each other, stumps collected as souvenirs, and the rapid realisation that their victory would mean a very painful defeat for the home side in Kumar Sangakkara’s final Test. Once they had acknowledged each other, as if the switch had been flipped, Kohli and his men retreated into the shadows. The Sri Lankans gave Sangakkara the farewell they wanted to and the Indians gave the occasion the respect it deserved. They stood to one side during his farewell function, Kohli presented Sangakkara with his shirt signed by the team. They returned to their dressing room and let him soak in his last few hours as a Sri Lankan player. No loud noise or wild celebrations there. Some of the players left for their hotel, others stayed back and played a few hours of badminton. The series-levelling victory will continue to give strength to the structure that Kohli wants his team to take, in terms of team composition and the choice of personnel. He has announced that Cheteshwar Pujara will be drafted in as an opener for the third Test. Kohli’s captaincy is minus any euphemisms about revival or rebuilding. He understands cricket in its simplest language. Runs and wickets, winning over losing. Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo.

Paes, Bhupathi, Sania to Play in Kolkota Tourney KOLKATA: In a rare treat for tennis lovers, Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza will be seen in action again when they take part in an exhibition mixed doubles match at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on November 25. The 12-time Grand Slam winner Bhupathi will pair up with his former partner and world no. 1 doubles player Sania as the city will host the country’s top tennis stars in the ‘Tennis Masters 2015’. Paes, who clinched his 16th Grand Slam at the Wimbledon, will play either with his former Slovak partner Daniela Hantuchova or current Swiss pro Martina Hingis in the one-day event organised by the Jaidip Mukerjea Tennis Academy in association with the state government. “It’ll be a best of three-set match. Hantuchova has already confirmed, and we’re also expecting Hingis,” former Davis Cup captain Mukerjea told reporters announcing the event. Indian top two singles duo of Yuki Bhambri and Somdev Devvarman are also expected to be here during the meet as they will leave for the second season of Indian Premier Tennis League from here. “This will act as a prelude to the IPTL which will begin in Japan from December 2,” Mukerjea added. The event will also carry prize money and based on the success of the first edition, the organisers will decide whether to make it an annual affair. “We have big plans... Maybe, we’ll see Roger Federer for the Masters some day,” he added. The players will also conduct a clinic before the match and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee also has confirmed to grace the occasion.



August 28, 2015


Five Key Takeaways From Collapsed India-Pak NSA Talks BY REZAUL H LASKAR NEW DELHI: A meeting of the national security advisors of India and Pakistan collapsed amid a welter of acrimony, leaving several questions about the future of the bilateral peace process that has been dogged by problems since the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in and the decision by the two leaders in the Russian city of Ufa last month to have a series of meetings of top officials had kindled hopes that the peace process might finally get a much-needed boost. Here are five key takeaways from the collapse on the talks between the NSAs after India insisted that the meeting should focus on terrorism and Pakistan responded that parleys with conditions wouldn’t be productive. 1. India and Pakistan will have to go back to the drawing board again to find ways to take forward the peace process, as and when they decide to resume engagements. Since the peace process collapsed after the attacks in Mumbai by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, the two

sides have struggled to agree on a format for talks. New Delhi has given several indications that it wants to do away from the erstwhile composite dialogue while Islamabad wants a similar structure that includes all outstanding issues. 2. The two sides have different priorities that they want to address through talks. For India, especially in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks and recent assaults like the ones in Gurdaspur and Udhampur, terrorism remains the key issue for future talks. Pakistan has gone back to the

“core issue” of Kashmir, which it wanted in the agenda for the meeting between the NSAs. 3. Even before the NSA-level talks collapsed, whispers in New Delhi’s corridors of power suggested the Pakistan Army was behind a recent spike in firing along the Line of Control to scuttle the meeting. Indian officials are apprehensive the latest impasse could be followed by a ramping up of Pakistani support for militant activities in Jammu and Kashmir. They point to recent comments by Pakistan’s military leader-

ship, including army chief Gen Raheel Sharif’s remark that Kashmir is “an unfinished agenda of Partition”. 4. Though the Prime Ministers had agreed in Ufa that the two sides would discuss ways to expedite the trial of the seven Pakistanis charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks, there is little hope that this will now happen. LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi has been out on bail for four months and there has been virtually no progress in the trial for more than a year. 5. The BJP-led government in New Delhi will be under no pressure for a quick resumption of contacts with Islamabad. Building relations with Pakistan is not a priority for its core constituency and the government will be reluctant to make a fresh push after its attempt to reach out to Pakistan at Ufa resulted in the messy collapse of the NSA-level talks. In Pakistan, Prime Minister Sharif and his government have little say in deciding foreign policy, which is directed by the generals in Rawalpindi, and any effort from across the border to normalise ties is unlikely in the near future. -HindustanTimes

Fate of Rohingyas Lodged in Bengal Prisons Hangs in Balance BY PRADIPTA TAPADAR KOLKATA:Over 80 Rohingya Muslims lodged in various prisons across Bengal are staring at an uncertain future as their plea to get refugee status is yet to be heard by Indian authorities. The 83 Rohingyas, including several women, were arrested in the past five-six years when they were trying to cross over to India through Bangladesh. Of these 83, 27 have already completed their sentences but are still in jails. "We have written to state home department and also to the MHA regarding the issue of Rohingyas lodged in Bengal prisons and also about those 27 prisoners who have already completed their sentence. But we are yet to receive any communication from them. So they are still in prison as we can't just let them go," ADG (prisons) Adhir Sharma told PTI. He said that the matter has been informed to the state Home department and the state home department has taken up the issue with MHA. "After we were informed by the jail authorities, we have given several reminders and letters to MHA. But there has been no concrete response," said a senior official of the state home department on condition of anonymity. The official added that the issue of Rohingyas has been a sensitive one as there are reports that terrorist organisations have being trying to ex-

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ploit the condition of Rohingyas worldwide. "It is not just a case of a foreigner asking for refugee status. The case of Rohingyas is different from others seeking refugee status," said the official. Just a few months ago, NGO Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), which works in coordination with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), had approached the state home department and the jail authorities so that the Rohingyas can be granted refugee status. "Few months ago we were able to talk to the Rohingyas lodged in various prisons, and we made preparations so that their plea seeking refugee status can be forwarded to UNHRC, who had forwarded it to Ministry of Home Affairs. But as of now nothing has moved forward," said Madhurima Dhanuka, consultant with Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), told PTI. The Rohingyas are among millions of stateless people worldwide due to the fallout of clashes with Buddhists in Myanmar. Thousands more, unregistered, are living in other parts of the country such as Jammu and Hyderabad. According to UNHCR, there are five important pointers that cumulatively form the criteria for being termed as a 'refugee'. "Owing to well-founded fear of being perse-

cuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership to a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of origin of his nationality and is unable or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of protection of that country," UNHCR states. In the case of Rohingyas, there are certain laid down identification tests to differentiate between a Rohingya lodged in prison and other inmates. "We identify a Rohingya from other inmates on the basis of geographical description, religion, language, physical features, education, occupation, and the kind of house they had in Myanmar," said Dhanuka. According to her, an asylum seeker approaches UNHCR in New Delhi following which the UN body gives a registration form to fill asking broad details like name, country of origin and why he or she fled the country. "Once the person fills up the form and submits it to UNHCR, the person is given status of person of concern to UNHCR. UNHCR then gives document to that effect. Following various interviews and examinations if the case is found positive she is granted refugee status and settled within his or her community," she says. "We had managed to interview few adults and few children in Balurghat jail and Berhampur jail. Their case studies were forwarded to

UNHCR office in New Delhi office," an NGO official said. When contacted, UNHCR officials said one of the main problems with Rohingyas is that they sneak into India through Bengal from Bangladesh and are detained as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. While talking about the number of Rohingyas having registered as refugees under UNHCR and living in India, Shuchita Mehta, Public Information Officer of UNHCR India, said, "There are around 9,150 Rohingya refugees and 2,406 asylum seekers registered with UNHCR in India." The state home ministry official too agreed with the views of UNHCR, and said, "They don't want to go back to Myanmar fearing they would be killed and most of them identify themselves as Bangladeshis so that they can be pushed back to the neighbouring country after serving jail term." The UNHCR official also said that it has been organising sensitisation programmes for jail officials and police officers and these were aimed towards helping the officials to identify and distinguish the Rohingyas from others and help them to appeal to UNHCR for refugee status. -OutlookIndia

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30 August 28, 2015


Rakshabandhan Rakhi festival is one of the most awaited and auspicious occasion for the Hindu community in India and abroad. Celebrated with much fervor and joy this festival comes every year in the month of Shravan (July-August) as per Hindu calendar. The festival of Rakhi or Raksha Bandhan heralds the message of brotherhood and fraternity as on this day sister ties a Rakhi thread on the wrist of her brother and he in return vows to protect her from all troubles. Signifying sister's unconditional love and care to her brother, the Rakhi festival holds so much importance in the Hindu family structure.

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Preparations Prior to Rakhi in India This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm every year. The preparations begin much earlier than the actual day. Colorful rakhis are available in the market some 20 days before the festival. People get into a shopping mood with new clothes. Even the sweet shops start their preparations well in advance to meet the rakhi demand. There are many gift shops offering special rakhi discounts and packages. For those brothers and sisters who for distances are not able to meet, it is a day for remembering the bygone time. Sisters unable to meet their brothers send Rakhi by post or through e-mails, e-cards, rakhi greeting cards, and rakhis through internet or mail. Nothing on this day can stop the overflowing emotions. It is also customary on the part of the brother to buy gifts for his sister.

How to celebrate Raksha Bandhan The festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebratedonfullmoonday(Purnima) of Shravan Masa. As per the scriptures, Raksha bandhan should not be celebrated in the Bhadra (inauspicious)time of Shravani and Phalguni Nakshatra. According to a belief, King in Shravan Nakshatra and tying of thread(Rakhi) in Phalguni Nakshatra, is harmful for the public. Hence, while tying Rakhi, it is important to remember the auspiciousness to time. At the time of tying thread, Bhadra is kept in consideration. Rakhi is not tied at the time of Bhadra. In 2015, Bhadra(inauspicious time) will stay till afternoon. Therefore, this day, tying of thread will be favourable after this time only. Before tying Rakhi, let us see, how to prepare for it. Preparation for tying of Rakhi(thread) This day, sisters, after having bath etc. in the morning, prepare variety of dishes. After this, plate used for worshiping is decorated. Together with Rakhi, saffron, turmeric, rice, lamps, insence sticks, sweet and some money is kept in the plate. A suitable place is chosen for brother, to be seated. First of all, the family God is worshiped. Brother is seated at the selected location. After this, auspicious mark on(Tilak) forehead of brother is made with saffron, turmeric and rice. Akshat(rice used in worship), scattered on head. Aarti is performed. Then, Rakhi is tied on the right wrist of brother. Money is moved around his head (as an act of removing evil

eye) and, distributed among the poor. On the day of Rakhsha Bandhan, sisters have food, only after tying Rakhi to their brother. Like the other festivals of India, on this festival also, gifts and dishes have their particular importance. On this festival, meal is taken after lunch. At this time, girls come from their ‘in-laws house’ to their parents home, covering long distances, in order to tie Rakhi and meet their brother. This day, the priest and Acharya(spiritual teacher or guru) reach their host(Yajman) home to tie Rakhi, and, in return accept money, clothes. Points of Consideration on Raksha Bandhan The person, who wants to celebrate this festival, should take bath early in the morning and wear new clothes. After this, family god should be worship, then, Rakhi is also worship. Remember your ancestors and take the blessing of elders. A colored thread can be taken as a Rakhi. This thread also be of silk. Gold, saffron, sandalwood, Akshat and grass is kept on the thread, and, worshiped. While worshiping, the person should fully concentrate on Puja, for whatever time, he is sitting in it. After worshiping Rakhi(thread), brother is applied Tika(auspicious mark on forehead)of saffron, Roli and Akshat should be used. Rakhi is tied on the right hand.

Foods of Raksha Bandhan Like, on Raksha Bandhan, Ghewar, Shakarpare, Namakpare etc. are made. Ghewar is used as the main sweet of Shravan Maas. This sweet is eaten, throughout the month, in northern India. Additionally, a dish called Ghugni is prepared, which is eaten with curd and Puri. Halwa, Kheer and Puri are also, famous food of this festival.


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