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Friday, August 31, 2018 | Vol. 37, No. 34


Indo American erican News

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

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Anupam Kher @ 28


Janmashtami Celebrations P5

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P10&11 IACF Board with the 2018 grant recipients at the award distribution held on Thursday, August 23.

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August 31, 2018

Take Me Out to the Ballgame..Take Me Out to the Crowd!

SUGAR LAND: On Friday, Au-

gust 24, a fantastic evening was arranged by Indo American Forum of Fort Bend (IAF) for our community to gather and have a good time. About 250 people were in attendance making IAF Social a GRAND Success. The evening started with a spectacular performance by Infused Performing Arts. The group performed to songs like Ghoomar, Khalibali, Jaanu, Sweety tere drama and Oh Ho Ho. The colorful performers with their intricate costumes looked great with the background of baseball field with Skeeters playing the New Britain Bees. Staging was much appreciated and the kids provided joy to all the spectators. The view of the setting sun provided a perfect backdrop. Shikha Gupta, the event chair and member of IAF Board threw the first pitch; followed by a presentation on the scoreboard. Presentation educated the crowd regarding the mission and goals of IAF and how they have contributed to the community in the last 14 years. The Slideshow included many causes and events IAF have been associated with. Instrumental rendition of Yeh sham mastaani played in the background while the presentation played making it a truly magical evening. IAF President, Naren Patel addressed the crowd providing a real voice to the goals and missions of IAF. All the members of IAF are volunteers who donate their time. IAF celebrated August birthdays at the stadium in a very unique and heartwarming way. August birth-

Photos: Navin Mediwala


ad, falafel with pickled vegetables, cucumber yogurt sauce, chicken kabob with biryani, Veggie burger, and seasonal diced fruit. Everyone appreciated the food, and the light breeze and baseball game in the background added to all the fun in the evening. The night ended with a great display of fireworks at the Constellation Field. It was truly a wonderful night arranged by IAF providing a platform for our community to gather. Subsidized rates for the tickets were the result of large heartedness of IAF to support the Indo-American Community in a very Indo American way. IAF would like to thank Navin Mediwala for superbly capturing the evening through his lens and “Open Forum” radio talk show of Houston. Open Forum conducts talk show every Saturday from 4-6pm at 106.1FM or you can listen live on web at humfmradio. com regarding topics of interest to Indian community! If you would like to donate to goals and missions of IAF please visit www.indoamericanforum. com or call 832.971.6546.

days were announced in the stadium plus the birthday names were flashed on the scoreboard as well. Specially designed cake for the occasion sweetened the night. The talented chefs of Skeeters stadium prepared a sumptuous buffet. Menu consisted of lemon rice sal-



August 31, 2018

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August 31, 2018


HGH Brings Houstonians Under One Roof to Celebrate Lord Krishna’s Birth Award Recipients



Bollywood actor Anupam Kher treated Houstonians to the entire array of his onscreen avatars – serious, comic, patriotic, profound, candid, strong and yet vulnerable in his address at the 28th Janmashtami celebrations held at George Brown Convention Center on August 25. Considered one of the finest actors in Bollywood with a soon-to-be-seen debut in Hollywood, the actor who was the Chief Guest of the evening, lived up to every bit of his reputation and spoke for a full hour only interrupted by applause and appreciative laughter. The well attended event which brings all the communities of Houston under one roof to celebrate Lord Krishna’s birth, honors outstanding achievements by members of the community and has a lively session of dandiya to round up the evening is organized by the Hindus of Greater Houston. Kher, who arrived on the dot, took seconds to connect with the gathering. With self- deprecating humor, he explained why he came to the event in a formal suit and tie. The kurta he had ordered was three sizes too big! After taking off his jacket and tie and looking visibly more comfortable, he launched into a one hour “conversation” with the gathering using his brilliant storytelling skills, snippets of poetry, anecdotes and rich wit to deliver his serious message - that “failure is an event, not a person.” This invaluable lesson was driven home when his parents and

Ramesh Bhutada Anupam Kher addressing Janmashtami audience in Houston

Beth Kulkarni

Rangoli by Sangeeta Bhutada

grandfather celebrated his academic failures instead of putting him down. Raised in a family that was poor in monetary terms but rich in affection and encouragement, he stated that life’s experiences are the best teachers and his many “encounters with failure” took away the fear of failure. He advised the parents in the gathering to teach their children to be strong, to have the “hunger” to succeed, and challenge them without overprotecting them from

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the realities of life. He added that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the same “hunger” to take the country forward, which is why he has always espoused the Prime Minister’s cause. While dispensing some inspirational advice for the youth he said “Mera gyan meri zindagi ke anubhavo se juda hai. (My wisdom comes from life’s experiences). Judging from the audience’s reaction to his speech, the message of learning from our failures and “living life” clearly touched a chord. When the applause died down, prominent industrialist Jugal Malani draped a shawl around Anupam Kher while Sushma Pallod tied a rakhi to him to mark Raksha Bandhan. In a gesture that was touching, Anupam Kher reciprocated by giving her the traditional

Manish Khatri

Richa Dixit

offering of money a brother gives his sister. Sanjay Jajoo served as a lively Emcee while HGH President Partha Krishnaswamy appealed for funds for Kerala flood relief. Sewa International has collected $250,000 from generous Houstonians for relief work. Two Houstonians were recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award - CEO of Star Pipes Ramesh Bhutada and Beth Kulkarni. Well-known philanthropist, Ramesh Bhutada who has served the community unstintingly with his time, effort and resources stated that he was humbled to receive the award and reiterated Anupam Kher’s words on encouraging and “recognizing our children for trying.” In her acceptance speech, Beth, who has served many area organizations in leadership and advisory roles, hoped that the award would inspire other Hindus to serve the community in any way they can. The Akhil Chopra Unsung Heroes Award was presented to Richa Dixit, Manish Khatri and Nisha Bhatia. Event Chair Girish Naik observed that this celebration was very special to him because two iconic personalities who he “always looked up to for inspiration and guidance – Ramesh Bhutada and Beth Kulkarni were receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award.” Other highlights of the celebrations included the children’s costume contest where little children dressed as little Krishnas and Radhas, a cultural dance segment, food, apparel and organization booths. A 25 feet in diameter vibrant Rangoli by Sangita Bhutada with the theme of “makhan chor” welcomed visitors to the center. Darshak Thacker from Krishna Sounds Productions and his team worked nonstop from 6 am to 4 am on the next day to provide live sounds, stage lights,

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August 31, 2018


Bollywood Blast 2018 – “Om Shanti”


Projectors and the screen. His live band also provided the music for the Garba with him on the drums, songs by Kashmira and Hemantbhai and Kamal on the Keyboard. First time attendee and IMAGH Secretary Saeed Pathan said that the Janmashtami celebrations and the atmosphere brought back wonderful childhood memories of the festival in India. Members of the Young Hindus of Greater Houston (YHGH) contributed substantially to the smooth execution of the event. YHGH President Raj Salhotra stated “The 2018 Janmashtami celebration showcased Houston’s wonderful tradition of diversity. It was wonderful to witness the outpouring of support from Houston’s youth. We are excited to work with youth from across the city to build an organization that represents

Darshak Thacker (in green) from Krishna Sounds Productions and his team.

Hindus from all backgrounds.” The winners from the costume contest include: Group A: First -Kridhay Laddha, Second – Stavya, Third - Riya Agrawal and Vansh Sarda with Juhi Bhutada

Group B: First - Avik Sudeep, Second Agrima Gupta, Third - Ramon Soni with Nikunj Lohiya Group C: First -Saumya Gupta, Second Neson & Suhas, Third - Purti Ravi.

HOUSTON: It’s that time of the year

again - Bollywood Blast time! The signature event, which was started 13 years ago, is the brainchild of the visionary Anil Kumar, who predicted that it would one day become the most popular Indian presentation at the Miller Outdoor Theatre. BOLLYWOOD BLAST has been imitated, cloned, copied, but still remains the first of its kind in Houston, and indeed a trailblazer, AND a trendsetter, in every sense of the word. This year, in a special tribute to Miller Outdoor Theatre’s 95th Anniversary, Samskriti will be presenting Agni Entertainment of Austin in “OM SHANTI”. Through colorful songs, sets, and characters, Om Shanti tells the story of Om, a court dancer madly in love with the princess, Shanti, in a land called Bollywood, whose soul was song and dance until everything changed. Director/producer Prakash Mohandas says of the production, “This grand musical will be unlike anything Texas has seen, a production infused with all the wonders of Bollywood— lights, costumes, dance, music and melodrama playfully revealing a saga on stage: of celebration, friendship, hope, love, life, after-life, revenge, and more.” Agni Entertainment’s prime focus is the production, promotion and distribution of independent film and theatre projects. Agni also aims to spread its wings into the arenas of media management and entertainment news. Its goal is to establish the missing links in the south Asian arts industry outside of Asia and eventually create a thriving, stand-alone industry in countries outside the Asian sub-continent. Prakash Mohandas, founder and CEO of Agni Entertainment, is a filmmaker, entrepreneur, actor, dancer, and musician and is also the founder of Agni Dance Company and Agni Foundation for the Arts based in Austin, TX. His other theatrical works include Lanka, Strings of time, Disco Deewane and the Big Fat Indian Wedding. Prakash has also made a series of short and feature length films. BOLLYWOOD BLAST has been made possible by a grant from the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, and will take place on Labor Day Sunday, September 2, 8.15 PM. Admission is FREE, as also parking. For ‘free’ tickets to the reserved seating area, visit www. milleroutdoortheatre.com or call 832-2759658.


August 31, 2018





August 31, 2018

Maha Homam for the Supreme Goddess at Sri Meenakshi Temple BY MK SRIRAM

PEARLAND: It is said that in the present

age known as Kali Yuga, worshipping Goddess Chandi and Lord Ganesha are of great importance. Goddess Chandi is the most powerful Divine Universal Mother. She is the combination of the Goddess triumvirate – Mahakali or Durga, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswathy. Like the God Rudra, she has two forms. In Her fierce form, she destroys the evil demons, whereas in Her resplendent and benevolent form she is most loving and compassionate. It was a most remarkable weekend at Sri Meenakshi Temple as the Nava Chandi Maha Homam was conducted in a very grand manner. This is a very elaborate puja consisting of many rituals as ordained by the shastras, requiring highly learned priests with special skills and knowledge. The eminent MTS priests were joined by other distinguished priests to conduct this great puja and homam from Thursday Aug 16th till Sunday Aug 19th. All proceeds from this event is towards the Kalyana Mandapam Renovation Project. Hundreds of devotees attended every session each day and were completely immersed in the puja and mesmerized by the chanting of the mantras and various vedic hymns. The main aspect of the puja is the recital of the Devi Mahatmyam. Among all the sacred texts that laud the glory of the Mother, Devi Mahatmyam is considered to be extremely auspicious and powerful. Devi Mahatmyam, or the Glory of the Goddess, describes the victory of the Devi Chandi over the asuras Madhu-Kaitabha, Mahishasura and Shumbha-Nishumbha. It comprises of

700 mantras and hence is called Saptashati. Though the Devi Mahatmyam consisting of 13 chapters is part of Markandeya Purana, it is not merely treated as a purana, but is considered a full-fledged scripture by itself. The yagasala where the slokas were recited became flooded with waves of vibration, purifying the entire area, invoking the presence of the Supreme Devi. The greatness of the Devi Mahatmyam is extensively explained in several ancient texts. The Devi Mahatmyam has the ability to grant the fruits according to the upasana (worship). At one level, the Devi Mahatmyam chronicles the battle between the Devi and the asuras. At another level it deals with the battle of life. At yet another level it deals with the inner battle between the divine and the demoniac forces within the human psyche. Several rituals were performed during the course of the four days, such as Ganapathy Homam, Navagraha Homam, Sri Lalitha Sahasranama Parayanam (recital), Sri Lalitha Sahasranama Homam, Devi Mahatmyam Parayanam and pujas for 64 Bhairavas and 64 Yoginis. Married couples (dhampathis) performed puja to Sumangalis. Pujas were

also performed for Kanya girls and Bhairavar boys. It is believed that Goddess Chandi is invoked in these various forms. The grand finale on August 19th was the Maha Chandi Homam performed simultaneously by nine priests on a specially constructed enormous homa kundam. A very large gathering of over 500 devotees witnessed probably the biggest and most elaborate yagna of their lifetime. Everybody experienced the supreme power of the Maha Devi. At the end of each of the 13 chapters, vastram and fruits were offered to the agni. The Vedic mantram Chamakam was chanted for Vasordhara during the final Purnahuthi offering. The kalasams or pots with the holy water were taken around the main temple in a procession and then abhishekam was performed for Sri Durga. After alankaram and deeparadhan, the most beautifully decorated utsava murthi was taken in a procession around the temple. The devotees savored each moment of this most powerful and grand yagna. They brought many many prasadams (offering) to Maha Devi. They were then treated to a most sumptuous

lunch prasadam. It is not easy to organize a Puja/Homam of such a grand scale, so it was no wonder this was happening after about 15 years at Sri Meenakshi Temple, in fact in Houston itself. Kudos to the Temple Board under the chairmanship of Dr Padmini Nathan and the entire Religious Activities Committee team of volunteers lead by Sheila Sriram for the meticulous preparation and execution. The priests led by Sri Manicka Bhattar did a phenomenal job. The Silpis (artisans) led by Ramanathan did most outstanding work, building the large homa kundam, installing the tents, and beautifully decorating them and many other tasks. Overall, this was one signature event of MTS that will be remembered forever.



August 31, 2018


Atal Bihari Vajpayee Fondly Remembered by Houston Indian Community

Audience singing Vande Mataram at the start of the program

HOUSTON: Bharat Ratna Sri

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former Prime Minister of India was paid glowing tributes as a great reformer, administrator, philosopher poet, visionary and a “ruler of hearts” at a Shradhhanjali Sabha (Homage Meeting) at India House in Houston on Tuesday, August 21. Organized by the Overseas Friends of the BJP (OFBJP) Houston chapter, the event was attended by a large number of community leaders and common folks alike. Sewa International Houston chapter president Gitesh Desai emceed the program and said Atalji was AjatShatru, a friend of everybody and always went above and beyond party lines. He liberally borrowed from Atal ji’s poems throughout the program to bring out the philosopher poet attribute of the great leader. The program started with Preetu Dave’s soulful rendition of

“Vande Mataram” and the audience joining in. A 10-minute video covering 25 stories from Atal ji’s life was then shown. Ramesh Shah, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awardee spoke about his long association with Atalji and emphasized that he cared for every Indian citizen, believed in one nation, one people, one culture for India. Atalji extended support for Indian diaspora to find their roots and connect to their ancestral family and friends in India. He ended on a hopeful note that Atalji’s work and words will keep inspiring millions of swayamsevaks in all walks of life. Puneet Shah, a young OFBJP karyakarta, rendered “Hindu Tan Man, Hindu Jeevan” poem of Atalji. This poem details the philosophy Atal ji followed in his life. The next speaker Dr. Anupam Ray, the Consul General of India in Houston, remembered Vajpayee

Sewa International Houston President Gitesh Desai reciting one of the poems written by Atal ji.

fondly through his 1996 inspirational speech in Parliament “The pursuit of power will never cease; Governments will come & go; Political parties will rise and fall; but the Nation is above all; Democracy is above all”. “Vajpayee Ji was extraordinarily gracious, never made you feel he was superior, had great ability to take everyone along and establish connection with you. He changed the face of India, made it possible what we are seeing today as it was his foresight, today we believe we can do anything- aspire to be rich and powerful based on what we have done but when he became PM during worst financial crisis, things were different. He was a man of decency, brought decency into politics and brought all under one umbrella”, Dr. Ray added. Charudatt Malasure, from Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) Sampark team, delivered a poem he

Preetu Dave offering floral tributes to Atal ji as others await their turn.

wrote eulogizing Atalji’s efforts and influence. Remembering Vajpayee’s famous lines, “Andhakar chathayga, suraj niklega and kamal khilega”, Jugal Malani, the President of India House, said Vajpayee was a great orator and first non-congress premier to complete his five years. Ramesh Bhutada, VP HSS and a reputed, philanthropist shared vivid memories of Atalji’s visit to Houston and the way he made others feel very comfortable in his presence. Hasu Patel, president of IAPAC and SIMA, paid his tributes while outlining Atal ji’s life history. Nisha Mirani, president of ICC, pointed out the great unifying quality of Atal ji in her tribute. Amit Misra, a noted lawyer and HSS National Director of Communications, spoke with warmth about the long association his

family had with Atal ji, going back to 1953 when Atal ji contested an election for the first time. He spoke about Atal ji’s contributions towards organizing the society by following the RSS ideology. Sharmishtha Shahi beautifully rendered the bhajan “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram..” towards the close of the program. Achalesh Amar, OFBJP Houston Coordinator, delivered the “Vote of Thanks” and said, “An era has ended with his demise as Atalji was instrumental in mainstreaming BJP and was the perfect combination of wit, wisdom and perseverance”. Arun Sharma, HSS Southwest Zone Director, recited the Shanti mantra “Om Purnamadah Purnamidam…” to conclude the meeting as the audience offered floral tributes to Atal ji on their way out. Article inputs by Seema Kachru.


10 August 31, 2018



August 31, 2018

With Grants Night, IACF Hands Out $285K This Year


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IACF Directors with a replica of the $50,000 donated at Grants Night


HOUSTON: This Grants Night,

when funds were being distributed to local charitable causes, was true to its calling: it was short on fluff, went straight to the point of handing out award envelopes and mercifully short on acceptance speeches, save for two recipients who got carried away. On top of that, the food – appetizers and buffet dinner – was good and, the piece de resistance for an event held on a Thursday night, it ended on time, perhaps even ahead of schedule! That wasn’t the only impressive part of the Indo American Charity Foundation’s Grants Night held last Thursday, August 23 at Bombay Brasserie in the Galleria area. The most important element was, of course, the handing out of checks totaling $50,000 to 18 different organizations, but in a time when many such events linger on longer than expected, this IACF event made its point about efficiency. This was on top of the $35,000 the IACF handed out in scholarships in May, making the organizations total contributions this year at $285,000 (including the sizeable donation to the Mayor’s fund, see below). About 60 people attended the event, held in the restaurant’s private dining room, including representatives of the 18 charities, about as many IACF Board members both former and present, a few donors and other invited guests. After a short social time to mingle over appetizers, emcee Rathna Kumar (the celebrated dancer and choreographer) started the program with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi that aptly described the spirit of giving: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” IACF President Mahesh Wadhwa gave a synopsis of the organization’s history since its inception in 1988, culminating with the $200,000 check it handed out earlier this year in February to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner towards the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, the largest such donation in IACF’s history. Later after the grants ceremony, Wadhwa

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Board Director Rathna Kumar emceed the Grants Night event at the Bombay Brasserie on Thursday, August 23.

IACF President Mahesh Wadhwa Photos: Roy Photography

IACF Directors and supporters at the reception desk.

gave details of IACF’s upcoming gala on Saturday, October 6 at the Stafford Centre which will showcase the group’s donations and fruits at fundraising over this past year. For details visit http:// iacfhouston.com/ This year’s grants recipients were a mix of mostly groups, which have traditionally being supported by IACF as well as a few new ones, and the grants were of varying amounts, though the envelopes, as Kumar pointed out, “did not contain checks, which will be mailed out”, but were the award citation itself. The 18 charities which were honored this year and their receiving representatives were Asians Against Domestic Abuse received by Maryam Eldin; AVANCE-Houston by Kristen Dohle; Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston by Mark Martin and Suzy Smith; Child Advocates by Suzanne McAndrew; Child Advocates of Fort Bend by Jessica Jubin; Daya by Rachna Khare; iEducate by Arun Gir; Indian Doctor’s Charity Clinic by KC Mehta; Indian Senior Citizens Association by Ramesh Modi; Literacy Advance of Houston

by Melanie Fisk; Mahatma Gandhi Library by Atul Kothari and Manish Wani; Parent Engagement for Active Child Enrichment (PEACE) by Padmaja Sarathy; Parks Youth Ranch by Angela Parker; SEARCH Homeless Services by Sondee Hatcher; St. Mary of the Purification Catholic School by Fr. Justin Arokiasamy; Turning Point Center by Isha Salas-Desselle; YLDP by Minal; and YMCA by Nanci Rutledge.

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12 August 31, 2018


Jaipur Literary Festival to Debut in Houston at Asia Society


OUSTON: Teamwork Arts, producers of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, often dubbed ‘the greatest literary show on Earth’, bring to Houston an iconic event where ideas and perspectives jostle with intellectual vigor. Houston, where skyscrapers and bayous meet, will welcome JLF at Houston for the first time in Texas. The Festival opens on Friday evening, September 14 with events running all day on Saturday, September 15. With internationally acclaimed authors and thinkers taking part in a range of provocative panels and debates, at the core of the programming are thoughts and issues that resonate with our times. JLF at Houston will be held in association with Asia Society Texas Center, an educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the West, and Inprint, a literary arts nonprofit organization, supporting and engaging readers and writers of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. “We’re so excited to be collaborating on the first JLF at Houston for the first time in Texas,” says Bonna Kol, president of Asia Society Texas Center. “Engaging our diverse city in an array of international topics and speakers aligns

perfectly with our deep commitment to promoting cultural understanding.” “As this inaugural edition of JLF at Houston makes clear, Houston is a city of brilliant writers and passionate readers, and Inprint is proud to be at the epicenter of Houston literary life,” says Rich Levy, executive director of Inprint. “What an honor and a joy to work with JLF on making JLF at Houston a reality.” JLF at Houston is a part of the larger umbrella of JLF in the USA, which also includes JLF at New York on September 19-20 and ZEE JLF at Boulder on September 21-23. The Houston event will present a rich showcase of South Asia’s literary and oral heritage while also

featuring authors from around the world as well as local literary figures from Houston. Participating writers include : Jay Aiyer, Omar El Akkad, Robin Davidson, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Namita Gokhale, Kurt Heinzelman, Lacy M. Johnson, McKenna Jordan, Rich Levy, Rubén Martinez, Sonal Mansingh, Jovan Mays, Jasminne Mendez, Marcus Moench, Rajesh Parameswaran, Sharad Paul, Daniel Peña, Shobha Rao, Kathy Reichs, Navtej Sarna, Anis Shivani, Mimi Swartz, Shashi Tharoor, Marina Tristán, Roberto Tejada, , Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, and Milan Vaishnav. On Friday, Sept. 14, Inaugural Address: Imagining Our Worlds will be presented by Namita Gokhale, Ambassador Navtej

Sarna, and Sanjoy K. Roy from 7:00 pm-7:30 pm in Asia Society’s Brown Foundation Theater. This will be followed by Shashi Tharoor in conversation with Namita Gokhale from 7:30 pm-8:30 pm. On Saturday, Sept. 15, activities will begin with A Life Like No Other: Sonal Mansingh in conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy from 10:45 am-11:45 am in the Brown Foundation Theater, Simultaneously, there will be The Fictional Leap: Daniel Peña, Rajesh Parameswaran, and Shobha Rao in conversation with Anis Shivani at the Allen Education Center. From 12 noon to 1:00 pm, The Dance of Democracy will be staged with Milan Vaishnav and Shashi Tharoor in conversation

with Jay Aiyer at the Brown Foundation Theater. At the same time, Walls and Bridges with Daniel Peña, Roberto Tejada, and Rubén Martínez in conversation with Marina Tristán will be presented at the Allen Education Center. Myth and Memory in India will be presented with Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and Namita Gokhale in conversation from 1:15 to 2:15 pm at the Brown Foundation Theater. At the same time, it will be Ticker: Genetics of the Health with Mimi Swartz and Sharad Paul in conversation at the Allen Education Center.. Water: The Fluid Mosaic: Lacy M. Johnson and Marcus Moench in conversation will take place at the Brown Foundation Theater. from 2:30 to 3:30 pm. Simultaneously, Unbelongings: Across Continents will take place with Anis Shivani and Novuyo Rosa Tshuma in conversation with Omar El Akkad at the Allen Education Center. Second Thoughts: A Writer and Diplomat: Navtej Sarna in conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy will be from 3:45 pm-4:45 pm in the Brown Foundation Theater. Other participants include Jasminne Mendez, Jovan Mays, Rich Levy, Robin Davidson, Kathy Reichs and McKenna Jor. For additional information, visit jaipurliteraturefestival.org/houston



Suneja Seeks Synergy of Cardiology and Lifestyle Medicine

Dr. Suneja with Dr. Amit Khera, President, American Society of Preventive Cardiology.



Inquisitiveness is the hallmark of the seeker of truths and answers to questions that sometimes lie hidden just beyond the grasp of one’s imagination. A few take the time to find the doors that can unlock these truths, but most are too burdened by work and responsibilities to even take a second look. But a persistent inquisitiveness

has egged Randeep Suneja on ever since he got into medical school at Mulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi over 30 years ago. There, he exceled and graduated in the top of his class as a Gold Medallist in 1983. After residencies in New York and Ohio, he came to Houston in 1992 and after a year started his own cardiology practice which now, 26 later, has treated over 60,000 patients. He is one out of 43,000 physicians in Texas and 14,000 who practice in

August 31, 2018 Houston, but he has always been eager to stand out in his field. This has led him to become a Fellow of many medical associations, the list is so long it spans the alphabet after his name: Dr. Randeep Suneja, MD, FACC, FSCAI, FASNC, FACP, FCCP, FABLM, FASPC. Last October he passed the Board exam for the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine and this past month, on July 28, he was nominated as Fellow of the American Society of Preventive Cardiology. The ABLM started last year and has only 196 physicians on the board, while the ASPC only had 52 nominations this year and it turns out that Suneja is the only physician in Texas to belong to both! “This represents the highest level of preventative medicine,” said a delighted Suneja in a telephone interview. Despite being a Quintuple Board Certified Cardiologist with a thriving practice of general and interventional cardiology, Suneja is now also focusing on Preventive Cardiology and Lifestyle Medicine. But he can’t sit still. He recently joined a year-long Masters level course in Safety, Quality, Informatics and Leadership at the Harvard Medical School where he is also simultaneously pursuing certification in Mind, Body and Medicine. His road clearly leads to a synergy of holistic and lifestyle medicine and the art of cardiology.



14 August 31, 2018


August 31, 2018



16 August 31, 2018


5 Tips for Negotiating a Commercial Real Estate Lease


For companies seeking office, retail, industrial or healthcare commercial spaces, their leasing costs are traditionally one of their highest fixed capital expenses. Commercial tenants need to understand how to negotiate favorable lease terms to position themselves for success before signing: 1) Term Length Start-ups or high-growth companies, for whom flexibility is paramount, may seek shorter-term leases with options to renew or to have expansion rights. More established organizations may prefer a longer term in order to establish stable and predictable leasing expenses. A longer term lease allows a tenant to negotiate greater monetary savings because they are guaranteeing a longer stream of revenue to the landlord. 2) Look for Hidden Costs Your lease may be a “gross lease,” in which all costs are included, or it could be a “NNN lease” in which there are costs in addition to your base rent. NNN leases are commonplace in retail and industrial leases. Many commercial leases make the tenant responsible for costs such as maintenance or upkeep of common areas. Get the details on these costs up front and negotiate this section to be as favorable as possible. Find out if your business will be responsible for specific systems maintenance and learn the current conditions of those systems so you

can estimate costs. Push for caps on increases to avoid large, unexpected cost spikes that can throw off expense forecasts. 3) Tenant Improvements Tenants can often negotiate tenant improvements, since they increase the long-term value of the landlord’s asset. In negotiating for build-outs, understand that landlords seek to recoup their contributions through other lease terms, such as in determining rental rates. Tenant Improvement Allowances are more likely to be distributed with longer term leases. 4) Favorable clauses Assignment and subleasing rights are essential lease clauses that guarantee tenants have adequate flexibility as their businesses undergo growth and change. For example, a clause allowing you to sublease the property can be important should your business suddenly relocate or close. You

may want to ask for a clause that restricts the landlord from renting out any other unit on the premises to a business similar to yours. Make sure you are allowed to put signage up for your business, etc. 5) Termination clauses It’s paramount to understand the lease terms as it pertains to default and termination of the lease. You’ll want a clause that allows you time to cure a default before eviction, particularly one that allows you to pay one month’s rent instead of the entire amount owed on the lease. You will want to negotiate any penalties for early termination of the lease should you decide you need to leave before the lease term is up. For further assistance please contact Arjun Mohindra, Principal at Apogee Commercial Real Estate. Phone: 713-392-3998 or Email: arjun@apogeecre.com or visit www.apogeecre.com

Sankara Nethralaya’s Dr. TS Surendran Recognized for Four Decades of Ophthalmic Care niche specialty, PUDUCHERRY, INDIA: Diswith a ‘Lifepensing eye care to children has always been a challenge to ophthalmologists in view of the fact that they may not be able to express their discomfort or symptoms in a very clear manner, the way adults can. As a pioneer in eye care, the Sankara Nethralaya Eye Foundation in Chennai, India has the distinction of operating a large, exclusive pediatric ophthalmology department which treats a large number of children from just born to teens, from all over the country, the department is also credited with having developed special diagnostic/ treatment protocols to effectively treat this gentle segment of the population. The 66th annual conference of the Tamil Nadu Ophthalmic Association conducted as ‘Pudhu Vue2018’ on the 10th,11th and 12th of August at the Mahathma Gandhi

Medical College & Research Institution, Puducherry witnessed the honoring of Dr. T. S. Surendran, Director, Department of Ophthalmology and Vice Chairman of Sankara Nethralaya. Dr. Surendran is credited with having pioneered pediatric ophthalmology as a specialty at Sankara Nethralaya and the man who trained and built a team in this

time Achievement’ award. The prestigious award presented by Kiran Bedi, Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry and the loud applause and cheering by the large fraternity of ophthalmologists gathered at the venue came as a tribute not only to the veteran pediatric ophthalmologist’s professional skills, dedication, acumen and for successfully treating a large number of children during his long and glorious career, but also for his personalized and loving care to his little VIPs (very important patients)!

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India has lost one of the finest politicians of

our times. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was not only an accomplished parliamentarian, an impressive orator, an ardent nationalist and a proud patriot, he was also a sensitive poet and a sincere friend. He not only befriended his political colleagues of different parties, but also many journalists and common people. 94-year-old Vajpayee, had retired in 2005 but his advice and his darshan were sought by many who could manage it. Many leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani were very close to him. A life-long bachelor, Vajpayee was a father figure for many. He was the first non-Congress Prime Minister to complete his full five-year term. Vajpayee was an undisputed leader and carved his own path. He would never stoop to lower levels in debate in Parliament or in public. Being a leader of a Hindu party, he was more secular than many politicians. Though one of the staunchest supporters of building Shree Ram temple in Ayodhya, as Prime Minister, he unequivocally declared that it was NOT the role of the BJP to get the temple re-constructed. My association with Vajpayee and Advani dates to 1952 when they both were junior politicians and I, a junior journalist. India had the first general elections and I covered a part of it. In 1971 under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, India went to war with Pakistan and helped in liberating Bangladesh. Vajpayee, as the leader of the then Bharatiya Janasangh, had no hesitation in declaring in the Parliament unhesitatingly: “Today, there is only one undisputed leader in the country – and that is Shrimati Indira Gandhi.” Vajpayee was a mature politician and an ungrudging admirer of a rival leader who achieved a remarkable victory for India. He was quite informal, always upfront, clear, convincing and impressive in what he said and did not beat about the bush or left us confused. He had a good sense of humor and sometimes he would regale us with his poems. During Janata Party’s election campaign in 1977 he compared his party’s meetings with Indira Gandhi’s. He used to say: she has the crowds at her meetings, we have the audience. Vajpayee was for ALL Indians, irrespective of religions, castes and communities, though he was himself a Brahmin. It pained him immensely when during the election campaign of 1980 with Babu Jagjivan Ram as the leader of the Janata Party, at several meetings he heard people murmuring against a ‘Dalit’ being projected as the future Prime Minister. No doubt Indira Gandhi and her Congress Party won the 1980 elections, partly because a majority of Indians were still not reconciled to a ‘lower caste’ politician as their Prime Minister. Jagjivan Ram was one of the ablest ministers in the federal government, and probably the finest Defense Minister India ever had. The other reason was the then President N. Sanjeeva Reddy from the Janata Party though the Congress had maneuvered to defeat him and got an ‘independent candidate’ VV Giri elected to the highest office. Reddy, first refused to invite Jagjivan Ram to form the government after Gandhi withdrew support from Charan Singh. Janata Party remained the single largest party, and its leader, Jagjivan Ram had the right to be invited to form the government, but Reddy decided against it. He dissolved the Parliament (Lok Sabha) and ultimately Indira Gandhi and her Congress party were the winners. India has come up a long way since, but politics is still dominated by religion, caste

August 31, 2018


Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Poet-Politician-Patriot and group consideration and reservations demanded and fought for. This is mainly to garner votes, not for doing anything solid to improve the condition of those ‘backward’ people and that’s the politics of votes that Atal Bihari Vajpayee never liked or supported. I relocated to the United States and for years did not have direct contact with him, but Vajpayee did not forget our association.

On one occasion when he was the Leader of Opposition, and I was the Editor of India Post in the Bay Area, I called him, and he graciously gave me a phone interview. Yatindra Bhatnagar has worked as a journalist for more than seven decades in journalism with newspapers in India and the US and also as a radio and TV broadcaster. He has written 20 books, including Bangladesh, Birth of a Nation; Mujib, the Architect of Bangladesh; Australiana, a Visit to Remember; Korean Experience; Autumn Leaves (a collection of poems) and others in Hindi and English. He lives in Los Angeles and visits his daughter Seema Suneja who lives in Katy.


18 August 31, 2018 Long and Short of It

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY Aftermath of the Plastics Ban


I love my India. And while I can tolerate most things about her – the heat, the dust, my mother in law – I cannot stand being called ‘Sir’. Yes, my flat chest may have something to do with it, but the real reason is my short hair. The idea that this is a man’s prerogative is reflected in a question I am asked all the time – have you always had short hair? Would we ask a man Yo Siddarth have you always had short hair? No because that would be a weird question to ask a dude. But asking a woman this is fine, it’s in the same league as how come you don’t have kids and why aren’t you married. Annoying, ignorant, but here to stay. The discrimination is obvious in the job market and the marriage market. Because of my boy-cut (See! Why isn’t it girl-cut?) i would never qualify for either shampoo model or porn star. Why? Because according to my friend Joe, old women with nothing to look forward to cut their hair. Men need a woman to look like the feminine ideal, which happens to include Rapunzel-style locks. Anything less and you might as well be dead. Interestingly when men flip the script it’s cool – long-haired bros don’t get the same treatment we do. You guys are RocknRollas thumbing your nose at the rules. You are rebels while the only job I can sign up for is butch lesbian. And it isn’t even like long hair is fun to have – it needs too much attention, it stinks to hell and back if left unclean for a few days, and there are clumps of it lying all over the homes of long-haired ladies. Yet we are conditioned, no pun intended, to believe that long hair is sexy. Of course I blame the media for this. They have failed to create role models. Growing up all I had was Big Ethel from Archie comics. Thank God 1990s’ super-model Madhu Sapre cut her damn hair when I was in college and double thank God Milind Soman was her boyfriend at the time. Had she been single it wouldn’t have helped as much, but having the hunkiest of them all choose a shorthaired lady when he could have had any longhaired lass gave me a massive, undeserved boost of confidence. Something I still cling to when airport attendants shout at me for entering women’s toilets. -- Radhika Vaz in Times of India

In June, one of the world’s strictest plastic bans came into effect in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai — population 18.4 million — is the capital. Plastic bags had been banned here before, to little effect. This time, however, thanks to a strong push from a prominent young local politician, the restrictions are far more sweeping. They included bans on the manufacture, sale, and use of throwaway plastic items such as bags, plates, cutlery, straws, and small bottles, as well as new regulations governing retail packaging and Styrofoam. And penalties for manufacturing and selling these items were now higher than ever, including fines of up to $350 and jail terms of up to three months. The first week of the ban was marked by drama and confusion. More than 300 plastic bag manufacturers reportedly had to close, throwing thousands of people out of work. Restaurants began using aluminum takeout containers. Residents weren’t sure if they could even use plastic bags for their garbage. Then came the backlash. Within a week — after pleas from plastic manufacturers, milk suppliers, small traders, consumer giants like Pepsi and Coca-Cola, and e-commerce companies like Amazon — the government relaxed the rules, exempting small traders and granting more time for bigger players to come up with solutions for retail packaging, including alternative materials and recycling schemes. For now, only plastic bags, takeout containers, plates, and Styrofoam remain forbidden. In Mumbai’s bustling old Matunga market on a recent weekend, where open-air stalls offered a variety of vegetables and fruits and shops sold everything from mops to milk, plastic shopping bags were conspicuously missing. Customers were armed with canvas and cloth bags; vendors handed out paper ones, if asked. “It’s like going backwards in time,” said one shopper. As the lobbying, backtracking, and confusion that have beset Mumbai in the past two months shows, it’s not easy to restrict a material that has become so deeply embedded in the

modern economy. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, experts say some factors are key to reducing single-use plastic. These include advance consultation with industries, sufficient time to build public support, strong enforcement, and the use of incentives such as the buy-back of banned plastic items. The success stories, in places ranging from Ireland to China, also suggest that charging people for using plastic bags works better than outright bans. Education is also important, as is improving waste management, especially in developing economies like India. India’s plastic manufacturing sector is small-scale, and “being small, they can’t afford to change their technology overnight,” Joshi of the Indian Plastic Institute said. The city’s food traders also argue that there are no hygienic, cheap alternatives to plastic. So the retreat by officials in Maharashtra was perhaps inevitable. “The backtracking shows the difficulty in implementing a ban despite good intentions,” says Ravi Agarwal, director at the New Delhi-based environmental group Toxics Link. “Plastic waste comes from a system of packaging, waste collection, and recycling, and the solution also requires a systemic approach.” To its credit, the Maharashtra government seems to be learning from the chaotic launch of its plastics ban. Authorities have allowed small retailers to use thicker plastic to pack loose grains — thick plastic has more recycling value — and have mandated a buyback scheme for bottles and milk

containers at a set price. The state government has also required big brands to deposit 25 paise — less than half a U.S. cent — per tetrapak into a reserve fund for collection and recycling. This is part of an extended producer responsibility policy, a concept — well-established in the European Union — requiring manufacturers to cover the cost of disposing of their products properly. Still, consumers need to play their part, says environmentalist Afroz Shah. He spearheads the world’s largest citizen-led beach cleanup at Versova Beach in Mumbai, which helped inspire the Maharashtra plastics ban. According to Shah, volunteers have collected some 35 million pounds of waste in weekend cleanups since 2016, and 95 percent of this has been plastic. Alittle shock therapy can be helpful, as well. Back in Mumbai’s Matunga market, some vendors roll their eyes at the government’s effort. They’re skeptical that enforcement will last, especially once election campaign season begins later in the year. For now, they’re wrapping vegetables in newspaper and packing grains in thick plastic printed with the buyback price. And shoppers are changing their habits. One of them, housewife Manisha Shah, said she now keeps canvas shopping bags in her car at all times. She was clutching two of these bags when I met her. “You think you’re done, then you see something else you want to buy,” she said, “But you can’t if your bag is full.” -- Yale E360


INDIA: 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: 713-789-6397 email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com, website: www.indoamerican-news.com



August 31, 2018


The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi - Part 12

The Story thus far…A separate

institution named Satyagraha Sabha was formed with headquarters in Bombay. There were agitations everywhere against the Rowlatt Committee’s report. But the government was determined to implement the Rowlatt recommendations and in 1919, the Rowlatt Bill was introduced. When the bill was debated in India’s Legislative Chamber, Gandhi attended as a visitor. In spite of the diehard opposition from nationalists, the Rowlatt bill became law. At this time, Gandhi got an invitation from activists in Madras to visit the city. He went there, though still weak, along with Mahadev Desai. That was Gandhi’s first meeting with another stalwart of India’s freedom struggle, C. Rajagopalachari, a man of towering intellect and firm convictions. A small conference of leaders was held and Gandhi explained to them the implications of the Rowalatt act. While these talks were being held news was received that the Rowlatt Bill had been published as an act. It was also in Madras that Gandhi first conceived the idea of an allIndia hartaal (strike) as the beginning of the satyagraha movement. The leaders at once took up the suggestion and gave much publicity to the forthcoming action. The date was first fixed for March 30, 1919, but was later changed to April 6. The masses had received only short notice for the hartaal, but it turned out to be most successful. That was the first great awakening of India in her struggle towards independence. Gandhi left Madras and went to Bombay to join in the hartaal there on April 6. Meanwhile in Delhi, Lahore, and Amritsar, the hartaal had been observed on March 30. In Delhi the police did not allow free movement to the demonstrators and firing by police caused a number of casualties. Gandhi was requested to go to Delhi and he replied that he would do so after the hartaal in Bombay on April 6. In Bombay the hartaal was a great success. All over India the hartaal was observed. Gandhi had asked the people again and again to be peaceful and not to be provoked to violence by the Government’s actions. In spite of this, violence broke out in many places. There were disturbances in Ahmedabad and also in the Punjab and he decided to go to these places to propagate nonviolence. On the way to the Punjab he was arrested at a wayside station called Palwal and sent back to Bombay. The news of his arrest inflamed the entire population of Bombay. There was an enormous crowd awaiting his arrival there. When he reached Bombay he was set free. The crowd was getting impatient. “Only you can control the crowds,” said a friend to Gandhi. “Come, I shall take you to the spot.” The crowd greeted Gandhi with frenzied joy.Ahuge procession started but the police barred its progress.

A company of mounted police was ordered to charge the crowds. Piercing screams and cries from women and children filled the air as the horsemen plunged forward with lowered lances. People ran to escape the fury of the police. Gandhi was shocked by the police brutality. He went and met the Commissioner. The official was boiling with rage. “We, the police, know better than you the effect of your preaching on the people. If we had not taken drastic measures the situation would have gone out of our hands. I have no doubt about your intentions, but the people do not understand them. They only follow their natural instincts.” “The people are not violent by nature; they are peaceful,” countered Gandhi. “You wanted to go to the Punjab,” said the Commissioner. “Do you know what is happening in Ahmedabad, the Punjab, and Delhi? You are responsible for all these disturbances.” Gandhi was pained to hear of the disturbances and said that he would certainly take the responsibility upon himself if he was convinced that it was his. Gandhi went to Ahmedabad. On the way he learned in detail about the happenings there. Ahmedabad was under martial law. A police officer was waiting for him at the railway station to escort him to the Commissioner. This commissioner too was in a rage. Gandhi expressed his regret for the disturbances and promised complete cooperation in restoring peace. Gandhi then asked for permission to hold a public meeting on the grounds of the Sabarmati

Ashram. The officer liked the idea. At the meeting Gandhi announced with great sorrow the suspension of civil disobedience. He said he would fast for three days as a penance and he appealed to all the people to fast for one day. He asked those who were guilty of violence to confess their guilt. He expressed his regret at having started civil disobedience too early without giving sufficient training to the people. “I have made a Himalayan miscalculation,” he said. Many people jeered at Gandhi for saying that. Many of his friends and followers were furious at his stopping satyagraha. Gandhi then started teaching people the true meaning of satyagraha and how it should be conducted. Through writing and speeches he wanted to drive home to the people the essence of his new creed. In the Punjab the situation was very critical. It was true that there were disturbances on the part of the people, but the measures adopted by the Government to check the disturbances were too severe. The leaders were trying to keep the people peaceful, but the measures of repression taken by the authorities had few parallels in history. In Amritsar the people were not allowed to move about freely. A proclamation was issued forbidding all gatherings and meetings. Only a few had the chance to know about the proclamation, however, because it was not announced widely, and it was made only in English. It was announced that a meeting was to be held in a garden called Jallianwala Bagh, to protest against the Government’s actions. General Dyer took no measures to prevent the meeting. He reached the place soon after the meeting began and he took with him armored cars and troops. Without giving any warning he ordered, “Fire till the bullets are finished.” The garden was surrounded by walls and buildings and had only one exit. At the first shot the exit was jammed and there was no hope of escape for the crowd. There were between eight and ten thousand people attending the meeting. The soldiers fired 1600 rounds into that unarmed mass of people. Once a park, Jallianwala Bagh was now a scene of the most brutal massacre of hundreds. — To be continued next week

Mahatma Gandhi Library, Inc. Essay






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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 14, 2017. For more information and registration visit www.gandhilibrary.org


20 August 31, 2018


Ekal Houston Gala, Saturday, October 6

HOUSTON: Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation

(EVF) will be hosting its annual charity gala on Saturday, October 6, 2018, at Sugar Land Marriott Town Square. Themed as, ‘Future of India’, the event will feature Dr. Subhash Chandra, the Chairman of Zee TV, India, as the Keynote Speaker. He will be joined by the ‘You Can Win’ international best-seller author and motivational speaker, Shiv Khera. Many local Houston area luminaries, such as the Counsel General of India, Dr. Anupam Ray, the Founder and Chairman of EkalUSA, Ramesh Shah, will be present at the Gala. This event will provide an outstanding opportunity for networking, set to tunes spun by a world class DJ and entertainment. Much of the preparation for the event and participation at the Gala is expected to be by the young professional leaders of the community. Events will include a cocktail hour dedicated to networking, a live` auction peddling, dinner, and DJ-provided musical entertainment. Attendants will also have a unique opportunity to hear and interact with leaders on the ground of the Ekal movement, as well as students who have studied in the Ekal system. Ekal’s larger mission – often paraphrased as Ekal Abhiyan – has expanded over the years, and now includes projects above and beyond just primary level education, many of which are in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Specifically, the funds raised at the Gala will serve to support Ekal’s schools and associated projects that include (but are not limited to): Preventive Healthcare, Digital literacy, Skills Development Center, Gramothan Village Resource Center, Tailoring, and Modern Organic Farming for sustainability. The details of Ekal Gala event are listed below: EVENT: Ekal Houston Gala 2018 WHEN: Saturday, October 6, 2018, 5:40 p.m. WHERE: Sugar Land Marriott Town Square, 16090 City Walk, Sugar Land, TX 77479 (Sponsorship and Reservation): http://www/houstongala.ekal.org/ ABOUT EKAL: Premised on the holistic development of villages and tribal areas in India, Ekal, since its foundation over 20 years ago, has made significant progress in taking basic primary education and self-sustaining trade skills to the remotest villages in India. As of 2018, Ekal has helped start over 70,000 singleteacher schools, through which it has educated as many as 2 million students, while also creating about 60,000 rural self-sustaining trade jobs. The recent addition of 15 fully equipped Digital Buses has allowed Ekal education to enter the 21st century in style. All of this has been made possible by the handsome and sustained contributions from many of Ekal’s strong 30,000 plus donors.



August 31, 2018


HOUSTON: We are often inclined Trikaldarshi Mahayogi Baba Lokenath, God Who Walked The Earth to focus on God as the Creator of the Universe and as our personal “Whenever you are in danger, Remember Me, I will save you” protector and savior. During every age, however, God also enters human form to embody Perfect Love, Compassion, Humility and Divinity for all humankind. Those manifestations of God in human form inspire and gently remind us that Divinity exists within each of us and that it is both our potential and our destiny to one day attain that same, perfect union with God. The world today is actively blessed by one of God’s great Himalayan saints, Brahmarishi Baba Lokenath, who became God in Human Form after 80 years of yogic austerities. Baba Lokenath lived from 1730-1890. Such a life span, though difficult to grasp by the western mind, is not unheard of among great Yogis. Lived in the forests for 25 years, selflessly serving his master and practicing the Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali along with the most difficult Hatha Yoga. After this he traveled to the Himalayas where he meditated in the nude for nearly five decades. Finally, he attained enlightenment at the age of ninety. After his enlightenment he traveled extensively on foot to Afghanistan, Persia, Arabia and Israel, making three pilgrimages to Mecca. Lokenath Baba preached in very simple way to his devotees. Baba said: • Whenever you’re in danger, whether in war, forest, ocean or jungle, remember Me. I shall save you. • You may not know me. You may

• •

are in trouble, my heart melts. This is my compassion. And with my compassion, my power flows out to them, freeing them from miseries and unhappiness. I am Eternal. I am Deathless. I AM. For more than a hundred years, I have traveled through the hills andmountainsandhaveamassed enough spiritual treasures. You

shall sit at home and enjoy the fruits of my austerities. My child, never miss the opportunity to meet the realized saints, for their blessings and presence will inspire deeper devotion and love for the divine and Guru. Satsang, being in the company of the holy ones, who live the truth is the greatest blessing of the Lord.

I have everything in me. What you need in life, you have only to take.

For further information please send an e-mail to sghosal2001@yahoo. co.in with Subject: Baba Lokenath or call 832-488-9953.

not realize who I am. Just pray to me with a little touch of your heart, and I shall free you from gripping sorrows and miseries. I willingly reveal myself to you. Therefore, you are in a position to reach me, or else, it is impossible. No power on heaven or earth can damage the devotees who take shelter under me. For there is none greater than me to punish you. I can do whatever I like. It is only your lack of trust, your nonbelief, that keeps your desires unfulfilled. For those who with love and devotion surrender to me, if they


22 August 31, 2018


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August 31, 2018



Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi The writing in this Sonakshi Sinha film is determinedly juvenile

A winsome Punjabi ‘kudi’ on the run, with a rag-tag bunch chasing her: this was the premise of Happy Bhag Jayegi, which was some amount of fun. Part two bungs in a new Happy (Sinha) but doesn’t forget the older one (Penty). This time, the girls and assorted characters are dashing around China, a much bigger brother than Pakistan, where the first film was set. That one came with a whiff of freshness. The sequel tries for the same mix of muddled-headed but large-hearted Punjabis, crooked Chinese, a song or two, and a series of sequences which are meant to be funny but are most flat and dull. The new Happy lands in Shanghai only to discover some goons after her. The original Happy is floating around too, along with the love of her life (Fazal). Happy Number

Two is on a mission, her backstory involving a heart-broken father, and a fiancé on the lam. Her present slings her towards black-suited slant-eyed characters with guns, and a harebrained plot which never takes off, barring the few odd moments. New entrants Denzil Smith and Jason Tham, show up as ‘Chini’ baddies, and get a lot of screen time. Familiar hands from the previous film, Jimmy Sheirgill and Piyush Mishra, reprise their Bagga-Afridi ‘jodi’, but even these stalwarts can’t do much to lift the film. The writing is determinedly juvenile (‘Tu Gill hai, taa main Sheirgill hoon’), which would be fine if it were used with flair. But most of it is tired. A set piece which revolves around a guy slipping on spilled noodles you can see coming a mile off. Characters going by the name of Makaju and FaQ. The initial snigger trails off after

Ram Kapoor

September 01, 1973 the nth iteration. The smartest thing you can do with a caper like this, when you are trying to stuff in all kinds of improbable things, is to keep it brisk and pacy. It is two hours and some, but feels much longer. And most of that is down to Sinha. She gets top billing but there’s no sparkle in her performance. The film has just a few places where you crack

a smile, especially when you see Jassi Gill as the Chinese-speaking ‘desi’ trying to help his country-folk out. He is about the only tolerable thing in this enterprise. The rest makes you want to run. ~Indianexpress.com

Vivek Oberoi

September 03, 1974

Iconic RK Studio to be sold, confirms Rishi Kapoor

Bollywood’s iconic Kapoor fam-

ily has collectively decided to sell the sprawling landmark R.K. Studios. Actress Kareena Kapoor Khan says she has fond memories of the Studios, built by her late legendary grandfather Raj Kapoor. Kareena, who has been under the weather for a few days, told IANS here: “I don’t know how far what is actually happening. In fact, I have been quite under the weather, and I haven’t even met my father in the last four or five days. But of course, we have all grown up walking around in those corridors.” “I think it’s probably something

that the family has decided, so it’s up to my fathers, his brothers and up to them. If that’s what they have decided, so be it,” added the actress on the sidelines of the Lakme Fashion Week, where she was the showstopper for the finale show. The Kapoor family has taken the tough decision of selling the two-acre R.K. Studios 70 years after it was established as it was not economically viable to rebuild it after it was gutted down in a fire last year. Rishi Kapoor, in an interview to Mumbai Mirror on behalf of the family, said they were initially juggling with the idea of renovating the place

with state-of-the-art technology, but the investment in rebuilding the Studios would just not have yielded sufficient revenue to keep it going. He called it a “level-headed decision.” In September last year, a major fire broke out on the sets of a dance reality show, leaving a section of the Studios gutted. R.K. Studios, the headquarters of the film production company R.K. Films, was founded and named after the Great Showman, Raj Kapoor, in 1948. Its inaugural banner film “Aag” that year crashed at the box office, but the next year proved to be a good omen when its production “Barsaat” (1949), starring Raj Kapoor-Nargis was a super hit.

In fact, the company’s logo was designed to reflect the poster of a scene from “Barsaat,” and after that, the Studios never looked back. It had a string of successful blackand-white releases like “Awaara” (1951), “Boot Polish” (1954), “Shri 420” (1955), “Jaagte Raho” (1956). Later, the Studios was the venue for several other big ticket films like “Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hain” (1960), “Mera Naam Joker” (1970), “Bobby” (1973), the debut film for Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia, “Satyam Shivam Sundaram” (1978), “Prem Rog” (1982), “Ram Teri Ganga Maili” (1985), which was the founder-actor’s last film before his death in June 1988. ~Indiawest.com


Shakti Kapoor

September 03, 1951

Rishi Kapoor

September 04, 1952

Vidhu Vinod Chopra

September 05, 1952

Rakesh Roshan

September 06, 1949

24 August 31, 2018


Chopra Wins India’s First Gold in Javelin

How Ishant got His Mojo Working in Tests vs. England NOTTINGHAM: (ESPN Cricinfo): If a captain was asked to put down what he most wants from his bowlers, they’d read something like this: 1. Wickets, 2. Economy, 3. Discipline Over the years, Indian captains have never had the luxury of their wishes being anywhere close to being granted by their fast bowlers.At most, they would have one bowler ticking the boxes, but invariably they would have to compromise on the rest of the attack. One would provide wickets but they would always come at a cost. Another would be disciplined but his wickets column wouldn’t make pretty reading. It was usually a tossup between rudderless aggression and a modicum of control. This tells you why Ishant Sharma has had the long but less-than-fulfilling international career he has had. Even though he didn’t take wickets as often as the captain and the fans expected, he provided the control and predictability that a captain always wants, and that’s why there haven’t been too many breaks in his Test career. He has always been the workhorse an Indian captain looks for, especially overseas. In the subcontinent, fast bowlers have a fairly limited and defined role to play - bowl with the new ball (more in the hope of taking wickets than belief), bowl a restrictive spell before the ball starts reverse-swinging, and then one or two incisive spells once the ball does indeed start reversing. This lack of belief about picking up wickets with the new ball invariably shapes you as a bowler. You prefer bowling lengths that aren’t conducive to swing bowling, for the new SG Test ball rarely moves in the air, and playing on the up and through the line on full-ish deliveries isn’t seen as being as risky as it is in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia. It helped that Ishant was never a swing bowler and that his natural length was the ideal length to bowl defensively with the new ball. His strengths were his height and the high-arm action that ensured he got extra bounce from the surface (the point of release is directly proportional to the bounce you get after pitching), which also made bowling a little shorter more sensible. The combination of his strengths and the fact that the majority of his Test cricket came at home meant that Ishant didn’t

invest time in developing a new skill. Maybe he didn’t have to. He also happened to be among the rare breed of Indian fast bowlers who would give his captain 18-23 overs of discipline with regards to economy every day, day after day. It’s an asset that doesn’t get quantified by cold numbers, for bowlers are generally judged by strike rate and average in Test cricket. But the value Ishant brought to the table was never lost on his captains. There are a number of similarities between Ishant and Stuart Broad. Both are tall, hit the deck hard, and are predominantly seam (not swing) bowlers. Ideally both of them should have similar figures in countries with conditions helpful to seam bowling, but that’s not the case. Broad has taken more wickets at both a better strike rate (55.4 to Ishant’s 71) and average (27.8 to Ishant’s 41.1). Even if we were to discount the fact that playing more than half his cricket in England will have helped Broad’s confidence, the difference in the effectiveness of both bowlers has been stark. So what is it that Broad does that Ishant isn’t or wasn’t doing? The key to Broad’s success is his ability to roll his fingers over the ball just about enough to make it move laterally away from the right-hand batsman after pitching. The control with which he can bowl legcutters allowed him to bowl fuller, and also he bowls in the channel that makes batsmen poke at it.

On the other hand, Ishant would mainly bring the ball back in after pitching, with the odd ball straightening occasionally - and since that didn’t happen at will, it wasn’t possible for him to use the incoming deliveries to set up the caught-behind dismissals. The problem with bowling a lot of legcutters is the lack of control over the genuine inswinging delivery, because the muscle memory of wrist and fingers doesn’t allow the ball to be delivered with the seam bolt upright. Broad had his issues with this and Ishant too went through an extended phase where, no matter how hard he tried, the ball simply wouldn’t come out of his hand with the seam upright. So much so that in some ODIs, he bowled only cross-seam stuff. About seven months before the tour to England, Ishant rediscovered the magic formula to keeping the wrist firmly behind the ball. Now the seam was no longer scrambled after release, and that one change made a significant change in the way he operated. He looked a lot more in control of what he was trying to achieve though the ball wasn’t swinging still and his length was still a little short. The difference was seen in the Test match against Afghanistan, where the ball wasn’t just seaming after pitching but genuinely swinging in the air. This was the first time I saw Ishant make the ball move laterally in the air consistently. He had also started bowling a lot

fuller. Earlier, the bounce he generated made him look a lot better than he was actually bowling, because the batsmen would either leave or get beaten, and the keeper would collect the ball with his gloves pointing upwards. While that looks pretty on TV screens, it’s not effective enough to take wickets. By bowling fuller and swinging the ball in the air, Ishant not only made batsmen look for the deviation but also got lbw and bowled dismissals into play. He also had a leg-side catching trap against Afghanistan: a short midwicket and a catching fielder just behind square, which spoke of the hard yards he had put in on the county circuit. He seems aware of what he was doing and possible outcomes. In the current series in England, about 20% of his deliveries have been full, compared to only 8% in the 2014 series. Batsmen can no longer leave his deliveries on length, for significantly more balls are finishing within the line of the stumps. Now that he is able to swing the ball, the next step should be the ability to roll his fingers once in a while to extract away-going movement after pitching. The day he starts doing that at will, his incoming deliveries will be more potent. Ishant is almost 30, and if anything, will get a little slower in the air as he goes along. Developing the ability to swing the ball will not only make him more effective but will also help him prolong his career. -- Aakash Chopra

JAKARTA: Neeraj Chopra won gold in the men’s javelin throw event at the ongoing 18th edition of the Asian Games in Indonesia. Chopra looked confident from the start with a throw of 83.46m. But it was in his third attempt that he stole the show with a monstrous 88.06m to win the yellow metal and break the national record. His second throw was declined by the officials but that did not deter the 20-year-old from throwing 83.25m and 86.26m in his fourth and fifth attempt respectively. This is India’s second gold medal in athletics and eighth overall. The previous national record was 87.43m which was also set by the 20-year-old at the Diamond League Meeting in Doha in May. He missed the Games record by a mere 1.09m. Chopra later said that he dedicated this award to late former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “The competition was good, I had trained well and was focused on getting a gold medal for the country,” he said. “I dedicate my medal to Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji who was a great man.” Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Chao Tsun, who was expected to give a stiff competition to Chopra couldn’t stand a chance as he was unable to cross the 80m mark. Neeraj Chopra’s registered throws were also better than the second-placed Liu Qizhen. There was also a win the hurdles. In March, at the Federation Cup, Dharun Ayyasamy won the 400-m hurdles, setting a national record of 49.45s. His first comment on his race was: “I wasn’t expecting this.” After his silver medal-winning effort at the Asian Games on Monday, which lowered his own record to 48.96 seconds, he had a similar response. “I was actually aiming for a bronze,” the 21-year-old said before a grin appeared on his face. Dharun had reasons to be surprised though. His 48.96s is the first time an Indian has run below the 49s mark in the quarter mile hurdles.

Neeraj Chopra gave India its 8th gold at the ongoing edition of the Asian Games at Indonesia.


August 31, 2018


Indian Economy Likely to Grow at 7.4% in FY19: Moody’s

Warren Buffet to Acquire Stake in Paytm, 1st in India

NEW YORK: Moody’s Investors Service today said that the Indian economy is expected to grow by around 7.5 per cent in 2018 and 2019. The economy is expected to be largely resilient to external pressures like those from higher oil prices, Moody’s Investors Service said in its Global Macro Outlook for 2018-19. However, the run-up in energy prices over the last few months is expected to push headline inflation temporarily, Moody’s said but the growth story remains intact as it is supported by strong urban and rural demand and improved industrial activity. Indian economy seems to be standing in contrast with other major economies of the world. Moody’s has put G-20 growth rate at 3.3 per cent in 2018 and 3.1 per cent in 2019. It said that the advanced economies would grow at 2.3 per cent in 2018 and 2 per cent in 2019. The G-20 emerging markets will remain the growth drivers at 5.1 per cent in both 2018 and 2019, it said. “We expect the Indian economy to grow around 7.5 per cent in 2018 and

NEW DELHI: Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is set to buy a small stake in One97 Communications Ltd, the parent of Paytm, making it the billionaire investor’s first investment in an Indian company, according to two people aware of the development. Paytm, India’s largest payment services provider, has been in talks with Berkshire Hathaway since early February to raise about Rs. 2,2002,500 crore ($300-350 million) at a valuation of about $10-12 billion, the two people cited above said on condition of anonymity. “This is to confirm that the investment was made and that it was not a transaction in which Mr. Buffett was involved,” a Berkshire Hathaway spokesperson said in a response to an email. A Paytm spokesperson did not respond to an email seeking comment. The deal, which is likely to be announced within the next two weeks, will be Berkshire Hathaway’s first investment in the country’s buzzing startup ecosystem. It will also be the company’s first investment in a privately-held technology company in the world. In the past, Berkshire Hathaway has selectively invested in some publicly listed tech companies, most notably International Business Machines (IBM) Corp. and Apple. Berkshire recently exited IBM, but still owns Apple stock. In May, several publications reported that Berkshire Hathaway tried to invest in ride-hailing firm Uber. However, the talks were not successful.

Moody’s said India’s growth story remains intact as it is supported by strong urban and rural demand and improved industrial activity.

2019,” it said. Earlier in May this year, Moody’s had cut down India’s 2018 growth forecast from 7.5 per cent to 7.3 per cent. It had then said that the economy was in cyclical recovery but higher oil prices and tighter financial conditions would slow down the pace of GDP growth rate. India’s GDP grew by 7.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2018-19 financial year. Moody’s said, “High-frequency

indicators suggest a similar outturn for the second quarter. Growth is supported by strong urban and rural demand and improved industrial activity.” Moody’s upward economic growth prediction for India is based on the robust activity shown in the industrial sector, a normal monsoon combined with hike in the minimum support prices for Kharif crops. Moody’s expects these factors to push rural

demand. “Thus, despite external headwinds from higher oil prices and tightening financing conditions, growth prospects for the remainder of the year remain in line with the economy’s potential,” it said. Moody’s report said, “Growth prospects for many of the G-20 economies remain solid, but there are indications that the synchronous acceleration of growth heading into 2018 is now giving way to diverging trends.” “The near-term global outlook for most advanced economies is broadly resilient, in contrast to the weakening of some developing economies in the face of emerging headwinds from rising US trade protectionism, tightening external liquidity conditions and elevated oil prices,” it said. Union minister Arun Jaitley today said that India would be the fifth largest economy of the world by next year. A recent World Bank report revealed that India had already become the sixth largest economy of the world pushing France to seventh position.

Shell Gas to Acquire Total’s 26% Stake in Hazira LNG HOUSTON: Shell Gas B.V., a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, announced on Monday that it has entered into an agreement with Total Gaz Electricité Holdings France to acquire its 26% equity in the Hazira LNG and Port venture located in Gujarat. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals, it said. The company did not disclose any financial details of the deal. Shell is, meanwhile, also looking to source LNG from France’s Total. “Like any competitive business, Shell continuously seeks opportunities to grow. We can confirm that we are also talking with Total for the potential supply of liquefied natural

The deal, upon completion, will mark the exit of Total and Shell will hold 100% in Hazira LNG and Port.

gas (LNG). We have no further comments at this time,” the company said in response to an e-mail query. The deal, upon completion, will mark the exit of Total and Shell will hold 100% in Hazira LNG

and Port. Hazira LNG and Port comprises two companies – Hazira LNG Pvt Ltd that operates a LNG regasification terminal in Gujarat and Hazira Port Pvt Ltd that manages a direct berthing multi-cargo

port at Hazira. The move would allow Shell commercial and operational flexibility over Hazira to maximise integrated value and offer creative customer value propositions, Shell said in a press statement. The Rs. 3,000 crore Hazira LNG terminal and port facilities in Surat district of Gujarat is regarded as a key foreign direct investment (FDI) project and represents one of the largest international investments in India in the energy sector, according to Shell India’s official website. This portfolio action is consistent with Shell’s strategy to deepen its presence in the gas value chain in India.


26 August 31, 2018

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Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Bhaen De Kofte (Curried Lotus Root Balls) In the West, bhaen (lotus root) is one of the most misunderstood vegetables – even among desi kids who have grown up in the US - and one that is seldom encountered in restaurants or grocery stores. In Asia, on the other hand, lotus root is commonly available in long stalks and is well known for its culinary uses. In China, it is known as lian ou and is used in soups, salads, with meats and even in desserts. In the Punjab, bhaen are prized for their crunchiness and highly fibrous texture which allows them to be made dry, curried and even into pickles. When made with a thick curry, some even swear that they taste like meat! Kofta is a word that is used in the Indian Subcontinent, Caucases, Balkans, Middle East and Central Asia often to refer to a meatball, though the vegetarian cuisines of India use it universally as a “ball” dish. The lotus flower is a divine symbol in Hinduism and many other Asian cultures, representing purity and nonattachment. Vishnu and Lakshmi are often portrayed on a pink lotus, and the Goddess Sarasvati is portrayed on a white lotus, as are also Ganga and Ganesh. While the lotus flower grows on top of pods of large leaves that float on the surface of the water, its fast growing roots are long underwater and can extend to a length of four feet. Lotus roots are very beneficial as they are rich in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, thiamin. Riboflavin, vitamin B5, phosphorus, copper and manganese. Chinese lotus roots are often pink and larger in diameter, softer and have a delicate taste. The Indian variety, on the other hand, are reddish brown and narrower, with a greyish-white interior that is lacey, and have a texture that is slightly crunchy and mildly sweet. The roots usually grown in soft soil and stagnant water so they have to be thoroughly washed and then boiled before being consumed. When buying lotus root, especially to sauté, be sure to test if the stalk breaks easily; if it is hard, then the dishes will not turn out well.

chopped • 4 cloves of lasan (garlic) – peeled and chopped • 1 medium adrak (ginger) – peeled and chopped • 1 medium tamater (tomato) – chopped or 1 tsp tomato paste • 2 cups pani (water) • Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper), dhania (coriander powder), haldi (turmeric)

2 tbsp of oil in a pot. Now add the curry masala ingredients and the rest of the salt, pepper and coriander and water except the tomato and stir till it becomes a little brown. When roasted and the smell of the pieces starts to come through, add the chopped tomato (and tomato paste) and brown a little more till it becomes a paste. Be careful not to overcook, then add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes till it thickens.

Directions: 1. Wash the bhaen thoroughly to remove all the dirt off them then peel the stalks and cut them into 2 inch long pieces.

6. Now drop in the fried bhaen pakoras into the turri and let them simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep covered for a few more minutes before serving with hot roti (bread).

2. Place in a pot of water and bring them to a boil for 10 minutes. When they are soft to touch, take off the heat and drain the water.

Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the oldfashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India (since renamed Faisalabad) before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her late-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share her delectable Punjabi recipes for future generations.

3. Place the bhaen pieces in a mixee to mash or mash them by hand in a bowl. Add the besan and spices and mix well till it is a semi-soft batter. 4. In a kadai or wok add some vegetable oil and heat on high. Make one inch balls out of the batter and drop into the hot oil and deep fry till they are golden brown. Let the pakoras sit on paper towels to drain the oil. 5. To make the curry masala, heat




live wi using them to mak Ingredients: e daals (lentils), ch thout their pressure cookers, anne (chickpeas), ot he r ite ms. But my ex • 250 gm bhaen (lotus roots) potatoes and by people in a hurr perience is that the pressure cooker • 1 cup besan (chickpea flour) y and the results ca is overused n often be less than • 2 tbsp tael (oil) vegetable or olive left overdone, the daals and po sa tis factory. If tatoes become too so soups or mashed in ft and mushy, becom oil stead. e • Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch One thing to be careful about is th at co oking potatoes in pr (red pepper), dhania (coriander pow- will usually leave a residue essure cooker and stain the insid vessel thoroughly so es. Be sure to wash s der) that it is clean and the ha for best results use Ingredients for curry masala: steel wool scrubber s no stain from the starch or s like Brillo pads. • 1 large pyaaz (onion) – peeled and

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August 31, 2018




August 31, 2018