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Friday, September 07, 2018 | Vol. 37, No. 35


Indo American erican News

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

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Dan McCutcheon (left) with Ramesh Bhutada.

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September 07, 2018



HOUSTON: It was a movie that

defined a generation and its twelve songs have become all-time hits of Bollywood just as they have been ingrained in the modern Indian psyche. The movie Om Shanti Om took India by storm in 2007, conceived by Farah Khan while directing Bombay Dreams in 2002. Produced by megastar Shah Rukh Khan’s (he played the lead role) wife Gauri Khan for Rs. 400 million it went on to earn Rs. 1.5 billion, a record for that time, winning many awards, including 12 Filmfare nominations. The movie and its songs certainly made a strong impression on Prakash Mohandas, a native of Chennai who came to the US in 2004 to complete a master’s in electrical engineering from the University of Texas in Austin, receiving it around the same time in 2007. He had a passion for theater and dance which began when he was 6 and continued throughout his school years and undergraduate studies combining hip hop, jazz and Kathak (for which he took lessons). At UT, Prakash unleashed his potential and performed in fusion music, theater and dance programs. After graduating, he worked as an engineer at AMD for four years and at Dell till 2013 but laid the foundations for a dance school – Agni Dance - and juggled two careers for five years. In 2010, he also launched Agni Entertainment, a touring production company that has produced six theater and film projects. All along he planned his first

September 07, 2018

Om Shanti Om Redux, Onstage Glamor and Vibrant Colors Intact

Dr. Rathna Kumar

Broadway style musical theater production based on the hit movie that inspired him, and took many liberties to add some poke-in-theribs humor at the world of Bollywood. He opened his version called Om Shanti — Once upon a Time in Bollywood, an English musical with a 150-member cast and crew performing at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin in August 2013. Prakash also delved into short and feature film production and

distribution aiming to provide an outlet for South Asian producers in the US. He launched a Bollywood Day for open air dancing which has become annual event in Austin and also jumped into other musical productions and a graphic fantasy novel called Lanka. Five years later, Prakash went on the road and brought Om Shanti — Once upon a Time in Bollywood to the Miller Outdoor Theater in Hermann Park in Houston under the auspices of the Bayou City’s

Photos: Dr. Nik Niam

Grande Dame of Indian classical dance Rathna Kumar and her production company Samskriti. As part of the annual Bollywood Blast show, the performance by over 60 performers and crew was held this past Sunday, September 2 despite a muggy and drizzly start that still didn’t hold back the near full crowd of theater lovers. The show had a strong streak of humor imbedded in it from the start with two young boys (Arya


and Aditya Santosh) being told the story by a bearded Mr. India, an Anglo actor (Robert Deiki) with an ever-ready pun line for the boys and the audience “taking off on Bollywood Air”. The opening scene brought out eleven male dancers strutting to “Om Shanti Om” in glittering silver-sequined suits and Prakash in the lead role of Om, the dancer with the Princess Shanti (Neha Sukumar) in his eyes. Prakash choreographed all the dances set to the Hindi songs in the movie, all with extravagant costumes and vibrant colors that suit his perspective of life. Though placed on one large set, the story went through many props, especially a bedroom scene which was repeated annoyingly too often, and way too many curtain calls. Faithful to the movie, the transition from life to afterlife for Om and Shanti was not clear and left many lost. And Rick Roemer playing King Khan came across finger-pointing as a drill master with little cunning. Despite these issues, the musical entertained with its energy and fusion of dance styles – ballroom dancing couples mixing with belly dancers and Bollywood line dancers. A story told, definitively, with a style suited well to Prakash’s view of a world of diversity. The actors: Prakash Mohandas (Om), Neha Sukumar (Shanti), Rick Roemer (Khan). Priya Dange (Maa/Bela), Harsh Joshi (Pappu), Robert Deiki (Mr. India), Arya Santosh (Arya), Aditya Santosh (Adi), Rohit Ramachandran (Minister), Parshuram Hotkar (King Mogambo).



September 07, 2018



Bihar Association of North America (BANA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, hosted its showcase event, BANA Academic Fest-2018 on August 25, at Houston Community College, Stafford. The mission of BANA has been to preserve and promote social and cultural heritage of India by fostering academic and cultural excellence among children in USA. It has been a great achievement for BANA to successfully organize this event for 20 years. The Academic Fest is an event where students ranging from grade 1 to 12 compete in multiple categories. This year about 150 students participated in Primary (Grade 1-3), Elementary (Grade 4-5), Middle (Grade 6-8), and High (Grade 9-12) school sections in Math, Spelling Bee, Vocabulary, Science, Art/Coloring, SAT Practice Test, Speech and Debate categories. Academic Fest allows students to stay engaged in academic activities and keep motivated/challenged during summer. It also provides a competitive platform to prepare for the upcoming school-year. In recent years BANA Academic Fest has become a community tradition recognized for promoting academic enrichment and professionalism among our next generation. BANA Mock-SAT-Exam was sponsored by TestMasters. Spelling Bee testing for Elementary/ Primary groups was coordinated by Dr. Ganesh Dasari and team of volunteers. Elementary/Middle school Science and Math tests came from TMSCA. Grading was computerized to enable fast and accurate test grading and coordinated

September 07, 2018

BANA Academic Fest 2018

by Amit Kumar. ExxonMobil and GSI Environmental Inc. are some of the key sponsors of BANA. BANA Academic Fest started at 8:00AM and concluded around 4:00PM. The lead organizers of

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this year’s event were Atul Sinha, Rakesh Sinha and Santosh Jha. They were helped by several lead coordinators/volunteers who worked hard to make this event successful. Additionally, several non-BANA personnel graciously contributed their time to serve as judges/evaluators. The event began with welcome by BANA President Dr. Santosh Verma and youth-representative Abhiraj Sinha. They highlighted the Mission and key achievements of BANA in past 25 years. Students/parents were also briefed about the exam schedule/rules. Subsequently, students were led to

respective events/rooms by event coordinators. Participants break for lunch around noon. The contest continued after the break with brisk speed. The event closed with the final round of the High School debate “On balance, the benefits of United States participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement outweigh the consequences”. The finalists Anurag Routray and Tony Jha presented their opinion and arguments with concrete facts and debated in a respectable/professional manner in a close contest. Dr. Santosh Verma thanked and congratulated all organizers, volunteers, judges and sponsors for their help/support for a successful Academic Fest-2018. He tendered his special congratulations to all the winners and participants. The current India Culture Center President, Nisha Mirani also addressed and congratulated all students participated in the fest.


Awards were given for top three (3) position in each category for each grade. One Top-Gun award was also presented in each section. Top-Gun award recipients of this year are Akshita Cheraku (Primary), Srisamhita Ponnapalli (Elementary), Adarsh Agrawal (Middle) and Ethan Jiang (High). As the awards were distributed, a crowd crescendo welcomed the winners to accept their accolades which came in the way of a trophy, certificates and a firm reassuring handshake from distinguished presenters Vijay Singh, Madhusudan Choudhary, Ram Mohan Malik, Chandeshwar Sharma, Santosh Jha, Ravi Kant Choudhary, and Bijay Kumar Singh. BANA attracts diverse members with outstanding leaders/professionals in a multitude of fields. For question/membership/sponsorship, contact banahouston@ gmail.com or visit http://www. banahouston.org.

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September 07, 2018


September 07, 2018





September 07, 2018

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September 07, 2018

Ramesh Bhutada: Seeking Higher Goals Through Business BY HAIDER KAZIM

HOUSTON: Hindus of Greater

Houston have bestowed their Lifetime Achievement Award on Ramesh Bhutada, founder and CEO of Star Pipe Products, employing over 1,400 people in the United States, Canada, China and India. The award was presented to him at HGH’s Janmashtami celebrations on August 25, 2018 by Bollywood legend Anupam Kher. This award has brought into focus a successful entrepreneur who strived throughout his life to build his corporate model not on strategies taught in business schools, but on values deeply rooted in Indian culture and philosophy. As a result, Star Pipe Products has emerged today as a professional organization with a family touch where employees work in flexible hours, father-son or husband-wife teams are accepted norm, volunteerism by employees in community service projects is encouraged, and holistic treatment therapies are promoted. “I have always believed in promoting a business organization with a team of people who enjoy working in an organization suited to be a platform for their overall growth and become better human beings, financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually,” said Ramesh Bhutada in an interview at Star Pipe headquarters on West-

Ramesh Bhutada with his wife Kiran and grand children Sahaj and Juhi.

equipment. “My father has set up a friendly and welcoming culture, where we get to know each other and try to make it an enjoyable place,” said Rishi, the only son of Kiran and Ramesh Bhutada. A graduate of Wharton Business School, and is MBA from Rice University, Rishi works as VP of Finance reporting to Dan McCutcheon, President and is married with two children. He lives with his father maintaining the Indian tradition of joint family. It is probably the friendly work environment at Star Pipe that has encouraged the family of other staff members to join the company. Tyler McCutcheon, son of Dan McCutcheon (President Star Pipe Products), came from a much larger company to join the Star

Star Pipe Products employees

hollow Parkway Houston. This strategy has paid dividends. Established in 1979 with only one employee, Star Pipe has now grown into a global manufacturer and supplier of pipe fittings and accessories. It has 14 distribu-

tion centers across North America and business operations in China and India. The company recently acquired a foundry in South Coffeyville, Oklahoma, and is embarking upon a major upgrade of the facility with state-of-the-art

Pipe Products family. “Knowing you’re building for future generations gives you an extra sense of purpose and pride to work in a family business.” Similarly, Bharat Pallod also took a pay cut to work in the same


company as his father Vijay Pallod who is a close relative of Bhutadas and an associate at the company for nearly 28 years. The staff at the company have been touched by Ramesh Bhutada’s modesty, integrity and work ethics. “I’ve worked with Ramesh for 22 years. What originally attracted me was his honesty and pure intentions. Secondly, his commitment to our community and several charitable organizations is matched by few. He is a special man,” said Dan McCutcheon who as the president of the company. “His integrity is his commitment and when he makes a commitment he keeps it,” said Prakash Morolia who has worked with Ramesh Bhutada for over 28 years and recounted several incidents to emphasize this point. “He is a very simple man and a sincere businessman with an acumen for details. He is an astute analyst who always applies due diligence to make a fair business decision.” Dale Andrews, who is one of the long-term employees of the company, described Ramesh as a “great leader who is always on top of the game.” She said even if he is busy he is always accessible to employees who can go to him and discuss their problems. “He always holds himself to the same standard that he holds for others,” said Kirthi Jain, who as CFO works closely with Ramesh Bhutada. “For him, it never mattered what the religion of other perCONTINUED ON PAGE 10


10 September 07, 2018 Ramesh Bhutada

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 09 son is. He is always connected to the people who are spiritual. He is open to understand and explore any spiritual ideas. That may be the reason why he is so down to earth.” Said Jain: “His idea of philanthropy is social responsibility. He always took this as his personal responsibility, with a desire of sharing.” Daniel Dominguez, a retired partner at BDO Seidman, an accounting and consulting firm and presently CFO and Director of Centro Familiar Cristiano or Christian Family Center said: “Ramesh is a prime example of an individual that not only does things right, but he also does the right thing. A very successful business person that in the process remains sensitive to human needs (the youth, the poor and the underprivileged), never seeking recognition or selfindulgence. Peaceful and analytical and at the same time caring for the less fortunate at home and abroad.”

Asked about the genesis of his work philosophy and management style, Bhutada said it did not happen in one day, but has rather evolved over a period. Going back to his early life in a remote town in Maharashtra state of India, where his family operated a small retail store and engaged in farming. His father was active in RSS, but young Bhutada never understood RSS properly and was busy in his studies. After graduating from high school in Nandura town, Buldana district, Bhutada got into the prestigious Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani from where he graduated in electrical engineering. He had a burning desire to do his master’s in electrical engineering from the U.S. He wanted to travel to the U.S. via a western route, stay there for a short while to earn enough money to pay off student loans and go back to India via an eastern route. Bhutada said he got admission into the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago but, his family did not have enough money to send him there. Bhutada went to Bombay


to explore different avenue to raise money for his education. There he met several people to get a grant or a loan. Among them was the head of a Marwari organization which gave financial assistance to aspiring students. Bhutada was able to impress him to give him a loan but it was his advice that influenced and shaped Bhutada’s career. The advice was plain and simple: Don’t plan on just doing a job for the rest of your life; get into a business where you can create jobs for others. After raising money, Bhutada came to Chicago in 1968 and was able to complete his master’s degree in two semesters. He got a job with Texas Instruments in Houston and had to borrow $100 from a friend to come to Houston. He checked in a motel where he had to stay for two weeks, till he got his first pay check to pay the motel bill. But the job did not last long and he was laid off within a year. Later he got a job with a geophysical company as a computer programmer and later as a manager of a department. Bhutada remembered the advice given to

him as a student. He got into a business of garment import with two partners. But the business floundered as none of the partners knew anything about garments. He wrapped up the business. Being ambitious those days, he had three businesses Star Pipe Products, Comstar and All Imports running simultaneously. After several ups and downs, he decided to shut down Comstar and All Imports and focused on Star Pipe with the help of his brother-inlaw Jugal Malani. Bhutada said two events influenced him deeply and shaped up his personal and business outlook. The first came when he was overwhelmed by the intensity of the business. It took tremendous efforts to run the business and almost reached a decision to give up the business, take a job and lead an easy life. At the height of his frustration, he happened to read an article in the Organizer by H.V. Sheshadri, the then general secretary of RSS. The article was about Purushartha, the goals of human existence or the soul’s purpose. The article said that a man must put all his efforts with the skills he has acquired in life. He is not the owner of the fruits but are only a trustee or a custodian of those fruits. You must consume only what you and your loved ones need, and the rest belongs to the community at large. Bhutada said he was so deeply influenced by the article and he realized that he was destined to do business and therefore gave up all the thought of winding it down. From that day he never looked back. The second incident was the imposition of the state of emergency in India by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1977. A crackdown on dissent followed in which over 100,000 RSS leaders and workers were detained and put in jail. His father was also imprisoned for his links with RSS. Although Bhutada was not a political person, he was deeply shaken by this unravelling of democracy in India. He joined protests against the emergency regime and got closer to RSS for the first time in his life, got to understand it and began organizing shakha in his home. HSS or Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh which gets inspiration from RSS, got established in the USA, of which he is currently the national vice president. Bhutada said he discovered that HSS was the most decentralized organization where team work is emphasized, and decisions are taken by consensus at each local, regional or national level. Authority is delegated at all levels and each action is judged by its intent. If the intention is good, it is presumed the results would be good. He said the HSS organization management model influenced the Star Pipe organizational culture, where long term important decisions are taken by consensus even though it may take time. Openness, integrity, team work and overall personal growth is emphasized. In personal life, he leads a simple life and tries to consume only what he needs, not necessarily the norm in business. Ramesh firmly believes that just as in personal life, where one should always have some higher purpose in life besides just raising family, that even business organizations should also have some purpose besides just making money. He contributes the success of Star Pipe to his colleagues at Star Pipe Products beginning with Jugal Malani, who helped to lay the foundation of Star Pipe. He specially recognizes Dan McCutcheon, President, and Navin Bhargava, Executive Vice President along with other teammates and employees for their contribution in making Star Pipe’s welcoming organizational culture leading to its success.



September 07, 2018


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Himalayan Heritage to Houston this September

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HOUSTON: It is rare for or-

dained Himalayan monks who have studied and meditated deeply in the mountains to disseminate the realized wisdom here in the West, but this September the Houston community will be graced by the return of a spiritual master and dharma ambassador, His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda. Shaped by the rugged Himalayan terrain, Swami Vidyadhishananda brings with him the sublime wisdom and serene divinity of the mountains. Swami Vidyadhishananda was awarded the degree of Mahamahopadhyay (DLitt et Phil) by the university system in India due to his scholarly interpretation of Sanskrit literature. He is the spiritual founder of the Californiabased Nonprofit, Self Enquiry Life Fellowship (hansavedas.org) and head of the Hansavedas Mission. Under his able leadership, the Nonprofit achieved the Guidestar Gold level ranking and is also a top-rated Nonprofit for five years in a row on the GreatNonprofits website. The Nonprofit and its Hansavedas teaching curriculum was established to represent all aspects of the ancient indigenous Sanskrit-based curriculum of India. Thus the programs of fellowships, workshops, retreats, training courses, website and the multimedia content cover and represent the whole spectrum of the ancient Sanskrit-based teaching tradition of India. The Nonprofit’s curriculum effortlessly combines Ayurvedic wellness with meditation, spiritual philosophy with music, and yoga with art among many other interwoven diverse parts. His Holiness is a monk of the ancient Giri Vedanta order, who is a kriyayogi and a meditation master from the combined heritage of rishi sages and nath yogis. His affiliation to unbroken lineages of both the siddha and the rishi lineages allows him to cover topics on dharma, yoga, Vedanta, medi-

tation and Indic fine arts. Thus the 2018 Houston program spans these Sanskriti topics which form an integral part of the events and discourses. Highlights of the program: His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda will be visiting Houston from September 16 to October 3 and you can hear him speak at the following public events. There will also be an opportunity for personal blessings (darshan line) at the end of the free fellowships on 19, 22 and 26 September. Wednesday, 19 September : Four Paths of Higher Yoga. Free with registration. A 6:30pm discourse at Pralaya Yoga Studio covering the traditional meditation methods of mantra-yoga, laya-yoga, hatha-yoga and rajayoga. Saturday, 22 September: Himalayan Siddha Secrets of Longevity and Vitality. Free with registration. A 6pm discourse at India House on unlocking the siddha formula of meditation, pranayama, kayakalpa, stem cells and oxygen. Prasad (blessed food) will be served following the discourse. Wednesday, 26 September : Practising Dharma in the Face of Modernism. Free with registration. A 7pm discourse at Char Dham Hindu Temple in The Woodlands on principles of dharma that are useful to tackle the challenges of our modern technological age. Prasad (blessed food) will be served following the discourse. Saturday, 29 September : Sattwadharman Benefit and Art Auction at VPSS Vallabh Hall. A

ticketed event at 4pm. This exquisite evening of art and culture is being held for the first time in Houston. The benefit dinner with the silent auction features sublime Sanskrit chanting by His Holiness, who will also deliver the keynote address. The evening includes rare video footage of traditional whole-brain accelerated schooling in India recorded at the Nonprofit’s sister institution. A limited release of 36 rare meditative vintage photographs and antique altar paintings from the Nonprofit’s archive collection will be available in the silent auction. This special event makes it possible for historians, art connoisseurs, and Indic Studies specialists as well as spiritual seekers to access sacred art prints not easily available elsewhere. Proceeds from this event support Self Enquiry Life Fellowship’s heritage projects on the revival of indigenous knowledge, accelerated learning curricula, and value-based educational publications. For details visit hansavedas.org/ benefit For details and registration for all events, please visit the website: hansavedas.org/ houston Or contact the Houston volunteers at 281-4108102 or houston@hansavedas. org

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12 September 07, 2018


World Hindu Congress Set to Welcome More Than 2,500 Delegates for 2018 Conference

Vice President of the Republic of India to Commemorate 125th Anniversary of the Landmark Parliament of Religions Speech in Special Ceremony


HICAGO: The World Hindu Congress (WHC) announced that attendance goals for the 2018 conference have been smashed, with more than 2,500 delegates and 220 eminent speakers confirmed for this year’s iteration. Convening September 7-9 at The Westin Hotel in the Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard, IL, the 2018 WHC is celebrating the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s Parliament of Religions speech in Chicago in 1893. Upon completion of WHC deliberations, the Honorable Mr. M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of the Republic of India, will participate in a special ceremony to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Swamiji’s Chicago speech. “The 2018 World Hindu Congress will be a landmark event,” said WHC Coordinator Dr. Abhaya Asthana. “We are primed and eager to host an unprecedented convergence of Hindu leadership unified in purpose: To connect, share ideas, inspire one another, and impact the common good. The WHC provides a unique opportunity for participants to exchange ideas on a global stage and draws upon expertise of speakers from a wide range of fields and backgrounds.” Featuring seven parallel conferences that will explore economics, education, media, politics, women, youth and organization, the 2018 WHC will feature prominent speakers such as economist Dr. Arvind Panagariya, academic Dr. Makarand Paranjape, author Amish Tripathi, and Grammy-nominated artist and entrepreneur Chandrika Tandon. Additionally, there will be poster presentations at the event that includes 55 posters from various Hindu Leaders and Researchers on topics such as Non-Violence: Our Greatest Gift to the World and Hindu Culture and Life-style studies. About World Hindu Congress: Held once every four years, the World Hindu Congress (WHC) is a global platform for Hindus to connect, share ideas, inspire one another, and impact the common good. Founded in 2014, the first World Hindu Congress in Delhi birthed the seven parallel conference platform to showcase the values, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit of the global Hindu community. For more information, visit www.worldhinducongress.org INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 07, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


September 07, 2018


Abhishek Upmanyu, Comedy Show in Houston on September 16


the tremendous success of Varun Thakur on April 27, DMMS Events bring Abhishek Upmanyu to our town on Sunday September 16, at the Stafford Civic Center at 6.30 pm. Abhishek is one of the many stand up comedians who are a new breed of comedians who are ready to entertain audiences world over. It’s not a stretch to say that comedians are the new superstars of this generation. They receive the kind of adulation that was reserved for actors and cricketers — fan art, fan pages on social media, and being hounded for selfie requests. Carving their niche within this space now is a new subset of stand-up comics. The ones that prefer using Hindi as their medium. Performers such as Abhishek Upmanyu are comics who grew up in predominantly Hindi-speaking cities such as Delhi. And what’s driving is his decision to use Hindi on stage is the need to stay true to his own experiences. A clip of Upmanyu talking about sarcastic Indian parents went viral earlier (2017). It’s evident that he’s a rapid speaker with a peculiar north Indian accent. “Once, in Bengaluru [before the viral videos], I asked the crowd if they understood Hindi, and they said yes. But soon enough, they couldn’t follow me. They said, ‘Hume yeh wali Hindi nahi aati hai’ (we don’t understand this kind of Hindi). Abhishek has various videos on YouTube and almost all of them have over 10M views. He has entertained people in Singapore and Dubai during the earlier part of this year. Being a rapid speaker his current US Tour is called – Thoda Saaf Bol. He is one of the best that India has, his delivery, relatability, innovation, he’s got it all. From dealing with the plight of being an ugly baby to getting millions of views on his Youtube channel, this guy has come a long way. Abhishek has moved to Mumbai for “better prospects” which according to him may or may not materialize but has sure given him crazy material for his stand-ups. His typical Delhite accent is what makes his stories funnier. He is a thin, nerdy looking guy who is funny first through his body language and then his jokes. The way he puts it, his jokes are his experiences in the cities he had lived in and his memories from childhood, but they are funnier than any of ours. This is definitely an hour of non-stop laughter with brand new jokes told in the Upmanyu way. Ranked highly among the top Indian Stand Up comedians Abhishek brings in a laughter filled evening which is guaranteed to leave one and all splitting with laughter. Arif Memon from DMMS Events says that shows like these bring in some kind of relief for the busy people of today. After this there is a 2-comedian show scheduled for Oct 20, and the people that attend this show will get a special deal for that show.

Arif Memon (left) with Varun Thakur

Tickets are available at tickethungama. com or call Arif Memon at 832-287-8786.


14 September 07, 2018


September 07, 2018



16 September 07, 2018


“Perfection in Every Movement” Tanya Roysam’s Arangetram Review



Tanya Roysam’s arangetram had been an event we were all looking forward to for the last year and she did not disappoint! Tanya, a rising junior at Texas Academy for Math and Science, and daughter of Shantala and Badri Roysam, gave a three hour solo Bharatanatyam Arangetram performance at University of Houston, Clearlake on July 29th, 2018. She has been learning this ancient and revered form of art since the age of 6, starting with Guru Angana Patel in New York, and later continuing her training under Gurus Venugopal Joysula and Dr. Rathna Kumar since 2011. Guru Dr. Rathna Kumar has been instrumental in moulding Tanya into the beautiful dancer she is today. The program began with an invocation song on Lord Ganesha by sweet little Pranathi Sira Rao. Tanya’s brother Tejas Roysam and friend, Rohini Khambampati were the Master/Mistress of the Ceremony for the evening. They introduced Tanya to the audience, to perform her first dance on Lord Ganesha, Gajavandana Beduve, in Adi Taalam and Hamsadhwani Raagam. This is an invocation piece symbolizing the offering of respects to both God and the audi-

Photos: Murali Santhana

ence, where Guru Rathna Kumar had artistically incorporated the Alarippu into its choreography. This was followed by the Jattiswaram, in Adi Taalam and Oormika Raaga, which was specially composed for her by the flautist

Sri Muthu Kumar and Mridangist, Sri Kesavan Chenda. Tanya had a tremendous start with these two pieces, showcasing her nritta, leaving us looking forward to the rest of the evening. She continued on with Saraswati Namostute, set in Roopaka Taalam, Saraswati Raagam. The central piece in Tanya’s Arangetram was the Varnam Mathe, comprised of several stories of Goddess Durga in all her glory as a loving daughter, Mother, and a relentless destroyer of her enemies to protect her children. Tanya’s abhinaya, depicting of Goddess Durga as the annihilator of the demons Chanda and Munda and Goddess Devi killing the demon Raktabija, along with Sri Kesavan Chenda’s magic on his percussion instru-

ments gave a depth to the performance that left the audience at the edge of the seats. The Varnam is where the ability of a dancer to perform abhinaya and nritta are tested through very complex steps, movements, and expressions that require stamina and concentration. Tanya passed this test with flying colors, to a standing ovation. She transitioned from the varnam to a Purandaradasa kriti, Adidhano Ranga, in Adi Taalam and Arabi Ragam, where she painted a vivid picture of Lord Krishna triumphantly dancing on the hoods of snake Kaliya. This was followed by an energetic Ananda Taandavam, in Adi Taalam and Kedaragowla Raagam. As Tanya wrapped up her recital with a Thillana and Mangalam, I watched with won-

der how much she has matured over the years. It was a reminder that it is youth like her that are going to carry our culture and traditions into the future – they remain in good hands. The thing that struck me most about Tanya’s Arangetram was how she illuminated the stage as she twirled around with invigorated energy and crisp footwork, paired with convincing abhinaya. The meticulous training imparted by Guru Rathna Kumar was clearly visible in Tanya’s performance, which was a testimony to her dedication, hard work, her passion for perfection and involvement in Bharatanatyam. Her performance was definitely elevated to another level by a delightful and accomplished orchestra comprised of Mr. Siva Prasad’s mellifluous voice, Maestro N.K.Kesavan’s bold and imaginative rhythms and Flautist Muthukumar’s melodious strains. While the Roysams expressed their heartfelt thanks to family and friends that helped with making this event a success, Tanya’s friend Jvalanthi Prasad, shared her experience about their guru Dr. Rathna Kumar. Every little detail that evening was well planned and executed. Thanks to the audience who helped Tanya raise $800 for Houston SPCA in support of her favorite cause of rescuing animals. The magnificent décor in the foyer and on-stage was done by Vasundhara Kambhampati and Sheela Kavuri. The program ended with a sumptuous meal, catered by Udipi Café. As Tanya’s brother, Tejas, rightly said “The thousands of hours and years and years of study and devotion Tanya has put into her art is not only a reflection of her sincere interest and enthusiasm for her culture, but is first and foremost the truest reflection of her life itself.” We wish her much success in all her future endeavors.



September 07, 2018


Large Lot with Pool, Tennis Court Makes Spacious House a Resort BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA


it would be hard to find a private tennis court in a private home right behind Meyerland. But then add a pool, a basketball court, a 5-hole putting range and a diamond for baseball practice and you really marvel at this hidden jewel tucked away so close to Meyerland you can walk there for dinner and drinks. “We literally have to walk only 3 minutes to go to our favorite places like La Madelaine or Escalante,” laughed the owner as she and her husband prepared for a barbeque party in their enormous yard. They prefer to remain anonymous, but the husband is a native Pakistani who has been here for 50 years and his wife is a native Houstonian Latina. They were attracted to the huge half-acre lot and moved in 20 years ago when their kids were still small and took to the pool. A young tennis family, they added the court to play whenever they wanted, then came the extra sports additions for their son and his friends. Before they moved in, they added 1,000 sf of area with a second floor and formal living room overlooking the pool. With 3,185 sf, four bedrooms, four baths, a sewing room, home office – all of it completely remodeled – the house is a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city. It sits at 5011 Darnell, along a horseshoe drive which has only 25 homes and a diverse group of homeowners. On National Night Out, they all gather and one time “we found out that the four physicians here all worked at MDAndersen at the Medical Center,” chuckled the wife, “but they had never ran into

Property Profile

Location: 5011 Darnell, Meyerland Agent: Anna Snegirev Listing Agency: Keller Williams, 713-6218001 or 832-930-6673 Stories: 2 Living Space: 3,185sf Bedrooms: 4 Baths: 4 full Garage: 2-car Amenities; Pool, tennis court, basketball court, golf range, beautiful landscaping Best Feature: Close to Mereland Plaza, Galleria and Texas Medical Center

each other there!” Just 5 miles south of the Galleria and 3 blocks from Loop 610 South, the house has easy access to the Texas Medical Center. It is a safe and quiet neighborhood less than 2 miles from several excellent schools that include Lovett Elementary, St. Thomas Episcopal, Bellaire High School, and Condit Elementary and Episcopal High School. It is truly a dream home for raising children. The property is fully landscaped and offers plenty of additional space to plant your favorite herbs, peppers, a vegetable garden or fruit trees. The backyard pool is surrounded by travertine floors and spacious covered patio which is a dream spot to enjoy your favorite cup of tea after a hectic day at the office. And the house has many modern touches too. The kitchen is open concept with all new appliances, wine cooler and a quartz island. Downstairs there are separate bedroom and bathroom for grandparents while the upstairs has the master bedroom with his and hers

separate bathrooms. The homeowners have reluctantly placed the house on the market as they ponder relocating out of state. “It’s a very unique property,” said the husband, “no other home offers all these

amenities in the heart of Houston.” For additional details or a visit please contact Anna Snegirev at Keller Williams, 713-6218001 or 832-930-6673 or AnnaSnegirev@ KWRealty.com.


18 September 07, 2018 The 8.2% Message


The Narendra Modi government has got a leg up on the fiscal front with the GDP growing at 8.2 per cent in the April to June quarter of FY 19 compared to 5.6 per cent in the first quarter of the previous year. The spurt in growth in the past quarter, after eight quarters, marked by a rise in manufacturing and construction, may be because it comes off a low base last year. Yet, clearly, there seems to be a recovery underway. The economy now seems to have slowly shrugged off the impact of two disruptive moves — the withdrawal of high value notes or demonetisation in November 2016 and the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax in July 2017 which is reflected in the growth of 13.5 per cent in the manufacturing sector and higher private consumption spending at 8.6 per cent in the April-June quarter. One of the growth drivers has been public spending. But there are worry lines. For one, maintaining this growth over the next few quarters on a higher base will be difficult, especially with the farm sector clocking a single digit growth of 7 per cent in nominal terms for the fifth successive quarter. Besides, household inflation expectations measured by the RBI in its survey have risen significantly in the last two rounds, which the central bank reckons could influence actual outcomes in the next few months. Add to that rising oil prices and a weak rupee, and it could mean that borrowing costs could go up further and cloud the growth outlook. India’s top banks have already revised their lending rates and many economists and forecasters are factoring in another rate hike this fiscal. That would be a dampener for private investment, which is key to a full revival of the economy and for maintaining the growth momentum over this fiscal and beyond and more importantly for creating more jobs. Higher interest rates announced by the top lenders will also put a brake on private consumption spending. The government may be able to draw comfort in the upcoming quarters from an improvement in capacity utilisation by firms, spending on infrastructure, specially roads, and the fact that the clean-up of bank balance-sheets could slowly start to show results later this fiscal. With private investment yet to pick up and all the engines of growth yet to fire, poll-bound governments may be tempted to splurge. But there is limited leeway. The government must be mindful of the downside. -- Indian Express

Last week, the Madras high court ordered the National Highways Authority of India to separate ordinary citizens from VIPs at toll gates, with a dedicated lane for the latter. Of course, high court judges are included in the list of VIPs. The court held it to be ‘disheartening’ and ‘very unfortunate’ that judges are ‘compelled to wait in the toll plaza for 10 to 15 minutes’. NHAI decided to challenge the directive. One might have expected the judges to be rather more concerned that more than a million cases have been pending in 24 high courts across India for over a decade. According to CJI Dipak Misra, the total backlog of cases at all levels of the judiciary is a staggering 33 million! The impact of this delay should weigh a bit more heavily in the minds of the learned judges while they leave matters of administration in the hands of the executive branch of government. What is telling about the directive is the VIP mentality that has become part of the DNA of India’s ruling elite. Contrary to Abraham Lincoln’s famous definition of democracy, India has a government of VIPs, by VIPs and for VIPs. They do what they can, the people suffer what they must. In the heyday of European empires, colonial masters ruled imperiously over conquered subjects. During the Raj, the British class system fused seamlessly with India’s caste system to entrench social divisions even more rigidly. After independence, India proudly declared itself a sovereign democratic republic and added the word ‘socialist’ in the Constitution. The central tenet of the four words taken together – sovereign, democratic, socialist, republic – is the sovereignty of the people. Politicians and officials are their servants. But as in other self-described socialist and communist paradises, India’s ruling elites captured all the privileges while the disempowered populace was saddled with poverty, scarcity and general misery. The elite moved into the newly-vacated opulent bungalows of Lutyens’ New Delhi, even as the growing mass of destitute citizens lived in slums that

sprang up along the city’s outskirts. Gradually political office became the fastest route to miraculous wealth acquisition and conspicuous consumption. In time the brazenness of privileged behaviour spread to an allencompassing sense of entitlement as the political and bureaucratic elite, in that order, began to act like feudal overlords over citizens. The more that the quality of public services (health, education, infrastructure) decayed and institutions were degraded and corrupted, the greater was the distance between the lifestyle of the closed circle of the elite and ordinary citizens. Inevitably this morphed into the VIP culture that Indians by and large detest with a depth of contempt, anger and resentment that is difficult for foreigners to fathom. The Congress party bears particular responsibility for this sorry state of affairs as the party of government in New Delhi and most states after independence. One of the great attractions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election winning slogan of good governance in 2014 was it promised to restore the rightful balance in relations between citizens, officials and politicians. ‘Twas not to be. In this as in most other respects, the gap between boastful rhetoric and actual practice remains distressingly wide: the 56-inch chest has been overshadowed by a 96-inch tongue. Modi has tried to lead by example in some respects and is not in the least bit ostentatious himself. Nor has he given any indication so far of abusing his office for private gain or mistreating

citizens. But this was the defence that his predecessor Manmohan Singh adopted without success: that the sea of corruption in which so many of his ministers were drowning was no indictment of his performance, for he himself was squeaky clean. Similarly, although Modi himself has not been seduced by the VIP culture, he has failed to assert himself against those from within his and allied parties who have very publicly abused their offices. Perhaps he did learn the trick of bathing with a raincoat from Dr Saheb after all. An obvious display of VIP culture that strikes foreign visitors is the list, in full public display at airports, of more than 30 categories of VIPs exempt from pre-boarding security screening. And how else other than a deeply instilled VIP culture do we explain Shiv Sena’s MP Ravindra Gaikwad’s air rage last year when he boasted he’d used his slippers to hit a 60-year old Air India staffer 25 times? In a civilized country Gaikwad would have been expelled from the party, charged with assault and lost his seat. The party would have moved quickly to apologise to the attendant and the people and promised that such appallingly thuggish behaviour is neither condoned by nor acceptable to the party. But not in India’s corrupted political culture. Instead, Shiv Sena threatened to disrupt air travel. The Centre capitulated to this mobster-like blackmail and ordered Air India to take Gaikwad off the no-fly-list. Throughout the highly publicised episode, Modi’s silence was as eloquent as his predecessor’s on maha-scandals. Compare this to a notorious incident in Pakistan – supposedly a less robust democracy – where on 15 September 2014, former interior minister Rehman Malik held up a plane for two hours. When he finally boarded, angry passengers harangued him and refused to let the plane take off until he had been thrown off. A passenger uploaded a video of the incident to YouTube. Two weeks later he was sacked from his unrelated job but not before his video was widely shared and praised by a public sick to death of Pakistan’s VIP culture. -- Times of India


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



September 07, 2018


The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi - Part 13


he story thus far…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 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. Hundreds of men, women, and children were butchered, though the official figures given were only 379 killed and 2000 wounded. Leaving the wounded and dying on the ground, the troops marched away. The name Jallianwala Bagh became synonymous with massacre. There were other even more shameful deeds done all over the Punjab. Indians were ordered to crawl on their hands and knees. General Dyer also ordered that in certain areas all Indians were to alight from vehicles and salute whenever they passed a British officer. At certain places men were stripped naked and flogged. Students and children were ordered to walk miles for roll call, to attend parades, and salute the British flag. Then there was the stripping and flogging of marriage parties, the censorship of communications, and cutting of water and electricity supplies to Indian families. The administration of General Dyer’s martial law created a reign of terror in the Punjab. C. F. Andrews, who had already reached the Punjab, wrote to Gandhi and begged him to come at once. Gandhi wanted to go, but the Government turned down his requests for permission to visit the place. Finally, in October that year, the Viceroy permitted him to visit the Punjab, and Gandhi went. On his arrival at Lahore railway station, Gandhi found that almost the entire population of the city was waiting for him. The Congress had appointed a committee to enquire into the atrocities committed in the Punjab. On his arrival in Lahore he was requested to join the committee. He started a slow but most methodical investigation of the incidents in the Punjab. Gandhi thus had the opportunity to get to know the Punjab and its people. The people flocked to him. They loved and respected him. Jawaharlal Nehru, who was also there in the Punjab, realized that Gandhi was the leader of the masses. People were drawn to him because of his thoughts and deeds. Nehru saw the scientific accuracy with which Gandhi was conducting the enquiry. Gandhi’s report of the atrocities showed that the Government was trying to shield certain persons. He was never interested in taking revenge on anybody but he was shocked at the way the government sat silent when its own report was published. He was greatly moved by the suf-

ferings of the people in the Punjab. He knew the extent of the atrocities committed on the defenseless people. Gandhi now advised the people to not cooperate with the Government in every possible way. He advised them not to accept any of the honors offered by Britain, and requested those who had already received honors to return them. He wanted people to start a movement to boycott the law courts. He advised people not to buy any foreign goods. He wanted every effort to be made to persuade Indians not to serve the Government in any capacity. He called out students from the educational institutions. Gandhi’s influence on the Indian people was steadily growing. The old leaders, many of them with liberal policies, were vanishing from Indian politics. By the end of 1920 Gandhi was the undisputed leader and head of the Indian National Congress. The Congress was fighting for immediate Home Rule. Its method of fighting was nonviolent noncooperation with the government, and defying carefully selected laws at suitable times. Gandhi was very interested in Jawaharlal Nehru and his socialistic views. He was most impressed with the account given by Jawaharlal of his contacts with the peasants. Jawaharlal explained the difficulties the peasants were experiencing, particularly the high taxes they had to pay. The political situation in India grew worse. The Government became nervous. There was tension everywhere

and amidst the suppressed people there was the danger of violence. In spite of the hard attitude of the Government, Gandhi believed that England would soon right the wrong before it was too late. Jawaharlal was of the opinion that England would not change her policy unless she was forced to do so. Jawaharlal was right. Soon the Government started arresting the leaders and imprisoning them. The British were afraid to loosen their grip on India. On August 1, 1920, in a letter to Lord Chelmsford, the Viceroy, Gandhi gave the signal for a noncooperation campaign. Along with it he returned the Kaiser-i-Hind gold medal which had been awarded to him in 1915. In the columns of Young India Gandhi wrote in detail in defense of nonviolent noncooperation. With other leaders he traveled extensively addressing huge meetings and preaching the essentials of satyagraha. Everywhere the crowds welcomed him with great love and enthusiasm. Again and again he warned the people against violence. He abhorred mass fury. “If India has to get her freedom by violence,” he said, “let it be by the disciplined violence named war.” At the end of August the Gujarat Political Conference passed a noncooperation resolution and a special session of theCongress was held in Calcutta on September 4 to 9. Gandhi had prepared the draft of the noncooperation resolution. Gandhi was not sure how much support he would get at the Congress session. When he moved the resolution he said that he knew the resolution envisaged a policy which was different from the policy hitherto followed. “But,” he declared, “knowing this, I stand before you in fear of God and with a sense of duty to put this before you for your acceptance.” The special Congress session adopted the noncooperation plan as a means of attaining Swaraj. During the latter part of 1920 Gandhi advocated a triple boycott. He wanted an absolute boycott of the Government and all government institutions, including schools, colleges, and courts. If the people were free of these they could easily have their own schools, colleges, and courts, and the power of the British would collapse at once. There was much laughter and ridicule from the moderates and the supporters of British rule. But Gandhi paid no attention. — To be continued next week


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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 September 07, 2018


Eighth Annual Free Health Fair in Pearland/Manvel Area on Sep 15


“Life and Soul” Health Fair is a free community health fair serving the residents of Houston and neighboring cities.

The 8th annual health fair this year will be held on Sep 15, Saturday, 8 am to 12 Noon at Sai Primary Care – New Life Plaza, 3945 CR

58, Manvel 77578. It is organized by Love to Share Foundation America, a non-profit community organization, and brings together several service organizations and volunteers to serve the community. The Honorable Mayor of Manvel Ms. Debra Davison and Honorable Mayor of Pearland Mr. Tom Reid will kickoff the event this year at 8 am. All the screenings will be offered free of cost to attendees and these include – Biometrics, Bone Density, EKG, Carotid Doppler, Blood sugar, Cholesterol, Lung Function Test, Vision and Glaucoma Screening, Hearing test, Thyroid Screening, Ultrasound and Blood Pressure. These screenings will be offered on a first come first serve basis,

no prior appointments needed. This year we will also have CPR and Stroke education classes. Free screening Mammograms will be offered to eligible Brazoria County residents. Participants are requested to call 281412-6606 for scheduling the test. Free flu vaccines will be offered to first 100 participants who are 4 years old or above. Free Bike Helmets will be given way to educate the public about preventing head injury. Flu Vaccines and Bike Helmet giveaways are made possible by Texas Medical Association’s Be Wise - Immunize Program and Hard Hats for Little Heads Program. General Practitioners and a Gastroenterologist, a Cardiologist and a Rheumatologist will be

available to answer any questions. Walmart and Dr. Richard Johnigan III are the grand sponsors of the event this year. Other sponsors include HEB, Amgen, Walgreens, Southeast Cardiovascular Associates, Coastal Vascular Center, GeoGrafx, Alvin Community College - Respiratory Division, UTMB, Texas Medical Association Be Wise - Immunize and Hard Hats for Little Heads, Bay Area Printing, Genesis Hearing, Bandy And Associates, Cooling Towers, Shipley’s Donuts, Ina Patel, Biriyani Express, Starbucks and BJ’s. For further information or to make a tax-exempt donation for this noble cause, please call 281-402-6585.



September 07, 2018


Mousumi Banerjee Entertainment Presents Samir & Dipalee Live in Concert HOUSTON: Mousumi Banerjee

Entertainment Company is launching its first Concert: THE SAMIR AND DIPALEE LIVE IN CONCERT. The Bollywood Playback singer Samir Date and Dipalee Somaiya Date the SAREGAMAPA star and four-time government award winner will be performing LIVE in Houston with their musician’s team on Saturday, September 22, at the Stafford Civic Center. SAMIR DATE & DIPALEE SOMAIYA DATE are prolific singer performers and award winning Bollywood playback singers. Samir has worked with the likes of Yash Chopra, Asha Bhosle, ShivHari, Raam Laxman, Sooraj Barjatya, Bappi Lahiri, Suresh Wadkar, Anuradha Paudwal, Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurty, Ekta Kapoor and many others. Dipalee stormed the citadel of music when she was only nine years. They are today much sought after world over as a performing couple with over 300 international shows to their credit in the past 3 years. Samir has sung playback for Hindi films like Jazbaat, Parampara & Fauj has also hosted TV shows while Dipalee is a SAREGAMA Star and 4 times govt. award winner. She has twice been honored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for her singing achievements. Her contribution to

American Charity Foundation. About Mousumi Banerjee Entertainment: Mousumi Banerjee Entertainment Company is an entertainment company specializing in Concert Promotion, Talent Promotion and Cultural Event Promotion. Mousumi Banerjee the CEO of the Company has worked relentlessly several years helping the non-profit organizations like India

House, CRY, SEWA International and currently a Director of Indo American Charity Foundation. She has promoted both large and small scale events all over Houston. For more information about Mousumi Banerjee Entertainment visit: https://www.facebook.com/Mousumi-Banerjee2046130342332317/, email mousumib@yahoo.com or call 832-841-5727.

JOB OPPORTUNITY Looking for Office Assistant

Part - Time, Flexible Hours/ Work from Home film music has been in the form of songs for the film GHOONGHAT, HUM TUMPE MARTE HAIN & RAHUL. Her recently released solo for the film CHOORIYAN has been very well received. She is the three-time winner of THE GUJARAT STATE AWARD FOR THE BEST PLAYBACK SINGER FOR THE YEARS 2004, 2008 & 2009. She has also sung for many MARATHI, BHOJPURI, PUNJABI, and RAJASTHANI films. Their 30 concert tour in 2016 covered Jamaica, Canada, Holland, United Kingdom and West Indies. The sponsors include Amiralli Dodhiya Agent with New York

Life, Tara Energy, Embassy Suites by Hilton Houston Energy Corridor and Umang Mehta Deep Foods Inc. The Media Partners include Indo-American News, Radio Dabang 99.5FM, Voice of Asia News Group, Shoba Joshi Geetanjali Radio KXYZ 1320, Desi Window and Masala Radio Houston. Speaking about the event, Mousumi Banerjee, says, “I am very enthusiastic hosting this concert on the behalf of My Entertainment Company. It is challenging but exciting. It is my request to the community to please support and be a part of the concert. Part of the proceeds will be donated to Indo

• • • • •

Candidate will be responsible for various office duties and will report to the owner of the company. Some administrative/office experience is preferred. Training will be provided. Excellent written & verbal communication skills needed. Deadline-Oriented, Acute Vision, Handles Rejection, Team Player. Additional qualifications: Excel, Word, InDesign, Photoshop, WordPress.

E-mail resume to : jobofficeassistant.ian2016@gmail.com


22 September 07, 2018

Job Posting:

Non-Linear News Editor (Full Time Temporary)

KTRK-TV, an ABC-owned station in Houston, TX has an opening for a Temporary, Full-Time, Non-Linear News Editor. Candidates should have experience in editing on Grass Valley Edius and Stratus software as well as knowledge of the digital workflow for broadcast news, in a deadline-intensive environment. Serious candidates should also have a working knowledge of a server based digital media workflow. Candidates should be able to edit in deadline situations, be creative, precise and be able to work fast. You must be able to take direction, and be a “Team Player” who is not afraid of an intense news environment. Hours will vary depending on the needs of the department, so flexibility to work a varied schedule is required, which will include overnights and weekends. To be considered, candidates must apply on-line at www. disneycareers.com by uploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references. Please Reference Job ID: 590314BR on all materials submitted. No telephone calls please. KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

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September 07, 2018


Stree Movie Review: Mostly Enjoyable

Movie cast: Rajkummar Rao, Shraddha Kapoor, Aparshakti Khurrana, Abhishek Banerjee, Pankaj Tripathi, Vijay Raaz Director: Amar Kaushik Rating: Two and a half stars A grown, desirous woman is a threat to mankind, emphasis on ‘man’. For centuries, women have been pilloried and victimised on the basis of these putrid beliefs. Oh, the horror. Rein her in, tamp down her sexual desires, tie her up, burn her at the stake, put a knife through her scheming heart. It is fully appropriate that these toxic notions are sent up in a horror-

comedy, written by Raj and DK. Stree’s premise is a cracker, leaving you grinning in the dark. But the execution comes off a tad clunky: subversion in a film willing to embrace its silliness can be very effective, but it can get diluted if your messaging is mixed. In the town of Chanderi (MP, suddenly on the map after Padman), there lives a likely lad called Vicky (Rao), blessed by a keen eye and kind heart. That doesn’t stop him from preening, and falling for a mysterious girl’s (Kapoor) charms. When she says come, he follows, casting aside fears of the ‘stree’ who haunts the town, hunting lone men. There’s a ‘bhootni’ about,

Alia Bhatt Shooting for Brahmastra After enjoying a refreshing holiday in London, Alia Bhatt is back at work. Dharma Productions shared a photo of the actor, welcoming her back on the sets of Brahmastra in Bulgaria. The caption of the photo read, “Back where she belongs! @aliaabhatt on sets of #brahmāstra”. Alia also shared the same photo on her Instagram story and wrote, “And we are back”. The actor will be seen sharing screen space with her rumoured boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor and megastar

beware. Predictably, Vicky is pronounced as Bicky, because Bollywood small town-ness is still denoted by an inability to differentiate between a V and a B. Neither the possessor of the name nor his two good pals, Bittu (Khurrana) and Dana (Banerjee) have any trouble with sophistication; they hang around, slinging jibes about love at first sight, doing ‘frandship’ with ladies of the night, and finally, confronting the ‘stree’. There’s some fun to be had, especially in the shape of town ‘gyaanis’, played by the superbly droll Tripathi and the always entertaining Raaz, and we get to witness a lot of mumbo Amitabh Bachchan for the very first time in Brahmastra. Helmed by Ayan Mukerji, Brahmastra is a fantasy drama trilogy. Alia, who has been proving her versatility with films like Highway, Udta Punjab, Dear Zindagi and Raazi among others, believes that her only focus is to do her best. Talking about her choice of roles, Alia had earlier said, “I want to keep pushing myself with every role that I play. To strike a balance between commercial and brave films has always been a priority. I make it a point to not let pressure influence my choice of roles. An inhibition is always present in every actor’s mind when they take up a challenging role, but the focus is always to give it our best shot and



jumbo about women with bloody ‘ulte paair’ and how the power of a female evil spirit resides in her ‘choti’. And that’s where the problem lies: if a film really wants to undermine these superstitious beliefs, it has to be able to treat these tropes with clear scorn. Stree, in many places, is muddled, not being able to make up its mind whether it wants us to cower or chortle, especially when it slips into Four Easy Ways To Tame A Bhootni And Deal With Misogyny mode. But still, Stree is enjoyable for the most part. I particularly liked its cheerfully hare-brained spirit, which the director manages to sustain. Kapoor’s part is a bit risible, but she has some breathy moments with Rao. Rao, whose Bicky seems like an extension of his Bareilly Ki Barfi avatar, carries the film: as a ‘ladies tailor’ whose eye is enough to take the measure of the woman in front of him, gently, he is terrific. Any film which has a woman stepping out at night with her man inside the house, for ‘his own safety’, well, clap clap. Yes, the scene is there to be played for laughs, and we dutifully go haha, but it is a thought. So is ‘love conquers all’and a ‘stree’ as savior. Woman on top? Oh yes. About time Bollywood gave us a feminist ghost. -- Indian Express

Akshay Kumar September 9, 1967

Anurag Kashyap September 10, 1972

Asha Bhosle

September 08, 1933

Mahima Chaudhry September 13, 1973

that is what we always strive for.” Alia Bhatt has several films in her kitty including Ranveer Singh starrer Gully Boy to Karan Johar’s multistarrer period drama Takht. Alia is certainly on a roll in her career. Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt often feature in headlines about their rumoured relationship. The duo made headlines when they arrived together for Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja’s reception together. After that, Alia has been spotted with Ranbir and his family on several occasions. Alia, Neetu Kapoor and Riddhima Kapoor Sahni follow each other closely on social media and frequently comment on each other’s posts.


Prachi Desai

September 12, 1988

Radhika Apte

September 07, 1985

24 September 07, 2018 Moeen Ali Delivers to England a Hard-earned Series Win BY NAGRAJ GOLLAPUDI SOUTHAMPTON (ESPN Crickinfo): England 246 (Curran 78) and 271 (Buttler 69, Shami 4-57) beat India 283 (Pujara 132*, Moeen 5-71) and 184 (Kohli 58, Rahane 51, Moeen 4-63) by 60 runs Moeen Ali was England’s star turn on another gripping day of Test cricket at theAgeas Bowl, as he ended India’s spirited pursuit of a victory target of 245 with a series-sealing display of patient, probing offspin. Bowling with renewed confidence after his first-innings five-wicket haul, and with a juicy dinner-plate of rough to aim outside the righthander’s off-stump, Moeen finished with match figures of 9 for 134, having effectively sealed the contest either side of the tea interval. Bowling significantly slower than his India counterpart, R Ashwin, who had been so notably ineffective on day three, Moeen was able to find more purchase off the pitch as a result, even though it took him until the 17th over of a previously luckless day’s work before his rewards started to come in a torrent. First, he broke India’s determined fourth-wicket stand of 101 with the massive scalp of Virat Kohli for 58. Then, five overs later, he added Kohli’s steadfast partner, Ajinkya Rahane, for 51. By then, he had also out-thought Rishabh Pant, caught in the deep for a cameo 18 from 12, as India slumped from a threatening 123 for 3 to 184 all out. The end of India’s challenge came in a jubilant rush for England - Ben Stokes cemented his side’s post-tea dominance by removing the dangerous Hardik Pandya with his third ball after the break, before extracting a less-than-convincing lbw against Ishant Sharma to send India’s birthday boy on his way, also for a duck. Four years ago on this very same ground, Moeen had sealed England’s restorative victory over India with second-innings figures of 6 for 67. Today he went one better for the match when Mohammad Shami smoked him to James Anderson at long-on, and though Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah made England wait for their glory in a long-handled alliance of 21, the contest was fittingly sealed by the young gun, Sam Cur-

Moeen Ali is ecstatic after dismissing Ajinkya Rahane,

ran, whose batting in both innings had been so vital to England’s hopes. Ashwin wandered across his stumps and was sent on his way lbw for 25. Like Ishant’s dismissal, Ashwin’s was shown on replay to have been missing leg stump, but India by then had burnt through their reviews - one of them used rather imperiously by Kohli himself, who had been caught at short leg by Alastair Cook after Moeen had clearly snagged his glove with another tweaker on off stump. It was the pivotal moment of the day, but England by that stage had been seriously aggrieved by a key let-off for Kohli early in his stay. On 9, he had once again propped forward to Moeen and was thumped on the front pad for a vociferous appeal. England lost their subsequent review, however, when the third umpire Joel Wilson deemed Kohli to have got an inside edge on his shot. Almost before the dust had settled on that moment, Kohli persuaded England to burn their second review when, on 15, he was pinned on the back leg by a massive offbreak from Moeen that kept low as well. Umpire Dharmasena, to his credit, immediately shook his head, recognising that Kohli had set himself up outside off stump to negate that very dismissal. Sure enough, replays showed he had been struck outside the line, and as Rahane rose through his own gears to match his captain’s inevitable levels,

India began to believe. They were forced to find their belief in the wake of another top-order failure, however. Though England’s second innings had been sawn off for the addition of 11 runs inside the first five overs, with Stuart Broad falling to the first ball of the day before Curran was run out for 46 while trying to farm the strike, their senior bowlers responded by striking hard and early with the new ball. Broad sent shudders through India’s dressing room by torpedoing KL Rahul with an off-stump grubber in his second over, having showcased the pitch’s increasingly variable bounce with two high-kicking snorters in quick succession. James Anderson then found more sharp movement off the seam to dislodge the rock of India’s first innings, Cheteshwar Pujara, for 5, and having troubled Shikhar Dhawan with a brace of lbw appeals, soon added India’s remaining opener for 17 via a thick outside edge to gully. At 22 for 3, India were in the soup. Kohli, however, was not about to let his resolve crumble with a shot at a series-levelling victory in his sights. Unusually in this series, his initial duel with Anderson was short-lived, as England turned quickly to the spin of Moeen (and latterly Adil Rashid, who bowled tidily for seven overs but never quite posed the same questions as his offspinning sidekick).

But that inevitable battle was rejoined in the 38th over, when Anderson returned to the fray and immediately started extracting some skilful reverse swing from the dry and now abrasive deck. Kohli was beaten on a handful of occasions as the ball exploded outside off, but latched onto a rare leg-stump half-volley to bring up his fifty from 114 balls, and continue a stunning personal series in which he has now gone past 500 runs, with a fifth Test still to come. Rahane, at the other end, briefly got the better of Moeen, sending him into a mid-spell lull by stretching confidently forward to smother his wiles. But England, to their credit, never stopped believing that the rewards for their endeavours would come, and one ball after Cook had dropped a tough chance off Kohli at short leg, he clung onto the one that counted, to prise the opening, at 123 for 4 - the precise halfway mark of the chase - that England needed. The rest was not exactly a formality, but the belief in India’s ranks had visibly drained. “England were braver in tough situations than us,” admitted Kohli in the post-match presentations. India’s captain himself was unbowed after a stellar personal summer, but he will know that this series - much like the South Africa tour earlier in the year - represents a massive opportunity squandered by his world No.1 team.


Haryana Leads India’s Asian Games ‘18 Wins JAKARTA: India finished the Asian Games with their best-ever medal haul in the continental event with 69 medals – 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze. This ensured India bettered their medal count from 2010 Guangzhou Games and matched the gold medal haul of the inaugural 1951 Asian Games. Haryana topped the national medal charts again in India’s record Asian Games haul, but compared to the Commonwealth Games, the representation was wider with medallists coming from as many as 21 states, six more than the CWG. Haryana contributed with 18 medals to India’s 69 medals at the Asian Games in Indonesia. As in the CWG, Haryana contributed the highest number of medals. Boxing, wrestling and weightlifting fetched India only five medals whereas at the CWG, they collectively gathered 30. Athleticsprovidedthebiggestchunk of medals (19) — the corresponding number was 3 in Gold Coast. Contrastingly, shooters could manage 9, as opposed to 19 at CWG. India had amassed 66 medals at the Commonwealth Games with Haryana contributing 22 medals then. Then, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Chhatisgarh and Jharkhand had failed to contribute to the medal haul. At the Asian Games, J&K, Himachal won one bronze; Madhya Pradesh a silver and two bronze; Odisha three silver and a bronze; Jharkhand two silvers while Chhatisgarh and Uttarakhand once again had no medals to add. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated the Indian contingent for its performance at the Asian Games 2018. It was the best display for India in the history of the Asiad With 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze, India’s medal tally stood at 69.

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September 07, 2018

US Duty Hikes Begin to Hurt as Steel Exports Plunge by 42% NEW DELHI: India’s exports of steel items to the US affected by sanctions slapped by the Donald Trump administration plunged 42% in the June quarter, after duty hikes imposed on the grounds of national security took effect in March, even as exports of aluminium items to the US, facing similar sanctions, jumped 59%. An official of India’s commerce ministry, which is pressing the US to exempt India from the duty hikes, observed that aluminium exports may be gaining due to a comparative advantage as exports from Canada, Mexico and China may have become more expensive to the US. “It’s too early to draw any conclusion on the basis of one-quarter data,” the official said on condition of anonymity. While exports of 68 steel items, facing 25% duty hike from the US, stood at $115 million in the June quarter, exports of seven aluminium items, facing 10% tariff hike, jumped to $164 million during the same pe-

riod, India’s commerce ministry data showed. Overall steel exports to the US fell 5.7% to $468 million during the June quarter, while aluminium exports rose 54% to $181 million during the same period. India is currently negotiating a trade package with the US. Indian officials last month completed the third round of negotiations with their

US counterparts in Washington DC, terming the talks “encouraging”. A US delegation is expected to shortly visit India for further negotiations. Apart from a waiver from steel and aluminium duty hikes, India is demanding suspension of the review of its eligibility for the generalized system of preferences through which the country exports goods worth $5.6

billion to the US. The US is pressing for greater market access in dairy, medical devices and removing some trade restriction measures. Like many other countries, India has taken the view that the measures by the US are safeguard measures, though they are in the name of national security. It has claimed that steel and aluminium exports worth $1.2 billion to the US have been impacted after the tariff hike, with the US collecting additional tariffs worth $241 million. After the US rejected India’s request for an immediate waiver, India dragged the US to the dispute settlement mechanism at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the matter. Other countries and groupings that raised the issue at WTO include China, the European Union (EU), Canada, Switzerland, Russia, Norway and Mexico. India said steel, aluminium exports worth $1.2 billion to the US were impacted after the hike in tariffs.

How to Cook Curry and Guide a Spacecraft into Mars Orbit CHENNAI: Can you guide a spacecraft into orbit around Mars and cook for eight people morning and night? Yes, if you get up at 5am, and your name is BP Dakshayani. Here the former head of flight dynamics and space navigation for the Indian space agency explains how she did it - and the housework too. They became known as the Women from Mars. Four years ago, the picture of a group of women in saris celebrating as an Indian spacecraft successfully entered Mars orbit shone a light on the role played by women in the country’s space program - among them BP Dakshayani. She led the team that kept an eye on the satellite, telling it exactly where to go. One of her colleagues (also female) described the task as like hitting a golf ball in India and expecting it to go into a hole in Los Angeles - a hole, moreover, that was constantly moving.

BP Dakshayani (center) with members of her orbital tracking team.

It was a tough job made tougher by the responsibilities of an Indian wife. But her strength of will had become obvious many years earlier, when the girl from a “quite traditional, conservative and orthodox” family set her sights on a career in science. After college, she took a job in a college teaching maths, but her interest

in space and satellites was deepening. One day she saw an advertisement for a job at Isro, the Indian space agency. She applied - and was hired. It was 1984 and Dakshayani was put to work on orbital dynamics. Today she is a specialist in the area. At the office, she did complex calculations and computer program-

ming to guide satellites. At home, she looked after her large family that included her parents-in-law, her husband’s five siblings and within a few years - their own two children. But Dakshayani is not complaining. Far from it. Her voice is full of enthusiasm as she talks about how she juggled home and work life, how much she enjoyed her work and how solving problems gave her happiness. It must have helped that she actually enjoys cooking. The home front, she says, is no longer so busy. Her son and daughter - both engineers - have grown up and moved to the US to work. She wants to continue studying Mars. The planet that made her an inspiration to many young Indian girls is one, she says, that she would love to live on. That really would make her the Woman from Mars. -- Abridged from BBC World News


Rupee Free Fall Continues, to Low of Rs 71.21 vs. US Dollar NEW DELHI: The rupee collapsed to a new lifetime low of 71.21 against the US dollar, while petrol prices rose to a new high of Rs 86.56 a litre in Mumbai on Monday. The rupee, which lost 10 paise against the US dollar in late afternoon trade on Monday, ended at a new record low of 71.10. The rupee’s previous record low was 71, marked on August 31. In Delhi, the petrol prices touched Rs 79.15 per litre — increased by Rs 0.31 per litre. Monday’s figures breached the previous highs recorded on May 28 this year when the petrol prices were at Rs 86.24 in Mumbai and Rs 78.43 in Delhi. Diesel, too, hit a new high of Rs 75.54/litre in Mumbai and Rs 71.15 per litre in Delhi on Monday. Since August 16, petrol prices have risen by over Rs 2 per litre and diesel by Rs 2.42 a litre. The fall in rupee could be attributed to the surge in global oil prices, with crude oil gaining US $7 a barrel in a fortnight driven by fears over US-China trade war and the US sanctions on Iran contracting supplies. On Sunday, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had blamed “external factors” for the rise in domestic prices of petrol and diesel, but said the increase is temporary. “I would like to mention two points, and both these subjects are external. OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) had promised that it will raise production by one million barrels per day, which was not raised. “Apart from that, crises in countries like Venezuela and Iran are increasing. There is a pressure on oil prices due to a decrease in production. Secondly, global currencies have weakened against the US dollar,” he had said.


26 September 07, 2018

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PUZZLES / RECIPES Mama’s Punjabi Recipes By popular demand, here is a reprint of Mama’s Tamater te Piyaaz da Raita recipe, which is a tasty recipe for the summer months to eat with rice biryani, sabzi (vegetables) or simply with paranthas (crispy flatbreads). It is reprinted with some additional information and directions.

Tamater te Piyaaz da Raita (Tomato & Onion Yogurt Dip) Yogurt (dahin) has a special significance in Indian culture and religion. It is considered sacred and a purifying agent because of the relationship of cowmilk with many Hindu rituals and because yogurt, or curds as many Indian call it, were eaten up by the baby Lord Krishna. Fresh clay praats (flat saucers) of yogurt with a thick layer of congealed cream on top are readily available at the halwai’s (sweet maker’s) shop all across most Indian cities though modern diaries now sell yogurt in white plastic pouches at kiosks. The taste of fresh halwai yogurt is very similar to the Greek yogurt that is so popular these days.

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Yogurt has medicinal value too: it is quickly soothing in the blazing Indian summers, easily digested when eaten at lunchtime and should be avoided at night time. It is considered a good cure for severe diarrhea, especially when eaten with khichri (runny rice and lentils). Yogurt provides high protein content to a vegetarian diet.

Directions: 1. Peel the onion and then chop into small pieces. Wash the tomato and likewise chop into small pieces. Set aside.

Raita or yogurt dip or sauce is a byproduct of yogurt and is eaten all over India to complement and soften the taste - and sometimes the spiciness - of many Indian dishes. Raita must have the right consistency so that it doesn’t run all over the plate and can be eaten with roti, paranthas or chawal (rice).

3. Roast some jeera seeds on a tava (flat plate), grind them and sprinkle on the raita.

Raita is a quick and simple dish to make with vegetables can take the place of a salad, which, for most Punjabi meals, is a very simple arrangement of tamater (tomatoes), piyaaz (onions) and hari mirch (green peppers) – all very basic and healthy condiments to make the raita.

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Ingredients: • 500gm saddi dahin (plain yogurt) • ½ medium piyaaz (onion) •1 medium tamater (tomato) • ½ cup doodh (milk) • 10 leaves pudina (mint) (cut in halves) • ½ teaspoon jeera (cumin) – optional if you like the taste • Spices to taste: namak (salt), lal mirch (red pepper)

2. Place the dahin in a bowl and stir it thoroughly adding the milk to it. Add the salt and pepper to taste and mix in the mint leaves.

4. Throw in the chopped tomato and onion and mix well but gently. 5. Chill for 10 minutes and serve.

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 (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.




using them to make they can’t live without their pressure cookers, da other items. But my als (lentils), channe (chickpeas), pota toes and experience is that th e pressure cooker is by people in a hurr over y an If left overdone, the d the results can often be less than satis used fa daals and potatoes become too soft an ctory. become soups or m d mushy, ashed instead. One thing to be ca refu cookers will usually l about is that cooking potatoes in pres lea wash the vessel thor ve a residue and stain the insides. Be sure oughly so that it is cle sure to starch or for best re an and has no stain from the sults use steel wool scrubbers like Brill o pads.

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