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Friday, October 30 2015 | Vol. 34, No. 44

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COMMUNITY

October 30, 2015

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Overcome by Enthralling Classical Dances, a Ram Leela is Gently Told

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA STAFFORD: Inspite of the soggy rainy day thanks to Hurricane Patricia and the gusts of wind that turned an ordinary early Fall day to winter, a few hundred people braved the elements to come to the second Rama Leela in as many weekends. This one was held in the auditorium of the Stafford Civic Centre on Cash Road and was brought to the public by the Shri Sita Ram Foundation, whose benefactors Vinni and Arun Verma were overjoyed with the turnout, especially of the successful Dusserah Mela the preceding Saturday. “We have always left it in the hands of Lord Ram,” said a fatigued but elated

Arun Verma as he welcomed people into the lobby. The Ram Leela was choreographed and directed for the fourth year by well-known dancer and guru to the performers on stage, Rathna Kumar of the Anjali Center for Performing Arts. It has been a tumultuous and busy year for Kumar, who lost her husband and chief collaborator, the endeared Anil Kumar earlier this year, and still is taking care of an elderly, ailing aunt. As Kumar spoke before the show began, the weather and lack of access to the auditorium for rehearsals led to some disarray, “and I ask that you indulge us for that”. But the spectacle on stage showed the breadth of the skills of the girls who participated in the seven dances that laced between the episodes of

the Ram Leela enacted by other cast members. Over 100 people took part and the performance was by an all-girl cast, which is quite different from the usual Ram Leela that is played out on stages across North India. Still, it was refreshing to see the stylized, pantomime – there were no words played out for lip-synching as is the usual for Ram Leelas – and only a few scenes were enacted very briefly with minimal props. Rathna Kumar herself in the background narrated the scenes prior to their being presented. The agile dancers who performed between scenes were beautiful in their execution in their colorful costumes; showing off their years of training at the Anjali Center, and some are very close to having their own arangetrams. They showed poise and wonderful control, even in their facial expressions and each dance revealed another aspect of the play. A particularly complex scene with the most performers was the one when Ram, Sita and Lakshman are busy working by their hut in the forest and a group of tiny girls rise up from a hunched position as flowers, while others circle them as bees, and off to the side peacocks and deer appear. The show began with Nina Magon, the Verma’s daughter, emceeing the opening events. Nandita Harish, the Indian Consul General’s wife, came on stage to light the ceremonial lamp, followed by a rendition of the Hanuman Charisa in rapid pace with Arun Verma and two young girls, Amrita and Lahiri, whose memorization of the entire 40 verses was remarkable and well appreciated. Magon introduced and acknowledged the major individual and corporate sponsors and media partners for their help with the Dusserah Mela and the Ram Leela production; singling our Rathna Kumar, Kiron Kumar and Nik Nilkam for their work with the dances, music, and video clips; Maaji of the Shridi Sai Baba Temple and the people who helped build the floats in the parade at Skeeters Stadium. Ken Mathew, Councilman from the City of Stafford stood in for Mayor Leonard Scarcella to felicitate the organizers and spoke about his own experience with the Guruvayur Temple, the second largest in Kerela, relating how it was established and built.

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COMMUNITY

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Diwali Celebrations Victorious Over the Evil Hurricane

Photos: Carlos Pena & Paulina Sjoberg

SUGAR LAND: Thousands braved drizzling rain to celebrate Good over Evil at the Houston Diwali Mela on Sunday October 25, at Skeeters Stadium. “Don’t Limit your Challenges, Rather, Challenge your Limits.” The rain dampened the city but not the spirit of the Masala Crew who believed in their collective effort and delivered everything they promised. The promenade was so packed the fire marshal was con-

cerned but everyone was in a jubilant mood and there were no issues with crowd control. This Diwali Mela was a classic case of Crisis Management and the organizers did an excellent job in handling the situation. The positive spirit of the Masala Crew was victorious over the evil hurricane. The organizers analyzed over a hundred variables to keep the event on the official rain date. “All the main artists were in

town from India and all the dance schools said yes to Sunday, October 25. We checked with all sponsors and booth vendors and everyone was ready. The support we received from the sponsors and community gave us the strength to move forward with Sunday and make it a successful event. We thank all the people who came out despite the rain and we are deeply sorry to all those who were inconvenienced and not able to make it

on Sunday. To those who bought tickets and were not able to attend, we will offer them complimentary tickets for the Holi Mela coming up on Sunday, March 27,” said Sandhya Thakkar of Masala Radio. “Diwali Mela is for the community to celebrate togetherness and it was heartwarming to see so many smiling people come out.” The major sponsors of Houston Diwali Mela were &TV, Tara Energy, Mercedes Benz of Sugar Land, Exclusive Furniture, Alings Hakka, RiverStone, Ramji & Assoc & Britannia. Every Indian in Houston must now have seen at least one selfie with Chatur from 3 Idiots who graciously spent hours with fans at the Tara Energy booth. The drizzle cleared by the time India’s Raw Star Jeffrey Iqbal and Tabla Trap Jomy George took to the giant stage with mesmerizing Lights and Sound. Equally magnificent was Jomy George earlier up-close Ju-

galbandhi with top local Dholi Toki Singh. Masala RJ Ajay Chunchu wowed the audience singing some recent Bollywood hits. From 5PM, guests were dazzled by music, pink and orange Raj Tent by Tent Couture housing Ganeshji, and Living statues of Laxmi, Sita-Ram-Laxman-Hanuman, Shiv-Ganesh, and RadhaKrishna. Beautiful chania-choli clad Apsaras invited all to peruse the Britannia Grand Bazaar of 60 merchandise and corporate booths bursting with Diwali fashions, jewelry, and home decor. The lines for Chef Nirmans vada pao and Mirch Masala Pani Puri were almost a mile long. Comedian Sunil Thakkar guided the packed promenade audience through hours of non-stop entertainment. Dance schools performed exciting mixes of Bollywood, Folk, Semi-classical, Bhangra, and some westernized

Indo American News (ISSN 887-5936) is published weekly every Friday (for a subscription of $40 per year) by IndoAmerican News Inc., 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036., tel: 713-789-6397, fax:713-789-6399, email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Indo American News,7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036 INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2015 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

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KATY: Katy Indian Cultural Association (KICA) with volunteers Partha Krishnaswamy, Ritu Morarka, Jayani Parikh, Anamika Kale, Tushar Desai and Purvi Dhutia pull off their first two-day Garba on 16 and 17 October running full houses. Due to the excessive turn out in 2014, the committee decided that it was essential to give greater opportunity to the growing Katy residents and therefore the two-day Garba was being realized. Although the team was hopeful of holding the event both days at Merrell center, due to logistical difficulties, they had to settle with holding the Friday event at the new Tompkins high school. Thanks to the support from the Katy residents all preevent tickets were sold out five days before the event. The limited amount of tickets at the venue vanished within minutes. The music and sound system was provided by Krishna Sounds for both days. Kashmira Nayak’s mellifluous singing along with Badal was apt for the event. Darshak Thackkar on the drums let the entire audience dance vigorously to the beats. This event would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors specially Memorial Hermann with their continued patronage as the Gold Sponsor for the event. The added flavor this year were the two significant raffle prizes given away by the sponsors. One was a 3 night – 4 day Dubai

stay package for the best dressed and best dancing male and female. Although this served as a stimulus for better performance, it became a difficult one to judge as the participants were so many and overly enthusiastic resulting in multiple level judging until almost the end of the Dandia Raas. Keval Gala and Soni Pathan were the well-deserved recipients of these packages. The other significant raffle was for a Samsung TV each day of the event given away by another sponsor. With the support and encouragement received, the committee hopes to continue to persuade the KISD to allow a two day event at the Merrell center to allow greater participation.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2015 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY Open Mic Night at India House HOUSTON: Ek Shyam suroon ke naam! What better way to spend Friday evening with family and friends over some nostalgic, romantic, emotional and tadkta bhadkta songs! A perfect combination of musical karaoke evening! This first of its kind event opened doors to many more musical evenings to be hosted at India House. India House and GlobalDesi, a Houston based musical group, organized ‘Open Mic Night’ on Friday, October 23, at O.P. Jindal Center, India House. The event was a big success! The musical evening aimed at inviting and encouraging singing talent from across Houston to perform on a bigger stage. Evening’s emcee Col. Vipin – General Manager, India House successfully conducted the event keeping the audience engaged with his interesting jokes and humor! The event started with a melodious performance by GlobalDesi group members Ravi Boddu, Padma Iyengar, Sankalp Srivastava, Shrikant Sane and Anjana Pandey. Their performance included Bollywood hits like Suno Na Sangemarmar, Moh Moh Dhage, Ranjish Hi Sahi. This was followed by an entertaining Bollywood quiz Bol Wahi, Dhun Alag, hosted by quiz masters Muknd and Sankalp, keeping the audience guessing the musical scores. The stage was then opened to the audience. The house full audience took this exciting karaoke opportunity to sing their favorite numbers. Everyone from children to seniors participated. Many songs received repeated requests. India House and GlobalDesi’s were overwhelmed with the wonderful response from the participating guests who clapped and enjoyed singing duets, mushy romantic songs and foot-tapping numbers including some romantic melodies like Tujh Mein Rab Basta Hey, Mai Tenu Samjhanwan Ki… The evening ended with the entire

audience joining GlobalDesi in the finale performance of Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe Kitna Bhi Humko Diwana! The evening’s light refreshments were jointly sponsored by Deep Foods and Madras Pavilion. India House aims to take this musical and karaoke event to the next level by bringing in more

October 30, 2015

fun and exciting details and programs. For event details and sponsorships contact Vipin@indiahouseinc.org or call 713-929-1900 For regular updates like them on Facebook/IndiaHouse. For more information visit at www.indiahouseinc.org Col. Vipin Kumar

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COMMUNITY

October 30, 2015

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Revered Mystic Sadhguru Meets the Masses with Shimmering Humor and Inner Guidance

Photos: Damodhara Jammli

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: Sitting on a settee on stage, he was as easy going as a familiar friend, cracking a few jokes, sharing some sharp witticisms and all the while imparting the message of a balanced life “based on all four types of yoga, like a car with four wheels. You can only play with one wheel, like I used to as a child, kicking it around.” The audience giggled. “But that wasn’t going anywhere,” Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev said, his eyes twinkling in merriment. He went on to explain the four yogas: Karma Yoga dealing with action and service to others; Bhakti Yoga dealing with devotion and emotions; Kriya or Raja Yoga that deals with meditation and Jnana Yoga that deals with knowledge and introspection. “Everyone is a combination of all four,” Sadhguru explained, “and on different days, different elements are dominant”. He sat there, hands clasped or gesturing, with his well-known visage and carefully cultivated image – long spread-out white beard; bushy white eyebrows; a white turban twisted on his head; white salwar and long tunic, a striped shawl draped over one shoulder, a large watch on his left wrist – and one leg tucked under him, the empty sandal on the floor. The stage was sparse, save for two end tables with flowers in vases and four vertical, selfsupporting banners – two on each side - describing the benefits of

Yoga. Sadhguru had come to Houston to spread the message of Yoga, in this year when June 21 was first adopted as the International Yoga Day by the United Nations and celebrated worldwide. That day, a special event was organized by the Indian Consulate and held at the George Brown Convention Center, attended by hundreds from across the Metroplex. The Consulate was also a participating partner in this event and Indian Consul General Parvathaneni Harish spoke briefly to introduce Sadhguru, asking for a “Texas-size” welcome for him. “Sadhguru is a yogi and a mystic … and we will hear something different today from him on yoga,” he said. Sadhguru was onstage in the Asia Society’s main auditorium to explain the benefits of yoga and used many a humorous anecdote to clarify his point, not bashful to use the s**t word for emphasis. His followers were many in the audience that covered three quarters of the hall and knew of his teachings. In the lobby, devotees had set up a booth for the non-profit Isha Foundation, a spiritual organization based in Coimbatore, India which Sadhguru had established in 1992. Another booth sold his books, CDs and other literature. Making himself comfortable in his seat, Sadhguru related to his surroundings. “As you sit here in this building, you are in connection with the Cosmos,” he began and then briefly touched on the spiritual experience he had in 1982 (when he

was 25) as he sat on a rock that would change him forever. “At that moment I felt that I was all over the place; in the rocks, the air and the atmosphere.” That was the turning point for him to leave his poultry farm, brickworks and construction businesses and travel to meditate. A year later he decided to teach yoga to share this experience. A short video shown before the talk showed Sadhguru’s busy schedule as he mingled with his followers, teaching and doing humanitarian work for which he is acknowledged worldwide. It also showed him as a solitary man enjoying his passion for riding fast cars, motorcycles, a helicopter and trekking on mountain wildernesses, often in the company of his adoring followers. After his discourse in the Q&A period, Sadhguru described how his Isha Foundation has grown to provide the largest environmental programs in Asia and that there are 520 schools worldwide to teach the concept of Inner Engineering; the largest, a breathtaking 44,000 sf center and retreat 45-minutes north of Chattanooga, Tennessee. “When your body and mind are misused, they turn against you and then you cannot concentrate on anything else,” he said, adding “You are not happy in your life because your fundamental faculties are not functioning properly.” He urged people to look inward to the experiences within and how these are projected in their own mind. “Yoga teaches you to take charge of the experience of life instead of being too busy with the psychological drama going on around you,” Sadhguru said, as he concluded his hourlong discourse. “Yoga channels your relationship with the rest of the Universe in a conscious, intuitional and experienced way.”

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Chinmaya Mission Houston Showcases a Festive Navaratri Garaba

Photos: Jayesh Mistry, Rajesh Thatte and Satish Byali

BY VINOD SHARMA HOUSTON: Chinmaya Mission Houston‘s Navaratri celebration at the Stafford Civic Center on Friday, October 16, was a grand event. Over 1200 member families and their friends gathered together to spend the evening immersed in all the elements that make the social aspects of Navaratri memorable – the happy interactions, resonating music, energetic dance, and sumptuous food. Most visible of all was the celebration of immediate and extended family; what a treat it was to see infants, toddlers, pre-teens, teens, young adults, parents and grandparents in one grand ballroom, sharing the fun and frolic of the festival! As the evening began, families were greeted in a foyer decorated with flowers and were ushered into a grand hall by volunteers. There they were surrounded by music and by familiar faces. Some visited with friends, and others joined the Garaba dance chain that was becoming a large swaying circle around the altar. The atmosphere grew increasingly colorful and vibrant – as did the number of smiles, hugs and handshakes – as families continued to arrive. It was time to catch up and many connected with friends old and new; others lingered to simply relax and take in the scene. Little did the gathering know that they were to be soon captivated by a Sanedo – an affectionately themed dance drama that originated in the villages of Gujarat. Chinmaya Mission Houston lyricist Uma Agarwal and vocalist Ruchira Shah had created a Sanedo in Hindi that celebrates the life of our Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda. That poetic musical mix of story time and dance time had the majority in the room on their feet. Without missing a beat, the dancing and music segued into aarti when the congregation prayed to Amba Ma – the Goddess of Navaratri, led by our beloved Acarya Gaurang Nanavaty and Acarya Darshana Nanavaty. The devotional singing of the accomplished singers beautifully transformed the social gathering into a spiritual one, united in the oneness of the moment. And then, the mood of the group took on the spirit of a family celebration with the Chinmaya birthday song to celebrate Acarya Gaurang Nanavaty’s birthday. After that significant feature, the Garaba party was back up in full swing. As if on cue, energetic and vibrant bhangra music started, and dancing resumed. By then, the dance floor was packed even as some used this time to break for dinner. Following a delicious dinner and some rest from the very vigorous bhangra, the crowd heard the dance music change, and it was time for all to collect their dandiyas. The grand hall was packed to capacity with dancers forming parallel rows, in which they then skipped, twirled around, sashayed, and

playfully tapped their partners’ dandiyas, all in joyful rhythm. The room was filled with

toe-tapping, finger-snapping music, hearty laughter and good will. As the Garaba con-

tinued, the clicking of dandiyas sounded like the ticking of a giant clock. The, singers, dancers, and accompanying musicians competed to showcase their stamina – each group performed to outlast the other. As that evening of Navaratri concluded, the picture of children, teens, young adults, parents, and all friends on the dance floor made the social and spiritual celebration merge into one big dedication to Ma Amba – in a beautiful celebration of oneness and togetherness. For further information about Chinmaya Mission Houston, visit www.chinmayahouston.org or contact Bharati Sutaria at 281-933-0233.

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16 October 30, 2015 Navaratri Celebrations at Gauri Siddhivinayak Temple of Houston

HOUSTON: The temple celebrated Navaratri from Tuesday October 13 to Thursday October 22. Ashwin Navaratri- Navami Pooja & Havan of Gauri Siddhivinayak Temple of Houston is located at 5645 Hillcroft Ave Suite: 701 Houston, TX 77036. For further details call Pradip Pandya at 832-466-9868. The Gauri Siddhivinayak Temple of Houston is a Non-Profit 501(c) organization, all donations are tax deductible. Visit www.siddhivinayakhouston.com for details.

COMMUNITY

Diwali CONTINUED FROM PAGE

5

Mash-Ups to the sheer delight of an up-close audience in the covered breezeway. In order: Sunanda Nair’s Performing Arts, Team Revolution, Rhythm India, Houston Bhangra, US Desi Girls, and the finale by Infused Performing Arts. In between the Alings Fire Dancers gave a spectacular performance to the tunes of “Apsara Aali” and “Lean On.” A record turnout of Rangolis were so artfully created, including Ramayan scenes such as the Golder Dear running through the forest, or RamSita-Laxman crossing the Sarayu River, that judges split the $1001 Ramji & Associates prize between 9 winners: Viki Shah, Pooja Sokar Chowdhury, Siddharth Shrikant Wani, Roli Khanna, Meenakshi Kumar, Nandita Patil, Anagharanga Mudigere, and Disha Vora. A heavenly procession of Hindu Gods exuded vibrant Darshan before manifesting on the stage for the Hindus of Greater Houston’s Maha Arti, led by Grand Sponsors &TV and Tara Energy, Diamond Concert Sponsor Exclusive Furniture, Platinum Fireworks Sponsor Mercedes Benz of Sugar Land, Gold Sponsors Alings Hakka, Ramji & Associates, Britannia & Deep Foods, Riverstone, Anand & Dr. Ashima Chauhan, George Willy; Silver Sponsors Brij & Sunita Agarwal, Govind & Renu Agarwal, SKAI Foundation, Fi-

esta, One Step Diagnostic, Xfinity, Amirali Dodhiya, Perry Homes, Amit & Arpita Bhandari, Amaya Clinc, Navin & Alpana Thakkar, and the India Culture Center. Mercedes Benz of Sugar Land led the countdown to the dazzling fireworks personifying a small personal victory over the Hurricane aftermath. Surely, Good will always triumph over Evil, Positivity over Negativity, and all obstacles can be overcome with the passion to succeed. Masala Radio would like to thanks its dream management Masala Crew: Office: Munira, Rinku, Devangi, Nathan & Rohit. Event: Ruchir, Shah, Ninad, Krupa, Nimi, Sameep, Ina, Nimi, Ayesha, Masood, Shika, Sonali S., Shameet, Neil, Mayur, Anuj, Supriya. Stage: Preanka, Dilip, Rajoo, Mehran, Sunny, Shreya, Sonali K, Rupal. Special Thanks to the excellent volunteers from UH ISA. Organizers made the decision to hold the event on the scheduled Rain Date, Sunday October 25 as rain chances were dropping dramatically after 12PM, and Venue, Dance Schools, Jeffrey Iqbal & Omi Vaidya, Stage, Sound & Lights were not available the next weekend, not to mention 80% chance of thunderstorms on the following Friday, 100% on Saturday. Organizers look forward to new concepts for Diwali 2016. More Photos coming soon to HoustonDiwali.com and www.facebook.com/HoustonDiwali.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2015 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


October 30, 2015

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18 October 30, 2015 AP’s New Capital: Amaravati

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY

Mocktail: Power of Liquid Imagination BY SANTOSH DESAI

Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh, will be the fifth planned capital city in India. Its construction will be underpinned by both modern technology and heritage — it was the capital of the Satavahana dynasty almost two millennia ago. There is one word which best describes this dream project: Gigantic. In both conceptualisation and ambition, Amaravati is perhaps unmatched in independent India. Driven by the zeal of Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, this brand new city aims to be 25% larger than present day Chennai and to accommodate 11 million people — in 20 years. Bifurcation was hard on Andhra Pradesh. It was left with more than half the population of the undivided state, but a far smaller proportion of revenue. Disregarding sceptical experts, Naidu has staked the state’s future on the creation of a modern city which is expected to attract investment and generate service sector jobs. Amaravati’s creation is also being assisted by Singapore and Japan governments. The aim is to build a city benchmarked against the most liveable cities globally. Parks and open spaces get the largest share in the land use plan and a mass rapid transport system has been given priority too. A welcome feature has been the state government’s attempt to build an emotional bond between citizens and Amaravati through crowd-funding and other measures. Projects on this scale usually get stuck in land acquisition problems. Andhra has beaten this hurdle by getting farmers to transfer 33,000 acres in barely a year through a land pooling approach. While this first hurdle has been cleared, more challenges lie ahead. Over Rs 1 trillion is needed for the city’s infrastructure, which cannot come from the financially stretched state government. PPP, which will be an important resource raising mechanism, has a patchy record in India. Also, opposition parties are unhappy with the project, making Amaravati overdependent on Naidu. If this dream is to be realised, both the government and opposition must bridge their differences. Amaravati belongs to the state and everyone has a stake in it. NDA government must strongly support the state through the early phases of this project. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recognises urbanisation as an opportunity. He should walk the talk by backing Andhra Pradesh when it tackles the challenges which lie ahead — as Amaravati could provide an exciting template for building new cities across India. Times of India

Blue Lagoon. Tangy Black Beauty. Mississipi Blue. Litchi Colada. Cool Flamingo. Lava Flow. Purple Rain. Across the country, the beverage is being reinvented. The mocktail can be seen pretty much everywhere and in a recent study that examined the changing culture around food, the mocktail featured prominently as a site of a new kind of excitement. So much so, that as part of cooking classes that have sprung up across the country teaching young women (mostly) exotic new dishes, mocktails are now part of the curriculum. In fact, most of the names quoted in the beginning of this article come from the syllabus of a cooking class in Rajkot. To the drinker of alcohol, the mocktail is as the name suggests, a sad attempt to mimic the pleasures of drinking. Of course, to the serious male drinker, the cocktail itself, unless it is colorless and James Bond-blessed or an occasional diversion when drinking in the daytime, is deemed a bit too fruity, colorful and accessorised (by beach umbrellas and the like) to be taken seriously. In the Indian context, particularly in the past, even gin and vodka were considered ‘ladies’ drinks’, and fruity cocktails were deemed to be decidedly feminine in their appeal. But the mocktail lived on the outskirts of all that was considered worthwhile; one could be excused for not drinking alcohol, but to drink an aquamarine liquid called The Mermaid’s Kiss with a cherry floating in it was to risk considerable damage to one’s reputation. To the non-drinker, the idea of alcohol was itself viewed through a lens of undesirability bordering on the immoral. The mocktail was a shadow version of the real thing, and thus held few attractions. Besides it was too unfamiliar and uncomfortably exotic; nimbupani was safer. Thus, the mocktail was taken seriously by few, and lived a life of quiet shame in some forgotten corner of the bar menu. Things have clearly changed. And in some part, the attraction

of mocktail today in India does lie in the fact that it is a vegetarian version of alcohol; it does to alcohol what paneer does to chicken- provide a sense of indulgence without the perceived sin. Given that the alcohol itself enjoys much greater legitimacy in the country than it ever did, and is much less gendered than it used to be, pretend-drinking is becoming a fashion statement of sorts. The glasses that mocktails are served in, the bar-like atmosphere that many restaurants and cafes create, all of these are markers of the allure of alcohol, without actually having to partake of it. The umbrella, the wedge of lime, the salt on the rim, are the telltale signs of sin, little markers of how not ordinary all of this is. And yet, the ‘virginity’ of the mocktail, speaks of how it is in reality only an impostor, the ‘dhishoom’ sound without the actual punch. For the mocktail is more than a simulation of alcohol; it comes from an entirely original motivation- to lead a life bathed in technicolor and scented with the unfamiliar and exotic. It is a concoction that combines mystery, glamour and invention to create an escape from the ordinary. It uses several registers of meaning- it has a base connected with something fruity, adds a concentrated syrup to create a new and hitherto unimagined combination, it adds soda to mo-

torise the experience, garnishes the concoction with something exotic, serves it in a glass that is a cry for attention and then gives it a name that whispers throaty promises. The mocktail might have its origins in something natural but its eventual destination is always some imagined landscape. In doing so, it actually pushes past the cocktail as a system of delivering meaning. The cocktail after all has alcohol to play with, and in many cases, uses an industrial quantity of alcohol to deliver its payload. Looked at this way, the cocktail is actually the simulation; it is the mocktail that is the real thing. It uses the power of combination and imagination to provide transportation to elsewhere. In India today, there seems to be a need to see hitherto unimagined version of oneself. The mirror must hold out surprises; new costumes are of interest. New experiences are sought particularly if they allow the self to be imagined in a new way. The pastry or the exotic dessert has a similar structure and effect. The birthday party, with its little learnt set of rituals, too uses a new currency of experience. The desire is to go beyond the currencies of imagination available, and to construct a new kind of experience, that is not tethered to the past, but to do so with a degree of caution. The experimentation is more at the surface than at the core, and great care is taken to de-risk forays into the new, but the urge to travel outside one’s zone of familiarity is an interesting development. If the first steps towards embracing change happened by the inspired use of the remix, where the familiar and the new were played with, what we see here is a desire to step outside the familiar. Change of a big kind is often heralded by change of a truly trivial kind. Nobody can argue that the presence of a few fizzy colored liquids in one’s life is a subject of national importance. But small changes add up, and a small change is afoot. Times of India

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COMMUNITY

October 30, 2015

19

Vedanta Society Of Greater Houston Celebrates Sri Durga Puja

HOUSTON:The year 2015 has been a very delightful and active year for the devotees of the Vedanta Society of Greater Houston (VSGH). After enjoying the visits by twelve monks (one of them being Revered Swami Suhitanandaji Maharaj, the General Secretary and Head of the

Administration of the Ramakrishna Order, and another Swami Sarvapriyanandaji Maharaj, one of the best speakers of the Order ); getting a lot of young devotees involved in the two very successful Youth Programs; and observing Sri Ramakrishna’s Birthday with a wonderful worship

and beautiful Homa, performed by Sw. Mahayoganandaji Maharaj, an American Swami of the Order, the devotees celebrated Sri Durga Puja on Saturday, October 17. Sri Durga Puja is an annual celebration of the VSGH which is held in the open, under a tent in the premises of the temple. It began in 2009 on the open lot, even before the present building was constructed. The worship is performed by a monk of the Ramakrishna Order. Saturday, October, 17 was like one of the beautiful “Sharad” season days in India – a cool sunny day, with some white clouds in the sky, the sunshine not bright, but still had a rich golden color. It was so nostalgic that some of us who had grown up with Durga Pujas in India could remember and smell the fragrance of the blooming ‘Parijat’, or ‘Shiuli” flowers, and recollect the white swaying “Kash” flowers (Kans Grass) in the light breeze. The celebration began with the statue of Mother Durga being carried to the ‘mandap’ to the accompaniment of the lively beats of the ‘dhak’ and the blowing of the ‘conch shell’. The devotees decorated her with flowers, bouquets, garlands and “chandmalas”, and She looked radiant and blissful. Her entrancing eyes showered blessings on each and every one present. The puja, performed by Swami Kripamayanandaji Maharaj of the Vedanta Center of Toronto, began at 10 a.m. The divinity of the worship was further enhanced by the accompaniment of ‘Chandi’ chanting by Dr. Amrit Achari, a neurosurgeon in Houston; and Dr. Bishnupada Goswami, the priest from Durga Bari. The beautiful devotional songs sung by the VSGH choir during the prayers further augmented the sanctity of the celebrations. It seemed like even the weather was offering its salutations to Mother Durga by keeping the temperature very comfortable for the devotees. The puja ended with the magnificent ‘Arati’ performed by the Swami with the chandelier lamps, and ‘pushpanjali’, the offering of flowers, by each and every devotee. Fruit & lunch prasad were served to all attendees. Many of the devotees commented that the Durga Puja celebrations at VSGH bring back wistful memories of their childhood and youthful days during Durga Puja in India. VSGH still has a couple of programs in its calendar. On Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, VSGH will celebrate Kali Puja at 7:30 p.m. Worship will be performed by Dr. Bishnupada Goswami, the priest from Durga Bari and dinner prasad will be served. Furthermore, from Nov. 19 to Nov. 22, Pravrajika Vrajaprana, a nun from the Santa Barbara Vedanta Convent will be visiting VSGH and will be conducting a retreat on “Holy Company & its Value”. Visit www.houstonvedanta.org for more information.

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22 October 30, 2015

HEALTH

Fighting Cancer from Within

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Over the last several months, we have covered the principles of the three main branches of oncology: surgical, radiation, and medical oncology. We have discussed how

these treatments are used alone and in combination to treat patients. Another area that is getting much research attention lately is that of immunotherapy for cancer. In this

article, I will discuss the concepts behind using the patient’s own immune system in the treatment of their cancer. - Vivek S. Kavadi, M.D.

Sometimes, a great idea comes around, but is overshadowed. In the fight against cancer, chemotherapy and radiation treatments have been our primary “go-to” treatment options for decades and most of our research has been focused on making these more effective. Immunotherapy is a not-so-new treatment that is coming into its golden age, thanks to developments in medical technology and research. We’re just starting to scratch the surface of what may be the biggest revolution in cancer treatment in our lifetimes – harnessing the immune system to help fight cancer. When the immune system encounters foreign cells from ordinary diseases—such as a virus or bacteria—it recognizes certain traits and starts fighting them. Within a few days, the body is healthy again. However, the immune system has a harder time recognizing threatening cancer cells. In the late 1800’s, Dr. William Coley found that some cancer patients benefited when their immune systems were “enhanced” with certain bacteria. Coley’s treatment concept faded when advances in chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery were developed. In the last few decades, researchers have returned to Coley’s intriguing idea. What if we could give the body’s immune system

the boost it needs to fight cancer the way it would fight another disease? Thanks to a more advanced understanding of the human immune system, we’re able to do just that. Immunotherapy is not currently available for all forms of cancer, but the treatments that have been fully approved or are in clinical trials are radically changing cancer treatment. Vaccines, which are patient and cancer specific, have been developed for some forms of cancer. They may boost an immune system response or help prevent a future recurrence. Much like chicken pox, your body has a “memory” of how it fought the disease the first time. Some immunotherapy is not specific to a cancer type. Interlukins and interferons help the immune system resist cancer and viral infections. Patients receive these medications which help the immune system cells grow and divide more rapidly to resist infection. This has proven effective for some forms of cancer. Another type of immunotherapy is more specific. Your body already makes antibodies to fight infections like the flu. Scientists are now designing antibodies to target specific antigens in cancer cells. After they are injected into a patient, they seek to bind to the cancer cells and destroy them. Since healthy cells don’t contain

the antigen, they are not affected. Using the body’s own tools to fight cancer is opening up a new and exciting horizon in oncology. For example, immunotherapy led to the first new treatments for melanoma to be approved by the FDA in more than a decade. In some cases, immunotherapies can mean fewer unpleasant side effects for patients. For me as a physician, they mean hope for patients whose current treatment options are not enough. Immunotherapy may be the most exciting part of the cancer research field today, and our patients are helping to move it forward. At Texas Oncology, our patients can participate in promising clinical trials, including those for immunotherapy, in their local communities. Visit www.TexasOncology. com for more information. Dr. Vivek Kavadi is a radiation oncologist at Texas Oncology–Sugar L a n d , 1350 First Colony Blvd., Sugar Land, Te x a s ; and Texas Oncology– Radiation Oncology Center at Memorial Hermann Memorial City, 925 Gessner Road, Suite 100, Houston, Texas.

For advertising Contact: Vanshika Vipin at 713-789-6397

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October 30, 2015 23 COMMUNITY IACAN Presents Art Therapy Session

HOUSTON:According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, over 30% of adults and nearly 12 % of children use non-mainstream or conventional medicine approaches to health care. Many take the “integrative” approach to medicine; that is using non-conventional approaches along with conventional treatments. Complementary therapies such as acupuncture, meditation, music therapy, oncology massage etc have shown to benefit some cancer patients when provided under physician guidance during their cancer treatment. Other forms of therapies such as healing through art has been found to reduce stress and anxiety and have

positive effects on personal growth, coping and help with social interaction for cancer survivors. IACAN, Indian American Cancer Network strives to educate and expose cancer survivors to complementary therapies such as art, music in order to help reduce the level of anxiety, fatigue and help to boost their immune system during their recovery. On Tuesday, September 22, IACAN presented an art therapy session to its survivor group. Neeta Balsaver, an avid painting enthusiast from Sugar land opened her heart and her office to show the cancer survivor group and their families the basics of painting. Neeta provided all the necessary art supplies. The art “students” age

ranging from 6 years to over 70 years enthusiastically absorbed all the tips offered by Neeta. For this beginner’s class Neeta chose “Stary Night” by Vincent Van Gogh. Neeta walked us through various steps of painting, from sketching the outline of the hills, the houses, the trees, the moon and the stars to brush stroke techniques used by Van Gogh. While we were trying to sketch the various items of the painting, Neeta talked about the benefits of painting to the body, mind, and spirit. Neeta encouraged us to experiment and express ourselves and not just copy the painting. At first Van Gogh’s “Stary Night“ looked intimidating to paint. But with Neeta’s step by step instructions we first began to sketch with chalk the outlines of the roll-

ing hills, the clouds, the house and church, the trees and the moon and the stars. We then started to apply different color paints to each of the items as appropriate. As our creative juices started to flow, before long, we could see, one by one the different components of the picture begin to evolve. We were surprised to see the transformation of our latent talent for art work flow on to a blank canvas resulting into a wonderful picture. Everyone showed a sense of accomplishment with their work. Neeta patiently guided and applauded the effort put forth by each of us. Soon everyone was engrossed in completing and perfecting their painting as much as possible. Neeta mentioned that she started painting as a way of relaxation and

enjoys painting with her friends at her leisure. While enjoying very healthy dinner, all of us viewed the work of others, appreciated the effort and enthusiasm put in by others. Art therapy gives a sense of wellbeing. It creates a harmonious balance between the mind, body and the sprit that stimulates the body’s natural self-healing process. This rejuvenates our body and increases the strength and improves our sleep. IACAN is planning to bring many more such complementary therapies/activities to cancer patients and survivors. For IACAN information: iacannetwork@gmail.com / www.iacannetwork.org / Phone:781 370 3489

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2015 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


24 October 30, 2015

COMMUNITY

Durga Bari Celebrates Durga Puja in Style Despite Inclement Weather

BY SANCHALI BASU HOUSTON: No amount of rain could dampen the spirits of the local Bengali community in celebrating the Annual Durga Puja which everyone looks forward to the whole year. The Puja is normally celebrated over 10 days in Bengal, beginning on Mahalaya with the invocation of the goddess Mother Durga and continues on with the Bengali calendar tithis, Shashthi, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and Vijaya Dashami. The festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga

over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Vijaya Dashami is celebrated as Dussehra in other parts of India and the nine days of festivities are celebrated as Navratri in western India. The Durga Puja festival epitomizes the victory of Good over Evil. In India, some of these days are observed as public holidays and people get to enjoy this time with family and friends. In the United States, due to time constraints, the Puja ceremony is condensed over a weekend in most places. We in Houston, are spoilt with the Durgabari being around,

Photos: Saurabh Sen Gupta

and get to celebrate the Durga Puja in the traditional way over 5 days, on the proper Tithis, and additionally over the weekend for the office-goers if the Tithis don't happen to coincide with the weekend. This year happened to be one of those years. Mahalaya on October 11 started with the musical rendition of Mahishasur Mardini followed by Anandamela (fund-raising for

the temple with food stalls selling Bengali culinary delicacies), fashion show, skit and excellent recitation by invited artist from Kolkata, Debasish Chakraborty. Surprisingly, even on a weekday morning, Ashtami tithi celebrations had about 500 people in attendance, which began with Chandipath in the morning, followed by Puja, Pushpanjali, Arati and Bhog lunch, and Sandhyarati in the evening, as is the normal sequence of events daily during the Puja. Presumably, people had caught wind of the weather forecast over the weekend and did not want to take a chance. An integral and important part of Durga Puja, Sandhi Puja which is performed at the juncture of Ashtami and Nabami, when Durga is worshipped in her Chamunda form, also kept a lot of devotees in

the temple until almost midnight The Puja was celebrated all over again beginning Oct 22 with Amantran and Adhibas and the evening entertainment was provided by guest artist from Kolkata, Shampa Kundu who had a repertoire of Rabindra Sangeet, modern Bengali songs and even medleys of Bengali-Hindi songs and kept the audience glued till almost 1 AM on a week night. Bhoomi (Bangla Band) was accompanied by Lakshman Das Baul on Friday and featured an array of popular folk song hits. Local singers also showed their talent and flash mob dancers entertained people while they were waiting patiently in the food distribution line. Despite the heavy rains hitting the Houston area on Saturday and Sunday, the organizers had a well thought out plan of action. The temple was closed early on Saturday, local programs were deferred to Kali Puja and Debojit Saha, Bollywood singer, one time winner of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa was brought on stage in the afternoon. He brought out the wild side of the audience with his renditions of popular Bollywood numbers from yester years to the present and also delivered some Bengali popular Kishore Kumar songs. He came down from the stage to dance with the delighted screaming, dancing audience and mingled with them lapping up every bit of the adulation and fan-frenzy. He was very ably supported by the extremely talented Swagata Dey (vocals), and Kutti (keyboard). Oct 25, Bijoya Dashami day bittersweet, with the immersion of the Naba Patrika and Bisarjan, and Sindoor Khela (married women anointing one another with vermilion signifying the departure of the goddess to her in-laws’ abode) and distribution of sweets, brought the Durga puja celebrations to a close. The sari, jewelry, book stalls, the blowing of conch shells (shankha), rhythmic beats of the drums (dhaak), fish fry stalls and loudspeakers blaring popular songs were all very reminiscent of the Puja atmosphere back home. Thanks to the able leadership of Santanu Mukhopadhyay, Puja committee chair, the Bayou city with its seamless execution of the Puja lived up to its reputation of being able to cope under difficult circumstances. Please visit www.durgabari.org for upcoming events, namely Kali Puja.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2015 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

Diwali and Govardhan Puja at ISKCON of Houston

HOUSTON: ISKCON of Houston is celebrating two wonderful festivals in November! Diwali or the festival of lights falls on Wednesday, November 11 and New Year - Govardhan Puja is on Thursday, November 12. The ISKCON temple, located on 1320 W 34th Street has been celebrating these time honored festivals for decades now, bettering itself each year. Diwali or Dipavali in Sanskrit translates to numerous lights and is a festival that is close to many a heart, appealing to old and young. To some, the significance of the festival is an inspiration. The festival commemorates Lord Rama’s return to His kingdom after defeating the evil King Ravana and it also serves as a reminder to all of us to allow the good within oneself to reign over the evil. One of the highlights for Diwali celebrations at ISKCON is the candle light aarti. This is a one of it’s kind, unique visual treat where the magnificent Deities, decorated with fragrant flowers are worshipped in a divine atmosphere. As is central to the practice of Krishna consciousness, the chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord will form a core part of the worship. Praising the Lord with His Holy

Names is the meditation followed by these spiritual seekers. Govardhan Puja or Annakut is celebrated the day after Diwali. It was on this day that Lord Krishna protected the inhabitants of Vrindavan from the onslaught of Lord Indra’s wrath by lifting the Govardhan hill. To celebrate this festival, devotees build a replica of Govardhana Hill made of various opulent foods, worship Lord Krishna as the lifter of Govardhana Hill, worship the hill as His incarnation, and worship the cows and bulls who are dear to the Lord. At the end of the festival, the hill of prasadam (sanctified food) is distributed to the public. Also a New Year Day and hundreds of devotees visit the temple during 4:30 AM Mangala Aarti for a very auspicious start of the New Year. Celebrations on both evenings begin at 6:30 pm. There will be cultural programs and celebrations on Sunday, November 15 at 5:30 pm. Free vegetarian feast is served on both days after the festivities. Come see us. Happy Diwali and Happy New Year to you and your family.

October 30, 2015

25

Multi-Lingual Western-Indian Fusion Music Concert on Nov 7

HOUSTON: Shaking Hands Across Continents, a Western-Indian music ensemble, directed by acclaimed Houston musician Vidushi Smt. Rajarajeshwary Bhat and organized by Global Organization for Divinity, will be presented on Saturday November 7, at Berry Miller Junior High School, 3301 Manvel Road, Pearland TX. The concert will present a melodious fusion of Indian and western music, featuring the compositions of His Holiness Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji, including a world unity song sung in 16 different global

languages.. The concert, which is supported by the City of Pearland Cultural Arts Grant program, will bring together over 40 performers of all ages comprising of several experienced, wellknown Houston and international musicians as well as accomplished young stars. Smt. Rajarajeshwary Bhat is the director of Houston’s Krishna Gana Sudha Music Academy, where she teaches south Indian Carnatic music. She hails from a family of musicians in India and has numerous national and international accolades to her credit, both as a musician and a teacher. Apart from coordinating Carnatic music concerts and presentations, she has also worked on several collaborative music productions with various genres of world music. The vocal line up for this unique event will feature Smt. Bhat, Kruthi

and Keerthana Bhat, Uma Ranganathan and several other accomplished Houston singers and students. Indian percussion will be directed by Sri Erode Nagaraj of international repute, who will be joined by talented percussionists Sri Charan Rajan and Sri Chandrakaanth Ramamurthy. The Indian violin orchestra will include Houston’s gifted Smt. Deepa Ramachandran and Sri Mahesh Iyer. Mr. Arthur Delaney – pianist, string instrumentalist and orchestra director – will join hands with Smt. Bhat in this fusion production, directing the western side of the orchestra with his students playing a variety of western instruments. This musical ensemble is organized by Global Organization for Divinity (G.O.D.), a worldwide nonprofit that aims to promote peace, harmony and universal love amid cultural diversity. The proceeds from this concert will benefit the construction of Namadwaar prayer house’s youth educational and cultural service center. Donations for the cause are welcome, and complimentary passes with preferred seating will be given to donors. Tickets and donation options are online at http://tinyurl.com/ SHAC2015. For more information about Global Organization for Divinity, please visit www.godivinity. org or call 281-402-6585.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2015 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


26 October 30, 2015 Job Posting: NEWS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER KTRK-TV, Houston’s leading news organization, is looking for an Executive Producer with a proven track record in broadcast and digital. This person must be a strong leader, effective communicator, with a ‘can do’ attitude. Consistently able to solve problems, turn visions into reality, meet deadlines, and work well under pressure, especially in breaking news situations. Must have exceptional news judgement. Will be required to do some hands-on producing, writing, and copy-editing. Needs to be passionate about the news. Quick at identifying, promoting and executing great content. Must be organized, efficient, capable of juggling multiple projects and staffers. Candidates should have at least 5 years producing experience in a major market, and some managerial experience. Will be supervising and motivating a diverse group of broadcast and digital employees, as well as mentoring and coaching less experienced staff. Must be willing to work overnights, early mornings, weekends and/or holidays. Strong internal candidate. To be considered all interested applicants must apply online at disneycareers.com, reference job # 307064BR. Please upload a cover letter, resume and list of references.

Job Posting:

Part-Time Graphic Artist

ABC-13/KTRK-TV, the ABC/Disney owned television station in Houston, TX, has a part-time position for an experienced Graphic Artist for both broadcast and digital. The ideal candidate will have a degree in graphic design and professional experience using design applications, such as Adobe Creative Suite, to create content and graphics for television, web pages and social media. Qualified candidate would also be willing to assist with the station’s live studio or remote productions. We offer a collaborative and creative work environment. To be considered for the position you must apply online at disneycareers.com, ref job #306805BR Please upload a cover letter, resume, link to online portfolio, and list of references. No Telephone Calls

No Telephone Calls KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

Job Posting:

MORNING NEWS PRODUCER

Wanted: an aggressive, cool-under-pressure producer who knows what it takes to put together a well-paced newscast for morning viewers. Not Wanted: A formulaic show stacker. KTRK-TV, the ABC Owned station in Houston, TX is looking for a confident producer who excels at finding interesting content, knows how to showcase creatively and is nimble enough to scrap everything for breaking news. You must have excellent news judgment and be a strong writer who knows how to advance stories effectively. Knowledge of ENPS and desktop editing a plus. Candidates need complete understanding of social media and digital content, how to use it within newscasts and how to use it to reach viewers. Candidates should have at least three years line-producing experience in a major market. Must be willing to work overnights, early mornings, weekends and/or holidays. To be considered applicants MUST apply on-line at www.disneycareers.com by uploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references. Please send writing samples and a copy of your latest newscast including one that demonstrates your ability to handle breaking news to: Human Resources, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005. Please Reference Job ID: 307063BR on all materials submitted.

KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

Job Posting:

Programming Photographer/Editor - Temporary

KTRK-TV, the ABC/Disney owned station located in Houston, TX has an immediate opening for a Temporary Programming Department Photographer who can do it all. (Shoot, edit, produce) Responsibilities will include working on a variety of innovative station programming projects both long and short form. Qualified candidates must be detail-oriented with the creative knack for compelling storytelling through sound and pictures. Must have a valid driver’s license and be flexible to working any shift assigned. All interested candidates should send a video sample of your best work to be considered. To be eligible candidates must apply on-line at www.disneycareers.com by uploading a resume file. Please Reference Job ID: 307067BR on all materials submitted. Send non-returnable DVD resume tape to the attention of Human Resources, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet; Houston, TX 77005 and include the job ID. No Telephone Calls

No Telephone Calls KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2015 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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IndoAmerican News

Business IndoAmerican News

STOCKS • FINANCE • SOUTH ASIAN MARKETS • TECHNOLOGY

Nearly 75,000 Tonnes of Pulses Seized from Hoarders in 13 States

Out of 74,846.35 tonnes of pulses seized so far, the maximum of 46,397 tonnes have been recovered from hoarders in Maharashtra

NEW DELHI: Nearly 75,000 tonnes of pulses have been seized from hoarders in raids across 13 states as part of the measures to control the skyrocketing retail prices that have touched up to Rs210 per kg. The Centre has also asked the states to hold discussions with dal millers, whole-sellers and retailers to make pulses available at reasonable prices.

“De-hoarding operations across the states continued. These have resulted in seizure of 74,846.359 tonnes pulses so far. Total 6,077 raids have been conducted by the states after the amendment in the Central Order under Essential Commodities Act,” an official statement said. As a result of the de-hoarding drive, the states have reported declining

trends in the prices of pulses, it added. Out of 74,846.35 tonnes of pulses seized so far, the maximum of 46,397 tonnes have been recovered from hoarders in Maharashtra followed by Karnataka at 8,755.34 tonnes, Bihar at 4,933.89 tonnes, Chhattisgarh 4,530.39 tonnes, Telangana 2,546 tonnes, Madhya Pradesh 2,295 tonnes and Rajasthan 2,222 tonnes. Dal prices have risen across the country due to a shortfall in domestic output by 2 million tonnes in 2014-15 crop year on account of deficient and unseasonal rains. Moreover, the supply in global markets is also limited. “The Centre has asked the state governments to have meeting with millers, wholesellers and retailers to make pulses available in retail markets at reasonable prices,” the con-

sumer affairs ministry said, adding that few states have already moved in this direction. In a communication to the states/ union territories, the Centre said the distribution of pulses at reasonable prices through ration shops by some states has helped stabilising the prices and asked other states to consider this step. As per the consumer affairs ministry’s data, retail prices touched as high as Rs210/kg on Friday. Urad was selling at Rs190/kg, moong dal at Rs130/kg, masoor dal at Rs110/kg and gram at Rs85/kg. To check rising prices, the Centre has taken several steps like creating a buffer stock of 40,000 tonnes and sale of imported pulses at cheaper rates. It has brought importers, exporters, de-

partmental stores and licenced food processors under the stock holding limit to check hoarding. “Among several measures taken by the Centre to keep prices under check, certain quantity of tur dal has been imported and states were requested to indicate their requirements for retail distribution to contain price rise of pulses. Some states have responded and also lifted certain quantities of tur dal,” the statement said. To assess the availability and prices of pulses, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Friday held two rounds of meetings, first with importers and later with officials of ministries concerned. The cabinet secretary also reviewed the situation. -Livemint.com

India Promising More than Rich Bloc on Emission Cuts BY SUBODH VARMA If you add up all the promises of carbon emission cuts made by different countries, the total is still not big enough to prevent global temperatures from crossing the red line of 2°C rise by the end of this century, according to two different analyses by scientists. Another report released by 16 major global NGOs finds that richer countries or blocs like the US and the European Union are promising cuts which are much below their accumulated shares of emissions. Developing countries like India and China are committing to much more in comparison. Climate Action Tracker, one of

the groups, which includes the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, says there is a 66 per cent probability that the temperatures may rise by 3°C. Climate Interactive, a US based non-profit, is predicting that temperature rise will be 3.5°C with current proposals. Scientists had earlier concluded that a 2°C rise will entail sea level rise up to 4 feet because of polar ice caps melting, increasing extreme events like typhoons, changes in rainfall patterns and loss of biodiversity. Till now, all global negotiations, including the Kyoto Protocol, had kept the 2-degree-rise as their final target. In five weeks from now, 195 countries are going to meet at Paris to thrash out a climate change agree-

ment. As the recent preparatory talks in Bonn, Germany, showed, there is going to be much acrimony at the Paris meet. Two issues that are causing the biggest discord are responsibility and money. Greenhouse gases started rising dangerously in the earth’s atmosphere with the Industrial Revolution in the West. It has been estimated that of the total excessive carbon in the atmosphere, just five countries or blocs are responsible for more than twothirds: US, European Union, Russia, China and Japan. This is when you count from 1850 onwards. Why is this relevant? Because the more carbon you add to the earth’s atmosphere, the more temperatures will rise.

Future increases are bound to happen because so much carbon has been pumped in the past. So, many argue that the chief emitters of the past have more responsibility than those like India who started contributing to emissions significantly only recently. According to an analysis by a group of 16 civil society organizations, current promises of advanced countries are way below what they owe the world given their historical shares of emissions. The US emission cut plan is about a fifth of what their ‘fair share’ should be while that of the European Union is slightly more than a fifth of its share, the report released on Monday said. Japan is cutting emissions by only a tenth of what it should while Russia is not going in for any

cuts at all. The developing countries, including India and China, are broadly meeting their fair share of emission cuts, the civil society analysis points out. Another side of this problem — and another contentious issue at the climate talks — is money. The rich countries who have used up the carbon space in the atmosphere need to compensate the emission cuts to be done elsewhere in other countries. This is necessary not only because of their historical responsibility but also because they own many of the technologies necessary to cut emissions. -TimesofIndia

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INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2015 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


28 October 30, 2015

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2015 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

October 30, 2015

29

SACC Presents 5 Houstonians with Excellence in the South Asian Community Award

Award recipients, from left: Sukaina Rajani, Sameera Faridi, Dr. Sippi Khurana, Nina Magon, Dr. Monira Hamid-Kundi

Board members, from left: Sarah Ali, Kasteena Parikh, Dr. Noreen Khan-Mayberry (Mistress of Ceremony), Maryum Khan (Treasurer), Shenila Naseem (President), Malik Jamal

architectural and interior design to a purveyor of fabulous French sweets. The awardees included international fashion designer Sameera Faridi, owner of Sameera Faridi designs & Director of Poshak Fashion & Style; Allergist, Rheumatologist & Philanthropist, Dr. Sippi Khurana, owner of Allergy and Rheumatology Specialists of Houston; Colorectal Surgeon, community activist and philanthropist, Dr. Monira HamidKundi ; innovative interior designer & TV personality, Nina Magon owner of Creative Director of Contour Interior Design; and entrepreneur Sukaina Rajani, owner of Macaron by Patisse, French macaron boutique, whose creations have been featured on many reality television shows. The awards were presided over by Dr. Noreen Khan-Mayberry, "The Tox Doc", the worlds first female Space Toxicologist, TV expert on Toxicology & Environmental Health, & #1 Best Selling author. "This award is given in recognition and appreciation of exemplary work ethic and achievements, as well as their commitment and dedication as a South Asian in the Houston community," said SACC board president, Shenila Naseem. Many of the board members wore red which is symbolic of being empoweRED by their work in the South Asian and greater Houston community. "We encourage all Houstonians who want to do business with the South Asian community to join SACC, not just South Asian Americans", said SACC Treasurer Maryum Khan. Also in attendance were SACC board members Kasteena Parikh, Malik Jamal and Sarah Ali. The award ceremony was made extra special when Dr. Arun Verma, lifetime member of SACC talked about the early history of the organization and the importance of SACC's existence. For further information about SACC and to join visit: http://www.sacchouston.org/ become-member-of-sacc

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HOUSTON: The SouthAsian Chamber of Commerce (SACC) held an awards luncheon to celebrate five Exceptional Houstonians on Friday, October 23. The event was held at Tony's restaurant in the heart of the city. Excellence goes beyond being extremely good and SACC realized this fact was being overlooked throughout this diverse American community which have roots in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives,

Nepal, Pakistan & Sri Lanka. "For years, there have been amazing contributions from the South Asian American community throughout the greater Houston area. But we simply were not recognizing our own and decided to fill that gap", says SACC Board member & event chair Dr. Noreen Khan-Mayberry. The recipients of the award included a diverse array of professionals from the medical community to fashion,

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2015 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


30 October 30, 2015

SUDOKU

Place a Number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. Send us the correct answer before November 03, 2015. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036.

Win free tickets for Shen Yun. See page 34

(for first three entrees only & 1 submission per month).

Solution Next Week

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L��� W���’� SUDOKU W������

1) Shriram Kumar 2) Ekta Panchal 3) Arvind Upen

PUZZLES/RECIPES

Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Wadiyan Da Pulao (Lentil Dumpling Rice Pilaf) There are as many different ways to make pulao (rice pilaf) as there are cultures in the world. Each area’s pilaf dish one uses different types of ingredients, different spices and even different types of rice. Spanish people make a seafood paella; Arabs make a pulao using cuts of meat and the Chinese cook it as stir fried rice. The end result is the same: rice cooked together with some other ingredient to make a complete dish that can be eaten by itself. Pulao is a Farsi word meaning rice stirred and other ingredients and cooked. This should not be confused with Biryani (also a Farsi word meaning “fry before cooking”) of which the Lucknow and Hyderabad variety are the most famous. For biryani, the meat is first fried, the rice is fried in oil and cooked half-way and then the rice and meat are layered in a handi (earthen pot) and cooked. Wadiyan are one of the most Punjabi foods, and are basically sun dried balls of spiced ground lentils. They are aromatic and spicy, and when cooked with rice, add a flavor that is hidden inside the dumpling. Normally you don’t eat the whole wadi (which can be three inches in diameter when fully soaked), but eat small pieces of it with the rice, giving you bursts of flavor with each bite. The best Punjabi wadiyan are made of skinless urad daal (black lentils) that is soaked overnight and then ground while still wet, with dhania (coriander), garam masala, lal mirch (red pepper), adrak (ginger) and hing (astafoetida powder) added. The sun dried wadiyan balls can be stored in the fridge for many months. This recipe is for a pulao, but there is also a Punjabi dish (which I have already given) made in a similar way but for rice and wadiyan curry which is a meal by itself.Although vegetable or peas pulao can be found in many places, wadiyan pulao is not commonly available, so it is a real treat. For best results, make it in a wide brimmed kadai (wok). Ingredients : 1 cup chawal (rice) 2 large size Punjabi wadiyan (sun dried lentil dumpling) or 4 medium ones 1 medium piyaaz (onion) – peeled and finely chopped 2 tablespoons tael (vegetable or olive oil) 2 cups of water (3 cups if using

brown rice) Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper), jeera (cumin seed); dalchinni (cinnamon sticks broken into smaller pieces)Tomato paste to taste

Directions: 1.Soak the rice for 15 minutes in cold water and keep to the side. 2.Break the wadiyan into slightly 4 or 5 smaller pieces and keep to the side. 3.In the kadai, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and throw in the wadiyan and stir till they are slightly brown, stirring often so that they don’t burn. Take the wadiyan out and keep to the side. 4.In the kadai, throw in the jeera and chopped onions and stir till they are slightly brown and give off a nice aroma. 5.Drain the water from the rice. Add the rice to the kadai, salt and cinnamon pieces and stir to mix well. Add 2 cups of water, cover the kadai

and let it the ingredients boil for 5 minutes over medium heat. After the first boil, throw in the wadiyan; no need to stir. 6.Turn the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover the pot and check that the wadiyan have become plump and their aroma fills the pot. The dish is ready to eat with other vegetables, curries or by itself with yogurt. Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her mid-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes.

MAMA’S TIP OF THE WEEK KEEP LENTILS IN THE FRIDGE FOR LONG STORAGE Many people will buy several large bags of daal (lentils) when they find them on sale and store them in their pantry in a covered can or sealed jar for a long time till they need to use the daal to cook. They are often disappointed and shocked to that a few months later, the whole daals – not the split ones have small insects or larvae in them. That is because these insects thrive in warm, dark areas and slowly grow and multiply. If you frequently eat daal and consume enough of it to quickly finish the amount in the store, there is a better way to store the unused quantities of whole daals. The best place to store whole daals and beans of all sorts is in the crisper section of the refrigerator where the cool temperature inhibits the growth of any larvae. The will stay clean and insect free for months.

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INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2015 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS

Shaandaar

NEW DELHI:Take a blank canvas. Daub some ‘Orphan Annie’ paint on it. Add a little dash of ‘Cinderella’. Come closer home and borrow from that old durable ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun’, and the much more recent ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’. And gild the whole with glitter and gold. What ‘Shaandaar’ is trying to do is clear: reinvent beloved fairy tales with the help of winsome stars, but ends up being a blinding mix of everything with nothing of its own to boast of. One day, little Alia (Alia Bhatt, going by her own name) is brought home by Papa (Pankaj Kapur), a man ruled by his money-grubbing mommy (Sushma Seth) and wife. Alia grows up not knowing where she came from, not knowing how to sleep and perchance to dream. And then her Prince Charming (Shahid Kapoor) rides into her life, and everything changes. There’s enough in this premise for it to have turned into a delightful concoction, given that Vikas Bahl’s last was ‘Queen’. But so much else is so relentlessly piled on– a big fat wedding, no, make that a Big Fat Sindhi Wedding, a grand mansion somewhere in the UK, the standard jibes-at-gay-people, fat girl shaming, sorry stabs at whimsy– that very soon into the film, you are left groaning under the double assault of bling and blather.

The film is bloated with excess. Songs dressed up and going nowhere, saying nothing. Sequences meant to showcase actual planes, and flights of fancy, but looping no loops. Costumery and puffery may work with other actors, but it is wrong for Alia. Underneath it all, she knows she is real, and she can’t help letting us in on her. But here, she’s been made to play so determinedly cute that she sinks into a set of mumbled mannerisms. And

using her own name so soon in? There’s a problem right there. Shahid suffers from a badlywritten character. He can be such a natural charmer, but here the charm offensive is not allowed to stop, and finally just overtakes him. It doesn’t help that he gets into a similar loop with the scenes he has with his real-life `papaji’, and there are several. Shahid and Alia look good together, but there’s not very much else they manage between the two of them. The only one who leaves an impression in this crowded-yet-slack film is Sanah Kapur, the real-life half-sister of Shahid, who plays a bride being used as part of a ‘deal’ between two business families. She has a couple of strong scenes, and wears her weight well. -IndianExpress

October 30, 2015

31

It’s Worrying to do Comedy Films: Kunal Kemmu

Actor Kunal Kemmu, who is gearing up for the release of “Guddu Ki Gun”, says he always finds comedy films a “bit worrying” to work on. “I am very excited for watching ‘Guddu ki Gun’ with family and friends. But it’s always a little bit worrying to do comedy films, because you don’t know whether people would find it amusing or not,” Kunal said at the screening of the film here on Monday. The “Kalyug” actor was initially reluctant about doing the film, but his wife Soha Ali Khan seemed to be quite confident about him. “I didn’t read the script. Kunal had briefed me the story. Later, I liked the promos and songs as well. I’m excited for the film as the concept of this film is so incredible. Let’s see how it

translates from script to screen. I have full faith in Kunal and the whole cast of the film,” Soha said. Kunal made his acting debut as a child artiste in the 1990s, but his first film as a lead was “Kalyug” in 2005. In a decade-long career, Kunal only has multi-starrer films like “Traffic Signal”, “Golmaal 3” and “Go Goa Gone”. “Guddu Ki Gun” is an adult comedy where Kunal plays a Bihari salesman Guddu, who is a playboy and his manhood, strangely, is gold. Directed by Shantanu Ray Chhibber and Sheershak Anand, “Guddu Ki Gun” also stars debutante Payel Sarkar. The film is set to release on Friday. -Indian Express

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2015 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


32 October 30, 2015

SPORTS Pak Piles on Agony,

South Africa Slam 438 to Flatten India in Decider

Dale Steyn is pumped after claiming the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane, India v South Africa, 5th ODI, Mumbai, October 25, 2015.

BY FIRDOSE MOONDA MUMBAI (ESPN Cricinfo): South Africa 438 for 4 (du Plessis 133, de Villiers 119, de Kock 109) beat India 224 (Rahane 87, Dhawan 60, Rabada 4-41) by 214 runs. South Africa won their first-ever bilateral series in India after Faf du Plessis’ first, Quinton de Kock’s second and AB de Villiers’ third centuries of the series helped the visitors soar to the highest total in the five matches, the highest at the Wankhede and the highest against India. They did not subject India to their biggest margin of defeat, but they did bowl them out more than 200 runs short of the target, no mean feat in batsmen-friendly conditions. South Africa’s line-up enjoyed the track, which offered almost no bounce or turn, and applied aggression in waves reminiscent of the day nine years ago when they scored this exact number of runs against Australia at the Wanderers. Then, South Africa were chasing, this time they were making India’s bowlers do that. India have never conceded more runs in an ODI; South Africa have scored more but only by one. This was their sixth

score over 400 and fourth in 2015 alone, and it underlined their ability to dominate opposition on their own turf. India will be disappointed by the way their challenge died in both departments. Their bowlers began with an over-reliance on the short ball and then just ran out of ideas while their batsmen showed the right intent upfront but lost wickets trying to sustain the scoring rate. In the end, they conceded a second series to South Africa on the tour with the main event, the Tests, still to come. The signs of South African authority were evident from the start. They raced to fifty inside six overs during which Hashim Amla became the fastest batsmen to 6,000 ODI runs. Amla was dismissed cheaply for a fifth time in the series but that did not have an impact on South Africa’s morale. De Kock owned the pull shot and with the seamers failing to generate anything, MS Dhoni introduced spin in the seventh over. Harbhajan Singh kept things tight at first but the tension was routinely broken at the other end. South Africa grew in confidence, brought up 100 in the 15th over and appeared unstoppable until de

Kock hit Amit Mishra in the air to mid-off and presented a chance. Mohit Sharma got fingertips to the ball but could not hold on. De Kock was on 58 at the time and Mohit’s mistake would prove costly. He was seeing the ball well and found the rope so regularly, there was barely a need for singles. More than two-thirds of his runs came in boundaries but he reached his century, his fifth against India and eighth overall, with a single. Du Plessis had almost been a spectator in the proceedings and allowed de Kock most of the strike but when de Kock was caught on the long-off boundary, he knew he had to take over. With de Villiers egging him on, du Plessis upped the ante, assisted by Dhoni using part-timers Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli against South Africa’s two most destructive batsmen. They pierced the gaps and hit with power as the intensity increased. De Villiers injected impetus into the innings with his scoring rate his fifty came off 34 balls - and du Plessis followed suit. After taking 61 balls to score fifty, he needed just 44 more deliveries to get a century, even as he battled cramps to get there.

South Africa entered the last ten overs on 294 for 2 but would have been wary of the squeeze that can strike with the new playing conditions. This time, they were not strangled. Du Plessis plundered 24 runs off the 43rd over, bowled by Axar Patel, even though he could barely stand up and had to retire hurt on 133. Then, it was de Villiers’ turn. His century came off the 57th ball he faced to chants of “ABD” from the Wankhede crowd. South Africa were on the brink of 400 when de Villiers edged an attempted pull and was caught behind and India had finally got through the senior batsmen. Farhaan Behardien and David Miller had free reign to slog as hard as they wanted and they made the most of what time they had. South Africa scored 144 runs in the last ten overs. By the time India had that many, it looked as though a thriller might just play out. India lost Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the first eight overs of the reply but Shikhar Dhawan, who had been middling until this match, and Ajinkya Rahane kept them in it. Rahane was particularly severe on Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir but neither of them targeted South Africa’s fifth bowler, Behardien, as much as they should have. Still, they applied pressure, forced mistakes from South Africa in the field and were on track despite the length of the journey. Then it all changed when Kagiso Rabada proved there is no substitute for pure pace. He was brought back on in the 23nd over, angled a fuller ball across Dhawan and drew the leading edge. Rahane, who batted with composure and class and scored 50 off 41 balls, was feeling the heat. He holed out to midwicket off Dale Steyn, whose veins popped. In South Africa, the corks would have been doing the same as the series was all but sealed. India lost their last five wickets for 29 runs and South Africa secured a second limited-overs series on their longest-ever visit to India. Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

England Collapses

DUBAI Close Pakistan 378 (Misbah 102, Shafiq 83, Younis 58, Masood 54, Wood 3-39, Moeen 3-108) and 222 for 3 (Misbah 87*, Younis 71*) lead England 242 (Root 88, Wahab 4-66, Yasir 4-93) by 358 runs In little more than an hour on the third morning, the balance of the second Test, and perhaps with it the series, swung heavily in Pakistan’s favour. England collapsed calamitously, surrendering to panic where once there had been order, disorientated once more in the shifting sands of the UAE. From that moment, it seemed there was no way back. Pakistan, thrillingly opportunistic, claimed the last seven England wickets for 36 in 18 overs then, with a first-innings lead of 136 at their disposal, bedded in as if nothing untoward had happened, a salutary reminder that the Dubai pitch remained good for batting and that England’s batsmen had brought much of the suffering upon themselves. By the close, Pakistan had extended their lead to 358 runs with seven wickets still standing, and are now mightily placed to go 1-0 up in the three-Test series. England are already well into uncharted territory, their highest chase being 332 for 7 against Australia in 1928. Watching Pakistan’s experienced fourth-wicket pair, Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq guide Pakistan into a position of supremacy as the shadows lengthened, their unbroken stand worth 139, the sensation grew that some of the emphasis on attacking cricket by England’s young middle order is so much fluff and that, in Test cricket at least, enterprise must come from a solid technical base. Otherwise, what is left is largely self-indulgence.

Younis Khan just missed his 5th century in Dubai.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2015 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

October 30, 2015

33

Samskriti Presents “Fire and Ash“ and “ Dwita”:

Two Incredible Performances for the Price of One Featuring the most Outstanding Artists Presented on Stage.

HOUSTON:“Fire and Ash,” producer Gowri Ramnarayan has linked together the different arts with her narration and her understanding of the essence of the Indian philosophy. Gowri, grand daughter of Kalki Krishnamurthy and grand-niece of the world famed Smt. M.S. Subbalakshmi aims at bringing the ancient to the contemporary, and thus succeeding in transporting the Omnipotent and Omniscient to the Timelessness of Space. Introducing Bhakti through the language of the common

man, as against the orthodoxy of Sanskrit, in this journey, Savita Narasimhan successfully wielded the paint brush and digitally through her music and the visual dimension in form of dance provided by Anjana Anand. This performance “Fire and Ash’ takes you on a journey that extolled the concepts and attributes with anecdotes and stories of Lord Siva in a inimitable performance. “DWITA” Bharatanatyam style performance by duo Rama Vaidyanathan and Dakshina

Vaidyanathan. Dwita is a Sanskrit term that means duality, explores the double take on different aspects of life. The Devi is compassionate as well as ferocious, Love for the Divine can be sensual as well as spiritual, the Ardhanareeswara is a male as well as a female, and a Mother’s love is protective and yet it does not chain her daughter. There is the finite man and the infinite supreme consciousness, but still man endeavors for both to become one. DWITA depicts all these dichotomies that make

life mysterious. Live Orchestra accompaniments on Nattuvangam -Dr. S. VasudevanVocal :K.Venkateshwaran, Mridangam : Ramamoorthy Sriganesh And Flute :Rajat Prasanna ON November 8, 3.30PM AT BAYOU THEATER, UH CLEAR LAKE, 2700 BAYAREA BLVD, HOUSTON, TX77058. Tickets available at www. tickets2events.com

Houston Kannada Vrinda Celebrates Karnataka

BY SHRIDHAR SANNABHADTI HOUSTON: It was a part of a multi-course cultural celebration on a rainy Saturday October 24, afternoon at the Stafford Civic Center as over 300 Kannadigas congregated. The occasion, hosted by Houston Kannada Vrinda, was to celebrate the formation of the state of “Karnataka” on November 1, 1956 – something that was mentioned in the talent show by Samhita Kiran, a young girl that was quite enthusiastic, knowledgeable and very well versed with her culture. Karnataka is the state with its capital in Bengaluru, also known as the Silicon Valley of India. The program started with an excellent meal from “Annam” – an indicator of how the event was going to turn out – filling, sumptuous, exhilarating. Starting with a talent show that had

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a variety of programs including the singing of patriotic Kannada songs by kids ranging from 5 years to 15 years. The children really showed some amazing talent with an excellent rendition of violin, guitar, Sanskrit shlokas as well as Kannada songs. This was followed by “Yakshagana”, a vibrant traditional folk dance from Karnataka that is taking prominence world-wide. Yakshagana stands for the song of the angels. It usually depicts a short story from the known Vedic scriptures and mythologies and is depicted on stage. The unbelievable performance by “Yaksha Manjusha” Mela was on the slaying of Narakasura, an evil demon, the son of Varaha and Bhumi, by Satyabhama, Vishnu’s consort. The story line had a lot of important concepts – how it was bad to associate with evil as well as the strength of women in destroying evil for

the good of humanity. The way the Bhagavata (singer of the Yakshagana) sang and the performances by the various characters of the troupe especially Krishna and Satyabhama had the entire crowd spell-bound. After a snack of “Ragda patties” and some refreshing coffee, there were some beautiful performances by very talented groups and artistes. The line-up included a wonderful dance that had a mixture of old and new Kannada songs by students of Rashmi Shashi, Bharatanatyam performances by students of Indrani Parthasarathy and Padmini Chary and a Kannada song danced using the “Kathak” dance form. With wellmade props, wonderful orchestration and a superb performance by young kids, the narration of the start of the “Hoysala” empire enthralled the audience. Traditional dance forms such as Thillana was also elegantly demonstrated by

Photos: Nik Nikam

the kids. The final hallmark of the show was the “Fashion show”. A mixture of nostalgia and elegant Kannada couples dressed in fine wear from the various regions of Karnataka was a feast for the eyes and ears. There were also enough opportunities to shop at the venue, where there was an elegant set of saris to be purchased. Indiaproperty.com had quite a few visitors to their stall to understand more about purchase of property by reputed builders in various Indian metros. All in all, the event did was it was supposed to - “Sirigannadam Gelge” – the richness of Kannada triumphed. Kudos to the organizers – Sharada Prasad, Pawan Mandewalkar, Anu, Monika, Bharat Raj, Deepak Lavi , participants and all that attended the event to make it a resounding success!!

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