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Friday, November 13 2015 | Vol. 34, No. 46


Indo American erican News Published weekly from Houston, TX

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Vegas Comes to Club 24 P4 & 5 for Diwali

Indo American News Wishes You

Happy Diwali From Left: Mahesh & Alpa Shah (Host) Special Guest: Chancellor Dr. Renu Khator & Dr. Suresh Khator Club 24 Plus President: Asha Dhume and Pankaj Dhume

In Conversation with Salman Khan


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November 13, 2015



November 13, 2015


Mingle, Meet, Assimilate! And Have Fun Too at the IITAGH Picnic


SUGAR LAND, TX: The weath-

er couldn’t have turned out to be nicer after a soggy and wet Saturday and gloomy Friday. It was crisp, cool and just a little breezy; just the sort of weather you’d expect for a picnic and it looked like the IIT Gods had once again pulled in their technical muscle and financial savvy to make the Sun come out – and bring out their 200 members and followers in droves on Sunday, November 8.

The picnic emphasized the second leg of the IIT Alumni of Greater Houston mantra – assimilation and socialization between IIT families – to foster greater togetherness. Many couples brought along their young children to play at the slides and swing at Lost Creek Park off Settler’s Way and romp around the grounds, some even playing a bit of soccer. Meanwhile, their parents mingled with other IITians, both young and old and, from the look of it, many recent arrivals from the Old Country, in loud animated conversations.

Shortly after noon, the first in a series of games drew in people from among six randomly formed teams to indulge in a gol gappa and pani eating contest; to see who could swallow fifteen pani filled flour balls the fastest. The winners were chosen over five rounds for the fastest overall team and the fastest individual eaters. Food was certainly not in short supply as the samosas and chili paneer appetizers and pav bhaji, chole, aloo tikki, idli-sambar and biriyani lunch catered by Madras

Pavilion drew in a long line of picnickers. While they ate their lunch on the wooden benches in the covered pavilion, Pratish Kanani, the outgoing president of IITAGH thanked everyone for attending and introduced the new president for 2016-2017, Shamanth Shankar. “It has been great to have been able to focus the organization around the Connect, Develop, and Give Back pillars and execute a lot of these events over the last two years,” said Kanani

as he thanked his team members and the picnic sponsors, Upen Varanasi of Riversand Technologies and DC Collins of Greenlight Technologies. After lunch, and before the picnic wrapped up, Ram Seetharam and Richa Saxena hosted Gaana Pehchaana, a musical game in whichxthe participants identified the melodies and sang along together to selected Bollywood songs in karaoke style, to much loud, good natured ribbing between several randomly formed teams.



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November 13, 2015


Vegas Comes to Club 24+ and Makes Diwali an Extravaganza

Dr. Vivek Kavadi, Ashok Garg, Pradeep Gupta, Anuradha Subramaniam, Kamana Sharma & President AshaDhume, with members of the signature committee Dr. Asra Oberoi, Dr. Aparna Kamat & Vipra Bhasin. Photos: Bijay Dixit.


SUGAR LAND, TX: You could

hear the Elvis impersonator crooning in the backyard from the street side of the house where the valet parking attendants took the car. He certainly sounded like the real thing but you couldn’t tell if it was a CD rolling out or a person. When you walked in the front door, and looked into the living room bathed in blue light, between two curved staircases, decked out in tricolored drapes of red and blue, it took your breath away. You followed the singing to the right, through the kitchen and on the right was the dance floor and a DJ (who would spin out music to exuberant couples later in the night) and a statue-model in gleaming gold fabric and gold body paint standing frozen on a three-foot raised pedestal. Was she real or just a great reproduction? Before the thought could linger, the model turned her arms and changed position and froze again, giving you an unsettled feeling. Out the back door, the singing got louder and there was Elvis, under a white canopy opensided tent with admirers sitting on white chairs in front. He was belting out “You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog” in that unmistakable hip-huggin’ white, sequined, bell-bottomed jump-suit, top unzipped to mid-waist, long pointy pork-chop sideburns, white boots

making dance moves. Vegas had come to the house of Alpa and Mahesh Shah, the coowners of Madras Pavilion and Dawat Catering, by the side of the man-made lake. “It was all an idea that I had on my own,” said Mahesh, usually the quiet one who makes sure that his staff is providing the right service at all the events that he caters around town. “Alpa didn’t know a thing what I had planned. The only thing was I was afraid of was the rain.” It had rained off and on all day that Saturday. “So at the last minute I rented the tent. Thank God it didn’t rain after all!” Every year Club 24 Plus holds two signature events: a philanthropy night in the Spring and a Diwali party for its members in the Fall,

and usually these are at the homes of one of their members, who get a chance to showcase their dwellings and creativity in arranging for a lively night. A few years ago, Jugal and Raj Malani had put together an extravagant experience for the group, and after a long absence, the Shahs went all out to do the same. The evening opened up with a melodious Sanskrit bhajan by Aparna Kamat, followed by qawwalis by appropriately dressed qawwals on a raised dais on the other side of the tent. Alpa Shah, who cannot resist a tune, joined CONTINUED ON PAGE


For photo collage, see page 4

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November 13, 2015

Narainji Kataria An Iconic Hindu Activist


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Narainji Kataria, the 'Hindu Lion' that roared relentlessly for more than 30 years in the interest of his community, passed away quietly in his sleep on November 2 night at the age of 85. Narainji was like Iconic ‘Shri Balasaheb Thakare of USA’ - fearless, passionate, and determined to uphold the dignity of 'Hindus and Hindutva'. He was a hardcore nationalist, a superb community organizer and an Iconic political activist for Hindu-diaspora in USA Narainji was a victim of a horrific historic trauma of ‘Partition of India’. As a teenager in Sindh, what he saw and experienced during the ‘Partition’ was what essentially shaped him for the future. He was born on February 15, 1930 in Sukkur, Sindh. His parents died when he was quite young and so, as the eldest son, it became his responsibility to take care of his 3 siblings and bring them to India. After, settling down in Ulhasnagar near Mumbai, he once again started studies, earning a Master’s Degree in History while simultaneously working to support his family. In May 1956, he married ‘Bhagwantiji’ and had two daughters, Meena and Rajni. After a stint at “Bhabha Atomic Research Ctr (BARC)” in Mumbai, Narainji came to USA in early 1970s and started working as ‘Legal As-

stt.’ for the Law firm of ‘Cahill Gordon’, till he retired in 1998. From the beginning, Narainji, was troubled by Hindu’s callous indifference towards preserving and propagating their culture & religion. He strongly felt that vested interests of some of the minority sections of the society, were bent upon marginalizing Hindu society and nation’s character with the help of leftist Media. To educate the masses, he used his proficiency in writing with razor-sharp, opinionated prose that could rouse the readers. He reached out to tens of thousands through his network of admirers and supporters on weekly basis. He gave numerous interviews on TV and Radio and arranged record number of protests and rallies. He also founded “Hindu American Intellectual Forum” to reach out to the elites of the society. To bring the entire Hindu community together, he successfully started organizing “Hindu Sangathan Din” (Hindu Solidarity Day), 20 years back. Now, it is one of the most eagerly-awaited events in New York. Always sharply dressed, Narainji was a people’s person and attended every event that brought Indian community together. Queens-borough President once proclaimed a ‘Narain Kataria Day’ in QueensCounty, NY in his honor to acknowledge his contributions to the society. Once he was sued for alleged slander of a political bigwig for huge sum of money but he stood his grounds till the case was dismissed. Few times he was even threaten of bodily harm, but he couldn’t care less. His happiest days in life were when BJP got majority in the Parliament and Shri Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of India. Sadly, around the same time his wife of more than a half-century passed away. Narainji was larger-than-life and touched millions of lives, not just in USA but in other countries. So many adjectives have been tagged on him from all over the world after his departure, but please make no mistake – each one of them is true and helps define him. He was one of a kind ‘Karmayogi’ who served ‘Bharat’ and ‘Hindus’, by residing thousands of miles away in one-bedroom apartment with his family. There wasn’t anyone like him nor there would be, at least in foreseeable future.

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November 13, 2015

Western and Indian Music Blend in a Haunting Melody of Divinity

HOUSTON: Love, Music and Di-

vinity are universal. They bring harmony. They unite. In fact, they are the very essence of all life. On Saturday, November 7, in Houston TX, Indian ragas and western notes mingled seamlessly, merging with lyrics in many languages to make heavenly music that had the 60+ performers as well as the audience swaying to the tunes of Divinity. A unique presentation, Shaking Hands Across Continents was a western-Indian concert ensemble featuring the compositions of His Holiness Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji, and directed by accomplished Houston-based musician Vidushi Smt. Rajarajeshwary Bhat. Organized by worldwide nonprofit Global Organization for Divinity, the event benefited its Houston Namadwaar Prayer House’s educational and cultural service center. Dignitaries who attended the event included the Honorable Consul General of India Houston, Harish Parvathaneni and his family, and the Honorable Mayor of City of Manvel, Delores Martin, Thara Narasimhan, secretary of Hindus of Greater Houston and representatives of the Pearland Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji, a beacon of bhakti and Nama sankirtan in India, has composed (and continues to compose) over 600 songs in multiple Indian languages and also in English, all of which stem from his actual divine experiences depicting different bhavas (divine moods/ attitudes) of a devotee towards God - from praise and enjoyment, friendship and motherhood, to celebration, gratitude, love, intense prayer and more. The beauty of these songs lie in the seemingly simple lyrics that couch profound philosophical meanings, and in the heartfelt prayers and entreaties to God set forth in the verses, which can touch a cord in the hardest of hearts. The concert presented 12 songs in

English, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada, in various ragas, and a unique finale of Kaliyaiyum Bali Kollum - Mahamantra Song (a 16-verse composition originally in Tamil) on the universality and greatness of the Divine Name that was translated into and sung in 16 global lan-

guages including Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Odia, Hindi, German, French, Arabic, Chinese and Spanish. Led by star vocalists Kruthi Bhat, Uma Ranganathan and Keerthana Bhat, the group of over 40 singers of all ages was divinely impeccable in their performance, as they were accompanied by the Indian and Western orchestras. The western orchestra of piano, violin, viola, cello and bass – was directed by Mr. Arthur Delaney of Houston who also performed on the piano. The Indian percussion line-up of three mridangists and a chenda player added zing to the presentation and was ably directed by international percussionist Vidwan Sri Erode Nagaraj. The Indian orchestra was led by experienced violinists Sri Mahesh Iyer and Smt. Deepa Ramachandran of Houston and also included drums and keyboard.

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10 November 13, 2015


A Diwali for Seniors and Their Families to Make the Heart Happy

Club 65 President Paru McGuire (second from left) with members of her Board and volunteers and Club 65 co-founder Latafath Hussain (third from right).

Club 65’s first Lifetime Member Shakuntla Malhotra handed out certificates to the performers and hugged a young son of one of them.


HOUSTON: For a club of seniors over 65, Volunteers serving food at the buffet line.

this group is an energetic bunch with outdoor activities scheduled regularly several times a year and a monthly meeting at the Bayland Community Center on the city’s

southwest side each month. They aim to make life happy for the older generation of Indo-Americans and especially welcome the elderly to their programs, taking special care to bring them to the functions and then serve them attentively.





November 13, 2015


Western and Indian Music Blend in a Haunting Melody of Divinity




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A highlight among the Indian songs was the beautiful Srinivasa Karavalambanam, a captivating sloka composition of eight verses that had been set into a ragama-

lika of eight apt ragas by Smt. Rajarajeshwary Bhat. On the western side, a deeply significant song, Life is short… Your Grace Has Come Not, stood out with its haunting

melody and refrain “Today we are alive, we don’t know about tomorrow… so chant Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.” Global Organization for Divinity aims to promote peace, harmony and universal love amid cultural diversity, and is involved in several cultural, spiritual and social activities in Houston, around the USA and the world. To know more about G.O.D. USA and Houston Namadwaar, visit , call +1 281-402-6585 or email houston. god@godivinity. org.

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A Diwali for Seniors and Their Families to Make the Heart Happy CONTINUED FROM PAGE


In that same spirit, Club 65, the now over 2-year-old organization, organized a well-attended Diwali program at Bayland this past weekend on Saturday, November 7, with a mixture of music, dance, information and lunch that brought the seniors together for a few hours on a rainy afternoon. The event was organized by Club 65 President Paru McGuire and her Board and volunteers. After brief welcoming remarks by McGuire, guests received some important information on Medicare by independent agent Ramzan Hirani who is also a Club 65 member. Hirani went into great detail on the terms used when signing up for the different parts of Medicare, clarifying many a misconception, especially as it is the open enrollment period right now when people have to submit their preferences for the insurance carriers who offer Parts C (private insurance company selection) and D (prescription drugs) coverage. He explained the difference between HMOs and PPOs and his own experience and preferences for insurance companies. Lunch was catered in from

Ramzan Hirani explained the intricacies of Medicare during the open enrollment period for Advantage Plans

Vishala Restaurant on Highway 6, and featured several Gujarati vegetarian dishes, served buffet style by female volunteer members of Club 65; and a cup of well-made hot chai that everyone was raving about. There were a few slices of pizza for the young kids that came along with their parents and grandparents. The remainder of the program was made up of songs by the Aarohar Group composed of Anjan Kothare,

Tejas Mehta and Nick Ganatara who volunteered to serenade the guests with melodies both new and old. The three-man group then launched into a garba that many people in the audience delighted to get up and dance to in the small dance floor in front of the singers. At the end, the three were awarded certificates of appreciation and boxes of sweets, handed out by Club 65’s first – and at the event the oldest – Lifetime Member, Shakuntla Malhotra who also writes a popular Punjabi recipe column in Indo American News.



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16 November 13, 2015 Indo Americans at UNICEF Ball Lend a Helping Hand

Nat and Leela Krishnamurthy flank Margaret Alkek Williams and former First Lady Barbara Bush on the red carpet at the UNICEF Audrey Hepburn Society Ball before the start of the program.

HOUSTON: The U.S. Fund for

UNICEF hosted the third annual UNICEF Audrey Hepburn® Society Ball on Friday, November 6 at the Hilton Americas Hotel, which raised funds to support UNICEF’s work to put children first. The event honored former First Lady Barbara Bush with the Margaret Alkek Williams Humanitarian Award for her commitment to furthering education and literacy, and for the tremendous impact she has made on the lives of countless children

and their families. Guests were welcomed by Caryl Stern, President & CEO U.S. Fund for UNICEF and then enjoyed dinner, a live auction and an exclusive performance by Grammy AwardWinning Artist, Faith Hill. Guests also had the opportunity to learn about UNICEF Inspired Gifts - real lifesaving gifts (mosquito nets, family water kits, etc) that UNICEF delivers straight to children who need them. More than 400 guests attended and $820,000 was raised through tickets

and tables, Inspired Gift sales, and a live auction, which is more than has been raised at any other UNICEF Audrey Hepburn Society Ball. The event was presented by sponsors Gallery Furniture and Tenenbaum Classic Jewelers. Notable attendees included Margaret Alkek Williams, Lee Majors, Bill King, Pierce Bush, Joanne King Herring, Molly and Jim Crownover, Beth Madison, Penny Loyd, Rosanette Cullen, Lynn Wyatt, Mica Mosbacher, among others; and from the Indo American community Gala Chairs Gina and Devinder Bhatia and Nidhika and Pershant Mehta, and Program Chairs Leela and Nat Krishnamurthy. Faith Hill donned a dress by Texas designer Lela Rose on the red carpet and wore Andrew Gn during her performance, where she sang hit songs including “Breathe”, “There You’ll Be” and “Amazing Grace”. Auction packages included a Bulgari Luxurious Jeweled Voyage to be the special guest of Bulgari on a three night trip to Rome, Italy, and a Tenenbaum Classic Jewelers Package of a double-strand of South Sea pearls and complimenting South Sea pearl and diamond earrings.


Vegas Comes to Club 24+ and Makes Diwali an Extravaganza CONTINUED FROM PAGE


in the singing. A magician went around the tent challenging the guests with card tricks and other illusions. And an eye-catching girl in a skin-tight gleaming gold body suit – the other half of the statue-model duo - climbed up on white drapes hung from a 20-foottall portable metal conical trapeze stand to do somersaults, flips and glides. She was a hit with the audience wanting to have photographs taken. Club 24 Plus (the Plus was a later add on); started eight years ago as a social, invitation only club for people interested in philanthropy and outreach into the mainstream community. Members usually pool their donations and match them to create a larger fund for the charities that they passionately support. C24+ aspires to build bridges and make connections by highlighting Indian culture, explained current President Asha Dhume. Other Signature Committee members Dr. Asra Oberoi, Dr. Aparna Kamat and Vipra Bhasin were responsible for organizing this evening. Special guests of this year’s

party were University of Houston Chancellor and President Dr. Renu Khator and her husband Dr. Suresh Khator. And C24+ special acknowledged Dr. K. T. Shah, who was present at the event, for his selfless service to the community through countless hours volunteering at the Indian Doctor’s Clinic and starting up the local chapter of Akshaya Patra, the Indian charity that serves hot lunches to millions of public school kids in India. And since this party was at the house of a restaurateur, it was a forgone conclusion that the food would be marvelous, and it was. It started off with tempting appetizers with chole and aloo tikkis, shrimp on a spoon, chaat, a filledavocado boat, pista koftas and lamb chops. The main course was laid out against the back side of the tent and the ummh! desserts were just too mouthwatering to ignore! Vandana Prakash contributed to this article.


For photo collage, see page 4


November 13, 2015


Sling International Sponsors Inaugural ‘Cricket All-Stars’ Series, Helps Bring Live Cricket to the U.S.


NGLEWOOD: Cricket icons from around the world are facing off on U.S. soil as part of the inaugural “Cricket All-Stars,” a three-game series sponsored in part by Sling International. The first match took place November 7 at Citi Field in New York, and will be followed by matches on November 11 at Minute Maid Park in Houston and November 14 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Legendary cricket players Sachin Tendulkar of India and Shane Warne of Australia are headlining their respective teams, “Sachin’s Blasters” and “Warne’s Warriors.” The two teams feature former all-star players from eight different countries. Fans attending the Cricket All-Stars matches can visit the Sling International booth to learn

more about the product and snap a picture in the photo booth. “Our goal is to bring the excitement of cricket to fans living in the U.S., and we wanted to show our support for this rare opportunity to see some of the game’s greatest players live and in-person,” said Chris Kuelling, senior vice president of International Programming for Sling TV. “Not only is the Cricket All-Stars series a must-see event for lifelong cricket fans, it’s an opportunity to engage a whole new audience who may never before have experienced the game.” Sling International’s sponsorship of the Cricket All-Stars stems from the brand’s support of the game and commitment to entertainment that connects viewers with their culture. A leading provider of global content

to viewers in the U.S., Sling International delivers over 200 international channels including many top rated South Asian channels such as Willow Cricket, Sony, Aapka Colors, ZeeTV, Star Plus, Aaj Tak, TV Asia, ARY Digital, Geo TV, Maa TV, Sun TV and ETV. Customers of Sling TV who have the “Best of Live TV” package can watch the Cricket All-Stars matches on ESPN3 for no extra cost by entering their Sling TV username and password on or within the WatchESPN app. Sling customers who wish to subscribe to “Best of Live TV” and receive access to ESPN3 can do so by logging into

their account at and adding the “Best of Live TV” package. For further information regarding the Cricket All-Stars series please visit About Sling TV Sling TV L.L.C., a subsidiary of DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), provides over-thetop television services including domestic and international live and Video-On-Demand programming. It is available on televisions, tablets, computers and smartphones. The Sling TV programming portfolio includes content from Disney/ESPN, HBO, AMC, A&E, Turner, Scripps, EPIX, Univision and Maker Studios.

Sling Latino offers a suite of standalone and add-on Spanish-language programming packages tailored to English-dominant, bilingual and Spanish-dominant U.S. Hispanics. Sling International currently provides more than 200 channels in 18 languages across multiple devices to U.S. households. Sling TV is a next-generation service that meets the entertainment needs of today’s contemporary viewers. Visit www. @Sling on Twitter: #TakeBackTV Contact Neeta Bhasin at media@ for any queries.


18 November 13, 2015 Uneasy Breathing in Delhi After almost a year of a lot of welcome squalling, political and otherwise, over the deepening crisis in air pollution levels in Indian cities, particularly in the national capital, the Delhi health minister’s admission that the city’s air had deteriorated to “fatal” levels indicates how wide-ranging the problem is, and how much more needs to be done. Experts have identified a combination of clouds and burning of post-harvest paddy stubble in Punjab and Haryana as the culprits behind the blanket of smog that has engulfed Delhi in recent days. As this episode suggests, it is not enough to only target vehicular pollution — admittedly a major source of the fine particulate matter that is particularly injurious to health — where most interventions have been directed. Public policy must address the various factors that contribute to toxic air, without damaging the core activities that are crucial to economic growth, which requires coordination across sectors, from industry and power to transport and cooking. The government’s launch of a colour-coded national air-quality index in April, along with the promise of more monitoring stations, was a good first step in plugging the information deficit that so far hobbled effective policymaking in the area. Better data that is easily understandable can be an important tool for citizens to mobilise and put pressure on politicians to devise solutions. But simply measuring air quality does not, for instance, shed light on the sources of pollution, which, according to a 2011 study by the Central Pollution Control Board, vary from city to city, and even within cities. It is essential, therefore, to develop the capacity of state pollution control boards — which can be equipped to gather more granular data — to frequently and properly investigate the sources of pollution, for instance in terms of which industrial units emit the dirtiest air, and thus target regulation accordingly. Most importantly, governments at the Centre and local levels must demonstrate the political will to tackle what is a catastrophic public health problem. Delhi previously cleaned up its act at the turn of the century, when a court-mandated switch to cleaner fuels for all public transport, along with an order to relocate all polluting industries to the periphery, led to an appreciable improvement in air quality. Yet, complacency meant those gains were frittered away. This time, the government must channel the public demand for solutions to forge a consensus that endures. Indian Express

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY Time to Pause and Rethink

BY VIR SANGHVI Snap judgements are dangerous and nearly always wrong. So, all those who want to treat the Bihar assembly election as a referendum on the central government should ease up on the schadenfreude. An assembly election is not necessarily a verdict on the performance of the Centre. All the opinion polling evidence suggests that Narendra Modi is still the most popular leader in India. There is no obvious alternative to him as prime minister in any party and were a parliamentary election to be held tomorrow, the BJP would still emerge as the single-largest party in the new Lok Sabha. That said, there is no denying that the humiliating defeat in Bihar will damage Modi largely because he had invested so much of his credibility in the election, campaigning extensively across the state and not nominating a chief ministerial candidate, to whom some of the blame could be shifted — as it was to Kiran Bedi after the Delhi debacle. The extent of the defeat is still to sink in. But it bears remembering that both Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and Lalu Prasad’s RJD individually got more seats than the BJP could muster. And the Congress, dismissed as a joke by BJP campaigners, won 27 seats (at the time of going to press). More worrying is that the BJP did not sense that a debacle was imminent. When early trends (based mainly on postal ballots) seemed to give the BJP an advantage, its spokesmen fell over each other on TV channels to praise the electoral savvy of Amit Shah, who had engineered this massive victory. When reality dawned, the party reacted with shock and surprise. The prime minister does not like to concede points to his critics or to change course. But this electoral disaster should give him reason to pause and rethink his strategy. First of all, he needs to stop seeing himself as prime campaigner and recognise that he is actually

The euphoria of the 2014 victory is fast dissipating. Modi’s charisma is no longer enough to win elections.

prime minister. His stated aim may be to create a Congress-mukt Bharat where the BJP is the dominant force. But that’s not what he was elected to do. The mandate was for development, not for endless campaigning. And as the delivery on the development agenda is delayed, his passion for campaigning is beginning to annoy the electorate. Worse still, from Modi’s point of view, is that the campaigning is not working. Both Delhi and Bihar are deeply embarrassing rebuffs to a prime minister who is always in election mode. Secondly, he needs to rethink his messaging. He won the Lok Sabha poll by first listing the failures of UPA 2 and by denigrating his opponents. He then presented himself as the alternative, asking for votes on the basis of his leadership qualities and personal charisma. It is an approach that works well when a) the incumbent government is seen as incompetent or corrupt and b) when people have only Modi’s record as chief minister of Gujarat to judge him by. But when his opponents are not viewed as dishonest or venal—as neither Arvind Kejriwal or Nitish Kumar is—this approach backfires. Moreover, people now have Modi’s record as prime minister to judge him by and are less impressed by his claims that he has all the solutions. Consequently, the Gogia Pashastyle campaign, where people are told that if they vote for Modi all their problems will magically disappear, has stopped working. Thirdly, there is the decency factor. The BJP’s time in Delhi has seen a sharp decline in the level of national discourse. It isn’t just the abusive trolls on social media, some of whom Modi himself follows or fraternises with. It is also the arrogance and offensive smugness of the BJP’s TV spokes-

people. And it is elements within the Parivar who are happy to denigrate women or launch veiled (and sometimes not so veiled) attacks on Muslims. At a time when the prime minister wants to focus on development, his supporters focus on ghar wapsi. When the prime minister talks about the advancement of people, his party talks about the protection of the cow. The atmosphere has now turned so ugly that many of those who supported Modi because they believed he would lead a triumphant India into the 21st century now wonder why he does not speak out against those who are dragging India back to the Middle Ages. In contrast to this unpleasantness and bigotry — much of which found its way into the Bihar campaign — the word most often used to describe Nitish Kumar is ‘decent’. While Modi fought a highcost, high-voltage, high-rhetoric, high-in-a-helicopter campaign, Nitish went quietly from village to village, addressing relatively small meetings and refrained from personal attacks or any kind of rudeness. Bihar is not Madison Square Garden and Nitish’s lowkey, unflashy style connected better with voters. Everything we have seen suggests that Modi regards stubbornness as a synonym for courage. He will never yield to pressure. He won’t let anyone resign (not even Gajendra Chauhan!). So, it is unlikely that he will pay heed to the murmurings in his party about Amit Shah’s stewardship of the Bihar campaign. But he must know, deep within his heart, that things are not going according to plan. The euphoria of the 2014 victory is fast dissipating. His own charisma is no longer enough to win elections. So far, he has followed a policy of benign neglect towards the bigots and haters in his Parivar. But as the promised economic recovery is still to arrive and electoral humiliations rock his government, even Modi must begin to wonder if it is time for a course correction. HT


HOUSTON: MALAY VYAS CHICAGO: NAND KAPOOR INDIA: RAJ KANWAR, ASEEM KULKARNI ®All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the written consent of the publisher. The deadline for advertising and articles is 4 pm on Monday of each week. Please include self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of all unsolicited material. Published at 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, Texas 77036. Tel: 713-789-NEWS or 6397 Fax: 713-789-6399, email:, website:



November 13, 2015


Dil Se Naach


Stay tuned every Sunday, SUGAR LAND: Naach

Houston and Mahesh Mahbubani bring to you the much awaited dance production a brand new show this fall season, showcasing innovative choreography, amazing range of old and new Bollywood songs, glamorous costumes with electrifying performers of all ages. Dil se Naach - Bollywood from the heart comprises of 4 professional dance acts including Musicology an expression of different genres of music and dance in Bollywood, namely disco, jazz and latin dance styles. Apsara Lounge is a dance work that explores classical Indian music reinterpreted in dance. Naqaab is a theatrical piece that explores the conflict in human nature to express the true self and the self

we project to the world. Our final piece is a celebration of Bollywood in Broadway style. Naach Houston is a community based premier performing arts company that uses diverse genres of dance, global music, mime, theatre & visualArts as a creative ground within a professional context. The Vision of Naach is to provide the best training by professional artists of international acclaim and create platforms for all age groups from diverse social and cultural backgrounds creating a multi cultural experience. Naach contributes every year to various reputed international non profit organizations like PRATHAM, INDIA HOUSE, DAYA, TEXANA, MENTAL HEALTH CARE ASSO-

CIATION, MAGIC BUS, IACCGH in raising funds for social causes and education .Our Faculty and Core Team is made up of community members who have trained under Mahesh Mahbubani for over 5 years Our Focus at Naach is to unleash the unique talent in individuals and bring out the Awesome in all of them. Naach has performed with Bollywood Stars such as Bappi Lahiri, Farhan Akhtar, Sonu Nigam, Richa Sharma, & Raghav. Dil se Naach premieres on 22nd Nov , sunday, 7pm at the Stafford center for performing arts, 10505 cash rd, stafford. Tickets are available on sulekha .com.


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Building Golden India

A Book About the Future of India and its Higher Education System




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Press announces the launch of Building Golden India: How to unleash India's vast potential and transform its higher education system. Now. It is a book authored by Shail Kumar, past-president of IIT Foundation and includes a foreword by Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, trustee of Deshpande Foundation and life member of MIT Corporation. Building Golden India is about the future of India and unleashing the potential of its 1.3 billion people. The interests of students, parents, society, industry, and the nation are intimately connected through the higher education system. Further, in the next 35-50 years, India must educate and prepare 700 million to 1.3 billion young men and women for their lives and careers. So, how is India’s higher education system doing and how could it be transformed to better meet the needs of the students, society, and the nation? The author addresses some of these important questions in his book. In this book, the author shares a vision, provides a compelling analysis rich with stories, anecdotes, and data, and then lays a roadmap that takes us from today’s mega challenges to a brighter future for India and its people. The book has received endorsements from several industry titans,

entrepreneurs, faculty members, young professionals, students, and thought leaders. Here is what some leaders and readers are saying about the book: • "Bold, timely, and solutionsoriented book on transforming India" • "Groundbreaking book" • "A must read" • "One of the most gripping non-fiction books I have ever read" • "Commendable treatise on India’s higher education system" According to Shail Kumar, “This book is for students, professionals, and those who care deeply about India and its future.” The book is available in paperback and ebook versions and can be pur-

chased at author/shailkumar For further information visit: www. About the Author Shail Kumar is Past-President of the IIT Foundation; co-founder of Pan IIT alumni movement in the USA; former administrator at UC Berkeley and UC San Diego; cofounder and CEO of two start-ups; and was an executive in several Fortune 500 and Silicon Valley-based corporations. He has an MBA from Indiana University, Bloomington and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur. Son of an IndianArmy officer, Shail grew up around India. He currently resides in the Silicon Valley with his wife and two children. He enjoys traveling, yoga, and spending time with his family. Contact:

A Life Well Lived: Dr. Raj K. Chopra (1937-2015)


India and educated at Punjab University, Dr. Raj K. Chopra began his career in education at the American School in New Delhi, India. It was here that he realized his desire to be an American and to live in “the land of milk and honey” where, “with hard work and determination, dreams can come true.” He immigrated to the United States in 1969, arriving with his wife, two sons, fifty dollars, and a dream. He attended the Bowling Green State University where he received his Master’s and Doctorate degrees. He had a strong love for his alma mater and he never forgot the kindness and generosity of each person who believed in him and helped him succeed. Dr. Chopra’s career in education spanned over 50 years. He was a teacher, an assistant principal, a principal and he served as Superintendent of Schools in six states: Ohio, Iowa, Kansas, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. He was the Superintendent of the Fort Bend ISD from August 1991 to July 1994 and at that was the highest ranked Indo-American public official in the Metroplex.

He was known as an administrator who placed the interests of the students in the forefront when decisions were made. He truly believed that all children could learn and deserved the best from those who served them. His passion for education was recognized with several awards for being the top 100 educators in North America. Even in the final days of his life, Dr. Chopra was proud of his career. “They didn’t always like me,” he said, “but I ALWAYS did what was right for the kids I served. I always did what was right for the kids.” Dr. Chopra’s balance of work came through his love of family. He was the rock, the patriarch that held the family together. He was dad to three children of whom he was very proud and was the doting grandfather who loved

his five grandchildren beyond words. Even at young ages, he shared with them his wisdom for life, his belief in hard work, and his expectation of always giving your best. Although his life was blessed with success, he came from very humble beginnings. In 1947, at the age of ten, he lost his father to cancer and his maternal grandparents to senseless religious violence during the partition of India and Pakistan. His family became refugees as they fled for safety. His life both personally and professionally defied the odds that were stacked against him. He credited two women for his success: his grandmother who instilled in him at a young age the importance of education and believing in yourself; and his wife Sue, of fifty-one years, who was the silent strength behind his voice and the courage behind his endeavors. Dr. Chopra was the life of the party and a vivacious man who lit up a room. His passion for life, his love for education, his keen desire to work hard and succeed, and his love for family and America will remain in his family for generations to come. And he was so proud to be an American.


November 13, 2015



24 November 13, 2015


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Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Kale Channe Turi Wale (Black Chicpea Curry) Most people are used to eating safayd chole (white chickpeas) in restaurants and at home; and even at mandirs and gurdwaras where they are served after services. Chole are fairly cheap, are readily available pre-boiled in cans so they are easy to make and are filling and a good source of protein. Even with a little effort, and the right spices of course, you can’t go wrong with them and can feed a lot of people quickly. But there is another type of chole – the kale channe (black chickpeas) which are less often cooked but are just as easy to make, are very flavorful, are actually a better source of protein and are easier to digest. They are smaller and harder than their white cousins and are covered with a reddish brown skin. Many people eat the dry kale channe dish traditionally during the Navratri and Durga Puja season and otherwise it is mostly eaten as a snack with puris or kulchas and many hawkers serve them North India also because it is inexpensive, fairly easy to make and a quick form of high protein for vegetarians. Hawkers also sell them roasted as a snack, much like peanuts, in paper cones and the crispy red skin crackles off. Roasted and skinless kale channe are usually ground up to make besan, the flour that is used in so many Indian dishes. Like safayd chole, the hard dry kale channe bean is softened either by boiling them in a pressure cooker or by soaking them overnight in a bowl of water and then boil them in a pot for a few hours the next day. But, whereas the water used to boil safayd chole is usually thrown away, the water from boiling kale channe doesn’t contain starch and is used to make the thin curry that is used for the dish. When serving, sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves and serve garnishes on the side like raw onions and with long, spicy green Indian mirchen (chilli peppers). Ingredients : 2 cups kale channe (black chickpeas) 1 large piyaaz (onion) 1 medium clump of adrak (ginger root) 1 medium kernel of lasan (garlic) 1 tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil Tomato paste to taste 5 cups of pani (water) Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper), garam masala Garnishes (to taste): dhania (coriander) chopped leaves

Directions: 1. Wash the kale channe well, then pour into a pot and let them soak overnight in warm water.

7. Now pour in ¾ of the saved water and bring the channe to a boil. Save the rest of the water in case you need to add more.

2. Pour them with the water in a pressure cooker and bring to a boil; wait you get 5 or 6 whistles before opening the cooker up. They are usually well cooked after 6 whistles. Do not add salt or baking soda when boiling the channe as they are naturally salty and the soda only upsets the stomach.

8. The curry is usually much thinner than for chole, so to thicken it a bit, take a half cup of the channe, mash them, then add back to the hot curry.

3. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can boil them in a full pot of water for at least 90 minutes under medium low heat. If you need to add more water when boiling, you can do so. Pour through a sieve and save the water to make the curry. The water is also often drunk as a thin soup. 4. Finely chop the ginger, onions and garlic. Throw them in a saucepan and brown them in the oil. 5. Add half a tablespoon of tomato paste, to enhance the taste, texture and add red color and stir in. 6. Throw in the boiled channe and then mix well with the masala over medium heat for 5 minutes to roast them and let the masala seep in, making sure that the channe do not stick or burn.

9. Turn the heat to low for 5 minutes to let the curry soak into the channe. When it has cooled down a little, add the garam masala and dhania and mix well. 10. Turn the heat off, cover the pot and let it sit for 5 minutes. Eat with roti, naan or rice. 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 HEAVY, THICK BOTTOMED POTS ARE BEST TO BOIL CURRIES Cooking well requires not only a good knowledge of vegetables and spices but also timing and the amount of heat to use at different stages of preparation. To this, you should add that an appreciation of the type of utensil you use is just as important. A wide mouthed kadai (wok), for example, will let out heat so that the food, like a gajjar halva (carrot pudding) won’t stick. Similarly, using a heavy bottomed, thick pot will allow the heat to spread across the bottom and is best for boiling curries so they won’t stick and burn.



November 13, 2015


Interview with Prem Ratan Dhan Payo Stars Salman Khan and Sonam Kapoor

Diwali lights up this year with

Salman Khan and Sonam Kapoor who star together in Sooraj Barjatya’s grand epic PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO which releases in North American theaters this Thursday, November 12. The lead actors sat down to talk about their highly anticipated new film in this exclusive interview below. Q:How was working with Sooraj Barjatya on the set? Sonam: Sooraj Ji is one of the most amazing people to work with. Besides the fact that he is an amazing filmmaker, there is such kindness and generosity as a human being that you just learn from it. And I am fortunate enough that he considered me for this film, because he makes few films, and decided to cast me. It was my luck. I’m very grateful for the opportunity. And I hope he keeps casting me in films! Salman: The qualities that he has are very godlike. I think he is undoubtedly one of the best directors that we have ever had. As a human being, I think Sooraj Barjatya is on a different plane altogether. He is one of the finest humans that I have ever met. And he has been like this since he was 19. He’s the nicest person that you would ever meet. What he says he believes. He will never do anything that he is not convinced of. And he is one of the strongest people that I have ever met! He does not need to raise his voice. He does

not need to show any anger. He is so clear in his thinking. And he speaks very little. He listens. Q: In today’s distracted world, can this new film bring families together? Sonam: I think that’s the reason that this film is so relevant. It’s relevant in the world of social media, and mobile phones, and the internet, and laptops and everything. I’ve gone to parties and 50% of people are on their phones and they aren’t interacting with each other. Think about the parties of before. I feel like it’s so relevant because the one thing that we actually lack, even though we have every medium of communication, is communication! We actually aren’t communicating and talking to each other and seeing each other.

We can’t do without our phones and we don’t connect. And that’s why a film like Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is so relevant because the one thing in relationships that we as a generation lack is communication. Salman: This film, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, we’re watching this film. So I know this one particular guy. I know he is with his phone all the time. I want to see his reaction. So I stood behind him. He was watching the film. In the first fifteen minutes, he put his phone aside. Which I thought was a great quality. This film has that thing. It just gets you into it. But you need to see it with the right mindset. It’s a funny film that is full of humor, sensitivity, romance, but the plot is so beautiful, in all that romance and everything, it comes to this one small point, which is messing all of us up. That is that brothers and sisters should not fight. There is no reason why they should fight. They need to just sort it out. Just negotiate and finish it. It is all going to be fine. Q: Tell us about the palaces and the grand sets of the film. Salman: People lived in houses that were almost like palaces. So just imagine, this time he is making a film about people who actually live in palaces. Trust me. I have traveled. I have seen all of the palaces here. Stayed in them. Shot in them. I’ve seen all of them. We’ve shot in most of them for this film. About 3-4 palaces. We’ve gone back and we’ve

put up our own palace, which perhaps would be as big and as grand as any other palaces. It’s big. It’s very large. It’s very beautiful. And you need that grandness. Q: How much do you relate to the character that you are playing? Sonam: With Maithili, she is a very modern day girl. She knows what she wants from the person that she wants to spend the rest of her life with, and she knows what she wants from life, and she is not afraid to ask for it. At the same time, she has her values intact. In a lot of ways, I hope that I get inspired by that. We all make mistakes when we are younger in a lot of ways. She’s got enough courage to be like I’d rather be alone and happy than unhappy and with somebody. And she has the courage to face that. Q: You’re reuniting with Sooraj Barjatya after 16 years. How is this Prem different from the ones that we have seen you play in his films? Salman: See the first one is always going to be special, Maine Pyar Kiya. Because that’s the Prem. Now Sooraj wrote Prem. I play Prem in the movie. Now does Prem make us? Or did we make Prem? We don’t know. Then came Hum Aapke Hain Koun. You know Sooraj just took it to another level of greatness. It is still one of the better films that we have made in our country. And then came Hum SaathSaath Hain, which was a better film. And then now, we just finished this

film, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. It’s going to release on the 12th of November, and I think this gap of this 16 years. Me and him. I think Sooraj has grown, tremendously. He is a lot more simpler than what he used to be when he was 19 years old. We all get complicated. More and more complicated. We all start developing fears. He, right now, is fearless. And he is really simple. And that is what Sooraj has made out of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. He has made a really sweet and simple movie about romance and about family matters with an incredible amount of entertainment and humor. I mean you’ve seen Sooraj’s films, every film also has a lot of entertainment and comedy. He doesn’t need to give a message. He just writes and the message automatically comes in. I believe that whenever Sooraj Barjatya comes in and makes a movie, he changes people. I mean now, when you saw Hum Aapke Hain Koun, when there was Maine Pyar Kiya, there was a lot of people who have named their kids Prem. They did a contest recently, of how many Prems are there. And Jesus Christ, there are lots of Prems! That is what Sooraj Barjatya has done. Brought people together. He’s brought back our culture. He changes people. When you leave a Sooraj Barjatya film, after the end of the titles, you emerge a better person.


26 November 13, 2015


015 Friday, June 10, 13 22011 ember .com v o N , -news n Friday a c i r me indoa www.

November 13, 2015


IndoAmerican News

Business IndoAmerican News


GE, Alstom Likely to Set Up Locomotive Factories in Bihar The projects involve manufacturing of 1000 diesel locomotives and 800 electric locomotives over next 11 years and is worth about Rs40,000 crore

NEW DELHI: Global giants Gen-

eral Electric (GE) and Alstom are likely to be awarded the contracts for setting up of multi-crore diesel and electric locomotive factories in Marhora and Madhepura in Bihar, marking the first major FDI in rail

projects. Dubbed as the first big ticket project under ‘Make in India’ initiative in the public transporter, GE and Alstom will be handed over the high value contract acceptance letters by Railways next week, according to

railway sources. The projects, closely monitored by the PMO, involve manufacturing of 1000 diesel locomotives and 800 electric locomotives over next 11 years and is worth about Rs.40,000 crore. US multinational GE, which has emerged as the lowest bidder for the Rs.1,200 crore Marhora diesel locomotive factory, is expected to manufacture the 1,000 locomotives over 10 years. While 100 will be imported, rest will be manufactured at Marhora as part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

French major Alstom, the lowest bidder for the Rs.1,000 crore Madhepura electric locomotive factory, will manufacture 800 high power electric locomotives locos in the next 11 years. It will manufacture 12,000 HP electric locomotives to be used for heavy haulage. According to the contract, while 5 diesel locos will be imported, the rest 795 will be manufactured at Madhepura as part of the project. Maintenance of the locos will also be the responsibility of the company and for this it will set up two maintenance sheds at Nagpur and Sharanpur.

Of the 1,000 diesel locomotives to be manufactured by GE, 700 will be of 4,500 horse power (HP) and 300 of 6,000 HP. With the government allowing 100% FDI in Railways, the setting up of the two locomotive plants in joint venture mode is crucial for the public transporter in order to boost its infrastructure. The two projects are among the top eight infrastructure projects being monitored by the Prime Minster’s Office. Railways will have 26% equity while the global players will have 74% equity in each of the plants.

India Plans Imposition of Airfare Tax from New Year BY TARUN SHUKLA

NEW DELHI: The aviation min-

istry plans to impose a 2% cess on domestic and international plane fares from the start of 2016—three months early—to underwrite potential losses incurred by airlines to connect small towns. The government needs the money to start flowing in well before the airlines start flights to unconnected cities in remote regions such as the North-East and Jammu and Kashmir, so the levy will take effect on 1 January, aviation secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey said on Friday. The cess was proposed in the draft aviation policy unveiled on 30 October, and had been expected to kick in on 1 April, the start of the next fiscal year. A Delhi-Mumbai air ticket selling for Rs.3,000 will cost Rs.60 more if

the cess is imposed on the base fare; it will cost less if the levy is calculated as a portion of the entire fare. A corpus of Rs.1,500 crore is expected annually from this scheme. The proceeds will help compensate airlines for losses on flights to cities that have little or no air connectivity. The ministry plans to cap the fare on a short-haul route that will require one hour of flying time at Rs.2,500. Airlines will be asked to bid for such routes and compensated with money from the corpus. Some of the 300 airports lying unused will be refurbished as part of the exercise by state-owned Airports Authority of India (AAI). About 30 AAI airports that have already been refurbished will be connected first. India is already the fastest growing domestic aviation market, ahead of China and the US. Air traffic increased 20.2% in the eight months

ended 31 August from a year ago as passengers reassured by faster economic growth took advantage of fare cuts and the number of flights increased. Still, it remains a largely underpenetrated market, with only 350 aircraft to serve 1.25 billion people, and airlines shy away from connect-

ing small and remote locations to avoid potential losses. Only 70 million domestic air tickets were sold last year. The aviation ministry expects domestic traffic to increase to 500 million by 2027 and international passengers from 50 million now to 200 million in 2027.

To be sure, the draft policy is only an intent document; most proposals contained in it require the approval of other government departments and the stamp of the cabinet. While the regional connectivity scheme is a welcome move, it will need careful implementation, said Peeyush Naidu, senior director, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Llp, a consultancy firm. “Operationalizing the same would require detailing of implementation mechanisms in terms of eligibility and prioritization criteria of proposals, specification of service-level parameters, and most critically— ensuring a limited time support for stimulating the market rather than long-term government intervention creating dependence and resulting in unviable business models/operations,” he said.



28 November 13, 2015 NY in Nostalgia: Warne’s Warriors vs. Sachin’s Blasters

The two squads for the Cricket All-Stars game in New York, Times Square, New York City, November 5, 2015.


NEW York: Waves and waves of

cricket fans wound the clock back to the 1990s and early 2000s and cheered on players who had meant so much to them in their impressionable years There was a time, back in the 17th and 18th century, when nostalgia was considered a mental disease. Some physicians treated it on par with paranoia and one French doctor recommended that it be treated with inciting pain and terror. Over time medical science has moved on. And these days nostalgia is sometimes even considered a virtue, a means of clinging on to an age long gone. For a few hours on Saturday, New York’s Citi Field was soaked in nostalgia. Waves and waves of cricket fans (large numbers wearing Indian and Pakistani jerseys) wound the clock back to the 1990s and early 2000s and cheered on players who had meant so much to them in their impressionable years. For those between 20 and 30, this was a return to their childhood, watching players who they had imitated in their backyards with their first cricket kit. For those between 30 and 40, it was a return to their adolescence, a time when they had sought out heroes and aspired to world dominance. They weren’t alone. A tiny fraction watched their first cricket match; a group of fans had flown

in from Trinidad just for this game; there were a smattering of Australian, English and South African expatriates; men waving Sri Lankan flags; a bunch of middle-aged men in fancy dress attire (with fake blond wigs); a couple of dozen fans wearing Guyana Amazon Warriors jerseys; and a group of young men and women in Jamaican hats. The entire mass of human bodies combined in Mexican waves and high-decibel roars. The team announcements before the game was met with delirium. The final result, in case you were wondering: Warne’s Warriors beat Sachin’s Blasters by six wickets. The stadium was small, the setting intimate - Ricky Ponting admitted that it was the first time in his life that a fan had clicked a selfie with him when he was fielding at the boundary. Most of the former fast bowlers used short run-ups and were mostly military medium (though Shoaib cranked it up for a few overs, getting Kumar Sangakkara and Matthew Hayden with short ones, and hurrying Jonty Rhodes with a sharp bouncer). Had Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh faced their own bowling, they might have fancied getting half-centuries. And Allan Donald has not only halved his run-up but also his pace. But all that was not the point. Through the game there were moments when the mind took a journey back in time. When Tendulkar and Sehwag walked in to open

(with Sehwag, as expected, taking strike); when Akram, running his hands through his hair in that classical I-have-such-sleek-hairthat-I-can-crush-your-toes-andburn-your-stumps-while-whistling-my-favourite-Nusrat-tune, ran in to bowl to Tendulkar (the memories! gosh, the memories!); when Warne set his field to bowl to Tendulkar (nightmares, here we come); when VVS Laxman came down to Warne (exactly like in Kolkata in 2001) and tried to slog him, cross-batted through midwicket (exactly not like Kolkata in 2001) to be stumped; when Muralitharan, eyes aglow, his hair in Jheri curls, a Colgate grin plastered on his face, appealed by wiggling his index finger at the umpire. These may have been retired cricketers having a bit of fun in the park but seeing them in action put spectators in a time-capsule. When Lara strolled in, as if he was on a beach; the mind could do little but pop up a string of numbers: 277, 375, 501, 213, 153, 400, 221… For some fans in the stadium watching these cricketers and the

individual contests transported them to a phase of life when cricket was all-pervading. When coursework took a backseat, when the match scorecard was more important than mid-term report cards. Yes, fans remember Tendulkar hammering Warne in Sharjah - but many also remember where they were and what they were doing. Sure, they recall the scores and stats but they are intimately in tune with how upbeat those innings made them feel, how deeply connected they felt with both the man and the game as a whole. And each time they picked up on some action that triggered a new memory, the chants got louder, the flags waved faster, and the mood was filled with a sense of gusto. It is not far-fetched to assume that those who attended the game - especially those between 20 and 40 - were filled with a sense of gratitude: thanking the cricketers for being there when cricket meant the most. Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is a writer based in the USA

The feeling is mutual between Sachin Tendulkar and his adoring fans at Citi Field, Sachin’s Blasters v Warne’s Warriors, Cricket All-Stars Series,


Refreshed Jadega Helps India Win

MOHALI: In the third over of

South Africa’s chase, R Ashwin went round the wicket to welcome Faf du Plessis to the crease. Du Plessis jumped out of the crease to reach the pitch of the ball, and would have thought he had done well as he defended it towards midwicket. He wasn’t allowed that micro-second to admire the shot. Ravindra Jadeja swooped in and fired in a rocket throw to the keeper. Du Plessis had to rush back in. This is the attitude Virat Kohli loves. Just notice the time he spends between collecting the ball and letting it rip no matter how close the batsman might be to the crease. On pitches such as this, when you have to concentrate hard every ball, you are looking for every chance to switch off. Jadeja gives you none. Every time a batsman stepped out and defended the ball back to Jadeja the bowler, he had to rush back in. Jadeja has the speed, and the power in his arm to send the batsman scurrying. It might be outlandish conjecture to suggest this might have made the batsmen think twice before stepping out, but Jadeja was always close in to let them know they couldn’t relax. That Jadeja was throwing so hard was also a possible sign that the injured shoulder had healed completely. He was back home, bowling accurately with a lot of action on the ball, on home pitches whose natural variation combined with his unerring accuracy - and the guile of R Ashwin at the other end - make him a lethal bowler. His eight wickets and 38 runs in the first innings earned him the Man-of-the-Match award, a dream return to international cricket. He now has 35 wickets in six home Tests at an average of 17.48 and a strike rate of 50.2. He nearly didn’t play the sixth after the shoulder injury was followed by lacklustre bowling and his exit from all the India sides. This fitness, some batting and that shoulder and arm is what made MS Dhoni back Jadeja for Tests when others couldn’t see him as a Test player. Now that Jadeja has found all that, this gameplan will do just fine.


November 13, 2015


Bihar Results: Congress, RJD Gain Big as Nitish Trumps Modi’s BJP BY MAMMEN MATTHEW AND VIJAY SWAROOP

PATNA: An alliance of parties led

by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar stormed to power in Bihar on Sunday, dealing a heavy blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for whom the election was seen as a key test of his popularity. The alliance bagged almost a threefourths majority, riding on the support of Yadav and Muslim voters – socalled social engineering -- rallied primarily by his ally Lalu Prasad, who emerged as an unlikely hero from the bitterly fought, month-long election. The victory resurrects Lalu’s image as a key Opposition leader, giving him a greater say not only in politics in Bihar but on the national platform where he was reduced to a bit player after his party was hammered in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. “The face of development-minded Nitish Kumar and the rich vote bank of Lalu won the day for the grand alliance,” said DM Diwakar, former chairman of AN Sinha Institute for Social Studies. Another major gainer from the vote was the beleaguered Congress party which won in 27 constituencies, according to provisional results published by the Election Commission, in a starkly improved show since the last polls in 2010 when it had bagged just four seats. But given that Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) won 71 seats to Lalu’s 80, the outcome may see him undermined within the coalition and open to possible turf battles with the wily two-time former chief minister. The results, though, would be particularly worrying for Modi who had mounted a no-holds barred campaign, addressing some 30 rallies and promising voters billions of rupees in investment to pull the state out of chronic poverty. Modi’s second straight election setback after losing Delhi earlier this year could galvanise opposition parties ahead of the winter session of

parliament, embolden rivals in his own party and hurt his image as a vote-winner going into a string of crucial state polls – Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Assam and Uttar Pradesh -- over the next two years. The defeat in Bihar could also force him to go slow on radical reforms such as overhauling archaic labour laws and land acquisition rules. Moreover, Modi needs to win most of the state elections over the next two years to gain control of the Rajya Sabha if he has to push through his economic reforms agenda. The grand alliance’s victory is also attributed by many to the rejection of communal politics, driven mostly by a recent debate over whether India was becoming intolerant under the BJP-led government. Modi’s failure to control food prices or bring back slush funds stashed abroad also rankled with voters. Lalu also capitalised on RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks seeking a review of the quota policy. “It was a milestone election in view of the huge resources deployed by the NDA and the results reflected the mood of the nation,” Kumar told reporters. “People have squarely rejected the attempt to polarise the society with their decisive mandate and at the same time also made it clear that they

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have immense faith in democracy and want to have a strong Opposition in place at the national level.” Kumar’s clean image and his projection as chief minister also did the magic for the grand alliance as Kumar is seen as a man committed to development. Several of his schemes, particularly those related to empowerment of women and girls, were popular and received wide appreciation. As it became clear that Modi had failed to move voters in Bihar with his message of development, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “This is a victory of unity over divisiveness. Humility over arrogance. Love over hate. A victory of the people of Bihar,” he tweeted. The Shiv Sena, too, taunted ally BJP by calling Kumar a “political hero” whose win was “necessary” for Bihar. For the NDA, in addition to the bitter campaign launched by its leaders and more particularly by the BJP, targeting Lalu Prasad and name calling alliance leaders also seemed to have damaged the BJP’s chances. The party also failed to derive any benefit from the promise of a special Rs 1.25 lakh crore package for Bihar. -HindustanTimes

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