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Friday, November 27 2015 | Vol. 34, No. 48


Indo American erican News Published weekly from Houston, TX

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November 27, 2015


November 27, 2015 3 COMMUNITY Optimism, Politics and Business Mingle at BJP Outreach BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA


Pride brimmed over as both the speakers and the audience broke into shouts of Bharat mata ki jai (victory to Mother India) after singing the Indian National Anthem. The young emcee, Abiya Malhotra, spoke warmly in Hindi as she welcomed the audience of around 80 people who wanted to hear about the advances made in India under the rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its leader Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was a hastily convened meeting at India House this past Friday evening, November 20 to introduce the local community to a visiting official of the BJP, the President of the Mumbai legal cell Ameet Mehta, who is also the Managing Partner of the Mumbaibased law firm, Solicis Lex. The firm provides Indian and Foreign law advisory services pertaining to mergers and acquisitions, immigration law, civil and criminal matters, including due diligence, joint ventures, partnerships, private equity, IPR, trademark and patent law and many other issues through its affiliate offices in Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, Israel and Canada. , Mehta arrived in Houston after visiting Los Angeles, Boston and Tampa, Florida, where he had met likewise with local community businesses. A tall, slim young man who came in a white shirt and a sleeveless, dark waistcoat of the style made famous by Modi, he was introduced by Sangeeta Dua, an aspiring media producer who hopes to shortly commence the TV Houston local television channel. Dua had organized the event after a quick trip to Mumbai to meet Mehta and other BJP associates. She was helped in the effort by Mack Ajani, a local businessman who spent three months in Mumbai arranging the trip for Mehta, and is the Director of Sales and Marketing for TV Houston. “The main agenda of my law firm is not to earn money,” said Mehta, “but to make people highly successful.” He explained how, on a trip to Hong Kong, he had chanced on a book that gave him rare insight on leadership qualities. The book broke down people

into four categories: the common man who criticizes everything; the manager who follows instructions; the leader who takes the initiative to run the show. “But there is another who is higher than all: the Role Model, which is what we want and what Modi is doing!” He gave another example of facing a difficult position in Nokia, the defunct cell phone company, which had to sell to Microsoft, and how the firm president had to explain it had become too introverted and couldn’t catch up to the speed of technology. Mehta sat on the stage behind a draped table and beside him sat other business associates of his and a couple of community leaders: Ami Patel, incoming President of the Gujarati Samaj; Anand Sharma, President of the local chapter of the Overseas Friends of BJP and Houston District F Councilman Richard Nguyen who is in the December 12 runoff seeking re-election. Business associates were Raed Gonzalez, an immigration attorney with Gonzalez Olivieri LLC; Angelica Garcia-Dunn, founder and owner of AIM Global Logistics freight forwarders and Nisha Smith, who specializes in real estate in India. Gonzalez explained how he moved to immigration law from criminal law as he saw a chance to help people; Patel said the Gujarati Samaj wanted to reach younger second generation Indian; Nguyen explained his background as a refuge from Vietnam and being a Buddhist; Smith said she wanted to help NRIs find their dream house in India and Garcia said it was exciting to align with the BJP’s vision for India. It was Sharma who expanded on the role of the BJP in advancing India. “BJP people believe in sacrificing life for the people,” he said. “Modi and others saved a sinking ship. India is on the verge of a revolution and will become one of the greatest countries in the world.” Sangeeta Dua expressed her thanks to the presenters, first in Hindi, then in English; giving each of them a small present and an embroidered shawl as a mark of respect. Rahman Moton, a Burmese American of Indian descent and the President of the Myanmar Chamber of Commerce, presented certificates of appreciation from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, whom he was representing, to Mehta and Dua. Mehta concluded the meeting with a joke on lawyers; which Gonzalez

The panelists for the OFBJP meet and greet at India House.

From left: Sangeeta Dua, founder TV Houston; Mack Anjani, TV Houston Sales and Marketing; Houston Councilman Richard Nguyen; And Ameet Mehta receiving a certificate of appreciation from US Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s representative Rahman Moton.

could not resist passing up by offering a joke of his own; to which Moton added his own. The event ended with a buffet dinner catered by the Dosa Factory.

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Ameet Mehta, the President of the legal cell of the BJP in Mumbai spoke about the qualities of a leader

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November 27, 2015



November 27, 2015


Dil Se Naach Mesmerizes and Captivates the Hearts of Audiences BY MALAY VYAS


What started off with a false fire alarm at the Stafford Center concluded in a fiery finale as Naach presented their Fall 2015 Dance Showcase – Dil Se Naach, Bollywood from the Heart on November 22, at 7.30 PM. As the audience settled in to watch this much awaited show, an overzealous smoke machine released some extra white clouds backstage prompting fire alarms around the theatre. Per city protocol, the fire marshals showed up to a rousing reception from the audience. Like a Bollywood movie, crossing all barriers, it all ended well. Meanwhile, Naach members put up an impromptu interactive entertainment show to keep the audience occupied. 8pm, The lights dimmed, everyone screaming with excitement, cross fade to an attentive silence, the curtain opens to reveal over 40 dancers tapping to beat of passion from the film Taal - A visual treat with complex layers of choreography and hi energy performance. Following the colorful film credits, Naach’s fall showcase opened with its first act ‘Musicology’ – exploring musical influences in Bollywood namely, Disco, Jazz and Latin. This act featured notable songs such as the evergreen Dard E disco, Girls Like to swing and Senorita Senorita was a super hit with audiences highlighting Akash shah and Sahil Adhawade. Act II, ‘Apsara Lounge’ a contemporary interpretation of classical dance & music in 21st century Bollywood movies. Exploring Indian Classical dance form, Kathak, to reinterpret in a contemporary dance form ‘Kahe Chhed Mohe’ from Devdas, pushing the limits of creativity along with other memorable songs like ‘Ang Laga de’ performed like grace under fire and ‘Hai Rama’ from the 1990’s hit Rangeela. The students show case, programmed between the two professional acts, included dances by Naach Students of all age groups. Prior to commencing the student dance act, Dr. Manish Rungta, the Diamond Sponsor and more importantly an active Naach parent spoke about the development of his kids at Naach and the lessons

Photos: Navin Mediwala

they learn through the participation and practice of dance, simultaneously nurturing alongside a deep and soulful friendship with their dance team mates grounded in mutual respect leading to positive growth and trust. First up, Naach Juniors took stage wowing audiences with their irresistible charm followed by the Adults team and then a session of Bombay Jam routine with the ‘Young at heart’ seniors from the T E Harman Center, Sugar Land, The seniors were a super hit with the audiences, dancing led by Mahesh, Anita and Anum to Superman and

Desi rock, having the audience on their feet, clapping with this group of really special Naach members. In November Mahesh was nominated as “Volunteer of the Month” by the City of Sugarland. The third act Naqaab -The Mask a dance theatre piece as the title indicates is an exploration of the conflict between our true nature and the outer roles or the facade we play in society, to supposedly fit in. Naach instructors Shah Ahmed and Anita Vyas played the lead role in Naqaab depicting characters, one that brings people to-

gether but is lonely within, seeking to connect with the other and the woman that desires but is afraid to express them. The struggle to voice the wordless. The dance work reaches its climax with Phir se ud chala that expresses the fearless free spirited child within, a reason to throw the mask of the false self and celebrate being oneself- concluded by Sun sathiya - unmasking and expressing the true self. The final act Bollywood Broadway a celebration of diversity in dance styles and musical genres in Bollywood. High-energy songs such as Singh and Kaur, in hip hop

style choreography Anita Vyas and Shah Ahmed followed by Aaj Ki Party, Manwaa Laage and Chamma set the Stafford Center up for a perfect finale. Dil Se Naach concluded with a riveting performance by all 110 dancers sharing the stage rocking to the popular track ‘Gallan Goodiyan’ from Dil Dhadakne Do. A Happy and jubilant Mahesh joined the team in the concluding section Mahesh Mahbubani the Artistic Director outdid himself along with the entire Naach team raising the technical bar on professional dance performance. Breathtaking composition of visuals, costumes, lighting and innovative choreography with mesmerizing performances kept the audience spellbound for 90 minutes. Mahesh known for his pioneering work in dance, once again has successfully created another masterpiece. A performance of such technical finesse is only possible with an awesome creative TEAM, artists that are unseen working behind the scene. Hence a shout out and a note of thanks to all the technical ‘artists’. Arif Memon of DMMS Events was responsible for lighting the show leaving audiences with visually fascinating images that will linger for a long time. SCA Production’s Chris Peltier the technician for the show on video, Ketki Parekh of Shivam Beauty Salon did make up and hair for the dancers, Navin Mediwala the official photographer for the event has done an amazing job capturing magical moments in time. Thomas Thekkemala of Asianet TV our media sponsor for TV broadcast on Asianet and Indo-American News as our Press sponsor. Naach is grateful for the support from all parents and well-wishers like Harish Jajoo, Manish Rungta and Vanshika Vipin who have been consistent supporters to all Naach events, affirming community spirit and investing in community arts development. Naach announces the launch of Moksh a non-profit organization. While Naach Houston’s shows this year have been blessed by torrential storms and fire alarms, the dancers from Naach continue to move to the rhythms of life embracing every moment, straight from the heart. For further information on Dance and Fitness classes visit :

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: 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, NOVEMBER 27, 2015 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


November 27, 2015


Asia Society’s Tiger Ball 2016: Contemporary Korea Official Launch

HOUSTON:One of Houston’s most an-

ticipated social events officially kicked into high gear, Thursday (November 19) evening. Asia Society Texas Center’s grand patron Nancy C. Allen, welcomed nearly 200 guests into her stunningly beautiful Galleria area home for Tiger Ball 2016’s kickoff party. It was standing room only as the illustrious guests of patrons, business, cultural and political leaders extended into Allen’s serene, tree-lined backyard. Among the notable attendees were gala honoree Eddie Allen III, his lovely wife Chinhui Juhn was away on business. Also present, Sushila and Durga Agrawal, Joni Baird, Bonna Kol (Asia Society Texas Center’s Executive Director), Kathy and Martyn Goossen, Sylvia and Gordon Quan, Gigi and Timothy K. Seo, Sue and Randy Sim, and gala co-chairs Lou Ann and Alexander C. Chae and Susan and Michael K. Jhin. Tiger Ball is Asia Society Texas Center’s biggest annual fundraiser. Tiger Ball 2016 will celebrate Korea’s rich history and vibrant culture and will unfold Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at Asia Society Texas Center (1370 Southmore Boulevard) located in the heart of Houston’s Museum’s District. To purchase tickets, visit About Asia Society Texas Center With 11 locations throughout the world, Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach.

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November 27, 2015




November 27, 2015


Houston: On November 18, Houston

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Community College West Loop had a VIP Global Luncheon. Various Community Leaders, several Consul Generals and many Organizations head attended the Luncheon . Dr. Phillip Nicopera President of HCC, Neeta Sane Trustee, HCC, Dr. Parvin Bagherpour, and Keynote speak-

er Dr. Noel Bezette-Flores gave informative and valuable speech. HCC is trying to enroll local and international students to join the College. Rahman Moton President of MACC, promised HCC officials that he will try to bring as many students to the College from the community.

Obama Appoints Dandekar Director of Asian Dev. Bank W

ASHINGTON,DC: President Barack Obama has nominated Swati A. Dandekar as United States Executive Director, Asian Development Bank, with the Rank of Ambassador. The post requires U. S. Senate confirmation. Dandekar is a former Iowa state legislator and member of the Iowa Utilities Board. Prior to joining the Utilities Board, Dandekar served in the Iowa State Senate from 2009 to 2011 and in the Iowa State House of Representatives from 2002 to 2008. Dandekar received a B.S. from Nagpur University and a post-graduate diploma from Bombay University. She will be based in Manila, Philippines after the Christmas holidays.



2425 WEST LOOP SOUTH SUITE 200, HOUSTON, TEXAS 77027 Principal office located in Houston, Texas

WRITERS ... TAKE NOTICE Writers are requested to limit their words to 500. The deadline for advertising and articles is 5 pm on Tuesday of each week. For more information, call 713.789.NEWS (6397) or email us at INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2015 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


November 27, 2015


Avance Houston Raises Funds for Education at Golf Tournament succeed are realized through AVANCE,“ said Talwar. In the past, AH has received support from the Indo American Charity Foundation where Talwar was previously a Director and later Executive Director. Other past and present Directors of the IACF, namely Pradeep Gokhale and Vanitha Pothuri came forward to play and support the worthy cause. Gokhale and his team were able to finish 2nd out of the field, competing against former National Football League players. Talwar, who is a non-golfer, was shocked when he sunk a hole-in-one during his very first time on a golf course. Talwar joined the pilot for a flyover of the golf course in a helicopter from which they did a “ball drop”. Players purchase golf balls with an assigned number and then all these balls are


AVANCE Houston recently held a golf tournament on Monday, November 2 at the Wildcat Golf Club off Almeda Road on the city’s south side to raise money for its education program. The event featured several noted people from the community who played and also helped organize the event. The Board Secretary for AH, Surender Talwar, was the Chair of the AVANCE-NFLA Golf Tournament which featured more than 10 NFL players who joined in the teams with other played golfers. This was AH’s second golf tournament and it was supported by several members of the community through Talwar’s outreach efforts, which helped the tournament to raise over $80,000 for AH’s education program. AH works with parents and their children and instills the value of parent engagement and a pre-school education to ensure student success in school. “I have personally met families helped by Avance and see how their dreams to see their children

dropped from the helicopter. The ball that falls closest to the hole wins a prize. On this occasion Talwar was once again surprised when his golf ball landed the closest and won with a very rare hole in one! For his effort, Talwar won a portable golf practice net. “It was my first time golfing and what a miracle to land a hole in one,” said a delighted but shocked Talwar. “I will consider taking golf lessons and hopefully they will let me use a helicopter.“

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Vanshika Vipin 713.789. NEWS



10 November 27, 2015


IACCGH Hosts Women in Leadership Mentoring Circle Event BY MANU SHAH

HOUSTON: This was the subject of an

interactive mentoring session that was keenly discussed by a group of women at the IACCGH Women in Leadership Mentoring Circle. Held on October 28, at the Hess Club, the event was led by Francene Young, former VP of Talent and Diversity at Shell and present Rector at St. Luke’s the Evangelist. For the past few years, IACCGH has been successfully organizing the Women Mean Business Series and the Women in Leadership Mentoring Circle exclusively for its women members. The Chamber invites inspiring women like Hermann Memorial’s COO Malisha Patel, world renowned author Chitra Divakaruni, and C.T. Bauer College of Business Dean Latha Ramchand. These remarkable women who’ve reached the top of their fields not only share their experiences and lessons learnt but in the process empower other women to face challenges and succeed. Sponsored by Shell, these life enhancing series will feature future speakers like NASA scientist Sabrina Singh and Channel 13’s Cynthia Cisneros. President Ashok Garg, in his opening address, observed that a mentor can change the trajectory of one’s life and career and while “he often forgets names, he has never forgotten the names of his mentors.” Introducing the Speaker, he stated that when Francene retired from Shell, she “didn’t pick up a golf club but continued doing what she has always strived to do – helping people and serving the community.” President Elect Joya Shukla also welcomed Francene and

their lives. One member of the group summed up the group’s discussion and shared it with the larger group. Madhukar Prasad moderated the group sessions and articulated the takeaways from each group Faith, prayer and meditation clearly played a large part in helping the women find the courage in dealing with seemingly insurmountable issues, many gave themselves permission to remove the “superwoman cape” and cry it out, while others shared and leaned on a support system. Some women went into analytical mode while others stepped back, paused From left: Rachana Wood, Kelly Showalter, Francene Young, Joya Shukla and Karen Francis and changed their perspective. IACCGH Past President and Shell retiree an “emotional rollercoaster ride” she stated Summing up the evening, Francene enMadhukar Prasad. that it is inevitable that we all, at some point couraged the group to “stick with the conIn an address that was light in approach or another, “hit those places where we come fidence, stick with the faith, stick with the but serious in content, Francene spoke about undone.” According to her, it’s perfectly ac- partnerships you make with each other and a fundamental component of success, a trait ceptable to visit “pity city” but the question “listen to that inner voice because you’ll that differentiates winners from losers. This is how long do you live there, how do you pull out of you what you already know.” is resilience or the ability to press forward respond and how quickly do you find a way In appreciation, Shell’s Rachna Wood in the face of difficulties. To illustrate her out of the turmoil in your life. draped a beautiful shawl around Francene’s point, she shared a story about the lack of Francene encouraged the attendees to seek shoulders in the Indian traditional way of resilience and it was as personal as her own those answers within themselves by divid- honoring a person while Kelly Showalter brother who hit “rock bottom” and couldn’t ing the gathering into groups. Each member presented her with a plaque to thank her for pull himself out of it. shared their personal experience of resil- leading such an enlightening and empowerComparing our everyday encounters to ience and how they tackled the difficulties in ing session.



November 27, 2015


JVB Preksha Meditation Center Welcomes its New Board Member and Executive Committee for 2015-2016


For Any Ceremony Contact Pradip Pandya 832 466 9868 Email:


HOUSTON: "Strong faith to-

wards honesty and it's practice, where it not only benefits one's soul, but also creates a healthy society." Acharya Shri Mahashramanji JVB Preksha Meditation Center honored its outgoing Executive Committee and welcomed the new President Seema Jain and the Executive Committee on Sunday, Nov.15, under the auspicious presence and guidance of Samani Parimal Pragyaji & Samani Maryada Pragyaji (Disciples of Acharya Shri Mahashraman). JVB Chairman Shri Swatantra Jain, Board of Directors Shri Alok Jain, Shri Jugal Malani, Shri Raman Patel, outgoing and incoming Committee members and devoted JVB patrons were in attendance to grace the occasion. Following Samani Parimal Pragya Ji’s Sunday pravachan on “Ego”, as a part of a series describing and characterizing 18 sins and their impact on our daily lives, it was time to recognize and appreciate JVB’s outgoing Executive Committee (EC). EC members are volunteers who dedicated their time, talent and services over the past 2 years to ensure that JVB Preksha Meditation Center continues to serve the Houston community through a variety of its program offerings from Gyanshala for children, spiritual discourses, Yoga and Meditation for the adults to an i-Choose program for the young professionals. Addressing the attendees Alok Jain explained the three things

that make JVB unique from all the other faith based Indian Organizations in Houston: 1) JVB 's Vision, 2) Presence of Revered Samanijis and 3) JVB's approach. He said: “Our Vision is Comprehend the Soul & Transform yourself. SamaniJis help us in understanding its meaning and how we can incorporate it in our daily lives, through impactful, and yet to easy to understand discourses, Preksha Meditation Workshops, and Camps. What better inspiration and motivation can there be, than to see SamaniJis live their personal lives by the very principles they teach? Lastly, as a small organization our approach is to treat all the members as a part of a family where they are encouraged to stay involved in helping the organization even after their term as an officer of the organization comes to an end”. The Chairman and members of the Board honored key members of the outgoing EC by reminding the attendees about their special contributions and presenting them with a Plaque, honoring their contributions. The Chairman also honored Mr. Sampat Rampuria, in absentia, for his dedicated services to the organization as a member of the Board of Directors and welcomed Mr. Pramod Bengani as a new member of the Board, replacing Mr. Rampuria. The Board offered special thanks to Mr. Nikhil Jain, outgoing President, for his notable contributions, his leadership, and passion for Excellence. In offering her blessings to the new Executive Committee, Samani Parimal Pragya ji took a few moments to recollect the significant contributions made by each member of the Board, JVB’s past presidents, outgoing President Nikhil Jain, the new

Board member Pramod Bengani, and then asked the new president Seema Jain to announce the new members of the Executive Committee. In her speech, Seema acknowledged the dedicated and passionate approach of the outgoing president and vowed to carry the lagacy forward with her new Mantra of " Sab ka Saath,Center ka Vikas." She announced the names and welcomed the new Executive Committee for year 2015-2016. The new members of the committee took the oath and the ceremony ended with the Mangal Path (prayer for peace) by Samanijis. JVB Preksha Meditation Center envisions a blissful and peaceful society through Preksha Meditation, Yoga and Education of Non-violence. It conducts weekly Mediation, Yoga and Swadhyay sessions and runs special events and programs like iChoose & Meditation Camps. Its open to all and every session or event is free of charge to its attendees.

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12 November 27, 2015 8th Annual TELICA Diwali at Telfair

SUGARLAND: Saturday, November 7,

Telfair community once again came together to celebrate the 8th Annual Telfair Diwali Festival at Cornerstone Elementary School organized by Telfair Indian American Culture Association (TELICA). Now in its 8th year, the TELICA celebration of Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights, attracted well over a 1,000 adults and children from Telfair and other parts of Sugar Land. Rain doesn’t seem to deter the Sugarland residents from taking part in the event. The visitors were welcomed by yet another brilliant display of Rangoli from Sangita Bhutada, who continues to amaze every year by her beautiful and intricate designs. As the crowds poured in they were greeted by engaging activities and games. Continuing their tradition of their focus on children the day started with a series of activities for children – Diwali Clay Diya, Diwali lights using cup cake liners, Dandiya sticks deco-

ration, Origami crafts, and of course Nail Art and Henna. New this year were a Diwali Dubsmash and a Diwali Photo Booth. The afternoon programs started at around noon with a soulful rendition of Ganesh Vandana by Shruti Ashok Kumar, student at Dulles High School . The TELICA president Ravi Ranjan kicked off the afternoon festivities by welcoming the guests along with the other coordinators for the event proceeded to light the Diwali lamp. The lighting of the lamp signifies the elimination of ignorance and victory over darkness. “The uniqueness of today’s event is having an all female coordinators which makes it even more special” announced Ravi Ranjan. The event started with a Bengali dance and was followed by the Fashion Show which included participants from Telfair community ranging from 6 years to 65 years who were dressed in their best ethnic festive attire walking the ramp on a foot tapping background

COMMUNITY score which had the crowd applauding throughout. Clearly all their hours of preparation had been well worth it. The Grand Sponsor of the Event, MetLife, raffled off an iPhone 6S and couple of mini iTune raffles Ably led by Rupali Bajpai, the cultural coordinator for the show, the team did a fantastic job of putting together the event which moved at a great pace and without a hitch. There were around 25 different acts performed by well over 200 participants. The day included vocals, classical Indian recitals & dances, and Bollywood dances. A twist to the norm was a comedic skit that portrayed the lives of Indian immigrants, from their college days to getting jobs in the USA and on to the demands their US born children put on them. “This is the 5th Diwali that I have attended, and each year it has gotten better. Telfair kids are simply amazing! said Srilatha Vuttalooru, the lead coordinator for the show, .“We heard so much about the skit, people loved how much it reminded them of their own lives,” she added. The youth volunteers led by Natasha Muppala a senior at Clements High School, were visible all over and were integral to the success of the show. “Year after year, we have so many High School and Middle School students who come here and do a phenomenal job. They make the hardest chores look easy with a smile on their face. “I know Natasha worked very hard to put together such a wonderful team, I cannot thank you all enough!” said Ravi Ranjan, the TELICA president . Beena Hemkar, a professional graphics designer, and the lead coordinator for the

non-cultural activities, put her talents to work and put together a new look and feel to the event. “We do this for the kids. Thanks to all the TELICA and the student volunteers, once again, we were able to put together wonderful and engaging activities for the kids including the very popular Dubsmash booth. The excitement on our kids’ faces makes it all worth it,” said Beena.. Some of the very proud TELICA volunteers are Ravi Ranjan, Satya Narendrula, Srilatha Vuttalooru, Rupali Bajpai , Beena Hemkar, Raju Muppala, Deepak Kanwar, Sanjeev Yamdagni, Jignasa Patel, Jhilmil Yamdagni, Rani Narendrula, Shankar Vaidyanathan, Vanita Ranjan, Ambuj Bajpai, Savitha Kanth, Sapna Kanwar, Sumathy Muppala, Anu Pansare, Praveen Bhavani, Sanjay Agarwal, Ravi Bommakanti, Srini Chittaluru, Prakash Shah, Sangita Bhutada, Bhagwan Bhutada, Sundar Moorthy, Pallavi Kumar, Shridhar Makkapati, Krishna Naredla. The lead volunteers who contributed their time and energy to make this event a huge success were led by TELICA Lead Coordinator - Srilatha Vuttaooru, Cultural coordinator – Rupali Bajpai, Non-Cultural – Beena Hemkar, Marketing Lead – Deepak Kanwar. The youth volunteers who contributed their valuable hours to make this event a grand success were led by TELICA youth volunteer coordinator Natasha Muppala. The event was sponsored by MetLife; Schlumberger; MHS construction and Designing LLC; Cambridge Montessori; College Nannies and Tutors; Comfort Dental; IIM Academy; ICON furniture; Kyani and the College Money Guys. Visit for festival pictures or to get more details about the event and organization.



November 27, 2015


Adversity and Motivation: The Catalysts to Successful Leadership


HOUSTON: The role of a great leader is not

just to lead but to inspire others. Great leaders also seem to use their experiences- even the negative ones - to shape their message to the world. During my second YLDP session at the Lighthouse of Houston, I was given the chance to meet two individuals who epitomized these ideas of leadership: Sandhya Rao and Gibson M. DuTerroil. Rao, who was born with visual impairments and physical difficulties, spoke about her challenges and her life. Rao has built a successful career –she attended Stanford University for education and currently works as a law clerk – and she simply attributed her accomplishments to her ability to transcend adversity. The next speaker DuTerroil, the current president of the Lighthouse of Houston, explained his role in the Lighthouse of Houston. He shed light on how the organization provides unique assistance to those with visual

impairments by helping them become more autonomous in their daily lives.

When my YLDP group and I reflected on the two speakers afterwards, we realized that Rao

did not let her adversity dictate her life; she used her obstacles to become a stronger person. She was able to harness the challenges that came with her disabilities into a positive outlook through her resilience. In the case of DuTerroil my group and I could almost feel his passion for the cause he worked for. His simple yet poignant motivation to help others at the Lighthouse was unprecedented. Overall, the speeches of Rao and DuTerroil allowed me to conclude that adversity is inevitable and having the right motivation can pay in dividends. We observed that instead of succumbing to pressures we can grow internally and learn more about ourselves while having the right motivation. On that day, my YLDP group and I had witnessed two individuals who perfectly represented what it means to be a leader. They had not only guided me and my other YLDP peers but they had personally inspired me to see life differently.


14 November 27, 2015


November 27, 2015



16 November 27, 2015


Prayer and Gratitude Illumine Chinmaya Prabha BY PADMASHREE RAO

HOUSTON: Light has great

significance in any religion. As a shining representation of the eternal Truth that dispels the darkness of ignorance, it stands for everything that is joyful, inspiring, beautiful, and peaceful. Such is the central spirit of Dipavali, the Hindu festival of lights, which literally means "an array of lights.” Celebrated across India and by Indians all over the world, the theme of this festival is uniquely unifying and uplifting in all the various ways it is cherished. At Chinmaya Prabha, Houston, on Nov. 8, Dipavali was welcomed with heartfelt prayers and deep gratitude to the Lord and the Guru. Unfailing in both discipline and devotion, every aspect of the Dipavali puja invoked tradition, introspection, and the spirit of community with equal fervor. In two sessions, over 800 families, sharing the social and spiritual cheer of the auspicious festival, gathered and prayed. That morning, everywhere in Chinmaya Prabha, the aesthetic beauty of Dipavali decorations captivated the senses. The colorful rangolis, brilliant lights, and

intricate floral arrangements caught every eye; the fragrant incense spread a divine aroma; the devotional bhajans and chanted hymns elevated devotees to a higher realm of listening and speech; all around, the sacred brightness of Dipavali was almost tangible to touch and feel. In an atmosphere so inspiring, the message of Acarya Gaurang Nanavaty emphasized how Dipavali is about treasuring the true wealth of spiritual values. He pointed out that while the material wealth that Goddess Lakshmi provides is very important for a good standard of living, the wealth of universally good values ensures a high quality of life. And, to gain such values, the Grace of Lord Narayana and the scriptural guidance of the great Guru Parampara are essential. In tune with his message, Sri Ganeshji, the priest of Saumyakasi Sivalaya, conducted the Dipavali puja leading the congregation with Ganesha puja. Then all families offered worship with the Lakshmi Ashtottra Shatanamavali and chanted the Visnusahasranama. The hour-long puja concluded with the Vedic and Chinmaya aratis. The way to God is through the Guru, declare our scriptures. True to that, especially in this birth centenary year of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, the ancient tradi-

tion of symbolically conveying gratitude through the Guru Dakshina ceremony was significant. Acarya Gaurangbhai gently accepted the love and regards of all Chinmaya families on behalf of the Chinmaya Guru Parampara. Another notable feature of this year’s Dipavali celebration was the three-week Food Drive organized by the Houston Chyks (Chinmaya Yuva Kendra members) to support the Houston Food Bank. The joy of sharing food particularly with the less fortunate is one of the highest forms of charity according to Hinduism. That value was highlighted in this effort to make Dipavali truly dazzle in the community. Gurudev had said to the millions of seekers worldwide, “As you stand in wonderment at the beauty of the rows of lights everywhere, learn to feel elated at the Light of Divine Consciousness that flutters in the hearts of all living beings around.” The members of Chinmaya Houston glimpsed at such elevating brightness during this Dipavali 2015. Hari Om! For further information on Chinmaya Mission Houston and its activities visit or call Jay Deshmukh 832 541 0059 or Bharati Sutaria 281-933-0233

Acaryas Gaurangbhai Nanavaty, the priest of Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya, Sri Ganeshji, perfoming Laksmi puja.

At Chinmaya Prabha, Houston, on Nov.8, Dipavali was welcomed with heartfelt prayers and deep gratitude to the Lord and the Guru. Photos: Jayesh Mistry



November 27, 2015


Sewa International Holds First Annual Family Services Conference in Houston

HOUSTON: From Oct 31 to Nov

1, Houston Chapter of Sewa International hosted first National Family Services Conference which was attended by nearly 40 participants from 9 different cities in USA, including medical doctors, family counsellors and other volunteers. Family Services is the Flagship program for Sewa International USA. At present, the program has been running successfully in Houston for the past two years. Sewa International is now planning to expand this program to other cities. Sewa's Family services

program has three main dimensions, Emergency Services, Educational workshops and Health and Wellness Initiatives like Stop Diabetes Movement using Yoga. This workshop was designed to educate the volunteers about the scope and breadth of Family services and Family Emergency services in particular. The key speaker at the conference was Girish Mehta. He is the founder of Boston-based nonprofit ICC ( Indian Circle of Caring ). ICC, over its existence of over eight years, has helped many clients during times

of death, bereavement, illness and hospitalization and providing them an extended network of support. With an open discussion and exchange of ideas, it was a great learning session for all the delegates.There was also a useful discussion of a topic that is often overlooked by our community, and that is the important decision of making a Living will (Health Care Proxy) and the Five Wishes program. The program provided guidance to the attendees on how they could start the programs in their cities. The Houston team also shared their experience on the different types of cases they handled and potentially could be reported in other cities. In all it was a well attended and very useful workshop for all the attendees. The delegates not only learned a lot about the Emergency Services but also had the chance to experience the hospitality of the Houston team. Sewa International leads the way by providing service above self and Family services programs epitomizes that! For further information about starting Family Services Program in your cities, contact


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18 November 27, 2015 Southeast Asia’s New Community Eight long years in the making, the Association of South-East

Asian Nations’ (Asean’s) economic community is finally a reality: A free-trade zone, larger in geographical area than the European Union and, with a combined GDP of $2.57 trillion, the world’s largest single market. Experts estimate the economic community could lift aggregate output by 7 per cent by 2025, and create 14 million new jobs. The 10 members of the grouping have already eliminated most tariff barriers, but the agreements commit them to harmonising economic strategies, recognising each other’s professional qualifications and consulting closely on macroeconomic and financial policies. The agreement, member states hope, will kickstart intra-Asean trade, which has remained stuck at some 24 per cent of combined GDP for several years now, though tariff barriers have, in practice, been eliminated. For the economic community to succeed, Asean will need to remove non-tariff barriers, and ensure enhanced transport connectivity across the region. The most important tests of the economic community’s success will be freer movement of skilled workers, trade and capital for the region’s more than 600 million people. Asean leaders have committed to accepting each others’ professional qualifications, but problems remain. Though agreements have been signed for engineering, medicine, nursing, dentistry, architecture and nursing, local laws have snarled other sectors. The economic community is good for Asia. Though the importance of regional groupings has long been recognised, this is the first real step forward. Asean leaders had declared that their 2009-15 roadmap consisted of three key elements — economic, now realised, political-security and socio-cultural. Translating the trade deal into a foundation for a regional strategic initiative, though, will be tough. Asean, unlike the EU, is politically diverse. Its members range from one-party communist-ruled Vietnam to quasi-military ruled Myanmar, the increasingly Islamist-leaning kingdom of Brunei and the raucously democratic The Philippines. Though several of its members share concerns over the rising power of China, with which they have locked horns over its controversial policies on the South China Sea, consensus has eluded them. For India, the rise of a unified Southeast Asian market represents special opportunities — and challenges. The grouping is India’s fourth largest trading partner. India, in turn, is the sixth largest trading partner for Asean. Trade between the two amounted to $76.52 billion in 2014-15, with India’s exports worth $31.8 billion and imports $44.7 billion. Though the agreement will benefit Indian competitors like the Philippines and Vietnam, India is negotiating a trade agreement with the Asean states and their partners, scheduled for completion by 2016. New Delhi, whose negotiations with trade blocks like the EU are stalled, needs to make sure its Asean deadline is met. Indian Express



For many years, I researched,

thought and wrote about the historical figure of Tipu Sultan. As a professional historian, I did so in an objective and disinterested manner — this is the nature of scholarship. So I am saddened to read that this 18th-century ruler is, once again, the focus of controversy. And it is this we must remember: Tipu Sultan, who inherited his suzerainty of the kingdom of Mysore from his adventurer father, Hyder Ali, lived and died during a time very different from our own. Following Aurangzeb’s death in 1707, the Mughal empire slid into decline, a fragmentation that allowed the rise of “successor states”, the best known being Awadh, Bengal and Hyderabad. This decline allowed European trading companies to establish footholds on the subcontinent. In other words, wherever there was a power vacuum, ambitious men seized the opportunity to fill it. In the south, one of those ambitious men was Hyder Ali. When Hyder died at the end of 1782, Tipu succeeded him. Both men were capable warriors and chiefs, but Hyder had ensured that his son receive the education he had not. When Tipu came to the throne, then, he was prepared to take on the mantle of king. For him, this meant holding on to the territories that Hyder had captured and consolidating his position in relation to neighbouring powers; by the 1780s, this was primarily the British in Madras, the nizam of Hyderabad, and the Marathas under the figurehead of the peshwa. Smaller realms either subdued or caught in the orbit of Hyder’s Mysore were Travancore, Kodagu, Cochin and a number of other Malabar chiefdoms. The early years of any new king’s reign was the period when he was at his most vulnerable, a time when his strength would be tested by anyone with a grievance, or who wished to break free from his control. If these challenges were not met swiftly and decisively, a ruler’s hold on power could quickly erode. The tactics adopted to deal with such rebels were

what we would now refer to as “shock and awe”. Those on the receiving end of Tipu’s wrath were left in no doubt that he meant business. Executions, mass transportations from Kodagu and the Malabar coast, and forced conversions resulting in the loss of caste were all means of punishment, an example to others who might be contemplating rebellion. As brutal as these methods now seem, this was the nature of medieval and earlymodern kingship. Tipu was acting within accepted norms of statecraft that had existed on the subcontinent for centuries. If asked, Tipu would undoubtedly have described himself as a just king who ruled with a strong hand. He undertook administrative reforms, made donations to religious institutions, including temples, arbitrated in disputes and cared for the welfare of his subjects. The Sri Ranganatha Swami temple, situated near Tipu’s palace on the island of Srirangapatna, continued to flourish. The Sringeri Math was another recipient of his patronage. All these gifts and many more are documented and cannot be denied. Again, the rationale behind these displays of “conspicuous piety” was rooted in accepted notions of kingship: The relationship between kings and the divine was a close one and expressed through such acts; in return, prayers would be offered for the peace and prosperity of the realm. So why, then, if Tipu was behaving no differently from any other Indian king, has he become such a controversial figure? Why is he regarded as a tyrant by some and as a hero or martyr by others? For that, we can lay the blame on his killers, the British.

What distinguished Hyder and Tipu from their contemporaries was their suspicion of Europeans and their refusal to allow a British political agent to be placed at their court. They allied with the French because they were enemies of the British and were a useful source of European manufactures and weaponry — like many powers of their time, they adopted European military techniques, recognising their effectiveness. Writing to the Hyderabad chief minister in 1796, Tipu had emphasised the increasing threat posed by British inroads on the subcontinent. Not surprisingly, therefore, the British regarded Tipu as a major obstacle to the continuing peaceful conduct of their trading interests. That, combined with Tipu’s ongoing communications with the French and other local powers as he attempted to shore up allies, as well as the arrival in Calcutta in 1798 of a new and belligerent governor general, the Earl of Mornington, brought about his demise. Tipu’s death triggered a debate in Britain about whether Mornington’s actions had been legitimate. This, in turn, led to efforts by the governor general and his supporters — often in print — to justify the attack on Mysore. They did this by portraying Tipu as a murderous tyrant and oppressor of his people. The proponents of this image used the language of the day, including references to Hyder and Tipu as “Muhammadans”, a term that, in Europe, as a result of the historical conflict between Islam and Christendom that began with the Crusades, was freighted with hostile intent. This is how myth-making begins: The needs of the time shape the character of the myth. Over the 19th and 20th centuries, as the needs evolved in response to colonialism, Tipu became known as the first nationalist and a Muslim martyr. And like myth, memory too is fluid and unreliable—which is why historians always rely on documentary evidence and not hearsay. IE Brittlebank is author, among others, of ‘Tipu Sultan’s Search for Legitimacy: Islam and Kingship in a Hindu Domain.’


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 27, 2015


Mahakumbhabhishekam Celebrations Begin at Sri Meenkashi Temple with Ganapathy Homam

The executives and the priests getting anugnai inside the Main temple.

Photos: Dr P. Vaduganathan

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The new Teak wood door for Ganesha Sannidhi


PEARLAND:A beautiful crisp and

bright sunny day marked the beginning of the Mahakumbhabhishekam of the Main Temple (MTK 2015) of Sri Meenakshi Temple on Sunday, November 22. Sri. Thanga Bhattar, is the first official priest of the temple and he presided over the First MahaKumbhabhishekam of the Main temple in 1982. It was fortunate he was present now to preside over the opening day at Ganapathy Homam. Our eminent priests did a wonderful job with Homam and Abhishekam. The newly made Teak wood doors with 12 Shodasa Ganesha made

Lord Ganesha with Mooshika

meticulously in the panels of the door in Karaikudi, India and were brought from India. Our priests ceremoniously opened the doors for the dharshan of Prasanna Ganapthy. The priests went in a procession to the main temple to get anugnai from Sri Meenakshi, Sundareswara and Venkateswara. There are homams and poojas every day morning and evening and the Yagasala Pooja will commence on Thursday evening.There will be a Classical music concert by prominent Classical musician and play back singer Srimathy S. Mahathi at 6.30 pm on this Friday followed by dinner and a dazzling Fire works. We have dance drama by local dance schools during 4-6 pm on Saturday and a

special cultural program by Kumari Kruthi Bhatt at 2-4 pm on Sunday. MTS invites all of you to come early and get blessed on the Mahakumbhabhishekam on Sunday, November 29. MTS invites every one to come early to the hospitality tent to get Kumbhakonam coffee and the MTK T shirts between 8 am and 9 am. Devotees should not miss the “Curtain raiser” with a group music recital, Village folk dance and recital of stuti and the Mahakumbhabhishekam at 10 am. After alaya pravesam, abhishekam we have Thirukalyanam for Meenakshi Sundareswara and Padmavathy Srinivasa and Rathothsavam followed by special lunch.


20 November 27, 2015


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Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Puri (Deep Fried Puff Bread)

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There is one type of fried bread that elicits great excitement because it is a cross between an appetizer and a meal, but can be eaten as either. You could call it a snack, but puris (deep fried puff bread) can be eaten for breakfast (with aloo sabzi), lunch (with kale channe), dinner (with different sabzis) and even dessert (with halva). Puris are those wonderfully light, golden brown puffed, usually fourinch round pieces of fried bread that, if you aren’t careful, you can eat a dozen of in one sitting when they come hot off the frying kadai (wok). The word puri derives from the Sanskrit word purika from pur or filled. Puris are usually made of atta (wheat flour finely milled), but some make them using maida (refined and bleached white flour) and atta mix. The dough is a little harder than the one made for regular rotis (flat bread). While frying puris, the moisture in the dough expands in all directions so that it puffs up like a round ball. A punctured puri does not puff because the steam escapes as it cooks. Some people put a little oil in the dough as they believe it will make the puri crispy but that in fact, it makes the puris hard after they have cooled down. Punjabi usually eat puris with kale chole (black chickpeas), but these are not to be confused with the larger and softer bhature (deep fried soft bread) which is similar but bigger and also eaten the same way. Most often puris are eaten for breakfast or as a part of a ceremonial religious ritual. Uneaten puris can be kept wrapped in aluminum foil for 4 or 5 days and they will not go bad. If they are hard then warm them up in the microwave, and they become soft again.

Ingredients : 250 gm atta (wheat flour) 1 measure of pani (water) to make the dough soft Vegetable oil to fry in Directions: 1. Slowly add water to the flour and knead the dough till it has is semisoft.

starts to puff up and then turn slightly brown.

2. Put the dough in a bowl, cover it with a light cloth and place it aside for 30 minutes to let it ferment a little.

8. Serve hot with the chole, aalo sabzi or halva with your favorite garnishes. 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.

3. Grease your palms with some oil so that the dough won’t stick and then break the dough into several 1-inch pieces. Roll them into balls and set aside. 4. In a kadai (deep skillet or wok), heat the oil up till it is very hot. 5. Roll the dough with a walan (rolling pin) till you form a 4-inch round patty. Roll all the patties out and keep to the side for frying. 6. Carefully slide the patty into the hot oil and then see if the patty

7. Repeat the steps and cook all the dough. As the puris come out, place them on paper towels on an inclined plate to soak up and drain the excess oil. Keep the heat on high until you are done with cooking.

MAMA’S TIP OF THE WEEK HOW TO CHOOSE FRESH VEGETABLES Shopping for fresh vegetables can often be a confusing task if you are not experienced in picking the right ones, especially if these are the seed variety. If you happen to select the ones that have too many seeds then you will waste a lot of the vegetable since the ripe seeds will have to be removed. For kerelas (bitter gourd), bhindi (okra), ghia (bottle squash), kheera (cucumbers) and baingan (eggplant), france bean (green beans) choose pieces that are not too fat (which means too many seeds inside), but preferably long and firm. For shalgam (turnips), band gobi (cabbage) and mooli (daikon radishes), large pieces are not the best as they will be too ripe and hard; choose medium sized pieces instead.



Birthday this Week : Bappi Lahiri B

appi Lahiri (Born Alokesh Lahiri on 27 November 1952) is a music composer in the Indian film industry. He popularized the use of synthesized disco music in Indian cinema and sang some of his own compositions. He was popular in the 1980s and 1990s with filmi soundtrackslikeWardat,Disco Dancer, Namak Halaal, Dance Dance, Commando, Gang Leader, and Sharaabi among others. Bappi Lahiri joined BJP in 2014. He was declared a BJP candidate from Srirampur in West Bengal for the Indian general election, 2014 and lost. He moved to Mumbai when he was 19. He received his first opportunity in a Bengali film, Daadu (1972) and the first Hindi film for which he composed music was Nanha Shikari (1973). The first turning point of his career was Tahir Husain’s Hindi film, Zakhmee (1975), for which he composed music and doubled as a playback singer. He sang a duet with Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar called “Nothing Is Impossible” for the same film.[citation needed] His first popular film was Chalte

Chalte (1976), whose songs became hits thus bringing him recognition as a music director. With Ravikant Nagaich’s Surakksha 1979 his singing and music became even more popular. In the early 80s, he added an element of the then popular disco music to his compositions, in movies such as Wardat 1981, Sahhas 1981, Laparwah 1981, Pyara Dushman 1980 song Hari Om Hari, Armaan 1981 song Ramba Ho Samba Ho Mithun Chakraborty and Bappi Lahiri became synonyms of Indian

disco culture in the 1980s, largely due to movies such as Disco Dancer.Bappi Lahiri is the first Music Director to get the China Award in Beijing, China for the film Disco Dancer in 1982.His song “Jimmy Jimmy” was a success in the early 1980s and is said to have achieved some fame in other countries such as Russia Some in the media have called him the “Disco King” of India according to whom? Lahiri entered the Guinness Book of World Records for recording over 180 songs for 33 films in 1986.[citation needed] He used fusion music in a feature film Namak Halaal in the song “Pagh Ghungroo Bandh Meera Nache Te”, a song 12 minutes long. Lahiri has composed over 5,000 songs in over 500 films in languages including Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Odia, Bhojpuri, Assamese. He has also composed music for three films made in Bangladesh.[citation needed] Bappi Lahiri is also a singer and performer of repute on stage. He introduced several Pop Singers.

November 27, 2015


Ramanujan is the Jackson Pollock of Mathematics: Dev Patel


PANJIM:From a ‘slumdog’ to es-

saying the character of Srinivasa Ramanujan, actor Dev Patel has made a big leap. On the second day of IFFI, Goa, he talks of multiculturalism, his method of acting and why, to him, Ramanujan is the Jackson Pollock of mathematics. The Man Who Knew Infinity, on the relationship between Cambridge don G.H. Hardy and Ramanujan, was the opening film of the festival. Not me. The film wasn’t a documentary so mimicking was not necessary to capture Ramanujan’s essence. We had not much to go by except for some old black-and-white photographs. There was no stock footage to show the quality of his voice, or the way he moved. What we wanted to capture was the nobility of his personality in the face of immense prejudice. Victor Banerjee had said that to portray Dr Aziz in The Passage to India he had to speak Indian English. But

in The Man Who Knew Infinity you are, of course, mannerism-less. The film is dialogue-heavy. You can’t carry long dialogues for very long with a South Indian accent. So, I opted for a subtle accent that would not overwhelm my expressions. Ken Ono, one of the best young mathematicians, was involved in the project. He helped us break down complex theories. He showed us the symmetry in these things, which helped me remember as I chalked a few of them on the classroom blackboard for scenes in the film. Multiculturalism is a good thing. I was very lucky to have grown up in the England that I have. Never faced the racism that Ramanujan did. The Cambridge of Ramanujan’s era was a stiff community unwelcoming to others. Ramanujan was seen as a man with a brown skin. But there were other factors as well. He was the Jackson Pollock of mathematics. He was a man trying to break into a rigid field.


22 November 27, 2015





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hy do Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day? Many Americans think of Thanksgiving as a wonderful time to celebrate getting out of school for a long weekend, and eating a great dinner. Or, maybe they think it is the start of the Christmas holiday season. What is the real meaning behind Thanksgiving? Catherine Millard writes: We can trace this historic American Christian tradition to the year 1623. After the harvest crops were gathered in November 1623, Governor William Bradford of the 1620 Pilgrim Colony, “Plymouth Plantation” in Plymouth, Massachusetts proclaimed: “All ye Pilgrims with your wives and little ones, do gather at the Meeting House, on the hill… there to listen to the pastor, and render Thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings.” This is the origin of our annual Thanksgiving Day celebration. Congress of the United States has proclaimed National Days of Thanksgiving to Almighty God many times throughout the following years. On November 1, 1777, by order of Congress, the first National Thanksgiving Proclamation was proclaimed, and signed by Henry Laurens, President of Continental Congress. The third Thursday of December, 1777 was thus officially set aside: “…for solemn thanksgiving and praise. That with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their Divine Benefactor;… and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them (their manifold sins) out of remembrance… That it may please Him… to take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety under His nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth of ‘righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost’…” George Washington, first President of the United States Then again, on January 1, 1795, our first United States President, George Washington, wrote his famed National Thanksgiving Proclamation, in which he says that it is… “…our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate

gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue is… our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experienced…” Thursday, the 19th day of February, 1795 was thus set aside by George Washington as a National Day of Thanksgiving.

Why Do We Eat Turkey on Thanksgiving?


ost of us can’t imagine a Thanksgiving dinner without a moist and delicious Turkey as the centerpiece of the meal. Here are 5 reasons this tasty bird became part of the most important meal of the year! Benjamin Franklin: Founding father Benjamin Franklin strongly believed that the turkey is a much better representation of the United States than the bald eagle. Accord-

ing to Franklin, “The turkey is a much more respectable Bird and withal a true original Native of North America.” He even wanted to name the turkey our national bird! Obviously, not everyone agreed with him. But turkeys were plentiful in North America, and they took their spots in the limelight every Thanksgiving celebration. Practical and Affordable: Turkeys have always been fresh, affordable, and big enough to feed a crowd. Americans have long preferred large poultry for celebrations because the birds could be slaughtered without a huge economic sacrifice. Cows were useful for milk and chicken for eggs, thus turkey took center stage at special occasions. Convenient and Delicious Among the big birds, turkey was ideal for a fall feast. Turkeys born in the spring would spend about seven months eating insects and worms on the farm, growing to about 10 pounds by Thanksgiving. Wild turkeys usually feed on acorns and other natural products, which give turkey meat the ultimate taste. Just For Fun - Miscellaneous Turkey Trivia! The long fleshy skin that hangs over a turkey’s beak is called a snood. The color of a wild turkey’s naked head and neck area can change blue when mating. Male turkeys are nicknamed “toms” while females are called “hens.” When turkeys reach maturity they can have as many as 3,500 feathers. Wild turkeys can run up to 55 miles an hour. Turkeys have a 270-degree field vision and have incredible hearing.


015 Friday, June 10, 27 22011 ember .com v o N , -news n Friday a c i r me indoa www.

November 27, 2015


IndoAmerican News

Business IndoAmerican News


Air India Sells 21 Dreamliner Planes to Repay Loans

The airline is saddled with a debt of about Rs.40,000 crore that includes a long-term loan taken for aircraft purchase and a working capital loan NEW DELHI: Air India has 12 Dreamliners under a similar ar- year. Air India had last month invited mopped up Rs.7,000 crore by selling nine of its 21 Dreamliner planes to a Singaporean lessor, which it has taken back on lease from the company under a Sale and Lease Back (SLB) arrangement. A major chunk of these funds will go into repayment of the bridge loan availed earlier for purchasing these Boeing 787-800s, airline sources said. Under as SLB arrangement, the seller of an asset leases it back from the purchaser for a long-term period and continues to use it without actually owning it. Air India has 131 aircraft in its fleet, consisting of Boeing, Airbus and ATR planes as well as CRJs. Of these, 21 are Boeing 787-800s. The flag carrier had sold and leased back

rangement earlier as well. Sources said that of the total proceeds, about Rs.6,000 crore, will be used for repayment of the bridge loan taken against these planes at the time of acquisition. The remaining Rs.1,000 crore will be utilised for other purposes. The airline is saddled with a debt of about Rs.40,000 crore that includes a long-term loan taken for aircraft purchase and a working capital loan. It has accumulated a loss of close to Rs.30,000 crore. The airline, however, is expected to report around Rs.6 crore operating profit this fiscal. These nine B 787-800s were inducted into the national carrier’s fleet between March 2014 and June this

bids from domestic and international banks/financial institutions to sell these planes. The airline had fixed a reserve price of not less than $123 million for the planes acquired in 2015 and $120 million for the aircraft inducted in the fleet during 2014. As part of its fleet expansion plan, the national carrier had in 2006 placed orders with Boeing for 68 aircraft- 27 Dreamliners, 15 B777-300ERs, eight B777-200LRs and 18 B-737- 800s. Surviving on a Rs.30,000 crore bailout package from the parent, Government of India, Air India had reported a net loss of Rs.5,547.47 crore in the last fiscal on the back of total revenues of Rs.19,781 crore.

India Sees Highest Growth in Mobile Phone Subscriptions

Ericsson report says India sees more than 13 million net additions in the third quarter, followed by China, where subscriptions grew by 7 million

NEW DELHI: India saw the high-

est number of net addition in mobile phone subscriptions globally in the third quarter of 2015, a new report by telecommunications firm Ericsson showed Tuesday. There were more than 13 million net additions, followed by China, where subscriptions grew by 7 million, and the US with 6 million net additions. By the end of the third quarter, total number of global mobile subscriptions reached 7.3 billion, including 87 million new ones. However, the number of actual subscribers is lower than the number of subscriptions owing to the fact that users use multiple devices, such as smartphones and tablets, at the same time. At present, there

are 4.9 billion subscribers worldwide versus 7.3 billion subscriptions. Global mobile subscriptions are growing by 5% year-on-year, stated the report. Smartphones accounted for close to 75% of all mobile phones sold during the quarter, compared to about 70% last year. While developing economies like India are struggling to roll out consistent 3G networks, the developed world is already looking at rapid expansion of fifth-generation, or 5G networks. 5G mobile subscriptions are likely to reach 150 million by 2021, the report said. With more devices coming on to the Internet and mobiles becoming central to controlling those devices, mobile data traffic is set to see a spike

over the next few years. Mobile data traffic for the September quarter was 65% higher than a year ago, largely driven by increased video consumption on mobile devices. The report predicts video will account for 70% of all mobile data traffic by 2021. The 5G network is expected to give

rise to expansive ICT (information and communications technology) infrastructure, which in turn will act as a catalyst in reducing carbon footprint. “ICT will enable savings in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions across all other industrial sectors,” the report said. “The total

emission reduction could be up to 10 gigatonnes of CO2e, representing about 15% of global GHG emissions in 2030—more than the current carbon footprint of the US and EU combined.” South Korea, Japan, China and the US are predicted to lead with the first, and fastest, 5G subscription uptake, the report added. “5G is about more than faster mobile services—it will enable new use cases related to the Internet of Things,” said Rima Qureshi, senior vice-president and chief strategy officer, Ericsson. “ICT transformation will become even more common across industries as 5G moves from vision to reality in the coming years.”



24 November 27, 2015 Third Test: India Ponder Options for Another Turner vs. SA BY KARTHIK KRISHNASWAMY


(ESPN Cricinfo): Three years ago, Nagpur hosted a Test match that ranked among the dullest in the sport’s history. Five uninterrupted days of cricket produced 1008 runs at 2.28 runs an over. Only 23 wickets fell, at a rate of one every 115.52 balls. Run-scoring was difficult, taking wickets even more so. The turn was slow, the bounce was minimal, and edges from the quick bowlers barely carried halfway to the slips. The pitch didn’t deteriorate either. When the match crawled to a close on the fifth evening, England were 352 for 4 in their second innings, the third innings of the match. On Monday, two days before India’s third Test against South Africa, Amar Karlekar, the curator at the VCA Stadium, was at pains to stress that the pitch would not behave like it did in 2012. “I can give you my guarantee,” he said. “No repetition of England episode.” From the distance of around 10m from which mediapersons were allowed to view it, the pitch had a dry look about it, though not the patchwork appearance of the Mohali surface that hosted the first Test. Karlekar said turn would be available from tea onwards, on the first day. The pitch for the Test has been used twice in the Ranji Trophy this season. Odisha held on for a draw in the first of these matches, after Vidarbha made them follow on. Vidarbha won the other,beating Assam by three wickets in a lowscoring thriller. Spinners took 44 of the 63 wickets that fell across the two matches. When India arrived for their training session on Monday afternoon, Rohit Sharma was among the first of their players to take a close look at the pitch. When the team finished its customary warmup game of football - its highlight a flukey Varun Aaron goal from deep within his own half - Rohit was the first batsman to pad up.

Amit Mishra ahead of Stuart Binny for the Nagpur Test? © AFP

For a good portion of India’s net session, Rohit and Ajinkya Rahane took turns batting at the same net, one batsman facing a handful of deliveries and turning the strike over, so to speak, to the other. That done, both walked back into the main ground for some catching drills. First, Rahane fed R Sridhar, India’s fielding coach, a sequence of underarm deliveries that he deflected towards Rohit, fielding close in at leg slip. Then Rohit took over underarming duties, with Rahane fielding at first slip, his customary position against the spinners. A few more players joined this group. Virat Kohli threw balls to Sridhar from a good 15 yards away, and he edged catches for a deep-set cordon of Shikhar Dhawan, Rahane and Rohit at first, second and third slip respectively. Training sessions two days before a match are not the most reliable indicators of team selection. But from the quantity and quality of time he spent batting and fielding, it seemed as if India were giving a definite thought to including Rohit in their eleven on Wednesday. Going by the teams they picked

in the first two Tests, the one slot open to Rohit is the one occupied by Stuart Binny in Bangalore. Neither the pitch nor the atmospheric conditions - clear, cloud-free skies and low humidity - are likely to aid Binny’s medium-pace in Nagpur, which should reduce the value of picking him ahead of a specialist batsman or a third spinner. Given that Amit Mishra, who played in Mohali but not in Bangalore, spent a decent length of time bowling at the nets, it appeared as if India were exploring one of two options: a straight shootout between Rohit and Mishra to take Binny’s place, or play both Rohit and Mishra and leave out one of the two frontline quicks as well. India went for the latter option in the 2012 Nagpur Test: their attack contained one fast bowler in Ishant Sharma and four spinners in R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja on his Test debut. Then, they did not get the pitch they wanted or even expected. Three years on, they might field a similar combination and find conditions rather more to their liking. Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo.

Rohan Bopanna in Top 10, Sania Mirza Remains No. 1

NEW DELHI: Rohan Bopanna,

who finished runner-up at the season-ending Finale, returned to top-10 as he gained three places to be at number nine in individual doubles rankings, issued on Monday. Bopanna and his Romanian partner Florin Mergea fell at the final hurdle as they lost the summit clash to Jean Julien-Roger and Horia Tecau on Sunday. Leander Paes was the next best at 41 (unchanged) while Purav Raja (93) also maintained his top100 place. In the singles, Yuki Bhambri was the best-ranked player at number 91 followed by Saketh Myneni (171), who gained two places, and Somdev Devvarman (179). In the WTA rankings, Sania Mirza’s number one rank was intact in the doubles chart while in the singles Ankita Raina is the top player in the country at number 253. Sania Mirza notched up Grand Slam doubles titles and clinching WTA Finals crown two years in a row with Martina Hingis.


Jos Buttler’s Quick Century for England’s 3-1 ODI Win

SHARJAH: England 355 for 5

(Butter 116*, Roy 102, Root 71) beat Pakistan 271 (Malik 52, Azam 51, Moeen 3-53) by 84 runs. Jos Buttler struck the quickest century in England’s ODI history, from just 46 balls, to help his side to a 3-1 series victory against Pakistan in the UAE. Buttler’s innings included eight sixes - another record for an England player in ODI cricket - as England posted 355 for 5, their highest total away from home. Only four times have they scored more. It was to prove more than enough as Pakistan were dismissed for 271 with almost ten overs remaining. Buttler, who had already recorded the two fastest ODI centuries for England (61 balls against New Zealand and 66 against Sri Lanka) finished unbeaten on 116 from 52 balls with 18 of them having been hit for four or six. There have been only six quicker ODI centuries and it helped England plunder 145 off the final 11 overs. Defeat means Pakistan have lost three ODI series in a row against England and, placed eighth in the rankings, they face the real prospect of having to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.

Jos Buttler hammered a century from just 46 balls © Getty Images.


November 27, 2015

Drones, Mobiles, Internet

How Indian Farms are Going Hi-Tech

Narendra Modi Calls for New Global Resolve and Strategies to Fight Terrorism NEW DELHI: India on Sunday


NEW DELHI:When this year’s

rabi or winter crop in Haryana’s Kurukshetra ripens, drones will circle them as part of a series of simultaneous experiments in three other states — Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The country’s vast and antiquated agriculture sector has largely been a stranger to such high-tech, although it feeds a billion people. Yet, slowly, the country has realised that without technology, its farmers aren’t going anywhere beyond eking out a tough living. Frequent weather shocks push them back into poverty. Foodprice spirals annoy consumers and hobble policymakers. From traditional handholding measures, such as subsidies, farm solutions are now moving to the Internet, a vast rural mobile phone subscriber base and space-telecom technologies. The drones, for instance, will scan two select districts in each of these four states. They will carry out special imaging with the help of one among a constellation of homegrown satellites. The images will be transmitted back to scientists at the Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre in the Capital’s Pusa campus, a state-run farm science hub set up to harness space technology in agriculture. The drones will give a wealth of information — they could tell accurately if climate is impacting

yield. Some innovations are a lot simpler. The country’s growing cell phone subscriber base — projected to overtake the US next month — is proving to be handy to tell farmers what to grow or actions to take in case of pest attacks in real time. India’s Internet user base is expected to see a 49% jump over the past year to reach 402 million in December. Of this, 153 million are rural subscribers. Over the course of a year, the government has enrolled 89.3 million farm families for its mobile farm advisories. Several such projects are on trial. ‘Chaman’ in Hindi means garden. But it is also the high-tech acronym for the Coordinated Horticulture Assessment and Management that has used geo-informatics since 2014 to assess the health of seven horticulture crops grown widely. “There is always a problem in getting timely and accurate data, due to which payment of claims to farmers gets delayed. A new high-tech programme, Kisan, is being launched on a pilot basis to help farmers,” minister of state for agriculture Sanjeev Kumar Balyan said. An even more critical project is NADAMS, developed by the National Remote Sensing Centre that now provides real-time information on drought and its severity level. Currently, it covers 13 states. Small, belated steps but milestones nonetheless.

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called for a “new global resolve and new strategies” to combat terrorism without political considerations. India’s view on tackling terrorism was put forward by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while speaking at the 18-member East Asia Summit (EAS) in Kuala Lumpur in the backdrop of a string of terror strikes across Paris, Beirut and Mali in the last few days. At the summit, Modi also called on the grouping to ensure the evolution of an inclusive, balanced and open regional architecture for security and cooperation in the region riddled by maritime rivalries in the South China Sea. The Prime Minister also held up the example of India and Bangladesh having resolved their maritime boundary dispute “using the mechanism of UNCLOS” last year. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) or Law of the Sea treaty is an international agreement that defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of world’s oceans. “India hopes that all parties to the disputes in the South China Sea will abide by the Declaration on the Conduct on South China Sea and the guidelines on the implementation. Parties must also redouble efforts for early adoption of a Code of Conduct on the basis of consensus,” Modi said. Modi is in the Malaysian capital for the 10th EAS, which brings together the 10 Asean, or Association of South East Asian Nations and Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the US and Russia. He also witnessed a ceremony at which all Asean leaders announced the formation of an Asean Economic Community. TheAsean comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The 18 summit member countries collectively

represent 55% of the world’s population and account for around 55% of global GDP, according to estimates by countries such as Australia. In his short speech, Modi underlined India’s view that terrorism does not respect boundaries. His views were in line with a similar statement made by prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in his speech to the US Congress in 2000. “In this forum, we often thought of terrorism as a peripheral problem for this region. The barbaric terrorist strikes in Paris, Ankara, Beirut, Mali and on the Russian aircraft is a stark reminder that its shadow stretches across our societies and our world, both in recruitment and choice of targets,” Modi said. “We must build new global resolve and new strategies for combating terrorism, without balancing it against political considerations. No country should use or support terrorism,” Modi said adding that no distinction should be made between different groups, no sanctuaries made available for them and no funds supplied to carry out such activities. Modi said that countries need to work within their societies and among the youth to ensure radicalization does not creep in. “I welcome the commitment to delink religion from terrorism and the efforts to promote human values that define every faith,” he said. In the selection of targets besides planning and execution, the 13 November attacks in Paris in which 127 people were killed, is seen as similar to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed at least 166 people in 2008.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris and it is also suspected to be behind the downing of the Russian passenger jet last month over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula that killed all 224 passengers on board. The group is also suspected to be behind near-simultaneous explosions that targeted a Turkish peace rally in Ankara on 10 October, killing at least 95 people and twin suicide bombings in Lebanon that killed more than 40 people. The latest attack in Bamako, capital of Mali, on 20 November, too, seemed to use the Mumbai attack as a template as a group of heavily-armed gunmen stormed a luxury hotel and took about 170 people hostage. The hotel was secured after a combined assault by Malian, French and American forces but it left 21 people—including three Chinese, one American and a Belgian national—dead. India had proposed a comprehensive convention against international terrorism in 1996 under the UN umbrella aimed at strict action against terrorist networks and states supporting such groups. But almost after two decades, it has not been passed as there is no agreement on the definition of terrorism. In his speech, Modi also spoke of how India has been forging significant economic partnerships within the Asia Pacific and the Indian Ocean Regions. Outlining his vision for cooperation within the EAS, Modi said the grouping “must continue to support the evolution of an inclusive, balanced, transparent and open regional architecture for security and cooperation”. “We must deepen our collective commitment to strengthen and abide by international rules and norms,” he said in a reference to China imposing unilateral flight and navigation embargoes in South China Sea given its claims over the area that is contested by Asean members.

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