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Friday, December 20 2013 | Vol. 32, No. 51


Indo Indo American Am erican News Published weekly from Houston, TX

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Years of Sikh Center

Merry Christmas to Everyone

The Board of the Sikh Center escorted Judge Ed Emmett to the sanctuary. Bobby Singh (left) invited the Judge to the celebrations.



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December 20, 2013



December 20, 2013


Dhanyawaad from all Hindi Lovers for a Year of Fulfilling Events

Back row (from left): Dr KD Upadhyaya, Rajiv Bhavsar, Ajit Patel, Dinesh Singhal, Sanjay Sohoni, Swapan Dhairyawan, Fatehali Chatur, Jasmeeta Singh, Khalid Razvi, Dr. Nausha Asrar. Front row (from left): Nisha Mirani, Saroj Gupta, Sangeeta Pasrija, Abha Dwivedi, Subash Gupta, Meera Kapur, Sarita Mehta, Navin Banker, Devika Dhruv, Kishen Sharma, Dr Anant Desai, Rajendra Prasad, Sangita Bhutada, Arun Prakash and Vijay Pallod (not in the picture).

Dr. Nausha Asrar

BY SWAPAN DHAIRYAWAN SUGAR LAND: Hindi lovers had a hat trick in 2013. A successful Hasya Kavi Sammellan of Shri Kunwar Bechain in April, a National Adhiveshan in September

and finally the Kavita ki Shaam this past Friday, December 13. There were thoughts whether to do this event or not, but in keeping with the tradition of a December celebration for Hindi Diwas, we

Fatehali Chatur

have accomplished our goal. The three hour event was sold out with about 120 persons attending including 14 poets and the audience sat glued listening to one poet after the other.

Sangeeta Pasrija with Swapan Dhairyawan.

Abha Dwivedi’s quick wit and seamless emceeing was fabulous, including entertaining the audience with “Mein jhooth nahi bolta”. Dr. Upadhyaya started with a Big Bang and immediately made the audience comfortable by his mix of words, Hasya, vyang and the Veer Ras Kavita of Maharana Pratap. He is a strong pillar of our organization and full of mirth and enthusiasm and fond of saying “paisa vasool”. Sarita Mehta followed him with her beautiful kavita “dharti se ambar tak”. She did a marvelous job but even more marvelous was her first time driving at night from West University to Sugarland just for the passion of Hindi. Navin Banker followed her with a kavita on the current situation of Draupadis to gather courage against the Dushasans of current day and not wait for Gopal for assistance. It was the first time for him to be on the IHA stage. Meera Kapur followed him with kavitas written by her late Dad Mr. Khanna on Ahimsa and Yoga which she rendered wonderfully. She was followed by Dr. Nausha

Asrar who is truly a professional in the way he rendered a couple of Dohas followed by Sanaata and a Ghazal, all of which kept the audience captivated. He has participated at mushairas and at Kavi Sammellans, and the way in which he switches between Urdu and Hindi is indeed brilliant. He was followed by Rajendra Prasad, a geologist and a Houstonian for long years who read his own poems and was applauded by all for his creations. He is from Bihar and delivered an eloquent poem on his memories as a child in a village near Patna. He was followed by another geologist Khalid Rizvi who comes from Hyderabad, India and is a Houstonian for long years.. Arun Prakash, a pioneer for the IHA cause in Houston followed him, reading his own kavita called Patni Chalisa which was just hilarious. He was followed by Devika Dhruv who read her own Hasya Ras Kavita rendering it beautifully. She supports IHA through the Gujarati Sahitya Sarita group




December 20, 2013

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December 20, 2013


Pioneering Gurudwara Celebrates Forty Years of Building a Community

The sanctuary of the Sikh Center was colorfully decorated with red poinsettias in the aisle. Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

From left: Dr. Kanwaljit Singh, Judge Ed Emmett and Bobby Singh sit among the congregation listening to the lecture by Prof. Gurcharan Singh.

Manpreet Kaur was the emcee for the Monique Kaur Gill spoke about her experience coming to the Center. program.

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: The grainy black and white video clip and pictures showed a few young men discussing plans, cutting up lumber and

a building slowly taking shape as they sought to build a home for the community’s small Sikh faithful. “ We were just about seven to ten Sikh families back then in 1971

when we decided to build this Gurudwara”, shared Dr. Kanwaljit Singh as he stood by the podium. Forty years later this past week, he still stands by the temple, with

which he has become synonymous, with loyalty and devotion. “Uncle has been a cornerstone for our community”, said Manpreet Kaur, the emcee for the celebratory services and proceedings last Sunday, December 15 at the Sikh Center on 8819 Prairie in northwest Houston. “It was not easy being different in school”, she said, “but the Sikh Center made us feels safe and will always be home”. The event included devotional shabads and a lecture on the importance of mulmantra and adhering to the eight-fold path to a righteous life by Prof. Gurcharan Singh. Two young boys kept accurate and energetic pace on the small cymbals with the singers and the table. Monique Kaur Gill also spoke of her own personal experience at the Center. The Sikh community has grown multi-fold since then, with a cluster of Gurdwaras around the Sikh Center, including the large one being built off the Beltway, and one on the southwest side. “This was the first Gurudwara in the

whole Gulf Coast”, recalled Bobby Singh, a consulting engineer whose parents and extended family are among the ardent supporters of the Sikh Center. “From this, as the community’s needs arose, other Gurdwaras were formed”. The Sikh Center has evolved in the property it owns at the end of the street which still has a rural and open feel to it. The sanctuary is located above a langar hall and kitchen and a couple of smaller buildings house the Sunday School and other offices. On this Sunday, as on most others, it was a hubbub of activity with a large crowd listening to the kirtan and gurbanis and a steady stream of people walking down the center aisle lined with blazing red wrapped pots of poinsettias to prostate themselves before the Guru Granth Sahib, even as the chief guest Harris County Commissioner’s Court Judge Ed Emmett spoke at the podium. Bobby Singh had invited EmCONTINUED ON PG 13

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We are saddened to report the death of Adil Godiwala. Many of you have met Godiwalla at ASIE events over the last several years and some of you have gotten to know him more due to business and personal interactions. He was a well-wisher and ardent believer in the ASIE mission. Adil Minoo Godiwalla, 72, passed away in his Houston home on December 16, 2013. He was survived by his wife, Arnavaz; daughters Shara, Shanaya, Nina, and Amy; and brothers Yezdi and Kersi Godiwalla. He was born to the late Mehroo and Minoo Godiwalla in Mumbai, India. Godiwalla graduated from the Benares Hindu University, India and later received a Masters in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri at Rolla. Godiwalla retired from the City of Houston after 30+ years of service, and he most recently served as a Civil Engineering Consultant for Gunda Corporation after retirement. Funeral services took place on December 18 at Klein Funeral Home from 3:30-4:30 PM, and the viewing till 8:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Zarathushti Heritage and Cultural Center, 8787 West Airport Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77071. At this time, we offer our condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Godiwalla.

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December 20, 2013


A Tribute to a Benefactor and His Vision to Educate Young Kids

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: As twenty young kids stood on the steps of the stage of the cafetorium playing “Amazing Grace” on their musical recorders and four elder ones stood above them accompanying on their violins, the projected picture of a beaming, robust David Raj smiled down on them and the audience and eerily, it was as if he was giving his benediction to those who had come to pay him tribute. The simple two-hour program started with snacks and reception in the library and then moved to the cafetorium was held to renew emphasis on the mentoring program at Crockett Elementary School. It was organized by the woman whom Raj had chosen to carry forward the torch after he passed away on September 28, 2013, Roopa Gir, a close friend who had visited him just a few days before his death of complications due to cancer in Chennai, India. The program also featured a solo vocal performance of “All is Well with My Soul” by first grade teacher Sakeo Martinez. Raj’s cousin Gita Thomas who has been a fifth grade teacher at Crockett for the past ten years spoke of the passion that Raj had for helping others. She read a poem written by David’s friend and former IACF President, Anu Bala, in memory of Raj. Raj had been a fixture in the local community ever since he came

The math teacher Carmen Johnson with four of the eight mentors who tutor kids in the classroom. Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

iEducate President Dr. Roopa Gir spoke about the beginnings and goals of the program.

on the scene as a Director on the board of the Indo American Charity Foundation in 2009 and through its auspices, he had nurtured the organization’s nascent Education Initiative started two years ago and taken it personally to heart. He had donated considerable amounts of his personal money and energy to getting the program off the ground and sculpted his year of presidency at the IACF to focus on the kids at Crocket Elementary, featuring them onstage and as the musical entertainment at the 25 year-old non-profit’s annual fundraising gala in 2012.

friends who formed the Board of Directors of the new non-profit organization. These included Dr. Rupa Iyer (Education Chair), Subba Viswanathan (Governance Director), Ranjana Narasimhan (Co-Chair Education), Jose Villarreal (Secretary), Imtiaz Munshi (Treasurer), Dharma Rajah (Vice President Marketing), Paras

Even though he was well aware of the terminal stomach cancer that raged within him, he inaugurated the iEducate program in this exact same cafetorium (see IAN dated Aug. 30, 2013) just a scant few weeks before he left Houston, entrusting its finances and management to the hands of his brother Daniel and some close

Choudhary (Vice-President Communications), Dr. Roopa Gir, the first President and Ramesh Anand (Advisor). Many of them were at the event held last Friday, December 13 at Crockett Elementary off Taylor Street in the inner-city to pay a tribute to Raj and bring atten-

Crockett Elementary Principal Claudia Chavez remembered David Raj for his generosity and passion for educating young minds.





December 20, 2013



December 20, 2013

4th Annual Srimad Bhagavata Mahotsava to be Held at Namadwaar

HOUSTON: Global Organization for Divinity will conduct its annual grand celebration of bhakti and Bhagavata Dharma, from December 20 to 27 through a 7-day “Madhura Utsav” (sweet celebration). The Utsav will be filled with celebration of the Lord through song, dance and listening to His stories through a 7-day Srimad Bhagavatam discourse series by Sri Ramanujam ji, disciple of HH Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji. The day events will be held at Namadwaar Prayer House located at 3642 Bailey Ave, Manvel TX 77578, while the evening Bhagavatam discourse preceded by classical music and dance performances by local artists will be held at Huong Lam Buddhist Temple, 4203 CR 89, Manvel TX 77578. The utsav will begin on Dec 20 afternoon at 3 pm (at Namadwaar) with the commencement of the 7-day Srimad Bhagavatam parayana (reading from the original Sanskrit text). This will be followed by Madhura Gitam concert of HH Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji’s compositions and a discourse by Sri Ramanujam ji on Bhagavata Mahatmyam (greatness of Srimad Bhagavatam). From Dec 21, daily events through the day (at Namadwaar) include chanting Thiruppavai (6 am), complete Srimad Bhagavata Moola Parayana of 18000 slokas

in 7 days (7am-2pm), Procession of the Lord in different vahanas (10 am), Ashtapadi kirtan-Sampradaya bhajan with Sri Jayadeva’s Gita Govindam (2pm). There will also be special activities and games every day for children of all ages. The evening program (Dec 2127) will begin from 6 pm at the Buddhist Temple with the “Krishna Bhakti Samrajye” segment where various local classical music and dance artistes will offer their talent to the Lord through performances. This will be followed by the highlight event - Srimad Bhagavatam discourse (in English) by Sri Ramanujam ji. Sri Ramanujam ji, who has visited the Houston area several times before, is an excellent speaker who has absorbed the intricate essence of our scriptures directly from his Master. His insightful discourses throw beautiful, meaningful, practical light on the subtle aspects of our Sanatana Dharma. His discourses on Srimad Bhagavatam are brilliant and instill in us love for the Lord, love for the path of bhakti and love for this great Purana itself. Interested people from all cultural and religious backgrounds are welcome to participate in this unique celebration. All events are free and open to the public. Apart from the above-mentioned

A Tribute to a Benefactor and His Vision to Educate Young Kids CONTINUED FROM PAGE


Students played two songs on their recorders and violins in homage to David Raj whose photo was projected on the screen behind them.

tion to the earnest launch of the program. The incoming IACF President Ramesh Cherivirala acknowledged Raj’s passion for educating young minds and promised support. Daniel Raj and Viswanathan also spoke briefly, as did Gir in praise of David’s foresight into the crying need for mentoring kids from the elementary level. “The US is now ranked 48th in the world in Math and Science. The mentoring program that has been setup at Crockett helps young minds when they need it

the most and follows the kids as they move through grades. The results speak for themselves”, said Gir, as she shared how the school’s fifth graders had improved their scores in math and science from failing to straight A’s and lifting the school from 56% to the 72% range. Two young success stories – Blessing Andrade and Michael Franco, both former fifth graders – briefly described how the mentoring program had helped them. Blessing is now an Honor-Ro;; student and said she was shocked

daily events there will also be special events on certain days (at Namadwaar) such as Radha Kalyanam (Dec 26, 9 am), Theppotsavam boat festival (Dec 27, 10 am), Nikunjotsavam (Dec 24, 3pm), Govinda Pattabhishekam (Dec 25, 11 am) and daily Divya Nama Sankirtanam at 9:30 pm. Global Organization for Divinity (G.O.D.) is a worldwide organization that aims to promote peace, harmony and universal love amid cultural diversity. It is involved in several spiritual, cultural and social activities across the world and in several cities in the USA, including the Houston area. Established by G.O.D., the Namadwaar in Houston is the first prayer house of its kind in the United States, where the divine names are continuously chanted. It is one of about 20 Namadwaars (Sanskrit term meaning door of the Divine Name; “Nama” – [divine] name, “Dwaar” – door) across the world, and part of G.O.D.’s worldwide initiative to strive towards universal peace and harmony through individual inner transformation, a result of chanting the divine names. For further information call 281-402-6585 or email houston. Visit www. to learn more about G.O.D.

when “Mr. David donated $1,000 right away to support us”. Michael said he loved math and was getting straight 100’s now. The impact of the program was acknowledged by the Principal Claudia Chavez who spoke of the generosity and commitment of David Raj and the Education Initiative that the IACF had sponsored for the last two years. Carmen Johnson, the math teacher, brought four of the tutors to the podium to be recognized for their efforts that had turned the fifth graders around. They in turn spoke of the enthusiasm of the kids and the uniqueness of the program that provides in-class mentoring that helps the students learn and excel.





December 20, 2013

University of Houston President Dr. Renu Khator to be Honored with BAHEP’s 2014 Quasar Award

HOUSTON: Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership will honor Dr. Renu Khator, president of the University of Houston and Chancellor of the University of Houston System, with its prestigious 2014 Quasar Award for Exceptional Leadership in Economic Development presented during the organization’s 21st annual Quasar Award Banquet on Friday, Jan.17 at South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center in League City. The Quasar Award is presented each year to an outstanding individual who has contributed greatly to the economic wealth and diversity of the Bay Area Houston region. The Quasar Award will be presented to Dr. Khator in appreciation and acknowledgment of her tremendous work in guiding the University of Houston toward a Tier One status as well as her support of the University of HoustonClear Lake in transitioning to a four-year university. Dr. Khator was born in Uttar Pradesh, India, earning a bachelor’s degree at the University of Kanpur. She received her master’s degree and her Ph.D. in political science from Purdue University. A noted scholar in the field of global environmental policy, she has published numerous books and articles

Bob Mitchell, president of Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership said, “During Dr. Khator’s six-year tenure, the University of Houston has experienced record-breaking research funding, enrollment and private support. Through her impressive leadership and drive to have the university achieve a Tier One status, the University of Houston has grown to become one recognized for its educational excellence. The availability of a quality public university is instrumental in the development of our next generation of leaders. Dr. Khator’s commitment to her students and the community are defining qualities that make her very deserving of the Quasar Award.” Dr. Khator stated, “At the University of Houston System, we take tremendous pride in producing the skilled workforce, innovative entrepreneurs and accomplished leaders who play vital roles in our region’s robust economy. We also appreciate the importance of our many private and public sector partnerships, serving as a crucial research and development resource. Certainly, the beneficial impact of the University of Houston-Clear Lake on this particular area is a wonderful example of

Dr. Renu Khator

on the subject. Dr. Khator recently joined some of the world’s most respected leaders when she was named to the Indian Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council. She serves on several boards, including the American Council on Education, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the Greater Houston Partnership, the Houston Technology Center, the Texas Medical Center Policy Council, the Methodist Hospital Research B:6”Institute Board, and the Business Higher Education Forum. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

that. While I’m personally honored to join the illustrious roster of previous recipients of the Quasar Award, I would like to accept it on behalf of the UH System faculty and staff members who work so hard to help our students succeed and, in doing so, foster a positive and prosperous community.” Prior to her appointment as University of Houston System Chancellor, Dr. Khator was provost and senior vice president at the University of South Florida, capping a 22-year career at that institution. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has included her among its Outstanding Americans by Choice awardees, recognizing her achievements as a naturalized citizen. Dr. William A. Staples, president of the University of HoustonClear Lake, said, “In her dual roles of chancellor of the University of Houston System and president of the University of Houston, Dr. Khator’s “no excuses and needlemoving” leadership has enhanced student access and success within the UH System and positioned

UH as a Tier One University. She has also been very supportive of UH-Clear Lake’s transition from an upper-level to a four-year university in fall 2014. The impact of Dr. Khator’s commitment to enhancing educational opportunities in Bay Area Houston and beyond will be a major factor in advancing the economic development and quality of life of our region.” Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership is a member-driven organization that provides the leadership to stimulate regional economic development and employment in southeast Texas. Its members include approximately 265 investor companies, business professionals, local governments, and educational institutions encompassing 13 cities, Galveston and Harris counties, the Houston Airport System, and the Port of Houston Authority. For further information on Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, call 832.536.3255 or visit http://www.bayareahouston. com/.

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Dhanyawaad from all Hindi Lovers for a Year of Fulfilling Events



which she represents. She was followed by Jasmeeta Singh who delivered a beautiful and stirring kavita on the importance of Hindi on this Hindi divas day. She continued to sing a soulful Ghulam Ali ghazal. Fatehali Chatur followed to render the beautiful poem Tamasha by Ashok Chakradhar. He was totally into the spirit of this poetry and spoke gracefully on Pluralism. He was followed by Kishen Sharma, an engineer by profession but teaching Hindi since 1992 in Houston. He read his own works. He was followed by none other than our own Sangeeta Pasrija who is passionate about the Hindi cause . She delivered her favorite kavita by Kunwar Bechain. The final curtain call was by Dr. Anant Desai, also an engineer and been an avivid Bollywood music follower. He rendered different classical songs with ragdhari mean-

ings for Hindi cause in his melodious voice. All the artists and the emcee were felicitated by the IHA Executive Committee with the plaques was presented by Subash Gupta, a senior community leader who is involved in Ekal Vidyalaya and Hindu Swyamsewak Sangh. The event was sponsored by Madras Pavillion for the venue and food, Darshak Thakkar for sound and PA system, Gautam Jani for the coverage for TV Asia. Three local organizations Maheshwari Mahasabha, Indian Muslim Association of Greater Houston and Gujarati Sahitya Sarita also supported and spread the word out to their memberships. Others who worked hard on this were: Mayuresh and Hriday Bhutada; quick podium arrangements by Rajiv Bhavsar; registration and ticketing by Sanjay and Varun; and decoration and ticketing assistance by Eesha.

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December 20, 2013


Pioneering Gurudwara Celebrates Forty Years of Building a Community CONTINUED FROM PAGE


mett to speak and present awards to several honorees and spoke about the Judge’s long-abiding relationship with India. “Judge Emmett has been to Indian many times and has a son who lives there”, he said, referring to Joseph who is a devotee of the Swami Parthasarathy of the Vedanta Academy outside of Pune (see IAN dated Feb. 1, 2013). “Judge Emmett has opened the doors to his office and offered a seat at the table”, added Bobby about the inclusiveness that Emmett has forged with the Sikh community. He appreciated that Emmett juggled his schedule around in order to attend the celebrations. Emmett harkened back to his childhood in the little East Texas town of New London “where most people were Protestants with no Catholics and certainly not a Sikh. But I was fascinated by things foreign”, he said at the podium, his head covered by a white handkerchief in the tradition of entering Gurdwaras. “The Sikh community is not about a building”, he said, “It is about a people, about ancestors who built this and those to come”. His message to the congregation was one of inclusiveness, diversity and tolerance and to live in a truthful way. “I come here to celebrate a people’s work”, he added, and then read from a County proclamation marking December 15 as Sikh Center Day, handing it over to Dr. Kanwaljit Singh. Manpreet Kaur then recognized the co-founders - Dr. Sukhmander Singh; J. P. Singh; Sarwan Singh Purewal ; Jasbir

Singh Sethi; Dr. Surjit Singh Grewal; Sadhu Singh; Gurdarshan Singh Brar; Dr. H S Hayre and Dr. Kanwaljeet Singh - among the congregation who had worked hard to make the Sikh Center flourish and as they came to the podium, Emmett presented them with framed awards. Kanwaljit Singh thanked Emmett for attending and then gave a timeline on the growth of the Center and its activities, while downplaying his own role. “I’m just a guy from a little hill station in India”, he chuckled. He presented Emmett a plaque and a set of two books – a total of 1,700 pages – “outlining our struggle for independence to put in the County Library” and noted that “the annual Blood Drives since 1985 were to honor the victims of the Indian Army attack in 1988”. The Center has an impressive list of firsts along the years among its achievements – Sunday School since 1980, support for the Star of Hope, an annual Blood Drive, a Gurbani radio program, a Doctor’s Clinic, Punjabi Cultural Program, National and International Sikh programs, participation in city events, Interfaith Ministries Dialogues, support for Meals on Wheels and others. The Center draws from families all across the city and its language and religion classes have drawn praise across the country for developing several youngsters who have won first place in national competitions. Those who grew up in it, like Manpreet and Monique Kaur have taken on more responsibilities even as their own kids and the next generation of Sikh Americans continue to participate in the Center’s events.




December 20, 2013

Key NRI Community Leaders Assemble for the “BIG Ideas for a Better India” Event in Washington, DC

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HOUSTON: Overseas Volunteer for a Better India announced that it will hold ‘Big Ideas for a Better India’ conference on December 22 in Washington, D.C metro area. This event will bring together a panel of prominent leaders, decision-makers, and well renowned professionals from across the United States in a stirring conversation about ideas to bring change for a better India and further unifying these ideas into action. World renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will preside over the event as the keynote speaker. The other guest speakers include Rajiv Malhotra (philanthropist and founder of Infinity foundation), Naveen Jain (innovator and entrepreneur) and Sheela Murthy (lawyer and founder of world’s leading U.S. immigration law firm). The event will include the unveiling of the “Vote for a Better India” android app and a presentation about ‘I Vote for a Better India’ campaign launched by VBI (Volunteer for a Better India). More than 100 Indian community leaders from 25 major cities in the U.S are expected to attend this event at Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center at the University of Maryland, College Park. Representatives from lawyers and doctors asso-

ciations, students’ representatives from over 50 US universities, cultural and regional associations, and business owners associations, academicians, software professionals and fellow Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) from all walks of life are expected to attend the event that aims to bring about a positive change in India. The conference will provide a platform to discuss, and come up with practical ideas that can address some of the challenges ailing India today. Volunteer for Better India (VBI) in conjunction with Election Commission of India is driving a huge effort to create awareness of the voter registration program in light of the upcoming general elections in India in 2014. This will be discussed as well. “It’s important as NRIs that we come together and give back to our home country. India is our motherland and we must make every effort to bring meaningful changes at a time when our country needs our support,” said Naveen Jain, Inome and Moon express founder and CEO. Well-known personalities, both Indian and Indian-American have lent their support to our campaigns. These include Ramon Magsaysay awardee and social worker – Kiran Bedi, renowned venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, eminent academic & researcher

Vivek Wadwa, famed innovator Sabeer Bhatia & popular Indian actress Dia Mirza. Overseas Volunteers for a Better India (OVBI), an apolitical organization, was launched in May 2013 and is the overseas wing of the Indian organization VBI. It provides a global platform for the 23 million non-resident Indian (NRI) community worldwide; a platform to work toward a positive transformation. OVBI and its corps of volunteers are working tirelessly on a campaign to boost the voter registration, education and voter turnout for the 2014 India elections. With a target to increase the voter turnout by 100 million, the ‘I Vote for a Better India’ campaign is gearing towards one of the largest nation building activity in 2014 to impact the future of India. For further information visit:

By the immense grace of His Holiness Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji, you are invited to

SRIMAD BHAGAVATA SAPTAHA MAHOTSAVA A grand Madhura Utsav celebrating Bhagavata Dharma in the presence of Sri Ramanujam ji Dec 20th – Dec 27th

Sri Premika Varadan – Sri Madhuri Sakhi

Daily Day events @ Namadwaar

(Sri Krishna & Sri Radha)

Job Posting:

Daily Evening Program @ Huong Lam Buddhist Temple 4203 CR 89, Manvel TX 6 PM, Dec 21 - 27

KTRK-TV, the ABC Owned Television station located in Houston, TX, has an excellent career opportunity for a full time News Reporter.

Krishna Bhakti Samrajye – Classical music/dance programs by local artists ( for schedule)


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3642 Bailey Avenue, Manvel TX Thiruppavai (6am), Srimad Bhagavata Parayana (7am2pm), Vahana Processions (10 am), Sri Jayadeva Ashtapadi kirtan (2pm), Children’s activities and games

(on various days @ Namadwaar)

Radha Kalyanam - Dec 26, 9 am Theppotsavam - Dec 27, 10 am Nikunjotsavam - Dec 24, 3 pm Govinda Pattabhishekam - Dec 25, 11 am Divya Nama Sankirtan - 9:30 pm daily

Do you find this divine cause worthy of your generosity? For Prasada seva, Pushpa seva, contact us at 281-402-6585

(281) 402 6585

followed by

SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM Discourse in English

by Sri Ramanujam ji disciple of HH Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji Huong Lam Buddhist Temple directions: From Hwy 288: Take CR 101/Bailey Ave east towards Namadwaar and MTS. Past Namadwaar, turn right at the first stop sign - Cullen Blvd/CR 89/Old Chocolate Bayou. The temple will be on the left in about half a mile.



Candidates should have experience in general assignment reporting on multiple platforms, including social media and web, including Live ENG and satellite work. Applicants must be able to develop contacts, enterprise good, hard news stories, and respond well to breaking and spot news. Candidates must have outstanding writing skills and the ability to make good use of graphics and production equipment. Must be willing to work evenings and weekends. All interested applicants must apply on-line at www.disneycareers. com by uploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references. Interested applicants should also send video tape samples of your news related work to: Human Resources, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005. Please Reference Job ID: 154693BR on all materials submitted. No phone calls please, and no third parties. Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/V/D.

Lunch & Dinner Mahaprasad will be served daily

KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V.


December 20, 2013


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December 20, 2013


John Kerry Calls Shivshankar Menon to Express Regret about Devyani’s Treatment; Defends US laws

BY CHIDANAND RAJGHATTA WASHINGTON (TOI): The United States moved quickly on Wednesday to defuse the tangled diplomatic spat with India by having secretary of state John Kerry telephone India’s national security adviser Shivshankar Menon to express regret about the incident in which diplomat Devyani Khobragade was treated harshly by US law enforcement authorities. “As a father of two daughters about the same age as Devyani Khobragade, the secretary empathizes with the sensitivities we are hearing from India about the events that unfolded after Ms Khobragade’s arrest,” state department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a written statement, adding, “In his conversation with Menon, he expressed his regret, as well as his concern that we not allow this unfortunate public issue to hurt our close and vital relationship with India,” Harf added. However, the US administration made it clear that it stands by the reasons behind the arrest, and the regrets expressed was only in relation to the treatment. “The secretary understands very deeply the importance of enforcing our laws and protecting victims, and, like all officials in positions of responsibility inside the US. government, expects that laws will be followed by everyone here in our country. It is also particularly important to secretary Kerry that foreign diplomats serving in the United States are accorded respect and dignity just as we expect our own diplomats should receive overseas, “ the statement said. Meanwhile, the beleaguered Indian foreign service official was transferred on Wednesday to India’s UN mission in New York to allow her full diplomatic immunity as both New Delhi   and Washington moved to cover legal bases and arrive at a creative solution in a full   blown spat that with... has become incomfort   creasingly messy and complicated. The move is aimed at  giving the     mid-level official, who was at  

sulted in harsh treatment of the Indian diplomat is something that might emerge in the coming days. The state department has promised to investigate how and why such methods were used on a diplomat who was so obviously not in that category. But the US marshals service, which subjected the diplomat to the treatment, stood its ground, suggesting that insofar as it was concerned, once the state department’s Diplomatic Security Service signed off on the arrestee as having no immunity, “standard procedure” kicked in. In other words, it is not to be blamed for the fiasco; it was just doing its job by the book. The question now arises as to why role did the state department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security —


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tached to the Indian consulate in the US two days before the state New York and enjoyed limited im- department’s Bureau of munity therein, complete protec- matic Security and the justice tion from prosecution. However, department acted in concert to for that to happen, Khobragade swoop down and arrest Devyani will have to be issued new cre- Khobragade on visa fraud charges. dentials by the United Nations, Reports from Delhi also spoke a process where the US state of Sangeeta’s in-laws working ON AM 1320 Geetanjali Radio department has a nominal role. for the American embassy in If Washington is bloody-minded New Delhi, which would sugSat & Sun 2-6 PM and insistent on prosecuting Kho- gest that contacts within the US For your business ads bragade for her alleged infrac- diplomatic community would tions, it could put a spanner in the have come into play in her batTel:281-909-0825 - 713-545-4749 works. However, New Delhi is tle against the Indian diplomat. Cell:832-878-4338 hoping that this “creative opening” In what some Indian officials that has been conceived to protect view as a tight, narrow, and meanthe diplomat will be honored by spirited interpretation of US miniWashington so that she is spared mum wage laws and consular further travails in an incident aris- immunity, the diplomat was subing from episodic and spotty US jected to indignities such as cavity implementation of its laws and searches that are sanctioned by US India’s dodgy acceptance of it. courts and meant primarily for drug Earlier, Indian anger mounted smugglers and common criminals, on Wednesday when it transpiredExplore after being slapped with of Explore the world the incharges world comfort in comfort with... with... that Washington literally sprang visa fraud and misrepresentation. HOLESALERS the husband and two children of What roleONSOLIDATORS  FOR  ALL  MAJOR   the US embassy in   HOLESALERS   ONSOLIDATORS  FOR  ALL  MAJOR   the housekeeper Sangeeta Rich- Delhi played in protecting a famard from New Delhi by giving ily member of its Indian staff, AIRLINES and whether   them expedited visas to travel to the Explore world in comfort with... it consequently re-



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Stay tuned every Sunday,

Amid the escalting row with US, India has moved Devyani Khobragade out from the consulate in New York to its permanent mission at the UN on December 18.

which also takes care of US security interests at its missions in India — play in initiating this extreme step, who signed off on it, and why there was no effort to defuse the situation in Washington DC. As reported on Tuesday, US officials told ToI that the state department alerted the Indian embassy in writing in September to the imminent action against the diplomat on the basis of the housekeeper’s complaint. However, Indian officials countered that it was part of an ongoing correspondence on resolving the matter in which the legal systems of both countries had kicked in. Both sides are now reviewing the timeline and sequence of events to determine where the screw-up occurred and how to get around it.


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Action Against Outrage

There’s no denying the manner of arrest of India’s deputy consul general in New York Devyani Khobragade has been downright humiliating. Reportedly, Devyani - accused of lying on a visa application for her maid - was handcuffed, strip-searched, subjected to a DNA swab and treated like a common criminal before being released on bail. Such harsh treatment is in clear violation of the courtesies extended to a consular official. It also flouts Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, according to which consular officials are not liable to arrest except in cases of grave crime. Foreign secretary Sujatha Singh took the first step, summoning US ambassador Nancy Powell to lodge a strong protest. By Monday, national security advisor Shivshankar Menon described the action as “barbaric” as he and LS Speaker Meira Kumar refused to meet a group of US lawmakers. On Tuesday, the anger spread, Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi and Sushilkumar Shinde backing out of meetings. It was the strongest Indian diplomatic action against the US in years. In 1971, when Washington sent a carrier group to the Bay of Bengal during the Bangladesh war, India was hurt. Since then, Indo-US ties have never been dealt such a blow. Even when former president APJ Abdul Kalam was subjected to a patdown in the US, India barely protested. Sujatha Singh led the government action — partly because she is a woman and empathized with the diplo mat’s humiliation, and second she felt personally insulted because she was in the US meeting state department offi cials when they cleared action against Khobragade without giving her a heads up. There are double standards at play here, as US authorities would not have flouted protocol similarly if the accused had been Chinese or British. For that matter, what would US reaction have been if their diplomats had been subjected to similar treatment abroad for alleged minor transgressions of local legislation? It’s welcome that Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi, Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde and NSA Shivshankar Menon have refused to meet a US Congressional delegation to register their protest. New Delhi must mount a calibrated and proportionate response, designed to convey its outrage and extract an apology from the US for the treatment meted out to an Indian consular official. It must, however, guard against going overboard - such as withdrawing security to US diplomats in India or arresting those among them who happen to be homosexuals (as urged by Yashwant Sinha). The matter shouldn’t escalate into an all-out political row between the two countries who enjoy an important economic and strategic relationship. A strong issue-based response should suffice in expressing New Delhi’s displeasure. Times of India


AAP: ‘None of the Above’ Party BY MINI KAPOOR The interesting question is: how will a party born of a protest movement that claimed to be free of party politics and politicians now transact power? The story went that an enterprising NRI had come up with a winning strategy to launch a new beverage. They’d call it “kuchh nahi”, after the desi habit of mock-declining the host’s offer of a drink with those words, to check how genuine the show of hospitality was. For a while a joke, similarly, went that someone should launch a political party called “none of the above”. It would tap into the Indian voter’s overt, though incredibly shallow and affected, distaste for the political class. We don’t want to vote for any of them, but of course we do want to. We are like that only. This election, the Supreme Court bestowed the NOTA option on our electronic voting machines, but in Delhi, a political party had already given the sentiment both form and organisation. The Aam Aadmi Party had already nominated itself as the representative of the popular distaste for politics as usual. Now, when the party has shaken up the capital and is seeing in the city’s diversity and spotlight an opportunity to offer itself as urban India’s voice, how will it internalise the result? Now, when its spectacular success is in itself an outright repudiation of its one-time fellow traveller Anna Hazare’s contention that votes are settled not with contesting visions, but with a sari, a bottle of booze and a few rupees, how will it choose to house itself in India’s political spectrum? Or to use that beverage analogy: if that drink that calls itself “nothing” is nonetheless a drink, if only by another name, how political will this party admit to being, even as its USP is to be untouched by politics as we know it? Whatever your politics may be, the arrival of a new political party is an absolutely electrifying moment. In and of itself, it is an achievement that does not repeat too often anywhere, not even in an electoral democracy as diverse

What is of tremendous interest right now is how a party born of a street protest movement that claimed to be free of party politics and politicians will now transact power? as India’s, and certainly not with such a thumping victory margin on debut. It is a feat for which its personnel must be congratulated — heartily so. But it is not just that the newcomer has insinuated itself in an existing space, it can also change it. The manner of the AAP’s arrival is a feat that validates and renews the possibilities of our shared democratic space. It is, however, difficult to not be stumped by the bewilderment that’s followed from the awe created by the AAP’s arrival as a giant-feller. Some analysts are freely fantasising about the AAP or a constellation of AAP-like parties harvesting the 2014 vote in urban centres countrywide—so older political parties had better consider themselves to be on notice. Others say no, it is just Delhi, the perfect storm that obtained in the capital cannot be found elsewhere, that voters outside India’s most pampered city are less trusting of new entrants, that barriers to entry in the electoral space are far more formidable in the states—so the AAP had better consider itself to be simply another of the regional

parties deepening federalism in the country and set its sights no farther than the National Capital Region. A black swan event, or just another remarkable day in Indian democratic life? A bit of both maybe? Is it, in any case, a question we need, or can, settle so soon? Let the next six months settle that. What is of tremendous interest right now is how a party born of a street protest movement that claimed to be free of party politics and politicians will now transact power. Having critiqued existing political parties for their clubbiness and opaque, backroom decisionmaking, how will it occupy space amongst them and engage with them. Having, in an earlier avatar, chased out politicians from its protests, how lightly will its members wear their politician status now? The “pehle aap” impasse in government formation in Delhi may or may not be finally broken, but having come thus far, can the AAP’s ascent open up our debate on governance and lawmaking? As the new kid on the block, and currently the object of the big players’ scrutiny, can the new party put some questions and reform suggestions out there? In government or in opposition, does it have a model for the legislative House it would like to inhabit? A new party comes without the baggage of precedent or a track record of expedient compromise. It is more likely to be unconstrained by entrenched interest groups and free of the inertia that inhibits a break from older, settled ways. Can the AAP, in other words, use this extraordinary moment to throw its voice farther than its immediate concerns and the limitations of Delhi’s peculiar powersharing set-up? It should be an opportunity too good to miss. It does not come too often in the life of a political party. But to grab the possibilities of the moment, the AAP will have to recognise that its voters have made a deeply political choice in opting for its candidates in these elections, and that their mandate is not for politics-lite. Indian Express


HOUSTON: MALAY VYAS CHICAGO: NAND KAPOOR, INDIA: RAJ KANWAR ®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:



December 20, 2013

Move to Curb Loans to Students Studying Medicine Abroad

Studying medicine abroad

BY NAND KAPOOR CHICAGO: Medical students in this country studying aboard, many of Indian origin, are unnerved at the prospects of the US government seeking to limit their accessibility to the students loan. The U.S. Senator Dick Durbin has announced plans to introduce a bill that would change federal loan rules for foreign medical schools. Under the bill, U.S. students at foreign medical schools would only be eligible to participate in the federal loan program if at least 60 percent of the student body at their schools is made up of non-U.S. citizens, and secondly, the school maintains a 75 percent pass rate on the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination. The students opt to go abroad for a variety of reasons but mainly because of the fact that medical slots at the US universities are relatively limited and that a good number of students find hard to get admission. Universities abroad offer a great opportunity to them to fulfill their dream without compromising the quality of education. A good number of these schools offering this option are located in Caribbean countries, Europe and even in India. They have tuned themselves to meet the educational standard set here for the local universities. Besides, many have established links with the hospitals here for rotations and practical training. The students graduating from these universities have to appear for the USMLE, the board certifying exam that US university students are also expected

Job Posting:

to pass before getting residency in US hospitals. And admittedly many have done this successfully The standard for both the students who study here or those have their education abroad are the same and hence, this goes a long way assuring that those who had their medical degree aboard would turn out to be “inferior” in any way to the students of universities in this country, says Avi Verma, President of North shore Medical Education and an avid supporter of students going aboard for medical studies. Students from North America and Europe choose to study medicine at medical schools in Australia, Caribbean, Ireland ,Eastern Europe and India. Some schools in countries like the Czech Republic and Australia also allow students to enter a 4 year program without a completed undergraduate degree (as several medical schools in Canada and do), allowing some students to finish their medical training earlier than they would have had they waited to apply in their home country. Avi Verma says that most of the students who had their education in Caribbean countries get residency in US and Canada, and ultimately become doctors. . The success rate is about 80 to 85% he said. “ They become doctors and go higher up in ladders too. So why discriminate against them or potential candidates aspiring to be doctors, “ he quipped. The proposed bill by Senator Durbin will put the US students studying medicine abroad would be at great disadvantage

vis- a- vis the US students. These students, says Verma, are already at great financial and other disadvantage that is associated with studying in a different country with different environment. Senator Durbin should rather be pushing for increasing the medical slots in the US Universities so that many students desirous of getting medical education would not face difficulties getting admission here, says a student pursuing education in a Caribbean country.. In just over a decade the United States will need 130,000 more doctors than medical schools are producing, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. A doctor shortage looms large on the horizon and this will drive up wait times, shorten office visits and make it harder for Americans to access the care they need. Shortage forecasters point to two major factors. One is an aging population. The proportion of Americans who are 65 and older will increase to 19 percent in 2030 from 12.9 percent today, according to federal projections. Second, Obamacare will insure 30 million more Americans by the end of the decade, dramatically increasing demand for physicians. Extrapolating forward from today’s 2.4 physicians per 1,000 Americans would mean we will need at least 90,000 more physicians by 2020, or so the reasoning goes. Many do feel that there is a fat chance that this bill to gain wide support in the Senate or House of Representatives, for several reasons. The enactment of such a bill would endanger the nation’s ability to meet its need for physicians, threaten the professional career goals of qualified students, and negatively impact the health and well-being of thousands of Americans just as they enter the health care system via the Affordable Care Act.



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KTRK-TV, the ABC/Disney owned station located in Houston, TX has an immediate opening for a Full Time Programming Department Editor/ Photographer who can do it all. (Edit, shoot, produce) Responsibilities will include working on a variety of innovative station programming and sales/marketing projects both long and short form, including spot production. Qualified candidates must be detail-oriented with a highly creative knack for compelling storytelling through sound and pictures. Minimum of 3 years broadcast television experience required. Must have a valid driver’s license and be flexible to working any shift assigned. All interested candidates should send a video sample of your best work to be considered. Candidates must apply on-line at by uploading a resume file. Please Reference Job ID: 155744BR on all materials submitted. Send non-returnable DVD or VHS resume tape to the attention of Human Resources, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet; Houston, TX 77005 and include the job reference ID. No phone calls please. Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/V/D. KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2013 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

20 December 20, 2013



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Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Sukhi Urad ki Dal (Dry Urad Lentils)

Lentils are to Indians what meat is to many Americans. It is a staple for most people in Indian – both vegetarian and non-vegetarian and the source of most of their protein and in fact, a meal is often not considered complete without a lentil dish. Whereas soya beans have about 43 gm of protein, 21 gm of carbohydrates and almost 20gm of fat, lentils usually range between 20 and 25 gm of protein, but 50 to 60 gm of carbohydrates and only 1 to 1.5 gm of fat. Some lentils like urad and moong are quite high in calcium. All dals are also rich in B vitamins thiamine and folic acid as well as minerals like iron and zinc. Dals come in a rainbow of colors and tastes. There is the green moong dal; the yellow pea like channa, toor (also called arar dal) and dhuli (skinless) moong; the black cylindrical urad (known in Punjabi as mahn); the red flat masoor; the brown round maut. Punjabis usually stick to the whole moongi, whole mahn or split mahn and channa (also called chole ki dal). There are about 50 varieties of dals (also called pulses) in the Indian Sub-continent. According to Punjabi tradition, some dals like masoor are eaten only in the cold months as they are considered warm. Others, like the dhuli (skinned) urad are ground into a powder and deep fried to make bhallas and South Indian vaddas, The channa dal is ground into besan flour which is used all over India as a batter to coat vegetables, paneer and even bread and then fried to make a moist but crispy snack eaten with chutney. Most Punjabis eat their dals in a thick stew with plenty of spices like adrak (ginger), lasan (garlic) and hing (astafoetida powder) which has to be sparingly due to its strong fetid smell and flavor but is an Aryuvedic medicine that is a good digestive and reduces gas. Other preparations are to make dry dal dishes, like this one, which can be eaten as a snack or with roti. Ingredients: • 1 cup urad dal • 4 cups pani (water) • 1 tsp namak (salt)

• • • • • •

1 tsp haldi (turmeric) 2 tbsp tael (vegetable or olive oil) Pinch of hing (astafoetida) 1 medium adrak (ginger) – peeled and chopped 1 medium piyazz (onion) – peeled and chopped Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper), hare dhania patta (shredded green coriander leaves)

Directions: 1. Wash the dal and let it drip. Place it in a saucepan with the water, salt and turmeric and let it come to a boil for 5 minutes over medium high heat. 2. Drain the water out in a strainer and let the dal sit for 5 minutes. 3. In a kadai (wok) or large saucepan, heat the oil then add the hing, ginger and onion and brown slightly.

5. Add the other spices to taste and serve with roti and yogurt. Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her mid-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes.

Mrs. Malhotra would like to give free knitting classes to those who are interested. She has been an avid knitter all her life and has won praises for many of her sweaters, scarfs and other items.

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December 20, 2013

Hrithik-Sussanne Split

Movie Review : Jackpot

BY REAGAN GAVIN RASQUINHA Story: Three con artists have their eyes set on some fast money. However, each of them are secretly trying to con the other as well. Who will outwit whom and get away with the loot? Review: Goa forms the back-

drop for this whogets-themoolah caper. Francis (Joshi) packs in the muscle and has a can of beer always close at hand. He is also streets m a r t enough to impress Maya (Leone), the oomphy voice of reason in the movie. Boss Man (Naseeruddin) is a veteran raver whose clothes are as colourful as his principles and punchlines. Slow in speech but quick to draw a six-shooter, he owns the Jackpot casino. Boss, Francis and Maya hatch a plan to steal crores of cash. And while the deed itself is executed decently enough, the subsequent sub-plots and implications of in-


trigue amongst the schemers is laid on with the predictability and subtlety of a bull in a china shop. Completely in character, Boss looks and sounds like a parody of a villain. While it’s clearly understood that he is the owner of a floating casino, his lines flog every possible gambling pun to death. After a point, you can almost predict what the next one-liner will be. Francis and his other musclebound cronies often get into squabbles whenever some suspicion of duplicity arises amongst them. And those expecting anything even close to a Sunny Leone steam-fest will be disappointed. In fact, she raps the knuckles of the local lads, scolding them if they dare lay their gaze on her bursting-at-the-buttons bosom. “My eyes are up here, not down there!” she reminds one local lad. She is also given lines like “Sarkar aur underworld mein kya farak hai?” Similarly, Francis, who later in the movie reminds her that “Hum log artist hai - con artist!” and Boss, who reasons out that in his line of work, “Risky is like whisky”. Makarand Deshpande’s kooky cop character is genuinely funny, but corny lines aside, one of Jackpot’s few redeeming factors here is that it moves along quickly. -Timesofindia

Arjun Rampal Hurt by Reports of Involvement

BY SUNITRA PACHECO MUMBAI: Bollywood superstar Hrithik Roshan shocked fans when he publicly announced that he and wife Sussanne have decided to end their 17-year-relationship. Though the couple have officially announced their separation, rumours of their marriage being on the rocks have been doing the rounds for a few months now. Some even suggested that the cause of the split may have been Sussanne’s increased closeness to actor Arjun Rampal. Hrithik and Sussanne Roshan have been known to be close friends with Arjun and his wife Mehr. However, Arjun Rampal issued a statement denying any involvement in the separation. “It is very sad when friends close

to you take a decision to separate. These are the hardest times for them and we must be sensitive towards this decision, rather than creating speculation and rumours. I read in the news, about the same time as you all, about my involvement in this marriage. It saddens me deeply that rumours become inevitable during celebrities going through such times. Mehr and I wish them only peace and love through these times, and support them as friends should, and we wish them and their families well, always.” Sussanne Roshan also issued a statement a few days earlier, saying that their main concern was to protect and take care of their two children, Hrehaan and Hridhaan. -Indianexpress

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22 December 20, 2013


Karan Bilimoria Pays Rich Tributes to Mandela in House of Lords BY RAJ KANWAR IAN INDIA CORRESPONDENT LORD Karan Bilimoria was the only Indian among his fellow peers who was asked in Britain’s House of Lords earlier this week to pay tributes to Nelson Mandela. This honour was indicative of the tremendous respect that Mandela enjoyed not only in the UK but also within both the Houses of the British Parliament. Lord Bilimoria was the only peer who drew comparison between Nelson Mandela and Gandhi. He referred to his own Indian lineage and also specifically mentioned about his connection with South Africa through his wife Heather. Now in his own words, “I was born and brought up in India, and I met my South African wife, Heather, a year after Nelson Mandela was freed from 27 years of incarceration. We were married thereafter in the UK, in South Africa and in India, a few months before he became the President. The UK and India have always been my home – and then South Africa became one as well over the past two decades. When 21 years ago I first visited the Free State, where my wife’s family Farm is – I was told that as an Indian only a year or two before, if I was travelling through the Free State on my way from Johannesburg to Durban and my car broke down en route, I would have had to report to the police and then spend the night in gaol! How things have now changed thanks to this great man – and thanks also to President F.W. De Klerk who I have the privilege of knowing.”

Karan Bilimoria

Bilimoria said both Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi were generally talked about in India with the same degree of reverence. Mandela was himself the living embodiment of the expression ‘Ubuntu’ that roughly translated into ‘human kindness’ while Mahatma meant a great soul. For Mandela, ‘Ubuntu’ did not mean that people should not enrich themselves, but the question, more importantly, was ‘were they going to do so to enrich themselves in order to enable the community around them to improve’?. For Mandela, ‘Ubuntu’ was all about human nature, about humility, about human kindness and about community. “Mandela’s lack of bitterness, his ability to forgive and his human kindness knew no bounds,” Bilimoria added. Mandela and Gandhi were alike in many ways Quoting Mandela again, Lord Bilimoria added, “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” “Mandela was a great admirer of Gandhi and often spoke about him. He had once said of Gandhi that India was his country of birth and South Africa his country of adoption. Thus he was both an Indian and a South African citizen,” said Bilimoria. Once Mandela compared Gandhi’s and his own life and said that they both suffered colonial oppression and again they both mobilized their respective peoples against the governments that had violated their freedoms. Bilimoria quoted Mandela as hav-

ing said that ‘Gandhi was no ordinary leader’. He then added that Gandhi too would have returned the compliment by describing ‘Mandela as no ordinary leader’. “Is it not remarkable that both men had their difficulties with the two great British Prime Ministers of the past century; Gandhi with Churchill and Mandela with Margaret Thatcher. Nelson Mandela was without doubt, alongside Gandhi, one of the two greatest individuals of the past century.” Further, like Gandhi Nelson Mandela not only just changed and inspired his own country but he inspired the world. And what is more, he did not do that just for his generation or the generations beyond but he did it for the rest of the world and that too for eternity.” Lord Bilimoria recalled that Mandela had often recited the famous poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley to his fellow prison inmates that conveyed, “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.” Lastly, Indian peer paraphrased his favourite ‘saying’ of Gandhi and said that it applied more to Mandela than anyone else he could have imagined. ‘Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits form your character, and your character determines your destiny.’ Raj Kanwar is a Dehra Dunbased author and freelance journalist.

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Skills Improve, but India’s Job Outlook Looks Bleak

The study found that one in three joining the labour force is employable—an improvement in a country where companies including IT services providers have for long complained that new graduates lack necessary job skills. Photo: Mint

BY PRASHANT K. NANDA NEW DELHI: India’s employment outlook next year remains bleak, although the skill levels have improved among new entrants to the job market, according to the findings of a new survey. Only a slight increase of about 1.4% in overall hiring numbers was predicted by the India Skills Report 2014 compiled by PeopleStrong, a human resource company, and skill assessment firm Wheebox that conducted the survey in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The report said the outlook for jobs is far from bullish in the year ahead. While sectors such as engineering, hospitality and travel expect their hiring to rise, those like banking, financial services and insurance, information technology (IT) and IT-enabled

services, and manufacturing are not expecting a major increase. That’s bad news for new entrants to the job market in an economy that’s struggling for recovery from its weakest growth in 10 years. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth fell to 5% in the fiscal year ended 31 March, from 6.7% the previous year, and is expected by economists and multilateral organizations to weaken further in the current fiscal. “At sub-5% GDP growth, what does one expect,” said Pankaj Bansal, chief executive officer (CEO) and cofounder of PeopleStrong. “If you talk to the CEOs across sectors about their next year’s plan, the first thing they talk about is cost cutting. When the focus is on cost cutting, you will see optimization of resources than new job

creation,” he added. “The government needs to put in place enough reforms to create that environment (of more investment and job creation). When expansion plans are stuck, you don’t add jobs.” Many companies have put investment plans on hold and are seeking to cut costs because of slowing demand, higher borrowing costs and delayed government approvals for projects. Sameer Khanna, head of human resource at telecom firm Ericsson India, said that in the coming months, the company expects its hiring of freshers to be “subdued if not zero”, but lateral hiring will continue. “Once the telecom sector improves, the job situation will improve. Then the number of fresh hires will increase,” Khanna said. The survey also found that

the job trend is shifting, with many companies preferring to hire more vocationally trained and management graduates than engineering degree or diploma holders. “Even the IT and software industry plans to hire more of management graduates than other domains,” said the survey. Ketan Kapoor, CEO of Mettl, a skills assessment company, said what industries are looking these days are “hands-on people”. More than one million people from professional colleges join the labour force every year in a country that turns out more than four million graduates annually, including more than 600,000 engineering graduates. The study found that one in three joining the labour force is employable—an improvement in a country where companies including IT services providers have for long complained that new graduates lack necessary job skills. A previous study conducted by the IT industry lobby group Nasscom and considered the benchmark on the skill levels in the economy had found that only one in four joining the labour force was employable. Though the overall job readiness among Indian job market entrants was pegged at 34%, the sectors with people who were most job ready were pharmaceuticals (54%) and engineering (51%), the survey said. Those possessing a degree or diploma from industrial training institutes, and Master’s degrees in computer applications and management graduates were next in the sequence, with an employable percentage of 46%, 43% and 41%, respectively, the report added. The report was based on a survey of some 1,800 educational campuses and 100 companies across 10 industry sectors including manufac-

turing, automobiles and telecom. The skill levels were gauged through an assessment test in which 100,000 people took part, said Nirmal Singh, CEO of Wheebox. “The condition of pools for rest of the domains (like) arts, commerce, and polytechnics was grave, as in these domains, not even one/ third of test takers could cross the benchmark levels,” the report said. Gender wise, the female skill pool performed better than the male, with an employability percentage of 42% compared with 33%. The study found that a majority of the “employable pool” comes from Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Odisha and West Bengal. “The information of about twothirds of our skill pool not being fit for employment is not a great situation for a country where some 12 million people (including graduates and new entrants into the unorganized job market) enter the labour market every year. But this should not surprise, knowing that companies have been complaining about the gap,” said PeopleStrong’s Bansal. S. Ramadorai, adviser to the Prime Minister on skills development, said it was essential to match skills with jobs and promote “job-led growth” in a country with more than 600 million people in the working-age group. “We need to focus efforts on things that generate employment such as cultivating entrepreneurs and promoting SMEs (small and medium enterprises),” Ramadorai said. “Whether it is services or manufacturing sector, our mantra should be ‘more with more for more’,” he said. “By this I mean generate more output with more people.”



24 December 20, 2013 Out-of-practice India Against Stiff Odds in S. Africa BY FIRDOSE MOONDA Match facts December 18-22, 2013, Johannesburg Start time 1030 local (0830GMT) Big picture After months of squabbling between the boards, during which the itinerary was rejigged and clipped, the Test series between the first and second ranked teams is finally here. It is not of the ideal length - with only two matches - and it is not at the ideal venues - Cape Town doesn’t have a match - but it is happening and hopes are for a hard-fought tussle. The last time these two teams met in South Africa, in 201011, India were No. 1 under Gary Kirsten, and played their best series away from home in the last three years. Since then their away record is abysmal, with 0-4 whitewashes in England and Australia, and their high ranking is a result of strong performances in India. The conditions in South Africa will be India’s biggest challenge. Their new batting line-up will be desperate to prove their ability on fast and bouncy pitches against a bowling attack that is regarded the best in the world. They are, however, going into the Test series cold, having had no long-form match practice in South Africa because their solitary practice game was washed out. If they don’t hit the ground running, the series could be lost quickly. For South Africa, it is a rich end to a year largely devoid of Test cricket. They have played only seven matches and had a sevenmonth gap between their 201213 home season and a tour of the UAE. They have lost only one of those games. Last summer, South Africa won all five Tests at home, and with a lean schedule again next year, they will want a similar result to extend their lead at the top of the rankings. In the spotlight The series against Pakistan in the UAE this year was Jacques Kallis’ poorest since his debut in 1995. He failed to get into double figures and did not take a wicket. Kallis’ last century was in Brisbane

Ishant Sharma took 4 for 40, South Africa v India, 3rd ODI, Centurion. Indian bowlers need to bowl well during the tests.

in November 2012, and though he is not under pressure to retain his place, he will want to perform. Apart from scoring runs, Kallis will have an important role to play with the ball on a pitch that should have some assistance for the fast bowlers. There are few bigger mantles in cricket to take on than being Sachin Tendulkar’s successor at No. 4 in India’s batting order, and that responsibility belongs to Virat Kohli. South Africa’s bowlers have identified him as one of the most dangerous batsmen in India’s line-up and he is also their most experienced, in terms of Test caps, in the top six. Kohli has had tremendous success in limited-overs matches this year and the time has come for him to have a similar impact in the longer format. Team news South Africa announced their XI on the eve of the match and

there were no surprises. They picked three specialist quicks and Imran Tahir as the spinner ahead of Robin Peterson. Hashim Amla returned after missing the Dubai Test on paternity leave in place of Dean Elgar, while AB de Villiers will keep wicket and bat at No.5. South Africa: 1 Graeme Smith (capt) 2 Alviro Petersen, 3 Hashim Amla 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers (wk), 6 Faf du Plessis, 7 JP Duminy 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Imran Tahir This is India’s first Test since Tendulkar retired and their line-up has a vastly inexperienced look. Kohli is likely to move up the order to No. 4, making space for Ajinkya Rahane at No. 6. They will probably opt for three quicks too, with Ishant Sharma preferred over Bhuvneshwar Kumar because of his pace. India: (likely) 1 M Vijay, 2

Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Ajinkya Rahane, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 R Ashwin, 9 Ishant Sharma, 10 Zaheer Khan, 11 Mohammed Shami Pitch and conditions The Wanderers groundsman has promised a typical Johannesburg surface, which will facilitate bounce and carry but also have plenty of runs. Graeme Smith was happy with what he saw the day before the Test. “There’s moisture in this wicket and cracks are looking good,” he said. The persistent rain that fell over the Highveld throughout last week has mostly dried up but thundershowers are expected every day of the game. Stats and trivia The last time South Africa lost a Test at home was in December 2011, against Sri Lanka. They have won all six Tests since. There has not been a drawn Test in Johannesburg since December 2000, when the New Zealand South Africa Test was ruined by rain. The last 12 matches at the Wanderers have had results. Vernon Philander is five wickets away from 100 Test wickets. If he gets there at the Wanderers, he will be the joint sixth fastest bowler to do so. For India, Zaheer Khan is five away from 300 wickets. MS Dhoni is the only member of the India’s top seven to have played more than 20 Tests. The Johannesburg Test will be his 50th as captain. Quotes “Jo’burg people are very vocal and intense. The Bullring is a place we enjoy playing at. At the Wanderers, if you can post decent totals you give yourself the best chance of winning the game.” Though India have not lost any of their three Tests at Wanderers, Graeme Smith believes the home advantage will count for something “One of the most crucial things will be to bowl well. It will be very important to hit the right areas and try to hit the top of off stump.” India captain MS Dhoni Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent.


SL Wins to Stay No. 1 DUBAI -- Sri Lanka 211 for 3 (Perera 84, Dilshan 48, Sangakkara 44*) beat Pakistan 187 (Sharjeel 50, Senanayake 3-27) by 24 runs Passive on Wednesday, punishing on Friday - Sri Lanka’s top order were fearsome in their defence of the top Twenty20 team ranking, as they slammed 211 for 3 to set up a 24-run, series-levelling win. The total was the highest ever against Pakistan, and was held together by Kusal Perera’s 59-ball 84, which began in a breakneck 100-run stand with Tillakaratne Dilshan, and finished in a blazing 78-run partnership with Kumar Sangakkara in the late overs. Sri Lanka’s reticence in the first match had allowed Pakistan’s bowlers to strike a comfortable rhythm, but this time, their intent to define the action was unmistakable from the outset. Pakistan played two inexperienced seam bowlers in their attack once more, but Sri Lanka’s openers shredded had Bilawal Bhatti’s confidence and pummelled Usman Khan by the end of the Powerplay. A six and a four over point off Perera’s swift blade heralded the onslaught, before Tillakaratne Dilshan joined the melee with a scoop over fine leg, off his fourth ball. There was rarely a second’s respite for Pakistan after that. Perera and Dilshan were severe when the bowlers strayed, but many Pakistan frailties were also of the batsmen’s own making.

Tillakaratne Dilshan flicks the ball off his legs, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd T20, Dubai.


December 20, 2013

V-Day with a Difference

With high hopes for healing the wounds inflicted on the nation 42 years ago, people in their thousands flooded the city streets to celebrate the Victory Day yesterday, four days after convicted war criminal Abdul Quader Mollah walked the gallows. Overcoming the fear of political violence, people from all walks of life carrying the national flag came out of their homes, calling for the execution of all verdicts against the 1971 war criminals. The day came as a welcome relief from non-stop blockades and hartals that have caused immense sufferings to people over the last two months. On this day in 1971, Bangladesh defeated the Pakistan occupation forces in a nine-month war and emerged as a free, independent and sovereign country. Bangladesh yesterday made attempts to set two world records by forming the largest human national flag and organising the biggest gathering of people singing the national anthem in chorus. In a magnificent display of unfaltering love for the country, a total of 27,117 participants raised red and green placards above their heads to form the world’s largest human flag at the National Parade Ground, said Sayed Talat Kamal, vice president (communications and media relations) of Robi. The telecommunication company organised the event in partnership with the Bangladesh Army. With placards of four square feet each, the human flag covered an

area of about 108,468 square feet. The current world record is held by Pakistan. The record was set in October last year with the participation of 24,200 people. The Sector Commanders Forum, 2013 Bijoy Udjapon Committee and Gonojagoron Mancha attempted to set a world record by gathering an estimated three lakh people at Suhrawardy Udyan to sing the national anthem together. They started singing the national anthem in chorus at 4:31pm, commemorating the exact time when Pakistani General Niazi surrendered to Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora 42 years ago. “I came from outside Dhaka to celebrate,” said Rizvi, a kindergartener, who travelled to the parade ground from Narayanganj with her uncle. Rukhsana, a third grader born of a British mother and a Bangalee father, came there all the way from England to take part in the celebration. “I brought her to the country to celebrate, as justice has finally prevailed,” said her father. Different political parties, sociocultural organisations and educational institutions held various programmes to celebrate the day. In the capital, the day was heralded with 31 gun salutes at dawn. However, no parade was held this year as law enforcers remain occupied with additional duties ahead of the national election, reports UNB. President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition Khale-

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da Zia placed wreaths at the national memorial at Savar early in the morning to pay homage to the martyred freedom fighters. People from all walks of life thronged the memorial to pay respects to the fallen heroes of the nation. Bangla Academy organised a discussion and cultural programme at the academy to mark the day. Speaking at the discussion, eminent historian Prof Muntassir Mamoon said the mass killers of 1971 were now reengaged in a conspiracy to carry out mass killings. He stressed the need for including the history of Liberation War in the curriculum at every level. Professor emeritus Anisuzzaman said many attempts had been made to make the war crimes trial controversial. But those were not successful as the trial was being conducted maintaining all legal procedures. Once the war crimes trial was completed, it would pave the way for running the country in the spirit of the Liberation War, he said. Bangla Academy Director General Shamsuzzaman Khan made the welcome address. The national flag was hoisted atop all government and private buildings. Roads and medians were decorated with flags and festoons all over the city. Special diets were served in jails, hospitals, orphanages and vagrant homes across the country. Awami League leaders and workers placed wreaths at the national memorial, and also brought out a procession from the Institution of Engineers, which ended at Dhanmondi. The main opposition BNP also held various programmes to celebrate the day. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia along with her party leaders and activists placed wreaths at the grave of party’s founder Ziaur Rahman at Sher-eBangla Nagar in the morning.


Bilawal Invites Sharif, Imran to Sindh Festival

Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressing a function at Mohatta Palace on Sunday as sister Bakhtawar looks on. — Photo by White Star.

BY SAHER BALOCH KARACHI: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari invited on Sunday all political rivals, including the prime minister, to an “apolitical” Sindh Festival to be held in February. “I invite the prime minister, his daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan, among others, to participate in our Sindh Festival. All Pakistanis are invited,” he said at an event while unveiling plans for the festival. Held at the Mohatta Palace in Clifton, the colourful event was attended by national and international dignitaries and PPP leaders. Bilawal hosted the event along with his sister Bakhtawar. On the occasion, he said that for the first time in years Karachi would be hosting Basant, and that too on the beach, and spoke about how it was banned by the provincial government in Punjab. “I have realised that Pakistan is gradually moving towards becoming ‘banistan’. If we find someone offensive on YouTube, we ban the website. If we can’t compete with the Indian cinema, we ban movies. And if we see people having fun at weddings, we ban weddings,” he added with a smile, pointing towards where Sindh Assembly speaker and acting governor Agha Siraj Durrani and Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah were seated. The event started with Bilawal making a speech about the gradual

degradation of the archaeological site, Mohenjodaro, which he said is “disappearing before our eyes”. Bilawal announced that opening ceremony of the Sindh Festival 2014 would be held in Mohenjodaro. “Let’s bask in the glory of Indus civilisation. Let’s live in the Pakistan we want to see. Move away London 2012, we have Mohenjodaro 2014,” he said to a cheering audience. Bilawal said that Pakistanis were being dragged backwards, towards “more regressive dark ages”. “We have been taught distorted history about our culture and religion by military dictators like Ziaul Haq, and his proteges. They want to put a gun to our heads and impose their rules on us. But we won’t let them,” he added. Introducing the events to be held during the two-week festival, Bakhtawar said it would have “best of what Sindh and Pakistan has to offer”. She said the festival would have a cattle race, grand Mushaira, donkey cart race, deep sea fishing tournament, etc. It will be held in various parts of Sindh and Karachi. Handicrafts and work of poor craftsmen will be arranged at Bagh Ibn-i-Qasim in Karachi. Free stalls will be given to craftsmen from Sindh to showcase their work. Bilawal introduced a number of artistes and cricketer Wasim Akram to announce their part of the programme.

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26 December 20, 2013 FESTIVAL Reader’s View : The Real Meaning of Christmas

Christmas will soon be here and it brings many wonderful memories of Christmas past. Some things have changed over time, but the real meaning of Christmas has not: it is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is a celebration of faith and family. It is a time to rejoice and to be charitable, compassionate, and loving toward all mankind. It wasn’t that long ago that Christmas was celebrated differently than is today. T h i s v e r y special holiday has been over commercialized suggesting that presents for love ones have to be expensive to demonstrate love. In reality a hug is more valuable than any present that one can buy Growing up, our Christmas started with the decorating of the

Ingredients • 1/2 cup butter, softened • 1/2 cup shortening • 2 cups sugar • 2/3 cup water • 2/3 cup milk • 3 cups all-purpose flour • 1 tablespoon baking powder • 1 teaspoon salt • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Christmas tree which was real and the smell of a freshly cut tree was wonderful, it cannot be duplicated. The whole

a neighbor brought the tree home. The decorating of the tree always began with the installation of the lights. The lights were very much like regular light bulbs and could be replaced easily by unscrewing the bad one and replacing it with a new one. Some exciting and innovative lights were called bubble lights and we could hardly

generation to generation and we had to be careful when hanging them on the tree because they were irreplaceable. Every year a few new ornaments were added to the family collection. Then there was the sparkling Victorian tin

family went out to choose and buy the tree but our father reserved the final decision as to which tree was best for us. Then, there was the problem of bringing home the tree and since we did not have a car to transport it home, a cab or

wait for the liquid inside the lights to warm up and to start bubbling. It was enchanting to watch those light with a colorful round bulb in the bottom and a tube filled with liquid which bubbled when heated. The ornaments were passed on

tinsel that reflected light. And so many other ornaments that were home made and the tree was always topped by and angel. Our tree was always set near an outside window where it could be seen and admired by all passerby.

tric mixer 2 minutes or until creamy; g r a d u ally add sugar, beating well. 2. Combine 2/3 cup water and milk. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to sugar mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts. 3. Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Pour into 3 greased and floured 8-inch square baking pans. 4. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

5. Reserve 2 cups Powdered Sugar Frosting. 6. Spread 1/2 cup frosting into an 8-inch square on cake plate. 7. Spread remaining frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. 8. Unroll fruit rolls (do not remove paper backing), and brush with water. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar; let stand 15 minutes. 9. Cut four (12-inch-long) strips from fruit rolls. Remove paper backing, and arrange on top and sides of cake, pressing gently into frosting, to resemble a ribbon. 10. Spoon 1/2 cup reserved frosting onto center of cake, forming a 3-inch mound. 11. Cut remaining fruit rolls into 4-inch pieces; remove pa-

Recipe: Gift Box Cake

• • • •

1 teaspoon almond extract 6 egg whites Powdered Sugar Frosting 3 (4.5-oz.) packages chewy fruit rolls by the foot • 1/3 cup white sparkling sugar or edible glitter • 8 gingerbread men cookies (3 to 3 1/2 inches tall) Preparation 1. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an elec-

Then, we carefully placed our Nativity Scene at the base of the Christmas tree. The manger and all the figures that went with it reminded us of the true meaning of Christmas. As Christmas day approached, there was the singing of Christmas carols in the home and outside of our neighbor’s homes, and going to church was very much a part of the celebration. Then, there was the opening of presents on the early morning of the 25th and that was a lot of fun. There were few toys due the economic condition of the times and whatever toys there were, were made of wood because metals and other materials were needed for the war effort (WWII). There were also board games. puzzles, marbles, and candy. Also a doll or two for the girls. Toys were to be shared and not only among the children at the home but with our neighbors who shared their toys with us. All and all, there were a lot of toys for everyone. Memories of Christmas past are wonderful because we had plenty of love to share and that was what Christmas was all about. Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas.

per backing. Fold each piece in half, resembling the loop of a bow; press cut ends into frosting mound, creating a large bow on top of cake. Place 2 gingerbread men cookies on each side of cake. 12. Spoon 1 1/2 cups reserved frosting into a decorating bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe a border around bottom edge of cake. Note: You can also make this cake with 2 (18.25-oz.) packages white cake mix and 4 (16oz.) containers ready-to-spread frosting. Make the gingerbread men using your favorite recipe or a gingerbread mix, or buy the cookies from your local bakery.


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