E newspaper 01052018

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Friday, January 05, 2018 • Vol. 37, No. 1

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Best Wishes on

See Pages 13 -16 for Gurpurab Special

Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Birthday

New Year Extravaganza 2018 P3


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January 05, 2018



January 05, 2018


Houston Parties into 2018 in High Spirits @ Desi Hungama! BY VANSHIKA VIPIN VARMA

balloon twisting and face painting activities kept the kids going bonkers, as they enjoyed cookies sponsored by Deep Foods, puffs and delicious cakes sponsored by Universal Bakery & Snacks. Juli Mathew and Toni M Wallace who are contesting for Fort bend County court also attended the event and appreciated the organizers and sponsors. Some of the highlights for the night were the dazzling fireworks sponsored by Amir Dodhiya, 2.5 million lights powered by Discount Power, LED displays of Sage Productions. A champagne toast accompanied the eagerly awaited midnight countdown. Excitement and craze filled the air and reached a fever pitch as the large gathering rang in the New Year together! The raffle kept the enthusiasm going, with its delightful giveaways- 2 international tickets to India sponsored by Travel Guzs, 10 cricket bats sponsored by Amir Dodhiya and $1000 gift vouchers sponsored by Sony Kohli. The Desi Hungama team; Umang Mehta, Rajesh Desai, Jiju Kulangara, Kishore Ramaraju, Damodhar Jammili, and Ratnakar Moderkutti were overwhelmed

SUGAR LAND: With cider and

champagne, amidst spectacular displays of fireworks and vibrant pops, Houstonians got together to bring in the New Year with much cheer. Partygoers in Houston celebrated their New Year’s Eve along with their families with much revelry and passion at the “Desi Hungama 2018”, which was held at the Insperity Club, Skeeters Stadium in Sugar Land. The attendees of this glamorous event were looking forward to kicking off 2018 with this unique and first-ofits-kind show in Houston. And the list of attendee’s eager to let their hair down included the cream of Houston, the who’s who. The elegantly decorated upscale and grand venue was ready to dazzle guests for an intimate dinner and a big bash. Donning sequined party dresses, to show-stopping classic little black dresses and killer heels, embraced with stunning accessories, the guests walked in to this bash with much excitement and fervor. And the freezing temperatures did not deter people from attending this irresistible phenomenon. The glitzy night began with some live music by Anis Chandani, music Director of Sa Re Ga Ma. It seemed that the guests were just waiting for breaking into their sways and spins, and as DJ Sage and Abby Malhotra from Sage Productions turned up, the site transformed into a high-energy electric atmosphere. And what a delight it was to watch hundreds of these dance away into 2018. While music kept the guests entertained, the scrumptious food and unlimited soft drinks were being relished. The succulent and abundant spread of Indian cuisine included varieties of hot yummy dosa, that were being made at the live counter, and sponsored by DGN Factory, unlimited soft

drinks by Prompt Realty, mouthwatering gobi manchurian, chicken 65, lamb kababs, veg pakoras, mixed vegetable cur-

Photos: Dr. Nik Nikam

ry, paneer makhani, mithai chats, chicken curry, goat curry and some delectable desserts catered by Aga’s

Restaurant. There was a special arrangement for kids and they seemed to have a blast in an adjacent ballroom. Musical chair,

with the magical response received to this glam event. The organizers





January 05, 2018



January 05, 2018


Gujarati Samaj Hosts A Fun-filled New Year’s Eve Gala BY GIRISH NAIK


OUSTON: Gujarati Samaj of Houston and its members celebrated New Year’s Eve 2018 Gala at the Arabia Shrine Center on December 31, 2017. Looking at the weather forecast for the night, Girish Naik, President of Gujarati Samaj of Houston commented, “Thank God we have an indoor venue where our members can enjoy the program in a very comfortable temperature.” The day began with the entire committee working on every detail of the program to make sure that all the attendees enjoyed the event. All details from hall decorations, logistics, food, drinks, baby sitters for kids, security, midnight party favors and confetti were checked out and ready so that attendees would have a wonderful time. At 7:30 pm, the guest start-

ed arriving. Well-decorated photo booth with party favors awaited them. The hall was decorated in a black & silver theme for the night. The guests were welcomed through a curved arch of balloons with a 2018 sign. The hall was decorated as per the theme of the night and the flavorful smell of appetizers filled the room, making everyone hungry. Friends and family started getting their appetizers with drinks and socialized to the soft music. For almost an hour, guests mingled with each other and caught up with friends. DJ Rishi kicked off the music with some foot-tapping numbers, which brought everyone on to the dance floor. Everyone danced all the way to 10:15 pm, and moved towards the dinner area right after. While the guests enjoyed their dinner, raffle and three different prizes were announced. Dr. Harshadb-

hai Patel, chairman of the GSH Board of Directors, updated the members on the progress of the GSH community center. He said, “ I promise that if the weather permits, we will have it completed by 2018.” After dinner, DJ Rishi got everyone involved with a game of “Sole Train”. Fast Music played during the second half of the dancing session as it lead to the count-down and midnight toss Executive team: President Girish Naik, Dhruvit Shah, Prakash Desai, of non-alcoholic champagne Vice president Geeta Patel, Meena Desai, Rakesh Shah, Kishor Patel, with everyone in party flavor Narendra Patel, Harendra Hingu, Kalpesh Rana, and Bharat Patel. hats and glasses. Confetti flowed automatically from the machine. It was a wonderful sight to see everyone wish each other, “Happy new year!” Guests kept the party going until 1:00 am in the early morning of 2018. The next GSH program will be kite flying at Moosa Stadium in Pearland on January 14, 2018 from 10:30 am. Countdown to midnight

Bollywood Shake Rings in 2018 at its New Year’s Eve Hollywood Glam Gala!


LAND: Bollywood Shake hosted its 4th Annual New Year’s Eve Hollywood Glam Gala 2018 at the beautiful Safari Texas Grand Ballroom on December 31st, 2017. This exclusive upscale event included exquisite décor, Hollywood style entertainment, performance by singer J.S. Paras, Music by DJ AV, Food by Nirmanz Food Boutique and an ex-

citing midnight countdown. The event was attended by Houston’s elite crowd who rang in the New Year with a bang! After successful events for the last three years, Ruchika Dias, Founder & CEO of Bollywood Shake gave Houston another well organized and entertaining New Year’s Eve event. The Hollywood Glam theme added entertain-

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ment and glamour to the event. The upscale and grand venue was beautifully decorated in a White, Black and Red theme including a gorgeous stage backdrop, 2 photo booth areas and upgraded table linens. There was an abundance of music, food & drinks keeping the guests entertained all night!

One of Houston’s top DJs, DJ AV kept people on the dance floor all night with their foot tapping music including Bollywood and Top 40 hits. Guests were welcomed to the beautiful event by a Marilyn Monroe look-alike and aerial dancers! The emcee for the evening was

Photos: Hassan Studio

Nina Desai, Mrs. Bollywood 2014 who conducted the show impeccably. The entertainment began with a performance by Marilyn Monroe, followed by an aerial act and then an energetic and rock-

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January 05, 2018


January 05, 2018





January 05, 2018

Bollywood Shake Rings in 2018 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

ing performance by singer JS Paras and his son Joe Paras, a sensational new artist whose album will be releasing on T Series this year. They got the audience in a party mood, who joined them on the dance floor to start celebrating! DJ AV then took it away and got everyone swinging and shaking! There was an abundant spread of delicious Indian cuisine including Samosas, Kachoris, Butter Chicken, Paneer Tikka Masala and Vegetable Palak catered by Nirmanz Food Boutique and mouthwatering desserts including gulab jamuns and rasmalai. Kids had a wonderful time in the adjacent kids area with balloon twisting and face painting. The highlight of the evening was the midnight countdown accompanied by a champagne toast and celebration at the stroke of midnight! Excitement filled the

air and reached a fever pitch as the large gathering rang in the New Year together! Special thanks to our sponsors – Amir Dodhiya of New York Life and Sheetal’s The Skin Studio. NTV Houston, a South Asian Television network was there to cover the event and the guests got a chance to share their excitement on TV. Bollywood Shake New Year’s Eve Hollywood Glam Gala 2018 once again proved that this is the best desi New Year’s Eve party in town for guests looking for an exquisite, upscale and exciting experience. Guests had a delightful time celebrating the New Year at this one-of-a-kind family friendly New Year’s Eve event in Houston which both adults and kids enjoyed equally! In addition to running a very successful Bollywood dance school and hosting their own radio show (Bollywood Shake Radio Online & On the App 24x7), Bollywood Shake hosts several events throughout the year including Bollywood Pageants, Fashion Shows, Dance Competitions and Galas. Ruchika Singh Dias, Founder and CEO of Bollywood Shake has been featured in various mainstream media outlets such as NBC Channel 2 KPRC, ABC 13 Houston, Fox 26 Houston, KEYE CBS Austin, News 8 Austin and Houston Chronicle. Bollywood Shake wishes you a Happy New Year and would like to thank all the people who came out to celebrate and ring in the New Year at their event! Bollywood Shake hopes to see you at their 2018 events including the Bollywood Pageant and their next New Year’s Eve Gala!

Houston Parties into 2018 in High Spirits @ Desi Hungama!

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 cheerfully mentioned that this event had exceeded their expectations, and they are looking forward to welcoming everyone in their next New Year Eve gala. Desi Hungama team would like to thank all the sponsors, Amir Dodhiya from New York Life, John W Varghese from Prompt Reality, George Eapen from DGN Factory, Malik Jamal from Discount Power, Freedom Automotive & Collision, Deep Foods, Namaskaar Entertainments, Pepon Digital, Hamid Lakhani from Travel Guzs, Sony Kohli, Surya Raghuthu and Manjula Raghuthu from Ace Pain Management, Gangaraju Hanumiah from My Tax Filer, Rasoi Katy, Universal Bakery, Advent

Global, VOIP Office, Subhalakhmi Grocers, Smile Rangers Dental, Visitors Guru, Star Plus Dental, Chhaya Photo Studios, Agas Restaurant, Curry House, Desi Window, Genuine IT and Sage productions. They would also like to thank their media Partners NNN Channel, iAsia TV, Indo-American News, Radio Dabang, Masala Radio, Malayali FM radio & Malu Talkies Radio, and the Skeeters stadium staff, and all the attendees of this mega-event. Desi Hungama 2018 was a grand success with a house full of exhilarated guests from all over Texas. The epic fireworks and the allnight-party was thoroughly enjoyed by adults and kids, and served as a toast to a happy and healthier year ahead.

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January 05, 2018


Bicyclist Sharma Travels the Globe to Highlight World Peace, Ecology BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: He has been doing

it for the past three years when he heeded the fervent Swachh Bharat call of Prime Minister Narender Modi to clean up India and got the inspiration to become an activist for cleanliness. Barely 26, and doing research on municipal solid waste management, he decided not to defend his doctoral thesis (at APS University in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh) and instead hit the road on a bicycle to educate the public and bring awareness to the wasteful blight in the country. Abhishek Kumar Sharma, 29, has been totally immersed in this work ever since and hasn’t looked back. He left his hometown of Fatehgarh, Uttar Pradesh, northwest of Kanpur on November 10, 2014 and hit road on a bicycle, traveling 28,000 km all over India for 13 months, visiting 415 districts in 25 states and gave lectures in many universities about cleanliness and how to handle waste. “My message was ‘saaf, safai’ (clean, cleaniness) about the basic importance of hygiene in our lives,” said Sharma during an interview with this reporter during a stopover in Houston in early December.

That trip – which concluded in March 2016 - earned him a lot of renown and an interview with the veteran Bollywood movie star Amitabh Bachchan and a meeting with PM Modi himself, who offered him a commendation which gave him access to free lodging at government run Dak Bungalows. He did it all with a donated bike, without sponsors, credit cards or other financial support. “The mentality of people (in India) has to change and they have to be motivated,” said Sharma, who is well-built for a cyclist (“the cycle weighs 46 pounds,” he quips). Wherever he went, he organized a team of volunteer students to build awareness campaigns. At the end of his India tour, Sharma became more ambitious and embarked on a world tour on his bicycle, leaving India on March 28, 2016 on a flight (courtesy of Air India for extra baggage) to Teheran, Iran. He had about Rs. 30,000 ($460) donated by some people for the ticket and lot of adventurous spirit. There, he met the Indian community which helped him go by train to Istanbul, Turkey, where the real biking voyage started. Since then, he has visited 40 countries and is now on

Indian bicyclist Abhishek Kumar Sharma attended the Ganesh Leela show in Stafford on December 8, 2017

his sixth phase lasting 15 months from Canada to Argentina. With an Indian and local flag on his bike along with signs in English and the local language, a tent, sleeping bag and food, Sharma has logged over 60,000 km and says he has never felt worried or afraid of people. His bike ride is a reminder of another Bengali Indian who rode through the Bayou City about 12 years ago and that there is the lure of adventure and the unknown that propels young men to take on this odyssey fearlessly. As with that young man, Sharma feels indebted to the Indian communities in the places he has vis-

ited, especially in the US where the Asian American Hotel Owners Association has taken him under his wing to provide free accommodations wherever he goes. He was in town for a few days, resting up before he continued westward to El Paso and just recently noted on his website that he had now passed Taos, New Mexico. His westward trek will take him to San Diego in Sharma holding the bike that has served 455 days, from where he him over thousands of miles across the will enter Mexico and go world. south all the way to South America. His seventh phase will start in Cape Town, South Africa from where he will go to Kenya. From there, a flight will take him to Adelaide, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Japan, Korea and China. He plans to be back in India by November 2020.

Abhishek Kumar Sharma with his bicycle in New York

To follow Sharma’s adventures or to donate to his cause, visit his web page www.abhishekkumarsharma.com/ and his Facebook page abhishekonbicycle or Instagram at @abhishekonwheels.


10 January 05, 2018



January 05, 2018

Houston Supports Aruna Miller, Democrat for Congress


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From left: Surendar Pullemla, Chandra Sirigiri, Raj Vakulabharanam, Vijay Devireddy, Brij Agarwal, Jugal Malani, Sri Parthasarathi, Bangar Reddy, Aruna Miller, Lakshmi Medi, Rishi Bhutada, Raj Pasala, Karun Srirama, Sridhar Kanchanakuntla, Vijay Pallod, and Asha Reddy.

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From left: Ankit Lohiya, Rohan Perumalla, Rishi Bhutada, Aruna Miller, Shravya Aparasu, Natasha Kulkarni, Namita Pallod, Bharat Pallod, and Megha Lohiya. Photos: Dr. Nik Nikam


HOUSTON: Aruna Miller, an

exceptional democratic politician who represents the State Legislative District 15 in Montgomery County, Maryland and is currently running for the 6th Congressional District seat in Maryland, stopped by the India House to encourage and empower Indians to make their mark in American politics Unsurprisingly, most Indian Americans are wary of public policy and politics. Indian Americans make up 1 percent of our population, but only have five representatives in congress. Indian Americans are an incredibly successful group of people in America, yet they are absent in local and national government activities. Miller highlights this issue and stresses the importance of getting more involved with our local government. To quote Miller, “We can’t sit on the sidelines anymore. We have to be able to be an integral part of this country. This is not borrowed land. We are here. Own it.” She understood this power first hand in 2000, after officially being allowed to vote. Aruna Miller witnessed Al Gore, whom she casted a vote for, lose to George W. Bush by 537 votes. She was devastated to see someone who had worked so hard lose to their opponent because just 537 people chose differently. In her mind, if she had called up 538 other people and convinced them to vote differently, the outcome of the whole general election would have been different. This set the stage for her lifelong involvement in politics. Born in India and brought to the United States at the age of 7, Miller has never forgotten her roots. As

she said, “You can take the girl out of India, but you can’t take the India out of the girl.” She is unapologetically herself even in the fierce, harsh atmosphere called politics. Miller uses her heritage as an asset rather than an inhibition. Her culture, her religion, and her ethnicity are something she truly embraces and even flaunts. The simple principles of hinduism are something she learns from and uses in her everyday life from the way she works to the way she interacts with those around her. As she likes to say, we as human beings are not having a spiritual experience, but rather we are spiritual beings having a human experience. For her, Hinduism is not just a religion but also a way of life and a form of expression. In her political journey, she witnessed the struggles citizens faced in their day-to-day lives. From seniors to millennials, Miller heard from all. She saw the impact of faulty immigration policies on fresh faced Indian immigrants and understood the impact of discriminatory regulations on H1B visas and the control they have on families across the nation. She observed the detrimental effect of sexual abuse on families in their darkest hour as she stepped up and shared their story to improve their lives. Time and time again she takes action against the cruel realities of the world and uses public policy as a tool to fight for those in need. Miller is a breath of fresh air in the current, shifting political environment. She empowers, women, men, and youth across the country to be unafraid and bold. She not only fights for those that are vulnerable but also motivates others, especially Indian Americans who are eager to sit on the sidelines, to do the same.

A special thanks to Ramesh Bhutada, Jugal Malani, Vijay Pallod, Sudhir Sekhsaria, Bangar Reddy, Rammohan Konda, Sridhar Kanchanakuntla Rishi Bhutada and Indo-American Political Action Committee of Greater Houston (IAPAC) for planning such a great event! It couldn’t have been possible without them. Most of all, a huge thank you to Aruna Miller for sharing a message so many people need to hear! It was an incredible experience for the three of us. “Aruna Miller is an astounding democratic candidate whose decisions positively affect the entire U.S. society”, said Rohan. Natasha agreed saying that she felt her speech was very empowering and that she is a very sincere politician who always gets the job done. For Shravya, it was incredible experience to see someone of color do something she’s always dreamed of.

Have you planned for your future? People don’t plan to Fail, They Fail to Plan

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12 January 05, 2018 BY MANU SHAH

HOUSTON: In 2005,Allen Rich-

ards was tasked with developing the market for a direct Continental flight from Newark to New Delhi. One of his first recourses was to tap the Indo American Chamber of Commerce for information about business travel and tourism in India. Continental began its nonstop


IACCGH’s 2017 President Allen Richards, Strong Supporter of the Chamber’s Mission flights to India and so did Allen’s relationship with the Chamber. He joined the Board in 2007 and in 2016 was unanimously voted to be President for the following year. The honor of being the first non-

Allen Richards Photo: Bijay Dixit

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Indian President and the fact that “something this big doesn’t come along every day” had Allen agreeing. According to Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia, Allen has always been a strong supporter of the Chamber’s mission in promoting Houston’s economy and his Presidency in 2017 elevated it to higher levels of success and goodwill. One of his primary goals, Allen emphasizes, was to put out a memorable and impactful Gala as it is the Chamber’s signature

event. It was certainly memorable, he explains wryly, for two reasons. Hurricane Harvey battered Houston that very weekend. The gala had to be cancelled but Allen says he was incredibly proud of how everything was rescheduled from Keynote Speaker Bob Patel’s assent to Mayor Turner and Judge Emmett agreeing to the new date to getting the same banquet hall at the Hilton Americas – all in 24 hours. The rescheduled gala drew over 800 members of Houston’s business community and was a resounding success. Allen was equally focused on hosting speakers that were topical, relevant and of value to the wide spectrum of members as well as reaching out to millennials and engaging them with the Chamber’s activities. Distinguished Lecture speakers included Police Chief Art Acevedo, Sheriff Ed Gonzales and Shell VP Lori Ryerkerk. Drawing lessons from working with an “incredible brain trust and community leaders” Allen describes the experience as enriching and adds that despite being in sales for years and involved in many projects, one “can’t help but learn something new about teamwork

and human nature.” Allen’s parents were avid collectors of Asian art, which probably explains his fascination with everything Asian. As luck would have it, he walked into a job in the airlines where he got to indulge his love for adventure and travel the world for the last 30 years. His visit to Mumbai, he says, had a sense of feeling “right at home” the minute he got off the plane. His favorite Indian dish? Chicken vindaloo. As Sales Manager for International Sales at United, Allen keeps busy flying the friendly skies. On the ground, he’s actively involved with several non-profits but a cause closest to his heart is Houston K-911, which rescues canines in distress. His wife and he have 5 dogs of their own and it isn’t uncommon to find a couple of foster dogs keeping them company too. This desire to give back, he explains, comes from his father who instilled in him the art of gracious giving – without expecting anything in return. As for his plans moving forward, Allen is keen to continue working with the Chamber to forge closer ties with the business community in his capacity as Past President.


Happy Gurpurab


Guru Gobind Singh Ji

tenth and the last Guru or Prophetteacher of the Sikh faith, was born Gobind Rai Sodhi on Poh 7, 1723 sk/22 December 1666 at Patna, in Bihar. His father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, the Ninth Guru, was then travelling across Bengal and Assam. Returning to Patna in 1670, he directed his family to return to the Punjab. On the site of the house at Patna in which Gobind Rai was born and where he spent his early childhood now stands a sacred shrine, Takht Sri Harimandar Sahib, one of the five most honoured seats of religious authority (takht) for the Sikhs. Gobind Rai was escorted to Anandpur (then known as Chakk Nanaki)on the foothills of the Sivaliks where he reached in March 1672 and where his early education included reading and writing of Punjabi, Braj, Sanskrit and Persian. He was barely nine years of age when a sudden turn came in his life as well as in the life of tile community he was destined to lead. Early in 1675, a group Kashmiri Brahmans, drivels to desperation by the religious fanaticism of the Mughals Gener-

endary contest between the gods and the demons as described in the Markandeya Purana. The choice of a warlike theme for this and a number of his later compositions such as the two Chandi Charitras, mostly in Braj, was made to infuse


al, Iftikar Khan, visited Anandpur to seek Guru Tegh Bahadur’s intercession. As the Guru sat reflecting what to do, young Gobind Rai, arriving there in company with his playmates, asked Why he looked so preoccupied. The father, as records Kuir Singh in his Gurbilas Patshahi 10, replied, “Grave are the burdens the earth bears. She will be redeemed only if a truly worthy person comes forward to lay down his head. Distress will then be expunged and happiness ushered in.” “None could be worthier than yourself to make such a sacrifice,” remarked Gobind Rai in his innocent manner. Guru Tegh Bahadur soon aftenwards proceeded to the imperial capital, Delhi, and courted death on 11 November 1675. Guru Gobind Singh was formally installed Guru on the Baisakhi day of 1733 Bk/29 March 1676. In the midst of his engagement with the concerns of the community, he gave attention to the mastery of physical skills and literary accomplishment. He had grown into a comely youth spare, lithe of limb and energetic. He had a natural genius for poetic composition and his early years were assiduously given to this pursuit. The Var Sri Bhagauti Ji Ki, popularly called Chandi di Var. written in 1684, was his first composition and his only major work in the Punjabi language. The poem depicted the leg-


hile the teachings of warrior, saint and poet Guru Gobind Singh were rich in their detail and focus, he also laid out 52 simple ‘Hukams’(instructions) that every Sikh should follow. From these, we picked out the ten most relevant for our day to day, office/ college going, partying on the weekend lives. 1. When you might get a LOT of money by conning somebody Dharam dee kirat karnee: Make a living doing honest work 2. When your girl just won’t listen Istree da mooh nahee phitkaarna: Do not subject your wife to cursing or verbal abuse. 3. When you feel lazy in the first year of your professional life Kum karan vich daridar nahee karnaa: Work hard and don’t be lazy. This is a work ethic that will stay with you for the rest of your


beliefs observances. The gloJanuary 05,and2018

martial spirit among his followers to prepare them to stand up against injustice and tyranny. Much of Guru Gobind Singh’s creative literary work was done at Paonta he had founded on the banks of the River Yamuna and to which site he had temporarily shifted in April 1685. He preached the worship of the One Supreme Being, deprecating idolatry and superstitious

rification of the sword itself which he eulogized as Bhaguati was to secure fulfilment of God’sjustice. The sword was never meant as a symbol of aggression, and it was never to be used for self-aggrandizement. It was the emblem of manliness and self-respect and was to be used only in self-defence, as a last resort. -sikh-history.com

10 Teachings of Guru Gobind Singh for Many Tricky Life Situations life. 4. When you feel like showing off everything you owe to make people jealous Dhan, javaanee, tae kul jaat da abhiman naee karnaa: Do not be proud of riches, youthfulness or lineage. 5. When things aren’t working out, and the first thing you want to do is get into a fight Dushman naal saam, daam, bhaed, aadiak, upaa vartnae ate uprant udh karna: When dealing with enemies, practice diplomacy, employ a variety of tactics, and exhaust all techniques before engaging in warfare.

6. When you want to bitch about someone during your sutta break Kisae di ninda, chugali, atae eirkha nahi karni: Do not engage in slander, gossip or spite anyone

7. When you see a helpless foreigner about to get ripped off heavily on the cab fare because they don’t know the local rates Pardaesi, lorvaan, dukhi, apung manukh di yataahshkat sewa karni: Do as much sewa as you can for the needy and the troubled 8. When you’re feeling lazy about helping out someone after promising you would Bachan karkae paalnaa: Fulfill all promises that are made 9. When you’re feeling lazy about working out Shaster vidyaa atae ghorhae di savaari da abhiaas karna: this literally translates to “Practice the knowledge of weaponry and horse riding”, Let’s get our exercise where we can afford it! 10. When you’re trying to quit, or feeling confused about taking that first drag Jagat-jootth tambaaku bikhiaa da tiaag karna: In simple words, don’t smoke. No, smoking is not cool. -indiatimes.com


14 January 05, 2018


Best Wishes To All On The Occasion Of


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January 05, 2018

Congratulations to the Sikh Community on the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh Ji



16 January 05, 2018




January 05, 2018


Sri Kulkarni Running in Democratic Primary Against Pete Olson in the 22nd Texas District

155th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda

Americans have thrown their hat in the political arena for the 2018 U.S. Congressional elections. Among these is Sri Preston Kulkarni, who is seeking the Democratic party nomination for the 22nd Congressional district against incumbent Republican Congressman Pete Olson. The 22nd district covers a diverse region of southeast Texas and includes the cities of Sugar Land, Missouri City, Deer Park, Pearland and Galveston. Kulkarni grew up in the Houston area with his parents, Venkatesh and Margaret Kulkarni. A published novelist, Venkatesh Kulkarni taught creative writing at Rice University. Sri graduated from the University of Texas Plan II Honors program. Following college, Sri was commissioned as a Foreign Service Officer by Secretary of State Colin Powell and served his country for 14 years, with overseas tours in Iraq, Israel, Russia, Taiwan, and Jamaica. In 2015, Sri accepted a Pearson Fellowship to serve as a foreign policy and defense advisor on Capitol Hill, assisting Senator Kirsten Gillibrand with her work on the Senate Armed Services Committee. In 2017, Sri completed a midcareer Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School. Sri and a Repub-

C.E.) was a Hindu monk and a patriotic saint of India. According to English calendar he was born on 12th January 1863 into an aristocratic Bengali family of Calcutta. However his birthday is celebrated according to Hindu calendar and this day is known as Swami Vivekananda Jayanti. Vivekananda was born on Krishna Paksha Saptami after seven days of Paush Purnima. As Jayanti day is decided based on Hindu calendar, it is not fixed on Gregorian calendar like Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti and Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti which are celebrated on fixed day on Gregorian calendar. However Indian government has decided to observe Swami Vivekananda’s Gregorian date of birth as National Youth Day. Hence National Youth Day of India is celebrated each year on 12th January since 1985. Swami Vivekananda was modern Hindu saint and follower of Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism. He was disciple of Ramakrishna. He founded Belur Math, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. Swami Vivekananda, known in his pre-monastic life as Narendra Nath Datta, was born in an affluent family in Kolkata on 12 January 1863. His father, Vishwanath Datta, was a successful attorney with interests in a wide range of subjects, and

HOUSTON: A number of Indo-

Sri Preston Kulkarni is running as a Democrat in the 22nd district to “Make America Decent Again”.

lican colleague founded a bipartisan initiative called “Breaking Bread,” which aims to reduce the partisan hostility in our society, that has been repeated in several states. “The greatest danger to our country right now is not a foreign power, but the internal divisions in our society.” explains Kulkarni. “That is why I am coming home to Texas to serve. I know firsthand that to push back the tide of fear, we must recognize the sources which are fanning the flames of resentment and defuse them, by offering a positive vision for the future that all groups can believe in. “With your support, I promise to be a strong voice in Congress for returning to real Texas values, such as truth, fairness, generosity towards others, and respect for the dignity of the individual,” Kulkarni continued. “With your help, we can make America decent again.”

Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902

his mother, Bhuvaneshwari Devi, was endowed with deep devotion, strong character and other qualities. A precocious boy, Narendra excelled in music, gymnastics and studies. By the time he graduated from Calcutta University, he had acquired a vast knowledge of different subjects, especially Western philosophy and history. Born with a yogic temperament, he used to practise meditation even from his boyhood, and was associated with Brahmo Movement for some time.

With Sri Ramakrishna At the threshold of youth Narendra had to pass through a period of spiritual crisis when he was assailed by doubts about the existence of God. It was at that time he first heard about Sri Ramakrishna from one of his English professors at college. One day in November 1881, Narendra went to meet Sri Ramakrishna who was staying at the Kali Temple in Dakshineshwar. He straightaway asked the Master a question which he had put to several others but had received no satisfactory answer: “Sir, have you seen God?” Without a moment’s hesitation, Sri Ramakrishna replied: “Yes, I have. I see Him as clearly as I see you, only in a much intenser sense.” Apart from removing doubts from the mind of Narendra, Sri Ramakrishna won him over through his pure, unselfish love. Thus began a guru-disciple relationship which is quite unique in the history of spiritual masters. Narendra now became a frequent visitor to Dakshineshwar and, under the guidance of the Master, made rapid strides on the spiritual path. At Dakshineshwar, Narendra also met several young men who were devoted to Sri Ramakrishna, and they all became close friends. -drikpanchang.com & belurmath.com


18 January 05, 2018 T

India & Pak: Talking the Talk

he secret Bangkok meeting, reported by this paper, between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan on December 26, the day after Kulbhushan Jadhav met his mother and wife in Islamabad, may contradict the spirit of outrage expressed in Parliament at the manner in which Pakistan treated Jadhav’s family members. But it is no less welcome for that. It shows that despite all the public hostility and statements to the contrary by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior members of his government, New Delhi understands the value of remaining engaged with Pakistan. This is encouraging. Only a few days ago, Prime Minister Modi targeted his predecessor Manmohan Singh and former Vice-President Hamid Ansari for a “secret” meeting with the former Pakistani foreign minister, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, at the home of Congressman Mani Shankar Aiyar. Matters appeared to slide further downhill after the Jadhav family meeting failed to go as India had expected. The free pass given by Pakistan to Hafiz Saeed, held by India to be the mastermind of 26/11, and talk of “mainstreaming” him, was another finger in India’s eye. It seemed that India and Pakistan would never climb out of the hole they had dug for themselves. But now it seems that they have been making an effort all along. The meeting between Indian NSAAjit Kumar Doval and his Pakistani counterpart was not a consequence of the Jadhav family meeting, but had been scheduled before. That it went ahead despite the showdown over Jadhav is an indication that it is a serious process. Doval and Nasser Khan Janjua are said to have discussed matters of mutual interest in their two-hour meeting. Questions may be asked if such back channel talks will go anywhere given the political chaos in Pakistan. Janjua was handpicked by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whose main aim right now is to stay out of jail. But it shows that both sides have kept a window open. The Pakistan Army is said to have been in the loop regarding the meeting, another positive sign; indeed, the Pakistan Army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, is reported to have told the upper house of the Pakistan Parliament that the Army backs the idea of talks with India. It is odd, though, that ruling party politicians in India have been allowed to pump up anti-Pakistan talk to the extent that large constituencies have stopped thinking of normalisation of ties as a positive outcome. At the very least, politicians, and that includes Congress ones too, must turn down the volume. January 1 is the day that India and Pakistan keep up an annual tradition of exchanging lists of each other’s nuclear facilities, and of each other’s nationals in their prisons. The hot exchanges over Jadhav did not upend an agreement under which Pakistan released 145 fishermen in its custody on December 29, and will release another batch on January 8. All these are good auguries.. -- Indian Express


US President Donald Trump’s first

tweet of 2018, accusing Pakistan of “lies and deceit” and giving “safe haven to terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan” may bring smiles of vindication to the Modi government, but it might be wise to hold off the bubbly and see how things unfold, especially if the past is any guide to the complex US-Pakistan relationship. Over the weekend, the ‘New York Times’ reported that the Trump administration was “contemplating withholding” $225 million in aid meant for military training and equipment to Pakistan, if it didn’t hand over a Haqqani Network operative who kidnapped an American-Canadian couple and held them hostage for close to five years. According to US sources, Pakistan is displaying a “non-serious attitude” to its request. The US Defence secretary needs to regularly certify to Congress that Pakistan regularly takes proper action against the Haqqani Network, a terror group which has been accused of killing an Indian diplomat, an Indian defence attaché and several Indian civilians in Afghanistan. But if Pakistan refuses to accede to the latest US demand, the US could withhold that money. This aid cut threat, however, is not new. Nor has Pakistan failed to threaten the US in return, as it did when it blockaded all movement of US and NATO trucks for seven months from November 2011-July 2012, after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in an US raid. It was only after then US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton apologized for the raid that the Pakistanis lifted the blockade. The US administration, from Obama to Trump, have tried several times to bring their chief ally in the war against terror to heel. In 2015, it cut $300 million from the Coalition Support Fund, in 2016 that amount was increased to $350 million and in 2017, it went up to $400 million. The proposed cut for 2018 is $350 million. The withheld amount stays in an escrow account, but Pakistan can technically claim the money within two years.Since 2015, however, the

US Defence secretary has refused to grant Pakistan a certificate of clean health, meaning, the US believes that Pakistan regularly plays a double game in its conduct in the war against terror – gets paid by the US to provide access to Afghanistan, but refuses to shut down its terror havens inside Pakistan. The US wants Pakistan to not only shut down those terror havens, but use its influence on those terror organisations to come to the talks table with the Afghan government so that elections can be held peaceably later this year. In addition to CSF monies, Pakistan also gets aid under Foreign Military Financing (FMF) – it received $265 million in 2015, $225 million in 2016 and another $225 million in 2017. The money for 2017 has been approved by the US Congress, but according to the NYT report, US officials have told Pakistan that it will not release the money unless Pakistan takes strong action under Trump’s new strategy on Afghanistan-Pakistan. It is in this context that Donald Trump tweeted his first tweet of January ‘18 : “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump’s New Year tweet has certainly caused a great deal of consternation inside Pakistan. Many analysts are cautioning the establishment not to react too angrily, warning of the possibility of another “Abbottabad,” a reference to the US air raid in May 2012, when Osama bin Laden was plucked out of his hide-out in full view of the Pakistan military academy barely two hours from Islamabad. Some others, like Nasim Zehra, are crying out to teach the US a lesson : “When PPP was in power Pakistan took an honourable position when US attacked the Salala post – heavens did not fall. Pak discontinued US access to Afghanistan via Pak . Finally US apologised for the attack.This

excessively rude man Trump must apologise,” Zehra said. Pakistan prime minister Shahid KhaqanAbbasi is chairing a high-level National Security Council meeting to listen to all sides, including the military, before Islamabad puts out an official response. If Pakistan, already caught up in a gathering civil-military crisis for most of 2017, decides to take tough action, then the region will likely get even more troubled than it has been in recent years. Certainly, the Afghans are thrilled. Amrullah Saleh, former Afghan national security advisor, tweeted : Dear Pakistani Establishment: President Trump is neither Indian or Afghan nor R&AW or NDS or NorthernAlliance. He is the US president & has acknowledged the truth that Pakistan is a State sponsoring terrorism. Think of a new narrative & strategy as the old one has faltered. And again: US President @POTUS has just acknowledged the very obvious truth which we all knew for years. It was always puzzling for us as to why US tolerates such level of deceit. For a change, the ‘New York Times’ and Trump are on the same page. On Christmas Day, the ‘Times’ rapped Pakistan on the knuckles saying that as “terrorism claims new civilian victims and the army uses Islamist extremists to stage what has all the hallmarks of a velvet coup.” The real catastrophe in Pakistan is the cynical use of Islamist extremism by the country’s security establishment to hold democracy hostage and to foment the insecurity it needs to maintain its grip on power. Until that changes, there is scant hope Pakistan will take control of the terrorism that threatens its citizens’ lives and the stability of the region.” On the face of it, India will be pleased that the world’s most powerful country, the US, is coming down so hard on its hostile neighbor in its west. But India will be prepared for the fact that Pakistan will reach out even more to its benefactor and “iron brother” China to alleviate the economic hardship a potential US crackdown on Pakistan. -- Indian Express


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



January 05, 2018


A Tribute to Jagdish Chandra Sharda

Jagdish Sharda with Sangh workers from Houston and other cities at Pune camp in 2010

Jagdish Sharda with Atal Bihar Vajpayee. Jagdish Sharda with Vijay Pallod at Vishwa Sangh Shivir Pune 2010.



OUSTON: Jagdish Chandra Sharda or Shastriji, as he was affectionately known, passed away peacefully on 25th December at the age of 97. While he always shied away from the limelight and would wave off any kind of praise, every one of the thousands whose lives he touched remember him as a towering personality who worked for Hindu unity selflessly, tirelessly and taught by example and compassion. Shastriji’s last rites took place according to Hindu traditions in Markham, Toronto and was attended by more than 350 people. Family, friends, RSS karyakartas and pracharaks shared their memories of him at a prayer meeting on December 30th in Toronto where he settled after his retirement as a professor of Hindi in Nairobi. Well into his 80s and 90s and troubled by advanced arthritis, Shastriji’s commitment to the Sangh never diminished. Ratan Sharda, a nephew, recalled how he had to persuade Shastriji to write his memoirs as he wanted to remain a selfless anonymous worker at the field level. He also stated that Shastriji’s life needs to be celebrated as he did the work of two lifetimes in one lifetime. Citing instances of his spirit of humanity, his son Kamalesh recalled how it was customary to see him walk home with total strangers and offer them food and shelter and how Shastriji would carry hundreds of sandwiches made by his mother every day for refugees escaping Belgian Congo in Kenya.

His student, David Hansburger spoke in Hindi and described Shastriji’s passion for sharing his knowledge and his systematic way of teaching. A granddaughter fondly recollected his penchant for narrating jokes and his firm belief that laughter is the best medicine. The journey of this great soul began in the small village of Charik in Punjab. His parents and paternal grandmother were his role models – embodiments of sewa or selfless service. Shastriji excelled academically and despite the untimely death of his father and financial constraints completed his Honors in Sanskrit with flying colors. While in school, the 17 year old Jagdish saw a group of youth playing Indian games, practicing yoga and speaking to each other very respectfully. This piqued his interest and he joined the group or the Shakha as it was called and thus began his lifelong journey with the RSS or Sangh. In 1946, he secured a teaching position at the Arya Samaj Girls’ School in Nairobi, Kenya. On the ship, he met a fellow swayamsevak Manek Lal Rughani. The two would meet every day on the deck, play some games and conclude by singing the Sangh prarthana (prayer). By the time they disembarked, the group had 17 people. Some were already swayamsevaks while others had become swayamsevaks on the deck. This was the beginning of Sangh work abroad. On reaching Nairobi, Shastriji began contacting like-minded people to join him in starting a shakha. On 14th January, 1947, the first Shakha was launched with 21 swayamsevaks. It is from this shakha and his efforts that the Sangh spread to Seychelles, Madagascar and the East African countries and later to England, Can-

ada and Australia through Kenyan swayamsevaks who migrated to those countries. The Sangh, Shastriji often explained, was not a reactionary movement but a proactive and positive one. Its aim was to strengthen Hindu society and remove caste, creed and linguistic barriers or differences. Swayamsevaks are taught to serve people in every possible way, especially in times of natural calamities. After his retirement, Shastriji moved to Canada in 1980 where he continued to co-ordinate Sangh work till the age of 75. Simultaneously, he worked to establish the Hindu Institute of Learning (HIL) till the last days of his life so that the Hindu and Canadian community would have access to learning Sanskrit, Hindi, Indian music, the Gita and the Ramayana. In the last few months, his health deteriorated rapidly but he continued working. When asked why he wouldn’t slow down he simply replied, “Pardon me oh Mother Bharat Mata. I could not do more for you.” Two prominent Houstonians shared their thoughts about this great soul. Ramesh Bhutada, National Vice President, HSS USAstated, “He is the first one to start Sangh shakha outside of India in Kenya, he has spent all his life to provide services for the Hindu community work. He did not seek any fanfare or recognition for the same. In a real sense he is a true Karmayogi.” Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awardee Ramesh Shah added “Shastriji was one of the pioneers in thinking of the Hindu community and its service towards humanity in the Western world after Independence. As a Swayamsevak, he not only started Shakhas but gave guidance on how to live with cooperation and serve society.”


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20 January 05, 2018


A Choicest Pearls iBAM Competition from the Mouths of the Choicest Kids BY INDIRA CHERUVU & MALLIK PUTCHA

SUGAR LAND: The first ever

iBhagavatam Aani Mutyalu (iBAM) Padyalu (poem) recitation competition was held with the divine blessings of Lord Krishna at Sri Astalakshmi Temple, on December 9, 2017 with 29 kids aged 4 to 18 participating. It was a well-planned and executed event conducted by the combined dedicated efforts of the iBAM team, Telugu Cultural Association and the TCA-Telugu Badi (Telugu School). iBAM is a name given to the internet-based group of artifacts consisting of the print, web-based, and mobile app of Bhagavatam Aanimutyalu, which is an innovative method to teach spiritual works to Indo-Americans. Also, it is a new method to reach out the younger generations in digital platforms as well as in animation technology, which is currently being developed and will be launched shortly. Potana - a great Telugu poet of the 15th century - transcribed the original Veda Vyasa’s Bhagavata Puranam from Sanskrit into Telugu. Of the total of 7012 Padyalu, iBAM has selected 324 for presentation as representative of the choicest (aani) pearls (mutyalu) of bhakti (devotion to God) and righteous way of life. Potana did not want to sell his writings for riches to any emperors or kings or any mean human beings, and spent his life farming and dedicating to the service of God. All of Mankind has to be grateful to this great poet, Potanaamatyulu Garu, as he is reverentially called, and acknowledge his great work as “a shower of devotion, emotion and great knowledge.” The Indo-American Telugu kids who took part in this competition selected and memorized 29 of the choicest pearls. They mesmerized the audience by reciting the poems melodiously and at the same time showing their reverence to the God-

Organizers and winners. Back row (from right): iBAM Founding-Donor Anand Mohan Bhagavatula; iBAM Secretary Arunakanth Duvvury; iBAM President Mallik Putcha; Chief Guest Vice Consul-General of India Sabyasachi De; TCA President Brahmananda Reddy Beriveera; TCA Cultural Secretary Srinivas Manthena and TCA Literary Co-ordinator Indira Cheruvu. Trophy Winners (from left): Lakshmi Kandala (iBAM Potana); Naagita Sanvi Kumpatla (iBAM Potana); Advitha Udthawar (iBAM Potana); Srividya Kandala (iBAM Potana); Ananya Basavaraju (iBAM Potana); Gayatri Pemmaraju (iBAM Potana & iBAM Gajendra); Abhiram Dhulipala (iBAM Potana); Vaishnavi Renduchintala (iBAM Potana & iBAM Gajendra); NIkhil Maddineni (iBAM Potana); Akhil Velagaleti (iBAM Potana & iBAM Gajendra); Kaushal Pemmaraju (iBAM Potana) and Vikas Thoutam (iBAM Potana).

dess Saraswathi (the Goddess of Knowledge, Education). The chief guest to this Divine Recitation Competition was the Vice Consul-General of India, Sabyasachide De who attended despite his busy schedule, and he was also equally enchanted by the recitation and said he would like to attend next year’s competition by sitting with the audience and not on stage. The participants were judged by seven well-known and respected judges, a priest of a Hindu Temple in Katy and a team of 6 writers who belong to the very well-known Houston Telugu Literary group. The judges felt that the ‘chitti Potanaamaatuyulu’ (‘little Potanas’) took everybody to a different world and that it was a great experience. After the initial rounds of contest for the iBAM-PotanaTrophy for 4 age-groups, the first 3 winners from these groups took part in the final contest - for the Gajendra Championship (Lord of Elephants) Trophy. The 12 kids who won the iBAMPotana Trophy are: Under 5: 1st

place Nikhil Maddineni; 5 - 8 yrs.: 1st - Akhil Velagaleti, 2nd - Abhiram Dhulipala, 3rd - Vaishnavi Renduchintala, 4th - Kaushal Pemmaraju, 5th - Ananya Basavaraju; 9 - 11 yrs.: 1st - Naagita Sanvi Kumpatla, 2nd - Srividya Kandala, 3rd - Advitha Udthawar; and for 12 - 18 yrs.: 1st Gayatri Pemmaraju, 2nd - Lakshmi Kandala, 3rd - Vikas Thoutam. The three “Little Potana’s who won the iBAM-Gajendra Championship Trophy are First Prize Akhil Velagaleti, First Runner Vaishnavi Renduchintala and Second Runner-up Gayatri Pemmaraju All these participants were marvelous to watch and the organizing committee of iBAM, TCA and the Telugu Badi Teachers from Sugarland, Katy, and Cypress feel encouraged at the success of their inaugural event. They plan to conduct similar Competition later this year on September 15. Currently, the organization is focussed on iBAM Animation Project for the extensive outreach with the younger generation and beyond. To support to the iBAM efforts, please

• Alekhya Sambaraj • Veeksha Dasika • Nikhil Maddineni • Bhargavaram Velagaleti • Lakshmi Sarvani Kandala • Ananya Basavaraju • Vikas Thoutham • Shriram Sandilya Garimella • Kaushal Ram Pemmaraju • Sai Laasyasri Potta • Naga Dasari • Harshit Chilukuri • Sharanya Gunturi • Abhisri Dasari • Gayatri Pemmaraju • Eshitha Bangray • Akhil Velagaleti • Gitali Yempati • Akhil Maddineni • Vaishnavi Renduchintala • Karthik Kasturi • Sanvi Kumpatla • Abhiram Dhulipala • Srividya Kandala • Shreshta Pendurti • Advitha Udthawar

iBAM Kids with their certificates (from right): Back row: Kaushal Pemmaraju, Abhisri Dasari, Nagasriram Dasari, Vikas Thoutam, Harshit Chilukuri, Lakshmi Kandala, Gayatri Pemmaraju; Middle row: Akhil Velagaleti, Sai Lasya Sri Potta, Shrestha Pendurti, Srividya Kandala, Naagita Sanvi Kumpatla, Eshita Bangrey, Advitha Udthawar; Front row: Nikhil Maddineni, Bhargavaram Velagaleti, Shritan Chokkaarapu, Priyanka Chilukuri, Abhiram Dhulipala, Vaishnavi Renduchintala, Sriram Sandilya Garimella, Ananya Basavaraju.

visit www.bhagavatamanimutyalu. com. The participants in the competition were:

• Shritan Chokkarapu • Akhila Marella • Priyanka Chilukuri



January 05, 2018

Join FIS in MLK Grand Parade 2018

Picture from last years parade.


HOUSTON: Foundation for India

Studies is gearing up to participate in the 24th Annual Houston MLK Jr. Grand Parade. This participation for seventh year in a row takes a unique significance for all Indian Americans in Greater Houston because of the parade’s theme “The Color of Unity” The word “unity” is defined as “the state of being united or joined as a whole.” While the international community is thought of to be a “union” comprising of every race, religion, and nationality, there are still innumerable amounts of discrimination and turmoil fueled by indestructible differences that span from culture and religion to entire nations engaging in never ending conflict. So, how can the world “unite” and prosper

when every nook and cranny of it is experiencing infighting on a daily basis? The answer lies in the phenomenal men and women who have fueled movements against hate and injustice. These movements have shaped the narrative of history by providing a vehicle for hope and unity for the entire world to see. Martin Luther King Jr., for example, was one of these people. He recognized that non-violence and civil protest were the key to solving for some of the most discriminatory and hateful of dynamics. On the other side of the world, Mahatma Gandhi preached the belief of non-violent protest as a method to break free from the tyrannical rule of the British. Over the years, the Color of Unity has become a culture that holds everyone accountable for standing up against hate and injustice. It has become a

guideline to do whatever is in one’s full capacity in an effort to not only treat everyone equally, but see them equally as well. It is with the actions of progressive human beings like MLK and Mahatma Gandhi that unity and inclusion has become an expectation, not a higher standard. However, it is not only the responsibility of those kinds of people. If there is one thing we have been taught from the actions of others, it is that we may be from different backgrounds, but we all fall under the color of unity. That part of our identity is the most important. All Indian-Americans are welcome to join under FIS banner to reinforce your support for unity of diverse humanity. Please contact Raghavender Nednur, Event Chair at (713) 927-8126 (Cell) for further details.



22 January 05, 2018


Place a Number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. Send us the correct answer before January 10, 2018. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036. Send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published (for first three entrees only & 1 submission per month).


Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Badam Wala Dudh (Hot Almond Milk Tonic) Directions: 1. Cover the almonds with a muslin cloth and smash them with a pallet. You can also crush them in a blender, but make sure not to powder them. 2. In a small saucepan, heat the ghee over medium setting, then throw in the crushed almonds and roast them till slightly brown but no more than a minute.

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ith the advent of cold weather, it is the season for sweets, nuts, hot drinks to warm you up and wonderful aromas. Below is a reprint of Mama’s Badam Wala Dudh recipe, which is a filling night time drink that helps you stay warm and sleep soundly during the winter months. It is reprinted with some additional information and directions. This recipe can’t really be called a dish as it is more of a remedy that can cure flu and cold symptoms. But, it was a drink that my children, nieces and nephews liked so much that they would ask for it during the cold months like a hot sweetened milkshake. It is considered a tonic to help those who have to study hard or do work requiring mental concentration. But the truth is that this was the tumbler of hot, sweetened milk that we would drink during the frigidly cold months of winter in the western Punjab plains while sitting around the warmth of the chulla (clay hearth) and exchanging gossip about the day’s happenings with the extended family. We grew up by the banks of the River Chenab in the small town of Jhang, Sargodha Division, close to our lands which were farmed by leaseholders. In the winters, our storage rooms would be full of the produce of grains and nuts from the harvests. This Badam Wala Dudh (hot almond milk) drink has its origins in the farms of West Punjab but was influenced by the far Northwest Frontier provinces where the winters are even harsher and longer. The whole area was – and still is - known for its trade in dried fruits. Our nani (maternal grandmother) would make this hot milk drink with cracked whole almonds roasted in gheyo (clarified butter).

Nani would tell us the hot almond milk would melt the frozen portions of our sinus passages, unclog our heads and free up our lungs by giving us a boost of energy. She would quote a Punjabi folk saying: Dudh peetheyan budh vadde (Drinking milk increases the brain), Teh ghee khaade khopadri (and eating ghee the head); Maas khaade maas vadde (Eating meat expands the fleshy body), Teh gyuon khadde ohjadri (and eating flour increases the stomach). These days, people may say it is high in calories due to the gheyo, so you should drink it sparingly in the winters. But it is a great warmerupper for those really cold winter nights! Ingredients: • 2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) • 15 badam (almonds), unpeeled • 1 cup doodh (milk, preferably whole fat) • 1 tsp chinni (sugar) to taste

3. Pour in the milk and as the mixture comes to a boil, throw in the sugar and mix. 4. Turn off the heat, pour into a tall cup and sip. You may need a spoon to get the almonds, and also later to scoop them out and eat them. Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the oldfashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India (since renamed Faisalabad) before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her late-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share her delectable Punjabi vegetarian recipes for future generations.




After a meal – and temptation to finish especially if it is a satisfying one – ther it of are very high in suga f with something sweet. Most desserts e is the or r or other sweetener and pack a lot of ca s like high fructose cookies corn syrup lories. Pastries and ch you, especially if yo u are middle-aged. ocolates are equally bad for A better option is ea in carbohydrates, ha ting two or three dates which are na turally rich ve a natural sweeten er you and the sugar is quickly metabolized that is not as detrimental for . One of the most po are the Medjool va riety pular dates and many other vitam which contains 66 calories (or 16 gm s of sugar) ins. Dates also relie ve low metabolism, po or vision and osteo poor digestion, constipation, porosis.

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January 05, 2018




tiger zinda hai Box Office Collection Day 13: Salman Khan Starrer all Set to Enter Rs 300 Crore Club

iger Zinda Hai, which released on December 22, refuses to slow down at the box office. Starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, the actioner has managed to earn a total of Rs 280.62 crore since its release. Now that the festive season has come to an end, it is to be seen if the film continues to roar at the theaters. Tiger Zinda Hai witnessed its first working day collection on January 2 and it showed a smashing performance with collections of Rs 7.83 crore. So, if it continues to perform the same way, we can expect the film to cross Rs 300 crore soon. Trade analyst Taran Adarsh shared the figures of Day 12 and

wrote, “First working day after a long holiday period [Christmas and New Year], yet #TigerZindaHai remains SUPER-STRONG on its second Tue… [Week 2] Fri 11.56 cr, Sat 14.92 cr, Sun 22.23 cr, Mon 18.04 cr, Tue 7.83 cr. Total: 280.62 cr. India biz. #TZH” If the film manages to touch or cross Rs 300 crore, then it would become the third film of Salman Khan to do so. Earlier, the record has been broken by Sultan (2016) and Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015), which managed to earn a lifetime of Rs 300.45 crore and Rs 320.34 crore, respectively. With no major releases in the coming weeks, the film is expected to dominate the box office. With no major releases in the

coming weeks, the film is expected to dominate the box office. Overwhelmed with the love that the audience has been showering upon the spy-actioner, Salman thanked his fans in a recent statement. The actor said, “For us, it is the audience’s love and reactions that matter the most, and we feel overwhelmed with the love that Tiger Zinda Hai has garnered.” He further adds, “I am grateful to one and all for treating this film as their own, the response has been truly endearing. Tiger Zinda Hai is my second film with Ali Abbas Zafar, and I am looking forward to working with him again.” -indianexpress.com

It’s not easy to make a film on Partition and tell both sides of the story: Huma Qureshi In the few films the actor has worked with a diverse cast including Gillian audition for it, which I did. And then I (1993), Bend It Like Beckham in, particularly the ones in Hindi, she evokes a certain sense of nostalgia through her roles — a nod towards the period when artists like Madhubala or Vyjantimala ruled the roost. But she is also as contemporary as they come, leaving her mark in an Akshay Kumar-vehicle like Jolly LLB 2, where she snatches a bottle of scotch from Kumar in a memorable introductory scene and downs a couple of shots. Later on in the film, she happily feasts on whatever the titular hero is cooking for her. I met Huma during the Berlin International Film Festival, where her first major international project Viceroy’s House is having its world premiere. The film is director Gurinder Chadha’s take on Partition,

Anderson, Hugh Bonneville and the late Om Puri in one of his last performances on celluloid. Huma plays a young Muslim woman, Aalia, in love with Jeet Kumar, a Hindu, played by Manish Dayal. It’s the first interview of the day for her during her promotional rounds, and she’s positively upbeat and all smiles when she arrives. The first question I ask her is how she got involved with the British movie. “I knew Gurinder was making this film, I was sort-of hearing about it,” she replies with practised ease. “She was in India and put Seher Latif, the casting director, in charge of finalising the Indian cast. Seher got in touch with me and sent me the script. I loved it. She said you have to

met Gurinder in London, when I was shooting there for a film of mine. We met and she called me two days later, saying that I was on.” Her first British film just premiered in the UK. Icon sits down with the rising star to discuss her opinions on identity, films and India’s Partition. Even though Huma sounds very matter-of-fact about this, it must have been a big deal for her. What was it that drew her to this role? “Gurinder is known for her slice-oflife comedies and showing the Indian diaspora-meeting-the-Western world in a very unique, quirky way. But this film is unlike Gurinder’s other work. It’s quite intense, quite historical.” Chadha is most well-known for films such as Bhaji on the Beach

(2002), Bride and Prejudice (2004) and The Mistress of Spices (2005). “It’s fact-meets-fiction, combined with a love story. One would not expect a film like this from her. So I was quite fascinated. And looking at the subject material, it is Partition. It is 1947. And Gurinder is a female filmmaker. British. Indian. So it was interesting for me to see how she would direct this material, because it’s not easy to make a film on Partition and tell both sides of the story.” Those who have already watched the film tell me that it really moved them, that it touched them. I believe that if it manages to do that, our job is done.” -dawn.com

Happy Birthday

Deepika Padukone January 05, 1986

A R Rahman

January 06, 1967

Diljit Dosanjh January 06, 1984

Bipasa Basu

January 07, 1979

Irrfan Khan

January 07, 1967

Farhan Akhtar January 09, 1974

Farah Khan

January 09, 1965


Hrithik Roshan January 10, 1974

24 January 05, 2018 Six, Seven, Eight Could Decide India’s Fate in S. Africa BY SIDHARTH MONGA

CAPE TOWN: (ESPN Cricinfo):

It was an emotion-filled Saturday in Adelaide in December 2014. At the first Test since the death of Phillip Hughes, the crowd heaved with expectation as Australia declared overnight to set India 364 to win on the final day. The pitch remained good, and Virat Kohli batted as though he could not make a mistake. M Vijay was solid in company. As half hour after half hour passed, India managed to stay within sight of their target, and slowly the dream of the impossible began to become all too real. And then India lost Vijay for 99. They were 122 away from the target with eight wickets in hand, but this wicket began a collapse. Kohli could only watch from the other end as two more batsmen fell quickly, and then Wriddhiman Saha tried to hit every ball for a boundary. India’s last five wickets added 38 runs. They lost by 48. Eleven months later, as winter began to set in, India, having been smashed around for 438 in a home ODI, gambled on a Test track that would turn from ball one. This was a pivotal Test. This was Kohli’s first series at home as captain. South Africa had beaten them in the ODIs. A team lacking in confidence had made a desperate move. They lucked out in winning the toss and had Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara giving them a good start, but soon found themselves at 102 for 5. Had South Africa continued with the momentum, this young team could have ended up shattered. Then Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin scored 38 and 20, looking assured, as the last five wickets added 99 runs. South Africa’s last five added 77. They fell behind by 17 on the first innings when they needed a lead of about 30 to be competitive. That turned the whole series, and a whole team, around. Five days of hard-fought Test cricket can be won or lost on one moment, one spell of five or six overs, 15 extra minutes of resistance, a misadventure five minutes too soon. During their successful run in the last two-and-a-half years, India have won big moments thanks to their last five wickets, be it against South

Wriddhiman Saha is made to hop by a bouncer.

Africa in Nagpur, against West Indies in Gros Islet, against New Zealand in Kanpur and Kolkata, against England in Rajkot and Mohali, or against Australia in Dharamsala. It is no wonder that the No. 1 side’s last five wickets have the best average in the world since that Mohali Test in 2015. By comparison, India’s last five wickets had fared better than only West Indies, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh during their 13-Test away run from late 2013 to early 2015. On an average, the last five wickets have added 166 runs to India’s totals during their dominant run since Mohali, a whole 53 runs more than the overseas run that left them at No. 7 on the ICC rankings. India’s only win in those 13 away Tests came in a match in which Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar contributed significantly with the bat. Just as it follows, India conceded the most runs of all teams to the last five wickets during their away run, and the fewest during their dominant run. A lot of the recent success of India’s lower order has been down to Nos 6, 7 and 8. Ashwin, Saha and Jadeja have occupied those positions for a large portion of this run, allowing India to play an extra bowler without giving up on lower-order runs. There has been no bigger symbol of the oppositions’ helplessness against India in Tests since late 2015. The three combined to do the job of at least two proper allrounders. India will desperately need that to continue

on this away run; they might even take it if the Nos 6, 7 and 8 combine to form one complete allrounder. The last visiting team to win a Test series in South Africa had Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali at 6, 7 and 8. The spotlight might be on India’s top five and the three quicks, but the three players in between might just end up deciding Tests if they are closely contested. The test for them will be the conditions. Lower orders, even more so than specialist batsmen, struggle to adjust to difficult conditions, not least because scoring runs is not their first skill. Only one of India’s three multidimensional players at home remains assured of a spot. India have been blessed that they are getting so many years out of Saha the wicketkeeper even though his career has coincided with MS Dhoni’s, but it is for Saha the batsman that this tour will be challenging. He has copped a nasty blow or three even on docile tracks because of his predominantly frontfoot game. While his tenacity has helped him score runs, he will have to dig deeper on bouncier tracks in South Africa. India’s support staff will spend hours trying to equip him to do that. An equal amount of work will go into a similarly front-foot-oriented but more explosive batsman, Hardik Pandya, who until not long ago was seen as the big hope for India going to South Africa, the kind of player India are not used to be travelling with, an

upgrade on Stuart Binny. India even rested him for the home Tests against Sri Lanka to preserve him for South Africa. However, a lot has happened since that selection call. In the two chances he has got, Rohit Sharma has scored two centuries. A big collapse on a green pitch in Kolkata - where Rohit didn’t play - has reinforced the value of an extra specialist batsman in testing conditions. The two-day Test in Port Elizabeth might have told India that they won’t even need a fifth bowler if the conditions are such. The choice between Rohit and Pandya will depend on the conditions: the friendlier they are for bowling, the likelier Rohit is to play, an opportunity to finally establish himself as a Test batsman. Only on a rare greentop, conditions in which Pandya the bowler might be more effective than one of the two highest-ranked spinners in the world, can both of them play. That it is even a thought says something about how much India’s spinners have needed conditions to be in their favour. Vernon Philander, one of the biggest threats to India in this series, is a similar example of a bowler who has had to overcome doubt over his efficacy in conditions not explicitly suited to his style of bowling. He is not express, and doesn’t usually swing the ball, which makes his accuracy key on pitches that don’t offer him too much seam movement.


Vidarbha Crowned Champs in Ranji Final against Delhi

INDORE: Vidarbha 547 (Wadkar

133, Sarwate 79, Jaffer 78, Saini 5-135) and 32 for 1 (Jaffer 17*) beat Delhi 295 (Shorey 145, Himmat 66, Gurbani 6-59) and 280 (Rana 64, Shorey 62, Wakhare 4-95, Sarwate 3-30) by nine wickets Vidarbha proved why they deserved to be crowned the Ranji Trophy champions in their maiden final - a debutant shone in the first over of the match, their best bowler of the season took a hat-trick, their lower order stepped up to hand them a massive lead, and their bowlers delivered long spells on the fourth day to wrap an emphatic nine-wicket win against Delhi in Indore. Vidarbha, who had dominated most sessions of the match, started the fourth day by adding only 19 runs to their overnight lead of 233 runs, losing all of their last three wickets on 547. Delhi had some hope of taking a respectable lead when Dhruv Shorey and Nitish Rana struck half-centuries in the second session, aided by three dropped catches, before both fell minutes before the tea break and offspinner Akshay Wakhare helped wipe out six wickets in the last session. Delhi ended with a scanty lead of 28 with a flurry of late boundaries from Vikas Mishra and the Vidarbha batsmen chased it down in five overs. Shorey and Rana came together in the first session to bring the deficit under 100. Vidarbha’s fielders were also party to the partnership of 114 runs for the third wicket. In the sixth over after lunch, Rana’s inside edge off the thigh pad was put down by short leg when the batsman was on 19. As soon as Rajneesh Gurbani was taken off the attack three overs later, Shorey, on 15, drove Siddhesh Neral but Wasim Jaffer dropped him at first slip. Rana and Shorey scored with ease thereafter and combined for a prolific over against Neral when they were in their thirties: a Rana edge flew wide of Faiz Fazal at slip before Shorey exhibited three classy strokes to race to 45: a flick, a back-foot punch and a cover drive. Rana had barely stretched his score when Shorey was on 59 and edged Aditya Thakare, this time to slip where Jaffer put down a sharp chance again. Wicketkeeper Akshay Wadkar then pouched catches off both Shorey and Rana to land Delhi in trouble.


January 05, 2018

Fresh Investments Plunge to a 13-year Low as Stalled Projects Rise announcements reached such NEW DELHI: New project an- project a low was in 2004.

nouncements by Indian companies touched a 13-year low of Rs77,000 crore in the December quarter, the project-tracking database of the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) shows. The latest numbers suggest that the investment cycle in India is unlikely to witness a turnaround anytime soon. This means that it may take longer than expected for India’s growth engine to roar back to life. CMIE’s capital expenditure database is the most widely tracked one in India, and the data on new project announcements serves as a lead indicator for the economy.The data shows that the value of new projects more than halved in the December quarter compared to the year-ago period. Compared to the preceding quarter, the three months ended December saw a 33% decline in the value of new project announcements. The last time

The manufacturing sector has seen the sharpest fall in new project announcements. The only silver lining in the data was a sharp uptick in power projects, thanks largely to a Rs1,000 crore renewable power project in Andhra Pradesh and a Rs9,000 crore gas-based power project in Punjab. Overall though, the investment picture remains bleak. There are three key reasons for the sluggish investment scenario. One reason is the low level of capacity utilization at existing plants. The last round of the Order Books, Inventories and Capacity Utilisation Survey (OBICUS) showed that capacity utilization had declined by more than three percentage points to 71.2% in the June quarter compared to the preceding quarter. The second reason for the lack of fresh investments was the pile-up of bad loans, which has made banks wary

of lending, and has made companies cautious about new projects. The third and related reason is the rise in stalled projects, which has acted as a fetter on the animal spirits of Indian industry. Indeed, the latest data from CMIE shows that the stalling rate for private sector projects has reached a record high at 24.7% in the December quarter. This beats the previous peak of

23.8% in December 2003. The stalling rate is calculated as a percentage of the total projects under implementation so that the values are comparable across time. The stalling rates in government projects have seen a sharp improvement. But owing to the deterioration in the stalling rate of private sector projects, the overall stalling rate is hovering near a recordhigh at 13.2%. -- LiveMint

China to Invest $1 Billion in Mega Sri Lanka Commercial Project due to finish next year COLOMBO: China will invest reclamation, complete with yacht marina, had

$1 billion in the construction of three 60-storey buildings at a megaproject near Sri Lanka’s main port, Colombo said on Tuesday, as Beijing aims to boost its influence in the Indian Ocean. The deal follows an earlier Chinese investment of $1.4 billion to carry out reclamation work for the wider Colombo International Financial City development, strategically located next to Sri Lanka’s harbour, the only deep sea container port in the region. The countries hope the project, initiated by former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse, will create a financial centre in the Indian Ocean comparable with those in Singapore and Europe, drawing billions in foreign investment and thousands of jobs. Sri Lankan officials said 60 per cent of the 269 hectare (672 acre)

already been completed. No completion date was given for the buildings, the first for the development. “China Harbour (company) will put in $1 billion to build three buildings,” Sri Lanka’s urban development minister Champika Ranawaka told reporters in the capital. “These three 60-storey buildings will be able to attract more foreign companies into Sri Lanka.” The controversial project was formally launched after a visit to Colombo by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2014 but work was suspended by the new administration, which came to power in January the following year. It resumed after the state-owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) entered into a fresh agreement with the new government in August 2016, despite geopolitical concerns from

Chinese President Xi Jinping inaugurated the project in 2014 during his visit to Sri Lanka with President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

India. Colombo is a key hub for Indian import-export cargo. Beijing has been accused of seeking to develop facilities around the Indian Ocean in a “string of pearls” strategy to counter the rise of its rival and secure its own economic interests. After protests by New Delhi, Co-

lombo removed freehold rights granted to the Chinese company and offered the land on a 99-year lease instead. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visited the site Tuesday to inspect the progress of reclamation. -- Times of India



Chaayos: Selling 12,000 Types of “Perfect” Chai

ENGALURU: P Raghav Verma, co-founder of Chaayos, talks about what goes behind creating a perfect cup of tea: Our USP (unique selling proposition) has always been serving our customers their “meri wali chai” (my own tea)—we customize every cup as per our customer’s liking—be it the kadak patti, no sugar or less sugar, or the flavors that go in the chai like adrak, tulsi, cinnamon, mint, ajwain, kali mirch, etc. This customization ends up creating 12,000 possible permutations of chai—which becomes an operational nightmare when scaling up. With so many add-ons and customization option of every consumer, maintaining consistency was one of our biggest challenges as we scaled was sourcing the best ingredients from all over India (for example, we source our cinnamon from Kerala and our tulsi from Uttarakhand, the two best sources for these ingredients). So the chai you get at Noida DLF Mall of India Chaayos is the same as what you would get in Bandra Chapel Road Chaayos, Mumbai. In spite of being an offline retail cafe chain, we always believed in solution technology. The next level of consistence and standardization will come through our chai machine, Chai Monk, which is already being deployed across all our cafes. Currently, Chaayos operates 53 cafes across Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Chandigarh, and we plan to be 70 cafe-strong by the end of this financial year. Our customers requested “more food options that go well with chai”, especially on the slightly more filling meals side— we came up with thepla tacos, a Mexican-Gujarati fusion dish.


26 January 05, 2018


January 05, 2018




January 05, 2018