E newspaper 04072017

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Friday, April 07, 2017 | Vol. 36, No. 14


Indo American erican News

Bollywood Infusion

P11 & 16 Happy Vaisakhi

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April 07, 2017



April 07, 2017


Glitz, Glam & Giving at the 22nd Pratham Houston’s Annual Gala BY VANSHIKA VIPIN VARMA

HOUSTON: One of the most

anticipated galas of Houston was held with glitz and glam, on April 1, at Hilton Americas. It was the 22nd Pratham Houston’s Annual Gala, a much-awaited event loaded with grace, elegance and warmth. Pratham, a non-profit organization was founded with the belief that every child has the right to a quality education. Pratham is dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged children, youth and women in India through education and vocational training programs. The guests of honor included Sushmita Sen, Consul General of India, Dr. Anupam Ray, Pratham USA President Deepak Raj, Pratham Houston President Ash Shah, Vice President Asha Dhume and the CEO of Pratham India, Dr. Rukmini Banerji. A rendition of the National Anthem of United States and India opened the evening’s proceedings. They were sung by Apoorva Das and Pooja Vettical. This was followed by a mesmerizing performance by Rice University’s Rasika Dance Group. Dressed in a stunning Indian outfit, Casey Curry, KTRK Channel 13’s meteorologist, captured quite some attention

Pratham USA Board of Director, Swatantra Jain and Bimla Jain with Sushmita Sen.

Pratham Houston President Ash Shah and Vice President Asha Dhume with Sushmita Sen. Photos: Daniel Ortiz

“Pratham’s unique, scalable and innovative model of eradicating illiteracy without brick and mortar schools can change the grassroots foundation of India’s children and her youth”. – Ash Shah


For Photo Collage, see pages 14-15

Consul General of India, Dr. Anupam Ray (right) with Founder, Pratham USA Vijay Goradia and Dr. Marie Goradia.

“Education is the biggest game changer that can take a developing country out of the inevitable cycle of poverty, unemployment and child exploitation and our motto at Pratham is “Every child in school and learning well. Sushmita Sen surpassed all our expectations and touched everyone with her genuine speech from her heart and the gentleness and caring with which she handled our Pratham student. Sanjana Das! - Asha Dhume


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April 07, 2017



April 07, 2017

Go Go Go… Go Pagal… Holi Hai!



Ever imagined what it would be like to be on set for a Bollywood Movie Holi Song shoot? It would be just like joining over 16,000 at HOUSTON HOLI 2017. The Festival of Colors exploded all afternoon with bursts of color powder, colored smoke grenades, bubbles, hazers and people of every color, “tere gaal ko laal banaaun… kyunki aaj baby holi hai!” It was a surreal experience for all ages presented by Star Plus, Tara Energy and Masala Radio on Saturday March 25, 12-5PM, featuring Jay Sean - Xfinity Live Concert, Toyota Shuttle Service, Mercedes Benz Color Rave & Alings Foam Dance with color powder blasters and Co2 cannons. Bollywood singer Arjun “K for Kishore” sang old & new Holi songs (mixed by DJ Nish and DJ Scoop) and got everyone to dance as they walked in. “A vibrant crowd celebrated Holi for the entire 5 hours of the event – an international, almost paagal (frenzy) crowd that was just excited with every Bollywood song, every joke, and every contest that Sunil hosted” said Sandhya Thakkar. An unprecedented number of youths came in the open-air venue to play with color all day long, ate fresh Indian street foods and watched the top dance groups perform to popular Bollywood songs on the main stage. By 3 pm the park was completely packed with people drenched in color and they were ready to Go Pagal with speakers at full blast. The grand finale was Jay Sean singing nonstop almost for an hour including his popular “Stolen, Ride It, Hum Tum, and Tere Naal Nachna.” He brought the house down with an extended version of his number 1 Billboard song “Down” Rachana Sanghani mesmerizingly sung out loud every song, “The last time I saw him was at UT Austin before he became an international star… he has come a long way and I will never forget this Holi

performance.” One young lady stayed by the stage for 4.5 hours to be right in the front and forgot to hydrate herself. As Sunil announced Jay Sean… she started screaming, and then passed out. Partners Emergency Center EMS luckily revived her quickly so she did not miss the concert. Rice University student Nidhi said “all my non-Indian friends who came last year, came back just for the color & foam dance. It was unlike anything we have ever experienced before” The finale Battle of the DJs featured DJs Impact, Scoop, Masti, Nish and Zee as Sunil spontaneously jumped in to crowd surf. Title Sponsors Star Plus along with Partner Toyota gave away thousands of custom-printed Tshirts while Tara Energy gave away 8000 bottles of water and hosted a fun free Photo Souvenir Booth. Star Plus presented the first hour of non-stop Bollywood dance performances by Dance with Dolly, H-Town Patakhaz, Bollywood Shake, Sunanda’s Performing Arts, H-Town Divaz, US Desi Gals, Bollywood Dancing Stars, Team Revolution, Andhra Mirchi,

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Rhythm India, Shingari School of Rhythm, Rice Riyaaz, Houston Jannat, BollyX, Arya Dance Academy, Houston Di Shaan, and finale Infused Performing Arts. Britannia gave away over 10,000 packets of their latest cookies. Cosmo 8 gave away 9000 bottles of their latest Energy Drink, and Karya Properties sponsored all the free Carnival rides - the deceptively fast Pirate Boat, Sand Storm, Giant Inflatable Slide & Obstacle Course, and gave away gift cards. Patrons Anand and Ashima Chauhan said, “the kids rides were exceptional, our kids just didn’t want to leave.” Johnson Development invited ladies living in Johnson communities on stage for dance contest and gave away $50 visa gift cards. Ramji & Associates gave away an Ipad and 10 Itunes Gift Cards. Doubletree’s Money Machine was a huge hit… giving away free money and an India air ticket. Gujurat Samaj sold thou-

sands of bright color packets and lit the holi bonfire. ICC fueled the kid’s curiosity by selling a wide range of Pichkari’s (water guns). Sone ki thaari mein jyona parosa ….Are khaaye gori ka yaar Balam tarse….Rang barse…Holi hai! Well actually no one went hungry thanks to the Indian Street food with all fresh food made on site by Houstons top restaurants - Café India, Bollywood Chaat, Chowpatty Chat, Chowpatty Express, Rice & Spice, Vishala, Kwality Ice Cream, Mirch Masala, Hyderabad House, Great American Cookies, Universal Bakery & Maharaja Bhog. “All restaurants served only Vegetarian items and no alcohol was permitted - I am so proud that Houston Holi has kept the Hindu traditions alive in our youth with increasingly large numbers of non-Indians attending for the first time.,” said Vijay Pallod of Hindus of Greater Houston. “When I entered the Holi festival,

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two volunteers greeted me with a smile and put color on my face… The organization this year was the best I have seen and took care of every detail. Congratulations to the entire Masala Radio Holi team for a job well done.” Masala Radio thanks over 100 sponsors, 100 volunteers, performers, and the dream team Masala Entertainment crew Munira, Dhaval, Rinku, Devangi, Sonali, Aditi, Carlos, Shah, Ruchir, Ninad, Mayur, Preanka, Rajoo, Dilip, Vikas, Shivani, Iman, Natasha, Nivesh, Gaurav & Meedu for the amazing pictures, Arion and Jesus for spectacular video coverage. Big thanks to our Information & ticket booth crew - Ankit, Bhavisha, Lauhael, Neha, Chaitali, Sunny, Mehran, Ashka, Sonali, Krupa, Ina, Devan, Sameep, Shreya, 20 Masala Radio Jockeys, and especially Eddie of Houston Farm & Ranch for yet another amazing HOLI!. But nothing would be possible without the grace of Lord Krishna who diverted the rain to Friday. “I am humbled by the power of nature and the will of god. It was not only the largest Holi in the USA, but also the largest South-Asian event in the history of Houston. Long live our rich Indian culture and our Hindu traditions. Jai Shree Krishna !!” said Sunil Thakkar.

For Photo Collage, see page 36



April 07, 2017

Daya 2017 Gala: Empowering South Asian Women

Daya Board: from left (standing): Anita Manoharan, Dinesh Pejevar, Annu Naik, Sesh Bala, Sheela Rao, and Anasuya Kabad. From left (sitting): Shaila Patel, Lakshmy Parameswaran, Viji Raman, and Vatsala Bhaskaran. Absent: Jyoti Kulkarni, Fatima Mohiuddin, Charu Verma.

Keynote Speaker Stephanie von Stein (left) with Daya Executive DirectorRachna Khare.

Gala Co-chairs: from left: Farida Abjani, Sippi Khurana, and Annu Naik. Photos: Shlok Vaidya

and graceful decor. The theme of this year’s sold out event, with over 300 attendees, was ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’. The event started with a well-orchestrated dance performance by Moodafaruka, a troupe that mixed Flamenco, Middle Eastern, Spanish and Western motifs to perform a tapestry of sound. Rekha Muddaraj, the news anchor of KHOU, was the emcee at the luncheon. She welcomed everyone with her pretty smile. Sesh Bala, Daya President, was then invited over to speak. Sesh was kind to acknowledge members who were the backbone support for this grand gala. He commended the Daya board, the advisory board members, the staff and volunteers. He proudly stated, “Daya is maturing as an organization. Having begun with volunteers, it is now a staff run organization from a board run organiza-

tion”. He then transparently shared insights about Daya fundings, stating that two thirds of Daya’s funding comes from private foundations and the Government. “The annual budget granted at $25,000 six years ago, has grown to almost $600,000”, he said. The remaining one third of the funding is received from the ‘generous community’, as he refers them. Sesh acknowledged the gala co-chairs and prominent community members, Annu Naik, Farida Abjani, and Sippi Khurana and thanked them for their dedication and hard work. The next speaker was Daya’s Executive Director, Rachna Khare. Firstly she cleared the misconception that in today’s world the number of women facing domestic violence is very low. Several shocked expressions were noticed across the hall when Rachna shared the statistics of domestic violence. This year Daya managed to help 286 of such victims. She went ahead to share details about how they helped each and every survivor, by being focused on them individually. She cited an example of a woman who was rescued immediately after she gave birth to her baby, from her violent husband. And now the mother and her child live independently with constant help and counseling from Daya. Rachna shared many such examples that helped the audience understand how Daya has made a difference to the lives of these domestic violence victims, referred to as ‘Survivors’. The next speaker was one of these ‘Survivors’, whose name is being withheld for privacy reasons. She had moved to Canada from India after getting married. Later they moved to America when her husband wanted to pursue his career. Her expectations were simple- to lead a happy family life. But she was in for a rude shock when things started taking a drastic change. Little did she know that she would become a victim of domestic violence. She was in a helpless situation without work authorization and dependency on her husband. Tears rolled down her eyes as she said, “During my marriage I was a victim of physical, emotional, financial and immigration abuse by my ex husband”. She could not leave the country as her son was born and she would have had to let go of her child if she broke the relationship. After a lot of hesitation, she connected with Daya, and immediately found hope towards building a bright future for herself and her son. Some of the audience members were reduced to tears when she mentioned how Daya helped her get out of the situation and made her hopeful again. Today, she has a work authorization, and lives independently with her son, and receives constant support

from Daya, who she considers as her family. Rekha Muddaraj brought back some cheer as she came up on stage and encouraged all the attendees to donate generously. She explained in depth how donor dollars could change the course of a person’s life, and copies of this were also presented to everyone in form of an envelope. This was followed by a few testimonials from the ‘survivors’ of Daya in a video. The keynote speaker of the day, a domestic violence victim, Stephanie Von Stein, described her horrifying story. At the age around 40 she got married and pregnant, and was advised bed rest. Her husband tortured her often by screaming at her, pulling her hair and pushing her around the bathroom. “This became quite a routine”, said Stephanie, who stood tall and confident while addressing the audience. It was frightful to know how a well-accomplished professional, holding a high power job with hundreds of employees under her, could also become a domestic violence victim. But she said, “ It could happen to anybody, it happened to me, I was strong, smart and had a great family, but I loved and trusted someone wrong”. She cried while she spoke about her incidents in detail, and the struggle she faces even today, leaving the entire hall numb. She applauded Daya for the outstanding work they have been doing to help the victims of domestic violence, a global issue reaching across national boundaries as well as socioeconomic cultural, racial and class distinctions. It is a relief to have a re-assurance that help is handy. Her emotional yet strong message was followed by a scrumptious lunch and dessert, finally concluding with a vote of thanks by the gala co-chairs, Annu Naik, Farida Abjani, and Sippi Khurana. More about Daya Inc. Daya Inc. is a Houston based nonprofit organization that addresses the immediate safety and shelter needs of South Asian women and their children who are being battered, abused or at risk of being victimized, and provides follow-up services to help women create abuse-free homes. Daya fields over 6000 calls and serves over 300 clients annually. All of Daya’s services are free and confidential, and are extended to non-traditional families as well. Daya can be reached on their helpline: 713-981-7645 or website www.dayahouston.org


HOUSTON: Domestic violence is wide

spread, deeply ingrained and has serious impacts on women’s health and well-being. Realizing this, in 1996, seven friends established Daya Inc., a Houston based non-profit organization that empowers South Asian women and their families who are trying to break the cycle of domestic and sexual violence and reclaim their lives. Daya empowers these women by offering counseling and advocacy, promoting community awareness and by advocating at the policy level. This year’s gala, held on Friday, March 31, at the Junior League of Houston was no different, and very special. It was a luncheon complimented with a sophisticated venue

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April 07, 2017

Glitz, Glam & Giving at the 22nd Pratham Houston’s Annual Gala CONTINUED FROM PAGE

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as she served as the emcee for the evening. Ash Shah, Pratham Houston President, welcomed the guests and appealed to the attendees to donate generously. He said, “This will be my last year as the President of Pratham and I will be passing the torch to the next President the Board elects, and I hope you all will support him/her the same way.” He then acknowledged and thanked everyone involved in the success of Pratham. The next speaker for the evening was Dr. Anupam Ray, Consul General of India. Referring to the next speech by Sushmita Sen, he wittily quoted, “This is the most challenging speech as I am in between you (referring the sudience) and Sushmita”, leaving the hall in splits. He shared some of his personal experiences in India and commended the noble work being done by Pratham. Minutes later, glamour hit the stage with the descent of the former Miss Universe and Bollywood Star, Sushmita Sen. Dressed in stunning red gown, Sush, as she is fondly known as, truly stole several hearts in the hall. While her entry seemed to be the most anticipated, her speech was impactful as well. Stressing on the importance of education for all she mentioned, “Education is a birth right for every single life. Pratham understands the root cause of kids not having education in India, and works on solving it. Thank you Pratham for going back to the source and understanding it. Tonight, I am so proud that Pratham celebrates that”. Sen also added, “If you want to understand compassion you have to have empathy”. The house applauded as she closed her speech with a very apt quote by Winsten Churchill, “We make a living by what we get and we make a life by what we give”. As a token of appreciation. Sen was then presented the plaque by Pratham USA Board of Director, Swatantra Jain and his wife Bimla Jain. This followed with the high-energy Pratham Jai Ho video. A cute little surprise followed next, with Ash and Leena Shah’s two young sons Krish and Aryan coming up on stage to share their personal experiences visiting Pratham schools in India, and appeal to the people to donate generously. They were joined by Sushmita Sen, Ash Shah and Asha Dhume, and everyone supported generously. An emotional moment followed next when a young woman, Sanjana Das, was called up on stage. Sanjana attended a vocational training in hospitality management, from Pratham School, and this helped her get a job in the hospitality industry, thus providing support for her family. “Pratham gave me wings and a backbone”, Das said. She spoke passionately about achieving to her fullest potential, her dream of attaining financial independence. While giving Pratham the full credit for what she is today, she spoke about the various challenges she faced and how she overcame them. Her testimony left many teary eyed. The benevolent Sushmita Sen acted as an im-

CEO of Pratham India, Dr. Rukmini Banerji.

promptu translator for Sanjana, as the latter spoke in Hindi. Her emotional roller-coaster narrative was followed with a speech by Dr. Rukmini Banerji, the Chief Executive Officer of Pratham Education Foundation. The Honorary cochairs included Chitra and Kumar Bashyam, Seema and Shawn Karande, and Shital and Bhavesh Patel, while the co-chairs were Annu and Sagar Naik, Anila and Dhiren Shethia, Jyothi and Somesh Singh and Mini and Celestine Vertical. Ash Shah and Asha Dhume passed a vote of thanks to the guests for supporting their noble cause and for attending the gala. Scrumptious dinner from Dawaat Catering was in store and after the guests enjoyed it, a live auction was presented. The expert auctioneer was the very charming Dr. Subodh Bhuchar. The gala was a super successful, sold out event, with more than 900 guests, having raised more than $1.4 million dollars. Behind every successful event is a team that strives very hard. Some of the backbone support staff included the gala logistics lead Brij Kathuria, operational executives Mani Surkari, Dimpal Kalani, Roseann Rogers, the elegant design and setup team of Décor One, the delectable dinner by Mahesh Shah of Dawaat Catering, and the tireless efforts of the Pratham Houston Young Professionals team led by Darel D’Souza, who ensured that each volunteer understood not just their own, but also everyone else’s roles and responsibilities to ensure that the event runs flawlessly. And so it was. Entertainment for the evening was provided by The Z Band, accompanied by DJ Gary. The Pratham Houston’s Annual Gala bid a farewell to everyone with mixed emotions. It was a night filled with magnificence, splendor, elegance and poise, on one hand, and patronage and giving on the other. This triumphant gala wouldn’t have been possible without the generous contributions by magnanimous Houstonians and their friends who attended from various other cities. Stay connected with Pratham and its programs on www.prathamusa.org

For Photo Collage, see pages 14-15

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April 07, 2017



10 April 07, 2017


Chaitra Navratri at Gauri Siddhivinayak Temple of Houston

HOUSTON: Chaitra Navratri is an impor-

tant Hindu festival that is celebrated over a period of nine days. The festivities begin from the ‘pratipada’ (1st day) till the ‘navami’ (9th day) of the Shukla Paksha (the bright fortnight of moon) during the Hindu month of ‘Chaitra’, which is also the first month of the Hindu calendar and hence the name, Chaitra Navratri. According to the English calendar it falls during the months between March-April. Chaitra Navratri is celebrated with immense pomp and show in whole of India, especially the northern states. This Hindu festival is very popular in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to name a few. In most of these states, a huge fair is organized in the Shakti temples. In the state of Maharashtra it begins with ‘Gudi Padwa’ whereas in southern states like Andhra Pradesh, the celebrations kick start with ‘Ugadi’. The Gauri Siddhivinayak temple cel-

ebrated Chaitri Navaratri on Sunday, April 2,which was attended by over 300 devotees. The navami pooja started around 3:00 pm, which was followed by havan, garba, and aarti. Mahaprasad was served after aarti. Pandit Pradip Pandya wants to thank all devotees for their support and for attending the pooja. The temple is open daily from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm and everyday aarti is performed at 7:30 pm. The Gauri Siddhivinayak temple is a non-profit 501(C) 3 organization and all donations are tax deductible. Gauri Siddhivinayak Temple of Houston is located at 5645 Hillcroft Ave Suite: 701 Houston, TX 77036 For further information or to participate in pooja, sponsorship or volunteering call Pandit Pradip Pandya at 832-466-9868 Website: www.siddhivinayakhouston. org, Email: siddhivinayakhouston@gmail. com




April 07, 2017

Infused Performs at the Rockets Half Time Show: Fifth Year in a Row

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With the Houston Rockets team leading in their game against Oklahoma City Thunder (OKC) on March 26, at the Toyota Centre, the crowd was all the more excited and ecstatic for what was in store for them- a Bollywood spectacular. Infused Performing Arts Bollywood Dance Co. & Dance School presented their 5th halftime performance, with styles ranging from classical, folk, bollywood, hip hop, and bhangra styles of dance featured all in 5 minutes. Forty dancers of all ages and backgrounds gathered to represent the best of Bollywood in ornate and colorful costumes. With vibrant, multi colored Spanish style skirts for the ladies and Indian-American fusion costumes for the men; Infused was able to showcase extravagant lifts and stunts with the largest group of male dancers in Houston. As for the music, the company was able to bring together all of the latest hits and remixes from Bollywood and perform to a diverse medley featuring songs like Laila mein Laila, Humma Humma, Dhakkad, Haseeno Ka Deewana, Let’s Nacho Remix, Bhagda Pa, and Dhingana. With the new twists on common classics, Infused was able to appeal to all audiences of all generations, making the performance all the more enjoyable. Additionally, Rockets beat OKC with a groundbreaking score of 137 to 125, making

Photos: Murali Santhana

it so that the home team has won every single time Infused has performed (this is their 5th year in a row). Coincidence or pure stroke of luck? We’ll leave that up to you to decide, but the facts speak for themselves! Audience member Aeliya Arif stated, “What truly amazed me was how in sync the entire group was as a whole. Such a massive group of dancers must have been very hard to control!” Nevertheless, the company’s directors and choreographers, Tina Bose-Kumar and Kiron Kumar, were able to pull it off just perfectly. Almost immediately after getting off stage, company dancer, Haya Panjwani said: “This has been such an amazing experience! The energy from the audience and the vibe that I was getting from the people around made the performance all the more fun! I can’t wait for next year!” The husband-wife duo have been leading Infused for nearly 7 years, and are doing a fantastic job of bringing together different cultures, styles and creativity to their company. In fact, with Infused stationed at its new location, you can now learn all styles of dance and participate in fitness classes at 12220 Murphy Rd, Suite K, Stafford, TX 77477. Dance classes and fitness classes for girls and boys start as young as age 3 to adults. Call- 724-638-7338 for more details or visit their website

www.infusedperformingarts.com. Infused is now holding auditions for professional dancers to join their company. Company dancers should be interested in paid shows, concerts, cruises, and productions throughout the year. You can also catch them at their 7th Annual Bollywood Production “INFUSION 2017A Bollywood Fairytale Spectacular” on Dec 2, 2017. Lastly, Tina and Kiron would like to thank the photographer of the halftime show, Murali Santhana who has been doing a phenomenal job of capturing moments in action that truly reflect the beauty of the performance.

For Photo Collage, see page 16

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al’s power packed dance competition based fundraiser “Sewa Dancing Stars” captivated the Houston dance landscape on Sunday, April 2, at Houston Durgabari. 3 Genres, 4 age groups, 15 dance schools, 20 sponsors, 30 volunteers, 49 performances, 204 participants, 600 attendees and over $25,000 raised by the end of the 7 hour program tell you the magical story of an event which drew unparalleled support from Houstonians. This fundraiser was organized to raise funds exclusively for “ASPIRE Tutorials”, an education initiative undertaken by Sewa International for close to 100 kids from refugee / low income / underserved community background. These kids are from Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Kenya, Syria, Eritrea, Columbia, Guatemala and Mexico. The event emcees Mallika Ghei and Amit Pandya kept the audience engaged as performers in 2 different genres – Bollywood and Classical were subjected to scrutiny by an expert panel of 8 judges. The grand prize winners in different categories were: 2 Teams from Sunanda Nair’s Performing Arts Center in (5-8 yrs) and (9-12 yrs) age categories respectively, Oorjita Vijaykumar and Shivangini Academy of Performing Arts Team in (13 – 17 yrs) age category, and Dance With Dolly team in (18+ yrs) age category. Judges critical acclamation award went to Odissi Dance Academy Richard Rodriguez, the director of Brays Oaks Management district, who was the Guest of Honor, acknowledged the amazing work Sewa International’s team does and said he has seen the difference ASPIRE tutorials team has made in the lives of the students.. He exhorted the community to step-up and support the ASPIRE tutorials. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni , the illustrious author, educator and speaker, who was the chief guest of the event said she truly enjoyed the show and being an educator herself, of ASPIRE tutorials’ cause is close to her heart. She said “Being an immigrant I and my family were helped by others to settle in this country and I amvery happy that Sewa extends a similar support to the community.” Nikhil Jain, Houston Chapter Co-coordinator, and Sachin Jain urged the audience to support such initiatives and give back to the Houston community by either volunteering or by funding the projects. Kavita Tewary, Project Coordinator for Sewa International, thanked the patrons for their generous donations and introduced the “Sewa Dream Team” responsible for putting together this spellbinding event. Achalesh

Amar, Anuja Deshpande, Hasita Kartick, Noopur Sapatnekar, Sharda Gadiya, Lekha Vasanth, Vaishali Bhalerao, Nisha Mirani and Mariet Coutinho worked tirelessly for last 2 months on this event. They were ably supported by Lynn Arsenault, Laura Fry, Alexandro, Atreya Tewary, Asim Deshpande, Camilla Escobar, Vivek Sharda, Sandeep Bhalerao, Anusha Jain, Hema Venkat, Swagatika Nayak, Sachin Jain, Vidyadhar Jangale, Manisha Jangale, Smita Singh, Rajesh Thatte and 3 volunteers from Senior Citizens of


India on the event day. About Sewa International Sewa International is a nonprofit charity registered under the Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). Mission of Sewa is to serve humanity in distress, aid local communities, and promote volunteerism. Contact: Achalesh Amar (Houston Chapter Coordinator) - achalesh@gmail.com/713-3578216 http://www.sewausa.org

April 07, 2017



14 April 07, 2017


April 07, 2017



16 April 07, 2017



April 07, 2017


Cricket: India House Premier League Finals BY RAVI OZARKER


OUSTON: What a final! Fans witnessed a keenly fought cricket match at India House Cricket Ground between two strong contenders, Cliff Jumpers Cricket Club (CJCC) and WOM Cricket Club (WOMCC CJCC batted first and scored 160 runs in 20 overs which is considered a very good score going by the past records on India House Cricket Ground. WOMCC opening batsman started very strongly but Waqas got injured in between, pulling his hamstring. Waqas could barely run and almost everyone thought that he would retire hurt. However, to everyone’s surprise, Waqas stayed on with Manju and helped WOMCC compile 121 runs opening stand. Mark of a truly dedicated cricketer! Both players scored 50+ in the first 10 overs. First wicket of Manju fell at 121 and Ashish joined Waqas. Ashish and Waqas ensured no more loss of wickets and secured 9 wickets’ victory for WOMCC team with 8 overs remaining. Waqas was simply superb and was declared MVP of the match. India House management and organizers thanked all teams for their participation in this tournament. This “thank you” was extended to every single player and their family members who directly/indirectly were responsible for the success of this 3 month long exciting tournament which started off with 16 teams.

Winning team: WOMCC

Dedicated cricket players played matches in the cold weather which was close to freezing temperatures on some days. India house also thanked all volunteers and neutral umpires for their dedication and support. Congratulations to WOMCC for winning the tournament by becoming the best team of the 16 participating teams, but the real success that India House had seen for the past few months was the formation of a community that had started to come together during these cricket matches. A great win-win situation for all. The gentle and caring gestures of both teams towards their opponents formed a very close nit family of the members of all participating teams. This friendly gathering can be seen at India House ground on every weekend. Keeping all this in mind, IHPL Organizer Sanjay Aggarwal had proposed the idea of celebrating Holi after the final match of this tournament. About 200 people attended post match presentation and award ceremony.

The awards were given away by the sponsors of the final match, Ajay Gupta of Indus Management and Dinesh Purohit of Café India, and the Guests of Honor of the day, India House Trustees Durga Agrawal and Bal Sareen. There is lot of hard work put in by the volunteers to make events like this successful. All these volunteers do not get paid for their work. They just volunteer for a good cause. To name a few: 1.Col. Vipin Kumar, Executive Director of India House. 2.Sanjay Aggarwal whose dedication and passion for the community cricket is phenomenal. 3.Saurabh Malhotra - Hats off man for the great work he has done to keep things in order in IHPL. 4.Gopi Krishna – He has been the go to person with any cricket rules/ scores related issues on the Website. 5.Vijay Ahire - Very knowledgeable about rules of cricket and helped immensely in dispute resolution. 6. DJ Andy – He did a great job with the live commentary and DJ Songs

Back row: from left: Guests of Honor- Durga Agrawal, Bal Sareen & Balwant Khurana. Sponsors: Manu Gupta and Dinesh Purohit. Front Row: from left: Anand Bhattad, Ravi Ozarker, Vijay Ahire, Sourabh Malhotra, Sanjay Aggarwal, Col. Vipin Kumar, Dhruv Vashisth.

Holi celebration at the cricket grounds.

7. Dhruv Vashisth- He had prepared evite and flyers that were sent to the players and their family members. 8. Last but not the least: Vrushali Ahire who was operating the collection desk, Megha Ozarker who took lovely photographs and controlled the crowd, and Ravi Ozarker who also took photos and provided support through out the tournament. The icing on the cake was the announcement by the GBG that Bal Sareen had very kindly agreed to help

in building the shed for the players. After the prize presentation, every attendee enjoyed the lunch that was sponsored by Café India of Sugar Land. The event ended on a colorful note where all payers and family members played Holi and danced to the music played by DJ Andy. For updated results and score card please visit https://www.indiahouseinc.org/programs-services/tapedball-cricket/

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18 April 07, 2017 Haute Language



Manpreet Badal, the Finance Min-


any years ago I was offered a mince pie at a party and expressed my surprise that it was sweet and had these crystals of frosted fruit oozing out. Thought it would have keema in it. Mutton or chicken. Makes sense right, since it is called mince pie. All the upper crust Indians present laughed patronisingly at my display of ignorance and said, really, you didn’t know. Nope. No way. Like only the English would make a mince sweet and black pudding a meat dish. We grew up calling custard a pudding or a wobbly jelly with circles of banana embedded in it. I still don’t know what is a scallop and it is amazing how some people measure your social worth by your knowledge of these pretentious culinary exercises. Like folks who order Mulligatawny soup like they were making a royal pronouncement from a scroll and you sit there not having the courage to ask what the heck it is, will have tomato soup instead, know that at least. I was well into my thirties when i learnt it was a kind of liquidy dal and the word was a westernised version of ‘mullak thani’or colonial country water, like weak rasam. So much for exotic. Since a courgette to me is still a small cucumber I find it tough to be impressed by all this clever labelling. We are at this fancy sit-down do the other day and the hostess says, you must try the ratatouille purée, it’s my special recipe and everyone oohs and aahs and predictably asks for the recipe with that frenetic fake excitement like they were going to dash off home and cook it right now and she says, the secret is in adding the zucchini to the eggplant with crushed garlic shavings and the finely diced onions sautéed in butter. Everyone oohs and aahs, some more like they had found the hiding place of the golden fleece and a lady says one could make it with aubergines, too, i have done that. And i say, tastes like ‘baingan ka bhartha’ to me, pretty much like my mum used to make, take a brinjal or two, and roast it on the fire till it’s blackened and then beat it into a pulp … Everyone looks away in embarrassment and now i have to recover lost ground like Bruce Willis in a B grade movie so i say, oh, could i have another flattened, leavened circle of Indian bread without the glaze, please. -Bikram Vohra in Times of India

ister of Punjab, through his “law of historical memory”, has decided to erase the domineering memories of India being a country of losers and focus on the grand achievements of Indians. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has since claimed that Badal was expressing a personal opinion. Badal though is following the time-honored strategy of sporting coaches: Think like a winner to be a winner. After all, things that are deemed to be real, often have real consequences. By suggesting a new law for historical representation in public spaces, Badal has done what the Shiv Sena, BJP and the Congress had feared doing, even as they went about twisting history to their liking by renaming roads and buildings, and punishing anyone who wrote a history of which they disapproved. Not that professional historians were different. Irfan Habib, among historians of repute, has been on record saying that professional historians select facts that fit their narrative and ignore others. That does suggest that history writing is open to being diddled by anyone who chooses. Long ago, the Congress government had started writing history textbooks under the aegis of the NCERT with the stated objective of moulding young Indians in a manner approved by the government. This unleashed a barrage of history writing. On the one extreme were crackpots whose research insisted that the Taj Mahal was a Shiva temple or a Rajput palace. On the other were historians who explained away mass killings and temple-destructions as stray events driven by political expediency. What was common to both was the tremendous whining about exploitation by outsiders. Such outsiders, like the Turks, Farsis and Afghans, who settled here were exempted from deep criticism and attracted appreciation for having contributed to Indian culture. Special venom was reserved for the English, partly because they went back to England, draining some

Is history writing open to being diddled by anyone who chooses? of the fabled wealth of India. It did not matter that the days of India being the soné ki chiriya because of its hand-made cloth, saltpetre and indigo were already over. The people were more interested in knowing about other issues from the past. But the historian, even while accepting the importance of myths and memories for reconstructing history, considered it beneath his/her dignity to allow scientific investigations into myths. Rather, they took ghoulish pleasure in thwarting research into topics of popular curiosity like the Ram setu, or a search for the vanished Saraswati. Professional historians were soon sucked into the game of shaming Indian culture and civilisation that the English had begun in the 19th century. The English might have had an ideological agenda in showing up India as a country needing a dose of even-handed English justice and equality but, what might have driven the Indian historians? For, soon enough, the shaming game evolved into one where it became fashionable to define India as something that did not exist before English rule. Given our weak traditions of history writing and the copious accounts left by British officers and history writers, we are stuck with a one-sided view of the


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


past. That Indians should accept such stories is not so easy to understand. Could such self-flagellation be the result of them being a demoralised people? By proposing the new law, Badal has ensured that the public will be told about, and positive stories be associated with, the Indian past. It is time that the colonial narrative of India as obscurantist and oppressive was tested against historical evidence. It is true that history tends to be mostly about winners, who get the right to suppress truth. But outsiders cannot be used as reference points for historical memories by a society. As if to underline the extent to which we look at outsiders to define our history, we have the report that tells of how the last survivor of Jallianwala Bagh praised the then British Prime Minister for his condemnation of the event. Hopefully, what Manpreet Badal is now saying would focus our energies on our internal resources for nation building. Minimally, this would help people to stop complaining about the past and show some sense of confidence in their abilities to manage the present. Indian Express The writer is a professor in the department of history, Panjab University, Chandigarh

Reader Feedback

This is an excellent proposal from the Punjab minister, to decolonise and write real history instead of history as written by the westerners. Just imagine if this same proposal came from someone int he BJP. The media would be head over heals denouncing it as saffronization. What a shame! -SK I think instead of putting money to erase something we should invest money to preserve memories while keeps on creating new memories. Colony was history and we see it as history, as an academic area of discussion and reflections. We don’t take it as a insult on Indian pride. -Tutu 420 This is a very good initiative. Unless we know how glorious has been our past and that we have been winners, next generation lives in slave mentality. -SS


April 07, 2017


Gonsul General Dr. Anupam Ray’s Leadership Results in Success of the “Make in India” Conference

HOUSTON: Make in In-

dia Conference Chair Jiten Agarwal and Co-Chair Jagdip Ahluwalia attribute the conference’s success to Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray’s leadership. His vision,perspectiveandconstant guidance from identifying acclaimed speakers, suggesting relevant topics to his assistance in inviting the panelists helped make the conference an extremely engaging and informative one, said Agardwal and Ahluwalia. The success of the inaugural conference to encourage investors to look towards India as an

attractive investment destination has provided the impetus to make this an annual event as well as reach out to a wider business group. “We also appreciate the great team

work and spirit of cooperation from our sponsors and partner organizations in enabling us to organize this unique conference.,” they said. Partner organizations: Consulate of India, Houston, India House, Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston, Asia Society, Greater Houston Partnership, World Affairs Council, Dallas, Fort Worth, US India Skills & Education Council (USISEC), University of Houston.

Photo: Jessica Ngo/Asia Society Texas Center

America’s Appreciation of $100,000 Contribution to Ian Grillot Overwhelms India House


Individual, LLC, S corp & C corp returns Trusts, Estates & Gifts tax returns Bookkeeping and Financial Statements Business entity selection and formation FBAR Report & Medicare Cost Reports

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810 Murphy Rd Ste G, Stafford, TX 77477 Ian Grillot (left) receives applause and cheers from India House Gala Chair Jiten Agarwal (center) and the audience at the India House Gala on March 25 in Houston. Photo: Bijay Dixit

HOUSTON – India House received

thousands of messages and positive responses on social media, from Americans throughout the nation in response to its presentation of a $100,000 check to Ian Grillot, hero of the recent Kansas hate crime. “Some of these heartfelt messages came with entirely unsolicited donations in amounts ranging from $5 to $20,” said Jiten Agarwal, India House Executive Member and chair of the India House Gala in Houston on March 25, when the check was presented in person to Ian to help him buy a house. The donations will be added to Ian’s house fund. “Good always wins over evil, and these messages of appreciation from places and faces far away from Houston demonstrate clearly that the America, I know is full of good people,” said Agarwal. “We will continue building bridges between communities,” he further added. “I applaud what Indian Community has achieved. It has transformed the narrative and demonstrated that it is a community that represents the best both in America and India,” said Consulate General of India Dr. Anupam Ray. Grillot, 24, had showed true sense of the American spirit by intervening in the shooting of two persons of Indian origin on Feb. 22 and was himself shot in his hand and chest. Here’s a small selection of the emo-

tional responses India House received from all across America: “I’m a teacher in Oregon, and have so many students with diverse backgrounds. When I heard about the shooting I just kept thinking how if could've been one of my sweet students, or their families, and was filled with grief and rage. Your incredible gesture brought hope and reassurance” – Oregon. “I’m so saddened by what my country has become. We WILL change it for the better, I promise. Thank you” – Florida. “I saw this on the news tonight and it brought tears to my eyes ... so proud to have wonderful news in Houston! Bless all of you who made this happen!” – Los Angeles. “This is amazing! I’m so impressed with Ian and your organization. I

will be praying for the victims, their families, and all of you. We are one community and must stand together against hate. Thank you so much” – New York. “Such genuine responses renew our faith in America’s greatness,” said Manish Rungta, India House President. “India House will continue to do all we can to be an integral part of this diverse nation of immigrants.” “Some people from Kansas called to thank and cried on phone. It has been so touching,” said Col (Retd.) Vipin Kumar, Executive Director of India House. India House mission is to unite cultures, create bridges and serve the community by bringing resources, education, services and Indian culture to Houstonians.

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20 April 07, 2017



Sri Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS) is a Texas Non-Profit Corporation involved in religious, cultural, educational, social and charitable activities of the community. In keeping with its educational objectives, MTS is pleased to offer several scholarships to qualified high school seniors based on merit or financial need. Seniors who do not meet the eligibility criteria below can apply based on financial needs, and the candidates and parents may be contacted by the Scholarship Committee Coordinator or his/her designee.

Eligibility Criteria: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Residency: Houston and Vicinity High School Graduation: May 2016 Date of Enrollment in College or University: Fall 2016 SAT Score: 1800 and above

5. 6. 7.

ACT Score: 27 and above GPA: 3.50 on an 4.0 scale (Honors and AP Courses will be weighted) Academic Record: At least a “B+” average

Application Procedure and Checklist: 1.

Type or print all information on the application form. Both Applicant and Parent must sign the application form. 2. A resume including all leadership roles, awards, honors, hobbies, interests, and a separate response to question regarding participation in MTS activities are required. 3. Copy of SAT/ACT student score report. 4. Copy of school transcript through the fall semester of applicant’s senior year. 5. Copy of AP Scores, if any 6. Copy of Latest School Rank Notification from school 7. Sri Meenakshi Temple Involvement Essay should be between 100 to a maximum of 150 words. Only non-monetary contributions to the temple (MTS temple volunteering efforts, assisting at events like VHS School, and helping at temple services like the cafeteria etc) are to be mentioned. Please do not mention participation in cultural events, puja and festivals. Please focus only on activities that count as service hours for community undertaken at MTS through the years. 8. Copy of one of your essays submitted to any school you have applied to 9. Mail completed application and accompanying documents to: MTS Scholarship Committee c/o Dr. Kamala Raghavan 7106 Midnight Pass Ln, Missouri City, TX 77459 10. DEADLINE: Applications must be mailed on or before April 24, 2017.

Please note: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Applications (along with accompanying documents) that are postmarked after April 24, 2017 will not be accepted. The decision of the MTS Scholarship Committee shall be final. Tardy or incomplete applications will be disqualified. Successful applicants will be awarded the scholarships at an appropriate event in 2nd Quarter 2017 at MTS.

Scholarship Application Log on to www.emeenakshi.org to print the full application. Name, Mailing Address, Telephone Number, Email, Parents/Guardians Names, High School Name, Expected Graduation Date, College/University Planning to Attend, Intended Major/Minor Course of Study. Academics: Provide Test Name, Score and Date. SAT (Writing, Verbal, Math), ACT Composite, GPA, Class Rank, AP (PLEASE ATTACH DOCUMENTS TO SUPPORT THE ABOVE ACADEMICS) Father’s Occupation, Work Address and Phone Mother’s Occupation, Work Address and Phone No. of Residents in Home: Number of siblings: Ages of siblings at home: Number of siblings in college at the same time as you: List names of other scholarships or financial aid you have received: Cost of tuition for one semester at the college or university you plan to attend: Signature: By signing below, I indicate the information on this application is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge and I consent to the publication of my name if I am awarded a scholarship. Student: _________________________ Parent: _________________________

Date: ___________2016 Date: ___________2016

FINANCIAL NEED: A few scholarships will be awarded on a financial need basis. If you feel that you are qualified for a means scholarship, please state so below AND SIGN. Student: _________________________ Parent: _________________________

Date: ___________2016 Date: ___________2016

ACTIVITIES AND HONORS: Please ATTACH SEPARATELY the following short resume regarding leadership roles, awards, honors, hobbies and interests (Use a separate sheet ONLY and type or print the responses) Temple Involvement Essay should be no less than 100 words and no more than 150 words. Only nonmonetary contributions (example - temple project volunteering efforts and assisting at various occasions such as Deepavali Bazaar and assisting at various temple functions such as cafeteria, office etc..) to the temple are to be mentioned. Participation in cultural events, Puja and festivals need not be mentioned. Please focus only on activities that count as service hours for community undertaken at MTS through the years. (ATTACH SEPARATE SHEET)




April 07, 2017


Anticipation Builds for the Ekal Houston Chapter’s 2017 Annual Fundraiser

HOUSTON: Nothing is quite out of ordinary

that Ekal Vidyalaya Houston Chapter will be hosting its annual 2017 fundraiser event on Sunday, May 7, at the University of Houston Cullen Performance Hall. Except, this year’s rendition, titled ‘Ekal Sur Ekal Taal’, will feature a unique musical concert where the audience will experience a medley of Bollywood songs/ dances, folk songs, patriotic songs, and Indian devotional music performed by none other than the very artists from the tribal villages of India that the Ekal foundation donations have helped with education, lifestyle, trade, and healthcare awareness. As they say, seeing is believing, and when you see the Ekal Sur Ekal Taal musical concert of 2017, you appreciate and believe even more in the Ekal mission, of making available education and empowerment through its grassroots, non-government movement operating in remote and tribal villages of India. Committed to the spirit of sharing their gratitude, these Ekal kalakars from villages and tribal areas have spent good part of a year to prepare an entertainment bouquet for this year’s fundraiser events that are currently happening in many cities across the US. Since late February, they have performed in over 15 cities, in front of full auditoriums, and garnered raving reviews across the board for their art, dedication, commitment, and the fervor for delivering this mega-concert. Our very own, Mr. Ramesh Shah, the winner of the Bharatiya Pravasi Award honor in Jan 2017, is traveling with the artists on a bus tour across the country, and has been writing back to the Houston team how this year’s unique program is filling his heart with pride and gratification. The Ekal’s ‘home-grown’ talent, kalakars, are leaving the audience mesmerized and spellbound with their authenticity, their connection to the Ekal mission and the personal touch, and above all, their humility and quiet confidence. The choreography, the music, the costumes, the graphics, and the skits are enthralling one and all this year. In many cities, when audiences are asked about the concert and the artists, they are running out of adjectives and superlatives to characterize the performance. More importantly, this year’s event is an expression of gratitude by Ekal students who grew up to be literate, confident, empowered citizens of India, displaying how their lives and their villages are transformed by the Ekal donors. This symbolism is best communicated in the musical concert through an effective yet emotional combination of words, expressions, performance and costumes. As such, these performers have now grown to be the part of larger Ekal ‘family’ and the audience thus far have been embracing them as such, encouraging their adopted sons and daughters to continue to do well and spread their success around, neighboring villages, etc. The tickets for the May 7th Ekal annual fundraiser are priced at $25 per person, and include dinner in addition to the musical concert mentioned in this article. The tickets are on sale and could be purchased online at: https://www. ekal.org/us

About The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, USA The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation is a tax exempt, registered, non-profit service organization dedicated to bringing education & village development to rural India. The overriding philosophy is to take a holistic approach to social

and economic development. The Ekal movement is the largest grassroots, non-government education movement operating in remote and tribal villages of India. Ekal presently operates in 55,000+ villages, educating over 1.5 million children. For more information about the Ekal Vidya-

laya Foundation, please visit www.ekal.org and click on Who We Are or What We Do, or contact us at ekalusa@ekal.org. For further details contact Dr. Vivek Pradhan, Public Relations Office, Ekal Houston Chapter, vivek.pradhan.hou@gmail.com


22 April 07, 2017


Dr. Karun Sreerama: Houston’s Director, Department of Public Works and Engineering

Dr. Karun Sreerama



OUSTON: On March 29, the City Council confirmed Dr. Karun Sreerama’s appointment as Houston’s Director, Department of Public Works and Engineering. This culminated a nationwide search for the right candidate but as Chairman David Mincberg succinctly put it, “one name stood out.” The appointment makes Sreerama the first Asian to be appointed to the post and the highest office held by an Asian American in the City of Houston. Family, friends and well-wishers turned out to fill the city hall. Mayor Sylvester Turner expressed his deep trust in Sreerama’s ability to head the 4000 strong department. Karun,

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he said, came with “a great deal of experience, not just one or two, but four post graduates degrees” and will work to foster a new culture, streamline operations and ensure that the right people are in the right positions to get the job done. Almost every one of the 16 Council members also conveyed their support of his choice as Director of Public Works and Engineering. Councilmember Dwight Boykins highlighted his “can do attitude,” Councilmember Steve Le recalled Karun’s confident words – “I can stretch that dollar” while Councilmember Ellen Cohen endorsed his “unquestionable skills” but wryly wondered “how long his smile is going to last.” In response to the standing ovation he received, Sreerama thanked Mayor Turner and the Councilmembers for the “honor and trust reposed in him” and promised to keep that trust and do everything that is expected of him. In a reception that followed, Chair-

man David Mincberg described Sreerama as “someone with intimate knowledge of the industry, intimate knowledge of engineering and intimate knowledge of Houston.” When asked why he agreed to work for the City of Houston, Sreerama’s answer was both personal and simple: he “loves the city.” He promised to make the department transparent and reach out and work with everyone to make the city better. Sreerama, a native of Hyderabad, India, has some seriously impressive credentials. He is a gold medalist from IIT, Roorkee, one of 12 candidates selected for the prestigious Cambridge Nehru scholarship program, has three masters degrees and if that wasn’t enough, found the inclination to chalk up a doctorate too. His biggest qualification though: he wears his accomplishments lightly, greets everyone with his characteristic warmth and is quick to lend a helping hand. Sreerama came to Houston in 1988

from the University of MissouriRolla where he was pursuing his doctorate in civil engineering and got his start working in Law Engineering. A few years later, he moved to PSI, another consulting engineering firm, but his big break came in 2004 when he bought ESPA – an engineering, construction management and architectural design firm that was up for sale. Sreerama threw his energies into the business, focused on quality and client satisfaction and went on to double revenues. He earned his street creds with prestigious projects like the 2nd phase of the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Bush International Airport expansion and the Houston Metro Light Rail. Despite the company’s phenomenal run, Sreerama sold the company in 2013 because the offer was “irresistible.” Sreerama also became the first non-Anglo President of the American Council of Engineering Compa-


nies of Houston (ACEC-Houston) in 2013 and has been the recipient of several community awards. The Indo American and South Asian communities are clearly elated at the recent appointment. HPD Chief Command Officer Muzaffar Siddiqui spoke for a lot of people when he noted that it “is a very happy moment for us that the Mayor and Council has recognized one of our own as the city’s Director.” METRO Board member Sanjay Ramabhadran highlighted Sreerama’s long-term involvement with the city and community. Prominent Houstonian Bobby Singh also reflected that the new Public Works Director “is a welcome change in a department that needed true leadership and one who can make it an outward looking department.” Sreerama’s wife, Lakshmi is the Associate IT Director at the University of Houston – Clear Lake. The couple have 2 children.


April 07, 2017


Bollywood Shake Crowns Teen, Miss & Mrs Bollywood Pageant USA 2017 from Contestants All Over USA

STAFFORD: Bollywood Shake

hosted its 5th Annual Bollywood Pageant USA 2017 on March 26, at the Stafford Civic Center. This year’s show under the direction of Pageant Director, Ruchika Dias, was extremely entertaining, glamorous and inspiring. Contestants from all over the United States participated to compete for the coveted titles of Teen, Miss and Mrs Bollywood USA 2017. Bollywood Shake conducted its auditions and extensive search for the last six months all over the US to find the best ladies to compete for this year’s crown.This year’s competition featured contestants from New York, New Jersey, California, North Carolina, Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, Dallas, Austin, Houston and a surprise contestant all the way from Germany!! The contestants spent 3 days in Houston preparing and practicing for their big day! The esteemed panel of judges included special celebrity guest, actress and ex-Miss India Pooja Batra, Founder & CEO of HumFM Rehan Siddiqi, Vice President of Pratham USA Asha Dhume, National American Miss Teen Colorado 2016 Serene Singh, Celebrity Chef Roshni Gurnani, Cardiologist and Bravo TV Reality Star Dr. Monica Patel, Actor and Producer Dr. Pavan Grover, Miss Mexico Houston Samara Perez, Miss Bollywood USA 2015 Hinna Akhtar, Amir Dodhiya, Agent with New York Life, Realtor Shaneel Mitha, Farah

Spa, Official Formal Gown Designer Dress Galaxy by Ruby Ashraf, Official Decorator Deco Art, Official Realtor Shaneel Mitha, Amir Dodhiya of New York Life, iGlo Medspa, Official DJ Impact, Official Photographer Jasleen Kaur, Official Makeover Team Fashion Face Houston, Ramji Law Group, MyTaxFiler.com, Swagath Grocers, Desiplaza TV, Texas Star Kalaakar and Food Sponsors Universal Bakery and Café India. The 2017 Bollywood Pageant winners: Mini Miss Bollywood – Paridhi Jajoo, Mini Mr Bollywood – Aarin Sudev Tiny Miss Bollywood – Zaara Mishra, Tiny Mr Bollywood – Aragh Sharma Iqbal of TV One and attorney Farah Kamal. This year’s performances included singer Salman Mithani, Bollywood Pageant Theme Song by rap artist and motivational speaker Rocko Stedy Narvios and a spectacular fashion show by the Official Pageant Formal Gown Designer, Dress Galaxy. Emcees of the show were Mrs. Bollywood 2015 Shruthi Bekal and Mr. Bollywood 2014 Waqas Syed, who conducted the show beautifully. Chitra Divakaruni was the recipient of the 2017 Beauty with a Purpose Award for her contribution to society and especially to women’s empowerment. She is an award-winning and bestselling author, poet, activist and teacher of writing and winner of a number of awards, including the American Book Award. Chitra Divakaruni is a true role model for women especially of South Asian descent and an inspiration to our pageant contestants. Bollywood Shake also hosted a very successful first-of-its-kind Kids Bollywood Pageant and Jalwa Talent Show featuring a Singing and Dancing Competition earlier that day. Kids from all over Houston competed and won titles of Mini Mr/Miss Bollywood, Tiny Mr/Miss Bollywood, Little Mr/Miss Bollywood and Tween Miss Bollywood as well as trophies in the Jalwa Singing and Solo/Group Dance categories. Winners of Jalwa get automatic entry in the Texas Star Kalaakar competition.

In addition to running a very successful Bollywood dance school and hosting their own radio show, Bollywood Shake has always promoted local talent through its events. The Bollywood Pageant has featured renowned Bollywood celebrity guests in the past including Preity Zinta, Raveena Tandon, Neha Dhupia and Meenakshi Seshadri. Bollywood Shake has also hosted events like Mandira Bedi’s designer fashion show, Reality Dance Competition with Naved Jaffri, Vatsal Sheth and Omi Vaidya and New Year’s Eve Galas. Ruchika Dias, Founder & CEO of Bollywood Shake, has successfully organized the Bollywood Pageants for the past 5 years. Ruchika’s vision has always been to bring Bollywood to mainstream America. The Bollywood Pageant has been featured on ABC 13, Fox 26, TV-Asia and B4U TV. This year’s team includes Pageant Coach Niharika Nag, Contestant Manager Bindhya Babu, Judges Coordinator Pavana Gadde, Dance Choreographer Priti Islam, Fitness Coach Anu Krish, Backstage Manager Lisa Savage, Varun Gupta, Saritha Ethirajan, Sharat Yempati, Abha Jain, Surabhi Joshi, Esha Shah, Mousumi Banerjee and a big group of volunteers who worked very hard to put on an incredible show! Special thanks to our sponsors – B4U TV, Official Media Partner 106.1 HumFM, Official Beauty Partner D’Elegance Salon & Day

Little Miss Bollywood – Aanya Sudev, Little Mr Bollywood – Neel Gadde Tween Miss Bollywood – Neha Gadde Miss Teen Bollywood USA 2017 – Manjari Parikh, 1st Runner Up – Devika Mathilakath, 2nd Runner Up – Jamie Mathew Miss Bollywood USA 2017 – Pooja Gohil, 1st Runner Up – Akhila Kumar, 2nd Runner Up – Divya Kannegenti Mrs Bollywood USA 2017 – Nadia Neubert, 1st Runner Up – Rutvi Chauhan, 2nd Runner Up – Chandni Pal

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24 April 07, 2017


108 Lotus Petals Welcome to Celebrate India at Vedic Fair 6 on Saturday, April 8

HOUSTON: Vedic Fair 6 – Cel-

ebrate India, India’s LifeStyle Show for all will happen on coming Saturday April 8, from 3:30 PM to 9:00 PM at Cinco Ranch High School, 23440 Cinco Ranch Blvd, Katy, TX.Ahit for last 5 years, the euphoria to its sequel isn’t that surprising. As Vedic Fair is approaching Ashirwad’s artists, participants and supporting vendors are enthralled and looking forward to its 6th iteration. Vedic Fair 6 will be a complete family event to celebrate India’s LifeStyle and it covers length and breadth of India. Admission to the fair is FREE and Parking is FREE. Preparations for this unique Fair has started since December 2016. On Saturday April 8th,2017 Vedic Fair 6 promises to bring this festive and entertaining event to Greater Houston. The highlights of Vedic Fair 6 are “Samudra Manthan”, The Churning of Ocean Diorama made up with 108 Lotus petals, where visitors can strike a pose to take pictures. Exhibit presentations to Celebrate India, Free How 2 Workshops on Rangoli, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Yoga, Meditation and Classical Dance. Kids show - “Rise of Fortune”, to illuminate the origin of Goddess Laxmi, Keep your fingers crossed for “Divine Surprise 6”. Do not miss Signature event a Rare “Sloka-Thon” Live on stage contest. Vedic Bazaar at Vedic Fair will bring variety of Indian Ethnic Apparel, Jewelry, henna, face painting and variety of food delicacies from

samosa chat to vada paav to soya biryani. Vedic Fair 6 grand finale is prime time play “Goddess Laxmi – The Divine 8” directed by Geetha Ravula, Vedic Fair chair, presented in Hindi with English narration. Last year’s Vedic Fair 5 attended by 2500+ Houstonians was another nonesuch festive, entertaining and educating event that wowed

attendees starting from Saket Loka diorama, to Celebrate INDIA Exhibits to FREE Workshops to Vedic Bazaar with many varieties of Food to a Grand Finale prime time stage play “Rama – Lord of 16”. The stage play directed by event chair Geetha Ravula kept audience captivated with grand stage props built by Ashirwad A Blessing Temple’s Team.

One of the previous presenters at Vedic Fair says “I feel Vedic Fair was a really interesting event because it presents many different aspects of India, its rich heritage, culture and values. It is really helpful for youth like me and older and younger generations. It not only helped me in my own research for presenting The Third Eye concept but I also learned


from other’s presentations.” For updates visit facebook.com/ VedicFair. For more information email us at VedicFair@gmail.com or call 281-788-2286. H-Town Join us to Celebrate INDIA @ VEDIC FAIR 6.


April 07, 2017


A Delighful Evening with Radha Mangeshkar and Hrishikesh Ranade

HOUSTON: Houston Maharashtra Mandal

hosted another spectacular event of the year, Radha - Hrishikesh Concert, at Berry Center on March 19th, 2017. The enthralled audience was presented with an electrifying performance by the two phenomenal singers, Hrishikesh Ranade and Radha Mangeshkar, and remarkable accompanists, Vikram Bhat, Kedar Paranjage and Vivek Paranjape. The audience mostly sat captivated during the show as the singers took them on a musical odyssey with songs from the sixties to the latest songs in Hindi and Marathi. Hrishikesh Ranade, an established playback singer in Marathi and Hindi cinema sang some of his signature Marathi songs like, “Kadhi tu” and some old and latest Hindi and songs by Mohammad Rafi, Sonu Nigam, Kailash Kher, Arijit Singh. The audience rocked and danced to the likes of Mitwa and Zingat. Radha Mangeshkar, daughter of Hridyanath Mangeshkar who hails from the world famous family of Mangeshkars, sang melodious songs like “Tujhase Naraaz nahee”, “Mera Saya Saath “, “Kahee deep jale kahee din”, and the catchy evergreen Marathi lavani “ Padala piklay ammba”. The concert was enjoyed by all with lots of “once mores” and audience participation.The artists were felicitated with Texas mugs as a remembrance gift. From stage decoration to lights and sound systems, from front desk to ushering, and babysitting services were managed flawlessly by the dedicated HMM 2017 committee members. A big thankyou to our treasurer Jyotsana Phadke for hosting the artists. HMM 2017 Committee would like to thank all attendees, dedicated HMM volunteers, and Berry Center Staff. Thanks to Vidyadhar Jangale andAlpesh Thotte for taking beautiful memorable photographs of the event. The pictures of the event can be found on our website at www.hmmhouston.org. Our next event will be “NatyaMahotsava” , showcasing two dramas, a suspense thriller “Teen Payanchi Sharyat” by Suyog, nominated for 6 Zee Gaurav Puraskars, and a light hearted comedy appropriate for all ages drama, “Moruchi Moushi” by Natyagandhar, a North American Drama group on 23rd April 2017 at Berry Center. For more information and ticket details please visit our website at www.hmmhouston. org INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, APRIL 07, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

26 April 07, 2017


7th ‘Hindu Youth Awards and Fundraising Gala’ on Saturday, April 22

Youth award winners 2016. From left: Arpan Amin, Aman Sharma, Maya Iyer, Judge Emmett, Joseph Emmett, Saumitra Gokhale, Smriti Ahuja, Nikhil Jaiswal and Vaishnav Kuruvanka


4902 Fulton Street, Houston, TX 77009 For details call:

Houston (HGH) is proud to announce the 7th ‘Hindu Youth Awards and Fundraising Gala’ on Saturday, April 22, at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. The objective of the Youth Gala is to identify and recognize the future Hindu leaders, to encourage them to preserve and persevere its proud legacy, and to groom them with the needed understanding, tools and resources to achieve that goal. The Hindu youth award allows each of the awardees to share their contribution to the Hindu society while exchanging the experiences with other awardees, thus allowing a stronger and well-knit Future Hindu Leaders of America. The highlights of the evening would include listening to the inspiring stories of the winning youth and recognizing the donors and organizations for their commitment and support of the important cause and enjoy a cultural program. The Guest speaker for the evening is the young and well known Poojya Kaivalyamurti Swamiji born and raised in Texas, and currently overseeing the Southwestern United

Chief Guest Suhag Shukla

States regional youth activities of BAPS Sanstha. The chief guest and keynote speaker for the evening is Suhag Shukla, Executive founder, Legal Counsel and Co-founder of Hindu American Foundation, who will inspire and encourage our youth with her inspiring speech. She will also meet in a youth only session from 5:15-5:45 pm. This year we will recognize six youth who have provided outstanding service to community in education and development of youth. Hindus of Greater Houston organizes this event every year the last one hosted by Sri. Meenakshi Temple. Smriti Ahuja, an awardee last year says “It was truly an honor receiving the Hindu Youth Award. I am blessed to have been a part of Arya Samaj and

a very vibrant Hindu community in Houston which has taught me that wherever we may be in our lives, it is extremely important for us to stay connected to our roots and continue to practice the core values of Hinduism so we can lead by example for the coming generations. I continue to stay engaged with our culture and values at my university.” Vinod Mantri, HGH joint treasurer, the event chair this year is excited and says: “Given the professionalism, meticulousness in the planning of this event with team BAPS, I am extremely confident with I will come out with flying colors.” Please save the date, August 22, for our 28th Janmashtami celebrations, a signature event that Hindus of Greater Houston has been celebrating in a grand style. Hindus of Greater Houston also host and support a variety of events on an ongoing basis, with the generous help of patrons in the community. We are always looking forward to more sponsors and support. For more information call Vinod Mantri at 281-804-2740 or Richa Dixit at 832.451.7206.

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OUSTON: India House and Naach Houston start off the Season with a brand new production celebrating the global spirit of Bollywood Dance Theater in this spectacular presentation of “Houston’s Got Bollywood – The Red Carpet” Conceived and Directed by Dance Maestro Mahesh Mahbubani. The show opens at 8.15 pm onApril 15, Sat, at the one and only Miller Outdoor Theater, Free Tickets and Free parking. The Production design includes a

lavish wardrobe of Exotic costumes, designed by Bollywood Costume Designer Bipin Tanna, all the way from Mumbai the heart of Bollywood. Innovative choreography, dynamic dancers and breath taking visuals, and Magical lighting By Arif Memon, the show is woven together in a true Bollywood Theatrical style. There are four acts to this fast paced and Hi energy dance theatre Production. Act 1 is ‘Mausam’ or the Sea-


sons – celebrating the four seasons in the inimitable Bollywood style Act 2, Night at the Movies – a tribute to the spirit of Bollywood Cinema. This act will showcase a variety of songs and dances using different situations from Bollywood films. Act 3, unique in its own sense is titled ‘La Galleria D’Arte’ inspired by Indian Paintings. No Bollywood show can ever be complete without a shout out to the quintessential Superstar, which is in fact the title of Act 4 capturing the sheer essence of a Bollywood Super Star. We thank our sponsors, Chi St Luke’s Health, Ajay & Larrissa Sharma , Rungta Foundation & Outsource Energy. For over a decade Naach Houston has been presenting some of the best Bollywood Theater production Houston has seen. These shows have been proudly conceived and executed by the local talent of the Bayou City. Houston has Naach and thus Houston’s Got Bollywood.

April 07, 2017

After Demonetization, Tax Collections Increase by 18%

H1B Visas to become Harder to Get as Donald Trump Cracks Down WASHINGTON : The US gov- to be levelling the playing field for ernment has signalled a major policy shift in the H1B work visa programme, making computer programmers ineligible for the non-immigrant visas by default, firing a shot across the bow of India’s largest outsourcing firms. In a memo issued on Monday, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency said previous policies and guidelines framed for the H1B programme in 2000 would no longer be valid. In the memo, USCIS indicated that previous definitions of the term “computer programmers” would need to be amended and that “it is improper to conclude based on this information that USCIS would “generally consider the position of programmer to qualify as a specialty occupation.” On the face of it, the order looks

Silicon Valley’s biggest firms, such as Google Inc.,Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc., which have for long complained that they lose out in the race to acquire highly skilled immigrant talent to large outsourcing firms such as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) and Infosys Ltd, which are often the biggest recipients of the H1B visas. The USCIS memo is likely to cause short-term disruptions to the operations of Indian IT firms, which typically generate a majority of their revenue from the US and are already fretting over the prospect of having to pay higher minimum salaries for workers posted on-site as the administration of President Donald Trump pushes a ‘Hire American” initiative. India’s software services industry lobby Nasscom insisted that the latest guidelines would not impact India’s $155-billion information technol-


ogy (IT) industry, as top Indian IT firms typically only send “highly experienced professionals” for onsite jobs. “The clarifying guidance should have little impact... as this has been the adjudicatory practice for years and also as several of our member executives have noted recently, they are applying for visas for higher-level

professionals this year,” Nasscom said in a statement on Tuesday. India’s top IT firms, including TCS and Infosys, declined to comment. In recent interviews, top CEOs of the industry have raised concerns over the H1B clampdown and pledged to reduce their reliance on on-site jobs. -Live Mint

ONGC Videsh to Spend $3 Billion on Iran’s Farzad-B Gas Block MUMBAI: The overseas arm last year during a visit to Tehran.

of India’s biggest oil and gas explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) intends to spend more than $3 billion on Iran’s Farzad-B natural gas block. ONGC Videsh Ltd last month submitted a revised plan to the Iranian government for the block, which the company will be able to develop within five years, managing director N.K. Verma told reporters in Mumbai on Tuesday. The Indian oil company is now waiting for feedback from Tehran, Verma said. India has been weighing investments in Iran worth up to $20 billion. In addition to oil and gas exploration, the South Asian nation has considered petrochemical plants, gas-processing facilities and port expansions, including the industrial hub of Chabahar, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said

Iran is seeking foreign investment to revive its oil, gas and petrochemical industries since international sanctions on its economy were removed last year. Output from FarzadB could range from 1 billion to 1.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, Verma said. ONGC Videsh had discovered the Farzad B gas field in 2008 and had submitted plans to develop it in 2010 but due to geopolitical reasons, the state-run companies had to surrender the block and it was later put up for a fresh bid by Iran. After the sanctions on the country were lifted, the block evoked interest in many investors, making India’s position uncertain. ONGC Videsh in now confident that the revised plan would work in its favour. Verma said that ONGC Videsh is working .. Separately, the parent company ONGC is also working on scaling

ONGC Videsh had discovered the Farzad B gas field in 2008.

up gas production and expects output from Daman Phase-1 to be 2-3 million cubic meters a day, TK Sengupta, director (offshore), ONGC, said at the same event in the city. He said that the

development of phase two of the Daman block would be completed by May 2018, which will provide another 3 million cubic meters of gas a day.


EW DELHI: The government’s provisional tax collections grew 18 per cent to Rs 17.10 lakh crore, higher than the government’s revised estimate of Rs 16.97 lakh crore, driven by higher-than-estimated indirect tax collections. The government, however, met its direct tax collections to a dot even after introduction of two tax compliance windows, Income Declaration Scheme and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, during the previous financial year of 2016-17. Net direct tax collections for the previous financial year stood at Rs 8.47 lakh crore, the same as the revised estimates for 2016-17, a finance ministry release said. Indirect tax collections till March 2017 were recorded to be 101.35 per cent of the revised estimates for 2016-17 at Rs 8.5 lakh crore. The direct tax collections include tax and penalties from the Income Declaration Scheme and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, but no details pertaining to the two schemes were given by the finance ministry in its release. “Total net tax revenue grows at 18 per cent to Rs 17.10 lakh crore, highest in last 6 years,” Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia posted on microblogging site Twitter. In terms of gross revenue collections, the growth rate in corporate tax was 13.1 per cent while that of personal income tax was 18.4 per cent. However, after adjusting for refunds, the net growth in corporate tax collections is 6.7 per cent while that of personal I-T collections is 21 per cent. Refunds amounting to Rs 1.62 lakh crore have been issued during April 2016-March 2017, which is 32.6 per cent higher than the refunds issued during FY2015-16.


28 April 07, 2017


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 April 12, 2017. 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).

Chicken Momos Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

This column will not appear this week as Mama is visiting family in the Old Country. It will start again upon her return in early April.


Solution Next Week

A plate of hot chicken momos and

the rains outside your window – this is a combination to die for! A simple recipe, once you get the hang of shaping the dumplings, momos taste delicious when paired with a spicy sauce. In this chicken momo recipe we have used ginger, garlic, spring onions and chicken mince, but you can experiment with the fillings depending on how creative you are feeling while preparing it. You could also go a step ahead and pan-fry the steamed momos if you like!

Ingredients: • Chicken mince 1 cup • Refined flour 2 cups • Salt to taste • Spring onions with greens chopped 2 • Ginger chopped 1 inch piece • Green chillies chopped 2 • Garlic chopped 5-6 cloves • Soy sauce 2 teaspoons

1. Combine flour and salt in a bowl, mix well. Add sufficient water and knead into a soft dough. Combine minced chicken, spring onions, ginger, green chillies, garlic, soya sauce together and set aside. 2. Divide dough into sixteen small portions. Shape them into balls and roll out thinly. Put a teaspoon of the filling in the middle. Bring all edges together to the centre, making small tight pleats. 3. Pinch and twist the pleats to ensure that the momo is closed tightly. Steam in a steamer for about twenty minutes. 4. Serve hot with tomato-garlic sauce -sanjeevkapoor.com

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1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. (Toss a little oil into drained pasta to keep it from hardening and sticking.) 2. In the same large pot, add hot dogs and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until plump. Meanwhile, prepare the cheese sauce. 3. In a sauce pan, add bacon and onions. Stir-fry until bacon starts to crisp and onions are soft, about 5-6 minutes. 4. Add milk and heavy cream to bacon and onions. Bring to a simmer. *Note: Do not leave unattended, milk mixture could boil over. 5. Continue to stir milk sauce until it begins to thicken, then add cheese and whisk to combine. When cheese sauce is creamy, remove from heat. Pour over the cooked pasta. Toss to combine and set aside. 6. Build the dogs by placing hot dog into a bun. Scoop a generous portion of mac and cheese and place on top of hot dog. Garnish with your favorite condiments and serve hot.. -heb.com

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April 07, 2017


Film Review: Naam Shabana

A scene in the 2015 thriller Baby

sparked an idea for a prequel. The result is Naam Shabana, which tediously weaves the backstory of Shabana Khan (Tapsee Pannu), a college student recruited by a counter-intelligence agency.Neeraj Pandey, who directed Baby, is the writer of Naam Shabana and his enthusiasm has clearly resulted in much fill-in-the-blanks with director Shivam Nair unable to edit out the overstatement. We see everything—details of Shabana’s home life, her relationship with her mother, with her friends and a bubbling romance. We hear of her painful past and witness her present in which she is desperate for vengeance. Pannu is hardly likable. She scowls a lot and even treats her boyfriend poorly. Her one channel for venting her latent aggression is in her Kudo classes. It’s a little like the Quantico plot, if you can fill in the blanks. We know Shabana is being

watched and we finally meet the people who have identified her as a potential asset for the Indian intelligence agency. As Shabana’s recruiter, Manoj Bajpayee is wasted in a role that mostly seems him pacing up and down a stark corridor talking into a Bluetooth headset or a phone. When Shabana declares that she had aspirations of wanting to represent India in sport, Bajpayee says she would have wasted her talents. If that dialogue astounds you, wait till you hear the one where he tells Shabana that her religion can be played as an advantage by the agency. Confounding indeed. This is the first, predictable, flabby first half. Fortunately, once the training and action pick up so does the second half. And it really is like a whole different movie post interval, with the predictability intact. The action mostly takes place in Malaysia with the agency chasing an international criminal. Enter Prithviraj Sukumaran as Mikhail aka Tony. After him are

the old hands—Akshay Kumar, Danny Denzongpa, Murali Sharma and Anupam Kher. At one point the agency manages to overpower Mikhail. The agents even manage to plant a tracker in his toe. But it seems even international criminals on the run take time out for a pedicure, and the tracker is found. Bewildering! Almost as baffling as the remixed number Zubi Zubi thrust in leading into Akshay Kumar being bathed by a lissome lass, allegedly a source of crucial information on Tony’s whereabouts. The film ends as a set up for Baby but Naam Shabana makes your realise the effort and skill a prequel requires. It barely works in this case largely due to the script, but in part because of Pannu’s deadpan expressions and in part because of director Nair overtelling it. Much more effort has gone into creating an authentic milieu than crafting an engaging character study in the foreground. -livemint.com


Karan Johar Shares a Message about His Miracles: Yash and Roohi

If you saw Karan Johar ‘s affection

for his ‘students’ Alia Bhatt , Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan , you could tell that the filmmaker had a strong nurturing quality to him. And now that he has become a proud father to twins Yash and Roohi, Karan’s paternal instincts have come to the fore. A day after giving us a glimpse into the babies’ nursery, the filmmaker now took to Instagram to share a post that read, “Sometimes miracles come in pairs.” Karan’s caption read, “I couldn’t resist putting this up!! #stateofmind.” Clearly, Karan’s world now revolves around the two munchkins and he couldn’t be happier about it. The filmmaker had often expressed his desire to be a parent. At the launch of his autobiography in January, the ‘ Ae Dil Hai Mushkil ‘ director had said, “I would like to be a parent. I don’t know how it’s going to happen. I don’t have answers to those questions. But I do feel the need because I feel I have love to offer.” In March, Karan confirmed that he has become a father to twins who were born in February through surrogacy. KJo brought his little bundles of joy home earlier this week. -timesofindia.com



April 7, 1942

Jaya Bachchan April 9, 1948

Ayesha Takia

April 10, 1986

30 April 07, 2017



April 07, 2017

Vaisakhi Festival

Vaisakhi is one of the major festivals of Sikhs and is celebrated with lot of enthusiasm and gaiety in the state of Punjab and all throughout the world where there is a significant Sikh population. For the large farming community of Punjab, Vaisakhi Festival marks the time for harvest of rabi crops and they celebrate the day by performing joyful bhangra and gidda dance. For the Sikh community, Vaisakhi Festival has tremendous religious significance as it was on a Vaisakhi Day in 1699, that Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru laid the foundation of Panth Khalsathe Order of the Pure Ones. Date of Vaisakhi Vaisakhi Festival falls on the first day of Vaisakh month (April-May) according to Nanakshahi or Sikh Calendar. For this reason, Baisakhi is also popularly known as Vaisakhi. According to English calendar, the date of Vaisakhi corresponds to April 13 every year and April 14 once in every 36 years. This difference in Vaisakhi dates is due to the fact that day of Vaisakhi is reckoned according to solar calendar and not the lunar calendar. The auspicious date of Vaisakhi is celebrated all over India under different names and different set of rituals and celebrations. Vaisakhi date coincides with ‘Rongali Bihu’ in Assam,

‘Naba Barsha’ in Bengal, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu and ‘Pooram Vishu’ in Kerala. Vaisakhi Celebrations People of Punjab celebrate the festival of Vaisakhi with exuberance and devotion. As the festival has tremendous importance in Sikh religion, major activities of the day are organized in Gurdwaras. People wake up early to prepare for the day. Many also take bath in the holy river to mark the auspicious occasion. After getting ready people pay a visit to their neighbourdood gurdwara and take part in the special prayer meeting organized for the day. At the end of the Vaisakhi ardas, congregates receive specially prepared Kara prasad or sweetened semolina. This is followed by a guru ka langar or community lunch. Later, during the day people of Sikh faith take out a Vaisakhi procession under the leadership of Panj piaras. The procession moves through the major localities of the city amidst the rendition of devotional songs by the participating men, women and children. Mock duels, bhangra and gidda performances make the procession joyous and colourful. Celebrations by Farmers For the large farming community of Punjab and Haryana, Vaisakhi marks a New Year’s time as it is time to harvest rabi crop. On Vaisakhi, farmers

thank god for the bountiful crop and pray for good times ahead. People buy new clothes and make merry by singing, dancing and enjoying the best of festive food. Cries of “Jatta aai Vaisakhi”, rent the skies as gaily men and women break into the bhangra and gidda dance to express their joy. Everyday farming scenes of sowing, harvesting, winnowing and gathering of crops are expressed through zestful movements of the body to the accompaniment of ballads and dhol music. In several villages of Punjab Vaisakhi Fairs are organized where besides other recreational activities, wrestling bouts are also held. -baisakhifestival.com Ingredients: For the saag: • 1 bunch mustard leaves (sarson) • ½ bunch bathua leaves (chenopodium) • ½ bunch spinach leaves (palak) • 1 cup chopped tender radish leaves (mooli ke patte) • 2 to 3 inches white radish root (mooli) • 1 cup fenugreek leaves, chopped (methi leaves) • 2 medium sized onions, chopped


Vaisakhi Special Recipe- Saag

• • • • • • • • •

3 medium sized tomatoes, chopped 2 inch ginger, chopped (adrak) 2 green chilies, chopped (hari mirch) 7-8 garlic, chopped (lahsun) ½ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder) 1-2 pinch asafoetida or ¼ teaspoon asafoetida powder (hing) 2 to 3 cups water 2 tablespoon maize flour salt as required

For the tempering 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped • 1 to 2 tablespoon oil • 3 bowls of cooked saag


Directions: 1. Firstly clean and chop all the greens. 2. Then wash the greens well. 3. In a pressure cooker or pan add all the ingredients listed under saag except for maize flour. 4. Cover the pressure cook and cook for 6-7 minutes or more. 5. If cooking in a pan, then cover and let the greens cook till done. do check occasionally. 6. Pour the greens along with the stock and maize flour in a blender. 7. Blend till smooth. 8. In another pan, pour the pureed greens. 9. Simmer for a good 25-30 minutes. 10. In another small pan, heat oil or ghee. 11. Add the chopped onions and fry them till light brown. 12. Add the prepared saag. stir and simmer for a couple of minutes. 13. Stir ocaasionally. 14. erve sarson ka saag hot with some chopped onions, whole green chilies and a dollop of butter on the saag with makki di roti. -vegrecipesofondia.com

32 April 07, 2017 Big Brand, Big Impact: 10 Years of the IPL BY NAGRAJ GOLLAPUDI


UMBAI: (ESPN Cricinfo): The brash, self-indulgent kid turns 10 on Wednesday. From its abrupt arrival in 2008, the IPL has become the world’s preeminent Twenty20 league. It remains not only the most lucrative league, but is also a tournament the best international players want to be in, including a few who are not shy to hibernate during the international season only to surface when the IPL comes round. It hasn’t been straightforward. The purists still look down on it, refusing to recognise that cricket is also commerce, or that the game needs to evolve. But the IPL has managed to transcend critics and become precisely the brand Lalit Modi and the BCCI meant for it to be when it was launched a decade ago. Not just hit-and-giggle That is what the IPL was meant to be in the minds of many when it arrived: an extension of the broader condescension of T20 cricket. The IPL has come to matter to players and countries, who plan their commitments around it. It is also the league all other boards are imitating in some form: some, like the Big Bash League, have successfully developed their own identities but the success of the IPL has been the motivating force behind all of these leagues. Such has been the impact of the tournament that the a T20 league takes place virtually every month of the cricket calendar. And the basic premise of the tournament has been so successful that it has, twice, transplanted itself across international boundaries and not suffered for it (in South Africa in 2009 and the UAE in 2014). The equaliser Of the many reasons to celebrate the IPL, the prime one for India at least is that it has been an equaliser of sorts for its players. According to Mahela Jayawardene, current Mumbai Indians head coach, the IPL has allowed Indian players to become much quicker on the uptake in international cricket. A teenager like Sarfaraz Khan can thrash an international fast bowler with disdain. Manish Pandey, the first Indian to score a century in the

IPL, and instrumental in Knight Riders winning their second IPL title in 2014, is now a regular in India’s limited-overs squads. Over the last five years, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Kedar Jadhav and Karn Sharma have fast-tracked their international debuts thanks to the IPL. For them, the fear, or at least the mystique, of playing against the world’s best has been removed before they have arrived on the international scene. And can it be coincidence that since the IPL began, the Indian team has won the 2011 World Cup, the Champions Trophy two years later and has had several periods at the top of the Test table? It hasn’t only been about youth, or India. The IPL has also been about the endurance of older players, who otherwise might have retired in their mid-30s. Ashish Nehra, Zaheer Khan, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Brad Hogg, Brad Hodge, Praveen Tambe have all, at one point or another, proved to be valuable assets for their franchises. Overseas stars such as Mitchell Johnson have also benefited; Johnson credited his resurgence in 2013-14 to an IPL stint that season. Jos Buttler and Sam Billings have spoken extensively about learning a lot at the IPL. Last year, Buttler, who plays for Mumbai, said: “It creates cricket that you would never see anywhere else.” Ed Smith has also argued that questions about the state of cricket

and its future could not be answered without understanding the impact of the IPL. Fan loyalty The premise of moving to franchise-based model as opposed to the traditional state-based structure was to cultivate fan loyalty. There was skepticism initially because unlike football, cricketing idols in India have not generally engendered cityspecific adulation. But the success of Chennai Super Kings under its captain MS Dhoni, or Mumbai or Royal Challengers, has proved that it is possible to create a franchisespecific fan base. N Srinivasan, the former owner of Super Kings, and a former BCCI president, noted that fans wanted to take selfies with him because they recognised his association with the team. Fandom has filtered blurred national lines as well. The reception and worship Gayle and AB de Villiers evoke in Bengaluru, for instance, is similar now to that reserved for Virat Kohli. Not all that glitters is gold Obviously, the IPL has not been without flaws or issues. The money it offers international players has meant several international teams have been deprived of their best players for bilateral series. Some of West Indies’ senior players have stopped signing annual contracts as it restricts their movement and opportunity to play the tournament.

The IPL house itself is far from clean. The tournament has been dogged by controversies, none bigger than the corruption scandal in 2013 that saw Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals suspended for two seasons. The suspension was the culmination of an investigation that began after the Delhi Police arrested players and bookies allegedly involved in spotfixing. IPL 10 For the moment, the focus is on IPL 10 and some big names. Virender Sehwag begins a new journey as head coach of Kings XI Punjab although his official designation is that of “chief strategist”. The season is also a new beginning for Jayawardene, who returns to the IPL as a coach after having played for different franchises previously. Still an active player in other T20 leagues, Jayawardene will team up with Rohit Sharma as Mumbai look to become the first team to bag three IPL titles. Knight Riders are the other team that could achieve the same feat. Can one of Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore or Kings XI break the jinx of having never won the IPL? Or will one of the two outgoing teams - Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions - win the trophy before their two-year contract ends this season? There are individual pursuits, too, and none bigger than Gayle’s chance of becoming the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in Twenty20 cricket - the Jamaica batsman needs 63 runs to accomplish that record. As many as three overseas players will lead teams in this edition: David Warner (Sunrisers), Maxwell (Kings XI), Steven Smith (Supergiant). AB de Villiers will stand in for Virat Kohli at Royal Challengers, although he will miss the opening match of the season. The IPL is unique because it brings together diverse cultures under its roof. “The IPL is the tournament so far. Purely because of the number of years it has been in existence. You get the best T20 players from each country up against each other,” Jayawardene summarised, when explaining why the Indian league stands apart. Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo.



Brilliant Hasan Gives Pak Series Lead vs. West Indies


ORT OF SPAIN: Pakistan 127 for 3 (Shehzad 53) beat West Indies 124 for 8 (Walton 40, Hasan 2-12, Shadab 2-16) by seven wickets A no-contest between Pakistan’s bowling attack and the West Indies battling line-up. There were 66 dot balls in the innings - that’s 11 overs out of 20 - and eight of those dots were wickets. Hasan Ali bowled backto-back maidens and finished with match-winning figures of 4-2-12-2. Chadwick Walton, with 40, and Carlos Brathwaite, who made 37, his new career best, bettering the score he had made at the World T20 final, dragged West Indies to 124 for 8. It was nowhere near enough. Although the pitch at Queens Park Oval was being used for its third straight match, there weren’t enough signs of the ball slowing up. And Pakistan’s top order capitalised. Ahmed Shehzad struck 53 off 45 balls to ensure a sevenwicket victory. Where the game was won: The middle overs. Yes they exist in T20. For further proof, Hasan did most of his damage through inswingers, which for him, come out best with an old ball. Three out of his four overs came after the first 10 when West Indies fell from a respectable 59 for 2 to a silly 87 for 6. A slide like that might have been justified if there had been a spree of magic deliveries or an invasion of pitch demons. But all Hasan did was bowl full and straight. He understood that was enough by watching the West Indian batsmen set up on leg stump, and wait on the back foot, preferring to have room to free the arms and flat bat sixes.

Hasan Ali bowled back-to-back maidens and picked up two wickets to wreck West Indies.

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