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Friday, June 02, 2017 | Vol. 36, No. 22


Indo American erican News

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Sammy Obeid: Cerebral Comic 100 Years of Osmania University P12

From left: Gajendra Solakni; Sudeep Bhola and Sunil Jogi gave hilarious performances at the Hasya Kavi Sammelan

Movie Review


Vince-Chancellor Ramachandram and Dr. Karun Sreerama, the City of Houston’s Director of Public Works and Engineering posed with the OUAAA President Harinath Medi and event committee members.

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June 02, 2017



June 02, 2017


Impressive Turnout at Houston Iftar 2017 Annual Ramadan Dinner


Mayor Houston Sylvester Turner said that diversity in Houston is an asset not a liability and Muslim community is the integral part of this diverse society which is also the beauty and strength of this city. Turner was speaking at the “Houston Iftar 2017”Annual Ramadan Dinner organized by Abu Dhabi, Baku, Basrah, Istanbul and Karachi Sister City Association along with The Islamic Society of Greater Houston, and 50 plus Collaborating organizations at Bayou City event center. This meaningful multicultural event was attended by over 1,500 community members, elected officials, diplomats of several countries and media to show their support and solidarity. Murad Ajani , Honorary Chair of the Agha Khan Council presented the welcome address. The event began with a recitation of the Holy Qur’an by Imam Nihat Yesil. Mr. Muhammad Saeed Sheikh, Coordinator at the Houston Iftar Organizing Committee, expressed his gratitude to all elected officials, dignitaries, sponsors, volunteers and attendees for their presence. The Mayor of Houston was introduced by the Guest of Honor and Grand sponsor of Houston Iftar for the past many years, S. Javaid Anwar, President and CEO of Midland Energy & Petroplex Energy. In his keynote address, Mayor Turner said that due to the large population of immigrants, Houston is a big diverse family and Muslim community is the important part of this diversity. He urged the Muslim community to come forward to help out the less fortunate people, especially those are compelled to sleep under the bridges. “As a Mayor I know how to fix many problems, but it’s a very hard task to take care of these homeless people,” he said and added that without any discrimination, it is our responsibility to share and extend the blessing the God rewarded us.” Mayor Turner also paid special tribute to Coordinator Muhammad Saeed Sheikh and his team. Another special guest, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said that the Iftar dinner is the true reflection of America. She called upon the community to come to gather for peace and har-

Mayor Sylvester Turner

mony among the different faiths and work collectively against the Muslim ban. “We need your unity in Washington and we need your voice in capital as we cannot deal with ugly immigration laws without your collective voices,” she urged and said the unity of Muslims and other faiths, who believe the dignity of all people, is the need of the hour. Congresswoman Jackson Lee, along with Congressman Al Green and Mayor Turner, presented proclamations to the organizers of the dinner for their hard work towards creating a more diverse and bonded society. All the volunteers at this event were a true representation of diversity and unity. Congressman Al Green said that Muslim Americans died and scarified their lives to protect American values, for liberty of justice for all, and they stood for this great country that’s why we always stood for this great community. “Everybody who comes to America firmly

believes what America actually stand for. They come because they believe no person including judge, congressman and even the President of America is above the law.” ISGH President M. J. Khan also

spoke on this occasion and highlighted the positive role of Muslim community in the Houston society. Imam Daniel Abdullah Hernandez shared his knowledge on the


Significance of Ramadan. Through a video message, Governor of Texas Greg Abbott greeted the guests on the occasion. Maghrib prayers were led by prominent scholar Shahid Ahmed Rizvi.


June 02, 2017


June 02, 2017 5 COMMUNITY Fast Paced Hindi Poetry Ties the Audience Up in Knots! BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA


It was rapid-fire delivery of Hindi poetry, with metaphors, rhymes, similes, idioms and jest to be provocative, cajoling, delightful - and above all, amusing - as the three poets had the audience from the get-go. If you were nurtured on a staple of Hindi movies and songs but little else in the way of the written Hindi language or literature, then you could have easily been lost in the cascade of seldom-words and complex structure of expressions that were thrown out at you. But the audience tittered and laughed throughout the night as the words and the way they came at you, as much through the body language of the poets as the essence of their conveyance. And, even if you didn’t understand each verse – there were many for whom Hindi is not their first language – you realized that there was something funny that was said when the person next to you tittered. This10th annual Hasya Kavi Sammelan (Laughing Poet’s Society) was as much an effort in re-visiting the national language of the Old Country as it was to follow the behaviors and mannerisms trending in India these days and on which the poets based their material. Their poetry, in true desi style, came out in verse and lilting song and was equal parts patriotic, absurd, mocking but always engaging, for a non-stop 150 minutes and the audience was kept convulsing with laughter. The panel of poets consisted of Padma Shri Sunil Jogi, Gajendra Solanki and Sudeep Bhola who have been on a tour of 22 US cities in 40 days, sponsored by the IHA; and performed in front of the largest audience of over 500 in Atlanta. Bhola started out by saying that he was groomed for this type of work since he was 4 years-old and Solanki quipped that since he was in Space City, then maybe NASA

The boards of the International Hindi Association Houston Chapter and the India Culture Center posed with the three poets and IHA president Swapan Dhairyawan (back row, center). Photos: Sanjay Sohoni

should send a Hindi poet up next time? Gajendra Solanki of New Delhi is a true performance artist with his loud and animated delivery of comic poetry and satire over the last three decades at over 2,000 kavi sammelan across the world. He is also an acclaimed writer of philosophy, nature, patriotism, politics, society, education, religion, spiritualism and over 400 geet, chanda, and muktak. Sudeep Bhola, born in Jabalpur district in Madhya Pradesh is famous for his comic and patriotic poems and comic and quick-paced performances on stage of satire that provokes audiences to laugh breathlessly. He has performed at 1500 kavi sammelan and on many Indian TV shows. Sunil Jogi, born in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, is an Indian author, poet of comic verses and the chairman of the Hindustani Academy, a post holding the rank of a Minister of State in the Government of Ut-

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Young kids performed a bhajan in Hindi before the show

tar Pradesh. He has a masters and doctorate in Hindi literature, is the author of over 75 books and in 2015 received the Government of India’s Padma Shri, the fourth highest Indian civilian award. The event was organized, once again, by the local chapter of the International Hindi Association in conjunction with the India Culture Center and held again this year at

India House on Friday, May 26, Before the presentation, arriving guests were treated to a Chowpatty style dinner of pav-bhaji and uttapam (catered by Madras Pavilion restaurant) during the social hour. The main hall filled close to capacity in rows of chairs as an estimated 320 people sat in eager anticipation. The founder of the push for Hindi awareness in Hous-

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ton and current chapter director, Sangeeta Pasrija, and IHA national president Swapan Dhairaywan welcomed the crowd in the shudh (pure) Hindi that they are both versatile in and known for. Dhairyawan reminded everyone to come to the IHA’s 18th National Convention in Dallas in SeptemCONTINUED ON PAGE 6


June 02, 2017


A Zest for Life, Family and Community 1945 - 2017


OUSTON: but after the death of Asghar Ali Alibhis grandfather, the hoy was a foundbusiness dwindled. ing member of After getting marClub 65, a social ried in 1970 to Yasclub for Indian min, a friend invited senior citizens, Alibhoy to Dubai and served on the to pursue a busileadership comness venture. With mittee from its limited options and inception till his a heavy heart he death. He was indecided to take a formally known risk. As it turned out as the Party Man. Dubai was pre-desHe meticulously tined for him. Even planned every though the friend’s meeting, every opportunity did not picnic, every spematerialize, Alibhoy cial event, and was able to secure a was in-charge of job with Dubai Pefood and enter- Asghar Ali Alibhoy with his wife of 47 years, troleum Company in tainment. Alib- Yasmin the inventory control hoy passed away department, responon Thursday, May 18, 2017 after suffer- sible for procuring, storing and shipping ing a fall. oil related equipment within the compaAs an only child, Alibhoy had the great- ny. est appreciation for family. He included Retrenchment separated Asghar from and welcomed every cousin, nephew, DPC in 1991, at which point he moved niece, daughter-in-law as his own and to Baker Hughes in Dubai in a similar had a natural ability to touch people in position. He was with Baker Hughes for a unique way because he was willing to almost 17 years before retiring from the help anyone in any way he could. His life organization. lessons were simple: learn to forgive, acHe and Yasmin decided to move back to cept and love all those around you. This ‘Pindi, but with both their sons in Housapplied to people who were friendly, and ton, they knew the move to Pakistan after even those who were sometimes not so almost 40 years in Dubai would be short friendly. lived. In 2012 they wrapped up everything Alibhoy was born in Karachi, India on in Pakistan and moved to Houston to be December 2, 1945, but his family soon closer to their children and grandchildren. migrated to Rawalpindi, Pakistan where Alibhoy is survived by his wife of 47 he grew up. In ‘Pindi, Alibhoy’s father and years, Yasmin, two sons, Abdul Hussain grandfather had a thriving business and and Ali Abbas and four grandchildren. He he was expected to join when he came of will forever be remembered for his zest age. He joined after finishing high school, for life and love of family and friends.

Fast Paced Hindi Poetry CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

ber which will feature the noted famous Hindi poet Surendra Sharma. The entire evening was conducted in Hindi, except for a few occasional English words. The ceremonial lamps were lit by Pallavi Dhairyawan and Saroj Upadhaya and then a group of six young kids, ages 7 to 11, stood before the stage to recite a bhajan – “he bhagwan, tujhe parnam” that they had learnt in 12 weeks of Hindi instruction from their teacher Sangeeta Gupte. A dedicated IHA and ICC volunteer, Rajiv Bhavsar and his wife Bella were honored for their service with gifts of shawls and a ring.

ICC President Falguni Gandhi welcomed the guests in complicated Hindi which had many searching for their dictionaries! Chapter President Dr. K.D. Upadhaya, who is not shy to voice his emotions and has been known to spontaneously breakout in song and dance, spoke about the role that the IHA was taking in spreading the Hindi language and its cultural heritage, and lamented the difficulty in raising money for its efforts. “Hindi is not poor, we should work to serve Hindi,” he declared. Pasrija introduced Upadhaya as the one who encouraged her first sammelan, saying he bought 30 tickets and said he would bring 50 people, and did!

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June 02, 2017


Comedian Sammy Obeid @ Samskriti: Making America Great Again, Again BY PRAMOD KULKARNI

HOUSTON: Coincidences don’t

happen only in bad Bollywood movies. Stars in the universe collaborated to make the weekend of May 26-27 in Houston an extended comedy special. On Friday, the International Hindi Association presented Hasya Kavi Sammelan at India House, which combined parodies of Bollywood songs with political satire with heavy doses of devotion to mother (maa) and country (desh bhakti). During the weekend, I also happened to watch a Netflix comedy special by comedian Hasan Minhaj. Now a correspondent for the Daily Show, Minhaj gained publicity by doing standup at the White House Correspondents Dinner, where President Donald Trump was notably absent. Minhaj’s Netflix special focused on his growing up as a Muslim immigrant in the lilly white community of Davis, California. Minhaj’s comedy has an element of emotional poignancy that is worth watching for mainstream Americans as well as the immigrant community. Completing the comedic trio was Sammy Obeid, presented by Samskriti on Saturday, May 27 at the Kaplan Theater of the Jewish Community Center in southwest Houston.

Commedian Sammy Obeid presented his act with bare essentials -- a wooden stool that he did not use and the first of three water bottles that he consumed.

Obeid’s performance for Samskriti was interesting from several aspects. First of all, it was out-ofcharacter for Samskriti, which typically presents classical Indian performing arts. Secondly, one would have expected the organization to present an Indian comedian. Instead, Sammy Obeid describes himself as Lebanese-Palestinian-

Syrian-Italian-American, born in Oakland, California. Regardless of his origin, Obeid was a hit with the Indo-American audience for his often cerebral comedy that was wholesome (without any four-letter words). It was a brilliant stroke of programmng by Samskriti Director Rathna Kumar. In fact, Obeid told the audience

that he often performed for Indian audiences. His one requirement for performing at Indian weddings is that he be hired for all 12 days of the celebrations. Obeid’s skit in Houston focused on his already announced candidacy for U.S. President. He proclaimed as his campaign slogan: Making America Great Again,


Again. “My victory is guaranteed,” Obeid declared. “Because the Russians love me.” The audience was also charmed by Obeid’s word play on mathematics and his take on organic foods, which he redefined as “Orjamic”. At the conclusion of his one-hour performance, Obeid was thronged by admirers to purchase his CDs and tee-shirts for his presidential campaign and the Orjamic theme. Obeid is best known for his 1,001-day streak of consecutive comedy performances. It began on December 26th, 2010, and concluded on September 21st, 201— four days after an appearance on TBS’s Conan. Breaking the old world record on Day 731, Obeid set the new one at 1,001 Arabian Nights of Comedy. Samskriti returns to its core programming with a dance performance of “Mad & Divine” by Rama Vaidyanathan on July 9 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm at the Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston, 400 Main Street. Samskriti’s motto is Two Worlds, One Stage. Its programs are funded by grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts and the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance. For additional information, visit www.samsritihouston. org. For information on Sammy Obeid, visit www.sammyko.com.

10 June 02, 2017


Why Should I Use a Travel Agent? HOUSTON: “Why should I use

a travel agent?” As a travel professional, that’s a question I’m often asked. Today, with the overwhelming number of sources for travel information, it’s no wonder the consumer is confused. The Internet has turned into a minefield of SEO and paid-for listings. Not to mention all the new tools and apps available, which have essentially put the traveler in a bubble of recommendations? In many ways, increased access to travel information online has made the human expert more important than ever. Earlier this year, USA Today re-

ported that travel agents are more than just agents; they are advocates for the traveler. Travel agents stand up for travelers at a time when travelers need a voice now more than ever. We’re not just ticket bookers; we’re versatile travel experts who have your back. And we add value to our clients by managing their most valuable asset, their time. The best thing an agent can do is to match up a traveler with the vacation that’s right for them. We have access and resources and connections that would take the average traveler a lifetime to build. But our most important relationship is with our clients, the traveler. We take the time to get to Below is a list of some of the important services, which are either provided free or for a nominal charge, by travel agents: 1. Distilling the product information: Through an on-going and time-consuming process of familiarization, continuing education and customer feedback, the agent becomes a travel expert. 2. Investigating and supplying competitive information: No single supplier is going to advise a consumer that a better route or a better fare is available on a competing carrier. 3. Staying abreast of the most current and timely promotions: Via daily faxes, agentonly e-mail transmissions, and their relationships with their district sales managers, agents are obtaining the most current promotional information. 4. Analyzing the current promotions: The cheapest is not always the best. 5. Clarifying the fine print, such as cancellation penalties and restrictions: Again, the benefits of a professional’s experience can save traveler money . . . and headaches. 6. Making recommendations for travelrelated options: Travel agents share packing tips for different travel destinations and options. 7. Simplifying the research and subsequent transaction: Like a personal shopper, agents can provide one-stop shopping for travelers who require air arrangements, rental cars, cruise accommodations and hotel stays with suggestions that are in the best interest of the client, not the supplier. 8. Enhancing the trip with value-added benefits and amenities: Agents can add to the client’s experience by sending a bottle of wine, providing a special land package, a specific escort or other customer amenities. 9. Using their clout to obtain the best possible in seemingly impossible situations: Whether it’s airline seats, hotel rooms or cruise space, the travel agent has more buying power than the consumer. 10. Getting problems resolved: The agent serves as the consumer’s advocate in the event something inadvertently goes wrong. The use of outside service providers for many transactions, such as tax preparation, isn’t questioned. Similarly, if one is going to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars, as well as a good chunk of valuable leisure time, it makes great sense to use a professional. - By Travelguzs. If you have destination in mind or just want to vacation, call them at 713-893-0649, Email: contactus@travelguzs.com, Website www.travelguzs.com




June 02, 2017

A Gurukula Graduation at Chinmaya Prabha

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HOUSTON: Chinmaya Mission

Houston Bala Vihar celebrated the Bala Vihar graduation for the class of 2017 on Saturday, May 20. This milestone marked the culmination of the journey for twenty four students who have attended Bala Vihar regularly every Sunday and for as long as 14 years. Consistent with the scriptural education they received at Chinmaya Mission, students experienced a sendoff that was decorous, solemn, and emotional – much like the millennia old graduation ceremonies celebrated at Gurukula in ancient India. Excitement about the next chapters in these students’ lives was tinged with sadness of their impending parting with their teachers - Bala Vihar, language, slokathon, orchestra, Gita chanting and choir – and the beloved Acaryas, Gaurang Nanavaty and Darshana Nanavaty. After a sacred puja at Saumyakasi Sivalaya, the students offered their prostrations at the feet of Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda’s pratima at Chinmaya Smrti before the Vedic commencement began. Then, Acarya Gaurang Nanavaty inspired the audience with the evergreen and relevant scriptural commands, instructions, and advice from the Taittiriya Upanisad, a Sanskrit Vedic text composed almost 3000 years ago. As was the case then and now, the parting advice at a significant juncture like graduation was firm

as much as it was heartfelt. As the graduating students left the shelter of their teachers and parents to embark on the next chapter of their lives as young adults, they were reminded that their new freedom was a double edged sword that had to be wielded responsibly. This choicest advice was the essence of the spiritual values that the students had imbibed every Sunday from teachers who were carefully trained in the comprehensive K-12 Bala Vihar curriculum mindfully designed for over thirty years by our dear Acarya Darshana Nanavaty. Using relevant examples, Acarya Gaurang Nanavaty – reminded students of the three tenets for living an ethical life with integrity – “speak the truth; stay within the bounds of dharma; and, given the constant buffeting of worldly temptations that seek to erode one’s values; reinforce convictions daily through the study of scriptures.” Also, the students were reminded to not forget their responsibility toward supporting the institution where they were taught their values and also the spiritual institutions near where they lived – for making it to the top brings with it the responsibility to share the blessings with the generations that follow. Finally, the students were urged to honor their mother, father, and teachers – as they would God – as they served as God’s agents in protecting, providing, and guiding the students through childhood. Following Acarya Gaurang Nanavaty’s memorable discourse,

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Photo: Jayesh Mistry

students were individually honored for their diverse and impressive accomplishments. It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child, and as the day closed with a benediction and prayers, there was the sense of celebration and gratitude for the grace of Gurudev and the dedicated acaryas Gaurang Nanavaty and Darshana Nanavaty for forming and sustaining this scriptural village for the children of Houston families for over a generation. With that memorable ceremony, the Bala Vihar Class of 2017 were poised to aim for a better standard of life along with the standard of living they were setting out to achieve in their educational journey ahead. For more information on Chinmaya Mission Houston, Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya and its activities visit www.chinmayahouston. org, www. saumyakasi. org or call temple 281 568 1690 or Jay Deshmukh 832 541 0059 or Bharati Sutaria 281-933-0233


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12 June 02, 2017


100 Years of a Glorious Past that Inspires the Future of Osmania BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: The one thing that

could be unequivocally said about the Osmania University Centenary Celebration at India House last Saturday, May 27 is that it certainly was very festive and carefree, like what happy and exuberant alumni would do for their alma mater. Though there were certainly the elements of a formal event – the dances, songs, recognitions and awards - all of these were framed with a more carefree atmosphere and audience participation that was encouraged, never mind that the University’s Vice Chancellor was in the audience. After a social hour that was heavy on appetizers catered by Briyani Pot (who also catered the

Osmania University Alumni Association of America President Harinath Medi (left) presented a plaque to OU Vice-Chancellor Dr. S. Ramachandram at the Centenary celebration at India House last Saturday, May 27.

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the organizing committee got the program started with an introduction by Osmania University Alumni Association of America president Harinath Medi, a ’67 graduate of civil and structural engineering, who quipped that he had been president for 8 years. An estimated 3,000 alumni live in the US and a substantial number came from the Deccan Queen here to the Bayou City. Event Committee member Mahendra Korivi, who is easy with his words of light humor, introduced the emcee for the evening, Ajay Chunchu, a DJ and entertainer who usually does receptions, weddings and other events. Chunchu is part Punjabi on his mom’s side and part Hyderabadi on his dad’s side and studied in Mumbai. He stepped out in front of the stage, showman style, in shades, a black suit, black shirt and black bowtie, singing Mein hoon Don, then segued into Kuch bhi nahin hai age tumhere and Oh mera dil ke chein, mixing it up with jokes, playful humor and tidbits on Osmania. Chunchu kept up the pace throughout the evening and livened up the program, encouraging people to clap along, and the loud whistler who chimed in from the

Mahendra Korivi, event committee coordinator sang onstage while dancers from the Bollywood Dancing Stars performed onstage. Photos: Ravi Shankar

back row needed no encouragement! After a slide show on Osmania’s history, prominent alumni and pictures of past and present Vice Chancellors (and a documentary video that refused to cooperate); the stage went to Adarsh Menon and Akila (both of whom have a parent who studied at Osmania) who were great singing the duet “Diwana hua badal”. This was followed by nicely choreographed performance by Nithya Hari and her Bollywood Dancing Stars group of four dancers, Monica, Jaithra, Joshika and Likitha. Nithya worked in a last interactive dance in which she invited a person from each table to join her in front of the stage. Rounding out the entertainment was Vijay Shenoy who sang the qawalli number Eh meri Zohar jabin, tujhe maloom nahin and Mahendra Korivi, who can never resist an occasion to sing, doing Hame aur jeena ke chahat na hoti. In between the performances, Harinath Medi spoke in Hindi about Osmania U. starting with a short two verses about the alumni’s love for the institution. “It is not decoration but “deco-reshaan” (look at its beauty),” he quipped, keeping his speech short, funny and purposefully informal, befitting the evening. He explained that the alumni association gave scholarships and computers for the handicapped at the university. “Today is a fun-raiser,” he emphasized, and then introduced his event committee, and later his friend, the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. S. Ramachandram. Looking like he was unfrazzled by the levity of the program, and equally relaxed, Ramachandram gave a brief rundown on the history of Osmania University and its accomplishments. “We have 53


departments, 12 faculties, 250 faculty members, 2,150 non-teaching staff, 20,000 students and have graduated 10 million in our history,” he said, adding that the alumni has excelled all over the world. It has been bestowed the University Par Excellence by the Government of India and is ranked 5th in India and 1st in state funded universities. Ramachandram described the new programs he has instituted to make OU globally competitive with a vibrant environment for teachers and students and to strengthen research. He said that the state government had sanctioned Rs. 200 cr ($30.5 million) of funding and that OU needed to improve the infrastructure, hostels, academic research and add an incubation center and a skilled development center. He said that he was meeting with many community leaders during his tour of Centenary celebrations in Chicago, San Jose, St. Louis, Charlotte and Houston about their help with fund raising and other support. Another alumnus of OU who shared the spotlight with Ramachandram was Dr. Karun Sreerama who has recently been appointed as the City of Houston’s first Indo-American Director of Public Works and Engineering. He said that he remembered Ramachandram from their time in D Hostel while they were at OU and he was honored to be able to meet him in person many years later. Another notable alumni introduced was Aziz Jamaluddin who lives in The Woodlands. Medi and the other event committee members to passed out appreciation plaques to Ramachandram, Sreerama, Jalaluddin and others before the program ended and dinner was served.


June 02, 2017


Abrahams Oriental Rugs Hosts Grand Opening of New Post Oak Store BY PRAMOD KULKARNI


OUSTON: One of the brightest beacons of the growth of the Indian community is Abrahams Oriental Rugs. From humble beginning on Beechnut as a rug import company in 1974, Abrahams has now flourished to showcase their oriental rugs, dhurries and other luxury goods at three of the premeir retail locations in Houston: Galleria, Decorative Center on Woodway and West University. Owners Sam and Omana Abrahams hosted the grand opening of their newest location on 1801 Post Oak on Thursday, May 25 evening. The Abrahams were joined at this special occasion by two of their daughters, Annie and Rachel. More than 150 clients, friends and wellwishers attended the open house. In brief remarks, Sam Abraham said the open house was also intended to serve as the 43rd anniversary of their oriental rug enterprise. Besides rug sales and service, Abrahams also provide rug cleaning and repair services. A special treat during the evening was the presentation of four arias by performers from the Houston Grand Opera. Abrahams serve on the boards of the HGO and the Houston Symphony. For more information, visit abrahamsrugs.com

The latest location of Abrahams Oriental Rugs and Treasures is in the heart of the Galleria at 1801 Post Oak. This location is intended to stock Abrahams’ finest offerings.

Abrahams Oriental Rugs and Treasures owners Sam and Omana Abraham pose on the floor of their new Post Oak store with one of several fashion models, who were presenting a selection of the luxurious oriental rugs that were available for sale at a special discount.

Sam and Omana Abraham (left) introduce Houston Grand Opera performers (center) with their daughters Rachel and Annie (right).

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16 June 02, 2017


The Beauty of Lovedale Inspired this Graduate to Writing Adventure Books

Dalal and his wife met with other alumni of Lawrence School over dinner and to explain the process behind his popular adventures books set in India.


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decades since they had left the beautiful setting of their beloved primary school which had nurtured them, though there were some fairly recent graduates too, like the one from 2008, who shared stories of how the Lawrence School had evolved in the ensuing years. Still, all of the ten or so alumni sat together after dinner, sharing a bond that had survived the years and sang old school songs and little anecdotes that shaped their destinies since they had moved on. These were some of the alumni from the Lawrence School of Lovedale – or simply recalled by the name of the area – who live in the Bayou City vicinity and get together every few weeks for a reunion and kinship over dinner. They are among the many others across the US- and across the globe – who hold allegiance to the values and standards that were instilled in them in their formative years at one of the four Lawrence Schools in the Indian Subcontinent. The Lawrence School was established by Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence who had the idea of having a chain of schools to educate the children of the soldiers and officers of the British army in India. At first called Lawrence Asylum, he established four schools: at Sanawar, Himachal Pradesh, in 1847, and at Mount Abu, Rajasthan in 1856, both during his lifetime; then at Lovedale, Ootacamund, Tamil Nadu in 1858 and at Ghora Gali, Murree, in present-day Pakistan in 1860. Lawrence was killed in the Indian Mutiny of 1857, also called India’s First War of Independence. The school’s motto “Never Give In” embodies the spirit of the Lawrencian: to pursue a task to its fullest and to completion, giving one’s best at all times. Many of its alumni have gone on to become notable in their fields of endeavor, such a Akshaye Khanna, actor; Anand Mahindra, Chairman & MD, Mahindra Group; Arundhati Roy, writer; Tashi and

Deepak Dala (right) next to his wife Marzia with his hosts Atul and Aarti Vir

Nungshi Malik, mountain climbing siblings; Sashi Reddi, serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist and C Vijayakumar, CEO HCL Technologies. The alumni are affectionately called “OL’s” after the name of their association, the Old Lawrencian Association, which has chapters in major cities in India and across the world. And this past Tuesday, May 23, these OL’s had gathered through their informal social email network, at the home of Atul Vir, a 1968 graduate, to welcome in their midst another 1975 alumni who studied alongside Vir for 7 years, Deepak Dalal and his wife Marzia, who made a brief three-day stopover on his way from watching birds and wildlife in Costa Rica enroute to Israel and Frankfurt before heading back to their home in Pune, north of Mumbai. As Dalal explained, he had made a similar detour in his own life and career after he left the Lawrence School. He had trained as a chemical engineer at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and then joined the family business but got bored. “I was too influenced by the beautiful hills of Lovedale,” he told the crowd of eager listeners before dinner. “I couldn’t become a city person after that; I loved trekking and traveling too much.” Instead, Dalal, followed in the footsteps of his mother, the noted Indian food writer, chef, cookbook author and cooking show host, the late Padma Shri Tarla Dalal, and became a writer. “Growing up in In India, we all read Enid Blyton


and The Hardy Boys but there was nothing done in the Indian setting where we have deserts, islands, mountains and other great locales,’ he continued. So Dalal embarked on writing the VikramAditya series of adventure stories and other travelogues based “in India for Indian children”. He has since written eight – Ranthambore, Snow Leopard, Sahyadri (after the hills near his home in Pune) - Anirudh’s Dream; Sahyadri – Koleshwar’s Secret; Andaman – The Jarawa; Andaman - Barren Island; Lakshadweep and Ladakh – and is now working on another on the history of Bombay. He began his talk with a short slide show of the variety of colorful birds he had seen in Costa Rica; then moved on to show scenes from his expedition to Ladakh to research the elusive snow leopard for his book. He then showed pictures of tigers in Ranthamore, noting that in the past 100 years, their population has dwindled from 100,000 to 2,000. Twelve years after becoming a writer, in 2010, Dalal turned publisher, launching Tarini Books and came out with his Sahyadri books. He shared scenes of a bygone Mumbai when Churchgate referred to the nearby church (still visible) and Fort meant the battlement in the area. With many more stories to trade between them, the group of OL’s ended the night with Rashid Kapadia’s presentation from his recent trip back to Lovedale and the group joining in on old school songs.


June 02, 2017

Conservatives Woo British-Indians with Hindi Campaign Song

LONDON: Britain’s ruling Con-

servative Party has released a Hindi campaign song on Sunday in an attempt to woo the nearly 1.6 million strong Indian diaspora in the country. The song ‘Theresa Ke Saath’ for the June 8 general election has been produced by Conservative Friends of India (CFI) co-chair and UK-based Indian businessman Ranjit S Baxi and calls on Indian-origin voters to back May as Britain’s Prime Minister for the next five years. “The Hindi song has been especially composed for the General Election 2017 to promote connectivity with the 1.6 million British Indians to support May, who will provide strong and stable leadership for Britain and growth of the British economy,” said a statement from the team behind the song. “Every vote for May is a vote for stronger Britain with the benefits felt by everyone across the country. We need a country that works for everyone. May wants to build a strong trade partnership with India and engage actively with the British Indian community,” it adds. The song has been written, composed and produced by Pandit Dinesh with vocals by British Indian artists including Navin Kundra, Rubayyatt Jahan, Urmi Chakraborty, Raja Kasaf and Ketan Kansra.

The music, set to Indian beats, is by Milan Handa, Chris Nolan and Mauro and the video features snapshots of May during her visit to India in November 2016 and dressed in Indian outfits at various community events in the UK. The catchy tune, available on YouTube channels, calls on voters to “join hands with Theresa May/To make Conservatives win. Five years with Theresa/For the Pride of Britain”. The last time the team had released a similar Hindi song was to call

for former Prime Minister David Cameron’s victory in the May 2015 general election. “Neela Hai Aasman (Blue Sky)”, in reference to the symbolic blue colour of the party, had called on voters to join hands with Cameron then, who went on to win a majority for the party but had to resign as PM following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) in the June 2016 referendum. -timesofindia.com


US Senate Confirms IndianAmerican to Key Judicial Post WASHINGTON: The US Sen-

ate has confirmed Indian-American Judge Amul Thapar to a key judicial position on the powerful US court of appeals. The first Indian-American to be nominated by US President Donald Trump for the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals, Thapar was confirmed by the Senate 52-44, a vote which took place on party lines. With this, Thapar will become the second South Asian judge to be on a US Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears appeals from Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan. “Judge Thapar will make an outstanding addition to the US Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit,” said senate majority leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday. Currently a US District Court Judge, Thapar was nominated by Trump on March 21. Thapar was among the 20 judges whose names Trump had released during his presidential campaign as shortlisted candidates for his Supreme Court nominees. McConnell said Thapar has a reputation as a qualified judge with an impressive legal mind who will fairly apply the law to all who enter his courtroom. “Judge Thapar has been recognised for his work on the bench, and the most recent edition of the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary quoted attorneys who agreed that


Indian-American Judge Amul Thapar speaking at Lexington, Kentucky.

Thapar has excellent legal ability,” he added. McConnell said that the American Bar Association, which prominent Senate Democrats have called “the gold standard” for evaluating judges, awarded Thapar its highest rating. The South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) also congratulated Judge Thapar on his confirmation to the Sixth US Circuit Court of Appeals. “On behalf of SABA, I congratulate Judge Thapar who is a proven asset to the federal judiciary, the people of the commonwealth of Kentucky whom he’s served for almost a decade, and the South Asian legal community,” said SABA president Vichal Kumar. -timesofindia.com

18 June 02, 2017 Take the Great Leap T

hree years into its rule, the Narendra Modi government can claim quite a few successes on the economic front. Prominent among these is macro-stability. The “twin deficits” on the fiscal and external current account, which had almost spiraled out of control during the previous UPA regime, hardly pose significant threats today. Annual inflation rates have, likewise, been brought down to sub-five per cent. A new monetary policy framework explicitly targeting consumer price inflation not more than 6%, and pinning responsibility on the Reserve Bank of India for achieving the same, can certainly be counted as one of the most signal achievements of this government. Commitment to macroeconomic stability that investors see as credible — reinforcing political stability without which tough but necessary reforms cannot be pushed — is, perhaps, the most important reason for the Nifty and Sensex currently trading at all-time highs. On the reforms side, the record is somewhat mixed. Nobody three years ago thought that the Goods and Services Tax — getting all states to agree to a nationwide and uniform system of taxing commodities on value addition at each stage, as against the present multiplicity of levies making for “one country-many markets” — would be anywhere close to the reality that it clearly is now. The enactment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is a major step towards reform, allowing for winding-up or restructuring of failed firms through a time-bound, creditordriven process of resolution and liquidation. Along with initiatives such as the abolition of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, it signifies a genuine attempt to bolster the country’s “ease of doing business” rankings. There can be a debate on the merits of demonetisation — whether the November 8, 2016 decision was necessary at all. But its collateral benefits — be it in terms of resulting in an expansion in the taxpayer base or giving a fillip to digitisation and complementing the government’s JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile) programme to directly transfer subsidies to bank accounts of beneficiaries — may not be small either. But all this success is diminished by the failure to revive investments and create jobs. The Modi government cannot list too many new factories that have come up during its tenure. Industries from IT to real estate and construction are actually shedding jobs. Worse, banks are saddled with huge non-performing assets, which have shrunk their ability to lend. Reviving investments and generating jobs will be crucial, both economically and politically, in the remaining two years. - Indian Express


When Trump Shakes Modi’s Hand ... BY VIMAL SINGH

I worry about a Modi-Trump sum-

mit. It isn’t about H-1B visas or Trump’s fixation with ‘America First’. Yes, the dates are still in the realm of officialdom and speculation. But whether it is June-end or some other date later in the year, Trump’s unsophisticated body language and his moodiness, both crucial elements of international diplomacy, leave me worried. Let me use live examples from what’s been done to heads of governments of the UK, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Australia, France, Montenegro — and to some extent China too — in just over 4 months since the inauguration on January 20, 2017. While the poor Theresa May flew over the pond to speak of a special relationship with the US, Team Trump managed to misspell her name three times. Luckless as they are, their misspelling matched Teresa May, an actress in British adult films. The president added his two bits. In full view of the cameras, he grabbed May’s hand twice. Not sleazily but leaving embarrassed commentators, no one in doubt that he, not May, wore the pants. America’s neighbours were smarter. A series of tactless tweets on a wall between their 3,145 km border, made Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto decide against visiting 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. We don’t know what the diminutive 5″6′ Nieto’s fate would have been. Remember, in August 2016, his finance minister, who brokered a Trump visit to Mexico, had to resign. Justin Trudeau, on his part, simply reduced the bodily distance between Trump and himself. This alone saved the handsome Canadian a patronising Trump yank. But Shinzo Abe hadn’t seen the Trudeau manoeuvre. So, without warning, his host yanked the amiable Japanese. So hard that the hand seemed to come off the joint, the premier grimacing in full public view. Trump’s compendium of awkward handshakes, made worse by poor preparation and crude diplomatese,

How awkward will be the first handshake between Trump and Modi?

took a break with Xi Jinping. In fact, the entire family choreographed to charm the Chinese strongman on their side. Clearly, Trump knew he must smoothen coarseness displayed over a drone that Beijing had confiscated in the early days of the presidency. Awkwardness returned with Malcom Turnbull. The Aussie PM was kept waiting for three hours. When the handshake happened, it wasn’t a crude yank reserved for Abe, but a meek Turnbull hanging on the edge of his seat, leaning obsequiously with Trump wearing a ridiculous smile. The smile returned when he shoved Montenegrin leader Dusko Markovik if only to occupy the forefront at the NATO photo session. This isn’t just about Montenegro. When Angela Merkel visited the White House, she extended her hand to the host. What did Trump do? He chose to keep his hands locked. The cameras had a field day. But the embers spilled over to Sicily. After his bull-headedness against the Paris Agreement on climate change and much else, Merkel issued an astonishing statement. That Europe can no longer depend on the US. If Merkel’s discomfiture threatens to rewrite an entire security mechanism, French president Emmaneul Macron has hit back too. A young man of 39, Macron squeezed the hell out of the American knuckle. Not just that, he went public on why this was no accident.


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


Even with his own spouse, at two public events, one at the tarmac in Israel and Rome, Trump was at odds with what to do with his hands. In one case, First Lady Melania Trump had to swat the presidential hand away. This brings us back to Prime Minister Modi. Yanking the Indian strongman’s hand or behaving awkwardly won’t be a wise idea. Nor will stunts tried with Merkel, Markovik, May or even Melania. The man he’s set to meet in Modi – a lion representing the collective pride of 1.2 billion Indians. Let’s hope the Indian embassy in Washington and those in the state department charged with briefing both sides make that clear. -- Times of India The columnist is a political commentator, predictor and a media personality.

Reader Feedback

Modi must start using wrist exercise equipment to strengthen his forearm, wrist, and fingers, one month before meeting him. N. Satya That’s why we have the namaste. Vishnoo Rath What was Trump’s visit to the Middle East all about, if not for begging contracts? NSNS Shen Modi is unmatched. Trump shall be Trumped by modi. Don’t worry. Cybil Penning


June 02, 2017


The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi

orn more than 130 years ago, the life and times of the man who would grow up to be universally known as The Mahatma, still resonates until today. Mohandas Gandhi had an ordinary childhood in Porbandar, on the coast of Kathiawad in the western state of Gujarat, a loved and pampered son of very ordinary parents. He grew up to inspire legions of people globally by his fearless ideology that uprooted an empire, to bring freedom to the land of his birth. With his message of non-violence, he roused the nation and earned the title of Great Soul. For the next several weeks, Indo American News will bring you his life story, and of how he continues to be an inspiration to the world and mostly to millions of oppressed people everywhere. Born on October 2, 1869, to Karamchand Gandhi and his wife Putlibai. Young Mohandas hailed from a family highly regarded for the moral ethics and strength of character. His grandfather Uttamchand belonged to a humble family of merchants, but rose in the ranks to become the Dewan of Porbander. His son Karamchand, who had very little education, succeeded him but was a fine administrator. Putlibai, Karamchand Gandhi’s wife, was a deeply religious woman and strong-willed woman. She was widely respected for her wisdom and good sense. People often sought her advice on various matters. Mohandas was the youngest of the six children of Karamchand and Putlibai Gandhi. He was the favorite child of the family and was called Moniya by his parents and their friends. Moniya adored his mother. He loved his father too, but he was a little afraid of him. As a child, Moniya seldom liked to stay at home. He would go home for his meals and then run away again to play outside. Moniya was just seven years old when his father left Porbandar to become the Dewan of Rajkot, taking the family along. At Rajkot he was sent to a primary school. He was shy and did not mix easily with the other children. Every morning he went to school in time, and ran back home as soon as school was over. His books were his sole companions and he spent all his free time alone reading. He had one friend, however; a boy named Uka. Uka was a sweeper boy and an untouchable. One day Moniya was given some sweets. He ran at once to Uka to share them with him. But Uka told Moniya not to go near him as he was an untouchable. It was the first time that Mohandas encountered India’s cataclysmic social divide. Stunned by the revelation that in India one was identified by one’s caste, he took hold of Uka’s hands and filled them with sweets. His mother, watching from a window, ordered Moniya in the house. She told him that high caste Hindus did not touch “untouchables”. When her son questioned her, she responded that Hindu

customs forbid it. When Moniya disagreed, his mother had no answer but was angry with him. Karamchand Gandhi loved all his sons, but he was especially fond of the youngest. He often advised him to study well and take up a profession. Moniya worked hard, and did his lessons carefully. But he did not enjoy memorizing and was therefore weak in Sanskrit. Geometry was his favorite subject because it involved reasoning. Moniya had a friend named Sheikh. He was tall and strong. Sheik was a meat-eater and he often told Mohandas that if he ate meat he would also grow tall and strong. There was also at that time a reform movement for a change in the orthodox beliefs and practices of Hindus. Mohandas himself had heard that many well todo people had started eating meat, so he, too, tried meat. He did not like the taste of meat but as time went on, he started to like meat curries. Whenever Mohandas had a meat meal outside, he had to give his mother some excuse for not eating his dinner. He knew that his parents would not forgive him. This feeling was gnawing

at his heart and finally he decided not to touch meat again. Mohandas had also taken to smoking with Sheik, his brother, and another relative. He had to pilfer small amounts of money to buy cigarettes. One day, in order to pay off a debt which his brother had incurred, Mohandas stole a piece of gold jewelry. Stealing was a great sin. He knew that he had committed a great crime. He resolved never in his life to steal again. He wrote down a confession of his crime and handed the paper to his ailing father. Karamchand Gandhi read the confession. He tore up the paper without saying a word. The bits of paper fell to the floor. He sank back on his bed with a sigh. Mohandas left the room, tears streaming down his face. From that day on, Mohandas loved his father more and more. Every day he hurried home from school to wait on him. His father’s condition grew worse and at length he died. The house was filled with sorrow. Mohandas was only sixteen when his father died. To be Continued next week...

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20 June 02, 2017


40% Decline in US Visas for Pakistanis; 28% Increase for Indians

Foreign Aid Arrives as Sri Lanka Flood Toll Exceeds 200

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has had

a significant 40 per cent drop in the number of American visas granted to its nationals under the new Trump administration despite not being on the list of the US President’s travel ban countries. Interestingly, the number of nonimmigrant US visas to Indians has increased by 28 per cent in March and April this year as compared to the monthly average of the previous year, according to the newly-released monthly official data. Non-immigrant visas granted to Pakistanis are down by 40 per cent in March and April this year compared to the 2016 monthly average, a Pakistani media report said quoting data released by the US State Department. Pakistanis were issued 3,925 nonimmigrant visas in April and 3,973 visas in March 2017 under the Trump administration. The Obama administration last year issued a total of 78,637 nonimmigrant visas to Pakistanis with a monthly average of 6,553, which was 40 per cent higher than the current average. Before March this year, the State Department did not release monthly breakdowns of visas and only annual figures were available.

The report compared the March and April 2017 figures with monthly averages for 2016. Even in 2015, monthly average remained 6,179 as a total of 74,150 Pakistanis had been granted visas. Aspokesperson of the State Department told the the News International: “Visa demand is cyclical, not uniform throughout the year and affected by various factors at the local and international level. Visa issuance numbers tend to increase during peak travel seasons, such as during the summer and the winter holidays, though there may be different trends at the country, nationality, or visa-category level”. The data showed that Indian nationals received 87,049 visas in April and 97,925 visas in March this year. Last year, people from India received 72,082 non-immigrant visas each month on average with an annual total of 864,987 visas. Pakistan is not the only Muslimmajority country experiencing decline in non-immigrant US visas. A

similar analysis of 50 Muslim majority countries reveals that number of visas issued to their nationals has also declined by 20 per cent in April as compared to their monthly country average last year, the report said. The six countries targeted by President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban — Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen — experienced a 55 per cent decline in non-immigrant visas compared with last year’s monthly average. Experts believe that drop in visas may indicate that more visa applicants are now subject to excessive scrutiny. n January, Trump signed an executive order temporarily barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. In March, he signed the revised travel ban excluding Iraq from the list. The order was challenged in a court and a judge had halted the travel ban. -timesofindia.com

COLOMBO: International aid

arrived into Sri Lanka on Wednesday as the death toll from the island’s worst floods and landslides in well over a decade climbed to 202. Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake said 16 countries had rushed relief supplies and medicine to assist more than 600,000 people driven from their homes following Friday’s monsoon deluge. “We also have a lot of enquiries from other countries and organisations wanting to know our immediate needs. We are moved by the spontaneous response,” Karunanayake told reporters in Colombo. India and Pakistan also deployed medical teams on the ground in some of the worst-affected areas,

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he said. The Disaster Management Centre confirmed the death toll rose to 202 after the discovery of more landslide victims beneath tonnes of mud in Sri Lanka’s hard-hit southwest. Another 96 people were listed as still missing. As the floods receded in most areas, hundreds of volunteers have fanned out to begin cleaning drinking wells to bring fresh water to survivors, officials said. Government spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne said additional medical teams were also being deployed to prevent the spread of waterborne diseases. In May 2003, 250 people were killed and 10,000 homes destroyed after a similarly powerful monsoon. -timesofindia.com


June 02, 2017

s l a i t n e s s E y t u a e B l a r u t a 7N BY LEAH


iscover these natural beauty essentials for healthy, glowing skin. Although witch hazel and apple cider vinegar may sound old-fashioned, these basic skin care products are not only good for you, they’re easy on your pocketbook too. Usually, different products suit different skin types, ages, and concerns. But there are some simple products that have stood the test of time and work for just about everyone. Plus, they can be used in myriad ways. These truly amazing natural beauty essentials will not let you down. 1. Sweet almond oil Made by pressing almond kernels, sweet almond oil is used widely as an ingredient in cosmetics, but can also be used topically on its own. Note that sweet almond oil is not the same as the almond oil used in cooking. Benefits Sweet almond oil is a light skin moisturizer that absorbs easily and promotes skin health. It’s also suitable for blemish-prone skin because it will not clog pores. 2. Coconut oil Unlike sweet almond oil, coconut oil used for skin is the same oil that’s used for cooking. It’s made from the fruit of coconut trees—coconuts, of course. Benefits Coconut oil is a world-class moisturizing agent that helps nourish dry skin. 3. Lavender oil Lavender oil is extracted from the lavender flower. Like any essential oil, it is potent and not for everyone. Essential oils should always be diluted with water or a carrier oil—check the bottle’s specific instructions to determine exact dosages. Furthermore, pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as children, should check with

a health care practitioner before using essential oils. Benefits Many of us know lavender as the dried, fragrant purple flower used in sachets and potpourri. It’s time to give this hardworking flower more credit! Lavender essential oil has antiseptic properties that may help fight acne, and its scent is thought to promote relaxation. 4. Apple cider vinegar Apple cider vinegar is apple juice that has been fermented. Not only is it delicious and healthy in recipes, but this vinegar is also being recognized for its potential beauty benefits. Benefits Many people swear by using apple cider vinegar in their hair. It’s said that its acidity helps balance hair’s pH after shampooing and leaves each strand shiny and smooth. It also has antifungal properties. 5. Witch hazel This strange-sounding product is really just a shrublike plant. Boiling the plant in water results in what we call witch hazel. It should be used topically. Benefits Witch hazel has anti-acne and astringent properties but is also soothing on the skin—a rarity for blemishfighting products. It also has antioxidant properties and is thought to help protect skin from photoaging—

meaning it’s not just for the blemish prone. 6. Clay powder Clay powders for the skin are extracted from all over the world—from volcanic ash in North America to ancient sea floors in Europe. There are many types, and each is said to be beneficial for a particular skin type or concern, such as green clay for oily skin or white clay for dry and sensitive skin. Benefits Clay proponents claim that the minerals and trace elements in clay benefit our complexions, while drawing out impurities. Although human studies are lacking, it has been suggested that clay, applied topically, might increase skin’s collagen synthesis—meaning that it could improve the health and appearance of skin. 7. Castile soap Simply put, castile soap is a type of soap made from olive oil (or other plant oils) and an alkali, such as sodium hydroxide. This means that it’s

free from harsh detergents, foaming agents, and chemical antibacterials (such as triclosan). Benefits Many people use castile soap for cleaning around the house but don’t realize that it can also be used cosmetically. It’s so gentle that it works for even the most delicate complexions, and the vegetable oils it contains can help soften and replenish skin. Amazing accessories Why should your healthy, natural skin care routine stop at the beauty products themselves? Stop by your local natural health retailer to discover eco-friendly skin care and beauty



accessories. Here are a few favourites to look for. Organic cotton balls and swabs Grown without chemical pesticides and made without chlorine bleach, these products offer a healthier, more eco-friendly disposable option. Hemp exfoliating cloths Hemp’s durability makes it the ideal choice for exfoliating face cloths. Use them to help slough off dry skin cells in the winter. Reusable cotton rounds The most eco-friendly option available, these machine-washable rounds can be used again and again. -Alive.com

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PUZZLES / RECIPES Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Khumban da Appetizer (Mushroom Appetizer)

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ntil recently, khumban (mushrooms) were a seldom found vegetable on the street markets in Delhi, but if you happened to live in the country or near a farm, you might have been able to find some. This is why mushrooms have not really been part of the mainstream Punjabi cuisine until quite recently. In the past decade, with the development of greenhouses that grow mushrooms, this vegetable has started to become readily available in large cities in India, although at high prices. Also, the popularity of pizzas and chains like Dominos and Pizza Hut has led to the rising use of mushrooms in cities. In Delhi, the most commonly available mushrooms are the small, white button variety which are sold by the sabziwalas (vegetable hawkers) but you have to really search for them. Mushrooms are low in sugar but an excellent source of the B vitamins, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid as well as phosphorus. When the mushroom is immature it may be white or brown but when mature, it is known as Portobello. Since small white mushrooms cook quickly, it is best to make them as appetizers just before serving as they retain their crispiness and don’t become soggy. The trick is to make sure not to wash them in running water before cooking, as they will retain the moisture in the gills of their caps. This is why this recipe uses damp cleaning for the mushrooms.

• • • •

1 lb chotti khumban (white or button mushrooms) 2 tbsp olive oil (olive oil) 3 tsp lassan-piyaaz paste (garlic-onion paste) 1 tsp garam masala Spices to taste: Lal mirch (red pepper); namak (salt); haldi (turmeric); dhania (coriander)

Directions: 1. Trim the ends of the mushrooms and place on the side on a dry cloth. 2. Take a damp paper towel and clean the dirt off each mushroom. Make sure not to wash them as the water will lodge in the caps. Leave the cleaned mushrooms on the cloth for 10 minutes to air dry. 3. Pour in the olive oil in a bowl, then add and the garlic-onion paste, garam masala and the spices and mix together. Throw in the mushrooms and coat them with the mixture.

4.Let the mushrooms marinate for an hour. If you are in a hurry, you can omit the marination and directly go to the next step and cook the mushrooms with the dry spices. 5.Warm up a frying pan over medium heat, no need to add any oil. 6.Pour in the mushrooms and the marinade. Stir continuously for a few minutes till the mushrooms are brown. 7.Remove from the heat, pour into a platter and serve with toothpicks. Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the oldfashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur (since renamed Faisalabad), India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her late-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable recipes.


One of the most co mmon dishes for In dians is daal and fo also one that they ha r new cooks, it is ve the most problem s with like making thick or simply lettin it too thin, or too g it overcook and be come a thin paste or all about the amou gravy. This is nt of heat used to co ok it and the timing Many cooks leave . the daal to boil and get busy in somethi find that it has boile ng else, only to d over and spilled onto their stoves an housework! There d increased their are two ways to avoid this: either add a tea boiling the daal or spoon of oil while place a wooden kaad chi (ladle) over the and this will preven top of the open pot t the water from bo iling over.

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Sachin A Billion Dreams: The Fulsome Tribute will Force you to Hold Back those Tears and go ‘Sachin, Sachin’

thorised’bio-picofSachinTendulkar gives us exactly what it promises: a glowing portrait of a sports star and a legend-in-his-lifetime, whose fortunes are connected to a billion dreams, hopes and aspirations of cricket-mad India. What you get in

Sonkshi Sinha

June 2, 1987

Dimple Kapadia

June 8, 1957

Shilpa Shetty

June 8, 1975

the 2 hours 20 minute docu-feature is Everything You Knew About Sachin Because You Didn’t Need To Ask, because practically everything he’s done on-field since he was 16 has been chronicled by breathless commentators around the world. You wish in vain for more colourful, complex off-the-field stuff, but this is not that kind of film. There are some moments — the ones Tendulkar shares with his parents and elder brother, his demanding coach, his wife and children, the letting-down-his-hair time with his friends — you may not have seen before. But just as you begin to smile when you hear him speaking in Marathi, or listen to wife Anjali saying that her husband loved spending all his free time with the kids, but declared he ‘wouldn’t change nappies’, and settle down for some more intimate revelations, the film is back to being safe and reverential as it takes us through Sachin’s journey, in a decidedly linear fashion, from childhood to his ‘finest hour’, when he won the World Cup in 2011, in Mumbai, at the Wankhede stadium. To expect any snark or nosedigs from a film like this, whose sole purpose is to stay fully worshipful as it catches fans (including Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan) saying worshipful things about him would

be asking for the impossible. Sachin: A Billion Dreams has clearly been mediated by Sachin himself: the choice of what is personal and what is public has been carefully sifted, ignoring dressing-room politics (an askance Azharuddin glance at the rising star at a moment when Sachin is appointed captain is there, but it’s just a flash). Also left out are meaningful details of the controversial, ugly aspects of the game, especially when the match-fixing scandal broke and nearly broke its back. And to even expect a mention of a customfee-waived Ferrari ‘ki sawaari’would be silly. Having said that, Erskine takes allUDIPI

r 28 2011 Octobe Friday,


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But the failures are all glossed over, and his big wins are presented as India’s wins. ‘When Sachin is quiet, India is quiet’, declares another cricketing star in the film. And when he hits a ton, a double ton, a four, a six, the nation erupts, as did most viewers during the first day first show. For a movie made as a fulsome tribute, the challenge is always going to be to keep someone who is not bananas about the game (which includes your faithful critic) to stay with the film: I did, and enjoyed almost every minute of it, cheering at the World Cup win, blinking back tears at Sachin’s farewell speech, even while asking for more. -indianexpress.com

too familiar material and makes of it an engrossing film, for both fans who may claim to know more about him than he himself, as well as those who may not live and breathe Sachin. It glides seamlessly from one big ticket event in Sachin’s life to another — the lucking into Achrekar Sir, his coach, the moment he saw Anjali for the first time, the time he held his newborn first, the losing and gaining of the captainship of the Indian time, the vocal disappointment after big losses, and a vital look at the blood and sweat that goes into the making of a successful sports star.


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24 June 02, 2017 ICC Champions: India Get Solid Workout in Bangla Rout BY VARUN SHETTY


ONDON OVAL: (ESPN Cricinfo): ndia 324 for 7 (Karthik 94, Hardik 80*, Rubel 3-50) beat Bangladesh 84 (Mehedi 24, Bhuvneshwar 3-13, Umesh 3-16) by 240 runs Bangladesh, who face England in the Champions Trophy opener on June 1, collapsed spectacularly, falling to 22 for 6, before eventually getting bowled out for 84 in their chase of 325 against India in the warm-up game at The Oval. After allrounder Hardik Pandya had clattered an unbeaten 80 off 54 balls to propel India to 324, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar ripped through Bangladesh’s top half with the new ball. The seamers utilised the overcast conditions, and extracted sharp movement and bounce from a pitch that had hitherto appeared benign, taking three wickets each. The procession began when Soumya Sarkar slashed away from his body at an Umesh delivery that straightened in the corridor. Sarkar appeared confused when the Indian fielders went up for a caught-behind appeal, walking down the track to consult Imrul Kayes about a possible review, before quickly realising there weren’t be any available. Perhaps, it was an early sign of what was to come for Bangladesh, who would soon lose Kayes and Shakib Al Hasan to misguided hook shots. Sabbir Rahman had his stumps rattled by a full inswinger, while two vicious deliveries that climbed from a length took the outside edges of Mahmudullah and Mosaddek Hossain. The chase had effectively ended with only 45 balls bowled. Mehedi Hasan, who had earlier bowled an economical spell (9-1-39-0), offered resistance with 24, but could not find

Dinesh Karthik plays a sweep, Bangladesh v India, Champions Trophy, warm-ups, Oval, May 30, 2017.

enough support from the other end. India had lost the toss, but Virat Kohli was happy at being put in. Shakib stood-in as captain in the absence of Mashrafe Mortaza and Tamim Iqbal, who were both rested ahead of Thursday’s fixture against England. Bangladesh’s intention was to give their bowling line-up a lift after they had failed to defend 341 against Pakistan on Saturday. Rohit Sharma, who last played for his country in October 2016, opened alongside Shikhar Dhawan. He, however, lasted only three balls before dragging a short and wide ball from Rubel Hossain onto his stumps. At the other end, Mustafizur Rahman troubled Dhawan outside the off stump, before inducing a loose shot from Ajinkya Rahane - pushed down to No. 3 on Tuesday - and disturbing

his stumps via the inside edge. Dinesh Karthik, streaky throughout his nine-ball duck in the previous warm-up game against New Zealand, started tentatively again before finding his timing. He strung together a 100-run stand for the third wicket with Dhawan. The stand, though, ended when the opener played one shot too many against left-arm spinner Sunzamul Islam, hoicking him straight to midwicket after hitting 10 runs off the first three balls of the 23rd over. Karthik, dropped on 29, brought up his fifty in the 26th over, before shifting gears, getting his next 43 runs off only 26 balls. Karthik had to retire six short of a hundred, having staked his claim for a middle-order spot in India’s XI. Yuvraj Singh, who missed the previ-

ous warm-up match because of viral fever, did not bat in this game, but the lower-middle order fired. Kedar Jadhav, who did not play against New Zealand as well, made 31 off 38 balls at No. 5. Hardik and Ravindra Jadeja then dominated the last 15 overs. Hardik motored along positively, picking the gaps when he couldn’t find the boundaries, eventually showing his ability to finish the innings with four powerful sixes. Jadeja’s stay wasn’t as fluent. Apart from a release shot that flew over long-on, Jadeja struggled to rotate the strike and his 36-ball innings yielded only 32. Varun Shetty is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo


Bopanna, Paes Continue French Doubles Rounds


ARIS: Rohan Bopanna crossed the first-round hurdle in men’s doubles but Sania Mirza bowed out in the opening round of the women’s doubles event in the French Open on Wednesday. Bopanna along with his Uruguayan partner Pablo Cuevas hardly had to break a sweat as they outplayed the French duo of Mathias Bourgue and Paul-Henri Mathieu in a one-sided contest. The ninth seeded Indo-Uruguayan pair posted a comfortable 6-1 6-1 victory over French combination in just 53 minutes. They will next take on Treat Huey and Denis Istomin. However, fourth seeded pair of Sania and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan were stunned by unseeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia and Australia’s Daria Gavrilova in a hard-fought match. Sania and Shvedova went down 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 2-6 to Pavlyuchenkova and Gavrilova in a gruelling battle that lasted 2 hours and 23 minutes. Paes and hisAmerican partner Scott Lipsky were made to sweat hard before earning a 7-6, 4-6, 6-2 win over R. Albot of Romania and H. Chung of South Korea in their opening round encounter. Paes and Lipsky won 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-2 in one hour and 55 minutes to enter the next round where they will take on Spanish pairing of Tommy Robredo and David Marrero, who ousted top seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers in the first round. Paes and Lipsky eached the semifinals of ATP 250 Geneva Open, won the Tallahassee Challenger and made the semis of the Bordeaux Challenger. Sania will next be seen in the mixed doubles event alongside Ivan Dodig of Croatia. The second seeded pair had finished runners-up last year.

New Zealand’s Guptill, Williamson Make Short Work of Sri Lanka’s 356 for 8


IRMINGHAM: New Zealand 359 for 4 (Guptill 116, Williamson 88, Prasanna 2-63) beat Sri Lanka 356 for 8 (Tharanga 110, Boult 2-47) by six wickets New Zealand, led by Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson, overhauled Sri Lanka’s target of 357 with ease to complete a six-wicket victory in both teams’ final warm-up game at

Edgbaston. Guptill smashed 10 fours and five sixes in his 76-ball knock of 116 while Williamson followed that up with a 60-ball 88. Both batsmen subsequently decided to retire out Guptill in the 29th and Williamson in the 32nd - but by then New Zealand were 101 runs away at a required run rate of less than six.

Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka’s batsmen fielded a batting-heavy outfit that posted 356 runs in their 50 overs. Upul Tharanga started the onslaught at the top, smashing 13 fours and three sixes to notch up a century. Kusal Mendis, at one drop, hammered seven fours and a six in his 50-ball 57 while Dinesh Chandimal - at two down- hit a quickfire 55.

Tom Latham (44) was instrumental in providing New Zealand a brisk start alongside Guptill with the pair adding 78 for the first wicket. Guptill and Williamson then took over, scoring 157 runs in 94 balls for the second wicket. Ross Taylor replaced Guptill with New Zealand at 235 for 2 in 29 overs, after which Neil Broom (37*) and Anderson steered them home.


Leander Paes and Scott Lipsky defeated Radu Albot and Hyeon Chung to advance to the second round of men’s doubles at the French Open. PTI

June 02, 2017


India’s GDP Growth Slows Down to 7.1% After Demonetization

EW DELHI: Demonetisation had negative impact on India’s growth which slowed slowed down to 7.1% in 2016-17, despite a very good showing by the agricultural sector. India also lost the tag of the fastest growing economy to China in the March quarter with a GDP growth of 6.1%. The GDP, as per the new series with base year of 2011-12, had expanded by 8% in 2015-16. It was 7.9% as based on the old series. According to the data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the Gross Value Added (GVA) slipped sharply to 6.6% in the last financial year ended March 31, from 7.9% growth in 2015-16. The demonetisation seems to have impacted the GVA in the third as well as fourth quarter of 2016-17 which slipped to 6.7% and 5.6% respectively, from 7.3% and 8.7%. Almost all sectors, with the exception of agriculture, showed deceleration in the aftermath of demonetisa-


tion. While the manufacturing sector output in the fourth quarter slowed to 5.3% versus 12.7% in the same period of last year, the construction sector slipped into the negative territory. Thanks to a good monsoon, the agricultural sector posted a huge jump in growth as it expanded by 4.9% during 2016-17 compared to dismal growth of 0.7% in the previous year.

In the fourth quarter itself, the agriculture sector GVA rose by 5.2% as compared to 1.5% in the same period of 2015-16. The data further said the per capita income during 2016-17 is estimated to have attained a level of Rs 1,03,219 as compared to the estimates for the year 2015-16 of Rs 94,130 showing a rise of 9.7%. Meanwhile, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian told news

agency ANI: “Broadly the data is consistent with what we said in the monetary survey.” The Finance Ministry Saturday announced that the GDP is expected to be grow over 7 per cent in the next next fiscal. The figures will be largely driven by the remonetisation process, which would then boost consumption levels in the country, according to an HSBC report. Investment number, however, will be lower than previous years. In December, a Forbes report predicted that India’s GDP would surprass that of United Kingdom for the first time in 150 years by 2020. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asserted that the aim of the government is to spend at least 2.5 % of GDP in the health sector in the coming years. With the help of Tata Memorial Trust, the government will soon build four cancer centers - Indian Express.

Who are the Biggest Buyers of Gold in India? Women in Kerala

UMBAI: The latest report from the World Gold Council says that gold demand from India was what supported global gold demand in the first quarter of 2017. Indian purchases of gold jewellery in the first quarter of 2017 accounted for a little over a fifth of world jewellery demand. That is completely out of proportion to India’s share of world gross domestic product (GDP), which is around 3% or so, in current US dollars. During Q1, 2017, India’s demand for gold jewellery was 92.3 tonnes, compared to 22.9 tonnes for the US. Investment demand for gold in the form of bars and coins was 31.2 tonnes in Q1 2017, compared to 16.2 tonnes for the US. India’s hunger for gold is not surprising—people have been complaining about the “drain of gold” into India for ages, starting with Pliny the Elder, the Roman writer of the 1st century AD. But where in India does the gold go to?

And who are the people who buy all this gold jewellery? The short answer to the first question is, in one word: Kerala. The data have been taken from the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO)’s survey on Household Consumption of Various Goods and Services in India, 2011-12. The first thing that catches the eye is how different Kerala is from the rest of India in terms of spending

on gold ornaments. For instance, not only does rural Kerala top the rankings for spending on gold ornaments, its per capita spending is six times higher than the state that ranks number 2—Goa. Indeed, rural Kerala’s per capita spending on gold ornaments is far ahead of the total per capita spending of all the other six top states by gold consumption. Urban India, being richer, spends more on gold orna-

ments than rural areas. Nevertheless, here too urban Kerala ranks first by a mile among the states. To be sure, Kerala has relatively high per capita income, but it’s certainly not so different from other Indian states as the gold consumption data suggests. Cultural factors must be behind its status as an outlier. It is no wonder then that the Kerala chief minister wants a low goods and services tax (GST) for gold. The richest 5% in rural India spend 6.2 times more on gold ornaments than the next 5%. In urban India, this multiple is 3.9 times. Sure, even the poor buy some gold jewellery. But note how much more the top 5% spend on gold ornaments compared to the middle percentiles. Clearly, the people who will benefit the most from a low goods and services tax (GST) rate on gold will be the rich. -- LiveMint.



Daimler India Exports Its 10,000th Mercedes Vehicle


HENNAI: Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) rolled out its 10,000th export vehicle at Kamarajar Port near Chennai less than four years after the kick-off. The milestone vehicle, a Mercedes-Benz 40-ton heavy- duty tractor for a customer in Indonesia, is part of a batch of around 250 trucks on the way to various markets in Southeast Asia. Marc Llistosella, president and CEO of MFTBC and Head of Daimler Trucks Asia, said: “10,000 trucks exported are only a start. We are leveraging additional potentials in growth markets with reliable, efficient high quality trucks built at our Indian manufacturing plant.” DICV’s export product range, manufactured on the same production lines as its domestic BharatBenz portfolio, features medium-duty (916 tonne) and heavy-duty (16-49 tonne) trucks. Developed and tested to meet the diverse requirements of the target markets in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, they are opening additional growth opportunities for Daimler Trucks, the company said in a statement. Erich Nesselhauf, managing director and CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, said: “Our exports business has been developing extremely well. Since the launch in 2013, we have doubled our figures each year, and we aim for further significant growth as we will expand to serve more than 40 markets on three continents by the end of the year.” Beyond completely built trucks, DICV has already exported more than 1,000 bus chassis produced at its bus plant and is ramping up volumes of its Mercedes-Benz school bus which has been launched in the Middle East. - Times of India

26 June 02, 2017 Delhi Metro’s ‘Heritage Line’ Thrown Open to Public NEW DELHI: The Delhi Metro

made a major foray into the Walled City of the national capital, as the ITO-Kashmere Gate ‘Heritage Line’ was thrown open to public on Sunday. It has three stations—Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid and Red Fort. The new line, which is essentially an extension of the Violet Line that runs between Faridabad and ITO presently, will take considerable load off the Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazar stations of the Yellow Line. The new line was flagged off by Union minister of urban development M. Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, through

video conferencing at Metro Bhawan in New Delhi. Complimenting the Delhi Metro for the opening of the line, Naidu said that old Delhi is the tourism and cultural hub of the city where many monuments of great historical importance are located. This line will bring many more people to these monuments as now the visitors will not have to worry about traffic jams and parking hassles. “We all remember how the first metro connection to this part of the city had revived the market areas of Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazar a decade ago. This connect will further help in boosting the economy in this

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part of Delhi,” Naidu said. Naidu said the construction of this line was full of challenges as the Delhi Metro engineers had to build through many congested areas as well as through stretches close to important historical monuments. The three stations of this line, all underground, have been designed in accordance with the heritage of the area to provide glimpses of its rich past and vibrant present. With the opening of this line, the total metro network currently operational in Delhi and NCR is now 217 kilometres with 162 stations. In India, 346 kilometres of Metro Rail is operational at present. Around 530 kilometres is under construction in various cities and more than 800 kilometres is under consideration with various state governments, Naidu said. He also used the opportunity for drawing attention to the need for enhancing the public transport capacity in the city to provide the first and last mile connectivity. He said that focus should be on more cycle tracks and better public transport in Delhi. “The culture now is that every member of family is having a car which is not right,” he said. “I would like to mention that the cities which

Union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Union minister of science and technology Harsh Vardhan, DMRC MD Mangu Singh and DMRC chairman Rajiv Gauba at the flag off ceremony of the Delhi Metro’s Heritage Line, from ITO to Kashmere Gate in New Delhi on Sunday.

have taken a holistic approach to urban mobility planning and have adopted a comprehensive set of wellintegrated measures have succeeded in addressing the issues such as pollution, congestion, lack of connectivity, etc.” he stressed. Naidu said the Centre is formulating a new Metro Rail policy for future projects, in line with the governmentapproved National Policy on Transit Oriented Development (TOD). “The last decade has witnessed the development of metro projects across the country. However, with more and more cities aspiring for metro rail, it

is the need of the hour to have a policy on the metro rail so that such systems are decided upon and implemented in the most sustainable manner,” he said. Kejriwal said the Delhi Metro has today become the pride of not only the city but the entire India. There are many countries now which are looking up to Delhi Metro and DMRC is providing consultancy to many towns and cities. “From the point of view of environment protection, time management and economy, Delhi Metro has emerged as a very suitable mode of travel,” he said. -livemint.com

Had a Very Good Interaction with German Chancellor Angela Merkel: PM Narendra Modi P

rime Minister Narendra Modi, who reached Germany on Monday as part of his four-nation European tour, met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the official retreat for Chancellor Merkel, Schloss Meseberg, 80 km northwest of Berlin. During the meeting, the prime minister signed the Visitor’s Book of the 18th-century palace. He also took a stroll of Schloss Meseberg garden with Merkel where the two leaders held talks. Prime Minister is expected to dine alone with the Chancellor there. After the meeting, PM modi took to social media and said that he had a good interaction with the German Chancellor. “Had a very good interaction with Chancellor Merkel,” Modi said in a tweet. Earlier in the day, PM Modi was interviewed by German newspaper ‘Handelsblatt’ after he reached Berlin. Speaking to the newspaper, Modi said described terrorism as the “gravest challenge” in front of the world. “To our mind, terrorism is the gravest challenge facing humanity. Europe must play a lead role in developing an effective global response under the aegis of the United Nations to deal with this menace,” Modi had said. Ahead of the visit, PM Modi, in a Facebook post, described his visit to

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, centre and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, walk through the garden of the government guest house Meseberg Palace, during a meeting in Meseberg, about 70 kilometers (43 miles) north on Berlin, Monday, May 29, 2017.

Germany as a “new chapter” in bilateral relations. “I am confident that this visit will open a new chapter in our bilateral cooperation with Germany and further deepen our strategic partnership,” he wrote. He further said that the visit will help in building a future of cooperation in various sectors between the two nations. Modi said that he and Merkel will “chart out a future roadmap of cooperation with focus on trade and investment, security and counter-terrorism, in-


novation and science and technology, skill development, urban infrastructure, railways and civil aviation, clean energy, development cooperation, health and alternative medicine.” Later PM Modi is expected to hold a phone call with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. After Germany, the prime minister is expected to visit Spain, Russia and France, in a bid to boost bilateral and economic relations as part of the tour. -indianexpress.com

June 02, 2017




June 02, 2017


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