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Friday, August 04, 2017 | Vol. 36, No. 31


Indo American erican News Published weekly from Houston, TX

7457 Harwin Dr, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036 713.789.NEWS (6397) • Fax: 713.789.6399 •

Partnered & Syndicated with Times of India,, Google, Yahoo & Bing


Rajender Singh with Anupam Kher @ IIFA 2017, which took place in July in New York.

Houston Shines on at the IIFA


The Etiquette of Importance Chase Untermeyer speaking about public etiquette at the early morning event at the HESS Club.

Faithful Decisions


Movie Review

Dr. Dilip Amin

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August 04, 2017



August 04, 2017


First-Generation Born Indian Revolutionizing College Admissions In The USA

HOUSTON: In the last 12 years,

Neha Gupta, founder of College Shortcuts and Elite Private Tutors, has become one of the most prolific college consultants of her generation with a 95% acceptance rate into a student’s top three choices. The first-born generation Indian attended Rice University as a triple major, was the commencement speaker at one of the most prestigious high schools in Texas, and embodies the word passion. It comes to no surprise she has been coined the ‘Teen Whisperer’ in a world where teenagers are rebelling more than ever before. The best selling author of The Four Year Plan, has been in hundreds of articles such as the Washington Post to ABC News during the presidential election as an educational expert, Gupta is constantly focused on helping children get into college. Thousands of parents tune into College Shortcut’s Facebook Page as Gupta goes LIVE to give as much information regarding the college process. “If you aren’t putting your child’s dreams on your to-do list, someone else will dictate their dreams,” she says. Gupta’s heart is full of passion and she believes that every child matters. She is consistently work-

95% of students that work with Neha Gupta Get Into Their Top Three Choices

ing with integrity and authenticity to help students gain a holistic and conscious perspective on the college admissions process. At half the age of many college consultants, Gupta is at the top of her game, and she knows that her actions now will impact children’s futures for decades to come. The mother of over 15,000 children worldwide, she wants to create a world where “we all know in our hearts that our dreams are 100 percent worthy.” Realizing that the national average of 1 high school counselor is to 500 students at a typical high school, Gupta created College Shortcuts as ‘Do-It-Yourself’ online course that has helped thou-

sands of students get into college. Many people have called her the “Netflix” for college consulting with her six online courses that teach parents and students exactly how to apply in less than 3 weeks. Just last year, students that took her course are at their top choice this year and have received $1.2 million dollars in scholarships as last year’s class. College Shortcuts is the most affordable online course on getting into college and many schools have already looked into using the course for their entire junior and senior grades in high school as a supplement to their high school counseling department. Gupta still enjoys having her

hands involved in the business and still consults with students one-onone to help with their applications. “Having the immigrant drive makes me work harder than anyone else I know in my industry. If you knew my parents, you would understand why I work seven days a week. My parents moved here with $20 bucks in their pocket and built multi-million dollar companies from scratch. For me, I knew that I had to follow my passion and help as many kids as I could. Now, we have launched an entire team of consultants with our College Mastery Program that will be working one on one with students on every part of the application process for those parents who want a concierge level experience in college admissions.” “We decided to expand our concierge service for families because the average high school student will get one or two meetings with their counselor. No one in their right mind, would invest in anything for over $100,000 without having someone advise them in the process – whether it be a house, car, or job. Having a consultant can be crucial in this process, especially for parents who didn’t go to school here,” says Gupta.

Photos: Paulius Staniunas

To learn more about her team and services, visit and or call 713-4012867 as students work with her team from all over the world. Neha Gupta, founder of College Shortcuts and Elite Private Tutors, is holding a FREE Back-To-School Event, onetime only. Location: India House, 8888 W. Bellfort Blvd., Houston, TX 77031. Time: August 16, 6:308:30pm Admission: Free, to reserve your seats text YES to (832) 356-3943

When Love Strikes, Let Your Head Guide Your Faith BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: In the thrill of

romance and a whirlwind courtship, inseparable couples relish each other’s company and languish at even the tiniest words or signs of discord. They will overlook any criticism lobbed at either of them and defend each other from perceived threats to being together. The world is their oyster and they do not wonder what abstract ideas could possi-

bly make their love go wrong. Least of all faith and religion, unless you come from a family in which these are strong bonds that hold it together with a larger congregation of similar minded people. Inspite of this familial attachment, the lure of love in the age of individualism can be so powerful that a young couple will continue to develop such strong feelings towards each other that the family has to give way. History is replete with stories of young lovers who

are forsaken by their families – Romeo and Juliet, Heer and Ranja, the Duke of Windsor (former King CONTINUED ON PAGE 12 Photo on Right: Dr. Dilip Amin (center) gave a discourse on Interfaith Marriages on Saturday, July 29 based on research which is the basis of his new book, which he held up with event coordinators Gopinath Mistry (left) and Sangeeta Dua Kataria.



August 04, 2017



August 04, 2017


Amidst the Glitz & Glam, Rajender Brings It On!



The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards honors artistic and technical excellence of Bollywood professionals. IIFA is one such megaevent that daz-zles with glitz and glamour and is watched and loved by millions across the world. The success of such star-studded shows is a result of relentless efforts by the organizing committee, a.k.a the backbone. Rajender Singh happens to be one of the backbones of many of such triumphant events including the IIFA. Rajender Singh of Star Promotions, a household name in Houston, has brought around a hundred victorious shows across multiple cities. Rajender has had the privilege of garner-ing an esteemed reputation within Bollywood biggies and stars. His shows have been well received and a hit amongst the public, whether it was the ‘Unforgettable’ which had the Bachchans, or ‘The SLAM’ concert with King Khan; whether it was Anupam Kher’s captivating play ‘Mera Wo Matlab Nahi Tha’ or the historical hit ‘Chanakya’, or the star-studded extravaganza ‘Dream Team’ that starred Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt, Parineeti Chopra, Varun Dhawan, Sidharth Malhotra, Aditya Roy Kapur and Karan Johar. Over the last two decades, Rajender has been very significant in conducting several inter-national shows, across multiple cities in North America. With his eminent stature he has won the respect of friends, fans, business associates and industry legends and many of the renowned Bollywood celebrities treat him like family. Over the past few years Rajender has represented Houston at the IIFA in a special way and this year was no different. The 2017 IIFA Awards, officially known as the 18th IIFA Awards ceremony honoring the

Rajender Singh with Entrepreneur Swapnil & Deepika Agarwal from Houston.

best Hindi films of 2016, took place between July 13 -15, in New York. As usual, the IIFA fever is known to grip the world much before it is hosted and Houston was no dif-ferent. And much of the credit of this excitement also goes to Rajender who justifies their enthusiasm. On the June 1, live IIFA video press conference was held in Houston, Chi-cago and New York. Rajender and his team at Star Promotions had organized this event in Houston, which was attended by Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt, and this splendid trio


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had a lively interaction with the Houston media. The so-called ‘Bollywood Oscars’, the IIFA Awards, was being held in the USA. Bolly-wood’s biggest names were present at the iconic event, held at MetLife Stadium in New York. Stellar performances by Alia Bhatt, Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Shahid Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon, enthralled the audiences. A.R. Rah-

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man celebrated his musical journey of 25 years and was felicitated for the same. It was indeed a heartwarming moment for Houstonians as Rajender, a proud Houstonian, was present as the backbone of IIFA’s organizing committee. Rajender cheerfully greeted the Bollywood stars and had his share of laugh riots and joyful moments with them. Be-ing overwhelmed with the love and affection he receives each year, he said, “ I am

proud to be associated with IIFA. Every year I look forward to it as people are so respectful to-wards me, and it feels like a family gathering.” Rajender shares a special bond with IIFA’s Founder/Director, Andre Timmins, who seems very fond of him. Rajender thanked Houstonians for their support and made a mention that his shows are classy and value for money. Rajender appreciated IIFA’s vision in having India and Bollywood globally recognized. And through his efforts and vision, Rajender also seems to be help-ing by bringing in quality shows that charm, fascinate and delight the audiences. A cou-ple of Rajender’s upcoming shows include a play with Anupam Kher and Anil Kapoor, and one of the most awaited play Mughal-eAzam, directed by Feroz Abbas Khan. After a brief meeting with Salman Khan, Rajender discretely mentioned about their collaboration for some future assignment. Houstonians, keep a watch on this space and be the first to know when this news splits out on IndoAmerican News. For further information on the forthcoming shows call on 281222- 4500 or log on to

Indo American News (ISSN 887-5936) is published weekly every Friday (for a subscription of $40 per year) by IndoAmerican News Inc., 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036., tel: 713-789-6397, fax:713-789-6399, email: Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Indo American News,7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036



August 04, 2017


August 04, 2017





August 04, 2017

New York Life Agent Amiralli Dodhiya Qualifies for Million Dollar Round Table’s “Court of the Table” New York Life Leads Million Dollar Round Table for the 62st Consecutive Year


OUSTON: Outstanding client service, ethics and professionalism have elevated Agent Amiralli Dodhiya of the Houston General Office of New York Life to qualify for the exclusive “Court of the Table” of the Million Dollar Round Table — The Premier Association of Financial Professionals ®. In addition to being a New York Life agent since 2008, Amiralli Dodhiya is an 8-year MDRT member and a 4-time Court of the Table qualifier. Achieving Court of the Table status places Mr. Dodhiya among the top professionals in the global life insurance and financial services industry. He is recognized for demonstrating exceptional professional knowledge, client service and ethical conduct. Founded in 1927, the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier Association of Financial Professionals, is an international, independent association of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of sales excellence in the life insurance and financial services business. New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States* and one of the largest life insurers in the world. New York Life has the highest possible financial strength ratings currently awarded to any life insurer from all four of the major credit rating agencies: A.M. Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa), Standard & Poor’s (AA+).** Headquartered in New York City, New York Life’s family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance. New York Life Investments*** provides institutional asset management. Other New York Life affiliates provide an array of securities products and services, as well as retail mutual funds. Please visit New York Life’s website at “http://www.

Amiralli Dodhiya” for more information. *Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune magazine, 6/12/17. For methodology, please see “http://fortune. com/fortune500/” **Individual independent rating agency commentary as of 8/9/16. ***New York Life Investments is a service mark used by New York Life Investment Management Holdings LLC and its subsidiary, New York Life Investment Management LLC. Bates 1619938 For further details contact Amiralli Dodhiya at 832-877-0177.

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August 04, 2017

Proper Manners and Etiquette will get You Ahead in Life!

The participants at the IACCGH Power Breakfast on Tuesday, July 25, with the featured speaker, Chase Untermeyer, the former US Ambassador to Qatar. Photos: Bijay Dixit


HOUSTON: Marketing yourself

can be just as important as promoting your company and organization, but people often miss the subtleties that make that road easier to navigate. Take for example, a simple thing like the nametag you stick on your coat or shirt when you go to a large event. “The proper place to attach it is not on the left but on the right side, chest high.” said Chase Untermeyer, as the audience members fidgeted with their nametags to correct them. “They are much easier to glance at and read when others shake your hand.” In a short 30-minute presentation using PowerPoint slides and a peppy narrative, Untermeyer delivered a trove of ideas for being an effective communicator and sending the right message in public

spaces. He based his observations on years of being in the limelight in government, teaching and private business where he interfaced with officials and the public. And here he was, on Tuesday, July 25 at the HESS Club in the Galleria area as a featured speaker for the Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston’s Power Breakfast series, sharing his experiences and gently guiding two dozen attendees in the etiquette of public presence. He has captured many of these experiences and the observations upon which he has formed his ideas in his latest book released in 2015, “How Important People Act: Behaving Yourself in Public”, which was available for purchase at the breakfast event. IACCGH Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia welcomed the guests and former president Sanjay Ram gave a brief

introduction of the speaker. Untermeyer, 71, is no stranger to the halls of power from which he has had a bird’s eye view of other public figures. Born in Long Branch, New Jersey, he graduated from Memorial High School in Houston in 1964 and later from Harvard University in 1968. He worked on George H.W. Bush’s congressional campaign in 1966. He joined the US Navy and served as an officer during the Vietnam War on the USS Benner as an aide to Rear Admiral Draper Kauffman. Returning to Houston, Untermeyer was a reporter at the Houston Chronicle and was elected as a Representative to the Texas House till 1981. He became an executive assistant to President George H.W. Bush, then served as an Assistant Secretary of the Navy and finally as Director of the Voice of

America. He returned to Houston as the Director of Public Affairs at Compaq Computers and later worked as a VP and professor of public policy at UT Health Science Center till 2004 when he was appointed as US Ambassador to Qatar (for three years) by President George W. Bush. He has also been on the boards of several highprofile local organizations. Untermeyer quipped that his book is a result of a life misspent in politics and is based on observations at public events, socials, funerals and the like. He realized that a missing area of knowledge was in the techniques that work in public settings and this is particularly true of young people who are connected by devices but not through personal contacts. “These days, it may sound radically thinking out-of-the-box to go back to personal communications,” he


said. “But the key thing about important people is that you do not have to be the boss or a politician or a leader. It’s how you handle yourself in a situation.” He illustrated his comments with pictures and cartoon about being aware that you are in the public eye, like when former Vice President Joe Biden made a gesture to make eye contact with an acquaintance while sitting behind President Obama delivering a speech to Congress. Untermeyer said there were four “C’s” to follow: Composed, Comfortable, Confident and Considerate. He prescribed two rules: dress well to convey authority and look at the person you are conversing with to show interest in them. And he handed out several tips for effective communication. For those who are afraid of eye contact, he suggested looking at the bridge of their nose. And, if you have to attend a long, tedious speech, to avoid dozing off, sit on the edge of your seat. For those afraid of public speaking he suggested not reading verbatim from PowerPoint, but to be short and use simple, single syllable words to make a strong impact. At the end of his presentation, Untermeyer took a barrage of questions from the audience, all of whom agreed that these interpersonal skills were lacking from most educational curriculums at colleges, leaving many graduates ill prepared to effectively communicate their thoughts.


10 August 04, 2017



August 04, 2017

The Baton is Handed Over to the New Executive Committee at India House


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Sitting from left: Manish Rungta, Mohit Agrawal, Jugal Malani, Manu Gupta, and Rajinder Soni. Standing from left: Sam Merchant, Vikie Agrawal, and Anil Aggarwal. Photos: Bijay Dixit

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HOUSTON: India House is de-

lighted with the election of their new Executive Committee, full of experience, energy and vibrancy, that promises to take India House to even greater heights. Unani-

mously elected during the elections held at O.P. Jindal Center, India House, it welcomes their newest and confident Executive Committee led by Jugal Malani - President; Mohit Agrawal - VP Operations; Anil Aggarwal - VP Finance; Vikie Agrawal - Treasurer; Manu Gupta- Secretary; Rajinder SoniJoint Treasurer, Manish RungtaImmediate Past President and Sam Merchant, Council Chairman. In the first meeting of the Executive Committee, Jiten Agarwal was appointed as Ambassador of India House. The new Executive Committee with highly qualified individuals brings in vast experience to India House. As an accomplished businessman, Jugal Malani brings in his proactive and productive skills to the committee, along with Mohit’s effective business operation

India’s 71st Independence Day Celebrations by Indian Culture Center (ICC)

HOUSTON: India Culture Cen-

ter Houston (ICC), is celebrating India’s 71st Independence Day on Sunday, August 20, at the Stafford Center, 10505 Cash Rd, Stafford. TX 77477 from 1pm to 8pm. This year the theme is “Magnificent India”. The event attracts 3000+ people, it is free, and the facility has ample free parking. As part of the celebration, an exciting Souvenir “Tarang” will

be published. The ICC Board requests community support through Sponsorship, Advertisement, and Booths at the Event. The Gold sponsorship is $2500 which entitles prime corporate booth, logo on flyer and media, digital advertisement on screen, full page souvenir ad, and segment sponsorship for prizes. The Silver sponsorship is $1500 which entitles corporate booth, digital advertisement on the screen, and full page souvenir ad.

skills, Anil’s vast global experience and Vikie’s financial expertise; together they form an effective team. Bringing in their business acumen, planning and financial strategy Manu and Rajinder form an ideal support system. Manish’s experience and Jiten’s tech skills and market savviness will be helpful for the newly elected committee, Sam’s outreach will strengthen the organization. India House would like to thank their outgoing Executive Committee for an impressive tenure and for showcasing India House at the fore-front of communitybuilding. Booths are $600 (Corporate), $325 (Small Business), and $200 (Non-Profit). Digital advertisements are only $100. More Information is available on http:// or call Event Chair Swapan 281-3820348 or President Dr Falguni Gandhi 2818444604 Looking forward for your support and participation for the community event.

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12 August 04, 2017


When Love Strikes, Let Your Head Guide Your Faith CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 Edward VIII) and Wallis Simpson, Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed – but live, and die, with each other. If not thought out beforehand, the consequences of a mingling of different faiths and cultures can be profound and damaging, according to the research of Dr. Dilip Amin who has just published his findings in new book, Interfaith Marriages. He was in town this past weekend to give a talk to a group of attentive listeners at the International Trade Center on Bellaire Boulevard on Saturday, July 29. The event and book launch was organized by Gopinath Mistry and a group of like-minded community activists and sponsored by the American Hindu Social

Services. A native of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Amin has a doctorate degree in Pharmacology. He is a prolific researcher with 6 patents, has published 23 papers and currently works in cancer research. He has also been a Hindu activist involved in many Hindu organizations like the Plymouth Balvihar in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania and founder of the Balvihar at Sanathan Mandir in San Bruno, California among others. He has been married to a Gujarati also from Ahmedabad from for past 38 years and they have two children born and raised in the US. It was his keen involvement in Hindu issues that prompted Amin’s curiosity in interfaith relationships and in 2009 he formed the Forum for Interfaith Marriage and

Equality and the website interfaithshaadi. org through which he received over 23,000 comments. These, and his guidance of over 900 young people on their interfaith relationship issues, form the basis of his book Interfaith Marriages which has a detailed breakdown of what conflicts couples of different faiths may encounter. He said that the objective of his book was “to help educate new adults so that they make fully informed decisions before committing to a long-lasting married life”. Amin started off with a description of religion and the difference between pluralistic ones which he lumped into Dharmic (Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs) and exclusivists which he called Abrahamics (Christians, Jews and Muslims). He then gave out

statistics about the percentages of people married within different faiths and cited examples of the conflicts that occur a few months before marriage or, in worst cases, just a few days before the birth of a child. For the mostly Hindu audience, he explained the rituals and dogmas of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions and their emphasis on conversion into their faith in order to be considered married. He illustrated his points with detailed PowerPoint slides and many examples of the conflicts that conversions bring, especially when folding into Islam, which makes the process as simple as reciting a single line of allegiance and reconversions by death. Explaining that his desire was to promote religious pluralism and tolerance among communities in the US, Amin gave several suggestions to achieve that. He stressed the need to keep in touch with interfaith married Hindu children, including inviting them to Hindu events; giving them love; going to their activities; naming of kids; installing Dharmic values and spending money on them now instead of in an inheritance. He concluded his talk by giving seven recommendations for the reform of the activities and rituals in Hindu mandirs to accommodate changing and evolving future generations. The talk began with an introduction by event coordinator Gopinath Mistry who has two children who are in interfaith marriages, saying this was “a humble effort to start a process to impart this knowledge”. He was followed by Sangeeta Dua Kataria, a staunch Hindu activist, who added that issues like naming a child, the type of funeral rites, circumcisions and idols in the house were important items to be considered carefully before taking the plunge. Bhavna Luthra, a marriage counsellor in practice for 9 years wrapped up the talk by urging marriage counselling in mandirs, similar to those in churches. As the event ended, Amin fielded questions from the audience - many of which were in the form of comments - which centered mostly on their repulsion to the act of conversion to Islam, many of which they believed to be coerced by conflicting feelings of love and allegiance to family and the soon-to-be spouse.

WRITERS ... TAKE NOTICE Writers are requested to limit their words to 500. The deadline for advertising and articles is 5 pm on Tuesday of each week. For more information: Call 713-789- 6397 or email us at:

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August 04, 2017


ASIE Joins “Professional Engineers Day” Celebrations Around the World BY DINESH D. SHAH, PE, MBA, RAS, PTC

HOUSTON: The American So-

ciety of Professional Engineers and Architects (ASIE) joins a nationwide and around the world for celebration of Professional Engineers (PE) Day. About 110 years ago, on August 8, 1907, the first professional engineering license was issued to Charles Bellamy in Wyoming. Since that time, licensure has expanded and professional engineers across the U.S. have made a commitment to protect the public by applying the knowledge of science and mathematics. They showed how the ingenuity of new products and developed solutions for technical, societal and commercial problems can make significant contribution in the lives of people around the world. In the State of Texas, the Texas Board of Professional Engineers (TBPE) was established in 1937. In 2017, the TBPE is celebrating 80 years of “Engineering a Better Texas”. The mission of TBPE is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of Texas by regulating and advancing the practice of engineering through licensure of qualified individuals, compliance with the laws and rules, and education about professional

Houston-based ASIE is joining the celebration of Professional Engineers Day nationwide and around the world.

engineering. Currently, more than 60,000 licensed engineers offer engineering services in Texas in 27 engineering disciplines. Today, India is set to produce world’s largest number of engineers. During the year 2013, there were almost one million Indianorigin scientists and engineers working in USA, which is highest in Asian origin with a low scoring of China and Philippines. Between 2007 and 2017, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported that 318,670 applied for H-1B visa in architecture, engineering and surveying occupation category. About 8 % or majority were Indians and in the age of 25-34 years. There is an increase in the average salary also from $68,159 in 2007 to $92,317 in 2017. Locally, in Greater Houston Area, with a population of 150,000

scholarships to undergraduate and Graduate students of Indian origin in assisting them and motivating them to pursue their future career goals of becoming an engineer or an architect. Please join us for our upcoming ASIE seminars: Aug. 5 - Transform Yourself from Business Stress & Engineering vs. Human Body Parts; Aug 17 - Gatobar FRP Rebar; Sept. 7 - Ethics and Tech-

nical Seminar; Sept 21 - Accessibility Design Standards; October - Panel Discussion; November - Student Scholarships, Awards to Senior Professional, and Holiday Event; and December - General Body Meeting and Election. For more information about ASIE, visit the website at www. or send an email to

Indian-Americans has created a large hub for the engineering community. Just about 35 years back, many Indian Engineers had come to Houston, and worked for largest engineering companies like Bechtel, Fluor, formerly Brown & Root and now KBR, and Nasa’s Johnson Space Center. But many engineers became entrepreneurs by setting up different ventures, including those in manufacturing and energy and petrochemicals. There are many design engineering successful companies in Houston area owned by IndoAmericans. Many of them are long time Corporate members of ASIE, since its inception in 1994. ASIE provides a forum for career advancement, business development, networking and voicing their opinions to impact public policies by interacting with governmental agencies. ASIE also provides

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14 August 04, 2017


Sheriff Gonzalez Highlights the Need to Work with the Community to Fight Crime BY MANU SHAH

HOUSTON: Sheriff Ed Gonza-

lez, who took office in January, met with IACCGH members and guests to describe the “pretty daunting task” of keeping Houston safe. He was the Keynote speaker at the Chamber’s Distinguished Lecture Series with Chief Guest Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray. The event was held on July 26th at the Consulate of India and sponsored by Shell. Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia thanked Dr. Ray for his efforts in making the Consulate “people friendly” and his graciousness in opening the doors of the Consulate for community events. When distinguished speakers such as Sheriff Gonzalez address the community, he added, the message gets “disseminated to a wider array of people.” Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray highlighted India’s growth potential and its huge strides in “making business in India a seamless experience.” He also spoke of the possibility of a direct flight between Houston and New Delhi. President Allen Richards reminded the gathering about the Chamber’s upcoming Gala which

brings together Houston’s top business leaders. He encouraged them to attend the event which is to be held on August 26th at the Hilton Americas in downtown.

From left: Consul General D r . A n u p a m R a y, S h e l l representative Terry Garland, Keynote Speaker Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Joya Shukla, Allen Richards, Jagdip Ahluwalia. Photo: Bijay Dixit

Sheriff Gonzalez commenced his address by recounting how his father could not read or write and needed assistance with simple acts such as reading the menu or a sign. Growing up, this had a profound impact on him and taught him that people sometimes need assistance which should be given without “judgement or prejudice.” It was this conviction that carried him to a career in the police force. One of his first tasks as Sheriff, he stated, was to bring the budget under control, make the dollar go far and still be effective in combating crime. The investigative department, he conceded, needed to

be improved and efforts have been ramped up to redeploy resources better to prevent DWI fatalities – a leading cause of death on Houston’s highways. The penalty for intoxication in a public place (not driving intoxication) is a trip to jail. The Sheriff suggested alternatives such as a center where intoxicated people can be taken to sleep it off and sober up before getting on the road. Additionally, the department has partnered with the District Attorney in a program that will not incarcerate people for possession of marijuana but instead encourage them to sign up for a program that’s akin to a Defensive driving program. According to him, these are much “smarter approaches” and would save the department money and help deploy resources more effectively. Jails, he emphasized, are there to keep people who are a danger to society and not for those making a “mistake” or a low level offence. Efforts are on to improve the criminal system and make it more “effective and compassionate.” The Sheriff also underscored the need for working with the community to bring about closer ties and “fight crime.” The city, he stated, needs “more tools in the toolbox” but assured the gathering that Houston is still “a safe region.”


August 04, 2017



16 August 04, 2017


August 04, 2017



18 August 04, 2017


Power-hungry Netas M

All of us who belong to aam janta often wonder if our netas

belong to a species other than ours. How else to explain their general demeanour and behaviour, before and after elections? Before elections our netas and would-be netas are role models who’ve stepped out of Dale Carnegie’s bestselling PR bible, How To Win Friends and Influence People. They go around beaming smiles at everyone like toothpaste advertisements. They promise us that, if elected, they’ll give us not just the sun and the moon but the entire zodiac as well. They swear solemnly that in all their dealings they’ll be as transparent as a goldfish bowl, as accountable as an open book. Once elected, they’re transformed into totally unrecognisable beings. They suffer a collective amnesia about their pre-poll promises about giving us goodies. All the goodies available are reserved strictly for themselves, and their families and friends. They shroud themselves and their doings in impenetrable secrecy, their lack of accountability equalled only by their arrogance. What causes this metamorphosis? A magical potion called power. And it’s not just our political class that gets transfigured by the taste of power. If you live in a residential complex, like i do, the chances are the place will have a Resident’s Welfare Association (RWA), sometimes also known as a Managing Committee, which is elected to office by the residents of the community. And, chances are that, like a microcosm of our larger polity, the RWA will end up behaving exactly the way our netas do, arrogating all manner of perks to itself, starting with getting freebies from the inhouse subziwala or the pressman who presses clothes. Whether it’s the result of 250 years of British oppression, or anything else, all of us, netas and neighbours, crave power the way a junkie craves drugs. And the drug of power gives us a high, as in high and mighty. The next time you wonder how come our netas act the way they do, look no further than your neighbourhood RWA. You might well discover that RWA stands for Raja Wale ki Autocracy. -TimesofIndia

“ odijikemukablemein koi nahinhai (Modi has no challenger).” Thus spake Nitish Kumar, chief minister of Bihar, the neo-convert to the NDA camp when asked about the possible outcome of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. But come 2019 or even earlier, the Chief Minister may have to eat his words if not his hat. Notwithstanding the deployment of North Korean television channels to script a narrative of invincibility around the BJP, the systematic insinuation, innuendo and downright lies about Opposition leaders as well as the regular abuse and misuse of investigative agencies and the law enforcement machinery, the fact remains all is not well on the ground. India is not shimmering, it is simmering. The Bharat-India cleavage has widened to an unprecedented degree. The disconnect between ground narrative and the public discourse is nothing short of hallucinatory. There is unprecedented farmer distress in the country.As many as 12,602 persons involved in the farming sector– 8,007 farmers-cultivators and 4,595 agricultural laborers –committed suicide in 2015, according to figures provided by the central government to the Supreme Court. Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh told Parliament that according to National Crime Records Bureau data for 2016, which is yet to be published, 11,400 farmers committed suicide; in 2015, the number was 12,602. From Tamil Nadu to Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh and even in the food bowl, Punjab, falling farm incomes are driving farmers to take the extreme step of ending their lives. Similarly, the industrial scenario is dismal. In June 2017, eight core sectors of the economy grew by a dismal 0.4% , down from 7% for the corresponding month in 2016. The growth in Index of Industrial Production (IIP) was 1.7 per cent in May 2017, as compared to a growth of 8.0 per cent in May 2016. As opposed to 380 lakh new jobs that India required in the38 months this government has been in office, job creation or job growth for 2015 and 2016 (April-December) stood at

1.55 lakh and 2.31 lakh in numbers respectively. The former minister for rural development Jairam Ramesh recently underscored this worrying downturn when he said, “In the first two years of the Modi government, only 4.4 lakh jobs were created in the organized sector as opposed to 21 lakh jobs created during the first two years of the UPA-II government.” Demonetization and the implementation of the flawed GST have further broken the back of the informal sector of the economy leading to widespread chaos. The GDP growth numbers evidence this phenomenon. In the fourth quarter of 2016 the economy clocked only 6.1% which at 2004-05 base year translates into a measly figure of 4.1% only. Social harmony has been torn to shreds with Hindustan acquiring the notorious sobriquet of Lynchistan – all thanks to the active encouragement and support of the ruling dispensation, notwithstanding the pro-forma condemnation by the prime minister once in a while. It does not require rocket science to discern the truth. You only need to ask why these lynchings weren’t taking place between 2004-14 and why have they become a norm these past three years? Internal security lies in tatters. Kashmir is up a creek without a paddle. It is a volcano waiting to explode again as it did last year after Burhan Wani was killed by security forces last year. Maoist activity is on the rise. From January 1-July 15, 170

deaths in 504 incidents have taken place. The North East is on the boil with the Gorkhaland violence having peaked this summer.The 47-day-long indefinite shutdown, which started on June 15, is the longest so far in the picturesque hill station which had last witnessed a 40-day bandh in 1988 by the Gorkha National Liberation Front and a 44-day shutdown in 2013 by GorkhaJanmuktiMorcha on the statehood issue. Even in the otherwise peaceful state of Tripura, the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura has upped the ante on their demand to carve out Tipraland— a separate state from Tripura. Meanwhile, there is no sign of the fabled Naga Accord. However the gravest threat today is to India’s external security. Perhaps, for the first time in the past seven decades the nation is staring at a two-front situation with an aggressive Pakistan and a belligerent China breathing down our neck with only ten days of war fighting reserves at our disposal. It would be a strategic blunder to take Chinese president Xi Jinping’s threats lightly. A conflict, limited or otherwise, seems imminent at a time and place of China’s choosing. How prepared is India materially, morally, physiologically and logistically beyond the rhetoric of muscular nationalism?Even on the benchmark of hyper-nationalism, the current government says one thing in New Delhi and does another tango with Pakistan on the sidelines of a security conference in Moscow.


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:, website:



August 04, 2017


The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi - Part 9

Gandhi Invites Untouchable Family in Ashram


he story thus far….Gandhi permitted a lower caste family to reside at the ashram that he established at Ahmedabad. He met with much opposition. He also amazed and angered the British officers, upper-class Indians, and friends gathered at a foundation stone laying ceremony at Banaras University by speaking out against usage of the English language on the university premises that he deemed “sacred”. The annual meeting of the Congress was held in December 1916 in Lucknow. The Congress was divided as there were the moderates and there were the extremists, but at Lucknow the Congress met without tension between the two wings. The President, Ambika Charan Mazumdar, spoke in terms of Swaraj, which previous leaders had demanded. A resolution was passed appealing to His Majesty’s Government and demanding that a definite step should be taken towards Indian self-government by granting the reforms contained in a referendum prepared by the All- India Congress Committee and adopted by the All-India Muslim League. In Lucknow the Congress and the Muslim League came to an agreement. This was later known as the Lucknow Pact. For the sake of the unity of India the Congress conceded many points demanded by the Muslims. For two years Gandhi had traveled extensively in India and had talked at different places. He now wanted to start some work connected with labor. His interest first centered on the problem of indentured labor, the system under which poor, ignorant laborers were enticed away from India to work in the British colonies. He disapproved of this system in South Africa, fought it there, and he wanted to see it abolished. The Viceroy, Lord Hardinge, announced that His Majesty’s Government had agreed to abolish the system in due course. Gandhi, however, wanted a definite date before which the system would go. Gandhi started a great agitation on this issue. He went to Bombay and consulted all the Indian leaders there. They fixed May 31, 1917 as the last date for the abolition of indentured labor. He then went around the country to get support for this view. Meetings were held in important places. Everywhere there was a great response. Even Gandhi admitted that he had not expected so much public support. As a result of the agitation, the Government announced that the system of indentured labor would be stopped before July 31,1917. Then Gandhi had heard about an obnoxious system of agricultural labor prevailing in the Champaran district of Bihar, where the cultivators were forced by Europeans to grow indigo, a blue dye. This imposed on them great discomfort. They could not grow the food they needed, nor did they receive adequate payment for the indigo. Gandhi was told of this by an agriculturist from Bihar, Rajkumar Shuk-

la. He requested Gandhi to go to the place and see the state of affairs there. Gandhi was then attending the Congress meeting at Lucknow and he did not have time to go there. Rajkumar Shukla followed him about, begging him to come and help the hapless villagers in Champaran. Gandhi at last promised to visit the place after he had visited Calcutta. Gandhi went to Champaran with Rajkumar in early 1917. On his arrival the District Magistrate served him with a notice saying that he was not to remain in the district of Champaran but must leave the place by the first available train. Gandhi disobeyed the order. He was summoned to appear before the court. The magistrate said that if Gandhi left immediately the charges would be dropped. “This cannot be,” said Gandhi. “I came here to render humanitarian and national service. I shall make Champaran my home and work for the suffering people,” added Gandhi. A large crowd of peasants gathered outside the court shouting slogans. The magistrate and the police looked nervous. Then Gandhi said, “I shall help you and calm these people if you let me speak to them.” Gandhi appeared before the crowd and said, “You must show your faith in me and in my work by remaining quiet. The magistrate had the right to arrest me, because I disobeyed his order. If I am sent to jail, you must accept that as just. We must work peacefully. Any violent act will harm our cause.” The crowd dispersed peacefully. The police stared at Gandhi in admiration as he went inside the court. Gandhi wrote about the incident later. “That day in Champaran was an unforgettable event in my life ..... It is no exaggeration, but the literal truth, to say that in this meeting with the peasants, I was face to face with God, ahimsa and truth.” The Government withdrew the case

against Gandhi and allowed him to remain in the district. Gandhi stayed and studied the grievances of the peasants. He visited many villages. He cross-examined about 8,000 cultivators and recorded their statements. In this way he arrived at an exact understanding of their plight and the causes. He came to the conclusion that the ignorance of the cultivators was one of the main reasons why the European planters could exploit them. Gandhi set up voluntary organizations to improve the economic and educational conditions of the people. They opened schools and taught the people how to improve sanitation. The Government recognized Gandhi’s strength and devotion to just causes. They themselves then set up a committee to enquire into the grievances of the cultivators. They invited Gandhi to serve on that committee, and he agreed. The result was that within a few months the Champaran Agrarian Bill was passed. It gave great relief to the cultivators and land tenants. Gandhi could not stay longer in Bihar. There were calls from other places. Labor unrest was brewing in Ahmedabad and Gandhi was requested to help settle the dispute. Gandhi hurried back to Ahmedabad. Before taking up the labor dispute Gandhi wanted to move his ashram. The Satyagraha Ashram was in a village near Ahmedabad, but the surrounding was not clean and plague had broken out. It had spread there from Ahmedabad. A rich merchant of Ahmedabad, wanted to buy alternative land for the ashram. Gandhi went about with him looking for land and they chose a place on the bank of the Sabarmati river, near the Sabarmati Central Jail. The land was purchased and the famous Sabarmati Ashram was established. In Ahmedabad there were many textile mills. Prices had gone up and the mill workers were demanding higher wages. The mill owners would not agree. Gandhi sympathized with the workers and took up their cause. He launched a struggle and resorted to peaceful resistance. The workers proudly followed Gandhi and pledged their full support to him. They paraded the streets with large banners, and said they would not go back to work until a settlement had been reached. -To be Continued net week


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20 August 04, 2017 BY SANCHALI BASU

HOUSTON: The evening was ar-

ranged in the most elaborate way one possibly can. It had to be, because it was Ashka’s Arangetram. Parents Dr. Vipul and Sheetal Patel had gone all out to leave no stone unturned in the planning of this event. Starting from the stage decorations to the food spread both at the beginning and at the end of the event, the choice of venue, the program card and warmest hospitality, the Patel family made all attendees feel very welcome. On Saturday, July 22nd, Ashka Patel performed her Arangetram under the capable guidance of Guru Smt. Dipti Dave. The audience was in awe when the curtains to the stage opened after the brief introductory remarks by mother Sheela Patel. The stage was very beautifully decorated with peacock feather props mimicking the main entrance of a Haveli, and two side doors mimicking the entrances to a temple with huge bells decorated with flowers. A gigantic Nataraj sculpture adorned the right side of the stage. A very luxurious dais with lavish bright yellow and gold silk sheets, cushions and pillows for the musicians adorned the left side. Ashka began her repertoire with the Vinayakakantuvam where she offered flowers to Lord Ganesha, the god of beginnings, and the Lord of Dance, Nataraja. Nritta based dance of rhythmic movements of the head, arms and feet, Jatiswaram followed, where the dancer drew a visual picture of the sounds. As is

Ashka’s Arangetram the norm in a Arangetram performance, the Shabdam followed, where Ashka playing the role of a lover, pled to the lord to not fall in love with another woman. Interestingly, several Gods and Goddesses were portrayed through this dance including Brahma, Vishnu in all his Dasavatar forms, Goddess Saraswati and some others. It combined both the Nritta and Nritya aspects of Bharatnatyam. The Varnam, the longest, most important and demanding dance of the repertoire, “Main Giridhar ke ghar jaoon” was a Krishna Vandana performed effortlessly by Ashka with tremendous poise and grace, reflecting her long hours of practice. She portrayed Mirabai, who despite facing various obstacles as a queen, worships Lord Krishna through Shringar Bhakti and becomes one with God. A Kirtanam followed which was a eulogy to Tridev – Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara, the creator, sustainer and the destroyer respectively. Of special mention is the fact that Hinduism, the 3rd largest, oldest, polytheistic religion is in fact monotheistic since it believes in the oneness of the universal Brahman. Chief guest Congressman Randy Weber, accompanied by wife Brandy flew in from Washington DC just for the day of the event to grace the occasion. He lauded Ashka’s commit-

ment, discipline and huge amount of training and commended her on her dance skills and hand gestures. He remarked that with such performances, the rich heritage of India was being woven into American culture. Arya Patel, brother of Ashka mentioned how Ashka proved to be his role model though she is younger. She maintained her academic excellence as she is enrolled in the WAVE program for gifted and talented students in school and also continued to play the violin in the school orchestra in spite of her rigorous dance training schedule. The Padam depicted the child Lord Krishna saving countless lives from drowning in the Yamuna river. Javeli was a beautiful narration in Gujarati, Pag Dhova Do Ne Raghurai from the epic Ramayana. It told the story of a devotee boatman and his feelings while carrying Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana across


in his boat. They are all in the same profession in the sense that, while the boatman helps passengers cross the river, the Gods help mankind to cross Bhavsagar. The Tillana that ensued had a beautiful blend of grace and pace, with sculputuresque poses and the brisk footwork that a climactic number demands. The Mangalam, the concluding piece was a final salutation to God, the Guru and the audience expressing the dancer’s gratitude for their blessings and encouragement. Guru Dipti Dave and her team of musicians did an incredible job with the music. It was amazing to see how Guru Dipti Dave kept it all in the family, with herself on the Nattuvangam,

Photos: Ghanshyam Patel

husband Hemant Dave and celebrity daughter Mauli Dave on the vocals, son Dr. Omkar Dave on the Mridangam, son-in-law Mukul Majmudar as singer and on the keyboard, daughter-in-law Lopa Dave as stage coordinator and Damini Dave helped with the costume hair. The only 2 outsiders were Biplab Samadder on the violin and make-up artist Beth Hardin, and they were both excellent in their own right. Ashka was presented with her graduation certificate by Guru Dipti Dave.Ashka then came on to the stage followed by father Vipul Patel and they offered their vote of thanks. All in all, it was quite a memorable ceremony.



August 04, 2017


Spectacular Sri Krishna Janmashtami 2017 by Hindus of Greater Houston & ISKCON of Houston

HOUSTON: Hindus of Greater Houston

(HGH)& ISKCON celebrate this year’s auspicious Krishna Janmashtami (birthday of Lord Krishna) at ISKCON’s temple at 1320 West 34th St., Houston, on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 from 6pm till midnight. For the first time in years the HGH-sponsored event will be held at a venue other than the George Brown Convention Center bringing the best from 28 years of celebration from HGH and 39 years for ISKCON. The premiere community-wide festival— observed on the actual divine astrological evening—is free and open to all, a perfect event to invite neighbors and colleagues to showcase the rich Hindu culture which contributes to Houston’s diversity. The evening runs on two simultaneous tracks: cultural programs in the Gauranga Community Hall, and continuous kirtan (chanting of the Holy Names of God in call-and-response fashion) in the temple. In the temple, traditionally decorated with a multitude of fresh flowers, will be kirtan, spectacular darshan (audience) of the Lord, 3 aratis (worship ceremonies) at 7:00, 9:00 & midnight, and a discourse on the importance of Janmashtami. A special attraction will be Gau-puja—honoring Mangala, the cow—recently acquired and cared for by ISKCON, demonstrating Hindus’ reverence for all life. The cow is particularly revered as a mother, since she supplies sustenance in the early years of one’s life. The cultural festivities commence with a children’s costume contest, followed by Odissi dance, a fusion number by Gaura Klein & friends, and a drama by ISKCON youth. “The joint celebration of its signature event Janmashtami with ISKCON clearly demonstrates Hindus of Greater Houston’s commitment to its motto of “Bringing Hindus together”. We are confident that multitudes of Houston Hindus will gather at the temple to rejoice at this sacred occasion,” says Partha Krishnaswamy, President of HGH. “Serving on the advisory board of the both HGH and ISKCON, I feel very fortunate to be able serve on this initiative for the greater good of not only these two organizations but for Houstonians at large ,” says Dr Hansa Medley. There will be opportunities to perform abhishek (ceremonial bathing of the Deity), jhulan (swinging the Lord), guided mantra meditation around the sacred basil (tulsi) plant, anointing with tilak (sacred clay) and children’s activities. Vendors will offer literature & other items. Nila Madhava’s Boutique in the temple building offers Indian musical instruments & CDs, art, clothing, jewelry, books & a variety of snacks. Although the delicious free vegetarian dinner is always a crowd favorite, attendees also have the option to dine at Govinda’s, ISKCON’s popular new vegetarian restaurant, right on the

temple property. Parking is not available at the temple. Free and convenient parking and shuttle

service will be available from Northwest Mall. For further information, contact Vijay Pal-

lod at 713-562-1920. Visit or


22 August 04, 2017



August 04, 2017


Hindu Heritage Youth Camp: Promoting Hindu Dharma


HOUSTON: It’s a warm Sunday

afternoon and the Hindu Heritage Youth Camp (HHYC) is in the midst of its weekly camp training meeting. Rohan Chaudhary, a third year counselor, is leading a group of 50 counselors in teaching “Ram, Ravan” – an activity that puts a twist on the game of tag while humorously incorporating the story of the Ramayana. Halfway through the game, the counselors cannot contain their laughter and the game is halted briefly so they can catch their breath. Established in 1984, HHYC was founded with the goal of promoting Hindu dharma. However, the shared friendships and laughter play a big part in bringing these counselors back to camp every year, many of whom were campers themselves. When asked about his motivation behind returning to camp, third year counselor (and lifetime camper) Shyam Mishra said that it’s “the lifelong friendships I’ve formed and the chance to form new ones every year. You get to enjoy a week of home cooked meals, connect with people, play and strengthen your mind and body (through exercises and yoga) with kids that are the same age and have the same interests. Fun activities are planned and you’re learning about your culture and strengthening your identity. Behind all the relationships and fun, the founding goals have clearly not been forgotten. First time Director Namita Pallod, states her goal for the camp is for “kids to feel proud of their Hindu identity and instill them with curiosity about their own faith so they explore it further on their own, even after departing camp.” In a similar sentiment, Akash Dhingra, adds that he hopes the camp helps kids in “being united in peace with all of God’s creation” as it did for him. President Girish Naik stated that within four hours of opening the registration, over 400 campers registered. Several repeat campers could not register because of the high demand prompting “us to build a bigger Hindu camp site so we can accommodate more campers” The lifelong relationships that the camp nurtures feeds into the goal of HHYC itself. The friendships that counselors form with campers builds a unique bond between the two and encourages campers to actively participate in daily 3 hour counselortaught educations such as the 4 Yugas of Hinduism or learning about the Hindu Identity. The campers also form friendships among themselves and build a support system that understands and shares the Hindu American identity. For me, as for many others, attending camp allowed me to connect with others my age that shared my culture, as I grew up in a northern Houston suburb and was probably 1 of 2 Hindu kids at school. The camp continues to provide the platform to discuss and share experiences faced by Hindu American youth and facilitates the realization

Camp Counselors

and all necessary food and supplies are obtained. As Akash Dhingra puts

it “That’s the true beauty of this camp, we are all one family and we want to keep it living and growing for generations to come.” In recent years, HHYC has seen tremendous growth and it is disheartening to turn parents and children away as spots fill up quickly within days of opening. HHYC hopes to have its own campsite, which would help increase our capacity and grow our camp community. We hope that our community continues to support the mission of camp and invests in future generations in retaining their Vedic values. Abhimanyu Aggarwal is a Junior at University of Texas, Austin

Camp directors, Akash Dhingra (left) and Namita Pallod.

of being comfortable in your own skin, outside of camp. Namita Pallod speaks for all of us when she says “camp is truly home because that is where my family is.” Executing this vision requires a lot of help. Apart from 2 Directors

and 50 Counselors, there are camp doctors who volunteer, “aunties” who graciously prepare meals and “uncles” who ensure that the kids are not having too much fun. Many community members generously sponsor the camp to ensure the fees are low


24 August 04, 2017


End of Internship Gala - Sewa International

HOUSTON: On July 29, Sewa International

hosted an End of Internship Gala for all of its interns to celebrate their various efforts and accomplishments at the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce hall. Every summer, Sewa has held Get Inspired Houston and LEAD Houston internships for college and high school students respectively. Their responsibilities span various areas; this year, the GIH interns were divided into four cohorts denoting their area of interest - public health, youth education, event management, and PR/media. In addition, they also spent their time at Sewa’s renowned ASPIRE tutorial centers and Alief ISD’s Summer Language Institute - both of which cater to the refugee and newly immigrant population by sharpening their English Language skills and easing their transition to a new cultural experience. The evening started off with a wonderful social hour where Sewa dignitaries and various others joined to mingle and familiarize themselves with the interns. The audience was then introduced to the GIH interns individually - while also highlighting each cohort’s achievements over the summer - followed by an end of internship video that captured the true sentiment of service, and the love of service. There was an invigorating speech delivered by councilman and mayoral candidate for the city of Sugar Land (and the guest of honor for the evening) Harish Jajoo, that focused on the value of service in the community as a whole and within oneself specifically. Speeches were also delivered by the speaker, the Sarojini Gupta, and a vote of thanks by Anita Ravat. It was a truly memorable evening, punctuated by the celebration of service and the efforts of Sewa’s interns.



August 04, 2017


700th Theatrical Presentation of Mahatma Gandhi’s Spiritual Inspiration

HOUSTON: Houston witnessed

700th theatrical presentation, a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and his Spiritual Guide Shrimad Rajchandra, Yugpurush. The Play brought with it a cause for much celebration as a “Certificate of Congressional Recognition” from US Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, 18th Congressional District of Texas was presented. Commemorating 150 years of Shrimad Rajchandra, Mayor of the City of Houston, Sylvester Turner, declared July 16th as “Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care Day.” There is no stopping the giant wave of Yugpurush – as it marches forth, awakening audiences with its message. The Yugpurush – has captivated over half a million viewers through shows in five different languages in over 260 cities globally. The Yugpurush was a heart-touching portrayal of this special bond between Shrimad Rajchandra and Mahatma Gandhi that catapulted him from ‘Mohandas’ to ‘Mahatma’. What began as friendship, progressed to Gandhiji’s proclamation of Shrimadji as his spiritual mentor. The play highlighted the value of expanding one’s capacity to love and give selflessly, respecting diversity, speaking truth, fostering trust, and building lasting communities. It brought to the forefront a powerful experience of looking within, upholding truth and fearlessness, as well as transforming character and consciousness.

Shrimadji’s emphasis on truth, compassion and non-violence in every walk of life, crystallized as the fundamental tenets of Gandhism, which played a significant role in the Indian struggle for independence. In the history of India, the success of Gandhiji’s non-violent struggle as a means of achieving freedom will be engraved in golden letters. Even in the history of the world his unique contributions will be immortalized. Shrimadji is an inspiration behind a non-profit organization, Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care (SRLC). It offers service and brings joy to the lives of the undeserved sections of the society. The mission does these through holistic, multi-approach community outreach and development programs designed to provide humanitarian, education, and medical care.


26 August 04, 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 August 9, 2017. Email us at or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036. Send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published (for first three entrees only & 1 submission per month).


Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Piste di Kulfi (Reduced Milk Pistachio Ice Cream) Directions: 1. In a bowl, open the evaporated milk, condensed milk and whipping cream and mix well with a wisk. 2. Add the pistachios and mix further. 3. Pour into icicle containers or in small plastic cups. 4. Place the cups in the freezer overnight. The kulfi will be ready to eat in the morning. 5. To serve, dip the container in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and the kulfi will pop right out. Serve in a bowl or on a small plate.

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days of summer, below is a reprint of Mama’s Piste di Kulfi recipe. It is a dessert that started on the streets of Indian cities but has become a popular dessert at many parties and Indian restaurants. It is reprinted with some additional information and directions. In the heat of the Delhi summer, a welcome sight is that of the ice cream vendor who offers a variety of cold treats from his colorful insulated pushcart. If you are lucky, he might even have a traditional kulfi (reduced milk ice cream) in several flavors. Many years ago, the kulfiwala (kulfi man) would ride down neighborhood streets on his sturdy old-fashioned bicycle with a huge pot made of brass (which later became aluminum), with its wide mouth covered tightly with several layers of damp red cloth. As he called out his wares – “kuuulfi ….. kulfi le lo” (ice cream …. get your ice cream) - people, young and old, would run out to stop him. He would roll back the red cloth and pull out long sticks from the pot, with the end covered in a 6 to 8 inch long conical zinc cylinder. He’d dip this into a pot of warm water to loosen up the frozen kulfi, give it a sharp hit and the cylinder would quickly separate. Out would pop the glistening kulfi on the stick! Sometimes, it would be just the cylinder with no stick and he’d serve the kulfi cut in slices in a small bowl. These days, the kulfi is made in many different types of molds, from fashionable little clay pots covered with a taut cloth over its wide mouth to regular disposable cardboard cups with a peel away cover. But the joy of eating a frozen sweet treat during the hot summer days is still as great as ever. Kulfi is served at parties as desert

and with all sorts of extra ingredients like nuts or toppings like falooda (thin, transparent wet noodles). And it can come in several different flavors too, like kesari (saffron) and others. This kulfi recipe is not the traditional one but the much simpler American version which tastes just as good. But it is much easier and faster to make and suits modern lifestyles. Ingredients: • 1 pint (473ml) Ultra pasteurized heavy whipping cream • 1 can (14 oz) Sweetened fat free condensed milk • 1 can (12 oz) Evaporated milk • 15-20 shelled piste (pistachios) – shredded into small pieces

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 in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her late-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes.



Those who are no tw foods, can be particu ell-versed cooks or are new to cook ing Indian larly frustrated whi le m not because of the sp ices and the taste bu aking simple daals (lentils), t by the amount of needed to bring ou water that is t th require a lot more w e flavor. To this you have to add that so ater than others, bu t in any case, you do me daals make watery daals that become like so n’t want to up. There are some da als – like sabad m oo sabad urad or in Pu njabi, mah (whole bl ng (green whole moong) or ack urad or mah) - th lot more water. Afte at require a r th will thicken and th ese become just tender, if you let them e water just disapp sit , the daal ears! Just add more these daals simmer water and let on very low heat an d the curry will thick You may have to ad en d some more spice s to balance the tas just right. te again.

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August 04, 2017


Singleton Kartar Singh (Anil) is

left with the responsibility of raising his two orphaned nephews. He asks his brother (Pavan) in Punjab to raise Charan (Arjun) and his sister (Ratna) in London to raise Karan (Arjun in a double role). When the twins cross continents, they leave behind a trail of confusion. You are most definitely not in original territory here nor is there anything smart going on in Mubarakan. The premise of twins causing chaos has been infinitely superior in movies like Ram Aur Shyam, Golmaal, Angoor, Seeta Aur Geeta, Chaalbaaz and even Judwaa. But Anees Bazmee who has made a career of dishing out gags and funny one-liners, goes at this one again with gusto. And you do find yourself

Mubarakan Movie Review amused at times. Coming back to the plot, trouble brews when the twins—Charan, who plays a mild-mannered Sikh boy and his older by five-minutes twin, the suave Karan—get their love-wires crossed. Karan loves Sweety (Ileana) but she gets engaged to Charan and Charan loves Binkle(Athiya), who Karan is supposed to marry. To add to the mess, there is also Nafisa(Neha) who is actually dating Charan and who is expecting him to pop the question soon. Since the twins rely heavily on their uncle Kartar for all solutions in life, they rush to him in London. And guess what? Kartar’s plans always sound good but they’re never foolproof. Instead the family is

Indu Sarkar Movie Review

Indu’s husband, a government em-

ployee, believes in using the state of Emergency to advance his career, but a moral and ideological discrepancy sets her on a own path. Madhur Bhandarkar seems to be taking calculated baby steps back to the time when he insisted on telling real stories as opposed to making superficial subjects seem real. To this end, he even breaks with his usual formula of attacking and “unmasking” a particular industry and roots Indu’s (Kirti Kulhari) fictitious tale in the factual setting of the state of Emergency that the country was shrouded in from 1975 to 1977. Indu, an introverted orphan who


stutters, finds a companion in Navin Sarkar (Tota Roy Chowdhury), who is the first person to look beyond her speech impediment and ask her what

torn apart and the twins’lives get even more complicated. Giving away too much will spoil the fun that you’re meant to have watching this. So you just have to go through this garrulous, laugh-outloud affair with the usual patience and perhaps even some perseverance that you usually reserve for Bollywood comedies such as this one. Anil is the scene-stealer with his half Brit-half Punjabi act lifting the film throughout. Arjun’s double-act allows for some smiles and the girls, Ileana, Athiya and Neha are easy on the eye, though they’re just decorative set-pieces. Ratna and Pavan add weightage with their stellar acts, though Pavan should have kept it she wants from life. She only finds the answer to his question after their wedding, when she sees him in cahoots with the ministers who bend the rules to benefit from the Emergency. The moral conundrum pushes her into a life of rebellion and forces her to part with her hardearned normalcy. However, Indu Sarkar is at its best when it focuses on its protagonist’s emotional struggles and dilemmas, leaving the politics behind. Indu and Navin’s story by itself is far more palatable than the elaborate political schemes surrounding them. Kirti Kulhari shoulders the responsibility of the central role with a lot of earnestness and keeps you interested.

down in the dramatic portions, where he is way too loud. T h e songs—Tu Goggle Paa KeNacheand a remix of the Hawa Hawa number lift the spirits. If comedies are your thing, then mubarakan…

Happy Birthday Arbaaz Khan

August 04, 1967


August 05, 1974

Genelia D’souza

August 05, 1987


Aditya Narayan

August 06, 1987

28 August 04, 2017 India vs. SL 1st Test: Ashwin, Jadeja Wrap Up 304-run Win BY KARTHIK KRISHNASWAMY

India 600 (Dhawan 190, Pujara 153,

Pradeep 6-132) and 240 for 3 dec (Kohli 103*, Abhinav 81) beat Sri Lanka 291 (Perera 92*, Mathews 83, Jadeja 3-67) and 245 (Karunaratne 97, Dickwella 67, Ashwin 3-65, Jadeja 3-71) by 304 runs R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets each as India wrapped up a 304-run win - their biggest runs margin away - halfway through the final session of day four. With finger injuries leaving Rangana Herath and Asela Gunaratne unavailable to bat, India only needed to take eight second-innings wickets. They completed the task in 76.5 overs, with Dimuth Karunaratne and Niroshan Dickwella proving their only real roadblocks. Karunaratne enhanced his reputation as a specialist in the second innings - where he now averages 42.14 as against 27.32 in the first - with 97, while Dickwella contributed a skittish 67 to a fifth-wicket stand of 101. Otherwise, India didn’t have to work too hard for wickets on a firmerthan-usual Galle pitch that offered consistent bounce and only occasionally sharp turn, after setting Sri Lanka the task of surviving the best part of

R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets each as India wrapped up a 304-run win - their biggest runs margin away.

two full days or chasing an improbable 550. The fifth-wicket partnership looked unlikely to last too long when it began, with Dickwella playing a series of risky shots - sweeps off the stumps, inside-out drives, dabs with an open face - while new to the crease. But he survived and eventually settled, and Sri Lanka could breathe a little easier, particularly with Karunaratne looking calm and secure at the other end, taking the singles afforded him by Virat Kohli’s puzzlingly defensive fields and pick-

ing up the odd boundary with the square-cut or flick. But danger was never too far away. As tea approached, Hardik Pandya found both batsmen’s outside edges in a seven-over spell of reverseswing. Karunaratne’s uncertain jab flew through a mostly vacant cordon - one wide slip and no gully - and Dickwella’s was shelled by Ajinkya Rahane, who flew to his left from gully for a difficult one-hander. Eventually, both batsmen were out sweeping Ashwin. Dickwella fell

in the fifth over after tea, undone by bounce and sending a thin edge to the keeper, and Karunaratne followed him 11.3 overs later, dragging a bottom-edge onto his stumps when he was in sight of a sixth Test hundred. Nuwan Pradeep then fell for a twoball duck, stretching out and failing to get to the pitch of an Ashwin offbreak that grabbed inside-edge on its way to a diving catch at leg slip. Mohammed Shami struck the first blow, going around the wicket, hitting the seam, and getting the ball to bounce disconcertingly at Upul Tharanga. First, the ball seamed away just a touch after angling in, and Tharanga, poking away from his body, edged to second slip, where Kohli shelled a sitter. No worries for Shami. One ball later, he produced another peach, this one coming back in, lifting, and cramping the left-hander for room. India declared 6.3 overs into the morning, having clattered 51 in that time, with Virat Kohli, who resumed on 76, bringing up his 17th Test hundred and 10th as captain. Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane hit only two fours and a six in that time, but scored off all but seven balls they faced, against Sri Lanka’s deep-set fields.

Just Needed to ‘Walk in’ to Change Dressing Room Mood - Shastri BY SIDHARTH MONGA


OLOMBO: The role of a head coach in the Indian cricket team has never been as ambiguous as it has been since the first murmurs of trouble between Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble began. Kumble himself didn’t have much experience as a coach, but in the one year he spent in the job, he came across as somebody actively involved in working with bowlers, passing on some tips to batsmen, playing a role in strategising and also keeping an eye on the supply line. However, as each passing day conspired to get Ravi Shastri back as the coach, you wondered what India wanted in their coach. Now there are specialist bowling, batting and fielding coaches in the side. If Shastri had not picked them himself, the Cricket Advisory Committee would have enforced through Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid. What exactly does

Shastri do then? “My role is to be in charge of the entire support staff, and to make sure that we get the boys in some great mental space to go out and express themselves with nothing else on their minds but to go out and play a brand of cricket which you have seen India play over the last three years: positive and fearless,” Shastri said, two days before the SSC Test. When asked how exactly he does that, Shastri shot back: “That is a skill, that is why I am here and you are not there.” Later he said, though, that all he had to do to achieve the right atmosphere in the dressing room was “walk in”. “That was enough” It is instructive that a press conference two days before the middle Test of a series revolved more around Shastri’s role in the team than around the Test or the series. “For me, I don’t carry any baggage,” Shastri


Indian Davis Cup Team to Train at Columbia U

NEW DELHI: The Indian Davis

Cup team will train at the indoor courts of University of Colombia in New York, a week before the crucial World Group Play-off tie against Canada in Edmonton, starting September 15. It is for the first time that a camp has been organised to prepare for an away tie. The team will assemble in New York on September 4 and will leave for Edmonton on September 10. “I wanted to get the boys together and practice indoors before the tie,” Captain Mahesh Bhupathi told PTI, confirming the development. The AITA has approached the Sports Ministry to fund the weeklong training camp and it is being assessed. The ministry seems keen to provide the financial support. “There should not be any problem with that (financial assistance) because we do fund training of athletes, including foreign training. However, a decision will be taken after examination of the proposal,” a Sports Ministry official said. Asked why the camp is being organized in New York instead of Edmonton, Bhupathi said,”Courts will not be ready till Sunday (September 10) before tie.” It will be fourth straight year that India will be in contention for a place in the elite 16-nation World Group. India lost to Spain (2016), Czech Republic (2015) and Serbia (2014) in their last three attempts at home. The last time India played an away World Group Play-Off tie was against Japan in 2011, when it lost 1-4 to the hosts. “It makes sense to have this camp since Canada is far away. The players will be jet-lagged and would require a long recovery period. To get the players acclimatised to the conditions, it’s a positive step,” India’s Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali said. - TOI

India coach Ravi Shastri watches on, Sri Lanka Board President’s XI v Indians, tour match, 1st day, Colombo.

said about the winning start in Galle. “For me it was like walking into the dressing room as I had left it. Nothing had changed, and no special buttons I had to press. It was just that one play button, and off you went. “This team is used to doing things that a lot of other teams haven’t done, and that too overseas. Forget

Australia, I am not even touching the Australia tour, so when you say overseas like South Africa, England, it is a lot of tough cricket coming up. I see it as an opportunity. I am very positive here that this team can do things that probably no other Indian team has done.”

Indian Davis Cup tennis team will be training at New York’s Columbia University before its matches against Canada.


August 04, 2017

GST Helped Inflation to Fall Significantly: Urjit Patel

NEW DELHI: Reducing the repo

rate by 25 basis points to 6 per cent on Wednesday, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel said the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has helped the inflation rate to fall significantly in the last three months. The growth forecast has been unchanged at 7.3 per cent for the current fiscal, he mentioned, adding that there is scope for banks to cut rates further, especially for those sectors which have not benefited in the past rate cuts. The central bank was, however, not sure whether the fall in inflation is durable and retained a neutral stance for monetary policy. “Consequently, some space has opened up for monetary policy accommodation, given

Urjit Patel

the dynamics of the output gap. Accordingly, the MPC decided to reduce the policy repo rate by 25 basis points. Noting, however, that the trajectory

of inflation in the baseline projection is expected to rise from current lows, the MPC decided to keep the policy stance neutral and to watch incoming

data. The MPC remains focused on its commitment to keeping headline inflation close to 4 per cent on a durable basis,” the monetary policy statement said. This June, the consumer price index inflation fell to 1.54 per cent that prompted the government to call for a cut rate by the RBI. However, the MPC observed that “while inflation has fallen to a historic low, a conclusive segregation of transitory and structural factors driving the disinflation is still elusive. In respect of inflation-sensitive vegetables, prices are recording spikes. Excess supply conditions continue to push down prices of pulses and keep those of cereals in check.”

Mukesh Ambani Moves Past Li Ka-shing to Become Second-richest Man in Asia

Mukesh Ambani has elbowed past

Li Ka-shing to becomeAsia’s secondrichest man as investors rallied behind his efforts to arm India’s poor with cheap data-loaded phones. Some analysts are beginning to focus on the costs of his ambition. The chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd. has added $12.1 billion to his wealth this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as shares of his refining-to-telecom company surged to a record. Spurring the rally on is optimism that a new $23 phone launched last month will expand the market for Ambani’s fourth-generation mobile network

into India’s hinterland. The whistles and applause that greeted the JioPhone obscured the fact that by one measure the company’s debt has climbed to at least a 15-year high. The telecom business, Ambani’s seven-year labor of love, has sucked in more than $31 billion in investments and is yet to earn him and his shareholders any profits. It’s contributed to a near tripling of the group’s total debt since March 2012 and sparked a vicious price war in the world’s second-largest mobilephone market. About 90 percent of Reliance’s revenues continue to come from its legacy refining and petrochemicals units, with retail, media and energy exploration contributing the rest. Local brokerage Kotak Securities Ltd. sounded a warning on July 23 when it downgraded Reliance’s stock to reduce. “We remain wary of high capex run-rate and rising net debt levels,” wrote Mumbai-based

analysts Tarun Lakhotia and Akshay Bhor. Ambani described Jio as “a jewel” among Reliance assets during the company’s annual general meeting on July 21. “Its business and

societal value will grow immensely over the next decade,” he said. “Jio will become India’s largest provider of data service, products and application platforms.”


Mars Brings M&M’s Candies to India

NEW DELHI: Mars International

India Pvt Ltd, the local arm of American chocolate maker Mars Inc. on Wednesday said it will bring M&M’s, its candy brand currently sold across 100 other countries, to India. This is the sixth chocolate brand that the family-owned American chocolate maker is bringing to India. Like its other brands, M&M’s is also a $1 billion brand globally. The last brand that Mars launched in India was Galaxy in November 2013. M&M’s will initially be available in chocolate and peanut variants, and priced at Rs80 for a 45-gram pouch and Rs150 for a 100-gram pouch. It will be sold at 84,000 retail outlets across the country. -


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