E newspaper 09162016

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Friday, September 16, 2016 | Vol. 35, No. 38

Indo American erican News


Movie Review



www.indoamerican-news.com Published weekly from Houston, TX

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17th Annual IACCGH Gala

Ganesha Blessings P11 at Shiv Shakti Temple

Jai Janamashtami !


P5 Joya Shukla (President IACCGH) with Bruce Culpepper (Keynote Speaker, President, Shell USA) at the 17th annual IACCGH Gala, on Friday, September 6 at Hilton Americas Downtown.

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September 16, 2016


Indian Voices Speak Out Fervently on Presidential Race

From left: 1st row: Jeemon Ranni, Mrs Mithal, Dr. Mithal, Babu Jesudas, Easo Jacob, Blesson Samuel; 2nd row: Roy Antony, Moti Mathew, George Thekkemala, Vanshika Vipin, Sangeeta Dua, Dr Venugopal Menon, Mathew Kuuravackal; 3rd row: Saji Pullad, Mathew Nellikkunnu, Dr. Sunny Ezhumattoor, Dr. Nik Nikam, Jawahar Malhotra, Ninan, Mathulla, Seshadri Kumar, Dr Mathew Vairamon.


STAFFORD: It was a valiant first

effort to get a nascent organization off the ground and get the South Asian Fourth Estate noticed in the nation’s fourth largest city. The organizers had been planning for weeks and burning up the social media to pull the event together, headlining it as a “US Presidential Election Debate” and enlisting many local Indian media and wellknown personalities to talk about issues on both sides of the political divide. The publicity campaign had even listed every South media personality in the Bayou City, including radio DJs and freelance writers, to honor them for their contributions to journalism, and tagged in several hopeful as well as serving politicians. Despite this all, the effort was not able to turn out the expected crowds at the Old Stafford Civic Center on Constitution Drive this past Sunday evening, September 11, the 15th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, an event duly noted by the program’s emcee, the former Mrs Bollywood 2015 Runner up and Miss Malaylee USA 2016 Lakshmi Peter, who called for a moment of silence to commemorate the event. Rojan Jacob Easo sang a rousing fullthroated rendition of the US National Anthem.

IAPC President Easo Jacob made opening remarks

The was the first major event organized by the newly formed Houston Chapter of the Indo American Press Club, a two-year old New Jersey based syndicate of which has its roots in the Malayalee Indian print and electronic media but has spread rapidly by opening chapters in Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and Toronto this year. The Houston Chapter is led by President Easo Jacob along with his executive team of Moti Mathew, Jacob Kudssanad, Joseph Ponnoly, Reni Kavalayil Thomas and Joji Joseph. Jacob spoke about being raised in the newspaper business and his desire to be in journalism and how he worked briefly with local

Indian print media. When he was unable to pursue it, he got a degree in graphic design and worked in the field from that angle, but eventually moved into finance and presently sells insurance with MassMutual, which was one of the sponsors of the event. Jacob pointed out that the IAPC acronym could also stand for Informed Action Promotes Change, adding “if our thinking is wrong, then you don’t get right decisions”. The program led off with Mike O’Neill, President of the Houston Press Club and a producer at Channel 11 KHOU TV; Sangeeta Dua, Director of Diversity Talk on TV Houston introduced the Indo American associates; Neeta

The artist Grady Long performed three songs, one in Malayalalee; another in Hindi and the last in English

Sane, HCC Trustee, District VII introduced the sponsors and Judge Joel Clouser, Ft Bend County Pct. 2 provided some “words of wisdom”. IAPC National Committee member Cyriac Scaria introduced the theme of the program, “A Path to Mainstream”. At the end of the program, Babu Jesudas, National Committee gave the vote of thanks, after which a buffet dinner was served. Though billed as a debate, the program was actually opinions and comments by individuals on each side of the political divide, and moderated by the attorney Scott Brasington, who displayed an easy sense of humor. On the Republican side were Kendell Baker, State Rep Candidate, Dist 137; Dr.

The show was emceed by Miss Malaylee USA 2016 Lakshmi Peter.

Nik Nikam, producer NNN Radio; Ramesh Cherivirala, community activist; Sangeeta Dua, Houston Diversity TV talkshow and Len Swanson, advisor to Donald Trump on Veterans Affairs. On the Democrat side were State Representative Ron Reynolds K. P. George, Ft Bend ISD Trustee Position 5; Amee Patel, President of the Gujarati Samaj; and this journalist and Publisher of Indo-American News. Though no major flashes or discussions ensued, the preamble to the speakers took way too long and distracted from what could have been a more lively dialogue between the participants and the eager audience. Apart from the speakers, perhaps the best part of the evening was the performance by Grady Long, a strong voiced American singer who began singing in Nashville at the age of 20, is married to Suja, a South Indian nurse who grew up in Houston and lives by the border in McAllen, Texas. His website labels him as a Hindi vocalist who has deep appreciation for Bollywood and Carnatic musical styles and has toured across the country. Long sang three songs – the film song “Aayiram Kannumai” in Malayalalee; “Haan yeh rasta hai tera” from the movie “Lakshya” in Hindi and finally “America the Beautiful”, a Ray Charles tribute, in English to close out the event.



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Record Turnout at IACCGH’s 17th Annual Gala

Photos: Bijay Dixit


HOUSTON: A record turnout of

750 of Houston’s business elites marked the 17th Annual IACCGH Gala held at the Hilton Americas on September 9. Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray and elected officials joined businessmen, entrepreneurs and professionals including for the first time, a 30 member delegation of executives from public sector companies in India to celebrate the Chamber’s accomplishments and honor outstanding members of the community. The presence of several elected officials from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congressman Al Green, Congressman Pete Olson, Secretary of State Carlos Cascos, State Representative Gene Wu, Judge Ed Emmett, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Council member Jack Christie, District Clerk Chris Daniel to City Controller Chris Brown was a standout as was the high level of networking that took place during the social hour. An excellent rendition of the American and Indian National

Anthems by Ishya Kachru and Amiya Ghosh got the program rolling. Welcoming the gathering, Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia thanked the roomful of “decision makers and policy makers” for supporting the organization and validating the work

the Chamber does in promoting Houston’s economic growth. He also apologized for the sound system not being up to par for reasons beyond their control. Mistress of Ceremonies, abc13 reporter, Pooja Lodhia invited CEO Asif Dakri from Wallis State Bank and Gala underwriters, to

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address the gathering. Stating that Wallis State Bank was the number one SBA Lender in the Houston region for the last two years, he credited part of their success to partnering with organizations like the Chamber. President Joya Shukla spotlighted the Chamber’s launching


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of its International Student Summer Internship program which was Past President Sanjay Ramabhadran’s brainchild and stewarded by the Chamber’s youngest Board member Narayan Bhargava. Two local University of Houston students interned at Shell and JSW Steel in India during the 2016 summer. The program’s success, she stated, is measured by not only a request for more interns, but more global companies such as Technip already committed for 2017. The launch of the Business of Medicine Series with a Keynote by CHI St. Luke’s CEO Michael Covert was, in her words, a “breakthrough” and the Chamber will focus on building bridges of Healthcare between the largest medical center in the world and India catalyzed by the new Consul General’s passion given his training as a physician. Speaking about the growing alliance between the US and India, Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray quipped that “it’s a good time to be a diplomat in the US.” This, he continued, is evident from the fact that a few days ago, on the same day, the US Secretary of State was in India and the Indian Defense Minister was in Washington conferring on issues of defense cooperation, cybersecurity and trade. He added that India and the US are similar for upholding values like diversity, inclusion, competition, meritocracy and rule of law and business with India is essentially “doing business with a country that is more like the US than many countries in the world.” Lauding the Chamber’s role in driving Houston’s economic growth, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett stated that he looked forward to more trade missions to India and Indian delegations to Houston as well as “seeing cultures and beliefs of India woven into the fabric of American life.” CongressCONTINUED ON PAGE

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COMMUNITY 27th Janamashtami Celebrations by HGH

September 16, 2016

HOUSTON: Festivals are great unifiers

and the spectacular 27th Janamastami celebration at the George Brown Convention center on September 10, was no exception. With around 65 organizations supporting this event, the Hindus of Greater Houston lived up to its mission of bringing Hindus together to celebrate festivals collectively. Many senior members of the community were also present thanks to a bus sponsored every year by HGH. ISKCON devotees welcomed the attendees with Chandan Tilak. Limca Book record holder Sangita Bhutada’s Rangoli themed on the Raas Leela at the entrance and created singlehandedly in 10 hours once again garnered a great deal of attention and praise. A giant sized baby Krishna formed a fitting backdrop on the stage – a gift by Gopal Agarwal and decorated tastefully by Mandap Creations. After a traditional procession with Sri Meenakshi temple provided Garuda Vahana accompanied by the chenda melum drummers by Ganesh Rajamani, an invocatory song in 12 different Indian languages was performed by 25 musicians from the Houston Krishna Gana Sudha. Nearly 100 children came dressed as Krishna or Radha for a costume contest organized painstakingly by Shital Rathi while others displayed their talent in the Jhanki (a group depiction with props). City Controller Chris Brown was also present with wife Divya. The couple said that they enjoyed dressing up their 1 year old daughter, Milana, for the costume contest and emphasized the need to preserve the cultural norms for the next generation. The Ashtalakshmi temple presented a short video on their plans for the 1000th year celebrations of Ramanuja Acharya followed by an interesting cultural program with multiple styles of dances of India presented by the professional dance schools of Houston. “An American born well-read scholar on the various aspects of Hinduism and a recipient of the civilian award of “Padma Bhushan” from the Government of India in 2015 for his distinguished work of highest order to the nation through his work and writings as a Vedic teacher” was the introduction given for the Chief Guest of the evening – Acharya Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastry). In his address, Acharya Frawley stated many relevant ideas to overcome ignorance and awaken the inner spirit of love and power that is embodied in each one of us. He also encouraged all Hindus in Houston, whether as individuals, families, CONTINUED ON PAGE



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woman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congressman Al Green, Congressman Pete Olson and Mayor Turner strongly endorsed the diversity that the Indo American presence in Houston provided while describing the Chamber as “dynamic, an engine of opportunity and diversity personified.” Keynote Speaker Bruce Culpepper, President Shell USA termed the longstanding relationship between the Chamber and Shell “symbiotic” characterized by mutual need and mutual benefit. Shell, he continued, looked for opportunities to be actively engaged with the community, to learn and transform those learnings back into Shell creating, in the process, a “positive ripple” across the organization. Stressing that Shell has deep ties with India, he highlighted the soon to be completed Shell Technical Center in Bengaluru and a Business operations Center in Chennai which has become the backbone of Shell’s global finance and business processing capability. He concluded by stating that Shell intends to be a partner with the Government of India and the people of India to address India’s energy needs and provide energy solutions. The Chamber also recognized the out-

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standing professional and public service achievements of community members. Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Marvin Odum Past President Shell, Dr. John Mendelsohn Past President MD Anderson Cancer Institute and Richard Huebner Past President HMSDC. 2016 awards for the Business Person Award went to Bhavesh Patel CEO LyondellBasell, the Entrepreneur Award to Founder of Shipcom Wireless Abeezar Tyebji, the Woman Entrepreneur Award to Revati Puranik, Global CFO Worldwide Oilfield Machines and the Young Professional Award to Malisha Patel, COO of Memorial Hermann, Sugar Land. Emphasizing the power of diversity and the role it plays in success, President Elect Allen Richards promised to continue the Chamber’s mission of bringing together “a diversity of skills, businesses and cultures” and foster strong community relationships. The evening capped off with Board member Rajiv Bhavsar winning a Rolex watch given by Karat 22 in a Raffle draw which he donated to the Chamber to be auctioned. The proceeds from the sale of tickets and the auction go to support the Chamber’s International Internship Program.

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Goodbye to Lord Ganpati 2016


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HOUSTON: On the last day of

the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, a big ritual ceremony is performed every year by devotees of the Indian community in Houston. This year also enthusiastic religious followers assembled to celebrate and bid adieu to Lord Ganesha at Shiv Shakti Temple in Hilcroft. Devotees from in an around Houston came with their Lord Ganesha idols of different sizes and shapes to immerse and to be a part of the community ceremony. The ritualistic worship started with an intellectual speech by the temple founder, Virat Mehta. This was followed by reciting mantras, devotional songs and then aarti by temple priest Prakash bhai and Hardik bhai and devotees which led to the start of the procession. People huddled in groups for the procession to perform the final rituals of the Ganesh Visarjan (immersion of idols). Under a bright and beautiful sunlit sky, chants of Ganpati Bappa Morya reverberated through the air. Men, women and children danced enthusiastically to loud music and the beating of the dhols (drums). Bursts of gulal (powder colors) streamed up in quick successions, infusing the devout with the spirit of the occasion. Ganpati idols were accompanied by hundreds of people who marched to the beats of dhols and nagadas. Bollywood songs, bhajans and live music

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HOUSTON: “Bappa Morya” – a

heartfelt call to Lord Ganesh ran in the air. It was that time of the year when houses of most of the Indian families came alive to the sound of festive preparation. Kids and elders indulged themselves in preparation of a clay idol adorned creatively with colors and jewelry and the homes filled with aroma of scrumptious food. Like every year, this year too HMM (Houston Marathi Mandal - www.hmmhouston.org) celebrated Ganeshotsav festival with full enthusiasm on Sep 10, at VPSS Hall, 11715 Bellfort Village Dr, Houston, TX. It was a sold-out event with more than 700 people in attendance. Preparations started 2 months in advance of the festival where almost 100 participants and volunteers worked hard to make the celebration eventful. The event was telecasted live with viewers from all over US, UK and India. The celebration started sharp 3.30 pm with miravnuk which is a procession to welcome Lord Ganesh. This procession was led by Dhol-Tasha (percussion instruments) group and Lezim (musical instrument with jingling cymbals) group who went all the way to give a grand welcome to their favorite Ganapati Bappa with their energetic performances. HMM president Megha Ozarker welcomed everyone with her speech with more information on Marathi Shala and Vaastu. This was followed with a

Marathi drama (Directed By Chaitrali Gokhale Thote) with dance performances that walked us through some of the important life events of Lord Ganesh. The young ones were simply phenomenal and fluent in Marathi - well-groomed by their parents and teachers from Houston’s Marathi school. Towards the end we had Ganesh aarti (prayer) where everyone in the audience stood up and collectively chanted in reverence of the Lord. This was followed by scrumptious Maharashtrian food with Modak and Amras being the

most indispensable dishes. HMM extends its heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers, sponsors, participants and wonderful audience for their generous support. HMM is a non-profit organization that has been organizing Maharashtrian cultural events, encouraging Maharashtrian arts and promoting the Marathi language in the Houston area since 1976. The next event in the HMM calendar is the “Diwali Dhamaka” details of the same can be found on HMM website.



September 16, 2016

The Power of a Strong Presentation


HOUSTON: Screech! Flinching

at the sound of the microphone, we all turned towards the podium to find a man, whose intentionally clumsy gait, and bright blue sweatshirt stood out in the crowd of black-suits and formal dresses at the YLDP Class of 2016 2017’s orientation on August 27. As the man struggled to get his PowerPoint presentation to work, the anxious audience resisted distractions and tried to maintain the energetic atmosphere of the conference room in India House. Unexpectedly, the speaker stood up straight, and exclaimed, “THIS is exactly what one should NOT do prior to beginning a presentation.” Fumbling for their pens and

paper, the members in the audience were briefly reintroduced to Chuck Hinkle, a professional presentations coach. Casting his bright blue sweatshirt aside and thereby exposing his formal attire, Hinkle started to explain the importance of a first impression. We, as a group of eager teenagers, started to feel at ease with his conversational tone, which held our attention until the very end. Hinkle effectively communicated and explained to us the essential to-dos of making a powerful presentation. By conveying to us the importance of never apologizing, the potency of using only images on slides, and the effect of a poised delivery, Hinkle stayed true to his profession and successfully coached a group of previously reserved teenagers into commanding presenters who now know how to

exhibit a strong sense of vocal authority. Our freshly acquired knowledge paves the way for our personal development, as we are able to reconsider previous conceptions on presentations, and view the topic in a unique light. This allows us to apply our knowledge in various settings, including in school and future endeavors. With his confidence and enthusiastic approach, Chuck Hinkle expertly imparted valuable lessons on delivering spectacular presentations to a group of passionate teenagers. His presentation left us yearning for more information on this topic, for his ability to adequately inform his audience about his purpose is something that we, the next generation, strive to attain.

27th Janamashtami Celebrations by HGH CONTINUED FROM PAGE


groups or temples, to join in and support the crucial work of Hindus of Greater Houston to “keep the Hindu community vibrant, relevant and a power for positive change for all humanity.” A special tribute was also paid to His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj whose inspiration, guidance and mentoring has taken the BAPS worldwide. An audio visual presentation by the BAPS Mandir of Houston highlighted his achievements. 2016’s Lifetime Achievement Service Award was presented to Sam Kannapan, a community leader who was monumental in spearheading the Sri. Meenakshi temple in Pearland and Dilip Mehta, a founder member of the Hindus of Greater Houston who has a strong affinity for Sanatan Dharma and is also associated with the Hindu Mahasabha of North America. The Akhil Chopra “Unsung Heroes” Award given in memory of Akhil Chopra, was presented to Vivek Sharda who is actively involved with the Hindu Yuwa

chapter of the University of Houston and has been supporting and volunteering for several Indian organizations This year, HGH felicitated community leaders Jugal Malani and Ramesh Bhutada and thanked them for their generosity and sustained support for the Janmastami celebrations. They were both presented with Philanthropy Awards. The moon walk, art contest, Matki Phod, cotton candy, face painting kept the children entertained while allowing their parents to enjoy the program and browse through the several booths. Delicious vegetarian snacks & juices proved popular with the crowds. Immediately following the Arati, the youngsters took to the floor dancing nimbly to the pulsating beats of Darshak Thacker’s energetic drumming which blended with the traditional Dandiya songs by Kashmira Nayak. It didn’t take long for their parents to follow suit. HGH President Partha Krishnaswamy and event coordinator for the past 9 years said that he

was extremely satisfied with the creativity and quality of the event delivered by the highly dedicated HGH team and the positive feedback from many of the attendees to the event.



14 September 16, 2016 bands playing foot tapping numbers vied for attention. The grandeur and excitement of Ganpati Visarjan was simply overwhelming. The cultural evening started around 6.45 pm at the temple premises. The sight of the open air stage was scintillating, the mood contagious and the evening twilight with light breeze was a perfect start for the show. Deva shri Ganesha dance charged up the air on a mystical mode with Lezium beats, followed by devotional classical dance forms of Bharatnatyam and Kathak. An enlightening short skit was also preformed based on the “Life of Ganesha”. The characters, dialogues and the powerful presentation along with the colourful costume display left the audience enchanted and applauding. At the end of the skit, Lord Ganesha along with Shiv and Parvati sat on a pedestal that was set on stage. Maha Aarti and prasad was distributed to everyone making it a happy and




Goodbye to Lord Ganpati 2016

sweet end to the celebrations. The mastermind behind this wonderful creative construction of the cultural show was Kusum Sharma. The entire cultural show was presented by her students from Shri Natraj School of Dance (www.shrinatraj.com) along with Kalakriti Performing Arts Foundation (www.kalakritiusa. org), a nonprofit supporting Indian culture, values and heritage. Sound and music was covered by Darshak Thacker & team from Krishna Sounds. The Photography was covered by Ravi Grover of Kanha arts. The decorations were provided by Mandap creations. A huge undertaking like this could not have been possible without the help of volunteers. Many thanks to Hardik Raval, Prakash bhai Adhavaryu, Haresh bhai , Jaydeep bhai, Vijay bhai, Gopal bhai,

Alpesh bhai, Anil bhail, Atul bhai, Jasu bhai, Amit bhai , Nishita, Urvashi Ben and Ripendra Ben. The Prasad was offered by Deep foods, Shiv Sagar, Bhojan,Chandrika Masala and Masala Munchies. The temple trustees Dhiru bhai, Ashok bhai and Rajan bhai worked really hard to make sure that the program was successful. Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi as a religious festival has been seen since time immemorial. The process of Visarjan teaches us detachment and to replenish our spiritual reserve. It reminds us that material wealth is transitory and that it is futile. Using Religious festivals as a platform to unite Indians in a home away from home gives everyone an opportunity to celebrate and continue to value the richness of our grand culture. The celebrations are over but Ganpati will

still be gracing at the entrances of temples and homes. The imbibed spirit remains in the hearts of the devotees and enriches their lives. We look forward to this frenzied and energetic festival to return soon and refill our lives with blissful moments and blessings. Kalakriti Performing Arts Foundation signature event Ramleela 2016 is on October 9th, tickets can be purchased online @ www.ramleelahouston.org or by calling Vipin Sharma at 832-202-9877.

Foundation for India Studies Receives Support from Baylor University’s Institute of Oral History


Foundation for India Studies (FIS) has received the support of Baylor University’s Institute of Oral History. “Baylor University’s institutional support will certainly provide us with the much needed impetus and academic guidance in recording the oral histories of people affected by the 1947 partition of India” said FIS Founder-Chairman, Kr ishna Vavilala. FIS recently completed 55 oral histories of the first-generation Indo- Americans living in the Greater Houston area as part of its Indo-American Oral History Project. “I am very impressed by the quality and scope of the more than fifty oral history interviews already gathered through the Houston Indo-American Oral History Project. These stories offer a rich tapestry of the community’s history,” said Dr. Stephen Sloan, Director, Baylor University’s Institute of Oral History. “We are pleased to consult on the next phase of FIS’ oral history work documenting the history of the partition of India through the experiences of those refugees that settled in Texas in the wake of this dramatic political and demographic change.” Dr. Stephen Sloan further added :”We are thankful for the opportunity to add our name to your list of project partners which includes the Houston Public Library (HPL) and Houston Community College System (HCCS),and anticipate many positive outcomes from our association with you”. The Foundation for India Studies (FIS) was registered in Texas, in 2005 as a non-profit 501(c3) organization with a vision to disseminate knowledge about India’s contribution to the world in the field of languages, literature, arts, sciences, engineering, politics, economics and spirituality. For further information, please call 713-795-5169.


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EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY Bijli, Sadak, Paani and Bustard

Déjà Vu on Dengue




ndia’s annual misery on account of vector borne disease is foreseeable and preventable Large swathes of India have been laid low by vector borne disease. Chikungunya and dengue have now joined malaria in the list of endemic diseases Indians have come to dread. This doesn’t have to be the case. Even as health systems across Indian states crumble under pressure, Sri Lanka just joined Maldives as the second South Asian country to eliminate malaria. India’s neighbours have shown it is possible to prevent this annual outbreak of misery. To actualize this goal, we have to realign our healthcare priorities and emphasise preventive measures. A robust public health system acts as the first line of defence by preventing outbreaks. It also limits the damage of endemic disease. India’s approach to healthcare needs to take a comprehensive view and pay more attention to broader determinants of health such as sanitation and safe drinking water. Financial resources cannot be cited as a constraint as we even have a stand-alone Swachh Bharat cess to raise resources for sanitation. What we are short of is vision and accountability. The economic damage due to endemic disease is visible in Delhi as infrastructure projects have slowed on account of a depleting labour force. It is compounded by a ubiquitous problem: wretched governance. There is simply nowhere in urban India, in particular, where the buck stops. We cannot have smart cities, Swachh Bharat or relief from vector borne disease as long as we have dumbed down governance. Accountability can be enforced only when there is a clear chain of command. Catchy slogans will not solve our problems. India’s politicians should learn from Sri Lanka and Maldives. This annual outbreak of misery is easy to anticipate and entirely preventable. But only if the political class can muster the will to act, instead of simply passing the buck from one party to another. -timesofindia.com

he challenge is to find ways to build infrastructure in rural — wildlife habitats while trying to meet wildlife concerns. Bijli-sadak-paani are the basic needs for a decent quality of rural life. Villages in the remote grasslands and deserts of India have long suffered and lacked these amenities. But times are changing. On one hand, Chayn Singh, a forest guard from Sam village in the Thar desert, recalled how he travelled for hours to fetch drinking water in his youth. This is unfathomable to his children, as tankers get water to their houses. On the other, the Great Indian Bustard, an ambassador of grasslands and deserts, has now disappeared from 90 per cent of its former range. Justifiably, electricity, road and water facilities for rural households are the main agenda for development programs. The present government has a target of electrifying seven lakh power deprived villages with mazes of power lines. About 1.7 lakh villages will be connected by constructing and upgrading 7.5 lakh kilometres of roads. The water needs of 80,000 sq km of agricultural land will be quenched through funding for irrigation projects. Bijli-sadakpani will finally reach remote rural households. However, this change has come at a cost to wildlife conservation. Many remote rural landscapes are also important wildlife habitats. The influx of infrastructure has modified these lands and wildlife is not amenable to such rapid changes. The expanding infrastructure in grasslands and deserts has been a death knell for the Great Indian Bustard. With just 200 bustards left, they are precariously close to extinction. Why is the bustard disappearing? The devil is in the details. Those who have travelled the interiors of Kutch or Thar about a decade ago will now find these landscapes transformed by bijli-sadak-pani. First, there is a change in farming practices as a perennial water supply (brought by the Indira Gandhi Nahar Project in Thar and by bore-well irrigation in Kutch) ensures land is cultivated intensively all through the year. Ear-

Great Indian Bustard, an ambassador of grasslands and deserts, and could-be national bird was once widespread across the dry rural landscapes of India. It has now disappeared from 90 per cent of its former range.

lier, farming was only done during monsoons and this spared lands for bustards, antelopes and foxes. Second, mazes of power lines are laid along aerial corridors. Bustards are on a collision course as they have narrow frontal vision that does not allow easy spotting of wires and being not very agile flyers they have poor manoeuvring skills. The only breeding male in Nannaj Sanctuary that was radio-tracked by Wildlife Institute of India is one of the many birds that succumbed to electrocution and/or the impact of a collision. This is not only about the death of an individual bird but mathematical projections based on the bustards’ demography found that these accidental deaths are sufficient to cause bustards to go extinct. Yet, prime bustard habitats between Sam and Mokla in Thar and between Naliya and Bitta in Kutch are allocated for wind and solar power projects. These renewable power projects, touted as “green energy”, are actively pursued by the present government. An ambitious target of generating 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2020 means that about 2,000 sq km of land will be lined with solar panels that will be placed mostly in grasslands and deserts. In a final effort to save the bustard, conservation agencies have

joined hands to restore its habitats and secure a captive bred population as an insurance against extinction. But reviving the bustard requires the importance of grasslands and deserts to be recognised. Indian environmental laws mandate that infrastructure projects be scrutinised on the basis of environment impact assessments before granting clearances. Safeguards are suggested to reduce ecological damage, and their implementation is monitored. The problem is that forest-centric environmental governance does not recognise grasslands and deserts as worthy of conservation attention. This is an imprinted notion that is derived from an archaic colonial policy. Grasslands and deserts were not regarded as resources for the British economy — the notion of unproductive “wastelands” that are better diverted to “more productive” uses continues to this day. But grasslands and deserts support biodiversity that is so unique that their loss cannot be compensated by conserving forests. The 11th Five-Year Plan recommended that grasslands and deserts be brought under the ambit of environment impact assessment and consolidation of these habitats as “protected areas”. The second policy shortfall was the sole focus on “protected areas”, wherein efforts to protect the bustard inside sanctuaries went kaput as the same birds were dying outside during their wide expeditions. The way forward need not be viewed through a lens of “this or that” — whether bijli-sadakpani or conservation; development or environmental laws; protected or unprotected. It is more often a question of where and how to implement infrastructures in rural-wildlife habitats while trying to meet wildlife concerns. There is no doubt that balancing rural development and bustard conservation is one of the most formidable challenges we face. By confronting this challenge, we are at the tipping point for how land-use planning and environmental stewardship is possible in other parts of India. The writer is a Wildlife Institute of India project scientist in the Great Indian Bustard Conservation Project


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September 16, 2016


The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi - Part 16


he story thus far…During the latter part of 1920 Gandhi advocated a triple boycott. He wanted an absolute boycott of the Government and all government institutions, including schools, colleges, and courts. If the people were free of these they could easily have their own schools, colleges, and courts, and the power of the British would collapse at once. There was much laughter and ridicule from the moderates and the supporters of British rule. But Gandhi paid no attention. Gandhi’s activities made the British government nervous and panicky. They issued a warning that anyone who overstepped the bounds of law would be arrested and imprisoned. Gandhi thought that this warning was a victory for the campaign. He issued instructions, which the people were to follow if he were arrested. On December 26, the Congress session was held in Nagpur. Though there were signs of opposition to Gandhi’s policies, his resolution was passed with an overwhelming majority. The adoption of the new program at Nagpur was the signal to start the mass movement. Gandhi felt that the complete boycott of all government organizations would give a chance to the Congress to set up a parallel organization, a State within a State which would lead India to Swaraj. The Duke of Connaught was sent to India in 1921 to try to pacify the Indians. He came to open the four legislatures in the country which had been introduced as a result of the reforms announced by the King. His coming and going passed off without any material change in the attitude of Indians towards Britain. Gandhi traveled far and wide, propagating the ideals of nonviolence and noncooperation. Day by day the Indians were getting more and more excited over carrying out Gandhi’s program. Many students left their institutions, many officers resigned their posts. The boycott movement gained momentum. As the people’s morale grew, the morale of the government went down. Repression started. Gandhi advised the people

to have patience, and he insisted on nonviolence. He saw the weaknesses of Indians and he urged them to improve. He wanted social reforms and constructive work to be intensively followed. It was announced that the Prince of Wales was to visit India. Functions were arranged at many places to enable him to meet his loyal subjects. Gandhi was indignant when he read the announcement in thenewspapers. “Do the British think we are children?” he said. “Do they believe that parades for the Prince will make us forget atrocities in the Punjab or the perpetual delay in granting us Home Rule?” On Gandhi’s advice the Congress declared that all parades, receptions, and celebrations in honor of the Prince were to be strictly boycotted. “We have no grudge against His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales,” said Gandhi, “but our ideas are against him as a symbol of oppression. We can show the world that such noncooperation is just the reverse of the European doctrine of the sword. Let us act in accordance with the holy prophets of old. Noncooperation without violence is the battle of the brave.” Fearing that there would be disorder when the Prince of Wales visited various places, the government began severe acts of suppression. Thousands of people were arrested. The Indian people were so agitated that in city after city bonfires burned and the bonfires were made with foreign cloth, especially British cloth. On November 17, 1921, the Prince of Wales landed in Bombay. Loyal stooges of Britain went to greet the royal visitor. Those who were observing nonviolent noncooperation did not stop them. However, religious and political hatreds fanned the flames. Riots started, many were killed, much property was destroyed. There was panic in the city. Gandhi was in Bombay, and he rushed to the scene of disorder to stop the rioting. Order was finally restored. “Every man has the right to his reli-

gion and his own political opinion. Satyagraha will never succeed until man understands that,” Gandhi announced bitterly. In other cities the boycott of the Prince’s visit was peaceful. As the unfortunate Prince of Wales visited city after city, he- was greeted with empty streets. Not a shop was open. The people remained behind closed doors and drawn curtains. This infuriated the British and they called upon the government of India to act. Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal, and other leaders were arrested and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment. Yet the determined courage of the people did not abate. They were ready to suffer any penalty for the cause of Home Rule. Demands had been made to Gandhi that he should start a mass movement for the attainment of Swaraj. Gandhi decided to act. Preparations were made to start satyagraha in Bardoli. But Gandhi had to stop the campaign suddenly because of what had happened ill Bombay and other places. In Chauri Chaura, near Gorakhpur in U.P., some policemen fired on a crowd which was holding a demonstration against the government. This annoyed the demonstrators so much that they became very violent. They chased the police. The police took refuge in the city hall. The angry mob surrounded the hall and set it on fire. Some policemen were burned to death. Others, trying to escape, were killed by the furious mob outside. Gandhi was very upset. He thought that it was clear that the people were still not prepared for satyagraha. He stopped the intended satyagraha at Bardoli. His co-workers did not agree with him, but he was adamant. He wanted his followers to start constructive programs. Many Indians were sorry for Gandhi’s action. They thought that Swaraj was now within their reach and the movement should therefore continue. The Government was playing a waiting game. Instead of thanking Gandhi for stopping the mass movement, they arrested him on charges of inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch and sentenced him to six years’ imprisonment. He was removed to Yeravda Central Jail in Poona. In prison Gandhi settled down to a regime of spinning, writing, and meditation. The people were disappointed and the government tightened its hold. Almost all the leaders were put in jail. Then, in 1924, Gandhi fell ill. He was suffering from appendicitis and was in great pain. The government was alarmed. What would happen if Gandhi died in prison? An urgent operation was arranged, and Gandhi agreed. The operation was successful, but his recovery was very slow. The government thought it best to release him, so he was set free. He went to Juhu, near Bombay, to recover. — To be continued next week.



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20 September 16, 2016


Karat 22 Raffle Nets Indian Training for Grads


HOUSTON: “The raffle sale was on all year

long, from January,” explained Aku Patel, the founder and owner of Karat 22 Jewelers on Hillcroft, adding “They always sold tickets at every Chamber event.” Of course, Patel was referring to the Indo American Chamber of Commerce of which he is a Board Director. By the time the Chamber’s Gala came around this past weekend (see related story, page 05), Patel figures they had sold about $7,000 in

Picture on left: A beaming Aku Patel stands between the winner of the Rolex watch raffle draw Rajiv Bhavsar (right) and the auction high bidder Swatantra Jain (left). IACCGH President Joya Shukla is on the right.

raffle tickets, at $20 a pop, for a chance to win a women’s 18 kt white gold Rolex Cellini watch, valued at $6,000. Last year, Karat 22 held a similar raffle sale for a men’s Rolex watch, also valued at $6,000 and sold $7,000 in tickets. All the money collected goes towards sending graduate students to India for 3 weeks of training in a firm that corresponds with their field of interest. Each student receives about $2,500 from the Chamber for their trip and the Indian firm then picks up their living expenses while there. This year had an extra twist as the winner of the raffle was none other than IACCGH Secretary Rajiv Bhavsar. When he got to the stage after his name was called (Patel, incidentally, had picked the ticket), Bhavsar didn’t bat an eyelid and donated the watch to be auctioned off. The lucky winner was Swatantra Jain, who bid $5,000 for the watch. “We may manage to send five grads this year,” beamed a delighted Patel.

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September 16, 2016



22 September 16, 2016


Inspired by a Legend to Bring the Gift of Vision to the Masses

Some of the attendees at the tribute concert to M.S. Subbulakshmi held at the UN on August 15. The concert was performed by composer A.R. Rahman (center) and among those attending were Houstonians Leela Krishnamurthy (fourth from left) and Prabha Bala (third from right)


NEWYORK: Hers was the voice that echoed

in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations and hailed the global achievements of the United Nations fifty years ago on October 23, 1966; a voice that millions of Indians were becoming familiar with and would later earn her the title of “Queen of Music” by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The legendary Carnatic vocalist M. S. Subbulakshmi was remembered again in the same chamber on her birth centenary on August 15, with a photo exhibition over four days and a 3-hour concert of six pieces honoring her, composed by Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman and performed by six young talented underprivileged kids who make up the Sunshine Orchestra from the K.M. Music Conservatory in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The tribute coincided with the cultural extravaganza and celebration of India’s 70th Independence Day and was underwritten by Sankara Nethralaya and India’s Permanent Mission to the UN. The concert honoring Subbulakshmi at the UN “aims to perpetuate the memory of not only one of the greatest musicians India had ever produced but that of a greatest soul who lived a life of philanthropy and goodwill for all humanity”, said Dr. Sengamedu Srinivasa Badrinath, the founder and Chairman Emeritus of Sankara Nethralaya. For Badrinath, 77, it was also a very personal odyssey, as he had planned his trip to the US to visit family and attend the celebration too. His life’s defining work of helping the masses to regain their eyesight began with encouragement from MS (as she was affectionately known). Badrinath had just returned to Chennai in 1970 after completing an internship in ophthalmology in Massachusetts and MS became his patient in 1973. “She wanted me to stay back and work in India,” recalled Badrinath in a telephone interview, “and was a very important reason for me to do so.” “MS knew a lot of VIPs and I heard the clarion call to start the Sankara Nethralaya in 1974 with a missionary spirit,” he continued. “So I turned a private practice into a non-profit, institutional one, with other ophthalmologists and the hospital was formed in 1978.” The name stems from the 8th century philosopher and theologian Adi Shankara and Nethralaya which means “the temple of the eye”. SN has become one of the best managed charitable organizations in India with 100

Dr. S. S. Badrinath, the founder and Chairman Emeritus of Sankara Nethralaya co-sponsored the concert in memory of M.S. Subbulakshmi who encouraged Badrinath to start the institution.

ophthalmologists and 1,000 employees serving 1,200 patients a day and performing 100 surgeries a day. SN has 60% paying patients and 40% non-paying. Three years ago it has started a project of Mobile Eye Surgical Unit consisting of four buses which go to the villages and has performed 3,200 surgeries totally free, with free of cost medicines and glasses. The Sankara Nethralaya Om Trust, a 501c (3) nonprofit, has been formed in the US since 1987 and is currently seeking to raise funds to create a Chair for Music in the name of M. S. Subbulakshmi in a university in the United States, according Trust President S.V. Acharya. The Trust is also working to raise sufficient funds to perform at least 3,000 free ophthalmic surgeries in honor of Subbulakshmi at SN in India. Towards that end, it will hold a series of concerts across several cities in the US by Sudha Raghunathan to honor the works of M. S. Subbulakshmi. The concert in Houston will be on Saturday, September 17 at the Asia Society on 1370 Southmore, from 7 to 9pm.



September 16, 2016


Grand Vinayaka Chaturthi Celebrations at Sri Meenakshi Temple BY M.K.SRIRAM

PEARLAND: Ganesha, Ganapa-

thy, Vinayaka and known by many many other names was given a huge “birthday” party by His devotees, last week at Sri Meenakshi Temple. Lord Ganesha’s birthday falls on Chaturthi day, in the waxing phase of the moon or Shukla Paksha in the Tamil month of Avany. Sri Meenakshi Temple takes great pride in conducting the pujas and festivals in the most authentic and traditional way, literally transporting the devotees thousands of miles across the globe to Bharatha desa. This is a miracle that happens every single time and leaves an indelible memory in the minds of the hundreds and hundreds of bhakta janas. This event was observed on Monday, September 5, the actual Chaturthi day, as well as celebrated again on Sunday, September 12. September 5, being Labor Day, offered many people to partake in the event. The puja started early morning at the Maha Ganapathi sanctum in the southwest corner mantapam. Abhishekam was performed with the chanting of the Veda Sukthas and Sri Rudram bringing delight to the hearts of the devotees. Sri Maha Ganapathi was then adorned with alankarams and arathi was performed. The main function took place at the recently renovated Ganesh Temple that had been beautifully decorated

for the event. The devotees gathered there for the Sankalpam to initiate the puja. This was followed by Punyahavachanam and Kalasa puja. This was followed by homam when the priests chanted Ganesh mantras and offered the special dravyas to the Agni or Fire god. The significance is that by this offering we pray for the peace and prosperity of the community. The finale of the homam is the purnahuthi, which is the final offering. The priests then performed abhishekam for Sri Prasanna Vinayaka, the very first deity of Sri Meenakshi Temple for whom the people hold a very special affection. The waters from the kalashas sanctified by the Vedic mantras were poured on Lord Ganesha, and one could not help experiencing the warmth and love of the

Son of Parvathi shower on them. The utsava vigraha and the moola vigraha were then decorated beautifully while bhajans were sung. The final arathi was spectacular and brought tears to the eyes of the ardent devotees, when they felt they were one with Lord Ganesha. The utsava Moorthy was taken on a procession around the temple on the Mooshika Vahanam. Prasadam distribution was done at the main temple. A delicious lunch contributed in part as annadhanam by devotees supplemented by the temple kitchen staff, was enjoyed by all who attended. Devotees who missed the Monday event got another chance to celebrate on Sunday the 12. This was also very well attended. This day also marked the 37th anniversary of the

temple, so there was a special 108 kalasa puja and abhishekam. The devotees had the unique fortune to individually carry the kalasam to the Ganesh sanctum. After the beautiful abhishkekam accompanied by Vedic chantings, Prasanna Ganapathy and utsava Moorthy were beautifully decorated and decked in flower garlands. The priests then performed the final arathi. Lord Ganesha was then taken on a procession in the grand ratham around the temple. Prasadam distribution was done at the main temple. Another grand lunch was served to the devotees.

devotees are immersed in the temple pond symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of his devotees. All in all, this was a truly grand two day festival at Sri Meenakshi Temple. Priests Sri Manicka Bhattar, Sri Kalyanasundaram, Sri Balaji and Sri Pavan Kumar performed the rituals with great devotion. MTS under the leadership of Chairman Sri Narayanan and Religious Activities committee members Smt Padmini Nathan and Smt Sheila Sriram with

The Visarjan function took place in the afternoon. Sri Meenakshi Temple that caters to the needs of people with different traditions and practices has been performing this for the last few years, The clay idols sponsored by

event coordinators Sri Tupil Narasiman, Sri Padma Golla and Sri Dorairajan did an outstanding job with countless hours of hard work and support by the temple silpis and administrative staff.


24 September 16, 2016



September 16, 2016


To Make Good Sound, You Have to Get Up Early in the Morning!


HOUSTON: When there is a huge

show to produce, he likes to get there early in the morning and start the speaker layouts, spreading the monster cables and making sure there are plenty of mics and other backup equipment. But when there is lighting and backdrops involved, it makes him get going even earlier. “For this past weekend’s Janamashtami show, I got to the George Brown Convention Center at 5am,” said Darshak Thacker two days later, having completed another marathon weekend. His Krishna Sounds (which he runs with his wife Mona, who is usually by his side) has its own sound and lighting equipment in his warehouses. Come Saturday morning, September 10, he, Mona and 6 other helpers loaded up and then set up at the GRB. “After the event, we didn’t get back to the house till 3am the next morning!” he added with his characteristic grin. Houston’s celebrity sound engineer Darshak Thacker is also a highpowered drummer – nicknamed Killer D by this reporter - and watching him play is a treat by itself. For Janamashtami, Darshak provided very high quality, crystal clear Live Sound. “We used very bright stage lights to make sure the stage looked

Darshak Thacker of Krishna Sounds in front of the luminous stage at the Janamashtami celebrations this past weekend.

clear and added color par lighting to make the backdrop look 3D so that it seemed like the giant Baby Krishna was popping out of the screen.” This year, he also set two remote screens with live feed on both by cameraman Paresh Shah. After the cultural and religious events, Darshak and his live band

of Kamal Haji (on keyboards) and singers Kashmira Nayak and Hardik Jani played devotional songs in praise of Lord Krishna’s. Darshak’s high energy drumbeats made everybody dance the raas garba till way past midnight … and as he jumped along, he looked even more energized!

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The lowly vegetable mutter (peas) is used in many Indian dishes in one form or the other as a complement to other main ingredients, but seldom as the main dish. Peas are prized for tenderness in bringing a gentle texture to aaloo (potatoes), briyanis (rice palaos), paneer (cheese) or khumbhan (mushrooms). They are even used as fillings for samosas (fried pies) and kachoris (fried balls). Small young peas are even dried and fried into a snack or split into a mutter di daal (split pea lentil). The earliest archaeologist finds of peas dates back to over 9,000 BC in current Greece, Syria, Turkey and Jordan and in Egypt in 4,800 BC. They were found in Harrapa in 2,250 BC and appeared in Uttar Pradesh in 200 BC. Raw peas are starchy but high in carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C. Paneer is likewise high in carbohydrates but also high in calcium and sodium. Paneer is an unaged, acid-set, non-melting farmer cheese made by curdling hot milk with lemon juice or vinegar to separate the whey. Paneer is a favorite all over India, and is on most restaurant menus, in one dish or the other, often with additional thickening cream; the most favorite for young and old alike being palak paneer (spinach and cheese). In addition, there are large paneer pakoras, paneer samosas, paneer paranthas and of course, the sweetmeats like ras mallayi or ras gullas. McDonalds India even serves a McSpicy Paneer and Paneer Wrap. In the Punjab, mutter paneer (peas and cheese) is a favorite which most families make at

home usually. This recipe as it is both easy to make and still has lots of flavor and can be eaten with roti. As it doesn’t have any curry to it, it is also fast to make. Ingredients: • 200 gm mutter (green peas) – frozen or fresh • 250 gm paneer (Indian cheese) – cut into square cubes • 1 small pyaaz (onion) – peeled and finely chopped • 1 clove of lasan (garlic) – peeled and finely chopped • 1 small piece of adrak (ginger) – peeled and finely chopped • 1 cup garam pani (warm water) • 1 tbsp tamater paste (tomato paste) • 3 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil • Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper), haldi (turmeric), fresh dhania (coriander), garam masala

Directions: 1. Prepare the masala in a medium saucepan. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat, then add the onions, ginger, garlic and tomato paste. Stir well to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. When the mixture is slightly reddish brown, add the salt, pepper and haldi and stir well. 2. Throw in the peas and stir well to coat and cook for a few minutes. If frozen, then let the peas thaw out first before using and cook for 5 minutes. If fresh, then let the peas cook a little longer in the saucepan. 3. Throw in the paneer and stir to coat well and let it cook for 2 minutes. 4. Add warm water and bring it to a boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off, cover the saucepan and let it sit for five minutes. 5. Before serving, garnish the dish with garam masala and the shredded fresh dhania.

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.


There are times wh en a visitor shows up unannounced or to entertain friends you have or family in a hurry . At these times, yo have enough time u may not to cook everything from scratch, espe masala which is the cially the core of all Punjabi dishes. For all those mom ents, just cook up some extra masala freeze it or keep it and either handy in the fridge for easy use. Peel large pyaaz (onion) and chop 1 , 2 cloves of lasan (garlic) and 1 med (ginger); brown in ium adrak a medium frying pa n with 4 tablespoon medium heat; add s of oil over 1 small tamater (to mato) or 1 teaspoo paste; then add na n tomato mak (salt), mirch (red pepper), haldi and garam masala (turmeric) to taste.

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September 16, 2016


Smell the Bollywood Masala in Sidharth, Katrina’s Film ROHIT VATS

You wake up and realise that it’s

going be the last day of your life. You look back at it and regret the moments you missed in search of a dream. But, this isn’t over yet. You can still alter the situation. The catch is you can change just one thing, but will you be able to spot that one tiny thing. Jai (Sidharth Malhotra) is a genius who wants to make it big in the world of mathematics. His research papers are accepted at various schools throughout the world and he is patiently waiting for a call from the Cambridge University, his dream destination. But before that he has to get married to Diya (Katrina Kaif), a girl fond of her family and India. It’s a clash of different thought processes. While Jai is concerned about his own career, Diya is all for the community and how our happiness depends on people around us. There is no time machine, but time travel has been used as the narrative technique. Our professor keeps going back and forth in time and that doesn’t stop him from shaking a leg or enjoying exotic locales. In short, Nitya Mehra makes sure you don’t miss any of the typical Bollywood ingredients. Baar Baar Dekho is not Run Lola Run or Back To The Future or even Vantage Point. It’s nowhere close to The Butterfly Effect either. It’s a typical ‘masala’ entertainer that

Baar Baar Dekho

wants to re-establish the emotions that Karan Johar and his team have done in many films. Johar is one of the producers of Baar Baar Dekho. There is no time machine, but time travel has been used as the narrative technique. Our professor keeps going back and forth in time and that doesn’t stop him from shaking a leg or enjoying exotic locales. In short, Nitya Mehra makes sure you don’t miss any of the typical Bollywood ingredients. Baar Baar Dekho is not Run Lola Run or Back To The Future or even Vantage Point. It’s nowhere close to The Butterfly Effect either. It’s a typical ‘masala’ entertainer that wants to re-establish the emotions that Karan Johar and his team have done in many films. Johar is one of the producers of Baar Baar Dekho.

Rajit Kapoor as Pandit Ji tries his bit but the other secondary characters lack depth restricting Baar Baar Dekho from rising above the average. A little work on Kapoor’s role could have done wonders for this story. Confused writing adds up to the film’s woes. The arguments given in favour or against of familial values don’t sound concrete and makes the characters flippant. It takes them really long to utter that ‘no equation is perfect without balance’. Baar Baar Dekho is hardly even a bird’s eye view of the new generation’s choices and desires. Its philosophy lacks strength and gloss takes the centre stage right from the beginning. But, if you stop taking it seriously then it may provide you some happy moments in exchange. After all, who doesn’t like a big, fat Punjabi wedding! - hindustantimes.com

Kareena Kapoor September 21, 1980


New Documentary Shows Sunny Leone is an Outcast in Canadian Hometown ANIRUDH BHATTACHARYYA

Actress Sunny Leone has become

one of the most famous Indo-Canadians after her success in Bollywood but she remains a deeply divisive figure in her hometown, where many refused to even talk about her for a new documentary film on her life. Born as Karenjit Kaur Vohra in the small town of Sarnia in the Canadian province of Ontario, Leone finds the community in her hometown unwilling to welcome her back. That’s because the girl who was sent to a Khalsa summer camp by her parents went on to gain prominence as a Penthouse Pet and then as a porn star. This is made clear in the documentary “Mostly Sunny”, directed by noted Toronto-based filmmaker Dilip Mehta, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). While Leone may have found acceptance among many Indians, like those who invite her to perform at weddings, she remains “ostracised” by Sarnia’s Indo-Canadian community, Mehta told Hindustan Times. When Mehta sent a camera unit to the gurdwara she worshipped at when young, its management called the police. And friends and relatives of her parents refused to discuss her, especially her choice of entering the adult film industry. Mehta was first offered the project in 2013. But he felt “uncomfortable”

about the project in the wake of the gruesome gang-rape in Delhi and almost dropped it. Curiously enough, his elder sister, Deepa Mehta’s latest feature, “Anatomy Of Violence”, a dramatisation of that brutal gangrape and murder is also premiering at TIFF. Later, Mehta met Leone in Mumbai and decided to proceed. Mehta shot in the places Leone and her husband made their homes – Mumbai and Los Angeles. What Mehta discovered in the actress was a “smart” person in the sense of managing her career and unapologetic about the choices she’s made. That savvy comes across in her saying her legacy would be to be remembered as someone who was “good” at “turning a dime into a dollar”. Also featured is the controversy over whether giving a former porn actor star status in India was feeding into the country’s rape culture. While Leone lives up to the title of the film through the majority of its running time, this is the only point at which she loses her cool, while denying those charges. - hindustantimes.com


28 September 16, 2016


India at Full Strength for NZSPORTS Tests Pak Cruise to 9 W Win



UMBAI (ESPN Cricinfo): India have retained 15 of the 17 players who formed the Test squad for the tour of West Indies, for the upcoming three-Test series at home against New Zealand. The players to miss out were allrounder Stuart Binny and seamer Shardul Thakur. Binny and Thakur played only one game in the Caribbean - the tour match against the WICB President’s XI. Binny was later included in the T20I squad for the matches against West Indies in the USA, while Thakur joined the India A team on their tour of Australia. Rohit Sharma is part of the Mumbai squad for a tour match against the New Zealanders in Delhi from September 16. When asked if Rohit would play, a Mumbai team official said they were waiting for confirmation from the BCCI about his availability. “Rohit is a fabulous player, immense talent he has got, but he hasn’t got a longer run in Test cricket,” chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil said after the selection meeting in Mumbai. “What we have seen with Rohit Sharma is, he has been picked for one Test and then rested an entire season and again picked. So the selection committee, along with coach and captain, have decided that whoever is be picked will be given a fair amount of chances.” Perhaps the biggest question ahead of the selection of India’s XI for the first Test is about who will open. M Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan opened in the first Test on the tour of West Indies, but Vijay was injured for the second Test and KL Rahul took his chance and made 158 in Jamaica. Vijay was then left out of the third Test while Rahul and Dhawan opened, but returned for the final match in Trinidad, where he was slotted to open with Rahul before rain ruined the game. Cheteshwar Pujara, who was replaced by Rohit in the third Test against West Indies because India were playing five bowlers, and then did not bat in the fourth Test, returned to form by scoring 166 and 256 at No. 3 in the ongoing Duleep Trophy in

Sharjeel Khan smears one over the leg side, England v Pakistan, only T20, Old Trafford.


New Zealand Captain Kane Williamson has become the youngest batsman to score a century against all other Test countries.

Greater Noida. The squad contains three spinners R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra - and four seamers - Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar - giving India the option of several combinations should they choose to play five bowlers. The series against New Zealand is the beginning of a home season in which India will play 13 Tests until March next year. The first match against New Zealand will be played in Kanpur from September 22, while the second and third Tests will be held in Kolkata and Indore. India are currently ranked No. 2 on the ICC Test rankings, only a point behind Pakistan, while New Zealand

are placed seventh. India had briefly occupied the No. 1 ranking during the Test series against West Indies, following Australia’s 3-0 defeat to Sri Lanka. They had a chance to consolidate their top spot with a win in the fourth Test in Port of Spain but the match was drawn because of rain and a wet outfield, and Pakistan climbed to No. 1 having drawn their series against England 2-2. Squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, M Vijay, Umesh Yadav.

LD TRAFFORD (ESPN Cricinfo): Pakistan 139 for 1 (Sharjeel 59, Latif 59*) beat England 135 for 7 (Wahab 3-18) by nine wickets New captain, new Pakistan? It’s always dangerous to look too far ahead as far as their cricket is concerned, but after one night in Manchester Sarfraz Ahmed has a 100% record as T20 skipper. It can be difficult at the end of a long tour to lift for a one-off T20 - the Super Series, of course, had already been decided lest anyone forget - but, amid the most frenzied atmosphere of the tour, which was marred by late pitch invasions, Pakistan secured a thumping nine-wicket victory with a massive 31 deliveries to spare. They produced their most vibrant bowling and fielding display of the limited-overs leg of the trip to restrict England, who fielded the side which played the World T20 final in April, to 135 for 7: just 58 came off the final ten overs and only three boundaries were struck after the Powerplay. The chase was a canter. Neither Sharjeel Khan nor Khalid Latif needed to bother with much running, by the end of the fourth over they had equalled England’s paltry tally of 10 fours. Both reached their fifties with sixes, Sharjeel off 30 balls and Latif, who only flew in for this match, brought up his maiden half-century

off 34 deliveries. With the ball Imad Wasim and Wahab Riaz, the latter smartly held back for the latter half of the innings as he bowled all his overs from the 11th onwards, produced the telling contributions. Imad, who bowled the first over then returned after the Powerplay (and a clonk on the head at point) did not concede a boundary and removed both England openers. Wahab generated fearsome speed, upwards of 95mph on occasion, mixed with smart changes of pace, to leave the middle order in a tangle. After a couple of early overs of assessing conditions, England initially made good progress as Jason Roy and Alex Hales took them to 53 without loss in the Powerplay. Then Roy was lbw trying to reverse sweep Imad and from there England almost went into reverse. Hales fell slog-sweeping at Imad, as he did at Lord’s, and next ball Joe Root uppercut Hasan Ali to third man. Neither Ben Stokes or Eoin Morgan could get going and the harder England tried to hit the ball the worse off they became. England’s batting depth came to their aid in the World T20, most notably against Afghanistan, but there was no late charge on this occasion. It summed up England’s night, as their season ended with a whimper.


September 16, 2016

Swadeshi Style Yoga Guru Ramdev’s Patanjali Company to Make Jeans

You may soon be able to stretch and

bend in a pair of “swadeshi” denim that yoga guru Ramdev’s multi-crore company, Patanjali, will manufacture and sell. He announced on Sunday his company will soon venture into the apparel market, making both traditional and modern clothes for men and women, as part of an ambitious expansion plan that aims to make Patanjali a global brand. “Swadeshi jeans will be launched by the end of the year or early next year. There was a great demand from the youth and, therefore, Patanjali decided to launch Indianised jeans to compete with foreign brands,” Ramdev said. “If permitted, I will start factories in Pakistan and Afghanistan.” The plans to expand into Europe and Africa are part of Patanjali’s breakneck growth strategy that has seen the company transform from a small pharmacy in 2007 to a retail behemoth. The company that deals with packaged food products, grocery, and hair and skin-care items has grown more than 10 times since 2011-12 to Rs 5,000 crore in revenues last year. That’s more revenue clocked by consumer product majors, such as Emami, Dabur and Marico. The brand hit the headlines last year when it took on instant food behemoth Maggi by launching Patanjali

noodles , adding to its wide range of atta, biscuits, honey and other food products. But Patanjali’s founder and chief promoter Ramdev wants to leverage the brand’s market reputation to foray into new sectors such as edible oils and toilet cleaners, besides expanding into other countries. “We have already put up units in Nepal. Now we are planning to go global with factories in Bangladesh and Africa and eventually spread wings to Europe and the US,” he said. “There is a huge vacuum for quality products and Patanjali enjoys enormous public loyalty that ensures success.” Ramdev announced Patanjali will set up a composite unit in Bangladesh to make a whole range of its products for the Muslim-majority country. “We will also use the profit for the welfare of that country.” He said manufacturing units in poor countries will boost local economies and export products to rich nations such as the United States and Europe. Ramdev also rejected allegations that Patanjali’s growth was linked to the BJP’s coming to power, saying the success was because of 20 years of research by more than 200 scientists and professionals working for the company. - hindustantimes.com


DLF to Invest Rs 500 Crore on Developing IT Park in Chennai

DLF expects to earn about Rs2,700 crore rental income in the current fiscal from its portfolio

NEW DELHI: Realty major DLF

will invest about Rs.500 crore to develop an IT Park in Chennai as the commercial real estate market has picked up in major cities. The country’s largest realty firm has exhausted its commercial space stock by leasing out over 32 million sq ft. It expects to earn about Rs.2,700 crore rental income in the current fiscal from its portfolio. “Our Cyber Park in Chennai is fully leased to high quality tenants. We have now commenced construction of about 1.6 million sq ft and will bring the best tenant and employee experience in Chennai,” DLF CEO (rental business) Sriram Khattar told PTI. The company has an IT SEZ in Chennai, comprising 5.7 million sq ft of area. “About 4 lakh sq ft of space has been pre-leased,” Khattar said, adding that two towers out of three would be completed by the middle of next year. The construction work is being done by Malaysian firm Eversendai. IT Park would have sports, enter-

tainment and F&B hub in the central pavilion. DLF had last year started construction of an office complex in Gurgaon comprising over 2 million sq ft area at a cost of about Rs.900 crore. Unlike housing sector which is having a sluggish sales, the leasing of office space has picked up in the seven major cities of the country. On the office market, DLF said that the current uptick on rentals continues, but new leasing momentum has been impacted as it has virtually nil inventory at most places. “The company is following a strategy to aggregate leasing in favour of ‘higher value’, large and high credit customers,” the company said in a presentation. DLF had announced in October last year that its promoters would sell 40% stake in the rental arm DLF Cyber City Developers Ltd (DCCDL). The company has shortlisted few potential investors to sell promoters’ stake in DCCDL and expects the proposed deal, estimated at Rs.12,000 crore, to be signed by early October.

Promoters would be reinvesting a significant part of the amount realised from this deal into DLF Ltd. Earlier, officials had said that Blackstone, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority are among shortlisted investors. “We received multiple bids from sovereign funds and global private equity firms. We have shortlisted few,” DLF senior executive director (finance) Saurabh Chawla had said recently. “By the end of September or early October, we should be able to guide the market about the culmination of this transaction,” Chawla had said. DLF posted over two-fold jump in net profit to Rs.261.42 crore for the quarter ended June from Rs.125.87 crore in the year-ago period. Income from operations fell 22% to Rs.1,867.46 crore in the first quarter of the current fiscal as against Rs.2,388.72 crore in the year-ago period. - livemint.com


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September 16, 2016




September 16, 2016