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Friday, September 23, 2016 | Vol. 35, No. 39

Indo American erican News



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MAGIC BUS Journey from

Childhood to

Livelihood Abhishek Bachchan with the Magic Bus Board at the 3rd Annual Magic Bus Gala on Saturday, September 17 at the Houston Marriott Westchase. Board members in photo: Amit Bhandari, Matthew Spacie, Swatantra Jain, Jugal Malani, Nikita Malani Shukla, Swapnil Agarwal, Kapil Mathur, Gaurav Khandelwal, Brij Kathuria. (Missing board members: Narayan Bhargava, Mona Parikh, and Dr. H. D. Patel).



Making Cancer History

IACAN Board members, from left: Dr. Jagan Sastry, Vijaya Sista, Deepika Varia, Kumari Susarla, Raju Nandagiri, Arlene Mathew, Dr. Lakshmi Koyyalagunta, Sarvesh Bhavaraju, and Suresh Agrawal at the third biannual gala of the Indian American Cancer Network on, Saturday, September 17, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

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September 23, 2016



September 23, 2016


A Healthy Lifestyle and Comforting Care can Make Cancer History

Archarya Gaurang Nanavaty

bone marrow donors were presented with plaques and one young recipient was recognized. IACAN also honored Dr. P.G. Parameswaran and Dr. Sen Pathak

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with Lifetime Service Awards for their leadership roles. Treasurer Suresh Agrawal delivered a heartfelt vote of thanks. Tribute was made to the late Sarma Susarla, with an Exceptional Public Service Medal and fond respect shown to the late Meena Agrawal, a former board member. The large hall erupted with laughter as MD Anderson’s Rev. Dr. Stephen Findley demonstrated the power of laughter yoga in overcoming pain and depression which often accompany a cancer diagnosis. He transformed the evening into a fun-filled interactive delight. And to cap it off, enthusiastic young volunteers used a fun fund-raiser called “balloon pop” to help the gala raise funds.

For photo collage, see page 16 Solve & Win 2 Free Tickets to Texas Renaissance Festival

Dr. Rathna Kumar

HOUSTON: The third biannual

gala of the Indian American Cancer Network was celebrated this past Saturday, September 17, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Medical Center on Kirby Drive in the shadow of the NRG Stadium. Over 350 guests came to enjoy the over three-hour program which started with a social hour (with food catered by Bombay Brasserie) and moved to the main ballroom for the rest of the items. The evening began with a melodious invocation song by Mani Sastry after which Padmini Nathan, Kumari Susarla, and Lakshmi Parameswaran lighted the ceremonial lamps. Indian Consul General, Anupam Ray (who made the rounds that evening to at least two other events), an advisory board member, said he appreciated the marvelous services IACAN provides, adding that he and his wife Dr. Amit Goldberg want to become active members and help IACAN in its endeavors. The President of IACAN, Kumari Susarla, commended the founders of the non-profit for building such a wonderful organization. “In the last seven years of its young life, under three past

Photos: Bijay Dixit

presidents, IACAN has organized informative education programs, survivor activities and Bone Marrow drives”, said Susarla who praised the volunteers. She noted that volunteers have helped IACAN conduct 100 BM drives in the last 7 years, registering over 4,000 donors. For its efforts, IACAN has been recognized with the 2016 leadership award by the National Marrow Donor Program. Susarla announced that IACAN was launching the Spirituality Project in hospitals to pass out spiritual books and have patients receive visits by persons who have spiritual knowledge. Gala Chair Dr. Padmini Nathan captured the essence of the evening when she declared that about 50% of cancers are preventable. Archarya Gaurang Nanavaty of the Chinmaya Mission presented a thought-provoking speech adding “like the waves of the ocean, ups and downs are integral part of life. Spirituality can be a beacon of

light that will enable us to navigate through the hard times of life.” Prevention was also echoed in the keynote speech by Dr. Thomas A. Buchholtz, Executive Vice President and Physician-in-Chief of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center who stood in for Dr. Ronald DePinho, President of MDACC who was called away at the last minute. “Unfortunately, more and younger men and women are being diagnosed with diseases such as prostate and breast cancer,” Bucholtz added. “Statistics show that, today in America, 1 out of 2 men and 1 out of 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer, and 1 out 4 people will lose their lives to cancer.” The gala recognized those people who have helped IACAN reach its achievements. In collaboration with the Gulf Coast Blood Center, IACAN has been registering healthy donors for the Bone Marrow transplant program, with Gaytri Kapoor as the liaison. Six

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September 23, 2016



September 23, 2016


Nurturing Children through the Expeditions of Magic Bus

From left: Abhishek Bachchan, Matthew Spacie (Founder and Executive Chairman of Magic Bus), Amit Bhandari (President Houston Chapter and USA Board), Anupam Ray, Consul General of India, Houston. Photos: Bijay Dixit


HOUSTON: ‘Play’ is a powerful

medium. Powerful enough to get across a message very effectively. The respected place for ‘play’ in children’s lives can weave magic. Magic Bus has precisely embarked on one such novel journey by using sports as a tool for development and social reconstruction among the underprivileged communities. Founded by Matthew Spacie, Magic Bus, through its dedicated team of partners and volunteers, uses a sports-based curriculum to engage children, ensuring that they make the right choices from childhood all the way through to better livelihoods as adults, thereby maximizing their potential and breaking the cycle of poverty. This child-friendly mentoring approach enables young people to have more choice and control in their lives thereby increasing their possibilities of moving out of poverty. Each Magic Bus participant is offered their livelihood program, ‘CONNECT’. It offers youth a chance to

enroll in college and helps with securing a job placement. Last Saturday, September 17, the expedition of Magic Bus reached Houston Marriott Westchase. It was the 3rd Annual Magic Bus Gala, one of the most awaited events of the year. The gala kicked-off at 6 pm with the social hour, and patrons were seen fraternizing with each other over Hors D’oeuvres. As everyone settled in, in addition to the open bar, bottles of red and with wine welcomed everyone at their tables, and some foot tapping Bollywood numbers by Naach Houston and Doonya Houston, set a perfect mood to the evening. The event decor was managed by Nalini Kannan of Décor One. Amit Bhandari, (Magic Bus, President Houston Chapter and USA Board) along with the Magic Bus Board, welcomed the wonderful guests. They were ecstatic looking at the packed hall, which was an evidence to the strong support received from the growing number of people.

Abhishek Bachchan with the Magic Bus Pledge card

Magic Bus participants, Sangita Jaykumar (right) and Manisha Gupta with Abhishek Bachchan

Swatantra and Bimla Jain with Abhishek Bachchan

Amit Bhandari, who has been an avid supporter of Magic Bus and leads the Chapter’s local Board introduced by sharing the vision and noble thoughts of Magic Bus. He did make a special mention on how Magic Bus spends their money and urged people to donate to their heart’s content. The reaction from the patrons was posi-

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tive and it was evident, especialy when Amit encouraged them to visit their centers when they travel to India, Nepal or Myanmar. Staying true to its spirit, to spark the celebration in a magical way, none other than the charming and dashing Magic Bus Patron Abhishek Bachchan was invited. His magnetic personality and the


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genuine cause of Magic Bus drove several of Houston’s philanthropists to this event. As Abhishek began speaking in his husky voice, his charisma and persona filled the air with an aura of fan-moment sorts. The Emcee for the evening was Raj Salhotra. He invited over Rakhi Patel, the Business DevelopCONTINUED ON PAGE


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September 23, 2016

The Journey to the Ultimate Success

HOUSTON: “The progressive realization

Swami Mukundananda

of a worthy goal is success. Hence, enjoy the journey; do not develop a destination disease,” expounded Swami Mukundananda ji in the Life Transformation Program (LTP) 2016 - Grow from Within to Succeed in Life. It was a free, 7-day community program from August 20 to 26 at India House. In this LTP 2016 program, Swamiji took us on an ecstatic and heart-searching inner journey! While diving deep into the scriptures on one hand and drawing examples from contemporary real-life situations on the other, Swamiji explained how true knowledge creates the paradigm with which we perceive the world and determine the parameter for success. “Each day I listened to Swamiji, something clicked within me and I experienced a major breakthrough!” exclaims Champa Sriram. “He has given me some practical tools to use in this journey. My sincere gratitude to Swamiji and the wonderful team of volunteers for putting this program together,” she adds. Accentuating that all of us wish to grow, and that “it is an auto script God has installed within each of us,” Swamiji unraveled the code of this God-given script, which leads us to the ultimate success. Success is not the last step; success begins with every step, as long as our goal is meaningful. In this ‘age of the half-read page,’ do not become one of those processionary caterpillars that march in a circle until they perish with exhaustion and starvation, although their food is only a few inches away, warned Swamiji. The key to success is deciding on a meaningful goal. Therefore, “decisions are the nodal points in the journey of life.” We make decisions based on our value system - the way Accentuating twe value family, money, God, conscience, others’ happiness, etc. So, it is imperative we get our values in order first, he emphasized. Our values depend on our beliefs. There is no one under the sun who is bereft of beliefs. While one believes in one’s senses and intellect that are prone to imperfections, another chooses to believe in the authority of the divine scriptures and saints. These beliefs are the ones that determine the course of our life, so it is of paramount importance to install and cultivate these beliefs based on good knowledge. Thus, knowledge determines the paradigm of success. In his 7-day discourse, Swamiji presented that knowledge - the paradigm of how inner growth leads to success – illuminating the path to inner victories! He handed off pragmatic techniques on how to: Unleash the power hidden within us •Manifest the God-given potential •Be proactive not reactive, and take charge of our life •Master the art of building healthy relationships •Face hardships with serenity and faith in God’s wisdom •Focus on self-growth to attract favorable circumstances in our life Besides the enlightening discourses, the relaxing yoga and meditation sessions, the melodious kirtans of the Lord, and the blissful company of Swamiji left us all with big smiles on our faces and with a sense of calm and serenity. Swami Mukundananda will be re-visiting Houston for 1 day on October 18. For more details visit JKYog.org or call 281-630-5982 or 832-377-6070.


September 23, 2016





September 23, 2016

Nurturing Children through the Expeditions of Magic Bus CONTINUED FROM PAGE

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ment and Communications Head of Magic Bus USA, who spoke about the magical journey of the past few years that has positively impacted the lives of over 16,000 children. Anupam Ray, Consul General of India, Houston, was then requested to come on stage. He mentioned that his association with Magic Bus made him extremely proud. He amused the patrons with quotes on charity in 3 different languages, Hindi, Sanskrit and Bali. It was then time for a quick 3-minute audio visual treat and Havovi Wadia, Head of Research and Development, presented the journey of a young girl, Seema, to illustrate how Magic Bus helps eliminate poverty from the lives of young people. Finally, the Founder and Executive Chairman of Magic Bus, Matthew, stepped in amidst a thundering applause. He seemed overjoyed and thanked everyone by mentioning that this was by far the largest crowd he has had in the galas, since almost two decades. He thanked Amit and Arpita Bhandari, and all the Houston Chapter Board Members: Brij Kathuria, Dr. H.D. Patel, Dr. Nikita Malani Shukla, Gaurav Khandelwal, Jugal Malani, Kapil Mathur, Mona Parikh, Narayan Bhargav, Swapnil Agarwal and Swatantra Jain. Mathew who began this magical journey several years back in Mumbai, spoke about the increasing poverty in India and how Magic Bus was helping curb the graph through its successful program and with the support of its patrons like the ones present in the hall. It was then auction-time and Tom Patterson; a professional auctioneer helped auctioned the items live, and helped raise funds. Abhishek Bachchan went on to help auction a couple of items in his witty and humorous style, and not to everyone’s astonishment they went on to fetch $25,000 each; a 2-night stay at the Oberoi Hotels and Resorts and an Omega watch. Soon after the auction, Justin Reeves, Executive Director, Magic Bus, took the stage and spoke about his film– The Other

Girl. His film is a story of 3 girls; Manisha (11 years), Savita (15 years) and Sangita (26 years), who have been a part of the Magic Bus journey and a source of inspiration for Justin. It was an emotional moment when Magic Bus participants, Sangita Jaykumar and Manisha Gupta came on stage and shared (in Hindi), their journey with Magic Bus and the way their lives have changed. They requested everyone to help with their donations generously so that more Sangita’s and Manisha’s can be helped. It was really sweet of Abhishek to translate their statement in English. Abhishek once again emphasized on the fact that the contribution and donations from everyone really made a huge difference in helping Magic Bus continue its successful journey. Swatantra Jain and his wife Bimla Jain presented him with a token of appreciation. The overall donations reached over $700,000. A delectable dinner catered by Mahesh Shah of Daawat catering followed, and accompanying dinner was some soothing music by Nishad Nayak (DJ Nish), which added more taste to the perfect evening. More about Magic Bus: Magic Bus has successfully helped more than 250,000 children and youth with better education, improving their health situation, displaying more gender-equal behavior and working towards stronger livelihood options as adults. This approach has proven to be successful for two solid reasons: the child’s longterm engagement and the mentor’s familiarity with the child’s context. This level of co-existence helps the mentor to constantly observe, learn and provide constructive feedback that ultimately results in the child’s proven behavior change. The total number volunteers exceed 9000 and the staff is currently sized at 1600 employees. 48% of the Magic Bus kids are girls, 98% of those kids attend secondary schools, and none get married before the age of 18. To be a part of this magical journey please send details through http://www.magicbususa.org/volunteer-with-us/ or visit magicbususa.org.

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NEW YORK: Indian cricket champ

Mahendra Singh Dhoni was in Times Square, New York City, on September 15 for a press conference to talk about the upcoming film about his life, “M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story.” He is seen on the right in the picture above. To his left is Arun Pandey, the producer of the film. After the press conference, Dhoni

met with fans from Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and beyond who were winners of a special contest held by Star TV. The film releases in U.S. theaters on September 30. Director: Neeraj Pandey Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Kiara Advani, and Anupam Kher


September 23, 2016



10 September 23, 2016


A Texas-Sized Remembrance for a Heart as Big as Texas

Guests of honor cutting the ribbon for the photo exhibit of M.S. Subbulakshmi, from left: Debbie McNulty, Director, Office of Cultural Affairs, City of Houston; Pearland Mayor Thomas J Reid; Indian Consul General Anupam Ray and Houston City Controller Chris Brown, as Dr. Ashok Vasan, Managing Director of Sankara Nethralaya (back) watches.



The quote “You sing like an Angel!!” attributed to Helen Keller so aptly applies to Bharat Ratna M.S. Subbulakshmi, fondly known as “MS Amma” to most of her ardent music fans. This past Saturday, September 17, hundreds of them gathered again to commemorate the MS Centenary at the Asia Society, Texas Center on Southmore with a recital of many of her songs by Carnatic composer and vocalist from Chennai, Padma Bhushan Sudha Raghunathan who was in town for the occasion. The event was co-sponsored by Sankara Nethralaya, the charitable

non-profit eye hospital in India and the Asia Society, Texas Center, coordinated by the Society’s Stephanie Todd Wong and Cori Capetillo. The rasikas (music lovers) were treated to an exhibition of rare photos of moments from MS’ life journey, her musical awards and milestones. The guests of honor for the ribbon cutting of the exhibition were introduced by Sam Kannappan and included the Consul General of India Anupam Ray; Pearland Mayor Thomas J Reid; Heidi Wiess, ED, City of Pearland; Houston City Controller Chris Brown and his wife Divya; Debbie McNulty, Director, Office of Cultural Affairs, City of Houston and Nancy C. Allen, a founder of Asia Soci-

Carnatic composer and vocalist from Chennai, Padma Bhushan Sudha Raghunathan later sang several of MS Amma’s songs.

ety, Texas Center. A short video clip of MS’ recital at the General Assembly Hall in

From left, the guest singer for the evening Sudha Raghunathan; Divya Brown wife of the City Controller; and Nancy C. Allen, a founder of Asia Society, Texas Center at the ribbon cutting.

1966 for the United Nations Day celebration kept the audience spellbound. This was followed by the relating of interesting personal life stories of MS Amma by Anuradha Subramanian and Prabha Bala. Sesh Bala emceed the entire program. Following the exhibition was an enthralling music concert by Sudha Raghunathan who took the audience into the music world of MS. After a spirited Saveri ragam varnam followed by Vadapi Ganapathim in ragam Hamsadwani, Raghunathan started the journey with some evergreen songs of MS like Rangapura Vihara in ragam Brindavana Saranga, in remembrance of the musical legend’s performance at the UN. After successive renditions in

ragams Panthuvarali and Hindolam, Raghunathan presented a soulful Pakala Nilabadi in ragam Karaharapriya and explained the meaning M.S.’s favorite song. The melodious Annamachariar’s Bhavayami Gopalabalam in ragam YamanKalyani took the rasikas to the ethereal world of music. This was followed by MS’ masterpiece Kurai onrum illai in Ragamalika. The simple words of this composition by Rajaji and the soulful rendition by Raghunathan mesmerized the audience. Raghunathan surprised everyone with her last piece Katrinile varum geetham (from the movie “Meera”) which has become a part of MS’ identity.





September 23, 2016

Club 24 – 2nd Annual Yacht Cruise


Pradeep Sulhan, P.C.

Certified Public Accountant 14340 Torrey Chase Blvd. | Suite 110 | Houston, Texas 77014 (281) 583-2993 | (281) 580-8700 | Fax(281) 580-7550 www.sulhancpa.com | pradeep@sulhancpa.com

Over 25 years experience


HOUSTON: Club 24 arranged a

fantastic celebration for its’ members with a 4-hour private cruise around the bustling Keemah boardwalk on Sunday September 11. Fifty-five members of Club 24 attended this special celebration. All the members met at the Star Fleet Terminal and were on board by 4 pm. The cruise took off after a short safety presentation by Captain Adam. The mood was very festive. The professional and very courteous staff of Star Fleet created a very special and memorable event for the members on the waters of Clear Lake. The calm waters, lovely private yachts and the beautiful waterfront houses provided a great backdrop. As the yacht left the harbor, drinks and sumptuous appetizers were served. Traditional Indian snacks such as Samosas, Pav Vada, Thepla and Chevda along with American Crab

Cakes were served. The President of Club 24, Pradeep Gupta addressed the members and acknowledged Manisha Gandhi for organizing this event. He also introduced the new members that have joined Club 24 in recent months. The new members introduced were Anuj and Dina Arya, Vineet and Vinita Gupta, Kaushik Dhar and Poonam Taneja, Raj and Jyoti Malhan, Judge Michael and Mary Grace Landrum. New mem-

bers Bhavesh and Malisha Patel were unable to attend. The members had a chance to really showcase their singing abilities. The Karaoke was kicked off by Rajan, owner of Madras Pavilion followed by Manisha Gandhi. Other enthusiastic members also followed through and the singing continued for approximately 3 hours. The members’ singing talent was amazing. As the yacht headed back to shore, the sunset over the waters was spectacular. Before the cruise ended, dinner was served. The menu consisted of Veg Lasagna, biryani, chicken and paneer masala topped with Gulab Jamun Cheesecake. The catering was done by both Madras Pavilion and Star Fleet. Pradeep Gupta announced the upcoming events for the club which are Diwali celebration and the Family Christmas Party. The yacht docked at about 8 pm to end a festive celebration.

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This year’s Pratham Summer Readathon ten award winning kids with (from left) Manjit Lakhani, Bimla Jain, Manjit Soni, Swatantra Jain and Gabriella Rowe

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The Head of the Village School, Gabriella Rowe received a plaque for the Readathon that she held last year at the school to support Pratham; presented by (from left) Bimla Jain, Manjit Soni and Swatantra Jain


HOUSTON: The youngest kid

in the group, Isshan is just 7, and he was as pleased as punch to get his trophy. His mom, Prashanti Shah had told him that being part of the Pratham Summer Readathon would help kids in India learn, so he went all out and just devoured books all summer long, competing with his older 11-yearold sister Ananya to see who could read more. It turned out that the two raised the most money of the $3,000 that was collected in the Readathon. Manjit Soni couldn’t have been more pleased, since she was the volunteer who undertook the Readathon challenge for the past two years. She had called on 6 kids who live in her neighborhood on the city’s westside and another 4 from the Punjabi School of the Gurdwara Sahib of Southwest

A Texas-Sized Remembrance

Though the song was in praise of Krishna’s flute, the same feeling can easily be extended to MS’ divine voice. The accompanying artists, Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan on the mirdangam (percussion); Rajeev M. on the violin and R. Raman on the morsing (jaw harp) gave strong support in making the entire concert a memorable event. It was an apt tribute to one of India’s most celebrated musical artist and phi-

Houston where Soni volunteers, and they took on the challenge. The premise of the Readathon is pretty simple: kids commit to read a number of books and find sponsors who commit some money, but the idea is to encourage and challenge kids to get in the habit of reading. “This helps to sharpen their skills and sparks the thought process,” said Soni. “It promotes imagination, builds vocabulary and spelling and gets the family together to discuss, spend quality time. It lays the platform for further interaction on various issues.” Last Friday night, September 16, Soni held a little get together to recognize these young readers, “future leaders of Pratham”, she likes to think and hand out the plaques and certificates. Besides Isshan and Ananya, there were Tegh Thind, Sharan Thind, Aseem Misra, Divya Khatri (who received a medal), Ekas Bindra,



lanthropist M.S. Subbulakshmi and a superb program. A short video showcased the work of Sankara Nethralaya in Chennai and highlighted the founder, Dr. S.S. Badrinath’s vision to provide world class eye care to the people in India by adopting the highest standard of care for all, rich and poor. Dr. Ashok Vasan, the Managing Director who also has a home in in Sugar Land, spoke about some of

Divya Khatri, 11, played on the violin before the awards.

Tegh Bindra, Verr Garg and Esha Garg. Divya, 11, has also won state championship in Math and also played a solo violin piece for the occasion. Also in attendance was Gabriella Rowe, the Head of the Village School on Whittington, who moved here from New York City where she had her first contact with Pratham through some parents. Impressed by the program, she held a Readathon last year at the school, organized by Middle School Language teacher Kelly Brauddus, and raised $10,000 for Pratham, with Kaila Doshi, a sixth-grader, raising $500 alone. Soni had invited her to be recognized too with a plaque. There to hand out the medal, trophies, certificates and plaque was Swatantra Jain, the CFO of Pratham USA, a National Board Member and previous President of Pratham’s Houston Chapter. Also to help was Manmeet Lakhani, a benefactor and, along with Soni, a guiding force behind the Punjabi School at GSSWH. And helping Soni was Vaani Gupta, a volunteer who helped get the kids signed up and started. Teaching is close to Soni’s heart. She taught at SIES College in Mumbai, then was in the National Social Service before coming to the US. She taught social studies at Cy-Fair and Alief ISDs and has been a substitute teacher at the Village School since 2014, when she also became the National Readathon Coordinator for Pratham. Encouraged, she is already planning the next Readathon!

the philanthropic work done by Sankara Nethralaya. The Sankara Nethralaya OM Trust, USA is a 501 (c) (3) U.S. registered non-profit organization, for further information contact the trustees, Leela Krishnamurthy at 281-494-9768 or Sam Kannappan at 713-7244399. In honor of its benefactor, M.S.Subbulakshmi, the Trust is planning to establish a chair for music in university in the US and perform 3,000 free eye surgeries.



September 23, 2016

A Happy Beginning for Chinmaya Bala Vihar

Chinmaya Prabha Houston to heartily welcome over a thousand precious young minds to another year of happy learning. Photos: Jayesh Mistry

Manasa Kethireddipalli, a Bala Vihar teacher, presented an engaging multimedia message from Acarya Darshana Nanavaty.


HOUSTON: Every new begin-

ning, particularly in the path of knowledge, has a special aura — a magic that is tangible, and an importance so valuable. Such a special glow was clearly visible on September 11, when Bala Vihar reopened its doors at Chinmaya Prabha Houston to heartily welcome over a thousand precious young minds to another year of happy learning. In the two sessions where both the Sarasvati Nilayam and Smrti Hall were overflowing beyond capacity, the opening ceremony was marked, not just by light-hearted celebration, but also with reflection and devotion. Acarya Sri Gaurang Nanavaty opened the sessions with the leading message for this year’s Bala Vihar. He described how the curiosity and brilliance of the young Balakrishnan Menon took him all the way from his home state of Kerala to the asramas in the Himalayas. After Swami Sivananda kindled the flame of Knowledge in Balan and transformed him into Swami Chinmayananda, Swami Tapovanam, another master teacher who blended loving guidance with firm discipline, cemented the Knowledge of the young swami. While his teachers had lit the lamp of learning, it was up to Pujya Gurudev to continue lighting the lamps of spiritual awareness in millions of hearts. His shining legacy continues to this day in Chinmaya Mission centers worldwide.

Highlighting this purpose of the mission, Acarya Gaurangbhai encouraged all children to learn and question deeply with sincere regularity. He also announced that every child present was going to receive a Chinmaya commemorative coin, donated by CM Kolkata as a special gesture of appreciation for the good work of the Houston Bala Vihar. The ten-rupee coin, released in May 2015 by the Indian government, honors Gurudev’s contribution to our Vedic culture. The coin would be a keepsake to inspire each child to achieve the highest potential. After the Acarya’s address, Manasa Kethireddipalli, a Bala Vihar teacher, presented an engaging multimedia message from Acarya Darshana Nanavaty. She entertained children with a story of a singing yellow pencil which was taught by a shining flashlight to understand how the pencil’s writing glory was powered by God’s presence in it. Capturing the audience’s attention with happily silly songs and colorful messages, Manasa conveyed the deeper message of learning how our happiness comes when we recognize God’s presence in us with the help of the Guru’s guidance. She then guided children to perform a puja to thank God and Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda. It was a joyful sight to watch the hundreds of children emerge out of the Smrti hall and walk to their classrooms with bright smiles after the main assembly. Then, the parents and adults were given a pre-

view of the satsanga theme for the year by Acarya Gaurangbhai. The stage was set for spiritual learning across generations. Just as a painting becomes a masterpiece with the right coordination of colors, the Bala Vihar opening day became another cherished beginning, thanks to the cooperative handiwork of the many teams who carry the glory of Chinmaya Prabha. Hari Om! For more information on Chinmaya Mission Houston and its activities visit www.chinmayahouston.org or Jay Deshmukh 832-541-0059 or Bharati Sutaria 281-933-0233



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September 23, 2016



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18 September 23, 2016 Cease and Disease

Last week, when a 30-year-old Delhi resident lost his life to

malaria, the capital recorded its first death to the disease in five years. Last known, chikungunya had claimed 10 lives in the city, belying the commonly held medical belief that the disease, though extremely debilitating, is not fatal. More than 1,000 cases of chikungunya have been reported from the capital this year, nearly half of them in the first week of September. The capital registered nearly 400 cases of dengue in the first 10 days of September — the disease is known to assume its severest proportions in October. The city has also been struck by a mystery fever, symptomatically like dengue and chikungunya, but testing negative for these mosquitoborne diseases. While vector species are on the rampage, Delhi’s AAP-run government and its lieutenant governor have found another reason to extend their political wrangle. Najeeb Jung blames the capital’s monsoon morbidity on the government’s negligence, while Arvind Kejriwal’s government loudly argues that it can do little with its hands tied. Bogged down by political kerfuffles, the AAP government seems to have lost its committment to urban health issues. The raging viral epidemic exposes the frailties of India’s approach to vector-borne diseases. The country has traditionally relied on mosquito control to check the diseases it carries. Muncipal corporations run campaigns asking people to check breeding of mosquitoes. They also conduct checks at the neighbourhood and household levels and periodically undertake fogging operations. These are clearly not enough. Mosquitoes breed too rapidly and indifferent monitoring by municipal authorities is no match for their fecundity. The health ministry has rejected the French drug and vaccine company Sanofi’s request to waive additional clinical studies required to introduce the dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, in the country. There have been sporadic attempts to develop indigenous vaccines for dengue and chikungunya, but recent outbreaks have not brought a sense of urgency to these efforts. In 2013, the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biology (ICGEB) in Delhi reported success in its attempt to develop a dengue vaccine. The endeavour was lauded in the international press but of late, scientists have been complaining that a fund crunch has stymied their efforts to fast-track the project. The squabbles between the Delhi government and the city’s lieutenant governor, the prevarication over the dengue vaccine and the general failure to develop a concerted strategy to deal with vector-borne diseases become even more glaring in the light of the economic costs of morbidity. A chikungunya patient takes days, even weeks, to recover. Dengue is similarly debilitating. There have been reports of an exodus of workers from Delhi. That does not augur well for a country that aims to scale up GDP growth to 8 per cent over the next y ear. -indianexpress.com


Ahmad Khan Rahimi: Fingers Point to Pakistan as ‘Terroristan’ Again

o no one’s great surprise, the needle of suspicion and inquiry about the radicalization of Ahmad Khan Rahimi, the accused New York bomber, has quickly moved to Pakistan, the motherlode of terrorism worldwide. Initial accounts of Rahimi’s background indicate that his Afghan family emigrated to the United States when he was a kid, he graduated normally from a New Jersey high school, enrolled in a community college to study criminal justice (but did not finish the course), and was actively engaged with the community. Then at some point, he went to Pakistan, a swamp of radical Islam and an epicenter of terrorism that has produced some of the most toxic extremists in history, typically revered as ”heroes” or ”freedom fighters” in Pakistani iconography and its fervid media. Some accounts said Rahami had made three or four long trips to the region, visiting his home country Afghanistan, but staying for the most part in Quetta or Peshawar in Pakistan. However, the Wall Street Journal, quoting US Congressman Albio Sires, said he stayed in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad for about a year. He married a Pakistani woman named Asia (Aasia?) bibi, and he sought Congressman Sires’ help to bring her over on an immigrant visa, an enterprise that was reportedly complicated by the fact that she was pregnant and her passport had expired. Sires said his office made inquiries to the State Department as it would for any constituent. He also recalled one of his staff members complaining that Rahami was ”nasty.” ”He was a type of guy that wanted things done his way,” Sires told WSJ. Evidently, he wasn’t so nasty as a high-schooler. Several accounts said he was a friendly and jovial guy, and the WSJ even unearthed this gem: He got his high-school girlfriend pregnant. All of which begs the question: What is so toxic and poisonous about Pakistan that it turns so many people into raging extremists? Why do so many terrorists emerge from this embarrassing blot on civilization that has

nothing else to give to the world? The answer is fairly obvious to those who study the country (holding their nose for the most part). It is a country that officially and constitutionally prescribes and practices bigotry, hatred, and discrimination against minorities, including Muslim minorities. You can be the most liberal Pakistani (and there are many heroic ones), but to get a Pakistani passport — among other things — you have to sign a declaration saying you do not recognize Ahmadiyyas as Muslims, and other such discriminatory nonsense codified into law. As has been well-chronicled, such poison begins in its school textbooks which describes Hindus, Jews, and others in the most derogatory terms. As a result, most Pakistanis emerge from school with a extremist temperament, their young minds having marinated in bigotry about the ”other.” They call it ”Pakistan studies,” a curriculum designed to provide rationale for an artificial, moth-eaten country confected from the starting alphabet of a few provinces of British India. The word ”Pakistan” itself is meaningless (unlike Punjab, Sind, Balochistan etc). It could well have been called Kapistan. Decades of stewing in extremism (some ascribe its beginning to Zia ul Haq; others trace it back to Ayub Khan or even Jinnah himself) has now brought the country to such a

pass that every time there is a major terrorist attack in the world ( forget Mumbai or Delhi for a moment), Pakistanis immediately check to see if one of theirs is involved. They are seldom disappointed. Actually, they are. Many of them are hardworking immigrants who just want to make a living abroad after bolting from the horror show back home. But their lives and livelihood have been poisoned by the bilious extremist effluents their country has consistently produced over the years. Tune into their television talk shows any time to hear their anchors spew it out ad nauseum. So the chronicles and cast of Pakistan-inspired terrorism across the world, and in the United States in particular, is long and gory. It did not begin with Ahmad Khan Rahimi. Starting with the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 by Ramzi Yousuf, to the killing of CIA personnel outside its Langley headquarters by Mir Aimal Kansi the same year, to 9/11 masterminded by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, to the Times Square attack by Faizal Shahzad, San Bernardino attack by Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the country variously known as Terroristan, Jihadistan, Talibanistan, Alqaedistan etc has a murderous history of nourishing, nurturing, aiding, and abetting terrorists. -timesofindia.com


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



September 23, 2016


The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi - Part 17 Wheels of Independence are Set in Motion


he story thus far….The war in Europe was having an impact in India. The Congress Working Committee found itself unable to accept in its entirety Gandhi’s attitude to the war. In particular, they would not accept his view that the defense of India should not depend on the armed forces. Congress leaders met on several occasions in Gandhi’s room at Sevagram and talked of their desire to start some action. Finally a proposal was put forward that all provincial governments should join with the British authorities in the defense of India, but the British rejected the offer. In September 1940, a meeting of the All-India Congress Committee was held in Bombay. There, as a protest against England’s utter indifference to India’s hopes, it was decided to launch individual civil disobedience against the authorities. It was also decided to hold meetings to protest against British imperialism. At that time such meetings were forbidden. Vinoba Bhave was the first to inaugurate individual satyagraha. He was arrested and so were hundreds of others who followed him. Nehru also was arrested. Within a few months over 30,000 Congressmen were put in jail. Only Gandhi was not imprisoned. He devoted his time to spreading the gospel of truth and nonviolence. In December 1941 the government released all the satyagrahis. Then, in 1942, as the Japanese swept across the Pacific and went through Malaya and Burma, the British began to think of a settlement with India. Japan, it was feared, might even invade India. Even Gandhi began to feel that his pacifism might stand in the way of India’s future. So he made the proposal of a provisional government so that all the resources of India could be added to the government’s side in the struggle against the aggressors. But this proposal was ignored. In March 1942 Churchill announced that the war cabinet had agreed on a plan for India and that Sir Stafford Cripps had agreed to go to India to find out whether the Indian leaders would accept the plan, and whether they would devote all their thought and energy to the defense of

India against Japan. Cripps arrived in Delhi on March 22. He met Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and other important leaders. Cripps promised greater freedom than what had been offered before. He also offered complete freedom after the war, if India wanted it. The leaders would perhaps have accepted this offer if it had come a year earlier, but now it was rejected. The Congress leaders did not want any compromise based on promises. The British did not trust the people of India sufficiently to give them any real power, and so the Indian leaders felt that they could not trust the British to hand over power after the war. In August 1942 the All-India Congress Committee met in Bombay, and was presided over by Maulana Azad. Again the demand to set up a provisional government was made. “We can no longer hold back our people from exercising their will,” Gandhi said. “Nor can we go on eternally submitting to the imperialist policies. The time has come for the English to go. Civil servants, army officers, government officers all of them should quit India.” The “Quit India” resolution was drawn up and passed by the meeting for presentation to the government. Nehru moved the resolution and Sardar Patel seconded it. The resolution also announced the starting of a mass struggle on the widest possible scale. Winding up the meeting, Gandhi said, “I have pledged to the Congress, and the Congress has pledged herself that she will do or die.” The government did not wait for the mass movement to begin. Overnight Gandhi was arrested, as were many other leaders in various parts of India. Gandhi was interned in the Aga Khan’s palace in Poona. Mahadev Desai, Kasturba, Sarojini Naidu and Mirabehn were also taken there. But with the leaders in jail, India did not remain idle. ‘Do or die’ was taken up by the people. There were mass movements everywhere. And there was a great outburst of violence throughout the country. People started destroying government buildings and whatever else they considered to be symbols of British imperialism.

Shortly after his detention in the Aga Khan’s palace Gandhi suffered a grievous bereavement. Mahadev Desai, his faithful and able secretary, died of a heart attack. “Mahadev has lived up to the ‘do or die’ mantra,” Gandhi said. “This sacrifice will only hasten the day of India’s deliverance.” All over India there were strikes and disorder. Lord Linlithgow, the Viceroy, blamed Gandhi for all the turmoil. Gandhi had invited violence, he claimed. In a long series of letters to Lord Linlithgow, Gandhi tried to persuade him to retract this charge against him. Failing in this, Gandhi decided to undertake a fast as “an appeal to the Highest Tribunal” against the unjust charges. Gandhi fasted for 21 days in February, 1943. It was a great ordeal, but he survived the fast. Kasturbai nursed him back to health, but her own health was failing. She suffered two heart attacks. Gandhi tried his best to save her, but Kasturbai grew worse. One day she died quietly in Gandhi’s arms. A few weeks later Gandhi was taken seriously ill with malaria. The Indian people demanded his immediate release and the authorities, believing that he was nearing death, released him. Gandhi was slowly restored to health. The demand for Indian independence had now acquired worldwide interest. Apart from India’s own attitude, America and other countries started pressing Britain to grant freedom to India. But Prime Minister Winston Churchill did not yield to any of these approaches. India had always been the jewel in the British crown, crucial to the Britain’s prosperity. Churchill was the last man to think of giving up India. Two months after Germany’s surrender in May 1945, the Labour Party came into power in Britain and Clement Attlee became the Prime Minister. After the defeat of Japan in August that year, the British government announced that they expected to grant self-rule to India as soon as her internal problems could be solved. This was indeed a victory for India and a victory for the principle of nonviolence. Britain agreed to a planned withdrawal from India in friendship and with no bitterness. All through his life Gandhi had worked for unity between Hindus and Muslims, without much success. There was a large section of nationalist Muslim in the Congress but leaders of the Muslim League were drifting further and further away. Gandhi was not the man to give up hope, however, and he pursued his efforts to bring about a settlement. On the other hand, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, leader of the Muslim League, was hostile to the idea of unity. — To be continued next week



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20 September 23, 2016 Zakir Hussain Commemorates Mahatma Gandhi Birthday at Wortham


OUSTON: Indo-American Association (IAA) brings Zakir Hussain to Wortham Center on Sunday October 2, at 7pm, to commemorate the birthday of India’s Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. The light classical and classical

Sitar concert with Niladri Kumar will feature numbers that Gandhi ji made immortal. Zakir Hussain is a peerless genius of the tabla, the rhythmic heart of Indian classical music. The New York Times calls him “a fear-


some technician but also a whimsical inventor, devoted to exuberant play.” The son of fabled tabla player Ustad Allarakha and descendant of a long line of master musicians, Hussain has devoted decades to becoming a performer whose “virtuosity is barely to be believed” (The Washington Post). Since the passing of Ravi Shankar, Hussain stands alone as India’s greatest classical musician and artistic ambassador to the world. Hussain returns to Houston for this special duo concert with another impeccably-pedigreed superstar: fifth-generation sitar player Niladri Kumar. This young innovator, a member of Hussain’s famed Masters of Percussion, plays with “a silky smoothness that draws gasps of wonder” (London Evening Standard). Though he has become known for cross-genre experimentation with pop, rock, and electronic music, Kumar continues to return to the traditional sounds that form his artistic roots. Ticket Prices: $35 - $105, visit iaahouston. com or call 832.487.7041

Santosh Hegde to Speak at India House One of the founders of recent anti-corruption movement

Santosh Hegde


HOUSTON: Houston Indians have a

rare chance to listen to a Former Supreme Court Justice who has boldly fought against corruption. He put behind bars the most powerful Reddy brothers from Bellari in connection with corrupt mining practices which finally resulted in the resignation of Karnataka’s BJP Chief Minister, Yaddiurappa. Justice Santosh Hegde after retiring from the Supreme Court of India got involved in fighting corruption as Lokayukta. It was during Hegde’s time as Lokayukta (Lokayukta is an institution in each state which has the power to investigate into any corruption charges) Lokayukta became a model for the rest of the states. When BJP government was interfering in his investigation of the corrupt practices in mining operations, he resigned as Lokayukta. Then Advani, a family friend of Hegde requested him to take back the resignation and promised to convince Karnataka Government to extend all help in prosecuting the corrupt. AsAnna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement was coming to the national agenda, Hegde’s involvement as a core group member gave a tremendous boost. Though Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal have been given much credit for the anti-corruption movement, it is the enormous credibility of Justice Santosh Hegde which laid the solid foundation. However later when Kejriwal converted it into political movement, Justice Hedge quietly moved away from it. But he did not stop his anticorruption drive and continued to speak to motivate people to get involved. On one important topic of getting involved in politics, I differ from Justice Hegde. If every one were to keep away from politics as he has done, who will fill the political space in a democracy. Just imagine if only Justice Hedge like his late father K S Hegde has joined the political party and led AAP and not Kejrival. India’s anti-corruption movement today might have been different. Friends of India Studies have organized an event at India House on Thursday, September 29, at 6.15 PM during which Justice Hegde will speak.


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September 23, 2016

Former CG Sanjiv Arora Probed for “Financial Impropriety”

NEW DELHI: An Indian ambas-

sador is under an official probe- a rare event in the foreign service, and even more unusually, the charges are‘lack of integrity’, something senior service members are rarely accused of. The Ministry of External Affairs has started a probe against Sanjiv Arora, India’s ambassador to Qatar, for alleged financial impropriety and ‘lack of integrity’. The charges relate to Arora’s activities as India’s consul general in Houston. The Economic Times has reviewed documents related to the MEA probe. Officials who spoke for this report did not want to be identified. Arora responded to ET’s questions by saying he “was not aware of any financial misappropriation” during his stint in Houston. MEA served a memorandum to Arora on March 22 stating that Arora, as consul general in Houston, generated “fictitious vouchers... with his (Arora’s) approval as the Head of Chancery (HoC)”. Officials said the memo is the firststep in the inquiry process and that the officer’s reply is now being assessed. MEA’s memo also makes the following points against Arora: 1. “Total systemic failure” in the handling of accounts 2. Failure to “exercise supervisory powers and control mechanisms effectively while signing monthly accounts” 3. Disregard of “government accounting rules, instructions and established norms”

Former CG Sanjiv Arora

4. “Lack of integrity” and “deviation from duty” The report added that “the matter needs urgent investigation by the appropriate authorities” and that asof May 2014, a reply was awaited from the MEA. It stated that he “signed routinely without exercising due diligence” and accepted accounts with “glaring errors and approved them for forwarding to MEA.” Arora, a 1984 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, denied any wrongdoing. “I am not aware of any financial misappropriation at Consulate General of India,Houston,during my tenure as consulgeneral from November 2008till July 2012,”Arora told ET inresponse to aquery onthe MEA memo. Earlier, the Comptroller and Auditor General had, in one of its reports, observed there were financial irregularities in India’s Houston consulate. CAG had admonished MEA for this in its 2014 report. It had also said

that an examination of the consulate’s accounts showed “fictitious payment vouchers” of about Rs 2.3 crore ($372,632) and withdrawals worth $362,172 submitted to the MEA. Following this, MEA had sent an internal inquiry team for a thorough check and audit. It was following this detailed process that a probe is now underway, officials told ET. Fluent in Arabic, Arora started his career in Cairo, followed by Jeddah and has served in the Indian missions in Bonn, Colombo, Prague and Houston. Credit: Economic Times Editor’s Note: While in Houston, Arora was embroiled in a controversy over timely issuance of visas and lack of courteous service to people who came to the Consulate. Tempers in the community flared up to such a degree that a community activist, Ramesh Shah, held a silent one-day Gandhian hunger at the VPSS on December 7, 2010. Arora held a Townhall meeting at Rice University on December 8, 2010 to respond to selected questions. IAN followed up with an article with eight suggestions for improvements. Just before Arora left to take his post as Ambassador to Qatar, he supervised the purchase of the present building for the Consulate and moving all the Consulate articles to the new location in November 2011. Many Consular officials and community members have expressed dismay with the building for its lack of public restrooms, difficult access to the lobby and the terrible design of the passport and visa collection area.


A Chance Meeting with the Future Saint Teresa BY RANJANA MARTINEZ

SANANTONIO: I had the privilege

of meeting Mother Teresa when she came to my school, the Holy Cross Convent in Amravati, Maharashtra in 1966. Since I was the school band Captain, Mother Superior asked me to round up as many band members as possible. She asked us to hurriedly get dressed in our band uniform, get our equipment and head for the entrance of the school. “A very important dignitary is coming and we have to give her a warm welcome,” she said. We marched out of the school gates, stood in two lines on either side of the road and waited. We were warming up and practicing the tunes, when there was a flutter, a commotion that she was arriving soon. We started playing “Sarey jahaan se acha” followed by “Yankee Doodle,” as we walked down the road with her. We stopped at the main entrance of the house her congregation built for the abandoned and unwanted babies and adults. “You did this for me?” she asked, very happy. “Yes, Mother,” I replied. “We do this for all the dignitaries who come to our Convent.” “I am not a dignitary,” she said humbly, taking my hand in hers. “Thank you very much. Your uniforms are so nice and colorful and you played beautiful,” she told us girls. Then she turned to me and asked

While she was in boarding school in Amravati, Maharashtra, Ranjana Martinez had a chance meeting with Mother Teresa in 1966. Martinez now lives in San Antonio, Texas.

my name and where I came from. She knew this was a boarding school and we girls came from many cities and states of India. “My name is Ranjana Adhikari and I came from Calcutta,” I replied. “We are five sisters living in the boarding school. My father is in the army and he just got transferred there.” “Oh, I know your mother Meena Adhikari,” Mother said excitedly. “She helps me in my clinic. She is very good with the patients. She asked me to check up on her five daughters when I told her I was going to Holy Cross Convent in Amravati and to open the new building for our Sisters. How are you sisters doing? What are their ages? She will be very




24 September 23, 2016



September 23, 2016


Five Ways Families Can Spend More Time Together During the Busy School Year

he new school year is officially underway, and with it comes a seemingly endless list of priorities to balance. Between homework, extracurricular activities and other commitments and appointments, it can be hard to find a spare moment to catch up with family. But spending quality time with parents and siblings is absolutely essential for kids. Best in Class Education Center, which provides a variety of educational services, also helps parents engage their children to make family time—and learning—fun for the whole family. Here are five ways families can spend more quality time together now that the busy back to school season is in full swing: Eat Dinner Together Gathering around the kitchen or dining room table is one of the easiest ways to make family time part of your daily routine. Eating regular meals together gives parents the opportunity to stay involved in their kids’ lives, and gives children the ability to ask their parents any questions they may have come across at school. Make After School Activities a Priority Spending quality time together isn’t an ac-

tivity that needs to be limited to meal times. Because kids are often involved in multiple extracurricular activities, families can bond by showing their support at competitions, games or events. Find a Common Hobby Whether your family likes to get lost in a good book, explore their artistic and creative sides or

give back to the community through service, there are tons of hobbies that families can take on together. Not only does sharing a hobby carve out specific family time, it also creates a shared interest between parents and kids that can last for years to come. Have a Standing Family Night Planning a consistent game or movie night is another way for families to ensure that quality time is automatically put on their schedules. Weekly or monthly family nights give parents and kids the opportunity to take a break from their normally hectic lives to enjoy one another’s company and relax. Plan a Family Vacation Outside of those standing movie or game nights, families can also spend time together

by planning and then going on a trip. It can be something as simple as a weekend road trip to a neighboring city—getting out of town gives families the opportunity to learn about and experience a new place together. To help your student exceed his or her academics goals, a local resource, Best in Class Education Center, offers a variety of customized, supplemental enrichment courses and tutoring options to ensure your students are equipped with the tools they need this school year. Best in Class Education is targeting the addition of 20 more units in 2016. The state of Texas has been identified as a key state for growth. The current team behind Best in Class is looking for passionate and dedicated individuals to join this premier franchise family and ensure our youth will excel academically. For more information about Best in Class services for your student, or about current franchising opportunities, visit www. bestinclasseducation.com or call toll free at 1.888.683.8108.

A Chance Meeting with the Future Saint Teresa CONTINUED FROM PAGE


happy that I met you.” I told her we were all happy and fine and the youngest sister Ruby was 10 years old, Deepa was 12, Aruna 14, Purnima 15 and I was 16. All this while, Mother held my hands playing with them. I noticed that her hands were hard and rough like a farmer’s hands. I hesitated at first but picked up the courage to ask “Mother, why are your hands so cracked and dry?” Silly me! I was from Northern India and we all used creams to prevent bleeding from chapped, dry skins in winter. Very sweetly she explained “We Sisters are given only two sarees for the whole year and a pair of sandals. We do not use any creams and powders. We use the money for the poor.” I said thank you, hoping I had not offended her. She then said goodbye and headed to the new building. The priests, nuns and other officials were awaiting her arrival to bless and open the home. Later that year, during our holidays in Calcutta, I told my mother about meeting Mother Teresa. My mother smiled and told me that Mother Teresa told her about me, my sisters, the band baja welcome and how happy she was with us. I asked my mother about the clinic. Her face became serious and sad. She said that Mother and her sisters and volunteers would pick up and bring humans who were beyond recognition into their house. “They were so thin and filthy and dying. They looked like dirty rags, like cardboard.” I was confused. “How can they be in such a terrible state?” My mother repeated what Mother explained to her. “The poor people have no place to go but to the streets. They sleep there. When they get sick and cannot move, they lie down on the foot path and get covered with dust and muddy rain water splashed by passing cars. They look like cardboard and pieces of muddy, dirty rags. They get kicked by pedestrians who don’t notice them.” We lived in Fort William at that time and did not notice this area of Calcutta. But my mother always liked to help the needy, the poor and disadvantaged and in doing so, also found Mother Teresa. INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

26 September 23, 2016


September 23, 2016

Foreign Reinsurers May RIL Shares Hit 27-month Set up Shop in India High on Increased Volumes from January 2017: Irdai MUMBAI:

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) will clear applications for new reinsurance companies next month, its chairman T.S. Vijayan said on Friday. “About five-to-six companies have come and I think by January 2017 there should be some players in this market,” Vijayan said while addressing a global insurance summit organized by industry lobby Assocham. “We will be taking a decision in October in the next authority meeting. Then they have to bring capital and start working at it,” he added.

and result in competitive pricing of products, ultimately leading to lower premium rates, said the head of a foreign reinsurance firm on condition of anonymity. In May, Irdai had given the first level of clearance for at least three Indian firms for reinsurance, in addition to large global reinsurers such as Munich Re, Swiss Re, SCOR Re and Hannover Re. This is a preliminary nod and companies have to clear two more levels to start operations. Then, Irdai had also granted clearance to another firm, the Reinsurance Group of America or

Reinsurance is insurance bought by insurers for mitigating risk. At present, state-run GIC Re is the only domestic firm that provides reinsurance to insurance firms. Insurers can now purchase re-insurance from foreign firms such as Swiss Re and Munich Re, but this is costlier. Allowing more firms to start India ops will increase competition

RGA, which will likely be the first company in India to offer reinsurance in the life insurance space. In 2015, following an amendment to the insurance law, foreign reinsurers were allowed to set up branch offices in the country. Later, an Irdai panel recommended allowing more reinsurers specifying eligibility criteria. -livemint.com

Indian Firms’ Foreign Investment Fell 84% in August at $399 Million


MUMBAI: Shares of India’s larg-

est private enterprise Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on Friday hit over 27-month high and gained for the six out of eight trading sessions on the back of higher volumes. In intraday, the stock touched a high of Rs.1,089.50 a share—a level last seen on 11 June 2014 and gained as much as 2.55%. Since 2 September till date, the stock gained over 7.1%. On 1 September, RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani announced the acquisition of 100 million customers for Reliance Jio as the company’s target and aims to cover 2 lakh villages and 18,000 cities/towns by March 2017. With its commercial launch on 5 September, Reliance Jio has extended a free welcome offer on its apps till 31 December. The tariff plans range from Rs.149 to Rs.4,999 per month,

with as much as 75GB data included in the top plan. Reliance Jio also guarantees free domestic voice calls to any network across the country with no charge or deduction of data even after 1 January 2017. On 12 September, the company said it will invest Rs.15,000 crore more in the Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd through an issue of non-cumulative optionally convertible preference shares. RIL has been ranked eighth among top 10 global oil companies, according to a new survey released on 8 September. RIL was ranked eighth this year, improving from 14 position a year ago and being among the top 10 of the 250 global energy businesses in a new survey by ‘Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings 2016’. -livemint.com


Indian firms’ overseas direct investment fell 84% to $399.06 million in August, data from Reserve Bank of India showed. Indian companies had made an investment of $2.47 billion in the markets abroad during the same period last year. Compared to July this year, direct investments in August were down by 82.6%. The investments were in the form of issuance of guarantees ($97.14 million), loans ($146.36 million) and equity ($155.56 million). Palava Dwellers Pvt. Ltd was among the biggest investors, which invested 21.75 million in its wholly owned subsidiaries in Jersey, Mauritius and The Netherlands. WNS Global Services invested $15.35 million in a joint venture in the UK, General Insurance Corp. infused $11.9 million in a wholly owned business in South Africa and Bharat PetroResources spent $15.15 million in a fully owned unit in the Netherlands. Crompton Greaves invested $19.39 million in its joint venture in the Netherlands. -livemint.com


28 September 23, 2016

The Sleepy Girl Who Woke up a Generation SPORTS SHASHANK KISHORE

HYDERABAD: As an eight-year-

old, Mithali loved to sleep in. To prevent such lazy habits from setting in, her father, Dorai Raj, a retired Air Force sergeant, dragged her along to her brother’s cricket coaching sessions at St John’s Academy in Secunderabad. Mithali would sit by the boundary and finish her homework. Once she was finished, the restless girl would sometimes pick up a bat and hit a dozen balls along the ground as far as she could. Her casual hitting impressed the coach, Jyothi Prasad, a former first-class cricketer. Mithali’s swift movements to drive the ball - a step forward before the bat came down in an arc - convinced him that she had potential. Now, along with Jhulan Goswami, she is the last link between two very different eras of Indian women’s cricket - one that played the amateur game, fuelled mostly by their passion, and today’s generation, who can expect to have professional cricket careers, feature in television ads and get T20 franchise deals. In December 1997, India hosted a successful Women’s World Cup, with about 45,000 reportedly attending the final between Australia and England at Eden Gardens. But the Indian team did not play a single international match for over a year after that. The game was stagnating and steadily losing players, disillusioned by the lack of money, opportunities and recognition. Amid the doom and gloom arrived Mithali, sprightly and ferociously talented. On her international debut, against Ireland in Milton Keynes in 1999 - India’s first match since the World Cup - she made an unbeaten 114. And although she scored a fifty in her next Test, Mithali’s true test came on the tour of England later that year. She made 214 in Taunton, then the highest individual Test score in women’s cricket. Those at the ground were mesmerised not by the runs but the manner in which she made them. Senior players, who had seen her come to India’s preparatory camp for the World Cup in 1997 as an unhappy and

The Taunton double-hundred in 2002 cemented Mithali’s reputation as a formidable batsman

lonely 14-year old, were awestruck by the confidence of her strokeplay. “How could a puny little girl have strength like that?” thought those who then watched her evolve into a worldclass batsman. Mithali insists she has never again been in the same batting zone that she was in on that cold day in Taunton. For all her precocious talent - Mithali was inducted into the Andhra state team for her first senior nationals in 1995, as a 13-year old, having scored heavily in Under-16 and U-19 matches - batting on a green-tinged surface against a strong England side must have been a daunting task? Not for someone who had the tough initiation Mithali had - much against her wishes. On Jyothi Prasad’s recommendation, Dorai Raj enrolled his daughter to train under Sampath Kumar, the head coach of Hyderabad’s two agegroup teams. Sampath saw Mithali bat and told her father, “I want the complete trust of you and your wife. I want blind support. I will make

Mithali play for the country by the time she’s 14.” Dorai Raj was not convinced. “I told my wife he was bluffing. It seemed unrealistic.” Sampath’s logic was to aim for the stars and hit the moon. If Mithali missed selection at 14, he felt she would make it by 16. “He didn’t want to set the bar too low,” explains Leela, Mithali’s mother. “He didn’t want her to get lost amid the academics maze, because back then there was either a career in engineering or medicine. Even if there were other options, our typical South Indian ideology didn’t allow us to explore them.” So rigorous was her cricket coaching that Mithali, barely ten, had to make the difficult decision to give up Bharatnatyam. “Dance was my personal passion, but the level of cricket I had reached meant I had to understand my priorities,” Mithali says. “My parents invested a lot more time in making me a cricketer than a dancer, so I had to choose cricket.” “They didn’t give me an idea that there had to be a Plan B. They trained

me like a racehorse. I wasn’t allowed to see right or left, so I didn’t have to deal with negativity, jealousy, insecurities or peer pressure. I didn’t have proper relationships with my cousins, because I didn’t attend family gatherings, for cricket’s sake. Even today I’m not as close to my cousins as I am to my team-mates. I missed out on school excursions, school days, so yes, I have missed a lot of things.” And Mithali’s training regimen only got tougher. Sampath made her practise hitting straight in the narrow corridors of her school. “Sir used to hit me with a stick if the ball touched the walls,” she says, grinning at the memory today. She would practise middling the ball with a stump, try to pierce the gaps on a field arranged with cones, and perform catching drills with stones so that she could get at the ball with soft hands. “Sometimes her coach made her train even after sunset,” Leela says. “From 6pm to 8pm, at times. His reason was that in this light if she can watch the ball well, just imagine how well she’ll fare when it’s bright and sunny. By 2003 it was impossible to name an Indian XI without Mithali. Which meant a captaincy offer wasn’t far off. When she finally became captain, Mithali took India to their first World Cup final, in 2005, after scoring an unbeaten 91 in the semi-final against New Zealand - an innings she rates at par with her Test double-century. India lost the final to Australia, but nearly 30 years after they had started playing international women’s cricket, a benchmark was set. A bright future beckoned. But after nearly 17 years of topflight cricket, Mithali is finally thinking of life after the game. “My aim two years back was the 2017 World Cup because we didn’t do well at home in the 2013 [World Cup]. I felt I should leave when the team isn’t dependent on me as player or captain or senior player. Seeing the fitness that I have at the moment, I see myself playing for two to three years.” Shashank Kishore is a senior subeditor at ESPNcricinfo. -espncricinfo.com


Domestic Structure Behind ODI Failings - Misbah BY UMAR FAROOQ

PAKISTAN: Pakistan Test cap-

tain Misbah-ul-Haq has identified the paucity of 50-over cricket at domestic level as the main cause of the team’s current ODI struggles. Pakistan’s domestic structure has undergone several changes in recent years and Misbah said the one-day game has been getting the short shrift. “While a Pakistani domestic cricketer may play at least ten to twenty first-class matches a season, he doesn’t get the same match practice in the 50-over format,” Misbah told ESPNcricinfo. “I have long been saying that we need to lay greater emphasis on one-day cricket in our domestic system, and play more one-day games, because you can’t evolve by playing a maximum of five 50-over matches a year in the domestic circuit.” While Pakistan are the No. 1 Test team in the world, they languish at No. 9 in the ODI rankings. Misbah was clear the discrepancy in the team’s fortunes was due to lack of exposure, and not talent. “We have just one fifty-over tournament and the format is not even played at club level anymore,” he said. “Most of the cricket at grassroots level is 20 to 25 overs; this is one big reason that our ODI cricket has deteriorated and we are standing at No. 9. We needed and still need to develop our resources and we can only do so by increasing the number of games in our domestic tournament. The reason we are on top in Tests is because our players are getting enough games and exposure at domestic level. That is the only reason I see. “Otherwise, these players are talented and they have shown glimpses of their flair, though not consistently. So this talent needs to be nurtured by giving them more games at domestic level. Exposure to a lot of competitive cricket will enable them to polish their skills.” Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent. -espncricinfo.com



September 23, 2016


Free Concert at Rice University on 9/24: Celebrate 24 Years of Rice Radio’s Navrang Show munity with her fortitude, simplicity and modesty. The ‘Fantasy of Exotic Drums’ concert showcases: Ajay Subramanian, Ali Tarkesh Esfahani, Anindita Ray, Biplab Samadder, Dholi Toki Singh, Jasmeeta Singh, Justin Lasiewicz, Krishna Sharma, Matt Legg, Neethi Nayak, Raja


OUSTON: KTRU Rice radio turns 50 this year and its most admired specialty show Navrang celebrates 24 years. Indian music on mainstream American network resonates with the progressive and innovative feature of Rice University’s, Rice radio’s ethos. Broadcasting Indian music on mainstream media with other music genres offered Houston’s eclectic music lovers an exclusive opportunity to satiate their exotic music taste at home. Navrang - the nine colors or nine emotions of Indian music is a household name among Houston’s elite American audience. Rice radio presents a South Asian music concert “Fantasy of Exotic Drums - Tala Mahotsav” on Saturday, September 24, 5-7pm, Grand Hall, Rice University. Doors open at 4:30pm. This is a free concert

Banga, Saugat Aryal, Sunit Pradhan and artists from Panchari Arts Forum, ISKCON Houston and the Tagore Society of Houston Youth Symphony. GrandsponsorsareISKCONHouston, Discount Power, Jugal Malani and Deep Foods. Other sponsors are

Imagine A Museum, Heartfulness, Sewa International, India Culture Center, Daya, West University Area Democratic Club, Britannia, Hindus of Greater Houston, Indian American Cancer Network and the Gujarati Samaj of Houston.

with free parking at West Lot 1 and is open to all. Meet and Greet with artists is from 7-8pm. Interaction with the artists will be hosted with free Indian Vegetarian food provided by ISKCON Houston. The Guests of Honor are classical music composer and Rice University faculty Karim Al-Zand and Avant-Garde Musician SPIKE the Percussionist. The vision to offer a platform to talented local artists is Rice radio’s Navrang show director, Varsha Vakil’s forte. Varsha joined Rice radio in 2008 and has worked diligently towards South Asian artists to receive the much needed platform especially to reach the mainstream American audience. Varsha’s perseverance and sincere efforts are greatly applauded by Houston’s artists. She has made a name among the South Asian com-

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30 September 23, 2016


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32 September 23, 2016


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 September 27, 2016. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036. Send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published (for first three entrees only & 1 submission per month).

PUZZLES / RECIPES Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Gajjar Mutter (Sauteed Carrots And Peas)

Solution Next Week

Punjabis loves carrots in several

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ways: as a sabzi (dish) with mutter (peas) or methi (fenugreek) or wadiyan (spiced dumplings); stuffing in paranthas or sweet as in halwa (pudding) or even in achaar (pickle). In North India, carrots can be found in many colors and shapes, mostly black, red, orange and white, each of which have their own taste and cooking methods. For example, with black carrots, you can make kanji, a fermented drink made for the festival of Holi. We have all heard that carrots are good for your vision since they have a lot of Vitamin A. They also contain almost no starch but have 7 per cent free sugars, which make them high in calories. People frequently drink carrot juice but it’s not a very good option for diabetics as it gets converted to glucose very quickly and can cause a spike in the blood sugar. But carrots are very nutritious in many other ways and can be eaten in moderation. As a Punjabi dish, carrots are not usually cooked alone; there is always an accompanying ingredient to balance out their sweet taste, as well as the right blend of spices. One of the most common accompaniments are mutter (peas) which are used in many Indian dishes in one form or the other as a complement, 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). This gajjar mutter dish is sautéed with no sauce, so a nice curry dish would make a good complement for a meal.

Ingredients: • • • • • • •

500 gm gajjar (carrots) 200 gm mutter (green peas) – frozen or fresh 1 large 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 2 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper), haldi (turmeric), dhania (coriander) powder, garam masala

Directions: 1. Peel the carrots, cut off the tips and stalks and chop into 2 cm wide disks. You can also cut into short stems if you like, but the chips have less sharp edges. Place in a wide bowl, wash them and let them soak in cold water. 2. If the peas are fresh, shell them, wash and place in a separate bowl in

cold water. If the peas are frozen, then let them thaw out first before using. 3. Prepare the masala in a medium saucepan. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat, then add the onions, ginger, coriander and garlic. Stir well to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. When the mixture is slightly brown, add the salt, pepper and haldi and stir well. 4. Drain the water from the cut carrots and the peas and throw them into the masala. Stir well to coat for 2 minutes over medium heat. Cover and let the carrots cook for 5 minutes. If the peas are fresh, then let them cook a little longer. 5. Check to see if the carrots and peas have become tender, stir and let cook for another 5 minutes over low heat. 6. Stir and leave uncovered for a few minutes. Before serving, garnish the dish with garam masala.

Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the oldfashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur (since renamed Faisalabad), India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her late-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable recipes.


One of the main co mplaints about cook ing is the preparatio and especially for n it takes, Indian vegetarian dishes which requir and cutting many e cleaning vegetables and ing redients. Often, m will resort to using any people powdered herbs an d spices in order to but what they miss save time, is the natural arom as and flavors that ingredients bring. the fresh So, it is best to have some of these item s ready ahead of tim you do have some e, when spare time. Ginger is one of the must Indian food and fre spices for sh roots are readily available at many sto you have time, peel res. When and cut the ginger in small pieces and covered container store it in a in the fridge. That wa y, whenever you are you have fresh gin cooking, ger available for the dish.

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September 23, 2016



RAAZ REBOOT Amitabh Bachchan is Still the Only Boss Around This mystery is better left unsolved by a super intense Piyush Mishra. Vijay Verma, who plays Angad Two cars are moving in two dif-

ferent directions. Each has three passengers - the first one has girls and the second is being driven by boys. One of the boys is bleeding and the girls look tense. Meenal Arora (Taapsee Pannu), Falak Ali (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea Tariang (Andrea Tariang) are working women living in a posh south Delhi locality. Their daily struggle with neighbours’ questioning eyes has made them brave and ready for tougher challenges. They meet Raajveer Singh (Angad Bedi) and his friends at a rock concert which ends when Raajveer gets hit by a bottle and starts bleeding. Raajveer is rich, highly educated and well connected. He decides to seek vengeance on the girls. A war between the genders starts and the police, society, parents, judiciary and everyone else become a party. There aren’t any of the usual jazzy Bollywood criminals here yet you feel terrified. No dramatic sounds to enhance the mood, still you want to hear it. No dim lights, but you want to look away. Pink sketches a similar picture of a tony south Delhi. Pretension, ego, sense of male superiority and skewed ideas of perfect womanhood make it complicated, intriguing, disgusting and disturbing. But, we have seen this happening around us in real life. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise when the police arrest Meenal under

Section 307 IPC, attempt to murder. Who cares if she did it in self-defence! Nobody knows what happened that fateful night. A woman investigative officer doesn’t help either. After all, she too is a part of this society. But, a well-intentioned man is yet to enter the game and could change it for the girls. Once a successful lawyer, Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan) had to hang his boots because of a deteriorating mental condition. Sehgal returns to the courtroom for one last time. Bachchan gives it all and drives his points home with such force that you fall in love with him all over again. The master’s complete dominance silences the courtroom and the audience. Kirti takes it to a whole new level in the finale. The girls have shown a tremendous range and Pink belongs to them. Nobody has overshadowed them, not even Bachchan or a shrewd lawyer Prashant, played

Bedi’s friend Ankit in the film, also leaves his mark and shows a lot of promise in a cameo. Attention to detail is visible in the screenplay. Scenes keep changing at a rapid pace without being preachy. It’s about every woman living in this egoistically twisted man’s world. It’s about parents, brothers and husbands worried about their loved ones’ safety. Pink shows what meticulous planning can do to a film. And, of course, Amitabh Bachchan’s enigmatic persona will guide you through the darkness. Not to be missed at all. -hindustantimes.com

Lata Mangeshkar September 28, 1929

Ranbir Kapoor September 28, 1982

Happily married couple - Rihaan

(Gaurav) and Shaina (Kriti) move into a heritage hotel like property in Romania and call it their home. Trouble beckons as the wife starts feeling the existence of an evil entity in their haunted house. Her deadpan banker hubby refuses to believe her, while her ex beau Aditya (Emraan Hashmi) acts supportive. He also hints that the demonic spirit seeks revenge from Rihaan and not her. What’s the big Raaz that the husband’s been hiding from his wife? Since it’s the fourth instalment of the Raaz franchise, it’s obvious that the story is in the same vein as the first starring Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea. But this one has zero scares and newbies who make Bipasha and Dino look like ‘actors’. Of course, a brooding Emraan and the beautiful melancholic song that follows him, manage to entertain you for a while. The highlight of the film however, is the demon asking Rihaan to f*** off. His F bomb chant takes the cake. Given the awkward setting, it’s strangely

hilarious. You pretty much share the ghost’s sentiments, when it comes to the hackneyed plot. Doors keep slamming on their own, strange whispers keep echoing throughout and the girl sees horrific things but none of it disturbs you, let alone be worried. Also since it’s a reboot, a twist in the tale is guaranteed. You can see it from a mile away, something our ‘clever’ heroine fails to gauge till the end. The dialogues and overall sensibility are equally cheesy. The film implies that ‘Pyaar hi Bhagwan hai’ and that Mangal sutra can act as a suraksha kavach for a woman. There’s also a blind man who knows ‘psychometry’ - the power of touching things, feeling them and understanding their energy. “Two mouths! She has been possessed by an evil spirit,” he screams in disbelief as he studies Shaina’s mug. Tsk tsk. This overstretched drama is way too cliched and soppy to hold your interest but it does amuse you in its own unique ways. -timesofindia.indiatimes.com


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