E newspaper 10142016

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Friday, October 14, 2016 | Vol. 35, No. 42

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Indo American erican News

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At the Akshaya Patra Gala, from right, Manisha Gandhi, Alyona and Sanjeev Kapoor, Omi Vaidya, Emily Rosenbaum and Vandana Tilak.

Magical Spectacular of Ram Leela P10 From Left: Amee Patel (President, GSH), Himesh Gandhi ( Sugar Land Mayor Pro Tem), Yogesh Patel (Election Officer, GSH), and Rakesh Shah ( Vice-President, GSH) at the Navratri 2016 celebrations by Gujarati Samaj of Houston (GSH) on Saturday, October 8 at the Houston Farm and Ranch.

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COMMUNITY

October 14, 2016

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Kusum Sharma’s Ramleela Reverberates a Quiet Sunday Afternoon BY VANSHIKA VIPIN

HOUSTON: Over the period of

years Ram Leela has evolved into a highly venerated art form having traveled to far corners of the globe, through Indian Diaspora, not as an act of cultural recovery but as fresh expressions of a persistent faith. Last Sunday, October 9, Houstonians witnessed an awe-inspiring regal dramatic folk re-enactment of the life of Rama at the VPSS Haveli. It was the 12th Annual Ram Leela, presented by Kusum Sharma’s Shri Natraj School of Dance, in association with Kalakriti Performing Arts. Kusum Sharma the backbone of this mega event specializes in Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Folk, Western, Bollywood Dance & Theater, and Drama Acting. In the past years, apart from Ram Leela, Kusum has produced sucessful mythological and contemporary dramas like Mughal-E-Azam, Krishna Leela, Meera and Sunder Kand, amidst a repetition of enthusiastic applauses. The extravagant drama began at 3 pm and within minutes the venue was completely packed with the audience. The event began with Abha Dwivedi entertaining the audience in her unique humorous form and some shayaris. She introduced Kalakriti Performing Arts and Kusum Sharma and then proceeded to invite all the dignitaries on stage for the yearly lamp lightening ceremony. The wait was finally over and the dramatic visual delight began in its distinctive style. The journey from Baalkand, Ayodhya Kand, Aranya Kand, Kishkinda Kand, Sundar Kand, Lanka Kand, Uttara Kand along with the synchronized melodious Ram bhajans, exquisite dance sequences, special effects, and extravagant set decors brought each character to life. Each scene was beautifully narrated in the most visually appealing and creative format, something that had to be experienced. One of the most mesmerizing and appreciated scenes was the Panchvati depiction, where Ram and Sita were shown settling down during their Vanvas. Vipin Sharma enacted the role of Ram while Kusum Sharma performed her best in the role of Sita. Ratnakar Modekrutti played the role of Laxman, Ravan was enacted by Hari Sriram, and Dasaratha by Bud Patel. Community leaders like Girish Naik, Achalesh

Amar and Dharminder Dargan were sporting enough to participate as Kumbhkaran, Angad and Hanuman respectively. Though all characters had something special about them, the cutest of them all were the two characters introduced for the first time, baby Ram and baby Sita. The audiences were seen shedding a tear or two during an emotional scene when Sita persuades Ram to take her along to the jungle. The importance of patni dharam was revived with this melodrama. The illuminated lakshman rekha and the hilariously chuckle some scene where Kumbkaran was to be woken up were some of the new additions. The three hour non-stop show was captivating enough and left the audiences spellbound. Exemplary decor, perfect lights & sound effects beautified each and every scene and bought them to life. UV lights used on the clothes during the act of Shiv Tandav Stotram left the audiences gripped. Some other thrilling moments were the fast paced Hanuman Chalisa and the aerial demonstration during the scenes of Panchavati and the famous Sita saving scene of Jatayu. Audiences were left charmed and amazed with the special effects, rigging,

aerials, fire jugglers, props and digital displays. The event was sponsored and attended by several community leaders who proudly support Indian culture, its heritage and this brand of Ram Leela. I have attended Kusum Sharma’s Ram Leela since the year 2010. Each time before the show, I wonder how much can the story of Lord Ram change or be presented in a new way. But each year, Kusum Sharma has amazed me with a fresh new approach and her unique way of presentation. New elements are added to each year’s show and that is what makes it interesting and worth coming back for. Kusum’s experiment with the format of Ramleela has evolved over the years. A large portion of this year’s Ram Leela was in English. A spot survey done after the show revealed that the English dialogues were much appreciated by the younger generation. All these truly reflect Kusum’s passion and dedication towards each show that she drives. In an exclusive conversation with Kusum Sharma, when asked about her thoughts on Ram Leela in Houston and what inspires her to present it each year. Sporting her pretty smile, Kusum mentioned, “The life of lord Rama

Photos: Anusha Rajagopalan & Dhawal Nashikkar

teaches us that the most beautiful people are the ones who have faced defeat, suffering, struggle and loss, and yet have found their way out. These people have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life. This is what fills their lives with compassion and love, and Maryada Purushotam Ram was full of it. In the coming years, we will continue to highlight various stages of Rama’s life, as a message of hope and faith for the entire community to learn and inspire from”. A special note from Kusum and Vipin Sharma, who would like to take this opportunity to thank all their sponsors for their continuous

support and guidance, the magical troupe of 170+ performers and volunteers who sacrificed their personal lives to bring this grand event to the community. A special vote of thanks to Alings Hakka, Mandap Creations, Divine Decor, Deep Foods and Shiv Shakti temple. Thanks to the media partners Indo-American News, Masala Radio, Hum Tum Desi.com and TV Asia for their coverage of Kusum Sharma’s Ramleela 2016. For further information, sponsorship & volunteering contact Kusum Sharma at info@kalakritiusa.org or visit www.kalakritiusa.org and www.ramleelahouston.org.

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COMMUNITY

October 14, 2016

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Yes, Feed Their Minds, … but not on a Hungry Stomach

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

SUGAR LAND: It’s a pretty sim-

ple notion, one that was implemented by the British in the Madras Corporation in 1925 and by the French in the Union Territory of Pondicherry in 1930: provide a mid-day meal to children in school so that they could better concentrate their minds on studying on a full stomach and also have the nutrition that they lacked in their impoverished homes. The state government of Tamilnadu pioneered the same program years later in 1962. By 1998, it was implemented across India and in 2001 the Supreme Court mandated that government-assisted primary schools provide cooked midday meals. But the reality of implementing it has been a lot harder, as many schools struggled with producing the nutritious meals that were required. Into this vacuum came Akshaya Patra, now a 16 year-old NGO, which has grown to today feeding 1.6 million students in 13,210 schools each day through 26 kitchens across 11 states. The non-profit is able to do so through a well-managed program of cooking food in a hygienic, clean efficient centralized kitchen and then delivering it across town in trucks outfitted to keep the items hot. The AP story has become so well-known in India that many state governments – like Gujarat – have asked for the NGO to step in and take over their midday meal operations. The size and logistics of the work is staggering and could only be achieved through a product delivery system that is computerized and constantly monitored. Apart from that, there is a constant need to supplement the money provided by local governments and Indian charities as well as funds donated from overseas well-wishers through the Akshaya Patra USA foundation based in Stoneham, Massachusetts which has 18 chapters across the country. The Houston Chapter has been run for the past two years by Manisha Gandhi, the Regional Director

Indian TV Chef and star of the popular longest running cooking TV show Khana Khazana, Sanjeev Kapoor shared his experiences growing up and what prompted him to become a chef. Photos: Navin Mediwala

Helping run the live auction, from left, Akshaya Patra USA CEO Emily Rosenbaum, emcee Omi Vaidya and Manisha Gandhi, the Regional Director of Development.

of Development, who is also the TV Asia Correspondent and a well-known local activist in the Bayou City. She has also been instrumental in starting the chapter in Atlanta and doing fundraisers in Tampa and other cities too. Gandhi organized this year’s Houston Gala at the Marriott Hotel in Town Center, Sugar Land on Friday, October 7 to which over 350 people came and contributed to raise $150,000. Gandhi was assisted in organizing the Gala by a host committee of area notables: Surinder and Lalita Trehan; Dr. Vivek and Madhavi Kavadi; Bimla and Swatantra Jain; Mani and Anuradha Subramanian; Amit and Arpita Bhandari; Bal and Rita Sareen and Raman and Savita Das. Additionally, area businesses Karat 22, Sehgal Diamonds, Cox and Kings (Kerala Package) and Deep Foods were sponsors of the live auction items. The food for the evening was catered by

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Bhojan restaurant, whose owner Haren Mathuria also attended. The key draws for the Gala were emcee Omi Vaidya, of the Bollywood movie Three Idiots fame and Indian TV Chef and star of the popular longest running cooking TV show Khana Khazana, Sanjeev Kapoor. Vaidya joked about being born and raised in LA, his one-hit movie and spun off other Bollywood star stories and helped run the auction. Gandhi described her visit to an AP kitchen in Jaipur and being touched by the kids at the school she visited. Indian Consul General Anupam Ray and his wife Amit stayed briefly, enough for Ray to laud AP for its work noting that the World Bank’s recent report stated that more people have been pulled out of poverty in India and China than any other time in history. He ended by declaring that “Akshaya Patra is also about fulfilling spiritual needs.” A group of dancers from Rathna Kumar’s Anjali Performing Arts Center performed two colorful and intricate classical dances. And finally, Sanjeev Kapoor strode onstage in his Modi jacket and started off talking about food within the Indian reference and what prompted him to become a chef. “I didn’t know anyone who

cooked and didn’t enjoy cooking as a child,” he said. “But growing up, I wanted to help support my family and at 17, I got an internship and with the money I got, I bought my mother a washing machine.” He noted that little kids don’t always get as lucky as he did but through AP, he felt that kids were getting a chance to get ahead, “and we must make sure to maximize these steps.” Akshaya Patra USA CEO Emily Rosenbaum was on hand also, as she was last year, and she showed slides from her trip to India, stating that in August, AP had served its 2 billionth meal, to great applause. She then described how children were being forced into the labor market in India, though 30% of them were malnourished and elaborated in great detail about AP’s work and how much more there was to be done. Vandana Tilak of the National Board of directors also described her experiences. Gandhi thanked everyone and said she was “honored in being part of this noble cause. Houston’s raised funds will provide meals for 10,000 children for an entire year!” adding that “Chef Kapoor and Omi Vaidya were truly amazing, we were lucky to have them here!”

A dancer from Rathna Kumar’s Anjali Performing Arts Center performed an intricate yet delicate classical dances balancing on a brass plate with a full lotta of water on her head.

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COMMUNITY

GSH Navratri Mahotsav 2016

BY PRIYA CHOKSHI-THAKKAR

HOUSTON: The Gujarati Sa-

maj of Houston (GSH) has done it again. Under the leadership of President Amee Patel and VicePresident Rakesh Shah, the entire committee and Board of Trustees planned a grand event for Navratri Mahotsav 2016. Friday and Saturday Garbas were held at an outdoor venue – Houston Farm and Ranch, and weekday Garba was held at the Arabia Shrine Center. In spite of Navratri celebrations in 11 different locations in Houston, GSH managed to draw record crowds on both weekends, especially the last Saturday. Responding to feedback that the ground was “too uneven” two years ago when GSH held Navratri at Houston Farm and Ranch the first time, organizers took-on the difficult task of laying an artificial AstroTurf on the floor of the arena. President Amee Patel mentioned it was a huge challenge and an added expense, but the entire team worked tirelessly for two days to make sure that the turf was laiddown in time for the celebrations. Aside from the vibrant green AstroTurf, traditional décor and tents by “Tent Couture” provided a festive ambiance for the entire event. The weather was perfect and the outdoor venue made for a spectac-

ular place for families and friends to gather and enjoy traditional garba-raas. The GSH partnered with several vendors to provide an array of cultural food, kid’s activities and phenomenal music. A seven-member band known as ‘Seven Star Group’ with lead singer Garima Khiste of “THE VOICE India,” had an entire crowd swaying to their tunes until the wee hours of the morning. “I have never seen anything like this before. This event is amazing, and it makes me proud to be a part of the Gujarati Samaj,” said Sugar Land Pro Temp Mayor Himesh Gandhi when taking the stage to address a crowd of more than 4,000 Houstonians. President Amee Patel said, “We put in a lot of effort to try and provide an ‘out-

of-this-world’ experience to Houstonians and involve the youth of the community to join our team for future events. We can only hope that our efforts have shown, and that everyone enjoyed the festivities as much as we enjoyed putting them on.” Every minute detail was taken into consideration while planning for this grand event. The team even hired a professional photographer, Connor Cleveland, who recorded the event with a camera mounted on a drone. The event was also covered nationally by TV Asia. Gautam Jani, Asit Patel, Chayya Studios and Connor Cleveland took professional pictures of the event. The GSH recognizes and would like to thank the many sponsors

and food vendors who showed support by contributing time and effort towards the event. House of Spices, Discount Power, Aling’s Hakka, and Amir Ali Dodhia with New York Life Insurance were the grand sponsors for the event. Ansh Labs, Gold Key Construction, Gold Star and Masala Munchies were the Silver Sponsors. Chemmanur Jewelers awarded gold coins for first-place winners in several categories. The weekend venue also hosted a number of food vendors, so that attendees could savor delicacies from a variety of Indian cuisines. Chowaptty Express, Kwality Ice Cream, Harry Tea and Snacks, Bombay to Beijing, Balaji Bhavan and Devanshi Catering were among a few

of the delicious food options. The next big event that Gujarati Samaj of Houston is hosting is Diwali Dinner on November 4, 2016 at the Arabia Shrine Center and New Year’s Eve Party on December 31, at the Arabia Shrine Center. With a fabulous Navratri event under their belt, we look forward to attending these upcoming events to see what the Samaj has in store for us. As for the annual Navratri elections, this year was a record year! Since there was only one nomination President and Vice-President, both Amee Patel and Girish Naik, respectively, were elected uncontested for the next two years. We

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COMMUNITY

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October 14, 2016

Open Mic Night at India House

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ber 1, India House and GlobalDesis jointly organized a very successful and entertaining Open Mic Night for Houston audience, a musical performance from GlobalDesis group. This was second Open Mic Night hosted at India House. This event saw some changes from the last one based on audience feedback. This time, all participants had to go through auditions and 10 selected performers were given a chance to sing on the stage. Top three performers were awarded by India House. After dinner during social hour, event started with performance by a young child, Tanvi Gupta followed by her sister Riya Gupta. There were some amazing performances from the audience on songs like Saiyaan, Dil Hoom

Hoom Kare, Katiya Karun, Mai Tenu Samjhanwa and many more. GlobalDesis members- Ravi Boddu, Padma Iyengar, Sankalp Srivastava and Maumita Chaudhury enthralled the audience with some melodious songs. To add variety, dance performances were included this time. Odissi Academy performed on classical Odissi music and Ambica Agarwal performed with her young kids on ‘Maiya Yashoda’. Judges of the evening Shah, Neera Vipin and Sankalp adjudged Tanvi Sinha the winner, Debrupa Mukherjee as runners up and Nilesh as second runners up. Host of the evening was Col. Vipin Kumar, Executive Director of India House who kept the audience engaged with his jokes and one liners. The whole event was

conceptualized by Sankalp, Founder of GlobalDesis Musical Group. A big thank you to the sponsors of the event Discount Powers, Madras Pavilion and Deep Foods. India House and GlobalDesis are planning to take this event to a bigger level and hoping to see larger participation from Houston audience. For any queries related to the event contact India House at 713-929-1900 or Sankalp at 281-726-2063. Visit www.indiahouseinc.org for details of the programs and services being offered by India House.

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Friendly TV Chef Kapoor Gives Lessons at the Home Hearth BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

SUGAR LAND: Not only did

he come fully prepared to demonstrate how to make some dishes for the invited crowd of admirers who have seen him countless times on cable TV, he was completely at ease cracking jokes in Hindi and English and used his Facebook page to do a post live from his cell phone as he described what he was cooking. “So do you know what this is?” he asked as they looked quizzically at the bowl of chopped yellow pieces. “Anyone? … its yellow tomatoes!” he declared. “To go with the color of the mangoes and to use with the cubes of paneer slightly browned in butter.” To loud exclamations from the crowd hanging over the kitchen counter, he gleefully mixed the tomatoes in, added spices and said, “that’s how we make butter mango paneer!” This was internationally acclaimed Indian Chef Sanjeev Kapoor of the longest running cooking TV show Khana Khazana, enjoying a day in front of his fans and cooking up a few dishes that everyone sampled. He showed them how to make vegetarian Indian quesadillas, and a paneer and peas biriyani which was served later for lunch. “And we are here in Houston to help Akshaya Patra (see page 05 for related story) raise money to help feed 1.6 million kids a day,” he went on to explain to the live FB feed. A day after the Akshaya Patra gala, Kapoor was at the spacious home of Dr. Vivek and Madhavi Kavadi doing the demonstration as Manisha Gandhi, the Regional Director of Development, Akshaya Patra USA beamed. And helping him along preparing the dishes was his wife, Alyona; Kiran Verma, the chef and owner of Kiran’s Restaurant (which is soon re-opening at its new location in Montrose). Restauranteur Ricki Oberoi lent a hand too, as did Indo American News’ beloved food columnist Mama Shakuntla Malhotra whom Kapoor asked (in Punjabi) to roll a couple of rotis to cover the biriyani in a soup mug, another creation of his. Kapoor has been on a tour of San Antonio and Austin, culminating in AP galas in Dallas and Houston. He also made a quick dash to LA scouting a restaurant location. Ra-

Adoring fans gathered around popular Indian TV Chef Sanjeev Kapoor as he gave a demonstration of several dishes

Kapoor showed his skills at the house of Dr. Vivek and Madhavi Kavadi (on left) in Sugar Land, Akshaya Patra Regional Director of Development Manisha Gandhi is second from right

Kapoor enlisted the skills of his wife Alyona and three generations of chefs - restauranteur Ricki Oberoi, IAN cooking columnist Shakuntla Malhotra and restauranteur Kiran Verma – in preparing a dish

jeev Matta, the CEO of Kapoor’s company, SK Restaurant Pvt. Ltd., said a deal was in the works for a restaurant in Houston in the near future. “There are three company owned restaurants in Mumbai,” Matta explained, “and another 74 franchisees all over the world. We expect to add another 24 franchises by year’s end another 30 in the next 24 months.”

The crowd spilled out into the pool and waterfall area of the Kavadi’s house, where the food was laid out in the bright sun. Apart from the biriyani, the rest of the dishes came from Chef Verma. Asked how she did it with her place still not open, she smiled, “The people at another restaurant, Arista, allow me to cook there to cater special occasions.”

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Terms and Conditions: •Sale Items are subject to availability •We reserve th no credit, no rain checks •Sale price valid till supply last •Sale items are not

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October 14, 2016

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Sale Date: Oct. 1st To Oct. 30th, 2016

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he right to limit the quantity of sale items •Vishala is not responsible for any kind of typographical error in this advertisement •No refund, no exchange, t for any wholesalers or retailers INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


16 October 14, 2016

COMMUNITY

First Durga Puja of 2016 Organized by VSGH Draws Record Crowds

also added that it gives him immense pleasure and fulfillment in conducting the Durga Puja in Houston. Swapna Chaudhuri informed the gathering about the upcoming projects of VSGH. After its affiliation to the parent organization Belur Math, VSGH is preparing to welcome the new resident minister, Swami Vedaswarupananda, BY SANCHALI BASU

HOUSTON: One couldn’t have

asked for better weather to kick off Debi paksha, Navratri and Mahalaya with Durga Puja on October 1 at the Vedanta Society of Greater Houston grounds. Swami Kripamayananda, head of the Toronto Vedanta Society presided over the event, his 5th year in a row. The day started with Mother Durga’s image being carried to the pandal outdoors to the auspicious beat of the dhak and the blowing of the shankh (conch shell). Mother Durga and kalabau were decorated in festive splendor and Mother was ready to welcome and bless all her devotees. The puja commenced on time at 9:30 a.m. with great austerity and devotion. The accompaniment of Chandi chanting by Dr. Amrit Achari, a neurosurgeon in Houston, added to the sanctity and divinity of the holy atmosphere. The melodious devotional songs sung by the VSGH choir during the puja created a very spiritual environment. Mother Durga seemed to have control over Mother Nature too, as the weather remained very pleasant throughout the day for the devotees. An additional bonus was the presence of Pandit Suman Ghsoh, a local North Indian classical vocal maestro, with his family. They too enchanted the devotees with renditions of Durga bhajans. The puja ended with the beautiful arati performed by the Swami

with the chandelier lamps, and pushpanjali, the offering of flowers, by devotees. By noon, the pandal was overflowing with devotees and the pushpanjali had to be repeated for the latecomers. A record crowd of almost 500 people attended the VSGH Durga Puja this year. Fruit & lunch prasad were served to all attendees. Swami Kripamayananda at the end of the puja commented, “This is the best Durga Puja held in the west,” and

whose immigration paperwork is currently being processed. Due to increased demands, VSGH is looking at blueprints to extend the side patio to create a classroom/ dining hall for the devotees. Appeals were made to donate generously to make all these projects come to fruition. VSGH will celebrate Kali Puja at 7:00 p.m. on October 28, 2016. Worship will be performed by Dr. Bishnupada Goswami.

GSH Navratri Mahotsav 2016 CONTINUED FROM PAGE

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are in eager anticipation of what further changes and positive reform will take place under the continued leadership of President Amee Patel. All said and danced, residents of Houston and the greater Houston Area enjoyed a wonderfully executed Navratri season. A huge round of applause (be-taali style) to the Gujarati Samaj of Houston for a job well-done! Founded in 1979, GSH organizes educational and cultural ac-

tivities to promote Indian heritage, and is registered as a nonprofit organization under 501(C)(3). Our mission is to create an innovative, inclusive and imaginative “Gujarati Samaj Community Center” to implement our vision. For details and more information regarding the GSH, visit our facebook page Gujarati Samaj of Houston.

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18 October 14, 2016 Trump Borrowing from India

In the second United States presidential debate, while

discussing her use of a private email server, Donald Trump told Hillary Clinton he would have a special prosecutor to ‘look into your situation’. When Clinton responded that it was good that someone with Trump’s temperament was not in charge of law, the Republican nominee hit back with a chilling one liner, “Because you would be in jail.” It was a remarkable moment in U.S. electoral history, with most observers suggesting that never before had one candidate threatened to jail someone if elected to power. Many saw it as Trump’s willingness to abuse his office and authority for personal revenge. This - however - energised his own base, for what unites them is a deep dislike for Hillary Clinton. For them, Trump’s announcement was a step to bring her misdeeds to justice. In the US, this kind of open threat of punishing a rival is unprecedented. Some have even termed it fascism. But a quick comparative view shows that such threats are quite common in our democratic set-up. The context, of course, is entirely different. India does not have a presidential system; neither is there a culture of direct debates between leaders. But elections have been accompanied by threats of getting back at rivals or bringing them to justice for misdeeds - depending on where you stand on the political spectrum - through democratic history. In 1977, Indira Gandhi lifted the Emergency and called for elections. Very quickly, a broad range of opposition parties came together under the common umbrella of Janata Party. One of their key campaign promises was to expose emergency excesses, restore democratic rights and civil liberties, and punish Indira Gandhi and her son, Sanjay. The Janata won. After coming to power, it set up several commissions of inquiry - most importantly, the Shah commission - to investigate Emergency excesses; special courts were set up; Indira Gandhi was arrested briefly. Ironically, all this helped the Congress leader - and she came back stronger in the following elections. More recently, Arvind Kejriwal threatened to take action against Sheila Dixit for alleged corruption when he was contesting the Delhi elections. In India, there is another way in which rivals are threatened. Once in power, parties set off pliant investigative agencies to find dirt about their adversaries. These cases are then used as a bargaining tool to neutralise the Opposition, or win support for a possible legislation. But what is beyond doubt is that it represents institutional corrosion, where executive power is used to hound and lock in rivals. If Trump has its way, the US would be borrowing a dangerous practice of Indian democracy. Prashant Jha in Hindustan Times

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY

Election 2016: Let’s Make the Right Decision I

BY HIREN SARMA

am sure most of you will agree that this is a turning point in American history, the likes of which haven’t been seen in many decades. Considering the social, political, and economic ramifications, almost everything in this election is at stake, both at home for all of us and abroad for many other countries which look up to our global leadership. I never thought that I’d be writing this note offering my insight into the current status of the Presidential election leading up to November 8. As a conscious, independent observer, this would have been much easier to write if the election battle was between a traditional Republican and a Democrat. I generally support and vote for the person, based on his/her values, irrespective of the party line. I believe most of us would agree that Donald Trump is no Republican. It should be fairly obvious by now that he is in this game all for himself; his lifelong controversial, self-promoting activities and election rhetoric over the last year and a half clearly reflect this. Now, he is suddenly toeing the Republican Party line, reading the tele-

prompter over the last several weeks but this does not change the facts. In fact, to my mind, it undermines the intelligence of all Americans. To give Donald Trump some credit, I must admit that I have never seen a better con man in my lifetime. Since the two candidates are so far apart, I find it ridiculous to even compare them, except to point out that both have very high negative ratings in the opinion polls. Admittedly, Hillary has some self-inflicted wounds during her long political career, but none of these can take away from her readiness to lead the country. I believe, for the Democrats and the

Independents among us, the decision should not be a difficult one. Given the nature of the stakes, it is important that Republicans have the courage to cross the party line on Election Day for the sake of this beautiful country, however painful that might be. Future generations will undoubtedly judge you well for being on the right side of history. Sitting out the election, or voting for a third party should not be an option because that will exacerbate the risk of electing the wrong person to the White House. Hiren Sarma is a retired E &C professional and longtime resident of Houston.

North & South Indians: Politeness Apart BY JUG SURAIYA

In a crowded lift I bumped into a

young man. He looked at me apologetically and said ‘Sorry’. He said ‘Sorry’ to me because i bumped into him? He didn’t cuss me, or offer to introduce my teeth to my tonsils? He didn’t, he actually said ‘Sorry’. I noticed other strange things. I heard people using odd, unfamiliar words like ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’. On the pavements people didn’t shove and push past me, they stepped aside and gave me right of way. Perfect strangers smiled at me. And the smiles weren’t those smirky kind of smiles that make you check to see that the flies on your trousers are firmly zipped up and not gaping open. They were just ordinary, friendly smiles. How to account for all these weird phenomena? Was I hallucinating? I

wasn’t. I was in south India, in Bengaluru to be precise. Living in north India, each time I visit south India, whether it’s Bengaluru, or Hyderabad, or Chennai, I’m again struck by how people by and large, are different compared, again by and large, to people in the north, which is more known for its pushiness than its politeness, its cursing than its courtesy, and where BC and MC do not stand for Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Commerce respectively but something quite different. So, why are southies so much better behaved than northies? Does it have something to do with climate, peninsular India generally being more equitable, not getting too hot or too cold, gentle weather which makes for gentler folk, unlike the harsh sum-

mers and winters of the north which makes for harshness in humans? Maybe. Another theory has it that invaders always came from the north, so northerners had to be tough and aggressive to face them while southerners could afford to be a more peaceable lot because they didn’t have to deal with such unruly incursions. Whatever the reason, the general rule is that the south has etiquette while the north has hetiquette with people getting het up with each other all the time. Agree, or disagree? Whether in response you send a bouquet or a brickbat, a garland or a gali, I’ll be able to tell where you come from, north or south. Which are not just poles apart, but politeness apart. -timesofindia.com

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20 October 14, 2016

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COMMUNITY

October 14, 2016

21

Tribute to Hindu Guru His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj

Special Tribute Assembly for Pramukh Swami Maharaj at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Stafford. Mayor of Stafford presents a proclamation of Pramukh Swami Day to the head swami of Southwest BAPS.

Over 900 attend the Tribute Assembly for Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

STAFFORD: On Sunday, October

2, government officials, community leaders, devotees, and well-wishers gathered at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Stafford, Texas paid tribute to the life of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. The fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and leader of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha departed his mortal body on August 13, 2016, at the age of 95. From establishing mandirs (Hindu temples) across the world to humanitarian work to creating community infrastructure for education and healthcare in remote towns, Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s contributions to society have spanned across generations. Known by his motto, “In the joy of others, lies our own,” he dedicated his life to serve and inspire others for the greater good of mankind. Even today, this message resonates with millions of individuals from all walks of life and from around the world. A special assembly was held this past weekend to pay tribute to his life and achievements. Throughout his life, his selfless compassion and humble prayers uplifted countless people. He led thousands on the path of spirituality and inspire even more to live a morally pure life. Ken Mathew, Himesh Gandhi, John Ferro, Harish Jajoo, Sheriff Troy Nehls, Matthew Conner, Ramesh Bhutada, Dr. Mark Foust, Vijay Goradia, Kamlesh Lulla and many more attended the assembly. Attendees shared memories of their uplifting interactions with Pramukh Swami Maharaj, reminiscing upon the heartfelt connection that cemented his influence and wisdom in their

lives. Through memorable life experiences shared by these individuals, attendees were able to reminisce upon Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s compassionate and equipoised nature. Speakers such as Mayor of Stafford, Leonard Scarcella, John Cooley Plumb (Dr. Denton Cooley’s grandson), Attorney George Willy, Dr. Virendra Mathur, Dr. HD Patel, Krishnaswami Parthsarathy, Monzur Hourani, Dr. Sulekh Jain, Rajiv Bhavsar, Narendra Patel and Dr. Chary Tamirisa shared their moments with Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Mayor of Stafford, Texas, Leonard Scarcella said, “This holiest man inspired millions of peoples across globe to lead a God centered life, he demonstrated the most compelling compassion for humanity and universal wisdom while exhilarating a striking simplicity, something exceedingly rare.” He also recalled, “I shall always remember the visit as I looked into his eyes and saw clarity of serenity and humility that I had never seen before. During our conversation I felt the calmness enveloped in exhilaration, it was the clearest illustration of confirming that I was in the presence of a truly remarkable man of god.” Attorney George Willy of Houston, Texas commented, “I had the opportunity to meet swami 2 times. Both times I remember feeling a certain divine presence.And concluded, with “I met a saint and through him I met God.” A Lebanese Christian, Monzur Hourani shared his feelings, “I had the honor and the privilege of meeting His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. It was a great meeting all

what you can see is love in his eyes and humbleness and devotion.” Dr. Denton Cooley’s grandson John Plumb recalled during the Mandir opening in 2004, “At one point he asked me to tell him about myself, the feeling that I had at that point has stayed with me my entire life. I was just the grandson yet; he remembered my name and thought enough of me to include me by name as one of the men. That day I was in the presence of greatness. I will never forget him.” Many dignitaries thoughts echoed the sentiments from heads of states in all parts of the world, including British Prime Minister Teresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and HRH Prince of Wales. Speaking of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life of service, Teresa May, Prime Minister of UK, added: “His legacy of selfless service will continue to benefit humanity for a long time to come.” Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, visited Sarangpur, Gujarat from New Delhi and addressed saddened devotees before the funeral rites saying, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj was a stalwart among humans who embodied compassion and humility… Today you have lost a Guru, but I have lost a father.” Millions of people across the world honored Pramukh Swami Maharaj through a program themed “Timeless Tributes to the Life & Legacy of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj”. The program concluded with inspiring video blessings from Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s successor, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. More details on http://pramukhswami.org/tributes

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22 October 14, 2016

COMMUNITY

Second Presidential Debate Draws Many Together to Watch BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: When so much is

Those who came to watch the second presidential debate at India House last Sunday night, October 9, were united in the post event straw vote

going on during this hectic festive Navratri-Dusserah-Diwali season, the national election had added a degree of excitement that borders on a frenzied sport for the many keenly watching political races. And this cycle, none has garnered more interest than the Presidential contest between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, with rabid supporters on each side. Nestled in the support for the candidate of their choosing are the hopes and aspirations of the voting public. And who could ask for more than a spirited discussion of the merits of

their candidacy by Trump or Clinton during their second debate held last Sunday, October 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, townhall style. A group of die-hard activists – Roopa Gir, Ramesh Anand and Jagat Kamdar – once again arranged for a Debate Watch party with a huge projector TV and snacks for comfort, at India House and a roomful of people showed up to share the experience. It was the second such party that the group organized: the first was held at Neeta’s Restaurant for the first presidential debate on Monday, September 26. There were amused titters at some of the things that the candidates said

and gasps of surprise at any gaffes that came out. At the end, this reporter held an informal straw poll of the way those in the room would vote and Clinton was the unanimous winner. That was unsurprising, given the iam4hillary yard sign that was displayed under the screen! The third and final presidential debate will be held on Wednesday, October 19 at the University of Las Vegas, Nevada and the debate watch party is once again scheduled for at India House, with food catered by Chowpatty Chaat. There is a $5 charge to cover costs and the organizers hope that supporters of both candidates will show up and hold a lively discussion afterwards.

Oil India Limited Signs MOU with UH to Increase Production

NEW DELHI -- Oil India Lim-

ited (OIL), an upstream oil and gas public sector utility, has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Houston with the intent of augmenting its reserves base and maximizing recovery from its aging oilfields. The MoU was signed on Oct. 5, 2016 in presence of Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (I/C), Petroleum & Natural Gas at New Delhi. The University of Houston is a premier institution, involved in the quest of academic

and translational excellence in the field of oil and gas through its outstanding faculty and research staff and has an established, well documented partnership with leading edge academia and industry subject matter experts. The MoU, amongst others, is focused to collaborate in the fields of Improved Oil Recovery and Enhanced Oil Recovery for production enhancement from matured fields, seismic interpretation and reservoir characterization studies, improvement of drilling and well intervention practices and unconventional hydro-

carbon studies. University of Houston was represented at the signing ceremony by UH Professors Ramanan Krishnamoorti and Ganesh Thakur. It is envisaged that the collaboration will help OIL to further consolidate and upgrade the various initiatives the Company has undertaken to improve production and contribute significantly to the energy security of the country. This will also contribute towards national obligation as set by Prime Minister Modi to reduce import dependency of oil and gas by 10% by 2022.

OIL CEO Utpal Bora shakes hands with University of Houston Professor Ramanan Krishnamoorti after the signing of the MOU to increase oil and gas production.

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24 October 14, 2016

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October 14, 2016 25 COMMUNITY Judge Ravi Sandill Reminds ISCA Seniors to Vote BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: The local community has

a special spot in their heart for the Indian Seniors Citizen Association, the ranks of which are swelling every month. And every month, the ISCA meets at their usual spot, the Bayland Park Community Center in Sharpstown, unless there is a special occasion when they hold their meetings at the India House on West Bellfort. And given the love and respect in the community for the elders, they are often treated to musical interludes by different groups or individuals, followed by a simple vegetarian lunch that is sponsored by them. Several well-known local performers have treated them to music from yesteryear and the seniors often join in clapping or occasionally humming along. Late this summer, in early September, the seniors were treated to a lunch by Judge Ravi Sandill, the only South Asian on the Bar in Harris County. Ravi “R. K.” Sandill is a state district judge presiding over a civil docket in the 127th District Court in Harris County, having first been elected in 2008 and is running for re-election this coming November 8 for his third term. Judge Sandill urged those who were not registered to vote to do so and emphasized the importance of voting in this election so that the people’s voices were heard ”to ensure our community stood up for tolerance, respect and shunned hatred and bigotry.” He reminded them that it was their duty to ensure that family members voted. “We all still learn from our elders,” he said “who set a positive example as they have done for generations and remind them of the sacrifice that has allowed South Asians to prosper in Houston.’ Sandill’s parents immigrated from India and his father Brij retired as a Lt. Col. from the US Army and the US Air Force after serving 28 years. Ravi spent most of his childhood in Texas and received his bachelor’s in government from the University of Texas in Austin and has been a member of the State Bar of Texas since 2001. He later attended the University of Houston Law Center to receive his Jurisprudence degree. He fought Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer of the blood, in 2002, and has been in remission since 2003. He is married to a fellow lawyer, Kelly, and the two have a son, Asher. Apart from his professional activities, Sandill has been involved with Indian community organizations like the India Culture Center, the Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston and The Indian American Cancer Awareness Network.

Judge Ravi K. Sandill, second from left, with members of the Indian Senior Citizens Association at their monthly meeting at which he sponsored the lunch and reminded them of the importance of voting.

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26 October 14, 2016

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October 14, 2016

Gold prices are tumbling world-

wide, but demand during the festive season in India may soon come to their rescue, as the festival of Diwali is set to prompt investors to take advantage of the recent correction. Gold prices have slumped sharply in recent times, and this may augur well for the Indian buyers. Gold futures for December delivery dropped for eight out of nine sessions, slumping 6.86% and traded at four-month low of $1,253 an ounce on Thursday on Comex in New York, and fell below their 200-day moving average as odds turned in favour of US Federal Reserve hiking interest rates. The dollar, too, strengthened. “Gold prices broke the psychologically important $1,300 mark, and subsequently, the prices tumbled below further support levels in a free fall. We believe $1,210 spot at Comex will provide a strong support for gold prices, which would entice buyers,” said Sugandha Sachdeva, assistant vice-president

Global Gold Prices Set to Get Indian Festive Season Boost and incharge of metals, energy and currency research at Religare Commodities Ltd. “Indian festive demand with Diwali and wedding demand coming up, will support international prices. The combination of weak prices and this strong demand from India will support the prices and provide a boost going ahead,” added Sachdeva. “Physical demand in India has also been weak for the first nine months but will pick up as the festive season starts. We have already seen domestic discounts narrowing from $45/oz. in July to just $4.5/oz. currently,” said Kishor Narne, head of commodities and currencies at Motilal Oswal Commodities Pvt. Ltd. World Gold Council was also of the view that the lower prices will push up demand. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says that a strategic buying opportunity may open up in gold should prices drop substantially below $1,250 an ounce, with bullion

The combination of weak prices and the strong demand from India during Diwali and the wedding season around the same time will support gold.

offering investors a way to protect themselves against risks to global growth and limits to central banks’ effectiveness, Bloomberg reported on Friday. According to Sachdeva of Religare, on the domestic front Rs28,50028,700 per 10 gm will be major support in the near term. “A major base is likely at Rs25,000, and if the prices hold above those levels, the bull run is still intact. This is just a

Creating Learning Opportunities out of Halloween

H

OUSTON: Fall is here, which means that Halloween is right around the corner! While candy and costumes take center stage during the fall holiday, there are a number of ways that kids can learn from the spooky celebration in and out of the classroom. Best in Class, which helps K-12 students move towards the top of their

27

class through customized educational programs, is constantly thinking of ways for students and parents to find new learning opportunities. Here are five ways to incorporate learning into your family’s Halloween celebrations: Costume Creativity Thinking of a good Halloween costume requires creativity and some

imagination. Assist your child by helping brainstorm ideas and even thinking of ways to execute a costume with items you already have or can buy easily. Once you have come up with an idea together, have him or her write down a story about a day in the life the chosen costume character. Practice Basic Math Skills Math is everywhere in our daily lives. With pumpkins and candy around during the fall, kids can practice simple math skills while having fun. Whether it’s sorting, counting or estimating the weight of candy collected, fundamental math skills can be practiced after trick-or-treating. Measure and weigh the collected bag of candy as a fun game to see who can guess the correct weight. Test Your Child’s Memory Skills Before heading out on your trick-

near-term blip as people are booking profits since the recent rally came in after three years of negative returns,” said Sachdeva. MCX spot gold prices hit their lowest level since 23 June, at Rs29,783 per 10 gm on Friday. In July, they had tested a three-year high of Rs31,529 per 10 gm and prices have now eroded 5.54% since the peak in July, on concerns that Europe and the US may tighten their or-treating adventure, tell your kids to keep an eye out and remember his or her favorite costume of the night. Quiz them once you are home on which costumes were the scariest, funniest and most accurate to their characters. You can also include a creative writing exercise and have your child write down their favorite costume and a story about how the night went for them. Get Spooky with Science Kids can enjoy Halloween-themed science projects as “mad scientists.” Prepare science experiments for your child to create fog, make a glow-inthe-dark pumpkin or concoct a bubbling potion. Test your child in human anatomy to see if he or she can tell you the role that skin or blood holds in the body. Learn Halloween History How many kids (or adults!) actually know the history of Halloween? Have your kids research and learn the

monetary policy going ahead, hurting the yellow metal, which is often viewed as a safe haven. “It’s a good opportunity to jump in and lap up gold from a long-term perspective,” added Sachdeva. The number of US jobless claims unexpectedly slumped to near a 43year low last week, an indication of firmness in the labour market which may support an interest rate increase by the Fed later this year. The US dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose to 96.765 on Thursday, its highest level since 27 July. “Our optimism stems from the fact that the Fed has projected less aggressive rates hikes in 2017 and the Fed’s ability to hike will be contingent on outcome of the US elections,” said Narne pointing to November elections in US where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are battling for US presidency. -livemint.com history of how the holiday started and the meaning behind superstitions like broken mirrors or black cats. To help your student exceed his or her academics goals, 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.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


28 October 14, 2016

Ashwin’s Test Best Seals 3-0 Whitewash Against Kiwis

I

BY KARTHIK KRISHNASWAMY

NDORE (ESPN Cricinfo): ndia 577 for 5 dec (Kohli 211, Rahane 188) and 216 for 3 dec (Pujara 101*, Gambhir 50) beat New Zealand 299 (Guptill 72, Neesham 71, Latham 53, Ashwin 6-81) and 153 (Ashwin 7-59) by 321 runs India completed a 3-0 whitewash in devastating fashion as a seven-wicket haul from R Ashwin shot New Zealand out for 153 in their last innings of the series. India declared just under an hour from tea, after Cheteshwar Pujara had completed his eighth Test hundred, to set New Zealand a target of 475 and give themselves a day and a half to take 10 wickets. They only needed 44.5 overs, as New Zealand lost nine wickets for 115 runs in the post-tea session. Ashwin’s figures of 7 for 59 were his best in Test cricket, as were his match figures of 13 for 140. He picked up his 21st five-wicket haul, his sixth ten-wicket match haul, his seventh Player of the Match award and seventh Player of the Series award - fourth in a row - as well. There probably isn’t a more influential cricketer anywhere in the world today. Certainly no one has played a bigger part in India securing the No. 1 Test ranking, a feat they got to celebrate when Virat Kohli was handed the ICC Test championship mace at the end of the match, in front of a capacity crowd in Indore. Set a similar task last year in another dead-rubber Test, on a similar slow turner at Feroz Shah Kotla, South Africa chose to block their way to a draw. They didn’t succeed, but they did make India toil for 143.1 overs. New Zealand, having until now given India a harder time on this tour than South Africa did in theirs, adopted an entirely different approach and collapsed spectacularly. Their two most accomplished batsmen, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, exemplified this approach. Both came out looking to attack Ashwin, their tormentor through the series, and ended up playing a part in their own undoing. Williamson hit Ashwin for three fours in his first two overs, either side of tea, but in that time also gave the bowler enough of a clue that he was

R Ashwin took the last wicket to fall, India v New Zealand, 3rd Test, Indore, 4th day, October 11, 2016 © BCCI.

looking to step across his stumps and play him with the turn as much as possible. He shuffled across again to the eleventh ball he faced from Ashwin, premeditatedly, and a flatter, quicker one turned in and trapped him in front. Like he had done to Kumar Sangakkara on the 2015 tour of Sri Lanka, Ashwin had dismissed Williamson four times in four innings. In his first over at the crease, Taylor jumped out and hit Ashwin over the top for a four and a six off successive balls. As Ashwin’s spell continued, he stepped out again to whip him over midwicket, and then drove him against the turn through the covers. Having gone to 32 off 24, though, he chanced a sweep off a ball that was too full for the shot. It sneaked under his bat and bowled him. Luke Ronchi, James Neesham and Martin Guptill all fell in the next seven overs, the latter two to Ravindra Jadeja, and it seemed almost certain that the match wouldn’t go into a fifth day. BJ Watling and Mitchell Santner hinted that it just might, while putting on 24 for the seventh wicket, but Ashwin came back to break their partnership, bowling over the wicket to the left-handed Santner and beating him with natural variation. Coming forward to defend, Santner insideedged the ball into his pad and then onto the stumps.

India didn’t have to wait too long for the eighth and ninth wickets, but Watling and Trent Boult briefly raised the possibility of their having to come back on Wednesday to take the tenth, by putting on the longest partnership of the innings. They stuck around for 10.1 overs, causing India a bit of frustration - Jadeja bowled a 45kph donkey drop to Boult, Ashwin dragged down a legbreak to Watling and threatening to take the fourth day into an extra half-hour, before Boult came down the track to drive Ashwin and popped back a waist-high return catch. India declared halfway through the morning session, one ball after Pujara brought up his hundred by helping a short ball from James Neesham to the fine leg boundary. It was a fitting way to reach the landmark, given that the area behind the wicket had fetched him 57 of his runs and six of his nine fours, with the lap-sweep and late cut his go-to shots against the spinners. Having gone to lunch batting on 50 off 98 balls, he had sped away to score 51 off 50 in the second session. At the other end, Ajinkya Rahane helped an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 58 hurry along at 6.44 an over, stepping out to play his favourite chips down the ground and inside-out drives. Ahead by 276 overnight, India had only extended their lead by eight

runs when M Vijay was run-out by a brilliant piece of fielding from Guptill in the eighth over of the morning. In walked Gautam Gambhir, who had retired hurt late on the third evening with a shoulder injury. His re-entry sparked an immediate upsurge in India’s run rate, as he took frequent singles against New Zealand’s oneday fields. Gambhir’s urgency rubbed off on Pujara as well. He ran as fast as his troubled knees would take him, ending up with a dirt-streaked shirt from all the times he had to dive into the crease. The pair added 76 for the second wicket before Gambhir fell for 50 off 56 balls, chipping Jeetan Patel to short extra-cover. Kohli, the first-innings double-centurion, fell in the sixth over after lunch, given lbw looking to sweep Patel although replays suggested the ball may have struck his pad outside the line of off stump. With nine overs to bat out before tea, New Zealand lost one wicket, Umesh Yadav going around the wicket in his first over and attacking the stumps to get Tom Latham lbw playing around his front pad. New Zealand were 38 for 1 at tea. They probably wouldn’t have imagined that it would all be over after just one more session. Karthick Krishnaswamy is a subeditor at ESPNcricinfo

SPORTS I

Azam, Nawaz Earn Maiden Test Call-up

SLAMABAD: Middle-order batsman Babar Azam and left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz earned maiden Test call-ups, for the first Test against West Indies in the UAE. Azam’s selection came right after he scored three consecutive centuries in Pakistan’s 3-0 ODI whitewash over West Indies. Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hafeez and Shan Masood were the players left out of the group that went to England this summer, as Pakistan named a 14-man squad for the Dubai Test from October 13. Younis Khan had already been ruled out of the fixture, Pakistan’s maiden day-night Test, because he was recovering from dengue. The squad contained only five specialist batsmen in Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Azam, Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq, meaning Pakistan are likely to play Sarfraz Ahmed at No. 6, and allrounder Nawaz at No. 7 or go in with five specialist bowlers. Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq acknowledged that Pakistan have been struggling to find quality allrounders and hoped Nawaz could be the answer. “We have been searching for one who can bat in the lower order and bowl as well. And if you look at Nawaz, he has got a good first-class record. It shows he has been promising with the bat and has competed as a bowler.” Nawaz has 1440 runs and 44 wickets, including three centuries and a seven-wicket haul, across 29 firstclass matches. Azam, 21, was picked in the squad after a prolific run in one-day cricket for Pakistan this year, scoring 656 runs in 11 innings at an average of 59 and strike rate of 95. He made his ODI debut in the home series against Zimbabwe in May 2015, and has 886 runs in 18 matches. Hafeez played three Tests on the tour of England, making 102 runs in six innings, before he was dropped for the last match at The Oval, which Pakistan won to draw the series 2-2. He played the one-off ODI against Ireland and the first one against England before he suffered a leg injury and returned home. After recovering Hafeez was asked by the selectors to play in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy, and he made 68 in both innings of his first game.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

October 14, 2016

29

Magnificent Suvasini Puja at the Navarathri Celebrations at Sri Meenakshi Temple

BY MK SRIRAM & G.N. PRASAD

PEARLAND: Sri Meenakshi Temple, reput-

ed to be the most authentic temple in southern United States, recently celebrated the Navarathri festival in a grand manner. The nine day festival occurs twice a year, once in spring and the other in fall and is called the Sarada Navarathri. This year Navarathri was celebrated from October 2 to October 11. During Sarada Navarathri, the Divine Mother is worshiped in Her three magnificent forms, Saraswathi (Goddess of learning), Lakshmi (Goddess that bestows wealth) and Durga (Goddess of Strength and Valor) It is a matter of great pride to the Hindus that Hinduism gives so much importance to the mother aspect of God because the Hindus believe that mother is the creative aspect of the absolute. The temple was most beautifully decorated and special morning and evening pujas were performed to Goddess Meenakshi, who is adorned with exquisite vasthrams and abharanams that left an indelible impression in devotees’ minds. Lalitha Sahasranama stotras were recited everyday by many devotees which set such a divine vibration throughout the temple. The priests decorated the utsava murthys amazingly and very creatively in different mythological forms daily. The Ambal deities’ alankarams included Sri Rajarajeswari, Sri Annapoorni, Sri Visalakshi, Oonjal Sevai, and so on; while Lord Venkateswara’s utsava murthi was decorated as Vakunta Nathan, Lakshmi Narayanan, Navaneetha Krishnan, Kalinga Marthanam etc. The first Friday of Navarathri was celebrated at MTS with highlight event being the Suvasini Puja celebrated on Friday Oct 7, this year. This very auspicious puja was performed by married women (sumangalis) as well as young ladies for the welfare of their families. More than 400 ladies, attended this puja this year with their families. It was one of the grandest events ever, conducted at the temple. It was a most unforgettable sight, to see the newly renovated Main Temple completely filled primarily with almost 800 devotees, including the brilliantly clad ladies and children, with standing room only. Devi’s benign blessings were surely showered on the devotees as they chanted the Lalitha Sahasranamam, various slokas such as Hayigiri Nandini and other devotional songs. The daily Alankaram for the Suvasini puja included the Meenakshi Thayar as Sri Shakambri devi, completely decorated with about 30 different vegetables and fruits. The priests performed the pujas with great devotion, the abhishekam, followed by an exquisite decoration of Goddess Meenakshi with more than 10,000 bangles donated by a devotee. This is the first time ever this special “Valaiyal Alankaram” has been adorned on Goddess Meenakshi. The Supreme Goddess indeed gave her devotees a most divine darshan. The priests then performed the Sahasranama Archana, followed by chanting from the four

Vedas to Sri Meenakshi, who is indeed the Mother of all Vedas. A grand deeparadhana to all the deities including the Utsavam murthis was the finale of the puja. The temple was very pleased and honored to offer a gift to each of the lady participants present, who represent the Divine Mother – a lovely

sari from India. This was greatly appreciated by the devotees. The devotees were treated to a sumptuous dinner after the event. This festival gets grander and grander every year. MTS Board deserves a tremendous amount of credit for making this happen with the support of the Religious

Activities Committee members, the priests, temple artisans and the administrative staff, the Food Committee, the Cultural Committee, the PR committee, the Board and Council members and finally and most importantly all the volunteers.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


30 October 14, 2016

COMMUNITY

Katy Youth Cricketers Raise 10, 297 Meals for Houston Food Bank

KATY: Katy Youth Cricket (KYC) young

cricketers between ages 6-14 years, who firmly believed in KYC’s mantra that “we have two hands, one for ourselves and second to help others”, participated in Houston Food Bank (HFB) - Hunger Game 2016 from 22 July - 6 August. “Serving our neighbors and communities is the best way our young cricketers could have spent part of their summer holidays. KYC’s vision is to instill these values of community service and charitable giving, which would empower them to good Citizens” said Dhaval Mehta, President KYC. These young cricketers spent 124 hours volunteering at HFB Portwall Warehouse location. Instead of spending time elsewhere, these young cricketers decided to go around in their neighborhood collecting food donation and raising money to help those less fortunate in our community. “It was fun filled experience volunteering at Hunger Game to help those that are less fortunate in our community” said Anish Havalimane, 10 year old KYC cricketer. Pride of doing community service to help others was evident on their face as they volunteered for multiple 3 hour shifts at HFB. Winston Churchill once said “we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give” is KYC’s way of living

life, said Milind Waghmare, KYC Parent Volunteer. Along with cricket coaching, KYC’s aim is to provide program that builds character, team work and promote healthy choices. KYC, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit volunteer run organization based in Katy, provides an opportunity for young boys and girls to learn and play cricket through variety of skill based cricket coaching programs and participation in youth league in Houston and other cities of USA. KYC goal is to develop youth cricket from grass route level. KYC recently visited St. Louis to play a “Friendship Series” hosted by American Cricket Academy (ACA) and Club of St. Louis. “KYC could not have achieved this success in last 3 years without support of our community based sponsors Vishala Grocers, KRB Dentistry, Omar Saeed Mass Mutual, Kurry Walah Restaurant, Lotus Mortgage, GEMS tutorial and AMFSS”, said Vijay Ahire, KYC Committee member. KYC is also thankful to Fort Bend County Commissioner Andy Meyers and City of Katy Park & Recreation department for promoting cricket. For more information, contact Dhaval Mehta, at 832-525-8906, or Organizer@ Katyyouthcricket.com

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

October 14, 2016

31

Consumers and Retailers Warned about Counterfeit Food Products from India

FLUSHING, NY: Because of a

huge influx of unauthorized food and other products from India, US retailers and consumers alike are being warned to be especially vigilant when purchasing products from the country. More than half of all the snack products that were tested and then blocked from sale in the US in 2015 were from India, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report. Last year more food products from India were rejected in the US than from any other country. Indian products also led the world in snack rejects in 2014. House of Spices India, Inc. (HOS), a distributor of quality Indian ingredients, snacks and sweets, is driving efforts to educate consumers and retailers alike to help reduce and eventually eliminate Illegal imports of products only meant for sale in India. House of Spices India, Inc. is the sole exclusive distributor for Nestlé India’s Maggi Noodles and ITC’s Aashirvaad Atta products in the US market. According to a Nestlé USA statement, the company said it can only guarantee “this level of quality when products are purchased from authorized distributors like House of Spices.” HOS also remains committed to bringing consumers the highest quality of Indian ingredients and products available and assuring the

company’s customers that its products receive US FDA approval. “It’s why we ensure all products sold by House of Spices have our name on it. Customers do not realize that flours and noodles sold by us versus what is sold by others are different. We work with the brands in India to make sure the formulas, labels and ingredients all meet the United States FDA standards, standards which are much higher than the Indian FSSIA,” said Amrapali Soni, VP of House of Spices. According to the Wall Street Journal, problems with products that have been rejected from India “vary from packaging and labeling to alleged contamination.” Nestlé USA said, “the sale of any Nestlé-imported products that bypass Nestlé USA via our authorized distributors violates federal and state laws of the United States and may subject your company to financial liability.” ITC named HOS as is its “sole distributor” in the US, and said, “no other (distributor is) authorized and/ or supplied by ITC for this brand for sales in the US.” Unfortunately,unscrupulous dealers and unlicensed third parties are legally distributing and exporting branded products without the knowledge and consent of authorized manufacturers—a practice known as a

grey market. ITC said, not only do these actions put consumers at risk; they also willfully and criminally prevent traceability of a particular batch should quality issues arise. To prevent counterfeiting efforts and reassure retailers, ITC packaging supplied in India now carries an indelible print that states, “Do not purchase package if punctured, torn or tampered and/or with stickers over areas containing statutory information. This package is NOT INTENDED FOR SALE OUTSIDE INDIA.” ITC said products are currently being tampered with via packaging and labeling, by either erasing the online printed batch numbers and production dates, and/or affixing stickers with fictitious information covering important labeling information to make it appear compliant with US labeling requirements. All the companies involved have promised that offending suppliers and retailers will face serious legal consequences and financial ramifications. Those interested can visit www.hosindia.com for information on the US FDA-approved items distributed by House of Spices India, Inc. Any additional questions or comments can be addressed by emailing customerservice@houseofspicesIndia.com.

ACTUAL PRODUCT

COUNTERFEIT PRODUCT

STAFFORD: Virtuosi of Per- Dance Drama, Singing Sensation for Nov. 4 Cancer Fundraiser

forming Arts promises to bring an extraordinary and unique event to the audience on Friday, November 4 at 8pm at the Old Stafford Center. “The first part of the show will be a unique dance drama, ‘Fisherman and his Soul’ based on a French story by Oscar Wilde”, explained VPA’s Executive Director Keka Kar. “The performers are all American students of Taylor High School in Katy (where Kar teaches) and the music transcends European, Latin, Arabic and Indian art forms,” she added. Kar is no stranger to the performing arts and comes from a long line

of artists in her family. Ever since she has been in the Bayou City, she has dabbled in locally produced shows, often as a featured singer, sometimes a classical dancer, and of the past three years as a producer and director also. Her husband Satyajit is also known for his musical voice and the two have performed together on many occasions. Last year in July, VPA brought to town the Luna Poddar Dancers, kathak proponents who performed beautifully with passion. The later part of the event is called “Ye Shaam Mastani” and will showcase Kinjal, a singing sensation and the winner of Sa-Re-Ga Ma- Pa

2010. “He is definitely at par with Sonu Nigam and Arijit Singh but is lesser known at this time,” explained

Kar, “but he is well on his way to Bollywood.” This event is particularly important

and personal to Kar as she is trying to raise money for childhood cancer research. Kar was astonished to learn that less than 4% of all funding for cancer research goes towards childhood cancer. “One of the students, Lilli Curry, from my school died of cancer in August,” said Kar sadly, “and I am doing the show and raising the money in loving memory of her. It was the last wish of Lilli to spread awareness and raise funds for childhood cancer research – can we not do this much for her?” For sponsorships and tickets, call Keka Kar at 713-299-6303 or Jeet Kar at 713-299-6300

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houstonradio@yahoo.com INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


32 October 14, 2016

SUDOKU

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 October 18, 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).

Solution Next Week

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PUZZLES / RECIPES Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Kathal De Pakore (Fried Jackfruit Fritters) You can find kathal most of the year in Delhi. It is popular because It is starchy and fibrous and people call it the “vegetarian’s meat” because of its texture once it is cooked in a curry. To make this dish, you need green kathal, otherwise when they ripen they become very sweet and are eaten as a fruit. The aroma of the inside of the fruit is a combination of an apple, pineapple, mango and banana. I remember when a relative of mine, Geeta, brought some green kathal from Dehradun and then forgot them in the car for four days only to find them soft and intensely sweet. The kathal or jackfruit tree is native to South and Southeast Asia and may have originated in the rain forests of the Western Ghats of India and also West Bengal. When the Portuguese arrived in Calicut on the Malabar Coast in 1498, they saw this fruit which is called chakka in Malayalee. Instead, they called the fruit jaca, which is Portugese for Jackfruit. This prickly thick-skinned fruit is the largest tree-borne fruit, and can reach 35 in in length, 20 in in diameter and weigh upto 80 lbs. Each tree can produce between 100 to 200 fruits a year. Jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh, and kathal is a Bengali word. The pulp of the jackfruit is 74% water, 23% carbohydrates, 2% protein and 1% fat. It is a rich source of vitamin B6 and has moderates amounts of vitamin C and potassium.

Though it can be cooked sautéed or in a curry, kathal are also popular as pakoras (fried fritters) which can become a full meal, rolling them up in a roti, and eating it with a little chutney. Just dip into a spicy besan (chickpea) flour batter, deep fry and eat the pakoras hot from the frying pan in order to best appreciate them. Ingredients: • 1.5 cups besan (chickpea flour) • Water – enough to make a running paste • 1 kg kathal (jackfruit) – green, not ripe • 2 cups tael (vegetable oil) for deep frying • ½ tsp ajwain (carom seeds) • Spices to taste: namak (salt), mirch (red pepper) Directions: 1. Peel the thick skin to the inside, then cut the kathal length wise, about 1 inch long and about 1/2 inch thick slices and wash the pieces in running water. 2. Place the kathal pieces in a bowl and sprinkle with namak and mirch and let them stay for an hour to

TRADITIONAL COOK MAMA

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marinate the vegetable and soften the insides. 3. In a bowl, pour 1.5 cups of besan, mix in ajwain, namak and mirch and then while slowly pouring in water, beat the mixture till it becomes a soft, running paste. 4. Heat the oil in a karai (wok). Throw in a small dab of batter to make sure the oil is very hot. Take a slice of kathal, dip it into the batter then release it into the hot oil. Keep doing this till the surface of the oil is covered with battered pieces. 5. When one side is slightly brown, turn it over using a sieved spatula and turn over a few times to make sure both sides are cooked. Be careful that they do not become dark brown. Take them out and place on a paper towel to absorb the extra oil. 6. Serve hot with some tomato ketchup or mint or tamarind chutney. 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.

MEETS TV CHE F SANJEEV KAP OOR

During his visit to Houston as a spok man for Akshaya Pa estra this past weeke nd for it’s fundraise popular Indian tel r, evision chef and pe rsonality Sanjeev poor held a cookin Kag demonstration on Sunday at a private residence in Sugar Land for a select gr oup of people. Am those invited was ong Mama, who is a bi g fan of Kapoor’s watches his progra an d m whenever she ca n. During the demon str ation, Mama offe out some dough fo red to roll r a dish Kapoor w as making. Later ov lunch, the two co er nversed for a whi le in Punjabi, and affable Kapoor w the as delighted to lea rn of Mama’s wee Punjabi recipe colu kly mn, saying there w as nothing better th homemade food. Th an e two posed togeth er with the latest iss of Indo-American ue News.

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INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


October 14, 2016

ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS

Mirzya: Harshavardhan Kapoor,

Saiyami Kher Come and Go Minus Impact

Mirzya has everything that’s re-

quired for a musical romance based on a popular Punjabi folktale: a pair of fresh faces (Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher) with great Bollywood genes, a strong supporting cast, and lilting music. Outside Punjab, the story of Mirza-Sahiba may not be as wellknown as the other folktales about star-crossed young love such as Heer Ranjha and Sohni Mahiwal, but it has an equally strong core of emotion. And there’s no one better than Gulzar to be able to translate the story into a film, keeping the feelings and idiom intact. A touch of ‘Romeo-Juliet’ is stirred in to emphasise just how hard the lovers have to fight, and just how much our hearts have to go out to them. Transplanting the tale to Rajasthan allows for locations that can take your breath away, despite their overuse in Bollywood. Grand forts, picturesque hamlets, glittering deserts and undulating dunes, and `rajwadaas’ with all their grand costumes and liveried retainers: Mirzya is all eye candy.

There’s also something sweet and engaging about an initial segment which shows Suchi and Mohnish as childhood sweethearts very attached to each other, who part and meet again in very different circumstances. The film starts to slide when we meet these two as young adults, Suchi (Saiyami Kher) as a curlyhaired miss engaged to Prince Karan (Anuj Choudhry) who bumps into Adil-Mohnish (Harshvardhan Kapoor), and re-kindles old embers. But soon enough it gets stuck in silliness, and a line exchanged between the lovers becomes all too prescient. And that’s down to the fact that the lovers do not set the screen on fire. In terms of acting potential, neither newcomer lifts off the screen, but Kapoor fares just a little better than his affectless leading lady: he appears to have a quiet spark which may surface after some more polishing. Mirzya disappoints. Coming from all the talent that’s gathered together for this, that’s even more dispiriting. -indianexpress.com

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Move over Kardashians, the Kapoor SistersKarisma and Kareena are the Style Divas Now!

If you’ve so much as glanced at

walks out, expecting mothers everyany Fashion or Entertainment news where are taking copious notes on source, then there is no way that you how to get their maternity style on do not know that Kareena Kapoor point. Now, add to the mix, maasiKhan has been hailed as the abso- to-be Karisma, and you have yourself lute Queen Bee of maternity style the Bollywood sisters who are nailand grace ing it when in India. it comes to From style. The knocking elder sister each and has been every apquite fashpearance ionably per— be it fect over the official or past couple o ff - d u t y of months, — out of earning her the park, a frequent to setting HIT spot in style goals our Hits and in resplenMisses lists dent bridal every week. wear by Now, the Sabyasasisters have chi (for teamed up the Lakme with ace Fashion fashion deThe Kapoor sisters are emerging W e e k signer and as fashionista siblings of Bollywood. Wi n t e rfriend ManFestive finale). When Carol Gracias ish Malhotra for an entertainment walked the ramp with a baby bump and lifestyle magazine’s October earlier, it was first and definitely cover — and we love it! Sporting one that won a lot of appreciation. outfits from Malhotra’s collection Kareena and Sabyasachi took the called A Persian Story, the Kapoor same idea to a whole new level with sisters looked regal and breathtaking. the Jab We Met actor walking as the The stunning collection (which had showstopper for Illuminate. Deepika Padukone and Fawad Khan Every time, now, when Kareena as showstoppers at the fashion week)

is inspired by the stunning architecture of Persia, blooming paradise of fauna and flora, and fearless royals that ruled their vast kingdoms. With Kareena already a real-life princess, Karisma looked every bit a royal herself in the beautiful ornate dresses. Malhotra shared shots of the shoot on his Instagram account, and the outfits were an instant hit. -indianexpress.com

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

Hema Malini October 16, 1948

Sunny Deol October 19, 1957


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INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


October 14, 2016

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

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INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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