E newspaper 10202017

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Friday, October 20, 2017 • Vol. 36, No. 41

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October 20, 2017


Friday, October 20, 2017 | Vol. 36, No. 41


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October 20, 2017


Tantalize Your Taste Buds & Drool Over Nirmanz Food Boutique!



LAND: There is no sincerer love than the love of food. We couldn’t agree more with George Bernard Shaw for sharing this wonderful quote, which most foodies would also love to agree with. For foodies every journey of a meal is an adventurous ride to fulfill their eclectic palate apart from sharing their #foodporn on Instagram. Savoring each morsel by relishing the aroma and engaging themselves in all that their food offers allows them to celebrate their plate. And celebration it is, each time you have a meal at the recently launched Nirmanz Food Boutique in Sugar Land hosted by Chef Nirman Shah, after the grand success of Kurry Walah in Katy & different branches of Chowpatty Chat across town. This eatery is a one-stop food-hub that serves mouth-watering chaats, flavorful curries, and finger licking South Indian and Indo-Chinese food and more. And barely six months from its launch this Bollywood themed franchised food-hub has already become a hot favorite of every one. The creatively inclined Chef Nirman holds a degree in Food Technology and Hotel Management from the well renowned Institute of Hotel Management (IHM), Ahmedbad (India). Before turning into a successful hotelier, he has worked as a Chief Chef at the famous Rambagh Palace Hotel in Jaipur. His passion for being creative with food coupled with his love for Bollywood is reflected in his famous restaurants. While the menus of Kurry Walah & Chowpatty Chat are styled after famous Bollywood phrases and their restaurant interiors depict Bollywood, Nirmanz Food Boutique outshines them all. Other than its vast selection of delectable items, Nirmanz Food Boutique presents a significant dining experience that catapults food-lovers to their Indian culture and roots. Right from the time one steps into this cozy restaurant, the magical aura spellbinds them into a nostalgic escape to India. The attractive decor is an artistic reflection of Bollywood’s greatest cinematic hits, set on tall rectangular canvas, in earthy neutrals shades of orange, green & brown. Another magnetic zone of this eatery is an area that displays an autorickshaw, a vintage classic Ambassador car, some

The Shah family

bicycle parts, an Indian swing and some clear kegs of exotic painpuri waters. Camera ready foodies cheerfully click selfies around this corner, while their folks are busy munching on the savories. The decor and interior, and the menu style makes one realize that a lot of efforts have been taken to make it adorable, and give a true feeling of connecting back to India. The taste is just right and nothing short of what is available back in India. In fact, the presentation and the creative aspects of all of the food items are also so unique that they make one fall in love, over and over again. Chef Nirman Shah believes that the presentation of food adds more value and taste to the meal, and that it must be served with a heart-felt warmth. All of the food items prepared in this upscale restaurant are of a world-class quality

and authentic taste, seasoned and cooked to perfection by Chef Nirman himself. All the ingredients are fresh and made from scratch, and the dishes are prepared according to individual customer’s spice requirements. And all of these are available at prices that suit your pocket, making the entire experience a great value for money. Hospitality and philanthropy is something that runs in the Shah family. While Chef Nirman’s wife Niyati, and their three lovely daughters Manushi, Aayushi and Shreyanshi always welcome everyone with a smile, not many know that behind their smiles is also their generous nature. The Shah family distributed a lot of free food to the Harvey victims, and they regularly provide either free food or food at lower costs

for various charity events. In a conversation with Chef Nirman, when asked for the reason to start Nirmanz Food Boutique, he mentioned that cooking and serving people has always been his passion, and that he loves serving street food to get people connect back with their wonderful childhood memories. The foods they serve are so loved and relished that people can eat these at least a couple of times in a week. While street food connects more with people, the interesting menu also offers some innovative items like Pani-puri Shots, Egg Gothala, Pizza dosas and more. Chef Nirman plans to add more items to his rich and delectable menu every few months. The restaurant also specializes in customizing food for multiple occasions and they do onsite catering

which also includes live stalls of chaats and dosas. Manushi Shah (Chef Nirman’s oldest daughter) mentioned, that it has been a proud and a happy moment for the Shah family as after years of hard work and dedication their dream restaurant has turned into a reality. She also mentioned that this eatery is very close to their hearts as all of her father’s expertise has been clubbed into one captivating hub. And what more could they ask for than the loved restaurant being named after their beloved father! There are several reasons that keep driving food-lovers to this so-called celebrity Chef’s den. So what’s your reason to get there this weekend? Visit Nirmanz Food Boutique on www.nirmanz.com / www.facebook.com/chefnirman For food orders call 832-5320699 or for specialized catering orders call 1-855-647-6226.



October 20, 2017


October 20, 2017 5 COMMUNITY An Alliance Forged for Harvey Relief Fosters Strength, Unity of South Asian Healthcare Groups BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: It was the kind of

close collaboration of South Asian healthcare groups that has seldom been seen in the past five decades of the community’s growth in the US but one that many hope will become the harbinger of communal togetherness and harmony. And that was exactly the idea that propelled the normally disparate Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi physicians together to show not only a first baby step towards working on healthcare policy issues, but more pertinently, to show that they care for the people of Houston affected by Hurricane Harvey. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, or AAPI as the members fondly call it, held its fundraising gala in Houston last Saturday evening, October 14 at the Westin Oaks Galleria Hotel, and the main draw was a ghazal concert by the wellknown Indian singer Talat Aziz who hails from Hyderabad. “We had booked the 9-city concert a long time back and were raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society,” said AAPI President Dr. Gautam Samadder of Colombus, Ohio. “But after the devastation caused by Harvey, we decided to pool all the funds together to turn over all the funds for Harvey relief here.” The popular singer had already performed in Fresno, California; San Antonio and Huntsville, Alabama before performing in the Bayou City and was next going to Columbus, Ohio; Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago and Cherryville, New Jersey and in each city, except for Houston where they raised much more, they expected to collect between $10K to $15K. “But in Houston, being the re-

The Board of Directors of AAPI and IDA with members of APPNA and BMANA before the event

cipient city, we wanted to do something big, something that AAPI usually never does and the first time for a natural disaster,” added Congressman Al Green (D) brought together the team which Samadder. coordinated the Gala event, from left Dr. Madhu Aggarwal of AAPI’s loThe CEO and President of Riceland Healthcare, Tahir Pittsburgh; co-emcee Dr. Manju Sachdev of Victoria, AAPI cal chapter, Javed, flanked by AAPI President Dr. Gautam Samadder President Dr. Gautam Samadder and co-emcee, Riceland COO Indian Doc- (right) and Riceland COO Nick Lampson Nick Lampson tors Association, swung into action and its President Prasun Jalal and AAPI Board member and Treasurer Dr. Manju Sachdev were introduced to Tahir Javed, the firebrand who is the founder and CEO of Riceland Healthcare and preliminary plans took shape for the gala. Javed is well-known for his advocacy in building bridges across different communities and enterprises, a strategy that has allowed him to rapidly grow Riceland from an idea to an integrated network of physicians, hospital, hospice and home health based out of Win- A replica of the $100,000 check was presented to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner by Riceland CEO nie, Texas just southwest of Beau- Tahir Javed (to Turner’s right) and AAPI President Dr. Gautam Samadder, with ghazal singer and artist of

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the evening Talat Aziz on the left

mont. Since he arrived in the US in 1989, he and his brother Shawn have leveraged their original single convenience store business into a conglomerate of 27 separate companies. Based in Chicago, AAPI was founded in 1984 and has over 10,000 physician members, second only to the American Medi-

Photos: Ali Khan Photography

cal Association, and has a chapter in each state. There are estimated to be 50,000 doctors of Indian origin or 5% of all doctors in the US. AAPI aspires to help excel in patient care, teaching and research and to pursue professional and community involvement. With so many changes in healthcare policy on the horizon and reforms

that may impact the way physicians work, Samadder expects that AAPI will need to focus on legislative issues and would like to build bridges with the Pakistani and Bangladeshi physician groups (AAPNA and BMANA respectively) to muster unity in numbers.

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October 20, 2017


October 20, 2017





October 20, 2017

Succession Planning for Small Business Owners

HOUSTON: Most business owners want

to grow their business and maybe even pass it on to the next generation. But how many owners actually succeed? Relatively few, as it turns out. Studies show only a third of family firms make it to second generation and just a sliver get passed onto the third generation.* A key reason for this is that many companies lack proper succession plans. Consider the situation your family, employees and company would be in if something unexpected were to happen to you. What would happen to your business? Would it stay in the family? Could it realistically stay solvent without you at the helm? Or would it be sold? And then there’s the million-dollar question: Do you even know what your business is worth? The answers to these questions may not be as straightforward as you imagined. That’s why you should start planning now even if you don’t intend on leaving the business for years to come. So what options are available? If and when you exit your business, there are four possible successors: family members, co-owners, key employees or an outside third party. That brings us to a succession action plan and exactly what that entails. First, select your successor(s); it may require careful analysis. Next, determine your business valuation; bear in mind when a business is sold to family members, the transaction draws extra scrutiny from the IRS. Lastly, develop a plan to transfer your business interest quickly to minimize operational dis-

chase the business when the time comes. Additionally, a buy-sell agreement helps show creditors and customers that your business is more sustainable because you are taking action to mitigate risk. While each business is unique, succession planning is something that all businesses should consider. * Source: Molly, V., Laveren, E., and Deloof, M. (2010) Family Business Succession and Its Impact on Financial Structure and Performance. Family Business Review, Vol 23 (2) 131-147 Neither New York Life Insurance Company nor its Agents or affiliates provide tax or legal advice. Consult your legal or tax advisor to find out whether the concepts in this essay apply to your personal circum-

Amiralli Dodhiya

ruptions. Once you identify your successor(s), you must make sure that the individual(s) are in a position to take over the company --and ensure a smooth transition by outlining the terms of succession in advance. A buy-sell agreement will work differently depending on the type of business entity and the number of owners. Each type of agreement helps create a smooth process for transferring ownership of the business. The buyer can purchase a life insurance policy to help make sure they have available funds to pur-

stances. This educational third-party article is provided as a courtesy by Amiralli Dodhiya, Agent, New York Life Insurance Company. To learn more about the information or topics discussed, please contact Amir at 8328770177

An Alliance Forged for Harvey Relief Fosters Strength, Unity of South Asian Healthcare Groups CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 When the opportunity for holding the Talat Aziz concert in Houston came along, AAPI jumped at the chance to make it an event at a grander scale and solicited the help of Jalal. With help from Vaishali Dev, of San Antonio, both AAPI and Javed came together to fulfill an ambitious plan to hold a glittery gala to highlight all three communities and raise $100,000 to donate to Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Harvey Relief Fund. At the last minute, Sachdev suggested moving the event from the Avya Center to the Westin Oaks and from there Javed took over with his insistence on a quality production, down to the high-definition jumbo LED monitor as a backdrop to the stage, very high resolution graphics and superb food catered by Mezban restaurant (whose owner Sohail Feroze supervised arrangements). The gala for nearly 400 people went off well, with Sachdev emceeing with former Congressman Nick Lampson (he now works as the COO for Riceland). Saad Javed, Ricelend’s CIO introduced to a group of seven South Asian police officers as Heroes, followed by Megha Chandna, Manju’s talented daughter and an aspiring singer, who sang a lilting version of the national anthem. Samadder gave a rundown of AAPI and its goals and Jalal made brief comments of the IDA goals and presented

awards to key individuals. Lampson introduced a short video clip about the phenomenal growth of Riceland into becoming the 17th largest pharmaceutical supplier in the nation. Javed, dressed in a baby blue suit (as were other key men from his team) took the stage with his presence, and emphasized his desire to build bridges of co-operation, noting that Riceland will sign a MOU with AAPI to help beyond the gala. A quick and decisive individual, he became annoyed as people stood around one of the speakers, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and shouted repeatedly at them to sit down. After Lampson warmly introduced Congressman Al Green (D), he shot back “I can’t wait to hear myself” and asked key individuals onto the stage for pictures. Turner arrived late at 10:30pm and spoke warmly about Javed and his successes and then was presented with a check for $100,000 by the artist Talat Aziz. Both he and Lee took swipes at the Trump administration plans against immigration. Through all the speeches, awards and continuous picture taking on stage, sadly the person whom many came to see and hear was relegated to a late start at 11pm, by which time many in the audience had already left. Those who stayed enjoyed the sonorous sound of his baritone voice singing ghazals of love, life and sweet but sorrowful partings.



October 20, 2017


Curtains Rise for the Spectacular Miss/Teen/Mrs. India USA Texas Beauty Pageant


HOUSTON: Every year around

this time, women from Texas compete for the coveted titles of Miss India USA Texas, Teen India USA Texas and Mrs. India USA Texas (MIUT). This year’s glitzy and glamorous show was held on Sunday, October 8. Sage Productions in association with Radio Dabang, Texans Energy and DGN FactoryDosa Gone Nuts, presented this mega-event at the Ayva Centre. Tickets to this highly anticipated show were sold out while the event was shaping to be even bigger and better than ever. The event also corresponded with the Indian festival that symbolizes love and sacrifices of married women, Karwa Chauth. Since the pageant kicked off in the evening, Umang Mehta of Deep Foods didn’t want the women attending this event to be left out from their rituals. So, to honor those who were fasting, Umang provided Karwa Chauth Thali’s, while Uma Mantravadi and Meenakshi Malhotra led the Karwa Chauth Katha for the ladies. As guests started stepping in, they were greeted with flutes of champagne and mango lassi. The evening started with a networking social hour after which the guests were escorted to their seats. The VIP’s had an extraordinary experience with their refreshments, and


Abiya Olivia Malhotra (center) with the finalists & winners.

DJ Sage & Abiya Olivia Malhotra with Jasmine Sandlas (center). Photos: Dr. Nik Nikam, Rahim Budhwani, and G Photography

Presenting Partners of the show DGN Factory, Texans Energy, and Radio Dabang.

freshly cooked masala dosa’s being served right at their tables. As contestants were on stage battling in the three categories, spectators were treated to an extravaganza of glorious cultural hymns, fashion, music and dance. The Emcees for the evening were Ahmed Kamal, Amardeep Kaur Rana and Guddi Shah.

Finally, the stage glittered with Karmic Anthem performing an original composition for MIUT, and all the top finalists joining on stage to greet the guests. This was followed by the ethnic wear round, where the girls looked so pretty in their stunning and lavishing outfits. The wonderfully talented 2016 winners came up on stage and they were introduced and felicitated. They were definitely an inspiration for the upcoming contestants and helped boost their morale’s. The pageant kicked off with the Teen/Miss Talent round. It was so amazing to watch these young, gifted and talented girls give their best. After this round, Karmic Anthem came up on stage again for a quick entertainment performance, while the girls were getting ready for the eveningwear round. It was absolutely a marvel to watch the ladies walk the ramp with poise, in their sophisticated and fabulous evening gowns. This was followed by a question and answer round, after which the ladies went backstage and left the panel of judges to their difficult tasks. The contestants were given an opportunity to interact with the CONTINUED ON PAGE 11


10 October 20, 2017



GSSWH Donates $40,000 to Mayor’s Harvey Relief Fund

Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Gurdwara Sahib of SW Houston, Prithvipal Singh Likhari (center with head scarf) with members of the Board and donors at the Gurdwara last Sunday, August 15 at the check donation ceremony.

HOUSTON: Mother Nature has

her own ways but when she gets angry, she comes down with a heavy hand. That’s what Hurricane Harvey did to Houstonians. Widespread flooding brought many parts of the metropolitan area to a grinding halt. The destruction caused by floodwaters was immense, and its impact on the lives of those affected will be felt for quite some time. As the disaster was unfolding and post-flooding, one bright spot was the effort that people made to help each other. Community organizations took up the challenge helping people by providing a variety of assistance, from food to shelter, medical aid

to moral support and the financial aid to rebuild. On Sunday, August 27 as the floodwaters were rising, the Gurdwara Sahib of SW Houston sent a mass communication to the community offering shelter and food to anyone affected by flooding and shortly thereafter launched fund raising efforts. The sangat members were requested to donate to the Harvey Relief Fund (HRF) to support rehabilitation efforts undertaken by the city and state. In an attempt to motivate people to open their hearts and donate generously, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Prithvipal Singh Likhari and the Director, Punjabi School of GSSWH, his wife Manmeet Kaur

Miss/Teen/Mrs. India USA Texas

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 09 judges before the show and the judges were given tablets to enter their scores for the pageant through an online scoring platform. The judges included Jasmine Sandlas, Amir Ali Dodhiya, Katie Jones, Uma Mantravadi, Kiran Meghani, Sangeeta Dua, Sami Khaleeq, Eva Elias, George Eapen and Travis Hamilton. Jasmine Sandlas also gave a rocking performance and elevated the spirits of the audience. Finally it was time for unveiling the results and the names of the winners were announced and they were awarded and crowned. Along with bragging rights, the winners also earned agreements with Revalusion Talent Management Agency, Brand Ambassadorship with Texans Energy, DGN Factory, Amir Ali Dodhiya (NYL), Apsara Beauty Salon, TV Houston, CRY, SEWA USA, Alliance Group Houston, India House and the American Lung Association in Texas. While the media was busy interviewing the winners, it was announced that the moon has been spotted. It was a cheerful moment for the fasting ladies and the official party began soon after. The glossy event saw a big number of attendees. Sponsors are the backbone and strength of any event and the organizers of this show were thankful to their sponsors, and mentioned that this mega event would not have been possible without them. The sponsors of this event included Radio

Dabang (Moid Khan and Irfan Moosa), Texans Energy (Javed Meghani, Kiran Meghani and Steven Varghese), Dosa Gone Nuts The DGN Factory (Niraj Shah and George Eapen), Karya Property Management, Amir Ali Dodhiya (NYL), Amedia Marketing, Apex Printing, Wedding Essentials, Kas Inspirations, Hooked on Henna, Parinaz Boutique, Curve Hospitality, M.V. Enterprises, Capt. Raj Maritime and Associates, American Lung Association in Texas, Simple Med, Deep Foods (Umang Mehta), 20-20 Texting, Karmic Anthem, Andrew Hossain Realtor, BJ Josan Realtor, TV One, TV Houston, Flowers USA TV, Aaj TV, Pakistan Times, IndoAmerican News, DFW Dallas, G Photography, King Superman Photography, A & A photo and video, ISR, Jupji Dholi, Toki Dholi, Houston Di Shaan, Blu, Radio Naya Andaaz, Jadoo TV, Keralli USA TV, NNN Network and Tariq Unnabi Khan. The results were as follows: Miss India USA Texas 2017 1. Hinna Akhter - Winner, Best Talent and Miss Photogenic 2. Priyanka Sharma - 1st Runner Up and Miss Personality 3. Sarah Suttar - 2nd Runner Up Teen India USA Texas 2017 1. Celina Rahim - Winner, Best Talent and Teen Photogenic 2. Aabha Singh - 1st Runner Up and Teen Personality 3. Nadia Ali- 2nd Runner Up Mrs India USA Texas 2017 1. Prerana Chitlangia - Winner


October 20, 2017 Likhari offered to match donations dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000. The response was overwhelming, and involved not just the local sangat but also that of the gurdwara in Cleveland, Ohio. On behalf of his organization, Guru Nanak Foundation trustee Ash Chawla sent a check for $10,000 towards the HRF, and Chairman Likhari provided the matching funds to a total up tof $40,000. This donation will go a long way to project the Indian community as caring and willing to be a partner in rebuilding what has been lost to the force of Hurricane Harvey. Facilitated by the Consul General of India, Dr. Anupam Ray, the funds will be channeled to the Houston Mayor’s and Texas Governor’s Funds set up to receive proceeds of the relief donations and will be noted as coming from the Indian diaspora. The GSSWH is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity organization located at 14811 Lindita Drive, Houston, TX 77083. It has been providing socio-religious services for almost ten years, open 7 days a week from 7 am to 7 pm. Religious services are offered every Friday evening at 7:30 pm and on Sundays at 11:30 am. Visit www. gurdwaraswh.com or email secretarygsswh@yahoo.com and Best Presentation 2. Madhulika Prakash - 1st Runner Up and Mrs. Photogenic 3. Preethy Sajeev - 2nd Runner Up The team of Sage Productions and top 3 candidates from each category are now preparing for the nationals to be held in NJ, in December. Sage Productions is a conglomerate for Ciel Event Management, DJ Sage Entertainment and Ciel Tech USA. Their team members are Sajawal Dass (DJ Sage), Abiya Olivia Malhotra, Adil Dass, Raman Jain, Manal Lakhany, Marium Lakhany, Falak Lakhany, Ahmed Kamal and Asad Mirza. For further information call 832-5763382 or visit www.sageproductions.biz

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12 October 20, 2017


October 20, 2017



14 October 20, 2017


A Brotherhood of Masons Honor a Sikh Brother who Served So Willingly



ICHMOND: There is a streak of generosity and kindliness that has percolated inside Raj Bhalla long before he first understood as a young boy where it would lead him. He found examples of giving to causes and helping others in the work of his father who was a Freemason and a Past Grand Standard Bearer and Past Junior Regional Grand Warden in the Grand Lodge of India in New Delhi. He and his younger brothers G.P. S. Bhalla and Paul were inspired by him. Firmly entrenched in the principles of Freemasonry, by June 1964, Rajinder Pal Singh Bhalla, then 33, had become a Master Mason at the Northern Star Lodge No. 21 in Ferozepur Cantonment, Punjab, just miles from the IndoPak border.

Bhalla continued his association after he came to America, joining the Paumanok-Port Washington No. 855 Lodge from 1976 till 1993, serving as its Worshipful Master in 1982 and after moving to Sugar Land in 1995, he joined the Morton Masonic Lodge No. 72 in Richmond. Now a very active 86 years-old, Bhalla has been a Free Mason for over 50 years and in April 2015 his Lodge presented him with the coveted Golden Trovel Award, the highest honor a Texas lodge can bestow on one of its members, in recognition of his devoted and outstanding service to Masonic principles. The history of fraternity of Freemasonry is filled with many worthy deeds since the order was first established long ago in 1717 in London, England. Personal growth Raj Bhalla with his family and fellow Masons. In backrow, from left are District Deputy Grand Master Albert Davis, Worshipful Master Cody Cockroft, wife Kanwal Bhalla, daughter-in-law Dr. Jyotish Bhalla, son Gurpreet Bhalla, and son Narinder Bhalla. In front on either side of his portrait are, from left, granddaughter Sonya Bhalla and grandson Ravi Bhalla.

The proclamation renaming Morton Masonic Hall to Rajinder Bhalla Hall.

and social betterment via individual involvement and philanthropy have been the guiding lights of the stonemason guilds that have survived through the ensuing centuries. Stonemason guilds have transcended national boundaries and religious affiliations and they seek to better the lives of those around the local Lodges where the members gather for regular meetings. Some very famous Americans were Masons, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere and President Teddy Roosevelt. Just this past June, Bhalla was summoned to his Lodge on some pretense and was surprised with a proclamation of exemplary service. The Worshipful Master gave a speech and presented Bhalla with a shadow box with a kirpan, an antique Masonic plaque, and a suitably engraved dedication which reads: “To our Beloved Brother Rajinder Pal Singh Bhalla. Your dedication to the Craft, your kind heart and your generous spirit will live forever in our hearts.” The Brothers passed a proclamation to name the Masonic Lodge Hall, where regular meetings are held, as “Rajinder Bhalla Hall” Ten days ago, on Sunday, October 8, in a formal ceremony, mem-

Dr. Raj Bhalla receiving his dedication award from the Worshipful Master Cody Cockroft

bers of the Lodge got together to present the formal proclamation, read by the Worshipful Master Cody Cockroft, which recognized his “extraordinary generosity towards the Lodge, leading efforts to provide access to the second floor and ensuring the restoration of the roof.” To honor his tremendous act of kindness, for which Bhalla had donated $65,000, the lodgeroom was formally renamed, with a wooden plaque affixed at the entrance. The new single-person elevator for handicapped access retracts into the ceiling until it is needed, and so keeps the space clear. Lodge members also made many other improvements to their building in the heart of downtown Richmond. After the presentation, Bhalla demonstrated his sharp memory and wit in going around the full aisles along the sides of the hall and introducing each of the about 60 guests not only by name but also by occupation and in some cases community affiliation. A copy of the Granth Sahib, Sikhism’s holiest text (which Bhalla had brought) was laid out next to the Bible on the altar in the middle of the room. And there, in front of the Eastward Lodge Chairs was a portrait of Raj Bhalla with small

Bhalla’s framed portrait and dedication will be placed in a corner of the hall adjacent a portrait of George Washington.

flags of the US and India draped to each side. Joining in on the celebration were Bhalla’s wife Kanwal and their sons and families from the East Coast: older son Gurpreet and his son Ravi, Gurpreet’s wife Jyotish and younger son Narinder with his daughter Sonya. Later after the ceremony, Bhalla hosted a catered lunch (from Bombay Brasserie) for all the guests and Mason members at the downstairs reception of the Lodge.


October 20, 2017



16 October 20, 2017


Austin Sparkle’s in Diwali with Kusum Sharma’s Ramleela BY KAMLESH NARWANI


Ramleela is a dramatic adaptation of the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana based on Lord Rama’s life (seventh avatar of God Vishnu). Ramleela is globally enjoyed during Diwali to celebrate the return of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita to their Ayodhya Kingdom after 14 years of exile. Kalakriti Performing Arts (501c non-profit) under the direction of Kusum Sharma, has showcased Ramleela (Kalakriti’s flagship production) and several other cultural shows in Houston for the past 13 years. Kalakriti has again delivered an extravagant Ramleela performance on October 14, at the Radha Madhav Dham in Austin, Texas. A team of 80 volunteer crew members with all production items logistically commuted from Houston to Austin and delivered an opulent show. Kalakriti’s Houston Ramleela is a 2.5-hour production with over 170 crew members. As this Ramleela is a first-time experience for Austin population, Kusum eloquently customized the show to a brisk 60-minute, whilst rigorously maintaining the show’s opulence features including but not limited to the visual & sound effects, English language delivery, aerial

Photos: Radha Madhav Dham & Shhyam Moorthy

stunts, and beautiful costumes and props. Over 6000 people attended the show with 1500 packed in the main auditorium and rest viewing it on the live projected temple screens. The crowd was continually filled with applause and excitement during the show that

extended for several of hours post show with the fireworks and the crowd devotionally engaging with the Ram Darbar cast (Lord Ram, Sita, Laxman, & Hanuman). The audience members in this Ramleela presentation included all age groups enjoying from children (the dance numbers) to adults

(production effects and narration) and senior citizens (connecting to religious prayers like Hanuman Chalisa & Ramayan Chaupais). This show witnessed a growing loyal base of Houstonians (drove to watch the show), with the addition of Austinites, and attendees coming from the mid-west Chica-

goans. This cross-cultural appeal of this presentation was visible with an audience mix of the Asian and Western community members. The remarkable success of this Ramleela is a milestone testament to Kalakriti’s diligent achievement in spreading the cultural & ethical values of the Indian Culture. The event also capped a very successful and busy 2017 for Kalakriti with 5 conducted performances and 1 cancelled due to Harvey. Please visit www.kalakrtitiusa. org for additional information including future cultural events and support with your tax-free donation for even more successful 2018.



October 20, 2017


TCC Taped Ball Tournament Fall 2017: R2CC Winners, Cougars Runners up

HOUSTON: Right to Cricket Club

(R2CC) won their 2nd TCC championship trophy thereby maintaining their clean record in the finals by defeating Cougars by 41 runs to be crowned as Champions of TCC Taped Ball Tournament Fall 2017 which comprised of 26 teams. This final was a match between two well matched teams with Cougars in their 9th final and on a 14 match winning streak and R2CC in their second final steamrolling all opponents in the playoffs on their way to the finals. The final was played on October 7, 2017. R2CC won the toss and decided to bat first which was an obvious choice for R2CC. In-form Gurpreet and Rajdeep opened the innings for R2CC, Cougars nabbed Gurpreet on 2(4) quickly. Kushal walked in as R2CC hoped for another explosive innings from him. He didn’t disappoint and immediately took a charge and hammered 11,12 and 13 runs in next 3 consecutive overs. Rajdeep and Kushal added quickfire 72 runs in 8 overs until Kushal was caught at short leg on 36(25) attempting a big shot. Rajdeep’s swashbuckling innings ended in the 11th over when he was caught at deep mid-wicket boundary on 40(27). Anurag 17(11) and Rishi 17(25) continued the positive batting in the middle overs. R2CC lost wickets in between and were 121/5 in 17 overs from 85/2 in 10 overs. Deep 21(14) and Srini 23(12) proved the depth in R2CC’s

youth cricket. He Rajdeep Das (Captain) & Anurag spoke about his Srivastava (vice-captain), of R2CC passion for cricket were presented with the championand how pleased ship trophy and Ashwin Tandon, the he was to find so captain of Cougars was presented much cricket ac- with the runners up trophy. The playtivity in Houston ers of the Winners and Runners up and lauded the teams up received individual troefforts for TCC phies. Man of the match for the final for youth cricket. was Victor Jesudason from R2CC for He also encour- his three crucial breakthroughs. aged everyone in Abhishek from Houston Titans supporting youth won the best batsman trophy for scorcricket here in ing 264 runs. Gurpreet Singh from Houston. His fa- R2CC won both the best bowler and ther also graced the best all-rounder trophies for his 20 the occasion with wickets and 142 runs. CK Swaroop his presence. Jaga- from Cougars won the best wicket Winners R2CC with Chief Guest Malay Vyas and his father. dish Biradar, the keeper for 31 catches and a special organizer for TCC award was given to Prashanth Manne batting when they launched their tried to hold the innings together final assault on Cougars in last three but Cougars kept loosing wickets at Taped Ball tournament coordinated from Rattlers-Spartans from scoring a century. overs and posted a challenging total regular intervals resulting in increas- the presentation ceremony. of 159/6 in 20 overs. Prabhu was the ing run rate every over. Eventually most successful bowler for Cougars Cougars were bowled out for 117 and with three wickets. R2CC won the Championship by 41 Cougars had a tough ask of chasing runs. Victor and Gurpreet were the 160 for the win against a well-knit most successful bowlers for R2CC bowling attack. As it needed, they bagging 3 wickets each. Happy and started their innings aggressively but Deep chipped in with two wickets lost their first wicket soon to a terrific each. catch by the wicket keeper Rajdeep The game was followed by a wellof Happy’s wonderful out swinger. organized prize distribution ceremoDespite the early breakthrough, Rahil ny arranged by TCC. TCC and teams andAshwin continued their explosive were honored to have Mr. Malay Vyas batting and scored 41/1 in 4 overs in from SLYCC. He is very well known no time. Victor put the brakes on with for promoting youth cricket in Housa crucial breakthrough in the 5th over ton in a big way. He was felicitated by when Rahil was caught on mid-wicket TCC with a plaque for his contribu- Runners up Cougars with Chief Guest Malay Vyas and his father. by Anurag on 27(19). Ashwin 30(28) tion to cricket in Houston especially

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18 October 20, 2017 India Must Prepare for Assertive China


How to Reap the Demograhic Dividend BY ATUL RAJA & KUSHAL PRAKASH


Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s unscripted interaction with

Chinese border troops during a visit to Nathu La has drawn praise from several quarters in China. The friendly exchange is being hailed as a sign of normalisation of bilateral ties after the tense 73-day standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Doklam. That episode was defused by end of August through a coordinated withdrawal from the dispute site. This allowed Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the Xiamen Brics summit. Against this backdrop, Sitharaman’s interaction with Chinese soldiers makes for good PR. However, that should not lull New Delhi into complacency. Reports have emerged that Chinese troops have amassed behind the face-off site in Doklam and widened an existing road in the area. Although the Indian side has denied any change in the status quo established in August, it’s clear that Beijing will continue to press its claims over Doklam and possibly test Indian positions at other places along the Line of Actual Control. China’s rising economic profile has been accompanied by a narrow focus on what it considers to be its national self-interest, to the exclusion of all other considerations: indeed it is arguable that China’s 19th century style projection of power is responsible for the wave of hypernationalist populism that grips the world today. Indian foreign policy must respond to this challenge on its doorstep with a difficult balancing act: it must simultaneously signal flexibility and willingness to negotiate a win-win solution (as Sitharaman did), alongside preparedness to play the long game (as the Chinese do) and firmness on its red lines. New Delhi must shore up its strategic position by building border roads and infrastructure, as well as by making progress in ties with Bangladesh irreversible. The latter will strengthen access to the northeast and thus relieve Chinese pressure on the Siliguri corridor through Doklam. But above all other considerations, the real game changer will be the economy. Not only does the fact that the Chinese economy is five times India’s enable Beijing to throw far more resources into the border faceoff, GDP growth is an ersatz religion in China. In that context, India’s economic slowdown in a context of global growth does nothing to make Beijing take New Delhi seriously. Given India’s low base, it should aim at a growth rate that is at least double China’s. Else Beijing will continue to hold the cards and outlast New Delhi in any strategic game. -timesofindia.com

hen the number of cellphones sold in India touched the billion mark in 2013, India manufactured very few cellphones. Mindful of the growing mobile phone market in the country, the government increased the import tariff for mobiles in 2015 (making the import of finished mobile devices more expensive than producing it locally – an exercise known as correcting the inverted duty structure). The reform, along with a few structural changes, made India one of the fastest growing mobile manufacturing economies in the world with more than 42 plants set up in the last two years, generating direct and indirect employment for over four lakh people. By next year, the number of unemployed job-seeking individuals in India will reach 18 million. Promising interventions, like the one that spurred job creation in the mobile manufacturing industry, need to be adopted more widely. According to a FICCI 2016 report, there are opportunities to correct inverted duty structure in six other sectors: capital goods, cement, electronics and electricals, rubber products, minerals and textiles. Knowing what induces job creation, while keeping the macro reality of India in perspective, is a crucial step towards ameliorating the current situation. Job creation is a consequence of two broad phenomena: creation of new enterprises and expansion of existing ones. Employment friendly policies like promoting investments, regulating international trade, making ecosystems conducive for businesses and managing labour markets, eventually lead to one of the above two phenomena. However, the theory has unique exceptions in the Indian context. Enterprise creation in India has not traditionally translated to creation of proportionate new jobs. More than 66% of non-farm enterprises in the country – a little over 30 million, most of them MSMEs – function

without a single hired worker. The government’s Startup India Policy, aimed at boosting enterprise creation while generating employment, is a step towards solving the problem. But the minuscule coverage of enterprises under the policy (2,865 as per the latest report) remains a potential hurdle. Also, with 98% of total VC funding going to startups located in just six cities, the regional skew in the number of new jobs created is high, leaving the potential of an otherwise vast nation almost untapped. Nonetheless, with the vehement implementation of the Startup India Action Plan, it is not impractical to expect a redressal in the medium term. The inability of a large number of enterprises to grow and create jobs also indicates that enterprise expansion is non-aspirational in India. Research states that the lack of emphasis on innovation, coupled with byzantine regulations, are two prime reasons. Poor fund allocation in R&D (less than 1% of India’s annual budget, as compared to 3-5% by countries like the US and China) inhibits innovation, and hence prospects of job growth. A programme like the ‘Small Business Innovation and Research’ (which provides enterprises with competitive R&D grants), proposed in a Niti Aayog Expert Committee report, can be a game changer. For larger firms that can afford to innovate and grow, a totally different

kind of challenge limits their job creation potential. The unit cost of capital has fallen to less than 0.6 times the unit cost of labour – a 16x drop from the unit cost of labour in the early 1980s. Chasing higher productivity at a lesser cost is the prevailing industry norm and recent developments in automation and artificial intelligence pose a daunting impact on the job market. Apt policies aimed at tempering the impact of rapid technological buildout and striking a balance between productivity and labour employment need to be conceptualised. New age sectors like defence and aerospace, education and healthcare, and burgeoning green sectors like solar energy and wind, present another massive opportunity to identify ‘upcoming jobs’ and prepare talent accordingly. India’s ambition to create more than one million new jobs in the green energy sector by 2022 is encouraging. Large-scale job creation is the government’s most formidable challenge presently. Prudent strategies based on actual lay of the land will determine India’s growth trajectory and pronounce the quality of life our citizens will lead once we grow old as a nation. Not reaping the dividends of demography is not an option. The time to act is now. The writers work with the Wadhwani Foundation on Policy-led initiatives


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



October 20, 2017


Grand Diwali Bazaar Celebrations at Sri Meenakshi Temple on Saturday October 14


PEARLAND: Diwali (Deepavali)

festival was celebrated at Sri Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS), Pearland on October 14, 2017 in a grand manner. With an estimated attendance of over 5,000 people of all ages from around the Houston metro area and over 42 vendor booths, the visitors came throughout the day in a steady stream in spite of two other diwali bazaars in the area. Sri Meenakshi temple has grown by attracting more and more people from all the diverse communities, with the divine blessings of Goddess Meenakshi to all. Deepavali, the festival of Lights, is considered as one of the most important Hindu holidays. It symbolizes celebration of the victory of good over evil. It is a day of festivities that transcends the borders of age, language, and religion. Sri Meenakshi temple is the shining jewel of worship, and this year it was especially meaningful to seek the divine blessings and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow devotees after experiencing many hardships from the unusual natural disasters. This was the unanimous thought among all the visitors. The day started auspiciously with clear fall weather skies. This is the day when it is believed that the sacred Ganga river flows throughout the world and an early morning bath is equivalent to a dip in the holy waters of Ganga where all our sins are washed away. The priests started the pujas at the break of dawn and worked tirelessly till late evening, attending to the devotees needs. The traditional Lakshmi puja was conducted in the Main Temple at 11am and 6:30 pm by the priests with incredible decorations for the mother goddess and an ambience filled with devotion and traditional prayers. It was a sight to behold, with the highlight of the religious event being the elaborate Lakshmi Puja with sahasranama (1008 names) archana was performed by the priests and witnessed by the thrilled devotee audience with tremendous enthusiasm and devotion. The final Aarthi accompanied by vedic chanting enthralled the hearts of all present. Goddess Lakshmi was taken on a procession around the temple with great fanfare and pomp in the beautifully decorated and shining silver Ratham (chariot), stunningly lit up with blue lamps. Hundreds of devotees took part in pulling the chariot rope to the


Stay tuned every Sunday,


to from 2.30pm to 3.30pm



resounding drumbeat of “chenda melam” (traditional drums of Kerala). Among the many attractions organized by MTS for the young devotees were the children’s cultural program, carnival, and arts competition. Brightly clad children entertained the visitors by displaying their wonderful talents in traditional Indian dances and songs. Children were seen having lots of fun at the carnival. The arts competition



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had 3 age groups aimed at art, writing, and oral presentation. The participants showed great talent, and some of their art work will be displayed in the temple premises. The winners CONTINUED ON PAGE 22

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Vanshika Vipin 713-789-6397


20 October 20, 2017

STAFFORD: BAPS Charities sup-

ported The Nature Conservancy (TNC) through Walk Green 2017, a series of walkathons hosted by BAPS Charities in centers across the country. On October 7, 2017, BAPS Charities presented TNC executives and program leadership with a check for $165,000. The donation will help to plant 100,000 trees in 2017 and supports the Plant a Billion Trees Initiative. BAPS Charities volunteers and Board members presented The Nature Conservancy’s Troy Ettel, Director of Forest Conservation; Myriam Dormer, Urban Conservation Director; Rachel Holmes, Urban Forester; Maria Fisher, Donor Stewardship Officer; and Erin Daly, Donor Relations Manager with the check which was followed by a tree-planting ceremony. Over the last six months, BAPS Charities hosted their annual walkathons across North America. This year’s national partner and beneficiary, the Nature Conservancy, continues a partnership between BAPS Charities and the Conservancy from 2016. This year, over 22,000 individuals participated in the walks. These annual Walks have grown to 63 centers participating this year nationally. The Nature Conservancy’s efforts focus on protecting habitats and preserving biodiversity across the world. In addition to targeted conservation efforts, The Nature Conservancy also invests in research related to conservation and climate change to drive


BAPS Charities Donates $165,000 to Plant 100,000 Trees Supports Plant-a-Billion Trees Initiative

their international efforts. “Participating in the BAPS Charities Walkathon is a tradition for my family. Every year we come together and use the opportunity to support the causes that BAPS Charities carefully selects.” said 16-year-old Aayush Patel. With a commitment to sustainabil-

ity and environmental stewardship, the continued partnership between The Nature Conservancy and BAPS Charities is only natural. Last year, BAPS Charities organized Walkathons nationally, helping plant a total of 70,000 trees across the country to contribute to a broader goal of planting a billion trees by 2020.

“BAPS Charities activities reinforce the importance of serving others, raising awareness about important causes, and this year, protecting the planet through practice

is important to my family and me,” said Anand Mehta, a participant in the day’s activities. BAPS Charities uses these opportunities to instill a spirit of service and commitment to preservation and environmental responsibility in community members. Through participation in events and fundraising activities like Walkathons, participants are actively engaged in conversations and action around sustainability and conservation, becoming owners rather than bystanders. More widely in its operations, BAPS Charities participates in energy efficiency planning through prioritizing the use of solar power, efficient fiber optics, and efficient lighting fixtures. This culture of environmental responsibility is at the core of BAPS Charities’ work and culture in pro-

moting natural harmony. More details on http://www.bapscharities.org/usa/atlanta/165000tnc-donation/



October 20, 2017

JVB Preksha Meditation Center Celebrates 18 Years in Houston with Grand Annual Day Event



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HOUSTON: “The efforts of the

past become the fate of the present and the future.” -Acharya Shri Mahashraman 18 years ago, in Houston, JVB Preksha Meditation Center opened its doors to envision the untiring efforts of Acharya Shri Tulsi & Acharya Shri Mahapragyaji to spread Preksha Meditation among masses of all religions. Today, JVB is proudly pioneering in serving the entire community with weekly classes, programs and special events to fulfill this dream and is growing by leaps and bounds. To celebrate JVB’s 18 years of existence in Houston & 8th Anniversary of the current Center located @ 14102 Schiller Rd, JVB patrons once again graced the occasion by actively participating in the 2-day festivities which started on Saturday, October 7th & concluded on Sunday, Oct.8th, 2017. The Annual 2- day event started with a cultural program on Saturday evening with Samanijjs reciting Navkar Mahamantra and JVB’s president, Seema Jain welcoming the community members. Arham Bhajan Mandali presented a beautiful song written by Samani Pranav Pragyaji followed by Samani Kanchan Pragyaji’ s brief discourse in which

she enlightened the audience to invest in their present and future and learn from their past. She also emphasized the importance of progress in life and how it has less to do with the speed and more to do with the direction. She also explained that JVB is a Journey, a place for exploring spiritual progress of Life. Then followed an hour long magnificent display of a Hindi comedy play titled “ Lamho ka Maza, Sadiyon ki Saza” based on the theory of eight Karmas directed by Dilip Kapasi and prepared under the observation of Samanijis. 200+ community members were present to witness a resplendent ceremony of art, music & drama put together by the dedicated members of JVB team. No effort was spared & result spoke for itself. The play glorified a spectacular story of a common man’s deeds by bringing it to life and how he confronts Yamraaj & Chitragupt in Yamlok after his accidental death. The entire story was told through striking audio & video slides, soulful music and meaningful lyrics. The crux of the play was learning about bad karmas, particularly 8 of them, that we incur easily if we don’t watch out for them, and how we pay for the consequences throughout the ages. The entire audience was spellbound by the beautiful performances strung together by the cast & crew of team members. Vote of

Photos: Anoop Kohale

thanks was done by JVB BOD, Alok Jain. His spirited speech recognized the efforts of JVB founders, past and current executive team. Next, Sunday morning started early with 18 Adhar Abhishek Pooja of Bhagwan Mahavir by Reverend Shri Jayesh Khona (from California) followed by Aarti. Several devotees took the labh of this special, once a year Pooja, which lasted for 4 hours followed by sumptuous lunch. JVB Preksha Meditation Center envisions a blissful and peaceful society through Preksha Meditation, Yoga and Education of Non-violence. It conducts weekly Mediation, Yoga and Swadhyay sessions and runs special events and programs like iChoose & Meditation Camps. Its open to all and every session or event is free of charge to its attendees. Upcoming Events Include Oct. 19th- Deepawali/ Bhagwaan Mahavir Nirvaan Kalyanak Diwas celebration with special Jaap from 8:30-9:30pm by Samanijis in the center. For further information, Call Seema Jain at 281-575-0575. Visit www.jvbhouston.org or send email at info@jvbhouston.org for more details.

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22 October 20, 2017 Those Who Made It: A Seven-part Series Airing on Zee TV in America, Canada, and the Caribbean, Every Saturday

NEW YORK: Zee TV launched

Those Who Made It, directed by Mayank Tripathi, which is a series that features an Indian American entrepreneur and philanthropist every episode. The show follows the individuals as they recount their path to success and share stories from their personal and professional lives. The series premiered on October 14. The first episode followed Sheela Murthy, a successful lawyer who founded the Murthy Law Firm to help other immigrants like herself to maneuver through the complicated legal process. Her firm is ranked as one of the world’s leading U.S. immigration law firms. The upcoming episodes will relay the tales of Sant Chatwal, Frank Islam, AJ Khubani, Suri Sehgal, Javad Hassan and Mafat Patel – all of these enterprisers are an inspiration to South Asian immigrants who are pursuing their own American dream. Those Who Made It proves that as long as you believe and work hard, you can achieve success! Zee TV, airing programs primarily in Hindi, made its debut in Hollywood by launching the first ever English language South Asian reality television show Made In America. It is no surprise that the largest Indian television network in the world is the first Indian channel

to produce content targeting international audiences. Selecting six girls from a pool of 6,000 applicants, Made In America followed the contestants for 10 weeks as they competed in various challenges, displayed their individual talents and trained with different coaches. The reality show, which only features second generation South Asians, is hosted by Nina Davaluri, the first ever Indian American to be crowned Miss America. The finale of the reality show aired on October 12. Sameer Targe, CEO of Zee TV America said, “We realized that there was a need in the marketplace to reach a younger South Asian audience who have an enormous desire to be in the glamour world. Zee TV is the flagship television network for SouthAsians in the US, we decided to launch ‘Made In America’ to fulfill their Hollywood

dreams, and create a platform for them to be able to showcase their talents.” You can follow Zee TV USA’s new original programming at zeeoriginals.com. ABOUT ZEE TV: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited is one of India’s leading television media and entertainment companies. It is amongst the largest producers and aggregators of Hindi programming in the world, with an extensive library housing over 222,000 hours of television content. With rights to more than 3,818 movie titles from foremost studios and of iconic film stars, ZEE houses the world’s largest Hindi film library. Through its strong presence worldwide, ZEE entertains over 1 billion viewers across 172 countries.


Grand Diwali Bazaar Celebrations at Sri Meenakshi Temple on Saturday October 14 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 in the written and oral presentation competitions will be showcased in the MTS radio program soon. Many young kids had fun time bouncing around at a special playground setup for them. Many of the colorful rangoli displays by the local talented artists showed the amount of talent in our community, and provided a visual feast to the attendees in the Kalyana mandapam. The 22nd MTS Annual Free Health Fair was a phenomenal success. It was well attended and had the highest attendance so far. Over 150 people received free blood tests: Complete Blood count, Metabolic profile, Lipids, Thyroid profile, EKGs, Vision, Dental, Urologic, and General medical checks. Volunteers poured in to support from local physicians, nurses from Memorial Hermann South east, Kindred Hospitals, San Jac School of Nursing, UH Pharmacy School, and Medical students from Dan Arnold Center for Vision Rehab. MTS Chairman Narayanan welcomed every one and Pearland Mayor Tom Reid, CEO Mr. Kyle Price, and COO Mr. Mario Garner of Memorial Hermann Southeast and Pearland Hospitals, Kindred CCO Joanne Barrett cut the ribbon and inaugurated the Health Fair. Dr. P. Vaduganathan, the coordinator of the Health Fair recognized the Health care providers for their valuable contributions.

Honorable Mayor of Pearland Tom Reid, and Kyle Price, CEO of Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital cut the ribbon and inaugurated the Fair. Over 45 vendors displayed their exotic jewelry, saris, costumes, art works, pictures, books etc in the grand bazaar that filled up the entire Youth Center. Honorable Mayor of Pearland Tom Reid, and John Kelley, Superintendent of Pearland Independent School District cut the ribbon and inaugurated the Bazaar. Large number of visitors were seen thronging the bazaar shopping their hearts and wallets out. The busiest place was unsurprisingly the food tent. Six local restaurants set up shop and served authentic Indian dishes non-stop till midnight. MTS Chairman Narayanan thanked the Deepavali Bazaar coordinator Joint Treasurer Kamala Raghavan for a job well done. The MTS board members thank the community for their support and extend our invitation for everyone to attend the Maha Kumbhabhishekam celebration on Thanksgiving Day November 23rd, 2017. Our temple will have the unique honor of being the only North American temple housing the “Nayanmargal and Azhwarkal” along with the 3 “Acharyas”. We humbly request every devotee to attend and get the divine blessings.



October 20, 2017

Police Clueless on Three-year-old Adopted Indian Girl’s Disappearance in US

This undated photo provided by the Richardson Texas Police Department shows 3-year-old Sherin Mathews.

HOUSTON: One week since a three-year-old

Indian girl vanished during an alleged incident of bizarre late-night punishment meted out by her Indian foster father, police in Richardson are yet to find a clue as to what happened to her, US media reports said on Sunday. Sherin Mathews vanished last Saturday after her father Wesley Mathews told police he left her outside at 3 a.m. as punishment for not drinking her milk. Mathews claimed that when he went to check on her around 3:15 am she was gone. Police said he waited five hours before reporting Sherin missing. During an interview with detectives, Wesley Mathews said he checked around his home for Sherin and then went back inside to do laundry. He was released from jail last Sunday after posting his USD 250,000 bond. Neighbours of the Indian-American couple have turned the tree across the backyard alley from Sherin’s home in Richardson in Dallas, Texas into a memorial to the little girl. People have left teddy bears, balloons, angel figurines, a box of written prayers, and even a single gallon of milk, WFFA TV reported. It is the tree where her father Wesley claims he left the girl as punishment. He claims that when he came back to get her she was gone. Wesley has since been arrested, and bonded out, on a charge of child endangerment and ordered to wear an ankle monitor as the investigation continues. But after a week, with searches that included the help of the FBI, Richardson police tell News 8 on this 8th day of her disappearance that they have no new information to report. US Child Protective Services has taken custody of the couple’s older 4-year-old daughter and neither Wesley Mathews nor his wife have talked publicly about what happened. Police are still looking for any surveillance video or information that will help show them where the family’s SUV went when it disappeared for an hour that morning. So far, tips from the public have not led to any definitive clues that could lead police to Sherin. “I pray every night, but I more pray the mama say the truth because this baby need to be in peace, and the people feeling bad need to be in peace too,” said a local resident Silvia Johnson. Police are asking people to check surveillance footage for a maroon Acura SUV they say left the home an hour after Sherin disappeared. “We would like to thank those who have provided tips and video up to this point. We continue to request businesses and residents within a 30-minute drive of the 900 block of Sunningdale to check your video systems to see if there is any footage that may have captured a 2013 maroon Acura MDX SUV on Saturday, October 7th, between 4AM and 5AM,” Richardson Police Department said recently in a Facebook post. Police have not said how they know the car was missing or who was driving. Investigators removed three of the family’s cars, including

the Acura SUV, from the home earlier last week for analysis. Detectives have not said whether Wesley Mathews is a suspect, but they have cleared his wife Sini Mathews. Police previously said she was asleep and unaware her husband had made their daughter stand outside as punishment. “She is distraught. As you are all aware, they adopted Sherin, and they love Sherin,” Sini’s attorney Kent Starr said. “All she wants is for her daughter to be returned.” -indianexpress.com



24 October 20, 2017


October 20, 2017

Diwali, the festival of lights is indeed the most awaited and the most celebrated festivals of India. People in every nook and cranny of the country welcome the festival with enthusiastic gestures. This wonderful festival is the celebration of five days. On third day of the celebratory occasion the key rituals of the Diwali festival takes place. Lighting of Diyas and candles all around the house, worshipping the Laxmi Ganesha to summon health and wealth and bursting crackers are the chief rituals of the festival. In addition to that, the exchange of heartfelt gifts during Diwali these days have become a mandatory part of the celebration. Friends, families and colleagues share with each other Diwali gifts as a gesture of showing love and affection. Also, special and grand feast with delicious food that mandatorily includes different varieties of sweets is the special attraction of the occasion.

Lights and Deepawali Each and every household gets decorated with colourful and lovely lights on Diwali! From oils lamps to vibrant electric lights and candles, people never miss on a single chance to make their homes a glowing and lighting place. Traditionally, people celebrate the festival by lighting earthen lamps with cotton wicks. Though, in most parts of the country the tradition of earthen lamps has gradually faded away but it still the concept of lights remains unchanged. People often are eager to find out on how and why the concept of Diyas came for celebrating Deepawali. Let’s get a clear view on what is the importance of lighting Diyas on the day of Diwali. An earthen lamp or Diya is synonymous to the festivity of Diwali. Diyas decorate every nook and cranny of the home and make it look as bright as the starts in the

sky. To add to the spirit of Deepawali celebration delicious recipes are prepared and people wear new clothes Legend of Lighting Diyas on Deepawali The festival of Diwali is celebrated to summon more and more love and prosperity in the house. In a way it also celebrates the triumph of the good over the evil. In Northern India it is celebrated as on this day, the people of Ayodhya have welcomed Lord Rama who have returned from 14 years of exile along with his brother Laxman and wife Sita after defeating Ravana. During his 14 years of exile, Lord

Rama along with Hanumana, Laxman and the army of monkeys had defeated Ravana who had abducted Sita. This battle itself signifies the victory of good over the evil. Other than that, there is much more to the lighting of Diyas. It is a customary practice in the Hindu community according to which people light diya in their homes every evening. This not only is a customary practice but it signifies the surrender of one’s soul to the almighty. What Does the Oil in Diyas Represent? The oil that is used to light the Diyas represents all the negative human traits and that includes hatred, jealousy, greed, lust, anger and many more. And, the wick represents our inner self, the soul! The lighting of Diyas symbolises that we need our beautiful mind to clear from these negative things by enlightening our inner self.


With the disappearing oil of the Diyas, these negativities from the home get disappeared. It has a hidden message that enlightening occurs only when we walk on the path of righteousness as Lord Rama did. What Does Diya Symbolises? A Diya is symbolic of knowledge! A person who is ignorant will often keep himself in a dark consignment. He will keep in touch with the positivity of the surrounding only when he realises to get access to the knowledge all around that he will understand the need to celebrate his existence. A Diya symbolises that flame of knowledge will remove ignorance!! And, a Diya not merely signifies the light that it spreads in the homes but in essence it signifies the one and only way to merge our souls with that of the God. It shows us the path of gaining knowledge and enlightening ourselves. -diwalifestival.org


26 October 20, 2017

NEW YORK: On October 7, New

York City witnessed the most amazing congregation of thousands of people at the center of universe Times Square, to witness history repeating itself – Diwali at Times Square 2017. SANKARAEYE FOUNDATION and EVENGURU INC brought to us a fun-filled day that highlighted cultural dances and musical performances, Diwali Bazaar and mouthwatering Indian cuisine, interactive Diya lighting ceremonies and the world’s best digital fireworks display. The vision of the creator of Diwali at Times Square Mrs. Neeta Bhasin was to showcase India’s rich culture, art, heritage and diversity became reality on October 7th when performances of various local artists like Avish Jain, Rianjali, Masala Bhangra, Bollywood Axion, NYU Garba group, Columbia Raas Garba and the famed Shiamak Davar Group and many other groups performed on. Diwali Festival started with the Diya Lighting ceremony on stage and followed by the auspicious Ganesh Vandana by the child prodigy Sparsh Shah. “The Light-Up Times Square Concert” that commenced from 6 PM following the Diya Lighting Ceremony on stage and on the tallest screens of Times Square was attended by the glitterati and the dignitaries such as the Consul General of India Mr. Sandeep Chakravorty, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Borough President Gale A. Brewer, Jennifer ??? from Governor Cuomo Office, representative from NYC Comptroller office, District Leader Ms. Neeta Jain and others. The Light UP Times Square Concert showcased dazzling performances by some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry! Sanjeeda Sheikh and Aamir Ali, the romantic duo that has swept India away with their performances in Nach Baliye, presented scintillating dance routines for the attendees at Times Square. The attendees also enjoyed - Chammak Chhalo famed, the maverick singer Hamsika Iyer, who made the audience dance to her tune and Hey Baby singer Raman Mahadevan; the crowd was left gasping for more by


Diwali 2017 at Times Square

Photo: Parikh Media

none other than the master dancer, the “chumeswari” judge and performer Master Terence Lewis. The event was brought to an end by the new-age performer Mickey Singh, who made the young crowd sing along. This historic event was brought to us with the support of SANKARA EYE FOUNDATION, a not for profit organization that is committed to eradicate curable blindness from India. An event of this stature could not have been possible without the sponsors like Air India, McDonalds, Yupp TV, DirecTV Now, Hotstar and others. Diwali at Times Square 2017

was also immensely supported by the media at large – mainstream media partner Daily News, broadcasting partners TV Asia and Jus Punjabi, radio partner Mera Sangeet and many more. SANKARAEYE FOUNDATION and EVENTGURU INC is extremely grateful to the sponsors, the media, the celebrities, the volunteers, and the amazing crowd who came and supported this monumental event and help us create history once again in the heart of New York city, Times Square.





October 20, 2017

Dil Se Naach 2017 Returns to Berry Center

HOUSTON: Moksh Community

Arts brings to you their second Annual Dance – Theater production. Dil Se Naach returns to Berry Center, a brand new production to premiere on October 28th 2017, showcasing innovative choreography, to Bollywood musical hits, glamorous costumes, mesmerizing Visuals with electrifying performers of all ages. Dil Se Naach 2017, titled Band Baaja Baarat performed by the Professional & Student Dance Team of NAACH HOUSTON, led by Artistic Director Mahesh Mahbubani and the Amazing Naach Faculty, Anita Vyas, Shah Ahmed, Zohair Alam, Disha Thadani, Prita Kapoor & Twinkle Khanna. This year’s showcase features 3 professional Dance Acts interspersed with 3 Student Acts concluding with the Finale which includes the whole team. Act 1 - Chaaya Geet : This Act showcases songs and Dances from different eras Act 2 - Around The World- showcasing from diverse genres in music and dance from around the globe Act 3 - Sufianna - dances inspired by Sufi poems of Love Act 4- Band Baaja Baarat- A Celebration of Life Bollywood style Moksh Community Arts is a nonprofit with a vision to make Dance an integral part of life, for all individuals within the context of a community,


Actress Suhasini Maniratnam Set to Perform in Houston Oct 28


inclusive of all social and cultural backgrounds. Our mission at Moksh Community arts is to create and provide performance platforms through community Dance Theater performances aimed at the physical, mental, emotional

and social wellbeing of adults and children. We thank our Diamond Sponsor The Rungta Foundation, Manish & Manju Rungta for their continual support and generosity.

Tickets for Dil Se Naach are selling fast at www.tututix.com; show starts promptly at 7.30 PM at Berry Center (8877 Barker Cypress Rd, Cypress, TX 77433). Houston, See you there – this is the ONE you don’t want to miss.


girl was often accompanied to Kalaimamani K.J. Sarasa’s Bharatanatyam dance class by her aspiring actor uncle. Soon he became a famous movie star and she subsequently blossomed into a brilliant actress, like her illustrious uncle Kamalahasan and her father, Charuhasan, Dance was relegated to the back burner as her acting career became more demanding. But now, after numerous awards, marriage to the legendary director Maniratnam, and a satisfyingly successful acting career, Suhasini is dipping her toes into dance again, but from a different perspective. She will be seen as the Sutradhari (Storyteller) in ANTARAM, a dance theatre production that also features Krithikha Subrahmanian, who will be performing (Bharatanatyam) Gopika Verma (Mohini Attam), and Yamini Reddy (Kuchipudi). This wonderful trio brings to life great iconic women characters such as Andal, Kannagi and Vasavi. Their stories are woven together into a beautiful fabric through the theatrical CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

28 October 20, 2017


Nita Mehta, a Tireless, Cheerful Community Worker Passes

HOUSTON: Even as the years

slowed her down physically, her spirit was indomitable and she marched on, finally with the aid of a walker, which she said “was a necessary nuisance”. After her husband Padmakanth grew feebler, she would often drive him to meetings and around town. Until a few years ago, Nita ben (as everyone called her) would drive herself, especially to her beloved meetings of the Indian Senior Citizens Association at Bayland Community Center or India House where she would still make a point to mingle with the faces she knew and help out where she could. That same tireless, cheerful worker, Nita Padmakant Mehta, 87, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, October 11, 2017. The daughter of the late Shantilal B. Pandya and Lilavati S. Pandya, she was born in Dohad, Gujarat, India on December 29, 1929. Nita was the eldest of nine brothers and sisters and helped raise her siblings. She studied medicine in India and Ireland and became a practicing physician, a rarity for a woman in 1950’s India. In 1958, she married her future life-long companion, the late Padmakant C. Mehta. She successfully ran a clinic in India before moving to

Nita Mehta 1929-2017

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with Padmakant and their two young sons in support of his engineering career. Well into her thirties and unable to work as a physician with her Indian degree in America, Nita let no obstacle stand in her way in making a home for herself in her adopted country. She immediately set about the task of re-training herself, obtaining a degree as a Respiratory Therapist and worked, ultimately, as a Critical Care Coordinator in Philadelphia and at MD Anderson Cancer Center for over thirty years. Nita was a very outgoing person and involved throughout the Houston Indian community. She was instrumental in forming the Indian Senior Citizens Association of Houston, Houston Nagar Mandal, and the Indian Doctor’s Charity Clinic, and held leadership positions in many organizations, including Gujarati Samaj. Her involvement in these com-

munity associations gave her happiness and meaning. Even as Nita grew older and her mobility became limited, she looked forward to attending programs and events sponsored by the Sahitya Sabha literature group, the Indian Senior Citizens Association, Chinmaya Mission, and Gujarati Samaj. Nita is survived by son Pranav, 52, of Houston, son Utpal, 50, and daughter-in-law Samita (Seema) who currently live in Beijing, China, and grandson, Naren, of Rockville, Maryland. Her surviving brothers are Girish Pandya of Houston; Sirish Pandya of Ahmedabad, India; Praful Pandya of Dahod, India; Haresh Pandya of Johnstown, PA. and Himanshu Pandya of Ebensburg, PA, and sister, Darshana Jambusaria of Sherman Oaks, California. She was preceded in death by sisters Saroj Vyas of Mumbai, India and Ranjan Vyas of Mahuva, India. Nita leaves behind countless friends and family throughout the U.S., India, and Canada. Funeral services were held on Monday, October 16, 2017 at the Garden Oaks Funeral Home in Houston, Texas and attended by over 350 people. Many of her lifelong admirers gave loving eulogies to her.

Actress Suhasini Maniratnam Set to Perform in Houston Oct 28 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27 interpretations by Suhasini, the storyteller. The eclectic mosaic of songs reveals the artistry of great music composers - A.R. Rahman, Rajkumar Bharathi, O.S. Arun, Hyderabad Brothers, and Arun Gopinath. A work of art as diverse and exquisite as a Texas quilt, ANTARAM promises entertainment that will cater to different artistic pallettes. The English narration by Suhasini gives an excellent dramatic effect while simultaneously explaining the content of the songs which are in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Sanskrit. Krithikha Subramanian, a disciple of the great Bharatanatyam dancer-guru Sudharani Raghupathy, Gopika Verma, one of India’s foremost exponents of Mohini Attam, and Yamini Reddy, daughter and disciple of the famous dancing duo, Raja and

Radha Reddy, work in great harmony and their excellent chemistry is very obvious in this most unique presentation. where dance and drama come together to celebrate great women in history and mythology. DINNER WITH SUHASINI: Following the performance, there will be a dinner at 7 PM at the Madras Pavilion, Sugar Land, to meet and greet Suhasini. Tickets are $25 a person. ANTARAM is brought to you by Samskriti, and will take place at MATCH Houston, 3400 Main St, Houston, TX 77002 on October 28, 4 PM. Tickets are VIP, $50 and $25, and are available at www.matchouston.com / (713) 521-4533 (MATCH box office). For further information, go to www.samskritihouston.org or call or (832) 275-9658. Check out the ANTARAM promo video on Rathna Kumar’s Face Book page.



October 20, 2017


Trump’s New Immigration Proposal Favours Young, HighSkilled, Well-qualified vs Aged, Infirm, and Extended Family


ASHINGTON: Want to immigrate to the United States taking your high qualifications and considerable skills with you? You’ll be in luck under the new merit-based immigration system proposed by the Trump administration. Spouses and minor kids will be good to eventually join you, but if you want to bring your parents, adult children, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews, you are going to be disappointed. Uncle Sam, or Uncle Trump, wants to shut that door on them. In far-reaching immigration reform proposals that were relayed to the Congress on Monday, US Presi-

Whether the proposals, which have to be codified into law by Congress, will be favorable to India or not is a matter of where you stand. It could facilitate high-skilled, youthful immigration to US resulting in what some might see as a brain-drain. A counterview is the Indian-American constituency in the US will grow, possibly giving New Delhi greater diplomatic and economic heft, although that is a matter of conjecture and how US-India relations pan out. In any case, the Trump administration wants countries of the world to keep their aged, infirm, and unskilled at home. It wants the

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world’s d e n t Trump proposed ending extended-family chain migration by limiting family-based green cards to spouses and minor children, while replacing it with a ‘merit-based system that prioritizes skills and economic contributions over family connections.’ Trump also called for establishing a new, points-based system for the awarding of Green Cards (lawful permanent residents) based on factors that allow individuals to successfully assimilate and support themselves financially, while eliminating the “Diversity Visa Lottery,” which limited Indian immigration. Diversity visa lottery broadly makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas annually and aims to diversify the immigrant population in the United States, by selecting applicants from countries with low rates of immigration in the five years prior. This favors smaller countries vis-a-vis countries with large pool of immigrant hopefuls such as India, China, and Mexico. The new proposals are broadly favorable to Indian immigrant hopefuls+ who are young, academically well-qualified, highly-skilled, fluent in English etc., although they will have to jump through many hoops involving due diligence and meeting several criteria, including wage requirements, before snagging the Green Card. But the ‘bad news’ is it will virtually eliminate any prospect of aging parents and extended family immigrating to the US.

young, skilled, and healthy so that the healthcare and social security costs of own aged and infirm can be

i t s subsidized. The Trump proposals were immediately trashed by Democrats, whose political support base is also new-immigrant and minoritybased, compared to the nativist support for Trump and his Republican constituency. Liberal Democrats were particularly incensed that Trump was reneging on tentative proposals to protect younger immigrants, known as “dreamers,” who were brought to the United States illegally as children.+ In a conference call with reporters, White House officials described the proposals as necessary to protect public safety and jobs for American-born workers, which was a centerpiece of Trump’s campaign. “Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end,” Trump said in his letter to the Congress. The proposals, also including punishing visa overstays, beefing up border patrol, financial squeeze on sanctuary cities etc. Although the proposals do not mention the H-1B visa program, it calls for stricter verification of legal workers to ensure they are keeping to terms of their visa. -timesofindia.com

Heavy Rains, Thunderstorm Lash Mumbai MUMBAI: Diwali shopping of several

Mumbaikars went for a toss as heavy rains lashed many parts of the city on Sunday. The rains were accompanied with loud thunder and lightning as well. Earlier in the day, Thane had also witnessed showers for a couple of minutes. However, by the evening, dark clouds had developed with rains being witnessed almost across the city in parts of Dahisar, Ghatkopar, Dadar and parts of South Mumbai as well. Officials from IMD have forecasted that such rains are likely to continue for the next 24 hours. While last year the monsoons from Mumbai had withdrawn by October 14, this year the withdrawal seems to have delayed. “On Sunday the Southwest monsoon further withdrew from entire Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, some more parts of Gujarat and some parts

of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar. Conditions are favourable for further withdrawal of southwest monsoon from some more parts of eastern, central and western India and some parts of northeast India during next 2-3 days,” said an IMD official.

Find 10 Words related to Diwali Festival: • • • • • • • • • •

Colors Crackers Deepawali Diyas Festival of Lights Five Days Gifts Laxmi Puja Rangolis Welcome

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30 October 20, 2017


October 20, 2017

Vishala Wishes You A Very Happy Diwali

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Vishala Grocery II

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32 October 20, 2017


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Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Sabat Moong Di Daal (Whole Moong Lentils)

Solution Next Week

Daals are the mainstay of Indian

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diet, whether you are in the north or south, east or west - providing much needed protein - and each region has its own way of making them. So central are they to Indian life, there is even a phrase to express daily life: “daal-roti toh khani hai” (we have to eat our daily bread). But nowhere will you find the heartiness and flavorful taste of daals as you would in the Punjab. Punjabi daals are known for their smooth, thick texture and the perfect blend of spices. They are not supposed to be runny or thin and the hot tardka or blending in of spices, onions, garlic and sometimes hing (asafoetida) is a sizzling experience that fills the air with the aroma of the dish. Many people in India make daals in pressure cookers and they have brought along this method to their new homes in America too. But, in our ancestral homes in Jhung and Lyallpur in West Punjab there were no pressure cookers and we used to make daal in a large patila (pot) simmered for an hour or more over a slow to medium flame. Very often, the daal made in a cooker gets overcooked and comes out like soup! Daal should be cooked so that you can spot the grain and scoop it up with a little turri (curry). As most people know, there are at least six major types of daals, and then some are available skinless too as this alters their taste. Skinless daals cook faster than those with the skin on. The fiber content of the skin gives daals a nuttier, earthier taste. Some people only know dals by their color; the moong daal is leaf green when whole and comes out yellow when it is skinless. Moong

daal cooks fairly fast and goes well with rice and rotis. Ingredients: • 1 cup sabat moong daal (whole moong lentils) • 2 cups pani (water) • 2 tbspn olive oil • 4 cloves of lasan (garlic) – peeled and chopped, or use powdered garlic • 1 medium adrak (ginger) – peeled and chopped, or use powdered ginger • 1 tspn garam masala • 5 stalktops fresh dhania (coriander) – pinch off the leaves and cut into pieces • Spices: lal mirch (red pepper); namak (salt); haldi (turmeric) – to your taste

2. Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Pour in the moong daal into the pot, cover, and add the haldi, ginger and salt and let it come to a second boil then reduce the heat to medium. 3. If the water boils off before the daal becomes tender, then add some more and let it continue to boil for about 30 minutes till the daal is tender but not soft. Keep a frequent eye on the daal to make sure it does not become soupy. 4. Heat the oil in a small karai or wok and add the garlic and brown it a little. When roasted and the smell of the pieces starts to come through, take off the heat and drop the masala into the pot of cooked daal and stir to mix well. 5. Sprinkle the top of the daal with garam masala and the cut coriander leaves above. Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the oldfashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur (since renamed Faisalabad), India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her late-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes.

Directions: 1. Place the moong daal in a bowl and wash it thoroughly in cold water, then rinse it out.




made to be enjoyed vidual kernels are when they are hot, visible with each mo tas rsel. Unfortunately, ty and the indito see many people it is disappointing ov turn them into water ercook them till they look like thick soup while others y broths! Unless it is a Punjabi cannot appr eciate a daal that ca South Indian sambar (lentil stew), a nn ot be identified. Daal is quite simple make it fast by boilin to make, but many cooks make the mi stake of trying to g it in a pressure co ok this way, but if you do, turn the heat off er. Most daals should not be cooked after the first whist let it simmer over le, low heat for 15 mi nutes. For most da wait to open, then daal in two cups of als, simply place the water, throw in salt, pepper, turmeric an a boil, then let it sim d ginger, bring it to mer till the kernels are tender and the Serve with a dab of gravy slightly thick olive oil; add caram . elized onions if yo u have time.

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October 20, 2017



Ranchi Diaries

As Gudiya’s plan to elope with

Monu goes awry, the duo along their good-for-nothing friends, decide to carry out an audacious heist. Pinku (Taaha Shah) is a wannabe gangster who runs a food stall where he munches on Chow Mein all day with his young, wasted lieutenants. His friend Monu (Himansh Kohli), a smalltime safe-cracker, hangs around the joint thinking up elaborate plans to go to the city with his childhood sweetheart, the local YouTube sensation Gudiya (Soundarya Sharma). Strong-

willed and with talent to match, Gudiya has her own problems in life - chief being the local politico Thakur bhaiya (Anupam Kher) who has some serious hots for her. When Thakur’s attention gets too much for the small-town Shakira, she decides to run away with Monu and give her singing aspirations a shot. That’s when she plans a bank robbery with Monu and gang. As far as comic capers are concerned,

‘Ranchi Diaries’ is all over the place. While it does have an interesting premise and a few funny characters, it fails to translate into a fun watch because the story wanders aimlessly. Even that could have been excused, if the wandering segments were executed well. You see some promise in the first half, where the filmmaker sets the stage for a big-ticket robbery. But the second half deflates any hope

you may have of getting laughs. Absurd sequences, where the getaway men start to learn driving as the bank is being looted, and the bit with the police turning up fashionably late, are hilarious. Still, the bank-heist sequence is way long and not always entertaining. Himansh Kohli with his forced Bihari accent is painful to watch. Anupam Kher and Jimmy Sheirgill have small roles and don’t con-

tribute much. However, the rest of the younger cast does a credible job especially Tahaa Shah and Soundarya Sharma. There’s a very interesting and topical twist at the end, but you have to endure a lot until you reach there, which is a poor bargain. -timesofindia.com

Shah Rukh Khan hosts Diwali get-together. Karan Johar, Farah Khan, Aanand L Rai, Arjun Kapoor and others in attendance

Diwali seems to have come already for our celebrities. They have got a good reason for a get-together. Yesterday, we saw photos of a pre-diwali party held at Salman Khan’s sister Arpita Khan Sharma’s house, and these late night posts of Farah Khan revealed that there was another party held at her bestie Shah Rukh Khan’s house too. SRK hosted a pre-Diwali party at his mansion Mannat with some ‘old friends n new’ and thanks to Farah we got to see the inside photos of the same. Farah Khan shared three photos

from the night. Her first post’s caption read, “Film people!! Atmannatwith old friends n new...” The next one was a selfie of Farah with the host SRK. “With my Most handsome friend Picture abhi baaki

hain mere dost, ” Farah wrote along the image. And we also saw the other guests at SRK’s Diwali party. “And my 2 nd most handsome friends trying to hide #mannat,” posted Farah. Though we missed her in the photos, Shah Rukh Khan’s wife Gauri Khan too shared a picture. In the coming days, we wish to see more clicks of our fa-

vourite celebs attending and hosting more Diwali parties. -indianexpress.com

Happy Birthday


Nargis Fakri

October 20, 1979

Parineeti Chopra October 22, 1988

34 October 20, 2017 Azam, Shadab Complete Pakistan’s Incredible Comeback BY DANYAL RASOOL

Pakistan 219 for 9 (Azam 101,

Shadab 52*, Gamage 4-57, Thisara 2-34) beat Sri Lanka 187 (Tharanga 112*, Vandersay 22, Shadab 3-47) by 32 runs Babar Azam’s seventh ODI hundred combined with a sublime allround performance from Shadab Khan saw a listless Sri Lanka slump to their ninth consecutive ODI defeat. They lost by 32 runs, although the margin would have been much greater but for a fighting hundred by Sri Lankan captain Upul Tharanga; no one else scored more than 22. Sri Lanka were on top in the first quarter of the match, having reduced Pakistan to 101 for 6, before Azam and Shadab put together a gritty 109-run stand to propel Pakistan to 219. It was a particularly grave indictment on Sri Lanka’s batting display that they were not in the chase for most of their innings, despite what was, by modern standards, a modest target. The batsmen didn’t find many answers to the relentlessly accurate spin trio of Shadab, Mohammad Hafeez, and Shoaib Malik, on a surface

Babar Azam slashes one through cover, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Abu Dhabi, October 16, 2017.

on which runs were especially hard to come by. Tharanga was handed at least four chances during the course of his hundred. The chasm between the sides appeared so wide that Pakistan could afford to be that generous and still bowl Sri Lanka out for 187. With Sri Lanka’s current ODI plight and Pakistan’s bowling prowess, Sri Lanka weren’t expected to make light work of the chase on a slow

surface. Sri Lanka lost two early wickets - Niroshan Dickwella and Kusal Mendis - and consumed plenty of dot balls in attempting to absorb the pressure, as if surviving a tricky Test match session. Tharanga and Lahiru Thirimanne added a scratchy 40 runs off 72 balls, and when the latter was eventually dismissed, the asking rate had already climbed to close to 5.50. The rut set in straight after as the

spinners knocked the wind out of the chase. Five wickets fell off the next 33 balls. Shadab took a wicket in each of his first three overs, getting prodigious turn with both his legbreak and googly. Jeffrey Vandersay was involved in a 76-run, eighth-wicket stand with Tharanga, who found his range towards the close of the game, looming as the last line of defence against Pakistan taking a 2-0 lead in the series. Shadab was also taken for boundaries and his immaculate length started to waver as Sri Lanka narrowed the gap between runs required and balls remaining. Pakistan could have established a near-impregnable position far earlier had they been less charitable in the field. Tharanga had lived a charmed life; he was dropped three times. That wasn’t the end of his fortune either, he was also given out caught before being overturned on review, and survived another review for lbw. He was trapped right in front later in his innings, but Pakistan ran out of reviews. -espncricinfo.com

Hardik Pandya Could Become the Match-turning Allrounder India Have Been Looking For BY IAN CHAPPELL


ardik Pandya is potentially the fast-bowling allrounder India have craved since Kapil Dev retired. Pandya is a huge hit with the fans and was partly responsible for India dominating Australia in the recent ODI series. However, his biggest influence on the team could come in the Test arena. A player like Pandya, who has the ability to bat in the top six and also produce deliveries clocked at 140kph, gives a Test side the flexibility that leads to success under all conditions. It affords India the opportunity to field a balanced attack of five bowlers no matter what the conditions. Pandya not only has the skill to perform the role successfully but now that he is achieving consistency at international level, his confidence has soared. He also has the added attribute of being prepared to experiment and

consequently his bowling is likely to be effective under a variety of conditions.Allrounders with these qualities have the ability to change the course of a game quickly and in doing so, inspire their team-mates. For India to be regarded as a truly great side, they need to perform well under tough conditions and against extremely competitive opponents like Australia and South Africa. If Pandya can adapt his bowling to succeed in those cauldrons - and there’s no reason he can’t - then India, with a strong batting line-up, are more likely to experience consistent overseas success. The other challenge Pandya will face - especially in Australia - is the needling high-profile players receive from the crowds. This can have the effect of being either an inspiration or an imposition, and the way Pandya handles the intense barracking will contribute to either his success or failure. If he needs inspiration in this re-

Hardik Pandya’s style is such that some days he’ll be spectacular, and some days disappointing. gard he only need look to former star Pakistan batsman Javed Miandad, who could be as annoying as a shovel grating on cement, and was constantly heckled in Australia, but this only made him more determined. Eventually Miandad was begrudgingly accorded the highest Australian sporting compliment: “He’s a bloody annoying opponent but we’d love to

have him on our side.” With his flamboyant style, Pandya reminds me a little of the electrifying England allrounder Ben Stokes - the outstanding and highly combative cricketer on the field rather than the citizen with a propensity for selfdestruction off it. -espncricinfo.com


Asia Cup Hockey: Red-hot India to Play Korea in Super 4s on Wednesday


HAKA: An unbeaten India would start as overwhelming favourites against an under-performing but dangerous South Korea in their first match of the Super 4 stage in the 10th Asia Cup hockey tournament on Wednesday. India, who finished the pool stages with an all-win record, looked the most dominating team in the tournament so far in all aspects of the game. Korea, on the other hand, were far from impressive as they finished second in Pool B behind the everimproving Malaysia. Playing under a new chief coach Sjoerd Marijne, the Indians rose to the occasion and have displayed beautiful one-touch hockey, which they are known for. The Indian strike force comprising Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Lalit Upadahay and Chinglensana Singh has been the most impressive, scoring field goals at will with their deft stick work. The Indian midfield has been controlled well by talismanic Sardar Singh in the company of skipper Manpreet Singh. The backline, too, have shown bright under the watchful guard of Amit Rohidas, Harmanpreet Singh and young Dipsan Tirkey. What would be a matter of concern for Marijne is the penalty corner conversion rate even though Harmanpreet has been on target on a few occasions. But going by India’s performance so far - 5-1 win over Japan, 7-0 thrashing of Bangladesh and 3-1 win over arch-rivals Pakistan - they are expected to prevail over Korea with consummate ease. In terms of world rankings as well, the Indians start as favourites. While India are placed sixth in the world, Korea occupy the 13th spot. -timesofindia.com


October 20, 2017

Lakshmi Mittal Donates $25 Million to Harvard University


ASHINGTON: Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal has donated $25 million to the prestigious Harvard University with an aim to increase engagement with SouthAsian countries, including India. The donation will establish an endowed fund for the South Asia Institute at the university. The institute spearheads Harvard’s engagement with South Asian countries, including India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as well as diaspora populations from these countries, the university said in a statement. As a result of the endowment from the Mittal Foundation, Harvard’s South Asia Institute would be called as Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute at Harvard University, it said. Founded in 2003, the South Asia Initiative became a University-wide

Lakshmi Mittal’s donation will establish an endowed fund for the South Asia Institute at Harvard University.

interdisciplinary institute in 2010 under the leadership of its current faculty director, Indian-American Tarun Khanna, the Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at Harvard Business School. “We are so grateful for the Mittal

family’s support and what it will enable us to learn and share — across the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities — and the many people and institutions it will allow us to engage,” said Khanna. “International centers like the South Asia Institute at Harvard University serve as a vital conduit between the University and the world we study,” said Harvard President Drew Faust. “The generous support from the Mittal family is a testament to both the important work being done by this community of scholars and students and the continuing impact it will have in the region,” Faust added. South Asia has played a dynamic and influential role in the development of our world since the very first civilisations, said 67-year-old Mittal, chairman and chief executive officer of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest

steel company. “Ensuring that we fully understand its history and unique dynamics is a critical enabler in helping to shape a successful future,” he added. As someone who was born in India, the long-term prosperity of India and its neighbouring countries “matters a great deal to me and my family,” Mittal told Harvard Gazette in an interview. “Harvard is one of the world’s greatest learning institutions, with a unique ability to facilitate dialogue and drive thinking and progress,” he said. The Mittal family has long supported educational endeavours and public policy development in India as a means of positioning the country — and the region — for future success, the university said. -livemint.com

1 million Maharashtra Farmers to Get Farm Loan Waiver Benefits Today action against these account holdMUMBAI: The first set of one million farmers in Maharashtra will get the benefit of loan waivers on 18 October, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced in Mumbai on Tuesday. The farmers are spread across all districts of Maharashtra and the amount on account of loan waiver will be deposited directly into their accounts on 18 October, Fadnavis said. By 15 November, 80% of the eligible farmers would have received their loan waiver benefits, the chief minister assured. Fadnavis declared a farm loan waiver on 24 June after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in Maharashtra came under intense pressure from the farm lobby and opposition parties after the announcement of a similar sop by the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. The Maharashtra loan-waiver was initially estimated to cost Rs34,022 crore but Fadnavis said on Tuesday that the government was not yet in a position to make a

precise estimate since several amendments have been made to the original scheme. “The number of farmers to be covered under the scheme was estimated to be higher as per the initial estimates given by the banks but there has been a correction in these numbers. At the same time, more farmers have been added after we decided to implement the scheme from 2009 instead of 2012 as determined earlier. We will know the precise cost of loan waiver only after the full implementation,” the

chief minister said. When the loan waiver was announced, the government said it would benefit nearly 8.9 million farmers, based on data shared by the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC). But bio-metric identification and online applications, together with the linkage between Aadhaar number and bank accounts, have helped the government identify at least 1.5 million accounts that belong to farmers who are not eligible for loan waiver. Asked if there would be

ers, Fadnavis said the priority right now was delivering the loan waiver benefits to the deserving farmers. “We will come to that later,” he said about these accounts. Fadnavis justified the online application system to identify genuine farmers who met the criteria determined by the government. “The online database that we have prepared has helped banks and the government weed out fake accounts. Now even the nationalized banks have admitted that the initial estimate about the number of beneficiary accounts was not entirely correct,” he said. The online application system was launched on 24 July. Fadnavis said the state had nearly 13.6 million farmers and more than 10 million of them had enrolled for the scheme by undergoing biometric identification. “That 10 million farmers enrolled themselves just in one-and-a-half month proves the online system was a big success,” he said. -livemint.com


Gold fails to sparkle on Dhanteras, ends lower by Rs245 in Mumbai

Pure gold (99.9% purity) also went down by a similar margin to finish at Rs29,765 per 10 grams as against Rs30,010 previously in Mumbai.

MUMBAI: Gold failed to sparkle

on auspicious ‘Dhanteras’ as prices drifted lower by Rs245 to Rs29,615 per 10 grams at the bullion market in Mumbai on Tuesday despite token buying by jewellers and retailers amid weak global cues. Silver too dropped on speculative profit-booking after its recent rally on the back of reduced industrial buying. Standard gold (99.5% purity) declined by Rs245 to close at Rs29,615 per 10 grams from Monday’s closing level of Rs29,860. Pure gold (99.9% purity) also went down by a similar margin to finish at Rs29,765 per 10 grams as against Rs30,010 previously. Silver (.999 fineness) fell by Rs540 per kg to end at Rs39,570 as against Monday’s level of Rs40,110. Globally, gold prices fell to a near oneweek low on speculation that the eventual successor to US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen will favour higher interest rates, denting bullion’s appeal. Spot gold was down 0.3% at $1,289.66 an ounce at early trade, while US gold futures for December delivery slipped 0.9% to $1,291.70 per ounce. Silver fell 0.4% to $17.12 an ounce. -livemint.com


36 October 20, 2017


October 20, 2017



October 20, 2017


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