E newspaper 10272017

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Friday, October 27, 2017 • Vol. 36, No. 42

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October 27, 2017


Friday, October 27, 2017 | Vol. 36, No. 42


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Twinkling Lights & Extravagant Decorations


BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir’s Annual Diwali Celebrations


Diwali at ISKCON of Houston

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October 27, 2017


ASIE Invites Mayor Zimmerman for Technical Seminar on Hurricane Harvey BY DINESH D. SHAH

HOUSTON: American Society

of Indian Engineers and Architects (ASIE), a Houston based organization for engineers, architects, designers, and engineering technicians, organizes monthly technical seminar to enhance the knowledge of their members. This month ASIE held a luncheon at Mayuri Restaurant and invited Mayor Joe Zimmerman of Sugar Land as a speaker. The event was generously sponsored by KIT Professionals and ARKK Engineers. In the full house capacity of the room, almost hundred professional members attended the seminar on Hurricane Harvey. ASIE President Dinesh D. Shah said that there is only one sentence require to introduce Mayor Joe R. Zimmerman and it is like a slogan – “Joe knows Engineering, Business, and Houston, Sugar Land & Fort Bend. And Engineers, businessmen, and Community knows Joe.” He further added about Mayor that “Education, Experience, and Entrepreneurship result into success and promote a person to the most prestigious position.” Chetan Vyas with KIT Professionals and Vice President of ASIE introduced the speaker in more details. Joe Zimmerman is a Civil Engineer from U of H, a Professional Licensed Engineer of State of Texas, and MBA in Finance, accounting and Economics from HBU. Zimmerman has shown his leadership ability in various roles as an engineer. He is currently the Director of Development for Cobb Fendley & Associate. Prior to this prestigious position, he also served as CEO of Eco Resources for a period of time. He has also held senior management positions in a number of Industries including engineering, water and wastewater operations, land acquisition and development, homebuilding, as well as an international assign-

From left: ASIE President Dinesh D. Shah, Madhu Kilambi of ARKK Engineers, Guest Speaker and Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman, Sudhakar Kalaga of KIT Professionals.

Chetan Vyas of KIT Professionals and ASIE VP conducting the Q & A session with Guest Speaker and Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman.

mately 380. As a home builder, he managed production and warranty operations for Village Builders West Side which closed 250 units in three master-planned communities and generated approximately $38M in revenue. With this wealth of engineering and business management experience and education and with his remarkable accomplishments in his professional carrier, he has become a popular public servant. He is the 10th Mayor of City of Sugar Land. He served as a Chairman of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission and also city’s Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee. Zimmerman has supported and was involved to oversee the development of the state-of-theart live entertainment venue called as Performing Arts Center. He was also involved in the expansion of Sugar Land Airport and development of Baseball Skeeters Stadium. His additional public service includes serving as member of the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority; member of the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; chairman of the Chamber’s Government Relations Divi-

The Speaker and Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman in the center with ASIE Board Members.

ment in Libya. He has directed land development activities for residential, commercial and industrial tracts including land planning, environmental, engineering & architectural design, special studies and construction

for five (5) subdivisions within the 10,500 acre master-planned community of Clear Lake City. For another assignment, his management and financial responsibility generated 2006 revenue of $381M on closings of 2,818 units and a staff of approxi-

sion. He was named a member of the University of Houston Academy of Distinguished Civil and Environmental Engineers in 2014 and was awarded the “Service to the People Award” by the Texas Section of the American Society

of Civil Engineers in 2015. With his knowledge and experience of engineering and business management, Zimmerman wonderfully presented a technically crafted seminar on Hurricane Harvey, recently affected in Sugar Land, Houston and some parts of Texas. The twenty two slides power point presentation was covered with facts and figures, design criteria, graphs, and photos. He said that Harvey was record storm and most extreme rain event in US History. He added and explained that though there was very little impact in the Sugar Land and Fort bend County, by sharing the overview of City’s drainage design system with relation to the 100 year of flood level records of Oyster Creek and Brazos River. From the city’s management point of view, he also briefed how the engineering and public works department was on alert to protect the city and citizens. At the end, he briefed the professionals about the future vision and ongoing efforts for the improvements based on the Harvey experience. This presentation was concluded with interesting Q and A session and concluded with interesting Q & A session. The seminar was concluded with presentation of Certificate of Appreciation to Yadagiri Reddy of Mayuri Restaurant for supporting many ASIE events. The vote of thanks was given by Board Member Archana Sharma. The sponsors Sudhakar Kalaga and Madhu Kilambi and Board of Directors presented ASIE Mug and the Certificate of Appreciation to Mayor Joe Zimmerman. This complimentary seminar was well received by members and they earned one PDH Hour Certificate towards as a part of their continuing education requirements. For more details about the presentation and information about ASIE, please visit the www.asiehouston.org.



October 27, 2017



STAFFORD: Diwali is that time

where neighbors, friends and families come together to forget and forgive by wishing each other joy and prosperity. A celebration when we teach our young about the festivities and stories of Diwali. A young baby marvels at the spectacular wonderment of twinkling lights and extravagant decorations arranged in the Mandir’s main chamber and throughout the greater Mandir campus. New parents tied to the Hindu diaspora, seeking to preserve and pass on heritage and religious teachings to their children in the United States, find a place of learning and cultural preservation at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir’s Annual Diwali Celebrations. Diwali, a five-day celebration of various rituals and practices, welcomes the New Year for Hindus and celebrates the triumph of good over evil in scriptural events. This year the Mandir featured a 5 day Diwali lights and music show for visitors to view. For many visitors, the most popular attraction and a highlight of the festivities is the Annakut festival on the fifth day. As practiced by BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandirs all over the world, the Annakut is a unique and awe-inspiring sight of devotion where hundreds of different traditional Indian foods as well as fusions with western cuisine are prepared by devotees in the community and arranged in front of the Mandir’s sacred images. In the evening, the offered dishes are served at dinner to everyone. This year, over 850 unique items were prepared and displayed in the Annakut. In addition to the Annakut, the BAPS’ Diwali celebrations featured spiritual and cultural themed events, which engaged both children and adults, in order to bring positive energy into the New Year. Visitors and members learned about scriptural events related to Diwali, and observed traditions such as rangolis and other traditional forms of decorations. Finally, all children were invited to

October 27, 2017


Unity and Togetherness at Diwali

Diwali arti at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. Grand Annakut on New Years at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir.

participate in the Kids Diwali Celebration themed “Sanghe Shaktihi” or Strength in Unity. Families enjoyed food, games and fun activities, which included train rides, mini ferris wheel, bounce houses and various other activities for the family. The evening ended with a magnificent fireworks display, filling the eyes of all those present. Hardik Desai said, “I remember those days in Diwali in India, where there is colorful lights, fireworks on the street.” He added, “Coming to the BAPS Mandir brings that same joy as I celebrate with my family.” “The best part of these festivals is that it’s all done as one team. The entire program, the decorations, and the annakut are all prepared by volunteers of all ages.” said, Babubhai Patel, a BAPS volunteer. The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha’s commitment to preserving the Hindu cultural and religious practices is inspired by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. Their life teachings compliment the richness of the Diwali celebrations and embody Hindu history, practices, and principles. Through involving youth in the preparation and execution of the celebrations, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandirs also provide a

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forum for young people to learn and lead the community in cultural preservation and practice. About BAPS The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) is a worldwide spiritual and humanitarian organization that is dedicated to community service, peace, and harmony. Motivated by Hindu principles, BAPS strives to care for the world by caring for societies, families, and individuals. Through various spiritual and humanitarian activities, BAPS endeavors to develop better citizens of tomorrow with high esteem for their roots and culture. Its 3,300 international centers support these character-building activities. Under the guidance and leadership of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS aspires to build a community that is free of addictions as well as morally, ethically and spiritually pure. For more details, please visit www.baps.org. About Mahant Swami Maharaj His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj is the sixth and current spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He was ordained a swami by Yogiji Maharaj in 1961 and named Sadhu Keshavjivandas. As he was appointed the head (Mahant) of the Mandir in Mumbai, he became known as Mahant Swami. His devout, humble and service-focused life earned him the innermost blessings of Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Mahant Swami Maharaj travels throughout the world inspiring people through his insightful spiritual discourses and disciplined conduct. His virtuous lifestyle and profound devotion to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and gurus are ideals toward which devotees strive. Mahant Swami Maharaj became the guru and President of BAPS

Many community members join in for the New Year Darshan.

Kids Diwali Celebrations at event for the entire family.

Children enjoy games with friends at the Kids Diwali Celebration.

upon Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s passing in 2016. About Pramukh Swami Maharaj Pramukh Swami Maharaj was the fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Under his leadership, BAPS grew into an international spiritual and humanitarian organization with over 3,300 centers worldwide. He dedicated his life to the well-being of others, traveling throughout the world to foster love, peace, harmony, righteousness, faith in God,

and service to humanity. With genuine care and compassion, he reached out to all members of society irrespective of class, color, or age. Recognized and respected as one of India’s greatest spiritual teachers, he lived by and promoted the principle: “In the joy of others, lies our own.” CONTACT: BAPS North American Headquarters Phone: 732-777-1414 Email: media@na.baps.org

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COMMUNITY Diwali at Arya Samaj Houston

October 27, 2017

HOUSTON: Arya Samaj Hous-

ton celebrated Diwali Mela on Sunday 22nd Oct this year from 5 pm onwards. Diwali is one of the most important festival of Hindus celebrating return of Bhagwan Ram to Ayodhya. We celebrate victory of good over evil and light over darkness. We also pay tribute to our founder Maharshi Dayanand Sarasvati who breathed his last on Diwali. Arya Samaj main lobby and hall were very nicely decorated and children welcomed all the guests with a tilak. The evening began with a Vedic Havan followed by a brief message from Acharya Surya Nanda on Diwali. He narrated the historical perspective behind Diwali. He also talked about the contributions of Maharshi Dayanand that led to the modern renaissance of India, including its independence. The cultural evening started with program by children of DAV Montessori School and the Sunday School (DAV Sanskriti School) presenting a tribute to Rishi Dayanand. DAV Montessori School is an integral part of Arya Samaj. It provides Montessori education to young children from 3 years to 10 years of age. A short video on DAV Montessori school showed the accomplishments of the young children. The highlight of the evening was recitation of mantras by the 3-5 years old. It was eye catching to see the entire stage filled up with the children singing in unison. Parents saw and

DAV Sanskriti School Children Performing Diwali Dance Number.

DAV Montessori School Children Reciting Shlokas.

Ticket sales at Diwali Mela at Arya Samaj.

heard their children beaming with sense of confidence on the stage. The teachers of both the schools worked very hard with the children to perform on the stage. DAV Sanskriti school children presented a very colorful dance number. One enthusiastic parent of the DAV Montessori School came forward to speak about her 10 years of experience with the school it in glowing terms. DAV Sanskriti school children and some parents presented another very nice melodious bhajan on Rishi Dayanand. It was followed by Arti by everybody in the hall. Everybody moved outside of the main hall for another hour of funfilled Diwali Mela in open air with food stalls, play area, raffle, and games. We had a mehndi artist and a very nice photo booth inside Montessori school. All food items were prepared by the volunteers of Arya Samaj and its schools. Our volunteers worked very hard and served hot chole bhature. Overall decoration was eye catching, courtesy Decor1. Tasty food and excellent weather conditions seemed to compete with one another. A very nice fireworks show was organized to delight everybody in the crowd, especially young children. Our young AYM volunteers helped in planning for Mela and selling raffle tickets. to witness the bright spectacle of fireworks. We had a record attendance in the Mela. Everybody enjoyed the Diwali Mela, it was concluded around 9 pm.


October 27, 2017





October 27, 2017

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October 27, 2017 9 COMMUNITY Chinmaya Dipavali Shines With Sacred Festivities BY SATCHITANANDA


Hinduism is marked with numerous festivals, occasions and events throughout the year. Yet none come close to Dipavali, also called Diwali, in its colorful splendor, rich meaning, and cheerful spirit of celebration. Etymologically, Dipavali stands for a “row of lamps.”It marks the return of Sri Rama to Ayodhya, signals the liberation from the misery of the demon Narakasura by Sri Krishna, and also celebrates the appearance of Sri Lakshmi during the Sagar Manthan, the churning of the Milky Ocean. In every Puranic context, it stands for the victory of light over darkness, of goodness over evil. To many, it also marks the beginning of their New Year. Besides the social cheer of gatherings and joyous celebration, Dipavali also is an auspicious time for self reflection and contemplation. Needless to say, this is the most eagerly awaited annual celebration at Chinmaya Mission Houston (CMH), and this year the festivities on October 22 were beautifully conducted after enthusiastic, care-filled planning and remarkable teamwork of an army of CMH volunteers. The festive spirit was every-

where as one could see bright colors, flowers and sparkling lights all around. The pratima of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda was beautifully adorned with rangolis of flowers. The deities of Saumyakasi Sivalaya were resplendent too in their eye-catching colors. Rows of families, dressed in their Dipavali best, sat cheerfully with diyas, flowers, and a picture of Sri Lakshmi to offer their prayers. As per CMH tradition, the puja conducted in two sessions involved around 500 families. Acarya Sri Gaurang Nanavaty commenced the celebrations with a message that resonated profoundly with the audience. He noted that typically Dipavali brings everyone’s attention to health and wealth as the Lakshmi puja serves as a constant reminder. But he also reminded about the importance of rising above our weakness – Pramada (Procrastination) and cultivate the wealth of character and unconditional love toward all. To achieve that, the acarya reiterated on the importance of being alert. As Sri Ganeshji, the head-priest of Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya, led the puja, the rains that began affirmed the auspicious environment in Chinmaya Smriti. Led by him, all the families performed the Lakshmi Ashtottara ShataNama-

Acarya Sri Gaurang Nanavaty performing the puja. Sri Ganeshji, the head-priest of Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya led the puja. Photo: Rajesh Thatte

vali (108 names of Sri Lakshmi) puja for the material and spiritual upliftment of everyone. This was followed by the chanting of Vishnu Sahasranama (1008 names of Sri Vishnu) for universal well-being. Even as the families performed the puja, Acaryas Gaurang Uncle and Darshana Aunty performed puja to a magnificiently adorned Sri Mahavishnu and Sri Lakshmi on the stage. As the festivities concluded, it was a memorable visual

treat to see rows of families performing aartis with their lamps. CMH offers a rare connection to the ancient traditions of India and Guru Parampara. After the puja, families lined up in devotion and reverence to offer Guru Dakshina to the acaryas of CMH grateful for the Acaryas who provide a constant reminder of Swami Chinmayananda’s deepest teachings. As the families filed past Chinmaya Smriti and received

their prasad, what was evident was bright hope for the upcoming year, strengthened by a determination for good efforts and knowledge. Hari Om! For more information on Chinmaya Mission Houston, Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya and its activities visit www.chinmayahouston.org, www.saumyakasi.org or call temple 281 568 1690 or Jay Deshmukh 832 541 0059 or Bharati Sutaria 281-933-0233


10 October 27, 2017


Grand Diwali and Annakut at ISKCON of Houston HOUSTON: ISKCON of Houston extrav-

agantly celebrated Diwali, or Dipavali, on October 19th showcasing their magnificent deities, Sri Sri Radha Nilamadhava. This festival commemorates the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after valiantly defeating the demon, Ravana, saving the people of Lanka from his reign of terror. The altar was decorated by hundreds of candles that illuminated the temple room during the special candlelight arati, that was attended by over 1,500 revelers. The ecstatic chanting of the Lord’s holy names lifted everyone’s spirits into ecstatic festive mood. Govardhan Puja, or “Annakut” was celebrated the day after Diwali, and was met with another wave of devotees. On this day, Lord Krishna lifted Govardhan Hill for the protection of his devotees from Lord Indra’s torrential rainfall upon the inhabitants of Vrindavan. This pastime was celebrated by the abhishek of Sri Giriraj, by bathing him in lavish liquid items such as milk, honey, variety of juices, ghee, and more. This sweet concoction of liquids would be served as “Charanamrita” to everyone. Thousands of food preparations adorned the altar, and was thereafter served as prasadam. Govardhan Puja was met with great satisfaction by all the attendees who savored the great tasting prasadam, and the wonderful kirtan. On Sunday evening, the temple held Diwali cultural program, when the devotees began with chanting and dancing of the Lord’s holy names, or “Harinam”, in a parade across the temple grounds and onto the streets, while carrying Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhu-

Candlelight Aarti at Sri Sri Radha Nilamadhava altar.

Annakut at Sri Sri Radha Nilamadhava altar.

pada visited the newly completed apartment complex and soon to be completed Goswami Academy building. Shortly after, the attendees of Sunday Feast were treated to a Govardhan Puja Musical by the children of Sunday school. Enacting the pastime of the lifting of Govardhan Hill, the children of Sunday school were met with great praise and appreciation. To celebrate this festival, the devotees of the temple replicated Govardhan Hill with various sweet dishes such as cake, cookies, and cupcakes. This was Crowd on Friday festival.

Govardhan Hill Crowd Sunday Festival.

followed by many devotees circumambulating, or “Parikrama”, around this replicated Govardhan Hill while engaging in kirtan. Visit us: 1320 West 34th Street in Houston. There is a Sunday Feast – happens every Sunday at 5:30 PM www.Iskconhouston.org




October 27, 2017

After a Successful Career, the Heart Yearns for the College that Made Him

Pradeep Sulhan, P.C.

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

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Randhir Sahni has had a successful career at his namesake architecture company Lewellyn-Davies Sahni in Houston. He holds Masters degrees from Kansas State University and Rice University.

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Email: siddhivinayakhouston@gmail.com Website: www.siddhivinayakhouston.org


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Even after all these years – forty one to be exact – he remembers well the journey that brought him to Denver on September 4, 1966, and then two days later to Kansas State University from the heat of the western plains of Gujarat. In his naiveté, he had turned down an immigrant visa offered by the US Embassy, worried about being drafted to the Vietnam War and took the F1 visa route instead. But his older brother Sudhir and parents were already in Denver and eased the way for him. He caught a break on the TOFEL exam requirement and rode into Kansas on a train to attend the KState (as it is fondly called) School of Architecture, which had opened just three years earlier. Then 22 years-old, Randhir Sahni had just finished his Bachelors in Architecture in 1966 from the renowned Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. He wistfully remembers the regal buildings built in1881 on 275 acres where today 35,000 students study and he can still carry on in conversational Gujarati. Born in Lahore to a Punjabi family in 1944, his parents had already moved before the Partition to Uttar Pradesh and then he later went to boarding school in Delhi. He arrived in K-State - the first public institution of higher learning opened in 1863 in the state of Kansas - to get a Masters in Architecture, receiving it in 1968. A short stint in California and Indianapolis made Sahni determined to specialize in Urban Design and Planning and he finished a Master’s degree at Rice University in 1971. Sahni spent the next 5 years honing his skills at CRS Architects in Houston and then in 1977 made the move to Lewellyn-Davies Associates. “Three years later, they shuttered their New York office and made me an offer to become partner in Houston and I took it,” he recalled of the fateful opportunity thrown at him, adding Sahni

Sugar Land Ballroom Ready for the ball game, from left, Mia Braslavsky, Sunila Sahni, Nandita Sahni, Blake Braslavsky, Rohini Sahni and Roman Braslavsky

to the company name. Despite building his firm, career and reputation in Houston for the next three decades, Sahni still had a special spot for the place which first taught him how to become an American architect and in 2008 he made a donation to K-State School of Architecture. That caught the eye of the Dean, who came to visit him in Houston and asked him to give the commencement speech at the school in 2012. Soon after that, he was appointed to the Dean’s Advisory Committee and in 2016, Sahni and his wife Sunila were named to the Board of Trustees of the Kansas State University Foundation. Another opportunity arose then to donate for the naming rights for a design studio in the School Of Architecture, Planning and Design’s renovated Seaton Hall/Regnier Hall Building. The Sahni Family Foundation took advantage of it and donated a substantial amount towards the construction of the Sahni Family Design Lab. Two weeks ago, on Thursday, October 12, the newly renovated architecture building was dedicated with a daylong celebration which began with lunch for the donors at the Alumni Center, followed by the Dedication Ceremony at 2pm and a reception at 4pm on the “green roof” of the building and Sahni was there with his family to be recognized for their generous support. The $80 million building was conceived about six years ago to meet the growing and changing needs of the school that offers degrees in Architecture, Urban Planning, Product Design, Landscape Architecture and Interior Design

Mia, 6, and Blake Braslavsky, 3, grandchildren of Randhir and Sunila Sahni at the entrance door, pointing to the Sahni Family Design studio nameplate

and is one of the leading schools in the country. The building complements the academic curriculum in quality, design and character and uses the latest technology in the classroom to provide design related education. Sahni gets choked up when he looks back at the young man he was, fresh from the Old Country and with no money in his pocket. “It was such an honor to be there for the dedication of the School and the Sahni Family Design Lab,” he said. Especially so as his whole family and two grandkids Mia and Blake were there with him. “We watched the football game between K-State and TCU in the President’s Box and the University President Gen. Richard B. Myers even came by to play with the kids!”

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12 October 27, 2017


HTW Diwali Mela 2017: A True Carnival of Lights! BY PRIYA SUBRAMANIAN


Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya - these immortal words were the guiding inspiration for the vibrant Diwali celebrations of The Hindu Temple of The Woodlands (HTW) Diwali Mela 2017. The mela was held on Saturday, October 14, at the temple’s premises and had about 4,000 visitors. Many were local residents who came with their neighbors to enjoy a day filled with shopping, tasty and authentic food, cultural programs, and fireworks. Completely planned and executed by volunteers, the event showcased yet again, the shining spirit of volunteerism in The Woodlands community. The Diwali Mela, organized by HTW each fall, celebrates the auspicious Hindu festival of lights - Diwali. The event has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. The crowds seem to get bigger each year. HTW volunteers work round-the-clock to provide something new and exciting each year. Diwali Mela 2017 introduced many novel activities, which were instant hits among the diverse crowd. This year’s festivities had the central theme of ‘Discover India’, to represent different facets of the Indian sub-continent. The live entertainment throughout the day had children and adults present a variety of music and dance programs from different Indian states - such as Bharatanatyam, Odissi Bollywood, Assamese dance; classical and fusion music; and yoga. Highlights in the evening segment included a live music tamasha (music show), Marathi Dhol Pasha, and Kerala’s famous Chendu presentation (percussion performance). Also new this year was the ‘Photo Booth’ which was a crowd-puller, especially among non-Indians. HTW volunteers helped visitors don beautiful Indian outfits and accessories after which, they were able to take pictures in the photo kiosk, to capture unforgettable fun moments at the mela! The Diya Wall (wall of lights) was perhaps the most beautiful attraction at the mela this year. Diyas, or oil lamps, have traditionally been used as a decoration and a source of light. The set-up at HTW Diwali Mela at twilight time was indeed divine, with dozens of such diyas flickering against a beautiful backdrop of silk drapes, surrounding a statue of the all-powerful Devi, or Mother Goddess. The illuminations, along with colorful hand-made paper lanterns and incandescent outdoor lights arranged all around the temple arena, contributed towards creating a mesmerizing atmosphere of the festival of lights. The food stalls with their delicacies and cheerful volunteers cook-

ing and serving, while braving the 95°F temperatures the entire day, made visitors feel welcome to HTW. Dosas, channa batura, pav bhaji, vada pav, chaat, desserts, coffee, masala tea, mango lassi, and more, had long lines of people, especially in the evening hours. Kitchen prep work had begun almost a week prior, with dedicated volunteers contributing many hours of effort towards procuring groceries and chopping vegetables. Over 40 vendors participated in the event offering a variety of clothing, jewelry, artefacts, home goods, beauty, insurance, and realty services. Several HTW clubs such as language classes, youth services, yoga classes, and seniors’ club exhibited information on their activities and services. Enthusiastic youth club volunteers took charge of entertainment for children, offering many activities such as face painting, games, toys’ stalls and a bouncy house. A special firework display at night was the grand finale of the event. Children and adults alike enjoyed these, as well as sparklers, earlier in the evening. The event would not have been

possible without the tireless efforts of the HTW logistics team that had carefully planned a safe entry and exit for all guests, as also stall fixings and banners. Ample parking had been arranged at a nearby medical center from where volunteers ran shuttles to transport guests to and from the venue. HTW’s Diwali Mela 2017 was a resounding success. With its many attractions for all age-groups and friendly, enthusiastic volunteers, many in the Greater Houston area are already looking forward to next year’s Mela! The Hindu Temple of The Woodlands is located at 7601 S Forestgate Drive, just off Woodlands Parkway, in The Woodlands (Spring), TX 77382. Established in 2005 and inaugurated in 2011, it serves the religious, cultural, educational, and social needs of the surrounding Hindu community. It also provides services, such as six free yoga classes per week including for non-Hindu neighbors and donations of food, clothing, and other items to the less fortunate through local non-profit agencies. More information is on the temple’s website, www.woodlandshindutemple.org.



Five Ideas for Bringing Learning into Halloween Activities

October 27, 2017

Bollywood Blast 2017 on Sunday, October 29

Best in Class Education Center Shares Ways to Create Learning Opportunities out of the Spooky Holiday

HOUSTON: Once again, autumn came

quickly this year, and Halloween is already sneaking up on us. While candy and costumes take center stage during the fall holiday, there are a number of ways that parents can help their kids learn from the spooky celebrations in and out of the classroom. Best in Class Education Center, which helps K-12 students move towards the top of their class through customized educational programs, is constantly thinking of ways for students and parents to find new learning opportunities. Best in Class came up with five ways to incorporate learning into your family’s Halloween celebrations this year: Get Spooky with Science Get into character as “mad scientists” with your children through Halloween-themed science projects. There are loads of fun tutorials out there for creating fog or concocting a bubbling potion. So pull up a recipe for DIY monster slime, play dough brains, or fizzing pumpkin volcanos with baking soda, and get cooking! Costume Creativity Thinking of a good Halloween costume requires creativity and some imagination. Assist your child by helping brainstorm ideas and even thinking of ways to execute a costume with items you already have around the house. Once you have come up with an idea together, have him or her write down a story about a day in the life of the chosen costume character. Learn Halloween History How many kids (or adults!) actually know the history of Halloween? Have your kids research and learn the history of how the holiday started and the meaning behind superstitions like broken mirrors or black cats. Tasty Tales Once your children have all their candy collected, have them write stories with words taken from the wrappers of various candies. Make it a bit more challenging by mixing up the wrappers and having each student draw a few. They then must use the words they selected to make up a unique story. Pumpkin Math Math is everywhere – even inside a bag of candy or a pumpkin. After you cut your pumpkins open, have everyone guess how many seeds there are. Then have your child count them, add them up together, and eventually roast the seeds for eating. You could even take turns guessing the weight of the pumpkins as well as the circumference of big and small pumpkins. To help your student exceed his or her academics goals, Best in Class Education Center offers a variety of customized, supplemental enrichment courses and tutoring options to ensure your students are equipped with the

tools they need this school year. Best in Class Education is targeting the addition of 20 more units in 2017. The state of Texas has been identified as a key state for growth. The current team behind Best in Class is looking for passionate and dedicated individuals to join this premier franchise family and ensure our youth will excel academically. For more information about Best in Class services for your student, or about current franchising opportunities, visit www. bestinclasseducation.com or call toll free at 1-888-683-8108.


HOUSTON: Samskriti Presents BOL-

LYWOOD BLAST 2017 on Sunday, October 29 at 7:00pm @ the Miller Outdoor Theatre. This show is directed, choreographed & performed by Arzan Gonda & the RHYTHM INDIA Bollywood Dance Company. Don’t miss the premiere of the “Bollywood Bachelor USA”. Fall in love with our Bollywood Bachelor on his journey to find his perfect bride. Who will get that final rose? A memo-

rable evening filled with non-stop Bollywood madness. Be prepared to be swept away by a myriad of dance styles presented by Houston’s r enowned RHYTHM INDIA Bollywood Dance Company. Gather your friends together, all you Bachelor & Bollywood fans. Come join us for this FREE Event on Sunday, October 29th at 7:00pm @ Miller Outdoor Theatre. You don’t want to miss this, it’s going to be a blast!! It is a FREE Event. Location address is 6000 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030. For more information you can visit www.rhythmindia.com or call 281 968 9479


14 October 27, 2017


October 27, 2017



16 October 27, 2017


Katy Premier League (KPL) - Charity Thru Sports BY SANKAR TANGIRALA


It all started when a good friend of ours was going through a challenging period and was fighting for his life due to cancer. He never let his spirits down even though he was going through a tough phase. We then conducted the First KPL in 2012 and collected proceeds for his treatment. We ended up raising about 50K+ dollars. Unfortunately, we were unable to save him but he ignited a never-ending fire in us. Every year we identify such causes and donate the tournament proceedings towards the cause. Ever since, the motto of KPL has been “Charity thru Sports”. In 2013, we donated 10K+ dollars to ‘SaveBhoopal’ campaign who suffered from a fatal accident. In 2014, we donated 8K+ dollars to save a child in India suffering from terminal illness. In 2015, we donated 9K+ dollars it towards the treatment of a Texas A&M student involved in a serious road accident. In 2016, we’ve donated 20K+ dollars went to the family of Late Sri Udaykumar Gullapalli. In 2017, funds were raised for Pranay Sahay, Cancer patient and towards Harvey Relief fund. Through the last 6 years we were able donate 140K+ dollars. The initial Kick-off and Captain’s meeting of KPL 2017 was conducted on Oct 1st, 2017 at Mayuri restaurant. After a quick foreword and commentary about beneficiaries of KPL 2017, the local restaurant owners were felicitated for their selfless and

invaluable community service during Harvey. Later, the sponsors unveiled team jerseys and presented it to the respective team captains. KPL 2017 tournament was conducted on Oct 6th and Oct 7th, 2017 at Houston Sportsplex for various sporting activities like Volleyball for Men & Women (24 teams from all over Texas), Throwball for Women (5 teams) and fun activities for Kids. KPL 2017 had 30 + Corporate Sponsors, primarily from ITServe Alliance of Companies sponsoring teams. The league level matches were conducted on Friday, Oct 6th, 2017 while the Playoffs were conducted on Saturday, Oct 7th,2017. The final day was conducted as a Family Night where Kids were consistently engaged with lot of impromptu games, popquizzes, face painting, balloon making etc and lot of prizes to go with that. All KPL 2017 participants had whale of a time singing and dancing to the entertaining music. KPL 2017 concluded with a Grand Gala Dinner, arranged by KPL with the help of sponsorship from local Restaurants, and a roaring Trophy presentation ceremony. Throughout the tournament, KPL arranged plenty of water, Gatorade, fruits and nuts for all participants. KPL 2017, a celebration of ‘Sports thru Charity’ was attended by 600+ People. Both Volleyball and Throw ball tournaments saw excellent camaraderie along with fierce competition. For the volleyball tournament, Houston Knights were the Winners of Advanced level, while Houston Panthers

came Runners-up. Katy Warriors were the Winners of the Intermediate level trophy while Telfair Titans lifted the runners-up trophy. Kings of Kingsville were Winners of Beginner’s level while Pepon Smashers were Runner’s up. Throwball, Katy Xenas were the Winners and Telfair Stars were Runner’s up. We are very Grateful and Thankful to all

our sponsors, media partners, players and supporters. Overall it was a fun and actionpacked Weekend. With the help of Sponsors, friends, all the KPL participants, who gave their share to show that they care, KPL raised $37K+ for Pranay Sahay and Harvey Relief Fund. Thank you and God Bless you all.



October 27, 2017


Woman Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Vinmar Intl. HOUSTON: A 52-year-old Woodfrom the MasterCard credit cards, lands resident, Kavita Nehendra Duvvuru, plead guilty on Wednesday, October 11 to one count of wire fraud, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas. She had been charged on Wednesday, June 7 with defrauding her former employer, Vinmar International, of more than $1.5 million while working for the president of the firm, Hemant Goradia. Vinmar International is a global petrochemical, marketing and distribution firm located in Houston. It was established 39 years ago in 1978 and has 30 offices serving more than 100 countries with estimated annual revenues of over $5 billion. The firm was started in the Queens, New York apartment of founder Vijay Goradia, who is a well-known philanthropist among the Indian community both locally and nationwide. Duvvuru began employment with the Houston petrochemical distribution and marketing company Vinmar in 2004. Vinmar paid the balances on several credit cards issued in the name of Vinmar’s president and another officer of Vinmar on a monthly basis. These credit cards included an

American Express Plum card and two MasterCards and were used to charge Vinmar’s business expenses. Duvvuru had credit cards issued in her name on those accounts as well, but was only authorized to charge Vinmar business expenses. Duvvuru said she made unauthorized charges and cash advances for personal expenses on credit cards that were supposed to be used for business. She began making unauthorized charges in 2010 for personal expenses on the American Express Plum credit card. The unauthorized charges eventually reached between $10,000 and $20,000 per month, according to the release. She also obtained unauthorized cash advances

which she used to pay on her property taxes and make college tuition payments for her children. Duvvuru made a little over $22,000 in unauthorized personal charges in 2016 on the American Express Plum card. She later downloaded a copy of her credit card statement and used a software program to conceal her unauthorized personal charges. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said she also added a false charge for the same amount and attributed it to a company vendor. Duvvuru also created false entries on her account to make it appear as if it was legitimate company expense. She eventually submitted the false entries to her company’s accounting department. As a result of the woman’s scheme, the company lost at least $2.5 million. Duvvuru will be sentenced in January 2018 and faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible maximum fine of $250,000. The woman will remain free on bond pending her hearing. The criminal information also contains a notice of forfeiture. The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Braddock is prosecuting the case.

ASIE Offers Free Workshop on Improving your Chances at a Job Fair SUGAR LAND: Most profession-

als (including senior professionals) visit a Job Fair without adequate preparation and do not realize that the lack of response has to do with their inadequate preparation. The American Society of Indian Engineers & Architects and ipayitforward is offering a free workshop entitled “Improving your chances at a job fair” on October 27, from 5 pm to 7 pm. It will be conducted by Ramesh Anand, President of American Personnel Resources, and will be held at the APRIL offices at 13131 Dairy Ashford, Suite 115, Sugar Land, TX 77478. This free workshop will run attendees through various areas that one may drop the ball and is geared to provide an overview of what a recruiter expects at a job fair and how you can be better prepared. Since seats are limited to the free workshop, you are encouraged to rsvp to https:// www.eventbrite.com/e/improvingyour-chances-at-a-job-fair-tickets39101539758 Ramesh Anand has been a search consultant since 1980 and has recruited for major corporations across the world. His clients have included Halliburton, McDonalds, Monsanto, DHL. He has participated in job fairs in various countries and has been understands why his clients have rejected candidates. He will share some of his observations at this workshop in a simple down to earth format. ‘ipayitforward’ is an initiative created by Indo-American professionals


Stay tuned every Sunday,


to from 2.30pm to 3.30pm to assist all professionals in transition, through workshops, seminars and mentorship. The vision of ASIE is to expand and provide benefits of the experienced and well established present generation to the new, young and dynamic generation of the future. For more information, visit www. ipayitforward.org or contact info@ ipayitforward.org





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18 October 27, 2017 Promises to Keep


Raja Mandala: The Road to Partnership BY C. RAJA MOHAN

In calling for an ambitious 100-year


he Centre’s decision, at long last, to begin a political dialogue in Jammu & Kashmir is a step in the right direction. The appointment of an interlocutor to begin a “sustained dialogue” shows that the Narendra Modi government, earlier determined that there could be no talks so long as terrorism continued, has now realised that the situation in the state cannot be improved through force and firepower alone. Last year, as teenaged stone-pelters clashed daily with security forces on the streets, the government remained unmoved by the deaths and pellet gun blindings. But other than a daily body count on both sides, that approach did nothing to improve the situation. Terrorism, infiltration and militancy have continued despite the steady elimination of commanders and foot-soldiers of the Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar e Taiba and Jaish. There is no reason why containment of militancy or terrorism cannot go side by side with talks. But for any dialogue to enjoy credibility in Kashmir, the minimum requirement is that the Centre must engage with the Hurriyat and its top leadership. So far there is no clear indication that the government plans to be inclusive of the separatists, against many of whom, separately, the National Investigation Agency has initiated investigations for alleged hawala operations and moneylaundering. Even the elected politicians of the Valley are clear that any process in Kashmir is set up for failure unless the separatist leadership is included in it. Talks with “all stakeholders” is what the BJP had agreed to in its “agenda for the alliance” with the PDP ahead of the formation of a coalition government in the state. And this is a promise that should be kept. That the government appointed a former intelligence official to lead its first big initiative on Kashmir has been a bit of a dampener. A senior politician as the interlocutor would have given more confidence in Kashmir that the outreach was genuine, and carried more weight. But the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma, a former IB chief, may yet prove to be a boon. A low-profile interlocutor from whom expectations are low could well pull off big outcomes. Here, though, what is on the table will be as important as who will be seated around it. The term “legitimate aspirations”, which Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has used, is an indication of what the talks could be about. But the term can be as flexible as the government wishes. It would be best if the interlocutor goes in prepared for the maximum range of “legitimate”, and without preconditions. A hardline BJP government is paradoxically better placed than any Congress government to take a more liberal approach to talks. The timing of the initiative, ahead of two state elections, both important for the BJP, shows the government is prepared to take some political risk on the Kashmir front. This, by itself, is an encouraging sign. -indianexpress.com

partnership with India last week, US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has drawn attention to an enduring paradox that marks the relationship between India and America. One dimension of the paradox is about the gap between expert expectations and actual outcomes. Pundits in both countries have been consistently sceptical about the prospects of India-US cooperation. No other major Indian relationship has been subjected to such intense bureaucratic suspicion and negative public scrutiny. Yet, the partnership has advanced faster than any other that India launched in the last quarter of a century. The other is about the fact that the relationship remains way below potential. Neither side has taken full advantage of all the possibilities that have emerged. Consider, for example, the domains of commerce and defence. Gone are the days when trade between the two countries was “flat as a chapati”. Annual trade between the two countries has now advanced to $115 billion, with the surplus in India’s favour. Yet multiple obstacles remain in boosting two-way trade to the proclaimed goal of $500 billion. In defence, the scale and scope of the exchanges have expanded. America, for example, has become a major arms supplier for India. The volume of Indian defence imports has grown from near zero at the turn of the century to about $15 billion now. Yet there are residual issues in Washington about supplying advanced defence technologies to India and Delhi remains reluctant to inject greater political content into the security partnership. One explanation for the enduring gap between public scepticism and the positive trajectory of the India-US partnership lies in the under-estimation of the bipartisan political commitment in both countries to build a strong strategic partnership. Consider the role of the last three US presidents. Bill Clinton overruled his advisers in deciding to travel to India in 2000 — the first visit by a US president to India in 22 years. The non-proliferation

The India-US conversation about burden-sharing in the Indo-Pacific will necessarily be a prolonged one.

community in Washington said the president should not head to India without significant nuclear concessions from Delhi. Clinton, however, understood that the world’s largest democracy cannot forever be put in the nuclear dock. The Clinton visit helped launch a long overdue effort to remove much of the accumulated poison in the bilateral relations during the Cold War. President George W. Bush went two steps further. He invested huge political capital to reconcile America with the reality of India’s nuclear weapons programme and lifted the decades-old domestic and international restrictions on atomic energy cooperation with India. Bush also got the Washington establishment to end the perennial temptation to mediate between India and Pakistan on Jammu and Kashmir. In what was called the “de-hyphenation” of ties with Delhi and Rawalpindi, Bush put the relations with the two countries on separate tracks. President Barack Obama resisted the temptations to connect the problems in Kashmir and Afghanistan, completed the negotiations on the nuclear deal, and elevated India to a central position in America’s strategy towards Asia and the Indo-Pacific. The political enthusiasm for India in Washington was matched by the desire of successive recent governments in Delhi to transform the partnership with America. Although the initiative goes back to the 1980s, when Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi sought to end the stalemate between the two nations, it was the end of the Cold War that nudged India towards America. P.V. Narasimha Rao said the “sky is the limit” for the India-US partner-

ship. Vajpayee declared India and the US as “natural allies”. Manmohan Singh presided over the negotiation of the historic civil nuclear deal and the 10-year framework for defence agreement. But the Congress party panicked at the thought of a strong engagement with the US and slowed the pace down. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, shed many of the “historic hesitations” that dogged India during the decades after the Cold War. He has put the relationship on a fast track and raised hopes for realising the full potential of the bilateral relations. Meanwhile many had expected trade and immigration issues might derail ties between India and the US. But both Trump and Tillerson have signalled renewed strategic enthusiasm for India. The greatest potential contribution of the Trump Administration to the partnership could lie in bringing America’s regional posture in alignment with India’s interests. In demanding that Pakistan suspend cross-border terrorism and asking that India play a larger role in the region — from stabilising Afghanistan to balancing China — Trump and Tillerson have begun to clear the path for strategic regional coordination between India and the United States. The India-US conversation about burden-sharing in the Indo-Pacific will necessarily be a prolonged one. Delhi and Washington will need to iron out many wrinkles and progress is bound to be slow and uneven. One thing, though, is quite clear. In the past, US power tended to limit India’s room for regional manoeuvre. Now it could contribute to India’s leadership in the Indo-Pacific. -indianexpress.com


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



October 27, 2017

Sugar Coated Black Comedy: Sakhar Khalela Manus



Help wanted for an elderly woman. Should be able to speak Hindi language. • Good pay

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HOUSTON: Sanskar, LLC orga-

nized its first superhit sugar coated black comedy Marathi drama, “Sakhar Khalela Manus”, on 8th Oct 2017 at Berry Center, Cypress, TX. Sanskar, LLC formed by Megha Ozarker aims to present and explore Indian traditional and cultural values more and more in Houston area by presenting various forms of arts, culture, and food. Bringing the Marathi drama to Houston was one of the intents to bring the Maharashtrian diaspora closer to the heart of Marathi arts. The Houston show was the 174th show of “Sakhar Khalela Manus”. The Marathi Play is written by Vidyasagar Adhyapak and directed by Chandrakant Kulkarni. The play was witnessed by an audience of 450+ Houstonians. The play revolves around a father, Prashant Damle, who sells life insurance plans to support customer’s future, and eventually falls prey to diabetes. Diabetes is one of the lifestyle ailment on the rise in India. The play manages to tickle your funny bone without taking away from the seriousness of the ailment. Shubhangi Gokhale plays the role of a caring and harried wife. Rucha Apte plays a dashing daughter. Adhokshaj Karhade plays the role of Rucha’s boyfriend who is very simple and

dearly loves Rucha. Expertly penned down by Vidyasagar Adhyapak, the production is brought alive with power-packed performances by Prashant Damle and Shubhangi Gokhale. Prashant Damle has been associated with Marathi theatre since 1983 and has the world record of playing in more than 13,000 dramas. He simply enthralls the audience with his impeccable timing in delivering comedy. He has an inherent aptitude and passion for acting. He is also blessed with a melodious voice that is visible in his tonal elegance as he gets once more from the audience. Prashant’s acting and Chandrakant Kulkarni’s direction is commendable. Shubhangi Gokhale was a perfect pair against Prashant with her role as a simple, caring, and yet vexed wife calling upon a banter that is thoroughly enjoyable. Hats off to the young Rucha Apte and Adhokshaj Karhade who also gave a wonderful performance. Modern theatrical productions are often enhanced by technical sound and lighting technicians. Kishore Ingle and Prakash Khot from India also provided flawless lighting and sound technical support which enhanced the experience. It is a recommended watch for everyone. Eighteen shows of Sakhar Khalela Manus are scheduled all over US including major cities Seattle, Detroit, Los Angeles, Washington DC, New

Jersey etc. The complete set was developed in 3 weeks by Ravi and Megha Ozarker and their son Aakash on June 30th three months before the event. The set was designed by Pradeep Mule. The set was assembled in less than 5 hours by friends on 8th October. Rucha Apte said the stage was the closest matching set built so far that was a replica of the set in India. Houstonians have definitely raised the bar. Thanks to Natyasargam/Ajay Patwardhan who organized the USA tour of play cast. Thanks to the sponsors of the program Worldwide Oilfield Machine (WOM), Yogesh & Shital Patil Realtors, Kavadi Family of Houston, PNG Jewelers, YUPPTV. Thanks to all the friends who helped make this event successful including Aakash Ozarker, Aditya Nikam, Ameya Wakde, Bhakti Naik, Isha Amte, Prasad Kavthekar, Rakesh Naik, Rashmee Joshi, Samir Patil, Saurabh Joshi, Supriya Sheth, Tejas Ghorpade, Vidhula Bhadkmkar, Vrushali Kavthekar, Ravi Ozarker! Heartiest Congratulations to Megha and Sanskar LLC for their first super hit show. Thanks to Sanskar LLC for bringing this wonderful play to the Houston audience. Best wishes to the SKM team for remaining shows in US.

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

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20 October 27, 2017HAPPY HALLOWEEN T

he History and Origin of Halloween Halloween as it is celebrated these days is but a pale representation of its rich and multicultural history. It is not, as some would call it, a celebration of the Devil or of Hell or of the Damned, but rather a blending of the celebrations marking the end of the growing season, a heralding of the coming of the winter months and folk traditions that told of the day when the veil between the living and the dead, ever a transparent, gossamer veil at that, would lift and ghosts and ghouls would walk among the living. From those

many traditions, coming to us from the Celts, the Roman rituals and even Catholic tradition, we get the stirrings of what would eventually become Halloween. Back in the Old Days Back in the old days, or once upon a time, in the tradition of fairy tales, there were the Celtic people and their Druid priests. The Druids were believed to have the ability, among other skills, to commune with the dead. Their powers, it was rumored, were much more powerful on the day of Samhain (pronounced sow-en), which was the last day of the year in the Celtic calendar. But, before believing that the Halloween celebration came directly from Samhain, a day mistakenly attributed directly to the Wiccans rather than to the Celts, you must understand that it is

a blend of Hallowmas, a celebration of Catholic origins, as well as the Roman festival called Feralia. On the day of Samhain, the Celtic people would all extinguish their home’s hearth fire. They would gather in front of a blessed bonfire and would sing, dance and listen to the stories that were told during the celebration. At the end of the evening, each person would take some of the bonfire home to relight their heart fire in hopes of ensuring good fortune to their home and family for the coming year. It is said that if your hearth fire would not light from the sacred bonfire, misfortune, even death, would befall someone in the house that very year. By the 19th century, most of the religious aspects of the Halloween celebration had dwindled away and it

Halloween Recipe:

Carrot Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients: Cream Cheese Icing: • 2 ounces white chocolate • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar • 2 tablespoons heavy cream Carrot Cake: • 2 eggs, lightly beaten • 1 1/8 cups white sugar • 1/3 cup brown sugar • 1/2 cup vegetable oil • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 2 cups shredded carrots • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

• 1 cup chopped walnuts • Add all ingredients to list Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 12 muffin cups. 2. In small saucepan, melt white chocolate over low heat. Stir until smooth, and allow to cool to room temperature. 3. In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in white chocolate, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and orange extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until the mixture is fluffy. Mix in

heavy cream. 4. Beat together the eggs, white sugar, and brown sugar in a bowl, and mix in the oil and vanilla. Fold in carrots and pineapple. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Mix flour mixture into the carrot mixture until evenly moist. Fold in 1/2 cup walnuts. Transfer to the prepared muffin cups. 5. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks before topping with the icing and sprinkling with remaining walnuts. -allrecipes.com

was mostly a secular holiday, a gathering of community with only some of the remnants of the past clinging to it like the cobwebs of a haunted house. People would still dress up in costume, but less for the original reason of confusing the dead and more for just plain entertainment and fun. Halloween Travels to the New World European immigrants brought many of their traditions and beliefs with them to the New World, even those that were sometimes frowned upon or scoffed at. Halloween itself was largely disallowed, even forbidden, but in Maryland, the tradition was not only allowed but encouraged. The people there held what they called “play parties” where they would take turns telling each other’s fortunes, dancing, singing and telling ghost stories. The children would dress in costumes and try to scare one another as well. The Irish immigrants came to the new world in great masses, fleeing from the Potato Famine that was starving them to death, and brought with them the Halloween tradition of going door to door looking for sweets and other treats. The tradition of trick or treating is still a favorite among little children today. The Witchcraft, Halloween Connection There are still many, especially among fundamentalist Christians, who believe that Halloween is nothing more than a celebration of paganism and

witchcraft because of some of the traditions that are involved. It was thought that on Halloween night, a young woman could determine who her future spouse would be by staring into a mirror in a darkened room or by peeling an apple in one long strip and then casting the peel over her shoulder. Other traditions involved baking small coins and trinkets as well as a single, plain ring into a barm brack, a type of fruit cake that would be shared among the neighbors. If you got a trinket in your piece – that was your fate for the coming year, with the person who got the ring destined to wed. Counteracting Halloween While the Catholic Church bears no ill will toward the Halloween traditions and the holiday itself, there are some Christian churches who say that it encourages witchcraft and may even lead to Satanism. These churches hold “Hell Houses” meant to scare children and young adults away from the traditions and to lead them back to the church. Some of these churches even hand out pamphlets and religious tracts on Halloween night to be found when the children go through their candy. -halloween.com

Email your Halloween picture with your name, to be featured in our next week’s issue. Email at indoamericannews@yahoo.com

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October 27, 2017


Cadre of South Asian Police Officers Grows at HPD, Unnoticed by Community BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: If you didn’t do a double take,

you’d have figured them for Latinos, given that many tanned South Asian features are easily confused. But leaning in as they sat around the table, you picked up the subtle signs – and then the nametags gave them away – of police officers from South Asia in the Houston Police Department. They were at the AAPI fundraiser on Saturday, October 14 to be honored onstage as unsung heroes from our community. But they were eager to talk and introduce themselves. The eight who showed up that night (one, officer Amri, is a Moroccan-American) represent perhaps 15% of the total number of South Asian officers on the Houston Police force, out of a total of 5,000 officers, but that is much higher than the number just 10 years ago. The desi community is more familiar with the affable officer Muzaffar Siddiqi who has been the face that has been at most functions. And over the past 20 years, through the tenures of several former HPD Chiefs, there were attempts made to hold cultural-sensitivity training for officers – which this reporter helped coordinate - so that they could be better acclimated to the diverse ethnic populations that exist across the city. Having more police officers from among these groups became a priority of HPD to better integrate the force with the people they serve and they eagerly began recruiting them. In Harris County, there is a Sikh Constable, Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, who completed his trained and got his badge two years ago. One of the earliest South Asian who joined the

A cadre of South Asian police officers attended the AAPI fundraiser event on Saturday, October 14. From left are officers H. Amri (who is from Morocco), M. Mathews, Y.R. Haq, V. Patel, M. Qazi, Capt. Y. Bashir and M.A. Haider.

HPD Academy in 2000 was Yasar Bashir, now a captain at the Midwest Division headquartered on Harwin Drive and Regency Square and whose area covers the Galleria, Southwest Management District and the Mahatma Gandhi District. Bashir, 41, rose to the rank of Captain – one of only two South Asian captains in HPD, the other being Salam Zia. He came to the US when he was eight and moved to Houston 22 years ago and has a Masters degree in Criminology from the University of Houston. The other officers at the AAPI gala were H. Amri (who is from Morocco), M. Mathews,

Y.R. Haq, V. Patel, M. Qazi, Capt. Y. Bashir, M.A. Haider and Asif Qureshi. Amri, 34, has been on the force for 5 years and is gang officer. Mathews, 44, hails from Kerela and has been with HPD for 7 years and handles crashes and vehicle investigations. Haq, 28, is from Karachi and with the force for 6 years, handling robbery. Qazi, 40, is also from Karachi and with 11 years on the force is a patrol officer. Haider, 42, also from Karachi, has 10 years with HPD and is also a patrol officer. Patel, 29, was born here, has been with the force 6 years and handles sex crimes and special

investigations. She is also the only South Asian officer on the force. “There are more desi officers in HPD,” said Bashir in a telephone interview conducted in his native Punjabi and English, “and several of them are deep undercover. But most of the desi officers are Pakistani, followed by Indian and are based out of Precinct 5 or 7.” He goes on the air once a month on Radio Dabang to talk about different topics to educate people on how to deal with police matters and would like to do more community interactions.


22 October 27, 2017 BY SARA EVE ALARIE

If you’ve ever told yourself “I should

meditate” but have never found the time, we’ve got the plan for you! Autumn is a great time to establish a new health habit. With the lazy days of summer giving way to a more structured routine for the fall, this can be a stressful time of year. Scheduling just a few minutes a day to meditate can help you keep calm and focused throughout the busy days of autumn—and beyond. What exactly is meditation? Although it can take many forms, one of the most widely researched forms of meditation, mindfulness meditation, is awareness of the present, moment by moment. Put simply, meditation involves practising intentional awareness on the present moment. Meditation may look to an outsider like a difficult practice. But when you let go of what you think it should look like and adapt your practice to your life, it becomes less difficult to understand. What are the benefits of a daily meditation practice? The benefits of meditation are from the journey, not the destination. “Meditation is a way to experience and appreciate joy in the present moment, regardless of circumstance,” says Sarah Elmeligi, who teaches a meditation circle at the Yoga Lounge in Canmore, Alberta. Research studies find that meditation practice leads to increased feelings of calm and

Meditation for Beginners


How to start a daily mindful practice

decreased anxiety. Researchers have also found positive effects for improved sleep, stress management, self-compassion, and the ability to focus. Simply bringing your attention to your breath can bring on a relaxation response and calm your nervous system. How do you get started on your meditation journey? Meditation requires commitment. It is helpful to have a guide facilitating your meditation when first beginning to develop your practice. Attending community classes, participating in an online introductory course, or using a phone- or tablet-based medita-

tion app can help you develop your new meditation habit. In her meditation circles, Elmeligi guides participants through different types of meditation including mindfulness meditation, walking meditation, and yoga nidra. How do you find the time for daily meditation? Getting up 10 minutes earlier works well for many people with an established meditation practice who also have a family or a hectic work schedule. If finding time is preventing you from trying meditation, check your schedule to see if you might schedule a few minutes for yourself at the

beginning or end of each day. Once you start your meditation practice, you might find you don’t want to stop because of the many ways it benefits your day. Elmeligi says, “I encounter people who think they can’t meditate. [But] everyone can meditate. Everyone has five minutes!” Where should you meditate? Creating a peaceful atmosphere in which to meditate is important to begin a successful practice. If possible, find a quiet place with as few distractions as possible. When first starting your practice it can be helpful to use a consistent space to meditate. Creating a sanctuary While Elmeligi instructs that anyone can meditate anywhere, it is helpful to cultivate a special place in your home for your practice when first starting out on your meditation journey. If it is possible for you, dedicate a small area in your home for meditation. You can start creating your meditation area simply by selecting a comfortable chair or meditation cushion. With time, you might add a vase with flowers, a family photo, or a special shell from a treasured holiday. Some people enjoy meditating outdoors on a quiet bench or in a peaceful garden. Find a place that works for

you and keep practising. Once you become more adept at practising meditation, you may not require a consistent space. In fact, Elmeligi sometimes finds it hard to find a quiet place or the time to meditate. “Sometimes, I meditate in the airport, waiting for my flight. There is chaos all around me and the seat is uncomfortable, but I can do it. It’s not perfect. You don’t need to sit in a certain way in a certain place. It’s not what is happening around you or where you are. It’s an internal experience. It’s about being aware of this moment.” How do you respond to intrusive thoughts? It is normal to have thoughts while meditating. Try not to judge yourself for thoughts that enter your mind when trying to focus on the present moment. Elmeligi suggests new practictioners try repeating, “I am inhaling in this moment. I feel joy in this moment.” She adds, “If you tell yourself something long enough, you’ll believe it.” Try to be an observer of your thoughts and treat them as something transient and passing. You can think of thoughts as clouds passing through the sky or scenes in a movie. Watch your thoughts arise and watch them move away. For example, if you think, “Did I remember to send that email?” just acknowledge the thought and let it pass, let it be transient. Try not to follow the thought and mentally add it to a to-do list or try to solve the problem. -Alive.com


DIASPORA Trudeau’s New Political Rival is a Canadian Sikh With Swag

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s

newest political rival is a charismatic Sikh politician who rocks bright turbans, has social media savvy and is a vocal champion of the rights of people of colour and the LGBT community. Jagmeet Singh, the 38-year-old son of Punjabi immigrants, became the first non-white to head a major political party in Canada after being elected leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP). Soon after getting elected with 53.6% of the vote on Sunday, Singh told the cheering crowd, “I am officially launching my campaign to be the next prime minster of Canada.” The next federal election in Canada is set for October 2019. In early September, Singh had deftly handled a delicate situation of a white woman racially heckling him on stage during a public meeting in Brampton. A video of his telling the woman about love and courage had gone viral. Late on Sunday night, the member of provincial parliament (MPP) of Ontario hit the headlines again but for much bigger reasons. By polling 35,266 votes, Jagmeet registered an impressive victory over three other contenders running for party leadership — Northern Ontario MP Charlie Angus (12,075 votes), Manitoba MP Niki Ashton (11,374) and Quebec MP Guy Caron (6,164). Though it’s a long road to the top post, Singh is the latest Sikh Canadian to make an impact on the country’s politics. Trudeau’s cabinet has three Sikhs, including defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan and industry minister Navdeep Bains. In 2015, a record 20 Canadians of Indian origin were elected to the 338-member House of Commons. As many as 18 were of Punjabi origin. Jagmeet Singh’s father, Jagtaran Singh, is from Thikriwal village of Punjab’s Barnala district while his mother Harmeet Kaur is from Ghudani Khurd village near Ludhiana. As a brown guy with a strange name and headgear, Singh has had several brushes with racism. Being bullied as a child made him turn to martial arts and he went on to captain his high school wrestling team. He also won the Toronto championship in MADRAS N PAVILIO & DAAWAT CATERING

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Jagmeet Singh

Brazilian jiu-jitsu, according to reports by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Singh has spoken about how he has often been stopped for random police checks, which motivated him to push for a ban on this police tactic. He told TOI in an interview that such experiences had given him a greater sensitivity to issues of unfairness and injustice. “This sensitivity has shaped my politics by developing a strong desire to challenge injustice and work toward creating a more equitable society,” said Singh, a lawyer by profession. He has also been a strong advocate of a religious exemption for turbaned Sikhs from motorcycle helmet laws. For Singh, who has even done a YouTube tutorial on tying a turban, the headgear is a very important part of his Sikh identity. “I hope that by celebrating my own identity, it encourages others to celebrate their own,” said Singh, whose signature style — teaming colourful turbans with bespoke suits —has got him into the pages of fashion magazines like GQ and has led to gushing profiles about “The incredibly well-dressed rising star in Canadian politics”. But sartorial savvy isn’t the only reason Singh makes headlines. He doesn’t pull his punches when it comes to criticising US President Donald Trump’s travel ban or speaking out against India’s treatment of minorities. In 2013, he was denied a visa to visit India. According to Singh, he was to visit Amritsar for an awards ceremony by two NGOs which had selected him for the Sikh of the Year Award. -timesofindia.com





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sponders in communities throughout our great land,” he said. “Today, we proudly celebrate this holiday in the people’s House. In so doing, we reaffirm that Indian-Americans and Hindu-Americans are truly cherished, treasured and beloved members of our great American family,” Trump added. Diwali, he said, is one of the most important celebrations in the Hindu religion. “A time of peace and prosperity for the New Year, it is a tradition that is held dear by more than 1 billion Hindus worldwide and more than 2 million Hindus in the United States. It is also celebrated by millions of Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains in America, India and around the world,” he said. The tradition of Diwali celebration at the White House was first started by President George Bush. During his term it was celebrated mostly in the India Treaty Room of the adjacent executive office building, which is part of the White House complex. Bush never personally participated in the White House Diwali celebrations. In the first year of his presidency, former president Barack Obama lit the ceremonial Diya in the East Room of the White House. In his last year in office in 2016, Obama for the first time observed the festival of lights in the Oval Office. -timesofindia.com

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ASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has hailed the extraordinary contributions of Indian-Americans to science, medicine, business and education in the country as he celebrated his first Diwali at the White House! Trump was joined by senior Indian-American members of his administration including Nikki Haley, his Ambassador to the United Nations and Seema Verma Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Ajit Pai, Chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission and Raj Shah, his Principal Deputy Press Secretary also joined Diwali celebrations. “As we do (celebrate Diwali) so, we especially remember the People of India, the home of the Hindu faith, who have built the world’s largest democracy,” Trump said in a Facebook post along with a video of his Diwali celebrations inside the Oval Office. Trump said he greatly valued his “very strong relationship” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Trump said he was deeply honoured to be joined by so many administration officials and leaders of the Indian-American community in celebrating Diwali -- the festival of lights. The president’s daughter Ivanka also joined him in celebrations, according to a picture released by the White House. In his remarks, Trump said Indian-American neighbours and friends have made incredible contributions to the country - and to the world. “You have made extraordinary contributions to art, science, medicine, business and education. America is especially thankful for its many Indian-American citizens who serve BRAVELY in our armed forces and as first re-

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24 October 27, 2017



Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Uble Ande Di Turri (Boiled Egg Curry)

Place a Number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. Send us the correct answer before November 01, 2017. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036. Send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published (for first three entrees only & 1 submission per month).

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ndewalas (egg hawkers) can be found all over North India offering eggs in a wide variety of ways. Sliced hot boiled eggs sprinkled with spices are big sellers in New Delhi, especially during the winter months. In many Punjabi homes, the most popular way to eat eggs is an omelet with onions eaten with a crispy, hot parantha (crispy flatbread)! In the last decade in India, egg production has grown tremendously through large scale hen-raising in huge farms which have increased the supply. Large brown and white eggs stacked in cardboard egg crates are sold in stores and even at street stalls, though they are not usually kept refrigerated. Many people say that eggs sold in India simply taste better! India is a predominantly vegetarian country, but some vegetarians do eat eggs (mostly on doctor’s orders) to supplement their protein intake. Chicken eggs supply protein through essential amino acids, vitamins A, B2, B9, B5, B12, and choline, iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Vitamins A, D and E are in the egg yolk, which also has two-thirds of the recommended daily intake of 300mg of cholesterol. A large egg yolk contains approximately 60 calories; the egg white contains about 15. Unlike the US, in India egg salad is not only not popular, but it is an unknown dish. Also, most Indian dishes do not use eggs as a base ingredient, like in a soufflé or a pudding or a cake. Eggs are either cooked at breakfast or as a snack or into curries, such as this very popular and simple boiled egg curry. It goes well with rice, but can be eaten with hot rotis too.

Ingredients: • 6 large ande (eggs) • 1 large pyaaz (onion) • 1 medium tamater (tomato) – soft ones are best • 1 medium clump of adrak (ginger root) • 1 medium kernel of lasan (garlic) • 3 cups of water • 2 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil • Tomato paste to taste • Spices (to your taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper), haldi (turmeric) and sukha dhania powder (dried coriander seed powder)

spoon of tomato paste, to enhance the taste, texture and color. 3. Now add the water and let the gravy thicken up a bit and bring to a rapid boil for 10 minutes so that the ingredients are dissolved and the curry is thick. 4. While the masala is being made, bring the eggs to a boil in a pan and made sure they are hard-boiled. 5. Rinse in cold water, and after the eggs are cool to touch, peel them, then carefully cut them and center yolk length-wise into halves. Carefully arrange the eggs, cut side up, in a large-mouthed bowl. 6. Now pour the curry over the eggs, making sure all of them are covered. Cover the bowl and let it sit for 15 minutes so that the curry will soak in. 7. Using a large spoon or ladle, carefully serve each egg half making sure the yolk doesn’t break. Serve with hot roti or rice. 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. Finely chop the ginger, onions and garlic and brown them in the oil in a saucepan over medium low heat. 2. Chop the tomato in chunks and add to the mixture and stir till the masala is soft and thick. Add the spices to your taste. Add half a table-




cooking, everyone is in such a rush the ply want to take thi se days that they sim ngs out of the fridg e to heat and eat the well for previously m up. This may wo cooked foods like piz rk za or leftovers, but new dishes that are it does not work fo being prepared. Re r frige so they do not spoil and in the same wa ration cools all the ingredients down y, the For best taste and fl pr op er tas te do es no av them at room tempe or, be sure to take out the items from the t come out. rat fridge and leave tastes of the vegetab ure for at least an hour, and preferab ly more. The true les, breads and eggs become easier to ha will start to be activ ated and they will ndle and the spices will seep in more ea will notice the differ sily and faster. You ence once you bite into your final dish!

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October 27, 2017



Secret Superstar: Zaira Wasim Shines Bright

The deep pleasures

of a simple story, simply yet eloquently told, is what makes ‘Secret Superstar’ such an engaging, true watch. Till the first half.

In the build-up, there is a refreshing absence of gimmicks, and diversions. Post-interval, it dips, and the result is a film which stops short of being superlative. The film begins and stays with fifteen-year-old Vadodara-based Insiya (Wasim) who dreams of

becoming a famous singer. A controlling, abusive father (Arjun), a submissive yet supportive mother ( Vij), an elderly relative, a little brother, a simpatico school friend, and her beloved guitar: these make up Insiya’s world. And each of these elements is so deftly introduced and developed that we are fully invested in the young girl, and we will her to win. The second half slides. The confidence that the narrative shows in the beginning begins to waver as it includes contrivances and predictable curves. We are rooting for Insiya all the way, and when she is made to break through to a musical peak with such deceptive ease, her victory seems not earned enough: a plot which feels so real suddenly demands a continuous suspension

of disbelief. And that mars the film, which opens with credits in Hindi, English and Urdu, as was customary at a time when Hindi cinema’s appeal cut across languages and audiences and demographics. It is a real thrill to see that opening frame –a train cutting through a countryside, a round of `antakshari’ being played in a compartment, and a young hopeful face looking out of the window. You see the film putting the story first, and the star second, just like it happened in Taare Zameen Par, but the pay-off isn’t as credible. The biggest strength of Secret Superstar is the wonderful Wasim who was also in Dangal: it is such a delight to see a 15-year-old look

Golmaal Again: This Tabu and Ajay Devgn Starrer Generates Some Laughs

The usual suspects are back, a

fourth time. The first frame has two cars, one bright red and the other yellow, and the star cast, decked out in black, swaying to the title song. It tells us that we are going to get more of the same: everyone standing around in one room, tossing smart-alecky dialogue between themselves, with a thin premise serving as a plot, breaking into song every now and then. For someone like me, no fan of the franchise, there’s usually very little to like in the ‘Golmaal’ films.

And this time around too, I had resigned myself to a couple of hours of deja-view. But I have to say that the addition of a few new faces, and moving the location from the beaches of Goa to the green slopes of Ooty, helped freshen things up. And though there were the familiar risible lines about people who can’t speak, and a creepy running thread about older men and girls young enough to be their daughter, the usual slew of jokes were not as tasteless. A couple led to actual laughter.

This time around, the ‘golmaal’ revolves around ghosts: we are told loudly that all talk of ‘bhoots’ and ‘andhvishwas’ ( superstition) goes together, and are promptly surrounded by wandering ‘aatamas’ in a haunted mansion. Gopal, Madhav, Lucky, Laxman One and Laxman Two (Devgn, Warsi, Kapoor, Talpade, Khemmu respectively) do what they’ve done before. As well as a running Nana Patekar joke, which benefits Kapoor most. -indianexpress.com

and feel like a regular teen, dealing disarmingly with first crushes and strumming a guitar properly, and not a painted doll. Both Vij as the mother who helps and Arjun as the father who hinders are terrific, especially the former, who is the real beating heart of Secret Superstar. -indianexpress.com

Happy Birthday


Aishwarya Rai Bachchan November 01, 1973

Shahrukh Khan November 02, 1965

26 October 27, 2017 Bhuvneshwar’s Three-for Helps India Level Series BY KARTHIK KRISHNASWAMY

PUNE: New Zealand won the

first ODI at the Wankhede Stadium courtesy their preparedness against India’s spinners, and the success of a key tactical move - swapping the batting positions of Colin Munro and Tom Latham. Three days later, following a trip down the MumbaiPune Expressway, India turned the tables with their own counter-tactics, on a pitch with just enough grass on it to allow their fast bowlers to bowl a traditional good length. Bhuvneshwar Kumar finished with three wickets and Jasprit Bumrah with two, the pair conceding only 83 in their 20 overs as New Zealand set India a target of 231 to level the series. The chase proved straightforward, with Shikhar Dhawan and Dinesh Karthik scoring half-centuries to lead India home with four overs remaining. New Zealand’s fast bowlers didn’t begin half as well as their Indian counterparts, with Trent Boult and

Bhuvneshwar Kumar celebrates a wicket, India v New Zealand, 2nd ODI, Pune, 25 October, 2017

Tim Southee routinely pitching short in their new-ball spells. India hit seven fours in the first seven overs, and five of them came off the back foot, via pulls and punches and slashes over the slips. Rohit Sharma fell early, flicking Boult in the air, but the easy flow of boundaries meant New Zealand never put any pressure on the second-wicket pair of Dhawan and Virat Kohli, who added 57 off

56 balls. Kohli fell in the 14th over, driving away from his body at one that wasn’t full enough from Colin de Grandhomme, and Karthik walked in at No. 4, joining the endless carousel of batsmen to audition for the role in recent months. He began his innings with a boundary, guiding de Grandhomme between backward point and short third man, and ended the match with

another - a sweetly timed on-the-up drive through the covers - but endured a bit of a struggle in between, never entirely fluent but always serving the interests of the chase. New Zealand never managed two wickets in quick succession, with Karthik a constant thorn at one end: he added 66 with Dhawan for the third wicket, 59 with Hardik Pandya for the fourth, and an unbroken 28 with MS Dhoni for the fifth. The pitch wasn’t a belter, but it was still battingfriendly, and New Zealand hadn’t set a big enough target to force India into taking any real risks. Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah only conceded 12 in the last four overs of the second Powerplay, and perhaps this built extra pressure on de Grandhomme, who fell while trying to push the pace in the last over of spin. New Zealand were 188 for 8 at this point. Mitchell Santner and Tim Southee ensured they would end up with a fighting total, courtesy a ninthwicket stand of 32, but 230 was still decidedly below par. - espn.com

Pakistan Complete 5-0 After Usman Bags Five in 21 Balls BY DANYAL RASOOL

SHARJAH: In a year in which Sri

Lanka have continued to sink further into the depths of ODI ineptitude, they surely hit rock bottom today. In a performance that put an exclamation mark on their run of 12 straight ODI losses, they illustrated why they have struggled so badly in the format. They couldn’t bat, dismissed for 103 in 26 overs. They couldn’t bowl all that well, taking only one wicket as Pakistan cruised home with over 30 overs to spare. It is another whitewash for Sri Lanka, the third they have suffered this year alone. South Africa and India were the other tormentors. The prospect of a damning defeat was writ large over the contest after the very first over, in which Usman Khan took the first two wickets of a staggering opening spell. He had come to prominence with a scintillating performance in a domestic T20 final in 2013, but after today, that domestic admiration can turn to international acclaim. It tends to

Usman Khan exults after pegging back Sadeera Samarawickrama’s middle stump, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, Sharjah, October 23, 2017.

happen once you complete a five-for in 3.3 overs. Maybe there’s a peculiar curse Sharjah has cast on Sri Lanka they’ve been bowled out below 100

four times at this ground. It could have been five; they were 85 for 9 at one point, before Dushmantha Chameera and Vishwa Fernando put together an

18-run partnership and rescued their side from that ignominy. For the third straight game, Upul Tharanga won the toss and chose to bat. But Sri Lanka’s luck has remained confined to the toss this tour. One over into the innings, it was clear that wasn’t going to change today. The dismissals themselves were something to behold; it was Pakistani fast bowling at its most exhilarating. Sadeera Samarawickmara failed to adjust to the moving ball and inside-edged onto his middle stump. Dinesh Chandimal was utterly helpless against one that swung away, edging to Sarfraz Ahmed. In Usman’s second over, was unable to prevent one from sneaking in between his bat and pad. Niroshan Dickwella fell lbw to another prodigious inswinger. Siriwardana tamely scooped to cover point, and in under 7 overs Sri Lanka were 20 for 5. However, the major discomfort all belongs to the visitors, who will be left pondering how on earth to salvage some pride in the upcoming T20 series. - espn.com


India Beat Malaysia 2-1 to Win Third Asia Cup Title

DHAKA: India on Sunday ended

their 10-year wait for continental triumph when they beat a gutsy Malaysia 2-1 in a nail-biting final to clinch their third Asia Cup hockey title. India, which won the Asia Cup last time in 2007 in Chennai, scored from field efforts through Ramandeep Singh (3rd minute) and Lalit Upadhyay (29th) to dash Malaysian hopes. Malaysia were in summit clash for the first time since tournament’s inception. The ever-improving Malaysians, however, fought valiantly and didn’t give up for a single minute. Their efforts bore fruit in the 50th minute when Shahril Saabah pulled one goal back. The Indians, ranked sixth in the world, were in for nervous last 10 minutes but the defence did enough to hold on to the lead. Pakistan won the bronze medal after edging out Korea 6-3 in the thirdfourth place play-off match earlier in the day. For India’ new chief coach Marijne Sjoerd, it was perfect start to his stint as the Asia Cup was his maiden tournament in charge of the senior national side. The top-ranked Indians finished unbeaten in the tournament, having won all their matches except for the 1-1 draw against Korea in the Super 4s stage. Today’s win was India’s second victory over Malaysia in the tournament, having beaten them 6-2 in the Super 4s stage. For Malaysia, it was their best result in the tournament. They had earlier won the bronze in the 2007 edition of the event in Chennai. With three minutes from the hooter, Malaysia withdrew goalkeeper Subramaniam for an extra player but the move failed to yield desired result as the Indians managed to hold on to their lead for a famous victory. -timesofindia.com

Ramandeep Singh and Lalit Upadhyay proved to be the heroes for India with their goals in the first half of the match.


October 27, 2017

Modi Govt’s Mid-year Booster Shot for Indian Economy

NEW DELHI: The National Dem-

ocratic Alliance (NDA) government on Tuesday unveiled a package of measures to accelerate economic growth, but made it clear that this would not be at the expense of fiscal prudence. Besides the largest investment ever proposed to connect India through roads, the government announced a promised bank recapitalisation package to fix the bad loan problem of public sector banks, promised focused bank lending to the employment-friendly small-scale sector and, in a separate decision, raised the minimum support price (MSP) for wheat by 6.8%, the biggest increase in six years. The focus on the small scale sec-

tor comes in the backdrop of recent steps by the Goods and Services Tax Council (GST Council) to ease the burden on small enterprises. In the process, the government signalled that it is sensitive to the pressure exerted on the informal economy by two back-to-back policy moves—demonetisation of high-value currency notes in November last year and the 1 July rollout of GST—which would require some handholding. Similarly, the increase in MSP comes against the backdrop of continued rural distress triggering farmer unrest in pockets of the country. The economic package also seeks to quell some of the caustic criticism levelled by the NDA’s political opposition, particularly the Congress,

which have not only alleged mishandling of the economy, but also claimed that the government has

failed to deliver on its promise of generating jobs. -livemint.com

Finance minister Arun Jaitley. The road construction and bank recapitalisation plan follows the twin policy moves of GST and demonetisation that hurt the Indian economy.


B-Schools, Including IIMs, See Strong Summer Placements Amid Jobs Debate

NEW DELHI:Amid concerns over

falling employment opportunities in the country, several top B-schools, including some Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), have reported strong summer placements for their students with sales and marketing, finance and consulting being the top recruiters. While IIM Lucknow and IIM Kozhikode completed their summer placements within four days, XLRI Jamshedpur achieved 100% placement in just two days. The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) reported completion of its summer placements with double-

Doing Business in India: Myths & Realities

The World Bank’s Doing Business rankings do not measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms or investors.


ater this month, the World Bank will release the 2018 edition of its annual “Doing Business” indicators. This initiative attempts to quantitatively capture the regulation that small- and medium-sized firms encounter in 190 countries around the world. Established

in 2002, the annual exercise has arguably become the single most influential measure of a country’s investment climate. One need look no further than the regular complaints filed by countries unhappy with their place on the league tables to understand that the World Bank’s

metric has outsized influence. One country where the Doing Business rankings have captured widespread attention is India, in part because it has generally fared quite poorly. Clocking in at 130th on last year’s rankings, India had the worst business environment of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economies. Even by Indian standards, the anticipation for this year’s edition of the report is remarkable—especially in government quarters—since there is an expectation that India’s rating will improve significantly thanks to recent reforms. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has staked a fair amount of personal credibility on India’s ratings success—frequently reiterating his desire to see India break into the top 50 countries in the world—and, with his first term drawing to a close in 2019, the sense of an impending deadline is palpable. Whatever the outcome of this year’s report, observers should treat the rankings with care. Politicians and government officials should not be

too quick to claim credit or point fingers as the case may be, nor should voters view the ranking as the ultimate marker of the ruling party’s reform success. Likewise, investors who are considering the prospects for investment in India should recognize what the rankings do and do not tell us. By the World Bank’s own admission, the Doing Business rankings do not “measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms or investors”. Rather, they provide an assessment of red tape and administrative hurdles across 11 areas of business regulation. To determine their rankings, the World Bank relies on four sources of information: the laws and regulations on the books, experts wellversed in local business practices, national governments, and World Bank staff. The World Bank uses these various inputs to estimate how many hoops a “prototypical firm” must jump through to carry out a set of standardized tasks. - livemint.com

While IIM Lucknow and IIM Kozhikode completed their summer placements within four days, XLRI Jamshedpur achieved 100% placement in two days.

digit growth in average stipend offered. Mumbai-based SPJIMR (earlier called SP Jain Institute of Management and Research) too reported good response from companies with a 24% rise in the average stipend. Though summer placements are not the same as final placement, they are indicative of the job environment these campuses are likely to witness in a couple of months for their outgoing batches of students. They come amid concerns that job creation has been impacted by policies like the goods and services tax (GST). In summer placements or internships, students work for 8-10 weeks to gain experience that often translates into full-fledged job offers to many of them. - livemint.com


28 October 27, 2017 India in U-turn, Ready to Hold Talks with Hurriyat on Held Kashmir NEW DELHI: The Modi govern-

ment on Monday rowed back on its three-year-old pledge to never talk to the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, as Home Minister Rajnath Singh named a new interlocutor with a brief to consult all stakeholders, including the separatists, in India-held Kashmir. In a clear indication that the rightwing Hindu revivalist government was willing to reboot its Kashmir policy, ex-intelligence chief Dineshwar Sharma was named as interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir with “complete freedom” to talk to “all groups and individuals”, including the Hurriyat, the group New Delhi sees as an agent of Pakistan. “There is no bar on him to talk to one group and not another... We want to understand aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Mr Singh

said, announcing the government initiative at a hurriedly-convened media conference. The move follows a rare meeting between Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj last week with Pakistan’s High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood. Local reports said Ms Swaraj discussed the current state of affairs in bilateral relations with Mr Mahmood, who officially took charge as Pakistan’s envoy to India only last month. The minister also touched upon India’s concerns over alleged cross-border terrorism and asked Islamabad to quickly bring to book the accused in Mumbai and Pathankot terror attacks. Reports said the meeting with Mr Mahmood took place on Monday last week after her office was approached by the Pakistani envoy. Ms Swaraj reportedly mentioned the need for Pakistan to review its position on

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Kulbhushan Jadhav, the alleged Indian spy who remains in Pakistan’s custody. It remains to be seen if the fresh and sudden move on held Kashmir too is linked with the suggested overall improvement in the ties. The decision to hold talks with the Hurriyat leaders after their meeting with the Pakistani envoy three years ago set off a new low in bilateral ties is also being seen as a response to the Trump administration’s signals on a new South Asia policy. “As a representative of the government of India, Dineshwar Sharma will initiate a sustained interaction and dialogue to understand legitimate aspirations of people in Jammu and Kashmir,” Mr Singh said. A third-generation police officer, Mr Sharma, 63, retired in December 2016 after leading the domestic spy agency, the Intelligence Bureau, for two years. This is the first conciliatory initiative by the Modi government in three years to reach out to Kashmiris and comes after a long period of heightened standoff between Kashmiri militants fighting Indian rule and the security forces. Reports said Mr Singh’s outreach indicates a shift in the central government’s approach to handle the


Kashmir issue from the prism of security operations without a matching political overture from the other side. It has been welcomed by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. “Dialogue is a necessity of the hour and the only way to go forward,” she said. Former chief minister Omar Abdullah, however, said he would “keep an open mind and wait to see results of the dialogue process”. In a series of tweets, Mr Abdullah said the dialogue process started by the centre was “a resounding defeat of those who could only see use of force as a solution”, a swipe at BJP leaders seen as loud advocates of a hardline policy on disturbances in the occupied valley. Explaining why the government

had appointed the interlocutor, Mr Singh said there had been suggestions from across the political spectrum that the government should hold dialogue with all stakeholders in held Kashmir. Mr Singh also called the move a follow-up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address in August where he had stressed that “Kashmir’s problems can only be solved by embracing Kashmiris,” not bullets or abuses. Asked if the government really needed another report on held Kashmir, the home minister didn’t refer to the older report but underlined that the government’s intentions were c lear. -dawn.com

Caitlan Coleman Breaks Silence on Captivity, Says ‘Was in Pakistan for More Than a Year’

isputing claims about her rescue, the recently recovered Caitlan Coleman has said that she was in Pakistan for at least a year before she was “rescued” by Pakistan Army in an operation near the Pak-Afghan border earlier this month. While speaking to the Toronto Star in her first interview since her recovery, Coleman said: “Right now, everybody’s shunting blame and making claims. Pakistan says no, they were never in Pakistan until the end. The US says, no they were always in Pakistan; it was Pakistan’s responsibility. But neither of those are true.” She also said that she is certain that they were held in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. “We were not crossing into Pakistan that day. We had been in Pakistan for more than a year at that point.” Coleman, an American national, revealed in the interview — published on Monday — that the couple were moved to Pakistan immediately after being kidnapped in Afghanistan. “They first took us out of Afghanistan; it was several days’ drive,” said Coleman, who still wears a hijab after being released. She refused to comment on whether the couple have converted to Islam. She said that her kidnappers took them to Miramshah in North Waziristan where they were kept for almost a year, adding that

they knew where they were because her husband, Joshua Boyle, could understand some Farsi. “It was very bad. My husband and I were separated at that time. He wasn’t allowed to see Najaeshi or spend any time with us.” Najaeshi Jonah is their oldest son. “Then we were moved to the north of Miramshah, to the house of a man who said he was called Mahmoud. He was very nice to Najaeshi and would provide us with amenities [that] we wouldn’t have otherwise,” she told the Toronto Star. “He would take Najaeshi out to get him sunlight and nobody else did that at any other point.” She does not exactly remember the events around her rescue but does recall a gun battle while she was in the trunk of a car.

“Our first fear — why we were not poking our heads up and yelling for help — was that it was another gang trying to kidnap us. Possibly just part of the Haqqani network fighting with another part. They’re all just bandits,” she said about her rescue. “You’re a prisoner for so long, you’re so suspicious. I was still thinking we don’t know these people, we don’t know where they’re taking us.” Of her reaction on realising it was the Pakistani forces and not another group of captors, she said: “I think I was mostly just in shock.” While revealing details of the rescue, Pakistan Army had said that the family had been moved from Afghanistan into Pakistan the day the operation took place, not earlier. -dawn.com


October 27, 2017



October 27, 2017


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