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Friday, October 28, 2016 • Vol. 35, No. 44

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October 28, 2016

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Friday, October 28, 2016 | Vol. 35, No. 44

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COMMUNITY

October 28, 2016

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Diwali, Celebrated in Open Pasture Under Stars and with Neighbors

The Diwali Mela ate the SDSV Temple in Katy was held outdoors under the stars. The stage, decorations and co-ordination was done by the Sanathan Dharam Maha Sabha Branch 377.

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

KATY: In the engulfing darkness

of the night it was difficult to find a parking space on the grassy field around the temple buildings, but easy to find the brightly lit stage and the two round fountain light sculptures on either side. The trek to the back of the three wooden buildings was uneven, with broken stones and pebbles crunching underfoot. There, under the stars and the stray dim light of the building, on folding chairs and tables, over a hundred people sat eating and watching the Ram Leela being played out on a built-up stage. Behind the stage for another 8 acres of the temple property the darkness loomed, broken to the one side by the outside lights of a neighboring house. In front of it, the spectators watched, among them some of the neighbors in this distant part of Katy, some 30 miles west of Houston’s Galleria and about 5 miles west of Katy Mills Mall, on the short stretch of Tina Lane, where a few residences dot either side of the street. The temple was started on this tract by its late priest Udaya Kumar Gullapalli who passed away last December at an early age from an unfortunate accident. His zeal to start the Sayi Durga Shiv Vishnu temple in this isolated tract of land about two years ago, led to the main sanctuary, adjoining office and kitchen all housed in temporary wooden buildings raised on concrete blocks. Recently, SDSV has partnered up with the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha Branch 377,

an organization comprised mostly of Indians from the Carribean, Surinam, Gyuana and Fiji, to expand. The congregation of about 100 families is equally divided between the two communities. Currently, two full-time priests cater to the needs of the Hindu faithful in the area, Pt. Shridhar Kumar Sharma, who is the brother-in-law of the late pandit Gullapalli and just arrived here last October; and Pt. Subbaraya Sharma. Shridhar was a priest at the Lakshmi Narayan Temple in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, which is maintained by the large Birla factory that makes vegetable oils in the city. Subbaraya used to be a scientist at MD Anderson Cancer Center for many years before taking up this new path for himself some years ago. The joint-venture between the two entities hopes to raise the $150,000 in short order to pay off the land, and then seriously start to build up the structures. The Diwali Mela, though a step in that direction, also reflected the zeal of the congregation to showcase their faith and get the children involved. Emcee Sharda Jankie guided the program, with comments from SDMS Secretary Peter Gooman and President Vishal Chatoor, the national anthem on the saxophone by Sanjeev Chatoor and bhajans by Gooman and Jasoda Sharma (with the SDMS, who coordinated the event). Miss Guyana Divya Yabindranath made an appearance with her sash, and the adult King and Queen – Vashti Ravi Garib and Sharlene – were crowned. Kusum Sharma, the Executive

Director of the Shri Natraj Shool of Dance brought her students and her two daughters (who played Sita and Ravana) to re-enact the Rama Leela with an English narrative and interspersed it with questions on the story for the young in the audience to answer. “The wooden stage and the decorations were all built up by our volunteers in the last week,” said a proud Ram Sharma, who was decked out in a colorful Sherwani. And, with a group of others playing instruments, he sang bhajans at the end of the program. The music from the oasis of lights reverberated into the dark, cool night.

From left, Pt. Shridhar Kumar Sharma, the temple founder Udaya Kumar Gullapalli’s son and Pt. Subbaraya Sharma in the temple sanctuary.

Towards the end of the evening, Shomie Ram Persaud (on the mic), Ram Sharma (on harmonium) and a group of others sang some bhajans.

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October 28, 2016

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COMMUNITY

October 28, 2016

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As Dhamaal Trump Promised, Diwali Mela was HUGE

Crowds Swelled like Indian Local Train Station

SUGAR LAND: Amazing cool-

ing temperatures and Bollywood singer Aditya Narayan filled another sold-out stadium at Masala Radio’s HOUSTON DIWALI MELA presented by Star Plus, as well as Tara Energy, Xfinity by Comcast, and Mercedes Benz of Sugar Land. Some described the crowds on Saturday, October 22, from 5 pm – 11 pm, at Constellation Field like those on an “Indian local train station.” Where else in the world can you encounter a live, full-bellied Ganeshji, and ten steps later watch a flawless imitator of Michael Jackson dance to Hollywood-Bollywood music. Or where Dhamaal Trump (AKA Masala Radio Lead RJ, Sunil T) answers tougher questions than the US Election Debates coming from “Kaun Banega Crore-Pati’s” Amitabh Bachchan (AKA Masala Radio Jockey Rajoo Waddy). Indeed, it took a village of Masala Event Managers, Sponsors, Volunteers and Vendors to put together one of the Indian community’s signature events, from Maharaja styled entrances, to gorgeously-decorated jewelry and fashions booths, gigantic 3-level stage with impeccable sound and lights, additional 3 stages of entertainment, inflatable-carousel-playground kids rides, CO2 and pyro effects, and on-site cooked Indian cuisine. Lining up well before 5PM, guests were dazzled by the Ganeshji, jaw dropping pink and orange Mahararaj arches by Blink Decor, and Living Statues of Laxmi, Sita-RamLaxman, and Shiv-Parvati-Ganesh. Beautiful chania-choli clad Apsaras offered a traditional tilak welcome, inviting all to the Star Plus presented Houston Diwali Mela with electric Tara Energy dance performances, Aditya Narayan Concert by Xfinity, Mercedes Benz of Sugar Land Fireworks, Ramji & Associates Rangoli Competition, Alings Hakka Fire Dancers, Design Your Ensemble Fashion Show, Britannia Bazaar, Karya Kids Rides, Hindus of Greater Houston Maha Arti,

Aditya Narayan

SKAI Foundation Hindu Gods Parade, and Spectacular Venue by Harvest Green and Imperial Market. Chef Nirman Shah presented freshly prepared Mumbai Street Foods, like his famous Raj Kachori – from Chowpatty Chat Co. Hillcroft and Chowpatty Express Katy. Rice & Spice, Hyderabad House, and Kwality Ice Cream filled patrons with delicious full course Indian cuisine, ice creams and Kulfi. Samir Sanghani, first time attendee, said “Everything was very addicting, my wife Mona could not leave the Bazaar shops, my son Nikhil was glued to the “Eliminator”, the huge inflatable ride while the other son Saajan rode

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Chef Nirman Shah (in red chef coat) presented freshly prepared Mumbai Street Foods (picture on the right). He is seen in picture above with Sunil Thakkar and Salim (missing in the piture is Samir from Chowpatty Express Katy).

the carousel 5 times in a row, and my parents kept going back to try different food dishes. I was in a festival buzz all night.” Xfinity by Comcast presented Aditya Narayan, five-time SaRe-

GaMaPa host and son of legendary Bollywood Singer Udit Narayan. After a Sholay-style entry on a white motorcycle sidecar, Aditya

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COMMUNITY

October 28, 2016

BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha Holds Nationwide Voter Education and Registration Drives

STAFFORD: “Every vote mat-

ters,” noted Viral Desai, a BAPS volunteer. Desai was ending his remarks at the weekly assembly at the local BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Stafford, Texas, to encourage his fellow members to vote in the upcoming national elections. As a Hindu organization with 95 mandirs across the United States, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha conducted a nationwide voter education and registration drive this year to coincide with the U.S. Presidential election. “Our faith teaches us that all individuals have a duty to be active and contributing members of the communities we live in. One aspect of that duty is to participate in the democratic process by voting,” said Desai. Krupa Shah, who volunteered her time to help register voters, noted that the response at her local BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chino Hills, California, was overwhelming. “Visitors view the mandir as an extension of their homes, and so when the mandir encourages us to vote, it comes with a stamp of approval that really resonates,” Shah added. “Beyond this, simple things, like translators who could help individuals fill out voter registration forms encouraged people to register to vote.” The voter registration and edu-

cation drives were planned to maximize their reach. For example, they were often held on large Hindu holidays, which attract worshippers who only attend services on high holidays. As part of BAPS’ voter education and registration drives, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, shared a nonpartisan message with BAPS congregations across the United States asking them to exercise their civic responsibility and vote in the upcoming election. “[T]he United States has provided our community a new and welcoming home with incredible opportunities to grow and achieve success in all realms. Given these great opportunities, it is our responsibility to complete our civic duty by voting in the national elections on Tuesday, November 8, 2016,” said His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj in a message that will reach hundreds of individuals who visit BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha mandirs for Diwali and the Hindu New Year, which fall on October 30th and 31st this year. Under His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj’s leadership, BAPS is committed to exploring opportunities for encouraging civic participation. Jigar Amin, a BAPS volunteer, explained, “I

was concerned that, even beyond the voter registration drive, the community may need even more signals to turn out and vote, so I thought, why not make the mandir a polling place?” As a result, for the first time, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, in Stafford, Texas will serve as a polling place in an official election. He added, “It’s difficult to overstate the importance of this step: it is a more direct means to encourage the South Asian community to vote.” For Anita Patel, a Stafford, Texas resident, who registered to vote for the first time at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Stafford, Texas, its designation as a polling place is more than just a meaning-

ful reminder to vote. It’s where on November 8, 2016, she will actually exercise her duty, rooted in her faith, to vote.

For details contact BAPS North American Headquarters. Phone: 732-777-1414 Email: media@ na.baps.org

WORLD DIABETES DAY Prevent and Manage Diabetes Through Yogic Life Style

Register before November 5th. Limited seats available. Register at: www.tinyurl.com/vyasasdm Diabetes continues to grow as a major health challenge across the world. Come join us to learn prevention and management of diabetes through life style change. Program outline: Informative lecture session by Dr.Choksi on Prevention and Management of Diabetes through Yogic lifestyle which includes yoga postures, relaxation, meditation and diet. Research based yoga practice session especially for Prevention and management of diabetes. Bring your yoga mat

Event Details: (Registration required) Date: 12th NOV 2016 Time: 9:00 am - 11:30 am Venue: India House, 8888 W Bellfort Ave, Houston, TX 77031. Lunch is provided, FREE! THE EVENT IS FREE. Pre-Registration is mandatory. Register at: www.tinyurl.com/vyasasdm

Contact: Rajeev Limaye: 713 443 6669 Email: Rajeev_Limaye@Hotmail.com Raghu Iyer: Raghu.iyer@outlook.com

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Organized by: VYASA, Houston & India House, Houston Sponsored by Dr. Durga Agrawal & Sushila Agrawal

For more details log on to: www.vyasahouston.org INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


October 28, 2016

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COMMUNITY

October 28, 2016

As Dhamaal Trump Promised, Diwali Mela was HUGE CONTINUED FROM PAGE

LAW OFFICES OF ZAINAB K. RIZVI

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emotionally stirred the crowds with “Pehla Nasha” and “Tum Hi Ho.” Echoing his father, legendary Udity Narayan, he got on his knees holding hands with lucky girls from the audience. Frenzy built up to his riveting “Tattad Tattad” with a finale of fireworks personifying the Triumph of Good over Evil. Aditya sang until 11:00 PM with hit after hit, joined in with a variety of background dancers from Arya Dance Academy, Roarin Raas, the audience, and of course Sunil T and the Crazy Masala Crew! Comedian Sunil Thakkar led 3 hours of non-stop main stage entertainment of Bollywood, Folk, Semi-classical, Bhangra, and some westernized Mash-Ups, in order: US Desi Gals, Htown Lil Pathakaz, Kathak Nritya Kala Kendra, Holding Space Fire Dancers, Bollywood Dancing Stars, Rhythm India, Roarin’ Raas, Arya Dance Academy, and Infused Performing Arts. Rangoli judges were challenged to pick just one or two winners from dozens of entries featuring Ramayan scenes, from Hanuman, son of the Wind God, to colored rice and mixed dals kaleidoscopes; ultimately judges split the $1001 Ramji &

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Associates prize between 9 top entries. A heavenly procession of Hindu Gods exuded vibrant Darshan before manifesting on the stage for the Hindus of Greater Houston’s soul-stirring Maha Arti of 5000 LED lights led by Grand, Platinum, Diamond, Gold Sponsors (mentioned previously) and Silver Sponsors including Anand & Dr. Ashima Chauhan, Brij & Sunita Agarwal, Govind & Renu Agarwal, Fiesta, One Step Diagnostic, NYL Amirali Dodhiya, Perry Homes, Amaya Clinic, Plaza Jewelers, Sling Intl. Masala Radio would like to thanks its dream management Masala Crew: Office: Rinku, Devangi, Shreya, Carlos, Sonali & Dhaval. Event: Ruchir, Shah, Ninad, Devan, Nimi, Ina, Natasha, Ayesha, Mayur, Anuj, Lauhael, Aditi, Pragati and Iman. Stage: Preanka, Dilip, Rajoo, Mehran, Sunny, DJ Zee, Ashka, Krupa, Shreya P., Rupal, and Chris. Organizers Sunil & Sandhya Thakkar request feedback at events@masalaradio.com and look forward to new concepts for Diwali 2017. Halo Re Halo! Photography: Carlos Pena, Gaurav Hariyani, & Meedu Photogrpahy. More Photos coming soon to HoustonDiwali.com and www.facebook.com/HoustonDiwali.

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COMMUNITY

Eat and Browse at the Night Market on Southmore

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October 28, 2016

Pradeep Sulhan, P.C.

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON:

It’s what you would expect a fair to be, less the Ferris wheel, rides, games and bright lights. Instead there were foodtrucks, plenty of booths, lightbulbs stringed between them and across the lawn, DJ Dayta pumping funky music and lots of people loitering around enjoying the nighttime escape from the orderly neighborhood street that fronts the Asia Society’s landmark building on Southmore Boulevard. The Society held its annual Night Market this past Friday, October 21, as it has done in the past few years, in front of its building and a reflection of the market’s growing popularity were the numerous booths that lined not only the main atrium inside but also in the lobby and main hall upstairs. There were about 50 booths of all sorts selling their wares, and at least a dozen of them were by South Asian businesses. In addition, the Society threw open to the public its current exhibitions of In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11 which deals with the aftermath of the tsunami that hit the Pacific coast of Japan in March 2011 and 3DPRK: North Korean Portraits by Matjaž Tančič . The food trucks were lined up five deep in the block of Southmore just in front of the Society, between the building and the parking lot, which was cordoned off on both ends for the three hours of the market from 6 to 9 pm. It is an idea borrowed from many cities in Asia like Hong Kong, where once a week, a certain segment of streets in a neighborhood are closed off for street vendors and turns the area in a bustling popup market for a night. It certainly had the same effect on this segment of the Museum District as people sat on tables and benches or even on the curb to eat from the food trucks, children inside at desks painted and made origami figures, little kids played outside with the landscaped river stones and couples roamed to the sounds of loud music in an otherwise sedate part of town.

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COMMUNITY

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HE WOODLANDS: The spirit of volunteerism shone brightly as the Hindu Temple of The Woodlands celebrated its annual Diwali Mela this past weekend. About 3,500 visitors were treated to a delightful day filled with shopping, food and entertainment, entirely planned and executed by the Indian community in The Woodlands. The Diwali Mela at the HTW has been growing in popularity every year since the temple’s inception in 2011. Held as usual at the temple’s beautiful premises at the corner of South Forest Gate and Woodlands Parkway on Saturday, October 22, this year the organizers planned the mela as an all-day event from 11am to 10pm, unlike previous years when the event ended at 6 pm. New and special attractions this year included fireworks for children at dusk, all-day offering of cuisines from different parts of India (prepared entirely by volunteers at the temple kitchen), and live Bollywood music in the evening. Groundwork for this massive undertaking started over two months ago with volunteers forming food, logistics, parking, decorations, vendor coordination and cultural planning teams. Meetings every weekend during this time as well as a burst of feverish activity in the last one week leading up to the event, resulted in an almost flawless execution of the carnival. The mela brought together 50 local vendors, selling Indian clothing, jewelry and artefacts as well as several clubs of the HTW such as language classes, youth services, yoga classes and senior’s which had booths exhibiting their services. The Senior’s Forum, one of the most active at the HTW, had thoughtfully collected unused artefacts, jewelry and clothing from within the community, and sold them at nominal prices. They collected $1,100 which they will donate towards Montgomery County residents who are food insecure, as well as to the temple where they

Photos: Sachin Chitlangia

hold their weekly meetings. The food stalls, with their assortment of offerings and cheerful volunteers cooking and serving food on site, were the most appealing feature of the mela. Dosas, channa batura, pav bhaji, vada pav, thalis (both north and south Indian), varieties of chaat, desserts, specialty coffee, masala tea, lassi and kulfi stalls, had attendees clamoring for more and lining up repeatedly throughout the day. Culinary work began earlier in the week with dedicated volunteers taking time off, to buy, cut and prep up provisions. The scene at the temple was akin to a huge family wedding, with children and extended family of the volunteers, toiling for hours on end. Many a visitor at the mela was impressed with the quality and quantities of food being churned out by this team. The cultural team had a packed day of 31 programs as well, hav-

ing invited music and dance schools from all over Houston as well as from College Station to showcase their talents. Children and adults participated with great zeal and their performances were well received by the audience. Leena Shah and her team of Radio Dabang Houston with their enthusiastic emcees, and Houston’s leading Bollywood singer Raj Vishwakarma, who sang duets with local Woodlands talents, had the audience amply entertained during the evening hours. The HTW, along with the Woodlands India Association (WIA) the exclusive sponsor of fireworks brought a beautiful fireworks show for children at dusk. Scores of families, not just from The Woodlands, but the entire Greater Houston area, were regaled by sparklers and small fireworks.

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COMMUNITY

Chinmaya Mission Navratri Celebration: An Offering to Amba Ma BY VINOD SHARMA

HOUSTON:

Chinmaya Mission Houston celebrated Navratri on Saturday, October 15, at the Stafford Civic Center with much fanfare. As in the years past, this year’s celebration was once again very well attended and a grand success. First and foremost it was a celebration of Ma Amba , The mother Goddess, by family members of all ages and this spiritual underpinning was evident throughout. As parents and grandparents modelled devotion to the next generation, respectfulness, celebration of oneness and a self of belonging, connected one and all. The main hall at the Stafford Civic Center was packed to capacity with Chinmaya Mission members and their families. The sights, the sounds and the mood were truly remarkable. The room was resplendent in the variety of colors and shades of ornate and elegant clothes that reflected the rich cultural diversity of India. Although the languages in which the melodious songs were sung were many, the enchanting music and the joyful mood was what all seemed to tuned into. It was heartwarming to see everyone unselfconsciously joining in the merry traditional community dances – be it the garaba, dandiya, sanedo, or bhangra – just for the fun of it. The children’s excitement, camaraderie among the adults and time tested bonds between senior citizens, knew no boundaries. It was after all a gathering of a village that is raising 1000+ Chinmaya balavihar students. As is customary at Mission, an army of sevakas and sevikas had worked tirelessly behind the scenes and organized the event so well that activities seemed to flow seamlessly from the opening prayer held promptly at 7:30 pm to the finish at 11:30 pm. From

Photos: Jayesh Mistry

the beautifully decorated entrance which this year featured an artistic treat of a rangoli - one formed using cookies, candy and jalebi; to the beautiful alter in the center of the dance floor for Ma Amba. The well-staffed dining area was open throughout the evening for Mission members to have a sumptuous and delicious dinner at their leisure, only punctuated by the arati at 8:30 pm. This celebration has always been very popular with Chinmaya Mission J-CHYK and CHYK students from high school and college. What made this year’s celebration particularly enjoyable was seeing a large number of Chinmaya Bala Vihar elementary school students who joined in. The unbridled enthusiasm, excitement and energy of all students raised the tempo and maintained it at a high level through the evening. It was gratifying to be part of an event where so many new friendships were formed, existing bonds were strengthened, pride in a rich cultural heritage was affirmed, acceptance and joy were so freely

shared and inherent goodness was modelled. This joyousness pervaded the space and wafted like fragrance from an agarabatti offered, with gratitude and devotion, to Ma Amba by her children on this auspicious occasion. On Sunday morning after the celebration, when Madhavi Aunty asked the over 300 elementary school Bala Vihar students gathered in Sarasvati Nilayam for prayers before class, if they had enjoyed Navaratri – their response an overwhelming– “Yes, - we want it every Sunday”. From the rousing applause that seconded a message to Acharya Gaurang Nanavaty from a family, who “felt very happy and blessed to be a part of the Chinmaya family” the adults in the Smrti hall had enjoyed the celebration as much as the children had. For more information on Chinmaya Mission Houston and its activities visit www.chinmayahouston.org or Jay Deshmukh 832-541-0059 or Bharati Sutaria 281-933-0233

Diwali Mela Lights up The Woodlands Skies CONTINUED FROM PAGE

12

The smooth functioning of the mela 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. The total atmosphere was reminiscent of a typical carnival in India. With lights and decora-

tions glistening in the evening, old Bollywood numbers in the background, fireworks, aromas from the food stalls and festive attires of visitors and volunteers, HTW’s Diwali Mela 2016 had something in it for everyone. The culmination of the energies of over 250 volunteers, the locally-organized mela highlighted the warmth of the community and the value of individual and group effort, resulting in a successful event, and the best way yet, to celebrate the festival of lights.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


October 28, 2016

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17


18 October 28, 2016 Crackers, Cars and Clean Air? When President Barack Obama visited New Delhi in 2015,

the US embassy purchased 1,800 indoor air purifiers to protect its employees at the embassy and other locations. When the news broke, Delhi’s citizens, politicians and bureaucrats were aghast: While citizens felt the government does not do enough to clean the city’s air, bureaucrats and politicians said the situation was not that bad and the Western press was unfairly targeting India by comparing the city with Beijing. But that reports on Delhi’s toxic aid were not a figment of imagination or an effort at maligning India is clear from the real time air quality index (AQI) that is available now. The index transforms complex air quality data of various pollutants into a single number, nomenclature and color. On Sunday, Delhi’s AQI, calculated by the Central Pollution Control Board and SAFAR, a research-based initiative of integrating air quality with health advisories and food security under the ministry of earth science, showed that Delhi is in the ‘red zone’ with of 318. An AQI of more than 300 is considered “very poor”. These two measurements were not the only ones sending out those SOS signals: Even the U.S. embassy’s air quality monitoring stations, located at Chanakyapuri, a cleaner and greener area than the other parts of the city, showed “unhealthy” levels as per its AQI measurement. What is alarming is that Diwali is still a few days away and it’s not yet winter, but the situation is critical. It’s a no brainer that such high pollution levels impact the health of citizens, but surprisingly while the State generates real-time air quality data, it does not issue public health alerts. An alert would not only help citizens, but could also lead to the implementation of temporary measures to bring down the pollution levels. For example, on red alert days, Bejing closes schools; pulls government-owned cars off roads, and shut polluting industries. In the U.S., industrial units have to reduce emissions, cut vehicle miles etc. Monitoring minus any immediate action has no meaning. If Delhi --- and the National Capital Region --- is serious about tackling the air pollution problem, Diwali could have been good start. It may sound a bit drastic, but citizens have to accept that no religious festival can be an excuse to destroy the environment, and that the festival of lights can be celebrated with lights only. More importantly, they don’t to burst crackers a week in advance. Other than the environment, think about the old people, the sick, children and animals. Do people who live in Delhi and the NCR region – or for that matter those staying in other metros --- have any right to expect clean air when they have such obsessive love for personal vehicles and Diwali crackers? We don’t think so. -hindustantimes.com

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY

Bridging India’s Income Inequality Gap BY SHASHI SHEKHAR

A

housewife from a small town in north India, who had shifted home to Noida, was agitated. The question bothering her: How to keep an age-old festive tradition going. In her hometown, she had been steadfastly observing a custom since her childhood: On every Ram Navami, a group of kanyas and langurs were invited home. They were fed to their heart’s content, were given a token sum of money, and when it was time to leave, if any of the kanyas or langurs made a demand, her parents gladly fulfilled it. Kanyas and langurs? You might be astonished. Which is this custom that brings together young girls and langurs? Let us clear the suspense. In certain parts of the Hindi heartland, a kanya is a symbol of shakti and langurs, in this case, in the form of boys, represent Lord Hanuman. Feeding them symobolises feeding the Devi and disciples of Ram. The housewife from Noida was nervous because in smaller towns, children gladly volunteered to become kanyas and langurs for the sake of festive traditions. But in this concrete jungle, where neighbours didn’t even talk to each other unless necessary, how would she manage to continue with the tradition? The security in-charge of her housing apartment solved her problem. He said that on the morning of Ram Navami, children from the neighborhood would assemble outside the apartments on their own. She could invite them for the meal whenever she was ready. So the homemaker was glad to see nine kanyas and an equal number of langurs at the designated time. She had lit incense and laid out a mat on the marble floor, apart from lighting diyas in her prayer room, which had been built in a corner of her home, according to Vaastu principles. She was wearing a traditional red sari and had prepared halwa, channa and pooris for the festival. Unlike her hometown, she could not have applied cow-dung to the floor of an apartment block in urban Noida. The housing society management had also prohibited lighting havan kund fires indoors. But she

The International Food Policy Research Institute’s global hunger index says India is worse off than Nepal, Bangladesh, Senegal and Rwanda.

wasn’t deterred. “Aapatkale maryada naasty (In times of emergency, you cannot always strictly follow family traditions)” her father used to tell her. But what was she seeing here? One of the langurs admonished his four-year-old sister: “Rashida, sit properly!” Then he quickly corrected himself and said. “Yashoda, sit properly.” The housewife was in shock. In her hometown, it was unimaginable to invite non-Brahmin boys and girls to Ram Navami celebrations. She decided to probe this. She asked the boy: “What’s your name?” “Ashok,” he replied. “Do you call your father papa or abbu?” “Papa,” he replied. Now she turned to the sister. She is young and innocent, she couldn’t tell a lie for sure. “Who do you worship, bhagwan or allah?” “Both,” was the answer. “What do you call your mother?” “Ammi,” she replied. “When you were coming to have food here, did your parents stop you?” “No,” was the answer. Next question: “This holy thread that I’ve put on your wrist, will you keep wearing it once you return home or remove it?” “We’ll remove it once we go home,” answered the girl. Her suspicions were confirmed. But she kept probing. “Do you celebrate Diwali?” “Yes.” And, Eid? “Yes.”The housewife was in a dilemma. She called her husband about it. The hapless corporate slave answered even as he kept his eyes on his computer screen: “How does it matter? Children are god’s incarnations. Feed them well and give them a festive allowance.” The housewife again remembered her father’s lines: “Aapatkale maryada naasty” She shed her reservations and fed the kanyas and langurs. She put some money in their little fists and touched

their feet when they were leaving and whispered: “Come again, next year for sure.” Here, I am not talking about the collapsing walls of communalism but economic disparity. Where were the housewife’s children when this happened? They were in school and the children who visited her had never been to one. They were not likely to get this privilege anytime soon. When their parents headed out to make a living as labourers, the kids keep loitering through the day. They were born in slum clusters, which have cropped up like blisters on the face of concrete jungles. Will these children of the 21st century spend their entire life in slums? It is pertinent to mention here that the group of children included both Hindus and Muslims. Slums don’t discriminate between people on the basis of religion. I wouldn’t have written on this subject had I not read about India’s dismal record in the fight against hunger in our sister publication, Mint. According to statistics from the International Food Policy Research Institute’s global hunger index, our country is worse off than Nepal, Bangladesh, Senegal and Rwanda. We lag behind nations whose names most people haven’t heard of. Those debating about national security, the martyrdom of our soldiers, GDP, repo rate and urbanisation often forget that in order to secure our borders forever, it is essential to bridge the gulf of economic inequality. Why are subjects such as these missing from intellectual and political debates? Shashi Shekhar is editor-in-chief, Hindustan Times.

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October 28, 2016

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20 October 28, 2016 NEW YORK: A riot of bright col-

ors, festive joy, energy soaring & 100K people hooked on to one thing, Diwali at Times Square presented by Zee Networks newly launched Hindi Channel in the US, &TV. October 16, will go down in history as the day when the crossroads of the world, Times Square was enveloped with &TV branding & Zee TV superstars. Some of the topmost superstars of Indian Television from Zee TV, Shabbir Ahluwalia, Sriti Jha & Karan Tacker (Host for &TV The Voice) were joined by some of the best entertainers like, Siddhesh Pai & Kanchi Shah (Dance India Dance fame), Sean Matthews (Dance India Dance North America Fame) & Jyotica Tangri & Kushal Paul (Finalist & winner of Saregamapa 2016). Karan Tacker played a perfect host on stage that was smeared with &TV branding, to 50K people present at Times Square, eagerly waiting for the entertainment lined up for them for the evening. He took on the stage & had everyone hooked from the word go with his charm & persona. He got the crowd pumped up & the energy at Times Square was electrifying. Shabbir Ahluwalia’s & Sriti Jha’s popularity was witnessed live at the &TV booth at Times Square. To say that people waited anxiously & in anticipation to meet their favorite superstars is an understatement. The thousands patiently waiting in line to meet & click a picture with the most popular couple on Indian Television from Zee TV’s Kumkum Bhagya.

H

OUSTON: Southwestern National Bank, headquartered in Houston, Texas was established in November 1997 in the heart of a flourishing international business community. The Bank started with a little over $10 million in total assets and 12 employees. Over the past 19 years, Southwestern National Bank has strived to reach every sector of the community it serves to provide

COMMUNITY

&TV Takes Over Times Square

The crowd were completely flabbergasted when Shabbir & Sriti walked in, greeted & clicked pictures with thousands of fans. Later in the evening they won over a million hearts when they walked on stage for an interaction in front of thousands of fans who adore them. The interaction session with host Karan Tacker was the highlight of the evening & Shabbir & Sriti with they’re on stage chemistry once again justified why they are the most adored couple of Indian Television. The crowd witnessed why Dance India Dance is the undisputed leader in dance shows. Sean Matthews (Dance India Dance North America fame) kicked off the evening with a scintillating performance. He entertained & didn’t fail to impress the massive audience with his dance moves as he performed on one hit song after another. He was successfully succeeded by Kanchi Shah & Siddhesh Pai. Individually & together they set the stage on fire & gave a performance that made thousands chant “Once More”. Foot tapping mode was easily switched on to heartwarming mode when Jyotica Tangri & Kushal Paul walked on stage. Jyotica Tangri’s performance was nothing short of extra-ordinary. Her enigmatic voice won her a sea of hearts at Times Square. The biggest event of the year had a fitting end when Kushal Paul walked in on the stage to deliver a performance that will be talked about

for a longtime. Kushal with his soulful voice completely had the crowd mesmerized & made the climax for the event a perfect one. In regards to branding, Times Square had a complete makeover

when it was completely branded with &TV. From booths, standees, cutouts, flags, banners & balloons, Times Square was turned Magenta with &TV branding. Another branding factor was executed in the form

Southwestern National Bank: 19th Anniversary the appropriate financial services to meet their customer needs and high quality customer service. Southwestern National Bank has grown steadily with branches in the Sugar Land, Richardson, Plano, and Austin markets. In addition to the Texas region, a Loan Production Office in Southern California was

established in 2016 to provide commercial lending services to customers in California. Despite the uncertainty of the U.S. economy, Southwestern National Bank continues to be profitable with net income of $2.7 million through the 3rd quarter of 2016 and total assets of over $368 million. Southwestern National Bank is a proud supporter of numerous community events. The Bank also provides monthly seminars to the com-

of &TV sweatshirts & t-shirts. People wearing the &TV sweatshirts & t-shirts numbered in thousands & added to the humongous success of the event & &TV branding. Sameer Targe, business head of ZEE TV North America was quoted, “Diwali is a festival of lights, togetherness & happiness. With &TV’s Diwali at Times Square we wanted to unite people & have the world witness real &tertainment. With Diwali At Times Square &TV branding over-shadowed Times Square & proved to be a humongous hit amongst the To sum up, history was made by &TV at Times Square & October 16th is one day that’ll be engraved in everyone’s heart for years to come. &TV conquered every aspect, from Times Square, Social Media & most importantly people’s hearts. munity, free of charge, on a variety of valuable information. Southwestern National Bank is also proud of its annual scholarship award program that provides deserving students in the community financial assistance for college. Southwestern National Bank will hold its 19th anniversary celebration on Thursday, November 3, 2016, at the main office located at 6901 Corporate Dr., Houston, TX at 1:30 p.m. We invite everyone to join us. Member FDIC.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

October 28, 2016

21

JVB Preksha Meditation Center Celebrates 17 Years in Houston with Grand Annual Day Event

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BY SEEMA JAIN

HOUSTON: “The efforts of the

past becomes the fate of the present and the future.” -Acharya Shri Mahashraman. 17 years ago, in Houston, JVB Preksha Meditation Center opened its doors to envision the untiring efforts of Acharya Shri Tulsi & Acharya Shri Mahapragyaji to spread Preksha Meditation among masses of all religions. Today, JVB is proudly pioneering in serving the entire community with weekly classes, programs and special events to fulfill this dream and is growing by leaps and bounds. To celebrate JVB’s 17th Anniversary in Houston & 7th Anniversary of the current Center located @ 14102 Schiller Rd, JVB patrons once again graced the occasion by actively participating in the 2 day festivities which started on Saturday, October 8 & concluded on Sunday, October 9. The Annual 2- day event started with a Mega Blood Donation Drive on Saturday morning. 20+ enthusiastic donors supported and successfully donated in this drive. In parallel, Cultural event was held under auspicious presence of Samani Vikas Pragyaji & Samani Maryada Pragyaji. They recited the Navkar Mahamantra and JVB’s president, Seema Jain welcomed the community members and recognized the accomplishments of an eventful past year. JVB Board of Director, Alok Jain gave an inspiring speech on how Preksha Meditation technique inspired by Acharya Shri Mahapragyaji’ s teachings can

transform their lives with dedication, commitment and regular attendance of various flagship events conducted under Samaniji’s guidance. His spirited speech recognized the efforts of JVB founders, past and current Executive teams. Young & Talented kids of JVB Gyanshala ages 4-14 stormed the stage with Bhakti song, Bhakti dance prepared by Gyanshala teachers and won the accolades from the audience. The highlight of the celebration was an interesting drama skit called “Divine Court of Lord Mahavir” aptly crafted and directed by Samanijis along with the senior most class of JVB Gyanshala & few young Gyanshala parents. JVB past President, Nikhil Jain was the emcee of the program. He along with Mukta Jain kept the audience engaged with his witty humor and spirited activities. The climax of the cultural program was Samani Vikas Pragyaji’s powerful discourse in which she enlightened the audience to invest in 4 things, Health, Knowledge, Faith & Gratitude. She emphasized the importance of progress in life and how it has less to do with the speed and more to do with the direction. She also explained that JVB is a Journey, a place for exploring spiritual progress of Life. JVB is the inspiration to develop moral conduct & equanimity. If one stays detached from material possessions, then he/ she becomes the part of natural system (law of nature) where only Prosperity, Success, Honor and Solutions prevail. Samanijis too recognized

the precious efforts of each & every community member associated with the center. JVB Facilty Team coordinator, Hemang Bora did the vote of thanks and appreciated the team work displayed by the current executive team to organize this special event. The Sunday morning started early with Adhar Abhishek Pooja of Bhagwan Mahavir by Reverend Shri Jayesh Khona (from California) followed by Aarti. Several devotees took the labh of this special, once a year Pooja, which lasted for 3 hours. Once again, humble & dedicated volunteers of FFOI group won the heart of several by cooking and serving delicious lunch for this eventful weekend. JVB Preksha Meditation Center envisions a blissful and peaceful society through Preksha Meditation, Yoga and Education of Nonviolence. It conducts weekly Mediation, Yoga and Swadhyay sessions and runs special events and programs like iChoose & Meditation Camps. Its open to all and every session or event is free of charge to its attendees. Upcoming Events Include Oct. 30th- Special Deepawali Celebration with Bhagwaan Mahavir Jaap, Special program by Samanijis and Jain Deepawali Pooja and Nov.12th, Monthly Preksha Meditation Camp from 9am-12pm followed by potluck lunch. For further information, Call Seema Jain at 281-575-0575. Visit www.jvbhouston.org or send email at info@ jvbhouston.org for more details.

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COMMUNITY

HOUSTON: Our progress as a nation can be

no swifter than our progress in education.” – JF Kennedy Established in 2002 by a group of wellestablished corporate professionals, who came together with the sole aim of giving back to society, Smile Foundation has always thought of its role as a catalyst in bringing sustainable change at the grassroots, by working effectively on the ground and encouraging civil society to be a part of the development process. Beginning its journey with education as its core work area, the organization eventually realized that child education cannot be done in isolation, without ensuring the welfare of the family. A child will only go to school when her family is healthy; her parents, particularly the mother, are informed and empowered; and there is a sustainable source of income. Hence, over the years Smile Foundation has adopted a life-cycle approach of development, keeping children at the centre, focusing its interventions on not just children but their families and the larger community. Girl child is an important part of all the centres of Smile Foundation’s welfare programmes - be it education, healthcare or livelihood. More than 10,000 girls are currently getting education at 120 of Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centres in India. Besides this, another 1000 girls have been trained so far to become change agents in their respective communities, and over 300 have received scholarship to complete their higher education. In addition, Smile centres are providing nutrition to more than 21,000 children and their families in 21 states. Bollywood actor Ajay Devgan, the Goodwill Ambassador of Smile Foundation launched “She Can Fly” campaign of the foundation recently – an initiative to create awareness about girl child education and empowerment. “I have been associated with Smile Foundation for the past five years and it’s great for me to be associated with a cause like this. Reason I am association with Smile Foundation is because I believe in it the most. Smile Foundation is doing excellent work and let’s support them in whatever way we can.” Said Ajay Devgan. Five times Michelin starred Chef Vikas Khanna has been a very dedicated supporter of Smile Foundation and is also the Goodwill Ambassador for its ‘Nutrition for Education’ initiative. The campaign aims at combating the critical issues of hunger and malnutrition among children in India, and is currently providing nutrition to more than 21,000 children from 21 states. Smile Foundation has been evaluated by some of the most reputed Indian and international evaluators including INTRAC London, KPMG, India Development Foundation, Give India and PRIA, and has come not only at par with their expectations and norms but has also been accredited with organizations such as CAF America, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs and India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians (Govt. of India), Guidestar and United Way. Smile Foundation has more than 200 welfare projects on the ground, spread across over 950 remote villages and slums in 25 states of India. These projects directly benefit more than 400,000 children and families. To take these initiatives further, Smile Foundation has launched its first US chapter in Houston, TX. “Houston has a large concentration of India related interests. There is a large Indian presence in the business, educational, medical and research institutes that is playing an important role in a rapidly changing India and contributing to it. We are looking forward to “Cook for a Smile” event with Chef Vikas Khanna in Jan ’17. ” said Jiten Agarwal, the president of USA chapter of Smile Foundation.

October 28, 2016

23

Cook for a Smile with Master Chef Vikas Khanna: Smile Foundation of India Launches its US Chapter

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


24 October 28, 2016

SUDOKU

Place a Number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. Send us the correct answer before November 01, 2016. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036. Send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published (for first three entrees only & 1 submission per month).

PUZZLES / RECIPES Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Tauri Pithoo (Sliced Zucchini Chips)

Solution Next Week

One of the most often cooked

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vegetables in the US is the zucchini squash, which we call tauri in North India, where the vegetable is also very common, but not available throughout the year. Here the most favorite way to cook zucchini is as a casserole, and sometimes steamed and seasoned as a side dish. Punjabis too cook it sautéed but just as with the casserole, it can come out overcooked, mushy and watery if you are not careful. Zucchini is actually the immature fruit of the zucchini flower but it is cooked like a vegetable. It is easy to grow in temperate climates, has a delicate sweet taste and is low in calories and high in folate, potassium and vitamin A. Like all squash, zucchini originated in the Americas but was later cultivated in northern Italy in the late 19th century and then brought to the US in the 1920s. The vines can climb up very high as the flowers mature and turn to vegetables. Since it is slightly sweet, zucchini is best when cooked with some onions or Punjabi wadiyan (spiced dumplings) - to add spiciness and

tanginess. For a tasty dish, you have to be gentle in the way you stir the cut pieces in the kadai (wok) so that it does not become mushy. Because it is so tender, zucchini cooks very easily and is easy to digest too. When it is being cooked, it lets out a lot of steam, which is why it can easily become overcooked and mushy. For crunchier, better tasting tauri, try cooking it as pithoo or chips. This dish is simple, easy and quick to make in 5 minutes. Even without added items like wadiyan or onions, the taste and texture is so good that even my grandson asks for more helpings! Ingredients: • 3 medium tauri (zucchini) • 1 tbsp tael (olive oil or vegetable oil) • Spices: 1 tsp namak (salt), 1 tsp mirch (red pepper), garam masala (optional) Directions: 1. Wash the zucchini thoroughly and let them drip and wipe dry. Cut off the top stalks. Do not peel the zucchini as the skin helps to hold the cut

vegetable together, and cut them into 1/3 inch thick round slices. 2. In the kadai, heat the oil and throw in the tauri sprinkle with salt and stir till it is coated. Cover and let it cook in its own steam for 2 minutes over high heat. 3. Take the cover off and gently turn the chips over to cook the other side and sprinkle with red pepper or garam masala. When brown gently turn over each chip again. 4. After a minute, turn the heat off and leave the tauri uncovered to let the steam escape. Serve with hot roti. Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the oldfashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur (since renamed Faisalabad), India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her late-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable recipes.

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Cooking well requir es a fine touch and understanding of the to washing, and wi way foods react th heat. One of the mo st common mistake and inexperienced s many young cooks make is that they make the dish talking about vege – in thi s case we are tarian food – eithe r too watery which spices or too mush wa sh es out all the y, which is also a ca se of too much wa Just remember tha ter. t all vegetables will shed some water wh so often it is impo en they are cooked rtant not to place the , m in the pan wet (lik otherwise they get e bhindi or okra) too sticky or be caref ul no t to add water when ing (like phul gobi they are cookor cauliflower and tauri or zucchini) be own water and can cause they shed the cook in the steam. Ju ir st as important is to after they are cook uncover vegetables ed so that the steam does not condense onto them.

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October 28, 2016

ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS Ae Dil Hai Mushkil: Anushka’s Kiss, Other Cuts and CBFC’s Rating Leaked

After a lengthy circle of con-

troversies and mere days before release, director Karan Johar’s new film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil has been confronted with yet another hurdle. On Sunday, copies of the CBFC’s certificate clearing the film with a UA rating and a list of scenes cut was leaked. The certificate, signed by CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani, reveals the final rating for Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and (controversially) Fawad Khan’s film as UA (parental guidance for children below 13). This is a rating Johar should be pleased with, all things considered. The

film ran into trouble recently when Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena called for its ban for featuring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in a supporting role. His inclusion in the film, they claimed, was hurtful to Indian sentiments after the Uri attacks (allegedly carried out by Pakistani terrorists) in September. All the cuts amount to a total of 7 seconds. It is interesting to note that this list has been dated October 14, 2016. There is no mention of the added disclaimer honouring the Uri martyrs that was decided upon only a few days ago. There is, however, mention of the usual smoking and ‘this film is a work of fiction’ disclaimers. -hindustantimes.com

25

Gandhigiri: This Om Puri Film is a Crime

If only Gandhigiri had released a

few days earlier. Even hard-sniffing TV channels may have absolved Om Puri of many crimes after this show of “nationalism”. There are others who may call Gandhigiri itself a crime, and not just against Gandhi. But there must be drawbacks to offering the other cheek. We begin with an NRI from dependable Mauritius lamenting for that “greatest nation of all”, Bharat, and particularly that “greatest soul of all”, Gandhi, at a Pravasi Bharatiya Divas meet, no less. In no time at all, he is back for good to a fictional native village in very real “Rae Bareli”. Here the men are thugs, women rapacious, sadhus fraud, and politicians divided by caste and united in bloodlust. All it takes is throwing the Mahatma in the midst — a Gandhi for every occasion, from reforming

criminals to helping accident victims on the road, while moving around only and only in an Ambassador. The town, barring a reliably snarling Brahmin leader, is ever so grateful for the NRI benevolence. The aforementioned NRI, with the weighty name of Rai Bahadur Singh (Om Puri), invites a crude assortment of some of the above louts to live in his own haveli. Their criminal goingson don’t appear to bother the Gandhian Rai Bahadur. On the contrary, even as they plot, Rai Bahadur extends his generosity to opening a “global school”. That school appears and disappears in a flash, but not without offering an unforgettable image of adults dancing draped in Tricolour hues. Two of the most homely of those adults are in hush-hush love, interspersed with some very loud songs. Both are “medical students”, but in good, old UP, that never did mean attending classes. Apart from Gandhi, the film abounds in sex — in innuendoes,

talk, gestures, in back of vans offering a sexual cure, and down the cleavage of a woman who convinces our Rai Bahadur of her destituteness while the mascara, lipstick, and hair highlights are still in place. So why does this film have Om Puri, Sanjay Mishra, Anupam Shyam and Mukesh Tiwari? And why does it offer special thanks to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal? Maybe, some questions are better left unasked. If Gandhi is taken to mean everything in the film, there is only one person who watches the entire exercise with deep skepticism and a deeper frown. A “Deendayal”. Think what you will. -indianexpress.com

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan November 1 1973 Shah Rukh Khan November 2 1965

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


26 October 28, 2016

3rd ODI: Kohli, Dhoni Join Forces to Demolish Kiwis BY KARTHIK KRISHNASWAMY

M

OHALI: (IESPN Cricinfo): India 289 for 3 (Kohli 154*, Dhoni 80) beat New Zealand 285 (Latham 61, Neesham 57, Jadhav 3-29) by seven wickets Virat Kohli scored yet another hundred in a chase, an unbeaten 154, as India hunted down 286 to take a 2-1 lead in the ODI series. India lost their openers with only 41 on the board, before Kohli and MS Dhoni, who promoted himself to No. 4, added 151 for the third wicket to bring the equation down to 94 from 85 balls. New Zealand may have sensed an opening, given the inexperience of India’s middle order, but Manish Pandey showed no nerves in adding an unbroken 97 with Kohli to steer India home with 10 balls remaining. The team batting second had won each of the last three ODIs in Mohali before this, chasing down 299, 258 and 304. Given that recent trend, given the likelihood of dew setting in under lights, and given Kohli’s record in chases, New Zealand probably needed at least 300 to test India on a flat batting surface with true bounce. They looked like they would get there, when a 73-run second-wicket partnership between Tom Latham and Ross Taylor took them to 153 for 2 in the 29th over, but a middle-order collapse cost them what turned out to be a significant amount of momentum. They lost six wickets for 46 runs in the space of 9.2 overs. James Neesham and Matt Henry added 84 for the ninth wicket to rejuvenate their innings, but their total of 285 was probably 20 runs short of posing India a serious challenge. Then they did the unthinkable: Kohli was on 6 when he opened his bat face to try and dab Henry to third man. He was probably looking to place the ball finer than he did, but ended up steering it straight to Taylor at wide slip. Tumbling to his right, Taylor dropped a regulation low catch. Either side of that, though, they sent back Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma, and prompted Dhoni to walk in earlier than he usually does in ODIs. With Kohli and Dhoni at the crease, plenty of hard running was to be expected, but they also found

MS Dhoni thumps one down the ground, India v New Zealand, 3rd ODI, Mohali, October 23, 2016.

the boundary regularly, going after Mitchell Santner and Neesham to hit four fours and a six from overs 15 to 18. The six, sent soaring over long-off against Santner’s left-arm spin, took Dhoni to 9000 ODI runs. He became the 17th player overall, the fifth Indian, and the third wicketkeeper to the mark. By the 26th over, both had brought up their fifties, and then Dhoni welcomed Neesham’s reintroduction with a straight six that hit the sightscreen on the full, to become the most prolific ODI six-hitter among Indian batsmen. By the end of the 35th over, the target was less than 100 runs away. Dhoni fell on 80, chipping Henry to short cover when he rolled his fingers over the ball and got it to stop on the batsman. Santner sent down a tight 37th over, conceding only one run, and India suddenly needed 93 from 78, but Pandey showed he could be relied on to find the boundary in such circumstances, flat-batting a short ball from Henry back over

the bowler’s head, and targeting the same boundary in more conventional fashion against Neesham, off a fuller ball. By now, Kohli had stepped up a gear as well. When Tim Southee brought fine leg into the circle, he used his wrists to take a hip-high ball from middle stump and whip it wide of the fielder, and was impressed enough with his own shot to pump his fist. Then, in the 48th over, came a typical flurry of late boundaries, against Trent Boult: three fours - the best of them an open-faced jab off a nearyorker to beat deep point to his left - and a straight six. It left India just one run to get, and Pandey finished by slugging Southee to the midwicket boundary. Sent in to bat on a pitch where the ball came on and allowed batsmen to play freely on the up, New Zealand’s openers made their best start of the series. They were watchful initially, scoring only 12 in the first three overs, before Martin Guptill walked down

the track to the first ball of the fourth and launched Hardik Pandya for a massive six over long-on. That shot set the tone for an abrupt change of gear: Guptill hit two fours and another six in the next two overs. Just when Guptill seemed set for a big innings, Umesh had him lbw, nipping one back just enough to beat his inside edge. Kane Williamson looked in sublime touch after his hundred in Delhi, timing his drives sweetly until he fell against the run of play, lbw trying to sweep Kedar Jadhav. Taylor began scratchily, struggling to pierce the infield against Amit Mishra and Axar Patel, but having only scored 14 off his first 28 balls, he began to find some fluency, hitting two fours and a slog-swept six to move to 44 off 56. His partnership with Latham, who got his second half-century of the series, had moved past 70, and New Zealand’s score had crossed the 150-run mark. Just then, Mishra produced two beautiful, dipping legbreaks to have bothTaylorandLukeRonchistumped. At the other end, Corey Anderson and Latham chipped Jadhav to fielders inside the circle. Santner popped a leading edge, off Jasprit Bumrah, to point, and Tim Southee inside-edged Umesh onto his stumps. At 199 for 8, New Zealand were in danger of getting bowled out a long way short of 50 overs, but Neesham and Henry delayed it. Neesham worked out a sensible method to score his runs, his first three boundaries all struck with a straight bat down the ground, and Henry, at the other end, went after anything wide. As the slog overs approached, Umesh’s old failings resurfaced, as short balls followed wide length balls that allowed the batsmen to free their arms. In the 47th over, Neesham stood tall and pulled him through midwicket before slicing a wide-ish ball to the third-man boundary to bring up his half-century. Henry hit him for a six and two fours off successive balls in the 49th over, and Umesh ended with figures of 3 for 75. New Zealand were bowled out with two balls still left to play, but managed to score 285. Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

SPORTS

Yasir’s Six-for Delivers Series Win for Pakistan

A

BU DHABI (ESPN Cricinfo): Pakistan 452 (Younis 127, Misbah 96, Gabriel 5-96) and 227 for 2 dec (Azhar 79, Shafiq 58*, Aslam 50) beat West Indies 224 (Yasir 4-86, Rahat 3-45) and 322 (Blackwood 95, Brathwaite 67, Yasir 6-124) by 133 runs Bowling nearly unchanged from the start of the day’s play, Yasir Shah produced a legspin masterclass on a flat, slow fifth-day pitch to bowl Pakistan to a 133-run win in Abu Dhabi. There was no alarming turn available to Yasir, and hardly any instances of uncertain bounce; he had to draw on all his stamina, skill and intelligence to pick up his eighth five-wicket haul and second ten-wicket match haul in 18 Tests. Yasir bowled 21 of Pakistan’s 46 overs on day five as they bowled West Indies out for 322, chasing an improbable 456, an hour and 15 minutes after lunch. Yasir took all three wickets that fell in the morning session, teasing out Roston Chase in the tenth over of the morning and using the second new ball to dismiss Jermaine Blackwood, who fell five short of a hundred, and Jason Holder. Shai Hope and Devendra Bishoo made Pakistan wait with an eighth-wicket stand of 45, before Yasir and Zulfiqar Babar took out the last three wickets in the space of four overs.

Yasir Shah now has eight fivewicket hauls and two ten-wicket match hauls in 18 tests.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY Vishal Nigam – Carrie Rhodes Engagement

At the reception for the newly engaged couple (center) Dr. Vishal Nigam and Carrie Rhodes, from left, her dad Scott, mom Jean, his sister Anjali, mom Kamlesh and dad Dr. Mool Nigam. In the back are Carrie’s brothers Jamie (left) and George. Photo: Harsh & Sayani Mahadeshwar

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

SUGAR LAND: Everyone who

knew Vishal Nigam growing up in the Bayou City teased him about how long he was taking to find the right soul mate and many had written him off as a confirmed bachelor. But luck intervened in the form of an Indian friend Kalpana who was cross-culturally married to an Anglo guy Jamie who just happened to have a sister who they had been trying to get hitched up. They arranged for the two meet and would you believe it, the stars aligned and they hit it off from the start. Six months later the two – Dr. Vishal Nigam and Carrie Delany Rhodes – finally got engaged, much to the relief of both sets of parents, in Seattle where Carrie is from. And this past weekend, on Saturday,

For advertising contact:

Vanshika Vipin 713-789-6397

October 22, Vishal’s parents, Dr. Mool and Kamlesh Nigam, held a reception for the couple at Sweetwater Country Club. There was a simple Hindu ceremony followed by festive Indian wedding songs with a dholki accompaniment, sung by several of the Nigam’s female friends. All of Carrie’s immediate family flew or drove in for the ceremony, and most of the women were dressed in saris or lenghas, with jewelry to match. Kamlesh hand made the besan ladoos to give as party favors and Carrie’s mom Jean and Dad Scott spoke about their family history and the future. A tired but elated Kamlesh told the couple “now it’s up to you to make your own highway.” And everyone teased Vishal’s younger sister Anjali that it was her turn next!

October 28, 2016

27

New Dawn at “Ekal Vidyalaya”

BY PRAKASH WAGHMARE

HOUSTON: ‘Ekal is pulling all

stops on village development in India and adopting ground-breaking methodology in the way it operates in rural-tribal areas’ ... That’s the profound message that came out of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation’s (EVF) recently concluded “International Conference” in Orangeburg, N.Y. This 3-day conference, meant for national committees of USA, India, Canada and other countries, was convened not only for brain-storming sessions to critically assess the progress made so far, but also to charter EVF’s course for 2017. Until now, ‘Ekal’ (as it is popularly known), had targeted 100,000 villages as its ‘goal’ for integrated development. Now, Ekal wants to reach out to all 600,000plus rural/tribal areas in India. Considering it is already in 62,000 villages, this was inevitable. Another reason for this ambitious undertaking is that it has picked up tremendous momentum in recent years in terms of enterprising entrepreneurs joining its fold everywhere with innovative ideas and actively pursuing various rural projects. At the conference, Himanshu Shah, CEO of ‘Shah Capital’ and ‘Mohan Wanchoo’, CEO of ‘EC Info systems’ each pledged $100,000 to $200,000 per year, for the next several years to uplifting rural lives. Inspired by PM Modi’s ‘Swachchh

Bharat’ initiative, Ekal’s ‘clean environment’ pilot project is already making its mark in some rural and tribal areas. Moreover, water conservation, organic farming, cottage industries that could empower young girls and women-folks are in full swing in most of the villages. There are 53,000 Ekal schools in operation throughout rural India that benefit 1.5 million children - half of which are girls. Lalan Sharmaji, Village Development Field Director for “Ekal-India”, presented numerous examples of Ekal Alumnus, with full details, who have distinguished themselves by obtaining prestigious district and statelevel jobs, after graduating from Ekal schools. There are plans under way to carry out impact-studies by collecting and analyzing data on all Ekal alumni. It is widely known that Ekal renders all assistance without any credence to caste, creed and religion and its overhead is just 10%. What is more! When Ekal-Team met PM Modi this year, he not only applauded Ekal Vidyalaya’s efforts all across rural India, but also, termed it as an extension of ‘Skill India’ campaign. Bajarang Bagraji, CEO of ‘Ekal Abhiyan’ (umbrella Orgz of ‘Ekal’) unveiled an ambitious plan of multifaceted development of villages for 2017 at this Conference. According to him,’ Ekal will add 5,000 new schools specifically in conflict-zones

and enhance the quality of training by resorting to digital technology. For youths, 5 more ‘Ekal-on-Wheels’ digital training-vans are being added, bringing the total of such facility to 9. Each of these ‘modern-technology’ labs have capacity to train 5,000 youths each year. He further added that ‘Anemia’, which is so prevalent among rural women-folks, would be expressly addressed in 300 villages and soon a pilot project of ‘telemedicine’ would be started in West Bengal. As for agro-projects, 15,000 nutritional gardens and 25,000 acres of organic farming are being added next year. Currently, a ‘Gramotthan Resource Center’ (GRC) at ‘Karanjho’, Jharkhand is the only encyclopedic information ’citadel’ for villagers to learn modern techniques. It caters to 100 surrounding villages, directly benefitting 100,000 rural folks, and indirectly, affecting almost one million people. Bagraji elaborated that 11 such ‘GRC’s are under way for next year. The Event-Committee, headed by Dilip Kothekar and Prajna Khisti, is taking a departure from engaging Bollywood ‘Song & Dance Troupe’ for annual ‘Fund-raising Concerts’. For the first time, an innovative group of a dozen talented Artistes from Ekal-villages will be presented in most amazing one-of-a-kind entertainment program consisting of regional folk-songs & dances of India, skits from Ramayan-Mahabharat, folklore episodes etc. Curretly, they are all being guided and trained by the best professionals in stage performances. Ekal believes this pioneering effort to bring ordinary but talented, village-folks to the forefront of this continent in 60-plus Ekal events will promote their ethnic artistry and will give them consistent patronage at national and international level. Starting with this conference, Ekal-USA is entering into ‘Social-Media’ arena with vengeance. The technologysavvy team, headed by Akshay Joshi includes Avinash Agarwal, Vinita Dogra, Arti Aggarwal and Sheetal Gupta. It will be guided by Prashant Shah, a new member of Ekal-USA ‘Board of Directors’ and shall be advised by Prakash Waghmare and Ranjani Saigal, as necessary. In short, there is new dawn at ‘Ekal Vidyalaya’ on every level.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


28 October 28, 2016

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


October 28, 2016 Wrap-3

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


October 28, 2016

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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