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Friday, November 25, 2016 | Vol. 35, No. 48


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November 25, 2016


Indo American Presence Grows in Politics, Congress BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: Across the nation,

inspite of the inflammatory rhetoric of the Presidential election that has roused concerns of a resurgence of racism and a polarized society, there has been a bright ray of hope in the election of five new Indo Americans to Congress from Illinois and California. It is a long road from the first Indo-American Dalip Singh Saund who was elected to Congress from the 29th Congressional District in California in 1956 and served till 1963 when he was unable to run for re-election due to a severe stroke that left him unable to walk or talk without assistance. The four Indo-Americans, who are all Democrats, won in the national elections on November 8 are: Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Rohit “Ro” Khanna from California and Pramila Jayapal of Washington in the US House of Representatives and Kamala Harris of California in the US Senate. They will join fellow Democrat Ami Bera of California who won re-election and Hindu-American Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, though not of Indian descent, who also won re-election. Raja Krishnamoorthi, 43, won the 8th Congressional District in the Chicago-area race by defeating Republican Pete DiCianni, a former Mayor of Elemhurst. The seat had been vacated by Tammy Duckworth who won the Senate race. It was Krishnamoorthi’s second attempt for the seat. He was born in New Delhi and is the President of Sivananthan Laboratories, a high-tech business incubator of cutting-edge, fundamental research and development. He ran on a platform of help working families, equal pay for equal work, paid sick and maternity leave, raising the federal minimum wage and making college more affordable. He also served as Illinois state Deputy Treasurer and an Assistant Attorney General on special assignment to fight corruption. Also born in India, Pramila Jayapal, 51, is a financial analyst who defeated fellow Democrat, Brady Wilkinshaw with an endorsement from Presidential primary contender Bernie Sanders and won the Washington State 7th Congressional District from Seattle. She has been a civil rights activist involved in immigrant and women’s

Ami Berra

Pramila Jayapal

Kamala Harris

Raja Krishnamoorthi

rights causes. She will be the first Indo-American woman to serve in the US House of Represenatives. Jayapal was born in Chennai to a Tamil family and raised in Indonesia and Singapore. She came to the US in 1982 to attend Georgetown University and later received an MBA from Northwestern University. Rohit “Ro” Khanna, 40, is a former federal Deputy Assistant Commerce Secretary, who won from the heart of Silicon Valley on his second try by defeating incumbent Congressman Mike Honda in a bitterly contested rematch for California’s and having received the endorsement of former President Jimmy Carter. Khanna was born in Philadelphia after his parents immigrated to the US. His father is a graduate of IIT and the University of Michigan and mother was a substitute teacher. Khanna went to the University of Chicago and Yale Law School and was appointed by President Barack Obama as to the United States Department of Commerce

Tulsi Gabbard, 35, vaulted into national prominence in 2012 with her election to Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District and was much heralded for being the first and only Hindu in Congress. She took her oath of office by placing her hand on the Bhagavad Gita and has openly spoken about it as her source of resilience. In this year’s race, Gabbard’s Republican rival Angela Kaaihue launched a tirade of anti-Hindu statements and called her a “pathetic Hindu 1,000 gods leader”, prompting Republican Party leaders to condemn her and withdrew their support. Kamala Harris, 52, is the first Indo-American to become a US Senator from California, winning the open seat after Sen. Barbara Boxer announced her retirement and defeating her fellow Democrat opponent Loretta Sanchez. Harris is a lawyer by profession and was elected to two-terms as Attorney General in 2010 and 2014. She born in Oakland, California to a South Indian mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan Harris who emigrated from

Chennai in 1960 and a JamaicanAmerican father, Donald Harris, a Stanford University economics professor. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she and her younger sister Maya were raised by her mother (who died in 2009) in Berkley. The family lived in a black neighborhood and the girls sang in a Baptist choir and Harris follows the Baptist faith. Also in a tightly contested race, incumbent Democrat Rep. Ami Bera, 51, won re-election to his third-term for the 7th Congressional District against Sacramento County Sheriff Republican Scott Jones, winning by a slim margin of 6,000 votes. He won 51.2 % of the vote against 48.8% for Jones. The election was marred by a scandal involving Bera’s 83-year-old father Babulal who was sentenced to a year in prison for illegally funneling nearly $270,000 to his son’s campaign. Ami Bera wasn’t charged and denied any knowledge. Ami was born in Los Angeles and raised in Orange County and his parents Babulal and Kanta

Ro Khanna

Tulsi Gabbard

are from Rajkot, Gujarat and migrated to the US in 1956. Berra is a Unitarian Universalist and will now become the longest IndoAmerican congressman. These national races only underscore the other political positions that Indo-Americans have won over the past decade. Harvinder “Harry” Anand, became Mayor of Laurel Hollow, New York in 2007, the first Indian-American mayor in New York; Satish Hiremath, Mayor of Oro Valley, Arizona, the second Indian-American mayor in the United States in 2010; Satyendra Singh Huja, a former adjunct Professor with the University of Virginia School of Architecture became the Mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, a city of 44,349 people in January 2012; Nikki Haley, became Governor of South Carolina in 2011 and Bobby Jindal, a former U.S. Congressman became the Governor of Louisiana in 2008. To that list add Pradeep Gupta, who will be sworn in as the Mayor of South San Francisco on December 6, 2016.



November 25, 2016


November 25, 2016 5 COMMUNITY The Magic of Bollywood and Dance at Infusion 2016 ko base’ playing in the background. It was great fun to watch little boys perform such stunts. Girls at the intermediate level also exhibited lifts and jumps on Bollywood hits like ‘Nachangi Sari Raat’ and ‘Tamanche pe Disco’. All ladies gyrated on ‘Nachde Ne Saare’ to prove that dance is not age-restricted. In sharp contrast, the boys delivered powerpacked performances and heavy acrobats. Their energy and agility was commendable. And then there was the groovy Tattad Tattad & Malhaari Mix, performed with the incredible magic illusion. The medley of the past half a decade of songs were so remarkably full of fun ‘n frolic that if you were a part of the audience, the rhythm and energy, the pulsating music and the twists would have tempted you to shake a leg and boogie. The classical duet of Kiron and Akhila on ‘Mere Dholna’ had the audience asking for more. Ella (played by Akhila) enthralled the audience by leaving a magical bangle behind for Prem (played by Kiron) to find her. This combination of Bollywood and drama amazed the crowd. ‘Agal Bagal’ performance tickled the funny bone of the audience. The fusion classical dance ‘Thillana’ perfomed by girls in multi-colored Spanish skirts created a kaleidoscope of color on the stage. The grand finale was icing on the cake. All students performed together on ‘Kaala Chashma’ and wobble baby mix, giving a perfect ending to the


STAFFORD: Have you been to

a show that left you wondering if it’s happening in real or is it a fairy tale? Audiences at Stafford Civic Center experienced something similar on November 19, at the Infused Performing Art’s annual showcase event – Infusion 2016 – ‘A Magical Bollywood Spectacular’. The rocking show was created a la Bollywood Fairytale style. Super talented founders Kiron Kumar and Tina Bose Kumar managed to spellbound the audience with their Bollywood interpretation of Cinderella. Students of Infused Arts Dance Company displayed jaw-dropping performances with their energetic and colourful dances. Stafford witnessed a mesmerising show with powerful performances and graceful dance presentations. Known for having a super talented troupe of dancers, the Infused Dance Company conducts Bollywood dance classes and custom choreography for special occasions. Choreographers Kiron Kumar and Tina Bose Kumar have been consistently delivering electrifying performances to various audiences since its foundation in 2009. Be it their Half-time show at Rockets v/s Oklahoma City or The Breathless Show at Miller Outdoor theatre or Infusion 2015, this Dance Company has proved its mettle by delivering smashing dance shows. The well co-ordinated dances and spectacular performances prove the experience and talent of the choreographers. Students of all age groups learn dance at their studios in Dallas, Pearland and Stafford. After being featured on Fox 26, ABC 13 and CW39 News, they were recently featured in Anthony Bordian show (Houston Edition). The Bollywood Spectacular show represented a mixed bag of powerful stunts, grand magical illusions and colourful flowing costumes with various forms of dance. Little girls in 3-5 age group melted hearts with their cute performances on


Photos: Murali Santhana

For photo collage, see page 4

‘Chudi Jo’ and ‘Cham Cham’. Dancing with umbrellas they looked so adorable and sweet that one would feel like rushing up the stage to hug them. Boys of the same age group stunned the audience by doing front roll and hand stands with songs such as ‘Lucky tu Lucky me’ and ‘Baby

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November 25, 2016

SUGAR LAND: CRY(Child Rights &

You) America Inc, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that works towards ensuring children their basic rights to live, learn, play and grow hosted the 13th CRY Walk across 16 cities this year. CRY America supports organizations in India and the USA and has transformed the life of over 618,915 children across 3084 villages and slums so far. CRY America’s vision is a just world in which all children have equal opportunities to develop to their full potential. With this goal in mind, people from different parts of Houston came to walk in support of child rights at Lost Creek Park in Sugar Land, TX on November 20. Mousumi Banerjee, 2016 walk lead, asked Pandit Suman Ghosh to inaugurate the walk. Guddi Shah and Ravali Bhavaraju did a great job introducing the entertainers and keeping things on schedule. Children from Tagore Society enthralled the audience with their singing and musical talents. Dance numbers choreographed by Ruchika Dias of Bollywood Shake kept the crowd entertained. A video showing CRY’s efforts in helping children in Sunderbans, West Bengal was played. US Desi Girls danced to the latest Bollywood songs. This was followed by a talk by esteemed guest Dr. Nik Nikam M.D Cardiologist, author & talk show host who also answered questions. Pawan Sonti, Mohan Kothapally & Arushi Banerjee were the top 3 finishers of the 5K run. Great W’kana café, Madras Pavilion and Kurrywallah provided amazing food for the runners and walkers. Murali Santhana and Dr Nik Nikam helped with photography for social media and print. Indira Bhavaraju, a CRY volunteer and Dharam Bali, national advisor for CRY helped with the logistics

CRY Walkathon: A Step forward for Children

Photos: Murali Santhana

of the event. Student volunteers helped with registration, face painting and other tasks at the event. CRY America thanks all the sponsors, media and volunteers who helped make this event a big success. People can donate by going to www.cryamerica.org and finding “CRY Walk for Child Rights” under the Events tab. Find Houston walk 2016 to donate for a great cause. Contact Dharam Bali 832-341-1142 or Mousumi Banerjee 832-841-5727 for more information about CRY America.


November 25, 2016


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November 25, 2016

COMMUNITY The Magic of Bollywood and Dance at Infusion 2016 CONTINUED FROM PAGE


mind-boggling show. A show that had Bollywood, dance, magic, color, stunts, energy, drama and so much madness got a well-deserved standing ovation at the end. The full-house show fascinated diverse crowds. There were plenty of non-Indians in the audience, driving a point that Infused has indeed spread Bollywood in Houston. Kiron Kumar and Yaksha Bhatt deserve credit for the script

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and dialogues. Lighting by Balu Madhu and Kiran Asokan created the perfect drama. The stage managers Kavya Pasumarthi and Swetha Neelkant did a fabulous job. Watch out for Rockets vs. OKC Halftime performance by Infused Performing Arts on March 26, 2017 For further details visit: www.infusedperformingarts.com or Contact: 724-638-7338 for auditions for upcoming shows.

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November 25, 2016



10 November 25, 2016


Headlong Dive into the Edge of Biotech Make Her Peers Take Notice BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: Trailblazing can be

a heady pursuit, fraught with hazards and pitfalls that few can predict or be prepared for. But when you have a burning desire to take on the challenge and only a murky idea of what to expect along the way, it takes a headlong dive – a leap of faith – to take on the challenge and make headway, especially in the demanding field of academia where each step is scrutinized not just by your peers but also those who come to partake of your knowledge. Rupa Iyer had to make that choice when she interviewed for a position at the University of Houston’s College of Technology eleven years ago in 2005 and wound up being offered an opportunity to start up the Biotech program. Marriage to her husband Sridhar, a chemical engineer who had just joined Shell, had led her from her alma mater Michigan State University to do post-doctoral work at MD Andersen Cancer Center. The couple settled in Sugar Land with their three boys – Nikhil, Raj and Jay - and Iyer joined the faculty at nearby Wharton County Junior College where she taught for 13 years. Iyer took on the challenge, com-

Dr. Rupa Iyer is the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Houston’s College of Technology

muting daily to the UH Central Campus some 25 miles away, and with the zeal of an entrepreneur shaped the program, guided it through the university’s tough approval process, developed the curriculum and even got commitments of $2 million in grants as seed money. In 2009, when the Biotech program was approved, Iyer got it off the ground, teaching many of the classes to the six undergraduate students who had enrolled. Thanks to her dogged determination and growing reputation in the burgeoning field, the program has grown to 571 undergrads and ten master’s degree candidates. More changes are on the way as

Dr. Rupa Iyer was honored for receiving University of Houston’s prestigious 2016 Distinguished Leadership in Teaching Excellence Award during the football game between the UH Cougars and Tulsa Golden Hurricane at TDECU Stadium on Saturday, October 15.

the program will become a fullfledged department and move to the Sugar Land Campus in 2017. “I will continue to have my research lab and office at the main campus,” said Iyer one morning as she hurried for an early meeting, “but will also teach in Sugar Land which will have three other faculty: Brian Iken, Program Coordinator and Assistant Professors Albert Flavier and Sivakumar Ganapathy. We are looking to hire two more and a lab manager too.” The success and growing pains

of the program haven’t escaped the notice of the close-knit circle of academics worldwide and has burnished Iyer’s reputation as a well-respected and sought out instructor and a trailblazer, especially for developing a database on the geographic distribution of environmental contamination. Over seven years, this database has grown to include several strains of bacteria and the location of pesticides degrading activity. Iyer has received funding to sequence the DNA of the bacteria and hopes to commer-

cialize the results. For her work, Iyer was promoted to Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies in 2014. She is also a 2015 Fulbright Specialist who went to the Khawayn University in Irfane, Morocco this past summer to collaborate on a research project. And in April of this year, she received the University of Houston’s prestigious 2016 Distinguished Leadership in Teaching Excellence Award given to a recipient, who in ten or more years of teaching, has made sustained and significant contributions to education. The award was given to Iyer at a Faculty Excellence Award Dinner on April 14 at the UH Hilton, but UH also celebrates the achievements of its faculty during home football games at the TDECU Stadium. Iyer was honored during the game between the UH Cougars and Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Saturday, October 15, attended by the Provost and the Chancellor. Iyer was in awe when she stepped onto the field and received a football and her name and work were declared over the stadium’s sound system. Few in the crowd of revelers may have realized the trailblazing work of the petite woman on the field in developing a program that will teach students long after most of them would have graduated.



November 25, 2016

HMM 40th Anniversary “Diwali Dhamakedar” Celebrations



Diwali is one of the largest festivals celebrated across all cultures in India and Indian diaspora. It is a festival of lights that symbolizes inner spiritual victory over the dark ignorance. HMM (Houston Maharashtra Mandal) had a grand Diwali celebration on November 12, at the James William Elementary School, Katy TX. The celebration was graced by the presence of more than 400+ people. The entrance was dazzled with lamps and beautiful rangolis. Multiple booths depicting herbal henna art, jewelry, organic line of Indian groceries and bio degradable products, sarees, and food were keeping people busy. The Diwali ‘faral’ which is a plate with variety of Indian savories and sweets was distributed early on with hot Indian chai. The celebration created an ever lasting impression on people because of the hard work and creative enthusiasm of 50+

participants and volunteers who showed their dedication over the past two plus months in preparation for this grandeur. The celebration was important this year because it marked HMM’s 40th anniversary. It started with the Ganesh Vandana choreographed by Manjusha Jadhav followed by honoring all the past 19 out of 36 former presidents who year after year anchored the Marathi community very close to their homeland by organizing excellent cultural events and arranging scrumptious Maharashtrian food. Uma Rajguru had written a Powada (i.e. a genre of Marathi poetry) and she sang it along with 19 HMM former Presidents as chorus singers. Ajay Kothi and Gandhar Kothi were the emcees for the evening. It was followed by recognizing individuals with extraordinary achievement awards for their outstanding performances in jobs,

academics and sports. Kashinath Patil was awarded a recognition for his contributions to the field of Chemical Engineering after graduating from the first batch of renowned Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Shardul Ahire was recognized for his talent after being selected by USACA in the under 14 national cricket team. A magic show was organized that kept the kids entertained and happy. Magician Robert Barry performed a totally unique comedy show packed full of fun & surprises for all ages. There were multiple Bollywood Tadka dance performances choregraphed by Manjusha Jadhav, Parija Dighe Guha, Bhakti Naik Wakde, Abhishek Bhat with performers in colorful traditional costumes and the most elegant - nine yard sarees. There was a wonderful performance by the committee members in a Marathi play “Diwali karuya vegali style” which was written and directed by Megha and Ravi Ozarker. A surprise community flash mob on famous Marathi song “Zhingat” towards the end gave a unique experience to this year’s cultural event. Overall it was an everlasting experience that each one took along with them. The cultural event was followed by yummy food which was served by Mirch Masala. HMM would like to thank Samir Patil and Rajesh Thatte for capturing the best snapshots from the show. The entire Marathi community congratulated the current year President Megha Ozarker and committee for organizing outstanding events this year. Diwali is a harbinger of the beginning of next year’s celebration and hence a formation of a new group of enthusiasts who would once again strive to make another year of memorable events. New Committee was announced and Anjou Sathe Keller was handed the baton to take forward the next year’s celebration to new heights. HMM’s last and 14th event this year is the screening of new Marathi movie “ Ve n t i l a t o r ” (with English subtitles) which will be screened on December 11 th 2016 at the Palladium Katy.


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Nov. 12th, Almost thousand devotees performed the rare Sata Sahasra Rudraksa Puja.



The Hindu way of life is marked by the constant remembrance of the ever present Divine through meaningful rituals such as japa, puja, and homa. Hindu Dharma infuses the celebration of every stage of life with inspired prayers and incessant gratitude. With that as the thematic backdrop, the huge Chinmaya family of Houston came together on the weekend of November 12 -13, to invoke the auspicious and cherish the revered in a unique dual celebration. The rare Sata Sahasra Rudraksa Puja that reverberated in the hall of Chinmaya Smriti will be etched in the memories of the almost thousand devotees who came on November 12 which marked Shani Trayodasi of the holy Karthika month in the Hindu calendar. After the Ganapati puja and kalasha sthapana, the abhisekam to the special idol of Lord Siva amid the chanting of Sri Rudram mesmerized everyone. Then it was time to do the japa, “Om Namah Sivaya” with the special Japa malas received for the occasion. To witness the hundreds of devotees chant with the japa malas in their hands, eyes closed and minds harnessed, was an unforgettable moment. Almost 200 children did their own japa of “Om Namah Sivaya,” holding ever so preciously their own little japa malas with earnest reverence. After the intense japa, all the almost 2000 japa malas adorned the

Photos: Jayesh Mistry and Rajesh Thatte

The japa malas were left overnight on the main Sivalinga in Saumyakasi Sivalaya, to accrue more auspiciousness.

idol of Lord Siva as the devotees chanted the Siva Sahasranamavali in harmonious unison. The japa malas were left overnight on the main Sivalinga in Saumyakasi Sivalaya, to accrue more auspiciousness. On the next morning of Nov.13 (Sunday), the huge Chinmaya family gathered again to specially conduct the Bhima Ratha Santi homam for the 70th birthday milestone of their beloved Acaryas – Sri Gaurangbhai and Smt. Darshanaben Nanavaty – as celebrated in the traditional Hindu way. Invoking God’s Grace and the blessings of the Chinmaya Guru Parampara, several homas were performed in the very space that had been specially sanctified by

Nov.13 (Sunday), Chinmaya family gathered to specially for the 70th birthday milestone of their beloved Acaryas – Sri Gaurangbhai and Smt. Darshanaben Nanavaty.

the glorious Rudraksa puja done the previous day. Sri Ganeshji , the priest of Saumyakasi Sivalaya, and Sri Raghuram Bhatt of Sri Krishna Vrundavana masterfully led the rituals. As the homas concluded and the holy waters from the kalashas were sprinkled on the Acaryas, adored as Gaurang Uncle and Darshana Aunty, prayers were offered for their well-being in their years ahead together. What followed after the homas was a delightful ceremony where Uncle and Aunty were showered with joyful affection by their huge Chinmaya family. It was evident that their life together had touched hundreds of hearts in Houston. So, even when Chinmaya Smriti overflowed with music, dance, and all expressions of love for the Acaryas, it could still not express fully the gratitude and appreciation for their thirty-three years of dedication to Chinmaya Mission Houston. The ceremony was a touching thanksgiving offered for the decades of the guiding companionship of the Acaryas. Accepting that, Uncle and Aunty credited everything to the Grace and blessings of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda and the good fortune of tireless team of Chinmaya volunteers. 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


November 25, 2016



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November 25, 2016



16 November 25, 2016


Hindu Students Association Launches Shruti Podcast Series BY SAUMYA SARAN

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sociation is proud to announce the release of the first episode of its new podcast series, Shruti. Shruti aims to bring to light the history of Hinduism and important issues affecting Hindus here in the United States and around the world. Shruti, which means “that which is heard,” is named after the set of authoritative scriptures of Hindu philosophy. “It seemed appropriate to use the term Shruti,” explained Hari Venkatachalam, Vice-President for the Hindu Students Association. “Most of Hinduism’s sacred literature wasn’t written down until centuries after they were first composed. The knowledge that was contained in these holy books was passed down from teacher to student through recitation and memorization. Our sacred words were first heard, not written. We’re hoping that we can share the Hindu experience in the same way, recreating how Hinduism has been passed from generation to generation for millennia.” The first episode in the series “Arrival in the West: Finding a Place in the New Land” is hosted by the national officers of Hindu Students Association. It focuses on the movement of Hinduism to the Americas, and the unique challenges early Hindu immigrants faced as they sought to practice their religion in a foreign land. To listen to the podcast, visit www.hindustudentsassociation. org/podcast. You can subscribe to the Shruti podcast series through Apple iTunes and Google Play, at the links listed below. If you would like to get involved with future podcast episodes, become a sponsor, or have any feedback, comments and/or suggestion about the series, we would love to

hear from you at info@hsamail. org! Google Play Link: https://play. google.com/music/m/Izfzvnrt7bto ryq6sttnmh3mowi?t%3DShruti Apple iTunes Link: https:// itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ shruti/id1168861683 Hindu Students Association (HSA) was formed in 2009 by a group of Hindu students and young professionals who realized the need for an organization that catered to young Hindus in America and provided a platform for their religious and spiritual development. The mission of HSA is: 1) To empower young Hindu adults through education, service and devotion;

2) To cultivate and foster crosscultural dialogue and interaction on issues pertaining to Hindus domestically and nationally; 3) To improve the level of representation at colleges/universities with organizational activities and participation in other organizations and media; and 4) To build a network amongst younger Hindus in America. More information about HSA and how to get involved can be found at our website: http://hindustudentsassociation.org/ If you have any questions regarding the Hindu Students Association, please feel free to email us at info@hsamail.org

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November 25, 2016


Virtuosi of Performing Arts Raises Money for the Lilli Curry Memorial Fund



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HOUSTON: What a wonder-

ful way to pay tribute to a lively and charismatic sophomore at Taylor High School who passed away on August 4, after fighting a hard battle with Ewing Sarcoma, an extremely rare bone cancer found mostly in children and young adults. Lilli Curry has left a lasting impact on her school since then. Although millions of dollars are raised each year for cancer research, less than 4% goes towards childhood cancer research despite being the number one cause for death in children.. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) says there has been a significant increase in the overall rate of childhood cancers in recent decades—up to 27% since 1975 in kids under age 19, and the FDA has approved only three drugs to treat childhood cancer in the last 20 years. This is all due to lack of funding. Keeping this in mind, an extraordinary and unique fundraiser event was hosted on November 4, at Old Stafford Center by Virtuosi Performing Arts in Lilli Curry’s memory. The evening started with an introduction of Lilli Curry, acknowledgement of her parents and her home bound teacher Cheryl Bell. The organizers of the show Satyajit and Keka

Kar then took the stage and talked about the mission of the fundraiser and thanked their family, friends and well wishers for their support and specially Lilli’s parents for being present at the occasion. The first part of the show was a captivating dance drama, ‘Fisherman and his soul’ based on a French story by Oscar Wilde. The performers in the lead roles were Taylor High School students and the theme of the drama was very uplifting. Through the drama, one comes to the realization that a man and his soul are inseparable and love lives on spiritually and eternally forever and ever. Irena Wan’s portrayal of the soul is particularly worth mentioning. Most of the music put together by Satyajit and Keka Kar encompassed European, Latin, Arabic and Indian forms and was mesmerizing. Keka Kar deserves special recognition for directing the entire dance drama and choreographing some of the dance numbers. Sunil Thakkar of Masala Radio fame got the crowd going with his funny Donald Trump impersonations and referral to the “The Fisherman” in the dance drama as “Mowgli in Mexico.” He also conversed with the individual performers and commended them on putting up a great performance. The second half of the show be-

longed to ‘Kinjal’, a singing sensation, the winner of Zee Bangla Sa-Re-Ga Ma-Pa 2010. It was like a “homecoming” for him since he was in Houston to perform at the NABC 2015 last year. Houstonians fell in love with this young versatile singer when he first visited a couple of years back and have kept inviting him over and over again. He once again did ample justice to the high expectations by delivering music of all genres. In his words, “Performing music is like being a chef - catering to all tastes.” He stuck to the “theme of love” with a range of songs from the 60s to the present and then branched off to Rajasthani Mand (Thumri in folk style) with equal ease and expertise. His rendition of “Ek chatur naar” from Padosan was a major hit with the audience. He even had the confidence to sing a Kalaam sung originally by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and ghazals sung by Jagjit Singh. He ended on a high note with a striking medley of Bollywood dance numbers that got the audience dancing to the late hours of the night. The crowd of approximately 700 was successful in raising about $5000 which got donated to the Lilli Curry Memorial Fund and thanks to the organizers for putting a thoughtful, convincing program together.


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18 November 25, 2016 Rail Reform Now

The train accident near Kanpur in the early hours of Sunday

has been the worst since the Assam rail disaster in 1999. While it is true that the East Midnapore incident of 2010 had cost around the same number of lives, it was a work of sabotage by Maoists, who had removed fishplates from the railway tracks. The ostensible reason for Sunday’s tragedy was fractures developing in the railway tracks, which also led to coaches piling up, one going on top of the other. The authorities are also checking if the air brakes had failed to act in time. The Indian Railways has a network of more than 64,000 km. About 7,000 commuter trains, 12,000 longdistance trains and 6,000 freight trains run on this network daily, carrying nearly 20 million passengers a day. This alone underscores that the safety of the railway system is as if not more important than many other things such as introducing new trains. The Indian Railways, on its part in last year’s rail budget, had proposed to invest Rs 1,27,000 crore over 2015-19 in safety work, which includes track renewal. This is apart from more than Rs 1,02,000 crore to be spent on locomotives, coaches, etc. But this is one part of the story. Not all of the recommendations of the Anil Kakodkar committee, appointed about five years ago to enhance railway safety, have been put into effect. For example, the committee had recommended a railway safety authority independent of the Railway Board. The second is increasing the financial powers of some of the railways’ key functionaries such as the divisional railway manager, the general manager of the zonal railways, the director-general of the Research Design and Standards Organisation, etc. The committee had proposed a sum for introducing Automatic Train Protection, a signalling system, on the railway trunk routes to obviate the chances of collisions during fog and other kinds of bad weather conditions. The committee had also suggested creating a Railway Research and Development Council, with another body called the Advanced Railway Research Institute under it, to supervise things such as signalling, rolling stock, telecommunications, tracks and bridges, etc. The heartening part is that rail minister Suresh Prabhu in his budget speech this year said many of the recommendations of various committees were being implemented. For long the railways has been a political playground for ministers. The first thing that’s necessary is to have an approach of minimal interference to make sure that resources are not wasted in adding trains that harm track maintenance. The second thing to have is an audit of the manner in which assets are procured and maintained. Only then can there be an improvement of the current practices and operating procedures which will result in greater safety standards. Hindustan Times


What About Black Money in Gold, Real Estate? BY R. JAGANNATHAN

Among the arguments one keeps

hearing on TV debates, often not the best places to find economic literacy, is that demonetisation will not make any difference since only 5-6% of black money is in cash. Another criticism is that the government simply did not plan well for the fallout and that millions are queuing up before banks and ATMs, causing needless inconvenience to the ordinary citizen and disrupting everyday cash-based transactions. The government has rejected the second argument by simply citing the need for secrecy. And it is by and large correct. The only way to be better prepared for a situation in which 80% of your currency will be rendered invalid is to have new notes ready in advance, and by reconfiguring the ATMs in advance. Neither effort could have been kept a secret, for ATMs are serviced by hundreds of engineers, and software and logistics service providers. Printing more 500 notes in advance would also have been an option, but scores, if not hundreds of people in the Reserve Bank of India, the finance ministry, and the currency printing presses would have been in the know. Now, to the larger point raised by critics, that junking high denomination currency is the worst way to attack black money, since cash constitutes only a small fraction of the total stock (and flows) of black money. Let’s assume that the critics are right about 5% being the likely proportion of black money in the economy. The bulk is in real estate and gold. The flaw in this argument is this: Every illegal real estate deal has a cash component. So 100% of such deals depend on cash. Then there is the issue of velocity of money movement in illegal deals. Physical cash may be just 5% of deals, but when deals happen multiple times, the same 5% passes through many hands, expanding the level of tax evasion multifold. Cash is the grease needed to facilitate taxevaded transactions, and if you want to apply the brakes, mixing sand in the grease is a good beginning. This stalls, at least temporarily, the black money engine.

The operative word in the above sentence is “temporarily”. Demonetisation is not the end, but only the beginning. The logical next question thus is: What next? There are several answers to this question, especially real estate and gold, where black money is rampant. However, these are not the right places to begin for the simple reason that they can be even more disruptive than demonetisation. Real estate is very closely enmeshed with the entire financial system, and any major damage here can destabilise the economy. Consider the collateral damage: Banks are highly exposed to real estate and home loans; if you attack benami real estate aggressively, property prices will crash, and banks will have to force home buyers to either pay more EMIs or shorten their tenures or bring in more margin money. Moreover, their bad loan problem will get worse. And let’s not forget, the entire core sector — from cement to steel and power — is linked to real estate and construction. So real estate black money will have to be defanged in stages. No surgical strike is possible. The same applies to gold, which employs lakhs of workers in design and handcrafting of gems and jewellery and is easy to hide. Ferreting out anyone’s hidden gold wealth means invading the privacy of homes — the

worst form of tax terrorism possible. Gold-linked black money can be reduced only by bringing the jewellery business into the formal system of taxation, which is what the GST system will do. We should leave the gold business to GST. The logical and only consistent long-term way of eliminating black money in any sphere is to promote transparency and coaxing citizens to move away from cash (through digital and web-based payments). Any interface where a citizen has to face a government official and pay fees or taxes in cash needs to be eliminated; this means e-payments must become the norm for registrar offices (for stamp duty, marriage certificates, home registration, etc), traffic violations, issue of trucking permits, highway tolls, et al. Only when the citizen-government interface is eliminated will the tendency of officialdom to demand bribes for speeding up processes reduce. We have already seen this happen with train ticketing and tax payments. Both Centre and states need to take this to every possible area of citizengovernment interface. The way to tackle real estate corruption and black money is to make all processes — building and environmental permissions, floor-space index (FSI) rules — transparent and time-bound. Big money is generated in real estate primarily in two ways: Politicians and bureaucrats demanding bribes for building permits by using their powers to delay; and through the adoption of arbitrary FSI policies. Mumbai land prices are kept artificially high by maintaining low FSI. The minute the FSI is raised, land prices may crash, making mass housing viable. When these decisions are made rule-based and nondiscretionary, netas and babus will lose their ability to demand bribes, most of which comes in the form of benami property ownership. Unfortunately, these reforms depend on states, and not the central government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has to prod the state governments to move faster on this front. R Jagannathan is an economic commentator and editorial director, Swarajya


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


November 25, 2016


Why Do American Celebrate Why Do We Eat Turkey Thanksgiving Day? on Thanksgiving Day? M

any Americans think of Thanksgiving as a wonderful time to celebrate getting out of school for a long weekend, and eating a great dinner. Or, maybe they think it is the start of the Christmas holiday season. What is the real meaning behind Thanksgiving? Catherine Millard writes: We can trace this historic American Christian tradition to the year 1623. After the harvest crops were gathered in November 1623, Governor William Bradford of the 1620 Pilgrim Colony, “Plymouth Plantation” in Plymouth, Massachusetts proclaimed: “All ye Pilgrims with your wives and little ones, do gather at the Meeting House, on the hill… there to listen to the pastor, and render Thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings.” This is the ori-

‘righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost’…” Then again, on January 1, 1795, our first United States President, George Washington, wrote his famed National Thanksgiving Proclamation, in which he says that it is… “…our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue is… our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experienced…” Thursday, the 19th day of February, 1795 was thus set aside by George Washington as a National Day of Thanksgiving. Many years

gin of our annual Thanksgiving Day celebration. Congress of the United States has proclaimed National Days of Thanksgiving to Almighty God many times throughout the following years. On November 1, 1777, by order of Congress, the first National Thanksgiving Proclamation was proclaimed, and signed by Henry Laurens, President of Continental Congress. The third Thursday of December, 1777 was thus officially set aside: “…for solemn thanksgiving and praise. That with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their Divine Benefactor;… and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them (their manifold sins) out of remembrance… That it may please Him… to take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety under His nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth of

later, on October 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed, by Act of Congress, an annual National Day of Thanksgiving “on the last Thursday of November, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.” In this Thanksgiving proclamation, our 16th President says that it is… “…announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord… But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, by the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own… It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people…” So it is that on Thanksgiving Day each year, Americans give thanks to Almighty God for all His blessings and mercies toward us throughout the year. -christiananswers.net

Sitting down to the Thanksgiving

table, you may have to shimmy your dinner plate in between a massive bowl of mashed potatoes and a casserole dish full of steaming green bean casserole. Mouthwatering sides take up the majority of table real estate, but there is only one shining star that always has a VIP spot at the table’s center: the turkey. With so many delicious foods at one meal, how did the turkey grab the spotlight? Furthermore, why do we eat turkey at Thanksgiving in the first place? Eating turkey on Thanksgiving has become a tradition that was long believed to be started by the Pilgrims and Native Americans on what was considered the first Thanksgiving dinner. But after years of study, historians believe this may be one of many myths that surround the original Thanksgiving as well as the traditions that surround the holiday. Whether fact or fiction, that beloved bird is here to stay — and that is definitely something to be thankful for. Over the years, the Thanksgiving meals have evolved from those our foremothers prepared. Turkeys can be fried, stuffed, roasted, or smoked — and even delivered warm, right to your door. With all the hours of effort invested in creat-

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ing a show-stopping main dish, it’s nice to know there are some practical reasons we still honor this custom. 1. It Feeds A Crowd Thanksgiving dinner is no small affair. Gathering loved ones together is a big part of what makes this holiday so special. But putting together a meal for a hungry group of extended family and neighbors is no simple task. According to Mental Floss, our

ancestors chose to serve turkey for its ability to feed the masses. These big birds meant enough meat to fill the stomachs of everyone at the table (and even the kids’ table.) 2. It’s Affordable Taking a historical look, Primer Magazine reported that turkeys were cheaper than chickens, larger than quail, and much easier to hunt than geese. Still today,

turkey is still considered a cost-effective meat to build a meal around. Not breaking the bank on expensive cuts of steak means more cash for all those delicious sides and pies. Sounds like a win-win to me. 3. It Feels Special Most people don’t spend an average Thursday roasting a 12 pound turkey. It’s something that is associated with celebrated occasions, most notably Thanksgiving. As an article on Slate explained, turkey emerged as the chosen meat for more than one reason. Ham and pork were too common to be considered for a special meal and chickens and cows were needed alive, for the eggs and milk they produced. So unless the dinner host felt like hunting a deer, the clear choice became turkey. As you settle into your place around the table this Thanksgiving, take a look at that buttered-to-perfection bird and have a moment of silence for the traditions that brought us Turkey Day. Because if it were not for the pragmatic ways of the early American settlers, we might be slicing into venison instead. -romper.com

Part-Time Web/Digital Content Producer

KTRK-TV, the ABC owned station located in Houston, TX is looking for a part-time digital content producer for our web department. The ideal candidate will have at least two years’ experience creating content in a fast-paced, ever-changing news environment and must be able to handle multiple projects simultaneously with a keen eye for detail. We’re looking for someone who can produce content for all digital platforms, including mobile and social media. KTRK is a 24/7 operation and candidate must be available to work early mornings, late nights, weekends and/or holidays as scheduled. To be considered interested applicants apply on-line at www.disneycareers. com by uploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references. Please reference Job Requisition # 413788BR. No Telephone Calls Please KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity


20 November 25, 2016


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November 25, 2016


8 Ways to Heal your Family with Turmeric…the Miracle Spice

You’ve probably heard tidbits, if not waves

the Brangelina of spices if you will. Curcumin (the active agent in turmeric) is a powerful anti-inflammatory and black pepper contains piperine, which helps reduce pain². When cooking veggies, start with a little coconut oil in a pan and add a turmeric and a pinch of black pepper until hot. Then add your veggies and saute to perfection! 4. Drink “Golden Milk.” Golden Milk is an ancient Ayurvedic drink made with turmeric and milk. It’s creamy, satisfying, and good for you! In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of almond milk, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp coconut oil, a dash of black pepper, a tsp of vanilla, then honey or agave to taste. Add a dash of cinnamon on top–delish! 5. Add turmeric to your smoothies. An easy way to get a little turmeric is by adding it to your smoothies. Make sure to combine your turmeric with a little coconut oil before adding it to your smoothie, preferably heated together. 6. Shake it up in your dressings and marinades. Turmeric is a perfect addition to salad dressings and meat marinades. Add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of turmeric to any of delicious homemade vinaigrettes for a delicious and miraculous meal. 7. Make a turmeric spice rub for meats. If you’re not a huge fan of curry, you can get your turmeric on top of a big, fat, juicy steak. 8. Try a turmeric facial mask. Have you seen those crazy yellow face masks floating around your Facebook or Pinterest feed? However silly they seems, people are swearing by turmeric face masks and the acnefighting, scar-fading power they have. -howdoesshe.com

about the miracle spice that claims to have unbelievable healing powers. What’s all the buzz about Turmeric, the spice used in Indian curry? Well, for 4,000 years, Turmeric (aka Curcumin) has been used in Eastern medicine to treat inflammation (think arthritis), to fight infection, treat digestive problems, and cure skin diseases (adios, acne!). Many herbalists and holistic practitioners even claim that Turmeric has powerful cancer-fighting properties. Here are 8 ways you can use Turmeric to help heal your family and get an added boost of superfood powers! 1. Whole root or ground powder? Turmeric comes in two forms: whole root or ground spice powder. You can find whole root turmeric in health food stores and grocery stores (it looks kinda like ginger). Peel off the skin with a spoon or peeler and then grate the root to use in soups, dressings, smoothies, etc. If using the powdered version, buy organic turmeric spice, free of chemicals, preservatives, and additives. 2. Should I take the pill? Many people are using turmeric capsules as a daily supplement. Although in capsule form, you may be missing out on the full potential turmeric has to offer as opposed to cooking with it. Skip the supplement. The active agents in turmeric are fat soluble, meaning that they require a fat source (like coconut and cooking oil) to effectively absorb nutrients¹. Sooo…the best way to get your turmeric miracle agents is through cooking. Yum! 3. Turmeric + Black Pepper=POW! To increase the POWer of turmeric, add a little black pepper to it. Turmeric and black pepper are like the ultimate power couple… MADRAS N PAVILIO T & DAAWA CATERING

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Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Khatta Mittha Achaar (Sweet & Sour Pickle)

By popular demand from many

readers, this is a reprint of Mama’s khatta mittha achaar recipe, but with some additional information and directions. Achaars (pickles) of all types are popular all over the world but the ones made in India and neighboring countries are different because they are oil-based. Other South Asian countries have their own version of spicy condiments, like the Szechuan Chilli Oil or Malaysian Sambal. The same achaars can be found all over India, like amb da achaar (mango pickle) or punchranga achaar (five item pickle), though the spices and ingredients may change from region to region. For example, the mango pickle from South India – where til ka tael (sesame oil) is preferred – can taste very different from the one made in North India, where they prefer to use sarsoan ka tael (mustard oil). In Tamil Nadu, the mango pickle is called maavadu and is made with arendee ka tael (castor oil). The same mango pickle in Karnataka is very salty and sour, while in Telangana and Andra Pradesh, it is made with garlic and ginger and in Gujarat, it is made with groundnut oil and saunf (fenugreek) seeds. There are even pickled meat achaars, like lamb and chicken, and fish like anchovies and shrimp. But, as far as I can tell, khatta mittha achaar is unique to the Punjab, and has been a staple pickle in many villages. Because it is made with many vegetables – cauliflower, carrots, turnips and onions – it sometimes even takes the place of a dish and is eaten with roti. I still remember when my grandmother would make it in our ancestral home in Lyallpur (now called Faisalabad). It was usually made in the winter time because the gur (jaggery) used as an ingredient gives added energy during the cold months. And it was stored in large wide-mouthed pots with a lid tightened down with a piece of cloth. For real authentic taste, khatta mittha achaar should be made with sarsoan ka tael (mustard seed oil) which gives it a heavy pungent aroma, and there is no need to use any haldi (turmeric). Mustard oil has many benefits, including for the heart and in India is often used for massages and as a hair oil, just as nariyal ka tael (coconut oil) is used. Khatta mittha achaar can be stored for a long time without refrigeration, as long as the vegetables are dry before cooking and you do not use any

water. The longer the vegetables stay in the jar and soak in the spices, the tastier the achaar will become! Ingredients: • 1 medium sized phul gobi (cauliflower) • 1 kg gajjar (carrots) • 1 kg shalgum (turnips) • 1 large pyaaz (onion) • 100 gm adrak (fresh ginger root) • 50 gm lasan (fresh garlic cloves) • 150 gm gur (jaggery) • 1 cup safaid sirka (white vinegar) • 100 gm rai (rye) • 250 gm sarsoan ka tail (mustard seed oil) or any other you prefer • 2 tsp garam masala • 2 tsp deggi mirch (red pepper) – if not available, use red pepper powder • Namak (salt) to taste Directions: 1. Peel the cauliflower, carrots and turnips; cut them into medium pieces; wash them and set aside to drip dry. 2. Peel the onions, garlic and ginger; throw them into a blender or mixee and mince them into a paste. 3. In a medium sized pot, heat the oil over medium and put in the onion, garlic and ginger paste, stirring till it is medium brown. 4. Take the paste off the heat; let it cool down slightly and then add the red pepper and garam masala.

If you use deggi mirch (a type of red pepper powder), it will add color to the achaar. 5. Rub the cut vegetables with a towel to make sure they are completely dry before using. 6. Now pour the cut vegetables into the paste and stir, adding the salt. Break the gur (jaggery) into small pieces and add into the mixture, along with the vinegar. Crush the rye and add two tablespoons. Stir well to coat all the vegetables. 7. When the entire mixture is completely cool, place in a glass jar and close the lid tightly and let it stand alone for a week, shaking occasionally, so that the vegetables can cure. In 8 to 9 days, the achaar will be ready to eat. Quick Tip: IIf you want to make the achaar faster, then place the vegetables in boiling water for five minutes. Take out of the water and place the vegetables on a cloth in the air and dry the water completely off. Now place them in the paste (step 3) and continue. The achaar will be ready to eat in much less time. 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.


old days, before ref rigeration, we would and other dishes wo take great care that uld vegetables months. This was all not go bad quickly, especially during the hot summer done naturally and we would learn wh so that the food wo at uldn’t spoil, or that its life could be exten to look out for One of the most impo ded. rtant things to remem pecially achaars (pi be ckles) can shorten the r is that water in foods or and esir life. Make sure tha used in achaars like t the vegetables khatt achaar (mango pickle a mittha achaar (sweet and sour pic kle) or amb da ) are dry because an y wa achaar’s shelf life an d cause it to spoil. W ter left on them will shorten the ater is a pickle’s wo rst enemy!

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November 25, 2016



aran (Neha Sharma) finds solace in Shekhar (Aditya Seal) while coping with the untimely death of her boyfriend Amar (Aashim Gulati). Love eventually finds a way as Shekhar helps Taran get on with her life. His companionship heals her wounds and almost mends her broken heart, until fate comes knocking… Tum Bin 2 is neither a sequel, nor a sob fest but Anubhav Sinha’s tribute to his own 2001 surprise hit ‘Tum Bin’. The second instalment is an earnest remake of the original with a few minor twists. Interestingly, Sinha retains the pulse of the original – ‘melancholy’ and breathes new life into it by altering the story a bit and casting fresh faces with most doing justice to his sensibility. But can an ‘old-fashioned’ tale appeal to the Tinder generation that is lured into judging concepts

like commitment and sacrifices? It certainly does and in fact comes as a breath of fresh air, albeit with an over-sentimental second half that drags incessantly. If you shamelessly fancied Twilight’s Edward Cullen and his ‘I’m not nothing if not traditional’ motto, you are bound to love Aditya Seal as Shekhar, who epitomises the guilt-ridden good guy. The actor singlehandedly drives the film and is undoubtedly the soul of it. His understated charm wins you over and we hope to see more of him soon. Neha Sharma on the contrary fails to make the most of her author-backed role. She is easy on the eyes but way too wooden to evoke an emotion. Aashim Gulati has a limited scope and looks like an odd blend of Aditya Roy Kapur, Sidharth Malhotra and Gulshan Devaiah. Kanwaljit makes his presence felt.

Like the original, the USP of this film is also its soulful music. However, not a single new track manages to beat Jagjit Singh’s Koi Fariyaad, even if it’s the revamped version. Cinematography is stunning as well. While the first half engages you emotionally, a tedious second half loses steam, resulting in an unconvincing climax. You wish dialogues were stronger as well. Despite the odds, if you like oldfashioned love stories with great music, Tum Bin 2 is a partially heartrending tale that can be watched for its beautiful message and sincere execution. -timesofindia.com

Arjun Rampal November 26, 1972


Shiv Sharma (Tahir), a mole in the

Indian Embassy of Budapest is leaking information about RAW agents. Inspector Yash (John) and RAW agent KK (Sonakshi) must hunt him down and bring him to justice. Three RAW agents are killed in China. One of them is Inspector Yash’s (John Abraham) best friend, Harish. But before dying, Harish leaves inspector Yash a clue indicating that something bigger has been set in motion. Inspector Yash then updates RAW, and together with agent KK (Sonakshi Sinha), they discover that Shiv Sharma (Tahir Raj Bhasin), a low-level employee of the Indian

Embassy of Budapest, is handing out details of undercover RAW agents like pamphlets on a street corner. The thing that works in Force 2’s favour is pacing. In spite of a familiar story, the action sequences


are timed perfectly and executed stylishly; there are no songs except for a recreation of Kaante Nahi Katte, which moves the story along. But the experiments stop there. The story is excruciatingly generic. A mastermind has an ulterior motive behind betraying his nation; the heroes must then strike a balance between morality and vengeance. John Abraham is intense and impressive when he’s breaking jaws and lifting cars, Tahir Raj Bhasin (in an extension of his Mardaani role) is good and shows his vulnerable side. Sonakshi Sinha’s halfhearted performance, however, can be partly blamed on her annoyingly underwritten character. KK is the worst-trained RAW agent without an iota of intuition who has to be told to do everything. It’s your usual arm-candy role, padded with a layer of faux feminism. It’s a decent time at the cinema for the thrill-seekers; the action won’t disappoint. Go ahead and may the force be with you! -timesofindia.com

Yami Gautam November 28, 1988


24 November 25, 2016 2nd Test: Spinners Wrap Up India’s 246-Run Victory BY SIDHARTH MONGA


AJKOT: (ESPN Cricinfo): India 455 (Kohli 167, Pujara 119) and 204 (Kohli 81, Broad 4-33) beat England 255 (Stokes 70, Bairstow 53, Ashwin 5-67) and 158 (Cook 54) by 246 runs India’s bowlers required just 38.1 overs to wrap up a 246-run victory on the final day of the second Test in Visakhapatnam, as England’s resolve - fatally weakened by the loss of two wickets late on the fourth evening was finally cracked with nothing but pride left to play for. The damage had been done in a frantic morning session in which they slumped from 87 for 2 to 142 for 7, and the tail succumbed meekly after lunch, with only Jonny Bairstow showing any real resistance with 34 not out. The margin of victory perhaps overstated the gulf between the sides - the key difference, in every sense, was India’s captain and Man of the Match Virat Kohli, whose aggregate of 248 runs single-handedly accounted for the deficit in England’s balance. But, having fought so hard for so long, especially in the second half of the contest, the speed of their final-day demise was dispiriting for England, with the third Test in Mohali looming large next week. Contrary to all pre-match predictions, the pitch still wasn’t spinning dramatically by the final day, but it was skidding through at a hustling pace to match India’s turbo-charged over-rate - they bowled 33.4 in the morning session, including an extraordinary ten in the first half-hour alone as Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin tied England in knots at a rate of knots. The devastating dismissal of Alastair Cook, in the last over of the fourth day, had left England fearing the worst when play resumed, and there was an inevitability about the identity of the first victim of the morning. Ben Duckett’s rich strokeplay and inventive attitude will doubtless serve him well as his England career progresses, but in this situation - and particularly against his nemesis, Ash-

Jayant Yadav produced a wonderful delivery to remove Ben Stokes, India v England, 2nd Test, Visakhapatnam, 5th day, November 21, 2016

win - those attributes had roughly the same value as an INR 500 note. Sure enough, having withstood 15 deliveries without opening his account, Duckett dropped to one knee in a bid to hit his way out of a corner, but succeeded only in gloving a sweep onto his thigh pad and into the gloves of the wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. As he trooped disconsolately off the pitch, Duckett might as well have walked straight onto the England bench. His record against Ashwin alone in this series made grim reading - 40 balls, 15 runs, three wickets. He’ll be back, but perhaps not in Mohali next week. Moeen Ali was the next to go, his technique against the spinners looking solid right up until the moment Jadeja got one to grip in the rough outside off, and accelerate onto his inside edge for Kohli to complete a lobbed catch at leg gully. From 75 for 0 after 50 overs, England were now in freefall at 101 for 4 after 74 - the flip-side of their siege mentality being that India were now camping as many as five close catchers under every new batsman’s nose. Such close attention didn’t bother Ben Stokes at first. He had been so solid in defence in the first innings,

and continued his tried-and-trusted methods in a 33-ball stay. But, when India turned to the second new ball - and in the process, gave Jadeja’s fingers a rest after 25 overs on the trot had left him with the outstanding figures of 34-14-35-2 - the lankier offspin of Jayant Yadav conjured the ball of the match. A faster, flatter offbreak from around the wicket drifted as Stokes played back, then spat past his edge to clip the outside of his off stump. Stokes nodded his appreciation as the bowler hurtled past in celebration, and when Root was nailed by Mohammed Shami nine balls later, the teams might as well have shaken hands there and then. Root had once again been England’s most accomplished technician on the day. But, having survived an early reprieve when Kohli spilled a sharp chance at leg slip, he was pinned on the crease by a zippy nipbacker from Shami and sent on his way for 25 from 107 balls. There was time for one more breakthrough before lunch, as Adil Rashid top-edged an attempted ramp over the slips, to give Shami his second wicket of the innings, and the denouement came in a resigned procession after the resumption. Zafar Ansari completed a match

every bit as ignominious as Duckett’s when Ashwin skidded a flat offbreak into his off stump for a duck, before Jayant produced a carbon copy of England’s demise in the first innings, trapping Stuart Broad and James Anderson with consecutive lbws. Anderson completed his comeback Test with a king pair, remarkably the first by an England batsman for 110 years. That wasn’t the sort of history that Cook’s men had targeted at the start of the tour, but with three matches to come and some clear signs of life amid the ruins of today’s effort, there will be chances to atone in the coming weeks. But a few correct calls at the toss would be a start. “When you concede 455 and you’re 80 for five, it’s a long way back,” Cook said. “That cost us the game. Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes showed character and if you take Kohli’s runs out of their second innings - obviously you can’t do that - they only made 120. But when you’re behind it’s very hard to recover in these conditions. It’s all about first innings runs. We showed some good skill and fight, though. Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo.


Raval and Williamson Seal Eight-wicket Win


HRIST CHURCH (ESPNCricinfo): New Zealand 200 (Raval 55, Rahat 4-62) and 108 for 2 (Williamson 61) beat Pakistan 133 (Misbah 31, de Grandhomme 6-41) and 171 (Sohail 40, Wagner 3-34, Boult 3-37) by eight wickets Debutant opener Jeet Raval batted with focus to overcome a testing period against the new ball and took New Zealand to an eight-wicket victory in Christchurch. He had his captain Kane Williamson, who made 61 off 77 balls, for company for most of the chase of 105 and hit the winning runs shortly after lunch to seal a 1-0 lead in the series. Raval finished unbeaten on 36 to go with his first-innings 55, the highest score of the Test. New Zealand’s other debutant, Colin de Grandhomme, was Man of the Match for taking seven wickets in the Test; his 6 for 41 in the first innings was a New Zealand record on debut. What could have been a tricky chase had New Zealand lost early wickets on the fourth morning turned into a cruise as Raval and Williamson added 85 for the second wicket. Once the new ball had been dealt with, both batsmen were able to play shots, though Raval remained cautious while Williamson was more attacking. While runs had been difficult to come by on the second and third days, the pitch had eased out considerably on the fourth, with little seam, swing or spin on offer. Williamson played firm cuts and delicate, late dabs before falling when the scores were level. Raval hit the winning runs by pulling Yasir Shah to the midwicket boundary as New Zealand ended a four-match losing streak. Yasir ended the match with figures of 0 for 61; his first wicketless Test after taking 116 in 19 matches. That the match went into the second session was due to some adventurous lower-order batting from Pakistan in the first hour. Sohail Khan, who has only one half-century in 115 firstclass innings, had begun throwing his bat around on the third evening, and he continued to do so first thing this morning by taking seven off the first two balls. When there was width, Sohail slashed, and when it was full, he drove, contributing 40 to an eighthwicket stand of 53.


November 25, 2016


Indian Business Partners Hope to Exploit their Ties to Donald Trump

PUNE: It is a daunting proposition

to put $2 million apartments on the market in Pune — a quiet industrial city in the west of India, where even the fanciest neighborhoods are lined with squat housing blocks. But the developers of Trump Towers Pune, an elegant pair of 23-story black-glass pillars, have an extraordinary new marketing tool they are moving quickly to exploit: the president-elect of the United States. Since Donald Trump won the presidency+ , they have celebrated the growth+ that Trump’s win could bring to their brand, even flying to New York last week to meet with the president-elect and his family as he was assembling his Cabinet. “We will see a tremendous jump in valuation in terms of the second tower,” said Pranav R Bhakta, a consultant who helped Trump’s organization make inroads into the Indian market five years ago. “To say, ‘I have a Trump flat or residence’ — it’s president-elect branded. It’s that recall value. If they didn’t know Trump before, they definitely know him now.” In just under nine weeks, Trump will take control of a portfolio of public business between the US and India+ , the world’s two largest democracies, supervising debates over issues including climate change, maritime shadowboxing with China and the nuclear standoff with Pakistan. The meeting shows that Trump has not fully disengaged from his business ventures even as he leads his presidential transition, and it highlights the potential conflicts he will face going forward if he does not separate himself from a brand that has been constructed around his persona. In a telephone interview, Atul Chordia, one of the developers who met last week with Trump, played down the appointment as a “two-minute” congratulatory conversation in which no business was transacted and no new projects were discussed. But newspapers in India reported it as a business meeting, illustrated

with a photograph of the beaming real estate executives — Atul Chordia, Sagar Chordia and Kalpesh Mehta — flanking the future president, and indicated that the builders and Trump’s organization are planning further collaborative real estate projects. Sagar Chordia confirmed to The New York Times on Saturday that this account of the meeting in New York — which included discussions with the Trump family about possible additional real estate deals — was accurate. A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization did not dispute this account, saying only that the encounter with Trump himself was brief. “We have identified a piece of land and spoken to them,” Sagar Chordia told the Business Standard, a newspaper in India. Sagar Chordia, who posted photos of himself wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat on social media during the presidential campaign, did not respond to requests for comment from The Times. Three prominent ethics lawyers said in interviews Sunday that the interaction between Trump and his business partners from India does not appear to violate federal laws or ethics rules, nor would it even if he had already been sworn in. This is in part because the president, unlike members of Congress and most other federal employees, is exempt from such requirements. But each lawyer agreed the activities created the appearance that Trump and his business partners are using his status as a way to profit. “It is unprecedented in modern history,” said Andrew D Herman, a lawyer who has represented more than a dozen members of Congress in ethics cases. “But this is the new normal.” Robert S Stern, a lawyer who helped write California’s ethics law and the former president of the nonprofit Center for Governmental Studies, said that any time Trump has a meeting with a foreign government leader where one of his projects is based — a list that includes Turkey,

Trump Towers in Pune

the United Arab Emirates, Britain, Canada, Panama, Dubai, the Philippines, South Korea and Uruguay — questions may arise as to whether he took any action that might benefit his investments. “It already looks like he is using his position as president-elect to promote something in India that would benefit him financially,” Stern said. “It is not presidential — or at least presidential before him.” Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump’s transition team, declined Sunday to comment. A spokeswoman from the Trump Organization declined to address questions about the appropriateness of Trump meeting with his business partners, and instead pointed to a statement the organization made last week about shifting control of Trump’s business operations to his children. “This is a top priority at the organization, and the structure that is ultimately selected will comply with all applicable rules and regulations,” said Amanda Miller, vice president of marketing at the Trump Organization. The Pune towers are the first Trumpbranded project to be completed in

India, to be followed in the next few years by a 75-story skyscraper in Mumbai. Trump’s five current projects in India are worth around $1.5 billion, making it Trump’s most active development market outside North America, Mehta, the managing director at Tribeca Developers and the Trump Organization’s representative in India, told The Indian Express last week. In most cases, Trump does not invest in the projects, but instead allows the developers to use his name in return for royalties, according to industry analysts. Though each agreement is structured differently, in many cases the brand receives a percentage of sales, meaning Trump stands to benefit directly from increased revenues. Publicity materials focus heavily on Trump and his family. One pitch promises that “the experience of owning a Trump-branded property and living the Trump lifestyle is unparalleled.” Customers requesting information about the units receive an email illustrated with a large photograph of Ivanka Trump, Trump’s elder daughter, seated thoughtfully before a window.

The Trump name, Sagar Chordia told the Business Standard, is so valuable that apartments in the towers sell for 35 percent more than comparable apartments in other developments. Similar projects have been undertaken by Armani, the Four Seasons and the Ritz Carlton, said Ramesh Nair, chief operating officer and international director at Jones Lang LaSalle Property Consultants, a global real estate company. “It’s a branding project,” Nair said. “There is no skin in the game. You are lending your name. You give some specifications for the project. And you will generate some free publicity.” But sharing your brand name with Indian developers could backfire. Over the past decade, many unscrupulous developers here allowed projects to stall midway for lack of ready capital and used homebuyers’ deposits to begin work on the next project, leaving families stripped of their savings to protest helplessly. Nair said Trump so far had partnered with well-regarded firms, but warned that a poor choice could damage not only Trump’s reputation, but that of the US, given the corruption typical of Indian land deals. “If that small university can get him into trouble, you can imagine what could happen with India’s ‘squeakyclean’ real estate sector,” Nair said, referring to the fraud lawsuit against Trump University, which Trump settled last week for $25 million. “Tomorrow they could have 100 buyers standing outside the US Consulate, saying, ‘Give me back my money.’” Industry observers differed on whether Trump’s brand image would help increase real estate sales. India’s luxury housing market has been weak for years, and has been further damaged by a new government drive to stamp out untaxed cash transactions. So far, some boldface names have reportedly purchased units at the Trump Towers Pune, including the Bollywood actors Rishi Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor. -timesofindia.com


26 November 25, 2016 MUMBAI: INS Chennai, a Kolka-

ta-class destroyer ship, was commissioned into the Indian Navy’s combat fleet on Monday. Defence minister Manohar Parrikar commissioned the warship at the naval dockyard in Mumbai. INS Chennai is the largest-ever warship to be built in India. Built at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd in Mumbai, the ship’s construction also marks the end of the Project 15Ato build Kolkata-class guided missile destroyers. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba, was also present on the occasion. “The ship is equipped with a decoy that can divert a missile attack. Nearly 60% of the ship was built at Mazagon Dock, while weapons and sensors were brought from Israel and Russia. Destroyers are second only to aircraft carriers in projecting raw combat power,” said an official. “The ship is designed to carry and operate up to two multi-role combat

Largest-ever ‘Made-in-India’ Warship INS Chennai Commissioned

INS Chennai is 164 metres long with a displacement of over 7,500 tonnes, and sails at a top speed of over 30 knots (around 55 kms) per hour.

helicopters,” said vice-admiral Girish Luthra (chief of naval command western command). The Navy plans to become a 200-warship force with around 600 aircraft and helicopters by 2027. INS Chennai will be placed under

the operational and administrative control of the Western Naval Command. The ship will undergo certain additional sea trials of the ship-borne systems before being assigned to the Western Fleet and based in Mumbai.

INS Chennai is 164 metres long with a displacement of over 7,500 tonnes, and sails at a top speed of over 30 knots (around 55 kms) per hour. Armed with supersonic surfaceto-surface BrahMos missiles and Barak-8 Long Rang Surface-to-Air missiles, its undersea warfare capability includes indigenously developed anti-submarine weapons and sensors, prominently the hull-mounted sonar HUMSA-NG, heavyweight torpedo tube launchers, rocket launchers and towed array sonar capability. For defence against enemy missiles, INS Chennai is fitted with ‘Kavach’ chaff decoy system and for protection from enemy torpedoes, has ‘Mareech’torpedo decoy system, both developed in India. A potent platform capable of undertaking a variety of tasks and missions spanning the full spectrum of maritime warfare, she can carry and

operated two multi-role helicopters. INS Chennai is propelled by a powerful combined gas and propulsion plant consisting of four reversible gas turbines. Her very high level of automation with sophisticated digital networks on board includes ATM-based integrated ship data network, combat management systems, automatic power management system and auxiliary control system. The ship’s crest depicts the outline of the iconic Fort St George of Chennai in the background, a part of the adjacent beach and a sloop on blue and white waves. The crew of the ship abides by the Sanskrit motto ‘Shatro Sanharaka’ meaning Vanquisher of Enemies, epitomizing the warrior spirit and strong resolve to prevail and succeed in combat. -timesofindia.com

Sensex Closes 385 Points Down on Fund Outflows, Fed Rate Hike Fears MUMBAI: Continuing its losing

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streak for sixth straight day, Sensex on Monday crashed 385 points to hit a six-month low of 25,765.14 following sustained foreign outflows amid uncertainty about the economic impact of demonetisation move. Besides, the rupee trading at almost six-month low against the dollar at 68.27 (intra-day) and an imminent hike in US rate in December too forced participants to adopt a cautious stance. Sentiment was downbeat by the government’s move to withdraw higher-denomination currency notes, which is expected to drag down gross domestic product growth from last fiscal’s 7.6% , while corporate earnings too might see fall notably in the current quarter. Also, fears that rising US bond yields since Donald Trump’s election to president could accelerate fund outflows from emerging markets, hurting trading sentiments. The 30-scrip gauge resumed higher, but ended lower by 385.10 points, or 1.47% , at 25,765.14—its lowest since 24 May. Intra-day, it shuttled between 26,270.28 and 25,717.93. The gauge has now fallen by 1,752.54 points in the six sessions on persistent capital outflows by foreign funds amid lingering worries about the economic impact of demonetisation. “There will be fewer investors carrying long positions into next month as compared to the previous three months,” said R K Gupta, managing director of Taurus Asset Management. “The markets are likely to remain volatile over the next two weeks and it won’t be surprising

Bombay Stock Exchange

to see the Nifty fall to 7,700 levels,” he added. The 50-share NSE Nifty tumbled 145 points, or 1.80% , to end well below the 8,000-mark at 7,929.10, its lowest level since 24 May. It moved between 8,102.45 and 7,916.40 during the session. Financial and auto stocks led the decline, accounting for two-thirds of the NSE index’s fall, with State Bank of India and ICICI Bank, remaining the major laggards. As many as 25 Sensex stocks closed with losses. Selling pressure was so strong, all the sectoral indices led by realty, metal and PSU, falling by up to 4.71%. Broader markets, too, remained under pressure, with the BSE small-cap index declining 3.16% and the mid-cap 2.80%.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs926.32 crores last Friday, provisional data showed. On the other hand, at other Asian bourses, Japanese stocks extended their recent rally and gained 0.77% as the dollar consolidated gains against the yen, with investors betting on a US interest rate rise next month. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.06%, while Shanghai Composite up 0.79%. However, European markets were down in their late morning trade, reversing initial gains with Frankfurt’s DAX 30 falling 0.45%, the Paris CAC 40 shed 0.36%, while London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index eased 0.19%. -livemint.com


November 25, 2016




November 25, 2016


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