E newspaper 11172017

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Friday, November 17, 2017 • Vol. 36, No. 45

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November 17, 2017


Friday, November 17, 2017 | Vol. 36, No. 45


Indo American News

www.indoamerican-news.com Published weekly from Houston, TX

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Fabricating the Future of Engineering & Architecture

In Time, True Love Wins Always!

P3 P5

ASIE Board Member Madhu Kilambi (left), ASIE President Dinesh D. Shah, ASIE Class of 2017 award recipients Harish Jajoo, Rashmi Desai, and Ramesh Maini, and ASIE Life Time Member Ben Bansal at the annual holiday event on Saturday, November 11, at India House.

Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation’s Glittering Gala

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This Week Inside

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Ashok Danda, Chair of US Board of Directors (left); Subhash Gupta, Chair, Board of Advisors; Chirag Patel, Co-CEO & Chairman of Amneal Pharmaceuticals; Mohan Wanchoo, Chairman of Gala and Founder of EC Infosystems; Rajesh Gooty, Founder, Pres.-CEO of M Corp; Subhash Chandra, Chair Zee TV; Bajrang Bagra, Ekal India CEO; Laxmi Goyal, Chairman, BLSP; and Naresh Kumar, BLSP at the fundraising gala on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Cipriani Banquet Hall in New York.

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November 17, 2017



November 17, 2017

A Journey Through Indian Art, History Recounted in the Lives of Forlorn Lovers



STAFFORD: It was a Bollywood

inspired story of lovers who meet by chance and then just as easily, almost lose each other only to realize, just in time, the lessons of true love and make the fateful decision to be with other. This story that has been recounted often in the passage of time by lovers throughout the history of India, with well-known tales of historical figures like Shah Jahan who created the Taj Mahal and even in Indian folklore in the lives of Heer and Ranjha, Laila and Majnu and many more across the cultural map of the Subcontinent. And this same genre was depicted on stage to show not only the power of love, oft times snatched away by others or circumstances, in the lives of six popular historical figures and lovers. Keka Kar, the indefatigable and talented local artist from Katy, and her equally versatile husband Stayajeet (better known as Jeet), presented their production of Waqt ke Safar Mein Kahin (Somewhere in Time) at the Old Stafford Civic Center this past Saturday, November 11. The pair have created a visually stunning and captivating dance musical using acclaimed dancers, choreographers and musicians from India and mingled them with young budding and aspiring performance students from Taylor High School in Katy where Keka teaches. The mix of Indian semiclassical, with Bollywood flair, contemporary American Waltz and Latino Swing performed by Indian and American dancers was exquisite, graceful and exciting to watch. “We settled on this style last year when we presented “Fisherman and His Soul” based on a story by Oscar Wilde,” Keka explained a couple of days afterwards. “But this year, we developed our own story line and came up with original music, adaptations of songs, dances and visuals. We had most of the pre-production visuals, videos and narration professionally produced in India.” Whereas last year’s show was performed to raise money for the Lilli Curry Memorial Fund, proceeds from the show held once again at the same venue to a sold out audience

Backstage after the performance, from left, Arshia Rosaleen, Keka Kar, Shouvik Chakraborty and Madhuka Dutta

Kinjal Chatterjee performed his first number with enthusiastic student dancers and Abhishek Banerjee (in cap) backing him up Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

of 900, went to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts and Childhood Cancer Research. The story centers around a young American man, Justin, of mixed ancestry, who returns from a tour of duty fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Haunted by his experiences, he struggles to cope and his Indian mother advises him to travel to India to learn about the ancient culture and history. On the plane he meets an Indian girl, Lolita, returning after finishing her education in the US and she tells him tales from India’s past, focusing on the love stories of Amarapali, Anarkali and Saleem, Jodha and Akbar, Shah Jahan and Mumtaz, Bajirao and Mastani and the fictional characters Devdas and Paro. In the end, Justin falls for Lolita, who reveals she is to be married shortly, but she finally realizes her future lies with him and flies to him in the US. As the couple walk across stage between scenes, the tales are played out by the dancers, frequently led by Bengali per-

formers Arshia Rosaleen, Madhuka Dutta and Shouvik Chakraborty with music especially created with original interpretations by Somnath Chakraborty and background Hindi movie songs (some sang by Keka and Jeet). Meanwhile, on the gigantic backdrop video screen as wide as the stage and eight feet high, photos from historical sites and video clips from related Bollywood movies of yore like Mughal-e-Azam and more recent like Jodha Akbar were shown. A deep male voice narrated the events in Hindi, with captions printed out in English at the base of the video screen. The experience was mesmerizing and engrossing as the six love stories unfold in 11 dance segments, in one of which Keka, a Kathak trained artist, performs. A few numbers are performed entirely by non-Indian students from Taylor High who completely meld into their personas as luxuriously attired Indian princelings and dancers in colorful costumes and intricate movements and they alternated scenes and dance numbers with Indian female dancers as the stories unraveled. Two scenes

A dance sequence from the show featuring Taylor High Schools dancers

Shouvik Chakraborty in the first dance segment.

featured an American inspired waltz and a Latino dance with yellow and deep blue swirling skirts. But the evening was stolen by the three Bengali dancers, and especially Shouvik Chakraborty who not only looked as if he was totally relaxed and enjoying himself, but brought the rest of the dancers together by his stage presence, while the beautiful and equally radiant and poised Arshia Rosaleen and Madhuka Dutta held their end of the pas de trois. It must be noted that the lighting and complex video mixing and controls was done by Sage Productions while the masterful sound quality and controls was by always energetic perfectionist Darshak Thacker of Krishna Sounds who would scramble onstage to fix any errant issues. After the heady conclusion to the first half of the show, and a brief 30-minute intermission, the evening belonged to Kinjal Chatterjee who also performed at the show last year. Kinjal is the winner of Zee Bangla Sa-Re-Ga MaPa 2010 and also performed at

Photos: Jasleen Kaur

the North American Bengali Convention in Houston in 2015. “It feels like a homecoming for me,” quipped the young singer with his burly hair, and a dark Nehru jacket wore strode onstage to an quick number with energetic dancers from Taylor HS led by local dynamo Abhishek Banerjee who also played a bit part in the previous show. “Performing music is like being a chef - I cater to all tastes,” he quipped as he dove into a theme of popular love songs from the 60s to the present, often accompanying himself on a guitar. He played to the audience’s tastes, and many times, they sang along or ended the verses of some popular numbers like Chaudvin ka Chand Ho, Kabhi Kabhi and Woh Sham Ajeeb Thi. He also sang an original number released for the first time by music composer Somnath Chakraborty who accompanied him onstage on the rhythm guitar, while Jyoti Prokaah of California played the tabla.



November 17, 2017


November 17, 2017 5 COMMUNITY A Remarkable Holiday Event By ASIE BY VANSHIKA VIPIN VARMA


The American Society of Indian Engineers and Architects (ASIE) held its Annual Holiday Event on Saturday, November 11, at India House. Founded in Houston in 1994, the non-profit organization aims at assisting young engineers and architects of Indian origin. ASIE aims at facilitating networking, help develop better communication and management skills and provide opportunities for networking and career enhancement through continuing educational seminars, workshops and field trips. And this year has been quite successful, thanks to the leadership of the President Dinesh D. Shah joined by the young Board of Directors. The spectacular annual holiday event was a way to rejoice and appreciate the talents and the forces involved, and recognize engineers and architects. India House was decorated aptly to suit the holiday festive theme. The event started with a networking and social hour. ASIE Board Director, Chaitanya Gampa, who also acted as Emcee and Event Chair, warmly welcomed the 250 plus audience, who seemed eager and anxious for the event to begin. In his welcome note, ASIE President Dinesh Shah mentioned, “Look at any item and any structure around you that are an integral part of our existence. They are all invented and designed by Engineers and Architects”. He further stated, “Doctors, Scientists, Attorneys or any other professionals could not function without Engineers and Architects. At ASIE, we understand and appreciate the significant value of Engineers and Architects and that is why this year again, it is time for ASIE to recognize a few eminent Engineers and Architects”. Shah also highlighted a very important fact in his speech. He mentioned that there are many students who cannot afford paying tuition fees and bear their expenses to earn a degree in engineering

Student Scholarship Program winners in the center with ASIE Members.

Dinesh D. Shah (left), Young Engineer of the Year 2018 Award recipient Sirish Madichetti, and H H Doshi.

Mime Dance performed by ASIE Current & Past Presidents.

Photos: Navin Mediwala

Lungi Dance performed by ASIE members.

Live auction by Dr. Nik Nikam

or architecture, and that ASIE believes in helping such students. He shared his personal story, that how he could not fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor due to lack of funds, but he confessed that he does not regret due to his successful business career today. He also

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did mention about the successful events ASIE conducted this year, like monthly seminars, volunteering or supporting U of H Gala, MathCounts completion, Science and Engineering Fair of Houston (SEFH) and also participating with Indo-American Community.

He appreciated the support of the Board of Directors and thanked each one of them. The ambitious ASIE members then sparked some creative fun ‘n’ frolic, as it was then time for nonstop entertainment. This segment kicked off with a funny skit about

finding the right groom for an engineer boy. The act by talented ASIE members Rajesh Tanwani, Bhavana, Chaitanya, Archana, Poolkeshi and Poonam was so convincing that it left the audiences in splits. This satire was followed by the awards ceremony for Class of 2017. ASIE Board Member Madhu Kilambi shared the interesting history of ‘ASIE Class of the Year Award’ and mentioned, “ASIE is recognizing Senior IndoAmerican professionals in Greater Houston Area, who contributed significantly to the Engineering and Architecture field. Tonight, we are honoring three individuals with their induction into ASIE Class of 2017. They all share one common thing and that is their dedication to their disciplines. Their enthusiasm and commitment has resulted in decades of creativity and thousands of projects worldwide. They are true role models and inspiration for students and young professionals accelerating in their engineering or architectural careers.” Madhu then introduced the three honorees- Architect Rashmi Desai and Engineers Ramesh Maini and Harish Jajoo. Each one of these

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November 17, 2017

Ekal Vidyalaya Raises $2 Million at New York City Gala to Fund Rural Education BY RANJANI SAIGAL

NEW YORK: Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation,

the largest non-profit organization working to bring education and development to over 58,000 rural remote villages in India, hosted a fundraising gala on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the ‘Cipriani Banquet Hall’ in the Wall Street area of New York City. The gala attracted community leaders from around the US and helped raise over $2 million. The event featured inspirational keynotes by Dr. Subhash Chandra, founder of Zee TV, who is the Chairman of Ekal Global, and Mitze Perdue, motivational speaker and heiress to the Sheraton Hotel and Perdue Farms businesses. The event was the brainchild of Ekal supporter Mohan Wanchoo, CEO of EC Infosystems, who worked with a small core team to create this event. Chirag Patel, CoCEO & Chairman of Amneal Pharmaceuticals, came in as the first co-chair for the event and helped shape the event. Other co-chairs for the event included Soner Kanlier, CEO Jasmine Universe, Rajesh Gooty CEO M-Corp Inc, Chintu Patel Co-CEO & Chairman of Amneal Pharmaceuticals, and Gautam Patel, Managing Director, Tarsadia Investments. The star-studded guest list included Rajat Gupta, ex-CEO of McKinsey; Akhil Gupta, the former CEO of Blackstone India; Robyn Meredith, Sundaram Tagore and others. Over 20 people had traveled all the way from Houston to attend the event. The Houston attendees included Ramesh Shah, winner of the Pravasi Bharatiya Sam-

man and the founder of Ekal USA, Ashok Danda, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ekal USA, and several Ekal supporters, including Swapnil Agarwal, CEO of Nithya Capital. In the opening segment the “Apna Ekal Hoga Na, a special song created for Ekal, was released. The song was created for Ekal by Anuradha Palakurthi and featured musicians from around the world. A youth panel, featuring Nikita Minocha, Nandini Seetharaman and Rithvik Pothapragda, and coordinated by Anuradha Upneja, Ekal Youth Leaders Director from New England, followed the song release. The youth described their experiences visiting Ekal villages. The highlight of the event was an auction

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that helped raise over $2 million. Three generous donors – Chirag Patel, Ajay/Ranjini Poddar, Sant Singh Chatwal – each donated $250,000 each. “The gala in NYC was simply magnificent. It was attended by many eminent personalities. The collection at the gala exceeded our expectation”, said Subhash Gupta, Chairman, Board of Advisors for Ekal. For long-time Ekal supporter Vijay Pallod, the event was truly memorable. “I had never seen so many donors raising their hand to donate large sums. I was delighted to have Dr. Subhash Chandra personally sign my

copy of his book: The Z Factor: My Journey as the Wrong Man at the Right Time,” said Pallod. “New York Gala is really beginning of a new chapter for Ekal Vidyalaya in USA, said Ashok Danda. The event ended with the honoring of Mohan Wanchoo by Ekal India team to thank him for all of his efforts on behalf of Ekal. Dr. Subhash Chandra applauded Ekal efforts and said he looked forward to seeing Ekal USA expand its outreach and support the efforts of Ekal India so that Ekal India could reach 100,000 villages.

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November 17, 2017

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November 17, 2017


Hindu Temple of The Woodlands Annual Fundraiser Features Musical Night BY SUVEENA GUGLANI


he Woodlands: The Hindu Temple of The Woodlands’ annual fundraiser, Kashish - A musical night, was a sold-out, standing room only event. Over 300 people enjoyd the music and participated in the festivities at Beth Shalom of the Woodlands on Sunday, Nov 11,, 2017. The evening began with a welcome speech by Chairman Jagan Allam. The goal of the event was to make the temple debt free and by the end of the night, President Mukesh Mittal announced that the goal had not only been met but also exceeded. CG Anupam Ray graced the event and remarked on the continuing partnership between The Woodlands community and its Houston counterpart. Dr. Ray went on to mention that success of the recent International Yoga Day, jointly conducted by the HTW Yoga team led by Dr. Neeta Shukla, and the Consul General of India and the positive synergy between the two entities. HTW executive secretary, Sudharsan Arunachalam, along with Religious Chair Srinivas Vedala and Youth Activity Coordinator Ajitha Anand, then gave a brief synopsis on the state of the HTW and its activities. Ram and Vani

Desabhotla emceed the event. Ram is an outstanding senior at The John Cooper High school and recently gave a TED talk on the

“Historical Distortion of Ancient India.” Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Contestant Salil Bhadekar, now a Houston resident,

opened the show to a rousing rendition of Shri Ganesha Deva. The highlight of the evening was a live auction conducted by Dr. Subodh Bhuchar, who divided up the auction into Woodlands vs. Sugarland, and in so doing raised the competitive spirit of the live auction. The live auction netted HTW at least 10% of the fundraiser’s collections. The guest of honor, Latha Ramchand, Dean at the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston gave an inspirational speech on the spirit that it takes to succeed and build a Hindu

community with Hindu values in a foreign land. The guests enjoyed a sumptuous dinner catered by Mogul Restaurant and enjoyed the evening’s entertainment with Salil Bhadekar and his troupe. He kept the audience entertained with his melodious voice and old and new melodies. The Hindu Temple of the Woodlands (HTW) was envisioned in 2005 by Hindu residents of The Woodlands. Today, HTW is a fully functioning Hindu temple, fulfilling religious needs, promoting service in the community, involving youth and bringing together myriad of cultures. Following the motto, ‘We live here, we give here,’ HTW enthusiastically participates in serving the Montgomery County Food Bank and Montgomery County Women’s Center. With the rapid growth in the Indian community in the area, there is an urgent need for the temple to expand its infrastructure and activities. Future projects include construction of a community hall, classrooms to facilitate education, parking lot extension, Indianization of the temple, and building a Rajagopuram. For more information about the Hindu Temple and its activities please visit www.woodlandshindutemple.org


10 November 17, 2017


Arya Samaj Greater Houston Donates to Houston Habitat for Humanity BY KANIKA TALWAR


Jacklyn’s family, who lives in the 59-S / Tidwell, Houston area, was hosting a television event with 25 guests during the weekend of the highly destructive rainstorm Harvey. Little did they realize that in mere hours, their home and their guests’ cars parked would suddenly be flooded. Jacklyn and her three kids had their home ripped away from them as it fell under the power of the hurricane. They were forced to quickly get acclimated to temporary crowded housing and a new school for the kids. This move caused much anxiety, financial loss, and a complicated future ahead for the children. Houston Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit local organization helping hard-working, low income families impacted by Harvey to get back on their feet. The organization provides zero-interest mortgage loans to first time home buyers to build affordable homes for low income Houstonians, with the help of local volunteer support. It all started with visit from a young man Jacob Starr of Habitat for Humanity to Arya Samaj a few weeks ago. He explained their simple mission: ‘Everyone

Photos: Aditya Talwar

deserves a Home’, and how they go about achieving their objective with the help of the community. His brief talk inspired Arya Samaj

members to sign up immediately for next volunteering opportunity. Arya Samaj motto ‘ “Krinvanto Vishwam Aryam” meaning “To

Make the World Noble”, perfectly aligns with Habitat for Humanity objectives. Arya Samaj of Greater Houston (ASGH) , under the guidance of Anil Gupta ji, worked with Houston Habitat to help out in signing up, volunteering, raising funds to buy materials, and helping build a new home for Jacklyn and her family. ASGH’s strong team of 30 members, including their 10 youth members of Arya Kishor Mandal (AKM), signed up to help build this new house on November 11th at 8700 Texas Acorn Drive in Tidwell, an area which fortunately did not flood. Taking up this field work was a completely unique and first time experience for most of the ASGH

team. ASGH’s enthusiastic team members, including the AKM youth members, homemakers, engineers, accountants, and dedicated professionals, arrived at 7:30 AM sharp to the new home site under construction. The purpose and safety of the project was clearly explained in the beginning by the Houston Habitat volunteers. The team started working with safety, good cooperation, constant leadership, and communication in lifting, moving, and installing heavy roof girders on top of the new home structure quickly. Everyone came together to join forces and complete the roof work right on sched-




November 17, 2017

Fotofest 2018 Biennial to Focus on India

HOUSTON: The FotoFest 2018

Biennial will focus on India with the theme: INDIA: Contemporary Photographic and New Media Art The exhibitions will be on display March 10-April 22, 2018 in Houston across Sawyer Yards in the Washington Avenue Art District and at the Asia Society Texas Center. Concurrently, art exhibits featuring India will also be on view at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Museum of Fine Arts and 100 other leading art mueaums, art galleries and art spaces throughout the city. The 2018 Biennial will be staged by Lead Curator Sunil Gupta with FotoFest Executive Director Steven Evans. Mr. Gupta is an artist, writer, activist and curator. His work has been shown internationally in over 90 solo exhibitions, most recently at Yale University. He is currently the visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art in London. “This exhibit will address the legacy of the last 20 years,” said

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Gupta. “It has been a period when photography and moving image media have been consistently included within the exhibitions of fine art.” Last Tuesday, Nov. 6, Gupta displayed a slide presention at the

Asia Society of many of the photographs that will be in the biennial, including the works of fine artists, journalists and social activists in India and its global diaspora.

Suranga Cholia

DiTusa and Neuberger Berman. Cholia said she was interested in painting since childhood, but had taken up the avocation recently after a gap of 30 years. Her paintings are diverse, including still life, portraiture and Indian ruralscapes.

3 at India House, 8888 West Belfort, Houston TX 77031 at 2pm followed by the General elections. All life members are invited to

ule and then proceeded to install nails all around the walls of the house (6 inches apart all over the home to the city code so that they would pass inspection). Lunch was sponsored by Subway for the entire team courtesy Dinesh Agrawal ji, and all the tools and equipment were put back safely and neatly for the next group of volunteers. With new permanent homes built by the loving hands of Houston Habitat for Humanity, children of families displaced by flooding

have their rightful chance for a brighter future, including the relief of staying in their same familiar schools. Families moving into these homes put in up to 300 hours of exhausting physical work, learning about maintenance of the home, and financial planning to pay for them. Arya Samaj of Greater Houston raised $5000 in just a few weeks to buy materials for new home. Families will return to their lives much quicker, and a higher percentage of these kids will be able to graduate from high school and then go on to college

join in. For more information you may reach the President Dr. Falguni Gandhi at 281-844-4604 or visit www. icchoustontx. org to become successful members of society than they would have been without Habitat for H u m a n i t y ’s care. Visit ASGH website at http://aryasamajhouston.org/ or like them on https://www. facebook.com/ AryaSamajOfGreaterHouston/


Shri Lakshmi Puja Hindu Wedding Markand Puja Engagement Shri Ganpati Puja Simant Laghu Rudra Vastu Shanti Mundan Sanskar Navchandi Puja Shanti Havan Shri Gayatri Havan Shri Satyanarayan Puja

The lead curator for FotoFest 2018 Biennial on India is Sunil Gupta, who made a presentation at Asia Society about the upcoming exhibit. Photo: Os Galindo.

Arya Samaj Greater Houston Donates to Houston Habitat for Humanity CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10

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November 17, 2017



14 November 17, 2017

Anil Ketkar: Retiring Amongst the Stars




OUSTON: Retirement can be challenging for many. After a career full of work on complex projects, traveling at a short notice for business, and stressful deadlines, it can feel empty to face long days and nights with little to do. One recent retiree, who has no such issues, is Anil Ketkar. After a long career with several international oil companies, and working abroad in the Far East, Anil is spending his retirement in Missouri City, thinking not in terms of days or weeks, but light years, as an amateur astronomer. “I became interested in astronomy during my college years,” explained Anil. “Since then, I’ve continued to learn more and more about astronomy, and in particular, Astrophotography, which is focused on acquisition and image processing of images of astronomical objects.” Anil uses an 80-mm SkyWatcher refractor telescope with a relatively short focal length of 600 mm, which allows him to image faraway galaxies, but it pales in comparison to the 1,500-mm Mt. Palomar telescope at Caltech, and the 2,400-mm Hubble telescope that is orbiting in space. Anil captures photos from his telescope via a Nikon D5300 SLR camera. Despite the technical limitations of his telescope, Anil is able to produce remarkable images. He uses a variety of filters that are designed enhance the view. For instance, he

Anil Ketkar is seen with his telescope setup in the backyard of his home.

In September, Anil posted his image of the Trifid nebula (M20) in the Sagittarius constellation, 5,000 light years from the Earth.

has a SkyGlow Imaging filter that is designed to reduce the effects of minimizing light pollution in his backyard. Secondly, his telescope has a tracking mechanism to follow a Picture on right: In August, Anil took this “diamond ring” image of the solar eclipse.

constellation overnight to bring in as much astronomical light as possible. He takes over 50 sub-exposures and “stacks” them via computer software to create a brighter image. The solar eclipse in August was of special interest to Anil. He and his wife Koumudi made a special trip to Nashville, Tennessee to view the total (100%) solar eclipse. Both Koumudi and their son Sameer share Anil’s enthusiasm for astronomy, and Sameer is a valued contributor in setting up the telescope and subsequent image acquisition and processing. Koumudi has a concurrent interest in jewellery design and manufacturing. At their home, Koumudi’s jewellery enterprise takes over the breakfast area and is somewhat removed from Anil’s astronomy equipment in the dining room. The Ketkar family enjoys sharing their astronomical interest and knowledge with relatives and friends. Anil also posts his images regularly on Facebook. At a recent family gathering, the guests—both young children and seniors—were thrilled to glance through the telescope to see rings around Saturn and craters on the moon. Astronomy may not be for everyone, but Anil’s interest in Astro- photography is a prime example of how to keep mind and body active during retirement.

Indian Astonomers Discover Massive Galaxy Supercluster


UNE (The Hindu): A group of Indian astronomers have discovered a massive supercluster of galaxies, and have named it Saraswati. The supercluster is about 4 billion light years away and spreads over a “great wall” about 600 million light years across. This makes it one of the largest superclusters to be discovered and also the furthest. The astronomers belong to InterUniversity Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Pune, besides NIT, Jamshedpur and Newman College, Thodupuzha. “It is the first time that we have seen a supercluster that is so far away,” says Somak Raychaudhury, Director of IUCAA. Prof. Raychaudhury was part of the team that discovered Shapley, named after American astronomer Harlow Shapley. “We have a habit of naming galaxies after rivers; the Milky Way is referred to as Akash Ganga. So we thought of naming this supercluster after the ancient river Saraswati,” says Prof. Raychaudhury.

An extremely large supercluster of galaxies, as big as 20 million billion suns, has been discovered by a team of Indian astronomers.



November 17, 2017

Sewa International Gets Major Disaster Relief Grant

HOUSTON: Sewa International

has been awarded a $397,590 grant by the Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF) in its second round of grants announced today. GHCF, which has raised more than $80 million for the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, had strict criteria in evaluating grant proposals, and a very quick seven-day grant announcement to grant submission on October 20, 2017. The Sewa International team was led by Sewa Houston Chapter’s President Gitesh Desai, and included Achalesh Amar, and Vasudev Singh who were in turn supported by the grant writing team headed by Kavita Tewary. The grant writing team included Anuja Deshpande, Hasita Kartick, and Jaydeep Chaudhari, and was advised by Prof. Sree Sreenath, President, Sewa International. “We are excited”, said Gitesh Desai as they got the email from GHFC late last week announcing the second round of grant awards. “Sewa International has broken through a barrier of sorts in receiving such a major grant for offering

Disaster Case Management Services to Greater Houston Community that includes Houston and Harris county. We are proud of our work, but we are also anxious to start offering the services we have been tasked to deliver,” he said. What the Sewa International Team, led by a project manager and assisted by 20 Case Workers, will do is to identify and assist 600 clients in assessing their “individual/family needs resulting from a specific disaster event, help them develop a recovery plan, and screen for duplication of benefits and provide them access to re-

sources for their unmet needs”. The grant money that Sewa received today will have to be spent over the next four months. As per the grant guidelines, Sewa has to begin providing disaster case management services within 30 days or less of receiving funding. “This is a kind of ‘get set, ready, go’ kind of challenge and opportunity for us”, said Kavita Tewary, Executive Director of Sewa Houston who spearheaded the grant writing “We want to spend this money wisely, correctly, and carefully, and do it all within the next four months so that Sewa International will emerge as a reliable, trustworthy organization that can seek other such grants for disaster relief work across the United States and around the world. We will make Sewa proud and we will, as a Hindu faith-based organization will make Indo-Americans proud. We indeed believe serving humanity is serving divinity.” she said. For questions about the grant, please contact Kavita Tewary at educationhouston@sewausa.org or 713-303-4253



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A Remarkable Holiday Event By ASIE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 accomplished and brilliant individuals were then presented with an award of ‘ASIE Class 2017’. Retired professional engineer, Ben Bansal, who started this program in 2013, handed the awards to the recipients. Those who reckoned the entertainment segment was done with had a rocking surprise in store, and what followed next left them foot-tapping and grooving. It was the sensational Lungi Dance, performed by four young and enthusiastic engineers, Raj, Naresh, Aravind, and Vamshi. This act, and many others that mesmerized the audiences this evening, entirely changed the perception that engineers and architects are ‘serious kind of people’. The award ceremony that followed next was to honor ‘ASIE 2018 Young Engineer/Architect of the Year’. The ASIE Vice President Chetan Vyas, the selection committee Chair was out of town hence the President, Dinesh Shah, announced the name of winner. Hasmukh Doshi, the First ASIE President, handed over this prestigious award to Sirish Madichetti. Madichetti, a professional licensed engineer works for Baker International. As a Board member and IT/Website committee chair this year, he has been consistently involved with various ASIE activities for last couple of years. Sirish will represent ASIE during Eweek celebrations during February 2018. The evening was

full of surprises and acts that fascinated and captivated the crowd. The current and past Presidents of ASIE performed the Mime Dance sequences, which was truly compelling and humorous. Each one of the board members, Dinesh Shah, Rajesh Tanwani, Lagnesh Varshney, Shekar Amadapudi and Raj Chugh did their best in a chuckle some and hilarious way. Lagnesh had also earlier sung a solo Pal pal dil ke paas. The beguiling acts were followed by a brief history of this remarkable program, shared in the form of a grasping story, narrated by the past President Naresh Kolli. He shared a glimpse of his exciting journey as a Chair of the ASIE Student Scholarship Program. The spellbinding journey of this program through the last twenty years enlightened the audiences with the facts and figures. Kolli mentioned that this year ASIE has chosen a total of six scholarships, totaling to $8,000 including four of $1500 each, and two of $1,000 each. The student list included Tanmay Thakker (an Architect student), Bhavik Desai (from Civil Engineering), Pritam Deshraj (Masters in Engineering Management), Parth Joshi (MS in Electrical Engineering), Neeti Gangidi (MS in Subsea Engineering), Tejashree Phatak (PhD at U of H under Dr. Vipu). The award ceremony set-up was then transformed into an engaging live-auction framework where Dr.

Nik Nikam, joined by the Emcee, conducted the live auction for the Mont Blanc pen that was donated by Karat 22. The raffle draw with cool goodies as give-aways, thoroughly entertained the audience, while it helped raise a good amount of money for student scholarships. Scrumptious food really makes spectacular events like these swing and ‘Hyderabad House’ truly did a marvelous job of serving delectable meals. The scrummy food was complimented with a soothing chord instrument played by Avinash Patel. He played the instrumental music to “name the tune”, and winners were rewarded with gift certificates donated generously by local retail businesses. After the hearty meal, Ravi Arora briefly communicated about the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston (SEFH), and the certificate of Recognition was presented to the winner, Zeel Engineer. The event ended with Board Member Archana Sharma giving the vote of thanks. The exhilarating evening had everyone in smiles. The radiant venue graced by talented stars of the future, the extravaganza complimented with savoury cuisine and the tireless efforts by ASIE program team, helped the event to triumph. For details on ASIE please visit www.asiehouston.org

68th Annual HEB Thanksgiving Day Parade

HOUSTON: Join Thanksgiving morning, November 23, 2017, at 9:00 a.m., for the H-E-B Thanks-

giving Day Parade. The Parade is located in downtown Houston and is free for all. The Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade began in 1949, when Santa arrived at Union Station and rode his sleigh to the downtown Foley’s. Since then, the Thanksgiving Day parade has gone through a few changes but today, it remains a 68 year-old holiday tradition showcasing the Houston community and entertaining parade-goers lining the streets on Thanksgiving morning. Join this year as we embrace the holiday spirit on Thursday, November 23, 2017 with the 68th Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade. The 68th Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade is produced by the Mayor’s Office of Special Events, Susan Christian, Director and Parade Producer. -houstontx.gov


November 17, 2017


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18 November 17, 2017 Indian Students in US Universities

Many call Indians in Amer-

ica the model minority. Their success is most visible in the tech field where Indians have both ascended to the top of the biggest firms and have founded an estimated 10-20% of Silicon Valley startups. Belonging to communities that encourage education strongly is a key explanation for their outperformance. But there are troubling signs that unfair barriers are being raised against the entry of Indian students into America. The latest Open Doors survey, conducted by the Institute of International Education, shows that though US universities still remain a much favored destination, the percentage of increase in fresh enrollments by Indians halved in 2016-2017 to 12.3% from almost 25% the previous year. Although a mix of global and local economic conditions lies behind this slowing, there is also growing evidence that US universities are pursuing racial balancing and campus diversity expressly at the expense of Indians and otherAsians. For example the US Department of Justice is now following up a complaint by a coalition of 64 Asian-American organisations, that Asian applicants to Harvard need 140, 270 and 450 more SAT points than whites, Hispanics and blacks respectively. Likewise, high-scoring applicants from India face far higher cutoffs than students from less populous countries. According to the Open Doors survey, while India’s rate of growth outpaces China’s, it is China that sends the most students to the US. . In 2016-17 Indian students numbered 1.86 lakh compared to 3.5 lakh Chinese students. Obviously India is yet to make the most of its English-speaking advantage. On the American side, other than the many social contributions of the ‘model minority’, another consideration should be how Indians contribute 17% of total earnings from overseas students in US universities; they could happily contribute much more. Free cross-border flow of intelligent and hard-working people makes the world a better place. Promising as America’s strategic handshake with India is, one of the goods it must deliver is smoothening this flow of human capital. On India’s part the need is to make this point with the Americans while constructing even more fecund bridges with its diaspora. From how American-educated children of the governing class helped push India’s liberalisation in 1991 to the indispensable role of the Indian-American community in the civilian nuclear agreement, the diaspora has played a key role in India’s rise. -- Times of India

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY Black or White, Who Cares


The first anniversary of demon-

etisation last week was marked by absurd claims from both cheerleaders and challengers. Social media had fun mocking both sides. The Finance Minister’s claim that it was an ‘ethical, moral’ step came in for jeers, as did former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s assertion (repeated ad nauseum) that what happened on November 8 last year was ‘organised loot and legalised plunder.’ A WhatsApp cartoon of the good doctor shutting his mouth, ears and eyes to the 2G, coal and CWG scams and screaming ‘loot, loot, loot’ over demonetisation went viral. Have no fear, dear readers, I have no intention of discussing ever again in this column the cancellation of 86 per cent of our currency or its consequences. The subject bores me now, as it does most people I meet on my travels in our ancient land. We must hope that after this current round of elections the Prime Minister will stop defending what he did, because every time he does, he adds menacingly that he will not spare corrupt politicians and hoarders of black money. What he appears not to have noticed is that officials entrusted with this hunt for black money are famous for their own love of it. This is something that remains a deeply guarded secret usually, but every now and then, the tax department raids one of its own and out of secret lockers and ‘benami’ apartments tumble riches beyond the dreams of most rich Indians. The Prime Minister and his colleagues in the government and in the BJP have spent much time exulting over the World Bank moving India up 30 notches in its annual report on the ease of doing business, but everyone concedes that new jobs are not being created. For this to happen, private investors need to start investing their money in new businesses, and it should not matter whether their money is black or white. As Deng Xiaoping famously said, ‘It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice’. Now let me move on to a subject that I have talked of often in this column and will continue to do so. I do

Everyone concedes that new jobs are not being created. For this to happen, private investors need to start investing their money in new businesses, and it should not matter whether their money is black or white. this to remind our political leaders that some of us know where black money really exists in abundance. It oils the wheels of India’s election machinery. Having covered many, many elections in long years of covering politics and government, believe me when I tell you that it is only at election time that us mere mortals catch a glimpse of real ‘black’ money. Not everybody does, but we who have the dubious privilege of watching elections from a ringside seat certainly do. Here is what happens. When political parties finish choosing their candidates, the chosen few line up at party offices to collect whatever little the party bosses can give them for campaigning. This is always in cash because political parties always collect most of their funds in cash from businessmen, big and small, who always pay in cash, not digitally or by cheque. In recent years, some businessmen who like to boast about being ‘moral and ethical’ have made donations by cheque, but this remains a rare occurrence. Usually what the candidates get from the party is a fraction of what they need, so then they start urging their friends and supporters to help them in any way they can. These contributions also always come in bundles of cash, which get stashed away in secret cupboards that only the candidate has access to. I have

personally seen these stashes in the homes of the most honest politicians I know. When I say ‘honest’, I mean those that count among that small handful of our political class that have genuinely come into politics with the idea of public service. Sadly these days most Indian politicians enter public life with the idea of becoming rich quickly without bothering to get a regular job or risking investment in some entrepreneurial venture. Politics is the easiest and least risky way of making money in India. The only risk is that of losing an election, and experienced politicians have learned to read the wind, so when they sense defeat, they stop wasting money on campaigning and save what they have collected for some other political purpose. Corrupt politicians spend what they save on cars, jewels and real-estate, and honest ones save it for a future campaign. This is the real story of ‘black’ money in India, and it is obvious that this story is not going to change much in the near future. So dear Prime Minister, if you want to create the 12 million jobs young Indians need every year, then it could be time to pay attention to the wise advice of Uncle Deng. It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice. -- Indian Express


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November 17, 2017


Indian Americans Storm in with the New Election Cycle BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA


hen the national elections last year brought in four new Indian American faces into political prominence, it was considered a high water mark for the community as a whole. At that time Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Rohit “Ro” Khanna from California and Pramila Jayapal of Washington joined the US House of Representatives and Kamala Harris, of mixed Indian and Black heritage, of California joined the US Senate. They joined fellow Democrats 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. A similar dynamic followed through in the recent elections two weeks ago on November 8, with many new Indian Americans taking office in positions of less prominence, but no less significant. Most significantly, in Washington state, Manka Dhingra of Redmond (a suburb east of Seattle) defeated Republican rival Jinyoung Lee Englund in the 45th District state Senate race. The seat became open after incumbent Republican Senator Andy Hill died last fall from cancer. Dhingra will serve the remaining year of Hill’s term, and the seat will be back on the ballot next fall for a full fouryear term. Her election means that Democrats will take control of the state Senate. Democrats have a slim majority in the state House and also hold the Governor’s office. Dhingra, 43, was born in Bhopal, India but moved to California with her mother in 1987 after her father died of colon cancer. She was a Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. She founded the woman’s advocacy group API Chaya in 1996 which deals with domestic violence. She is married to Harjit Singh who works for SpaceX in Redmond. On the East coast, Ravinder Bhalla, 44, a Democrat, won in a six-person mayoral race to become the first turbaned Sikh mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, a city of 50,000 people across the Hudson River from Manhattan. He was endorsed by current Mayor Dawn Zimmer who surprised everyone by announcing that she would not seek a third term. Bhalla served two terms on the Hoboken City Council. It was an ugly race with racist fliers attacking Bhalla for being a terrorist, but his election inspired the Sikh community nationwide. Bhalla was born and raised in New Jersey and is an attorney. He is married to Navneet Patwalia Bhalla and has two children. He also has a cousin, Jaideep Luthra, who lives in Katy. Not far off, in Edison, Falguni Patel won a seat on the school board. Patel and another Chinese candidate were targeted by mailers that read “Make Edison Great Again,” evoking President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, and said “the Chinese and Indians are taking over our town.” It called for the candidates to

Manka Dhingra, State Senator-Elect in Washington State, with her husband Harjit Singh and two kids

Ravinder Singh, Mayor-Elect of Edison, NJ with his wife Navneet and two kids

be deported. Edison has a large AsianAmerican community; more than 45 percent of Edison was born abroad, and about a quarter of the township was born in India. The election brought increased visibility for South Asians as a political force. Another im- Vin Gopal, State Senator-Elect in New Jersey portant victory was the election of Democrat Vin Gopal as a New Jersey state was elected mayor, defeating fellow Senator who flipped the seat from Indian-American Kamal Khanna. Republican incumbent Sen. Jennifer In Somerset County Nishita Desai Beck. Gopal is a former Monmouth of Franklin Township School District County Democratic chairman and and Ranjana R. Rao of Montgomwill serve in the Assembly with Raj ery-Rocky Hill School District won, Mukherji, a Democratic Assembly- while Kiru Thangavelu of Hillsborman who has served since 2014, and ough-Millstone School District lost. happens to be friends with Gopal. In Bergen County, Democrat Arati However, Republican Deepak Mal- Kreibich won her seat on the Glen hotra of District 19 and Democrat Rock council, but Devanshu Modi, a Nirav Patel of District 12 lost their Republican, lost his bid for Harding bid for an Assembly seat. Township Committee. Former Democratic Assemblyman Indian Americans also won in and Deputy Assembly Speaker Up- City Council races in other parts of endra Chivukula, who now serves on the country: Vijay Kapoor, 41, of the Board of Public Utilities, was the Asheville, North Carolina; Seema first South Asian to serve at the state Singh Perez of Knoxville, Tenneslevel, from 2002-2014. see; Democrat Dimple Ajmera, 31, In neighboring Carteret, Jaswinder of Charlotte, North Carolina became Singh Borough lost a three-year term the youngest woman and first Asian council seat, while in Woodbridge, American on City Council; Satwindincumbent councilman Viru Patel, a er Kaur of Kent, Washington; Tanika Democrat from Ward 4, won. And in Padhye of Redmond, Washington reSouth Brunswick, incumbent Deven tained her City Council seat; and Sam Patel won a three-year term seat. Joshi in Edison City, New Jersey. In West Windsor, Hemant Marathe


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Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Ajwain aur Badam Wala Gur (Jaggery & Carom Seeds Coated Almonds)


ith the advent of cold weather, it is the season for sweets, nits and wonderful aromas like this recipe which can fill any dining table for the Thanksgiving feast. Below is a reprint of Mama’s Ajwain aur Badam Wala Gur recipe, which is a favorite snack in winter months. It is reprinted with some additional information and directions. With the bitter cold weather comes the need for foods that can keep you warm, provide nourishment and give a quick boost of energy. In my ancestral town of Lyallpur in Pre-Partitioned India and the rest of the Punjab, Multan and Northwest Frontier areas, the winter cold fronts would come off the Hindu Khush mountains and the wind would go right through your clothes. We would huddle around clay coal pots or inginthis and warm our hands while milky tea would boil and the vegetables for the day would be cooked. In the cold winter mornings when everyone was getting ready for work or late in the evenings when it was dark, just before bedtime, we would often make the ajwain aur badam wala gur (jaggery and carom seeds coated almonds) over the ingithi and eat it after dinner or later with a tall brass glass of hot milk to give us warmth. It is especially a good folk remedy for colds and the flu. People in the Punjab still eat it for its medicinal value, although it has also become available in the markets as a sweet snack during the cold months. Ajwain is a uniquely ancient Indian spice that is often used for medicinal purposes to cure stomach aches or indigestion. The ajwain seed smells almost like thyme but is more aromatic, slightly bitter and stronger in taste and adds a subtle aroma to Indian cuisine, and is an ingredient in chaunk, a mixture of spices used to flavor daals (lentils). Badam (almonds) are also used in many Indian religious ceremonies and figure hugely in Indian cuisine.

They are a rich source of vitamin E, high quality protein and amino acids, as well as a variety of oils and can help lower LDL cholesterol. Gur (jiggery) is an uncentrifuged concentrated sugar made from cane juice, without separation of the molasses. It is usually brown in color and is sold in cone shaped blocks. In India, gur – like almonds - is often used in many Hindu religious ceremonies and a small piece is often eaten raw as a benediction before starting any good work or important new venture or when good news is shared. In folk medicine, gur is considered hot and causes sweating, which allows the body to cool down in the high summer heat. This snack is similar to honey roasted pecans and is quickly devoured. But watch out for calories! Ingredients: • 1 cup gur (rock jaggery) • 1 tsp ajwain (carom seeds) • 1 tsp saund (ginger powder) • 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) • ½ cup badam (almonds). If desired, add more almonds

Directions: 1. Wrap the gur with a soft cloth and then, with a small hammer or rolling pin, break it down into smaller pieces. Similarly, also break the almonds down into smaller pieces. 2. Pour the ghee Into a small kadai, frying pan or wok and warm it up over medium heat. 3. Add the almond pieces and roast them for less than a minute till they turn slightly brown. 4. Add the ajwain and the ginger powder and stir. This will send out a nice aroma that fills up the kitchen! 5. Throw in the broken gur pieces, stir the mixture continuously till the gur is melted but be careful not to burn it. 6. Turn off the heat, keep stirring the mixture and let it cool down before eating. Be careful not to eat right away as it may burn your mouth. Serve in a bowl with a cup of hot tea. 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, India (since renamed Faisalabad) before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her late-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share her delectable Punjabi vegetarian recipes for future generations.



m they cannot remov mon complaints many homeowners have is that e soap scum from new other hard water sta ins from tile or toile ly installed shower doors or t bowls or from th penser area on the re ew fri scrubbing with steel gerator. Many have tried expensive cle ater disansers and wool or even scrapp ing surfaces and only m akes it more vulner them off, which damages the able to more frequen I came across a ve t sta ry daycheapskate.com simple and inexpensive remedy on ww ins. which I am passin w.everyg along. Mix one Dawn dishwashing cup of blue liquid (it has to be blue) into a 32 oz and fill the rest with spray co shake well. Spray th mmon white vinegar. Place the top on bottle, e affected area and w ait 30-minutes or ov and then deposits will break er down and become soft. Simply scrub night. The sponge and rinse of gently with a f. Repeat once a w eek to keep the area clean.

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November 17, 2017

ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS time. By now, we’re well aware of the formula behind Bollywood, When boy meets girl, they fall in love and overcome all their hurdles because in the end - Love conquers all. Oversimplification aside, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a romcom that manages to subvert the route usually taken by these movies. ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’ certainly

Qarib Qarib Singlle A contemporary love story be-

tween two opposite personalities upon an unusual journey, which becomes an adventure of a life-

embarks on the road less traveled, and for the most part, it succeeds. Parvathy makes her Bollywood debut as the unassuming Jaya. The accomplished South Indian actress plays a confident girl-next-door


ailingfromaconservativefamily, Aarti Shukla (Kriti Kharbanda), an educated girl from Kanpur, falls in love with her arranged match Satyendra (Rajkummar Rao). Sattu’s stable government job (clerk in excise dept) and upper class family background impresses her parents; while his humility and liberal thoughts, win over the girl. But the love story takes a drastic turn when Aarti flees on her wedding day, leaving Satyendra at the altar. Fearing she’ll end up as a housewife after marriage, an ambitious Aarti sacrifices her love for Sattu as she chooses career and independence.

who have a stable job and caring friends. Fortunately, co-writer and director Tanuja Chandra chooses not to paint Jaya as a woman who is incomplete without a man. She dresses casually, doesn’t hide under layers of makeup and even breaks the fourth wall to speak directly to us, making her very relatable; even a tad mundane. Grounded in Parvathy’s understated portrayal, Jaya’s backstory reasonably justifies why she would resort to online dating to find a suitable companion. This allows her to take some otherwise questionable decisions when she meets the whirlwind that is Yogi. Irrfan Khan is at his chirpiest here, making Yogi a jovial and carefree person who goes with the addresses various social issues (dowry, bribe, gender equality) in her overstretched and a tad outdated tale, her film is predominantly a romantic

Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana Scarred with rejection, heartbreak and societal humiliation, Sattu becomes a changed man. Years later, fate brings them together. What unfolds forms the story. Though director Ratnaa Sinha

drama that seems inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Class and gender disparity, revenge, jealousy and eternal love - it ticks all boxes. However, unlike Austen’s classic that beautifully captures the sim-

flow. Although his backstory isn’t as clearly outlined as Jaya’s, the actor’s ability to make him endearing is how the character grows on her, and us along the way. With these two strong actors at the helm, the film flies through the first half but begins to meander after the interval. The story largely revolves around revisiting Yogi’s past, and in meeting his exes, we expect to discover what makes him tick. But the screenplay doesn’t give us as much clarity as he, and the secondary characters deserve. The latter are introduced and exit the story before their presence makes much of an overall impact. Some scenes could have easily been left on the floor to make a leaner middle act. This film wouldn’t resonate as mering tension, regret and passion between two former lovers, this one leaves a lot to imagination. What then keeps you engaged despite the rather implausible plot riddled with misunderstandings is some real good performances, led by the very talented Rajkummar Rao. Whatever he touches turns to gold. The film could have been much better than it eventually turns out to be. But if you don’t mind watching a modest family drama, reminiscent of the 90s, you won’t mind being privy to this emotional alliance.


much with lesser skilled actors, and Tanuja Chandra knows this. She lets Irrfan and Parvathy bring out their nuanced interpretations of the lead pair, which then keeps you amply invested in their stories enough to see them through to the end. Eeshit Narain’s cinematography also adds to the film’s realism by beautifully capturing the subjects in their natural elements, without resorting to overdramatic shots. As long as you don’t expect fireworks, enjoy this sweet film that will leave you smiling. -timesofindia.com

Happy Birthday



Sushmita Sen November 19, 1975

Sajid Khan

November 23, 1970

22 November 17, 2017 Sri Lanka to Resume Search for First Test Win in India BY SIDHARTH MONGA


OLKOTA: (ESPN Cricinfo): India v Sri Lanka again? Didn’t they play last week? Or was it last month? Might have been last season. Who could care? Such is the apathy towards the contest that it is almost forgotten that Sri Lanka were last invited to play Test cricket in India, during “prime time”, was a full eight years ago. For purposes of rhythm no doubt, they played the matches on exact same dates - November 16, November 24 and December 2, 2009 - while the country was busy celebrating Sachin Tendulkar’s 20 years in international cricket. Only immigration officers knew Sri Lanka had been in the country for a week when the pre-match press conferences began. If India were stuck in the past in 2009, it would appear they already have their minds in the future - in South Africa. Hardik Pandya, whose only Tests have come against Sri Lanka, has been rested because he is believed to be the one to make the difference overseas. If India seal this Sri Lanka series in the first two Tests, it is possible even captain Virat Kohli might give the rest of the tour a miss. Why, even the green pitch for the first Test at Eden Gardens might suggest South Africa has come in earnest. The last time Sri Lanka came to India, they caught the hosts by surprise and had them 32 for 4 on the first day of the series, the last bit of ascendency they enjoyed. They will now hope not only to catch India on the hop but for a longer period of time. The last time Sri Lanka came to India, the hosts would become the No. 1 side in the world. Now, they are already on top of the rankings, a more ruthless, bowler-oriented version of MS Dhoni’s team. And Sri Lanka? Well, they were the No. 2 side in 2009 but in the lead up to 2017, they lost Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Dilshan, Samaraweera, Muralitharan and their prominence in international cricket. Not only have Sri Lanka lost legends as players but, until as recently as last month, also as possible advisors to take them into the next era. A more pressing concern is the batting, which needs a lot of work to stand up to India’s bowling might,

The Sri Lankans made a profitable start to their India tour, with four of their batsmen scoring fifties on the first day of their two-day tour game against the Indian Board President’s XI at the Jadavpur University Campus ground in Kolkata.

which will be further accentuated on home surfaces. Even though they won the series in Pakistan 2-0, Sri Lanka are keeping their ambitions realistic: they will be happy if they can win a Test, their first, in India. The Eden Gardens was wrapped under covers on the eve of the Test ESPNcricinfo Ltd It is safe to assume it has been uneasy for R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to come to terms with life outside India’s national sides. Since they last played Sri Lanka in August, they were “rested” then “rotated” who needs fake news when there are India selections? - but the fact remains two of India’s big match winners in Tests are not wanted in limited-overs cricket. They will be itching to come back to Tests with a vengeance. Angelo Mathews has spent two years without a Test century. Sri Lanka have beaten Pakistan twice without Mathews. Once the captain, once the man to lead Sri Lanka into the next era, once the chosen one, Mathews is now just another one. What better time to go back to being the special one? The Eden Gardens pitch is green and expected to help the quicks. The last time India played a Test here - on a similar pitch last year - they went in with an extra batsman. With the seambowling allrounder missing, India might possibly go that way again. If they do so, they might come face to

face with a choice they will anyway have to make in South Africa: who out of Ashwin and Jadeja makes way for a third specialist fast bowler? That fast bowler if selected is most certainly going to be Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who took a five-for in his last Kolkata Test. The other choice to be made for India is one that will bring them dilemma in South Africa too. While it might be harsh to drop either Shikhar Dhawan or KL Rahul after the year they have had, M Vijay might be a valuable asset in overseas. India (probable): 1 KL Rahul, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt.), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Rohit Sharma, 7 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 8 R Ashwin/ Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Umesh Yadav. Even though Sri Lanka won both their Tests in the UAE, changes are expected. Kusal Mendis is out, Mathews is in, possibly to bat at No. 4; Kaushal Silva is out, Dhanandaya de Silva is back. The tricky permutations will have to be carried in the bowling department with Mathews still not expected to bowl. And Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by playing five bowlers in both Tests. An overcast Kolkata in November is rather different to the UAE, though, and a green pitch might also necessitate playing an extra batsman.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Dimuth Karunaratne, 2 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 3 Dhananjaya de Silva, 4 Dinesh Chandiwal (capt.), 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 7 Lahiru Thirimanne/ Dasun Shanaka ,8 Dilruwan Perera, 9 Suranga Lakmal, Rangana Herath, 11 Lahiru Gamage/ Vishwa Fernando The Eden Gardens pitch is green and expected to be two-paced; it seems this Test will be played in similar conditions as the last Kolkata Test when 26 of the 40 wickets fell to pace. Any chances of the pitch drying out might have been laid to rest by persistent rain on the day before the Test. There is more expected on the first three days of the match.

India’s Tough Rotation


OLKOTA: Since the start of 2016, no one has faced more balls in international cricket than Virat Kohli (4803), and no one has bowled more balls than R Ashwin (7032) and Ravindra Jadeja (6346). Imagine how much more Ashwin and Jadeja would have had to bowl had they also been limited-overs regulars in this time. Looked at this way, it’s clear why India have embarked on a rigorous rotation policy, particularly with their bowlers. On the eve of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Kolkata, Kohli was at pains to explain why exactly some players needed more rest than others.


India Hockey Women Beat China to Win the Asia Cup


AKAMIGAHARA, JAPAN: Goalkeeper Savita produced a stunning save in a tense shootout as India won the Asia Cup to secure qualification in next year’s hockey World Cup following a nerve-wracking win over China in the final here on Sunday. The team broke a 13-year-old jinx when skipper Rani scored the final goal and Savita foiled an attempt from the rivals to ensure a 5-4 win. India had failed to qualify for the last World Cup and finished ninth in the 2010 edition. Earlier, it was Navjot Kaur who scored India’s lone goal in the 25th minute while China found a late equaliser through Tiantian Luo, who converted a penalty corner in the 47th minute. It was in 2004 when the Indian women’s team had clinched the Asia Cup trophy by beating Japan 1-0. It was advantage China right at the start as a stick check in the circle saw India concede a penalty corner in the second minute of the game. However, Savita was at her best and padded it away while an alert Deep Grace cleared the ball. Soon after, Indian forwards launched a swift attack with Navneet Kaur and Vandana working in tandem to find space in the Chinese D but an attentive Wang Na averted danger. China, meanwhile, won their second PC but Savita was spot on yet again to pad away Meiyu Liang’s flick. With the first quarter ending in a stalemate, India came back looking determined to find a breakthrough. The Indian forwards kept the pressure on China as they made brave forays into the striking circle. Navjot came close to converting a field goal in the 17th minute but her diving effort was blocked, even as skipper Rani made a quick attempt

India Women won the Asia Cup to secure qualification in next year’s hockey World Cup.


November 17, 2017

GST Aftershock Creates Widening Two-speed Economy in India M -- India’s biggest tax over- companies grappled with the multiUMBAI

haul since independence has driven a wedge between companies that have adapted to the new levies and a vast swathe of small businesses, representing almost half the economy, that are struggling. The trend emerging from the first quarter of earnings since the goods and services tax, or GST, was introduced on 1 July shows bigger companies such as the Tata Group’s Titan Co. Ltd, India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Godrej Consumer Products Ltd have used the disruptions to gain market share. Smaller operations are reporting that increased compliance costs, supplychain disruptions and policy changes have hurt profits and forced some to shed workers. Last week the government cut the tax payable on about 200 items and eased filing norms after it was criticized by some for a chaotic roll-out as

tier structure and onerous reporting system. The disruptions have hit traders, traditionally a large vote base for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party. Addressing any slump in activity among the country’s 58 million small enterprises, and the businesses they supply, will be crucial for growth to rebound in Asia’s third-largest economy. It will take time for small and medium-sized enterprises to recover from the “GST blues” as many weren’t prepared and couldn’t deal with the changes, said M.S. Mani, a partner overseeing GST at Deloitte India. “This led to some of them putting all operations on hold and it will now take some time for them to revive their business. Many smaller companies are suppliers to large businesses and they were worried about business continuance and tax challenges.”

India’s GST has been more than a decade in the making and is expected to make dodging taxes more difficult, bringing the nation’s vast cash economy into the mainstream. But its disruptive roll out and concerns about a widening gap between better-run

companies and the laggards—often smaller firms and those in the informal sector—poses a challenge to Modi who rode to power in 2014 on the promise of more inclusive growth. -- Live Mint

Rolls-Royce Ties up with TCS to Drive Growth in India Operations B : Jet engine maker an interview. ENGALURU

Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc is looking at driving growth in its India operations through a partnership with Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), the UK-based company said. The partnership with TCS will accelerate its digital transformation and innovation strategy. It will provide Rolls-Royce with digital platform capabilities that will allow it to capture, share and analyse data more easily across the engine maker. That, in turn, will give the company room to develop new products and services at a faster pace, Rolls-Royce said in a statement. “We look at this as the largest strategic move we have made in India in a long time. This will build the company’s next generation innovations from India,” Kishore Jayaraman, president of India and South Asia at Rolls-Royce said in

Both companies have been working together on engineering services since 2010 and this is an extension of that relationship, Rolls-Royce said in a statement. Going ahead, using TCS’s platforms and growth innovation models as a foundation, Rolls-Royce’s digital transformation journey in Bengaluru will evolve into a separate digital hub. Rolls-Royce is also planning to expand its India operations, strategic marketing director Ben Story said in an interview. “We have got some further plans. We’re very confident that there’s more to come,” he said, without revealing additional details. India is one of the company’s five global hubs across the world—the others being in the US, UK, Singapore and China. It is one of the key markets for Rolls-Royce both in terms of skills and capability and business opportunity, the two executives said. The goal is to get to a point

where Rolls-Royce can manufacture its engines in India. But the company has not yet got any concrete plans to set up an enginemaking facility, according to Jayaraman. “The entry barrier is very high to set up such a facility. What’s very important is that the products we sell have to be serviced locally so customers have access to us very quickly.

That is already here in Bangalore. The base is there so we will start building on that,” he said. In April, the company opened a new defence service delivery centre in Bengaluru to provide localized engineering support and solutions and lower turnaround time for the India’s military and aviation sector. -- Live Mint


No Threats to Vijay Mallya in Jail, India Tells UK Court


EW DELHI: India will convey to a British court that fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya will not face any threat to his life in jail, if extradited in connection with the Rs9,000 crore Kingfisher Airlines loan default cases, officials said. The Indian government’s assurance will be conveyed to the Westminster Magistrates’Court in London through the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which is arguing the Vijay Mallya extradition case on behalf of the Indian government. The decision has been taken at a high-level meeting chaired by union home secretary Rajiv Gauba and attended by representatives of various authorities, including the ministry of external affairs on Monday, a home ministry official said. The meeting deliberated on the response to be filed in the UK court, rejecting Mallya’s apprehension that he will not be safe in Indian jail if sent back to India to face trial in the Rs9,000 crore Kingfisher Airlines loan default cases. With a detailed assessment of security cover given to prisoners in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail and Delhi’s Tihar jail, the Indian government will tell the UK court that when extradited, Mallya may be lodged in Arthur Road jail where he will get full security cover as an undertrial prisoner, the official said. The Westminster Magistrates’ Court will start hearing the extradition proceedings from 4 December and a reply by India would be filed in the next few days.

Vijay Mallya left for London in May 2016 when banks closed in on him in relation to the Kingfisher Airlines loan default cases.


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