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Friday, May 13 2016 | Vol. 35, No. 20


Indo American erican News

Movie Review


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

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Distinguished Lecture Sri Karunamayi in Houston


Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner with Bob Patel and Indian Consul General Anupam Ray, and IACCGH members and attendees on May 4, at IACCGH Distinguished lecture at the Hilton Americas.

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Sri Karunamayi Amma offered individual blessings to hundreds of Houstonians during Mother’s Day weekend.

Vaisakhi Mela for All!



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May 13, 2016


May 13, 2016 COMMUNITY Hum Kahan Chal Diye: An Emotional Roller Coaster BY VANSHIKA VIPIN

HOUSTON: With progress in

streaming video technologies, producing and distributing content through web series has become a new age mantra. And it helps reach a potentially global audience who can access the shows 24 hours a day. Amidst, several of those web series is a beautifully written, well-narrated and meticulously woven together show named, “Hum Kahan Chal Diye”. Produced by Dhoombros Production, written by Atif Khan and directed by Shehryaar Asif, this show is certain to take you through the roller coaster of a heart warming yet emotional journey. A press conference was held at Haveli Restaurant, on Tuesday May 3, at 4 pm, to promote the local talent. What followed was the highly anticipated trailer, along with some scenes and music videos. Everyone loved the melodious scores composed by the music director Asif Hasan. Post this, the team of ‘Hum Kahan Chal Diye’ gathered to have a hearty interaction with the media, answering their queries and occasionally raising laughs. The story revolves around the protagonist Sahil who loses his parents in a tragic car accident. The story intensifies further as Sahil has to take the responsibility of his 7-year-old sister. The plot is about his struggle to deal with his parent’s untimely demise, his social responsibilities more than a brother and as parents to his little sister. The story encapsulates something about all of humanity and is sure to lift your spirits and warm your soul. The cast includes

Cast members of Hum Kahan Chal Diye

two well known Houstonians- Arif Memon who plays the role of Mu-

jahid Ahmad and Sangeeta Dua as Perveen, other new but talented

artists like Hussain Asif as Sahil Javed, Atif Khan as Ali Durani,


Shehryaar Asif as Imraan Babar, Maha Ahmad as Arzu Javed, Divya Kalia as Jannat Dilani. The episodes are mostly shot in the diverse city of Houston other than the city known for its eclectic mix of architecture- San Francisco. The show consists of 10 episodes of 25 minutes each, to be aired every week for two and a half months with one episode already out and the second scheduled for May 15. Soon after the media and guest interaction, the Director Shehryaar Asif stated, “We have worked really hard on this project and are very happy with the final product. Now we need everyone to support us.” Sangeeta Dua, who play’s an important character, went on to add, “I have played a negative role in this and have tried to do justice to it. This role is completely opposite to my personality. I joined the team not because I am an actress or want to pursue my career around it. As a producer and director myself, I know the project these kids were trying to do was not easy especially without a big budget. I understood and appreciated their dedication and wanted to support them”. Arif Memon stated, “In this time when the films reach 100 crore club, we want everybody to help share this video to reach 100 crore LIKES in Youtube”. That’s a fair thought and from the looks of it and considering the trailer received an overwhelming 35,000 views on YouTube within hours of it being launched, this only seems the kind of a blockbuster that will win hearts.

Mother’s Day Weekend with Amma” BY MIKA RAO KALAPATAPU

HOUSTON: On Mother’s Day

weekend, world-renowned spiritual leader Sri Karunamayi graced the Houston area with her presence. Sri Karunamayi is called “Amma” (the word for mother in many South Indian regions) so it was especially fitting that she spent Mother’s Day with hundreds of old and new followers in Hous-

ton. Amma was in Houston as part of an annual tour. While in the United States, she visits 16 other cities from coast to coast. A major highlight of her visit is a 10 day ceremony for peace to be held from May 20-29 in Atlanta, GA. On Friday, May 6 – Amma began her trip to Houston by offering Individual Blessings at the Unity Church near Hillcroft. Upon Amma’s arrival, she was welcomed

ceremoniously by a priest from the Shridhi Sai Baba Jalaram Mandir and nine ladies clad in white saris. After Amma took her seat in the main hall, all those in attendance were given flags representing every country in the world. Amma encouraged everyone to hold the flags high as they chanted “Shanti Om” and prayed for world peace. After delivering a discourse drawCONTINUED ON PAGE


Attendees held flags from all over the world as Sri Karumanayi Amma encouraged all to pray for world peace



May 13, 2016



May 13, 2016


Vaisakhi, Even 3 Weeks Later, is Still a Gorgeous Spring Mela BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: It didn’t seem to mat-

ter that the actual day of Vaisakhi had passed by over three weeks ago, it was what the masses believed in and the spirit with which they celebrated when they gathered together last Saturday, May 7 at the Sikh National Center’s 20-acre site north of Beltway 8 between Gessner and Fairbanks-North Houston. For Sikhs, Vaisakhi has special significance as the day in 1699 when Guru Gobind Singh laid down the foundation of the Panth Khalsa and the five K’s which are sacred tenets of the faith. But in the Punjab, it is also a harvest festival coinciding with the Spring equinox and is celebrated with much gusto, especially in villages across the Punjab and North India, with melas, dances and lots of food. It was no different for the estimated 2,000 people who came to the SNC site this Saturday under bright, blue skies and crisp weather to the completely free event to meet and greet each other, pray at the small Gurdwara and enjoy food and games.

Members of the Sikh National Center Building and Organizing Committees at the Vaisakhi Mela this past Saturday. Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

A tug-of-war brought in many young participants

This year, in place of the grassy and muddy field of last year, a new, large concrete parking lot has been built that can accommodate a multitude of cars. And between the lot and the covered basketball court, the wide expanse was the site of all the games scheduled for this year that were washed out last year due to the rains. There was a steady stream of teams – some from as far away as Dallas of young men competing for the top prizes of $1,100 each in the volley-

ball and kabaddi tournaments. And there were more fun games for the younger children, like the tug-of-war; 50 meter race, 3-legged race, sack race, spoon race, shot putt, musical chairs and basketball. On the far side of the basketball court, a row of spectators watched as the young men and teenagers rushed from one goal post to the other; while others cooked hot jalebis and pakoras for a unending line of people,

Spectators got into the thrilling volleyball and kabaadi tournaments.

a booth sold women’s salwarkameezes and the devoted went inside to receive blessings and to partake of the langar that went on for three hours. Off to the other side, a carnival atmosphere took care of the whims of the younger tykes with inflatable moon walks and slides, pony rides, and kiddie trains. And a safe distance beyond the volleyball court, two stalls served cotton candy at one end and gol gappe at the other.

All this within sight of the permanent Gurdwara that is being built and is getting completed slowly every day, just a stone’s throw away from the southbound feeder road The exterior of the building is completely built up, but much still remains to be done like the cast stone, marble tile inlays and window glazing which are expected to be finished by mid-summer. The interiors haven’t even been started, but you can already get a feel for the flow of the space

with the two curving staircases rising from the ground floor and a row of tall glass windows giving a view of the freeway which will form the backdrop for the altar. A slice of Punjab, if you could imagine it, in a corner of the Bayou City.

Indo American News (ISSN 887-5936) is published weekly every Friday (for a subscription of $40 per year) by IndoAmerican News Inc., 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036., tel: 713-789-6397, fax:713-789-6399, email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Indo American News,7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036 INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

For photo collage, see page 15


May 13, 2016


First Lady Cecilia Abbott Visits Houston Habitat for Humanity Women Build

First Lady Cecilia Abbott hammering a nail into a stud

From left: HHFH Executive Director Allison Hay, Board Member Leela Krishnamurthy, First Lady Cecilia Abbott

HOUSTON: Following the launch of her

Texanthropy Initiative, Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott visited the Houston Habitat for Humanity Women Build on Thursday, April 28. Through the 2016 Women Build, female leaders and volunteers have partnered with Houston Habitat for Humanity to build a home for a mother and her family. “It was so wonderful to see so many women working together to help create a brighter future for a Houston family,” the First Lady said. “I would like to thank Houston Habitat for Humanity and their dedicated volunteers, who are truly making a difference and enriching the lives of those in need here in Houston.” Houston Habitat for Humanity relies on volunteers for their Women Build, and through the Texanthropy Initiative, Mrs. Abbott is promoting volunteerism and service to others as her primary focus as First Lady of Texas. To learn more, visit http://gov.texas.gov/ texanthropy/.

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May 13, 2016





May 13, 2016

Mother’s Day Weekend with Amma” CONTINUED FROM PAGE


The homa (sacred fire ceremony) on Mother’s Day

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ing on her recent experiences, including those at the United Nations, Amma met individually with devotees. With hundreds of people from all backgrounds arriving all day to meet with Amma, the program went on through the evening. The next morning, nearly 50 people arrived to participate in a one-day silent meditation retreat. Attendees learned the ancient practice of meditation and yoga and learned techniques to help steady their mind and improve their focus. Amma led this meditation retreat, offering all those in attendance a unique opportunity to be in her presence and learn from her insights. On Sunday, May 8, the venue shifted from The Unity Church to the Shridhi Sai Baba Jalaram Mandir, where Amma presided over a sacred fire ceremony, or homa that was attended by several hundred individuals. According to the karunamayi. org website, “Homa is the most ancient and sacred ceremony in the Vedic tradition of Sanatana Dharma. It is a fire in which forms of the Divine are invoked through the power of mantra and profound spiritual intention. Special offerings are cast into the fire while Sanskrit mantras are

chanted, and the combined energy of the fire, offerings, and mantras generates powerful spiritual vibrations that bless and purify everyone present, spreading peace and healing through the world.” During the homa, Amma remarked on the significance of Mother’s Day and the importance of seeing the divine in all girls and women. The homa culminated with a delicious home-made lunch, blessings for all who attended, bhajans sang by children and a memorable violin performance. Women and children’s issues are topics of great importance to Amma who champions and runs a number of charitable projects to uplift underserved populations through the SMVA Trust, a non-profit organization. These include a free hospital (established in 2002) located in Andhra Pradesh, two schools (established in 1994) that provide education to hundreds of children; a water sanitation program that, to date, has opened 32 water treatment plants providing thousands of people access to clean drinking water. To learn more, or to make a donation, visit www.smvatrust.org For more information about Amma and her North American tour, please visit www.karunamayi.org


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May 13, 2016



10 May 13, 2016



May 13, 2016


IACCGH Shell Distinguished Lecture: “Leading in Times of Uncertainty”


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Bhavesh (Bob) Patel

HOUSTON: On May 4, the In-

do-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston hosted Bhavesh (Bob) Patel, CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of LyondellBasell, one of the world’s largest plastics, chemical and refining companies for the Shell IACCGH Distinguished Lecture Series. Prior to the lecture, in a special show of support for IACCGH, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner stopped by to visit with Patel and India’s Consul General Anupam Ray at a VIP Reception. A native of India who came to the United States at 10 years old, Patel discussed his experience running a large, global company and what he learned from turning the organization around through the Chapter 11 process. “Facing bankruptcy changes you and changes the culture of the organization fundamentally,” said Patel. “You quickly learn what’s really important and that the upfront decision-making process is so critical because of the potential consequences on the back end. Using data and making the right, and sometimes hard, decisions in the beginning can save even harder decisions later.” When taking on new challeng-

es, Patel noted that he always asks himself two, fundamental questions. “I always ask myself, first, can I contribute? And second, can I learn from this opportunity?” Patel also noted that there is great value in diversity, not only visual or cultural diversity, but diversity of thought. “I have had the opportunity to lead very diverse teams in terms of culture, but also thought, and we were always better for it.” said Patel. “In the end, because of the diversity I believe we arrived at better decisions because we included the entire team. This is the real and proven power of diversity.” Patel also shared his philosophy around running a large company in the petrochemical sector noting that three things are inevitable: “Death, Taxes and the Cycle (cyclical nature of the industry).” Yet, he noted that it’s possible to find opportunity in the ups and downs, provided the business is run conservatively. “It’s important to keep costs low, even in the good times because it gives you greater flexibility in the more challenging times. I always ask my team if we could afford to take on any given initiative in a low price environment,” Patel noted. “Maintaining financial strength is key, so it’s wise to keep costs in check and resist the temptation to over leverage, even when borrowing is easy and cheap.” “We’ve worked hard to maintain steady costs and investment, so we can continue to invest and grow through any cycle,” he noted. “But you must be patient and sometimes a contrarian to what others are doing. By doing so, you can help put the business on a steady, sustainable path as opposed to one with big ups and downs.” The session concluded with a question and answer session . Shell General Manager for CRI/ Criterion Catalysts, Diane Cham-

Photos: Bijay Dixit

berlain presented the speaker with a plaque of appreciation and spoke of Shell’s commitment to investing in the community it serves. Diane had been Patel’s peer about 20 years ago, bringing this full circle for her. IACCGH also awarded the first recipient of the International Internship Scholarship to Ankit Bhowmick, a Petroleum Engineering student who will be performing a summer internship at Shell Technology India in Bangalore. The Chamber started the tradition last year of raffling a Rolex watch donated by Karat22 Jewelers to raise funds dedicated to sending students from area Universities to India, furthering ties between Houston and India. If you’re interested in either helping with the Rolex Watch Scholarship fundraiser, or you know of students in the Houston area interested in Internships in India, please send an email to info@ iaccgh.com.

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12 May 13, 2016 COMMUNITY Packed in to Appreciate a Mother’s Love, with Love BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA


It was standing room only, and yet the crowd kept streaming in, long after the show had started. One of the organizers hazarded a guess there were close to 400 people inside the long banquet hall, and Vipin Kumar, the General Manager of India House was outside in the bright sunshine of a surprisingly cool May day, helping the security guards guide cars along in a packed parking

lot. This monthly meeting of the Indian Senior Citizens Association was busting at the seams, and one of the main draws was the promise of renewed camaraderie … and the musical treat that they were in for on this Mother’s Day weekend. It couldn’t have pleased Surender Talwar more – H-Town’s crooning “Sunatra” (Surender + Sinatra), Mr. Smooth Voice himself – who had assembled a group of talented people, young and old,

to provide a couple of hours of variety entertainment for the older set, many of whom look forward to the programs that other members of the community pull together to honor their seniors. Like a ring master, he put the cast of four singers (himself included) and two girl dancing groups onstage to produce a rhythm induced, musical package that had the audience clapping along and totally engaged. Talwar led off with a short song Maa Tujhe Salaam. The singers

The ISCA honored two of its oldest members, Neeta Mehta, 86 (left) and Shakuntla Malhotra, 87 who also sang a verse from a bhajan

Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

The entire cast of performers along with Darshak and Mona Thacker of Krishna Sounds who provided the sound system

were Maumita Chaudhuri, a semifinalist on Zee Tv’s Sa Re Ga Ma; Ravi Boddu; Sri Sanvitha Sridhar, the winner of the IACF Sing for Charity competition in 2012 and Prerna Shah. Tej Ganju played the keyboards and Chidanand played the tabla. The young girls who performed at the show were Ramitha Venket, Nikitha Kannan, Annanya Gokul, Kavya Chockalingham, co-ordinated by Vidvatha Sridhar. Midstream, Talwar asked several women in the audience to sing a snippet and start-


ing off was Shakuntla Malhotra, 87 (this reporter’s mother) who sang a verse from a favorite bhajan. Before the musical program, ISCA President Praful Shah and his Board took care of monthly business and announcements at India House on Saturday, May 7, the day before Mother’s Day. For this special occasion, all mothers received a complimentary present and lunch was served Compliments of the Gujarati Samaj. Darshak and Mona Thacker of Krishna Sounds provided the sound system.


May 13, 2016


SIMA Donates $51,000 for Storm Relief Fund to Mayor and City of Houston

From left: Vikas Desai, Danny Patel, Raman Das, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Pimal Patel, Hasu Patel, Jin Laxmidas, Bharat Patel

SHIBU PHILIP, MTax, CPA TAX & ACCOUNTING From left: Vikas Desai, Danny Patel, Raman Das, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Hasu Patel, Bharat Patel, Jin Laxmidas, Pimal Patel Photos Bijay Dixit

HOUSTON: The Small Indepen-

dent Motel Association (SIMA) was formed in 1989 by a few Indian small motel owners who discovered the need of a platform through which motel and hotel owners could have a voice in local government affairs that directly affected their businesses. Today, SIMA has over 175 members representing over 300 motels and hotels in the Greater Houston area. In addition to government affairs, SIMA also partners with other hospitality organizations including AAHOA, Houston Lodging Association, and Texas Hotel and Lodging Association to provide educational seminars, workshops, and town halls. SIMA has continuously worked with the City of Houston leadership including Mayor Lee Brown, Mayor Bill White, Mayor Annise Parker, and now Mayor Sylvester Turner to discuss and resolve issues pertaining to the motel and hotel industry as well as

to provide natural disaster relief efforts during crises. SIMA has donated more than 3,000 rooms over the years for displaced victims of Hurricane Ike, Hurricane Katrina, the fire at the Southwest Inn that killed 4 firefighters, the Memorial Day Flood of 2015, and most recently the devastating flood on April 18. SIMA worked with various city departments to relocate the victims of the floods who lost their homes. Under the leadership of President Hasu Patel and SIMA Board Members Raman Das, Jin Laxmidas, Nick Patel, Danny Patel and others, SIMA raised and donated an incredible $51,000 to Mayor Turner’s storm relief fund. Above are pictures of the meeting where SIMA members met with Mayor Turner and other city officials to deliver the check and discuss how SIMA and the

City of Houston can continue working together to protect the motel and hotel industry as well as the citizens of the Houston in times of need.

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14 May 13, 2016


How to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle through a Healthy Diet


HOUSTON: IACAN organizes

activities which provide emotional and physical support to cancer survivors and their care givers. The group consists of people who have been affected by cancer directly or indirectly and the activities help them socialize and share experiences. This interaction helps alleviate the fear of their condition and help them feel that they are not alone in their journey. The survivor activities include educational programs such as nutrition, recreational activities like gardening and other therapeutic activities. One such activity is maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle through a healthy Diet. Neeta Pahwa, a registered dietician, stressed the point that no single food or food component offers protection against cancer. There is

strong evidence that a diet which includes variety of fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains lower the risk for many cancers. American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) recommends this diet and they also recommend 30 minutes of physical activity daily, to be

lean without being underweight and avoid calorie dense food and sugary drinks. High calorie food leads to weight gain which increases the risk of cancer. Plant based diet provides vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals. While flavonoids decrease inflammation and slow down the cancer cell growth carotenoids control free radicals which damage healthy cells and their DNA. Saponins control cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar levels. A minimum of 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables should be consumed daily. A serving is equivalent to 1 cup of raw fruits or vegetables or 1/2 cup of cooked fruits or vegetables or 1 medium size fruit. Ideally you should choose a variety of colors

among these fruits and vegetables. Whole grains or whole grain products such as brown rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, barley and Quinoa are much healthier compared to white rice, white bread and pasta. AICR recommends limiting consumption of salty foods, salt processed foods, red meat (beef, pork etc.), and avoiding processed meats. Alcohol consumption is not recommended but if consumed, limit to one drink per women and two per men per day. One drink equals to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1 and half of ounce of liquor. Limit saturated fats found in high fat dairy products and fried food. Cold water fish such as salmon and herring are good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids.


Using supplements to protect against cancer is not recommended. There is strong evidence that high dose of some supplements can affect the risk of some cancers. In general, the best source of phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals is food not supplements. Once the cancer treatment is finished the survivor should follow same guidelines set for cancer prevention. Supplements are recommended for certain conditions e.g. for women of childbearing age who intend to conceive, pregnant women, nursing mothers and elderly persons, children. ACRI recommends the following 5 steps to make your refrigerator Cancer Fighting Fridge. Fill your freezer with frozen vegetables and fruits, swap white grain products for whole grain products, put fresh fruits and vegetables in the center front, and replace soda and other sugar drinks with water, iced tea and other low sugar drinks. Have easy to grab healthy snacks meal options visible. Healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight through exercise can not only reduce the risk of cancer but also reduce the risk of other chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. For further details visit www. iacannetwork.org or email at iacannetwork@gmail.com

May 13, 2016



16 May 13, 2016

Magic Bus

Wine and Cheese Event BY AANYA BHANDARI

Southwestern National Bank Scholarship 2016 $1,000 Awards

HOUSTON: Southwestern National Bank Schol-

arship Program is funded by Southwestern National Bank to recognize and assist outstanding high school graduates to reduce financial burdens for college. Southwestern National Bank Scholars are selected on the basis of their financial need, academic achievement, and community involvement. Each year a total of $5,000.00 will be awarded to five selected scholars. Each scholar will be awarded a total of $1,000.00. Application Process & Award Announcement 1.Please send your application package to Southwestern National Bank, Attention Scholarship Program – Katrina Chiu, 6901 Corporate Drive, Houston, Texas 77036.


On Thursday, April 28, Amit and Arpita Bhandari hosted a mixer at their home to introduce the non-profit Magic Bus to Houston philanthropists. Among attendees were Houston Chapter Board Members: Gaurav Khandelwal, Nikita Shukla, Swapnil Agarwal and Brij Kathuria. Over the past four years, the Bhandaris have been avid supporters of Magic Bus and leads the Chapter’s local Board. Reaching over 400,000 children and youth weekly, Magic Bus is India’s leading non-profit that utilizes mentoring and sports to break the cycle of poverty. At the event, the Bhandaris gave an insightful presentation highlighting the impact and accomplishments of Magic Bus since its inception in 1999. They also announced the 3rd Annual Magic Bus Benefit Gala that will be held at the Houston Marriott Westchase on Saturday, September 17, 2016. For children and youth living in poverty in India, participating in Magic Bus programs dramatically increases the likelihood of living


2. Applications and all supporting documents must be received by the end of May, 2016 for application to be considered. 3. Interview may be part of the application process for all semi-finalists. 4. Scholar for the 2016 Scholarship program will be announced by mail before end of July, 2016. Please Contact Us For scholarship application and information, please contact scholarship coordinator by E-mail at katrina.chiu@swnbk.com or call: 713-272-5004. Contact person: Fanny To or Katrina Chiu

Amit Bhandari

a healthy, productive life. Impact data shows that being in the Magic Bus program makes a youth virtually certain to escape the fate of child marriage, twice as likely to make it secondary school if she is a girl, and nearly eight times more likely to make it to University. For $25 per year, you can break the cycle of poverty for one child. Donate and learn more atwww. magicbususa.org.



May 13, 2016


Swadesh Chatterjee’s, “Building Bridges” Flies off the Shelves at TSH Gala

Photos: Jit Biswas


HOUSTON: In a very well thought

out program organized by the Tagore Society of Houston (TSH) on the evening of April 30, at the India House, Houstonians had the pleasure of meeting several important dignitaries from Washington DC, North Carolina, Sri Lanka and of course our very own Houston. The chief guest and speaker of the annual talk this year was Swadesh Chatterjee who launched his book, “Building Bridges” at the gathering. The evening took off with a presentation of Tagore’s, “Ekla chalo re,” by the TSH choir. TSH president, Debleena Banerjee welcomed all the dignitaries and attendees and thanked her committeee. The illustrious career of the new CGI Houston, Dr. Anupam Ray, who made his first public appearance in Houston was introduced by Jagdip Ahluwalia of the IACCGH, the dynamic emcee for the evening. He joined the Indian Foreign Service after completing his education in neurosurgery. After representing India as a diplomat in various high ranking positions in several different countries,, he mentioned he was glad to be in Houston and participating in the TSH function. A brief audio visual introduced Swadesh Chatterjee from North Carolina, who is an Indian American leader and activist dedicated to fostering a better relationship among American and Indian people, politicians and businesses. Chatterjee as Chairman and Co-founder of the U.S.-India Friendship Council, was instrumental in the passage of the historic US-India Civilian Nuclear Deal bill, which was signed into law in 2008. A recipient of the Padma Bhushan, he wrote “Building Bridges: The Role of Indian Americans in Indo-U.S. Relations.” He familiarized the audience with the memoir which is a chronicle of his deeply personal family story and the ups and downs of the immigrant political empowerment movement. It serves as a blueprint for younger Indian Ameri-

cans and other immigrant groups raising their voices in the United States, and is an inspiration to all. Raymond Vickery, a leading author and advisor on US-India relations and a former US Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Trade Development, took the stage next and was elated to be a part of the TSH program on his birthday. He had been inspired by Tagore and his works for the longest time, since he first visited India and quoted Tagore’s famous lines, “I slept and dreamt.....” This was followed by a very learned panel discussion on Tagore’s dream of universalism and inspirational global vision. The panel consisted of Ray Vickery, Mallika Rajarathnam, Neel Bhan, and Rathna Kumar. The session was very ably moderated by Pradeep Anand. Neel Bhan, winner of a prior year’s annual TSH essay contest is now a medical student at Southwestern Dallas, and he touched on one of Tagore’s short stories, Kabuliwala which still has it’s universal appeal through the feelings of an Afghani trader, who has left his little daughter back home, sees in little Mini living in Kolkata, the same daughter he has left behind. Mallika, a Tagore scholar from Sri Lanka, who is a Lecturer at the Dept of Philosophy and Psychology at Peradeniya talked

about the relevance of his writings even more in these days and ages and talked about his foresight and his extensive travels to cities all over the world. Rathna Kumar, the renowned danceuse, teacher and choreographer, and the Founder-Director of the Anjali Center for Performing Arts, the first Indian dance school in Texas, alluded to her strong family connections with Tagore and how she had been influenced by his works her entire life. The evening ended with a delicious dinner catered by Nirvana, a cake cutting ceremony by Ray Vickery, and book signing by Chatterjeee. TSH continued Tagore’s 155th birthday celebrations at the Tagore Grove (at Ray Miller Park on Eldridge Pkwy) on May 7 at 10 am, where “Tagore Day Proclamation” from Honorable Judge Emmett was read and garlanding of Tagore statue took place. A FREE community event full of cultural activities at Houston Durgabari, was arranged for May 7 evening. TSH would like to invite one and all to attend future programs and make them a huge success. For further information please visit www. tagoresociety.org or call Debleena Banerjee at (281) 757 5669.



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18 May 13, 2016


London Votes for Hope, Not Fear



Even as David Cameron speaks darkly of unpleasant dire-

ness if Britain exits the European Union, London has stepped smartly away from the Continent by embracing a believing Muslim for the top job in the city. When Sadiq Khan, fifth of eight children of a Pakistani bus driver and a seamstress, assumed the office of Mayor of London at Southwark Cathedral, the city reaffirmed its instinctive commitment to openness and multiculturalism, which the Labour government of Tony Blair had projected as national virtues. It is significant for London, the victim of concerted terror bombings in 2005, to set aside xenophobia and repose its faith in the child of a Muslim immigrant family from Pakistan. Incidentally, the 7/7 bombings had brought national attention to Sadiq Khan, who was revealed to be one of the few expressive communicators among British Muslims, when it was important for them to assert their citizenship. Khan assumes office at a time when European capitals are grappling with terrorism and a refugee crisis which stretch their resources, urge them to reconsider policy attitudes towards immigrants, and fan the fires of identity politics. The contrast which Khan makes with his predecessor Boris Johnson could not be starker. Despite his commitment to cycling, Johnson is a society lad who looks off-balance without a snifter in his hand. Khan looks incomplete without a file under his arm about something deeply meaningful, like human rights, or unions. His accession celebrates “hope over fear”, but the challenge before him is to transcend this binary, and to rise above the cliché of Western liberalism versus Islamist terrorism which has slowly taken over the political discourse across continents. As the world waits apprehensively for a Trump era, the need to change the rubric of the discourse is urgent, and leaders like Sadiq Khan can swing it. Indian Express

he people of India’s villages carry collective memories of centuries of calamitous losses of sometimes millions of lives in famines. Famines have been pushed into history, unarguably one of free India’s greatest accomplishments. But the same can’t be said about droughts, which continue to extract an enormous toll on human suffering. At least a third of the residents in India’s countryside are battling drought — many for the third consecutive year. Near-zero yields, sinking groundwater levels, drying streams and reservoirs have resulted in a massive slowdown in agricultural growth — it grew by minus 0.2 per cent in 2014-15, with no imminent signs of recovery. For millions of farmers, especially the small and marginal ones who are most dependent on rains, there is little food and almost no work alternative. The rural reality is stark: Around 55 per cent of households have no land at all, and are entirely dependent on manual labour to provide food to their families. But outside farming, there is little work available in the countryside. The human consequences of this massive distress movement of people are inestimable. This should be intolerable in a country that boasts of being the fastest growing major economy in the world, with stocks of foodgrains in government warehouses ranging from 50 to 80 million tonnes. But the avoidable suffering of millions of children, women and men in today’s India, because they lack food, work and water, still does not create public outrage, much less elementary accountability from governments. Even colonial governments were guided in times of scarcity by famine codes, which contained detailed guidelines to employ all persons who seek work in low-paid public works, to enable survival. These were combined with programs of distressfeeding of children, the old and sick, and starving; fodder camps for cattle; and the transportation of water. In the decades I worked in the civil service, we still regarded the preservation of human and animal life during scarci-

ties, along with protection of persons from caste and communal violence, to be among the highest duties of public service. The times today are dramatically different. In the glitter of contemporary India, the distress of city car drivers in the country’s capital, who have to find other modes of transport on alternate days, occupies far more public and media attention than the agony of daily survival of millions of people in rural India. The highest priority of the Central government in times of scarcity should be to ensure the creation of millions of additional person-days of work in all affected villages. Instead, we find that it continues a policy of false claims, low-resourcing and poor management of highly delayed financial flows. Colonial famine codes and scarcity codes of post-colonial India were not legally binding, but they spurred local administrations to create millions of person-days of wage employment in a vast battery of village public works. Today, the duties of governments are written into a law, the historic Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), which creates legal obligations on governments to create at least 100 days of work in a year for all rural households that seek wage work in rural public works close to their homes. Given the scale of distress of landless workers, small and marginal farmers and livestock rearing communities in times of recurring scarcity, it can reasonably be expected that there would be a huge spurt of demand for employment in these times. The finance minister claimed he had allocated the highest ever resources to MGNREGA in the 2016 budget. However, allocations have actually fallen significantly in real terms from the peak of 0.6 per cent of GDP in 2010-11 to 0.26 per cent of GDP in 2016-17. Also, if the 2010-11 allocations are adjusted for inflation, allocations in 2016-17 should be higher than Rs 66,000 crore to actually qualify as the highest ever. The allocations made in the current budget is Rs 38,500 crore. Of this, as much as Rs 12,590 crore is required to meet the record high of pending liabilities at the end of the last financial year


HOUSTON: AKASH MISHRA CHICAGO: NAND KAPOOR INDIA: RAJ KANWAR, 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-NEWS or 6397 Fax: 713-789-6399, email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com, website: indoamerican-news.com


(2015-16). Therefore, the amount of resources required to meet wage demands in the current year is only Rs 25,910 crore. What does this huge bill of pending liabilities represent? It simply means that workers have not been paid wages, often for several months, for work done in the past. If wages are delayed so extensively even during times of acute distress then a precariously surviving impoverished person cannot rely on MGNREGA to extend wage and social protection in normally lean times. In effect, by deliberately delaying fund releases to states, the Central government ensures that fewer and fewer workers actually demand work under the program. This is, under the law, a demand-led programme, in which the Central government is legally bound to provide all the resources needed to meet the demands for work up to 100 days per rural household. Chronically delayed payments kill the demand for work and thereby subvert the central purpose of the law. Drought has been declared in 10 states. The Union government made a grand announcement of 50 days additional work in drought affected areas, but it did not back it with the allocation of a single additional rupee. We estimate that an additional 50 days of work just for drought affected job-card holders would require an additional allocation of Rs 15,000 crore — that’s over and above the normal requirements of the program, which have not been made to begin with. And the sad reality is that all 10 states ended the year with a negative balance of pending liabilities because of long-delayed releases from the Centre, and as a result, a mere 7 per cent of households in these states crossed 100 days of work. It has become customary for the present government to make tall claims whenever it is confronted with criticism of neglect of the social and farm sectors, and of people battling drought. A simple reference to actual facts reveals the hollowness of its claims each time. Yet each time it seems to hope that people may not notice. Mander is a human rights worker and writer.


May 13, 2016

Muni Seva Ashram: An Evening of Fun, Fashion, and Elegance

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From left: Hemant Patel, Emcee Nina Desai, Chairman Dr. Vikram Patel, Yogendra Patel, Emcee Akshay Deshpande, Organizer Bina Patel, and Ankit Patel.

Models wearing clothes made by Muni Seva Ashram which were featured in the fashion show.


HOUSTON: The stage was set.

The makeup was done. The mics were tested. The volunteers, performers, and models eagerly waited for the hundreds of attendees to arrive. The second annual Muni Seva Charitable Foundation Gala was held on Sunday, May 1, at the Holiday Inn in Houston. Muni Seva Ashram was founded by the late Anuben Thakkar in 1978. What started out as a small hut to babysit children has now grown into a 300 acre social service project with the help of Chairman Dr. Vikram Patel who was in attendance. Emcees Nina Desai and Akshay Deshpande kicked off the evening with a dance performance by the students of Vallabh Vidya Mandir, a Sunday school at a local temple, VPSS. These 8 young girls beauti-

fully showcased their talents and served as representatives of the young children currently residing in the ashram. Keynote speaker Dr. Yogendra Patel, a surgeon from New York, spoke about his life changing experiences while visiting the ashram several times over the last 15 years. Dr. Patel has had a front row seat to the selfless work of Dr. Vikram Patel and the entire Muni Seva Ashram team. Dr. Patel also announced that MSA was the 2016 recipient of the Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST) Technology Award. The organization is being recognized for the unique concepts developed for the ashram such as the first solar fridge and solar air conditioning systems. The work of Dr. Vikram Patel and Muni SevaAshram has struck a chord amongst local businesses throughout Houston. Kohinoor Diamonds, Karat 22 Jewelers, Subhlaxmi Grocers,

and other local businesses generously donated several items to be auctioned off to help raise money for the ashram. The highlight of the evening was the fashion show choreographed by emcee Nina Desai. With a team of hair and makeup artists who kindly donated their time and skills to the cause and weeks of preparation, the volunteer models were able to beautifully showcase the outfits produced at Muni Seva Ashram for the behno clothing line along with kurtis produced for the MSA Ethos line. The stunning display of the outfits surprised even Dr. Vikram Patel who exclaimed, “Wow! These clothes are made at our ashram?” Thanks to Anuben Thakkar’s vision, Dr. Vikram Patel’s self-sacrificing lifestyle, a dedicated team of volunteers and generous donors, in Houston and all around the world, the evening was a beautiful success.

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20 May 13, 2016


A Chance Meeting, and Obama Remembers the Power of Affirmation BY RANJANA MARTINEZ

SAN ANTONIO: I recently had the pleasure

of meeting Governor Bill Richardson at the Hillary Clinton for President Headquarters. He is a highly accomplished politician and should be considered for Vice President. He advised me to write this piece about my brief meeting with the young Barack Obama. My husband was attending an Anesthesiology conference at Treasure Island, in the San Francisco Bay area, in the early 1980’s. Taking the advice of the hotel concierge, I walked to the Bay Bridge from where I could get a glimpse of Alcatraz. As I used the telescope to locate it, I heard some boys calling. I ignored them until they got loud. I turned to my right and saw a young African-American boy and his friend at the foot of the bridge. When I asked if they called me, they said they had. I decided not to ignore them and walked over to them, remem-

The card that President Barack Obama sent Ranjana Martinez to confirm the impact she had on his life.

bering the many times adults ignored the call of youngsters. I asked their names. One was called Robert Titcomb who told me to call him Bobby. The African-American boy, dressed neatly in a safari suit, said his name was Barack Obama and I should call him Barry. He was happy when I told him that his first name meant “blessing.” They were on a short vacation and lived in Hawaii. I noticed Barry seemed very sad when he spoke. I asked him why three times. He finally said he did not know what to do with his life after high school. I wanted to uplift his spirit, fearing he might jump into the water and blurted, “Why don’t you become the President of the United States?” He was startled and said he could not. I insisted that he could, as anyone in America could be whatever they wanted. They could do anything they wanted. He looked better and both boys walked with me to see Alcatraz. Later his Mom, Ann, came up and talked with me. I asked her why her son was sad. She said she keeps telling him to do something with his life. She thought I was crazy for suggesting that he become President of the U.S. I told her, “Don’t say no to him. He will not do it.” As they were about to leave on foot to cross the bridge to the mainland, Barack said. “Wait, you said I can be President. Tell me how.” I told him and his Mom to think out loud with me. I said, “You should finish college, become a professor, then a Senator and then President. You also need to be a lawyer, otherwise they will chew you up.” His Mom agreed. Before finally leaving he asked, “When can I run?” I told him in 25-28 years. And he did just that! I am very proud of my Barry! He is a great President of the United States! Ranjana Adhikari Martinez was born in Karnal, Harayna and grew up as an Indian Army officer’s daughter. After college in Chandigarh, she flew as an Air India hostess. She met Dr. Carlos Martinez, an Argentine Anesthesiologist in Singapore and the two were married in Mumbai. They have has a 23 year-old son who is a medical student. She lives in San Antonio and is a volunteer for the Democratic Party.

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May 13, 2016


Ek Disha Foundation and Indo American Charity Foundation Combine Efforts to Aid Flood Victims

JOB AVAILABLE CAM administration: Janet Knott, Monique Wright, Martha Burnes, and swati narayan


On Friday, May 5, two Houston based SouthAsian organizations, the Ek Disha Foundation and the Indo American Charity Foundation, combined fundraising efforts to present the Cypress Assistance Ministries (CAM) with $5000 in HEB gift cards (two hundred $25 gift cards) to assist the flood victims in the 77084 zip code. The 77084, an area sandwiched between the City of Houston and the City of Katy, is uniquely disadvantaged in that it does not receive city services from either city. 20% of the residents (approximately 20,000 people) in this area (many of whom are immigrants), lost

property in the April 18 floods. While parts of Houston were still under water, the Ek Disha Foundation (EDF), which funds, mentors, and supports high impact, sustainable projects globally and locally, jumped into action by conducting a goods drive, collecting nonperishable food, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. EDF reached out to other South Asian organizations to collaborate efforts, and the Indo American Charity Foundation (IACF), whose motto is “We live here. We give here,” quickly responded with their support. In the span of 6 days, the two organizations raised $5000 towards the purchase

of HEB grocery store gift cards for almost 200 families in the 77084 zip code. As the only support agency serving the 77084 zip code, Cypress Assistance Ministries is providing cleaning supplies, up to $500 rental assistance for flood victims, and now, thanks to the combined donation from EDF and IACF, will be able to provide much needed funds for families to purchase groceries. While most of the Greater Houston area has recovered and sees none of the effects of the CONTINUED ON PAGE


Lead Dancer & Choreographer Sugarland, TX Utilizing a degree of expertise indicative that the individual is one of that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of contemporary (Bollywood Fusion) Indian dance, choreograph, manage and organize performances at various venues within and outside the State of Texas. Organize dance learning studio of over 100 students from diverse social and cultural backgrounds to perform on stage in choreographed routines. Reply to: NAACH Houston, Inc., 2311 Williams Trace Boulevard Sugar Land, TX 77478


22 May 13, 2016


Place a Number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. Send us the correct answer before May 18, 2016. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036. Send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published (for first three entrees only & 1 submission per month).

Solution Next Week

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Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Sukki Khumban (Sauteed Mushrooms) - Qucik Recipe

Most people like the taste of mush-

rooms, and even though they can be expensive, they are an often sought after ingredient on pizzas or as a side dish in restaurants. But these mushrooms are usually not fresh, coming out of a can or frozen and the taste is very ordinary. A popular variety is the small, round, pointy type called button mushrooms, usually sold in cans. Most mushrooms available in stores are the white type (technical term: Agaricus bisporus) which are safe for most people to eat as they are grown in a sterilized, controlled environment, but other varieties are whites, crimini and portobello. Others that are cultivated are shiitake, maitake or henof-the-woods, oyster, and enoki. The small Mushrooms are neither meat nor vegetables but are known as the “meat” of the vegetable world. Mushrooms are a low calorie food, an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B5 as well as selenium, copper, phosphorus and potassium, and contain no sodium or vitamin C. Sun dried khumban (mushrooms) are also widely available in most bazaars and markets, but these are usually the type with larger caps. These are not as sought after because their dark color and texture gives a pungent smell when cooking and a slightly altered taste. When cooking mushrooms, make sure of clean them well by dipping in water as they can hold a lot of dirt in the top cap but then, shake them and towel dry them as any extra water will turn to steam and overcook the mushrooms. Ingredients:

250 gm khumban (mushrooms) 1 tsp tamater paste (tomato paste) 1 medium pyaaz (onion ½ teaspoon of lasan (garlic) powder (if desired) 3 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper), garam masala Directions:

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1. Cut off the ends of the mushrooms and clean them with a damp paper towel. If you prefer, you can quickly dip them in water and then make sure to dry the mushrooms off completely, leaving them on a towel for some time to air out. 2. Cut the mushrooms in slices and keep aside.

3. Peel the onion, slice it and keep to the side. 4. In a medium frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat, then add the onions and brown them, stirring occasionally to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom. When the slightly brown, add the tomato paste, salt, pepper and garlic and stir well. The paste adds a bit of taste and color to the dish. 5. Throw in the mushrooms, stir and let it cook for 5 minutes. 6. Turn the heat off, cover the frying pan and let it sit uncovered. 7. Before serving, garnish the dish with garam masala and the shredded fresh dhania.

Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur (since renamed Faisalabad), India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her mid-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes.



In many Indian ho mes the smell of th e food can linger fo time even hours af r a long ter cooking, especia lly when making a dish like daals and curried chole. Since you ca n’t cook most Indian without onions, it is dishes usually the smell of onions – and someti garlic – that stays mes inside the home. A lot of people co ok in the traditiona l style of tadka - sti the chopped onions r-frying , garlic and ginger in oil and all the sp a small frying pan ices in and then adding th is to the curry. Th leaves a smell that is often lasts for hours. I us ually just drop in th turmeric, chopped e salt, onions, garlic and gi nger into the curry is simmering.Afte while it r it is cooked, I heat up the oil in a frying powdered coriand pan, add er and red pepper, sti r fry a little and then the mixture into th throw e cooked daal. Th is way, there is no food smell to worry lin ge ring about and the dish still tastes authentic .

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May 13, 2016


1920 London BY MOHAR BASU

Movie: Shivangi (Meera Chopra)

comes from a royal family in Rajasthan and is married to a prince named Veer (Vishal Karwal). They receive a necklace from their hometown which casts a vicious spell on him. He is possessed by a daayan and the only man who can help is Shivangi’s ex-lover Jai (Sharman Joshi). Can he be saved? Review: There isn’t an inkling of innovative thinking in the third installment of the 1920 series. The

best thing that can be said about it is that it will remain one of the year’s funniest films. Blood talk, daayans and jaadu tona are all in vogue this season (ahem!) but in the horror genre, these things are so passe. One look at the daayan and the first thing that will pop in your head is ‘For Devil’s Sake, someone get the poor woman a stylist’. With her sense of make-up, anyone would be looked down upon by their peers. No

wonder she rages, roars and rumbles to find herself a soul. A haunted mansion, rocking chairs, creaky sounds, a damsel in distress, a possessed man, an exorcist are all extremely gimmicky. But Vikram Bhatt prefers relying on these oversold elements even in 2016. From the first frame itself, you get a hint of how ridiculous this will turn out to be but you sit in the hope that probably there will at least be one good enough scene that will scare you. Alas, no luck at that. DirectorTinuSureshDesairedeems himself only because he gives us enough things to laugh about. There are corny dialogues that provide some comic relief. And the visual of a flying Sharman ala Shaktiman, will have you in splits. C l e a r l y, the actor sleepwalks through his role and a good pay cheque seemed like his only impetus to see this through the end. Meera is abysmal and the rest of the actors with their grim voices are not worth mentioning. As for the daayan, her story is too flimsy. She could’ve found a better script on prime time and after this disaster of a film, she should really consider a career shift. -indiatimes.com


What was Jail Like for Sanjay Dutt? He Tells All Dutt recalled the moment 23 years abuse has been about 12 years. There

ago when he first learned about the charges agianst them, “I was shooting in Mauritius when my sister called and said that I was being charged for keeping rifles, and I said, ‘Oh really?’” Dutt rushed back to India immediately. “When I reached Bombay airport... I was coming down from the slide, and I saw 50,000 policemen pointing their guns at me, as if I was Osama Bin Laden.” “...when MN Singh (the then Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), Mumbai) came and said that I was being booked in the Mumbai blast case, I broke down. I was like, ‘How can you expect me to blast my own city? Go against my country?’ He said, ‘I am sorry, but I have to arrest you’,” Dutt recounted. A combination of spiritual and physical pursuits kept him occupied in jail. “Maine jail mein Ramayan, Bhagwad Gita, Shiv Puran, Ganesh Puran, Bible, Quran Sharif aur Guru Granth Sahib padhi. I can sit and talk to any maulana or any priest and make sense. I had a small temple, samne bathroom tha tab bhi mandir tha. God is in your heart,” shared Dutt. He added that he was 110kgs when he went to jail, so decided to shed the extra weight: “I started running in the yard, lifting huge buckets of water. I used to hit nails

(sic) in the wall till my knuckles hurt and wrists swelled. But still, I used to do it every day, because I wanted to break through the pain.” But his kids never knew that their father was in prison. “I used to speak to them twice a month. I told tell them that I was shooting in the mountains and didn’t have proper connection. That’s what they know even today.” Dutt also spoke at length about his drug addiction: “Substance abuse is something that you do if you want to do it. Once you get into it, it’s very difficult to leave. It is the worst thing in the world. My journey with substance

are no drugs in the world that I have not done. When my father took me to America (for rehab), they gave me a list (of drugs) and I ticked every drug on it, because I had taken all of them. The doctor told my dad, ‘What kind of food do you eat in India? Going by the drugs he did, he should be dead by now!’” “I didn’t leave drugs because of my family. I left because I wanted to be out of it. I didn’t want that life. When you start the rehabilitation process, one part is physical - your body breaks down and you feel cold,” he added. Continuing about rehab, Sanjay Dutt gave a message to the youth, “But the most difficult part comes later, when your mind says, ‘Ab toh tu theek ho gaya hai, ek baar maar lete hain’. That’s when you have to use willpower. I want to tell youngsters, live your life, love your work, love your family, it is better than cocaine.” -dawn.com

Madhuri Dixit, May 15, 1967

Sunny Leone, May 13, 1981


24 May 13, 2016 Sunrisers Hyderabad Defend 137 to Go Top of the Table


“Better Prepared for Rio” Says Footballer SV Sunil



ISAKHAPATNAM (ESPN Cricinfo): Sunrisers Hyderabad

137 for 8 (Dhawan 33, Williamson 32, Zampa 6-19) beat Rising Pune Supergiants 133 for 8 (Bailey 34, Dhoni 30, Nehra 3-29) by four runs. Sunrisers Hyderabad possess perhaps the best - and certainly the most in-form - pace attack in the IPL, and this proved decisive in bowler-friendly conditions that produced a low-scoring thriller against Rising Pune Supergiants in Visakhapatnam. There was turn, and R Ashwin and Adam Zampa whose figures of 6 for 19 were the second-best in the tournament’s history - helped keep Sunrisers to 137, but there was also swing for the new ball, a bit of bounce, and grip for Mustafizur Rahman’s cutters. The chase was a chess game. MS Dhoni promoted George Bailey and Ashwin to Nos. 3 and 4 after the early loss of both openers, with the third-wicket pair ostensibly instructed to push the ball around and stabilise Supergiants’ innings, given the modest required rate. Bailey and Ashwin put on 49 in eight overs, and when the partnership ended Supergiants needed 70 from 48 balls. Dhoni didn’t walk in then; he came in with 60 required from 40. It eventually came down to 42 off the last four, and Dhoni and Thisara Perera, conscious of the risk of hitting out against Mustafizur, were content to take singles and twos against the left-armer. The ploy kept Mustafizur wicketless, even as he conceded only 13 off his last two overs. Dhoni and Perera made up for that in the 18th over, in which they took 15 off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but they were still left needing 14 from the last over. Ashish Nehra started the final over with a full ball that Perera couldn’t get under, and then a perfect yorker that Dhoni could only hit for one. Perera skied the third ball to extra cover, leaving 12 to get off the last three. Dhoni hammered the first of them - a full toss - over the wide long-on boundary, but when he was run-out going for a second

Sunil is hoping for a much-better performance the team in Rio.


Deepak Hooda is stumped by MS Dhoni off Adam Zampa, Rising Pune Supergiants v Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2016, Visakhapatnam.

that didn’t really exist - he went for it because he simply had to - Zampa was left needing to hit a six to win it off the last ball, or a four to tie. He only managed an outside edge to a flying Naman Ojha behind the stumps as Nehra closed the match with a wide yorker. The win took Sunrisers top of the points table, and left Supergiants with close to no chance of qualifying for the playoffs. The captain, winning the toss, had chosen to bowl in each of the 20 IPL games that preceded this one, and David Warner raised a few eyebrows - including Dhoni’s - by opting to bat. Given the swing and bounce available to the quicks, a traditional good length was a pretty good T20 length as well, and Ashok Dinda and RP Singh, by dint of denying the batsmen width, kept Sunrisers to 34 in the first six overs, while dismissing Warner. Ashwin, often used sporadically by Dhoni in recent weeks, came on at the start of the non-Powerplay overs, and immediately found the pitch to his liking. His third ball spun from just outside off stump

and turned a long way down the leg side, beating not just the advancing Kane Williamson but Dhoni as well. His fourth dipped on Shikhar Dhawan, left him searching far out in front of his body for a flick, and ran off the leading edge through point. Ashwin finished his full quota in one go, dangling the ball above the batsmen’s eyeline and teasing them with dip and turn. He got Dhawan to hole out in his third over, and only conceded one run in his fourth, with two slips breathing down Yuvraj Singh’s neck. When Ashwin finished his spell, Sunrisers were 70 for 2 in 13 overs. Williamson and Yuvraj hit two fours and two sixes in the next two, off Rajat Bhatia and Perera, before the advancing Yuvraj skewed a Zampa googly to long-off. Williamson and Henriques took 12 off the 17th, bowled by Perera, before Zampa dismissed both of them in the 18th, off successive balls. Both holed out to long-off, but the bowler played a big role in at least one of the dismissals, forcing Williamson to

reach out for a wide legbreak.Dinda came back for the 19th, and - in hindsight -bowled a match-turning over, conceding 15. The four and six he conceded in that over came off attempted yorkers that didn’t miss the mark by much, but missed it by enough. Ojha whipped away the leg-stump half-volley, and Deepak Hooda deposited the full-toss high over midwicket. Dhoni, often averse to bowling spinners in the end overs, threw the ball back to Zampa. Hooda ran down and hit his first ball for six, but the bowler saw him stepping out again and fired in a wide legbreak. Then, off the last three balls of the innings, he bowled Ojha off the thigh pad with a slider, saw RP Singh put a skier down off Barinder Sran at short third man, and had Bhuvneshwar caught at long-on. Little would he have known then, as he walked off smiling, that he would be called on to bat with a boundary required off the last ball of the match. Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo.


ANGALORE: Star men’s hockey team striker SV Sunil feels India are much better prepared this time around for the Olympics than four years ago in London and said playing Germany in the Champions Trophy will them in good stead against the reigning champions in the Rio Games. India are clubbed alongside defending champions Germany, European champions Netherlands, Pan-American Games champions Argentina, Ireland and Canada in Pool B in the Rio Olympics. And Sunil, who vies to be at his best against the mighty Germans, said the Champions Trophy will provide them much-needed knowledge about top teams, including Germany. “They (Germany) are the best team in the world. It is my priority to do well against them in the Champions Trophy and at the Olympics. Playing them in the Champions Trophy will help us understand their game better ahead of the Olympics. We discussed Germany in our previous team meetings and we are aware of their strength and weaknesses,” said Sunil. Talking about eight-time champions India’s preparation for the Olympics, Sunil hoped for a much-better performance the team in Rio, unlike four years ago in London where they finished last among 12 teams. “Last time, we paid more attention to fitness but this time, it is very different. We are paying attention to overall development as a team and the training has a lot to do with discipline and team spirit which I think has helped us on the field and in understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” he said. “The approach we have for the Olympics this time is far more systematic and I feel we are on the right track,” the 27-year-old striker from Coorg added.

May 13, 2016

India, Iran Agree to Clear $ 6.4 Billion in Oil Payments via European Banks

Buyers of Iranian oil were prevented from using global banking channels to clear their transactions after sanctions were imposed on Iran in 2011 over its nuclear programme.


NEW DELHI: The central banks

of India and Iran have reached an arrangement to use European banks to process pending oil payments to Tehran, India’s oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan told Reuters, unlocking $6.4 billion in stalled funds. Buyers of Iranian oil were prevented from using global banking channels to clear their transactions after sanctions were imposed on Iran in 2011 over its nuclear programme. With the end of those sanctions in January, after an agreement to curb the programme, Iran is finally gaining needed access to the funds. Iran hopes the money will revive its moribund economy and raise Iranian living standards as well as help to integrate the country into the global economic system. Indian refiners have been holding

55% of its oil payments to Iran after a route to make payments through Turkey’s Halkbank was stopped in 2013, although payment of some of those funds was allowed after an initial temporary deal to lift the sanctions. “There is an agreement between (India and Iran’s) central banks. European banks will be the clearing agent. They will be dealing with Iranian banks and we have to pay those European banks,” Pradhan told Reuters in an interview. He did not elaborate further, saying the finance ministry was dealing with the issue. Also because of the previous sanctions, Indian refiners have been depositing 45% of their oil payments to Iran in rupees with India’s UCO Bank. Tehran has been using the funds, currently about Rs.13,000 crore ($1.95 billion) to import non-sanc-

tioned goods from India. Indian government sources said during Pradhan’s visit to Tehran last month Iran had asked India to consider clearing the oil payments through Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank (EIH) of Germany, Central Bank of Italy and Halkbank of Turkey. One of the sources said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has ruled out channelling funds through Halkbank. “Halkbank’s Iran-related foreign trade activities with Iran have been carried out since 2004 ... Halkbank will continue its operations in accordance with international law,” a senior Halkbank official told Reuters. No immediate comment was available from EIH and Central Bank of Italy. The government sources said Indian refiners will remit funds to Iran through state-owned UCO Bank. UCO Bank’s chairman did not respond to calls from Reuters to his mobile phone. Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan said on 5 April India will make payments to Iran in a staggered manner. “Oil companies are working out the banking arrangements in coordination with Iranian counterparts and payments will be made by them presumably over time with minimal impact on the market,” an RBI spokesperson said on Thursday. Despite the sanctions, India continued its engagement with Iran and was among a handful of countries that sourced oil from Tehran. Iran was India’s second-biggest oil supplier before the sanctions hampered its trade relations. The country is set to import at least 400,000 barrels per day of Iranian oil in the year from 1 April. -livemint.com


Cheap Crude, Rising Remittances a $26bn Boon for Govt BY SHAHID IQBAL

on the international market helped Pakistan cut its oil import bill by 43 per cent, or a saving of $3.24 billion, in the first half (July to December) of this fiscal year. Oil imports during the six-month period fell to $4.35bn from $7.59bn in the same period of the preceding fiscal year. The country paid $14.36bn in FY12, $14.06bn in FY13 and $14.7bn in FY14 to purchase petroleum products, and only in FY15 the import bill shrank to $12.2bn in the wake of falling oil prices.

the benefits coming from the Middle East since Pakistan imports most of the oil from there while remittances from the region constituted about 64pc of the total remittances in JulyDecember 2015-16. The collective support of these two factors could provide a large cushion of about $26bn-$27bn during this fiscal year to the government, which is relying heavily on borrowing to improve its foreign exchange reserves. Despite this large support the country has been facing current account deficit, which stood at $1.3bn during July-December. Experts believe that the import

The oil bill in FY15 was about 30pc of the total imports while it was over 35pc in FY14, indicating the enormous burden of imports on the country whose exports, instead of growing, have started falling this fiscal year. In FY15, the exports fell by 3.9pc year-on-year while imports dropped by just 0.9pc. In the first half of this fiscal year, exports went down by over 15pc. However, the country is getting enormous support through workers’ remittances and cheap oil — both of

bill, which crossed $41bn in FY15, should be reduced. Only food imports cost $4.6bn during the previous fiscal year. Economists worldwide have predicted that the oil price would not see any big upward jump in the near future, which means countries like Pakistan could benefit from this situation by reducing prices at home for a big cut in the cost of production. Exporters in the country complain that the cost of production is much higher than India and China. -dawn.com

KARACHI: Falling crude prices


26 May 13, 2016 Ek Disha Foundation and Indo American Charity Foundation Combine Efforts to Aid Flood Victims CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21

Vanessa, a flood victim, her daughter, and Martha Burnes, CAM’s Executive Director.

floods, thousands of people are still deeply impacted by it. The joint efforts of EDF and IACF seek to bring necessary attention to their needs and provide assistance so that residents may quickly move towards rebuilding their lives. The Ek Disha Foundation (EDF) is a tenyear-old, grass roots, volunteer run organization that funds, mentors, and facilitates high impact, sustainable projects in the areas of health, education, and enterprise. EDF seeks the resolution of humanitarian needs through projects and/or ideas that are sustainable and scalable. Some of their project areas include sanitary hygiene, trafficking, access to clean water, maternal and fetal health, to list a few. $3000 Gift Card Donation to CAM The Indo American Charity Foundation is a 29-year-old organization that appeals to

the philanthropic spirit of the Indo American community in Houston to address needs in the areas of Education, Family, General needy and Healthcare in the metro Houston area. Their mission is to foster the local community “whose basic needs are met and where everyone can lead enriched lives.” $2000 Gift Card Donation to CAM “IACF is excited to join hands with Ek Disha foundation to work on projects benefiting Greater Houston Community in line with IACF mission of ‘WE LIVE HERE WE GIVE HERE’, We thank Ek Disha for coordinating the distribution of our donation to recent flood affected victims in our neighborhood”.-NANDA VURA President IACF


World Hindu Economic Forum Comes to USA


OUSTON: Swami Vigyananand, the Founder of World Hindu Economic Forum (WHEF), was in Houston on Sunday, May 1, to promote the 2016 convention taking place in Los Angeles in November 2016. During course of his one hour address to close to 50 Community Leaders, Businessmen, Professionals, and Entrepreneurs he dismantled many stereotypes related to wealth creation and the role of Artha (wealth) in Hindu dharma. He spoke candidly about the plethora of ideas but paucity of execution when it comes to business ventures. He delved into History to show how Bharat (India) commanded as much as 35% share of the World GDP for over 2000 years and how during the last two centuries the Indian share came down gradually to merely 2%. Quoting extensively from the scriptures and discourses among learned Rishis (sages), he exhorted the community to break free from the shackles of “individual brilliantness” and graduate to “collective success”. Drawing on his experiences from Asia and Africa, he talked about the work done by WHEF in creating an ecosystem to help Hindu business flourish locally and globally by promoting a business networking platform. Inspired by Swami Vigyananand’s vision, noted Industrialist Ramesh Bhutada announced a sponsorship of $10,000 to support WHEF Los Angeles event. Houston also resolved to send a strong 30 to 40 member delegation to LA. About World Hindu Economic Forum November 2016: Dharmasya Moolam Arthah (Economy is the Foundation and Strength for Community Success). With a vision of ‘Making Society Prosperous’ and on a mission of ‘Creating and Sharing Surplus Wealth’, The World Hindu Economic Forum brings together financially successful elements within the Hindu Society such as traders, bankers, industrialists, businessmen, professionals, technocrats, investors along with economists and thinkers, so that each group can share their business knowledge, experience, expertise and resources with their fellow brethren. The WHEF journey began in 2012 at Hong Kong, followed by successful annual forums in Bangkok 2013, New Delhi 2014, London 2015, and several regional forums along the way. USA is the premier economic power in the world. It is driven by a spirit of entrepreneur-

ship and leads the world in fields of finance and technological innovation. There are multiple opportunities for growth across the length & breadth of this vast nation. Los Angeles (LA) is the third-largest economic metropolitan area in the world. LA is a global hub for international trade, manufacturing, technology, finance, entertainment and fashion - making it an excellent venue for an economic forum. The WHEF 2016 conference @ Los Angeles will enable Hindus from across the world to network, get first hand insights into the North & South American markets, and pursue opportunities for mutual growth. Swami Vigyanand is a towering intellectual of Hindu / Sanatana Dharma and a distinguished scholar on Hinduism and global Hindu movement. He is an intellectual mentor and strategic guide for hundreds of distinguished Hindu activists and organizations operating multitude of Hindu empowerment and awareness projects with a world-wide scope comprising Asia Pacific, European, South Asian, African and American regions. He did his Bachelors in Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, India and then spent 10 years learning Sanskrit and Religious philosophy, in the process earning Vidyavaridhi (Ph.D.) in Eastern Philosophy which includes six school of Hindu Philosophy (Upang) along with Buddhist, Jain, Atheist Philosophy and other Hindu school of Philosophy and Vachaspathi (Doc. of Lit) Brahmana and Vedic Samhita degrees. For more information about WHEF 2016 in Los Angeles visit www.wheforum.org . You can contact Ramesh Shah, Gitesh Desai or Achalesh Amar locally in Houston with any questions related to WHEF.

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May 13, 2016




May 13, 2016