Indo-American News March 29, 2019

Page 1

Friday, March 29, 2019 | Vol. 38, No. 08

Published biweekly from Houston, TX


Indo y l k e American We News

f es og m i T in with o & B d e o t h dica , Ya Syn oogle & ed , G Special Reports tner r a P lekh Community Briefs Su , a i Local Politics Ind South Asians in the News

7457 Harwin Dr, Suite 212, Houston, TX 77036 • 713.789.NEWS (6397) •

Complete Holi Coverage Puranava Culture Fest Review: Hotel Mumbai P4-5, Photo Collage P24 P22 P20

MITRA / CAMDEN TRAVEL Consolidators for Turkish Airlines and Asiana Airlines

We have completed 25 successful years 12808 W Airport Blvd Suite 252 Sugar Land, TX 77478

We have special low fares on Emirates

WHOLESALER FOR S MAJOR AIR CARRIER • Emirates • Gulf Airways • Kingfisher • Singapore Airlines • Jet Airways • Sahara Airlines • Indian Airlines • Eva Airlines • Asiana Airlines • Qatar Airways • PIA • Air India • Royal Jordanian • China Airlines

281-530-3000, 1-888-811-LESS Emergency Contact 281-236-9475 Please call us to get these special fares

WHOLESALE CONSOLIDATOR OF QATAR & EMIRATES AIRLINES Call us for competitive and confirmed seats on all major cities in Texas to any city in India.Call us for Summer and December seats now

Last minute fares to Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore,

Calcutta and many more...

For Summer and December fares please call us now.

Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:


Daawat 20% 10x11.5 2019.pdf



10:26 AM

March 29, 2019

Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:

March 29, 2019

Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:



March 29, 2019


Biggest Color Fest in USA! Masala Radio’s Houston Holi 2019

Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:


March 29, 2019


Left: Stage entertainment featured UK Chart Topper Raghav. Center: Dignitaries on stage for the aarti. Right: Dance school performers thrilled the audience with their moves.

Sugar Land: In ancient hindu texts, the celebration of Holi came when the evil goddess Holika and her demon brother King Hiranyakashyap were defeated by the king’s good young son, Pralhad and his faith in Lord Vishnu. The all-women Masala Radio management team of Houston Holi 2019 kept the same faith, despite all challenges. Masala Radio and Aapka Colors presented Houston Holi 2019, along with major sponsors Texans Energy and Karya Property Management. The Color Festival boasted a record-breaking diverse crowd in 12 years with bursts of colors, energy on Saturday March 23, 12-5PM at the Crown Festival Park at Sugar Land, featuring the angel voice of South Asian pop sensation Raghav. For the second year at this new venue, Holi Revelers were blessed with perfect weather as ABC News ran a 10 am live telecast with event director Sandhya Thakkar and the colorful Masala crew led by sales manager Rinku, event manager Payal, and admin manager Sonali. The super success of Houston Holi was only possible as major sponsors Northwestern Mutual, Britannia, Deep Foods, Ramji Law Group, and leading Community organizations Gujarati Samaj of Houston, India Culture Center, and Hindus of Greater Houston persevered to bring our ancient culture, traditions, and sheer joy to thousands and thousands at 2019 Houston Holi. Sandhya Thakkar said, “We did not anticipate the unprecedented day-of-event rush which blocked the entire feeder between the event and the Grand Parkway u-turn.” The SL Police Chief issued an or-

der to shut down the Grand Park way exit on both sides of 59 to clear the traffic on the feeder immediately so Greatwood Residents could leave their subdivision. Guest found a way to park at UH SL and crossed the large field to make way to Houston Holi. Vijay Pallod said “Oh what an event it was! I had not imagined this kind of crowd.” Alpha Juice Sugar Land gave away 1,000 kulfi’s to the first 1,000 guests as they walked in! Free Kids rides spanned the park, from the new Knockerball game, Top Golf Games, to Giant Inflatables with tall slides, and the ever-popular Pirates Adventure motion ride. The Karya Property booth was turned into a rickshaw stop for free rides in authentic Indian Rikshaws and the Karya Sholay Side Car Scooter rides. Texans Energy’s Javed & Nisha Meghani, personally supervised distribution of 5000 free Texans brand spring bottled water with free balloon animals. Northwestern Mutual’s Omar Saeed & Chandani Mahant also provided an amazing balloon artist. Shaukat Dhanani, Gulshan Enterprises, & Shell Oil Company were the presenting sponsors of the live concert with Raghav. Britannia had two tents filled with free wheat rusks and cookies and Umang Mehta was floored with the turnout, “I have never run out of free cookies in any previous years, and this year I brought double the quantity and still ran out. Just Unbelievable!” Republican Congressman Pete Olson & Democratic Fort Bend County Judge KP George together made an entry to the Holi stage


15 Years of Solid and Trusted Experience Book Keeping & Tax Services Income Statements & Balance Sheets Filing of all individual Business Returns 1040, 1120, 1120S, 1065 Free Consultation

in Masala Radio’s Autorickshaw and wished the entire community “Happy Holi.” Thara Narsimhan President of HGH, Geeta Patel President of GSH & ICC President Nisha Mirani ushered all sponsors to light the Holi bonfire and pooja to bless everyone. The stage was led by another strong female, Emcee-SingerDancer Henna Shah, and official Holi DJ - DJ Nish who kept the audience pumped for a non-stop five hours. The opening act was a dazzling performance by the Carson & Barnes Circus performers. Stage Entertainment featured the timeless Raghav starting with his UK Chart topper Angel Eyes, and including his AR Rahman hit “Ishq Shava.” When Gully Boy star rapper Bali took the stage, the crowd went mad with his rendition of “Apna Time Ayega.” Songbird Akhila, trained in Classical Hindustani, wowed with her mashup of the Ariana Grande hit “God is a Woman.” The most hype and frenzy was created by the awesome Quattro Beats of four DJs – DJ Nish, DJ Zee, DJ AV, and DJ Tamin who absolutely rocked with his inimitable Dhol. The best part of the event was that it attracted the largest non-Indian crowd ever. Even 97.9FM’s MadHatter came on stage to wish everyone Happy Holi! A record number of local Bollywood Dance students melted hearts with their adorable dance moves, including Arya Dance Academy from Houston & Louisiana, Bollywood Dancing Stars, Dhadak Dance, Khushboo’s Dance, Houston Di Shaan, HTown Divaz, Infused Performing Arts, Dancing with Dolly and Swathi’s Dance

Group. Crazee Colors, the No 1 color company in the USA, sponsored the Color Rave with their high quality organic, toxin-free color powder. Shan Foods gave away Biryani and Kheer samples to demonstrate their Indian Masalas. Bollywood Superstar Akshay Kumar, a long time friend of Masala Radio, gave a shout out for Houston Holi and sent 1000 giveaway Tshirts for his upcoming Bollywood film Kesari. Amerejuve gave away hundreds of products and microderm facials by inviting guests to try their luck on their popular pink wheel of fortune, and MCFI provided free consultation on the new EB-5 Visas. The super large park was fully packed, and guests steadily lined up at the mouth-watering Indian Street Foods booths led by Gayatri Bhavan - with their hot dosas especially the hit chocolate dosa. Nirmanz Food Boutique and Mirch Masala had long lines for their freshly made chaat, Tru India with their world-renowned Hydrebadi Biryani was completely sold out by 2pm. Biryani & Co was also a huge hit. Tacos & Frankies offered an amazing assortment of fusion wraps with everything from paneer tikka to veg jal frezi. Tastee Pizza sold out first, offering both traditional cheese pizza and Indian pizzas filled with cilantro, paneer, chutneys and of course Masala! Sub Zero put on a show, zapping ice cream with their magical nitrogen blasters. And at the tail end, Sizzling Gyros food truck created their own magic with falafels, french fries, and chum chums. It is a tradition that Houston Holi is al-

ways a vegetarian and alcohol-free event. Masala Radio thanks the dream team Masala Entertainment crew led by the invincible Rinku, new but extremely capable Payal, youth leader Sonali, wiz designer Carlos, and steadfast setup team of Ruchir, Mayur, Shah, Ninad, Sahil and Harshin along with 180 volunteers from local high schools. Ticket and Info management Lauhael, Priyanka, Sangeeta, Kajal and Zubin and the amazing Radio Jockey stage management crew Dilip, Amit, Anees, Rajoo, Krupa, Priyanshi and Manali. The organizers also thank Meedu, Asit and Alex for spectacular photovideo coverage, an exceptional extended event crew and the Masala Radio jockeys who put their hearts into promoting Holi: Ina, Alka, Priya and Swati. Special thanks for the warm welcome by City of Sugarland’s Destination Manager Jessica, as well as the multiple department heads of Police, Fire, Environmental Protection, Health, and Building Permit for making Houston Holi as safe as it was fun. Look for more pics on and HoustonHoli. Sandhya Thakkar said “This event was not possible without the tremendous support of the entire community. It is not possible to organize the event at the ticket price we have without the support of our amazing sponsors. The even bigger Houston Holi 2020 will on Sat. March 21, 2020. Above all thanks to the grace of Lord Krishna who directs us all.” Photo Credits Meedu Fotography & Asit Patel.

BOOK KEEPING | PAYROLL | INCOME TAX Incorporations: C and S Corporations, LLC’s Sales Tax and Franchise Tax Returns Income Tax and Sales Tax Representation Payroll and Payroll Tax Returns

Cell: 832-877-9625 | Fax: 713-977-2221 | Email: | web: 6666 Harwin Dr, Suite 365, Houston, TX 77036 Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:



March 29, 2019

Vibha Holi 2019 Blends Culture, Color & Cause at India House Grounds

Houston: Holi - the Indian Festival of colors signifies the advent of spring, the victory of good over evil, the joy of friendship, and equality for all. On Saturday, March 16th, on the grounds of India House, we saw a perfect blend of it all at Vibha Holi 2019. Despite the weather, the grounds were awash with color as an enthusiastic crowd of different ages, nationalities and ethnicities came together and celebrated Holi amid music and dancing. Organized by Vibha, in association with Tara Energy, the event was hosted by the rocking team of DJ Dholi Deep and Malikka Ghei. The five-hour free event included

live performances by the melodious group - GlobalDesis; rocking bollywood style dance performances by local Houston dance groups including flash mob dance and others by Khushboo Dance group, Katy Bollywood Dance Academy, Goan Group, Shri Natraj School of Dance, Kusum Sharma of Kalakriti Performing Arts, Noopur Group and Arya Dance Academy. Prerana Chitlangia, Mrs. India Texas rocked the show. The delicious food booths by Mirch Masala, Godavari, Gayatri Bhavan, and Tacos n’ Frankies and lots of prizes and giveaways including Alexa by Divyendu Singh of New York Life Insurance, two

Samsung Tablets by Radio Dabang, free water, T-shirts, clappers and more did not fail to keep everyone happy. The Moonwalk and Obstacle course had the kids jumping along with the Knocker Ball that had them rolling on the ground. Murali Santhana, the official photographer for the event vividly captured the moments. At the pinnacle of it, with the sun out and everyone beyond recognition with colors on their face, hair and clothes, the mood in the ground was so catching and celebratory that it was difficult for anyone to hold still and not be moved by the gyrating dancers





Managing Attorney

Associate Attorney

This well executed event was greatly supported by Rajesh Desai of Namaskaar Entertainment, GlobalDesis artists, Darshak Thacker of Krishna Sound, Kalakriti, Murali Santhana’s photography and Col. Vipin Kumar of India House; and sponsored by Tara Energy (Title sponsors), Sterling McCall Toyota (Platinum sponsor), New York Life Insurance, Radio Dabang (Official media partner), Manyavar Mohey of USA and Hotstar, For more information about Vibha and for volunteering opportunities, visit or https:// .


Willy, Nanayakkara & Associates ATTORNEYS

and rocking music. Vibha Holi 2019 was organized by the dedicated efforts of Vibha Houston volunteers. Vibha is a non-profit, non-religious, nonpolitical, and a volunteer-driven organization with the mission to educate, empower and enable every individual who wishes to make a positive difference in the life of underprivileged children. All proceeds from Vibha Holi 2019 will go directly towards funding projects supported by Vibha in India and US that align with Vibha’s vision of helping every underprivileged child attain his/ her right to education, health and opportunity for a brighter future.




STEPHANIE STUBBE Associate Attorney


Former District Director of Immigration


THOMAS R. HUTSON Former Consul General



Former District Director of Immigration


Former Immigration Judge

Principal Attorney


Employment Based


Family Based

Investment Visas

EB1 / EB2 / EB5

Professional Visas

Skilled Worker Visas

We’ve Moved To

14141 Southwest Fwy, Suite 110 Sugar Land, TX 77478


Canadian Immigration

Masala Radio @ AM 1110 Every Thursday: 4:00 to 4:30 pm



Geetanjali Radio @ AM 1320 2nd and 3rd Saturday: 3:00 to 3:30 pm

Andhra Mirchi @ AM 1050 Every 2nd Saturday: 1:00 to 1:30 pm

•Over 30 years of practice in Immigration Law. •Member of the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association since 1989. •Providing representation for Canadian Immigration through our associates in Canada. •Over 16 Languages spoken by the Firm’s staff.


HOUSTON: EVERY THURSDAY | (281) 265-2522 | (888) 529-5990 | IMMIGRATION@GRWPC.COM ATLANTA: EVERY 1ST & 3RD MONDAY | (404) 937-6868 | (888) 529-5990 | ATLANTAIMMIGRATION@GRWPC.COM Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:


Former Immigration Regional Counsel USCIS


March 29, 2019

Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:


t f a



March 29, 2019

Southwestern National Bank Growth Plan

Chairman C.K. Lee(Left 7, Middle), CEO George Lee (left 4) with Board Director Michael Hong, Board Director Doris Chen, Vice Chairman Ted Hsieh, Board Director Jamal Mollai, Board Director William H. Glick, Board Director Jody Lee, President Mohammed Younus, Board Director Hasu Patel, Board Director Chen H. Lee, Board Director Ed Malmgren after March 21, 2019 board meeting

Houston: Subsequent to Mr. George Lee’s appointment as CEO and President of SWNB Bancorp, Inc., he and the management team developed the Bank’s 3 year strategic plan including new vision, core values, and goals. The well-defined strategic plan will focus on the legacy growth of its Houston and Dallas markets with new branches and upgrades in Katy and Sugarland. The company is also planning for expansions in Southern California and Austin, Texas, plus upgrading its technology to expedite and strengthen its market penetration. Mr. Lee expressed his confidence that the Texas economic strength will continue to flourish and the US China trade discussion will create a more balanced economic relationship between the two leading economic powers. A well balanced and solid trade relationship will lead to positive opportunities for the financial sector in both countries. At the Board meeting on January 17, 2019, the Board of Directors under the leadership of the Chairman, C.K. Lee unanimously approved to elect Mr. William H. Glick, Ph.D. (Former Jones Graduate School of Business, School Dean and current professor at Rice University), Mr. Jamal Mollai (Founder and

Owner of Bel Furniture, Inc.), Mr. Joe Ting (former Vice-Chairman of Metro Bancorp, Inc.) and Mr. Steven Chen (Dallas Fort Worth real estate developer and an import/export manufacturer) to be the newest Board members of Southwestern National Bank. CEO Mr. George Lee said, the four new Board members will enhance SWNB’s strategy with Mr. Glick providing a broader mainstream perspective of banking opportunities. Mr. Mollai will strengthen the knowledge and network into other segment of the Asian business. Mr. Chen will provide new guidance of the Dallas market. Instrumental to the company’s market presence is also the endorsement of Mr. Ting, successful international business pioneer and a co-board member and business confidant of Mr. George Lee for 20 years. Mr. Lee said, “The success and reputation of the four new board members speak for SWNB’s commitment for the future. The previous directors under the leadership of Chairman C.K. Lee has established a solid foundation during the past 20 years. It is new time for SWNB to blossom as a benefit to its employees, customers and investors.” The sentiment was best communicated by Mr. Ting during his remarks at his first board meeting. “I feel like 20 years younger, teaming up with SWNB and George, we have so much energy with a bright future ahead.”

y p o


DJ Bollywood & Sound • Weddings & Parties of Any Occasion •Garba • Bhangra • Hip-Hop• Dhol • Live Singers • Projector Screen Rentals • LED Uplighting • Packages Available • Decorations with Catering

832-883-6986 email: DJRiazAli

y p o


Bring 00 OF with this coupF $500orders ofon and u p

t f a


Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:


March 29, 2019


Dr. Gurnam Singh Receives Sangeet Natak Academy Better Bangla Radio Celebrates Award for Gurmat Sangeet from President Kovind Eight Years of Radio Broadcast By Jasbir Singh New Delhi: First time in the history of Indian music, Gurmat Sangeet was recognized and a prestigious award by Sangeet Natak Academy was conferred upon Dr. Gurnam Singh, founder and Head of the Gurmat Sangeet Department, Punjab University, Patiala, by the President of India. Sangeet Natak Academy was set up by Education Ministry, Government of India, in 1952. The Academy functions as the apex body of the performing arts in the country to preserve and promote the vast cultural heritage of India expressed in Music, Dance and Drama. Past awardees of the academy include famous artists like Pt. Ravi Shankar, Pt. Jasraj, Ustad Rashid Khan, Ustad Bismillah Khan and many others. Dr. Gurnam Singh, who received the award in February 2019, was born into a family of famous Kirtankars. He was introduced to Kirtan by at an early age by his father. Dr. Saheb has written about 18 books and published over 200 research papers published in various journals related to Gurmat Sangeet. He is a kirtankar of eminence and has released numerous recording, including a complete recording of 31 main Raagas of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Dr. Gurnam Singh’s major contribution, among many, is the revitalization of string instruments like Dilruba, Taus, Siranda and Rabab from the time of Sikh gurus

Gopa Mallick and Rajib Mukerjee have knit together a lively Bengali language radio program – Better Bangla Radio – since they started it in March 2011.

Press Release Dr. Gurnam Singh (left) receiving the Sangeet Natak Academy award from President of India Ram Nath Kovind.

Hindustani classical vocalists Singh Bandhu, Surrinder Singh says “with his contributions, Dr. Gurnam Singh has become an institution of music.” In 2002, Dr. Gurnam Singh was honored at the Harvallabh Sangeet Samiti for his contributions to Gurmat Sangeet. Dr. Gurnam Singh’s vision includes, essentially, the dissemination of Gurbani to every corner of world through Gurmat Sangeet. His rendition of 62 raagas and prakars of are available for U.S. citizens who have a college Sri Guru Granth in degree and are native speakers of: his melodious voice Arabic · Azerbaijani · Balochi · Bambara · Dari · Hausa is a rare treat to the Hindi · Kazakh · Korean · Kurdish · Kyrgyz · Mandarin listeners. Pashto · Farsi · Punjabi · Russian · Somali · Tajik Houston Sikh SanEHLS trains Tamashek · Thai · Turkish · Urdu · Uzbek · Vietnamese advanced gat is very fortunate English speakers to host Dr. Gurnam to be effective Join us to learn more about the program: communicators & Singh on several strong candidates PROFESSIONAL Thursday, Henington-Alief Regional Library occasions. His perfor federal jobs. ENGLISH FOR April 4 6-7pm formances at the GOVERNMENT Gurudwara Sahib of Friday, Walter Neighborhood Library CAREERS 3-4:30 pm Southwest Houston April 5 English for Heritage Language Speakers several times for the Saturday, Sugar Land Branch Library past three years have 3-4 pm 202.687.4455 · April 6 been very inspiring. and popularizing them the modern times. He introduced the accompany of a string instrument player at the Darbar Sahib kirtan at Amritsar. Appreciating his work, noted Ghazal singer, Late Shri Jagjit Singh once said, “This very simple person is an authority on Gurmat Sangeet”. They worked on a project, called “Dhur Ki Bani”.



OUSTON: The Better Bangla Radio celebrated its eighth year on Saturday, March 16 with a special live on-air show. Many regular listeners shared their thoughts and views with the show’s primary hosts Gopa Mallick and Snehashis (Rajib) Mukerjee. Well-wishers from all over the world who tune in online called in over the phone to congratulate the producers during the celebration. Better Bangla Radio made its debut on March 5, 2011 as the only Bengali-language radio program in the Greater Houston area. “Our primary goal was to serve the entire Bengali community”, explained Gopa who founded the show with Rajib. Now, not only do they reach local Bengali speakers but also those in North America and worldwide through online live streaming. Rajib is a former Indian diplomat who worked in various parts of the world before coming to the US. He moved to Houston ten years ago and is a senior executive in the private sector. Gopa has been in Houston for 35 years and is at present a homemaker and community service volunteer.

Over the past eight years, the Gopa-Rajib team has built Better Bangla Radio into a media which successfully conveys the rich cultural heritage of Bengal through music, songs, poem recitations, plays, talk shows, current affairs and worldnews highlights. Additionally, BBR aims to expose local talent and businesses by frequently having them on the air, which is much appreciated by the Bengali-speakers from both India and Bangladesh. The program is broadcast live in the Greater Houston area every Saturday between 11 am and 12 noon on KCHN-1050 AM, online at, or on a mobile device via the tune-in app. BBR archives its past programs on their website so listeners can tune in at their leisure. For more details about Better Bangla Radio, visit the “About us” page at its website www.

Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:

For Advertising in

Indo-American News call Sarita Mehta at



March 29, 2019

Chinmaya Mission Houston Celebrates Maha Shivaratri

The entire temple premises (left) were lit up with thousands of sparkling lights and chant of Aum Namah Shivaya filled the surrounding with serenity. The Smriti Hall stage was setup as a Kedarnaath Temple. The priest, Sri Somayaji Bhattar, led Rudrabhishekam puja. Photos by Rajesh Thatte, Jayesh Mistry.

By Rajesh Thatte Houston: According to the Hindu calendar, Magha Krishna Chaturdashi is known for the celebration of Maha Shivratri. This year, March 4, 2019, Monday, was that auspicious day. Typically, a work day would mean less opportunity for working families to celebrate traditional Hindu festivities. However, this year, Chinmaya Mission Houston presented unique and thoughtful means for devotees all over the greater Houston area to take part in this celebration. The two-day celebration started with Maha Mrutyunjaya Homa at Smriti Hall on Saturday March 2, 2019. The Maha Mrutyunjaya Homa is performed for spiritual and physical wellbeing of all. Shree Gane-

Kailas, the holy abode of God Shiva. The day started with Mahanyasa Purvaka Ekadasha Rudrabhisekam. Mahanyasa is performed for purification of mind and body. Rudram is an auspicious Vedic hymn elaborating the glory of God Shiva. During Rudrabhisekam, the Shivalinga, the symbolic representation of God Shiva is offered milk, water, honey, holy ash, fragrant water etc. The Rudrabhishekam was followed by prayers and Aarti. This year, Chinmaya Mission offered a seva where devotees could perform Rudrabhishekam either themselves or with their families. On Monday, the Smriti Hall stage held a beautifully crafted replica of Kedarnaath temple that was set up on stage along with the idol of Lord Shiva and a Shivalinga.

sha Sathyanarayana, chief priest at the Saumyakasi Sivalaya, CMH, conducted the homa in traditional Vedic style as Yajamans of the homa offered oblations to the holy fire. All attendees were also able to offer oblations using items provided to them as the serene chanting of Maha Mrutyunjaya Mantra filled the hall. Towards the end of the ceremony, volunteers collected the offerings from attendees and offered them into the homa-fire during Poornahuti. It is this very aspect of inclusiveness that made this homa unique. On Monday, the actual day of Maha Shivaratri, the temple team of Saumyakasi Sivalaya arranged day-long events. The basement of the Sivalaya was modeled like

Devotees participating in Rudrabhishekam were provided with sphatika shivalinga and all items necessary for performing the abhisheka as guided by the priest. After the abhisheka, devotees carried sphatika shivalingam home so they could worship it daily. In the evening, even as the cold weather had the touch of Mt.Kailas, thousands of devotees flocked the temple premises. The young and old performed Kshirabhishekam (offering of milk) on the Shivalinga of Lord Shiva in the temple basement before visiting the main sanctum where Laghunyasa Purvaka Ekadasha Rudrabhisekam was performed. The entire temple was lit up with thousands of sparkling lights and the chant of Om Namah Shivaya

filled the surrounding with serenity. After the night’s celebrations, an hour-long meditation session began at 10:30 PM which concluded with the midnight Aarti. One must attend this special meditation session to fully recognize its immense impact on an individual! As always, events of this magnitude are possible only because of hundreds of volunteers who dedicate their time and efforts selflessly for such auspicious celebrations. For more information about Chinmaya Mission Houston, Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya and its activities visit, or call temple 281 568 1690 or Jay Deshmukh 832 541 0059 or Bharati Sutaria 281-933-0233





C l a i h ss Ci

Starting From Monday,

Enhancement of health through balance and meditation Every Monday 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

Tai Chi with Certified Instructor


Tai Chi combines slow, deliberate movements, meditation, and breathing exercises to help your circulation, balance, and alignment while restoring energy. A very low-impact exercise with amazing health benefits. For Registration and Details: | 713-929-1900 8888 West Bellfort Ave., Houston, TX 77031 Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:



Pradeep Sulhan, P.C.

March 29, 2019


IACAN Presents Cancer Survivor Support Event

100 Attorney Street 220 Henry Street New York, NY 10002 New York, NY 10002 of 964-3792 the major goals (212) 533-2743 Houston: One (212) of IACAN is to support cancer survivors and their care givers. This provides a buddy system so sur1RZ $FFHSWLQJ $SSOLFDWLRQV vivors and their care givers get to share their experiences and hardship 14340 Torrey Chase Blvd. | Suite 110 | Houston, Texas U 77014 FREE AFTERSCHOOL U they are and thus come to know that not alone in this hard journey. (281) 583-2993 | (281) 580-8700 | Fax(281) 580-7550 In the survivor activities, they | share good nutritional tips for good health, modified exercises, and other valuable information about different resources that are available in the community. IACAN chooses therapeutic activities that would benefit survivors such as painting, yoga, and music and other activities that would help to ease the mind and give them a sense of wellbeing. . Thus, IACAN provides emotional support, psychological and medical support such as second opinions to them. One such activity was held on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at Udupi, Sugar Land, TX. Music heals mind and soul. It soothes the mind, reduces stress and anxiety, elevates the mood, eases the pain, improves cognition, relaxes the listeners and give them a sense of happiness and calm. The audience experienced all these benefits at the music concert conducted by Mrs. Mani Sastri and Mr. Krishna Prasad of Nada VInoda Music Academy. These two artists are not new to our IACAN. They had a fantastic music program last year and due to popular demand, they graciously agreed to treat us this year as well. These artists happily support IACAN by conducting music for the surResidential & Commercial concerts vivors and care givers. Today’s program exceeded the expectations of everyone. Your Realtor for These singers put Home Buying their heart and soul when they perform. and Quick Sell They choose the best songs – both new and BRIGHTSTAR old and fill the hall CONSTRUCTION with nostalgia. Every song is selected with great thought, compassion and excellent taste. So, it is no wonder, the audience enjoyed these songs to the fullest. The program was so enthralling, the participants took on the dance floor and danced for a couple of songs. This was an amazing performance. No program is complete without food. We had tasty appetizers with hot tea. We were treated with sumptuous dinner in the mid program. Everyone enjoyed the meals and as you know the food tastes great when you are sharing with your friends. The music

Certified Public Accountant

Over 25 years experience

A musical concert by Mani Sastry and Krishna Prasad was the highlight of a recent IACAN survivor support event.

continued after the dinner and when Mani announced the last song, no one wanted her to stop the program. Someone at the audience said that he has attended several music programs and Mani and Krishna’s performance was the best he had the pleasure of attending. Thanks to Vibhutiben, one of our board members for arranging this program to all those

who attended. IACAN has more such programs in the pipe line. Please check our website and let us know what kind of programs you would be interested in attending. Let us know your thoughts so we can bring more relevant programs. For additional information, contact iacannetwork@; www.iacannetwork. org; phone: 713 370 3489

Have you planned for your future?

Call us for Commercial Construction 832-776-6662 / 832-488-5511

People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan

Jesal Patel ARPC, CLTC, LUTCF Financial Adviser*: Eagle Strategies LLC Life Member MDRT Ph: 281-221-5061/713-499-7670 Fax: 832-201-5394 Website: *Financial Adviser offering investment advisory services through Eagle Strategies LLC, A Registered Investment Adviser. Registered Representative offering securities through NYLIFE Securities LLC-Member FINRA/ SIPC, A Licensed insurance Agency. Agent with New York Life Insurance Company. 3200 Southwest Freeway, Suite 1900, Houston, TX 77027 (713) 961-4545 California Insurance License # 0F53803 smru#1711530

Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:


March 29, 2019

Rao Sworn in as Judge for DC Court Harwin Branch


Washington DC: Prominent IndianAmerican lawyer Neomi Jehangir Rao (45) has been sworn in as US Circuit Judge for the powerful District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, replacing the controversial Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Joined by her husband Alan Lefkowitz, Rao was sworn in by US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Tuesday. She took the oath on a Bible. According to a White House schedule, President Donald Trump had participated in the swearing-in ceremony. Born in Detroit to Parsi physicians from India – Zerin Rao and Jehangir Narioshang Rao – Neomi Rao is the second IndianAmerican after Sri Srinivasan to be part of the powerful court said to be next only to the US Supreme Court. Nominated by President Donald Trump last November, Rao was confirmed by the Senate last week by 53-46 votes. In her previous role as the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

(OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget, she played a key role in regulatory reform. Rao’s confirmation and her swearing-in for the prestigious court has been a low-key affair for the Indian-American community due to her Republican party affiliation. This is in stark contrast to the nationwide celebration by Indian-Americans when Srinivasan was confirmed and sworn in as US Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit. Prior to her service as OIRA Administrator, Rao was a professor of structural constitutional law, administrative law, and legislation and statutory interpretation at tat George Mason University. She founded the Law School’s Center for the Study of the Administrative State and focused her scholarship on the political and constitutional accountability of administrative agencies and the role of Congress. She has served in all three branches of government, including Associate Counsel and Special Assistant to President George W. Bush.

Requires a minimum $10,000 of new money deposit (Outside of Golden Bank deposit) Maximum up to $1,000,000

Effective immediately until April 30, 2019 Special promotion applied to Harwin Branch CD only

Golden Bank reserves the right to modify or end this promotion at any time. Please visit Golden Bank Harwin branch at 7250 Harwin Drive, Suite D, Houston, Texas 77036 Tel: 713-777-3838 for detail. ©2019 Focusing Design Studio 713-876-6666



SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 2019 | 5:30 pm HILTON AMERICAS - HOUSTON 1600 Lamar Street, Houston, TX 77010

For Sponsorships and Tickets, visit or send an email to HONORING VIJAY GORADIA PRATHAM USA FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN EMERITUS



FORMER MISS TEXAS & MISS USA RUNNERUP Pratham USA is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization Fed Tax Id: 76-0620808 Registered Office: Pratham USA, 9703 Richmond Ave, Suite 102, Houston, TX 77042 Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:

March 29, 2019

Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:



March 29, 2019

Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY Minimum Income Guarantee?

It would be easy to dismiss the Congress party’s promise of transferring Rs. 6,000 a month to poor households as just a pre-poll gimmick by an Opposition party seeking to be one up on the ruling regime’s minimal cash transfer scheme in the form of PM-KISAN. For now, the party has not fully spelt out the details of its minimum income guarantee scheme, Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY), and has limited itself to saying this would be a flat transfer of Rs. 6,000 a month to identified poor households. There has been little word on how the Congress expects to finance NYAY. A ballpark estimate of the fiscal expenditure, to transfer Rs. 72,000 every year to the poorest 20% of the approximately 25 crore Indian households, would be Rs. 3.6 lakh crore. This is twice the estimated amount set aside for food subsidy and five times that for fertilizer subsidy in the 201920 Union Budget. It is not clear whether the Congress, should it come to power, will cut back on other subsidies and programmes in order to finance NYAY. There is also the additional problem of the identification of the poor — the Socio-Economic and Caste Census of 2011 is the most comprehensive exercise for this, but it has been riven by reliability and authenticity issues and has only been partially released to the public as yet. By having an inbuilt provision of targeting the beneficiaries, NYAY can fall short as other programmes have, such as the targeted public distribution system. The devil in the detail and the financing of the scheme apart, the idea behind NYAY is not entirely unsound. An unconditional transfer of a specified minimum income support to the poor will go a long way in helping address immediate needs related to health, education and indebtedness. A large section of the targeted poor would include landless workers and marginal farmers in rural areas, and unemployed youth in families engaged in menial labour in urban areas. Besides shoring up income to meet such basic needs and pushing wages upwards, the transfer scheme can help spur demand and consumption in rural areas in particular. There are disincentives inherent in the scheme as well. A section of the beneficiaries could withdraw themselves from employment but this could be mitigated by the expected overall spur in demand in the economy through consumption, and by the rise in real wages consequent to the shrinking of the labour market. Limited cash transfers in the form of direct farm income support in States such as Telangana and Odisha have helped ameliorate agrarian crises. This was the reason why the BJP-led government came up with the PM-KISAN Yojana as a countrywide scheme. A massive programme such as NYAY, however, has no precedent. It might give a fillip to the Congress election campaign, but much more homework is required for its implementation. A dole is not a magic bullet; it can only be one among a clutch of robust and prudent welfare policies.-- The Hindu.

Indo American News

March 29, 2019


Sri Preston Kulkarni: Near Miss to Victory? By Bhamy V. Shenoy

When Sri Preston Kulkarni decided to run last year for Texas 22nd Congressional District (Fort Bend County, Katy, Pearland, etc), many thought that he was too naive. Because it was a safe red district held once by former speaker Tom Delay and then by Pete Olson. No one thought he had a fighting chance. Had Kulkarni succeeded in unseating the incumbent in a red district he would have created history. In the event, Kulkarni missed the victory just by 4.9% - a remarkable phenomenon which media missed to write about. Olson had won in 2016 by a margin of 19%. Trump’s margin in Tx-22 against Clinton was only 7.9% which was significantly less than how Obama lost to Romney in 2012 by 25.4%. Despite all odds Kulkarni managed to narrow his loss, a significant shift of 14.1 %. As the election date was nearing, pollsters moved the Tx-22 from red to purple to blue. In many aspects, near miss victory of Kulkarni is comparable to that of Beto O’Rourke losing to Ted Cruze. Beto lost just by 2.6% but with a smaller shift of 13.4% versus 14.1 % for Kulkarni. While Beto was not new to politics having served as Congressman three times, Kulkarni was a novice in politics. Since there are far more races for the house of representatives than for the senate, Kulkarni’s near miss victory inTx-22 was not highlighted neither in Texas nor in the US. Things are changing now. Democratic party at national level has started to give more attention to Tx-22. Supporters of Kulkarni have renewed their confidence in their candidate and are holding meetings to come up with new strategies. A producer has come forward to make a promotional video for Netflix on the incredible achievement of Kulkarni. How did Kulkarni catch the imagination of his voters? To get a better appreciation, it is necessary to discuss his background, his platform, endorsement by Houston Chronicle and finally the unique character of his district. His opponent called him a ‘carpet-

bagger’ while he is a descendant of Sam Houston from his mother side and he is also an inheritor of India’s civilizational values of “simple living and high thinking” and respect for all religions from his father who is an immigrant from India. Kulkarni has spent his entire life serving his family, community, and country. A graduate of UT-Austin and Harvard, he served nearly 15 years as a Foreign Service Officer in Jamaica, Taiwan, Russia, Israel, and Iraq. He speaks Spanish, Russian, Hindi, Hebrew, and Chinese. He took a year off from his college to assist his father who was suffering from Cancer. He was repulsed by Nazi rally in Charlottesville screaming for white supremacy. He felt an urge to get involved to stop the tearing apart of American social fabric. He decided to leave what is certainly an enviable position to plunge into politics. Many enter politics only after ensuring economic independence. But he decided to take the challenge of making the US free from the “ unfortunate disease of intolerance and divisiveness” which is eating into its vitals currently. His election platform during the last election was progressive and embraced tax fairness and living wage, criminal justice reform, and support for a single-payer health care system. He promised to fight to make sure that no man, woman, or child in Texas’ 22nd district is without health care, that public schools are well-funded and safe from gun violence, that veterans are cared for, that we prioritize scientific evidence over politics on addressing climate change, and that Social Security and Medicare are protected. Houston Chronicle while en-

dorsing Kulkarni stated that “overall, Olson has come to represent all the worst instincts of U.S. politics while Kulkarni represents our politics at its best”. Such an overwhelming and enthusiastic endorsement must have also helped Kulkarni in narrowing the winning margin of Olson. Tx-22 is among the most diverse congressional districts in the country consisting of Indian, Chinese, Pakistani, Vietnamese, Filipino, and other Asian immigrants. The district has the biggest concentration of eligible Asian Americans in all of Texas. While whites are just 34%, others account for 66% (African Americans 20%, Hispanics 24%, and Asians 20%). The district should be of academic interest to social and political scientists to study how the country will evolve as whites become a minority in the US as predicted by 2045n. Kulkarni’s strategy of campaigning based on “ relational organization” by using volunteers who can speak 16 different languages was highlighted in the media. His “relational” volunteers put effort into getting family, friends, co-workers, or other people they know in the community to get out and vote. It is these novel ways that helped to get Asian Americans to vote in large numbers and proved his thesis correct. When he started to campaign he was told not to bother with the Asian Community because they don’t vote. His response was “may be they don’t vote because we don’t bother ”. While Kulkarni did just about every thing right, he might not have been effective in applying “relational organization” to white and latino voters. More than likely by analyzing precinct votes, he and his volunteers must have come to the conclusion that such an oversight/blunder should be corrected during the future campaigns. If Kulkarni decides to contest again in Tx-22 in 2020, psephologists will have an easy time to predict. Extrapolation has often failed. However in Kulkarni’s case it will not. This is because of the diversity of Tx-22 and also the unique campaign strategy of contacting voters in 16 languages. All indications are that Kulkarni would contest. And this time he will win.

Founder: Dr. K.L. Sindwani Publisher: Jawahar Malhotra Editor: Pramod Kulkarni Reporter: Sanchali Basu Advertising Administrator: Sarita Mehta ®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 212, Houston, Texas 77036. Tel & fax: 713-789-6397 email:, website: www.

Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:


March 29, 2019

IACCGH Presents Inaugural 2019 “Women Mean Business” Seminar to Station Houston, Gaby was an education executive, investment banker and management consultant in New York for more than 25 years. Her deep love for Houston, is one of her motivators to excel in her work, focusing “on the future of work”. Gaby also motivated the women in the audience to rely on the multi-faceted strengths within them to excel and succeed. The event concluded with an engaging Q& A session followed by Shell Representative Ana Kopf delivering the Thank you note and giving a token on appreciation to the speakers.

By Sowmya Murali Houston: The Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston held its inaugural Women Mean Business Series event of 2019 featuring Keynote Speakers Gabriella Rowe & Arpita Bhandari on February 27th. Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia, thanked sponsor Shell, for its generous support to both the Women Mean Business and the Distinguished Lecture Series. He highlighted the growth of the chamber, stating that the chamber’s diverse inclusivity is due to a good mix of business leaders and members from the local community. President Swapan Dhairyawan, welcomed the gathering and the speakers for the night. He highlighted the 20 years of progress of the chamber, mentioning the upcoming 20th Anniversary Gala held on June 15th of this year. He also thanked our resource partners with whom the chamber works closely to produce events benefiting the community. Past President and Program Chair Joya Shukla introduced the Keynote Speakers and encouraged the audience to share the “pearls of wisdom” that they will receive. She stressed on the importance of networking and highlighted how the chamber through such events is helping people especially women of various streams connect and know each other.

“Women Mean Business” speakers, spouses and dignitaries join President Swapan Dhairyawan (center right) at the podium.

Arpita Bhandari, co-founder of the BioUrja Group, spoke about leadership and how she strived to realize her personal potential. A successful businesswoman, who initially immigrated to Louisiana in early 1990’s, in teenage years performed odd jobs to make ends meet, to starting day-care centers and owning convenience stores, She relayed a fascinating journey that saw the struggles of a young, ambitious but determined couple

starting their lives out together to finally launching an energy commodity trading company with her husband, which now is among the largest privately held groups in the Houston area. Arpita stressed the importance of balance between work and home, and staying focused on goals, approaching success one step at a time Mrs. Bhandari is also extremely active in supporting various philanthropic causes.

I can help with your 401(k) options

Gabriella Rowe, CEO of Station Houston, the city’s largest hub for startup technology, spoke about the Journey she went through in her professional career. “To foster creativity and innovation using technology” is how she rose to become one of the few Women CEO’s of a large Tech Acceleration company in Houston. She spoke about her challenging journey growing up and how those challenges helped share her. Prior

Arpita Bhandari talked about her journey from owning convenience stores to the founding of an energy trading company.

Jaykay Wealth Advisors, Inc Anasuya Kabad, CFP® 6200 Savoy Drive Suite 300 Houston, TX 77036 (713) 780-4575 P hone Anasuya@advisorusa.c om www.advisorusa.c om

Changing jobs? What should you do with the 401(k) money you’ve accumulated? You may have up to four options: leave the money where it is, roll it over to your employer’s new plan, roll it into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), or cash it out. I can help you explore these choices, and guide you through the necessary steps.

Call me today for information, or to schedule a consultation.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Jaykay Wealth Advisors, Inc, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL Financial.

MKT-06054-0717 Tracking #1-654264 (Exp. 05/19) Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:


March 29, 2019

Div Walia of Dawson HS Takes Top Honors at Scholastic Awards P

Press Release

EARLAND: Divjot “Div” Walia, a 17-year-old senior at Glenda Dawson High School, in Pearland is one of 16 students recently awarded the Gold Medal Portfolio in the 96th annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The Gold Medal Portfolio is the highest honor in the Awards and comes with a $10,000 scholarship. Walia, a 17-year-old from Pearland, is one of 16 students selected to receive the Gold Medal Portfolio, which includes a $10,000 scholarship, in the 96th annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Walia’s nationally recognized writing portfolio “Vellichor” is a collection of personal memoirs and critical essays through which he explores controversial topics and ethical dilemmas that have shaped his passions and opinions. In his critical essays, Walia navigates divisive topics and institutions like artificial intelligence: “As the prospect of AI Armageddon approaches, the value of human labor asymptotically diminishes, but ultimately, we know there is something more — something innate — in the value of human labor. And if we are to preserve this essence,

adjudication by a distinguished panel of creative-industry experts. As a Gold Medal Portfolio recipient, Walia will have his work publicly displayed in the Art.Write.Now.2019 National Exhibition and will be honored on June 6th at Carnegie Hall as part of a weeklong national celebration in New York City. Walia plans to major in mechanical engineering and attend law school in the future. Walia’s parents hail from New Delhi, India and both came to the U.S. in the early 1990s.” even if for our own comfort, one thing is certain: machines are not our friends.” In his personal memoirs, Walia writes about his Indian racial identity and reflects on moments where he questions his ethics. In his favorite piece “Consider the Elephant,” Walia reflects on the first time he met an elephant: “I evaluated my own moral repugnance. I stand idle, observing all other injustices that occur in a developing country such as India, but when it comes to striking an animal (who happens to have incredibly thick skin), I draw the line.” This year, 340,000 works of art and writing were submitted for

Founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, and are made possible through the generosity of Scholastic Inc., The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, Command Web Offset Co., The New York Times, New York Life Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation and numerous other individual, foundation, and corporate funders; and, for the National Student Poets Program, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Poetry Foundation. For more information about the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, visit www.artandwriting. org



Stay tuned every Sunday,


to from 2.30pm to 3.30pm



Geetanjali Radio AM 1320 Sat & Sun 2-5 PM For your business ads

Cell: 832-878-4338 Tel: 713-545-4749

For advertising in Indo-American News, Call Sarita Mehta: 713-789-6397

Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:


March 29, 2019

Indo-American News • FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:


SUDOKU Place a Number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine.

Send us the correct answer before April 7. 2019 Email us at or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 212, 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

Last Week’s SUDOKU Solution

Last Week’s SUDOKU Winners

1) Mohan Jawalagi 2) Mark Desai 3) Kumud Athavaley

March 29, 2019


Mama’s Punjabi Recipes During the days of Navratri and just preceding Dusserah, the truly devout emulate the types of foods that Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshman ate while they were in exile. They had vowed to eat only foods grown in the forest, fruits, honey. Sabudana (large grain or pearl tapioca) is one such food and this recipe is repeated with a few additional tips, just in time for the Hindu holiday season.

Sabudana di Kheer (TAPIOCA PUDDING) Whereas chawal di kheer (rice pudding), along with ras malai (cheese in sweetened cream) and gulab jamun (syrup rose dumplings) have become some of the main desserts in many Indian restaurants, the sabudana kheer (tapioca pudding) has not. It is equally as easy, simple and inexpensive to make as kheer. I think the main reason is most restaurants don’t make it in the tasty way that it can be appreciated by the public. And just like chawal di kheer, the sabudana kheer shouldn’t have a thin milky syrup, but must be made properly: thick and sprinkled with iliachi for taste. Sabudana is a starchy substance extracted from the stems of sago palm trees, and then processed into small, circular pellets, which are sometimes called pearls. Tapioca pearls, on the other hand, are made with the starch from cassava, a root crop. It is not a low-calorie food but is used to an energy-boosting ingredient in soups, puddings, side dishes and main entrees. Sabudana is high in carbohydrates, with 86 grams of carbs in each 100 gm serving. Sago balls are larger than tapioca pearls, and both are sold in different sizes, colors, and flavors. In most parts of Southeast Asia, tapioca pearls can be bought already cooked and ready for use but elsewhere, these are sold in dried form and require boiling before use. When dried, tapioca pearls are white and opaque, but after cooking, they swell to almost twice its original size and become translucent. Sabudana kheer is easily made with sugar and cardamom in thickened milk. It is prepared for festivals and many special Hindu occasions though it is especially popular during the navratri time (nine days prior to Dusserah or Ramanavami) because it is made with sago and not grains like rice or wheat, which are avoided by devout people during those days. Sabudana kheer has become popular as a chic dessert at weddings where the thickened variety is presented in small earthen dishes and even with a small piece of sona ka varak (gold film). The secret to a tasty dish, prepared much faster, is to soak the sabudana much longer in the water, and to make sure the milk is thicker when you mix it in. If you use the large pellet sabudana, then you should soak the pellets in longer.

Ingredients: • 4 cup doodh (milk) – whole is best, but low-fat will do too • 1 cup sabudana (sago or tapioca) • ¼ cup chinni (sugar) • ¼ tsp iliachi powder (cardamom powder)

cardamom powder. 5. Thicker sabudana kheer tastes best. It can be served hot, but most people prefer to eat it cold, so refrigerate for an hour or two before serving.

Directions: 1. Pour the sabudana in a bowl full of water, cover and let it soak for two hours so that it swells up. 2. Pour the milk in a saucepan or small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir occasionally to make sure the milk does not stick to the pot, and let it thicken up a little. 3. Pour the sabudana through a strainer to drain the water, then pour it into the milk and stir continuously for 10 minutes but not more so that the kheer does not get too thick. 4. Now, add the sugar and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle with the crushed

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, 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 early-nineties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share her delectable Punjabi recipes for future generations.



used for making kh especially those in ee pearls to their frozeother South East Asian countries, add r, some people, n ice cr ea m , sh erbets and iced coffe tapioca variety sweet toppings. Fo e will lose their shapr this, the sabudana should not be soakalong with some e. ed as the pearls Ju st ad d th em to plenty of boili of water for one cu ng wa come out nice and p of sabudana – till they are transluce ter – four cups ro nt and they will But to make khee und. first as the starch wir, be sure to soak the tapioca sabuda will lose their shap ll begin to dissolve the pearls immedna in cold water start to congeal intoe. Later when you boil them in the milk iately and they tapioca starch: if a milky pudding. It’s the same when , the pearls will starch will mix intoyou add a teaspoon to room-temperausing powdered will form into a lumthe water, but if you add a teaspoon ture water, the into hot water, it p.

For advertising in Indo-American News Call: 713-789-6397 Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:


March 29, 2019


‘Hotel Mumbai’ Re-creates Terrorist Attack with Echoes of Today The most chilling thing about the events depicted in “Hotel Mumbai” is not that they actually happened, not even that they could happen again, but that they are happening even as we speak. A somber, unsettling drama about the 2008 attack on India’s largest city by jihadi terrorists from Pakistan cuts so close to the bone that it was pulled from theaters in New Zealand in the wake of the recent hate-fueled massacre in Christchurch. As horrific as what happened in New Zealand was, it was not of the scale of the Mumbai events, which took place over four days in six locations and left more than 160 dead, not counting nine of the attackers, and some 300 wounded. Director Anthony Maras (who also co-wrote with John Collee) has focused on what happened at the city’s Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, a landmark of luxury since it opened in 1903 and one of the terrorists’ key targets. A short-film director making his feature debut, Maras has settled on a strategy that combines harrowing recreations with largely conventional character development to good effect. He’s helped by an accomplished cast top-lined by Dev Patel, at his best as a hotel waiter caught in the crisis, and Jason Isaacs, Armie Hammer and Nazanin Boniadi, solid as hotel guests forced to cope with situations they never dreamed of. These characters are all compos-

ites of real Taj guests, and though what happens to them is not always predictable, they and their ability to rise to the occasion have an air of familiarity. What “Hotel Mumbai” does best is re-create – to an at times unrelenting extent – what the terror and confusion of being in this kind of situation must be like. Intent on understanding the experience, Maras and his co-writer stayed in the hotel for a month, interviewing numerous employees who survived the attack. More than that, though much of the action was shot (Nick Remy Matthews was the cinematographer) at another, shuttered Mumbai hotel, the director took pains to see that the actors felt the experience. Among the tactics used to achieve that: Those who played the guests and those who played the terrorists did not mix off-camera, and large speakers on the set played amplified gunshots at unexpected moments. The actors were, as Hammer notes in the press material, “essentially living inside of a manufactured terror attack for 12 to 15 hours a day,” and that has helped the film’s feeling of

verisimilitude a great deal. Also somewhat out of the ordinary is “Hotel Mumbai’s” determination to add texture and character to the terrorists. Ruthless about taking life to a seemingly inhuman extent, they also have revealing personal moments depicting them as poor, uneducated and easy prey for manipulative radicalizers. It is with those 10 terrorists that

“Hotel Mumbai” starts, showing them arriving at the city’s edge on Nov. 26 in a small fishing boat listening to an exhortatory taped message made by their never-seen leader: “You feel strong. There is no fear in your heart. You are like sons to me. I am with you. God is with you. Paradise awaits.” Knowing what is to come, this is chilling material. Blending into the crowd, the men head off to different targets, including one of the city’s train stations, where more than 100 are killed. Before any terrorists get to the Taj, we are introduced to the place itself, as well as some of the people who work there. Met first is Arjun (Patel), a caring father to a young daughter who works at the Taj as a waiter. (It was the actor’s idea to have Arjun be a Sikh, adding yet another cross-cultural dimension.) Arjun’s boss, the no-nonsense chef Hemant Oberoi, is based on a real person and played with zest by the veteran Indian actor Anupam Kher. We also see the enormous pains the Taj takes to ready its rooms for those staying there, not only drawing a bath, but making sure the temperature

is just right. “Here at the Taj, the guest is god,” Oberoi says, and there is no point arguing. This particular room is being readied for Zahra (Boniadi), a wealthy woman with local ties, her American husband David (Hammer), their infant daughter and accompanying au pair (Tilda Cobham-Hervey). Also wealthy, but of a very different sort, is hard-partying Russian oligarch Vasili (Isaacs), intent on nothing more than the festivities on tap for his rooms. Once the quartet of terrorists get into the Taj and begin blazing away with their AK-47s, however, everyone’s plans get put on hold. The staff, which knows secret ways out of the hotel, could have melted away, but the point is made that, echoing what happened in real life, many elected to stay to help the guests. “I’ve been here for 35 years,” one man says. “This is my home.” With military special forces hours away, the guests and staff have no choice but to play an increasingly nerve-racking cat-and-mouse game with the attackers, trying to figure out how to stay out of the crosshairs of the killers. “Who are these people, what do they want of us?” a guest asks at one point. No matter how much we eventually find out, that remains a question without a comfortable answer. -Kenneth Turan in LA Times.

Kangana Ranaut’s “Thalaivi” on Jayalalitha to Go on Floors by July We had told you Kangana Ranaut would be playing Jayalalithaa in upcoming biopic Thalaivi, directed by Vijay. Meanwhile, a few reports suggested the Bollywood actress was going to be paid Rs 24 crore for the project. Speculations were also abuzz that the amount was the highest an Indian actress would have received for a regional film. However, a source close to the director has slammed these reports. It looks like she is being paid somewhere around Rs

12 crore, and Kangana was apparently roped in because the makers believe her presence could help the film reach a pan-Indian audience. Produced by Vishnu Vardan Induri, Thalaivi was granted the status of an official biopic, and the team has received a ‘No Objection Certificate’ from the late Chief Minister’s nephew Deepak Jayakumar. Dialogues of this film will be penned by Baahubali writer Vijayendra K Prasad, who had written

Kangana’a previous film Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. Thalaivi’s technical crew includes music director GV Prakash Kumar, cinematographer Nirav Shah and lyricist Madhan Karky. The film, planned as a Tamil, Telugu and Hindi trilingual, is expected to go on floors from July. Multiple Jayalalithaa biopics are in the works. Director Priyadarshini has already announced The Iron Lady with Nithya Menen playing the lead role, and we hear the film will detail her life from 1948 to

2016. On the other hand, Gautham Menon announced a web series recently on Jaya with Ramya Krishnan playing the titular role. Earlier, Bharathirajaa and Lingusamy had announced biopics on the late Chief Minister. A source close to the unit says Kangana will be learning Tamil in order to pull off the iconic role. Thalaivi isn’t the first time Kangana is working in a Tamil film. She played the female lead in Jayam Ravi’s Dhaam Dhoom, which got released in 2008.

Indo-American News • FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:

March 29, 2019

Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:




March 29, 2019

Puranava India Culture Fest Showcases India’s Traditions in Pearland

Chariot parade with children performing the song of Unity during the Puranava India Culture Fest Showcases India’s Traditional Best in Pearland

Pearland:The2019PuranavaIndia Culture Fest, presented by Global Organization for Divinity (G.O.D.) at the Pearland Town Center on March 23, drew hundreds of visitors from across Houston and Pearland on a lovely Saturday. Throughout the day, the event showcased India’s beautiful, inherently divine traditions through a variety of programs and exhibits. The event was held to commemorate the ninth anniversary of Houston Namadwaar, a prayer house temple located in the Pearland area. Several dignitaries attended the event including Congressman Mr. Pete Olson, Mayor of Pearland Mr. Tom Reid, Mayor of Manvel Ms. Deborah Davison, Executive Director of Pearland Convention and Visitors Bureau Ms. Kim Sinistore, City Council member Mr. Gary Moore, President of Hindus of Greater Houston Ms. Thara Narasimhan and Lead Trainer and Representative of Global Organisation for Divinity India Sri Poornimaji, a senior disciple of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji, who came here from India to participate in Puranava. All of them had praises for the immense contribution of the Indian/ Asian community in general and that of Global Organization for Divinity specifically, to the vibrant, growing diversity of Pearland and Houston areas. Sri Poornimaji, in her keynote address, emphasized the true Indian culture represented in this event with divinity at the core of every activity, and how America and India share the common value of acceptance by integrating diverse cultures into

their fabric. As part of G.O.D. and Love to Share Foundation America’s annual giving program on the occasion of Namadwaar’s anniversary, two local service organizations were provided with supplies donations – Alvin ISD’s Youth Empowerment Team represented by AISD YET Director Ms. Ana Pasarela and Manvel Community Outreach represented by founder Ms. Ruth Dietz. The highlight of the event was the unique Chariot Parade – a first for Pearland – where a large chariot carrying the deities of Sri Jagannath, Sri Balabhadra and Sri Subhadra was pulled in a procession around the Town Center Pavilion. The brandnew chariot was built specifically for this purpose by volunteers of Universal Shraddha Foundation who co-hosted this segment, with much of the material coming directly from Odisha, the state in India that is famous for its annual chariot festival in the city of Puri. The chariot parade at Puranava, a gesture for universal harmony, was kicked off by children of G.O.D.’s “Gopa Kuteeram” Youth Program, who sang the Mahamantra Song composed by His Holiness Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji of India. This was a Song of Unity rendered in 16 different world languages. The chariot parade included folk and classical performances by different groups including a dance by Houston Kannada Vrinda, chenda melam folk percussion presentation by Panchari Arts, Tamil folk dance by Cypress Gramiya kalai Kudumbam, a classical Odissi dance performance

by Kalaangan School of Odissi, and an incredibly melodious classical Indian flute rendition Pandit Guru Parshuram Das. The parade concluded with reverberating Mahamantra Kirtan where lots of people from the crowd also joined. Through the afternoon, the culture fest also presented stage performances – Odissi dance by students of Kalaangan School of Odissi, Assamese Bihu folk dance by Texas Assamese Bihu Group who came from Dallas to participate in this event, and a special piece showcasing three different Indian classical dance forms – Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Kathak – by Sreepadam School of Arts. Visitors also got to shop at various vendor booths by local and homeownedbusinesses;tryonthetraditional Indian sari; take professional pictures courtesy Digital Cowboy Pro; and taste delicious Indian vegetarian food thanks to Kicha’s Kitchen (a volunteer-run nonprofit kitchen by G.O.D.) and Sangam Chettinad Indian Cuisine. Cultural exhibits representing different regions and states of India were also on display thanks to Houston Kannada Vrinda, Universal Shraddha Foundation, Sri Guruvayurappan Temple and G.O.D. volunteers. Earlier in the day, a number of Youth Competitions were held - in Chess, ‘Samskruti’ Art based on Indian themes, Indian Classical Dance, Madhurageetham devotional music, and a Heritage Vocabulary Bee that encouraged children to learn the meanings of Sanskrit words used commonly in Indian culture and

traditions. The competitions saw over 200 registrants from all over the Houston area. The competitions and awards were sponsored by Love to Share Foundation America (LTSFA). The Puranava event was supported by a City of Pearland Cultural Arts Grant from the City of Pearland Convention and Visitors Bureau. Severallocalbusinessesalsosupported the event through sponsorships, gift cards and certificates for winners and volunteers. The event was almost

entirely run by dedicated volunteers from around Houston and a few other cities in the US. For more information about Puranava in America – which is an event also conducted in other US cities – visit www.puranava-usa. org. To learn more about Global Organization for Divinity and Houston Namadwaar prayer house, please call 281-402-6585, visit, or Facebook page Global Organization for Divinity Houston.

FOR SALE Elegant, Modern Exquisite Villa situated in serene surroundings in exclusive gated community in Raidurg, Toli Chowki close to Gachi Bowli/Hi Tech City. Vacated after long leased by the US Consulate. Double storied Villa. Four Bedrooms (Attached Baths). Study, Open Terrace. Approximately 4000 sqft built up area with stringent saftey and security as stipulated by the US Consulate Contact: US # 1954-4616632

One of the classical dance performances at the Puranava Culture Fest in Pearland. Indo-American News • FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:


March 29, 2019

Jay Chowdhry Scales Himalayan Heights in Building a Company on Cybersecurity

Personal Injury: Accidents in an Uber

By Mala Sharma

Jay Chaudhry, 60, along with six other cybersecurity software tycoons to emerge with 10-figure fortunes in the past year are worth about $10 billion combined, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index,

Santa Clara: Decades before he joined the ranks of Silicon Valley’s super rich, Jay Chaudhry lived with his parents in a Himalayan village without running water. The founder of Zscaler Inc is now part of a growing wave of billionaires who have built cybersecurity businesses. Chaudhry, 60, and his family benefit from stakes in the San Jose-based firm worth almost $3.4 billion. He along with six other cybersecurity software tycoons to emerge with 10-figure fortunes in the past year are worth about $10 billion combined, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and together represent the latest wealth surge among the founders of internet-focused firms. “I do look sometimes back and

say, ‘Whoa,’” Chaudhry, who did his BTech in Electronics Engineering from IIT BHU, said in a telephone interview last month. “My success has because I have little attachment for money. My obsession is really to make sure that the internet and cloud are a safe place for everyone to do business.” Fueled by the rapid rise of cloudbased computing, companies are increasingly tethering more and more of their business to online networks. This allows them to gather unprecedented levels of operational information. Zscaler shares climbed 22% to $60.57 in New York on Friday after the firm reported second-quarter revenue of $74.3 million. That was a 65% increase from a year earlier

and beat analysts’ estimates. Chaudhry, who has masters degrees in business administration, industrial engineering and computer science from the University of Cincinnati and also studied at Harvard Business School, founded Zscaler more than a decade ago after setting up and selling four other cyber start ups. Even with a huge fortune, Chaudhry says his life hasn’t changed significantly. He still visits the Himalayan village he grew up in every few years, and said rather than passing on wealth, his priority is to pass on the work ethic his farming parents instilled in him. “For me, happiness is a state of mind. And money has very little do with it,” he said.

Indian-origin Uber Driver Guilty of Kidnapping New York: An Indian-origin man working as a driver for ridesharing company Uber in the US has pleaded guilty to kidnapping a sleeping passenger and driving her more than 60 miles from her destination to boost his fare. Harbir Parmar, 25 of New York pled guilty in White Plains federal court to kidnapping and wire fraud. He was arrested in October last year. Parmar pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He will be sentenced in June. US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said Parmar took advantage of a vulnerable woman who utilised a ride-sharing service by kidnapping and terrorising her. “In addition, he charged many of his ride-sharing customers with fraudulent fees,” he said adding that Parmar will now be held accountable for his brazen crimes.

Harbir Parmar, 25 of New York pled guilty in White Plains federal court to kidnapping and wire fraud. According to the indictment and statements made during the plea proceedings, Parmar, who worked as a driver for Uber, picked up the woman passenger in February 2018 traveling from Manhattan to White Plains in upstate New York. After the woman fell asleep in the backseat of the vehicle, Parmar changed her destination in Uber’s mobile application to an address in Boston, Massachusetts, and proceeded to drive toward that loca-

tion. When the passenger woke up, the vehicle was in Connecticut. She asked Parmar that she be taken to White Plains or to the police station, but he refused. He instead dropped her off on the side of highway in Connecticut. The woman went to a nearby convenience store where she sought assistance. In addition, from December 2016 through February 2018, Parmar sent false information about the destinations of Uber’s customers through its mobile application on several occasions. At times, he also sent false information about the application of a cleaning fee to be applied to the accounts of the company’s customers. In these instances, Uber customers filed complaints about being overcharged for their rides. These instances have resulted in thousands of dollars in improper charges to the accounts of Uber’s customers.


Any auto accident can be complex and overwhelming, even further, accidents occurring while Uber drive has been requested and also when the Uber driver is driving a passenger, complicate matters even more. Uber is a ride-share program where anyone can request a ride through the Uber mobile app, which is fast, simple, and easy to request compared to requesting a Taxi. With Uber-related accidents, it is not clear cut, as other accidents, as to how to recover all medical expenses and property damage. There are additional steps that need to be taken immediately after the accident in order to secure your rights to recovery. Further, there are three insurance policies that may be responsible for paying your damages, not two, including the Uber policy, the Uber driver’s personal policy, and the other driver’s policy. Under the Uber insurance policy, required by all Uber drivers, there is liability coverage up to $1 million if the Uber driver is found at fault for an accident or $250,000.00 uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UM/UIM) with a $1,000.00 comprehensive and collision deductible for property damage. Thus, if you were a passenger during an Uber drive when an uninsured vehicle negligently hits the Uber vehicle you are in causing damages, then you may recover under the Uber UM/UIM coverage. The Uber driver may also recover all their personal injuries as well, and their property damage through the same coverage. However, the Uber policy will only be effective while the Uber driver is using the vehicle for Uber drive purposes and does not cover any accidents occurring when the vehicle is being used for personal use. Thus, when an Uber driver is injured in an accident during personal use, their personal insurance policy will control, not Uber. It is important to know the terms of the personal insurance policy as sometimes there are no restrictions for ride-share purposes and will also cover accidents not only during personal use but also accidents during ride shares. Additionally, if the other vehicle or the at-fault driver does have insurance, then their insurance policy would be first to look at in claiming all bodily injury damages incurred. This includes damages to both the passenger and Uber driver as well as property damage to the Uber vehicle. Then, if policy limits are reached through the at-fault driver’s insurance, Uber’s underinsured motorist coverage will kick in to help cover any additional medical expenses incurred, so that those injured by a negligent driver

may receive the maximum compensation possible. Thus, whether you are an Uber driver or passenger injured in an auto accident with an at-fault party, you must first call the police to write a police report and always gather the following: (1) names and contact information for all driver’s/vehicles involved in the accident,(2) insurance policy for the at-fault driver, (3) Uber insurance policy, (4) Uber driver’s personal insurance policy, (5) all vehicle license plates, (6) pictures of all vehicles including their license plate, (7) pictures from the scene of the accident, (8) pictures of all bodily injuries including abrasions and more, (9) pictures of all property damage, (10) names and contacts for any witnesses, (11) any ambulance bill, hospital records, hospital bills, physicians bills, police reports, and any other treatment. In certain situations and with the right attorney, it is possible to recover from all three insurance plans: the Uber policy, Uber driver’s personal policy, and the at-fault driver’s policy. Therefore, do not hesitate to contact a qualified personal injury attorney to pursue your right to recover maximum compensation including medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain, mental anguish, and more! It is crucial to have an attorney fight on your behalf against the insurance companies for your fair and just damages. About the Author: Mala Sharma has been practicing family law and personal injury with her family at the Law Offices of Sharma & Associates, founded in 1997. Mala has been appointed leadership roles for the American Bar Association GP Solo and GP Solo YLD division, is Board member of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Past President of the Houston Northwest Bar Association, and prior board member of the South Asian Bar Association. She is also a member of the Houston Bar Association. Mala Sharma has been selected to the 2019 Texas Rising Stars by Super Lawyers. Mala has also been selected as 10 Best Attorneys by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorney for 2018-2019, Top 40 Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers for 2018-2019, and Texas Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney by Attorney and Practice Magazine for 2019. This material is available for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. If you require advice or assistance, you may contact her at office number 281-893-8644 or by email at mala@ to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition:


March 29, 2019

Indo-American News • FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2019 • Online Edition: