Indo-American News: April 7, 2023

Page 1

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, APrIL 7, 2023 • Indo American News 2470 Dairy Ashford, Houston, TX 77077 • 713.789.NEWS (6397) • Special Reports Community Briefs Local Politics South Asians in the News Published weekly from Houston, TX W E D D I N G S , S P E C I A L E V E N T S , T E N T E D E V E N T S , O U T D O O R C O U R T Y A R D 3 3 3 0 F M 1 4 6 3 | K a t y , T X 7 7 4 9 4 | 8 3 2 . 8 5 5 . 5 5 2 0 | p a l m r o y a l v i l l a . c o m Friday, April 7, 2023 | Vol. 42, No. 14 $1 HUA Gala Honors Bhutadas P3 P2 Houston Iftar 2023: 24th Ramadan Dinner Pays Unprecedented Tribute to Mayor Sylvester Turner P11
Sara Ali Khan in ‘Gaslight’
At the Houston Iftar 2023 Chief Patron, Syed Javaid Anwar along with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congressman Al Green, Tanweer Ahmed, Coordinator Muhammad Saeed Sheikh & members of the organizing committee presenting Appreciation Award to Mayor Sylvester Turner as a tribute for his support. SEE 2 for and
6 for the photo collage.

Houston Iftar 2023: 24th Ramadan Dinner Pays Tribute to Mayor Sylvester Turner

Houston: A mammoth gathering on Sunday, April 2nd, 2023, at the Bayou City Center in Houston of around 2,300 persons made it the largest ever IftarDinner event in the United States of America.

“Friendships matter. I want to thank Syed Javaid Anwar, Muhammad Saeed Sheikh, Tanweer Ahmed, & all the patrons & collaborating partner organizations in putting together this sterling event. We have accomplished this together, as Houston has shined tonight at this Annual Iftar-Dinner. God: The Most Gracious - The Most Merciful Has Smiled on Houston.”

These were the amiable words of Honorable Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner, as he delivered the Keynote Address at the 24th Annual Iftar-Dinner, which in the past 13 years has become the Signature Event of Houston, the 4th largest metropolis of USA.

This event has been organized for the past 13 years by the Muslim Sister Cities of Houston, namely Abu Dhabi, Baku, Basrah, Istanbul, and Karachi; together with collaborating partner organizations the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, the Ismaili Council for the Southwestern United States, Bohra Jamat, the Helping Hand For Relief And Development (HHRD), and over 60 Community organizations.

Several benefactors and sponsors, especially Syed Javaid Anwar, Tanweer Ahmed, HHRD, & others contributions played key role in putting together this well-coordinated and impressive event.

This was last Iftar-Dinner as the Chief Guest for Honorable Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner, as he will get termed out after 8 years by the end of 2023.

A special tribute was paid to Honorable Turner through an exceptional documentary video produced by Zeeshan Jafry and Muhammad Saeed Sheikh.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s video message of Ramadan greetings to the Muslims American community was also played on big screen at the Iftar.

Other special speakers on the occasion Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and Congressman AL Green, who also gave special congressional certificates to the Organizing Committee of the event.

Two distinct presentations were done by Dr. Saleha Bashir Khumawala of University of Houston on the topic of “Building Communities’: The DNA of Islam”; and Dr. Shaykh Waleed Basyouni, President of ALMaghrib Institute, who spoke about the Significance of Ramadan saying this month is about inculcating Self-Control to achieve God Conscience; spoke about societies losing the moral campus, & he supplicated for the whole world as we are engulfed by Climate Change, & Earthquakes in Pakistan, Syria, Türkiye, & elsewhere.

Other notables’ speakers on the occasion were welcome speech by Muhammad Saeed Sheikh, wellknown Pakistani American businessman and Chief Patron of Houston Iftar Syed Javaid Anwar, Chris Olson Director Mayors Office, President of ISGH Ayman Kabire, President of the Ismaili Council for the Southwestern United States Murad Ajani, and former City Council Member M. J. Khan.

Invocation was done by Imam Hamza Ghia of Hamd Institute, call for prayer (Aadhan) by Imam Hafez Furqaan Sayed, and Mughrib prayers led by Mufti Abdul Qadar Siddiqui. Sumptuous food was served by Tempura, Fadi’s, and Sweet Factory.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, APrIL 7, 2023 • April 7, 2023 2
A gathering of 2,300 persons at the Bayou City Center attended the largest ever Iftar dinner in the United States.
Houston Iftar leadership with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Congressional representatives Al Green, Sheila Jackson Lee, FB County Judge KP George and other dignitaries

Hindu University of America Gala in Houston Honors Bhutada Family

Houston: Hindu University of America (HUA) in association with Hindus of Greater Houston (HGH) hosted a Friends of HUA Gala evening on 26 March 2023, at VPSS Haveli, Houston. The gala, which was attended by about 500 community members, honored Kiran and Ramesh Bhutada and their family for their generous gift of one million dollars to HUA. Ramesh Bhutada, CEO of Star Pipe Products, is a successful Houston-based businessman and philanthropist.

The Gala opened with the auspicious lighting of the lamp followed by a scintillating music performance by HUA faculty Dr Kanniks Kannikeswaran. His ensemble of Hindu classical singers accompanied by western music instrumentalists set the tone for the evening. He engaged the audience by having them hum along as well as sing some of the lyrics. His performance received a standing ovation.

This was followed by a short video on HUA’s courses and programs, as well as the experiences of students and faculty. Chairman of the HUA Board and Padma Bhushan awardee Ved Nanda and HUA President Kalyan Viswanathan spoke about the rejuvenation of HUA, its current state, and future roadmap. Houston-based faculty members Dr. Raj Vedam and Chandra Raghu shared their thoughts as well.

The evening’s highlight was Ramesh Bhutada’s address where he shared why he chose to support HUA. Despite being born and raised in a traditional Hindu family and a member of several prominent Hindu organizations and traditions, he stated that he “did not really understand the essence of Hindu Dharma.” It took him 60 years to recognize the silver spoon that he was born with, that is, to understand the true essence of Hindu Dharma “which teaches us how to live in harmony within ourselves, with our family, friends, colleagues, and with the entire world. Other universities may impart knowledge for students to earn a livelihood. Only an institution like HUA can impart

Hindu knowledge that teaches a student how to live their life.”

Stressing the fact that he did not want the next generation of Hindus to take as long as he did, Ramesh Bhutada urged the attendees to support HUA so that the youth of today and tomorrow can gain the knowledge and understanding of Hinduism much earlier in life, enabling them to live happy, productive lives for themselves and for the benefit of the entire world.


“awareness dinner of HUA highlighted the necessity of all our seva in developing an educational system true to the deepest history of India in order to preserve that wisdom and value for our children and grandchildren” Chairman of HGH Board of Advisors Rasesh Dalal said, “Hindus can work wonders when they work diligently with unity. The success of the HUA event is a live example!” Emcee Ahimsa Yukta, a freshman at University of Texas, Dallas, said that HUA’s motto - “That is knowledge which liberates”, was so inspiring that he was motivated to take a course at the university. Volunteer support was provided by members of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Houston.

Drawing on his personal experiences as well as narratives from the Hindu American community, Ramesh Bhutada noted that the traditional Hindu upbringing and teachings about Hinduism within the family and home environment alone is not sufficient. Knowledge, he underlined, imparted by established educational institutions in the modern academic setting is critical to ensure the younger generations understand and apply Hinduism in their lives.

HUA President Kalyan Viswanathan also called on all the attendees to “come together to build a Hindu university that lasts a 1000 years just like the Brihadeeswara Temple in Thanjavur which has stood strong for over 1000 years, or like the Nalanda University that was a beacon to the world for 1700 years before it was destroyed.” He further shared that “over the next five years, HUA aspired to become self-sustaining, and establish itself as a shared platform for all Hindu traditions and organizations to offer their teachings.”



Proclaiming that the institution belongs to the entire Hindu community, HUA Chairman Ved Nanda stated that HUA “will seek to become an authoritative voice in the academic domain for all matters pertaining to Hindu Dharma, not only in the United States, but also globally.” He invited friends and well-wishers from all HinduAmerican organizations, community leaders and members to support HUA’s efforts in becoming a leading hub for Hindu knowledge and learning.

Other remarks included well known Houston-based Physicist and Yoga Instructor Robert Boustany who stated that the

About Hindu University of America (HUA) Hindu University of America was founded with the vision of promoting dialogue across disciplines, cultures and civilizations while enabling self-discovery, conscious evolution, and harmony. Its mission is to provide education in knowledge systems based in Hindu thought involving critical inquiry, ethics, and self-reflection. Committed to fostering the culture and traditions of Hindu Dharma in an atmosphere of academic excellence and freedom, it prepares students for service, leadership, and global engagement.

with over 150 courses taught by more than 70 faculty members. The motto of HUA is that Vidya or true Knowledge is that which liberates.


aspects of Hindu Dharma, tradition, and culture. For more information, please visit or contact +1-407-205-2118 or email

Established in 1989 and authorized by the Govt of Florida in 1993, HUA has been offering online courses since 2019 in various

You may support and participate in HUA’s mission by going to:

Since Oct 2019, more than 2600 students have taken courses at HUA and close to 75 students are currently enrolled in Masters’ and Doctoral programs. HUA offers 15 different continuing education programs




Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, APrIL 7, 2023 • April 7, 2023 3 COMMUNITY
Y0066_23SPRJ55188_C Local help with your Medicare questions. Kaushika Shah Licensed Sales Agent 832-282-3515, TT Y 711
Chairman of the HUA Board and Padma Bhushan awardee Ved Nanda, Ramesh Bhutada , Kiran Bhutada and HGH President Thara Narsimhan HUA Board Members; Dr. Yelloji Mirajkar, Member of the Board of Overseer Dr. Jashwant Patel, Trustee and Chair, Finance Committee, Mr. Suresh Gupta, Trustee, Prof. Ved Nanda, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Ramesh Bhutada, Donor and Guest of honor Mr. Kalyan Viswanathan, President, HUA, Dr. Kalpalatha Guntupalli, Trustee, Mr. Narsimha Koppula, Trustee, Dr. Gopi Vasudevan, Member, Fundraising Committee. Photos by Bijay Dixit Sri Ramesh Bhutada Speaks at Friends of HUA Houston Gala

Indie Meme Film Festival Brings South Asian Discussions to Austin

Austin: Indie Meme, a nonprofit organization, brings its 8th Film Festival (IMFF2023) April 12 - 16 to Austin. This year’s festival will be held at the AFS Cinema that presents itself as a marvelous backdrop for independent cinema, dialogue, debate and discussion.

The festival provides a platform for talented filmmakers from South Asia and Iran to showcase their unique untold stories. Award-winning actors and filmmakers from the global cinema fraternity attend IMFF every year. This year, Kalki Koechlin, lead actor, and Pushan Kripalani, director of the festival's opening night film 'Goldfish' will be in attendance alongside Leena Yadav, director of 'Tell it like a Woman'.

Representing 13 countries, the festival covers over 30 films, in 17 different languages (with subtitles) which touches on global issues such as mental health and wellness, challenges of an aging mind & body, indigenous rights, women empowerment, poverty, freedom of speech, coming of age, family life, among others. These stories remind us that, despite our geographic and cultural differences, we all face similar challenges, and viewers will see the varied approaches taken by communities to solve these.

One unique aspect of this festival is that audience members get to candidly engage with the filmmakers after each screening, to exchange different perspectives, and explore the premise further!

The festival offers a hybrid experience for patrons outside Austin to tune into a virtual festival program scheduled on April 28May 1.


Nominated for the Best International Documentary at the 95th Academy Awards - “All That Breathes”. The story focuses on two brothers who work to save black kite birds, which are essential to the ecosystem of New Delhi. They are falling from the sky due to environmental toxins. It is the first film to win the The Best Documentary Prize at both Sundance and Cannes.


The Festival opens with “Goldfish”. Directed by Pushan Kripalani and starring award-winning actor Kalki Koechlin, and veteran actor Deepti Naval the film tells the story of a young woman who returns home to care for her mother with dementia and confront the painful memories of her childhood. With its sensitive portrayal of mental health and complex family relationships, “Goldfish” is a powerful and thought-provoking film that is sure to captivate audiences at IMFF 2023.

TELL IT LIKE A WOMAN Filmmaker Leena Yadav will be at the screening of her Oscar nominated “Tell it Like a Woman.” This film is an anthology of short films, made by women, about women.

In 7 different female protagonists navigate challenges in their life. The movie features Academy Award winning actresses Jennifer Hudson and Marcia Gay Harden. Additionally, the film’s song “Applause” written by Diane Warren, was nominated at the Academy Awards this year. Leena Yadhav’s Sharing a Ride starring Jacqueline Fernandez, emphasizes the value of being seen for who you truly are.


The Iranian film “Leila’s Brothers” will have its Texas premiere at IMFF2023. The film was awarded the International Critics’ Prize in 2022 for best film in Cannes main competition. Boasting a tour de force ensemble, Leila’s Brothers is a masterful family drama that


echoes Greek tragedies.

This year, the festival scored two international premieres – “Dhabari Quruvi” and “Eikhoigi Yum.”


“Dhabari Quruvi”

(meaning: Sparrow, Its Father Is Unknown) is the world’s first film starring and with vocals by tribals! This film by veteran filmmaker Priyanandanan is exquisite and features a completely indigenous cast from Attappadi, Kerala. The story centers on a young girl who decides to rebel against tribal norms and claim her body and the decisions surrounding it.

Spoken only in ‘Irula’ language, Director Priyanandanan says that if language is a barrier to understanding the film, the emotion in the story will answer it.


“Eikhoigi Yum” (Our Home) is a Manipuri film directed by Romi Meitei, who will be present at the IMFF2023. It

is the tale of an 11-year-old boy, from an isolated fishing community, who has an undaunting spirit to excel at school, despite personal and financial challenges. The whole film paddles around the Loktak Pat Lake and its dependents. Through astounding cinematography, the film depicts the lives of those

who live in homes built over a floating biomass!


See the Texas Premiere of the documentary “In Search of Bengali Harlem” from author, historian Vivek Bald & stand-up artist, actor and comedian Alaudin Ullah. Both creators will be in attendance. In the documentary, Alaudin investigates the pasts of his Bangladeshi immigrant parents, unearthing a lost history in which South Asian Muslims, African Americans, and Puerto Ricans forged an extraordinary multiracial community in the tenements of mid-20th century Harlem. This program was made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Indie Meme alum filmmaker Vinay Shukla’s 2nd documentary, “While We Watched” focuses on the journey of India’s NDTV reporter Ravish Kumar as he navigates the restrictions on journalism, his career, and threats in his personal life.


IMFF 2023’s closing night film will be “Polite Society,” where a martial artist-in-training believes she must save her older sister from her impending marriage. After enlisting the help of her friends, she tries to pull off the most ambitious of all wedding heists in the name of independence and sisterhood.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, APrIL 7, 2023 • April 7, 2023 5 IN MEMORIUM
Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, APrIL 7, 2023 • April 7, 2023 6 COMMUNITY

EMGH’s World-Class Museum Design

A Woman Returns from Canada to Meet Her Lover, Found Murdered

CHAndigArH: A young woman from Haryana’s Rohtak who had gone to Canada to pursue higher studies was allegedly murdered and buried in a field in Sonipat by her lover in June last year, days after she returned to India to meet him, police Wednesday said.

10-foot-deep ditch in the fields of a farmhouse on June 29.

Houston: Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston, EGMH, the first ever museum in the Americas dedicated to preserving and promoting Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy of nonviolent conflict resolution, is opening in the summer of 2023.

EGMH engaged Solid Light, Inc. from Louisville, Kentucky, to create a world-class museum in September 2019 after interviewing more than a dozen candidates. Solid Light is founded on the premise that people share a passion for great stories. Never willing to settle for the ordinary, they reach deep into their imaginations and diverse backgrounds to create compelling destinations that transform the understanding and generate a lasting impact.

For over 20 years, their in-house design, fabrication, film, and digi-

tal experts have transformed audiences’ understanding and passion for museums, branded environments, educational institutions, and public spaces by telling those stories in unforgettable, engaging ways.

The Museum will deliver key messages through thought-provoking, immersive experiences designed to educate, entertain, and inspire lasting change. Solid Light has created the exhibit space such that the visitor experience will encourage exploration and engagement with Gandhi’s journey. There are three thematic gestures:

His Journey: Gandhi’s Life Lessons - his story is an inspiration for Our Future.

Our Journey: Gandhi’s Teachings continue to change Our World – its impact on Global

Peace Leaders.

My Journey: Inspire visitors to explore and reflect on Gandhian principles to find resonance in their Own Lives.

We are only a few months from opening Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston. Over the next few weeks, we will share further details about the museum gallery and its contents. So please stay tuned with our weekly installments.

The total budget for EGMH is $10 million, of which we have raised $7.3 million. To support this project, please help spread the word and follow us on our social media platforms - Facebook and Instagram - @egmhouston. To learn more and donate, please visit, call 832-850-EGMH, or email info@

The Crime Investigation Agency of Bhiwani, which is investigating the case, found her skeletal remains Tuesday along the Garhi Jhanjhara road in Ganaur. The accused, who allegedly shot the woman dead, was arrested from Uttar Pradesh on April 2.

CIA-II Bhiwani in-charge Ravindra Kumar said that the accused Sunil was already married to another woman when he got involved with the victim, Monica (23). He also had two children from his first marriage.

Sunil and Monica got married at a Ghaziabad temple in May last year when the woman returned from Canada, the officer said. Monica had gone to Canada on a student visa in January last year after clearing the IELTS exam, as per police complaint by her sister.

“During our investigations, it came to the fore that between January and May 2022, the woman made a couple of trips to India,” he added.

Police said Sunil murdered Monica and buried her body in a

Kumar said the woman’s family was unaware of her return to the country. Her sister Roshni had in June last year lodged a missing report with the Gannaur police. In her complaint, Roshni had accused Sunil of luring Monica back to India. She had alleged that on her return, Sunil abducted Monica and eventually murdered her. On Roshni’s complaint, a case of abduction was registered by the police that initiated investigations.

“Their marriage was also registered before a court, where the accused concealed the fact that he was already married,” he said.

Kumar said as the woman was a neighbour of the accused in Gumad village in Sonipat, where she was living with her aunt, she was aware of the man’s marital status.

On why Sunil killed her, the police officer said, “Sunil did not enjoy a good marital relation with his wife and wanted to settle abroad.

He had thought if Monica gets Permanent Residency (PR) in Canada, he too could move there… However, when he felt his plan was not materialising, he murdered Monica.” He said preliminary investigations revealed that the farmhouse belongs to the accused, but it was being verified.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, APrIL 7, 2023 • April 7, 2023 7
Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, APrIL 7, 2023 • April 7, 2023 8 COMMUNITY Inspired Hotel Ideas For Your Solid Success INDIA FURNITURE DECOR EXPO & Supporting Sponsor Organized By Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SGCCI) ï 844-797-6111 For “no cost” registration and more info ï Furniture & Interiors ï Housekeeping Products & Supplies ï In-room Technology & Entertainment ï Fitness & Spa Equipment ï Security & Safety Equipment ï Accessories ï Guest Amenities ï Linens & Fabrics ï Laundry Equipment ï IT Support ï Carts & Trolleys ï Lighting ï HVAC FREE ADMISSION – REGISTER TODAY at At rst-ever expos in U.S. by more than 100 suppliers from Gujarat, India Dallas, Texas April 27 – 29, 2023 Atlanta, Georgia May 4 – 6, 2023 SLPS Event Center 1910 N. Britain Road Irving, TX 75061 Gas South Convention Center, Hall D 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway Duluth, GA 30097 Not All O -Shore FF&E Sources Are Created Equal ï Faster delivery ï Up to 20% lower duty fees ï Up to 35% lower product costs Better Supply Chain = Better Pro ts You can help prevent CHILD ABUSE Be the voice for those who can’t speak up for themselves. If you see or suspect ANY abusive behavior of a minor, call the Texas Family and Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400

Indo American Conservatives of Texas: IACT Day at the Texas Capitol COMMUNITY

Austin: Indo American Conservatives of Texas (IACT) delegation visited the Texas State Capitol on March 24, 2023. This visit will be remembered as another successful event in IACT history. Founded in 2019, this organization’s objectives are to educate and promote political awareness among IndoAmericans, to encourage them to become citizens to register and vote, to facilitate debate with political candidates and to keep the community informed of the legislative changes that will affect them.

On March 24th 2023 IACT team made their 2nd visit to the State Capitol in Austin. The first visit took place on April 22nd 2021. This year wewere excited to have the involvement of enthusiastic young adults and a few families in the team to introduce the workings of the government to the next generation.

About thirty participants gathered at the Rotunda Hall followed by a guided tour of the Capitol building. The Capitol structure originally completed by 1853 burned down in 1881. The original building consisted of about 366 thousand square footage. By 1888 the Capitol was reconstructed with an additional 600 thousand

square footage. The current layout is now almost1 million square feet in structure with beautiful architecture and an ornate interior. The rotunda has terrazzo flooring with the six seals of the countries that ruled over Texas. The six flags flown over our capitol are Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Tex-

as, Confederate States of America and the USA.

We visited the chamber of the Texas House of Representative which accommodates 150 state representatives. An electronic board in the chamber displays each representatives vote. We then visited the Texas Senate chamber which has 31 desks and the senators vote by raising their hands. 1 finger for yes, 2 for no and three fingers indicates presence only.

We visited our state representative Jacey Jetton in his office. IACT received a Resolution from the Texas state legislature commending IACT’s involvement with the Indo American community to bring greater political aware-

ness and for promoting conservative principles. We were also able to visit the offices of the Secretary of State, Senator Joan Huffman of District 17 and Senator Lois Kolkhorst of District 18. The aides of both Senators’ offices and Representative Jacey Jetton were very helpful, informative, and encouragedquestions. IACT received a Senate proclamation as well. At the end of our tour we visited the Governor’s office. The delegation was very excited to be able to meet our Texas Governor Greg Abbott and have the opportunity to take a picture with him. Some even said it was an opportunity of a lifetime for them!

A nice lunch was arranged by

IACT in the Legislative Conference Center (LCC) which included Indian food catered by Biryani Pot. The Deputy Director of the Governor’s appointments office Brent Connett joined us for lunch. He informed the team about committeeappointments and the application process and encouraged participation. The Texas state’s constitution gives the Governor the authority to make governmental appointments to state boards and to task forces that advise the Governor. It is important to note that the Texas legislature meets once every 2 years. The sessions last no more than 140 days. There may be special sessions as needed and they last no more than 30 days. Between the Governor’s appointments and the legislature, Texas conducts its business of taking care of the people and the state. President of IACT since 2019 Radha Dixit was extremely happy with the success of the day’s events. Her mission of educating the IndoAmerican community about the workings of the government was displayed wholeheartedly through this last event of her tenure. Most importantly the enthusiasm she saw in the eyes of the younger generation confirmed the importance of IACT as a unique organization standing up for its beliefs while at the same time being available for educating our community from the people actually doing the work in our State. She is very proud of all that IACT has accomplished over the years with success at each event and excited for the incoming President Bijay Dixit who coordinated this Capitol Day event to take IACT to the next level of success.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, APrIL 7, 2023 • April 7, 2023 9
IACT delegation from Houston meets with Texas Governor Greg Abbott and other Respublican office holders and their aides during a visit to the Texas State Capitol. Photos by Unique Photo Images.
Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, APrIL 7, 2023 • April 7, 2023 10

‘Gaslight’: Little Impact from Sara Ali Khan

A young woman who returns after a long gap to a Rajasthan ‘haveli’ where she spent her childhood, is beset by dark dreams. Her father isn’t there to welcome her. Days go by and there’s no sign of him. Ghostly figures flit behind curtains, a gaslight lantern left winking on the floor the only evidence that someone was there. Things go bump in the night. And every time Meesha (Sara Ali Khan) tries to bring these fearful occurrences up with the sultry siren (Chitrangada Singh) firmly ensconced in the mansion, she’s told she’s imagining things.

The set-up is ripe for a slushy thriller, and the actors are an interesting mix, but the film never really takes off. That there is strain between Meesha’s royal parents is evident at a birthday party, which we see in flashback: that something drastic has happened to the ‘rani-sa’ and that the ‘raja’ is missing, comes as no surprise.

The unease that starts enveloping the older Meesha, now in a wheelchair after an accident, is also predictable. But none of the mystery tropes the film reaches out for –unexplained noises, a black-robed soothsayer going into a trance, the family dog barking at suspicious movements– dials up the dread. The whole thing becomes a drone much too soon.

The only actor who rises somewhat above his lines is Akshay Oberoi, playing an entitled prince, and Meesha’s distant cousin, with a degree of flash. The rest, including Sara Ali Khan and Vikrant Massey who can usually be relied upon to get us to look, leave little impact.

There’s one stand-out sequence in which a character is murdered most stylishly against the sanddunes. The stark shadows cast by

‘Bholaa’: No-Holds-Barred,

Action junkies, rejoice. ‘Bholaa’, in which Ajay Devgn does double duty as the eponymous lead actor and director, is the kind of all-out, no-holds-barred, highoctane actioner we haven’t seen in Bollywood in a long time.

Here’s what we get in the film, which runs through the course of a night. A massive drug bust.

A vicious mobster (Deepak Dobriyal) leading an army of goons laden with impressive fire power.

A police station under attack, with only an elderly custodian (Sanjay Mishra) in charge. A bunch of cops hanging on to their lives by a thread. An ex-convict (Ajay Devgn) heading out to meet his ten year old daughter whom he has never seen. And an injured cop (Tabu) corralling the convict into a rescue mission with a hapless fellow (Amir Khan) riding along, strictly to provide the laughs.

The biggest problem Bollywood has faced with this genre has been the inability to keep everything else in the film subservient to the action: bunging in song and dance and other irrelevant details, causes things to come to a standstill. Here Devgn, who now seems to have settled into his dual role, having had considerable practice (his last was ‘Runway 34’), makes sure, for the most part, that the set-pieces keep coming. And he keeps slaying, single-handedly keeping the monsters at bay. -- Shubhra Gupta

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 11, 2023. Email us

Solution Next Week

the victim and the killer in the dead of night, takes the film straight into noir territory. It makes you sit up and take notice. ‘Gaslight’ could have done with more of those moments.

Cast: Sara Ali Khan, Chitrangada Singh, Vikrant Massey, Akshay Oberoi, Rahul Dev, Shishir Sharma

Director: Pavan Kirpalani

Rating: 1.5 stars -- Indian Express


Last Week’s Solution

Recent Winners

Kumud Athavale, Ramana Vadrevu, Krishna R. Vuddagiri, Sanchali Basu, Yudhveer Singh Bagga, Taranjit Singh, Prabha Barvalia, Saeed Pathan, Raju Kale, Arup Gupta, Prakash Praks , Amar Keerthi, Arup Gupta

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, APrIL 7, 2023 • April 7, 2023 11 ENTERTAINMENT
Please send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published.
Daily TANDOORI HUT Traditional Indian Food Veg/NonVeg OUTDOOR CATERING ANYWHERE IN TEXAS OPEN 7 DAYS, 11AM-9:30 PM 7610 Cherry Park Dr, Houston, TX 77 Off Hwy 6, btwn FM 529 & Hwy 290 832-427-6721
11-3 pm,
Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, APrIL 7, 2023 • April 7, 2023 12
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.