Indo-American News: August 26, 2022

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Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 26, 2022 • NewsAmIndoerican 2470 Dairy Ashford, Houston, TX 77077 • 713.789.NEWS (6397) • Special CommunityReportsBriefsLocalPolitics 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 Eye-Catching India Culture Center I-Fest Program Captivates Houston Audience Friday, August 26, 2022 | Vol. 41, No. 34 $1 P2India Culture Center board members join political dignitaries on stage at the I-Fest program. The dignitaries included India Consul General Aseem Mahajan and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. Photo: Navin Mediwala.

The credit goes to the ICC team led by President Malla Mekala and Event Chair Jasmeeta Singh who brought her skills from her fashion show busi ness and classical Indian dance to pull together an engrossing program that lasted till 7pm. “We are excited to welcome you to this entertaining event that will remind you of India’s abundant cultur al heritage”, said Singh in her opening remarks. ”Under the banner of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” (proclaimed by the Indian government), this year’s Independence Day is truly special in a number of ways”. The performances reflected the cultural di versity of East, West, North and South regions of India.There were performances by 17 different groups, all colorfully coordinated with a giant digital backdrop from the region they represented.

Stafford: Last year when the India Culture Cen ter held the celebration of India’s Independence Day, they turned the hall on it’s head quite literally by shifting the stage and the settings 90 degrees. The stage was set right across the front entrance doors for a better visual effect and everything else followed suit making the hall more crowded and forcing people to rub shoulder-to-shoulder. How could they do any better, one wondered? This year, on Sunday, August 21, when the ICC celebrated the 75th Anniversary of India’s Inde pendence, and dubbed it “Glorious India”, they re ally rose to the challenge by adding pizzaz to the setting, thanks to the creative minds at Deco Art with lighting by DJ BJ Josan. By the driveway outside, there was a colonnaded entrance with a red carpet where the chief guests were met and escorted in. There were dozens of colorful decorations scattered across the lobby at the Stafford Civic Centre on Cash Road. And the round tables for diners to eat food served by two vendors had colorful linens and center pieces, mak ing it feel like a dinner club. The stage was likewise made up with curtains, good lighting and brilliant backdrops reflecting the geographic region of the dancers who came to per form. Just in front of them, two rows of VIPs sat at white linen draped long tables. Behind them were rows of general seating and the nearly 50 vendors booths lined the outside walls of the hall.

Chief guests Consul General Aseem Mahajan, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Ft Bend County Judge KP George all addressed the audience. Other VIPS were the mayors of Stafford and Missouri City, as well as messages from the offices of Congress Representatives Al Green and Shiela Jackson Lee. A special segment showcased the recipients of the ICC Scholarships: a $5,000 BOSS award for Dimple Amitha Garuadapuri, a $1,000 from Malla Mekala for Mahek Dodani, a $1,000 award from Parul Fernandes for Sanjana Ranjan Jain and a $1,000 award from Swapan Dhairyawan, Charlie Patel and Ajit Patel for Mansi Patel. Another segment passed out several ICC Awards: Lifetime Achievement Awards to Girish Pandey and Swapan Dhariyawan; Volunteer Award He mant Kumar Patel, Rising Star Award to Tarush Anand and two special awards - Best Partnering Organization Award to Gujarati Samaj of Hous ton and ICC Recognition for Cheating COVID to Mansi Gokhale This massive and enjoyable program could not have been made possible without the financial sup port of Grand sponsors Four Oaks insurance, Seltis andLegacyInfodat.sponsors were Discount Power, Medinet Clinic, Mahesh Wadhawa, Collision Plus, Jaz Cre ationz, FS Group, IMAGH, Sita Ram Foundation and Wallis Bank and Underwriter MD Associates.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 26, 2022 • August 26, 20222 By Jawahar Malhotra COMMUNITY Eye-Catching ICC I-Fest Program Captivates the Audience

Event Chair Jasmeeta Singh (center standing) with political dignitaries, including CG Aseem Mahajan and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. Photos: Navin Mediwala

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 26, 2022 • August 26, 2022 3COMMUNITY 2223 Wirtcrest Ln., Houston, TX 77055 • • Facebook: @hwstemple FOR PUJA INFORMATION, CALL PANDIT BHAWANI SHANKAR SHASTRI 832-278-0100 Jai Mata Di, May Maa Bless Us All & Keep Us Healthy Wed., August 31, 6:30 PM - 7:30PM WORSHIPHINDUSOCIETY M ATA D I C HOWKI S ATURDAY, O CTOBER 1, 5 PM - 9 PM followed by prasad Fall Upcoming Events W EEKLY P RO GfollowedRAMSby prasadEvery SUNDAY, 11 AM - 1 PM G ANESH CHATURTHI RAM CHARIT MANAS October 22-23, Midnight - Midnight

Austin-based Schoolmela Supports Education for Underprivileged in Rural India and have created a positive im pact on children in over 300 vil lages. Our Goals for 2022-2023 Continue to support 14 adopt ed disadvantaged schools Support 210 students that need our help to avoid dropping out 1 on 1 Students career mentor ing

Complete 3rd Quiz Competi tion with 60+ schools Support underprivileged col legeFacilitategraduatesSkill/Talent develop ingStartworkshopsmentoring students and providing school supplies at lo cal schools in the rural areas of Austin.Weare a small organization, and we are doing a small service but if you have the same ideas as us, we request you to join us in our mission to help poor stu dents get proper education and encourage their careers and sup port their progress in life. You can enrich the life of a disad vantaged child with the gift of education! Remember, the long journey is made up of small steps.According to the latest statis tics, there are 1.54 million nonprofit organizations working for the communities. Schoolmela is a drop in the vast ocean, but we are still able to create an impact. You can reach us schoolmela@ We are open for feedback to improve our ser vices. We sincerely thank all our volunteers and supporters for their contributions, without their support we couldn’t have come to this point.


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auStin: Schoolmela is a nonprofit organization registered under Internal Revenue Code 501 (c) (3), and dedicated to provide means for education to the underprivileged children in rural India and USA. We are like minded people, friends, and colleagues who started this orga nization in Central Texas (Aus tin), USA to extend our services in Rural Education in India, and USA. What We Do We believe in “Manava Sevayee, Madhava Seva” (Serving People is the same as Serving God) and “Vidhya Daanamu Maha Daaanam” (Helping childrens’ education is the greatest charity). We have a student scholar ship program (serving all needs of students) in rural India to ex tend our help to rural families so they can send their children to schools without any difficulties and encourage bright and sincere students.Aspart of this program we take care of necessary items like clothes, notebooks, a dictionary, a geometry box, pens, pencils, markers, a backpack, an um brella, masks, sanitizers, and a clipboard for poverty-stricken students. We also motivate and improve educational awareness in rural areas through career mentoring.Alongwith that, we also put on a quiz competition every year to nurture talent among students. Our Progress Schoolmela was started in 2009 at Cedar Park, Texas, to prevent rural students from dropping out of school because of economic difficulties. To fight this, we decided to collect mon ey to buy school supplies for needy students. We have been doing this for 13 years now. So far we have encouraged around 1400 students to pursue their education, and every year we help about 150 more students. We have also adopted 14 schools

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 26, 2022 • August 26, 20224 EDUCATION

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Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 26, 2022 • August 26, 20226

Puranava India Culture Fest Celebrated as Pearland Mayor Recognizes with Proclamation A dance group performing for the competition.Folk drums playing during the Chariot parade. Visitors enjoying Indian street food.

As part of Love to Share Foun dation America’s annual giving program, a food and Hurricane Preparedness Drive was organized which collected donations from all over Houston to support Pearland Neighborhood Center that has been supporting low-income families in Brazoria County for the past three decades. PNC Vice President Mr. Buck Stevens attended the event and shared words of appreciation. Visitors also got to shop at vari ous vendor booths by local and home-owned businesses; try on the traditional Indian sari and henna tattoos; and taste a vari ety of delicious Indian vegetarian foods thanks to Kicha’s Kitchen (a volunteer-run nonprofit kitchen by G.O.D.).Awards for the chess, art, dance competitions held earlier in the day, as well as for the Indian clas sical music and India quiz con tests (that were held online a week earlier) were distributed by the special guests at the culture fest. The competitions, sponsored by LTSFA, saw over 200 registrants from all around the Houston area. For more information about Puranava in America – which is an event that is also conducted in other US cities – visit www.pura To learn more about Global Organization for Divinity, Sri Aishwarya Srinivasa Temple and Namadwaar Houston prayer house, please visit houston.godi, Facebook page GOD Namadwaar Houston, call or WhatsApp 281-402-6585.

Other special guests at the event also included Ms. Rebekah Burns representing the Pearland Conven tion and Visitors Bureau, that sup ported this event through a City of Pearland Cultural Arts Grant; Ms. Margo Green, Exhibit Chair of Pearland Arts League; Ms. Nicole Bowen, Marketing Director of Pearland Town Center; Mr. Arun Sharma, Joint Education Director of HSS USA; Mr. Arun Verma, Founder of Shri Sitaram Founda tion.The cultural performances be gan with a soulful rendition of the popular Hindi song emphasizing India’s unity amid diversity, Mile Sur Mera Tumhara, by young singer Ms. Sruthi Srivathson ac companied by musician Dr. Jyoti Joshi on the keyboard. This was followed by a series of dance per formances presenting numerous classical dance forms of India. The first was a Bharatanatyam performance by students of Sree padam School of Arts, Ms. Jas mine Thomas, Ms. Tarini Kumar, Ms. Varsha Venugopal and Ms. Vinisha Venugopal. Ms. Kavya Mathukumalli of Silambam Hous ton then presented a Kuchipudi performance that included the traditional art of dancing grace fully on a brass plate. This was followed by a lovely east-Indian Odissi performance by Ms. Purba Dey of Kalaangan Dance School. The final stage performance of the evening was a combination of two folk art forms from the southern state of Tamil Nadu - Parai drums and the unique Karakattam dance where dancers performed with a decorated metal pot delicately bal anced on their heads. The perform ers were Dr. Gopalakrishnan, Ms. Mala Gopal, Mr. Senthil Devaraj, Mr. Thangaraj Petchiappan, Ms. Punitha Thanga raj, Mr. Sanjiv Thangaraj and Ms. Simrita Thangaraj. A highlight of the event was the chariot parade, a gesture for uni versal harmony, that showcased Sri Aishwarya Srinivasa Temple at Namadwaar Houston, a Hindu tem ple located in the Pearland/Manvel area. The hand-built chariot was pulled in a procession around the Town Center Pavilion to the chant ing of the divine names. There were also street performances in front of the chariot, including a Chenda Melam folk percussion presentation by Panchari Arts (Rohit Muthukumar, Abhinav Sunil, Srinivasan Seithur, Vilson Verghese, Vijayakumar S, Senthil Kumar Devaraj) and a folk-dance performance by young children from Pearland (Harshini Reddy, Chinmayi Rapaka, Sajanaasri Jayasuriyan, Nilasha Muthaiyan, Ritu Singh, Anika Bhasin, Sahana Thothadri, Chris Sajeev, Johan Sa jeev) to a composition of HH Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji, Bhavani Varugindraan, that sings of the de ity coming in procession.

Ahead of the event, the Hon orable Mayor of Pearland, Mr. Kevin Cole, issued a proclama tion declaring Aug 13 as “Global Organization for Divinity Houston Day.” The proclamation recog nized the contributions of the or ganization to the Pearland/Manvel area through its annual Puranava Culture Fest as well as numerous cultural and community activities, including the establishment of Sri Aishwarya Srinivasa Temple at Namadwaar Houston. The procla mation was read out at the Fest by special guest, Pearland City Coun cilmember Mr. Adrian Hernandez.

Another highlight of the event was the Darshana Exhibit on the Hindu Civilization, a nationwide traveling exhibition put together by HSS USA that presents and ex plains different aspects of Indian and Hindu culture to help the com munity understand it better. Vol unteers from HSS Houston were present at the exhibit to explain as well as answer queries by visitors.


The 4th Annual Puranava India Culture Fest, organized by Global Organization for Divinity, was held at Pearland Town Center on the lovely summer afternoon of Aug 13. The event saw a moving crowd of almost 1000 through the day from across the Greater Houston area and other parts of Texas including Austin and Dal las. The event showcased several of India’s beautiful, inherently di vine traditions through a variety of programs and exhibits. There were fun competitions in chess, art and Indian classical dance that were held earlier in the afternoon, and cultural performances and a chari ot parade in the evening.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 26, 2022 • August 26, 2022 7

Award The evening of Tues day, August 16, 2022 was filled with inspiring stories of people helping each other during the COVID-19 pandemic in India. It was aptly entitled ‘Hope’, and was a presentation by Rajender Singh of Star Promotions, featuring Bol lywood actor Sonu Sood who shared stories about his work and the Sood Charity Foundation that he established on July 21, 2020. Sonu Sood is better known for his good looks and acting skills in films like Dabang, Aashiq Banaya Aapne, Jodhaa Akbar, Yuva, Shoo tout at Wadala and many more. But there is another side to this ac tor turned philanthropist who has gained respect now as a real-life hero who did amazing work dur ing the pandemic. The Sood Charity Foundation’s mission is to build a brighter path for the poor and underprivileged in India. To do so, it strives to pro vide free education, health care, career opportunities and much more to the needy. All over India people are raving about Sood’s humanitarian work.

for Meena Datt at ‘Evening of Hope’ with Sonu Sood houSton:

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 26, 2022 • August 26, 20228 COMMUNITY For Advertising in Indo-American News call Jawahar Malhotra @ 713-789-6397 Pradeep Sulhan, P.C. Certified Public Accountant Over 25 years of experience 14340 Torrey Chase Blvd. | Suite 110 | Houston, Texas 77014 281-583-2993 | 281-580-8700| Call Sid or Pradeep By Jawahar Malhotra ®All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the written consent of the publisher. 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:713-789-6397, email:, website: www. Indo American News Founder: dr. K.l. Sindwani PuBliSher: Jawahar Malhotra editor: PraMod KulKarni CorreSPondent: SanChali BaSu

The evening of dinner and chit chat with Sonu Sood happened at the GSH Event Center on West Bellfort and the Beltway. It was brought to the Houston public by Rajender Singh and sponsored by Anjali and Hari Agarwal; Shalu and Jiten Agarwal; Himadari and Harish Kathrani and Raj and Jugal Malani.Inan informal and cozy set ting Sood shared stories about his work, his foundation and praised Rajender Singh for his help. This evening was not so much for films and was not a show. It was an evening of hope for humanity. The emcee of the evening was RJ Olivia.Inhis own charming style, Sonu Sood presented an award given by Rajender of Star Promotions to Houston’s very own radio Diva Meena Datt for her amazing com munity service and excellent radio hosting.Thebrilliant journalist Sunanda Vashishth gave a dynamic intro duction to Datt who was totally surprised and extremely touched by the gesture.

Houston’s Radio Musical Diva Meena Datt receives an award from Bollywood actor and philanthropist Sonu Sood as promoter Rajender Singh and sponsor Jiten Agarwal and journalist Sunanda Vashishth (left) look on.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 26, 2022 • August 26, 2022 9

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 26, 2022 • August 26, 202210 Mobile & BankingPersonal anytime anywhere Visit us soon at Southwestern National Bank 713-771-9700

The Telugu hit RRR, however, has made nearly $20 million from in ternational markets. Laal Singh Chaddha, on the other hand, has been able to make a little over Rs 55 crore. The film was produced on a reported bud get of Rs 180 crore, and began production before the pandemic. Portions were filmed in starts and stops during the last three years, before the film was released in theatres earlier this month. Laal Singh Chaddha’s worldwide gross now stands at Rs 126 crore. The film still stands a chance at turning a theatrical profit, pro vided it performs in China (which, in turn, depends on whether or not it even gets a China release). The territory has become notoriously unaccommodating for imported films in the post-pandemic era. But Aamir remains a major star there.

By ShuBhra GuPta crime in the house next door, lead ing to a Found-footage,tragedy. visitations from the past, rocky marriages, and the leading character Antara (Taap see Pannu), ricocheting between the past and present : the set-up is briskly got out of the way, and we are all set for some thrills and chills. Anay, the boy-from-the-past has people who remember him in the present, and his memories of an unresolved crime lie at the heart of the puzzle Antara finds herself embroiled in: who is she really, a nurse at the local hospital with a dodgy husband (Rahul Bhat) and a pretty daughter, or an exception ally talented doctor whose mentor (Nassar), is proud of her? Does the handsome inspector (Pavail Gula ti) who tends to show up wherever Antara is, know more than he lets on? And how will she find her way back from that infernal loop? Also Read |Taapsee Pannu: ‘Anurag Kashyap says I’ve to work with Rohit Shetty if I want to become a star’ Some puzzles draw you in with their smartness and intricacy. I haven’t seen the original, so I can’t comment on how ‘Mirage’ meshes its many strands, but ‘Do baara’ comes off too choppy and muddled. As a result, it’s hard to keep track of the many things hap pening in the time zones the movie slips in and out of ; the sketchilydrawn characters keep going off on tangents, the intrigue goes missing, and the film flattens. And you can see the big reveal coming a mile off. The biggest puzzle is that ‘Do baara’ never feels like an Anurag Kashyap film. His trajectory may have been uneven, but never, at any point, did any of his films not feel like his films, complete with his very specific authorial stamp. Where is that AK? I want him backCast:‘dobaara’.Taapsee Pannu, Pavail Gu lati, Rahul Bhat, Saswata Chatter jee, Himanshi Chaudhry, Nassar Director: Anurag Kashyap Rating: 1.5 stars-- Indian Express ‘Laal Singh’ Beats ‘Kashmir Files’ in Intl Markets

Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chad dha might have flopped domesti cally, but the film has broken a significant record at the world wide box office. According to Bollywood Hungama, the Forrest Gump remake is now the high est-grossing Hindi film of 2022 in international markets, having overtaken hits such as Gangubai Kathiawadi, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and The Kashmir Files. With $7.5 million (Rs 59 crore) in over a week of release, Laal Singh Chaddha has managed to surpass Gangubai Kathiawadi ($7.47 million), Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 ($5.88 million), and The Kash mir Files ($5.7 million). By com parison, each of those three mov ies was also a major hit in India.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 26, 2022 • August 26, 2022 11 Solution Next Week Send us the correct answer before August 30, 2022. Email us at Please send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published. 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. Last Week’s Solution Recent Winners Kumud Athavale, Ramana Vadrevu, Krishna R. Vud dagiri, Sanchali Basu, Yudhveer Singh Bagga, Prabha Barvalia, Smayan Umesh Poojary, Ramesh Shah, Rithish Raakesh, Vishwam Rathod, Arup Gupta, Pad manabhan Subbier, Arup Gupta, Kirit Suthar ‘Dobaaraa’: Comes Off Too Choppy, Muddled ‘Dobaara’ can mean more than one thing. Anurag Kashyap’s lat est film plays with meaning. The Hindi word for ‘again’ is also used as ‘do barah’, the time on a cracked wrist-watch which has stopped at 2.12, twelve minutes past two. The time-travel mys tery, an official remake of 2018 Spanish film ‘Mirage’, also plays with our heads. Is it possible to go back in time, and change things around? Can multiple versions of us exist, at the same time, in paral lelAuniverses?familymoves into a Pune house, and in the process of set tling in, discovers an old TV setand- camcorder, which crackles to life during a massive storm. As thunder and lightning crackles across the sky, accompanying tor rential rain, old secrets come tum bling out. Turns out that the house has a dark past: thirty years back, a little boy and his architect mum who lived there were witness to what appeared to be a ENTERTAINMENThorrible

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 26, 2022 • August 26, 202212

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