Indo-American News: December 2, 2022

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Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, december 2, 2022 • BANA Stages Vibrant Drama 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, December 2, 2022 | Vol. 41, No. 48 $1 P8
P7 11th Int’l Maheshwari Rajasthani Convention P2
Dr. Samba Reddy A&M Award
The Maheshwari community of Rajasthan came together this Thanksgiving weekend to relive their culture and
with each other at the 11th International Maheshwari and Rajasthani
Convention (IMRC).

Maheshwaris Come Together for 11th International Convention in Houston

housTon: The Maheshwari community of Rajasthan came to gether this Thanksgiving weekend to relive their culture and connect with each other at the 11th Interna tional Maheshwari and Rajasthani Convention (IMRC).

The well attended event was hosted by the Southwest chapter of MMNA (Maheshwari Mahasabha of North America) and held at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Houston. The convention was kicked off by Convenor Sharad Mantri and Co-convenors Archana Bhakkad and Sanjay Jajoo. Guests of Honor included Shailesh Lodha, Dr Ruma Devi, Kartikeya Baldwa, Dr. Renu Khator and the Consul General Aseem Mahajan.

Renowned Hindi poet, writer, and TV star, Shailesh Lodha is best known for portraying Taarak Meh ta in the sitcom Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah. In his address, one of the points he emphasized was the importance of using one’s Matrubhasha (mother tongue) and communicating with children in that language.

Dr. Ruma Devi is a symbol of women empowerment who has helped uplift rural and tribal wom en of India. Sharing her own story, she stated that basic education and training are vital in helping an in dividual become self-reliant. Yet another pointer was to tap every opportunity – small or big.

Kartikeya Baldwa, Founder and CEO at Ixoreal Biomed Inc, a company based out of Los Ange les and Hyderabad was immensely impressed by the work MMNA

was doing in preserving the rich Marwari culture while thousands of miles away from home.

Dr. Renu Khator, who made his tory with her appointment as first woman chancellor and president of University of Houston, expressed her pride in her heritage and stated “As Maheshwari Rajasthanis, we share a common bond. Each one of us has a story of unparalleled passion and unwavering determi nation that propelled us to new heights, where we stand today. It takes a village to write a success ful chapter in anyone’s life and we are fortunate to be a part of this community.”

Consul General Aseem Mahajan appreciated the relevance and timing of the convention theme“Rishtey-Reet-Reewaj”, the con tribution of the Maheshwari com munity worldwide and the efforts of the community in engaging and empowering the youth. He also extended his office’s support for entrepreneurship and youth em powerment.

The convention was packed with several highlights such as a trip to the ranch, Ghoomar dances, creative breakout sessions, musi cal night, Mahasangram, Mahesh Tank, professional networking, Children’s Talent show, Matri mony sessions, Diet Planning and Yoga sessions.

This was the effort of nearly 150 volunteers who worked tirelessly for the last six months to prepare for the event. All MMNA chapters and initiatives including Sakhi, RAYS and RAYS-Junior, Pronet, Business, Seniors, Philanthropy, Education, and Matrimonial, worked together with the IMRC


Thanks giving Eve, November 24, marked the begin ning of the celebration. A cultural show by the southwest chapter featured more than 115 people who performed several Rajast hani festivals through drama and dance. “Ristey-Reet-Riwaj” was the theme of the performance. The opening ceremony was kicked off by a graceful Ghoomar dance performed by over 40 ladies. MMNA National President Ab hilasha Rathi welcomed the guests and appreciated the volunteers by saying “Kuch samay pahle aisa laga keh hum sab thodi der ke liye Rajasthan pahuch gaye hai, itna sundar ghoomar IMRC ki opening ceremony meh pehli baar hi dekha hai. I feel fortunate to be part of the MMNA pariwar and proud to be a Rajasthani Maheshwari!” (It felt like I was in Rajasthan. Rarely has such a beautiful Ghoomar dance been performed)

“Mahasangram” - the conflict between generations generated a great deal of interest and dealt with issues such as family values and the relations between parents and children. Mahesh Tank saw entrepreneurs making business presentations to a panel of four in vestors. The MMNA Matrimonial Session announced the launch of a mobile app to help Maheshwaris and Rajasthanis find their special someone. A silent auction was also held for the Rajasthani artwork submitted by the participants.

A Rajasthani theme photo booth, professional networking, Inter chapter and Sakhi Cultural pro grams were held on Friday eve


On Saturday, the entire con vention moved from the hotel to a ranch. It was a picturesque day with everyone decked in cowboy attire showcasing Tex an culture coupled with TexMex cuisine. The trip to the ranch with 770 plus attendees on 14 school buses was a unique and fun experience for all.

The Rajasthanis Abroad Youth Samaj (RAYS) was equally involved and took the lead as emcees, coordinators, and welcoming the attendees. RAYS President Sarika Malani noted that around 200 youth members joined the activities which ranged from professional networking to card making for the Texas Children’s Hospital. This event re-invigorated the youth, and they were excited at being a part of the convention.”

A RAYS member shared this comment “RAYS has given me a connection to Mahesh wari culture and roots that no other platform has been able to provide in my life. Our RAYS group chat of youth members has been flooded with messag es from new attendees all over the country talking about how incredible their first experience was!”

A live musical concert by a team of 14 performers from Niche Entertainment, India regaled the attendees on the Grand Gala Nite. The event concluded on Sunday with the

closing ceremony, annual awards, and volunteer appreciations. Sushma Pallod received the Lifetime Achieve ment Award for her selfless work and dedication to the community while Ji tendra Muchhal and Padam Mahesh wari received recognition awards.

“Sharad Mantri concluded the event by stating, “IMRC 2022 would not have been possible without the financial support of our Diamond plus sponsors, Jugal and Raj Malani, Ramesh and Kiran Bhutada, as well as all other sponsors and committed volunteers.” Convenor Sharad Mantri expressed his delight at the event’s success with over 900+ attendees from all over the world. This convention, he revealed, “made history by involv ing every age group from toddlers to seniors, created positive vibes in the youth for IMRC.” He also credited his wife, Triveni with assisting him in making the event a huge success from hotel management to food selection. All MMNA life members were given a souvenir book as a keepsake of the event which included memories, ar ticles, donor appreciation, interesting stories, artwork, and more from Ma heshwaris all over the world.

Authentic Rajasthani delicacies like Dal Batti and Churma were on the menu and catered by Maharaja Bhog in Houston. Each meal featured a delectable variety of cuisines from renowned vendors. The decorators did apt justice to the theme and cre ated a lively Rajasthani ambience in the hotel.

The education foundation of MMNA raised record breaking funds of $115,000.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, december 2, 2022 • December 2, 2022 2 COMMUNITY
Event Conveyor Sharad Mantri, his wife and Food and Hotel Coordinator Triveni Mantri and their son, Dhruv Mantri( volunteer) Opening ceremony, with lighting of the lamps. Dr. Ruma Devi, Ghanshyam Heda, Raj Malani, Jugal Malani, Abhilasha Rathi, Dr. Swati Lodha, Shailesh Lodha, Sharad Mantri, Kartikeya Baldwa, Ramesh Bhutada, Kiran Bhutada. Narendra Zamwar (Trustee & Past President), Satish Gandhi (Past President), Sharad Mantri (Convenor & Past President), Dinesh Gupta, Ramesh Bhutada (Dimond Plus Sponsor), Dr. Amitab Shukla, Jugal Malani (Dimond Plus Sponsor & Past Vice President), Hansraj Khandelwal, Harish Jajoo (Past President). IMRC participants at ranch. Photo credit: Vijay Prajapati
Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, december 2, 2022 • December 2, 2022 3 COMMUNITY
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Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, december 2, 2022 • December 2, 2022 5


With the internet ruling at the fingertips of every individual and organization, the activities and transactions have become more prone to cyber-attacks. Every in dividual must become familiar with a variety of today’s common cyberthreats, by learning how to spot a cyberattack, an individual can make smarter security deci sions and prevent attacks.

Cyber extortion or ransomware attacks are made by individuals or organizations who hijack very critical and confidential docu ments that they use to blackmail for money.

Ransomware in numbers: • How to prevent criminals • from hijacking your files?

Hackers are successful at ran somware attacks because they use phishing -- tricking you into giving out sensitive information or taking a potentially dangerous action, like clicking on a link or downloading an infected attach ment. They do these using emails disguised as contacts or organiza tions you trust so that you react without thinking first.

The consequences of ransom ware are not limited to financial loss. They can include Shutting down websites, postponing medi cal treatments, deactivating badge scanners, closing schools, disrupt ing phone or email service

Easy steps can be taken to stop

Stop! Think Before You Click

or slow-down these scams. Keep your eyes open and follow these tips.

Install System Updates: • Software providers release frequent updates to their products to increase protec tion against ransomware. Always install them right away.

Back up data: Routinely • backup your data. Follow your organization’s policy for where and how to safely store it.

Report it immediately: If •

you become a victim of a ransomware attack, report it immediately. Do not hesi tate. Turning off the device might also prevent things from getting worse.

Ransomware is just another scam that we can beat if we keep our eyes open, backup files, and work together to keep data safe by following below simple tips

Do’s à Strong password, Dual factor authentication, Change password frequently, check your Bank/credit transactions frequent ly, ensure proper training to users,

Data encryption.

Don’ts à Do not share your per sonal information with anyone, do not share bank accounts on email or chat, do not share OTP’s, do not click on suspicious link, do not use net banking on third party system How to identify?

. Shows urgency/Action required immediately

. Attracts a high reward conse quence if no action taken

. illegitimate description of link

. Enter credentials

Masood Ahmed is a leading Se curity Architect and Certified In

formation System Auditor; he has 15 years of experience in the Cy bersecurity of Financial applica tions. He is the creator of Energy Transfer UI Masking and Data Protection Tool, which is a for tune 100 company based in Texas. Masood is a lifetime member of Computer society of India, ISACA and IEEE which are internation ally recognized associations in computer science research.

In his current role as Manager of Enterprise Financial Applica tions, he is a motivated driver who inspires people by publishing ar ticles on data protection and pro cess controls refer Data Privacy Blog. He has represented at annual GRC conferences, as a speaker at Americas SAP User Group and in vited to cybersecurity conferences.

India’s Long and Successful Path to becoming an Attractive Investment Destination

India has come a long way, from the poor economic state post-inde pendence, to becoming an attrac tive destination for investors to day. Over time, India has emerged to be among the fastest-growing major economies in the world. In the current context of down-cycles globally, my colleague Mrigank Gutgutia shares a few factors that work in India’s favour.

1. India is a stable democracy with successive governments sticking to materially positive re form agenda, despite ideological differences

Successive Indian governments across the political spectrum have been committed to economic re form to propel economic growth. So, India’s GDP has grown from ~USD 275 billion to ~USD 3.1 Trillion in 30 years. In fact, many of the policies in ideation stage of a particular government are, in fact, implemented by the next govern ment. For instance, policies such as Goods & Services Tax (GST), Jan Dhan Yojana, and Make in In dia were initially conceived by the Congress-led UPA government but implemented by the BJP-led NDA government.

2. India’s debt-to-GDP is far lower than developed economies such as UK, USA, and Japan When benchmarked against the

leading devel oping countries, India’s low debt-to-GDP indicates resil ience – ability to support the economy in notso-favourable times without burdening it with excessive debt. India’s debt-to-GDP ratio levels have been under the ac ceptable rate of 60% as proposed by the NK Singh Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (2017).

3. The Indian Rupee has per formed better than currencies of both emerging and developed economies

Despite the depreciation wit nessed in the Indian Rupee against the US Dollar, the RBI’s interven tions to stem volatility, India’s prudent energy dependency deci sions, better control on inflation, amongst other factors, have led to the Rupee still performing better than most prominent currencies.

4. Inflation in India has been relatively under control through fiscal and monetary pru dence

While inflation in India is still materially high, it’s much more under control compared to other economies like that of the US

and the UK. India adopted sig nificantly more prudent liquidity infusion during COVID. The RBI also didn’t follow significant eas ing in the preceding years. These, along with timely interventions through the appropriate tools such as tweaks on Cash Reserve Ratio, Statutory Liquidity Ratio, Open Market Operations, apart from the rate changes, have helped kept in flation from spiraling out of con trol.

5. India is expected to have the largest working-age population by 2030

India is one of the youngest nations in the world, with a me dian age of 28 compared to 38 in China and the USA in 2021. It is expected to add 12 million people to the working population yearly. This segment not only drives pro ductivity and the nation’s output, but also is the most significant segment of consumption. As per a World Economic Forum report

named (“Future of Consumption in Fast-Growth Consumer Markets: IN DIA) released in 2019, India’s millennials and Generation Z will become a major con sumption pool and spend more than their prede cessors. This underscores India’s consumption tailwinds.

6. India has more than 120 mil lion English-speakers, second only to the USA English-speaking proficiency in India has gained prominence in India in line with the growth of multi-national corporations in the country.

This population is ready to com municate with customers globally. Further, India has more than 880K engineering graduates across vari ous levels, annually. Large, skilled population, equipped with the necessary language capabilities makes India a very attractive des tination for services, which drives more than 20% of the country’s GDP.

7. India is extremely cost com petitive

The cost of doing business in In dia is very low, Not only are the wages competitive, the costs of

utility and real estate are also low er. With highly skilled resources available at relatively lower wag es, along with lower costs of run ning the businesses, India is one of the most attractive destinations for offices.

8. Beyond services, India is making rapid progress on manu facturing

Among its Asian peers, India has been the second-best performing country in terms of manufactur ing value added. Government in terventions specifically Make in India and the Production-Linked Incentives (PLI) scheme have augmented Indian manufacturing. Owing to these policies, along with opportunities arising from businesses looking beyond China, manufacturing GVA surge between 2020 and 2021 was 22% for India – highest among the Asian peers.

India has surpassed the UK and has now become the fifth-largest economy in the world. With then increasing working population and emerging job opportunities, it is rapidly becoming be the world’s talent factory with limitless po tential across manufacturing and services. This not only positively impacts the economy’s overall output but also leads to increasing opportunity, living standards and consumption trends.

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december 2,
December 2, 2022 6

NRI Scientist Dr. Samba Reddy Wins Texas A&M Regents Professor Award

housTon: NRI scientist Dr. Sam

ba Reddy is named for the Texas A&M University System Regents Professor Award, which is the high est honor bestowed by the System on faculty members.

The TAMUS Board of Regents honors faculty whose performance in scholarship has been exem plary and distinguished. Dr. Reddy earned this coveted title for mak ing extraordinary contributions and achievements that had an impact on, not only, their institution or agency, but also, the community, the state of Texas, and at the national and inter national levels.

Dr. Reddy, a native of Warangal in Telangana State, earned pharmacy degree from Kakatiya University, masters and doctoral degrees from Panjab University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Presently, Dr. Reddy is a profes sor and director at the Texas A&M School of Medicine. Dr. Reddy joined Texas A&M in 2008, where he pioneered the field of neuroster oids by researching epilepsy neu rotherapeutics. His seminal contri butions include the discovery of a neurocode for treating epilepsy and a novel neurosteroid-replacement therapy to treat epilepsy, women’s health and brain disorders.

Dr. Reddy’s transformational con tributions led to the development of two new medicines: ganaxolone (Ztalmy), the first neurosteroid for epilepsy, and brexanolone (Zul

resso), the first FDA-approved drug for postpartum depression, which are now used in clinics worldwide.

He also discovered that neuros teroids can terminate hard-to-treat seizures, called status epilepticus, and his product was selected by the BARDA for phase 3 clinical trials in patients.

Dr. Reddy is a prolific inventor, holding several patents and inven tions and 150 invited/keynote talks.

Named one of the world’s top 2 percent of scientists by the Stan ford University survey, he has published more than 220 pa pers/chapters and five popu lar textbooks, mentored and trained around 100 students and postdocs, and authored/ co-authored around 450 pre sentations.

He has re ceived awards from top sci entific organi zations in the United States, India and Eu rope, and is an elected fellow in three major organizations: the American

Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Asso ciation of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), and the American Epilepsy Society. He is an associate/guest editor of Experimental Neurology, Current Protocols, Epilepsy Cur rents, and Frontiers in Aging Neu roscience journals. In 2020, Reddy received the AAPS Global Leader Award, a pivotal distinction for his stellar research contributions with an outstanding impact on public health worldwide.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, december 2, 2022 • December 2, 2022 7 EDUCATION
Dr. Samba Reddy

BANA Houston Stages a Vibrant Drama Ugna – Vidyapati

housTon: While Houstonians were reeling through thanksgiv ing dinner amid sprinkling rains, drama performers were rehearsing for a vibrant drama. On Novem ber 26, 2022, the performers, un der the banner of Bihar Associa tion of North America (BANA), performed a mesmerizing drama Ugna – Vidyapati, a tale of Bhava nipur, at the auditorium of Hous ton Durgabadi Society at 13944 Schiller Road, Houston, Texas.

Joined by about 150 or so audi ence, drama started at around 8 PM and lasted for about one hour.

The young village girls (Diya Anand and Sweta Gupta), sensing the arrival of a guest Ugna (Arnav Singh) in disguise of a domestic help, sang and danced to welcome Ugna. Mahakavi Pandit Vidya pati (Bidhu Prakash), wife Sushila (Amrita Srivastav), and daughter Lakshmi (Raina Jha) assimilated him as part of the family. Con temporary King of Oiniwar dy nasty in Mithila (the birthplace of Goddess Sita and Her father King Janak) Shiv Simha Singh (Atul Sinha) and Mahamantri (Sumeet Anand) were bolstering Veena re cital (Mridula Karna), and Vidya pati’s song gayan (Rajeev Jha) in their kingdom. By intuition, the King realized to call upon Pandit Vidyapati and to award him ap propriately.

Hearing this news, Ugna and Pandit Vidyapati started for the kingdom. On his way, in the jun gle, Vidyapati felt thirsty. Ugna secretly changed his guise to Ma hadev (Pranay Anand), took water from His Jata (hair), came back to Vidyapati, and offered water.

Vidyapati realized it was Gangajal (holy water) and requested Ugna to disclose his identity. Ugna changed to the form of Mahadev, disclosed (Binay Anand, voice of Mahadev) His identity, and re quested Vidyapati not to disclose His identity to anybody, should Vidyapati want Him to be with him. Vidyapati assured Him for the same.

On arrival in the Kingdom, King and Mahamantri gave them lot of

rewards. Time passes. One day, Sushila became itchy of Ugna’s behavior and beat him in a friendly encounter. Vidyapati, in his excite ment, disclosed Ugna’s identity to Sushila. Hence, Ugna disappeared.

Family started crying and search ing using hand drawn pictures (portrayed by Ruchi Tiwari) of Ugna.

Mahadev appeared, consoled them, and gave them Shiv Linga to be placed in a Ugna Mahadev Temple at Bhavanipur, Madhubani in Bihar. Soon after, King and Ma hamantri approached Vidyapati and declared him the Raj-Kavi. The family still could not recover from sorrow of Ugna’s departure. Sutradhar (Sweta Gupta) closed this drama in a very emotional manner, narrating agony (voiced by Deepshikha Karna) of the fam ily.

Written and directed by Vinay Karna, makeup and costumes designed by Mridula Karna, and Ravi Puri, and a very profession ally audio visual managed by the full team, this drama reflects the story of Mahakavi Vidyapati in and around fourteen century AD. Vidyapati wrote many songs, and poems in Maithili, and Bengali languages. He and his devoted wife were blessed by their “Aar adhya Ugna-Mahadev” and hence patronized by many kings around the time, prominent was King Shiv Shimha Singh.

BANA Houston performs its an nual cultural extravaganza around this time. Among other sequels of the classical and Bollywood songs and dances, it has produced many of such dramas in the past, glo rifying known or unsung heroes of ancient Bihar. “We are thrilled to see how our home-grown per formers give their best amid short est time they can spare from daily lives,” says President Ravi Ran jan. Sumeet Anand, and Madhu Tiwari, the coordinators of the event, thanked the volunteers who put their maximum efforts to make drama and the cultural festival a grand success. “The drama would not have been successful without the contributions of volunteers including Alok Singh, Sanjay Ku

Streaming in December: Govinda Naam Mera, Etc.

It’s almost the end of 2022, but there is no dearth of entertainment as streaming platforms have made sure to make the last month of the year special for their subscribers. Viewers are in for a double dose of thrill as Kartik Aaryan’s Freddy releases on Disney Plus Hotstar and Taapsee Pannu’s Blurr come directly to ZEE5. Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s love story Faadu and Shashank Khaitan’s comedy Gov inda Naam Mera will also land the same month.

Also of note this month on streaming is the arrival of Will Smith’s Emancipation on Apple TV plus, his first release after the Oscars 2022 slapgate.

Qala: Netflix

Streaming on: December 1

The psychological drama Qala, starring Tripti Dimri and Babil Khan in lead roles, is directed by Anvitaa Dutt. The feature film revolves around an eponymous young playback singer. The film, set in the late 1930 and early 1940s, also stars Amit Sial, Amit Trivedi, Girija Oak, Kausar Mu nir, Samir Kochhar, Swanand Kirkire, Tasveer Kamil and Varun Grover.

India Lockdown: ZEE5

Streaming on: December 2

India Lockdown Poster of Mad hur Bhandarkar’s India Lock down. (Photo: PR Handout)

Directed by Madhur Bhandark ar, the direct-to-digital movie, is based on the repercussions of the coronavirus-induced lockdown on the people of India. Written by Amit Joshi and Aradhana Sah, the film stars Shweta Basu Prasad, Aahana Kumra, Prateik Babbar, Sai Tamhankar and Prakash Bale wadi in lead roles. It narrates four parallel stories of disparate char acters who get stuck into different scenarios due to the lockdown.

How they will survive the uncer tainty of the moment will make the crux of the story.

Freddy: Disney Plus Hotstar

Streaming on: December 2 Kartik Aaryan is all set to ap pear on the screen as a psycho dentist in Shashanka Ghosh’s Freddy. Alaya F essays the role of his beloved wife Kainaaz. But soon Freddy’s love for Kainaaz grows abusive. From the trailer, it seems the film will be filled with several twists and turns as Freddy transforms from an introvert to a murderer. The film will stream on Disney+ Hotstar on December 2.

Vadhandhi: Amazon Prime Video

Streaming on: December 2 Vadhandhi Vadhandhi is direct ed by Andrew Louis.

Starring SJ Suryah, Sanjana, Laila, Nasser, Vivek Prasanna, Hareesh Peradi, Smruthi Venkat, and Kumaran Thangarajan, Vad handhi is written and directed by Andrew Loui. The Prime Video series is a mystery thriller that revolves around the investigation of a murder that takes place in the countryside. It also showcases how sensitive cases are exploited by media for TRP, resulting in traumatised kin of the victim. It will premiere on December 2.

Blurr: ZEE5

Streaming on: December 9

The psychological thriller Blurr, starring Taapsee Pannu and Gulshan Devaiah in the lead roles, follows the story of twin sisters, Gautami and Gayatri and their experience with the world as they lose their eyesight. As per the trailer, after Gautami dies mysteri ously, Gayatri tries to find out the truth behind her death, but she has little time to figure out the truth as she is losing her eyesight. The film is directed by Ajay Bahl.

Govinda Naam Mera: Disney Plus Hotstar

Streaming on: December 16

vicky kaushal, bhumi pedneka Govinda Naam Mera will stream on Disney Plus Hotstar.

After all the high-octane dra mas, the audience will get to watch something lighter with the release of Shashank Khaitan’s Govinda Naam Mera. Starring Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Pednekar and Kiara Advani in the lead role, the film revolves around a back ground dancer Govind A Wagh mare whose life is a mess, his wife is having an affair and he has a girlfriend named Suku. Things worsen for him after he becomes a major suspect in a murder case. The film is produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions and Viacom18 Studios.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, december 2, 2022 • December 2, 2022 8 FINE ARTS
By Vinay karna mar, Ravi Choudhary, Santosh Verma, Kumar Sambhav, Anil Mishra, Dolly Jha, Rekha Gupta, Tripti Jha, and Amrita Srivastav, to name a few,” they added. For any information related to BANA Houston activities, please contact the executive committee at This news article is written by Vinay Karna in his individual capacity. Content of this drama and article is inspired by the acts, the themes taken from the internet, and imagi natively changed as suited to the audience in the sole view of the writer and hence reported as such.

Margaritaville Lake Resort Honors South Asian Traditions

Houston: Located about an hour north of the Houston area, a lush, tropical oasis on a secluded lake front awaits – Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe | Houston. A destination in itself, the resort offers the perfect setting to carry out the time-honored traditions of South Asian weddings.

“Our wide array of venues, ame nities, and activities allow us to create an unforgettable wedding weekend experience for the bride, groom, family members, and all of their guests,” said Desiree Tap ping, director of catering for Mar garitaville Lake Resort. “We under stand the uniqueness and traditions of South Asian weddings and offer a level of ‘an all-encompassing des tination’ that is impossible to find elsewhere.”

With over 72,000 square feet of event space, the resort can host ev ery wedding festivity– including a welcome dinner, the Mehendi, and Sangeet, as well as separate Vidhi ceremonies for the bride and groom all onsite. In addition, the resort fea tures a private, .75-mile road lead ing up to the resort entrance, which means there is no need to seek a permit from the city to bring in a horse or elephant for a Baraat. As a lakeside resort, Margaritaville Lake Resort also offers couples of the op tion of having a Baraat come in on a boat.

“Our various venues lend them selves to support the customs of South Asian weddings. Waterpoint Landing, which overlooks pictur esque Lake Conroe is the perfect setting for a Haldi ceremony while our poolside lawn serves as the per fect backdrop for a wedding-week end lunch event,” said Tapping.

With culinary expertise hailing from South Asia, the resort is able to prepare some Indian cuisine in

house, including Undhiya and Dhokla from Gujurat, Kashmiri Roganjosh, Amritsari Chole, and Punjabi Tandoori.

Margaritaville Lake Resort also provides numerous ways for the bride and groom and their guests to unwind and enjoy the laidback lake life. Enjoy a round of golf on the resort’s 18-hole, par 71 USGA-cer tified course, or refresh and renew at the St. Somewhere Spa. There’s also a three-acre water park with waterslides, five swimming pools, a lazy river, and the opportunity to rent a boat and explore Lake Con roe.

“We provide the feel of a destina tion wedding without the passport,” said Tapping.

Between the various wedding activities and events, the wedding party and their guests can relax and recharge in one of the resort’s allsuite accommodations decorated

Indo American News

Founder: dr. k.L. sindwani

PuBLisher: Jawahar MaLhoTra

ediTor: PraMod kuLkarni

CorresPondenT: sanChaLi Basu

with a light and airy color palette that channels the lake, sand, and sky. All guest rooms feature sepa rate bedrooms, private balconies, high-end furnishings, and lavish bathrooms with walk-in showers and granite vanities.

Now for a limited time, couples who decide to host their wedding at Margaritaville Lake Resort by December 31, 2023, can pick from various complimentary event en hancements designed to transport them directly to marital bliss. To learn more about the “Pick Your Paradise” special offer, visit https:// margaritaville-lake-resort-lakeconroe/weddings/wedding-offers/ wedding-special-offers

“We look forward to helping you create the wedding of your dreams and an experience you will never forget, honoring your rich traditions and culture,” said Tapping.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, december 2, 2022 • December 2, 2022 9 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 ®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.

sugar Land: Despite gloomy weather, warmth prevailed inside the expansive, wood-paneled hall of St. Laurence Cath olic Church on Monday night in Sugar Land, where members of Fort Bend Coun ty’s many religious communities gathered in love and friendship for an interfaith Thanksgiving service.

“The last one we did was in November of 2019, and we had no idea what was coming three months later,” said St. Lau rence’s pastor, the Rev. Drew Wood, as he recalled the hardships that would come with the pandemic. “It’s been painful and very rough on all of us. But it’s three years later and we’re still here; so we have a lot to give thanks for. ”

Around 200 people, representing various ages, faiths and backgrounds were present. The program included prayers from differ ent faiths and denominations interspersed with reflections about the importance of giving.

“We adhere to a centuries-old tradition of Shia values that are expressed through a commitment to a search for knowledge and betterment of society,” said Murad Ajani, president of the Ismaili Council for the Southwestern United States. “These include embracing pluralism by building bridges of peace and understanding and generously sharing one’s time, talents and

material resources to improve the quality of life of the community.”

The official symbol of Unitarian Uni versalism is a flaming chalice. Betty Johnson, representing the Thoreau Uni tarian Universalist Congregation of Fort Bend, offered the following prayer after lighting a chalice.

“We are people of all ages, who enter this space bringing our joys and con cerns. … We light a chalice to symbol ize our interdependence and our unity. We mourn and celebrate. We strive for justice and mercy. We sing and pray and listen. We come together to worship.”

Members of Fort Bend’s Sikh com munity sang a Punjabi hymn from Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib. Sikhism is amongst the youngest of the major world religions. It developed around 500 years ago in India, from the spiritual teach ings of Guru Nanak. Hindus of Greater Houston (HGH) performed a short play explaining the lives of Hindu gods Ram and Krishna.

“It’s my job to make everybody else attend,” said Vijay Pallod from HGH, one of the organizers. “We reached out to Buddhist and Jain communities and encouraged them to come. The turnout has been great this year.” -- Juhi Varma in The Houston Chronicle


‘Bhediya’: Quite the Jungle in the Rumble

Cast: Varun Dhawan, Abhishek Banerjee, Paalin Kabak, Deepak Dobriyal, Kriti Sanon

Director: Amar Kaushik

Rating: 3 stars Humans turning into were wolves is such a familiar trope that the thought of seeing yet another version wasn’t making me jump: I’m happy to report that much of ‘Bhediya’, in which a principal character turns into an ‘icchhadhaari’ wolf, is really enjoyable.

And very scenic at that: the film has been shot in Arunachal Pradesh, the gorgeous Northeast state which hasn’t yet been tram pled upon by tourists. On a mis sion to build a road that cuts right through a lush forest, Bhaskar Sharma (Varun Dhawan) finds himself turning into a werewolf, you know, the creature that bays at the full moon, howls reverberating through the valley. Bhaskar’s com panions, Guddu (Abhishek Baner jee) and Jomin (Paalin Kabak) do the stunned-horrified-now-whatto-do number, even as a local vet erinarian (Kriti Sanon) shoves sus picious injections into Bhaskar’s rear, a body part that yields itself

to a never-ending string of juve nile jokes.

In fact, juvenalia reigns supreme pretty much throughout the film. Much of the humour takes the scatological route, finding its jol lies in, literally, people sitting on the pot, excrement, and the sights and smells thereof. Janardan, per forming the hero’s BFF/sidekick, clowns well, and so determined is he that we will laugh at his antics, that we succumb.-- Indian Ex press

Dhawan does a good job of aligning with the tone of the film — the horror is pretty much ‘naam-ke-vaaste’, comedy is what it is interested in—and gets several occasions for a detailed turnover, from human to werewolf, even if the creature swings between looking scarily real to one which is constructed-by-graphics. Back flexing, hair spouting, tail sprout ing, teeth sharpening– the CGI guys are clearly having a good time. So is Dhawan, who puts his ability to not take himself seri ously to use, and that works to the advantage of the film.

Of course, the whole point of ‘Bhediya’ is to show Bhaskar and his pals the error of their callous

ways, and we get several under lined speeches about ‘prakriti’ and ‘progress’, and the importance of conserving forests and nature. But the characters mouthing these lines manage to not sound preachy, and part of that’s got to do with a local fellow (Deepak Dobriyal, nearly unrecognisable in a shaggy wig) who acts as a bridge between these misguided citified guys, and the people of region who care for their environment. The film also slips in a few lectures about racism: igno ramuses from North India will call a local chowmein, at least once, and make fun of ‘outsiders’ before learning their lesson.

The film does falter in never quite figuring out quite what it wants to do with its sole female character, even in her relatively meagre arc: when Sanon is in troduced, as a fumbling ‘jaanwar ka doctor’, we are encouraged to laugh at her, and the script takes its own sweet time to rectify that ini tial reaction. It also goes overboard in terming the locals superstitious, saying ‘yahaan toh aise hi hota hai’: an ‘ojha’ shows up to unpack the myth of the werewolf, and the shamanesque picturisation comes this close to caricature. -- IE

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