Indo American News January 21, 2022

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Friday, January 21, 2022 | Vol. 41, No. 03

January 21, 2022


Indo American News


Published weekly from Houston, TX

Special Reports Community Briefs Local Politics South Asians in the News

2470 Dairy Ashford, Houston, TX 77077 • 713.789.NEWS (6397) •

Indo American News Radio Turns 2!

RJs for Indo American News Radio and IANR Unplugged on Masala Radio FM 98.7: Jawahar Malhotra (left), Jyoti Kulkarni, Sanchali Basu and Pramod Kulkarni.


Houston Legend Passes

Dr. Perunkulam Gopal (P.G.) Parameswaran passed away peacefully on January 6, He was 83.



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Indo-American News • Friday, JANUARY 21, 2022 •


January 21, 2022

Texas Hostage Case: Pakistani Convict at Center of Storm

chemical and biological weapons. At an Afghan police station, she allegedly snatched a rifle and fired at US Army and FBI officials. She did not hit anyone, but was herself shot in the abdomen by the officials. On February 3, 2010, Siddiqui was convicted on seven counts, including an attempt to murder Americans. She was sentenced to 86 years in prison, and is slated for release in 2082 when she would be 110 years old. The trial — and subsequent conviction — of Siddiqui greatly exercised Pakistanis. The NYT reported at the time that “she has become a national symbol of honour and victimisation so potent that Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui upon graduation from Brandeis University and later in detension in Ghazni, Afghanistan. politicians of all stripes, Islamists, the news media and an increasingly anti-American public have all lined up to champion her */5&(3*5:

claim of innocence”. Then Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani described her as a “daughter of the nation”, and then opposition leader Nawaz Sharif declared he would do all that he could to secure her release. The Pakistan government extended legal assistance to 3$8/,1( $33(/%$80 )250(5 ',675,&7 Siddiqui, and )250(5 86&,6 )250(5 ,00,*5$7,21 )250(5 ',675,&7 )250(5 &2168/ $662&,$7( 5(*,21$/ ',5(&725 2) -8'*( ',5(&725 2) *(1(5$/ &2816(/ ,00,*5$7,21 her sister, Dr ,00,*5$7,21 Fauzia Siddiqui, a neu ANDHRA MIRCHI HUM FM MASALA RADIO RADIO MIRCHI rologist who 107.5 FM - HD-3 106.1 FM 1050 AM 98.7 FM studied and TUESDAYS THURSDAYS EVERY 2ND SUNDAY TUESDAYS 4:00 - 4:20 PM 4:00 - 4:30 PM 3:10 - 3:40 PM 1:00- 1:30 PM taught at Johns Hopkins Uni$&/53"- 5*.& versity, led a -*7& high-profile

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Fort Worth: Malik Faisal Akram, the British national who was killed during a standoff with United States federal agents in a synagogue in Fort Worth, Texas, where he had taken a rabbi and three others hostage on Saturday, was “singularly focused on one issue”, and had demanded to see a woman who is serving a jail term in the US, according to law enforcement officials. US media have reported that Akram was likely referring to Aafia Siddiqui, a highly educated Pakistani neuroscientist convicted on terrorism charges in 2010. Siddiqui is in a federal prison for women located less than 40 km from the site where Akram was killed. He had claimed he and the woman he wanted to meet would be “going to jannah after he sees her”, the Texas Department of Public Safety has said. Siddiqui, who was at one time described as the “most wanted woman in the world” and “Lady al-Qaeda”, has been a motivating figure for Islamists for years. In 2014, the Islamic State made separate offers to release journalist James Foley and an American woman — later identified as Kayla Mueller — in return for Siddiqui’s freedom. The Taliban and Haqqani network tried to trade the US military deserter Bowe Bergdahl for her. Siddiqui, now 49, was born in Karachi and studied in the US in the 1990s. She was trained at MIT, and earned a PhD in neuroscience from Brandeis University in Massachusetts in 2001. In 2002, according to the FBI, she opened a post office box in the name of Pakistani al-Qaeda suspect Majid Khan, who is currently at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. In a profile published in 2010, The New York Times reported that Siddiqui married her second husband Ammar al-Baluchi, a nephew of 9/11 conspirator and Daniel Pearl’s murderer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and himself one of the financiers of the 9/11 attacks, in Pakistan in 2003, and then disappeared out of sight for about five years. Both Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ammar al-Baluchi are being held at the Guantanamo Bay facility. Siddiqui was arrested in Ghazni, Afghanistan, in July 2008, and was allegedly found in possession of handwritten notes on a “mass casualty attack” at multiple sites in New York City, as well as on building “dirty bombs” and


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3 A Legend in Houston Community: Dr. P.G. Parameswaran

OBITUARY Houston: With profound sadness, IACAN would like to inform you of the passing away of one of our past board members, Dr. Perunkulam Gopal (P.G.) Parameswaran. He was 83. Born in Burma and raised in India, Dr. Parameswaran was the first generation in his family to receive higher education. After completing a residency in cardiothoracic surgery at Government Stanley Hospital in Chennai, followed by a series of professorial and research appointments across India, Dr. Parameswaran immigrated to the United States in 1973 to work in Dr. Yyan Silva’s team at Detroit’s Wayne State University, where they conducted the first transplant of a baboon liver into a human. After practicing surgery in a small town in Michigan, he moved to Houston in 1981 to join Southeast Memorial Hospital (now Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital), where he practiced until 2005. He was the first to introduce laparoscopic abdominal surgery in the hospital, which meant no large incisions and quicker recovery times. He was in the vanguard of physicians who practiced complementary medical approaches, studying medical acupuncture at UCLA. He used hypnosis to conduct minor surgeries and educated his peers about alternative medical modalities and the benefits of mind-body medicine. He played a key role in redesigning his hospital’s physical environment into one that supported holistic healing. He often

January 21, 2022

Dr. PG Parameswaran with his wife Lakshmi (center) and IACAN board members. Dr. Parameswaran was conferred with a Lifetime Service Award by IACAN in 2016

said, “The real healer is within each person.” Dr. Parameswaran served on the board and held leadership positions in several organizations including IACAN, Indian Doctors Association and Sri Meenakshi Temple. Among his substantial endeavors, Dr. Parameswaran contributed significantly to raising awareness on bone marrow donation and increasing donor registrants among South Asians. In 1996 he saw a newspaper appeal for a donor match for a young Indian woman, Vrushali. He learned that out of seven million registrants in the National Bone Marrow Registry, only 0.0025%, were South

Asians. Dr. Parameswaran realized that Vrushali’s odds were minuscule, especially in the absence of any organized attempts to recruit South Asians in the registry. Vrushali never found a match and sadly died. However, increasing South Asian bone marrow donor registrants became a calling for Dr. Parameswaran. This mission brought him to IACAN. He joined IACAN in 2009 as a board member during its formative years. He created the bone marrow program. Under his leadership, IACAN held drives at cultural and religious gatherings all over Houston. He helped register thousands of South Asians into the donor registry.

The current IACAN advisory board members remembered him fondly as “Dr. P”. On recollecting his zeal and dedication towards the cause, one IACAN member mentioned that “any event that we could participate in, Dr. P was there with a booth!” Over the 15+ years that he conducted the drive, he met many patients waiting for donors who gave him the inspiration and energy to continue to work hard for this cause. Over 20,000 South Asians in the Houston area have been registered in the marrow registry due to his initiative. His work was recognized by the National Marrow Donor Program. Dr. Parameswaran’s message was that

it would be a shame if our community lets patients die because we, as a community, failed to register enough people and motivate them to be donors. He was relentless in spreading this message and often quoted the proverb “Dig the well before you get thirsty,” and reminded us to register into the Marrow Registry in case one of our loved ones needs a marrow transplant. Dr. Parameswaran’s was conferred with a Lifetime Service Award by IACAN in 2016 and continued to advise and mentor the organization and was always ready at a moment’s notice to impart his energy, enthusiasm, and kindness. He is considered “a legend” among the IACAN members. “We have truly lost a wonderful and compassionate human being, a great physician, and a valuable community member. But his legacy of care, love, and commitment to helping others lives on in the many contributions he made to IACAN! Rest in peace Dr P. You will be dearly missed and never forgotten!” is the current sentiment harbored among IACAN members. We offer our condolences to his family and cherish his legacy. IACAN is committed to continuing to work hard to fulfill Dr. Parameswaran’s vision of increasing South Asian marrow or stem cell registry so that one day every South Asian suffering from blood cancer or blood disorder will find a match and have a second chance in life.

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January 21, 2022

Netaji Jayanti at Durga Bari Kala Bhavan

Houston: Hindustan Republican Association USA - Houston Chapter invite you to a program to celebrate Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Jayanti on Sunday, Jan 23rd, 4:00 PM US (CST) - 6:00 PM (CST) at Durga Bari Kala Bhawan, 13944 Schiller Road, Houston, TX 77082 Program will have speakers cover Netaji’s life and his relevance today. Covid-era social distancing rules in effect. Please bring a mask with you. If you wish to attend, please do register here at eventbrite,For more information, contact Divyendu Singh (812) 272-2911, Jaspal Singh (713) 517-7075, Rajiv Varma (832) 499-3420, E-Mail: Hindustan Republican Association USA is a legacy protection organization dedicated to the preservation of the heritage of krantikaris and the INA who waged the real struggle for India’s independence. The erstwhile Hindustan Republican Association was founded by famous revolutionary Sachindra Nath Sanyal in Varanasi in the year 1924. HRA-USA’s special focus is researching, preserving and promoting the heritage of the US based Ghadar Movement in 1915. Donation to HRA-USA: If you wish to support HRA-USA please consider donating. Preferred method - use zelle to transfer (Zelle email: “” ).



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Indo American News Founder: Dr. K.L. Sindwani Publisher: Jawahar Malhotra Editor: Pramod Kulkarni Correspondent: Sanchali Basu ®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.

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January 21, 2022

Houston Marathon in Sugar Land, Virtually!

Indo American group that completed the 2022 Houston Half Marathon in the ‘virtual’ option at the Lost Creek Park in Sugar Land. Left to Right – Chintan Mehta, Dhirti Mehta, Pankaj Desai and Sesh Bala. For Sesh Bala this was his 20th half marathon and for Pankaj his 15th.

Sugar Land: The 50th Chevron Houston Marathon and 20th Aramco Houston Half Marathon were on Jan 16, 2022. The previous year, the 2021 Houston Marathon, was totally a virtual event because of the coronavirus pandemic. For 2022, the organizers offered both an in-person option and a virtual option. In the virtual option the registered runner choses his or her own place and time during specified days, and completes the run while keeping track of the run time. Then the date/time information is uploaded on the marathon website and validated by the organizers. For 2022, the organizers offered a window of Jan 14 to Jan 17 to complete and upload the results. A group of four Indo Americans chose to complete their half marathon on Fri-

day, Jan 14 at the Lost Creek Park in Sugar Land. Thus, the Houston Marathon came to Sugar Land! From the Lost Creek Park to the Oyster Creek Park there is a beautiful trail of distance 4.5 miles round-trip. Half marathon of 13.1 miles requires three round-trips. Sesh Bala, Pankaj Desai, Chintan Mehta and Dhirti Mehta completed the half marathon. They plan to resume in person in 2023. The Houston Marathon has been a sell-out each year for many years. The next Houston Marathon is on Jan 15, 2023. There is also a 5K race the previous day. The registration is already open! The details are at the site Organizations like HoustonFit, Fort Bend Fit and KatyFit can help with getting trained.

Indo-American News • Friday, JANUARY 21, 2022 •




January 21, 2022

Surgeon Dr. Jay Raman

Cardiologist Dr. Randeep Suneja

Atty Shailey Gupta-Brietzke

Architect Randhir Sahni

Indo-American News Radio Turns 2! IANR Brings a Refreshing New Talk Show Format to the Desi Airwaves By Jawahar Malhotra

“Mama” Shakuntla Malhotra

HOUSTON: Freshly minted on the FM 98.7 dial, Indo American News Radio celebrates its 2nd Anniversary with 107 shows - representing 230 hours of programming and over 340 guests interviewed on the air. Every week, RJs Jawahar Malhotra, Pramod Kulkarni and Sanchali Basu bring an entertaining mix of world news, local celebreties, politicians, artists, charities and business people together for interviews. They also bring in movie reviews and sports discussions to inform the listening public about the world around us.

Atty. George Willy

Entrepreneur Rick Pal

Added just a few months ago, the IAN Unplugged segment brings classical melodies based on ragas presented by Jyoti Kulkarni and call-in talk show by Jawahar Malhotra and Sanchali Basu featuring many local personalities and travelogues.

Every Saturday, 3 to 6pm, on Masala Radio FM 98.7 & Mondays on Podcast

Judge Mishael Newman

IMAGH Pres Munir Ibrahim & The Alliance CEO Dan Stoecker

“Classically Your with Jyoti” and Sudhir Golikeri

Here are some of our recent guests Hasan Seth

Author Tenaz Sunavala

Atty Tony Wadhawan

Indo-American News • Friday, january 21, 2022 •

Animal Advocate Ramesh Anand


January 21, 2022

Air India Resume US Flights after 5G Cancellations New Delhi: Amid 5G rollout by the US, Air India has resumed B777 operations to the country on Thursday after approval from the US authority, said Airline officials. Due to the 5G rollout, Air India had earlier cancelled more than eight flights to the USA. “Boeing has cleared Air India to operate in the USA on B777. Accordingly, the first flight has left this morning to John F Kennedy. Other flights leaving in the day are to Chicago and San Francisco. Arrangements to carry stranded passengers are being worked out. Matter regarding B777 flying into the USA has been sorted,” said Air India. Earlier on Wednesday, after the rollout of 5G wireless networks in the United States, India has cancelled eight Air India flights to and from the US. “Due to deployment of the 5G communications in the USA, we will not be able to operate the following flights of January 19, 2022,” Air India said. Recently, the Federation of Indian Pilots (FIP), with a strength of 6,000 pilots, has expressed concern over possible interference of 5G wireless signals with sensitive aircraft equipment such as radio altitude meters, threatening aviation safety. “It is important to fully understand and reduce potential 5G signal interference with radio altimeters that are integral to aircraft security systems. We understand that the activation of these services is a part of India’s select Coming soon in cities,” reads the January 4 FIP letter.


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Further FIP mentioned in the letter that if 5G deploys pilots may face safety issues while operating flights. “5G signals could interfere with the Radio Altimeters that airliners, bizjets and general aviation aircraft rely on low altitude flight that it issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) on the ‘Risk of Potential Adverse Effects on Radio Altimeters’ of 5G deployment. In response, the largest network carriers in the US, including Verizon and AT&T agreed to temporarily pause the advent of 5G service to allow the FAA more time to address concerns about interference,” the FIP letter reads. Possibly Indian carriers are waiting for assurance before the operation from US-based federal aviation administration and aircraft manufacturer Boeing. Travel plans for thousands of passengers, including those travelling to India, were disrupted after airlines cancelled or cut short the duration of many flights to and from the United States over avia-

tion industry fears that 5G technology could interfere with crucial navigation instruments. Several international airlines, including Air India, have announced that they will cancel flights to the US from Wednesday. The US aviation regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on January 14 said that “5G interference with the aircraft’s radio altimeter could prevent engine and braking systems from transitioning to landing mode, which could prevent an aircraft from stopping on the runway”. Altimeter measures the height of the aircraft above the ground. The band on which altimeter works is close to that on which the 5G system works. American telecom companies paid the US government USD 81 billion in 2021 for the right to use those frequencies, known as the C-Band. The C-band service, which offers faster speeds and broader coverage, was due to be turned on from Wednesday. -- NDTV

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January 21, 2022

Lata Still in Hospital ICU with Covid-19

Mumbai: Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar’s health is still being monitored in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), doctors treating the megastar informed. It’s been more than a week since the Bharat Ratna recipient was admitted to Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai after she was diagnosed with COVID-19 and pneumonia. In a new health update regarding the 92-year-old star, Dr Pratit Samdani, who is treating the singer shared that “Lata Ji is still in ICU, and we are trying our best to ensure she recovers soon.” The doctor also said that there is a need for people to pray for her recovery. In a new health update regarding legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, on Monday her doctor shared that the megastar is still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and that her health is being monitored.


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Serving the Greater Houston area (Licensed to serve all of Texas) Dr Pratit Samdani, who is treating the Bharat Ratna recipient at Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital, along with the update, also revealed that “she will take time to recover due to her old age.” Singer Lata Mangeshkar is still in the ICU ward and we are monitoring her health. For the unversed, Lata Mangeshkar was admitted to the hospi-

tal after she was diagnosed with COVID-19 and pneumonia a few days ago. She got in touch with one of her staff members, who was also COVID-19 positive. After learning about Lata Mangeshkar’s health, several fans and members from the film industry and other fields took to social media to wish her a speedy recovery. -- Times of India



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January 21, 2022

ICC Announces 2022 Executive Committee Have you planned for your future?

ICC President Mala Mekala( middle), Past President Jasmeeta Singh (right), Vice PreidentParul Fernandes (right), Secretary- Santosh Verma (right), Treasurer- Hemant Kumar (left), Joint Secretary- Pavana Gadde (far left).

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Houston: ICC President Mala Mekala is the President of Infodat International, Inc., a software development company based in Houston since 1996. Education: Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, TX. Bachelors in Engineering from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India.

Vice President Parul Fernandes retired from UH as Director of International Studies and Programs in 2014 and started her consultancy connecting global universities together. She holds three masters degree in English, World History and International Administration and Development.

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Indo-American News • Friday, JANUARY 21, 2022 •



January 21, 2022

Indo-American News • Friday, january 21, 2022 •

SUDOKU/MOVIE REVIEW 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.

January 21, 2022


‘Yeh Kaali, Kaali Ankhein’: A Twisted Tale

Send us the correct answer before January 25. 2022 Email us at Please send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published.

Solution Next Week

By Archika Khurana

Last Week’s Solution

Last Week’s Winners

Kumud Athavale, Ramana Vadrevu, Sanchali Basu, Krishna R. Vuddagiri, Sekhar Talatam

STORY: Vikrant is a small-town boy who aspires to settle down with a simple job and marry the love of his life, Shikha. But his dreams are about to be dashed when he becomes the object of Purva’s desire, the daughter of a politician who will go to any length to get him. Will Vikrant be able to free himself from Purva’s clutches and reclaim his true love? REVIEW: All SRK fans and 90’s movie buffs wouldn’t have missed watching his anti-hero outings like Darr (1993) and Anjaam (1994), both of which were based on the obsession with love and the willingness to go to any length to obtain what you want. Similarly, the basic premise of ‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein’—the title inspired by the iconic 90’s hit song from the same genre film ‘Baazigar’— is based on William Shakespear’s Othello phrase “For she had eyes and chose me.” When YKKA opens, something bad has already occurred: Vikrant Singh Chauhan (Tahir Raj Bhasin) is in a dreadful situation where goons are constantly firing at him, and he tells himself as a narrator that today is the day he dies. His own account of his past reveals what happened to him and how he ended up in this situation. Set in the fictional town of Onkara located somewhere in Uttar Pradesh, Vikrant, an engineering graduate is desperately waiting for a job offer letter from Bhilai. He fantasises about getting a simple job, buying a small house and a car, and living a simple life with his college sweetheart, Shikha Aggarwal (Shweta Tripathi Sharma). But life has something else destined for Vikrant, as Purva (Anchal Singh), the daughter of powerful and ruthless politician Akheraj Awasthi Vidrohi (Saurabh Shukla), has had an eye on him since childhood. What happens next and how money, power and women ruin a man’s life, as well as the drastic measures he takes to reclaim it forms the crux of the story. Thus, begins an exhaustive battle between paisa, taaqat aur pyaar, and there’s a lot more than what meets the eye.

After directing an engrossing crime fiction ‘Undekhi’, Sidharth Sengupta has returned with a wellcrafted and intelligently scripted dark thriller, which he has cowritten with Anahata Menon and Varun Badola. YKKA packs a lot of action and reaction into eight episodes that are a little less than an hour. The screenplay creates a pressure cooker-like atmosphere in which Vikrant is stuck with Purva and his every move is being closely watched. Every episode of the web series has a different twist to it. By the end of the episode, the writers leave you thinking, and you quickly move on to the next episode, anticipating more trouble. Because of its editor Rajesh G Pandey’s flawless cuts, the series never felt like it was dragging or going off the rails. While the narrative is grim and intense, Vikrant’s fictional sequences of future prophecies and his childhood friend Golden (Anant Joshi) provide some comic relief. Varun Badola deserves credit for his snappy and witty dialogues. The subplot of Vikrant’s family believing in Akheraj as their God is interesting, especially his father Suryakant (Brijendra Kala), who works as an accountant at Akheraj’s office and has blind faith in him. Initially, Vikrant had to deal with serious repercussions of their faith because he lacked the authority to say “No”. Then, in the later episodes, Suryakant has a sudden change of heart and decides to help his son, which is both abrupt and unconvincing. From the river ghats to dams and nearby surroundings of a small town, the cinematography by Murzy Pagdiwala adds authenticity to the plot. Additionally, the picturesque locations of Ladakh are beautifully captured and a breeze to watch. The background music by Shivam Sengupta and Anuj Danait complements the plot and enhances the effect. But it’s the title track, a recreation of the Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol dance number, ‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein’ by Anu Malik and Dev Kohli, which is incredibly hummable, that sticks with you throughout. Apart from a crisp script, YKKA boasts of solid performances. Tahir

Indo-American News • Friday, JANUARY 21, 2022 •

Raj Bhasin (who recently played Sunil Gavaskar in Kabir Khan’s ‘83’) is delightful as trapped Vikrant who is unable to escape. When he discovers that everything in his life is falling apart, including his true love, he makes the audience empathise and sympathise with his character’s claustrophobic condition. Tahir’s character arc is impressive, and he pulls it off like a pro. Among the girls, Shweta Tripathi successfully manages to bring out the inner strength and vulnerability of her character, Shikha. Tahir and Shweta share great chemistry on screen, especially in the scenes when they’re dating in college. Anchal Singh is impressive and intimidating as the unforgiving Purva, who will go to any lengths to marry Vikrant. Throughout the series, her actions speak louder than her words. Saurabh Shukla’s portrayal of a cutthroat politician, Akheraj, ensures that you despise him. He kills people without hesitation, and when it comes to Purva, the apple of his eye, he knows no bounds. Surya Sharma convincingly plays Dharmesh, Akheraj’s dreadful henchman, whom he treats as if he is his own son. Surya has previously proven his versatility in comparable roles in web series such as ‘Undekhi’ and ‘Hostages’. Arunoday Singh enters late in the story, yet he plays a significant role in turning the tables. Brijendra Kala, Sunita Rajwar, Hetal Gada, Anant Joshi, among the rest of the cast lend good support. As producer-director-writer, Sidharth Sengupta presents a psychological drama that is interestingly filled with twists, turns, and thriller trappings. The title, as well as several interwoven stories, will undoubtedly conjure up images of SRK and his films, like the iconic ‘palat palat’ sequence from ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.’ Having said that, if you enjoy pulpy Bollywood thrillers from the 90s, ‘YKKA’ is a must-watch. (No Spoilers Ahead!) Finally, it leaves you wanting more while also providing plenty of foreshadowing for the next season. -- Times of India


January 21, 2022

Indo-American News • Friday, january 21, 2022 •

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