Indo-American News: May 5, 2023

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Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, mAy 5, 2023 • www.IndoAmerIcAn-news.com Indo American News www.indoamerican-news.com 2470 Dairy Ashford, Houston, TX 77077 • 713.789.NEWS (6397) • indoamericannews@yahoo.com 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, May 5, 2023 | Vol. 42, No. 18 $1 Mandala: The UFO Incident P3 When Jasmeeta Plays, its Dance, Fashion, Dhol & Bhangra! P9 Jasmeeta (left) performing a bhangra with Raman. Two Sundays ago, on April 23, Jasmeeta was doing the sort of event she loves to do. This time it was the celebration of Vaisakhi at the GSH Event Center on West Belfort and Beltway 8 West in front of over 1,000 people in theatre style seating in the huge main hall. See article on Page 2 and Photo Collage on Pages 6-7 Neelam Kothari Soni for CRY

Vaisakhi Mela: When Jasmeeta Plays, its Dance, Fashion, Dhol & Bhangra!

houston:

It’s been four years since the last time Jasmeeta Singh took on such a huge event when she held the last Vaisakhi Mela all on her own (see https://www.indoamerican-news.com/gajdawajda-punjab-vaisakhi-2019-unites-bhangra-andfashion/) at the White Oaks Music Center in the near East side. In between, she has taken on a few events for the India Culture Center where she spent two years as President.

This year, with COVID gone and with her skills honed, she’s back!

Two Sundays ago, on April 23, Jasmeeta was doing the sort of event she loves to do. This time it was the celebration of Vaisakhi at the GSH Event Center on West Belfort and Beltway 8 West in front of over 1,000 people in theatre style seating in the huge main hall. In the main lobby people could take pictures in a Punjabi countryside setting and in the foyers, there were vendor booths and plenty of free chole puri, rosewater flavored lassi and Punjabi pinnis from 5:30 till 7 pm before the main program started.

Though the event was presented by the newly formed Punjabi Society of Greater Houston, it was an event which had all of Jasmeeta’s distinctive trademarks all over it. There was the pulsating Punjabi music; booming dhols, colorful sets (designed by Décor One) and costumes, digital screen backdrops that matched the performances; a fashion show and 180 participants in over 15 different teams doing bhangra, Giddha and Bollywood dance.

And of course, what would the show be without a performance by Jasmeeta, the talented kathak dancer. Or without the support of so many sponsors who trust Jasmeeta to provide excellent entertainment and showcase Punjabi culture.

Among these were

Grand Sponsors: Gurminder Singh Padda; Aman Sidhu; Pritam Singh Toor & Surinder Kaur Toor; Sarabjit Singh & Amarpreet Kaur; Ragvir Singh Pancal; Jasdeep Singh Buttar; Jasmeeta & Bobby Singh and Sapram SIngh

Diamond Sponsors: Dr. Ruhi Soni; Dr. TJ Sahota; Malla Mekala

Gold Sponsors: Jasvinder Singh Khangara; Manjit Singh Dhendsa; Gurmit & Seema Bhatia; Hardeep Singh Grewal; Harry Shah; Harinder Singh & Jasleen Kaur

Silver sponsors: Bhupinder Singh; Mahesh Wadhwa; Inderjit Cheema & Brinder Cheema; Daljit Singh & Sukhpreet Kaur and Kulwant Singh.

The entire event was developed through the untiring efforts of a team composed of Bobby Kaur; Raman Johar; Soma Grover; Rupy Kindra; Gurmeet Kindra; Jasleen Kaur; Akash Singh; Sukhpreet Kaur; Gagan Singh; Kavneet Kaur; Pritpal Puri, Mohan Grewal; Kamaljeet Singh Otal; Seema Bhatia; Gagan Bhatia; Sandeep Kaur; Ekta Kaur Singh; Harmeet Singh; Shobhna; Harsh Singh; BJ Josan; Agam Singh; Baljit Bering; Rasna Kaur; Sukha Singh; Amana and Tarlochan Singh

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, mAy 5, 2023 • www.IndoAmerIcAn-news.com May 5, 2023 2 COMMUNITY

CRY AmeRiCA’s 2023 Houston GAlA

Bollywood’s Neelam Kothari Soni to Amplify the Voices of Children

houston: For three bingeable seasons of Netflix’ “The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives,” Neelam Kothari Soni has brought her big-screen fame to streaming devices worldwide. The veteran actress and fine-jewelry magnate is set to share some of that “24karat” Bollywood elegance with area fans as the featured celebrity guest at CRY America’s 2023 Houston Gala, set for 5:30 PM, Sunday May 21, at the Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria, 2222 West Loop South, Houston.

Child Rights and You (CRY) America is a US nonprofit that supports projects in India and the U.S. that ensure access to education and healthcare for underprivileged children, as well as protection from child labor, early marriage and trafficking. Since 2004, with the support of over 25,000 donors and over 2,000 volunteers, CRY America has impacted the lives of 752,172 children living across 4,027 villages and slums through support to 90 projects in India and the US.

Themed “YOU Put the ‘Y’ in CRY,” the gala will honor CRY America’s donors, volunteers,

media partners and supporters. The Houston gala is one in a series including events in Seattle, San Diego, New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area. Registration details for the Houston gala are available at https://www.cryamerica.org/houston-gala-2023/.

After starring in hit films of the 1980s and ‘90s such as “Love 86,” “Khudgarz” and “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”, Neelam launched a second career as a jewelry designer with her own world-class brand, Neelam Jewels. She’s returned to acting in recent years, with roles in Amazon’s “Made in Heaven” and “Bollywood Wives”, which has sparked a resurgence in her popularity.

"I am honored and privileged to be associated with CRY,” said Neelam. “Over the years I have heard of the good work they do, especially when it comes to ensuring that children can complete their education. Education is something which is every child’s right. It ensures a brighter future not only for the child, but also for

our country and our world.”

Last year’s CRY Gala series set a fundraising record for the organization at $1 million. CRY America

CEO Shefali Sunderlal expressed her gratitude to CRY’s generous donors for their ongoing commitment to the cause.

“We are so grateful to have donors, volunteers, sponsors and media partners that embody the YOU in CRY, all of whom are absolutely essential to our continuing work for underprivileged children,” she said. “We are also fortunate to have the support of celebrities like Neelam, who add value to our events and amplify the voices and rights of children.”

The CRY Texas Board and the CRY Gala Committee cordially invite you to the CRY gala. Board members are Meena Datt, Devina Bhojwani, Jayshree Sheth , Zulie Jasani , Anita Sresha, Pooja Revanur, and Leena Shah.

CRY Gala Committee members are Dharam & Priya Bali, Juuhi & Prakash Ahuja, Neeraj & Gauri Seth, Ruchika & Darren Dias, Dr. Tina & Dr. Harish Pariani, Chetan & Radha Patel, and Pradeep & Madhavi Gokhale.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, mAy 5, 2023 • www.IndoAmerIcAn-news.com May 5, 2023 3 COMMUNITY
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Sunoco to Sponsor 2023 Minor League Cricket

Fun-filled Seniors Sewa Picnic

san Francisco: Minor League Cricket (MiLC) has announced that Sunoco will be the title sponsor for the third season of the most extensive nationwide T20 championship in American cricket. The Sunoco Minor League Cricket Championship will return this summer, with approximately 150 matches set to take place in August and September. The domestic player draft will take place in May, part of the selection process that will see more than 400 US-based players participate in the tournament featuring 26 teams. The draft date and complete match schedule will be released soon.

The MiLC season will follow the inaugural Major League Cricket (MLC) season that ends in July, with the world class competition set to ignite a new era for American cricket. Dozens of domestic players featuring in MLC will continue their summer of cricket

in MiLC, allowing fans to follow many of the stars of the competition across 20 cities.

“Sunoco is pleased to continue our support of Minor League Cricket,” said Fred McConnell, Director of Marketing, Sunoco.

“We know how much cricket means to so many of our customers and station owners, and we’re proud to continue investing in the sport’s exciting growth across the United States.”

“2023 will be a banner year for American cricket, and the Minor League Cricket championship returns to provide another huge step for the sport as all games this season will be played on natural turf or hybrid playing surfaces for the first time,” said Zubin Surkari, Tournament Director, Minor League Cricket. “Improved playing conditions and the growing talent pool in the United States have established MiLC as a key

pipeline to both the USA National Team and Major League Cricket and we are grateful to Sunoco and our team owners for their continued investment into the growth of the game across the country.”

America’s first nationwide T20 championship saw its second season won by the Seattle Thunderbolts in August 2022, with the team from the Pacific Northwest claiming a $150,000 first place prize by defeating the Atlanta Fire in the final.

Minor League Cricket (MiLC) is a national Twenty20 cricket competition for city-based teams from across the United States, launched in 2021. The most extensive competition in American cricket, MiLC provides a foundational structure as a pathway to Major League Cricket and the United States National Team for the nation’s best players.

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Katy: The “Seniors Sewa '' team of Sewa International’s Houston Chapter organized a picnic for seniors at the SDSV Temple ground in Katy on April 30. More than 140 seniors enjoyed the fun-filled event on a beautiful sunny day.

“Seniors Sewa” is an initiative launched a year ago by Sewa’s Family Services team that provides help to community members in need and in cases of emergency.

“Seniors Sewa” is a platform for senior citizens to get together for overall well-being – physical, intellectual and emotional -- through neighborhood groups, mentors, and workshops. Seniors living in the same area meet at regular intervals to network, make new connections, and support each other. Currently, two groups, one in Sugarland and one in Katy, are active. There are plans to start such groups in other neighborhoods.

The picnic was organized by the Seniors Sewa Katy and Sugarland teams together. Activities started with registration followed by breakfast, games, lunch, followed

by musical entertainment, a raffle draw, and socializing. Participants played different games tailored for specific age groups. Volunteers cooked Indian food like bhature and pakoda and served hot coffee. After lunch, participants enjoyed Bollywood live music and some of the participants enjoyed dancing. Two beautiful paintings with Indian motifs were given to the winners of the raffle draw. A vaccination awareness booth was also set up and volunteers offered relevant information.

Jay and Rekha Sanghvi from Katy mentioned said it was fun meeting new people, the food was delicious, and the music and games lively. Thanks to all the volunteers who made this an amazing picnic”. A participant from Sugarland, Ajit Thakkar said “Bahoot bahoot shukriya – many, many thanks -- to all the volunteers who worked so diligently to make seniors happy. Everyone in the yellow shirts (Sewa t-shirts) deserve a medal….”

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IAA Presents Singer Kaushiki Chakraborty

Niche Entertainment’s ‘Dil Se’

houston: The Indo-American Association, Houston (IAA) is delighted to present Kaushiki Chakraborty, internationally recognized singer, and composer of Hindustani music at the Wortham Center, Houston on May 13, 2023 at 7:30pm.

Kaushiki Chakraborty, widely regarded as one of the finest classical vocalists of the modern era, has been hailed as the” torchbearer of the Patiala tradition”. As an exponent of the Patiala gharana, known for its Islamic influence and elaborate melodic ornamentation, Kaushiki has become one of the first female singers from this tradition to receive international acclaim. The daughter of renowned Indian classical vocalist, Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty, Kaushiki began her musical journey under his tutelage, before the age of two. Kaushiki’s astonishing vocal technique was subsequently honed

under the guidance of her guru, Pt. Jnan Prakash Ghosh, and at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy. While her repertoire covers an array of Hindustani musical forms, Kaushiki draws influences from Carnatic music, and frequently incorporates elements of contemporary Indian pop music. Kaushiki also leads an all-female ensemble called Sakhi that brings together exemplary artists in a stylistically expansive exploration of womanhood in Indian culture.

Kaushiki’s ability to capture emotions and express them though her fluid vocal style has mesmerized audiences the world over. But above all, the one quality that resonates the most is Kaushiki’s deep connection with her music which is best described in her own words: “One has to mentally align oneself to the form ... My training has taught me two approaches to music - to do music or to become

it. The latter gives you the fluidity to transcend form and become one with it:’ The recipient of numerous awards, Kaushiki also received the 2005 BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music in the Asia-Pacific category and the Nari Shakti Puraskar in 2020.

Accompanying Kaushiki on May 13th in Houston will be Ust. Murad Ali Khan on Sarangi, Sandip Gosh on Tabla and Tanmay Deochake on Harmonium.

The Indo-American Association (IAA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1993 with a mission to promote cultural arts of the Indian subcontinent. Now in its 30th season, it provides a platform for world-renowned artists as well as emerging artists in the finest Houston venues. IAA has built a reputation of fostering the appreciation of performing arts within the diverse Houston community.

Legendary Indian music director, singer and music producer A.R.Rahman recently completed his 25 years in musical industry.

To celebrate this grand ocassion a tribute to the music maestro with 'Dil Se.. Rubaroo with A.R.Rahman’ was held in the city. Dil Se..is an audio-visual infotainment program with a confluence of Music, Drama, Dance, AVs and experience to revisit ARRs gems.

Directed by Milind Oak and written by Ashay Walambe the protagonist of this story will be Nachiket Devsthali. The musical

score shall be rendered by Mrunmayee Tirodkar along with Chaitanya Kulkarni, Ashutosh Joshi, Pranjali Barve and Rasika Ganoo. Indo-American Association’s Dil Se ... Rubaru with AR Rahman performance will take place Friday, June 2 @ Stafford Center at 7:30 pm.

For additional information on how to become a sponsor, call: 832-315-6586 or E-Mail: info@ iaahouston.org. Sponsorship levels range from Platinum to Gold, Silver and Bronze.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, mAy 5, 2023 • www.IndoAmerIcAn-news.com May 5, 2023 8 COMMUNITY CLASSICAL ARTS

Houston’s Indian-American Debuts His First Sci-Fi Film on May 19th Mandala: The UFO Incident

houston: Ajay Sarpeshkar's directorial debut, Mandala: The UFO Incident, marks an exciting new chapter in his artistic journey. With a graduate degree in engineering and over a decade experience in technology, Ajay's creative itch led him to explore photography and filmmaking as a hobby, which eventually paved the way for his first feature-length film.

Over the past couple of years, Ajay has been actively involved in raising funds, writing the screenplay, directing, and producing Mandala, pouring in tremendous effort and patience, especially navigating through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the obstacles, Ajay's passion and determination have driven him to bring his artistic vision to life on the big screen.

"Mandala" is a groundbreaking experiment in the science fiction genre, representing a unique and unexplored approach in the Indian film industry. It aims to inspire young minds to the possibilities of space, science, and technology as humanity gears up to become a space-faring species. It stars great actors such as Anant Nag and Prakash Belawadi.

One of the key messages of the film is the importance of culture and heritage conservation. It highlights how our cultural roots and traditions can provide a solid foundation as we venture into the unknown realms of space, providing us with a sense of identity and belonging.

Another significant aspect of the film is its focus on gender-equal education. It highlights the importance of representation of both

genders in important character roles, breaking the stereotype of traditional gender roles and pro-

moting the idea that anyone, regardless of gender, can contribute to science, technology, and space

exploration. Despite budget constraints and limited resources, the film pushes

Alia Bhatt Makes Stunning Debut at Met Gala

new yorK: Alia Bhatt made her Met Gala debut in the 2023 edition of the gala as she walked the red carpet in a dreamy white dress adorned with pearls. Alia kept in sync with this year’s theme ‘Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty’ as she stuck to a white outfit and wore fingerless gloves in Karl’s honour. Alia had a princess moment at the red carpet as she waved to the photographers with a beaming smile. She also posed with designer Prabal Gurung.

Alia shared photos from her Met Gala debut on social media and a part of her caption read, “A girl can never have too many pearls… and the right accessories to complement the look which in our case translated to the bow of pearls on

my hair. Oh, and it’s white, for my Choup.

Alia shared that she “wanted to do something that felt authentic” and “proudly made in India.” Her caption added, “The embroidery, made with a 100,000 pearls is a labour of love by @prabalgurung.

I’m so proud to wear you for my first Met.”

boundaries in production and storytelling to make a lasting impact on the audience. The film brings together multiple teams from around the world, including VFX teams from India, Singapore, France, and the US, to create world-class visual effects that enhance the storytelling.

As the first installment in the Mandala franchise, this film serves as a testament to the power of passion and perseverance. It showcases how a creative vision can be brought to life with determination and collaboration, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in Indian cinema.

"Mandala" promises to be a thought-provoking film that captivates audiences with unique blend of science fiction, cultural heritage, and gender equality themes.

Based in Houston, Texas, USA, Ajay frequently travels to Bangalore, India, where he grew up, showcasing his deep connection and appreciation for both cultures.

As he takes his first steps as a director, Ajay is eagerly anticipating the impact that the sci-fi genre and Mandala will have on the Indian film industry and most importantly on the curious young minds.

The film releases across the US on May 19, 2023. More info at www.AsxFilms.com

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, mAy 5, 2023 • www.IndoAmerIcAn-news.com May 5, 2023 9 ENTERTAINMENT

students of Pt. sHAntilAl sHAH in ConCeRt

‘Laya Taal Saadhana’ is Back with a Thunderous Tabla Performance

Pearland: Indian Music Society of Houston (IMS), hosted its much-awaited 11th Laya Taal Saadhana (LTS), on April 9th, 2023 at Stafford Civic Center, Houston, Texas, USA. It was a special Tabla performance by the students of Pt. Shantilal Shah, renowned Tabla maestro in Houston. Emcee Paromita Nag, beautifully narrated the program and introduced IMS President, Shri. Govind Shetty, who welcomed the audience with his introductory comments by explaining the legacy of IMS bringing classical programs to Houston since 1992.

Laya Taal Saadhana is the showcase event of Pt. Shantilal Shah and this year’s program was aptly dedicated to his guru, Padmashri Taal Yogi Pandit Suresh Talwalkar’s 75th birthday. The program presented a collage of Bade guruji’s video clips of his illustrious Tabla performances.

With blessings from the Taal yogi, the emcee introduced Smt. Aparna Shah, who rendered an invocation to Lord Ganesha, with her soulful voice and set the ambience. Pt.Shantilal Shah, then took to the stage accompanied by the Harmonium artist Tejas Rode, to join the Tabla session with his rhythmic nagma to maintain the laya in taal Teentaal. Pt.Shantilal Shah explained the rich tradition of his Tabla learning under Bade Guruji, his zeal for perfection and the importance of regular riyaz. Pt. Shantilal Shah has been training

for these beginner Tabla players. Their enthusiasm and smiles were infectious and set the tone for the groups to come.

Guru ji accompanied rest of the Tabla groups; Theka, Maatra, Sum, Laya and Tihaee and introduced the rhythmic and poetic content. Each group excelled in their playing style with clarity in Teentaal and reciting Tukras. Along with Tabla techniques, Guru ji emphasized the students to recite complex patterns, with tempo and play in synchrony with the Guru bandhus.

The program flow and key tasks such as brochure creation, slide show and backstage coordination were very well organized, planned and executed successfully by many dedicated parent volunteers. Stalwart Shri. B.N. Murali handled the audio, and Anuraag Shah the video systems., seamlessly. The seasoned LTS volunteer team, led by Vishy Narayanamurthy, brought the magic! Kudos to the team.

The second half of the program

upped the ante with Tabla solo compositions, specially crafted for these young students. Pt.Shantilal Shah explained the compositions and its origins from different gharanas, with passion. This is unique to Laya taal saadana programs, to connect students and the audience with Tabla traditions., an invaluable experience. These tabla compositions with dedicated riyaz along with Guruji’s ear for perfection will certainly transform these students to become well-rounded tabla artists in the future.

The Peshkaar group with senior professionals presented the Kaidas, Paltas in the popular Teentaal with class. This was followed by Khand, Kayda and Aavartan groups playing advanced set of compositions with richness and playing speed. The last group Aavartan, featured a group of senior students with 10 to 20 yrs of training, took the program to a crescendo! They played eighteen Tukras with different speeds and recited each Tukra, which was matched by their fast playing of

hundreds of students over the last 20+ yrs in Houston. LTS bears a strong testimony of his love and rigorous Tabla training to his students along with Indian values and life lessons.

As the first LTS after the pandemic and zoom classes, it was inspiring to see students perform with poise and elegance. This speaks to the ability to Guruji to evoke passion in his Shishyas. LTS was a beautiful celebration of the rich legacy of the GuruShishya tradition and the power of music to inspire and captivate both the connoisseurs and the music lovers of Houston.

LTS 2023 program presented ten different music groups ranging from the age of 7 to 75! In LTS tradition, Guruji aptly names each group after an element in Hindustani classical music. The opening session was from the group Taal with cute little Tabla students, playing Kaidas, Paltas and Tihaee in Teentaal. It was an impressive maiden performance

the Relas, Chakradaar and Tihaee. This outstanding finale, brought the audience to a thunderous applause!

Stafford Civic Center, was filled with students, parents, senior artists, classical music enthusiasts, IMS members and many more. After this year’s student performance, the audience will certainly agree, Laya Taal Saadhana programs are a pride to Houston Tabla community. We hope to see more young and adult students learn tabla in its true classical music spirit. This will extend a strong foundation for all types of percussion accompaniment. Looking forward to see many Laya taal saadhana programs keeping the beat of Houston alive!

For more details visit www. tablahouston.com & www.imshouston.org

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, mAy 5, 2023 • www.IndoAmerIcAn-news.com May 5, 2023 10
MENTAL ILLNESS IS NOT A CRIME In partnership with The Harris Center and law enforcement, the District Attorney’s Office ensured 4,000+ mentally ill, non-violent offenders received mental health treatment instead of going to jail. If someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call Harris Center for Mental Health at 1-713-970-7000
Padmashri Taal Yogi Pandit Suresh Talwalkar
CLASSICAL ARTS

Wadhwanis Support LSC-CyFair Scholarships

Solution Next Week

cyPress, tX: Nestled in 200 acres in the northwest part of the county, Lone Star College CyFair is a pretty campus with buildings tucked away between meandering roads and undulating greens. Founded in 2003, the college now has 16,000 students, many who go onto receive their associate degrees from many offered throughout the LSC system.

The LSC Foundation prides itself in its mission to change the lives of its students through scholarships, building relationships and fundraising among other attributes. Since its inception in 1991, It has awarded $18.6 million in scholarships and $8.5 million in program support. In 2021-22 the Foundation raised $2.6 million that provided scholarships to 2,053 students.

And in recognition of the donors for their support and the hard work and enthusiasm of these students, the CyFair campus held a reception bringing many of the two parties together. At the well-attended luncheon at the campus Conference Center on Friday, April 28, the mood was set by a musical selection of seven pieces performed by students from the Music Department as donors and recipients shared the tables for a brief ceremony.

After a brief introduction by LSC CyFair President Dr. Valerie Jones, Claire Center, a scholarship recipient of the Sweeney Family Honors II Endowment spoke of her academic journey and future beyond. She was followed by Nicole Robinson Gauthier, the Lone Star College Foundation Executive Director and Dr. Alton Smith, a member of the Lone Star College Foundation Board.

Among those who attended the reception were GIS Scholarship donors Ishu and Ashok Wadhwani, who were at their table with the GIS

Scholarship recipient Kat Amundsen and Michael Konvicka, LSC-CyFair Professor of Geography and GIS. The Wadhwanis, who owned two successful companies specializing in geospatial systems integration and

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At the Lone Star College CyFair Scholarship Reception last week, Friday, April 28, LSC Board Trustee Dist. 3, Dr. Alton Smith; Nicole Robinson Gauthier, the Lone Star College Foundation Executive Director; President Dr. Valerie Jones and GIS Scholarship donors Ishu and Ashok Wadhwani. From left, LSC Geography & GIS Professor Michael Konvicka; GIS Scholarship recipient Kat Amundsen with GIS Scholarship donors Ishu and Ashok Wadhwani.
Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, mAy 5, 2023 • www.IndoAmerIcAn-news.com Indo American News www.indoamerican-news.com 2470 Dairy Ashford, Houston, TX 77077 • 713.789.NEWS (6397) • indoamericannews@yahoo.com 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, May 5, 2023 | Vol. 42, No. 18 $1 Mandala: The UFO Incident P3 When Jasmeeta Plays, its Dance, Fashion, Dhol & Bhangra! P9 Jasmeeta (left) performing a bhangra with Raman. Two Sundays ago, on April 23, Jasmeeta was doing the sort of event she loves to do. This time it was the celebration of Vaisakhi at the GSH Event Center on West Belfort and Beltway 8 West in front of over 1,000 people in theatre style seating in the huge main hall. See article on Page 2 and Photo Collage on Pages 6-7 Neelam Kothari Soni for CRY

Vaisakhi Mela: When Jasmeeta Plays, its Dance, Fashion, Dhol & Bhangra!

houston:

It’s been four years since the last time Jasmeeta Singh took on such a huge event when she held the last Vaisakhi Mela all on her own (see https://www.indoamerican-news.com/gajdawajda-punjab-vaisakhi-2019-unites-bhangra-andfashion/) at the White Oaks Music Center in the near East side. In between, she has taken on a few events for the India Culture Center where she spent two years as President.

This year, with COVID gone and with her skills honed, she’s back!

Two Sundays ago, on April 23, Jasmeeta was doing the sort of event she loves to do. This time it was the celebration of Vaisakhi at the GSH Event Center on West Belfort and Beltway 8 West in front of over 1,000 people in theatre style seating in the huge main hall. In the main lobby people could take pictures in a Punjabi countryside setting and in the foyers, there were vendor booths and plenty of free chole puri, rosewater flavored lassi and Punjabi pinnis from 5:30 till 7 pm before the main program started.

Though the event was presented by the newly formed Punjabi Society of Greater Houston, it was an event which had all of Jasmeeta’s distinctive trademarks all over it. There was the pulsating Punjabi music; booming dhols, colorful sets (designed by Décor One) and costumes, digital screen backdrops that matched the performances; a fashion show and 180 participants in over 15 different teams doing bhangra, Giddha and Bollywood dance.

And of course, what would the show be without a performance by Jasmeeta, the talented kathak dancer. Or without the support of so many sponsors who trust Jasmeeta to provide excellent entertainment and showcase Punjabi culture.

Among these were

Grand Sponsors: Gurminder Singh Padda; Aman Sidhu; Pritam Singh Toor & Surinder Kaur Toor; Sarabjit Singh & Amarpreet Kaur; Ragvir Singh Pancal; Jasdeep Singh Buttar; Jasmeeta & Bobby Singh and Sapram SIngh

Diamond Sponsors: Dr. Ruhi Soni; Dr. TJ Sahota; Malla Mekala

Gold Sponsors: Jasvinder Singh Khangara; Manjit Singh Dhendsa; Gurmit & Seema Bhatia; Hardeep Singh Grewal; Harry Shah; Harinder Singh & Jasleen Kaur

Silver sponsors: Bhupinder Singh; Mahesh Wadhwa; Inderjit Cheema & Brinder Cheema; Daljit Singh & Sukhpreet Kaur and Kulwant Singh.

The entire event was developed through the untiring efforts of a team composed of Bobby Kaur; Raman Johar; Soma Grover; Rupy Kindra; Gurmeet Kindra; Jasleen Kaur; Akash Singh; Sukhpreet Kaur; Gagan Singh; Kavneet Kaur; Pritpal Puri, Mohan Grewal; Kamaljeet Singh Otal; Seema Bhatia; Gagan Bhatia; Sandeep Kaur; Ekta Kaur Singh; Harmeet Singh; Shobhna; Harsh Singh; BJ Josan; Agam Singh; Baljit Bering; Rasna Kaur; Sukha Singh; Amana and Tarlochan Singh

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, mAy 5, 2023 • www.IndoAmerIcAn-news.com May 5, 2023 2 COMMUNITY

CRY AmeRiCA’s 2023 Houston GAlA

Bollywood’s Neelam Kothari Soni to Amplify the Voices of Children

houston: For three bingeable seasons of Netflix’ “The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives,” Neelam Kothari Soni has brought her big-screen fame to streaming devices worldwide. The veteran actress and fine-jewelry magnate is set to share some of that “24karat” Bollywood elegance with area fans as the featured celebrity guest at CRY America’s 2023 Houston Gala, set for 5:30 PM, Sunday May 21, at the Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria, 2222 West Loop South, Houston.

Child Rights and You (CRY) America is a US nonprofit that supports projects in India and the U.S. that ensure access to education and healthcare for underprivileged children, as well as protection from child labor, early marriage and trafficking. Since 2004, with the support of over 25,000 donors and over 2,000 volunteers, CRY America has impacted the lives of 752,172 children living across 4,027 villages and slums through support to 90 projects in India and the US.

Themed “YOU Put the ‘Y’ in CRY,” the gala will honor CRY America’s donors, volunteers,

media partners and supporters. The Houston gala is one in a series including events in Seattle, San Diego, New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area. Registration details for the Houston gala are available at https://www.cryamerica.org/houston-gala-2023/.

After starring in hit films of the 1980s and ‘90s such as “Love 86,” “Khudgarz” and “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”, Neelam launched a second career as a jewelry designer with her own world-class brand, Neelam Jewels. She’s returned to acting in recent years, with roles in Amazon’s “Made in Heaven” and “Bollywood Wives”, which has sparked a resurgence in her popularity.

"I am honored and privileged to be associated with CRY,” said Neelam. “Over the years I have heard of the good work they do, especially when it comes to ensuring that children can complete their education. Education is something which is every child’s right. It ensures a brighter future not only for the child, but also for

our country and our world.”

Last year’s CRY Gala series set a fundraising record for the organization at $1 million. CRY America

CEO Shefali Sunderlal expressed her gratitude to CRY’s generous donors for their ongoing commitment to the cause.

“We are so grateful to have donors, volunteers, sponsors and media partners that embody the YOU in CRY, all of whom are absolutely essential to our continuing work for underprivileged children,” she said. “We are also fortunate to have the support of celebrities like Neelam, who add value to our events and amplify the voices and rights of children.”

The CRY Texas Board and the CRY Gala Committee cordially invite you to the CRY gala. Board members are Meena Datt, Devina Bhojwani, Jayshree Sheth , Zulie Jasani , Anita Sresha, Pooja Revanur, and Leena Shah.

CRY Gala Committee members are Dharam & Priya Bali, Juuhi & Prakash Ahuja, Neeraj & Gauri Seth, Ruchika & Darren Dias, Dr. Tina & Dr. Harish Pariani, Chetan & Radha Patel, and Pradeep & Madhavi Gokhale.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, mAy 5, 2023 • www.IndoAmerIcAn-news.com May 5, 2023 3 COMMUNITY
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Sunoco to Sponsor 2023 Minor League Cricket

Fun-filled Seniors Sewa Picnic

san Francisco: Minor League Cricket (MiLC) has announced that Sunoco will be the title sponsor for the third season of the most extensive nationwide T20 championship in American cricket. The Sunoco Minor League Cricket Championship will return this summer, with approximately 150 matches set to take place in August and September. The domestic player draft will take place in May, part of the selection process that will see more than 400 US-based players participate in the tournament featuring 26 teams. The draft date and complete match schedule will be released soon.

The MiLC season will follow the inaugural Major League Cricket (MLC) season that ends in July, with the world class competition set to ignite a new era for American cricket. Dozens of domestic players featuring in MLC will continue their summer of cricket

in MiLC, allowing fans to follow many of the stars of the competition across 20 cities.

“Sunoco is pleased to continue our support of Minor League Cricket,” said Fred McConnell, Director of Marketing, Sunoco.

“We know how much cricket means to so many of our customers and station owners, and we’re proud to continue investing in the sport’s exciting growth across the United States.”

“2023 will be a banner year for American cricket, and the Minor League Cricket championship returns to provide another huge step for the sport as all games this season will be played on natural turf or hybrid playing surfaces for the first time,” said Zubin Surkari, Tournament Director, Minor League Cricket. “Improved playing conditions and the growing talent pool in the United States have established MiLC as a key

pipeline to both the USA National Team and Major League Cricket and we are grateful to Sunoco and our team owners for their continued investment into the growth of the game across the country.”

America’s first nationwide T20 championship saw its second season won by the Seattle Thunderbolts in August 2022, with the team from the Pacific Northwest claiming a $150,000 first place prize by defeating the Atlanta Fire in the final.

Minor League Cricket (MiLC) is a national Twenty20 cricket competition for city-based teams from across the United States, launched in 2021. The most extensive competition in American cricket, MiLC provides a foundational structure as a pathway to Major League Cricket and the United States National Team for the nation’s best players.

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Katy: The “Seniors Sewa '' team of Sewa International’s Houston Chapter organized a picnic for seniors at the SDSV Temple ground in Katy on April 30. More than 140 seniors enjoyed the fun-filled event on a beautiful sunny day.

“Seniors Sewa” is an initiative launched a year ago by Sewa’s Family Services team that provides help to community members in need and in cases of emergency.

“Seniors Sewa” is a platform for senior citizens to get together for overall well-being – physical, intellectual and emotional -- through neighborhood groups, mentors, and workshops. Seniors living in the same area meet at regular intervals to network, make new connections, and support each other. Currently, two groups, one in Sugarland and one in Katy, are active. There are plans to start such groups in other neighborhoods.

The picnic was organized by the Seniors Sewa Katy and Sugarland teams together. Activities started with registration followed by breakfast, games, lunch, followed

by musical entertainment, a raffle draw, and socializing. Participants played different games tailored for specific age groups. Volunteers cooked Indian food like bhature and pakoda and served hot coffee. After lunch, participants enjoyed Bollywood live music and some of the participants enjoyed dancing. Two beautiful paintings with Indian motifs were given to the winners of the raffle draw. A vaccination awareness booth was also set up and volunteers offered relevant information.

Jay and Rekha Sanghvi from Katy mentioned said it was fun meeting new people, the food was delicious, and the music and games lively. Thanks to all the volunteers who made this an amazing picnic”. A participant from Sugarland, Ajit Thakkar said “Bahoot bahoot shukriya – many, many thanks -- to all the volunteers who worked so diligently to make seniors happy. Everyone in the yellow shirts (Sewa t-shirts) deserve a medal….”

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IAA Presents Singer Kaushiki Chakraborty

Niche Entertainment’s ‘Dil Se’

houston: The Indo-American Association, Houston (IAA) is delighted to present Kaushiki Chakraborty, internationally recognized singer, and composer of Hindustani music at the Wortham Center, Houston on May 13, 2023 at 7:30pm.

Kaushiki Chakraborty, widely regarded as one of the finest classical vocalists of the modern era, has been hailed as the” torchbearer of the Patiala tradition”. As an exponent of the Patiala gharana, known for its Islamic influence and elaborate melodic ornamentation, Kaushiki has become one of the first female singers from this tradition to receive international acclaim. The daughter of renowned Indian classical vocalist, Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty, Kaushiki began her musical journey under his tutelage, before the age of two. Kaushiki’s astonishing vocal technique was subsequently honed

under the guidance of her guru, Pt. Jnan Prakash Ghosh, and at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy. While her repertoire covers an array of Hindustani musical forms, Kaushiki draws influences from Carnatic music, and frequently incorporates elements of contemporary Indian pop music. Kaushiki also leads an all-female ensemble called Sakhi that brings together exemplary artists in a stylistically expansive exploration of womanhood in Indian culture.

Kaushiki’s ability to capture emotions and express them though her fluid vocal style has mesmerized audiences the world over. But above all, the one quality that resonates the most is Kaushiki’s deep connection with her music which is best described in her own words: “One has to mentally align oneself to the form ... My training has taught me two approaches to music - to do music or to become

it. The latter gives you the fluidity to transcend form and become one with it:’ The recipient of numerous awards, Kaushiki also received the 2005 BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music in the Asia-Pacific category and the Nari Shakti Puraskar in 2020.

Accompanying Kaushiki on May 13th in Houston will be Ust. Murad Ali Khan on Sarangi, Sandip Gosh on Tabla and Tanmay Deochake on Harmonium.

The Indo-American Association (IAA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1993 with a mission to promote cultural arts of the Indian subcontinent. Now in its 30th season, it provides a platform for world-renowned artists as well as emerging artists in the finest Houston venues. IAA has built a reputation of fostering the appreciation of performing arts within the diverse Houston community.

Legendary Indian music director, singer and music producer A.R.Rahman recently completed his 25 years in musical industry.

To celebrate this grand ocassion a tribute to the music maestro with 'Dil Se.. Rubaroo with A.R.Rahman’ was held in the city. Dil Se..is an audio-visual infotainment program with a confluence of Music, Drama, Dance, AVs and experience to revisit ARRs gems.

Directed by Milind Oak and written by Ashay Walambe the protagonist of this story will be Nachiket Devsthali. The musical

score shall be rendered by Mrunmayee Tirodkar along with Chaitanya Kulkarni, Ashutosh Joshi, Pranjali Barve and Rasika Ganoo. Indo-American Association’s Dil Se ... Rubaru with AR Rahman performance will take place Friday, June 2 @ Stafford Center at 7:30 pm.

For additional information on how to become a sponsor, call: 832-315-6586 or E-Mail: info@ iaahouston.org. Sponsorship levels range from Platinum to Gold, Silver and Bronze.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, mAy 5, 2023 • www.IndoAmerIcAn-news.com May 5, 2023 8 COMMUNITY CLASSICAL ARTS

Houston’s Indian-American Debuts His First Sci-Fi Film on May 19th Mandala: The UFO Incident

houston: Ajay Sarpeshkar's directorial debut, Mandala: The UFO Incident, marks an exciting new chapter in his artistic journey. With a graduate degree in engineering and over a decade experience in technology, Ajay's creative itch led him to explore photography and filmmaking as a hobby, which eventually paved the way for his first feature-length film.

Over the past couple of years, Ajay has been actively involved in raising funds, writing the screenplay, directing, and producing Mandala, pouring in tremendous effort and patience, especially navigating through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the obstacles, Ajay's passion and determination have driven him to bring his artistic vision to life on the big screen.

"Mandala" is a groundbreaking experiment in the science fiction genre, representing a unique and unexplored approach in the Indian film industry. It aims to inspire young minds to the possibilities of space, science, and technology as humanity gears up to become a space-faring species. It stars great actors such as Anant Nag and Prakash Belawadi.

One of the key messages of the film is the importance of culture and heritage conservation. It highlights how our cultural roots and traditions can provide a solid foundation as we venture into the unknown realms of space, providing us with a sense of identity and belonging.

Another significant aspect of the film is its focus on gender-equal education. It highlights the importance of representation of both

genders in important character roles, breaking the stereotype of traditional gender roles and pro-

moting the idea that anyone, regardless of gender, can contribute to science, technology, and space

exploration. Despite budget constraints and limited resources, the film pushes

Alia Bhatt Makes Stunning Debut at Met Gala

new yorK: Alia Bhatt made her Met Gala debut in the 2023 edition of the gala as she walked the red carpet in a dreamy white dress adorned with pearls. Alia kept in sync with this year’s theme ‘Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty’ as she stuck to a white outfit and wore fingerless gloves in Karl’s honour. Alia had a princess moment at the red carpet as she waved to the photographers with a beaming smile. She also posed with designer Prabal Gurung.

Alia shared photos from her Met Gala debut on social media and a part of her caption read, “A girl can never have too many pearls… and the right accessories to complement the look which in our case translated to the bow of pearls on

my hair. Oh, and it’s white, for my Choup.

Alia shared that she “wanted to do something that felt authentic” and “proudly made in India.” Her caption added, “The embroidery, made with a 100,000 pearls is a labour of love by @prabalgurung.

I’m so proud to wear you for my first Met.”

boundaries in production and storytelling to make a lasting impact on the audience. The film brings together multiple teams from around the world, including VFX teams from India, Singapore, France, and the US, to create world-class visual effects that enhance the storytelling.

As the first installment in the Mandala franchise, this film serves as a testament to the power of passion and perseverance. It showcases how a creative vision can be brought to life with determination and collaboration, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in Indian cinema.

"Mandala" promises to be a thought-provoking film that captivates audiences with unique blend of science fiction, cultural heritage, and gender equality themes.

Based in Houston, Texas, USA, Ajay frequently travels to Bangalore, India, where he grew up, showcasing his deep connection and appreciation for both cultures.

As he takes his first steps as a director, Ajay is eagerly anticipating the impact that the sci-fi genre and Mandala will have on the Indian film industry and most importantly on the curious young minds.

The film releases across the US on May 19, 2023. More info at www.AsxFilms.com

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, mAy 5, 2023 • www.IndoAmerIcAn-news.com May 5, 2023 9 ENTERTAINMENT

students of Pt. sHAntilAl sHAH in ConCeRt

‘Laya Taal Saadhana’ is Back with a Thunderous Tabla Performance

Pearland: Indian Music Society of Houston (IMS), hosted its much-awaited 11th Laya Taal Saadhana (LTS), on April 9th, 2023 at Stafford Civic Center, Houston, Texas, USA. It was a special Tabla performance by the students of Pt. Shantilal Shah, renowned Tabla maestro in Houston. Emcee Paromita Nag, beautifully narrated the program and introduced IMS President, Shri. Govind Shetty, who welcomed the audience with his introductory comments by explaining the legacy of IMS bringing classical programs to Houston since 1992.

Laya Taal Saadhana is the showcase event of Pt. Shantilal Shah and this year’s program was aptly dedicated to his guru, Padmashri Taal Yogi Pandit Suresh Talwalkar’s 75th birthday. The program presented a collage of Bade guruji’s video clips of his illustrious Tabla performances.

With blessings from the Taal yogi, the emcee introduced Smt. Aparna Shah, who rendered an invocation to Lord Ganesha, with her soulful voice and set the ambience. Pt.Shantilal Shah, then took to the stage accompanied by the Harmonium artist Tejas Rode, to join the Tabla session with his rhythmic nagma to maintain the laya in taal Teentaal. Pt.Shantilal Shah explained the rich tradition of his Tabla learning under Bade Guruji, his zeal for perfection and the importance of regular riyaz. Pt. Shantilal Shah has been training

for these beginner Tabla players. Their enthusiasm and smiles were infectious and set the tone for the groups to come.

Guru ji accompanied rest of the Tabla groups; Theka, Maatra, Sum, Laya and Tihaee and introduced the rhythmic and poetic content. Each group excelled in their playing style with clarity in Teentaal and reciting Tukras. Along with Tabla techniques, Guru ji emphasized the students to recite complex patterns, with tempo and play in synchrony with the Guru bandhus.

The program flow and key tasks such as brochure creation, slide show and backstage coordination were very well organized, planned and executed successfully by many dedicated parent volunteers. Stalwart Shri. B.N. Murali handled the audio, and Anuraag Shah the video systems., seamlessly. The seasoned LTS volunteer team, led by Vishy Narayanamurthy, brought the magic! Kudos to the team.

The second half of the program

upped the ante with Tabla solo compositions, specially crafted for these young students. Pt.Shantilal Shah explained the compositions and its origins from different gharanas, with passion. This is unique to Laya taal saadana programs, to connect students and the audience with Tabla traditions., an invaluable experience. These tabla compositions with dedicated riyaz along with Guruji’s ear for perfection will certainly transform these students to become well-rounded tabla artists in the future.

The Peshkaar group with senior professionals presented the Kaidas, Paltas in the popular Teentaal with class. This was followed by Khand, Kayda and Aavartan groups playing advanced set of compositions with richness and playing speed. The last group Aavartan, featured a group of senior students with 10 to 20 yrs of training, took the program to a crescendo! They played eighteen Tukras with different speeds and recited each Tukra, which was matched by their fast playing of

hundreds of students over the last 20+ yrs in Houston. LTS bears a strong testimony of his love and rigorous Tabla training to his students along with Indian values and life lessons.

As the first LTS after the pandemic and zoom classes, it was inspiring to see students perform with poise and elegance. This speaks to the ability to Guruji to evoke passion in his Shishyas. LTS was a beautiful celebration of the rich legacy of the GuruShishya tradition and the power of music to inspire and captivate both the connoisseurs and the music lovers of Houston.

LTS 2023 program presented ten different music groups ranging from the age of 7 to 75! In LTS tradition, Guruji aptly names each group after an element in Hindustani classical music. The opening session was from the group Taal with cute little Tabla students, playing Kaidas, Paltas and Tihaee in Teentaal. It was an impressive maiden performance

the Relas, Chakradaar and Tihaee. This outstanding finale, brought the audience to a thunderous applause!

Stafford Civic Center, was filled with students, parents, senior artists, classical music enthusiasts, IMS members and many more. After this year’s student performance, the audience will certainly agree, Laya Taal Saadhana programs are a pride to Houston Tabla community. We hope to see more young and adult students learn tabla in its true classical music spirit. This will extend a strong foundation for all types of percussion accompaniment. Looking forward to see many Laya taal saadhana programs keeping the beat of Houston alive!

For more details visit www. tablahouston.com & www.imshouston.org

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, mAy 5, 2023 • www.IndoAmerIcAn-news.com May 5, 2023 10
MENTAL ILLNESS IS NOT A CRIME In partnership with The Harris Center and law enforcement, the District Attorney’s Office ensured 4,000+ mentally ill, non-violent offenders received mental health treatment instead of going to jail. If someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call Harris Center for Mental Health at 1-713-970-7000
Padmashri Taal Yogi Pandit Suresh Talwalkar
CLASSICAL ARTS

Wadhwanis Support LSC-CyFair Scholarships

Solution Next Week

cyPress, tX: Nestled in 200 acres in the northwest part of the county, Lone Star College CyFair is a pretty campus with buildings tucked away between meandering roads and undulating greens. Founded in 2003, the college now has 16,000 students, many who go onto receive their associate degrees from many offered throughout the LSC system.

The LSC Foundation prides itself in its mission to change the lives of its students through scholarships, building relationships and fundraising among other attributes. Since its inception in 1991, It has awarded $18.6 million in scholarships and $8.5 million in program support. In 2021-22 the Foundation raised $2.6 million that provided scholarships to 2,053 students.

And in recognition of the donors for their support and the hard work and enthusiasm of these students, the CyFair campus held a reception bringing many of the two parties together. At the well-attended luncheon at the campus Conference Center on Friday, April 28, the mood was set by a musical selection of seven pieces performed by students from the Music Department as donors and recipients shared the tables for a brief ceremony.

After a brief introduction by LSC CyFair President Dr. Valerie Jones, Claire Center, a scholarship recipient of the Sweeney Family Honors II Endowment spoke of her academic journey and future beyond. She was followed by Nicole Robinson Gauthier, the Lone Star College Foundation Executive Director and Dr. Alton Smith, a member of the Lone Star College Foundation Board.

Among those who attended the reception were GIS Scholarship donors Ishu and Ashok Wadhwani, who were at their table with the GIS

Scholarship recipient Kat Amundsen and Michael Konvicka, LSC-CyFair Professor of Geography and GIS. The Wadhwanis, who owned two successful companies specializing in geospatial systems integration and

Last Week’s Solution

Kaushika Shah Licensed Sales Agent 832-282-3515, TT Y 711

data management services for more than 35 years, provided a financial helping hand with endowing a scholarship for the LSC-CyFair’s GIS associate degree program Y0066_23SPRJ55188_C

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us the correct answer before May 10, 2023. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com. Please send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published.
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EDUCATION
At the Lone Star College CyFair Scholarship Reception last week, Friday, April 28, LSC Board Trustee Dist. 3, Dr. Alton Smith; Nicole Robinson Gauthier, the Lone Star College Foundation Executive Director; President Dr. Valerie Jones and GIS Scholarship donors Ishu and Ashok Wadhwani. From left, LSC Geography & GIS Professor Michael Konvicka; GIS Scholarship recipient Kat Amundsen with GIS Scholarship donors Ishu and Ashok Wadhwani.

ASIAN AMERICAN PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE CELEBRATING Mo�th

A deeply rooted history, a diverse community and a vibrant culture. This month, we recognize the countless contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as we highlight some of our Asian American-owned brands.

MR. KOOKS SAUCES

AUTHENTICALLY SPICED SIMMER SAUCES

Our family has been blending spices in India for over one hundred years, and we wanted to share our homeland’s beautiful flavors with the world. That’s how Mr. Kooks Indian cooking sauces were born! Mr. Kooks is made with spices and natural ingredients that bring the authentic Indian flavors from our kitchen to yours.

GALLIVANT MAWA ICE CREAM

LUXURIOUS INDIAN-STYLE DESSERTS

I was unable to consume dairy-based desserts and in 2018, I put my 15 years of experience as a Food Safety Scientist to work as I learned how to create mawa ice creams. I did this by keeping Ayurvedic principles of Dairy Farming and Processing in mind and after 18 months, I launched Gallivant® Mawa Ice Creams!

Learn more about these products and other Asian American and Asian Pacific Islander-owned brands at heb.com/bethechange

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, mAy 5, 2023 • www.IndoAmerIcAn-news.com May 5, 2023 12 ©2023 HEB, 23-4554
Snehee Chaplot Founder Anish and Dimple Patel Founder
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