Dusk to Dawn: The Teachings of 2023 Hindu Heritage Youth CampBy Krupa rathi
As the sun gently rises over Camp Young Judea, casting a warm golden glow on the verdant surroundings, a sense of excitement and anticipation fills the air. You can spot a basketball court filled with 240 campers and 60 counselors eager to perform Surya Namskar at the break of dawn. This is the start of another day at the Hindu Heritage Youth Camp, an immersive experience that has left an indelible mark on both the campers and the counselors, myself included.
Hindu Heritage Youth Camp is more than just a summer getaway; it’s a bridge connecting today’s youth to the timeless wisdom and cultural treasures of Hindu heritage. For many campers, this might be their first deep dive into the rich tapestry of Hindu philosophy, traditions, and practices.
Witnessing the awe in their eyes as they listen to ancient legends, participating in traditional ceremonies such as bhajans, and engaging in meaningful discussions about the philosophy and teachings behind Hinduism is a humbling experience. It’s as if they are rediscovering a lost part of themselves and connecting with their roots in a safe haven.
The stories of gods and goddesses, the intricacies of rituals, and the significance of festivals come alive in ways that textbooks could never convey. Campers engage in discussions, educations, and arts and crafts that bring these concepts to life, fostering a genuine appreciation for the cultural legacy that has been passed down through generations.
Each experience provides a lifetime of memories and passes down generations of practice. One of my personal favorite crafts at camp this year was lantern making! As the campers meticulously design and craft their lanterns, they find themselves delving into the rich symbolism and stories that Hinduism offers. The lanterns become more than just artistic creations; they become vessels of cultural expression, each stroke of color and design element telling a story from ancient myths and traditions. Through this hands-on experience, campers not only learn about the significance of light in Hindu festivals like Diwali but also feel a profound sense of participation in a tradition that has been cherished for centuries.
Beyond cultural exploration, the Hindu Heritage Youth Camp is a crucible for character development and leadership, which especially happens as they spend more time with their peers encouraging each other to explore their Hindu identity. Each year all the campers are split into their education groups which always are named after influential figures, philosophies, or culturally relevant ideas in Hinduism. This year the theme
was centered around spices! Each group worked together to form a community and ended up working together using slogans such as “Hing is King” or “Beleaf in yourself”(Kadi Patta). Through teamwork, collaborative projects, and interactive sessions, campers cultivate values such as respect, empathy, and perseverance. These values are not just spoken about; they are woven into the fabric of daily camp life.
Through these educations, campers are exposed to a wide range of engaging subjects and reflect the engaging spectrum of Hinduism. Education here is anything but ordinary, from stimulating discussions about the frequently overlooked Hindu Human Rights, which emphasize the importance of harmony and empathy among various beliefs, to delving into the profound nuances of fasting practices in Hinduism, where I learned the spiritual depth behind abstaining from food. These lessons have taken on a life of their own outside of the classroom, producing not only knowledge but also a compassionate worldview that resonates in our journeys as sympathetic, and globally aware humans.
Yet, the Hindu Heritage Youth Camp goes beyond the realm of structured learning, recognizing the invaluable role of friendship in shaping memorable experiences. Amidst the spirited learning sessions, the camp offers a breath of fresh air through its free recreation period. This time is a cherished opportunity for campers to not only engage in various sports and activities but also to escape the Texas heat (with record breaking temperatures this year!) through refreshing snacks, constant hydration, and time in the pool. Whether it’s a lively basketball match, a friendly game of tennis, or simply swinging in the hammocks trying to catch a cool breeze , the free rec period becomes a canvas where friendships are painted with shared memories.
One of the absolute best things I adore about camp is how it’s allowed me to meet some of my closest friends. In the shared space, sharing jokes and going through each day together with our peers it’s hard not to form these invaluable and precious friendships. The
people you meet and friends you make truly make camp the “best 5 days of the year”.
The amazing friends I found at camp, the lessons I learned, and the strong bond I developed with my heritage are what inspired me to become a counselor. Those friendships were like the secret ingredients that made every camp day unforgettable, filling it with laughter and excitement. Understanding our culture, growing as a person, and realizing how we all fit together like puzzle pieces became my camp mantra. All these experi-
ences combined made me want to step up and guide new campers on their own amazing journeys, just like I had.
After a day filled with education, bhajans, and the hot Texas sun, campers end the day with the stars twinkling above, casting a gentle radiance over the camp, a new chapter of understanding, empowerment, and unity unfolds within its participants. The impact of the camp extends well beyond its duration, shaping the trajectories of young lives in profound and
lasting ways. The skills acquired, friendships forged, and the profound connection to their heritage become building blocks for a future illuminated by harmony and knowledge. The success and impact of camp is intricately woven with the essential support of Hindus of Greater Houston (HGH), without which this enriching experience would not be possible.
The anticipation for next year is brimming with excitement as we eagerly await the opening of our very own campsite. The prospect of having a dedicated space for the Hindu Heritage Youth Camp opens up a world of possibilities. From tailor-made facilities to spaces that resonate with our camp’s values, the idea of holding camp at our own site is more than just thrilling—it’s a chance to create an even more immersive and impactful experience for campers. We have our fingers crossed that the campsite is ready for the 40th year of camp! Visit hinducamp.net for further details.
Krupa Rathi is a first-time counselor, who has been to camp numerous times before as a camper. She is currently a freshman at UT Austin majoring in Biology.
Taral Patel Responds to a Barrage of Racist, Xenophobic & Vile Attacks
richmond: Taral Patel, Democratic candidate running for Fort Bend County CommissionerPrecinct 3, issued a response to hate filled messages that attacked his ethnicity, nationality, faith, and more on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The images are attached.
Taral Patel released the following statement, “Since announcing my run for County Commissioner, I have worked tirelessly to connect with the diverse communities that call our Precinct and County home with nothing but love and respect. Our campaign is based on the values my family and faith have given me: compassion, hard work, and respect for all.
As the son of immigrants who flocked to these shores like many before us in search of freedom and opportunity, I have dedicated my life to giving back as an active volunteer, community member, and lifelong public servant., My bottom line in developing policies and even running for office is simple - guided by my faith, shared American values, and cultural heritage: will this help Fort Bend County residents?
Whether it was tackling the COVID crisis head on by initiating our vaccine clinics in every corner of Fort Bend, setting up warming centers during the Winter Storm, coordinating emergency responses during floods, or even creating programs to uplift our county’s small businesses, I have taken my responsibilities extremely seriously at Fort Bend County and beyond.
As your Democratic candidate for County Commissioner, I am always open to criticism of my policy positions and stances on issues. However, when my Republican opponents supporters’ decide to hurl #racist, #anti-immigrant, #Hinduphobic, or otherwise disgusting insults at my family, faith community, colleagues, and me - that crosses a line. Fort Bend County’s diversity has made us all stronger, and these hateful images, a small sample attached here, are from a place of deep and misguided fear - incited by people like former President Donald Trump and today’s extremist Republican party fear that immigrants are “taking their jobs” and setting out to hurt our own communities.
As I have said over the months, I’m the product of Fort Bend County schools from elementary to high school, and a proud American lucky enough to be born in this great country. Each and everyday, I am grateful for the opportunities provided by our amazing nation,
the greatest country on Earth. America continues - with all of our participation - as a meaningful experiment in democracy and freedom.
As our County Judge KP George said, when he too was besieged by #xenophobic attacks during the height of COVID: “The next time you hear or see someone making an anti-immigrant or racist comment, call them out.
Stand up for your neighbors, your coworkers, and your children’s classmates. Stand up for Fort Bend, our nation’s most diverse County. In doing so, you’ll be standing up for a better future America, the land of the free and home of the brave.”
“These racist and xenophobic attacks have
NO place in our democracy! Join me in pushing back by supporting Taral Patel in his bid to become a Fort Bend County Commissioner, “ said former State Senator Wendy Davis. “He is exactly the kind of smart, experienced, servant-hearted leader we need.”
“Please join me unequivocally pushing back against this kind of hatred and vile language in Fort Bend County. We stand with Taral Patel,” said Fort Bend County Judge KP George. “Simply put, there is no room for hate in our community.”
Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers shared the following statement
about Patel’s situation. He is also looking to run for his current position again. “From an early age, my parents taught me the importance of treating all people with dignity and respect, and I’ve never forgotten that lesson. For 27 years, I’ve worked with members of the Commissioners Court to build Fort Bend into one of the most diverse counties in the nation. I do not know the people to whom these comments are attributed, but they are reprehensible and do not reflect my values or the values that made Fort Bend County such a wonderful, safe, and familyfriendly place to live.”
Kinjal Dave Garba: Power of Music, Community, and Collaboration
houSton: On a memorable Sunday, Sept 17th evening in Houston, Kinjal Dave, the reigning queen of Gujarati folk music, cast a spell over 2000 eager fans. This spectacular show, organized by Ramdev Masala and Nextstar Entertainment, was a testament to the power of music, community, and collaboration. Promoted exclusively by Masala Radio 98.7 FM, the event brought together diverse audiences, and it was an evening that won’t be forgotten.
The brains behind this mesmerizing show were Chintan of Nextstar Entertainment and Bhavik of Ramdev Masala. They joined forces to create an unforgettable experience for Houstonians. After the enchanting Arti ceremony, 2000 packets of prasad were distributed by Bhavik Patel and his dedicated Ramdev team from Chicago.
Sunil Thakkar of Masala Radio served as the emcee, igniting the crowd’s energy with his enthusiastic dancing on stage, on the floor, and even in the lobby amid the reveling and jumping crowds.
Two weeks before the show, only 400 tickets had been sold. However, the response was overwhelming when Bhavik and Chintan took to Masala Radio’s live airwaves to promote a special group discount. In the last four days leading up to the event, they sold over 1200 tickets, turning it into a superhit event.
Bhavik shared his thoughts on
the event: “Kinjal told us she never had as much fun at a show as she did in Houston. The crowd was crazy. She loved Houston.”
Sunil Thakkar took a moment on stage to thank all the sponsors, including Keemat Grocers and Discount Power. He also recognized local community leaders such as Umang Mehta, Nisha Mirani, Ajit Patel, and Taral Patel, who is a candidate for Fort Bend Precinct 3 commissioner.
Special appreciation was given to Bhavna Modi for her invaluable contributions to culture and community across the United States.
The event was impeccably organized, with a proper ticket counter and a dedicated team of young event staff. It started on
time, and the decorations were outstanding. The Masala Radio booth even had a life-size cutout of Prime Minister Modi for attendees to take selfies with.
This marked Ramdev Masala’s first event in Houston, and both Ramdev and Nextstar Entertainment were deeply impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of the Houston crowd. As a result, they promised more exciting shows to come in 2024.
Ramdev Masala, a leading brand of spices, pulses, and dry fruits in Gujarat, attributes its success to its commitment to sourcing everything exclusively from India and packaging it fresh for the US market.
This Diwali, don’t miss the spe-
cial sale on the Ramdev line of foods at Keemat Grocers and Desi Brothers.
Stay tuned to Masala Radio 98.7 FM for all upcoming Houston events, your go-to Indian Bollywood FM channel. The next big Gujarati star singer to grace Houston is Geeta Rabari, with her garba show on September 29th at the GSH Center. For more information, follow Masala Radio 98.7
IAPAC Organizes Brunch Gathering to Delve into Texas Judicial System
Sugar Land: The Indian American Political Action Committee of Greater Houston (IAPAC) recently organized a brunch as part of its “Conversations Over Coffee” series (CoC@IAPAC) on September 10, 2023, at Ailings Chinese Bistro, who sponsored the event. Purusottam Sahoo and Gaurav Jhaveri co-chaired the event which delved into the intricacies of the state-level judicial system and the experiences of sitting judges.
The guests were judges Tameika Carter, Surendran K. Pattel, and Juli Mathew. Roopa Gir, President of IAPAC, commenced the event by introducing IAPAC’s CoC@IAPAC, which aims to address educational topics and issues of concern to the community. Following introductions of the guests by Purusottam Sahoo, the gathering transitioned into an engaging Q&A session.
Sartaj Bal, a prior Republican Nominee for a judicial bench, adeptly moderated, directing questions tailored to each judge’s courtroom. Judge Mathew fielded inquiries about the appeals process from the Justice of Peace Courts, and her court’s jurisdiction over civil, criminal and probate matters. She discussed jury selection and expressed the challenges judges face when pro-
spective jurors make dishonest statements during the selection process to avoid jury duty. Fort Bend County Judge KP George, briefly in attendance as an audience member, reiterated the
importance of civic engagement and shared his perspective on its significance.
Judge Carter elucidated her role as an administrative judge and the process by which district courts
are created, highlighting the differences in funding between district and county courts at law, which are established and funded locally. In setting bond amounts, Judge Carter explained some of
the factors considered such as the defendant’s criminal history, the nature of the charge, prior arrests while on probation or bond, the risk posed to society, and flight risk
Judge Pattel responded to questions on mediation, arbitration, and litigation. Contractual arbitration clauses are enforceable and arbitration awards are final and not appealable. He also clarified the differing burdens of proof required in civil cases versus criminal cases, emphasizing that civil cases rely on a preponderance of evidence while criminal cases demand proof beyond a reasonable doubt, a substantially higher threshold.
This event marked a resounding success, with active community participation and engagement in the conversation. Similar CoC@IAPAC events are planned throughout the year. For further information, please contact IAPACHOUSTON@GMAIL.COM.
About IAPAC: The Indian American Political Action Committee of Greater Houston (IAPAC) stands as the only nonpartisan PAC representing Indian Americans in the Greater Houston region. Its mission is to promote political awareness, provide a non-partisan platform for political action, and foster civic engagement.
Sewa’s Third Annual Charity Golf Event Scores a Resounding Success
houSton: Sewa International’s annual charity golf event commemorating 9/11 marked its third successful year at the scenic Clear Creek Golf Course in Pearland.
Anup Bhasin, Joint Coordinator of Sewa International Houston, extended a warm welcome to all the golfers and guests in attendance. During his address, he shed light on the Sewa Ambassador program and introduced the newly appointed Sewa Ambassadors for Pearland ISD, Agrima Amar and Sumedha Shanker. The inaugural shot of the day was gracefully teed off by Srikanth Gundavarapu, National Vice President of Fund Development at Sewa International, using the specially-branded Sewa Golf ball
The tournament was held in a four-person scramble format, and sixty three players from across the Houston and Carthage areas participated and competed fiercely for the awards. Among those vying for the top honors this year were an all women team and a team from the Pearland Police Department. This year Sewa partnered with “Backswing Golf Events” to introduce ‘Beat the Pro’ challenge for the players, the pro to beat was Abbey Daniel at hole no 5 and this added a new level of excitement and fun to the tournament.
Madan Luthra, the recipient of the Texas Governor’s Volun-
teer Award, shared insights about Sewa International and its impactful service projects. He articulated, “Sewa operates based on the profound principle of ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam,’ a Sanskrit phrase that conveys the idea that the
entire world is one unified family. I encourage you to consider embracing this principle in your own life. I invite you to step forward and support us by generously contributing your time and/or resources to join hands in serving
our communities. Sewa embodies the universal message of oneness, extending its service to all without any discrimination. As our tagline aptly states, ‘Together We Serve Better’.”
This event was meticulously
conceived, orchestrated, and executed by a dedicated team of Sewa volunteers, with a significant portion of them being enthusiastic high school youth. They wholeheartedly gathered on a splendid late summer day to lend their support to this noble cause. The funds generated from this event will be channeled towards various charitable service initiatives in Houston.
This remarkable gathering represented the fruition of months of extensive planning, thorough preparation, and relentless dedication, all masterminded by the Sewa organizing team under the capable leadership of Anup Bhasin and Jaivijay Ramu. Their vision extends towards transforming this event into a more expansive and impactful affair in the coming year.
Sumedha Shanker. One of the sewa Ambassadors for Glenda Dawson High School of Sewa International’s Houston Chapter thanked the sponsors - the Law Office of Leena Bhasin, Dr. Batchu (Internal Medicine Associates of Houston), Best Brains, Maharana Association of North America, Yogi Grocers and Biryani Express Restaurant for their generosity and support. “We thank all the sponsors, players, and volunteers who made this event a grand success,” she said.
Upma & Mukulesh Shah Host Dinner with Chef Sanjeev Kapoor for Akshaya Patra
houSton: – Upma and Mukulesh Shah hosted an evening fundraiser benefiting the Akshaya Patra Foundation at their residence in Sugar Land on September 8, 2023. The event was graced by the presence of the renowned Celebrity Chef, Sanjeev Kapoor. The Shahs’ home was brimming with invited guests, including leaders from the Akshaya Patra Houston Chapter, AP’s National Development Director, Shree Sanjeev Kapoor, and the delightful bride, Mrs. Alonya Kapoor.
Akshaya Patra, the world’s largest NGO in India, provides over 2.0+ million mid-day meals to children in government schools, ensuring no child is deprived of education due to hunger. To further this noble cause, sponsors Upma & Mukulesh Shah, along with their generous guests, raised a substantial sum to help feed hungry children.
The event featured a captivating cooking demonstration by Chef Kapoor, showcasing a recipe chosen by the hosts. Chef Kapoor prepared one of his recent favorites, a popular dish highlighting the use of millet – Samo Kheer. As 2023 is the year of Millet in India, promoting a healthy diet, the Kheer was garnished with mixed berries
and nuts, delighting all attendees. For those unable to get close to the cooking counter, the demonstration was displayed on large-screen TVs throughout the house.
Following the cooking demonstration, Chef Kapoor, Emcee Mayur Shah, and the Akshaya Patra Houston Chapter Team led a fundraising activity. Host Upma Shah made a heartfelt appeal to her guests, urging them to support Akshaya Patra by donating to help feed hungry children in India.
Janardan Thakkar, a member of the board of directors of Akshaya Patra Foundation USA, delivered a keynote message in support of the foundation. Masala Radio personalities Sunil Thakkar and Dilip Kanabar attended the event and generously donated to Akshaya Patra. The evening continued with a delectable dinner and Hindi melodies performed by a local professional singer, Mr. Rajesh Vishwakarma, and an associate. The festivities concluded around 10:00 PM.
We deeply appreciate the unwavering dedication and tireless efforts of the Houston Chapter Leaders and team, including Mr. Ashok Shah, Mr. Sanjeev Yamdagni, Mr. Mayur Shah, Mr. Ashish Mehta, Mr. Anand Arya, Mr. Sam-
rat & Jayanti Bera, Mrs. Vaijayanthi Negamanthan, Mrs. Maithily Shah, Mrs. Jhilmil Yamdagni, and Mrs. Linda Thakkar. The Shah Family -Upma, Mukulesh, Neerav, Noopur, and Ronak -- displayed remarkable generosity in support of the Akshaya Patra Foundation and its mission to provide meals to hungry schoolgoing children in India. On behalf of the Akshaya Patra Houston Chapter and our national foundation, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for their invaluable support.
BAPS Celebrates 90th Birthday of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj: A Beacon of Love and Service
roBBinSviLLe, nJ - “Yours Forever, Sadhu Keshavjivandas” is a signature that has touched hundreds of thousands, encapsulating the profound love, compassion, and respect that His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj has for all. September 13, 2023, saw hundreds of devotees assemble in Robbinsville to honor the 90th birthday of this divine soul, reflecting on his unparalleled humility and affection that has touched millions worldwide.
This significant celebration coincided with the Festival of Inspirations, a spectacular three-month event heralding the inauguration of BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville. Mahant Swami Maharaj’s heartfelt letters not only brought solace but
also ignited the spirit of spiritual advancement and collective action. Pujya Yogananddas Swami stressed on Mahant Swami’s empowering words which have been instrumental in catalyzing spiritual and personal growth for countless souls.
Many came forward, sharing how these personal letters from His Holiness shaped their lives, offering guidance and support through life’s peaks and valleys. They recounted the care with which Mahant Swami Maharaj penned each letter, sometimes delving deep into them multiple times to provide the most empathetic response. Such genuine care has undoubtedly cemented his place in countless hearts.
World leaders and spiritual lumi-
naries shared their unique experiences with Mahant Swami Maharaj through moving videos. Cyrus Sabavala eloquently stated, “Even without speaking, Mahant Swami Maharaj’s divine aura speaks volumes. A mere glance can flood one with an overwhelming sense of love and devotion.”
A poignant recollection from 2001 highlighted Mahant Swami Maharaj’s exceptional humility. Even when a presentation to the youth didn’t go as planned, rather than pointing fingers, he took responsibility and apologized, epitomizing his value of seeing divinity in all.
Pujya Anandswarupdas Swami emphasized the unwavering humility of Mahant Swami Maharaj, describing his role of serving oth-
ers, even when revered as a divine entity. His philosophy is rooted in seeing the best in everyone, uplifting many with his words of wisdom.
On what should’ve been his day of tribute, Mahant Swami Maharaj turned the spotlight onto the senior swamis, illustrating why he’s so dearly loved. The senior swamis reciprocated the admiration, offering their heartfelt prayers and presenting individual garlands to him on this momentous occasion.
In his concluding blessings, Mahant Swami Maharaj shared his vision and dedication. Speaking of the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, he remarked, “The grandeur, divinity, and tranquility that visitors experience here is the fruition of Pramukh Swami
Maharaj’s divine vision. Taking a mere fifteen minutes daily for introspection encapsulates all the spiritual wisdom we attain.”
This 90th birthday celebration served not only as a tribute to a revered soul but also as an inspiration for countless others to lead a life of humility, love, and service. For more information and photos of the event, please click the following link.
For more information about BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, future LIVE events, please visit https://usa.akshardham.org/
Morocco Earthquake Relief by Houston Community through AFDR
houSton: A powerful earthquake hit Morocco on Sept. 8, killing more than 2,800 people, injuring 6,000+, and 50,000+ homes destroyed making thousands homeless. The Alliance for Disaster Relief (AFDR) immediately established on ground Relief efforts with implementing partner Helping Hands for Relief and Development (HHRD) to provide emergency relief to support the affected communities. Two members from HHRD one from Houston and one from Dallas are on ground in Morocco.
On Saturday, September 16, 2023, the Alliance for Disaster Relief, the Helping Hand for Relief & Development, community members, and media participated
at the “Morocco Earthquake Donation Drive” organized by the Arab American Cultural & Community Center (AACCC) and the Moroccan Society of Houston in associa-
tion with City of Houston and other Houston community partners. Life saving provisions like 4 pallets of blankets and sleeping bags were Gifted by AFDR on this occasion
to show solidarity of people of Houston to the people of Morocco.
Present on the occasion were Ali Daher, President of AACCC; Abdel Elkhadiri of Moroccan Society of Houston; Ahmad AL Yasin of Jordanian Association of Houston; Muhammad Saeed Sheikh, Yaqoob Shaikh, Mahmood Ahmed, & Siraj Narsi of AFDR; and iLyas Choudry of HHRD.
Please continue to support this important humanitarian cause of humanity, so that AFDR can continue to send the Gifts of Care to Sisters & Brothers of Morocco. www. AFDRUSA.Org
India Suspends Visas for Canadians as Diplomatic Row Escalates
new deLhi: India has stopped issuing visas to Canadian citizens amid an escalating row over the killing of a Sikh separatist on Canadian soil. India said the temporary move was due to “security threats” disrupting work at its missions in Canada. Canada’s visa services remain open in India.
Tensions flared this week after Canada’s leader said India may have been involved in the 18 June killing. India angrily rejected the allegation calling it “absurd”.
Relations between the countrieskey trade and security partners, and US allies - have been strained for months. Analysts say they are now at an all-time low.
India’s government swiftly made clear the suspension of visa services also “applies to Canadians in a third country”.
“There have been threats made to our high commission [embassy] and consulates in Canada,” a foreign affairs ministry spokesman in Delhi said. “This has disrupted their normal functioning. Accordingly [they] are temporarily unable to process visa applications.”
He said: “India is looking for parity in rank and diplomatic strength between the diplomatic missions of the two countries. This is being sought because of Canadian diplomatic interference in our internal affairs.”
Hours earlier Canada had announced it was reducing its personnel in India, saying some diplomats
had received threats on social media.
“In light of the current environment where tensions have heightened, we are taking action to ensure the safety of our diplomats,” a statement said.
The two countries have historic close ties - and much is at stake.
Canada has 1.4 million people of
Indian origin - more than half of them Sikhs - making up 3.7% of the country’s population, according to the 2021 census. India also sends the highest number of international students to Canada - in 2022, they made up 40% of total overseas students at 320,000.
According to Indian government statistics, about 80,000 Canadian
tourists visited India in 2021, behind only the US, Bangladesh and UK.
The row burst into the open on Monday after Canada linked India with the murder of separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen who was shot dead in his vehicle by two masked gunmen outside a Sikh temple in
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada’s intelligence agencies were investigating whether “agents of the government of India” were involved in the killing of Nijjar - who India designated a terrorist in 2020.
India reacted strongly, saying Canada was trying to “shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists” who had been given shelter there. The Indian government has often reacted sharply to demands by Sikh separatists in Western countries for Khalistan, or a separate Sikh homeland.
The Khalistan movement peaked in India in the 1980s with a violent insurgency centred in Sikh-majority Punjab state.
It was quelled by force and has little resonance in India now, but is still popular among some in the Sikh diaspora in countries such as Canada, Australia and the UK.
Stating that Canada did not share any specific information with India on the Nijjar case, an MEA official said, “Canada should worry about its growing reputation as a place and a safe haven for terrorists.”
He said New Delhi had provided specific information with Canada on anti-India activities carried out from Canadian soil. He added that New Delhi expects Canada to address concerns over terrorism and anti-India activities in that country.
-- BBC, ToI
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TCC Spring 2023 Premier Tournament|Champions: ECC|Runners Up: Tuskers COMMUNITY
houSton: Who would have thought that a premier division final would have 36 overs bowled with only 193 runs scored for the fall of eighteen wickets. Who would have thought a team with an average playing age of 42.3 would end up victorious in the end. This was a tightly contested final in a once in a year ( once in a year for Divn I teams only ) , with twists and turns, ups and downs and plenty of good cricket.
The final was played on 19th August. It was the 8th final for ECC being champions 5 times in the past and 2nd successive final for Tuskers in Divn I. Having won the toss and knowing that Tuskers had a very strong batting lineup, ECC chose to field and tried to put Tuskers under pressure. Kiran Muppala gave a great start to ECC by claiming a first ball wicket. Gihan, arguably one of the best batsmen of the tournament walked out to bat, to see Kiran and Manikanth bowl with such intensity and zeal. Kiran finally dismissed Gihan after a fiery spell of fast swing bowling to leave ECC on top. George kept wickets for ECC with seven dismissals. Subbu and Vishal continued to keep it very tight for ECC. Tuskers were never allowed to get going. Shan played a quick 21 off 16 for Tuskers, only to be dismissed by some excellent fielding and catching by ECC. Shankar and Vasu in their 16th year playing taped ball cricket in Houston set the field with impeccable precision. Venkat and Shankar the veteran wrapped things up for ECC, dismissing Tuskers for just 94.
What ECC thought would have been a cake walk, proved otherwise. The Tusker bowlers had another plan. Gihan was on fire and Sisindu was very accurate. Sisindu dismissed the inform batsman Vasu, who was looking in good form after driving Gihan’s fast one for a four. Ashok and Neeraj played a patient innings for a 33-
run partnership. What looked like an easy victory for ECC, took a turn at this juncture. ECC lost five quick wickets for their next 16 runs, leaving the game in a very tight position. Sukitha, Gihan and Sisindu bowled their lives out in defending their low target. They were successful in keeping ECC under tremendous pressure with
regular wickets. ECC’s captain Avinash with help from Vishal, kept his cool, and saw ECC home in the 20th over.
Not the most athletic team given their average playing age. Not the team with superstars. ECC brought a mentality. They call each other family. Like a family they backed each other till the end. Most play-
ers from this ECC squad had won the TCC finals in the past. And it was the confidence that ECC had in their team and each other, that led to this success.
ECC was awarded their sixth championship and the celebrations showed how much it meant to them.
The game was followed by a well-managed presentation ceremony organized by Jagdish Biradar. Avinash the captain of ECC was handed over the Championship trophy and the runners up trophy was handed over to the captain of Tuskers Geethike. Kiran from ECC was the MVP of the final. Tournament awards were also handed over. Avinash from ECC was nominated as the MVP of the tournament. Kusal from SLCC was the best batsman with 261 runs. Vissu from Masters was the best bowler with 14 wickets. Arun from Masters was the best wicketkeeper with 31 dismissals. Sukitha from Tuskers was the best All Rounder with 168 runs and 8 wickets. Special award for Hattrick was given to Jay from Cougars. Special awards for centuries were given to Kusal from SLCC and Gihan (scored two centuries) from Tuskers. Dinesh from Gladiators was thanked and appreciated by one and all for his voluntary scheduling services for the benefit of the teams.
Online scorecard is at https:// cricclubs.com/3T/viewScorecard. do?matchId=1645&clubId=8675
YouTube link is https:// www.youtube.com/ watch?v=5KUYwibRmgU
FIS Celebrates Historic Chandrayaan-3 Moon Landing with Indian Consulate
houSton: The Foundation for India Studies (FIS) in association with Consulate General of India in Houston proudly commemorated the remarkable achievement of India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission. This momentous event comes after India’s successful landing near the south pole of the moon in August 2023, marking India as the first country to achieve this incredible feat.
The Chandrayaan-3 mission, driven by a thirst for knowledge about our celestial neighbor, reached a new pinnacle of human exploration with its successful landing on the Moon’s South Polar Region, an area previously unexplored due to its unique challenges. This historic endeavor promises to unveil critical insights into the Moon’s enigmatic past and the origins of our Solar System.
India’s historic feat in reaching the lunar south pole not only adds a significant chapter to the country’s legacy but also underscores its technological prowess on the global stage. It showcases India’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of space exploration.
In honor of this extraordinary achievement, FIS organized an ex-
clusive event that celebrated India’s historic moon landing on the uncharted south side of the moon. This event highlighted the immense contributions of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to the field of space exploration.
Mr. Krunal Joshi, Counselor, Space at the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and ISRO Representative in the United States, addressed the audience through a live video link from Washington DC. He took the audience on a journey through ISRO’s decades-long space odyssey, from its humble beginnings to its current successes. Mr. Joshi paid tribute to Dr. Vikram Sarabhai’s visionary leadership and shared a presentation titled “From BHARAT TO THE MOON.”
Dr. Kamlesh Lulla, NASA Senior Scientist, delivered a capti-
vating presentation titled “NASA (USA) and ISRO (INDIA) Partnership for Global Good.”
Dr. Lulla represented NASA and congratulated ISRO on this historic landing. He shed light on the historical agreements between ISRO and NASA and showed historic photo of Dr. Sarabhai and NASA’s Acting Administrator, Dr. Thomas O. Payne, signing Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) in the early days of ISRO.
Dr Lulla described NASA’s Artemis Lunar Exploration program and discussed NASA’s Artemis Accords which are agreements to join NASA in peaceful exploration of the lunar south pole.
In June 2023, the Indian Ambassador signed the accord on the margins of the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to the White House.
Mr. D.C. Manjunath, Consul General of India in Houston, presided over the event and highlighted the profound significance of India’s historic moon landing. He reminded the audience that the Government of India has designated the day of the moon landing, August 23, as National Space Day. Mr. Manjunath also mentioned that September 15th was celebrated in India as Engineer’s Day, paying
tribute to the great Indian Engineer, Bharat Ratna Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, whose contributions to the field of engineering were immeasurable.
Consul General Mr. Manjunath also disclosed that in addition to the Mangalyaan, Chandrayaan and Gaganyaan missions, India has ambitious plans to explore the depths of the ocean floor under its upcoming “Samudrayaan” mission, set to launch later this year.
The Foundation for India Studies applauds India’s remarkable achievement in lunar exploration and looks forward to the scientific discoveries and technological advancements that will undoubtedly arise from Chandrayaan-3’s historic mission.
For more information about the Foundation for India Studies and its mission, please visit : www. foundationforindiastudies.org.
Hiren Sarma, Director of FIS emceed the event and also moderated a lively Q&A session, Sudhakar Tallavajhula, Director of FIS gave the Vote of Thanks and Krishna Vavilala, Founder and Chairman of FIS welcomed the audience in the beginning.
‘Gold Fish’: Superb Story Brought to Life
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.
Solution Next WeekBy archiKa Khurana
Story: Anamika, a half-Indian half-English woman returns to her home in UK, to confront the challenges of her mother’s dementia and to get closure on the emotional wounds that stem from her upbringing. The film explores the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship while touching on various other sensitive themes.
Review: ‘Goldfish’ is a delicate story of family bonds, focusing on challenging circumstances which exaggerated by a strained relationship within the family. Sadhana (Deepti Naval) is grappling with memory loss, and her daughter Anamika (Kalki Koechlin) returns home to care for her despite harbouring resentment towards her mother. Both Deepti Naval and Kalki Koechlin, bring the nuances of their characters’ struggles and complex relationships to life, in an aggressive yet compassionate way. Their struggle is evident from the start, but it is handled well with the unfolding of engaging conversations between the two, which is devoid of melodrama.
It takes a special kind of talent to create such an inclusive cinematic experience, depicting the inner world of someone with mental health issues and those around her. The manner in which director Pushan Kripalani, who has co-written the screenplay with Arghya Lahiri, navigates through different moments in Sadhana and Anamika’s lives is what makes the film stand out. The film grips you through the finely written conversations between the two, and the beautiful interplay of emotions and dialogues in those moments is what makes you empathise with the characters. Additionally, Tapas Relia’s background
music, which combines classical melodies, blends well and adds to the drama’s impact.
The tension and bickering between the mother and daughter stem from their shared history. The film highlights the complexities that can exist in parent and child and how with time roles and responsibilities are reversed. Eventually, whether Sadhana should be placed in a care home (for senior citizens) becomes the central source of drama, echoing themes seen in some Hollywood films like ‘The Father,’ ‘Away From Her,’ and others.
The film’s setting, mainly confined to Sadhana’s house in London and the close-knit Indian community there, creates an intimate atmosphere that effectively contributes to the storytelling. Anamika’s interactions with those around her, nurse Laxmi (Bharti Patel) and grocery shop owner Ashwin (Rajit Kapur) add further depth to the story. The use of occasional cuts to Anamika’s monologue is used as an interesting tool to add a different dimension to the film’s
narrative. But in some places, it interrupts your emotional connection with the protagonists.
The film’s heart lies in Kalki Koechlin and Deepti Naval’s powerful performances. Amidst the sharp conversations between mother and daughter, there is a tender scene in which Anamika helps Sadhana drape a sari. They do not exchange dialogues, but this moment of connection is profound. Other scenes, such as when she is reading her mother’s diary and seeing photos of herself and others with name tags, are equally moving and memorable. Bharti Patel stands out as Laxmi, but Rajit Kapur is underutilised, and his relationship with Sadhana isn’t fully explored.
‘Goldfish’ offers more than a simple narrative; it lets you delve into the complex realities of its characters. This film beautifully conveys the challenges faced by caregivers and the sacrifices they make for their loved ones, making it a poignant and emotionally charged watch.. -- Times of India
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School Program - Christian Montessori
A loving and respectful Prepared Environment suited to meet the needs of each developmental stage
Montessori Didactic Materials designed to help children:
Develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
Refine visual, tactile, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, thermic, basic, stereognosis, and muscular senses
Acquire habits of concentration and independence. Discover the joy of learning and achievement
Enjoy Daily Activities where individual/group activities and outdoor/indoor experiences will be incorporated. Become true leaders who care for others and have a desire to serve and help them