HGH Recognizes 75 Hindu Youth for Fostering Indian CultureBy Partha Krishnaswamy
Pearland: On 10 September, seventy five Hindu youth were recognized and honored for their strong sense of community, fostering conversations about Indian culture, and inspiring the next generation of leaders with their contributions. HGH Past President Partha Krishnaswamy’s brainchild of awarding 75 Hindu youth this year to commemorate India’s “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” – (75 years of India’s Indepen dence) won instant approval by the HGH team.
After weeks of intense planning, the event came together at the newly renovated auditorium at Sri Meenakshi Temple. The evening, hosted by the tem ple, drew over 500 people and was packed to capacity. Over 44 organizations participated, 75 awardees were selected and included those of Caucasian, African American, Caribbean, Nepali, and Indo American ori gin. The event was attended by representatives from participating organizations, donors, HGH Advisory board members, community leaders and distinguished guests.Following tradition, the event commenced with the lighting of the lamps by the Young Hindus of Greater Houston and Hindu Heritage Youth Camp followed by dignitaries and distinguished guests. A soul stirring musical ensemble by the youth of Houston raised the piety of the evening.
The evening was replete with insights, inspiration, and practical takeaways. HGH and Hindu Temple of The Woodlands Founding member Beth Kulkarni highlighted HGH’s prominent role in “encouraging and mentoring” the youth to take pride in their heri tage, identity, and their involvement in their organiza tions.Renowned
strategist, thinker, and motivational speaker Partho Ghosh offered a transformative way of thinking with his brilliant keynote address. His sev en-point vision to make the world a better place was compelling, informative, and inspiring. He also dwelt on Vedanta philosophy, how its tenets can drive better leaders and the traits of future leaders.
Young speakers Somansh Agarwal and Naisargi Jaiswal of the National President of Hindu Students Association shared pointers on ways to engage with others in promoting Indian culture and traditions and how the youth could take these practices forward in theirInterspersedcolleges.
with the speeches was a scintillating Kathak performance from the Shivangini Academy of Performing Arts followed by a brisk Bharatanatyam Thillana by the Abhinaya School of Performing Arts. Deputy Consulate General of India Sandeep Choud hary congratulated the awardees and spoke briefly of the importance of connectivity of the youth awardees with those in India.
The award presentations were followed by one of the highlights of the evening - a group picture of the 75 Hindu youth holding their awards. The stand-out moment received thunderous applause, and the picture went viral on social media.
Interfaith Ministry of Greater Houston Program Manager Kim Mabry thanked HGH for inviting the Interfaith Ministries to the Hindu Youth Awards cer emony. Highly appreciative, he described the evening as “a beautiful display of the life, art, and culture of the Hindu community of Houston “ and observed that the “entire program presented hope and promise for future generations on the importance of maintaining a Hindu identity in our rapidly changing society.”
The event concluded with a delicious dinner catered by Indian Summers and a surprise 75-item dessert sta tion. The idea of the 75-item dessert station cropped up during a conversation between Meenakshi temple Council Chair Dr. Padmini Ranganathan and HGH Past President Partha Krishnaswamy. The sweets were prepared by BAPS Shayona and Bombay Sweets while Nalini Kannan of Decor One decorated the dessert sta tion in tune with the theme of the evening.
Tanveer Kazi, an attendee, reflected that the evening allowed them to “witness the celebration of the youth, diversity, art, and the cuisine of India’s rich culture.Kim Mabry, Program Manager, Interfaith Engagement; K.P.George - Fort Bend County Judge; Bharat Pallod - Hindu Heritage Youth Camp, Steering Board Member, Sushma Pallod-Texas Hindu Campsite, Board Member, Joseph Emmett, Beth Kulkarni - Founder Member of Hindus of Greater Houston
Award Ceremony Attracts 44 Hindu Organizations, 500 Guests
He also appreciated the keynote speaker’s message about the appli cation of rationale and objectivity in today’s era of misinformation.
Anjali Agarwal , an awardee “ As a youth, I am extremely grate ful to be honored as a Hindu Youth Awardee in the community. It is a blessing to see all future leaders from all Hindu temples and or ganizations being recognized as one”.The meticulous planning, dedi cation and flawless execution made the evening a super success. Not only was it a fitting way to celebrate India’s 75th year of inde pendence but it also aligned with HGH’s motto of bringing Hindus together. It was clearly a memora ble one for the 75 youth who were energized about contributing their time and talent to keeping India’s traditions alive.
“Harmony of Languages”: A Soul-Stirring Concert by TM Krishna & Party
houston: This was a note on our calendars; the Houston au dience had eagerly awaited this event. After a long period of vir tual concerts, this was the first live concert under the auspices of Classical Arts Society of Houston, and it commenced the 2022 fall season. In the spirit of Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, CAS together with Samskriti, presented to a packed auditorium: leading Car natic Vocalist, Sri T.M. Krishna; Akkarai Subbalakshmi on the Violin; and Praveen Sparsh on the Mridangam. It was a thematic concert, titled “Harmony of Our Languages,” intending to show case Unity and the oneness in mu sic from the diverse languages of theAndsubcontinent.whatan evening it was! One just had to be there to ex perience it! Words cannot fully express the impact of this memo rable concert and this article is a humble attempt to share some thoughts of the event. T.M.K. has long stepped away from the traditional format of a concert –and his rasikas have come to ex pect the unexpected. His previous Houston concert in 2018 opened with O Rangasayee, catapulting
us to Vaikuntam from the get-go. By contrast, in this concert, he put the audience in an immense calm as he commenced – in Shankarab haranam – The Preamble to the In dian Constitution, in Sanskrit. This evoked deep feelings of gratitude for the Blessing of at once to be a part of something so ancient and relatively recent. Juxtaposed emo tions were felt at several points during the concert. Following the unique opening, he segued into the grand Dikshitar’s Sanskrit compo sition Dakshinamurte, putting us in a prayerful mood as we bowed to the Arch Preceptor, an embodi ment of ultimate knowledge and wisdom.Oneof the main pieces presented was apt for the concert’s theme as it was the priceless gem from Nan danar Charithram by Gopalakrish na Bharathi Vazhi Maraithirukkud hae, which brings to light social inequalities. This was presented in the very magnificent Thodi, a departure from the familiar Nat takurinji.Following this, in Alapana and Thanam, TMK presented an in teresting medley of ragas – Kapi, Shubhapanthuvarali, Mohanam, and Desh. He then launched into
a recently tuned work comprising Emperor Ashoka’s Edicts present ed in the above mentioned ragas, each set to a different tala for the appropriate meter.
Sticking to the theme, he ex plored several more pieces in Bengali, Marathi, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu. One of the au dience favorites being Sudhandhi ram Vendum in Maand ragam by Perumal Murugan.
Krishn Kannayya in Urdu by poet Hafeez Jaalandhari was ren dered with great sensitivity. TM Krishna revealed that the same poet wrote Pakistan’s national an them – music and poetry knows no boundaries!Thestirring conclusion – Sri Rabindranath Tagore’s rarelyheard verses of Jana Gana Mana – evoked tender emotions in the audience, highlighting the unity in diversity as we bow to Mother India. The poet’s magical lyrics overlaced with Sri TM Krishna’s mesmerizing music brought the audience to their feet with thunder ous
Theapplause.concert not only illustrated as promised, the harmony of languag es – 9 presented in total including the ancient Magadhi Prakrit, but
also music - intertwining Carnatic and Hindustani music, lyrics –from various composers, includ ing the great Emperor Ashoka’s Edicts and many more diversities in the Indian subcontinent!
The artists excelled in their combined and solo performances throughout the concert – the voice modulations of the vocalist build ing the sangathis to the higher octave with a strong, sonorous presence in thara sthayi, impact ful phrases and powerful and at times poignant sangathis made the evening magical! Smt Akkarai Subbulakshmi embraced the vo cal rendition gracefully and shone brilliantly during her solo ala panas and swaras! The young Sri Praveen Sparsh played like a mas ter on the mridangam with gentle strokes alternating with crisp and resplendent percussion that ebbed
with the modulations and moods of the concert!
The understanding & chemistry of the Team was palpable!
At the start of the program CAS President Nalini Sadagopan warmly welcomed an audience of music lovers, from both Texas and Louisiana. Nalini gave her thanks to: former President, Mrs. Prabha Bala for her continued help and guidance; the Board for enthusias tically restarting the 2022 live con cert series; and the technical team at The Match, for superb sound quality.Thisremarkable three-hour con cert by T.M.K. and team will be remembered for many years to come. It was powerful and prayer ful; Unique and unifying; earthly and ethereal. -- Sudha Mani, Ab hishek Balakrishnan and Lakshmi SrivathsLEFT: Keynote speaker Partha S Ghosh presenting his new book, “India towards 100: A call for Reset? Need a missionary Zeal!” to Thara Narasimhan, President, Hindus of Greater Houston. RIGHT: Partha Krishnaswamy- Event Chair.
IAA Hosts Original Lucknow Gharana Concert with Dr. Pooja Goswami Pavan
houston: Indo-American As sociation, Houston (IAA) did it again. This time it was with Dr. Pooja Goswami Pavan of Min neapolis, MN, who is a professor, scholar and performer in vocal Hindustani Classical Music.
On Saturday, September 10, 2022, IAA yet again mesmerized the audience with presentation of SABRANG by Dr. Pooja Gos wami Pavan and her stellar team of musicians that included Pankaj Mishra (Sarangi), Gourisankar Karmarkar (Tabla), Kedar Naph ade (Harmonium) and student vol unteer Krisha on Tanpoora.
It was all in keeping with IAA’s tradition of promoting quality per
forming arts of Indian Subconti nent established over its 29 years history. SABRANG Concert was a unique combination of different style of Gayaki of Hindustani vo cal music from the 1800s in India.
The enthusiasm and excitement for the guest musician was palpable and had been building up in Hous ton before the concert with the re lease of artist’s video interview by this author theingvolunteermembertheeveningandcom/watch?v=WFWoF71bRN(https://www.youtube.M),onothersocialmedia.ThestartedwithwelcomeofguestsandpatronsbyBoardRadhikaDay,andstudentTriparnaDasintroductheguestartists.NosoonerthanDr.Poojatookstageandbegansingingher
first Bandish Ki Thumri of the evening “Mohan Rasiya Aaye Bagiya Mein”, which reflected the centuries-long Hindu-Muslim am ity in India, the audience were in complete awe with the quality of her voice, control of notes and the range, which continued through out the concert.
As the concert progressed, Dr. Pooja, like a music scholar that she is, intermittently described the his toric evolution of different styles (Gayaki), i.e. Thumri, Dadra, Ghazal and Sufiana of Lucknow Gharana developed in the Royal courts of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, the last of the Mughal Kings in the North Indian State of Awadh (Oudh) in 1800s before he was punitively extradited to Bengal by
the British. This gave the concert color of a Lecture-Demonstration to keep the audience engaged.
Having been the disciple of Ghazal queen Shanti Hiranand, herself the senior disciple of leg endary Mallika-e-Ghazal Begum Akhtar, Dr. Pooja’s singing rec reated the ambience of the times that was more than apparent in her rendition of the Ghazal “Wo Jo Hum Mein Tum Mein Qarar Tha, Thumhe Yaad Ho Ki Na Yaad Ho” sung by Begum Akhtar.
Whether it was Thumri, Dadra, Ghazal or Sufiana Kalam like “Maula Maula Lakh Pukaare” singer’s consistency was impres sive and noticeable to the audi ence, who enjoyed the musical atmosphere of the evening as the
performance lived up to the titleSUBRANG.Bytheend of the concert, Hous ton audience were left wanting more from Dr. Pooja’s music only to be disappointed because all good things must come to an end because of time limitation. The concert concluded with audience expressing their genuine gratitude and appreciation for Dr. Pooja and entire team of accompanying mu sicians.Forinformation on upcoming exciting new IAA programs visit www.IAAHouston.org
Dr. Chandra Mittal is Co-Found er of Indo-American Association, Houston (IAA) and Director of Community Relations.DRCKMITTAL@YAHOO.COME-Mail: By Chandra mittal
Pearland: Sewa international’s charity golf event to commemorate 9/11 had a successful second year at the Clear Creek Golf Course in Pearland. Texas State Representative, Ed Thompson, District 29, teed off the inaugural shot with the Sewa Golf ball after a moment of silence in memory of the brave victims of 9/11. Mayor Of Pearland, Kevin Cole, came out to support the event and give away the awards.
The tournament was held in a four-person scramble format, and fifty-six players from across the Houston, Richmond, and Austin areas participated and competed fiercely for the awards. Among those vying for top places were members of an all-women team and a team comprising of LA Lakers guard DJ Au gustin and Assistant Coach of Houston Rock ets, Rick Higgins
Arun Kankani, President of Sewa Interna
tional, welcomed all golfers and guests. Talking about Sewa International and its service projects, he said “Sewa’s yel low shirts perhaps became well-known during Hurricane Harvey response ef forts. Sewa became the platform for all kindhearted people in the entire Indian community who wanted to serve our communities and neighborhoods in that hour of need. I encourage all of you to know more about Sewa and see if it can become part of your life. Please come forward and help us by contributing your time, talent, or treasure to serve our communities together. Sewa is the man ifestation of the universal message of Universal Oneness, serving all without any discrimination. As our tagline goes ‘Together We Serve Better’.”Pearland Mayor Kevin Cole with winners of the Sewa charity golf tournament.
A Happy Beginning for Chinmaya Mission of Houston’s Bala ViharBy shalini Konde
houston: Arriving at Houston’s Chinmaya Prabha facility on the pleasant morning of September 11th, 2022, brought with it the joy and warmth of meeting friends and families after a long time.
While Bala Vihar had continued uninterrupted over the past three years via online classes, one could feel the buzz of renewed energy and excitement of children as they gathered in Sarasvati Nilayam. About 600 children and 400 fami lies attended on the first day.
One cannot deny the importance of Satsang, a coming together of spiritual seekers that gather in a sanctified environment. Spiritual seekers are uplifted with divine as pirations and purifying vibrations.
There are two sessions conduct ed for families at the Chinmaya Prabha facility every Sunday. The morning session starts promptly at 8:35 am and the second at 11:15 am. Satsang commences with Bhajans in Smrti Hall, and Saras vati Nilayam followed by Vedic Arati, Gurudev Arati and Chin maya Pledge. On the first the day, BalaVihar children were taken by their Grade teachers for darshan at auspicious Saumyakasi Sivalaya temple before commencing their lessons.Pujya Acharya gave a beautiful and inspiring introductory Pra vachan on Adi Shankaracharya’s
Bhaja Govindam. It began with a little story with a message on ‘stan dard of life’ vs ‘standard of living’. Unless our standard of life matches the standard of living, we will face discord.Acouple
Srikant and Swati, blessed with good jobs and healthy children, often complained about tiredness, lack of sleep, arguments about chores and stress at work. They decided to leave their chil dren with friends and take a short vacation. They booked themselves into an Oceanview room in a luxu rious beach resort. The phones were put away and they made a pact to
steer clear of arguments. The mini vacation started off well and both avoided arguments and tried to re lax. Srikant chose to go for an ear ly morning walk on the beach and enjoy the invigorating fresh sea air. As he walked, he spied a huge log being tossed up and down by the waves. As he continued to watch, a big wave dashed the log onto the shore. The log now lay still. Sri kant began to think – this is how my life has been – I have been tossed up and down with every sit uation in my life. As he continued to reflect, he perceived three boys walking towards the water lugging
their surfboards. Each tried to catch and ride the waves as they appeared, falling often and trying again. The oldest boy appeared to be the most experienced surfer, displayed the ability to maneuver
the waves with more skill.
Pujya Acharya, Sri Gau rang Nanavaty, said that circumstances in life will never stop like the waves. This is the reason why, with Pujya Gurudev’ s blessings, we meet every Sunday and pray together for strength to navigate the ups and downs in life and be happy. Just as a bee is not satisfied with the beauty and fragrance of flowers but gathers honey, the very essence of flowers, we would reap the benefit of raising the standard of life by understanding the es sence of Bhaja Govindam. For more information about Chinmaya Mission Houston, Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya and its activities please visit www.chinmaya houston.org, www.saumyakasi. org or call temple 281 568 1690 or Jay Deshmukh 832 541 0059 or Bharati Sutaria 281-933-0233.-- Photo Jayesh Mistry
Mama Turns 94 with Many Admirers Around Her
Katy: When she turned 78 in 2006, it was a total surprise to her when she entered Gourmet India restaurant where 70 people shout ed “Happy Birthday, Mama”! Stunned and overcome with emotion, she was also delighted to have the affection of so many around her.
And it has been a birthday event that her sons Jayant and Jawahar have made sure to celebrate every year since, much to the delight of so many of her admirers who look forward to it.
Even when she recovered from a brief illness in 2019, the birth day party (no longer a surprise) brought in 90 people who sought herDuringblessings.the COVID pandemic year of 2020, like many other events, her birthday party went virtual on Zoom to a smaller gath ering of family and friends.
After skipping it last year, the party was on again this year on September 11, and though Mama didn’t realize why she had been brought to the venue, she sat through as decorations and table center pieces were set up and then she slowly realized what was go ingMama’son!! 94th birthday party was held at the luxurious and spacious Palm Royal Villa on FM 1463 in Katy on Sunday, September 11.
Shakuntla Malhotra – affectionately known as mama – celebrated her 94th birthday on September 11, with her many admirers. She cut her cake with son Jawahar, grandson Stefan and great-grand daughter Camille at the Palm Royal Villa in Katy. Photo credit: Navin Mediwala
She was speechless as over 130 people showered her with attention and affection, seeking her blessings and a hug. A person who loves be
ing around people, she has become “mama” to them all. After they ser enaded her with the birthday song, mama told them in Hindi that “I am
here because of you, … we seek and need each other”. She even sang a couplet of Punjabi tapas (folk songs) to everyone’s amuse
ment. She was presented with a Certificate of Congressional Rec ognition from Congressman Al Green whose representative Sam Merchant delivered it in person.
When Shakuntla Malhotra left her home in New Delhi in 2004, she came to live in America with her two sons. Her husband Jagdish Chander Malhotra of 57 years, a career foreign service diplomat had just passed unexpectedly and she left her life in India behind to start anew in Chicago and Houston. She finally settled into the warmer weather in the Bayou City.
In the 18 years she has been here, she has endeared herself to others by attending many commu nity functions – even now in her wheelchair; sharing her life story of surviving the Indian Partition and writing 360 Punjabi vegetar ian recipes in the pages of Indo American News. She has become so instantly recognizable from her picture in the newspaper that many people ask to be photographed with her.
In these 18 years, mama has be come so endeared to the Indian, Nepali and Pakistani communi ties here that she is immediately surrounded by them wherever she goes. And with a smile and folded hands, she too declares her affec tion for them.CMH Bala Vihar teachers 2022
R. Cherivirala: Forbes Top Financial Security Professional
houston: Ramesh Cherivirala from the Houston office of New York Life has been listed on the 2022 Forbes Top Financial Secu rity Professionals Best-in-State list. The individuals named to this list of distinguished professionals were chosen based on many crite ria considered by an independent research firm.
A New York Life agent for 20 years, Dr. Cherivirala received this recognition for helping his clients in a world in which wealth preser vation and protection matter more than“Weever.are honored that Ramesh appears on this prestigious list,” said Mychael Nguyen, managing partner of the Houston General Office. “New York Life has known
for quite sometime what a valu able asset Ramesh has been to our family and to many families and businesses in our community.”
Ramesh is a Financial Advisor, offers advisory services through
Eagle Strategies, LLC, a regis tered investment advisor. He is a member of Nautilus Group, The Nautilus Group® is a service of New York Life Insurance Com pany providing dedicated support to approximately 230 qualifying member agents, the company’s top producers who work primarily in the advanced and high net worth markets. He received a Ph. D de gree from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India and LUTC®, and FSCP® designations from American College. He is a resi dent of Texas for over 3 decades and currently lives in Sugar Land for the past 20 years, married to Anuradha and has two children Sushain and Spoorthi.
Archana Bharadwaj: Exchange Club Young Citizen Award
sugar land: First Colony Mid dle School student, Archana Bhar adwaj, has been honored as the Young Citizen of the Month by the Exchange Club of Sugarland. The award recognizes her commitment to community service, leadership and academic achievement. A high achiever both academically and in the Indian Cultural space, Archana is also an elegant Bharatnatyam dancer. Few of her recent accom plishments include participating in upcoming KARNA production at University of Houston, in Na madwaar’s PURANAVA Indian Culture Fest and in SEWA USA dancing stars and in ANTARAM in 2017, an international produc tion by Mrs. Suhasini Maniratnam through the Anjali Center for Per forming Arts in Sugarland.
Archana submitted her nomi nation for Presidential Volunteer Service Award for her volunteer ing with EKAM Foundation USA
Houston Chapter. She recently won 2nd place in RIICAS Hous ton’s KIDS FOCUS Math & Es say Writing contests. Few of her other proud moments include 3rd place winner in T-Shirt design contest hosted by JKYog World wide Ramayana Utsav, being a state qualifier in TMSCA Science and Contest Math, 1st place win ner in 2018 Earth Day VT Seva
Science Fair, and getting an Hon orable Mention at the DISTCO (Digital Storytelling Contest) at University of Houston for her Journey of a Plastic Bag Video presentation. She is also a member of the National Junior Honor Soci ety and has played for FCMS girls Basketball. Archana also success fully pursued a summer internship at STEM-E.Sathyam Bharadwaj (Dad), Varshini Subramanian (Mom), Archana, Liz Tanaka (FCMS Counselor), Juli Fournier (Exchange Club)
JVB Preksha Center Hosts Niyojikaji’s Welcome & Maitri Diwas ProgramBy seema Jain
houston: JVB Preksha Medita tion Center hosted its first commu nity event, Niyojikaji’s Welcome program & Maitri Diwas under the auspicious guidance of Samani Malay Pragyaji & Samani Neeti Pragyaji (Disciples of Acharya Shri Mahashraman) on Sunday, Sept 11th 2022 with a grand cel ebration. Niyojikaji Samani Dr. Amal Pragyaji & Samani Jigyasa Pragyaji were visiting Houston center as a part of their month-long tour of US to grace this auspicious occasion.Thejoint ceremony was well at tended by 100+ Community mem bers comprising JVB Patrons & 40+ eminent leaders of Indo-American organizations to welcome visiting Samanijis and capture the spirit of Maitri Diwas which is a culmina tion of Paryushan & Das Lakshan Parv. It is also celebrated with the idea that friendship between people, countries and cultures can inspire peace and build bridges be tween the communities.
The first half of the program was dedicated to Welcoming Ni yojika ji and was led by Samani Neeti Pragyaji. She welcomed the visiting Samanijis with a colorful Cultural program which included Welcome Bhajan by JVB Arham Bhajan Mandali, Welcome ance & geet by JVB Gyanshala graduates, Ruchika Bengani, Suvi & Rashu
Jain and a short play enacted by JVB Gyanshala parents. The theme of the play was to highlight the achievements, accomplish ments & charismatic persona of Niyojikaji. Samani Malay Pragya ji further explained how Niyojikaji has balanced the 7 Chakras of the body to reflect a positive aura in her day-to-day life.
The second half of the program was dedicated to Welcoming the Community leaders and celebrat ing Maitri divas which has been a tradition in JVB since 2009.
JVB’s chairman Shri Swatantraji Jain welcomed the guests, em phasized the importance of Maitri Divas and introduced them to the Samani Ji’s. It was followed by a
melodious Welcome Song. The emcees of the program, Nikhil Jain & Seema Jain kept the audi ence engaged by displaying JVB history through various event slides. The highlight of this hour was a special lecture & presenta tion by Niyojikaji on Forgiveness called “Forgive the Unforgiv able.” This lecture was based on
her doctoral thesis on the subject. She emphasized that Forgiveness is a part of our true nature and when we genuinely forgive people, we start the process of cleansing our soul. When practiced frequently, it leads to releasing deep seated resentment and anger while grow ing the spirit of friendliness in us towards all living beings. She dis cussed a couple of models explain ing how it manifests in our dayto-day life and what we must do to increase the art of forgiveness. She conducted a brief workshop on “Anupreksha (Contemplation)” to demonstrate the process. As a part of the Q& A session she explained the difference between Forgetting and Forgiving and also between Forgiving and Justice emphasizing that in forgiving people we should not lose sight of the fact that justice must be served for their wrongful acts.To commemorate the victims of Sept. 11th, Jain Logassa Stotra was recited by Samanijis. JVB Presi dent, Amit Sacheti gave the vote of Thanks and the program ended with the Mangal Path followed by sumptuous lunch. Below are few testimonials from the event attend ees which speak a thousand words in“Veryitself: thoughtful presen tation, enjoyed and learned how to let go” - Nisha Mira ni, ex-President ICC Houston
Those three terrible days in 1984 when Delhi burnt after the assas sination of Indira Gandhi, have been re-created in Hindi cinema several times. ‘Jogi’ revisits those dark days, bringing them to our at tention again.
Jogi (Diljit Dosanjh) and his elderly father are flung off a bus, after being heckled angrily by the other passengers. They re turn, puzzled, to their home in Trilokpuri, even as a thick pall of gloom descends rapidly upon the Capital. Soon enough they learn why they are being targeted, and from then on, Jogi finds himself in a position he never asked for: as the stumbling saviour of scores
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Tejwani), ends in an untimely death. Those cracks were never pa pered over, and the enmity is now in the open, baying for blood. It is not that we can ever forget those days, whose consequences we are still living with. But there does need to be a greater aware ness and sensitivity when film makers touch upon the still-warm embers of those memories. In the way ‘Jogi’ uses Bollywoodian melodrama as its chief operating instrument, it serves only to un dercut the tragedy, making it less than it was. -- IE
Cast: Diljit Dosanjh, Mohd Zee shan Ayyub, Hiten Tejwani, Ku mud Mishra, Amyra Dastur Director: Ali Abbas Zafar Rating: 1.5 stars
‘Middle Class Love’: Student of Year with Desi Touch
Mussoorie-based middle-class boy Yudi (Prit Kamani) wants the world on a platter: fancy school, smart togs, an out-of-his-leaguegal as his girlfriend. Above all, he wants to be cool. Unlike his family, where everyone counts their pennies – mum (Sapna Sand) makes tiffin to order, older brother (Sanjay Bishnoi) gives tuitions, and daddy-o (Manoj Pahwa) gets off from a rickshaw much ahead of his destination, while lecturing sonny boy on the virtues of sav ing.The very exclusive Oakwood High is Yudi’s destination, where he sets his eyes on It Girl Saisha (Kavya Thapar), who floats about in expensive cars, and co-ordinated sets. The third angle of this trian gle is the stand-offish Aish (Eisha Singh) who starts to thaw when Yudi trains a calculated charm of fensive on her. Meanwhile, like in most Bollywood movies set in these kinds of ‘schools’, no study ing is done, and no assignments are worked at, because the setting is just an excuse for good-looking teenagers to learn life lessons, when they are not doing Zumba.
The newcomers bring in wel come freshness. Kamani reigns in cutesiness to stay real, and uses his cheesy dialogues well; and Thapar and Singh do their job. But, as al
ways, it is the veterans (Pahwa, Sand) who hold things together, beaming through The Big Speech where hard-working dads and
mums are declared the real super heroes.--Shubhra Gupta, IE