Colorful Crowded, Boisterous, the Way an I-Day Festival Should Be!!By Jawahar Malhotra
Stafford, tX: After a much subdued Republic Day program held last January in the cavernous GSH Center, the India Culture Center was once again back to its roots at the Stafford Civic Centre - where it has held its flagship events for at least the past dozen years - with the latest Indian Independence Day program, IFest 2023 on Sunday, August 20.
It was a case of back to the future with the ICC going back to a festival setup that has worked for its previous three events. The main event space had a thick crowd of spectators flowing through the tightly packed room, meandering through the 50 vendor booths on the fringes and settling in on the rows of seats for the stage shows that lasted a full 6 hours. IFest started at 1 pm, but by 3pm there was already standing room only even as friends and acquaintances ran into each other and exchanged pleasantries.
Free parking and free entry drew in the crowd to see multiple stage shows, featuring local performers, young and old, dancing, singing and acting (in a “Founders and Makers of India” skit produced by the versatile actor and thespian Bud Patel).
They had a chance to hear speeches and proclamations by local elected officials like Congressman Al Green; Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee; Ft Bend County Judge K.P. George; Ft Bend County Commissioner Andy Meyers; State Rep Ron Reynolds; Stafford Mayor Ken Mathew and Stafford Councilwoman Alice Chen, as well as candidates vying for political office like Ali Sheikhani, Mike Khan, Taral Patel and Pervez Agwan.
Attending the event was the new Indian Consul General D. C. Manjunath, who recently joined a month ago, taking over from Aseem Mahajan, who has returned to New Delhi.
But they mostly came to see the Bollywood actor Sonu Sood – brought in by local concert promoter Rajinder Singh - who stayed over from the previous night when he was the guest of honor at the ICC’s 50th Anniversary Gala at the Sugar Land Marriott Towne Center. Sood is a beloved actor known as much for his philanthropic work for the downtrodden in India – and a few cases elsewhere in the world - for which he has garnered much praise and recognition. A short video of his charitable work proceeded his short speech, after which he got busy in handing out certificates and awards.
Among the awards was one for Outstanding Community Service Award to the Indian Muslim Association of Greater Houston presented to organization President Tasnim Vadva. Jugal Malani, a major supporter of the ICC and many other organizations received an award for outstanding service.
The Bhalla Outstanding Student Scholarship (BOSS) $5,000 awards, given out every year at the event since 2021, was handed out for outstanding scholastic performance to Aayushu Gandhi. Naga Veeramallu received a $1,000 award, sponsored by ICC President Malla Mekala. Also Mahika Dawar and Kareena Kamal each were presented with $1,000 awards, sponsored by ICC Chief Trustee Pramod Bengani and Bella Bhavsar, Pallavi Dhairyawan and Deepty Patel, respectively.
A newcomer to the IFest this time were recruiting booths from the Navy, Marines and Army with officers answering questions. Mekala noted that was in recognition of the surge in patriotism among South Asian as they integrate fully into American life.
Among the two dozen stage shows were groups from Sudha Indrani Parthasarthy; Bihu Assamese Dance Pratibha Joshi; Rashmi Shashi Studio; Kathak Nritya Kala Kendra; Storyteller School of Dance – Ekta Popat; Dr. Sunanda Nair Pushpanjali; Natya Upasana Dance Academy; Dhadak School of performing Arts; Desi Beats- Manju Dubey; Dhadak School of performing Arts; Khushboo School of Dance; Nrityakalpna; Infused Dance of Perf Arts; Rathna Kumar; Lakshmi Haridas; Chin-
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tan Parikh- Garba; Guru Rachna Vyas and Kathak Nritya Kala Kendra.
ICC previous President Jasmeeta Singh, a veteran of many community staged events and fashion shows, once again chaired this well received IFest with her band of volunteers Azmina, Naeem, Archana Nigam, Raghvendra Sengar, Aarv, Danish Sanwarwala, Sidh and Sarah Ali.
ICC thanks its sponsors: Diamond: Infodat Inc.; Platinum: Raj Veepuri and Sumit Arigapudi and Gold: Ravi Varre; Ayub Karovalia; Bobby Singh and Jasmeeta Singh; Raj Chappidi; Vikram Sudireddy; Tasnim Vadva; Ali Sheikhani and Anita Reed- owner and founder of Realm Real Estate Professionals.
Tee Zee Productions’ “Forget Me Not”
houSton: On Tee Zee Productions is thrilled to be presenting the world premiere of the highly anticipated play, Forget Me Not, written and directed by the talented local playwright Tazeen Zahida. This heartwarming and thought-provoking production sheds light on the emotional journey of Adeeba, a woman whose life takes an unexpected turn when she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Adeeba’s entire family must come together to help this selfmade woman, beloved mother, and grandmother, whose whole life has been meticulously ironed out, deal with a future of complete uncertainty.
Forget Me Not is written and directed by Tazeen Zahida and assisted by Danish Farooqui.
The cast features Afshan Jeelani as Adeeba with Maryam Aasif, Roshan Mathews, Camille Ashraf, Khurram Hamid, Jonny Bynum, John Wayne Tingley, and Rahul Shah helping bring this story to life.
Sound and lighting is designed by Edgar Guajardo and the show is stage-managed by Sarah Flores.
Forget Me Not is performed in 90 minutes with no intermission.
Friday, September 29, 2023, at 8:30 PM; Saturday, September 30, 2023 at 8:30 PM; Sunday, October 1, 2023, at 1:30 PM
All performances will be held in Matchbox 2 at the MATCHMidtown Arts & Theater Center Houston, located at 3400 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002
Texas Hindu Campsite Begins Phase 1 Construction
ColuMBuS, tX: The first Hindu camp site in the U.S., established in Columbus, Texas, is embarking on the first phase of construction.
The goal is to raise $4.5 million to complete the campsite to accommodate up to 200 campers and counselors including cabins, kitchen and dining hall, auditorium with classrooms, swimming pool, basketball court, expanded lake, and other gaming facilities.
A few donors have contributed $1 million to buy the 37 acres of land to build the campsite to hold Hindu Heritage youth (HHYC) camps. The HHYC camps have been very popular and it is becoming increasingly hard to find campsites. This campsite will allow to hold multiple HHYC camps to meet increasing demand of Hindu families. This campsite will be used by any organization to hold camps and Yoga/Meditation retreat.
As the first campground built with the Hindu American in mind, the Texas-Hindu Campsite will serve as a bridge between all of the Hindu communities across Texas that are in need of a uniquely Hindu place of gathering.
A campsite devoted to Hindu usage is a resource the Texas Hindu community has been missing for decades. With the goal to give the Texas Hindu community an asset in the development of future generations, this campground is meant for the betterment of future generations.
This campsite is being built with the future of Hinduism in mind, while paying tribute to the centuries of tradition and values that have come before.
In 1985, Hindu Youth Heritage Camp was a one-day camp attended by a hand-full of community members. Today, HHYC hosts five-day sessions of 200 campers, led by 50-60 volunteer youth counselors. This year HHYC had 240 campers and 60 counselors.
It is solely due to the generosity and dedication of previous donors that the organization has come this far. Now, more donors are needed to bring this dream to life.
The impact on the future generations will be everlasting. Having a hand in the building of this campsite will be an eternal mark of the power of Hindus when they come together.
Rajiv Satyal, a comedian who opened for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public event in Los Angeles will be entertaining the attendees.
Gala Chair is Subhash and Sarojini Gupta. Co-chairs are Maneesh Mehra, Rishi Bhutada, Nikita Malani Shukla and Bharat Pallod. All of them were camp directors . All the major temples, community and Hindu organizations are participating.
Join the fundraising Gala for Texas Hindu Campsite on Octo-
ber 1, 2023 at the Gujarati Samaj of Houston at 5 pm. The evening promises to be memorable with friends and family as we create a place of empowerment for all Hindus.
For information regarding sponsorships, please contact Manisha Gandhi at 832-876-2142; or email at email@example.com
Visit www:texashinducampsite. org
Past camp directors (from left) Bharat Pallod, Abhimanyu Aggarwal, Rishi Bhutada, Namita Pallod, Vevek Shukla, Maulik Shah, Sagar Patel, Ronak Shah
RSCC Wins TCC Taped Ball Professional Spring Tournament
houSton: RSCC won the TCC Taped Ball Professional (Divn II ) Spring 2023 tournament by defending the modest target 115. This final was between RSCC (1st final) and Champions CC II (2nd final). Coming into the finals both the teams had massive victories in their playoff matches. This was a tightly contested final.
The 12th of August was a bright and sunny day, Champions CC II won the toss and elected to field first. Matzke W has been known to be a bowling wicket with big boundaries on the leg side. Champions CC II were off to a dream start as Saad bowled a tight line in the first over which led to the wicket of Naani.
Nagarjun followed in the very next over and RSCC were in a spot of bother at the end of the powerplay with a score of 11 for 2. Nasir and Sai Kiran played positive cricket and led the fightback with an impressive partnership of 36 before Sai Kiran got caught behind to Rehan. Rehan bowled beautifully to trap the other RSCC batsmen by picking up wickets in regular intervals, RSCC could not find momentum due to lack of partnerships.
Nasir held the fort on one end but ultimately Saad prevailed by finding the nick to a straightforward wicket keeper catch. RSCC were struggling at 77 for 9, when Shashivardhan and Chaithanya added 37 valuable runs for the 10th wicket. Shashivardhan did majority of the heavy lifting by scoring 26 and remained not out. This lead RSCC to a defendable score of 114.
For Champions CC II, Rehan and Saad were the pick of the bowlers, they picked 5 and 4 wickets respectively. The other bowlers complimented them by bowling tight lines and not giving away easy runs. Wicket Keeper Khawar had an amazing day at the office by picking 7 catches and a stumping.
Chasing in Matzke W has always been a challenge, Champions CC II had a challenging task in hand. RSCC were off to a great start as Chaithanya dismissed both the openers, at the end of 5 Champions CC II were cautiously at 19 for 2. Brilliant piece of fielding and a direct hit by Nasir dismissed the in-form batsman and the tournament’s highest scorer Khawar Ali.
Disciplined bowling by Raja, Naani and Shashivardhan
kept Champions CC II run rate in check, this led to some rash shots and brilliant catching in the deep by Saketh and Sravan to give RSCC much needed breakthroughs. Excellent infield fielding by Shashivardhan and remarkable glovework by Sai Kiran led to their captain Adnan’s dismissal. Rehan played a patient innings, but RSCC bowlers were right on the mark and did not give any room for Rehan to free his arms. At last Rehan got caught in the deep by Nagarjun. At the end of 20, Champions CC II scored 96 for 9.
For RSCC Chaithanya, Raja and Shashivarshan picked up 2 wickets each. They were complimented well with tight bowling from Karthik and Naani, and brilliant fielding to keep it tight.
RSCC were rewarded their first championship and the celebrations showed how much it meant to all the players.
The game was followed by a well-managed presentation ceremony organized by Jagdish Biradar. Saketh Chikoti, the captain of RSCC was handed over the Championship trophy and the
runners up trophy was handed over to the captain of Champions CC II Adnan Hasan.
Shashivardhan from RSCC was the MVP of the final. Tournament awards were also handed over. Nasir from RSCC was nominated as the MVP of the tournament. Khanwar from Champions CC II was the best batsman with 237 runs.
Sameer from SLL was the best bowler with 15 wickets. Suresha from WSK was the best wicketkeeper with 22 dismissals. Sai Prasad from Woodlands Hurricanes was the best All Rounder with 194 runs and 8 wickets. Special awards for Hat-trick were given to Umeed and Vineet from WSK, Raviteja from Woodlands Hurricanes, Abu from Houston Scorpions and Tanuj from Kastech Kings. 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=1633&clubId=8675 and the youtube link is https:// youtu.be/gbbFl30jvm
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 Week
Last Week’s Solution
Kumud Athavale, Krishna R. Vuddagiri, Sanchali Basu, Yudhveer Singh Bagga, Prabha Barvalia, Taranjit Singh, Mihir Kumar Chakraborty, Ramana Vadrevu, KB Amarnath, Pruthvi Seth, K.S.Balasubramanyam
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.
> Daily Hour: 9:00am-3:00pm Early drop off: 8:00am-9:00am After school: 3:00pm-5:00pm
1. Toddlers: 18 months - 35 months
2. Primary: 3 years
3. Pre- K Class: 4 - 5 years old