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Atlanta’s Premier South Asian Newspaper June 2017


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Atlanta’s Premier South Asian Newspaper June 2017

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Man Targets Women With Hate Comments, Kills 2 On Train

Guests and team members release Sakhi- a help line for women at the recently held IFA Women’s Festival. More on Pg 6. Photo by Vakiti Creations.

Texas Middle-Schooler Wins Geographic Bee A 14-year-old student has won the prestigious $50,000 National Geographic Bee contest here, becoming the sixth consecutive IndianAmerican to win the championship. Pranay Varada, who is Dewitt Perry Middle School’s eighth grader from Texas, won a medal and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expediton to the Galapagos Islands aboard the new National Geographic Endeavor II. Varada beat runner-up Thomas Wright, 14, in the event hosted by journalist and humorist Mo Rocca at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, DC. Varada was also presented a lifetime membership to the National Geographic Society. He also competed in the last year’s finals. He was declared the winner after he won the first tie-breaker question correctly identifying the Kunlun Mountains as the 1,200-mile range that separates the Taklimakan Desert from the Tibetan Plateau. Another Indian American Veda Bhattaram from New Jersey finished third at the finals. Six of the 10 finalists were Indian-Americans. Second and third prize winners received scholarships of $25,000 and $10,000, respectively.

Washington: (IANS) Two men were stabbed to death on a commuter train in the US city of Portland when they tried to stop a man from abusing two women who appeared to be Muslim, police said. The stabbing occurred on a Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) lightrail train , police officials said. One of the victims died at the scene while the other died in hospital, NBC News reported. A third passenger was also stabbed, but suffered non-life threatening injures, said Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson. The suspect’s speech was directed at two young Muslim women, one of whom was reported to have been wearing a

Indian National Detained By ICE Dies At Grady Hospital Atlanta, GA: An Indian national who was in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Atlanta City Detention Center for two days died on May 16 afternoon at Grady hospital. Atulkumar Babubhai Patel, 58, was pronounced dead at 1:20 p.m. The preliminary cause of death has been ruled to be complications from congestive heart failure, according to an ICE press release. Patel arrived at the Atlanta airport May 10 aboard a flight from Quito, Equador. U.S. Customs and Border Protection subsequently denied him entry to the country as Patel did not possess the necessary immigration documents. He was transferred into ICE custody at the Atlanta City Detention Center where he received an initial medical screening and was identified to have high blood pressure and diabetes. On Saturday, two days after he entered ICE custody, a nurse checking Patel’s blood sugar noticed he had shortness of breath and he was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital for additional evaluation and treatment where he later died. Funeral arrangements were taken care of by

Shree Shakti Mandir and local community members, with help from the Consulate General of India in Atlanta. “ICE is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of this incident, as it does in all such cases. Fatalities in ICE custody, statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur at a fraction of the rate of the U.S. detained population as a whole. This agency’s comprehensive review will be conducted by ICE senior leadership to include Enforcement and Removal Operations, the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, said the press release. Federal authorities are also investigating the death of a Panamanian national who was being held in an immigration detention center in Stewart County. Jean Jimenez-Joseph, 27, died after he was found unresponsive — with a sheet around his neck — in his solitary confinement cell at the Stewart Detention Center at 12:45 a.m. AJC reported. He had been isolated for 19 days.

hijab. However one of the girl’s parents later said that they were teenagers, one black and one Muslim, said the report.

The victims. Simpson said the men were attacked after at least a couple of them tried to intervene after the man was “ranting and raving” and using language that could be characterised as hate or bias speech, some of which was anti-Muslim. “In the midst of his ranting and raving some people approached him, appeared to try to intervene with his behaviour and some of the people that he was yelling at,” Simpson said. “They were attacked viciously by the suspect.” The man with the knife was arrested shortly after he got off the train. Witnesses said that the suspect slashed the throats of his victims, reported NBC affiliate KGW. Another witness on the train told the station that the suspect told onlookers that it was a free country and he could say as he pleased. President Donald Trump later condemned the hate crime. “The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable. The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are with them,” Trump on Monday tweeted from the official US President’s account, instead of his personal account, Xinhua news agency reported. The tweet was sent after Trump arrived to give remarks at the Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day. Simpson said investigators are still determining whether there are any mental health issues or drugs or alcohol involved in the incident. The Council on American-Islamic Relations urged President Trump to speak out against increasing Islamophobia in the US. It accused Trump of exacerbating the trend with his statements and policies.


........City News ........

May 2017

Over 1000 Women Attend Festival Held In Their Honor P.O Box 191124 Atlanta GA 31119 Tel: 404-235-4998 Email: Publisher NRIPulse Media Inc.


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Atlanta, GA, May 25, 2017: The Indian Friends of Atlanta organized its second spectacular IFA Women’s Fest 2017 at the spacious Skyland Business Centre in Cumming, GA on Saturday May 20. The Festival was graced by prominent community members including Consul D.V. Singh, Karen Handel (Republican candidate for the 6th congressional district’s June 20 run-off elections), Ron Freeman (Sheriff, Forsyth County), Naheed Syed (CEO, GRMI Inc.), Deborah Lanham (VP, Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce), representatives from various Indian organizations like Telangana American Telugu Association, Gujarati Samaj, Greater Atlanta Telangana Society, Sindhi Sabha, Greater Atlanta Punjabi Society, Greater Atlanta Telugu Association, and more than a thousand women from the Indian American community. The main objective of IFA’s Women’s Fest is to celebrate and recognize the year-round contributions and accomplishments of women in the community, to recognize the prominent women leaders in Atlanta and also afford women an opportunity to meet and greet, to forge new friendships and network with each other. For the attendees, the festival, without any entrance fees, had plenty to entertain and engage, including music, dances, fun games, seminars, speeches, awards, complimentary lunch; raffle and a riveting Fashion Show. The esteemed guests, in their brief remarks thanked and congratulated Indian Friends of Atlanta organizers for inviting them to the impressive festival. Karen Handel exhorted women to empower themselves and to go out and vote. Ron Freeman said the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office was hiring new recruits from the Indian-American community. The seminars elicited valuable suggestions on various topics including Role of women in politics, registering to vote, safety & security tips for women, opportunities in IT, opportunities other than IT, etc. IFA recognized and felicitated Veena Rao, editor of NRI Pulse Newspaper, Kamlesh Chugh, winner of the Mrs

India International pageant in Bangkok, Dr. Veena Rao, professor and co-director of the Cancer Biology Program in the Dept. of OB/ Gyn at Morehouse College and Anjali Chhabria of TVAsia for their outstanding services to the community. IFA has launched a new wing called IFA Sakhi- a help line for women. Its main objective is to help women, not only in times of crisis, but also to advice on choosing a career path, legal guidance, counseling on immigration matters, etc. Deepa Bajpai Sharma coordinated various classical, fusion and folk dances performed by Atlanta’s well known dance academies to regale the attendees throughout the day.

Bollywood chart-busters added to the festive spirit. Priya Sahetia entertained the audience with innovative games. Gifts for the winners of the games were provided by Big Bangle Theory, Blossom Spa & Ruby Parlor. The theme of the event was “Evergreen Bollywood”, the evolution of Bollywood fashion world and its impact on our social culture. It was designed by Lakshmi Thesam and executed by Priya Ratnam & Hetal Mehta, make up supported by Kratika Jain and Monalisa Khandke. The beautiful ladies adorned with traditional and contemporary ethnic clothing and latest fashion accessories, walked on stage with poise, grace and style as the attendees clapped, cheered and clicked their cameras. The young-

Karen Handel with the IFA core team. Photos by Vakiti Creations.

sters in teens fashion show presented by IFA youth volunteers with the support of IFA team & Archana Reddy was one of the highlights of the event. Hamsa Creations helped with costumes. The venue was beautifully decorated by Kathy and her team. Atlanta’s well-known Vakiti Creations provided photography, videography and efficient sound system. Praveen Puram of TV5 and Mana TV and Anjali of TV Asia covered the event. The raffle draw generated lot of excitement and in-

cluded a ticket for Cancun, Mexico Getaway provided generously by Kristen from, diamond rings by Vaibhav Jewelers from India, and gift cards provided by Yes-M Systems. Delicious food was kindly provided by Biryani Pot, Krishna Vilas, Swagat Indian Cuisine, Madras Mantra, Aachi’s and Godavari Express restaurants. The event was spearheaded by IFA Executive Director Lakshmi Thesam and well implemented and supported by all the members of the IFA Executive Team and Board including Sreekanth Uppala, Shyam Mallavarapu, Priya Ratnam, Sunil Savili, Sairam Pamulapati,Anil Bodireddy, Deepa Bajpai Sharma, Arun Darpally, Kishan Tallapally, Srinivas Peddi, Swetha Dhawan, Abay Radhakrishnan, Sanjeev Akula, Kiran Gogineni, Manav Thaker, Hetal Mehta, Suresh Volam and Niranjan Podduturi. The IFA team expressed special thanks to bubbly emcees Srivani Kanchibhotla and Ayshwarya Sridharan. It further thanked Bright Smiles & IGJC and all the other sponsors, participants, the fashion show team and the Skyland Business team. “A big thank you to all the enthusiastic attendees who made it to the event despite the very hot weather and made the festival a memorable one,” said one of the organizers.

May 2017

........Atlanta Pulse ........


Jon Ossoff: We Should Be Building Bridges Between Diverse Communities “I am proud to have the support of people who have not previously been engaged with the political process. People from across the Sixth District, including many Indian-Americans, are joining this campaign to stand up for civil rights, for quality and affordable healthcare, and for good jobs and a strong economy here in Metro Atlanta…”

Jon Ossoff with young supporters at an Asian-American’s for Ossoff Block Party in Johns Creek, GA, to mark Asian-American Heritage Month. Photo by Daniel Schwartz / Jon Ossoff campaign. BY VEENA RAO Atlanta, GA: Jon Ossoff says his campaign is not about him. It’s a grassroots movement led by women in metro Atlanta, where people are coming together to fight for issues that matter most to residents of Georgia’s 6th congressional district. But the movement is much larger than the 30-year-old documentary film-maker and former Congressional aide admits. The June 20 run-off between him and his Republican opponent Karen Handel is in the national spotlight as a referendum on Trump. Flipping a traditionally red district will be a gauge of Trump’s troubles and a victory for the nationwide resistance against his policies. It could also be a sign of what’s to come in the 2018 mid-term elections. In this interview with NRI Pulse, Ossoff talked about his reasons for running, his legislative priorities and his promise to build bridges between the diverse communities that make America great. What are some of the legislative priorities you hope to work on once elected? I’m running for Congress because I believe we all have to stand up, right now, and fight for progress — for our prosperity and health, our civil rights and civil liberties, and our security. I will prioritize high-tech and bio-tech research and innovation that will create quality jobs, grow the economy, and turn metro Atlanta into the Silicon Valley of the South. I will also work to hold Washington accountable by trimming duplicative government programs, saving taxpayers $16 billion immediately, and as much as $600 billion over the next ten years. Apart from the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigrants, there is growing uncertainty about the H-1B visa program, which is very popular among Indian techies. What is your stand on the issue of legal immigration and the H-1B visa in particular? My mother is an immigrant who became a small business owner, an American citizen, and a champion for women’s rights. We should welcome those who, like our own forebears, seek the opportunity

research and innovation that creates quality jobs right here in metro Atlanta, which can be filled by the talented young people who graduate from our universities and tech schools. I will also stand up in Congress for a dynamic, forward-looking, fiscally responsible economic policy that maximizes opportunity for entrepreneurs, workers, and investors, and work to level the playing field for small businesses so they can grow and create jobs that will empower Georgians to strive, save, send our

to work hard, play by the rules, and build better lives in America. I want America, and Atlanta, to be a destination for those who are innovating, creating jobs, and driving our economy forward. There has been a spate of hate crimes targeting Indians (among other minorities). In Kansas earlier this year, a man shot two Indian men at a restaurant, killing one of them. The attacker yelled, “get out of my country” and “terrorist” before firing. In March, a 39-yearold Sikh man in Washington, also heard a similar cry- “go back to your own country”before he was shot in the arm. How do we deal with the climate of hostility in the country? The attacks that you referenced are abhorrent and disturbing. As a representative in Congress, I will fight tirelessly against discrimination, hate speech, or violence against Americans on the basis of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or place of birth. We should be building bridges between the diverse communities that make America great, that’s why I am working hard to reach out to all communities here in Metro Atlanta, and earn the support of all residents of the Sixth Congressional District. Recently, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill that will allow Georgia weapons permit holders over 21 years of age to carry concealed firearms in most parts of the state’s college and university campuses. Is this a bad idea? Why? I grew up with guns in the house and was taught by my father how to use them safely. I believes that the campus carry measure signed into law by Gov. Deal is dangerous and puts our bright young people on college campuses at risk. This campus carry measure was opposed by parents and campus law enforcement officers, but Karen Handel chose to support it, putting her agenda over the safety of Georgia’s students. One of your campaign promises is to grow metro Atlanta’s economy into “the Silicon Valley of the South.” How do you propose to achieve this? I will work to prioritize high-tech and bio-tech

Photo by Dustin Chambers kids to college affordably, and retire comfortably. The cost of today’s college education can be daunting and worrisome for students and their families. How important is it to make college education more affordable so that students can achieve their best potential? I will work to reduce the burden of student debt by working to make college more affordable, and by working to keep interest rates on student loans at a manageable level. Student debt shouldn’t prevent young Americans from saving, investing in their careers, and reaching their potential. A federal judge recently ordered Georgia to temporarily reopen voter registration ahead of the runoff. What is your campaign doing to motivate youngsters to register? We are reaching out to eligible voters across the Sixth Congressional District through a robust grassroots campaign. We just opened a new campaign office in Johns Creek, our campaign’s sixth office in the Sixth Congressional District, and in

all six of our offices you will find local young people actively volunteering, and even interning with our campaign, encouraging their friends and neighbors to make their voices heard in this election. We are going to be knocking on doors every day until June 20th, working to get out the vote, and all supporters are welcome to join us! What does the average voter in the 6th district care about? How do you connect with the average voter? I am focused on the issues that matter most to the residents of the Sixth Congressional District: creating quality jobs in metro Atlanta, growing the economy, trimming government waste, and ensuring access to quality, affordable healthcare. But this campaign is not about me, it’s about a grassroots movement, one that is led by women right here in the metro. In this grassroots movement, people are coming together to fight for the issues that matter most to residents of the Sixth, and I’m just glad that my campaign can be a part of it. From social media groups to grassroots volunteering- IndianAmericans who have never been politically inclined before are among those who are coming out to support your campaign. What do you know about these people and their cultures? I am proud to have the support of people who have not previously been engaged with the political process. People from across the Sixth District, including many Indian-Americans, are joining this campaign to stand up for civil rights, for quality and affordable healthcare, and for good jobs and a strong economy here in Metro Atlanta. Why should the Indian-American community in the 6th district vote for you? I will work to improve the economy and to create good jobs here in metro Atlanta. I will fight for quality, affordable healthcare, and work to make college more affordable. If I am elected, the voices of Indian-Americans, and all Americans, will ring out in the halls of Congress. I was born and raised in Georgia and grew up here in the Sixth District. Today, I lead a company that investigates corrupt politicians and organized crime, and I previously spent five years as a Congressional aide, learning how to get things done in Washington. I’ve learned how to expose and fight the abuse of power, and I will use my experience and all of my energy to fight for Georgia.


........Atlanta Pulse ........

May 2017

Atlanta Mayoral Candidate John Eaves Promises To Be As Inclusive As Humanly Possible BY NISHA KASHYAP With the election for Mayor of Atlanta set for November 4, 2017 and fast approaching, it is the civic duty and right of Atlantans to be aware of the nine candidates vying in the race to replace current Mayor Kasim Reed. The candidates - including both current and former city officials, a state senator, and the sitting Commission Chairman of Fulton County - offer a variety of stances on key topics of debate such as education, police recruitment, and jobs. NRI Pulse recently sat down with Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves to discuss his political platform and how it pertains to the needs of and issues facing Indians in Atlanta and the greater metro area. Dr. John Eaves was elected to his third fouryear term as Commission Chairman of Fulton County in November of 2014. He has led the state’s most populous and diverse county since 2007; Fulton County is home to nearly one million residents and 15 municipalities/cities, including Atlanta. During his leadership, Fulton County has been identified by the National Association of Counties as a 2017 NACO Achievement Award Winner under the category Civic Education and Public Information for its transparency in keeping the public informed about the county government and its operations. In addition, Fulton County has seen the development of two youth initiatives: the START Program, aimed at encouraging scholastic achievement and increasing high school graduation, and the the Fulton County Youth Commission/Global Youth Leadership, aimed at exposing youth to politics and “non-local approaches to meeting universal challenges”. Dr. Eaves is a “firm believer in fiduciary responsibility, accountability, and efficient operations”; thus during his tenure, Fulton County has been able to maintain $47,792,000 in reserves and has not seen an increase in General Fund taxes. In addition to his duties as Commission Chair, Dr. Eaves provides leadership training and executive coaching at TalentQuest as an Executive Consultant, is a published author, and professional speaker. Dr. Eaves also has a strong background in education with a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from Morehouse College, a Masters in Religion from Yale University, and a Doctorate in Education and Administration from the University of South Carolina. He is also the recipient of two Fulbright Scholarships and the former Southeast Regional Director of the Peace Corps. In regards to political platform, Dr. Eaves has a four-point plan for the city of Atlanta. First and foremost, he wants to unite the city as “One Atlanta: a city that truly embraces the tremendous diversity that we have here, including the Indian-American Community”. Moreover, he wants to make Atlanta a safe and vibrant city by embracing diversity among racial, economic, and cultural lines. He firmly believes “that all people deserve to feel safe in our city whether you work here or you live here”. Therefore, he is committed to utilizing technology and has plans for an inte-

grated camera surveillance system in which Atlanta will have cameras placed strategically around the city in addition to businesses and neighborhoods being given the opportunity to purchase surveillance systems that can be integrated into the city’s overall camera system, because he believes that “a very visible, vibrant camera/surveillance system is a deterrent of crime”. Additionally, he plans to make sure that the Atlanta Police Department is adequately staffed and as robust as possible. Furthermore, he plans to make Atlanta a city with heightened mobility that enables people the mobility to travel freely. He considers Atlanta to be a “city that is choking of the Atlanta Beltline - as Mayor. Fourthly, Dr. Eaves is committed to developing a robust public education system. Dr. Eaves had nothing but praise for the Indian-American community in Atlanta and reiterated promises of inclusivity. When asked what he believes is the most important issue facing the Indian community he responded: “To me, one of them is inclusiveness. The Indian-American community, although relatively small in numbers, currently is wonderful in terms of impact: in terms of the high number of Indian-Americans who are physicians, owners of hotels, or who are very prominent in the IT industry, the healthcare industry - serving as doctors; So you have this tremendous representation in IT, in healthcare, in hospitality- representation that is over and beyond the actual numbers of people who live here, who are taxpayers, contribuCommissioner Eaves with former CNN anchor and wonderful tors of the tax base, as property Tripath Media head Patti Tripathi(left) and his chief owners and as people who are involved in commerce in our of staff Nazeera Dawood. Photo by Patti Tripathi. city. And so I want to make sure as a result of our success, where we have two that all Atlantans, but especially the Indian-Amerimillion cars that come through our city, our highcan community, feel more welcome in terms of way network every day, and the infrastructure being represented in City Hall, appreciated, and system to facilitate the mobility of people is not recognized for the strength and the assets that as strong”. Thus, he is committed to building a they bring to the city. I’ve had quite a bit of interregional transit system where MARTA will expand beyond the boundaries of Atlanta to the five action with the Indian-American community over surrounding counties in order to help facilitate the past several years, and especially recently, mobility. Additionally, Dr. Eaves was intricately with business owners, in the IT arena, as well as involved with getting the citizens of Atlanta to physicians, and it’s just a vibrant community. And vote in favor of the addition of SPLOST (Special- they’ve all told me that “Mr. Chairman, we like Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax), which will gen- you and we believe in you. We just want to be erate a billion dollars in revenue over the next five included more,” and so I’ve pledged to those who years towards infrastructure rehabilitation. He I’ve met with as well as to your reading audience plans to oversee the execution of projects funded that I’m going to be as inclusive as humanly posby SPLOST - such as repairing roads and bridges, sible” In an attempt to promote inclusivity, Dr. synchronizing traffic lights, and building out parts

“I want to make sure that all Atlantans, but especially the IndianAmerican community, feel more welcome in terms of being represented in City Hall and recognized for the strength and the assets that they bring to the city. I’ve had quite a bit of interaction with the Indian-American community over the past several years, and especially recently, with business owners, in the IT arena, as well as physicians, and it’s just a vibrant community. ...I pledge to your reading audience that I’m going to be as inclusive as humanly possible” Eaves established the Interfaith Council a year ago and provided an opportunity for people of different faiths to give a prayer at public meetings, marking the first time that a local government has ever provided an opportunity for non-Christians to pray at local meetings. He is devoted to bringing the same level of respect and inclusivity as Mayor of Atlanta. Furthermore, Dr. Eaves personally resonates with the Indian community’s struggles with immigration and claims to have a “kindred spirit” with Indian-Americans due to his grandfather’s immigration to the United States in 1913 from Jamaica. He believes that Indian-American business owners should have the opportunity to compete for business with the city of Atlanta. His current Chief of Staff Nazeera Dawood is testament to his understanding of the need for diversity in local government and has the following to say: “Chairman John Eaves is a collaborative leader and believes in bringing diversity to the initiatives he champions He has a good track record of accomplishments working with communities across the board”. Dr. Eaves invites a partnership with the Indian community and welcomes inputs and engagement with his campaign to be the next Mayor of Atlanta.

........NRI News ........

“Laptop Ban Could Apply To All Flights To The US” Washington: (IANS) The Donald Trump administration is considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all international flights to and from the US, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has said. Kelly, a retired general, was asked on Fox

News on Sunday if he would expand an existing ban to cover laptops on all international flights into and out of the US, The Guardian reported. “I might,” he said. Such a move would dramatically expand the ban, announced in March, that affects about 50 flights per day from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East. The ban prevents travelers from bringing laptops, tablets and certain other devices on board in carry-on bags. All electronics bigger than a smartphone must be checked in.

The measure applies to nonstop US-bound flights from 10 international airports in Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Cairo; Istanbul; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. About 50 flights a day, all on foreign airlines, are affected. Earlier this month, reports said the Trump administration would broaden the ban to include planes from the European Union, affecting transAtlantic routes that carry as many as 65 million people a year. US officials have said that initial ban was not based on any specific threat but on longstanding concerns about extremists targeting jetliners. Speaking on Fox and Friends recently, Kelly said some people would “never leave the house” if they knew what he knew about terrorist activity. “There’s a real threat,” Kelly said on Sunday, adding that terrorists are “obsessed” with the idea of downing a plane in flight, “particularly if it’s a US carrier, particularly if it’s full of mostly US folks. It’s real.”

Huma Abedin Files For Divorce After Husband’s Guilty Plea New York: (IANS) Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s close aide Huma Abedin has filed for divorce from her husband and former Congressman Anthony Weiner after he pleaded guilty to a federal sex crime, the media reported.

The 40-year-old Abedin’s lawyers filed the papers, captioned “Anonymous vs. Anonymous”, in the Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday just hours after Wiener, 52, pleaded guilty in a federal court to a felony charge of transferring obscene material and admitted to sexting with a girl he knew was just 15-years-old, CBS New York News reported. At the hearing, Weiner accepted responsibility for his conduct. “I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse,” CNN quoted Wiener as saying. “I entered intensive treatment, found the

courage to take a moral inventory of my defects, and began a programme of recovery and mental health treatment that I continue to follow every day.” As part of the plea agreement, Weiner will register as a sex offender and will also have to forfeit his iPhone, surrender his passport and continue mental health treatment. He is also barred from having any contact with the minor. Weiner has not been charged but faces up to 10 years in prison, However, under his plea deal, he is expected to get between 21 and 27 months. Abedin, whose father is of Indian descent, married Wiener in 2010. A year into their marriage, Wiener admitted tweeting out an underwear selfie, according to the New York Post. She stood at his side in 2013, at a press conference after Weiner self-scuttled his mayoral candidacy by getting caught continuing to sext with multiple women. “I love him, I’ve forgiven him, I believe in him,” she said. Last year, when Weiner got caught sending yet another underwear selfie, with their thenthree-year-old Jordan asleep at his hip, Abedin had still refrained from divorce.

US Senate Confirms Indian-American To Key Judicial Post President has made five other picks, with more than a dozen other vacancies still awaiting nominations, The Washington Times reported. “He will fairly apply the law to all who enter his courtroom because, in Judge Thapar’s own words, ‘The most important attribute of a judge is to be open-minded and not to prejudge a case without reading the briefs, researching the law, and hearing from the parties’,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch Washington: (IANS) Indian American attorney Amul Thapar, US President Donald Trump’s first appellate court nominee, has been confirmed by the Senate to a key judicial position. Thapar, who sits on the US District Court for Kentucky’s Eastern District, was confirmed for the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals by a 5244 vote on Thursday and is the first Indian-American to be nominated by Trump for the key seat. Republicans said the judge is a good example of the kind of picks Trump should make. The

McConnell said. Thapar becomes the second South Asian judge to be on the US Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears appeals from Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan, the report said. During the judge’s confirmation hearing, Democrats complained about his record, saying he equates campaign donations with speech and is tied to The Federalist Society, an association of conservative and libertarian legal minds. Curt Levey, Executive Director for the Com-

mittee for Justice, said he doesn’t expect a major impact on the court’s rulings because a majority of the judges are already GOP appointees. “Perhaps the most important thing about

Thapar’s quick confirmation is that it puts him in a perfect position to fill any Supreme Court vacancies that occur in 2018 or thereafter,” said Levey.

California Court Jails 2 For Hate Crime Washington: (IANS) A US court sentenced two men to three years in prison for severely beating a Sikh man in California and cutting off his hair. Chase B. Little and Colton T. Leblanc, both of Texas, pleaded no contest to felony assault and committing a hate crime against Maan Singh Khalsa during last year’s September 25 attack, the New York Times reported on Thursday. “Both men went out of their way to cut Khalsa’s hair, which he maintained unshorn as part of his Sikh faith, ‘making this so clearly a hate crime’,” said Prosecutor Simon O’Connell of the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office. Khalsa, 42, appeared before Judge Patricia Scanlon and recalled details of the frightening attack. “Cutting a Sikh’s hair is one of the most humiliating things anyone can do to a Sikh. The at-

tackers did not just attack my body, they attacked my dignity, my spirit, my faith, my religion and my entire community,” Khalsa said. Authorities said Khalsa was driving home on the night of the attack and stopped at a red light in Richmond, near Berkeley, when a car, occupied by five people, pulled up next to him. As beer cans were thrown at Khalsa, a motorist nearby called 911. When the light turned green, Khalsa drove off and called 911 as the truck followed him. While he stopped at another red light, two men got out of the truck, ran up to Khalsa’s car and repeatedly punched his face and yelled profanities. He also sustained a black eye, tooth damage and knife wounds. Part of his little finger was later amputated because of an infection from one of the wounds, the daily reported.


Florida Man Jailed For $33 Million Fraud An IndianAmerican businessman has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for fraud schemes that cost investors over $33 million. Navin Shankar Subramanian Xavier, of Miramar, Florida, operated Miami Gardens-based Essex Holdings from 2010 to 2014 through which he carried out two fraud schemes, according to the court documents. Xavier pleaded guilty in January to two counts of wire fraud. A restitution hearing is scheduled for July 14. The first scheme involved nearly 100 investors who purportedly invested in sugar transportation, shipping as well as iron ore mining in Chile. According to prosecutors, the company raised more than $30 million using the first scheme. Xavier allegedly spent investor money on jewellery, luxury vehicles, cosmetic surgery, wedding expenses and more. In a second scheme, Xavier secured $1.2 million in funds and about $1.5 million in commercial real estate from the South Carolina Coordinating Council for Economic Development to turn an older industrial property into a diaper plant and rice packaging facility, according to the report. Xavier provided false financial documentation to entice investors to put money in Essex Holdings. He also provided fake contractor invoices and spurious bank statements in order to get paid under the contract. Xavier spent the money for his personal living expenses.

........ NRI News ........

LA Judge Issues Arrest Warrant For Yoga Guru Bikram Choudhury Washington: (IANS) A Los Angeles judge has issued an arrest warrant for Bikram Choudhury, the Indian American “hot” yoga guru, after he failed to pay more than $7 million in 2016 to his former lawyer who was the victim in a sexual harassment case against him. Choudhury has not paid the lawyer and authorities believe that he has hidden his assets and left the country, ABC News reported on Wednesday. The 69-year-old yoga guru had claimed last year that he was nearly bankrupt as his business was no longer thriving. According to the report, the warrant, issued on Wednesday, allows authorities to arrest Choudhury if he returns to the US or, possibly, in Mexico. In January 2016, a jury determined that Choudhury had sexually harassed and then unfairly fired Minakshi “Miki” Jafa-Bodden, his onetime lawyer. He was ordered to pay nearly $6.5 million in punitive damages in addition to $924,000 in compensatory damages. Jafa-Bodden was general counsel to Bikram’s Yoga College of India but was fired after refusing to cover up allegations that Bikram had raped and sexually assaulted a yoga student. “I feel vindicated,” she told ABC News in

2016. “I’m elated.” She convinced the jury that Choudhury had repeatedly sexually harassed her and subjected her to obscene comments about women. Jafa-Bodden also claimed she was fired after she tried to investigate another woman’s sexual harassment and rape allegations against the yoga guru. During the trial over Jafa-Bodden’s allegations, Bikram strongly denied sexually assaulting any women. He also denied having any sexual contact with his students or followers. His bail was set at $8 million. Choudhury was one of the pioneers of yoga in the US, setting up shop in Beverly Hills in the 1970s. His client list included top celebrities like Madonna, Andy Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow and Goldie Hawn. His yoga studios are franchised worldwide. Outside of court on Wednesday, Jafa-Bodden celebrated her latest legal victory, saying: “It’s a win for women everywhere who’ve endured sexual harassment.” “To have that bench warrant issued for Bikram… It sends a message to a debtor like Bikram that he will be held accountable and that the wheels of justice, although they don’t turn as fast as we would want them to, they do turn,” she said.

May 2017

Missing Cornell Student Found Dead An Indianorigin student was found dead here after he went missing earlier this week, police said. Aalaap Narasipura, 20, was an electrical engineering student at Cornell University and was missing , ABC News reported. Cornell University Police said Narasipura’s body was recovered on Friday from Fall Creek, a gorge located near Ithaca Falls. The circumstances of Narasipura’s death remain under investigation, but police said they don’t suspect any foul play. State and local authorities from multiple agencies searched Narasipura’s residence, academic spaces and regular routes of travel as well as adjacent natural areas and gorges around the Ivy League university. They did not find any evidence of his whereabouts until coming across his body in Fall Creek, police said. Earlier in the week, police had released a photo and description of Narasipura seeking more information in the case. Narasipura was set to graduate this December, according to the report. “He was an active member of the Ultimate Frisbee team, enjoyed taking photos and planned on continuing at Cornell to pursue a Masters of Engineering Degree,” said Ryan Lombardi, Vice President for student and campus life at Cornell.

Paliwals Pay It Forward With $1.5 Million Gift To Business School Atlanta, GA: Dinesh and Ila Paliwal have donated $1.5 million to Miami University’s Farmer School of Business to create the Dinesh and Ila Paliwal Innovation Chair and the Dinesh and Ila Paliwal Scholarship. Paliwal, president and chief executive officer of Harman International, earned master’s degrees in both applied science and engineering and in business administration from Miami University in 1985. “Dinesh is perhaps one of the most successful graduates of the Farmer School. He is certainly one of the most humble – quick to credit everyone else for his business and personal success,” said Matt Myers, dean, Farmer School of Business. “He serves on our Business Advisory Council, and when he meets with our students and faculty, the love he has for the university and the Farmer School and the passion he has for supporting others are clear. These

tremendous gifts will help to ensure that the Farmer School can continue to attract and retain world class faculty who share his passion for teaching others, and that a Farmer School education is financially within reach of deserving in-

coming international students.” The Dinesh and Ila Paliwal Innovation Chair will recruit and retain an outstanding faculty member to provide intellectual scholarship and leadership in technology, innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. The tenure-track, full-time Farmer School faculty member will foster thought leadership and promote problem-solving skills to prepare undergraduate students to enter the global marketplace. The Dinesh and Ila Paliwal Scholarship will focus on the recruitment of exceptional international students who have demonstrated academic excellence, community engagement and a passion for innovation. The gift is part of Miami University’s Match the Promise scholarship initiative, which provides a university match to eligible new scholarship funds. “Ila and I are so excited to help inspire the next generation of leaders at the Farmer School to love learning as much as we do, to take bold risks and to develop a global mindset that inspires their cre-

ativity and leadership,” said Paliwal. “Ila and I have been privileged to collaborate with and learn from so many wonderful family members, friends, teachers, colleagues and artists throughout our lives. Giving back to the communities and institutions that helped us achieve success is a value we share and a privilege we embrace. I owe so much to Miami and the foundation and confidence it gave me to pursue my dreams. Ila and I are deeply honored to be able to play a larger role in the very bright future of the Farmer School, its students and faculty.” Dinesh Paliwal recently received the 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, presented by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations. Since its founding in 1986, the medal has been officially recognized by both Houses of Congress as one of the nation’s most prestigious awards. In addition to the Harman Board, Paliwal serves on the boards of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Raytheon Company. He is a member of the CEO Business Roundtable, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) and the U.S.-India CEO Forum, and serves on the corporate advisory boards of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Wilson Center and the India Business Advisory Council of Lincoln Center. Ila Paliwal is a classically trained Indian vocalist whose latest album, “Navaratna,” is internationally renowned for its technical merits, thematic interpretation and originality. She performs around the world and works with local organizations to promote Indian classical music in the U.S. and regularly hosts visiting artists.

May 2017

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Sanatan Mandir’s Pran Pratishtha & Shikhar Abhisheka Mahotsav BY MAHADEV DESAI The beautiful spring day of Friday, April 28, 2017 was indeed a red-letter day for the Sanatan Mandir as it celebrated the fulfillment of a longheld dream of a team of fiercely dedicated, committed and focused members, generous donors and volunteers in Atlanta, Georgia. Now the fruit in the form of an architectural jewel of a temple with a captivating shikhar is for all to see and admire. Sanatan Mandir ‘s spectacular, ritually studded Pran Pratishtha and Shikhar Abhisheka Mahotsav from Friday, April 28 to Sunday April 30 was celebrated by more than 2500 devotees. Congratulatory messages were conveyed by Consul General of India in Atlanta Nagesh Singh; GA Secretary of State Brian Kemp; and Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon. The celebrations were graced by the presence of Consul of the Consulate General of India in Atlanta, D.V. Singh; Cobb County Commissioner, (Dist.2) Bob Otts; dignitaries from BAPS Mandir; Gujarati Samaj of Atlanta, Hindu Temple, Riverdale; Shree Shakti Mandir, Atlanta; and the community. The celebrations commenced on the auspicious days of Akshaya Tritiya /Parshuram Jayanti and ended onAdi Shankara Jayanti. The elaborate ceremonies were meticulously performed by Sanatan mandir priest Acharya Pramod Padhiji, priests from temples in Georgia and other States and pooja and other rituals coordinator Praful Desai. The ceremonies started on Friday with Sarva Devata Anugya. Acharya Padhiji initiated the ceremony but handed over the remaining ceremonies to Sri Venkata Krishna Sai Swarna, who has previously conducted 132 mandir inauguration cer-

emonies. A tent with five Havan kunds was setup on the East side of the mandir complex to perform Laxmi/Ganapati/Vaastu/Navagraha Homam for propitiating Ganesha, Laxmi and the Navagrahasthe nine celestial bodies. The havan concluded with an aarti by over 600 devotees. On Saturday all the deities of the mandir were infused with energy and life by invoking of specific mantras and by performing specific rituals. After Ganesh puja, yantras of each deity were placed on the pedestal of the respective murti to

officially commence the Pranpratishtha and Shikhar Abhisheka Mahotsav. All the Mandir’s Trustees were provided with a Puja thali with which they did Annadhivaas, Jalaadhivaas, and Pushpaadhivaas- consecrating the Deities in grains, water and flowers. Two members from each Trustee’s family then did Bimba Snaan- bathing the image of their chosen Deity in

a mirror. The priests then connected all the Deities by tying a sacred thread to each other, the Shivalinga. The actual infusion of Pran – Life force was done by performing Nyaas by three designated priests led by Sri Sai Swarna. The Nyaas ceremony was performed behind curtains. Devata Shringaar followed the Nyaas ceremony. Each Deity was clothed in ornate fineries and embellished with ornaments and fresh rose garlands. The lights in the prayer hall were switched off as all the devotees waited with bated breath to look at the decorated Deities. They closed their eyes, and together recited mantras until the curtains parted and the dazzling, adorable Deities were unveiled! It was a magnificent sight to behold!

Since the Mandir observes Panchayatan system of worship envisioned by Sri Adi Shankaracharya, that is the worship of Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesh, Mata and Surya, the priests lit up the five yagnakunds in the large tent and performed the yagna. The devotees then offered oblations to the respective Deities as part of the Sarva Devata Havan. An enthralling and reverential dance and music offering to the Deities by a few Dance Academies, Srividya and BalGokulam children, which was emceed by one of the Sanatan Mandir Trustees Suja Katarya and devotee Vibha Veeraghavelu was appreciated by all. The much awaited ceremony on Sunday was the Shikhar kumbha abhisheka. All the devotees assembled in the Prayer hall. 108 colorful, sanctified and decorated Kalashes were carried on their heads by 108 ladies attired in colorful, traditional festive clothing circumambulated around the Mandir complex to sanctify the complex. The crowning moment came with the Shikhar Kumbha Abhisheka and Shikhar Alankaar puja. Dr. Anantha Kamath and wife Sucheta who had donated for this honor led the devotees towards the Shikhar. A special crane carried the priest and the Pradhan kalash Yajman to the top of the Shikhar. The Abhisheka was performed with loud chanting of “Hara Hara Mahadeva” and the gold Kumbha was garlande. As is customary, all the priests were recognized and felicitated by the Trustees of the Mandir. Sanatan Mandir’s President Nik Mainthia and

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May 2017

Life And Poetry Of Sufi Humanist Bulleh Shah Celebrated BY HARDEEP SINGH Atlanta, GA: Bulleh Shah’s mystic poetry united people of Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani heritage on a common platform at the Hilton Hotel in Atlanta on May 6. Sufi evangelists originally from the subcontinent came together to celebrate the life and poetry of Bulleh Shah - a Sufi soul, humanist and philosopher of the 18th century from the land of five rivers – Punjab. Bulleh Shah was born and lived in Punjab, but his poems and songs have been adopted by people around the world. Lyrics of his poems, famous for their vivid style and open denunciation of religious differences, have long been held in affection by Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. The poetry of Bulleh Shah is considered one of the jewels of pre-modern Punjabi literature, and is taught in schools and colleges on both sides of the Radcliffe line. Bulleh Shah discoursed, “The ultimate peace of mind can be realized when one tames the ‘Me only’ instinct. One of mind’s challenges is to accept differences of opinions, thoughts, ways of life, ways to worship, way to express, etc. Unable to accept these differences keeps the mind anxious and in agony.” Bulleh Shah, through the lyrics of his poems, challenged the meaningless ritualistic practices infested in institutionalized forms of religion. His poetry emphasized submitting to our conscience

Photos by Urmil ‘Tracy’ Marshall and staying truthful to our inner voice. Waqas Khawaja, professor at Agnes Scott College shared the life history of Bulleh Shah, from his birth place until his death in Kasur. According to Prof. Khawaja, Bulleh Shah through his poetry emphasized the existence of one Divine source. A Sufi, in his mystic journey reaches a state of mind where he/she sees no difference between genders – male and female. Additionally, a Sufi mind-set is beyond the demarcation and segregation of religious lines.

RockinRobots Win Excellence Award At World Robotics Championship Atlanta, GA: VEX Worlds 2017, presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation, brings together top robotics teams in the VEX Robotics Competition under one roof to compete and celebrate their accomplishments. This year’s

VEX Robotics World Championship hosted 1,400 teams from over 30 nations worldwide at the week-long competition April 20-25, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky. The RockinRobots Team comprised of 4th graders Charu Bigamudra, Sanjana Saravanan, Eshita Ramesh and Siddhanth Lakshmisha from Shiloh Point Elementary Cumming, Georgia won the VEX IQ 2017 World Elementary Excellence Award. This is the crown jewel ‘Award of the Awards’ given to the team that exemplifies overall excellence in creating a high quality VEX robotics program with stellar results in Design Award ranking, STEM Research Project

Award ranking, Engineering Notebook, Teamwork Challenge Qualification Matches ranking, Robot Skills Challenge ranking and Other Judged award ranking. Siddhanth and Eshita, after the STEM research interview, said, “We delivered the STEM presentation to show the team’s creative efforts and thought leadership in solving day to day problem using robots.” Sanjana and Charu said, “The design of our Robot was done from ground up for each tournament level to score higher points that made it more exciting and challenging to compete at the World level, given that we were making the maiden journey into VEX World Competition.The VEX World Team Challenge Experience was great learning to strategize the win position with another team and robot that we had very little or no knowledge of.” Prakash Bigamudra and Suhasini, parent design mentors, said, “This team has the deepest passion to progress further by resolving the technical gaps with the robot in a timely and practical manner. And the team agrees to agree and agrees to disagree – alignment is the strength of this team!!” Sahana Saravanan and Ramesh, Team Manager and STEM Coach, said, “The team is highly self-motivated in STEM research and clearly articulate how robotic solutions can help transform the world into a better place to live.”

Gurmeet Kaur, an author and social activist, recited the kaafi - Mai(n) KusumbRa chuN chuN haari - I picked a lot of Kusumbhs (safflowers) yet I’ve lost the game. In this kaafi Bulley Shah depicts himself as someone enraptured by the beauty of this flower and through the journey as a flower picker explains his spiritual quest for the beloved Divine. Gurmeet concluded by reciting a poem by UK based Punjabi poet, Amarjit Chandan, that beautifully plays on the word Vand – which means

both split and share in Punjabi - referring to the split of Punjab and all that which is left to be shared. She leaves the audience with a dream of undivided Punjab brought about by the love of their common Mother, the mother language Punjabi. Surinder Singh Lalli shared, socio-political stands taken by Bulleh Shah. Shah openly condemned organized religiosity, injustice perpetuated by establishments, and scare tactics used to control masses. Conversely, he provided solutions to the sociological problems of the world. Bulleh Shah’s poetry is widely used in Bollywood screenplays and stage plays across the subcontinent. Kafiyaans of Bulleh Shah has been incorporated into several Bollywood film songs – Tere Ishq Nachaya, Chaiyya Chaiyya, Bullah ki Jaana Mein Kaun, Duma Dum Mast Qalandar, Sade Vehre Aya Kar, and Mera Piya Ghar Aaya. This event was organized by Jehangir Rathore, Tahir Syal, Kamlesh Chugh, and many others who voluntarily paid tribute to the noble soul. D.V Singh, of the Indian Consulate served as chiefguest and shared a couplet of Bulleh Shah. In the 18th century, Bulleh Shah’s poetry did the magic of uniting people of different faiths, opinions and cultures. His work continues to remain relevant and crucial in the 21st century – to unite and bond people in creating a peaceful society.

Sivaram Emani Named 2017 US Presidential Scholar Atlanta, GA: Sivaram Emani of Newton, MA, who has roots in Atlanta, is among the 2017 Presidential Scholars announced by US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recently. Emani is one of 161 outstanding American high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service, and contribution to school and community. The U.S. Presidential Scholars will be honored for their accomplishments in Washington D.C., from June 18-20. Sivaram is a trustee of Hindu Temple of Atlanta, Riverdale (HTA) where his grandfather Subbiah is the secretary. His grandparents Subbiah and Lakshmi moved to Atlanta over 35 years ago. Sivaram’s father Sitaram Emani is a graduate of Woodward Academy in Atlanta. Both his parents are medical professionals at Boston Children’s Hospital, Newton, MA. “I congratulate this year’s class of Presidential Scholars for their devotion to academic excellence and their parents and teachers who have guided them along the way,” said Betsy DeVos. “Today’s Presidential Scholars are tomorrow’s leaders, and I am confident they will continue to be shining examples as they enter the next phase of their academic careers.” The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Of the 3.5 million students expected to gradu-

ate from high school this year, more than 5,100 candidates qualified for the 2017. The 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and

Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education. Siva, a senior at The Roxbury Latin School, will be attending Harvard University in the fall for an undergraduate degree in Bio Engineering. Throughout his high school years he has undertaken several leadership roles including captain of the school varsity tennis team, president of debate team, vice president of Model UN, founder and president of the science club, co-editor of the school newspaper, and member of school acapella group. Siva is a passionate violinist in Carnatic music style, which he has been learning from Sri K.V.S. Vinay for over 6 years.

May 2017

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Rajesh Jyotishi Releases Book On Retirement & Estate Planning BY VEENA RAO Atlanta, GA: The multi-faceted Rajesh Jyotishi can now add author to his long list of accomplishments. His book, ‘The Money Talk’ was launched on Sunday, April 30 at the Pinckneyville Recreation center in Berkeley Lake. The event was attended by about 300 friends, clients and well wishers. “It was a nice celebration after completing a writing project that took several years to complete,” said Jyotishi, about the book launch. At the event, where he was introduced to the gathering by his father Chittaranjan Jyotishi, the author spoke about what inspired him to write the book and also record his music CD “Carpe Diem”. Attendees who bought his book also received a free copy of the CD. “The Money Talk” is the first book in the US to talk about retirement and estate planning for Indian-Americans. What motivated him to write a book on this topic, and specifically for the Indian mind-set? “To commemorate my 25 years in the financial services, I wanted to write a book. Initially, I wanted to write a motivational book, but there are so many of those out there already. Then I thought about writing a book on finances, but there are so many of those out there also. Then, I decided to write on what I know best, which is working with the Indian community over the last 25 years and financial services.”

“For the last quarter century, I have had the their wealth to the next honor and privilege of serving this community in generation. ”Our community Georgia and surrounding areas, not only for their insurance, investment, financial planning, and em- has done well in so ployee benefits needs, but also through Khabar many areas including in healthcare professions, Magazine.” This gave him a unique perspective on finan- hotels, retail and it cial planning for a community whose views on would be a shame if we money, retirement and legacy planning often dif- didn’t plan adequately fer from the Western approach that is predomi- for our retirement and nantly seen in the market. take care of ourselves in The Indian mindset is a little different from the western mindset when it comes to retirement planning, Jyotishi said. “Maybe it’s because we come from a culture where the parents live with their children in retirement and the children take care of their parents.” While writing the book, he conducted surveys from his clients and friends and found that less than 10% of the people had any long Rajesh Jyotishi with his family. Photos term care in plan and more than 50% had no Photography. estate plan to transfer

BeTheYou: Going Global Atlanta, GA: Fashion and style seamlessly connect cultures and countries, as seen at a recent Global International Runway show held at the Ballroom at Carlos Center in Atlanta where representatives from around the world walked in harmony on one common runway. The show was organized by CEO of Goodlyfe Designers Calvin Johnson, and emceed by top model Shay Tower and actor Tishaun Scott. Atlanta’s BeTheYou was part of this global runway. BeTheYou was co-founded by Shaveta Jain and Anuj Jain with a clear vision of creating images of people that they dream of. BeTheYou believes in coaching models to see the beauty in them, imparting confidence and empowering them through enriching stage experiences. It helps models succeed in their school/work/family life by providing them positive and confidence boosting experiences. Also it exposes models to various opportunities in the world of modeling, movies and print/video shoots. BeTheYou models have been successfully making strides in movies, video shoots, pageants and much more. BeTheYou has created a unique one of a kind platform to help boost businesses in the fashion industry as well. It promotes home based boutiques, big fashion houses, accessory vendors, makeup aArtists, hair stylists, salons etc and help them receive experience, exposure and portfolio all in one. At the Global International Runway show, BeTheYou brought together two Indian runway segments namely Jewels of India and Women of Substance. Gracefully walking the ramp along-

by Krish

our golden years,” Jyotishi said. The purpose of the book is to open the mind of the reader. It’s an easy read with simple language, lots of stories and case studies to drive the points home. Jyotishi has priced the e-book at just 99 cents so that it reaches and benefits as many Indian-Americans as possible. The Money Talk is receiving some very good reviews on Amazon as well as within the Indian community in Atlanta. You can find out more about the book and Rajesh on his personal website at

Photo by Anuj Jain

side countries such as Mexico, Nicaragua, Caribbean Islands, Europe, East Africa, West Africa and America, India stood out and represented itself as the most cultured segment. Radiating with vibrant colors and shimmering golds Indian segments added a royal touch to the Ballroom. The “Jewels of India” segment showcased the traditional diversity in clothing from all over India. Models wore a range of outfits- from chooridaars to shararas, gowns to ghararas, and from traditional to contemporary lehngas. The beautiful couture was topped with Nizam’s finest jewels and gemstones. The segment was perfectly synchronized and blended with Sufi music in the background. The fabulous outfits and sparkling jewels for this segment were provided by Designer Madhulika Kumar and Vitha Boutique. The models for this segment were Arisha Captain, Heena Main, Crystal Favorito, Zoha Siddiqui, Saaraa Juddha, Katy Plant, Akshaya Vijaykumar, Sumana Goswami, Sahithi Boddireddy and Anjali Atluru. Bringing in a contrast was the Bold and beautiful segment named “Women of Substance”. This segment changed the aura of the event filling the stage with rich vibrant colors of saris in silks, georgettes and chiffons embellished with sequins, pearls and gota pattis. The models draped the saris in contemporary styles to add the western touch. These Indian naaris walking the ramp were much more than just ramp models- they are professional working women and full time mothers. They multi task their jobs, families, social duties and passions. They are perfect role models! The

segment was blended with soft Bollywood track that got progressively faster in beat as it hit the finale. The models for this segment were Dona Paul Roy, Anima Das, Somdatta Chatterjee, Pallavi Nahata, Shubhra Singh Chohan, Tina Mir, Nidhi Mishra Bajpai, Sheetal Pandit Correia, and Payal Tyagi. The segments gracefully showcased the rich cultural heritage of India to a global audience. It changed the audience’s outlook to Indian outfits and instilled a love and appreciation for them. BeTheYou models instantly won over the hearts of all. After showcasing their confidence on the ramp and impressing the audience with their looks, the models were instantly offered a segment by an LA Designer Marvin Bendana – a proud 3 times

sponsor of the Miss Universe pageant. BeTheYou models showcased his Californian design pieces on the ramp with a western touch. This was another feather in a cap for BeTheYou! BeTheYou’s Shaveta Jain thanked the huge team behind the scenes that helped bring this production together- Sharmila Captain, Dipti Mian and Jay Govindu for all backstage help and coordination, Esada Manjic’s team from Paul Mitchel School of Esani, Bhavna Shah and Annu Marru for glamming up some of the models, Kripa Shah and Tina Cash for helping her get ready for the show. “Special thanks to Mustafa Ajmeri ji for his continued support and encouragement and to Anjali Chabbria of TV Asia for providing us TV coverage,” she added.


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May 2017

CAMAGA Hosts Biographical Musical Drama Of Saint Thyagaraja REVIEW & PHOTO BY GIRISH MODI Atlanta, GA: People of Tamil Nadu last year celebrated the birth centenary of Sri Thyagaraja, who is considered the greatest composer of Carnatic music of the 17th and 18th centuries. A musical drama depicting the trials and tribulations of the saint by visionary artist TV Varadarajan is on a tour of the USA and Canada. CAMAGA organized this show on April 22nd at the Vedic Temple in Lilburn with over 400 people in attendance. Artists included TV Varadarajan and his team of 15 members from India, along with five local drama artists. This drama has received great reviews in all media in India and USA. Thyagaraja is regarded as one of the “trinity” of Carnatic music composers, along with Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri. He was a devotee of Rama. Thyagaraja lived to the full extent that God realization is best achieved through Nadopasana (music with devotion). His songs are filled with an intimate devotion to Rama, all through revealing his deep understanding of the tenets of the Vedas and Upanishads. Sri Thyagaraja has composed about 24,000 songs in his long devoted life to Lord Rama. This musical drama lasted for nearly 3 hours and kept the audience spellbound. TV Varadarajan, who played the role of Sri Thyagaraja, was brilliant and the audience was mesmerized to hear the soulful composition of Sri Thyagaraja, which were presented by noted Tamil classical singers Bombay Jayashri and Arun. Narration of episodes were presented in English for the non-Tamil audience. Several episodes of Thyagaraja’s life were presented and a few are highlighted here. In the first episode, Thyagaraja composed his first song on Rama, Namo Namo Raghavaya when he was only 13 years old. Sri Thyagaraja continued to recite the Rama Nama every day and had many darshans of Sri Rama, which inspired him to write

songs on his beloved Lord Sri Rama. His guru, Sonti Venkataramanayya, wanted to listen to Thyagaraja’s new talent and invited him to perform at his house in Thanjavur. On that occasion, Thyagaraja presented Endaro Mahanubhavulu, the

with the help of Rama himself. In an episode, a sage named Haridas asked him to recite the name of Rama 960 million times. After doing so, Thyagaraja went to offer his prayer when he heard a knock on his door. Rama, Seeta,

fifth of the Pancharatna Krithis. In another episode, he sang at the request of his guru, beginning at 8 p.m. and finishing only at 4 a.m. Serfoji Maharaja heard of his performance and invited him to visit the temple to be rewarded, but Thyagaraja rejected the offer and composed another gem of a kriti Nidhi Chala Sukhama on this occasion. Angered at his rejection of the royal offer, Thyagaraja’s brother took revenge by throwing his idols of Rama in the nearby River Kavery. Thyagaraja, unable to bear the separation with his Lord, made a pilgrimage to all the major temples in South India and composed many more songs in praise of the deities of those temples; one of these songs is this sad song Endu daagi naado, (Where has He hidden Himself?) He finally found the idols

and Hanuman were entering his prayer room and he was blessed to see the coronation of Rama. Moved with wonder and devotion, he sang the anupallavi of the kirthis “Ela nee dayaraadhu” and “Bhavanuta”. In another episode he visited Tripathi; but when he went to the temple, it was closed. In sadness, he sang “Teratiyagarada” and the temple officials gathered round in admiration when they saw the door opening by itself and the screen falling aside. He sang “VenkaTEsha ninu sEvimpa” in his happiness at seeing the Lord. At the invitation of his disciple LalguDi Ramaya, he composed the LalguDi Pancaratnam. He also composed the Shreeranga Pancaratnam in praise of Ranganata of Shreerangam and 5 kritis in

Saraswathi Music Academy Hosts Tirumala Artists BY SUNITA REDDY Atlanta, GA: Saraswathi Music Academy is an Atlanta based Vocal Carnatic Music school founded by Swathi Kari. Since its inception in 2013 Swathi has introduced this divine art form to many kids in the Atlanta area. Her teaching style is unique and encourages kids to learn and perform classical music in cultural gathering and in temples during major celebrations. Her students have performed many galaarchanas, a form of chorus where a large number of singers sing the praise of the supreme in unison. Swathi’s passion for Carnatic music and dedication to teach has not gone unnoticed. She has been invited to perform with her students on July 12th 2017 at the Tirupathi Tirumala Devastanam’s Naadaneerajanam program which will be televised live to millions of people around the world through the Sri Venkateshwara Bhakti Channel (SVBC). On April 29th, television producer at SVBC Channel, Madhubabu Yalla and his wife Srivani Yalla a renowned Veena player and also the Head of the Music Department at the Sri Venkateshwara college visited Atlanta and per-

formed for the Saraswathi Music academy students. This event took place in the Sharon Spring Community Center in Forsyth County GA. Madhubabu is a Golden Nandi award winner for First best TV feature program “ E n d a r o mahanubhavulu” that was telecast on SVBC Channel. Srivani is a “Class A” All India Radio artist and a cultural attaché to the Govt. of India. She has performed in many countries like the United States, New Zealand,Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. At the Atlanta event, Madhubabu played the Mridangam and Srivani was on the Veena. The couple mesmerized the audience for nearly two hours with various compositions by Thyagaraja, Purandaradasa, Annamacharya and others. There was a sense of bhakti

that set in unknowingly upon the listeners in this spellbinding performance. It was a true gift for the music lovers of Atlanta. Saraswathi Music Academy felicitated Madhubabu with the title “Sangeetha Brahma” and Srivani with the renowned title “Sangeetha Saraswathi” for their contribution to music. Srivani released the Saraswathi Music Academy’s Naadaneerajanam teaser video, a small clipping with all participants of the event.

praise of Sage Narada. In the last episode, an Omkara Naadha was heard after Swami sang this kriti and a jyoti was seen to emanate from the head of Swami and travelled upward. Swami then slumped on the thanpura he was holding, and become one with the Lord. Having composed an innumerable number of kirthans (songs) that explored all the possibilities within the rules of the Carnatic music tradition, Saint Thyagaraja’s contribution to music includes the Uthsava Sampradaya kirthans and the Divyanama kirthans. These two are examples of classical Carnatic music in their pristine purity. Saint Thyagaraja also created two musical plays. Prahlada Bhakti Vijaya, a play without Hiranya Kasipu or Narasimha, has some 48 songs and over 120 padyams. Nowka Charitha, the other play is equally fascinating and once again a creation without any basis derived from Bhagavatham. This play has 21 songs and many padyas and gadya passages. While the bulk of the songs are in praise of Rama and a few on other deities, there are numerous songs on ethics and morals, worldly wisdom, mental control etc. The importance of these and other songs and how Sri Thyagaraja used his compositions to energize our inner spiritual forces and attain moksha in this life are discussed in the article “Nadopasana for Salvation.” Saint Thyagaraja’s life and kirthans are the heritage of Indian culture expressed in classical Carnatic music. This heritage can be described as the eternal verities of divinity. His contribution to posterity is devotional, religious and philosophical. A true understanding of Sri Thyagaraja’s kirthans serves to deepen the purpose of our existence. The greatness of Sri Thyagaraja is the way he linked the human to the divine. The echoes of this Truth reverberate in many of his songs. The compositions of Sri Thyagaraja made the largest contribution to our knowledge of Carnatic music today. In volume and variety, no other composer has given us so much material covering so wide a range of ragas, their lakshanas, that allows singing even by those with limited voice range and limited music. Thyagaraja regarded music as a way to experience the love of God. His objective while performing music was to repeat the name of God and contemplate on His Divine Pastimes, thereby reducing the vices of the mind, not to display his mastery over Raga and Tala. He had to struggle quite a bit to compose music in which Bhava, that is, emotion, was crowned. The legend goes that Being a great devotee of Lord Rama, the only things that mattered to Thyagaraja were Music and Bhakti. Music was to him the meditation on the Primordial Sound: “Is there a sacred path than music and bhakti?” “O Mind, salute the gods of the seven notes”. “The knowledge of music, O Mind, leads to bliss of Union with the Lord”. Thyagaraja is truly regarded as the cornerstone of Carnatic music. His tradition is kept alive by his musical disciples and their followers. To this day, a commemorative music festival called the Thyagaraja Aaradhana is held at Thiruvaiyaru in the months of January to February every year. The artists were honored the artists at the conclusion of the play. Varadarajan then gave his personal involvement and experience of making the drama.

May 2017

......... City News ........


A Visit To The Ballpark BY VIREN MAYANI Atlanta, GA: Albeit transplanted originally from Boston to Milwaukee to finally settle in Atlanta in 1966; Braves are now a confirmed part of Atlanta’s fabric and will stay for the long run. With the new, extremely modern, well capacitated Sun Trust stadium built to celebrate them, a visit to this ballpark is a must for all local sports lovers. Located in the heart of metro Atlanta in Cobb County with interstate 75 as well as 575, 295 & 400 crossing over, and despite initial hesitation and at the expense of irate Cobb county citizens, it looks like it may be a win, after all. The Battery modeled on the lines of the very successful Atlantic Station, is a significant welcome for families to shop, eat and play ball. With waterfalls like the Centennial Park, Loft residences and eating options, one could spend an entire day in leisure before getting to the game. Escorted by the Braves Management Team’s Celeste Mercer on a personal tour of the Sun Trust Braves Stadium on Friday April 28, the visit was simply stupendous, especially because the arena was swamped with over a couple hundred staffers hustling to set up the mammoth arrangements for the first live rock concert by idol, Billy Joel. Every nuance and nostalgia that a ball game lover would desire has been considered and placed

to test along with the latest in technology and conceptualization of maintaining the traditional with modern ideas. For instance: the gigantic turbine like fans that hover over the roofs to push the

air to circulate better below with the people flow. Or the coke holders on seats having circulating refrigeration that keeps the coke cold even as you enjoy the game. The back walls are not painted but have pliable murals of the players as an art to gawk on. Hank Aaron’s 755 runs have been memorialized not only by a life size statue with a swinging bat but commemorating the number 755 by using baseball bats in an art form to state the same as Bobby Cox’s life size statue greets you at the entrance.

Even for a non-game event, the enormous constructed stage can be viewed from all around by the significantly large open-air seating capacity in front of it, which makes signature event hosting so much more comfortable. Besides Atlanta’s iconic sponsors SunTrust and Chick-Fil-A, there is a whole host of brand names involved, which bring a unique flair to the ball park, big and small. All in all, even if you are just beginning to understand the logistics of the game, a visit to the ball park with family, should be a must. With the inviting weather, you can bet on enjoying a whole day at the park, culminating it with a good ball game!

GINA Celebrates Annual Nurses Day With Great Enthusiasm BY MAHADEV DESAI Atlanta, GA: The Georgia Indian Nurses Association (GINA) celebrated Nurses Day on May 12, 2017 at St. Thomas Orthodox Church in Lilburn, Georgia. It was a very colorful and beautiful celebration. The ANA declared the 2017 Nurse’s Week Theme to be the Year of the Healthy Nurse. It focused on Nursing: the Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit. The chief guest was Dr. Udhayakumar, Chief of Laboratory Research and Development on the Malaria Unit for the CDC. The evening was emceed by GINA’s secretary, Jennie Mathen, FNP and the Executive Vice President, Deepthy Varghese, FNP. The evening commenced with the Florence Nightingale Nurses Pledge by Jennie Mathen. It was followed by the traditional lighting of the lamp by Dr. Udhayakumar, Dr. Sujatha Reddy, Mary Jose-, the founding president of GINA, Lily Anickat immediate past president, Vidya Kanagaraj, current GINA president, and Rose Thomas, the senior- most GINA member. The American National Anthem was beautifully rendered by Jasmine Anickat and the Indian National Anthem was sung by everyone present. Vidya Kanagaraj, the current president of GINA gave the welcome address and thanked all the nurses for their hard work and compassion. She reminded them that when you are a nurse, you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch you. “ It’s important to balance our mind and body because how we feel affects how we function.” This was followed by the Chief guest’s address. Dr. Udhayakumar spoke about the importance of balancing our body, mind and spirit , using personal anecdotes which resonated with all

those present. His engaging and thought provoking address was peppered with humor. Following his speech, the red carpet was rolled out and all the nurses came on stage and received a rose from Dr. Kumar and a GINA Lanyard from Dr. Reddy. Once all the nurses received their roses and lanyards, a group photo

sented with an award and certificate. Shaini works at the Atlanta VA Hospital and is very highly respected on her cardiac unit. She is a certified heart- failure nurse and is responsible for compiling and publishing booklets for veterans waiting to undergo heart transplant which are adopted by all the VA hospitals. She is also

was taken, followed by cake cutting. All waited with bated breath for the announcement of the GINA Nurse of the Year Award. Betsy Augusthy, the chair of the Awards Committee announced that Shaini Moonjeli, NP, was this year’s Nurse of the Year.This was greeted with wide applause. Shaini was pre-

very involved in her church and community.This was followed by recognition of achievements and professional advancements by Ancy Chemmalakuzhy and Jecy Mathew from the Educational Committee. This was followed with recognition of all the affiliate members of GINA by the President Vidya.

She also recognized Mr. Parnell and Mr. Yinka from Grand Canyon University, Dr.Sujatha Reddy, Dr. Supriti Balyan, and Dr.Sreeni Gangasani from GAPI. Dr. Reddy was introduced by Mary Jose and presented with a ponnada, certification, and award of appreciation on behalf of GINA. Dr. Reddy has been a very strong supporter and a major source of inspiration to the nurses in GINA. Dr. Reddy’s remarks on the topic of mind, body, and spirit were spirited and inspiring. Dr. Supriti and Dr. Gangasani also spoke a few words and promised to help and support GINA in any way they can and applauded the nurses for their compassion and hard work. The highlight of the celebrations were the cultural program,which included beautiful group dances by Merin Mathew and friends, a solo dance by Suja Moonjeli, and another beautiful group dance by Anju and friends. The attendees participated in games appropriate for all ages, conducted by the fun cultural committee of Beena Jojo and Shirley Parayil. The festivities ended with a group song performed by Lily Anickat, Agnes Karivelil, Cicily Kanjira, Vani Manoharan, Nirmala, Vidya Kanagaraj. The whole team pitched in representing our diversity in language and region. Scicily Joseph, the Vice President of GINA gave the vote of thanks. Upon conclusion of the fun festivities and evening’s program, a delicious dinner was served. The dinner was both catered and prepared with love by Vani Manoharan, her mother, and friends Nirmala and Anu. GINA’s memorable annual Nurses Day celebration was a celebration of love, laughter and kinship among all the nurses and their families.


......... Features ........

Rusty And His Timeless Tales: A Life Less Ordinary

May 2017

Sachin: A Billion Dreams: Informative, Inspirational Film: “Sachin: A Billion Dreams”; Director: James Erskine; Cast: Sachin Tendulkar, Anjali Tendulkar, Ajit Tendulkar, Sara Tendulkar, Mayuresh Pem, Mayur More; Rating: *** BY TROY RIBEIRO

BY SAKET SUMAN E-books and digital media are on the rise today but one writer we would always love to read in print is Ruskin Bond. Even in an age of popular fiction, his works transcend the barriers of time. His novels and short-stories hold enough juice to move readers, but even they seem to fall flat when one looks at the illustrious yet sublime life of this gifted writer. The life and times of Rusty, as many of his admirers often call him, is an oasis of bliss amid a dreary desert of monotony. Back in the BOOK 1950s, Bond provided enough hint to his readers about the kind of life he wanted to lead. “I don’t want to rot like mangoes at the end of the season, or burn out like the sun at the end of the day. I cannot live like the gardener, the cook and water-carrier, doing the same task every day of my life... I want to be either somebody or nobody. I don’t want to be anybody,” he wrote in his very first novel “The Room on the Roof”. Bond went to England shortly after school and, in fact, did not have any idea whether he would ever be returning to India. This novel was written in England and won the 1957 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, awarded to a British Commonwealth writer under 30. Then, Bond did something that many thought could have ended his writing career. He decided to return to India and follow his passion of writing in the country he was born in. Bond was sent off to England by his mother, who thought he could do better for himself if he stayed there but his “bonds with India were so strong” that very soon he found himself “longing” to come back. When he finally came back from England after a three-year stint, he tells us in “The Lamp is Lit”, he had just Rs 800 to start a new life with. Bond’s return meant making the financial ends meet and it was not a bed of roses. Opportunities for writers were few and the payments that they received were too small to support their lives. He began to freelance his stories in some major Indian

publications, primarily The Statesman and the Illustrated Weekly of India. The standard fee at that point of time was Rs 30-Rs 50 and Bond wrote about 10 stories a month to survive. The most extraordinary feature of his writing life has been the fact that it is divided, unknowingly, into periods of “loneliness and solitude”. Like most of us, loneliness is something that he did not invite. It was, in his own words, imposed on him due to circumstances. Solitude, on the contrary, was what he was always looking for. The writer’s love for PULSE the hills is well-known today but few are aware that he lived in Delhi for five years in the 1960s after returning from England and it didn’t impress him much. As he mentions in one of his stories, “In Delhi you grow old. In Deoli (in the hills of North) you are trapped in a time warp and stay young forever.” His heart was always in the mountains. He says there is only one truth about the mountains — once you have lived with them for any length of time, you belong to them. There is no escape. And why not, if you look at the ocean of imageries in his settings, across stories that he has penned ever since. Bond’s intimate relationship with nature and the mountains is a story of all things humane. His love for the nature and walks in the mountains are as much a part of his personality as his stories. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1992 for “Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra”, the Padma Shri in 1999 and Padma Bhushan in 2014. Characters take centrestage in most of his stories but it is in times of solitude and the poignancy of loneliness that they reveal their nature in its totality. They move you, they make you want to go close to nature and, indeed, they make you wish for a life like his. Bond turned 83 on May 19 and has dedicated well over six decades of his life to writing and, fortunately for his readers, continues to write at an incredible pace.

“Sachin: A Billion Dreams” is a biopic that gives a holistic view of Sachin Tendulkar’s life, who is revered as “the God” of cricket by his fans. Structurally, the film is designed as a documentary. While the film encapsulates the life of the master blaster right from his birth till date, it also gives an insight into the socio-economic situation of the country, making it feel like heavy-duty stuff. MOVIE This may not be the first documentary on Tendulkar, but probably it is the only one endorsed by him. So, you have him as the narrator sharing his personal moments along with his views and fears in a sincere and heartfelt manner. While the film tells us of his growth as a cricketer which is common knowledge, it also reveals his personal life bringing to the fore his close-knit family and friends. How he got the name Sachin, how he met his wife, got married and how he spends his free moments, are a few of the interesting nuggets shared. So apart from Sachin you actually get to see his family and friends. The script designed by director James Erskine and Sivakumar Ananth seamlessly encapsulates Sachin’s life with archived footages from his personal videos, cricket matches,

news clips and clips from various talking heads like ex-cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Vivian Richards, Wasim Akram, Ravi Shastri, Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting, Virendra Sehwag, M.S. Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Harbhajan Singh, sports journalist Gideon Haigh, commentator Harsha Bhogle, cricket historian Boria Majumdar, singing legend Lata Mangeshkar and megastar Amitabh Bachchan among others. Together, they give a fair insight into the life of Sachin. Visually, the film with the right blend REVIEW of footages, is engaging and the narrative arc by default is definitive with a set-up, set-back and the finale - Sachin’s retirement speech after winning the 2011 World Cup. The euphoria of the brilliantly played matches is once again relived, giving the plot-graph its required jagged edges. With a run-time of two hours and 20 minutes, the first half of the film is interesting and

fast paced. It dramatically ends on a sombre poetic note. The second half moves at a slower pace and fatigue sets in, nevertheless the film is inspirational. With editor Avdhesh Mohla’s smooth transitions and effective background score by A.R. Rahman, this well mounted documentary will appeal to cricket fans and every Indian.

May 2017

......... Feature ........


Embracing The World Mata Amritanandamayi’s Unique Quest To Unite The World BY BINDU BALAKRISHNAN “She stands here in front of us. God’s love in a human body.” said Dr. Jane Goodall, while presenting Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, known as Amma, with the 2002 Gandhi-King Award for NonViolence. Sharon Stone - when she welcomed Amma to present her with the Cinéma Vérité award in Paris was also drawn to say, “I welcome this saint, this angel, this person of active goodness.” If you haven’t yet planned on meeting the little woman that stood tall at the UN when she spoke about how we are all connected to each other and this earth, then there is an opportunity this summer to do just that. Amma is the founder of Embracing the World (ETW), a vast network of international charities, the founder and chancellor of Amrita University, and the founder of AIMS, a not-for-profit super specialty hospital in Kerala. She is also a renowned spiritual leader and motivator who has inspired people all over the world and a visionary who has been at the helm of many significant, transformative discussions and initiatives globally. Her philanthropic activities range from providing the most basic amenities – food, shelter, education, livelihoods and healthcare to the poorest communities all over the world, as well as efforts to increase environmental preservation through sustainable efforts backed by path breaking research in laboratories at the Amrita University. ETW runs rescue and relief work responding to disasters around the globe with funds and manpower that are completely voluntary. Under the auspices of Mother’s Kitchen, volunteers prepare and serve 10 million meals every year across India, Kenya, Costa Rica, Mexico, North America, Australia, Spain and Southern France to name a few countries. Amma also believes that helping women earn a better living pays off for everybody – mothers provide better nutrition and healthcare and spend more on their children.

Amma with Prime Minister Modi discussing Clean Ganga Initiative.

Furthering this conviction, ETW has vocationally trained more than 100,000 economically vulnerable women throughout India and supported them with start-up capital and marketing assistance, as well as access to microcredit loans from government-regulated banks and affordable insurance plans. The women use these assets to form self-help groups, share micro savings accounts, and start their own home-based businesses. For many of the women, it is the first job they have ever had. Since 1998, ETW has provided monthly pensions for widows and other women in poverty. In 2006, the project was expanded to benefit the physically and mentally challenged and now

serves a total of 69,000 beneficiaries. The plan now supports more than 100,000 impoverished men, women and children who are struggling to make ends meet.

Amma meeting the Pope ahead of the summit to discuss a solution towards ending human trafficking. The United Nations has officially On June 24 and 25, Amma will visit m a d e A m r i t a Atlanta for two days of public University India’s first programs open to all, which will be ever UNESCO Chair on gender equality and held at the Marriott Marquis in women’s empowerment in downtown Atlanta. The programs will recognition of their un- include inspirational music, matched work in the area. The massive destruc- meditation, spiritual discourse, and tion wrecked by the 2004 personal blessings, where Amma will Tsunami and the work that meet everyone individually in her ensued towards rehabilitation of several hundreds of inimitable style. villages triggered Amrita University’s research into toms. Reverence and respect towards all creatures wireless technology for and creation was an integral part of their life. It landslide detection as well was ingrained in them that they should take only as ground breaking what was needed from Nature, without exploiting Nanotechnology, which and destroying Her. But in today’s world, we see further led to the launch and humans taking from Nature and their fellow hupopularization of MoVE, man beings without any limit. Moreover, they a tablet based learning for often destroy them at the same time. Taking more rural children, open and dis- than we need and then wasting it is unrighteous.” On June 24 and 25, Amma will visit Atlanta tance learning with virtual laboratories and wearable for two days of public programs open to all, which technology for health and safety. Amma emphasizes the need to give back to will be held at the Marriott Marquis in downtown nature and supporting this has encouraged plant- Atlanta. The programs will include inspirational ing of more than a million trees, energizing com- music, meditation, spiritual discourse, and permunities into creating their own small home sonal blessings, where Amma will meet everyone and community gardens leading to reducing, re- individually in her inimitable style. For more information, please visit using and recycling waste and increasing the green footprint. Simply put, Amma emphasizes and for information on Amma’s charitable activities, please visit the need for sustainable communities. In Amma’s own words “Environmental protection is one of the greatest issues mankind faces to- Amma addressing the UN. day. If only we would walk along the path shown by our ancestors, we could easily find solutions to the problems we are facing in this area. In the past, our ancestors didn’t need to ‘try to protect Nature’ because their very lives themselves protected Nature. Environmental protection was inherent in their very lifestyle, worship and cultural cus-

........Features ........

Rules: 1.The 3 x 3 sub grids are called regions 2.Numbers already filled in the grid are called givens 3.The goal of the player is to fill the blank grids of · Every row · Every column and · Every 3 x 3 box · With the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 However: All rows and columns and regions (3 x 3) should contain numbers 1 to 9 without being repeated.

Sanatan Mandir’s Pran Pratishtha... 4 7 6 8 1 3 2 5 9

Chairman Vir Nanda thanked all who supported Sanatan Mandir.They exhorted the devotees to join Dollar-a-day program to help the temple,to not only meet its maintenance and operational expenditure but also improve and add to the facilities and make it a throbbing and thriving temple. In her vote of thanks the Mandir’s elated chairperson Devyani Desai thanked all the volun-

teers, devotees and trustees for participating in the grand celebrations and for the flawless, professional and courteous serving of mahaprasad ,managing the dining facility ,efficient parking , over all cleaning and tidiness. She noted that the beautiful Temple also has class rooms / dance studio /dining hall etc. that are available for rent and for organizing different events in future . For further information please visit Sanatan Mandir Atlanta on Facebook or their website

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IFA Cricket League JUNE 10 - 22 Cup When: Saturdays, June 10-July 22, 2017 Matches in Cricket Grounds - Game Days (June 10, 17, 24 & July 8, 15, 22) Where: Atlanta Cricket Fields, 5325 Keith Bridge Rd., Cumming, GA 30041 Contact: Sreekanth Uppala 847-751-0789 Fees for the league is $375. Each team will play a minimum of 3 matches in Round Robin level. Matches will be on Saturdays in June & July (except Jul 1st) Games Start on Jun 10th. Games will be played with Hard Tennis Ball. Awards Ceremony by International Cricket Player in Freedom Mela.

Amma visits Atlanta JUNE 24-25 Free programs Come receive her special blessing over the course of four completely free programs, including a special program dedicated to world peace. June 24 – June 25: Free Public Programs June 25 Evening: Devi Bhava (Free Program) A celebration devoted to world peace Public programs begin at 10am with all day public darshan, or blessing. An evening program with a spiritual talk, bhajans (spiritual music), meditation and darshan begins at 7:30pm and continues late into the night. When: Sat-Sun, June 24-25, 2017 Times: Sat 10am, 7:30pm, Sun 10am, 7pm Plan to arrive at least 90 minutes before the program if you would like to receive Amma’s embrace—may be limited by time constraints. Where: Atlanta Mariott Marquis, 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303 Contact: 770-609-4860, meeting-amma/north-america/atlanta

I always say “please” and “thank you, lometers of major highways, relisting them as Miss” when talking to Siri so that when the ma- humble “regular” roads, and thus exempt. chines take over she won’t kill me. “Spare the Of course, ingenuity can also be used in puny one. He was always polite.” the name of evil, I hear from my friends at You have to be cunning to make the best of Shanghaiist, a news website. Chinese compalife these days. nies are selling portable engines on long poles Another ingenious life-hack. My wife bought designed to thump walls and ceilings purely for an avocado last week I carried it around for a week the purpose of annoying neighbors. One parso that I could eat it in the 10-minute period be- ticularly irritating man turned on such a matween “not ripe yet” and chine, called an ApartTHE FUNNY SIDE ment Shaker, and then “horribly rotten”. That was the plan, anyway, and went away for the weekone day it will work. end. Of course, many of us But perhaps the bigalready have free-of-charge gest mass outbreak of cunapartment-shaking devices ning this year so far has been in our homes, but we call in India. Like everywhere them “children”. A thief stole a car. Inelse, hotels and other food stead of making a fake numand drink venues are conveber plate, he found a car of niently located near major the same make, age and highways there, but Indian color, and copied its numjudges passed a law making ber plate. Thus any police officer who ran a it illegal for any alcohol-selling venue to be within 500 metres (in some places, 220 metres) of a computerized check would find that everything seemed to be in order. highway. The only chance of exposure would be if Since it’s tricky to pick up a hotel and move it, residents responded with a mass outbreak of both cars just happened to be parked in the same car park at the same time, and what were the ingenuity. chances of that in a country with a population of One bar-owner built a long, winding maze 60 million? The answer turned out to be not zero. in front of his roadside bar, so it became quite A woman in the town of Coleshill phoned police literally a long walk from the street. to say that she was in a shop’s parking lot and Some hoteliers attached signs to their back noticed a car exactly like hers, same brand, same gates saying: “This is Now The Front Gate”. color, same license number. Gotcha. Other restaurateurs got friends in govern- Nury Vittachi ment departments to “demote” hundreds of ki-

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Sadhu Vaswani JUNE 5 Center: June events A special discourse by Guruma Geeteshwari Devi - Geeta Ashram, New Delhi with dinner/prasadum at the end of program. When: Mon June 5, 2017 at 7pm Where: Sadhu Vaswani Center Atlanta, Global Mall, 5675 Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Norcross Contact: Komal Seernani at 404-483-9810 If you would like to volunteer to prepare an item for the Prasadam, pl. call Komal Seernani at 404-483-9810

3rd International JUNE 25 Day of Yoga - 2017 Consulate General of India with the support of around 50 associations/Yoga institutions and the City of Sandy Springs will be celebrating 3rd International Day of Yoga 2017 When: Sunday, June 25, 2017 from 7:30am 10:30am Where: Sandy Springs Heritage Park, 6110 Blue Stone Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30328 Contact:, Sudhir Agarwal 770-289-0370. D.V. Singh, Consul, Consulate General of India - Atlanta,

Cunning Life-Hacks To Help You Survive These Difficult Days

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Gujarati Samaj Youth JUNE 5 Camp 2017 Hosted by Gujarati Samaj Atlanta When: 6/5 Deadline for Registration (Campers) Camp: July 5 – July 16, 2017 Carnival: July 8 from 9 AM - 9 PM Where: Gujarati Samaj Atlanta, 5331 Royal Woods Pkwy, Tucker, Georgia 30084 Tickets: Contact: Vasu Patel, 404-401-4404

Chinmaya Mission JUNE 12-16 Atlanta: Summer Camp Ages 5-14, in English. When: Mon-Fri, June 12-16, 2017 Times: 8am-5pm Where: Chinmaya (Atlanta) Niketan, 5511 Williams Road, Norcross, GA 30093 Cost: $200 Contact: Neeta M Nayak,

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Ambaji USA - Shree JUNE 5-17 Shakti Mandir: Youth Camp 2017 Theme: Navratri Ages 6-14 When: Mon - Thurs, June 5-8, 2017 Mon - Sat, June 12-17, 2017 Where: Shree Shakti Mandir, 1450 Huie Rd., Lake City, GA 30260 Contact: 770-968-3490,

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NRI Pulse Online Magazine The Complete Portal for NRIs News, Views, Blogs, Features, Perspectives, Debates, Community Profiles, Immigration, Health, Business, Youth, Fashion, Entertainment, Bollywood, Cookery, Free Classifieds and more...

May 2017

..... Tribute to Atlanta Naari .....


Praksha Patel: Mentor Extraordinaire DIVYA DESAI’S photographic ode to Atlanta women. They are mothers and wives, sisters and daughters. They are successful professionals and strong role models. They lead with their hearts and give back to the community. Let us salute the ‘heroes’ of our community! Photography and Concept: Divya Desai Make up: Kripa Bhatt Hair Stylist: Tina Cash


raksha Patel is at once wife, mom and trail blazer in the Indian community. For many years, she has been a Sunday school teacher, one of the founding leaders of the Gujarati Cultural Association of North America (GCANA) camp for children and teens, and much, much more. Many in the community know her for her incredible work, passion and the mentor and inner leader they find in her. She is married to Mahesh Patel and has two chil-

dren Vishal (22) and Jaimisha (21) and recently added a new member to her family- Biscuit, a 19month-old golden doodle. Let’s talk about your work in the community. For the past 23 years, my husband and I have been heavily involved in running the Summer Camp program at GCANA. It started off as a simple conversation. We were talking about how children spend their time during long summer breaks from

school and that gave way to an entire plan to establish a summer camp where children would be able to meet and socialize with their peers. But it has become much more than that. Over the years it has evolved into a month-long Summer Camp focusing on fun, laughter, and camaraderie, highlighted by counselors (many of whom were former campers) who learn valuable leadership skills in the process of running the camp daily. We have an annual theme that teaches some of the fundamentals of Hindu culture in a way that is easily digested by children, so that they can put it into practice. It is the best part of the year for me. Along side this, I have been teaching small groups of children in my community for the past 7 years. We focus on human values and Hindu culture. I try to help them understand their identities, as they grow up in the Western world; I try to teach them to understand who they are and integrate that with the communities they live in.” What drives you do what you do? “After I had my children, my desire to find a Sunday school similar to the one from my own childhood grew stronger. I was lucky to find what I was looking for. They attended this class for almost 10 years and during that time, even I grew spiritually and mentally. I realized that there are other parents who desire the same for their own children, but weren’t able to find it. And that’s why I do what I do. Through my work, I am able to give them the same happiness I felt when I found what I was looking for. There were many people that played an important part in my life as I was growing up. My parents, brothers, schoolteachers, spiritual teachers, friends — they all have shaped me into the person I am today. They guided me always, not only by directly teaching me but also through their own actions. We all have that power to affect those around us. I want to do the same as my mentors did for me. I want to invest the same time in others that was invested in me. We can impact the children in our community to be great leaders and empower them with knowledge of our culture, and that drives me to do what I do; so that our future communities will be strong and our culture

will live on.” How have you impacted the children in our community specifically? Through our work at GCANA, we noticed that children feel more empowered when they are aware of the spiritual meaning behind our many rituals and festivals. As a result, we decided to focus on this in our teachings: why we do what we do in these festivals, and what they can learn from it. Over the years, I have presented the symbolism behind our main festivals, such as Holi, Navaratri, and Diwali. The children not only walk away with these powerful life lessons, but are also able to implement them into their daily lives. Who are your biggest inspirations? First, the parents and children for whom I do the work inspire me every day. When the children you teach start to share the passion you feel for God that you have been trying to instill in them, you want to do more. When they start putting what you teach them into practice, and when their parents notice a change in their children, that is what inspires me. Though it is hard work sometimes, it is what keeps me going. My other inspirations are also my own Balvikas teachers, Ushaben and Neesaben (both of whom I still keep in touch with) and also Uncle Jega. Ushaben was my first Balvikas guru and Neesaben is only a few years older than me but I aspired to be like both of them when I was just 10 year old; they both made such an impact in me. Uncle Jega, from Malaysia, came to Atlanta in 2010 and did a series of talks on Hinduism. My older brother has also inspired me. The summer camp that I am involved in running emerged from the influence of my older brother, Nareshbhai. My mum was ultimately my greatest inspiration. She is the kindest, most compassionate, loving person I know. I aspire to be like her in every way. And of course, my children and my husband who constantly inspire me to do what I love with their constant support.”

..... Bollywood Pulse .....


I Am A Limited Performer, Says Salman Khan

Salman Khan, who will soon be seen in the film “Tubelight”, says as an actor he has limitations and filming for the Kabir Khan directorial was an emotional journey. Sharing his experience of working with his brother Sohail Khan, Salman told media here: “ I felt emotionally drained after shooting some of the scenes that narrate that my brother is no more.” “I am a limited performer and everybody knows that, but because Sohail was playing my brother, maybe that’s why I was feeling very emotional.” “In fact, during the dubbing of the film also, being a grown up man, my tears were coming up... it was really bad! And coming from us (Pathans) is really bad,” he said, sharing an earlier story. “When I was in jail, one day my mother, father and one of my uncles came to see me there, and seeing my condition, my uncle started crying. So my father told him, ‘kaise Pathan ho yaar tum, roh rahe ho’(what kind of a Pathan are you?You are crying!),” said Salman. Salman and Sohail showed the trailer to their mother Salma Khan. “This time she will pray more as both of her sons are working in the film,” Salman said.

May 2017

Brad Pitt Says He Can’t Crack Bollywood’s Code Mumbai: (IANS) Hollywood actor Brad Pitt says he has great respect for Indian film industry because it has its own unique language, but added that he would never be able to crack the code of Bollywood. Most of the people in the west associate Bollywood with dancing and singing, and Pitt also carries the same image. He says he can not sing or dance and that is the main reason he will never be able to make it big in Bollywood. “I have great respect for Indian cinema because it has its own film language, its own stars and has created place of its own... That is what we enjoy over there,” Pitt during a conversation with Indian superstar Shah Rukh Khan here. Pitt was curious about Indian showbiz as he asked many queries about how it functions, how long the shoots are and other nitty gritties of the Bollywood world. As SRK said that an action and dance film takes upto 120 days to shoot and a simple film 70 days, Pitt exclaimed: “It’s the same there. But we don’t have dance. I will never make it in Bollywood. I can’t dance.” Then SRK said: “Oh, we’ll make you dance. We make everyone dance”, and went on to explain his signature move. The “Fight Club” actor also added he can’t sing as well. Pitt was the surprise element of the “War




Machine” press conference on Wednesday here. There were hints that he may stop over in India after completing his Tokyo press tour, and it came as a pleasant surprise when he entered the conference room with a wide beaming smile along with Bollywood’s “Baadshah” Shah Rukh.

The main motive of calling the event might have been “War Machine”, but all the focus was on the brewing bromance between the two stalwarts of the entertainment world. It all started when Pitt asked Shah Rukh to get on the stage before him, saying “Bro, you first” to shaking hands and then sharing inside industry jokes. However, it is not clear if Shah Rukh, who is infamous for being late at events, made Pitt wait as the press conference was delayed by over half

an hour, and SRK was seen entering the venue at 5.46 p.m when it was scheduled to start at 5.30 p.m. After making a stylish statement at the premiere of his co-production in Japan earlier this week, Pitt opted for an ill-fitted suit for his India outing. He teamed it up with a white shirt, white sneakers and glasses. Pitt was in India last in 2006 with his then girlfriend and actress-filmmaker Angelina Jolie, who later on went on to become his wife, daughter Zahara and son Maddox. They were in the country for few month for the filming of “A Mighty Heart”. The actor said he had a fantastic time shooting the film in the country. This time, Pitt’s trip to the country will be short as he will be flying out on Thursday morning. “War Machine” is a satirical comedy with Pitt essaying role of US General Glen McMahon, who is tough but over-confident with an only aim to lead his army towards victory in Afghanistan, and win the war. It will stream on the US-based on-demand streaming website

‘Baahubali’ Has Raised The Hopes Of Regional Filmmakers: Prabhas New Delhi: (IANS) What started off as a mere vision in filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli’s mind in 2012, has today become a phenomenon of sorts in Indian cinema. Actor Prabhas, who invested four years to the two-part “Baahubali” franchise, says he would have happily given more time to the project which he feels fortunate to have been a part of. After the stupendous success of “Baahubali: The Beginning” in 2015, “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” has set an unprecedented record for Indian cinema by raking in over Rs 1,500 crore (almost $180 million) worldwide — giving Prabhas a visibility he had never predicted for himself. “I have my strong faith, respect and belief in Rajamouli sir. The fact that he believed I could play Baahubali was huge for me. If needed, I would have even given seven years of my life for Baahubali, as such characters are rare to play in a lifetime for any actor. I consider myself very fortunate and lucky for it,” Prabhas told IANS over email. Despite success of both the parts — “Baahubali: The Beginning” and “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” — Prabhas still feels “unfamiliar” from the project. “When we started work on ‘Baahubali’, my sheer aim was to be able to live upto the imagination that Rajamouli sir had in mind. As an actor, my intention was to bring up Baahubali live on screen for the audiences. I never even expected in my wildest of dreams that the film would grow on to become a phenomenon of sorts. The feeling is ineffable today,” he said. Prabhas says the pressure was more on him and the whole

team of “Baahubali” when they were making the first part as it established the film right from the start. “Everything had to be faultless in order to make ‘Baahubali’ what it is today. Reaching perfection, giving the film the kind of grandeur it has, the VFX, and the characters — all these elements set just the right environment for the film. Part two was eagerly awaited because part one really worked for the audiences,” he said. “‘Baahubali’ has definitely increased hopes for a lot of regional film makers. After all, what I have learnt is that it only takes one ‘Baahubali’ to enter into the audiences’ hearts and cross the boundaries,” he added. Talking about his preparations for his role, Prabhas said: “A character like Baahubali required a preparation that I had to undergo mentally and physically. From undertaking a strict routine and a lifestyle which helped me become the character physically to knowing the character’s depth and a lot more. “What was more of a task was to maintain a consistency of the character and playing the father-son duo. To understand the emotions and sentiments from a father and son’s perspective and enacting both sides of it wasn’t easy,” added Prabhas, who played a double role of Amarendra Baahubali and his son Mahendra Baahubali in the franchise. The 37-year-old, who started his career with Telugu film “Eeshwar” in 2002, says acting was not his childhood dream. “I never thought I will pursue acting because I was a shy person. Around the age of 18 or 19 it struck me that I want to be an actor. I told my dad (producer Uppalapati Surya Narayana Raju) and uncle about it, they felt very happy,” Prabhas said.

May 2017

..... Indians of Atlanta .....

#IndiansOfAtlanta is our attempt at building an archive of local Indian-American stories, one story at a time. Help us popularize this feature by sharing our Facebook page ( If you have a unique, inspirational story that you’d like to share with the world, write us at editor@ with ‘Indians of Atlanta’ in the subject line.

Ananya Vahal: Raising Awareness For Lung Transplant Research “My brother Sid Vahal received a double lung transplant when he was 26 years old. At 29, he passed away due to complications. Sid was a big, strong guy who never got sick. Soon after his 26th birthday, his health began declining and both of his lungs collapsed. Sid fought for his life as he kept getting rejected by hospitals for a lung transplant. He was too acute of a case. They didn’t think he

and admitted into the University of Kentucky hospital. It took months for Sid to recover but eventually he was back home and learning how to live life with borrowed lungs. Unfortunately, after 2.5 years, Sid’s body began rejecting his new lungs and he was hospitalized again. This time, because of his weakened immune system, Sid caught infections in the hos-

Sid’s family and friends will forever remember his bravery as he fought a battle against his own lungs. Sid was a fighter and he inspired everyone with his courage.T Although his life was cut short, the amount of knowledge that doctors gained from his case will continue to help other patients like him in the future.

would survive the transplant. Then, Dr. Hoopes, a surgeon, flew down to Atlanta from the University of Kentucky hospital to see him. Despite Sid’s weakened state, Dr. Hoopes accepted him. Soon, Sid was put on a medical flight to Lexington

pital and his body went into septic shock. He went into a coma and never returned. On May 18, 2014, Sid passed away. Sid’s family and friends will forever remember his bravery as he fought a battle against his own lungs. Sid was a fighter and he inspired everyone with his courage. The reason Sid’s lungs gave out in the first place is still a mystery. Due to his unusual circumstances, the treatments that Sid received in order to survive were cutting edge treatments practiced by some of the greatest doctors in the world. Although Sid’s life was cut short, the amount of knowledge that doctors gained from his case will continue to help other patients like him in future. On May 18, 2015, my parents and I decided to start The Sid Foundation. We created this nonprofit to raise funds and awareness for lung transplant research and to keep Sid’s memory alive. Sid was a fun, loveable guy with a big personality. He was also an artist who loved comic books. Inspired by Sid’s passion, I wrote the story of Lung Girl and with the help of an artist turned it into a comic. Lung Girl is a fun and educational comic about lung issues and all of the proceeds from the comic go to The Sid Foundation. The first comic came out in March 2016. The second comic is in production right now. I partnered with artist Loso Perez from Prime Vice Studios for this comic coming out fall 2017! Go to for more information.” – Ananya Vahal Ananya Vahal is a writer. The purpose of her writing is to represent the Indian-American community and tell our unique stories through essays, social media, and comics.


........ What’s Cooking? ........


Winter Melon Koot BYP.S. LAKSHMI RAO

2 teaspoons oil 3 teaspoons urad dal 4 red dry chilies ½ cup fresh or frozen shredded coco-

nut 1 long green chili cut in to four pieces 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves

water if needed). Mix vegetables with chena dal. Add salt, turmeric, green chilies, fresh coriander leaves and urad dal paste to the vegetables and chena dal mixture. Cook in medium low heat mixing often for three minutes. Fry popu and add this to the koot. Popu (Tadka) 2 teaspoons oil ½ teaspoon home made ghee (optional) 1 teaspoon red small mustard seeds 1 teaspoon urad dal

In a small pan heat oil and fry urad dal and chilies until dal becomes light brown. Put this mixture and the coconut with half a cup of water in a blender and blend it to a smooth paste. Set aside. 2 pounds winter melon piece peeled and cubed in to 2 inch pieces 1 cup chena dal 4 cups water 1 teaspoon salt or to taste ¼ teaspoon turmeric (haldi)

2 stems curry leaves 1/8-teaspoon asafetida (hing) 1 tablespoon fresh or frozen shredded coconut 1 table spoons chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro or kothimeeri) Heat oil and ghee (if using) in a small dish. Add mustard seeds and urad dal. Fry until mustard seeds start to splatter and urad dal becomes light brown. Add curry leaves, asafetida, and coconut and fry for half a minutes. Add this to koot. Cook for three minutes longer. Transfer koot in to a serving dish and sprinkle fresh coconut and coriander leaves. You can eat this with rice, chapatis and papads.

Atukulu (Poha) Laddu

Cook winter melon pieces in 2 cups of water in a three quart sauce pan for seven or eight minutes making sure not to over cook the vegetable. Transfer them in to a glass bowl. In the same pan cook chena dal with the remaining 2 cups of water until dal becomes little soft (adding little more

May 2017

2 Cups thin atukulu (poha) ½ Teaspoons cardamom seeds (ilachi) 1 Cup light brown sugar 1 Cup fresh grated or frozen coconut (unsweetened)

½ Teaspoon Ghee (optional) In a dry frying pan fry poha in low heat for three minutes, Let it cool and blend poha and cardamom seeds together until they become coarse ravva. Mix all the above ingredients and ghee with hand until you are able to make balls. Taste the mixture for sweetness and make small lime size balls. Makes about 12 balls. Note: If you are using frozen coconut, spread the coconut on doubled paper towel and microwave it for 30 seconds to remove some moisture.

........ InVogue .......

How To Dress Like A Diva Without Trying Too Hard wearing it very naturally, and in an exotic manner. While you can choose the style and color by taking inspiration from Bollywood divas,

you must make it your own with subtle personal touches. Dress for yourself, not for others. Walk in freedom, in confidence!

For more info, call me at 404-6334966 or visit Raneez Fine Boutique in Decatur.

BY RANI SHARMA Raneez Fine Boutique The gateway of fashion opens its doors just for you. Make it real. Be the stunning lady without trying too hard. Walk out the door with confidence and reveal your ageless beauty. Find your space by learning different skills of dressing from Bollywood divas. The easiest way to learn to dress in latest trends is from top Bollywood actresses. Decide how to wear a dress without any hardship. When you select your outfit, make sure it suits you and shows you in the best light. Anarkali suits are the best if you wear them with light jewelry. The diva gets the look by

May 2017


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