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NRI Pulse

August 2017

Atlanta’s Premier South Asian Newspaper August 2017


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August 2017


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August 2017


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August 2017


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August 2017

Atlanta’s Premier South Asian Newspaper August 2017


Infosys To Hire 2,000 Two Tucker Teens Killed In Deadly Crash Americans In North Carolina

Bengaluru: (IANS) Infosys Ltd recently announced that it would hire 2,000 Americans in North Carolina by 2021. "We will open a technology and innovation hub in North Carolina and hire and train 2,000 American workers in the state by 2021," said the IT major in a statement here. The hiring in North Carolina is part of the company's May 2 announcement to recruit 10,000 Americans by setting up four such hubs across the US to focus on new technologies, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, user experience, emerging digital technologies, cloud and big data. The hiring of Americans is seen as a fallout of US President Donald Trump's executive order on H1-B visas in April, as clients in North America contribute about 60 per cent of the $10.3 billion company's software export revenue annually. The North Carolina hub will be second after the first hub in Indiana state by August where 2,000 jobs will be created for American workers. "The investment in North Carolina reinforces our commitment to open four such technology hubs in the US and hire 10,000 American workers over the next four years," said Infosys. About 500 of the 2,000 employees in North Carolina will be hired over the next two years to help drive innovation and create the next generation of American workers. The new hires will include graduates from North Carolina's colleges, universities and local professionals who will benefit from upskilling through its training curriculum. The company will also partner with the North Carolina community college system to create a customized program designed to train the workforce. North Carolina will contribute a $3 million grant towards upskilling the workers. "Our endeavor is to be a leader in boosting American innovation in the transformation of its core industries and help create the next generation of American innovators and entrepreneurs through education and training," said Infosys Chief Executive Vishal Sikka. With a talented workforce focused on advanced manufacturing and clean technology, he said the graduates and professionals would leverage AI, machine learning, analytics and cloud to drive the transformation of core US industries like aerospace, banking, biotech, and energy.

Atlanta, GA: Two Parkview high school students were killed and three other people were injured in a deadly crash in Gwinnett County. According to a report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the car with four teenagers inside was speeding on Lawrenceville Highway when it collided with an SUV. Driver Sani Velani, 16, of Tucker, and passenger Afaan Asif, 15, of Tucker, were killed. Officers and emergency workers responded to the scene of the crash about 6:45 p.m. Sunday, Gwinnett police Cpl. Michele Pihera told AJC. According to the crash report, the 2016 Honda Accord was heading south on Lawrenceville Highway when a northbound 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe tried to turn left from the cen-

ter lane onto Kenvilla Drive. The two vehicles collided at Kenvilla Drive. The Accord spun clockwise, left the road and hit a power pole, according to the crash report. The Tahoe spun counterclockwise and was knocked into southbound lanes of the highway. Velani , who was behind the wheels, died on the scene. Asif and another passenger were taken to Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville. Asif died en route to the hospital. 16-year-old Rutesh Kakadiya of Lilburn was injured. A third passenger, Taha Muhammed, 15, of Tucker, was taken to Atlanta Medical Center with injuries. Kiara Oliver, 37, the driver of the Tahoe, was also taken to the same hospital.

Amid Doklam, India Says Partnership With US Crucial For Indo-Pacific Region New Delhi: (IANS) Amid the standoff at Doklam and a reported transgression by Chinese troops in Uttarakhand, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said that India-US partnership is crucial for the stability of the Indo-Pacific region. "One of the main challenges confronting the world today is the evolving situation in the Indo-Pacific," Sushma Swaraj said while inaugurating the first edition of the India-US Forum here. "Strong India-US partnership is critical for peace, stability and prosperity in this region," she said. Her remarks come amid China's increased aggressiveness in the South China Sea, most of which it claims as its own. China's claims have been challenged by many of the littoral countries in the region. Sushma Swaraj said that India and the US stood together in upholding an international rules-based system that has benefited all nations. "We have also outlined the principles that should be adhered to in undertaking connectivity initiatives, including ensuring respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity," she said, in reference

to China's ambitious One Belt One Road initiative, of which the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a major part. India has objected to the OBOR over sovereignty issues and lack of transparency. The India-US joint statement issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met US President Donald Trump in Washington in June also backed India's opposition to the OBOR on the question of sovereignty and transparency. "India will continue to work with the US and other partners in support of these objectives and principles." She said the US should continue to be engaged in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan while reaffirming India's own commitment to work for the reconstruction of the war-torn country. Stating that both India and the US have been direct victims of this scourge, she said in a veiled reference to Pakistan: "In India, we have been facing cross-border terrorism for many years now. This is now recognised as a larger regional -- even global -- challenge." As for India-US relations, Sushma Swaraj said that Modi's June visit reaffirmed the principal directions of the bilateral relationship and provided a firm basis to further strengthen it.

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Nevada SC Throws Out Murder Conviction Of Ex-Vegas Doctor

Las Vegas, NV: The Nevada Supreme Court has thrown out the murder conviction of a once-prominent physician in Nevada who died in state prison while serving a sentence stemming from a 2007 hepatitis C outbreak at his busy Las Vegas outpatient clinics, The Republic reports. Five justices, in a ruling cited “intervening causes” between actions by Dipak Kantilal Desai and the death of a former patient, Rodolfo Meana. Meana was found to have contracted the incurable liver disease from a contaminated anesthesia drug that was reused in injections on multiple patients during outpatient procedures at Desai’s Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada. Meana died in 2012 at age 77, more than four years after contracting hepatitis C. The court noted that he voluntarily declined full medical treatment before his death. Desai was 67 when he died in April at a Reno hospital after his transfer from a medical facility at Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City. He gave up his medical license and declared bankruptcy when the outbreak became public. His wife, Kusum Desai, continued to appeal his sentence. Desai’s lawyer, Richard Wright, maintained for years that Desai was in such poor health after several strokes that he was unfit for trial on criminal charges. Desai was convicted in state court and sentenced in 2013 to 18 years to life in state prison on charges also including neglect of patients, reckless disregard causing substantial bodily harm and insurance fraud. The state high court upheld those convictions. Desai also was serving a nearly six-year concurrent federal prison sentence handed down in July 2015 after he pleaded guilty before trial to health care fraud and conspiracy. The hepatitis outbreak became public in early 2008 when health officials notified 63,000 former Desai clinic patients to get tested for potentially fatal blood-borne diseases. Regional health investigators eventually linked at least nine and as many as 114 cases of hepatitis C to Desai clinics. The outbreak spawned dozens of lawsuits. Several jury findings held drug manufacturers and the state’s largest health management organization liable for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to plaintiffs.


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Sensation-al Performances By Students Of Shiv’s Dance Institute


Atlanta, GA: Shiv’s Institute of Dance presented Sensation 2017, a biennial event that showcases its students’ performances, at the Atlanta Symphony Hall on Sunday May 28th. Designed and Choreographed by its founder, Shiva Turlpati and his team, well over 300 students of the institute, with ages as young as four, danced the night away as the packed Symphony Hall resonated to Bollywood beats.

happens every 2 years so we make sure it has the grandeur and performances that raise the bar each time we do it! Finally it was a grand success with the help of our parents, sponsors, volunteers and of course our rock star performers!” said a beaming Turlapati. Featuring 32 performances, over 125 songs were used with five showstopper pieces. The program featured various dance forms including Bollywood, hip hop, contemporary, jazz, latin, femme hip-hop, classical and Indian folk tuned to Hindi

Publisher NRI Pulse Media Inc. Editor Veena Rao Reports/Features Jyothsna Hegde Supriya D.G. Columnists/Writers Mahadev Desai Rani Sharma P.S. Lakshmi Rao Dr. Panchajanya Paul Kristen Moon Divya Desai Advertising: 404-664-2805 ________________________ NRI Pulse Newspaper is a free monthly news and features publication of NRI Pulse Media Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, duplicated, reprinted or stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without the written permission of the publisher. Disclaimer: Any views or opinions published in this publication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. NRI Pulse Media Inc. accepts no liability for the errors and content of advertisements in this publication. Where to get NRI Pulse: NRI Pulse is available FREE at major retail locations in Atlanta. Call 404-664-2805 for more details.

August 2017

Anchors for the evening, Monty Kataria and Rajvee Mehta engaged the audience with humor and vigor, in equal measure. Kataria, a journalist, entertainer, and media personality by profession was at his wittiest best. Mehta serves as an assistant choreographer at SID. Consul D.V. Singh and Narender Reddy presided as chief guests of the event. A large-scale creation with many performers, Sensation 2017 was the result of a highly collaborative effort of the organizers. The production involved 700 pairs of costumes, 30 member hair and make-up crew, around 80 senior SID student volunteers, custom graphics, 5 layered led walls, and moving heads to add special effects. “Sensation is a signature event of SID which

bining the two classics, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. The last Showstopper picked up the sensitive topic of rape and its sudden impact on a girl who was leading a normal life up until the point it changed forever. Several other performances with an array of themes presented dance in various forms. The grand finale, featuring Turlapti wrapped up the evening with a bang. The décor, life size cutouts of popular movie stars, Bollywood and Hollywood including the cutout of current favorite, Bahubali fame, Prabhas drew the crowd to pose for pictures and create a memorabilia from the event. “We re passionate like every other dance studio!” Says Turlapati. But he believes what sets them apart and makes them unique is the blend of instructors’ team who come from different dance forms. “These instructors have allowed us to bring so much variety in the course of time. We fondly say " we bring dance to life" which also happens to be SID's caption!” He added. Shiv’s institute of dance offers classes in two locations – Marietta and Cumming.

music from all eras. Opening act, Showstopper Ganapathi depicted the history and story of Ganapathi. In the Showstopper Netflix News Station act, performers traced various ways of pursuing a girl, with references to Bollywood heroes Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Ranveer Singh. Showstopper Baar Baar Hota Hain, a Reincarnation interpretation, presented a comical take on Kuch Kuch Hota Hain with the title theme blended with shades of jealousy. Showstopper Cinderella and the Beast added an interesting twist in com-

Hansinee Mayani Performs At Sydney Opera House

Atlanta, GA: Hansinee Mayani began learning the violin at the tender age of 3, and by age 7 was already playing with the Georgia Symphony Youth Orchestra's Sinfonia Group. At 8 she was invited to play with Walker School's High School Orchestra and at age 13 she was playing with Ensemble 1 the highest level of Lassiter High School Orchestra as well as with Philharmonia the 2nd highest level of the Georgia Symphony. Having performed at the New York's Heritage Music Festival in 2015 she was now recognized for performing at various competent venues outside of the academic environment and in Honor's league. In the summer of 2014, Hansinee competed at the National Miss America contest as a GA semi-finalist and in the 5 awards she collected competing with 130 girls in her bracket, she had taken a 2nd place in music ability playing the violin. The summa-

tion of these highly rated competitive events encour- perhaps the only Georgian performer in the Orchesaged her to audition for the Honor's Performance at tra. the Sydney Opera House in 2017. Out of a pool of Landing in Sydney starting July 7th they collectively rehearsed on scores everyday, that were sent a month and half ago with their respective pieces, culminating in a commercial performance at the Sydeny Opera House on July 10th evening. Despite each ticket costing almost $100, the stalls were filled with a very appreciative audience. The performance was outstanding and more so the experience was overwhelming. The diversity of the performers included students from all over the USA and China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Japan and more. Earlier, Hansinee was accepted on scholarship to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders at Cambridge, (Boston) MA for a 3-day conference and besides Nobel Laureate Buzz Aldrin (The 2nd man to walk on the moon). She was instructed by a host of other Nobel Laureates and Award winning PhDs and MDs. Hansinee Mayani continues her trajectory of making a difference in everything she sets herself to achieving. She claims that it is not because she is very special but because she was given the opportu12,000 nominations, she was one of the global 150 nities and she tried very hard to utilize them to the selected to perform after passing the auditions and fullest!


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Indian-American Doctor Jailed For $49 Million Fraud

Washington: (IANS) An Indian-American doctor-cum-entrepreneur was sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison for defrauding his former company’s shareholders of more than $49 million. Sreedhar Potarazu, 51, an ophthalmic surgeon licensed in Maryland and Virginia, founded VitalSpring Technologies Inc in 2000 and was its CEO and President and served on its Board of Directors, the US Department of Justice said on its website. Prosecutors said Potarazu provided materially false and misleading information to VitalSpring’s shareholders to induce more than $49 million in capital investments in the company. Potarazu was remanded in custody on Wednesday and will have to forfeit several homes, vehicles and bank accounts. He presented the company as financially successful and on the brink of being sold, quoting major profits when in reality he failed to account for and pay over more than $7.5 million in employment taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. Potarazu went to the extent of employing someone to act as a buyer to make shareholders believe his company was doing way better than it actually was, according to investigators. “Like a director employing actors and props on a stage, Sreedhar Potarazu arranged for an imposter to pose as a buyer, provided a link to a bogus website and supplied fraudulent balance sheets, phony bank statements and false tax returns to convince VitalSpring investors and potential buyers that the company was financially healthy and up-to-date on its taxes,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg. “Potarazu ran a multi-million dollar scheme that caused significant financial losses to VitalSpring shareholders for almost a decade,” said Assistant Director in Charge Andrew W. Vale of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. In addition to the term of prison imposed, US District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee ordered Potarazu to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $49,511,169 in restitution to the shareholders and $7,691,071 to the IRS.

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August 2017

Doctor Couple Killed In Plane Crash Vijayawada: (IANS) An Indian-American doctor couple, hailing from Andhra Pradesh, was killed when their private plane crashed in the US state of Ohio. According to information reaching their home town Machilipatnam, Umamaheswara Ka-

lapatapu, 63, and his wife Sitha-Gita Rajyalaxmi Kalapatapu, 61, residents of Indiana, US, were killed in the crash on Saturday. News of the death has caused grief among relatives and friends in Machilipatnam. The couple was on their way to Washington.

Umamaheswara was piloting Piper Archer PA-28, which crashed around 10.30 a.m. Rescue workers found the wreckage near the village of Beverly in southeastern Ohio. The couple were psychiatrists and run Raj Clinics in Indiana. While Umamaheswara was born in Machilipatnam of Krishna district, Rajyalaxmi was a native of Guntur district. Their death sent shock wave among relatives and friends in Machilipatnam. Umamaheswara was son of Appa Rao, a lawyer in the town. The couple has no family members in the town but the relatives and friends were grieved upon learning about the tragedy. They recalled that Umamaheswara studied up to Class 12 in the town. He studied medicine in Guntur. While doing MBBS, he married his classmate Rajyalaxmi. After the marriage, they moved to the US and settled in Indiana. Rajyalaxmi hailed from a family of top musicians and herself used to play the veena. She had many friends among musicians of the Telugu film industry. Her husband was a gifted photographer. He was recognized as a professional photographer by the Professional Photographers of America.

“Discrimination Against Muslims On The Rise” Washington: (IANS) The US is becoming an increasingly Muslim-unfriendly country, a survey released by the Pew Research Center revealed. The study showed that nearly three-quarters of Muslims interviewed agreed that there was "a lot of discrimination against Muslims in the US," and nearly two-thirds of them said they were unsatisfied about where the nation has been headed, Xinhua reported. Muslim opinion has undergone a stark reversal since 2011, when Barack Obama was president, at which point most Muslims thought the country was headed in the right direction, said the survey. About 48 per cent of respondents admitted that they have experienced at least one incident of discrimination in the past 12 months, which was up from 40 per cent in 2007. About one-in-five Muslims in the US have seen anti-Muslim graffiti in their local community in the past year. The survey pointed out that Muslims were "leery of Trump" and thought their fellow Americans did not see Islam as part of mainstream US society. Meanwhile, Muslim Americans remained persistently optimistic and positive. About 89 per cent of the respondents expressed pride in their Muslimness and Americanness.

Indian, Indian-American Plead Guilty In Call Center Scam Washington: (IANS) An Indian national and an Indian-American man pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy behind their roles in a massive telephone impersonation and money laundering fraud in the US perpetrated by India-based call centers. Montu Barot, 30, an Indian national residing in Illinois and Indian-American Nilesh Pandya, 54, of Texas, pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering offenses, the US Department of Justice said on Wednesday. Along with the two men, 54 other individuals and five India-based call centres were charged in the fraud. Including this week’s pleas, a total of 13 defendants have pleaded guilty so far in this case. Co-defendants Bharatkumar Patel, Ashvinbhai Chaudhari, Harsh Patel, Nilam Parikh, Hardik Patel, Rajubhai Patel, Viraj Patel, Dilipkumar A. Patel, Fahad Ali, Bhavesh Patel and Asmitaben Patel previously pleaded guilty between April and July 2017. According to admissions made in the case, Barot, Pandya and their co-conspirators perpetrated a scheme in which individuals from call centres located in Ahmedabad impersonated officials from

the Internal Revenue Service and US Citizenship and Immigration Services and engaged in tele- instructed how to provide payment, including by phone call scams, in a ruse designed to defraud purchasing stored value cards or wiring money. Upon payment, the call centres would immediatevictims located throughout the US. ly turn to a network of “runners” based in the US to liquidate and launder the fraudulently-obtained funds, the Department of Justice said. Barot communicated via phone, text and email in furtherance of the criminal scheme with both domestic and India-based associates. He and his conspirators used reloadable cards containing funds derived from victims by scam callers to purchase money orders and deposit them into various bank accounts as directed, in return for cash payments or commissions. Barot also admitted to sending financial ledgers to his conspirators, detailing the movement of scam victim funds. According to the report, Pandya served as a Using information obtained from data brokers and other sources, call centre operators targeted runner liquidating victim scam funds within the US victims who were threatened with arrest, im- southern district of Texas. prisonment, fines or deportation if they did not At the direction of two of his co-defendants, Pandya used stored value cards that had been loaded pay alleged monies owed to the government. Victims who agreed to pay the scammers were with victim funds to buy money orders and then deposit them into various bank accounts.

Indian Jailed For 30 Months In The US For Selling Gun Silencers New York: (IANS) An Indian citizen has been jailed for 30 months by a federal court in Louisiana in the US for illegally selling gun silencers and planning to smuggle more of them disguised as auto parts. Mohit Chauhan, 31, who is from Pitampura in New Delhi and was sentenced recently, admitted before federal Judge Elizabeth E. Foote in April that he had dealt with firearms without a license. Alexander C. Van Hook, the acting federal prosecutor for Western Louisiana, said on Wednesday that Chauhan was contacted by someone who wanted to buy silencers and he discussed by email and phone manufacturing silencers for the client. The silencers were to be imported as “auto parts” to evade customs, Hook said. Chauhan brought silencer parts to the

Louisiana city of Shreveport in December to show the buyer, according to the prosecutor. When they met in a restaurant in Bossier City to discuss the sale, federal agents recorded their conversa-

tion, leading to his prosecution, Hook said. Chauhan lacked a license to deal in firearms and the parts had been brought illegally into the US. His customer was not publicly identified.

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Tesla Delivers First Model 3 Electric Cars

August 2017

India To Be World's Biggest Milk Producer By 2026

Los Angeles: (IANS) American luxury electric carmaker Tesla has handed over the keys to the first 30 Model 3 buyers at the automaker's manufacturing plant in Fremont, California, the media reported. The jubilant event on Friday night marked the culmination of a long journey to deliver an affordable electric car, reports CNN. Tesla's first three vehicles - the Roadster, Model S and Model X - were quite expensive with prices approaching and exceeding $100,000.

models. The Model 3 was designed to be minimalist so that Tesla can produce more cars faster. The vehicle's door handles are manual, the body is half steel rather than all aluminum, and there is only one screen on the dashboard, mounted at the centre. The standard Model 3 has a battery range of 220 miles and gets from 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds. Customers can pay for added features, including a larger battery, fancier wheels, metallic paint and autonomous driving fea-

United Nations: (IANS) India is projected to become the world's biggest milk producer over the next decade, having tripled its output during the first quarter of this century, a report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation (OECD) has revealed. India's milk output, which was 160.38 mil-

are projected to make a breakthrough during the 10 years to 2026, according to the report. The annual consumption of fresh dairy products, which was around 80.74 kg per person in 2016, is expected to shoot up to 106.94 kg by 2026. Overall, the total calories available per person per

Now with the Model 3, which starts at $35,000, Tesla is releasing a vehicle that could truly move the needle on electric car adoption, according to Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk. "This is a great day for Tesla...It was never our goal just to make expensive cars. We wanted to make cars everyone could buy," he told the media. A customer pre-ordering a Model 3 today would have to wait until late 2018 to receive the car, CNN reported. Musk described how the company went through "production hell" to deliver its first three

tures. There is a four-year 50,000 mile limited warranty for the vehicle. The battery's warranty is eight years and 100,000 miles. Despite the slimmed-down feature set, the Model 3 still has Tesla's distinct stylings. "Everything we do at Tesla has to be beautiful," chief designer Franz von Holzhausen said, adding "And the beauty is only great if it's functional." He singled out the Model 3's glass roof, which was designed to make the car feel more spacious.

lion tonnes in 2016, is expected to reach 227.78 million tonnes by 2026, according to the OECDFAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026 report released here this week. The number of cows is projected to increase from 122.5 million to 227.78 million during the decade, the report said. It said India's milk output in 2026 would be one-third higher than that of the second largest producer, the European Union (EU). "This remarkable growth is achieved with yields below 2 tonnes per head, far below EU or US levels," the report noted. Nutritionally, Indians

day is projected to increase to 2,730 kilocalories (kcal) by 2026, up from the 2,442 kcal last year. Wheat production, which was 92.29 million tonnes last year, would rise to 106.83 million tonnes in 2026, while the area under cultivation would go up from 29 million hectares last year to 31.9 million hectares in 2026, the report said. Rice production is projected to increase from 108.86 million tonnes last year to 2016 million tonnes by 2026, the report said. During the period, area under rice was expected to increase marginally from 44.65 million hectares to 44.81 million hectares, it added.

Economic Case For Ending Child Marriage, Early Birth In India


Over the next seven years, India could save $5 billion (Rs 33,500 crore) in healthcare and related costs if it eliminates child marriage and early childbirth, according to a new report by the World Bank and International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW), a global research institute. For perspective, this is equivalent to the country's 2017-18 higher education budget of Rs 33,329 crore. Globally, $17 billion (Rs 1.14 lakh crore) could be saved across 18 countries by 2030 -- of which India accounts for $10 billion (62 per cent) due to its large population, said the report. Eliminating early marriage and births reduces population growth, which in turn reduces pressure on government budgets; lower population growth across 106 countries from ending child marriage could save up to $566 billion per year in 2030. Child brides face violence, abuse and exposure to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, are more likely to drop out of school and give

birth as adolescents. Adolescent pregnancy can lead to several health problems -- anemia, malaria, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, postpartum hemorrhage and mental disorders -according to the WHO. The proportion of girls marrying before legal age increased from 1.78 per cent in 2001 to 2.45 per cent in 2011 in urban India and declined

13 states reported "high incidence" of underage marriages, and account for 21 per cent of the country's child marriages. Nearly 17 million children between the ages of 10 and 19 are married, with six million children born to them and they form 47 per cent of India's population that is currently married. Of these married children, 76 per cent, or 12.7 million, are girls, reinforcing the fact that girls are significantly more disadvantaged. The World BankICRW study adds an economic dimension to the problem, which could be an incentive for India and other countries to work harder to eliminate child marriage and early childbirth. In the first few years after the elimination of child marriage and early child births, no impact is estimated on the size of new cohorts entering school, the study said. Eventually, there is a reduction of the size of the cohorts, increasing over time, which can potentially lead to education savings. from 2.75 per cent to 2.43 per cent in rural India As many as 280,000 married girls in the age over the same period; 70 districts spread across group of 15 to 19 have already given birth to four

children, which is an increase of 65 per cent from 170,000 in 2001, IndiaSpend reported in 2016. Ending child marriage "could entail a cost for households and governments assuming that some of the girls who delay marriage are also able to pursue their education further", the study noted. "If girls who do not marry as children pursue their education further, this would entail costs for both families (out-of-pocket and opportunity costs) and governments (given that many girls would attend public secondary schools). These additional costs would offset some of the benefits." As many as 1,403 women have never attended any educational institution for every 1,000 men who have not done so and this ratio increases sharply from the age of 17 till the 30-34 year agegroup where it is 2,009 -- which means for every man who has never attended an educational institution, there are two women who haven't. In developing countries, girls with less access to quality education are more likely to marry early, argued Quentin Wodon, an advisor with the World Bank's education department, in a May 2014 article. However, the study said that while economic costs should not be the sole rationale for investment decisions related to child marriage, they are an important consideration. "The lack of adequate investments in many countries to end child marriage is likely due in part to the fact that the economic case for ending the practice has not yet been made forcefully," the study said.


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Apple Discontinues iPod Nano, Shuffle

San Francisco: (IANS) Apple has discontinued the iPod nano and iPod shuffle that did not support internet access and has taken down their websites. According to a report in The Verge that quoted an Apple spokesperson, both products have met their end and are now officially discontinued. Apple has in past stated that with the advent of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod, there will be a fall of traditional music player hardware. "Today, we are simplifying our iPod lineup with two models of iPod touch now with double the capacity starting at just $199 and we are discontinuing the iPod shuffle and iPod nano," the Apple spokesperson was quoted as saying. When Apple redesigned iPod nano with Bluetooth support for wireless headphones and speakers in 2012, it did not update it significantly. "The clip-on iPod shuffle last saw a redesign with the fourth-gen model in 2010, which made a quick return to physical controls after the poorly received third-generation model of 2009," the report said. Since then, all that Apple has updated is the color options from time to time.

Google's Deepmind Creates AI That Can 'Imagine' London: (IANS) Google-owned DeepMind is working on artificial intelligence (AI) that can imagine like humans and handle the unpredictable scenarios in real world. According to a report in Wired, DeepMind, that was acquired by Google in 2014, is developing an AI capable of 'imagination', enabling machines to see the consequences of their actions before they make them. "Its attempt to create algorithms that simulate the distinctly human ability to construct a plan could eventually help to produce software and hardware capable of solving complex tasks more efficiently," the report noted. DeepMind was successful in AI when it developed 'AlphaGo' that recently beat a series of human champions at the tricky board game 'Go'. But in case of 'AlphaGo', there are a set of defined rules and predictable outcomes. "The real world is complex, rules are not so clearly defined and unpredictable problems often arise. Even for the most intelligent agents, imagining in these complex environments is a long and costly process," the report quoted a DeepMind researcher as saying. With the help of "imagination-augmented agents" -- a neural network that learns to extract information that might be useful for future decisions -- an AI agent can learn different strategies to construct plans, choosing from a broad spectrum of strategies. "This work complements other model-based AI systems, like AlphaGo, which can also evaluate the consequences of their actions before they take them," the DeepMind researcher was quoted as saying. DeepMind tested the proposed architectures on multiple tasks, including the puzzle game 'Sokoban' and a spaceship navigation game. "For both tasks, the imagination-augmented agents outperform the imagination-less baselines considerably: they learn with less experience and are able to deal with the imperfections in modelling the environment," the company said.

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August 2017

In Costly Silicon Valley, Facebook Employee Lives In Car

San Francisco: (IANS) Unable to afford an apartment in Silicon Valley, a contractor working for Facebook is being forced to live out of her car. According to a report in Daily Mail, Parsha, who has earned a sobriquet 'Pinky' for her pink hair, pink car and pink dog, is already burdened with student loans and medical bills. "I tell people all the time, stop looking at what somebody got and what you see on the outside," 'Pinky' Parsha was quoted as saying. According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the average asking rent for a one-bedroom apartment in northern California neighborhood is over $2,300 a month -- which Parsha, who has two children, cannot afford. So she lives in a car and has not yet divulged to her co-workers about her condition, fearing she may be looked down upon at her workplace. "They would be shocked that I'm going through that because they would be like 'I see you smiling at work, you appear to be happy. You look normal, you look clean'," Parsha said. But now she plans to make her living condition public, hoping to stir a debate about the high rents in the Bay area neighborhood. "I think that companies need to look at the salaries, are we paying employees enough to survive?" According to Facebook, the company "un-

derstands and recognizes the burdens a higher cost of living has on the less prosperous part of the community". "Facebook is committed to being active and responsible neighbors by supporting the communities near Menlo Park headquarters," a Facebook

When asked about Parsha's living conditions, Facebook said that Parsha was not a direct employee, but worked for a third-party contractor affiliated with the social media company. But the company's representative added that Facebook strives to create a fair and equitable work environment for all of its employees, including contractors. "The minimum salary at Facebook is $15 an hour (which includes third party contractors), and the company has instituted better conditions for contractors, including 15 days' off, paid vacation and a new child care benefit of $4,000," the report noted. But Parsha said she has been working with Facebook for just two months and has already begun looking for a second job in order to help pay the bills. She also runs a non-profit organization called "Love n spokesperson was quoted as saying. Me" that aims at empowering women and girls According to the report, Facebook claims to to pursue a successful life. have invested an initial $20 million contribution Parsha had undergone abuse and depresto community groups, philanthropies and com- sion in past but she bounced back and pursued panies in an effort over the next few months and higher education and completed her Master's years to grow their regional impact. degree in Counselling.

“Indian Mythology Offers Best Stories For VFX Movies� Hyderabad: (IANS) The Visual Effects (VFX) industry in India has a bright future as more and more top filmmakers will soon be looking at high-end fantasies. And, Indian mythology with its plethora of epic stories, has a lot of fantasies to offer, says Kotha Basi Reddy, the pioneer of digital technology in Indian films. "VFX industry is going to grow after 'Baahubali'. The films will involve a lot of computer graphics (CG) because (director Raj Mouli) has shown that visualization of fantasy is the most important thing in movies," Reddy told IANS in an interview. "Hollywood movies go all over the world with so much CG and special effects because of fantasy. People love it," said Reddy, who introduced digital technology into movie-making in India in 2003. Reddy owns Digiquest, a VFX and animation studio that has contributed to the making of over 400 movies, including "Baahubali", "Magadheera", "Eega", "Katmarayudu" and "Kick". He felt Indian mythology could provide the best subjects for such movies. "In Indian mythology there is so much of scifi. It's not even funny. We talk about Ravana flying on a plane and taking Sita with him. There are many epic stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata," he said. Referring to the Hollywood movie "Avatar", he said it was a blend of Rama and Hanuman. "The whole world is learning from us, taking away things from us, but we have failed in creating a brand." Reddy believes that if movies based on Indian mythology with VFX and CG are made, the whole world would watch them. He felt that Indians have the ability to make such films as work for many international projects is done here.

"Would you believe that the tiger in 'Life of Pi' is not a real tiger but a digital one," he asked and pointed out that most of the work on this movie was done in Hyderabad. He admitted that Indian audiences don't watch much animation and the movies are largely star driven. "This will change as new kids are coming. Digital will have a big role. You will see young stars making movies which will be interna-

Reddy with Arnold Schwarzenegger tionally acceptable. It will no longer be song and dance movies." Reddy recalled that he brought costly digital equipment in those early years with a huge investment. "The technology has changed a lot. I brought a digital camera which then cost $99,000. Today the same camera costs not even $99," said Reddy, who has so far invested Rs 30 crore (al-

most $5 million) in his studio. Though the revenues of Digiquest had reduced by half to Rs 3 crore as all production houses have gone 100 percent digital, Reddy is happy that he contributed to the growth of the sector. "I did not return to India from the US to make money," said Reddy, a founding member and former Vice President of software services firm Infotech, now known as Cyient. He is proud to have been part of the process that democratized the film industry. "Youngsters, through short films, are showcasing their talent. Their films are getting millions of hits from all over the world." Reddy is now trying to address the issue of manpower and has set up an academy offering courses in movie-making, visual effects, animation and game design. "Our equipment is free not just for students of the academy but also others who bring a good script. The short movies will be uploaded on our channel and we will share the money," said Reddy, who has so far produced eight short movies. Reddy has a dream of making an Oscar-winning movie. "It will be in animated format and I will work with my students to make it," he said. Reddy, who is a member of CII National Media & Entertainment Committee, lamented the government is doing little to create better opportunities for creatively talented people. "There is so much of educational, research, simulation and training material to be created in the digital format in this country that we don't have enough people," he said.


NRI Pulse

12 National Highways To Double Up As Emergency Landing Airstrips

New Delhi: (IANS) The Indian Air force (IAF) has cleared 12 National Highways (NHs) as emergency landing airstrips that will enable rescue operation teams to reach affected areas easily, an official responsible for executing the project said. Although there was initially a proposal to develop a total of 21 NHs into airstrips, for now 12 highways have been cleared, with three of those connecting Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh -- all Maoist-affected areas, which also witness vagaries of nature like floods and cyclones almost every year. "The IAF has given clearance to 12 NHs to be developed into emergency landing airstrips out of the total 21. However, on the remaining NHs, discussions and testing are on and soon they too are likely to be cleared by the IAF," a senior government official, requesting anonymity, told IANS. Despite repeated attempts, the IAF had no comment to offer on the project and on related issues like the facilities to be put in place if the highways are to be used in times of emergencies. To start with, the thickness of tar will be increased and highways will be made strong enough for aircraft to land. "The highways will be open for public during normal times, but in case there is an emergency, then normal traffic will be blocked and the stretch will be used for aircraft landing. Also, alternate ways will be created for the normal traffic flow during emergencies," said the official. According to the Ministry of Road, Transport, Highways and Shipping (MoRTH), the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been chosen as the executing agency. "In all, 17 highways were assigned to the NHAI, but after a joint survey, we found that airstrips can be developed only on 12 of the NHs. The BoQ (bill of quantities) has been prepared and we are waiting for approval from the competent authority on when to start," NHAI Chairman Deepak Kumar told IANS. Asked specifically how long it would take for the work to commence, Kumar, who was appointed recently to head the national road construction agency, said: "The work is expected to start in the next three-four months." One major reason behind the initiative is to strategically operate in places prone to natural calamities and where relief work cannot be carried out without the help of choppers or aircraft. Among the 12 NHs cleared for being developed into airstrips are: Jamshedpur-Balasore highway and Chattarpur-Digha highway -- both touching Odisha --, the Kishanganj-Islampur highway in Bihar, Delhi-Moradabad highway in Delhi-Uttar Pradesh, Bijbehara-Chinar Bagh highway in Jammu and Kashmir, Rampur-Kathgodam highway in Uttarakhand, Lucknow-Varanasi highway in Uttar Pradesh, Dwarka-Maliya highway in Gujarat, Kharagpur-Keonjhar highway in West Bengal and Mohanbari-Tinsukia highway in Assam. Others include Vijaywada-Rajahmundry highway in Andhra Pradesh, Chennai-Puducherry highway in Tamil Nadu and Phalodi-Jaisalmer highway in Rajasthan.

..... India Pulse .....

August 2017

Modi For 'Quit India' Movement Against Communalism, Terrorism New Delhi: (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently asked people to rally around another "Quit India" movement - 75 years after Mahatma Gandhis campaign against British rule - to rid the country of filth, poverty, corruption, terrorism, casteism and communalism by 2022. In his monthly radio talk Mann ki Baat, Modi said the next five years could be as decisive as was the time from 1942 - when Gandhi made the "Quit India" call - and 1947 - when India got freedom. He asked the people to make a pledge and contribute towards building a "new India". "Just as the five years from 1942 to 1947 were decisive for the country's independence, these five years from 2017 to 2022 can and must play a decisive role for the future of India. Five years from now, we will celebrate 75 years of India's independence. "We must make 2017 our Year of Resolve. In this month of August, we have to come together and resolve: Filth - Quit India; Poverty - Quit India; Corruption - Quit India; Terrorism - Quit India; Casteism - Quit India; Communalism - Quit India," Modi said in his Hindi speech. An English translation of the speech was made available by the government. Modi said Gandhi had given a "Do or Die" call but it was time to "live by and strive for this resolve (and) launch a mega campaign ‘Sankalp se Siddhi' - Attainment through Resolve" from August 9 - the 75th anniversary of "Quit India" movement. Modi said he could see that the next five years would be a new time segment to "certainly transform that resolve into ‘siddhi' or attainment".

The Prime Minister also hailed the GST, launched on the midnight of June 30, as "more than just a tax reform" and said it would usher "in a new culture of honesty". He said he had received letters from the

countrymen and felt "very happy and satisfied when a poor person writes to say how because of GST prices of various items essential for him have come down, and commodities have become cheaper". "GST is a fine example of the collective strength of the people of India. This is a historic achievement. And this is not just a tax reform, it is a new economic order that will strengthen a new culture of honesty." Modi also spoke about Indian women's

cricket team for reaching the final of the World Cup, saying "our daughters are bringing laurels to the country in all the fields - be it education, economic activities, social spheres or in sports". "Our daughters performed brilliantly in the Women's Cricket World Cup. This week I had the opportunity to meet our daughters, the members of our Women's Cricket team. I felt happy talking to them, but I had a feeling that they felt burdened by the fact that they could not win the World Cup." He said he urged them to look at the way India supported them and take pride in their accomplishment. "Look, this is the age of the media. So expectations get hyped up to such an extent that if corresponding success is not achieved, these turn into despair and even resentment. We have seen during many such events where if the Indian players fail, the anger of the country is vented towards the players." He said the 1.25 billion people "took this defeat on their own shoulders, never letting the burden weigh down these daughters of ours. I view this as a healthy and pleasant change and I told these daughters that only they were blessed with such good fortune, and hence they should banish any thought of not having been successful".

Mandsaur Cow Vigilante Attack: 26th This Year BY INDIASPEND TEAM The attack on two women in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh suspected of carrying beef (though it turned out to be buffalo meat) was the 25th in 118 days since 55-year-old Pehlu Khan died after a mob attack on April 1, bringing the count to 26 cases of cow-related violence in seven months this year. This is the most in eight years, according to an IndiaSpend database that records such violence in India. We have now recorded as many as 70 cases of cow-related violence over eight years. Created through a collection and content analysis of reports in the English media -- which tend to have the greatest spread of national news -- the database shows that 97 per cent (68 of 70) of such incidents were reported after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government came to power in May 2014. More than half or 54 per cent of the cow-related violence -- 38 of 70 cases -- were from states governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), when the attacks were reported, revealed our analysis of violence recorded until July 27. The data shows that Muslims were the target of 51 per cent (36 of 70) cases of violence centred on bovine issues over nearly eight years (2010 to 2017) and comprised 86 per cent (24 of 28) killed. As least 136 people were also injured in these attacks, and more than half (54 per cent) of these attacks were based on rumours. Despite the increase in violence related to bovine issues, particularly over the last three years, the Ministry of Home Affairs does not collect data on lynchings, said a government statement to the Lok Sabha on July 25. National or state crime data do not distinguish general violence from cow-related attacks and lynchings, so the IndiaSpend database is the first such statistical perspective to a growing national debate over such violence. In nearly half the attacks (49 per cent), police register cases against victims Of 70 attacks over eight years, 68 (97 per

cent) occurred, as we said, after Modi's government came to power (2014-2017), with most attacks within seven months in 2017. The year 2016 reported the second-most cases of cow-related violence at 25 incidents. In nearly half or 49 per cent (34 attacks) of cases reported, police registered cases against victims/survivors -- as they did in Mandsaur.

On June 29, 2017, a day after protests in Indian cities, London and New York against the government's slow response and silence after nationwide attacks against mostly Muslims and Dalits, Modi, speaking at the centenary celebrations of Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat, said: "Killing people in the name of gau bhakti (cow worship) is unacceptable. This is not something Mahatma Gandhi would approve of." "No one has the right to take law into his/ her hands. We belong to a land of non-violence. Violence is not the solution to any problem." On July 16, the Prime Minister, in a series of Tweets, once again criticized cow vigilantes and put the onus on state governments to stringently act against them. As many as 1,235 cases related to offences promoting enmity between different groups -under section 153A (promoting enmity between

different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, etc.) and 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) of the Indian Penal Code -- were reported during 2014-16, according to a July 25 Lok Sabha reply to a question on lynchings. "[Under sections 153A and 153B of the Indian Penal Code] the National Crime Records Bureau [NCRB] maintains data on offences promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth etc� However, it does not maintain data on cases relating to cow 'vigilantes', cow trade and trafficking," Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Minister of State for Home, told the Lok Sabha in his reply. "Offences promoting enmity between different groups" increased 41 per cent over three years to 2016, rising from 336 to 475. Uttar Pradesh, India's most-populous state, reported the most (202) cases, registering a 346 per cent increase, from 26 in 2014 to 116 in 2016. It was followed by Kerala (151), Karnataka (114), Telangana (104) and Maharashtra (103), among the top five states, over three years. Cases in Uttarakhand increased at the greatest rate nationwide, 450 per cent, from four in 2014 to 22 in 2016. With mob violence in the name of cow protection rising, the National Campaign Against Mob Lynching, a committee of civil society members, has proposed a new law. The Manav Suraksha Kanoon (MASUKA) suggests no bail for those accused of mob lynching, life imprisonment for those convicted and immediate suspension of the concerned station house officer. An online petition demanding MASUKA has received over 34,000 signatures.


NRI Pulse

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

August 2017

Pandit Dhananjay Kaul Captivates Music Lovers In Atlanta

Atlanta, GA: Pandit Dhananjay Kaul, the Sufiana maestro from India performed to a standing ovation from music lovers at a recent concert at the Impact Center of Global Mall in metro Atlanta. The charity concert held on Sunday evening, July 16, 2017 was a well-organized feast of dinner and music to benefit plans for construction of a replica of Kheer Bhawani USA temple in Atlanta. After a sumptuous dinner, introductions and a brief presentation of bouquets by the leaders of the community, emcee for the concert Subash Razdan (a Kashmiri from Ahmedabad), welcomed the maestro. Honorable D.V. Singh, Dy. Consul General of India in Atlanta, Sachid Shukla and his team of Shiv Mandir Atlanta (a 501-c-3 tax-exempt non-profit organization) brought in their respective greetings for the accomplished artist in their special remarks. It is noteworthy and encouragingly auspicious news for Hindus of Georgia that Shiv Mandir also had its own successful ground breaking for construction a few weeks earlier. Tej Kaul of Kashmir Overseas Association (KOA), an architect by profession, took the opportunity to explain the efforts already underway with respect to the planning and design of the Kheer Bhawani USA temple within the 11.4 acre premises of Shiv Mandir Atlanta in the northeast corridor of Metro Atlanta. “The tranquil temple in Kashmir, which shines like a pearl in the shell, has a marble platform with idols inside and under the marble canopy in the middle of the spring. And this is what Kashmiris overseas are hoping to replicate along with allied festivities in Atlanta with support from Shiv Mandir Atlanta!” explained Tej Kaul of KOA-Ga. Kashmir’s Kheer Bhawani is the most venerated temple dedicated for Maa Ragnya Bhagwati (another form of Durga) at the holy spring in Tula Mula about 15 miles from Srinagar. “The Goddess is viewed as central in Shakti and Shaiva Hindu traditions. Kheer (porridge/ pudding) is offered to the sacred spring (Kund) in worship (puja) as a tradition, hence the name Kheer Bhawani. The holy spring surrounding the majestic temple is reported to change its color with various hues of red, pink, orange, green, blue, white, etc. A black tint of the spring water is believed to be inauspicious by the superstitious,” added Dijjotam Raina a supporter and sponsor of the concert in Georgia. Another KOA community enthusiast, Dr. Aarti Ganju Raina of KOA, remarked “We feel blessed by the divine coincidence to have the announcing of the plans for Kheer Bhawani (a dream, vision and support of many Kashmiris in USA, especially the initial guidance by Bhupendra & Veena Gouri family), under the auspices of a prominent musician (Dhananjay) who himself was born in the vicinity of Kheer Bhawani at Safapur village, Kashmir.” The spotlight for the evening nevertheless was on Pt. Dhananjay Kaul of India as the stage with backdrop and decorations typical of Kashmir was set for his florid vocalism. Trained in Patiala & Shyam Chaurasi gharanas (styles) and recipient of numerous State and National awards, Dhananjay’s gayaki (singing voice) is cast in devotional mould and his singing is full-throated and bold with beautiful tapestry of Swaras and Shrutis. The leading exponent of music is known to embellish his renderings with a blend of Sufiana (devotional music of the Sufis-Islamic mystics) music and the genres of Indian classical vocal music with thumri, kafi, sufiana kalams, ghazals, Sanskrit stotras, etc.. Clad in intricate Kashmiri Jaamwar shawl, the Pandit invoked Lord Shiva with the classical bhajan (devotional) recital by a Sanskrit stotra in raga Bhairav with his nifty fingers controlling the keys of his harmonium (the piano like instrument) with a slow melody. The pace became faster and the texture more intense with fugue-like entrance

by the Tabla played by Bhavesh Patel of Atlanta (a student of Pandit Shree Divyang Vakil - disciple of Ustad Allarakha Khan). His second striking melody, the Kashmiri sufi kalam (song) “Roz roz”, set a lighthearted tone to the raga. The mood became more dramatic and electrifying as it progressed with the unflinching broad scale rendering by his vocal

few years ago, described his performance, “Even when the ensemble was limited, Dhanajay still managed to create interesting renderings. At the forefront were his voice and the lyric quality of the melodies!” Dinesh Purohit of Shiv Mandir, a musician himself, passionately added, “His melodies were substantial enough to be music on its own but his

chords in a sustained high-pitched ethereal voice.

mastery of his harmonium added a framework or context for his voice like a setting in a story. Interestingly, as his song developed, his harmonium would join in an intimate veneer to create diverse compositions, captivating everybody’s attention. Simply put, his music was lovely as it spoke directly to the audience.” Concert coordinator Raj Razdan, a Kashmiri from Pune, India and settled in Atlanta since 1977, was no doubt exhilarated by the response

It was now time for some Sufiana ghazals. Ghazal is a poetic verse of Urdu language in which ‘an idea is fully expressed in a single line divided into two hemistiches of equal syllabic lengths and with rhyming words at the end of the second hemistich’. Dhananjay enthralled the audience with the compositions of singer Mehdi Hasan including the ghazal of Ahmed Faraz, “Ranjis hi

Pt. Dhananjay Kaul accompanied by Bhavesh Patel on the tabla. Photos by Tracy Marshall. Sahi” in raag Yamen followed by “Zindagi mei to pyar” in raag Bhimpalasi. He also sang a few other popular ghazals in raga Khamaj and Kafi. Reviving thoroughly the great memories of the legendary Mehdi Hasan! The repertoire and diversity of his renditions now shifted to Hindustani classical, singing a nostalgic thumri of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan in raag Kaushik dhuni. The crescendo heightened when Dhananjay sang Punjabi sufi kalams “Nit khatr mangan” in raag Megh and Baba Bhule Shah kalam (song) “Mera piya ghar aya” in raag Pahadi. The audiences broke into spontaneous dance and ovation for his Punjabi/Patiala gharana beats with the climax being "Bhumro Bhumro”, a Kashmiri folk song adapted by Bollywood film “Mission Kashmir”. He continued entertaining with the famous Kashmiri Sufi kalam of great Saint Ahad Zargar, “Na chum tan pan” in raga Bilawal. The interplay between the alternating harmonium and the resonating tabla created an interesting dialogue especially with the rendering of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s, “Dum mast qalandur” in raag Kafi. On popular demand and as requested by Jyoti Ganju (one of the organizers of the concert), hisfinal song for the evening was a patient, minimalist lyrical rendition of Kashmiri sufi kalam by great Saint Niyma Saeb, “Che gaste hai” in raag Khamaj. Dr. Rakesh Raina, a dentist by profession who also had organized a Kashmiri concert a

were Kashmiri Pandits (the name Pandit reportedly given to the intelligent/learned Saraswat Brahmins by the Moghul ruler Akbar) were forced to flee the Valley in 1989-90 as a result of terrorism with hundreds killed. Many who fled for their lives, their homes plundered and destroyed, could only take with them what they could fit in their handbags. It is believed that in 2016, only 2764 Kashmiri Hindus are left behind in vulnerable and unsafe conditions of Kashmir Valley. Since the last (1990) ethnic cleansing from the valley, Kashmiri Hindus settled in USA and elsewhere have committed and dedicated themselves to assist the displaced Kashmiris uprooted and lamenting in the refugee camps (in Jammu, Delhi and other neighboring states in India) away from their homes in Kashmir and have strived to help contribute towards the cause of the education, sustenance and well-being of their kin in those pathetic camps in India. Additionally, those who have willingly migrated and settled in USA have also experienced the usual challenges of the cultural separation, language and differing family value system associated with the human transplanting from the world left behind into the new environs. To alleviate such socio-cultural-religious imbalances and maintain continuity with their heritage, the Kashmiri Hindu community in USA, like any other community, hopes and is passionate, among other things, about preserving their ancient and rich Kashmiri Hindu culture, language, music, education, history, that includes conscious religious identity with the wonderful ancient shrines of Kashmir such as the shrine of Mata ‘Kheer Bhawani’. Thus the desire and need for Kheer Bhawani USA in Atlanta! “Although a tall order considering the small number (approx 30 families) Kashmiri families in Georgia, the optimism, will and enthusiasm arising out of this successful concert shall positively serve as a stepping-stone in that direction and is bound to nudge the Kashmiri community across USA to unite towards the establishment of Kheer Bhawani USA,” reaffirmed Dr. K.K. Vijai, pioneers of Indo-Atlanta community and one of the significant, sponsors of this recent concert in Atlanta. K.K. & Girija Vijai have vivid memories of their visit to Kheer Bhawani/Kashmir many years ago before the outbreak of the violence. “The concert in Atlanta, and elsewhere in US, from all accounts seems to be a philosophical success as well, as the maestro rendered Kashmiri songs with lyrics and spirit of Kashmiriyat appealing to both Hindus and Muslims of Kashmir in the earnest hope of return of peace and tranquil in the Kashmir valley,” beamed Dr. Shakun Malik, President of the national Kashmiri Overseas Association (KOA). Dr. Malik, Suresh Sus and other members of her KOA team had inspired and facilitated the successful Music tour 2017 of USA for the maestro from Kashmir. Acknowledgments: All the attendees; sponsors/donors; media; photography by Tracy Marshall; dinner by Aziz Ali of Ashiana at Global Mall; printing by Sanjay Pandya of Davis Printing and others.

and fundraising support by the Atlanta community, reckoned, “As Atlanta’s Sandip Savla kept the audio/PA system moving flawlessly for his entire concert, Dhananjay had made us laugh, tap our hands and feet, moving us nostalgically, and even sing with him a few times together. His Tabla accompaniment also lived up to the maestro's nods, shakes and whispers. Audience of all ages had something they took away, and he must have too!” The charity concert, which sold out with an attendance of over 200 expatriates, raised over $20,000 (total collections so far) for the Kheer Bhawani USA Temple Fund. “The Concert drew the diverse music loving Atlanta audience of Hindustani classical, Sufiana music and above all the Kashmiri music lovers of all colors and faith. A few of his prominent renditions were also streamed online Facebook,” reported Surinder Dhar of KOA-Ga. Over 300,000 Hindus of the Kashmir Valley, a large Dancing to Kashmiri majority of whom

folk song Bhumro.


NRI Pulse

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

August 2017

Kamlesh Chugh Wins Mrs India International Inspirational Queen Title Atlanta, GA: In a spectacular beauty pageant held at the Amari Hotel and Resorts in Pattaya, Bangkok earlier this year, well-known community activist Kamlesh Chugh won the much coveted Mrs. India International Inspirational Queen award. Milestone Miss & Mrs. India International beauty pageant events are well known for providing a platform to Indian women internationally where age is no barrier. Pageant contestants gather from various countries around the world. Kamlesh Chugh was born and raised in Sonepat, Haryana, India. She took up nursing training and worked in Delhi prior to moving to the United States in 1983. Chugh is a well-known name in the Indian community in the Atlanta metropolitan area. She has been an office-bearer for several organizations and is a prolific and enthusiastic participant in many cultural, social and religious activities in the community. Some of her accomplishments include: 1st runner up in the Mrs. India International Beauty Pageant in 2010 held in Atlanta, Georgia. Participant in the Mrs. India Georgia Beauty Pageant in 2016. Recipient of a Crown from the Greater Atlanta Punjabi Society (GAPS) President of the Shri Hanumandham Mandir in Covington, GA since 2011

Current president of the proactive participant in various activities inGreater Atlanta Punjabi Society cluding dance, drama, festivals, Mushiara & (GAPS)

poetry. Recognized for her contriShe is actively involved with a number butions as a relentless volunteer of socio-cultural clubs and organizations. at the Indian Friends of Atlanta She is married with two children and (IFA) Women’s FEST in 2017. two grandchildren. Kamlesh is a prolific and

WAVE Global Hosts Workshop On Memory and Mind Science Atlanta, GA: WAVE Global LLC, www. is an organization founded on the core belief that everyone in the world has at least 10 times more potential than what gets realized or unleashed during their lifetime. The untapped or dormant potential stays so because education systems in most parts of the world lean towards grading and rating systems to measure effectiveness. This approach keeps focus

ues Education) was developed by its founder, Mohan Naidu after more than 20 years of experience implementing it in his personal and professional life as a successful management consultant in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North-America. WAVE Global LLC workshop teaches three fundamental things; Learning to learn, Minding the mind, and thinking how to think. Participants learn the art of learning, how to control the mind’s

only on the information required for grades. This grading based approach potentially deprives the world of creativity, clarity, innovation, new inventions, new discoveries because our future generation is too busy trying to secure higher grades instead of unleashing their higher possibilities. WAVE Global LLC believes academic excellence and professional success can be easily attained if we shift our approach from the current input based learning system that focuses only on certain subjects & topics to an outcome focused learning that helps bring about the qualities we seek from our future generations, such as confidence, courage, courtesy, fairness, accountability, Love, and Peace. WAVE framework (Wisdom Anchored Val-

wandering nature and get it to stay focused, and how to apply memory techniques, critical, creative, analytical, lateral, out-of-box thinking for decision making with clarity. The memory & mind science workshop ‘Program your Brain & Mind for Success’ organized in Atlanta (Suwanee), GA recently has shown mesmerizing results. Thirty-nine participants, including children and teens (7yrs to 17 yrs.) attended the 5-day workshop camp recently at Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Suwanee. WAVE Global LLC is now taking this very powerful workshop to Denver-CO. Details of the upcoming workshop and more information about WAVE Global LLC can be found at


NRI Pulse

August 2017


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

NRI Pulse

August 2017

VisitorsCoverage, Inc. Launches TMQuotes, A Groundbreaking Cloud-based Platform In The Travel Insurance Industry Empowering insurance agents to take their business online with modern technology platform agents have the opportunity to create a

Santa Clara, CA: VisitorsCoverage, Inc., a leading travel insurance solution company, has announced the launch of, an online marketplace for travel medical insurance that will revolutionize the travel insurance industry. VisitorsCoverage has once again proved that it is constantly working toward the growth of the industry by creating innovative tools to support not only the customers, but also the industry as a whole. With more than 8 million people traveling internationally every single day, the demand for travel insurance is at an all-time high and the opportunity in this growing industry is even higher. As the number of people searching for and purchasing travel insurance online increases, it’s getting more difficult for agents to stay in front of this audience, especially if they lack the digital presence needed to do so. As a pioneer in the industry, VisitorsCoverage developed the first cloud-based solution for travel medical insurance for agents around the world.

fully customizable webpage, grow their brand at zero cost, and increase their revenue exponentially. For over ten years, VisitorsCoverage has been a leader in its industry. With a platform like no other in this space, VisitorsCoverage makes sure to live up to their mission every day – providing travelers with the information they need to purchase a travel insurance solution fit for their needs. VisitorsCoverage is constantly striving to provide a helping hand to travelers around the world and by offering a solution that resides

With TMQuotes, insurance agents are able TMQuotes acts as an online marketplace en- companies while empowering their customers to leverage today’s technology to expand their abling agents to sell a variety of travel medical to make the best possible purchasing decisions reach and grow their business exponentially. insurance plans from top-tier travel insurance online. Through the use of this multifaceted

Bright Future Awaits Indian Women’s Cricket After India Soars Into ICC World Cup Final BY MAHADEV DESAI

Shrubsole.She removed Krishnamurthy; Sharma and Goswami-3 wickets for 3 runs from 8 balls! At times, game of cricket can be heart- Pandey got run out and even though an easy catch breaking. Cricket loving fans of Indian Women’s of Poonam was dropped by Gunn, Shrubsole Cricket Team experienced that when Indian team knocked off Gayakwad’s off stump to clinch the lost the nail-biting ICC Women’s World Cup Fi- prized World Cup for England. nal at packed iconic Lords ground(home of crickStill in this narrow defeat, there is a silver et),watched by over 27,000 cricket-lovers on July lining. Mithali Raj commented, "Thank you to the 23,2017,by mere 9 runs and with eight balls to crowd for turning up for a women's cricket final. spare. The energy, excitement and fan support This is a huge boost for all the women cricketwas incredible! It may be noted that in the opening pool match on June 24, India had won against England by 35 runs! The 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup was an international women's cricket tournament that took place in England from 24 June to 23 July 2017. Eight teams qualified to participate in the tournament;viz.,Australia,England,Newzealand,West Indies, India, South Africa,Sri Lanka and Pakistan. India played against all the seven teams, won against five teams but lost to South Africa and Australia, but made it to the historic Final against England. England won the toss and batted first. Winfield and Beaumont put on 47, when Winfield got out. Beaumont followed soon after and Knight was trapped leg before by Poonam. It was 63/3 but Taylor and Sciver steadied the innings carrying the score to 146 when Taylor was caught. Wilson was out for a duck, and then Sciver, who was the top scorer with 51 fell to Goswami. Tailenders Brunt, Gunn and Marsh chipped in with ers. I'm sure this experience will help the play34, 25 and 14 respectively taking England to a ers. Now, people back home will have a different formidable score of 228. perspective about women's cricket. It is beginning India got off to a poor start losing opener of good time for women’s cricket.The team deMandhana for a zero. And soon, India’s skipper served every bit of accolades.If more matches Mithali Raj was run out for a paltry 17.At 43/2, ate televised the game will attract more people. Kaur joined Raut and they carried the score to India and other teams have put up good standard 138 when Kaur was out after scoring 51.Raut and of cricket in World Cup and it has given impetus Krishnamurthy cruised along to 191 and victory to women’s cricket globally,it has given us more seemed near for India. India needed only 28 off positive feedback" seven overs and with seven wickets in hand! But India Women’s team can consider itself a after Raut was out leg before, after a breezy 86, powerhouse in cricket. With this World Cup, India collapsed against superb bowling spell of Women’s Cricket has definitely turned a corner

in India. It has infused cricket fans in India and abroad with euphoric optimism about Indian women’s cricket. Though India lost the Finals today by 9 runs, Indian players have definitely made a mark. Mithali Raj was the second highest scorer with 392 runs. In bowling, Deepti Sharma was 4th with 12 wkts.for 331 runs, and Poonam Yadav was 10th best with 9 wkts.for 250 runs. Harmanpreet Kaur was second highest individual scorer with 171 runs, Mithali Raj 8th with 109 runs and Smriti Mandhana was 10th with 106 runs. I n d i a ’s Prime Minister Modi tweeted,” Our women cricketers gave their best today. They have shown remarkable tenacity and skill through the World Cup. Very proud of the team! Mithali Raj rightly said that it is worth considering starting Women’s IPL.” If you ask me they should have IPL because now is the right time to create that base”. The league matches can help give experience of playing big matches under pressure. India must start preparing in earnest for the next World Cup in Cricket. With proper facilities, coaching, hard work, impartial selection, encouragement and financial support from sponsors, and national pride, India Women’s Team can definitely bring home the World Cup!

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August 2017

Yesteryears Glory: Bollywood Diaries That Never Made It To Bestseller List BY SAKET SUMAN

his friendship with Guru Dutt and his doomed romance with Suraiya; his marriage to co-star The literary space has seen a rising tide of Kalpana Kartik; his relationships with his brothBollywood celebrities -- from Karan Johar to Ri- ers Chetan and Vijay Anand, with S.D. and R.D. shi Kapoor -- turning towards memoirs and au- Burman, with contemporaries Dilip Kumar and tobiographies in recent years, but books by their Raj Kapoor -- both of whom he was very close to predecessors are striking in that they focused on -- and with heroines like Geeta Bali, Madhubala substance, rather than mere controversies. and Meena Kumari. A look at the list of all major books by celeb"Maybe the celebrity memoirs today lack rities that have fast climbed the bestseller charts throws up an even larger list of controversies that were spun around the time of their launches and which were, in fact, the driving factor for much of their sales. The "Ajay Devgun-Kajol-Karan Johar triangle", which was largely forgotten, came back to make headlines soon before the launch of Johar's "An Unsuitable Boy". "I am ashamed to say it, but I actually 'bought' that award," Rishi Kapoor wrote in his recent memoir "Khullam Khulla", referring to his Best Actor trophy in 1974 for "Bobby". Shatrughan Sinha, too, created quite a buzz regarding a "baharwali" (an extramarital-affair), about whom he stays "quiet" in his biography "Anything But Khamosh". However, these recent examples are not the only literary offerings that have come from the cine world, which has actually set high benchmarks for biographical writings in the past -- but never made it to the bestseller lists. In early 2010 or 11, Udayan Mitra, Publisher-Literary of HarperCollins India, who was then working with Penguin India, visited the residence of the iconic bollywood actor Dev Anand. The publisher had signed a book deal with the actor and Mitra was there to discuss the progress of the book. Assuming that he would have to convey all the necessary guidelines to his secretary, Mitra met with one of the greatest shocks of his life when Dev Anand presented a completely hand-written 600-page manuscript to him. a personal touch. Most of these are also written The result? "Romancing with Life", one of with a co-author, who actually does most of the the first-ever full-fledged memoirs by a leading writing while the celebrity only narrates the stoBollywood star. In the book, Dev Anand tells his ries of his life. It doesn't mean that all memoirs remarkable life story like only he can. Here are today are bad, but there's something missing in tales from Dev's youth in 1930s Gurdaspur and some of them," Mitra told IANS in a freewheelLahore; his years of struggle in 1940s Bombay; ing chat.

Another book that comes to mind is "Speaking of Films," which brings together some of Satyajit Ray's most memorable writings on films and filmmaking. With the masterly precision and clarity that characterise his films, Ray discusses a wide array of subjects -- the structure and language of cinema, with special reference to his adaptations of Tagore and Bibhuti Bhushan Bandopadhyay, the appropriate use of background

film in the face of technological, financial and logistical constraints. One particular autobiography that aspiring writers from the film industry may consider reading before setting on the journey of penning their own book is "Dilip Kumar - The Substance and the Shadow", the autobiography of the legendary actor. In the book, the actor candidly recounts his interactions and relationships with a wide variety of people not only from his family and the film fraternity but also from other walks of life, including politicians. While seeking to set the record straight, as he feels that a lot of what has been written about him so far is "full of distortions and misinformation", he narrates, in graphic detail, how he got married to Saira Banu, all of which reads like a fairy tale. For a more recent example, one may turn towards "And Then One Day" by Naseeruddin Shah. It is a rare memoir brimming with substance and honesty. He makes no effort whatsoever even to hide his trysts with women, dope or smoking! In his brilliantly argued personal perspective of the megastar, he music and dialogue in films, the relationship be- also narrates his dislike for masala movies and tween a filmmaker and a film critic, and import- explains why he does what he does. The chapters ant developments in cinema such as the advent of based on his love for cinema and theatre are so sound and color. full of life that one is often lured to assume it is a He also writes about his own experiences, kind of conversation, as if Shah has been narratthe challenges of working with rank amateurs, ing the story himself from the stage and the reader and the innovations called for when making a is passionately listening to him.

The Surprising Origins Of Some Much-Hummed Bollywood Songs


But at this point, it must be clarified that this In any literary tradition, the works of even its is not plagiarism, but an accepted part of the Urdu less famous or forgotten figures are liable to crop poetic tradition where even one couplet, or even up at some unexpected place. As in Hindi film one line, may be used by another poet -- as it is songs, with which Urdu poetry has been closely linked from the beginning. While their soulful, stirring or soothing lyrics come from the creativity of poets from Sahir Ludhianvi to Gulzar, Majrooh Sultanpuri to Javed Akhtar, sometimes inspiration comes from elsewhere too. And this has been the case right from the days of K.L. Saigal. While New Theatres -- where he began his career in what was then called Calcutta -- could afford to draw on the services of established and original poets like Syed Anwar Hussain 'Arzoo Lakhnavi', some others found inspiration from long-foregone poets too. Take Pandit Sudarshan, with his rather doleful "Andhe ki lathi tu hi hai, tu hi jivan ujiyaraara hai..." for "Dhoop Chhaon" (1935). As Saigal aficionados will recall, it begins or modified appropriately -- for another context. Another major example is from Dilip Kuwith a spoken couplet: "Dil ke phaphole jal uthe seene ke daag se/Is ghar ko aag lag gayi ghar ke mar-Nargis starrer "Mela" (1948), which was also chiraag se" -- and while Sudarshan can take credit significant in bringing together a trio responsible for the song, these lines were inspired by an 18th for some still-cherished songs -- music director Naushad, lyricist Shakeel Badayuni and singer century prodigy. Pandit Mehtab Rai "Taban" was 12 when he Mohammed Rafi. The film's signature classic recited: "Sholaa bhadak utha mere is dil ke daagh "Yeh zindagi ke mele..." was, however, not ense/Aakhir ghar ko aag lag gayi ghar ke chiraagh tirely Shakeel's brainchild. "Yeh zindagi ke mele, yeh zindagi ke se" at a Delhi mushaira, impressing Khwaja Mir mele, duniya mein kam na honge/Afsos ham na Dard, who was in attendance.

honge..." derives inspiration from 18th century Faizabad master poet Mirza Mohammad Taqi 'Taqi", who had declaimed: "Duniya ke jo maze hai hargiz voh kam na honge/Charche yahin rahenge afsos ham na honge.." The trend continued sporadically. In 1969, Majrooh Sultanpuri borrowed one telling line from Faiz Ahmed Faiz's immortal "Mujh se pehli se mohabbat.." (already used fully in Pakistani film "Qaidi") to make it the opening for Rafi-rendered "Teri aankhon ke siva duniya mein rakha kya hai.." for "Chirag" (1969) starring Sunil Dutt and Asha Parekh. Gulzar followed suit in "Mausam" (1975), using Ghalib's couplet "Dil dhoondhta hai phir wahi fursat ke raat din/Baithe rahe tasavvur-e-jaanan kiye hue.." to initiate the song of the name sung soulfully by Bhupinder and Lata Mangeshkar. Even Sahir couldn't resist. In the Bollywood remake of that tragic Middle Eastern love story, one key sequence -- and the resulting song -- in "Laila-Majnu" (1976) draws inspiration from an 18th century Sufi saint living near Lucknow who was a self-taught shayar. Sheikh Turab Ali Qalandar Kakorvi's "Shahr mein apne Laila ne manadi kar di/Koi pathar se

na maare mere deewane ko" is better known to us as in the form: "Husn haazir hai mohabbat ki saza paane ko/Koi patthar se na maare mere diwaane ko" as the heroine defies -- and simultaneously manages to pacify -- a bloodthirsty gathering. In 1981, Anand Bakshi went entirely truthful with the trend by crediting the poet in the song itself. In the tragic inter-regional romance which introduced Kamal Haasan to a pan-Indian audience, the "Ek Duje Ke Liye" title song has the heroine (Rati Agnihotri) say: "Ishq par zor nahi, Ghalib ne kaha hai isiliye..." Beat that. There are not many such examples since then. It is possible that the new breed of lyricists were not that comfortable with, or even conscious of, the Urdu literary tradition -- or simply sought to move on with a new idiom and style of speech. But while the reason cannot be known with any reasonable degree of certitude, here is another example but one that is only peripherally connected to Bollywood. From the 1970s, Indian whiskey brand Bagpiper has roped in various actors for its advertisements -- direct and then surrogate. Remember Shatrughan Sinha and subsequently Dharmendra's invitation: "Khoob jamega rang, jab mil baithenge teen yaar -- aap main aur Bagpiper". This also derives from a sher -- of Ghalib's poetic disciple Mian Dad Khan "Sayyah", who had said: "Qais jangal mein akela hai mujhe jaane do/Khub guzregi jo mil baithenge dewane do". It's two that makes company, not three -- unless it is celebrity endorsement.


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August 2017

What Students Need to Know About the Book Review: Accidental Psychiatrist New Common App Essays The Healing Power Of Compassion BY KRISTEN MOON The Common App announced some significant changes for the 2017-2018 college admissions cycle. Two essays have been added; increasing the essay selection from five to seven. Revisions have also been made to three of the five current choices. The Common Application, used by nearly 700 universities worldwide, is the most widely used college application. Students select one essay prompt and craft a response that is up to 650 words. Each university the student applies to, using the Common App, will see that essay. As you can imagine, this is one very important essay. Now, the big question is: Which essay prompt is best? Well, I do have my favorites. But first, let's discuss the point of the essay. The college wants to know: What can you offer? What makes you different from the other 30,000+ applicants? This is where your essay comes in. The essay makes you three-dimensional; it’s more than just a few sheets of paper. It is your chance to show the university how awesome you are, how you are one-of-a-kind, and how lucky they would be to have you at their college.

of the experience. Portray yourself as a fighter; a person who has resilience and determination. 3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? Don't fall for the bait here. Please, please, please do not discuss controversial topics. Hate Trump? Love Trump? Believe marijuana should be legalized? Doesn't matter; this is not the place for that type of discussion. If you are asking yourself: Is my topic controversial? The answer is probably yes.

4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. I call this the Miss America question. Hint: Your response should not include the words "world peace". The problem needs to be specific and personal to you. The trick to watch out for is the "or a problem you’d like to solve" part. ColThe essay must add something to your appli- leges like doers. The world is filled with planners and dreamers. Few people actually take initiative cation. • Avoid reiterating things that can and make things happen. If you discuss a probbe found on your application; the lem you'd like to solve, make sure to detail the essay must add a new element. steps you intend to take to improve the situation. • Avoid summing up all your extracurricular activities and accomplishments; this 5. Discuss an accomplishment, event or realizacan easily be seen on your application. tion that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. Grab a cup of coffee because we are One of my favorites;; see #1. It’s hard to go wrong with breaking down each essay: the good, the this question. This essay lends itself to an anecdote. P.S. Anecdotes are my favorite way to open bad, and the pitfalls to keep an eye out for. an essay. 1. Some students have a background, identity, interest or talent that is so meaning- 6. Describe a topic, idea or concept you find ful they believe their application would so engaging that it makes you lose all track of be incomplete without it. If this sounds time. Why does it captivate you? What or who like you, then please share your story. do you turn to when you want to learn more? This is your opportunity to show your This used to be my favorite prompt, love of learning. What are you passionate but now it's tied with #5 and 7. This prompt gives a student leeway to tell a about? How have you cultivated this passion? story of their choosing. The topic selected should feel easy to write about and expresses some- 7. Share an essay on any topic of your thing meaningful about who you are as a person. choice. It can be one you’ve already Here are some questions to written, one that responds to a differget the creative juices flowing: ent prompt, or one of your own design. • What makes your fami- What's not to love about this question; you can ly different from other families? write anything you want. Heck, you can even re• Does your family celebrate cul- use a previous essay. But, before you hit Ctrl C + tural holidays? Do any of these Ctrl V and paste that school essay you received an hold a great significance to you? A on, think for a minute. Does this essay portray • Do you have a special family tradition? who I am as a person? Provide insight into my val• What single achieve- ues? Highlight the qualities I want the admissions ment are you most proud of? staff, at my dream college, to pay attention to? There you have it, the seven Common App • What is the nicest thing you've done for someone? essay prompts. As the school year is winding • What do you aspire to be? What down and summer is about to kick off, give yourhave you done throughout high self a gift. A gift of time. Year after year, I hear the school to explore this career choice? same story from my students and their parents. They are shocked how much time and energy 2. The lessons we take from obstacles we en- goes into applying to college. The average student counter can be fundamental to later success. applies to 7-12 universities. Each application can Recount a time when you faced a challenge, set- take up to ten hours. Spend the summer strategiback or failure. How did it affect you, and what cally and complete the common app essay before did you learn from the experience? [Revised] senior year rolls around. It will free up a great The key here is to focus on what you learned. deal of time come fall. You can thank me later. Too many students spend way too many precious words focusing on the failure. Briefly, describe *Kristen Moon is an independent college counthe setback and spend the majority of your word selor and founder of She specialcount detailing what you learned, how you grew izes in Ivy League, BS/MD Programs, and Interas a person, and why you are stronger because national Students.

REVIEWED BY DR. PANCHAJANYA PAUL, MD Author: Bob Kamath, MD Paperback: 274 pages Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform Date Published: (December 20, 2016) The book Accidental Psychiatrist which is partly autobiographical, and partly self-help narrates the story of Dr. Prabhakar Kamath, a successful psychiatrist in the city of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. “In this book I hope to reveal to readers the healing power of compassion, while giving them a glimpse into my life as a psychiatrist in America. Over the past few decades, the medical profession has gradually changed from noble profession that healed people into a business that treated disorders. I hope to give evidence to the fact that compassion is an essential part of healing people and it is time the medical profession integrates compassion in treating sick people,” Dr. Kamath writes. K.P.S. "Bob" Kamath practiced psychiatry for 39 years before retiring in 2010. He has treated thousands of patients during that time. After completing one year of internship at Elmhurst General Hospital in New York (1970-71), he trained in psychiatry at Connecticut Valley Hospital/Yale University program (1971-74). After working as a staff psychiatrist at Arden Hill Hospital, Goshen New York for three years (1974-77), he worked as the Medical Director of St. Francis Mental Health Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri (1977-80), and then as Chief of Medical Staff at Farmington State Hospital, Farmington, MO (81-82). In 1982, he established a private practice in Cape Girardeau, MO. He retired in 2010. Accidental psychiatrist recounts Dr. Kamath’s experiences as a physician in America from 1970 till his retirement in 2010. This is continuation of his earlier book – “Is your balloon about to pop - Owner’s manual for the Stressed Mind” published in 2007 for the benefit of his private clients. This book is autobiographical. It provides, for the first time, a candid insight into the personal life of Dr. Kamath. He narrates his personal struggles which he had to overcome, and how they shaped his life. It begins when he was six years of age, living in a four story apartment in Mumbai with his parents. He was regularly bullied by bigger boys who would not let him enter his home or stand at the gate. He had no one for help, and he vowed never to be helpless again. He joined the local gym and became strong. He promised never to let anyone bully him again. He learned early that the only way to deal with a bully is to fight back. He got into numerous fights with older and stronger boys in high school and college, but stayed true to his mantra of “zero tolerance for bullies” at all cost. This theme emerged repeatedly in his life. Whenever faced with injustice, unfairness and abuse, he fought back the person, the system, and organization – no matter how big it was. Even as a trainee in his early career, he spoke out against the poor standards of teaching and treatment at numerous instances. He worked hard to bring the changes in the two hospitals where

he worked. Even in his private practice- when the Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Medicare, other companies tried to bully him in dictating their terms- he stopped accepting all insurances. He lost over half of his income in the process but he maintained his freedom to give the best treatment to his patients. The book also speaks out against the over medicalization of the American health care system. Dr Kamath explains how as an intern in Elmhurst hospital in 1970, he was shocked by the lack of empathy and compassion in the American health care. He personally became victim of the impersonal medicine when his newborn son developed birth complications because of wrong treatment. He realized his personality and temperament did not suit internal medicine. Despite getting good job offers, he switched his specialty and enrolled in psychiatry. Psychiatry as a specialty satisfied his desire to form deep and meaningful connection with his patients, and treat them with compassion. He completed his psychiatric training, and worked in successfully in two hospitals. He had a handsome salary, a house and was living the American dream. But after two years, Dr. Kamath felt an irresistible pull to return to India and fight corruption. He was discouraged by his family and friends who thought it fool-hearted. However, he could not ignore the call of his motherland. He prepared himself by reading Gandhi and the civil rights movement. He started a consumer movement in Udupi in 1980 based on Gandhian principles and methods. He trained other activists on the root causes of culture of corruption in the government, strategies and tactics to deal with corrupt government officials, and how to break the mental blocks of people. He taught people that all changes first begin within. He has lived his life as per the Gandhian principles “Be the change you want to see in others”. He wrote a book based on his experiences. The book called “Servants not Masters” was first published in 1987 by Consumers' Forum of Udupi. It was translated in Kannada. The Accidental Psychiatrist is also a self-help book. The author describes the healing power of compassion. In the Accidental psychiatrist – there are four chapters which talks about the harmful effects of stress and how to manage them effectively. The book is an essential guide to all those who are looking for stress management coping skills. Accidental Psychiatrist is also must read for all budding psychiatrists and psychologists. It offers valuable insights on how to lead a medical facility as the author recounts his success in reviving a failing hospital as its medical director. It also provides practical wisdom on running a private practice, in a time when many private practitioners are feeling pressurized by the managed care health companies. It is an inspirational book by a man with an indomitable spirit and originality. Following retirement, Dr. Kamath has remained active in the Cape Girardeau community in Missouri. He has, and continues to write for several websites and news magazines. Dr. Panchajanya Paul, MD, ABIHM, ABPN, FAPA - is an American Board certified - Child, Adolescent, and Adult psychiatrist.


NRI Pulse

1. We use only ten percent of our brain: This is the biggest brain myth. It is frequently espoused by experts and quoted in the media, and has become a part of popular culture. Human brain is very complex, and consumes 20 percent of the blood supply along with oxygen and nutrients. We use most of our brain all the time. Even at rest and sleep, the brain remains active in repair, consolidation, and rejuvenation. Recent brain imaging studies like positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have shown that there is activity in almost all parts of brain at all times- even during sleep.

..... Health Pulse .....

Six Common Brain Myths


2. Brain stops growing as you age: For many years it was believed that once the brain fully matured by 30 years of age, there is no more brain growth. This led to the old adage “you cannot teach new tricks to an old dog”. False! One of the biggest discoveries in neuroscience in the 21st century was the fact that brain can grow new neurons at old age. Many factors assist in nerve cell growth. Picking up challenging tasks, taking up new hobbies, novel experiences - all stimulate new nerve cells. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and aids in neurogenesis. Why is this important? Because the formation of new nerve cells and new nerve connections keeps the brain young and active. This protects against memory problems, cognitive decline, dementia, and the dreaded Alzheimer’s disease. 3. Caffeine is harmless: Many Americans are fond of drinking coffee. The growth of Starbucks and other coffee shops across the country is testimony to coffee’s success. When one drinks coffee or other high caffeinated products, one feels increased mental activity and performance. This effect is however temporary, and extracts a heavy toll. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor. Caffeine diminishes blood flow to the brain and other organs. But then how come coffee makes us alert and improves focus? When we are tired, the chemical adenosine slows down the brain and makes us sleepy. The purpose is to promote sleep, so that the brain can rejuvenate in sleep. The neurotransmitters we use for brain

function is highest when we wake up and continues to deplete throughout the day. The brain replenishes them during sleep. Caffeine blocks the effect of adenosine and triggers a sympathetic response. It releases adrenaline, and takes our body to a fight or flight response. It masks the need for sleep. We over work, and under sleep under the influence of caffeine. We use up our brain reserves, and when the effect of caffeine wears off, we are more tired and down, and require a higher dose of caffeine. Too much caffeine will disturb sleep, and the more we drink coffee, the more sleep debt we may accrue over time. Tea is a healthy substitute. Green tea and herbal tea have limited caffeine, and are loaded with antioxidants.

Eating Walnuts May Boost Gut Health, Cut Cancer Risk

New York: (IANS) Consuming half a cup of walnut per day may help protect the digestive system by increasing the amount of probiotic bacteria in the gut and ward off risks of heart and brain disease as well as cancer, researchers say. The findings, from the animal study, showed that a walnut-enriched diet reshapes the gut microbe community and causes a significant

is showing that walnuts change the gut, which could help explain why there are other positive health benefits to eating walnuts such as heart and brain health," said lead researcher Lauri Byerley, Associate Professor at the Louisiana State University in the US. Consuming walnuts also has been associated with health benefits including a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, Byerley added. The bioactive components of walnuts may be contributing factors in providing these health benefits, the researchers explained in the paper appearing in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. "Greater bacterial diversity may be associated with better health outcomes, whereas low diversity has been linked to conditions such as obesity and inflammatory bowel disease," Byerley noted. Walnuts are the only nuts that contain a significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), increase in beneficial bacteria including Lac- the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid (2.5 grams tobacillus, Roseburia, and Ruminococcaceae. per one ounce) and also offer protein (4 grams Walnuts act as a probiotic to help nour- per one ounce) and fibre (2 grams per one ounce). ish and grow the bacteria that keeps the diFor the study, rats were randomly assigned gestive system healthy, the researchers said. to a diet containing ground walnuts, equivalent "The health of the gut is related to over- to about 2 ounces (1/2 cup) per day in humans, all health in the rest of the body. Our study or a diet without walnuts for up to 10 weeks.

4. All sports are good for the brain: Exercise is one of the best things for brain function. Aerobic exercise leads to the release of brain derived growth factor involved in repair and regeneration of neurons. But not all sports are created equal. Some sports can contribute to head trauma. Repeated head trauma like that suffered in football, leads to concussion injury which can cause memory loss, dementia, cognitive impairment, and in severe case- death. Other sports can be problematic. I am a big fan of soccer. But children playing competitive soccer, and heading the ball repeatedly, may suffer brain injuries over time. This is problematic especially for girls as they have a thinner and a smaller skull. Other activities like boxing, cycling, roller blading, martial arts can lead to head trauma. Children need to play sports, but parents need to be careful and aware of the possible head trauma. Always use protective gear and follow all safety rules and precautions. 5. Saturated fat is unhealthy: The brain is made of fat and its structure contains saturated fat. The myelin sheath which covers the neurons is made of saturated fat. When the nerves talk to each other, they use chemical signals called neurotransmitter to communicate with each other. The most used neurotransmitter is Acetyl choline which is made of cholesterol. Saturated fat plays an essential role in the func-

August 2017 tioning of central nervous system. A diet rich in fat (called ketogenic diet) is used for epilepsy. Lack of saturated fat in diet can cause problems related to memory and other brain functioning. Cholesterol is vilified in the media, but the fact that cholesterol is a powerful antioxidant and preventive against cancer is often ignored. Saturated fat contains the fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, K. However, for a small group of people like the middle aged male- saturated fat may increase the risk of heart disease. Consult your doctor when in doubt. 6. All Vaccines are Safe: Vaccinations promoted by the government agencies are for public health and safety. However, what is good for the broader public health may not be necessarily good for one particular being. Vaccinations contain preservatives and adjuvants. Many of them are neurotoxic. One of them is mercury based thimerosal. Until recently thimerosal was used in all vaccines and children were exposed to mercury levels much higher than the safe limits. Thimerosal is still present in flu shots and tetanus shots. In addition, many vaccines contain aluminum, formaldehyde, MSG, egg protein, antibiotics. Most children and adults tolerate vaccines without any problems. But there is certain group of vulnerable children who can suffer brain damage and other health problems. Every year the government pays millions of dollars in vaccine related injuries. Vaccines however can save lives by preventing certain infectious diseases. There are no easy answers. All vaccines come with a list of side effects and contradictions. Unfortunately, many parents are not aware of them. Next time, you or your child, get a vaccine, do your research. Go over all the side effects and contraindications and have a full discussion with your physician. Dr. Panchajanya Paul, MD, ABIHM, FAPA is a double board certified - child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine. He is a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He holds adjunct faculty position at Emory University School of Medicine; University of Georgia & Georgia Regents University, and University of Central Florida School of Medicine.

Busting Four Myths About Olive Oil

BY RAJNEESH BHASIN Olive oil is a gift of God, especially due to the numerous health benefits it offers. It is a gold standard when it comes to edible oil. Whether making the heart healthy or regulating sugar levels or bringing with itself vitamins and antioxidants, olive oil is an ideal companion for all who wish to lead a healthy life. But due to a lack of precise knowledge about this oil, some are reluctant to make it part of their daily lives. This is, to some extent, a result of all the crazy marketing out there: Peruse the olive oils in a typical grocery store and you'll be greeted by all kinds of terminology. Some of it is confusing -like "pure" and "extra-virgin" -which is better? Other terms are just pointless -- "cold-pressed", for example, doesn't really mean much. Basically, all extra-virgin olive oil is cold-pressed. So it's time we debunk some of the myths about this beneficial Mediterranean favourite. Myth #1: If olive oil gets cloudy or solidifies in the refrigerator, it is 100 per cent authentic and of high quality. Fact: There is no home test to check for olive oil authenticity. Some oils get cloudy in the refrigerator and some don't. Quality is best checked through taste and smell -- authenticity is best tested in a properly-equipped lab. Myth #2: A very green colour indicates high quality olive oil. Fact: Colour is not an indicator of the oil's quality. Quality olive oil isn't a generic product.

Factors like olive variety, growing conditions and country of origin create variability in oil colour -- from pale yellow to dark green -- and how fast the oil will cloud or solidify in the refrigerator. Myth #3: Heat diminishes olive oil's health benefits; so it is best to use extra virgin olive oil "raw" or straight from the bottle. Fact: Flavour may change when heated, but the health benefits remain. You can cook with all types of olive oil without losing health benefits because their smoking point is higher than most other cooking oils. Myth #4: Olive oil cannot be used for cooking, frying and sautéing. Fact: You can cook on high heat with olive oil. Here, the answer lies in understanding the various grades of olive oil. In India, one can most certainly find three grades of olive oil -- extra virgin, classic/ pure and extra light and, lastly, pomace, which is a chemically extracted variant of olive oil. The difference lies in the taste, aroma and smoking point. Extra virgin olive oil has a strong flavour of olives and low smoking point as it is obtained from cold pressing. Pure olive oil is obtained from refining olive oil, so its smoking point is high but has the flavour of olives, so it can be heated and used for cooking pizzas, pastas, sautéing vegetables et al. Extra light has neutral/no flavour of olives and be used for everyday cooking/frying in Indian kitchens. (Rajneesh Bhasin, Managing Director of Borges India, is an expert on olive oil)


NRI Pulse

EVENTS Shiv Yog Durga Saptashati AUGUST 6 Shivir: The Sacred Sadhana of Celestial Sounds Atlanta Shivyog Parivaar is happy to invite and announce Divine Global Wave for Shiv Yog Durga Saptshati (DSS2016) in Atlanta Georgia When: Sunday, August 6 2017 from 3 pm-6 pm Where: AMBAJI USA - Shree Shakti Mandir, 1450 Huie Road, Morrow, Georgia - 30260 Free, Kindly RSVP here Contact: 678-870-6020, shivyog.atlanta.shivir@,,, Indira Kalyan 678-6970625 or -0628, Sandeep Patel 678-789-9762. IFA Freedom Mela AUGUST 12 Celebrating India’s Independence Day When: Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 3 pm Contact: 470-253-4432

To list your upcoming event, please email us at contact@ with Event Listing in the subjectline.

..... Features .....

5K Run/Walk In Defense SEPTEMBER 10 of Animals Dogs welcome. Every penny received goes to fund our animal welfare projects at IDA(In Defense of Animals). Your support is vital to IDA's efforts to protect the rights, welfare and habitats of animals.In Defense of Animals is a registered 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. You can choose to either Run the 5K or Walk. Report @ 7 am on the Event day. Race and Walk starts at 8 am sharp. Run timed by FAST RACE SERVICES Awards: Overall M/F, Masters M/F, Top M/F in 10 and under, 11-14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60 & up. Only participants that register by 31st Aug are guaranteed their size of T-shirt. Rest will get a Large size T-shirt until stocks last. Well-behaved pets/dogs on leash are welcome and can participate for free! There will be water available in bowls for them & treats too! Doggies will be greeted with treat bags on the Finishline! Please remember to bring cash or check. $ 1 for 1 ticket, $ 5 for 6 tickets and $ 10 for 12 tickets. When: Sunday, September 10, 2017 Check-in 7 am, race 8 am. Where: St. Marlo Country Club (Swim/ Tennis area), 7765 St. Marlo Country Club Parkway, Duluth, GA 30097. Cost: $35. Contact: Sarita Raturi 678-469-2406

Enhance Your Running Sessions With Pre, Post Running Tips Pre-running exercises help in increasing the blood flow to the muscles, reducing their stiffness and loosening them for better running, while post-running exercises help the body cool down and improve flexibility and performance, say experts. Mithun Chakravathi, RunWestin Concierge at The Westin Chennai Velachery, lists some exercises for before the run: * Hip flexor stretch: Stand tall. Flex your hip and knee to bring your right knee up toward your chest as you swing your left arm forward. Lower to the ground, then repeat on the other leg.

repeat with the other leg Vipin Banugade, Senior Physiotherapist at Sahyadri Hospitals, suggest some post-running exercises. * Hamstring stretch: Keep your right leg just a little ahead of your left leg and place your hands on your hips. Now, with your right leg kept straight and toes facing up, bend your left leg. Bend forward towards your right leg with a straight back. Repeat the same with the other leg. This exercise helps you in relaxing your hamstrings after a good run.

* Lower back stretch: While lying on your back, pull your right knee to your chest and hold the position for about 15 seconds. Re* Leg flexor peat with the other leg and then stretch: Stand tall get both your knees to your chest with your right arm and hold it for 15 seconds. This forward. Bend your exercise helps you gaining more knee at a right angle in front of you, thigh par- flexibility while running next and also helps you allel to the ground, as you swing your right arm control your breathing. back and left arm forward. Contract your quads to extend your leg straight out. Return to standing, * Calf stretch: After stretching your right leg then repeat with the other leg. forward, bend your front foot at the knee and keep your back foot straight. Keep your left leg straight * Plantar flexor stretch: Stand with your while pushing your left heel to the ground. Keep hands on your hips. Raise your right foot a few doing this till you feel a stretch at the back of your inches, keeping your knee straight. Quickly flex left leg, right below your knee. Repeat the same your foot, pointing your toes upward. Return to with the other leg. This exercise relaxes your calf standing, then repeat with the other foot. while making them more flexible. * Hip extensor stretch: Hinge forward at your hips. Raise your right foot and bend your right knee in front of you while swinging your left arm forward as you would when running. From there, maintain the same lean as you quickly stretch your right leg behind you. At the same time, swing your right arm forward and your left arm back. Return your knee in front of you and

* Thigh stretch: Pull your heel towards the left buttock by gently lifting the top of your foot behind you stretching the front of your thigh. Keep your knees together while doing the exercise. Take care while doing the exercise fall forward or sideways. Repeat the same with the other leg. This exercise strengths the thigh muscles while keeping improving your balance while running.

August 2017

Keep The Weird News Coming Or We May Be Forced To Be Serious BY NURY VITTACHI A boy named Hal Warden, 16, successfully divorced his wife, who was 13. They had been married a year. It was actually the boy's second marriage. His first marriage had been to an "older woman". He'd been 12, she was 14. Both marriages produced children. But family life was all too much for Hal. His first wife complained to the judge about her 12-year-old husband: "He was acting like a 10-year-old." That's a true story from the US state of Tennessee which is remembered with great affection by columnists such as the present writer, who specialize in amazing-but-true tales from around the world. That's because it appeared in the very first News of the Weird syndicated newspaper column, in 1988. I was reminded of it by the news that that column's writer, Chuck Shepherd, has just announced his retirement. This is bad news for the planet. The less weird news there is, the more people will discuss boring, serious things such as the impending end of civilisation, etc. Individual odd-but-true news items have always appeared in the media, but some streams ran for decades, such as Chuck's series, and that of the present writer, who has been writing funny-but-true columns since the 1980s, including the Traveller's Tales column in the Far Eastern Economic Review. That column featured funny stuff that travellers had seen -- such as the amused Chinese reader who sent in a photo of a German hostelry called The Bad Hotel. (Bad in German means spa-bath.)

And the Western traveller who found a medical practice specialising in sexual diseases in Taiwan called the Happy VD Clinic. Earlier this year, two of the Internet's best weird news websites, Nothing To Do With Abroath and The Presurfer, stopped abruptly after the deaths of their respective writers (Kevin Gray and Gerard Vlemmings). Does all this mean that the world will become less weird? The opposite seems to be true: Life is getting increasingly bizarre. Just in recent weeks, readers wrote to me about a mass outbreak of transgenderism in a river's fish population, the discovery of a tribe which evolved to be immune to poison, and a man who "identifies as an alien". People are weird. Life is strange. There's really nothing quite like it. But let's give the last anecdote to Chuck Shepherd. In 1995, he alerted the world to the antics of jailbird Robert Lee Brock, who filed a $5 million lawsuit against Robert Lee Brock. Yes, Brock sued himself, arguing that his dark side, by committing numerous crimes, had violated the rights of his good side. "I ask the state to pay it on my behalf since I can't work and am a ward of the state," he said. Judges threw out his lawsuit. But at least his cheekiness gave people a smile. In the meantime, thanks to Google Translate and Autocorrect, the number of funny menu items sent in by readers, particularly in East Asia, continues to grow. From Japan, we have "Roasted Husband", from China we have "Stir-Fried Wikipedia With Pimientos" and an item on a Taiwanese menu is translated: "I Can't Find On Google But It's Delicious."

Use Turmeric For Anti-Aging, Healing Properties Widely used in the Indian kitchen, turmeric, also called king of spices, is beneficial in many ways. The curcumin in it, a bioactive element present in it, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. From healing burns and cuts to controlling the process of aging, experts have rated the spice high for its uses. Vishal Bhandari, Founder, at and Ragini Mehra, Founder at, have listed the uses of turmeric: * Turmeric has been used by generations because of its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It heals wounds and helps in keeping infections at bay. *Anti-aging Curcumin, a major component of turmeric, has strong antioxidant properties, that inhibits free radical production, and hence controls aging by protecting cells from damage. Turmeric also helps stimulate new cell growth. * Turmeric not only fights pimples and breakouts, but regular use can also clear acne scars and inflammation. * Turmeric lessens the oil secretion by the sebaceous glands, and helps in keeping infections at bay. * It is a great exfoliator and gives a youthful

glow to the skin. * There are number of face masks that could be prepared at home using turmeric. Exfoliation face scrub: Mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder with water, milk or yoghurt to form a wet paste. Gently scrub paste on damp face in circular strokes. Rinse with cool water. It will gently exfoliate blackheads, soften skin and tighten pores. Glowing face mask: Mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder with one teaspoon honey and milk to form a wet paste. Leave the mask for 10 to 15 minutes and let it dry. Rinse with cool water, scrubbing gently to remove. It will improve skin texture, diminish wrinkles and even out skin tone. Hydrating face mask: Mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder with an egg white, one teaspoon olive oil to form a paste. Leave the mask for 1015 minutes and let it dry. Rinse with lukewarm water. It will tighten and tone the skin and give you a glow by locking in moisture.


NRI Pulse

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

August 2017

Anjali Chhabria: Girl On The Run DIVYA’S DESAI’S photographic ode to Atlanta women.

pany. My passion is to venture out and try different things in life; to see what I am good at. I’ve tried my hand at every-

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 I came to the USA at age 24, with just a graduate degree in Commerce from Mumbai, without knowing the culture of this country or anyone here. For the first time, I was away from the sheltered life with my parents in a complete foreign land. I had to learn everything on my own, make my own decisions - good or bad- from learning to drive to making a living. Being on my own was challenging, but it has been an incredible journey and I am proud of who I am today. Being on my own made me independent, and showed me my strengths, weaknesses, and made me learn from my mistakes. Now I know that if I can make a life in an unknown country on my own, I am up for any challenge in life! Life in the US taught me to never say no to any work. As my mom says, work brings more work. You never know which opportunity is knocking at your door. Currently, I am freelancing with a media channel and have a full time job in an IT com-

thing-from modelling to anchoring to acting in local plays. I want to see myself as a girl who’s been looked up to and admired for my personality, my character and my work. I do dream of becoming a celebrity one day myself, and a celebrity reporter – I love interviewing celebrities, getting up close and personal with them, getting to learn from them. Hobbies: I love fashion, travel around the world, Bollywood music, outdoor activities, music (and I want to learn to play the piano). Inspiration: Successful people inspire me Motivation: My family especially, friends and all those people who have supported me in my journey. I want to see myself successful and recognized for my work. I want to see my name out there and make my parents, family and friends proud.


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

NRI Pulse

Waiting To Know What Government Is Doing With Committee Report: Benegal

Amidst the hullabaloo over Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Pahlaj Nihalani's diktats and rumored replacement plans, filmmaker Shyam Benegal is wondering what the government is doing with the report submitted by a panel led by him last year. It was in April last year that the Shyam Benegal Committee report was submitted to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, proposing ways to revamp the censor board to be in sync with the changing times. But there has been a lull on that front since then. Benegal, whose panel also included Kamal Haasan and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, says he is as clueless as others. "I am waiting to know what they are doing with the report, just like you are waiting," Benegal told IANS over phone. Benegal was handed the responsibility of suggesting ways to modify the workings of the censor board. The report suggested some major changes -- like taking away the CBFC's power to demand cuts in a film, and also made recommendations about the size of board and its functioning.

August 2017

Kangana Finds Saif's Open Letter On Nepotism 'Disturbing' Mumbai: (IANS) Actress Kangana Ranaut, who started the nepotism debate by labelling filmmaker Karan Johar as its "flag bearer" during his chat show, says she found the open letter by her "Rangoon" costar Saif Ali Khan on the subject "disturbing". A day after Saif shared his views on the debate, Kangana wrote an open letter, published on Saturday in the Mid-day tabloid. "While I enjoyed some of the perspectives on this subject, I did find a few disturbing ones. This morning, I woke up to one such open letter, written by Saif Ali Khan," she wrote. "The last time I was deeply pained and upset about this issue was when Karan Johar wrote a blog on it, and even once declared in an interview that there are many criteria for excelling in film business. Talent is not one of them." Kangana said: "I don't know if he was being misinformed, or simply naĂŻve, but to discredit the likes of Dilip Kumar, K. Asif, Bimal Roy, Satyajit Ray, Guru Dutt, and many more, whose talent and exceptional abilities have formed the spine of our contemporary film business, is absolutely bizarre." Before addressing her letter to "Dear friend Saif", she wrote: "My request is that people must not misconstrue this and pit us against each other. This is just a healthy exchange of ideas, and not a clash between individuals." "In your letter you mentioned that, 'I apologised to Kangana, and I don't owe anyone any explanation, and this issue is over.' But this is not my issue alone." She said nepotism, "on many levels, fails



the test of objectivity and rationale. I have acquired these values from the ones who have found great success and discovered a higher truth, much before me. These values are in the public domain, and no one has a copyright on them." "So, we owe an explanation to every-

one who either owns, or wants to own these values. Like I said, we are the ones who will shape the future of the coming generations." Referring to another part of Saif's letter, she wrote: "You talked about the relationship between genetics and star kids, where you emphasised on

nepotism being an investment on tried and tested genes...I fail to understand how you can compare genetically hybrid racehorses to artistes!" Are you implying that artistic skills, hard-work, experience, concentration spans, enthusiasm, eagerness, discipline and love, can be inherited through family genes? she asked. "If your point was true, I would be a farmer back home. I wonder which gene from my gene-pool gave me the keenness to observe my environment, and the dedication to interpret and pursue my interests." She also said: "You also spoke of eugenics -- which means controlled breeding of the human race. So far, I believe that the human race hasn't found the DNA that can pass on greatness and excellence. "If it had, we would've loved to repeat the greatness of Einstein, Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Vivekananda, Stephen Hawking, Terence Tao, Daniel Day-Lewis, or Gerhard Richter." The subtext of all her discussions on this subject has been to encourage outsiders to take the path less travelled, she said in her open letter in mid-day. "If you don't find acceptance in the mainstream, go off beat -- there are so many ways of doing the same thing," she wrote.

I've Encountered Racism All My Life: Nawazuddin

Mumbai: (IANS) Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the ebony-complexioned superstar of Bollywood whom every producer wants to sign at any cost. He is barely out of one highly-lauded role in "Mom" when hes already looking at another crowd-pleasing role as a hoodlum dancer in "Munna Michael". Many consider Nawazuddin to be one of the finest, if not the finest actor of Hindi cinema today. Therefore when he speaks the world listens. Nawazuddin recently raised the question of racism through a tweet that said: "Thank you for making me realise that I cannot be paired along with the fair and handsome because I'm dark and not good looking." A lot has been said and written about his words.Finally he clarified the whole issue in an interview which threatened to go into tricky tangents on societal prejudice. Said the actor with a deep sigh: "I was reacting to what I read about this gentleman's statement on the kind of actors I need to be cast with. I found the statement very strange. Did filmmakers actually consider the colour of my co-stars' skin before casting them with me? Yeh ladki gori hai yeh nahin chalegi...yeh ladka saawla hai isskobanao Nawaz ka dost... Is that how actors are cast in our films? I thought actors were chosen for suitability and merit....Anyway, this gentleman says he was misquoted." Nawazuddin says he hates playing the victim card. "But the fact is, I have faced prejudices all my life be-

cause of my dark complexion, because of my humble background and because I come from a small village. Prejudice is embedded deep in our minds. All of us are prejudiced. It begins at home where the mother says, ‘Beta gori bahu le aao tab bachche kale nahin honge.' As if my criteria for choosing a life partner must be the colour of her skin." Nawaz doesn't want to point fingers at any particular section of society. "I am not saying there is more prejudice in the film industry. It exists in every profession, every walk of life. In cinema. I don't think I've been rejected for being dark-skinned. Nor has any heroine refused to work with me for the way I look. But yes, you can't deny that leading men are supposed to look a particular way. Hero ka matlab hota hai gora-chitta(hero means fair-complexioned). "There is a lot of curiosity to see the children from film families. And invariably the question of how fair-skinned he or she is, comes up. Someone like me with no connection in the industry has to prove myself. Because I've no background in cinema and I don't look like a film actor. Yeh kya karega? That's how I was initially welcomed." Nawaz feels we take no pride in our talent. "We wait for our artistes to be endorsed in the West before celebrating their talent. When I was in New York I went to Broadway to watch the rehearsal for a play. I was introduced to an actor as the best actor in the world. To them in America everything they have is the best. We have far less confidence in our talent." Nawaz has tried some dancing in Munna Michael. "I am very nervous. I want to know what people think about my dancing. Because I've always had a mental block about dancing. Dancing on screen was challenge for me as an actor. I hope I've pulled it off."


NRI Pulse

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

August 2017

Watching People Light Up With Happiness Has Been Incredible: Mona Shah Joshi

When I was four years old, I immigrated with my parents to the United States. I’m not sure when “Papa and Mummy” became “Dad and Mom” but our family’s assimilation into America had quietly begun. Jains are open-minded in their appreciation of other religions, so my mother thought nothing of sending me occasionally to Sunday school, even as she observed her daily Jain prayers and instructed me to recite mine. We celebrated Diwali with diyas and sparklers, and Christmas with an ornamented tree and presents. Each year on the 4 th of July, we gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to watch the fireworks. My siblings and I planned our red, white and blue outfits, while Mom prepared a picnic basket of alu, puri and pachkutta (a traditional savory Rajasthani dish of roots and stems). The celebration felt like a massive, communal picnic celebrating America’s freedom and diversity. With our frequent extended visits to India, I grew up feeling as if we had the best of the East and West. While an undergraduate at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, an almost spiritual thirst for knowledge led me to an eight-month research sojourn in India. Like many hyphenated Americans, I wrestled with questions about identity: Who am I? What does it mean to be an Indian-American woman? I decided to take a semester off from my undergraduate studies and returned to India to gather oral histories of women of the Jain faith. During this time, I took my first Art of Living course with His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Bangalore. With my first course, I knew that I

had found the keys to truly understanding myself and the world around me. I’ve now been teaching the Happiness Program and various other Art of Living programs across North America for 20 years. While I’ve been meditating for over two decades, each day unfolds a new dimension on my spiritual journey. Neither at home nor at school are we taught how to manage our mind, handle our emotions, maintain good relationships and keep our smile no matter what’s happening around us. At the heart of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Happiness Program is a yogic breathing practice called Sudarshan Kriya. Sudarshan Kriya eliminates stress, increases clarity, and gives you back your smile. Watching people light up with happiness and witnessing how their lives are transformed as result of the course has been an incredible experience. The first time I assisted a Happiness Program, it was clear to me that I found my life’s purpose. I recently worked with field workers from United We Dream, a national youth-led movement that’s at the forefront of immigrant advocacy. A few days ago, I received a text from one of the Dreamers that her hip pain, which she has had since 2015, is completely gone. She also mentioned that she has not spent “much energy on being mad or upset.” I never imagined that I’d be spend-

and Sri Sri’s wisdom helped my family and I move positively through this difficult time. As my mother said when we found out our time with him was now limited, "Let's be grateful that we had Daddy for an extra five years after the cancer was detected." In any situation, no matter how challenging, we can always find reasons to feel grateful. The more I travel, the more I realize how much we’re all the same. We may eat different foods, speak different languages, and wear different clothes, yet in the end we’re all part of one world family, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. On various occasions, Sri Sri has brought the world together in a celebration. In 2016, 3.75 million people from over 100 countries converged in New Delhi on the occasion of Art of Living Foundation’s 35th Anniversary. It was an extraordinary celebration of our immense world heritage through music, dance and cultural performances from around the world. I’m currently working with churches in Atlanta and sharing Vedic wisdom and meditation during Sunday Services. Learning about other cultures, religions and customs enables us to understand different perspectives and develop a feeling of connection with all people. Today ing my life helping people find the love, a multicultural and multi-religious education is peace and happiness they have inside. needed, as it enables us to celebrate our differHaving Sri Sri in my life has given me the ences and rejoice in our shared values like peace, unshakeable confidence that the Divine loves compassion and service.” - Mona Shah Joshi each of us and will always take care of us. This Mona Shah Joshi is a charismatic speaker was most evident when we recently lost my fa- and personal development expert for the Art of ther to cancer. The Sudarshan Kriya practice Living Foundation.


NRI Pulse

..... What’s Cooking? / InVogue .....

Quick Summer Snacks

3-inch diameter circles) on a baking tray, drizzle olive oil and chopped garlic, top with chopped tomatoes and pizza sauce, add generous amounts of big cubes of mozzarella and cream cheese. Fold to form a semi-circle (half moon) to seal the edges. Bake at 180 degree Celsius for six to seven minutes. Serve hot with cheese oozing out. * Banana prune and chocolate toasties: Slice a few bananas, get some Del Monte Prunes, break a fruit and nut chocolate bar into small pieces and mix them. Apply butter on both sides of sliced bread or sliced brioche, fill the banana, prunes and chocolate mixture and make toasties in sandwich griller.

Don’t¬ just stick to tea and ‘pakoras when the rain clouds gather this summer. Add variety to your snack list, say experts. Noah Barnes, Executive Chef at The Hungry Monkey, Naresh Guglani, Corporate Chef at Del Monte, and Neeraj Balasubramanian, Executive Chef at The Park, Visakhapatnam, suggest some snacking ideas. * Stuffed mushrooms: Mix breadcrumbs, chopped mushroom stems and grated Par* Tomato and cheese bruschetta: Place sliced mesan cheese with a table spoon of a pizbread on a baking tray, drizzle extra virgin olive za pasta sauce; stuff into mushroom caps, oil, chopped garlic and any dried spice available drizzle olive oil and bake at 400 degrees F in the kitchen cabinet, bake till golden brown. Top for 30 minutes. with chopped tomatoes, cheese and chopped basil. * Asian lettuce wraps: To make the filling, heat oil in a large skillet over medium * Pizza pockets: Place pizza dough (cut in heat. Add onion, ginger, lemongrass and

Evolving Style Of Dupatta

BY RANI SHARMA Raneez Boutique The word dupatta is a combination of du- meaning two and patta, meaning strip of cloth. Early evidence of the dupatta can be traced to the Indus valley civilization, where the sculpture of the priest king’s left shoulder is covered with some kind of a chaddar. Dupatta is worn in many regional styles across south Asia. Originally it was worn as a symbol of modesty. When entering a temple, mosque, dargah, church, or gurdwara, women to cover their head with a dupatta. While symbolism still continues, many today wear it as just a decorative accessory. There is no single way of wearing the dupatta, and as time evolves and fashion modernizes, the style of the dupatta is also evolving. A dupatta is traditionally worn across both shoulders and around the head. However, the

dupatta can be worn like a cape around the entire torso. The material for the dupatta varies according to the suit. When the dupatta is worn with the salwar -kameez, it is casually allowed to flow down the front and back in current fashion. Another recent trend is the short dupatta, which is more a scarf or a stole, often worn with kurtas and indo-western clothing. Essentially the dupatta is often treated as an accessory in current urban fashion. Dupatta styles differ in each Indian state, notably Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir. All states represent their own fabric, texture, weaves, styles and workmanship. The dupattas are made of a number of fabrics such as silk, cotton, khadi, georgette, crepe, net, satin, brocade and chiffon. In recent times, the trend of dupattas for men, worn over the kurta or sherwani, has become very popular.

August 2017 garlic, and cook for seven to 10 minutes, or until onions are soft and beginning to brown. Add tofu and water chestnuts, breaking tofu into small crumbles; cook for four minutes, or until heated through. Stir in soy, hoisin and Sriracha sauce. Transfer to serving bowl. Place lettuce leaves on platter, and set out garnishes in small serving bowls. Let guests wrap tofu mixture in lettuce leaves, and top with their choice of garnish. * Chicken pineapple and olive spears: In a saucepan over medium heat, add the ketchup, soy sauce, honey, mustard, sugar, garlic and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until thickened for about 10 minutes. Set aside and cool. Heat an outdoor grill or a grill pan. Cut each chicken thigh into two pieces. Peel the pineapple and cut it into one or one-and-half-inch chunks. Alternating between the chicken, olives and pineapple, thread the pieces onto the skewers. Brush them with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Remove the garlic cloves from the barbecue sauce and discard; put about half the sauce into a small bowl for later. Brush skewers with some of the sauce. Cook them on the grill, basting regularly with the barbecue sauce, until cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with reserved barbecue sauce on the side for dipping.


NRI Pulse

August 2017


NRI Pulse

August 2017

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