Atlantaâ€™s Premier South Asian Newspaper September 2019
Atlanta’s Premier South Asian Newspaper September 2019
“Trump Trade War-Hit US Firms Keen To Relocate To India From China”
New York: (IANS) About 200 US companies have expressed interest in coming from China to India, according to Mukesh Aghi, the president of US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF). The organisation, which promotes bilateral business and trade relations between the two countries, has received enquiries from those companies about how to invest in India and they have a potential for bringing $21 billion in investments to India, Aghi said during an interactive session at Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami’s meeting with investors here on Tuesday. India’s Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty also said that there was a lot of interest from US companies to relocate from China to India and he hoped that Tamil Nadu is rolling out the red carpet for them. US President Donald Trump’s trade war
Aghi asked USISPF board member and former US Ambassador to India, Frank Wisner, what India and Tamil Nadu should do to get those companies to come there. Wisner said that the Centre has to reform labor laws to make the condition of employment of workers easy, enable the acquisition of land easier, create reliable tax systems and establish a solid financial sector that is able to fuel investment. The responsibility of the state is to provide “a with China, the problems with protecting intellec- framework of welcome” for companies wanting to retual property and restrictions on doing business locate or invest by helping them find land facilitating have prompted many US companies to look for clearances, and running interference with Delhi, said other places to move or expand operations. Wisner, who is now International Affairs Adviser to By investing in other countries these com- the global law firm, Squire Patton Boggs. panies may be able to avoid the high tariffs imHe added that the state also has to provide “the kinds posed by Trump, some of which went into effect of educational and health infrastructure that is required in September. not only for work force, but for managerial talent”.
New Trump Rule Could Deny Green Cards To Low-Income Legal Immigrants
Washington: (IANS) Donald Trumps administration has announced a rule that would allow the US to reject visas and permanent residency to people for being too poor. The US government announced in August a regulation to reduce the number of legal immigrants who are allowed to enter and reside in the country, by facilitating the rejection of applications for green cards and residence permits, Efe news reported. A person holding a permanent resident card or some types of visas obtained through legal means would be affected if they cannot financially support themselves without public assistance. It would also determine the granting of a legal visa by changing the criteria of the Department of Homeland Security when interpreting whether a foreigner “is likely to become a public charge at any time”. The interim director of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli has defended the new rule. “Our rule generally prevents aliens who are likely to become a public charge from coming to the United States or remaining here and getting a green card,” he said at a press conference at the White House. “Public charge is now defined in a way that ensures the law is meaningfully enforced and that
those who are subject to it are self-sufficient.” US authorities would be able to determine if an immigrant has become a public charge for the administration, that is a person who depends mainly on public funds to subsist, and then cancel
their legal immigration status. “Through the public charge rule, President Trump’s administration is reinforcing the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility,” Cuccinelli said. “Ensuring that immigrants are able to support themselves and become successful here in America.” He explained that, under this new rule, a legal immigrant will be defined as a public charge if they receive public benefits for more than 12
months in a 36-month period. “Under the rule a public charge is now defined as an individual who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36 month period. For instance receipt of two different benefits in one month counts as two months,” he added. Public benefits include food assistance, housing assistance vouchers and programs that subsidize the cost of medicines. Cucinnelli said that the measure would not affect refugees, asylum seekers, victims of domestic violence and trafficked people living in the US. According to the government, the regulation will take effect from October 15. It is expected that the new rule will face legal lawsuits in the coming days, so its final implementation could be delayed several months or even never occur. Immigrant advocacy groups have argued that it would discriminate against immigrants from poorer countries, keep families apart and encourage legal residents to give up public assistance they might need to survive. Organizations also said that the legislation would penalize immigrants with a work visa who need public assistance on a temporary basis.
Cobb Student Held After Taking Loaded Gun To School
Atlanta, GA: A Cobb County high school student took a loaded handgun to school last month, leading to a ‘code red’ and temporary lockdown on campus, according to police reports. Cops said Rolando Jose Moore Figueroa, 17, boarded the school bus and entered the Wheeler High School campus with a handgun in his backpack, which was loaded with seven 9mm rounds. He was arrested at the school a little after 9 am. Figueroa is facing two felony charges of hijacking a school bus and possessing a weapon at school, as well as a misdemeanor count of possessing a gun. The school apparently returned to normal schedule after the student was arrested. According to Figueroa’s arrest warrant, he was on school campus with the gun in his backpack from 7:50 a.m. to 9:05 a.m. on a Friday. He does not have a gun license. Parents found out about the incident when they received an email from the school. “A suspect was arrested who was found to be in possession of a weapon. Wheeler administration, staff, CCSD police, and District student-safety supports performed well, all students are safe, and school is operating on a normal schedule while CCSD police continue their investigation,” the email said. A Wheeler High School freshman’s mother, on the condition of anonymity, told NRI Pulse she immediately texted her son to find out if he was okay. Her son responded that they were under lockdown. The mother said her son goes to the school’s magnet program, which, although separate from the school’s regular curriculum, is housed in the same building. She said the school had three ‘code red’ alerts in 2018. “I wasn’t alarmed when I got the email from school. But now, after reading the news in the media that the teen had taken a loaded gun to school, I am worried,” the mother told NRI Pulse. “I wonder how this can be stopped,” she added.
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Cultural Gaiety At 23rd IACA Festival Of India
BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA: Festival of India, an IACA signature celebration of India’s Independence Day, now into its 23rd year, attracted well over 3000 people to its festivities at Infinite Energy Center in Duluth. The FOI Flag March marshaled a huge group with representations from diverse community organizations of various states of India across Atlanta, community leaders including Ani Agnihotri, Vishwanath Ganti carrying the 300 ft long Indian flag. The landmark festival showcased India at its cultural and intellectual best with spectacular performances from over forty popular dance and music academies across Atlanta and an interesting line up of seminars on diverse themes. The back to back performances included performers of multiple ages, genres, and a range of dance and musicals, both classical and contemporary. “IACA is one of the premier community organizations in the country which encompasses all sections of our communities that functions democratically. We proudly have been presenting FOI for last 23 years and hopefully will do so for many decades for our kids and everyone else," stated IACA Chairman Ani Agnihotri. An added attraction, a fashion show presented and organized by Kiran Agnihotri and Sonjukta Haldar, featuring IACA Miss India GA participants decked in an exclusive collection by India’s top designer Rohit Verma, added glitz and glamour to the festivities. Verma’s exquisite collection was available for sale at the FOI Rohit Verma booth. Agnihotri welcomed dignitaries Consul Asim Kumar, Head of Chancery, Protocol, Security from the office of CGI, Atlanta, Congresswoman Lucy Mcbath, John Eaves, Ex chair of the Fulton County Commission, and Senator Kay Kirkpatrick to speak at the VIP hour. “I’m just really happy for your independence and so happy that you bring such value to America, and value to this district,” said Congresswoman Mcbath. “The Indian people have added richness to our culture, with the beautiful colors, the music, the food and your ethics,” quoted Senator Kirkpatrick. “IACA has been keeping the flag of India high here, showcasing Indian culture to the native Americans and also fostering relations between the two countries,” complimented Consul Asim Kumar. “I want you to know that I feel at home. I want you to know that this country is a country of immigrants and the Atlanta region is one of the fastest growing regions in the entire country. And it is fast growing because of the wonderful fast-growing diversity that we have here, including the Indian-American community,” said Eaves. Various members and organizations of the community who have contributed and supported IACA over the years were felicitated during the VIP hour. NRI Pulse Publisher and Editor-in-chief, Veena Rao, and City News Editor Jyothsna Hegde were among those recognized at the event. The list of awardees included Corporate Partners/Supporters Delta Air Lines, Inc, Sharma Yashhi and Associates, LLP, 27 TH Investments, Patel brothers, Embassy National Bank and individuals Ravi Singh, Shiv Aggarwal, Dr. Paddy Sharma, Raju Kotak, Anjali Chhabria, Mustafa Ajmeri, Mehul Parekh and Kartik H. Bhatt. Public speaking contest, kids’ arts competition, music and dances performances by leading academies and community organization groups, shopping
Photo by Neelamegam Subramanian.
Photo by Suresh Volam, Sri Photos.
Photo by Suresh Volam, Sri Photos. booths, food stalls, health fair, blood donation camp, yoga demos, Henna painting, and a vibrant bazaar engaged and entertained visitors throughout the day. Seminars with topics including Unleashing the next wave of entrepreneurship in India, by Madan Padaki, Managing Trustee, Head Held High Fdn, Co-founder & CEO of 1Bridge, Co-founder, Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship and Strategic Advisor to UNICEF India, A Moment of Insight: A Path to
a Better Mindset by Dr. Suvrat Bhargave, Psychiatrist, Educator, Radio Personality, and Author of “A Moment of Insight: Universal Lessons Learned from a Psychiatrists’s Couch” (Pinnacle Press) and Book reading from his debut book, Not Native: Short Stories of Immigrant Life in an In-Between World (Wising Up Press) by Murali Kamma, Managing Editor, Khabar magazine added interesting dimension to the festival.
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Be Confident In Your Identity: Gurinder Chadha At AAJA Meet
BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA: “Being a journalist is not an easy thing right now, especially here, and I realize that the more you are discredited, the more you are put into boxes, and the more you are marginalized, the more powerful you are. And you’ve got to own that power and own that voice,” said internationally acclaimed filmmaker Gurinder Chadha during her recent visit to Atlanta. Chadha was the keynote speaker at “Represent!” an event celebrating diversity, inclusion and emerging stories and storytellers, on the concluding day of the 38th Annual three-day Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) convention held between July 31 – Aug. 3 at the Loews Atlanta Hotel. Chadha’s latest, Blinded by the Light illuminated theatres on August 16th, having received glowing reviews when it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and certified “Fresh” by rotten tomatoes. Blinded.. is a coming-of-age tale based on journalist and co-screenwriter Sarfraz Manzoor's book Greetings From Bury Park: A Memoir, depicting Manzoor’s transformative discovery of Springsteen’s music as a 16-year-old Pakistani Muslim living in the London suburb of Luton in the late-’80s. Chadha, who started her career as a journalist at BBC and went on make breakout hits including Bend It Like Beckham was the perfect choice to address creators and journalists of color represented in the media at the convention. In a conversation with Lavanya Ramanathan, Chadha held back nothing as she narrated her journey to the top, noting that even with a history of hit films, big corporations still did not back her for Blinded. Not being able to express herself as a re-
ha was candid about their shortcomings but was quick to state that she had learnt much from them. ReFilmmaker Gurinder Chadha (left) with journalist Lavanya Ra- calling how no one ever thought manathan. of the idea of a girl of color being the protagonist, especially in a sports setting, football the most popular British sport in particular, Chadha said she had to struggle to gain financing. “You still have to keep fighting. It is about comporter ignited the idea to create her own movies munication.” and narrate stories that appealed to Chadha. So, Highlighting the key approach to her craft, what kind of movies did she want to make? “I Chadha said that it was important to underline the wanted to make movies that featured people that similarities between cultures. “What I have learnt look like me, people like me can understand and is that it is not just about saying this is us and we relate to. Most of all, I wanted people like me to want to represent ourselves in this way, what I do see themselves in the center of frame, as opposed is say yes, this is us, this is how we are representing to either in the margins or not at all. But I also ourselves, and look how much we are like you.” wanted it to be appealing for a universal audience When NRI Pulse asked Chadha what it and commercially viable, too. Our lives are about was about the music of Springsteen, or her own struggle, but there is also lot of love and joy. For movies that have such universal appeal, Chadha me it’s about combining both.” pointed out that it was because both highlight the Tracing her path from debutant I’m British similarities and struggles that people experience But.., Nice Arrangement, Bhaji on the Beach, Chad- in everyday life.
“Springsteen’s lyrics speak to people directly. Blinded had received acceptance across the board, at all its screenings, with people relating to it on a generic level, about the conflicts between teenagers and parents, rather than talking about the color/culture the boy belongs to.” “Which ever country I go to, people have the same reaction and the same emotional experience. No one talks about the 16-year-old Muslim boy, but rather about how my dad is this way or that, even in Texas. That is how we move forward,” she said. “You have to accept and be confident in your own identity,” was Chadha’s message to Indian-American kids struggling with their identities. “Represent!” included a daylong training and networking with a special screening of AMC’s “The Terror: Infamy” and a panel discussion about how Hollywood is telling one of the darkest stories in our nation's history, with lead actor Derek Mio, actor/consultant George Takei and showrunner Alexander Woo. More interesting sessions included discussions about staying true to your creative vision while strategizing and finding the right supporters, how to successfully pitch and find financial support for an idea, ways to conceptualize, launch and fund a must-listen podcast with limited resources, ways to turn passion into a thriving career and a must-follow Instagram account, and women of color in leadership positions in media, arts and entertainment discussed the challenges and opportunities of being a non-white, non-male media boss. Founded in 1981, AAJA is a professional nonprofit dedicated to increasing diversity in the news and media industry and ensuring fair and accurate representation of diverse communities, particularly Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, in the media.
SVK Hosts Guru Raghavendra Swamy’s 348th Aradhana Mahotsava
BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA: The Swaminarayan Gurukul reverberated to devotional chanting, classical music and dance performances and an aura of devotion as Shri Krishna Vrundavana (SKV) Atlanta celebrated Guru Raghavendra Swamy’s 348th Aradhana Mahotsava with much pomp and splendor on August 16, 17 and 18th 2019. Traditionally a three-day occasion, the main event was held on August 17 where well over 500 devotees participated in the celebrations with various offerings to the Lord including Abhisheka, Hastodaka, Kanakabhisheka, Ranga Pooja and Annadana (food distribution) performed in true Indian style. “The traditional chanting of very deep Vedic mantras created an aura and you could feel the devotion deep among the devotees gathered there,” said Ajay Madhwesh, one of the organizers of the event. A Pravachana (discourse) by Bhavana Prabhu elaborated on the life and times of Guru Raghavendra Swamy since his childhood to his entrance into Brindavana where he is believed to still reside and assist his devotees. Prabhu highlighted the traditions that are part of the Guru Raghavendra Swamy celebrations as well as the lineage. Various cultural performances by popular music and dance academies across Atlanta offered
their art form to the Lord. A wide array of food delicacies prepared and served in tradional Udupi Mata style enhanced the devotional experience. A Hindu scholar, theologian and saint, Guru R a g h a v e n d r a ’s diverse oeuvre includes commentaries on the works of Madhwa, Jayatirtha, Vyasatirtha, interpretation of Upanishads from the Dvaitaand standpoint a treatise on Purva Mimamsa. An accomplished Veena player, he has composed several songs under pen name Venu Gopala. He served as the pontiff of Madhwacharya Mutt at Kumba-
konam from 1624-1871. His Brindavana, where he is believed to have entered Jeeva Samadhi at Mantralayam in Mantralayam, Andhra Pradesh attracts thousands each year.
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Sunil Gavaskar Batting To Save Kids’ Lives From Heart Disease
BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA: “You have to play as much as you can. There is nothing like experience, nothing like match-practice, nothing like learning every day and having all-rounders. If you observe any matches India has won over the years, it is because they had all-rounders.” This was the legendary advice from cricket icon Sunil Gavaskar for the Atlanta team to qualify for T20 matches, during his recent visit to the city. Well over 500 cricket enthusiasts flocked to meet, greet and listen to the legendary batsman at the Heart to Heart event hosted by the Heart to Heart (H2H) foundation and Atlanta Cricket League at the Ashiana Banquet Hall in Global Mall on August 18, 2019. Gavaskar is utilizing time between the limited overs and the Test match series of the West Indies tour to visit the US to create awareness about H2H Foundation. Gavaskar, who was the heart of his team back in the 70s and 80s, is now batting to save the hearts of children through the Heart to Heart Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives of young kids born with congenital heart defects by providing free pediatric cardiac surgeries, in collaboration with the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospitals. According to H2H, in just two stops, New Jersey and Georgia, Gavaskar raised funds for the surgeries of 230 children. The cost of each surgery is $1200. Gavaskar also met President Donald Trump at the Trump Bedminster Golf Course
Photo by Vakiti Creations. in New York during this visit. The batting icon, through the “Freedom from CHD” initiative, is on a multi-city tour titled “Batting-for-Life”, across the US including stops in states of New Jersey, Georgia, California, Seattle, Kentucky, Indiana, ending in Chicago, Illinois, spreading awareness and participation for free heart surgeries in India. Along with a conversation with the legend, the event also involves Gavaskar signing memorabilia bats for attendees sponsoring heart surgeries. “India remains the world capital for Congen-
ital Heart Disease (CHD), with 300,000 children born with CHD each year. Without medical/surgical care, thousands of kids with CHD die before their 1st birthday. There are over 36,000 children waiting for a free heart surgery in the next two years. We are targeting to support 5,000 free heart surgeries this year, increasing each year thereafter,” said Trustee & Director of H2H Foundation, Arvind Thiagarajan. Thiagarajan also elaborated their Independence Day pledge to have India free of CHD with a “Five Point Focus” including free heart surger-
ies, screening, prevention, research and spreading awareness. The screening, Thiagarajan said would be made easier through an intelligent stethoscope with integrated EKG, developed by his company HD Medical. “No wires or gel is required. Even a social worker can detect any murmur or irregularities of the heart if an orange patch shows up. These intelligent stethoscopes worth 1 crore will be handed out for free of cost from HD Medical,” he added. In a candid and earnest conversation with Thiagarajan, Gavaskar hailed Kapil Dev as the best Indian player because of his ability to handle the bat, the ball and the fielding. Acknowledging the burden of expectations, the icon said his approach was to downplay his own role. Elaborating that when a batsman hits a century, it is only possible because of the batsman at the other end, encouraging his team and spreading the success around was the best way to stay grounded. So how did the star deal with his leanest phase? “I just believed in myself. I worked harder, I practiced much harder and I practiced with a greater sense of purpose. I tightened my technique, even asked different people why I was not doing well,” said Gavaskar, adding that his father had provided one of the best advices when his batting had taken a hit, owing to a hurt finger. H2H Foundation is a non-profit organization provides free pediatric cardiac surgeries to kids born with CHD, since February 2014. They currently operate in Naya Raipur (Chhattisgarh), Palwal (Haryana), and Kharghar (Navi Mumbai). For more details you may visit www.h2h.foundation.
Consulate Celebrates Independence Day And Raksha Bandhan
BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA: Thursday, 15 August 2019, a week day, attracted well over 300 people to the Flag Hoisting Ceremony, marking the 73rd Independence Day Celebrations, hosted by the Office of Consulate General of India, Atlanta in Sandy Springs. A happy coincidence of Raksha Bandhan on the same day added an interesting dimension to the celebrations with rakhis being tied to men and women alike. “Every election marks a new beginning. Every election is a renewal of India’s collective hope and optimism,” said Consul General Dr. Swati Kulkarni in her address. Dr. Kulkarni read out the President of India’s message and elaborated on the implications of the removal of Article 370. “Indians across the country may have different tastes and habits. But all Indians share the same dreams. Before 1947, the dreams were for a free India and today it is for accelerated development, for effective and transparent government
Photos by Suresh Volam, Sri Photos.
and for a smaller footprint of government in our daily life,” Dr. Kulkarni said. Wishing viewers a Happy Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan, Dr. Kulkarni spoke to NRI Pulse about the significance of the Independence day celebrations and the upward trajectory of India’s progress. “You will recall that 72 years ago, our founding fathers committed us for justice, equality and liberty and democracy. That is why this day is highly important to us. Today’s India is vibrant, and a nation moving forward. We have unity in diversity, and we are on an upward, accelerated path of growth trajectory.” Dr. Vasudev Patel, organizing secretary of the Overseas Friends of BJP highlighted the en-
thusiasm of people walking into the Consulate even after the flag hoisting was done. “People are excited about the new India,” he commented. Amidst the festivities, Consul Shailesh Lakhtakia, Sunil Savili, Founder of Indian Friends of Atlanta (IFA), and Ritesh Desai, Georgians First Commission, in an exclusive with NRI Pulse, revealed an upcoming green initiative in Gwinnett County. The proposition involves planting trees including fruit-bearing shrubs in a Gwinnet park, selected by IFA, along with a statue/bust of Gandhiji, benches etc. “The Government of India is celebrating 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. As part of the celebration it is proposed to plant trees as a mark of respect to the Mahatma. Accordingly, the Consulate is associating with Indian Friends of Atlanta (IFA) to fulfill this objective. The details are being finalized,” said Consul Lakhtakia.
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Maj. Gen. Bakshi Keynotes India Day Hosted By FIA GA
BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
5000 attendees gathered to celebrate the occasion. Atlanta, GA: “Rituals tie us to our origins. Followed by a dinner Every time we celebrate Independence Day we reception at the Impact go back into history, to re-establish for ourselves Hall held on August 16th, who we are. Where we are going depends a lot on India Day celebrations where we came from,” quoted Kargil war hero, ex kicked off with much patriMajor-General G.D. Bakshi during his interview
otic fervor with Flag Hoisting by Consul General with NRI Pulse. of India, Atlanta, Dr. Swati Kulkarni, a grand paGeneral Bakshi was in Atlanta to kick off rade, an array of vibrant cultural programs, raffle the India Day event, a celebration of Indian Indraw with Maj.Gen. Bakshi presiding as the Chief dependence Day, hosted by FIA (Federation of Guest and Senator P. K. Martin, Gwinnett CounIndian-American Associations) of Georgia at ty commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash, and Gokuldham on August 17, 2019, which had over
Public commissioner Tricia Pridemore as guests of honor. A 300 ft Flag March marshaled a vast group with representations from diverse community organizations across Atlanta. Various media organizations including NRI Pulse, Khabar, TV Asia, Rashtra Darpan, TV 9, India Tribune and charity organization Narayan
Seva Sansthan were recognized at the event. “ T h e military is an existential requirement for a country like India. And it is a privilege to have a war hero among us to celebrate Indian independence,” said Gokul Kunnath. “It is an honor to have our war hero presiding the occasion. This is the first time over 65 Indian-American associations from GA and neighboring states of Alabama and North Carolina came together to celebrate the occasion and we are quite excited about it,” said Rajeev Menon. “It is wonderful to have so many people so excited about the event,” quoted Vasudev Patel.
“INA Played Paramount Role In Obtaining Indian Independence”
Excerpts from Major General Bakshi’s interview with NRI Pulse City News Editor, Jyothsna Hegde.
Maj. Gen. Bakshi has spent much of its post-retirement time researching Indian history, military in particular, based on satellite and carbon imagery, DNA analysis, genealogical studies and such. “We sent our scholars to London where they did their research in the national archives about the transfer of power documents, after identifying the key British decision makers of that era.” “We have this song, De di hamen azaadi bina khadg bina dhal, implying we got our freedom for free without having to get anyone killed. It sounds very nice, but I’m afraid it is not true,” stated Maj. Gen. Bakshi, adding that he has sufficient evidence to prove that Indian Independence was not completely a result of Ahimsa or Satyagraha. Paying homage to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, who led the Indian National Army (INA), Maj. Gen. Bakshi said his contributions played a paramount role in obtaining Indian Independence. “I think we as Indians would be failing if we do not pay homage to and recognize his tremendous contribution in getting freedom to the nation.” The Quit India movement, launched by Gandhi in 1942, Maj.Gen. Bakshi said, was crushed by the British troops, with every single Congress leader put behind bars. Quoting from a conversation between former British Prime Minister Clement Attlee (between 1945-
51), who signed the decision to grant independence to India and the then Governor of West Bengal Justice PB Chakraborthy in 1956, when the former had stayed in Kolkota as a guest of the latter, Maj.Gen. Bakshi said the Chief Justice had prolonged discussion with Attlee regarding the real factors that had led the British to quit India. During this conversation, Justice Chakraborty has stated in a letter about asking Attlee the reason for a hasty departure by the British in 1947 when the Quit India movement had failed dismally. In his reply, Attlee cited the military activities of Subhash Chandra Bose and INA. Recalling the events back in 1945, Maj.Gen. Bakshi said the British army had just finished fighting the second world war. And in India, officers of Netaji’s INA were put on trial which caused mass uprising among Indians serving in the British army across the country. In February 1946, almost 20,000 sailors of the Royal Indian Navy serving on 78 ships revolted against the Empire. They went around Mumbai with portraits of Netaji. Rebels brought down the
Union Jack on their ships. This mutiny was followed by similar rebellions in the Royal Indian Air Force and also in the British Indian Army units in Jabalpur. The British were terrified. After the Second World War, 2.5 million Indian soldiers were being de-commissioned from the British Army. There were only 40,000 British troops in India at the time. Most were restive and in no mood to fight the 2.5 million battle hardened Indian soldiers who were being demobilized. It is under these circumstances that the British decided to grant independence to India, he said. Maj. Gen. Bakshi quoted from Justice Charaborty’s conversation, "Toward the end of our discussion I asked Attlee what the extent of Gandhi’s influence upon the British decision was to quit India. Hearing this question, Attlee's lips became twisted in a sarcastic smile as he slowly chewed out the word, m-i-n-i-m-a-l." This conversation was first published by the Institute of Historical Review by author Ranjan Borra in 1982, in his piece on Subhas Chandra
Bose, the Indian National Army and the war of India's liberation. “But the tragedy is, the power was not transferred to Bose, or the INA. And Nehru’s first action after gaining independence was to appoint Lord Mountbatten as the first Governor General,” said Maj. Gen. Bakshi, adding that Lord Mountbatten had refused to take INA soldiers into the Indian army and denied any wartime pension. “They died in poverty. INA had a strength of 60,000. 26,000 among them died fighting the British. Do you call that struggle non-violent? 26,000 laid down their life for India and you will not find one stone in India which bears their name. They died unsung.” “Nelson Mandela followed the nonviolent movement. When did South Africa get its freedom? In 1994. If you had remained non-violent, your freedom would have come in 1994, if at all,” deliberated Maj. Gen. Bakshi. Commending Modi on removal of article 370, Maj. Gen. Bakshi, also lauded the PM for unfurling the national flag at the Red Fort on October 21st, the date of establishment of Azad Hind Government, for the second time in a year, along with a 99-year old INA soldier. Applauding the Indian diaspora, Maj. Gen. Bakshi said, “I find their levels of patriotism, their love of their country much higher than the people of India.” “India wants to start defense manufacturing in private sector. We need to have transfusion of technology. Who is best qualified to do it? The Indian diaspora will have a very great role to play in the future.”
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Kashmiri Hindus Welcome Abrogation Of Article 370 At Rally
BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA: Kashmiri Hindus/Pandit community, Sikhs, and leaders of Federation of Indian American Associations (FIA) of GA, along with several Indian American community members in Atlanta held a rally in support of J&K reorganization bill at the Centennial Park near CNN Building in Atlanta on August 18, 2019. The crowd applauded Government of India’s (GOI) decision on August 5, 2019 to abrogate articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution, bifurcating J&K into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and scrapping of the special status to the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), including a separate constitution and autonomy over internal administrative matters. Article 370 of the Indian constitution gave special status to J&K in October 1947, when the then J&K Maharaja Hari Singh had acceded to India on matters of defense, foreign affairs and communications, just as the other princely states. While rest of the princely states merged with mainstream India, J&K did not, due to its temporary special status. The government of India revoked this special status in August 2019 through a Presidential Order and the passage of a resolution in Parliament. “The rally across CNN was symbolic of reminding the western media to play a responsible role to give peace an honest chance in J&K without the smack of yellow journalism in this internal matter of India,” stated a joint press release received from Subash Razdan, and Dijjotam Raina, both Atlanta residents of Kashmir ancestry. The release also stated that these temporary articles related to the former State of J&K needed these
modifications as they were highly discriminatory against almost all Kashmiri minorities including Shia Muslims, Dalits, Gujjars, Kashmiri Pandits, Kashmiri Sikhs, and many more other than the exclusively privileged political families such as the Abdullahs, the Muftis, etc. of J&K. “Once everything is finalized, we will have a Gujarati Dharmashala there, free for all,” said Vasudev Patel, organizing secretary of the Overseas Friends of BJP, present at the rally, underlining
the fact that non-residents of J&K would be free to invest, post the revocation. Speakers at the rally recalled instances of their own family members having had to relocate overnight. They went to narrate personal stories of hapless exodus and yearning to go back to their homes which they left behind in 1990. “All those present believed that under this new freedom courtesy Modi Government, India's Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and other minorities will
now have a better chance to be equals before the law!” states the press release. “These laws were even anti-woman when it came to equality in rights to own/ transfer of ancestral property if the daughter of domiciled J&K married a non-Kashmiri. This reorganization attempts to redress the restrictions on employment, acquisition of property, civil rights, improve governance and investment opportunities,” states the release with speakers echoing a similar opinion at the rally. A recent press release from Embassy of India in DC states that J&K will fill up 50000 vacancies in various government departments in the next few months. This was announced by Governor Satya Pal Malik at a press conference held at Raj Bhavan on August 28, 2019. He stated that the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED) will commit to over Rs. 5000 Crores for apple procurement in Valley. The Governor stated that restoration of normalcy and deepening of democracy remained the government's priority and as a first step, elections to Block Development Councils would be conducted and completed before the end of October, adding that it had also been decided to open up mobile phones in all 10 districts of Jammu (barring one location) and the entire revenue district of Kupwara and Handwara Police districts in the Kashmir valley. He also assured people that the Government would take every step to ensure that the heritage, language and identity of the region would be preserved and protected and that no assault of any kind would be allowed on its culture.
Ananthaadi Raayara Matha Hosts Raghavendra Swamy Aaradhane BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE Atlanta, GA: Over 500 devotees gathered to celebrate the 348th Aaradhane of Shri Raghavendra Swamy, hosted by Ananthaadi Raayara Matha of Atlanta (RAMA), over a span of three days between August 16, 17 and 18, 2019 at the Ivy League in Cumming, GA. A prominent guru of the lineage of Madhwacharya, Shri Raghavendra Swamy, a 16th century saint is believed to have entered Jeeva Samadhi at Mantralayam and live in a metaphysical form for 700 years. Each year, the day he entered the samadhi is observed as the Aradhane. Celebrated on the Shukla paksha in the month of Shravana,
Aaradhane is a three-day celebration known as Purva, Madhya and Uttara Aaradhane. “By the blessings of Guru Rayaru, aaradhana mahotsava was celebrated on all the three days. We are immensely happy to witness devotees gathering from Atlanta, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. Devotees and volunteers helped in preparing prasada for all attendees, in setting up the tent and in making the festivities divine. On behalf of RAMA, I pray Sri Hari Vayu and Guru Rayaru to bless everyone for making the celebrations memorable,” said Pradeep Vittalamurthy. The cultural segment included several devotional song and dance performances. A tradition-
ally bedecked Pallakki or Palanquin procession brought the Lord into the place of worship while a striking bejeweled Unjal (swing) awaited him. The evening Aarti and prasada distribution ended each evening on a high note. Devotees received mantrakshate and chandana(srigandha) from Mantralaya and devoured the prasada served on a plantain leaf with traditional food cooked by devotees at their homes. Concert by Anjana Nagaraja accompanied by LaxmiNarayanan on Violin, Santosh Chandru
on Mridangam, Anant Rajan on Ghatam, Flute by B.S. Suresh, devotional songs by Pragna Srinivasa, and Kolaata by Shruthi Vinay and team were part of the celebration on the 17th of August. The cultural segment for the 18th of August included devotional songs by Ratnamanjusha and her students, Magathi & Taarini Ganesh, Chaitra Gururaj and Amrutha Kowlagi and a short play by kids on miracles of Sri Raghavendra. You may check https://atlantarayaramath. org/ for details./
..... City News .....
Indian Cultural Thali To Be Presented At Mount Vernon School
BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA: “At the end of the day, music is the entertainment of the soul and not the entertainment of the mind. It is a way to inward and means to elevate one’s self,” quoted tabla virtuoso Pandit Yogesh Samsi in an interview with NRI Pulse. Pt. Samsi along with various prominent artists will be in Atlanta to serve up a “Cultural Thali” featuring food, music and the culture of India to students of The Mount Vernon School this September. The six-week class offers music, dance, art, demographics, the role of women historically and in the present, religions, influential figures, and cooking Indian food. “Cooking and consuming of Indian food is one of the most appealing aspects of the class from the student’s point of view. While 6 weeks is not very long, I hope to, at least, expose, enrich and sensitize the students to the richness and diversity of India through this Thali,” said Jerry Fields, percussion instructor at Mount Vernon. As a prelude to the class, Pt. Samsi will perform a solo tabla recital and teach an open master class at Mount Vernon, “Where The World Meets In Harmony,” on Sunday, September 15th at 7:30pm. The master class will be held on, 16 September from 11:15am - 12:45pm. Hardeep Singh Chana will accompany Pt. Samsi on the harmonium. Following the master class at Mount Vernon, Pt. Samsi and Chana will conduct a master class at Oglethorpe University. Jerry Fields Music and Mount Vernon will also present “A Night of Classical Indian Music”, featuring Indradeep Ghosh, trailblazer for Maihar
Pandit Yogesh Samsi with Jerry Fields. Gharana, known as the “Prince of Violin,” Brajeswar Mukherjee, vocalist of Hindustani Classical Music, and Gourisankar Karmakar, a class A artist on AIR who began studying tabla at age 3. Pt. Samsi has devoted the last few years to researching and collecting historical compositions from the Punjab Gharana that were lost due to the Indo/Pak Partition. As a soloist, Yogesh balances both history and innovation in the rich tradition of the Punjab Gharana. His performance brings fresh perspective to the canon by presenting new ideas that capture the philosophy and rhythmic thought processes of his Guru, Ustad Allah Rakha. His approach has been instilled by the close groom-
ing under his father and stalwart vocalist, Pandit Dinkar Kaikini. In his interview with NRI Pulse, Fields talked about the inspiration for the Thali. Having always been interested in other cultures, Fields discovered the need for students to be exposed to cultures other than their own. “If they are to be able to interface respectfully, efficiently and mutually with fellow passengers on the Global Spaceship that we all live upon and call Earth. What better way than to start with a culture as rich and diverse as India’s. India is where the journey of Thali begins.” “Yogesh Samsi will bring his vast knowledge of the classical music of North India to
Mount Vernon and share his personal insights into the spiritual and mental development that can be attained through the surrender to one’s Guru and art form,” said Fields. “It is my goal that students gain a rudimentary understanding of India’s history from the ancient Vedic period until the present age. Hopefully, the class will enable the student to see the many similarities that exist among all the world’s peoples. Through the interaction of five of the senses, I hope the students leave the class respectfully and fearlessly curious about the world that they do not experience day by day,” said Fields about the takeaway for students from the class. Describing Fields as a wonderful musician, Pt. Samsi noted that the Thali was the result of Fields’ deep connection with India and Indian culture. “Through my performance I would like to convey the rich heritage of this age-old art form of Tabla that has such a glorious history and repertoire and, today is probably the most developed percussion instrument in the world.” “My life’s biggest achievement so far as I see it today is to preserve the rich tradition of this art form handed down to me by my Guru Ustad Alla Rakha of the Punjab Gharana,” said Pt. Samsi who has been presenting his art across India and the world. Pt. Samsi has about thirty professional table players who will further carry on the tradition. Students must have complete faith in their Gurus and surrender to their knowledge, advices Pt. Samsi to aspiring students, adding that it is important to absorb the profound art form and the philosophy behind it.
Sisters Raise Funds For Charitable Causes At Their Arangetram
Atlanta, GA: There are some things about Georgia that have become synonymous with seasons: fall Bulldogs games, wintertime Christmas lights at the Botanical Gardens, springtime Dogwood Festivals, and summertime Arangetrams — at least for the Indian community. On display at Kennesaw State University's Dance Theater in early August was the budding artistry of two Walton High School students, Keertana and Prartana Satya. Sisters at home and partners onstage, they made their solo "Bharatanatyam Arangetram" dance debut. Bharatanatyam is steeped in tradition, and the customary prayer to Lord Nataraja, "Salangai Pooja," before the curtains went up had an intimate setting. The home video showcasing the kids’ progress in the art form was warm and sentimental. The live orchestra on stage was led by local vocalist Smt. Gayatri Vasanth and she was accompanied by Sri. K. Suresh on the Mridangam, Sri. CV Subramanian on the violin, Sri. Prashanth Kallur on the flute, and young Archit Suresh on the kanjira. The Guru Smt. Gayatri Subramanian, the Founder-Director of KA Academy of Indian Music & Dance was on the nattuvangam and orchestrated the proceedings. The master of ceremony, Hamsika Ramani, did an amazing job providing the narratives to the dance numbers. She kept the audience engaged, and between the dancer numbers her glib introduction of the accompanying artists was witty and poignant. Curtains up, lights on, and the event kicked off with the traditional Pushpanjali, an invocatory
“Sabdam,” was a forceful portrayal of Devi the Shakti. “Varnam,” the centerpiece and the most challenging dance, was exemplary with the dancers demonstrating their laya and abhinaya to the wonderful lyrics in praise of Lord Shiva. The performance was truly vibrant. The Arangetram had a higher significance besides the personal milestones. At the request of Keertana and Prartana, the event had committed to raise funds for two worthy The Satya sisters with their guru Gayatri Subramanian charitable organizaand NRI Pulse editor Veena Rao (R). tions, "Udavum Karandance in which the dancers pay their respects to gal" and "Access Life the presiding deity, the guru, and the rasikas. The America." The second half of the program started stage backdrop provided an impressive decor via with video messages from these two beneficiary creative use of a gobo casting a "kolam" of a tradi- charitable organizations. The messages were gentional indian chariot (Ratham) decked on either side uine and the guests were generous in donating with temple pillars. This along with varying back- funds. It was eye-opening to see the work carried ground colors provided a backdrop to the dance that out by these organizations and the fundraising was was simply breathtaking. Keertana and Prartana, an incredibly satisfying and laudable effort. resplendent in their amazing costumes, took to the The second half continued with a solo perforstage and did not allow the elaborate costumes or mance by the younger of the two dancers, Prartana the occasion to weigh them down. The next dance, Satya. "Thigattum Varai Vennai," a playful sto-
ryline about young Krishna, was aptly portrayed by the dancer with visible mischief lurking in her eyes. The sisters reunited for "Ananda nadam adum Eeshan", a portrayal of Lord Shiva's dance of bliss. The dancers struck a chord with the audience as the segment featured intricate and complex poses woven into a blissful rendition. For her solo performance, Keertana danced to "Jagadhodharana" and recreated the affection of a mother towards a child. Recreating Yashoda's daily rituals of caring for Krishna from holding him, playing with him, and rocking him to sleep, to the cracking of the fingers to dispel evil spirits as she gazes down on him was a surreal experience to many. The next number, “Thillana,” brought intricate footwork and fast-paced movements, and afterward the dancers concluded the program with “Mangalam.” The dance elements were choreographed by Guru Smt. Gayatri Subramanian and her Guru Smt. Padmini Radhakrishnan, the founder-director of “Soundarya Natya Kalalaya”, Mumbai. NRI Pulse editor Veena Rao was the chief guest, felicitating the dancers and paying tribute to the orchestra. “The qualities that you have cultivated as dancers- the focus, dedication, perseverance, attention to detail, striving for perfection- these are the same qualities that I have needed in the past 13 years as newspaper publisher. These qualities will help you all your life, in the pursuit of other goals,” she said. The event raised over $3000 and, with the help of a corporate sponsor, the total money raised was close to $6000.
.....City Pulse .....
Frances West Recognized For Lifetime Of Service To Humanity
BY NRI PULSE TEAM
Atlanta, GA: It was a luncheon affair overflowing with love for a remarkable woman who has lived her life with the motto, “the world is one family”. Over 200 friends and family of Frances M. West converged at the Briarcliff Baptist Church Fellowship Hall on August 18th to celebrate their friendship with her. They were people who call Atlanta home, but with roots in countries as diverse as India, Nigeria, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Serbia, Russia, China, Bulgaria, Haiti, Brazil, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Sweden, Finland etc. Some came from other parts of the US to be part of the special day. They came dressed in clothes that reflected their heritage and brought food from their native land. Long tables lined the length and breadth of the hall bursting with flavors from all around the world. The celebration was to honor Frances, who turned 97 on August 9th, for a lifetime of friendship with the international community and service to humanity. Frances has been an integral part of NRI Pulse since its inception in 2006, hence the celebration was even more special for our team. Frances was born on a farm in Trenton, South Carolina on August 9, 1922. She graduated from Winthrop College and thereafter went to New Orleans Seminary. Called to the mission field, she and her husband Dr Ralph West spent 20 years in Nigeria (1945-65), where among other things, she founded the Ogbomosho School for the Blind. She also championed equal rights for women there.
L to R: Nancy Haden, Ida Chandra, Pearl Lucas, Frances West, Veena Rao and Sheryl West.
After their return to the US in 1965, the Wests made Atlanta their home. Through her DMA (stands for Don’t Mention Age) Sunday school class, she was able to integrate Briarcliff Baptist Church. She started the annual Interna-
tional Dinner to bring people from all over the world together, regardless of race or religion. "I enjoy life as much as ever. I got all these Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, atheist friends. They are wonderful. My friends have taught me that everybody is the same," she told a local newspaper in a 2017 interview. Frances’s love of life and adventure was evident, when at age 94, she traveled to India to fulfil a lifelong dream, and made more friends there. The day began with a special Sunday service at the church where family and close friends spoke about Frances’ influence on their lives. Pastor Matthew Stacey led the service. Pearl Lucas who organized the event said she
wanted to celebrate Frances’s life, “because she is an inspiration on how to live and love life.” “She does not look at your race or color, she looks at you as a very special person. Everyone is equal in her eyes,” she added. Nancy Haden reminisced about her long friendship with Frances, and starting the clothes closet at the church for homeless and low-income people. Frances’s daughter Sheryl said one word that described her mother is the word love. Frances’s grandchildren and their spousesWendy, West, Scott, Brooke, Renee and John also spoke about their grandmother’s influence on their lives. Ida Chandra who moved to Atlanta from India in 2000 recounted the love and support she received from Frances as a new immigrant. Anne Lucas said ‘hospitality’ was the first word that comes to her mind when she thinks of Frances. Lucas has known Frances since she was a small child growing up in Nigeria. NRI Pulse editor Veena Rao said she and Frances have both broadened their horizons and learned about each other’s cultures in the 17 years of their friendship. We’ve made many friends, traveled to many places. The greatest adventure was hopping on a flight to India in 2016,” she said. In her address, Frances said she had learned, “we all have the same needs - a place to live, a place to sleep, food, family, friends.” “Why can't we love EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE WORLD regardless of country of origin, customs, color of skin, culture, race , religion?” she asked. The celebration was a perfect tribute to an ever-loving friend whose zest for life is infectious.
Brown Superhero Girl Is Helping Save Lives
Atlanta, GA: The Sid Foundation recently announced "Lung Girl", a comic book about a brown superhero girl fighting to help people with lung health issues and lung diseases. The idea of the comic is to provide useful information about lung health, in a fun and exciting way. Lung Girl, along with her sidekick, Ecmo (a robot with numerous gadgets that aid lung dis-
ease victims), offers vital information for readers on their adventures in a race against time to help save the world from lung diseases. Sales from the comic book are used to help fund lung transplant research and provide support for lung transplant patients, so every time you purchase a comic you can be sure that you are the real hero. According to The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, after receiving a lung transplant, only 78% of patients survive the first year, and only 51% live for up to 5 years. Thousands of people receive lung transplants every year. However, lung transplants have the lowest survival rate among all organ transplantation. Lung transplants are more complicated procedures than other organ transplants and because lungs are the only organ in the body that are exposed to the outside environment (air), this makes it easy for patients to get infections. Not to mention, lung transplant patients have to shell out enormous amounts of money, owed to the fact that insurance usually cannot cover the full cost of surgery as well as the necessary 50 pills a day regiment. Hospitals don’t have adequate money to do research or develop technology to increase the survival rate for patients and not enough attention is being given to lung transplant patients by other organizations. The Sid Foundation was created to solve this problem and make life better for lung transplant patients everywhere.
GATP Solutions, and many more organizations. The foundation has over the years helped multiple lung patients and raised over $40,000 dollars for their support as well as support for the research and development of lung transplantation. They are currently funding research at the University Of Kentucky HospiAnanya Vahal (center) with her parents. tal Lung Transplant Program and have donated thousands The Sid Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization named after Sid Vahal, a young man of dollars in supplies, otherwise known as care who caught an infection that destroyed his lungs. packages, to lung transplant patients all over the He went on to receive a double lung transplant United States. The foundation has also sold and which, unfortunately only allowed him about 2 donated hundreds of Lung Girl comic books and more years of life. Sid is recognized as a hero merchandise to hospitals, schools, libraries, and who fought until his last breath. The foundation comic book fans around the world. Lung Girl and The Sid Foundation need your was established to honor him, along with helping help. For more information, to make a donation, other lung transplant patients survive. The Sid Foundation has been backed by purchase a Lung Girl comic, or support their projGoogle, Amazon Smile, Trader Joe’s, King of ects in anyway, please visit https://www.thesidPops, Prime Vice Studios LLC, Kriya Capital, foundation.org/.
American Airlines Names Priya Aiyar Senior VP
Atlanta, GA: American Airlines Group announced recently that Priya Aiyar will join the airline as Senior Vice President and General Counsel, succeeding Paul Jones, who retired from American earlier this year. “We are thrilled to welcome Priya to American Airlines,” said Steve Johnson, American’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs. “Priya is an outstanding lawyer and an extraordinary intellect, and her strategic perspective, integrity, energy, unique experience, passion for the law, and demonstrated ability to build and inspire teams make her the perfect person to lead our legal strategy and team over the coming years. We remain focused on evolving our culture and attracting the best and brightest to American and, in both respects, we could not have found a better person.” In this role, Aiyar will lead American’s Legal Affairs team and its legal strategies. This includes the company’s corporate governance, securities and corporate finance, business and commercial, litigation, competition and antitrust, compliance, privacy, environmental, employment, and intellectual property legal issues and work. Aiyar joins American from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, where she has been a partner, and brings more than 18 years of government and private sector experience. Aiyar holds a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School, a master’s degree from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.
.....NRI News .....
Indian-Americans Excited About Modi’s Visit Houston (Texas) (IANS): As Houston gets ready to host Indian Prime Minister Modi in a grand event at the Texas capitals landmark NRG Stadium, which is expected to be attended by 50,000 people, the Indian-American community is gearing up to show its support, the media reported. Titled “Howdy Modi!”, the event on September 22, hosted by the Texas India Forum, is being promoted as a community summit. It is expected to be the biggest ever gathering of Indian-Americans in the US, The American Bazaar reported. Besides Modi’s remarks, special cultural programs were being planned to reflect the US-India cultural ties with a tagline, “Shared Dreams, Bright Futures”. According to organisers, the event, billed as the biggest diaspora event ever addressed by Modi abroad, the live audience will be the largest for an Indian Prime Minister in North America and the largest for a foreign leader visiting the US, other than the Pope. Neeraj Singh, a student who was born and brought up in the US, is planning to attend the
event. “I haven’t yet registered for the event and now it is on the wait-list already,” he said. “But I am hoping to register just to see for real the address of this Prime Minister who is often the subject of dinner time conversations in my family. “We have lived in the US for decades now, but it is crazy that the amount of time my family discusses Indian politics is much more than they discuss American politics.” Organisers were doing everything from free
registration to free parking to ensure that attendees reach the venue in historic numbers, The American Bazaar reported. Meanwhile, Manisha Kumar, a resident of Sugarland, Texas, said there was a frenzy in her neighbourhood over Modi’s visit unlike anything she had ever witnessed before. The 23-year-old added that she was intrigued by the interest the Indian leader was generating even among elderly Indian-Americans, who left the country much before Modi came to politics. There are more than 130,000 individuals of Indian origin in the Houston area, according to the American Community Survey in 2017. This will be Modi’s second trip to Houston, where he had earlier taken part in the ground-breaking ceremony of the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir.
Man Faces Abduction Charges After 4-Hour Standoff Atlanta, GA: Cops arrested a 50-year-old Indian man after he allegedly held a woman hostage inside a Virginia motel for four hours yesterday. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Marshals Service were attempting to serve administrative immigration paperwork on Ravindra H. Patel at the King’s Court Motel in Ridgeway where he was manager, and also lived. Police say Patel became uncooperative and began to barricade himself inside the motel. It was discovered that a female was also inside the motel and she was in distress. The Sheriff’s Office also received a secondary call that the female was being held hostage inside the motel. Members of the Henry County Sheriff’s Of-
Trump Nominates Shireen Mathews To Federal Judgeship New York: (IANS) US President Donald Trump has nominated Shireen Mathews, an Indian-American lawyer, to be a federal judge. She is a partner with the elite law firm Jones Day, where she specialises in white-collar crimes. Before that, she was an assistant federal prosecutor in California serving as the coordinator for criminal healthcare fraud cases. Her nomination to Southern California Southern District federal court in San Diego was announced on Wednesday by the White House and her appointment has to be approved by the Senate. Mathews is the sixth Indian-American nominated to the federal judiciary at various levels by
Trump. South Asia Bar Association (SABA) President Aneesh called it “a historic nomination” and urged “the Senate to quickly confirm her, adding another deserving South Asian voice to the judiciary.” Mathews has served on SABA North America board of directors. According to Jones Day, while she was a prosecutor, Mathews uncovered a multi-million dollar fraud in stolen medical equipment and also won one of the highest restitution awards for the Social Security (general public pension) trust fund. Neomi Rao is the most prominent judicial nominee of Trump, who named her to the federal appeals court in Washington to succeed Brett Kavanaugh, who was elevated to the Supreme Court.
fice, including the SWAT team and negotiators responded to the scene. At times the suspect would come to the window and make minimal communication, but despite requests, Patel would not come out, police say. Later, the female came to the window holding notes saying she was scared and that Patel would not let her come out. Around 3:50 p.m., a SWAT team forced their way into the room using a gas. The female was able to run out to safety. Patel was arrested and faces a felony abduction charge and a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice. He is currently being held in the Henry County Jail without bond.
Hotelier Arrested For Stealing Luggage From Baggage Claim
Atlanta, GA: A prominent Indian-American motelier, who was profiled by New York Times last year, was arrested after he admitted to stealing luggage from the Memphis airport. Dinesh Chawla, CEO of Chawla Hotels, which owns 17 hotels in Mississippi, is charged with felony theft of property. Police told media outlets that Chawla was seen taking a suitcase off the baggage claim conveyor belt at Memphis airport on Sunday. He then put the bag in his vehicle, then returned to the airport to catch a flight.
In his absence, police towed his car and found several bags that were stolen, containing items worth thousands of dollars, reports Channel News 3. Chawla was promptly arrested when he returned to Memphis. Police say he admitted to stealing the bags. Chawla was in the news after partnering with the Trump Organization to develop a high-end Scion Hoe and three other mid-level hotels in the Mississippi Delta. Chawla told media then that he grew up in a liberal democratic household and voted for Barack Obama
Film On Vajpayee To Hit The Big Screen
Mumbai: (IANS) The life story of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is set to unfold on the big screen. Vajpayee, a senior BJP leader and one of the founding members of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), died on August 16 in 2018 after a prolonged illness. Shiva Sharma and Zeeshan Ahmad, owners of Amaash Films, have acquired the official rights of the book,""The Untold Vajpaye"" written by Ullekh N P, and has decided to unveil the several aspects of Vajpaye''s life from his childhood, college life, him turning into a politician. "'The Untold Vajpayee' is one of my most ambitious projects and it gives me a feeling of immense honour and joy to be able to put up this unsung hero onto the big screen. Also, I believe not everyone knows the real side of Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji. While reading this book, I also discovered quite a lot about his personality traits, the work done by him during his tenure as a Prime Minister for our country," said Sharma. "These all unseen and untold traits of his personality inspired me to put his story out to the world and inspire other people as well." Ahmad shared the scripting of the movie has already started. "Once the scripting is completed, we shall finalise the director and the actors for the film. The tentative title of the movie is 'The Untold Vajpayee'," he added.
..... Bollywood Pulse .....
Priyanka Chopra Retains The Right To Speak In Her Personal Capacity: UN
United Nations: (IANS) UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra, who has been under intense criticism for a tweet cheering the Indian armed forces, retains the right to speak in her personal capacity on issues concerning her, according to a UN spokesperson. When UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors "speak in their personal capacity, they retain the right to speak about issues that interest or concern them," Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said at his daily briefing on Thursday in answer to a question about Chopra. "Their personal views or actions do not necessarily reflect those of UNICEF," he added. But, he said: "When they speak on behalf of the UNICEF, we expect them to adhere to UNICEF's evidence-based impartial positions." About their role, he said: "The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors are prominent individuals who have agreed to generously volunteer their time and their public profile to promote children's rights." Chopra has been hit by a barrage of criticism and trolled ever since she tweeted on February 26, a simple statement, "Jai Hind #IndianArmedForces," followed by emojis of the Indian flag and na-
Director Henrietta Fore demanding Chopra's removal as a Goodwill Ambassador accusing her of "jingoism and support" for the Indian armed forces. Mazari alleged that Chopra showed "support for war, including a nuclear war," even though the actress and 2000 Miss World has not said anything beyond the tweet made in the aftermath of the carbomb attack by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed that killed more than 40 Central Reserve Police personnel and the Indian Air Force counterstrike on the organisation's base in Pakistan. Mazari added: "Unless she is removed immediately, the very idea of a Goodwill Ambassador for Peace becomes a mockery globally." A Pakistani woman heckled Chopra recently at Beautycon event in Los Angeles earlier this month over the tweet. Chopra has also found support from citizens and celebrities in social media and in statements. Among those showing support for her in recent days include actors Ayushmann Khurrana, Kangana Ranaut and Anupria Goenka.
maste. Online petitions calling for her ouster from the ambassadorship were launched soon after have gathered thousands of signatures. Pakistan has intensified criticism of her after India rescinded the special status of Kashmir. Pakistan's Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari wrote this week to UNICEF Executive
Mumbai: (IANS) Vidya Balan is one of the most sought-after actresses in Bollywood, but she had faced a lot of rejections in the south film industry. She says there was a time when a Tamil producer made her feel ugly. "There were a lot of rejections down South. There were a lot of Malayalam films, but I was replaced in each of them. There was a Tamil film I was doing and I was thrown out of the film... I remember my parents had come with me because they were so worried about me... I had really begun to fade," she said in an interview to an entertainment portal, reports indiatoday.in. "We went to the producer's office. The producer showed us the clippings from the film and he said, 'Just look at her, does she look like a her-
they can meet because he wanted to know what was going wrong. They wanted to know what was the problem." Vidya said she had a difficult time dealing with the rejection. "I felt ugly... I felt like sh*t for months and I don't think I looked at myself in the mirror... I didn't like what I saw because I thought I was ugly... For the longest time, I did not forgive that man, but today, thanks to that, I realized that I have to love and accept myself the way I am." Talking about another experience in Tamil filmdom, she said: "There was another Tamil oine'. He said 'I was not in favor of taking her at film. I landed in Chennai and I shot with him for all, it was the director who insisted'." "The Dirty Picture" actress added: "They a day and really felt uncomfortable with the kind had already replaced me and my father after of humor that was in the film. I left the film and knowing that, called up the producer asking if then they sent me a legal notice."
When A Producer Made Vidya Balan Feel Ugly
The Arrogance Of Stars Wouldnâ€™t Work Now: Sajid Nadiadwala
These days, content, more than a films star, mostly draws people to the theatres, feels veteran producer Sajid Nadiadwala. "The audience has changed. Earlier, there used to be undying fans. If an actor became ill or injured, fans would commit suicide by setting fire on themselves or jumping off. I remember I had been to Bangalore when Amit ji (Amitabh Bachchan) was injured. People went into mourning. They broke bangles, stood in long queues outside temples to pray for him. Even Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai was shut. But today content is the king. People are going for content, the audience wants this change," Nadiadwala said. He added: "Earlier, they (actors) would have a starry image. That would not work now. Today the audience wants chilled-out and relaxed guys. Ayushmann (Khurrana) is working big time. Look
at every actor of these days, day I can happily say that it there is no extra charisma is one of my finest products off screen. If you have great till date. The audience will content, if you are nice with be surprised after watching the media, the audience the film because the trailer and your fans, that works. does not give away even The attitude and arrogance five percent of the story." of that generation wouldn't Although Nadiadwala work now." acknowledges the growing Nadiadwala, who has importance of content-drivtraditionally worked with en commercial cinema as big stars and mega bud"Chhichhore", he points out gets, has now produced a in the same breath that star relatively modest film, "Chpower is not fading away. hichhore". "Star power ensures Talking about "Chhichhore," he said: We a film opens well (at the box office). Star powhad discussed this film before "Dangal" and start- er opened a (film like) "Mission Mangal". It has ed working on it after the release of "Dangal". To- done (business worth) Rs 200 crore. So, star pow-
er is always there," he said. He recalled the days when today's superstars like Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan were struggling to craft a position for themselves in the industry. Nadiadwala, who has produced some of Salman's early movies like "Jeet," "Judwaa," and "Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega," and hits like "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi" and "Jaan-E-Maan," which starred Salman with Akshay, said: "I have always made films with actors who became superstars. Akshay's (Kumar) first or second film was mine. We met in school, then in college and then in our struggling days. There were many films with Salman (Khan), too. Eventually, they became stars."Nadiadwala's upcoming biggies include the Salman-starrer "Kick 2", and Housefull 4," starring Akshay Kumar. He also produces "83", about India's 1983 World Cup win, starring Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone.
..... Atlanta Pulse .....
Sneha Talika: A Multi-Faceted Trailblazer
BY MAHADEV DESAI
Sneha Talika is a multi-faceted trailblazer, a renaissance woman equally gifted in the arts and the IT field. Sneha moved to the U.S.in 2006 following her childhood dreams. A full time IT professional, she started Hamsa Productions, and Hamsa4U YouTube Channel along with Hanu Krothapalli. The team has produced more than 80 short and independent movies in Telugu and bagged close to 25 Best Film Awards, and ‘Best Story’ Awards. They are now working on two new projects “Telugu Toranam” and “B +” promoting Telugu language and positivity. Hamsa has provided employment to more than 150 artists and technicians in Vijayawada. For many of the artists, Hamsa4u is a launching platform. Few of them later made it on big screen and small screen. After her mother’s demise in 2015, she channelized her energies into creative fields and became a writer, lyricist and blogger. Under Hamsa Writings, she has published three poetry books. Being in love (proceedings were donated to blind children to buy musical instruments), Being a mom (proceedings went to support hospice), and Be mine (proceeds went to orphans and children born with AIDS). She is currently working on her 4th book” Heart for Rent” due to be released in the last quarter of this year. Throughout her creative journey, Sneha never stopped upgrading her IT skillsets. She earned project management certification, ITIL, Big Data, Advanced Data architecture, Master Data manage-
ment, Scrum certification CBIP (Certified Professional in Business Intelligence), and was also Block Chain Certified from the prestigious MIT. She is currently pursuing AI (Artificial Intelligence) and plans to attend London Business School in 2020. She is also working towards her Ph.D. from Nagarjuna University, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, and working on her final dissertation. She will be graduating with Ph.D. in January 2020. There was another commendable feather in the cap for Sneha this year. An elated Sneha gushes, “Under the guidance of Prof. Siva, I presented a paper on AI at AIT, Thailand and won the best paper award”. Professors in AIT (Asian institute of technology) are working on a unique project: “Implementing Internet of things in agriculture”. She was hand-picked for this initiative based on her prior experience. Sneha’s team won the top ten innovations of India award by NASSCOM for her product in 2013. She has continued product development and done some initial works in very sensitive areas where facial recognition is the most important thing to find out the criminals or identify duplicate records, video processing etc. Sneha and her husband Anand have adopted 3 Anganvadi schools, helping with electricity, water, books, fans and many other basic needs. These outreach activities are driven by Hamsa Charities run by Anand, Hanu and Sneha. Sneha also volunteers at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta, Riverdale and does all their promo videos, including of celebrations like Ganesh Utsav.
She is a travel blogger, loves travelling. She has tried snow-mobiling, snow-tubing, jet skiing, zip lining, horse-riding, helicopter, and hot-air balloon riding, rafting, hiking and trekking etc. She has shared her travel blog for readers. https://mytravelhamsa.blogspot. com/?m=1 In 2018 she saw a video on contaminated food. This led her, along with Anand and Hanu, to launch Hamsa organics to provide healthy processed organic foods. Hanu has many farms with organic cultivation in India. The team of three started a small scale industry of organic food production. Hamsa organics, under the brand name of AHA (Anand and Hanu) are the first ones in Andhra Pradesh to get USDA certification for pickles, powders and snacks. They also did seed marketing in Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago and Fiji, and got good response. Currently, the Hamsa team is reviewing their products, researching on market trends for a 2020 launch. They have about 50 products already approved by USDA. Unlike other store- bought products, AHA products would be made and shipped to customers within 10 days from the day of manufacturing. Hamsa organics will use air shipment, to preserve the freshness of the products as best as it can. No preservatives will be used in any of the
food products. Her humanitarian services and social activism has not gone unrecognized. She has won Most Inspiring Women Award from GATES (Greater Atlanta Telangana Society). ATA (The American Telugu Association) recognized her in April 2019. TANA (Telugu Association of North America) recognized her services in Media and Arts category. She is currently acting President for a local organization called Telugu Samskriti. Sneha’s inspiring journey continues.
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MATRIMONIAL Well-settled Telugu Hindu dad seeks suitable girl for son 35, 6'1", Healthcare professional pursuing Nursing degree, Georgia. Caste/Language no bar. Refer V123P and Call 404-828-0823
Netflix’s ‘Game Over’ Takes Tapsee To The Level Next
Film: Game Over; Starring: Tapsee Pannu, Director: Ashwin Saravanan; Rating: ****
BY SUBHASH K. JHA
There is blood on the hands of all of us, who Game Over is a striking synthesis quietly watch women and children being brutally of spiritual healing and a plain and violated and then we move on saying, "it can't be simple suspense thriller. I guarantee helped". This theme of helplessness sows the seeds you, the third act will shake you out of Game Over, a splendid heart-in-the-mouth sus- of your wits. pense thriller which turns the concept of women's empowerment on its head, as the female hero its harmony in the chaos that we've created all Swapna (Tapsee Pannu) tackles the demons in her around us. Seen in that sense the attackown head before training her guns on the satanic criminals who prowl out- MOVIE REVIEW ers in Game Over, aptly masked, are the anonymous threats that all female professionals face in large cities. You don't have to be rich or ravishing to be raped. All that's required for a woman to be a potential prey is her anatomy which somehow renders her excitingly helpless in the eyes of the side her window on the streets waiting for their potential predator. Game Over is a striking synthesis of spiritual prey. Game Over cuts its plot into to neat halves. healing -- a tattoo and something to do with the In the first-half we see Tapsee, in her element ashes of a crime victim mixed with a tattoo ink, from the word 'go', dealing with a trauma in her plays a big part in the proceedings -- and a plain past that comes back to her every year on New and simple suspense thriller. I guarantee you, the Year's eve. There is no escaping the vicious circle third act will shake you out of your wits. Tapsee Pannu invests completely in her charof crime and karma. Swapna learns about the inacter, both emotionally and physically. With this evitability of the destiny the hard way. There are some very hard knocks waiting for actress at the helm, we find it relatively easier the female hero as the cleverly written screenplay to accept the protagonist's impossibly agonizing moves into third gear in the second-half. The di- circumstances. Tapsee effortlessly irons out the rector, unwilling to format his thriller towards its rough edges in the plot making it all seem scarily predictable finale, mixes, mayhem and introspec- plausible. This is her own Wait Until Dark and tion in a heady brew of the vile and the venom- she gives Audrey Hepburn a panic run for her ous. The end-game will have your heart in your money. There are no major characters besides the mouth as Swapna and her companion-househelp (Vinodini Vaidyanathan) grapple with a trio of heroine and her domestic help, not even some masked marauders who break into their house- boyfriend tucked away in the background waiting hold and would stop at nothing to get their fill to spring his 'support' to the female hero. Tapsee's Swapna is on her own when the first blow falls on of blood. In the pulse-pounding climactic cat-and- her head. She takes on the violation in the belief mouse , the narrative goes for the jugular creat- that paranoia, like many other violence-induced ing a havoc of sounds and action which somehow ailments in our society, will disperse when you come together in a display of societal disharmo- take it on headlong. Little does she know. ny that reminded me of how the universe seeks
Three Things To Consider With SAT/ACT Test Prep Services
BY LINDSEY CONGER*
learn at their own pace. Online courses would As a high school student, you’ve most like- not be a good fit for someone who needs the ly heard about the SAT and ACT for years. By accountability or individual attention that an now, you understand the importance of the tests in-person class or tutor provides. Tutors and classes are often local and in-perand how the scores can impact your admission or son, but you can also find high-quality tutors onscholarship chances. What is the best way to preline. Regardless of its delivery methpare? Should you pay for a tutor? Here od, tutoring has an advantage because COLLEGE PREP are three essential things that every each class can be customized student should consider before towards your personal needs. studying for the SAT/ACT. You can get specific advice that matches your test-taking Discover Your Learning skills and spend class time on Style only the subjects that you need Test taking is a skill help improving. and one that you can hone and improve with practice if it doesn’t come naturally to you. Before you start to look for a test preparation service, you should assess what your learning style is and what your expectations are. If you don’t know what your learning style is, there are online tests you can easily take to help you find out. Once you know your learning style, you can then find a test preparation service that fits your needs and style best. For example, if you are more of a visual learner, you might do well learning from an online program since it is presentation-based. If you’re an auditory learner, you might do better studying with a friend or with a private tutor because you can talk through difficult questions.
Online Or In-Person? Before deciding what test prep service to choose, you should take a practice test to help highlight the areas in which you need the most improvement.Perhaps the test indicates that you only need help with the math section, so you might consider just hiring a math tutor. Or if your analysis shows that you might need to improve your score all-around, then taking a full course might be better for you. Taking online courses can be beneficial to students who have a busy schedule and want to
Is It Worth The Money And Time? When you start looking for a test prep help, you might initially be shocked by the price tag of some courses. Even though the cost might seem too much, if you can afford it, it is often worth the price. If you opt for a course in a classroom, it is generally cheaper because the teacher’s time is split between a group of students, making it less expensive than a private tutor. A private tutor, on the other hand, can cost as little as $20 an hour to hundreds per hour. The question remains, though: Is it worth the cost? Test preparation services are an investment in your future. If a recommended ACT course costs $800, you might think that is not worth it to raise your score a few points. However, earning two or three points might help you qualify for an increase in renewable merit scholarship awards. That might mean the $700 you initially invested could help you get thousands of extra dollars in scholarship money a year. By investing in a test prep course, you can help yourself by preparing earlier and not waiting until the last minute to begin to study. Creating healthy study habits now is the best way to have success on the ACT/SAT and future tests.
*Lindsey Conger is a college counselor for MoonPrep.
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Note: Pulihora does not get spoiled quickly. It tastes good even after two or three days if kept in the refrigerator. Pulihora on the menu is an indication of celebration. Andhras make this dish for every occasion. On festival days we have to eat pulihora in every house we visit. It is a prasadam item in temples. Pulihora and perugu garelu are classic and popular combinations in Andhra Pradesh. Menthi majjiga goes very well with pulihora.
Pulihora (Tamarind Rice) 3 cups long grain rice or jasmine rice 5 cups water Lemon-size tamarind soaked in P.S. LAKSHMI RAO 3/4-cup water. Microwave for a minute to make it soft and let it cool. (Never use black tamarind paste)
inch pieces lengthwise 1-tablespoon salt or to taste 1-teaspoon brown sugar or jaggery (optional)
Cook rice with 5 cups water in a rice cooker. You may cook rice in a microwave for 14 minutes in a 4-quart corning ware dish without cover. Cover the rice after 14 minutes without power and keep it aside until you are ready to mix spices. Squeeze juice out of the soaked tamarind as Tadka much as you can. Add 1/2 cup more water to the ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil tamarind to extract more juice out of it. ½ teaspoon methi seeds (fenugreek seeds) Heat oil in a 3 quart-sauce pan. Add methi 2 teaspoons small red mustard seeds seeds. When methi seeds start to become light 2 tablespoons chana dal brown, add mustard seeds. Fry until they start to 2 tablespoons urad dal sputter. Add chana dal, urad dal, and dry chilies. 5 dry red chilies whole or broken in to three piec- Fry until dals start to become light brown, add es cashews and fry for 30 seconds. Add rest of the ½-cup cashew pieces or whole cashews ingredients except salt and brown sugar. Fry for ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera) a minute. Pour all these spices and 1-tablespoon ¼ teaspoon hing (asafoetida) salt on top of the cooked rice and give a quick mix ½ teaspoon haldi powder (turmeric) with wooden or plastic spoon. 3 stems of fresh curry leaves (separate leaves Pour tamarind juice into the same saucepan from stems) with 1 more tablespoon of salt, brown sugar and 5 long hot green or jalapeño chilies cut into one- tablespoon of oil. Cook on medium heat until oil
VARIATIONS: 1. Fry 1 tablespoon of sesstarts to ooze out to the edges and tamarind juice ame seeds in a dry pan and becomes thick. Pour the cooked tamarind juice grind them in a spice grinder. Mix in to pulihora into the rice and mix slowly. at the end. If you want, you can transfer rice into a big- 2. Aava pulihora, Grind 2 teaspoons red mustard ger bowl to mix properly. You can add more tur- seeds, ¼ teaspoon haldi, 2 teaspoons oil, and 1 meric and salt if needed at this time. tablespoon water in to smooth paste and mix it in If pulihora tastes salty or too sour don’t wor- to pulihora. Only one problem with this variety ry. After few minutes rice will absorb salt and of pulihora is it may not stay fresh after two or sourness. three days.
..... InVogue .....
5 Common Mistakes To Avoid While Wearing Indian Outfits
BY RANI SHARMA We all love our dresses. Indian outfits hold a special place in every Indian girl’s wardrobe. Every girl has tried on her mom‘s saree or dupatta while playing dress-up at some point in her childhood. It is the enigma of Indian wear and just how beautiful these outfits make a girl look. Also, we have so many occasions here where we get a chance to flaunt our Indian outfits, be it a simple puja at home, or a wedding, or festivals or just on an everyday basis! Whether it’s a saree, lehenga or a shalwar suit, all look beautiful on Indian women. But just like everything else, one needs to be careful while wearing and buying Indian wear too. There are a few things that should be kept in mind because these can make or break your look.
you are wearing ethnic outfits during the day or to work/ college. Go for simple printed or solid pieces in bright and soothing colors. Even when attending a wedding try to steer clear of fabrics with too much stonework. Go for elegant and classy embroidered fabrics.
while chiffon and linen for summers. The wrong choice of fabrics can lead to extreme discomfort.
4– The wrong footwear— Do not forget your feet while you are planning your look with Indian outfits. Make sure to choose footwear that goes well with ethnic outfits. Go for jutis , kolhapuris, 2- Fitting clothes— No matter what do not com- nude pumps or gold / silver heels when wearing mit this cardinal sin of fashion even when you are ethnic outfits. You cannot wear sports shoes with wearing Indian wear. Make sure that you buy the a salwar kurta . correct size while shopping for Indian wear. The clothes should neither be too tight nor too loose if 5– Over Accessorizing— If your outfit is heavy you want to look your best! Fitting is very crucial embroidery and sequins and you wear more jewwhen it comes to Indian outfits. elry, it will just look overdone. Never make the mistake of over accessorizing your Indian outfits. 1-Too many embellishments— Indian wear 3- Fabric Matters— The choice of fabric matters Instead focus on one piece at a time .Either go for does not mean you have to always go for heavily a lot when it comes to Indian wear. Heavy fabrics a statement necklace or statement earrings, never embroidered pieces! Avoid any kinds of bling if like brocade or silk are more suitable for winters both together unless it is your wedding day.
For more info, contact Rani Sharma of Raneez Boutique at 404-386-2062.