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VOL 25 No. 5
Prin Pos Pub|icaion No. 23572300014
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May - Tune 2013
A model showing
Roopa Pemmaraju's
creation at 1he Box
in Sydney
. Ritu Ghai reports from DeIhi on winter
. Roopa Pemmaraju showcases her
Spring/Summer 2013 coIIection at
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week AustraIia
. Fauja Singh, oIdest marathon runner in
the worId honoured in Sydney
. Devinder Singh Dharia's
'Jhanjhar' goes hot on youtube
What do some of the Indian community leaders say...
Amarinder Bajwa. Subbarao Iarigonda Dr Yadu Singh
Best use of OnIine & DigitaI Media
02 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2013
May - June 2013 THE NDAN DOWN UNDER 03
May - June 2013 THE NDAN DOWN UNDER 05
Race is on for PM post
in India and in Oz
Editor's Letter
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hange in the political climate is in
the air for Australia and India, the
two countries of interest for the
Australian Indians. The current ruling
parties in both the countries are expected
to change with the focus of discussion
being on the leadership.
There are frequent opinion polls in
Australia on how far the Labor party will
fall in the September elections and who is
the preferred Prime Minister. It is virtu-
ally a two-party system in Australia with
some scatter to minor parties. Although
the Labor Government has not done a
bad job, the infighting has ruined its
chances, the worst being that there are no
signs of the infighting going away.
Otherwise, the carbon and mining taxes
along with health and education reforms
(without the university cuts and with
some tweaking of taking away gains to
independent schools) would be feathers in
the cap for any government. The Greens
are set to benefit from Labor losses.
It is indeed surprising that despite the
low rating of Tony Abbot as the pre-
ferred Prime Minister, there is not a
Malcolm Turnbull push to replace him.
After all, Turnbull had lost only by a sin-
gle vote when Abbot became the Leader
of Opposition. Turnbull is well-liked for
his balanced approach in politics, not
roughcast, and more acceptable to
women who may have been prejudiced
by Julia Gillards manoeuvres in parlia-
ment. Malcolm Turnbulls recent propos-
al as shadow communication minister for
a slower NBN, however, may save some
dollars but is retrograde, to say the least.
The political scenario in India, how-
ever, is far from simple. A coalition of
many parties is ruling the country and
coalition rule will continue even after the
2014 elections as no single party will
have the requisite majority in the next
Lok Sabha. Each party, whether in the
ruling front or in opposition, has its own
agenda and personal interests of its lead-
ers that are not too altruistic. The corrup-
tion in India is at an all time high and
without anyone in sight who can reform
the system. Those who come in power
see it as an opportunity to fill their per-
sonal coffers with utter disregard to pub-
lic outcry.
The UPA Government led by
Congress is indifferent to all the scandals
that have come out in the open recently
2G, Coalgate, Sonia Gandhis son-in-law
Robert Vadras complicity in a land scam
have all been conveniently pushed
under the carpet. CBI, it is alleged, is
unleashed to silence those who dare to
speak against the Government. Is this the
reason we hear no more of Anna,
Ramdev or Kejriwal? A recent Wikileak
expose has brought the former Indian
Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi again into
focus for his possible involvement in
Swedish Company Saab-Scanias bid to
sell fighter aircraft to India. His name
pops up again and again in scandals
although his involvement in Bofors was
not fully substantiated.
From the Congress party, Rahul
Gandhi has repeatedly said that he was
not interested in the PM post, only in
serving people and strengthening the
party. This has not stopped statements
from other party leaders that they all
want the No 2 man in Congress (Sonia
Gandhi being party head) to lead the
country. As for the 80-year-old
Manmohan Singh, he has kept specula-
tion going on a third term for him. Asked
by the media on April 5, Singh said he
neither ruled himself in or out in the PM
And if there is a change in govern-
ment after the polls, there are a few con-
tenders for the top job. Foremost among
them is BJPs most popular leader,
Narendra Modi whose performance as
Gujarat chief minister has catapulted him
on the national scene. There are many
like Nitish Kumar, Bihar Chief Minister,
who disagree that Modi could befit the
PMs role seeing his inflexibility towards
Indias diversity. Although Modi has
been a very successful and progressive
chief minister, Nitish Kumar has a point
that bringing about consensus is of
utmost importance to run a coalition gov-
ernment at the centre. It is this factor
which has prevented BJP from projecting
Modi as their prime ministerial candi-
date. That has not, however, stopped the
Modi factor from causing a rift between
BJP and Nitish Kumars Janata Dal (U),
two key parties in the opposition NDA
front. Significantly, American intelli-
gence and think tanks have been predict-
ing a Rahul-vs-Modi fight for PM post in
On the local Sydney scene, have you
noticed the proliferation of giving away
awards to every Tom, Dick and Harry? It
has become commonplace in the commu-
nity functions to fill up chairs or attract
sponsors. But very boring, indeed!
Visit us at :
Rahul Gandhi has denied that he is in the
race for Prime Minister, while Narendra
Modi is behaving as a PM-in-waiting.
It is surprising that despite the low rating of
Tony Abbot as the preferred Prime Minister, there
is not a Malcolm Turnbull push to replace him.
By Neena Badhwar
Great minds discuss ideas; Average
minds discuss events; Small minds discuss
--Eleanor Roosevelt, US diplomat &
reformer (1884 - 1962)
majority of Indian migrants, who
have settled in Australia, came to this
country without realizing at the time
that one day they will become the citizens of
this very country, their immediate aim at the
time being economic betterment and not
issues related to a long term settlement.
It was a long road that Australia traversed
before it opened its doors to Asian immigra-
tion in the late 1960s after reluctantly shed-
ding its White Australia policy. With a few
exceptions (such as students coming to study
under Colombo Plan), there was only a trick-
le that came through a tight sieve of regula-
tions in the early seventies. But a lot more
migrants of Indian origin started entering
Australia in the eighties and the following
decades, being highly qualified and in profes-
sions of high demand. A large number among
them were also joining their families who had
arrived earlier.
The Indian community in Australia prides
itself as the very best in the country, highly
paid, well educated, and virtually trouble
free. While they have achieved much as indi-
viduals, made names in their professions and
erected Macmansions for themselves, there is
something amiss as a community, lacking a
vision and foresight for the future.
Everyone wants to be a leader; so there is
plethora of associations. Everyones ego has
to be massaged; so there are nights after
nights of award ceremonies. But all this
sounds hollow, merely a photo opportunity
rubbing shoulders with dignitaries and politi-
cians and to piggyback on the contacts for
their own businesses. As the earlier migrants
come in the fold of old age, they find suitable
community services lacking. Besides temples
and gurdwaras there is not much else as com-
munity support. In spite of there being nearly
a hundred Indian associations of various hues
and shapes, there is not one that has made
real efforts for a community place. There are
many instnaces that real opportunities have
gone abegging just because the associations
have not represented as a unit.
Indian seniors are worried about aging
and what is available for them to live and die
with dignity. There are concerns such as food
in nursing homes; whether we would have
workers speaking our language. Seniors who
are retiring do not know where to spend their
time with like minded people. There are half
hearted efforts to form groups but they are
divided and do not carry enough critical mass
to buy or set up a place where they can mix
and mingle with friends and wider communi-
ty members. Where does one go and seek
help lurks in many a heart. There is no infra-
structure or organized avenue available.
Bigger associations that claim themselves as
umbrella organizations have only been busy
doing fairs; other associations falling into the
same competitive trap and ideas while valu-
able time passes by.
The Indian Down Under has spoken to
some of the leaders - elected and self styled
all who are active in the Indian community,
about their vision for the Indian community
for years to come:
Divided we fall
United we can take long strides
While we Indians in Australia have achieved
much as individuals, there is something
amiss as a community, lacking a vision and
foresight for the future. TIDU solicited views
of four leaders about their vision for the
Indian community for years to come.
Amarinder Bajwa
President, United Indian
Associations (UIA)
My vision for the
future of Indian community is
harmony, cohesive and pro-
gressive community.
Development of the Indian
diaspora and much more
recognition of the contribu-
tion made by various individ-
uals of Indian background in
the multicultural framework.
More opportunities and more
acceptance of the people of
Indian origin. No racism and
a very healthy relationship
between all the communities
in Australia.
I want to see our kids
grow with more knowledge of
where they come from, learn
their mother tongue and be
connected with back home.
We value our culture and
would like it to be available to
our future generations.
We are already part of
Australia and are proud of
new heritage and new begin-
nings. We enjoy the glass of
lassi as much as we enjoy the
cup of coffee. The communi-
ties must join hands together
for the growth and progres-
sion of any individual as well
as community The unity in the
community is very important
to achieve any shared goals
such as Indian community
centre, old age homes, MPs
of Indian origin and many
other social, economic and
political objectives between
India and Australia. I am
proud of the highly educated
professionals of Indian origin
who are in Australia -they are
the face of Indian community.
I am hopeful of the unity,
coherence and hence the best
outcome for the communities
in the near future. The ethnic
diversity and the beauty of
diverse yet a united communi-
ty for the betterment of our
society should be our goal
Mrs Neera Shrivastava
President, Federation of
Australian Indian Associations
At the moment I am aware
that there are many Indian asso-
ciations that claim to be umbrel-
la organizations. Yet we can
work together in a cohesive
manner with Indian communi-
ties benefit at heart. We can
move forward, help it to assim-
ilate into the wider milieu rather
than making just Indian groups.
I am on the NSWs
Multicultural Advisory
Committee team. We are look-
ing into various aspects of mul-
ticultural society we live in and
its issues with the motive how
they can contribute in a positive
way. I am sure Indian commu-
nity needs to open up a bit more
than what it is at the moment
and make its mark in more
broader sense.
Subbarao Varigonda
President, Council of Indian
Australians (CIA)
The Indian community
of Australia has gone past the
400,000 mark. In particular, the
number of Indians living in
NSW has more than doubled
since 2006. My vision for the
Indian community of NSW is as
1) The Indian communi-
ty still does not have a place
which we can call as our
HOME. We need to push for
an India House project as early
as possible.
2) We need to see more
representation of the Indian
community at the Local/State
and Federal levels of
Governments. While our com-
munity has done well in their
respective professions, we have
not been able to make our pres-
ence felt at the Government lev-
els. We can achieve this only
through our united efforts rather
than being fragmented.
3) Today the Indian com-
munity is fragmented with more
than 80 Associations. We also
have three Umbrella associa-
tions. It is important we need to
consolidate and have minimum
number of associations. I am
happy to use the good offices of
the Council of Indian
Australians (CIA) to address this
issue. Without this happening,
the outside world sees the Indian
community as a fragmented
4) In spite of the diversi-
fied nature of our community,
we must express as a SINGLE
VOICE on matters of common
interest in particular when we
deal with the Government of
5) We need to take a look
at a number of Indian associa-
tions and see the governance of
processes within such organisa-
tions, reporting to the Fair
Trading and other aspects. It is
my understanding that there are
a number of organisations which
are created to promote an indi-
viduals interests.
6) We are all aware that
we as a community have done
well be it as doctors, comput-
er professionals, engineers and
business entrepreneurs. It is time
that we provide leadership and
provide this talent to emerging
7) We need to stop
over/think and act on issues
related to the next generation
in particular what we are leaving
behind. Surely one or all the
above issues are related to this
critical issue. Today we are not
making much effort to involve
the next generation into matters/
issues affecting the Indian com-
munity of NSW.
8) Today the balance of
trade between India and
Australia is 1:7 in favour of
Australia. Each one of us has a
role to play in balancing this
ratio and make it a win-win
situation for both countries.
Dr Yadu Singh
President of Indian Australian
Association of NSW
With about 400,000
people of Indian heritage in
Australia, we are indeed
important in the electoral poli-
tics but it gets diluted signifi-
cantly because we are hope-
lessly fragmented into groups
based on regional and religious
If that was not bad, we
have groups based on castes as
well. We have too many asso-
ciations and too many leaders,
many among them have no
clue about conflict of interest,
accountability, decent behav-
iour or why they have the asso-
ciation. Many are into giving
out useless awards to people,
and at times to those too who
simply cannot be given any
What we need is some
understanding and a debate,
probably organised by Indian
media, regarding the needs of
our community, decent behav-
iour, decent community work
and some consolidation of
community groups.
Community leaders and groups
need to be asked about what
outcomes they have delivered
so far. Some chronic leaders
who have been around for year
after year, often decades,
should be nudged to retire.
Nobody can do this better than
our media, provided media
understands its role and
responsibility for the commu-
Doing something in regards
to mentoring of newer
migrants and helping them set-
tle, in addition to encouraging
a pan-Indian identity will be
my suggestions.
A community Hub i.e.,
India House, just like many
other communities have done,
is badly needed for our social
and community binding, inter-
actions and growth.

Dear readers, we leave you to reflect and discuss

this as an issue and send your feedback to: indiandow- or visit: or discuss on
Facebook on The Indian Down Under page.
By Rekha Bhattacharjee
Prudent macroeconomic policy
management has supported
Australias strong economic per-
formance and contributed to its
resilience in the face of the global
financial crisis International
Monetary Fund survey (November
he excellent management of
the Australian economy
continues to get ticks from
the worlds highest financial regu-
lators and rating organisations but
Julia Gillard led Labor govern-
ment is looking at an unprecedent-
ed electoral rout if the elections
are held tomorrow.
It is ironic that in spite of pro-
viding one of the best managed
economies in the world, Julia
Gillard and her team get blamed
for poor performance.
Clearly, there is a detachment
between the Australian publics
perceptions and the facts about our
healthy economy. The failure to
highlight its high dividend yielding
policies has led to the situation
where Labor, instead of getting
the pole position it so richly
deserves, is looking for a long
time in the political oblivion.
If we are to believe the former
Julia Gillard Minister Simon
Crean, Labor has been distracted
by the internal feuds and has failed
to sell its merits.
Citing the proposed media
reforms, the veteran Labor
warhorse has recently expressed
opinion that the party had failed to
effectively sell its policies.
"If you want to advance a
cause, you've got to frame a
debate - don't let anyone else
frame it for you,'' Simon Crean
told reporters after the farcical
mid-March spill.
Simon Crean believes that
Labor had pitted itself in a diffi-
cult position because of its obses-
sion with the budget surplus but
seems to have freed itself from the
millstone around its collective
"Obviously they have shaken
themselves from the shackle of the
surplus,'' he said in a media con-
ference after the above-mentioned
highly-damaging Labor leadership
fracas. "Why is it that we allowed
our economic credentials to be
framed just by the measure of the
surplus? the veteran posed the
"People want jobs, low infla-
tion and low interest rates, Crean
"They've got all of those,'' the
recently axed Julia Gillard
Minister concluded.
Simon Crean, the former Julia
Gillard confidante was spot on in
pointing out the absurdities of the
current political situation where
the achievers are being penalised
for their globally-acclaimed eco-
nomic prudence and cushioning
Australia against the shockwaves
from the global financial crisis.
Where does a battered Labor
go from this low position where
they are like sitting ducks waiting
for the Australian voters to deliver
that nauseating killer blow?
Instead of an indulging in
incessant internal bickering, Labor
should be focussing on addressing
the above-mentioned serious dis-
connect between the facts and the
Australian public perceptions.
After all, what do they have to
lose from this dismal, depressing
position where the Opposition is
all set to record a gigantic elec-
toral victory in September?
Just five months separate
Labor Party from a demoralising
defeat and handing the Kirribilli
House keys to an Opposition
leader who is disliked even by the
Conservative voters. A victory
Liberals do not deserve in the first
place as they, unlike the proven
track record of Labor economic
planning machine in the last two
terms, have even failed to spell
out their economic policies.
It is a fact that the highly-priv-
ileged Australian voter has grown
used to the prosperity delivered by
over two decades of continued
growth in the GDP.
Why blame Australian voters
in general when even the Labor
diehards are not ready to give any
credit of smooth-sailing through
the turbulent economic crisis to
the economic prudence of their
According to a recent
Australian Broadcasting
Corporation (ABC) survey of the
committed Labor voters, only 11
percent of the respondents said
they would vote for Labor for pro-
viding a good government. A
whopping 35 percent would,
according to the survey findings,
vote for Julia Gillard led Labor as
they do not want to see Tony
Abbott as the Kirribilli House ten-
ant. A similar number of Liberal
voters covered by the ABC survey
wanted to sack Labor government
for its poor performance. While
it seems to be the true reflection of
the voters sentiment, it is a rather
sad commentary on the political
(and economic) prudence of the
everyday Australians. The political
maturity of the Australian popu-
lace becomes even more doubtful
when we look at the results of a
survey conducted by an online
portal Essential Vision a few
months back. According to the
survey, 70% of the respondents
think that Australias economy has
performed better than other coun-
tries over the last few years.
The chances of getting
Essential Vision getting the survey
wrong are really slim as the find-
ings are supported by hard facts
such as low inflation rate (2.20
percent in the fourth quarter of
2012), low budget deficit (3 per-
cent of the country's Gross
Domestic Product in 2011/12 fis-
cal year), low interest rates
(Reserve Bank of Australia interest
rate 3 percent), low unemploy-
ment rates (5.40 percent), consis-
tent GDP growth (expanded 3.10
percent in the fourth quarter of
2012), etc.
These figures look meaningless
till we compare them with other
OECD countries.
These are the figures which
make Australian economy the most
enviable among the 34 OECD
countries. Any of these developed
countries would like to trade
places with Australia but here we
are whingeing about the poor per-
formance instead of lauding the
prudent economic managers of
The Conservatives have been
pinching themselves for the chance
of successfully bagging one of
worlds best managed economies.
Joe Hockeys task has been made
much easier by the Treasurer
Wayne Swans inexplicable com-
ments about the Australian fami-
lies going through dire straits.
A typical example of the art of
political hara kiri perfected by
Julia Gillards Treasurer came
after ABS made an announcement
of low CPI figure announced last
year. Joe Hockey somehow man-
aged to criticise the welcome news
claiming the data showed essential
household items were outstripping
average incomes. Instead of
Wayne Swan claiming points for
his good work, he declared that
the government knew that families
were still doing it tough!!
Various handouts announced
by Labor governments have been
sending message that the
Australian battlers are facing
unprecedented tough times. The
reality is in total contrast to this
widely held misconception as the
Australian families from every
economic strata never had it this
In the conclusion, the time is
running out for the indestruc-
tible Julia Gillard and her team.
Instead of focussing on the nega-
tives or individuals, Labor would
be far better off to sell its truly
n a major foreign policy tri-
umph, Julia Gillard has man-
aged to grab the attention of
worlds second largest economy as
China has agreed to a strategic
partnership with Canberra. Julia
Gillards Chinese counterpart,
Premier and Prime Minister, Li
Keqiang has also agreed to annual
meetings between the two coun-
tries. Only three other countries --
Britain, Germany and Russia --
and European Union have man-
aged to get such annual audience
with Australias largest trading
Even highly-biased News Corp
newspapers have lauded Julia
Gillards achievement in Beijing
by calling it the deal of the
decade. The strategic alliance
would ensure unhindered access
for the Australian mandarins and
their political bosses to the top ech-
elons of the Chinese hierarchy.
The Sun Herald has gone to the
extent of calling Gillards achieve-
ment as the most significant
breakthroughs since Gough
Whitlam's courageous step 40
years ago to establish diplomatic
links with China.
Rekha Bhattacharjee can be
contacted at
The Third Eye by Rekha Bhattacharjee
Dismal Labor poll ratings
Julia Gillard authors deal
of the decade with China
The great Australia disconnect between facts and public perceptions.
n April 19, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG)
held its 35th Meeting in Canberra where Prime Minister
Gillard initiated a Big Reform for the future which needs
bipartisan support to succeed. Gillard's negotiating skills will surely
come in handy. 62% approve and 18% oppose.
The Opposition is catching up on Gillards plan to make
Education her catch cry for the September 14 polls thus their
strategy is to create as much trouble and uncertainty as possible
between now and the deadline in June. The Opposition does not want
school funding to be a big issue in the run up to the elections.
Although none of the states signed up to the reforms at that meet-
ing the PM had a significant victory when NSW Premier Barry
OFarrell signed up a few days later. Victoria and Queensland have
still to come on board. Tasmania a Labor state -- will and if WA
decides not to it will not matter much.
The NSW Premier said, This is once in a generation opportunity
for NSW schools.
Victorian Premier is happy to negotiate although Queensland is
holding out, wanting the PM to meet half way.
After NSW signing, the pressure is on all states just as it was
for National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Why should Queensland kids miss out? asks the Treasurer
Wayne Swan who represents Queensland in Parliament.
-Rekha Bhatta
Prime Minister Julia Gillard with the
Chinese premier Wen Jiabao in 2011.
Council of Australian
Governments Meet
Washington: Two veteran anti-terrorism
prosecutors, including an Indian American
attorney Aloke Chakravarty, are leading the
case against the surviving Boston Marathon
bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Assistant US district attorneys
Chakravarty and William Weinreb from the
Massachusetts district's Anti-Terrorism and
National Security Unit were both key players
in the prosecution of Pakistani-American
Faisal Shahzad. Shahzad was sentenced to
life in prison for the attempted bombing of
New York's Times Square three years ago.
Chakravarty, 39, was also the lead prose-
cutor on the case against Tarek Mehanna, a
Boston pharmacist, who was convicted of
providing material support to Al Qaeda, and
conspiring to commit murder in a foreign
country. Last year Mehanna was sentenced to
Lucknow: Amid criticism
that Uttar Pradesh Chief
Minister Akhilesh Yadav
should not have cancelled his
lecture at the Harvard
Business School to protest
"extended frisking" of Urban
Development Minister Azam
Khan at a Boston airport, his
Samajwadi Party (SP) said
April 27 that the stand was
"correct, justified and in line
with socialist ethos".
In a statement, Prisons
Minister and party
spokesman Rajendra
Chowdhary said that the chief
minister has done the right thing and taught
a lesson to "arrogant America who has
prejudice towards Muslims". India, he
added, was a land where its visitors are
treated as gods and in contrast, US humili-
ated people from other countries. "We have
amply demonstrated during the Kumbh how
good hosts we are but the US has shown its
true colours, specially against
Muslims, by humiliating our
minister," Chowdhary added.
Azam Khan was part of a
delegation invited by the
prestigious business school to
deliver a lecture on organiz-
ing the Maha Kumbh Mela in
Allahabad early this year and
the challenges faced by the
administration in managing
millions of people from
across the world who attended
the mega event.
The BJP, however, lashed
out at Azam Khan for show-
ing immaturity in his reac-
tions to his frisking at the airport in Boston.
"I find this silly. Azam Khan should learn
to respect law and security concerns of the
other country and should take lessons from
former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam who
behaved in the most humble manner in sim-
ilar situation some years back," said state
BJP chief Laxmikant Bajpayi.
New Delhi: Indian and Chinese
local military commanders held a
flag meeting for the second time
to resolve the stand-off over
incursion by Chinese troops into
the Indian side of the Line of
Actual Control in Ladakh even as
New Delhi said it has asked
Beijing to maintain the status quo
that existed before the April 15
Army Chief General Bikram
Singh met Jammu and Kashmir
Governor N.N. Vohra and Chief
Minister Omar Abdullah and dis-
cussed the Chinese incursions into
Indian territory.
Gen. Singh assured Vohra and
Abdullah that the situation would
be tackled. His visit comes in the
wake of Chinese troops setting up
a post inside Indian territory,
about 10 km from the LAC, the
de-facto border between India and
China. The Chinese had set up
the post April 15.
External Affairs Minister
Salman Khurshid said there was
no need for diplomatic-level talks
to resolve the issue.
"There is no need for diplo-
matic-level talks," Khurshid said,
and added that local military
commanders from both sides
would hold discussions "to work
out a solution at flag meetings, as
they have been doing in the past".
The external affairs ministry
spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin
said India and China had "differ-
ing perceptions" of the Line of
Actual Control in the Depsang
area of the western sector of the
India-China boundary and the
incursion by Chinese troops had
led to a "face-to-face" situation
between their troops.
"We see this as a face to face
situation between the border per-
sonnel of the two sides due to dif-
ferences on their alignment of the
LAC. We have asked the Chinese
side to maintain status quo in this
sector, by which I mean status
quo prior to this incident," exter-
nal affairs ministry spokesperson
Syed Akbaruddin said.
The term "face-to-face" is
referred to the 2005 protocol for
implementing CBMs along the
LAC. According to the protocol,
when border personnel of the two
sides come face to face, they are
to exercise self-restraint and take
all necessary steps to prevent the
situation from escalating, he said.
Terming the incident as a
"localized event", the spokesper-
son said that "overall, the India-
China border area continues to
remain peaceful". Both sides have
peacefully resolved similar inci-
dents in the past "and we hope to
resolve this incident too peaceful-
ly", the official added.
Beijing has denied any incur-
sion across the Line of Actual
Control, which is a notional line.
Beijing has denied any incursion across the Line of Actual Control,
which is a notional line
UP Urban Development
Minister Azam Khan faced
extended frisking
at Boston airport.
UP CM calls off Harvard trip
protesting insult to minister
Indian-American attorney to prosecute Boston bomber
India, China to resolve border stand-off
Pune Warriors India
cheerleaders during the
match between the Pune
team and Royal Challengers
Bangalore on April 23.
Elsewhere in some other
IPL matches too cheer girls
in traditional Indian dance
costumes have been seen.
Reddit sorry for witch-hunt
against Indian student for Boston
Providence, RI: The body of a man pulled
from the Providence River is that of missing
Brown University student Sunil Tripathi. The
medical examiner said Thursday the cause of
his death is still under investigation but no
foul play is suspected.
Tripathi, 22, was last seen on March 16,
and his family had been desperately search-
ing for him. His body was found in the water
at India Point Park late Tuesday afternoon.
Police said the body had been in the water
for "some time." Sunil Tripathi was falsely
identified on social media as possibly being
one of the Boston Marathon bombers, after
the FBI released images of the two suspects.
Reddit, a popular social news and enter-
tainment website, apologized for posts on the
site that had led to speculation that Tripathi
could be one of the Boston bombing sus-
"The crowdsourced, more criminal inves-
tigation was very volatile and fraught with
problems, and, obviously, wrong," Reddit
general manager Erik Martin told CNN. The
moderator of a subreddit, or comment thread
titled findbostonbombers, which had been set
up to crowdsource the identities of the
bombers, also apologized, the channel said.
Body of missing Sunil Tripathi has been found. (right) the actual Boston bombing
suspects Tamerlan (killed) and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (captured).
Aloke Chakravarty
Pak military protests treatment
meted out to Musharraf
Islamabad: A group of Pakistan's military
officers have protested, before a parliamen-
tary panel, the treatment being meted out to
former president Pervez Musharraf, a media
report said Saturday.
The delegation of 75 officers from
Command and Staff College, Quetta, led by
Col. Saqib Ali Cheema, met the chairman
of the Senate Standing Committee on
Defence and Defence Production Mushahid
Hussain Sayed at the parliament house to
express concern over Musharraf's arrest,
reported Dawn.
The military officers were of the opin-
ion that under the constitution, the armed
forces cannot be criticised, a source was
quoted as saying.
Hussain said: We are all proud of pro-
fessionalism of our armed forces and in the
constitution, judiciary and armed forces are
national institutions which should not be
subject to any kind of criticism.
He later told the daily that the officers
had asked him if there was anything in the
constitution which allowed anyone to humil-
iate any institution, and he answered that
there was no such provision.
Musharraf, who returned to Pakistan
March 23 after over four years of self-
imposed exile in Dubai, was keen to contest
the May 11 general elections. However, his
nomination papers were rejected from four
An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has
granted to investigators custody of
Musharraf in the assassination case of for-
mer prime minister Benazir Bhutto, lawyers
said. Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan from
1999 to 2008, has been accused of failing to
provide adequate security to Bhutto when
she returned to Pakistan from exile in 2007.
Musharraf has already been arrested in
the case of keeping judges in illegal con-
finement when he imposed Emergency rule
in 2007.
The former president is also facing
charges of high treason for the abrogation
of the constitution, that paved the way for
the declaration of Emergency.
Five people have filed petitions for pro-
ceedings related to high treason in the
Supreme Court. However, the interim gov-
ernment has refused to pursue the case
because of its limited role, and petitioned
the apex court to leave the case to the next
elected government.
Former president Pervez Musharraf
Bangla factory collapse toll over 350
Dhaka: More than four days after the
horrendous tragedy, Bangladeshi rescuers
on April 27 pulled 29 more people alive
from beneath the rubble of the collapsed
building that has left over 350 people
dead so far.
The rescuers who managed to reach
the ground floor of the eight-storied build-
ing which crumbled like a pack of cards
April 24, believed that many more are
still alive in the wreckage, reported
In one of the worst tragedies in
Bangladesh's history, officials say res-
cuers have so far pulled alive more than
2,500 people including several lucky sur-
vivors, keeping alive the hope that more
lives can be saved as the rescue operation
"352 bodies have so far been pulled
out of the collapsed building," Badrul
Alam Khan, a police official at a control
room set up to provide information about
the disaster fatalities, told Xinhua
Saturday night.
Of the bodies, 341 have been handed
over to their relatives, he said.
Following the cracks which were
detected just one day before the accident,
the workers were evacuated and the gar-
ments authorities declared a leave for
Tuesday. But nobody bothered about the
cracks when officials of the factories
forced the workers to join workplaces in
the building on the next morning.
Rescuers reportedly came up with a
list of 761 people who are still unaccount-
ed for.
According to the sources, almost all
the fatalities are workers of the five facto-
ries -- Phantom Apparels, Phantom Tac,
Ether Tex, New Wave Style and New
Wave Bottoms -- which make clothing for
many major global brands.
The building is owned by a leader of
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ruling
Bangladesh Awami League party who
reportedly constructed it without permis-
sion from relevant authorities, and
assured the owners of the factories that
there was no problem despite cracks
was owned
by a leader
of Prime
Legendary singer
Shamshad Begum passes away
Mumbai: Shamshad Begum,
renowned playback singer of yes-
teryears who gave voice to classics
like "Mere piya gaye Rangoon"
and "Kabhi aar kabhi paar", passed
away here, family sources said on
April 24. She was 94.
Shamshad Begum, who had
been ailing for the past few
months, died Tuesday evening. A
widow since 1955, she lived with
her daughter Usha Ratra.
"She had no regrets. She lived
her life like a tigress. I am proud to
be her daughter," Usha said.
Among the first woman play-
back singers in the Hindi film
industry, which has turned 100
this year, Shamshad Begum was
born in 1919 in Amritsar.
Interested in singing from a
young age, she got her first break
with Peshawar Radio, Lahore, in
December 1947.
Later, her voice with a nasal
tinge became a hit and she sang for
top heroines of the era, leaving
behind a rich legacy of her soulful
Some of her famous songs
include "Kajra mohab-
bat wala", "Leke
pehla pehla pyar",
"Kahinpe nigahen,
kahinpe nishaana",
"Chhod babul ka
ghar", "Saiyan
dilme aana re"
and "Teri mehfil
me kismat ajmaa
kar hum bhi
S h e
was a
favourite of music directors like
Naushad Ali and O.P. Nayyar.
Besides Hindi, Shamshad
Begum also sang in Punjabi,
Bengali and other Indian lan-
Shamshad Begum turned off
her microphone somewhere in
1970s, and recalling her mother's
retirement decision, Usha said:
"One fine day she packed
her bags and came to my
house and said she has
left the film industry.
She never looked
"Because of the
politics in the indus-
try, she didn't want to
work anymore.
This is one of the
reasons why
she did-
n't let me be a singer. I told her, let
me sing for my self-satisfaction,
but she said if you will learn to
sing, you will directly enter the
industry. So, she didn't let me do
so." "She felt earlier artists used to
come on merit basis, but later there
were too much of politics in the
industry," added Usha.
Bangalore: Indian mathemati-
cal genius and astrologer
Shakuntala Devi, who was
dubbed "human computer" for
her swift numerical calculation
abilities, passed away in
Bangalore April 21 after brief
illness. She was 83.
She is survived by her
daughter, son-in-law and two
grand daughters.
"Madam breathed her last at
8:15 a.m. today (Sunday) due
to heart failure and renal prob-
lem," Shakuntala Devi's long-
time associate Kavita Malhotra
told the media.
Born in 1929, Shakuntala
Devi moved to London in 1944
when she was 15 years old with
her father, who worked in a cir-
cus company as a trapeze artiste
and tightrope performer.
She returned to India in the
mid-1960s and married Paritosh
Bannerji, an IAS officer from
The couple, however,
divorced in 1979 and
Shakuntala Devi returned to
Bangalore in early 1980s and
started offering astrological
advice to hundreds of people,
including celebrities, politicians
and anyone who approached
As a toddler, Shakuntala
Devi was discovered to be a
born genius by her father when
he was showing her some card
According to the Guinness
World Records, Shakuntala
Devi displayed her mathemati-
cal skills when she was six
years old at a public function in
Mysore, about 150 km from
Bangalore and two years later,
proved to be a prodigal wizard
in number games at Annamalai
University in Tamil Nadu's
Chidambaram, about 200 km
from Chennai.
In 1977, Shakuntala Devi
discovered the 23rd root of a
201-digit number mentally.
Three years later, in June 1980,
she answered in 28 seconds
when she was asked to multiply
two 13-digit numbers picked at
random at the Imperial College
in London.
She wrote a number of
books on mathematics and
astrology including "Fun with
Numbers", "Astrology for
You", "Puzzles to Puzzle You"
and "Mathablit".
She had also set up an edu-
cational foundation public trust
to promote studies in maths,
astrology, philosophy and
Indian 'human computer'
Shakuntala Devi no more
Violin maestro Lalgudi Jayaraman passes away
Chennai: Legendary violin maestro Lalgudi
Gopala Iyer Jayaraman passed away in a
private hospital in Chennai Monday
evening, a student of his said. He was
"He was admitted in the hospital
this morning for chest congestion. At
around 6.30 p.m. he breathed his last,"
Shreya Devnath, Jayaraman's student
told the media.
He is survived by his wife
Rajalakshmi, daughter Lalgudi
Vijayalakshmi and son Lalgudi
G.J.R.Krishnan, said Devnath.
Born into a musician's family, the violin
maestro popularly known as Lalgudi Jayaraman, was
a child prodigy and had begun performances from the
age of 12.
He went on to invent a whole new style designed
to suit the needs of Indian classical music popularly
known as "Lalgudi Bani" or Lalgudi style.
"For a very large number of music
lovers across the world, Lalgudi
Jayaraman was the musician of the centu-
ry and not merely a violinist of the cen-
tury. He was great composer giving
beautiful shape to a large number of old
kirtanas, thereby embellishing the beau-
ty of ragas in which they were known,"
R. Thyagarajan, founder chairman,
Shriram Group said.
Jayaraman, a recipient of several
awards, was also conferred the Padma
Bhushan. He was also awarded the title
"Sangeeta Kalanidhi" by the Music Academy in
Chennai, the center for Carnatic music in Tamil
Jayaraman also composed music for Tamil film
"Shringaram" which won him a national award in
Sydney: Sikhs in the state of Queensland will
be exempt from wearing a helmet while rid-
ing bicycles, it was announced Tuesday.
Queensland Transport Minister Scott
Emerson said the exemption has been made
under new laws to accommodate religious
beliefs, adding that it was a "common sense
approach", media reported.
"But let's be very clear. Just because
someone is going to come out there and claim
they don't want to wear a helmet for religious
reasons, they have to do more than that, they
have to demonstrate there is a real, long
standing religious belief there," the Brisbane
Times quoted Emerson as saying. At the
same time, he stressed that helmets do make
a difference and significantly reduce brain
The change in the law came after a Sikh
man, Jasdeep Atwal, successfully moved
court after receiving an A$100 fine last year
for riding a bicycle without a helmet. His
contention was that his religion required him
to wear a turban and it woudn't fit under a
helmet. Emerson said that he waited for the
outcome of the case before putting the law in
place. On his part, Atwal welcomed the
"The Sikh community has been working
for a long, long time on this," the report
quoted him as saying.Over 70,000 people in
Australia practise Sikhism.
Sydney: An Indian origin former surgeon in
an Australian hospital will stand trial in
September for causing grievous bodily harm
to a patient. Jayant Patel, who worked in the
Bundaberg Base Hospital in the Australian
state of Queensland, has been charged with
causing grievous bodily harm during a colon
surgery of a 65-year-old patient, Ian Rodney
Vowels, in 2004. Patel was then the director
of surgery at the hospital.
Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller asked the
Brisbane Supreme Court Friday that the trial
should be listed in August or September this
year with a time-frame of three weeks, the
Courier Mail reported.
But Ken Fleming, appearing for Patel,
contended that several matters would need to
be resolved before the trial started and said
Patel would seek to poll a prospective jury
panel. Justice Glenn Martin, who was hear-
ing the case, proposed that the trial be listed
in the week commencing Sep 23 before
Justice Jean Dalton, adding that it should be
listed for 10-15 days.
Patel, who was born in Jamnagar in
Gujarat, had a controversial tenure at the hos-
pital from 2003 to early 2005, during which
over 80 deaths were linked to him and 30
patients died in his care.
After that he left for Portland, Oregon, in
the US. He was, however, extradited to
Australia in 2008 to face trial.
Indian origin surgeon to stand
trial in Australia
Sikhs in Queensland needn't wear
helmet while cycling
More reforms coming in 2-4 months: Chidambaram
New Delhi: Finance Minister P.
Chidambaram has ruled out the
possibility of early elections and
said the government will take
more reform initiatives in the
next two-four months in a bid to
boost economic growth and con-
tain deficit and inflationary pres-
"We will continue to take
small significant steps. We will
also take forward some big ideas.
India's economy will continue to
reform," Chidambaram said at
The Economist's India Summit
organised here by the UK-based
economic magazine in end April.
Chidambaram said the gov-
ernment will push for the passage
of major reform regulations, like
land and insurance bills, in the
ongoing budget session of parlia-
The finance minister said the
government would need support
from the main opposition party to
get the bills passed in parliament.
"There are many more execu-
tive actions that have to be taken,
some of these executive actions
we will take in the next 2-4
months," Chidambaram said.
In the last one year, the gov-
ernment has taken several initia-
tives to push forward reform
process. The steps include cutting
subsidies on petroleum products
and liberalising overseas invest-
ment norms for retail, aviation
and some other sectors.
The finance minister said he
was hopeful to keep fiscal deficit
below 4.8 percent of the gross
domestic product (GDP) in the
current financial year.
In the union budget presented
in February, Chidambaram set a
target keeping the fiscal deficit at
4.8 percent of the GDP.
He said the budgetary target
was a red line that would
"never, never be breached."
The fiscal deficit of the cen-
tre for 2012-13 is estimated
to be 5.2 percent of the
Referring to the high
current account deficit
(CAD), Chidambaram said
it was more worrying than
the fiscal deficit. "CAD is
indeed high, it is more wor-
rying than fiscal deficit," he
He said the current
account deficit was esti-
mated to be around 5
percent of the GDP in
the financial year ended
March 31, 2013.
The finance minister
said India's economic
growth would be in the
range of 6.1 to 6.7 per-
cent in the current financial year.
The country's economic
growth has slumped to the lowest
in a decade. It is estimated to be
around 5 percent in 2012-13.
New Delhi: The Supreme
Court has sought to know how
the Sahara Group was refund-
ing money directly to investors
while warning against attempts
to override its order.
On August 31, 2012, the
court had asked Sahara -
whose business interests range
from realty to retail - to return
Rs 24,000 crore within three
months to investors in two
schemes via Sebi. These funds
had been collected by two
group firms. Sahara later
approached another bench of the top court,
headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and
received a further extension of time to deposit
the money. In an order issued on December
5, 2012 that bench had told Sebi to accept a
sum of Rs 5,120 crore. Two installments of
Rs 10,000 crore each were to
be paid by Sahara to Sebi by
the first week of January and
February, respectively.
Sahara, however, failed
to meet this deadline. It
is seeking more time to
deposit this amount, but
the original bench, com-
prising Justices KS
Radhakrishnan and JS
Khehar, has not allowed
this so far. "You are
manipulating the court,"
Justice Khehar told
Sahara. Sebi also pointed out that Sahara
had also moved the Allahabad High Court as
well at one point against an order to attach
the properties of Sahara owner Roy and
accused it of resorting to various ruses to
avoid complying with the top court order.
Finance Minister
P. Chidambaram
Sahara Group chairman
Subrata Roy
India - Business
India receives $69
bn in remittances;
tops global list
Washington: India received $69 billion remit-
tance in 2012, the highest in the world, fol-
lowed by China with $60 billion and the
Philippines $24 billion, World Bank data
Other major recipients of foreign remit-
tances were Mexico with $23 billion and
Nigeria and Egypt with $21 billion each,
according to the latest edition of the World
Banks Migration and Development Brief
released here in April.
India remains the largest recipient country
in the world, receiving $69 billion in 2012. In
addition to large numbers of unskilled migrants
working mainly in the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation
Council (GCC) countries, India also has a large
skilled diaspora the US and other high-income
countries, the World Bank report said.
Flows to Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal
have also been robust, helped by strong eco-
nomic growth in the GCC and India.
Remittances to the region are projected to
remain buoyant in the coming years, reaching
$140 billion in 2015.
Officially recorded remittance flows to
developing countries increased by 5.3 percent
to $401 billion in 2012.
Given that many migrants send money and
goods through people or informal channels, the
true size of remittances are much larger than
these official figures, the World Bank said.
According to the report, remittances to
developing countries are expected to grow by
an annual average of 8.8 percent for the next
three years and are forecast to reach $515 bil-
lion in 2015.
Officially recorded remittance flows to
South Asia are estimated to have increased
sharply by 12.8 percent to $109 billion in 2012.
This follows growth averaging 13.8 percent in
each of the previous two years.
Mumbai: Eight months after the
Indian government permitted inter-
national airlines to invest in
domestic passenger carriers, Jet
Airways announced a 24 percent
stake sale to Abu Dhabi-based
Etihad Airways to raise Rs.2,000
crore ($370.30 million).
"The board of directors has
approved, subject to compliance
with applicable laws and regula-
tions, the issuance, by way of a
preferential allotment... of
27,263,372 (2.73 crore) equity
shares of the face value of Rs.10
to Etihad Airways at a price of not
less than Rs.754.73 (including pre-
mium of Rs.744.73 per share) per
equity share," the company
informed the Bombay Stock
Exchange (BSE).
The deal is expected to garner
around Rs.2,000 crore ($370.37
million) for Jet Airways, which
reported a net profit of Rs.85 crore
in the third quarter of 2012-13,
after a net loss of Rs.101.22 crore
in the similar period of the previ-
ous year.
New Delhi: The Indian economy is expected to grow at 6.4 per-
cent in the current fiscal against the estimated 5 percent expan-
sion registered in the previous year, the prime minister's eco-
nomic advisory panel said.
"The economy has bottomed out and we will achieve higher
growth of 6.4 percent in the current financial year," Prime
Minister's Economic Advisory Council chairman C. Rangarajan
said at a media conference here.
He said agriculture sector growth is likely to increase to 3.5
percent 2013-14 as compared to the estimated 1.8 percent
growth in the fiscal ended March 31, 2013.
The growth of manufacturing sector is likely to increase to 4
percent in the current financial year as compared to 3.1 percent
in the previous year.
The services sector is estimated to expand by 7.7 percent in
2013-14 as compared to 6.6 percent growth projected for the
previous fiscal.
Economy to grow at 6.4
pc in 2013-14: PM panel
Guruvayoor (Kerala): Its decades long eth-
nic conflict over, Sri Lanka is steadily emerg-
ing as a major competitor to Kerala's
ayurvedic system of medicine, a leading
industry expert says.
But officials are quick to point out that as
long as Kerala sticks to its pristine form of
ayurveda school, no challenge from anywhere
can upset what is clearly the biggest tourist
draw to the southern state.
"Sri Lanka has slowly come up as a
threat to our market," said Sanjeev Kurup V.,
Secretary of the influential Kerala Travel
Mart Society who also runs the Paithrukam
Hospitality Group.
"I was in Sri Lanka only last week, and I
estimate they have taken away 30-40 percent
of our business," Kurup said at the
Perumbayil Ayurveda Mana, an idyllic centre
located near the famed Guruvayoor temple.
Ayurveda plays a key role in attracting
close to one million foreign and over one
crore domestic tourists every year to Kerala.
Almost 70 percent of the foreigners and 30-
40 percent of Indian tourists come to Kerala
for ayurvedic treatment.
Thanks to ayurveda, the average stay of a
foreigner in Kerala is 18 days - one of the
highest in the world.
According to Kurup and others in the
industry, even earlier Sri Lanka was doing
well in the business of ayurveda. But the long
running conflict between Colombo and the
Tamil Tigers did cast a shadow on tourism in
"After the war ended in 2009, ayurveda
business is picking up rapidly in Sri Lanka,"
said Kurup, who saw for himself that ayurve-
da clinics had sprouted along the island
nation's southwestern coast, the tourist hub.
Sri Lanka posing a challenge to Kerala
Jet's stake sale
to Etihad to raise
Rs 2,000 crore
You are 'manipulating' courts:
apex court to Sahara
w i n t e r s
and its time to dress up in
style. Also time to adorn your long
coats, soft woollies, tussar silks
and pashmina shawls. Time to
make a statement with dark
colours and deep shades with a tint
of colour thrown in, to bring out
the brighter element.
But Indian women are often
faced with a dilemma when sport-
ing a Sari in winters. They dont
know which woolen piece of cloth-
ing to wear with it to brave the
chill. Shawls are the first choice
women reach out for. But with the
fashion world opening endless pos-
sibilities for the trendy generation,
there has to be something other
than just shawls, to go with this
Indian attire.
Indian Designer, Ratna Jain,
the creative entrepreneur behind
the successful label, TANTRA,
has an enviable range of winter
friendly saris in velvet and pash-
mina. She has designed a collec-
tion of short and long jackets,
exclusively for the sari wearers.
over Sarees are
perfect wear for the sari wearers.
They give a smart, formal and tai-
lored look to this drape wear. Also
the sari pallu can be played around
with them. Jackets can be left
unbuttoned and the sari pallu can
be wrapped around your neck or
style the jacket fully over the pallu
in narrow pleats. Jackets can be
easily removed if it gets warm.
Jackets in wool, velvet and zardozi
work are best for the winter sari
wear. The range starts from Rs
30,000 to 60,000 for the exclusive
collection. I also have lots of pash-
mina and velvet saris for winters
in different hues and price rang-
ing from Rs 15000 to Rs 1.5
lakhs. The trick is to look
smart, colourful yet maintain
the essential traditional ele-
ment. Also long sleeved
blouses with saris look good
in winters. There are 2 piece
saris with shawls that function
as pallu for the women who
like the coordinated look. Then
there is velvet,
oxidised brocade and crushed raw
silk , all being worn by the women
in love with the vintage and ele-
gant look, opines the designer.
Winters sees an influx of heir-
loom saris being worn such as
Kanjivaram silks,
Designed by Ala & Rajan Madhu
Designed by Asha and Gautam Gupta
Winters Down Under are truly the time to dress up la
mode. Ritu Ghai catches up with the seasons spirit.
Benarasi brocade, woven Jamdani
saris, Zari work saris, textured
Tussar and Silk Saris coordinated
with embroidered shawls, Paithani
stoles and pallus, and quilted silk
jackets and waistcoats. Dark and
vibrant colors like navy blue, deep
greens, rich reds and profound
purples, saris come with a con-
trasting border, pallu or blouse
to offset the monotonous tone
of dark shades.
To wear in style
One can leave the left
front half of the jacket
unbuttoned, beneath the
pallu. The sari pallu can
also be wrapped around
the neck and brought
down in a straight line
towards the front just like
a pigeon front. Pallu can
also be pleated and pinned
to the jacket for a non fuss
Plain saris with pattern
shawls or embroidered for the
designer element, is also a popular
choice among women. A well-
coordinated shawl can be
to profuse a
sense of style
in the sari.
The shawl can
fall from a sin-
gle shoulder
for the straight
line look and
also wrapped
around later if
the mercury
dips further.
Bl ouses
Catering to
the woman
who wants to
chill out in the
chill wearing a
sari, designers
are creating
high neck and
full sleeve
blouses to
match with
their attire. As
the weather
gets colder,
sleeves go
longer and
e v e n
heroines are
covering their
arms with some
sleeves to keep
Three-fourth sleeves, full
length sleeves, puffed full length
sleeves, ruffs at the wrists, long
sleeves with fitted cuffs, , sleeves
that have a bunch of cloth accumu-
lated at the cuff area just like a
churidar, bell sleeves that are
either long or short but flare
towards the wrists creating the
shape of a bell. Blouses that make
you look soft, very feminine and
elegant. There are also the netted
or lace type long sleeves for the
delicate look to the wearer.
Coupled with textured and satin
petticoats, the woman is all set to
make a style statement to match
the season.
Sometimes high-neck blouse
with long sleeves worn with a long
chain makes a smart statement.
One can wear leggings for the
lower part of the body.
Designers are exploring with
new designs and shapes like never
before. They know that this
seraphic dress of Indian women is
a fashion statement because of the
innovative way its being worn
today - a knot here, a tuck in there,
a different style of the pallu, a
unique placement of the pleats and
much more.
By Neena Badhwar
IDU has always tried to
cover Indians doing inspir-
ing work in their new
homeland. Roopa Pemmaraju is
one of them - a young fashion
designer who wanted to do and
show something based on her
Indian sense of colours, textures
and styles, yet quite modern.
Struggling to find her niche,
Roopa has worked hard and in
the course of six years she has
come a long way.
It can be a frustrating exercise
to showcase ones creations
which take a lot of hard work,
imagination, coordination with
artisans and designs that manifest
the way a designer perceives.
When Roopa modelled her
clothes first on Sydneys presti-
gious Australian Fashion Week
catwalk, it was hard as every-
thing was new. Getting to know
the ropes of how things work in
Australia was a learning curve
for Roopa. Yet, she survived. In
fact, thrived.
Roopa learnt that she must be
unique in her own way. She
knew she was to present her
designs by finding a novel way to
make connections with this land.
And she did as she started to con-
tact Aboriginal art galleries and
approached them with her
designs using Aboriginal paint-
ings as designs in her creations.
The art galleries were skepti-
cal at first but they saw her gen-
uine interest and zeal to connect
to the artists here and use their art
on her clothes. The concepts
would go back home in India and
artisans would create designs
through embroidery, weaving
and prints. Now, Roopas fashion
is finally getting the recognition it
At the Mercedes-Benz
Fashion Week Australia 2013,
Roopas Autumn/Summer collec-
tion had quite an impact as mod-
els came on the catwalk. Simple,
practical, sensible and contempo-
rary styles created interest in the
fashion world.
Says Roopa, Initially it was
difficult to find a gallery that
shared our vision, and could trust
that we were not out to exploit
anyone but rather support indige-
nous art. By bringing together
two of the worlds most ancient
cultures to create wearable gar-
ments, weve seen exciting
fusions of cultures.
Coming to Australia and mak-
ing a contribution in a way that
both the cultures not only com-
municate but also prosper, form a
bond and create, enrich each
other through those creations can
be an exercise which can be quite
satisfying for Roopa, as she
quips, "We are delighted to facil-
itate this exchange of artistic
ideas and cultural heritage
between two ancient ways of
Roopa believes in fair trade
and ethical dealings with artists
and their communities, both here
and in India, as she says,
Royalties from the sale of each
garment are returned to artists
These are the qualities which
Roopa has, that make a real dif-
ho doesnt know Raj Suri by now in
Sydney as some of the famous
Aussie Indian girls in Bollywood
would vouch for him and look up to him for
all the advice, training, grooming and the
ability to handle the glitz and the glamour the
industry demands. Rajs impressive lineup
includes Vimala Raman who has by now done
close to 30 films in the south; Pallavi Sharda
who is now acting in Besharam against
Ranbir Kapoor; Ankita Ghazan who has
danced in Heroine with Kareena Kapoor and
the list goes on.
Says Raj, who has been running Miss
India Australia contest, If you think that just
by winning a beauty title one can land a role
in Bollywood, just forget it. There can be a
long queue of people who may be auditioning
on any one day, at times 150 of them, and if
you muck up your lines you are out, which is
quite possible.
Mumbai can be daunting to the newcom-
ers from abroad. Places such as Australia
where kids have had a cushy life and are not
used to the rough and tumble of Bollywood as
thousands of hopefuls come looking for a
break, Raj continues.
I try to train the girls in acting, audition-
ing, dancing that they know what a screen test
is like and how to go about when they land in
the extremely competitive world of
Bollywood. We line them up with acting
schools, agencies which can promote them to
the right people and are there to help them in
every way from finding accommodation to
handling daily life from traveling to fending
for themselves. I sit and explain to them in
front of their parents of all that is involved.
I tell them give your best shot and wait
and see whether you succeed. Bollywood is
not for all and all dont make it big. Its not
the title, or the talent, the beauty, the height
or how you carry yourself. Its all that and a
bit of luck that goes a long way.
Raj says that he puts his name behind
them and lines them up with casting agencies
that will organize work for them. Now just
knocking on doors or cold calling will not
work. There are these agencies that pick peo-
ple from the ground and give them training in
diction, tutoring them in script reading and
dance classes while helping them to achieve a
level of confidence that is needed to be in
Raj has a sharp eye for talent as he has
seen many girls compete in his Miss India
Contest which he runs now as a Talent
Search from across Australia. On April 17
Raj Suri announced the winner of Talent
Search 2013 in Sydney when Zenia Starr from
an impressive line up made it to the top. Zenia
has recently acted in a couple of Sydney films
which are soon to be released as she won a
trip to Malaysia with a photo shoot with Raj.
No wonder many of the girls selected by him
have been able to get a break. Up until now
many from down under tried and came back
disappointed but with Raj on your side any-
thing is possible.
I try to look for in them that special
quality that is needed. These are girls who are
quite special in their own unique way. They
are modern Australian women, some from
NRI families, others of mixed heritage, they
want to reach the stars and I try my best to
help them with their dreams. I advise that its
not always that one can strike lucky, yet it is
best that they give their best. If they succeed,
well and good, if not then at least they tried.
They still learn a lot in the process which can
help them anyway in their overall growth as a
Oh well! If you want a break in
Bollywood you have a guide and a mentor
right here in Australia. And his name is Raj
Raj helps you achieve your Bollywood dreams!
creations are
getting noticed
Raj Suri (Founder, Miss India Australia) with Vimla Raman (Actress, MIA Winner
2004), Zenia Starr (MIA 2013), Olivia Rose (winner 2012), Ankita Ghazan (winner
2011), Zinnia Jarif (Miss Photogenic 2013). Photo courtesy: Raj Suri.
At the Mercedes-Benz
Fashion Week
Australia 2013,
collection had quite
an impact.
Fashion designer Roopa Pemmaraju uses Aboriginal paintings as designs in her creations,
worked on by Indian craftsmen.
ristina Keneally is well
known in our local Indian
community. Not only has
she wooed us by wearing Saris
and Shalwar Kameez whenever
she attended community functions
as NSW Premier, Kristina also
quite delicately yet deftly dealt
with the sensitive Indian student
issue during her tenure.
Not resting on the sidelines as
a past Premier, Kristina quite
readily got into charity work as
she visited India twice having
taken up challenging role as
ambassador for microfinance
provider for Opportunity
International. Says she, Like the
characters in the Best Exotic
Marigold Hotel, I found myself
overwhelmed by the colours and
smells, the vibrancy and density
of people and by the country
itself. India is so wonderfully,
incredibly foreign and so alive.
Kristina talks to The Indian
Down Under about her visit to
India and the work she is doing on
behalf of Opportunity
From NSW Premier to
working for the poor in India as
ambassador of Opportunity
International, how has the tran-
sition been for you?
Kristina Keneally: Its self-
serving to be able to give a hand
to Opportunity International in a
small way the generous work they
are doing in India. It has been
quite an incredibly humbling
experience really. As a former
Premier I was able to publical-
ly speak about social justice.
For me it has been a jour-
ney of faith and my hus-
band also likes this kind of
work and holds similar val-
ues. Personally I was influ-
enced very early, at 22
years, with my experience
at the World Youth Day
where I met him. From poli-
tics to working for the poor
in India it has been a step in
the right direction. I have in
my own way experienced
moments of grace, death of
my mother-in-law, then baby
daughter and to see poor
women in India living in
squalor to help them become
self reliant and help them
make their future is quite
remarkable really.
Opportunity International
is doing great work in India
with micro financing poor
women and helping them train
as community health facilitators,
not only skilling themselves but
also enabling others to help pre-
vent illnesses and improve nutri-
tion of children, of people around
them and thus save lives is really
You were the first woman
premier who wore Indian
clothes and mixing with local
Indian community. How was
your experience when you first
visited India?
Kristina: India was over-
whelming, so vibrant. It assaulted
my senses in a way that
is hard to explain. Number of peo-
ple, sights, sounds can be quite
unfamiliar to a westerner. I wasnt
sure about visiting a slum yet
when I saw women whose life had
been transformed with micro
financing. I left India with great
sense of positive feeling. I could
see that people can help them-
selves if helped.
How would you like Indian
community to get involved in
your pursuit of helping Indian
women make their lives better?
Kristina: By helping train a
woman through Opportunity
International which takes six
months of training a girl in health
hygiene, child health and nutri-
tion. India has good medical facil-
ities and doctors, yet there are
limits to health care insurance,
clean water. Education can help
bring sustainable change and sup-
porting that vision will be a terrif-
ic way for the Indian community
to help build healthy communities
in India. It only costs $165 to train
one woman as health educator and
facilitator for six months. I would
like the Indian community here to
actively participate, donate and
help make a lasting change as
there are as many as 1600 death
per day due to poor hygiene, lack
of clean water, poor nutrition and
lack of basic health treatment
amongst the poor. Education
starts from home with women and
Opportunity International is tar-
geting young women who can
help them help make a long term
tangible impact in their lives.
Visit Opportunity
International's website and find
how you can help in various ways:
Former NSW Premier Kristina
Keneally during her visit to India.
Meet an ambassador for microfinance
TIDU interviewed former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally in her role as
Ambassador for microfinance provider Opportunity International Australia.
By Ritu Ghai
urpassing the vicissitudes of old age, two youthfully
aged persons talk about having no time to think and pon-
der about how old they are. Krishna Sharma, 79 and
Krishna Arora, 85, have probably tasted the fountain of
youth. They are busy, happy and living life on their own
terms. However, their first names are purely coincidental.
These two abhi-toh-main-jawaan-hoon people have shown
us that time clock does not stop but ageing can be delayed.
Their mantra for living is they enjoy what they are doing.
A few tips to live long and healthy are:
Be active
Be optimistic
Do not oversleep. More than eight hours is
Eat well and add antioxidants to your diet like blue-
berries and cinnamon;
Exercise regularly and lose weight;
Start saving or investing wisely as you will need that
cash to not only sustain yourself but also enjoy life and chill
out with friends;
Socializing, emotional stability and openness to learn
new things can actually redefine the concept of old age.
Krishna Sharma Age with no side effects
t the age of 79, he holds a responsible post in the
office, lives in Yemen and greets every day with a new
spirit and more work. Whatever free time he gets, he
enjoys Internet browsing, reading his emails which are most-
ly work related and a few inspirational ones from his friends.
Before leaving for his office, he updates his Facebook status
and never forgets to throw in a comment or two on his daugh-
ters pictures.
Still actively working, Krishna Sharma is presently based
in the Republic of Yemen on a water resources development
project under the World Bank guidelines. With 45 years of
experience in water resources planning, design, management
and development of water resources projects, he is actually a
storehouse of knowledge on water related solutions.
Having worked in Iraq, Nepal, Lao Peoples Democratic
Republic and extensively in India, Krishna Sharma has a work
experience that can be better explained in a biography than in
an article. But dig beneath this always-at-work facade of his
and you come across a sensitive,
caring and social person who
likes to attend parties and
get-togethers, travelling to
new places and spending
time with his grandchildren.
I meet my old time
friends and feel indulgent
warmth towards our school
days memories. As we take a
trip down memory lane, a
youthful spirit infuses into me
and I actually start feeling
younger. I believe that interact-
ing with friends reverses
aging, says Krishna Sharma.
Father to three daughters,
Krishna Sharma has always been
taken care of by his children,
especially after the death of his
wife in 2001. I have a daughter
settled in Melbourne and two are
in India. So its home for me in
both the countries. I love inter-
acting with my eldest grandson,
Ashish, a Yale
graduate and my only
granddaughter, a doctor in
Singapore. Back home in
India, I spend my time
playing brain games with
my grandsons, Shaurya in
class 12 and Shubham in
class 9. My eldest daughter
has a son with slow learn-
ing abilities and I devote
time in making him learn
new things of his level of
understanding. An inner
satisfaction is felt, each
and every time he
responds, explains Mr
Sharing his old age
experience with his chil-
dren and grandchildren,
he is shaping their per-
sonalities and trying to
inculcate values of
family and culture in them.
Probably this is where
his zest for life comes
from. Also the fact
that he admires the
evergreen hero of
Indian cinema, Dev Anand, has something to do with Krishna
Sharmas penchant for living life to the fullest.
Enjoying working is the secret of staying young. I know
that genes affect your health and longevity but a lot depends
on lifestyle and an optimistic attitude. I adhere to 'Satvik' and
controlled (fibrous) bhojan and working hard with a relaxed
mood, he says.
I always remember one poem by poet Walter D Wintle:
If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you'd like to win but think you can't,
It's almost certain you won't.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.
Krishna Sharma believes in the verse from Bhagwat Gita
Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshou kada chana - Ma
Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarmani which
means - You have the right to perform your actions, but you
are not entitled to the fruits of the actions. Do not let the fruit
be the purpose of your actions, and therefore you wont be
attached to not doing your duty.
Hall of Fame for this lady
e take a look at the humming life of Krishna Arora
and find that there is nothing boring or expected
about this 85-year-young lady. Settled in
Melbourne, Krishna Arora has never been so busy as she is
She came to Australia in 1992 as her daughter wanted her
to join the family in Melbourne. Before coming here, I had
taught in The Institute of Hotel Management on Pusa Road in
New Delhi for several years and joined the Asian Memorial
Institute of Hotel Management and Catering in Chennai as
their Founder Principal. After working there for six years, I
moved to Australia and have been here ever since.
When I came here, I found that a majority of the migrants
were lonely and to get rid of this loneliness they did commu-
nity work. I thought it was a great idea and embarked on the
same. I even worked in an Op shop for six years voluntarily.
Having led a busy life in India, I was equally determined to be
active here. Soon enough I was able to adjust here with ease
and lan, happily working with my community work. I also
started tele-cooking services and writing food recipes for a
monthly community paper.
I am happy that the seniors here seem to be enjoying
themselves. The Australian Government takes good care of
them, she says.
Krishna Arora has been an active participant of communi-
ty events and she has even organized catering services for 29
days continuously for 1,100 people in Melbourne.
Krishna Arora is also a co-founder of the Indian Senior
Citizens Association. Into community service for two decades,
Krishna Arora has always been appreciated for her work. And
the accolades have continued to flow in especially after she
was honoured with the Shilling Wall Tribute award by the
multicultural commission of the Australian state of Victoria
for her outstanding contribution to the community.
With her name engraved on Queen Victorias Women
Centre (QVWC) Wall, Krishna Arora refuses to slow down or
even stop for a while and ponder over her age. Ha! Its just
a number. I have so much to do still, she laughs it off and
dashes off to yet another task.
Age is no bar for
living full life
Krishna Sharma with grandsons Shubham and Shaurya
Krishna Arora taking cookery classes at 85 years of age
Prince and Amit Sana do a
jugalbandi for Sydney
Coming to light through Dance India Dance and Indian Idol, the two
young men reflect on the road to stardom via TV reality shows.
By Neeru Saluja
mit Sana and Prince Gupta have
become household names in India,
thanks to TV reality shows. Amit
Sana was the first runner-up at the Indian
Idol (Season 1) and Prince, popularly
known as Prince of popping and locking,
ruled everyones hearts with his groovy
dance moves. As they came to Sydney to
perform for the Holi Dhoom Mela, TIDU
interviewed them to learn more about the
young budding stars of an emerging India.
Tell us about your journey - how did
talent shows make you stars?
Amit Sana: I participated in the first
Indian Idol (Season 1) and was declared the
first runner-up. Since then, there has been
no looking back. It has taken me through a
musical journey. I was a classical singer
and now I have started singing contempo-
rary songs for Bollywood movies and have
even made some of my own albums.
Prince: I was a participant of Dance
India Dance Season 1. No one performs
locking and popping style of dance in India
which I learnt from YouTube. I was deter-
mined to do something unique which people
had not seen. I have done many shows in
India and this is my second overseas show.
Have you two ever performed togeth-
er before?
Amit Sana: No, never before. In fact,
Im very fond of dancing; so I may learn a
few new steps from Prince!
Prince: This is the first time Im per-
forming with Amit Sana. I have always
done solo shows. A jugalbandi will be a
fantastic idea!
If you didnt end up winning the real-
ity shows, would you have reached the
platform where you are right now?
Amit Sana: With reality shows, no
doubt, the process is faster. I belong to a
small town called Chhattisgarh and have
had classical training for 12 years. But
without Indian Idol, I wouldnt have had the
same exposure. Now Im a known face,
thanks to television. I didnt win the compe-
tition, but Ive got love from my fans all
over the world. I was an introvert, but
thanks to Sony and Indian idol, in three
months I had good training, grooming and
now Im confident and have a better under-
standing of the world.
Prince: I was a normal kid who used to
play cricket and football. I was very good
at and have represented Gujarat at the state
level. But once my school timings changed,
I could not attend coaching classes and then
joined dance classes. After two years I par-
ticipated in the Dance India Dance contest.
I was just 16 when I participated in the con-
test and got fame. If not for the talent show
I would have never been able to show my
talent. The only difference is that I used to
dance for two hours, now I dance more!
What are your views on young chil-
dren participating in talent shows?
Prince: Its fine until they are not miss-
ing out on their studies and its not obscene.
The rules are quite strict and the age limit
is monitored from time to time. I was
recently a mentor and choreographer at
Dance India Dance Little Masters and it
was a huge responsibility on me.
For us viewers, we only see the action
happening on the stage. What happens
behind the stage? Is there a lot of compe-
Amit Sana: There is a lot of pressure.
We have ongoing rehearsals starting from
song selection to choosing the right instru-
ments. Every contestant wants to prove
himself or herself; so the competition is
tough. On top of that, we have to handle
media which makes it very tough.
Nowadays lots of young artists use
social media to promote themselves.
What are your views on it?
Amit Sana: I use Facebook and have a
page dedicated for my fans. I believe social
media is an excellent platform to convey
latest news about yourself and the events
happening. There are a few people who
post fake IDs, but even that promotes us!
Social media is also about promoting your-
self and then people promote you.
Prince: Social media is free and has lots
of benefits. I learnt my dance style from
YouTube. If I write today that Im in
Sydney, everyone will be interested. Its
also good for chatting with friends from all
over the world. I also like people fighting
over me when I participate in contests!
What are your future plans?
Amit Sana: Im currently working on
three music albums in collaboration with
Planet M. I have always played the key-
board and am now learning the guitar. I
idolise Sonu Nigam and would like to be
like him one day. Showbiz is not an easy
business and I continue to reflect on myself.
Prince: I was recently selected as a
dancer in the latest 3D movie ABCD. It
was a great experience to work with Prabhu
Deva. Dance is my life; it always will be an
important part of my life. One day I would
love to become a dance director. Though
nowadays, if once you enter the showbiz
industry, you can be a dancer, choreogra-
pher and then diversify by changing profes-
sions. Many TV actors are entering films
and singers are becoming actors.
What advice would you like to give to
budding Australian Indian artists who
participate in the talent shows here?
Amit Sana: Singers should concentrate
on Indian music. I have a strong Indian
classical background. You maybe from
Australia, but always remember you are
going to make India proud. Everyone wants
to be cool but in contests there is always a
pressure to pursue your dream.
Prince: I have been very lucky but you
need to work hard to know how to dance. I
practice everyday and you need to continue
practising and keep yourself update with the
latest trends.
As Amit Sana started off the press con-
ference by singing the song anjaani rahein
anjaani manzil from his first album, we
couldnt resist asking Prince to end the con-
ference by showing off his locking and
popping moves. Both of them entertained
us with their fresh talent.
We wish them the best for their future.
Prince Gupta
Amit Sana
By Neena Badhwar
evinder Singh Dharia is someone I
know in Sydney who makes me laugh
whenever we meet. He just makes
these Indian limericks on the spot. Driving his
taxi he keeps his customers happy and enter-
tains them with his take on English as he is
just a natural rhymester- that is whatever you
say Dharia is quick to match it with a word
mostly funny. He wont just say hello to a
person, he will add a few rhyming couplets
too. Supposing he meets someone named
Mary He will sayHello MaryEating
Cherry? If going to city take ferrywant
another job then see Harry. To someone
Dharia helps while teaching them to
driveand very nicely he will say: O Dear!
put second gear and dont fear! To a passen-
ger in taxi: The passenger says do you mind
if I drinkDharia sees a Coke can in his hand
and will answer you can drink but dont get
drunk. The passenger answers but its only
Coke.. Dharia replies no its just a joke.
Dharia has kept Sydney entertained with
his jovial nature and his philosophy is very
simple, Life ji badi vadiya guzar rai ai he
says. Always in the front to help, always
ready to sing, Dharia came to Australia in
1989 and made sure he had his instrument
Tumbi with him. He had spent 8 years train-
ing under his guru Ustad Yamla Jat. He says
during his childhood years he would hear
Ustads renditions and remembers his Sat
guru teri leela badi pyari ai morning and
evening. Says Dharia, I had listened to his
geets so many times that his voice was in my
blood. I would try to sing like him while
going to school and while coming back. And
tukbandi that is rhyming became my pas-
sion. Even at school I would always say
chutkale in rhymes and my Punjabi teacher
always found them funny. She used to come
to school on a bicycle and once when she saw
me after school I must have said something
that she dropped the bike and there she was
cacking away lying on the ground with feet
So I spent my time making
Chhand/Bandhsinging Puran Bhagats story
and very soon I went on All India Radio hav-
ing auditioned for it and was on Jalandhar
Doordarshan as well.
When Dharia came here in 1989 he start-
ed Bhangra Academy and his Punjabi Sangeet
Centre that he formed to promote Punjabi folk
music and dance is now 21 years old. During
2000 Sydney Olympics Dharia and his fifteen
students were selected to present Bhangra to
be part of the main ceremony. Dharia has also
performed for NSW Art Gallery, Diwali
Mela, Parramasala and has organized
Vaisakhi Mela in Blacktown which is
now in its 10th year. He has also per-
formed in Gurdwaras all over
Australia, in Renmark, in Woolgoolga.
And it does not just stop there, Dharia
has even performed at Helensburgh
Temple, Minto Mandir and many
other places. Believing in teachings
of Sadguru Ramdev, Dharias
music is for all and transcends all
boundaries of religion, caste or any
other differences.
Well coming to this March I
ring up Dharia when he says,
Neenaji have you seen my Meri
Jhanjar on YouTube Obviously I
have not. He excitedly says, My son
Pav used to say Dad theres no value
to geets as only Video can give weight
to your passion. Pav made video of
my song whose lyrics are by
Ustadji, its liked so
much that it has been
viewed by over
20,000 peo-
I go and
check the
v i d e o
has been
vi ewed
b y
m o r e
t h a n
40, 000
Dharia was
so excited
that he told
his wife
Su k h wi n d e r ,
Bhaliye! Now
you see I will be
Pav Dharia, his son
who is a trained pilot, has
made many video albums which
he self learnt as photography
has been his passion. Making
video albums for some of my friends and
my own I thought I must do something for
dad as he has had big influence on me.
Although his style is quite old school and
mine more modern, hiphop/RNB etc I want-
ed to make an album and show dad how we
can give a lift to his music.
Pav went ahead, conceptualized the idea
of jhanjar and built a story around it which
almost took him a year to do. Pavs own
video Bewafa has been viewed over 500,000
times, and another Pol Teri, has had around
couple of lakh views.
Pavs video albums are beautiful as he is
a great story teller, not only have they a cer-
tain special quality to them that you keep on
watching, one can see that Sydney has pro-
duced a talented guy in our midst. Obviously
Pavs interpretation of Dharias Jhanjar is
also making waves on the net. Like
father like son!
Devinder Dharias Meri Jhanjar
a YouTube hit
Suppose Dev
Dharia meets
named Mary
He will say
Hello Mary
Eating Cherry?
If going to city
another job
then see
Pav Dharia, like father like son
Devinder Dharia drives a taxi, has organized Vaisakhi
Mela in Blacktown for 10 years, talks in rhymes and has
released a video with help from his son.
By Neena Badhwar
here is a Bollywood movie which is
due to be released, Bhaag Milkha
Bhaag, based on the great Indian run-
ner Milkha Singh, starring Farhan Akhtar.
He was a great runner who won many gold
medals and represented India in Olympics as
Sydneysiders honoured another Punjabi
hero, Fauja Singh, the oldest Punjabi
marathon runner from London, who visited
Australia in March. He was present at the
Vaisakhi celebrations at the NSW Parliament
House when he was honoured by the Punjabi
Council of Australia in the presence of many
The Punjabi Council of Australia also
organised a community dinner for him along
with Deep Dhillon, a well known Punjabi
Fauja Singh, a sprightly old man with a
captivating broad smile, of seemingly gentle
persona captured everyones attention as he
sat quietly, perhaps reflecting on times past.
The centenarian was detached from the
world yet was a part of it. Born on April 1,
1911, a whole 100 and two years had passed
him by. Fauja Singh is a walking history of
two great wars and much more. He has very
little to say when he uttered Sat Sri Akaal
to the audience. At 102 years of age he
seems to be a young 70-years-old athlete,
although in an autobiography by Khushwant
Singh, the writer goes further saying Faujas
bone mass is that of a 40-year-old.
Remembers Fauja his childhood: My
legs were so spindly and weak that the vil-
lage folk used to call me danda, and he
recalls his Toronto marathon when the
blonde masseurs, seeing his legs with hardly
any flesh on them, were baffled.
His family brought Fauja Singh to UK in
1995 after his son in India had died in a freak
accident and he had gone into severe depres-
sion. It was only after his second trip that he
acclimatised and decided to make London
home. Though illiterate, Fauja Singh carried
a card with his details and learnt to travel on
his own to his favourite haunts and even
learnt to recognize buses and their companies
which took him back to his house. He knew
the importance of family members working
abroad and he became self sufficient by vis-
iting gurdwaras either by bus or by walking.
For an old man to pass his time, he
needs good company said Fauja when he
met a kabaddi player who introduced him to
jogging. And there was no looking back
since. Soon, Fauja Singh saw a marathon on
local television which intrigued him and a
lucky opportunity arose when in 1999 Fauja
ran 20 miles for the benefit of cancer
Simpleton Fauja Singh lives in a world of
his own, describing BBC, in Chandigarh
based journalist Khushwant Singhs biogra-
phy on Fauja titled Sikhs Unlimited, as a
company that has loudspeakers all over the
world. Numerous articles have since been
written on this old man who has been hon-
oured, invited by Punjabi community all
over the world, even in US where he met
former US president George Bush.
Fauja Singh is a very determined young
old man as he wanted to enter Flora
Marathon for which he went around himself
asking people to nominate him. He
approached community and religious lead-
ers, and politicians as he put his appeal by
pressing a thumb impression.
One Harminder Singh came as a messiah
who helped Fauja enter the marathon by rep-
resenting a charity called BLISS which
works for premature infants. BLISS was too
happy that an 88-year-old man was keen on
running for them, giving them the punch line
oldest running for the youngest for their
charity, provided he donated 1400 pounds to
Fauja Singh was put through a rigorous
routine to get ready for the 26.2 km
marathon as his son dutifully took him for
practice to ensure fitness as he ran the 2.5
miles route and back along with other exer-
cises as his coach helped him with hill train-
ing, adapting his running style and helped
regulate his breathing.
At the race Fauja met an American
marathon runner older than him but Fauja
managed to finish the race in 6 hour, 54 min-
utes and 42 seconds,
full one hour ahead of the American.
The American runner had given him
a few helpful hints before the race
which, of course, Fauja did not
understand and only nodded his
head. This was the start of
Faujas new career at the age of
Since this first marathon.
Fauja has run in many marathons
in the UK, USA and Canada and
has set many records in the 90
plus category, at times beating
his own records. No one
else of his age bracket has
completed the marathons in
less than 7 hours and 52 min-
Fauja even completed the toughest
marathon of all the Great North Run
Marathon from Newcastle to South
Shields in just 2 hours and 39 minutes
while in Toronto he ran the Scotia
Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 5
hours and 40 minutes, becoming the
only 90 plus man on the planet to
have finished it in less than six
hours. It was the proudest moment
of his life.
Says Fauja who started to run
at the ripe old age of 89, I want the
young to be inspired to take up
physical activity and maintain it
through their lives. Hopefully they
will see the folly of taking drugs. I
also want the elderly to embark on
getting fitter if I can run my first
marathon so late in life, no one should
use the excuse of old age as a barrier."
Fauja ran his last official race in
Hong Kong on February 24 this year a
10 km event. He has this advice, Balance
your exercise of different muscle
groups, use specialists such as chi-
ropractors, train every day for at
least half an hour, as you get
older, adjust your attitude to
accept slowing down and still enjoy
it and run in competition.
Fauja is so adamant on running
that he has this attitude about daud
meaning marathon run, Ki kadi
tan mukegi though his longevity
stems from strict discipline and diet
and a certain kind of detachment.
His diet is very simple. Unlike
typical Punjabis, Fauja is quite picky
and fussy about foods. At 5 feet 8
inches, he only weighs 53 kg, and has
relaxing heart beat of 52 beats per
second and bone density of a 40-year
old. His mantra is eat to live as
opposed to live to eat. He does not
like cauliflower, refrains from eat-
ing bhindi and rice and recom-
mends lentils and bitter gourd
(karela) which are his favourites.
And obiviously Chaa Indian
tea which he takes on rising at 6.30
am. He takes with tea, a pinni made
of alsi (linseed) and a bowl of home
made yoghurt and two glasses of
water. The total round being 8 miles
when he finally reaches
home. This is his daily
routine. Fauja loves man-
goes, which he believes
help him from constipa-
tion. His dinner is light
which is lentil soup
heavily granished
with fresh gin-
ger. He says,
Its the
sealing of
my lips
to cer-
t a i n
f oods
t h a t
h a s
c o n -
tributed to
F a u j a
Singh is the
hero of
Punjabis and
wins every-
one with his
g e n e r o u s
smile as if
he is bless-
ing every-
one. He is a
true inspira-
tion to us
Run, Fauja, run
Starting in his eighties, Fauja Singh has run many marathons and set
many records, inspiring us all. He was honored in Sydney in March.
Fauja Singh with Moninder Singh, President Punjabi Council of Australia and Sumati
Advani, Aruna Chandrala, Vrinda Kumar and Mala Mehta Fauja Singh honoured at the NSW Parliament
Age no barrier
r. Marlene Kanga is one of
the most influential engineers
in Australia. An Indian, she
has resided in Sydney for over 30
years. In late 2012 she was elected as
the National President of Engineers
This is a huge honour. Engineers
Australia is the national professional
association for engineers in Australia
with over 106,000 members. As
National President, Marlene Kanga
will be one of a small group of
women who have become national
leaders of the engineering profession
in the country, a significant achieve-
ment in a profession which continues
to have less than ten percent repre-
sentation of women.
I obtained my first degree in
Chemical Engineering from the IIT,
Mumbai. They have awarded me with
a Distinguished Alumni Award this
year for my achievements in the engi-
neering profession, a first for a
woman engineer, she said.
All-rounder Marlene is a
Chartered Professional Engineer and
a Fellow of Engineers Australia (one
of 100 women) and Engineers New
Zealand (one of 16 women). So it is a
rare achieve-
ment for a
woman to be
recognised as
a Fellow of
both profes-
sional organi-
sations. She
has spe-
cialised in
risk engi-
neering and
is registered
on the Board
o f
En g i n e e r s
Marl ene
is the first
Chemical Engineer to be a National
President as well as the first who is
Asian-born and a mother. These char-
acteristics embody the diversity of the
engineering profession and demon-
strate that it can be a rewarding and
fulfilling career for anyone.
She was first elected to the
National Council of Engineers
Australia in 2007, where she has
strengthened governance and process-
es to ensure equal opportunity for all
members and continues to ensure that
the members are served effectively
and every member has an opportunity
for professional development and to
make a contribution to the profession.
Marlene was Chair of the
Innovation Taskforce which prepared
a report on Innovation in
Engineering, which was launched at
the Australian Parliament House last
June. The aim of the report was to
make Australians and the community
more aware of the importance of
engineering innovation and to engage
pro-actively with the government in
influencing relat-
ed policies.
I believe that
it is important for
all Australians
and especially
young people to
understand that
engineering is a
dynamic, creative
and innovative
p r o f e s s i o n ,
Marlene said.
En g i n e e r i n g
innovation is vital
to modern life
and for Australia to maintain its com-
petitiveness as the 12th largest econo-
my in the world, she said.
Besides, she is an advocate for
women engineers and was Chair of
the National Committee for Women
in Engineering, Engineers Australia,
during 2008-2009 and Deputy Chair
during the very successful Year of
Women in Engineering in 2007,
which also won a National
Engineering Excellence Award.
Her strategic initiatives to
Attract, Retain, Support and
Celebrate women in the engineering
profession has resulted in ongoing
support for women engineers with
membership growth being the fastest
segment in Engineers Australia. She
was Co-Chair of ICWES -- The
International Conference for Women
Engineers and Scientists which was
held in Adelaide in July 2011, the
first time such a conference was held
in Australia.
Is there anything Marlene Kanga
cannot achieve in the field of
As a National Councillor, she has
implemented many changes which are
significant to the engineering profes-
sion. She has strengthened the organ-
isations support for diversity via the
Career Break Policy, increasing the
number of women engineers on the
Institutions Engineering College
Boards and implementing programs
to increase the number of women
who become Fellows and Honorary
Fellows in the organisation. Her
efforts in 2011 and 2012 have
increased the number of women who
are Honorary Fellows by 100 per-
cent. She is also a Board member of
the International Network for Women
Engineers and Scientists (INWES)
and a founding member of the Asia
Pacific Nation Network (APNN),
which mentors other women engi-
neering organisations in the Asia
Pacific. She hosted the first INWES
APNN meeting in Adelaide in July
2011 and this has gone on to support
the development of networks for
women in engineering in other coun-
tries in Asia including Mongolia and
Marlene represents Australia at
the World Federation of Engineering
Organisations (WFEO) and is a mem-
ber of its Committee for Women in
Engineering. She is also a member of
the Committee for Disaster Risk
Management and is Chair of a Sub-
Committee for developing resources
for increased resilience against natu-
ral disasters, especially in developing
countries. The expertise of members
of this Committee will go a long way
in assisting developing countries to
prepare for and recover from natural
disasters. There is more! She is co-
founder and Director of iOmniscient
Pty. Ltd., which is the leading sup-
plier of intelligent surveillance sys-
tems internationally. The company
has developed patented software tech-
nology, based on Australian research
and has won multiple awards interna-
tionally. The system has been
installed in large airports, transporta-
tion and public infrastructure in
Australia, Asia, the Middle East and
Europe. The company has more than
30,000 software licenses installed in
more than 20 countries. Major cus-
tomers include Qantas, Disneyworld
and BP. International sales account
for 90% of revenues.
As National President of
Engineers Australia, Kangas priority
will be to demonstrate that engineer-
ing makes an invaluable contribution
to modern life. Young people espe-
cially need to understand the exciting
possibilities that engineering offers as
a career. She also believes it is impor-
tant to engage with government, the
media and the broader community to
influence the decisions which involve
engineering such as resource utilisa-
tion, water management and sustain-
ability. Marlene was on the cover of
a recent issue of Engineers Australia
magazine. In that magazine, Dr Tim
Kannegieter describes her strong per-
sonality accurately: She has strong
views and is not afraid to let them be
known to good effect She has a
long history of driving change at
Engineers Australia. She facilitated
development of the first risk manage-
ment framework for Engineers
Australia which is now being used to
guide internal auditing processes.
Apart from her engineering excel-
lence, Marlene is a friendly person
who oozes charm. She and her hus-
band Rustom (a PhD) are proud par-
ents of Zubin, a pianist of interna-
tional fame and Jehan who conducts
Madrigal and other concerts.
Music and engineering must have
a genetic link!
Meet Marlene Kanga, the National
President of Engineers Australia
Kersi Meher-Homji interviews a
dynamic Indian engineer
Marlene (third from left) honoured by the United
Indian Association Womens Committee on
International Womens Day, March 2011 in Sydney.
he book is anything but average. In parts it is
witty, in parts it is repetitive and full of exaggera-
tions. Mostly it is written tongue-in-cheek. Taken
in small doses it is funny with intelligent take-offs
when describing the average Indian male.
It is amusing to read
the authors random
thoughts and flights of
fancy on frailties of
Prakashes, Kapoors,
Dalals, Dariuses,
Paramjits, Himanshus,
Dhirajes, Swaminathans
and a host of others who
colour the book with their
body odours, flatulence
and onion-worship. Not to
mention their love (and
fear) of their mothers,
holding hands of another
male, nodding their heads
non-stop and their pave-
But is it accurate for todays IT-oriented modern
Indian male?
Cyrus Broacha is a stand-up comic of repute in India
but some of his spoken jokes do not translate well in writ-
ten essays. With an effective spoken delivery, lifting of
an eye-brow and pregnant pauses, a stand-up comic can
arouse the audience to laughter and prolonged applause.
For a book, this is not always possible. A naughty
joke with a raised eyebrow and pursed lips can animate
the listeners into a frenzy of clapping. The written word
does not have eyebrows and lips. It has to have something
extra to retain the readers interest.
Repetition is the hallmark of good comedy, written or
oral, but at times the authors repetitions stretch too far,
especially when he exaggerates his exaggerations. To use
a cricket terminology, he lofts many sixes but going for
more he gets caught in no mans land.
The book is divided in two parts: Book 1 starts with
questions from readers -- mostly non-Indian females -- on
how to deal with the average Indian male. The question-
answer format is entertaining if you read two chapters at
a time. But more is not merrier.
I enjoyed the following amusing lines in the book:
The [Indian] wifes job is absolutely parallel to a
trampoline artists. She has to bounce around the dinner
table attending to each and every persons need... She has
to jump from chair to chair like a bunny rabbit on speed
serving hot food.
A flurry of wrists and fingers and the comb would
be returned to the back right pocket barely visible to the
naked eye (although I see no sense in the phrase because
eyes, as you all know, are almost always naked as a
The male would have to answer to his mother-in-
law, his second cousins step-daughter, his son, his own
maternal grandmother, all at the same time. A few of our
ancestors, like the legendary Ravan, could cope with this
as he had on good authority, ten heads (one shudders at
his dentists bills).
And never forget Kim Jungs dying words, A vice
may well be vice, but its better to be greedy than
Book 2 is more philosophical, deciphering the inco-
herent thoughts of -- you guessed it the average Indian
male. I enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek chapter on
Aryabhattas concept of zero and how his nothingness
philosophy explains Indians being always late. I thought
the originator of zero-concept was former Indian Test
spinner BS Chandrasekhar!
I better submit this review for TIDU readers right
away before I am accused of suffering from Aryabhattas
The Average Indian Male by Cyrus
Broacha, Random House India,
246 Pages, Rs 199.
Marlene Kanga
presenting the
Taskforce report at
NSW parliament
GOPIO takes seniors on a
memorable cruise
By Manju Mittal
Great Day Out for seniors organised
by GOPIO on Sunday, April 7 - a
really nice three-hour cruise starting
from Woolwich wharf. The boat was packed
with people but there was plenty of space
and time to take great pictures. The weather
cooperated and that made it much better.
Elderly people enjoyed sunshine and sat on
the upper deck to enjoy the magnificent
views across the harbour.
Seniors were looked after very well by
GOPIO members, serving food, drinks,
excellently chosen old music, musical
games, sharing poetry and other activities.
Three hours passed quickly as people
mixed and mingled, bonding with each other
and enjoying wonderful views and Sydney
skyline. Volunteers helped to make this day
a great success, especially the ones who pro-
vided transport for those who could not
drive. Sponsors donated not
only their time but also several
gift vouchers. The delicious
catering was courtesy of Maya da Dhaba
and their kheer and gulab jamuns were rel-
ished by all. DJ Upkar Mandy entertained
with his excellent sound and music as local
artist Anand Arora kept his audience
enthralled by his beautiful songs. Usha
Bariyas dance was the highlight of the day.
Lucky Singh, president of GOPIO, thanked
all sponsors, seniors,
guests and families while Hemu Negi cap-
tured beautiful moments on his camera for
memories of a wonderful day.
GOPIO (Global Organisation of People
of Indian Origin) Australia has earned itself
another feather in their cap for organising
and making many seniors smile. While
everyone went back home happy they are
already talking of the cruise next year.
By Manju Mittal
prominent Sydney busi-
nessman Minhas Zulfiqar
(CEO & Owner of Crowne
Plaza Norwest) passed away in
tragic circumstances in his home
city Karachi on March 20. The
news has been a shock to the com-
munity having lost a very generous
man who was always ready to help
those in need.
Minhas Zulfiqar was shot dead
in Karachi after he refused to hand
over money he had just withdrawn
from an ATM. The 55-year-old
was shot multiple times in the
upper body and was pronounced
dead at hospital a short time later.
After shooting Mr. Zulfiqar, the
bandits robbed him of his money.
Minhas Zulfiqar and his wife
Razia had been on a working holi-
day, visiting family in Karachi and
attending to shops they own in
Pakistan. They were due to fly
back to Australia on the night he
was killed.
Well known in the community
and with local politicians, Minhas
was a fine example of multicultur-
al success story with whose help
many charity groups benefited as
he supported their charity fund
raisers. He was known for his sup-
port of Inala - a local organisation
that provides services and support
for the disabled. He had been run-
ning his business successfully for
the past 10 years as his hotel won
many business awards under his
stewardship at Crowne. Hills Shire
Mayor Dr Michelle Byrne said she
enjoyed Mr Zulfiqar's company
and his loss would be felt through-
out the Hills business community.
"I always enjoyed talking to
Minhas. He was a gentle giant and
a truly wonderful man," she said.
David Elliott, State MP said,
Minhas was a larger-than-life
identity. I cannot recall a local
event or charity that has not bene-
fited from his generosity.
A memorial Service was held
for Minhas Zulfiqar at his hotel
Crowne Plaza Norwest on the
afternoon of March 22 when many
of his friends, community mem-
bers and associates gathered to pay
condolences to the family. Minhas
Zulfikar will be greatly missed as
the community has lost a great
supporter and a benevolent mem-
ber. Our heartfelt condolences go
to his wife Razia and two adult
sons and their families.
On April 5, in another memo-
rial meeting, Julie Owens, Federal
Member for Parramatta, said, I
wish to express my deepest sorrow
to the family and friends of the late
Mr Minhas Zulfiqar, a highly
respected and successful member
of the Australian community who
we, all of us, are very sad to have
lost under such tragic circum-
stances. Our prayers are with the
Zulfikar family in their time of
deep grief.
Minhas Zulfiqar (third from left) with Premier Barry OFarrell,
colleague Ajay Khanna and NSW MP David Elliott at an award cer-
emony at the Crowne Plaza Norwest Hotel
President of GOPIO, Sydney Lucky Singh
talking to seniors on the cruise
Sydneysiders enjoy a wonderful day at the cruise
Community mourns loss of Minhas Zulfiqar
By Manpreet Kaur Singh
ost of us think that Sikh or South Asian migra-
tion to Australia is a recent phenomenon,
spanning just the past few decades. But not
many of us know that our Sikh forefathers first came to
Australia more than 150 years ago - at a time when the
dust was yet to settle from the fall of Ranjit Singh's
Displaying their true enterprising spirit, they crossed
the seven seas to come to the land Down Under in search
of a better lifestyle and wages and quickly endeared
themselves to the local population here. Country towns all
over Australia are dotted with memories of these brave
Punjabi migrants who seem to have been welcomed by
the locals despite the official "White Australia" policy.
Sadly, they are also forgotten in the annals of his-
Initially, the migrants from India were inden-
tured labourers who worked on sheep stations and
farms around Australia. Some adventurers followed
during the gold rush of the 1850's.
A census from 1861 indicates that there were
around 200 Indians in Victoria of whom 20 were in
Ballarat, the town which was at the epicenter of the
gold rush. Thereafter, many more came and worked
as hawkers - going from house to house, town to
town, traversing thousands of kilometers, making a liv-
ing by selling a variety of products.
A record of shipping arrivals of the day shows that SS
Clitus and SS Jullundur arrived in Melbourne in 1898 car-
rying many Punjabis, some of whom like Nutta Singh,
Hurman Singh, Indur Singh, Isur Singh, Sundi and Sunda
Singh went on to become hawkers. (Please note that the
names were written phonetically by a clerk on arrival, so the
spellings are as recorded, not necessarily as they are meant
to be spelt).
There is enough anecdotal evidence from local
Australians that the Sikh hawkers were much loved mem-
bers of the community. The womenfolk loved them because
they provided a welcome break from their mundane exis-
tence - the hawkers brought beautiful clothes, goods, all
things exotic, and a fleeting glimpse of the big wide world
beyond their farmlands.
The Australian men liked the hawkers because they were
tough - they knew how to survive in difficult bush land and,
more importantly, they played cricket!
The Aussie kids adored the hawkers because of the sto-
ries they told of another world, because of their playful spir-
it and their wonderfully aromatic curries.
Now meet Len Kenna, an Australian historian, play-
wright and poet who has been commissioned by the
Victorian government to write the official history of Indian
migration to Victoria. His brief is to research and preserve
anything of Indian cultural significance' in Victoria.
Although the subject matter of his research can't be released
yet, he is convinced that Indian migration to Australia began
a long time ago. He personally remembers a hawker by the
of Gunter
Singh (proba-
bly Ganda Singh), who
came to his house in Hamilton (in county Victoria) where he
grew up in the 1940's.
Says Kenna: "The Indian hawkers were better educated
than most others in those days, they were polite and well-
cultured. They spoke English, so we had great conversa-
tions. I used to hop into Gunter Singh's horse wagon, mar-
vel at his goods and listen to his stories all night. I shared
some scones with him and he cooked absolutely wonderful
curries for us. That smell is still fresh in my mind, so many
decades later!"
Kenna says his mother and her friend used to take turns
to wash Gunter Singh's turbans and Singh cooked for them
in return. "I remember those bright turbans on our clothes-
line, flapping wildly in the wind," recalls Kenna. He adds,
"The country women loved the Sikh hawkers. They were
such a wonderful change from the Aussie farm men who
were stuck knee-deep in cow manure for most of the day and
still treated their women with an air of Victorian superiori-
ty. The women loved the way the hawkers respected them
and treated them like ladies'!"
As a tribute to these hawkers, Kenna penned a play, It
happened in Heywood', which has been
staged in Melbourne and many country towns
of Victoria. At the end of many shows, peo-
ple from the audience have come up and
shared their own memories of the Sikh hawk-
ers and Kenna is hoping to preserve all of
these stories for posterity.
It Happened in Heywood' revolves
around a true story of three Sikh brothers,
who were all hawkers near the country town
of Heywood around the year 1900. One of
the brothers was burnt alive while sleeping in
his wagon overnight - apparently these horse
wagons were extremely flammable being
made of wood and canvas, and would burn
down completely in a matter of seconds,
leaving someone sleeping inside with no
possibility of escape.
The second brother Kahn Singh
died in an accident when a tree-branch
fell on his head. The third surviving
brother Ganda Singh wanted to cre-
mate Kahn's dead body. But crema-
tion was illegal in those days (although
it was legalized thereafter).
The play shows how the whole coun-
try town rallied together to make sure that
Kahn Singh received a befitting funeral in
accordance with his own traditions. The
play essentially captures the spirit of the local
Australians who almost felt a sense of cama-
raderie with Sikh hawkers, something that the
Chinese and hawkers of other nationalities rarely
The countryside of Victoria is now dotted with crema-
tion sites and headstones marking the spot where a hawker's
ashes were buried after cremation.
Apparently, if a hawker died and had no other relatives
here, his horse, cart, goods and wagon were auctioned off.
With the money raised, the hawker would be cremated, the
site marked with a memorial, and the remaining money
would be sent back to India along with the ashes. Many
death notices published in newspapers of more than a centu-
ry ago indicate relocation of ashes to India, to be dispersed
in the Ganges', or according to the last wishes of the
Gunga Singh's headstone has a lengthy inscription in
Punjabi and, beneath it, the English portion reads: "In lov-
ing memory of Gunga Singh, beloved son of Dava Singh,
native of Poloolla, Punjab, India. Died 6th Sept 1901, aged
45 years."
Hawking in those days was a lucrative business, but
required a lot of grit and hard work. The sheer distances
between towns in Australia could prove prohibitive for some
people, but Sikh hawkers seemed to thrive on it. According
to the records, 213 country licenses were issued for hawk-
ers in Hamilton alone, which is just one of the country towns
There is enough anecdotal evidence from local Australians that
the Sikh hawkers were much loved members of the community.
The womenfolk loved them because they provided a welcome
break from their mundane existence - the hawkers brought
beautiful clothes, goods, all things exotic, and a fleeting glimpse
of the big wide world beyond their farmlands.
pioneers of
of Victoria. It is mind-boggling to
think of what the actual population
of Sikh hawkers might have been
Australia-wide, especially since
there were many more Indians in
New South Wales compared to
According to the Register of
Births, Deaths and Marriages, 377
people with the name Singh' died
in New South Wales during the
period 1898 - 1939. Therefore, it is
anybody's guess how many were
alive and working in that same
Typically a hawker would have
to pay a bond of nearly $100 upon
entering the country. Then, before
they began hawking, they had to go
to court to obtain a permit, had to
prove that they were of good char-
acter and needed to be debt-free.
Then, they would either begin
hawking on foot or on horse-drawn
carts and pay an annual hawking
A wagon would have a large
canvas hood, and the shelves
would be stacked with wares to
sell. There would be an elevated
bed right in the middle of the
wagon and more goods were stored
under it. Goods included dress
material, laces, buttons, threads,
perfumes, footwear, jewellery,
jewellery boxes, spices, utensils
and even indigenous medicine.
If a buyer couldn't get what
they wanted, they could place an
order and receive what they need-
ed within a day or two. Some
hawkers made so much money that
they bought sheep stations, land
and property, while others were
content with sending the money
back to Punjab.
But the hawkers led very lone-
ly lives - tramping repetitively on
country roads where the nearest
town would be at least 100 km
away. Hardly any of them had
their family here and they rarely
inter-married locals. Letters were
their only source of contact with
family back home and they could
go for a long time without speaking
or hearing their native language
since each hawker had a specifical-
ly marked territory to work in.
They tended to form friendships
with local country people and twice
a year, all the hawkers converged
at a pre-arranged spot where they
spent a few weeks of holidays
together, typically during
Christmas and Easter.
Sadly, there are some records
of hawkers being assaulted or mur-
dered and also of some crimes
committed by hawkers themselves
out of sheer frustration and loneli-
ness. Many were even admitted to
institutions in later life since they
had no immediate family to take
care of them.
But happily, the personal anec-
dotes and memories of good times
with these Punjabi pioneers out-
number the sad ones. Locals all
over country towns recall innumer-
able stories about individual Sikh
hawkers with great fondness.
Eileen Tierney distinctly
remembers Lucca Singh (probably
Lakha), who had a very highly pol-
ished van, well fitted-out with
shelves along each side and along
the back. One section was for
women's wear exclusively, with a
built-in, lift-out box for jewels and
Recalls Tierney, "I can remem-
ber Lucca coming to our home at
Wando Vale when I was a child -
it was a red letter day as everybody
waited in great anticipation for
Lucca to open his van on arrival.
He was the bearer of good news
and bad. He traveled extensively
and heard of all the district's hap-
penings. He would stay some
weeks in each district and always
had his special places where he
would stay for up to a fortnight at
a time. He was a great old fellow
and as children, we loved him. He
loved to play cards, liked to win
and would play all night if neces-
sary until he finally won."
Lucca Singh spent his last days
in a tent close to the Peach family
of Edenhope around the end of the
Second World War. Says Tierney,
"Lucca lived a very long life. I
think he must have had a lot of
herbal remedies to back up his
health. He had a brother in India.
I can't remember Lucca ever hav-
ing to go to hospital until near the
end of his life when he just became
He died in Casterton Hospital
in 1943 and his ashes were spread
in a nearby river on his request.
Then there was Sunda Singh
(probably Sunder), who started his
hawking career on foot, with his
goods strapped in a bundle on his
back. Soon, he saved enough to
buy a wagon and two horses,
which gave him greater reach.
After many years, he bought a
farm near Allestree. He paid for
the local hospital at Portland to be
painted, as a gesture of his grati-
tude to the people for the love they
had given him.
He died in Ballarat Hospital
leaving behind his wife and family
in Raipur in India. By all
accounts, he was dearly loved in
the whole of the district.
Another hawker, Indar
Sondhu, was so wealthy that he
donated land for the construction
of Coleraine Shire
offices - that was his way of say-
ing thank you to the people of the
area. He set up a business in
Coleraine and later owned shops
and a sheep station.
There are also stories about a
famous Punjabi wrestler by the
name of Bagshot Singh. He wres-
tled at the Hotspur Show every
year and it is said that he had a
great rivalry with a local wrestler
called Mr. Edge. Bagshot Singh
died at the age of 39 at Hamilton
Base Hospital and his ashes were
sent to India.
So, as the stories and anecdotes
abound, it's truly amazing to sense
the fondness with which these Sikh
hawkers are remembered, despite
the deep-rooted racism that was
institutionalised in Australian soci-
ety during those days. The White
Australia policy, although preva-
lent in spirit during the late 19th
century, was officially adopted by
the Australian government in 1901,
which precluded migrants on the
basis of their colour and race.
Although the basis for exclusion
was more subtle - prospective
migrants were asked to take a lan-
guage test and only those who
passed were allowed to migrate -
the idea was to stop the influx of
Asian and even central European
migrants to Australia.
Despite this, hundreds of Sikh
hawkers continued to operate all
over Australia, providing essential
services to many country towns.
Their wagons carried goods both
mundane and exotic; their conver-
sation carried the news of the day,
both good and bad; their hearts
bore goodwill that created long
lasting friendships and their vibrant
personalities brought colour into
boring lives. Above all, they pro-
vided the country people a life-line
as well as a dream of the mystique
of lands far beyond the shores of
We owe much to the enterprise
and free spirit of these Sikh forefa-
thers, and hope that they are
accorded their rightful place in his-
[Courtesy: India Today]
According to the Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages, 377
people with the name Singh' died in New South Wales during the
period 1898 - 1939. Therefore, it is anybody's guess how many
were alive and working in that same period.
Punjab Engineering College alumni celebrate
India Australia Day
New strategy to grow business
between NSW & India
By Manju Mittal
he Castle Grande hall in Castle Hill
is buzzing with excitement on
March 16, as all the women are
dressed to dazzle while their husbands are
hotly conversing and meeting each other
as long lost friends. It was the night of
entertainment organised by PECOSA an
alumni association of Punjab Engineering
College (PEC). It was a night of
Bollywood extravaganza, a bit of classical
music mixed with fun and food.
PECOSA Australia was started in
1991 in Sydney with 70 strong members
who are providing scholarships to the
engineering students and sponsoring edu-
cational and R&D projects in PEC,
Chandigarh, to help students to overcome
their financial obstacles.
Since then it has established itself as a
leading scholarship body that also
receives funding from USA Alumni for
the scholarship disbursement.
The function started with opening
speech by Arunesh Seth welcoming the
gathering. He said, The aim is to
acknowledge our services, encourage
future good work and motivate our young-
sters to follow the good path.
Many inspiring words were spoken on
the night by speakers to encourage and
give students motivation to succeed in
their future career paths. Guest of honour
Mitchell Byrne and Dr. Marlin Kanga
acknowledged PECOSAs contribution
and role in helping the community.
Kumud Merani, broadcaster, SBS
Hindi Radio, was honoured by PECOSA
with the award for her contribution
towards Australian and Indian cultural
integration. Dr. Robert Costa and Dr.
Himanshu Desai received the award for
Compassion & Fair Go. Samarpan
Support Groups work for families with
children and adults with disability was
recognised on the night with an award for
serving humanity.
Master of ceremonies Nitin Madan,
radio host Sur Sangam and charming
Sukum Saini kept everyone engaged
throughout the night. The audience
enjoyed a great dance performance from
dance group Behind the Scene, well
directed by Mrs Jatinder Saini.
Shikha Agarwal and her group per-
formed a classical dance. Bollywood
music ended the night with a closing
speech by President of PECOSA Reena
Sood who thanked all sponsors, guests,
families and awardees who made the night
a memorable event. All that for a good
arkets like India stand to benefit
from the NSW International
Engagement Strategy, the states
first whole-of-government approach to
growing international trade and investment
activities in NSW, Deputy Premier and
Minister for Trade & Investment Andrew
Stoner said.
The International Engagement Strategy
expands NSWs priority markets from six
to ten, reflecting key sources of foreign
direct investment, as well as the main buy-
ers of NSW merchandise and services
Mr Stoner visited India in April as part
of a trade mission and met with represen-
tatives of NSW companies that export to
India to discuss the opportunities and chal-
lenges of doing business in this market, as
well as senior government and business
leaders to promote bilateral economic ties.
In order to make NSW the first place
to do business in Australia we need to
effectively engage the global economy and
that includes places like India, Mr Stoner
India is a key trading partner for
NSW and a major priority when it comes
to our plans to boost the states trade and
investment activities.
NSW is an outward facing State with
an increasingly internationally-linked
economy, but this presents its own chal-
lenges, including the high Australian dol-
lar and continuing global economic
The NSW International Engagement
Strategy responds to these challenges and
clearly sets out how and where we must
focus our efforts and resources.
Warwick Smith, Chairman of ANZ
Bank (NSW & ACT) and Chair of the
NSW Export and Investment Advisory
Board, led the high level steering group
which conducted the review.
Mr Stoner said NSW must identify
promising markets, establish and build
relationships and strategically apply
available resources to attract new
investors, work with existing investors to
reinvest and help innovative NSW com-
panies to export.
Priority sectors identified in the strat-
egy are professional services, construc-
tion/infrastructure, advanced manufac-
turing, education and research, informa-
tion and communication technology,
clean technology, mining, agribusiness,
and tourism.
NSWs Deputy Premier and Minister for
Trade & Investment Andrew Stoner
Did you know
Customers have
rights against
pressure sales
Are you constantly harassed
by telemarketers. You
should know that they must
leave or hang up immediate-
ly if that is the consumers
wish and they are not
allowed to contact the con-
sumer again for at least 30
Door-knockers and tele-
marketers are subject to
national laws governing
unsolicited consumer agree-
ments that give consumers a
10-day cooling off period in
which the seller can not
demand payment and that the
consumer can change their
Door-to-door sellers must
clearly explain upfront the
purpose of their visit and
provide identification. Rules
about unconscionable con-
duct also apply in these cir-
cumstances when traders
fail to properly disclose key
contractual terms or use
high-pressure tactics.
PECOSA night was a packed event
elebrated writer Salman Rushdie is all
over the film version of his acclaimed
novel "Midnight's Children". He has
himself done the screenplay and also serves as
the film's all-knowing narrator.
Yet he says it's Indo-Canadian director
Deepa Mehta's film. She "absolutely" took
over once the script was done, Rushdie said in
an interview on phone from New York,
where both he and Mehta came for the special
kickoff screening of the film in conjunction
with the New York Indian Film Festival.
"A film can be only one person's film and
not two," he said. But they talked often on the
telephone during the shoot. He went to
Mumbai to help with casting, and from Sri
Lanka, where much of the shooting took
place, Mehta sent him pictures every day, and
he talked with the actors over Skype.
Though the book is set in India and
Pakistan, they chose to shoot in Sri Lanka as
the cities depicted have changed beyond
recognition. In many ways, Colombo made a
better Mumbai than the real city does as more
of the century-old architecture has survived
there,Rushdie said. But some scenes were
shot at the Dal Lake in Kashmir, Mumbai,
Karachi and Agra too. "How else can you
show a man cycling past the Taj Mahal if not
shoot in Agra?" he asked.
The allegorical tale on the partition of
India told through mysteriously intertwined
lives of two babies switched at birth as India
attains freedom at midnight on Aug 15, 1947
will be released in the US beginning with
New York on April 26.
It will be followed by Los Angeles and
Washington DC (May 3), and other cities
over the next weeks.
Rushdie said at first he was hesitant about
doing the screenplay adaptation himself as "I
am a novelist and not a professional screen
writer". But Deepa was very persuasive and
convinced him to do it as she feared no one
else could do it justice given its almost intim-
idating pedigree - having won both the
Booker of Bookers and the Best of the
Bookers. In the end he was glad that he did it.
Screenplay writing was a very collaborative
affair. First both Mehta and Rushdie made
separate lists of what to keep and what to dis-
card from the novel with a staggering scope,
from 1917 to 1974, and 62 locations from
Karachi to Kashmir to Old Delhi to Bombay.
"In the end we found how identical our
lists were," said Rushdie describing Mehta as
the "perfect" director to take his book to film.
"It was Deepa's passion for the book that
attracted me, as well, of course, as my admi-
ration for her work." Turning a 446-page
novel into a 130-page screenplay was "an
immense challenge," he said. But since he
was looking at it after more than 30 years, he
could do it more dispassionately. The idea for
Rushdie to also do the narration/voiceover for
"Midnight's Children" was also entirely
Mehta's. First, they did not want to have any
narration, but then found it necessary to string
it together given its range and scope.
"We tried a couple of professional actors
at first, but were not satisfied. So finally
Mehta asked me to try it."
So what's Rushdie's verdict on the fin-
ished product? "Well, I am very biased. But I
think it's good," he said looking at the
response to the film at the Toronto,
Vancouver and the BFI London film festivals.
Luckily they did not have any run in with
the Indian censors over the depiction of the
1975 emergency or any other issue. "They
passed it without a single cut. They had, in
fact, called a historian, who said it depicted
an accurate picture of an unfortunate phase of
Indian history."
"You may disagree with one's interpreta-
tion, but you are entitled to it," they said.
"But then the problem with the Indian censors
is, they are so unpredictable," said Rushdie
referring to the issues faced by Kamal
Haasan's spy thriller "Vishwaroopam."
It was indeed true that he gave away the
film rights of "Midnight's Children" to Mehta
for just one dollar! It makes an interesting
story, but it's not unusual for independent
filmmakers, who find it hard to raise money,
to sign up someone with a token amount and
then pay them later, said Rushdie. Rushdie is
currently developing a TV serial for
Showtime called "Next People" - a kind of
"paranoid science-fiction series, people disap-
pearing and being replaced by other people."
"There is a pilot I wrote for Showtime.
They were happy about it. But we are still
awaiting that little green light!"
So which one of his works would one see
on the big screen next? "Right now there's a
project to make a film of my memoir 'Joseph
Anton,' but I am absolutely not planning to
write the screenplay" because unlike
"Midnight's Children" he was too close to it.
"If we are lucky, if it goes really fast then
it may be ready at some point next year. But
it may take longer, I don't know," said
'Midnight's Children'
a collaborative
affair: Rushdie
The allegorical tale on the partition of
India told through mysteriously
intertwined lives of two babies switched
at birth as India attains freedom at
midnight on August 15, 1947 will be
showing at the Sydney Film Festival.
0th Sydney Film Festival will
run from June 5-16 and
screen feature films, docu-
mentaries, short films and ani-
mations across the city at the
State Theatre, Event Cinemas
George Street, Dendy Opera
Quays and the Art Gallery of
NSW. The festival is a major
event on the New South
Wales cultural calendar
and is one of the
worlds longest-run-
ning film festivals.
Says Nashen
Moodley, fes-
tivals direc-
tor, This
year's pro-
gramme comprising
around 160 films,
will reveal a real
cross-section of
the range and quality
of features and documentaries which
are some of the best productions from all
over the world, the films Australia will be
hearing about, talking about and arguing
about over the next year. You'll see them
here first."
Deepa Mehtas adaptation of Salman
Rushdies acclaimed novel
Midnights Chidren is one of the
highlight of the SFF program.
Australian premiere of the highly
anticipated, neo-Gothic thriller
Stoker, directed by Park Chan-
wook and starring three
Australian actresses: Mia
Wasikowska, Nicole
Kidman and Jacki
Weaver. Other award-
winning films include
The Act of Killing, the
winner of the Audience
Award at the 2013
Berlinale; Prince Avalanche,
winner of a Silver Bear for
best direction at the 2013
Berlinale; Blancanieves,
the winner of Best Film at
Spain's prestigious 2013
Goya Awards; and Stories
We Tell one of 'Canada's Top Ten' films
at the 2012 Toronto International Film
For more information and tickets visit
Celebrated writer Salman Rushdie and Indo-Canadian director Deepa Mehta, who
directed the film adaptation of his acclaimed novel Midnights Children.
A poster of the film Midnights Children that will be a
highlight of the SFF program.
Nashen Moodley,
the festivals director
Cast: Satya Bhabha, Shahana Goswami,
Rajat Kapoor, Seema Biswas, Shriya
Saran, Siddharth Ronit Roy, Rahul Bose,
Samrat Chakrabarti, Kulbushan
Kharbanda, Charles Dance, Soha Ali
Khan, Zaib Shaikh, Shabana Azmi,
Anupam Kher and Darsheel Safary.
By Kersi Meher-Homji
here is always something different
when India Club organises Mehfil-e-
sham in Epping, Sydney. This time
the theme was Golden Moments as Suhas
Mahajan, Vinod Rajput and Reena Mehta
made us feel nostalgic with songs from the
1960s and 70s.
The icing on the cake was stunning
kathak dancing by Deepa Arora whose daz-
zling footwork mesmerised the audience.
She started off with the spectacular
dance from Mughal-e-Azam as she mimed
Lata Mangeshkar singing Jab pyar kiya to
darna kya. Dressed in a shimmering cos-
tume, Deepa exhibited bold facial expres-
sions with kathak dance steps to match. The
effect was breathtaking.
This was followed by delicate dance
steps in the Umrao Jaan number Dil Cheez
kya hai and as a climax, a song from Dil Hi
to Hai (Nigahen milane ko jee chahtaa hai).
The final dance item needed versatile free-
flowing body movements along with fast
music and rhythm.
It was a pleasure interviewing her
after the Mehfil.
My initiation in kathak was totally the
result of my mothers encouragement and
dream to see me on an international plat-
form since I was born. I started learning
dance from a private tutor at home at the
age of four, who, within a year, noticing my
talent recommended that I join Kathak
Kendra, New Delhi to pursue formal educa-
tion in this field. I was associated with this
institute for nine years and completed my
Masters in Lucknow Gharana. During these
nine years, I had dance classes every
evening which made me a disciplined
dancer and a disciplined person. During my
training years, I gave several stage per-
formances in India.
Any music/dancing in your family?
Both my parents had keen interest in
classical art forms and would not miss to
watch famous dancers performing on stage.
They never compromised on providing me
with the best training. Similarly, my hus-
band Vikram does not come from an artistic
background but he has always appreciated
my talent and was the main driving force for
me to continue my passion for dance in
Australia. He is confident that I will be able
to fulfill my aim to spread our tradition
(Sanskriti) to young kids from all communi-
ties who have a passion to dance.
Your gurus, mentors?
Pandit Birju Maharaj, the leading
exponent in kathak, was the Director of
Kathak Kendra when I started learning. I
was very fortunate to be mentored by him
along with my guru Bharti Gupta and Reba
Vidyarthi who were my main source of
inspiration. I constantly improved and
matured under their guidance as they taught
me not only to enjoy dance but to use it as
a medium to bring out my own individual
style, using my imagination and creativity.
When did you arrive in Australia?
After my first visit to Australia in
2000, I fell in love with Sydney and perma-
nently moved here in 2003 with my family.
I was in my late 20s and a full time mother
to my 2 year-old daughter Khushi. I have
travelled extensively to explore this beauti-
ful country. Making Sydney my home, I
realised that not only Indians but students
from all nationalities are interested in kathak
and would like to learn it as a form of
expression. Australia is a young country
and there is a potential to be tapped.
When did you start Sanskriti?
My main aim is to keep kathak as an
art form alive among present and future
generations. Over the years I have been able
to infuse kathak with a modern touch which
has caught the attention of students and
audience who are keen to learn this classical
art form. I have been imparting the knowl-
edge through classes and workshops in India
and Australia for the last six years.
However, I have been getting many requests
from parents and I felt that I needed to
start an organised and sequenced methodol-
ogy of teaching which would be interesting
and thus Sanskriti was born. I am really
encouraged by the level of interest it has
generated and am taking classes with stu-
dents ranging from school kids to adults.
Having years of experience and per-
forming with various artists, I have created
compositions using this art form in both its
traditional and modern form. Sanskriti aims
to impart modern-dance training to its stu-
dents and teach them the concepts of Nritta
(technique aspect), Abhinaya (emotional
aspect) and Mudra (artistic representation of
hands and fingers) which put together con-
stitute dance. My main objective is to polish
and produce dancers who can, through their
performances, create different moods in the
minds of spectators and make a mark for
Is dance teaching your sole profes-
Dancing is not my sole profession but
is my biggest passion since I was a child. I
have a commerce degree and am also a
fashion designer (from NIFT, New
Delhi). At present I am working as an
Office Manager with a Swedish
Multinational corporation. I like to
utilise my free time in following my
passion and experimenting with various art
form to include them in my dance. I have
performed at various platforms in Sydney
and at the Parliament House in Canberra.
Along with dance, I have persued my
passion for event choreography. Recently I
choreographed the Miss & Mrs India
Australia and am official choreographer for
the Mr India Australia competition which
will be held in July.
With not much spare time on hand, I
love to spend it with my family and experi-
ment with cooking which they absolutely
Your favourite singers/dancers?
Having grown
among renowned
dancers, musicians
and artists, I have
been in awe of
their contribu-
tion to Indian
culture. Pandit
Birju Maharaj,
Y a m i n i
Mallika Sarabhai,
Ustad Amjad Ali
Khan, Ustad Zakir
H u s s a i n ,
H a r i p r a s a d
Ch u r a s i y a
are just a
few to
m e n -
admire all artists who in their respective
fields have been able to create a fusion
between classical and modern forms and
cater to the requirement of modern day,
fast-paced audience.
Anything else you would like to add?
Dance is not merely a physical activity;
it involves strong mental focus and discipline.
Dancers cannot express themselves unless
they are tuned towards their goal to learn and
express. I like to share my experiences and
expertise with students who are keen to learn
kathak in its original and modern style which
is used not only in Bollywood but in other art
forms as well to portray expression and feel-
ings. I thank everyone who has given me the
opportunity to showcase my passion and tal-
ent in India and Australia. Thank you,
Deepa. May you spread your wings fur-
ther and higher!
Dazzling Deepa recreates Mughal-e-Azam
At India Club
organised Mehfil-e-
sham, Deepa Arora, a
trained Kathak
dancer, started off
with the spectacular
dance from
Mughal-e-Azam as
she mimed Lata
Mangeshkar singing
Jab pyar kiya to
darna kya. This was
followed by delicate
dance steps in the
Umrao Jaan number
Dil Cheez kya hai
and as a climax, a
song from Dil Hi to
Hai (Nigahen milane
ko jee chahtaa hai).
By Neena Badhwar
s there any stopping for members of
Indian Seniors Group Hornsby (ISGH)
to do things amidst the technological
revolution the world faces today? Not real-
ly, as The Indian Down Under found out at
the Pennant hills Leisure and Learning
Centre during the Seniors Week.
The members were being given a
detailed presentation on how the young as
well as the older seniors could stay in touch
with each other through technology and
interact through social media such as
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, My Space
and YouTube.
The presentation given by Mahesh
Trivedi of True Blessings, who also teach-
es at UTS, Sydney, introduced the audi-
ence to the joys of Facebook and Twitter
and Blogging so that they feel connected
to the world and not just sit and chant the
name of God as you are just about to go up
in the heavens since you are old, said
You may be oldbut you are not
outas the world is your oyster. Do not be
afraid, as nothing gets destroyed or dam-
aged in computers. Be bold and go ahead
and join the social media which is now
quite active with seniors as more than 50
per cent among them are now either blog-
ging, Facebooking and are on LinkedIn
where they are able to find part time work
in the area of their expertise, says
He adds that he could never ever imag-
ine publishing a book, but he did, with the
help of Kindle and now has his eyes set on
making it the most sold book. Mahesh says
that all the material came from the people
who connected to his blog Esatsang and
True Blessings which gave him enough
material for his
book True Blessings.
President of ISG, Hornsby, Dave
Passi, also of IT background, is slowly yet
surely guiding all the members of the asso-
ciation towards the technological era and
says, It is important to be part of the
social network rather than isolating oneself
during the aging years. We must stay
active not just physically but mentally as
well as there is a lot more to learn from the
net and stay connected to the world out
there, your friends and family.
As members mixed and mingled over
lunch there were other activities planned
such as who will be able to make the best
mummy not the Indian type but
Egyptian - of their partner using toilet
paper rolls. In two rounds of the game
there were two winners Mr and Mrs Behl
and Santosh Verma and her friend Lalita.
That was not all as Kylie Willows, a
trained teacher from Laughter Yoga
Australia, did a Laughter Yoga session
with the seniors. Kylie believes that laugh-
ter yoga is about getting in touch with your
natural and healthy desire to laugh freely
and that the exercises help seniors to
release stress and help achieve overall
physical and mental well being. Isnt that
what we want to achieve in our old age
stay active, laugh a little and socially inter-
act with our friendsthe ISGH, during the
Seniors Week, achieved all these.
I am sure, all the seniors went home
he Australian National Maritime has
commissioned a film on Indian
Australians to share their stories in a
short film to be screened in its major new
exhibition East of India Forgotten trade
with Australia opening in June. Sydney based
filmmaker Anupam Sharma of Film &
Casting Temple is directing and producing
the film as his crew got busy with shoots all
over Australia of Indians playing Holi at
Darling Harbour and at Indo Aus Bal Bharati
Hindi School, life at NSW Uni, a Mundan
ceremony in South Australia and talking to a
family of three generations of Indians in
Australia and many more interesting aspects
of Indians settled here.
The film is intended to present the con-
temporary relationships between India and
Australia, with a focus on the personal stories
of Australians with Indian heritage.
Exhibition Curator Michelle Linder said,
We are very excited to be working with
Anupam Sharma in developing and producing
an entertaining and informative short film.
The film will play an important role in our
forthcoming exhibition. The team at Film &
Casting Temple has brought their knowledge
of Indian culture and links with the Indian
community across Australia to the project.
Anupam Sharma said To be commis-
sioned to direct such an important film about
life today for Indian Australians is both a
great honour and a great responsibility. My
team and I are excited to be involved in this
project, as we demonstrate the multilayered
and multi faceted relations between India and
East of India - Forgotten trade with
Australia tracks Australias colonial links
with India, the power and monopoly of the
English East India Company, and its
inevitable decline. It's a tale of ships and
shipwrecks, rice and rum, officers and offi-
cials, sailors, soldiers and servants and will
run 1 June - 18 August 2013.
Indian Australians from all walks of life
are asked to contribute their experiences of
life in Australia both good and bad - to the
film. For further information and to register
your interest to be interviewed email the
Casting Director on
Kylie Willows, a trained teacher from
Laughter Yoga Australia, did a Laughter
Yoga session with the seniors.
Indian Seniors laugh, sing and connect
during Seniors Week
Maritime Museum commissions
a film on Indian Australians
Anupam Sharma
By Ananya Soni
hilanthropy is a desire to improve
the welfare of humanity. In
Australia, philanthropic collections
amount to around $11 billion annually
and volunteers contribute some 836 mil-
lion hours annually, according to a 2005
report by the Department of Families and
Community Services. This represents
significant social investment in Australia
that is independent of investment by gov-
An analysis of data from a recent
Gallup WorldView poll has shown that
Australia, along with New Zealand, is
the most generous of the 153 countries
surveyed, based on the proportion of
population giving money to charity, vol-
unteering time and helping a stranger.
We contribute a drop in the ocean as
far as the Indian community Down Under
is concerned, in spite of being at the fore-
front of being well off in Australia.
Holi Hullad 2013 on April 12, organ-
ised by ILASA, The Indian Down Under
newspaper and Voice of India Monika
Geetmala helped collect 351 Eye Cataract
Surgeries for the eye camps by Vision
Beyond Aus run by Australian Indian
doctors in India.
Vision Beyond Aus has done enor-
mous amount of work conducting over
2,000 eye operations through Camps they
have held in Rishikesh, Tughlakabad in
Delhi, Garvadi in Tiruchirapalli and also
Ayodhya and in Burma,. In future they
plan to go to Cambodia and Kolkata and
are looking at a target of 400,000 eye
operations in the next five years.
In Rishikesh and some of the areas
we have worked in have a high incidence
of treatable cataract and vision impair-
ment amongst the poor. We need volun-
teers, doctors, equipment or simply
money which is as little as $28 for a
cataract eye operation to help achieve the
goal we have set out for ourselves, says
Dr Singh.
This year Holi Hullad also collected
funds for the Diabetes Council of
Australia. Dolly Soni and Shikha Natasha
worked hard to bring sponsors, support-
ers and the community for the cause as
Indian community rank quite high as dia-
betes sufferers in Australia both in Type
1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Besides charitable work, the evening
was also to celebrate Holi. And indeed it
was a fun-filled night at the Parravilla
Function Centre in Parramatta, with
plenty of singing and dancing and a pro-
fessional fashion show choreographed by
Deepa Arora of Sanskriti School of
Dance. In the end there was an entertain-
ing song quiz hosted by Vinod Rajput and
Shailja Chandra. The program was
emceed by Amit Grover who kept all
entertained throughout the evening.
Holi Hullad highlighted everyones
altruistic nature as they all chipped in by
committing to one, two, some 10 and
others 20 eye operations. Chandru Tolani
topped it all with a pledge of 101 eye
operations. Kamal Athwal of Parravilla
Function centre has been a strong sup-
porter of the event making sure plenty of
food was available and has not only
donated himself for the last three years
but also brought in his friends to commit
to charity. Patel Brothers bought the
pearl necklace auctioned on the night.
Tuli Jewelers donated two pearl neck-
laces for auction, Australian Opal Cutters
donated opal set, Milan Bazaar Thandai,
Curry Masters their curry mixes, Sabzee
in Harris Park offered fruit for fruit plat-
ter, Royal India dinner for two, Jack
Tolani gifts for participants and Radio
Dhoom sound system and DJ. It was a
concerted effort by all the community,
business community and artists for Holi
Hullad to have been a success for three
years in a row.
Holi Hullad not only has helped
enable an annual platform to help people
in need but also brought together com-
munity members and the business com-
munity to achieve its goal. In the past it
has helped Delhi University students to
provide for rickshaws, empowered poor
women in slums by distributing sewing
machines and organizing lessons in
sewing. Holi Hullad has every year
picked a local as well as an Indian chari-
ty which is doing genuine work. Holi
Hullad team personally delivers to
these charities the money collected mak-
ing sure the programs promised are exe-
cuted as well. If one person donates it
helps a little bit but together the impact
can be manifold. The team at Holi
Hullad invites people to come forward
with genuine charities they have come
across in India, in their hometown where
they have been personally involved or
even here who are doing work like the
Sydney doctors of Vision Beyond Aus.
People who donated eye surgeries
are: Chandru Tolani, Kamal Athwal,
Sheba Nandkeolyar, Sue Advani, Aruna
Chandrala, Amarinder Bajwa, Usha
Puri, Mala Mehta, Rekha Rajvanshi,
Manbir Kohli, Shailja Chandra, Madhu
Chaudhary, Dr Prabhat & Neena Sinha,
Preeti & Dinesh Thadani, Sneh Gupta &
Dr Vijay Gupta, Piush & Sarika Gupta,
The Indian Down Under newspaper,
Sanjiv Raja, Global Women Network,
Dharminder Singh, Lalit & Neelu
Anand, Aruna Gupta, Geeta Gupta,
Meena Mahanty, Cheeky Bites, Crowne
Enterprises, Sanjay Deshwal, Maya Da
Dhaba, Kamini Shani, billus Indian
Eatery, Sharmas Kitchen, Giner
Restaurant, Kamlesh Chaudhary, Best &
Less Travel, Poonam Bali Chibbar,
Lata, Kiran Asija, Janki Advani
Bhandari, Dr Mehta, Murali Bhojwani
and Sol Voron.
In all 351 Eye Surgeries were donat-
ed while $2,500 went to Diabetes
Council of Australia.
Holi Hullad has in the last three years
collected and donated funds for 16
Rickshaws, $1000 to Queensland Relief
Fund, 57 Sewing machines and Sewing
Certificate Courses for slum girls in
Delhi helping them to empower them-
selves, $1100 to Cambodian Children
Trust, $9,200 to Vision Beyond Aus and
$2,750 to Diabetes Council Australia. It
is not the effort of three individuals but a
united community that has come forward
and has generously supported Holi
Hullad and helped raise over $24,000 in
these three years the amount duly passed
on to the nominated charities in India and
Australia and receipts issued to everyone
who have donated.
Vison Beyond Aus benevolent work
does not end with once a year evening by
Holi Hullad Charity Night as we need to
increase community awareness and col-
lectively help the team of doctors at
Vision Beyond Aus who have spent valu-
able time in helping restore eye sights for
people who cannot afford. Many people
in India and other countries are so poor
that they cannot afford even an eye check
up. When these Eye Camps are held,
they walk miles and even sleep outside in
the open waiting for their turn to get
checked up and operated. It is only $28
for a cataract operation and it will go a
long way for a person who will get a lost
vision back. Pledge of 350 cataract oper-
ations is still a long way away from the
set target.
Vision Beyond Aus have a website
that provides more information: . You can
also pledge support by calling 1300 554
409. And do spread the word!
Holi Hullad raises funds for 351
cataract eye operations
Dr Shailja Chaturvedi, doing great work in Rishkesh
Dr Indie Singh giving an audio visual presentation about Eye Camps in India
lthough the Indian community made
its presence felt at Premiers
Harmony Dinner with opera singer
Heather Lee looking gorgeous in a sari as
she sang Australian national anthem in her
beautifully trained soprano voice, not even
one Indian member made to Premiers hon-
our list this year.
On April 10, NSW Premier Barry
OFarrell honoured five citizens for their
exemplary service to the multicultural com-
munity in NSW.
Mr OFarrell presented the inaugural
Premiers Multicultural Community Medals
at the annual Premiers Harmony Dinner in
NSW has one of the most culturally-
diverse communities in the world its our
diversity and harmony that makes us the
envy of the world, Mr OFarrell said.
Our multicultural community is also
one of our biggest assets with a population
coming from more than 180 countries, there
is no language or culture that is unfamiliar
when NSW businesses engage with the
Minister for Citizenship and
Communities Victor Dominello described
the five medal recipients as heroes of mul-
We are all indebted to each of these
heroes of multiculturalism for their service
to community harmony and their assistance
in the successful settlement and integration
of thousands of people who have chosen to
make NSW their home.
More than 700 people attended the
Harmony Dinner at Doltone House in
Pyrmont as the Premier presented
Community Medals to: Ms Maha Krayam
Abdo, OAM, for her extensive service to
the Islamic community and support for
women of many cultures. She works tire-
lessly to promote inter-cultural and inter-
faith dialogue; Mr John Caputo, OAM, for
outstanding service to the Italian community
and broader Australian community, includ-
ing serving as patron to numerous commu-
nity and sporting organizations; Mr Hudson
Chen, OAM, for his leadership in the
Chinese and broader Australian communi-
ties. He has helped raise more than $1 mil-
lion for disaster relief and community char-
ities; Mr Ernie Friedlander, OAM, for serv-
ices to the Jewish community and for being
a driving force in creating community har-
mony through organising events connected
to Harmony Day; Mr Jon Soemarjono for
his commitment and provision
of extensive welfare services to
the Indonesian community, the
promotion of its culture and
promotion of inter-faith dia-
During the Harmony
Dinner the Premier also
announced that three more
names were inducted
posthumously to the
Multicultural Honour Roll
established in 2012. They
are: Ulla Bartels: formed
the South-East Asian
Community Assistance Centre
which then grew in size and
scope to become the
Cabramatta Community
Centre; Francesco (Frank)
Calabro AM: the first Italian
born member of the NSW
Parliament. He was elected
in 1970 and served 18 years in the
Legislative Council, and Wadim (Bill)
Jegorow AM MBE: foundation president of
the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW
and contributed to the establishment of
The recipients of the Premiers
Multicultural Community medals and those
inducted into the states Multicultural
Honour Roll all have something in common
a dedication to building harmony and
unity in our community, Mr Dominello
With one-quarter of our citizens born
overseas and about 260 languages spoken
here, tonights Harmony Dinner has been a
magnificent celebration of the importance
of our cultural diversity, one of our states
greatest assets.
This annual event is now a permanent
part of our calendar of significant events in
NSW and it will grow to become one of the
major events of the year in this state, Mr
Dominello said.
And to our Indian community! Next
year make sure to put in nominations on
behalf of selfless
Indian community workers who have
actively participated and worked for multi-
cultural community in a positive way.
Some Indian guests at the Multicultural Dinner posing with Minister Victor Dominello.
The world
sprints but
Liberals crawl
with NBN
s the world moves ahead and
Internet becomes our mainstay
in daily lives with networking,
socializing, seeing movies at home on
those big screens, streaming, down-
loading music, talking on Tango, Viber
and Skype, Liberals have come up with
a limiting proposal for the Broadband
Network at 100 Megabytes a second, a
mere two times faster than the present
capacity. Now compare that to
Singapore and South Korea which are
aiming for 80Xyes 80 times faster at
one Gigabyte per second speed. Are we
moving forward or going down
At least the Gillard Government is
proposing 8X times faster speed at 100
Mega Bytes per second for the National
Broadband Network (NBN), although
lagging our Asian neighbours future
plans but not ridiculously retrograde as
the Liberals plan.
More and more Australians are
reading news as it happens, playing
games, shopping online, studying
through virtual class rooms, using
smart phones. Do we want to be left
behind the rest of the world as it moves
into an era of talking cars, fridges,
microwave ovens and holographic
images and 3D image projection in our
family rooms. We have to move for-
ward with futuristic technology which
is bound to surround us whether we
like it or no
Hindi Language teachers at the Multicultural Dinner
Multicultural leaders honored by Premier
Heather Lee singing the national anthem
at Premiers Harmony Dinner
By K. Raman
hreya Ghoshal was in town recently
(her third trip in three years) on her
last leg of a well-planned whirlwind
Australian tour. Her show held at The Hills
Centre on March 2 was a house full affair.
Accompanied by a male singer and a seven
member Orchestra, she presented 25 lilting
melodies, predominantly recently released
sensational numbers.
Shreya tried her best to sing in all
Indian regional languages but, as expected,
Hindi medium and Bollywood songs domi-
nated her repertoire. Her stage presence
was impeccable as she used the stage well
and maintained her rapport perfectly with
her backing group. She managed to keep
her audience under wrap, though they were
screaming with all sorts of requests as and
when she finished a song. But very tactful-
ly she managed the show in her own way.
A very important feature of her presenta-
tion was her liberal use of Manodharmam
(improvisation) all through her rendition,
not an easy act to follow.
Earlier, on February 27, she met the
local media at Bavarchi Restaurant along
with her father Biswajeeth Ghoshal and
Tablist turned concert organiser Abhinav
Upadhyaya. Though experts correctly say
that Shreya is highly gifted, she said the
credit went to her mother, Sarmistha, and
her father. Shreyas mother is a highly
trained and celebrated classical musician
and she did not leave any stone unturned to
inspire and instil in her daughter the intri-
cacies of classical music. Her father, a
Nuclear Physicist by profession, a loving,
caring and disciplined gentleman, played
his role as an ideal father to bring up his
daughter enriched with Indian values. She
also said, during the interview, that her
father was an exceptionally good cook.
As a keen music follower I was always
fascinated by Shreya Ghoshals gifts in
judicial use and perfect play with Tonics,
intonation, diction and next to perfect pro-
nunciation of words in various Indian lan-
guages in which she sang with merit.
Shreya is the only singer I know whose dic-
tion and pronunciation in regional lan-
guages is impeccable. She took this compli-
ment humbly and said if one puts in hard
yakka it is not too hard to achieve success.
Commenting upon the perceived deteri-
oration of musical standard in Indian films
lately, Shreya attributed the change in
musical taste to listeners which is bound to
occur, she said. She did not forget to single
out Lataji as her favourite singer and said
that in her stage concerts she always makes
it a point to sing one or two of her favourite
Lata renditions.
Shreya has sung well over three hun-
dred songs in Malayalam, where she is
known as Malayalthinde Kuyil (the
Nightingale of Malayalam). Malayalees
love her and believe sincerely that she was
supposed to be born in Kerala, but by some
error in Gods planning she landed at
Berhampur of West Bengal. Whatever it
may be, Keralites regard her as their own
Malayalam, Shreya said, was a hard
language to tackle because it is Sanskrit
based and clarity of word pronunciation
is achieved by the conglomeration of
numerous precise sounding words. She
seeks finer details on word intonation
from the Music Directors and works
hard on it till she attains perfection.
Touring, according to her, is hectic,
for example, she did three concerts on
three consecutive nights in three cities of
our sprawling country.
Speaking on her future, Shreya said,
she was pestered by her mum non-stop on
get married and settle down. She agrees to
that concept but currently, there was no
room left in her mind except music and so
be it, no changes in the status quo. One
day it will happen, she said.
Speaking on her good looks and chis-
elled features
why she was
not entering
the acting
field, she
said she
had no act-
ing tal-
ents at
all. The
o n l y
p e r s o n
she has,
so far,
c o n -
v i n c e d
wi t h
her acting (that too in threatening
and embarrassing situations) was
her mother.
Shreya speaks with eloquence
and logic, with good choice of
words and has a pleasing disposi-
tion. In the cut throat and mud-
slinging singing field of
Bollywood, she remains untar-
nished and free of unpleasant gos-
sips. That itself is a Houdini act.
Keep it up Shreya.
A charming singer, Shreya Ghoshal
Though famous as a Bollywood singer, Shreya is the only singer I know whose
diction and pronunciation in regional languages is impeccable.
She was on a whirlwind Australia tour recently.
hoshal has been recognised with
multiple awards and nominations
for her work in music.
She won the National Film Award for
Best Female Playback Singer four times,
5 Filmfare Awards and 7 Filmfare
Awards South. Her hit songs include
Chikni Chameli (Agneepath), Ooh la la
(The Dirty Picture), Teri meri
(Bodyguard), Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai
(Jism), Agar Tum Mil Jao (Zeher), and
Dola Re Dola (Devdas).
Both audiences and awards love her
Shreya Ghoshal is all set to judge reality show Indian Idol Junior 2013 along with music
composer duo Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani.
Shreya Ghoshal
receiving the
National Award for
best Playback Singer
in 2009 from then
President Pratibha
Colors of Holi Mahotsav
Sonia Sadiq of GoWyld Events married Sohum Gandhi when guests were taken to a national park as a surprise location celebrity style
Suman Pruthi got a pleasant surprise on her 60th birthday from her
family. Here she is with her sisters Babli Khera and Kusum Sehgal.
argest Holi Mahotsav in Australia is
celebrated at Tumbalong Park at
Darling Harbour, Sydney where not
only thousands turn up from the communi-
ty, it is equally shared and celebrated by
local Australians as well as travelers from
around the world. Organised by Bhavan
Australia, on April 7, over 15,000 people
turned Sydney into a riot of colours and
enjoyed ceremonies, entertainment and
Now in its 11th year, Holi Mahotsav is
a 3-day event which Sydney cant have
enough of, performing, participating,
cookery, meditation -- it is a cultural jour-
ney of India which has become a pride of
community a showcase of everything
Indian in Sydney.
Tourism council to promote Aust-Ind travel
ld passions die hard. A few former
stalwarts in the travel trade have
joined hands to promote networking
and tourism between Australia and India and
have launched the Australia India Travel &
Tourism Council (AITTC) on March 20 at
the Grace Hotel in Sydney.
The Council is the idea of Sandip Hor
(AITTC Chairman), Shankar Dhar, former
Regional Director India Tourism, Dale
Woodhouse, Arnold De Souza, KK Gupta,
former Air India manager, and Sanjeet and
Asgar Ali from India. Following the launch,
the Councils immediate task will be to for-
mulate a strategic plan, outline future direc-
tion and identify initiatives to add value to
both the industry and its members, Sandip
Hor said.
AITTC is a voluntary organisation that
has a vision to positively influence the bilat-
eral tourist traffic between the two nations. It
is envisaged that its members will come from
a wide spectrum from airlines, hotels, tour
operators, travel agents and media.
The launch was attended by Indias High
Commissioner Biren Nanda who commented
that India-Australia relations stood at a happy
juncture. There were strong people to people
relationships, growing business opportunities
and student representation. He said that there
was a time when under Colombo Plan Indian
students studied in Australia. The trend
should now reverse with Australian students
going to India, he said.
A message from the Minister for
Tourism, Martin Ferguson, read at the
launch, said that the Australian government
was committed to growing visitor numbers
from India. Organisations such as AITTC,
which aim to provide travel and tourism
between Australia and India, will play an
important role in increasing the number of
visitors. Through travel, we can increase
cultural exchange and understanding between
Australia and India and the economic bene-
fits that accompany tourism, the message
NSW governments Member from
Baulkham Hills, David Elliot, recognised the
fact that Indian soldiers fought along side
Australians in World War I. Our relation-
ship is on shared heritage, he said. He high-
lighted Premier Barry OFarrells regular
visits to India to build up a strong business
The presence of award-winning film-
maker Madhur Bhandarkar at the launch
made the evening more interesting. He said
that he and his team were in Australia to look
at some suitable shooting locations in
Sydney, Gold Coast and Perth. It was his
first time in Australia and he absolutely
found the scenic beauty of Australia amaz-
ing, he said.
In a short message, Madhur proposed an
Australian tie-up by offering subsidies to
Bollywood film makers to mutually benefit
from the large potential the industry offers.
The evening ended with a number of pre-
sentations by sponsor Sumo Global.
oreign Minister Bob Carr
welcomed a major opinion
poll out on April 17 which
has confirmed public support in
India for a strong and growing rela-
tionship with Australia.
The survey by the Lowy
Institute for International Policy
and the Australia India Institute
indicates Indians see Australia as
good place to visit, live, work and
Australia is viewed as a country
that is friendly to India, with attrac-
tive values, strong educational insti-
tutions and a sound political sys-
Foreign Minister Bob Carr
acknowledged the contribution both
organisations had made towards the
bilateral relationship between
Australia and India.
This report focuses on our
shared values and interests which
have seen Australias relationship
with India develop into one of our
key strategic and economic partner-
ships in the region, Senator Carr
said. It is gratifying to see positive
results of Indian feelings towards
Australia, Indian judgments of the
quality of Australias education sys-
tem, and Indian views on working
with Australia in our shared neigh-
Building on the ties between
both our peoples is an integral com-
ponent of that partnership in our
relations with India, and in the
Australia in the Asian Centre White
Paper as a whole.
Senator Carr acknowledged
there were elements of the relation-
ship where Australia needed to do
The report noted lingering con-
cerns regarding the issue of safety
for Indian students in Australia but
showed the overall perception that
Australias education standards was
strong, with 75 per cent of Indians
seeing Australia as a good place to
be educated.
Australias Indian community
of more than 450,000 is our fastest
growing migrant community and
India is our second-largest source
of international students.
The report is available at:
(From Left): Bollywood film director Madhur Bhandarkar with
Vijay Kumar, Sandeep Hor and Indian High Commissioner Biren Nanda
(From Left):
Nihal Gupta,
Sandeep Hor,
Indian High
Biren Nanda,
Member for
Geoff Lee,
and Phillip
Australian Foreign Minister Hon. Bob Carr speaks to media at a press conference with Indian Minister for
External Affairs, Salman Khurshid after a bilateral meeting during Mr. Carr's visit to India early this year.
(Picture by Graham Crouch)
Survey confirms strength of Australia-India ties
Childrens Corner
Children's Corner
By Esther
n a bright sunny day a host of doves
decided to fly in search of food. They
flew over cities and villages till they
came to an open space with rich green grass
between banyan trees.
Hey, look down there! I can see some
food-grains scattered amongst the grass,
cried the youngest dove in the flock. I am
hungry and tired of flying. Let us get down
and enjoy the grains now. And he flapped
his wings with joy while trying to descend
down to the ground.
Wait! shouted the leader of the flock.
There may be some trap laid down there for
us. Why should anyone throw grains for the
birds in this isolated area, far from the city
and village?
Stop being suspicious. This must be a
picnic area, and someone must have thrown
the left overs, one of the young doves from
amongst the flock said.
Let us waste no more time. I am hungry
too, said another dove.
Well, if you all insist and are so hungry
that you do not mind risking your lives, we
shall get down to the earth and feast on those
grains, said the leader, an elderly dove.
Soon the flock of doves was on the ground
enjoying the grains. It tasted great after long
tiring flight and hunger. Suddenly, as if from
nowhere, a net came down on them and they
were all trapped under it.
We are caught in a trap! Oh Lord save
us, cried the flock of doves in great anxiety.
I told you to be careful, didnt I, said
the leader, anyway, dont panic. God helps
those who help themselves. Our freedom is in
our hands. Unity is our only hope and
strength. Stay calm and let me think fast.
After a little thought he said again, I have an
idea. We must all act together. We shall all
fly up, carrying the net with us.
Each dove picked up a part of the net in
its beak and then, all together they fluttered
their wings and flew up. The hunter who was
coming to get his catch stood amazed at the
sight of the flying doves with the net and all.
He tried with no success to chase after them
with the hope that the net and the doves
would fall down. But the doves flew higher
and higher when they saw him running after
The leader took his companions to the top
of a small mountain and over the bank of a
river where his friend mouse lived. As soon
as the net with the doves was down on the
bank of the river, the leader called out to his
What has happened? the mouse called as
he came out of his home. Why are you
yelling so desperately?
We are entrapped by a cruel hunter. Now
only you can save us from our captivity by
chewing the net off us, the leader said plead-
The mouse called out to his other friend
mice and soon they cut the net with their
sharp teeth and freed the birds one after
another. The leader preferred to be freed last
as he said that the leader has to think of the
others first before his own self. He said his
duty was to protect those under his responsi-
bility before he was to be protected and saved
from the danger.
The doves all thanked the mice and then
with great flapping sound of wings rose into
the sky towards their homes, happy and safe.
Unity and team work is always the greatest
strength of all, not muscle and material gains.
One must have friends and trust each other so
one can work in unity and harmony to get
peace of mind and strength.
ne day a man was going to
market with his son and his
ass. They met a couple on
the way.
"Why walk when you have an
ass to ride?" called out the husband,
"seat the boy on the ass".
"I would like that," said the boy,
"help me up father."
And the father did that willingly.
Soon they met another couple.
"How shameful of you!" cried the
woman, "let your old father ride,
won't he be tired?"
So, the boy got down and the
father rode the ass. Again they
marched on.
"Poor boy", said the next person
they met, "why should the lazy father
ride while his son is walking?"
So, the boy got onto the ass too.
As they went on, they met some trav-
"How cruel of them!" They are
up to killing the poor ass," cried one
of the travellers.
Hearing this, the father and the
son got down. Now they decided to
carry the ass on their shoulders. As
they did so, the travellers broke into
The laughter frightened the ass. It
broke free and galloped away.
he grandson of
Chandragupta the founder
of the Mauryan dynasty
and the son of Bindusara, came to
the throne in 268 B.C. He died in
233 B.C. Ashoka was a brave sol-
dier. He was the most famous of
the Mauryan kings and was one of
the greatest rulers of India.
During his father's reign, he was
the governor of Ujjain and Taxila.
Emperor Ashoka extended the
Maurya Empire to the whole of
India except the deep South and
the south-east, reaching as far as
Central Asia.
After eight years of rule, he
waged a fierce war against the
kingdom of Kalinga (Orissa of
today). Ashoka succeeded in con-
quering Kalinga after the bloody
war in which 100,000 men were
killed, 150,000 injured and thou-
sands were captured as slaves.
The sight of the slaughter
involved in his conquest deeply
distressed Ashoka. This was a
turning point in his life. He was
so horrified at the carnage he had
caused that he gave up violence
and turned to Buddhism. He
renounced war and started follow-
ing the Buddhist preachings of
love and ahimsa (non-violence).
He gave up hunting and slaughter-
ing of animals and became a strict
vegetarian. He sent missionaries
to countries as remote as Greece
and Egypt; his own son, a monk,
carried Buddhism to Sri Lanka,
where it is still the major religion.
Under his reign Buddhism
spread to Syria, Egypt,
Macedonia, Central Asia, and
Burma. For spread of Buddhism,
he started inscribing edicts on
rocks and pillars at places where
people could easily read them.
These pillars and rocks are still
found in India, spreading their
message of love and peace for the
last two thousand years.
It was because of Ashoka that
the idea of non-violence (Ahimsa)
was established in India. In 1947
Gandhiji was able to bring about
the independence of India through
the philosophy of Non-violence.
Ashoka built the Grand Trunk
Road running from the north to
the south of India. He built rest
houses and wells, planted trees for
shade on the sides of the road for
the travellers.
In spite of Ashoka's vigorous
exertions of faith, he was tolerant
of other religions. The empire
enjoyed remarkable prosperity
during his reign. To his ideas
Ashoka gave the name Dharma.
The capital atop of Ashoka pillar
in Sarnath, inspired the use of
back-to-back lions as Indias
national emblem. The 24-spoked
Ashoka-chakra, "Dharma Chakra"
on the Ashoka Pillar has found its
way into the Indian national flag.
The name "Ashoka" means "with-
out sorrow" in Sanskrit. In his
edicts he is referred to as
"Devaanaampriya" or "The
Beloved of the Gods of Heaven.
Emperor Ashoka
The Ashoka Chakra, featured on
the flag of the Republic of India
Map of Ashoka Empire
You Can't Please
Emperor Ashoka
You cannot please everyone MORAL:

rt t| + t| + o t| =- e t
t =|+ =+| +- | r4 + =| :
t4|r +r| =|, t + =- = 4=|
s| =t + |4 4 : :4| +| = c
=t+| r| s|i
=| +| 4 :: ,=| - = 4
:: | t =| c|+| 4 :: , =|
m=|4+ e + e + =t s| +t e|r-
-| = ,``:+ e- -|4|t4| =| = r|
:=|= r | t 4r r e t``i
``+4| -|+ =t+ r , s| =t
e|r- ! =- + r| =4|- : tr
r +| = +| = e ``
``4r + =| =| =r|4+ +r|
e +| | + , ``use it or lose
it - 4 = : |t = = :``, | +
=| + | :-+ 4|= +r| =t + , 4
- =|t r| =|4 + i``
``t 4: + r| :-+ 4|= =
=|-= + r| +| `` r4+ +m+
``+| =| mm =|=4 , +
| =| | s| +==| = :|=4 i :4|
:|= =| 4: er|t| = +| s +|
=|=4 i t r| t r| to =t 4|
e| = t - =+ e +| r|=|+ -+ s +
``t =+ e +| +| =| ::
| t | - c =|4 +|.`` r4 + +=
m =4|i
``| t + =+ e arthritis
r| +| | t | -= = r| +r| =
|4 + , 4 44 + -+ ==t| r i :e
= +t++, e t = | t | -+
=| r - 4r e; =4| =| =|
r = u e + 4 ++:+ e t
=t+ e `s|4-| =, - | =, = et,
-=s + mt`|: t| +| =| t| =|4 4
er|4+| 4=+| r i 4r| += =
`s+ m+` = t| +4| =| e t - s|
=|4:| |+| r i``
``-e, -e s| =t e|r-,
-4|:| st|+ =| ==t+ +r| , r4
| =| 4+=- e4= +4 r ,`` =r
r4 + c ;| =|i
|ot s| =t =| e=|r 4|++|
r| s|, 4|4=| =| =| + |t r| +
=+| |i
o t e|r-, r4 + e t =| t|
+ 4|t| m t =t :|i
e- e r= ot|:| = - c4|
e| +e , -| m =, r | t =
4| =-4|t (=| 4r -+|+| r =
=++| = r )
s| +t e|r- + =r| | =
=4 e =4 u-+ 4 =| e t
4-4 r| , + + r4|t 4| + -+| =|
= + e|t c|: ==| 4|t +| =+|
r| |r4 i
r4 e| 4 s +4 = =e
-|s e =| =|4 +|= :| +| =|
-|+ tr e= i 4|: + 4 e4|-+
r| +4 | t r4 = 4= . ==| 4|t
r| = |4 +| .... o t :e
4+ =-| e +4| =|4:|, =++|
| r| , : o| =|4 +|i
r4 + - s| m|+| m| =+ e e t
=| | + |4 -+| r| s|=|!
r4|t t = |e |4| 4|=|
=| =| -c| o|e| o = =|
4 :|+ | t |= r , =e |4
-== | :-+ 4|= =t e=+| r i
|= =|=| - s| r , =e = =
r-e 4 |+| =| +|=|- (= =) r ,
=e = :: +: =| + +=t =+|
=t e t =t+ r , | t : et r-e 4
--| = =4 = = | t =| +| =
=4 | t | e 4|4 r i =| s4|
| t s | | -+ r , 4 + t| s
e =t| r = r , | + =|t| , =|
=| : + r4| e | s| : t| t r -
:e=4 -+ e =| + e -r m|4
4r| 4+ 4=+ r , = c = ||
= e|, = c = = (=|+| 4
-4 == e ++ = + =+|4 ) | t
= c =| s i
=|t| =| = c : t| t o s| =t=
|= 4 r| e=+ r i
r4 + | +| =|t =| |=
=4| | t + 4| -|: = =| +|+|
e =4| | t |= 4 =| e i
4 s 4 o m| =| =rt :| s +:
+4| = e-4| +4m e|4+ e =
e -:t e| = s=| e =+| :
+==| = e =| : = m+ m| 4 =| :
4| s= =+| r i
r4|t =|+| 4 +|+| | = c
t| 4| = -= tr| |,``-:+
e+|t = ,| =|+ +4-+|
=t =| tr| r| ``i
r4 | s| : t = =4 t= +4
| t = :t+ =| -+|: : :e 4 +|
=| +r|t+ =+ , = =+ =| s4| =
|c e = |t| t=4, -| s| +|s
=-4 =| :e =| -| 4= s | |
| t r4 =:4 e| t|-+ t + =
+ = =+ =+ i
=t|- :u 4 ==t r4 +
|c 4 s =t : o| +| =| : | t
4++ + =t +r| |4|i =|- e|
= =|+ 4re e r| + =+|i
| s| | t = t =| : =|4
+r| : , :e=4 |= = : et| | t
= +4 i s| : o| =t|- .u 4
-|+ +4 , - 4|e| =| e44
:++ 4 +4| : o+ r , =t =
r =|=| -t 4+| :o|: s|i=| :
o|e -|+ +r| |, |4| =| t4|
r|+ = =|t, +et 4r|
r =|=| -t :o|: : + tr+ r i t
4r =t 4|e |=t r4|t |t|
| t +=t =+|+ =+|i r4 +
4|+ e : o| +| +| =| = 4r
|4| =| +r|, -= =e =| |
| t :e 4 - = =| + : t-|+ =|
4:: e r4 t tr i r4 +|4e e
r| t= +4 | t |+= 4|: |4|
= == t|+ r| `s m+ e t` e
= c t+4 =| =| + |+ +==
| t =e :-r c s tr| |i m|4:
:-r m= r| +4| | +4| = m+=
e t+ e r4 | t+4 =| r| =++ i
| s| : t = -|: r =|=| -t +|
=| +4| t + r4|t := =|
s=+ - s| + = r| +: | | t
e| 4 r4|t =+ =| ++ |i
=:| 4 |= = + =| | t
== , =| =t =+| | t +t+ +t+
- i
| s| |+ - c +| = c | t
=| + :o|: s , +e=| : i 4r|
= c =| + + = || =| + + :
tr i = |:4| -| = = =+| | t
= || :e =| |4| = t |+ =t
-| = =| 4 r 4 s|= =t :e =
|e = |+|i
: et| 4++ + = | =| :=+
- =+ =| + + : tr| |, =-=
= | t + = | =| + +| =
4 e = :+| eo| tr| | = e =
e= e 4 r| +| r i
4r e- : o =t r4|t| 4 s = c
=|= | | t r4 :e + =| | t
- c +|= + =:|= e :+ = =t+-
: o e= , = |+= = = |
+ r4|t| | t o o|t + =t| e : o|
| t | =+| m t =t :4|i r4 +
= =+|- 4 c to| | = e|
r|=+ 4 +| =+r s =|| | t
= | =| | t =| =|s e e : o| +|
= || r4=| +r| =t +|i r4 + |
e r| =4|, t + e| =++| r
= = | + 4r =+|- +r| c| |,
:e =4 4r r4|t| | t =| t e
r4|t| |44-4|e s+4+|4|
| t r4 : | 4 |+ o s | t
= || r4|t |c | t = | =|
4|== :e = |c i |+ +| r4
`| =-=`-|s e t = | +
4r t=|s | +| s :4| | t r4
| :-| |i = | = =|+ t =|
:e -|tr - s - s |= =++ r , :+
= -|t 4 e| =t r4|t| ||
=|+ +| +== =| |i m = 4r
= :e + r4 =|| +r| | -=
r4|t =e =| =| | t :| +| e
= s e| to| |i
- e m+ 4r | = r4
=4|+ t +t s | t = +|
r4|t| | + :-| |i
:++ 4 = | =| 4|== | |
-=|4 :e = = 4r r4 e| t|
-| =+|, 4r o m| e = 4+ =+|i
``4 st = =! 4 -4 |!!`` =r = |
=| 4+ =+| | t = || | --+
=| =4|- 4|== =| | |
=t : tr| |i
|ot 4|== =| r4|t| 4|+
| | r| +4|, ``e| t| 4 ,
-t|| +r| , 4r 4 t| t + s = ||
r , =|+| +r| i :e | t| |: =|
= s+ = =4 =e + + :| =|
tr| r i``
r4 + -e| +| -+ |4| = r4
:e =| | t :o+ r , = =+ o +
= | =t tr +4 , +4| =
= | =| + =t | | r4 t | i
:e -| r4|t| += | t
4| -|:= =r| + 4 r| = | t
r4|t |4e-4|+ =| =| =| = e
=| |i
= e + e =t = + -m :| | =
+=|m =|, t := +| +| =| =
r4|t| =4t =| =| =| ==| =+
=| |, =e = ==-4t r4
| += c r| =t = tr r i
e + t|4 -=|=
Santram's Grey Page
arch was a busy month with vari-
ous community associations,
Councils and the Government of
NSW celebrating Seniors Week during
March 17-24 March.
I spoke to SBS Radio Hindi programme
presenter Kumud Merani as the President of
Australian Hindi Indian Association
(AHIA) about the contributions of our asso-
ciation and other Indian associations in
Sydney. It gave me an opportunity to inform
SBS listeners about AHIA activities to help
the seniors in their social, cultural and emo-
tional needs as monthly meetings, picnics,
cruises, seminars, specialists talks and other
activities are regularly organised for them.
Members come from all corners of Sydney
to attend these meetings.
This is being done without any govern-
ment financial help to us.
During Seniors Week, there were talks,
seminars, IT workshops, stage events, enter-
tainment, walks with family members, pic-
nics and Premiers three Gala Concerts at the
Sydney Entertainment Centre.
Seniors from different organisations
were given Achievement Awards by the
Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC)
With Live Life! as the official motto of
the ADHC, an estimated 250,000 seniors
attended more than 900 events throughout
NSW during the Seniors Week; no wonder
age is not an hindrance in living gracefully.
The Federal Government, too,
announced some good news in the form of
pension increases for the seniors who are
From 20 March 2013 pension rates will
not only increase in line with cost of living
increases, but will also benefit from the
introduction of the Clean Energy
Supplement. This will result in an increase
of $35.80 per fortnight on a single Age
Pension and $54.00 a fortnight for pensioner
couples combined on the maximum rate. The
Clean Energy Supplement (CES) is an
ongoing payment to help eligible households
with any impact from the carbon price on
everyday expenses provided you are resid-
ing permanently in Australia, according to
Federal Government guidelines.
The new maximum pension rates are
$733.70 (single) and $1106.20 combined for
pensioner couple.
ost people are known to overeat,
especially when the food is irre-
sistibly delicious.
Here are some remedies for digestion:
One of the most common remedies
is to take two spoons of lime and ginger juice,
and honey mixed in a glass of warm water,
after your heavy-duty meal.
Add a teaspoon of roasted and
ground coriander seeds to a glass of butter
milk and have it.
Munching a teaspoon of aniseed
after your meal, will provide relief.
Another effective remedy is to have
a teaspoon of ajwain seeds along with a pinch
of black salt.
Mix a teaspoon of roasted cumin
(jeera) powder in a glass of water and drink it.
Drinking green tea or herbal tea
after your meal is a great way to aid in diges-
Drink a glass of water to which a
few drops of peppermint extract has been
Add about two teaspoons of corian-
der juice to a glass of buttermilk. Drinking
this will provide relief.
If you know that you are planning to
pig out for a meal, chew on some fresh ginger
slices with a pinch of salt. Doing this will help
stimulate the digestive juices.
Place a packet of ice over your
stomach to seek relief.
Add about a teaspoon of baking soda
to half a glass of water and drink it. This is
known to provide instant relief.
Turmeric/Curcumin: This is the king of
spices when it comes to dealing with cancer dis-
eases, besides it adding a zesty colour to our
food on the platter. Turmeric contains the pow-
erful Polyphenol Curcumin that has been clini-
cally proven to retard the growth of cancer cells
causing prostrate cancer, melanoma, breast can-
cer, brain tumour, pancreatic cancer and
leukemia amongst a host of others. (However,
Cancer patients: Do not load your diet with
turmeric or Curcumin supplements without doc-
tor's consult or prescribed dosage).
Fennel: Armed with phyto-nutrients and
antioxidants, cancer cells have nothing but to
accept defeat when the spice is fennel.
'Anethole', a major constituent of fennel resists
and restricts the adhesive and invasive activities
of cancer cells. It suppresses the enzymatic reg-
ulated activities behind cancer cell multiplication
Saffron: A natural carotenoid dicarboxylic
acid called 'Crocetin' is the primary cancer-
fighting element that saffron contains. It not only
inhibits the progression of the disease but also
decreases the size of the tumour by half, guar-
anteeing a complete goodbye to cancer.
Cumin: A portent herb with anti-oxidant
characteristics, cumin seeds contain a compound
called 'Thymoquinone' that checks proliferation
of cells responsible for prostate cancerYou can
rediscover the magic of cumin in
your regular bowl of tadka dal and
rice too!
Cinnamon: A natural food pre-
servative, cinnamon is a source of iron
and calcium. Useful in reducing tumour
growth, it blocks the formation of new
vessels in the human body. Some of the
effective ways of including cinnamon in
your diet are:
Start your day with a cup of cinnamon tea
(in leaf or sachet)
Oregano: More than a pizza or pasta top-
ping, oregano confirms its worth as a potential
agent against prostate cancer. Consisting of anti-
microbial compounds, just one teaspoon of
oregano has the power of two cups of red
grapes! Phyto-chemical 'Quercetin' present in
oregano restricts growth of malignant cells in the
body and acts like a drug against cancer-centric
Cayenne Pepper/Capsaicin (Chilli pep-
pers): A promising spice with anti-cancer prop-
erties, an overdose of chilli peppers however
should be restrained. Capsaicin induces the
process of apoptosis that destroys potential can-
cer cells and reduces the size of leukemia tumour
cells considerably. It can be concluded that apart
from setting our tongues on fire, chilli
peppers can scare cancer
pathogens off too.
Ginger: This humble spice
boasts of medicinal qualities that
help lowering cholesterol,
boost metabolism and kill
cancer cells. Easily added to
vegetable dishes, fish prepa-
rations and salads, ginger
enhances the flavour in cooking. Chew on fresh
parsley if the odour bothers you.
Others: Cloves, anise, basil, garlic, car-
away, fenugreek, mustard, mint leaves, rose-
mary, Limonin (fresh lemon), virgin olive, vine-
gar and avocado are other cancer-fighting diet
(Disclaimer: The Health tips in the article are taken from vari-
ous well established and reliable sources and are given to you in
good faith. However, readers are reminded to take care and con-
sult their doctor if not sure, as no responsibility can be accept-
ed by the writer of this column or The Indian Down Under).
he American Heart
Association has revealed six
common foods that are major
sources of salt in our diets, includ-
ing bread, cured meats, pizza and
Surprisingly the "salty six"
doesn't include snack foods like
chips, the association said.
The Excess sodium could poten-
tially raise blood pressure, thus
increasing the risk for stroke and
heart disease.
The "salty six" foods are:
1. Bread and rolls - One piece
of bread can have as much as 230
mg of sodium that adds up quickly
if bread is consumed at every meal.
2. Old cuts and cured meats -
Cured meats have lot of sodium,
and a serving of deli or pre-pack-
aged turkey can have as much as
1,050 mg of sodium.
3. Pizza - One slice can have up
to 760 mg of sodium.
4. Poultry - Frozen breaded
chicken nuggets contain about
600 mg of salt, while even
packaged raw chicken often
contains added sodium.
5. Soup - A bowl of soup
contains around 940 mg of sodi-
6. Sandwiches- Combining
breads with cured meats and
cheeses ups the sodium level in a
sandwich, especially if salt-heavy
condiments like mustard and
ketchup are added.
Just for Seniors
By Santram Bajaj
A husband, trying to prove
to his wife that women talk
more than men, showed her a
study which indicated that men
use on the average only 15,000
words a day, whereas women
use 30,000 words a day.
She thought about this for a
while and then told her husband
that women use twice as many
words as men because they have
to repeat everything they say, as
the men dont listen the first
He said, "What?"
Health & Well-being
Why fish oil
should be a part
of your diet
t has omega 3 that reduces the risk of
heart diseases. It reduces the levels
of LDL cholesterol, which is bad
cholesterol, and increases the HDL lev-
els or the good cholesterol. To protect
the heart, one should eat food containing
fish oil.
Fish oil is good for hair, skin and can
also combat diseases.
A research in Australia has proved
that fish consumption can be used to
cure hypertension and obesity. The
study has discovered that a weight-loss
diet which includes a regular amount of
fish consumption can be quite effective.
People who are suffering from respi-
ratory problems like asthma should eat
food containing fish oil.
Omega 3 fish oil can help prevent
three of the most common forms of can-
cer breast, colon and prostate.
Fish oil enhances the lustre of your
hair. Omega three has properties that
helps faster hair growth and prevents
hair loss. Since most fish are rich in pro-
tein, eating fish helps in keeping hair
Fish oil helps in improving the con-
dition of dry skin by making it shiny and
glowing. It is useful in treating various
skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis,
itching, and redness of skin, skin lesions
and rashes.
Home remedies to cure indigestion
Top six salty foods you must NEVER have
Goodness of Indian spices
with cancer-fighting
Body Mind Spirit
November - December 2012 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 39
mong the impressive lineup
of 500 of story tellers from
the around the world that
include Molly Ringwald, Naomi
Wolf, William Dalrymple, Robert
Greene, Ruby Wax, Archie Roach,
Edward Rutherfurd, Hannah Kent,
James Wood, Joe Rospars, Karl
Ove Knausgaard, Kate Atkinson,
Kate Mosse, Michael Sandel, and
Gillian Meares, we have this year
some well known Indian writers
coming in May to 2013 Sydney
Writers Festival. Now in its 16th
year as an independent company,
the fest reflects on The Art of
Storytelling and brings together the
best storytellers and best live story-
telling concepts in one super liter-
ary week.
This year the Festival will be
held, May 20 May 26. Jemma
Birrell, in her debut year as Artistic
Director of the festival, said at the
launch: This year, Sydney
Writers Festival celebrates the
simple pleasure of being told a
great tale. Stories lie at the heart of
our lives. We need them to under-
stand ourselves, to understand oth-
ers, to make sense of the world
around us. In 2013 we look at the
depth and breadth of storytelling
from Australia and around the
Anita Desai was born and edu-
cated in India. Her published works
include many award-winning short
story collections and novels, three
of which have been shortlisted for
the Booker Prize, most recently
{Fasting, Feasting}. She is a
Fellow of the Royal Society of
Literature and of the American
Academy of Arts and Letters, and
lives in New York.
By Neena Badhwar
ike vintage wine, K L Saigals
voice was silken, smooth and
mellow with an enriching pal-
let that could entrance the listeners,
flowing flawlessly through the high
nodes and unblemished through the
lower octaves, heavenly in its tonal
quality and never overpowering,
such was its magic. Truly a
Lata Mangeshkars father,
Dinanath Mageshkar, was so strict
that he would not allow the
Mangeshkars to sing any non-classi-
cal songs at home, except if these
were K L Saigals.
KL Saigal was an actor as well as
a singer but it was his songs that
made him famous he was the
Devdas in the first version of the
Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyays
classic novel. Its songs Dukh ke ab
din beetat naahi and Baalam aayo
baso mere man mein became
famous though the character of
Devdas Saigal exactly replicated in
real life as it is said that he could not
sing without getting drunk. Babul
mora naihar chhotto re jaaye, Do
naina matware tihaare Ikk bangla
bane nyara were some songs which
played on gramophones all day long
as people were in love with Saigals
voice and songs.
K L Saigal was brought up in a
strict classical home with his mother
taking him to bhajans, kirtan and
shabads where, as a child, he was
ingrained in classical tradition. He
became popular with his four bha-
jans in the movie Puran Bhagat. In
a short span of life, a mere 43 years,
he made the whole of India his fan.
Sydney community got a glimpse
into K L Saigal and his songs in a
concert by the well known singer
Vinod Rajput. Presented by The
Indian Down Under and Bhavan
Australia the concert Salaam-E-
Saigal was a tribute to the great
singer by Sydney lovers of the great
singer. It was a memorable evening
remembering mainly K L Saigal and
how Mukesh and all the singers of
that era followed in his footsteps.
It was Saigal who set a trend
making songs the mainstay of any
film. Today, the Indian film industry
survives and makes its millions from
songs only. But imagine that even at
his peak, he survived on a paltry
salary of Rs 200 a month and was
contracted for life to sing songs. No
wonder the artistes of that era strug-
gled so much that songs such as Jab
dil hi toot gaya were sung from the
very core of ones heart and that too
in a drunken state.
YouTube has made Saigal
immortal, and surprisingly, K L
Saigals poster of Salaam-E-Saigal
went viral on Indian Down Unders
Facebook page. We could gauge that
K L Saigal is nostalgically imprinted
on our minds.
The immortal songs of Saigal
resonated in our homes with our sen-
ior generation. The Salaam-E-Saigal
evening on Sunday, April 28, at
Pennant Hills Community Centre on
Yarrara Road, Pennant Hills, was
packed as seniors filled the hall and
listened to Saigals songs as nostalgia
hung in the air with anecdotes from
his life brought out by Rekha
Rajvanshi as the emcee. Vinod
Rajput and his musicians Surinder
Singh Tabla, Dr Gamini
Percussions, Sharat Sharma Guitar
and Deepa Kannan - Violin and
Keyboard with Vinod on
Harmonium of Band Baaja Group
got into a mood which had a viral
effect on all present. Vinods do
nayana matwaare Jab dil hi toot
gaya and his rendition of Babul
mora naihar chhoto re jaaye with
Sumathi Krishnan were thoroughly
enjoyed while Pushpas So jaa
rajkumari was too good to be true.
Deepa Aroras dances on Shola jo
bhadke and Saiyan dil mein aana
re brought whistles and claps from
the audience on a high. Who says
that old songs like that of K L Saigal
are ever any less or even the dances
of those days. We are sure that the
audience was witness to an excellent
evening of an era that our parents
and grandparents belonged to. We
are sure it was a cathartic experience
for all who attended this special
Anita Desai and Pankaj Mishra at Sydney Writers Festival
Salaam-E-Saigal a great success!
Pankaj Mishra Anita Desai
Vinod Rajput and Pushpa Jagadish performing
The audience rapt in old era of Saigal.
Event number 69: Anita Desai
with Deborah Levy: The Artist
of Disappearance
May 23, 6:00pm-7:00pm
City Recital Hall Angel Place
Firmly established as Indias
greatest living writer (The
Guardian), Anita Desais writing
spans decades, continents and
emotional landscapes. Anita
speaks about The Artist of
Disappearance and her extraordi-
nary body of work, with 2012
Man Booker finalist Deborah
Levy. Supported by the City of
$32/$25 Bookings 9250 1988
or 8256 2222, or
154: Water: New Writing
May 25, 10:30am-11:30am
The Bar at the End of the
Indias Anita Desai, Irelands
Dermot Healy and Australias
Amanda Lohrey read new short
pieces themed around water,
especially created for the 2013
Sydney Writers Festival. Hosted
by UNSWs Stephanie Bishop.
Supported by University of NSW.
Free, no bookings
194: In Praise of Short Form
May 25, 4:00pm-5:00pm
Richard Wherrett Studio,
Sydney Theatre
Join Deborah Levy, Anita
Desai and Cate Kennedy as they
speak to Tegan Bennett Daylight
about why telling a story in a
shorter form can be liberating and
immensely satisfying.
$14/$10 Bookings 9250 1988,
Pankaj Mishra is the author of
{Butter Chicken in Ludhiana},
{The Romantics}, {An End to
Suffering} and {Temptations of
the West}. He writes principally
for the {Guardian}, {The New
York Times}, {London Review of
Books} and {The New York
Review of Books}. He lives in
London and Shimla.
67: Pankaj Mishra: From the
Ruins of Empire
May 23, 4:00pm-5:00pm
Wharf Theatre 2
Pankaj Mishra talks with
Julian Morrow about his latest
book, From the Ruins of Empire,
a deeply researched look at the
Victorian era from the perspec-
tive of Asia.
$20/$14 Bookings 9250 1988,
88: Learning From The Past
May 24, 10:00am-11:00am
Sydney Theatre at Walsh Bay
William Dalrymple and
Pankaj Mishra speak to the Lowy
Institutes Michael Fullilove,
exploring new perspectives in his-
tory and how they challenge,
inform and redefine our current
world view.
$20/$14 Bookings 9250 1988,
ydney welcomed the arrival of one of
the worlds greatest sporting legends,
the Indian cricket great Sachin
Tendulkar. The wax version of the sports star
was cheered on by loyal Swami Army fans at
the famous Sydney Cricket Ground as they
gathered around the star to celebrate his per-
manent arrival in Sydney.
Members of the Swami Army were
extended an exclusive invitation to catch the
first glimpse of the new wax figure for them-
selves. Dressed head to toe in their cricket
attire, the Swami Army members cheered
and sang Indian chants as their hero
Tendulkar was revealed as the next exciting
addition to Madame Tussauds Sydneys line
Swami Army organiser, Sumit Grover
was overwhelmed to be a part of the occasion
and said, It was amazing to be so close to
my cricketing hero. Sachin Tendulkars wax
figure was incredibly realistic, just like the
real thing! We are life-long fans of his so
were ecstatic that Madame Tussauds Sydney
has decided to immortalise him in wax - hes
up there with the greats.
The SCG remains a successful playing
field for Tendulkar, who during his time
playing Test cricket on the ground has man-
aged to hit three centuries and achieve an
average of 157. The internationally renowned
batsman, nicknamed the Master Blaster,
holds the record for the highest number of
runs in Test history and is widely considered
to be one of the greatest batsmen of all time.
The Indian superstar recently received the
Order of Australia for his outstanding contri-
bution to international cricket. Besides being
a cricket icon, Tendulkar is also seen as a
role model for young cricket players all over
the world. Kristy Enright, spokesperson at
Madame Tussauds Sydney, commented, In
November 2012 Sachin Tendulkar became
the first Indian sportsman to be honoured
with the Order of Australia, so it is only fit-
ting that this great batsman takes pride of
place in our Sydney attraction. Tendulkars
achievements on the cricket pitch are phe-
nomenal, and with such an international pres-
ence I am sure he will be a favourite among
our guests. It took 800 hours and a team of
over 60 artists to immortalise the sports star
into the second version of Tendulkar, the first
of which resides in Madame Tussauds
London. The Mumbai born batsman joins an
A-list line up of other sporting legends such
as Shane Warne, Sir Donald Bradman and
Ian Thorpe; he will also be the very first
Indian sports personality to be featured at
Madame Tussauds Sydney, where visitors
have the unique opportunity to take pictures
alongside many superstars.
ith over 200 participants,
ATF- Vanabhoj anaal u
(Picnic in Forest) brought
all Sydneysiders originating from
Telangana region of old princely
state of Hyderabad. ATF
(Australian Telangana Forum)
organised this outstanding event at
Rouse Hill Regional Park.
Vanabhojanaalu is a forest pic-
nic where people of a community
share their happiness share each
others food. They play games and
enjoy the atmosphere of garden or
park or forest.
It was a full day event. Day
started early with prayer to
Telangana Thalli sung by Bhavani,
Pavani, Sandhya, Swetha, Swarna,
Someshwar and others. The prayer
created an immediate emotional
connection to the native place of
Telangana in Andhra Pradesh,
Then delicious breakfast
Upma and other items were served
by Anuradha. Lunch consisted of
Dum Biryani prepared by Rajsekar
and Naresh. Evening snack of hot
Mirchi and tea prepared by
Rajsekar and Jaipal kept the day
busy as people enjoyed food and the
social atmosphere. Ravikanths
food arrangements were excellent.
Ladies, led by Bhavani and
Sandhya , played traditional Kho-
Kho, Volleyball, Kabaddi and fun
games like Lemon spoon game,
Running race, Dumb Charades and
Tug of war.
All ladies and young girls
enjoyed the Mehndi (henna) on their
hands organised by Pavani and
The men played a thrilling
social cricket match. Hanumanth
Reddy, Sunil, Madhav and
Surender led the games. Buchi
Reddy and Ashish played exciting
cricket shots and entertained the
Abhi, the Youth Secretary
engaged all children in games that
included running race, Lemon
spoon game, Easter candy hunt etc.
Special guests were Ch.
Mahipal Reddy (Retd. SP) and Dr
Yadu Singh. It was a fun filled
event that will be remembered for
its traditional style of Indian rural
entertainment. President Mr
Upender Gadey and General
Secretary Mr. Venkata Prasad
Ragipani and their team brought all
Telangana Sydneysiders on one
platform and with a pledge to be
united and make further events in
line with multi cultural Australia.
The same enthusiasm continued
as all are planned to conduct Cricket
match on ANZAC Day.
Overall event brought all
Telangana Sydney siders on one
platform and all are pledged to be
united and make further events in
line with multi cultural Australia.
Sydney goes wild as
Sachin Tendulkar comes calling
ATF members shared food and happiness at the event.
The Swami Army fans at the famous Sydney Cricket Ground, cheering the arrival of Sachin Tendulkar's wax figure.
Australian Telangana Forum organizes picnic in the forest
Madame Tussauds Sydney, Aquarium
Wharf, Darling Harbour (next to WILD
LIFE Sydney Zoo) . www.madametus-
Cost: Prices from $16 when you book
online. Walk-up price Adults: $38,
Children (4-15yrs): $22. Combination
tickets are available with SEA LIFE
Sydney Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney
Zoo, Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary and
Sydney Tower Eye.
Opening hours:
9am 8pm daily
nspired by and with the support
of Ela Gandhi, Gandhi
Development Trust and ICON
(International Centre of
Nonviolence) Durban, International
Centre of Nonviolence (ICON)
Australia was launched in February
at the NSW Parliament House in the
presence of Federal and State
Ministers, diplomats and a host of
academic, community and religious
luminaries. Ela Gandhi came from
South Africa for the launch and vis-
ited many schools and institutions in
Melbourne and Sydney over 6 days
and was engaged with the Media
ABC TV and Radio, SBS and a
number of community radio and
TV programmes. Hon. Victor
Dominello, NSW Minister for
Citizenship and Communities, said,
We are in the presence of humani-
ties royalty here tonight; Ela
Gandhi is a true successor to the
mantle of her grandfather, Mahatma
Gandhi. ICON is inspired by a
member of the Gandhi family and
should be one worthy of support.
And when the organisations goal is
to promote nonviolence in our lives,
it cannot be ignored.
He added, While Gambhir
Watts and Bhavan Australia are set-
ting out to do, the International
Centre of Nonviolence will bring
together some key leaders from our
diverse range of backgrounds to
promote this wonderful ideal of
nonviolence. I think this centre can
send a very powerful message to the
world because we have in this state
an almost incredible diversity of
race, of faith, of language in our
communities, yet we live in harmo-
ny. Senator Lisa Singh (Federal
Government of Australia), Acting
Chair of UNICEF
Parliamentary Association said,
As someone who grew up with an
understanding of the teachings of
Mahatma Gandhi, of his values, of
his words, which I try in my 41
years of life to live out, to have his
granddaughter here with us tonight,
to be part of this opening of ICON
here in Australia is indeed a fantas-
tic and a very auspicious moment.
Biren Nanda, High
Commissioner of India, said, Ela
Gandhi has devoted her life to con-
tinuing the message, the ideas of
Mahatma Gandhi. South Africa was
the laboratory in which Gandhiji
refined his techniques. In a sense
when he left India the nationalist
politics in India had begun in 1885
with the founding of the Congress
party but the technique that the
Congress party and his leaders like
Gandhijis political group used was
constitutional -- they tried to agitate
for self-improvement within the
institutions of the community
department. When Gandhi came to
South Africa he was called there by
a prominent member of the Indian
community. Gandhiji faced several
disabilities and discrimination in
South Africa and he began to exper-
iment with his technique of nonvio-
lence and passive resistance. To
Gandhiji this was not just something
which was a physical manifestation
of action; it was nonviolence, so if
you faced nonviolence towards your
interlocutor and you did not act vio-
lently it was not good enough. That
is, you have to exercise self-control
and have love and affection for the
person you were dealing with and it
was not just nonviolence in action it
was nonviolence at heart.
Prof. Stuart Rees (Professor
Emeritus of the University of
Sydney, Chair of the Sydney Peace
Foundation) delivered the theme
lecture Practicing Non Violence:
Gandhi Legacy, International
Priorities. He said that Mahatma
Gandhi advocated ahimsa nonvio-
lence as a way of living and as a
law for life and that his principles of
nonviolence inspired civil disobedi-
ence towards governments and
other representations of oppressive
authority. Through skills in organ-
izing, through the clarity of his phi-
losophy as expressed in letters, arti-
cles and speeches and often through
his courage in fasting, Gandhi led
by personal example. He lived &
breathed the principle later
embraced by feminists and others
that the personal is the political.
The ideology of nonviolence
and the cues for practice are con-
tained in the language of Shelley
and Thoreau, of Gandhi and King.
They painted pictures of justice and
human rights. They knew the ideals
of a freedom which would enhance
everyones fulfillment without
interfering with others freedom of
mperfectly Frank an award
winning play written by
American writer Seth Freeman
and directed by 2012 Gala Finalist
Terry Meller - came third in the
Peoples Choice Vote in Week 7
of Short + Sweet Theatre
Festival. It featured Ravi
Chanana, Aishveryaa Nidhi,
Rickardo Wesley and Cheryl
Khurana, with choreography by
Monalisa Grover. The Sindhu and
Jaswani families have an ethical
dilemma but it all works out in the
wash. One may have seen many
arranged marriages in an Indian
setting but this one in the play is a
different take on a mindset result-
ing in hilarious dialogues and set
of situations all packed in just a
short ten minutes, no less no
more. A minute more and one
may lose points even if it is a very
good play. Thats brevity for you
and can be an utter challenge for
directors as well as actors.
Short + Sweet 2013 was a
resounding success, with the best
dozen plays from over 1,000
entries that made to the Gala finals
that were staged at Seymour
Centre's Everest Theatre making
it the biggest short play festival
that demands tight, strict
scripts and all sorts of other
talent and volunteers who are
quite devoted.
Pete Malicki who took over
from Alex Broun last year as the
festival director took on a huge
commitment as it has now
become a Sydney icon in the the-
atre world, attracting writers,
actors, directors and the rest who
find the medium of short plays
quite challenging yet something
that gives them all sorts of training
through crash tests, writing,
directing and casting experience
through workshops and master
classes. Only the best 80 or so
scripts make it to the finals, not
only from Australia but from
around the world. Obviously Pete
took time off to take a break in
Nepal after a hectic four months
spent on the festival as it runs for
eight weeks in succession and is
quite a demanding feat.
Imperfectly Frank came third
in Peoples Choice Vote
Abhinay ensemble cast with the director Terry Meller
Ela Gandhi with students of Fort Street High School
Moksha Watts at the ICON
Australia launch
ICON (International Centre of Nonviolence)
Australia launched
0449 111 111
Pree 0uotes!
0a|| Pappu!!
Jaswinder 8ingh Bhoga| !!!
0449 111 111
May - June 2013 THE NDAN DOWN UNDER 43
Time: 30 minutes Serve: 6
1 cup- Besan
1 cup- soya flour
1 cup-Atta flour
1/2 cup - Finely chopped spinach
2 Green chillies chopped
2 tsp Grated ginger
1 tsp Ajwain
1 tsp. Coriander seeds crushed
2 tsp Anardana powder
1tsp Kasoori Methi
1 tsp Red chilli powder
2 tbsp Desi ghee
salt to taste
Method: Mix all the flours, add all the
other ingredients. Knead into soft dough
with water, shape into 6 balls and roll out
into 5 inch diameter rotis with a rolling pin.
Cook on a non-stick pan on both sides, ap-
plying little ghee on both sides and cooking
until light brown. Serve hot.
2 cups Paneer (cheese)
1 cup Soya granules
(soaked for 10 minutes)
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1 cup fine Chopped capsicum
2 Green chillies
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp Black pepper powder
salt to taste
Method: Heat oil in a pan, add cumin
seeds and onions till golden brown. Add cap-
sicum, then all the other ingredients includ-
ing paneer and soya drained. Cook till it is
mixes well. Garnish with fresh coriander
1 cup firm Tofu grated
2 boiled, Mashed potatoes
1 tsp Green chilli chopped
2 tbs Crushed cashew nuts
3 tbsp Corn flour
1 sp Chat masala
salt to taste
Coriander leaves
Saffron thread 10 soaked in 1/4 cup of
warm milk
Method: Mix all the ingredients to-
gether. Make walnut sized balls and deep fry
till golden brown.
Serve hot with mint chutney or you can
make a gravy and add like kofta curry.
1 cup soya flour
1 cup plain flour
1 cup condensed milk
1/2 cup yoghurt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. soda-bi-carb
3/4 cup oil or butter
3 tbs cocoa powder
1 tsp coffee powder
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 tbsp drinking chocolate
1/2 cup soda water
Method: Sieve soya flour, plain flour,
baking powder and soda-bi-carb together.
Beat condensed milk, oil and sugar together
with a beater, add yoghurt, flour mixture
and half of soda water and beat again, add
other ingredients and blends well. Bake at
180 degrees C for 25 minutes on greased
baking tin, spread chocolate sauce on top and
garnish with red cherries.
Stop your hair colour from fading
If you've just had your hair dyed, the last
thing you want is for the colour to fade. One
surefire way to prevent such a mishap from
happening? Use a deep-conditioning treatment
once a month. This will help lock in colour and
has the added benefit of staving off dry and
damaged locks.
Give curls bounce
Never brush curls out with a brush. In-
stead, loosen them with your fingers. This will
give curls added lift without flattening them
Give hair lift
Before you start blow drying your hair, add
a volumizing spray to your roots. This will
give your locks some added lift.
Create fuller lips
If you're sick of having thin, pursed puck-
ers, extend your lip line using a neutral-toned
lip liner. Then apply lipstick over top. Be care-
ful though, don't extend your lip line too
Dry out pimples
Believe it or not, dabbing toothpaste onto a
pimple is a quick and easy way to dry it out.
Don't believe beauty labels
Some beauty labels actually display false
information, so don't believe everything you
read. If a product promises instant results or
all-day protection, it may be too good to be
Banish oil
The fastest way to clear your skin of any
oily breakout, especially in the summer, is to
use blotting papers. They'll clean up the excess
oil on your epidermis and will prevent break-
Use oil on your skin even if it's already
This probably sounds crazy, but using an
oil-based product to remove makeup or excess
dirt from your skin can actually improve your
epidermis' condition. Why? Over-cleaning
stimulates the sebum glands, which causes skin
to over-produce oil. Using oil-based products
will have the opposite effect.
You can use exfoliator daily
Exfoliation is an important and easy way to
buff away the dead skin cells that cover up
your skin's natural glow.
If you have greasy hair...
Avoid applying conditioner directly to your
hair's roots. Just apply the heavy moisturizing
cream to your locks' ends.
Remove nail polish without remover
If you run out of nail polish remover, you
can remove cracked or chipped nail polish by
applying a clear top coat to the nail and re-
moving it promptly with a cotton ball.
Change it up
Our skin craves different things depending
on the time of year. So change up your beauty
routine based on the seasons. In the winter, add
more moisturizing creams to your daily
beauty list. In summer, ensure you're
using lots of SPF.
Find your shade
When choosing a foundation, test a
product on the skin near your jawline.
And be sure to do it in natural light. This
will ensure the foundation tone you choose
for your face isn't too different
from the natural shade of
your neck.
Stop taking supple-
It's true the healthier
you are, the healthier
your skin and hair will
be. But popping supple-
ments without dis-
cussing them with your
doctor can do more
harm than good.
Why? Because mix-
ing certain vitamins
and minerals can
have the opposite
effect of what
you're hoping.
Talk to your
doc before
popping any pills.
Cut back on pedicures
Save money on your beauty routine by tak-
ing care of your feet on a daily basis. Simply
scrub your foot with a pumice stone each
morning in the
you step
out and
dry off,
apply a
cream to
your feet.
This will in-
crease the
amount of time
you can go with-
out a pedicure and
will keep your toes
healthy and fungus-
Replace old products
The effectiveness of
products not to mention the
amount of bacteria they
breed. Ditch old items and re-
place them with new ones.
Treat ingrown
Apply a product contain-
ing azulene or witch hazel
to help reduce the swelling and redness that's
associated with ingrown hairs. From there,
coax the ingrown hair from its location with a
pair of tweezers (don't pull it out as it will only
make the ingrown hair regrow in the same way
Beauty without tears
Feel Good and Look Beautiful
By Promila Gupta
All things soya
Some useful and easy tips as suggested by style editors
By Kanaka Ramakrishna
hat is in a name? A rose
would smell the same by
any other name. Once
the name is given to an object, the
association is inevitable.
Rama is not just a name. It
has deep significance, its own
glory, power and strength. As
soon as the name is mentioned, the
image of Rama also rises in ones
mind. Ram nam is one of the
sweetest and one of the most pop-
ular utterings in Hindu psyche.
Even Alexander the Great said
before leaving India, that his
impressions about India was
Ramas name and Ganga water.
The name Rama existed from
time immemorial, even before
Dasarathas son Rama was born.
Sage Vasishta meditated on the
name Ram a for quite a long
time. Sage Manu said that Rama
nama has links to all other
mantras that ever existed. It is said
that the Pranava or Omkara has
originated from the name Rama.
When Dasaratha wanted his
family priest Vasistha to name his
babies, he named the first baby
Rama, who is one of the ten
incarnations of Vishnu, and popu-
larly worshipped by many Hindus.
The two main strands in the
Hindu pantheon are the worship of
Narayana (Vishnu) and Shiva. The
moola mantra for Narayana is,
Om Namo Narayana and the
moola Mantra for Siva is Om
Nama Sivaya. In the Narayana
Mantra, the life of the Mantra lies
in the letters ra and in the Shiva
mantra, the life of the mantra lies
in the letters ma. If these two
life-giving letters are removed
from these mantras, they become
lifeless and inauspicious.
The Divine secret lies in com-
bining the life giving letters Ra
and Ma from these two mantras
and forming a name RAMA for
the Nirguna Parabrahma, which
has no name or form or quality.
Rama is neither associated with
Shiva nor Narayana, but an indica-
tive name of the Suddha Brahma.
Every mantra in the Hindu
scripture has its own name. But by
naming the Nameless as Rama, it
is the only mantra that is called
Taraka Mantra. Taraka means
that helps to cross- to cross the
ocean of samsara of this world.
Chanting the name Rama with
love and faith gives strength to
overcome the problems of life.
Those who pray with steadfast
devotion can obtain the knowledge
of the Supreme.
Parvathi wanted to hear from
Lord Shiva the easy method to
chant the thousand names of
Vishnu. Lord Shiva told her the
beautiful name Rama, Rama,
Rama, is equivalent to chanting
one thousand names of Vishnu
(Vishnu Sahasranama).
t is believed that in Varanasi
Lord Vishvanatha imparts
Ramas name to each and every
being at the time of death. Not only
human beings, even gods have
been blessed by Ramas name.
There is the well-known story
of the competition between
Vinayaka and Muruga. When
Muruga diligently circumambulat-
ed (pradakshina) his parents on his
peacock with great speed, Ganesha
wrote RAMA on the sand and
made pradakshina, as it was equiv-
alent to going round the whole
world. Siva was immensely pleased
and made him the leader of all his
ganas and he got the name
When Ravana abducted Sita
and kept her in his Ashoka vana
in Lanka, Sita was one pointedly
thinking and chanting Ramas name
day and night. While she held her
life-breath meditating on Rama to
come and release her, even death
could not dare to touch her.
Hanuman, after meeting Sita in
Lanka, came back to Rama and
describing her pitiable state of
mind he said, Constant meditation
on you is the door keeper that
guards the door of Ma Sitas heart
not to allow her life to depart. She
has fixed the gaze of her mental
vision on your lotus feet and has
locked the door. Then, from which
way the life can depart?
Hanuman constantly chanted
the name of Rama that helped him
to achieve many wonderful feats. It
was through the power of Ramas
name, he was able to cross the
wide ocean of several miles in just
one leap to Lanka and was able to
find Sita in Ravanas Ashoka
vana. When the vaanaras were
building the bridge on the unfath-
omable ocean to go to Lanka, the
rocks drowned in the water.
Hanuman simply said, chant
Ramas divine name and the rocks
would not sink. The vanaras com-
plied and immediately the rocks
floated; they were convinced in the
efficacy of Ramas name and the
bridge was built.
Hanuman wanted to carry the
mountain in the Himalayas that
contained the herbs to save Rama,
Lakshmana and the vaanara army,
who were wounded and were lying
unconscious in the battlefield. Only
by Ramas powerful name he lifted
and brought the mountain which
saved the lives of Rama and others.
Rama was saved only by the power
of his name!
When the purpose of Ramas
incarnation on this earth was ful-
filled, before leaving his mortal
body, Rama asked Hanuman to go
into deep samadhi and attain the
eternal Bliss of Brahman.
Hanuman declined saying that he
would prefer to live on this earth,
where Rama was born, and His
name ever playing on his lips, is
bliss to him. Hearing this, Rama
asked Hanuman, why is it you
value my name more than me?
Hanuman replied, My Lord, You
are only a mortal incarnation,
whereas your name and deeds are
eternal. Hence your name on this
earth is eternal. As long as
Ramas name is chanted on this
earth, Hanuman will be always
present at such places.
While mythologies and scrip-
tures are abundant with the glory of
Ramas name and His grace, in
modern age also we hear the expe-
riences of His devotees, who were
blessed by His grace. One such
experience may be recalled here.
Swami Vivekananda was an
unknown monk before going to
America. After his guru passed
away, he wanted to travel through-
out India from North to South as a
parivrajaka, mostly by foot and
sometimes by train, if some kind
person provided him a ticket.
Once, he was travelling by train on
one of the hottest days, thirsty and
hungry, and he had not eaten food
since the previous day. A co-pas-
senger in the train, a rich mer-
chant, quenched his thirst with
water and while eating the rich
food he had brought with him,
went on chastising the swami for
living on alms and not earning his
livelihood, though he was young
and strong and was a social parasite
and so on.
The swami ignored his remarks
and turned his face away from him.
When the train reached the station,
they all got down and had to wait
for the next connecting train. The
merchant sat inside in the shade, in
the waiting area, and the swami sat
on the ground outside, leaning
against a post.
After a while, a man hurriedly
came to the swami, carrying a bun-
dle and water in his hands, request-
ed the swami to accept the food he
had brought for him. The swami
was surprised and told that he must
have mistaken him for somebody,
as he did not know him. The man
insisted that there was no mistake
and explained to him what hap-
pened. After finishing his morning
business in his sweetmeat shop, he
went home, finished his lunch and
was having a nap. He had a vision
of Sri Rama, pointing out the
swami to him, telling that his devo-
tee was starving without food since
the previous day, and he should
prepare some food and run to the
station to feed him. The man
thought it was only a dream and
went back to his nap. But again Sri
Rama appeared and urged him to
take the food immediately. The
man told the swami that he had not
mistaken him as Sri Rama had
already shown him. The swami
was very much moved and accept-
ed the food with deep gratitude.
The jeering merchant who was wit-
nessing the whole incident, was
stunned and came to the swami to
apologise, made pranams and left.
Rama Nama is the only eter-
nal solution to the eternal problems
of human life. The ultimate answer
to the question of helplessness that
one may have to face in life is,
when all other powers have failed,
meditation on His Lotus Feet,
thinking of Him, and chanting His
name is the only way. It provides
mental poise and serenity, which
cannot be obtained by any other
means. He alone is the help of the
helpless, the power of the power-
less, the secure of the insecure, and
the everlasting treasure for all. He
is the Sat-Chit-Ananda, ever
enshrined in our hearts.
The power of Ramas name
When the vaanaras were building the bridge on the unfathomable ocean to go to Lanka, the rocks
drowned in the water. Hanuman simply said, chant Ramas divine name and the rocks would not sink.
The vanaras complied and immediately the rocks floated; they were convinced in the efficacy of Ramas
name and the bridge was built.
Sri Rama Rameti Rame Raame Manorame
Sahasra Naama Tattulyam Ramanama varaanane.
Before leaving his
mortal body, Rama
asked Hanuman to
go into deep
samadhi and attain
the eternal Bliss of
Brahman. Hanuman
declined saying that
he would prefer to
live on this earth,
where Rama was
born, and His name
ever playing on his
lips, is bliss to him.
My Lord, You are
only a mortal
incarnation, whereas
your name and
deeds are eternal.
Hence your name on
this earth is
eternal, Hanuman
he Vedanta Centre of
Sydney has embarked on
an extensive building
programme to enhance its exist-
ing facilities at Ermington.
When the project is completed,
it will be the main centre of the
Vedanta movement in Australia.
Interest in the teachings of
Vedanta is growing rapidly in
Australia and adequate facilities
to provide for and accommodate
it are much needed, especially
in Sydney.
The large site of the Vedanta
Centres new home in
Ermington was chosen specifi-
cally to provide these facilities.
It has a prominent heritage list-
ed building on the ridge adjacent
to Stewart Street with expansive
views to the south over
Homebush Bay
and across
Sydney to the far horizon of the
Southern Highlands. The open
sloping ground behind this
building provides space for the
new community facilities which
will step down the site and sur-
round a sheltered courtyard
adjacent to the main hall.
The project comprises three
meeting halls, a large library,
on-site residential facilities and
parking. Plans are now
approved by Parramatta City
Council and construction is well
underway. It is being designed
and constructed by a team of
experienced and competent
architects, consultants and
builders and will
be in har-
mony with the surrounding area
and the heritage buildings on the
The new centre will give
concrete shape to Swami
Vivekanandas desire to spread
the teaching of Man-making
character-building education
which leads to the
Manifestation of the Potential
Divinity in us. It will be
named in honour of Swamijis
150th birth anniversary, which
is being celebrated this year,
and will be a fitting and inspir-
ing place for these teachings in
The president of the Vedanta
Centre of Sydney, Swami
Sridharananda, appeals to the
community to become involved
in the project as the Centre will
benefit them and also future
generations. The Centres
resources are stretched and it is
only with the communitys help
that this dream can be realised.
There are several ways to be
involved in this noble task: an
outright tax-deductable dona-
tion; an interest-paying loan; an
interest free loan or a committed
monthly contribution towards
the building fund. All can be
freely discussed with Swamiji
along with any other options
that the participant may consid-
This is indeed good Karma
that will go with us a long way,
a practical manifestation of the
teachings we are all endeavour-
ing to inculcate.
The Vedanta Centre can be
contacted by telephone: 02 819
77 351 or on the web at
Bird's eye view from the North East corner
Bird's eye view from the South West corner
ldous Huxley (1894
1963) was a shining
star of the writing
world. His most famous books
are Brave New World and
Island. He was a pacifist,
humanist and satirist with mys-
tical leanings and an appetite
for psychedelics.
Due to a teenage illness he
was left with very limited eye-
sight. He was interested in
Vedanta, ahimsa and vegetari-
anism and was good friends
with J. Krishnamurti. He
became an exponent in 1955 for
the use of LSD to enhance the
search for enlightenment. He
wrote The Doors of
Perception which described his
LSD experiences. Even when
he lay dying he took a 100
micrograms dose of LSD and
his wife read to him from the
Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Here are some quotable
quotes from Aldous Huxley.
"I wanted to change the
world, but I have found that the
only thing one can be sure of
changing is oneself." - Point
Counter Point
"That men do not learn very
much from the lessons of histo-
ry is the most important of all
lessons that history has to
teach." - Collected Essays
There are things known
and there are things unknown
and in between are the doors of
perception." - Brave New
"The secret of genius is to
carry the spirit of the child into
old age, which means never
losing your enthusiasm."
"Happiness is not achieved
by the conscious pursuit of hap-
piness, it is generally the by-
product of other activities."
"Chronic remorse, as all the
moralists agree, is a most
undesirable sentiment. If you
have behaved badly, repent,
make what amends you can and
address yourself to the task of
behaving better next time. On
no account brood over your
wrong doing. Rolling in the
muck is not the best way of get-
ting clean." - Brave New World
"You never see animals
going through the absurd and
often horrible fooleries of
magic and religion. Dogs do
not ritually urinate in the hope
of persuading heaven to do the
same and send down rain.
Asses do not bray a liturgy to
cloudless skies. Nor do cats
attempt by abstinence from
cat's meat to wheedle the feline
spirits into benevolence. Only
man behaves with such gratu-
itous folly. It is the price he has
to pay for being intelligent but
not as yet, quiet intelligent
"After silence, that which
comes nearest to expressing the
inexpressible is music."
"A child-like man is not a
man whose development has
been arrested; on the contrary,
he is a man who has given him-
self a chance of continuing to
develop long after most adults
have muffled themselves in the
cocoon of middle-aged habit
and convention."
"An intellectual is a person
who's found one thing that is
more interesting than sex."
"A belief in hell and the
knowledge that every ambition
is doomed to frustration at the
hands of a skeleton has never
prevented the majority of
human beings from behaving as
though death were no more
than an unfounded rumour."
Mystical leanings and appetite for psychedelics.
Inner Space
By Faith Harper
he religious observance,
respect and faith shown by
the millions of people who
dipped in the Ganges River at the
recent Maha Kumbh Mela festival
in India was astonishing.
I was among the over 100 mil-
lion people at the GangA in
Allahabad in January to be there
for the once in 12 years festival.
My journey was to take a dip
at the confluence of the Ganga,
Yamuna and Saraswati rivers
along with the largest human
gathering on Earth, but it opened
my mind and heart to an unusual
physical enactment of my inner
journey to harness celestial ener-
Some pilgrims make a journey
as a form of ascetic practice,
deliberately taking the most ardu-
ous route or walking even when
other modes of transportation are
available, but I made a comfort-
able trip by air and road.
What I learnt was that to make
a spiritual journey you did not
need to be part of an organised
All you need to do is think of
a special place that has a sacred
meaning to you and make the trip
with determination and curiosity.
Although my trip was a great
joy, the delays, obstacles, chal-
lenges, long hours without meals,
putting up with extreme cold and
humid weather and constantly
expecting the unexpected gave me
opportunities for reflection about
life all along the journey - and not
just upon arriving at my destina-
" D o n ' t
expect mira-
cles," said
my Vasthu
S a s t r a
M a s t e r
Y u v a r a j
Sowma, who
followed me,
"but you may
experience some-
thing unusual in the
presence of
g r e a t
e n e d
M y
first encounter
with spiritual power
was with a naked holy man who
has been
s t andi ng
on one leg
for 10
years to
attain spiritual illumination.
He was in a makeshift hut
built on the banks of the Ganges
River and he only appears in pub-
lic during the Kumbh Mela,
emerging from his abode in the
I felt a sudden surge of force
entering my body the moment he
placed his hand on my head as a
form of blessing and looked deep
into my eyes with a smile. He did
not speak a word and when I
thanked him for his grace, he
removed a Rudraksha Mala
(divine bead chain) from around
his neck and placed it around
His act of giving was inter-
preted as passing on some of his
power of spiritual consciousness
to me.
Following this, I visited a
dozen more holy men
who performed various
acts to display their
powers and pass them
on to seekers.
I stayed on the
grounds of the beauti-
Ma h a r s h i
Ashram at
J h u s h i ,
Here, I
was invit-
ed by spir-
itual leader
Sant Pravar
S h r i
Vigyandeo Ji
Maharaj for
a cave medi-
tation in a
special place
where holy men
and seers in
India sit in
silence for days,
weeks and even
years to connect to the spiritual
vibrations there.
As I walked underground into
the magnificent cave at 7am, all
external sounds were cut off; the
dark underground enclosure was
lit with purple lights.
The temperature was even and
I was given a short briefing on
Vihangam Yoga (science of con-
sciousness) meditation tech-
niques, established in 1924, to
stimulate and heighten my spiritu-
al practice.
I sat in solitude in the lotus
posture with my eyes closed
before the statue of Sadguru
Sadafaldeo Ji Maharaj. I could
not remember how long I was
there. I left the space feeling
lighter, internally rejuvenated and
My uplifting pilgrimage con-
cluded with me receiving sun
energy by gazing at the therapeu-
tic and calming sunset at the
Ganges River.
I returned reborn with a new-
found peace and an altered state
of consciousness.
Spirituality taught me to be
completely natural and for most
of us, the most natural way to live
is in the world, working to feed
ourselves, caring for our families
and contributing to our communi-
Going on a retreat is a power-
ful way to make sure we keep our
spiritual lives vibrant and bal-
anced with the material world.
T Selva is the author of the
bestseller book titled Vasthu
Sastra Guide for health, peace
and prosperity. To get a copy,
contact Devi 0412623017. He can
be contacted at tselvas@pd.jar- Website: www.vasthusas-
By T. Selva
My uplifting pilgrimage to Kumbh mela
Cave meditation at the Maharshi Sadafaldeo Ashram
at Jhushi, Allahabad.
A sadhu blessing devotees visiting him
at the banks of the Ganges River.
Aldous Huxley
By Uma Srinivasan
Such was the headline in the Daily Iowa
Capital newspaper on November 28, 1893.
The lecture was on Hindu Religion, deliv-
ered on November 27. The Hindu monk
was none other than Swami Vivekananda,
who took the world by storm with his talks
on religion. His fundamental conviction
that we are all divine resonated with every
one who heard him, regardless of their
nationality or religious inclination.
Let us pause, and try to understand the
mind of the person with such phenomenal
courage of conviction.
He was born Narendranath Datta in
Calcutta on 12 January 1863. His father
Vishwanath Datta was an attorney of the
Calcutta high court, who was generous, and
had a progressive outlook on social matters.
His mother Bhuvaneshwari Devi was
deeply religious, and inculcated in
Narendra the values of purity, honesty,
tranquility, generosity, self-respect as well
as respect for the values of others.
Even as a child, Narendra had a strong
will and would not deter from any task he
set out to do. The story goes that once a
cobra appeared where Narendra and his
friends were meditating. The other boys
shouted a warning to him and ran away out
of fear. Narendras focus was never dis-
turbed and he later told his parents that he
was totally unaware of any disturbance to
his meditation.
Narendra was introduced to principles
of western thought, during his education in
Calcutta. He was a brilliant student with a
deep enquiring mind, and studied history,
philosophy and literature. In addition, he
was an artist, a gifted musician with a melo-
dious voice, a debater, and a gymnast.
He was energy personified-- restless for
action and equally restless to understand
God. This led him towards intense medita-
tion, and the study of different religions and
philosophical systems. However, neither
his studies nor his constant enquiries gave
him a clear idea of God.
It was during one of his English lec-
tures, where his Principal William Hastie
was discussing Wordsworths poem The
Excursion, that Narendra first heard the
name of Ramakrishna. While describing
the poets mystical approach to describing
nature, Hastie added that with purity and
concentration such transcendental experi-
ence was possible even for ordinary people.
And in that context, he mentioned that he
knew only one person who had achieved
that state of bliss, and that person was Sri
Ramakrishna, the saint of Dakshineshwar.
Narendra was intrigued when he heard
that there was someone who had realised
Soon after, an opportunity arose for
Narendra to meet the saint of
Dakshineshwar. One of his friends
Surendra Nath Mittra, a devotee of Sri
Ramakrishna, had invited the Master to his
house. Knowing Narendras musical talent,
he invited him to regale the Master with his
devotional songs. Sri Ramakrishna was
extremely impressed with Narendra and
invited him to Dakshineshwar.
When Narendra next visited
Dakshineshwar, he was again asked him to
sing. This time when Narendra sang, the
Master went into an ecstatic mood. Sri
Ramakrishna, realizing Narendras
immense potential, invited him to become
his disciple, saying that he was born to
attain great spiritual achievements.
However, at that time, Narendra, being a
pragmatist, and with a family to support,
declined. He was instead, looking for a job
to support his family, as his father had
passed away leaving the family in poverty.
Regardless of the situation, Narendra
asked Sri Ramakrishna if he had seen God.
Without any hesitation, Ramakrishna
replied: Yes, I have seen God. I see Him
as I see you here, only more clearly. That
clear reply impressed Narendra immensely,
as he realised that here was a person who
dared to say that he had seen God. Not
only had Ramakrishna seen God; he insist-
ed that it was a reality to be felt and sensed
in an infinitely more intense way than what
the physical senses could perceive. How
could Narendra with his intense yearning
for God escape the influence of such a
Master for long?
Their meeting was like a meeting of the
ancient and modern. Sri Ramakrishna was
an ardent devotee of Mother Kali.
Narendra felt it was wrong to surrender
freedom of judgment and accept tradition
without testing and understanding the pur-
pose and value of what was taught.
Narendras rebellious nature and his
arguments did not deter Ramakrishnas love
and devotion to this special disciple. When
Sri Ramakrishna asserted that the Divine
Mother made him realize Narendras true
qualities, he argued that all this could be a
figment of the Masters fertile imagination
and argued that science and philosophy
prove that our senses could often deceive
us, especially when there is a desire in our
minds to believe something.
Narendra was a member of Brahmo
Samaj whose members believed in a form-
less God, and despised idol worship. And
here was Ramakrishna who had no qualms
about worshipping an image of the Divine
Mother Kali and saw and experienced the
presence of divinity within that image. By
extension, Ramakrishna affirmed that all
religions, when followed in their true spir-
it, lead to the same realization of the infi-
nite, and the divinity within all of us.
Although, initially it was difficult for
Narendra to accept this dualistic approach
to God, after about three years,
Ramakrishnas infinite love and patience,
his very presence filled with divinity,
moved Narendra deeply. Sri
Ramakrishnas conviction that pure love
and pure knowledge are one and the same
and lead the aspirants to the same goal,
finally convinced Narendra and he became
an ardent disciple of Ramakrishna
Paramahansa. His explanation of the word
compassion as service to mankind had a
lasting impression on Narendra. Sri
Ramakrishna created a monastic order and
nominated a few monastic disciples before
passing away in 1886. He nominated
Narendra to look after the spiritual educa-
tion of his disciples. Soon after, the first
monastery was formed in Baranagore near
Calcutta. The monks practised intense
meditation and went without food for days.
Narendra initially took the name of
Vividishnanda, and, prior to his journey to
America, he changed his name to Swami
Vivekananda at the request of Raja Ajit
Singh of Kethri.
Between 1888 and 1893 Swami
Vivekananda travelled all over India trying
to understand the spiritual soul of the peo-
ple of India, be they rich, poor or the
absolutely down-trodden. He slept in dilap-
idated huts as well as palaces. His travels
took him to all corners of India, from
Calcutta to Varanasi, from Haridwar, to
Almora and the Himalayan regions, and
then to Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra,
Mysore, Madras, and to the very tip of
India - Kanyakumari.
It was during these travels he realised
that religion cannot be an impassive debili-
tating idea; rather it had to be a vehicle that
helped an individual realize ones true
potential. His phenomenal intellect and
immense motivation for action left no scope
for idle religious speculation. His thoughts
moved towards synthesis of Hindu faith and
modern science, applicability of ancient
Vedic thought and principles to social real-
izations of present day. He was torn
between service to man and service to God.
Finally after days of continuous introspec-
tion, he chose the service of god in man. It
was at this time his followers coaxed him to
travel to the United States to represent
Hinduism at the Parliament of the Worlds
Religions to be held in Chicago. When he
delivered the now famous address at the
Parliament of Religions, he asserted that
that all religions are equally true, as they
are all attempts of the human soul to grasp
and realize the Infinite.
His biographer Romain Rolland
remarks: When this unknown young man
of about thirty appeared in Chicago at the
inaugural meeting of the Parliament of
Religions, all his fellow-members were for-
gotten in his commanding presence. His
strength and beauty, the grace and dignity
of his bearing, the light of his eyes and his
imposing presence, from the moment he
began to speak, the splendid music of his
deep rich voice enthralled the vast
American Anglo-Saxons and left a deep
mark upon the United States.
During his tour of the US and later
England and France, Swami Vivekananda
influenced many western scholars. He rede-
fined religion saying as more than rituals,
dry talk, or knowledge acquired from
books. He said religion had to be man-mak-
ing, character-building education, which
led us towards the realization of the divini-
ty within each one of us. And in that regard
all religions had the same goal of somehow
reaching that divinity.
Between 1893 and 1900, travelling all
over the world, Swami Vivekananda went
on to teach the many ways that Vedanta
helps us realize this potential divinity with-
in us. He taught the principles of Karma
Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Raja
Yoga that enable us to perform all our
duties with utmost focus, dedication and
devotion, leading to absolute perfection in
every task we perform. By developing an
attitude of love and devotion to all our tasks
and duties, the very process of such dedi-
cated action leads us towards the experience
of that eternal cosmic blissful existence
which pervades our consciousness.
By then, Swami Vivekananda had many
followers who helped him establish
Vedanta Centres in many cities in the US
and Europe. Meanwhile, at home in India,
the Ramakrishna order was well estab-
lished. Even after his final return to India
in 1900, in his many lectures, Swamiji
asked young people to develop their physi-
cal stamina and mental faculty of reasoning
instead of embarking on idle religious pur-
On one occasion while addressing the
youth of Bengal who had very little stami-
na, he said: You will be nearer to God
through football than through the Bhagavad
Gita. He inspired a group of young men
who started an organization to provide des-
titutes with food, shelter and medical help.
He gave them confidence that money would
come in for such good work. He called this
institution Ramakrishna Home of
Even on his last day, July 4, 1902,
while lecturing his students on Sanskrit
grammar, he insisted that they all be origi-
nal, never imitate and never accept what is
taught without a clear understanding.
His principles of universal religion and
a firm conviction in the presence of the
divine in every one of us, gives us hope
that, with the right attitude, dedicated hard
work, and self-awareness, even we
mere mortals have the means to grasp that
Homage to Swami Vivekananda
On the occasion of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami
Vivekananda in 2013, its time to reflect on his life and teachings.
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Sundays - 10am - 3pm
89.7fm Eastside Radio
or tune into:
May - June 2013 THE NDAN DOWN UNDER 51
By Karam Ramrakha
Karam C Ramrakha, Barrister and
Solicitor, Putney Chambers, 36 Pellisier
Road, Putney, NSW, 2112. Phone: 02
9808 2760, Mob:0434 986 123, Email:
or us the Ramrakhas, September 14
is an auspicious day because it was
on that very day in 1949 that my
two brothers, Ram and Shiu , arrived in
Sydney, Australia to attend Waverley
College as students and, in 1950, to com-
mence MBBS course and make university
history in becoming the first twins to begin
and finish medicine at Sydney University .
This intellectual invasion fuelled by the
Colombo Plan was to spell the death of
White Australia Policy. Sadly, I was not
the first Pacific Islander to do Law at
Sydney Uni, as the King of Tonga had
beaten me to that.
Coming back to 9/14, it will be an
important date when the elections will
impact Australian History.
It was Kipling who wrote "The Female
of The Species is More Deadly than the
But already the Liberal Juggernaut has
demolished two Labor goddesses Kristina
Keneally and Anna Bligh, leaving
their brood spiritless.
But Julia-jee is now
rising from the Ashes
and predicted elec-
toral defeat.
Already she has
paid a heavy
price for hold-
ing together a
holding the bal-
ance of power and
having the damaged
Slipper and Craig
Thompson on board. The
spectre of Kevin (07) Rudd
also weighs against her,
and carbon tax and
cal denial of Climate Change bug her
every step.
Adding to her woes is Joe
Hockey who floats in the
sky and fires missiles
from up high. And
Tony Abbott, on the
footsteps of John
Howard, carries on
Goebbels-like agen-
da: repeat and
repeat and you will
be believed.
Sadly for him his
Liberal predecessors Barry O'Farrell and
Campbell Newman who have captured
NSW and Queensland parliaments are now
found wanting and have not provided the
economic and political alchemy that voters
had expected from them.
This elections is about women, or
should I say wimmin, whether they will
suffer electoral defeat simply because
Julia-jee is a Lady. But it is woman busi-
ness which should decide the elections this
year. As Mao Tse Tung said, Half of
China is women...and open the World of
China to its women.
9/14 will sort Australia out
Old people need jobs
and not just at the Vatican
ope Francis, the new leader
of the worldwide Catholic
Church, is 76 years old.
Some people think he's too old to
be assuming such a demanding
position. They wonder how long
he'll be able to serve as Pope,
considering that his predecessor,
Pope Benedict XVI, was 78 when
elected to the Papacy and lasted
only as long as three Charlie
Sheen marriages.
But I don't see anything wrong
with a 76-year-old Pope. Just think
how much experience Pope
Francis brings to the job. He has
witnessed so many life-changing
events during his time on Earth:
the abolition of slavery, the dis-
covery of penicillin, the invention
of the padded bra.
Okay, perhaps he's not quite
that old, but he does have a wealth
of experience to bring to the job,
and that's a good thing. I love to
see an older person getting such a
high-profile job. In fact, if I had
my way, nobody would be consid-
ered for the position of Pope until
they had as many lines on their
foreheads as their rsums.
In some countries, people are
forced to retire from certain occu-
pations while they're in their late
50s! That seems patently unfair to
me. Just imagine if Oscar-winning
actor Ernest Borgnine had retired
in his 50s. We would have never
seen him in such movies as "The
Graduates of Malibu High,"
"Frozen Stupid" and "Real Men
Don't Eat Gummi Bears."
Okay, bad example. But you
get the point. People in their late
50s still have a lot to contribute
perhaps even more than they con-
tributed before. Laura Ingalls
Wilder published her first "Little
House on the Prairie" book when
she was 64. Claude Monet, the
great French artist, completed
many of his masterpieces after age
60. And Betty White was almost
90 when she got tackled in a
Snickers commercial.
At age 100, Loren Wade of
Winfield, Kansas, is America's
oldest worker. While other cente-
narians have been retired for 40
years, Wade works 30 hours a
week at Wal-Mart, usually in the
pet supplies department. If you're
having trouble lifting a 50-lb bag
of dog food into your cart, Wade
is the guy who'll help you find
one of the young guys in the back.
The older I get, the more I
support some form of age-based
affirmative action or positive
discrimination, as they call it in
Britain. We need to create special
jobs for senior citizens, so they
can stay active and keep contribut-
ing to society. Here are just three
job ads that I would like to see:
1. Receptionist. Male Potency
Clinic seeks receptionist to answer
phone calls and schedule patients
for consultations with Dr. C.
Ellis. Preference will be given to
candidates who have trouble
remembering names and faces.
Young people need not apply.
2. Living
History Guide.
Senior citizens need-
ed to visit schools
and talk about
their childhoods,
as part of a
20th century
history les-
Students are eager to hear your
amazing stories, whether you had
to walk three miles to get to
school or grew up in a single TV
household. Please bring your
photo albums along, as many of
our students are eager to find out
what a "photo album" is.
3. FCC Reporters. Citizens
aged 65 and above are encouraged
to apply for the newly created
position of Federal
Communications Commission
(FCC) reporter. As an FCC
reporter, your job is to watch TV
full-time and report any inappro-
priate language that makes you
feel like using inappropriate lan-
guage. You might be an ideal can-
didate if: i) you often complain
about "all the filth" on TV; ii)
your grandchildren accuse you of
being a prude; iii) you've written
a letter to Joel Osteen asking him
to stop saying "gosh, darn it."
Already the Liberal Juggernaut has
demolished two Labor goddesses Kristina
Keneally and Anna Bligh, leaving their
brood spiritless. But Julia-jee is now rising
from the Ashes and predicted
electoral defeat.
The older I get, the
more I support
some form of age-
based affirmative
action or positive
discrimination, as
they call it in
Britain. We need to
create special jobs
for senior citizens,
so they can stay
active and keep
contributing to
New Pope Francis is 76 years old
At age 100, Loren Wade of
Kansas is America's oldest
worker. He works 30 hours a
week at Wal-Mart.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard
May - June 2013 THE NDAN DOWN UNDER 53
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To see if Reiki could possibly help you
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0425 204 364

1 June 18 August
Austra/ian Nationa/
Maritime Museum
The eaiIy AustiaIian coIonies,
at the ends of the eaith` fiom
Euiope, tuined to neaiby Asia foi
suivivaI and giowth. East of India
Foigotten tiade with AustiaIia,
which opens at the museum on 1
June 2013, tiacks oui coIoniaI
Iinks with India, the powei and
monopoIy of the EngIish East
India Company, and its decIine.
It`s a taIe of ships and shipwiecks,
iice and ium, officeis and offi-
ciaIs, saiIois, soIdieis and seivants
taking us fiom the oId aIIuie of
Asia to modein-day ties between
India and AustiaIia.
In this Asian centuiy, many
AustiaIians aie unawaie that
AustiaIia has been tiading with
India foi ovei 200 yeais,` says
exhibition cuiatoi Di NigeI
Eiskine. Quite simpIy, those
eaiIy connections with India weie
ciuciaI to the giowth and suivivaI
of coIoniaI AustiaIia.`
In East of India, visitois
encountei the biight, boId coIouis
of a bustIing Indian maiketpIace,
siIk saiis and Iuxuiious chintz tex-
tiIes, images of iajahs on eIe-
phants and scuIptuies of gods.
Ovei 300 objects, incIuding coins,
aitwoiks, scuIptuies, maps,
weaponiy, ceiamics, textiIes and
cIothing have come fiom moie
than 15 Iending institutions.
One especiaIIy beautifuI object
is the bejeweIIed swoid of the
Indian iuIei of Mysoie Tipu
SuItan, kiIIed by East India
Company foices at the battIe of
Seiingapatam in 1799. This
famous Company was the woiId`s
most poweifuI coipoiation of its
time. It came to contioI the Iives
of miIIions in India, with its infIu-
ence feIt in New South WaIes,
Biitain`s stiuggIing fiist coIony in
the southein hemispheie.
Sugai, iice, shoes, cIoth, can-
dIes, cattIe and othei essentiaIs
weie impoited fiom India.
Museum-goeis can examine
iaieIy seen aitefacts fiom the ship
Sydney Cove, wiecked en ioute to
Poit Jackson with a caigo of
Indian goods in 1797, and Indian
cuiiency incIuding goId used by
meichants who expoited seaI oiI,
timbei and coaI fiom the fIedgIing
It wasn`t just goods that weie
exchanged. In diamatised iecoid-
ings Indian seivants desciibe theii
woiking Iives in Sydney in 1819.
An empIoyment contiact between
an Indian Iabouiei and empIoyei
John Mackay in the 1830s was as
contentious then as the 157 visa is
today. A speciaI inteiactive
demonstiates the chaIIenges
encounteied at sea when expoiting
waIei` hoises bied in New South
In a shoit fiIm featuied in the
exhibition, titIed Indian Aussies:
Teims and Conditions AppIy, a
diveise gioup of
IndianAustiaIians iefIect on the
infIuences and ties that bind oui
two nations. The fiIm is diiected
by fiIm makei Anupam Shaima,
cieatoi of the AustiaIian FiIm
FestivaI in India and a 2013
AustiaIia Day Ambassadoi.
Ovei the past five yeais, this
museum has been uncoveiing evi-
dence of AustiaIia`s stiong coIo-
niaI tiade Iinks with India thiough
oui undeiwatei aichaeoIogy pio-
giam,` says its diiectoi Kevin
Sumption. Oui team has discov-
eied and suiveyed shipwiecks Iost
off the QueensIand coast on the
weII-tiaveIIed and often dangei-
ous tiade ioute between AustiaIia
and Asia. They incIude the
Meimaid, Poipoise, Cato, RoyaI
ChaiIotte and Feigusson.`
East of India Foigotten tiade
with AustiaIia biings togethei
inteinationaI Iendeis incIuding the
Victoiia and AIbeit Museum, the
Biitish Libiaiy, the Biitish
Museum, and Hei Majesty the
Queen`s own RoyaI CoIIection.
LocaI Iendeis incIude the State
Libiaiy of NSW, the Poweihouse
Museum, the Ait GaIIeiy of NSW
and the Queen Victoiia Museum
and Ait GaIIeiy in Launceston.
The exhibition wiII be on dis-
pIay at the AustiaIian NationaI
Maiitime Museum fiom 1 June to
18 August 2013. East of India
Exhibition & GaIIeiies ticket is:
AduIt $15, ChiId & Concession
$10. Admission is aIso incIuded
with the Museum`s Big Ticket
(GaIIeiies & Exhibitions + VesseIs
+ Kids on Deck): AduIt $25, ChiId
$15, Concession $10, FamiIy $65.
The AustiaIian NationaI
Maiitime Museum wiII aIso be
awash with the coIouis, patteins
and sounds of India fiom 21 May
to 10 June 2013, as its ioof, ves-
seIs and suiiounds aie iIIuminated
with CoIouis of India as pait in
Sydney`s ienowned VIVID
FestivaI. Piojections wiII iun
nightIy fiom 6pm 12am.
The AustiaIian NationaI
Maiitime Museum, in DaiIing
Haiboui, is open fiom 9.30am to
5pm daiIy. AII enquiiies (02) 9298
3777 oi visit
New exhibition: East of India -
Forgotten trade with Australia
16 Mav 2013 6.00 pm to 7.00
Lecture Theatre G08, Grouna
F/oor, Me/bourne Law Schoo/,
The Universitv of Me/bourne,
185 Pe/ham St Car/ton |IC
The AustiaIia India Institute
has foi its AnnuaI Oiation with
Secietaiy of the Depaitment of
Foieign Affaiis and Tiade, Mi
Petei Vaighese AO, who wiII be
giving a taIk entitIed Oui
Jouiney With India. What is the
ioIe foi India in the 21st
Centuiy? WiII India`s economic
weight tiansIate into stiategic
infIuence? Does India have the
stiategic cuItuie and institutions
to suppoit a moie active foieign
and stiategic poIicy? How wiII
India, a Iong-standing democia-
cy, position itseIf on the inteisec-
tion of vaIues and inteiests in
inteinationaI ieIations? Recent
Lowy poIIing picked up stiong
nationaI suppoit foi a poweifuI
Indian stiategic ioIe in the Indo-
Pacific. something we in
AustiaIia wouId suppoit. Fiom
AustiaIia`s peispective, we see
gieatei conveigence in oui
stiategic and economic agenda
with India. We have much in
common but aIso shaie some-
times misconceived notions of
each othei. Both oui countiies
need to woik haid to modeinise
oui peiceptions of each othei,
because gieatei coIIaboiation is
in oui mutuaI inteiests.
Mi Vaighese took up his
position as Secietaiy of the
Depaitment of Foieign Affaiis
and Tiade on 3 Decembei 2012.
Piioi to this appointment, Mi
Vaighese was AustiaIia`s High
Commissionei to India fiom
2009 to 2012. Mi Vaighese has
heId a wide iange of senioi posi-
tions in the Depaitment of
Foieign Affaiis and Tiade in
Canbeiia, incIuding as Deputy
Secietaiy (2002-2003), Fiist
Assistant Secietaiy of the
InteinationaI Secuiity Division
(1997), Head of the White Papei
Secietaiiat (1996-97) which
diafted AustiaIia`s fiist white
papei on foieign and tiade poIi-
cy, Fiist Assistant Secietaiy of
the PubIic Affaiis Division
(1991-96), and Assistant
Secietaiy of Staffing (1991-92).
He was seconded to the
Depaitment of the Piime
Ministei and Cabinet as Fiist
Assistant Secietaiy of the
InteinationaI Division (1998-
Mi Vaighese was boin in
1956 in Kenya to Indian boin
paients. He migiated to AustiaIia
as a young chiId in 1961. Mi
Vaighese is a giaduate and uni-
veisity medaIist in histoiy fiom
the Univeisity of QueensIand.
He is maiiied with one aduIt son.
He was appointed an Officei in
the Oidei of AustiaIia (AO) in
2010 foi distinguished seivice to
pubIic administiation, paiticuIai-
Iy in Ieading iefoim in the
AustiaIian inteIIigence commu-
nity and as an advisei in the
aieas of foieign poIicy and intei-
nationaI secuiity.
Our Tourney With India; Australia India
Institute Annual Oration
In 2013 the AustiaIia India Institute
is biinging Maestio Zubin Mehta,
aiguabIy the woiId`s gieatest Iiving
conductoi (and unaiguabIy India`s
gieatest gift to the woiId of Westein
cIassicaI music) to MeIbouine to pei-
foim with the AustiaIian WoiId
Mehta wiII be pIaying two pieces
of music, both of which have univeisaI
appeaI: Igoi Stiavinsky`s Rite of
spiing, fiist pIayed a hundied yeais ago
at the Theatie des Champs-EIysees in
Paiis in 1913. and Gustav MahIei`s
fiist symphony often iefeiied to as
The Titan.
2013 is the 100th anniveisaiy of
the fiist peifoimance of Stiavinsky`s
The Rite of Spiing`. When it was fiist
peifoimed in Paiis it caused a iiot as its
ihythms and tonaIity weie consideied
to be fai too piogiessive. Today how-
evei, the woik is one of the boIdest,
most viituosic and exciting woiks evei
wiitten foi oichestias. With its ieIent-
Iess powei and ihythmic eneigy, it con-
stantIy biings the house down.
MahIei`s 1st Symphony is peihaps
his most popuIai and with good ieason.
It has eveiything anyone couId wish
foi in a Iaige symphony-passion,
extieme emotion, fuiy, tiagedy, excite-
ment, pathos, the famous Fieie
Jaques` sIow movement and one of the
giandest endings to any woik evei
The incompaiabIe Zubin Mehta
wiII be conducting both MahIei`s 1st
symphony and Stiavinsky`s The Rite
Of Spiing` in an unfoigettabIe thiee
conceits in 2013. Don`t miss out on
youi chance foi tickets.Visit:
Zubin Mehta to tour
Australia in October
Peter |arghese AO, Secretarv DFAT
The Kersi Meher-Homji column
appy days are here again. Only a
few months ago, Indian cricket-
lovers were under severe depression
after their team being beaten 1-2 by England
in India last December, being whitewashed
0-4 by Australia in Australia in 2011-12 and
0-4 by England in England in 2011.
It was a tsunami of disasters.
But the gloom is now lifted. India not
just defeated Australia 4-0 in the Tests
series in Chennai, Hyderabad, Mohali and
Delhi this February-March, they slaugh-
tered them by big margins and with days to
Now it is a tsunami of triumphs!
For the first time in her 81 year history
of Test cricket, India whitewashed a country
in a series of four or more Tests. And the
clean sweep was not against a weak nation
like Bangladesh or Zimbabwe but against
the once-invincible Australia.
It was only the second time that
Australia has been whitewashed 0-4 in a
series of four Tests. This happened 43 years
ago, against South Africa in South Africa in
The heroes in the series have been skip-
per MS Dhoni, openers Murali Vijay and
Shikhar Dhawan, stylish batsmen
Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli and
spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and
Ravindra Jadeja. Newcomer medium-pacer
Bhvneshwar Kumar also made his slight
presence felt when capturing early wickets
in two Tests.
India almost did the impossible, regis-
tering 500 runs in the first innings of the
first three Tests. Why almost? Because they
totalled 499 in the third Test after amassing
572 in the first Test and 503 in the second.
The fourth Test in Delhi was a low scoring
game for both the teams.
And all these massive totals despite
India losing all the tosses and batting sec-
ond. Yet, some Australian journalists
explained the Aussie massacre because India
deliberately prepared dusty pitches to suit
Indian spinners. True, the Chennai pitch
was a yellow dustbowl but still India man-
aged to score 572 on days 2, 3 and 4. In
Delhi, the bounce and turn was erratic but at
other venues the pitches favoured both pace
and spin.
Here are the batting heroes for India:
Sachin Tendulkar (81) and Virat Kohli
(107) batted stylishly but Dhoni dominated
with a 6-rich 224 in the Chennai victory.
In the second Test in Hyderabad, Vijay
(167) and Pujara (a stroke-filled 204) added
370 for the second wicket. As Australia
could total only 368 runs in two innings
(237 and 131), one can say that the Indian
pair had scored two more runs than 22
Aussie batsmen put together.
Vijay scored another century (153) in
the next Test in Mohali but all the attention
was focussed on debutant Dhawan. The
moustached Indian played a magnificently
breathtaking innings which will be remem-
bered for a long time. His 187 with 33
sparkling fours and two sixes came off only
174 balls, an electrifying strike-rate of
107.47. The spirited Indian openers put on
289 runs.
Dhawans debut century was the quick-
est in Test history as it came off only 85
balls. It was an innings to remember as he
attacked Australias quickies and spinners
with a range of spectacularly classy strokes.
It was as if we were watching left-handed
David Gower and Brian Lara at their scin-
tillating best.
What an innings! What panache! And
what a moustache! His moustache reminded
me of the freedom fighting sepoy Mangal
Pandey (1827-1857).
F o r
Australia put up some
fight in the Delhi Test
thanks to spinner Nathan
Lyon grabbing 7 for 94 in
Indias first innings. The
home team led by only 10
runs in the first innings and
we thought the match would
go either way. But after running neck and
neck to India, the Aussies under new captain
Shane Watson, were rocked by Man of the
Match Ravindra Jadeja who took a 5 wicket
haul and Australia was dismissed for 164.
Needing only 155 to win India had a few
hiccups before winning easily by 6 wickets
with two days to spare.
Admittedly the pitch was difficult to
play shots but if Indias opener Cheteshwar
Pujara and Australias tail-ender Peter
Siddle could score half
c e n -
turies in both innings without a
care in the world, why not others? Both
played as if the pitch was a featherbed.
In fact Siddle became the only no. 9
batsman to score 50s in both innings as also
the only no. 9 batsman to top-score in each
innings in the annals of Test cricket.
For capturing 29 wickets at an average
of 20.10 (best bowling 7 for 103) in the
series, Indias spinner Ravichandran
Ashwin was adjudged the Man of the Series.
Other candidates for this award were all
Indians: Pujara (419 runs at 83.80, highest
score 204), opener Murali Vijay (430
at 61.42, HS 167), Dhoni (326 at
81.50, HS 224 besides captaining his
country with flare and keeping wick-
ets efficiently) and spinner Jadeja (24
wickets at 17.45, best 5 for 58).
Jadeja dismissed Australias captain
five times out of six in this series.
Among Australians, Michael
Clarke was the only one to score a
century and Lyon showed signs
of improvement in the Delhi
Test when he captured 7 for 94
in the first innings. Tail-ender
Mitchell Starc batted well in
the Mohali Test to score 99.
But otherwise it was doom
and gloom for Australia; all
dark clouds with hardly any sil-
ver lining. For India, however,
it was all diamonds and gold!
Currently Australia is ranked
no. 4 in Tests after South
Africa, England and India.
No ifs and no buts, India
won the series fair and
India regains Border-Gavaskar
Trophy with panache
The heroes in the Test series India won 4-0 against Australia were skipper MS
Dhoni, openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan, stylish batsmen Cheteshwar
Pujara and Virat Kohli and spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja
Batsmen Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan
Spinners R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja
t was an unusual
match as Indian
H i g h
C o mmi s s i o n e r s
Indian Students beat
NSW Police
Commissioners XI in
the final pulsating
Also it was an
experience watching
this match alongside
i n t e r n a t i o n a l
Australian cricketers
Brett and Shane Lee
as spectators and part-
time barbers! More on
their head-shaving skills later!
It was the first Twenty20 match
of this kind in Sydney to bring about
a better relationship between Indian
students and the police. And it suc-
ceeded as there was friendliness all
Not even heavy downpour, thun-
der and lightning could stop the flow
of runs as the match was decided by
the Duckworth-Lewis method.
The Police Commissioners XI
batted first and scored 5 for 133 off
19 overs before pelting rains stopped
the innings. Allan McBryde top
scored with 42.
Because of rain interruption the
Students win target became104 runs
in 15 overs. In the final thrilling over
the Students were 5 for 96, needing
eight runs to win. It became three
runs for victory off two balls when
Jaspreet Sandhu hit a six and the
Students won by 5 wickets with a
ball to spare. Earlier, Harman
Dhillon had top-scored with 37 runs.
Everyone from both the teams
made valuable contributions with
bat, ball or when fielding. It was a
pleasure chatting with Gangdeep
Singh Dhillon, Gurnam Singh of the
Swamy Army fame and Harman
(Mickey) Randhawa.
It was a pleasure to watch the
match in the company of Mr
David Hudson (Deputy
Commissioner of Police and
a former cricketer), the
Consul General of NSW,
Darshak Mehta (the
best leg-spinner not
to have played a
Test) and friend-
ly staff from the
Police --
J u l i a n a ,
Shobha and
V e r o n i c a
among others.
As the
match was pro-
gressing there were
squeals of delight as
Test great Brett Lee
and Shane Lee shaved
the hair of Sydney
University students to
raise money for the
Brett Lee Foundation.
My big thrill was to
be introduced to Miss
India Australia, Ankita
Ghazan, by talent-spot-
ter and film producer Raj Suri. The
beautiful Ankita was present to sup-
port the match.
After the match there was a gala
dinner hosted by Incredible India and
others. Constable Juliana dressed in
a stunning Ghana costume was the
popular Master of Ceremonies.
Ankita started the proceedings with
Indian and Australian national
anthems. Then Brett and
regaled all present with their cricket-
ing stories, especially their Indian
experiences. It was an occasion to
remember and hopefully the first of
many. My one suggestion to the
organisers is to have an operational
scoreboard during the match next
time around. Without it the specta-
tors were at a loss as to who was
winning and losing.
The Kersi Meher-Homji column
Should Sachin
call it a day?
Controversy Corner
Kersi with Ankita Ghazan, 2011 Miss India
Australia Winner, at the T20 match
hen India meets Australia
home or away, controver-
sies are not far behind.
However, in the current series, the
relation between the two teams was
exemplary. Michael Clarke proved
himself to be a sporting captain. No
complaints for his teams defeats.
But like whips in the Australian
Labour Party, Australias cricket man-
agement contributed to the further low-
ering of the tourists morale. The
axing of four players -- Shane Watson,
James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and
Mitchell Johnson -- in the Mohali Test
for not doing their home work was
childish. These four are Test cricketers
and not kindergarten kids. They could
have been reprimanded in private but
not in such a public way.
Australia made 408 runs in the
first innings of the Mohali Test yet
lost in four days despite fine perform-
ances from their openers and Mitchell
As usual bad umpiring and lack of
DRS (Decision Review System) were
the excuses cited for the Aussie defeat
by some visiting journalists when Phil
Hughes was wrongly given out in
Mohali. They failed to mention that
Pujara was also declared out wrongly
earlier. Also Michael Clarke was
given not out when he was distinctly
out and he went on to score a centu-
ry. Umpires make an occasional mis-
take as do batsmen and bowlers but
on the whole they do a fine job.
Sachin Tendulkar turned 40 on April 24
he only disappoint-
ment for India in this
series of high achieve-
ments was the poor form of
Sachin Tendulkar. After a
polished 81 in the first
innings of the first Test in
Chennai he made only 111
runs in the remaining six
In the series he scored 192
runs at a poor average of
32.00. His run aggregate was
less than individual innings
by Dhoni (224 in Chennai)
and by Pujara (204 in
Sachin will be 40 on 24th
April. Being his big admirer
it pains me to write this but
isnt it about time he says
farewell to Test cricket. He
has been the jewel in the
crown in all forms of the
game and perhaps no one will
break his records. In 198
Tests he has scored 15,837
runs at 53.86 with 51 cen-
turies, highest score 248 not
Next best in run-scoring is
Australias Ricky Ponting,
13,378 at 51.85 (41 cen-
turies) in 168 Tests but he is
retired. Among current play-
ers, South Africas Jacques
Kallis has amassed 13,128
(44 centuries) in 162 Tests,
still 2709 runs and seven cen-
turies behind Sachin. But
Kallis is not young, being 37
In decades to come,
Sachin will be remembered
not only for his records but
the way he played the game
on and off the field. He has
set a golden standard and
future great batsmen will be
compared as much with Don
Bradman as with Sachin
Jaspreet hits the Police
XI for a six
Kersi Meher-Homji reports from Sydney Uni
Ankita Ghazan with cricketer Brett Lee and Raj Suri
The axing of four players
Shane Watson (pictured
here), James Pattinson,
Usman Khawaja and
Mitchell Johnson in the
Mohali Test for not doing
their home work
was childish
The Kersi Meher-Homji Column
Pujara credits domestic cricket
& his family for his success
By Gaurav Joshi
avichandran Ashwin
might have grabbed
the Man of the Series
honours but it was the man
that guided India to a white-
wash victory that has been the
stand out player for the recent
India-Oz Test series.
Cheteshwar Pujara fin-
ished the series with 419 runs
at average of 83.30. More
than statistics it was the man-
ner and timing of his innings
that ensured that the future of
Indian cricket is bright.
Pujara credited his suc-
cess to playing countless
domestic matches. Ever
since my debut for
Saurashtra, I have played on
so many turning tracks I feel
comfortable and I know
which shot to execute. I feel all the hard
work I have done on my game in the domes-
tic schedule has played a huge role in my bat-
ting form in this series.
The Indian No. 3 also dismissed compar-
isons between himself and Rahul Dravid. He
has proved himself across the world, I am
still a long way away. When asked about
opening the batting the man from Rajkot said,
Ive opened through junior cricket and even
at times in ODI domestic cricket, so I dont
view it any different to batting at number 3.
Pujara hails from cricketing background
and it is the knowledge passed on through the
generations that he credits for where he is
today. My grandfather played high level of
cricket and he motivated my father to play the
game. I recall their conversations when I was
young and its perhaps how I became fasci-
nated about the game so early in my life.
Senior Pujara ended playing Ranji Trophy
for Saurashtra but could never don an Indian
capyet he has and remains son
Cheteshwars primary coach. My father still
coaches me and I spoke to him a couple of
times during the series about certain aspects
of my batting.
It was only when Pujara realised the
effort required to bowl that he decided to give
his hand at batting. Yes, I started as a leg-
spinner but from 10-11 years of age, I
thought batting is so much easier and I want-
ed to be a batsman.
On playing against Australia, Pujara said
he had prepared with countless hours at the
nets facing the reverse swing before the
series. But once the series got underway he
had stayed away from the nets. I knew I
have prepared well and when you bat in the
middle for so long, you dont have time to
bat in the nets [laughs].
Pujara has definitely filled the position
vacated by Dravid in the home season in
India. Over the next year he will face the
challenges in South Africa and New Zealand.
Given his hunger and the class he has dis-
played against Australia only success awaits
Steve Waugh medalist
Gurinder Sandhu may be
picked for the Ashes tour
orn in Blacktown, NSW,
Gurinder Sandhu, 19
years in age and 63
tall, has already represented
New South Wales in Shefeld
Shield as an all-rounder. Thanks
to him when NSW defeated
South Australia in March on the
Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)
when Gurinder took 4 wickets
for 58 and then 3 for 20 and also
scoring 45 valuable runs.
This was only his second
first-class match and he played
with assurance. To cap it all, he
was adjudged Man of the
In his Sheffield Shield debut
a week earlier he had captured 5
for 31 and 2 for 57 against
Victoria. Thus in only two first-
class matches he has claimed 14
wickets at an impressive average
of 11.85.
He also represented Sydney
Thunder in Big Bash League
earlier this year.
For his promising showing in
national cricket he recently
received the Steve Waugh
Medal for the Best NSW
Cricketer of 2012-13.
Australias performance in
India for the Border-Gavaskar
Trophy was so pathetic, losing
0-4, that there are conjectures
that Gurinder may be picked for
Australia in the Ashes series in
England starting a few months
His family comes from
Punjab but has now settled in
Sydney. It was a pleasure chat-
ting with Gurinder for The
Indian Down Under.
You bat left-handed but
bowl right-arm fast-medium.
I started playing backyard
cricket with my father, who is
also my mentor. He bats right-
handed and bowls left-arm like
Michael Clarke, so I did the
opposite as a child. And the
habit stuck!
Any other cricketers in the
My younger brother Harmon
shows and represents his club
for Under-15s.
Tell us about your cricket
I scored a few centuries
when I played Under-15s, my
highest score being 147 not out.
In a first grade match I took a
hat-trick for Fairfield-Liverpool
against Manly. But the great
thrill was being selected for
Australia in the Under-19 World
Cup staged in Australia last
year. We entered the Final but
lost to India.
Who coached you?
Test cricketers Craig
McDermott and Stuart Law
among others. It was a privi-
lege learning from them.
Your most memorable
Getting the Baggy Blue
last month to represent
NSW in Sheffield Shield,
and then taking seven wick-
ets in that match against
Victoria including 5 for 31
in the first innings.
Your hero?
Englands all-rounder
Andrew Flintoff. I hope to
play like him one day.
May you reach that level
soon, Gurinder. Australians
and Indo-Australians
are banking on you.
Gurinder Sandhu, promising Oz teenager of Indian origin
India has found its No 3 bat in Cheteshwar Pujara,, who finished the
recent Test series against Australia with 419 runs at average of 83.30.
Cheteshwar Pujara
The Kersi Meher-Homji column
onvenience stores, Taxi
drivers, IT professionals,
Cricket fanatics...the list
goes on. This is how the Desi
beings are stereotyped by
Videshis; included in this list in
a favourite Indian sport
Badminton, in which Indian
youths passion and sport mix
together. Many may not know or
realise that this sport has its roots
dating back to the 18th century in
British India. Ever since the
British left India, badminton con-
tinues to prevail in many back-
yards and small clubs, in streets
and suburbs in India. This highly
loved sport thrives in the Hills
district of Sydney, through many
local community clubs; however
there is one club that unites play-
ers of different origins and from
different regions of Sydney.
Crestwood Badminton Club has
been around for 22 years, spear-
headed by President Mr Basker
Ratnam, whose altruistic service
brings joy to many badminton
players. His selfless dedication to
this sport and the clubs prosper-
ity is remarkable. The club func-
tions twice weekly at Model
Farms High School at Baulkham
Hills, Sydney.
Here you will find recreation-
al badminton played at the highest
competitive level 2 nights a week.
The club conducts a highly com-
petitive doubles Badminton tour-
nament for its members twice
every year, which rejuvenates the
spirit of the game in the minds of
the players and motivates them on
improving their game. This
years first tournament started on
March 27, 2013 and was spon-
sored by Value World Travel.
Not just on the day of the
tournament, all the hidden virtues
of sportsmen their coordina-
tion, cooperation and compassion
were on a high as they tried to
concentrate on their practice ses-
sions with their doubles partners.
Following few weeks of gripping
practice sessionsand nail-biting
exercises, the Tournament saw 8
teams coil their springs prepared
to unleash on the day. Players
like Manikandan, ShanthaKumar,
Ranjith, Shivshankar who only
started playing this absorbing
sport a little more than a year ago
did show tremendous improve-
ment and played up to par with
many experienced players just in
time for the tournament.
Defending champions Aditya
Gaur and Hitesh Bansal did also
maintain their touch and form,
while relishing their previous
win, hoped to repeat the feat
again this time.
The battle soon began with
valour and all 8 teams played
astounding games. Friction,
streaks, stares, spats among play-
ers all happened on this one day,
and in the end 4 teams stood apart
to play in the semi-finals. It was
the end of the road for the pair-
ings of Venketesh and Murthy
and Hitesh and Malkeet who
were beaten by the titans Neni
and Murugappan and Amit and
Bala respectively, who then
secured their place as the
Finalists. The first day of the
tournament ended with disap-
pointment for 6 teams; however it
also witnessed a close competi-
tion and fighting spirit, mixed
with jubilance and joy for the
love of badminton. International
veteran Subramanian Jaganathan,
who has been playing badminton
for decades and was visiting
Sydney on a holiday, was aston-
ished by the passion for the sport
shown by the club, he remarked,
I have never seen such energy
and harmony among players from
different regional backgrounds,
playing together as a family. The
way the tournament was conduct-
ed and Mr Basker Ratnams ded-
ication was euphoric. I will carry
these memories back home
rejoicing and savouring every
second of it.
On the night of April 3, 2013,
when the rest of Sydney was at
home relaxing, the shuttlers of
this club had a thunderous cele-
bration rejoicing the finals of
their 9th Bi-annual Tournament.
The Value World Travel
Championship Cup adorned the
table, alongside all of the memen-
tos, prizes and gifts, a glittering
table of motivation for all play-
ers. The club has a tradition of
holding a few exhibition games
every tournament final games
night; this game has no competi-
tive significance, however it
demonstrates the league in which
the sport is played at a higher
level, inspiring every club mem-
ber and motivating them. On this
tournament finals night
Crestwood Badminton Club was
honoured to host Young Kim and
Yong Lee from the Korean
Badminton Club, and the
National representatives of
Australian Badminton, Guy
Gibson and Bernard Hallim.
Crestwood Badminton Club
members Karthik, Harry,
Venketesh and Aadhil took the
honour of sharing the court space
with these icons, and played a
few games with a high quality of
sportsmanship and spirit.
Following all of the exhibition
events, were the grand gala
finals. A best of 3 games compe-
tition was planned; however the
pairing of Neni Tiwary and
Murugappan Ramaswamis sheer
power and control was no match
for Bala and Amits agility. The
Value World Travel
Championship Cup was won by
the winners in two straight games
(21-12, 21-17). The runners up
were disappointed, but content
and satisfied having played to the
best of their abilities. The final
matches were umpired by the
Yonex recognised umpire
Shivshanker. It is worthy to men-
tion that Shivshanker was the
line-umpire at the Australian
Badminton open 2013 and is also
one of the clubs current patrons.
Another mentionable personality
that honoured the day with his
presence was Dr. Rajam
Sankaran, from the CSIRO who
presented the awards to some
One of the winners Mr Neni
Tiwary who runs Value World
Travel sponsored the prestigious
It is a usual perception that
the best skilled team take the
championship, however quite
often this isnt the reality.
Though the contesters exhibit
their mind and skills to their high-
est level, there are always influ-
ence of the performance anxiety
on the tournament day that denies
them to access to their best poten-
tial. In such competitions it is the
sport that wins ultimate; the con-
testers are meagre puppets con-
trolled by nerves.
Crestwood Badminton Club
encourages players of all levels to
come play badminton, to play
with Crestwood Badminton Club
please contact Mr Basker Ratnam
on 0409 996 509 or email at lath-
Most Dedicated Players
Hitesh Bansal
Gautham Subramanian
Kaustubh Banjatti
Consistent Players
Vinod Vijayakumar
Gayathri Jayaram
Swiftest Player
Diwakar Gaur
Player of Club
Venketesh Srinivasan
Karthik Ramapra
Badminton smashes into the
suburbs of Sydney
Cyrus Pestonji Diwakar Gaur, Manikandan Krishnamurthy, Jitender and Murthy.
Award Recipients
May - June 2013 THE lNDlAN DOWN UNDER 59