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January 21, 2011
Volume 2, No. 20
New Zealand’s first Indian weekend magazine
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New Zealand | 4 Community | 17 India | 12

Meet Vidya (Geeta) Kites takeover Music for peace brings
Venugopalan Auckland skies world violinists together

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Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 | 1

New Zealand

Curry Munchers to hit big screen next month

& Talk of carrying coals to Newcastle!
While New Zealand has long been pro-
moting its locales to Hollywood and Bol-
lywood, here is Curry Munchers, a New
Zealand film conceived and produced by
Kiwi Indians whose innovative team is
taking this slickly produced home pro-
duction all the way to Bollywood – and
Several years in conception, Curry
Munchers was produced on a shooting
schedule that was as tight as its budget
and completed in record time by a multi-
national, multitalented cast and crew.
The film is a light-hearted comedy
about love, hope – and some hot and
spicy curry. It is a story of change,
chasing one’s dreams and the challenges On location on the sets of Curry Munchers
one faces when faced with the situation
of re-location and resettlement. sal appeal, talking of the problems that cast and crew and run a contest that kicks
The film deals with some of the most young people face in all environments. off both in our print and online editions
contentious issues that new migrants The narration is in English and the pro- with several prizes to be won. To find out
face: what stops a migrant from integrat- duction values are extremely profession- more about the film and to win prizes
ing, assimilating into a new country and al as testified by experts who have seen read these pages and participate in the
culture? Is it language? Loss of the tradi- the first rushes. contest that will appear online and our
tional family safety net? Lack of accep- Curry Munchers has been produced next issue on February 4. To participate
(c) mahayana films copyright 2011

tance by locals? Could it be the failure by Mahayana Films, a team of pro- online, subscribe online to our newslet-
Releasing on 24 Feb to attract local girls? Or scarce job op-
portunities? The film is set in modern,
fessionals specialising in feature film
production, commercial/music video
ter at
Can’t wait to have more curry? Have
Only in Cinemas contemporary New Zealand society with production, line-production and web ad- a first look at the trailers of the movie on its cosmopolitan mix of people and cul- vertising. You Tube Channel. Just go to the follow-
tures. Indian Weekender is proud to be as- ing link:
A Shot in New Zealand and New Delhi, sociated with the film and to present it mahayanafilms Or just go to the search
the film has a very Kiwi feel in its treat- to New Zealand audiences. Our next option and type ‘Curry Munchers the
ment. This New Zealand made film by issue will carry an extensive feature on movie’. You can always find more on
local artistes and crew also has a univer- the film introducing readers to the film’s Facebook and My Space.



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2 Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 |

New Zealand
Harshad Patel humbled by QSM award
Usually a soft-spo- several years. He remained Chairman of the en-
ken, self-effacing tertainment committee for 21 years. “I still play
and mild-man- harmonium in our Radha Krishna mandir in the
nered gentleman, holy month of Shravan,” he said with satisfac-
How the curry was cooked… about script writing and rewrote various Harshad Patel tion.
versions of the script. In the process I is visibly over- “There are so many profound memories I
got various people involved as co- whelmed as he have cherished throughout the years working
“I was sitting under a Pohutakowa tree talks to Indian for the AIA.” Mr Patel helped organise several
after work on a balmy Friday summer writers who have added huge value to
Weekender about cultural shows for the association.
evening about six years ago, while hav- the script.” the QSM (Queen’s He counts the performing a Gujarati folk
ing a glass of mango juice, pondering But Anand realised that cooking up a Service Medal) dance in which he played live music at the
on the monotonies of my life. The frus- mean dish was only part of the story. conferred on him as opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Game
tration of having to work a 10 to 12 hour There had to be the necessary com- part of the govern- in Auckland in 1990 as one of the highlights of
shift continuously for the last two weeks mercial nous to make it work. ment’s New year’s awards. his long association with AIA.
on an academic career pre- decided “I realised, as a trained prudent busi- “It is a huge honour to be a recipient of this Mr Patel has been one of the active team
ness person would, that this story beautiful QSM award. It is a great honour es- leaders of the fundraising committee. “We went
by my parents was clearly imprinted in
needed to have all the commercial pecially for my family and for the members of door to door to raise fund for the Mahatma
my forehead,” says lead actor Anand Gandhi Centre. It was a huge and hard task but
attributes to ensure it reached a wider the Auckland Indian Association and the Indian
Naidu, who also conceived the film and community at large living in New Zealand,” he with the good support from the members, we
co-produced it. audience and it could obtain a reward
for the investors involved. said. managed to complete the task very successfully.
“I was bemoaning my life when my He said his first thoughts were gratitude to The existence of Mahatma Gandhi would not
gorgeous wife chastised me for being “I then defined the elements required
his family and the community. “I would like to have been possible without the excellent support
a whinger and complainer. She con- for commercial success and ensured thank my family for encouraging me to work for from the community members.”
fronted me saying, ‘there was nothing the script ticked off all the boxes. After the community and also our Indian Community He has served the association at various
to stop me from doing what I wanted many years and numerous rewrites, for giving me an opportunity to serve them,” he levels: as vice president, member of the board
to do now’ and questioned me on what the script eventually got ready to go for added. of trustees, vice chairman of the board and he
I’d be doing if I was given a chance to production. The screenplay was then “I am proud to be an Indian and am a very was the president from 1999 for three years
re-live it. re-written by Padma Akula, a screen proud President of The Auckland Indian As- and again became president in 2007. He was
“At first, her words added fuel to the play writer,” he says remembering the sociation, one of the oldest and most respected awarded life membership of the AIA for his ex-
blood, sweat and tears shed during the Indian organisations in New Zealand.” ceptionally dedicated services to the AIA.
fire, especially since according to her,
hard yards. Reminiscing his long association with the Recently new boards of trustees including
I had done well out of my parents’ cho- AIA, Mr Patel said, “I introduced myself to the Mr Patel were elected in the Special General
sen career, but once she left I actually “The story is loosely based on my life
‘what if’ scenarios, except I had of AIA approximately 30 years ago as the musi- meeting. “Our future aim is to look in to the
realised I hadn’t fully given it a thought. cian. We had a small community hall called future development of the Mahatma Gandhi
I picked up a pen and started writ- course wanted to be an actor and an
Gandhi Hall in Victoria Street in city. From centre. I am so fortunate to have a dedicated
ing. Hence I wrote the first draft of this entertainer but became a chartered
there I started my journey with the AIA. team of the officers, executive committee
script,” he continues reminiscing how accountant. My wife’s words did impact “I mainly played harmonium and later key- members, Chairpersons of the various sub com-
he began putting together the recipe. on me, and I had been training and boards when we moved to the Mahatma Gandhi mittees. Over the years, the Auckland Indian
“I took my first draft to professional acting for the last six years, whilst still Centre. In 1984, I became the chairman of the Association has achieved many significant
writers who took it apart. Reflecting on working as a financial controller to entertainment committee.” goals,” he said.
their advice I reworked the script, learnt realise my dreams.” With his group of volunteer musicians, Mr Mr Patel is also vice president of the New
Cont pg.4... Patel raised a substantial amount, especially Zealand Indian Central Association (NZICA).
providing music at the Navratri festivals for

Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 | 3

New Zealand
Cont from pg.3
Meet Vidya (Geeta) Atif to donate
The story in a nutshell
Venugopalan profits to flood
Her character’s flambuoyant personality is what at- International pop star and Bolly-
tracted Aucklander Vidya Venugopalan to the role wood singer Atif Aslam begins his
of Geeta in “Curry Munchers”. first Australasian tour at Auckland’s
“It was the free-spirited nature of Geeta that I Logan Campbell Centre tonight
could easily connect with,” Vidya told the Indian (Januatry 21). The Pakistani award-
Weekender this week. winning artiste will donate ticket
Vidya, the 23-year-old South Indian beauty, profits from the concert to support
originally from Tamil Nadu, is one of the leading Oxfam’s work with survivors of last year’s devastating
female artistes in the locally produced movie which floods, which have affected over 20 million people. Indian
is low on budget, but with a big heart. Weekender is proud to co-present the show.
“I’m really looking forward to the movie and Aslam has seen first hand the destruction the floods
how people will receive it. Quite excited that it’s movie? have had on his homeland. He travelled to the worst af-
finally happening.” “It was so easy to get along with them; we recog- fected areas and helped hand out food, supplies and aid to
In reel life, she plays Geeta, who is sister of lead nized similarities and connected well. Ajay and the victims. He was so moved by the sights that he released
character Sid (played by Anand Naidu). Leela are just so good as actors. I was really in- a song encouraging fans to support survivors in any way
In real life, she is project leader of Mental spired and enjoyed the company.” possible.
Health at a Primary Health Organisation attached The singer and actor comes fresh from performing
Curry Munchers tells the story of Sid, an Indian to the Waitemata District Health Board (WDHB). What did you think of the plot of Curry Munch- to sell out crowds in the US, Amsterdam and Dubai. He
immigrant recently arrived in New Zealand. Next week, she takes a giant step in her personal ers and its appeal to the international audience? has nearly finished a new album that features collabora-
Instead of studying to become an engineer, Sid life and becomes Mrs Vidya Sashank. She weds “It’s different. It’s first a New Zealand Indian tions with Guns N’ Roses, Lanny Cordola, Slash and many
goes behind his parents back and gets a part Auckland software engineer Sashank Rajkumar on movie, surely bound to attract a lot of interest. The other international artists.
time job at a restaurant to earn money and in- Monday. plot is different, it does convey a message; stands Event Director, Omar Liaqat, is the man responsible for
dependence. Sid’s plans however take a surprise apart from others.” bringing the international sensation to this part of the world
turn when he and the kitchen crew have to come Vidya’s favourite curry? and says that this is a very special occasion: “We are for-
to the rescue of the failing restaurant, which “Palek Paneer.” She’s a vegetarian. Your thoughts on the movie industry in New tunate to have such an icon to visit us in New Zealand for
leads to deceiving his parents, conflict over girls Zealand? this show. His fans will come from as far as Christchurch.
and cultural stereotyping all with hilarious So how did Vidya land the role? “New Zealand has a baby movie industry. Curry Atif Aslam is the biggest pop rock icon of the Asian sub-
results! “I was spotted by Padma Akula (the movie’s Munchers could have done with more support from continent.
screenplay writer) during a dance competition. She government. Because of the constraints, we had to “One of the reasons for attracting such a huge act is
The who, what where… approached me when I won the Dance Pe Chance finish shooting within a month.” that he will inspire youth here in New Zealand to help the
Produced by Mahayana Films, the movie is competition in 2009, and it went ahead from there.” youth of less fortunate areas, such of those in Pakistan,”
directed by Cristobal Lobos, shot on location in Your favourite New Zealand movie? said Liaqat.
Auckland and New Delhi. Were you satisfied with your performance in “Boy was really cool.” “This event is focusing on the devastated region of
Cast: Anand Naidu, Alison, Vidya Venugo- “Curry Munchers”? Pakistan. It will raise awareness. The best part of this
palan (featured in Indian Weekender this week), “You tend to look at yourself quite critically, so I What next? Are you keen on furthering your concert will be that profits from tickets sold will go directly
Leela Patel, Tarun Mohanbhai, Raj Verma, think there’s always room for improvement. Defi- acting career? to Oxfam New Zealand to allow them to continue their
Ajay Vashist, Bhavnesh Soni. nitely could have done better.” “We’ll see where life takes me. Getting married on work in Pakistan.”
New Zealand premiere: February 21. Opens Monday, so it’s a huge change.” Oxfam is helping over 1.8 million people throughout
to public on February 24. The film also releases What was it like relating to other co-stars, Pakistan. The response includes evacuating people from
in Fiji and Australia shortly thereafter before considering established actors Ajay Vashist Your New Year’s resolution? devastated homes, distributing hot food and shelter kits,
moving on to India and other parts of the world. and Leela Patel play your mum and dad in the “To further my career and be a good wife.” providing families with clean water and building emer-
gency toilets to help prevent the spread of disease.

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a happy Republic Day.

At ANZ, we value the Indian community and its unique contribution in our branches and contact centres, our dedicated Migrant Banking
to New Zealand. What’s important to you, matters to us. And we’re Team and our Indian Business Managers, all of whom wish you the very
reaffirming that commitment with friendly and helpful Indian staff best on this proudest of days.

0800 744 485

4 Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 |
ANZ National Bank Limited ANZ0342IWA
New Zealand

Kiwi Indian teens in the arc lights

It’s bigger, it’s better and it’s on again.
Miss and Master Teen Indian NZ is on next month
and is expected to be more exciting than the inaugural
event held two years ago.
This year’s event co presented by Indian Week- This year’s cont
estants are:
ender will be held at TelstraClear Events Centre’s GIRLS: 1. Anjali,
2. Cr ystal, 3.
Genesis Theatre in Manukau on February 12, starting Jannine, 4. Jayn
e, 5. Jyo, 6.
at 7pm. Shayla, 7. Shee
tal, 8. Komal, 9.
And 25 contestants have been put through their Salma, 10. Soni
a, 11. Shyleen,
paces for the past two months by organiser Tanya 12. Saheba, 13.
Mehra, the brains behind the concept. Mona
BOYS: 1. Jai Kh
Tanya is not taking this pageant lightly as she is anna, 2. Nikhil,
3. Imran, 4: Salm
keen on developing the contestants’ confidence and aan, 5: Hot-
anya, 6: Shikha
self esteem to serve them well in the future. r, 7: Vinny, 8.
Richie, 9. Faizal
Of all people, Tanya should know as she has been , 10. Rajnel, 11.
Merhan, 12. Sh
a beauty queen in India herself, and as familiar with amal.
the full rigours of such competitions.
Tanya, of Hillsborough, Auckland, was Miss
Delhi University in 1994 and was also part of the
batch which bid for the Miss India crown – eventually quality; innovation and Interaction; genuine platform The inaugural competition in 2008 was won by
won by Aishwarya Rai, now a megastar. to showcase their brain and inner beauty. Rashmi Dubshi, who later gained Canadian citi-
Having been through intensive training during her Tanya said her team “would train and work on zenship and had to relinquish her title and responsi-
time in the pageant, Tanya came to New Zealand with
her family in 2002.
each and every participant so that they can gain self-
confidence, expose their talent to the max and at the
bilities; so the title was awarded to second runner-up
Lucy Russell when the first runner-up Sheenal failed
Bollywood connectio
In her opinion, what she saw of the local Miss same time they will get acquainted to the rich Indian to carry out her responsibilities as required in the contest could
IndiaNZ pageants over the years left her dissatisfied culture and tradition. pageant rules. Tanya said this year’s
that the participants were actually reaping any benefits “It’s 100 per cent result oriented, 100 per cent en- Tanya said Lucy had more than lived up to her re- also open doors for the
ver tisement
out of it. tertainment; 100 per cent Made in New Zealand.” sponsibilities and was one of the main drivers of this Leading Bollywood ad
es h Ra i wil l be on
“There should be a strong focus on building char- For their efforts, the Miss and Master Teen India year’s competition. producer Roop
for tal en t for his ne w com-
acter, and that is what I have aimed to do,” Tanya told NZ winners will get an all expenses trip to participate The male section was won by Master Teen Raja the hunt
nu s.
Indian Weekender this week. in the Miss Teen /Master Teen international pageant Sandhu, 1st Runner up-Rikash Kumar, 2nd Runner mercial venture and Ve
Tanya and her small team help the contestants to to be held in Chicago in July. Runners-up get $1000, up-Sahil Arora. Who will be first brand
develop and improve their talent and dancing skills; and $500 each respectively. The event is organised, designed by Tanya along Te en in NZ ? He said it
from Indian
develop personality; Q& A skills; health and fitness Tanya, who gained her BSc in Sports Science with her efficient team. Choreographed by Faisal, the pageant.
could be anyone from
sessions; fundraising programmes and sessions; from Delhi University and Masters in Sports Science dance choreography by Lucy Russell and Raja 15 9 8016 for
Call Tanya on 021
media exposure; photo shoots. from Bhopal University, said she was passionate Sandhu, model co-ordinator Manan Walia and pro-
All intended to enhance contestants’ inter national about the pageant, and was now determined to get it duction co-ordinator is Harneet Kaur. details.
exposure; confidence; self esteem; social responsi- going regularly after a brief lapse in 2009 because of Miss and Master Teen Fundraising night on
bility and awareness; self presentation; leadership a family tragedy. January 29 at 491c Club Sapphire,7pm till late.

Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 | 5

New Zealand

FOFH mission exceeds all expectations

airport, Nadi. Lautoka Hospital services half the
The inaugural Friends of Fiji Health (FOFH) population of Viti Levu, the other major centre
charitable mission in western Fiji in November- being the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in
December last year has met with great success, Suva.
spurring on the dedicated, close-knit volunteer Though small in number the medical team
team to do more this year. was big on service delivery. They took the ser-
“What the team achieved has exceeded all vices to patients in districts outside Lautoka.
expectations,” mission leader Dr Sunil Pillay, a “This resulted in working long hours in some-
specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist with times-difficult environmental conditions along-
Fertility Associates and Auckland Hospital, who side the local experts,” Dr Ajay Kumar, FOFH
is also a founding trustee and chairman of FOFH trustee and volunteer heading the specialist phy-
told Indian Weekender last week. sician team told Indian Weekender.
On November 27, 33 volunteer medical pro- For the first time in Fiji the endoscopic proce-
fessionals of the New Zealand registered charity dures were done in the districts, away from the
set up by a group of Fiji-born NZ-based profes- main hospitals, much to the delight of local au-
sionals with a desire to contribute in a meaning- thorities and patients. The team took the services
ful way to help the people in their country of to 5 district hospitals in the Western Division.
birth began a two-week mission to provide much Volunteers assembled at Auckland Airport Before departure. They assessed and formulated comprehensive
needed relief to Fijian patients. management plans for some 300 patients with
The team has been working on the project for complex medical problems as well as perform-
some time. The trustees undertook a fact-find- ing 89 endoscopic procedures.
ing, scoping visit to Fiji in July 2010. They found Dr Vinod Singh, a physician, was also based
enthusiastic medical staff doing some good work at Lautoka Hospital to provide much needed
despite shortages of equipment, infrastructure, respite, teaching and expertise with regard to
supplies and enough hands. complex cases.
FOFH identified specific needs in the areas “We have been greatly enthused by this first
of internal medicine, obstetrics and gynaecolo- mission,” says mission project manager Bob
gy, general surgery and primary healthcare. This Naidu. He and the dedicated and highly moti-
helped set the stage for the November-December vated band of trustees are now working on ways
mission. and means to mount more missions for FOFH on
“We had set a target of 40 surgical proce- the back of the success of last month’s mission.
dures for the two week mission but ended up FOFH took great care in planning its first
Lautoka Hospital
doing 61,” Dr Pillay said. “54 were major proce- mission. “What we have learned from it will
dures, 4 moderate and 3 minor.” The clinics set help us fine tune future missions,” Mr Naidu
up during the mission also treated some 150 pa- and nurses in Fiji,” Dr Pillay added. working in the New Zealand medical system – said. The mission had taken into account medico
tients – more than what was originally planned. The FOFH volunteer team included 12 both private and public. legal aspects and any post-operative follow-ups
“Importantly, there were no complications in specialist doctors, 18 nurses, three anesthe- The surgical mission was mainly based out that may have been required on the local patients
any of these procedures. This is testimony to the tists, several technicians, and a physiotherapist of Lautoka Hospital in the west of Fiji’s main after the team returned to New Zealand. “But
expertise of the FOFH team and the local doctors and comprised Fijians, Fiji Indians and Kiwis island of Viti Levu, not far from the international there being no complications, this did not arise,”

6 Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 |

New Zealand

Dr Pillay added.
One of the highpoints of the mission was the
official recommissioning of the two operating
theatres as well as the opening of a new operat-
ing theatre, which was completed by a joint effort
between Family Trusts, Friends of Fiji Heart
Foundation and FOFH.
Dr Eloni Tora, Deputy Secretary of Health
officially opened the theatres in the presence of
Joe Cokanasiga (Minister of Agriculture and As-
sistant Prime Minister, proud father of Adi Talei a
volunteer team leader for the nurses that travelled
with the team), Mr Punja of Punja & Sons and
Dilip Khatri of Jacks Fiji.
FOFH is a completely independent non-gov-
ernmental organisation (NGO) with humanitar-
ian aims and no political affiliations. The Fijian
government is accepting of the helping hand that Dr. Sunil Pillay carrying out a complex surgical procedure with the local Gynecolo- Patients in the ward recovering with smiles on their face
FOFH offers to the Fijian people and has made its gist Dr Jane Tereveti.
facilities available to FOFH.
While acknowledging the contributions of its
sponsors who have generously donated funds,
medicines, medical equipment and in kind,
FOFH is actively sourcing funding from indi-
viduals and organisations to help it meet the costs
of future missions.

Excerpts from FOFH volunteers’ Fiji diary:

Mrs M, A 66 year old Indian woman, was referred

to the FOFH gynaecology clinic at Lautoka Hos-
pital by the FOFH team working at Nadi Hospital.
Her daughter-law brought her to the hospital on a
wheelchair. She had a long history of back and
pelvic pain. She said that it felt like her “inside
was falling out”. She was unable to do any work
at home and depended on others for help.
In the clinic, we had great difficulty in getting
her on to the examining table. She was diagnosed Dr Ajay Kumar discussing a case with the local health professional at Tavua clinic Dr Dinesh Lal is discussing the outcomes of his examinations with a patient at
as having pelvic organ prolapsed and needed while Pauline Deo, a volunteer nurses in the background is busy carrying out blood Tavua clinic
pressure checks.
surgery. She was admitted to the gynaecology
ward on the same day and proceeded to have a
very successful vaginal hysterectomy with ante- dependent on her family for being looked after.
rior and posterior repair on the next day. Mary recovered fully after a challenging but
The next morning she was feeling much uncomplicated surgery removing a 29kg ovarian
better but was very reluctant to mobilise because mass. She went home 5 days after surgery to
in her mind she did not believe that she could. usual normal duties. Mary is thankful to the vol-
Later on the same day, with a bit of encourage- unteer team and Lautoka Hospital Staff.
ment and support, she was up on her feet. She was
discharged home 2 days later and walked from
the hospital You can donate to FOFH projects
Prior to going home, she thanked all the staff By Cheque: Please make the cheque
and gave” a thousand blessings “ to FOFH team payable to “Friends of Fiji Health [NZ]
and hoped that we would return to help many Inc” and mark it “Not Negotiable”. Post
other women like her. to: The Treasurer, Rajesh Chaudhary,
34A Omahu Road, Remuera 1050,
Mary, a 47-year-old lady with an abdominal-pel- Auckland. Please provide your full name
vic mass growing from sometime came in the last and address.
hours for help.
Her mass has been growing for some years
causing her difficulty with mobility. This By Direct Credit:Donations can be paid
growing mass also decreased her appetite. She by direct credit to: ASB Bank Limited – Part of the consignment of equipment, medicine and consumables that were air freighted from Auckland to Nadi.
had lost a lot of weight. Mary felt tired and could Account No. 12-3252-0044839-00. The task was completed successfully by the afternoon by the volunteers with help from the hospital staff and
some local volunteers.
not go about doing her daily duties. She became

Dr Eloni Tora, Deputy Secretary Of Health after officially opening the new Signing of The Agreement of Assistance (AOA) between The Ministry of Patients waiting their turn to be called up for examina-
theatre. On display is one of the 3 anesthetic machines donated by FOFH. Health, Fiji and FOFH (NZ) Inc. The principal signatories were Dr Eloni Tora tions in Tavua.
and Dr Sunil Pillay with Dr Jemesa Tudravu and Bob Naidu as witnesses for
the two respective parties.

Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 | 7

New Zealand
Manganiyar musicians to spellbind Auckland Arts Festival
Tickets are on sale for one of the biggest acts from “one of the hottest tickets on the world circuit.” caste. Abel bought a contemporary twist to the tradi- an international centre for contemporary and tradi-
India to ever visit New Zealand - a headline event at “From the moment I learned of Roysten’s epic tional form, creating a production hailed by Sydney’s tional performance, due to open in 2012. Roysten
the 2011 Auckland Arts Festival. productions, The Manganiyar Seduction and 100 Daily Telegraph as “a theatrical spectacle which is also currently working on The Manganiyar War,
The Manganiyar Seduction, an incredible Snake Charmers, I was determined to bring one of easily projects the images of India into the mind ... a interpreting the Mahabharata through music.
concert of music from the deserts of northern India, them to Auckland, and musical feast.” Also performing in the 2011 Auckland Arts Fes-
comes to Auckland after acclaimed, sell-out perfor- I am thrilled to have Producer tival is Varanasi musician Rajendra Prasanna, one
mances around the world – including New York, secured The Mangani- and direc- of the great players of shehnai and flute. Prasanna, a
London, Sydney, Dublin, Paris and Barcelona. yar Seduction,” he says. tor Roysten colleague of Pt. Ravi Shankar, will be accompanied
Performed in the Civic Theatre on March “This is a very Abel was born by three musicans, including one of his sons, in a
10th,11th and 12th, The Manganiyar Seduction fea- special show. A won- in Kerala in one-off concert, Spirit of India, on March 15th at the
tures 43 musicians from the Rajasthan, seated in a derful way for new southern India. Concert Chamber in the Auckland Town Hall.
‘magic box’ of 36 red-curtained cubicles, arranged audiences to be intro- He graduated The Manganiyar Seduction will be performed at
in four horizontal rows – a set inspired by the Hawa duced to great Indian from the Na- the Civic Theatre, March 10-12, at 7.30pm. Tickets
Mahal, the ‘Palace of the Winds’ in Jaipur. music, and a chance for tional School from 37.50-77.50. Spirit of India will be performed
The concert begins when a single cubicle lights New Zealand’s Indian of Drama in at the Auckland Town Hall Concert Chamber,
up and the first singer begins his song. Soon another community to experi- 1994 before March 15 at 7pm. Tickets from 42.50-57.50. For
cubicle lights up and then another thus creating a ence great art from their doing an ap- further information and ticketing details, please visit
dramatic and astounding build-up of musical in- homeland. prenticeship the Auckland Arts Festival website, www.auckland-
struments and voice, which has been described as “The Manganiyar with the Royal, or ticketing agent, www.buytickets.
having an effect “like that of a gospel Mass or a Seduction is already Shakespeare, 09 357 3355 or 0800 289 842.
slow-building rave: a joyous, communal experience promising to be one of the most popular shows in Company in the same year. On his return home he For further details about the artists or perfor-
of the seductive power of music” (Irish Indepen- next year’s Festival.” founded the Indian Shakespeare Company. Abel mances, please contact Emma Willis, Assistant
dent). The Manganiyar Seduction was first created has recently finished directing his latest produc- Publicist, Auckland Arts Festival, emma.willis@
Auckland Arts Festival Artistic Director, David in Delhi 2006, a collaboration between director, tion at the historic Red Fort in New Delhi, featuring 09 374 0331
Malacari, describes The Manganiyar Seduction as Roysten Abel, and the musicians of the Manganiyar 2000 folk artists, and is in the process of setting up

India’s UID project registers one millionth citizen

New Delhi: At noon on Thursday, fifteen- and in training large numbers of operators, tion. people for the number. It will also be pivotal
year-old Sukrity, a resident of North Tripura, has ensured this milestone in such a short “Enrolment for the Aadhaar number will in bringing financial services to the millions
became the one millionth resident whose period, the government agency said. accelerate further in the coming weeks, as of unbanked people in the country, who have
Aadhaar number was generated by the Unique The youngest person to receive their more registrars begin enrolling residents,” been excluded so far because of their lack of
Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). Aadhaar number so far is a 13-day-old infant; R.S. Sharma, UIDAI’s Director General & identification,” the UIDAI said.
‘It took us nearly six weeks to cross one the oldest person to receive their Aadhaar Mission Director said. So far, over 60 reg- Part of the Planning Commission of India,
lakh enrolments,’ Nandan Nilekani, Chair- number was 103 years old. istrars have signed MoUs with the UIDAI, the UIDAI is tasked with the responsibility
man of the UIDAI said. ‘However, it has taken According to the UIDAI, its systems have and more than fifteen of these registrars have for implementing the envisioned Multipur-
us almost the same time to ramp up from one held up impressively to the large numbers of begun enrolments. pose National Identity Card or Unique Identi-
lakh to one million Aadhaar enrolments. This people enrolling across the country. In ad- India’s Finance Ministry recently recog- fication card (UID Card) project in India.
success is an auspicious milestone, en-route dition, the training and quality controls the nised the Aadhaar number as sufficient proof The project aims to create a national ID
to our goal of issuing 600 million Aadhaar Authority has put in place have been critical of identity and proof of address, for individu- for every Indian citizen with the objective
numbers in the next four years.’ in minimising problems in data collection, als to get a bank account. of increasing national security, managing
The speed of UIDAI’s registrars in deploy- which will ensure that the Aadhaar number “This move will be an impetus for regis- citizen identity and facilitating e-governance.
ing enrolment stations across the country, will be a secure, reliable form of identifica- trars in the financial sector to begin enrolling

President General Secretary

Paul Singh Bains J.P. Raj Singh Thandi J.P.
Phone: +64 21 167 3974 Phone: +64 21 333 604
Email: Email:

Vice President Harshadbhai Patel [027 447 5706] | Assistant Secretary Raj Bedi [021 241 1424] | Treasurer Manjit Singh [021 781 902]

Affiliated Branches Auckland | Bay of Plenty | Central Districts | Christchurch | Country Section | Manukau | Pukekohe | Taranaki | Waikato | Wellington
Associate Members NZ Punjabi Cultural Association Inc | New Zealand Kannada Koota Inc | Probasee Bengali Association of NZ Inc | Auckland Marathi Association Inc | New Zealand Telugu Association Inc
| Muth Tamil Sangam Inc
Probationary Associate Members Auckland Malayali Samajam Please visit to find the details of the Indian Association in your area
8 Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 |
New Zealand
Big wedding leads to love affair with NZ
It was not only the much-talked about Chicago-
based groom Vikram Aditya Kumar who fell in
was absolutely stoked by the scale of Indian wed-
dings and the concept of a baraat, mehendi cer- Indian minister to inaugurate
love with God’s own country and its amazing
beauty (queen) but there was another celebrity
couple at the wedding who was absolutely smitten
emony, sangeet, bidaai – add to it the bhangra pop
star Daler Mehndi whose beat everyone happily
danced to.
Bank of Baroda
by New Zealand and have promised to come back So while The Orange Group tried to arrange Bank of Baroda (NZ) will be officially Though new in this country, it has been
soon. for lions and cheetah cubs (which they are known inaugurated at the hands of Shri Namo operating in Oceania since the 1950s
Not many know that the internationally ac- for as they have done an earlier event for a builder Narayan Meena, India’s Minister of State when it opened its operations in Fiji.
claimed actor Kabir Bedi’s son, Adam Bedi with the wild side making a prominent appear- for Banking and Finance, on February 4
and his wife Nisha Harale (ex-Miss Mumbai), ance) and other logistics, Adam and Nisha worked
in Auckland. From humble beginnings, the bank has
compere/hostess for the Pooja Chitgopekar-Vi- on the shehanai, qawwalis, shadow play and were
kram Aditya Kumar wedding that made head- the overall cultural event directors. grown to emerge as an Indian financial
lines, (and even had NDTV fly down from India Soni Mudalia, the wedding theme specialist, M D Mallya, Chair- powerhouse. It has
to cover the shaadi for their weekly show The Big who has been in the wedding industry for the last man and Managing a network of over
Fat Indian Wedding) were there to help with the Director of Bank of 3100 branches
Baroda, the bank’s in India. It has 78
Indian parent, will overseas branch-
also be present es/foreign offices
for the inaugura- in 25 countries
tion, which will take across 5 continents
place at the bank’s serving a global
swanky Dominion Mr MD Mallya & Shri Namo Narayan Meena customer base of
Road branch. over 39 million. It
has assets of over US$ 50 billion. Some
Bank of Baroda New Zealand became 23% of the bank’s revenue comes from its
the country’s nineteenth banking entity overseas operations.
after receiving a licence to operate from Mr.
The wedding couple and the couple in love with New Zealand
the Reserve Bank of New Zealand on Bank of Baroda NZ’s state-of-art secure
organisation as well. eight years, made sure that she created the right at- September 1, 2009. It began opera- IT system is linked directly to its Indian
In fact the much-in-the-news couple, Adam mosphere and decor to go with ten events packed tions on June 24, 2010. With the formal branches and any money deposited in
and Nisha Bedi who run Niche Entertainment, in three days at the big Indian wedding orches- inauguration next month, the bank will Auckland will be seamlessly available in
fell literally head-over-heels in love with New trated by Vikram’s tycoon father Shalabh Kumar, offer complete services including internet any Bank of Baroda branch in India and
Zealand. They wanted to make the most of their the Chicago-based electronics millionaire of Au- banking, the bank’s Managing Director vice versa. This is the reason why its lead-
trip here, which is probably why at the last minute totech Viktron Group – a Bangalore-based world Satish Vermani told Indian Weekender. ing personal remittance product Rapid-
they decided to go bungee-jumping on their way leader in computer circuit board equipment. funds2India has been so popular with the
back to the airport. Now who would have thought that after all the
Bank of Baroda has its corporate NRI community.
The blue-eyed Adam Bedi who loves adven- elaborate celebrations at different venues, includ-
ture, revealed that he’s worked with production ing the flight of nine helicopters in a V formation, headquarters in Mumbai. The bank was
houses in the US (Ugly Betty included) and in the happy groom was overheard admitting to one founded in 1908 in Baroda but was one The bank has planned a series of events
India, and has done a couple of films, but most of his friends that he really didn’t mind a small of the earliest banks to have ventured around the formal inauguration on
of all he enjoys working along with his wife as a affair – like getting married on the beach with a overseas following the entrepreneurial February 4.
director of events with major brands in India. handful of friends. Except that his doting dad had Gujarati community around the world.
The young couple worked in tandem with been dreaming of this grand wedding for the past
David Hayward of New Zealand’s biggest event 22 years!
management company, The Orange Group who - Farida Master

Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 | 9

Sachin’s longevity phenomenal: Paes India Briefs
Correspondent Supriyo Hazra in conversation with tennis ace Leander Paes. End of the Chavanni
New Delhi: The Indian government
has decided to scrap coins of 25 paise
denomination from mid-2011. The
You and Mahesh Bhupathi are quarter-rupee coins, popularly known a
teaming up once again. For ‘chavanni’, will cease to be accepted as a
how long are you two going to legal form of currency from June 30, 2011,
the finance ministry said in a statement
continue the partnership? recently. The decision makes 50 paise the
For me it is important that we play minimum denomination coin acceptable
for transactions from that date. “Also, in
together for India. That’s why we chose accounting, i.e. the entries in books of
Chennai Open. We want to showcase accounts, pricing of products or services or
the game to the youths here in India. taxes shall also be rounded off to 50 paise
So, it is important for us to play in India. or whole rupee from that date,” the ministry
Speaking about how long we are said. Rising steel prices and a strong
inflation rate are among the factors behind
going to partner together, it depends. making the the 25 paise coins infeasible,
It depends on the performance. If we reports said.
enjoy the partnership, then of course
we will have an open chance of playing
together.We hope to have a good start, Omar asks BJP to abandon
together, in Australia. Tricolour hoisting plans
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief
What do you feel about the Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday urged
performance of Somdev the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to abandon
Devvarman? its plans to hoist the National Flag at Lal
Chowk here on Republic Day. He said any
His talent lies in his hard work. To go
and see him perform is a fantastic
and Mahesh are concerned, we are been working in a film. Tell us attempt by the BJP to hoist the Tricolour

one. He performed really well at the

unbeaten for long time in Davis Cup. something on your venture in will lead to trouble in the state. “It is strange
that after 19 years, when BJP hoisted flag in
Commonwealth Games and at the
It will be a good challenge to keep the the world of films? Lal Chowk in 1992, it has again struck them
record intact. Yes, I am working in a movie. I will be (BJP) to hoist the flag in Lal Chowk. It has
Asiad. He of course has the mettle to
shooting in Kolkata.But I will not disclose exposed their intention of creating trouble,”
carry out the flags of India on his own How are preparing for the the chief minister said on the sidelines of a
much about it now. I want to keep the
shoulders. Olympics? function. The BJP’s youth wing’s ‘Rashtriya
suspense. I want my fans to come and
Ekta Yatra’, which started from West Bengal
What are the chances of India at I have already started my preparation watch the movie and know about my role on Wednesday, is scheduled to wind up at
the Davis Cup? for Olympics. It will be wonderful to in it. Lal Chowk with the hoisting of the Tricolour
Yes, Serbia are the Davis Cup win doubles medal at the Olympics. on Republic Day (January 26). Asking BJP
champions. It will be a good challenge The grass court in London is awesome. What is your reaction on Sachin to call off its Yatra, Abdullah said it will do

for India when they face them. They Wimbledon is indeed the ‘Mecca’ of Tendulkar’s 50th Test century? harm rather than good for the fragile peace
in the Kashmir Valley. BJP national president
have a strong doubles team and Tennis. What Sachin did was phenomenal. Truly, Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday flagged off
also have lots of options. As far as I excellence takes a long time. The longevity the 3,037-km Yatra from West Bengal to
We have heard that you have he has showed is phenomenal. Kashmir.

BJP attacks UPA on black

money in Swiss banks
New Delhi: India’s main Opposition Bharatiya brings its intentions and motivations under a
Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday accused Prime cloud, he said.

“The situation is all the more
Minister Manmohan Singh for covering up intriguing where the Supreme Court has asked
names of people who have piled black money the Government what the difficulty is in dis-
in Swiss banks. closing the names of the people who have
“The indictment of the Central Govt. by stashed a very huge amount of money in Swiss
the Supreme Court on the issue of reveal- Banks and German Banks in Leichtenstein.
ing the names of the people whose ill-gotten While on 30th July, 2009, the Prime Minis-
money is stashed in the Swiss Banks is shock- ter, Dr. Manmohan Singh, had categorically
ing. It is intriguing that there is no response told the Rajya Sabha that action has already
from the Government on the issue,” said BJP started for getting back the money belonging
national spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy. to Indians from Swiss Banks.
“The Prime Minister had earlier commit- “The Prime Minister on that day in Rajya
ted to the nation that he would initiate steps to Sabha had suo motu intervened to refer to the
recover more than one lakh crores of rupees il- statement of the Finance Minister in his reply
legally stashed in the Swiss Banks within 100 to the Finance Bill in the House and had stated
days of assuming power. The Prime Minister that the Finance Minister had specifically
is quiet, the Government is quiet. dealt with this aspect and had said that action
“So much so that Shri Shanta Kumar, has already started,” said Rudy.

Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha The BJP leader said it is noteworthy
and also the former Chief Minister of Him- whether it is 2G scam, whether it is Swiss
achal Pradesh had raised this issue while at- Bank money or any other issue related to cor-
tending a UN Convention on Corruption. He ruption under UPA, the Supreme Court has
said India, after signing the Treaty, is one of been compelled to intervene. “This complete-
the few countries which has not yet ratified the ly indicates the failure of the UPA Govern-
Convention.” ment on all fronts whether it is corruption or
“Over and above, the Swiss Ambassador price rise. The BJP is concerned over all these
has categorically stated that there is no request issues which concern the nation.”
whatsoever from the Indian Government to “The Bharatiya Janata Party in the light of
reveal the names of those people whose money the remarks of the Hon. Supreme Court would
has been kept in the Swiss Banks. An absolute like the Prime Minister to clarify whether
inaction in this regard makes the Manmohan he chose to mislead the House by making a
Singh Government culpable,” said Rudy.

The statement which has been contradicted by the
BJP MP said a situation has come where the Supreme Court. It is a matter of propriety and
government is ‘overtly and covertly attempt- also a matter of privilege of the House. The
ing to cover up the black money’. BJP would want a straight answer from the
The defensive stance taken by the govt. Prime Minister,” said Rudy.

10 Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 |


ICICI Bank, Vodafone Essar

India’s kanjoos Karodpatis
pact for financial inclusion Mumbai: Indian billionaires in the recent past
have faced a lot of criticism for not giving
The Tata group has a long history of philan-
thropy in India. Tata Trust, the nonprofit arm of
Mu mb ai: IC IC I Ba enough and with the Gates-Buffet Indian tour the group has been actively supporting social or-
nk Lt d, a lea din g inching closer, the air around philanthropy is ganizations and individuals for several decades.
pr iva te sec tor ba nk To thi s eff ec t, fin an
, an d Vo da fon e cia l inc lus ion heating up, according to a recently-released “It is easy to write a cheque but very difficult
Es sar Lt d, on e of ha s be en an im po rta
the lar ge st Mo bil e nt go al tha t aim s lecture series. to see the impact,” said J J Irani. “To see posi-
Ne tw ork Op era tor to pro vid e ac ce ss
s in Ind ia, an - to ba sic fin an cia l JSW Foundation, CSR arm of the Jindal tive social impact it is essential to have a wealth
no un ce d a joi nt ini ser vic es to ea ch an
tia tiv e to dr ive fi- d ev ery ind ivi du al group, launched the O P Jindal lecture series in creation arm and a delivery arm.”
na nc ial inc lus ion in ac ros s the co un try.
the co un try las t Su ch ac ce ss is es- collaboration with Asia Society India Centre in “The basic problem in India is a problem of
we ek . sen tia l to ini tia te gr
Un de r thi s tie -up , bo ert o un -ba nk ed sec tio th in the hit h- Mumbai at an event titled ‘Next generation phi- scale. The Government must take initiative and
th en tit ies wi ll ns of the so cie ty, lanthropy’. work closely with NGO’s as they cannot do it
off er a bo uq ue t of ev en tua lly res ult ing
fin an cia l pro du cts in im pro ve me nt An eminent panel comprising Pierre alone. Frankly the previous generations have
su ch as sav ing s ac co in the pe r ca pit a ho us
un ts, pre -pa id in- eh old inc om e an d Omidyar, Founder, eBay Inc and Co-founder contributed more than the current and this needs
str um en ts an d cre dit the Gr os s Do me sti c
pro du cts thr ou gh Pr od uc t (G DP) of Omidyar Network and captains of Indian in- to change.” said Ajay Piramal.
a mo bil e ph on e ba sed the co un try.
pla tfo rm . dustry, JJ Irani, Director, TATA Sons, Anand The Piramal Foundation has been support-
Th is pa rtn ers hip Sp ea kin g on the all
is ex pe cte d to Ko ch ha r, Ma na gin g ian ce , Ch an da Mahindra, VC & MD, Mahindra & Mahindra, ing several social initiatives in the areas of
br ing the un -ba nk ed
an d un de r-b an ke d Di
po pu lat ion int o the IC IC I Ba nk sai d, “W rec tor & CE O, Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Enterprises healthcare and education.
org an ise d fin an - e are ve ry ex cit ed and Madhabi Puri Buch, MD & CEO, ICICI Se- Employee engagement is an important aspect
cia l ser vic es fra me ab ou t the pa rtn ers hip
wo rk an d ass ist in wi th Vo da fon e, curities shared their vision and ideas for young of corporate social responsibility and the Ma-
fu rth eri ng the ele wh ich wi ll he lp IC IC
ctr on ic pa ym en ts I Ba nk in de ep en - India. hindra and Mahindra group’s innovative strat-
ma rke t in Ind ia. ing its ba se wi thi n the
co un try. Mo bil e Sajan Jindal, VC and MD of JSW Steel said, egy called ESOP or Employee Social Options is
IC IC I Ba nk wi ll lev pe ne tra tio n is gr ow
era ge the dis - ing ex po ne nti al- “My father Shri O P Jindal envisioned support- a remarkable example of employee engagement.
tri bu tio n str en gth of ly in the co un try of
Vo da fon e, wh ich wh ich the r ur al ing social initiatives at an early stage and sup- “The Government can show the way and
ma na ge s ov er 1.5 mi ma rke t for ms a ma jor
lli on ret ail po int s co ntr ibu tor. porting community development and the girl have a role to play and corporations must be a
for ac qu iri ng cu sto “T he re is a hu ge po
me rs an d ser vic ing ten tia l for off er- child has always been very important for the step ahead,” said Anand Mahindra.
the m. ing mo bil e ba nk ing
in the se reg ion s, group” “There is no better way to understand your
Th e Re ser ve Ba nk wh ich wi ll fac ili tat
of Ind ia (R BI ) e ac ce ss to the fi- Speaking at the event Pierre Omidyar said, strengths and discover how you can make a dif-
ha s ov er the pa st few na nc ial ly ex clu de d
ye ars co me ou t pa rts of the so cie ty “India has the potential to lead the world in ference in the larger context than to voluntarily
wi th va rio us me asu an d en su re tha t be ne
res to fac ili tat e fit s fro m va rio us social innovation.” engage in philanthropy,” said Madhabi Puri
ba nk s to ac hie ve the we lfa re an d gr ow th
fin an cia l inc lu- pro gr am s of the The Omidyar Network has made an invest- Buch.
sio n ag en da . RB I ha go ve rn me nt rea ch
s all the
ap po int for-pr ofi t’ co ow ed ba nk s to oth er fin an cia l ser vic m alo ng wi th ment of about US$ 70 million in social initia- The Ministry of Corporate Affairs recently
mp an ies as Bu si- es an d pro du cts . tives and plan to invest another US$ 100 – 200 suggested companies to spend 2% of their net
ne ss Co rre sp on de nts Vo da fon e, wi th its
(B Cs). inn ov ati ve an d million in the next 5 years. “It doesn’t really profits for social causes.
Th is tie -up be tw ee cu sto me r foc us ini tia tiv es,
n IC IC I Ba nk pa rtn er wh o wi ll he is an ide al matter whether you invest in a nonprofit orga- This is something that leading Indian busi-
an d Vo da fon e is a lp in
ste p in tha t dir ec -
tio n, sai d off ici als . ca us e of fin an cia l inc fu rth eri ng the nization or a for profit social enterprise. What ness houses already seem to be doing. However,
lus ion in Ind ia”. matters is the social impact,” Omidyar said. the concept of CSR in India is inclined more
Th e Ind ian go ve rn Ma rte n Pie ter s, Ma
me nt ha s be en na gin g Di rec tor “People in India are inherently capable but towards corporate giving while globally the
ac tiv ely pu rsu ing the & CE O, Vo da fon e
ag en da for inc lu- Es sar, sai d: “T he often lack equal opportunity. Provided the right concept of CSR is more about the triple bottom-
siv e gr ow th to en su RB I mo ve to all ow
re tha t be ne fit s of for-pr ofi t co mp a- conditions and a chance to display its deep line.
the ex po ne nti al gr ow nie s to be Bu sin ess
th ph ase rea ch all Co rre sp on de nts is talent, India has the potential to become the The Indian philanthropy space gaining rapid
the sec tio ns of the so a we lco me mo ve .
cie ty. social innovation hub for the rest of the world,” momentum and is certainly something to watch
he said. out for in the months to come.

India’s green agenda gets New memorial for indentured workers

World Bank backing
New Delhi: The World Bank has agreed within biodiversity-rich areas and enable
to provide economic assistance to them to benefit from investments in
strengthen India’s Central and State these areas, the statement added.
pollution control boards and biodiversity
conservation. Ramesh said that the Government is
The accord was reached at a meeting working at strengthening environmental
between the Indian Environment Min- regulations, which could be an area of
ister Jairam Ramesh and World Bank future engagement.
Group President Robert B. Zoellick here
last week. Zoellick said, “India is working to inte-
grate its growth objectives and needs to
The World Bank and the Government overcome poverty with the sustainability
The Minister for Overseas Indian affairs, Vyalar Ravi, unveiling a memorial plaque in memory of the
of India together will support projects of natural resources and the well-being Indian Indentured workers at Kidderpore dock in Kolkata
with fuel-efficient transport infrastruc- of future generations. The government is
ture, clean energy hydro-power plants, striving to avoid actions that will add to The Minister for Overseas Indian affairs, of their old links to India establishing their
efficient water supply and waste water costs – today and tomorrow – for health, Vyalar Ravi, unveiled a memorial plaque in connection to their ancestors and their cultural
systems, programs that help farmers, clean water, clean air and preservation memory of the Indian Indentured workers at heritage.
Kidderpore dock in Kolkata on January 11. This memorial will go some way in ad-
fishing communities and people in other of valuable biodiversity. The World Bank
The memorial is a project jointly sponsored dressing that.
vulnerable communities to safeguard Group is pleased to share its experience by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, the Kolkata was the departure point for a fair
their livelihoods. to support India’s inclusive and sustain- Kolkata Port Trust, and the government of the number of indentured workers and its selection
able development.” state of West Bengal. as a site for the memorial is apt.
The proposed project to strengthen the It will perpetuate the memory of the The plaque’s inscription reads: ‘In hon-
capacity of the Pollution Control Boards The World Bank has already given its over one million men, women and children oured tribute to Indian indentured labourers –
will help build their skills and infrastruc- financial support for three environment that left Indian shores under contracts with with due recognition and lasting remembrance
ture, ensure their financial sustainability management and protection projects mainly British but also Dutch and French co- of Indian indentured labourers who left these
and set up new monitoring and data which include Integrated Coastal Zone lonial powers to work in agricultural projects – shores during 19th and 20th centuries, seeking
management mechanisms, the Environ- Management Project, Industrial Pollution chiefly sugarcane plantations – in their respec- better livelihoods in far away lands.
ment Ministry said in a statement Management Project and the National tive colonies around the world. ‘For their pioneering spirit, determination,
The biodiversity project will seek to Ganga Project with USD 220 million, Indentured migration mainly took place resilience, endurance, perseverance and sacri-
between 1834 and 1920. fices amidst extremely harsh conditions...
demonstrate conservation measures in USD 65 million and USD 20 million help
Considerable numbers of persons of Indian ‘For their invaluable contributions to lands
various ecosystems, catalogue India’s respectively, he informed. origin trace their ancestry to indentured they adopted, and for the triumph of the spirit
rich biodiversity in hot-spots, and sup- workers brought in by the colonial powers. of Indianness they maintained and passed on to
port livelihoods of communities living These are scattered around the world from Fiji their descendants.’
in the Pacific to Surinam in Central America Minister for Railways, Mamata Banerjee
with several South East Asian and other coun- and Minister of State for for Shipping, Mukul
tries in between. Roy also attended.
Many leaders from the diaspora have been - Dev Nadkarni
Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 | lamenting the absence of any enduring symbol 11
Music for peace brings Collingwood predicts England, India,
world violinists together SA and Aussies for WC semis
Dubai: With less than 30 days to go until the ICC World Cup. We want to finish the ODI series in
Cricket World Cup 2011, England’s Paul Collin- Australia filled with confidence and ready to take
gwood says England, India, South Africa and on anyone at the World Cup,” he says.
Australia are likely to make it to the ICC Cricket When asked to pick his four teams for the ICC
World Cup semi-finals. Cricket World Cup semi-finals, Collingwood
Speaking on last week’s ICC Cricket World says, “On current form I’d hope to put England
audio show, the 34-year-old batsman, who an- into a semi-final, it would be hard to not put
nounced his retirement from Test cricket earlier India in there with the strength in their batting
this month, looks ahead to England’s upcoming and in home conditions – they’ll be tricky to play
ODI series against Australia as well as the ICC against.
Cricket World Cup 2011. “I always think Australia can’t be ruled out
“It’s a huge motivation to do well against since they’ve had a good history in this tour-
Australia in all formats of the game. We want to nament and finally I’d pick South Africa as the
keep the momentum going from the Test series fourth semi-finalist. But you never know I may be
and we want to carry that into the ICC Cricket well off the mark!”
Who says ‘fusion music’ often fails to
impress? That it’s more confusion than
harmony? Listening to some of the most well-
known contemporary violin players of the
world at the concert Violins for Peace recently
played solo
numbers, the show-stopper came at the
NRIs able to vote soon: Minister
(G D Birla Sabhaghar, Kolkata), these doubts end of the programme when L. Subramaniam’s
could be put to rest. own composition blended all the styles and ar- New Delhi: Minister benefited from
Conceived by L. Subramaniam, violin tistes in a harmonious whole that made the au- of Overseas Indian this. He also said
maestro, it brought together violinists from dience give a standing ovation. Affairs Vayalar Ravi that the OCI and
as far as USA, Norway, Algeria and Russia to Indeed, ‘Violins for Peace’ was an apt title has revealed that Par- PIO schemes
showcase the versatility of the violin, whether for the concert. For, music encompasses appar- liament has passed would be merged.
adapted to Indian classical tradition or the ent differences and carries the message of peace a bill to enable the The Minister
gypsy music of Russia. and harmony within its womb. Non Resident Indians said that around
That music encompasses barriers of lan- The event was a part of the Lakshminarayan (NRIs) vote in India 1300 delegates
guage and geographical borders to touch the lis- Global Music Festival, established in 1992 as soon. had registered for
teners was once again vindicated at the concert. a tribute to V Lashminarayana, L. Subrama- In the curtain raiser PBD-2011 from
For the average Indian, Algeria is a far-off land niam’s father and guru. This year also happens press conference of across the world.
in north Africa. to be his birth centenary and series of concerts Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), the Minis- Highlighting the main features of the con-
But as Kheir Eddine M’kachiche put the across the country has a special significance. ter said the Parliament has passed the bill on vocation, Ravi said that the Ministry of De-
bow to the violin it was as if the deserts, the According to a report from New Delhi, Voting Rights to NRIs into an Act. velopment of North Eastern Region (DONER)
blue waters of its Mediterranean coastline and ‘Violin for Peace’ mesmerized audience in Two rounds of discussion with Election and eight North Eastern States would be part-
the people came alive through the plaintive Gurgaon too after Kolkata. The audiences at Commission on procedures for enrolment and ners of the 9th PBD.
tones. You also noticed that the violin was the concert hall were in a thrall as they wit- methods of votes have been completed, he “Engaging with the young overseas
placed like a cello, that is, on the lap, unlike the nessed the father-son duo of L.Subramaniam said. Indian”, was the theme of the meet where New
traditional way in this performance. Grammy and Ambi Subhramaniam produce enchanting He hoped that around 10 million Overseas Zealand Governor General Sir Anand Saty-
award winner Mark O’Connor is a celebrated music. Subramaniam said, “We have a desire to Indians, who have Indian Passports, would be anand was the chief guest.
artiste world-wide. In his hands both classical have a very special series of concerts to mark
and Wild West folk ethos come alive. the centenary of my father and we realized that
Norwegian Benedicte Maurseth plays a
rare old-style Hardanger fiddle. Mournful and
happy, her fiddle played them both. A bonus
there could be no better way than to go back to
his roots – the violin – and bring together some
of the best players from around the world”.
India Briefs L&T exports first nuclear
equipment to USA
was the dirge she sang harking to the folk tradi- The concert was organized to mark the Mumbai: Larsen & Toubro (L&T), India’s leading
tion of singing on the grave of the dead. celebration of twenty years of the Lakshmi-
Food inflation on declining trend engineering company, on Thursday announced
Catharina Chen of Norway specialises in narayana Global Music Festival (LGMF). The New Delhi: Bringing some respite, the food infla- that it has delivered the first four Dry Shielded
classical numbers and her performance left no concert represented the major musical styles tion for the week ended January 1, 2011, showed Canisters for Transnuclear Inc, USA, an AREVA
doubt about her talent that has brought numer- from across the globe, starting from the Al- a declining trend after being on the rise for the company. These Canisters form a part of orders of
ous awards at home and abroad. gerian violinist Kheir-Eddine, Norwegian five previous weeks. Latest reports last week said 50 such units for three leading American nuclear
For Kolkatans, a rare opportunity was to hardanger fiddler Benedicte Maurseth, Bethel that the food inflation stood at 16.91 per cent for power plant operators to be manufactured in ac-
listen to Loyko, a band of three, from Russia, Tsuzu, Vladimir Bessonov, Michael Savichev, the week ended January 1, 2011, against 18.32 per cordance with the US Code of Federal Regula-
their violins and guitar throbbing with the great country fiddle Mark O’Connor, Sergey cent for the previous week. However, several food tions and Nuclear Safety Class 1 standards, said
vibrant Gypsy music with Jewish influences in Erdenko, classical violinist Catharina Chen, K. items, including vegetables and onions, continued the company. L&T is currently the only Indian
Russia, reminiscent of the film Fiddler on the Sekar, Ramanamurthy, Sathya Sai and Stein. to be costlier. Vegetable prices soared by 70.73 per manufacturer authorized by American Society of
Roof. Singer Kavita Krishnamurthy also marked her cent on an annual basis in the wholesale market Mechanical Engineers (ASME) to use ‘N’, ‘NPT’,
L. Subramaniam, known as “God of Indian presence at the concert. while onions cost 70.70 per cent more on a year ‘NA’ stamps and ‘NS’ Certification for enabling
violin”, and his able disciple and son ‘Ambi’ This concert will be performed all over the on year basis. Egg, meat, fish, milk and fruits design & manufacture and construction of nuclear
Subramaniam brought to the fore how the world with the hope of attracting more listeners remained on an increasing cost trend, though island equipment as per American standards. L&T
western musical instrument has been so beauti- to the captivating sound of Violin. prices of pulses, wheat, potatoes and cereals came serves the power sector across the entire spectrum
fully adapted to Karnatic style of music to the down. Soaring vegetable and onion prices had led – from design services to equipment manufacture,
accompaniment of traditional South Indian per- - Ranjita Biswas in Kolkata to rising food inflation for the December month, erection construction and commissioning of com-
cussion instruments. drawing criticism for the government. plete projects on a turnkey basis.

12 Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 |


Bid to retain doctors in Fiji

‘Taxi industry faces The number of locally trained doctors opting Ministry of Health and it is committed to see

for greener pastures over the past 10 to 15 years that capacity building is implemented across
stands at 400.

 all levels to ensure skills level is maintained
The Health Ministry’s Strategic Plan for at an acceptable level .

2011 to 2015 focuses on human resource de- Ministry of Health permanent secretary
velopment with staff retention maintained and Dr Salanieta Saketa said the ministry has more
addressed in depth to meet the acute shortage of than 300 doctors in Fiji including both public
Su va: Th e Fij i Ta xi Un health professionals.

 and private practitioners.

ion is ask ing far e inc rea se to be gra
Go ver nm en t to co ns ide nte d on the Health Minister, Dr Neil Sharma said this “Retention strategies include provision of
r tax im en’s firs t we ek of Fe bru ary
pli gh t an d inc rea se the . was vital to ensure sustainability in the delivery training opportunities both local and abroad,
tax i far es. Ho we ver, Mr Ra m ho pe
Un ion ge ne ral sec ret ary d the Tra ns - of health services to our people.

 support by way of modernising equipment and
Ris hi Ra m po rt Min ist ry wo uld saf
sai d the ir ple a is du e
to the ma s- e- gu ard the “Increased on-going education locally and improve work conditions and provide necessary
siv e inc rea se in fue l pri tax i ind us try be for e it abroad will need to be saddled with career ori- infrastructure to support their newly acquired
ce s. co llap ses .
Mr Ra m sai d wit ho ut ha La st mo nth the Min ist entation for our young workforce to improve on specialized skills,” she said.

vin g the ry of Wo rks ,
far e inc rea se the tax i Pu bli c Uti liti es an d Tra retention strategies,” Dr Sharma said. 

 “There are also provisions of housing in
ind us try ns po rt an -
wo uld co llap se as alr ea no un ce d tha t the re wo Customer focus remains an area of major rural settings and in urban setting for those who
dy a nu m- uld be no
be r of tax i op era tor s ha inc rea se in bu s an d tax concern in 2011 to 2014 as well as increased are eligible.

ve ce ase d i far es at output from the medical and nursing schools to “We have increased current establishment
the ir op era tio ns . thi s tim e.
Pe rm an en t Se cre tar y address some of the work pressure. 
 with additional 20 posts per year for the next
“Ta xi op era tor s on the Ca ma Tu -
isla nd of ilo ma sai d the de cis ion Staff retention is a major challenge for the three years beginning 2011.”
Tav eu ni ha ve ce ase d wa s ba sed
the ir op era - on the fac t tha t val ue d-
tio ns ,” Mr Ra m sai d. ad de d tax
“Th is pe op le are op era wa s ref un da ble .

Govt To Assist Rural Dwellers

tin g twi n- He sai d the no tio n or
ca bs an d fou r-w he el dri arg um en t
ve veh icle s tha t wit h the inc rea se
an d the ir fue l co ns um in VAT, the re
pti on is twi ce sh ou ld be a co rre sp on
mo re tha n the sta nd ard din g in-
ca rs.” cre ase in far es for bu
In his let ter to the Min ses an d tax is Government will amend the Act that requires services like the National Fire Authority.

iste r for wa s wr on g.
Tra ns po rt, Co lon el Tim members of the public to pay $200 when applying Village headman of Namosi Koro, Mr Emosi
oc i Na tuv a, Mr Tu ilo ma sai d su bm for a licence to open a shop.

 Sauduadua said they did not receive such services
Mr Ra m req ue ste d for iss ion s for
a sp ee dy far e inc rea ses ma de by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Baini- and hence should not pay for it.

He said the cost
pro ce ss an d the sai d bu s an d
ma tte r to be tax i op era tor s, we re tho marama assured the district of Veinuqa in the for a license increased dramatically over the years
de alt wit h thi s mo nth . rou gh ly
co ns ide red be for e the province of Namosi that Government would look from $30 to $60 and now $200.

He sai d thi s wo uld allo Min iste r
w the tax i ma kes a de cis ion . into their plight.

 Commodore Bainimarama has called for a
Villagers of Veinuqa raised the issue during review into the legislation calling on the Commis-
the Prime Minister’s visit to Namosi this sioner Central and the Provincial Development

During a talanoa session the villagers permanent secretary to look into the mater with
raised their concerns saying $200 was too much authorities concerned.

to obtain a new licence. 

 Villagers intending to open a shop will be
According to villagers, when they approached able to see some changes in legislation in the near
authorities on the matter, they were told that $200 future.
covers payments that would be made to essential

Construction of huge 4000 apply for new homes in Fiji

new complex begins n com plex that will inclu de a
Suva: Four thousand families in Fiji have applied
for housing blocks in the new Waila City project, to
be constructed by a Malaysian company, Top Sym-
mercial, recreational and spiritual facilities,” Dr
Wahab said. The commercial developments cover
shops, malls, food courts and a unique organised
Suva : Cons truct ion work s for a $30 millio phony. This was revealed by the Housing Authority light industry for manufacturing.
chief executive officer Alipate Naiorosui. Dr Wahab said Waila City project also offered
cinem a has begu n in Suva . He said most of the applicants were young recreational parks and educational facilities in-
ers Limit ed, is bein g
The com plex, belo ngin g to Dam odar Broth families trying to secure a home for their future. cluding space for primary secondary and ter-
ai, at the back of Spor ts
cons truct ed alon g Gran tham Road in Raiw “The fact that these properties are on freehold tiary schools and an international standard rugby
Sout h Paci fic. land makes it an attraction to these families,” Mr stadium. “We have also incorporated natural veg-
City, whic h is near the Univ ersit y of the
du Uma ria told the Fiji Sun Naiorosui said on Thursday. etation along the creek to preserve the natural envi-
Yeste rday, Suva spec ial adm inistr ator Chan The Waila City project is designed to become ronment as well,” he said.
t that woul d bene fit not only
that the Dam odar Com plex is an inves tmen a self contained city that will support a popula- Mr Wahab adds provisions have also been
the city of Suva but the coun try as a whol tion of 25,000 people. Top Symphony of Malaysia made for houses of worship with central area to
size of the Spor ts City managing director Dr Sharifuddin Wahab said accommodate churches, temples, mosques and a
“The com plex is goin g to be doub le the the proposed city will consist of various housing community hall. Around the outskirts of the city,
gath ered and it will hous e a
acco rding to the infor matio n that I have designs, which are friendly to young couple who land to build chapels and smaller houses of worship
ts,” Mr Uma ria said.
cinem a, resta uran ts and othe r retai l outle are starting life in the form of two rooms walk-up are also provided.
the coun try beca use it will flats all the way to families requiring three to four The city centre will also have a bus station and
“This com es as good news to the city and
will be able to servi ce the bedrooms. market adjacent to the mall where a hotel tower and
crea te emp loym ent oppo rtuni ties and it “With the slogan, ‘My home, My dream, My office block is being designed, it will also include a
grea ter Suva area . world,’ the project has also taken into account com- police station, hospital and fire station.
com e down to Suva for their
Peop le in thos e area s no long er need to

Fiji, China ink rural development deal

leisu re activ ities.”
cted to be com plete d withi n a
Mr Uma ria said the cons truct ion is expe
could be in oper ation by next
year and if thing s go well, the com plex
year. Suva: Fiji and China have signed an agree- endorsed and formalised a framework agree-
odar Broth ers (Film) Limit ed’s ment for development in several provinces of ment that will allow a Chinese government
Mean while , the cinem a will add to Dam both main islands of the country. concessional loan package to upgrade major
chain of cinem as in the coun try. Chinese Ambassador Han Zhiqiang and Fiji road infrastructure on our two main islands.”

odar could not be reac hed
The com pany ’s man agin g direc tor Div Dam Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Baini- Roads that will be upgraded are the Natewa
irme d to Fiji Sun that a new marama inked the deal on December 22 for coastal road from Nagigi to Bagasau junction,
for com men t, howe ver, Ridi Dam odar conf
development works in Vanua Levu, Naitasiri, Sawani-Serea road from Naqali to Vunidawa,
cinem a woul d soon be open in Suva . Nadroga and Ba. Most of the works will be the Sigatoka Valley road to Keyasi govern-
wher e we will have anot her
“Yes , work is cont inuin g at Gran tham Road carried out in 2011. ment station and the Moto road in Ba. 

from the offic e tomo rrow
cinem a but finer deta ils can be obta ined Commodore Bainimarama said the Fiji gov- “I thank the government of the Peoples Re-
ernment had always been grateful to China public of China and her people for their con-
(toda y),” Ms Dam odar said. for its contribution toward Fiji’s economic de- tinued support and assistance,” he added.

Suva and Villag e 4 Cine mas in
The com pany has Villag e 6 Cine mas in velopment. China’s Ambassador to Fiji, Dr Han Zhiqiang
tre in Laba sa.
Laut oka, Gala xy 2 in Nadi and Elite Thea “Today marks a very significant milestone in said China would continue to help Fiji because
stry for deca des and also the history of the bilateral relations between they felt Fiji could contribute a lot to the
The com pany has been in the movi e indu
our two countries,” he said after the signing region.
 “The Chinese government is a true
owns the Nand o’s chain of resta uran ts. the agreement. friend of Fiji as we believe that Fiji plays an
“Significant is the fact that we have once again important role in the Pacific,” he said.

Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 | 13

Team SPROUT springs a surprise
Can we have more teams? I was keen to play but no place. Can the organiser plz ensure that every-
one gets a chance. The semi-final was awesome ..enjoyed the food and fruits :)
– Ruby Singh
From the Editor Thanks to all the supporters it was fun organising this event.

Can a letter stop the slumdog killionaires?


Amazingly, somebody finally noticed the big, fat, Unfortunately this is happening in the develop-
Senior Indian minister cancels NZ visit
slothful elephant in the room and at long last ment space – the very area that raises human
Thank God for small mercies. It is a good thing his visit has been called off. He probably would have
decided to do something about it, even if it was living standards.
only picking up a pen. Last week 14 prominent It comes as no surprise that despite the much caused a famine in NZ. In India, with the prices of onions and other vegetables going through the
and well-regarded Indian citizens came together touted growth rate that is lifting hundreds of roof and food grains being in short supply, while they are allowed to rot in the government grana-
to write an open letter to Prime Minister Man- thousands of India’s dispossessed out of poverty, ries, the poor and the malnourished are struggling to survive. In a winter of discontent he has no
mohan Singh expressing alarm over corruption some 17,368 farmers killed themselves in 2009, solutions for problems for which he is solely responsible.
and worsening governance that has enervated 7% more than in 2008, according to the Times – CH Gomes
India. of India. The state of Maharashtra, which has
The letter, signed by some of the biggest Mumbai as its capital and is India’s richest End of the Chavanni
participants in India’s economic success story state, topped with the most farmer suicides – as
ranging from industrialists to thinkers points to it has for ten years in a row. In Mumbai, where I live, the chavanni had disappeared long back. Years ago, shopkeepers and
the “governance deficit” in “government, busi- In keeping with India’s unshakeable, deeply others would refuse to accept chavannis. The only place you could use them, if one had them, was
ness and institutions”, and the “urgent need” entrenched legacy of contrasts, the country’s on BEST buses. I know of a friend, an elderly man, who would religiously drop a chavanni in the
to tackle the “malaise of corruption, which is agriculture minister, Sharad Pawar, is a farmer box at a temple everyday. I don’t know what he will do now. In religious rituals, it is common to
use Rs 1.25,etc. that is a quarter along with a whole. I suppose, it will have to be rounded off too.
“Corruption is the only reason why the slumdog millionaire visage of the country will Late action.
endure far longer than the cloying images of luxurious seven star hotel lobbies, billion – M.G. Bhat
dollar skyscraper residences and shamelessly crass million dollar weddings.”
New F$37m cement factory in Fiji
corroding the fabric of our nation.” from this very state and is one of the country’s
The sheer number of corruption scandals richest politicians. (Incidentally, he was one of
A good move for such an investment.One small but important advice.I dealt with the cement factory
that the media have reported in the past year – the several high profile no shows at the recent,
after it was established when the Company allowed huge discharge of cement dust which clouded
from the Commonwealth Games contracts scam much touted wedding in Auckland). He has
to the deepening mobile 2G licensing scandal been under fire for the runaway prices of onions Suva and the d deosited in the sea bed.The pollution control equipments were of inferior quality
– involving hundreds of billions of rupees shows and vegetables, which is threatening the very and were not operated or maintained by the Company.The company was only conerned with profit
how corruption has gnawed away at the guts of existence of the national government forcing a making.I am available and happy to advise with my expertise in this field.This is an important isssue
the country’s rickety democratic institutions and cabinet reshuffle to get under way next week. for Fiji.
is threatening to disrupt their very functioning. Last week, India’s environment ministry – Cecil Ram Lochan JP, Dip. Air Pollution Control
India’s corrupt polity has been known to the ordered the demolition of a 31-storied block of
world for long – almost explicitly condoned by apartments in an upscale area of downtown A R Rahman turns 45
former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, when she Mumbai for violation of environmental rules.
remarked that corruption was not just an Indian The controversial high-rise was originally Hearty Congratulations on his movie for 127 hours and wishing him. Many happy returns to him.
but a global phenomenon. meant to be a six-storey structure to house May God bless him.
With that sort of attitude it is no surprise India’s war heroes and the kin of the war dead. – Subra M Subramaniam
that the malaise has seeped so deep into nearly But it was surreptitiously extended to 31 floors
every institution and day-to-day activity, that it allegedly without mandatory permission. Sibal emphasises the need to preserve Urdu
is considered part and parcel of doing business. More than the people it was meant for,
Indeed, graft has been institutionalised in the powerful politicians, bureaucrats and their I read this article with great interest and it resonated with me, a child of Independence born at the
Indian system. family and friends allegedly got allotments to time when the nation was sadly split. Growing up in northern India despite being British I spoke
Corruption is the sole reason why India’s the apartments at heavily subsidised prices Urdu as a first language because of our domestic staff and then came English and of course the
ever present chasm of economic and develop- that were meant for the soldiers’ families. The Urdu morphed into Hindi. Urdu is vibrant and vital. Preserve what is good and beautiful for India.
mental contrasts will continue to grow despite scandal grew big enough to claim the chief min-
– Aline Dobbie
steady near double-digit growth for over a ister of the state whose family members had also
decade. been allegedly allotted space in the building.
Corruption is the only reason why the The demolition of a building allegedly Tata Coffee, Starbucks sign MoU
slumdog millionaire visage of the country will constructed by bending every rule in the book
endure far longer than the cloying images of is at best a symbolic swing of the wrecking ball Support Indianised South Indian coffee – not machine coffee, please.
luxurious seven star hotel lobbies, billion dollar at India’s gargantuan edifice of corruption. But Why buy machine made coffee and make offshore guys rich. Hope Starbucks markets Indianised
skyscraper residences and shamelessly crass its roots run deep and long – too deep and too Coffees. Howard Schultz, Chairman, President and CEO, Starbucks Coffee Company should
million dollar weddings. long. All the way to the Swiss banks and the tax instead say “We are in India to make money – nothing else – Stuff your culture and diversity”.
And it is the only reason why a number of havens around the world. Impossible to root out Don’t Indians know about coffee already and we make better coffee any day.”
innovative technology companies that can help without leaders and people of character and – South Indian Filter Coffee waalla
India’s poor rise above their lot faster than their resolve – even if they are mere letter writers.
highly inequitable economic growth ever can, ‘Curry Munchers’ Premiere
are pulling out of India in sheer frustration. – Dev Nadkarni
When is the red carpet premiere in Auckland?
– Katrina
Opinion Poll:
It’s on 21st February at Manuakau Westfield. Releases nationwide on the 24th of February 2011”
Should the retirement age for New Zealanders be raised to 67 (from – Aunanda Naaido
the current 65), as proposed by the Retirement Commissioner?
Paul Henry resigns from TVNZ
I don’t think he should have left ... he could have toned it down a bit. If we’re this NICE country that

40% 60%
CARES, why not give Paul a second chance? People who take on high political profile jobs should
understand the society.
-Barbie Pauly

Indian Weekender Volume 2 No. 20

Publisher: Kiwi Media Group Limited Ten top stories on
Group editor-in-chief: Dev Nadkarni 1.0 Gay couple auditions for Zee show
Online editor: Arvind Kumar 2.0 Mahesh, Lara Dutta to wed on Feb 19
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Design: Tanmay Desai / 4.0 India, China lead investments in Fiji
Advertising: Giri Gupta - Ph: 520 0922, Mob: 021 221 1131. Email -
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Please email original editorial contributions, community notices and pictures to 6.0 Flood warning in Nadi
Views expressed in the publication are not necessarily of the publisher and the publisher 7.0 Fiji U17 World Cup bid gets tougher
is not responsible for advertisers’ claims as appearing in the publication
8.0 Ayurveda and heart health
Indian Weekender is published by Kiwi Media Group, 98 Great South Road, New Market 9.0 NZICA, affiliates to celebrate R-Day jointly
and printed at APN Print, Ellerslie, Auckland
Copyright 2010. Kiwi Media Group. All Rights Reserved. 10. Atif to donate concert proceeds to flood relief

14 Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 |


Big brother making a case to control the internet?

dev nadkarni

The WikiLeaks saga is far from a David and Goliath tale

Nearly every major historical event has at least soldier, now held in solitary confinement in a on an even keel with traditional big money, big or wrong in their contention that governments
one popular conspiracy theory that fires the prison in Virginia, USA, to have had access to power, big muscle authority. initiated the leaks to gain control of the internet
public imagination and lingers long enough such a cornucopia of classified documents on Doublespeak does not really matter.
to form the leitmotif of alternative lore, which such diverse matters at his station in the Middle It is undoubtedly a nightmare for everyone But their belief has a grain of truth and that
manages to cast its telling shadow on some East without help from higher officials who were that has something to hide. And governments is what matters – rather disturbingly: we are be-
aspects of the generally accepted “official” responsible for the secrecy of the documents. and politicians everywhere have the most to ginning to see early moves in the world’s gov-
record. Like the 9/11 conspiracy theories or for that hide, no matter how much democracy, fair play ernments towards toying with ideas about, yes,
The assassinations of US presidents Lincoln matter even those about the lunar landing and and transparency they may profess. you guessed right, regulating the internet.
and Kennedy, the “real” reasons for the sinking others, this theory too is sure to have its diehard Doublespeak is the stuff of politics and it is There have been media reports that the
of the Titanic, the raft of UFO (unidentified believers and defenders. abundantly evident in the leaked documents. United Nations is actually considering a con-
flying object) sightings in the 1950s and 1960s, The ingredients for a choice, spicily juicy In fact, few of the documents would take the sortium of an inter-governmental working group
the moon walk of 1969, and nearer our times, the recipe are all there: The internet has grown at the informed citizen by surprise. “to harmonise global efforts by policymakers to
September 11, 2001 incident – all have the choic- speed of light into an unbelievably big, amor- But journalists, commentators and citizens regulate the internet”.
est conspiracy theories woven around them. phous beast. who follow events closely, all along suspected The meeting, which took place in New York
These theories have been preserved in hun- In its wake it has dissolved political and what has been released. For instance, Fiji had days before Christmas, discussed the possibility
dreds of books and magazines – many of them geographical boundaries and is all but out of been saying all along that New Zealand and of forming a global body consisting of govern-
bestsellers no matter how crackpot they may reach of brick and mortar jurisdictional author- Australia were spying on it. That has now been ment representatives to create standards for po-
sound – dozens of films and television shows ity, challenging every statute in every country’s confirmed. licing the internet. And it clearly states that this
and of course countless YouTube videos and ‘book of authority’ as it were. Last year, I wrote a piece in a New Zealand is specifically in response to the WikiLeaks phe-
digital files on the internet. Like nothing else in history, the internet has newspaper that the US was worried that Paki- nomenon. At first instance, the world appears
The latest major event to spawn a juicy con- enabled the convergence of the flow of ideas, stan’s nuclear devices could easily fall into the divided on this. There is one group of countries
spiracy theory is the WikiLeaks saga. Amid two-way communication, mass communication hands of Taliban terrorists who were lurking that is openly eager and another appears to be
reports that catalogued the unfolding of the as in publishing, sound and visual broadcasting ever closer to the country’s nuclear installations. more cautious.
250,000-document leak – more a torrent than a as well as commerce, besides much else in one The US officially denied this saying the Pen- No prizes for matching the countries to their
leak, really – and their publication by the media single hand-held device, often independent of tagon was in close touch with Pakistan’s chain of respective groups. Their reputation or the lack
across the world, a convincing theory, as in the location. command and there was no question of a worry. of it – for upholding liberty, equality and egali-
manner of almost all conspiracy theories, has The high barriers to the power afforded by The leaks though tell the real story. The US tarianism in both letter and spirit is a dead give-
surfaced. the ownership and control over traditional media was worried as hell. And still is – as it should be. away.
There is a school of thought that believes that have not only been lowered but have been de- So there is every reason for the authority to India, South Africa, China and Saudi Arabia
the whole WikiLeaks saga was a planned opera- stroyed. worry about the burgeoning, completely indi- seemed to support the idea of a new inter-gov-
tion of a consortium of the big, bad, super secre- One does not need to have millions of dollars vidualised, hard-to-pin-down, on-the-fly power ernmental regulatory body to police the internet.
tive, completely opaque and ruthless, faceless to become a broadcaster – any blogger will of the internet. The US, Canada, the UK, Belgium and Aus-
intelligence organisations of the Western world. vouch for that. It has the potential to leave governments tralia, as also community and business represen-
A ploy to find the strongest possible justifica- Why, the man at the centre of the WikiLeaks bereft of the clothes they wear, exposing them tatives, have raised the cautionary flag.
tion to control the free flow of information in the saga, Julian Assange, is an acclaimed homeless for all to see. There is a very good case, indeed, So, conspiracy theories notwithstanding, Big
world via the bugbear of all manner of secrets individual with none of the trappings of a tradi- to clamp down on it in the name of national in- Brother does want to control at least some of the
– the internet. tional media magnate or the halo of a celebrity terest, sovereignty, security and peace. gates to the internet – the simplest, biggest and
The argument here is that it would not have editor. Regulating the internet most potent purveyor of freedom ever known to
been possible for a disgruntled, lowly-paid Suddenly, the individual has been placed Whether the conspiracy theorists are right mankind.

Women’s clothing and social judgments

Vidyut Raka
I recently read a news article from Pakistan diminish your individuality. Check out Angelina etc don’t immediately start having sex with them type’ – as in doesn’t risk showing more than in-
where a girl went to some party that also had Jolie when she visited Pakistan after the floods. or someone else or even themselves. There is tended like a skirt could.
boys attending and returned late. She got raped. Then do an image search for her name and check something called a brain that determines what Other times, the reasons are more practical
In the debate that stormed in the comments, out what normal clothing for her looks like. Like we do with inputs coming in from our senses. or scientific. Many mountaineers deplore the
two prevalent views came forth. The first was I said, nothing wrong with dressing in a place- Of course the men are criminals and a social tendencies of fashionable adventurer clients who
when someone commented that if she was going appropriate manner. hazard. That is the tip of the iceberg. It is our wear less clothes and have sun burned shoulders
to wear revealing clothes and go to late night Similar things about being careful with per- social conversations that determine the foun- and dehydration headaches the next day. Many
parties with boys, she would naturally get raped. sonal safety. There is nothing wrong in asking dations to this kind of thinking. If dressing doctors are against the burkha because the skin
The other was a more rational one that her cloth- people to drop you home safely, or taking pre- modestly is attached to morality, it becomes an doesn’t get adequate sunlight which is essential
ing or habits don’t justify the man’s crime. It was cautions like not lingering in secluded places, excuse for individuals in the society to judge to the formation of good bones and overheating
widely denounced as repressive to expect her to wearing clothing and other individuals un- in hot, humid climates. Many Indian women find
wear conservative clothing. I think both sides footwear that allows necessarily and pos- saris or salwar kameez too fiddly and clumsy for
have it right and wrong. you to flee if needed, sibly justify crimes their kind of pursuits. It is impractical to wear
While it does make sense to be careful in an learning basic self “Someone commented that against them. Fact too many clothes for swimming, and so on.
environment prone to crime or a society where defense or keeping is, clothing and even It is high time we started realizing as a society
crimes against women are rampant, it is no less handy something that if she was going to wear clothing as an ex- that dress has a purpose, and that purpose is di-
than sensible precautions women the world over could be used to defend revealing clothes and go pression of character rected by what the wearer wants. By deciding
take. This isn’t about what freedoms we have, yourself in order to flee differs widely. what another should wear, we are essentially
but how we exercise them in the culture we live – pepper sprays, etc. to late night parties with The older gen- saying that they are trying to do inappropriate
It isn’t about repression, it is about becom-
This is being careful.
The point here is not
boys, she would naturally eration of British
people had clothes
things through their clothes. In other words,
we are being judgmental and dominating. This
ing an ambassador for yourself, for dressing so who is at fault, but that get raped.” that endangered is not respectful. This is not such a great idea,
that you express respect for the values of the it is our life getting their breasts falling because no matter what you wear, chances are
culture you live in. You don’t have to like them. messed up regardless out, but thought the fiftly other people will find it silly.
I love wearing shorts and its really the best for of whose fault it is. sight of an ankle was scandalous. Traditional --
Mumbai’s climate, but as a daughter-in-law in a However, it is ridiculous to think that the Indians in many parts of the country have this Vidyut Raka is an India-based writer,
middle class locality, I tend not to go out shop- woman is at fault for getting raped because of thing about the sari draped over the breasts. website designer, change facilitator and an ad-
ping in shorts. I’m not repressed. I am simply her dress or whatever. This kind of thinking is They are okay with their daughters wearing vocate for causes she believes in. She describes
fitting in. prevalent the world over. Men apparently have salwar kameez or even jeans as long as they herself as a student of life and believes that it is
When I go out to the shop, the point is buying a tendency to outsource responsibility for their take a dupatta or a scarf. Never mind that the her curiosity and eagerness for discovering new
stuff, not fending off ‘friendlies’ or getting bodily functions when it comes to matters of sari usually exposes your waist. Many modern things that allows her to cross-apply her learn-
eyeballed by everyone from street kids to dis- shame, but I have yet to see a non-rapist man women think the burkha as a symbol of sup- ing from diverse experiences. She has never had
approving grandmothers. Chances are, if I get say that well, he’s managed to remain legal pression and an expression of denial of what a a single profession, has never earned money
stared at, its more likely to be because shorts because he sees only modest women all day or woman is, but are fine if a dress covers as much from something she didn’t enjoy and she finds
would look so out of place rather than lecher- something. The truth is that waiters in dance ground as the burkha, but doesn’t look like one. it convenient and efficient to not hold grudges.
ous intentions. There is nothing demeaning in bars, surrounded by attractive, skimpily dressed Many Indians are fine with western clothing as Indian Weekender welcomes Vidyut as an occa-
making circumstantial compromises. They don’t women, expressly flaunting their sexuality, etc long as it ‘reaches below the knees’ or ‘is trouser sional columnist.

Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 | 15


16 Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 |

Kites takeover Auckland skies

The Hindu harvest festival of Makar Sankran-

ti, also celebrated as Pongal in India’s south-
ern states, was celebrated worldwide on
January 13/14. Besides the pomp, gaiety and
community spirit that accompanies all Indian
festivals Makar Sankranti is also celebrated
with kite flying by many Indian communities.

In Auckland, the Vaishnav Parivar has been

organising traditional kite flying competitions
for six years now. This year it was held on
Sunday, January 8 and was the biggest so
far, according to the organisers.

Nearly 7000 people turned up throughout

the day that fortunately had crystal clear
There also were
weather and the right sort of breeze to help
16other prize winners
the plethora of kites to soar into the cloud-
that won a camera,
less blue of the Auckland sky.
mobile phone, digital
photo frame among
While kite flying and competitions between
several others
kite flyers was the main attraction, it really
Vaishnav Parivar
was a family day out with fun rides, free face
plans to scale up the
painiting, an array of food, DJ performances
celebrations next
and a raffle draw.
Avneel Singh was the lucky winner of the
- Indian Weekender
raffle winning a return ticket to Sydney.

lebrate the festive spirit

Seniors ce Community welcomes New Year in style
ficulties in adjusting into
New Zealand
as Ch aritabl e Tru st organised a facing dif s suc h as cul tur al shock, gen-
The Shanti Niw th Asi an orig in on society due to barrier mu nication bar-
of Sou s, language and com
Christmas party for elders atte nde d and the erational gap on, dependence
er 250 sen iors soc ial iso lati
December 18. Ov cap aci ty.  riers, loneliness and ss, chi ld minding
ked to port, emotional stre
Springs Road hall was pac ow tru stee s Ashok on family sup lth and welfare
n alo ng wit h fell kno wle dge of hea
Ataur Rehma add res sed the pressures, lack of link s, trans-
Ind u Baj aj system, lack of com mu nity
Gaur, Roshni Golian and A bir thd ay celebra- es and elder
trib ute d gif ts. and mo bili ty issu
gathering and dis an
s wa s abuse and neglec t.
tion of some senior citizen need to
emotional affair where the
seniors She felt there was a great
bir th- in ord er to provide
sang the traditional “happy establish services
ble w the can dle s ce and ass ista nce to older
day to you” and guidan
e a good
before cutting the cake. people so they could hav added
icti on of the bir th lity of life . As we all kno w,
A befitting dep qua
gua ges and
d wit h en- barriers of dif fere nt lan
of Jesus Christ was enacte ple te ds can create
sen iors , com tur al bac kgr oun
thusiasm by the w-
ion and iso lation
o sho lus
with the three wise men wh us. feelings of exc
d to dep ression
new ly bor n Jes ich in tur n can lea
ered gifts on the wh
Trust volunteers Pushpa
Prasad, and mental health problems
and Jay a Th apa r, the He r goa l tow ard s giving Shed 16 on Jesmond Road Drury (the sociation and Prithipal Singh Basra of
Sam Naidoo r was
youngest of them all, spoke
on the oc- the best as Social Worke en indoor and out door cafe exclusively Auckland Sikh Society.
rin g per for ma nce by ive d in No vem ber 199 8, wh
casion. A soul stir ach used by Angithi Caterers for produc-
ers ushered blished
a group of African Drumm the trust was legally esta tion and parties) sprang to life in the Sunita and Yash of Milan weddings
rit and got eve ryo ne er the nam e of Sha nti Niwas
in the festive spi und first weekend of January where the and the Joginder Singh family who
st Inc orp ora ted and
dancing. Charitable Tru Bedi family of Papatoetoe in associa- are currently on a visit to New Zea-
ma de a dra ma tic ent ry am e fina nci ally ind epe ndent in
Santa Claus bec land also attended the function.
ryone. The has been tion with Angithi Caterers organised
and distributed gifts to eve January 2003. The trust
wit h a sum ptu ous iste red wit h the Ch arit ies Com- a community gathering of about 40 Everyone participated in the Bingo
day concluded reg
eers for all for goods members from diverse communities. game, a dance in the garden and
meal cooked by the volunt mission (CC26135) and
re pre sen t. ser vic es tax . of course eating the classic Indian
those who we and
Shanti Niwas Charitable
Trust Indu Bajaj’s incredible The simple objective was to wel- dishes.
org ani sati on, has a in var iou s com mu nity projects come the year 2011. Nimi, Raj and
Inc, a non-profit me nt
wit h soc iall y iso lat- to the eld erly of South
proud history of working great support Dasham Bedi heartily welcomed all. Vicky and Sonia Grover, the beautiful
s of Ind ian and Sou th Asi an origin has provided is apt ly sup por ted by Nilima hardworking couple of Angithi fame,
ed senior citizen Asian origin. She The guests included Azim Riaz from
living in the Auckland reg
ion. the trust since 1998. She
for Venkat who has been with Radio Tarana, Andrew, the owner of conveyed thanks to all the guests for
cul turally app rop riat e ser vices
soc ial wo rk and is passionate about
al bac kgr oun d we re has a degree in ng about positive
Shed 16, Helen from Howick & Pak- showering praise on the recipes used
older people of diverse cul tur
Bajaj, wo rking with the elderly bri to
al uranga Times, Gary Troup (Director by them specially the lamb Rogan
initiated by experienced soc
ial worke r Ind u s. Nilima is also the Gener
uar y 199 4 und er the um - changes in their live two rk and the Pre sident CCO Regional Facilities), Ajit Singh josh and lamb Kabab.
Q.S.M and M.S.W, in Jan Secretary of the Asian Ne Randhawa of Punjabi Cultural As-
n Northern.
brella of Methodist Missio era l of Indian Womens Club.
contact with sev
At the time she came in
migrants of Indian
olderWeekender descent who seemed to be
Indian | January 21, 2011 | 17

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JP (NZICA) 021 333 604
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Zealand Country Section Indian Association, Manukau Indian Association, Pukekohe Indian Association, Waikato Indian Association, Wellington Indian
Association, Taranaki Indian Association
Associate Members
NZ Punjabi Cultural Association Inc, New Zealand Kannada Koota Inc, Probasee Bengali Association of NZ Inc, Auckland Marathi Association Inc, New
Zealand Telugu Association Inc, Muth Tamil Sangam Inc, Auckland Malayali Samajam

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18 Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 |

New GOPIO President vows to improve its image

In recent years, GOPIO (Global Organi- Rakesh Gupta: I was appointed unani- and others don’t. GOPIO has been recently linked with the
sation of People of Indian Origin) in New mously and Satish Sharma remains the area Papatoetoe voter scam. What do you have
Zealand has been in the news in Kiwi co-ordinator and Sandeep Aggarwal is the One convincing argument why one should to say?
Indian circles, having courted a string of Treasurer plus all chapter presidents remain join GOPIO?
controversies on a range of matters. on the executive. This is a very unfortunate incident. I was in
But after months of the organisation Maybe we don’t have one the dark about certain people and personal-
being in a limbo of sorts, a new interim How long has GOPIO been now other than the inter- ities prior to the appointments. Even though
president has been elected pending the in New Zealand? national networking aspect I was part of the executive that approved the
adoption of a new constitution, which is ex- – but will surely prove our- appointments, I feel that more due diligence
pected to be ready in March or April 2011. GOPIO started in October selves in the days to come. should have been done before the appoint-
The new interim president Rakesh 2008, so it has been around ments and they should not have been rushed
Gupta, who till recently was President of for a little over 2 years. Do you have a document- into. I will work towards improving the
the Botany Chapter of GOPIO, has been ed plan for your activities image and controlling any damage done.
unanimously elected and has vowed to What has GOPIO achieved in the days to come? Those positions have now been disestab-
bring an end to the favouritism, politics, in these two years? lished and we wish to distance GOPIO from
controversial appointments and factional- The top five achievements No – but we will formulate such people and actions.
ism within the organisation. are: 1. A medical camp to one soon.
Mr Gupta said he was not a member of provide free tests for dia- There was a new constitution mooted
any political party and hence would try betes 2. Fund raising for Why did senior execu- with a committee appointed for its draft-
his best to keep GOPIO apolitical. He also Fiji f lood victims 3. Fund tive members of GOPIO ing? What’s the progress?
clarified that the two controversial appoint- raising for slain taxi driver resign recently?
ments made hastily earlier this year had Hiren Mohini’s family 4. A sub committee headed by a lawyer is
been disestablished with immediate effect. Cultural celebrations in- The people who have re- looking into it and hopefully by March or
Certain unavoidable circumstances cluding holi etc 5. Conduct a “ I feel that more due signed did not cite clear April we will adopt this new constitution
created in the past had been a learning workshop on family violence. diligence should have reasons. I feel they resigned which will be followed by fresh elections
process for GOPIO, Mr Gupta said. He due to difference of opinion. for the committee. The existing constitu-
would endeavour to do things better in the What is GOPIO offering the been done before the tion does not have a proper system of elec-
future and focus on working for the com- Indian diaspora in NZ that appointments and There is a perception that tion.
munity alongside likeminded organisations. other prominent organisa- GOPIO is a closed, elitist
He said he would like to establish mean- tions are not? Why should they should not have club because of the way Other GOPIO chapters seem to think
ingful communication with the community anybody join GOPIO? been rushed into. I some of its affairs have been there is no need for a separate consti-
and expressed a desire to work closely with conducted in the past. Any tution as it already has one. So why the
Indian Weekender toward this end. He con- All existing organisations are will work towards comments? need for a new constitution?
gratulated Indian Weekender for providing only within NZ and GOPIO improving the image
positive journalism, which had made the has an international aspect. Due to short notice by the Some of the chapter constitutions are very
community proud. GOPIO through its inter- and controlling any High Commission maybe good but the needs for the national constitu-
national footprint can help damage done.” there were some anomalies tion are different from the chapter constitu-
Excerpts of the interview are as under: lobby the Indian Government in the organisation of the tions and hence the need for a comprehen-
for issues affecting NRI’s as Kapil Sibal event. I will work sive national constitution whereby all the
IW: On what basis was your appoint- GOPIO international is in constant touch towards ensuring that this perception is financial reporting cycles of each chapter
ment made? Was there an election? What with the Govt. Of India and use their good changed and everyone feels involved. In the will also be streamlined.
about other official positions? When will offices to protect the rights of people of future, our actions will ref lect the learn-
they be appointed? Indian origin. International networking and ings we have made from our past actions.
linkages is something that GOPIO provides

Governor-General opens Join the St John-Indian Weekender

new St John facility ambulance project & help the community...
A new St John building cation for a number
was opened in Mt Wel- of shared service ac-
lington, Auckland, on tivities for the whole
December 17 by the Gov- organisation and re-
ernor-General and Prior of solves the need to
St John, Rt Hon Sir Anand provide adequate
Satyanand. accommodation for
It is designed to ac- various teams who
commodate 127 staff and have been sharing
house the services sup- cramped and tempo-
porting St John in New rary space for years.
Zealand. The existing St “This building
John facilities on the site is the latest of many
which opened in 1984 are buildings to provide
greatly advanced by the shelter for St John
development. people as they work.
Sir Anand and Lady Those who served
Susan Satyanand were before would, I am
joined by St John vol- sure, be very proud
unteers and staff and to see the wide range
members of the commu- of services St John is
nity for today’s opening able to provide today,”
ceremony. he says
“I acknowledge the “In constructing
considerable efforts this building, St John
of service of St John has developed a splen-
members past and present did base for the wider
during this, the 125th year St John team who
anniversary of St John in in turn are support-
New Zealand,” Sir Anand ing the community
says. across the country,”
The facility has a Sir Anand says.
strong green focus with the main building
being ventilated naturally rather than air- Meanwhile the Indian Weekender Make
conditioned and having external louvres to A Difference for St John Appeal is going
help regulate temperature. Rainwater is re- ahead with enthusiastic response from
cycled from the roof for toilet flushing. members of the Indian community..
The building will provide a common lo-

Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 | 19


‘I didn’t even want Bharat Ratna’

It’s never too late to do what you want to; that’s what Lata Mangeshkar believes in. And hence, at 81, she has
turned a calendar girl. The nightingale of India speaks to Sreya Basu about her new venture
We mostly associate a high-profile Jaikishan; and times that temple. From there, we shifted to Wal-
calendar with fashion photographs. Khemchand we used keshwar. The Bombay of that time and
What made you come up with a musi- Prakashji, who to love, is the Mumbai of today is completely dif-
cal calendar? first made me still loved ferent. Those days were more peaceful-
Because I don’t know anything better sing Aayega by today’s ek shanti aur pyaar ka mahaul tha.
(smiles). The idea was Hridaynath’s Aanewala for generation. Today, the peace has been replaced
(brother). Tere Sur Aur Mere Geet cal- Madhubala People still by tall towers and buildings. There are
endar for 2011 contains my photos with from the film love songs thousands of people and lakhs of cars...
24 music directors I have worked with. I Mahal in 1949. composed the peace has escaped from people’s
unveiled the calendar on the 110th birth And how can I by Salil hearts.
anniversary of my father (Pandit Deena- forget Ghulam Chowd- The time is so bad today that now-a-
nath Mangeshkar). So, you can say, it’s Haidersaab! hury, SD days you don’t even get to hear good
a tribute to him. He fought Burman, words from fellow-people. When you
with others RD Bur- read newspapers, you come across so
This is the second time in a row that and made me man and many weird incidents…even news chan-
people will get Lata Mangeshkar sing. He gave Hemant nels show incidents that are hard for me
calendar? me the first Kumar. to believe…little girls being raped and
Yes. Last year (2010), we made the cal- chance to sing in 1947. After that, he killed, women are murdered…every oth-
endar based on our family. For 2011, we went back to Pakistan. He used to call You often say that you would love to er day there are bomb blasts….how can
thought of bringing well-known music me memsaab. Before going, he told me: remain in your past… people become so heartless! The year
directors together. It was very difficult ‘Memsaab, tumhara itna naam hoga aur I always prefer to reminiscence my past 2010 has not been a good year. In these
for us to choose because the directors I tum mujhe yaad karogi’ (you will be very days…I don’t think of the days that lie turbulent times, the only one that gives
worked with were all geniuses. famous and you will remember me). ahead of me. I remember my past more me the strength to carry on is God.
vividly than my present.
How many music composers you Music has changed over the years. Is that because, like music, people You have received numerous awards
have worked with so far? But do you still find one thread that’s too have changed? in your lifetime. Which is the one
When we made a list, I found I had sung common between the music of your I came to Mumbai in 1945 and since award that you prize the most?
with 115 music directors. Now it’s not time and the ones we hear today? then, we lived at all kinds of strange I didn’t even want Bharat Ratna. The
possible to put all of them into one cal- There have been a lot of changes in mu- places. At Nana Chowk, there was a love I have got, and still get from public,
endar. But the calendar won’t have been sic if you compare ours and your time. Shiv mandir and we used to live in a is my biggest award.
completed without photos of Shankar- But one thing is there, the songs of our dharmshala-kind of a place beside the

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20 Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 |

‘Dhobi Ghat not Aamir Khan film’
Kiran Rao can’t stop smiling with her debut film Dhobi
Ghat receiving appreciations worldwide even before
it hits the theatres. The writer-director speaks to
correspondent Sreya Basu about her new venture and
of course, husband-actor Aamir Khan

Is Dhobi Ghat a tale of every

I think it’s a very relatable film. It’s an emo-
tional story. But it’s a subtle film, a quiet
film…it’s a slice-of-life sort of a film. It’s
about four people and the city of Mumbai.

What inspired you with the storyline of

Dhobi Ghat?
When I sat to write it a few years back, I
didn’t know exactly what to write. But I
am very inspired by the city of Mumbai.
It’s a muse for me in a sense. Dhobi Ghat
(Mumbai Diaries) is my homage to Mum-
bai and its people - people on trains, in
boats, stuck in traffic, perched on con-
struction sites, sitting by the sea, thinking
of tomorrow. I wrote this script with two
ideas as starting points for this story of
four people adrift in this city.

So, what were the starting points of you

One grew out of the personal experience
I’ve had as a tenant in Mumbai, having had
to shift to a new apartment almost every
year (due to short term tenancy laws). Ev-
ery new apartment I moved to always felt a
little warm from the last occupant, leading
to the idea that I was in some strange way
connected to the people that had lived in
the space before me and would thereafter.
What if they had left behind something to translate it to something closer to the
that revealed to me their life and secrets? film. So, I think Mumbai Diaries is apt as
The second idea was to examine whether far as the storyline of my film is concerned.

You have one of the four Khans of Bol-

lywood in your debut film…
To have Aamir as a producer, actor and
collaborator on the film was my great,
good fortune, and I owe this film to his
unflagging belief and support.

Was it easy to convince Aamir to act in

your film?
You want to know the truth? In the begin-
ning, Aamir was not meant to be in this

film. It’s a small film and I wanted to do
it with a small crew and unknown faces.
We did a lot of testing for the painter’s
character, but were not getting the right
person. We were talking on the script and
the character when Aamir said: “You can
try me…test kar sakti ho…if you don’t
mind.” (Smiles). And we decided to go for
an audition for him to get an idea how to
play this particular role. After the audition,
his plan was successful as I could look no
further, and had to cast him.
it’s really possible in a country riddled with But Aamir Khan is surely the USP of
class and caste prejudice for an upper your film?
class girl to have a relationship with a boy Well, there is no amount of warning that
from a disadvantaged background. While can take away the idea that Aamir Khan
popular Hindi cinema has championed the is in my film. So, I have to keep telling
idea that ‘love conquers all’ for the past 60 people that ‘look, don’t expect an Aamir
odd years, does it in real life? Khan film’. We consciously decided that
this film should not be known as an Aamir
Why did you put Mumbai Diaries as a Khan film. The kind of expectation his films
tagline for your film? attract is very universal and there is a very
Actually, we needed an English title when
All NZ: 0508 933 546
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we took the film to festivals- it was pre- do that because this film is not Aamir’s
miered at Toronto International Film Fes- traditional kind of films…the kind of films
tival and then showcased at London Film
Festival. Dhobi Ghat is a metaphorical title
he usually does. So it was important not to Auckland: 09 621 0520
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(though it’s a location as well) and we had

Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 | 21


22 Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 |

‘Acting not profession, B-town heartthrob
Hrithik turns 37
it’s my mehbooba’ Mumbai: Bollywood ‘superhero’ and heart-
throb of millions of females world wide, Hrithik
Roshan, turned 37 last week.
In this exciting career, Hrithik has received
multiple awards besides winning his first inter-
national award at the Golden Minbar Interna-
At 75, Dharmendra is giving tough competition to sons Sunny Here are some trivia about the macho tional Film Festival for his performance in the
Roshan junior, as he prepares to rejoice the all period film ‘Jodhaa Akbar’.
and Bobby Deol, dancing in floral shirt with item girls in his important day in his life. It is said that in the year 2000, on the oc-
Hrithik debut in the glamorous world of Bol- casion of Valentine’s Day, Hrithik Roshan re-
new film Yamla Pagla Deewana. The original He-Man of lywood as a child actor in films like- ‘Aasha’, ceived an an unbelievable 30,000 marriage pro-
‘Aap Ke Deewane’, ‘Bhagwan Dada’. posals. Surely this actor knew how to attract his
Bollywood in conversation with Sreya Basu Both ‘Bhagwan Dada’ and ‘Aap Ke female fans.
Deewane’ featured his father Rakesh Roshan in Hrithik’s list of favourite films include
the lead role. names like- ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’,
What brought you back on the silver Later on Hrithik also followed his father and ‘Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai’, ‘Sholay’, ‘Pretty
screen and that too as a main lead? went on to help his father as an assistant direc- Woman’ and’ When Harry Met Sally’.
It has been 50 years that I am part of the tor in films like “Karan Arjun” and “Koyla”, In the coming months, Hrithik will be back
Hindi film industry. The only force that before making his debut in the blockbuster with a couple films like ‘Zindagi Na Milegi’,
‘Kahoo Naa Pyar Hai’ that was directed by his ‘Dobara’ ‘Agneepath’, to spell his magic once
keeps driving me even today is the love
father. again on the big screen.
and support of the people. I am thankful to
them that even after 50 years they have not
thrown me out of their hearts. And I know,

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy talk
I will be there in people’s hearts forever.
Acting is not a profession for me, it’s my
mehbooba (girlfriend). When she used to

about World Cup song

get angry and keep me away from her, I
used to woo her back and vice versa. She
was angry with me for quite some years,
and I am trying to win her back with this
film Yamla Pagla Deewana. Dubai: With still more than a month ing series against Pakistan and then on
to go, the catchy ICC Cricket World to next month’s ICC Cricket World Cup.
too couldn’t explain; they said ‘Pictures
Cup 2011 song, De Ghumaa Ke, is
This is the second film that stars all the speak’. When I was in Class IX, the first film already making a big impact in the sub- “Pakistan have proved to be a difficult
three Deols… I saw was Dilipsaab’s (Kumar) Shaheed; continent and beyond. On this week’s opposition who are hard to predict,”
In 2007, I made Apne with Sunny and and I was spell-bound. I wondered: ‘Which edition of ICC Cricket World audio says Wright.
Bobby. People were very happy to see us world do these beautiful people belong to? show, the composers of song, Shankar-
together in one film. So I decided to gift Where is this heaven? I too want to be one Ehsaan-Loy, talk about the inspiration “I think looking at the Test series we
them another film, casting all three of us, in of them.” for their hit tune. have to bat consistently well, particu-
this new year. Apne was a very emotional larly up front. That’s the area we need
picture (film) with a sports background. There was a time when you were among As popular and critically acclaimed mu- to perform on, we need to put good
People loved it. But this film, there is a lot of the top 10 most handsome men in the sic directors of Bollywood, the trio has scores on and then I think we can take
comedy, fights, thrills, and also few good world. How did you react to that? created an upbeat song, with versions the match, I think it’s critical for this
emotional punches. So, this time, we hope I was excited; but it was hard for me to be- in Hindi, Bangla and Sinhalese that will series.
to bring smile on people’s eyes and tears in lieve that how is it possible? How can I be feature widely in the build-up to and
during the tournament that will run from “I hope we can turn things around for
their eyes. one of the ten most handsome men in the
Feb 19 to April 2 in Bangladesh, India the World Cup, that’s
world? As for me, I was always dissatisfied
and Sri Lanka. my job, it’s the role I’ve
Who is the Yamla (crazy), who is the with the way I looked on screen. I always been given. I’m excited
Pagla (mad) and who is the Deewana used to ask my directors for reshoots say- “We thought about it and I think if
(lover) in this film? ing I am not looking good from this angle about what we get the boys play-
Sunny, Bobby and me…all have our turns or that angle. one should ing to their potential
to play Yamla, Pagla and Deewana. expect of an then we could do well.
Do you think you have been given your anthem, and we We’ve got the talent
Your dream to be an actor took you from due by the industry? wanted to com- available – good
a Punjab village (Sahnewal) to Mumbai. No…really no and I know I will never get it. pose a song strikers of the ball
Did you always want to take up acting as And fault is mine…I didn’t ask for it; I don’t that appealed to and several match-
a career? know the way how to take it. I don’t have every cross-sec- winners – it just takes a few wins to
I dreamt an impossible dream. As a child, PROs…I don’t know how to develop net- tion of society. rebuild confidence,” he adds.
out of my whim, I saw a dream of becom- works. I am unfit to get my dues, perhaps.
“The title De Ghumaa Ke (literally Zimbabwe’s Grant Flower also talks
ing an actor. Then, before I could realize, I
meaning ‘Hit it Hard’) is a term you exclusively to the show this week about
started filling colours to my dream; and by Now-a-days, lot of senior stars like Am- use whether you’re watching your own his retirement from all formats of the
the time hum jawaan huye, I got addicted itabh Bachchan, Dev Anand and Sham- local team or Sachin Tendulkar hit a game and the highlights of his career.
to films. It was very hard to make it to the mi Kapoor are on social networking and six. That’s the whole idea, a fun song “I enjoyed every minute of my career,
film industry in those days, especially for a blogging sites like Twitter. But you prefer that will catch on and we hope it gets I’m fortunate to have played nearly 12
boy coming from a middle-class family. But to keep away from these things. Why? the crowds chanting and dancing in years of Test cricket and a lot of ODIs.
my every breath was desperate to fulfill my Blowing one’s own trumpet is a very painful the stands throughout the ICC Cricket There were a few highs and lows but
dream. I didn’t see any film till Class VIII… thing for me. I know I too have to go and World Cup,” they say. one of my greatest moments has to be
my parents were very strict. I remember, promote my film Yamla Pagla Deewana, winning our first Test here in Zimba-
once some of my friends came back after because that’s the trend now. I too won’t Also on this week’s show, newly ap- bwe against Pakistan where I scored a
watching a film and they were very excited. be spared; but I am not comfortable with pointed New Zealand head coach John double-hundred alongside my brother
I asked them what a film is all about. They these things. Wright looks ahead to his side’s upcom- Andy.

Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 | 23


The soul of
Indian fashion
in New Zealand
arvind kumar
It is not uncommon for the name Roop Darshan unbelievable compared to now,” he chuckles.
to come to mind when women in Auckland talk “In India, 60 rupees was the wages for a
about Indian fashion. whole month in those days.”
From Navsari to Nausori and now to Auck- The Roop Darshan patriarch said life in Fiji
land – it has been a long, and successful, journey in those days was “peaceful”.
for the pioneers of Roop Darshan, Auckland’s “Fiji, under British rule, was quite good, and
leading Indian fashion house. things were also very good when Ratu Mara was
Established in Auckland for the past 16 Prime Minister of Fiji, but the coups destroyed
years, the “soul of Indian fashion” is steeped the peace of the beautiful country,” Manilal
in history going back almost four generations Harkisan said.
– starting in the vast Navsari City in Gujarat, “Auckland is also very nice, and with the
India, to Nausori, a small town 20 minutes’ grace of God, we have succeeded here and hope
drive from the capital Suva, in the Fiji Islands. all is well for the future, too.”
From modest beginnings at its current prem-
ises in White Swan Rd in Auckland, Roop The Present
Darshan not too long ago opened another shop When Mahesh Kumar, the younger of
in Papatoetoe, and has spread its wings across Manilal Harkisan’s two sons, turned 17, he
the Tasman in Sydney, Australia. joined the business and Manilal & Sons stepped
From a couple of staff at their small store in into the world of Indian fashion.
Auckland, the fashion icon now employs more The young and dynamic Mahesh, who cur-
than 30 staff in the thriving business that has a rently oversees the Roop Darshan Auckland
multi-million dollar annual turnover. operations, injected vitality and a new vision
But, as the people behind the success tell, all to Manilal & Sons and nurtured it into a bus-
was not so plain sailing 64 years ago. tling and popular fashion store – turning it into

Roop Darshan pioneer Manilal Harkisan, 83, with his son Mahesh Kumar at their
White Swan Rd shop in Auckland.

a household name in Fiji.

The Past After the coups and political instability in
In the beginning, there was Harkisan Fiji, Mahesh then moved to New Zealand in
Damodar, who arrived in Fiji in 1947 from 1998 to manage the White Swan Rd shop which Saagar Kumar, 25, son of Mahesh, and grandson of Manilal Harkisan, now manages Roop Darshan
Navsari, Gujarat, to Fiji. had been started a few years earlier by his older store at White Swan Rd, Mt Roskill.
India was on the verge of Independence from brother, Vraj Lal, who now heads the family
Great Britain and Indians in Fiji had not too business in Sydney. that time and very few staff, so dad and I had meet suppliers and develop new products.”
long ago finished serving their “slavery” of the The White Swan Rd store, when it first to go to the airport ourselves to pick the cargo, Saagar also attributes the dedication of em-
indentured labour system, better known in the opened, occupied just one shop space. Today, it unpack it in the evenings and price items so they ployees to the success of the business over the
Pacific nation as “Girmit”. has taken over the neighbouring four premises. are ready to sell the following day. years. Nileshni and Sunila were both employed
A tailor by trade, Harkisan Damodar set up a More space means better display and more stock “We were involved in everything, but it was at Manilal & Sons in Nausori and when they mi-
small tailoring business in Lautoka, in western and variety. good as I learned a lot along the way.” grated to Auckland, and joined Roop Darshan.
Fiji, operating under the banner “F S Solanki”. Today, Mahesh is a content man having Saagar, who has visions of enhancing the Saagar paid tribute to the efforts of his
A year later, he was joined in the fledgling busi- tackled competition in the market and winning. quality of goods available to customers, attri- grandfather and his dad to for the steady growth
ness by his 21-year-old son, Manilal Harkisan. “We have provided good service and quality butes their success to keeping a step ahead of the business had enjoyed over the past decade,
Father and son burned the candle at both products to our customers, so we have a loyal the competition. and he was eager to stamp his mark and take it
ends trying to make a living and things were base which keeps growing.” “Although it is a combination of factors, I to the next level.
just beginning to look good when fate took an Success meant expansion and January 2009 would say the most important factor is that we
unexpected turn. saw them opening their second Auckland store launch the latest fashion first” Saagar told the
Harkisan Damodar died suddenly in 1951 in Papatoetoe. Indian Weekender. ROOP DARSHAN
and the young Manilal Harkisan closed shop Mahesh has three children – Saagar, 25, “With the advent of TV stations like Star Retailers of fashion Indian
in Lautoka and spent a couple of lonely years Deepal, 24, and Gavin, 21. Plus, customers are more aware of the fashion
working in Suva before heading to Nausori to trends.” wear and Jewellery
set up another tailoring shop – thus “Manilal & The Future Saagar said he had noticed that women were
Sons” was born in 1953. Enter Saagar Kumar, the University of a lot more fashion conscious now, thus giving
Manilal Harkisan, now aged 83, and living Auckland graduate who has joined the business rise to more custom-made items. 1 White Swan Rd,
in Auckland, has fond memories of his begin- as Business Manager with BCom and Interna- “We already do that to a certain extent, but Mt Roskill, Auckland.
nings in the main street of Nausori town. tional Business qualifications under his belt. demand is growing.”
“Things were a lot different those days,” Young Saagar still remembers the days Saagar said that one significant point of dif- Ph, 09 626 2922.
Manilal Harkisan told the Indian Weekender when as a youngster he used to accompany his ference Roop Darshan had with other fashion
this week. Dad, Mahesh to the Auckland Airport to collect shops was the fact that “we develop a lot of our 221 Great South Rd, Papatoetoe,
“We paid about 25 pounds rent a month; ev- cargo. own products in India”. Auckland. Ph 09 277 2922.
eryone else was paying 15 pounds – that’s quite “It was 1998 and we had a smaller shop at “Dad and I make at frequent trips to India to

24 Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 |


Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 | 25


India’s first global monk

ram lingam

Swami Vivekananda – one of most admired spiritual geniuses of India is regarded by Indians as the patriot saint of
modern India, a Vedantic Guru with global impact, a nation builder, a source of wisdom, dynamism and spiritual power.
About this great monk, India’s Nobel Laureate and Poet Rabindranath Tagore had said, “If you want to know India,
study Vivekananda. In him everything is positive and nothing negative”.

This dynamic Indian monk born on the January When I Asked God for Strength present.”
12 1863, embraced monk-hood at the young age He Gave Me Difficult Situations to Face Among his other achievements, Swami Vi-
of 23 after being in the company of a great 19th vekananda was the first Indian to be invited
century Indian mystic Ramakrishna Paramah- When I Asked God for Brain & Brawn to accept the chair of Oriental Philosophy at
ansa, became world famous outside India when He Gave Me Puzzles in Life to Solve Harvard. The Jamshedpur Township where
he was just 30 years. He attained Mahāsamādhi Jamshedji Tata established his steel factory
at 39 and inspired a generation of intellectuals When I Asked God for Happiness was indicated by Swami Vivekananda. He also
including everyday people during and after his He Showed Me Some Unhappy People inspired Tata to set up the India’s finest scien-
time. The 147th birth anniversary of Swāmi tific institution ~ ‘Indian Institute of Science’
Vivekānanda falls on the 12th of January this When I Asked God for Wealth in Bengaluru.
year. He Showed Me How to Work Hard What made Swāmi Vivekānanda so ap-
Many of us know about the Swāmi from our pealing globally to everyone despite their
school text books which mention his famous When I Asked God for Favors race or nationality? What was the philosophy
‘Sisters and Brothers of America’ speech to He Showed Me Opportunities to Work Hard that Swāmi Vivekānanda propounded? Ac-
the parliament of religions in Chicago on 11th cording to Swami Adiswarānanda from the
September 1893. According to reports, when When I Asked God for Peace Rāmakrishna-Vivekānanda Center of New
the Swāmi began with the address “Sisters He Showed Me How to Help Others York, “The message of Swāmi Vivekānanda
and Brothers of America” the entire audience was the message of Vedanta”. When asked
of some 7000 people feeling the depth of his God Gave Me Nothing I Wanted about the ‘Vedas - the main scripture of the
sincerity, rose to their feet, went into a baffling He Gave Me Everything I Needed Hindus’, Swāmi Vivekānanda replied, “The
rapture and clapped that lasted for more than - Swami Vivekananda Vedas, i.e. only those portions of them which
three minutes. agree with reason, are to be accepted as author-
He went on to say, “It fills my heart with joy of India’s philosophies and her ancient wisdom ity. Other Shāstras, such as the Purānas etc.,
unspeakable to rise in response to the warm America “Vivekānanda’s tour of the United traditions. Reading these volumes, one finds are only to be accepted so far as they do not
and cordial welcome which you have given us. I States also had a revitalizing effect on India. out why he made such a huge impact globally go against the Vedas. All the religious thoughts
thank you in the name of the most ancient order Previously, those who had gone to the West and why the collected works are considered as that have come subsequent to the Vedas, in the
of monks in the world; I thank you in the name from India were full of apologies for the state of an Indian spiritual encyclopedia. There is not a world, in whatever part of it have been derived
of the mother of religions, and I thank you in the their country. He was not.” generation that he hasn’t inspired. from the Vedas.”
name of millions and millions of Hindu people All in all he made two trips to the West, and For Gāndhi, Swāmi Vivekānanda’s influ- About his philosophy, in his own words
of all classes and sects....” both of these trips were remarkable for the stir ence increased his “love for his country a thou- Swāmi Vivekānanda said: “I propound a phi-
While other delegates spoke of their own and fervor they caused due to the dispelling sandfold. Gāndhi said, “Swāmi Vivekānanda’s losophy, which can serve as a basis to every
faiths and creeds, Vivekānanda spoke of the of ignorance about an incorrectly perceived writings need no introduction from anybody. possible religious system in the world, and my
one God of all, the source and spiritual science India especially her spiritual wisdom. During They make their own irresistible appeal.” At attitude is one of extreme sympathy - my teach-
behind every faith. The entire speech was like a his lifetime, he traveled widely from the U.S. the Belur Math, Gāndhi was heard to say that ing is antagonistic to none. I direct my attention
crash course on Vedic principles to Americans. across to Europe going as far as Athens, Con- his whole life was an effort to bring into actions to the individual, to make him strong, to teach
The result of his fiery and eloquent speeches stantinople (Istanbul), Egypt, China, and Japan. the ideas of Vivekānanda”. Pandit Nehru re- him that he himself is divine, and I call upon
resulted in the western press calling him ‘The All his speeches, instructions, interviews, marked: “Rooted in the past and full of pride in men to make themselves conscious of this di-
Cyclonic Hindu’. writings, letters, poems are available in 9 India’s heritage, Vivekānanda was yet modern vinity within.”
Says Swāmi Prabhavānanda who was one volumes titled ‘The complete works of Swāmi in his approach to life’s problems and was a
of the pioneer Swāmis of Rāmakrishna order in Vivekānanda’ which is simply a Bhārat Darshan kind of bridge between the past of India and her

The Hill Temple at Palni – and its reflection in Nadi

Padmini Gaunder
The hill temple at Palni is perhaps the most fruit. He became so angry that he had been Their son again that They went and hugged worship at the temple but about fifty years ago
famous Subrahmania temple in India. The cheated of his fair reward that he once again Him saying ‘pazham nee’ which meant ‘You a winch was built to take the devotees up in
legend describing how it came to be is fasci- climbed on His vehicle, the peacock, and left are our pazham’. They were trying to tell Him small groups and to bring them down after
nating to say the least. Kailas. When He did not come back Siva and that He got angry about a fruit and left Kailas offering worship at the temple. The winches
It goes like this. The sage Narada decided Parvathi became upset and went looking for but for Them He was more important than any keep going up and down throughout but still
to visit Siva and Parvathi at their home in Him. They could not find Him for a long time. fruit. many devotees prefer to climb the steps rather
Kailas in the Himalayas. He had one ‘pazham’ Finally when They came to the south They ‘Pazham nee’ became Palni. Later a temple than take the easy way out. After every set of
(a fruit, usually a banana) in his hand and as saw Him sitting on a hill with His peacock was built there and we are told that is how it steps there is a landing where the devotees can
he reached Kailas, the two sons of Siva and beside Him. got its name. sit down and rest before going on to the next
Parvathi, Ganesha and Subrahmanian, went Siva and Parvathi were so happy to see Before one had to climb the hill to go and climb. If you go with children there are ladies
to him and wanted the ‘pazham’. Narada did who come and offer to help with them for a
not know what to do as he had only one fruit small sum.
and both the boys were demanding it. So he Many devotees climb with ‘kavadi’ a
thought of a solution. wooden frame that is carried as part of the
Narada told the boys that as he had only penance.
one fruit he would have a contest and give it In Nadi in Fiji the Subrahmania temple was
to the winner. He said he would give it to the built by the early south Indian settlers who
one who goes round the world first. As soon established the Then India Sanmarga Ikya
as he heard this Subrahmanian got on his Sangam. When they got the deity from India
vehicle peacock and left. Ganesha thought they wanted it to look like the deity in Palni.
for a moment. He knew that with his vehicle, The festivals that are celebrated in Palni
the mouse, he would not be able to beat his are also celebrated grandly in Nadi. In January
brother. So he went round Siva and Parvathi there is the nine day ‘thirunal’ for ‘Thai
once and went to Narada and demanded the poosam’ and in March again there is the three
fruit, saying that since They are the world day festival, ‘Panguni Uthiram’ Former resi-
going round dents of Fiji come from New Zealand, Austra-
Them is equal to going round the world. lia, Canada, USA etc. to participate in these
Narada had to accept His reasoning and give festivals. Many of them also arrange their
the fruit to Ganesha. children’s marriages at the temple. For the
Meanwhile Subrahmanian went round the south Indians of Fiji the Nadi temple is their
world and came back expecting to get the fruit. Palni temple. The only thing that is missing
But He saw His brother sitting and eating the is the hill!

26 Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 |


Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 | 27

(Part 1 of a multi part series)
Common mistakes in KiwiSaver investments. By Ruby Dhillon

Though this column is equally applicable to all
forms of investments, I have chosen to write
shares, property, long term bonds (fixed in-
terest) and short term money market instru-
Here Real return means, return after infla-
tion. Suppose you put money in bank deposit Healthy
Methi Poori
it in terms of KiwiSaver as over 1.3 million ments (cash). The most common funds are at 5% per year. If the inflation is 3%, per year,
Kiwis are enrolled in it. Growth funds, Balanced funds and conserva- then your real return will be only 2%. It means,
Majority of people are totally irrational tive funds. There are other funds like Aggres- though in nominal terms, you are earning 5%,
about money. They put money in saving ac- sive and Capital Guaranteed funds as well. In in actual terms your capital is growing only by
counts/term deposits while continue to have Conservative funds, the fund managers invest 2% as your purchasing power is going down by
mortgages/hire purchase/credit card debt. biggest percentage of funds in Fixed income 3% due to inflation.
When it comes to investing, often they look at and rest in other asset classes, whereas in Considering huge fluctuations in share INGREDIENTS
short term and make irrational decisions about Growth funds, biggest percentage is invested prices over short periods of time, those invest- l 300gm- Fresh or frozen Methi leaves
their investments. in shares and rest in other asset classes. In a ing in Aggressive or Growth funds must look l 1 inch- Ginger piece
balanced fund, all the assets classes are fairly for longer term performance, but what people l 3- Green chilli
Most common investment mistakes people represented. do is the opposite. When they see the value of
make are- In case of shares, the returns fluctuate the their fund going down in short term, they get l 1/2tsp- Cumin seeds
most. There are huge swings in share markets panicky and switch over to other funds. l 4- Cups of wheat flour
1. Not understanding the product in short periods of time. These may produce l Oil for frying – preferably Rice Bran
2. Looking for quick results hugely negative returns in few years and ex- 2. Looking for quick results l Oil
3. Not assessing level of risk cellent positive returns in other years. But it l Salt to taste
4. Investing too conservatively is a fact that if we look at last 100 years or Most investments take time to grow. KiwiSav-
5. Not investing soon enough so history of US stock markets, shares have er investments are essentially for your retire-
6. Concentrating only on Scheme Fees outperformed all other asset classes. The ment (there are few exceptions like withdraw- METHOD
and big name Funds trends in other developed markets have been al to buy first home etc). One should not get l In a mixer make a paste of Methi
the same. panicky looking for results over shorter period leaves with green chillies, cumin
1. Not understanding the Product. According to research by FundSource (New of time, but most of people get panicky by not
seeds, ginger and salt.. Add water if
Zealand leading investment research experts), getting desired results in short term.
The most common mistake about KiwiSaver, the expected Real returns in long term from you need to make a paste.
people make is that they do not understand various asset classes is as under- To be continued in the next issue l Knead the flour with the above paste
the available products that are different types l Heat the oil in a wok for frying.
of funds and underlying asset classes. Many Asset Class Real Expected Long term Note: This column is for general guidance l Make small balls out of the dough
people go to bank and choose a fund on the Return % per annum only. Before acting, readers must consult and roll them to make pooris.
generalized recommendation of banking con- their financial advisor about their risk toler-
sultant or on the basis of past performance of ance and circumstances. The writer or Indian l Fry them one by one and leave
Equities 5-9
a particular fund. On finding a fund not per- Weekender is in no way responsible for any on absorbent paper for a while to
forming well over a short period, they switch Property 3-5 loss suffered by anyone acting on these rec- reduce the oil.
to other fund of same provider or switch to ommendations. l Serve hot with Aloo Ki Sabzi along
other fund providers. The reason being they do Fixed Interest 1-3 - Ravi Mehta is an Auckland based Finan- with a wedge of lime, fresh cut onion
not understand the nature, expected returns, cial Advisor and can be contacted on ravi.
time horizons they should look at and the risk A disclosure statement salad and green chilli .
Cash 0-2
involved in underlying different asset classes under Securities Markets Act relating to his
comprised in different funds. services is available on request and is free of
Basically there are 4 asset classes namely; charge.

28 Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 |



(c) mahayana films copyright 2011

Releasing on 24 Feb
Only in Cinemas


Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 | 29

Do you know what’s round Don’t think of renovating
the corner? till you read this
Oliver Pereira Bobby Banerjee
Usually people curse when paying premiums for was treated as such.
their insurance policies. They consider it a waste Despite excellent medical attention, the limp Seven common mistakes people make while planning
as there is no immediate return or benefit from got worse and to cut a long story short, nine months
making those payments. But it is very rare that you later he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. their home renovations
come across people who complain when the insur- “With this rare condition, the nerves that drive
ance claims are paid out. the muscles die and, as a result, the muscles waste It’s summer again and time to have a look at Don’t be afraid to call in the experts, especially
Insurance is a precautionary thing, you never away, causing progressive paralysis. Eventually, renovating your house to suit your changing re- when working on electric, gas, solar, and/or
know what’s around the corner. it affects the muscles that control breathing and is quirements. However, you need to plan projects plumbing. Is it time to change elements in the
Having insurance means the difference usually fatal within two to four years.” carefully and avoid these seven common mis- old house, for instance wooden to aluminium
between ‘just surviving’ through unexpected At the time he was diagnosed, while he was takes, to make renovation a hassle free process. joinery; updating bathroom fittings, new tiles?
disruptions to life and having the means to make limping badly, he was able to continue working. Three of the seven are covered in this issue: 3. Not looking at the external holistic design
choices. “The writing was on the wall, however so I em- 1. Not putting a plan together of the house
Here is just one of the claim stories. ployed an excellent locum, and stopped working. It is almost as expensive to get a build- The building materials used to construct a
This ensured that the business remained viable and ing consent and drawings done for extending new addition may not match those used in your
Case Study: that our staff kept their jobs, but it did not provide a wall as it is to add a couple of rooms. Think existing home. You may need to paint your
Sam graduated from Law school in 1965 and us with sufficient money to live on. of future uses, as well as the present one you home’s exterior, install new siding, trim, and
after three years post graduate study, started in At the time of narrating this story both of Sam’s have in mind and get it drawn up together. You window shutters and upgrade flooring, counter-
private practise. Around this time he met an insur- arms are partially paralysed. Fortunately for Sam will save a lot of time and money. Consider the tops and fixtures. Another consideration is how
ance adviser, who recommended he buy life insur- his income protection is proving him and his wife purpose of the room and your requirements. For well the new addition will fit into the existing
ance and income protection. sufficient funds to live on. And when he dies his example, if you are adding an office, you may architecture of your home. Ideally, the addition
“I agreed to the idea; but frankly, being young, wife will receive funds from the life policies, want to have a quiet room overlooking the back- should look like it has always been there. It can
fit and healthy, I saw it as a bit of a waste,” says which, when added to their savings and invest- yard rather than the street. If you are planning be hard to imagine the final outcome by looking
Sam. ments, will allow her to maintain a comfortable a bedroom for a new baby, consider what use at drawings. 3-D sketches that can provide a
He and his wife soon had two sons and, like lifestyle for the rest of her life you may find for the room when your children more realistic view. It’s worth spending the
most young families, were “mortgaged up to our Sam is eternally grateful for the advise given all have grown. Perhaps you hope to start a B&B money at the drawing stage than regret later
eyeballs”. those years ago and is relieved to have maintained or rent out a suite to a student. In either case, it when everything is built. To help make your ad-
“I saw the insurance policies as ‘necessary his income protection and life insurance policies. would be practical to include a bathroom in the dition blend seamlessly into your existing home,
evils’, but still I resented those monthly payments.” room. What is the traffic flow between the addi- you may wish to include similar architectural el-
As the years went by, their sons grew up, the - The above information has been provided tion and the rest of your home? A well-planned ements (e.g. gables or a bay window).
mortgage disappeared, and their savings and in- to serve only as a guideline to assist in evaluat- traffic flow will make the most efficient use of Look out for the remaining 4 mistakes in the
vestments multiplied. And thankfully, they re- ing your insurance needs. You are encouraged space. Hallways are generally wasted space; next issue.
mained in good health. to do your own research before arriving at any careful configuration of doors and entryways
“We considered cancelling our insurance poli- decisions. can avoid long hallways. Another consideration - For any renovation related queries call
cies, as they seemed of little use. I planned to retire is the distance between the new addition and Bobby on 836 0576. Bobby is the director of
in another seven or eight years and we could easily For further information, please contact: key rooms in your home. For example, if you Tarzan Design Ltd. providing architectural
invest the money and at least see something for it. Oliver Pereira – OPM Insurance Services Ltd. are building an office and you are a parent who design solutions for you in Auckland since the
How wrong I was.” Ph. 0800 66 77 92, Faxmail. 021 551 669, is working at home, you may want the office to past 15 years. They specialise in renovations,
Sam developed a limp in his left leg, which was Mobile. 021 66 77 92 be placed near the child’s room or the kitchen. new homes and commercial interior refurbish-
initially diagnosed as an old hamstring injury and Email. 2. Not checking with the experts ments from preparation of conceptual design to
Regulations change – for example building getting you a building consent
codes are always being introduced and updated.

A new start – but it’s

important to keep it going.
Varsha Asrani
Twenty eleven is here ... a new year ... a new walk during breaks for at least fifteen minutes,
start ... time to implement the resolutions we ideally at lunch time could be added to our
have made. routine.

According to research, fitness and taming the Zumba, Power Yoga to Bolly-robics, there are
bulge take the number two and three spot multiple options available just around the cor-
amongst the top ten resolutions in the world. ner to support your resolution. Find an activity
that suits you or even better if you join with like
It’s easy to make resolutions, the challenge is minded friends and create your own fun physi-
to stick to them and achieve them. Through cal activity group.
this article let’s learn some tricks to stick to our What you eat is an important part that con-
weight loss resolution, tame the bulge and get tributes in your aim to achieve weight loss
fit this year. and planning your intake starts at the time of
buying, learn to read labels. Join a group that
It is most important to practice fitness activities trains in label reading, for more information visit
each day. It takes between thirty to sixty min- my website.
utes of fitness activity daily to achieve weight
loss results. As mentioned in my previous ar- It is easy to identify barriers that can derail your
ticles the activity could be anything from brisk plans and a bad day should not act as a deter-
walking, running, swimming, playing a sport or rent to you plans.
even dance on a popular song. Even breaking
the activity in fifteen minute intervals may do Think and act positive, it is better to say, I will
the trick as long it is practised each day. do this rather than I won’t or I can’t. Find a
mentor who can support and motivate you
Setting achievable goals is an ideal start. It is with your plan. There is professional help
important to take baby steps, set goals which available of course at a cost, but as they say...
are small and realistic. Setting goals which are all good things come for a price. These one-off
big often causes dissatisfaction and leads to cost are a great investment that can prevent us
dropping the ball. A goal of around half a kilo from the stress that complements obesity.
each week is realistic however you can push
the boundary to a kilo too. This article is a general guideline ONLY. Please
see a health professional for individual condi-
Keep facts in your face; keep a track of what tions and needs.
you eat. It is ideal to keep a note of your food
intake; this will help you easily identify what’s Varsha Asrani is a New Zealand Registered Dietitian.
not needed in your diet. For personal consultations she can be contacted
on 0210524353. For any questions, suggestions or
It is ideal to re-visit some of the tried and tested
views please email her on
techniques, 5+ a day is a good start. A brisk

30 Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 |


Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 | 31


32 Indian Weekender | January 21, 2011 |