Have you ever wondered why minorities are underrepresented in your favorite Game of thrones show? Similarly, have you ever wondered why there is under representation in your work environment or in the world around you? Or have you ever felt like you are being seen but not heard? If any of these questions resonates with you then my thoughts in this article might garner your interest.
I have been working for 22 years for companies ranging from nimble startups to fortune 500 firms in entry level to middle management roles. My work experience makes me uniquely qualified for penning my thoughts about diversity and inclusion. In my most recent experience working with a major financial institution service I was fortune enough to have worked in various teams from technology to business giving me the insight into a diverse perspective of different teams. Through my experience I have learnt that it is not just being represented or the not being represented but, the real question is are we being heard. I have over years felt like I have had to work extra hard and constantly prove my worth to be accepted. I questioned if my challenges and struggles were due to diversity being looked at as a detriment rather than as a strength.
As I shared my experiences with others, people started sharing their experiences and it seemed evident that it an epidemic concern that still needed to be addressed. Many felt like there still was an invisible limitation that pulled them down from moving up the corporate ladder or being heard. Although there has been a lot of work that has been done towards Diversity and inclusion, it felt like there still is a lot that can be done.
According to the annual 2018 diversity report, 66.8% of all jobs are held by men while 33.2% are held by women. Based on Quantum Impact’s diversity report, one out of every five organizations (20 Percent) do not have a single woman serving on their leadership teams. These number are even worse for women of color. Only 4 percent of the top corporate jobs are held by women of color. As interesting as these numbers are, these numbers totally substantiate my experience.
Studies have shown that diverse workforce not only brings creative thinking and a fresh perspective but also increases company’s bottom line. A recent Clover Pop research study conducted over a 2-year span with 200 business units showed inclusive teams make better business decisions 87% of the time. While these numbers for average teams were 66%. Decision made and executed by diverse teams were successful over 60% of the times.
Based on my experience, here are a few things I think absolutely needs to be done for us to be able to see some real change.
1. Leaders need to go through a training so that they become aware of their subconscious bias
2. Organizations should consciously make efforts to hire diverse leaders in executive roles
3. Leaders should consciously make efforts to interact with diverse team members. Leaders should ask themselves, who do they sit next to when they enter a meeting room? If you are looking for someone to go out and eat lunch with, who are you drawn towards? Make conscious decisions to be inclusive in your choices
These numbers and facts were call to action for me. I felt compelled to do something about Diversity and Inclusion. While there are many organizations that have started to do great work in this phase of diversity and inclusion, I still feel like a lot of work needs to be done. I am influenced to continue this work not only for me and many like me but also for leaders of tomorrow.
To move these efforts forward, I created a forum for us called “Inside the Diverse Mind” to address this epidemic concern of diversity and inclusion. Inside the Diverse Mind is a talk show featuring successful leaders in 45-minute episodes that will be telecast bi-weekly on YouTube and Facebook. Our focus at Inside the Diverse Mind is to educate and encourage leaders to be conscious and intentional about Diversity and inclusion in their hiring and leadership decisions. Our goal is to educate our future leaders and our next generation to learn the skills to be more inclusive.
Leaders from various organizations have come forward to support and participate in our show already making the right strides towards a better and inclusive diverse world.
Please like our Facebook page @insidethediversemind to stay updated on our upcoming shows.
COLORECTAL CANCER CAB BE SAVED
Colon cancer (commonly referred to as colorectal cancer) is preventable and highly curable if detected in early stages. The colon is the first 4 to 5 feet of the large intestine. Colorectal cancer tumors grow in the colon's inner lining.
Facts and Stats
- In 2017, nearly $36,000 new cases of colorectal cancer were expected to be diagnosed in the U.S.
- About 1 in 20 (5%) Americans will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime.
- Colorectal polyps (benign abnormal growths) affect about 20% to 30% of American adults.
The exact cause of colorectal cancer is unknown the following factors can increase one's risk of colorectal cancer.
- Age: More than 90% of people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer after age 50.
- Family history of colorectal cancer (especially parents or siblings).
- Personal history of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis for eight years or longer.
- Colorectal polyps.
- Personal history of breast, uterine or ovarian cancer.
Colorectal cancer is preventable. Nearly all cases of colorectal cancer develop from polyps. They start in the inner lining of the colon and most often affect the left side of the colon. Detection and removal of polyps through colonoscopy reduces the risk of colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer screenirig recommendations are based on medical and family history. Screening typically starts at age 50 in patients with average risk. Those at higher risk are usually advised to receive their first screening at a younger age. While it is not definitive, there is some evidence that diet may play a significant role in preventing colorectal cancer. A diet high in fiber (whole grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts) and low in fat is the only dietary measure that may help prevent colorectal cancer.
Colorectal Cancer Symptoms
Colorectal cancer often causes no symptoms and is detected during routine screenings. Screening and Surveillance for Colorectal Cancer Colorectal cancer symptoms include:
- A change in bowel habits (e.g. constipation or diarrhea).
- Narrow shaped stools.
- Bright red or very dark blood in the stool.
- Ongoing pelvic or lower abdominal pain (e.g., gas, bloating or pain).
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Feeling tired all the time
Abdominal pain and weight loss are typically late symptoms, indicating possible extensive disease. Anyone who experiences any of the above symptoms should see a physician as soon as possible. Colon or rectal cancer, (commonly referred to as colorectal cancer), affects the colon (large intestine) or rectum (bottom 6 inches of the colon). Colo rectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer, excluding skin cancers.
Why Should People Be Screened?
Colorectal cancer rarely causes symptoms in its early stages. It usually starts out as a benign colorectal polyp. These polyps are commonly found during standard screening exams of the colon and rectum. While the majority of polyps will not become cancer, certain types hiay be precancerous. Having polyps removed reduces a person's future risk of colorectal cancer.
Fecal occult blood testing and flexible sigmoidoscopy are often used together to screen for colorectal cancer. However, colonoscopy is considered the “gold standard” screening test and is the preferred method unless medical problems prevent it.
Fecal occult blood testing A simple test that detects invisible amounts of blood in multiple stool samples. If blood is found it may be a sign of a colorectal polyp or cancer. If the test positive, a colonoscopy is needed.
Examination of the entire colon with a long, thin flexible tube with a camera and a light on the end (colonoscope). This allows physicians to see not only the entire colon but also to remove polyps at thev same time.
Examination of the rectum and lower colon with a flexible lighted instrument if an abnormality is found, a colonoscopy is needed.
Air-contrast Barium Enema
During this X-ray test, the colon is filled with air and contrast (dye) to make the lining visible. It is used primarily if a complete colonoscopy cannot be done.
This test uses computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to create a 3-D picture of the inside lining of the colon and rectum. If abnormalities are found. a colonoscopy is needed. It is also useful when a colonoscopy in incomplete. However, most insurance plans and Medicare may not cover this procedure.
As part of a colorectal cancer screening program, colonoscopy is routinely recommended for adults starting at age 50. Having a colonoscopy every 10 years is standard practice. Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years with annual stool occult blood testing is an acceptable option when colonoscopy cannot be done.
- People with a close relative (parent or sibling) with colorectal cancer or polyps should start screening at age 40 or 10 years before the youngest age at which a relative was diagnosed. These screenings should be done every five years, even if the
test was normal.
- Less common types of inherited colon cancer (e.g., hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer and familial adenomatous polyposis) may require far more frequent screening, starting at a much younger age.
Say NO to Opioids and Avoid Surgeries.
As a highly renowned pain management specialist, Dr. Vivek Mehta offers world class minimally invasive treatments. Many patients suffer chronic pain and are looking for healthier ways to address these problems and decrease reliance on pain medication. It's a well-known fact that addiction to pain medication is a problem all over the world. If pain goes untreated, then depression, anxiety, sleep loss, strained family relationships and poor work performance can be the result.
As CEO and Medical Director of the Global Institute of Spine and Joint Care in Arlington, TX., Dr. Mehta has more than 30 years of experience as a physician and pain management specialist. His ultimate goal is to improve patients' functionality and enable a return to work, school and full participation in day-to-day activities.
An Esteemed Medical Background
Answering Toppick's questions, Dr. Mehta said that he decided in the fourth grade that he wanted to be a doctor. He attended the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune, Maharashtra, then served in the Indian Army Special Ops, the NSG, which performs anti-high jacking and anti-terrorist operations. He lived in the Middle East for several years and moved to the United States, starting his career at UCLA and USC. That was followed by a fellowship in endocrinology and residency training. He joined the University of Miami as a faculty member then progressed to lead the department for many years. Dr. Mehta is Board-Certified in Anesthesiology and started the Global Institute of Spine & Joint Care in 2011.
In addition to Dr. Mehta's extensive medical experience around the world, he is fluent in Hindi, English, Urdu, Punjabi, Arabic and Spanish. Dr. Mehta's multi-lingual abilities immediately put his patients at ease when they visit him. The Global Institute of Spine and Joint Care has expanded widely and has patients from the D/FW Metroplex, all over Texas, as well as internationally. Dr. Mehta has successfully treated numerous elite professionals with non-surgical techniques. He is trained in minimally invasive spinal techniques, reducing damage to surrounding tissues and speeding up patients' recovery.
How is Pain Best Managed?
Although pain is the most common reason to consult a physician, pain is often poorly treated. Chronic pain can affect every aspect of a patient's daily activity and prevent them from enjoying life. The stress of pain affects how people interact with their family and friends. According to Dr. Mehta, “Pain management as a specialty is a very interesting branch of medicine. Typically, pain is a symptom of a disease. For example, if you are having chest or abdominal pain, you may be having a heart attack or appendicitis. You take care of the underlying condition and the pain is gone. Because pain is the main problem the patient is having, pain management can play a vital role,” says Dr. Mehta. “We take care of pain in a multi-modal manner & pain medication is the smallest part. We do mostly interventional pain management, where we offer various minimally invasive surgical modalities for patients.” Other treatments include psychiatry, physical therapy, and occupational therapy to help patients return to their daily routine.
Nirav Tolia, the Co-Founder and Chairman of Nextdoor.com was the keynote speaker at the USICOC DFW Annual Technology Conference ‘Billion Dollar Exit’ held on April 17th, 2019.
He walked us through his journey to inception of Nextdoor.
Welcome to the Neighborhood | Nirav Tolia
Nextdoor is a private social network for your neighborhood. Nirav elaborated that the genesis of Nextdoor is focused around one of the most important communities, which is the one we live in - our Neighborhood! The mission of Nextdoor is to use technology to strengthen real world neighborhood.
Friday Night Lights | Odessa, West Texas
The serial entrepreneur is a proud Texan at heart. He claims it is his Texan roots that planted the seed to Nextdoor. The Tolia family moved to Odessa, Texas when Nirav was two years old. Yes, the famed book ‘Friday Nigh Lights’ town where he and his brother were raised. The book is about Odessa Permian High School, also the same high school he attended. Tolia shares that the sense of community & neighborhood in Odessa & Texas is really powerful. Nirav continues to teach people of the community he experienced in Texas and concludes that Nextdoor wouldn’t have been created if not for growing up in Odessa. He went on to secure his undergrad from the prestigious Stanford University! He humbly jokes about being the least educated in his family. Nirav comes from a family of physicians, his parents immigrated from India and continue to practice medicine in Odessa and his brother is also a physician.
Startups | Dot.com era
Tolia shares “Silicon Valley encourages you to take Big Risks but reality is most risks don’t turn into success”. Nirav joined Yahoo in 1996 at its infancy and witnessed its boom first hand. Simultaneously, he started a non-profit organization Round Zero; the premise was based around encouraging entrepreneurs who aspired to start their own companies. Round Zero is the stage prior to funding/financing, the brainstorming level. He left Yahoo in 1999 and started ‘Epinions’ – electronic opinions, the power of technology to help people make better buying decisions, which eventually was acquired by eBay. After achieving success in these ventures, he started his next venture in 2007 with 12 others called ‘Fanbase’, a site for fans of different sports to congregate and share information over a network, unfortunately didn’t take flight and shut it down in 2009. Now with only 7 employees left they decided to pursue another big idea. Every Tuesday morning the team conducted ‘Billion Dollar Idea’ meeting. 100+ ideas were generated and narrowed to a couple of dozen such as 80%off to celebrity stage. Then in the summer of 2010 they zeroed in on a social network geared towards bringing together neighbors, they called it ‘neighborly’, sort of a code name before landing on Nextdoor. Tolia reveals, “Technology had not yet played a role in strengthening our communities although Facebook had played a huge role in making us better friends”. They ultimately built the prototype and showed it to one small neighborhood in Menlo Park, California and almost immediately knew they had created something special, of course, they had no idea that specialness would translate to over 200,000 or close to 100% of neighborhoods in US!
April fool’s | Not
Never know what you will find on Nextdoor, it’s long since been just for finding lost dogs. An original Picasso painting was sold on Nextdoor.com, which even caught buzz in the ‘Texas Monthly’ and people assumed it was April fool’s! But in reality somebody did advertise Picasso painting on Nextdoor and a neighbor purchased it. The specialness of Nextdoor grows from helping a teenager find a babysitting job to getting a great service and provider recommendation r the most important of them all, in times of natural disaster to literally save lives. Nirav Tolia admits “This has been the ultimate reward of creating Nextdoor and building stronger communities!”
Borders | Beyond
Nextdoor at 1.5 billion valuation is expanding internationally and is in seven countries - Netherlands to New Zealand and they are just getting started! Nextdoor is a local service so not devoid of challenges as they extend globally since each has its own culture, traditions and customs. At the same time, Nirav explains that the concept of being a good neighbor is not just a US notion, it is age old adage to work together to help each other create a better community and a better future. So Nextdoor’s vision has always been to be global and every neighbor in every neighborhood around the world would be using Nextdoor.
Diversity | Advocacy
Nirav is huge advocate of diversity and woman power. He attributes it to his upbringing, he saw equity and equality growing up as both his parents worked, practiced medicine. He gets emotional speaking about his beautiful wife Megha and mother of their 3 boys. He admires her tenacity for juggling a full time job and raising their sons. He also shares with great pride that the cofounders of Nextdoor are not only diverse but has a female cofounder- Sarah Leary which is rarity for tech startups. In 2018, he hired his replacement for CEO of Nextdoor- Sarah Friar an exceptional female leader. His hope is that one day ultimately will not make it unusual for a woman to be a CEO!
Rising from the Ashes | Phoenix
Tolia repeated several times that Nextdoor is a company created out of Failure! He reminisces that the 7 cofounders were working at a dire time, desperate for results, grasping at straws and finally “an idea that was born out of failure not success and it has been anything but an overnight success”. Though they launched Nextdoor in summer of 2010, it didn’t grow wings till much later, in fact one neighborhood at a time. Today about 220,000 neighborhoods in the US use Nextdoor and Tolia believes it will be 100% by the end of 2019 in the United States. Nextdoor’s story is truly a powerful testimony of purpose, persistence, and patience.
About Padma Shri
Padma Shri (Hindi: पद्म श्री, also Padma Shree) is the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India, after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan. It is awarded by the Government of India, every year on India's Republic Day.
Padma Awards were instituted in 1954 to be awarded to citizens of India in recognition of their distinguished contribution in various spheres of activity including the arts, education, industry, literature, science, sports, medicine, social service and public affairs. It has also been awarded to some distinguished individuals who were not citizens of India but did contribute in various ways to India.
The selection criteria have been criticized in some quarters with the claim that many highly deserving artists have been left out in order to favor certain individuals.India has now created an online nomination platform for the common citizens to recommend the nomination for the annually given civilian "Padma" awards.
On its obverse, the words "Padma", meaning lotus in Sanskrit, and "Shri", a Sanskrit-derived honorific equivalent to 'Mr.' or 'Ms.' (ie., "Noble One in Blossom"), appear in Devanagari above and below a lotus flower. The geometrical pattern on either side is in burnished bronze. All embossing is in white gold.
Nobody Gives You India Like We Do
The Pabari family led by Mr. Kishore Pabari with his wife Kashmira Pabari and two sons Anand and Gopal arrived from Gujarat toHouston, TXin 1998. This7th generation Pabari family left their ancestral spice business and arrived hereas immigrants. With a mere $200 in their pocket, out of which relinquished $50 in customs (a story they laugh about), so left with only $150 were on their way to realize 'The American Dream'!
The Pabari Family reminisce that within a day of landing on March 13, 1998, Anand who was 19 years old startedwork at their Uncle's Indian grocery wholesale warehouse the very next day! Gopal was 15 years old and went to school. Having the business lineage in their blood, they now began to learn the American way of doing business at the top well-known brand of the time. Within three months, the entire family moved to Richardson, TXto workand started working at 'India Grocers' across from Hwy 75 and Beltline road.
Blessing in Disguise:
The brothers knew only two English words 'Thank you' & 'Sorry'. Today, they speak fluent English and attribute it to what followed since 1998. They began working during the pre- internet &cell phone era. They recall “it was a very different phase, things moved slower than today”. They were excited when they received their first Pagers! Boots on the ground, the family toiled very hard for the next 4 to 5 years at India Grocers, gaining hands on experience and learningthe trade first hand.Anand did branch out for a couple of years and ran his own grocery storeDana Bazaar in Arlington, TX in 2002. In the interim, the ownership at India Grocers changed hands putting the Pabari family out of jobs. The Brothers state with pride: “They (Indian Grocers) made the mistake of not keeping us but the biggest blessing was letting us go. We had no choice to but to start India Bazaar”!
The American Dream | INDIA BAZAAR : Plano 2004
After working on foreign grounds for 5 years, there was nothing foreign about the Pabari family starting their own business- India Bazaar; after all, Entrepreneurship is in their blood! The brothers joined forces along with their parents and opened their first India Bazaar location in Plano. The family ran it themselves; in fact their mother was the first cashier of India Bazaar. Theyhired the first employee only after 6 months and today they have 200+employees across 8 iconic locations all over the DFW metroplex!
Their mission has always been to make Indian grocery easily accessible to the South Asian Community. The Pabari family recognized the dire need to serve good quality Indian groceries in the DFW as people were driving from all the various DFW suburbs to Richardson to get their Indian groceries in the 90s. The tremendous success of their Plano location eventually drove 'India Grocers' out of business!
The Landmark: Irving 2009
When rest of the economy shaky in 2008 -2009, it actually marked the milestone year for the Pabari Brothers. When the demand for Indian groceries was at it's peak, they opened their 2nd location in Valley Ranch in 2009. The Brothers share the story of this opening rather fondly, “There was serpentine lines all the way outside the store for 15 consecutive days. We had to hire cops to man the crowd”! The Irving location put them on the map and there was no stopping the brothers now. India Bazaar since then has opened a new location every couple of years and have a vision for 70 locations across USA to Canada, Australia and beyond.
Giving Back to the Community:
Mr. Gopal, CEO of India Bazaar shares, “We came to The USwith a dream but what we have achieved till now is much bigger than that original dream,enabling us to Dream even Bigger! We want to pass it on to the next generation plus encourage hard working families moving to The US, there is ample opportunity”. Mr. Anand,who is the President, hopes to inspire other like-minded families, “We have this well packaged model perfected over 20+ years which is open to strategic
partners who wish to join us in our journey. Our franchisee program is our way of giving that opportunity to other families to start their American dream and we have room for 70 + locations”.
India Bazaar has become a house hold phenomena in the South Asian community in the DFW area. The vision is to make this a Nationwide brand. It is the fastest growing Indian ethnic grocery chain and what sets them apart from competitors is that India Bazaar is an Upscale and New Generation Indian Grocery store. They offer the largest collection of organic portfolio. One can easily find organic fruits in vegetables in the mainstream market but not organic carbs & grains. India Bazaar by far closes that gap with their wide range of organic grains, lentils, rice and dry fruits. They are focused on serving health conscious millennials and other generations bringing Healthy, Fresh and High Quality organic and plant based selection to their aisles. They partner with suppliers back in India to ensure that strict standards and needs are adhered to.
Their second concept adjoining India Bazaar is 'Rajula's Kitchen' a healthy vegetarian, vegan option. It has an Indian street food take. They are adding this to all the India Bazaar as they plan to open in major cities such as Chicago, Atlanta etc.
The brothers are grateful to their parents for the sacrifices they made during the early days upon landing as immigrants. The family's extraordinary American Dream to revolutionize the Supermarket by reducing drive time and serving the best quality products at best price to the growing suburban population is on their way to their Grand Opening of Store Number 8 in West Frisco/Little Elm. The Pabari brothers attribute their success to their loyal team members, associates, and the people for their tremendous ongoing support. To join their incredible journey check their
website : www.Indiabazaarfranchise.com
or email : email@example.com
Akbar started working at a very early age and was inspired by the hard work of his dad who was a film producer in the industry and his mom who was a homemaker.
Before he got into the music business. Akbar danced, did television commercials, walked the ramp, acted and became a well-knowndance choreographer. He modeled for top fashion designers in India. As a child artist, in the film industry he worked with some amazing directors and producers namely Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Manmohan Desai.
To Akbar work was a passion and being multi talented, without much thought he kept doing whatever came his way. While
choreographing dance shows and fashion shows, he was forced into the world of DJing and that's what started his journey as a DJ. At that time he says he had no so called ' God fathers' to help or teach him the skills and the internet was unheard of but his passion for music and the arts was intense. He soon developed a great interest in the art of mixing music and learnt more and more through experimentation, sleepless nights and sheer hard work. Before he knew it he was a Disc Jockey, He had developed his own style and people began to fall in love with his music.
Today Akbar in not only popular in India but is known around the world and over the years he has experienced a variety of audiences across the globe. Akbar particularly enjoys playing all around the US, which he says, has been very receptive of him and his music and has had the most amazing experiences in the United States.
Among many, Dubai also happens to be one of his favorite places where he loves to spin his music. He mentions that Dubai is a mix of different audiences in one place and he loves the night club culture there.
Akbaradds that his personal favorite is house music & old school tribal house. He loves it and emphasizes that those genres gives him immense pleasure. Also Bollywood is another category that he says he plays day in day out and he loves the old melodic dance music of the early 90's also him being a professional dancer and choreographer just makes it that much more easier to switch from one genre of music to the next.
This multi talented deejay doesn't stop there. One of the most important projects to him that he's currently involved with is called 'Excess Life. It's an NGO, which works for children who are fighting cancer.
Akbar is working on two very interesting festival films, which comes from his very own home production called 'Running Water Films', along with his partner Adnan Ali. He is currently in the United States of America doing his annual musical 12 City tour called the ROAR TOUR 2019 which is a riot. He is also simultaneously recording music, and dubbing for three singles out of which two are original compositions and one a cover version.
In short we have a lot to look forward to from this exceptional DJ in the months to follow and wish him only the best !
AUSTIN – The Indie Meme Film Festival (IMFF) joins the Austin community for the fourth year in a row. Over a period of four days, the festival will showcase carefully curated, critically acclaimed, socially relevant bold & inspiring features, documentaries, and shorts from South Asia.
The event will include youth films and have local, international, and US based filmmakers in attendance. Complete with red carpet, opening & closing night galas, audience discussions and networking events, the 4th Indie Meme Film Festival promises to be a spectacular community event.
IMFF kicks off Sunday, April 14, and continues April 26-28. The opening night includes The Last Color, a directorial debut by Michelin star chef, renowned restaurateur, celebrity TV host & author Chef Vikas Khanna. The film, featuring Neena Gupta and set in Banaras, India is on restoring the life of dignity for widows expected to be forgotten in a colorless existence. Vikas Khanna will be in attendance at the screening.
“With 25 films over 4 days, including 11 features, 9 shorts, and 5 youth films spanning across 7 countries in 9 languages with over 6 filmmakers in attendance, IMFF will be an exceptional world cinema event to resonate with global audiences,” shared Tripti Bhatnagar, Co-Founder, Indie Meme Org & IMFF Austin. “We will have amongst us a Celebrity Chef who is a first time filmmaker.” she continued, “Everyone, including the children will have something new to experience at the Indie Meme festival. We urge you to gather your community to celebrate the South Asian culture through films with us.”
The kick off event on April 14th includes the family film Chuskit which is the story of a feisty paraplegic girl who locks horns with her tradition-bound grandfather - to chase her dream of going to school!
The Centerpiece, Her. Him. The Other (Sri Lanka/Fiction/Drama/1hr56min/
The Closing night film is, Kaamyaab (India/Fiction/
Half Widow (India/ Fiction/Drama/ 1hr 31 min/ Kashmiri & Urdu) is a featured film. Amid the backdrop of the Kashmiri conflict, a young woman must come to grips with the disappearance of her doting husband and embark on harrowing journey of self-discovery.
Mangesh Desai, The Sound Man, (India/Documentary/
Badges, bands, and individual tickets are available now and can be found along with the full line-up and schedule of films at https://www.indiememe.org/
Gala Mission Statement
Each year a charity is selected based on many factors to ensure the money raised has a maximum impact. Donations from generous sponsors further help minimize expenses in hosting the Gala.
It is not science fiction anymore, Smart Homes have arrived and are evolving at a fast pace. Smart Home is a current buzzword and mostly used to boost sales. Our series of articles will cover the technology with respect to each device or appliance. A Smart Home by definition uses devices or appliances that are connected and controlled easily, mostly through apps. Smart devices and appliances vary from simple easy control, status updates to intelligent decision-making algorithms.
A lock secures our home. Traditional Lock & Key have been the norm for centuries and it is time for us to update to the latest technologies. There are several options available with many advanced features.
KEYPADS: Most simple upgrade is a lock with a numeric keypad. It is simple to setup and use. Most models allow anywhere from two to ten codes other than a master code. A master code is required to change all the other codes. Codes are usually 4 to 8 digits. The keypad can be buttons or touch screen. Some locks require you to touch random numbers before entering the code to prevent fingerprint marks only on the buttons used for code.
CONNECTED: Next level of upgrade would be lock with connectivity like NFC (Near Field Communication), Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The connectivity adds several features and much easier control via Apps. The phone can unlock the door by taping the lock or by proximity. An additional step may be added for safety. Connected devices can be controlled from anywhere in the world as long as you are connected to the internet. Digital keys can be assigned to friends or a house cleaner's phone which will only work for the specified times and days. Independent codes allow for notifications of entry and exit for kids or help. Gone are the days when you drive back to check if you forgot to lock the door.
INTEGRATION: The most common integration is through voice control. Apple HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Home are the currently available controls, which allow locks to be locked or unlocked by voice commands. Emerging and evolving integration is mostly through collaboration of different manufacturers. Examples would be the ability to unlock or lock the door through a doorbell device app, surveillance camera device app, etc.
Another level of integration is through Z-wave and ZigBee. Both are competing wireless communications protocol used primarily for Home Automation and will require professional help.
Some models do not require changing the lock; they simply latch on the deadbolt lever and give you all the features. Some models have eliminated the key. They provide external posts to which you can connect a 9-volt battery, giving you enough juice to get the door open. Some smart locks have built in alarm that sounds in case of tampering.
Smart locks are an incredible upgrade to traditional Lock & Key. Digital locks allow easy configuration, recordings of entry and exit, and setting specific entry times, (Airbnb application).
Forgot your key, no problem. No one has to wake up to open the door. Open the door remotely for friends or deliveries.
Do you need any more reasons to upgrade to Smart Locks?
Tip: Deadbolt must align properly to the strike plate. Smart lock batteries run out of juice very quickly if the deadbolt movement is tight.
Worked on passing Sherin's Law, Providing a safer outlet for children with or without voices.
I am a huge people person. I have spent the last decade fighting for women and children who do not have a voice or the strength to do it alone. This advocacy landed me in the arms of a Criminology field where I obtained Certifications in Criminology Profiling and Forensic Science. I am also certified in Human Trafficking and the Dark web through U.S. Attorney General.
“My interest in this field took on a much serious course during the Sherin Mathews Murder Case.”
This case changed lives all around the world. This shook the foundation from my feet when my partner Shanna Poteet and I discovered that only 3 states have a law that punishes people for leaving children at home alone. We authored the law and named it after Sherin; “Sherin’s Law”. This law has grabbed international attention and captured the interest of government officials worldwide. We certainly did not anticipate so much attention, but it was warranted given the face of how important this law is thus the need for it to be passed. We are in the process of ironing out the law with various Representatives. We eventually want to make a push to make this law Federal. Going through my decade long journey and finally teaming with someone who shares the same passion and has the same drive, servants heart and self-motivated it was a natural step to unit under one banner which gave rise to our (Shana and My) non-profit. Love & Justice for Humanity.
When I am not fighting the world for Justice, I am your everyday South Asian woman raising 2 children who have been the highlight of my life and a Husband who is ever so supportive. Many have asked me about my career choice and I always tell them if it wasn’t because of my husband, I would have never been able to come this far. Today, with God’s blessing and my husband’s support, I can fight for those beautiful children and women who have no one and no voice to seek justice. In my free time, which is very minimal, I love to watch documentaries, read, do research, play with my children, workout and travel. I also love to cook and feed my husband who is on an everlasting diet. Now we all know that desi diet don’t we.
My goal in life is to raise the bar on awareness of Abuse and Neglect. Abuse happens in many forms, it happens all around us it happens to people of all sexes and all ages. I want to enable others starting from my community and then around the globe. I feel I have an innate ability to understand people not by just listening to them but reading between the lines. I am trained and experienced in identifying types/levels of Abuse and Neglect that I want to share and help others understand with withstand. Everyone I meet and everywhere I go I always say, “if you see something, say something”. Don’t be afraid, or feel alone, don’t leave it to someone else, voice your concern, make a statement you don’t know if or when you will be changing someone’s life for the better, it could be your own.
Finally, I love meeting new people and learning new things. Please say hello and share a story with me if you ever see me around.
With lots of love,
Reena Bana - Founder
As two California natives who sold everything to start their dream and bring Green Rhino to life. We quickly found ourselves in a situation that almost broke us back to nothing. After creating a safe, green cleaning product for my wife who suffers with eczema, and asthma. As she had suffered from using harsh bleaches to care for her Father before he passed. Jennifer realized the product had the potential to help others with similar allergies by offering a way to clean hard areas, as well as daily things without irritating their skin. After searching for a lab, it looked like they had finally found their answer. Excitedly, they sold everything even their car, and moved to Texas.
It began to look promising as Jennifer began to form her corporation, and the lab we became affiliated with delivered the first sample of the formula they provided. However, after a few short weeks their partner refused to complete the obligation of his half, and with all their money spent. The partner then refused to pay them the money they had earned under his company and suddenly the Hale's, and their American Bulldog “Billie Girl” became homeless in a new and now very scary city.
Beyond any imaginary thought process, with no home for their son to come out to and their dreams looking like they were destroyed. They could only find strength in one place, and they sank to their knees in prayer. Asking for the strength to praise Him in this mess and saying we trust you no matter what. Somehow, without reason, people they had never spoken too called them via Facebook and set a meeting for a chemist who shared similar beliefs, and they thought it might be a good fit.
With only $102 dollars in their pockets, with everything they owned on the streets; Chris & Jennifer marched in together right after praying for favor. We still aren't sure how this little company has sold well over a half-million dollars and become vendors for Region 7 Co-Op and Canyon ISD, or Sunbelt Rentals and how Bonvera has picked the product up for retail in less than 3 years. Never forgetting their experiences, they started “Project: My Backyard” as a way to reach back out to those who need us the most.
In the beginning all they could afford were a few bags of food, now giving away hygiene bags that have everything from socks to toothpaste and deodorant and razors and so much more. Every quarter, or close to it, Green Rhino becomes Project: My Backyard and they help out like for instance last January giving away over 250 jackets and helping almost a dozen people find jobs. They have personally reached out and helped over a thousand people, with dreams of building a shelter that will offer free job/vocational training and help with finding employment so we can help people on the streets get back on their feet. We believe by others purchasing Green Rhino, a better product on many levels we can not only improve your home or office, but we can also create the change and help our neighborhoods become safer. Someone hungry can become desperate and by helping people when they feel they are worthless, helping them to care about themselves, getting them to try again. It is the most powerful feeling in the world because you aren't talking about it, you are doing it.
As a young company who is on a mission to grow into a sustainable way to fund a charity without donation. We would humbly request that if you are able to give us a like, and a share on Facebook, it would mean a lot to us as we continue to offer a great product, and “supply hygiene & hope to those who need us the most™. “ Thank you.
Prabhu has successfully led and built a Offshore Delivery Center for IT Infrastructure services company from scratch including setting up business entity, STPI, infrastructure, hiring and retaining best talent and successfully executed 24 x 7 operations center. As a President of PROLIM, Prabhu is responsible for P & L, Strategic Planning, Business Development, Client Management, and overseeing Global Operations.
Prabhu has been recognized with several awards like Siemens Americas Consulting Award, Ford Mustang C3PNG Award, EDS Achievement Award, SDRC Product Manager Award, Rookie of Year 1997 Award, PTC Award of Excellence, Best Scientist Indian Defense R&D Award.
Prabhu holds an MBA with high distinction from Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Prabhu was a Topper in Master of Engineering and Topper Bachelor of Engineering from India. Prabhu lives at Farmington Hills(suburb of Detroit), MI, USA.
Fall in love with taking care of yourself.
Fall in love with the path of deep healing.
Fall in love with becoming the best version of yourself but with patience,
with compassion and respect to your own journey.
- Sylvester McNutt
Welcome to RENDEZVOUS WITH RASSHMI
A page dedicated to ordinary people of our community… yes ordinary, but with that Xtra ordinary talent, achievement and that inspiring Xfactor!!
As a woman, do you wear a lot of hats? Sometimes these hats are stacked so high that trying to balance them all on our competent-but-anxious-and-exhausted heads sends us toppling over completely!
Let’s meet Kanan Shah, from Coppell TX, who dons many hats and yet maintains such an amiable disposition. She is a teacher and runs her own customized tutoring academy called Ottimmo, is a true Mumbaikar at heart who loves to host great parties, make new friends, always ready to help others. ….and if that is not all she is a passionate cook and also runs a catering business!!
She spent her formative years in a joint family in Mumbai which inculcated the habit of sharing and caring right from childhood. It made her understand that living with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents did not restrict her education to academics and school only but it had a much wider horizon. She considers these years as her best as they were full of growing up fun with friends, most of whom she has still maintained contacts with, inspite of the distances.
She had her stint with Corporate America and worked with Deutsche Bank and Chase in New Jersey and then moved to Dallas in 2003, due to her job at Lockheed Martin. When her son, Kavi Shah started high school in Coppell, he expressed his desire to join KD classes for SAT preparation. Since Kanan had earlier worked in Kumon and had evaluated the different coaching classes, she decided to hire private tutors under her own company and have her son tutored at home. Thus was born Ottimmo, meaning “Excellence” in Italian, reinstating the proverb that Necessity is the Mother of Invention!!
Kavi Shah scored a perfect 2400 on his SAT, completed his graduation with 3 majors and 2 degrees from UT Austin and is currently working with McKinsey, the #1 consulting company in the world with global acceptance rate of 1%-lower than admission rate of Harvard!!
Kanan did not want Ottimmo to be a run-of-the mill academy. She focuses on strategy based learning, has been an advocate for her students, and customizes tutoring as per their needs. She not only teaches the child but also educates the parent and has also taken some to task for imposing their dreams on their child. She firmly believes that each child is different and their uniqueness is what sets them apart. Children learn in different ways depending on their developmental stages. They love to learn new things by exploring and discovering.
Her observation of kids brings a sad truth to light. Some parents are unaware of the needs of their child. Some knowingly ignore their child’s needs, due to social stigma, perceptions, culture etc. Some are unaware of the amazing education system of this country. This is the tragedy of a mega proportion. It is really unfortunate that, with the unhealthy life style and diet, unlimited social media exposure, stress etc. there are more children with special/extra needs than ever before.
On several occasions, Kanan has accompanied parents to school and talked to the authorities about the child’s needs, either special needs or the extra care and attention that is required in certain areas. She does the same when tutoring her children. She also understands the importance of self-initiative, down time and developing skills inherently rather than just memorizing. This has worked wonders for so many of her students. They have gone from failing students to star students, skipping grades and being admitted in the Gifted and Talented programs.
Where others see impenetrable barriers, Kanan sees challenges to embrace and obstacles to overcome. She has always taken the hurdles along her journey as opportunities to grow. Teaching the kids for long hours not only brings her joy but she also derives her energy from them. She has a child-like inquisitiveness and is ever willing to learning new skills and avail new opportunities. She plans to take her passion to cook to another level and diversify into health food catering. Her mantra is “Don’t depend on others to write your destiny. We have to create our own destiny”. The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand. She has a very inspiring message to share with us and that is not to underestimate the power of our own strength and to focus on what we can do to help others. Gaining success for yourself, celebrating the achievement in others and feeling and giving empowerment through every little action is going to make you happier, others happier. Everyone is thus more likely to push a little bit harder, or have that little bit more confidence in themselves, the next time!!
Marne se nahin vo darte jo jete hain Jeevan dene ke liye,
Kya rokega tufaan unhen jo ladte hain, aadhiyoonn ko daaman dene ke liye,
Bohot tanha hoti hai nafrat bheetar se, Kuch chirag dete hain mohabbat har kone ko,
Jo bhar de mohbaat dararon main, fir daraarein darti hain unhen khone ko.
A page dedicated to ordinary people of our community… yes ordinary, but with that Xtra ordinary talent, achievement and that inspiring Xfactor!!
Throughout the history of modern music, the world has seen a plethora of child stars – but some really stick out for their brilliance in either vocal talent, or stage talent.
I had the privilege of talking to this treasure house of talent Jahnvi Sangha, who merely at 19 years of age is making her own way to prove the world that she can cast a spell through her voice. She recently moved to the US and is currently residing in Irving, TX. It is said that music runs in the veins of certain lucky individuals. That seems to be the case with Jhanvi as well. She made her singing debut when she was 2.5 years of age by rendering a song from the musical movie “Teesri Manzil” alongside with her father, Shashi Sangha a fine singer himself. An age at which toddlers are only babbling, she sowed the seeds of a budding career.
According to her mother Nisha Sangha, Jhanvi is a quick learner. At 5 years of age she sang the extremely difficult and captivating Kailash Kher’s “Teri Deewani” and represented her school at a competition. She is a genetically blessed singer with both her maternal grandparents being great musicians. Her Nani (maternal gradmother) Smt. Ranjana Bhatti was a renowned Punjabi singer and her Nana (maternal grandfather) Shri. Mevi Bhatti was an extremely talented accordion and keyboard player of his times.
Her parents always thought that she had taken to singing as a hobby. It was only her Nana who sensed her potential and insisted that if her talent is honed correctly and guided in the right direction, then she had the capability to soar to unimaginable heights. He believed that she should receive training in classical music as he strongly felt that the importance of learning classical music is to understand the language of music. Each note or “sur” has its own emotion. Once you understand that language of emotion then you can present any emotion to its fullest form. Without learning classical music, you will be able to sing the song but without the deep understanding of that language. This will not help you to be a confident musician.
Jhanvi began her training in classical music under the reputed Shri Dharmendra Kathakji from the Jaipur Gharana from the time she was 9 years of age. Her Guruji encouraged her to participate in the Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan whilst she was pursuing her training. This Sammelan is the oldest festival of Indian Classical Music in the world. All prominent artists of Hindustani Classical Music from India and Pakistan have come and performed at the Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan at one time or the other during the last 130 years. This was Jhanvi’s first time participating in a Classical Music competition and she not only excelled in it but it also was a great learning and enriching experience for her.
This was the official start of her singing career. She then bagged the first prize in the Nation Classical Music Kurukshetra India and made not only her folks proud but also became known in her hometown. In 2011, for the first time she participated in Zee Tv’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs show and fulfilled her Nana’s dream of exposing her talent on an International platform.
It was as if there was no looking back. She was chosen for Sony TV’s popular reality show “Indian Idol Junior” in 2013 and made it to the top 24 list. Her performances at PTC Punjabi’s “Voice of Punjab Chotta Champ garnered her a lot of appreciation. She was the winner of Big FM 9.27’s show Benadryl BIG Golden Voice. Her most recent achievement was participation in the program Voice of India in 2016 and had the good fortune of being mentored by the wonderfui singer Neeti Mohan.
She loves to listen to different genres of music right from Punjabi folk to Western melodies. She has received immense support from stalwarts of music like Ustad Puran Shah Koti, Late Shri Saber Kotiji, Master Saleem, Lakhwinder Wadaliji and Hans Raj Hans. She would be releasing her album very soon and we would be able to hear her voice in a Punjabi animated film based on the life of Shri Banda Bahadurji.
Jhanvi Sangha, truly represents that fortune doesn’t matter when you are filled with talent because you don’t need to wait for an opportunity to showcase your skills. She is definitely here to stay!!
Our very well known beloved leader Mr. Nelson Mandela said, “Education is a very powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. A very true statement indeed!
A well structured education is a fundamental tool and a requirement for every child that deserves to have a successful life and a promising future.
I would like to introduce a very humble person who is already known in the community for his volunteer work and for making a difference in student’s lives to benefit their future. He is none other than Mr. Gopal Ponangi.
Education is a great equalizer and a very important part of one’s life!
With this statement Mr. Gopal Ponangi - an accomplished community leader, dedicated father, and a committed volunteer - announced his candidacy running for the Frisco ISD Board of Trustees for the upcoming year of May 2019. I had an opportunity to meet him to learn about his thoughts, ideas, and future plans for FISD and his message for the Frisco community.
Mr. Ponangi was born and brought up in Hyderabad, India. He holds an undergraduate degree in Chemical Technology and completed his MBA from Kakatiya Uni. in Warangal India. Coming from a family of five siblings he always had a strong connection to education and a great passion for music.
He moved to Frisco in 2003 with his wife, who is currently a teacher, and two daughters, one pursuing her undergraduate degree in computer science at UTD and the younger one a 6th grade student. He then started his journey towards giving back to the community.
As a founder and president of Shubham foundation, a non profit org. which strongly supports education and healthcare areas, he continued his services to the community for more than a decade. He also served the community as co-chair of IAC (Indian Affairs Committee), on the Ad-hoc committee of Mayor of Frisco, and was director of the Sanatana Dharma foundation.
He led many fundraising events and successfully raised and donated $400K to organizations to support education at the grassroots level. He was also part of the FISD Programs and Facilities Evaluation Committee.
He was very excited to answer few of my questions about his interest in being part of FISD.
What is your view about education. Mission statement?
Education is a great equalizer and a very important part of anyone's life. A high quality of education is needed to ensure that kids get all around development with the skills needed for a rapidly changing work space and global economy. We definitely need students to be future ready and to confidently enter college or real life once they are out of high school. Well-educated citizens are needed so that the country has access to a well-trained, skilled workforce for the businesses that make the US shine. This needs to be done with a keen eye on budgets to ensure that the taxpayers are not burdened unnecessarily. A decent balance is the key.
As an elected BOT of FISD what would you like to focus primarily on?
I have been fortunate enough to serve the community in a number of roles over the past several years. Education is my passion and my service has been directed primarily towards education. Playing the role of Frisco ISD Board of Trustees, I can harness my passion and experience to ensure Frisco ISD continues to serve its students, teachers, parents, and the community well.
I have served FISD and the community by being a part of the “Programs and Facilities Evaluation Committee” and made recommendations to the Board on the recent bond package which was overwhelmingly approved by voters. I am currently a part of the the “Long Range Planning Committee”.
Through fundraising I have provided support to the Frisco Education Foundation to provide scholarships for Frisco ISD students.
What would be your future plan of accomplishments towards FISD?
I would like to focus on providing the appropriate and optimal use of technology for our students and teachers. Gone are those days where a book, pen, pencil, blackboard and chalk are used as primary tools. There is an abundant use of technology both in teaching and the learning space. Students learn from the teacher, watch a youtube video, do their homework online and submit online. This will continue to change as technology continues to play a key role in teaching and learning. FISD is doing an awesome job in embracing the new technologies. With my strong knowledge in Information and Technology and experience the last two decades, I would like to extend my help to ensure the appropriate and optimal usage of technology is available both for teachers and students.
Another area of interest to me is ensuring the future readiness of the students. This world is dynamic and things change on a daily basis. Some of the things relevant and important in the past are obsolete today. The same is going to happen to what we have today. There is a decent chance that it will become obsolete tomorrow. In this continually changing world, we need to ensure that the students are Future Ready. Elementary students will need to be ready for the change of ways of learning in middle school. Same with Middle schoolers; they need to get ready for the changing ways of learning in High School. And high schoolers should be ready to embrace life and be ready for a college education and their future. Frisco ISD offers programs like Independent Study & Mentorship (ISM) designed for high-achieving juniors and seniors. The district also provides another program called Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) in collaboration with the Chamber. YEA Program guides middle and high school students through the process of launching and running their own businesses through hands-on projects and activities
Both ISM and YEA are amazing programs. I would like to focus my efforts on ensuring more students get the best of these programs. This needs some collaborated work with the District, City, Chamber, Community and Industry. I can confidently say that I will be able to positively contribute to make the changes happen.
You are a very accomplished, dedicated, hard working community leader and served 11 + years. What is your message asking the community for support so that you can have this great opportunity to give back?
I strongly believe in giving back.The community has witnessed my work and supported me for more than 15 years. I will continue to do this while I take up the responsibilities as Board of Trustee. It will be a great privilege and opportunity for me, so that I can exploit my experiences and passions to ensure that Frisco ISD continues to excel in serving its students, teachers, and parents in an exemplary manner. I would need the support of every parent in order to represent the entire community and be their voice in every important decision making process in the District.
I had the pleasure of having a candid conversation with the comedy kings Kunal Kamra & Rahul Subramanian who were here in Dallas for a standup comedy show. Here's their story Dallas, sit back and enjoy!
Swati: How did you enjoy performing in Dallas?
Rahul, Kunal: We had a great time, the audience was so responsive and so full of life. It was almost like performing in Mumbai with the exuberant crowds that motivate you to do better!
Swati: We’ve had so many comedians come to Dallas this year – Amit Tandon, Atul Khatri and they all had an IT background; clearly there is a strong correlation between IT and comedy. What are your thoughts on this?
Rahul: That’s a fair question because in India most people end up doing IT. From the same batch of people, you will see other careers evolve like pilots, journalism and comedy. So that explains why most comedians have an IT background. Kunal actually is unique in that he’s not from IT (Kunal chuckles).
Kunal: Yeah, I am a BCOM drop out. I actually saw that poster where all fish are going in one direction and that one fish is going in opposite direction; I chose to be that fish. But if I become a PM someday, I’ll fake my degree, Kunal quips.
Swati: How has life changed for you guys after being famous in comedy scene?
Kunal: On a personal level, it hasn’t changed much. To us, our content/ delivery is same just that now we have more people coming in to listen to our show and now we are expanding geographically. From performing in Nagpur, Nasik, Ahmedabad, we have evolved to performing internationally and are glad to be here in Dallas!
Rahul: To add to this, comedy platform is still very grounded and connected to the audience. It’s not like Bollywood where with one movie you shoot to fame. End of the day we are normal people who still travel by Uber and still use discount coupons!
Swati: Rahul, on one of your shows we heard how your breakup inspired MBA. Is that true?
Rahul: Wow, that’s a tricky one! Well, I’d say my breakup didn’t inspire MBA but breakup was the reason I did MBA, basically to get away from it. Before the MBA entrance exam results are announced, you have to buy the admission forms for colleges. I didn’t get admission in any of the colleges I had bought the forms for. But there was this one college giving out forms even after results came out and that’s the college I ended up joining and here we are! So yes, sometimes something good can come out a little bad in life.
Swati: Tell us about your most embarrassing moment on stage so far.
Rahul: For me it was performing at a standup comedy show where only fifteen people were present in audience, none of whom were really listening. In the middle of the act, these five girls right in the middle stand up and request me to take a picture of them. And guess what, I did! Those five girls were 33% of my audience so I couldn’t have disappointed them. So that was me, taking a picture in middle of my act!
Kunal: During one of my shows, an elderly uncle eating pasta got so offended by my comedy that he got up in the middle of the show shouting “This is not comedy, this is anything!”. That was the most discouraging/ embarrassing remark I received till date, comparing my comedy to “chicken tikka” would have felt a little better (Kunal giggles).
So this was our inside scoop from the
comedy kings Kunal Kamra and Rahul
Subramanian. Hope you enjoyed
reading their story. Stay tuned for more!
A page dedicated to ordinary people of
our community… yes ordinary, but with that
Xtra ordinary talent, achievement and that
My first interview in these series is with a woman who true to her Company's tag line gives us India here in the US, like nobody does. A woman who started at the grass root level as a cashier and in less than a decade has risen to become the Franchise and Marketing Director of her Company. SHAMA RAJANI, the hidden face behind the brand India Bazaar. Ms. Rajani is originally from Hyderabad in Southern India and moved to the United States nearly eight years ago. She currently resides in Plano, TX with her loving husband who according to her is no less than a child .
She holds 2 Bachelor degrees from India, one in Commerce and the other in Education. Her thirst for knowledge led her to obtain her Masters in Education from SMU, Dallas TX whilst pursuing her full time job. Her family also consists of her father whom she considers her guiding force and her two siblings. Quite contrary to the saying that behind every successful man there is a woman, she proudly proclaims that her father is her support pillar. According to her, it doesn't matter what jobyou're doing, having someone believe in you can make all the difference between success and failure. Her hobbies include reading and travelling along with exploring new avenues.
Because she has been with the Company from the time they were two stores old, and served from the front desk all the way to the executive table, she is able to relate with her employees, no matter what their position. Getting to where she is today wasn't an easy feat, but Shama, proved with hard work and dedication that no goal is out of reach as long as you're willing to work towards it consistently. As she has grown with the organization, or better still in her words, as the organization grown with her, she has transitioned from building a performance brand to building a performance culture. She inspires and motivates others to be the best they can be. One of the biggest traits that has gotten her to where she is today is having the kind of passion and drive that is contagious with other employees and helps them see the business as their own. She is proud of her journey that started off more than six years ago and has now grown into displaying multi-folds of her leadership capabilities including but not limited to opening different locations of India Bazaar and marketing for overall brand existence of Rajula's Kitchen, Grain Market etc. Together with the owners, Shama, has the experience from opening a location, all the way to managing all aspects of it. She was awarded the Employee of the Year in 2014 and Executive of the Year award in 2017.
She thinks of herself as a Go-Getter, a person who doesn't believe in giving up. She believes in making impossible possible for its worth. She tries to achieve excellence in everything she does, as life is a survival of fittest and she means to be fit for a long time! To quote her, "In a male dominated society, women have a really stronger role to play and I leverage on my strength that no one can be ‘ME’. Shama Rajani is a true example that there's opportunity everywhere-even at the bottom of the totem pole & recognizing those opportunities and not being afraid to work hard and take on unfamiliar duties can lead to amazing things!!
"You are never alone. You are always eternally connected with universe”
RK Panditi who is a true service oriented individual and has made a difference in the community services. CEO and President of Felix Technologies USA, Inc. was involved with Diwali Mela from day one and was instrumental in many ways to make the Mela successful with the team of people who were volunteering in the Mela.
a. Background and connections in various projects of RK Panditi for over three decades are as follows
b. As President and Chairman Board of Trustees in TANTEX (Telugu Association of North Texas) has started the Life Membership and became the first Life Member of the organization. As President of TANTEX, RK Panditi has done a lot of Projects and events with the help of his team of executive members.
c. In DFW Hindu Temple he was instrumental as President of the Temple in many Community projects.
d. NATA (North American Telugu Association) has awarded him as National Excellence Community Leader Award for his dedication to the Society zation where he was instrumental in helping to organize lot of events locally.
e. As a community leader, he has gone out of the way to help make many organizations n getting lot of booth sponsorships.
f. Telugu Entrepreneurs Association where he has involved in various projects, with his Advice, support and co-ordination every project was very successful. His concept of phrase was used in the organization “Networking is better than not Working”.
g. RK Panditi has coordinated in bringing Srinivasa Kalyanam from Tirupathi to Dallas and was attended by the largest crowd ever attended in DFW for a religious event like that.
RK Panditi believed in a well quoted phrase by his father “Have a selfish interest to serve selflessly”. His desire of travelling around the world with an aim of 29 countries was fulfilled many years ago. He has coordinated more than 125 Arengatrams, Rangapravesams, and more classical dances. Man with a mission of making a difference in the society.
What exactly does the word 'senior living' mean to you? For most of the people in India 'senior living' is an old age home. A senior living space is so much more than just an old age home. It's a community for older people where they can live their life independently on their own terms. Unfortunately, it's not just the word the people are mistaken about; there are so many misconceptions about senior living that people still believe. We are here to clear away all those misconceptions and introduce to the reality of senior living. Let's see the truth behind those myths .
Myth 1: Senior living is for people who do not get along with children
Truth: This is one of the biggest misconceptions out there about Old age homes. People are quick to assume that such a place is only for parents who do not have a good relationship with their kids while that is far from the reality. People residing in these communities actually share a better relationship with their kids as they get to live their independent life and spend quality time with their kids simultaneously as opposed to living in the same house and barely spending any time together. Most of these communities have a very homely environment and are facilitated enough to allow the children and grandchildren of the residents to stay for extended period of time during holidays.
Myth 2: Senior living is for really old people who need a lot of assistance
Truth: Most of the people who stay in these communities are physically fit enough to go about their daily lives without any assistance. As a matter of fact, people are healthier in these communities as they have activities to keep their mind and body fit. Every senior living community consists of a dedicated medical/ physiotherapy team who notice early signs of any issues and attend to it before it becomes a major medical condition. In addition to this, residents are surrounded by like-minded people and people of their age which encourages activities and engagements throughout the day.
Myth 3: People living in senior living communities lack independence and lose privacy
Truth: For years, senior living homes have been portrayed in such a way that people actually believe that there is no provision for privacy and independence in these places. Well, we are more than happy to tell you that's far from the truth. While that might have been the case decades ago, that is not the reality of the current situation. Most of these places offer a complete home including a bedroom, living room, and bathroom to their residents. The residents can turn the place into their home by decorating it with family pictures and their favourite decoratives.
Myth 4: Seniors are lonely in such communities, it's dull and depressing.
Truth: Independent senior living communities offer the opportunity for seniors to engage in their hobbies and interests, make new friends, build relationships that last for life. These places give the residents a chance to indulge in yoga, swimming, movies, and other activities that keep them occupied. Some of the homes even have classes and competitions for the residents.
Myth 5: Moving Away from Family means no one will be around to help
Truth: It is absurd to think that a place like a senior living home lack when it comes to security and help. Pretty much every senior living home has stringent security measures including cctv cameras in and around the property, 24 hour security guards and staff. They will have a dedicated team for everything from healthcare professionals who offer medical aid to concierges who will run all errands, from booking tickets to paying bills.
Myth 6: The Meals provided are not healthy & Tasty
Truth: If you are one of those people who believe in this myth, a meal at a senior living home might change your mind. These places try their best to ensure that the residents are happy at their place and one of the best ways to do that is through good food. These communities provide nutritional meals based on a senior's
What's Your Story with Swati Goyal
I was neither born lucky nor born genius, nor born talented. When I peep behind the shut doors of the past, immense complacency overwhelms me, marveling at my own resurrection to what I am today. I was born in a small, obscure town of India. Of the few memories I can conjure, I recall the wide drains bordering the narrow brick lanes, the rowdy railway station, the hustle bustle of a typical Indian grain market, the squealing hawkers and the jubilant temple bells.
My life was to follow the same suit had my dad not decided to migrate to Chandigarh (an urban city of India) in pursuit of an alternative business. The imminent target after that was to get me into a good school. My mother enrolled me into one of the leading schools of Chandigarh-Sacred Heart Convent school. While the school boasted of it's highly polished and multi faceted students, the admission criteria was grossly formidable. As I raced through my 2 hour admission exam, my mother's heart raced and pounded with each passing tick of the clock. I exited the hall in oblivion of the fact that what I penned inside was not an exam but my destiny. To everyone's surprise I was taken in the school- the most coveted and celebrated school of Chandigarh.
Like I said I was 'not born lucky'- 'my mom' made me one
As I staggered into the relatively alien turf, I realized it was rather an opening of 'Pandora's box of troubles'. Being a convent school, it was mandated that each student converse in English. Hailing from a small Indian town, my base language was Hindi. While the weighty English words poured out of my peer's mouths glibly I struggled to put together the same hostile words to form coherent sentences. I would be too shy to raise my hand to answer a question, fearing the mockery my ugly stutter would result in. Whenever I was asked a question, I stood frozen, humiliated and drained out of life. Our school conducted monthly parent teacher meetings to evaluate student's performance and give necessary feedback to parents. I so dreaded this demon that resurfaced every month. My palms would drench in sweat, and fingers wrestle nervously as my mother fidgeted on her seat uncomfortably, bruised by an interminable tirade of complaints from my teacher. While other mothers walked out smug and exhilarated, my mother walked out low head, her hopes thwarted.
Brimmed with guilt and remorse I finally decided to rather face my fears. The mirror became my best friend as we spent hours together talking and rehearsing in English. I would deliberately broach controversial discussions with my friends to challenge my English proficiency. I started reading vocabulary books, newspapers, editorials and rummaged the dictionary for new words. I would jot them down and review them rhythmically until I became comfortable with their usage. Gradually, I gained a command on English and along with that came a better understanding of my academic subjects and that of the classroom sessions. I still remember the massive leap I made in my scores startling the teachers as well as the toppers of my class. All it took was a focus reinforced by the desire to excel.
Like I said I was not born genius, I found in me one
My initial success in academics triggered success in other domains as well. My earnest efforts and avid interest helped me refine my literary and oratory skills. I participated and excelled in several events like press conference, extempore and debates. I even contributed articles for the famous 'Hindustan Times', an achievement I cherish till date. In recognition of my supreme communication skills I was appointed the 'Marketing committee head' in college. On similar grounds, working in Infosys on a cross-cultural, Indo-Chinese project I was given the task of mediating any conflicts arising due to cultural disparities. My persistence and hard work helped me not only surmount my initial obstacles but also channelize them in the right direction to unleash the talent in me.
Like I said I was not born talented, I chose to be one
Behind every success, lies a motivation and my motivation was and is,
my mother who exemplifies tremendous strength of character, worth
emulating. Also insults can do to you what laurels can't. The humiliation
I faced at the hands of my teachers and peers ignited in me the desire
to excel in every domain I floundered in. I believe that criticism, if taken
in a positive stride can actually help us transform our weaknesses to
strengths. Success like learning is a cumulative process, one success
laying the foundation of yet another and for me my first success was
the motivation for each success that followed thereafter.
"Attract What You Expect, Reflect What You Desire, Become What You Respect, Mirror What You Admire".
A quote that I always keep in my mind when I am having a rough day. I am getting what I am seeking.
LIFE IS REALLY VERY SIMPLE. WHAT WE GIVE OUT WE GET BACK.
The universe totally supports us in every thought we choose to think and believe including our hopes and doubts. Every thought we think is creating our present and future. I clearly remember the time when I wondered why things were not working and I was witnessing difficult and low times. I was confused and I had no clue of what I was going to do. We humans have tendency to get stuck in past and forget how we can change our sufferings into blessings. We can turn it around towards the other way. We have all the power to change and this change starts from you.
We always ignore that we create the situations and then we give away the power by blaming the circumstances for our frustration. Our subconscious mind accepts whatever we choose to believe. What you choose to think about yourself and about life becomes true for you. So, if we are focusing on positive situations, positive habits and positive life experiences then you will not draw as much negative in your life. our body will be healthier and more productive. We will get attracted to your own tribe. "Be the change you want to see in the world”
We have all the power to change and this change starts from you. Be the person you want to attract in your life. Many times, we want to attract certain people and situations in our life however our personality and our habits are not attracting that. Be what you desire to have.
Anytime I see how people have become successful and how they are influencing many lives, I study them, I study their books and their biography. I research them that how they are able to influence mass of people in a positive way and I try to develop those traits which will make me a better person and be able to give back like them. That is how we become what we respect.
"Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it." If we look at our reflection in the water, we see the outer surface of us, looking back at you. But if you put your hand through the refection, you can see what lies beneath. This is a great time to reflect back on what transpired for the past few months or years of our life. What happened to the goals or resolutions? Did we achieve them? It is always good to look back and develop the skills and traits which we are lacking in achieving our goals. If someone tells it cannot be done, It is more reflection of their limitations, not us.
Life is a constant learning and there is always room for improvement. The Wheel of life is always moving and it is on us how we take it. I am working on being a better person, and that includes my body, mind and soul. For whatever reason, the body fights back. So, the reflection that I see right now, is showing me who I was. I am reflecting back to it, who I want to be.
Be Yourself and YES we Can!!! Be Yourself and YES we Can!!!
!! हिंदी आवश्यकता है !! विकल्प नहीं !!
While Vedic Hindi School is an initiative of dedicated community members who wish to see the younger generation experience rich and diverse Indian culture. We believe that learning about language and culture can be fun for all children when taught under its structured guidelines. Over course of year we also learned from our community some of the reasons why not to learn Hindi. !! Yes !! you heard it correct …..WHY NOT TO LEARN HINDI ?
To explore the matter at a more oundational level, all development begins with education, and education, of course, stems from language. Yet, language is much more than a means of communication; it determines the books one reads, the television programs one watches, the ideas one is exposed to, the values one holds, one's personal interests, and one's career opportunities. In essence, it defines our identities.
It seems evident that in the case of India and elsewhere, multiple languages ought to be taught and be taught well to allow individuals not only to operate in a globalized world but to also bring together local communities that have been fractured and segregated by the economics of language.
Some of the official reasons not to learn Hindi….....
- We speak in our House .. Our kids will learn slowly.
- He goes to temple so he will learn culture and language.
- We wanted to make our kids global citizen.
- We will get them to India every year.
- Kids should be cultured and that is enough. They don’t need to learn Hindi.
- We are Hindi speaking family. Our kids will learn “Hindi” anyways. No need to specifically focus.
- Our kid knows English and know our regional language …. why any other language?
- He/She will learn by talking to grandparents every week.
- They don’t have time from English, Math, Science tuition.
- Most of the children take French and Spanish as second language.
- No one is our house speaks Hindi.
- In our house, we talk in Hindi language only.
- Why kids need to learn Hindi?
- I am not interested in watching Bollywood movies.
- We don’t want our kids to be strongly religion opinionated.
- These kids are growing here in abroad ……. They will not go to India for settlement?
And the list is never ending. It doesn't matter how far you live from your country and where your children are going to be settled? We need to fulfill our duty of ensuring our children will able to retain cultural heritage.
"A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people." - Mahatma Gandhi
The context of flowers transports every Indian to the time and memories filled with festivities and special occasions. For one, it is very hard to imagine any cultural affair without the presence of these colorful and fragrant blooms.
Be it the "Gendaphoolkiladi” or“marigolds” in the Northern part of India to the colorful “Pookalam”or “flower rangoli” in the southern tip of Kerala, flowers have been always spreading happiness and smiles ever since the history of India is known. Also, it is extensive than one could ever imagine.From the ancient architecture to the tinsel town musical lyrics, here are the snippets for the flowers from the history of time in 'Bharat'.
How can someone forget the humble beauty for floral 'Dabru' prints to the Majestically weaved 'Tamarai' Motifs on the rich Kanjeevarams.The Benares motifs of gardens or the Kutch work of Gujarat. It's all blooms and Blossoms. It is weaved into Indian ethnics with much love and Passion.
Indian Architecture is as diversified as India itself. If the epitome of Mughal Architecture was Taj Mahal, the beauty of it lies in the detailed floral vines on the walls on the white Marble. No less is the beautiful lotus intricately framing the sculptures on the South Indian temple Gopurams.
While this legacy is something which aged gracefully over time on heritage structures and temples. Worshipping with flowers however hasn't changed a bit, sometimes even with exotic flowers. Instances as devotees at Badrinadh temple worshipping Lord Shiva with Bramhakamala, a rather rare to find and hard to procure flora is a shining example of our bonding with flowers
Lotus, the national flower of India is even considered as Goddess Lakshmi according to Hindu Mythology. What greater significance would one have other than being treated synonymous to the almighty.
While all this is one side of the story, Indian weddings take this amazing flora to a whole new level.A combination of marigolds, jasmines and tassels of lilies and roses is traditional sight at any Wedding décor or Mandap. Every event as a part of Indian Wedding ceremony has a generous usage of flowers for decor, prayer and scientific/medical reasons. Welcoming the Bride and Groom with a shower of flowers or under the shade of 'phoolonkichadar' or 'Floral Canopy' is always a lovely sight to behold. Apart from that the 'Varamala' or exchanging the garlands by the bride and groom irrespective of the culture, faith and tradition is followed by every Indian during their Wedding. Who denies the beauty of the sweetly fragrant Jasmine Garlands or 'Gaajra' in the thick Plaits or Buns of Indian women. Floral plait and Floral Jewelry for various ceremonies such as Mehendi and GodhaBharai is every women's love.
While this article is parallel with the arrival of spring
this year, may it be Warm, Colorful and Prosperous.
Hello Readers, my name is Vijay Warman and I work for my company – Mystic Mandala, located in Plano at 3131 Custer Road (Ste 265) where I guide people on mindfulness practices and many eastern concepts of creating a vibrant energy in the homes of my clients. Along with my team, we also offer Yoga Classes, Sound Healing and many other ancient modalities of healing. Although the advancements in science, technology and communication have made life very comfortable and connected for us, however we as a generation have never been so “disconnected” to ourselves – Life is moving at a frantic pace with no time to sit back and enjoy ourselves, our families and our homes – isn't it so? Our services, our workshops help people reconnect to their true, essential selves. We work on the mind body connection to guide our clients to a happier healthier self. With that intention, we do the bi annual free admission event called the Holistic Festival of life and wellness, or our next big event at the Plano center on 22nd April The Plano Health Fair (www.PlanoHealthfair.com)
What is FENGSHUI?
Feng shui literally means wind water. It is a system, a traditional chinese concept linking the destiny of man to his environment it is a process, a belief system of universal laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy called chi or life force, and whose favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into account when designing buildings and decorating homes.
Why is feng shui important in a home?
Your home is a place where you come back to rest, to rejuvenate and to relax. It is your safe haven. The quality of your work in the outside world always depends deeply on the quality of your rest. If you are well rested, more energized, then you can do a lot, isn't it? So good Feng Shui in the house will help remove negativity and create a peaceful yet empowering environment. A good feng shui house has to be nourished by fresh, clear and freely flowing energy. There can be no stagnant, old or blocked energy anywhere in the house. Everything around us in life is in constant flow, in constant change and the same energy dynamics apply to our house as well. Stuck, stagnant energy in a specific area of your house will sooner or later express itself in stuck, or completely blocked energy in a specific area of your life.
How does the position of furniture, colors used, and balance impact one's home through the philosophy of fengshui?
Life has a flow, and the philosophy of Feng Shui believes in making sure that one's home has an easy flow. The three major concepts of Feng Shui are the flow of energy, the balance of yin and yang and the interaction of the five elements in the universe namely - fire, earth, metal, water and wood.Each element has its own unique characteristics as to how it is expressed in the world. Each element also plays a vital role in the cycle of life. The placement and design of furniture isn't just a physical matter; it also helps to maintain the balance of yin and yang within the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual realms leading to a healthier life. We lay a lot of importance on not having obstructions in the flow of energy in a house. Hence placement of furniture in the home is of tremendous importance. Just like we have traffic congestion on the roads similarly sometimes we get energy congestion in the home. A good DIY is to make sure that there is room to move around the house. De-cluttering is an importance concept – In Feng Shui we want the entire house to be clutter free and obstruction free.
And once we have worked with the elements and the
physical objects in the house, we consider colors carefully
as in Feng Shui we divide the house into 9 equal parts called
the Bagua. Here, each Bagua or area is designated a certain
color. Now, colors are of equal importance in Feng Shui.
Imagine the associated feelings with a bright red rose or a
beautiful white lily. While the Red rose fills your heart with
love, a white lily fills your mind with peace and serenity.
There are Yin colors in Feng Shui which induce a
gentleness and Yang colors represent the elements of Fire
and Wood elements and provide enthusiasm and positive
energy required to be motivated and energetically charged.