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.
Vaibhav : Good afternoon friends I am Vaibhav from Top Pick media, and at this moment I have with me, a personality who is not only famous in India but all over the world as a poet, lyricist and script writer - Mr. Javed Akhtar.
Welcome to Dallas Javed Sahab
Javed Akhtar : Thank you very much. Let me introduce you to Mr. Parthiv and Ms. Jhanvi, these are the main singers or should I say the only singers. They have beautiful voices. The program that this team has prepared is an unusual program. Many musical programs come to the town and also have good singers however, this program has a new dimension which has made it unusual.
Vaibhav : As a dialogue writer you have written very classy dialogues and add to list a few of your famous dialogues like “Jo dar gaya samjho mar gaya” and, “Mogambo khush Hua”. We observe that before you came into the film industry there was a different trend in dialogue writing and it was you who changed the trend and started using common man’s language in dialogue writing. So how did you bring this change?
Javed Akhtar : Well, it was not like I sat one day and planned to bring a change. This is not what happened. Probably this is something I liked. The way we normally speak is what I used in my writing. I feel in this world, there are three things, the way you walk, the way you talk and your hairstyle, the more you try to style them, the more artificial they would look. For example, if you try to style your hair a lot then they would look odd. The more you try to concentrate on the way you walk, more artificial it would look and the same is true for, the way you talk. You should believe in spontaneity. In dialogue writing as well, you need to think about the character and his cultural background then you would be able to articulate how the character would normally speak and write according to his point of view. I feel a good dialogue writer is also a latent actor. He enacts all characters internally in his mind. He does not play a single character instead all the characters of his story. If he does not do so then he cannot write well. I think instead of showing off one’s talent or one’s control on the language, if the dialogue writer gets into the character and thinks how that character would speak, what is his vocabulary would be , how would he react in the given situation and then write the dialogues for that character then such dialogues become more lively.
Vaibhav : I have heard your songs that you wrote for Pancham Da for the movie ”Duniya” – Ghare halke halke ghare, saaye sham ke saaye” , a song of same mood for the movie “Gardish”- “Tap tip Tap Tip gunj rahi hai boondo ki sargam” and one more song of the same mood in the movie - “1942 - A love story”- “Bajta hai Jaltarang Teen ki chhat pe jab” How do you come up with such unusual words in you poetry , in your songs? Is this decided based on the situation or the music directors tell you what they want?
Javed Akhtar : I think what is unusual is that people keep using the same words that have been used so many times. If we keep our mind open and write the song according to the situation then new words would automatically would get used in the poetry. We write songs on tunes so sometimes the tune demands what kind of words would fit in. The director would tell me where the song would be picturi
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!!!
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
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.
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.
!! 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.