MESSAGE FROM THE MANAGEMENT OF
PERFECT GROUP OF COMPANIES
As the Group CEO of Perfect Group of Companies,
my constant focus is on the growth of all the different
departments which are so effectively managed by the
respective leaders. Each of our businesses is very close
to the community in some way or the other and my
vision is to bring the community together in every sense.
Our biggest client base at Perfect Tax is our South Asian
community and our constant efforts are to file lawful
taxes and save money in the righteous way. We have
loyal clients who testify for us which is our greatest asset.
Through Thakkar Developers we collaborate with
best-in-class partners to maximize and enhance client
real estate development through start to finish of the
development cycle. Our mission is being the one stop
real estate development consulting experience to all our
My vision is to make FunAsia Network the biggest South
Asian network outside India. We have been constantly
making advances towards that.
Stay connected with us. Wishing everyone a Happy
SAM THAKKAR VAISHALI.
I take this opportunity to thank everyone in the community
to come in such large numbers to be a part of the biggest
Garba event in DFW. It was our first attempt to do this
event and upscale it as well. We were overwhelmed
with the community participation. Everyone turned up
in beautiful traditional attire which added to the flavor
of the event. We gauged the happiness of the crowd as
they enjoyed and danced to the tunes of the authentic
Garba queen Kinjal Dave.
We thank our sponsors and above all DFW Gujrati
Samaj for their generosity and support. Moody Akthar
our Director and Producer of Events and myself, try to
bring community events which involve people and make
them happy. Our idea is always to keep our culture alive
in America even when far away from home. Our events
success depends on community’s participation, and
this was a very important approval from the community
when we got the traditional Kinjal Dave instead of the
more Bollywood style Garba show.
We have our designed annual events and hopefully will
add Garba to that as well. The next one to look forward
VAISHALI THAKKAR to is our very popular Diva Night. Ladies be ready to
CEO Perfect Tax & Finance & CEO FunAsiA rock the dance floor with your BFF’s!
The very first week of
the positive feeling of
light over darkness as
we celebrate Diwali!
It is the beginning of
new year for many who
follow the Lunar Calander. FunAsia DesiPages
wishes you a very Happy Diwali and Prosperous
We are glad that once again the events are back,
and our popular Event Picture page is bursting
with wonderful captures of memories from the
Kinjal Dave Garba Show. Do get to know more
about your favorite Garba star in our Person
in Focus Column. Apart from all the amazing
articles, an interesting read this month is the
Goodreads column ‘Lessons learnt from Indira
Nooyi’ expressed by the columnist Madhuri’s
musings after reading the book ‘My life is full’
We conducted a contest on Funasia DesiPages
Facebook Page in October based on one of the
articles and were very excited with the response
and participation. We congratulate Lalitha
Chintalapudi for winning the contest and the
$20 gift card. Do follow us on FaceBook Page
and look forward to more such contests and
We would love to hear from you.
Follow us on : https://www.facebook.com/
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Taapsee Pannu bollywood talkies
says A-list actors refuse
roles in her films,
reveals their excuses
bigger star. But that’s the sad truth we are dealing
with every day,” she said.
When Mehmood revealed how he got weeping
Amitabh Bachchan back on sets: Ab jo mood
mein aaya lambu
Actor Taapsee Pannu has played a scientist, a When Mehmood revealed how he got weeping
lawyer, a hockey player, a sharpshooter and many Amitabh Bachchan back on sets: ‘Ab jo mood
other powerful roles in her career so far. The Pink mein aaya lambu’
star has now opened up about how popular male Neeraj Chopra talks to little girl in Panipat who
actors refrain to share the frame with her. says hes her favourite
In an interview with CBFC member Vani Tripathi Neeraj Chopra talks to little girl in Panipat who
Tikoo at the FICCI Global Young Leaders Summit says he’s her ‘favourite’
2021, Taapsee talked about how A-list actors are
hesitant about starring in women-led films. She “Every time I sit down with my producers over a
also said that even the new actors do not want to list of the top five actors shortlisted for my films,
act in her movies. those top five actors are the ones who have done
just one or two films. And even they don’t want
Taapsee listed the excuses that the male actors the role, because the system around them trains
make for not working with her. “One actor them to not do a film in which their role is just
refused to do a film (in which she had a double 10%,” Taapsee added.
role), saying ‘ek Taapsee ko sambhalna mushkil
hota hai, yahan toh do hain’. There was another Taapsee was recently seen in Akarsh Khurana’s
actor who was offered a film with me and we Rashmi Rocket. She will also be playing the lead
had worked together before. He just said, ‘I in Aakash Bhatia’s Looop Lapeta, a remake of
don’t want to do this film because, actually, the cult-hit German film Run Lola Run. Taapsee is
sympathy goes more to the girl in the end.’ It was currently working on Shabaash Mithu, in which
a love story! I told him I expected a little more she will essay the role of cricketer Mithali Raj.
confidence and a sense of security in an actor She also has Woh Ladki Hai Kahaan with Pratik
like him. He has done way more films and is a Gandhi in the pipeline.
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LENTIL BALLS LENTIL BALLS
IN A SPICY TAMARIND SAUCE IN A SPICY TAMARIND SAUCE
INGREDIENTS FOR BALLS
1. ½ cup channa dal ( soaked for 2 hours)
2. ½ cup toor dal ( soaked for 2 hours )
3. 4-5 red chillies
4. ¼ tsp Turmeric
5. 2 spoon rice flour
6. 2 sprig Curry Leaves
7. 1½ tsp Salt
INGREDIENTS FOR SAUCE
1. 1 small lemon sized tamarind
3. 2 tbsps tamarind paste
4. 2 spoons sambar powder
5. ½ spoon hing
6. 1 sprig curry leaves
7. 1 tsp mustard seeds
8. 1 tsp methi seeds.
9. 2-3 spoons gingelly oil
1. Soak the tamarind in 1 cup hot water water and extract the juice
2. Soak the dals in water for 1-2 hours. After 2 hours, take small quantity of soaked dals with
the chillies,salt and hing in a mixer.
3. Once the chilies are crushed in the mixer, add the remaining dals and grind it once. The
dals should not be ground finely in the mixer, they can be coarse. Keep this aside.
4. Take the ground dal coarse paste in a bowl, add turmeric powder and curry leaves. Mix well.
5. In a pan take the gingelly oil and heat it. Once heated add the mustard and methi seeds.
Let them splutter, add hing and curry leaves now. Keep the flame low and add the extracted
tamarind juice or mix the tamarind paste with a cup of water and add it to the pan. Add the
salt and sambar powder. When the raw smell of the tamarind goes off, say in 5 minutes or
so and when it’s boiling, add a cup and half of water. The sauce has to be thin in consistency
as when the lentil balls are added they will dissolve a little in the sauce, making the sauce
6. Make balls out of the previously ground dal paste. Take the rice flour in a small plate and
coat the dal balls in the flour. Drop them slowly into the tamarind sauce
7. Let them boil in the tamarind paste for a couple of minutes before giving a stir. If you stir
sooner the balls will break! After a couple of minutes give the balls a gentle stir.Test to see
if the balls are completely cooked by taking one of them out and breaking it with a spatula.
If the inner side is cooked we can turn off the flame.
8. Enjoy with steaming hot rice and papad!
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SHAHRUKH KHAN cover story
Abhimanyu Rai, in the series. After acting
in several ‘chote -mote’ roles on Television,
Khan made his film debut with ‘Deewane’in
1991. He was cast opposite the charming
Divya Bharathi and the legendary actor-
star Rishi Kapoor. He ended up with a
Filmfare award for the best male-debut of
the year, one of 14 that was to follow. The
year that followed had releases with him
as the main lead. Dil Ashna Hai, Raju Ban
Gaya Gentleman and Chamatkar. Let’s
look at some of the movies that Khan gave
DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAYENGE
(DDLJ)- Probably one the largest grossing
movie in Bollywood of all times. DDLJ broke
several records and is still rated as one of
Khan’s biggest hits. It also strengthened the
Kajol-SRK brand. The audience simply loved
the chemistry between the two. This movie
was the directorial debut of Aditya Chopra
How does one define success in the film industry? It’s simple! as well. Two young NRIs who fall for each
The one who rakes in the moolah and is generally popular other and ultimately unite in India. Many
among the large cross section of the society can be deemed as films with similar background were to follow
a successful star. When they achieve a cult status, a following after this. What’s not to love in a romantic
like the legendary Big B or the evergreen superstar Rajinikant drama complete with patriotic references
they become a brand. Its hard to create a space for oneself and ‘Bharatiya values’, great songs, locales
in an arena where Amitabh Bachchan’s towering personality and a charming lead pair?!
looms large. A middle-class lad from Delhi, with a seemingly
nondescript personality but with a determined unbreakable SWADES- A film that was ahead of its
spirit, supreme confidence did just that a few decades back. time, Swades is the story of a brilliant NASA
Shahrukh Khan is known by several names by the media: scientist’s discovery of himself. Mohan
Badshah of Bollywood, King Khan and King of Bollywood. He Bhargav, played by Khan, finds himself at
has appeared in more than 80 films and earned numerous crossroads as he visits his homeland and
accolades including 14 Filmfare awards. feels a compelling need to bring electricity to
his village through a hydro-electric project.
Shahrukh or SRK as he is popularly called was born in Delhi and SRK lived this role, really and played the
raised in Mangalore for the first five years of her life. He acted character with a lot of restraint with none of
in several stage plays in his youth and was quite well known for his usual mannerisms. Interestingly, the film’s
his mimicry of several artists. His favorites however were Dilip director Ashutosh Gowarikar had offered the
Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and Mumtaz. Interestingly, Amrita role of Mohan Bhargav to Aamir Khan and
Singh was his childhood acting partner and friend. Hritik Roshan. When both refused he went to
After obtaining his undergrad from Hansraj college in Delhi he SRK who cried after hearing the story!
did enroll to do his master’s in mass communication. But he CHAK DE INDIA -Khan plays a purpose-
never completed it and fate had other plans for him anyways! driven protagonist, Kabir Khan, a disgraced
SRK made his debut on TV in the serial ‘Fauji’ which depicted former hockey player. Kabir takes on the
the lives of army cadet trainees. He played the main role of role of a talented but dysfunctional Indian
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starred Kajol and
introduced the svelte
Shilpa Shetty to
played the role of
a cold blooded
revenge seeker. And
he played the role to
perfection. He was the
consummate anti hero
in the movie and one of
many films he would go
women’s hockey team coach and the team brings on to do with Kajol.The
home the World cup under his able mentorship. audience were treated to the entry of a new proto type
Again, a very restrained, emotional performance by of Bollywood heroes through this film.
Khan. One of his finest no doubt. The locker room Fans are eagerly waiting for his upcoming releases
speech titled ‘sattar minute’ ( 70 minutes) is one of DON 3 The Chase Ends- The 3 part of the Don
the finest monologues and was delivered with aplomb Franchise, directed by Farhan Akhtar.
by him. Shades of his idol Dilip Kumar can be seen in
his dialog delivery, the lift of his brows and the twinkle Unnamed film with Karan Johar -This is said to be an
of his eyes! upcoming action-romance. Priyanka Chopra will be
seen with King Khan.
KABHI HAAN KABHI NAA -By his own admission his
favorite movie! A love triangle amongst 3 members PATHAN - An upcoming Bollywood drama by
of a music band, Khan, Suchitra Krishnamurti and Siddharth Anand.
Deepak Tijori, this movie showcases him as the rejected LION -Lion, directed by Atlee will see Sharukh paired
suitor. Khan was reigning supreme in negative roles with Lady Superstar of the south, Nayantara. This will
at that time with Baazigar and Darr. Critics praised mark her debut into Bollywood as well.
his performance which was now intense, visceral and OPERATION KHUKHRI -Directed by Gowarikar, this
then boyishly charming! film is a war- drama, based on the mission Operation
KAL HO NA HO -Who said that the Badshah of Khukhri carried out by the Indian army and AirForce.
Bollywood cannot be a tragedy king as well? Khan There are scores of movies where Sharukh delivered
plays the role of a good natured man who sacrifices memorable performances and we can start listing a
his love for a shy depressed girl(Zinta) after learning whole bunch of them. He went on to Play Devdas in
of his terminal illness. This film garnered appreciation Bhansali’s film of the same name, reprising a role
from critics and the audience alike. Set in NY the film performed by his idol Dilip Kumar decades before.
appealed to a lot of NRIs as well.The film had many He has always given his very best to every role he
parallels from the Rajesh Khanna starrer Anand where played and his passion for the art can be seen in
Khanna plays a terminally ill patient but full of life. every performance of his. It’s said that success in
DARR- A pretty girl, her military fiance and an obsessive one area spills to other areas of one’s life. He is a
stalker,this film had all the makings of a classic thriller. successful entrepreneur, a brand ambassador for
It turned out to be one of the best films of that year several products, owner of the IPL team, Kolkata
and Shahrukh lived the role of the obsessive stalker. Knight Riders amongst other ventures. As Shahrukh
His eyes, body language and the famous stutter in Khan enters a new year in his life on November 2nd,
which he uttered ‘k-k-k-Kiran’ became the look of we wish him all the best in future endeavors. We
Bollywood’s new villian.It was a bold move by SRK to also wish him a joyful life and wish upon him that he
take on this role when he was in the nascent stages continues to tide over every challenge of his life as he
of his career. has always done in the past.
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travel The TRAVEL PAGE #1
throughout the year. In winter
it ranges from 73degreen F
to 84 degrees F. Since it is
don’t need a passport to
US Virgin Islands part of the US territory you
visit this Caribbean island.
St Thomas boasts of some
of the best places to wine
or rather rum and dine.
Food is not cheap here as
almost everything except
fruits and vegetables
have to be imported.Most
beaches have some great
restaurants and bars. Drinks
are allowed anywhere here,
even while driving a car!
Some favorite spots to hang
It has a well protected sandy
beach for nearly three-
Imagine the still summer’s day, when nothing is moving, quarters of a mile and is
least of all me…. One of the finest songs by the legendary accessible from pretty much
Sir Cliff Richard. A romantic song that happens one sunny any part of the island. The
afternoon..alas that sweet soothing summer doesn’t stay beach has a sandy bottom
for too long in Texas! But we love our sweltering summer and so snorkeling is of
more than our winters. So let me take you all to a paradise limited interest. We can,
in the Caribbean Islands - St.
Thomas. Part of the several other
islands that form the US Virgin
islands, the more popular ones
being St. Croix, St. Thomas is the
most populated one as it has a
cruise ship port. You may have
to share the sandy beaches with
many other December tourists
DesiPages DFW | November 2021 VOL 33 | 14
TRAVEL PAGE #1
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Present coupon before consultation begins. valid till 12/15/2021
DesiPages DFW | November 2021 VOL 33 | 15
however, spot turtles, conches and several TRAVEL PAGE #2
other species in this bay. It is rated as one
of the top ten beaches in the Caribbean
It’s a 700 foot peak point you can access
from a gondola ride if you don’t have
transportation. One can see all the way to
St. Croix, Culbera and Vieques on a clear
day.Besides dining at the top you can hike
a quarter mile hike to catch an entertaining
bird show or shop for souvenirs. Live Tree Limin Extreme consists of a crisscross
music is available in the evenings and also of ropes across the verdant St. Peter
Carnival- type games all around the year. mountain. This is one of the island’s
MAHOGANY RUN GOLF COURSE highest peaks and so one can have
stunning views across the Caribbean
This houses the famous ‘Devil’s Triangle’ sea, with Magen’s Bay in the foreground
-holes 13, 14 and 15 which stretch along and views of several other islands in the
dramatic cliffs and its fairways cross the background.
Caribbean Sea!This course has been
visited by several celebrities such as Bill Besides these there are several other
Clinton and Tiger Woods. attractions such as St. Peter’s Great House
and Botanical Gardens, Coral World
MAGIC ICE GALLERY Ocean Park and Virgin Island Ecotours.
A fun place for kids,one can chill here So get’ limin’ as the locals would say, in
on a hot day and marvel at the art work St. Thomas. You may get to imagine the
of specially trained Lithuanian artists and still summers day afterall!
changing colored lights. The themes can
be as diverse as Blackbeard and Marine
from ice by these
talented artists. This
place is a spinoff of
Oslo, Norway’s ice
This is one of the
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DesiPages DFW | November 2021 VOL 33 | 17
Batein Sitaron Ki
EXTRAORDINARY IN ORDINARY
in 1975 and “Chitchor” in
1976: all low-budget movies
and box-office hits, making
Amol Palekar instantly the “boy
next door.” Amol Palekar’s
movies that were mostly directed
by Basu Chatterjee or Hrishikesh
Mukherjee belonged to the
genre of Middle Cinema. Unlike
mainstream Bollywood movies of
70s and 80s in which violence,
romance, dance, and drama
determined their box office
success, Palekar’s movies were
about the struggles of a common
man striving to find his space in
Though there have been a lot of comedy an overcrowded and fast-paced Mumbai.
movies with the moniker “Gol Maal” in In the end, these middle-class protagonists
Bollywood, the original “Gol Maal” of who traveled in local buses and trains often
1979 remains a cult classic. Who doesn’t found what they desired, be it a house,
remember Ram Prasad Sharma with a love, or job, just as Amol Palekar found
thin stringy moustache and ultra-short what he desired: his niche in Bollywood.
kurta, whose unadulterated Hindi exuding His roles created a deep impression on his
righteousness is in stark contrast with his audience. His characters––some shy and
twin brother Laxman Prasad Sharma who others extroverted, some naive and others
emulates western ideology and modernism? cunning––were so realistic and convincing
While watching the movie, we don’t care that the audience believed them and related
that both the roles were played by one actor to their stories. Amol Palekar says that he
or that the person behind these roles is an tries to make his characters as non-obtrusive
unremarkable looking man of short height as possible. He wants the character to
and average built. The drama Amol Palekar be remembered and not himself––Amol
creates enthralls us for two-and-a-half hour Palekar. Well, his wish has been granted. His
and has kept us entertained and laughing for characters have budded off to carve their
over four decades. Long before Amol Palekar own separate lives. Though one may not
acted in Hindi movies, he was a well-known remember much about Amol Palekar, one
Marathi theater actor and producer. In 1974, can certainly not forget Ram Prasad Sharma
he entered Bollywood with Basu Chatterjee’s of “Gol Maal.”Originally a painter who has
“Rajnigandha” followed by “Chhoti Si Baat,” studied fine arts in college, Amol Palekar
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which he directed
in 1990 is about a
girl who lacked self-
confidence until a
magician helps her
realize her strength
and instills in her the
power of believing.
This movie, which
blends dreams and
reality, has become a
part of management
courses and study
pertaining to human
In 2005, Amol
Shahrukh Khan and
starrer, “Paheli,” a
ventured into film direction with the Marathi fairy tale narrated
film “Aakriet” in 1981. Palekar likes taking by two puppets that blends folklore with
risks and experimenting in his roles and human desires, dreams, and reality. Paheli
movies. The movies he has directed have was nominated as India’s official entry to the
an unusual story line and the characters 79th Academy Awards.
are portrayed in an unconventional fashion. There is always something magical and
The movie, “Thodasa Roomani Ho Jayen,” extraordinary in the lives of the characters
of Amol Palekar, whether he plays
them on screen or directs them,
even though their lives are otherwise
ordinary, perhaps not dissimilar to
our own lives. It is as if Amol Palekar
has caught that magical dust that
flows past unnoticed many of us and
sprinkled it in his movies to levitate
his ordinary characters to a pedestal
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WHO IS MORE LIKELY IRS staff is that we are extremely short staffed.
Budget cuts have crippled the IRS over the years.
TO BE AUDITED, Enforcement staff has also dropped significantly
after pandemic. Biden plans to collect lots of
RICH OR POOR? revenue from audits which means your likeliness
of audit might double or triple. If you have filed
tax, it’s very important to save receipts for at least
3 years. Home office and EIC is one of the mostly
audited items by IRS.
IRS computers choose people to audit, but if those
There is not really
published research taxpayers respond, a physical person must review
verifying the claim the documents. With fewer employees to do that,
of a clear distinction delays have mounted by leaps and bounds. This
whether IRS audits year many taxpayers have complained that refunds
rich or poor more? are taking more than a year to be funded. In the
Whether you make days to come more and more taxpayers are likely to
less than 25K a year be audited. Problems like tax evasion and wrongful
and claim earned business deduction could be a heavy penalty
income credit or, you item in the coming days. Biden policy might also
make million dollar of examine households with income above $1 million
income your likeliness at much higher rates because he has planned to
of audit could be the same because IRS audits are collect huge money from tax audits.
mostly random. Our tax firm gets audit clients left Since the 1990s, Congress have claimed that
and left for various reason and it’s not necessarily improper payments as a major problem among
because they make too much income. Government taxpayers. Congress has been emphasizing IRS to
frequently runs anti-poverty programs, distributing hold suspicious refunds and take adequate time to
billions of dollars to people who are struggling research detail documents to avoid misstatements
for their end’s meat. If you happen to be the one of income. For IRS, stopping faulty refunds from
audited, you end up waiting fort IRS for endless going out, rather than trying to recoup them
time. Today due to employment shortage they don’t through an audit is always the better option but
have many resources and they will not back you up to struggling taxpayer it could be a nightmare
if your interest penalties pile up to the roof. waiting for endless time for IRS response. Dealing
with IRS will never be easy for whatever reason it
When IRS notifies you that you are being audited,
they generally ask for supporting documentation might be. But I would say, it is better than to be
that includes every involved document for last 2- 3 mentally prepared if IRS audits you. At the end,
years. They ask for W-2s, 1099, paycheck stubs, my suggestion is to always prepare your tax with
bank statements, birth certificates, medical records, experts who knows what they are doing. Doing tax
day care expenses, home office receipt etc. After with software and mediocre firm could save you
providing everything, you would think you would money in short run but end up hurting you in the
get quick resolution, but you will end up waiting later years.
months and months for IRS response. IRS notice Diwas Dhungel,
and audits can be very stressful and frustrating. The Senior Director
worst part is the wait not knowing when you will get Perfect Tax & Finance
The common answer you will hear calling
30 MINUTES FREE
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of appointment. Not valid with $150-$500. Min 250 K on W2 of appointment. Not valid with Bookkeeping and Payroll when
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Conditions Apply income required. Conditions Apply services
DesiPages DFW | November 2021 VOL 33 | 23
ADITYA CHOPRA TO MAKE DEBUT IN BROADWAY AS DIRECTOR WITH
THE MUSICAL OF DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAYENGE
Aditya Chopra’s DDLJ is being adapted as a Broadway musical” Come Fall in Love-
The DDLJ Musical”. Chopra will direct the musical which will feature book and
lyrics by Neil Benjamin (Legally Blonde) and the choreography will be Emmy winner
RobAshford ( Frozen ). Vishal-Shekhar will provide the music for this magnum opus.
“Come Fall In Love - The DDLJ Musical “ will debut in the Broadway season of
2022-2023. The world premiere will be in SanDiego in Sept 2022. A global search
for casting is on jointly by Duncan Stewart of Stewart/ Whitley casting and Shanoo
Sharma of Yash Raj films.
Aditya Chopra has stated that he was stunned and speechless at his first experience
of theater way back in 1985, when his dad took him and his brother to watch
a musical in London. The thing that resonated with him was the fact that Indian
films and Broadway both use songs to tell a story. All the elements, the colors,
the unabashed dancing, a classic story and happy ending formed the basis of
both the genres which came from seemingly different parts of the world, Chopra
summarized. Interestingly, Chopra wanted to make DDLJ with Tom Cruise, but that
was not to happen! But now it will be remade as a musical with an American boy
and an Indian girl in the English language for a worldwide audience.
Vicky Kaushal is riding high on the success of the period drama, ‘Udham
Singh’. The star spoke about how his familiarity with the folklore of Udham
Singh helped him prepare for the role. ‘Our ancestral home is two hours away
from Jallianwala Baug and we have grown up with stories of Shaheed Bhagat
Singh and Udham Singh’, the star proudly mentioned in a recent interview.
He said that Shoojit Sircar, the director of the movie wanted to show a multi-
dimensional side of the revolutionary. He said that it was a surreal experience
for him to play the role. Vicky went on to add that Sardar Udham was an
unsung hero, so the responsibility to bring the character alive on screen was a
very big responsibility. Since there is not much information on Udham Singh,
Kaushal added it was tricky “to chalk down a character” who was globetrotting
with multiple identities. Asked how he felt that the role had come to him after
Irfan Khan’s illness and subsequent death, he mentioned with mixed feelings
that although it was an unfortunate event and should not have happened this
way, he was glad he got the chance. He gives a lot of credit to the director
Shoojit Sircar who had been living with the story for over 20 years. He mentions
that he is a fan of the director and simply mentioned to him that he was a fan
of his work. Kaushal told Sircar, that whenever Sircar felt that Kaushal could be
a part of his world he can call him and he would jump at the opportunity.
His knowledge on Udham Singh was cursory. He had to learn a lot about where
all the revolutionary went, lived and the different disguises he donned and
finally avenged the Jallianwala massacre by killing O’Dwyer.
When asked about what was harder to play, a real or a fictional character, Vicky said that a real character was harder
to play. It has boundaries and no place for fictionalized characterization.
Vicky has 2 upcoming releases in December, The Immortal Ashwathama and Takht.
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY AISHWARYA RAI
SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY LIKE THE NIGHT OF CLOUDLESS CLIMES AND STARRY SKIES;
AND ALL THAT’S BEST OF DARK AND BRIGHT”.
which is her mother tongue, Aish can speak
Tulu, Tamil, Bengali and Marathi.
Aish was the first choice for Ashutosh Gowarikar
magnum opus Jodha Akbar. An interesting fact
is that she wore brown colored lenses in order
to authenticate the Jodha look in the film.
Some of her notable works include, a
proud passionate artist in Kandukonden
Kandukonden, Tagore’s Binodini in Choker
Bali, Kiranjit Ahluwalia in the British drama
film Provoked, the historicals Jodha Akbar
and Guru. Other than that she played several
interesting roles; a thief in Dhoom 2, a
depressed woman in Raincoat, Rajinikant’s
love interest in Enthiran ( Robot ), Umrao in
the remake of Umrao Jaan, to name a few.
Some fun facts about Aish;
-She was barely in her 9th grade when she
starred in a commercial for Camelin pencils.
-She would have played Amir Khan’s lead in
Lord Byron’s lines from his famous poem ‘She Raja Hindustani, but she had decided against
walks in beauty’ come to my mind when I think it and instead pursued her studies in architecture.
of Aishwariya Bacchan, winner of the Miss World -She was the first Indian actor to be on the Cannes
title in 1994. . Let’s wish her a very Happy Film Festival jury.
birthday as she celebrates her 47th year on
November 1. Aish as she is fondly called was -She is the 2nd actor after her father-in-law
born on November 1, 1973, in Mangalore. She Amitabh Bachchan to have a wax statue of herself
has made quite a mark for herself as a beauty at Madame Tussaud’s.
with talent, starring in movies across the world. -She loves spa treatments with aromatherapy!
After modeling for several advertisements, she -A special variety of tulips in the famous Keukenhof
started her career with the illustrious director, garden in the Netherlands was named after her
Mani Ratnam in the movie “ Iruvar” ( The two of in 2005.
them ).Mani Ratnam is known for a great body
of work in different genres. Aish went on to do She will be next seen in the historical drama,
Guru and Ravan under his baton in her later Ponniyin Selvan ( Ponni’s Selvan ), popularly
years. She starred with Abhishek Bachchan in known as PS1 and PS2. It’s a two-part film
both these movies. She also held her own against adaptation of Kalki’s famous historical fiction of
the legendary Madhuri Dixit in the movie Devdas. the same name. We wish her more success as she
Madhuri is quite well known for her dancing approaches a new decade of her life!
prowess and Asih did not stay far behind her in
the movie. She is a trained classical dancer and
quite the linguist. Besides Hindi and Kannada
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY AISHWARYA RAI HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kartik Aryan
SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY LIKE THE NIGHT OF CLOUDLESS CLIMES AND STARRY SKIES;
AND ALL THAT’S BEST OF DARK AND BRIGHT”.
two award ceremonies and endorses several
products. He featured in Forbes India’s list of
100 celebrities. For 2019.
Being an outsider, he had to struggle a lot to
gain a foothold in the industry. Only after signing
his first film did, he mention it to his parents.
At the insistence of his mom, he finished his
engineering degree before signing his second
film. Although his film Akashvani was not a
great success, the chemistry between him and
Nusrat Barucha was recognized by the critics.
Barucha was paired with him in PKP 1 and 2.
Aryan got a break with the well-known director
Shubhash Ghai who has made many hit movies
in the past. Aryan had a small role in the movie
Kartik Aaryan Tiwari was born on November Kanchi where he was paired with the fresh faced
22nd, 1990 in Gwalior to doctor parents. He is Mishti. The film did not do very well, but Aryan
one of the promising actors of Bollywood. Having was again noticed for his work.
won awards for two of his films, Kartik Aaryan
is poised to be one of the upcoming talents in He is also a hidden poet and story writer.
Bollywood. He has a degree in Biotechnology Apparently, he keeps himself fit by playing soccer
and entere the tinsel world during his first year in and table tennis. A fun fact about him is that
college. He made his debut in the hit movie ‘Pyar his parents lost him in the crowded Karol Bagh
ka Punchnama’ co-starring with Nusrat Barucha. area of New Delhi when he was four years old.
He went on to collaborate further with her in Sonu Another fun fact ; Kartik Aryan was adjudged
ki Titu ki Seety and Pyar ka punchnama 2. These by PETA as the hottest vegetarian celebrity in
were both very successful films. His monologues 2018. The police found him after several hours
in Pyar Ka Punchnama movies were very well of searching. Well the parents would have lost
received. The 4 minute and 7 minute long their child no doubt and Bollywood may have
notoriously funny dialogues were done in a single lost a good actor with the winning smile!
shot. That goes a long way in saying about his On his birthday we wish him major success
talent. Although critics branded these 2 movies in his career and look forward to his coming
as misogynist his performance was lauded. Sonu project, Dhamaka, a thriller, which is going to
ki… proved to be a major breakthrough for him. be released on Netflix shortly.
He landed plum roles in the romantic comedies
Luka Chupi and Pati Patni aur Woh. In addition
to his career in the movies, Aaryan has cohosted
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BY: ASHVI THAKKAR
I love these new toys!
These sparkly shoes!
Can I have maybe two?
I dont like dolls anymore
I don’t like sparkly shoes
I don’t want any candy it’s bad for you
Can you take me to the mall
I wanna see my friends
It’s only 2 hours i’ll probably just have dinner there
Can I have some money?
Can I buy this shirt?
Can I get new jewelry?
Can I buy this skirt?
I’m an adult now and start treating me like one.
I’m not a little girl anymore.
I’m moving out
Ill miss you guys
i’ll see you every couple of months
.. ...... .ma..papa
Mama, Papa i miss you
I wish I had more time
You never said no
You never let me cry You took my burdens And you held
I took you for granted
cant stop crying
I didn’t visit enough
I barely even called
And now it’s too late because..
Both of you are gone.
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K KIDS CORNER
Listen to Kids Club with Ambreen Hasnat every
Wednesday from 3:00- 4:00 pm.
Did you Know?
If you want to wish your child a Happy Birthday,
Please send message to [email protected]/[email protected]
For all submissions of your kids talent: Poem, short stories, Jokes, Artwork please
send submissions to [email protected]/[email protected]
DesiPages DFW | November 2021 VOL 33 | 29
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MELODIOUS ECHOES contribution
by the unsung genius, Jaidev.
The song has been picturized
on the evergreen hero of
Bollywood, Dev Anand and
the charming innocent faced
Sadhana. One can tell that Rafi
delivered this song with Dev
Anand in his mind. Being the
trained musician that he was,
he never leaves a single note
incomplete. The diction, the
softness of his voice almost like
it is being whispered all work
towards expressing a longing
still in the heart of the lover!
“Can’t you stay for some more time dear?!” Rafi focusses on complete
asks the boy. “Not any longer dear”, says the bhava (expression) and the tiny harkats( vocal
girl. “Don’t go now, my heart yearns more for gymnastics ) could be missed by most listeners,
you”, says the boy longingly gazing at the large but not a singer of course! In contrast Asha
limpid eyes covering most of her soft pretty stuns you with the harkats. When I hear her,
face. When you add music and poetry to this her harkats come to the forefront and her
conversation it takes you to a different world. expression of the song is very different than
Don’t you all think so? Rafi’s. His is introverted, sublime like a poet’s.
Duets in Indian films have occupied a pivotal Asha’s is extroverted almost like a dancer’s!
role in taking a story forward. From the Duets are dialogues between 2 characters. So,
beginning of a budding romance to ultimately the approach of the singers towards a duet
getting together in marriage can be covered in should be like that of a pair of dancers sharing
a song and much more effectively by a romantic the same arena or a pair that is playing in a
duet. The conversation mentioned above does sports team. Individual excellence is essential,
behoove a great romantic song. The song that but even more important is establishing a
comes to my mind communication
is of course the best between each other.
one ever, “Abhi na Take the above
jao chod kar” from song, for example.
the movie Hum Dono. If this was a spoken
Sung in the honey- dialog between the
soaked voices of 2 characters, it could
Mohammed Rafi and have probably ended
Asha Bhosle, the lyrics in an argument.
are penned by the When music comes
incomparable Sahir in, so does poetry.
Ludhyanvi and music
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understanding of the situation
present. Unlike a solo song where
the singer is often reminiscing,
expressing the feeling towards a
person or a situation by themselves,
a duet is mostly sung keeping the
existing situation in mind. Its in the
present and the mood can change
towards the end of the song. The
song ‘Kya Mausam hai’ from the
movie “Doosra Aadmi” is a good
example of this. Filmed on Rakhee,
Rishi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor this
And then love blooms and the whole scenario song starts off with Rishi proposing
changes! a romantic alliance with Rakhee a woman older
I have seen that in general the language of than himself with a tragic past. Kishore Kumar
duets is not very heavy either. voices Rishi and Lata is the voice of Rakhee. The
It is very conversational and written bearing song has been written by Majrooh Sultanpuri and
the scene in mind. Take for example the the music is by Rajesh Roshan. The movie has
duet “Aapki ankhon mein kuch” from Ghar, several beautiful, hummable numbers. Coming
starring Rekha and Vinod Mehra. The scene is back to the song, “Kya Mausam hai” you get
extremely soft and romantic. The whole mood the subtle feeling that Rakhee is attracted to this
of a newly wedded couple spending their young man who is estranged from his newly wed
first months of marriage in marital euphoria wife, who also reminds her of her dead lover.
has been brought about very tenderly in this And while she is getting warmed up to this new
song. Penned by Gulzar and set to music by sensation inside her, she is suddenly reminded
RD Burman, this duet is arguably one of the of her dead lover. Rafi saab sings four lines in
finest songs sung by Kishore Kumar and Lata a high pitch for Shashi Kapoor. It is said that he
Mangeshkar. barely practiced for his lines as he had no time
The different singing styles of Lata and to come to the rehearsals. But these lines are the
Kishore add to the richness of the song. You pivotal point of the entire song! Rakhee stabilizes
can feel the hearts of the singers and their herself and comes back with a great rejoinder to
distinctly different approaches towards music. Rishi’s proposal, “chal kahin door nikal jaye” (
Lata’s approach and focus in bringing out the let’s get lost and disappear from this world with
‘bhava’ of love and intimacy is brought about each other) with “accha hai sambhal jayein” ( its
in a very melodious form. She never misses a good if we regain composure).
chance to embellish a note and bring out the
beauty of a particular phrase. The little soft Will continue….
giggle after the line,’ bewajah taarif karna
aapki aadat to nahi” fits in perfectly with
the conversational style of the song. Kishore
Kumar’s laid back and stylish approach
comes as a pleasant contrast to our ears.
The art of singing a duet comes from a deeper
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omg 2 BOLLYWOOD BONANZA
The shooting of OMG 2 starring Akshay Kumar and is all set to start
soon. OMG starred Askshay Kumar along with Paresh Rawal.
This time Askhay will be playing Lord Shiva. Sharing his first
look poster on Twitter, Akshay wrote, “Need your blessings
and wishes for #OMG2, our honest and humble attempt to
reflect on an important social issue. May the eternal energy
of Adiyogi bless us through this journey”. .
The film stars Pankaj Tripathi (Criminal Justice) in the role
played by Rawal earlier and Yami Gautam.Rawal was
earlier approached to reprise his role in the earlier film.
Allegedly he demanded more money than his market
value, as he felt that he was the primary actor in OMG.
He also seems to have demanded a profit-share in the
movie and that was not acceptable to the producers. The
shooting was supposed to start on OCt 13 with Askshay
but got postponed after a few crew members tested positive
for COVID-19. The film that is being shot in Indore and Ujjain
is directed by Amit Rai. Ujjain is famous for its Mahakaal temple
and some of the shooting is going to be held in the temple.
‘Lal Singh Chadda’
Kareena has said that she was delighted to be seen again
with her favorite co star Aamir Khan in the movie ‘Lal
Singh Chaddha’.This movie is a remake of Tom Hanks’
famous ‘ Forrest Gump’.Kareena has said that her co star
Aamir Khan went through a lot while the film was being
made over the last two years. This film unites Kareena with
Khan after they made ‘3 Idiots’ and ‘Talaash’ together.
Advait Chandan who made his directorial debut with the
film ‘ Secret Superstar’ has directed this film. The script
has been written by Actor-writer Atul Kulkarni along with
Eric Roth. Eric incidentally had adapted the 1986 novel
of the same name for Tom Hanks. Kareena shot the film
last year when she was pregnant with her second child
and says that shooting for this film gave her confidence
that she can work with fewer people on the set. Lal
Singh Chaddha will be released during the upcoming
Valentine’s Day. It also stars Naga Chaitnya and Mona
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goodreads LESSONS LEARNT FROM INDRA NOOYI
HONOR YOUR ROOTS
Ms Nooyi ‘s pride in her roots
shines through her life story. I
was delighted to read about her
childhood in Chennai which
happens to be my hometown as
well. Like many of us, she is a
product of a multigenerational
household. Her role model was
her grandfather and she credits
her family for nurturing in her the
seeds of hard work, determination
and a desire to excel. Her higher
education was strongly supported
by her family. At IIM Calcutta,
Indra Nooyi’s 1976 batch had
only 5 girls out of 100. She was
already starting to blaze the trail.
Years later, she was also amongst
the first to wear a saree in a male-
dominated global boardroom,
honoring her roots and breaking
norms yet again.
Indra Nooyi, former CEO and Chairman of Pepsi IT’S OKAY TO BE A WORKAHOLIC
is an iconic role model and trailblazer. As the first AND A MOM
woman of color and immigrant who rose to become
the CEO of a Fortune 50 company, her success is Ms Nooyi’s deep-rooted passion for her work,
extra-ordinary. I enjoyed every chapter and page in every one of her roles whether as consultant,
in her book, ”My Life in Full, Work, Family and strategist or CEO has been one of the strongest
Our Future” narrated in her distinctive voice. I also drivers of her success. What I loved about her
attended a virtual fireside chat with her. Her energy candid disclosure was that even though she
was very strong and palpable even in an online cherished her role as a mom, her love for her
setting. Her striking smile, intelligence and warm work was also very strong. Ms. Nooyi does
personality are evident from her conversations. acknowledge her sense of guilt when work took
away time with her daughters, but at the same
Her story is sprinkled with gratitude to all who were time, makes no apology for her ambition. Ms.
part of her success. Here are a few themes that Nooyi spent endless hours, days, and nights
stood out to me from her book:
working, along with being a mom to two
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daughters. She truly loved her challenging roles and
was a passionate problem-solver. “Hard work is in
my DNA”, she says.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS GIVING BACK IS KEY
Ms Nooyi said she slowly over time learnt that Ms Nooyi’s compassion is reflected in her
playing the CEO role also meant dressing the part. desire to keep giving back to meaningful
From initially being most comfortable in sarees, she causes. All of her academic institutions in
developed her style of sporting business suits in her India and the US that she is a proud product
characteristic elegance, acknowledging the help she of, have benefited from her very generous
received in shaping her corporate wardrobe to what contributions which have gone a long way
it is today. in enhancing the infrastructure for the next
generation of learners.
VALUE YOUR MENTORS AND YOUR
HELPFUL COMMUNITY CIRCLE PURPOSE IS YOUR LIFE’S DRIVER
Ms Nooyi has acknowledged every one of her Her strong message of living a life of purpose
supervisors, executive assistants and household resonates through her book. “Performance with
helpers (who worked behind the scenes) to keep Purpose” was her mantra for Pepsico’s success
her boat afloat. She admits that nothing can be and she reiterates that purpose translates not
accomplished in isolation and is very thankful to her just to work and business, but life itself.
mentors who supported her career growth, including URGENT CALL TO LEADERS
companies who granted her paid maternity leave and “I think the fundamental role of a leader is to
paid-time off during difficult times. She is grateful look for ways to shape the decades ahead, not
to her mom for being a strong rock of support and just react to the present,” she says. She makes
ensuring she left “her crown in the garage” when she an urgent call to business leaders that we
walked into the house.
need stronger support structures for families to
SUPPORTIVE ROLE OF MEN balance work and home priorities. To retain
Ms Nooyi is vocal about male supervisors who broke strong talent in corporate America, we need
norms to support her, (most certainly recognizing more flexibility and support systems that help in
her extraordinary potential). This included a senior balancing priorities, rather than choosing one
executive picking up her daughter from school, the over the other. She says, the question is “how
CEO chartering a plane for the team to meet in we can make it easier for all family builders,
her office when she was 9 months pregnant, and not just women, to integrate work and family.”
another supervisor offering her 6 months time-off I loved that she says this is not a “feminist”
to tend to her ailing father. Her husband busted the approach but that of an “economist”.
most common stereotype about Indian husbands. He Kudos to the girl from Chennai, India who
was her sounding board who encouraged her career broke many barriers and glass ceilings to
growth, making tremendous sacrifices himself and become a powerful woman of substance and
juggling his successful career to support Ms. Nooyi’s. an iconic global leader who continues to
It’s evident that her husband was her backbone, a spread her message and make a meaningful
remarkable individual who shackled tradition and impact to society and the future generations.
norms of the typical Indian husband/dad.
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venues across the region, with some venues
taking prominence.All across DFW , this festial
was celelbrate with much vigour and pomp
Our entire community also came forward to
celebrate Navratri with renowned Garba artist
Kinjal Dave at Delta Marriott center in Allen, It
was FunAsia, IMHS and Big FM presentation
which was produced by Vaishali Thakkar and
Moody Akhtar.The event was very well received
by thousands of people of our vibrant community
Our community also celebrated ‘Mahatma
Gandhi Jayanti ‘ on october 2nd.
Mahatma Gandhi’’s message of non-violence,
respect and tolerance matters today, maybe
more than it ever has, a top US official has said
A big hello to the vibrant community of the DFW as glowing tributes to the global peace icon
metroplex. were paid across America on the occasion of his
I am so glad that we are connecting with the entire 152nd birth anniversary.
community on so many levels, and “Desi Pages” is Hundreds of followers of Mahatma Gandhi held
one of the best platforms where we can bring the prayer meetings and paid floral tributes to the
community together. apostle of peace in cities across the United States
I was so delighted to read in the news that this a grand style in many major cities of USA, where
year onwards, October is being honored as Hindu there is a large Indian population.
Heritage Month. Hindus in the US are celebrating We at Fun Asia always want to help entire
October as the Hindu Heritage Month. So far, more community, in every possible way. We have helped
than half a dozen states have issued proclamations many individuals and a few organizations in the
in this regard. past month to promote the activities and talk
Festivals find an important place in the cultural about their vision. Few organizations who came
agenda of the Indian diaspora in the U.S. Navratri on air included DFW Hindu temple, Chinmaya
is one prominent festival which is celebrated mission and Maharashtra Mandal during our
gloriously by a vibrant Indo-American population weekly ‘Community Round-up’ radio program.
of over 2 million. The celebration of this nine- As you all are aware, ‘Community Round-up’ is a
day-nine-night Hindu festival, dedicated to Maa weekly segment to help all nonprofit associations,
Durga and her nine manifestations of the cosmic religious and social organizations to promote
energy, is as much known for its deep religiosity their organizations, events, and activities. It airs
as for its invigorating dance and cultural events. every Saturday, between 2 PM and 3 PM on
The Sharad Navratri, which marks the onset of 104.9 FM.
winter, has grown very popular in recent times
owing to the resplendent decoration, dances and If you are part of any non-profit organizations
music performances. Besides, it gives people from or if you are an individual trying something for
different communities a great opportunity to blend community and would like to be a guest on our
in and mix socially. weekly segment “Community Roundup,” then
please do email me at [email protected]
This festival is as much about spirituality and In this short amount of time, we have received
religious connect as it is about celebration through an overwhelming amount of support from the
song, music and dance. The latter is the most community for this new segment. Once again, I
popular part of the festival in the U.S am thankful to our dynamic CEO, Mrs. Vaishali
Navratri festival celebration involves folk dancing Thakkar, for her exceptional leadership in
and singing and a special procession around our endeavor to reach out to the community.
various an image or symbolic representation of Once again, many thanks to the community for
Hindu goddesses. It attracts people to different continually supporting FunAsia Radio and helping
us in ‘Bringing The Community Together’.
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THE GARBA QUEEN
By Navneeta Khemka
Kinjal Dave ‘s videos have gone viral all over Ami Gujarati Leri Lala, Chote Raja, Mojma
YouTube. She has the mid octave voice that is and Kanhaiya. Till date Kinjal has released
so suited for the folk songs that she sings and more than 100 albums. She got engaged
entertains thousands of Gujaratis all over the in 2018 to her long-term boyfriend, Pavan
world. Her videos have raked up as many Joshi who is a businessman.
views as Arijit Singh! This shows the immense
popularity, folk music holds in the hearts of Kinjal is in great demand during the Garba
the people of Gujarat. festivities. This time around Dallas was graced
with her presence. FunAsia hosted her and
A veritable pop star in her own right Kinjal organized one of the biggest Garba Events
is barely out of her teens! The famous Garba under the leadership of Vaishali Thakkar and
Queen from Gujrat, India was born on 24 Moody Akhtar. It was a blissful evening and
November 1999 in Patan, Gujrat, India. She had the authentic feel of Garba. She graced
finished her schooling from Udgam School in the stage with melody and poise and the
Ahmedabad. She debuted the music
industry with the song ‘Jonadiyo’.
She has also acted in a movie,
‘Dada ho Dikri”. She was born into
a vee ordinary family in Banaskantha
Gujarat. She sang her first bhajan in
public when she was barely 7 years
old. It was a bhajan called, ‘Kanha ne
manao koi Mathura ma jao”. Some
of her popular numbers include. Leri
Lala, Gogo Gogo Maro Gom Dhani,
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huge crowd swayed to her songs.
Kinjal reminisces in one of her interviews how
as a young girl she would sing at shows at In an interview on RJNeelam Dave’s show on
night and would ride back home sleeping Funasia Radio Kinjal mentioned that during her
on her father’s bike. Her dad would cover youth days she performed at different places
her with sweaters and tie her with him with a like school functions, cultural events, and at
dupatta so that she wouldn’t fall off. Coming community gatherings. Her father and uncle
from such humble beginnings to astounding use to write songs and sing folk songs and that
inspired her to become a singer. She
firmly believes that the blessings of
God( her family deity chehar mataji)
and her parents coupled with her
sincerity towards giving good music
to her audience is what has brought
about this popularity and wealth for
She is youth icon and she has huge
fan following. Her favorite Color is
Blue, Red, and Orange. Her Favorite
Actress is Aishwarya Rai. Her Favorite
Actor is Aamir Khan. Her Favorite TV
Show is Sacred Games. Her Favorite
Food is Pav Bhaji. Her Favorite Cars
Collection is Fortuner and Audi.
We at FunAsia DesiPages wish this
success, Kinjal’s story is truly a rags to riches young Gujarati superstar all the best for her
one that can inspire a lot of people. Even as a future!
young girl, she would insist on singing, rather
than ask for toys or fancy dresses. Kinjal
would accompany her father as a young
girl to several programs and would insist on
singing from the stage! Such was her passion
for singing, Kinjal said in an interview in a
TV channel. She says humbly and with great
maturity that she started singing to help her
struggling household. To make music her full-
time career was not in her mind earlier on.
Kinjal mentions that her dad aspired to be
a singer but couldn’t become one, so when
he found that she could sing, worked hard to
make her a famous singer.
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LORD RAMA, MOTHER SITA, AND BROTHER LAXMAN’S RETURN TO
By Parul Bhatia
neighbors or friends or coworkers in the
US. However what Diwali means to us is
perhaps difficult to explain to people - just
like Hanukkah would be difficult to explain
to those who haven’t truly experienced it, or
Eid or Lohri, - who haven’t experienced it
while growing up.
Deepavali, which literally means a row of
clay lights, is a festival that unifies India, our
Motherland, and Indians all over the globe.
It is celebrated everywhere in India and is
part of our psyche, our consciousness, and
our collective experience. It all begins when
we complete Ravan dhahan (burning of the
effigy of Evil King Ravana, who had abducted
Sita) on Dusshera. That’s when the nearness
of this festival starts kicking in.
The idea behind Diwali is a common thread
that runs through the fabric of the lives of
Indians. The streets are lit with lights and
“Diwali?.. Yes we have heard of it. Tell me colorful lamp shades and the houses start
about it” says my Moroccan neighbor one sparkling with colorful gleam, decorated
October morning as our kids go off to school with lights that are mostly of red, and yellow,
and we wave them a cheery “see you later and sometimes other colors too. The shops
boys”. begin mounting boxes of sweets and savories
”Hmm, oh well,– it’s one of our
biggest festivals .. it’s a festival
that is celebrated by all Indians”
I say. Growing in a country which
celebrates Eid and Christmas, and
many other festivals – it is, in my
opinion, a festival that is experienced
by all Indians – no matter what
We’ve often offered expressions such
as “it’s a festival of lights, it’s what
we do to celebrate good over evil,
it’s our Indian Christmas” to our
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our capital city Delhi
- I grew up with my
cousins. We enacted
Ramayana and had
before we put on a
show on a stage that
we built illustriously
(with the help of many
It was our private
company - led by us
– the kids of Shyam
Nivas (the name of
our house). We sold
and are decorated in bright colors. On this
auspicious occasion people pray for prosperity tickets, played many characters, and ended
and humbly seek the blessings of Goddess with applause and compliments from parents
Lakshmi, known to be the Goddess of wealth. and relatives. It was so satisfying almost as
Additionally, people cook traditional food and much as the gunjia and the mathari (savories)
sweets filled with flavor, bringing about deep and the chum chum that I ravenously ate
satisfaction of taste. during Diwali.
On the day of Diwali, families buy new clothes
and jewelry. They also decorate their homes We buy crackers and you can hear their
with rangoli. Rangoli is colorful yantras they resounding pitter patter weeks ahead of
make through dry powder colors. Diwali as the sky lights up with rockets
It may be celebrated with different reasoning (crackers). This Festival of Lights truly lights up
in different regions of India. This explanation the homes’ exterior and interior as well. And
is well captured in this direct quote taken from it would be no imagination of mine if I added
National Geographic Kids: that the light further reaches the interior of
our being itself, lighting it up with feeling of
love and respect for all. Undoubtedly such
• In northern India, they celebrate the story
of King Rama’s return to Ayodhya after he is the power of the festival that the spirit is
defeated Ravana by lighting rows of clay lit with hope and anticipation. People use
lamps. this festival as an occasion to declutter their
• Southern India celebrates it as the day homes and I hope that all this cleaning and
that Lord Krishna defeated the demon organizing ends up in detoxifying our hearts
Narakasura. too. Let’s get ready to welcome Lord Rama,
• In western India the festival marks the day Mother Sita, and Brother Laxman to out
that Lord Vishnu, the Preserver (one of the homes as they return to Ayodhya after trials
main gods of the Hindu trinity) sent the and tribulations. Let us, too, win over our
demon King Bali to rule the nether world. own barriers in a world which needs more
and more light in our hearts.
As an Indian who was raised in Ghaziabad
(Uttar Pradesh) - which is on the outskirts of
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