Community News Bites: Banaprastha and Urhalpool

ECTA’s latest production “Banaprastha” premiered at the Edison Valley Playhouse on May 16th in front of a full house. The play was very well received by the audience as you can see in the accompanying video.  The second show was held on May 17th. Besides the video comments, here are some of the comments sent over the email.

We thoroughly enjoyed Banaprasta. This is a very timely production. I wish this drama can be viewed by millions Indians in India in view of the fact that India is crazy about Bollywood. Once again congratulations for presenting a great drama.” – Aurobindo Mukherjee

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Neel Kashkari to Oversee $700bn Bailout

Neel KashkariNeel Kashkari, a 35 year old son of immigrant parents Chaman and Sheila Kashkari from Jammu and Kashmir, has been appointed by the Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to oversee and manage the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. This brings Neel directly under the global spotlight as to how he manages this huge and controversial issue that affects millions of people not only in USA, but also all around the globe. The other day, when an NPR radio commentator mentioned that “a rocket scientist” has been invited to rescue the Wall Street, he was not joking. Neel did work as an R&D engineer at TRW in California where he helped in the development of space technology for NASA, like the James Webb Space Telescope scheduled to be launched in 2013 to replace the aging Hubble Telescope. Neel received his engineering training from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, and later an MBA in finance from Wharton School of Univ. of Pennsylvania.
The media is now buzz with this new comer and his name has already been a source of many puns and wise cracks – “Cash Carry” to handle the cash debacle? Isn’t he too young and inexperienced to handle such a grave economic situation?
But many are pinning their hopes on this bright young Indian American. His youth, his creative and out of the box thinking, as well as his engineering background to craft innovative solutions to tough problems, can prove to be an asset in resolving this crisis. We all look forward to Neel to get us out of this black hole.

Indian Food and Nutrition


A Thali of Indian FoodAll around us we find tons of books, websites, and other information about food and nutrition. What we should eat and what not, what foods to avoid for diabetes, what foods to eat to lower cholesterol and what foods to avoid for weight loss. Zillions of nutritionists, dietitians, physicians, nurses, body builders and quacks have made millions writing such books. Most of these books, however, cater to the western food habits. Their meal suggestions, recipes and nutritional information cover only the kind of diet that we Indians hardly eat in our daily lives. Some diet books lightly touch upon some of the Indian foods but they are severely limited to the typical north Indian recipes like tandoori chicken or chicken tikka masala. But if you are a Bengali, then CTM (as they call chicken tikka masala in UK) appears rarely on our diet. We would be interested in knowing whether chhaanar dalna is a healthier meal than shorshe ilish.
Healthy Indian FoodFew months ago, a friend of mine forwarded me an e-book (a pdf file) titled “Indian Foods: AAPI’s Guide to Health, Nutrition, and Diabetes”. This book, written by a team of experts appointed by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) provides an invaluable guide to the Indians living in America to make some sense of their diet in terms of healthiness. The best part of this book is that it contains chapters pertaining to the regional foods of India. For example, in its chapter on Bengali and Oriya cuisine, the author provides a table (no pun intended) showing a typical Bengali diet and how it can be modified to make it healthier.
I’d like to welcome you all to download this book by clicking on this link. AAPI is distributing this book for free. I thank AAPI for providing this valuable resource.

Sri Krishna Janmashtami at Ananda Mandir


Ananda Mandiis celebrating Sri Krishna Janmashtami on Sunday, August 24 From 6:00 AM to 9 :00 PM.

Sri Krishna Janmashtami Sunday, Aug 24, 2008 Extended Temple Hours 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM

6:00 am –Mangal Aarati

6.30 am –Sri Krishna Sahasra Naam Path

7.30 am – 9.30 am –Nitya Puja

10.00 am -11.00 am –Srimad Bhagavad Path

3.00 pm – 6.30 pm –Bhajan Sandhya

7.00 pm - 8.30 pm –Janmashtami Puja & Aarati