Indian-American Book Review

Book Review: Captain Riddle’s Treasure

Here is a review of a recent book by Indian American author GV Rama Rao, a retired Commander of the Indian Navy.

Review from Amazon

The young-adult fiction, “Captain Riddle’s treasure” an interesting book that children and their parents are bound to enjoy. In the book, Rao skillfully weaves humor and action to keep readers engaged.

The story is that of three kids who have been punished for fighting with their siblings. Banished by the Night Fairy to a deserted island, they must find their way back home using their wits.

Rao draws on his seafaring experiences to imagine the adventures the children might encounter during a voyage onboard a one-of-a-kind ship. The book also has a healthy dose of pirates, leprechauns, a fire-spewing dragon, a knight astride a lion, and the Night Fairy herself; enough to keep any child imagining the art of the possible.

An engaging story for young-adults and their parents alike
-Amazon Review

 

More details of the book on GaramChai.com | You may also be interested in the Books section of GaramChai

When everything is available in the USA, why do people carry so much stuff from India?

This was an interesting question that came from an online forum.

Indeed, US is the land of plenty and almost everything is available in the US. Indian Grocery shops – check out our extensive listing – can be found in almost every city and metro in the US. They stock a wide array of ethnic food, utensils, cookers and trinkets. Indians still prefer to carry suit-case full of ‘stuff’ while traveling to the US. A few weeks ago, we responded to a similar question “Where do I buy Indian mangoes in the USA?”

Here are a few practical reasons why Indians might ‘stuff’ their baggage while traveling to the US.

  1. Food-stuff and dry-grocery – to be used during the initial few days after they land. Many Indian visitors are used to home-cooked food and might plan to cook a dinner/lunch at an extended-stay hotel or at an apartment. [Why don’t they just drive to an Indian store for grocery stuff? Because it may not be possible to drive down during the first few days. ]
  2. Clothing – Indian ethnic wear, like Indian Sarees, Chudidhar (for women) and Kurtas (for men) sell at a steep premium. It is practical to carry sufficient number of these. Indian clothing can be heavy, adding to the baggage!
  3. Trinkets, Curios, handicrafts – ‘what did you get for me?’ is a typical question colleagues, friends and neighbors might ask. Indians returning back to the US generally carry a bagful of typical curios for others and some for themselves
  4. Mom’s pickles – Pickles, papads, ‘homemade’ masalas and savories are perennial favorites even though US customs officers have been known to randomly pick and discard some of these
  5. Indian Utensils – Some folks carry Indian utensils, cookers, mixers and even wet-grinders. Such stuff can be expensive in the US.

Requests from family and friends. Family and friends in the US are sure to make requests from 1, 2, 3 which returning-Indians might be obliged to bring back.

Sushma Swaraj: Even if you are stuck on the Mars, Indian Embassy there will help you.

Last week, NBC’s Megyn Kelly asked Indian PM Modi if he is on Twitter

Indian digirati quickly took to social media asking Ms. Kelly to do her homework before interviewing world leaders. At last count, beloved NaMo had over 30 million followers!

NaMo

With 8 million plus followers, Indian External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj continues to make waves. In the past, we have blogged “NRIs wonder: How do I bring my issue to the attention of Sushma Swaraj?”

Her latest tweet is a bit Tongue-in-cheek, but may not be too far fetched.

 

What do you think about the Indian student touching his American dean’s feet?

mata, pita, guru, deivam.

An Indian Student Touched His American Dean’s Feet And Left Him & The World Happily Surprised

 

Our editor responds:

During my travels around the world, I have been greeted with a Namaste more times than I care to recollect. Many global airlines (e.g Lufthansa – ‘more Indian than you think) have also used this as a marketing gimmick.

The guy in that viral video, Gaurav Jhaveri, must have been genuinely overwhelmed to be receiving his diploma, and probably did so subconsciously, without thinking.

Matha, Pitha, Guru, Deivam is a Sanskrit phrase. The Hindus believe that this is the order in which reverence should be offered.

As for touching an elder’s feet, I am pleasantly surprised. I thought the practice was slowly dying away India. Glad to see at least a few youngsters continue this tradition.

“Science Behind Touching Feet In India” – hindulegends.com

Also in the media:

Over 30,000 Indians overstayed in U.S. in 2016: US Government

This week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Entry/Exit Overstay Report. 

Last week we heard of a “58-Year-Old Indian Man Detained At Atlanta Airport By US Immigration” who died in custody. The question of illegal and overstay of visas is extremely nebulous. The other question still remains unanswered: In an age of additional scrutiny by Trump government, Indians and others still have an urge to overstay the duration of their approved visas.

One of the tables from the report highlighting overstays.

DHSOverstay

A few facts about Indians highlighted in the report:

  • Of the 30,000, a little over 6,000 Indian nationals left the U.S. after the expiry of their visas, the report said.
  • In 2016, more than one million Indians who came to the U.S. on business, tourist or pleasure were expected to leave the country. Of these, 17,763 have overstayed in the country, it said.
  • Among the overstayed are 2,040 Indians who departed the U.S. only after the expiry of their visas.
  • This year’s report also includes visitors who entered on a student or exchange visitor visa (F, M, or J visa). Of the 1,457,556 students and exchange visitors scheduled to complete their program in the United States in FY16, 79,818 stayed beyond their authorized window for departure, resulting in a 5.48 percent overstay rate. Of the 79,818, 40,949 are suspected in-country overstays (2.81 percent).
  • In 2016, as many as 9,897 Indian students or exchange scholars were expected to depart by the end of the year and of which, 4,575 overstayed their legal period.
  • 1,561 Indian students and exchange visitors left the country after their visas expired, while 3,014 of them have overstayed in the country, the report said.

Copy of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Entry/Exit Overstay Report.

The findings of the report were highlighted extensively in the Indian media

 

Court orders nationwide staffing company CEO to pay $135K in back wages, damages to former live-in domestic worker

US Labor Department investigation found severe underpayment, callous mistreatment?

SAN DIEGO ? The CEO of a leading U.S. staffing company will pay a former live-in domestic service worker $135,000 in back wages and damages under the terms of a consent judgment entered into the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

The judgment, entered on April 11, 2017, resolves a complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Labor on Aug. 22, 2016. An investigation by thedepartment?s Wage and Hour Division found that Himanshu Bhatia willfully and repeatedly violated the Fair Labor Standards Act?sminimum wage and record keeping provisions from July 2012 to December 2014, as well as the act?s anti-retaliation provision.

The complaint alleged that Bhatia paid her domestic service worker a fixed monthly salary of $400 plus food and housing at Bhatia?s home in San Juan Capistrano and other residences in Miami, Las Vegas and Long Beach. Investigators found that the employee suffered callous abuse and retaliation, including being forced to sleep on a piece of carpet in the garage when ill, while Bhatia?s dogs slept on a mattress nearby. The complaint also alleged that Bhatia confiscated her employee?s passport.

Himanshu Bhatia

Bhatia terminated the worker in December 2014 after she found her employee researching ?labor laws? online, and after the worker refused to sign a document stating she was being paid an adequate salary and had no employment dispute with Bhatia.

?This consent judgment underlines the department?s commitment to protecting workers from exploitation,? said Janet Herold, solicitor for the department?s Western Region. ?The department will take strong and immediate action to ensure that workers are protected against retaliation.?

The consent judgment orders the defendant to pay $135,000 in damages, including back wages, liquidated damages and other damages.

For more information about federal wage laws administered by the division, call the agency?s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.

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Release Number: 17-441-SAN


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