The Bounce! is a human-interest story that chronicles the life and adventures of a computer programmer, Raj, as he migrates across four countries spanning three continents. The first half of this engaging story is about Raj’s experience seeking love by moving back from America to India, eventually migrating to Canada with his new bride. During their journey, the couple experiences a tragic loss onboard an international flight.
The second half of the book chronicles the protagonist and his wife bouncing back. It is a story of love, loss and the life of an Indian American who happens to be an accidental beneficiary of globalization and offshoring.
The author’s delicate narrative is, in essence a tragedy to triumph story that should appeal to everyone seeking their inner-hero.
The Bounce! gives an insight into the world of our educated, but globally transient workforce: how immigrants fit into American culture and communities, build their own away-from-home communities, and how they struggle with the age-old immigrant’s dilemma: balancing the adopted worlds’ needs against traditional values and cultures.
It is hard to find words to describe a story like the one that is shared in this book. Based on a true story and written in the first person, it is easy to feel deeply what the protagonist feels as he journeys (literally) through life. As one reads it is easy to feel the young Raj’s initial lightness as he works towards acquiring a green card and pursuing a successful career in the IT world while looking for love. His reserved joy at receiving his green card and the contrast made to the Indian youngsters seen in Bollywood movies, where dancing and singing are commonly observed, had me smiling as I read.
Raj’s initial humor and joy/hope for the future is heavily contrasted with the unthinkable tragedy he later experiences, yet themes of hope are strong throughout the book. The theme, “live in the present,” is subtly woven throughout Raj’s road to healing and hope after heartache. The reader is allowed to experience the whole spectrum of human emotion — humor, joy, love, hope, sorrow, shock, anger and ultimately revelation. These emotions are interwoven with fascinating revelations about various parts of the world, such as Switzerland, Canada, India, and parts of the United States.
This book is perfect for anyone who has experienced love, loss or both. It is especially powerful for those who may have lost a loved one well before it was thought possible. The ending is a poignant testimony to the God-given ability to not only survive a terrible loss, but to thrive as well. This short story was simply put – beautiful. I absolutely loved it and would not wish for any portion to be omitted. I would have loved a few more minutes with Ajay at the end, though!
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Society for Science & the Public Jan. 23 named 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors, with nearly one-third of the field Indian American students.
The competition, in its 77th year, is designed to engage and inspire the next generation of scientific leaders, a joint Regeneron, Society for Science news release said.
Alumni have gone on to win the Nobel Prize, found top science-based companies and invent groundbreaking new medical treatments, it added.
The finalists were selected from a pool of highly qualified entrants based on their projects’ scientific rigor and their potential to become world-changing scientific leaders.
“The Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists are tomorrow’s scientific leaders, and their projects address some of the most urgent challenges we face as a society. Our world has no greater or more important resource than these bright young minds,” said Dr. George D. Yancopoulos, president and chief scientific officer of Regeneron and Science Talent Search winner in 1976.
“I have deep respect and appreciation for each student who conducted extensive scientific research and completed a Regeneron Science Talent Search application. I look forward to what the finalists will achieve, as they add to the list of world-changing accomplishments by Science Talent Search alumni before them,” he said.
Among the finalists are Sidhika Balachandar, of Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Fla., for her project, “Picoscale Mechanics of Atomically Engineered Materials.”
Kavya Kopparapu, of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., was selected for the project, “GlioVision: A Platform for the Automatic Assessment of Glioblastoma Tumor Features, Molecular Identity, and Gene Methylation from Histopathological Images Using Deep Learning.”
San Jose, Calif.-based Lynbrook High School’s Rohan Mehrotra was chosen for his project, “On-Demand Electrically Controlled Drug Release from Resorbable Nanocomposite Films.”
For his project, “SNPpet: Computational Dissection of the Noncoding Genome Reveals Regulatory Sequence Patterns and Disease-Causing Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms,” Rajiv Movva of The Harker School in San Jose, Calif., was named a finalist.
Chythanya Murali, a student at Centennial High School in Ellicott City, Md., was named a finalist for the project, “CAR-NK-Cell Therapy: Raising the Tail of the Survival Curve.”
For her project “Evaluation of Gender Bias in Social Media Using Artificial Intelligence,” Nitya Parthasarathy of Irvine, Calif.-based Northwood High School was named among the 40 finalists.
Mihir Patel was named a finalist as well. The Alexandria, Va.-based Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology student was chosen for the project, “Automating Limb Volume Measurements of Lymphedema Patients Through Computer Vision.”
Advait Patil of Lynbrook High School in San Jose, Calif., was also named among the 13 Indian American finalists for the project, “A High-Throughput Multi-Omics Framework for Global Identification of Novel Molecular Interactions and Genome-Scale Modeling of Multicellular Ecosystems.”
Abilash Prabhakaran of Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colo., was named a finalist for the project, “Selective Transfection Using DiBAC4(3).”
For the project, “Investigating the Developmental Requirements of Sex Chromosome Genes Affected in Turner Syndrome,” Isani Singh, also of Cherry Creek High in Colorado, was named a finalist.
For her project “Reinventing Cardiovascular Disease Therapy: A Novel Dual Therapeutic with FOXO Transcription Factor and AMP Kinase,” Marissa Sumathipala of Broad Run High School in Ashburn, Va., was named a finalist.
Vinjai Vale of Exeter, N.H.-based Phillips Exeter Academy was among the finalists for the project, “A New Paradigm for Computer Vision Based on Compositional Representation.”
And Teja Veeramacheneni of Archbishop Mitty High in San Jose, Calif., was named a finalist for the project, “A Novel 3D Wavelet-Based Co-Registration Algorithm with Improved Accuracy for Fusion of PET and MRI Brain Scans.
“This year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists are some of the best and brightest young scientists and mathematicians in our country,” said Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of Society for Science & the Public and publisher of Science News.
“Their projects demonstrate the remarkable power of scientific curiosity, commitment and the desire to make the world a better place,” she said. “We are eager to see how they shape the future of STEM in our country and impact people all across the globe.”
The finalists will travel to Washington, D.C., from March 8 to 14, where they will undergo a rigorous judging process and compete for more than $1.8 million in awards.
They will also have the opportunity to interact with leading scientists, meet with members of Congress and display their projects to the public at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on March 11, the news release said.
The finalists are each awarded at least $25,000, and the top 10 awards range from $40,000 to $250,000. The top 10 Regeneron Science Talent Search 2018 winners will be announced at a black-tie gala awards ceremony at the National Building Museum next month.
A total of 300 students were chosen as semifinalists Jan. 9, with at least 70 Indian American and South Asian American students selected. The competition began with a field of roughly 1,800 entrants.
Regeneron is only the third sponsor of the Science Talent Search, with a 10-year, $100 million commitment. Regeneron believes that scientists should be the world’s heroes and are committed to fostering the next generation of scientific talent through STEM education efforts, the news release said.
The competition overall awards $3.1 million to provide the opportunities and resources that students need to become the next generation of inventors, entrepreneurs and STEM leaders.
As per media accounts, at least 14 Indian Americans — including four incumbents — are running for the US House of Representatives this year. The list of Indian Americans who have announced their candidacy from various congressional districts across the country include:
Candidate: Aruna Miller District: Maryland’s 6th congressional district Party: Democrat
In May 2017, Maryland State Delegate Aruna Miller became one of the first Indian Americans to jump into fraywhen she filed a “Statement of Candidacy” form with the Federal Election Commission to run for Congress from Maryland’s 6th congressional district. The incumbent John Delaney has announced that he’s not seeking reelection.
Miller, who is a civil engineer by profession, came to the United States at age 7. She first got elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in November 2010. She is a member of the Ways & Means Committee and its subcommittees on revenue, transportation, and education. She is the second Indian American delegate from Maryland to run for Congress in two years. Fellow Democrat Kumar Barve ran unsuccessfully from the neighboring 8th district in 2016. Miller and her husband, David Miller, live in Darnestown, MD, just outside of Washington, DC.
Miller has said her focus areas will be jobs, economy, and infrastructure.
Candidate: Dr. Hiral Tipirneni District: Arizona’s 2nd congressional district Party: Democrat
Dr. Tipirneni, an emergency room physician, first announced her candidacy from Arizona’s 8th districton July 19, 2017. A special election was announced for the seat after the incumbent Rep. Trent Franks resigned on December 8, following a House ethics panel decision to investigate him over sexual harassment charges.
The primary is scheduled for February 27 and the general election for April 24.
Tipirneni’s family immigrated from India when she was three. She grew up in suburban Cleveland and obtained a medical degree from Northeast Ohio Medical University. After serving as Chief Resident of the University of Michigan’s Emergency Medicine program, she and husband, Kishore, whom she met at the medical school, moved to the Phoenix, AZ, area. The couple has three children.
Candidate: Anita Malik District: Arizona’s 6th congressional district Party: Democrat
Businesswoman Anita Malik is running for the US Congress in the 6th congressional district of Arizona. The daughter of immigrants from India, Malik is running for the seat held by three-term Republican, David Schweikert.
Malik believes in fair tax reform that benefits both individuals and small businesses. She is assuring quality, low-cost health coverage for everyone and support to immigrants by policies that unite families and bring diverse talent. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Malik was 7 when her family moved to Arizona where her father worked as a mechanical and computer engineer.
She went on to graduate summa cum laude with degrees in both computer information systems and finance from Arizona State University. She later earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California in 2002.
Candidate: Jitendra Diganvker District: Illinois’ 8th district Party: Republican
Jitendra Diganvker announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Illinois’s 8th congressional district race in November.
If nominated by the Republican party, Diganvker will be facing another Indian American and Democratic incumbent Raja Krishnamoorthi, and it will be the first time two Indian Americans will be facing each other in the congressional general election.
Diganvkar is campaigning on the issues of security, affordability, fairness, and entrepreneurship.
Born in India, Diganvker’s father was a government officer and his mother a teacher. According to his website, he graduated from Shah N. H. Commerce College, in Valsad, Gujarat, with a degree in Business Management and Advanced Accounting.
In 1995, Diganvker immigrated to the United States to pursue his American dream. He got a job working at a small retail store in Chicago, then worked as a ticket auditor for United Airlines. He became an American citizen on February 4, 2003, and after years of hard work and saving money he launched his first business, of renting cars, which he ran for years.
After closing down his car rental business, Diganvker launched his credit card processing firm based in Schaumburg.
Candidate: Vandana Jhingan District: Illinois’ 8th district Party: Republican
Another Indian American running for the Republican Party nomination from Illinois’ 8th district is Vandana Jhingan, a journalist by profession. She is backed by the Republican Hindu Coalition.
Jhingan, a Chicago-based journalist, is the Midwest Bureau Chief of the Indian American cable network TV Asia. Like Krishnamoorthi, she also lives in Schaumburg, Illinois.
Jhingan, who is from New Delhi, came to the United States after graduating in Business Administration from the Faculty of Management Studies in Delhi. She also studied philosophy at University of Delhi.
Candidate: Sapan Shah District: Illinois’ 10th district Party: Republican
A physician by profession, Shah is running from Illinois’ 10th congressional district seat as a Republican.
The 37-year-old candidate from Libertyville mainly plans to focus on the areas including healthcare crisis, taxes and spending; and championing the role of citizen legislators as intended by the nation’s founders.
The seat is currently held by the three-term incumbent Democrat Brad Schneider.
The Republican primary is scheduled for March 20. Shah is competing against two other Republicans, Jeremy Wynes and Doug Bennett, who have already announced their candidacy earlier.
Shah is the founder of Flagship Healthcare, a Chicago firm that supports some 800 physicians and several hospitals across the country.
Candidate: Harry Arora District: Connecticut’s 4th congressional district Party: Republican
Businessman Harry Arora is running for Congress from Connecticut’s 4th congressional district.
Arora, who is seeking the Republican nomination, filed his paperwork with the state to register as a candidate in December. His focus would be on reviving the economy of Connecticut, lowering the cost of healthcare and improving government.
Born in India, Arora came to the United States as a graduate student. After his graduation, he worked for large corporations for a decade.
After working with Amaranth Advisors, LLC, a Greenwich-based hedge fund that collapsed in 2006, Arora started his own investment management firm, ARCIM Advisors, LLC. In 2012, he co-founded Northlander Advisors, an investment firm with a focus on European energy.
Candidate: Abhijit ‘Beej’ Das Party: Democrat District: Massachusetts 3rd congressional District
Abhijit Das, “a constitutional lawyer by training, but an entrepreneur at heart,” as he calls himself, is the first Indian American congressional candidate to run from Massachusetts. He is one of the 13 candidates who have so far entered the race to succeed the retiring Democrat Niki Tsongas, the wife of former presidential candidate and Massachusetts Sen. Paul Tsongas.
Son of immigrants from India, Das — popularly known as “Beej” — grew up in Lowell, MA. After earning his bachelor’s in political science from Middlebury College in Vermont and a JD from the University of Michigan Law School, he worked as a lawyer for a few years. He went on to work for Hilton Worldwide, where he was responsible for the development of its brands on the Indian subcontinent. Das left Hilton to launch his own hospitality business, Troca Hotels & Yachts.
Das says he is running for congress because politicians in “Washington have become overgrown unruly children who can neither get along nor get out of each other’s way.” He says on his website, “We all want an American government as worthy as its people. ”
The primary in the state is on September 4.
Candidate: Sri Preston Kulkarni Party: Democrat District: Texas 22nd congressional district
Sri Preston Kulkarni, who worked as aide to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on the Senate Armed Services Committee, is running from Texas’ 22nd congressional district, which has the largest Indian American population in the state.
The former Foreign Service Officer has spent time in Iraq, Israel, Russia, Taiwan and Jamaica during his 14-year career with the Department of State.
The Democrat says he is running because “hostility and conflict are being inflamed in our own country, through the politics of anger and demagoguery, demonization of specific ethnic and religious groups, threats to rule of law, degradation of women, and an undermining of democratic institutions like a free press.”
The Texas 22nd district, which is in the Greater Houston area, is currently represented by Republican Pete Olson. It has a highly diverse population with 25 percent Hispanics and 18 percent Asians. Having served the country as diplomat, he says he knows how to “push back the tide of fear” and offer “a positive vision for the future that all groups can believe in.”
Candidate: Chintan Desai Party: Democrat District: Arkansas 1st congressional district
Chintan Desai moved to Helena, Arkansas, from California in 2010 to teach fifth graders as part of Teach for America. Seven years later, he’s preparing to take on the three-term incumbent Republican Rick Crawford.
Desai grew up in San Luis Obispo, California, and earned his undergrad degree in political science from the University of California, Davis. “My unlikely story began when my parents moved to this country with little money and even fewer friends,” he says on website. “They lived the American Dream working hard every waking moment to provide their only child a bright future. I had opportunities beyond my wildest dreams — going to college to earn a degree and launching a career in education.”
Desai is running on a progressive platform. Among issues that he’s advocating are making higher education more affordable, closing the income and wealth inequality, sensible gun-control legislation and slowing climate change.
Once a Democratic stronghold, the district is reliably Republican now.
A 34-year-old man of Indian-origin Prabhu Ramamoorthy was arrested by federal authorities in Michigan after a woman co-passenger complained of being sexually assaulted by him after falling asleep on the flight.
Prabhu allegedly groped the 22-year-old seated next to him on a Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas which landed in Detroit early on January 3, the Washington Post reported.
The man, Prabhu Ramamoorthy, who prosecutors said is an Indian national living in the United States on a temporary visa, was charged with aggravated sexual abuse and held without bail after an appearance in federal court in Michigan on Thursday.
The victim told investigators that she woke up to find her pants and shirt unbuttoned and the man’s hand inside her pants.
Federal prosecutor Amanda Jawad said that Ramamoorthy sat between his wife and the victim. He stopped after the victim woke up, and the woman went to the back of the plane to report the incident to a flight attendant, the criminal complaint said.
Two flight attendants told federal investigators that the victim was crying and that her shirt was untied and that her pants were unbuttoned when she reported the incident at about 5:30 a.m., 40 minutes before the plane’s landing, Jawad said. The attendants kept the woman in the back of the plane and offered her a different seat, and while they were talking to the victim, Ramamoorthy’s wife came to the back to see what was going on, Jawad said.
Ramamoorthy was arrested after the plane landed, according to court documents. He told agents in a written statement that he had taken a pill and fallen into a deep sleep, Jawad said, and that he hadn’t done anything besides learning from his wife that the 22-year-old woman was sleeping on his knees.
Magistrate Judge Steven Whalen, who said it was a “very unusual case,” ordered Ramamoorthy to be held pending trial after Jawad successfully argued that he was a flight risk and a potential danger to others around him. The prosecutor said that Ramamoorthy’s wife, who was also living in the United States on a temporary visa, would not make a suitable custodian for him.
Prosecutors said Ramamoorthy, who hails from Tamil Nadu was living in the United States on a temporary visa. He was charged with aggravated sexual abuse and held without bail after an appearance in federal court in Michigan on Thursday.
In another unrelated news, Times of India reported that an Indian doctor has been sentenced to 10 months behind bars in the US for groping two teenage female patients and faces deportation to India after the completion of his jail term.
Arun Aggarwal, 40, was sentenced on Thursday after pleading guilty to four counts of gross sexual imposition.
Police have found a body in the search for a three-year-old girl who went missing after her father reportedly sent her out of the house at 3am as a punishment.
Sherin Mathews has been missing since October 7 after being left in an alley by her home in Dallas, Texas, for refusing to finish her milk.
Police said the remains of a child had been found yesterday in a tunnel around half a mile from the family’s home. Officers said the body was “most likely” that of the missing toddler and efforts to officially identify it are underway today.
Wesley Mathews a native of Kerala in India and his wife Sini adopted the toddler’s from India. She was reportedly malnourished when the Mathews adopted her and police suspect that the little girl also had disabilities, which made it difficult for her to communicate. The three-year-old was last seen when her father reportedly took her outside at 3 AM and made her stand near a tree behind the family’s house as a type of punishment for not drinking milk.
Sherin Mathews saga does not end here, but rather raises more questions:
About parenting: The area behind the house is wooded and infested with wild coyotes. What would possess a parent to leave a three-year-old near the house at 3 AM “as a type of punishment for not drinking milk” ?
About adoption: Adopting a child is hard enough (link). Will stories like this make it harder for innocent parents to adopt children from abroad?
About Indian-Americans: Incidents like these throw a spotlight on the South-Asian, Indian-American and NRI community. Not all the media attention will be positive.
As per the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, only a resident who has resided in India for a period or periods amounting in all to 182 or more in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment.
What is the process if NRI / OCI holder needs to apply for Aadhaar? And if they don’t have their own residential address in India now?
As per the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, only a resident who has resided in India for a period or periods amounting in all to 182 or more in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment.
Keep in mind, Adhaar is not a proof of citizenship. Therefore, people (including US citizen, OCI) legally residing in India are eligible to apply for an Aadhaar card.
‘We Are One’ is a nice book that celebrates diversity in America, especially focused on South Asian toddlers and kids.
Pinky Mukhi, like many Indian mothers in North America began fielding questions from her curious toddler. While answering the questions, the Indian American author was inspired to convert the idea into an illustrated children’s book.
Book Blurb: After Mintu invites his friends over for dinner, he decides he might have made a mistake. He thinks he’s too different from his friends and that they won’t like the same food as his family. Will his mom and friends be able to change his mind?
Sure to instill pride in children for their own food, language, and culture, We Are One is an inspiring story that will lead to a meaningful dialogue with children of all ages.ISBN: 978-1-63177-847-6
‘We Are One’ is a nice children’s book that celebrates diversity in America, especially focused on South Asian toddlers and kids.
The protagonist in the simple story, Mintu is curious and observant, and nothing misses his eyes. He wants to be a soccer player. However, Mintu also realizes that he is different from his American friends. His parents spoke Gujarati at home and his mother made parathas .
Mintu was planning to invite his friends home and was concerned his friends would find him strange for liking parathas. “It smelled, looked, and tasted different from the foods he saw his friends eat.” The narrative builds on from this point with a nice happy ending.
Inspiration for the book
We asked the author, Pinky for her motive behind writing the book:
“I am Indian Mother of a six-year-old curious and observant boy who finds his food, language and culture different from his friends at school and discusses these differences with me at home. He also at times feels food shame. I have written this Children’s book which deals with cultural and physical differences and reveals the secret of oneness despite the differences.”
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
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.
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. ]
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!
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
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
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.