Browsing: People

Profiles of the famous & the infamous, ordinary & the extraordinary people

1 Eboo Patel & Interfaith Youth Core

Dr. Eboo Patel is a man of peace in a time of violence. At a time when a Muslim name automatically gets equated with terrorism and Islam itself is misunderstood, this young Muslim Indian American shows the power of interfaith dialogue.

Recently he was honored in New York with the 2012 Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize, established by Hofstra University with a gift by the Bindras, a prominent Sikh American family in New York. This award has earlier been given to the Dalai Lama, Rabbi Arthur Schneier and Religions for Peace.Patel has been successful in propagating the very commonsense yet outrageous idea that given a choice, young people of different religions will prefer love over hate, peace over violence.

1 Tina & Tarz on Love, Marriage & Reality Shows

” I still have insecurities and I am nowhere near perfect, but Tarz has taught me that no one else’s opinion of me matters besides of those that truly know who I am, such as my family. Being around Tarz’s “life is short so don’t let anything bring you down” mentality gave me the courage and security to be on this Bravo show, as I’m sure there will be quite a bit of smack talk!
We’ve had a year filled with some really tough and tragic moments, which I’m guessing will translate into tons of drama and insane moments on the show-which means those haters will have plenty to feed off of!” – Tina Sugandh on her new reality show on Bravo.
Single Desi Guest Blog

1 Biba Singh: This Doctor is a Pop Star

Biba Singh combines two worlds – medicine and music. Yes, this Punjabi pop singer is also a doctor! The daughter of a physician, Biba, who lives in New York, has been singing since the age of 7, and first started out singing shabad in the gurudwara. She has two albums of popular music and is hugely popular. Here she talks to Monica Marwah for the Single Desi blog on pop music, careers, and the single life.
Guest Blog

0 News: Dr. Ami Bera Goes to Washington

Indian-Americans finally have a presence in the US Congress – Ami Bera, MD, is the new Congressman-Elect from California’s 7th Congressional District. I had interviewed him some months back when he was running a hard-fought race against the incumbent Congressman Dan Lungren, who conceded today.
For Ami Bera, serving people has been an important part of who he is, and he is ever conscious of the need to give back to a country which embraced his immigrant family. While he grew up in California, his father crossed the oceans from a farming family in Rajkot near Ahmedabad, Gujarat for a higher education in America. “My father was the first in his family to go to high school,” he says. “He got a master’s in engineering and my mother became a teacher.”

Like many immigrant families, theirs’ was a close-knit family with a lot of emphasis on education, hard work. His father ran a small commercial real estate business, and inculcated the values for a strong work ethic in his children. “There was a strong family support and strong community support,” he recalls. “And also a keen appreciation of the opportunities America offered.”

Food Articles
1 Monica Bhide: Cooking Up a Storm

“I have to say that I was very blessed as a child as I grew up in a family that was blessed with great cooks! My dad is amazing at making meat based dishes, my mother – I think she should be called the Vegetable Whisperer – has a delightful way with vegetables and pretty much my entire extended family either cooks well or knows where to take you for a great meal!

My fondest memory as a child is sitting in the kitchen with my dad and watching him cook his legendary butter chicken. Not only did I know the dish would turn out amazing (it always did) but it was a time for us to connect and talk about his world travels. I adored listening to his stories and was thrilled whenever he would make this dish as it meant he would be in a mood (and have time) to talk!”
Monica Bhide chats with the Single Desi on Food, Family – and recipes for the perfect date!

0 Upendra Chivukula – US Congress, People’s Man

Assemblyman Upendra J. Chivukula of New Jersey is very much a people’s man, rubbing shoulders with the person on the street and well aware of the difficulties the middle-class faces. He’s been there and he’s walked in those shoes. He is running for US Congress from New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District but he’s come up the hard way and understands the concerns of his constituents.

He was born a continent away in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh in a lower middle-class family. He and his five siblings, parents and grandmother lived in a mud hut with thatched roof without electricity where schoolwork had to be done outdoors under the street lights, and life had to be lived on a fixed income. The family even moved to Chennai in search of work.

“My father held many jobs including that of cashier and teacher and was a very honest man who taught us good values,” recalls Chivukula. “My mother was a music teacher, teaching classic Karnataka music and she played the veena. We still have the veena back home and when I visit her, I see that she is still singing. She is 83 years old and I wish I had the gift and talent that she has!”

0 Maneet Ahuja: The World of Hedge Fund Heavyweights

Maneet Ahuja, 27, certainly knows a thing or two about hedge funds. In fact, she is CNBC’s hedge fund specialist and a producer on Squawk Box, the noted morning program for the business world.
“The level of coverage we’ve developed for hedge funds did not exist in any business news TV outlet,” she says. “Our viewers definitely want to hear what these hedge fund managers have to say. They guide the smart money, and we’ve been able to carve out a niche for ourselves in an industry that wasn’t previously covered.”

0 Harj Taggar – Fueling the Start Up Engine

The world knows of Dropbox, which is estimated to be a $ 5 billion company but few know that its genesis happened at Y Combinator, an incubator of start-ups which also nurtured the $1. 3 billion Airbnb.
“Y Combinator has become the central place to see where the next huge companies will be born and this makes it tremendously exciting to be a part of,” says Harj Taggar, 29, who is part of the core team at Y Combinator.

Since 2005 Y combinator has funded over 380 startups, including Reddit, Scribd, Disqus, Dropbox, ZumoDrive,, Posterous, Airbnb, Heyzap, Cloudkick, DailyBooth, WePay, Bump, Stripe, AeroFS, and Hipmunk.It has been called the most prestigious program for budding entrepreneurs and has created an entirely new method of funding early stage startups.

0 Salman Khan Moving to New York!

Salman Khan is moving to New York! Uh-oh, before you get over-excited, I’d better add it’s the waxwork Salman Khan that is moving to Times Square, New York, joining his buddies Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan in the Bollywood Zone set up in Madame Tussauds famous atelier.

One has to say, it’s about time! After all, Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has such a fevered fan following across the world and his latest film Bodyguard is the second highest grossing Bollywood film of all time.

The grand unveiling of the Salman Khan figure is on August 2 and fans should catch him while they can, as this waxwork is on loan from the London Madame Tussauds and will surely add punch to the Bollywood zone which has the other two biggies, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan. Two lucky Lassi with Lavina readers can win tickets to see their hero in the wax-flesh.

0 The Cancer Detective

There are not too many people in their 20’s who have discovered a new, easy way to detect cancer in its earliest stages, raised funds for this research and also become the CEO of a corporation which creates the patents for this breaking technology.

Raj Krishnan of San Diego, California has done all three. While Ph.D students in Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) he and his friend David Charlot created Biological Dynamics, along with Professor Michael Heller. Raj and his team have developed innovative blood tests that use electric fields to detect key signals that a patient has cancer from the blood. “The technology itself is a microchip in a plastic cartridge,” he says. “You insert blood into the cartridge where it reaches the microchip, which uses AC Electric Fields to isolate cancer biomarkers from the blood.”

0 ‘Life Beyond the Lobby’ with Pawan Dhingra

What can be more American than the motels which dot the vast expanse of America? They are a part of the road journeys which almost every American takes, the summer vacation memories that are part of the collective experience of the nation. Small mom and pop places, bigger franchises of known names and of course upscale hotels – and often they have an Indian-American connection. It is a well-known fact that Indian-Americans are very dominant in the hospitality industry in the US. In his new book ‘Life Beyond the Lobby’ , Pawan Dhingra explores the Indian hand in these rest stops which we all are so familiar with.

0 Designer Ranjana Khan at CHI’s Miami Beat

Can’t get to South Beach? Come to the next best thing – Children’s Hope India’s much anticipated annual Spring Lunch – Miami Beat! Over 250 women are expected at this fun event poolside at the beautiful Crest Hollow Country Club in Long Island. Ranjana Khan, the noted designer, will be honored as Woman of Distinction for having achieved success and balanced the worlds of work and family perfectly.

14 Shah Rukh Khan’s Wit & Wisdom at Yale

For all those who’ve watched King Khan, the Badshah of Bollywood, dance and sing and romance over the years, Shah Rukh Khan’s talk at Yale was one of a kind, a look at the real man, rather than the reel man.

Un-awed by the pomp and ceremony of being honored with the prestigious Chubb Fellowship, he was down-to-earth and funny, talking one on one to Yale students, as someone human and humane, a striver, a dreamer and a parent.
Here, Shah Rukh Khan, in his own words….

1 Amrita Singh – Spiritual Style: Buddha or Ganesha?

What better insurance for a home’s peace and prosperity than installing an image of Ganesha or Buddha within it? For the spiritually inclined and the stylish, jewelry designer Amrita Singh has introduced a home collection line which includes some beautiful icons for the home. Singh who was recently in Bali, came back inspired by the sheer joy of having a touch of spirituality in one’s home.

2 Leila Janah’s Samasource: A World of Equals

Leila Chirayath Janah, 29, recently bagged a whopping $ 1. 25 million in funding from Google for her company, Samasource. Add that in, and this small, non-profit has got close to $ 5 million from several major giant corporations including Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, Ebay, Cisco, Facebook, LinkedIn and even the US State Department.

Why have so many blue chip organizations put their faith in this little-known non-profit?

The idea behind Samasource is audacious – that the poorest of the poor are equal to the larger world community and quite capable of doing good work when they are entrusted with it, rather than just being given handouts and pity. In fact, Sama means equal in Sanskrit and it is Leila’s way of bringing the poor into the hi-tech world.

5 Dr. Sanjay Gupta: CNN’s Doctor to the World

He’s got to be the world’s greatest multi-tasker. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is living several lives rolled into one. He’s an Emmy-winning television celebrity, a neurosurgeon, a professor, an author. Not to mention, a husband and dad of three girls, and a sportsman.

“When I turned 40 years old, I thought I could start making my biological clock not just run slower, but start to reverse and I think I have done that. I think in many ways biologically I am younger now than I was five years ago. Athletics, sports, and fitness are a very, very big part of my life. I was up at 4:15 and going for a run and a swim, so it is a big part of my life and that is something that I am teaching my girls too.”

0 Vintage Sarees at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Not too many new fashion design graduates get to debut at the prestigious Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York but that’s what happened with Dipti Irla, a young Maharashtrian designer from Mumbai. There she was soaking in the limelight of this fashion circus at Lincoln Center, surrounded by buyers, editors and paparazzi.

0 Esha Deol on Dharmendra, Hema Malini & ‘Tell Me, O Khuda’

“Right from my childhood, when I would be getting ready for school, my mom would be getting her makeup done for her shoot,” recalls Esha Deol, star daughter of super stars Dharmendra and Hema Malini. “So instead of being in uniform, I would try on her wig, put on her lipstick.
I used to love watching ‘Seeta Aur Geeta’ which I saw every day. I loved dancing on all Hindi songs of the 80’s, so I knew that this is what I have always wanted to do.”

5 Gurbaksh Chahal – The 300 Million Dollar Man

The only job he ever applied for was at McDonalds – and he was turned down! He is a high school dropout who at the age of 16 went on to create ClickAgent, an Internet business which sold for $ 40 million.

He sold his next start-up, BlueLithium, to Yahoo for a whopping $ 300 million. Now he’s on to his third start-up, RadiumOne, and is having the time of his life.

Meet Gurbaksh Chahal, the kid from Tarn Taran, near Amritsar, who has gone on to become a major serial entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. He has been on Oprah before millions of viewers and has written a best selling book. Worth over $100 million, he’s got the fabulous penthouse and the Lamborghini and all the perks. He was proclaimed as the most Eligible Bachelor in America in 2009. Now, at 28, he’s still single!