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  • 1 Aug 2022 6:42 PM | Anonymous

    स्वतंत्रता दिवस

    —————-

    वर्षों से गुलामी की बेड़ी में

    अपनी भारत माँ जकड़ी थीं ,

    दी लहू की आहुति वीरों  नें

    ऐसी ज्वालाएँ भड़की थीं

    कुर्बानीं उनकी रंग लाई

    शुभ आजादी की घड़ी आई ,

    जयघोष से गूँज उठा अंबर

    रोमॉच से ऑखें भर आईं

    संघर्ष था जारी बरसों से

    अबविजयने ली है अँगड़ाई,

    अंबर पे तिरंगा लहराया

    मन में खुशियों की बहार आई।

    अपनी धरती अपना ये गगन

    उन्मुक्त हो गया अपना चमन,

    हम प्रेम के बीज को बोएँगे

    महकेंगे घर महकेगी पवन।

    आओ हम उन वीरों के

    सपनों को अब साकार करें,

    उन्नत ललाट रहे भारत का

    दुनियाँ में सदा उपकार करें।

    काश हमारी मातृभूमि से

    दु: का ,छल का पाप कटे,

    पुण्य का पनपे बीज यहाँ

    खुशहाली की फ़सल कटे।

    भारत माता की जय!

    वंदे मातरम !

    7 .17 . 2022           आशा


    "INDEPENDENCE DAY"

    Mother India was enslaved,

    For many many years,

    Our brave warriors shed their blood

    For the flame of freedom.

    Their sacrifice resulted,

    In the auspicious hour of freedom,

    The sky echoed with applause,

    And eyes were filled with tears of joy.

    The struggle of many many years,

    Then resulted in success,

    The tricolor flag waved in the sky,

    Bringing a tide of happiness.

    It is now our land and our sky,

    Our garden is also freed,

    We will sow the seed of love in it,

    To fill our home with its fragrance.

    Let us remember those brave fighters,

    And make their dreams a reality,

    Let India hold its head high with pride

    Let us help others in this world.

    We wish that our dear mother land,

    Be free of the sin of deception and sorrow,

    Let the seed of virtue grow,

    And harvest happiness,

    Long live Mother Bharat.

    Vande Mataram.

    7 .17 .2022.          Asha


  • 1 Aug 2022 6:40 PM | Anonymous

    By Ayan Mishra, Grade 7

    Hi, my name is Ayan Mishra. I live in Shrewsbury with my mom, dad and dog, Muffin. My parents were born and brought up in India and I am an Indian American by origin. I have been associated with the culture and traditions of India since birth since I have been visiting India every year with my parents. This article is very special because it talks about India’s historical 75th Independence Day. This day reminds us of the various sacrifices that many freedom fighters made to get India freedom and independence from the British Rule. This day and the year of the 75th Independence is being celebrated not only in India but in many countries across the globe with much ardor and pride, with people from different walks of life coming together. This special year is called “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” to celebrate 75 years of progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements!

    India declared independence on August 15th, 1947. Many revolutionaries fought and died so India could get its freedom from British Raj. The Indian Independence movement began during World War I and was led by freedom revolutionary Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Some other revolutionaries who joined and led this movement were Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Rani Laxmibai and Lala Lajpatrai.

    The first name that comes to our mind when we talk about Independence is, the father of the nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who was also known as Mahatma Gandhi. His famous hunger strikes and non-violence methods helped unite the nation. He was born on October 2nd 1869 and the entire nation celebrates this day as Gandhi Jayanthi. Gandhi was a lawyer, and founded several organizations which include the Non-cooperation movement, the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha and the National Indian Congress. One fun fact about Gandhi is that he got his start as an activist in South Africa, not India. While he was in South Africa Gandhi faced discrimination which ultimately motivated him to campaign for the civil rights of Indians in South Africa and later leading the revolutionary movement in India along with many other strong revolutionaries.

    This year marks the 75th Independence Day and Indians all across the world are celebrating this big day in their own ways. Let’s start with our country, India. The first prime minister raised the Indian flag for the first time above the Lahori Gate of the Red Fort in Delhi to mark our freedom from the British. This has become a tradition and this year our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi will raise our flag at the same place that the first prime minister did when we gained independence from the British. UAE is going to light up the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in the colors of the Indian flag. New York city in the US is planning to light up the Empire State building with the tri-colors. This a moment of pride for all our Indians!

    Last but not the least, our own ISW is back with our India Day, celebrating this historical year at the DCU center on August 6th. This is one event that I have attended as a kid through my growing years always and have beautiful memories of attending and participating in the cultural program, singing the national anthem, participating in the parade, playing in the kids’ zone and lastly enjoying all the yummy dishes from different restaurants. I cannot wait to attend India Day this year and am hoping to see many of my friends at the event.

    Wishing everyone a very Happy 75th Independence Day!

  • 15 Jul 2022 2:59 PM | Anonymous

    ISW launched the new ISW Sports Committee and inaugurated the outdoor sports facilities on July 9th with the volleyball and pickleball courts. Pickleball is a game gaining quite a lot of popularity in America and is being enjoyed by people of all ages as it provides a decent level of exercise and is easy on the body! It is quite the combination of Tennis, Badminton and Ping Pong (aka table tennis). Volunteers painted the court according to the official court dimensions and kept it ready for the July 9th Sports Day Celebration.

    Pickleball attracted quite a crowd since it was something new and people were fascinated and wanted to learn about it. Our friend, Suhas Biwalkar, came down from NH to explain the rules of the game, which thankfully are simple and not very complicated. There were many matches held and almost a queue of people waiting to play. Many people who came for volleyball opted for pickleball instead.

    From the Chess Corner!

    Thanks to Radhika Chintapalli, who set up several chess sets for those interested, a sophomore in high school learned chess over 3 hours without checking her phone! It even attracted two visitors from another private function at the India Center and who’s chess playing attracted quite a crowd. People of different ages, from 6 years to 50 years, played and enjoyed chess.

    Abhijeet Nikte, Chair ISW Sports Committee

     

  • 14 Jul 2022 3:35 PM | Anonymous

    by Ayan Mishra

    Hi, my name is Ayan Mishra. I am 11 years old and live in Shrewsbury with my mom and dad. I am going to start the 7th grade this September. I am an avid swimmer and like to play basketball and tennis.

    Today I will be talking about my trip to India. During quarantine my parents and I really wanted to go to India but we couldn't because of the new variant and all of the Covid cases. In November 2021, we decided to go in December during my Christmas break, however we couldn’t because my dadima fell sick and only my dad could go visit her. We then finally decided to go to India in April from the 7th to the 23rd. When I got to the airport, I was really excited. We reached the airport 3 hours before the flight and we were at the gate for 2 hours. We were in boarding group 3. When we got on the plane, I immediately looked at the screen and saw what movies the flight had. They had all my favorite movies and I watched 7 movies. The flight took 18 hours to go from Boston to Doha. At Doha, I met my cousin, Prisha, and bua, they were traveling the same day to India, but had boarded the plane from New York. She was also going to New Delhi and was on my flight. Her seat was much behind me. The flight from Doha to India was very short and flew by fast. 3 ½ hours after we left, the Pilot finally announced, “We have landed in Delhi, India”. We went into the airport, said goodbye to my cousin, grabbed our bags and left. When I went outside, I immediately started sweating. It was 90 degrees at 2am! We got in a taxi and drove for an hour to my Dadu’s home in Gurugram. I was so excited to meet him after 2 years!

    We got to my Dadu’s home at 3 in the morning and stayed awake the whole day. For breakfast we had Paneer Pakoras, some yummy jalebis from a famous shop and chips. To avoid jetlag, we then thought of stepping out and very quickly the day became sooo boring because I had to go shopping with my parents. One exciting part of the day is that we also went to Pizza Hut and tried some Paneer Tikka Pizza. It was delicious!

    The next afternoon we went to my Nanu and Nani’s house in Faridabad. I was so excited to meet them after 3 and a half years! Before we left, I had asked my Nani to make Chole Bhature for lunch. She made it and it was amazing! We stayed there in the evening and I had so much fun catching up with my Nani and Nanu. The next morning, we woke up early and my Nani and Nanu took us to see the Red Fort, Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate, Connaught place and South-ex which is one of the posh areas in Delhi. At South-ex, my mom and Nani bought some things for the wedding (I will talk about this later).

    In the afternoon, we got hungry, so we went to a McDonalds and ate this amazing aloo tikki burger. I have had that burger multiple times and that is my favorite burger. We then continued driving around and seeing a few more places before we headed back home.

    We decided to take it easy the next day, and my Nanu showed me a great show called Race to The Center of The Earth. We watched the show till the afternoon and had our little discussions while watching it. We then went to a glasses shop where they made a pair of glasses for me in just 15 minutes, I was impressed! After getting my glasses my mom and Nani wanted to go buy some clothes. They dragged me and my Nanu along. After 3-4 hours of shopping, we all decided that it was too hot and we went to get some Vadilal Ice Cream. When we got back, we were all tired and we immediately slept.

    In the morning of the next day we headed to my Dadu’s home because my mom had to do some work for a village school. My mom is part of an organization called Sewa International. My mom is a part of their SHE program (sanitation, hygiene and empowerment of the girl child). She went to a village school to create awareness about hygiene and importance of education for girls. The SHE program also helps in building clean toilets in schools for girls. After our trip to the village, in the evening my cousins Aadi and Vinayak came over and we chatted and had a lot of fun. Vinayak said “that was the most English I have ever said in a conversation”. They only came over for 3 hours though, I wish they stayed longer. On the other hand, the next day when we went back to my Nanu and Nani’s home a lot of my cousins came over, though only one of them was my age. His name was Aarav. We played a lot of video games. Over the weekend, my mom's school friends also came over, they have been together for 25 years now, and one of them had a son also named Aarav. We played some video games at first and then built a tank out of Legos.

    After that we went shopping to prepare for one of my mom's cousins' weddings. My mom bought a fancy wedding dress and my Nani wore so much jewelry. I also bought a fancy kurta and vest. At 4:30AM we took a taxi to the train station which was an hour away. When we got to the train station it took us 40 minutes to get in because of the huge crowds. We finally got on the train, which was going to Jalandhar, where the wedding took place. It was my first time on an Indian train and I was so excited. It was a great ride. The train moved really fast and there were a lot of people on the train, everybody had a seat though. I didn’t eat much on the train because I am not used to the outside food there and I didn’t want to get sick.

    When we got to Jalandhar, we had a chauffeur waiting for us to drive us to the wedding venue. When we got to the resort our chauffeur took our bags and we went downstairs to attend the Haldi Rassam. The food there was delicious! After 2-3 hours of meeting relatives and clicking some photos, we went to our rooms. My Nani and Nanu had one and me, my mom and my dad had another room. We relaxed and slept in our rooms until it was time for the Shaadi. There were at least 200 different dishes in the buffet. I tried maybe 4 or 5 of them, but the chole bhature were the best ones though. I went back to my room at 11pm, 1 hour before the shaadi ended. When we woke up we went to the breakfast room, ate a quick meal and left to go to Amritsar.

    We got to Amritsar at 11am. We went to the Golden Temple where we had to take off our shoes. The ground was so hot that it burned my feet even though I had walked on the carpet and dipped my feet in water every few seconds. The Golden Temple was beautiful. After we went to the Golden Temple I started to feel sick from the heat. I had a cold Limca but what I really wanted was water. We then went to Jallianwala Bagh where the British massacred innocent Indians who were enjoying their day. Some Indians jumped in a well but the British shot them too. Jallianwala Bagh had one entrance/exit which the British had blocked off so the Indians couldn’t escape. There were no survivors and barely any British casualties.

    I was then really getting sick and almost threw up. Mom finally called the driver and I jumped in the car and drank two bottles of water. We asked the driver to then take us to a famous Chole Kulche shop in Amritsar for lunch. We had them while sitting in the car in the AC, since it was boiling outside! This shop was famous and their food was delicious! We then came back to the station to take the train back home. I didn't eat anything on the train except 2 ice creams. When we got home, I immediately slept because I was tired from the travel and the heat. In the morning I said goodbye to my Nanu and Nani and we headed back to Gurugram for the last few days.

    The last few days were about shopping, running around, getting our covid tests done, and somewhat relaxing. I did fall sick the last two days of our trip, but my Nanu’s friend, doctor nanu, helped me with some medicines and I was able to take the flight home.

    When we got back I was most excited to meet (guess who), Muffin! She was so excited to meet us and more excited to come home. My trip to India was great with some new experiences of traveling by the train and visiting two new cities! My parents and I really enjoyed it.

    I hope you enjoy it reading it. Thank you for reading!

  • 14 Jul 2022 3:05 PM | Anonymous

    Winter

    by Shreya Mukkamala Nippani
    Grade 6, Saint Bernadette School, Northborough

    When the snow starts to fall
    And the wind starts to call
    That’s when you know that winter has come
    And that it’s time to have some fun
    The snow falls bit by bit
    I hope my mittens still fit
    In the snow, there is so much to do
    Build a snowman or have a snowball fight too
    Remember to put on a carrot nose
    And take a little selfie pose
    After that you can go sledding
    And slide down the soft snow bedding
    A little bit later, you go inside
    And as you walk to the kitchen you find
    A cup of warm hot chocolate with marshmallows
    And accidentally get some on your nose
    It’s been a long and fun day
    And now you know the best way
    To spend your snow day

  • 4 Jul 2022 11:34 PM | Anonymous

    Documented Dreamers of Indian Origin Facing Self-Deportation

    by Vrinda Punj

    “If you’ve lived in the country legally for 15 years, why can’t you just get a green card?” If only it were that simple.

    I was born in New Delhi, India and when I was just 6 years old I moved to Shrewsbury Massachusetts to live with my dad, who was working on a project here. My childhood here was filled with happy memories, such as biking around my neighborhood with my friends, swimming in the local pool in the evenings, and trick-or-treating on Halloween. These experiences, uniquely American, began to define who I was. When every morning, I put my hand on my heart and said the Pledge of Allegiance, I knew that my identity was that of an American.

    Reality came crashing down for me when I was just 9 years old. My parents told me that we might have to leave the country as my Dad’s H1B was about to expire. As a child, I didn’t even know what a H1B visa was, all I knew was that I was an American. I didn’t understand why I was different, an alien, compared to all my peers? We wound up having to move to the United Kingdom when my dad’s H1B eventually ran out.

    My father tried very hard to bring us back and a year and a half later we were fortunate that he got a project in America, and we were able to come back! I thought that coming back would mean that my problems were gone. I thought that I was an American and I could keep living in America! Little did I know that this would be just the beginning of a very long and painful immigration journey.

    When I turned 16 years old, all my friends were starting their summer jobs. Many people were working at coffee shops and department stores. As someone who had little pocket-money, the opportunity to work excited me. I desperately wanted a job to earn some money on the side. It was heartbreaking when I found out I legally was not allowed to work, since I was a dependent on my dad’s visa. It was yet another reminder that the country I considered to be my home didn’t want me. There was a consistent gnawing feeling in me - I was different from everybody, and I didn’t know what I had done to deserve that.

    I decided to move on and focus on getting into college - it was one of my biggest dreams to go to a good college. However, as a child on a dependent visa, I later found out that I was ineligible for ANY scholarships, federal loans, or even private loans since I was considered an international alien. At this point, my mental health had severely started to deteriorate. I faced many sleepless nights feeling that no matter how hard I worked in school, my chances of getting scholarships or going to a good college would not be possible, simply due to a status I could not control.

    When I was graduating from high school, my options for colleges were exceptionally limited. I got into the University of Massachusetts Lowell as a Computer Science major, and I commuted to college daily to save money. I also realized something that would change my life forever. I realized I would have to self-deport from the United States when I turned 21.

    Even though my parents had applied for a green card, Indian nationals were allowed fewer than 10,000 green cards a year and with over 800,000 H1B applicants, the estimate wait was between 80 to 150 years. There was no way my parents were going to get their green cards before I turned 21. I would get kicked out of their green card application and also lose my dependent visa status.

    As a college student I was able to apply and get a F1 student visa which only served to affirm that I was an international alien. When it came to looking for a job, I was treated as an international student and many companies would turn me away without even looking at my resume. Unlike my peers, I also lacked work experience as I was not allowed to legally work in the US. Fortunately, I landed a job at Red Hat and they agreed to file an H1B application for me. Unfortunately, as the H1B visas are assigned through a lottery, I didn’t get picked.

    I have done everything by the book. I managed to go to college without loans and scholarships, I studied hard and got good grades, I landed a job at a great software company, and yet my chances of staying in the country has come down to luck! I have two more chances at the H1B lottery while I am on my practical training visa. After that I will have to leave my parents, my younger sister, and my home and return to India, a country that I left 17 years ago!

    I thought I was the only one in this situation, but I now realize there are more than 200,000 children who, like me, have grown up in the United States as legal documented dependents but will not be able to fulfil their dream of an American life. Last year, I joined a grassroots, youth-led advocacy group called Improve the Dream. It fights for these forgotten children, people known as Documented Dreamers, to prevent them from being deported from the only country that they have known as home.

    Through sheer hard work and perseverance, Improve the Dream has introduced a bicameral and bipartisan legislation known as America’s Children Act, which will provide a pathway to citizenship and permanently end aging out for Documented Dreamers. I am the Massachusetts State Liaison for Improve the Dream.

    If you are in this situation, a parent of someone in this situation, or know someone in this situation, we could use your help now more than ever. Please encourage any Documented Dreamers that you know to join Improve the Dream, so that they can find a community of people that fights for their rights.

    I encourage you to send letters and to call your senators and representatives. More information about our community and advocacy efforts can be found on improvethedream.org.  I also encourage Documented Dreamers in Massachusetts and their concerned parents to contact me. My phone number is 508-736-1965 and my email address is vrinda.punj30@gmail.com.

    Justice delayed is justice denied. As a community we should fight to fulfil these children’s dreams of a successful life in the US. Let’s improve the dream for everyone!

  • 2 Jul 2022 3:37 PM | Anonymous

    Middle School

    Shreya Mukkamala Nippani
    Grade 6, Saint Bernadette School, Northborough

    Today is my first day of middle school
    I’m nervous and hope people think I’m cool
    This is 6th grade not 5th
    Memories of elementary school are just a myth
    I’ve got to impress
    And not be in distress
    Everything matters from here on out
    Otherwise, my chance of success will be a doubt
    I walk into middle school thinking about these things
    And all of a sudden, an idea pings
    I realize that middle school isn’t about stress
    That’s what will make life a mess
    It’s about making new friends and learning to grow
    By the end of the year there will be so much you know
    Even though work gets harder
    You will learn to push farther
    New people and teachers you will meet
    With new challenges that you’ll greet
    Just remember that everything will be great
    When you walk through the middle school gate

  • 20 Jun 2022 1:06 PM | Anonymous

    Chai, Samosa aur Naye Purane Geet

    By Sonam Ahuja

    ISW does it again!

    ISW Antakshri, a one-of-kind event, hosted by ISW brought to life a home-grown concept of connecting over music and steeped in Indian culture.

    I had the chance to attend and participate in ISW’s Antakshri recently. A very well-thought and organized event with Prelims and Finals hosted separately on different days. In the era of inclusion and diversity, the event organizers were mindful to allow participation with a minimum of 1 member in a team.

    I participated in the Prelims with another friend and my 5 year old daughter. It was truly family friendly and fun for the whole family event. Prelims were held with a combination of 3 teams competing for a place in finals. Prelims began with classic Antakshari round the one that is most loved during our road trips, on a train journey, in a dorm room, or in a college canteen when someone just says Baithe Baithe Kya Karen Karna Hai Kuch Kaam……

    I was so amazed by the prelims that I decided to attend Antakshri Finals as an audience because my team could not make it to the finals. This time I attended the event with my parents who are visiting us after a long time. For my parents it was a chance to relive the magical music of Indian cinema going back 60 years in time.

    Finals began with 5 teams equally competent and talented in their singing abilities and their love for Bollywood music. Finals Antakshari had rounds such as Prelude, Dhun and Remix, etc, which put contestants to the test. Every team performed extremely well and it was very hard to guess which team would win through those prop, buzzer and dhun rounds.

    My parents and I had never got a chance to be part of a Live Antakshri before this one and it was truly an entertaining and fulfilling experience.

    This event became memorable for us because of its amazingly knowledgeable hosts who not only had deep interest and love for Indian music but also made efforts to keep the audience engaged and involved throughout.

    I hope and look forward to being part of such events hosted by ISW that promote our Indian cultural heritage!



  • 20 Jun 2022 1:01 PM | Anonymous

    by Smitha Nair

    Mount Wachusett is a beautiful mountain with stunning views and one of the best places to go hiking in the summer. So, that’s what the India Society of Worcester planned, a fun hike for all ages on June 18 with about forty people and a beautiful day. What started off as a normal hike, ended with meeting friends, unknown neighbors and learning new information about our community.

    We all met at the ski area at Wachusett to start off the hike at 11:00 AM. Right away people started talking and introducing themselves, creating multiple friends for the hike. Once we started everyone seemed ready to climb to the summit and our ambition only grew as we reached our first and second viewpoints at the top of a ski slope.

    After completing the Balance Rock trail and taking some selfies at Balance Rock, the group split up. Some went up the easier pavement path and others dared to follow the steeper challenge of the Old Indian Trail. Throughout the Old Indian Trail it was enlightening to see people help one another across steep areas and everyone was overjoyed to reach the summit and take victory pictures at the top of the mountain. After lunch at the small fish pond near the summit, and a wonderful group photo of accomplishment, we all started down the mountain, taking the road for the first half and finishing off the hike the way we started, through Balance Rock trail.

    Overall everyone had a fantastic time and many people were wondering when an event like this could happen again because of the exercise and the friendships that came out of this trip. Wachusett is an amazing area in Massachusetts for recreation and I am proud to say that ISW, definitely took advantage of it.


  • 20 Jun 2022 12:58 PM | Anonymous

    Hawaii

    Shreya Mukkamala Nippani
    Grade 6, Saint Bernadette School, Northborough

    Cool breeze, Sun shining, Maui Gold
    This is what makes Hawaii bold
    So many beaches of different colored sands
    Too bad taking some is banned
    The ocean colors are all shades of blue
    I know, I wished I lived there too
    Palm trees sway, Flowers bloom
    And there used to be volcanoes which go boom
    Road to Hana, Haleakala Sunrise
    These are places you’ll be surprised
    A thousand rainbows you will see
    On your trip to Hawaii
    The sun has set, the clouds start to leave
    Though we must go, it’s hard to believe
    That Aloha mean Hello as well as Goodbye
    Leaving this place makes me sigh
    Aloha Hawaii, until we meet again

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