IAGB recently organized a General Body Meeting. IAGB President, Aditi Taylor, presented annual report to the attendees. She highlighted all the activities accomplished through the year, financial status and indicated the focus areas for the upcoming year. Lively discussion followed the presentations and suggestions for changes and improvements were discussed with attendees.

In this edition you will see:
  • Note From the Director's Corner - Swati Gahlaut
  • Guest Column - Maitri Jhaveri Shah
  • Community Spotlight - Preetesh  Shrivastava, Founder and President, New England Hindi Manch
  • Announcements
  • IAGB Upcoming Events
  • IAGB Recent Events
  • Community Calendar
  • Our Sponsors
  • Our Media Partners

Like always we invite you to submit guest columns on diverse topics for inclusion in the newsletter. Your feedback and suggestions and welcome!! Please contact via Email if you wish to make community event announcements through this newsletter.

Please visit our Website to sign up for annual family/single or life membership of IAGB. Contact Us if you are interested to volunteer at our upcoming events.

Make your voice heard! Make it count! VOTE! NOVEMBER 6th.
United States votes in the entire house of congress and one third of senate every 2 years. This election year Massachusetts has 9 congress seats, one Senate seat and State elections including the one for Governor's office up for grabs. Additionally, there are three ballot measures being debated, each of which will affect our daily lives. So please Vote!


The Millennial Mom is Not Your Average Mom
New Millenial Mom.
She is rooted, but she flows.
She loves enjoying the best of both worlds.
The essence of traditional parenting and the nooks of smart parenting - we are the perfect blend of both to ensure the best development for our kids in the 21st century! We are thoughtful, we are daring. We love taking one day at a time and enjoy a little adventure. A mixture of leniency and headstrong, we are the proud millennial moms!
And the best part?
We are doing this all with impeccable grace!
Whether breadwinner or homemaker, we the Millennial Mom (MM) have a very different outlook. With the rise of social media and online mommy groups, the curtain has been pulled back and we are now finding a connection in real talk and true sense of togetherness. MM clearly needs a demographic of her own, as she influences her peers tremendously at each step. Because she is working non-stop, truly career oriented, raising happy kids along with an equally healthy and responsible social media parenting game going strong. But let’s admit, in the past we have got a bad rep. Spoiled, lazy, entitled, special snowflakes, whiny kids with participation trophies – we’ve heard it all!! But now, we millennials, are adults and more intriguingly, moms. In my humble opinion, we are transforming the ‘me’ generation into a ‘we’ one. Along the journey, we are also exposed to more ideas about parenting than our own mom. A case in point- “When my mom became a mom, she would turn to her mom and aunts for answers”. But the MM will turn to the web for answers, for better or for worse. MM might actually get tips from moms in other continents which may broaden her horizons even more! Our mom’s generation thinks, “we are not as protective, enabling or worried.” But now more than ever, the MM is putting on power suits and headed for the worst situation. My personal example, despite having had the opportunity for an excellent education and potential for a great career, I had to change my work status, lifestyle all because of dependent visa restrictions. It wasn’t my choice that I was unable to work. It felt like a strange situation imposed by the government on skilled people like me. Not that I didn’t like spending time at home with my child, but MM like me who lived financially and socially independent in India suddenly found these circumstances of being dependent very odd. While extremely frustrating at times, we MM found solace in conversations with other MMs in similar situations. There is no denying the fact we are facing challenges that no other generation had to face before. But I hope we are setting the precedent for the moms of the future who will have a new set of challenges with whatever technological or parenting advancement they face. More power to all mothers.

Entertaining makes me happy, it feeds my soul, it is essential to my being. I love to set a themed table that creates perfect ambiance allowing the dishes to shine. I then bring together simple ingredients that make taste buds do Macarena! Even though I share my initials, one doesn't need to be Martha Stewart, I believe entertaining guests is about delivering a full experience where lights, colors, scents, flavors and sounds work together in full harmony to create unforgettable moments.

With autumn in full swing and holiday entertaining just around the corner, the peak hosting season is upon us. With all the work that goes into planning a party for friends and family, the last thing you want is stress over your dining room. It's all about creating a fun and relaxed atmosphere that keeps everyone at ease, including me! Here are some tips to hosting fun and memorable gatherings.

1. Create a menu - First, don't forget to ask your guests about any food allergies or dietary restrictions you should be aware of in planning your menu. You do not want anyone to go hungry or feel awkward refusing food. Create a menu around the main dish. Make food that can be partially prepared ahead of time. Not all dishes have to be made from scratch. It can be semi-homemade or store-bought. My personal favorite is to use seasonal ingredients. This way you will be using produce that's packed with flavor. Don’t forget the dessert - it’s the best way to ensure everyone’s night will end on a sweet note. Dessert can be made well in advance or you can just pick up something from a bakery. Make sure you have enough wine to last through the night. If guests ask if they can bring anything, have them bring along their favorite bottle of vino.

2. Prep the house - Tidy up the house, it is part of creating a welcoming home. Don't forget the bathroom. Keep it stocked with extra toilet paper, hand soap, use and throw hand towels and a scented candle.

3. Set the table - Table can be set the night before. This is fun for the kids get involved. I'm a bit of a formalist when it comes to setting the table. I love to use all white and occasionally solid black plates on chargers, I believe solid color plates is a beautiful canvas that enhances any dish. Build a centerpiece around a theme, it came be as simple as what’s in season. Purchase seasonal branches like a type of evergreen or branches with berries, citrus or mini pumpkins that can be placed directly on the table with some votive candles adding color and vibrancy. You can never have too many candles! And yes, dim the lights!! Sometimes, if I have a mixed guests list, I like pre-assigned seating arrangement. You can really elevate the conversation and enjoyment of your guests by placing particular people together. 

4. Curated playlist - Music sets the mood for any party and it’s one of the easiest ways to create an ambiance. It also prevents awkward silences during the party. That said, it should be in the background not competing with conversation.

5. Breathe - After the food has been prepared, sink has been wiped clean, table has been set, music is playing and candles have been lit, now give yourself some time to get primped and polished. Pour a glass of water or a little pre-party vino and give yourself a few moments to relax. Finally, enjoy the party… for it’s not only for the guests but for hosts as well.
  Maitri Jhaveri Shah

Members interested in submitting a guest column in our newsletter can send an email to iagb@iagb.org.
eNews edition shines SPOTLIGHT on Preetesh Shrivastava, Playright, Deejay, Standup comedian and Founder and President of New England Hindi Manch  

IAGB: Welcome to SPOTLIGHT. Over the past several years people in New England have seen
Preetesh Shrivastava in many different roles - as an actor, as director, as singer, as dancer, as a playwright, as Deejay, but overall as a community leader. Can you reflect on your past and tell us what prepared you to be a community entrepreneur which primarily translates as a leader?
Preetesh Shrivastava: As far as I can tell I was always like this. My earliest memory of community organizing goes back to the time when I was just 5 or 6 years old. I had started my own library of comic books that I had finished reading. I use to share them for free with whoever was interested in borrowing those books. Later as a teenager I organized events around the ‘mohalla’ (community). Religious festivals were exciting activity for us as youth. Be it the preparation of Holi (Bon Fire); erecting Ganesh Mandap (ten-day festivities around Ganesh festival) or the Raavan Dahan (Bonfire of Raavan) during Dussehra, every event was an opportunity for me to gather friends and community folks to celebrate in essence our culture and traditions. In school I served as the cultural secretary, and later in college I was the chapter head for Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth (SPIC MACAY), the non-profit music organization – at REC Bhopal.

IAGB: What and where was your education and what has been your career path?
Preetesh Shrivastava: I earned my Engineering degree from REC Bhopal and later worked and earned my Master’s degree in Engineering too. One of the reasons for going into Engineering was because I was fascinated by the idea of being a student of REC Bhopal. Locally it was a Harvard/MIT equivalent and being a student at this college was a mark of respect and with it came some bragging rights, some intangibles that carried lot of weight as a teenager. That said, of course, getting admitted to this college was only through a highly competitive process and my academic record had always been stellar, so in a way my choices were to choose between medical and engineering track and I chose engineering. And finally, the future career opportunities play a key role in determining the education track and hence an admission in a prestigious engineering college seemed pretty obvious. The factor that I learnt only after joining the college was that my destiny was me to be here. I met my lifelong friend - Pratibha here at REC. As for my career, in this day and age of constant hops and jumps, I have stayed steady with Infosys Technologies Limited since the last 18 years and am currently heading a unit from USA.  

IAGB: Your passion for Hindi, did it take root in India or after coming to US? What drove you to start Hindi Manch?
Preetesh Shrivastava: I have always had love for Hindi language. I have been reading prose, poetry, and fiction books in Hindi much more than an average Indian even as a youth growing up. I have been involved with different organizations since the time I moved to US in Scottsdale, AZ. Over the years I had been associated with many different causes but since moving to Boston I started to feel that something was missing. I am of opinion that culture and language are closely intertwined. To appreciate and understand culture and traditions one needs to have a good grounding in the language of that particular culture. I realized that there was a plethora of organizations that promoted Indian culture and I wanted to leverage their efforts by introducing the focus on Hindi language through the establishment of Hindi Manch. My efforts to create and establish Hindi Manch was more akin to find and plug the one critical missing piece of the larger mosaic that we represent as Indians in a foreign land.     

IAGB: One aspect of you that always shines through including in your activities as Hindi Manch President, is you as an entertainer. Do you ever wish to be a full-time entertainer?
Preetesh Shrivastava: I do. Stage is my love. While I am happy that I trained and work as an Engineer – and thanks to this field I am here in US, live in Lexington and enjoy many of the benefits. But I did think of another career very briefly before signing up at the Engineering college. I very much wanted to go to National School of Drama in New Delhi. But giving up a prestigious engineering admission for an opportunity to an uncertain future was not pragmatic, at least at that point in time.

But while I did not pursue a traditional entertainment career, I have not given up on my dreams. I have been Deejaying at events for many years now. My love for Hindi literature, plays and comedy came together in the Play I wrote – Mirchi Cola. This is the first Hindi Play published from USA. I also had the fortune to have this Play directed by Mohan Dali ji and performances of this play received wide accolades both here locally and outside of New England area too. My other milestone moment as entertainer was my Broadway style show Comedy Bindaas – Preetesh ke Andaaz. The two shows were sold out events and more importantly they were thoroughly enjoyed by one and all. 

IAGB: This year Hindi Manch completes ten years. What is your read on its contributions and success? Do you have any thoughts for its next phase?  
Preetesh Shrivastava: It is a fact that before Hindi Manch there was not much encouragement for Hindi as a language on the public stage due to lack of a proper avenue. Hindi Manch presented the community with an opportunity to perform in Hindi. Starting with emceeing in Hindi, Hindi plays both for adults and kids, Hindi singing competitions like Sa Re Ga Ma Pa brought out many hidden stars into the bright spotlight. Hindi Manch also presented a platform for many poets not just to read poetry but also to write new poetry and present it to community. The purpose of Hindi Manch has been to build this community, bring people together and channel an energy that was untapped before Hindi Manch. It has been a rewarding experience because I already see the results. It is music to ears when I see more than hundred kids portraying different roles in Hindi Plays on stage during the annual Baal/Yuva events. My heart gladdens when I hear some prominent community members giving credit to Hindi Manch for their new career paths.

So naturally, while it has been very satisfying to see the many positive developments happening as a result of Hindi Manch, the obvious thought that followed in my mind was, what’s next? In the last few years a thought that has been going on in my mind was – why only in New England? Why not expand this beyond the greater Boston area. In recent times we have received calls from Chicago, Florida and few other places asking us if we could start new Hindi Manch chapters in those cities. Additionally, I have been in search of new leadership at New England Hindi Manch for some time now.  

IAGB: All organizations stumble in the beginning and can have some growing pains. In the run up of Hindi Manch have there been any disappointments? Any challenges?
Preetesh Shrivastava: While I concede that it is natural to have some level of conflict when such a large organization like Hindi Manch is being created and run, I feel both blessed and fortunate that Hindi Manch has not seen any serious or significant personnel issues. One reason could be that, the leadership at Hindi Manch is rich with experiences and the team consciously made sure that they successfully anticipate and eliminate conflict situations even before they come to fruition. Most of the programs and steps taken at Hindi Manch have been very calculated. A lot of care is taken into consideration when new people are given significant roles within the organization. Individuals who put the organization’s objectives in focus over personal objectives are chosen to contribute and lead in the diverse setting. The one big ongoing challenge is when people who are passionate about the cause of Hindi Manch but have difficulty in finding time and bandwidth to make a significant contribution. 

Another important lesson I learnt from my previous experiences by working in many different organizations was that of humility. It is important to lead by example and one thing that I took extreme care was never to run after credit. This is a team effort and all the successes are on account of the team work. For me it is very important to give respect to everyone in your team. One another key factor is communication. There are challenges when not everyone is on the same page. But in the instance where someone’s idea is not co-opted, it is important to communicate to that individual the reason behind it. Additionally, I have also taken utmost care in trying not to hog the lime light. On most of the stage plays hosted by Hindi Manch, I try to stay on the sidelines. I prefer not to take the acting roles in the many Hindi Manch plays even though I love acting. I mostly limit my appearances to my role of President’s remarks.

IAGB: The upcoming Hindi Manch Rashtriya Mahotsav   is well publicized here in new England community. That said is there anything in particular you would like the readers to know?
Preetesh Shrivastava: The New England Hindi Manch is the largest organization around Hindi as the focus outside of India. To coincide with the 10 th year anniversary of Hindi Manch, it was decided that we will celebrate our successes in the form of a 3-day event. We planned to have all the annual events that are normally organized quarterly such as Poetry and Literature, Drama, Music and singing, and Children and youth – all programs to be organized on a single weekend but on a much larger scale by expanding it to national level in terms of both participation and attendance. The event will host some well know celebrities such as Deepti Naval (actor and poet); Kavita Krishnamurty (Singer); Alok Shrivastava (Writer, Director and Producer) and Jugal Hansraj (actor) who will participate in various workshops planned around the three-day event. 

Another significant event we are hosting at the Mahotsav   is the Leadership summit. The objective of this summit is to combine the energies and synergies of all the Hindi organizations from all over America. Many of us are working for the same cause in Florida, California, Illinois and many other places. The idea here is to combine forces and find a way as to how we can celebrate this cause at a national level preferably on a bi-annual basis. The goal is not to merge all these organizations but to form a new national level organization whose constituents will be each of these organizations.

IAGB: How would you define the success of this Mahotsav?
Preetesh Shrivastava: Success will be defined by three factors. One, the programs should be of high quality and the audience and participants should get the wow factor. Quality of programming is very important because I want the people attending these events to be impressed and enchanted and the one question that the people should ask is “when is the next Mahotsav ”? The other important measure of success in my mind is that it should have the ‘national’ element. My goal is that at least 25 to 30 percent involvement should be at national level. Participants should be from all over US not just New England. The third factor obviously relates to the money. We have to meet our financial goals. It is a very big venture and lot of money is involved and we hope to meet all our fund raising goals.

IAGB: Of all the roles you juggle such as husband, entertainer, community leader, etc. – which one do you treasure the most?
Preetesh Shrivastava: The role I treasure the most is that of a friend. With Pratibha (my wife) I am her friend first and foremost. With Raghav (my son) too I am more of a friend than a dad. And same thing goes to my association with all the organizations I am associated with. All the team members contributing their time and effort to Hindi Manch consider me as their friend. I don’t sit on a pedestal as the Hindi Manch president and nor do they treat me as someone separate from themselves. Even as an entertainer – I treat my audience as my friends and that is how I connect with them. When I did my show the first time I knew most of the members in the audience will actually be my friends. Hence the reason I did my repeat show was to test out if an entirely unknown set of people will connect with me as a friend and love my art more than me personally. That was a true test and I really needed to discover the truth.

IAGB: What is your guiding principle / philosophy?
Preetesh Shrivastava: My guiding principle / philosophy is that I really believe I can learn something from everyone. It may be true that I may be better than someone else in one or the other area but at the same time I find that each and every one of them are better than me in some field where I am weak in. And I find a way to learn about that from them. But in order for me to learn I cannot have an ego about myself. This is the reason why you will find me going out and meeting up with people with a pure intent. I carry no agenda in my heart and purely seek skills, talents and attributes that I find others have to somewhat better extent than I possess.

IAGB: What long term goals you are working on right now?
Preetesh Shrivastava: Setting up and dealing with long term goals could be my weakness. My philosophy is that I like learning. I never did standup comedy growing up but I learnt and tried it successfully in the last few years. I love cooking, I love music, singing and dancing. Sometimes I feel I should become Mother Teresa of Hindi. There have been times when I seriously entertained the idea of starting a restaurant and express myself through my culinary skills. Then of course I want to pursue my career as an entertainer. So while learning new things has always been a passion of mine I have no idea what new things will come up in future and which ones will become my new passion. But all that said, based on the present circumstance and knowing what I know now – I will certainly want to keep pushing Hindi to even higher levels and try my hand at being a successful entertainer.

IAGB: Switching gears, I would like to ask you some lighthearted questions so that the readers know you more intimately. Who is your role model?
Preetesh Shrivastava: It will be unfair to name just one person. Like I said before there is so much to learn from and each individual has something to offer. For example, I appreciate the humility of Amitabh Bachchan, the grit of Sachin Tendulkar and so on.

IAGB: Which is your favorite Hindi Movie?
Preetesh Shrivastava: Anyone who has seen my car license plate would know this answer – Sholay.

IAGB: Which is your favorite Hindi Song?
Preetesh Shrivastava: I cannot pick one favorite Hindi song. Different songs are for different moods and each of them are special in their own ways.

IAGB: Who is your favorite poet?
Preetesh Shrivastava: Nida Fazli – because he writes simple poems. His poetry is something even a lay man can understand and yet it is always pregnant with much deeper meanings.

IAGB: Who is one person that you would like to meet?
Preetesh Shrivastava: Amitab Bachhan

IAGB: Who would you like to wake up as just for one day?
Preetesh Shrivastava: That would be as Preetesh everyday.

IAGB: What is best dish that you make?
Preetesh Shrivastava: I enjoy cooking but most commonly my friends love my shami Kabab (non veg) and ragda pattis (veg) the most.

IAGB: Do you have any regrets?
Preetesh Shrivastava: Not sure if it is a regret, but yes, there have been times when I have thought what if instead of putting my energies in ten different things and rather focus on one single activity and wonder where I would have ended up as.

IAGB: If it was completely up to you, who would you give an award and in which category and to whom?
Preetesh Shrivastava: I would present Awards to individuals in order to recognize their significant contributions for the community. The award should be more to motivate and emulate their work so that more will contribute with their time and energy for the betterment of community. 

IAGB interviewing team: Sanjay Kudrimoti

IAGB is in process of upgrading its website by adding few additional features for better user experience. If you have experience with website development and are willing to help, please reach out to us at iagb@iagb.org

We are residents of the 104 Hemenway Apartment which was engulfed in the tragic fire accident which happened on 27th October, 2018. We are 7 Indian Students pursuing graduate studies at Northeastern University. We have recently moved to the United states two months back. Due to the panic situation at the time of fire, we left behind all our belongings and valuables at the house. As per the latest news the entire building has been devastated. We are highly obliged to receive temporary accommodation from Northeastern University till Tuesday midnight.

However, we have lost all valuables including Passport, Wallet, educational certificates, clothes, Laptops, etc. We just have one pair of clothes that we were wearing while escaping.
We are completely devastated due to the fire accident and hoping for all kinds of help possible.

We would appreciate any kind of help in this situation. Please spread the word and help us out who were struck by this unexpected tragedy.
Akshay Bhusare
IAGB is organizing two community service days hoping that our community will join hands to serve. 
  • December 1st- Community Servings, Food Heals @ Jamaica Plains, MA
  • December 8th- Boston Food Bank @ Boston, MA
Limited spots available. Please click  here  to sign up. 


Back by popular demand, IAGB will once again host the Antakshari Competition. Prelims will be held through November and December, followed by semi-finals in early January and grand finale at the Republic Day Mela on January 26, 2019. 
  • November 18th @ Lexington, MA
  • December 9th @ Westborough, MA
Please click  here  to sign up. Each entry is comprised of two team members. Participation is open and free for all members.


Continuing the yearly tradition, IAGB (India Association of Greater Boston) will organize the Republic Day Mela on January 26, 2019 at the Burlington High School, Burlington, MA.

Similar to last year, the day will be made up of multiple segments. Several competitions will be held on the day of the event for members of all ages. These include chess, carrom, art, storytelling, elocution, skit, poetry and general knowledge. Additional competitions may be added.

Furthermore, coming back on popular demand is IAGB Antakshari. All members are welcome to participate. Prelims will be held on November 18, 2018 in Lexington, MA and in Westborough on December 9, 2018. Winners from the prelims will participate in the semi-finals planned for early January after which the winners will participate on stage at the Grand Finale held at Republic Day Mela.

In addition to the above, there will also be cultural performances which have the hallmark of IAGB events. The theme this year is ‘Kashmir to Kanyakumari’.

Surrounding the event will be the vibrant exhibition booths from various corners of our community. Please reach out to us or visit us online to reserve an early bird slot! Lastly, there will be delicious Indian food at the event. 

Details for sponsorship, advertising and exhibition are available on www.iagb.org and via email at iagb@iagb.org .

In accordance with its by-laws, IAGB recently held a General Body Meeting of its members. All active members were invited to attend. The topics included:
  • Introduction of IAGB EC
  • Overview of accomplishments in Year 1
  • Upcoming activities in Year 2
  • Overview of financials and membership
  • Community feedback and discussion

Meeting minutes were distributed to all IAGB members.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us at  iagb@iagb.org .

We are delighted to invite you to the 2nd Annual Lokvani Community And Youth Celebration. We will honoring community heroes and recognizing youth accomplishments. The event will be held on December 15, 2018 at the Ambrosia Banquet Hall in Foxborough, MA. In the spirit of the holiday season, the event will be filled with great food, entertainment and an excellent DJ.

After the great success of last year's Lokvani Community and Youth Celebration, we are inspired to do the second event this year. 

We are planning to honor:
* Children who have accomplished something special this year. This could include performance of an Arangetram or winning a national award. 
* Unsung heros - Volunteers who work hard to make things happen without seeking recognition
We also will be presenting the Inspire Award to leading lights in the community. 
If you know people in these categories please send an email with their information to  anil@lokvani.com

Last year the event was sold out. Please buy your tickets early this year so that you are not disappointed. 

To buy tickets please go to:
MIT Bhangra is a competitive bhangra team in Cambridge that has been working to spread Indian culture through dance since 1991. They recently won 2nd place at the 2016 Boston Bhangra Competition, and have been performing locally and around the country since then. They are holding auditions for this year on September 8th and 9th from 12 pm - 2 pm, and would like to invite anyone regardless of age, experience, or school affiliations to join them for a 2-hour workshop! More details can be found  here , and any questions can be directed to  bhangra-exec@mit.edu
Editor: Sanjay Kudrimoti 
IAGB Communications