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December 2007
Readers Write

Cover story on Indian Canadians brings back memories

I received a splendid copy of your November ‘07 issue, with the insignia of Canada—the maple leaf—on the cover. That brought back memories! Congratulations. You certainly have come a long way considering the size, display and other attributes of Khabar. It is a great team, many of whose members I know personally, and you have shown great talent and ability in publishing a magazine of this type.

I have visited Canada several times, and in the years between 1953 and ‘55, I was in charge of producing the beverage concentrates for the manufacture of beverages like Orange, Lemon-Lime, Root Beer, Black Cherry and CremeSoda under the Mission Label. This was long before Pepsi and Coke entered the beverage field with their flavored drinks. I was working in Los Angeles for a company called Mission Dry and I was the first Indian to fly to Vancouver, British Columbia, and manufacture these beverage bases for distribution in the whole of Canada.

These were the early days and we provided considerable technical skills. Later when I was an employee of Coca-Cola I used to visit Toronto to take care of the issues related to Coca-Cola Canada. There has been a long Indian presence in many of these activities, but these contributions were never recorded or reported. Technologists and scientists like me have been forgotten.

                                                                                                                Giriraj Rao

Alpharetta, Ga.

Felicitations on completing fifteen years

Well done, Khabar. I have been a reader of your magazine since it was started. It had very few black and white pages at that time. Now it has expanded to156 color pages. Your readers, too, have grown enormously. This is big progress. Khabar, which provides all the information our community needs, is a first-class publication. Now that you are celebrating your 15th anniversary, I wish the team a lot of success for future development of the magazine. I congratulate the management and the staff for their hard work and high achievement.

                                                                                                       Mohanlal Virji Fatania

Lilburn,Ga.                                                                                                      

Britain still rules (at least in the heart) for this anglophile

Thank you for the very interesting and thought-provoking article titled “An Anglophile's Dilemma” (“Confessions of a Grown-Up ABCD,” October ‘07).

Born to parents of Indian descent, and having spent a considerable amount of time in Southern Africa, the Great Britain and, for the last several years, here in the U.S., I could relate to her article from several different angles. From a personal standpoint, now that I have adjusted to the sheer vast expanse coupled with the modern infrastructure of the U.S., and to a certain extent engrained in its lifestyle, I find myself often reflecting back on the old character, the lifestyle and other small things that Great Britain was great for. I suppose once one gets over the initial lure, it’s just a matter of time before this sort of analysis begins.

Speaking of the British being ‘cool,’ first-generation British Indians need to be commended for their achievement in raising the cultural awareness within the British society; they have done an exceptional job in amalgamating both cultures and actually popularizing that trend. Many former British colonies still remain very respectful and loyal to their former colonial powers, especially when politics is concerned. Furthermore, many former British colonies still perceive Great Britain’s higher education system as first rate. Thanks again and I look forward to reading more of Reshmi Hebbar’s articles.

                                                                                                      

R. P.

Sandy Springs,Ga                                                                                                            

      

Thumbs Down, Houston Consulate!

I’m glad to hear that your reader had such a great experience with the new Travisa Outsourcing program that our Indian Consulate has started (“Good Work, Houston Consulate,” November ‘07). What everyone needs to realize is that this is yet another way for the Indian Government to milk the NRIs who are trying to visit India. Not only is there now an additional $13 "processing fee" per application, but the reader also failed to mention that there is an additional $20 per applicant fee for each passport shipped back with the visa stamp.

I had filled out two separate online applications to apply for visas. They give you no option to bundle the two applications (originating from the same mailing address) in one online session. What does this mean? It means that you have to shell out $20 extra on shipping for each passport. When you have a family of four or so, it adds up real quick. And I got my visas in one FedEx envelope, which means they have just made an additional profit of $20 for the two applications I mailed! When my two applications went to the outsourcing site, it took Travisa three days to enter my status, and it was at this point I realized that they were preparing it for delivery to the Consulate and that they had no authority to issue the visas!

Here is another thing everyone needs to try, as I have many times. An email query will take a few days to get a response. So say bye to visa camps (that used to cost us only $10 extra per application) and say hello to Travisa (get ready to pay $13 + $20 per application).

                                                                                                                Dissatisfied NRI

Lawrenceville,Ga.                                                                                                               

What’s on YOUR mind?

We welcome original, unpublished letters from our readers. You could either respond to a specific article in Khabar or write about issues relevant to our community. Letters may be edited for length and other considerations. Longer submissions by readers may be considered for the “My Turn” column.

Email: letters@khabar.com

Fax: (770) 234-6115.

Mail: Khabar, Inc.

3790 Holcomb Bridge Rd. Suite 101, Norcross, GA 30092.

Note: Views expressed in the Letters section do not necessarily represent those of the publication.


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