Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

From UN meeting to the Indian joints in New York

Sunday 3:30 am: The WFUNA Executive Committee meeting stared at 9 am today morning and finished around noon over lunch. Yesterday, while the meeting was in progress, a group of Syrians were protesting outside the UN building on some human rights issue. 
A member from Israel demanded that WFUNA Executive Committee should issue a statement regarding the Syrian problem. After deliberations it was decided that it would not be appropriate for the Executive Committee to do so.
There was a discussion on hosting the next plenary in Juba – the proposed capital of Southern Sudan - that will become the independent state of South Sudan on July 9th 2011. South Sudan is the 55th country in Africa and Juba is a picturesque town on the banks of the White Nile.
The UN membership roaster contains 54 African states and that of the African Union lists 53 states. Of these, 48 states are on the African mainland while 6 are island nations. Many WFUNA members felt that it would not be practical to hold the plenary as WFUNA currently has no branch in Juba. They felt it was not pragmatic to depend on the new government for the plenary. The next Executive Committee meeting, it was decided would be held in India in the first week of November.
The Executive Committee members expressed their satisfaction on the financial position of the organisation that is at its best in recent years. As a treasurer, I have all the reasons to be happy.
After the Executive Committee I went to Jackson Heights – one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in New York city. It is a microcosm of the Indian subcontinent in New York with a mixed settlement of Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis etc., along with a large number of South Americans and East Asians.
Every time I comeback to visit this place I find more and more immigrant populations have moved in. Procuring a green card seems to be a major goal for most of these groups. I had a chat at Rajbhog shop and also had a pan at the Shetty Pan Centre and went to see an Indian movie on Long Island.
Before going to the Jackson Heights, I visited the New York University area and further down to the University at MacDougal Street, students from Bangladesh and West Bengal know that there is one very famous roll shop called The Kati Roll. This shop, selling only rolls, enjoys a reputation among the students that rival's our very own Nizam's.
Bang opposite is another shop that sells Jhal Muri and chats called Thelewala. It is a fact that we Indians cannot forget our food and culture and are actually drawn to it even more when far away from home.
After seeing a movie I went to another Indian joint called Five Star in Long Island, which, as far as I know, is the only one that is operational 24 hours a day. It reminds me of Azad Hind Dhaba, Kolkata. At 2 am, well past midnight, I had excellent dhaba food on my way back to the Millenium.
ess bee

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