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Feb 232012

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times.

Most Indians in positions of power are exploitative barbaric creatures who ought to be caged and never allowed to see the sunlight or smell the roses.

Following the expose of Indian barbarism in a U.S. Court, Indian diplomat Neena Malhotra and her husband Jogesh Malhotra, an engineer, have been ordered by New York Magistrate Judge Frank Maas to pay $1.46 million for abusing their domestic maid Shanti Gurung (also an Indian).

Neena Malhotra is an Indian Foreign Service officer who served as a Press and Culture Counselor at the Indian Consulate in New York City from 2006-2009.

When she came to New York City in 2006, Neena brought Shanti Gurung from India to serve as her house-maid.

Indian Diplomat Neena Malhotra Must Pay $1.46m - BlogIndian Diplomat Neena Malhotra
(Image Courtesy: IBNLive)

Maid in India Not Maid in America

U.S. Court documents reveal that Shanti Gurung’s complaint of July 1, 2010 alleges that she was essentially kidnapped from India at the age of 17, trafficked to the U.S. and held in involuntary servitude (slavery) for three years.

In the complaint, Shanti Gurung made several charges against Malhotra including non-payment of promised wages, being asked to give Neena Malhotra daily massages, a chore that apparently made Shanti “extremely uncomfortable,” not being provided warm winter clothes, forced to sleep on the floor, served only leftovers or no food etc.

Here’s an excerpt from Judge Frank Maas’ order:

Gurung consequently often “went hungry as there were no leftovers to eat.” …. The Malhotras also deprived her of rice, a staple of her native diet…. One indication of the privation Gurung was subjected to is the fact that her weight dropped from approximately 147 pounds to less than 84 pounds during the approximately forty months that she was employed by the Malhotras. [p.4]

Shanti also complained that her documents were seized, travel was restricted, and she was not permitted to
telephone her family.

In all, Shanti Gurung asserts twenty claims under various federal and state labor and human rights statutes, as well as under state common law.

Thank God, a Maid in America is not the same as Maid in India, where house-maids are frequently subject to inhuman treatment including rape, torture and other forms of brutalization by their employers.

Victory for Maid Shanti Gurung

The legal battle has ended in a big victory for the maid.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank Maas recommended Shanti Gurung be awarded $392,721 for unpaid wages (including liquidated damages), $36,076 in prejudgment interest, $500,000 for emotional distress, and $300,000 in punitive damages, for a total of $1,228,797.

Including legal fees, the Malhotras must pay $1.46 million to Shanti Gurung.

Here are details on the U.S. court’s big award to Shanti Gurung:

Neena Malhotra Must Pay Ex-Maid Shanti Gurung $1.5m - Blog

The Malhotras did not contest or respond to Shanti Gurung’s complaint.

Will Shanti Gurung get her Million Dollar Payout?

The million dollar question now, at least for us, is how Shanti Gurung will get her million dollar payout.

Neena Malhotra has been out of the U.S. for nearly three years now.

She’s currently serving as Director of Southern Division in India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

Given her modest Indian government salary, we doubt Neena Malhotra has $1.46 million to hand over to Shanti Gurung.

Like y’all, we too eagerly await the next act in the Shanti Gurung vs Neena Malhotra legal drama.

Indian Govt. Response

Neither Neena Malhotra nor India’s Ministry of External Affairs have issued any comment on the mega award to Shanti Gurung by the U.S. court on February 22, 2012.

But on July 9, 2010 a spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs denied Neena Malhotra had treated Shanti Gurung badly:

In response to questions, Official Spokesperson said that Ministry had seen media reports and looked into the matter. It is understood that Ms. Shanti Gurung, Service Staff of Dr. Neena Malhotra, then Consul at Consulate General of India New York, had disappeared on the eve of latter’s return to India. Consul Neena brought the matter to CGI’s attention immediately which informed concerned US authorities. Media reports have also contained certain allegations against Dr. Malhotra, which do not appear to be in conformity with facts.

Related U.S. Court Documents:
Order of U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank Maas in Shanti Gurung vs Neena Malhotra et al Case
Maid Shanti Gurung’s U.S. Court Complaint Against Neena Malhotra and Jogesh Malhotra

Feb 232012

(For SI Blog commenter Hari)

To all the schmucks who cry out loud that Indians just don’t have it in them to make good movies, we ask, have you putzheads watched Khosla Ka Ghosla.

Have you?

Speak up, bozos.

Khosla Ka Ghosla – Delightful Comedy

Helmed by a competent director (Dibakar Banerjee), supported by a fine cast of actors (Anupam Kher, Ranvir Shorey, Vinay Pathak, Boman Irani, Navin Nischol, Tara Sharma, Parvin Dabas, Nitesh Pandey) and solidly scripted by a talented writer (Jaideep Sahni), Khosla Ka Ghosla is an excellent entertainer.

It’s been a long time since a Hindi film gave us so much pleasure.

After watching this fine movie the other day (at the repeated urging of a SI commenter), we greatly regretted not seeing it earlier.

Well, as the cliche goes, better late than never.

As anyone of Indian origin can tell you, middle-class folks from that benighted land have three grand ambitions in life – Ensure their son turns out an engineer or doctor, get their daughter married to an engineer or doctor and build a house before retiring from their job.

Each goal is a herculean endeavor and few middle class Indians manage to pull off all three tasks successfully.

Khosla Ka Ghosla centers around the efforts of a middle-class Delhi native on the threshold of retirement to accomplish the third goal – buying a plot, the first step toward building a house.

Buy buying a plot and building a house is easier said than done in Mera Bharat Mahaan.

And that’s where our ‘uncle’ Kamal Kishore Khosla (Anupam Kher) gets trapped in the quicksands of corruption that bedevils the land. Continue reading »

Feb 232012

In our ever persistent zeal to find a spicy exhilarating meal we occasionally explore other cuisines especially Thai and Mexican.

Just like our Indian cuisine, Thai and Mexican cuisines are known for spicy food.

The other day we were early for a movie at Rave Motion Pictures Ritz Center in Voorhees, New Jersey.

So we decided to put the extra time to good use by doing what we do best – eating. ;)

We quickly headed to the Eagle Plaza mall adjacent to the Rave Motion Pictures Ritz Center exploring the restaurant options. Our eyes fell on an Afghani and a Thai cuisine restaurant.

We picked Bangkok City Thai restaurant as we were not so much in a Kebab mood.

Bangkok City Thai Restaurant

As we entered around Noon, Bangkok City was bubbling with activity and there were already seven diners in various stages of their meal.

Greeted by a smiling lone waitress, we were quickly shown to a table.

The same lady got us the water and lunch specials menu.

Bangkok City Thai Lunch Deals

The lunch specials Bangkok City are priced at $7.95 for a regular entree and $8.95 for a special of the day.

Both come with a choice of soup plus an appetizer or salad and an entree accompanied by rice.

Since we are not so much into eating salad on a chilly day, we chose soup plus an appetizer for starters.

Our order included Veggies Roll, Tom Yum Hot and Sour Vegetarian Soup, Panang Vegetarian Red Curry with a special request to make it spicy/hot for the herbivores in our group.

For the carnivores, we ordered Giew Grop for appetizer, Tom Kah Coconut Milk Chicken Soup and Kiew Warn Chicken Green Curry again with a special ‘hot’ request.

Our soups and appetizers were delivered within eight minutes of ordering followed by the entree.

While we were impressed by the quick service, the way our order got botched up at the delivery infuriated us. More on this later.

Bangkok City Thai – Vegetarian Lunch

On the whole our rating for Bangkok City Vegetarian Lunch is Good.

Tom Yum Soup was sour but not obscenely sour and hot temperature wise. It included Tomato, Mushroom and Green Onion slices.

Veggie Roll was crispy as promised and we finished it quickly using the red chilly paste and honey sauce that came with it.

While Tom Yum Soup and Veggies Roll were good, the best item of our Vegetarian Lunch was the Panang Red Curry.

With a medium thick red color sauce, Panang Red Curry was spicy but not so spicy as to bring tears to our eyes.

A mèlange of Tofu, ridged Carrot slices, Broccoli, Cauliflower crowns, Red Pepper, Tomato and Cut Beans, Panang Curry was delicious with small serving size of Jasmine Rice and a slice of Orange.

What added allure to Panang Red Curry was the red chilly and spicy, tangy taste of Vegetables.

Bangkok City Thai Panang Red CurryTasty Panang Red Curry with Jasmine Rice

Bangkok City Thai Chicken Curry Kiew Warn Chicken Green Curry

Bangkok City Thai – Chicken Lunch

Tom Kah Soup was creamy with Coconut Milk flavor and quite tasty. Besides Chicken pieces, it included Tomato and Green Onion slices.

Giew Grop was crispy as promised by the menu.

Set in a light green color medium thick gravy, Kiew Warn Green Curry with Chicken found favor with us. Continue reading »

Feb 232012

If JFK’s inaugural address were to happen today, the lecherous bastard would probably say, Ask not what you can eat at Bengali Sweet House, ask why you won’t.

Bengali Sweet House is the hidden gem in that Indian cesspool known as Newark Ave in Jersey City, NJ.

Given that Indians are weird specimens, be they in Mera Bharat Mahaan or Amreeka, it’s not in the least surprising that Bengali Sweet House in Jersey City should serve not a Bengali meal but Gujarati food.

Only an Indian restaurant sporting the name Bengali Sweet House would venture to offer a Gujarati meal!

But what’s in a name as the bard would say.

So delicious was our Gujarati meal that we swooned.

We swear on Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Trisha Krishnan, Ajith and Sameera Reddy. ;)

Bengali Sweet House Buffet LunchBengali Sweet House Gujarati Lunch Buffet

Bengali Sweet House Jersey City – Vegetarian Lunch Buffet Items

During our visit Bengali Sweet House’s weekend Gujarati lunch buffet ($7.99) included a sumptuous array of vegetarian dishes – Gota for appetizer, Bhindi Masala, Palak Paneer, Mixed Vegetable Curry, Kadi, Dal, Plain Rice and Roti for main course, Green Chutney, Tamarind Sauce, Raita, Pappadum for sides and Mohan Thal for dessert.

In one word, the Bengali Sweet House lunch buffet was “Delicious.

Appetizers or entrees, dessert or Rotis, the meal was a blessing to our demanding taste buds.

Every single item had a rich flavor, nice aroma, fine taste.

And they were all piping hot and seemed fresh.

Here are the details of our Bengali Gujarati dining adventure: Continue reading »