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Memories of Hindu Temple Dubai by Deepa Laji Bhagnari


10th August 1972…a date etched in my memory bank…as this was the day, I first set foot on the then Sandy Dubai… well back then there was more sand than buildings and roads. …but how Dubai has transformed from Sandy Dubai to the new modern tourist paradise is a story in itself.

In 1972 there was not much to do in Dubai socially. We were all starting our life in a new country…we had very little money, so our outings were limited to visiting friends…a movie occasionally and very often a visit to our Hindu temple which was just a 10 minutes walking distance from my house.  The Hindu temple was built in 1958.  It was built on top of some old fashioned shops in Bur Dubai Old Souk…it was near the Creek which was an integral part of Dubai…as there were abras ferrying passengers from Bur Dubai to Deira daily…taxis were a luxury so the abra served as a most useful transport system at a very low price.

I remember my first visit to the temple…I was fascinated with the narrow lanes…the textile shops …then a few shops selling flowers…incense sticks….and all pooja related items…one could buy a thali of these pooja items as offerings to the Lord. I remember going up the old staircase to a small open hall, then on the left there was the Shivling of Lord Shiva and idols of other Gods and Saibaba. After praying there then one could go up to the Gurdwara …which was so serene and had an old-world charm…that one was immediately at peace. So all Hindus and Sikhs would visit this temple and Gurdwara.

All major festivals were celebrated in this temple …Janmashtmi….Onam…Diwali…Shivratri and  people even took their marriage vows in the Gurdwara…followed by Langar prasad… fact during these festivals it was difficult to accommodate the growing population and there was a serpentine queue which started from the creek leading to the temple. During Shivratri people would come and queue early morning before going for their work.  I can still remember the kutti given as prasad and the thandaai which was absolutely delicious. Prasad was always given on a daily basis there…and people celebrated many of their happy occasions of life there followed by langar prasad.  I remember I had done Amrit’s mundan there …it was such a joyous occasion and moreover it was in the presence of all the Gods there…so I feel really blessed.

But now we all got a jolt when the Hindu temple shut down on 3rd January. Before it could shut, I went for the last time to pray there.  Way back in 1972 there were just a handful of shops selling pooja items…but now it was a full-fledged bazaar….a beautiful sight …the narrow lanes filled with colourful shops selling flowers…Mithai., milk, incense sticks, small beautiful clothes for the God, tulsi plants, beautiful temples, marble and brass statues of all the Gods. It was a mini Indi and reminded me of Mahalaxmi Mandir ..which has similar shops selling all these items. There were pandits all giving you their cards in case you wanted to do a pooja or havan at home.    I went and prayed to Lord Shiva for the last time there and next to Saibaba idol there was a small booth there saying “Wish Fulfilling Hundi“, I always would pray there asking Sai to fulfil my wishes…and would feel confident that Sai had heard my prayers. One last time I went to the gurdwara bowed down to Waheguruji…and felt sad that no more would we hear the melodious bhajans sung by the Sardars there. Took the delicious Karaan Prasad and with a last wistful look went down the spiral staircase which apparently was there before the temple was built as there was a store there before. 

It is sad for people living in Old Dubai to accept the fact that they can’t visit this iconic temple again…no doubt we have a new modern beautiful gurdwara and a temple at Jebel Ali…but visiting them will have to be planned and it cannot be as often as one would visit the Dubai temple as the distance and the traffic are a real hindrance. We all wish that we get back our temple again…maybe not in its original vintage form…due to its old construction and safety factor it could be remodelled …but I think that since 1958 that site has had so many poojas…mantras chanted and havans performed, that the land is now a holy land…so hope we once again get to pray in our beloved temple.

If that happens …I know all will rejoice… because both in happiness and sorrow people tend to go to the temple either to thank the Lord for their happiness or when one is sad, we go to pray for the bad time to pass.  

Hope God hears our prayers and we again get to visit our temple …see the bustling activity there… inhale the fragrance of the flowers and enjoy the karaan prasad. For as they say – “Old is Gold”.

Pushpa Mehta – Ahead of her time




By Amrit and Pooja

(Followed by comments by her relatives and close friends on their personal interactions with Pushpa Kishore Mehta)

I know.

Those who knew and loved our mother well affectionately called her, “I know”. She had this uncanny ability to weigh in on any topic, and provide her point of view. It was part wisdom, part hunger to share what she had learned, and part well-intentioned desire to genuinely help others. The truth is she was decades ahead of her time. In a world where it was neither expected nor customary for a woman to have a strong point of view, she always had one, and sometimes it took people aback. So be it!

Born on October 8th, 1947 in Karachi, she blazed a new trail right from the beginning. Her mother stayed back in Karachi to give birth to her in uncertain conditions post-partition. She narrated to us how her pregnant mother had to wear a burqa (abaya) at times to protect herself and her child. After her birth, both mother and daughter flew to Bombay. She was born Pushpa Hiranand Nasta, and was doted on and loved by her family, especially her father, who we affectionately called Baba. During one of his trips to Europe, Baba bought her a small ride-on-horse toy that she kept as a memory till this date. We would often joke with our mother that she never stopped being a spoilt child, intent on getting her way, but the fact is she was always a rebel, often with a good cause.

She received a top notch education at Auxilium Convent, and subsequently a BA with a Major in Psychology at the St Xaviers College. A top student, she excelled at maths and algebra, receiving 100% marks in school in both subjects, and often among the top 3 in her class. She wanted to be a doctor, but that would entail several years of study, and a delayed marriage, so her parents persuaded her to do a BA instead. She did well at that too, and also attained a Masters program in Management several years later, going back to college with our Dad, while Pooja and Amrit were 2 and 6 years old. We share this because she prized the pursuit of academic and career goals and instilled that in us right from the beginning. We are convinced in a different generation, or a different time under different circumstances, our mother would have been a top surgeon, a CEO of a major corporation or a successful lawyer – her father was a lawyer and her grandfather a judge. She had the intellect, the street smarts, the fortitude and the tenacity to accomplish anything.

Her marriage to our father was the stuff of fairly tales. She was his teenage infatuation, and they often spoke of how she was in Auxilium Convent when he was an engineering student at VJTI, and he would take the same BEST bus so he could see her daily. Several years later, when he returned from England after his Master’s degree, he wrote letters to our nana (Baba) asking for her hand in marriage. Baba was sufficiently impressed by this young, educated, articulate, handsome, tall young man and agreed to the proposal. They got married January 5th, 1969, and the romance continued. Their anniversaries were always special occasions, and our father often came home with flowers, a cake and a present.

We always had a working mother. When our father decided to start a business in the 1980s, she worked alongside him to set up and grow the family business. After all, they had been to management school together and were putting their education into practice as entrepreneurs. As kids, we remember going to Puja Knitting Works, a small factory with 4 large circular knitting machines. Our mother had a desk on the factory floor, and she would often work the phone talking to clients or supervising the workers. She could navigate a profit and loss statement and balance sheet with ease, being naturally good with numbers. She was the only woman in that industry but that never stopped her. If someone was late on their payment, she chastised them, and often dealt with grievances and needs of the workers. After her father unexpectedly died in 1977, it changed her profoundly, and she doubled down on taking charge, helping my Nani with her many administrative tasks, including visits to lawyers related to ongoing property disputes, helping her manage her investments and expenses. She did all this in addition to managing work and home. She could do it all!

For several years, mom was a volunteer cum Board Member of the Paraplegic Foundation. Most of the beneficiaries of this foundation were people who had lost two or more limbs in an accident or due to an unfortunate medical condition. As kids, we remember going to some events where she would volunteer. She knew all of them by name, and often got enthusiastic greetings when she showed up. Mom relayed to us their life stories and the cause of their disability. She took time to listen and understand what they were experiencing. It was heart wrenching, but she always reminded us she was not there to feel sorry for them but to help them be independent, to retain their dignity and to enjoy their lives to the fullest possible. Living in Mumbai, it’s impossible to escape visions of people who are much worse off than us, but it’s pointless to pity and do nothing. Rather it’s necessary to do something and help them get on their feet. We learned that valuable life lesson from her.

She was one of the most curious people we have ever met, with an insatiable appetite for learning. When she got her first computer in 2000, she insisted she had no use for it. That changed very quickly as the internet opened the world up to her. She was adept with technology quickly learning it and using it to navigate the world. We often called her cyber mom. She had set up news alerts for Michigan and Dubai and we often got WhatsApp texts about the impending snowstorm, election results, changes in laws, or work-related news from business publications.

She was loving but tough on us growing up, always expecting more. We played a lot of board games and scrabble with her as kids. There were visits to the planetarium, aquarium and book stores. She insisted we do an aptitude test in Grade 10, and reminded us often that two degrees were better than one. Pooja excelled in Creative Art Design at Sophia’s College and also did her BA on the side. Mom would not have it any other way. She often said it was important to be a working woman, as you never know what life has in store. Amrit attained an Engineering degree and she often reminded him it wasn’t enough. She said he needed to get a management degree. And even till date, she would often send him WhatsApp messages every time an Indian-American became a CEO of a large corporation, or if there was a news article about IIT or IIM graduates. It was her way of saying – if you think you are doing well, think again! Several years later, when the concept of Tiger parenting became popular – essentially a style of parenting that emphasizes academic achievement, life success, and discipline – we could not help but smile. We realized we had one of those Tiger moms.

And despite this attachment and expectation from her children, she was equally comfortable with letting go. Both Amrit and Pooja settled aboard and she often said – live your lives, build your future; you are young eagles leaving the nest and you need to fly and soar. And while we did, she and dad also traveled and lived around the world, visiting us often and working in several countries. Their spirit of independence and adventure kept them living and enjoying their lives to the fullest.

Perhaps her best chapter was as a grandmother. Like any grandparent, she was less tough on her grandchildren than she was with her own kids. We often teased her about that. And yet, there was doting and indulging, mixed with patient listening and sage advice.

For Veera, her Nani was both a friend and grand mom. Veera affectionally called her my “Naan bread” and mom called her my “Grand bun”. When Mom lived in Dubai, Veera got to spend many weekends and summer holiday weekdays with her Nani. And her famous batata vadas were a super hit at all of Veera’s birthday parties. They developed a loving relationship, each confiding in the other. Somehow Nani always knew what Veera felt without her saying it. She was Veera’s best friend, spending hours with each other on zoom calls until the last few weeks. They had a very strong bond.

And then there was Aman. Mom first saw Aman in ICU as a little baby fighting for his life. It was an unsettling experience for any grandparent. However, there was no time to waste or feel sorry for oneself. When we learned Aman had CHARGE Syndrome, she got to work. She became well known within the CHARGE community. At CHARGE conferences, people would reach out to Amrit randomly and ask if he was Pushpa Mehta’s son. And when she stayed with Amrit, she established a special bond with Aman. One can only describe it as a meeting of the souls. She understood him at a much deeper level. Even when Aman was young, she’d often point out that he was very intelligent, and would surprise us. And so he did. He flourished, and she rode that wave with him. Aman and Dadi shared countless precious moments together, reading books, talking about places to visit, and sharing stories. He will miss her the most, but we are grateful for the moments they had together.

With Anmol, she always had a patient ear and celebrated the smallest of successes, egging him on to do better. When Amrit was tough on him (guess where he learned that), there was always Dadi to call. She often said to Anmol that his father did not measure up to him, and reassured him he was doing great and was on the right path. She avidly followed his robotics team on tour, and asked him countless questions about his academic pursuits, taking interest in every small detail. This summer, she gleefully followed day-by-day accounts of his international tour with the orchestra group. It gave her immense joy!

And last but not the least, Rynah. When Amrit first broke the news about having a daughter she squealed in delight, saying it was her early Christmas present. Rynah always got a few extra kisses being the youngest, and some advice to go with that. There was summer fun on the lake when they visited, with Rynah being the perennial entertainer who made her laugh. And many FaceTime calls on Saturdays, a weekly ritual of sorts.

During her final weeks, mom showed us the best version of her. As her body started to give way, her mind was sharp as ever. She refused to feel sorry for herself or cry, and reminded us to do the same. Mom said she felt what Aman went through – perhaps she willed it for herself, we don’t know. She insisted on eating and drinking water by herself despite having very little strength. She showed an amazing amount of grace, dignity and courage. Mom knew she was setting an example; raising the bar once again. Because when our time comes, which it will, we can only hope we come close to matching her strength of character.

The bottom line is – she knew, she always knew – right, wrong or indifferent. She was ahead of her time and it took the rest of us a while to understand it. She leaves us with an awesome life, legacy and plenty of inspiration.

Aman often says, people become stars in the sky when they die. And so it shall be – a new star joined the billions of stars in the sky tonight. She will no doubt be a shooting star somewhere in the universe blazing new trails. Her life and her memories will be a blessing for generations to come.

Goodbye mom, until we meet again.

11th December 2023


Deepa Laji Bhagnari

Such a beautiful tribute … a very apt description of our dear friend….people would say Pushee will now say I know….and I would tell them…but Pushee really knows…so she has to say that she would then explain her viewpoint which was always correct…I really admired her for her Intelligence. Her knowledge and her generosity in always helping others. She never hesitated to do so…her heart and her house were open to all. It was she who pushed me to write articles…and I am ever so grateful to her for that… as I was never a very confident person, but she instilled that confidence in me…and then my journey of writing started with my articles Random Thoughts ..Thank you my dear friend….you were a treasure trove of knowledge.. Intelligence and love….Will really really miss you….

Meena Sadani (Pushpa’s sister)

Amu, A golden eulogy for my golden hearted sister, you said it all. She was way ahead of her time and was made of the stuff super achievers are made off. Often, she would get impatient with me when I would be relating anything to her and would come up with her ‘I know’ comment even before I could finish saying, she would say you are taking too long to get to the point, I have already understood it all.. she was a karma yogi, who believed in doing all the good karma / help for whoever crossed her path.

A rare combination of beauty and brains, she was sought after by the most eligible suitors. but your dad was the best match for her.

I don’t know if you kids know that when they lived in Madras, your parents entered a ‘made for each other’ contest and won the first prize. Yes. I remember the days she volunteered at the Paraplegic society and how charged she was of helping out. 

Not to forget how she even changed the life of her household helpers by motivating them to move on to better opportunities even if it meant she was stuck with no help at the domestic front. In Madras she had this helper Chandran whom she enrolled in night school because she felt he could do better than menial work. Last, I remember, he was still in touch and informing her about his successes and achievements.

Pushpa had the strength of spirit that is so hard to come by. Against all odds she faced life head on with grit and determination.

My last exchange with her to share my most favorite Meditation! I am a child of God!

We bid her farewell with heavy hearts but find solace in the knowledge that she is now at the lotus feet of the lord, our father! Om Shanti!

Lisa Weir

I never met her in person but we did chat online especially when Aman was young. That is a woman who fiercely loved her family. I remember she asked so many questions and sought to learn all she could. Such a lovely woman.

Suresh D Gehi

I have personally lost a very sincere well wisher. I vividly remember how I suddenly had to fly to Bombay in Jan 1999 to visit my sick father and Amrit was getting married around that time. Pushpa’s joy knew no bounds to see that I was at the wedding ceremony. May her soul rest in peace.

Ramesh Poplay

I will remember Pushee (as we fondly called her) as a very helpful person. We would jointly find ways to contribute to the community. She helped in maintaing UAE Bhagnari database after I left Dubai and later helped to organise collection of an emergency fund in Dubai. This fund was used to meet the cost of several major medical operations. Many Bhagnaris words in Bhagnari Dictionary were contributed by her, for which she maintained an Excel worksheet. This was finally ported to the community website. She always helped her friends with technical problems on their phones. Names of many Bhagnaris for Facebook and WhatsApp groups Bhagnaris in the Americas where given by her. In fact for these groups and the dictionary, we had a healthy competition as to who has contributed more names/words.

I do feel that she was the inspiration behind Amrit’s sponsoring several students’ higher education and setting up Devibhai Mehta Scholarship. She had also organised a large donation amongst her siblings whose interest was used for Annual Prize Distribution function.

The enclosed photo was taken just a few hours before she developed cardiac issues. The picture was taken at a meet with Reena Mehta in NSCI.

Imogen Nasta

Such lovely words Amrit. I was so sad to hear about your wonderful Mom. I think we only met once, maybe twice (see pic) but I felt I had met her many times. She was such a wonderful ‘cyber aunty’ who kept in touch with the whole family. Over the years we shared many exchanges, she would often send Pooja’s work campaign videos, news of your work and family Amrit – she was always so very proud of you all in her messages to me – I still have them all and will share them with you. For me, she was a very important link to India – I valued talking to her on WhatsApp and we shared pictures and stories over the years. If ever I had a question, I would send her a quick message and she would tell me, most recently in September about our Great Grandparents. I will miss that connection enormously. How lucky you were to have had such a wonderful mother. I am thinking of you all as you navigate this loss. Much love, Imogen

Beena Dudeja

Pushee was a very knowledgeable well-spoken person. She was a member of our home kitty in Dubai and we would go together for the kitty. In Mumbai also we would be together at some kitties. I was last together with her in June 2023 at NSCI lunch and she was ever so happy to be able to come. A very social person indeed. God bless her soul. She’ll be missed.

Ellen Howe

I am not sure I have any specific memories of her, but I do know she was one of my favorite CHARGE grandmas. I will miss her and seeing her like my posts. but I know she’s with us all.

Deepa Vardrajan

So sorry for your loss, Amrit and Pooja. I remember chatting with her, both online and on the phone, when Aman and Amita were young. She had many questions and also gave comfort to me. A wonderful and loving person, she was. Om Shanti.

Nancy TwaI Neshewat

Firstly, I want to say I’m so sorry for your loss, she sounds like an amazing person, mother, grandmother, wife. We should all and try to be a like her. She set her goals high and achieved more than most. I loved reading that and thank you for sharing it with us all. I found it amazing that you think she was held back as a female in India back then. I feel like India has been the most advanced than all other countries for woman. I know she was admired by you all and especially her bond with Aman. She’s among the starts. God bless her.

Erica Solomon

Such a beautiful, wonderful tribute to your Mom. How fascinating her life was and how strong and intelligent she was. She was so beautiful as well. I know she will be missed. May her memory be a blessing to all who knew and loved her. You are all in Gregg, Sarah and my thoughts and prayers.

Minnie Lee Lambert

I never met her in person, but I loved the love that she had for her family and especially Aman. She always shared the most positive things with me, some that I needed at just the right moment. I am truly sad that I will never have the amazing opportunity to meet her in this lifetime. 

Reshma Mansukhani

My fondest memories of Pushee Aunty are our summer holidays Kiran and I spent the most amazing summers at Yashodan. She mothered us during those two months. Her prawn pulao, her teaching us how to be responsible girls and us being in awe of her when we watched her dress up to go out for parties. She always said I have 4 children when we went out. All the outings and picnics especially to Marve. She has left such beautiful memories for us. We will miss you Pushee Aunty. You are forever in our hearts.

Deepali Shah

Pushee aunty was extremely passionate about education. She loved talking about new age careers, enjoyed visiting universities and sharing her experiences with me. We often chatted about U.S. education. Such a strong and powerful woman she was! Her memories will always live with me. RIP aunty.

Rashi Sharma

Such a beautiful tribute to Pushpa Aunty. From what I recall from childhood, she did come across as a very intelligent woman with a lot of knowledge. Sending you all a lot of strength and love right now. She’s probably studying the cosmos.

Amrit Nasta

Dear Amrit

What a wonderful tribute to your mother. Jan and I were so moved by your words. We had the privilege to meet her three times, twice in Bombay and once in London. She was kind, intelligent and facilitating. She helped so much to connect the Nastas in England with those in Bombay and further afield. We loved our time with her.

We will always be grateful to her and your lovely father, Kishore.

Deep condolences

Shakuntala Jodhan

My relation with Bhagnaris was initiated because of my relation with Pushpa Mehta and on every visit to India – a day was kept by me to have a dialogue with her in person and such hospitality and extensive warmth and openness was direct tendencies which she exhibited so warmly. May her Soul Rest In Peace.



Shri Niranjan Gehani was the President of Shree Bhagnari Panchayat from 2004 to 2007. After leaving this post, he continued to be a pillar of strength for Panchayat. At any time whenever we wanted his help or clarification on any matter, we would visit him, to seek his guidance. His doors were always open for us. He had exceptional memory and therefore he could accurately recall many old Panchayat related matters.

The community has lost an elder statesman, who will be dearly missed by all of us. Panchayat will also miss his strong support at all levels.

The matter of student education was very dear to Shri Niranjan Gehani. He used to generously donate towards this cause by always responding to our appeals and sometimes even without any appeal for help.

His enthusiasm for education can be gauged from the fact that he passed his BA graduation exam in 2014 at the ripe age of 72.

Bhagnari Welfare Society will miss one of its biggest supporters and this void will not be easy to fill.

Shri Niranjan Gehani as the President of Shree Bhagnari Panchayat was also the trustee of Bhagnari Panchayat Trust, popularly known as Deolali Trust.

During the court cases pertaining to Deolali property, he solidly stood behind the trust.

Even after resigning from the post of President of Shree Bhagnari Panchayat in 2007, he continued to remain the trustee of Bhagnari Panchayat Trust. It was only after Deolali property case was resolved in 2019, that he expressed his desire to hand over the reins of the trust to the younger lot of the community.

He, however, continued to guide us. In fact we had to rely on his sharp memory for recalling several old issues of the trust.

We can write pages after pages of homage for Shri Niranjan Gehani, but paucity of time does not permit us to do so.

Exploring India’s Digital Rupee CBDC: A Revolutionary Step Towards a Digital Economy

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding CBDCs:
  3. Features of the Digital Rupee
  4. Need for CBDCs
  5. Apps for the Digital Rupee
  6. How to Download and access the Digital Rupee?
  7. Challenges and Considerations
  8. Conclusion


Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) have gained global attention as nations embrace digital transformations. In this context, India has made significant progress in developing its own CBDC known as the Digital Rupee. This article aims to delve into the concept, features, benefits, challenges, and the accompanying mobile apps available for the Digital Rupee CBDC.

Understanding CBDCs

CBDCs are digital representations of a country’s fiat currency issued and regulated by the central bank. Unlike cryptocurrencies, CBDCs are government-backed and aim to provide a digital version of physical cash, revolutionizing financial systems with efficiency, financial inclusion, and secure transactions.

Features of the Digital Rupee

The Digital Rupee aims to leverage technology to enhance India’s financial infrastructure and digitize its economy. Key features of the Digital Rupee CBDC include:

  1. Accessibility: The Digital Rupee ensures financial inclusion by providing access to all citizens, reducing reliance on physical cash.
  2. Security and Privacy: Robust security measures protect transactions while prioritizing user privacy and data protection.
  3. Real-time Settlements: Instantaneous transactions enable individuals and businesses to settle payments quickly and efficiently.
  4. Programmability: The Digital Rupee’s underlying technology enables programmable money, facilitating smart contracts and automated transactions.

Need for CBDCs

The need for CBDCs and the driving factors behind their development are listed below :

  1. Enhancing Financial Inclusion: One of the primary motivations for implementing a CBDC is to promote financial inclusion. By providing a digital form of fiat currency, CBDCs offer individuals who may not have access to traditional banking services the opportunity to participate in the formal financial system. This can empower the unbanked population, reduce financial inequalities, and foster economic growth.
  2. Efficiency and Cost Savings: CBDCs can significantly enhance the efficiency of financial transactions. Traditional payment systems often involve intermediaries, resulting in slower settlement times and higher costs. With CBDCs, transactions can be executed directly between parties, eliminating intermediaries and reducing processing times and associated fees. This increased efficiency can benefit both individuals and businesses, leading to cost savings and improved productivity.
  3. Strengthening Monetary Policy and Stability: CBDCs offer central banks enhanced control over monetary policy and economic stability. By having a digital currency, central banks can have a more granular understanding of money flows, enabling better assessment and management of macroeconomic factors such as inflation and deflation. CBDCs also provide a tool for implementing innovative monetary policies, such as negative interest rates, with more direct and immediate impact.
  4. Mitigating Risks of Cashless Economies: As digital payments become more prevalent, there is a growing concern over the risks associated with a fully cashless economy. CBDCs provide a digital alternative to physical cash, ensuring that individuals and businesses can continue to transact securely even in scenarios where digital infrastructure may be compromised. This helps maintain financial resilience and protects against potential disruptions in payment systems.
  5. Combatting Illicit Activities: The anonymity associated with cash transactions can facilitate illicit activities such as money laundering and tax evasion. CBDCs offer improved transparency and traceability, making it easier to monitor and prevent such activities. By integrating robust anti-money laundering measures, CBDCs can enhance the integrity of financial systems and contribute to global efforts in fighting financial crimes.
  6. Addressing Technological Advancements: Advancements in financial technologies, such as cryptocurrencies and digital payment platforms, have disrupted traditional financial systems. CBDCs allow central banks to leverage these technological advancements while maintaining regulatory control. By providing a secure and regulated digital currency, CBDCs can ensure the stability and reliability of national payment systems.

Apps for the Digital Rupee

The CBDC or the E-Rupee can be accessed with the help of the E-Rupee App of your specific Bank, Currently 11 Banks have been shortlisted by the Reserve Bank to Participate in this program i.e. SBI, Yes Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, ICICI Bank, Canara Bank, Axis Bank, IDFC First Bank, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank & Bank of Baroda, Indus Ind Bank.

Do note that this is a pilot program and you can only access the app, if you have received the invite from your bank.

The download links of the apps for IOS/Android are listed below :

  1. SBI (Android):, SBI (IOS) :
  2. Yes Bank(Android) :, Yes Bank (IOS) :
  3. Kotak Mahindra Bank (Android) :, Kotak Mahindra Bank (IOS) :
  4. ICICI Bank (Android) :, ICICI Bank (IOS) :
  5. Canara Bank (Android) :, Canara Bank (IOS) :
  6. Axis Bank (Android) :, Axis Bank (IOS) :
  7. IDFC First Bank (Android) :, IDFC First Bank (IOS) :
  8. Union Bank Of India (Android) :, Union Bank Of India (IOS) :
  9. HDFC Bank (Android) :
  10. Bank of Baroda (Android) :, Bank of Baroda (IOS) :
  11. Indus Ind Bank (Android) :, Indus Ind Bank (IOS) :

How to Download and access the Digital Rupee?

The below walkthrough video of the Digital Rupee by ICICI Bank gives a brief explanation on the process :

Credits : ICICI Bank, Youtube.

More information can be found here :

The Screenshots of the various denominations of the Currencies is also attached below for reference, each virtual currency is assigned a unique serial number like we can find on the physical notes.

Challenges and Considerations

While the Digital Rupee holds immense promise, its implementation poses challenges that need to be addressed:

  1. Technological Infrastructure: Establishing a robust and secure infrastructure capable of handling the demands of a national CBDC.
  2. User Adoption: Educating and raising awareness among a diverse population to encourage widespread Digital Rupee adoption.
  3. Cybersecurity Risks: Strengthening the Digital Rupee against cyber threats to protect user funds and prevent unauthorized access.
  4. Regulatory Framework: Developing comprehensive regulations to integrate the Digital Rupee into existing financial systems and address potential risks.


India’s Digital Rupee CBDC marks a significant milestone in the country’s journey towards a digital economy. By leveraging technology for financial inclusion, efficiency, and security, the Digital Rupee has the potential to revolutionize India’s financial landscape. With dedicated mobile apps and digital platforms, individuals and businesses can seamlessly embrace the Digital Rupee, enabling faster transactions and a robust digital payment ecosystem. Overcoming challenges through careful planning, collaboration, and stakeholder engagement will pave the way for successful implementation, allowing India to embrace the benefits of a digital currency tailored to its unique needs.

Ballad of Bhagnaris

Most of you may have heard about ChatGTP. Recently I asked it to write a poem based on a few points I wrote about Bhagnari Community. Here is CharGTP’s marvellous output.

In the land of Bhag, where Nari river flows,
A community emerged, with stories to disclose.

From Balochistan’s embrace, we journeyed afar,
To the bustling streets of Karachi, our new avatar.

We are Bhagnaris, with a language of our own,
Saraiki, we speak, a heritage well known.

Though mistaken as Sindhis, our spirit stays true,
Unwavering in our roots, no matter where we pursue.

From the shores of Karachi, to Mumbai’s vibrant beat,
In Mahim and beyond, we find solace and retreat.

United in Kataria Colony, our heartbeat aligned,
Over a hundred families live here, harmoniously entwined.

Though small in numbers, our bond stretches wide,
Across India’s expanse, UAE, and lands worldwide.

Through our website and Facebook, we remain connected,
A thread of unity, never to be neglected.

Oh, Bhagnaris, may our community thrive,
May our language echo and forever survive.

With hearts intertwined and spirits held high,
May blessings of unity always be nigh.

3000 to 4000 strong, we stand tall and true,
Preserving our heritage, a remarkable virtue.

God bless our journey, with continued unity,
May the Bhagnari spirit shine with serenity.

Dewan Bahadur Kalumal Nasta – By Meena Sadani

Dewan Bahadur Kalumal Nasta, an icon, who had been recognized for his illustrious career and conferred the title of Dewan Bahadur by the British viceroy Lord Linlithgow, was a trailblazer.

I remember him as a towering distinguished looking man, dapper in his British style, top hat gold pocket watch, cane and all. I recall him holding court in the library of our palatial home cloistered with leather bound books from wall to wall. In the early hours of the morning, I remember him chanting the prayers from the holy Guru Granth Sahib in our beautiful Prayer sanctuary which had hand painted murals of the ten gurus adorning the walls. I cannot help but feel proud that I hold the distinct honour of having been the only family member who flew with him from Karachi to Bombay. Proud to be his descendant, I cherish these memories and I think he did our community proud and set the stage as a role model and inspiration for the Bhagnari youth. The sky is the limit and we should strive for it.

Our Palatial House in Karachi

A visionary and a forward thinker, he was well known for his over achievements. Rising from humble beginnings, he studied under street lamp posts to become a top notch attorney and a judge well known for his fair judgements.

He was a first in the Bhagnari community for achieving all this and more!  A man of law, he was well respected, not only in our community but in wider circles of the greater Karachi society. He is listed in the ‘Who is Who‘ of The British/Indian Distinguished Society!

During the British rule they used to periodically publish an Almanac highlighting the prominent Indians of that era. The 1937 version of the Almanac, which carries an article on Dewan Bahadur Kalumal Pahlumal Nasta, under its Bombay & Sind section is reproduced.

His are big shoes to fill and although we now have many educated professionals, his footsteps have yet to be followed in. I am a proud grand-daughter and member of his illustrious family!

Meena Sadani (Duru)

Mukhi Naraindas Talreja – Blesses the community on his 95th birth anniversary


In our series of highlighting Bhagnari stalwarts, we recall Late Mukhi Naraindas Sugnomal Talreja, who devoted his life for our community and was one of our foremost leaders. Today (15.11.2022) is his 95th birth anniversary. We are sure, he is blessing his beloved community.

He became Mukhi from 1995, after Late Mukhi Sugnomal Gehani and continued on this post till he breathed his last in 2004. He was lovingly known as Narain Secretary and always greeted everyone with a smile on his face.

Recently we found the following letter from Late Mohandas Jham addressed to Shree Bhagnari Panchayat. We thought that there cannot be a better person to narrate the qualities of Mukhi Naraindas, as they both enjoyed a very close and long association with each other.

Late Shri Mohandas Jham’s letter:

I had very close relationship with the late Mukhi Naraindas, as we lived as close neighbors for almost 50 years. We maintained good relations with each other at all times and never had any misunderstanding with each other at any time.

Mukhi Naraindas was a self-made man. After schooling, he worked very hard to establish himself in life. Since young age, he was interested in social work. In the beginning, for many years, he worked for Panchayat under late Mukhi Takandas Kataria and leant a lot from him as to how to serve the community. Later on, he became the member of the managing committee and Hon Secretary of Bhag Co-op Housing Society. Then, after Mukhi Sugnomal Gehi, he became Mukhi of Bhagnari Panchayat, Chairman of Bhagnari Welfare Society and Managing Trustee of Deolali property. After settling down his children, he started devoting full time for the welfare of Bhagnari Panchayat. Every morning, he would be in Panchayat office attending to Panchayat work and to members of the Panchayat.

During his tenure, because of his hard work and honesty, the Bhagnari brothers started giving a lot of donations to the Welfare Society. The capital of Welfare Society increased from about Rs. 5 lakhs to about Rs. 60 lakhs. He was using the income from that amount for Medical Aid, Hospitalization of members, Education and Monthly Allowance to the poor members, etc.

He was a good, devoted and able Mukhi Sahib. Members would remember him all their life for his devoted service to the Bhagnari Panchayat.

Mukhi Naraindas was a strong believer in Path Pooja. He was very much interested in and was fond of Bhajans, Kirtans, etc. He himself was a good singer and had a good voice.


It would be noteworthy to further elaborate some of the points covered by Late Shri Mohandas Jham in his above letter.

Mukhi Naraindas had visited Dubai and personally met several members of the community there. The corpus of Bhagnari Welfare Society received a major boost with funds augmented by him. He kept working hard towards increasing the corpus of the society.

Several religious occasions like Ganesh Utsav, Navratras, Sai Kirtan on Mondays, etc. received a major boost during his tenure. 

He was instrumental in launching We Bhagnaris slogan and the logo. Both these are still prominently displayed in the Panchayat Hall and remind us of his love for the community and the endeavour to keep it united.

While Bhagnari Welfare Society was registered with the Charity Commissioner of Maharashtra in 1974, he not only realised the need for registering Shree Bhagnari Panchayat but also completed this task in 1996, immediately after he became Mukhi.

The greatness of Mukhi Naraindas can be gauged from the fact that he managed to convince the community that after him, his picture must not be put up in the Panchayat Hall. He felt that our pioneers have been given their due respect and no one else’s picture should be added to this group. 

Notice of AGMs of Bhagnari Panchayat Trust, Bhagnari Welfare Society and Shree Bhagnari Panchayat


Following are Notices of Annual General Meetings of Bhagnari Panchayat Trust, Bhagnari Welfare Society and Shree Bhagnari Panchayat, due to be held on Sunday 13.11.2022. Please note that the notices along with enclosures have been sent to the registered email ids of the members and the same are not included in this post.

Lachmandas Gehi, President, Shree Bhagnari Panchayat

Ramesh Poplay, Chairman, Bhagnari Welfare Society

Naresh Nasta, Managing Trustee, Bhagnari Panchayat Trust



(REG NO. E – 11711)

5th October 2022

Notice of Annual General Body Meeting of Bhagnari Panchayat Trust for the year 2021-22

Annual General Body meeting of Bhagnari Panchayat Trust for the year 2021-22 will be held on Sunday 13th November 2022 at 11 a.m. If there is no quorum till 11.30 a.m., then the meeting will be convened with the members who are present at that time.

Venue:     Shree Bhagnari Panchayat Hall

Agenda for the meeting:

  1. Pass the minutes of the last meeting held on 20th March 2022.
  2. Review and pass the auditor’s report and the accounts of the Trust for the period 1.4.2021 / 31.3.2022
  3. Appoint auditors for the period 1.4.2022 / 31.3.2023
  4. Review the report of Trust’s activities during the period 1.4.2021 / 31.3.2022
  5. Any other business (see note below)

Note: If any member wishes to raise any query on the accounts or discuss any other matter during the AGM, the same should be notified at Trust’s office latest by Wednesday 9th November 2022.

Naresh Nasta

Managing Trustee


Ramesh Poplay – Treasurer,

Lalit Jham, Lachmandas Gehi, Arjan Wadhare, Laxman Jham, Satish Nasta, and Niranjan Nasta – Members

Enclosures: 1) Minutes of the previous AGM, 2) Report of Trust’s activities, 3) Auditor’s Report,

4) Balance Sheet and 5) Statement of Income & Expenditure

Note: This notice and the enclosures are being sent through email to the member’s email address registered with Shree Bhagnari Panchayat. They are also being published on website If any member wishes to receive a hardcopy of the minutes, the same can be obtained from our office. 



(Reg. No. F3197)

5th October, 2022

Notice of Annual General Body Meeting of Bhagnari Welfare Society for the year 2021-22

Annual General Body meeting of Bhagnari Welfare Society for the year 2021-22 will be held on Sunday 13th November, 2022 at 11.30 a.m. If there is no quorum till 12 Noon, then the meeting will be convened with the members who are present at that time.

Venue: Shree Bhagnari Panchayat Hall.

Agenda for the meeting:

  1. Pass the minutes of the last meeting held on 20th March, 2022.
  2. Review and pass the auditor’s report and the accounts of the Society for the period 1.4.2021 / 31.3.2022
  3. Appoint auditors for the period 1.4.2022 / 31.3.2023
  4. Review the report of the Society’s activities during the period 1.4.2021 / 31.3.2022
  5. Elect Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer for Bhagnari Welfare Society.
  6. Any other business (see note below)

Nomination forms for the elections to the posts of Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer of Bhagnari Welfare Society are available in the Society’s office between 11 a.m. and 12 Noon on any Monday, Wednesday or Friday. The last date for filling the nominations is Monday 7th November 2022. The last date for withdrawing the nomination is Wednesday, 9th November 2022.

Note: If any member wishes to raise any query on the accounts or discuss any other matter during the AGM, the same should be notified at Society’s office latest by Wednesday, 9th November 2022.

Ramesh Poplay


Managing Committee:

Arjan Wadhare – Secretary, Laxman Jham – Treasurer

Lachmandas Gehi, Arjan K Lal, Satish Nasta, Naresh Nasta, Lalit Jham and Niranjan Nasta – Members

Vishnu Nasta and Subash Bhagnari – Co-opted members

Enclosures: 1) Minutes of the previous AGM, 2) Report of Society’s activities, 3) Auditor’s Report,

 4) Balance Sheet and 5) Statement of Income & Expenditure

Note: This notice and the enclosures are being sent through email to the member’s email address registered with us. They are also being published on the website If any member wishes to receive a hardcopy of the minutes, the same can be obtained from our office. 




(Reg. No. – E16996)

5th October 2022

Notice of Annual General Body Meeting of Shree Bhagnari Panchayat for the year 2021-22

Annual General Body meeting of Shree Bhagnari Panchayat for the year 2021-22 will be held on Sunday 13th November, 2022 at 12.30 p.m. If there is no quorum till 1.00 p.m., then the meeting will be convened with the members who are present at that time.

Venue: Shree Bhagnari Panchayat Hall.

Agenda for the meeting:

  1. Pass the minutes of the last meeting held on 20th March 2022
  2. Review and pass the auditor’s report and the accounts of the Panchayat for the period 1.4.2021 / 31.3.2022
  3. Appoint auditors for the period 1.4.2022 / 31.3.2023
  4. Review the report of Panchayat’s activities during the period 1.4.2021 / 31.3.2022
  5. Any other business (see note below)

Note: If any member wishes to raise any query on the accounts or discuss any other matter during the AGM, the same should be notified at Panchayat’s office latest by Wednesday, 9th November, 2022.

Lachmandas Gehi


Managing Committee:

Ramesh Poplay – Vice President, Arjan Wadhare – Secretary, Laxman Jham – Treasurer

Arjan K Lal, Satish Nasta, Naresh Nasta, Lalit Jham and Niranjan Nasta – Members

Vishnu Nasta and Subash Bhagnari – Co-opted members

Enclosures: 1) Minutes of the previous AGM, 2) Report of Panchayat’s activities, 3) Auditor’s Report,

 4) Balance Sheet and 5) Statement of Income & Expenditure

Note: This notice and the enclosures are being sent through email to the member’s email address registered with us. They are also being published on the website If any member wishes to receive a hardcopy of the minutes, the same can be obtained from our office. 

The Reserve Bank of India’s Card Tokenisation Rules are Live. What does it mean for you ?

The Reserve Bank of India – the Apex body of Banks & financial Institutions in late 2021 had published a notification establishing rules for Merchants, Payment Processing Partners, Banks & Card Network Companies regarding the tokenisation of debit/credit cards that were being stored as per the card on file on merchant websites & portals.

The deadline was revised 3 times from 1st January 2022, 1st July 2022 to now 1st October 2022 which now is the day that the Rule has finally gone live.

What was the reason for the RBI to take such a step?

India has always aimed to be a digital economy, with predictions to be a 5.3 Trillion Dollar Payment economy by 2025. Post the ban of 500 & 1000 Rupee Notes in 2016 and the Covid Pandemic in 2020, the use of Digital Payments had a major spike and with that also came an increased risk of Cyber Financial Frauds which had accounted to the value of 5 Lakh Crores in the last 5 years.

The Reserve Bank wanted a method to secure consumer’s financial details like cards which are stored by consumers on merchant sites like Zomato, Flipkart, Microsoft, Google etc for their convenience but would not be compromised incase of a data breach or hacking of these websites.

Hence this was followed by the move of card tokenisation.

What is Card Tokenisation?

let’s take an example to explain the concept of card tokenisation :

  1. suppose you are a netflix subscriber who has subscribed to a plan of Rupees 499 a month,
  2. now to pay for this plan Netflix shall ask for your card details i.e. Your Name, 16 Digit Card Number, Expiry date & 3 Digit CVV(4 Digits in case you use American Express),
  3. once you enter the card details and authenticate the transaction, every month on a specified date Netflix shall auto debit the sum of Rupees 499 from your card.
  4. also its a notable point that Netflix has the card details stored with them.
  5. once tokenisation comes into play your 16 Digit Card number, Expiry date, CVV along with your name will get replaced with a Unique token Number, as an example let’s take the token number as 12345678(it can be alphanumeric as well) which would mean that netflix would no longer have your card details, but only the token no 12345678 and your information gets encrypted i.e. stored in the token.
  6. This would apply to all online merchants where you would be transacting viz Flipkart, Amazon, Zomato, Swiggy, Bigbasket, JioMart etc.
  7. Unique Token Numbers will be generated on each merchant Website for the same credit/debit card

How Safe is Card Tokenisation?

Since a token number is encrypted and card details are stored within them, it would be conclusive that tokenisation is safe as it would take a lot of time for any hacker to decipher details, another point to add is that each merchant will generate a separate unique token for the same card, hence one can be rest assured that their financial information is safe online.

Is Card tokenisation mandatory?

Card tokenisation is not mandatory for consumers like you and me but is mandatory for merchants to store card details in Token Form only.

Consumers need not opt for the same, however each time card details will have to be entered while a transaction is being made.

What happens to cards already saved at merchant websites?

The RBI order directs merchants to delete all card details that have not been tokenised on or after September 30, 2022. Hence you may find all your saved cards to have disappeared from your favourite online shopping sites.

Impact of tokenisation on Recurring Payments ?

While it is said that tokenisation is not mandatory for a consumer, it will eventually be mandatory for recurring payments on platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Google, Microsoft etc as these platforms work in such a mechanism that payments have to be auto debited via linking of cards, so a consumer will have to tokenize the card in order to avoid service disruption.

How can one opt into the scheme of card tokenisation?

While performing a transaction online, an option shall appear to “Save Card as per RBI Guidelines”, Clicking the checkbox on that option will convert your card into a token and save the same on the merchant website and shall be visible to you on your next transaction with the same merchant.


While most of the Western Countries do not have such strict rules in regards to their financial system, it was an expected move from the Reserve Bank to secure and safe guard the financial position of consumers in India.

While this move is not welcome by many and may tend to cause disruptions with many businesses and consumers, it is the need of the hour in this country where cyber frauds are on the rise.

Do let us know your views in the comments below.

When will 5G launch in India? Will Your Phone work with 5G in India? Should you adopt 5G instantly?

Change is inevitable, it is happening all the time, read on to find the latest updates in the Telecommunications era :

5G has been the most debated topic in India since the Spectrum auctions which were held in the end of July 2022, which turned out to be the largest spectrum auctions in India till date.

The Government has sold spectrums worth 1.5 Lakh Crores which covers approximately 71% of the total spectrum. The Telecom Minister Ashwini Kumar said the spectrum sold was ideal to provide good 5G Connectivity across the whole country.

The highest buyer was Jio who had spent approx. 88,078 Crores and bought overall 24.7 GHZ Comprising of 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 1800 MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands. Airtel on the other hand ensured to acquire the maximum spectrum and shelled out approx. 43,084 Crores and bought overall 19.7 GHZ Comprising of 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands.

Vodafone Idea who was expected to be a low key player also bought a spectrum of overall 6.2 GHZ by Spending approx. 18,799 Crores comprising of 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands.

This year’s auctions also had a new participant i.e. Adani who purchased spectrum in the 26GHZ Section for 212 Crores and thereby aims the use of 5G in the B2B sector spaces like Airports, Railway Stations, Ports etc.

How can one identify, if their phone is compatible with the auctioned 5G Spectrum?

Each Smartphone sold with the 5G Tag today will have some bands assigned to it, these bands are nothing but the technical terms for the spectrum frequency,

the below conversion chart defines the 5G bands available today against the network frequencies.

5G bandsFrequency range
n25826GHz(24.25-27.5 GHz)
5G Spectrum to Phone Bands Conversion Chart : Courtesy : XDA Developers

A Combination of at least 5-6 5G Bands must be supported by your smartphone to ensure you have optimal 5G Connectivity.

5G Launch Date in India ?

Airtel has already announced that 5G Services will go live in India on or before the end of August 2022, Jio also is rumoured to be launching 5G Services on 15th August i.e. 75th Independence Day of India.

Vodafone Idea has remained Silent on the launch of 5G Services from their end, however it is expected that VI will launch 5G on or before the end of 2022.

Which Cities will 5G first Launch in ?

5G will launch in 13 Cities initially, however this is also expected to be a phased launch. Metro Cities are said to be the 1st key recipients of 5G services.

The 13 cities are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jamnagar, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune.

it is expected that by March 2024, Maximum parts of the country will have 5G deployed & available for use.

Will there be a need for new SIM Cards once 5G goes live?

The 5G Standard being deployed across the globe is Non Standalone 5G which is based on 4G Infrastructure(Compatible with Forward Generation Technologies) which is cheaper compared to the Standalone 5G infrastructure, In India the 5G being deployed is 5Gi (an Indigenous Sub Standard of 5G) which is based on the Non Standalone 5G, hence it does not look likely that users will need a new SIM Card to access 5G Services as the old 4G Sim Cards are forward generation compatible.

Effects of 5G on your Smartphone’s battery life?

5G being a very efficient & a powerful network which can provide blazing fast speeds will tend to be high power consuming technology and thereby significantly reduce the battery life of smartphones, to add Smartphones there has not been a significant testing from the manufacturers due to unavailability of the 5G Network in many corners of the world.

Many Smartphone makers like Apple have resorted to addition of a feature wherein the smartphone turns to 5G Networks if there is a heavy task load initiated by the user, else the phone stays on 4G Network on Standby or on lite usage.

5G Pricing & Plans?

5G plans in India are expected are to be priced lowest compared to the world, however in india consumers may face a 10-12% hike in prices in comparison to the current 4G Plans but may also coincide with the 4G Plans in Future as the technology matures.

Should you adopt 5G instantly?


Should you continue with 4G?

This is a very relative question varying from individual to individual, if you are a low key consumer, 5G will not make much of a difference, however if you are a high end consumer and 5G is available in your city, you must adopt the same, it will enhance your user experience and reduce the time consumed for your deliverables.

The end decision lies with you as a consumer.