Fort Bend Rotarians Find a Talwar in their Hands!

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After the installation ceremony, the Talwar posed with his Executive Committee (from left) Fernando Gonzalez, Kay Lahiri, Jerry Fariza, Kamran Makhdoom and Nalin Pillai, with District Governor Giannone (right) and seated guests, including his wife Rita (front center).
Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

By Jawahar Malhotra

SUGAR LAND: In no doubt a first among the Fort Bend Rotary Club, the newly installed President was asked to sing a song in Hindi and he, not one for turning down a request, obliged and sang one of his favorite numbers – “Bohot shukariya, badi meherbani …”

The thanks he sang came straight from the heart of Surender Talwar, 72, who has been a fixture among business, entertainment and charitable circles for the past four decades in the Houston area. Talwar (which, in Hindi, Urdu and his native Punjabi, means “sword”) had joined the Club three years ago when his friend, Sunny Sharma was its President. Late last year, he took a group of Rotarians on a three city tour of India, meeting local Rotarians there, businesses and charitable NGOs. One of the administrators of the NGO was visiting Houston and attended the event.

Talwar has not been a stranger to the Rotary Clubs. As a business owner of Zardoz, an Indian artworks and antique store instantly recognizable for the peasant bullock cart artfully displayed on the front lawn in Rice Village, he had been a member of the West University Rotary Club for four years.

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Ft. Bend Rotary Club President Surender Talwar after he was installed in office on Thursday, July 8 by District Governor Dr. Nick Giannone (right)

District Governor Dr. Nick Giannone lauded Talwar’s zeal and constant willingness to serve, which made him the ideal candidate of becoming this year’s President, as he installed him at a brief ceremony at the Sugar Creek Country Club on Diary Ashford and the Southwest Freeway last Thursday, July 8. Following dinner, the ceremony started with outgoing President Kamran Makhdoom who presented an award for outstanding service to Nalin Pillai, the former Treasurer; the new Treasurer Kay Lahiri and the President-Elect Jerry Fariza.

Talwar outlined his plans for his term in office, emphasizing the need to increase membership, learn from the community and to hold more fundraisers. He related a joke about getting his first traffic ticket, mispronouncing San Jose (with a “j” not an “h”) and turning tables on the cop by saying he would be in town till “hune and huly” (June and July) to illustrate the constant learning process.

“I am excited by all the opportunities for the club,” he said, obviously thrilled at his new role. He promises an open door policy in which he would welcome ideas and support from the Ft. Bend community, asking them to reach him at his mobile (713-668-2948) or by email at