AA India and Pakistan are 64 years old this week. Sixty-four years ago, India freed itself from the Brits and split itself into two countries. Luckily many crossed the hemispheres all the way to Houston, making us indebted to the subcontinent for everything from space shuttle martyrs to bikini-clad medalists.
Here are five famous Indians and Pakistanis who have made Houston their home: Mariyah Moten When Karachi-raised Mariyah Moten entered a beauty pageant in wearing a bikini, her homeland was not pleased. Moten repped Pakistan in China's "Miss Bikini of the Universe" pageant apparently a thing and by doing so infuriated officials back home, who believed that a nice Muslim girl doesn't represent her country in a bright red bikini.
It was the first time Pakistan entered the contest. In an interview with DesiClub , Moten stood by her participation. Renu Khator Renu Khator, the president of UH since , is the first foreign-born head of the school and the second woman. Nationwide, she's the first Indian-American to lead a major research university in the U.
But when she lived in India as a young woman, she didn't even want to leave her homeland of Uttar Pradesh. At age 18, according to her biography , Khator's parents arranged a marriage for her to an Indian living in America.
She went on a ten-day hunger strike in protest. Eventually she moved to America, began to learn English and fell in love with her husband. Kalpana Chawla When she left her North Indian hometown of Haryana in , Kalpana Chawla didn't know she was headed for the history books.
The aerospace engineer got her master's degree from University of Texas at Arlington, then got a second master's and PhD at University of Colorado at Boulder. Chawla's third flight into space ended in tragedy. In , space shuttle Columbia exploded over Texas as it returned home. Every crew member died. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni 2.
A poet and novelist, Divakaruni has written around 15 books, many of which deal with the immigrant experience. Two of her books have been made into movies, and one has been turned into a Tamil TV serial. Divakaruni now teaches creative writing at UH. Wrote Divakaruni on her web site: Women in particular respond to my work because I'm writing about them: I want people to relate to my characters, to feel their joy and pain, because it will be harder to [be] prejudiced when they meet them in real life.