Crisp Weather, Music and Conversations at Club 24’s Diwali Celebration

Club 24 President Pradeep Gupta with Event Chair Dr. Asra Oberoi (right) and Co Chairs Vipra Bhasin and event hostess Savita Rao (far right) and Dr Aparna Kamat (left), who rendered a devotional prayer.

Club 24 President Pradeep Gupta with Event Chair Dr. Asra Oberoi (right) and Co Chairs Vipra Bhasin and event hostess Savita Rao (far right) and Dr Aparna Kamat (left), who rendered a devotional prayer.

By Pramod Kulkarni

Sugar Land: It was an exceptionally cool Fall evening on Saturday, October 22. The luxurious backyard of Savita and Sanjay Rao’s palatial home on Palm Royale was decorated with lights and colorful Indian silks. It was an ideal setting for one of Club 24’s signature events—celebration of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

Founder-member Ashok Garg (left) with host Sanjay Rao.

Founder-member Ashok Garg (left) with host Sanjay Rao.

City of Houston Controller Chris Brown with wife Divya (center), Pradeep and Kiran Gupta (left) and hosts Savita and Sanjay Rao.

City of Houston Controller Chris Brown with wife Divya (center), Pradeep and Kiran Gupta (left) and hosts Savita and Sanjay Rao.

A select group of Club 24 couples pose in front of the Club 24 banner.

A select group of Club 24 couples pose in front of the Club 24 banner.

Club 24 is an exclusive, invitation-only organization consisting of about 60-65 couples. Club 24 was formed about ten years ago. “Club 24’s mission can be viewed as a stool with three legs: philanthrapy, outreach and fellowship or mentorship,” explained Gupta in his introductory remarks. Gupta also explained the significance of Diwali as the victory of good over evil. “It is a time for new beginnings, when people Gupta talked about the significance of Diwali as the triumph of good over evil and it is celebrated by wearing new clothes, lighting sparklers and firecrackers and seeking divine blessings with relatives and friends.

Pradeep Gupta with ladies representing Club 24 members and guests.

Pradeep Gupta with ladies representing Club 24 members and guests.

Animated discussions were underway with Tom Abraham (left), Jugal Malani, Harish Jajoo, Swatantra jain and Dr. Amitabh Shukla.

Animated discussions were underway with Tom Abraham (left), Jugal Malani, Harish Jajoo, Swatantra jain and Dr. Amitabh Shukla.

Diwali, the festival of lights, provided the ideal setting for Club 24 wives to present their fashion fineries. Photo credit: Murali Santhana.

Diwali, the festival of lights, provided the ideal setting for Club 24 wives to present their fashion fineries. Photo credit: Murali Santhana.

Club 24 men also dressed in their finest as exemplified by Asheet Yagnik (left), Roy Joseph, Sam Abraham, Sanjay Rao and Ash Shah.

Club 24 men also dressed in their finest as exemplified by Asheet Yagnik (left), Roy Joseph, Sam Abraham, Sanjay Rao and Ash Shah.

Club 24 has several signature events throughout the year to fulfill its mission. The philanthropy event was held earlier this year, where Club 24 matched the contributions of its individual members. Some of the charities that have received funding include Ekal Vidyalaya, Pratham, and Habitat for Humanity.

A highlight of the evening was music featuring vocalist Salil Bhavekar (right) accompanied by Dexter Ranganathan on the tabla.

A highlight of the evening was music featuring vocalist Salil Bhavekar (right) accompanied by Dexter Ranganathan on the tabla.

In terms of outreach, Club 24 members are on the boards of numerous mainstream charitable organizations such as the Lighthouse for the Blind. Fellowship is expressed through outings such as the Galveston Bay cruise and celebrations of Diwali, Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

The Diwali signature event was organized by Event Chair Asra Oberoi and co-chairs Vipra Bhasin and Dr. Aparna Kamat.

The delightful Diwali cuisine was furnished by Madras Pavilion’s Dawat catering service.

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