HMM 40th Anniversary “Diwali Dhamakedar” Celebrations

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By Amey Wakde

KATY: Diwali is one of the largest festivals celebrated across all cultures in India and Indian diaspora. It is a festival of lights that symbolizes inner spiritual victory over the dark ignorance. HMM (Houston Maharashtra Mandal) had a grand Diwali celebration on November 12, at the James William Elementary School, Katy TX. The celebration was graced by the presence of more than 400+ people.

The entrance was dazzled with lamps and beautiful rangolis. Multiple booths depicting herbal henna art, jewelry, organic line of Indian groceries and bio degradable products, sarees, and food were keeping people busy. The Diwali ‘faral’ which is a plate with variety of Indian savories and sweets was distributed early on with hot Indian chai. The celebration created an ever lasting impression on people because of the hard work and creative enthusiasm of 50+ participants and volunteers who showed their dedication over the past two plus months in preparation for this grandeur.

The celebration was important this year because it marked HMM’s 40th anniversary. It started with the Ganesh Vandana choreographed by Manjusha Jadhav followed by honoring all the past 19 out of 36 former presidents who year after year anchored the Marathi community very close to their homeland by organizing excellent cultural events and arranging scrumptious Maharashtrian food.  Uma Rajguru had written a Powada (i.e. a genre of Marathi poetry) and she sang it along with 19 HMM former Presidents as chorus singers. Ajay Kothi and Gandhar Kothi were the emcees for the evening.

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It was followed by recognizing individuals with extraordinary achievement awards for their outstanding performances in jobs, academics and sports. Kashinath Patil was awarded a recognition for his contributions to the field of Chemical Engineering after graduating from the first batch of renowned Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). 

Shardul Ahire was recognized for his talent after being selected by USACA in the under 14 national cricket team.  A magic show was organized that kept the kids entertained and happy. Magician Robert Barry performed a totally unique comedy show packed full of fun & surprises for all ages.There were multiple Bollywood Tadka dance performances choregraphed by Manjusha Jadhav, Parija Dighe Guha, Bhakti Naik Wakde, Abhishek Bhat with performers in colorful traditional costumes and the most elegant – nine yard sarees. There was a wonderful performance by the committee members in a Marathi play “Diwali karuya vegali style” which was written and directed by Megha and Ravi Ozarker. A surprise community flash mob on famous Marathi song “Zhingat” towards the end gave a unique experience to this year’s cultural event. Overall it was an everlasting experience that each one took along with them.The cultural event was followed by yummy food which was served by Mirch Masala.

HMM would like to thank Samir Patil and Rajesh Thatte for capturing the best snapshots from the show.

The entire Marathi community congratulated the current year President Megha Ozarker and committee for organizing outstanding events this year.

Diwali is a harbinger of the beginning of next year’s celebration and hence a formation of a new group of enthusiasts who would once again strive to make another year of memorable events. New Committee was announced and Anjou Sathe Keller was handed the baton to take forward the next year’s celebration to new heights.

HMM’s last and 14th event this year is the screening of new Marathi movie “Ventilator” (with English subtitles) which will be screened on December 11 th 2016 at the Palladium Katy.

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