India’s 71st Independence Day Celebrated at India House with Pomp & Glory!

From left: Dr. Durga Agrawal, Dr. Virendra Mathur, Jugal Malani, Sam Merchant, Anil Aggarwal, Vipin Kumar at India House on August 15.

From left: Dr. Durga Agrawal, Dr. Virendra Mathur, Jugal Malani, Sam Merchant, Anil Aggarwal, Vipin Kumar at India House on August 15. Photos: Bijay Dixit

By Vanshika Vipin Varma

HOUSTON: Some 9000 miles away from our motherland, Indians in Houston exuberantly celebrated India’s 71st Independence Day, at India House. The soulful composition and the evocative lyrics of Jana Gana Mana, the Indian National Anthem, transposed these guests into the realm of patriotism, at least briefly.

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India House, which has been adhering to its vision of uniting cultures, creating bridges and serving the community by bringing resources, education, services and Indian culture to Houstonians, was the apt venue for this patriotic event. On August 15, while India celebrated their hard fought independence with patriotic fervor, Houstonians too rejoiced this special day. They gathered at 10.30 am at the O.P. Jindal Centre of India House, located at 8888, West Belfort Avenue. Each one of them looked elegant and exceptional in their stylishly embraced, patriotic traditional outfits. While some preferred the basic whites with a slightly accentuated look, some added a tinge of bling to their ensemble of saffrons and greens.

Dr. Durga Agrawal

Dr. Durga Agrawal

The event began with the USA, Indian, Texas and India House Flags being hoisted by India House trustees Dr. Virendra Mathur, Jugal Malani, Hari Agrawal and Dr. Durga Agrawal respectively. Kruthi Bhat then sang national anthems of USA and India. Nostalgia for their motherland mingled with pride as hundreds of Houstonian Indians watched their national flag being unfurled. And this coupled with the inducing words from Jana Gana Mana, kindled some spine tingling and eye-watering patriotism in over the 150 Indian-at-heart who were attending.

Dr. Virendra Mathur

Dr. Virendra Mathur

It was then time for the programs to begin and the guests were invited to the Banquet halls. Dr. Durga Agrawal extended his warm greetings to all and shared some of his childhood experiences of celebrating Independence Day in India. He was followed on stage by Jugal Malani, President India House, who shared the excerpts from The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the nation delivered on Independence Day Eve. Dr. Virendra Mathur then came up on stage and whole-heartedly thanked all the attendees before sharing the essence of Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi’s speech given at the Red Fort, Delhi. A certificate of Special Congressional Recognition presented by Congressman Al Green, was handed over by his representative Sam Merchant to India House officials.

Jugal Malani

Jugal Malani

Music has great powers and nothing proves that better than Independence Day. Some wonderful patriotic numbers like, Sare jahan se accha, Ae mere pyare watan, and Bharat Anokha Raag hai, sung by Hemant Bhavsar and Rucha Sheth, rekindled the spirit of independence and truly filled everyone with love and respect for the motherland. Kruthi Bhat added to this mesmerizing effect with her melodious Bhajans. Col.Vipin Kumar, Executive Director, India House, rolled with the punches being the perfect Emcee for the event. The feeling of nostalgia, patriotism and nationalism is also credited to the astounding quality of outdoor and indoor live sound, which was provided by Darshak Thacker from Krishna Sounds Production. The program culminated with attendees being served with light refreshments, which were sponsored by Café India and Umang Mehta of Deep Foods. At the India House, the freedom of India was truly commemorated, and genuinely celebrated as a tribute to Mother India and the spirit of Independence Day.

About India House:
India House offers multiple programs and services to the community, most of them being free of charge. Some of the programs include: India House Charity Volunteer Clinic, Sareen Harris Health Medical Clinic, Yoga & Meditation Classes, Urban Youth: After School Classes, Legal Center, Hindi Language Classes, Heart Health Classes, STEAM Classes, Taekwondo, Art for Soul, Art and Craft, Taped Ball Cricket, Technology Classes for Seniors, Kidney Smart Classes.

For more information on India House and its various programs visit www.indiahouseinc.org or email vipin@indiahouseinc.org or call at 713-929-1900.

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