Houston Community College-Home Page
SBI Home Page

The Indian Flag Flutters and Voices Rise in Admiration

Consul General Anupam Ray and his wife Amit with the speakers featured in the evening reception, from left, Ashok Belani, Executive VP, Schlumberger; Dr. John Mendelsohn, former President of MD Anderson Cancer Center; Dr. Vistasp Karbhari, President, University of Texas at Arlington and Abidali Neemuchwala, CEO, Wipro.

Consul General Anupam Ray and his wife Amit with the speakers featured in the evening reception, from left, Ashok Belani, Executive VP, Schlumberger; Dr. John Mendelsohn, former President of MD Anderson Cancer Center; Dr. Vistasp Karbhari, President, University of Texas at Arlington and Abidali Neemuchwala, CEO, Wipro.

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: It is one of the two most patriotic days in the Indian government’s calendar; an occasion to be proud of the progress that the country has made since it gained independence, completed its transition into an independent republic and Republic Day in New Delhi is a day when Rajpath, the wide avenue between the Presidential residence and India Gate, is filled with pageantry, parades, cultural floats from all parts of the country, motorcycle officer s doing death defying stunts and weaponry; while crowds in bleechers line the way. The evening ends with a Beating the Retreat spectacle.

US Congressman Pete Olson (R-Dist 22) with the Executive Directors of India House at the flag hoisting ceremony in the morning.

US Congressman Pete Olson (R-Dist 22) with the Executive Directors of India House at the flag hoisting ceremony in the morning.

The Indian Consulate celebrated India’s 69th Republic Day with much less pomp, but certainly a lot of substance in the kind of understated way that agrees with the temperament  and personality of the current Consul General Anupam Ray. Last year, he held the flag hoisting at the Consulate on Scotland Street and a function in his house off Woodway with some classical dances and songs in the back patio area, which was a departure from the previous six years of the event being held at the Hilton on Post Oak. This year, Ray dispensed with the entire cultural accoutrements and decided to hold the entire evening program at the Consulate itself.

Guests stood in the 50 foot long hall craning to listen to the speakers at the raised dais at the front

Guests stood in the 50 foot long hall craning to listen to the speakers at the raised dais at the front

It was in the approach that many Indian Embassies (which have the space) do by holding the event on their premises. But who would have guessed that the large hall behind the visa acceptance room could hold 300 (by some estimates) people in the evening? But all the invited guests stood for 45 minutes while Ray and the invited speakers delivered their feelings about the shape of India’s Republic and what it meant to them.

In the evening, they were Anupam Ray Ashok Belani, Executive VP, Schlumberger; Dr. John Mendelsohn, former President of MD Anderson Cancer Center; Dr. Vistasp Karbhari, President, University of Texas at Arlington and Abidali Neemuchwala, CEO, Wipro. Congressman Al Green (D-9th Dist) came for awhile to deliver a short speech and a Congressional Certificate.

The tent in the back parking lot of the Consulate where dinner was served

The tent in the back parking lot of the Consulate where dinner was served

Following their speeches, guests were ushered downstairs to the back parking lot which had been covered by a huge white tent in which were set dining tables with white linen and three buffet serving lines. Mingling among the crowd were a pack of young Indo-Americans who are running for office in this upcoming Midterm election: Juli Matthew, Sri Preston Kulkarni, and Judge Ravi Sandill.

The morning flag hoisting brought in less people and US Congressman Pete Olson (R-Dist 22) and the Executive Directors of India House were the featured speakers on the same stage in the same large hall.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *