4th Edition of Vedic Fair: A Legacy in Making

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Photos: Sujay Ramagoni and Vinod Conikee


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By Vanshika Vipin

KATY: A Vedic Legacy was in the making with Ashirwad – A Blessing entering its 4th edition of ‘Vedic Fair’ on March 14. With a mission to preserve and spread age-old spiritual knowledge to the next generation, Ashirwad – A Blessing, an NGO spearheaded by Geetha Ravula, has been conducting ‘Vedic Fair’ since 2011. It is aimed to create a holistic experience of India for the next generation of Indians residing in Houston through means of various cultural and spiritual activities – ancient prayer rituals, theatre play on the lives of Indian gods and goddesses, workshops on Indian Lifestyle including Interfaith, Exhibit presentation on India, dance, shloka recitation, exhibition of Indian apparel, and Indian cuisine. The Indo-Americans of Houston once again witnessed a mega congregation of spiritual and cultural activities under the banner of Vedic Fair 2015 at Seven Lakes High School, Katy this past Saturday.

Ashirward -A Blessing conducts weekend Hindu spiritual classes for young children in Katy, Cypress and Sugar Land. They also teach moral stories, bhajans, Indian Heritage, Indian lifestyle, Yoga, Meditation, classical dance and much more to the interested students. Vedic Fair is a step forward in an endeavour to engage and invite more people in the Ashirwad-A Blessing movement of spreading awareness on Indian traditions.

This year, the Vedic Fair had a series of interesting activities lined up for the devout audience that included presentations on Indian culture and lifestyle by India Exhibit , Cookery competition, Vedic Shloka reciting competition, ‘DIY’ workshops on Saree style, Henna, Tattoo, Yoga, Meditation, Vedik Walk by children and a grand play – ‘Krishna-The Blue Man’ directed by Geetha Ravula.

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Magnanimous diorama of Krishna’s abode: Goloka, Mathura.

The visitors were in for a surreal amusement when they saw a 5 feet tall Lord Shri Krishna’s Ice idol in the magnanimous diorama of Krishna’s abode – Goloka, Mathura. The entrancing set was created by Ashirwad-A Blessing’s creative team. To kick-start the evening, Shri Gopala Krishna Pooja was performed at the entrance of the Goloka under the guidance of Sudarshana Venkatesa Iyengar Swamiji and prashad from Dwarka, Vrindavan and Tirupati was distributed to the visitors.

The Indo American children showcased their idea of Indian culture in terms of heritage, lifestyle, gods, temples, music, dance in form of creative presentations. Bhavana Gollapudi  and Ananya Bhonsley  were the winners while Ayushi Sapru and Anika Ahuja were the runner ups in the category of 10 and above and 9 and below respectively in the India Exhibit Presentations . Srinidhi Srikalyani was unanimously selected as the winner for the People’s Choice awards for the presentations. The Ashirward Shloka league  saw the students competing by reciting the Vedic Shloka whereas a well choreographed Pooja dance performance on ‘Kunnidaado Krishna’ was performed by Abhinaya School of Performing Arts

The highlight of the cosmic evening was the mega play ‘Krishna- The Blue Man’ directed by Geetha Ravula. She gathered in together more than 50 plus artists to create a dazzling performance on the life of Lord Shri Krishna. The majestic costumes, ambient setting reminiscent of the age old era coupled with the music of the flute drew applaud from the visitors. The scene where the Krishna is weighed on one side along with all the wealth that her wife has, but the weighing scale refuses to budge and only moves when a Tulsi leaf full of devotion is placed, was appreciated by one and all for the apt use of props on stage. The theme that the ego, jealousy, greed, anger, lust are vices that destroy our soul but devotion to GOD is a nectar that burns these vices away was beautifully depicted through the ancient story telling tradition.  Comments made by a few attending audience emphasized that the play was profoundly presented with eloquent narration in English as they experienced goose bumps in few scenes as if witnessing a live Krishna in action.

Besides the profound play, shloka recitations, dance and Vedik walks, there was an area dedicated specially for 20 plus exhibitors displaying Indian apparels & Indian cuisines. The visitors were seen enjoying the delicious array of Indian delicacies while they soaked in the spiritual aura that was prevalent at the venue. A cookery competition managed to create a huge participation of the Indo Americans of Houston. Healthy and delicious dishes like Quinoa/Red Rice Cutlets with Mango Salsa and Fruit Berry Drink with Chia Seeds  prepared by Renu Ahuja were declared as the winners while the desi Indian tadka dishes like Haryali Paneer and Mughlai Paratha whipped in by Manisha Mehta won the runner up cash prize.

Geetha and Sri Ravula thanked the partners in support and progress of Vedic Fair’s 4th edition namely Shri Sitaram Foundation, Hindus of Greater Houston, Subhash Gupta, Sachin Sharma, Radha Sharma & Sukhi Kohli, Anand & Dr. Ashima Chauhan, Mandap Creations, Frontier Consulting, ISKCON, Sanatan Hindu Center, India Culture Center, Gujarati Samaj of Houston, Katy Indian Cultural Association, Islamic Society of Greater Houston, Sikh Center of Houston, JVB Preksha Meditation Center, Universal Door Meditation Center, Vedic Bazaar Vendors, Participants, Parents and all the Media friends. Geetha Ravula thanked all Ashirwad team members for their unconditional service, appreciated Kid’s participation in presenting heritage and dearly appreciated Ashutosh and Sonali Sapru, Bindu and Vivek Bhonsley, Ravi Sethuraman and Priya Ravi, Priya Muralidharan, Vikas Ahuja, Sailesh Kaparaju, Anish Kumar, Srividya Shyamkumar and Anuradha Mahurkar for months of hard work and dedicated service.

Continuing the proud legacy of Ashirwad- A blessing, she announced the theme for Vedic Fair’s 5 th edition – Lord Rama’s abode SAKET LOK and Prime Time Play –‘ Rama- Lord of 16’.