A Diwali for Seniors and Their Families to Make the Heart Happy

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Club 65 President Paru McGuire (second from left) with members of her Board and volunteers and Club 65 co-founder Latafath Hussain (third from right).

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: For a club of seniors over 65, this group is an energetic bunch with outdoor activities scheduled regularly several times a year and a monthly meeting at the Bayland Community Center on the city’s southwest side each month. They aim to make life happy for the older generation of Indo-Americans and especially welcome the elderly to their programs, taking special care to bring them to the functions and then serve them attentively.


Club 65’s first Lifetime Member Shakuntla Malhotra handed out certificates to the performers and hugged a young son of one of them.

In that same spirit, Club 65, the now over 2-year-old organization, organized a well-attended Diwali program at Bayland this past weekend on Saturday, November 7, with a mixture of music, dance, information and lunch that brought the seniors together for a few hours on a rainy afternoon. The event was organized by Club 65 President Paru McGuire and her Board and volunteers.

After brief welcoming remarks by McGuire, guests received some important information on Medicare by independent agent Ramzan Hirani who is also a Club 65 member. Hirani went into great detail on the terms used when signing up for the different parts of Medicare, clarifying many a misconception, especially as it is the open enrollment period right now when people have to submit their preferences for the insurance carriers who offer Parts C (private insurance company selection) and D (prescription drugs) coverage. He explained the difference between HMOs and PPOs and his own experience and preferences for insurance companies.


Ramzan Hirani explained the intricacies of Medicare during the open enrollment period for Advantage Plans

Lunch was catered in from Vishala Restaurant on Highway 6, and featured several Gujarati vegetarian dishes, served buffet style by female volunteer members of Club 65; and a cup of well-made hot chai that everyone was raving about. There were a few slices of pizza for the young kids that came along with their parents and grandparents.

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Volunteers serving food at the buffet line.

The remainder of the program was made up of songs by the Aarohar Group composed of Anjan Kothare, Tejas Mehta and Nick Ganatara who volunteered to serenade the guests with melodies both new and old. The three-man group then launched into a garba that many people in the audience delighted to get up and dance to in the small dance floor in front of the singers. At the end, the three were awarded certificates of appreciation and boxes of sweets, handed out by Club 65’s first – and at the event the oldest – Lifetime Member, Shakuntla Malhotra who also writes a popular Punjabi recipe column in Indo American News.