BEST HOLI EVER: Masala Radio FM 98.7’s Houston Holi Festival of Colors

HOUSTON: Over 13,000 thousand chimed…one of the BEST HOLI’s EVER!!  Masala Radio 98.7 FM’s management team agrees…best God-blessed weather…best venue, best crowd, most sponsors, greatest giveaways, most delicious food court, and the most performers…EVER!!  Weeks before Holi, every day on radio, Sunil T had been praying to God for overcast clouds so families could really really enjoy the outdoor event and play Holi.  Weather turned out to be near perfect – 77 degrees, overcast with a light breeze.  Everyone that attended felt God’s divine presence.  You could see it in people’s smiles, kids running around with pichkaris, teenagers dancing, the adults enjoying dance performances and all the amazing street foods by some of Houston’s best restaurants. Esha Nargorwalla, a student at Rice University, said “Ive been coming to Holi since I was a kid.  This is my 7th Masala Holi and this was absolutely the finest.   This time I saw a more younger crowd than any year before.  I brought my non-Indian friends from college, and they loved festival of color … it was like no other.”

Masala Radio 98.7 FM’s Houston Holi Festival of Colors on Saturday March 2 was held at a real Texan ranch – BH Ranch.   Revelers swarmed in gleeful pockets all over.   Jam-packed crowds in the circular performance zone with 25 foot high sound & video screens, threw color powder and sprayed water on each other and danced while the fragrance of the giant food court of exotic Indian and fusion street foods lingered in the air.  People of all ages, ethnicities and color became one as everything else seemed to disappear in bright colors, colorful smoke blasters and a rainbow of confetti.

The massive stage and giant speakers felt like a set of a Bollywood movie song shoot.  The show started off with energetic dance teams performing to variety of mostly Bollywood and a few increasingly popular Tollywood songs.  Sunl T next directed the Holi Pooja with Maharaj Pradeep Pandya from Siddhi Vinayak and HGH’sThara Narsiman officiating & invoking blessings for all event attendees.

Present on stage were our elected officials… Judge KP George, Mayor Ken Mathews, Commissioner Andy Meyers, Constable Nabil Shike, State Rep Dr Suleman Lalani and Council Member Naushad Kermally.  Sunil introduced them as our real life Avengers that are fighting crime, improving buildings & infrastructure, passing laws and making life in Fort Bend County the best you can have in the world.  Also present fir the Holi Pooja on stage were candidates in the upcoming elections and some of the top business leaders of Houston – CEO’s, doctors, lawyers, and real estate developers – representing over 2 billion dollars of net worth – humbly praying for the Lord’s blessings for all.  These Entrepreneurs were recognized for contributing some of their success to this type of community event.

Title Sponsors were Ramji Law Group & Elite Mingle.   Concert Sponsor Savant Energy.  Platinum Sponsors included: Amir Dodiya Wealth Preservation & Strategies & Ali Sheikhani,.  Gold Sponsors Deep Foods, Bob’s Lounge, Pervez Jasani, Harry Shah, Neptune Impo give into the sights and sounds of the festival and I felt elevated in a spirituality remix.”.  Sandhya Thakkar smiled, “This is why we do this.  We want to share the colors of our mystical Hindu culture with everyone in Houston.  With colors on our bodies, we all look the same, and start to celebrate life without judgement, without barriers.”

When Sunil T introduced ARJUN, music lovers from every corner of the festival stopped and swarmed to the stage for 30 minutes of pure concert pleasure.  After a 5 year performance hiatus, Arjun completely rocked the stage with his hits and remixed covers “Ambarsariya”, KesariyaKhabhi Jo BadalLagdi Lahore Diya, and then the most hype finale “Suit, Suit” which he originally sang with Guru Randhawa.

The audience was simply not letting him go, and summoned him back with the loudest cheering and even banging on the stage until he added one more ‘last song’ Kolaveri DI, surprising all with some lines in perfect Tamil, hinting at his Sri Lankan roots.  Arjun from the UK was indeed the most humble artist in Houston Holi’s 15 year history despite his enormous talent.

While the dance crowd was glued to the stage, kids enjoyed their own space on the other side of the lake, filled with magical Keemat Kids Rides.  A Gazillion bubbles – including some bigger than the kdis – marked the entry to the Kids with giant Gladiator and Dinosaur Themed inflatable bounce houses and 2 story slides, Spinning Dixie Ride, Train Ride with views of the entire event, and even a cool McDonalds Soccer Game with coveted French Fry Gift Cards!!  The kids were incredulous that everything was free and unlimited.  Tucked peacefully in this corner was a special opportunity to feed rescued cows from the Gaushala, a cow sanctuary.  The beautifully decorated cows were loving the attention of colorful guests!.  Revelers noticed a new level of décor, with colorful Truck and Ferris Wheel Photo Booths, and over 20 giant trees filled with a different Indian décor themes like chiffons, marigolds, lotuses, abla pennants and abla umbrellas thanks to Dream Décor.

Hungry crowds swarmed to the all vegetarian Indian Street Foods area featuring Honest, Mirch Masala, Nirmanz, Bawarchi, Gayatri Bhavan, and newbie Desi Delights.  Varieties including samosas, chaats, grilled sandwiches, dosas, Indo-Chineese, Biryanis, Punjabi dishes, and wonderous Holi themed drinks like Tandai, Mango Shakes, and Nimbu Pani.  Kwality Ice Cream added the finishing touches with a variety of their own receipes of Indian and mainstream Icea Creams and Faloodas.  Eggholic served the hardworking backstage Masala Management and Sponsors with live Paneer Sandwiches, Dabeli, and Pani Puri. “This was the best selection of Indian street foods I have seen at any event in Houston”  Nirmanz introduced a Holi classic Thandai beverage and Honest brought back their Toronado Potato – a crowd favourite.

By 2pm there was so much color in the air that the sky looked was covered in pink clouds.  The scene was just magical.  Is this how Radha & Krishna felt when they were playing Holi & the Gods showered colors upon them?  Increased Harris County deputies and new parking management team did a great job to try and move the chocker blocked traffic such that waits were down to 15-20 minutes even at peak hours, and everyone found a spot.

Without Divine Grace and hundreds of local supports including the Crazy Masala Crew, it just wouldn’t have turned into the best Festival of Colors ever!  Kudos to: Office Management: Rinku, Jigisha, Bhavisha, Suji, Chaitali, Vyoma, Aahi,l Nilesha & Vidya.  Event: Ruchir, Ninad, Mrugesh, Simran T, Priyanshi, Badal, Eshal, Rashmie & Luis.  Ticketing: Sangeeta, Lauhuel, Dinesh, Abhishek, Daisy & Ricardo, .  Stage: Haroon, Yumna, Dilip, Suji, Rajoo, Preanka, Josh, Sahil, Mehran, Harshin, Nikhil, Priya, Esha & Sofia.  Radio Jockeys: Anish, Amit, Panki, Ina..  Photo & Video: SMB Studios.  Photos & Videos on / Facebook & Instagram Houston Holi and MasalaRadio98.7FM.   Marvelous Dance Schools and Teams: Etherea Studios Group, Swathi, Any1 Can Dance,  Kathak Nritya, Dadhak, Katy Bollywood, Khushboo Dance, Spotlight Dance, Aditi’s Bollywood, Synergy Indian, Drycreek Dancing Divas, Infused Performing Arts, T2 Dance, Bollywood Dancing Stars, Indiawaale, Team Raabta & Houston Bhangra Academy.