Club 24 Kicks Off Diwali Celebrations at a Home Worthy of a Resort

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Rice Bhangra Group with (from left) Jay Guerrero, Dr. Asra Oberoi, and Asha Dhume. Photos: Syndee Jolly


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 By Jawahar Malhotra

MISSOURI CITY: In the background, jets of water splashed playing fully in multi-hued colors from the middle of the kidney-shaped swimming pool and a gas-fueled fire blazed in the open hearth at the far edge. Trunks of the palm trees surrounding the pool were draped with strings of LED lights. A few tall bar tables covered with long red table cloths dotted the large open tile floor in front of the doors leading to the kitchen and the media room on one side and on the other side the main entry to the high-ceilinged foyer of the two-story house with the wrought-iron railing balcony overlooking the entire vista. White wooden round tables with matching chairs dotted the back lawn and midway to the pool was the covered cabana with a counter with the built-in cooking setup where the food catered for the evening by Mantra Indian restaurant  in Katy was laid out for the Diwali party goers.

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Oberoi’s beautifully illuminated backyard

Just as the hint of Fall weather touched the Gulf Coast, the first days of Diwali were being celebrated across the Metroplex and by the Club 24 Plus members at the resort-like outdoor setting of the home of Ricki and Asra Oberoi, decorated with string lights across its huge outline in Sienna Plantation. It has been a tradition of the Club to hold its second largest event of the year at the home of one of its members and to cap off its annual activities with a splendid bash. “We usually hold five events every year, the last being our Holidays Party in December”, said President Asha Dhume as she read from prepared notes at a mic below a banner of the Club, “and we have had four great ones so far”!

The Diwali event committee – Madhavi Kavadi, Poonam Pagnis, Dr. Aparna Kamat and headed by Dr. Asra Oberoi – stood behind her and acknowledged the applause of the members in the patio area in front of them. Behind them, a large garlanded idol of Ganesh formed the backdrop for many pictures and the Rice University Bhangra Team which, later in the night on Friday, October 17, entertained the 150 people who attended the function with a vigorous set of dances.  Most of the Club 24 Executive Committee attended, though founding member Ashok Garg was in India for a wedding in the family.

Club 24 Plus is a social and recreational club that was founded eight years ago and is slowly redefining the way that many high-powered Indo Americans choose to give their money to charities. Organized under section 501 (c) (7) of the IRS regulations, Club 24 Plus allows its members to direct their contributions directly to the charity that they favor.