Cricketer Kapil Dev Headlines ‘IndiaNow 2013’ Gala

Kapil Dev addressing the audience at “IndiaNow 2013.” Read more at

Kapil Dev addressing the audience at “IndiaNow 2013.

By IndiaWest

SAN JOSE, Calif., United States: In an interesting mix of a gala and an exhibition, headlined by the legendary cricketer Kapil Dev, “IndiaNow 2013” attracted thousands of Bay Area residents over the course of three days of non-stop cultural festivities.

“Friday evening’s gala was a grand success,” Shalini Raj Singh, one of the organizers of IndiaNow 2013, told India-West. “We also had around 5,000 attendees on Saturday and 4,800 on Sunday,” Singh added.

The evening gala at the San Jose Garden Hotel, which featured a variety entertainment program with local talent, kicked-off IndiaNow 2013 in style with Kapil Dev serving as the chief guest. More than 45 dignitaries including various senators and legislative leaders graced the occasion as well.

Shobhana Shankar and Manesh Judge hosted the gala, introducing renowned classical musician Dr. Sangeeta Arya and her group, who began the evening with a devotional piece invoking the blessings of the Hindu elephant god, Ganesh, and continued on to perform traditional folk numbers from the state of Rajasthan, concluding the segment with Sufi classics like “Kesaria Padharo Mhare Des.”

kapil2Teresa Cox, trade advisor to the Obama administration and 2014 Democratic candidate for the California state Assembly, next graced the stage, congratulating the IndiaNow team for putting together the exposition.

“In 1991, U.S.-India trade only amounted to $5 billion. Last year, trade between the two nations was $65 billion and continuing to grow,” Cox told India-West. “Programs like these are vital to boosting cross-cultural trade through Obama’s national export initiative by enabling the two nations to understand and respect each other’s cultures,” Cox added.

The office of California state Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett handed out proclamations to the governments of Rajasthan and Haryana, Dr. Arya, Kapil Dev and other luminaries both national and international.

San Jose city councilman Ash Kalra presented a commendation to Ena Sarkar and Shalini Raj Singh for organizing IndiaNow 2013 on such a grand scale.

Dinner and a fashion show followed next showcasing the collections of Parvesh and Jai, famed designers from New Delhi, who have clad Bollywood beauties like Tanushree Dutta with their creations. “Our royal collections are inspired by 19th century Persian queens who brought western styles to Indian fabrics,” Parvesh told India-West. “We are also excited about the exclusive trunk show in Houston in July,” Parvesh added.

Cricket maestro Kapil Dev shared his thoughts on the occasion as well. “It is a privilege to be around so many fellow Indians who have made us proud through their contributions in the field of technology throughout the world,” Dev told India-West. “I am honored and humbled to meet all of you and share in the celebration of our culture.”

Harjeet Mehndi, brother of famous Bollywood singers Daler Mehndi and Mika, rocked the night thereafter, churning hit after hit of the latest Bollywood dance numbers.

The IndiaNow 2013 cultural exposition at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds ran throughout the weekend, engaging the community and dignitaries with non-stop cultural programs and booths within the arena.

“We’ve been happy with the response we’ve got so far on our newly launched ‘Silvostyle’ silver jewelry collection from the event attendees,” Deepak Sukthankar, spokesperson for PNG Jewelers, told India-West.

Reema Sachar, founder and CEO of Kria Creations, and Rashmi Kataruka of Shakti Fashions also echoed a similar sentiment. “Cloudy weather on Sunday and the location of our booth were not optimal conditions for a hugely successful event for us, but overall we hope to make an impact in getting our brand out into the community though expositions like these,” Sachar told India-West.

“Being able to meet Kapil Dev was a dream come true and it would not have been possible unless such a grand event was organized here in the Bay Area. It’s really exciting to see that the Indian American community is committed to keep the culture and heritage from home thriving even though we are miles away,” Jagjit Rana, a resident of Sunnyvale, told India-West.

“It’s a great avenue for showcasing young talent and encouraging them to excel in promoting our arts and culture,” said Nalini Shah, a resident of Fremont whose daughter performed a classical dance piece as one of the items.

“Our event has been a grand success and we look forward to organizing many more of these in the years to come,” Ena Sarkar, organizer of IndiaNow 2013, told India-West.