Diwali Celebrations Victorious Over the Evil Hurricane


Photos: Carlos Pena & Paulina Sjoberg

SUGAR LAND: Thousands braved drizzling rain to celebrate Good over Evil at the Houston Diwali Mela on Sunday October 25, at Skeeters Stadium.   “Don’t Limit your Challenges, Rather, Challenge your Limits.” The rain dampened the city but not the spirit of the Masala Crew who believed in their collective effort and delivered everything they promised.  The promenade was so packed the fire marshal was concerned but everyone was in a jubilant mood and there were no issues with crowd control.

This Diwali Mela was a classic case of Crisis Management and the organizers did an excellent job in handling the situation.   The positive spirit of the Masala Crew was victorious over the evil hurricane.  The organizers analyzed over a hundred variables to keep the event on the official rain date.


“All the main artists were in town from India and all the dance schools said yes to Sunday, October 25.  We checked with all sponsors and booth vendors and everyone was ready.  The support we received from the sponsors and community gave us the strength to move forward with Sunday and make it a successful event.  We thank all the people who came out despite the rain and we are deeply sorry to all those who were inconvenienced and not able to make it on Sunday.  To those who bought tickets and were not able to attend, we will offer them complimentary tickets for the Holi Mela coming up on Sunday, March 27,” said Sandhya Thakkar of Masala Radio.  “Diwali Mela is for the community to celebrate togetherness and it was heartwarming to see so many smiling people come out.”


The major sponsors of Houston Diwali Mela were &TV, Tara Energy, Mercedes Benz of Sugar Land, Exclusive Furniture, Alings Hakka, RiverStone, Ramji & Assoc & Britannia.

Every Indian in Houston must now have seen at least one selfie with Chatur from 3 Idiots who graciously spent hours with fans at the Tara Energy booth.  The drizzle cleared by the time India’s Raw Star Jeffrey Iqbal and Tabla Trap Jomy George took to the giant stage with mesmerizing Lights and Sound.  Equally magnificent was Jomy George earlier up-close Jugalbandhi with top local Dholi Toki Singh.  Masala RJ Ajay Chunchu wowed the audience singing some recent Bollywood hits.

From 5PM, guests were dazzled by music, pink and orange Raj Tent by Tent Couture housing Ganeshji, and Living statues of Laxmi, Sita-Ram-Laxman-Hanuman, Shiv-Ganesh, and Radha-Krishna.  Beautiful chania-choli clad Apsaras invited all to peruse the Britannia Grand Bazaar of 60 merchandise and corporate booths bursting with Diwali fashions, jewelry, and home decor.   The lines for Chef Nirmans vada pao and Mirch Masala Pani Puri were almost a mile long.


Comedian Sunil Thakkar guided the packed promenade audience through hours of non-stop entertainment.  Dance schools performed exciting mixes of Bollywood, Folk, Semi-classical, Bhangra, and some westernized Mash-Ups to the sheer delight of an up-close audience in the covered breezeway.  In order: Sunanda Nair’s Performing Arts, Team Revolution, Rhythm India, Houston Bhangra, US Desi Girls, and the finale by Infused Performing Arts.  In between the Alings Fire Dancers gave a spectacular performance to the tunes of “Apsara Aali” and “Lean On.”  A record turnout of Rangolis were so artfully created, including Ramayan scenes such as the Golder Dear running through the forest, or Ram-Sita-Laxman crossing the Sarayu River, that judges split the $1001 Ramji & Associates prize between 9 winners: Viki Shah, Pooja Sokar Chowdhury, Siddharth Shrikant Wani, Roli Khanna, Meenakshi Kumar, Nandita Patil, Anagharanga Mudigere, and Disha Vora.

A heavenly procession of Hindu Gods exuded vibrant Darshan before manifesting on the stage for the Hindus of Greater Houston’s Maha Arti, led by Grand Sponsors &TV and Tara Energy, Diamond Concert Sponsor Exclusive Furniture, Platinum Fireworks Sponsor Mercedes Benz of Sugar Land, Gold Sponsors Alings Hakka, Ramji & Associates, Britannia & Deep Foods, Riverstone, Anand & Dr. Ashima Chauhan, George Willy;   Silver Sponsors Brij & Sunita Agarwal, Govind & Renu Agarwal, SKAI Foundation,  Fiesta, One Step Diagnostic, Xfinity, Amirali Dodhiya, Perry Homes, Amit & Arpita Bhandari, Amaya Clinc, Navin & Alpana Thakkar, and the India Culture Center.

Mercedes Benz of Sugar Land led the countdown to the dazzling fireworks personifying a small personal victory over the Hurricane aftermath.  Surely, Good will always triumph over Evil, Positivity over Negativity, and all obstacles can be overcome with the passion to succeed.


Masala Radio would like to thanks its dream management Masala Crew:  Office: Munira, Rinku, Devangi,  Nathan & Rohit.  Event: Ruchir, Shah, Ninad, Krupa, Nimi, Sameep, Ina, Nimi, Ayesha, Masood, Shika, Sonali S., Shameet, Neil, Mayur, Anuj, Supriya. Stage: Preanka, Dilip, Rajoo, Mehran, Sunny, Shreya, Sonali K, Rupal.  Special Thanks to the excellent volunteers from UH ISA.

Organizers made the decision to hold the event on the scheduled Rain Date, Sunday October 25 as rain chances were dropping dramatically after 12PM, and Venue, Dance Schools, Jeffrey Iqbal & Omi Vaidya, Stage, Sound & Lights were not available the next weekend, not to mention 80% chance of thunderstorms on the following Friday, 100% on Saturday.  Organizers look forward to new concepts for Diwali 2016.

 More Photos coming soon to HoustonDiwali.com and www.facebook.com/HoustonDiwali.