Fathers and Grandfathers are Serenaded at ISCA’s Function


From left, Govind Shetty, on the tabla; Tej Ganju on the harmonium; Saumya Rege singing and Suresh Shenoy on the sound board and singing solo and duets performed at the Father’s Day program at India House for the ISCA seniors. Vidya Hegde, a ghazal singer is not pictured.

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: It was a large crowd of seniors – and even many elderly seniors – who came out to wish each other a happy Father’s Day at India House last Saturday, June 18. It has become a sort of tradition over the past few years to serenade seniors at Mothers and Father’s Day – and over the past two years, even on Grandparent’s Day which the Indian Senior Citizens Association is organizing in partnership with the Indo American Charity Foundation which dreamt up the idea.

And at each Mother’s and Father’s Day, different groups of people from the community have ventured forward with musical programs to serenade the seniors, usually to packed halls, followed by a luncheon from a local restaurant, again sponsored by the performing group. This year it was Udipi Café with some comforting vegetable dishes; and in the past it has been Madras Pavilion for several years.


Saumya Rege with the emcee, Subodh Bhuchar

The Father’s Day event this past weekend was performed and sponsored by a group of middle-aged music enthusiasts with the hastily found name of Subodh and Company, after the mastermind and radio personality, Subodh Bhuchar, a doctor himself but self-professed music aficionado, comedian and auctioneer at many a gala. Bhuchar pulled together a bunch of his friends to form the orchestra and singers while he emceed and joked his way through the over hour-long set on stage in the large banquet hall.


ISCA President Praful Gandhi (right), with Secretary Bharat Shah and Board member Ramesh Patel

Along with him were Govind Shetty, a banker and an accomplished table player; Tej Ganju, a keyboard specialist on the harmonium; Suresh Shenoy on the sound board and singing solo and duets with the other singer, Saumya Rege and Vidya Hegde, also a doctor in The Woodlands and a ghazal singer who went to medical school with Bhuchar.

The group played some delightful music and songs from yesteryear which the seniors could hum and sway along to and showed their delight by clapping in on the faster numbers. Shenoy started with an old patriotic song “jahan dal dal kar” and Rege and Hedge added in with melodious songs and ghazals. And then the music flowed until lunchtime.


Tahir Ansari (left) and Ajit Ahluwalia of Security Nationwide kept an eye out in the parking lot.

Prior to the beginning of the event, ISCA President Praful Gandhi started the function off with chanting Om five times and then prathna  (prayer) before turning it over to a few other Board members who spoke about the importance of Father’s Day. ISCA Secretary Bharat Shah spoke in Hindi about his feeling for Fathers, noting that “when it’s a small situation, we say “hey Maa” but when it’s a big problem, we say “Baap re!” Sudha Trivedi spoke lovingly about Fathers quoting a story she found online about how you would spend the last 24 hours of your life. Arun Banker spoke the last piece on Fathers in a long passage in Hindi.