“Festival of Lights” Celebration by Indo American Forum

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Photos: Navin Mediwala

SUGAR LAND: The picturesque locale of the Safari Texas Ball room provided the setting for the celebration of Diwali- Festival of Lights in “Maharaja and Maharani Style” by the Indo American Forum (IAF) of Fort Bend. The evening was busting with gorgeous women clad in their exquisitely beautiful saris and lahengas, and men in their shervanis and other ethnic outfits. Evening began with delectable appetizers provided by Bombay Brasserie and Décor by Prashe Designs reminded of Maharaja’s Royal Court.

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Mistress of Ceremony, Rekha Muddaraja, news anchor KHOU Channel 11 invited the guests in. The evening started with traditional lighting of the lamp by Judge Bob Herbert and his wife Pat Herbert and IAF Chairwoman Jasmin Patel and her husband Dr. Nilesh Patel. Rekha explained the significance of Diwali-dispelling darkness with light, removing ignorance by understanding, and above all “Caring and Giving”.  The Indo American Forum elevated its status as non-profit organization in county by contributing ten thousand dollars to the future Children’s Discovery Center in Fort Bend this year. Rekha announced the charities for next year as well. Each of  five local charities of Fort Bend will receive a donation of $2000 each. They are: Meals on Wheels, Literacy Council of Fort Bend, Behind the Badge, Fort Bend Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and Texana Center.

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IAF Chairwoman Jasmin Patel, introduced the Executive Board and thanked all the board members for giving their time and effort in organizing and volunteering in many civic and social events through out this year. She thanked all the sponsors for their generous contribution and special “Thank You” to Altus Hospice- title sponsor for this evening and presented plaque as an appreciation for their partnership. Former Mayor David Wallace and Chairman of Altus Foundation, explained the IAF’s involvement as a leading organization for many years in providing generous donations and volunteer services. Dr. Dominic Sreshta, Corporate Medical Director elaborated Altus Hospice services and opening of their facility in Sugar Land.

Diwali Gala Chair and Sugar Land’s Councilman Harish Jajoo thanked the Diwali Planning Committee for their hard work in making the Gala a success. He recognized the elected officials who were present. The guests included Judge Bob Herbert and his wife Pat Herbert; State Representative Rick Miller; District Attorney John Healey; Commissioner Richard Morrison and his wife; Commissioner Andy Meyers; Rosenberg Mayor Vincent Morales and Sugar Land Councilwoman Amy Mitchell.

Entertainment started with energetic dance performance by Naach Houston group on song Dhol Nagada, followed by the classical Kathak performance by Megna Murali of Dallas. She won the audience heart by her intricate foot work on fast pace instrumental music. Tera Tali- a lively performance of Rajasthani Folk dance by the Sunanda’s Performing Art Center group was next, followed by the patriotic finale dance performance by Naach Houston group with artist director Mahesh Mahbobani.

An elaborated feast “Royal Style” of several vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes was served to the guests followed by the casino night and D.J. B J Joshan inviting the guests to dance the night away! Indeed it was a celebration “Maharaja and Maharani Style!”

For further information about IAF visit www.indoamericanforum.com