Go Go Go… Go Pagal… Holi Hai!


Photos: G-Photography & Meedu fotografy

HOUSTON: Ever imagined what it would be like to be on set for a Bollywood Movie Holi Song shoot?

It would be just like joining over 16,000 at HOUSTON HOLI 2017. The Festival of Colors exploded all afternoon with bursts of color powder, colored smoke grenades, bubbles, hazers and people of every color, “tere gaal ko laal banaaun… kyunki aaj baby holi hai!” It was a surreal experience for all ages presented by Star Plus, Tara Energy and Masala Radio on Saturday March 25, 12-5PM, featuring Jay Sean – Xfinity Live Concert, Toyota Shuttle Service, Mercedes Benz Color Rave & Alings Foam Dance with color powder blasters and Co2 cannons. Bollywood singer Arjun “K for Kishore” sang old & new Holi songs (mixed by DJ Nish and DJ Scoop) and got everyone to dance as they walked in. “A vibrant crowd celebrated Holi for the entire 5 hours of the event – an international, almost paagal (frenzy) crowd that was just excited with every Bollywood song, every joke, and every contest that Sunil hosted” said Sandhya Thakkar.


An unprecedented number of youths came in the open-air venue to play with color all day long, ate fresh Indian street foods and watched the top dance groups perform to popular Bollywood songs on the main stage. By 3 pm the park was completely packed with people drenched in color and they were ready to Go Pagal with speakers at full blast. The grand finale was Jay Sean singing nonstop almost for an hour including his popular “Stolen, Ride It, Hum Tum, and Tere Naal Nachna.” He brought the house down with an extended version of his number 1 Billboard song “Down” Rachana Sanghani mesmerizingly sung out loud every song, “The last time I saw him was at UT Austin before he became an international star… he has come a long way and I will never forget this Holi performance.” One young lady stayed by the stage for 4.5 hours to be right in the front and forgot to hydrate herself. As Sunil announced Jay Sean… she started screaming, and then passed out. Partners Emergency Center EMS luckily revived her quickly so she did not miss the concert. Rice University student Nidhi said “all my non-Indian friends who came last year, came back just for the color & foam dance. It was unlike anything we have ever experienced before” The finale Battle of the DJs featured DJs Impact, Scoop, Masti, Nish and Zee as Sunil spontaneously jumped in to crowd surf.


Title Sponsors Star Plus along with Partner Toyota gave away thousands of custom-printed Tshirts while Tara Energy gave away 8000 bottles of water and hosted a fun free Photo Souvenir Booth. Star Plus presented the first hour of non-stop Bollywood dance performances by Dance with Dolly, H-Town Patakhaz, Bollywood Shake, Sunanda’s Performing Arts, H-Town Divaz, US Desi Gals, Bollywood Dancing Stars, Team Revolution, Andhra Mirchi, Rhythm India, Shingari School of Rhythm, Rice Riyaaz, Houston Jannat, BollyX, Arya Dance Academy, Houston Di Shaan, and finale Infused Performing Arts. Britannia gave away over 10,000 packets of their latest cookies. Cosmo 8 gave away 9000 bottles of their latest Energy Drink, and Karya Properties sponsored all the free Carnival rides – the deceptively fast Pirate Boat, Sand Storm, Giant Inflatable Slide & Obstacle Course, and gave away gift cards. Patrons Anand and Ashima Chauhan said, “the kids rides were exceptional, our kids just didn’t want to leave.” Johnson Development invited ladies living in Johnson communities on stage for dance contest and gave away $50 visa gift cards. Ramji & Associates gave away an Ipad and 10 Itunes Gift Cards. Doubletree’s Money Machine was a huge hit… giving away free money and an India air ticket. Gujurat Samaj sold thousands of bright color packets and lit the holi bonfire. ICC fueled the kid’s curiosity by selling a wide range of Pichkari’s (water guns).


Sone ki thaari mein jyona parosa ….Are khaaye gori ka yaar Balam tarse….Rang barse…Holi hai! Well actually no one went hungry thanks to the Indian Street food with all fresh food made on site by Houstons top restaurants – Café India, Bollywood Chaat, Chowpatty Chat, Chowpatty Express, Rice & Spice, Vishala, Kwality Ice Cream, Mirch Masala, Hyderabad House, Great American Cookies, Universal Bakery & Maharaja Bhog. “All restaurants served only Vegetarian items and no alcohol was permitted – I am so proud that Houston Holi has kept the Hindu traditions alive in our youth with increasingly large numbers of non-Indians attending for the first time.,” said Vijay Pallod of Hindus of Greater Houston. “When I entered the Holi festival, two volunteers greeted me with a smile and put color on my face… The organization this year was the best I have seen and took care of every detail. Congratulations to the entire Masala Radio Holi team for a job well done.”


Masala Radio thanks over 100 sponsors, 100 volunteers, performers, and the dream team Masala Entertainment crew Munira, Dhaval, Rinku, Devangi, Sonali, Aditi, Carlos, Shah, Ruchir, Ninad, Mayur, Preanka, Rajoo, Dilip, Vikas, Shivani, Iman, Natasha, Nivesh, Gaurav & Meedu for the amazing pictures, Arion and Jesus for spectacular video coverage. Big thanks to our Information & ticket booth crew – Ankit, Bhavisha, Lauhael, Neha, Chaitali, Sunny, Mehran, Ashka, Sonali, Krupa, Ina, Devan, Sameep, Shreya, 20 Masala Radio Jockeys, and especially Eddie of Houston Farm & Ranch for yet another amazing HOLI!.

But nothing would be possible without the grace of Lord Krishna who diverted the rain to Friday. “I am humbled by the power of nature and the will of god. It was not only the largest Holi in the USA, but also the largest South-Asian event in the history of Houston. Long live our rich Indian culture and our Hindu traditions. Jai Shree Krishna !!” said Sunil Thakkar.