Gujarati Samaj Awards Ceremony Marks Year-end Diwali Party

Photos: Image N Motion Studio

Photos: Image N Motion Studio

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: The VPSS center on West Bellfort was decked out in a string of yellow lights for the Diwali season as the Gujarati Samaj of Houston celebrated inside in the main banquet hall with music and an awards ceremony this past Friday, November 1. The annual year-end event for the organization always brings out a large group of people and this year no exception as over 250 people attended the dinner and music program.


The event was the last for the 2013 Committee for the GSH which has been headed by President Nisha Mirani and Vice-President Ajit Patel for the past two years with the unwavering support of the Board of Directors, Trustees and Executive team. The incoming Executive Committee members headed by President Ami Patel and Vice President Yogina Patel were introduced; they will take over the reins of the GSH from December 1.


Prior to dinner and the musical program, Mirani recognized Directors Dr. H.D. Patel, Dr. Kirit Desai and Dr. Pulin Pandya for their dedicated work for the Community Center project and presented them with plaques. The Center is to be built on 11 acres of donated land at the corner of the West Beltway and West Bellfort.

Mirani thanked the donors, Amit Bhandari and Mukesh Turakia for their generous donation of the land. She also recognized and appreciated the support of other community organizations – the ICC, IHA, VPSS, BAPS Swami Narayan Temple and ISSO – for their continued support for the Samaj and for its landmark community center project. Many members of these organizations were present and several received appreciation awards for their service.

A buffet Gujarati vegetarian dinner was catered by the VPSS kitchen. And after dinner, a musical odyssey of mostly Hindi songs from Bollywood – both Oldies and new pop music – and some Gujarati numbers, with an occasional bhajan thrown in were performed by the Mumbai Masti group from that famed city by the Arabian Sea.

The band – led by singers Sunny, Alka and Kalpesh – serenaded the audience as they sat through an extended set of music. It’s the third time in as many years that the group has come to Houston to perform for the Gujarati Samaj. The sound and set direction was conducted by none other than the versatile and omnipresent Darshak Thacker of Krishna Sounds. The musical interlude was interspersed by audience participation and went on till way past midnight, just in time to herald the dawn of Diwali.