Houston Maharashtra Mandal Celebrated Diwali

hmm diwali in

By Ravi Ozarker

HOUSTON: HMM celebrated Diwali on October 18 in Katy.   Highlights of the Diwali event included Mangaldeep Sugam Sangeet Concert by Padmaja Phenany Joglekar.  Padmaja received Padma Shri Award in 2001 for her god gifted voice and singing talent. She had a special privilege of composing and singing poems written by Honorable Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. She has also tuned and sung poems written by former Prime Minister Hon’ Shri V P Singh.  Her voice and personality is exceptional. She molded her God gifted golden voice with dedication and hard work and quickly grew up to become an extremely versatile singer.

The HMM Diwali event started with a beautiful Diwali welcome message by Viju Bhadkamkar and introduction of all artists (i.e. Padmaja Phenany Joglekar , Guitar – Aditya Joglekar, Tabla – Nitish Kulkarni, Harmonium – Mandar Parkhi).  All songs were undoubtedly well sung by Padmaja Phenany Joglekar. Rising stars Aditya Joglekar (Padmaja’s son who is doing his masters in Atlanta) and Nitish Kulkarni (HMM’s home grown talent, released a Hollywood album) also gave a splendid performance. The 250 plus attendees were very happy to hear the sweet tabla and guitar. Mandar was just phenomenal on harmonium ready to play almost any tune. Mandar also sang one song very well.

People enjoyed nice Marathi and Hindi songs and then enjoyed delicious food from Maharaja Bhog restaurant.

HMM President Megha Ozarker requested all HMM members to donate for the HMM 2014 Kashmir Floods Fundraiser.  In September 2014, the Jammu and Kashmir region was hit by heavy floods caused by torrential rainfall.  By September 24, 2014, nearly 284 people in India died due to the floods. HMM had started fundraising for the Flood/Disaster led by Houston’s, Mrudula Lele and supported by Houston’s Sewa International.

During the Diwali event, HMM Vastu Division President, Samir Karandikar thanked all the Vastu Donors.  HMM is planning to build a Vastu (a facility including a temple and community center) in the Houston area. The facility will be a symbol for HMM children to stay connected and identify with our Indian cultural heritage.  HMM has organized a fundraising event called “Durga Zali Gauri” on November 8, at Cullen Performance Hall to raise funds and awareness of this initiative.

Durga Zaali Gauri is the story of a tempestuous adolescent Princess Gauri who runs away from the palace since she cannot get sleep on any bed in the palace.  The musical has 60 participants between the age group of 6 and 25 from the Houston area who have been practicing for almost one year. This show will be staged in Cullen Performance Theatre in Houston on November 8. HMM’s Durga Zali Gauri is directed by Sharmila Moharir and choreographed by Madhura Swadi, Rupa Aranke, Tanuja Sahasrabudhe and Uma Rajguru.

Famous movie stars/directors, Sachin and Supriya Pilgaonkar will be attending this event.  Sachin has acted in several Hindi and Marathi movies such as Sholay, Jewel Thief, Bramhachari.  He has also directed several films such as Aamhi Saatpute.  Sachin Pilgaonkar celebrated his 50 years as part of Indian Cinema.

For further details, contact Shirish Kulkarni (281)213-3799 or email thekulkarnis@hotmail.com.