Houston Maharashtra Mandal Ganesh Festival 2018

HOUSTON: !!Ganapati Bappa Morya!!, an earnest call to Lord Ganesha, roars throughout India and Indian Diaspora during this time of the year as Indians all over the world celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi.

Houston Maharashtra Mandal (HMM) celebrated Ganesh Festival on September 22, witnessed by more than 750 devotees dressed in colorful traditional Indian attire. HMM celebrates Ganesh Festival and this year will be remembered for its unique theme that depicted festivals per Hindu calendar month called as “Kaalnirnay – Apale San Apale Utsav”. Indian festivals are like a dispersive prism that unites people from all walks of life.

The celebration started at 3:45 PM with an ornate palanquin procession shouldered by devotees and accompanied by drummers who played percussion instruments, Dhol and Tasha. Devotees accompanied the procession with their beautiful Lezim dance. The program started with an introduction of HMM and its initiatives, and felicitations for the Marathi School (Shala) students. The cultural program started with beautiful songs on Gudhi Padwa and Ram Navami, the Hindu New Year. It was followed by two dances that depicted Aashadi Ekadashi. Kids dressed as Warkaris danced to Dindi and made innocent calls to Gyanba-Tukaram, transcending the audience to a spiritual realm. Similarly, festivals such as Narali Poornima, Krishna Janma, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navaratri, Kojagiri, Diwali, Dutta Jayanti, Magh Ganapati, Mahashivratri and Holi were depicted through dances or songs. Instrumental ensemble with Sitar, Harmonium, Viola, Tabla and keyboard was the most inspiring piece played by young and talented kids.

Bhagyashree Patwari and Tanuja Sahasrabuddhe, the co-leads for cultural activities, led the program from front by active participation, the flow of the program carried through flawlessly by Trupti Nag and Madhura Kelkar. Sri Preston Kulkarni who is running for Congress also was present in the audience. He praised the community for organizing such an event strengthening the linkage of the community with Maharashtra.

The celebration was concluded with traditional arati and prayers with a roar of “Ganapati Bappa Morya” by everyone followed by round of palanquin procession and an even grander Dhol Tasha performance that was mesmerizing and an immersive experience. The minds were further stimulated by the delicacies of Maharashtra such as modak and gulab jamun that were offered at the dinner. One can only imagine how hard the food committee would have worked to ensure smooth serving and dining arrangements. Prajakta Zambare and her team deserve kudos for their relentless efforts. We could also see so many volunteers in action managing audio system, controlling crowd, ensuring orderly event management. These invisibly visible people are always the backbone for success of any such event.

The entire HMM community congratulates the committee members for a yet another fantastic successful event. Huge thanks to the entire HMM committee, President Jyotsna Phadke and Event Manager Rajan Chaudhari who made it possible. HMM welcomes everyone for the next event to celebrate Diwali on October 27.

Please visit http://hmmhouston.org/ for more information.