Maheshwari Southwest Chapter Celebrated “Rajasthani-Roots Diwali”

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New and past MMNA committee. From left: Rishi & Shradha Bhutada, Sharad & Triveni Mantri, Deepali Ladda, Sangeeta Bhutada, Sushma Pallod, Narendra Zamwar, Shrikant Sharda, Arun & Meeta Mundra

HOUSTON:Maheshwari (MMNA) southwest chapter celebrated Diwali on November 8. This year the group marked a new tradition by inviting all Rajasthani families of Houston to celebrate Diwali together. More than 150 members gathered for this event. The celebration was held at Taj Hall in the Mahatama Gandhi District.

It was a great turnout and the team hopes to continue to have a Diwali gathering for all Rajasthani families of Houston in years to come. The theme of the event was kept to tradition and focused on the state of Rajasthan. Sharad Mantri, the president of the group, kicked off the event in marwari, a language native to Rajasthan. Gyanesh Dadhich sang a beautiful rendition of “Kesariyaa Balamaa, Padhaaro Mhare Desh” to set the tone of the evening. The décor included traditional rangoli, bandhani cloths and katputlis. Rangoli was done by famous rangoli artist Sangeeta Bhutada, who hails from Rajasthan. Some of the others decorations were generously given by Raj Malani. All of the decorations added a festive touch and took you back to Rajasthan.

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Manoj Rathi recieiving the community service award from Govind Zamwar, an 82 year old Retired Principal, who was honored by the President of India for best teacher.  District Executive Member of Eduction Society President – Maheshwari Eduction Support Trust.

There was plenty of entertainment provided for all attendees. The group organized a “Maharaja & Maharani” photo session. All attendees could take family portraits as Maharajas & Maharanis.

There was a face painting and balloon artist who kept the younger attendees busy during the event.

There was a “Beend & Beendani” competition for couples. There were six couple competing for this prize. Anand and Aarti Bhattad were the best Beend & Beendani. There were several performances done by various members of the group. The children sang “Ramji ki nikli sawari” and had the entire audience hanging off their every note. Quite a few dances and song performances of the evening had everyone tapping their feet to the classical musical beats of Rajasthan.

This was the end of the two year tenure of the current committee which included Sharad Mantri as president, Arun Mundra as vice president, Nand Kella as Dallas vice president and Shradha Bhutada as secretary.

Sharad Mantri welcomed the new committee for the next two year term. Arun Mundra took over as president going forward. His team includes Shrikant Sarda, Sanjay Biyani, Sangeeta Bhutada and Deepali Laddha.

Every year a member of the community is recognized for their outstanding contributions. This year the award was given to Manoj Rathi. He is actively involved in SEWA, HSS, Ekal, Hindi Association, BrahmKumaris, Yoga, and Hindus of Greater Houston. Sushma Pallod and Narendra Zanwar briefed national updates. Arun Mundra updated critical activities at international level.

The food was provided by Maharaja Bhog who specializes in Rajasthani cuisine. This year they had a special treat for the attendees, gulab jamun sabji.

It was a wonderful evening enjoyed by everyone.