Masala Radio’s ‘Deities & Demons’ Diwali Fest: Mesmerizing

Masala Radio yet again innovated a new concept celebration for DIWALI in a trendy part of town – MIDTOWN!  Thousands flocked through drizzling rain and chilly temperatures to DEITIES & DEMONS Houston Diwali Fest 2023 @ Rise Rooftop Music Hall.  The venue featured an amazing light & sound show combined with its high glass ceilings, retractable roof, multi-levels offered an exiting modern venue to celebrate the ancient Festival of Good over Evil. The Event was co-presented by title sponsors Zee5 and Savant Energy and split into 2 events, 6-9 PM for all ages featuring non-stop stage entertainment laced with Sparklers, CO2 bursts, and giant balls of confetti, glittering bazaar, and delectable fusion and Indian street foods.
10-2 was more a Bollywood Party filled with leading artist from across the US: Goddess of Dance Manpreet Toor.  Her crisp steps, beautiful expressions, and creative moves left the audience spell bound. Truly a Demon on the Dance floor, the headliner DJ Amsal brought the house down with his Tik-Tok famous mixes of Bollywood with just the right touch of mainstream beats.  Sajan Vadali Chicago led the first half, while Houston’s DJ Boyd rocked 6-9 PM inside while DJ Tariq rocked the Food Festival area.  With super-human energy and talent, Dholi Anuradha played her amazing dhol for 7 hours!  The stage was graced with divine performances by Aerialists, and Ambient Apsara dancers. Dream Decors was tru to her name; Sunita transformed the venue into a heavenly, vibrant place filled with Indian fabric tents, modern triangles of marigolds and tassels, and even added a towering mock Ferris Wheel to completely the dreamy Diwali Festival vibe.
“We were having so much fun, we just didn’t want to leave,” said Swathi Jain.  Guest enjoyed free Kulfi’s by Zee5, Masala spiced fries and achar tastings by National Foods, Diwali T-shirts by Ramji Law Group and Amir Dohiya, Diyas and Caps from Tara Capital, Rice Bags by Dawat, $15 gift cards by Bob’s Lounge, $10 Gift cards from Triveni Grocers, and free subscriptions from Shemaroo among other giveaways by top sponsors Ali Shekhani for Constable, Bob’s Lounge, Artex Signs, Neptune Imports, Jindal Saw, Deep Foods, Keemat Grocers, Desi Brothers, Nitya Capital, Toro Imports, Lumbre, Cell Pay, AV Diamonds, Travel Guzs, George Willy, Shabana Motors, Malla Mekala, Kinjal Shah, Dr. Freemu Varghese, Elite Restaurant, Marriott West Loop, Dhanani Private Equity Group, and Triveni Grocers.  Mouth-watering foods presented by Honest Indian Restaurant, Nirmanz Food Boutique, Madhuram Mirch Masala, and Bawarchi.  Ali Shekhani presented an iPhone 15 and Arshad Rami air pods to the best dressed Goddess – Ashwini – a fearsome Durga complete with the third eye!  Organizers are extremely grateful for these sponsors who supported a new concept and participated without blinking an eye!
The audience crowded by the stage, mesmerized by the variety, color, and fast pace of the lineup of the leading dance schools in Houston.  In order of appearance: Kerala Drummers, Alankar Dance Group, Aditi’s Bollywood Dance Sensation, Dhadak School of Performing Arts, Nupur Center of Performing Arts, Swati’s Group, T2 Dance Company, Kathak Nritya Kala Kendra, and Houston Bhangra Academy that brought the house down! New to Houston, singer Arjun enchanted all with his melodious voice backed by Guitar. The stunning fashion show by Zakia presented Gods & Goddesses dressed in modern ruffled flared gowns contrasted with the ancient look of dhoti style pants and blouses.  Finale performed by Infused Performing arts presented a mini Broadway style story line of Apsaras being attacked by Demons and finally saved by Goddess Durga.
The organizers Sunil & Sandhya Thakkar are well aware that in trying a  new concept, there will be mixed reactions.  “It was uplifting that so many thousands came and enjoyed without prejudice, the joy on their faces was obvious,” said the Thakkars. “One needs to get out of the same routine, same event venue, same programming, same vendors, and constantly challenge oneself.
Special thanks to the entire Crazy Masala Crew!!  Office: Rinku, Jigisha, Suji, Bhavisha, Chaitali, Aahil, Nikheel, Nilesha.  Radio Jockeys: Preanka, Rajoo, Dilip, Priya Pyari P, Ina, Pankti, Swati, Amit, Anees, Rishi, Jigzz, Kiran, Shweta, Girishma, and Amrita.  Event: Ruchir, Dinesh, Josh, Mehran, Ashka, Shreya, Sahil, Vinay, Daisy, Ricardo, Meera, Amit, Mayuri, Nidhi, Badal, Nikhil.  Photos & Videos by SMB Films & Images Quaid, Jack, Janie & Mohb.  Pictures on FB / IG masalaradio98.7FM or<> Houston Diwali FB / IG or