Packed in to Appreciate a Mother’s Love, with Love


The entire cast of performers along with Darshak and Mona Thacker of Krishna Sounds who provided the sound system
Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: It was standing room only, and yet the crowd kept streaming in, long after the show had started. One of the organizers hazarded a guess there were close to 400 people inside the long banquet hall, and Vipin Kumar, the General Manager of India House was outside in the bright sunshine of a surprisingly cool May day, helping the security guards guide cars along in a packed parking lot. This monthly meeting of the Indian Senior Citizens Association was busting at the seams, and one of the main draws was the promise of renewed camaraderie … and the musical treat that they were in for on this Mother’s Day weekend.

It couldn’t have pleased Surender Talwar more – H-Town’s crooning “Sunatra” (Surender + Sinatra), Mr. Smooth Voice himself – who had assembled a group of talented people, young and old, to provide a couple of hours of variety entertainment for the older set, many of whom look forward to the programs that other members of the community pull together to honor their seniors. Like a ring master, he put the cast of four singers (himself included) and two girl dancing groups onstage to produce a rhythm induced, musical package that had the audience clapping along and totally engaged.


The ISCA honored two of its oldest members, Neeta Mehta, 86 (left) and Shakuntla Malhotra, 87 who also sang a verse from a bhajan

Talwar led off with a short song Maa Tujhe Salaam. The singers were Maumita Chaudhuri, a semifinalist on Zee Tv’s Sa Re Ga Ma; Ravi Boddu; Sri Sanvitha Sridhar, the winner of the IACF Sing for Charity competition in 2012 and Prerna Shah. Tej Ganju played the keyboards and Chidanand played the tabla. The young girls who performed at the show were Ramitha Venket, Nikitha Kannan, Annanya Gokul, Kavya Chockalingham, co-ordinated by Vidvatha Sridhar. Midstream, Talwar asked several women in the audience to sing a snippet and starting off was Shakuntla Malhotra, 87 (this reporter’s mother) who sang a verse from a favorite bhajan.

Before the musical program, ISCA President Praful Shah and his Board took care of monthly business and announcements at India House on Saturday, May 7, the day before Mother’s Day. For this special occasion, all mothers received a complimentary present and lunch was served Compliments of the Gujarati Samaj. Darshak and Mona Thacker of Krishna Sounds provided the sound system.