Sri Meenakshi Temple Annual Banquet Celebration

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Photos: Srini Sundarrajan

By Dr P. Vaduganathan

PEARLAND: “Padmanjali”, the annual banquet at Sri Meenakshi Temple took place on Sunday May 31.  It certainly touched everyone who attended, and the event will be long remembered.

The décor (by Nalini Kannan) was awe inspiring with elephants greeting outside the Kalyana Mandapam, Goddess Lakshmi shining high in the stage on a Lotus flower, flanked by two white elephants on either side of the stage with a stunning backdrop. The whole program was crisp and finished on time with talented youngsters Haripriya and Chandana doing the MC, along with Secretary Srikanth who did a wonderful job.

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The world renowned singer Padmashree Dr. Shobana Raju sang Mahalshmi Sthuti with Partha accompanying on the key board was a fitting tribute to the event.

The skit “ The Return of the Sundara  Pandian” written and directed by Vaduganathan and acted by Padma Iyer ( Auvai Patti) Ramsunder, Srikanth, Padma Golla, Mala Gopal , Maya Iyer, Bhavani  Iyer, Sheila and Sriram and Vaduganathan, was hilarious and had a very good message.

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The sit down dinner catered by Madras Pavilion was a special treat and the over 500 attendees were very appreciative. The beautiful Lotus flowers specially ordered for the event added to the thematic ambience.

Singers Sarada Akunuri, Ganesh Rajamani and Siva Bodogala provided post dinner entertainment with their melodious music and Akash Srikanth also joined them.

The silent action was handled silently but very efficiently with many interesting offerings donated by devotees and it brought in a good 10 k in the end. Thanks to Shelia, Sriram, Chitra and Kumar Bashyam.

Honorable Mayor Tom Reid and Council General Hon. Parvathaneni Harish and his wife were the guests of honor.

One of the highlights was the presentation of MTS Scholarships to the graduating seniors from High School. This year there were seventeen Scholarships awarded, including two to local Schools Pearland High and Turner College and Career High. The two Scholarhsip Sponsors were Dr and Mrs. Jay Raman and Dr. Nat and Dr (Mrs). Annamali. The awardees included Abhinaya Govindan, Aditya Prasad, Advaith Ram, Annapoorani (Anu) Narayanan, Harshini Ganesh, Karun Salvady, Ketan Sinha. Nakul Rao, Neelesh Choudary Mutyala, Rakesh Kumar Vijayakumar, Sanchita Mahoorkar, Sreesh  Shenoy, Sohan Gadkari, Swetha Rajagopalan and Halie Calles, Samantha Schultz, Vibha Sripadam.  All accomplished students attending Universities shortly and had volunteered at the temple and in the larger community.

Chairman Dr Vaduganathan shared the information that with all the donations towards the Main Temple Renovation Project (MTRP) has ensured the MTRP project is fully funded with planned Kumbabhishekam in November 2015.

Last but not the least thanks to the MTS staff for making all the arrangements.   Goddess Meenakshi’s blessings made it possible for all to enjoy a very rewarding and fulfilling evening at MTS.