Sugar Land Audiences Captivated by Riveting Performances at the 7th Annual TELICA Diwali at Telfair

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SUGAR LAND:  Saturday, October 18, Cornerstone Elementary School was once again the site for the Annual Telfair Diwali Festival organized by Telfair Indian American Culture Association (TELICA). Now in its 7th year, the TELICA celebration of Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights, attracted well over a 1,000 adults and children from Telfair and other parts of Sugar Land. The event was sponsored by MetLife;; Sugar Land Flooring; Telfair Montessori; Cambridge Montessori; College Tutors and Nannies .

The visitors were welcomed by yet another brilliant display of Rangoli from Sangita Bhutada, who continues to amaze every year by her beautiful and intricate designs. As the crowds poured in they were greeted by engaging activities and games. Continuing their tradition of their focus on children the day started with a series of activities for children – Diwali Greeting cards, Playdough Diya, Paper Flower making, Nail art and of course Henna – by far the most popular one for the girls and women alike. The beautiful designs being created by the volunteers could be seen throughout the day. And then there were carnival style games that kept the energetic Telfair boys occupied.  The omnipresent High school volunteers were at hand calmly and efficiently managing these activities.

The afternoon programs started at around noon with a soulful rendition of Ganesh Vandana by Priya Gade. The TELICA president Ravi Ranjan kicked off the afternoon festivities by welcoming the guests. He invited distinguished guest KP George, a representative at the Fort Bend Board of Trustees to join the TELICA organizers, in lighting the Diwali lamp which signifies the elimination of darkness. George then talked the importance of education within the community.

The event started with a Rabrindrik dance and was followed by the ever popular Choir from our own Cornerstone Elementary School. Led by Laura Klein, the choir put together a wonderful set of songs including “How can I keep from singing?” and “It’s a Small World.”
A new entry to the event, Fashion Show, included participants ranging from 6 years to 67 years. Cat walking to heart pumping music, they had the crowd yelling and applauding. A series of dazzling mix of classical and Bollywood style dances kept the capacity crowd glued to their seats for over two hours. The excitement and the sense of pride on the faces of the young kids of Telfair were unmistakable! Clearly all their hours of preparation had been well worth it.

The Grand Sponsor of the Event, MetLife, raffled off an iPad.

The youth volunteers ably led by Natasha Muppala of Clements High School, were everywhere a hand was needed. “Year after year, we have the High School students come here and do a phenomenal job. These smiling faces make the hardest chores look easy and challenges disappear! I know Natasha worked very hard to put together such a wonderful team, I cannot thank you all enough!” said Deepak Kanwar, the lead coordinator for the show.

Jignasa Patel and Sanjeev Yamdagni, the co-lead cultural coordinators, put in numerous hours and countless phone calls and emails coordinating over 20 different acts that included well over 200 participants. “I am extremely impressed by the quality of our performers and it keeps getting better each year, I cannot wait to see the performances next year.” said Sanjeev.

Sapna Kanwar, the lead coordinator for the non-cultural activities worked relentlessly with key TELICA volunteers to put together a new look and feel for the stage and the activities hall. “We wanted to make sure there was enough interesting stuff for the boys too, we were glad to see them engaged in the carnival games,” said Sapna.

Some of the very proud TELICA volunteers are Ravi Ranjan, Satya Narendrula, Raju Muppala, Sanjeev Yamdagni, Deepak Kanwar, Jignasa Patel, Jhilmil Yamdagni, Rani Narendrula, Roopali Bajpai, Praveen Bhavani, Srilatha Bommakanti, Shankar Vaidyanathan, Vanita Ranjan, Ambuj Bajpai, Savitha Kanth, Sapna Kanwar, Sumathy Muppala, Sanjay Agarwal, Ravi Bommakanti, Srini Chittaluru, Roopali Mittal, Prakash Shah, Sangita Bhutada, Rakesh Kumar, Bhagwan Bhutada, Sundar Moorthy, Kunaal Kanwar, Pallavi Kumar, Ranjana Aggarwal, and  Ekta Aggarwal.

The youth volunteers who contributed their valuable hours to make this event a grand success were led by TELICA youth volunteer coordinator Natasha Muppala.

Visit for festival pictures or to get more details about the event and organization.
Report Composed by: TELICA Community Outreach Team