Unique Dal-Baati Picnic Hosted by MP Mitra Mandal at Bear Creek Park

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Photos: Navin Mediwala

HOUSTON: Madhya Pradesh Mitra Mandal (MPMM) organized its 16th Annual Dal-Baati Picnic on Sunday, Oct. 18 at Bear Creek Park, in Houston, Texas.  It was attended by 225+ people who enjoyed delicious Dal-Baati prepared by several families. Day started with Indori favorite Poha-Sev-Jalebi. Everyone enjoyed charcoal grill cooked dal-baati – a specialty dish, prepared by attendees, the event ended with Masala Chai. Everyone enjoyed performances from attendees and playing housie (Tambola) during this daylong event.  The feeling of being at home, the bonding between families & friends and the cordial atmosphere made this gathering fun & entertaining.

The show started with a bang including dance performance by UH students, solo and duet songs by Shishir Dutta and many more. After introduction of new families, there were performances by kids and adults which captured one and all. Attendees played games on the stage and winners were awarded. Gifts were sponsored by Jhanvi Thakar.

Surprise package for audience was performance by Rockstar Chintan Bakiwala, runner up from K-for Kishore show. K For Kishore is an Indian television popular singing contest that was broadcast on Sony TV in 2007-2008. Chintan sang many songs to mesmerize the audience with Kishore Kumar’s voice and related his experience with Indore, MP and thanked everyone for keeping the community alive in the USA. His famous “O Hansini” made audience sing along and left them asking for more. Sholay’s famous “Ye Dosti Hum Nahi todenge” was then sung by Chintan and Shishir. Chintan reminded everyone that Kishore Kumar was also from MP (Khandwa) and that he was honored to sing Kishore da songs in MPMM event.

An impromptu Jaykara of Maa Durga that lasted over 5 minutes also added the festive mood and colors of spirituality to the event.

Along with all mauj-masti and food, everyone played Cricket, volleyball and other games too. Kids, youth and adults, equally enjoyed the picnic in a beautiful outdoor weather.  Enjoying the sips of hot masala chai, and wishing everyone happy Navratri, Dusshera and a festive seasons, MPMM members parted with plans to meet again for Holi in March 2016.

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This event was organized by Gagan Pandey, Ashish & Pallavi Jain, Ashish & Mukul Kudaria, Pradeep Jain, Manish Sharma, Devendra Sharma, Nikhil & Ritu Jain, Ashish & Jyoti Bhandari and several other volunteers who pitched in with their work on picnic day. Their planning, hard work and execution made it the best ever MPMM picnic by far. Big thank you to all the volunteers and to Navin Mediwala for capturing stunning images of this picnic.

For the past few years, response to MPMM picnic has been so overwhelming that RSVP had to be closed 2 weeks before the event, to ensure that picnic is managed well by the volunteers.

MP Mitra Mandal is an informal community group made up of people who have come from Madhya Pradesh or Chhattisgarh to Texas. These states reflect “unity in diversity” in true sense which is visible amongst the people who attend MPMM events in Houston.  This group was started in Houston in the year 2001 by Ashish Bhandari & Nikhil Jain and has grown to over 250+ families belonging to various cities like Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Bilaspur, Raipur, Gwalior, Bhilai etc., who are registered on the group’s website http://www.mp.abindore.com . Its events have been covered by various media groups in Houston as well as in leading news media in Madhya Pradesh in the past.