BAGA Ushers 2007 with Pomp and Splendor
Bengali Association of Greater Atlanta (BAGA), the premier association of Bengalis in Atlanta organized a New Year's Eve party at Armaan restaurant in Duluth, Ga. From international cuisine to international music crossing all borders, the party's ‘Countdown to 07' theme catered to the personal tastes for every reveler. The party included a 25-course dinner buffet, champagne toast, dancing, door prizes, raffle drawing and even some old-fashioned bar hopping between various bars at Armaan.
From valet parking to a host at the door, and the DJ playing welcome ‘music' snippets as previews for the evening to come, one was greeted to an eclectic ambience in the main lounge. A makeshift dance floor in the central lounge equipped with 500 watts of sound, smoke screens, ambient and resurgent sound activated lighting and lasers greeted everyone.
The evening began with some fantastic hor'devours. Bollywood melodies and slow dance numbers kept playing in the background to stir up the mood of the evening. However that did not last long. By the time BAGA's guest singer, Chandrika Narayanan took the floor, people had begun pouring on to the dance floor. Popular chartbusters like ‘Crazy Kiya Re' sung in her distinctly crisp voice got the dancers immediately engaged and craving for more. Keeping with the momentum, the DJ had to change the tempo very early on. Dance numbers were belted out galore - traditional Bollywood blockbusters of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, remixes and radio edits of every notable Bollywood song from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, traditional Bhangra from Punjab, Hip-Hop Bhangra from UK's night clubs, Disco, 80's POP, Rock and R&B music, popular Bangla Rock Band music and even current billboard numbers like "buttons" – everything that the discriminating dance music lover could want was on offer for four continuous hours. A dance challenge was put forward for all the men to dance to a remix called Gabber Remix that played continuously for 18 minutes. Many dancers were up to the challenge but felt like having lost a few pounds in the process.
Dinner introduced some signature Armaan dishes that fused Indian and Pakistani flavors with ingredients from all over the subcontinent. With drinks and food flowing, the customary raffle draw evoked many a mixed reaction from the lucky and the not so lucky ones. Gifts were sponsored by Meena Jewelers, High Glow, Cherians, Texas Sari Sapne, Gokul Sweets, Mirch Masala, Bengal Stores, Armaan Restaurant, Kiriti & Shanta Gupta and Mamata & Mridul Paul.
The countdown to ‘07 began about 30 minutes before the hour and everyone was ushered to the dance floor with a transition from traditional dance to Ultra Trance and Electronic music from renowned DJ's like Tiesto and Armin van Buuren. Everyone welcomed 2007 with the customary champagne toast, New Year's embrace, and an uproar of "Happy New Year" cheers.
Photography for the event was handled by Krishna Murthy and the event was planned and coordinated by Mr. Kiriti Gupta (President of BAGA) and Ms. Shanta Gupta (Cultural Coordinator for BAGA). DJ services were handled by Abir Guha Thakurta and Amit Mukherjee. Fuelled by a passion to start the New Year in a frenzy, the volunteers and the entire community of BAGA took special interest in every aspect of the evening including fun and frolic. Forget Dick Clark and the Rockin' New Year's Eve party - this was indeed an evening to remember.
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