Brahmin Samaj of Georgia’s Diwali Dinner sparkles
Sagnika Mukherjee performed several dances at the BSOGA Diwali Dinner. (Photo: Mahadev Desai)Brahmin Samaj of Georgia held its glitzy annual Diwali Dinner cum Cultural Program at the Palace Restaurant, on Saturday, November 16, 2013. The gala event marked by festive ambience was attended by over 250 BSOGA members.
Guests were courteously greeted as they arrived and presented with Diwali sweets at the registration desk. After meeting and greeting and relishing tasty appetizers, all took their seats. Proceedings were emceed in a jovial manner by Rajen Raval who welcomed all, wished Happy Diwali and New Year and invited the Founding father and Chairman of Board of Directors, Chittaranjan Jyotishi to recite an invocatory prayer. Young and cheerful Sagnika Mukherjee graced with beauty and talent enthralled the audience with her Lakshmi Vandana dance. Later she performed two scintillating dances to songs from the opulent and iconic movie Devdas: the first to “Silsila ye chaahtka” with a diya in her hand and a second to “Dola re dola” to resounding applause.
Then it was turn of young Vinay Mehta, age 12, to spice up the entertainment. He got on the floor in black pants, black hat, and dark glasses and with his zesty, fast-paced dance-moves to a medley of songs—“Ab teer chale talwaar chale” (Dabangg); “Go go Govinda“; and “Dilliwali Girlfriend”—had the audience cheering and clapping.
A crowd of over 250 enjoyed the BSOGA 2013 Diwali program. (Photo: Mahadev Desai)
Tanweer Mian and Lakshmi Rao regaled the audience from their vast repertoire of Bollywood songs: old popular hits and latest hot chartbusters. Tanweer sang “Ye sham mastani,” “Roop tera mastana,” “Tere mast mast do Nain,” while Lakshmi sang “Chura liya,” “Lag ja gale se,” and duets with Tanweer “Haal kaisa hai janab ka” and “Aaj kal tere mere pyar ke charche”—which soon had some in the audience dancing and clapping.
Preyas Joshi, age 8, confidently gave a short talk on the significance and symbolism of the annual festival of Diwali which is celebrated over five days: Dhan Terash, Kali Chaudash, Diwali, New Year, and Bhai Beej.
Gita Kotecha, the first woman President of BSOGA, wished Happy New Year to all and introduced her Executive Committee members, Vice President Ramesh Bhatt, Secretary Jaydev Jani, and Treasurer Indubhai Raval. She reported that during 2013, BSOGA had organized janoi-changing (sacred thread) ceremony; a comedy play; Ganesh Chaturthi Festival at Sanatan Mandir Atlanta; and together with Ekal Vidyalaya, hosted Dr. Usha Bhargave’s program of geet, ghazals, and bhajans at the Impact Center, Global Mall, Atlanta. In 2014, BSOGA is planning to arrange a visit to Someshwar Mahadev Temple in North Carolina or Sri Ganesh Temple in Nashville.
Secretary Jaydev Jani, President Gita Kotecha, Performer Sagnika Mukerjee, Chairman Chittaranjan Jyotishi, Treasurer Indravadan Raval, and Vice President Ramesh Bhatt. (Photo: Mahadev Desai)
Chairman Chittaranjan Jyotishi noted that BSOGA, founded in 1996, is young compared to Brahmin Samaj of New York, Chicago, and New Jersey which are 40, 35, and 25 years old, respectively. He explained that BSOGA management keeps in touch with all the Brahmin Samaj organizations in the U.S. as well as in India. He had nursed a desire, he said, to see a woman President and is happy that they now have their first. He lauded Gitaben for her ability, persistence, hard work, and courage. Though he was 75 years of age, he said, he was able, capable, and available to take up any social challenge and so were his Board and Executive Committee members. He expressed his desire to one day see the whole Executive Committee composed of women. He noted that he has appointed Bharat Kotecha and Ramesh Bhatt to review and revise the BSOGA Constitution. Three more members were needed to help them in this task. “Let us all unite and make BSOGA a vibrant organization ensuring peace and harmony for all members.”
Jaydev Jani thanked all including Bharatbhai and Gitaben Kotecha for sharing their experience in organizing activities for Sanatan Mandir Atlanta. Indubhai Raval and Pramila Jyotishi were also thanked for donating the delicious Diwali mithai (sweets).
Dinner was accompanied by Nimish Sevak's rib-tickling jokes, and four attendees became lucky raffle winners. The evening was one of friendship and bonding.
Website Bonus Feature
Lakshmi Vandana, Published on Nov 3, 2013
performed & choreographed by Sagnika Mukherjee, at Punjabi Association of Greater Atlanta
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