Global Mall brings the community together once again through its 13th annual Global Mela
(Left) Fashion Show. (Photo: Anuj Jain)
The 13th Global Mela attracted over 16,000 community members to Global Mall in Norcross, Georgia, on the weekend of October 4-5, 2014. The mammoth Mela has become the largest free carnival event for the South Asian community in the Southeast, with over 35 booth vendors and attendees from all over the Southeast.
Ganesh Pooja. (Photo: Vinod Devlia)
Shiv Aggarwal with Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson. (Photo: Vinod Devlia)
The event began with a Lord Ganesh puja performed by Sadhana Mandir’s pundit Acharya Ved Joshi and a lamp lighting ceremony by dignitaries, Shiv Aggarwal, and his family, followed by a few words from the chief guests.
Shiv Aggarwal and family with dignitaries. (Photo: Vinod Devlia)
Consul General of India in Atlanta, H.E. Ajit Kumar declared, “The Festive season is ahead and I would like to wish a Happy Dussehra and incoming Happy Diwali to you all.” Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson lauded Aggarwal and his family for promoting business and enriching the vibrant cultural mosaic through the popular annual Global Mela. Executive Director of Gwinnett Village CID Chuck Warbington remarked, “I feel honored to be here. My family settled here way back in 1826 and I represent a 7th generation Norcross resident. I congratulate Aggarwal and his family for hosting this mammoth Mela which attracts people from across five States, and continues to grow in popularity. I am very impressed with the energy and enthusiasm of the people present here.” Shiv Aggarwal recognized Mustafa Ajmeri, who has supported and been dedicated to Global Mall and the Mela since its inception in 2001.
Nepal-born Amreeta Regmi, a resident of Peachtree Corners since 1993, informed that she is running for Georgia Legislature for House District 95. Regmi is a Democrat with an impressive academic, professional, and social activism track record; she appealed to the audience to vote so that she can bring positive change to her district and inspire other officials to follow suit.
Rishi Gowda had the audience cheering.
Nritya Natya Kala Bharati, a dance school in Global Mall, presented two scintillating performances. Swenyi Kania performed a classical Kathak dance and then a Rajasthani ghoomar dance with Nisha Patel. Rishi Gowda also had the audience cheering and clapping with his energetic, fast-paced moves to a remix of three vibrant Bollywood songs.
DJ Arsin from XrtaHotDJs and his team heightened the mela ambience with throbbing, pulsating music and the latest Bollywood chartbusters. Live dhol players intensified the atmosphere playing in sync to Bollywood music and getting the crowd dancing to bhangra.
Children having fun—the spirit of the Mela
At the entrance of the mall, inflatable obstacle courses, slides, and a bounce house were set up for the children to play on the breezy October weekend. People were welcomed with the aroma of Ashiana’s delectable chaat, samosa, and pav bhaji stall downstairs, while Diptiben served mouthwatering pani-puri and vada pavs upstairs. The food court was bustling all weekend with guests waiting in lines for the Chinese Dhaba, Sri Krishna Vilas, Dawat, Mumbai Masala, and Curry on the Go.
Global Mall and Legacy Jewels sponsored treats and activities including free popcorn, cotton candy, face painting, and balloon artistry. On the second floor, booth vendors were set up along the hallways with Indian apparel, jewelry, toys, arts and handicrafts, services such as travel, insurance, education, health and medicine, and nonprofits—Ekal Vidyalaya, Art of Living Foundation, Radha Madhav Society, Gaudiya Vaishnav Association, etc.—and remained busy dealing with the throngs of visitors. Sangi’s Beauty Salon had set up free mehndi for all guests over both days.
Guests were greeted by the Global Mall family and volunteers at the reception/raffles table. Every year, Global Mall sponsors free raffle tickets and entrance gifts for all. Raffles are run every hour, and attendees get a chance to win prizes from the Mall and Mall tenants. On Sunday evening a 32” HD flat-screen television was the Mega Prize donated by Global Mall, along with 2 Google Chromecasts, and more. Ladlee Clothing Boutique sponsored over 25 gifts on Sunday alone, ranging from elegant kurtis, salwar kameez, and jewelry. The DJs were set up on a stage for the first time this year to handle the excited crowds.
A riveting Zumba dance to Bollywood songs.
Lively entertainment was provided on both days by students from various dance and song academies. Sheila Devlia, Olivia Owens, and Hema Vishwanathan performed an energetic and riveting Zumba dance to songs from Bollywood movies Taal, Ram Leela, etc. Bokwa is a new exercise program popular in Britain, using dance steps based on letters and numbers; Shaan Atlanta Di, a group of 6 young dancers, kept the crowd clapping and cheering as they danced to popular Hindi and Punjabi tracks.
A magician on Saturday performed tricks and illusions, even turning a bird into a rabbit! On Sunday, a juggler and comedian entertained the children as he involved the crowd in his sword juggling. Later he walked on stilts and gladly took pictures with the guests.
Sheetalji at the Festival of Oneness in the Global Mela.
Sant Nirankari Mission’s Atlanta Branch hosted its first ‘Festival of Oneness’: “If God wanted Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, and Christians to live separately, he could have created a world for each one of them. Yet he decided to keep us all here. ONE World, ONE Family.” (For more information about the Festival of Oneness at Global Mela, please see the separate Around Town report on the Festival on this website: [website address])
Shaveta Jain, former Mrs. India International, commented, “The Fashion show is … the most glamorous, most awaited, and the concluding item of the two day event.” The show was choreographed by Kiran Bedi Sethi of XtraHotDJ’s. Beautiful fashion wear was sponsored by Ladlee, the biggest fashion store in the Mall. Models, accessorized by Kiaan Jewelers, included Nikita Jain, Shaveta Jain, Louai Drissi, Anita Medepalli, to name a few. Upon popular demand, some models walked the ramp again. DJ beats kept the momentum high and made people jump on their feet as the fashion show progressed. The models concluded the superhit show by walking up the ramp all together.
Website Bonus Feature
Thanks: Well known and respected Global Mall owner, social activist and philanthropist Shiv Aggarwal commented,” Global Mela is our way of thanking the community for supporting Global Mall and our Indian cultural center. I established Global Mall in order to bring the South Asian community together under one roof in a unique community center. It is my passion, my vision and my goal to make everyone aware of our rich Indian Culture and heritage through such Melas. I would like to thank all the tenants, the vendors and the raffle prize donors. I wish to thank the media: T.V. Asia, India Tribune, Wownow.com, Atlanta Dunia, Khabar, NRI Pulse, Jan Darpan, Desh Videsh, Desi Express, and Saathee. My special thanks to Vinod Devlia of Photography by Vinod, for his photography services in recording the entire event; Mayoor Patel, Lynn Rich, Kelsey Gore, Doc McAlpine, Aarti Aggarwal, Vandana Aggarwal, and Vishal Aggarwal for ensuring smooth running of the Mela; Global Mall staff; and volunteers. The Police also deserve compliments for manning the parking lot and handling the large crowd. Finally, I would like to thank my entire family for their unbounding help and support in organizing this event. I am happy that the attendance at the Mela is increasing each year and we are able to make Global Mela the cornerstone for future events!”
For more information about the Mall and to view photos of the event, please visit www.amsglobalmall.com or the Facebook or Twitter Page for Global Mall.
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