Global Mela Continues to Draw Thousands
(Left) Sial Lawrence, Kris Gehani, and Anjali Morea in the fashion show. (Photo: Anuj Jain)
The 14th Global Mela was a major success attracting over 15,000 community members at the Global Mall in Norcross, Georgia on Saturday, October 24 and Sunday, October 25, 2015. The mammoth Mela has become the largest free carnival fun fair event for the South Asian community in the Southeast, with over 40 booth vendors, and attendees from all over the Southeast. The 2-day event was kicked off with a warm welcome by Shiv Aggarwal and emcee Kiran Sethi of Xtrahotdjs Entertainment. The dignitaries joined Shiv and his family in Lord Ganesh puja and a lamp lighting ceremony by Siddhi Vinayak Mandir’s pundit Gyan Praksh Upadhyay.
City of Lilburn Mayor Johnny Crist. (Photo: Vinod Devlia)
Shiv Aggarwal recognized the guests and media representatives. Georgia State Senator Curt Thompson commented that he was “very impressed with the energy and enthusiasm of the people present here,” and Consul D. V. Singh (Head Of Chancery, Consulate General of India in Atlanta) wished a Happy Dussehra and incoming Happy Diwali to all. Other guests included City of Lilburn Mayor Johnny Crist; Gandhi Foundation of USA Chairman Subash Razdan; SAI Health Fair Founder and organizer Dr. Sujatha Reddy; City Manager of Norcross, Rusty Warner; City Administrator of Norcross, Rudolph Smith; Telugu Association of Metro Atlanta’s President Vinay Maddineni and BOD Chair Rajesh Jampa; and Mrs. India International 2012 Mrs. Shaveta Jain.
Atlanta journalist Ravi Ponangi (India Tribune newspaper) read out the letter from U.S. Representative Rob Woodall (R-GA07) in which he expressed his greetings and good wishes and noted that, “This celebration is also a great way for younger generations to connect with and learn about their heritage so that they may one day pass it down to their own children. These young folks will lead our great nation in the future, and the stronger a sense of community that they have, the stronger our nation will be when they take up the leadership mantle.”
The mela continues to draw large crowds. (Photo: Vinod Devlia)
Nritya Natya Kala Bharati students enthralled the audience with two scintillating dances. Ms. Sagnika Mukherjee performed a riveting solo dance to Ram Leela movie’s hit song “Dholi taro dhol baaje.” DJ Bobby from Xtrahotdjs and his team heightened the Mela ambience with throbbing, pulsating music and the latest Bollywood chartbusters. Live dhol players Ranvir Kohli and Jas intensified the atmosphere, playing in sync to Bollywood music and getting the crowd dancing to bhangra.
At the entrance of the mall, inflatable obstacle courses, slides, and a bounce house were set up for the children on the perfectly breezy October weekend. People were welcomed with the aroma of Ashiana’s delectable chat, samosas and pav bhaji stall downstairs, while mouthwatering pani-puri, vada pavs, and Haldiram snacks and sweets were doing brisk business upstairs. The Global Mall food court was bustling all weekend with guests waiting in lines for the Chinese Dhaba, Sri Krishna Vilas, Dawat Express, Mumbai Masala, and Curry on the Go. Global Mall and Legacy Jewels sponsored a handful of free treats and activities for children and some young-at-heart adults, including free popcorn, cotton candy, face painting, and balloon artistry.
On the second floor, booth vendors were setup along the hallways of the mall, ranging from Indian apparel, jewelry, housewares, toys, arts and handicrafts, services such as travel (Discover Destinations), insurance (SDK & Associates), education, health and medicine (Foot & Ankle Health Centers), South Asian Radio, and YUPP TV. Non-profits Ekal Vidyalaya, Art of Living Foundation, Science of Spiritualty, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, SEWA International, Rotary International, etc., remained busy dealing with the throngs of visitors.
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 to all attendees. Raffles are run every hour around the clock, and attendees get a chance to win prizes sponsored by Global Mall and Global Mall tenants. On Sunday evening, the Mega Prize Raffle included a Kindle Fire and a large flat screen TV.
A great forum for kids to show off their talents. (Photo: Vinod Devlia)
The weekend-long cultural show was provided by the young and talented students from Prem’s Dance Studio, Taal Tadka (GA Tech’s South Asian/World Fusion a cappella group), Nritya Natya Kala Bharti, and Atlanta-based local artists who performed a variety of dance, song, and music items. The founder of Z Fitness, Sheila Devlia, and her students performed energetic and riveting Zumba dances. Children were treated to an enchanting magic show both Saturday and Sunday followed by a special kids-only raffle with fun-filled goody bags with toys, treats, and stuffed animals.
A magnificent fashion show was the concluding item. Shaveta Jain, former Mrs. India International and a participant in the fashion show, commented that it is “the flagship item of Global Mall’s signature annual Global Mela. It is the most glamorous, most awaited item of the two day event. The outrageously beautiful fashion wear was sponsored by Ladlee, the biggest fashion store in Global Mall. The models were accessorized with the trendiest and one-of-a-kind jewelry by Kiaan Jewelers. The glammed up look for models was provided by Hair Images. The adorable children models and beautiful adults modeled with grace and style while the crowd cheered and cameras clicked.” Sponsors Janak Bhatt and Krishna Bhatt of Ladlee, Mr. and Mrs. Viren of Kiaan Jewelers, and Rabab Aladin of Hair Images were escorted by choreographer Shaveta Jain for the end credits. The show was organized by Kiran Bedi Sethi and music provided by DJ Bobby.
Shiv Aggarwal spoke and thanked all, including Raphaelle Akhras of Georgia Rotary Student Program, Vinod Devlia of Photography by Vinod, Mustafa Ajmeri, and the Norcross Police Department for helping with the parking lot and crowds, happily increasing each year.
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