Thousands attend 12th Annual Mela at Global Mall
Kids join in the celebration at Global Mela. (Photo: Vinod Devlia)
The 12th Global Mela attracted over fifteen thousand community members at the Global Mall in Norcross, Georgia on Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20, 2013. The mammoth Mela, which has become the largest free carnival event for the South Asian community in the Southeast, was graced by the presence of the Chief Guest, Deputy Consul, Consulate General of India in Atlanta, Hon.Rajinder Singh; Senator Curt Thompson (Dist. 5, D); Gwinnett County Commissioner Lynette Howard (R); Communications Director at Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District Joel Wascher; President of Thai Association - World Center USA,Varinee Sangmalee, and her husband Dr. Umpon Sangmalee.
Shiv Aggarwal (R), Lynette Howard (in white), Varinee Sangmalee and her husband Dr. Umpon Sangmalee. (Photo: Mahadev Desai)
Deputy Consul Rajinder Singh (in black); CID Communications Director Joel Wascher; Vishal, Aaarti, and Vandana Aggarwal. (Photo: Mahadev Desai)
After XtraHotDjs' Kiran Sethi welcomed all, Sadhana Mandir’s priest Acharya Ved Joshi performed Lord Ganesh puja ceremony, chanting auspicious shlokas to invoke God’s blessings. The dignitary guests flanked by Shiv Aggarwal, his wife Anushi, son Vishal, and daughters Aarti and Vandana lit the diya (lamp).
Nritya Natya Kala Bharati’s well-trained students performed two scintillating dances (left, Photo: Mahadev Desai): classical Kathak by Pooja Vaidya, followed by another Kathak dance by Pooja and Samaica Deshetty to the song “Mein Radha teri mera Shyam tu.” And then it was the turn of young Rishi Gowda, who soon had the audience cheering and clapping as he spiced up the entertainment with energetic dance moves to fast-paced lyrics of “Badtameez dil.”
Tea India and Chai Moments. Nayan Kalyani and wife Jasmine Kalyani. (Photo: Mahadev Desai)
A section of the parking lot was festooned with balloons. Outside, near the entrance to the Mall, children had plenty of fun on giant inflatables run by Jumping Panda. Near the Mall entrance, Hawaiian Shaved Ice served cool drinks; inside the Mall, Ashiana and Global Groceries did a brisk business serving mouthwatering pani-puri, samosas, chat, etc., while Tea India-Chai Moments manned by Nayan and Jasmine Kalyani served samples of their tea products and Haldiram snacks.
Visitors were greeted by the host family and Global Mall staff and volunteers. Harvadan Chokshi, Mayoor Patel, and Global Mall staff manned the raffle desk and gave out prizes every hour round the clock—over a hundred total, and on Sunday evening, Mega Prizes of a flat-screen TV from Legacy Jewels and other prizes donated by Global Mall vendors including Ladlee Clothing Boutique and Legacy Jewels, respectively. Global Mall and Legacy Jewels also sponsored free popcorn and many fun activities for children. DJ Bobby, DJ Arsin, and emcee Kiran Sethi, together with dholis Pawan, Jasmeet, and Ranvir Kholi, and lighting technician Eric Martinez heightened the Mela ambience with non-stop throbbing, pulsating music and latest Bollywood chartbusters! Booth vendors and Global Mall businesses selling Indian apparel, jewelry, toys, arts, handicrafts, home decor items, and services like insurance, education, home entertainment, health and medicine, and nonprofits like Art of Living Foundation, Gaudiya Vaishnav Association, etc., remained busy dealing with the throngs of visitors.
Fashion show. (Photos: Vinod Devlia)
Lively entertainment was provided by young and talented students of the Savlas' Nritya Natya Kala Bharti, who gave dance, singing, and keyboard performances. Kuchipudi and Bollywood dances were given by Raman Punjabi and Ruchika Dhamija's Sri Vidya Dance Academy, which had spread from India to the U.K. and now is also in the U.S. at the Global Mall. Surabhi School of Dance and Music also added to the highly entertaining program. It was heartening to see budding youngsters come on the dance floor and showcase their passion for dancing and singing. On Sunday afternoon, a dazzling Jewelry Show was presented by Kiaan, facing DJ Bobby’s music stand. The piece-de-resistance was the Fashion Show by Bawree, presented by Archit Patel and Vidath Shah. All glitter and glamour, 14 beautiful models strutted with great poise, elegance, and grace, showcasing the latest in festive collection–-alluring bridal wear, designer outfits, and accessories in vivid designs and hues.
Three pageant winners attended: Mrs. India International 2012, Shaveta Jain; Mrs. India Suwanee International 2013, Kamini Jain; and Mrs. India Alpharetta International 2013, Sheetal Pandit Correia. They were met by hosts and audience as they went around the mela posing for pictures with the attendees. They also pulled raffle tickets for the Mystic India Show. Mumtaz Fashions were thanked for providing festive outfits, Anuj Jain for photography, and Mustafa and Anwar Ajmeri for support and guidance.
Global Mall owner Shiv Aggarwal declared that “Global Mela is our way of thanking the community for supporting Global Mall and our Indian cultural center. It is my passion, my vision and my goal to make everyone aware of our rich Indian Culture and heritage through such melas.” He thanked all, including Vinod Devlia for recording the entire event; Mustafa Ajmeri, Mayoor Patel, Lynn Rich, and Kelsey; the police for manning the parking lot. “I am happy that the attendance at the Mela is increasing each year.”
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Video: Highlights of 12 Global Mela 2013 Atlanta, Georgia USA organized by Global Mall
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