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Senior Citizens Take to Stage

January 2005
Senior Citizens Take to Stage

On December11, at the Sardar Patel Bhavan in Stone Mountain, GA, 22 senior participants performed a variety show live on the stage in front of 300 people. With the youngest participant being 60 years of age, and the oldest 83, this was a show first of its kind in Atlanta.

The show started with welcome address by Mr. Ashwin Shah, who briefly explained the purpose of this show and its theme. The emcees, Rekha Mehta and Asha Shah, took over from there. Mohanlal Fatania started with a prathana. Gopal Parekh regaled with a stand-up comic routine that was original and entertaining. He also sang two filmi songs. 83 years old Mangaldas Patel, who had worked with Sardar Patel in the independence struggle, took us back to those days and told us some of the memories of Sardar Patel. Kusum Sinha, teacher for 20 years recited some of her poems. This was followed by 72 year old teacher of classical music, Trambak Vyas, who captured the audience with his knowledge of classical music. 73 year old Nanubhai Parekh presented more humor as he shared a few of his own verses and shayarees ? parodies on politicians and more.

This paved way for a brilliant comedy skit "Green Card Ni Ramayan" by Dr.Jayprakesh Desai ? about a Gujarati couple from Ahemdabad who gets a Green card and comes to Atlanta. The skit narrates their humorous experience at Bombay Airport, on the airplane, and at the customs desk in Atlanta. Dr. Jayprakesh Desai, who is well known Indian Geriatrist, wrote the skit and played along with Kaushi Shah. This was followed by jokes and humor from Navin Shah, a "Gujarati seth" who was short of hearing. Then Veerbala Jain and Gunvant Naik each sang a song.

The grand finale was a raas titled "Morli vagi re" where twelve seniors dressed up as "Gop and Gopi". The seniors surprised the audience with their agile and playful performance, and received a well-deserved standing ovation.

The evening was part of the senior citizen program undertaken by Gujarati Samaj in April 2004. Every last Sunday of the month, seniors meet at the Samaj's hall and do various activities. "Our mission is to bring seniors out of their home to interact with other seniors and show their hidden talents" said Pankaj Sampat, Vice President and chief organizer of the Senior Citizen Program. The seniors also receive valuable information on SSI, medicare, medicaid, long term care, supplemental insurance and other helpful topics. Yoga and exercise coaching is conducted.

For more information, volunteering, and donations for the senior program, call Pankaj Sampat at 678-546-0556.

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