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Senior citizens treated to a ‘Mata Ki Chowki’ at Global Mall

By Mahadev Desai
March 2012
Senior citizens treated to a ‘Mata Ki Chowki’ at Global Mall

(Photo: Mahadev Desai)

The Senior Citizens Program (SCP) got off to a flying New Year start with a spirited Mata Ki Chowki (devotional program) at the Global Mall in January. Hosted by volunteer Chinti Bali and sponsored by Sunanda and Varjinder Sharma and Global Mall owner Shiv Aggarwal, over 200 seniors were treated to spiritually uplifting Bhajans, some with popular 'filmi’ drum beats adapted to devotional songs.

The stage, decorated with diyas (lamps), stringed lights, fresh fruits and prasad (offerings), wore a festive look with Mataji’s picture in the center of the Puja platform, fresh flower garlands, and pictures of Shiv Parivar, Goddess Durga Mataji, Hanumanji and Ganeshji—various manifestations of the Supreme God Brahman. Shiv Mandir’s priest Pandit Gyan Prakash Upadhyay blew the conch and performed the swastivachan (mantra for the well-being of all and for peace to prevail everywhere), soddso upchaars (mantras to drive away evil), Ganapati vandana (worship to the remover of all obstacles), and aahavanam (invitation) to Divine Mataji (Sherawali Ma) who symbolizes the holy trinity of goddesses Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati.

The congregation sat listening to melodious and elevating bhajans (divine songs) and praises of Mataji Vaishno Devi by Reva Handa, Saroj Kaushal, Harjeet Sharma, Kamlesh Chugh, Meera Sinha, Madhavi Dave, and Kshama Kakade to the accompaniment of Neera Bahl and Rajen Sharma on harmonium, Harjinder Pal Sharma on drums and young Nikhil Sharma on cymbals. As the fervor picked up with clapping and singing, the congregation joined in the rousing chanting of “Ma aaja, ma aaja, ma aaja,” “rang barase, rang barase,” and “Ma, murad puri karde halwa batoongi,” amongst the plethora of bhajans. The grand finale for this spiritual high was aarti, followed by prasadam (offerings) of halwa (sweets), chhole (chick peas), fruits, and dry fruits, followed by a sumptuous luncheon. Shakuntala Ahuja explained the significance of Mata Ki Chowki and urged the congregation to have faith in the power of prayer and of the light within.

Raj Razdan, Executive Director of SCP, encouraged seniors to get involved with construction of the Shiv Mandir underway in Sugar Hill, Georgia. No sooner was the appeal made than the seniors collected over $2000.


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Popular culture:
Mata ki Chowki is also the title of a daily soap (drama serial) on the Hindi channel Sahara One that started airing on June 9, 2008. It may be seen online:

Mata Ki Chowki (drama) Theme Song

Mata Ki Chowki: : Episode # 01 :


"Ganapati Vandana!" from album "Premanjali - Hari Om Sharan" (2002)

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