The festival of colors, "Holi" was celebrated with much gaiety and fanfare on March 30th at the beautiful premises of Sarswathi Mandiram in Epping, NH. It brought back nostalgic memories of Holi in India for the over 600 people gathered there. Young and old were throwing colors at each other! This event certainly established Holi as a time to let your hair down and have fun. The best part was that while one was having such a great time all the guests were actually raising funds for a very good cause!
The evening began with a short cultural program by young children. Presentations were made from Norwood, Shrewsbury and Woburn Balvihaars. The presentations were impressive. Young children recited complex Sanskrit verses without a trace of an accent. The teachers and parents from these institutions had done a tremendous job in putting up the various skits. Children from Eastern Rhythms dance school and Angikam Academy presented dances in Bharatanatyam and folk styles. The Vrindavan Preservation Society sang wonderful folk songs suitable for Holi Celebrations.
The traditional "Holi color throwing" followed the cultural program. "I do not think I have seen such an authentic Indian "Holi" celebration since I left India" said Ms. Pushp Kumar, President of the Uttaranchal Association. As I was speaking to Ms. Kumar, I got squirted with a water gun by a cute little seven year old! A dance party followed the "color throwing". Over 600 people were tapping their feet in the huge parking lot to the Holi favorites "Rang Barase", "Holi Ke Din" and others mixed in with some Daler Mahendi hits.
As the sun went down, a huge bonfire was lit. "We live in confusing times. But remember whatever happens righteousness always wins" said Pandit Ramasamooj as he made offerings to the bonfire. Some people brought sparklers and young children had a lovely time lighting a few. Dinner, sponsored by Milan Restaurant and Banquet Rooms in Shrewsbury, MA was provided at nominal cost. The whole event was run by volunteers whose passion for the event ensured perfect organization and smooth running of a complex event. They raised about $3000! "All we want to do is build a community, serve India while having a great time" said Prashant, an IDRF volunteer. It seemed like a tall order, but I think the volunteers achieved it.
About IDRF - www.idrf.org
(Photographs - Rahul Kankaria )
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