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SNEH - A Home To Indian Hearts

Vikram Verma

Strange customs, strange people, a search for identity, nowhere to go and nobody to meet, no “paan-ki-dukaan” and no “faltoo-phillic” groups to chat to and laugh out loud with – for any Indian that’s what U.S. means as soon as the new “rangroot” lands in the “land of milk and honey”. Well, he tells himself, “what does it matter, kamane aaya hoon, kamaa kar chala jaunga”. Amidst all this, when he sees so many Indians everywhere who just stare and turn their face away, he is appalled. Some instantly come and talk to him with too much warmth, but soon he realizes that they are only there to make commissions on the “Amway business” plans.

The poor guy has nowhere to go now, he is neither here nor there, afraid of those who come near him and scared to talk to the unwelcoming stares. The same lacuna was felt by some people in 2003 who decided to do something about it. What started with a small group, soon got a name. Others realized that there was still a place for “faltoo-laughs” and friendly fun, so more joined in and it grew warmer. It gave the warmth which young Indian minds and families wanted. It was called “SNEH”, the society of New England Hindians. The group’s working languages are Hindi and English so that all can understand each other and nobody feels left out. Defined and redefined along the way, it co-operatively led to a concrete plan to have a couple of summer picnics, holi, New Year and deepavali get-to-gathers.

This year SNEH organized its 3 picnics, one each in June, July and August of 2005 at Hopkinton State Park, Hampton Beach and Kimball Farm. For the last three years, SNEH picnics have been a nice place to be, and this year was no different. From bumper boat rides and golfing to “beach fun”, from the “veggie burger and bhutta grill” from samosa and chai to its grand potlucks, SNEH members look forward as much to see each other as to see new faces at these picnics.

SNEH also organized a New Year 2005 Hungama and a Holi Sammelan 2005. The “holi sammelan” used environment-friendly colors and the day was full of kids laughing and parents getting colored by friends. Mr. Sanjay Chaudhry graciously hosted “holi” at his house. This was followed by catered food and the cost was shared by all. Since the pictures from SNEH functions are always posted on yahoo-groups, everyone gets a chance to send them home. “Karwa-chauth” being another important function in parts of India, SNEH ladies get together for celebrating that too with all the fanfare and “moon-hunting” associated with it.

Today, the worker bees of SNEH are buzzing around town for its 3rd Diwali celebration, “SNEH Diwali 2005”. The function is to be held at Dakshin Banquet Hall in Framingham on October 30 from 4:30 to 8:45 PM. Since SNEH is a not for profit co-operative group, tickets are always low, the function always with a lot of variety and the food excellent.

For anyone wishing to join SNEH, there is no membership fee. Simply visit SNEH’s website site to join the group or obtain more information on upcoming events. SNEH website is located at www.hindians.org. Group’s administrator can also be contacted at info@hindians.org.

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