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Over 2000 Attend IAGB Republic Day Celebrations

Ranjani saigal

The Republic Day celebration by the India Association of Greater Boston is always the first major event of the year that brings together a large number of Indian Americans who gather together to celebrate the creation of the Republic of India. As usual a grand cultural extravaganza showcasing a wide variety of music and dance items aptly brings out the diversity of that great nation that is India was the center piece of the celebrations held on the 27th of January 2007 at the Natick High School in Natick, MA. Over a hundred participants participated in the grand production. This year in recognition of the phenomenal work done by Shishu Bharathi, IAGB awarded a plaque to the board of Shishu Bharathi for providing training in Indian culture and heritage to students in the New England area for over twenty nine years.

The event was organized under the leadership of President M. Rajinikant. He was ably assisted in this effort by Vice President, Dr. Vinod Chungi , Treasurer,  Pradeep Audho Secretary , Amrit Soni and Directors. Aditi Taylor, Rita Shah, Usha Vakil, Sutanuka Basu, Zehra Khan, Aditi Taylor, Ganesh Davuluri, Dr. Sunil Mhaskar and Dr. Deodatta Shenai. The cultural program was organized by a committee consisting of Aditi Taylor, Sutanuka Basu,  Sunita Malhotra,  Meghi Mehta, Ganesh Davuluri, Jeyanthi Ghatraju and Ranjani Saigal. Master of Ceremonies Tushneem Dharmagadda, Pallavi Chabra, Meghi Mehta and Jeyanthi Ghatraju kept the four hour long show flowing smoothly.

The program opened with the American and Indian national anthems being sung by Noura Khan and the Shishu Bharathi children. This was followed by the musical segment of the evening.  Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh presentated  “Bharath Vande Mataram”,  while students of  Sagarika Kanjilal presented  Madhubane Madhava Dolata Range in Raag Bahar. Students of Shuchita Rao presented Jhoola, while Suma Manjunath’s group presented some patriotic songs. The section concluded with a patriotic song by the students of Neelima Chaturvedi.

The dance portion of the event opened with Rehman’s “Thai Manne Vannakam”  coordinated by Parija Meenakshinathan and Thanuja Meenakshinathan. This was followed by a skit titled "Sita Apaharan" presented by the Newton Balvihar. Ranjani Saigal’s students presented a dance to “Radha Kaisa Na Jale” from  Lagaan followed by "Kannoda Kann Badhellam Thalaiva" from the movie Jeans presented by students of Veena Telli.

Next came a classical number, “Om Jagat Janani”  by students of Jeyanthi Ghatraju. The famous Tulasi Das bhajan, Shri Ramachandra Krupalu Bhaja Mana was presented by the Satsang Center. Triveni School of Dance, under the direction of Neena Gulhati, presented Bhoomi-mangalam while Manju Sheth & Kathy Prasad had their little “Desi Doodles” dance to a patriotic medley of popular bollywood and pop songs.

"Bhangra Blast" by Sparks brought the spirit of Punjab to the celebrations. Leherein under the direction of  Netra Rajinikanth & Sunita Malhotra presented a medley of popular songs. The group is always special for it features participants as young as five to women whose children ate in college.

Monisha Prakash’s students presented a tribute to India in the modern style by performing a patriotic medley using a fusion of Hip-Hop and Bhangara while students of Jayashree Bala Rajamani used the traditional art of Bharatanatyam to present their tribute to India using the verse of the great Freedom Fighter and poet Subramanya Bharati.

Next came a presentation choreographed by  Shivani Shrivastava to the famous song “Goomar Re”. Following this was a Bollywood Medley chorographed by Revathi Pillai and Kajal Pareekh.

Darshana Jani’s students presented a Gujarati Garba followed by a dance to a tamil medley coordinated by Aparna Ramasundara and Aarthi Shivakumar.

Jayashree Mohapatra’s students presented Pushpanjali in the Odissi style while Nilam Mistry & Pooja Adesara choreographed and presented a number to the famous Asha Bhosale song – Rang De.

Students of Jasmine Shah presented a Mujra to the music of “O Sikander” while Subasree Vishawanathan’s group presented a foot-tapping medley of three blockbuster Tamil songs. Reshma Singh’s group presented a North-meets-South Dance while the Medway group under the direction of Puja Mehta presented -  “Feelings”, a combination of classical and contemporary dances into an upbeat musical piece.

Sutanuka Debasri Basu’s students presented “God Is One: A Prayer For Peace” followed by a traditional Bhangara by Boston Bhangara. A Potpourri of Folk Dances by students of Amulya Deepak brought the event to a close.

It was special to see several high school students promoting different charities and collecting funds to aid a variety of causes. IAGB also recognized the many graduating seniors who have been a part of the IAGB celebrations for many years. The group includes Noura Khan who has been an icon on the stage singing the American National anthem.

As the program comes to a close, people eagerly forward to the next major IAGB event, which is the Independence Day event held at the Hatch Shell in August.

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