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Celebrating 25 Years Of Sharon Diwali

Ranjani Saigal

Indian Americans to the South of Boston held a grand cultural extravaganza to mark the 25th anniversary of the annual Sharon Diwali function on Saturday, Nov 17 2007 at the Sharon High School at Sharon, MA.   “Many children who participated in the first Sharon event now have children of their own. They have scattered in different parts of the country, busy with their own lives. However the fond memories of Sharon Diwali will always be etched in their minds,” says President Monisha Prakash.

A lovely mural featuring works of art centered on the theme of Diwali decorated the entrance. While appetizers were being served, Neil Chandra and Jay Sharma played Jazz/Rock fusion music to entertain the guests.  
The formal program began with opening remarks by Raj Sharma who welcomed the guests and paid his respects to Dr. Vinod Chungi a long time supporter of the Sharon Diwali event who passed away on Oct. 8, 2007.
The young MCs Neil Sharma, Malhar Teli, Ayesha Sundaram, Divya Bhatia, Jasmine Wadhwa with special assistance from Paresh Motiwala kept the event  tightly knit while adding a touch of humor.  

Guru Stotram organized by Sandhya Bommaraju had young children reciting verses from the Guru-Gita taken from the Skanda Purana. Saraswathi Naamavali under the direction of Shuchita Rao, a classical composition in Raag Sarasvati set to Keherwa Taal paid homage to Saraswathi the Goddess of Learning. Rao followed this with her composition Aayi Diwali set to Raag Bhoopali in Dadra Taal describing the story of Diwali.  Bollywood medley , a presentation featuring popular Bollywood hits including Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe , Bumbro Bumbro  and Kajra Re had the audience tapping their feet to the infectious beat of the music and concluded the music section for the evening.

Hum Kisse Se Kum Nahin choreographed by Sangeeta Wadhwa had tiny tots dancing in tandem to cute songs.  Monisha Prakash’s Punjabi Kudiyan and Munde brought the rhythms of Bhangra to Sharon with “Chuk De Patte”.  Following Bhangara came a Bharatanatyam number.  The dance was a Pushpanjali in Ragam Shanmukhapriya followed by an Alarippu in Thisra Nadai. Vipra Bhasin’s team followed with a lovely Diwali Dance Fusion. Tollywood arrived in Sharon courtesy Kalpana Kaveti, Srujana Nekkanti and their wonderful dancers.  Surabhi Agnihotri’s group presented a lovely number set to popular wedding songs.

Veena Teli’s group presented a fabulous classical dance fusion item set to a composition by “Om-The Fusion Band” and Shankar Mahadevan’s Breathless. Nach Baliye was yet another fusion number choreographed by Monisha Prakash.

Variety is the spice of life coordinated by Latha Raman, Rohini Sundar, Jay Ramadorai and Raja Chilakamarri and Munnabai Ki Diwali with Dr. Sanjeet Narang and Umesh Bhasin added humor to the evening’s entertainment . The grand finale for the evening was a Tamil medley directed by Mohan Srinivas.

“Organizing this event is a lot of work. We make every effort to ensure that any child who wants to participate has a chance to do that. It is a labor of love for the choreographers and directors which we look forward to each year,” said Veena Teli.  Their hard work helped make this a night to remember!

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