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Hindus Gather For A Temple To Call Their Own

Lakshmi Munugoor

The Hindus of Northern New England came together on Saturday,  June 5th  at Nashua for an evening of cultural feast for a noble cause.  It has been a long pending dream of the Hindus of Northern New England to have a temple of their own, that will quench their religious, spiritual and cultural thirst. This was a fundraiser event featuring traditional Indian music and dance concerts. The overwhelming response for this noble cause was evident from the full house attendance of music and dance lovers.

The concert was a nice blend of two ancient Indian art forms – Carnatic Music and Bharatanatyam. Carnatic Music, a close cousin of Hindustani Music, is a form of classical music practiced predominantly in South India.  Bharatanatyam is a form of classical dance practiced in South India as well. As the name suggests, it is the “Dance of Bharat” or “Dance of India”.  

The Carnatic Music performance was no less than a symphony of vocalists and instrumentalists blending and rendering the great Indian music in its most authentic form. The mellifluous performance was presented by leading artist in the region, Aparna Balaji with her frontline students , accompanied by leading instrumental artists K.V.S. Vinay on violin,  Dr. Ramachandran Balakrishnan also on violin, Shankar Raman on mridangam,  Prayuth Naduthota  on flute, and Soundarya Ganesh on veena.

True to the purpose of the fundraiser concert, the temple management presented a roadmap showing the current state of temple, the roadmap for future and sought support from all Hindus for the noble cause.  The temple management plans to develop the temple in 3 phases. The first phase is to procure a land for the temple in 2010-’11, the second phase is to construct a temporary building for the temple and the third phase is to construct a complete, formal, Vedic temple.  It was obvious that the audience was fully supportive of the temple mission from the feedback received after the presentation.

The second part of the concert was the classical dance – Bharatanatyam, presented by another leading artist in the region, Neha Parikh and her star students.  While Neha is known to produce fantastic dance performances, this was a show that would add a grand feather to her already big hat. The well coordinated, rhythmic, expressive, and dramatic performance brought the audience to the edge of their seats.

The cultural experience was further enhanced by Mehendi (palm decoration) from the local expert Amolya Prabhala. A small store offering religious literature and other material also attracted people of all ages.

The sponsors of the event include the Kumon Centers of Nashua & Bedford, Gopu Grocery of Nashua, Meena’s Kitchen of Nashua, Aloha Centers of Burlington, Chelmsford and Nashua and Super Bazaar of Tyngsboro.

While the cultural feast was a great experience in itself, the performers, audience and the organizers were all united in the superior cause they had assembled for.  As the Indian immigrants seek to make it their home in the United States, the one thing they don’t want to miss is the legacy their forefathers have carried for millennia and earnestly passed on to them – the Hindu heritage.  The Hindus left the concert with palpable elation for having made yet another step towards the Grand Hindu temple to preserve their heritage.

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