BUENA PARK, CA - ‘Jab Tare Zameen Par Chalte Hain, Akash Zameen Ho Jaata Hai’ and that wonderous sentiment came to life at the Jain Center of Southern California where singing stars seemed to lit up the place with their talent and hearts full of compassion. On Dec. 13, fourteen Indian and Filipino singers and five musicians came together to present a musical extravaganza for the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan that recently struck the Philippines causing unimaginable devastation. As Mother Teresa said once, ‘It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.’ All the performers lived up to those words, coming forward to volunteer their time and skills for the show, considering it their moral responsibility to support the suffering humanity in the Philippines.
Dr. Jay Shah, President of the Jain Center, while welcoming the dignitaries and guests in Tagalog, appreciated the generosity and support extended by different organizations and individuals for helping the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. He pointed out that the Jain Center always took the lead, with the help of other similarly inclined Indian organizations in lending a helping hand to the victims of natural disasters anywhere in the world. A one minute silence was also observed in homage to the victims of the natural disaster.
Mayuri Patel and Pradip Patel emceed the musical program. Artists who played music included music composer and director, Omi Benjamin on keyboard, Deepak Chandla on tabla, percussion artist Pratik Patel on dholak, Karen Lakhia on octopad and Hari Bhat on drums. Indian singers who kept the audience mesmerized for more than three hours included Vishal Ailawadi, Meera Ailawadi, Vivek Arya, Bindu Arora, Mayuri Patel, Kirti Patel, Suresh Bhat, Leena Benjamin, Jayshree Gohil, Jwalant Parikh, Ami Khetani, Rashmi Shah and Pradip Patel. In the first half, the singers presented solo Bollywood numbers and in the second sang duets. It seemed as if many things were happening at the same time: the artistes seemed immersed in their own musical world performing to fulfill their souls and yet synchronized and complemented each other well. The merger of instrument and vocal created magic. Filipino singers included Wendy Adams and Charishma Marquez. Charishma also sang an English number, ‘I have nothing’ originally sung by Whitney Houston and spell bound everyone with her powerful voice.
Organizers said $40,000 had been raised. Among those who gave generous monetary amounts were Manu Shah and Rika Shah of Sarva Mangal Family Trust, Prabha and Vasant Rathi, Drs. Meeraben and Jasvantbhai Modhi and M.S International employees who contributed $5,000 for the cause. With the collected money, Antaclobanon Society of Southern California will be building schools in the Antaclobanon area of the Philippines on behalf of the Jain Center of Southern California.