WOODLAND HILLS,CA-Madrid Theater in the San Fernando Valley rocked on Mar 1, when 33 Indian American seniors ranging from 70- 90 years danced, sang, presented comedy skits and performed with all their heart. The program was aptly entitled ‘Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai!’ Meeting on Sunday afternoons at the...
They have staged two entertainment programs and this was the third in the series. The program sparked off with a welcome by Greg and Annu followed by a meditative bhajan ‘Vandana’ directed by Venu Kapila .The audience then went wild as the seniors appeared in gorgeous costumes and jewellery and ramped up the stage with comedy sketches, and cool dance moves .
‘Desi Awara’ directed by Sunita Dhawan and Rashmi Bhajaj saw the golden guys and gals cavorting to songs from the era of Raj Kapoor to Sanjay Kapoor.It was so nostalgic and so much fun listening to ‘Eena meema’ dika and ‘Mera Namm Chin chin chin’! Harshi Gill penned a smart and lighthearted skit ‘Zamaana Badal Gaya’ with Mukherjee directing with gusto. Bharti Desai presented a well performed ‘Budhape ka Madhurya’ while Mahesh Rawal brought the house down with his imperosnations of the great legendary actors, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand ,Sanjeev, Raj Kapoor and Johnny Walker and Mehmood making a station announcement!
Qawaali Medley directed by Mukherjee and Jyoti Dhaliwal was a feast of color and music. Gorgeous flamboyant costumes, scintillating jewelry, and Mughal splendor was highlighted by the legendary songs of passion , love and yearning.
Ninety- year- old Dr Merchant sang a soulful ‘Kaagaz ki Kashti’.The program ended with ‘Festivals of India’ directed by Annu Kawatra and Praneet Jaspal- a colorful, exuberant song and dance. The evening concluded with a grand finale when everyone appeared on stage singing ‘We are Family’..a perfect tribute to seniors.
A cheery emcee Greg with a fund of jokes and sharp wit compered the show.Dhaliwal choreographed with flair and style. Mukherjee and her band of enthusiastic volunteers know the fear of aging, the loneliness, frustration and alienation and are determined to make life resonate with energy, joy and friendship. It all started in 1991, when Mukherjee envisioned a monthly program on the second Saturday for seniors who are house bound and have little recourse of meeting other seniors.Here for four hours, they listen to health talks, the benefits of yoga, meditation, sing bhajans, exercise, and have a delicious lunch donated by one of the members .Frequently the group visits places of interest like Hearst Castle, Sea World, Catalina Island, Hawaii, Baja Mexico.
Sangama (East Indian Senior Club ) the name of the non profit group which started with five members now has a roster of 150 ,celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. It has a Bi- annual Magazine and also encourages young students to visit nursing homes two hours a week and connect with those who need a companionship.