NORWALK, CA – The Sanatan Dharma Temple Hall reverberated with slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, ‘Jai Hind’ and ‘Sare Jahan Se Achha’ on August 23 in praise of India, to celebrate it’s 68th Independence day. The courtyard had a mini display of booths ranging from jewelry, clothes to realtors and food of course.
UFICA’s past president Vinita Vineet welcomed the audience in Hindi and introduced the cultural programs. Sixth grader Astha Sahoo walked on stage crooning the American National Anthem with Dr. Rangesh Gadsalli and Charu Miglani following with ‘Jana Gana Mana Adhi Nayak’. Singer PreitySha led ‘Vande Mataram’ with the entire committee joining her whole heatedly in this rendition of the National Song of India.
The flavor of the evening was fun fettered with timeliness. The choice of performances gave the audience just the right amount of spice to savor the evening without long drawn speeches.
No Indian event goes without Bollywood playing a major part in it. It was heartening to see the passion with which the Indian kids born here adapt various dance forms to Bollywood songs. Six-year Vyom Mathurani danced to ‘Nanha Munna Rahi Hoon, Desh Ka Sipahi Hoon’, ‘Jai Ho’and Anjali Gandhi gracefully did Kathak with Hamari Atariya. Sisters Sanjana and Priyanka performed the Odissi with its entire splendor in costumes and the three step movements of the head, neck and feet comprising of the ‘tribhangi’. Sajan Gohil danced to a medley and Shreya Maharana wrapped up the performances with ‘Mere Dholna’.
The audience was now more than ready to hear the melodious PreitySha and Sameer, both of whom were felicitated with a bouquet of flowers. She started her journey of the evening with a Shlok from the Bhagvad Gita and began the Bollywood renditions with the patriotic ‘Ae Mere Watan ke Logo’. The evening unfolded with some very beautifully sung songs from ‘Parineeta’ and ‘Slum Dog Millionaire’.
True to California, PreitySha made a perfect salad bowl mixing various ingredients from the Desi hit list requested by the audience. Khushroo Patel, the emcee of the evening had the audience laughing at his disappointment of his not so funny jokes.
All in all UFICA put together an event that brought the Indians of SoCal under the same roof to reminisce India’s Independence. It ignited thoughts and emotions of gratitude for all those that gave their lives to achieve the liberation that we all take for granted.