The Gujarat Cultural Association hosted Diwali celebrations, accompanied by an electrifying Music Concert that attracted a large number of family’s friends, and community figures of the city, at Waterford Banquets.
The traditional lighting of lamp ceremony was performed by Bharat Bari, an eminent medical professional and the Chief Guest at the event, in the presence of Syed Hussaini, the Guest of Honor, and other dignitaries.
Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago, in his message, said that Diwali, which symbolizes joy, hope, and positive energy, focuses on the triumph of light over darkness and compassion over hatred. He added that the message of Diwali is universal in nature.
Jesse white, Illinois Secretary of State, in his message, said that the Association is a lifeline for its members in need of networking opportunities, professional guidance, and community support. He appreciated the cultural connections that the Association is building between Illinois and India.
Toni Preckwinkle, President, Board of Commissioners of Cook County, in her message, congratulated the Association on advancing the cause of cultural diversity awareness in the region.
Dorothy A Brown, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County said that she had the opportunity of visiting Gujrat and also had the honor of meeting Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister and the present Prime Minister. “I enjoy coming to your events every year. I am the biggest supporter of Indian Community. I like Indian festivals and love Indian dresses”, she added.
Dr Bharat Barai, in his keynote address, said that we should not only celebrate Diwali as a festival but also understand its true message, implement it in our daily lives, and commit to the path of virtue, rather than that of evil, in order to emerge victorious.
Earlier, Kanti S. Patel, Chairman, Gujrat Cultural Association, in his welcome address, said that the Association, established in 1973, is one of the oldest organizations in the US. He said that the Association has undertaken innumerable initiatives aimed at growth and diffusion of the culture of Gujrat. “The Association, in collaboration with Federation of Indian Associations and Indo-American Democratic Party, has acknowledged eminent people and their contribution”, he added.
Honors for the Achievers:
John Trivedi, an Hotelier and a community leader, who was presented an award by the Association for his successful career, said that community support is an important pre-condition for success in business. “Giving back to the community, therefore, is one of the best business practices”, opined Trivedi.
The Association also honored Syed Hussaini, Sunil Shah, Iftekhar Shareef, Kalpesh Joshi, Dr Bharat Barai, Dr Anita Johan, and Shashank Bhatt for their spectacular community services.
Syed Hussaini, while thanking the Association for honoring him, said that his employer, Win-trust Community Bank, is committed to support community-oriented initiatives.
Iftekhar Shareef stated that the presence of people representing different religions at the celebrations proves that Diwali is a festival of entire India, rather that of one community alone.
Sunil Shah opined that Diwali is an occasion not only to celebrate but also to reflect and bring about a qualitative change in our day-to-day lives.
Babra and Party, an International Music Group, presented a spectacular music program with B M Babra, as the lead singer and Archana Gauswami, Franklin Christian, Shefali Giri, Mahendra Chudasma, as his team of formidable singers.
Babra kick started the musical evening with two lyrical and melodically appealing numbers, “Lag ja gale ke ke phir ye haseen raat ho na ho” and “Ek ladki ko dekha to aisa laga”. He received a huge round of applause for his silky voice and stylish presentation. By interacting with the audience, he was able to strike the right chord.
His team of singers rendered a wave of well-known tracks, including “Dil kya kare jab kisi ko kise se pyar ho jaaye”, Kya khoob lagti ho badi sundar dikhti ho”, “Dil ke jharke mein tujh ko bitha ke”,”Aye meri zohra jabeen tujhe maaloom nahin”, etc.
These stunning renditions, which were vivacious, bubbly and full of energy, mesmerized the audience.
The well-equipped Orchestra, comprising an outstanding lineup of fine musicians, included Bhupendra Bubra-Keyboard, Manish Goel-Keyboard , Piyush Babra-Guitar, Vasudev Solanki-Octopad, Hemant Solanki-Congo Dholak Tabla, and Amit Bhavsar-Drums.
Dr. Manish Brahmbhatt conducted proceedings of the function as the MC. Girish Patel, President of the Association, proposed a vote of thanks. The celebrations concluded with a sumptuous Gujrati-style dinner. All in all, a night of glitterati and music for all to remember.
The even was sponsored by Patel Brothers, Air Tours, Chicago Imports, Raj Jewelers, World Money Exchange, Dr. Nita Patel, Universal Accounting, National Bank card, Medstar and A Wintrust Community Bank.