BY VANDANA AGGARWAL
Photos by Vinod Devlia
Atlanta, GA, October 20, 2016: The 15th Annual Global Mela was a major success attracting over 18,000 community members at the Global Mall in Norcross, Georgia on Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9. Seventeen years ago, the vision that led Global Mall owner Shiv Aggarwal to develop Global Mall and build a stronger community presence was highly evident and came to life at the mela this year.
This epic annual event has become the largest free carnival for the South Asian and Atlanta community in the Southeast, with over 40 booth vendors from all over the Southeast and 30 retail and food shops located in the Global Mall. The two-day event was kicked off with a warm welcome from Shiv Aggarwal and emcee Kiran Sethi with Xtrahotdjs Entertainment. The dignitaries joined Shiv and his family in Lord Ganesh puja and a lamp lighting ceremony by Sadhana Mandir’s pundit Ved Joshi to bless the event and honor the upcoming Hindu festival, Diwali.
Shiv Aggarwal recognized the dignitary guests, including Consul General of India in Atlanta, Nagesh Singh, Deputy Consulate General of India in Atlanta, D.V. Singh, City of Norcross Councilman Craig Newton, the Gwinnett Village CID Executive Director Marsha Bomar and media representatives.
Celebrating the 15th Anniversary of Global Mall, Aggarwal recognized Global Mall businesses who have been with the mall for over 10 years and the media who have faithfully supported Global Mall since its beginning, honoring each one with plaques of appreciation and recognition.
Following this,Atlanta’s premier Indian Dance and Music Academy, Nritya Natya Kala Bharati’s creator Kumud Savla presented her dance students who enthralled the dignitaries and the audience with two scintillating dances, and an opening Bharatnatyam piece by Sri Devi from Laasya School of Dance. Dj Bobby from XrtaHotDjs and his team heightened the mela’s ambience with feet tapping music and the latest Bollywood chartbusters! Live dhol players, DJ P, Ranvir Kohli and Jas, intensified the atmosphere playing in sync to Bollywood music and getting the crowd dancing to Bhangra.
At the entrance of the mall, inflatable obstacle courses, slides and a bounce house were set up for the children to play on the perfectly breezy October weekend. People were welcomed with the aroma of Ashiana’s delectable chat, samosas and pav bhaji stall downstairs alongside cool and refreshing kulfis and mouthwatering pani puri served by Global Groceries.
The Global Mall food court was bustling all weekend with guests waiting in lines for the Chinese Dhaba, Sri Krishna Vilas, Dawat Express, Mumbai Masala, and Curry on the Go! Global Mall and Legacy Jewels sponsored a handful of free treats and activities for children and some young-at-heart adults, including free popcorn, cotton candy, face painting, and balloon artistry. On the first and second floors, booth vendors were setup along the hallways of the mall, ranging from Indian apparel, jewelry, housewares, toys, arts and handicrafts, and services such as travel, insurance, education, health and medicine, radio and TV and non-profits. All of whom remained busy interacting with the throngs of visitors.
The guests were courteously greeted by the entire Global Mall family and volunteers at the welcome table. Every year, Global Mall & Legacy Jewels sponsors free raffle tickets and entrance gifts to all attendees. Raffles are run every hour around the clock, and attendees get a chance to win prizes sponsored by Global Mall and Global Mall tenants. On Sunday evening, the Global Mall family ran the Mega Prize Raffle with prizes donated by Global Mall tenants and management including a Kindle Fire, a diamond ring and large flat screen TV.
The weekend-long cultural show was an added bonus for the visitors! Lively entertainment was provided on both days by the young and talented students from Global Mall’s dance studios, Prem’s Dance Studio and Nritya Natya Kala Bharti, and Atlantabased local artists who performed a variety of dance, songs and music items. The Founder of Z Fitness, Sheila Devlia, and her students performed energetic and riveting zumba dances. In addition to dance and music, the children were in for a surprise with a captivating magic show conducted both Saturday and Sunday followed by a special kids-only raffle with fun-filled goody bags of toys and sweets and stuffed animals. New this year, the Mela team organized piñata breaking for the kids, which got everyone involved.
This year gave all attendees and Facebook followers a little something extra, with not just one, but two magnificent fashion shows presented by Rahul’s Clothing Boutique and Kiian Jewelers. Shaveta Jain, former Mrs. India International and participant in the fashion show commented, “The Fashion show is the flagship item of Global Mall’s signature annual Global Mela. It is the most glamorous, most awaited and the concluding item of the two day event.” As in the previous years, this year’s Global Mela’s fashion shows were once again a super hit, with elegant and one-of-a-kind clothing and jewelry worn by beautiful women.
Well known and respected Global Mall owner, social activist and philanthropist Shiv Aggarwal commented, “Global Mela is our way of thanking the community for supporting Global Mall and our Indian cultural center. I established Global Mall in order to bring the South Asian community together under one roof in a unique community center. It is my passion, my vision and my goal to make everyone aware of our rich Indian culture and heritage through such carnivals. I would like to thank all the tenants, the vendors and the raffle-prize donors. I wish to thank the media-TV Asia, India Tribune, Wownow.com, Atlanta Dunia, Desi-Express, Rashtra Darpan, Khabar, NRI Pulse, Desh Videsh, and Saathee. My special thanks to Vinod Devlia of Photography by Vinod for his photography services in recording the entire event. The biggest thanks go to the Global Mall staff and volunteers for the hard work. Thank you to the Norcross Police Department for well-deserved compliments for manning the parking lot and handling the large crowds. Finally, I would like to thank my entire family for their unbounding help and support in organizing this event. I am happy that the attendance at the Mela is increasing each year and we are able to make Global Mela the cornerstone for future events!”
For more information about the Mall and to view photos of the event, please visit www.amsglobalmall.com or the Facebook Page for Global Mall.