BY MAHADEV DESAI
Photos by Vinod Devlia and Mahadev Desai
Atlanta, GA: The 12th Global Mela attracted over 15,000 community members at the Global Mall in Norcross, Georgia on Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20, 2013. The mammoth mela, which has become the largest free carnival event for the South Asian community in the southeast, was graced by the presence of the Chief Guest, Deputy Consul, Consulate General of India in Atlanta, Hon. Rajinder Singh, Senator Curt Thompson, Dist.5 (D), Gwinnett County Commissioner Lynette Howard, CID, Public Relations Officer Joel Wascher; President,Thai Association World Center,USA,Varinee Sangmalee, her husband Dr. Umpon Sangmalee and media representatives.
The dignitaries accompanied by Global Mall owner and hosts Shiv Aggarwal and his family, cheerfully greeted and intermingled with each other and the mela visitors. After energetic emcee, Xtrahot DJS Event designer Kiran Sethi welcomed all, Sadhana Mandir’s priest Acharya Ved Joshi performed Lord Ganesh pooja ceremony chanting auspicious shlokas to invoke God’s blessings. The dignitary guests flanked by Shiv Aggarwal, his wife Anushi, son Vishal, and daughters Aarti and Vandana lighted the diya (lamp).
Aggarwal welcomed all, recognized the dignitary guests and media representatives and said “I feel very happy and honored to welcome you all to the Global Mela. Please enjoy the Mela.”
Responding, Rajinder Singh said, “I feel honored and happy to attend one of the biggest melas in the southeast U.S. The festive season is ahead and I would like to wish Happy Diwali, and Happy Eid.”
Senator Thompson remarked, “This is my fourth time at the annual mela celebration at the Global Mall over the past few years. I’m always impressed at how each year the celebration grows. Even with the rain there are hundreds of families here and I’m sure thousands of families over the weekend will be able to enjoy the festivities. I feel truly blessed to be a part of it.”
Lynette Howard remarked,” I feel so honored to be part of the Global Mall mela. The sharing of traditions of India’s culture is beautiful and brings us all closer together. The energy and beauty of this festival is a treasure.”
Varinee Sangmalee said, “My husband, Dr.Umpon and I are delighted to be here today to participate in this joyous fair. It is good to see a great turnout and parents with their children having lot of fun. My best wishes to Mr. Aggarwal and his family.”
The dignitary guests and media representatives were entertained by welcome dances. Nritya Natya Kala Bharati’s well-trained students performed two scintillating dances–classical Kathak dance by Pooja Vaidya followed by another Kathak dance by Pooja and Samaica Deshetty to the song, “Mein Radha teri mera Shyam tu’.And then it was turn of young Rishi Gowda. He soon had the audience cheering and clapping as he spiced up the entertainment with an energetic, fast-paced dance-moves to fast-paced lyrics of ‘Badtameez dil’.
A section of the parking lot was festooned with balloons. Outside, near the entrance to the Mall; the children had plenty of fun and frolic on the giant inflatables run by Jumping Panda. Near the Mall entrance, Hawaiian Shaved Ice served cool drinks; and inside the Mall, Ashiana and Global Groceries did a brisk business serving mouthwatering pani-puri, samosas, chat, etc., while Tea India-Chai Moments manned by Nayan and Jasmine Kalyani served samples of their tea products and Haldiram snacks.
The visitors were courteously greeted by the Shiv family, Global Mall staff and volunteers. Harvadan Chokshi, Mayoor Patel and Global Mall staff manned the Raffles desk, and gave out over hundred Prizes every hour round the clock, and on Sunday evening, Mega Prizes of a flat-screen T/V by Legacy Jewels and other prizes donated by Global Mall vendors including Ladlee Clothing Boutique and Legacy Jewels respectively. Global Mall and Legacy Jewels had sponsored free popcorn and many fun activities for children. DJ Bobby;DJ Arsin;and emcee Kiran Sethi ,together with dholis Pawan,Jasmeet and Ranvir Kholi and lighting technician Eric Martinez heightened the Mela ambience with non-stop throbbing, pulsating music and latest Bollywood chartbusters! The booth vendors and Global Mall businesses selling Indian apparel, jewelry, toys, arts, handicrafts,homedecor items and services like insurance,education,home-entertainment, health and medicine, and not-for-profits like Art of Living Foundation, Gaudiya Vaishnav Association,etc.remained busy dealing with the throngs of visitors.
The Cultural show was an added treat for the visitors! Lively entertainment was provided by the young and talented students of Nritya Natya Kala Bharti who performed a variety of dance and music items choreographed by Atlanta’s well-known Founders/Directors Kumud and Sandeep Savla, The NNKB music students also gave scintillating singing and keyboard performances. Sri Vidya Dance Academy by founders/directors Raman Punjabi and Ruchika Dhamija has spread from India to U.K. and now is also in U.S. at the Global Mall. Kuchipudi and Bollywood dances by Sri Vidya Dance Academy also regaled the audience. Surabhi School of Dance and Music also added to the highly entertaining lively performances. It was also heartening to see budding youngsters come on the dance floor and showcase their passion for dancing and singing. On Sunday afternoon, a dazzling Jewelry show was presented by Kiaan. In the riveting show, emceed by Kiran Sethi, several young ladies showcased latest jewelry designs to the huge audience facing DJ Bobby’s music- stand. And the piece-de-resistance Fashion Show, by ‘Bawree’ in Atlanta. The show presented by Archit Patel and Vidath Shah-it was all glitter and glamour, where 14 beautiful models strutted with great poise, elegance and grace, showcasing the latest in festive collection–alluring and enticing bridal wear, other designer outfits and accessories in vivid designs and hues.
Mrs. India International 2012, Shaveta Jain thanked Shiv and Anushi Aggarwal for inviting her, and Crown winners Mrs. India Suwanee International 2013 Mrs.Kamini Jain and Mrs. India Alpharetta International 2013 Mrs. Sheetal Pandit Correia, adding, “We were given a rousing welcome by the hosts and the audience as we went around exploring the stalls, shops/showrooms and posing for pictures with the attendees. We also enjoyed pulling the raffle tickets for the Mystic India Show. This was a moment for us to share our pride, showcase our rich cultural heritage and goad more married women into participating in the pageant.”
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. It is my passion, my vision and my goal to make everyone aware of our rich Indian Culture and heritage through such melas. I would like to thank all the dignitaries who graced the mela . I would also like to thank all the tenants, the vendors and the Raffle-Prizes donors. My thanks also to the media- T.V.Asia, IndiaTribune, Wownow.com, Atlanta Dunia, Khabar, NRI Pulse, Jan Darpan, Desh Videsh, Saathee and Garavi Gujarat. My special thanks to Vinod Devlia of Photography by Vinod, for his photography services in recording the entire event, Mustafa Ajmeri, Mayoor Patel, Lynn Rich, and Kelsey for ensuring the smooth running of the mela; Global Mall staff and volunteers. The Police also deserve compliments for manning the parking lot. 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.”
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.