CHICAGO: Kudos and three cheers to energetic team of Naperville Indian Community Outreach that organized easily among the best India Day Parades and Melas on Sunday August 14 in Naperville town.
Attendance at the Parade and the subsequent Mela-Music concert was unprecedented for this type of function or celebration. People from all walks of life and not only from Chicago and suburbs but from nearby Midwest States too found time to come to attend this spectacular celebration. Those who could not make it probably would feel that they missed something.
Estimates of attendance varied with the Outreach sources claiming over 20,000 compared to about 10,000 last year. Conservatively, many placed it at 12,000 plus. Still it was a record and more importantly all of those attending did not find a single dull moment – whether it was watching 45 colorful floats depicting rich Indian culture of multiracial, multi religious multi linguistic Indian society ‘Anek Mein Ekta’ ( Unity within diversity) or be it the Mela that had 50 plus vendors with 10 vending tasteful Indian cuisine (Dosa, Chat, Pani Puri, Bhelpuri,
Pav Bhaji and you name it) while others showing their products and services with curious and inquisitive visitors flocking to most of them . Or be it Sunidhi Chauhan music concert in the evening.
Sunidhi with other local artists, including Mishu, stole the heart and mind of the audience. There was huge repeated applause after every song that she sang. The start with the extraordinary rendering of Dama Dam Mast Qalander set the tone for this near three-hour concert. Emcees too gave a wonderful account of themselves and were hugely entertaining.
Yet another plus point was a sizeable attendance of dignitaries – Naperville Mayor, Aurora Mayor, Oakbrook Mayor, City Council members and Indian Consul General Dr Ausaf Sayeed with his artist wife Ms Farha.
Kudos again to the Outreach team and volunteers Krishna Bansal, Chirag Jani, Dharmisth Patel, Dinkar Karumuri , Gautam Grover, Keyur Shah, Madhur Limdi , Narayan Tata, Rahul Saigal, Saily Joshi, Shammi Mittal, Vasavi Chakka, Vinod Vashisth, Viral Shah, Ashfaq Syed and Nimesh Jani.
Ramesh Soparawala & Dave Vasudevan