Report on the Cultural program

Submitted by Neil Dubey

The cultural program was held in the evening on Saturday July 8, 2006. The program was split into two halves, with the first half called as "Vishishtha Session," which began with Saraswati Vandana written by Mahakavi Nirala. The Vandana was led by Anita Dubey, Shekhar Shastri, and Sharad Tewary. Ranjana Pathak's opening dance called "Mangalam" truly set the tone for the evening with its genuine spirituality. This was followed by a Bharatnatyam dance to a bhajan called "Krishna Nivedanam" performed by Gayathri Suswaram, a senior disciple of Mrs. Geetha Prasad. Thereafter, Mrs. Asha Janardan's charmed the audience with her bhajans in her beautiful voice. Mrs. Janardan is a prominent guru of Karnatic music and teaches many students in the New Jersey area. Ms. Tripti Pandey, a sister of famous Rajastani singer Ila Arun, was a special guest at WBF. She sparked the Vishitha session with her beautiful style of narration. Ms. Pandey is an eloquent speaker on promoting Rajasthani art and culture. She has traveled the world and has many published books to her credit.

For the send half of the cultural program, the Vedamini Shastri from Boston and Ajay Malaviya from Albany . The program had a modern dance by Sanjana Ojha, follwed by a classical bhajan by Mallika Jois; a vibrant bharatnatyam dance "Shiv Tandav" by Gayathri Suswaram. The program ended with a dance to "Mohe Pangaht Pe" by Meeta Mishra. Overall, it was a high quality program presented by trained artists.

The evening ended with an after-dinner entertainment by Umesh Jois' songs to Karaoke music. Umesh was the star performer for this segment. This part was full of fun as it was participatory in style. The minute Umesh started singing, audience could not sit stand still. They joined him on stage by dancing to those songs. Ranjana Pathaks witt kept the audience enthralled. Almost everyone sitting in the audience was screaming with joy to those oldies. Interludes were poetry by Tripti Pandey and jokes by Rakesh Bhargava. Rakesh's unique style of presenting kept the audience laughing. On popular demand Kavi Abhinav Shukla recited his poetry again on the second day. This time, he stayed with Hasya Kavita since the mood was a joyous one. Kavi Surendra Tiwari, who could not be there at the Kavi Sammelan the previous day, recited some of his poetry too. Without any doubt, everyone had a wonderful time as you would guess the time it ended - 2 a.m. !!!  The cultural program were organized and coordinated by Anita Dubey.

Morning Session:

The morning session began with Shlokas from Bhagwad Gita by Arpita Gorur . This was followed by a bhajan from Malika Jois and an invocation to Lord Ganesha by Meghana Simha.