By Suresh Bodiwala
CHICAGO: The annual ‘Raunak Mela’ of the local Hari Om Mandir on July 14 turned out to be a great event as hundreds of devotees, friends, and well-wishers participated in fun-filled activities.
Summer is the time for socializing for the people in the Indian diaspora, and the Raunak Mela is one of the many on-going activities in the Indian diaspora in the Chicago area.
As usual, everyone pitched in to make Raunak Mela a success. For kids, there was Moonwalk.
There were chole bhature by the Singla family, mouth-watering dosas by Dakshin restaurant; panipuri/samosa/tikki and rossgulla by Star Food; sandwiches and sprouts by Sneh Chaudhari; and a corn stall by Vipan Wadhera. Temple volunteers actively participated to mange various stalls and other activities.
Over 100 people underwent medical check-up at a health camp by Dr. Om Dhingra, Dr. Ramesh Dhingra, Shashank Saxena and Sharul Saxena.
Sham Taxali, member executive board, praised the service rendered at the health camp during his discussion with Jyotikumar Chokshi, Editor of Asian Media. He pointed out the importance of this camp as it benefits several Devotees, their family members and friends. “Mandir is lucky to get services of world class Medical professionals for the benefit of all participants” he added.
Hari Om Mandir is organizing various programs every year. Chairman Ayodhya Salwan and President Brij Lal Sharma along with their team of executives, trustees and volunteers were on their toes to maintain a trouble free environment for all who participated at this summer event.
With authentic Indian cuisine and culture, this year’s Mela welcomed Summer in Chicago. For starters, there were stalls carrying multi-colored and elaborately patterned fabrics of saris, shawls and kurtas; intricately designed bangles, toe rings, anklets and earrings.
This summer festival was a bonanza of joyous, wholesome fun for everyone. Annual Raunak Mela was enjoyed by all the guests due to the dedication and hard work put in by members, volunteers and management of Hari Om Mandir. Notable among them were Brij Lal Sharma, Ayodhia Salwan, Indrajit Sarkar, Gopal Tiwari, Sham Taxali, Vikas Chaudhari, Ramesh Bhardwaj, Satish Chander, Jas Sharma, Sachin (DJ) and many more.
Shikha Tandon, Priti Sherawat and Ankit Mahajan from Desi Junction covered the whole event live on Radio. The team from Desi Junction Radio had a contest for those who had the Desi Junction app on their phone.
The highlight of the Mela was the Antakshri, part of which was aired live. The segment recorded was streamed again at 8 pm CST on 15th July. The Antakshri started with a song by Shikha Tandon from Desi Junction. The participants were so excited about singing at the Antakshari knowing that their voice would be heard all over the world by interested listeners!
Raunak Mela providws wholesome fun for everyone as they left feeling uplifted and looking forward to coming back again next year.
Brij Lal Sharma;President, Indrajit Sarkar; Vice President, Sneh Chaudhary; Secretary, Vikas Choudhary; Treasurer, Jeetu Patel; Special Events, ShamTaxali; Property Management, Ramesh Bhardwaj; Publication & Parking, Anshu Paul; Education, Usha Verma; Food & Prasad. Board of Trustees: Ayodhia Salwan; Chairman, Sham Rawal; Vice Chairman, Mohan Karamchandani; Secretary, Krishan Lal Tejpal; Nirmal Bagga; Vipul Srivastava; Satish Chander; Amar Singla Priests: Shastri Yogesh Pandya & Pt.Dinesh Kumar