BY MAHADEV DESAI
Photos by Vinod Devlia & Anuj Jain
Atlanta,GA: The 14th Global Mela attracted over 15,000 community members at the Global Mall in Norcross, Georgia on Saturday October 24 and Sunday October 25 2015. The mammoth mela has become the largest free carnival fun fair event for the South Asian community in the Southeast, with over 40 booth vendors and attendees from all overGeorgiaand the neighboring states. The 2-day event was kicked off with a warm welcome by Shiv Aggarwal and emcee Kiran Sethi of Xtrahotdjs Entertainment.
The dignitary guests included Consul D.V.Singh; Georgia State Senator Curt Thompson; City of Lilburn Mayor Johnny Crist; ,Gandhi Foundation of USA Chairman Subash Razdan; SAI Health Fair’s Dr.Sujatha Reddy; City Manager, Norcross Rusty Warner; City Administrator Norcross, Rudolph Smith, Telugu Association of Metro Atlanta’s President Vinay Maddineni and BOD Chair Rajesh Jampa and Mrs. India International 2012 Mrs. Shaveta Jain.
The dignitaries joined Aggarwal and his family in Lord Ganesh puja and a lamp lighting ceremony by Siddhi Vinayak Mandir’s pundit Gyan Praksh Upadhyay. Guests of honor D.V Singh and Senator Curt Thompson briefly spoke at the inauguration.
Ravi Ponangi of India Tribune newspaper read out the letter from U.S. Representative Rob Woodall(R-GA07) in which he expressed his greetings and good wishes to the community. “I am very proud that the rich South Asian culture and heritage is on full display to our community. This celebration is also a great way for younger generations to connect with and learn about their heritage so that they may one day pass it down to their own children,” he said.
Atlanta’s premier Indian Dance and Music Academy Nritya Natya Kala Bharati’s Founder/Director Mrs. Kumud Savla’s students in traditional Indian costumes and accessories enthralled the dignitaries, and the audience with two scintillating dances. Ms.Sagnika Mukherjee performed a riveting solo dance to Ram Leela movie’s hit song ‘Dholi taro dhol baaje’.
Dj Bobby from Xtrahotdjs and his team heightened the mela ambience with throbbing, pulsating music and the latest Bollywood chartbusters! Live dhol players 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. People were welcomed with the aroma of Ashiana’s delectable chat, samosas and pav bhaji stall downstairs, while mouthwatering pani-puri and vada pavs and Haldiram snacks and sweets were doing brisk business dupstairs. 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 second floor, booth vendors were setup along the hallways of the mall, ranging from Indian apparel, jewelry, housewares, toys, arts and handicrafts, services such as travel (Discover Destinations), insurance(SDK & Associates), education, health and medicine(Foot & Ankle Health Centers); radio and TV(South Asian Radio);YUPP TV. Non-profits- Ekal Vidyalaya, Art of Living Foundation, Science of Spiritualty, Asian American Advancing Justice,SEWA International, Rotary International etc. remained busy dealing with the throngs of visitors.
Raffles were run every hour around the clock, and attendees got 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, The prizes were donated by Global Mall tenants and management including a Kindle Fire and a large flat screen TV.
Lively entertainment was provided on both days by the young and talented students from Prem’s Dance Studio, Taal Tadka Group (GA Tech’s premier South Asian/World Fusion a Cappella Group), Nritya Natya Kala Bharti, and Atlanta based 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 treat with an enchanting magi show conducted both Saturday and Sunday followed by a special kids only raffle with fun-filled goody bags with toy and treats and stuffed animals.
Ladlee Clothing Boutique and Kiian Jewelers presented another magnificent fashion show choreographed by Shaveta Jain, former Mrs. India International. 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. The beautiful fashion wear was sponsored by Ladlee, the biggest fashion store located in the heart of Global Mall. The fashion models were accessorized with the trendiest and one-of-a-kind jewelry by Kiaan Jewelers. The glammed up look for models was provided by Hair Images. The most adorable young children models and beautiful young models modeled with poise, grace and style while the crowd cheered, clapped and the cameras clicked as each model walked up the ramp. The proud fashion show sponsors Janak Bhatt and Krishna Bhatt of Ladlee; The Viren couple of Kiaan Jewelers and Rabab Aladin of Hair Images were gracefully escorted to the ramp by Shaveta Jain for the end credits. The show was organized by Kiran Bedi Sethi and music provided by DJ Bobby of Xtrahotdjs Entertainment.
Speaking to this reporter Aggarwal said: “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 melas.”
I would like to thank all the tenants, the vendors and the Raffle-Prizes donors. I wish to thank the media-TV Asia, India Tribune, Wownow.com, Atlanta Dunia,Desi-Express;Rashtra Darpan Khabar, NRIPULSE, Desh Videsh, and Saathee. My special thanks to Vinod Devlia of Photography by Vinod, for his photography services in recording the entire event; Thanks to 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 or Twitter Page for Global Mall.