BY RAVI R. PONANGI
If numbers are indicators of the strength and success of any
event, Deepavali celebrations organized by Telugu
Association of Metro Atlanta (TAMA) was a great hit. Over
1,500 people from the Telugu community converged on November
3, at the Meedowcreek High School in Atlanta.
Deepavali was celebrated in all its color and gaiety. This
year’s celebration was filled with food, frolic, and
entertainment. The festive atmosphere generated a feeling of
joy and happiness amongst attendees at the venue. The
parents with their children and participants in the cultural
program gathered at the school well in advance and the event
started on time. By conducting Deepavli celebrations every
year, TAMA is providing a platform for children and other
local artists to showcase their talents. This year’s
celebration was marked by the participation of more than 100
artists of all age groups in the cultural events. The
cultural events began immediately after the general body
elections when a new executive committee was elected for
The cultural items included classical dances, Bollywood
melodies and folk songs presented by children. At the
beginning, Ram Durvasula, cultural coordinator, explained
the significance of Diwali. Another attraction of this
year’s festival was the presentation of Syam Yellamraju’s
tastefully choreographed skit, Bhale Jodi, in which five
couples entertained the audience with their dances and their
skills in managing their spouses in day-to-day life.
Organizers kept this as the last item of the day in order to
sustain the interest of the packed audience till the end of
the celebration. The couples danced and acted with full
force and vigor to showcase their skills.
Other events in the spectacular celebration included
honoring Dr. P. Ravi Sarma and Dr. Seshu Sarma with TAMA
Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of their literary,
cultural and community services for more than two decades.
The doctor couple is always in the forefront whenever the
community needs them. Dr. Ravi Sarma is a practicing
physician in the field of hematology and medical oncology.
He has been an active Indian community leader in the Atlanta
area for many years, participating as a speaker, guest
panelist and interviewee for various media and
organizations. He is the current president of the Hindu
Temple of Atlanta, Riverdale. Dr. Adi Sesha Reddy, founder
of APNA (Andhra Pradesh Physicians of North America) and
well-known philanthropist, presented the award to Dr. Ravi
Sarma and Dr. Seshu Sarma.
Dr. Adi Sesha Reddy explained the salient features of APNA
Foundation. APNA promotes charitable activities primarily in
Andhra Pradesh, India. The activities include but not
limited to educational, scientific, cultural, and healthcare
fields. The primary focus will be in the healthcare sector.
The Deepavali celebration concluded with a scrumptious
dinner served by Minerva Restaurant.