BY VEENA RAO
The Indian community in Atlanta welcomed spring with a riot of colors at the India American Cultural Association’s (IACA) facility in Smyrna recently.
Although the cloudy, cold weather put a damper on the turnout, over 100 people reveled in colors, food, dance and fun. A large outdoor tent on the IACA grounds was the venue for the holi celebrations.
“The weather is so unpredictable during this part of the year, we have to put a gamble on it,” said Dr. Anant Kamath, current president of IACA. “This year, we celebrated 15 days after holi. Maybe we ought to have it a month later.”
“We expected around 300-400 people, but because of the cold weather, around 200 people turned out,” added Padma Rallapalli, executive vice president.
Luckily for the revelers, heavy rains stopped just the night before the event. They did not seem to mind the chill. Adults turned children as they smeared vibrant hues on friends, family and strangers, until everybody present was a riot of reds, yellows, greens and blues. There were as many Americans as there were Indians.
DJ Bobby, who is a regular at the IACA holi celebrations, set the mood with foot tapping Bollywood numbers, while a live dhol player added extra beat to the celebrations. The best dancer in the crowd took home a surprise prize.
There was also moonwalk for children, popcorn and food from Saravana Bhavan.
The new IACA team led by Dr. Kamath took over in the third week of January.
“In the nine weeks since we took over, we have had five different programs,” said Dr. Kamath. “The annual IACA banquet in the first week of March; three plays and the holi celebrations.”
“In the coming months, we have the Ms India Georgia Beauty pageant, the Festival of India (FOI), the India Run with Georgia Tech to raise funds for American Cancer Society. Sometime between now and the FOI, we will also have Anup Jalota for the ghazal night and bhajan night,” he added.
Dr. Kamath urged the Atlanta Indian community to keep visiting the IACA website www.myiaca.org where all the forthcoming events are posted.