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BY RAVI R. PONANGI
Sankranti Sambaralu, an event organized by Telugu Association of Metro Atlanta (TAMA) on January 23 at Independence High School, Alpharetta, Georgia, to celebrate the festival of Sankranti, turned out to be a mega success with over 1000 people living in metro Atlanta, attending the event.
The event was flagged off with jyoti prajwalana by esteemed guests from Telugu community Dr. P.V. Rao, Dr. Hymavati Mikkilineni, Dr. Sujatha Reddy and TAMA president Mr. Madhu Tata followed by prayers to Lord Ganesha and Goddess of prosperity, Lakshmi.
Dances and shows describing the joy and importance of Sankranti were performed by local kids, who were not only dressed in traditional Indian attires but also in attires reminiscent of memories typically associated with Sankranti like Haridasu, Dudu Basavanna, gobbemmalu etc, to a rousing reception by the audience.
Choreographed by professional choreographers and enthusiastic mothers, our local children of various age groups entertained the audience wonderfully with their graceful dances for Sankranti songs from movies like Soggaadi Pellam, Vaarasudochchadu, Neeke Manischchanu.
Along with programs centered around Sankranti, numerous kids performed wonderful dances to various hit Telugu film songs, some solo, some group dances and some medleys of popular numbers from movies like Ready, Bommarillu, Magadheera, Koncham Ishtam Koncham Kashtam, Saptapadi, Maska, Josh, Mallanna and even the Oscar winning song Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire.
As the local talent displayed their singing and dancing skills that kept the packed auditorium glued to their seats, one famous guest who graced the event all the way from Andhra Pradesh, played it to the galleries with his razor sharp wit and rib tickling comedy. And this is none other than popular artiste Guruswamy who is fondly called as 'Reverse Gear' Guruswamy, thanks to his unique talent of singing any song with as much ease in the reverse order as singing it normally. Guruswamy brought down the entire auditorium with his funny poems, hysterical satire on the quality of Telugu cinema tuned to amazing perfection along the lines of popular number Anaganana Aakasam from Nuvve Kaavali, songs sung in the reverse order, comical jokes and much more. He had the audience eating out of his hands for each and every act of his and they didn't stop asking him for more and more.
Guruswamy was felicitated and honored by the guests and TAMA executive committee for his contribution towards the field of entertainment. He, along with the other guests, released TAMA's Sankranti magazine Maa Oori Maata at the event.
While wholesome entertainment for the entire family was one of the highlights of this event, sumptuous and delectable food, served by two popular local Indian restaurants, Sri Krishna Vilas Indian Cuisine and Swathi Indian Restaurant, was another talked about speciality at the event.
Ladies from Atlanta Telugu Community showed off their traditional rangoli skills replete with vibrant colors in the Rangoli competition organized by TAMA and sponsored by local film distribution company Ficus Media.
An event of this magnitude and grandeur would not have been possible if not for the unstinted support from the kids and parents of local community, unfailing help from numerous volunteers handling various tasks such as sound & lighting, photography, video recording, auditorum ushers, backstage volunteers, food volunteers among many other tasks.
The all new yet remarkably enthusiastic executive committee members of TAMA extend their sincere thanks to the audience that graced the event, talented participants, guests of the event, Reverse Gear Guruswamy, grand sponsor of the event Prudential Insurance, various advertizers at the event and last but not the least, to volunteers that offered their voluntary support in making this event a grand success.