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Halo re! Halo re! -Dandiya Raas(1991-92)

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I happen to visit to our local market few days ago, and came across the small deities of goddess Durga and the earthen pot known as ‘Garbi’ , colourful chunar being sold at most of the stalls. I realized soon that Navratri is around. Yes Chaitra Navratri starting from 28th March 2017. This made me remember another very entertaining and massive event that I had organized as a Club President in the year 1990-91. Dandiya Raas is a mesmerizing poetry of human movements in tune to captivating rhythmic beats, intermittent jingling sound of bells and clattering of sticks, and electrifying flow of colours and light.  For those who have entered, even once, in the magnetic range of its enticement, it is poetry par excellence. I still remember the event was organized at Fidai Baugh. It was an achievement for me as we were supposed to invite around 1500 hundred people and the biggest question we had was how? Back in those we did not have the digital medium like social media, blogs, whatsapp, and SMS to create the awareness about any event within no span of time, the only thing we had was to interact with each member and spread the awareness through word of mouth. By the time we thought of having such a massive event it was just one month left for the festival. We all geared up for this task and gave our best. We started spreading the awareness among our club and relatives. Also we made sure who ever happened to visit some other club or their relative made sure to carry this message. We also got circulars circulated among the different clubs.

Despite of all the difficulties we still could manage to get approximate 1200 people, of which 500 people were Lions Member.  Finally!  The day had arrived; I was bit nervous initially about the execution of the event as it was my first such a huge event. It was already 7pm and the guest had started coming in colorful attire along with the colorful sticks. According to me, what marks out dandiya from the rest is its use of colorful, musical sticks, its dress code.

Women dressed in three piece ghagra, choli and odhni whereas men in colorful matching traditional dhotis and aangrakha or kurtas with lots mirrors on the dress. Everyone seemed to be in a very energetic and playful mood and completely utilizing the opportunity by exchanging messages through eye contact!

Few of them carried sticks that were beautifully painted and decorated. At the end of these “dandias”, tiny bells or ghungroos were tied, which create a jingling sound when the sticks were struck with each other.  These sticks, clattering of which should be in tune with the music played and at rhythmic intervals, are the markers of time.

Music of dandiya comprised of special tracks of traditional and fusion. It started with a slow beats, gathered momentum and culminated in the fast tracks of around 150 beats. Along with the music of the sticks, the musical tracks injected tremendous verve, sauce and pizzazz into the dancer’s movements.

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Though not being a great dancer , I too participated and realized that once you are under the halo of these dances and  your steps are more or less right (otherwise your folded fingers will get beaten by the fellow dancer’s stick, but that’s fine! the occasional pain on your fingers adds to the euphoria).

According to the dance setting, two circles were formed and the dancers moved in two circles in three steps, one group moved in clockwise direction while the other in  anti-clockwise path and clank the stick themselves and with that of their changing partners.  There are infinite number of steps dancers performed in dandiya, like, Lehree (wave pattern), Trikoniya (triangular pattern), lotus, and butterfly patterns.

There were so much excitement as well as chaos, few couples smiling at each other, few even complaining for being hit by the stick, few noticing and thinking whether to enter into the enthralling zone of ecstasy and a rhapsody of continuing elation. Everyone was trying to enjoy the moment in their own special way.

Most of the crowd had come with the must-go-on-spirit even after three or four hours of non-stop fast dancing. It had been memorable event  and a wonderful experience for me. So now, I end this blog with a note that next time, if you get an opportunity to take part in dandiya and if you have time, pick up the sticks; and sport it on your face, a smile! And if you dance…..dance just like YOU do.

Don’t miss this! Win exciting prizes from your favourite JITENDRA

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#Contest Alert! To all the #bollywood lovers & diehard #fans, here is a chance to #win exciting #prizes on 21st March from your favorite bollywood star #JITENDRA. Participate & be the lucky winner!!

Quiz 1 :
Dhal gaya din
Ho gayi shaam
Jaane do.. Jaana hai……

Questions-
Name the movie?
Name the lead female actress?
Name the music Director?

Your Fellowship Minded Candidate for the post of 2nd VDG J KRISHNA SANKAR

PS: Sms your answers to 9820085077 & 1st Lion get the chance to get a gift at the hands of Superhero Jeetendra in person at Dinanath Mangeshkar hall, Vile Parle east .(Only for #LionsClub member of district 323A3)

Journey From Lion Member to Lion Club Secretary(1987-1988)- a small initiative for Educating the society.

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As i remember, it was the year of 1997-1998 and i was still working as member of Lions Club and that was mesmerizing event which we had organized. Although i had participated in various events which they had organized in the past but this one is close to my heart. That’s why i thought of sharing those memorable experience with everyone. In the same year, i visited one of my relative in Mira road due to some personal work and then somehow i came across to this school.The school had just left and kids were hanging around discussing about their exam papers.  Looking at their condition and dedication for study, I thought of doing something that could benefit them and encourage them  to study.

I discussed with my peers in Lions and asked if could do something for them. Finally after hard work for months I could get few things approved from the long list. I was very excited of the execution part, as the idea was to show kids  the world which they would otherwise miss out.  Even the children at adivasi schools dream of becoming doctors, engineers etc but once they confront the unchanging realities of life, they drop the dream and move on. We wanted them to know what avenues are available for them.  The disparity in education that rich and poor children get is the root cause of the wide gap between them, and these only increases as they grow up.

The event was organized on 26th January, I along with my 15 members- Ln JNS Murthy, Ln Knaubhai Desai, Govind Gandhi, V M Rawal , Shirish and others organized the event. Our agenda was to help these children with study materials – i e books, pencils etc. One of our lion’s members Mr. Ratan Sagar was of a great help to us during the event. He provided the kids with Lions pencil. Along with the basic needs, I wanted the kids to have a proper environment for study, as the school was in a very shabby state we got it repaired and made sure that it could be maintained for next few decades. One more important aspect I wanted the kids to learn was basic hygiene we as well educated and responsible person of the society teach our kids about it but these financially deprived children do get the opportunity, as the toilets of the school were really in a bad state. So we got the toilet blocks removed and made sure that the proper sanitation is been provided to school kids. During this event I got a chance to interact with few kids and there i got to know that these children are not only talented but also have undying thirst for knowledge. I wanted, these kids should choose a career path based on their aspiration and potential rather than as per their financial statistics. Following this, there were many more events that came and in the year of 1988-89, I became the Secretary of the Lions Club(Dahisar).
I hope this initiative of mine will help others to take such small and much required steps for the betterment of our society.

A Visionary lion for 30 Years

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Yesterday while discussing with one of my colleague cum friend Mr.Sanjay Desai  over a coffee about the good old days at Lion’s Club.  Though it’s been a long and mesmerizing journey of 30 years with Lions Club International, now when I look back to it I feel that it was just yesterday when I had joined as a Lion member in 1986. After he left, my wife -Mrs. Saraswati Sankar suggested me to share my journey with my peers and young generation. That’s when i decided to write this blog, with a hope that my story would be an inspiration to my peers and younger generation to participate with more enthusiasm. Saraswati has always been my strength and motivated me, but I would specifically like to thank her for motivating me to write this blog, and I hope that my blog would be a strong motivation for one and all. Stay tuned for more..