Chennai

The sounds and flavours of Gujarat

Rotarians Satyan Bhatt and his wife Parul Bhatt. Photo: Special Arrangement

Rotarians Satyan Bhatt and his wife Parul Bhatt. Photo: Special Arrangement  

SATYAN and PARUL BHATT, residents of Anna Nagar, on how ‘Dandiya Garba Raas’ is celebrated the Gujarati way

Eleven years is a long time. It’s a long enough time for any best-planned programme to get derailed. The fact that the annual Dandiya Garba Raas organised by Rotary Club of Madras recently completed 11 years and is still as attractive as before, proves its success.

On September 30, the event was conducted at Hyatt Regency in Teynampet by the Club.

Dr. Arul Mozhivarmam, Club president, presided over it. The cultural extravaganza started as a brainchild of Rotarian Satyan Bhatt and his wife Parul Bhatt, residents of Anna Nagar and PR consultants. It saw the light in 2006.

“In 2001, we were a part of the Rotary Club of Ambattur, where the idea for the event was first put forth. After shifting to the Madras chapter, we decided to implement it here too,” explains Satyan.

Parul hails from Ahmedabad, where Garba and Dandiya are integral to Navaratri celebrations.

“When I moved to Chennai 32 years ago, not many here were aware of Garba. I was missing this cultural event, and we decided to introduce it,” says Parul.

The event has been one of the annual fund-raising activities of the Rotary Club of Madras. It has a great following among dance enthusiasts.

“The Rotary year begins in July, and this is the first event to kick off our fund-raising exercise,” says Satyan.

Given its significance on the Rotary Calender, the event receives considerable support from many Rotarians and local businesses.

Painstaking efforts are made to keep the event true to its essence. From music to food, everything is done the traditional Gujarati way, says Parul, a connoisseur of Gujarati food.

“We ensure the dishes are as close to Gujarati style as possible. Many a time, I have gone into the hotel kitchen and taught the chef how to make a dish from scratch,” she says, laughing. The funds generated through the event have been used to support various activities of Club, including conducting of free tuitions for school children and construction of toilets in villages around Chennai.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 1:41:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/The-sounds-and-flavours-of-Gujarat/article15429616.ece

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