LIFE

Garba ho!

The 'Garba Nite' was an occasion for Gujaratis to usher in Dasara with traditional fanfare.

The 'Garba Nite' was an occasion for Gujaratis to usher in Dasara with traditional fanfare.  

MUSIC IS music. Plain and simple. Any which way you take it, the thumb rule is it should appeal to the senses. There was lots of good music being blared out from speakers in a small courtyard-like enclosure in the confines of the Gujarati High School on Rashtrapathi Road on Saturday evening.

If the music seemed to envelop the ears, the aroma of good food was all over. The deliciousness of Undhyu, a mixed vegetable curry, the smell of Rumali Roti and the sweet, goodness of Shrikand was all-pervading. Everywhere one turned, sight of different shapes, sizes and colours of `ghagra' cholis greeted the eyes.

That was the scene at a `Garba Nite' organised by the Gujarati Yuva Mandal to usher in the Navaratri celebrations later in the week. Of the 40 organisations working for the interests of the Gujarati community in the twin cities, the Yuva Mandal is said to be becoming increasingly popular, especially among the youth. In the past three years, membership has grown to over 4,000, says its chairman, Minal Vakharia.

Enough security arrangements were made and the place was virtually sealed off for all but those who had special passes for entry. M. Giridhar of Reliable Security Services even went to the extent of bringing in a sniffer dog!

Per se, the celebrations were supposed to start with the release of `G Pages Business Directory', a compilation of Gujarati business families in the twin cities. However, with the late arrival of the chief guest, Union Minister of State for Urban Development, Bandaru Dattatreya, there was a slight change. It started with dinner, comprising a blend of typical Gujarati specialities, with some other stuff like Bengali sweets and ice cream thrown in.

Then `Garba' started and everyone joined in. They were amongst their own selves, their own family and women, without any bar on age, trooped into the roped-off dance floor. They swayed to the music of the latest filmi hits, clapping their hands. They continued until late in the night, secure in the knowledge that the next day was Sunday. Garba ho!

By Suresh Krishnamoorthy

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