Monday, 18 August 2014

Janmashtami Celebrations at Gravesend

The KPCS family got together on the eve of Zarmastam to celebrate the festival with much zeal and enthusiasm. An excellent mix of tradition and modernity, the get together was a grand success.

A big thank you to our lovely hosts with the most - Anupama Handoo, Pankaj Raina and Aunty Khemlata Handoo.

It felt like a big joint family function where everyone is doing something or the other, cooking, decorating, setting up and serving. There was lunch for everyone as people came from very far off to participate in the puja and celebration. The menu and preparation was courtesy aunty Khemlata Handoo who served it with much love. The mouthwatering Monj-Nadur, absolutely delightful Phool Roganjosh, Chaaman and Muj Chatin was just perfect for the afternoon.

Lyra & Ishita frying the Pakoris
 Parallely, the Batnee Brigade were busy making the Gaaryi Pakoris with Marchwangun (Chilly Peppers), Vaangun (Aubergine), Olaw (potato) and Choont (Green Apple). There were rounds of different kinds of tea including Kehwa and Sheer Chai keeping the kitchen as busy as it can get!

Aunty Ruby telling the Krishnu Story
The children were busy playing, enjoying the fervour of the Janamashtami festivity and constantly planning and were extremely engrossed in role playing the Krishna story among themselves. Their enthusiasm was encouraged and our dearest Ruby aunty (Mridula Kaul) sat down with the children to tell them the Krishna stories which they thoroughly enjoyed for over an hour...not an easy job to keep these high energy kids engrossed for that long! Well done Mridula Kaul!

Men folk doing the Roff
Children Perform
As the afternoon sun progressed into evening, the variety programme by children and then grown ups began. A range of talents in music and dancing came out and everyone had a great time. The grown ups did Roff (Kashmiri Traditional Dance) and the men folk danced to the very popular spoof done by our biradari members in the US called Pheran Dance (spoof of Lungi Dance, a popular bollywood song). Soon the whole garden was full of all of us dancing, enjoying and having a grand time.

Ishita cutting the cake with kids
Ishita Pandita and Sandeep Pandita, a young couple from Harrow, brought in the cake (eggless) for the celebration of their adorable nephew's 2nd birthday. "Since you are all our family here, this was the best opportunity to celebrate our nephew's birthday amidst all of you and with your blessings for him as he celebrates it with his parents in India," said a happy Ishita.

As everyone settled into the evening's sombre mood, everyone moved to the puja area to begin the Bhajan Sandhya. The Bhajan Sandhya started around 7 pm with Ganesh Vandana, then progressing into Krishna Bhajans, Vishnu bhajans and everyone participated wholeheartedly. By around 1 pm everyone then began singing patriotic songs and it was a highly emotional and charged up environment. The singing of patriotic songs brought childhood memories and tears of joy, pain, love and extreme emotion in all of us. Slowly with dawn fast approaching, the mood lightened up and bollywood old songs took over, moving into ghazals, favourite songs.

In all, yet another amazing community get together, bringing the KPs in the UK closer. It was as usual very heartening to welcome some new faces to the group and see them dance, sing and even make the pakoris! The spirit of KPCS lives on...

Lakshmi Kaul

1 comment:

  1. Nice! I'D like to be a part of the KP meets in London. Pls keep me posted.
    Sujay Kaul


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