NEW YORK (TIP): Jackson Heights Market place is known as Little India. Once, the hub of Indian businesses, it now is more diverse in demographic character with Pakistani and Bangla Deshi businesses having elbowed their way. The demographics may have changed but not the overall character of the place. Jackson Heights Merchants Association celebrates Diwali with all enthusiasm and gusto that have been associated with the event for the last so many years. Diwali, this year, is being celebrated on coming Sunday, October 14th.
The Indian Panorama asked JHMA President Shiv Dass as to what special attraction was being offered this Diwali mela. He candidly said it was entertainment which reminded me of the heroine of Dirty Pictures who had said the movie offered entertainment, entertainment, entertainment. Good to begin with. The next question to Mr. Dass was what kind of entertainment was one to come across and he said, in the first place, an entertainment group from Mumbai will be there to entertain, supported by local artists. Then there will be shops that will offer wares of diverse variety which must please the visitors. Mr. Dass estimated the number of visitors this year to cross last year’s number of 10,000. He said, in all 30 booths have been allotted to traders while another 20 booths have been given to sponsors that include the grand sponsors Air India and Patel Bros. Besides the two, there are a number of organizations that have
sponsored Diwali Mela this year. Mr. Shiv Dass spoke of some notable persons being honored . They include Rewo Norbhu, Air India Regional Manager Americas, Mahendra Patel of Patel Bros., Mustafa Akbar, Branch Manager, TD Bank, Mehmood Syed, Branch Manager Emeritus, Habib Bank, Detective Adriane Johnson, NYPD 115 Precinct and Davinder Verma, Owner of Kunal Jewelers. About the dignitaries arriving at the Diwali Mela, Mr. Dass said the number of dignitaries keeps growing every year. We will have this year our dear old friend Congressman Joseph Crowley, State Senator Jose Peralta, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Assemblywoman Grace Meng, Assemblyman Francisco P. Moya, Assemblyman Michael DenDecker, NY City Speaker Christine Quinn, City Advocate Bill de Blassio, City Comptroller John Liu, and Councilmember Daniel Dromm, besides some more
Mr. Dass said he invites all to come to an entertaining Diwali Mela. “This Sunday, all roads lead to Jackson Heights”, he quipped. So, get ready to be there to have fun.