NEW YORK (TIP): A premier Indian American foundation dedicated to preserving and promoting Indian history, culture and values organized, on Sunday, June 26, a classic cultural event to pay tribute to celebrated Indian heroes and saints.
Sriniketan Foundation run by Mrs. Purnima Desai who has been running for three decades another well known educational institution Shikshayatan organized a musical evening to pay tribute to the celebrated Rani Lakshmibai, queen of Jhansi kingdom on her martyrdom day. Another hero of India, Maharana Pratap was remembered on his birth anniversary. Similarly, a great saint Kabir was remembered on his birth anniversary. The evening was also dedicated to Ganga. The venue was Shikshayatan-Sriniketan Center located at 149-50 Northern Boulevard. in Flushing, New York.
Shikshayatan’s students- Sudipta started the program with a short prayer. She was accompanied by Sudeep on Tabla. Sudipta sang Sathya Sai bhajan “Prasann ho Sathya Sai Ganeshaa” followed by Saraswati Vandana, “Hey Sharde Maa”, Raag Bhairavi Chhota Khayaal “Bhavani Dayani” and Taranaa (Raag Bhupali).
Purnima Ji sang three bhajans. The first bhajan was “Bahati Gangaa” celebrating Gangaa Dasseraa and second was “Shyamal Shyaamal hai Krishna” describing Lord Krishna’s glory. Her last bhajan was dedicated to her SADGURU GURUNATH and all Gurus of GURU MANDALA. A versatile singer that she is, she got great appreciation from the audience. She was accompanied by famous artist from Kolkata, Anirban Dasgupta on Harmonium, top class artist Shivalik Ghosh on Tabla, Suresh Ketwarpe on Guitar. All three artists are not only modest but highly talented and experts in their areas.
Dr. Narsinha Kamath, a very popular flutist, played two film songs and one classical piece, Shivranjani Raag.
The highlight of the program was the performance by Bollywood playback singer and Music Director Sharda Rajan Iyenger who sang for more than an hour. Shardaji sang a few extraordinary devotional songs that were composed by her. Later Shardaji sang two songs – one was her old and classic famous song “Titli Udi” and another was an old song of her favorite and renowned singer Noorjahan. She kept the audience spellbound with her energetic voice.
Dr. Bindeshwari Aggarwal -an eminent poet sang one poem written by Subhadra Kumari Chohan on Lakshmibai “Khoob ladi mardani voh to Jhansi wali rani thi”. Dr. Aggarwal sang another small poem dedicating to Maharana Pratap.
Mrs. Neena Wahi came from Boston and recited her own poem “Kal Kaa Sapnaa” which was appreciated by the audience. She honored Purnima Ji with a handmade greeting card with Lord Ganesha’s picture on it, with the blessings for the success of Sriniketan Foundation.
Last but not the least was the great performance by Suresh Ketwarpe who sang some Bollywood songs, playing guitar.
Purnima Ji thanked the audience by distributing “Hanuman Chalisa” in the form of wallet sized cards in Hindi to keep as Raksha Sutra – a unique product of Sriniketan Foundation, for their valuable time and for gracing the function.
Purnima Ji recalled that her father’s dream was to have a center look and feel like PARADISE and all attendees not only see the center as PARADISE but also feel as if they entered in the realm of peace and tranquility. The sole purpose of Sriniketan isto give all entrants a feeling of bliss. Purnima Ji says it is happening it is happening with the grace of her Sadguru GURUNATH’s special blessings when he had visited Sriniketan Center. All attendees had Maha Prasad at the end of the program.