Chicago IL: Hari Om Mandir celebrated their 28th Annual Fund Raising Dinner at the newly constructed Pearl Banquet Hall, this last Saturday, November 7, 2015. The gala event was attended by more than 200 people. Pearl Banquet was amazingly decorated for the event. The program was run on schedule and began promptly with a puja performed by the Mandir’s Pandit Dinesh Kumar. Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman, Mr. Ayodhia Salwan, Executive Board (EB) President, Indrajit Sarkar, and Fund Raising Chairman & EB Vice-President, Anil Saxena, lit the auspicious lamps and incense sticks.
Mr. Anil Saxena opened the evening by welcoming the guests and donors. He thanked everyone for their participation and in advance of their donations. He also outlined the events and schedule for the evening. After thanking the Executive Board and Board of Trustees for their help and guidance, he then turned the microphone over to the MCs of the evening, Mrs. Shalini Saxena and Mr. Gaurav Arora. As usual, they did a magnificent job of entertaining the crowd and kept the evening moving seamlessly.
The entertainment for the evening began with Mr. Shailendra Bhatnagar and Mrs. Bhavna Noto. Their familiar voices were appreciated by all and they sang a combination of old and new songs throughout the evening.
Executive Board President Indrajit Sarkar also addressed the audience. A portion of his comments included, “It is hard to believe that three years have passed since I began my tenure in the Executive Board and served as President. I consider myself very fortunate and proud to be working with a talented group of people who are very devoted and extremely capable. We all have one goal in mind and that is to take this Mandir to new heights. I would like to congratulate Mr. Anil Saxena, VP & Chairman of the Fund Raising Committee, for his hard and meticulous work to make this a grand event. I take this opportunity to thank the BOT Chairman Mr. A. N. Salwan and all the BOT members for continuous support. A temple is a state of mind. A temple is a place of tranquility and peace. A temple is the essence that sustains our day-to-day existence. No donation is small; every bit of donation counts a lot for the growth of our Mandir. I must thank everybody with gratitude. Thank you all for your support and trust shown in me during my tenure.”
After Mr. Sarkar completed his comments, the audience was treated to the melodious singing of Ms. Natasha Trikha, category winner of Chicago Indian Icon. Thereafter, Board of Trustees Chairman, Mr. Ayodhia Salwan, addressed the crowd. He began by appreciating the efforts of Anil Saxena and Indrajit Sarkar, highlighting how difficult it was to execute such a magnificent program. He also shared some achievements of Hari Om Mandir, informing everyone that the Mandir is now free from all loans. “There are no more bank loans; all the interest free loans (donations) from devotees have been paid off. We have worked very hard to achieve this goal. A new tower, by Crown Castle, has been installed next to the previous tower, which gives our Mandir extra income. The Building Committee has been working constantly on new projects to enhance our Mandir. For one year, they had been working on obtaining the permit for expansion of the parking. Finally, we got it! The project is set to begin this week.” At the end of his comments, he thanked everyone for their active participation and constant devotion to the Mandir.
The evening continued with song, dance, and scrumptious food. Recognition Awards were given to Ms. Raj Rawal and Mr. Satish Chander, for their selfless devotion to the Mandir and their constant efforts to help in any way they can. Mrs. Raj Rawal and her late husband Mr. Darshan Rawal have been dedicated devotees and longtime member of the Hari Om Mandir, since 1960s when it was called the Gita Society. Mrs. and late Mr. Rawal have served the Society with Tan, Man and Dhan. Late Mr. Rawal was very active in the Society and served as President, Chairman of Constitution Committee. Mr. Satish and his wife Mira Chander have always enjoyed being the devotees of Hari Om Mandir since 1995. They gladly and quietly work to serve and nurture our Mandir. Regardless of any formal position or title, they sincerely enjoy serving the Mandir in any task or role.
Mrs. Raj Rawal and her late husband Mr. Darshan Rawal have been dedicated devotees and longtime member of the Hari Om Mandir, since 1960s when it was called the Gita Society. Mrs. and late Mr. Rawal have served the Society with Tan, Man and Dhan. Late Mr. Rawal was very active in the Society and served as President, Chairman of Constitution Committee.
Fabulous raffle prizes, including a HD TV, electronic fireplace, and restaurant gift certificates were awarded to the lucky individuals whose numbers were called. Door prizes were also given to all the young children and kids that were present.
A Music Concert, comprising professional singers and fine musicians, made the evening worth-remembering for the guests. The renditions by the singers were thoroughly enjoyed by the seniors and the youngsters alike.
Shailendra Bhatnagar kick started the musical program with such hit numbers as “Mein Tenu Samjhawaa ki” and “Badan pe sitare lapete huwey”,
Bhavna Thakkar Noto continued the tempo by performing a number of all-time classics, including “Afsana like rahi hoon dile bekharaar ka”, “Jawan hai mohabbat”, etc.
On public demand, Shailendra and Ghavna sang duets, including “Aadha hai Chandra ma raat aadhi”, “Deewana mastana hua dil”, etc.
Natasha Trikha, Category winner of Chicago Indian Icon and her father, Sudhir Trikha, blended their vibrant voices with captivating music and created an extra-ordinary repertoire of both cinema music and ghazals.
“We are so grateful to have performed at the Annual Gala of the Hari Om Temple. We are moved by the special energy in the crowd”, said all the singers Natasha Trikha.
Pearl banquet was filled with compelling vocals when Natasha Lori Trikha opened her performance with Satyam Shivam Sunderam at the Hari Om Temple Fund Raiser. All of a sudden, there was pin drop silence, as if the audience found a new focal point. Yes, it was her melodious voice that captivated audience in this manner. Later, she was joined by her dad, Sudhir Trikha, a trained musician and a versatile singer. They sang many old and new songs and won accolades for their performance.
Natasha was born into a family of musicians. Natasha started to nurture her singing talent at a young age by learning vocal music from her father and later from Mani Majumdar Ji, a renowned Hindustani classical vocalist in Chicago. After consistently ranking first in various competitions she developed a more focused approach to music. In 2012, Natasha won the Zee TV Zing singing competition, which made her dreams come true by getting an opportunity to sing at her idol, Shreya Ghoshal’s concert. Her most recent triumph was at the Chicago Indian Icon, which was televised on Zee TV as the first Indian reality singing contest. She won first place in her age category of 16 to 31. After this, Natasha opened shows for Bollywood artists such as Falak Shabir and Mickey Singh.
Hari Om Mandir will continue its fund raising efforts until the end of the year. Anyone interested in making a donation or finding out more about the Mandir is encouraged to contact the Mandir or email Anil Saxena at Saxena.Anil@gmail.com.
Executive Board: Indrajit Sarkar, President; Anil Saxena, Vice President; Anita Rawal, Secretary; Gopal Tiwari, Treasurer; Aarty Singla, Special Events; Sham Taxali, Inside Property Management; Ramesh Bhardwaj, Outside Property Management; Ashok Sharma, Publication; Usha Verma, Food & Prasad.
Board of Trustees: Ayodhia Salwan, Chairman; Nirmal Bagga, Vice Chairman; Mohan Karamchandani, Secretary; Naveen Paul, Ram Verma, Mahendra Thakkar, Subhash Sharma, and Amar Singla
Priests: Pt. Dinesh Kumar
Source: Asian Media USA
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