It is easy to travel in either direction from London fo important celebrations in our India or USA Ashram. I was fortunate to go to India to have GuruMaa’s darshan for Holi, and attend the grand function planned by the Trustee Board in India.
Other disciples had already arrived, for instance, Mokshpriya from Delhi and Akshatmitra from Chennai . By the time I had reached, GuruMaa had planned the program in detail. Responsibilities were assigned for all the tasks, and all the volunteers had started arriving. All the artists had also arrived. Representatives from the TV and press media arrived promptly for the press conference. Ashray Hotel was decorated beautifully, the stage was ready and the Guests of Honors arrived on time. Except for a Bollywood actress, everyone was there on time. Besides the Indian classical music and dance program. GuruMaa’s new books were also being released that evening. When I went to the venue, it was bright, sunny and hot. By the program was to start, it had cooled down. That was the beauty of the weather in Lonavala. Mr. Sahay was to be the Master of Ceremony. Mokshpriya and Yagymitra opened the program with the holy mantras, the AVIDES competition winners took the stage and enthralled the audience. The audience had grown to be more than 200 with guests arriving not only from Lonavala, but also from Pune and Mumbai.
Sweekar Katti on Sitar, Rishi Upadhyaya on Pakhawaj, Prateeksha Kashi with her Kuchipuddi, Dhanashree Natu with her Kathak dance and Asavari Deglurkar were just amazing talent discovered by the AVIDES Foundation. They had wowed the audience in New York, and now had done so at Lonavala too. The highlight of the evening was, of course, the performance of Sangeet Martandya, Padma Vibhushan, Ved Shiromani, Pandit Jasrajji. He performed all my favourite numbers, including Shivoham, Shivoham and Sri Hanumat Lala.
Highlight of the evening was the release of GuruMaa’s new books, Sri Hanumat Upasana Sangrah and Names according to Nakshatra. The Guest of Honors, Jain Muni Sri Manak Muniji Maharaj, Mr and Mrs. Jasraji and Padma Bhushan Smt. Rajshree Devi Birla inaugurated the books, and then handed the prizes to the AVIDES winners. Pushpaji Khandelwal made a heart warming speech, and GuruMaa blessed all the artists, devotees and audience members. Tasty dinner was served to all the guests. The program was covered by ZeeTV globally, and more than 20 articles were published in a wide-ranging local, regional and national newspapers.
GuruMaa had asked me to leave around 10 pm, and had assured me that I would reach the airport in time. Mishraji, my friend’s driver entertained me with mantras and katha from Sri Ram Charitra Manas. And, as GuruMaa had predicted, I reached in time to catch my return flight for an exciting week-end trip to India for the Holi program.
Jai Sri Hanuman!