Diwali – behind the scenes20/10/2009
The Diwali celebration was a grand success (thanks to all the participants –on stage, and off stage) and I am still unable to bring myself out of the festive mood (thanks to all the wonderfully written blogs). So I wanted to write down a jist of what happened behind the scenes which had made the event what it was!
A group of Indians , when I say Indians, I literally mean from all parts of the country – North, South, East and West India, got together and formed committees, all willingly agreeing to share their talents and work towards one cause ! Ripu, the (unanimously untold but silently accepted) coordinator of all committees and our big ‘dada’ was not only actively working all round the clock but also encouraging us all through.
Few weeks prior to Diwali….
One group took upon the responsibility of entertainment, the other – food and grocery shopping, yet another decoration and ambiance …so on and so forth…soon it became evident that the number of tasks ahead clearly outnumbered the number of committees. Multi tasking was readily taken up (or rather forced upon ). Nevertheless, all were enthusiastic enough to find time at the fag end of the day, after office hours, for meetings/rehearsals. I still remember wanting Shirin and Vijay to stay back for an infrastructure management discussion but they had to rush for their singing practice with Sureshji, Sumangala and Sunirmala. It was when I first heard them on stage that I realized how hard all of them must have practiced for such a wonderfully coordinated performance whilst also juggling between infrastructure management discussions/office/family. Ofcourse, it is to be admitted that before each meeting, at least 7-8 emails were sent back and forth and after each meeting suggestions and opinions were always more than actual decisions taken. Sometimes for every 5 steps forward, it seemed like we were forced to take 2 steps backward.
Sudarshan had the hardest job of all – taking care of the accounts and maintaining the expenses within the budget !! Very close to the Diwali date, the registrations had exceeded the grand total of 100 and we were forced to look for a new venue. This meant (a) total change of several planned stuff (b) bigger hall and higher rent and (c) as soon as possible. Sudarshan’s quick thinking and action to book the hall in Brabrand during this time is really laudable!
A couple of days prior to the D-day, Ripu was returning from an unexpected official trip he had to make and on the way to Aarhus he did most of the shopping for the appetizers/starters and some groceries as well. Such was his dedication! Cecilia’s involvement was no less, while on her trip to Italy, between spending time with her parents and managing her little daughter, she bought most of the gifts.
On the day of Diwali….
The early birds set the ball rolling starting from 10 a.m. in the morning. Abhijit Rangnekar’s efforts in taking charge of the infracture planning all along with Vidu (& co) and the execution was almost near to perfection. While Arcot’s innovative ‘find a chit and form the team’ Quiz was being rehearsed, cooking was taking place vigourously in the kitchen.
Cooking for about 120 people is no ordinary feat! Although Raghu, Ripu, Sudarshan, Vaishali were the main players in the field, it would have never been done on time without solid contributions from Abhijit Bendre, Arcot, Vidu, Vijay, Shirin and others. A full 3 course meal was managed (lot of credit goes to Raghu as evidenced in the ‘vadas’): entrée, main course and desert – and we were off to a great start….
Rest is a memorable history….
The early birds left the venue as nocturnal birds only after leaving the hall spic and span!
(Space is limited but contributions were unlimited,
So pardon me if I have missed out on any …
As I already mentioned,
This is only a jist of the contributions, aplenty )