by Bhargavi Golla
PEARLAND – Diwali, the festival of lights was celebrated with lot of enthusiasm at Sri Meenakshi Temple on October 26th, 2019. The festive look of the temple with colorful lights, huge tents and filled parking lots with thousands of people was all set for the celebration of grand spectacular Diwali. Diwali, or Deepavali, a Sanskrit word meaning “series of lighted lamps”. The festival signifies the triumph of good over evil as well as truth and knowledge.
The day started with 24rd annual free community Health fair at 9 AM and was inaugurated by dignitaries Hon. Mayor Tom Reid, Pearland, Kyle Price, CEO, Memorial Hermann, Kelly Ochoa Chief, Nursing Officer, Memorial Hermann, Rebecca Lilly Memorial Hermann, Joanne Barrett, Chief clinical officer, Kindred hospital. Service provided were Blood Pressure, EKG, Blood tests, Complete Blood Count, Metabolic Profile, Thyroid test, Lipid Profile, Dental Check, Eye Exam, Prostate Exam, Women’s wellness check and general Medical advice. Health Fair coordinator Dr. P. Vaduganathan thanked the Kindred Hospital for the generous support for the lab tests, Drs. Arun Narayanan, T. Dorairajan, Vijaya Kaila, Preethi Palvadi, Rama Rao Denduluri, Subhadra Bandhakavi. Subba Rao, Bhavani Iyer and Dr. Patel, students and residents.
This year we are blessed to have many dignitaries invited by Honarary President of MTS Sam Kannappan attend the Diwali Bazaar. Pearland Mayor Tom Reid, Pearland City Manager Clay Pearson, Brazoria County Commissioner Stacy Adams, UH Clear Lake President Dr. Ira Blake, UH Main campus Humanities Dean Antonio Tills, Heidi Weiss, ED, Pearland Alliance for Arts & Culture, Raul Franco Jr, Manager, Chase cut the ribbon and inaugurated the Diwali Bazaar 2019.
Youth Center was beautifully decorated by Décor One with yellow and purple theme, thanks to Nalini Kannan. More than 40 vendors had their beautiful items for sale, jewelry, saris, costumes, art works, paintings, and handicrafts that filled up the entire youth center. Under the food tent we had six local restaurants served authentic Indian food from morning 10 AM till mid-night.
There was a steady stream of devotees with families throughout the day to pray, shop and participate in many activities organized by MTS simultaneously for all age groups. Kids enjoyed the Carnival with rides, rock climbing, moonwalks and Arcades while parents were busy shopping. Thanks to this year Carnival coordinator Senthil Devaraj, Rajini Rajendran for coordinating arts workshop and Gopee Ravipati for leading the parking coordination along with the board and volunteers. Raja Gopuram was beautifully decorated with colorful lights and corner Mandapams with bright lights. Thanks to the generous devotees for sponsoring the lights.
Among the many attractions organized by MTS are the children’s cultural program. Brightly clad children entertained the visitors by displaying their wonderful talents. Budding artists participated in art workshop and rangoli competitions. This year Kumon, West University, sponsored the art workshop.
The traditional Lakshmi puja was conducted in the Main Temple at 11AM and at 6:30PM. Sri Lakshmi was then taken on a procession around the temple in a silver chariot. Several devotees took part in pulling the chariot rope to the resounding drumbeat of chenda melam.
Raffle tickets were sold throughout the day and raffle draw was conducted at 8:30PM. The raffle had many gift items like jewelry, art wall hangings and sarees. Thanks to generous sponsors Kirti Jewelers, Sehgal diamonds and others. Around 9:00 p.m. the grand professional fireworks show began with beautiful fireworks lit up the night sky in a blaze of glory. The crowd then joined in Garba and Dandia in front of Main Temple in Rajaveedhi.
This wonderful free event is a great voluntary effort. It takes a lot of work and even more planning to make it happen. MTS Chairman Dr. Padmini Nathan thanked the overall event coordinator Bhargavi Golla, board, advisory council, volunteers and employees of MTS for organizing such a flawless festival year after year.
We pray to Sri Meenakshi, Sri Sundareswara, Sri Padmavathi and Sri Venkateswara for a year of happiness and welfare to all.