“Birds of a feather flock together” is a very old proverb that we are all familiar with. Two wise men viz. Dr Sudhakar Rao and Mr Seetharam Kamath had many a discussion in 1985 in bringing together the flock of Konkanis in the UK and the first meeting for this was held in May in 1986 at Kingsbury in London. Since then the Sabha has been growing in strength, gathering Konkanis both young and old, from up and down the country and from all walks of life to celebrate our rich cultural heritage and enjoy festivals together.
The Silver Jubilee was on the August Bank Holiday weekend which was from 27th to 29th August in 2011 and the venue for the event was the YHA at Stratford-upon-Avon. A marquee was erected on the spacious grounds so that we could all be together for the sit down dinner dance on Saturday evening, enjoy the Anand Mela on Sunday at lunchtime and be entertained by the home grown talents in the evening.
The event as Saturday evening kicked off with an invocation sung beautifully by our young Konkanis followed by the lighting of the lamp and a welcome address by our chairperson Sadanand Nayak. Our secretary Jayanarayan Bhat followed on with a tribute and felicitation to the families of the founder members. The cake was cut by members who were celebrating their 25th Birthday in 2011 – Leela Prabhu and Arun Kamath (Sunil Kamath was unable to attend due to exams) after which the festivities began with professional entertainment provided by the DJ for the evening Man from Africa and energetic Bollywood dancing by the Desi Nach group. The catering for the evening was provided by Shivalli restaurant from Leicester comprising of mouth-watering South Indian dishes.
Sunday morning festivities began with the youngsters expending their energies on the bouncy castles that were erected on site for the Anand Mela. The stalls at the Anand Mela consisted of games such as ball-in-the-bowl, hook the duck, toss the ring, coconut shy, name the teddy and other stalls such as wishing well and fortune cookies, pocket money toys, mehndi and nail painting, bangles and bindis, pick and mix, balloons and palm reading.
The entertainment on Sunday evening began with a brilliant rendering of Bharata Natyam by the Natarajan sisters who are our most talented young Sabha members. This was followed by songs by Nimish Ubhayakar accompanied on the guitar by Arun and backing vocals by Sumedh Rao, and some lovely old Hindi tunes being played on the mouth organ by Ashwin Mallya. The evening was rounded off by announcing the winners of the door prizes and the name the teddy stall followed by a scrumptious buffet and disco.
The catering for the evening was provided by Shivalli restaurant from Leicester comprising of mouth-watering South Indian dishes. All in all, each and every person who attended the event was gushing over how much they enjoyed the event. The weekend lived up to its name of Silver Jubilee in providing sterling silver class entertainment to all.
Writeup by Shambhavi Kamath
Watch the Photo Glimpses of the events below
Devi Stuti by Natarajan Sisters
Neele Neele Ambar by Nimish Ubhayakar
Mumbai Meri jaan By Ashwin Mallya
BharatNatyam Dance by Natarajan Sisters
Lalchadi by Nimish Ubhayakar