Incredible India guests were greeted with a shower of rose petals tossed by traditionally dressed ladies and had the opportunity to meet “Lord Ram” and “Princess Sita” characters, provided by award-winning Mount Madonna School’s Ramayana. (Preston Merchant)
Life Chiropractic College West hosted the Incredible India Extravaganza at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, Aug. 8, which was enjoyed by over 400 attendees.
As the closing ceremony of a top chiropractic event of the year called The WAVE, the Incredible India Extravaganza was a high-energy evening to celebrate the rich culture of South Asia. Guests were treated to exotic food samplings from Celebrity Chef Arvind Bhargava of Turmeric Restaurant in Sunnyvale. Chef Bhargava has cooked for world leaders including King of Jordan, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, President Clinton, and Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
Attendees, a majority whom were non-Indians, learned how to make colorful ribbon-adored dandiya sticks, decorate their hands with natural Indian temporary tattoos from Henna and got to dress up at the photo station which transported guests to the streets of Bombay in a moment. Rangoli artwork, a traditional Indian floor artwork using colorful sands, were led by Samir Chauhan, Bonita Bhaskaran, and Pavithra Raman.
Guests were greeted with a shower of rose petals tossed by traditionally dressed ladies and had the opportunity to meet Lord Ram and Princess Sita characters, provided by award-winning Mount Madonna School’s Ramayana! On the large screens, The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center presented a photo tribute prior to the live show.
Latin-Indian fusion pioneer and ESPN-featured, Giju John performed his new single, Mas’ Bhangraton, featuring Los Angeles-based hip-hop artist Mixman Shawn. The nation’s hottest Indian fitness craze, BollyX put on an amazing upbeat performance preceded by Trisha Chhanganlal Kapadia, LTR Dance doing traditional Kathak dancing to modern Bollywood music.
“It was marvelous to see so many non-Indians participating in the event,” said executive producer and Life West chief communications officer, Diana Rohini LaVigne. “People embraced the Indian selfie station, so many feet tapped rythmically along to the music of Giju John, many created their own dandiya sticks and henna lines never let up till after the event ended. A magical moment happened just after the live show when the BollyX team encouraged the audience to dance. I’ve never seen a dance floor so packed and the chairs for watching were completely empty. Even non-dancers took to the dance floor eager to participate. Non-Indians and Indians alike doing Bhangra moves together was a beautiful moment.”
Incredible India Extravaganza special guests included Manu Jagmohan Singh, secretary general, NRI Institute (New Delhi); Dr. K.J. Srinivasa, Deputy Consul General of India; Dr. Jimmy Nanda, founder of Indian Association of Chiropractic Doctors; Dr. Brian Kelly, Life West president; Dr. Ron Oberstein, Life West Board of Regents; Ketan Shah, founding member and president of The South Asian MBA Association; Neerja Raman, distinguished scholar at Stanford University and WITI Hall of famer; Rajesh Setty, serial entrepreneur and author and Dr. Sunil Vemuri memory prosthesis and wearable technology expert that was named ‘CNN Explorer.’
In addition to the entertainment, Incredible India had the opportunity to honor Indian-Americans doing something incredible. The five Outstanding Achievement award winners were:
Saagar Gupta, a youthful serial entrepreneur who won the “National Title in Innovation” by Microsoft Imagine Cup (the world’s largest technology competition).
Dr. Lipi Roy, a physician with the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program and Massachusetts General Hospital and is also an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. In addition to treating Boston’s neglected homeless population, she has cared for the underserved in Nicaragua and India. Dr. Roy launched a healthy spices website and is also a regular contributor to Boston Herald Radio.
Ray Walia, producer of the film, The Forgotten Daughters. This film targets the practice of female feticide and gender inequality. The film is now making its way around global film festivals. A successful entrepreneur and budding philanthropist, he focuses his support towards orphanages, under-privileged schools, and battered women.
Shalini Nataraj, supported human rights globally through strategic philanthropy for over three decades. She is a well-known expert on women’s rights and is also a founder of several organizations focused on ending trafficking, improving the lives of immigrant women and on promoting secularism and democracy in South Asia.
Mount Madonna School’s Ramayana! an annual production in which the entire student body takes part. This magical theatrical production of drama, dance and song has been entertaining audiences for over 35 years. Co-producers Anurag Christine White and Nicole Tervalon, along with Lord Ram and Princess Sita characters, accepted the award on behalf of the school.
NRI Institute’s Manu Jagmohan Singh delivered a short speech and presented an appreciation award to Life West’s India Club during the program and the evening’s festivities were emceed by journalist Anser Hassan, who works with ABC.