From Mauja Hi Mauja to Brazilian Somberero to Khali Bali


By Neena Badhwar

India Club’s Diwali night gets booked in advance with people planning what to wear months in advance. It happens every year and this night was no exception they all came dressed to dazzle despite the electric storm that was sweeping through Sydney. Inside the hall spirits are high as people mix and mingle. Julian Leeser, MP talks about a new chapter in Oz-India relations with the government’s release of India Economic Strategic Report to 2035 by Peter Varghese ”“roadmap for unlocking opportunities that will help India and Australia grow together, but is anyone listening when he says that the two nations are marching on to new era of friendship. Leeser is a strong supporter of India Club activities and happy to please all with his dance to ”˜mauja hi mauja’, a Punjabi number. Phones light up from all sides as people record his dance cheering him and he is in high demand afterwards for a pic. Ricardo Ritchie’s girls and boys entertain with Brazilian somberero and the fashion parade is equally enchanting and so is the bagpipe music by Bagpipe Masters.

India Club under Shubha and Akshay Kumar’s stewardship has reached many milestones. One when India Club got NSW government to light up the Opera House sails during Diwali and the others are when its patrons work hard through out the year in helping to hold sessions on DV prevention, Senior rights, Mental health and many more issues. India Club Is not just a club to enjoy but a platform that works on many important fronts. Its main two pet projects that the club is involved in is ”“ Breaking the Barriers: of Isolation, low self esteem, cultural barriers helping to provide safe space where its members meet on a monthly basis. Another one is Spark The Change ”“ meaning Speak Up if you want to be an agent of change. Besides these objectives says Shubha Kumar, the President of India Club, “We project our club as a family fun organisation as it holds starting from the year Valentine celebration, then Holi, Diwali and a Christmas dinner with some musical extravaganza evenings thrown in here and there.”

Yet tonight is the night to let the hair down. Everyone is in a mood to celebrate, though Liberals have lost badly in the unlosable seat of Wentworth, no one is bothered that Indian candidate Dave Sharma has lost to Independent Dr. Karyn Phelps. One can hear some whispers but it has not dampened the Diwali mood even the storm has not stopped people who have come in huge numbers to celebrate and enjoy a night which will announce the India Club Star 2018.  Everyone claps when Donna Fraser comes forward to receive the honour in recognition of her tireless volunteer work. Also three charities ”“ Lifeline, Hills Relay for Life and Lisa Harnam Foundation get a Diwali cheque of $250 each by India Club in recognition of the work they do.

Says Shubha Kumar, “We have at India Club achieved what we set out but I have now different set of goals and would like to take the Club to new heights. We owe this to our community.”

India Club members support the objectives of the club and are actively involved in its activities   yet at times they go into music mood with sold out musical evenings with Diwali their star event, says Shubha, “It is solely the work of Akshayji. He organises everything, the evening and the entertainment and obviously the food.”

“We decided to honour tireless, selfless members in our community who work quietly. There is proper judging criteria which the Club has set out to pick people who are making a worthwhile contribution to the society.”

Guests who equally enjoyed the Diwali celebration put up by India Club were Damien Tudehope, NSW MLA Epping; Julian Leeser, Federal MP from Berowra; Matt Kean, NSW MLA Hornsby, Nallika Padmsena, Solicitor, Senior Right Services, Marissa Mohan Monteiro of CMRC, Mala Mehta OAM and Jaya Chivukula of Multicultural NSW; Dr. Michelle Burn, Mayor Hills Shire Council and Councillor Ryan Tracey.

At the end it is the Fitoori and Khali Bali dance by Jyoti Dixit that brings all to the floor when all the food and feasting and Mithai is forgotten because they are all in a mood to dance.

Outside there is line for pics at the India Club booth and of course, the storm has died down, though not inside, it is the Diwali revellers of the club having a ball.



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