HAPPENINGS AT ISW
A recap of the ISW Gala 2022 - Jalsa with Sudesh Bhosle
By ISW eSandesh Youth Reporter, Tharegha Manoharan
10 years ago. The same, breathtaking place. The same, encouraging crowd. The India Society of Worcester (ISW) proudly celebrated their success in fulfilling their vow for a bigger, better center for the community this past Saturday, September 17th. A decade ago, ISW took their first steps towards a new center at a similar gala during their 50th year celebration. Today , ISW successfully achieved their dream of expanding their center in Shrewsbury doubling from 4000 to 10,000 square feet!
To honor this accomplishment, which was achieved flawlessly despite a worldwide pandemic, an impressive gathering of over 250 patrons met at Worcester’s historic Mechanics Hall celebrating this outstanding feat and displaying their support accompanied by the one and only Shri. Sudesh Bhosle, the inimitable voice of Amitabh Bachhan.
The event started with a red carpet welcome and complimentary valet service for guests, enthusiastically greeted by ISW volunteers. Upon entering, a commemorative photo portrait was taken as a way to remember this exciting evening on the magnificent staircase. Many guests stopped by the Silent Auction room, a first for ISW, and the Youth Room, which was a welcome respite for younger kids. As guests arrived in the main hall for the cocktail reception, it was a sight to see – friends catching up with one another, meeting new people, enjoying the bright atmosphere, especially at an event this grand after so many years.
Speaking to the many donors who supported the society, it was apparent how the society played an important role in maintaining community connections. For many, the India Society of Worcester became one of the first places to connect with others. Now decades later the growth of ISW is a dream come true mainly due to the hard work of all its volunteers over these past years, who have transformed this mere “community center” into a special place for the ISW family. From its humble beginnings when dance and singing lessons had to be held in someone’s garage to the bustling, large ISW Center today fills their chests with pride.
Talking to the various people contributing to an event like this, it made me realize how much appreciation we had for one another. Long time ISW member, Mr. Barin Bando, emphasized how much effort had to be put in to plan such a gala. He also mentioned how everyone attending the gala was always there to lend a hand, whether it be in the past or the present. Gala Chair, Shiamin Melville, said that it was a fabulous evening that was made possible with the dedication and effort of the numerous ISW volunteers.
This gala not only celebrated the success of ISW’s expansion, but also the accomplishment of most of their ISW Vision 2020 goals by creating a a home away from home. As Mr. Puneet Kohli, president of ISW, said, “The ride just keeps getting better and better.” He attests to this by comparing ISW’s accomplishments today with where it was when he first joined 18 years ago. Mr. Balki Chanrakasan, ISW Secretary, takes great pride in declaring how ISW has reached a whole other level to truly connect to the entire community, breaking all social barriers, as proved by events such as this gala.
The social hour was followed by a delicious dinner consisting of a variety of mouthwatering selections catered by Bawarchi and was followed by a video by Sandeep Shah that summed up the efforts and achievements of ISW. With the new ISW Center, the video highlighted how ISW truly was the place where its members could learn, play, celebrate, grow, help others in the community.
Mr. Puneet Kohli took the stage reminiscing about the promises made at the 2013 gala to grow ISW, the first step in that direction with the bhoomi puja, and the challenges of construction during the covid pandemic. Through it all, friends and ISW members called to encourage the team to continue the important work. With their support and encouragement, ISW was able to successfully open the doors of the newly expanded center in 2021 fulfilling their commitment to the community: to families, to kids, the youth, and their senior supporters. Since its opening, ISW has already held over a hundred events at the new center! Beyond celebrating cultural events, Free Health Stop and returning to in person ISW School's language classes, the new center allows ISW to bring the community together with a range of activities from ISW Symphony in music, art and creative projects; ISW University with a range of offerings from 3D printing to tutoring; ISW Professional and Entrepreneurial Network with topical panels and discussions; ISW Sports offering activities from pickleball to chess; and ISW Women Empowering Women bringing together women to share experiences and encourage each other’s endeavors. Not to forget the Humrahee meetings returned with new activities for the young at heart.
Mr. Sanjay Shah, the chair for the fundraising committee for ISW, thanked the supporters and donors, many who were in the room, for their support. This was shown by the fact over half the initial project estimate was raised in 2018 the year the project was launched. He acknowledged that ISW has been built on the shoulders of volunteers, many present at the gala, along with community members who have contributed to the growth of ISW.
This led to the main event of night, the long-awaited performance of the one and only Mr. Sudesh Bhosle, a playback singer for countless Bollywood films, and especially known for his enthusiastic rendering of favorite songs. He was joined by his son, Mr. Siddhanth, and accompanied by Mrs. Sunita Kapur, her daughters and a team of musicians that came from New Jersey. A special addition to this talented group, was ISW’s own Mrs. Sarita Deshpande. The performers enchanted the audiences’ heart, and drew them towards the stage, where they broke into dance to the popular, energetic songs. After a short break to replenish their energy with desserts and tea, the fun-filled event carried on till 11pm.
The most heart-warming moment for me was my conversation with Mr. Shyam Sharma, one of the founders of the India Society of Worcester back in 1962 when there were a mere 13 Indians in the area. Beginning as the Indian Association and growing into ISW, the number of people involved has grown from 13 to over 10,000 today. Mr. Sharma describes himself as part of the history of ISW, watching the physical growth of the community, supporting each other through different needs, and celebrating with each other. It doesn’t matter how you first connected to ISW, it always provides opportunities to create more connections.
ISW Durga Puja 2022 Five days of celebrations
Scroll down and click on the PUJA you wish to attend
Since there are multiple days/ events, a separate registration is needed for each day It will help us in setting up. Thanks
MAHA SASTHI PUJA | Saturday, Oct 1
10am - 1pm: Pratima decoration, doors are open for worshippers evening
SAPTAMI PUJA | Sunday, Oct 2
12:30 - 2pm: Saptami Puja
2pm Prasad distribution
5.30pm - 7pm Evening aarti and Puspanjali, Bhajan Shradha Agarwal
7pm - 9pm Cultural program followed by dinner
Supriyo Datta-Vocalist, Indranil Mallick-Tabla, Oindrila Roy Mallick-Dance
Dinner contribution $20 family and children under 16, $10 per person
MAHA ASHTMAI PUJA | Monday, Oct 3
11am Puja performed by Pandit Shiv Ram Sharma 6pm - Talented musicians from Berklee School of music, Vocalists Prithvi Prakash and Nandini Samanta, Tabla Upasak Mukherjee, Violin Pranav Swaroop and Hana Uwai on Keyboard.
MAHA NABAMI PUJA | Tuesday, Oct 4
12pm - Puja & Prashad
6pm Musical program by local talents.
DASHAMI PUJA | Wednesday, Oct 5
11 am Visarjan, Ladies sindoor ceremony
508-330-9973 Nisha Bawa 508-864-9875 Barin Bando
Any questions contact email@example.com
.Nisha Bawa, Chair, ISW Religious Committee.
For more info, click here
The versatile genius Sudesh Bhosle is coming to perform at ‘Jalsa - a melange of old and new Bollywood songs’ for ISW Gala 2022 event. The ‘Jalsa’ is happening at Mechanic’s Hall on September 17, 2022. The legendary singer is heading our way and this entertaining show is not to be missed.
Popularly known as ‘voice of Amitabh Bachhan’ - Mr. Bhosle has sung many songs for Mr. Bachhan. He can’t get off the stage without singing one of the most favored songs `Jumma Chumma De De from the movie ‘Hum’ (1991). His brilliant mimicry of numerous Bollywood stars leaves his fans asking for more. Sudesh Bhosle will be bringing his band with singer Sunita Kapur (New Jersey)
Since singing for the film Zalzala (1988) and Ghatothkach in 2008. Bhosle is the producer and judge on K For Kishore, a singing contest on Sony Entertainment Television. He has sung many famous Bollywood songs for Amitabh Bachchan including "Jumma chumma de" from 1991 movie Hum, "Meri Makhna Meri Soniye" from Baghban and others. His brilliant mimicry of numerous Bollywood stars leaves his fans asking for more. When he is on stage, there is no need for others.
We would love for you to join us, enjoy the stunning ambience at Mechanics Hall with great entertainment and food. You will remember this for a long time
‘Jalsa - for ISW Gala 2022 is a fundraising event. Fundraising has been underway since 2013 for our own India Center expansion. We are sure you have seen the progress over the last several years with India Center Expansion. What you may not know is that the building and the facility you see have been made possible by the generosity of our community. The original expansion was planned at a cost of $1.7 million and would have been good for the short term, but we would have felt constrained in a few years. The community encouraged us to go for long term needs, and the facilities you see now were put together at a cost of $2.55 million. Our experience of last year tells us that this was a smart decision. The Center is humming with activities geared for all members of our community.
The community has continued to support ISW with their financial support. The expansion has been completed with a loan from a bank and we would like to pay it off at our earliest. The ‘Jalsa - ISW Gala 2022’ program will include cocktail hour, dinner, music, and dancing. We need your support to make this event successful and pay off a significant portion of the loan
Cocktail hour at 5.30 pm
Dinner at 6.30 pm
Musical program and dancing to follow
Pledge levels and form
We have multiple pledge levels as shown on the pledge form. Along with your donations we have a nominal charge of $100 per person to cover the cost of dinner and program. Two persons are allowed for each donation. Event will have assigned seating. We are offering complimentary parking and care in the Youth Room.
The following joint statement was released by Indian community organizations of New England in response to the recent acts of hate and violence in Plano Texas
Condemnation of Hate and Violence – From New England Asian American Organizations
We the representatives of Indian American organizations in New England and our allies, strongly condemn the recent act of anti-Asian violence in Plano, Texas. We are very disturbed by this and recently increased acts of violence and hate crimes against Indians, South Asians, and Asian Americans in general. We do commend the Plano Police department for responding to the incident with urgency and understanding.
Asian Americans, like all other immigrants, have made significant contributions to this great land despite facing ongoing prejudice based on accents, color, religion, or perceptions of leadership or other abilities.
We believe in the fair treatment of all human beings regardless of age, education level, race, ethnicity, gender expression and identity, nationality, national origin, creed, accent, physical and mental ability, political and religious stance, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, socioeconomic status, veteran status, profession, or any other human differences.
We unequivocally and unapologetically condemn the divisive forces of hate, inequity, and injustice. We stand united in love and peace and stand against racist, discriminatory, violent acts against any community.
Together, we say to those who are victims of such acts, “We see you; we hear you; we stand with you.”
Respectfully and in solidarity
India Association of Greater Boston (IAGB) India Society of Worcester (ISW)
Saheli Boston Blackstone Valley India Society, Boston Chapter
ADL New England North America Telugu Society, Boston Chapter
Asian Community Fund India Association of New Hampshire
Colette Phillips, Founder Get Konnected
Natick’s annual Multicultural Day celebrates the many cultures within the community through food, music, dance, and performances. Organized by the Natick Center Cultural District, this year’s event was the sixth annual Multicultural Day and ISW Symphony’s Dhol-Tasha group performed at the event as one of the invited participants.
Held in person after a couple of years online, the Common Street Spiritual Center in Natick Center hosted performances from diverse cultures including performances by the Natick India Group, traditional Irish dance, classical Chinese Dance and Story, Qi Gong exercise, Klemzer and Drum Nomad bands, and Natick Praying Indians. Symphony’s Dhol-Tasha performance was held outdoors on the adjacent Natick Commons.
The Dhol Tasha group performed a routine that featured five different styles of beats. In addition to traditional beats from Maharashtra, it also included a garba style beat from Gujarat and a bhangra style beat from Punjab. The audience on the Natick Commons was enthralled by the energetic beats. Kids, adults, and grandparents alike erupted in a spontaneous dance participation. Some enthusiastic audience members even played the “lejhim”, danced the “jhenda”, and played the “jhanj” alongside the drumbeat, creating a fabulous “Symphony”.
India's 75th Independence Day celebration - ISW (India Society of Worcester)
Remembering our past is extremely important. But we also have to think about building our future. Let's do everything to keep our freedom and carry it through the years. Happy Independence Day!"
As the above quote says ISW is here to remember our past couple years of pandemic but to think positive and spread the happiness and build our future by gathering our community together to celebrate our Independence Day after 2 years of gap due to COVID-19.
India's 75th Independence Day was celebrated by our ISW community at the grand venue of DCU Center-Worcester past Saturday, (August 6th).
The program was filled up with captivating cultural programs, Ethnic shopping vendors and local business booths, Play area for kids, Art fair, Food vendors, Health stop and many more attractions.
The entire day's event kicked off by an incredible Parade consisting of 'Dhol Tasha Lezim' performance by our community volunteer enthusiasts. Great formations of Lezim players and Dhol Tasha players caught the eye of each of the spectators there.
This year's cultural program theme was 'Panchatatva - 5 elements of nature - Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Space. The stage performances included presentations by different groups like Natyamani School of Dance, Ekta's Dance Academy, Aangikam Dance Academy, Performing arts of New England, ISW Cultural committee, Bolly Beatzz, etc. Some admirable performances also involved our Humrahee group where seniors who are young at heart stepped up the stage to celebrate an independence by singing medley of Patriotic songs in full energy and enthusiasm.
The Bazaar section of this event was extremely appreciated by attendees where one could enjoy the shopping of ethnic clothings and accessories from local business, one could enjoy visiting many non profit organization booth with many free giveaways or get more information of their work. Many folks enjoyed and loved eating delicious Indian food from multiple food vendors like Bawarchi and Chennai Express.
The kids zone near the entrance of the DCU center had lots of fun elements such as cotton candy, popcorn, play area, face painting and more.
This year ISW put forth beautiful artwork done by our community artists and some professional artists. The art fair had a lot of artistic bags, purses, architectural designed paintings, some great acrylic paintings, and madhubani paintings, etc.
One of our ISW's unique features of such events is a booth for ISW Health Stop. ISW Health Stop offered free COVID vaccines during this event and many attendees took advantage of the same.
The guest of honor for the event was Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty who graciously handed out ISW scholarships to the youth who had achieved academic as well community work excellence in their high school career.
The full day event ran from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM with more than 3000 attendees at the DCU center.
Around 35 committee members and more than 100 volunteers were working towards this event for 3 months.
The organization has earned one more successful feather in their hat. Thanks to all the volunteers, participants and vendors.
Big shout out to the sponsors of this event - DCU Bank, UNI Bank, eClinicalWorks, and Webster five.
PC credit - Anil Nair
Click here to view the pictures of the event
Hi all, thanks to our wonderful volunteers, we still offering a variety of classes even now, do check it out
UPCOMING EVENTS INDIA CENTER 152 Main Street, Shrewsbury, MA
ISWU & ISW Sports: Chess Beginners & Intermediate Classes (in person)
8 Aug 2022 3:00 PM
ISWU Spanish classes camp (in person) 8th graders
8 Aug 2022 4:00 PM
ISWU and IIT AGNE: Summer 3D Printing Workshop Grade 1+
10 Aug 2022 6:00 PM
ISWU Online Intro Vedic Math for Grade 3 and up, gym for the brain
19 Aug 2022 10:00 AM
ISWU SAT classes Geometry and Probability
3 Sept 2022 8:00 AM
ISW U Team
Usha Tanvi & Shiamin
Our Vendors -
Subash Chander Gupta passed away peacefully Thursday, April 7, 2022.
He passed away at the age of 79 surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife Sneh Gupta, his daughter and two sons, Shweta, Taneja and her husband Sanjay, Ish Gupta, and Gaurav Gupta and his wife Vidushi. He is blessed with his grandchildren, Paarth, Vaasu, Viraaj, Gauri, Geetika, and Vaani.
Subash was the son of the late Gokal Chand and late Leela Vati born May 8, 1942 in Lahore, India. He lived his early adult life in Madras where he completed his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Madras. In 1966 he married Sneh and they had an adventurous life moving to Ranchi, Delhi, Faridabad, and ultimately the United States in 1980. Initially settling in Andover, Massachusetts, he lived there for 26 years after which moved to Shrewsbury.
Having traveled widely throughout the world for work, Subash believed that the United States was the land of opportunity and the country where you could have an ‘idea’ and mold it into whatever you wanted. He firmly believed that one should make an impact in your field and give back to your community.
In engineering, he continued his training to become an expert in quality assurance attaining several higher level certifications. In his role as lead quality assurance engineer, he helped introduce high quality Bose speakers and make them a household name. Later, he joined Raytheon and continued his quality assurance work in defense projects until his retirement.
Being a firm believer in giving back to one’s community, he actively engaged in a variety of community societies including India Society of Worcester, United India, and VHP. In these endeavors, he engaged in growing the societies with multiple active leadership roles. People would look to him to be an arbitrator between contesting thoughts. Having strong spiritual beliefs, he advanced his knowledge of Hinduism and our connection with the universe. He was one of the founding member of Sarva Dev Mandir in Oxford, Massachusetts and actively engaged in its operations.
Calling hours will be held between 3 - 5pm on Sunday, April 10th at Hays Funeral Home, 56 Main Street, Northborough, MA 01532. A private cremation to follow the next day.
Shanti Puja followed by Memorial service and lunch at ISW India Center from 12.00 noon Sunday, April 17th. RSVP to Gaurav Gupta.
ISW mourns the passing of Shobha Shastry, a staunch ISW supporter and life member, who touched people far and wide with her selfless service to the community. We will miss her vivacious personality and generous spirit. Om Shanti. A compilation of memories of Shobha from the ISW community in celebration of her life is on the ISW Website.
ISW will be holding a celebration of Shobha's life on April 8th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the ISW India Center. More info and registration on the ISW Website.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Shobha for the education of Shobha's granddaughter Suhana Sundari Sullivan may be made to a college fund set up in her name. Please mail checks to:
Account owner FBO Sahana Shastry
The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan
C/O 44 Carriage Hill Rd, Northborough, MA 01532
Thank You. Any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Shobha Shastry was born in Mosur, Chennai to CM Krishna Shastri and Shivagami Sundari Iyer. She is survived by her father CM Krishan Shastri, Daughter Shyla Shastry, Grand-daughter Sahana Sullivan, Brother Ravi Shastri, Sister-in-law Malathi Shastri, Nephew and Niece Mahadev and Revathi Shastri respectively. She is predeceased by her husband Sharad Y. Shastri and her mother Sundari Shastri. She passed away peacefully on March 23, 2022 in Marlborough, MA.
Shobha’s childhood and youth were highlighted by enjoying life and laughing with friends - charming others with her strong, loving personality. She was an artistic savant, specifically in painting and
drawing. Her creative genius also manifested itself in the theater, as she cultivated and honed her acting skills, displaying her adept ability to capture an audience and win others over.
At the age of 19, she was engaged to Sharad Y. Shastry of Vellore. Shobha moved to the United States and married Sharad in Westborough, Massachusetts when she was 24. Shobha and Sharad were married for 25 amazing years until his untimely passing.
Shobha had numerous achievements but, most notably, was the founder and CEO of Alankar Event Planners and Decorators, providing wedding services, decorations and mandaps in New England for 25 years and helping thousands of couples get married. She was one of the first female Indian American entrepreneurs in New England and was known for her gold-star service, always fulfilling her commitments to her clients. In addition, she was a part of many other non-profit organizations such as the Indian Society of Worcester and Tamil Sangam.
The spirit of Shobha could be described in many ways. She was an inspiration to all with her generosity and her ability to accept everyone as if they were her own. Shobha was a carefree, fun-loving, selfless, larger-than-life character whose devotion towards others was boundless. The happiness she brought to everyone was unparalleled and her presence alone could light up an entire room.
Her wake will be held at Rice Funeral home located on 300 Park Avenue, Worcester, MA on Sunday, March 27th, 2022 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The family will be holding the funeral as a private ceremony. They respectfully ask those who would like to pay their respects to attend the wake. In lieu of flowers, if you would like to make any contributions in Shobha’s memory to her granddaughter’s college fund, please contact her brother, Ravi Shastri, or Kasi Viswanathan.