Friends of Madhya Pradesh celebrated their second annual Picnic at Liberty State Park in NJ on Sun 18th Sept, 2016. The weather was predicted to be inclement, but eventually turned out to be a ‘picnic- perfect’. The number of people attending (close to 200) and venue were double in size from last year.
The whole day Picnic was a grand success, with participation from people of all parts of NY NJ tristate and with origins in different bigger cities and many small towns of M.P : viz. Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Sagar, Ujjain, Ratlam, Dewas. Incidentally, the timing of this Picnic was just two weeks after the visit of the Chief Minister of MP to New York, which added to the good vibes around M.P.
The picnic became house – full close to a month before its planned date. The Friends of MP Picnic ; spread over large grounds and two covered Pavilions – named ‘Sarafa’ and ‘ Rajwada’ being landmarks in Indore – started with Indore’s traditional Poha – made on site – laced with Ratlami Sev, Jeeravan and accompanied by Piping hot Kesar Jalebi, also made fresh. Then followed sports and games and catching up of friends, many meeting each other after many years and connecting on MP common roots / relationships.
Along with enthusiasm for Cricket and Volleyball, there were some with passion for ‘Sitolia’ and ‘Patang’ also. The highlight this year was the entire ‘Rajwada’ Pavilion transformed into a ‘Mela’ . This was put up totally by the Ladies Volunteers in the Group, helping folks reconnect with their childhood. There were very popular booths for Face painting, Fortune Teller, Treasure Hunt, Tattoos and more such, all being managed by Kids in the group. The main draw was ‘Baraf Kaa Gola’ (Snow Cones) and ‘Gudiaa Ke Baal’ (Cotton Candy), which was really relished by people of all ages.
The Selfie Booth had many taking pics with Traditional ‘Malwi Pagdi’. Just before Lunch, the ladies put an exciting Flash Mob dance. Lunch again was MP’s signature Choorma – Dal – Batee, which was really relished by all. This was followed by a Social Hour of introductions and MP Bingo Game. Deputy Counsel General, Dr Manoj Mohapatra was the honored Guest for the day.
On behalf of the Indian Consulate in New York, Dr Mohapatra whole heartedly praised the efforts of Friends of MP group in bringing the MP Diaspora Community together in NY area . Nandlal Ramdya, originally from Indore who came to USA in 1959, gifted the group with a coin of 1890s of Holkar State. The afternoon had more snacks, Family games, group pictures and kids talent show. The planning and execution for the event was managed by a Core Team of Jitendra Muchhal, Rakesh Bhargava, Dr. R Kakani, Rajesh Mittal, Pankaj Gupta, Avinash Jhawar, Rajiv Goyal, Raj Bansal, Nipun Joshi, Navneet Trivedi, Anupam Sarwaikar and spouses of many in core team over last few months . From name labels to conversations, usage of Hindi and Malwee language was encouraged throughout the day.The URL of Friends of MP : NY/NJ is www.friendsofMPNYNJ.com