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DesiShades Local Coverage.. continued from Previous Page

12th June 2010
Hanuman Jayanthi celebrations at Hindu Temple of Colorado
Rocky Mountain Hanuman organization celebrated Hanuman Jayanthi in a grand devotional fashion on Saturday 12 June 2010, at the Hindu temple of Colorado. Per Hindu mythology, lord Hanuman symbolizes strength, energy, and devotion, and Hanuman Jayanthi is celebrated to commemorate his Birthday. This auspicious occasion was marked by devotees chanting Hanuman Chalisa 108 times with utmost devotion and passion, starting at 6AM. More than 300 devotees participated in Hanuman Chalisa chanting throughout the day, representing people of all ages and diverse geographical backgrounds. This year, Hanuman Jayanthi marked the conclusion of Hanuman Chalisa Yagna, a very unique spiritual program organized by Rocky Mountain Hanuman organization. Launched on April 10th, this first of its kind program received tremendous response from hundreds of Hanuman devotees all over USA, in the form of thousands of Hanuman Chalisa recitals. The Hanuman Chalisa Yagna program started with a goal of collectively reciting 40,000 chalisas in a 2-month period, which was easily surpassed by June 12th with the final count of over 60,000 chalisas.

The Chalisa recitals in Hanuman Jayanthi celebrations were led by Ms. Dhara Carter, who is a staunch Hanuman devotee from Fort Collins. Chalisa was chanted 108 times with utmost devotional fervor, generating divine vibrations. Tabla players Raja Venkataraman, Aby Singhai, Master Susheel Nalla, Arvind Gurumurthy, and harmonists played throughout the event, which added quite a bit of liveliness and excitement to the event. In addition to the 108 chalisa recitals, Abhishekam to Lord Hanuman was performed with Panchamrithas - Milk, Yoghurt, Honey, Ghee, Coconut water and turmeric water, one at a time, while chanting Vedic sukthas. After the Abhishekam, Hanuman Sahasra Namam was performed, which was followed by Aarthi, and prasad lunch. Food was prepared by devotees, as well as sponsored by Indian restaurants Jai Ho and Bombay Bowl. Kids participated in a quiz related to lord Hanuman, as well as in chanting the Hanuman Chalisa. Sponsors of the program received an impressive Hanuman idol or Hanuman fridge magnet, along with blessed Tayettu and Gangachnduram that were acquired from India.

The proceedings of Hanuman Jayanthi program were conducted in a thorough, authentic and traditional manner by Pandit ji Raghavendra Iyyer, Acharya ji Kailash Chandra Upadhyay and assistant pandits Rajesh Kaul, Krishna Kommanduru and Sankar Gunturu. On behalf of Rocky Mountain Hanuman organization, Mr. Sridhar Ponnapalli gave vote of thanks to the priests, volunteers, and sponsors that helped make the Hanuman Jayanthi celebrations a grand success. Core volunteers Sridhar Ponnapalli, Radha Ponnapalli, Satya Kothiyal, Nidhi Kothiyal, Satish Gangur, Ravi Ponnapalli, Himabindu Ponnapalli, Hari Morisetti were commended by all for having organized such a memorable event.

Hanuman Chalisa recital takes place starting at 9:30AM on the second Saturday of every month at the Hindu temple of Colorado, during which, devotees complete 21 recitals followed by Hanuman Aarthi and Prasad lunch.

5th June 2010
Delightful Annamacharya Sankeertanas in Colorado
Colorado Telugu Association celebrated Annamacharya Jayanthi on 5th June 2010 at South Middle School, Aurora CO in a traditional way with musical concert. There were over 75 artists and kids enthusiastically participated in this all-day event, who rendered the Annamacharya Kritis for more than 5hours. The local community singer "Nightingale of Twin Cities" Mrs.R Chayadevi spent two weeks teaching the groups to prepare Annamacharya Sankeertanas. Traditionally dressed artists have started the day with Saint Annamacharya Prayer, and then proceeded with group rendition of the Saptagiri Sankeertanas - the seven most precious jewels of the poet i.e., 'Bhavamu lona', 'Brahma Kadigina', 'Enta matramuna', 'Podagantimayya', 'Kondalalo', 'Narayanate' and 'Muddu gare yasoda' in the very traditional style. Mrs.Chayadevi and Mr.VK Arun Kumar have led the group with a one voice. There was instrumental support from Tabla by Raja Venkatraman, Veena by Jyothi Venugopal and Flute by Prashant Ramaswamy (Bangalore). There were many other krithis that delighted the audiences for the whole day. Sai Meghna Dance School's dance performances have been the highlight of the day. Several students including the director of the school Mrs.Lavanya Yammanur have performed mesmerizing dance performances for various Annamayya krithis such as 'Telugu padaniki', 'Vinaro bhagyamu', 'Kolani gopariki', 'Srimannarayana' etc. The CTA committee members Mr.Venkat Dontineni, Murthy Garimella and Mrs. Kattula Syamala have taken active part in organizing the event, with the support from several other volunteers. At the end of the event, CTA felicitated Mrs.Chayadevi with a shawl and a memento. Mrs. Radha and Mr. Ravi Ponnapalli have conducted the program very ably, with a descriptive commentary involving the audiences. The audiences appreciated the association for the great initiation and to keep the culture live that bridges the cultural gaps between the older and younger generations. DesiShades has proudly sponsored this event.

15th May 2010
Indian Dance Festival 2010 by Kearala Association of Colorado
Indian Dance Festival, the tradition that has been followed for the past 11 years by Kerala Association of Colorado, was held in a big fanfare on Saturday 15th May at Abraham Lincoln High School, Denver. It was a 5+ hours of celebrations that has a great mixture of many dance forms from India, ranges from Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam to Bollywood dhamaka. Apart from the performances by local talents, the biggest attraction was the Bollywood fusion by Colorado’s Bollywood West, which was very mesmerizing that almost took the breath from everyone.

The programs started with a prayer song and a welcome speech by the president Ms.Ivy George. The culturals were started with a delightful Bharatanatyam item ‘Ananda Natamaduvar’ by Apoorva, Vani and Punya, the students of Shivanjali Center of Fine Arts. The dance for Tamil medley by Denver Diamondz Girls Navya, Vismaya, Sangeetha and Divya was an energetic performance. Laya Dance Academy’s Medha’s Kuchipudi performance Rukmini Pravesam was scintillating that received great applause. Anandha Nadamidum is another classical item praising Lord Nataraja has showcased the best of the abhinaya by Ms.Latha Sudendra of Natyapriya School of Classical Dance. There was this one amazing performance that tributes to Indian cinema by Anushka, Tina, Manju, Nisha, Munish, Muthu, Sameer and Bala, featured with the songs from 1950’s through the most recent times. Bollywood West then took over the stage for about 10minutes, with over 15 professional dancers, followed by a short break.

The program then resumed with Kailasa Giripai, a fast paced Kuchipudi item by Kavitha Muruganantham. AR Rahman’s medley by Bridgit, Narmada, Priyanka and Salomi featuring the songs from the recent hits was delightful. Semi-classical dance item NrityaMalika presented Laya Dance Academy’s Prathyusha, Padma, Sumana, Avani and Sonu was amazing, with rhythmic movement from all dancers. Other Bollywood Medleys by the group Joice, Aastha and Deeplata, and by the group Berin, Nia, Jeena, Nitha, Alicia, Susan and Ancil have depicted the best hip-hop of the day. The two sisters Kavitha and Nivetha along with their friends, added their best to the show. Food stalls, saree and the Indian dress stalls were a great attraction to the show. Three cheers to the team work and the new team that is going to be for the next one year. Hope to see more and more dancers and more performances in the next event.

2nd May 2010
Padmashree Dr.SP Balasubramanyam's Live Concert
Maestro Balasubramaniam's live concert in Denver enthralled the music lovers on May 2nd. The concert was arranged by Sri Venkateswara Temple of Colorado with all the other famous singers, Mrs. SP Sailaja, Mrs. Kalpana and Sri Krishna. The much awaited program of SPB was a great success in the Rocky Mountain area. More than 500 people attended the concert. The show began at 5.30 with Mr. VJ Chukkapalli, Chairman Board of Trustees SV Temple of Colorado introducing the artists, and with a brief introduction about the upcoming and the past events by the Temple.

As the sonorous voice rang in the auditorium, the collective cheer erupted with eager and thronged the auditorium. The king of Playback singing began the program with the patriotic ‘Vandemataram’ and the evening really turned out memorable for the Coloradans. With his excellent troupe of orchestra SPB went into the variations of the music in multiple languages. It was truly a joy to see him singing some of the all-time-best Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi songs. In the aboard he was really excited to say that he is so blessed to sing for a good in the 45th year of his career. He then moved to perform various songs from his repertoire which accumulated the famous, Sankarabharanam, Sagarasangamam, Ekaveera and many more. Sailaja sang a few Telugu hit numbers along with his brother. Sri Krishna and Kalpana did excellent performance. Sri Krishna was trying to involve the audiences, with his excellent support, and very excited to accompany with the legend Dr. SPB for one of his famous numbers.

Listening and looking at SPB on stage for a live show for three hour show brought back a flood of memories, as he always had a special and respectful place in all our hearts. With his all-round performance, situational commentary, flexible switching between different languages, it was an unprecedented experiences for many of the audience to see the maestro on the stage.

Coloradans are really blessed with the live concert by the much acclaimed celebrity singer and his troupe. Everyone appreciated the strong volunteer force from SV Temple who relentlessly worked so hard for the past two months in organizing such a great successful event.

Watch the photos of this event in our gallery section at http://www.desishades.com/gallery.php?tab=985.

20th April 2010
World Peace through Inner Peace Program with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation
The founder of Art of Living Foundation HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's presentation of 'World Peace through Inner Peace' was held in Denver on April 20 at the Seawell Ballroom in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The audience of almost 800 people were introduced to Sri Sri's humanitarian work and the Art of Living program.

The World Peace through Inner Peace program started sharply at 7 p.m. with Denver's Senior Art of Living Teacher Lata Shirname-More welcoming the crowd. This was followed by a 10 minute brief video that showed Guruji's mission of achieving a violence-free and stress-free society. Guruji was then introduced and it was spectacular to see him walking between the crowd with an ever-smiling face and saying hello to the people prior to getting to the stage. Music is an essential part of Art of Living Foundation which was reflected when the program started with a couple of songs by the Rocky Mountain Children's Choir, directed by Lisa Cameron.

Sri Sri started his discourse with his words... "From sound to silence...from harmony of sound to the harmony of silence...that is what meditation is". It was a great idea when Guruji asked the audience to greet people around them to make them feel like home and to be comfortable before a meditation session. Guruji explained importance about greeting from the inner heart, which creates a vibration and expresses the love to others. "Presence is the life... somewhere our presence was muddled up because we were stressed. We get rid of stress with meditation... we need to be like a child again... how to cleanse our presence and how to get back to our soul... is answered by meditation. Let us do a short meditation". Guruji then instructed a short meditation for about 27 minutes which ended with chanting 'OM'. This left the audience in an amazing feeling. "The body is like the wick of a candle, and mind is the flame... that the glow is all around!" In his speech, Guruji reiterated the importance of violence free environment for kids in the wake of the 11th Anniversary of the Columbine High School killings. "The second biggest killer of this generation is depression... what will help to battle depression is pranayama breathing, meditation, and the sudarshan kriya which all contribute enormously to physical and mental wellness. A violence-free society, disease-free body, confusion-free mind, and inhibition-free intellect is all we need for today’s world." His speech was spell-bounding with a lot of wit. He added thoughts to parents in the audience on how to get non-violence exposure to their kids so that one day we will achieve a one world family (vasudhiaka kutumbakam). There were many questions from the audience which were answered by Guruji at the end. The program was ended by Guruji cutting cake as the day is his birthday.

3rd April 2010
Sri Rama Navami celebrations in Sai organization
It was a rejoicing experience of Sai devotees on the occasion of Ramanavami. Sri Ramanavami by Rocky Mountain Sai Organization was celebrated with traditional gaiety and fervor on Saturday April 3rd in the South ridge Recreation Centre. Shridi Sai devotees from all over Colorado attended the auspicious occasion. The rituals started with the Ganesh puja followed by Ganesh bhajans. This year Sri Ramanavami had a great significance. The Sai organization bought the replica of Nine Silver coins which were given to Lakshmi Bai Shinde by Sri Shridi Saibaba during his last days.

Melodic instrumental bhajans were sung by Shri Manoj Govindraj made the audience enraptured, followed by bhajans led by Neelima and Sumana. Colorado dance gurus Smt. Lavanya Yammanur and Smt. Prathyusha Apparasu have performed Kuchipudi dance items, praising the Lord. Scintillating skit by the kids about the importance of the nine coins which depict the Navavidha Bhakti was the highlight of the evening. The credit was given to Mrs. Radha Ponnapalli for this wonderful skit.

All the volunteers took great care in making this event a grand success. Stage was so well decorated with the pictures of Saibaba and Sri Ram parivar. Vedic chanting by authentic priests was one of the attraction.

Speaking on this occasion Don Mares, Executive Director of Colorado Department of Labor and Employment appreciated the efforts of Sai Organization. He read out the message from Governor, Bill Ritter, who conveyed his wishes for the stupendous work that Sai Organization has done on this special occasion. He conveyed his gratitude to all the volunteers, saying that "You are keeping and spreading Hindu values and I thank you for that". Mr. Ved Nanada speaking on this occasion said that he had a feeling that he was in India celebrating Ramanavami, with all his kith and kin.

29th March 2010
Consul General of India visit to Colorado
Consul General of India Mrs.Susmita Thomas from San Francisco has visited Denver this week, to talk about India Opportunities for Colorado Businesses. National US India Chamber of Commerce (NUICC) has organized this conference at the Ritz Carlton in Downtown Denver on 29th March between 11am and 1pm. Several delegates have attended this event to know about the business opportunities in India from the Consul General. She later met with several officials of the State of Colorado.

27th March 2010
Sri Ram Navami celebrations in Colorado
Sri Ram Navami is a very auspicious festival for Hindus. This festival has been celebrated in various parts of Colorado including Sri Venkateswara Temple and Hindu Temple of the Rockies. At Hindu Temple, several devotees have chanted the Akhand Paath of Ram Charit Manas started at 11am on 27th March, which ended at 11am on 28th March. Sri Ram birthday was celebrated at the noon time on Sunday, followed by harathi and prasad distribution to all devotees.

Sri Venkateswara Temple has celebrated the festival in a South Indian tradition of performing Sri Seetha Rama Kalyanam (wedding). The day started with Suprabhatam on Saturday 27th March at 9:30am, followed by Thiruvaradhana. Later the Seetha Rama Abhishekam was performed by the chief priest Sri Jagannathacharyulu. The traditional Seetha Rama Kalyanam was performed in the afternoon with the assistance of several voluntary priests. Several devotees were present in this event.

27th March 2010
North South Foundation Denver Chapter Bee Contests 2010
North South Foundation has completed its third year of Regional Contests on March 27th at the Denver University. Children starting from Kindergarten to 8th grade participated in different/multiple contests. Denver Chapter this year introduced the Science Bee North South Foundation (NSF) is a non-profit voluntary organization that awards scholarships to qualified and needy students in India entering colleges regardless of religion, gender, caste or creed. NSF conducts educational contests every year at two levels-Regional and National levels. NSF Denver Chapter conducted the regional contests on March 27th, nearly 40 kids of all ages participated in multiple contests. This year NSF Denver Chapter conducted contest sin Spelling, Math, Vocabulary and Science Bee. Spelling Bee is conducted in two levels - junior and senior levels. Tejas Patil, Tanvi Telukunta and Varun Roy were declared as winners at Jr level. Shritha Gunturu, Manasa Ponnapalli, Neya Manavalan, Dhivya Senthil Murugan were declared as winners at Senior Spelling Bee. Rithwik Mylavarapu, Nithya Sree Eswaran, Vaishanvi Elango, Shritha Gnturu, Sameer Saptharishi, Varun Roy were declared as winners in Math level and level2. Several volunteers including Radha Mohan, Esha Walia, Radhika, Ravi and Indira Duggirala, Anitha, Kotesh Yarlagadda, Kim and Colleen supported the technical team and in grading the contestants. NSF thanked Mr. Ramki Thurimella who has been arranging the facility for contests for the past two years. Mr. Sridhar Ponnapalli gave the vote of thanks.

28th February 2010
Marvelous old Telugu classic Mayabazaar in Color
It's marvelous. It's superb. It's stupendous. It's suave. It's spellbinding. It's vivacious. It's fantastic - and what else? The adjectives in English dictionary may not be sufficient to express how ‘Mayabazaar' is! These were the comments from many audiences on Sunday evening when it was screened at the Regency Tamarac Cinemas. The discounted price of $5 for Colorado Telugu Associaiton's members pulled a good crowd of about 100 people, despite of the bad weather and another new Telugu movie 'Em maya chesavo' in Thornton.

As the name of the film suggests - it's really a magic all the way (in color). The colorization was an eye-feast and the sound effects were so good and neat. Though there was a dramatic improvisation in the instruments used and the orchestra, the songs came out so well. You've to be in the theater to believe the positive energy the film creates with its new look.

12th February 2010
Siva Rathri celebrations in SV Temple of Colorado

The Siva Rathri festival celebration in Sri Venkateswara Temple of Colorado has reminded many of the devotees of India, not just by the puja procedure, but also the decoration and the setting of the eve. No wonder it took about a week to come up with a great idea of Kailasam set, the holy abode where Lord Siva lives, and relentless efforts from a great team of volunteers. It was Bala Subramaniyan who did the whole design in two tiers where Lord Siva and Parvathi sits in the top tier, and Lord Ganesh, Lord Muruga and Shiva Lingam sits in the lower tier in three different caves.

The chief priest from Sri Venkateswara Temple of North Carolina, Raleigh was invited to lead the puja today, who performed very ably with the help from Sri Jagannathacharyulu and other voluntary priests. The puja started at about 4:30pm with Punyahavachanam, Ganapathi puja, followed by Ekadasa Rudrabhishekam (11 times rudrabhishekam) to the Lord with various panchamritams (milk, yogurt, honey, fruit juice, fruits, chandan, vibhuti etc). From about 8pm, it took almost two hours to decorate the whole enclosure so impressively, during this time there were dance programs, drama on Bhakta Markandeya, other bhajans etc by the devotees. At 10pm, there was special puja followed by prasad distribution. Jagaran (staying overnight) is a specialty of Sivarathri, which the temple observed very holistically. At 3am, there was a special Lingodbhava Darsanan, followed by archana and harati. It was estimated that there were a total of over 1000 visitors to the temple on this occasion. The temple chairman Mr.VJ Chukkapalli and Treasurer Mr.Kuna Gupta have thanked the devotees for supporting the temple, explaining the temple construction plans.

6th February 2010
Bharat Utsav 2010 - Republic Day festival by India Association of Colorado
People experienced different cultures of India in Denver during Bharat Utsav 2010, a celebration of India's republic day by India Association of Colorado. On Saturday February 6th, the Hinkley High School in Aurora, CO was the venue with full parking lot, and everyone rushing inside since 4pm. The weather cooperated a lot for the festival in the pleasant 50-60 degree temperatures, that successfully pulled over 900 people. It was a gorgeous school with a wide corridor, filled with different stalls ranging from novelties, jewelry, food, games, along with a couple of front desks, one for the members and another for the guests tickets. Volunteers from Tata Consultancy Services did a great job in receiving the people at peak times, without much confusion, and give them the tickets and/or passes for admission.

The evening was kicked off with American national anthem by Sahana Narayan, followed by Indian national anthem by Ms.Savitha Sharma. The new executive committee Sujatha Narayan (President), George Dinakar (General Secretary), Sunil Roy (Secretary - Events), Lahari Mohapatra (Secretary - Cultural), Asha Vasant (Treasurer), Naveen Morisetti (Secretary - Communications) and Savitha Sharma (Event coordinator), but not all could make it onto the stage. Sujatha has welcomed the audience with her warm words and with an anticipation of getting the cooperation from the community. Guest of honor for the evening is our most familiar celebrity Shri Manoo Raval. In his address, he reminded the people of the importance of Republic day in the Indian history.

The cultural programs started with the Indian national song Vande Mataram by Anushka, Lasya, Meghna and Neha very melodiously. Another patriotic medley Jayathi Jayathi was sung by Anusha, Kavya, Keerthi, Prathyusha and Sahithi. The Bollywood dance for 'Mere Hathon me' from film Chandini by Nirajana Rajesh was a good start for the pulsating evening. Annamacharya Keertana by Saimeghna Dance School students Abhignya, Nikitha, Niharika and Akshita got the best applause from the audience. The next item was the semi-classical dance Man Mohini by Bela and Lahari Mohapatra, the cultural secretary of IAOC. This has the fast movement synchronized to the beat. Cute kids Trisha, Trini, Meera, and Gayathri, Rakhi's dance for the AR Rahman's composition Vande Mataram was a good attempt by the kids.Denver's star performer, Diya Deepak's dance for several hits of Madhuri Dixit was mesmerizing. The next two items were two examples of India's diversified cultures. The first one being the popular Kollywood Medley by Arjun, Adhya, Akash, Krishna, Narendar, Varun, Sahana, Saransh, Viyan, Nithya, Vaishnavi, Sania, Mandira, Nandini, Aditi, Manasi, Sameeha, Maya, Deeksha and Praveena, organized by Padma Avinash and choreographed by Prathyusha Apparasu. The kids did an amazing job with colorful dresses in modern styles. The next item is from Maharashtra - Lanvi & Folk dances by Pranaya, Isha, Ritvik, Rohit, Jay and Chirag choreographed by Pranaya Sath. This is a new item in the recent times, and undoubtedly stole the show receiving much applause. The next item was a Kuchipudi performance for Krishna Shabdam by Medha of Laya Dance Academy, and she did the best performance as she always does. Navya and Vismaya's bollywood dance performance for Ishq Samunder, choreographed by Ramyashree was a great hip-hop style dance. The Bollywood bhangra Dil Bole Hadippa was another fast beat amazing performance by Lahari Mohapatra's team Ajay, Ankit, Bela, Dhwani, Hannah, Lahari, Rohit and Sheldon. Sathya's choreographed dance medley 'Chennai to Colorado' with Anushka, Aura, Ganesha, Kartik, Madelina, Rajesh, Shweta, Tina and Vignesh showed their flexible body movements while describing how the journey from Chennai to Colorado ends up with a pinch of exoticism.

There was about twenty minutes of intermission, during which every one took some time to visit every stalls in the lobby area, and filled their tummies with varieties of chats, north and south Indian cuisine such as biryani, samosas, idly, vada, pakoda, chapati, pav bhaji, mango shakes etc. There were a couple of beaded and artificial jewelry stalls and Indian dress wear stalls which attracted most women. A stall with custom handmade photo frames had remarkable stuff. Rockies Cinema, the movie buffs had special ticket sales with $2 off at the stall. It was great that almost all the food stalls had reached their expectations with sales, getting enough exposure for their businesses.

The second half had even more exciting performances, starting with a Bharatanatyam item Thillana by Latha Sudhendra blending amazing steps to the exceptional composition by Madurai Krishnan praising Lord Narasimha. The next one was a musical interlude by Jeetinder & Group with Jeetinder, Heather, Sandhya, Praveen, Abhiteja, Chanku, Regina, Prabin, Das, Dinakar, Samson, Pradheep and James on variety of instruments such as guitar, bass guitar, keyboard etc. Next one to follow is an astonishing dance medley by Colorado Kannada Koota kids Aparna, Gowri, Megana, Reshma, Abhijit, Arjun, Jayanth, Sanjay choreographed by Nischinth. Colorado has some of the best teachers for several dance forms; one such great school is Abhinaya Dance school by Usha Muralidharan. The kids from this school Angela, Azelea, Sri Devi, Arthi, Jotsna and Dhipthika have performed for a Bharatanatyam Varnam Ashtalakshmi in a joyous way. Chalka chalka was a joyful dance during traditional wedding celebration, performed by Nivetha, Kavitha and Priya.

Then followed the Bollywood item Chupke se lag ja gale, by the choreographer Ramyashree. The dancer showed the high ravishing movements for the rhythmic beats. Bachna Haseeno medley choreographed by Lahari with Ajaya, Ankit, Bela, Bora, Dhwani, Hannah, Rohit and Sheldon was filled with high energy that successfully transmitted its current to the audience. Bollywood live music troupe of Colorado Rockies Masti team comprising of Sandeep, Sujatha, Savitha and Sarah have presented karaoke based concert with many popular and patriotic songs. This has many melodious bits with a great mixture of oldies and newbies.

The last item of the night is a high energy Bhangra performance by Mile-Hi Bhangra team Arvind, Bhutta, Gurdeep, Ajeet, Jassi, Amritpal, Amisha, Shreya, Divya, Ria and Sarah. This is a very professional performance by the team dressed in the traditional gear. Best steps and best beats compete with each other throughout the dance performance.

The program was very well managed by two MCs Sandeep Kulkarni and Sathya Narayan, with a great blend of singing, dance, situational commentary. Everyone enjoyed the programs distributed very thoughtfully among different regions of India.

5th February 2010
Cherry Creek school district spelling bee team has 4 Desi kids
Cherry Creek School District Spelling bee was held on Friday February 8, 2010 at the SARC, Centennial Colorado. Kids from all the Elementary and Middle schools participated in the Bee. 4-5 students from each school comprising a total of about 200 students participated in the written round. After eliminating with a cutoff mark, 25 students went into 2nd round. The district announced one winner along with 15 other state qualifiers. Out of 16 there were 4 Desi kids who are heading to the State Spelling Bee on March 6th 2010 at the Denver Convention Centre. These include Shritha Gunturu (Willow Creek Elementary), Divya Senthil (Village East Elementary), Varsha Kumar (Challenge School), Manasa Ponnapalli (West Middle School). Good luck to all the participants and the winners. DesiShades is committed to update the community for any Desi success stories! Send us if you have one!!

31th January 2010
Colorado's Surya Namaskar Yajna concluded with 75000 salutations
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) - Colorado Branch concluded its fourth year of offering ("yajna") of one million Sun Salutations, known as Surya Namaskar, with the Samarop Yogathon today at Monarch K-8 High School in Louisville, CO. In this concluding yogathon, there were about 170 people have attended, who performed about 14500 salutations. With today's counts, the total met with the target of 75000 for Colorado. This constituted the Fort collins branch with 12,000, Longmont with 28000, Westminster with 25000, Highlands Ranch with 5000 and Colorado Springs with 8000. HSS has organized a Hindu Cultural Exhibition on this occasion which attracted a lot of people to know the best of the India.

28th January 2010
Colorado Roundup - Week4
The week started with a great fun event Pongalo Pongal by the Tamil Association of Colorado on Sunday 24th January at Jefferson County Fairgrounds Hall. It was a very traditional event to with kids and adults dressing as per their culture, and present cultural items. The drama Markandeya was very well organized with very situational settings and attires. The lunch was a potluck by all the members of the association, which was very sumptuous with many southern varieties such as Hot and Sweet Pongal, Idly, Sambar, Tair Sadam, Pickles in a very friendly environment.

SV Temple in Castle Rock has started Sudarshana Homam on every 3rd Sunday with this day, and the first event went well with a great participation of devotees.

There is some mixed news for the jobs in Colorado. Oracle's acquisition of Sun has been in the news for over 9 months, which finally finished with the official news on Wednesday. This means a lot for Coloradans, as Colorado is a very strategic location for Sun and Oracle with more than 2500 employees. Oracle is not planning any layoffs of the common workforce, and they reiterated that they will invest more into Sun operations, where as analysts have been predicting of chopping it into half to about 13000 layoffs. Time Warner Cable has announced a plan to lay off about 350 employees in Colorado. Keep tight!

The 2010 US Census is about to start. By March we will get the forms by mail, and we need to fill and resend back. In fact, the information the census collects helps to determine how more than $400 billion dollars of federal funding each year is spent on infrastructure and services like Hospitals, Job training centers, Schools, Senior centers, Bridges, tunnels and other-public works projects and Emergency services etc. Participation is mandatory to all of us.

21st January 2010
Colorado Roundup - Week3
Indian cuisine is unique with high calories, spicy and mouth watering. This is treated as one of the exquisite cuisines in the world, with a high degree of specialization. Within the cuisine, there are much localization such as North Indian and South Indian at a higher level, which has its target audiences. Colorado has more than 75 Indian restaurants with authentic cuisines, and some of them run by the Nepali chefs with a little variance. It is still a booming market with more restaurants opening in the metro Denver catering the local areas. Now the latest news is Taste of India, the restaurant located in Denver at Leetsdale Dr & Quebec St, is starting the South Indian cuisine soon. Wait to get more details.

Lately there has been a lot of awareness about Yoga in people. They are getting attracted towards the breathing techniques, meditation, yogasana, dance, spiritualily etc, which is a very welcoming change. All these are scientifically proven techniques to keep the mind and body in control. With the recent Surya Namaskar Yajna marathon started by HSS, several people have started doing some yoga postures. This is during 16th and 31st of January with a target of 75000 from Colorado region. If you have not started sign up, do it now.

It clearly shows there are more movies releasing in Colorado than before, and shown for longer days. With the mega success of the recent Hindi movie 3 Idiots, the exhibitors are more encouraged to get good movies. Apart from the frequent Hindi movies, now there is more choice of other languages too.

Let us end this week's round up with a couple of encouraging words from British Prime Minister Mr. Gordon Brown that Britain will not be the same "without our strong bond with India and the enormous part played by the Indian community". Calling India "a modern global success story," Mr. Brown said that "astonishing" pace of change, dynamism and excitement it was generating and the potential "to do great things" was a tribute to all Indians.

13th January 2010
Good times and bad times
The week started with good sunny days with 60 degree temperatures. It's always delightful to see winter in Colorado sunny, with white snow covered mountains far from the city, glazing in the sun, yet letting the people to move around as usual. That's the life in Colorado. People living in other places always have a myth that it always snow in Colorado during winter, and the whole state is covered in snow, with lifelessness around. When we say that it's not the case, and the snow on the street will disappear within a day, they don't believe. Especially people in Chicago or Boston are so jealous to hear about this. There is no wonder that we may be jealous about the sunny winters in San Diego or Florida.

This week is also significant for us as the first festival of the year falls in this week - Sankranthi or Pongal. Sankranthi falls on 13th, 14th and 15th of January and usually on these days, as opposed to the other Indian festivals, because it follows the solar movements, rather than the lunar calculations. This festival is celebrated in South India most, with the first day for a morning fire ceremony, second day to meet the friends and family and the third day significant for the farming community. It is joyous to see this festival in India on the country side.

The worst earthquake hit the Haiti on Tuesday night, with an increasing death toll of over 100,000 people, worst disaster of the century. People have been helpless to see several countries and people have been getting ready to help the victims, meet their needs in the coming days. It is the time we should be supportive to the people, by all means - cash, food, clothes, anything and everything you can. It has always been significant about Colorado community to stand by the needful in the past, and this is the worst of the worst needful situation, we should extend our valets to help our best. Several organizations have setup the relief lines taking all sorts of donations, but see which way takes the most of your dollar to the end cause. Choose a non-profit organization that has least management expenses in helping the victims.

1st January 2010
Aamir Khan's 3 Idiots making waves in Denver
Its been a record for any Indian movie in Colorado so far, which shatters all records worldwide. More than 2200 people watched this movie in Denver Rockies Cinema by 1st January. Originally planned to play till 31st December, and due to the public demand, this movie was extended for another week. Its none other than Aamir Khan's 3 'Idiots'. DesiShades met with the exhibitor Mr.Sudhir Pawar today, and he told 'this has been an all time record so far. I have been in the movie business in Denver since 1995, and so far no other movie has got so many audiences'. The word of mouth at this theater in Denver was extraordinary as well.

3 Idiots has shattered many records, and has grossed $ 21 million in four days across the globe. The film made about $2.1 million in North America and about $800,000 in the UK in five days. It could have reached the $1 million mark in UK if the theatres weren't closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas. The film stood at the number 12th spot on the American box office charts and number four in UK. The charts were led by Avatar's $ 75 million.

12th December 2009
Desi Christmas celebrations
Christmas has been celebrated by the Desi crowd in Denver at the Colorado Community Church on Saturday 12th December evening in a mega blast. The event was successful to pull a greater crowd of more than 500 people to the event, which reminded of a mini India away from India. This is the sixth consecutive year of celebrating the Desi Christmas.

The celebrations started at 4:30pm with registration, fellowship and tea time. The evening started with prayer involving the people, followed by a Nepalese song. The program has been organized with well distributed between different languages such as Qawali, Malayalee, Kannada songs, mixed with instrumentals. The highlight of the evening is the nadaswaram recital by the guest artist Mr.Paul Sheik, the grandson of Padmashri Dr.Sheik Chinna Moulana. The religious messages were delivered by Cecil Barkat and Dr.William J. Senn III, which best described the Christmas stories. The children who attended the event were taught Christmas carols instantly, to make a group song on the stage. There were some raffle draws during the event with the prizes such as LCD TV, IPOD etc. It is remarkable to mention Mr.Vallem Srinivas of Aurora has won the Samsung 32" LCD TV in the raffle draw, amidst big cheers. The program ended with a silent night and a concluding prayer to the Lord, followed by delicious dinner. Mr. Dinakaran George thanked all the audience, volunteers, performers, church officials to help putting together such a great event. He also thanked all the local community organizations for helping for the event.

Joseph Dhanpal has done extensive MC for the program with great spontaneity. His instant translation between Tamil and English and vice versa is worth mentioning here. Dessert contest was held on this event, and the prizes were announced for the contest winners during the dinner time. The whole program was organized so well, involving the people whenever possible. The raffle draws, return gifts, goody bags, special prizes, complimentary photos with Santa are all great ideas to involve the community. Every moment of the festival reflected the great team work, well planning and great control. With the great festivity, everyone surely remembers this event to be one of the best Desi events in 2009.

12th December 2009
Aruna Ramappa of Colorado Springs took a last breath this morning
Aruan Ramappa, the girl from Colorado Springs, who has been struggling with H1N1 for the last 22 days took her last breath this morning at University of Colorado Hospital. She was diagonized with H1N1 on 21st November, and moved from Colorado Springs to Denver University of Colorado hospital near Colfax & I-225. Since then she had undergone several surgeries. With the more spreading infection from her lungs to the other parts of the body, her condition is feeble for the last few days. She survived with her husband Charan, who works for Verizon as a consultant in Colorado Springs. The family needs some financial support, and more updates will be posted soon. Let us pray to rest Aruna's soul in peace.

30th November 2009
Rockies Cinemas bring new entertainment options to Colorado
GK Media is bringing new entertainment options to Colorado Desi crowd with its venture 'Rockies Cinema'. In a press release today, they said this will be the first state of the art "Indian Theatre" with a vision to promoting entertainment with a complete Indian Ambiance for our people here in Colorado. The audience will get to see the latest Indian Movies right here and experience yourself the best of them at Rockies Cinemas at Cinema Latino de Aurora, 777 Peoria St, Aurora, CO. They are planning to bring the Hindi movies Paa, Rocket Singh, 3 Idiots, Malayalam epic Pazhasiraja and the Tamil blockbuster Vettaikaran in December. For more details, visit www.rockiescinema.com, or contact Mohan Ruthirakoti at 303-332-6852 or Thyagu Manickam at 719-360-5728.

28th November 2009
Rocky Mountain Sai Organization Youth Activities Forum
Rocky Mountain Sai Organization of the Rockies, a part of Hindu Temple, has started a new initiative for younger generation on 28th November soon after monthly Arti. This is a forum for children to express their views. The discussion panel consists of the kids who are in the middle and high school along with their parents, with an agenda that includes the issues and pressures they face during the school years, and preparation for the higher studies. Dr. Paritosh Kaul, Ms. Esha Walia, Mr. Sridhar Babu, Mr. Srinivas Nallapati have inaugurated the first session, with welcoming words and introduction of why we need this forum. Master Sushil Nalla and Master Parth Kaul have taken an active role in the first session to express their views, and some typical issues they face at the regular school, which made the parents to re-think. With a catchy phrase 'Connect - Contribute - Collaborate', the forums program includes youth support system, youth peer network, leadership development, college & career preparation, service & advocacy, summer camping & hiking, winter activities and much more. The forum urged the kids in the community to take part, and get benefited with the network. It will convene every month on the last Saturday of the month.

25nd November 2009
Ace South Indian Playback Singer Unni Menon's concert
Kerala Association of Colorado, in association with MalayalaSangeetham.info (MSI) has organized a concert by the Ace South Indian Playback Singer Mr. Unni Menon on Wednesday 25th November 2009 at Broomfield Auditorium. Colorado's resident singers Ms. Anitha Ajay and Ms. Gayathri Krishnamurthy have joined him for duets and some solo songs from Malayalam and Tamil movies respectively. The melodious concert ran for about two and half hours with many melodies and fast beats from the movies such as Roja, Puthiya Mugam, Uyire, Kathalar Dinam, Sthithi, Rhythm, Gokulam, Varushamellam Vasantham, Minsaara Kanavu and Alai Payuthey etc. It was a real celebration to hear Unni's remarkable voice live on the stage. He greatly managed the show with his timely commentary blended with a great selection of melodies balancing both languages. Anitha and Gayathri have done extremely well with their performance. Two local businesses have setup their stalls at the show, and the 10-minute break let the audience to shop around. There was also a dinner planned with Unni after the concert at Bombay Palace restaurant, which was attended by many enthusiasts. It has been a magnanimous effort by MSI and KAC to bring such a gifted singer, after arranging the legendary classical concert by Mr. Sankaran Nambudiri in Colorado.

22nd November 2009
Aruna Ramappa of Colorado Springs suffering from H1N1
An Indian girl Aruna Ramappa of Colorado Springs got affected with H1N1 virus, and got admitted in UC Intensive Care. Here lungs were affected and she already undergone several heart surgeries. Aruna was taken to a Colorado Springs hospital late Friday night or early Saturday morning because she was in too much pain to move. She was also diagnosed with diabetes, a condition she and her husband Charan were unaware of. She developed an infection in her heart, and she was transferred to the University of Colorado Hospital on Sunday (11/23/09). She had several surgeries related to her heart on Sunday and Monday. Aruna has not responded to the oral H1N1 medication, so the hospital obtained approval from the CDC for an less-commonly-used intraveneous medication, which is being flown in from the CDC.

Please pray for her recovery. Her husband Charan can be reached at his cell no 312-404-1051. For more information, visit http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/arunaramappa.

22nd November 2009
'Nrutyam 2009' - A Shivanjali Center for Fine Arts Presentation
Colorado's finest Bharatanatyam School Shivanjali Center for Fine Arts presented 'Nrutyam 2009' as a fund raiser for the temples of Colorado on Sunday 22nd November at Broomfield Auditorium. This received a great response from the community with over 250 audiences, who enjoyed two and a half hour of Bharatanatyam seeped in rich choreographies.

The artistic director Ms. Puja Allepalli student of Sri. Adyar K. Lakshman of Kalakshetra and Smt. Ratnam Janardhanan of Kerala Kalamandalam presented the program describing every dance item. The program started at 3:30 pm, welcoming all the audience with a slokam and demonstration of Bharatanatyam Adavus by several new students. The repertoire that evening was a mix of original Kalakshetra masterpieces, Sri. Adyar's compositions and Mrs. Bragha Bessell's abhinaya rich creations challenging and giving enough scope for the dancer's skill to shine through.

The item Pushpanjali in Nattai ragam, by the students Meghana, Namrita, Shrushti and Shreya was a good start of the evening. Divya, Sarayu and Sravya performed Ganesh Kauthuvam in praise of Ganesha. This was followed by Pushpanjali in Gambheera Nattai followed by Tisram Allarippu by Divya, Harshitha, Saee, Sarayu, Saranya, Sravya, Sneha and Vidhya received a great applause from the audiences.

Jatiswaram in Vasantha ragam brought the best out of dancers. The solo, Telugu, Padam 'Daari Joochu' by Lisa Zales successfully portrayed the 'Vasaksajjika' nayika. Another rendition of Pushpanjali by Apoorva, Punya, Shreya Pandit and Sanjukta was an ode to the lord Ganesha. Vani Topkar danced in praise of Lord Nataraja. Buddha Kauthuvam by Shreya Pandit and Tara Srinivas brought out the briskness and vigor of Kalakshetra style and received a tremendous applause for their neat and controlled execution of the adavus. The padam 'Ananda Natamaduvar' a famous composition of Sri. Lakshman in Tamil was a great blend of literature and synchronization of the dancers' movements. The padam 'Gummana' in Kannada by Apoorva and Punya showed the in depth abhinaya of the Padmabhushan Kalanidhi Narayanan lineage in the portrayal of Krishna and Yashodha. The next item was a Varnam in Telugu a timeless composition of Muttuswamy Dikshithar, which was a true test of the dancer's skills and stamina. Apoorva, Punya, Shreya, Sanjukta, Tara and Vani moved seamlessly from one formation to the other executing the crisp ‘Jatis' while keeping control over rythym. This 30-minute composition highlighted the skills of the dancers. The Kalakshetra Thillana in Ragam Kanada was selected as the concluding item of the evening. After Mangalam, Ms. Puja presented trophies and certificates for all the students announcing the culmination of almost two and a half hour of pure classicism.

Shivanjali is dedicated to promoting and preserving the ancient classical dance form of Bharatanatyam. For more details, visit http://www.shivanjali.org.

21st November 2009
RMFN/CAHEP Health Fair at Sanatan Mandir
RMFN in collaboration of CAHEP organized a Health Fair on November 21, 2009 at the Sanatan Mandir in Brighton. The health fair started at 9:30am and finished about 1:30pm. About 46 people participated in the event. Thanks to RMFN board members Kamal Bhattarai, Soni Shahukhal, Suvekshya Bhattarrai and Surya Mani Adhikari for dedicating their time and effort for a successful health fair. Many thanks to Sanatan Mandir Management for providing the venue for the event.

20th November 2009
India Associaiton of Colorado's music and masti-bhari Diwali extravaganza
India Association of Colorado's Diwali Night Extravaganza on 20th November at South Metro Denver Realtor Association Hall in Littleton was successful to getting the community together for a rang-bhari masti party with a great hip hop. There were about 150 people attended, still remarkable being a Friday evening. This was the last event by the current executive committee team for 2008-2009. The event started with a social hour from 6:30 till 7:30pm. Denver's rock band RockiesMasti took a great part of the evening show, with their karaoke comprising of many old and new hit songs. It was a perfect ambience with enough darkness, few twinkling lights and some disco lights, which makes people to come forward and dance for the beats. There was a clothing exhibition and sale organized outside the hall. Shanti's kitchen has catered the food, with many appetizers, tea and full course delicious dinner. IAOC President Mr. Deepak Kaithakkapuzha thanked all the audiences to attend the event, to support his team for the past two years with a great enthusiasm. He also announced the next president Ms. Sujatha Narayan for the next term. This team has definitely done an incredible job in involving many new families to the association that conducted a lot of colorful events.

14th November 2009
Tamil Association of Colorado's colorful Diwali celebrations
Tamil Association of Colorado has celebrated the festival of Diwali on 14th November at Aurora Central High School in a greater fervor. Over 450 people have attended this event, and shared their joy in a traditional way. The eventful evening has started with a prayer song on violin by Priya Hariharan's students Adhitya, Hari, Suppu, Rahul, Aneesh and Tejas, followed by the welcoming address by the new President Mr. Balaji Ramnath. An impressive performance by just beatz group choreographed by Vani Iyer and Meera Ganeshan was applauded by audience. There was a great response to the drama on Pragalada Charithram directed By Jagdeesh Sethuraman, Senthil Gajapathy and Ponnila Chandren with the participants Mrs.Meera Giri, Aditi, Pratush, Kanchana, Namrita, Jeevita, Priyanka, Dhivahari, Lavan, Sruthi, Samyuktha, Sruthi, Ethi, Valliappan and Kavini. The dance item Chutti TV by Narendhar, Varun, Vaishanvi, Dheeksha, Adhithi, Arjun, Viyan, Nithyashree, Praveena, Mandhira, Manasi, Adhiya, Akash, Dave, Saransh, Sahana, Sonya, Sameha, Krishna, Nandhini and Maya choreographed by Padma Avinash has entertained to its best. The dance item Chennai to Colorado choreographed by Sathya R Narayan, involving Anushka, Ganesha, Karthik, Prasad, Sathya, Shweta, Sujatha, Tina and Vignesh was another great entertainer. Nivetha, Priya and Kavitha's dance for Alai Payuthe, choreographed by Thamizharasi and Kavitha is a wonderful piece. Ramya Gangadhar choreographed Mera Mahi Bad Sona Hain with the participants Navya, Vismaya, Neena, Priyanka and Gayatri made the audience tap their feet for the beats. It has always been a great to watch the peacock's dance choreographed by Usha Muralidharan & Sri Mohana Balasubramaniam with the participants Devanshi, Namita, Kavya, Sharada, Mythreyi, Arthi, Angela, Dhipthika, Azelia and Jotsna. A joyful Mehendi Medley choreographed by Prathyusha Apparasu with the participants Sonu, Medha, Dimple, Prathyusha, Padma, Sangeetha and Mounica, Narmada and Anshu truly depicted the soulful moments. Jayadevi Seenichamy choreographed Silk Mela involving Sangeeta, Kiran, Mythili, Sowmya, Vandana, Pallavi, Maha, Jayadevi, Mathula, Ashwin, Sahana, Rohini, Vaidee and Leela is awesome. This is the fashion show with colorful sarees in a traditional back drop, which ended with a wedding scene. A Thyagaraja krithi Sita Kalyana Vaibhogame by Sriranjini Magge's students Shivani and Subbashini was the classical rendition of the evening. Aarthi Ramesh choreographed the traditional Kummi Kolattam - Kalyana Nadanam with Aparna, Vidhya, Hershini, Humsini, Vikasini, Helen, Priya, Yogitha, Anjana, Narmada, Kalaivani, Aarthi, Tvisha and Karthik was marvelous to watch a harmonious movements. Puthu Mappillai is another notable piece choreographed by Ponnila Chandren with the kids Adithya, Adeline, Arjun, Ashwath, Nega, Nivedha, Sakthi, Srihari, Swetha and Mukund. The vice president of TAC Ms. Leela Rajasekar gave the vote of thanks, followed by a hillarious drama Oorukku Poyeetaa directed By Rajasekar. The participants Vel, Ramesh, Thiru, Sai, Murali and Rajasekar have successfully captivated the audience to live in their roles.

Tamil Association in Colorado has grown successfully over the years, with a constructive collaboration from several communities. People wished the bright future for the new team of executives. The event ended with a sumptuous dinner catered by the Masala Restaurant. The overall show depicted the excellent coordination between different teams to present a great event of the year.

9th November 2009
Hon'ble Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Mr.Vayalar Ravi's visit to Denver
India Association of Colorado (IAOC) hosted a dinner banquet in the honor of Union minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Mr. Vayalar Ravi on 9th November at the Inverness Hotel, Englewood, CO. This facilitated a lot of Coloradans to meet and greet the minister, and to get their questions answered. Several officials including Ms. Susmita G. Thomas, Consul General, Consulate General of India, San Francisco, Ms. Sadhna Shanker, PS to Minister, Ms. Sandhya Shukla, Director, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Mr. Ashok Kumar Sinha, Consul (Community Affairs), Consulate General of India, San Francisco and Ms. Arathi Krishna, Community Development Officer, Embassy of India, Washington have joined the minister for the Denver trip.

After a reception hour with the consulate officials at 6:30pm, the evening kicked off with the American and Indian national anthems. The president of IAOC Mr. Deepak Kaithakkapuzha welcomed the hon'ble minister, the minister's delegation, the guest speakers and all the guests who were present for the event. The welcome speech was followed by a special Laser show by Mr. Manik Sorcar, the son of world famous Indian magician Mr. P.C Sorcar. The Consul General of India (SFO) Mrs. Susmita Thomas addressed the crowd in her guest speech, briefly explaining the efforts of Indian Consulate to serve the Indian nationals in US. The Consul General welcomed the honorable guests of the evening Mr. Vayalar Ravi onto the stage. The IAOC President Deepak Kaithakkapuzha and the IAOC cultural secretary Ms. Sujatha Narayan greeted the Hon'ble Minister and the Consul General with beautiful flower bouquets. In the address to the guests the Minister mentioned the initiatives from the Indian government to support the Indian nationals across world, particularly in the context of recent mishaps in Australia. Among several applauses, he announced some new programs extended to the NRIs in USA. Mrs. Poornima Voria, the president of National US India Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Manik Sorcar presented the Minister and the Consul General with some gifts. Ms. Sadhna Shanker, PS to Minister gave a multimedia presentation by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs which provided a great detail of the programs, and policies. The guest speakers Mr. Niraj Baxi, Former NFIA President and Chairman, Mr. Balan Nair, CTO - Liberty Media and Prof.Ved Nanda, Dean at University of Denver Law School have addressed the crowd.

A brief cultural show depicting the dances of India was presented by the students of Laya Dance Academy. This has received great cheer from the minister and his team of officials. The dinner arrangements by the hotel were greatly appreciated by the people attended. The initiative to invite the minister and the consulate staff to Denver got everyone in the community to get a chance to meet the minister and the staff. Mrs. Sujatha Narayan did the vote of thanks to conclude the event.

7th November 2009
Colorado Telugu Association Deepavali Celebrations
Colorado Telugu Association celebrated Deepavali, the festival of lights on 7th November at Aurora Central High School in Aurora, CO, in a great fan fare. The executive committee elections were also held on the same day. There has been a great crowd of over 500 people at the event , started at 3pm with a social hour. The cultural programs started at 4:45pm with the president's opening words to welcome the crowd, and introducing the emcees for the evening.

The cultural event started with traditional Ganesha prayer 'Sri Ganapathim' Kuchipudi Dance Meghna Yammanur and Kavya Ganuthula of Saimeghna Dance School. Mythili Ayyala's Annamacharya Keerthana 'Shravana Bhahulastami' was a great number in Shudda Sarang ragam. Laya Dance Academy's students Shritha Gunturu, Manasa Ponnapali, Shreya Nallapati, Anushka Thummalapenta and Swathi Kompella have performed Kuchipudi dance for 'Bhaja manasa' in an authentic style,choregraphed by Prathyusha Apparatus. Kids of all ages have participated in Fancy Dress Competition, which involved all the audiences. Sumanth Talanki, Ananya Sri Talanki, Rusheel Doniparthi, Nihar Vallem, Vishnu Kodicherla, Trisha Maroju, Chaithanya Maroju, Sahit Talachutla, and Lohit Talachutla dressed very well have danced for a movie song 'Om Namasthe Bolo' from the movie Ready, was choreographed by Soujanya Devarashetty.

'Akhilandeswari Chamundeswari' Kuchipudi dance performed by Meghna Yammanur, Sravani Katamaneni and Sahithi Donthula, the students of Saimeghna Dance School have done the best job, which was followed by a song 'Sambha Shiva' by Hithaishini Kodicherla. A dance medley performed and Choreographed by Sravya Kattula, Devika Kattula, and Sanju Garimella made the audience tap along with the beats. Kavitha Muruganantham's Kuchipudi performance, choreographed by Pasumarthy Venkateswara Sarma has taken some extra time with audio problems, which created some restlessness among the audiences. Saimeghna students Meghna, Pratyusha, Kavya, Hithaishini, Swetha, Sanjana, Anjali, Laasya and Harshitha performed dance for the hit songs from Jayasudha movies and Raja movies is a relief to the audience.

Students from Laya Dance Academy Shriya, Praneetha, Sindhu, Rithika, Reema, Sushmitha and Sarayu have performed dance for 'Ve vela Goppemala' very rhythmically. 'Mamavathu', a classical Song by Meghna, Sahithi, Pratyusha, Kavya, Laasya, Sneha, Keerthi, Anusha, Shivani is a great classical number, followed by the hip hop choreographed by Sumana Nallapati named 'Just for Fun (Hits of 2009)' performed by Pranav Nallapati, Eswari Duggirala, Kaushik Kaja, Shreya Nallapati and Navya Krishna Duggirala. Seshadri's old hit 'Silalapai Shilalu Chekkinaru' took the seniors to a different world. Ramyashree Gangadhar choreographed a patriotic number 'Mera Mahi Bada Sona Hai' with performers Vismaya Bachu, Navya Roy, Gayathri Gude, Priyanka Panati, Nina Vendhan, captured the audience really well. A semi-classical dance performed by Nivetha Muruganantham, Priya Sur and Kavitha Muruganantham was a great piece. The president gave the vote Of thanks for all the volunteers, sponsors, members and audiences to support the organization for the past two years. The show was well conducted by the emcees Mrs.Lavanya Yammanur and Mr. Sridhar Ponnapalli.

Everyone attended the festival with a lot of vigor and fervor, ended up with delicious dinner by local restraunt Masala. It was a great gathering that enjoyed every moment with the friends and families.

25th October 2009
Bhutanese Bandhu Shri Bednidhi Mishra passed away
Within the Bhutanese community in Colorado, there was a death in the past week. Mr.Bednidhi Mishra, aged about 84 years passed away on 25th October at his home in Denver. He is survived by his wife and a son Guru Mishra. Mr.Bednidhi has migrated to Denver from Nepal last year, by the United Nations Refugee Settlement program. Sewa International is trying to raise donations to help his family in this tough times. People willing to donate can send their checks in the favor of 'Sewa International' with the memo - BRE-DENVER, and send to Sewa International US PO Box 14622, Fremont, CA 94539.

24th October 2009
IAEO successful to raise over $120k
Indo-American Eye Care Organization (IAEO) has organized the 2nd bi-annual fundraising event in Denver, Colorado on 24th October with a lot of fan fare, raising an amount of $120,000, with North America Telugu Society (NATS) being the biggest donor.

The evening was started at 5:00pm with a social hour, where all the guests had some time to chat and get to know each other. The event was started at 7:15pm in the grand ballroom decorated appropriately, with the Indian and American national anthems by kids. IAEO General Secretary Mr.Sridhar Talanki, Joint Secretary Mr. Srinivas Cheela and Colorado Telugu Association president Mr.Sankar Gunturu have welcomed the crowd. The Chairman of PVRI Mr.Govind Hari briefly described about the role PVRI plays in providing the specialty eye care to the rural masses, and how this fundraising effort will increase its reach to the end cause. The chief guest Ms.Cary Kennedy, Treasurer of Colorado state praised all the efforts and mission behind the fundraising program, and appreciated the noble cause that IAEO is serving for. A video clip addressed by actress Jaya Sudha with her best wishes was played. Mr.Nadendla Manohar, Honorable Deputy Speaker of AP State Assembly in his key note speech congratulated IAEO Team for their efforts in taking eye care to rural areas to address the preventable blindness and assured the support from the government of Andhra Pradesh. Tollywood Hero Mr.Raja has been invited for the event as a special guest, who shared heart warming story, and how it made him to contribute for the charity. President of IAEO Mrs. Vanita Reddy has thanked the people from all parts of the country to attend this event, anticipated for their best support for the endeavor. Mr. Ravi Madala, NATS (North America Telugu Society) President, Mr. Iftekhar Shareef, Mr. Rao Achanta, Dr. Gopal Reddy Gade, Mr. Sudhakar Perkari were among the distinguished guests who came from all parts of the country. It was great cheer to the crowd when the famous knee surgeon Dr.AV Gurava Reddy from Sunshine Hospitals of Hyderabad addressed the crowd, who flew from the other side of the globe, stayed in Denver for 10 hours, just to participate in the event. Ghazal Maestro Dr. Ghazal Srinivas made a remarkable speech urging the importance of giving sight to someone needy. He contributed $2000 himself, and raised $1000 from the people in Afghanistan where he recently visited to spread the mission of peace. Of all the donations in the evening, the highest contributor is North America Telugu Society (NATS) with its outstanding donation of sponsoring 10 village eye camps and 10 schools, and matching contributions, all together totals to more than $42,000. NATS is a non-profit organization with the primary objective of addressing the needs and concerns that affect the everyday lives of Telugu people in North America.

There were extraordinary performances from the local talented schools Sai Meghna Dance School and Laya Dance Academy. An exciting music concert by the Tollywood music director Mr.Nihal and the singer Ms.Sudhamayi made the evening very vibrant. The highlight of the evening was the Ghazal concert by Maestro Dr.Ghazal Srinivas. This just took everyone in the hall to visit their native place and reminded of their childhood memories.

All the artists and guests were felicitated. It was well organized event by the whole team. The fundraising part was greatly cheerlead by several community leaders and distinguished guests. Mr.Sam Thomas, Ms. Prathyusha Apparasu, Mr.Krishna Kunapuli and Mrs. Priya Gaddipati have emceed whole event very ably. Mrs.Vanita has taken a major role during the fundraising part to motivate the crowd and get the bar raise high. Mr.Sridhar Ponnapalli gave a vote of thanks. Entire event was greatly coordinated by the dedicated volunteer force of Denver fundraising committee, with a sustained coordination for over 2 months.

IAEO was formed in 2006 to provide total Eye Care in India, and a major supporter of Pushpagiri Vitreo Retina Institute (PVRI) in Secunderabad, India. The mission is to provide quality eye care to every one and help prevent blindness through awareness, education and care by organizing the eye camps in rural villages and schools. For more information about the event, and about the organization, visit http://www.indoamericaneyecare.org.

23rd October 2009
Skanda Shasti at SV Temple
Skandha Shasti celebrations at Sri Venkateswara temple organized in a great traditional way. Several devotees have attended the festival on two days at the temple, participated in Pal Kavadi and Valli Subhrahmanya kalayanam sacredly performed by the chief priest Sri Jagannathacharyulu.

17th October 2009
Diwali celebrations across Coloado
Diwali, the festival of lights was celebrated across Colorado by people of all ages within various social groups in the weekend. This is the unique festival everyone enjoys back home, with fun and fireworks. On Diwali day, people perform special puja to Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. With the festival falling on a weekend this year, the families did not miss to celebrate this unlike the weekday festivals. At Hindu Temple there were Lakshmi archana performed every half hour from 10am till 6pm. At 6:30 the temple distributed fire crackers and candles to all kids followed with a 7pm Maha Lakshmi puja and Arti by the priests. All the devotees were distributed Prasad and sweets. At Sri Venkateswara temple too, the chief priest performed special Dhana Lakshmi pooja at 6pm, followed by distributing the fire crackers to kids. Several families have attended the festival with a lot of enthusiasm. Rocky Mountain Gujarati Samaj has celebrated Diwali with a lot of community entertainment programs. Most of the Colorado based Gujarati families have attended this mega event, hosted at Grand View High School in Aurora, with a lot of Bollywood dances and fun shows. Bhutanese families who migrated to Colorado recently have also celebrated the festival with a great gathering. The Bhutanese Cultural Association, an informal group has met for the first time at Park Ridge Academy for almost a whole day of fun, music and dance entertainers. DesiShades will soon post the photos and details article about these event.

10th October 2009
Passionate Bhajans and Hanuman Chalisa at Hindu Temple
HTCC Hanuman Organization had Hanuman Chalisa recital on 10th October by the famous Taos Ashram singers Mark Hari and Terra Radhe. The event was attended by over 150 devotees, who followed Mark and Terra's Chalisa recitals in a passionate, traditional and devotional Taos-style. The singers made the atmosphere very vibrant with their exceptional singing and instrumental skills. There were 21 recitals of Hanuman Chalisa started at 9:30am, ending at noon. After this, there was a 2-minute silense observed for Ms.Yamini Agarwal's recent tragic death. HTCC Hanuman organization passed condolences to the Agarwal family that was present on the occasion, and prayed lord Hanuman to give the bereaved family strength and courage to come over the turbulent times. All devotees were served with prasadam lunch at 1:00pm.

9th October 2009
Bhagavan Sri Vishwayogi Vishwamji's Discourse at SV Temple
Sri Venkateswara Temple of Colorado has arranged Bhagavan Sri Sri Sri Vishwayogi Vishwamji's discourse at the temple premises on Saturday 9th October evening at 7pm. The Swamiji has visited the temple to participate in the Ground Breaking Summary today. Currently he is a divine march for universal integration and peace, with the idea of bringing India and America, which are the two super powers together and to spread his message of love and peace.

During the evening discourse, Swamiji has described about our Sanatana Dharma, the super powers within our body that correlates to the supreme powers of the universe, and how we can invoke them to reach the perfection. Swamiji's preaching were in a very simple language and very well understandable with the examples in our day-to-day life. Swamiji sang beautiful bhajans, which describes the universal love. The chief priest Sri Jagannathacharyulu, the trust board members Mr. Chukkapalli and Mr. Gupta have thanked the Swamiji to attend the remarkable occasion, and get his divine blessings to the devotees in Colorado. Swamiji was honored as per the temple customs. The evening ended with Aarthi and Prasad distribution to all devotees.

9th October 2009
Sri Venkateswara Temple of Colorado's grand Ground Breaking Ceremony
Sri Venkateswara Temple of Colorado has reached a major milestone on Friday 9th October 2009, with the ground breaking ceremony. His Holiness Bhagavan Sri Sri Sri Vishwayogi Vishwamji was present on this occasion and gave his divine blessings to the temple project and the devotees. On this great remarkable day with the temperature in 60s, it was a perfect weather at the temple ground in 1495 S Ridge Road in Castle Rock CO, where there were over 250 people attended. This has been the moment for which everyone in Colorado has been dreaming of for many many years. The temple management has made all arrangements for the devotees at the ground for their comfort.

The chief priest of the temple Sri Jagannathacharyulu with the help of several guest priests from different parts of the country have performed Viswaksena Aaradhana, Sankalpam, Punyahavaachanam, Vaastu Shaanti, Vaastu Homam, Vaastu and Ashta dikpalaka Aaradhana, Bhumaatha Shodasa upachaaram, Sanku Abhishekam before getting the Ground breaking ceremony very holistically. This then was followed by Aadhara peetaarchana, Shanku Sthapana muhurtam (at 1:42pm). There was a perfect Shanku designed for this occasion, purified with prayers was placed in the ground along with many precious and holistic things such as Yantras, Navadhanyas, Navaratnas etc. Many devotees also offered their valuables such as gold jewelry, diamonds, and other precious stones during the ceremony to be placed under the Shanku.

Soon after this, Bhagavaan Sri Sri Sri Vishwayogi Vishwamji Maharaj from Guntur, Andhra Pradesh has delivered his divya sandesham. The temple management has honoured the Swamiji, followed by Teertha Prasadam to all the devotees present at the ceremony. The chairman of the Board, Mr.VJ Chukkapalli has given an update about the temple and the construction status urging the devotees to make generous contributions for the temple construction so we can get the temple into reality as soon as possible. Devotees and other priests were impressed with the proposed temple architectural plans that were displayed. His Holiness Swamiji gave a discourse addressing all the devotees, which filled their hearts with a divine feeling.

7th October 2009
Fine music album 'Journey' by the Desi rock band 'Karmikyatra' making waves
There is a lot of talent in the Desi youth. This has been proven again when our Desi Rock stars Sandeep Kulkarni and Vivek Rao had announced the release of their recent album 'Journey' to the music world. They had started a band named 'Karmikyatra' in 2006. Karmikyatra seeks to harmonize Indian classical/pop music with Western rock by harnessing the oft-elusive but universal "sound" of music. Karmikyatra's first album "Journey" captures the artists' trials and tribulations as they venture forth into a new land; full of challenges yet replete with opportunities. It's a fitting musical metaphor to the artists' own perennial quest for release from the Karmik cycle.

While talking about this album, Sandeep says "all these songs have been recorded at home and also while trading files online with my buddy Vivek. Vivek is in San Francisco and I am in Denver so we compose over the phone and Vivek does all the Music, Mixing & Mastering while I do all the Vocals, Backing Vocals and the Lyrics. Please support local original music!!"

It is remarkable that their latest tune 'The Fallen' was dedicated to the fallen soldiers of the world. The video for this song is to be released soon. The original tunes and videos are available online at http://www.myspace.com/karmikyatra. Feel free to join their Myspace friends list if you would like to follow them in their musical journey and receive updates as they post great new music and videos. Check this video.

6th October 2009
Yamini Agarwal's sudden demise
A young desi girl in Colorado had her last breath on Sunday afternoon. Yamini Agarwal, aged 14yrs, daughter of Bipin and Shashi Agarwal died on Sunday 4th October. The reason for the death is not known yet. The community was really shocked with this incident. The funeral service will be held on Tuesday afternoon at 2pm at Horan & McConaty Cemetary on S Parker Road & I-225. Bipin and Shasi are well known in the community, for their community services. Bipin has been an enterprenuer, and owns a VC firm Red Hawk Investments in Centennial, CO. Let us pray the almighty to get the courage to the family, and to withstand during this tough time.

3rd October 2009
Legendary performance of Alarmel Valli
Centuries old traditions are sustained even today in the busy life. On Saturday 3rd October, Alarmel Valli has given a wonderful Bharatanatyam performance in D.L.Parson's Theater in Northglenn, CO. This event will go down in the history of Bharatanatyam as a recital par excellence. Shivanjali Academy of Dance has organized this wonderful event.

The evening started at 7pm with an introduction about the artist and the team those were accompanied with her. Alarmel Valli started the program with the famous Shiva Panchakshari – the hymn of the five syllables. This piece depicts Lord Shiva wearing the garlands of serpents that represent nature's mysteries and man's coiled energy. This was followed by Varnam, composition by Alarmel Valli and Prema Ramamoorthy. Varnam is all about the two important aspects of the Indian Classical Dance – Nritta (abstract dance) and the Abhinaya (dance theatre) which are woven into a dance tapestry.

Third piece was Poems of Love and War. This is a translation of Tamil poetry of the Sangam era. The Forgotten Seed, a music composition by Prema Ramamoorthy was beautiful number by Alarmel Valli. This is about a young couple engaged in a love play. The program ended with the Nrittalahari in which Valli has successfully explored the subtle textures and nuances of the dance form to create structures in both time and space.

We have been reading about her and her dance performances, but watching her dance on the stage really mesmerized the audiences. One could really see her dancing with her utmost senses involved into the divinity blended with perfect movements. The program which went for a full 2hours 15minutes was absolute spell bound. Denver was blessed with such a great artist.

Puja Allepalli, the artistic director of Shivanjali, has honored all the artists at the end of the concert. Everyone appreciated Puja's initiative to organize such a legendary performance by a maestro.

23rd September 2009
Coloradans busy with festival season
It is the big season for the festivals for the past few days. Ramadan season is just over this year with a month long fasting and late night iftar celebrations. With Durga Puja season, people from all regions are celebrating these festivals with various themes. Hindu Temple has been observing the nav-ratri with the traditional Mata Jagaran. Sri Venkateswara Temple is observing the festival with great Dasara celebrations from 25th to 29th September with Bommala Koluvu, Lalitha Sahasra parayanam and Lord Venkateswara Birthday celebrations on 29th. At the regional level, Gujarati's have been enjoying the days with Garba dances for the past two weekends, while Tamilians with their traditional Gollu setups. Milonee, the Bengali Sangh is getting ready to its mega celebrations for two days on 3rd and 4th October. The Marathi Mandal is celebrating Kojagiri festival with the Dandiya sessions and Masala doodh on 2nd October. With the festivity having no limits, the festival season is observed in the Nepalis crowds as Dashain and Tihar festivals, where Dashain being the Vijay Dashami day and Tihar close to Diwali day.

It is nice to see people celebrating the festivals without forgetting the traditions, thousands of miles away from the homeland. The temples and the community organizations are so much appreciated to do their role to get the people together on these occasions.

13th September 2009
A common forum for Indian IT professionals initiated in Denver
Indian IT Professionals in Denver have come together with an objective to have a common voice and a common body to address specific issues related to them. IT Professionals of Indian Origin (ITPIO) made this into reality with its initiation meeting in Denver, where several professionals attended to get a know-how.

ITPIO is a combined forum for IT pros from Indian origin with a mission to voice for professional advancement, policy making, be an active networking forum to share their specific interests and to be an active resource for the Indian communities across globe. An industry leader Mr.Khanderao Kand is the founder of this noble idea and ITPIO's Silicon Valley chapter was publicly launched on August 15th.

While addressing the initiation meeting in Denver, Mr.Khanderao explained the organization's objectives, "the Indian IT professionals are in all levels from entry to executives, and ITPIO helps promote the professional networking among us, that will ignite the opportunities for professional growth". "There are specific issues that are unique for Indian IT pros in health, culture, leadership, immigration etc, that this forum should address these", added Mr.Sridhar Talanki, President of Pandit View Software in Denver.

Several professionals have attended the meeting, which ended on a positive note with the start of Denver chapter of ITPIO. For more information on ITPIO, visit http://www.itpio.org.

12th September 2009
Onam celebrations by Kerala Association of Colorado
Colorado based Malayalees have celebrated their magnificent festival Onam on 12th September 2009 at Gateway High School, Aurora CO. The evening program has started with a welcome speech by the president Mr.Krishnan Nambudiripad. Prizes were distributed for the picnic competition by Maveli. The cultural programs started with beautiful Thiruvathira dance by Babitha, Sajitha, Bindu, Lakshmi, Reshmy, Aarthi, Anitha, Anuja, Ivy and Lisa, choreographed by Anju Gopakumar. Several kids under 10yrs looked very cute participating in fancy dress competition. Pookalam competition and Payasam competition were successfully organized where a lot of people participated very joyfully. Niranjana's solo performance for an old song on Sri Krishna was very impressive along with her attire. Shivanjali Dance School's student Punya Ramesh's Bharatanatyam performance for 'Ananda Natamaduvar' greatly described the magnificent persona of Lord Shiva in an eternal bliss.

The evening was so delightful with very melodious karaoke songs by Anitha Ajay and Shalini. A student of Mrs.Vidula Girish from Colorado Springs has performed a Bharatanatyam item Pushpanjali with a great ease. Denver's famous child dancer Diya Deepak's Bollywood dance for a couple of Hindi songs Jiya Jale and Liquid dance from Dil se and Slumdong Millionaire made the audiences spell bound. This was choreographed by Mrs Prathyusha Apparasu of Laya Dance Academy. A semi-classical dance by Catherine Cyril was really superb. She had to redo the item due to the technical problems at the end of the program.

It was joyous to see several kids on the stage for Sajita Menon choreographed Mallu Medley. The participants Asha Patt, Diya Sebastain, Anoushka Johnson, Maya Malil, Gayathri Krishnan, Mira Menon, Sona Kalatardi, Tanvi, Rohan Malavathu, Abhinav Akumala, Aneesh Warrier, Saket Mereddy, Gokul Gopakumar, Abhinav Kakumanu, Tom Lalu, and Zack Lalu have done their best to synchronize the movements for the rhythm. The next item was a fusion piece based on classical music, presented by Meera Ganesan, Vani Iyer, and Raja Venkataraman. The theme was on Lord Krishna, starting with Jayadeva's Ashtapadi, followed by the song 'Alai payuthe kanna', and ending with a fusion on the tabla and the drums. This received great applause from the audiences.

A group dance for the song "Dola Re" by Annika Ajay, Neha Bahirat, Anjana Mallya and Neha Joseph was a great attempt. Priya and Mary Thommy's dance for the Hindi song Deewangi Deewangi, Isabelle John's solo performance on violin were remarkable. None of the cultural performances will be complete without Muruganantham sisters. Kavitha and Nivetha's dance for Hamma Hamma ended the evening very memorable. The association members have done the best job to cater the dinner in a very traditional style banana leaves. Several volunteers' thrived effort of catering truly reflected the sprit of Onam and Sadya, celebrated by the God's own country Kerala.

6th September 2009
A highly refreshing camp with a stress on Hindu values
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh - Colorado vibhag has organized a 2-day family camp for Colorado families at Camp Shady brook during 4-6th September. It was arranged in such a nice environment, with all amenities, that fully involved every family member with lots of fun, while stressing on the Hindu values in our everyday lives.

The camp was started on Friday evening by 6:30pm, with everyone driving to this nice quite place in the midst of Pike's national forest on CO-67 with their families. The evening was filled with a lot of cheers, and introductions. One nice thing about this camp is that all the family members will not be together. The men will be placed in men's camp; women will be in women's camp and the kids in the kid's camp. Everyone was kept busy with games and yoga in the early morning. After a sufficient breakfast, the people have assembled for an inauguration session. The HSS-USA President Mr.Ved Nanda has addressed the inaugural session, who stressed the importance of keeping the cultures and religion in a multi-cultural society. A variety of games designed around the Indian culture and heritage such as yoga, were played among the group in the afternoon session. A sumptuous food was catered by the authentic food company Gourmet Kitchen, served by the volunteers of different shakhas. The night was really joyful with cultural program, representing different dance traditions from India. The next day was also spent with yoga sessions, inspirational speech from Mr. Manu Raval and hiking. By the evening, the camp was dispersed, with everyone returning home. The 2 day camp gives a great opportunity to mingle with people, having fun and learning about our rich heritage.

30th August 2009
Kuchipudi Workshop in Colorado
Laya Dance Academy of Colorado has organized one week of Kuchipudi workshop under the leadership of Master Pasumarthy Venkateswara Sarma. Mr. Sarma is a renowned Kuchipudi dancer in India and ha s dance school in Hyderabad, visits USA every year to organize the workshops and encourage the children learning the traditional dance of Andhra Pradesh. Laya dance academy, which is one of the oldest dance schools in Denver, run by Mrs Prathyusha Apparasu, invited her Guru all the way from India. Kids of all ages from 6 yrs to 35 yrs of age took part in the workshop. Kids were taught all kids of fundamentals and the basics of the Kuchipudi dance style. Laya Dance Academy is planning for a Dance ballet during the month of December. More information will be posted on DesiShades in few days.

29th August 2009
Ganesh Puja
Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh of Colorado has organized the Ganesh Puja for the children on Saturday the Aug 29th at the Hindu temple. This event is organized all over the city in four different places. Kids of all participated with great enthusiasm. HSS has the tradition of organizing the Ganesh puja every year. Hindu temple Pandit Raghavendra ji explained the puja and its importance and gave a detailed explanation on the importance of and also why do we do puja. Before the puja has started kids sang melodious bhajans. Mr. Parag Dharap explained Ganesha symbolism and why he has that big trunk and belly. Nearly 17 kids participated at the Hindu Temple and more than 40 kids took part in Ft Collins, Westminster, Colorado Springs who organized similar puja on the same day.

16th August 2009
Dances of India by IAOC
India Association of Colorado has celebrated 63rd Indian Independence Day with "Dances of India 2009" at Thomas Jefferson High School, Denver with over 800 audiences. Indian Overseas Affairs Minister Mr.Vayalar Ravi and Consul General of India -SFO Mrs.Susmita G Thomas were invited as the chief guests, while Mr.Ravi had a family emergency and could not make it to the event. Mrs.Susmita has taken the pride to attend the evening, along with the Consul (Community Affairs) Mr. Ashok Sinha. The evening started at about 4pm, with the president of the association Mr.Deepak's addressing the crowd and inviting the chief guest onto the stage. Mrs. Sushmita has lighted the traditional lamp, symbolizing the kick-off of the celebrations, and then addressed the audiences. Addressing the crowd, she mentioned the historical significance of the day, and how India has been marching towards the global success under the able leadership. The vice president of Qwest Communications Mr.Sandeep has also addressed the audiences to thank the efforts that IAOC is putting together to unite the Desi crowd in Colorado.

The cultural programs started with Niranjana's dance for Aaja Nachle title song, followed by the traditional Kerala folk dance by several ladies nicely dressed in traditional attire, dancing around the deepam. The fusion dance medley comprising of songs from different languages by the students of Sai Meghna Dance School was colorful on the stage. The movie star and famous dancer Mrs.Divya Unni from Houston has performed a fusion dance 'Minsara Poove' has portrayed all her talents, especially to see her balancing on the plate. Students of Abhinaya School of Dance have performed the peacock dance for a famous tune by the Veena Legendary Mr.Chittibabu. Bhamakalapam, a Kuchipudi composition was performed by Mrs.Prathyusha Apparasu of Laya Dance Academy with high ease and lovely movements. Assamese style dance Guru Bandana received good applause, which was followed by the Bollywood fusion number 'Jiya Jale and Liquid dance' by Diya Deepak that cheered the audiences. Students of Shivanjali Dance School have perfumed the traditional Bharatanatyam items 'Pushpanjali, Allarippu & Jatiswaram' extraordinarily. The fun medley Desi style Bollywood dance by several girls under Sathya's direction made the audience stamp their feet for the rhythm. Vibha, a non-profit organization involved in educating the rural poor kids has presented a short video about the organization.

The program resumed after a break of 15mins with the Aaja Nachle Bollywood dance by Ramyashree, followed by Bharatanatyam performance by Divya Jayabal for Shankar Mahadevan's breathless. Denver Kids Activity group kids' performance for 'Dance pe chance marle' was greatly appreciated by audiences. Another cinematic dance Nimuda Nimuda by Bhabina and Mahsa was a great attempt. Divya Unni performed a semi-classical song from Bhool Bhulaiyaa which was another great number from her.

Slumdog Millionaire's O Saya was successful to show the artistic moves by Lahari, Bela, Hannah and Dhwani. The Muruganantham sisters' ghazal dance Muthu Mazhai was a great one. Medley Bollywood dance by the students of Laya Dance Academy were successful to do the synchronized steps with the high beats. Divya Unni' last performance of the night for the Bollywood number 'Dhoom Tana' from 'Om Shanti Om' was joyous to watch. The evening program ended with Lahari group's fusion dance Marjaani, with some of the latest hit songs. Shanti's catering by Shrestha couple has some tasty delicacies and catered all the people. Vibha group and HSS have setup the information stalls at the event. Volunteers from Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) have taken a major role in front desk.

15th August 2009
Colorado Telugu Association's Summer Picnic
Colorado Telugu Association's summer picnic helped people to socialize and have summer fun, held on Saturday 15th August. It was a busy day in downtown Littleton with Westerners Welcome Festival, which blocked most of the roads, but quite a challenge to get through the traffic to arrive at the park. Volley ball took most of the men's time, whereas all other activities engaged the kids and women. People played bingo very enthusiastically, though there were few tickets not letting everyone to take part, followed by antyakshari, which maintained a tight contest between the men's team and women's team, before men gave it up to women. There were many parents attended the picnic and shared the joy.

13th August 2009
Krishnastami celebrations in Colorado
Krishnastami, the birth day celebrations of Lord Krishna was celebrated all through Colorado very enthusiastically on Thursday 13th August. All the temples have started the celebrations in the evening at 6pm. At Hindu Temple in Littleton, the celebrations include Gita Paath, Cultural Program, Stotra Paath, Keertan / Bhajan, Poojaa, Archana, Arati / Praarthana followed by Prasad at 12:30 midnight. At ISKON temple, there was a Maha Kalash Abhisheka where the idols of Lord Krishna & Radha were bathed with the panchamrithas by many devotees. This was a very special day at the temple in the year, and was greatly attended by many devotees. There are some cultural programs by many local talents, and Krishna bhajans by the devotees. At Venkateswara temple in Castle Rock, many devotees have taken part in puja, abhishekam, Vishnu Sahasranaamam and Bhajans, Dolarohanam and Arathi at midnight.

9th August 2009
High Energetic Performance by Sonu Nigam at Denver's Explosion 2009
India House restaurant of Downtown Denver has presented the Bollywood super singer Sonu Nigam's Explosion 2009 live concert at Denver Performing Arts' Buell Theater on the evening of Sunday the 9th August 2009 in a big bang. More than 500 audiences were just amazed to see the singer in such a high action for more than 3 hours on the stage.

There was some confusion about the announced time for the show which was 4pm on the posters, 5pm on the tickets and the show actually started about 45minutes later, but everyone was overly entertained by the singing idol with his exuberant style. It was truly joyous to see the celebrity singer live on the stage, who successfully captured the audiences with his style, commentary and songs. The show was kicked off by Ravi Raj, who ably ran the show of the evening. After 5 songs by the singers in the troupe, Sonu appeared on the stage in a blue jeans, white shirt and grey coat with his starter hit 'Kal ho na ho' title song. Apart from many other hits, he rendered "Sandese Aate Hai", from the film "Border", "Saathiya" title song, "Main Agar Kahoo" from Om Shanti Om, "Suraj hua madham" from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam, "Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna" Title Track, "Dil ha yeh dil", "Tu hi tu" from Dil Se, Fiza, etc. It was really hilarious when he picked the vegetable names from the audiences and tuned a song. After a brief break of 15 minutes, Sonu's father Mr.Agam Kumar rendered a couple of Mohammed Rafi's songs. All the artists were called onto the stage at the end of the show, along with the India House owner Mr.Darshan Singh (Ghughi) and Mr.Raju Patel and were thanked. It was definitely a 3 hour high fidelity musical journey, and Sonu's first visit was so memorable for us.

1st August 2009
Fun and Fitness at IAOC Picnic
Indian Association of Colorado was successful to gather people for its annual summer picnic on 1st August at Bicentennial Park in Aurora, to get some fun and fitness. People from different parts of the city have attended this picnic in a great enthusiasm. The event was celebrated in an authentic Indian style games and sports such as volley ball, kho-kho, running race etc. Friends joined for a relaxed company and enjoyed the games and food. It was a hot afternoon, but was never a hurdle for the enthusiasts. A variety of food was served to the attendees, and the true spirit of Indian subcontinent was reflected in every moment of the evening.

18th July 2009
Saimeghna Dance School's annual day celebrations
Kids and parents of Saimeghna Dance School family of Aurora, Colorado had a great time celebrating the anniversary day on Saturday 18th July evening. The day was pleasantly warm and everybody was punctually present at 5:45pm the Parker Main street center, with kids in the dance attire and parents busy with all tasks. The program was started at 6:30pm with a welcome address from Smt Lavanya Yammanur, the founding director of the school, briefly explaining the motto behind starting the school, and various developments of the school over the past eight years. The cultural programs kicked off by Ms.Sriranjani Magge, a carnatic music teacher in the region, with 'Vatapi Ganapatim', the traditional Ganesh prayer by Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar. Audience were so cheered to see the performances by advanced students Meghna, Girija and Kavya for 'Sri Ganapathim'. The senior students of the school Sravani, Sahiti, Sneha and Archita have performed Kuchipudi dance praising the Lord Durga with a great involvement. Another set of students Abhigna, Nikitha, Niharika, Akshita, Vismaya, Dheevana and Rithika's performance for Annamacharya krithi 'Adivo Alladivo' got a great applause from the audience. The students Sanjana, Sanvi and Charita have proved their talent in folk dance for 'Mavaa Bangaari', which then followed by a dance for the Ramadasa krithi 'Garuda Gamana' by Keerthi, Anusha, Ananya and Sanjana clearly showing their bhava for the rhythm. The tarangam 'Neela Megha' composed by Narayana Teertha performed by Srikala Appana is highly talented, especially when she danced on the edge of a plate with a great abhinaya. Another traditional Kuchipudi item 'Tandava Nrityakari' performed by Abhigna, Nikitha, Niharika, Akshita, Vismaya and Dheevana showed a great synchronization among the steps within the group. The dance school has completed more than 8 years, achieved many milestones, and gave many performances. It was a very well presented in a power point presentation by Srikala Appana with snippets of those performances. The audience applauded with claps for the performance to the song Swagatham Krishna' by Ananya, Kyathi and Shalika. The karaoke duet song by Neelima and Sankar for 'Nagamalli' was great. The students Meghna, Sravani, Sneha, Sahiti, Ashritha and Pratyusha showed the clear distinction from Kuchipudi style while performing for the Bharatanatyam item Alarippu with a great ease. The school paid a great tribute to the Saint Annamacharya with solo performances by Meghna for 'Srimannarayana', Kavya for 'Kulukaka Nadavaro'. The classical composition 'Namo Namo Raghavaya' by Saint Thyagaraja rendered by Smt. Rajasri Appana was greatly appreciated, which then was followed by 'Mangalam', which is the highlight of the evening, performed by all the students with their Guru Smt.Lavanya. The stage looked like a rhythmic rainbow with over 30 traditional dancers. Mr.Umashankar Yammanur has thanked all the audience, students, parents and everyone behind the show to make it so successful. It goes without saying that not a single event of Lavanya's goes by without the involverment of one person. This remarkable person is none other than Lavanya's father Dr.P.R.A Babu working remotely into every detail of the show. The school has inaugurated its website www.SaiMeghnaDance.com, designed by DesiShades on this occasion. The show ended with the prize distribution to all the students, and participants of the show, presided by Mr.Sridhar Talanki. The MC's for the show Smt.Sridevi Garimella, Kiran Velpuri and Sreedhar Donthula have delivered excellent commentary during the show, explaining each of the events very ably. The audience turnout was tremendous, which proved again that Colorado needs such dance festivals. The parents have taken a great responsibility to cater the audience a grand dinner, with a touch of social hour at the end of the show.

18th July 2009
Shirdi Sai devotees' great contributions to the society on Guru Purnima event
Shirdi Sai Organization of the Rockies, an affiliate to Hindu Temple of Colorado proved that they are not just devotional to Baba, but can also contribute to the society with their blood donations. They celebrated the auspicious Guru Purnima on Saturday 18th July in a traditional way at the Hindu Temple. Colorado Asian Health and Education Promotion (CAHEP) has conducted a health camp at the venue on this occasion, which served over 50 people, elderly parents offering the health screening tests. Bonfils have conducted a blood donation camp which took 27 fillings. The program started with the traditional morning Arti, Sai puja, Abhishekam and Archana for Lord Shirdi Saibaba by the priest Pundit Raghavendra Iyer, with the help from assistant priests chanting the Ganapathi Adharva Suktam, Mahanyasam, Rudram and Saibaba Sahasra Namams. There was beautiful devotional music rendered by Vani Iyer, Neelima, Madhuri and others with the support on Tabla by Raja Venkatraman. After the Maha arti at 1pm, all the devotees proceeded for a grand lunch prasadam. A great team of volunteers have taken extreme care of the people attending the health camp with Gatorade, cookies and coffee. It was truly memorable event with dedication towards the Lord and to the society, closely following the essence of Baba's preaching.

12th July 2009
Hindu Temple of Colorado's Ground Preparation Ceremony
Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of the Rockies celebrated the auspicious celebration of New Temple Ground Preperation Ceremony on Sunday the 12th July 2009 in a big fanfare. The morning's program started with Pooja and Yagna to seek God's blessings for the next phase of the project that went till 11:30am. The temple president Mr.Mahesh Jha addressed the audience with the temple plans, and the need for more funds in order to execute the project successfully. The vice president Mr.Narender Kumar explained the audience about the current phase of construction. Mr.Bipin Agarwal explained that the first phase of the temple needs $1.6 million, and as soon as we have the amount we can start the construction. Audiences were cheered to hear the motivating words from by Mr.Sudhir Verma and Mr.Sridhar Talanki. All the trustees of the temple board were present at the festival which showed that the dream will soon turn into reality. Presentations of New Temple Design and Construction Plans were done by Mr.Narender Kumar. The Donors received the Recognition Plaques and Certificates which then followed by a commemorative family photo opportunity. On this occassion, the temple has started Pustak Bharati, a kids library program with devotional, patriotic, cultural books/media on Sundays 10:30am to 12:30pm.

The cultural programs was started with Mrs.Vani Iyer's devotional bhajans with Raja Venkatraman on Tabla. Audiences were captivated with the excellent dance show from Sara, who danced in Kathak style, and explained the different steps and the feelings in this form of dance. Mrs.Latha Sudendra's Bharatanatyam item was simply great that spell bound the audiences. Touch of Asia, the restaurant that always backed the temple, has catered the tasty prasad lunch to all the devotees. All the devotees wished to see the temple come into reality soon.

21st June 2009
Indian Association of Northern Colorado's Summer Picnic
The India Association of Northern Colorado (IANC), Fort Collins, CO, kicked off the first day of summer, the 21st of June, with a bang. The annual picnic organized by IANC for the South Asian Indian community in Northern Colorado, included a jumping castle (inflatable), traditional Indian games, garma garam chai, pakoras, and popsicles and enthusiastic participation from the crowd. The picnic saw a gathering of around 80 people including kids.

The picnic started with a welcome speech followed by various games for kids and adults. The goal of the picnic was FUN and there was fun unlimited for the entire family. The kids were excited about the inflatable and had hours of fun jumping on it while the adults participated in various races including sack race, three-legged race and kho-kho. The first game of the picnic was lemon and spoon race. Although a new game for the kids, it was well taken by all of them, accompanied by lots of cheering from the audience. The sack race and three-legged race were other fun games where the entire family participated. Initially the games started with kids alone, then dads and moms were requested to pair with kids for the race.

Simultaneously traditional Indian food and drinks were served with rocking Bollywood music. This kept entire crowd completely occupied.

The second half of the picnic started with Kho-Kho which kept all the participants on their toes, literally! There were two teams just waiting for a chance to chase the opponents. This game was extremely entertaining, not just for the participants, but also for the applauding audience. At the end of the game, most of the participants were a little tired, and to engage the tired crowd, there was a water balloon game. In this game, both kids and adults were asked to play catch with balloons filled with water. The winner was the one who caught the water balloon at the longest distance, without dropping the balloon.

Finally, the game series ended with the one-minute games like boxing the crayons and eating crackers that made the participants realize how challenging it was to complete a task in one minute. It was a lot of fun and even the grandparents had a blast playing the games.

The picnic ended with a prize distribution for all the winners, relaxing music, exchanging information about IANC initiatives and a Thank you note to everyone who attended. Photos for this event can be viewed at IANC Website.

23rd-26th June 2009
Amma Sri Karunamayi blesses the devotees in Colorado, and celebrates Guru Purnima
Amma Sri Karunamyi is in the world tour, and as a part she visited Colorado during 23-26th June. Amma has touched the lives of countless people in her incarnation, leaving devotees overflowing with bliss and tremendous gratitude. You are cordially invited to join us in our celebration of appreciation to our beloved Amma.

On 23rd June she delivered a Spiritual Discourse and blessed the individuals to give Saraswati Diksha for the kids, followed by Homa, a sacred fire ceremony on 24th June. On 25th June, the spiritual discourse was arranged in Unity Church of Denver. This was well received by a numerous devotees of Amma. On 26th June, the devotees are celebrating Guru Purnima, in the presence of Amma.

The program included a cultural performance, Amma's divine discourse and bhajans. The devotees also hadv an opportunity to celebrate Amma’s Divine Being through the ever sacred Sri Pada Puja to Amma’s lotus feet. According to India's venerable rishis, cosmic energy flows through the human body, entering through the crown chakra and leaving through the feet. This is the reason why so much importance is given to the holy lotus feet of God, one's guru, or any holy person. The guru becomes a channel for tremendous cosmic energy, which is available to all through the guru's lotus feet. Thus, honoring the guru at this time of year is most auspicious. Cosmic energy flows from the guru's feet in abundance.

21th June 2009
Vegesna Foundation generously supported by Colorado Telugu Association at Ghantasala festival
Colorado Telugu Association and Vegesna Foundation together organized a Telugu musical concert on Sunday June 21st at South Middle School, with an exclusive list of best melodies of the yesteryears' popular singer, music director Late Sri Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao garu. Colorado Telugu Association is a socially active organization to develop the Telugu language and culture in Colorado State , USA . Vegesna Foundation is helping poor and physically handicapped, mentally retarded, hearing impaired or blind children in Andhra Pradesh since 1988. In an effort to raise funds, the foundation is commemorating the once great Telugu singer Sri Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao, with musical programs by the famous singers Mr.Chandra Teja and Smt.Vijayalakshmi with several performances across US.

The evening program started at 3:30pm by a brief introduction by Mr.Vanguri Chitten Raju, and welcoming the singers Smt.Vijayalakshmi and Mr.Chandra Teja. The program went on for about 3 hours with several old melodies, classical and folk songs, with a brief presentation of Vegesna Foundation's video. Mr.Vamsee Ramaraju, the managing trustee of the foundation has described the organization's efforts to help the poor, disabled children to overcome their disabilities, while making them self-supported. The audiences were so mesmerized and dwelled into the world of music. While Smt.Vijayalakshmi is best known for Denver audiences for her versatile talents, Chandra Teja's magnificent performances, amazing voice and the remarkable vocal scales have just stunned the audiences with continuous applauses. Some of the evening’s hits include Siva Sankari, Rasika Raja, Ranani, Silalapai, Devadeva, Chitapata, Himagiri and Poems from Lava Kusa, Sree Krishna Pandaveeyam, Tenali Ramalingadu etc. An amount of over $11500 was raised during this event, which made the community proud and in taking part in supporting the foundation. The executive committee of Colorado Telugu Association has thanked the audiences in making the event and great success and supporting the cause.

20th June 2009
Swami Chidatmananda discourses at Hindu Temple
Several disciples have understood the techniques of meditation and the lively aliveness from His Holiness Swami Chidatmananda of Chinmaya Mission, Hyderabad at Hindu Temple of Colorado during 20-21 June. It was the wisdom spread by the divine Swami Chinmyananda for the mankind. On Saturday evening the discourse was concentrated on how to live with aliveness which was well received by over 70 people. Sunday morning discourse was on the meditation techniques, which distinguished between the various meditation methods, and the easy way to follow. Several devotees, board members have attended these discourses, which then followed by the Lunch/Dinner prasad.

10th June 2009
Jeeyar Swamy visit to Colorado
Sri Tridandi Ranga Ramanuja Jeeyar Swamy of Kakinada of India has visited SV Temple of Colorado on June 1oth 2009. Amidst chanting the holy mantras Swamiji was welcomed with purna kumbham by Dr. Kuna Gupta, Mohan Sagar and the Chief Priest Sri Jaganadhacharyulu. This was followed by the discourse rendering on the Yagnam by Swamiji's desciples. In continuation of his visit the SV Temple has organized the Maha Lakshmi Yagnam.Click here to see the gallery.

6th June 2009
Indo-American Eyecare Organization going a bigway for fund-raiser
Indo-American Eyecare Organization (IAEO), a Michigan based charitable non-profit organization established to prevent the curable blindness caused by Diabetis in India. This is the major supporter of Pushpagiri Vitreo Retina Institute, Secunderabad, India. IAEO President Mrs.Vanita Reddy has visited Denver today, to see the arrangements going on for the fund-raising program proposed in October. While addressing a gathering, she has described the organization's motto and its procedures for the eye-camp in India. People can now organize the eye-camps in their village, by donating to IAEO, which is all tax-deductible. There are several plans where one can choose from, based on the comfort level.

She has inaugurated the website for IAEO developed by a denver based IT company Shritech Inc, integrated with paypal to accept online donations. This now enables the donors to make the donation easily using their credit cards and bank accounts. Several notable people including Dr.Sudhakar Reddy, Secretary Mr.Sridhar Talanki, Joint-Secretary Mr.Srinivas Cheela were present at this event attended by several volunteers. For details about IAEO, visit its website http://www.indoamericaneyecare.org.

5th June 2009
Nammalvar Jayanthi celebrations at SV Temple
Sri Venkateswara Temple has celebrated Nammalwar's Jayanthi on 5th June evening at 6pm in a very traditional way. Nammalwar was one of the twelve Alvars, well-known for his many hymns on devotion to Lord Vishnu. The chief priest Sri Jagannathachryulu with the help of several volunteers, has performed the tirumanjanam (abhishekam), Kovil Thiruvaymozhi while reciting Tiruppavai and Nammalvar's works. Several children have chanted the Nammalvar's verses. After Archana, the priest has blessed all the devotees, who then proceeded to dinner prasadam.

30th May 2009
Abhinetri Ramaswami won first runner-up in Miss Asian American Colorado 2009
Abhinetri Ramaswamy, an under-grad student of University of Denver in Molecular Biology as major, won the first Runner-up (Miss Unity) for the Second Annual Miss Asian American Colorado 2009 in a gigantic finale show on Saturday 30th May at Teikyo Loretto Heights University Theater. She received $700 scholorship. For her talent, she sang the Carnatic music krithi 'Mahaganapathim', a Muthuswami Dikshitar composition, accompanied by Dr. John Thomas on the tabla. Abhinetri is so thrilled to have been the first contestant to represent India in this leadership program.

The winner of the title Miss Asian American Colorado 2009 was Erika Tanaka (Vietnamese/Japanese) from Regis University, and the second runner-up (Miss Impact) was Christine Thai (Chinese) from University of Colorado at Boulder, winning $1000 and $500 respectively, towards scholarship.

30th May 2009
Desi Democrats Success Meet with Elected Officials
It was one of the rare evenings that two of the Colorado senators made their presence with other Desi force. Desi Democrats had a success meet on Saturday 30th May at 4pm, with the recent elected officials, reiterating to keep the focus to get the blue wave go on. For a couple of hours, Reddy Plaza, the building which hosted the celebrations was all filled with the blue colors, and people talking about the active Desi role into the politics both as voters and as contestants. Many officials from the state and county have attended this event including Senator Mark Udall, Senator Michael Bennet, Colorado State Treasurer Cary Kennedy, CDP State Chair Pat Waak, Governor of the State of Colorado was represented by Executive Director Labor and Employment Don Mares and CU Regent Monisha Merchant (first Indian to be elected).

The evening started with a snack & socializing hour at 4pm. President of the Desi Democrats Mr.Sudhir Verma welcomed the crowd and told "In the recent election campaign, Desi Democrats played key role in organizing the town hall meetings, voter registration drive, mobilizing the Asian community to the polling booth etc. Our members were invited as surogate speakers to the candidates. Sudhir requested the elected officials to involve more Desi's to play significant role in their offices.We have a lot of intellect and talent with our community, and I urge the officials to use our services as advisers or in some other useful form. We know the power of unity, and we can get the blue wave to go around the nation". Dr.Ved Nanda addressed the crowd, to describe the hard work put by the Desi Democrats. He then told that Senator Mike Bennet was born in Delhi, and mentioned about Sen.Bennet's accomplishments in various positions he held in Mayor's office, Denver Public Schools and his outstanding contributions to Yale Law Journal.

Sen.Mike Bennet then addressed the crowd, "I am thankful to you all for making Barak Obama the President of America. I was born in Holy Family Hospital in New Delhi in 1964. My parents were serving Chester Bowels, the US ambassador to India who has profound respect to India and its interconnectedness. All through my life, I had a pleasure to meet several Indian people during special occasions. Desi Democrats is a robust organization. I need your help to hold this seat in 2010". Manu Raval has described the values of India since the Vedic times. Senator Mark Udall has then addressed with his recent visit to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the security issues within the region. He mentioned about the strategic partnership between US and India, and the efforts of US government to reduce the tensions between India and Pakistan in the Kashmir border. He thanked the people for their continued commitment to Democratic candidates. State Treasurer Cary has explained about the state's finances, and the government's initiatives to lead the state into success path. CDP State Chair Pat Waak addressed the crowd; to ask about more cooperation to democratic candidates at all levels in the coming elections. Sam Thomas thanked the Senators for extending him an opportunity to speak for them. Don Mares and Katherine Nanda also addressed.

CDP chair Pat Waak nominated DD President Sudhir Verma to the State Democratic Party Executive Board. It is a great honor for the community.

Sudhir introduced several people backed the day's event. The executive board members Sam Thomas, Vipul Talati, Arjun Sen, Gyan Saxena, Anwar Ahmed, Prabhakar Vibhandik and Nidhi Saxena were present at the event. It was a great networking event with several supporters of Democratic Party, exchanging their ideas and views.

29th May 2009
A refreshing evening for Kannadigas in Colorado by renowned comedians
Colorado Kannada Koota has organized 'Nage Hanigalu' with the help of AKKA (Association of Kannada Koota of America) by three renowned Kannada Comic Artists (Mimicry Dayanand, Richard Louis and Beechi Pranesh) on Friday 29th March evening at 7pm till 10:30pm at Wheat Ridge Recreation Center, Colorado. This was a great refreshing evening to several people of Kannada origin. DesiShades on this occasion has got a chance to chit-chat with these artists for the knowledge of its readers.
We first spoke to Richard Louis, ho is a story, screen play and dialogue writer for well known theatre, TV and movie works. "It is almost one month that we are here. Every weekend we are doing the shows. We are busy up to June 14th on all weekends. I am coming for 2nd time for this standup comedy show. Last time the response was not good as the people were not so aware of comedy shows. A show of 3hours with total comedy is getting popular now in US. I feel we need more humor in USA, to relieve the people out of their busy lives", told Richy, when asked about his trip in US. He was really light to answer about his time management between various aspects of theater, "I still have more time to do things as I work in a government office (giggles). I was humorous and mischievous since my childhood. In the 3rd grade, my teacher asked me what is the difference between cargo and a ship, and I answered if a car goes into a ship that is cargo (Laughs)". He has a high regard to his co-artists, and remarked "Each person has a different ability to understand. This humor show is with my own team. We create humor on the stage. We see so many things happening around here in US. We make humor out of our experiences".

Mimicry Dayanand is capable of imitating 73 different voices. He is an excellent theatre artist, who has performed more than 2000 different kind of plays. To a question about his trip, he replied "This is my third trip to US. I was in 1996 then in 1998. It is quite nice. Humor is a godly thing, where one talks and several listens. People love a lot, and getting more response these days. I have done over 10000 shows. I do the standup comedy show in public, act in the TV and in the films. I bring out the new characters, with new script and new action in my shows. I have done 28 albums, acted and directed by me. I acted in 149 movies with big stars like Ambarish, Vishnuvardhan, Rajkumar, Chiranjeevi etc." He was very thankful for AKKA for taking extreme care of the US trip, and explained about his interest into mimicry "I do mimicry in 5-6 languages in Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi etc. That's my interest. When people clap to my action, I am encouraged to do more. I started my career when I was 9yrs. When I met the great actors like Rajkumar, Amitabh Bachan, I tried imitating them. I was brought up with all these great associations." About his roles in the movies he told, "I was a dubbing artist in 230 films. I played many roles. As a coincidence, I look like a villain. I get a villain role during the comedy role. I acted as a straight comedian in few films. Most of them are villain, fights, police, lawyer etc. I like my role in the movie Friends. This gave me a great opportunity to act various shades." About the current trends of humor in the movie, he "Now-a-days humor is getting into big focus. I am glad that people are coming to our shows, and encouraging us. Adding a special comedy bit to the main theme of the movie is not a good idea. The comedians are capable of making the comedy within the context of the film. They can be given freedom to extract such comedy".

Pranesh is such a wonderful comedian, who gave more than 1300 performances. He is very active in social organizations like Kannada Sahitya Parishat. He explained about this program "This comedy program is for all Kannadigas in America; I have been touring here to give these program. Especially I am from Northern Karnataka and I speak that style of Kannada and share the comedy from that area and in the same style which people really like. Every one likes it and it gives motivations for us". He greatly appreciated that the people living thousands of miles away from Karnataka, thrive to keep up with their culture, with the remark "In couple of houses I visited, they are brining up the children in very good way. They are trying to bring Indian culture and Kannada language in their children. Even they talked to me in Kannada language by which I am really happy. In spite of their busy schedule, I could see the efforts from parents to bring that Indian culture in their children which is really good sign. Though they talk English version of Kannada, I am really happy for that." For the question about his entry into the comedy stage shows, "I started this effort from 1982. After my B.Com degree in 1982, I came into contact with a novelist called Beechi and I got influenced by him, I adopted the comedy from his literature and sharing the same with all. I want to spread his literature to all and encourage them to read his literature through these shows." DesiShades asked what he prefers between the movie acting and a stand up comedy show, he responded "I like stand up comedy than the movies. Since it is in front of people, they can express their feelings and point out the mistakes I do. This will help me to correct myself and I can rectify the mistakes. If I do once in movie, the mistakes will remain same". He expressed a little worry about people's reading habits, "If you ask me, now-a-days people are loosing the interest in reading novels. They are hooked onto TV always. Compared to previous generation, current generation is off inclined less and less towards reading. That's the reason I am trying to bring out the interest in literature and cultivate reading habits in our youngsters through these programs."

The three artists visited the Rocky Mountains in the morning, and were very excited to the natural beauty of Colorado. All the people appreciated the association to arrange a great hilarious event.

23rd May 2009
Hanuman Jayanthi celebrated in Colorado
Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Rockies celebrated Hanuman Jayanthi on Saturday 23 May 2009, in grand, vibrant celebration at the Hindu temple on Wadsworth Blvd, Littleton. In Hindu tradition, Lord Hanuman symbolizes strength, energy, and devotion, and Hanuman Jayanthi is celebrated to commemorate his Birthday. This auspicious occasion was marked by devotees chanting Hanuman Chalisa 108 times with utmost devotion and passion, starting at 6AM. About 50 devotees participated in the Hanuman Chalisa recital. After the 108 recitals, Abhishekam to Lord Hanuman was performed with Panchamrithas - Milk, Yoghurt, Honey, Ghee, Coconut water and turmeric water, one at a time, while chanting Purusha suktham, Sree Suktam and other Vedic sukthas. After the Abhishekam, Hanuman Ashtotram was performed while doing pooja with beetle leaves, which is considered to be most favorite pooja for Lord Hanuman. This was followed by Aarthi, and prasad lunch. In all, around 120 devotees participated in the Hanuman Jayanthi celebrations, representing people of all ages and diverse geographic backgrounds. Kids too, participated in chanting the Hanuman Chalisa. At Noon, a quiz was conducted for the kids with questions about Lord Hanuman. All the kids that participated received prizes.

The proceedings of the Hanuman Jayanthi program were conducted in a thorough, authentic and traditional manner by Acharya Kailash Chandra Upadhyay and assistant pundits. On behalf of HTCC Hanuman organization, Mr. Sridhar Ponnapalli gave vote of thanks to the priests, volunteers, and sponsors that helped make the Hanuman Jayanthi celebrations a grand success.

9th May 2009
Tamil Association's Chithiral Thiruvizha cultural program
Tamil Association of Colorado celebrated the Chithiral Thiruvizha cultural program on Saturday May 9th from 4pm to 8pm at Chatfield High School, Littleton. It was the 5th anniversary of the association, and the event was dedicated to the Musical Maestro A R Rehman who recently won 2 Academy Awards. The program started at around 4:25pm with the traditional Tamil Thai Vazhthu. Shiva Shakti is a beautiful musical composition, concept by Priya Hariharan and performed by Priya, VK Arun Kumar, Tara, Krish, Vinod, Raja, Venkat and Prasad. Raghuraman Srinivasan, the president has welcomed the audience. Vidula Girish is a Bharatanatyam dance teacher from Colorado Springs, whose students have performed Alarippu in a very traditional style. The audiences were so joyful to watch the Indian folk fusion choreographed by Subadra RJ, which represented different dance traditions of India. Shivanjali Dance Academy students have performed Pushpanjali and Alarippu, under the able guidance of Puja Allepalli. It was really impressive to see several kids of different age groups singing the traditional prayer song on the stage. Laya Dance Academy was successful to present the Music Fusion dance with catchy Tamil bits, which made the audience spell bound. Meena Annamalai choreographed Radhi Manadhil was certainly great. It seems that the Tamil Association team knows the best formula to involve kids to a great extent, that gathers large audiences. Vilakku Dance choreographed by Aarthi Ramesh, Thiruvilayaadal, Kuzhandhaigalin Nadanam choreographed by Maha Manickam and Rekha Vishwaroopan, Taxi Taxi choreographed by Ezhil Ramasamy, Jai Ho choreographed by Anou Manavalan have received repeated applause from the audiences. The musical shows of the evening Thiruvilayaadal Repeat, concept by Ponnila Chandren, Rock at TAC concept by Vinod have presented the best of Eastern and Western music. Audience were amazed to see the dance shows Desi Girl team, Generation Gap choreographed by Anushka, Jonu, Sonu and Vinod with great beat matched to the outrageous performance by the participants. It was remarkable to see the Muruganantham sisters along with Priya to perform Muhtu Mazhal dressed in mirror work. A new executive committee was introduced for next year with Balaji Ramanath as the new president, who delivered the vote of thanks at the end. The program was very ably presented by Sarmishta Ramesh, a talented individual who is also part of their magazine Malai Charal, and by Mr. Dennis McGilvray, a professor at CU Boulder, who is from Srilankan Tamil origin. Audiences were so much engaged, with a lot of vigor and enthusiasm all through the event participating in trivia questions. Delicious food was catered to the people at the end of the event.

9th May 2009
An hourful of Masti and Hungama on Denver Radio Mirchi on Saturdays
People in Denver have been surprising to see nobody out during Saturday 6pm to 7pm. Denver Radio Mirchi has made them sit and enjoy their show during this time on Saturdays for the last two weeks. Since its start on 2nd May, it completed two episodes, both with a high degree of Masti and Hungama, which brought a different shade of color to the desi life. The RJs Madhu and Pinkal have been doing excellent job indulging the audience into the complete world of entertainment for the hour. The people have been waiting for such a venture for a long time and this filled the space. The lines are really busy during the time, and often, you will be hold on in a queue for the opportunity to talk. Don't miss this crazy hour!!

Trivia : 33% people experience this at Indian railway stations. What's that? For the answer Call Denver Radio Mirchi at 303-631-1150 next Saturday 6-7pm and/or tune to 1150 AM on your radio.

2nd May 2009
Indian Dance Festival successful to connect the cultures
It was a nice drizzly evening, not so usual for Colorado, where Kerala Association of Colorado celebrated the Indian Dance Festival 2009 on 2nd May at Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver among a huge crowd of over 400 people. This is the tradition that the association is following over the years, to come up with a high quality, well managed event that had a hard work of several committee members for over 4months.

With a huge ballroom backdrop, the stage looks awesome, that conveniently has 2 video screens with the live coverage on either sides. After the prayer song by Anita Ajay and a welcome speech by the president Krishnan Nambudripad, the traditional folk dance Thiruvathirakali/Kaikottikkali started had kicked off the program. The performers nicely dressed in Kerala style with jasmine garlands to their hair, circling on the stage clockwise and anti-clockwise in a pattern, have delighted the audience. A lightening fast musical fusion for symphony music by Laya Dance Academy provided the audience with a new and innovative glimpse at modern dance with classical mix. The celebration dance for Bollywood tunes from Devdas and Guru, choreographed by Sanjogita Mishra has depicted the pain of separation and the joyous celebration to welcome the rain that received the great applause. Saimeghna Dance School's Lavanya has presented the Kuchipudi classical item 'Shreemannarayana', an Annamacharya composition, depicted the dramatic narratives and stylized gestures of Kuchipudi dance. Mudra Dance Studio has presented the Panjabi Gidda and Bhangra dances in a very collaborative and rhythmic for the heavy music from Taiko drums. Kerala, the 'Gods own country' has its own dance forum Mohiniyattam. Vidula Girish performed this dance of enchantress very traditionally, for a padam composed by Swati Thirunal. The Desi Girl team then took over the stage with their rocking performance for the fast beat mixed track for over 5 minutes that portrays the different faces of Indian woman. The highlight of the evening was Bollywood West performance for a series of songs that ended with the Oscar winning Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire. This truly took the breath away from the audience for over 15 minutes, with the exquisite moves.

After a slight intermission, the program resumed with a refreshing Sitar music awesome performance by the Maestro Roshan Jamal Bhartiya accompanied by Naveen Shreshta on Tabla. The semi classical Villakku dance choreographed by Aarthi Ramesh involving different dance formations with intricate patterns using lamps is great. Shivanjali Dance Academy has presented two Bharatanatyam items in the evening, one, a Thillana by Vani Topkar and the other, a padam 'Ananda Natamaduvar' by Meera Ganesan. The dancers were successful in presenting the sculpturesque movements and nritta patterns along with the abhinaya. The next item was the dance for the Bollywood number Nach Nach Ke by Muruganatham sisters, which was a good attempt to show the realm of modern dance for a rhythmic beat. Another Indian classical dance forum Odessi style was performed with an utmost ease and talent by Tejas Hemsell. The audience was captivated by the strong yet sensitive feminine energy of the Odissi piece. Everybody were so surprised to see the peacocks dancing on the stage, until after they realized that it was the Abhinaya School of Dance Performance's students for the Veena legend Chittibabu's composition that wonderfully choreographed by Usha Muralidharan and Sri Mohana Balasubramaniam. It was a joy to witness these features of the dance styles as they came together in the fusion items, creating something new for the audience while retaining the integrity of each classical dance movement. Rajastani folk dance for a joyous folk beat was a different item of the evening. This solo-duet has both the characters of a boy and a girl, portrayed by the same performer Isha Parol from California, was a high-energy expression. The colorful costumes and lively movements received a lot of claps. Secretary of Kerala Association of Colorado, Sheela Dharamarajan delivered a vote of thanks to all the volunteers, participants and many people who backed the festival. The name Two Left Feet Bollywood dance studio may be new to the people, but when hearing it is Sathya R Narayan behind this studio, everyone cheers. They presented the delightful Jalsa dance performance with a great vigor, with a catchy disclaimer 'Just for fun, not for educational purposes'. The event ended with fast paced beats, slumming with a mix of Bollywood songs by several girls.

Throughout the evening, each piece was presented to the audience with its own energy and attitude; the atmosphere of the auditorium was dynamic, changing with each story and theme that would unfold on stage. With a lot of support from the sponsors, the evening was superbly planned to keep the audience really enthralled. The traditional and fusion cuisine restaurant India's Pearl has provided the on-site eatery to feed the audience with tasty appetizers, entries and deserts. It was nice to see certain new businesses such as MalayalaSangeetham.info and the local Indian grocery store Tejal International Foods from Thornton area. KAC committee has done it extremely well with the arrangements, and the nice handouts for the program.

25th April 2009
Sakhi Sammelan 2009 by HSS-CO vibhag
Colorado Vibhag Sakhi Sammelan 2009 was held on 25th April 2009 at Birch Elementary School in Broomfield, CO. Around 25 women including teenagers from Colorado Springs, Highlands Ranch, Denver, Westminster, Longmont areas participated in this exclusive women's event, which was presided by Mrs.Katherine Nanda, attorney and social worker and Dr. Sayee Patil, Scientist at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics. This was a fun filled activity for 5 hours where everybody enjoyed the songs, enthusiastic games Presentation on Home remedies, Yogasanas for a healthy body and balanced lifestyle, delicious food and discussions on parenting.

This was followed by a presentation, where the attendees could learn the remedies for Premature Graying of Hair, Obesity, Cures for Common cold/fever/cough, Constipation/Indigestion, Arthritis, Headaches/Migraine and Eczema. Dance was introduced by some of the sevikas which provided good way of exercise and work out for the body. Katherine Nanda spoke about domestic violence and made everyone aware of preventing such violence, the resources that are available to work on the social cause. Dr.Sayee Patil coordinated sessions by dividing the whole team into three groups and each group to present a skit focusing on some of the challenges parents may face to raise the children in US.

One of the skit was about the language problems children face  have trouble learning our Indian language living in a foreign country. The event was concluded by Sayee's boudhik about importance of women coming forward and involve in community activities and contributing more to society. She spoke about the involvement of women in local community and best way of assimilating/ integrating/ isolating from the local community. She explained the role of women in the family, society and the world.

25th April 2009
Shirdi Sai Mandir of Rockies' majestic celebrations of Sri Rama Navami
Shri Shirdi Sai Mandir of Rockies organized a majestic celebration of Sri Rama Navami Maha Abhishekam on April 25th, 2009 in Smokey Hill High School Auditorium, Aurora, CO. This grand-scale event has received an overwhelming response with over 450 Sai Baba devotees congregated from all over the state of Colorado, representing all age groups and many states in India. Devotees celebrated Sri Rama Navami in an astonishing reflection of flourishing traditions and unparalleled devotion on this auspicious occasion.

The auditorium at Smokey Hill High School was adorned with splendid, garlanded portraits of Shri Saibaba, and Sri Ram Parivar. At the center of the stage was a divine, marble idol of Shri Saibaba ensconced inside an elegant granite Kalasam, with a sparkling backdrop for the Maha Abhishekam. The event started at 3:15PM with Ganesh krithi by Priya Hariharan accompanied by Raja on Tabla. The rituals started with Ganapathi Pooja and Sankalpam by Paditji Sri Raghavendra Iyyer. Right after that, Maha Abhishekam started with Sri Iyyer reciting the Gothram and Nakshatrams of about 101 families that sponsored the Abhishekam. Distinguished Brahmins joined Pandit Raghavendra ji as he led a lucid, authoritative chanting of Namakam, Chamakam, Mantrapushpam, Panchasuktam and Aashirvada Mantrams with consecration of Pancha Amritha Abhishekam to Shri Saibaba idol. This was followed by melodious devotional Shri Saibaba and Sri Rama Bhajans by devotees Neelima, Sumana, Subha, Radha, Priya, Archana and Vani that stimulated the audience. Amazing Dance performances by Smt Pratyusha Apparasu, Smt Lavanya Yammanur and Smt Meera Ganeshan captivated the audience. The temple trustees Mr.Ved Nanda, Mr.Mahesh Jha, Mr.Narender Kumar, Mr.Bipin Agarwal, Mr.Sudheer Verma, Mr.Sridhar Talanki, Mr.Srinivas Nallapati and Mr.Hari Morisetti were present at the event. Mr.Ved addressed the audience with his pround speech about the temple, Mr.Narender Kumar gave some update about New temple construction project and Mr.Mahesh thanked the audience and briefed about the highlights of the New Hindu Temple. Mr. Srinivas Nallapati recognized all the volunteers for their sustained, arduous efforts that made this extraordinary event possible. A total of almost one hundred volunteers provided their incredible support by participating in various activities of the event like decorating the auditorium, preparing the prasadam, Pooja arrangements, boxing and serving the prasadam, performing in cultural programs, front desk operations, video/photography, live web streaming of the whole event etc. The program concluded by personal blessings to all Abhishekam participants and their families, followed by Prasadam distribution. Each of the Abhishekam sponsors received a sacred kit comprising of a blissful plaque of shri Shirdi Saibaba, Shawl, Saibaba's book for kids and prasadam. Kids we taken a great care by Christa, the director of after-school care at Willow Creek Elementary School. All through the program, kids we being engaged by magic, crafts and arts.

With Baba's blessings, the Sri Rama Navami Maha Abhishekam in Colorado was a grand success, and all the devotees were spiritually gratified and went home with an ecstatic blessed feeling.

11th April 2009
Fun-filled Musical night during Ugadi festival by Colorado Telugu Association
Colorado Telugu Association celebrated Virodhi Nama samvatsara Ugadi in a glorious fashion, amidst huge fanfare, with a passion and energy filled evening on Saturday, April 11, 2009 at the Grandview High School in Aurora, Colorado. Over 400 predominantly Telugu and south Indian people took part from all corners of Colorado in the fun-filled celebrations, and enjoyed the program, that included breathtaking local programs by kids and adults like classical, folk, movie dances, songs, skit, and a musical night from Amrita Varshini group. The Colorado Telugu community welcomed the New Year with a great reflection of rich, traditional Telugu dresses, delicious Andhra-style feast dinner and a dazzling display of cultural events.

Stage of the majestic auditorium at Grandview High School was artistically decorated with flowers, shining columns of lights, and thoranamulu. The event started at 3pm with a social hour of snack and coffee. Cultural programs started with traditional prayer of Lord Vinayaka. Amazing authentic classical dance performances Thillana and Natesh Kauthuvam by Shivanjali Academy students, Madhura Nagarilo by Sai Meghna dance school, Dasavatara Sabdam and Sringara Lahari captivated the audience. The ambience was galvanized by fast-beat movie dances Orugalluke Pilla by Sai Meghna dance school, Fusion and Kanthri by Laya Dance academy, Naach Naach ke and Nee istam. The audiences were spellbound by a colorful rendition of famous folk dances Thummedalunnavemmeraa by Sai Meghna dance school, and Kodi Baye Lachammadi.

Authoritative classical song performances Melukovaiyya and Jalajakshi entertained the audience. Scintillating performances like parady song for the famous Mama Mama, and movie song Naa Manasukemayindi stimulated the audiences interest. Telugu comedy drama Sri Krishna Parijatham, written and directed by Lavanya Yammanur, received excellent accolades from the spectators. This laugh-out-loud-funny comedy is a modernized version of Srikrishna Parijatham story, and is interspersed with comic telugu songs to suit the context, and modern gadgets like laptops, e-mails, SMS messages.

The highlight of the evening was Telugu cine Janaranjani that started after dinner, and was a fascinating performance for three hours by the visiting Amritha Varshini group. This brilliant, passionate musical night of smashing hit tollywood songs was presented by lead singers Viswamohan Ammula and Mani Sastry, with magnificent live orchestra support from Tablist Amol Khanapurkar, drummer Arun Viswanathan, and pianist Vara Sampson. The musical night started with melodious songs, and included a good balance of old & new, melody and fast beat, solo and duet-style songs to enthrall the audience of all ages. Some of the highlights of the musical night include fast beat songs Musugu veyyaddu manasu meeda, Nachave Naizam Pori, and Rubber Gazulu, evergreen melodies like Sivaranjani, Vedam Anuvanuvuna, and Siva Sankari, patriotic song Punyabhhomi Nadesam, and Happy days. After the musical night, Colorado Telugu Association presented trophies to all the artists in appreciation of their unmatched efforts.

Mrs. Shalini Kaja and Mr. Srinivas Dasari were the MCs for this vibrant evening. They conducted the evenings proceedings with a lively special theme that made it very interesting and exciting, and engaged all audience. Colorado Telugu Association also conducted a free health screening camp on the occasion of Ugadi function, and several people including elderly parents took advantage of this unique opportunity, to get free tests for allergy and asthma, diabetes, cholesterol tests, osteoporosis and vaccines.

General secretary, Mr. Sridhar Ponnapalli presented vote of thanks, thanking all the association members, sponsors, performers and volunteers, and expressed hope that Colorado Telugu Association would continue to receive the great patronage it has been receiving so far from the whole community. CTA president Sankar Gunturu and committee members Hari Morisetti, Sridhar Ponnapalli, Madhuri Mohan, Lavanya Yammanur, Sridevi Garimella, Baburao Bachu, Amar Kallupalle, Mohan Koneru, Gunakar Darisi, Nagreddy Gorla, Venkateshwar Rao Donthinani, and Surendar Reddy Andem impressively organized various aspects of this glittering event. Almost 100 participants took part in the cultural programs, and several other people volunteered all through the event.

5th April 2009
Sri Venkateswara Temple's Sri Rama Navami celebrations
Sri Venkateswara Temple of Colorado has celebrated Sri Rama Navami on 5th April at Kirk Hall in Castle Rock, CO. A great crowd of devotees have attended this event, and enjoyed. The program was started at 11am with Sri Rama Abhishekam, followed by alankaram and pallaki procession in a big fanfare, amidst the fire crackers and bhajans. The Rama Kalyanam was started at 4:30pm, followed by Pattabhishekam that ended at about 7:15pm. All the devotees were served with sumptuous dinner in traditional banana leaves. This is yet another memorable event celebrated by Sri Venkateswara Temple of Colorado. The chairman of BOT Mr.VJ Chukkapalli thanked all devotees and volunteers for their efforts to make this a big success. The cheif priest Sri Jagannathacharyulu alongwith other priests were honored appropriately. All through the day, there was a seamless effort by the volunteers to make every task so smooth, and all devotees were taken extreme care. Every devotee expressed their wish to see the temple constructed soon, and see many more such traditional festivals celebrated home away from home.

4th April 2009
Colorado Springs Telugu Association's Ugadi celebrations
On April 4th, Colorado Springs Telugu Association successfully performed the Ugadi celebrations with the extraordinary support from the community members. Before the actual event started, Ugadi Pachadi contest was conducted followed by the fashion show performed by kids of ages 5 and below. The event started at 5:00 PM with traditional Deeparadhana and Aarambha Geetham followed by Panchanga Shravanam. The event continued later with outstanding performances such as Bhartha Natyam, Tarangam Tarangam dance, Annamayya Keerthanalu, Jai Ganesha dance by kids, Yuva Tharangalu dance by teenagers, singing, dancing and skits by adults. The event ended at 8:30 PM with Jaateeya Geetam followed by traditional Ugadi feast. There were many community members involved behind this success. Our sincere thanks to all including but not limited to event owners, participants, sponsors, volunteers and everyone else who made this event very successful.

28th March 2009
Laya dance academy's dance and arts extravaganza benefiting Sowrirajan Educational Trust
It was a beautiful evening showcasing Indian arts and dance! Laya Dance academy fundraiser for SowriRajan Educational trust was a grand success. The theme of 'giving' was evident throughout the show. The program started off with Meena and Sumana welcoming the huge audience at Chatfield Senior High auditorium. Ms.Vani Iyer started the program with a beautiful rendition of Ganesha song Mahaganapatim as a salutation to Lord Ganesha. The platform was very elegant and beautifully decorated. Affirming the Indian dance heritage to almost 5000 years, Swathi Kompella performed to "Koluvaithiva RangaSai" praising Lord Ranganatha in the SriRangam Temple. This was followed by a touching presentation on the Educational trust. Several raffle tickets were sold much to the excitement of the audience as several amazing prizes were to be given away. Sonu Venkataraman's Sivashtakam dance enthralled the audience. Medha Gudavalli who followed Sonu with Bho Shambo was an absolute delight to watch. They say good things come in small packages. Diya Deepak's electrifying "Thoda sa Pagla" drove the audience crazy. Shreya then represented the classical component of Indian dance with a very expressive "Brahmanjali" dance. The Mahaganapatim dance that followed used a song with melodies that were given a contemporary Western touch and twist, with liberal usage of the guitar, drums and the keyboard. Anu, Reema and Sindhu were just amazing. The portrayal of Sathyabhama that came next by Prathyusha Apparasu in BhamaKalapam was mesmerizing. Her expressions were so beautiful. It takes years of practice to achieve such flawlessness.

Phani Kolaraja's team of young energetic dancers Vishnu Praneeth, Medha, Avani, Adithya, Susheel, and SreeRam said Ola next in Nagamalli dance totally blowing away the audience. Diya Deepak then captured the audience to "come dance with me" in Aaja Nachle. Vinod and Sathya's team that followed wowed the audience with Tamil hits. A tribute to AR Rahman was paid in the form of young dancers Shreya, Rithu, Anushka, Susmitha and Manaasa in the beautiful "Maa Tujhe Salam" dance. Rockies Masti's Sujatha, Sandeep and Savitha entertained the audience with beautiful music and songs. Phanis team came back and performed the energetic 123 Kantri, much to the audience's pleasure. Raghu Raja's tarangam on the brass plate was mind blowing.

Ms.Prathyusha Apparasu and Ms.Padma Avinash then thanked the audience for their generosity and their time. The event's dance component concluded with the entire team of Laya Dance Academy performing to several smash hits. It was very vibrant and colorful. Several prizes were given away during the show by Dan Breggin of Metro Properties Inc. Rockie's masti concluded a beautiful evening on a beautiful musical note.

DesiShades is thankful to Mrs.Sumana Nallapati, who contributed us with this coverage article.

28th March 2009
Kids enthusiastic participation in NSF cotests
North South Foundation Denver chapter has organized the spelling, math, geography and vocabulary bee contests for the kids in 1-8 grades, at Denver University campus. There were a total of 36 kids present at the contests, with a lot of enthusiasm. North South Foundation has been conducting the contests for kids of Indian origin for about 20years, and in Denver this is the second year of contests. The morning session started at 9:00am with Math Bee test, then the Junior and Senior Spelling Bee written tests, followed by Geography and Vocabulary Bee written tests till 12:30pm. After a short break, the session resumed with the Oral rounds of Spelling Bee at 1pm. The contest results were announced at 3pm, and the contestants were given participation certificates and winners in each category were presented with rank certificates. In the Junior Spelling category, the winners are Neil Borde, Himanvi Kopuri, Dhivya Senthil Murugan stood first, second and third places respectively, whereas in Senior Spelling winner was Shritha Gunturu. Meghana Yarlagadda is the Math level 1 winner. Nina Vendhan, Valliappan Chidambaram and Sameer Saptarshi got 1st, 2nd and 3rd ranks respectively in Math level 2. Ethiyal Raj Wilson won the Math level 3. It all has been possible with the great cooperation from volunteers including but not limited to, Sravya Kattula, Sanju Garimella, Susheel Nalla, Radha Muthu, Ramki Thurimella, Vamsee Kanaparthi, Aparna Natarajan, Shohini Ghosh, Kotesh Yarlagadda, Sri Garimella, Allison Holmes, Suresh George, Rao Nalla, Radha Ponnapalli, Priya Korrapati, Shalini Kaja, Ramesh Veeranki, Raghavendra Paturi and Sridhar Ponnapalli. NSF Denver chapter expressed their sincere thanks to Mr.Dileep Reddy, who presented the certificates/medals to the participants/winners. For more information on NSF, visit http://www.northsouth.org.

15th March 2009
Coloful Holi festival at Hindu Temple
The Hindu community in Denver celebrated the Holi festival at Hindu Temple on Sunday. Celebrations of the festival included special Holi puja, singing of Bhajans and Lok geet, splashing colours at each other, and prasad distribution at the temple. Participants were clad in white dresses and sang hymns and offered special prayers for the prosperity. People were found to be meeting each other saying 'Happy Holi', and coloring each other. Kids of all ages were dressed in beautiful traditional dresses and actively distributing prasad and water.

8th March 2009
2nd Annual Rocky Mountain Thyagaraja Utsavam coverage
Second Annual Thyagaraja Utsavam has been celebrated in Colorado on 8th March 2009 at Douglas County Fairgrounds Kirk Hall, in Castle Rock, CO in a big fanfare. There were more than 100 singers and 300 audiences in this massive event that includes the seasoned artists through the aspiring young learners. The program has started at 10am, and continued without interruption till 7:00pm, at its grandeur. The stage was decorated with Saint Thyagaraja Swamis photo in the center, grandly decorated with various flowers on either side.

The event was very well organized by Priya Hariharan, with the help of several dedicated volunteers. A seamless coordination has been seen throughout the event, in every task, and Priya would surely be appreciated for such a wonderful job. The stage has been busy since morning till about 7:00pm, when it finally ended with Mangalam, without any break. A great care has been taken to serve the audiences with lunch boxes, and afternoon tea. All the participants were awarded with a certification of appreciation.

Click here to read a detailed coverage on this event.

28th February 2009
Colorful Bharat Utsav to celebrate the Indian Republic Day by IAOC
Indian Association of Colorado has celebrated the Republic Day on Saturday 28th February 4pm - 8:30pm, at Merrill Middle School auditorium. It has been the biggest gathering at any IAOC festival in the past 2 years, and it was really fantastic to see different cultures of India to perform on one stage, that really reflects the unity in diversity, the essence of Indian life. With a greater attendance of more than 450 people, and over 80 artists on the colorful stage with the Mediterranean backdrop, food services from Shanti's kitchen catered with vegetable pakora, samosa, jilebi, dahi-wada, fried rice and mango-lassie, it was worth the time spending at this place.

The festival started at 4:30pm with American followed by Indian national anthem, a tradition we observe more than a law of the land. The welcome speech delivered by the president of IAOC, Deepak Kaithakapuzha was light and simple. President of National US India Chamber of Commerce Mrs.Purnima Voria has lit the lamp to start the evening of the fun-filled cultural show. The first item of the day kicked off by the 5-year old Niranjana Rajesh for the Bollywood number "Piya Ghar Aaya" from Yaarana and "Badi Mushkil Baba" had the right start. Devanshi Shreshta and Prakriti Shreshta have performed a folk dance for "Katti Auli Agli Bhai" was very energetic. The classical dance for "Entha Sogasugaade" by Meghna Yammanur, Sravani Katamaneni, Sahiti and Gowri, choreographed by Lavanya Yammanur was a great melodious blended with nice footwork. The Bollywood dance "Dance Par Chance mar ley" by Avnish Asthana, Ayush Arora, Arnav Joshi, Lasata Ranjitkar, Parth Jalihal, Priya Saraf, Reshma Gowda, Simran Malhotra and Tanvi Kumar, choreographed by Sanjogita Mishra has filled some energy in audience. Sonu Venkatraman's Kuchipudi performance for Krishna Shabdam "Swami Ra Ra" was a great work. The little kids Viyan, Tara, Aneesh, Gayu, Diya Sebastian, Diya Vinod, Samyuktha, Tom, Zack, Mira, Sona and Gokul's Bollywood dance for "Aaj kal tere mere" was fun to watch.

Another Kuchipudi classical "Koluvai vunnade" performed by Kavya Ganuthula and Meghna Yammanur cheered the audience. Now comes the best of IAOC, an 8-year old Diya Deepak, when she danced for the Bollywood number "Thoda Sa pagla". The audience was so cheered up for this song and the excellent performance by Diya. Bollywood Medley performed by the kids of all ages - Varun Bhatija, Jay Gokhale, Megha Mahale, Sayalee Muthe, Kruthika Surve, Raj Gokhale, Samir Bhatija, Sneha Muthe, Sahil Malik, Shivansh Hedaoo, Aryan Surve, choreographed by Nisha Surve was really impressive. Kids from Laya Dance Academy - Reema, Shriya, Sushmitha, Sindhu, Rithika, Shreya, Shritha, Manasa, Anushka, Swathi for AR Rahman's patriotic composition "Maa Thuje Salaam" shows the best talent from the kids.

After a short intermission, the show resumed with the folk dance "Bungaa Khareedu Ivvara" by the Sai Meghna Dance School students Sravani, Abhigna, Nikitha, which received a great applause from the audience. Classical Kannada number "Krishna Nee Begane" by Meera Ganesan composed by the renowned abhinaya artist Bragha Bessel, was a greatly talented work. Bollywood dance "I go Crazy" performed by Vishnu, Praneeth, Aditya, Anshuman, Susheel, Sriram, Medha, Avani, Nivetha choreographed by Laya Dance Academy made the audience dance along. The folk number from Nepal "Tikkuli Hai Mero" perfomed by Azelia Pradhan and Rasmi Thapa showed the girl's feelings clearly. Bollywood dance "Nach Nach ke" by the sisters Kavitha and Nivetha Muruganatham was filled with all energy, and stole the show. The semi-classical dance "Mukunda Mukunda" by Laya Academy's Prathyusha Apparasu, Padma Avinash, Sumana Nallapati, Meena Vairavan, Sonu Venkatraman has best rhythm and melody, mixed with the best dance steps. The Bollywood dance "Desh mere" by Amarpreet Kaur, Anadiuty Mohanty, Bhavanapriya, Chetan Patil Pradnya and Anjogita choreographed by Sanjogita Mishra stood the highlight of the evening with their rocking Bhangra styles.

The Denver Bollywood musical team Rockies Masti, consisting of Sandeep, Sujatha, Savitha and Jiten have performed the karaoke live musical performance ranging from old time all-time hits to the latest hip-hop hits, and quite entertaining. Many kids and adults were dancing along the stage for some of the latest hits such as Om Shanti Om, Jab We Met etc. They paid a tribute to the Mumbai terror victims with Roja's "Bharat humko pyara hai". The audiences have joined the team to celebrate the recent Oscar Award winning moments with Slumdog Millionaire's Jai Ho.

It was a great turn-out to IAOC's festival, and Deepak's team has done the best arrangement for the crowd. Several performances from the local dances schools and dance teachers has been highly appreciated by the audiences, which showed their hard work to make this a successful program. Masters of the ceremony have done a wonderful job with their aptful commentary, very much blended with the program flow. The program was greatly designed with a right mixture of folk, Bollywood and the classical performances, so the audience have enjoyed with their best applauses.

The photo gallery for this event can be watched here.

19th February 2009
Maha Sivaratri celebrations at SV Temple
Mahasivaratri was celebrated on a large scale at Sri Venkateswara Temple of Colorado. Abhishekam and mantrapushpam were performed all day Sunday 22nd February at different intervals. The chief priest Sri Jaganadhacharyulu performed the abhishekam for the Lord Shiva with the prescribed ingredients like water, milk, curd, ghee, sugar, honey etc. which are believed to be dearer to Shive while a group of devotees chanting the rudram, namakam and chamakam. Bhajans were rendered by Mrs Chaya Devi Ramayanam and Priya Hariharan. This was followed by the prasadam and another Mahaabhishekam was performed at 12' 0 clock from which the devotees observed the jagarana which is one of the rituals offered during Shivaratri.

22nd February 2009
Shivratri festivity at Hindu Temple of Colorado
Mahashivratri was celebrated at the Hindu Temple of Rockies with a great fervor and festivity, on Sunday the February 22nd. Several devotees have performed the Rudra abhishekam all through the day at various times, while Acharaya ji and Pundit ji were chanting the holy mantras. Temple volunteers took great care in arranging the thali for the puja. At 8:30 in the evening mahaabhishekam was performed which was followed by bhajans and the midnight aarti.

19th February 2009
Saibaba glorified by Kiritam, Chatram and Padukas at SV Temple
Another astonishing event was celebrated in the Sri Venkateswara Temple of Colorado with great devotion. On Thursday, 19 February 2009, the main events performed were the Kirita Dharana, Chatra Samarapna and Paduka Seva, which was followed by Abhishelam and Sai Archana. Raji & Venu Pidikiti couple sponsored the Chatram (Umbrella) and Kiritam (Crown) and Madhavi & Venkata Kodali couple sponsored the Padulaklu (Slippers). All the devotees were chanting the Vishnu Sahasranama Paraynam, while doing the Abhishekam. Madhu Maram and his group made the audience involved, by singing the melodious Sai bhajans. The Chief Priest of the temple Sri Jagandhacharyulu took great care of performing the puja. More than 60 people have attended the event. The temple trustee VJ Chukkapalli has thanked all the devotees for making this event a great success. After the Sai Archana, all the devotees have performed the Sandhya Arati for Lord Saibaba. The evening event ended by the famous pavalimpu seva song "Seshasaila Vasa" sung by Dr.Kuna Gupta.

14th February 2009
Hanuman Chalisa Parayan on 2nd Saturday at Hindu Temple
Hanuman Chalisa Parayan program has been started at Hindu Temple of Colorado on 14th February at 11am with 10 times by all devotees. This has been started as a regular monthly program on the second Saturday of every month during the morning hours. Several devotees have participated in this program enthusiastically, and chanted the divine name of Bajrangbali.

1st February 2009
Exercise focusing "Yoga for Health  Health for Humanity" celebrated in Colorado
More than 150 members of the Colorado Indian American Community welcomed increased daylight through a set of yogic postures aimed to provide a complete workout to the body and relief to the mind. Gathered at Mainstreet Center Gymnasium in Aurora for the event, several participants praised these ancient yogic postures for their simplicity and minimal training required to perform them.

Colorado branch of Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh (HSS) organized this event as part of their national campaign to popularize Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar in Sanskrit) as a way of introduction to Yoga. This event culminated a two week long campaign starting January 17 through February 1st. Campaign's begin and end dates fall on two popular Hindu festivals related to Sun God.

HSS has been organizing this event since 2007, with the increasing participation year by year. This year's target was to offer one million Sun Salutations. One Sun Salutation consists of 10 steps and in each set 13 salutations performed. Many families who have been participating in the campaign have performed thousands of Sun Salutations in last two weeks bringing Colorado total to more than 60,000. In the event more than 6,600 salutations were performed.

Venture Capitalist Bipin Agarwal and HSS Colorado president and entrepreneur Sridhar Talanki addressed the gathering. In his annual report HSS leader Ramesh Kanekal said, in last year's campaign, Colorado HSS members performed highest sun salutations in the western United States. HSS office bearers Venkatesh Sunkad, Krishnamurthy Wonnimani, Madhusudan Bhat, Mehul Raol, Sandhya Karamsetty and Parag Dharap coordinated the event.

Surya Namaskar is a combination of yoga postures, called "Asanas", performed in a pre-determined sequence, in appreciation of solar energy. They are a set of well-balanced movements that will stretch and exercise all the muscles in the body, thus keeping the body and mind healthy. It is practiced all over the world in more than forty different ways. A common practice of performing Surya Namaskar in a set of ten yoga postures provides good exercise to the whole body, calms the mind, and increases concentration.

Each year Hindus worldwide celebrate January 14 as Makar Sankranti  a day that marks a change of season as the sun enters the sign of Capricorn or Makar. Makar Sankranti ushers in longer days; thus, the festivity symbolizes sunshine in life. The campaign started on Makar Sankranti and ended on "Ratha Saptami" another festival dedicated to Sun God.

HSS is a voluntary, non-profit, social and cultural organization, aims to organize the Hindu community in order to preserve, practice and promote Hindu ideals and values. HSS conducts structured programs of regular athletic and academic activities to develop strong character and leadership skills in its members, emphasizing values such as self-discipline, self-confidence and a spirit of selfless service (seva) for humanity.

31st January 2009
North South Foundation's Spelling and Math Workshops
North South Foundation (NSF), Denver chapter has conducted Spelling and Math Bee workshops on January 31, 2009 at Highlands Ranch Library. About 40 kids have attended these workshops, to know more about the Spelling Bee and Math Bee contests in general, and the way they are organized by NSF. The Spelling Bee workshop was taken by Mrs.Ferooza Eswaran while the Math Workshops 1 & 2 was taken by Mrs. Aparna Natarajan and Mr.Aswin Pingali respectively. The students have participated enthusiastically and it has been very interactive session. Several parents have expressed satisfaction over the NSF's role in conducting such workshops and keeping the kids involved with the contests.

NSF is a non-profit organization that conducts the spelling, math, geography, vocabulary, brain bee, essay writing and public speaking contests for the kids of Indian origin. The money raised through these contests will be offered as scholarships during the college education. For more details on NSF, visit North South Foundation website.

25th January 2009
Tamil Association's Pongal celebrations
Tamil Association of Colorado has celebrated the Pongalo Pongal Kondattam on 25th January at the Jeffco fairgrounds in a traditional way. It was quietly organized in a place a little away from the core city, but successfully pulled more than 250 people to observe the traditions. The program was started about an hour later than originally proposed, at 11am with a prayer. Some of these programs were very different than the regular Deepavali or New Year's day celebrations, where audience were not running around to take photos of their kids or getting ready busily for their next performance etc. The musical performances by Mrs.Priya Hariharan, Mr.Arun Kumar and Mrs.Gayathri Krishnamurthy supported by Mr. Raja Venkatraman were quite impressive. The lunch potluck contributed by several volunteers was simple and tasty. Lunch was followed by some interesting games conducted by the youth team.

18th January 2009
Rangoli/Kolam/Singing competitions by Colorado Telugu Association
Colorado Telugu Association has organized Music competitions along with the Rangloi and Drawing competitions for all ages on the occasion of Sankranthi festival on 18th January at Lone Tree Civic Center. The program started with the Coloring/Rangoli competitions for the kids and women. Kids of all ages participated with much enthusiasm. Nishal Kallupalle, Anusha Vajrala and Amita Pidikiti stood first, second and third in the coloring competitions for the ages 4-8. Namrata Ashok, Hithaishini Kodicherla and Karun were the winners for the ages 9-16 yrs. Neelima Lingamaneni, Anuradha & Charumathi Duo and Sowjanya stood first, second and third respectively for the rangoli competition. All the winners were awarded prizes. The judges explained that they mainly focused on the Pongal theme for the adults as it was relevant to the situation. The organizers honored the judges who took great interest in analyzing the drawings.

Singing competitions were started in the afternoon session with much enthusiasm. Priya Hariharan, one of the judges for this program started with Ganesha Stuti. More than 40 kids and adults participated in the contests. At the junior level for the light music from 4-8 yrs of age Anusha Vajrala was the first prize winner, followed by Abhigna Kuppa in second and Shreya Nallapati in third places. Sravani Katamaneni stood in the first place for kids' classical music. Women category had classical and semi classical streams. Mr. Anand Sagar stood first while Lakshmi Edara and Archana grabbed the second and third places. Sumana Nallapati was awarded a special prize. One of the judges Mr. Arun Kumar explained the importance of practice that plays a major role in becoming a great singer. Other judges Mrs. Chaya Devi Ramayanam and Priya Hariharan have congratulated all the participants and thanked parents who are taking such great care in bringing up the Indian culture and also inculcating the music sense among the children.

While the judges were busy deciding the winners the audience were entertained by melodious songs - both classical and light music. Mrs. Kanchi expressed her thanks to all the CTA team and congratulated the team for organizing such a great event and credited CTA to be the first organization to conduct such music competitions.

17th January 2009
Makara Jyothi Lord Ayyappa Pooja at Hindu Temple
Makara Jyothi Lord Ayyappa Pooja has been celebrated at the Hindu Temple of Colorado on 17th January. This has been a new initiative to install the Ayyappa idol in a separate enclosure, at the new Hindu Temple. Several devotees of Lord Ayyappa have attended this event from different parts of the state. The Ayyappa Bhakta Samaj have attended this puja, and glorified the event with their holy energetic bhajans. Pundit Raghavendra ji performed the traditional puja with Sankalpam, Prokshanam, Kalasha Pooja, Abhishekam, Bhajans, Ashtotharam, 18 Steps Pooja, Shodashopachara Pooja, Maha Arathi, Ayyappa Kshama Prarthana, with several assisting priests, who have been chanting Namakam, Chamakam and Rudram while performing abhishekam to the deity. Volunteers have catered the prasadam at the end to all the attendees.

16th January 2009
Sankranti Celebrations across the state
Makara Sankranti festival has been celebrated in various parts of Colorado, including various private households. Several people especially the women and kids dressed traditionally have been busy in visiting their friends and relatives. This festival is known to for the bommala koluvu, a traditional setup of all the toys, dolls and idols decorated among flowers and lights. People commented that these kinds of gatherings will make the next generations aware of the traditional festivals, and very much needed to get along with our culture. In India, this festival is celebrated at least 3 days  bhogi, sankranthi and kanuma. Bhogi day is celebrated with an early morning fire and kids to have bhogi pallu, pouring of berry fruits, flowers and coins on kids' heads blessing them for best health and prosperity. Sankranthi is the day to get good time with family and have heavy lunch and dinner. Kanuma is the farmer's day, where farmers decorate their cattle and the farm equipment and thank the Mother Nature.

11th January 2009
Peace Prayer for Mr.Kota Venkata Ramana Reddy at Hindu Temple
On 11th January at Hindu Temple of Colorado, a peace prayer has been organized for Mr.Kota Venkata Ramana Reddy, a resident of Colorado Springs, who was passed away on 13th December with a massive heart attack at the tender age of 40yrs. Pandit Raghavendra ji has chanted the Shanti Mantra, which was then followed by a 2-minute silence wishing Mr.Kota's soul to rest in peace. Several friends and well-wishers of Mr.Kota have attended this prayer. Mr. Suresh Boppudi has described the incident and said, "Thanks to all the volunteers who helped the family during the tough time. With the support of American Telugu Association, we have successfully raised about $44,000. I am thankful to Ramakrishna Gonella, Chandu Golla, Ram Doma, Srinivas Guntupalli, Chandra Dharmireddy, Murali Bandreddy, Sridhar Devulapalli, Govind Madugula, Chandra Yaddanapudi, Ramesh Janipalli, Sridhar Talanki, Sankar Gunturu, Kiran Ganuthula, Srinivas Vallem and Ramesh Kanekal. It was a tough procedure to complete the formalities, and send the body to India.
I am also thankful to Mr.Ved Nanda, Ms.Katherine Nanda and Mr.Sudhir Verma who helped us to expedite this task". Mr.Kota was survived with his wife Mrs.Padmavathi Devi and two daughters. He hailed from Nellore, Andhra Pradesh.

10th January 2009
Ayyappa Mandala Puja by Colorado Springs Ayyappa Bhakta Samaj
Colorado Springs Ayyappa Bhakta Samaj has organized Ayyappa Mandala Puja on 10th January at 3pm with a great devotion. This Samaj has been doing Ayyappa Puja for the last 9 weeks, and today's was the last one in this series. The afternoon started with the kids performing Ayyappa Story in a dramatic form, with interactive video graphics in the background. The kids have done a great job with a neat script blended with detailed scenes. The puja was started with Lord Ganesha to get off all the obstacles, before Ayyappa puja was performed traditionally. The samaj has a very good group of singers to sing bhajans. The bhajans have energized everyone attended, and reminded of Sabarimalai in India. The puja was finished with the maha mantrapushpam. A tasty prasadam has been served by the organizers with a lot of care. Several volunteers have done this great work, not only limited to Suba, Swami, Prabhakar, Viswaroopan, Sridhar S, Venkat K, Raghu, Priya, Girish, Charu and Jayanthi K.

1st January 2009
Colorado devotees started the new year with Lord Venkateswara darshan
Sri Venkateswara Temple of Colorado has celebrated the first day of the year in a great festivity, letting the devotees accessible to The Lord. More than 1200 devotees have availed this opportunity to visit the Swami wishing for good luck for a bright year. The temple has made great arrangements to perform the Swarna Pushparchana, praying the lord with 108 golden flowers. The chief priest of the temple Sri Jagannathacharyulu, accompanied by several distinguished assistant priests has performed this pujas seven times, distributed evenly across the day, depicting the seven hills of the holy abode Tirumala. The festival started with the Suprabhata Sava, waking up the lord, and decorating the idols with a variety of flowers. A lot of enthusiastic devotees have participated in this hourly Swarna Pushparchana, and experienced an indescribable eternal feeling. This ended with the Pavalimpu seva. The temple management has made every arrangement to make the devotees comfortable, and it showed a greater disciple volunteer force that included kids, women and men. The Archana sponsors were blessed by the chief priest, and handed over with the laddo prasadam, a traditional prasadam of the lord of seven hills. All the assistant priests and volunteers were recognized by the temple executive committee. The temple president Mr.Chukkapalli has urged the devotees to take part in various task committees, apart from their regular donation offerings. Overall, the event made the devotees happy and remained a hope that they will have a bright new year with the blessing of the lord.

1st January 2009
New Year Puja at Hindu Temple had a big number of devotees
The devotees attended the New Year Puja at the Hindu Temple of Colorado wished for a prosperous year to come in their professional and personal lives. The traditional New Year puja has started with Ganapathi Homam followed by Ganapathi puja, praying the lord of obstacles to make the New Year clear of obstacles and full of good things. Acharyaji has addressed the devotees to wish for the best for everyone across the world. There was a huge crowd of more than 600 people attended the puja, and had the sumptuous prasadam lunch sponsored by Mr.Ram's family. It was a great start for the New Year with the divine blessings of the almighty.

13th December 2008
Venkata Ramana Reddy Kota of Colorado Springs passed away at an early age of 40yrs
It is with profound sadness, we announce the sudden death of our community member Mr. Venkata Ramana Reddy Kota. He was 40 years old, had a wife and two daughters of ages 6 and 10. Mr. Reddy was originally from Nellore, AP, India, recently worked as a consultant at FedEx, Colorado Springs and has been unemployed for the past 3 months.

The sad event occurred on Saturday, December 13, 2008, at Penrose Hospital, when Mr. Reddy had a heart attack and was taken to Penrose's Emergency Services from his residence at Bella Springs Apartment complex. We are actively working on travel arrangements to send Mr. Reddy's body along with his family to India as soon as possible so that they can join their family back at home in India.

All who knew him will dearly miss Mr. Reddy. We request every one of you consider supporting this family financially. For your "TAX deductible" donations, we request you to use the steps listed below:

1. Please write your check payable to: ATA "OR" American Telugu Association
2. Please include the name "Mrs. Padmavathy Kota" on the check, preferably in "For" column.
3. Please mail your checks to the address listed below:
Rama Golla 15742 Dawson Creek Drive Monument, CO - 80132
For any questions, please contact us at "volcommittee@costelugu.org"

Sincerely, Volunteers Committee Colorado Springs Telugu Association http://www.costelugu.org/portal

13th December 2008
First Ayyappa Puja in Denver at Hindu Temple
The Hindu temple in and Cultural centre of Rockies, has celebrated the Ayyappa Puja in a grand manner for the first time in Denver. The function was very well oragnised and about 200 devotees attended the function. Millions of devotees worship LORD AYYAPPA, the presiding supreme deity of Sabari Hills. Worshipping Lord Ayyappa brings contentment, spiritual upliftment, prosperity and fulfillment of devotees' desires and wishes. The months of Kaartika / Vrishchika, Maargazhi / Dhanur are most auspicious for Lord Ayyappa, during which period Mandala Puja is celebrated. The 18 steps for Lord Ayyappa were arranged and the Grand sponsors lit the lamps on the 18 steps. Pandit Raghavendra garu performed the abhishekam. Few other devotees who attended the puja chanted the Rudram,Namakam, and Chamakam. Bhajans for Lord Ayyappa were sung by people of all age groups. Many volunteers participated in prasadam preparation. All the devotees participated with much enthusiasm and made the puja a grand success.

7th December 2008
Indian Peace Walk got greater response from the community
Over 350 people have joined the Indian Peace walk and Human chain organized by several community organizations in Colorado today. There was a great response to the call to condemn the Mumbai terror attacks, and to support the Mumbai terror victims, from all community, including the Jewish community. At 3:30 several people have started gathering at the Colorado State Capitol building at 14th Street and Lincoln, wearing the black ribbon symbolizing their opposition for the terrorism, and holding the placards with captions such as Democracies against terrorism', Hinduism against terrorism' etc. Then the protesters have organized a rally around the Lincoln Ave, Colfax Ave, 16th Street and Broadway area for about 25minutes. Several people were shouting the slogans such as Bharat Mata ki Jai', Vande Mataram', We want peace', East or West, terrorism is the worst', which attracted several people in downtown, who were asking enthusiastically about the rally.

It was a walk with discipline and without any obstruction to the traffic in the downtown in the peak hour of the day. Then the crowd reached the capitol building west side steps where they formed a long human chain. The Executive Director of Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Mr. Don Mares, and the Director of Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado, Ms. Janet Sherman has joined the human chain along with several others. The notable leader Mr. Sridhar Talanki has welcomed all the attendees, and thanked for their joining the event. Dr.Ved Nanda, the Vice Provost of University of Denver, has addressed the crowd to explain how India is struggling with terrorism, urged the governments of India, US and other countries pro-actively and comprehensively counter this menace. Mr. Don has expressed his deep condolences and sorrow to the victims of Mumbai terror attack, and mentioned that the state administration team would do every possible effort to keep its people safe. Ms. Janet has also paid her sincere homage to the victims, and reiterated Israel will join with India to fight with the terrorists.

All the people expressed their solidarity with the democracies of the world in this war against terror and paid homage to those innocents who lost their lives in this most savage terror. People holding a lamp in their hand have chanted the Shanti mantra under the guidance of Mr. Vidyasagar Tontalapur, and remained silent for about 2 minutes. All the attendees have appreciated the initiative taken by the community organizations to support this essential cause. Distinguished community leaders from Desi Democrats Mr. Sudhir Verma, Mr. Sam Thomas, several members from the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Indian Association of Colorado, Tamil Association of Colorado, Colorado Telugu Association, Colorado Marathi Mandal, Colorado Kannada Koota, Kerala Association of Colorado along with several others have attended this event.

6th December 2008
Desi Christmas joined several desis to celebrate the festival
Christmas is celebrated throughout the Christian population, but is also celebrated by many non-Christians as a secular, cultural festival. Denver is celebrating many Christmases out of which Desi Christmas has been celebrated for the past 5 yrs. This being a free event with all the Indian flavor and food was celebrated with a grand passion and enthusiasm by the Indian crowd. The cultural program was started with the welcome speech by Bro. Joseph Dhanpal. This was followed by the prayer by Pastor Dave Kahler. There were multi-lingual songs and an inspiring Christmas message by Dr. William J, Senn III which had some clues to pick for the quiz. The prizes were distributed to the winners of the quiz and it was so motivating to the audience. Kids of all ages participated in the cultural programs. Under the direction of Ruth Bustamante all the kids who attended the event were taught a song and they had to sing the song before the dismissal. The North Prayer Group gave the vote of thanks and was followed by the announcements and the upcoming events. All the audience participated in the prayer. Sumptuous Indian dinner was served.

3rd December 2008
Venkateswara Temple celebrates Skanda Shashti and completed installation of idols
SV temple of Colorado organized the Skanda Shashti on a grand scale. The Skanda Shashti was organized as a part of the series of the vigraha stapana that was being performed for the past one month. With this event all the New Vighraha Stapana was completed and many sponsors came forward and sponsored the different vighrahas.

The evening of Skanda Shasti started with the Kavadi Ustavam. The kavadi's were all hand made and the temple volunteers took great care in decorating the kavadis. Nearly 20 families participated in the ustavam. The temple chief priest Sri Jagannadhacharyulu made the devotees to go round the idols of Subramanya Swamy, Valli and Devasana. All the devotees made 3 pradikshanas along with the kavadi and milk for the abhishekam. The importance of this festival is that Lord Subramanya has fought to destroy the evil demon Soorapadman. On this occasion, thousands of devotees will go to Lord Murugan temples and offer prayers. Prasadam was offered at the end.

30th November 2008
Hindu Temple pays homage for the Mumbai terror attack victims
Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre of Rockies conducted peace prayers on the recent terrific Bombay shootings. There were many families in Colorado who hailed form Bombay and their friends and families being residing in Bombay. Though it was snowing the Indian community of Colorado gathered to share their deep sorrow against the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai. The afternoon commenced with the Shanti Mantra and people chanting AUM'. Mr. Ved Nanda, professor of International law at Denver University seriously condemned the blasts and the terrorist's attacks. This was followed by the Vishnu Sahasranama chanting by all the devotees.

22nd November 2008
Colorful Diwali Night Extravaganza by Indian Association
The 2008 Diwali Night Extravaganza by Indian Association of Colorado on 22nd November has been crowded with many audience, that shows the spirit of our desi crowd. Everybody looks so exciting and waiting for a chance to dance alongwith a socializing time. It has been a perfect location for the crowd in the center of Aurora. Several kids and adults have taken part in this enthusiastically with their dances and singing. The food catered by Shanti's Catering was good, with so many delicacies. The DJ Adnan Hasan has done a terrific job with a many exciting mixes of music, all latest hit numbers that made every audience to dance on the floor. With Diwali being officially recognized by US government, there was a good number of American guests present at the event to watch the festivity. The IAOC team has made the colorful event very successful.

16th November 2008
Utsava Vigraha Sthapana celebrations at SV Temple at Castle Rock
A Sri Venkateswara Temple of Colorado premise at Castle Rock has been busy with Vigraha Sthapana for the past 3 weeks since 1st of November. A lot of Utsava murthies have arrived at the site, which underwent Dhanyadhivasam Pooja on 10/29. The temple has started the installation of Acharya Thrayam (Vaishnava Trio) Sri Ramanujachari, Sri Nammalvar, and Sri Manavala Mamuni on 1st November, followed by Manavala Mamuni Tiru Nakshthram Celebration on 2nd November. Shirdi Saiababa idol has been installed on Thursday, 6th November in a great celebration. Sri Satyanarayana Swamy and Rama Devi idols were installed on Sunday 9th November, which then was followed by Sri Satyanarayana Swamy Kalyanam and Vratham on 12th November being the auspicious Karthika Pournima day, with a big attendance of devotees. Lord Shiva, Parvathi and Ganesha idols were installed at the temple in a majestic celebration on Sunday, 16th November in the morning among the holy chanting of Namakam, Chamakam and Rudram. On the same evening, the Sri Rama parivar has been installed by the chief priest Sri Jagannathachryulu, where a great crowd was present.

Another main family of Sri Valli, Devayana and Subramanya Swamy are yet to be installed on 2nd December, which then will followed by the major event Skanda Shasthi, a very auspicious day for Lord Murugan. Sponsorships to participate in the installation are open, and the devotees can contact the temple for more details.

15th November 2008
Tamil Association's Diwali Celebrations and inauguration of Malai Chaaral
Tamil Association of Colorado has celebrated Deepavali on 15th November at Heritage High School, Littleton, CO. Over 400 people have attended the celebrations of rainbow colors. The program has been started sharp at 4pm with a prayer song by Devaram group. The students of Abhinaya School of Dance have performed Pancha Murthi Anjali a composition in Bharatanatyam. The President Mr.Raghuraman has welcomed the audience and described the association plan and the role. The students of Shivanjali Dance School performed Ganesha Stothram. Mimicry and Comedy show by Muthu, Prasad and Vel was very impressive. Laya Dance Academy's Nrithyanjali, followed by Karagattam by the Ponnila Chandren built high synergy among the audience. Punya and Vidhya's Ganesha Sthuthi was marvelous. The highlight of the evening was Dasavathaaram Aarambam written and directed by Sarmishta Ramesh. One of the biggest hits was the Kutties Dance. Nila Kaigiradhu composed by Padma Avinash was astounding performance. Asatha Povadhu Kutties was three different ludicrous skits performed by kids ranging from 5-10. There are two fusion programs mixing the different music forums and were very well presented. Aarthi Ramesh's composition Netraya paattu  Indraya Mettil was just another stunning performance involving several kids. Teens from Laya Dance were really crazy to present their high energy dance. The audiences were so joyful to watch the Hiphop dance by Satya, Vinod and group. The MC Sriram Ganesh was very talented and very successful to put together the show, along with Chitra Ramachandran and Aishwarya Ramamurthi. TAC has inaugurated their colorful quarterly newsletter Malai Chaaral. TAC has been so successful to get the sponsorships, and the sponsors were given enough recognition to support their businesses.

13th November 2008
More reasons to preseve Rama-Sethu bridge urges Dr.Subramanian Swamy
India's Janatha Party President, distinguished politician, former Union Minister for Law and Justice Mr.Subramaniyan Swamy visited Denver yesterday. He spent the day very busy with some conferences at Denver University, and took sime time to address some issues around the historical Rama-Sethu bridge between India and Srilanka. He described the historical evidences and the current issues about this bridge, "it was found that the Rama Sethu was built excatly as it is described in Valmiki Ramayana. We need to make sure the Government will announce it as a historical monument, and preserve it". There was a huge crowd attended in the Piney Creek community center of Centennial. Distinguished community leader Mr.Sudhir Verma has welcomed Dr.Swamy, who was then introduced by Dr.Kishore Kulkarni. A complete text of Dr.Swamy's presentation will soon be published in DesiShades. Stay tuned!!

8th November 2008
Colorado Marathi Mandal's Diwali Celebrations with Ramdas Futaane
The Colorado Marathi Mandal Diwali celebration was held at the Westminster City Park Recreation Center on November 8th 2008. In true Diwali spirit, the hall was tastefully decorated with colorful Rangoli and Akash kandil (paper lanterns).

There were a variety of cultural events presented by participants both young and young at heart enthusiastically to a receptive audience. The program began with an introduction by Narendra Tawade. This was followed by some very accomplished dance and piano numbers by young kids. Girija Kulkarni presented a Kuchipudi dance; Shivanjali Sonone presented a fast paced dance number and Rimzhim Kashikar a piano piece. Of special note was a dance number choreographed and performed by young Saylee Muthe and accompanied by sister Sneha and Mihir Malik. Nisha Surves dance troupe performed on a medley of foot tapping Hindi songs that had everybody cheering. The young dancers included Jay & Raj Gokhale, Varun & Sameer Bathija, Megha Mahale, Saylee & Sneha Muthe, Krutika & Aryan Surve, Rushi Tawade, Shivansh Hedaoo and Sahil Malik. Shital Totey sang some well known Hindi songs and the young at heart couple Mandar and Leena Sunthankar presented some golden oldies on Karaoke. The event was very ably anchored by Parag Dharap and Madhura Gokhale.

These were followed by prizes for the best Photos, Rangoli, Kandil and Diwali snacks. The prizes for best Rangoli were won by Anjali Tulpule, Manisha Bhide and Vinaya Saptarshi. A special mention for young Rushi Tawade who made his own rangoli. The Faral competition prizes were won by Shivani Borde, Rujuta Pawar, Shital Tambe and Vinaya Saptarshi. Photography prizes were won by Anisha Parkar, Leena Sunthankar, Prabodh Telang, Mandar Sunthankar and Kedar Bhide. Akash Kandil prizes were won by Archik Raje, Neal Borde and Kadambini Dharap.

All the cultural event participants received a trophy. The last event was a one man talk show by Marathi film producer and humorist Ramdas Futaane. The program winded up with a delicious vegetarian dinner and a pack of take home Diwali snacks.

DesiShades is thankful for Ms.Naina Mahale for her contribution to local coverage.

8th November 2008
Colorado Telugu Association's Deepavali Celebrations in high colors
Colorado Telugu Association celebrated Deepavali with verve and vigor on Saturday, November 8th 2008 at the Aurora Central High School, Denver. Over 450 people have attended, where more than 70 kids and adults participated in this three and half hour long cultural extravaganza filled with classical, folk, modern dances, songs, skits, drama and a lot of fun.

The evening program was started with a social hour of snack and coffee. The cultural program started with traditional prayer of Lord Ganesha - Gajavaradha sung by Sarayu Balachandar, Hamsini Oruganti, Komala Raga Anupindi and Kusala Veda Anupindi, who are the students of Vijayasree Venky of Broomfield. Colorado is blessed with many classical dance and music schools and each of them has its own reputation. Shivanjali Academy students Diya Sebastian, Sona Kalatardi, Asha Patt, Aditi Iyer, Tanvi Telukunta, Meghana Yarlagadda, Shreya Annamalai, Namrita Ashokprabhu and Shrushti Manikandan have performed for the classical Bharatanatyam item Mahaganapthi stotram, under the demonstration from Geetharamani Manikandan, Anitha Harshan & Radhika Nath and the able guidance of Puja Allepalli. Another item Pushpanjali presented by Vidhya Umesh, Sarayu Balachandar, Divya Bhat, Sneha Varanasi, Hamsini Oruganti, Saranya Budumgunta, Apoorva Gundu, Shravya Karumanchi and Harshitha Adapa of the same school was so exquisite. One can see the perfect harmony in footwork in these dances.

The students of Vani Iyer Anand Chundi, Sanya Raja, Varsha Goerge,Vaishnave Elango, Niharika Kunapuli, Tanvi Telukunta, Sriram Nalla, Adya Gowda, Rohan Veeranki, and Shreya Nallapati & Anushka Thummalapenta have been successful to sing the 12 slokas of Lord Ganesa starting with Pranamya Sirsha Devam. The performances by the students of Laya Dance Academy, Diya Kaithakkapuzha, Shriya Gunturu, Rima Adepu, Susmitha Ponnapalli, Sindhu Matta, Apoorva Maddhi have danced for the Kuchipudi composition Maha Ganapathim. Guru Prathyusha Apparasu is highly appreciated for her strict training. Brahmanjali, another classical item presented by Shreya Nallapati, Shritha Gunturu, Manasa Ponnapalli, Anushka Thummalapenta, Swathi Kompella was very much scintillating.

The students of Bhairavai School of Music under the gifted guru Smt. Priya Hariharan, have enthralled the audiences with their classical numbers Aanalekara by Meghana Yarlagadda and a violin performance for Vidajaladura and some varnams in Mohana ragam. The seasoned mridangam player Dr.Ravi Mahalingam has accompanied Sravya Mudigonda who performed on her Violin. Audiences could not resist to dance while watching for the folk dances Eruvaka sagalo performed by Laasya Gaddipati, Anjali Rekha Kalagiri & Udheesh Vishvak Gaddipati, choreographed by Priya Gaddipati. Another folk dance item Bungaa Khareedu was performed by Sai Meghna Dance School students Abhigna Kuppa, Akshitha Mudupu, Ananya Talanki and Niharika Kunapuli. Little kids dressed in Andhra village attire, dancing for these folk songs were very colorful on the stage.

After all the heavy fare of dances, there was a comedy skit Maa Ayana Bangaram performed by four energetic ladies Lavanya Yammanur, Kiran Velpuri, Sasikala Talachutla, Lakshmi Talanki and Meghna Yammanur, and it was widely applauded by the audiences. Lavanya Yammanur has directed this skit, filled with very situational wits. Another item by Vismaya Bachu, Dheevena Bachu, Nikitha Kasthuri, Rithika Ginjupalli for the famous Ramadas composition Paluke Bangaramayana was fantastic. Selected slokas from Mahishasura Mardhini were added with great abhinaya by Meghna Yammanur, Kavya Ganuthula, Sravani Katamaneni, Gowri Kalyani, Asritha Pidikiti, Sneha Malisetty, Pratyusha Gunturu, Sahithi Donthula, Architha Mohan has highly amazed the audiences.

Along with all the traditional and folk dances, there were some high energy film dances by kids, teens and college students. Subhan Turlapaty has successful to compose energetic dance for the songs in Happy Days and Jalsa, performed by several young kids ages 4-10, Shreya Nallapati, Anand Chundi, Rushil V Doniparthi, Navya K. Duggirala, Tanvi Telukunta, Rohan Veeranki, Charitasri Doddapaneni, Manasa Ponnapalli, Susmitha Ponnapalli, Sumanth Talanki, Kaushik Kaja, Srinidhi Namburi, Pranav Nallapati, Ishika Goyal, Eswari Duggirala & Sahit Talachutla. This definitely left its traces on the evening show. Another dance for the movie song Kantri, choreographed by Phani, was performed by the kids Vishnu Apparasu, Aditya Mohan, Susheel Nalla, Medha Gudavalli, Avani Gangavelli, Nivetha Murugananthan, Praneeth Apparasu, Anshuman Mohan and Sriram Nalla. This was a perfect blend of synchronized steps equalized by the rhythmic beats.

Contemporary dance for the melodious song Mukunda Mukunda depicted gopikas Suma, Vani, Meena, Sumana, Padma, Sonu and Prathyusha, looking for Krishna celebrating the occasion in a very pompous manner. This was choreographed by Prathyusha of Laya Dance Academy. Awesome dance medley choreographed by Aparna Kandala, performed by Sravya Kattula, Devika Kattula, Sanju Garimella, Radhika Kattula and Rohit Garimella, has successfully captivated the audiences. An amazing dance performance in the classical Kuchipudi style by Kavitha Muruganathan, choreographed by Guru Pasumarthy Venkateswara Sharma was yet another event one should highlight. Next item was a drama "US lo Bharateeyudu", a hilarious comedy drama which was the highlight of the programs. Seasoned actors Rama, Amar, Srini and Babu have proved their talent. The last item was a fusion of dances from different movies by the students of University of Colorado.

The Association Secretary Mr.Sridhar gave a vote of thanks to all the volunteers, audiences, performers and teams for the continuous support. Association members and volunteers worked hard to create an elegant and memorable evening of music, dances, skits, delicious Indian food, fun and laughter. The program was anchored ably by Sumana Nallapti and Mounika Chilakuri, who made it so interactive involving the audiences and their enthusiastic responses. All the audiences were served with dinner. The program was a great blend of traditional, folk and film songs along with all the hilarious and funny dramas.

27th October 2008
Interview with Mr. Mark Udall, contesting for US Senate

Mr. Mark Udall has visited the Hindu Temple on Diwali day (27th October) to greet the Indian community. DesiShades could manage to get some time to chat with him, to know his impressions and ideas about the community partnership.

DesiShades: Hello Mr. Mark Udall, We are from DesiShades.com, an Indian Community Web portal in Colorado that covers the events and news.
Mr. Udall:

DesiShades: How do you see Indo American community support and contributions to the society?
Mr. Udall:
Well, the Indo American community knows how important it is, that the economic freedom, religious freedom, and to support the bill or rights, which is not just the American bill of rights, but the human bill of rights. And, our Indo American brothers and sisters are wonderful part of America, strong business people, community oriented, wonderful focus on children, and I think, most importantly, respect for elders. That’s why I am so appreciative for the Indo American support. Plus there is no better food in the world.

DesiShades: What will you do the Indian community, when you get elected as Senator?
Mr. Udall:
I will continue to promote a strong relationship with India. You know, we just passed an important treaty, having to do with nuclear power, the peaceful use of nuclear power. I will continue to work with the Indian community to make sure any immigration, and the passes to the immigration jumbles are solved, and I will look for the ways that I can be helpful.

DesiShades: Do you have a definite plan to deal with the current financial turmoil?
Mr. Udall:
What we have to do with the financial turmoil is to stabilize the housing market, I think we should have a large scale rewriting of mortgages. We could do that in a way that it will protect not only the lenders, but also the people living in the homes. That’s number one. Number two, is we should put the Americans back to work. I would like to see a broad based investment package, where we can rebuild our crumbling highways, our schools and our bridges. I would like to see those who have fixed incomes like social security or retirement funds, have their fees waived, and the taxes waived in the short term, because, we are all facing difficult times. I think once we do that, the stock market will stabilize, our competence will return. I would also like to see, as much as possible, but the $700 billion for the bailout, will be invested in the community banks, and community businesses, because the liquidity that will generally be found in the world of business or investments. I am worried that the plan that the secretary Paulson proposed is going to take too long to have an effect, when we have seen almost a month and we see no results.

DesiShades: Many Indo-Americans own small businesses. What do you do to help the small businesses?
Mr. Udall:
When you look at the economic recovery, we want to make sure that the small businesses are supported. We support small businesses by helping right tax credits, for healthcare, we can look at a waiver on capital gains taxes in the short term, and we could make sure that small business have access to capital, the lowest it matches as much as possible. The federal government has backed up those loans, in a way to help the small businesses. I do know that the Indian community is a great part of small business world.

DesiShades: Thanks Mr. Mark, for your time in your busy schedule. We wish you will be our next senator.
Mr. Udall:
Thank you!

27th October 2008
Diwali Celebrations by Hindu Temple
Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of the Rockies celebrated Diwali on Monday 27th October evening at 6:30pm. More than 600 people have attended this great festival, with holy rituals such as Lakshmi Puja by Acharya KC Upadhyayaji, accompanied by Pandit Raghavendraji. Kids enjoyed decorating the temple beautifully with diyas (candle lights). Acharyaji made everybody involved with Lakshmi puja, by making them repeat the chanting. The US Senate Democrat candidate Mr. Mark Udall has visited the temple, and got the blessings of Acharyaji. The temple trustees Sudhir Varma and Sridhar Talanki have welcomed Mark, and introduced him to the people. Mark in his address to the crowd, explained how impressed he is with the Indian community, and some of his agenda for the welfare of the community. Vipul and Madhu of the Gourmet Kitchen have sponsored dinner prasadam to all devotees attended this festival. There were many bhajans and a dance performance at the festival. The temple hall could not accommodate the people, and showed the immediate need of the big temple.

26th October 2008
Inauguration of Sri Venkateswara Temple in Castle Rock and Deepavali celebrations
Sri Venkateswara Temple of Colorado has celebrated Deepavali with Dhana Lakshmi puja and Kids fireworks on 26th October. The temple has been inaugurated at its new premises at Castle Rock, Colorado on the Dhana Trayodasi day of Aswiyuja masam of Telugu calendar day, in a great facility very accessible for the people throughout the state of Colorado. There has been a big crowd of over 250 people, to celebrate the inauguration, along with the participation in the Dhana Lakshmi puja, which they believe to get the greatest blessing of the Goddess Lakshmi. The chief priest Sri Jagannathacharyulu has decorated the idols of Sri Venkateswara Swamy, Sridevi and Bhoodevi. The devotees have started the evening with the holy Vishnu Sahasra Nama chanting. The learned priest accompanied by a group of assistant priests has performed Sri Suktha vidhana Lakshmi puja, involving all the devotees. More than 60 kids have celebrated the Deepavali festival with fireworks and lot of enthusiasm. It was so nostalgic for the entire crowd remembering Diwali back home in India. Once again the volunteers have proved their unity and support in bringing up the close knit community event. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Mr. VJ Chukkapalli has addressed the audience explaining the progress of the temple construction efforts and thanked all the volunteers for their relentless efforts. Everyone went home satisfied to celebrate Deepavali with spiritual gratification.

Anyone could witness the religious enthusiasm, the vigor and fervor with which the consecratory ceremonies organized by the temple for the past one year. The efforts of the team were not futile and what we can see today is something remarkable.

25th October 2008
Shirdi Saibaba Maha Samadhi Celebrations by Hindu Temple
Sri Shirdi Saibaba Maha Samadhi day was celebrated by the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center on 25th October. Shirdi Saibaba has gone into Maha Samadhi on the Vijayadasami day. The Rocky Mountain Sai Group has organized this event very well.

At the center of the hall was a divine, marble idol of Shri Saibaba ensconced inside elegant granite Kalasam, for the Maha Abhishekam. The event started at 9:00am with Lalitha Sahasranama Chanting, Ganapathi Pooja and Sankalpam by Acharya Sri Raghavendra Iyer. Right after that, Maha Abhishekam started with Sri Iyyer reciting the Gothram and Nakshatrams of the several families that sponsored the Abhishekam. Acharya Raghavendra as he led a lucid, authoritative chanting of Namakam, Chamakam, Mantrapushpam, Panchasuktam and Aashirvada Mantrams with consecration of Pancha Amritha Abhishekam to Shri Saibaba idol. The Pallaki seva was a highlight of the day, where the Sai photo has been placed amidst the flowers in a nicely decorated pallaki, specially made for this occassion, and carried by all devotees to make 3 pradakshinas around the temple. Devotees have been chanting the Sai namam all through the procession, alongwith the trumpets. After this, there were some bhajans by the devotees. Temple President Mahesh Jha, Trustees Sudhir Verma and Nallapati Srinivas have urged the devotees to donate as much as they can, towards the new temple building fund. All devotees were served with delicious Prasad am, better to call it as a complete meal.

With Baba's blessings, the Baba Maha Samadhi celebration in Colorado was a grand success, and all the devotees were spiritually gratified and went home with an ecstatic blessed feeling.

22th October 2008
International Music Festival at Willow Creek Elementary School, Centennial, CO
October 22nd was another musical and joyful international festival at Willow Creek Elementary School. The school enjoyed delicacies from around the world and lively entertainment which was very enkindling. It also reinforced the importance of understanding and appreciating different cultures. The program started with students and parents welcoming everyone in their native language. This festival is to celebrate the diversity at the school and for students to share information about their culture by performing traditional dances, playing music and serving typical foods from their country.

This year we focused on the traditional performances from all around the world which included music and dance from Mexico, Africa, Ireland and India. Mr. Diego Solis greeted the audience in Spanish, and then started singing some songs in his native language, with his daughters Paloma and Sienna accompanying him with maracas. This was followed by the Cleo Parker Robinson School of Dance with African music. After this was a variety of traditional and non traditional Irish step dancing from the Reed School of Irish Dance. Then there were some awesome music performances from India. The first number was the Hindi version of We Shall Overcome Someday by Peete Seeger. This song was sung before Martin Luther King’s famous I have a dream speech. The next performance was a fusion between the western drum by Vani Iyer and the tabla by Raja Venkataraman. The program was concluded with a semi classical piece called Maha Ganapathim. The artists were Avani and Medha.

Willow Creek traveled all around the world with only a 5 dollar bill. The World of Willow Creek was founded to stimulate awareness of multiculturalism and diversity.

12th October 2008
Sri Venkateswara Udayastamana Seva glorified Colorado by SV Temple
Sri Venkateswara Temple of Colorado has celebrated the 'never before, never ever' Sri Venkateswara Swamy Birthday with Udayasthamana Seva, an all-day rituals to Lord Venkateswara from sunrise to sunset, as per Tirumala traditions, on Sunday 12th October 2008 at Douglas County Fair Grounds Community Hall in Castle Rock, Colorado. The first of its kind historical event has received an overwhelming response from more than 500 devotees congregated throughout the day, which started at 5:45am with Suprabhatha Seva, and lasted with Pavalimpu Seva at 7:45pm in a lot of fanfare.

The auditorium was adorned with splendid, colorful garlanded idols of Sri Venkateswara Swamy along with both his wives, Sridevi and Bhoodevi on either side. Several distinguished priests from various temples in the country including North Carolina, Ohio, Atlanta, and Oklahoma have come for this occasion, to take the responsibility of this gorgeous event as per Vykhasana tradition, along with the temple chief priest Sri Jagannathacharyulu. The festivity started with Suprabhatha Seva at 5:45am, by opening the curtains for Viswarupa Darshanam, while everyone chanting the Suprabhatham. Thomala Seva at 6:15 was very well organized by all the priests, involving several people. Despite of the cold and gloomy weather, the priests holding the holy maha kalasa have made a circle (Pradakshina) around the premises while chanting the holy Vedas. Then followed the Koluvu as per Tirumala traditions in Telugu by Mr. Chukkapalli, Chairman and Mr. Kuna, Treasurer of SVTC. Sahasra Namarchana (chanting 1008 names of the Lord), Tiruaradhana and Saatrrumurai (Mangalasasanam) for the Lord, where several devotees have taken part by sponsoring poojas. The Astothara Sata Kalasa Stapana, Tiru Manjanam Seva are yet another remarkable poojas, where 108 silver kalasas were organized around the maha kalasa, and were purified with all rituals, and then the holy water from these kalasas were used for the Lord's abhishekam, along with other ingredients such as honey, coconut water, rose water etc. Lord Mahavishnu is fond of all sorts of decorations. The idols were heavily decorated with specially ordered garlands, ornaments, to depict the divine and elegant murthies. While doing the decoration, the asthana gayakas Smt.Priya Hariharan, Gowri Nandakumar, Arun Kumar and Sriram Srinivasan have chanted Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam, Bhajagovindam and several other keerthanas praising the Lord, with involved audience. Tiruppavada and Swarna Pursharchana have received much sponsorship from the devotees, where the Lord was worshipped with golden flowers. Traditional Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dances were performed amazingly by several students of the local dance schools Laya Dance Academy, Sai Meghna Dance School and from Colorado Springs. After Mangala Harati, auspicious Kalyanotsavam was perfomed by all the priests. The temple trustees Sri Ananda Sagar, Sri Kuna Gupta and Sri VJ Chukkapalli have represented the groom, while all the audience has represented the bride side. The priests have made the Lord's wedding very interactive with their explanation for the holy chanting, and by making the audience part of it. The Lord's trio was then underwent a Vahana seva, which made a big procession by all devotees. Unjala Seva, Kacheri, Tiru Veedhi Utsavam, Asthanam made the devotees feel Tirumala atmosphere, where from the holy abode grants the wishes of all his surrendered devotees. All the devotees received the special blessings during Mahat Ashirvadam, along with the teertham, satari and prasadam, which then followed by the Pavalimpu Seva, making the Lord sleep along with his Deveri's. A very talented Nadaswaram troupe from Toronto has accompanied all day, and their traditional numbers have greatly glorified the festival.

On behalf of Board of Trustees, Mr. Chukkapalli and Mr. Kuna honored and praised all the priests for their dedication and also thanked all the devotees for their continued patronage. All the volunteers were recognized for their sustained, arduous efforts to keep the holiness of the atmosphere, and for feeding the devotees in a timely manner. All the trustees have tried to model the religious life of the temple on the festivities and mode of worship at Tirumala. An outrageous volunteer team provided their incredible support by participating in various activities of the event including decorating the auditorium, preparing the prasadam (for breakfast, lunch and dinner), Pooja arrangements, serving the prasadam, performing in cultural programs, front desk operations, video/photography etc. People returned home with utmost satisfaction that they can experience just in Tirumala. Everybody expressed that they can never watch such a marvelous memorable festival in their lifetime.

9th October 2008
Shiva Mandir celebrated Navratri and Vijaya Dashami
Shiva Mandir has observed the Nine Days of Mother Divine (Navaratri) from 30th September through 8th October. Daily pujas have been performed everyday 7-9pm to enliven the personified aspects of Mother Divine known as Mahavidyas. On 9th October, Vijaya Dashami was celebrated as Victory Day, as a triumph of enlightenment over ignorance and culimnation of the nine days. About 25 devotees have attended this event, where there were several bhajans and puja held, followed by burning of bad evils in a holy fire. For those who haven't been to this temple, it is situated in 1391 S Pennsylvania St, Denver. They have regular prayers and satsangs. For a complete details, visit www.shivamandir.org.

5th October 2008
Chandi Yagna during Nav Ratri by Hindu Temple
Navaratri was celebrated in Colorado in a stimulating Chandi Yagna ceremony conducted by Hindu Temple and Cultural center of the Rockies. This glorious devotional event was performed at the New Hindu Temple site in Centennial, Colorado on the morning of Sunday, October 5, 2008. It was attended by about three hundred dedicated devotees representing all ages and cultural regions, in an environment filled with devotion and religious fervor. It was also a good opportunity for the devotees to spend some time on the land that will house their grand new temple in a few years.

Nava ratri is celebrated by Hindus all over the world, commemorating the victory of good over evil. It marks the slaying of the evil demon Mahishaasura by the divine mother Durga after a relentless fight of nine days and nine nights, giving light and hope to the world. The tenth day, Vijaya Dashami, is considered one of the most auspicious days of the Hindu calendar, and is much preferred for starting new endeavors in life.

The Chandi Yagna started at 10:30AM with worship of Lord Ganesh and goddess Durga. Chandi is one of the forms of Durga. After that, the thirteen chapters of Durga Sapta Shathi were recited, as the yajamans (sponsors) offered Ghee and other sacred oblations to the fire god as part of the yagna. The ceremony concluded with Aarti, in which all the devotees participated. The religious ceremony was conducted authentically by the Hindu Temple Chief Priest Acharya Kailash Upadhyay ji, supported by Assistant Priest Pandit Raghavendra ji and Gopal Padmanabhan ji.

Following the ceremony, New Temple Vice President Mr. Narender Kumar thanked the sponsors and devotees for attending. He provided a brief update on the status of the New Temple Project, and requested all community members to come forward and donate generously to help raise funds for the new Hindu Temple. This was followed by delicious prasadam lunch, prepared by Taste of India restaurant. HTCC is profoundly thankful to the primary yajamaans (sponsors) of Chandi yagna, Jogesh, Ritu, and Ishaan Harjai, for their generous sponsorship of the event, including Prasad lunch. The program concluded at 2PM.

DesiShades is thankful to Mr.Sridhar Ponnapalli for this contribution to local coverage.

27th September 2008
Onam celebrations by Kerala Association of Colorado
Kerala Association of Colorado celebrated Onam with a great fervor and enthusiasm in Denver on Sep 27 2008 at Gateway High School. The most captivating feature as soon as people walked-in, was all the Malayalees in their beautiful traditional attire. It was a breathtaking sea of white and gold!

This vibrant and colorful harvest festival of Onam is celebrated in the beginning of the first month of Malayalam Calendar (Kolla Varsham) called Chingam. Onam falls, on the 12th day of the waxing moon in the six month of Hindu calendar called Bhadon or Bhadrapada. The festival is celebrated for a period of ten days, starting from the first day Atham and continuing till tenth and the biggest day called Thiru Onam.

The festivities started with a welcome speech by Anitha Harshan, President of the Association. She explained the significance and history of Onam and emphasized how the festival is not tied to a specific religion but is celebrated by all Keralities. This was followed by Vandemataram song, sung very patriotically by a young group of children. The Pookalam and Payasam competitions were held on this day as well. Pookalam is an intricate and colorful arrangement of flowers laid on the floor. There was a rich collection of Malayalese folk and traditional songs that were sung – a true treat to the ears. This was followed by well choreographed songs and dances by young women and men. The highlight was the grand entrance of a King Maveli. He blessed the audience and sent good wishes everyone’s way. Prizes were distributed for winners in the Summer Picnic conducted a few weeks back.

What Onam celebration would be complete without the mention of Onam Sadya?

The grand meal served called Onam Sadya gives as much delight to the sight as it does to the taste buds. Served on a soft and green banana leaf the colorful food looks even more appetizing. The meal is served in a creative way as people of Kerala have set rules of placing the different colored food on a specific space on the banana leaf. Well, there may be sound reasons, but from the point of color scheme, Onasadhya looks brilliant. Kudos to Kerala Association Members to have recreated the age old magic. It was a scene to watch (Of course one has to be a part too!) as people sat in rows on to have the strictly vegetarian meal. Mouth waters at the thought of scrumptious payasam.

DesiShades is thankful to Ms.Sumana Nallapati for this contribution to local coverage.

14th September 2008
Ganesh Puja celebrations by HSS at Hindu Temple
In an atmosphere brimming with devotion, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) of Colorado area and Hindu temple of Colorado organized a grand Ganesh Homam and Ganesh Puja performed by children on Sunday 14th September, 2008 from 9AM.

HSS mission is to promote, preserve, cherish and perpetuate the socio-cultural values of Indian culture as also our history amongst all Indians in USA. The kids liked it immensely and also participated enthusiastically performing traditional prayer (Pooja). The participating children with the assistance of their parents conducted the formalities of puja to the recitation of the puja procedure by the temple priest Acharya KC Upadhyaya.

A total of more then 500 devotees that included 150 kids, participated in the pooja (rituals). Ganesha by virtue of his interesting form and playful nature is a natural hit among kids. Being able to understand the significance of the rituals greatly interested the participants. Instructions necessary for performing the Puja were given step-by-step making the process not only easy and fun to do but also quite enlightening and interesting.

The Ganesha Homam (the holy fire) was sponsored by about 15 families with utmost dedication. Kids of all ages participated and were so excited to do the puja all by themselves with the instructions provided by the Priest. Lord Ganesh is one of a dearest form of the God in Hinduism. Worshipped as the God of wisdom and the remover of obstacles, Lord Ganesh’s birthday is traditionally an occasion of huge celebration with the day marked as Ganesh Chaturthi. This puja was part of commemorating Lord Ganesh’s birthday. Ganesh Puja by HSS has always been a unique and innovative event since children actually get to perform the Puja themselves, with their parents by their side to assist them. Puja, which is an integral part of worship in Hinduism, traditionally involves various procedures, which on this occasion the children get to perform on their own - and they did do so quite zealously.

Mr.Mahesh Jha, president of the temple welcomed all the efforts of the volunteers in organizing such a big event and appealed the crowd for contributing generously towards the temple construction. Mr.Ved Nanda, Trustee of the Hindu temple of Colorado and National Sangh chalak [President] of HSS USA addressed the devotees to give an overview of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh's role in keeping our core values. Mr. Sridhar Talanki, Sangha chalak [president] of HSS Colorado has introduced and welcomed Swami Nirbhayananda to the audience. Swami Nirbhayananda, President of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Ashram of Gadag in Karnataka gave a discourse about Ganesh Chaturthi, describing the role Ganesha has in Hindu rituals. Also he explained the importance and symbolism of Ganesh and other Hindu gods. Coloradoans were blessed with his inspiring discourse and his blessings.

HSS has conducted a contest on Ramayan 'Kaun Banega Ramayan' for children during March – June 2008. The winners from this event were awarded the cash awards on this day. Mr.Dileep Reddy presented the awards to all the winners.

The Hindu Temple is constructing a spacious temple at a new location, and this occasion also served to raise the funds towards the effort. Several people have come forward to donate generously to the best they can do. Sumptuous lunch was sponsored by Abhay and Pragathi Shah and yogurt rice and kheer was done by potluck thru several devotees followed by the cultural programs. Children sang beautiful Ganesh Bhajans. Mrs.Puja Allepalli, local Bharatnatyam school instructor performed Bharatanatyam based on Lord Ganesh. Also other children from different groups performed cultural activities. No doubt this wouldn't have been such a great success with out the help of volunteers. A big team of volunteers along with the executive committee of Hindu temple of Colorado made this event a big success.

Colorado Asian Health and Education Program (CAHEP) has conducted a free health camp in the premises, providing screening services for diabetes, asthma, cholesterol and bone density tests. About 60 people have taken advantage of these services. More than 40 people have got the Flu-shots at this camp.

23th August 2008
India Independence Day and Dances of India Celebrations by IAOC
The India Association of Colorado (IAOC) has celebrated the India Independence Day on Saturday 23rd August at Hamilton Middle School Auditorium, Denver. There has been a great crowd of about 500 people from different origins have attended the festival, and enjoyed the evening with finest bollywood and rich classical performances by the local talent. The evening has started at about 4:40pm with an honor to the land we live, playing American National Anthem, followed by Indian National Anthem sung by Sravani, Pratyusha, Ntya and Sahiti. The president of IAOC Mr.Deepak Kaithakapuzha has warmly welcomed the audience. The guest of honor Mr.Sandeep Kulkarni lit the lamp, to begin the celebrations. Ganesha Stuti, a Kuchipudi dance item by Saimeghna Dance School students was a good start, which then followed by Bollywood dance for the song "Om Shanti Om" made the audience dance along. Shivanjali Dance School students have performed Alarippu, a famous Bharatanatyam item, with a gracious show. Bollywood dances for "Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani", "Jhoom Barabar Jhoom", and “Nagada Nagada" displayed the extreme team work and filled the audience with high energy. The semi classical medley by Laya Dance Academy students was marvelous. The Bharatanatyam item Mallari by Muruganantham sisters was extremely well. Audiences have spell bound to the excellent performance from the 7-yr old Diya Deepak for the Bollywood number "Des Rangila". The 15minute break let the audience to have some light refreshments from a couple of local restaurants. The second half was opened with a Bhangra Dance by Naureen Singh, followed by Bhojpuri folk dance by Azelia and Shreyash. The famous Malayalam movie song "Ananda Nadanam" performed by Reshmy, Babitha, Anjela, Joice, Sajitha and Kavitha built some charm in the audience. Tollywood dance for Jagadam was yet another great show that received a great applause. The classical Kuchipudi dance for Shivastakam by Prathyusha Apparasu is the item of the day that showed the best of the talent. A couple more Bollywood numbers from the movies "Krazzy4" and "Rang De Basanti" was greatly performed by Priyanka, Bela, Christy, Dhwani, Hannah, Lahari and Nikita Patel. Sanskriti team was successful in performing the pieces of dances from different dance forums of India. This is the item of the evening, with a great participation from different states, and different cultures. Rockies Masti has presented live bollywood karaoke musical night with super hit songs from recent movies.

IAOC team is successful to pull the audience, and organize the show at a central location. Colorado Asian Health Education Program (CAHEP) under the leadership of Alok Sarwal has conducted a health camp. Some local businesses and Charity organizations have setup booths.

16th August 2008
Auspicious Sravana Masam Celebrations by SV Temple
Sri Venkateswara Temple of Colorado has celebrated the auspicous days in the Sravana masam of this year. More than 50 families have participated in Samoohika (Group) Varalakshmi Vratam on 15th August evening at 6:30pm for the wealth and wellness. People believe that performing the Varalakshmi vratam on 2nd Friday in Sravana Masam is very sacred and fulfils their wishes. On the occassion of Sravana Purnima (full moon day), the temple has performed Upakarma (chage of sacred thread for men) in the morning. There was a good number of over 30 men attended this event. On the same evening at 5:30pm, there was Satyanarayana Vratam. In all, there were more than 400 people attended the events with great devotion. The temple priest Sri Jagannathacharyulu has taken a great care to perform abhishekam, decoration and performing the rituals. After all the events, a great tasteful feast was served to all the people, which was prepared by the temple volunteers. Observing these holy days and participating in them with families, keep us in close contact with our culture, and it is very appreciative that the temple is taking great initiative.

15th August 2008
NASDAQ celebrates India's Independence Day
Indian tricolour fluttered in the backdrop, as Neelam Deo, the country's consul general in New York rung the closing bell at the world's largest stock exchange NASDAQ, which celebrated India's 62nd Independence day on Friday. This was the first time that a consul general has rung the closing bell at the stock market in a prestigious ceremony, which marks the recognition of a fast growing Indian economy. Outside the exchange, the huge electronic board, which overlooks the historic Times Square and displays quotations during the day was also lighted in saffron, white and green colours, with the words "India Independence Day". It lists six Indian companies with a combined market cap of almost USD 35 billion. These include Ex1Service, Rediff.Com, Sify Technologies, Syntel Inc, Cognizant Technology Solutions and Infosys Technologies.

10th August 2008
Abhinaya performance by Bragha Bessel
Bragha Bessel, senior disciple of Kalanidhi Narayan rendered an Abhinaya special programme in Denver Colorado on 10th August at 2pm. It was quite an experience to watch ‘Abhinaya'. Abhinaya is common to all Classical Indian dances. Abhinaya is the expressional aspect of dance, or nritya. Abhinaya has been very carefully analysed in the Natya Shastra and then after throrough resarch and analysis of the most finest points of dances Abhinaya. It is the medium of presentation by which one can convey one's ideas and the feelings to others without speech but by means of mudras, mime, facial expression and movements of the body.

The program was started with a little introduction about Bragha by Puja Allepalli. Bragha took the audience by surprise, by rendering her abhinaya clear and expressive. The aspect of Abhinaya, especially through Padams and Javalis has gained immence importance in a Bharathanatyam recital. The first two numbers were so moving describing Yashoda scolding Lord Krishna not to eat the mud and trying to lure him with butter, and was trying to catch hold of him. Bragha Bessel’s wonderfully mobile features effortlessly communicated all the feelings and expressions about Little Krishna. "Chitika Vesite" by Sarangapani in Kalyani was another impressive number by Bragha Bessel. The program was concluded with a Tulasi Das bhajan "Tumak Chalat Ramachandra". Denver is pleased to have this great artist coming all over from India and conducting the workshop for the Shivanjalli School of dance. Puja Allepalli one of the disciples of Adayar K. Lakshman had organised such a wonderful program of mime and Abhinaya.

2nd August 2008
Telugu kids elocution in their mother tongue
Colorado Telugu Association has conducted Elocution for the kids ages between 5yrs and 17yrs, on 2nd August at Smokey Hill Library. More than 25kids have participated with excitement in the competition, to talk about the Indian Festivals in Telugu language. The kids were divided into 3 age groups, and were given opportunity to talk about any festival for 5minutes. Contestants were then judged in each of the groups, and were given certificates, medals and icecream coupons. Winners in each of the caterogies were awarded with trophies. It has been so colorful to see kids at one place, speaking in the native language with their best efforts.

27th July 2008
An Impressive "Natya Samarpanam" by Abhinaya School of Dance
Connoisseurs of art were treated with grand Bharatanatyam performances by the students of Abhinaya School of Dance on the afternoon of Sunday 27th July 2008, at the Broomfield Auditorium. Aptly titled "Natya Samarpanam", it presented a great talent of the students in the honor of their guru, a senior Bharatanatyam exponent, Smt. Usha Muralidharan.

The program started with a warm prayer song "Mahaganapatim" by Dhipthika Srinivasan. The group performances for the numbers "Pancha Murthy Anjali" and "Alaripu", by Angela Abraham, Kavya Kannan, Arthi Kumar, Joice Muckom, Namitha Pasupuleti, Azelia Pradhan, Jotsna Saiganesh, and Dhipthika Srinivasan showed the great work from the dancers. Following this item, Angela, Joice and Azelia performed for a scintillating "Jatheeswaram", which depicted their excellent coordination and movements. The next item by Arthi Kumar was "Shabdam", a piece of abhinaya with a fringe of pure dance running all around it and between it, which was greatly applauded by the audiences. Saint Thyagaraja's composition "Sadhinchane" was added with superb abhinaya and movements by Gouri Srinidhi, a senior student of the school. Dhipthika Srinivasan has swayed in divine ecstasy with her performances to a melodious "Thillana". "Dasavatharam", the 10 incarnations of Lord Mahavishnu were depicted with great ease and pleasing countenance by Isha Aran. Papanasam Sivan's composition "Idathu Padam Thooki", a highly meaningful padam, was delivered with deep feeling and exquisite perfection by Jotsna Saiganesh. It was delightful to see Suma Chandra's spectacular performances for a couple of numbers, one for Bharatiyar's "Chinnanchiru Kiliye", and the other for Veeramani Iyer's Virutham, "Sengamla Muka Malaril". Suma's finesse and elegance were successfully showed in her movements and expressions. The students performance clearly sets a style of great classicism, portraying the aesthetic beauty and choreographic style of Bharata Nrityam known for its grace, purity, tenderness and statuesque poses.

The event was ably compered by Mrs.Chitra explaining the nuances that sat through the show. Mrs.Usha Muralidharan thanked all the students, parents and volunteers to bring up such a marvelous two hour program of color, melody and rhythm.

27th July 2008
Colorado Dragon Boat Festival had thousands of spectators
The Colorado Dragon Boat festival was organized during 26-27th July at the Sloan's Lake, Denver. There were more than 50 teams competed in four divisions in 250 and 400 meter races across the water, and tens of thousands of spectators. As they watched, the dragon boat teams squared off two at a time, the drummer at the front of the boats, pounding a beat that marked time for the 18 paddlers, the coxswain out back steering with an oar and the flag-catcher stretched out across the dragon's head, ready to snag the pennant that marked the finish line. It was the 8th year of the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, a celebration of Asian Pacific culture and heritage and a renewal of one of the oldest competitions around. The event featured India as one of three Asian countries. India Association of Colorado has done a tremendous amount of work to prepare the India segments to take part in the festival.

There was quite a lot of active representation from the Indian community, about our culture, in this festival. Renowned musician Smt.Gayathri Krishnamurthy gave a majestic Carnatic musical performance on Veena, supported by Sriram Srinivasan on Mridangam. Audience greatly applauded the Kuchipudi dance performance by Medha, Avani and Karina for the famous Annamacharya composition 'Srimannarayana'. Swathi showed an awesome footwork and body postures for the 'Jathiswaram' in Kuchipudi dance form. Thundering Dance medley combining the classical 'Maha Ganapathim' and the Bollywood song 'Dheem thadare thane', well mixed with the dance movements by Prathyusha Apparasu and Padma Avinash, has mesmerized the audience. 'Sanskriti - The Culture of India' is a program that described various cultures and dance forms of India in a nice narration. The participants of this dance Hema Jeevarathnam and Sajitha Rajesh performing BharatNatyam (South), Amarpreet Johar and Nikki performing Kashmiri Dance (North), Anuja Agarwal, Bhavna S. Desai, Payal B. Jangla and Sarada N R performing Bengali Dance (East), Anindita Chatterjee and Sanjogita Mishra performing Dandiya Raas (West), Chetan Patil and Sarbojit Mishra performing Kashmiri & Gujarati Dances have done an extremely well job, depicting the unity in diversity. The kids Niranjana has acted as "Bharat Mata", while Arushi, Lasata, Manasi and Rishabh have supported the show, in Indian attire with India flags. Ms Lakshmi has patiently demonstrated the Indian art Mehendi/Henna demonstration for more than 3hours. This has captivated a lot of people standing in line for a good amount of time. Sahaja Yoga, a unique method of meditation based on an experience called Self Realization (Kundalini awakening) that can occur within each human being, was demonstrated by Oleg Kotliarsky on Saturday and by Miguel Diez Mari on Sunday in two hourly sessions.

It has been an excellent show and coordination from the volunteers under the able guidance of the president of IAOC Mr.Deepak Kaithakapuzha backed by several community leaders. A complete busy weekend for those who enjoy the vivid cultures of Asia, Colorado Dragon Boat Festival has ended with many cheers and appreciations from the community.

26th July 2008
Guru Purnima and Free Health Camp by Hindu Temple of Rockies
Guru Purnima was celebrated very healthy by the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Rockies on 26th July 2008, where more than 200 devotees have attended with a great devotion. Shiridi Sai Community of Rockies has organized a Free Health Camp by Colorado Asian Health Education and Promotion (CAHEP), where more than 60 people have taken advantage of the health checkups worth about $1300. Most of the visiting parents have participated in the health camp. A beautiful status of Shri Sai Baba decorated with flowers and ornaments, was placed on a silver throne, which was placed by a nicely carved granite stone. The program started with Akhanda Sai Namajapam from 3pm to 5pm by the devotees. Then Pundit Raghavendra Iyer has performed Shirdi Sai Maha Abhishekam with Vedic Chants till 6:15pm. The evening was glorified by various Sai Bhajans by the devotees which then followed by Sej Arati. The New Hindu Temple executive Mr. Narender Kumar has presented a slide show about the new Hindu Temple plan and architecture, and explained the current stages of development. It has been a great achievement that the Sai group has realized a total of $140k towards the new Hindu Temple, out of the total commitment of $225k. All the devotees were distributed the prasadam dinner boxes. After the dinner, all the volunteers were recognized with certificates for the outstanding contribution for the smooth execution of the program and the health fair. Everyone expressed a great satisfaction with the health fair, as most of our parents have no insurance, and this served them with their health check. DesiShades will have a photo gallery soon, and stay tuned!!

26th July 2008
Hindus hopeful of the success of "The Love Guru" boycott in UK
Hindus are hopeful that boycott call given against Hollywood movie "The Love Guru" in United Kingdom (UK) will be successful.

Raj an Zed, acclaimed Hindu leader, seems confident that many Hindus and others who feel their pain will refrain from going to this movie in UK. Box office receipts will prove it, he adds. It is being released in UK on Friday, August one. Zed, supported by some other organizations/leaders, has given this UK-wide boycott call by Hindus and other religious Brits because "The Love Guru" lampoons Hinduism and Hindu concepts and uses Hindu terms frivolously.

Zed, who is president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, and who launched campaign against this movie starting in March, urging other people of faith (besides Hindus) also to boycott the movie, says, "Today it is Hinduism, tomorrow Hollywood might attempt to denigrate another religion/denomination."

He has also criticized British Bo ard of Film Classification (BBFC) for giving it "12A" (suitable for 12 years and over) classification, when he says it deserved the highest "18" (suitable only for adults) classification. Although BBFC claims "We help to protect vulnerable viewers and society from the effects of viewing potentially harmful or unsuitable content", but by giving "The Love Guru" a "12A" rating, it is leading the highly impressionable British children between 12 to 18 years to grow-up with a distorted view of Hinduism, Zed stresses.

A prominent Jewish Rabbi, Elizabeth W. Beyer of Nevada (USA), has also called for boycott of "The Love Guru" because it "...lampoons Hinduism, mocks Ashram life and Hindu philosophy..."

The antics of Guru Pitka of "The Love Guru" are a mockery of the esteemed inst itution of guru, who is a highly revered spiritual teacher/master/preceptor in Hinduism, Zed stresses.

Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion followers and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. No faith, larger or smaller, should be ridiculed at, Rajan Zed says.

Meanwhile, signature campaign launched by Hindu groups against "The Love Guru" has crossed the 6,900 mark.

17th & 18th July 2008
Shri Shirdi Sai Vigraha Sthapana by SV Temple
SV Temple of Colorado has celebrated Shri Shidi Sai Vigraha Sthapana day on Thursday the 17th July in a big fanfare. There was a big crowd of about 200 people attended the evening, with a great devotion. The white statue of Shirdi Sai which is about 26.5" in height was placed on a nicely decorated throne with flowers, and bathed with panchamrithams, while chanting the Sai Bhajans and Sej Arati (the night arti of Shirdi Sai). All the devotees have participated in Abhishekam, and take the divine blessings of Baba. Prasadam, sponsored by devotees, was served to all the attendees.

On 18th July, the SV Temple of Colorado celebrated the Guru Purnima and Sri Sai Satya Vratam. Then the pallaki seva was performed to Sri Saibaba. An elegant Pallaki was decorated appropriately, and Baba's photo was placed carefully between the garlands of flowers. Several devotees carried the pallaki, while chanting the holy Baba namams and bhajans. More than 60 kids chanting Sai namam have headed the procession, which went around the community hall for more than 15 minutes. This entire scene reminded everybody of festive Shirdi atmosphere. After the pallaki seva, priest the devotees took part in the Sej Arati. Following this was a speech from Mr. VJ Chukkapalli, Chairman and Mr.Kuna B Gupta, Treasurer of the SV Temple of Colorado, presented the status of the temple construction project and upcoming events. The program concluded by personal blessings to all sponsors, participants and their families, followed by Prasadam distribution. A traditional Telugu style dinner was served to all the attendees, catered in the banana leaves.

12th July 2008
Fun filled day at IAOC Picnic
Indian Association of Colorado had a fun time at the Annual Summer Picnic on 12th July at the Arapahoe Community Park. There was a small gathering of the people, but was a big fun. IAOC committee members Deepak, Raj, Naveen and others made all the arrangements for the food and the sports activities. People spent their day with Volley ball, Cricket and Tug of war. Such great socializing days are necessary for our community, to keep them know of each other. Great work IAOC!!

11th July 2008
A Telugu literary evening with Dr.Rallabandi Kavitha Prasad
Colorado Telugu Community have enjoyed the evening of Friday 11th July, with a great literary program "Palakariste Padyam" by Dr.Rallabandi Kavitha Prasad, Director of Cultural Affairs, Andhra Pradesh. He is a scholar in Telugu and Sanskrit, who presented the great literary trends of Telugu poetry right from the olden days of Kalidas, Peddana, Pothana, Srinadha, Tenali Ramalinga, to the modern poets, Viswanadha, Sri Sri, Jandhyala Papayya Sastry for more than 2hours, and made the audience spell bound. The audience were so much involved in the entire program, by giving the problems to Dr.Prasad, and he was very sporadic to solve the problem, with his sweet poetry inclusive of all grammar rules. Audience were stunned to see his incredible 'Dharana' skills, when he visualized a chart of 4x4 numbers in his brain, which result a sum of 45 horizontally, vertically and diagonally. Colorado Telugu Association has felicitated the great poet after the program, which ended with a light potluck light dinner. Everybody who attended the program expressed that they look forward to many such great programs, where we connect to our rich cultural heritage.

8th July 2008
New Hindu Temple Drawing is very attractive
Did you see the New Hindu Temple's Rendering? It is very attractive with a 2-story building. This is still being reviewed by the committee on 12th July. Here is the picture.

14th June 2008
Kaun Banega Ramayan Expert 2008 Highlights
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Colorado vibhag has organized Kaun BanegaRamayan Expert (KBRE) contest on 14th June. More than 50 kids have participated this second phase of the exam, which earlier has screened the kids via online exam during the phase 1. The contest was a national effort focused on creating and maintaining awareness in children about Ramayan. Children of all ages proved that they were up to the challenge of the KRBE contest, a fun and educational experience.

In the youngest age group (ages 5-6) Rohan Nanadakumar and Sai Tedla achieved the first place. There was tie between the two kids and the first prize was shared among the two kids. Second place was taken by Nikit Gorla of Westminister Vibhag and Pragna Krishna Murthy got the third place. In group 2 (ages 7-9), Noopur Nayak took the first place. Closely following were Amulya took the second place and Manasa Ponnapalli took the thid place. In the oldest age group of the competition (13-15), Lakshmi Priya Karamsetty stood first. Other winners in this category were Sanjay Patil who tok second place alongwith Deepak and Manasa Srinivasan, who shared the third place.

Mr.Manu Rawal was the chief guest for the day. HSS Sangh Chalak Prof Ved Nanda, his wife Mrs.Catherine Nanda, and Mr. Sridhar Talanki attended the program. The guests blessed the kids with and were so delighted to see the kids participating in the contest with lot of enthusiasm and vigor.

7th June 2008
Rocky Mountains resonated with Sankeerthanas at 601st Annamacharya Jayanthi Celebrations
SV Temple of Colorado has celebrated 601st Anniversary of Saint Annamacharya on 7th June 2008 in Littleton, CO. More than 120 people have attended from different parts of the state, with a high devotion and enthusiasm. More than 40 professional and aspiring singers and dancers have participated in commemorating the works of the Telugu poet, singing the bhajans and keerthanas. The temple honored the distinguished guest and renowned singer Mrs.Jayalakshmi Santhanam, known as DK Pattammal of Andhra Pradesh on this occasion.

Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya was a saint composer in the fifteenth century, who hailed from the Tallapaka village, Andhra Pradesh, India. Annamacharya was the very first vaggeyakara (composer) in Telugu and established a tradition which was later followed by a number of saint composers like Tyagaiah and Kshetraiah. He composed 32000 keerthanas (devotional songs) in praise of Lord Venkateswara. With their lyrical beauty, poetic excellence and myriad of emotions depicted, Annamayya's songs have greatly enriched Carnatic music.

The day started at around 10:00am with Saptagiri Sankeertanas, the 7 most popular keertanas of Annamacharya, by the temple asthana gayakas (singers) Mrs.Chayadevi Ramayanam, Mr.VK Arunkumar, Mrs.Priya Hariharan, Mrs.Gowri Nandakumar accompanied by Mr.Sriram Srinivasan on Mridangam. These keertanas are Vinnapalu Vinavale (Bhupala), Brahma Kadigina Padamu (Mukhari), Kondalalo Nelakonna (Samantha), Okaparikokapari Vayyarame (Kharaharapriya), Shodasa Kalanidhiki (Lalitha). Then Mrs.Jayalakshmi has started her performance started with the slokam Gnyananandamayam devam. Mrs.Jayalakshmi is one of the enduring links to the giants of Carnatic music in the 20th century. Several stalwarts such as Sathur Subramanyam, Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar, her brother V. V. Sadagopan, B.Rajam Iyer, D. K. Pattammal and D. K. Jayaraman, contributed to her vast repertoire. Her performing style offers a soulful blending of the famous traditional styles of Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar and D. K. Pattammal. During the past 40 years, she has travelled and performed extensively in India and in the U.S., has trained numerous students, and continues to be prominent in the Carnatic music field in Chennai, India. She was supported by Mrs.Vasu on vocals, Mrs.Priya on violin and Mr.Sriram on Mridangam. The audience were dwelled with her classical melodious voice and versatile Telugu, Tamil and Kannada keerthanas.

Afternoon session started magnificently with performances by various individuals. The program started with Chandana, Anupriya, and Varsha with Rohan on Tabla singing Nanati Batuku in Revathi ragam, followed by Mrs.Gowri Nandakumar's melodious Cheri Yashodaku in Mohana. Kuchipudi is famous for its swift and delicate footsteps and elegant movements. Kuchipudi dance medley by Medha, Avani, Kariina, Shritha, Shreya, Shriya, Manasa, Sushmitha and Anu for Vinnapalu Vinavale and Srimannarayana was impressive. Mrs.Chayadevi has taken the audiences to the heaven with her sweet renderings Jo Achyutandnda and Emani Pogadudune. Renu, Manasa's Bhavamulona, Suppu, Hari's Sriman Narayana on Violin are very impressive. Then Mrs.Priya Hariharan took the audience into Brindavan with her Radha Madhava in Ragashree ragam. Mrs.Vijayasree Venkatesh's Saveri composition Edinijambani followed by VK Arunkumar's successful Yamuna Kalyani composition of Bhavayami Gopalabalam has mesmarized the audience. Then followed Emhyr, Aneesh, Siddharth,Gautam's Tandanana in Bouli ragam, Aishwarya, Apoorva, Tara's Namo in Senjhuruti, Tejas, Gokul, Shreya, Srinija's Ksheerabdhi Kanyakaku in Kurinji ragam were well done. Mrs.Meera Ganeshan alongwith her dad Mr Ganeshan has presented Namonamo Raghukula, Anandi, Abhinetri, Aditi trio's Narayanate Namonamo in Behag ragam received great applause. The music diverted to dance with Mrs.Lavanya Yammanur's performance for Srimannarayana, Ashritha, Sneha, Gowri Kalyani's performance for Adivo Alladivo, Meghna, Kavya's performance for Muddugare Yasoda followed by Sravani, Sahithi, and Pratyusha's performance for Cheri Yashodaku. These enthusiastic performances took the audience to the eternal world of dance and music. Our Mridangam player Sriram Srinivasan showed his talent with Bhatiyari raga composition Nanda-Nandana. Shritha Gunturu's Siruta Navvulavadu, Sankar Gunturu's Itti Mudduladu, Mrs.Vidya Ramesh's Srimannarayana, Ramesh Subramanyan's Behag composition Narayanate Namonamo are scintillating. The program ended with Mrs.Lakshmi Hariharan's Devadevam Bhaje in Suddha Dhanyasi ragam. The performances by Mrs.Bhagyalakshmi, Sukrith and Vidya are great. Krish Hariharan has provided the audio support for the program. The full day program on Telugu Pada Kavitha Pitamaha's poetic works showed the utmost hardwork and dedication from the community, with a great initiation from the organizers.

2nd June 2008
Over 300 people took advantage of the eye camp in India

Talanki Charitable Trust of Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh has recently conducted an eye camp at Jantuluru village, where more than 300 people were tested, and 58 people have been identified as a possible cataract cases. Out of 58 cases, 38 people went through the surgery successfully, getting their normal eye sight back, and 20 people were postponed for the surgery due to their high blood sugar levels. Indo-American Eye Care Organization with the local help from Pushpagiri Eye Institute, Secunderabad has performed this task with great care. District Collector of Anantapur, Medical Health Officer, Drug Inspector, MLA of Kadiri, Puspagiri Eye Institute Chairman Mr.Govinda Hari, Dr.K Viswanath, the Village Serpent, Vice Chancellor of SK University, Trust Chairman Mr.Talanki Krishnamurthy and Mr.Talanki Sridhar were present to the camp. Dr.Ghazal Sreenivas has inspired on Hygiene & Health and entertianed the audience with his songs in the evening. The Trust has adopted Janthaluru village since 2000, and has been organizing development and welfare programs.

31th May 2008
Indian Dance Festival 2008
India has a rich cultural heritage and the varied dance forms that reflect our diverse cultural traditions. Most of the classical dances have a religious significance and convey the devotion and thanks to the divinity. All the dance forms revolve around the nine 'Rasa' or emotions, namely happiness, anger, fear, courage, peace, kindness, agony, surprise and disgust. To bring all these dance forms together, Kerala Association of Colorado has been organizing dance festival every year in the month of May. This year's festival on 31st May began with a prayer song and was followed by the lightning ceremony. Mrs.Anitha Harshan, the president of Kerala association welcomed the audience and introduced the Chief Guest who lit the lamp.

The cultural program was started by a welcome dance Shyama Sundara a beautiful song by A.R. Rehman describing the serene and beautiful Kerala. "Bhamakalapam" – Kuchipudi dance performed by Mrs. Lavanya Yammanur successfully depicted the right facial expressions. Next performance is a Nepali folk song, in which the beautifully dressed girls Azelia Pradhan, Merina Shreshta, Puja Karki, Reshmi Thapa, Sweta Adhikari, and Adithi Neupane danced extremely well. The Bharatanatyam item by Mrs Puja Allepalli described the playful and loving relationship between Gopika and Krishna. The semi classical item Kamaladalam by Lakshmi Hari, Reshmy Predheep, Babitha Bipin, Angela Abraham, Joice Muckom, Sajitha Rajesh, Suniya Idicula and Sanjogita Mishra, choreographed by Bindu Lalu described the significance of the Kerala music. The fast Bollywood Punjabi folk song depicts people celebrating the occasion in a very pompous manner. The dance was staged by Toby Jacob, Anushka Jayaraman, Munish Rampal, Usha Balan, and Satyen America.

An internationally renowned professional Indo-Canadian dance company Janak Kendry was a highlight to the program. Rajesh Pisharody the Bharatnatyam dancer performed the Bharatnatyam – Ganesh Vandana. This is one of the Jatiswaram is a beautiful number of Nritta or pure dance. There is no story line developed in the Jatiswaram. Mala Pisharody performed a Khathakali dance item Duryodhana Vadham and a Mohinattam varnam.

After a small break for the dinner the dance dhamaka was continued in its pace. Vidula Girish performed the Kuchipudi repertoire Thanrangam. This composition is all about Lord Krishna. Next was a remix of a golden Tamil classic 'Anytime Anywhere'. This hip-hop meets disco was staged by Arvind Anoushka, Jyotsna, Karthik, Murali, Nandita, Sathya and Sujatha. Tamil medley was by Divya Rajendran, Neemitha Balaji, Mohan, Balasubramanian and Sujay. The medley was followed by Bharatnatyam by Shivanjali dance school. The performers are Meera Ganeshan, Valli Keerthi, and Lisa Zales. 'We must end with disco' Bhangra dance by Mudra Dance Studio and Bollywood style by Bollywood West were a great numbers. The performers were Shawna Friedman, Renu Kansal, Kate Matzick, Chini Mehta, Cathy Milkey, Runjhun Nanchal, Gauri Nikrad, Meera Shah, Jill Tarket, and Shannon Clark. The last item Mangalam was presented by Abhinaya School of Dance- performed by Angela Abraham, Dhipthika Srinivasan, Joyce Muckom, Arthi Kumar, Azelea Pradhan, and Jotsna Saiganesh. Shalini, Bindu, Jisha, Jilu concluded the program with Indian and American National Anthem. Mr. Balu Ambady gave the vote of thanks.

25th May 2008
Indian Software Engineer lost his life near Royal Gorge while rafting
Memorial Day long weekend ended up in memorizing the relation and friendship of Mr.Subhash Nelakurthi in Colorado. Subhash (26yrs old) is working as SAP Consultant at Swiss Re Insurance, Kansas City went on a long weekend trip to Canon City, Colorado on May 25th along with a group of friends. Colorado's famous white water rafting tempted them to go for the adventurous trip. In a sudden accident, the boat hit a rock, tripped down and throwing several people into the water. Subhash was so misfortunate that he was swept about a mile downriver. "Raft guides made valiant rescue efforts and did everything right, but couldn't revive the victim after rescuing him from the water," Fremont County Sheriff's investigator Robert Dodd told The Mountain Mail Tuesday afternoon. At the time of the incident, the Arkansas River, swollen with spring runoff but significantly below flood stage, was running about 1,800 cubic feet per second. Last year six people died while rafting or fishing the Arkansas River. The trip included two boats carrying a total of 12 passengers in addition to guides.

Subhash hailed from Armur Mandal, Nizamabad of Andhra Pradesh, and has been a very intelligent guy throughout his career. He completed his school from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL and graduated in 2006. Subhash's employer Advansoft International Inc in Chicago is making every attempt to send his body to his family in India. The community organizations Colorado Telugu Association (CTA) and Indian Association of Colorado (IAOC) are trying to expedite the process.

18th May 2008
Audience got mesmerized for more than 90minutes at Bharatanatyam Margam
Puja Allepalli mesmerized the audience on 18th May, with her delightful Bharatanatyam Margam solo performance, in the honor of her guru Padmasri Adyar K. Lakshman, who came to Denver all the way from Kalakshetra of Chennai, India. The presentation lasted for more than 90 minutes, and it was marked by the scintillating footwork in perfect conformity with nattuvangam executed with precision by her Guru. The program started right after the Ganesha Stuti by Sri Lakshman, with Nandi Chollu, an invocatory item rhythmic to the beats of Mridangam. Puja was very elaborate in presenting her item 'Enthani ne telupudu ra', especially in the bhavas in perfect combinations with her movements. The next item 'Nee Urrepai' depicted the highest maturity in presenting the grace, expression and emotions. The Javali 'Saaramaina' in Behad raaga, Puja highlighted the drama element of Bharatanatyam, where gopikas get upset with Krishna's late arrival. The final item of the evening, a Tillana in Brindavan Saranga was a vivacious composition, distinguished by joyous burst of movements, where all audience immersed in it.

The Broomfield auditorium set for the show was just sufficient for the crowd, and neatly organized. Sri Lakshman was greatly accompanied by Mrs.Priya Hariharan on Violin, and Ms.Shubha Chandramouli on Mridangam. The world renowned Sri Lakshman gave a solid voice in tune with his remarkable nattuvangam, whereas on Priya and Shubha gave excellent support.

11th May 2008
Madhuri Dixit was conferred with Padma Shri as a birthday gift
Madhuri Dixit, Bollywood Heroine, received Padma Shri award for her contribution to Indian cinema on May 10th. Madhuri is delighted that this is her birth day gift, which falls on 15th May. She commented, "Everyone works hard and to be acknowledged for it is a huge thing. I am honoured. As a young girl, I thought the Padma Shri was accorded only to scientists. Awards are important, but I never aspired for any, I just put my best foot forward."

In 1999 Madhuri married an Indian-American, UCLA trained cardiovascular surgeon who practices in Denver, Dr. Sriram Madhav Nene. She has two sons, Arin born in March 2003, and Ryan born on March 2005. She has two elder sisters, Rupa and Bharati, and an elder brother, Ajit. Madhuri now lives with Dr. Nene and her two children in Denver, Colorado, USA.

Madhuri's recent film Aaja Nachle, bombed at the box office last November. Earlier she received five Filmfare awards. She has many hit hindi movies, such as Tezaab, Ram Lakhan, Dayavan, Dil, Beta, Khalnayak, Hum Apke Hai Kaun, Dil To Pagal Hai, Devdas and Aaja Nachle.

11th May 2008
Splendid Bollywood musical performances by Udit and Aditya sponsored by Gujarati Samaj
The evening of Sunday 11th May in Denver was electrifying with magnificient musical performances from the Bollywood Super Singer Udit Narayan and his son, the rising star Aditya Narayan. Gujarati Samaj of Colorado has brought this great duo all the way from India, and it has been a successful performance, where more than 1200 audiences from different parts of the state, and out of state have attended.

The hot afternoon at 3:30 has started with a welcoming cold ice cream, where audiences were very patiently waiting outside the theatre to watch the great show. The show started a little late than the scheduled time at 4:15pm, but went on at a great pace. Aditi Paul, the Indian Idol finalist, has opened the show with a devotional note on Lord Ganesha, and welcomed Udit onto the stage. Nicely dressed Udit came onto the stage with all-time favorite hit song 'Papa Kehte Hai' from Quyamat Se Quyamat Tak. An incredibly humble, modest singer of the Bollywood, Udit then entertained the audience with great hit songs such as Tere Naam Hum Ne Kiya Hai (Tere Naam), Ye Dharti Ye Amber, Pehla Nasha (Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar), Kab Tak Jawani, Ye Ajnabi (Dil Se), Jadoo Tere Nazar (Darr), Ae mere Humsafar (QSQT) and Rukjaa Dil Diwane (DDLJ).

Then Aditi's hit song Pucho Na Pucho Na took the audience to the new world, and took back to the glittering stage with the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa fame Mr.Aditya Narayan. His mind blowing and electrifying voice just took over the show with great hit songs such as Jhoom Bara Barr, Ajaki Raat Hona hi kya, Dil Hara re, Kadre disco and Hojaye Pyare etc. Aditi resumed the show after a 10-minute break, which then followed by the dance performance by the Bollywood Actress Preeti Jingyani. Udit Narayan then started with his numbers such as Rehne Bhi do jaane bhi do, Chote Chote Sheharon se Khaike paan banaraswalla (Don) and some regional songs from Telugu and Nepalise.

Deepa Narayan, the star of Nepali Cinema has joined her husband Udit to, to entertain the audience with their melodious and versatile songs Band bajaa, Kuch kuch hota hai, Dil to pagal hai, Laal dupatta, Kahona Pyar hai, Leja leja and Mehandi lagaa ke rakhana etc. Aditi's thrilling song Dama dam mast kalandar was great. Aditya's hits Ek din tere bahon me, Mere maa, Oh mitwaa was so hit.

The evening show ended with Om Shanti Om title song, all singers, dancers, most of the audience has taken part on the stage. All through the show has been very colorful, with rhythmic dances from professional dancers comprising of 2 male and 4 female artists. Preethi was attractive and her dances were majestic for the show.

Gujarati Samaj has successfully organized this show, second time in a row, after its earlier hit saga with Abhijeet. Rajendra Patel, from Gujarati Samaj has given the vote of thanks to all the members, artists, and committee to bring such a great show by working together. A simple and sufficient dinner was served by the local restaurant Taste of India. Udit, Aditya and the team were very patiently working with audience to get those autographs and giving pose with their photographs.

3rd May 2008
Enthusiastic participation by kids in NSF Contests
North South Foundation Denver Chapter conducted the Bee contents on May 3rd, 2008 at University of Denver, where there were 21 contestants who participated so enthusiastically. This being the first year, the chapter has conducted Spelling, Math and Geography bee contests each in different grade levels.

The morning started with Spelling written rounds, followed by Math tests. After the lunch break, the spelling oral rounds and Geography Bee have taken place. Shritha Gunturu, a third grader has topped the Junior Spelling Bee, while Neil Borde and Nimish Garg took the second and third places. Keerti Vajrala a fourth grade student topped the Senior Spelling Bee, with Manasa Ponnapalli in the second place. Nina Vendhan has topped the Math Bee Level 2. Math levels 1, 3 and Geography have too few participants, so no ranks were announced.

Shana Harshan and Maithili Gopalakrishnan have pronounced the words for Spelling and Geography, while Ramki Thurimella, Radha Rangaiah, Shalini Kaja, Anitha Harshan, Kavitha and Kotesh Yarlagadda have judged for the Spelling Bee contests. Babu Bachu, Kiran Thurimella, Shohini Ghosh, Lakshmi Bachu have helped the Math Bee valuation.

The contests were coordinated by Radhika Gopalakrishnan as technical coordinator, Jyotshna Gunturu as chapter coordinator and Mr. Raghavendra Paturi from the NSF national team.

The contests went very smooth with the active participation from kids and parents. A great volunteer team has backed the NSF to organize the contest so efficiently within time. The chapter thanked the volunteers Sridhar Ponnapalli, Rao Nalla, Sumana Nallapti, Amritha, Radha Ponnapalli, Venkat Mylavarapu, Sankar Gunturu, all the judges and all the parents who helped making the event a grand success.

26th April 2008
Shirdi Sai Mandir of Rockies celebrates Sri Rama Navami Maha Abhishekam
Shri Shirdi Sai Mandir of Rockies organized a majestic celebration of Sri Rama Navami Maha Abhishekam on April 26th, 2008 in South Ridge Rec Center, Highlands Ranch, Colorado, USA. This historical event, which is the first of its kind and scale in the Rocky Mountain region, received an overwhelming response with over 450 Sai Baba devotees congregated from all over the state of Colorado, representing all age groups and many states in India. Devotees celebrated Sri Rama Navami in an astonishing reflection of flourishing traditions and unparalleled devotion on this auspicious occasion.

The auditorium at South Ridge recreation center was adorned with splendid, garlanded portraits of Shri Saibaba, and Sri Rama Parivar. At the center of the stage was a divine, marble idol of Shri Saibaba ensconced inside an elegant granite Kalasam, for the Maha Abhishekam. The event started at 5:15PM with Ganapathi Pooja and Sankalpam by Acharya Sri Raghavendra Iyyer. Right after that, Maha Abhishekam started with Sri Iyyer reciting the Gothram and Nakshatrams of the 101 families that sponsored the Abhishekam. Distinguished Brahmins Gopal Padmanabhan, Krishna Vaithyanathan, Ram Krishnamurthy, Rajesh and Arun Guha joined Acharya Raghavendra as he led a lucid, authoritative chanting of Namakam, Chamakam, Mantrapushpam, Panchasuktam and Aashirvada Mantrams with consecration of Pancha Amritha Abhishekam to Shri Saibaba idol. This was followed by melodious devotional Shri Saibaba and Sri Rama Bhajans by devotees Neelima, Sumana, Sailaja, Subha, Radha, Rajasri, Priya, and Vani that stimulated the audience. Amazing Dance performances by Smt Pratyusha Apparasu (Prabhum Prananadham) and Kumari Srikala Appana (Adigo Bhadradri) captivated the audience. Following this was the Sej Aarthi, and a speech from Mr. Mahesh Jha, president of the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Rockies, presenting the status of the new Hindu temple initiative. Mr. Srinivas Nallapati recognized all the volunteers for their sustained, arduous efforts that made this extraordinary event possible. A total of almost one hundred volunteers provided their incredible support by participating in various activities of the event like decorating the auditorium, preparing the prasadam, Pooja arrangements, boxing and serving the prasadam, performing in cultural programs, front desk operations, video/photography etc. The program concluded by personal blessings to all Abhishekam participants and their families, followed by Prasadam distribution. A presentation of 50 slides with 'Baba Sukthulu' was presented on a projected screen during prasadam distribution, which attracted the audience. Each of the Abhishekam sponsors received a sacred kit comprising of a blissful plaque of shri Shirdi Saibaba, Sai Bhavana book, Shawl, Silver plate and prasadam.

With Baba's blessings, the Sri Rama Navami Maha Abhishekam in Colorado was a grand success, and all the devotees were spiritually gratified and went home with an ecstatic blessed feeling.

20th April 2008
Kids took over the show on Shivanjali's Nrutyam-2008
Shivanjali Dance School has organized Nrutyam-2008 at Broomfield Auditorium on 20th April. More than 15 students of the school have performed various items of Bharatanatyam with a great perfection. Stay tuned for a photo gallery on DesiShades.com.

19th April 2008
Tamil Association's impressive programs and big crowd
Colorado Tamil Association has celebrated "Sarvadhari Varushapirapu" at Range View High School, on 19th April with a great audience of more than 430. The evening has started with a prayer song at 4pm, which then followed by Sentamizh Naadu - dance for patriotic film songs. The programs Kutties Koothu, Kurathi Dance, Americavil Thuruvilaiyadal have received a great applause. Some of the classical items like Kuchipudi dances, Nritya Malikai, Carnatic music and the Raaga kept the spectators incredibly excited. The evening was mixed with the Tamil culturals alongwith other forms such as Hindustani, Dandiyas and Tamil/Hindi Medley, which symbolized the unity in diversity. The last program of the evening Pollatha Tamil Makkal mesmerized the audience. President Mr.Raghuraman introduced the old committee and the new committee, and Vice President Mr.Balaji concluded the program with Vote of Thanks.

18th April 2008
Crestone Ashram's high energitic devotional bhajans made audience dance
Bhole Baba Bhajan Band of Haidakhandi Universal Ashram, Crestone has started its tour with its exhilarating program in Denver on 18th April at Windsong Condos Clubhouse on 18th April. The evening was kicked off with high-energitic devotional bhajans accompanied by the high-sprit band for more than an hour and half. The audience joined the bhajans with the rhythemic dances for the kirtans. The members of the touring group are : Jason Almendarez (Jai Shankar) on percussion from Houston, TX; Ramloti on harmonium and vocals from the Ashram; Kailash on harmonium, dollak, and vocals from Crestone, CO; Prakash on dollak and percussion from Santa Fe, NM; and Frances Frischkorn on percussion and vocals from Colorado College. Babaji slide show called Alive with the Divine was also organized during the program.

13th April 2008
Kids play games to Connect back to their Culture
If you think playing games is not exactly a way of connecting back to one's culture, think again. Playing in the sun is exactly what a group of children and adults did recently in Westminster in an effort to strengthen their ties to an ancient culture.

Celebrating the Hindu New Year Day to mark the beginning of Spring in Hindu calendar year, more than 100 children and adults played many traditional East Indian games such as Kho Kho (Pronounced COCO) and Lagori.

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) an organization working to preserve, practice and promote Hindu culture organized the sports meet. HSS organizes a children forum called Balagokulam in four Colorado locations. Its activities help children appreciate Hindu cultural roots and teach eternal Hindu values in a fun-filled environment.

Kho Kho and Lagori are among several popular games played in India. Many people who attended the sports meet said playing these games in the perfect Spring weather brought back pleasant memories from their childhood. They said it was a rare opportunity for them to play these games with their families as not many people in America know these games.

Children who enjoyed a day in the sun cherished the opportunity to play games that they had only heard of from the elders in the family. Many parents were glad that they could introduce their children to these traditional games in an easy-to-mingle environment.

Community leaders Ravi Kachaliya, Bipin Agarwal and Sridhar Talanki and participated in the games and spoke at the function. Sridhar Talanki explained the significance of Varsha Pratipada, the festival that marks Hindu New Year Day.

Ravi Kachaliya praised the work HSS is doing to help Hindus keep their cultural and spiritual roots alive. Bipin Agarwal expressed happiness that HSS is providing a forum to Hindus to come together as a community.

HSS runs Balagokluam in 4 Colorado locations: Colorado Springs, Highlands Ranch, Longmont and Westmister. Balagokulam is open to children and families interested in Hindu culture. For more information on Balagokulam, visit http://www.balagokulam.org or email hss_colorado_vibhag@yahoo.com.

13th April 2008
Bhadrachalam style sacred Rama Kalyanam in Castle Rock by SV Temple of Colorado
Sri Venkateswara Temple of Colorado has celebrated Sri Ramanavami celebrations on Sunday 13th April. The morning started with some rituals, Pallaki Seva and then Sri Sita Rama Kalyanam, the sacred wedding of Lord Rama, in the similar style as Bhadrachalam of India. More than 350 devotees from all parts Colorado have attended the holy wedding and received the blessings. Sri Jagannadhacharyulu, the priest of SV Temple, has conducted the rituals, with the help of some principal volunteers. Smt.Chayadevi and Smt.Gauri Nandakumar alongwith several local singers were singing the situational Carnatic krithis. Lunch prepared by several volunteers has been served with great care.

12th April 2008
Colorado Telugu Association's Ugadi in a big fanfare with 500 audience
Colorado Telugu Association has celebrated Ugadi at the Jefferson High School on Saturday 12th April. The evening started with a social hour, followed by performances by the local talent till 7:30pm. Sumptuous dinner was served by the local vegeterain restaurant Masala for more than 450 people, which then followed by karaoke musical night by Mr.Kaushik Ram, Mr.Prasad Kommaraju, Ms.Saritha and Mrs.Chayadevi. This is second musical performance by Kaushik, who is doing his Pre-Med at Duke University, NC. Ms. Sarita is the elder daughter of Mrs.Chayadevi Ramayanam, who is currently settled in Florida, and a very good musician. Some of the songs made the audience spellbound. Certain non-profit organizations have setup the booths at this venue, and presented some information about their upcoming activities.

12th April 2008
Nepali Association's Celebrations
Nepali Association of Colorado has celebrated the new year on 12th April in North Denver. We will cover more detail about this event soon.

12th April 2008
Colorado Springs Telugu Association's Ugadi celebrations
The Colorado Springs Telugu Association has celebrated the Ugadi on 12th April. A great crowd have attended this function, and shared the happiness of the first festival of the year.

15th March 2008
Great way to pay homage to the Carnatic Music Composer Shri Thyagarajaswamy
A day long Thyagaraja Ustavam was celebrated on March 15th 2008 at the Hindu Temple, Colorado. It was the first of its kind that was celebrated under the initiation of Mrs. Priya Hariharan. Thyagaraja forms the trinity of the composers of Carnatic music, the other two contemporaries being Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri. He has given absolutely new dimension to the music form.

The program started with the Pancha Kritis, the five most popular gems out of the 600 kritis by the Saint, rendered by Mrs.Gayatri, Mrs.Priya Hariharan, Mrs.Gouri Nandakumar, and Mr.Ganeshan. The afternoon session has performances by various children. The Utsavam offered a total of 35 events including a dance ballet by Mrs Puja Allepalli for one of the famous Thyagraja Kriti "Seetha Kalyaname". This was the highlight of the day. The facial expression and the description of decoration of the wedding of Lord Sri Rama and Sita Devi was depicted wonderfully in the ballet.

A big team of volunteers supported the event by arranging the food for the attendees. Three cheers to Mrs.Priya Hariharan and her team. What can be the better idea to honor the works and pay homage to the great Saint, other than such high performing program. The large crowd of over 200 clearly depicted that Colorado is looking such great programmes going forward.

For photos about this event, visit this gallery.

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