[See this link for Pictures from the 2013 Maine Convention]
Dear Fellow Halari Visa Oshwals of America,
The Maine Convention was a great success. The mission statement “Rekindle, Reconnect and Relax” was truly lived up to. 11 states were represented: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, South Carolina, Illinois, Washington, and California. The age group was from infants to 75 years old.
Venibhai and Debbie’s wishes were fulfilled. Thank you Venibhai and Debbie for hosting this convention. There was a lot of energy flowing at the Sumaria Conference Center from Friday afternoon to Monday morning. Some of our fellow Oshwals took this opportunity and made it into a family vacation by arriving as early as Monday. There was ” khichi” waiting to welcome all when they arrived on Friday afternoon.
Everybody introduced himself or herself after a scrumptious Mexican dinner on Friday night. All the attendees from 5 yrs and up were put into teams. There were six teams each having a name of our “gaams”. Each team was given the responsibility to help with breakfast, lunch or dinner for the next two days.
On Saturday morning, everyone was awakened to mouthwatering idli sambhar for breakfast, which also included bagels, croissants, bread, cereal, and of course masala and ginger Indian tea. There was dry nasto for throughout the stay. The activities planned were 6am walk or body awareness class by Minal. Many people took advantage of both these activities.
After breakfast there was “Estate Planning”, ” Bhajans” and games for children. There was no room left in the Estate Planning session. Madhu Hemendra, and Paulomi conducted this session. Bhajans were led by Jayshreeben from South Carolina. Bina and Shital Patel took the children to the New Harbor Lighthouse. There were Oshwal Olympics after the first session, which were conducted by Trupti. All the participants had a lot of fun, some being more competitive then others. The teams competed against each other for various challenges. This made everyone hungry and ready for a fabulous barbeque. There was corn, mogo, bhel puri, pani puri, and pauv bhaji, with chaas and vimto for drinks and rasmalai for dessert.
After lunch some went on a trip to Mt. Battie to hike, and a few went to Botanical Gardens, while some stayed behind to relax or do their own site seeing.
Dinner was delicious Thai food consisting of corn soup, sweet and sour vegetables and vegetable Manchurian followed by ice cream. After dinner ladies played antakshri and men rekindled.
Sunday’s breakfast was bataka pawa, jelebi, ghantiya and the assorted breads and cereal. After breakfast Raju from Maryland led a team building session. This was followed by a session consisting of “History of Oshwals” led by Manekbhai from New Jersey and a sushi making session demonstrated by Raj. Some families took the advantage of the wonderful weather and went to the beach. After “History of Oshwals”, there was a discussion on the up coming USA Oshwal elections and by-laws.
Lunch consisted of soups and salads. The afternoon was free for all. Some went to the beach, some went to a Prison Store, some went to the Lighthouse, and some just relaxed! Dinner was khatiyawari khichadi and khadi with potato and cabbage curry, dhokla,magaj, gulab jamun and rasmalai. The night came to an end with Raas Garba. The sound system was provided by Jayesh and Bina. Raas garba music was composed by Paulomi. Thank you to all the volunteers for getting the place ready for raas garba, by moving all the tables and chairs to the side.
Monday breakfast was jelebi, ghatiya and assorted breads and cereal. Each participant was given a lunch bag (bhatu) consisting of handvo and thepla for their long journey home.
This convention would not have been successful without the attendees. Thank you! Thank you to all who stayed behind after breakfast to help with chairs, tables and the kitchen etc. Special thanks to Hemendrabhai, Madhuben, Maganbhai and Anilaben for helping us to transport things to Maine and back, to stay until 4:30pm to clean and making sure everything was in order before we left the Sumaria Conference Center and other Sumaria facilities. Hemendrabhai and Madhuben, thank you for looking after Devyum for the duration of the convention so Paulomi and Raj could achieve what they had set out to do.
We hope this is an incentive for us to continue a convention every other year, hosted in various regions of USA. We hope everyone was able to “Rekindle, Reconnect and Relax” over this memorable Halari Oshwals convention. Thank you again for all of your support.
Suresh, Trupti, Raj and Paulomi
Below are some comments from some of the attendees:
HALARI VISA OSHWAL OF NORTH AMERICA CELEBRATES IT’S GATHERING FOR 4 DAYS IN MAINE ON SUMARIA CENTER
An Observation by KESU GADA
More than 86 members of Halari Visa Oshwal of North America celebrated its four days of gathering in New Harbor – Maine on the facility and accommodations provided by generosity of Venilal and Debbie Sumaria. This fantastic and memorable event provided a most satisfying service to its discriminating Oswal members.
Preparations for the gathering had begun last year (2012) after our community president, Bina Beed, conceived idea of getting together for four days during the Labor Day holidays in Maine. A committee consisting of Trupti and Suresh Shah, Paulomi and Rajesh Shah, Madhu and Hamendra Shah & Anilaben and Maganbhai Shah, etc was set up to explore various options for the gathering. The committee worked diligently and tirelessly and met frequently, almost daily towards the end, to finalize even the smallest details to make sure that everyone would have the time of their life in Maine.
All committee members worked very hard to arrange every day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was like being on a non-stop gourmet feast, pleasing to every taste bud, for the four full days. No wonder most folks gained a couple pounds during the gathering.
Committee organized various programs like, early morning walks, ATM (awareness through movements), retirement and estate planning seminars, Oswal Olympics, kite flying session, Bhajans, visit to light house, mountain climbing, raas and garba, etc. All these programs were fantastic! Gentlemen dressed in their finest Kurta costumes and ladies in their fancy chania cholis were on the dance floor for hours. It was so much fun that no one wanted to music to end.
Halari Visa Oshwal Of North America has arranged for last so many years one day program (picnic, Thanks Giving Dinner, etc). Few years back one overnight gathering was organized in upstate New York. However, gathering in Maine, was the first time event lasting for four days; it was without a doubt the best gathering ever. For me and my wife this was the opportunity of a life time, a dream come true. It was an unforgettable journey leaving a pleasant and indelible mark in everyone’s heart.
Thank you, very much -Truptiben, Sureshbhai, Paulomi, Rajesh, Madhu, Hamendra, Anilaben, Maganbhai and all other team members for giving us all a memory that will last a lifetime. Thank you for the gathering where we all made many new friends and the bonds of friendship were made ever stronger. Your superb planning, paying attentions to minute details, excellent execution, patient, tireless hard work and smiling faces made this event an unique gathering – full of fun where everyone, 1 year old to 70 plus old had a great fun. There was no time to get bore during entire stay. Special thanks to Bina for conceiving idea of four days of the gathering. Bina your dream child came true. And all this would not have been possible without generous offer by Venilal and Debbie for letting us use their large conference center, many guest houses, and all other facilities to make our stay in Maine comfortable and memorable.
With Best regards / Kesu Gada
I think everyone has one voice . How great our Labor Day weekend was . I cannot even put it in words to do justice . Mukesh & I are So happy to join NE team , Paulomi, Raj , Trupti & Sureshbhai Hats off to you all . I Said over & over again , we teceived 7 star treatment because you all put your heart into preparations with help of all your local team. Special thanks to Venibhai & Debbie , for their Hospitality with open arms .
As Mukesh mentioned , it would be very hard to follow the footsteps but we all will be looking at that high goal !
Thanks again. Looking forward to see you all soon .
Michhami Dukhadam if by mistake if we hurt anyone of you .
We are home with the sweet memories of last week. Thank you Venibhai and Debbie for making us feel at home, the delicious dinners and the extended stay.
Our hats off to the NE team for planning, organizing and executing the Maine – Gathering event so successfully. Everyone from age of 1 to 70+ enjoyed all 3 days. We definitely feel reconnected and are sure everyone feels the same.
Thank you very much.
Manek and Madhu Dodhia
Maine Gathering was any traveler’s dream come true. Every one who came had their own share of fun filled with organized activities on site like games and Garba , Antakshari to Hiking to Just simply being close to Nature. .This was just an amazing way for all young adults to get to know each other by spending quality time and hopefully we will continue to be part of each other’s lives.All Babies were adorable and didn’t fuss !!!.
The fresh delicious meals every day on the Menu were made keeping everyone in mind. We will never forget two helping souls who made mouth watering recipes with different dishes of Mexican , Italian, South Indian ,Bombay Pani Poori , Bhel poori, pav haji,Bataka-paunva Corn , African Mogo , Soups , and Oshwal’s favorite khichdi-rotla !!
We have been to so many gatherings before but nothing came closer to what Veni Uncle , Aunt Debbie have done supported by Trupti ben & Suresh bhai , paulomi & raj , anila ben & magan bhai Madhu ben & hemendra bhai , ( and the little one Divyam to be so well mannered and grounded .It allowed Mom and dad to be free to take up the tasks ).It was an absolutely flawless event.
They really showed us if you put your heart and soul into anything, Great things can happen !! I m still wondering how did we miss this for 25 plus years !!!
I am making an effort to reflect what everyone has said in their feedback about the Memorable Maine Oshwal Gathering. The theme of this gathering was “Rekindle, Reconnect, and Relax”. At the end of the event everyone felt that they had really experienced it like a big family reunion where 3 generations came together and reconnected. No past event comes close to this well planned , organized and executed weekend by Boston Oshwal team – Paulomi and Rajesh Shah, Suresh and Trupti Shah and with the support of Madhu and Hemendra Shah and Magan and Anila Shah. They have taken our gathering to a higher level. We all had great time together ranging from age 1-70+ and felt “Relaxed” because of 8 months of planning and dedication. Our hosts Veni and Debbie Sumaria made sure we were comfortable in every way. We couldn’t have asked for any better weather. New friendships were made and old bonds became stronger.
Everyone who came had their own share of fun with organized activities on site like kids games and Garba, cooking demo, bhajan session, Oshwal History, Antakshari to Hiking to Just simply being close to Nature. This was just an amazing way for all young adults to get to know each other by spending quality time and hopefully we will continue to be part of each other’s lives. It takes a good chef and food lover to create nutritionally balanced, yet delicious menu with international delicacies and different variety at every meal. Highlights of the menu were Mexican, Italian, South Indian, Bombay Pani Poori , Bhel poori, pav haji, Bataka-paunva, East African Mogo, Corn, Soup, and Oshwal’s favorite Halari khichdi-kadhi & rotla !! Not only this, everyone was sent home with a goody bag filled with lunch-on-the-go in a customized insulated lunch bag. How much thought the team has put into this event is just unbelievable. One great things about their plan was to involve everyone in helping out at different meal times which made it easier for everyone to know who is helping when.
We feel like we received 7 star treatment because you all put your heart into preparations and everyone went home with sweet memories. The Maine event was comparable to “Challo Gujarat” being held in New Jersey every two year. The Oshwal gathering event can be called as “Challo Halar”. Don’t have enough words to Thank you all as organizers and everyone else for making an effort to make it all the way to New Harbor, Maine. It feels like Oshwals from entire US came together. Kudos to HVOA. Look for pictures on our website www.oshwal-usa.org and FaceBook page.
Bina Beed, NJ