Bombay in the Bay celebrates Indian culture

April 4, 2008 — by Aditi Jayaraman and Saniha Shankar

This story was originally published in the April 4 issue of The Saratoga Falcon

After years of performing crowded dances on the tiny stage at Argonaut Elementary School, the Indian Cultural Awareness Club, will shift its venue for the annual “Friends and Family Night” to the McAfee Center, for the first time. This year’s “Bombay in the Bay” will be held tomorrow at 6.

Themed “Bombay in the Bay” and hosted by ICAC’s 60 members, Friends and Family Night is an annual event that brings the community together to experience authentic Indian culture through dances and songs. The All Males’ dance became a tradition after being performed by ICAC members who graduated in 2006. A new addition to this year’s show will be the All Girls’ Fusion dance.

“All of the dances take a lot of work to choreograph and teach,” said dance coordinator Sabrina Rohatgi, a senior. “It’s also really hard to coordinate. It’s almost impossible to get twenty people that can all show up on the same day and practice until their moves are all together.”

The club, headed by senior co-presidents Deepti Rajendran and Nikhil Sheel, hopes to give its audience a flavor of traditional Indian entertainment while also bringing something new to the scene for everyone to enjoy.

“We plan to have dancing in the quad following the event,” said Rajendran. “Hopefully this, along with the usual catered Indian food, will be a motive for people to come enjoy the show.”

Despite the loss of numerous active members who graduated last year, ICAC hopes to host a successful show with the addition of many freshmen this year. All proceeds from the show will be donated to Udavam Karangal, a program that helps poor children in Chennai, India.

“It feels good to be working for causes like this because we’re having fun and helping out at the same time,” said Rajendran.

Tickets for “Bombay in the Bay” cost $12 in advance and $14 at the door. The show will begin at 6 p.m., and end at 11 p.m. Tickets include food, and can be purchased at the Activities Office, or from club presidents Deepti Rajendran and Nikhil Sheel.