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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Fun ’n’ games at Diwali do

When Nirmal Parasramka shifted to CG Block from Burrabazar eight years ago, he entered a community which hardly mingled. “I used to feel very lonely in Salt Lake,” recalls the 63-year-old.

Then he started going door to door, making acquaintances and building up consensus to hold regular meetings during festive occasions. Which is why it was small wonder that he would be playing a key role at the Diwali meet organised recently at the block’s community centre. “This is the seventh year that we are holding such a get-together,” he smiled.

Members of as many as 60 families had gathered in the evening with the youngsters putting up well-rehearsed dance items. “This is one way to keep them occupied on Diwali without letting them burst crackers. They look forward to this evening and work hard for it,” smiled Anurag Kedia, one of the organisers.

Ten-year-old Anant Surekha was part of the band of boys which performed to songs from films like Kya Supercool Hai Hum, Chillar Party and Student of the Year. “Our dances were choreographed by Nidhi aunty,” he said, pointing to Nidhi Parasramka. The girls danced to traditional and film songs. But the star was Prachi Agarwal, all of 18 months old, who when placed on the stage, standing at knee-height of the other dancers, shook a leg her own way.

After the cultural programmes there was a game of housie. When Keshav Killa claimed the Rs 450 prize for finishing the middle line first, soon after pocketing Rs 500 for “jaldi 5”, by being the quickest to have five numbers announced on the card, there was a murmur of discontent. “Arrey, tu hi le jayega sara,” shouted someone.

Also the target of light-hearted banter was Sanjay Killa. Having won an induction cooker procured from his own shop in the lucky draw, he said with a sheepish grin: “With gold prices rocketing, this year we decided to give out electronic appliances instead of the usual gold coins. All the prizes came from my shop. If one of them comes home, I should treat it as an auspicious sign.”