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Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Raveena Tandon at Indian Independence Day in Los Angeles

The Indian Independence Day anniversary this year on August 15th, was the 69th one since India got it’s independence from the British.  I had a day off from work on Friday, 14th August, and already showed you Day 1, which we spent mostly in Artesia – LA’s Little India.  I love visiting Artesia.  Here at home in San Diego, we also have a Little India in the Black Mountain Road area of Mira Mesa, but I do enjoy going to Artesia from time to time.

Day 2 of our little mini-vacation started off at Knotts Soak City, which I already showed you in another post, and now I will show you more pictures of the actual Indian Independence Day Celebration in Artesia (part of Los Angeles).

These pictures were taken towards the end of the evening, and show Bollywood star Raveena Tandon on the stage.  The first picture shows when she was lighting a lamp as part of the day’s celebrations.

Raveena Tandon at Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Raveena Tandon at Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

This picture shows the lighting of the lamp a little bit more clearly

Raveena Tandon lighting the lamp at the Indian Independence Day Celebration

Raveena Tandon lighting the lamp at the Indian Independence Day Celebration

This picture just shows Raveena looking very elegant, and beautiful on this great day.

Raveena Tandon at Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Raveena Tandon at Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

My daughter Niki and I got to the event at around 5:45 pm, and we thought we were late.  We were relieved when we found out that it hadn’t started yet, so we walked around.  Here is Niki enjoying having the day off from dancing and being able to watch her friends peform instead.

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

We walked around and looked at all the wonderful food, I really should have taken more pictures of the other food stations – there were so many.  This picture shows Pani Puri.  I remember we used to have these back in England, and called them Gol Gappa, not sure if I am spelling that properly.  They would puff up a lot sometimes while they were fried, and when they came out of the fryer, we would delight in poking a hole in them, and would pour tamarind sauce in to the hole in the center, and oh my gosh, that was one of the tastiest treats ever! They don’t make them here, like my Grandma made them back in England.  We used to eat them right after she fried them, and they were so yummy!  I think Pani Puri are just the same as Gol Gappa, but I do have to question it as they don’t taste as good as my Grandma’s Gol Gappa! I think Gol Gappa might be the Punjabi word for Pani Puri.

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Oh, I have one more picture of another of the food stations

Food Vendors At Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

I had a sample of some great chai!  Oh, how I love chai!  This one was just the way I like it – piping hot and made with chai masala.  I ended up buying some mixes as when I am home, I just make tea the English way by brewing it in a cup, and can’t be bothered going the extra step and making Indian tea (chai) properly.  However, when I go out to Indian restaurants, I love to drink chai – I want my proper Indian tea then!

Chai Moments At Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Chai Moments At Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

After we wandered around for a bit, it was time to see some performances.  It started off with this little boy dancing.  Oh, he was so cute.  You can see him and the others who performed in the video, directly below his picture (excuse the hand that got in the way).

Performances At Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Performances At Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Please do watch my video of the Performances, this was the main event of the celebration, and of course, the star of the event was Raveena Tandon.

Then there were more performances, here is an assortment of pictures:

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day in Los Angeles

Indian Independence Day in Los Angeles

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Did you know there was a Congressman in attendance?  Yes, there was.  Congressman Ed Royce (R) serves the 39th Congressional District in Orange County and eastern Los Angeles.  I made a video of him too, but did not add it to the Performances video!

Congressman Ed Royce at Indian Independence Day Celebration

Congressman Ed Royce at Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Some more pictures of the performances

Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Then, guess what another great thing happened at this event, they had a great sale and all clothes were only $1 each.  Yes, you read it right  – just $1 each.  I bought seven items and it was so worth it.

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

I hope  you enjoyed seeing my pictures, and the video of the Performances.  In case you haven’t yet seen the video that I made of when Raveena Tandon was made upset, here it is:

I Made A Movie Starring Raveena Tandon

I made a movie starring Raveena Tandon.  Raveena wasn’t acting that day, this was real life – I captured the moments when Raveena Tandon was made upset in Los Angeles on Indian Independence Day.  The video kind of went viral.  It has over 185,000 views now.  Also, just wanted to add that I am not a movie maker, I am just someone who likes recording memories – photography and videos.   Also, I made very few edits to the movie.  I certainly didn’t take anything out intentionally, why would I have done that?  All I took out was a few seconds of when the camera was out of focus (example up in the air instead of focused on people).

I do want to say that Raveena looks just as lovely when she is upset.  What would we all give to look like that when we are upset?  On a more serious note, I want to add that guests need to be treated like royalty.

Have you seen it yet?  In case, you haven’t seen it, you really should take a look.

Fantastic Indian Independence Day In Los Angeles, CA – Some Videos

I’m just recovering from a crazy week after Indian Independence Day in Artesia, CA (in the Los Angeles area).  I loved the craziness actually, and why not?  After all, it’s not every day that my videos get over 100,000 views in a matter of days.  Well, this time it happened, but it was quite unexpected.  Currently, my video has 178,895 views.

I shared my video a few days ago (the one that got all the action, and attention), so I won’t share it again here.  However, I would like to share my other videos, and hope you will watch them.

First, let me share another picture of the beautiful Raveena Tandon.  I hope she comes back soon to Los Angeles or San Diego, and I hope she gets the star treatment that she deserves.

Raveena Tandon at Indian Independence Day in Los Angeles

Raveena Tandon at Indian Independence Day in Los Angeles

Most importantly, I take and make videos because I enjoy it.  I take pictures because I enjoy it.  I post because I enjoy it, I tweet and pin pictures because I enjoy them, and I attend cultural events because I enjoy them.  It’s all in the enjoyment, and it’s all just a hobby.

In the next post, I will share more pictures of the actual event.

Bang Bang with Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif – A Must See

Yesterday, I had a glimpse of London again in a Bollywood movie starring Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif called “Bang Bang”.  I loved the movie, what’s not to like when it has Hrithik in it, and London, and music and dancing!

Tower Of London

Tower Of London

So, you might wonder why I included a picture of the Tower of London?  Well, that’s what the plot revolves around – around the Kohinoor diamond – actually that was supposedly taken from the Tower of London.  I won’t give out too much more information, and just want to add that the Kohinoor Diamond is really stored in the Tower of London in real life too, it’s not just fiction.  It was taken from India by the British.

Going back to the movie, if I had to tell you something that I didn’t like – it was the violence, and especially the guns as I detest guns – they are evil and not necessary.  However, even that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the movie.  Also, you have to remember that Bollywood movies often have quite a bit of violence in them (just as Hollywood movies do).  The singing and dancing are what I like the best though!  Also, it helps that Hrithik is actually one of my favorite actors – he was brilliant in this movie.  I think Katrina was really good too.  

If you are wondering whether you should see the movie, I would say GO SEE IT – I highly recommend it.

You really ought to listen to the soundtrack or watch it on YouTube, and I will include it here.  When I listen to it, I can’t get the tune out of my head for ages!

Also, if you are wondering where you can see this movie in the San Diego area, you can see it at Digiplex Poway on 13475 Poway Road, Poway, CA  92064, or AMC Fashion Valley at 7037 Friars Road, San Diego, CA  92108, or at UA Horton Plaza 8, 475 Horton Plaza, San Diego, CA  92101.  You may know I love Horton Plaza, however, I saw the movie in Poway.

Horton Plaza

Horton Plaza

Well, now I think I tied in San Diego, London, India and Bollywood movies all together – to make one huge connection.  We could say the Kohinoor Diamond travelled, and now Bollywood movies are thankfully available just about everywhere.

Star Of India – Star of San Diego

I like to think that I have something in common with the Star Of India.  After all, I’m Indian, live in San Diego and was born and raised in England.  Well, the Star of India was put together on the Isle of Man in Great Britain, and now calls San Diego home (just like me).  As to why she has “India” in her name, you can read more about that here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_of_India_(ship)

Here are more pictures of the Star Of India:

Star of India, San Diego

Star Of India

Star Of India

Star Of India

IMG_5450 IMG_5484

Star of India, San Diego

Star of India, San Diego

Star of India, San Diego

Star of India, San Diego

By the way, these pictures were taken with my Canon G10.  I still can’t decide if I like pictures taken with my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 better or with the Canon G10.  If you have any comments on what you prefer – the pictures on this post (taken with the G10 or the other Star of India post taken with the Note 3), please let me know.

The Star of India can be found berthed on North Harbor Drive, near San Diego Lindbergh International Airport.  You should not visit San Diego without visiting the Star of India – after all she could easily be the Star of San Diego!

Happy Diwali 2013 from Balboa Park

I could not miss going to Balboa Park after the wonderful experience last year.  I looked forward to another Diwali spectacular, and I was not disappointed.  Here’s a video that I made:

October 26th, 2013 was the date set for the Festival of Lights Celebration to take place in Balboa Park, and it started at 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm for activities leading up to the big show.  These preliminary activities included stalls from various regions of India that displayed their region in all it’s splendor, including displaying arts and crafts, and putting on some pretty amazing dances.  Then at 6pm, the “big show” was performed on the stage at the Organ Pavilion. The weather was cooperative, and unlike last year, there wasn’t any rain, and it was a beautiful San Diego day!

Here are some pictures showing you some of the preliminary activities that took place prior to the big show.

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Sometimes, you will see the banners that display the region, and sorry if I don’t always show them

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Here’s my little Indian Princess (she’s also seen dancing at the end of the video).

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

So, now I will show you some scenes from the “big show” that started at 6pm and went on until 7:45 pm or so.

First, there was the introduction, and the Mayor Elect of San Diego was present and also talked to the audience

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

Then the show began

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Festival Of Lights – Balboa Park

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Festival Of Lights – Balboa Park

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Festival Of Lights – Balboa Park

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Festival Of Lights – Balboa Park

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Festival Of Lights – Balboa Park

Here’s the display of lights on the stage towards the end of the show, you can’t really see it very well, but this is where many participants paraded around the stage and the surrounding area with tiny little lamps – it was truly beautiful!

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Of course, there’s nothing like a Bhangra Finale at the end of the show!  The crowd joined in and danced to Bhangra!

Festival Of Lights, Balboa Park

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In the next post, I am going to show you a few pictures of Balboa Park.  In the meantime, Happy Diwali, 2013!  I hope it will be a joyful and wonderful time for you, your family and friends.

Happy Diwali from San Diego

Happy Diwali from San Diego again!  This time the festivities took place just outside the Shri Mandir at the annual Diwali Mela on Black Mountain Road in Mira Mesa (about 15 minutes north of downtown San Diego).  The 2012 Diwali Mela in San Diego was held on Saturday, October 27th.

First, some pictures:

Rajasthan Dance at Shri Mandir, San Diego – Diwali Mela

Diwali Mela 2012 at Shri Mandir, San Diego

Incase you didn’t see my pictures of Diwali at Balboa Park in San Diego, here are three more:

5th Annual Diwali Celebration – Balboa Park, San Diego

Diwali 2012 – Balboa Park – San Diego

Organ Pavilion Diwali Celebration, Balboa Park, San Diego

Now for a video where I put a few clips together, but there are many dances that I did not capture  unfortunately.  I also had to cut out a lot from the dances because of background noise.   In this video, first you will see a Punjabi dance – Bhangra (one of my favorites – especially since my family is from the Punjab), then you will see a dance from Rajasthan, and then another few clips.  At the end of this video, you will see some little kids dancing to Kolaveri Di, which is a cute song that turned out to be very popular, and even my little Chandi sings to it whenever she hears it.

I really wanted to add some more pictures in this post of Indian sweets from a local place on Black Mountain Road, which is a great alternative to going all the way up to Artesia (about one hour and 15 minutes away from where I live). Perhaps, I will add some pictures later on – maybe even on November 13th – the actual day of Diwali.  Just fyi – Black Mountain Road is San Diego’s Little India, and Artesia is Los Angeles’ Little India.  I really do enjoy going up to Artesia, as there are more stores and Indian restaurants, but I am beginning to get used to our own Little India in San Diego, and love one or two of the places there, such as Ashoka The Great Restaurant, and Surati Farsan Mart (the place where I will get my Indian sweets from this year).

Here’s the video of the performances at Balboa Park in San Diego at the 5th Annual Diwali Celebration on October 21st.  Here you will see dances from the many regions of India including Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu.  You will also see the Diwali Lights display towards the end of the video, and then a finale where everyone dances to Bhangra on the stage.

A new addition to this post – it is now November 12th, and I just got my sweets from Surati Farsan Fart, and here’s some pictures of the fantastic selections:

Surati Farsan Mart, Black Mountain Road, Mira Mesa, San Diego

I just had to get some jalebis, these are yummy and so sweet (actually they have a lot of syrup, and have a great crunch to them)!

Jalebis from Surati Farsan Mart, San Diego

These two boxes have mango burfi in one box (second selection from the top left in the picture from the display selection – see above)

Diwali Sweets, Surati Farsan Mart

The second box has laddoo in them which can be seen more clearly in the picture below.  Laddoo are the yellowish round balls in the first big box  on the top shelf (on the left).  These laddoo are absolutely delicious, and have raisins in them – they almost melt in your mouth!

Indian Sweets, Surati Farsan Mart

I hope you like the videos, and pictures, and I hope you will celebrate in some way on November 13th – even if you light just one or two candles.  Happy Diwali!