report by Rakesh Koul

Bangalore: Kashmiri Kutumb Milan, is a concept to celebrate together the culture & heritage of “Kashmiri Pandit”. An initiative by Kashmiri Pandit Youths of Bangalore, started in year 2012, with an urge of preserving the culture.

Kashmiri Kutumba Milan Feb 2-2014

Kashmiri Kutumba Milan Feb 2-2014

The very idea of Kutumb Milan is where all members of a family including the children can participate and enable them to connect with their culture, even when they are away from their motherland. Kutumb Milan is a day dedicated “for my family with my community”, to pass on the legacy of Kashmiri Pandit culture and heritage to our younger ones, to celebrate our victory over the odds we faced yet emerged with extra brightness, created our niche and are known in our own way. A sense of pride we take in our being what we are!!!
As we are coming along…….it is amazing to see that it is taking a shape, a mission, a motive , a cause!! Kutumb Milan ‐II:
On the above lines, with the same excitement Kutumb Milan‐II was organised by KP Youths of Bangalore, on Sunday, 2nd February 2014, at Karnataka Government Secretariat Club, Cubban Park, Bangalore. The event was associated with a noble Cause & organised in association with KMECT (Kashmiri Medical Emergency & Charitable Trust.) to generate funds to help our people in medical emergencies through KMECT. The Whole team was focused and worked very hard for almost 3 months in planning, strategizing, logistics and door to door campaigning for this cause . The event was inaugurated by a pious ritual of ‘Deep Prajavalan’ (Lighting of Lamp) by Pt. B.L Kaul, who was so appropriately addressed as our “Unsung Hero”. Pt. B L Koul, a selfless silent social worker of the community. This is our way of acknowledging and recognizing contribution of our selfless modest community members. We believe in adding glamour to our events by this element rather than making the already famous people more famous.
Mr.Paviter Kuchroo (Core Team member), on behalf of TEAM, welcomed all the participating community members, young & old , men & women with the generation next. He briefed the audience with the day longs itinerary with a promise of enjoyment of celebrating together…… The children participation in the program was as grand as it could be. The variety of presentations by young children added the kashmiri spice to the program and made it chatpatta in real sense. The audience was still enjoying the songs , dance, shlokas, bhajans by our talented kids when yet another enthralling program was presented to the audience and that was “Vohrvoudh” (Birthday) celebration in Koshur (kashmiri) way!! The theme, the idea behind this celebration was to make us all connect back to our rituals, it was to educate our children how the Vohrvoudh pooja has to be…it was to seed a recall factor in our children brain for them to prompt us if we miss doing anything on birthday what we are supposed to. So in a way getting us back to roots via children media. How interesting!!
Children of the community performed the birthday pooja as per the tradition & Tahar (Yellow Rice) was prepared & later served as Naveedh. All other children present in the audience were also invited on dias and asked to be part of the celebration. Audience was equally participative and this was highly appreciated by one & all. As shared at the onset, Kutumb Milan‐II was an event with a Cause. A presentation on KMECT ( Kashmiri Medical Emergency & Charitable Trust) followed where Pt. Jatinder Kaw and Pt. Maharaj Pajan enumerated journey traversed by the trust. They spoke about the work performed by this trust and sought active support from the audience in order to meet the objectives for which this community initiative has been formed. Support to the cause extended by community members at individual and collective level was explained to the audience present. The
audience response was overwhelming.
Sh. Dileep Kachroo (Core Team Member), on behalf of the TEAM thanked KMECT for associating with Kutumb Milan‐II, and providing the opportunity to be part of this great Initiative. He gave a brief introduction about the vision & concept of Kutumb Milan started in year 2012 by few Young Kashmiri Pandits in Bangalore. As he puts it “Kutumb Milan is a concept to connect to our roots & while doing so also support / join with the good works/
Initiatives taken in the interest of ‘Kashmiri Pandit’. This year event, Kutumb Milan‐II was associated with this great cause to generate funds for the noble cause & work done by KMECT. He invited the whole TEAM of Kutumb Milan ‐ II to dias, where they all together presented a contribution of Rs. 3.41 Lakh collected & generated by the team from its community members living in Bangalore to KMECT, represented by Pt. Jatinder Kaw & Pt. Maharaj Pajan.
On behalf of Team Kutumb Milan‐II, Sh. Rakesh Koul (core Team Member) presented a memento (as token of appreciation) to the Team KMECT, represented by Pt. Kaw & Pt. Pajan for their selfless work. Kashmiri bagaar’ (tadka) was sumptuous! An authentic Kashmiri cuisine was served in the lunch, which was enjoyed by all and a happiness of celebrating together was visible on every face.
Then came the big bang rocking musical performance presented by young Kashmiri singer, Ms. Abha Hanjura accompanied by a live band ( Sufistication). She started her performance by singing Lal‐Vakh in her sufi style & mesmerizing everyone in the jam packed hall. While all the celebrations were at its peak Sh. Dileep Kachroo requested all the members in audience to get up from their chairs & stand in silence for a minute as a mark of respect & pay Shradhanjali (Homage) to all those Kashmiri Pandit Martyr’s who laid their lives for the community & Nation. This was followed by traditional Kashmiri musical performance by Ms. Deepali Wattal who had travelled from
Jammu to participate at this event. Her melodious musical numbers were highly appreciated by the house full participating by whistling and dancing audience. Kutumb Milan‐II reached to the next level of togetherness where cultural knowledge was mixed with the melodious voice of Deepali Wattal and mesmerizing Sufi touch of Abha Hanjura and her Band ‐ Sufistication. The programme lasted close to 8 hours and ended with a Vote of Thanks by another core Team Member Sh. Rakesh Ganju, thanking all the participants for making the KUTUMB MILAN‐II a thundering Success.
The program was compared by Mr. Amol Raina and Mrs. Urvashi Dhar.