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August 27, 2010 > Fremont Festival of India parade winners announced

Fremont Festival of India parade winners announced

By Meenu Gupta

Festival of India became an instant success when the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) started it in 1992. FIA, a Fremont-based umbrella organization of over 40 member organizations, hosted the annual event last weekend. "Every year, we showcase Indian culture and heritage through Mela (Fair), booths, dances and floats to mainstream Americans and the next generation," said Dr. Romesh K. Japra, MD, Convener and President of FIA. The parade is a work of art put together by Parade Chair Deepak Chhabra and his team featuring 15 floats representing different states of India, the Indian-American community and businesses organizations.

"On behalf of FIA, we would like to thank everyone for participating. Planning for this event takes a tremendous amount of effort and has been made successful by countless hours of work expended by all the volunteers," said Deepak Chhabra.

Bay Area Telugu Association (BATA) won the first prize. Second prize was awarded to Kannada Koota of Northern California (KKNC). Vedic Dharma Samaj, Fremont Temple won the third prize. Kerala Club of California (KCCA) was presented with Best Appearance award and Rajasthan Association of Northern California (RANA) was recognized for Best Theme.

Over the last years, this event has attracted participants from all over Northern California, celebrities and dignitaries from all over the world. Bollywood star Aftab Shivdasani and Bollywood Singer Arpita Mukerjee graced the occasion with their presence. Since childhood Shivdasani has been in front of the camera in numerous commercials and over 30 movies. He won the 2000 Film Fare Award as Best Debut; Best Newcomer Award for his debut performance and 2006 People's Choice Awards for Most Handsome among other accolades. Last year the actor came out with "Aao Wish Karein," the first movie made under his production company, Rising Sun Entertainment. He took time off from his busy schedule to talk to TCV.

TCV: Are you proud of being invited to the Fremont Festival of India?
Aftab Shivdasani: Yes I'm very happy that I was invited. This is my first time here and I'm excited to be a part of the festival and looking forward to it.

TCV: In movies which kind of characters do you like to play?
Aftab Shivdasani: I have played a wide variety of roles- romantics, thrillers; I have also done comedies. In terms of characters I don't usually keep any restriction on myself. I like to do different parts and different characters to the best of my ability.

TCV: Is there any kind of role that you would prefer?
Aftab Shivdasani: I want to do all genres especially action films.

TCV: You were invited to the Stuttgart Film festival in Germany. What would you like to say about the international market opening up to Bollywood cinema?
Aftab Shivdasani: My movie "Ankahee" was selected and screened at the Stuttgart Film festival in Germany. It is good that Germany and other countries are opening up to Indian films and cinema.

TCV: What would you like to say about Federation of Indian Associations?
Aftab Shivdasani: I'm looking forward to attend the parade and the festival. It is the tireless effort of FIA members that helps in keeping the culture of our country alive through such events.

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