By Anu Irrinki
The doors opened after a convivial social hour and Vishwanath Batunge’s band kicked off the evening with some nostalgic Kishore Kumar and Mukesh songs. As the evening progressed, many more popular songs from classic Bollywood to contemporary tunes were sung, including requests from the audience.
The band made the evening even more memorable by engaging the audience with jokes and shayari to add to the evening’s amusement and memories.
This band had been traveling all over the United States for the past 3 months and did more than 25 performances to support Ekal’s mission of self sustaining one-teacher schools in villages and rural areas in India and Nepal.
The singers, pianist, drummer and tabla artists were outstanding and the evening’s grandeur was enhanced when several attendees young and old danced to the tunes. Special shoutout to Zaika restaurant for catering delicious Indian food and hors d’oeuvres.
Dr. Karl Gebhardt, a renowned professor from The University of Texas at Austin was the keynote speaker. His insights based on his many years of research on the formation and evolution of galaxies and super massive black holes enlightened and intrigued the audience.
He and his team have observed and collected data on about 2 million galaxies so far but still have an unsatiated appetite to collect even more just like a kid in a candy store.
It was an eye opener to hear about a subject that he is so passionate about and something not many people can talk about.
Many in the audience came forward to ask more detailed questions to Dr.Gebhardt and take pictures with him post his speech.
He applauded Ekal’s efforts by noting that its mission is to continue the pursuit of bringing education to individuals who cannot get to education, similar to his relentless pursuit of analyzing the elusive theory behind the black holes.
Nearly 200 people attended and raised money to support over 150 schools so far this year.
Thank you to all for supporting Ekal’s mission and for the donations pledged! You can still donate online at https://www.ekal.org/donate
Ekal organizes events for the community every quarter. Based on the overwhelming success of the Indian Consular Services camp in April, look out for our next one on October 12th where you can get answers to all your questions and help with basic consular services.
Don’t forget to join us on Facebook and LinkedIn at Ekal Vidyalaya Austin to keep up with us and embark on the journey to foster education. Until next time….