Shakti celebrates South Asian culture, hosting Sangamam dinner

Students, families and faculty members enjoy food, dancing and entertainment at the Sangamam dinner. Celebrating the theme “Love Ho Gaya,” Shakti decorated accordingly and performed a skit highlighting self-discovery and love. (Jenna Harbus/Staff Photographer)

The Sangamam dinner, hosted by Shakti on Saturday March 25, featured incredible dances, delicious food and a hilarious skit. 

The theme—“Love Ho Gaya” or “Love Happened”—was apparent not only throughout the performances, but also through the elegant décor, with centerpieces of candles and rose petals placed at each table. A mixture of students, families and faculty members all were present for the night’s events. 

The evening began with a buffet of South Asian food, with a few different options for different palates. From samosas to chicken makhani to naan, there was something for everyone.

Shakti co-presidents business administration major senior Supriya Juneja and international relations major junior Nydia Constantine began the performances by introducing themselves and the skit.

The funny, yet heart-warming performance about a rickshaw driver named Rick Shaw and a passenger looking for love while time-traveling featured international relations major junior Uma Natarajan and political science major junior Rohan Bhuchar as the main characters.

As they continue their journey, the rickshaw driver and the passenger travel to the Maharaja period, where the story is interjected by various dances.

A team led by biology major senior Jill Patel and psychology major senior Varna Nair choreographed the fast-paced, intricate dances. The dances varied in style and song, all the while aligning with each time period and event in the story. 

As the performance returned to the narrative, Rick Shaw and the passenger continue time-traveling through the different periods of time in India, while the passenger continues to search for her true love.

Throughout the story, dances and dialogue, both Bhuchar and Natarajan—along with their co-stars—shined through their comedic script. 

The story was supported by the dances, which consisted of a group of women dancing in preparation for a wedding with various styles of clothing, dance and music.

Somehow, the characters meet Gandhi, as they almost get an arranged marriage to a prince. Finally, they end up in a hospital room—where they realize it was actually just a dream. 

The skit almost ended on a typical Bollywood note, but first reminded the audience of the importance of self-discovery before falling in love. 

“Sometimes you have to find yourself before others find you,” Natarajan said. 

As the two characters fell in love serendipitously towards the end, the name of the theme, “Love Happened” was apt.

The entire production offered a beautiful, well-organized and entertaining event, as put on by the hard work of the entire Shakti club.

The memorable evening finished with some closing words from the co-presidents and a curtain call for all of the performers. After a resounding applause and photographs, the event ended and left everyone already wanting to buy tickets for next year’s Sangamam dinner.

One of the actors, anthropology major junior Ayesha Mukhyyer, was involved with Shakti her freshman year and decided to come back to participate in the Sangamam dinner.

“I feel like they’re a really hard-working group that deserves to get every accolade they get,” Mukhyyer said. “Out of many of the groups on campus, they’re really passionate and become like a mini family. Who wouldn’t be a part of Shakti?”