Alishiba and Vandana arrived promptly at 2:30 to put me into my sari.
Loren had gotten this gorgeous Benares sari on his first trip to India in 1979. It is silk with solid gold and silver threads. Needless to say, I have not worn it much in USA, but it was red and gold and fit with our color scheme so was perfect for this event.
A tree planting ceremony was planned to symbolize that students are planted here at Prakash and RGI and when they leave they need to produce fruit. Joy had gotten these special mango seeds and babied them to this stage for planting. O..kay, I get it! Hands in dirt with beautiful sari on.
Next in the long line of ceremonial “musts” was the ritual of the cutting of the cake.
Not unlike what we do at weddings. Leslie and I were given this honor.
This was followed by a very lively dance executed by the boys. I wondered why some of them had their palms painted red. They ended the dance by forming a red cross. Unfortunately, I was videoing at the time and missed the picture.
As is customary for all programs in India there is the giving of gifts and a shawl to esteemed special attendees. We chose to give to our former staff of lady cooks and cleaning ladies this honor. It was my delight to place the shawl on their shoulders and kiss their foreheads.
Going forward with the program…and yes it lasted hours…was praise and worship lead by the boys and another dance by the girls.
Surprisingly, our RGI contractor was in attendance. We invited him but really didn’t expect him to attend, so Loren honored him with a gift and shawl. He will never be able to say he did not hear the plan of salvation presented.
Dr. Marshal Wright was introduced, but could not speak until a skit by the boys told the story of how my Dad and his dad met and became friends.
It was in India, in 1961, during their occasions of sometimes heated discussions that the idea of Prakash was birthed. The skit was absolutely hysterical and was a highlight for Marshall. In the skit the boys had my Dad trying to sell ME off to pay the car repair bill. Marshall was born in India in 1961, so I knew him only as a baby until he arrived for this celebration. With our theme of Generation to Generation, he was a perfect Keynote speaker.
Marshall spoke with three major points emphasized.
How did Prakash begin? He told the story with less humor than the skit.
Why the name Prakash? It is a Hindi word for Light. Without light there is no vision.
What does that mean in the next Generation?
Everyone was in awe of his superb teaching ability. The message was so meaningful and just what our alumni and staff needed to hear.
Dinner was a impressive affair. The caterer placed two girls to see to our every need and then some. Every time I turned my head there was some new “so called” goodie on my plate. One such goodie… Eeewwww, disgusting! Out of the mouth and on to the lawn. I am sure the Indians loved it.
This was also a time for photo-ops with my girls, Loren also with alumni and staff and Leslie with the RGI alumni.
One precious outcome was the RGI “slumber party.” The girls and the female alumni had a marvelous all-nighter on the floor of the TV room. The alumni said, “While you are here you may hate the disciplines, but the minute you step outside, on your own, you will wish you were here again.”
…and the story goes on.