Shri Krishna Janmastami Mela, Tividale, Birmingham

September 10, 2008 
Sri Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple, Tividale hosted the celebration of Sri Krishna Janmashtami Mela on Sunday, 31 August 2008 sponsored jointly by fifteen regional charitable organisations including the Hindu temples and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, West Midlands.

The ubiquitous English wet weather did not dampen the enthusiasm of the hundreds who gathered. The Mela was opened by a child dressed up as Bala Krishna to the delight of all. Traditional pooja included the Balakrishna Tottil (swing) with elaborate floral alankaram. Visitors, both young and young at heart, participated in various games and activities depicting Krishna Leela and prizes were distributed.

People were treated to a packed cultural program later and a fascinating and informative exhibition on Hindu culture and Dharmic tradition.

The cultural program began with traditional Bhajans by Bhakti Sagar Youth Bhajan Sandhya from Coventry followed by dance performance by Gangabenís Dance group and Bhajan and narration of story by Vijayalakshmi and her students Navaneeth and Melissa Balsar. Maruthi Srinivas, a structural engineer from Darby and a disciple of violinist Shri Balayya, gave a masterly flute performance of Carnatic music.

Poorna Vidya Satsang from Telford contributed dances by children and Veena recital by Amrutha and G Anasuya. The drama performed by Swathi Parimar portrayed graphically the Hindu philosophy and its relevance in this age. The audience greatly enjoyed the Bhajan by well known Radio XL artiste Arun Sharmaji and company.

Another highlight was the dance performance by well known multi talented Ragasudha Vinjamuri on behalf of Balaji Temple. Her choice of renditions was well appropriate to the occasion and consisted of Jayadeva's Ashtapadi from Geeta  Govindam "Sritha Kamala Kucha Mandala" in Bhaivari Raga, Narayana Teertha's Tarangam "Nanda Nandana Gopala" in Saurashtra Raga and Meera Prema Bhakti Bhajan "Jo tum thodo piya mein nahi thodoon"

It was a remarkable performance and bears out her long list of achievements and accolades received in recognition, both in India and in the UK. The presentation characteristically showcased different aspects of Lord Krishna, his childhood pranks and mischief at Gokula while raiding houses and stealing butter, his divine sports (Leela) in killing a series of demons, episodes of protecting people from Kaliya serpent in Yamuna river and Eternal Love.

A profound discourse by Sri Sri Vasanth Guruji, well known for his practical approach to Hindu philosophy, showed how one can receive the full benefit of God's blessings by following a simple disciplined way of life.

Vote of thanks was given by Dr. Jotangia of VHP on behalf of all the participating organisations and Sri Ram Aithal, architect and Volunteer Health and safety advisor to Balaji Temple, thanked everyone for making the Mela a grand success.