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Indian workforce at Oracle celebrates Diwali

The basketball court at the state of the art gym at Oracle headquarters in California bore a celebratory and colourful look on Friday, October 28th, writes Shalini Narang.

india Updated: Nov 03, 2005 19:42 IST
CALIFORNIA DIARY | Shalini Kathuria Narang
CALIFORNIA DIARY | Shalini Kathuria Narang

The Olympic sized basketball court at the state of the art gym at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, California bore a celebratory and colourful look on Friday, October 28th. In place of work out enthusiasts and gym goers were traditionally attired men, women and children. Workout gave way to wishes, software to songs and development to Deepavali displays as the well-connected Indian workforce at the software giant's head office assembled in large numbers with their families and friends to celebrate the festival of lights. The multi cultural program (read solo and group dances on latest Bollywood offerings) amidst savouring of multifarious mithais and samosas culminated the smorgasbord of activities comprising the celebrations of this year.

While the sport enthusiasts participated in kho-kho and cricket matches and the Hindi song buffs sung old and new melodies from prolific Hindi movies in the well-fought Antakshri competition in the past few days, the Friday event brought together one and all. Besides the dancers, the other artists amongst the software professionals also showcased their myriad aesthetic talents via beautiful displays of rangoli, diya designs and mehndi application. All in all, the rejoicing marking the biggest festival of India was an enthusiastic effort by the organisers and participants.

Every year, Diwali celebrations are arranged under the auspices of the Indians diversity group at Oracle. It is primarily an email chain group for the Indo American workforce at the database giant's head office for exchange of information such as green card statuses, India related airline ticket queries, medical insurance deals for visiting parents and other ethnically pertinent information.

The showcase of the social, ethnic and cultural side of the largest Indian festivity has become a regular feature for the last 7-8 years at this corporate. Besides the Indian workforce, the mainstream also joins in to partake in the festivities. Many could be seen savouring samosas dipped in coriander and tamarind chutneys with perceivable and palatable delight dressed in salwar suits, saris and kurtas.

Besides the obvious and immediate pleasure emerging from participation in a cultural celebration involving fun and food, such and similar events and gatherings are also a good means for the savvy corporate stalwarts to get a feel of the multi hued social and personal aspects of their employees and colleague's lives. The understanding of mutual fests and festivities makes good conversation and can help break ice in the competitive business world especially in the light of global workforces and cross-national work having become the reality of the day.

The assemblage of citizens of the world strengthens my belief in inherent similarity of human beings that traverses territorial, lingual and cultural divides of any kinds. Camaraderie and participation in cross-national and inter cultural festivities in small ways defy the acts of separation and violence being perpetrated on religious or regional grounds by the misdirected myopic few. I wish and pray that the good intentions and acts of humanity at large will keep the ill intents and doings of violence perpetrators at bay.

Though the dastardly acts of aggression against humanity at large cannot be condemned enough in words and our hearts cry for the kith and kin of the deceased and injured in New Delhi, yet as a source of strength and solace let us reminisce the long haul victory of good against evil as elucidated in Ramayana- the fountain for the celebration of the festival of lights.

May the Lord God give the dear ones of the dead the strength to bear their irreparable loss and may we once again reinforce our resolve to fight the current day demons while remembering the transience of life amidst celebrations and rejoicements.

First Published: Nov 03, 2005 19:42 IST