The day dawned hot and humid, and as it ticked on, so did the mercury. But that did not stop kids, youngsters and elders of the DI family from having an enjoyable Easter Sunday. Energy levels seemed renewed and revived, as if in keeping with the aura of the occasion, as the traditional events planned for the day unfolded.
The three major attractions were the Easter Egg Hunt, the Pagalpani and the Easter Sunday Dance, each involving its respective age groups with fun and laughter, greetings and bonhomie.
As many as 42 children enrolled for the hunt, not just for the elusive Easter Egg but for goodies like chocolates, candy and toffees as well. The participants were divided in two age groups – 3 to 5 years old and 6 to 12 years. They were all raring to go right from the moment they registered themselves with the help of their parents, who showed no less enthusiasm. After all, if the kids enjoy themselves, so do the moms and dads!
And the enjoyment was so much at hand. The younger lot scrambled to trace out the treasures hidden near the steps outside the AC verandah, while the 6-12 years group sniffed out their goodies from nooks and crannies in the Indoors@DI hall. In addition to the searching and locating, the children had fun while trying their hands at some creativity, the younger group with play clay and crayons and the older with pens, pencils and erasers. “We had great fun. My friends and I were looking forward to this day for a long time,” said an exuberant Saanvika Mitra, beaming from ear to ear.
Once the hectic activity ended, the kids were provided with a food box containing cupcakes, corn tarts, chocolate biscuits, cheese sandwiches & chocolates. A thirst-quenching cool drink calmed the pace and beat the heat. Now, since youngsters at DI are kids till they are 18, those between 13 and 18 could not be left out. They had the option of booking a snack box so that they too could partake in the goodies. And the takers were not tardy in numbers!
As the afternoon yielded to early evening, the focus shifted to the swimming pool enclosure, where the kids and teenagers were pumped up and primed for pagal pranks in pani. Indeed, Pagalpani is another Easter tradition popular and famous at the DI.
Two teams were formed among the many participants. They were called Speedos and Aquarius and they had to compete in four types of fun games before emerging as winners. The water games devised were ‘Find the Chippus’, in which bottle caps had to be fished out from the bottom of the pool. The team with the most caps would obviously win. Then there were two kinds of relay races – one the normal variety, and the other pushing a tube.
The decider event had everyone sweating, despite being immersed in water. It required all the participating team members to line up outside the pool, swim a length and then line up again on the other side of the pool before swimming back and lining up again. Egged on by a much cheering audience, the teams ‘scamper swam’ to each end and then lined up outside. In the end, Speedos proved to be quicker, triumphing over Aquarius. All through, the competition elicited abundant hollering, screaming, shouting and splashing as one team tried to outdo the other. “The games were quite exciting. I enjoyed myself thoroughly,” exclaimed Jayden Robinson, a little out of breath from the exertion.
Sundown brought about some quiet in the precincts. But not for long. With band ENRICH trooping into the Indoors@DI, and the set tables encircling the dance floor filling up, the arena was set for the Easter Sunday Dance. As members and their guests settled in, Easter greetings and hugs were exchanged with wishes for a peaceful, healthy and blessed year ahead.
Music moulds moods. And so it did from 7.30 onwards, with Nigel Gomez and his team playing a mixed genre of melodies. Reggae, rock ’n roll and dance music from the 80s and 90s filled the air, drawing members and their guests to the floor like bees to nectar. “We played slow and fast songs, reaching out to all present,” recalled Nigel later. “The best part was that children were allowed to this dance event, and they enjoyed themselves. We played numbers like Blinding Lights by The Weekend and I Made You Look by Meghan Trainor, which are songs popular among today’s youth.
There were prizes to be won as well. Fabien and Karina Lewis won one for their awesome moves on the floor. A prize was also won by Nathan Fonseca for his unstinting support to the band, even when there was a tiring interlude on the square. The kids on the dancefloor earned a chocolate Easter egg each.
ENRICH once again made one and all dance to their tunes. Nigel on drums and vocals, Dominic Saldanha on keyboards, Steve Rebeiro on guitar, Debtanu De on bass guitar, and Mishtie as female vocalist ably swayed and moved the gathering. The response was quite encouraging, said a band member later.
The Easter Sunday Dance did more than make couples jive. It brought together two very senior members at the club after a huge gap. Barbara and Udayan Bhattacharya were seen at the club together “after eight long years”, said Udayan. “We could not be at the club together because one of us had to look after our canine children. Now that they have all passed on, we could afford to be here at the same, and of course enjoy ourselves,” he said.
The group of persons ideating, organising and putting to effect the three-tier festivities was the Entertainment Committee, whose members were responsible for the decor, comprising mainly of white balloons streamed almost all over. Banners and festoons wishing all a happy Easter Sunday adorned the Indoors@DI, adding to the happy occasion. The committee was helped in various activities by Council members Leslie D’Gama and Samir Doshi. All in all, a wonderful way to spend the day, typically the DI way!