Santa Monica Visit in Summer 2016
Happy New Year Everyone! Sorry that I haven’t written in quite some time. Life has been agonizingly busy, and I say agonizingly as you wouldn’t believe what I just went through – one of the worst moves of my life. I will leave this story for another day, but needless to say I was not happy about moving – I also had to downsize, and pay double the rent! 😦
Anyway, onto happier memories from last year….and hoping this year will be better for me and for all of you. We visited Santa Monica last summer, and I have had so much happen that I couldn’t even post my pictures until now. Well, it’s better to do it now than deciding to do it five years from now.
We loved Santa Monica, it’s quite close to Los Angeles, and we were just in Santa Monica for a day, but in the Los Angeles area for nearly three days. Isn’t it amazing that I live in San Diego, but don’t get up to Los Angeles that often any more, and that I have never visited Santa Monica until last year – and I’ve been in San Diego for almost 19 years!
Well, without further ado, here are some of my pictures:
This last picture is of main shopping street that is a block or two away from the beach. I will share more of these pictures another time. Well, that’s it for now, I hope you liked my pictures, and that you are already having an amazing year!
Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles
The Indian Independence Day anniversary this year on August 15th, was the 69th one since India got it’s independence from the British. I had a day off from work on Friday, 14th August, and already showed you Day 1, which we spent mostly in Artesia – LA’s Little India. I love visiting Artesia. Here at home in San Diego, we also have a Little India in the Black Mountain Road area of Mira Mesa, but I do enjoy going to Artesia from time to time.
Day 2 of our little mini-vacation started off at Knotts Soak City, which I already showed you in another post, and now I will show you more pictures of the actual Indian Independence Day Celebration in Artesia (part of Los Angeles).
These pictures were taken towards the end of the evening, and show Bollywood star Raveena Tandon on the stage. The first picture shows when she was lighting a lamp as part of the day’s celebrations.
This picture shows the lighting of the lamp a little bit more clearly
This picture just shows Raveena looking very elegant, and beautiful on this great day.
My daughter Niki and I got to the event at around 5:45 pm, and we thought we were late. We were relieved when we found out that it hadn’t started yet, so we walked around. Here is Niki enjoying having the day off from dancing and being able to watch her friends peform instead.
We walked around and looked at all the wonderful food, I really should have taken more pictures of the other food stations – there were so many. This picture shows Pani Puri. I remember we used to have these back in England, and called them Gol Gappa, not sure if I am spelling that properly. They would puff up a lot sometimes while they were fried, and when they came out of the fryer, we would delight in poking a hole in them, and would pour tamarind sauce in to the hole in the center, and oh my gosh, that was one of the tastiest treats ever! They don’t make them here, like my Grandma made them back in England. We used to eat them right after she fried them, and they were so yummy! I think Pani Puri are just the same as Gol Gappa, but I do have to question it as they don’t taste as good as my Grandma’s Gol Gappa! I think Gol Gappa might be the Punjabi word for Pani Puri.
Oh, I have one more picture of another of the food stations
I had a sample of some great chai! Oh, how I love chai! This one was just the way I like it – piping hot and made with chai masala. I ended up buying some mixes as when I am home, I just make tea the English way by brewing it in a cup, and can’t be bothered going the extra step and making Indian tea (chai) properly. However, when I go out to Indian restaurants, I love to drink chai – I want my proper Indian tea then!
After we wandered around for a bit, it was time to see some performances. It started off with this little boy dancing. Oh, he was so cute. You can see him and the others who performed in the video, directly below his picture (excuse the hand that got in the way).
Please do watch my video of the Performances, this was the main event of the celebration, and of course, the star of the event was Raveena Tandon.
Then there were more performances, here is an assortment of pictures:
Did you know there was a Congressman in attendance? Yes, there was. Congressman Ed Royce (R) serves the 39th Congressional District in Orange County and eastern Los Angeles. I made a video of him too, but did not add it to the Performances video!
Some more pictures of the performances
Then, guess what another great thing happened at this event, they had a great sale and all clothes were only $1 each. Yes, you read it right – just $1 each. I bought seven items and it was so worth it.
I hope you enjoyed seeing my pictures, and the video of the Performances. In case you haven’t yet seen the video that I made of when Raveena Tandon was made upset, here it is:
Letter To UFICA from Reema Pandit, Manager of Raveena Tandon
I Reema Pandit , Manager of Ms Tandon am shocked to read your open letter with all the allegations against Ms Tandon and hence am compelled to write this letter so that the facts can be bought in front of everyone. I reached Cerrittos on 13th August, a day before Ms Tandon arrived to ensure co ordination.
On 14th August Ms. Tandon’s flight landed at 3PM. She had landed with a bad throat infection.I was accompanied by Pat Patnaik and UFICA President Alka Patel to receive Ms Tandon. However, unaware that Etihad has a different getaway point for arrivals, we were waiting in the area dedicated for all other airlines and because of which we missed to receive Ms. Tandon. She finally had to leave by the Airport car to reach her friend’s house. Normally a celebrity should be upset that there was no one to welcome her and yet she was courteous enough to invite Pat, Alka and me to her friend’s place. We then reached there and spent close to an hour with Ms. Tandon over tea and snacks. As Ms tandon was unwell she requested Pat and Alka if she could come for half an hour, fulfil her commitments and leave. Looking at her health Pat was considerate and mentioned to Ms. Tandon that she can come only for half hour for the dinner and leave.
Pat mentioned to Ms. Tandon that there would be two ladies in the Limo to pick her up that day for the event and the next day there would be two kids in the Limo. As a rule we do not entertain anyone in the car with us yet Ms. Tandon obliged and agreed.
The Hair and Makeup artist was organised by Alka Patel and was called at 6 PM and the Stylist was organised by Mr Barring and was supposed to come by 7 PM whereas she came by 7.30 pm,post which there were some alterations which took time,although the measurements were already shared. Thus the delay already started happening but NOT on our account.
We had left from Raveena’s friend’s house to get ready around 5:15PM and reached the hotel by 6:10PM. I was told to get ready and I will be picked by Alka by 6:30PM. I was down at 6:25PM waiting for the Limo which Limo arrived only by 7 and thereafter we reached to Ms Tandon by 7:50PM. This led to us gettingto the event by 8.40PM. So the Allegation made by UFICA that we arrived late is baseless as it can be checked with the Limo service company as to what time did the car reach Ms Tandon.With that it shall be proved that the limo was delayed by the organizers themselves.
The allegation that Ms Tandon did not shake hands with anybody is also not right as when she reached the venue and got down of the car she was presented with bouquets, apart from her that her hands were already full with her Clutch and 2 cell phones. It is Humanly impossible to hold all this and shake hands with anyone. Also I was next to her and heard Ms Tandon tell Ms Vineeta “I am sorry I have too many things in my hand “ When she reached the stage she kept all the things on the chair and shook hands with all the people she was introduced to. Also Ms Vineeta was not introduced to us by any of the organizers till the end of our stay so we didn’t know who she was. Please find attached the you tube link which shows that she is happily shaking hands with everyone and greeting everyone
The Allegation that Ms. Tandon did not watch the kids performance is also baseless as we were aware of the cultural programme happening on 15th August and NOT on 14th August. As she was about to leave a lady told me there was a cultural program and if Ms. Tandon could wait but by then Ms. Tandon had walked out of the restaurant alongwith Pat and Alka. They didn’t mention any performance to her in spite of them waiting with her for the Limo. She was unaware that it was the kids who were performing. However she called all the kids present for group picture as she thought they had already performed on her accord and as a gesture for all the kids present.
Mr. Vinod Vineet then comes and makes a sarcastic comment that “you just came and are leaving now, this is not done”. All this in spite of her being at the event for almost 45-50 minutes(which was specifically said by Pat and Alka looking at her health). Raveena was very upset with the way she was spoken to and made it very clear that if she doesn’t get an apology she will not attend the event the next day.Luckily Mr. Barring’s car was close by and since the Limo was taking time we left in his car. Mr. Barring got calls from the organizers stating that Mr. Vineet is feeling bad and would like to apologize following which all was sorted.
On 15th August Alka Patel and her husband were courteous enough and took Ms. Tandon and me to the mall and we also had lunch together.
Raveena’s health had further deteriorated and knowing she would like to rest, I mentioned to Alka to not send anyone in the Limo that day stating that she gets claustrophobic(I meant that she had a bad cough and was getting breathless). I also reminded her that normally as a protocol we don’t permit anyone to travel with us.
In spite of this the Limo comes to pick me up at 6.30PM and I see that that there are 3 teenagers(2 girls and 1 boy) in the car. At this point I call Mr. Barring and give him an option that I can take the kids to meet Ms. Tandon and they can come back in another car while coming to the event. We waited till 7PM but no car had come. Mr. Barring then told me to drop the girls and head to pick up Raveena. Alka Patel’s son Neel came with me as he was supposed to do the co ordination. So the allegation stating that Raveena asked the kids to get off the car is baseless as she was picked up only after the kids were dropped off by me. RAVEENA WAS NOT EVEN PRESENT IN THE CAR WHEN THIS HAPPENED.
After dropping the girls we went to pick Raveena and reached by 8PM and left by 8.20 PM. We reached the venue at 9 but because of lack of co ordination between Neel Patel and Mr Barring as Mr Barring’s phone was not reachable.We waited for 15 minutes and finally were on stage at 9.15. Again we were delayed by the organizers as the second car was not arranged in time. Raveena fulfilled all her commitments and also sat through the cultural program. She is seen enjoying the show in the links below
Raveena Tandon Speaks About Our Great Country India on Indian Independence Day
Indian National Anthem on Indian Independence Day in Los Angeles
American National Anthem at the Indian Independence Day in Los Angeles
The show shut down at 10PM which is apparently a rule in Artesia where the parade was held. We were not aware of the same. So I stepped down to ask TJ about the car when I saw people having discussions about how they were upset as she didn’t allow the kids in the Limo,whereas she wasn’t even aware of the same. As a manager it was my decision keeping the privacy,security and comfort of my celebrity in mind. TJ told me that the Limo was taking time so he went to take his car.
That is when Mr. Neeraj comes on stage and starts behaving rudely with Ms. Tandon. When Ms. Tandon threatens to tell the audience he snatched the mike from her hand. Later we got to know that the Limo was sent back and they wanted us to go on our own.
I am attaching the you tube links below which show Ms Tandon enjoying the event and being her jovial self while interacting with the crowd . All this in spite of she being extremely unwell.
It is Shocking that despite her ill health Ms Tandon completed her commitment and still got no appreciation by the organizers.
Thanks to Mr. TJ Barring for ensuring we left the venue at the right time on both the days. We would also like to thank Mr. Pat Patnaik, Mrs.Alka Patel for ensuring everything went off smoothly on both the days.
*Note: I, Davinder Kaur, did not write this letter or revise it in any way. I simply posted it upon request of Raveena Tandon.