Shalimar Shines Bright with Celebrations of the New Year
By Iraj Siddiqi
Pictures above: Glimpses of the New Year’s celebrations at the Shalimar Restaurant in Pomona
Delicious dinner, lively music, and friendly faces at every table -- what better way to celebrate Eid-al-Adha and to ring in the New Year than with Shalimar Garden in Pomona?
So were the thoughts of many as they gathered to embark on a night filled with merriment jointly organized by well-known community leader and president of the Pakistani American Arts Council Ashraf Ali and Shalimar Garden’s Roohi Siddiqi. Ali started the program focusing on recent events in Pakistan with a prayer for the current situation in our country. Consul Ahsan Wagan also spoke of his concerns and good wishes for Pakistan’s future.
Other prominent attendees included famous poetesses Nayer Jehan Apa and Rehana Qamar, Abubakar Vakil, Dr Farhana Mohammad, Rafat Khan, Zafar Abbas, Naeem and Jawaid Masood, and many other prominent community members. Some guests had traveled from San Francisco and San Diego in order to partake in the festivities at Shalimar Garden.
Dinner included an impeccable menu including sheesh kebabs on skewers barbecued to perfection, home-style makhni daal, and hot sheer khorma perfect for the winter weather.
The exquisite evening continued with musical performances from the community’s finest, including Ashraf Ali, Wajahat Husain, Dr. Salman Khan, and Surkhab Niazi. When the dance segment began, guests (of all ages) immediately sprang to their feet and joined in a night filled with some of the most energetic dancing anyone had seen in a while. As the countdown to midnight commenced, the few sitting joined their families on the dance floor —unwilling to be left out of the vivacity and sparkle of the moment.
Overall, the foremost significant rationale to the night’s success was the overall smoothness and carefree feel to the night. Although many had known each other before the event or at least recognized some familiar faces, each person left Shalimar that night with a bond that tied them together. The comfort level was so high, that eventually, all boundaries were dropped; everyone was able to let loose, and act as though they were in their own homes. Each person looked to another as his very own family.
The attendees that night brought to life the saying, “Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. And live everyday as if it were your last.” Everyone who attended Shalimar Garden’s celebration that night truly grabbed the moment and enjoyed the last seconds of 2007 to the fullest and rang in 2008 with optimism and high spirits.