MILLBURN, NJ - As part of celebrations surrounding India's 72nd Independence Day, the Millburn/Short Hills Desi Club (MSHDC) hosted a public gathering in the Bauer Center on Thursday evening to commemorate the event.

Groups of students performed songs and dances in the auditorium, as an over-capacity crowd watched. There was also poetry and other activities related to the day. Indian Independence day is traditionally celebrated on Aug. 15, as it was on that day that India gained its independence from Britain.

Speaking with TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills during the event, MSHDC members and event organizers Neerja Mishra and Sapna Gupta both said how happy they were with the turnout.

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"We are very excited to see [that] this number just keeps growing actually," Mishra, who is the organization's president, said. "So you cannot imagine the excitement that we have. And not only [within] the Indian community, but also we have the rest of the community-at-large with us, and it just feels amazing. I just can't be any more happy."

The crowd was also larger this year thanks to the concert happening just outside the Bauer center. Jersey Sound was wrapping up the slate of summer shows with a concert that had been postponed from earlier in the month.

"This year it is extra special," Gupta, a director with the organization added. "Because we always celebrate here, but this year, we celebrated with the rest of the Millburn/Short Hills community. We are so thrilled, we are so honored. Both of us have been in this country for 30-plus years and this is really a proud moment for all of us."

The Millburn/Short Hills Desi Club is an organization that, according to its website, aims to nurture and enrich Indian culture in Millburn/Short Hills and the greater Essex County area.