Durga Puja – Here and There

Durga Pratima Bisarjan - IIT Kharagpur Campus during the seventies.Few minutes ago an old friend of mine called to wish me for the upcoming Durga Puja festivals. He said, “It’s Mahasasthi in Kolkata today!” I wished him back, but it occurred to me that it’s Mahasashti everywhere, not only in Kolkata. When I reminded him, he laughed and said, “Yes indeed. But our Sasthi starts on coming Friday!” And he is absolutely right. Our Pujo in New Jersey (I am referring to the Kallol Durga Pujo which we both attend), starts on October 15th, Friday evening and that’s our Mahasasthi. The thought does give me some consolation that Pujo is yet to start and we have few more days to look forward too. But my friends and family in Kolkata have started enjoying their Pujo. They have started posting photos of their favorite idols on Facebook and Orkut, sending Pujo greetings through emails and expressing their joy and merriment. ETV Bangla is taking us through the streets of Kolkata and the online newspapers and magazines giving us day by day commentary of the Pujo happenings. And we cannot deny that this does cause a bit of a tinge in our hearts. Continue reading

“Ekti Gnaye Thaki” : A Preview

Simanti Dasgupta

ektignaye_norm Many of us will intuitively link the title of the play to Rabindranath Tagore’s well know poem, “Ek Gnaye” and correctly so. Sambhu Mitra and Tripti Mitra particularly immortalized the poem in their rendition of it in Bidhayak Bhattacharya’s celebrated radio play, “Tahar Naamti Ranjana”. “Ekti Gnaye Thaki”, written and directed by Sudipta Bhawmik, is the story of a sister, Ranjana and her brother, Rajat, reuniting after fourteen years. Rajat immigrates to the US with his family after Ranjana sponsors their green cards. The reunion is marked by its usual excitement followed by nostalgia for their “gnya” they left both behind. Rajat becomes a critical link for Ranjana to relive her past, while Ranjana helps him come to terms with his decision to abandon his familiar world in Gobindapur. Ranjana is also ill and Rajat’s presence offers a long-awaited emollient. As the brother and the sister often slip into the past, the rest of the characters are excited at the prospects of their future in the US, especially Rajat’s son, Rajib.

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Community News Bites: NABC 2009 and Urhalpool

North America Bengali Conference (NABC) 2009 kicks off at the San Jose Convention Center on July 2nd. The biggest Bengali event of the year will run till July 4th and will feature some of the best performers from India, Bangladesh and USA.

Urhalpool editor Goutam Datta will be awarded the “Distinguished Service Award” at NABC 2009 on Friday, July 3rd at 6:45PM in “Banga Mancha”. The award is given by the Cultural Association of Bengal (the umbrella organization of NABC) for helping the cause of propagating and nurturing Bengali culture in North America.

URHALPOOL (www.urhalpool.com) had been chosen by NABC2009 as their internet media partner. URHALPOOL in association with NABC2009 will be presenting extensive coverage of the event for all 4 days from July 1st to July 4th. Catch up with all the NABC excitement at URHALPOOL(www.urhalpool.com).

On June 26th, Anandamandir hosted their monthly “Sahitya-o-Alochona” meetings where the attendees discussed the celebrated Bengali poet Joy Goswami. The attendees read Joy Goswami’s poems, discussed the artistry of his work and shared their personal experiences with the poet.

Tauryatrika 2009 [the annual cultural program of Bharatiya Kala Kendra - BKK] was a mega success. The event started with an excellent and highly interactive seminar, followed by screening of a movie on Ustad Bismillah Khan [directed by Goutam Ghosh]. In the cultural program, students of BKK put an excellent presentation. At the end, Bappi Lahiri was on top of his form.