The time of the year is here again. The sky is blue with patches of white clouds floating lazily and the weather is cooling down. Durga Puja is here again in New Jersey. The local Bengali associations are gearing up to welcome Ma Durga with the usual pomp and cultural extravaganza, and let me share with you some information about the festivities that has come to my notice.
Like previous years, Durga Puja festival in New Jersey will be heralded in by the live Mahishashura Mardini (Mahalaya) performance at the Ananda Mandir on October 10th at 5.00am in the morning. I have been a regular attendee at this event, and I can promise you that if you can take that bold step of getting up from bed that early and drive down to Ananda Mandir, you’ll have an experience that you will never regret. Continue reading →
Finally the annual Durga Puja celebrations are over. I was mostly present at the Kallol pujo but also paid (no pun intended) short visits at the Bharat Sevashram Sangha and Anandamandir. Kallol, just like the previous year, had a full house and had to turn away several people. In one of my previous blogs I had requested, rather wished, that Kallol provide a daily ticket for people who would like to come in for a day. However, for whatever reasons, Kallol decided on the contrary and the result was that I had to listen to complaints from several disappointed friends and family. Well, rules are rules – that’s what I said.
This year I did something which I never did before. I dropped in on Thursday evening – and it was real fun. There was no pressure of showing the badge, no parking tags, no stress about reserving seats with shawls and jackets and no celebrities on stage to pay attention to. While the volunteers were busy setting up the idol and the kids busy rehearsing on the stage, I had a good time chatting with friends. For once, after a long time, I had the pleasure of pure Pujo adda – completly unadultered fun. I think we should, at least informally, start the festivities from Thursday – just to prolong the enjoyment for few more hours. Continue reading →
In New Jersey, Durga Puja is a special time when the festive mood brings with it a flurry of entertainment and cultural programs across the state. This year too the line up looks very promising although the spirits have dampened a bit due to the tough economic times and with the rejection of visas of few of the performers. Still the combination of local talents and professionals from India is bound to enthrall the Puja attendees on the coming weekends.
I’ll try to briefly summarize the lineup this year, although the organizers have in many cases conveniently omitted the details about the local performers from their web sites. I tried to collect as much information I could manage. If any of you have more information, then please feel free to add them to this post as comments. Continue reading →
Cultural Association of Bengal
A gala concert of classical Indian Music
On 13th September 2008, Saturday , 5 P.M.
at Q208, 74-13 commonwealth Blvd, Bellerose, NY 11426
Pt. Tarun Bhattecharya on Santoor accompanied by Abhishek Basu on tabla.
Eminent vocalist Mitali Banerjee Bhawmik, accompanied by Sri Dibyarka Chatterjee on tabla and Sri Kedar Naphade on Harmonium.
Young vocalist Indrani Chakrabarty Khare will be recognized by cultural association of Bengal (C.A.B) for her achievement.
Suggested Donation $20.00, $35.00. Ample free parking inside the school premises.
Contact Number: 718-631-9819, 516-298-2454, 914-277-4662, 732-496-0385, 631-821-5684,
917-518-5484, 718-380-1373, 516-501-1966, 516-232-5124.
Direction: By subway/bus: E or F train to Union Tpk exit. Then Q46 bus to Cross Island Parkway stop. Enter school gate.
By car: (1) Grand Central Parkway (east) to Union Tpk exit. Right turn to Unin Tpk. School entrance between Cross island and commonwealth Blvd.
(2) Grand Central Park way (west) to Little neck PKway. Left Turn to Littleneck PKway. Go under Grand central PKway.Right turn on Littleneck PKway. Right turn again on Union Tpk.
School on right after crossing Commonwealth Blvd.
(3) Long Island Expressway to Littleneck Pky exit. Take Little Neck Pky (South). Go under Grand Central Pky and follow option 2.