2010 Urhalpool Awards

Please join Urhalpool Magazine’s 2nd Annual Award Ceremony on Wednesday. January 27th @6:30PM in Collaboration with: Rabindranath Tagore center, ICCR & American Center, Kolkata

Shakti Chattopadhyay Lifetime Bengali Literary Achievement Award (Rs25,000):   Sunil Gangopadhyay
Nirmal Chandra Gangopadhyay Bengali Literary Award for an Young writer (Rs15,000):    Mandakranta Sen
Dr. Sishir Kumar Das Award for research in Bengali Literature: (Rs,20,000):  Dr. Sibaji Bandyopadhyay
Pushpa Little Magazine Award: (Rs10,000):    Bibhab

Urhalpool(www.urhalpool.com) January Issue, focusing on Mexican poets/writers has been released.

Bengali section: Poems-Sankha Ghosh, Sunil Gangopadhyay & many others/  Golpo- Yashodhara Roychoudhury, Mexican writer Liliana Blum, Ivy Chatterjee, Tridib Chatterjee and others
Special Article on Translation by Goutam Datta
English Section: 2010 Kolkata Book Fair visiting poets Anne Waldman & Meena Alexander’s essays,  Many Mexican writers & poets. Special article by Father of Contemporary American Poetry Jerome Rothenberg: POETS & TRICKSTERS: INNOVATION & DISRUPTION IN RITUAL & MYTH

The Complete Works of Tagore Now Online

Rabindranath TagoreAsk a Bengali what in his/her bookcase does he/she treasure most?  And the answer will be – the sixteen volume set of Rabindra Rachanabali, that is, the complete works of Rabindranath Tagore. Over the years, the works of Tagore has been one of the key source of revenue for Bishwabharati. However, after the expiry of the extended copyright, publishers were free to reprint Tagore without having to pay any royalty to Bishwabharati. The Society for Natural Language Technology Research (SNLTR) grabbed this opportunity and made the entire published works of Tagore (Rabindra Rachanabali) available online through their website http://rabindra-rachanabali.nltr.org. No longer do you have to carry along with you the heavy volumes, neither do you have to spend money to buy them. Online Rabindra-Rachanabali is free.  The website was released to the public on 27th January 2010, at the Kolkata Bookfair. Continue reading

NABC 2010: Abdul Bari Siddiqui – The Flutist Baul

Abdul Bari SiddiquiOne of the guest performers at the upcoming NABC 2010 is Abdul Bari Siddiqui of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Although Bari is a relatively new name to the Bengali music lovers in this part of the world, he is a well known and sought after musician and composer in Bangladesh.   Trained as a classical flutist, Bari finds his passion both in the classical ragas as well as the folk tunes and Baul music of Bengal and has created his own genre of folk fusion by fusing North Indian Classical Music with Baul music. Bari (born 15th November 1954) started his initial lessons in classical vocal music at the age of twelve under Gopal Dutta of Netrokona. Later, in 1981, he was taken under the wings of Ustad Aminur Rahman, a direct disciple of Pandit Panna Lal Ghosh, the famous flutist, and Beenkar Ustad Dabir Khan. Ustad Aminur Rahman spotted Bari during a concert, and offered to tutor him. For the next six years Bari trained under Rahman. Bari also received extensive training from Pandit V G Karnad in Pune. Since 2000, besides playing the flute, Bari started to perform vocal music and his first album “Srabon Megher Din” was an instant hit and won him several awards.

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Kolkata Theater : A Personal Snapshot

After a gap of two years I was back again in Kolkata this winter and whenever I had some spare time, I utilized it watching a theater. Although most people in Kolkata were flocking the multiplexes for “3 Idiots” or “Avatar”, I thought it would be prudent to capture as many Bengali plays as possible since I won’t be able to see them back in New Jersey.  The day I landed in Kolkata also happened to be the opening ceremony of Nandikar’s National Theater Festival, and Satya-da (Satya Bhaduri, editor of the theater magazine SAS) invited me to attend the show with him. That evening, the festival opened with Bangladesh Dhaka Drama’s staging of Selim-al-Din’s “Dhabaman”.  “Dhabaman” is an allegorical folk tale of a young buffalo who wanted to be free. The play was presented in a traditional folk form with elaborate choreography and physical acting. This kind of play does not depend on traditional dialogues but on descriptive narratives which works almost like a commentary of the happenings on stage. It was a pleasant experience overall, especially when you get to watch a play in a form that is rarely used in Bengali theater these days. Continue reading