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 →
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.
Sahitya O Alochana will be held on Friday, February 19, 2010, 8.00pm at Ananda Mandir. Topic for this session is “Barnomay Jibananda” featuring a discussion on Jibananda Das’s works including, poem, short stories, fictions, etc. Ms. Dhriti Bagchi will be the discussion leader for this session. Active participation from the attendees in the discussion including reading of Jibabananda’s poetry or prose is highly encouraged.
Please also note that the topics for the next two sessions (March and April) will likely be the following:
1) Jhumpa Lahiri’s work – discussion leader (To Be Declared)
2) Bengali Drama in North America – discussion leader Sudipta Bhawmik
Last week I wrote about our new radio play “Baad Protibad” that was broadcast on EBC Radio 1170AM during the Sunday morning Bengali program “Probaho” conducted by Abhijit Sanyal. The play received quite a bit of positive feedback, and I thought that for the benefit of the people who could not listen to the radio that morning, I’d upload this play as a podcast. You can listen to this play by clicking the player above or download it into your iPod or similar digital players.
The credits are given below.
A Hilarious Play in Bengali by Sudipta Bhawmik
Produced by ECTA Inc.
Directed by Indranil Mukherjee
Subhodev Das as Ashok
Aparajita Das as Kakoli
Indranil Mukherjee as Soumen
Anisha Das as Jhimli
Recorded and mixed at the Bharatiya Kala Kendra, NJ, Studio by Partha Sarathi Mukherjee
Edited by Partha Sarathi Mukherjee and Indranil Mukherjee
Music and effects by Partha Sarathi Mukherjee.
Song “Need some cash to fill up my gas” by Vikram Kumar
Please let me know how you liked the play. We may do more plays like this in the future.
After receiving wide critical acclaim and audience appreciation in Kolkata, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, ECTA offers an encore presentation of “Satyameva”, a play by Sudipta Bhawmik.
Sanjoy, a young software professional, has arrived in the “land of opportunity” for just over six months and works for a software body shopping company “InterSoft” owned and operated by Bill (a Bengali American living in the States for over thirty years.) On the day of the play Bill fires Sanjoy and asks him to go back to India. Sanjoy, however, is not happy with this decision and refuses to oblige. He informs Bill that he is not going to return to India under any circumstances. He states that returning to India is synonymous to signing a death warrant for himself. He cannot subject himself to such a grave risk. And to justify himself, and to win his ultimate motive, he has to make a choice between truth or deceit.
ECTA (Ethnomedia Center for Theater Arts) presents this new Bengali play (with English SuperTitles) at the Edison Valley Playhouse, in Edison NJ on June 28, 2008 at 3.30pm.