The Rabindra Sarobar complex
If music and nature are your ideal companions on a Sunday evening, the Rabindra Sarobar complex is where you should head to, starting this weekend.
The Calcutta Improvement Trust (CIT) and the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) have collaborated with the Calcutta Classical Guitar Society and musician Bickram Ghosh to transform the 192 acres of parkland into a hub of live music every Sunday evening.
“Live in Lakes is part of a long-term plan to revive the lakes and ensure that it becomes a social-cultural hub,” said Vivek Bharadwaj, the chief executive officer of CMDA. “These days, people hardly go outdoors. There aren’t too many options, either. We want more people to come and enjoy the beauty of our lakes.”
The aim is to bring back people to the lake complex with musical shows designed to blend with the tranquil environment on the lines of New York’s Central Park and London’s Hyde Park, officials said.
“Live in Lakes is a unique concept where music will be presented by different artistes on a regular basis on the lakefront,” said Ghosh. “Hopefully, it will turn out to be the biggest movement in music in our part of the world. I believe this will lead to the democratisation of music,” explained the percussionist, who has drawn up a roster of musicians handpicked by him in a variety of genres, from classical and folk to modern and Bangla bands.
While Ghosh and the Calcutta Classical Guitar Society are looking into the creative aspects, CMDA and CIT are taking care of the basic infrastructure, including space, lighting and sound.
“I thought a folk quotient would bring a primal energy as well as dazzling visual elements. The idea is to create a hullabaloo and a festive mood around the lakes and our rich tapestry of new-age and ethnic music and arts allows for such a brilliant atmosphere to be built when combined with nature,” Ghosh explained.
“The idea is for the sound and activities to blend in with nature,” said one of the organisers. “So, no harsh lighting or loud sounds, which might scare the birds away.”
“Most people have forgotten how to enjoy the lakes and parks in the city. We want it to be a soothing experience in a relaxing environment before it gathers greater momentum,” Bharadwaj added.
Slated between 5pm and 7pm, the inaugural performance is by Gautam Das Baul, followed by the acoustic trio of Ashmaan.
Big names will also occasionally feature in the line-up. In December, there’s a drum festival planned, featuring Talvin Singh, Greg Ellis and Pete Lockett, followed by theatre shows and dance performances in the following weeks.