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Dedications at Bally Utsav

The second phase of the fourth Bally Utsav on December 29 opened to a packed Bally Rabindra Bhavan hall, that seats close to 1,000 people. There were a number of others, who stood or sat on the floor as Alokananda Roy and her Prisoners’ Troupe staged Valmiki Pratibha. “In one word, it was simply superb. Not just the acting and choreography, but the entire co-ordination of the production was worth watching,” said Debasish Sen, a resident of Bally who was among the audience.

Each day in Bally Utsav’s second phase was dedicated to a particular subject or personality. A mathematics workshop was organised on December 31 morning to observe Srinivasa Ramanujan’s 125th birth anniversary. Sudip Acharya, head examiner of the mathematics department of Calcutta University, conducted the workshop, where 80 students from various schools and colleges in Howrah took part. There were discussions as well as problem-solving sessions. In the evening, was a magic show by Soma Bhattacharya in memory of PC Sorcar on his 100th birth anniversary.

Folk musician Hemanga Biswas’s birth centenary was observed on January 1, 2013. Local groups presented folk songs written and composed by him. Bangla band, Genesis, also presented some of Biswas’s songs. January 2 was dedicated to paying homage to various personalities in the field of music. Critic and editor Samik Bandopadhyay spoke on singers like Chhabi Bandopadhyay, Mira Bandopadhyay, Debabrata Biswas, Jyotirindranath Maitra and also on the Gana Natya Sangha, talking about its rise and eventual break up. Riddhi Banerjee was the singer for the evening, who presented Dwijendrageeti and songs by Atulprasad and Rajanikanta.

Swami Vivekananda’s 150th anniversary was observed on January 3. An exhibition on the life of Swamiji sourced from Bengal Engineering and Science University (Besu), was displayed at the lounge of Rabindra Bhavan. A discussion on Swamiji’s religious ideas and philosophies was held where Swami Purnatmananda, Swami Gyanalokananda and Swami Divyananda from Belur Math and other centres of Ramakrishna Mission spoke. Musical sessions of devotional songs on Swami Narendrananda were interspersed with discussions. In the evening, writer Sanjib Chattopadhyay also discussed Swamiji’s religious philosophies. Swagatalakshmi Dasgupta rounded up the evening with devotional songs.

Dwijendralal Roy’s 150th birth anniversary was observed on January 4 with a special programme on his songs and works. Sanat Chattopadhyay, the first secretary of Paschim Banga Bangla Akademi, spoke on him.

Day 7 was for Sukumar Ray. Ray’s 125th birth anniversary was celebrated with a ‘children’s day’ programme where little ones participated in a recitation competition. After a short discussion on the illustrator and writer, a play, Luxembourger Lakshmi, was staged by a group from Nehru Children’s Museum. The festival ended on January 6 with two plays, Bhoma by Satabdi and Prakritir Hilloley Prem by Sanchari.

Apart from the line of events at Rabindra Bhawan, a photography exhibition and another on Rabindranath Tagore were on display at Bally Santiram Vidyalaya.