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An evening of Tagore tribute

Saameepyo, an AE Block-based musical group, presented its 10th annual programme at Rabindra Okakura Bhavan.

Chaitali Gupta, the moving force behind Sameeppyo and a disciple of renowned vocalists Pandit A.T. Kanan, Purabi Dutta and Aurobinda Biswas in classical music, Nazrulgeeti and Rabindrasangeet respectively, trains her students in a variety of vocal music streams at the centre, but this year the annual programme was dedicated to Tagore, the theme of the programme being Utsaber Rabindranath.

The programme was divided into two phases. The first part was performed by child artistes aged three years and above. The recitals deserving mention were Amra sabai raja by a three-year-old Biraj Singh and Phuley phuley dholey dholey by Sritama, aged four, and Sautama, aged five. Among other child artistes, eight-year-old Ritanwita impressed with the quality of her voice.

The second phase of the evening began with Ganer bhitor diye by Ahona Paul followed by Protima Kundu’s Ami tomari matir konya. Paul’s second solo, Biraho madhur holo aji, was equally impressive. The script, written by Ananyo Shankar Debobhuti and narrated by Debjani Dasgupta, wove the songs together.

Some of the listeners, like Niva Manna, 84, and Santana Seth, 74, who came all the way from Jorabagan, were astonished to see the tots sit quietly on stage for half an hour and perform like professional singers. Others, who, like the 86-year-old J.C. Moitra of AE Block, had relatives performing, preened at the accolades.

Bharati Kanjilal

Elders on stage

The Calcutta Chapter of Dignity Foundation celebrated International Elders Day at Vidyasagar Abasan community hall.

The day was marked by a cultural evening that had Bengali songs, sufi and instrumental music, stand-up comedy, ghazals etc. Probir Sengupta, an 82-year-old member, played the sitar. The former general manager of Bharat Heavy Electricals, lives in BE Block with his wife. “My children have moved out and now the sitar is my best friend,” he smiled.

Then there was Meena Bhattacharya, a teacher who had accompanied her mother Pratima Banerjee to the show. “I often come to these gatherings and sing to entertain the members. For senior citizens, pursuing the arts like music and painting keeps them busy and creative,” she said.

“I enjoy these meets as I get to meet others. At this age we crave companionship more than anything else,” said Bithi Mukherjee, a resident of Vidyasagar Niketan.

Dignity co-ordinator D.K. Ghosh called upon the elderly to adapt as much as possible to the gradual changes in society. “Efforts must be made by senior citizens to contribute to society in their own way,” he said.

Sourendra Kumar Das

Coming up

Disciples of Swami Vivekananda can flock to HA Block this weekend for a tribute to the monk.

The programme will be held at HA Block community centre on January 27 from 5.30pm. Swami Balavadranandaji, assistant secretary and trustee of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, Belur Math, will attend the meet. Rabindrasangeet singers Biswarup Rudra and Sudeshna Sanyal Rudra will then present songs sung by Swami Vivekananda.

The event is being organised by HA Block Residents’ Forum as a homage to Swamiji on the 150th birth anniversary.