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Century gala for The Milanee

Jamshedpur’s oldest club will not just turn a year older on February 4, it will hit the magic triple-digit.

It’s time for the centenary celebrations of The Milanee.

Although celebrations had started a year back, members of the Bistupur-based club have reserved the best for the last. So, starting Saturday, January 4, there will be a series of events to mark the celebrations.

The club will host separate Rabindrasangeet and Nazrul Geeti competitions, recitation, bhajans, Bengali modern songs and tabla performances from January 4 to 8.

In between, on Sunday, there will be a Pous mela where the 400-plus club members will put up stalls, offering traditional Bengali sweets such as puli-peethe and payesh.

“Since Makar Sankranti is nearby, we thought of celebrating with these sweet dishes. Bauls Ananda and Shankar Das from Birbhum district of Bengal will perform at the fair,” said Krishnendu Chatterjee, secretary of The Milanee.

A sit-and-draw contest is also slotted for January 18.

On the penultimate day, February 4, the club will host a mega dance performance. A troupe from Calcutta will perform modern dance. This will be followed by a Bengali modern singing programme the next day. A musical competition among children, a fair and an evening with bauls will bring the curtains down on the centenary celebrations on February 5.

“These are the concluding events to mark the completion of The Milanee’s 100 glorious years. The club has an enviable past and we have managed to keep the club alive despite tough times,” Chatterjee added.

During the year-long celebration, the club has already organised a drama festival, a painting competition last year.

Known as Sakchi Dramatic Club, it was renamed as The Milanee when the Oriya Dramatic Club and Saraswat Sammilani merged in 1920.

Over the decades, eminent personalities such as sitar legend Pundit Ravi Shankar, author Sarat Chandra Chattopadhay, magician P.C. Sorcar and actor-danseuse Mamata Shankar have visited The Milanee.