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Move over Paris, it’s an evening in Calcutta that wowed

June started on a ‘love’ly note as Club Eco Vista by Conclave presented An Evening in Calcutta in association with t2 — an evening of music and poetry on the theme of love. The June 1 performance saw Sharmila Tagore reciting a soul-stirring selection of poetry from English and Bengali literature, her renditions interspersed with performances by the musician duo of vocalist Soumyojit Das and pianist Sourendro Mullick. It was all about love and memories.

As soon as Soumyojit began singing the first line of Chaudhvin ka chand, a smile appeared on Sharmila Tagore’s face. She recalled her husband Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi playing it for her on flute. “It is a great pleasure to be here. We devoted this evening to love and all of us have had some brush with love. We are all experts in our own way,” smiled Sharmila, resplendent in a bright red sari and brighter smiles.

“I will start the evening with a saucy, irreverent and arrogant tribute to love — John Donne’s The Sun Rising,” chirped Sharmila. Her eclectic list of poems included Ananda Bhairabi by Shakti Chattopadhyay, How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare, among many others. Of course, she declared love would remain incomplete without Rabindranath Tagore. “Tagore’s Amra dujon ekti gnaye thaki is a very simple poem showing the sweetness and joy of first love and first crush. Perfect way to end,” said Sharmila, about her choice of a fitting finish.

From Woh shaam kuch ajeeb thi and Mera kuchh samaan to Phir le aaya dil and Aaoge jab tum sajna the auditorium echoed with applause as Soumyojit and Sourendro belted out old and new love songs. The duo, however, drew greatest appreciation when they reminded the audience about Pushpa of Amar Prem with their song Kuch toh log kahenge after Sharmila spoke of Lucy while reciting Strange Fits of Passion by William Wordsworth.

They brought the evening to a close with a tribute to Sharmila. “Our last song is for Sharmilaji and we are celebrating her success in three different worlds — Tollywood, Bollywood and cricket,” said the duo, as they performed Dil dhoondta hai from Mausam.

“I hope everyone loved my selection of poems. It somewhere reflects my age and my taste and the songs sung by Soumyojit and Sourendro reflect their taste and we hope it matched somewhere. We complimented each other, though the audience is always the best judge,” said Sharmila to the audience that had favoured ‘love’ over the IPL finals.

Pianist Sourendro Mullick (left) and vocalist Soumyojit Das performed a medley of music ranging from Bollywood to Hindustani classical music

“It was a treat to hear Sharmilaji recite live. Sourendro and Soumyojit were at their best. The result was an enthralling evening that most of us will remember for a long time,” signed off Bikram Banerjee, director, hospitality operations, Ambuja Neotia Group.

Text: Malancha Dasgupta

Pictures: Pabitra Das