Girls smear colour on each other during the Basant Utsav celebration in Ranchi on Sunday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
The festival of spring came humming to Union Club and Library on Sunday evening.
The club, the oldest cultural organisation of the state capital, was celebrating Basanta Utsav.
But unlike such programmes that normally see presentation of songs and dances, and recitation of poems on Spring or the festival of colours, the organisers stuck to only Rabindrasangeets, interspersed with narration and occasional dances.
But the club had a reason — it was raising a toast to Tagore’s Nobel winning feat.
“We are celebrating 100 years of Rabindranath Tagore bagging the Nobel prize in 1913,” Subir Lahiri, vice-president of the club, said before the programme started.
While Paromita Choudhury, Alokananda Roy and Subhashish Mitra rendered Rabindrasangeets like E bela dak poreche, Nishidin bose achi, Amar mallika bone, Chaitra pabane and Ami tomar sange bendhechhi amar pran, the narration was read by Lahiri himself.
A few children like Tithi and Kaushik matched steps with some of the songs.
“We had presented the same programme about two years ago. We repeated it after some editing, particularly the narration has been slashed,” said Mitra, the only artiste who sang on the previous occasion also.
“The audience had liked it then,” he added, citing the reason for the repetition.
But many who were present on Sunday.
“Organisers are free to plan a programme as they feel best, but this one could have been more attractive if songs other than Rabindrasangeet were considered,” suggested Asit Majumdar.
“Even such Rabindrasangeet as Ore grihabasi and Aji basanto jagroto dware would have been more pleasing to hear when accompanied with dance than some of the slow-paced numbers rendered,” added another.
Mitra, however, had his reasons. Spring as a season has a universal appeal and if it helps ignite prem (love), it is also about biroho (separation), he explained.
“True we didn’t incorporate some songs the audience mentioned, but we tried to present a balanced mix of both the feelings,” he further said.