The Telegraph
Thursday , March 13 , 2014
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Poll delays Bangla Mela

The 2014 edition of Bangla Sanskritik Mela, traditionally held around Poila Baishakh — Bengali New Year’s Day — has been postponed, thanks to Lok Sabha polls on the Ranchi seat on April 17.

Sources from organising outfit Jharkhand Bengali Association confirmed that the mela, a much-awaited cultural extravaganza for the capital’s Bengali community, was postponed in the wake of announcement of election dates.

“This year Poila Boishakh will be observed on April 15 and we have elections on April 17. Everyone will agree that organising the mela in these circumstances is impossible”, said state president of Jharkhand Bengali Association Siddhartha Jyoti Roy.

Bengalis of Ranchi, on their part, will miss the cultural event, popularly known as Bangla Mela.

Ranchi-based architect Sudipto Chakraborty said: “Bangla Mela reaffirms our cultural identity, so we eagerly wait for it every year.”

The mela was first held in way back in 1999 at Cosmos Club in Burdwan Compound.

Since then, it has changed three venues.

After Burdwan Compound, the mela was held at Mahendra Mahila College and Jaipal Singh Stadium. Now, it is being held over the past few years at Zilla School grounds

The event has been organised every year, barring 2002 when it could not be held owing to some unavoidable problems.

Besides hosting eminent personalities from the world of Bengali art and culture like actor and Satyajit Ray favourite Soumitro Chatterjee, singer Aarti Mukherjee and danseuse Dona Ganguly, who also happens to be cricketer Sourav Ganguly’s wife, the mela is known to offer mouth-watering delicacies.

Above all, it is known to offer an ideal ambience for adda, a favourite pastime for the quintessential Bengali.

Vice-president of Union Club and Library Subir Lahiri, who is also associated in organising the mela, recalled the event had been delayed twice earlier.

“The past delays were about a month long, but this time the mela seems to have been postponed for a longer time”, he informed.

General secretary of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha Supriyo Bhattacharya, who has been convener of the mela committee for the past couple of years, however, sounded hopeful. “We are planning to organise it in the second week of October between Durga Puja and Diwali,” he said.

Wait till autumn, then.

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