The lobby of The Avenue Hotel in Ballygunge was abuzz on November 12 as participants queued up at Cascade — Let the Art Flow, an open-mic session organised by the Sunday Classics Organisation.
Sunday Classics Organisation is a young team of 15 members who came together in June 2020 to provide a platform to youngsters. They organise and curate activities and events for the youth, at times in collaboration with city schools and colleges.
“Cascade was conceptualised within two weeks. We had to work extra hard but when we got to see people with smiling faces, it was all worth it. We were bubbling with ideas but we didn't know how to put them together during the pandemic. We realised the most important thing youngsters needed right now was an open platform, where they could showcase their talents. The entire thing was planned and executed within 11 days. We just met once to confirm the venue, the rest was done online,” said Sinchani Dutta, a postgraduate diploma in Mass Communication and Public Relation student of St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and co-founder, Sunday Classics Organisation.
While YouTuber Shamik Adhikary aka Nonsane, and music composer Nilanjn Ghosh, dropped by to watch the talent show, Sidhu (Siddhartha Ray) joined online. “I wish I could be present physically. Seeing the youngsters carrying out such a humongous task in such chaotic times makes me feel good and hopeful,” said Sidhu.
“It feels good to be back in an auditorium after being confined in our homes for so long. The tagline --- Let the Art Flow --- is something we have been doing all these years, now these kids are carrying the lineage,” said Nilanjn Ghosh.
Here’s what some of the performers had to say…
I performed stand-up comedy. When I was in Class XI, we used to have inter-school fests. I was generally called the clown of the class, so my teacher told me to try out stand-up comedy in a school fest. At first, I didn’t have any knowledge about it so I Googled and followed YouTube channels. Ever since then, I have been performing. I make comedy scripts out of my own life stories and am experimenting a lot with them.
Bihan Banerjee, first year, Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering, Future Institute of Engineering and Management
My mom encouraged me to learn martial arts. At first, I wasn’t interested, but with time I started liking it. I have been learning martial arts for years now. In 2019, I represented India and won an international tournament where students from Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka had participated. I am an instructor and have my own institution of karate, Shitoriyu Karate Institution. I’m a Black Belt Third Dan. It’s quite tough balancing my passion and academics. I want to be a karate champion and represent my country.
Anushka Das, Class XII, Commerce, Patha Bhavan
I performed raga Bhupali and Pran chay chokkhu na chay on the violin. I have been learning the violin since I was four. My patience has increased with practice. I want to study Computer Engineering but violin will remain a part of my life.
Rohini Ray, Class XII, Science, Patha Bhavan
I like to sing folk songs. My favourite folk singer in Kartik Das Baul. I sang Tomar ghore boshot kore koy jona. I have never been trained in singing. Before lockdown, I bought a guitar and started learning it through online lessons. I started posting videos online. I want to complete my Chartered Financial Analyst course and pursue my singing simultaneously.
Meghadri Bhattacharya, second-year, BCom, Heramba Chandra College
I narrated Bhindeshi Tara, a Bengali story written by me. It’s a story of two friends who are reconnecting. I run a podcast show, The Colourman Show, in collaboration with India Film Project and Anchor. I have been writing stories since Class XI. Stand-up comedy is quite different, so I thought of working with storytelling. I want to have a podcast production house of my own in future. The lockdown has helped me find my talent.
Debjit Roy, completed schooling in 2020 from DPS Ruby Park
I have been beatboxing for the last two years. It started as a passion, seeing other people in my school beatbox. I won some college fests. I want to be a cyber security engineer. I belong to the Kolkata Beatboxing Community. They have been proactive during the lockdown. Even though there are not many events, sending across voice notes, leveling up at home with the group, that’s something that gives you relief from a tiring life.
Imran Roshan, final year, Electronics and Communications Engineering, JIS College of Engineering