Back to the roots

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By ABHIJEET MUKHERJEE in Ranchi
  • Published 10.04.05
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A Rabindrasangeet recital at the Bangla Sanskritik Mela in Ranchi on Friday. Picture by Hardeep Singh .

Ranchi, April 10: The Bengali New Year or ?Poila Boisakh? is providing Bengali residents across the city ample reasons to celebrate. A time for great joy, trends take a backseat on this day while traditions rule.

From musical and dance programmes to delicious Bengali sweets and new clothes, the day comes dotted with simple pleasures.

The three-day annual Bangla Sanskritik Mela organised by the Ranchi Bengali Association is the start to all celebrations in the city for the sixth year in a row.

The fair is more of an excuse for the festival-crazy Bengalis to get together with their family and friends.

It also means a return to the roots as Rabindrasangeet and dances based on ballads by Tagore, which are very popular, are often performed by amateurs and professionals alike.

Artistes from Calcutta are invited to participate in the celebrations. This year Indrani Sen, daughter of noted singer Sumitra Sen, would be performing at the fair.

Sen is not a newcomer to the city, as this is her fifth visit. She has several cassettes and singles to her credit and has lent her voice to numerous tele-serials and film songs. Starting her career in 1975, she has won several awards till now and four of her cassettes went gold.

She has praises galore for the residents each time she visits the city to perform.

?It is absolutely a pleasure to see the residents? enthusiasm. It seems the city boasts of a fair share of connoisseurs when it comes to food and songs.Officials put in hard work to pull off the show. I think it goes on to show how attached they are to their roots,? she said.

The other attraction of the fair would be Soumita Sanatani, a Bengali folk artist from Ghatshila.

The fair also holds numerous shows and competitions every year to encourage local participation. And as always, there are various competitions like sit-and-draw, recitation and Rabindrasangeet.

On the first day of the programme, seven year old Nilanjana Banerjee, a Class II student of DAV Nandaraj, recited a poem by Sukumar Ray while Bedotroyee Bhattacharjee a Class VIII student of DAV Shyamli recited another poem ?Chiro Diner?.

?I have been participating in recitation competitions for more than three years now and look forward to this one every year,? said Bedotroyee.

Association member Sanat Mitra said, ?We do not believe in ticket system as the cost is borne by sponsors and stall-owners. Not only Bengalis, even non-Bengalis come here and enjoy the programmes.?