Nostalgic farewell to spring - Bohagi Bidai function unites Assamese community in Calcutta

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By DIPANJAN SINHA
  • Published 11.06.12
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Calcutta, June 10: It has been raining in Assam for the past few days.

In Calcutta, the showers were ushered in yesterday, with the sounds of dhol and pepa at Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad auditorium.

The Bohagi Bidai 2012, organised by Sristir Ramdhenu, an association of Assamese here, built bridges and paid musical tributes to Mamoni Raisom Goswami and Bhupen Hazarika.

Binita Borgohain, of Chameli Memsaab fame, Jaya Seal Ghosh and Manisha Bordoloi were chief guests at the function that promised a traditional Bihu to those living away from their land.

The organisers had left no stone unturned in recreating the sights and sounds of the spring farewell.

While the tunes of Bihugeet spoke of love and longing and happiness, dancers matched steps in traditional mekhela sador in a heady mix of music and colour.

The theme song of Sristir Ramdhenu, composed and sung by Anjib and Neelabhra Bora, Bihu and Goalparia geet and a Bihu husori dal from Mangaldoi bolstered the festive ambience.

Jaya Seal Ghosh, who had been attending the programme for some years now, said, “I love to come to this programme. When I listen to familiar tunes and dance to them, I feel I have returned home.”

“It also gives me a chance to interact with the people of my community in this city and exchange news and reminisce of familiar places and food,” she added.

Moreover, the actress appreciated the fact that the programme gave the youngsters a chance to display their talent.

“A girl called Sharmin Salpana sang really well. It will give me great pleasure if the performers are given a larger platform to showcase their talent,” she said.

The yearning for Assam was clearly felt in the songs by Sharmin, Malabika, Kalpita, Shravanika, Tarun, Anamitra, Govinda and others.

A need to connect and a yearning for the familiar drew many to the programme.

Rafiqul, who works for IBM here, said he came because he hardly has any Assamese colleagues. To satisfy the urge to speak his own language and to see people from home he discounted a fever to turn up.

“The dhol baadan, the husori, and the familiar music draws me to these functions,” he added.

The nostalgia found expression in the songs of Bhupen Hazarika and a drama to follow.

The president of the group, Sarat Oza, said the programme is organised by the young Assamese crowd in the city.

“Their enthusiasm is infectious. It feels good to see them so interested in keeping the traditions alive, so far away from home. This initiative also promotes goodwill among the community,” he said.

And for most in the audience, that evening, they were home.