Gangtok date with glitterati

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By PEMA LEYDA SHANGDERPA in Gangtok
  • Published 15.07.04
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Gangtok, July 15: The state capital is celeb-struck.

Film aficionados, football fans, GeNext and the city intelligentsia had much more than a glimpse of their idols and heroes, as the celebrities who had come to attend Bhanu Bhakta’s 190th birth anniversary celebrations streamed in for the state banquet held in their honour at a hotel in the town last night.

Fresh from the felicitation ceremony held at Samman Bhavan earlier in the evening, the who’s’who of the Nepalese community in South Asia joined academicians, bureaucrats, eminent citizens and their guests in an informal atmosphere.

Jyoti Brahmin, the cynosure of all eyes, was definitely the “hottest” member of the elite club. Her presence did much to lighten the mood at the banquet as everyone stopped to take in her beauty and comment on the “radiance she exudes”. Mala Sinha and Jamling Norgay also circulated freely among the guests, much to the delight of the people who had “only hoped to see them”. Conspicuous by his absence was Bhaichung Bhutia, who left for Calcutta almost immediately after the felicitation. He, however, more than made up for it by being in the state for a full four days before the event. On Tuesday, Bhaichung had spent hours at an interactive session with soccer buffs at a dinner organised by the Sikkim Football Association.

If Bhaichung was uppermost on people’s minds due to his being a “home boy”, Jamling Norgay was just a step behind. The son of legendary mountaineer Tenzing Norgay has made quite a name for himself in the Nepalese community, following in his father’s illustrious footsteps. Former chief secretary K.C. Pradhan spoke on the Norgays’ connection with Sikkim, pointing out that Jamling’s mother, Daku, identified Dzongri as a trekking trail in 1962.

Jamling was also quick to commend the local populace for its spiritual integrity, which is reflected in the reverence for the holy mountain, Kanchenjunga. He said he was happy to see that the local population had not allowed any mountaineering expedition to the peak. “It is an affirmation of faith and spiritual values and deserves praise,” he said.

As the dinner came to an end and people began leaving for their homes, some of the celebs decided to sample a little of Gangtok’s night life. Jamling and Jyoti Brahmin moved to a night club in Vajra to shake a leg.

The Bharatiya Nepali Vyakhyan Srinkala (a seminar involving a series of dialogues on the socio-cultural progress of the Indian Nepalese community) was held today in chief minister Pawan Chamling’s presence. Sahitya Akademi winner, litterateur Hari Prasad “Gorkha” Rai also graced the occasion.