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Celebrating Bengali New Year in the Heart of Texas

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Photos: Saurabh Sengupta and others

HOUSTON: Houston Durga Bari celebrated Poila Baishakh in the heart of Texas with a day full of fantastic events on Sunday, April 15. It brought the Indian and Bangladeshi communities, Durga Bari and Tagore Society of Houston , together at our home away from home right here in Houston, celebrating Poila Baishakh.  

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The Tagore music connoisseur, Shreya Guhathakurta, a part-time Houston resident, along with Mou Das organized a fabulous Baishakher Amontroney program with almost 90 participants from the Indian and Bangladesh communities. That program, which celebrated Tagore’s vision of universal peace and love, with a mesmerizing mix of song, dance and recitation.

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Consisting of three parts, Bhanusingher Podabali, Barsha and Prem, the presentation tries to capture the essence of love through depicting not only the divine love between Radha and Krishna, and in various other forms, in nature and in real human lives. Celebrating the joy of union as much as the agony of separation of the tormented souls, the show captured the beauty and power of this most exalted and yet little understood feeling, and how it alone, essentially takes creation and life forward. Aided by most imaginative choreographies by celebrated Nritya-gurus and exponents of multiple dance gharanas and styles, like Odissi, Manipuri and Kathak, Shreya directed an ensemble of singers, dancers and musicians, to bring to life the magic of love through harnessing the sheer power and beauty in Thakur’s poems and songs

The selection of the pieces was super; the choreography and execution by the dancers were simply out of the world and finally, the rendition of the songs was top notch. Shreya’s creativity and direction to make so many diverse talents work together in creating this extraordinary show drew rapturous applause.

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Poulami Bhattacharya, Suchetana Mukherjee and team brought the best of Bengali cuisine to the Food Fest, where a packed house enjoyed the Bengali delicacies right here in Houston. Kicthen Food committee led by Pradip Saha and Rajib Datta, also made sure the event was a success. Food fests at Durga Bari are a huge hit in the local community and the tradition continued with the overflowing crowd at the stalls. They cannot wait for the next event to relish the experience again.

Piyali Chatterjee and team put together the Mela, which was a super hit. Nothing like buying new clothes for new year! From latest couture to dazzling jewelry, the stalls had an amazing array of items to buy and revel in for the rest of the year.

Balaka Ghosal held informative and engaging Earth Day where the kids and the adults learnt so much about sustainability and environment and how to reuse things. The lessons and the videos were a hit even after the event. Trees were planted as part of the event. The entire day started with Surya Pranam and temple celebration.

April 15 was a day to remember and savor and feel lucky to have Durga Bari right here in Houston. It is our home away from home, where we celebrate every facet of our culture and tradition.

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