Rabindra Jayanti Celebrated in Great Style

Rabindra 2inBy Sanchali Basu

HOUSTON: Since the installation of the Tagore statue in Tagore Grove at the Ray Miller Park two years back, it has become but natural to begin Tagore’s birthday celebrations at the hallowed ground every year. This year was no exception. The afternoon of May 10 was cloudy and breezy, but Tagore admirers were able to complete the garlanding ceremony just in time before the rain set in. A couple of Rabindra Sangeet and  recitation of poems, “Thou hast made me endless,” and “This is my delight” set the tone for the rest of the evening and made it memorable and reverential.

The celebrations of Tagore’s 154th birthday continued into the evening at the HDBS Sur auditorium where the audience was treated to enjoyable music programs, dances, and recitations. Ruma Acharya, president of TSH (Tagore Society of Houston) welcomed the audience and recited a Tagore poem. Young emcees Vikram Banga and Rini Roy  took over. They were adorable and were the subjects of the crowd’s adulation. The opening dance by a group of four very young dancers in their pristine white tutus truly reflected the spirit of the song Momo chitte.  Mrs. Nahid Sultan very soulfully sang 2 Rabindra Sangeet. Shalini Das danced beautifully in the Odissi style to Mor bhabanare, set in the Dhrupad style of Rabindra raag.

The Bangladesh-American Society of Greater Houston (BASGH) then took the stage and their children’s choir did an excellent job with 3 very catchy playful and fun Rabindra Sangeet -Hriday Aamar Nachere, Phagun Haway Haway, Aj Dhaner Khete. What was extremely commendable was the perfect pronunciation and diction of the language by second generation Bengalis. All credit goes to teacher Rupa Ghosh, who led the choir. She was ably supported by Modhumita and Mukul who presented a small song-recitation-dance combination. The medley of dances Poush Toder and Aaji Dokhino Duar Khola performed by 6 beautiful young dancers and the solo dance by Simmy Ahmed were very well received by the audience.

Rabindra 1in

Aishani Saha was very graceful and poised in her dance, Jhoro jhoro borishe baari dhaara. Tareeq Mahammed presented a very powerful recitation of the Tagore poem, Aami.

Esho he Baishakh the presentation by Kamalpriya Roy and group was a select combination of solo and chorus songs from Tagore’s summer prakriti songs of the Gitabitan. The four solos by Shamik, Shyama, Madhumita and Kheya were presented solemnly with deep sincerity. All the group songs and duet songs by Tushar, Sraboni, Nandini, Anjali, Aniruddha, Gargee Dona and Balaka were also nice.  The script written by Kheya and narrated by Jaya and Aniruddha did justice to the overall presentation. Accompaniment by Raja on the tabla and Aloke on the mandira added the right amount of musicality to make the presentation effective.

Last, but not the least was a very energetic dance by Monali Biswas to Mor bhabona re in a contemporary style.

Shingara, ghugni and cha were all sold out and Choity Sarees had sarees and jewelry that appealed to the womenfolk.  Everyone was all praise and complimentary about the organization and quality of the program on their way out.
Thanks to the joint effort of all 3 Bengali associations in town, the Tagore Society of Houston, the Houston Durgabari Society and the Bangladesh-American Society of Greater Houston, the national poet of Bengal, Tagore’s birthday was genuinely celebrated wholeheartedly.