Rabindra Jayanti Celebrations by TSH


By Sanchali Basu

HOUSTON: It started with the garlanding ceremony of the Tagore statue in Tagore Grove at the Ray Miller Park on the evening of May 7 (Ponchishe Baishakh), Tagore’s 153rd birth anniversary. Chorus songs, “Hey Nuton, Jodi tor daak shune”, and recitation of poems, “Endless Time, Stream of Life” and planting of rose bushes made the evening memorable and reverential.


The celebrations continued into the evening of May 10 at the HDBS Sur auditorium where the audience was treated to enjoyable musical programs, dances, and shruti natok. Ruma Acharya, president of TSH (Tagore Society of Houston) welcomed the audience and emphasized Tagore’s borderless vision and its relevance to the modern times. Emcee Sanchali Basu took over and introduced the opening group of Kamalpriya Roy who presented a selected combination of solo and chorus songs from Tagore’s “Prem o Basanta” segments of the Gitabitan. The songs were soulfully rendered and touched the hearts of the audience.

The Bangladesh-American Society of Greater Houston (BASGH) then took the stage and their children’s choir did an excellent job with Momo chitte and Aamra shobai raaja. What was extremely commendable was the perfect pronounciation and diction of the language by second generation Bengalis. All credit goes to teacher Rupa Ghosh, who also led the adult choir who followed next and sang a couple of Rabindra Sangeet. Their dance number performed by 9 beautiful young dancers, choreographed by Shrabana Nath was well received by the audience.

The major attraction of the evening was an audio-drama “Phire Dekha” based on Tagore’s Shesher Kobita, by the Baithaki group from Dallas.. The adaptation was beautifully put together by Sambit Raha and exceptionally well executed by the actor couple Rajarshi and Sayanhika Bhattacharyya. They connected with every member of the audience and after the pin drop silence during the enactment were met with the loudest applause.

The next invited artist was Koel Sen Bakshi, from Beaumont who is a Sangeet Visharad in Bharatnatyam and Rabindrik dance forms. Her presentation, “Aamar mukti aloy aloy”, was a beautiful audio visual ensemble of dance to poetry, letters and songs of Tagore that resonated different aspects of the poet’s life including love, death, sorrow, protest, agony and liberation.

The evening ended with another international popular artist from Bangladesh, Elora Ahmed Shukla who is famous in her own right, being proficient in three different genres Rabindra Sangeet, Dwijendra geeti and Atulprasadi songs. She kept the audience engaged with her soothing harmonious renditions of Rabindra Sangeet and an Atulprasadi song at the end on audience request. Raja Banga and Bidyut Ghosh provided able accompaniment on the tabla and mandira, respectively.

Boxed dinners were sold and saree, jwelry and TSH stalls drew crowds to make the evening complete and worth remembering.

Photos: Ananda Addy and Birendra Das Biswas