The music Ravi Shankar played at the Concert For Bangladesh in the United States during Bangladesh’s liberation war once again resonated through the Nazrul Mancha of Kolkata Sunday.
This time it was the sitar of Abhisek Mallick. Bickram Ghosh, who played the tabla with Ravi Shankar for long, coordinated with Abhisek this time.
Over the weekend, the closing day of the Bangla Utsav festival saw a huge gathering Sunday.
“Bulbul, Chandana, Shakil… there are so many artistes. They are the real torch bearers of the culture of Bangladesh. They have to come again and again for us. Such festivals should take place every year,” retired professor Samrat Gupta said.
Earlier, on Saturday Bangladeshi band Chirkut rocked the Kolkata audience. The festival began with the performance of Kolkata-based famous band Chandrabindoo. They sang several songs including ‘Bhindeshi Tara’, ‘Bondu Chol’.
Popular Bengali singer Rupankar from Kolkata sang among others ‘Tor moto keu nei’, ‘Rupkatha’. Iman Chakbraborty started her performance with a Tagore song and ended with her national award winning ‘Tumi jaake bhalobasho’. She sang a movie song too.
While singing, Bangladesh’s Samina Chowdhury asked the audience for some ‘fireflies’ and they too responded by lighting up their cell phones as she started singing, ‘Kabita porar prohor’. The lyrics of the song talks of fireflies in a line. She also sang ‘Phul phote phul jhore’, ‘Somoy jeno kate na’, ‘Amar majhe nei akhon ami’.
Samina Chowdhury’s singing reminded of the famous lyricists including Al Munsur, Shahid Mahmud Jangi, Kawser Ahmed Chowdhury. Andrew Kishore sang ‘Haaire Manush,’ Amar Buker Moddhokhane’, ‘Pore Na Chokher Polok’, ‘Jiboner Galpo Achhe Baki Olpo’.
No other language holds the glory of such a wide variety of songs said Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty. He considers this festival crucial for both the countries. Starting with the Tagore song ‘Amar Matha Noto Kore Dau’, his raga-based Bangla song was the last item of the programme.
Durnibar Saha was among the artists singing Tagore songs on the final day.
Pandit Bickram Ghosh along with Gopal Barman, Md Moniruzzaman, Abhisek Mallick, Satyajit Mukherjee and Dasharath Dash performed Taal Vadya.
Not only through music, the programme took care of the appetite through the traditional food items of Bangladesh too including pitha, sweets, dry fish, sorshe-ilish, jilapi, and so on.
The three-day festival was arranged by India’s Bandhan Bank and Bengal Group of Bangladesh in association with India’s Kolkata-based movie production house Nothing Beyond Cinema, and Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
One among the initiators Arindam Sil said they would arrange the festival again as the singers sang from their heart and the audience too listened to with heart. Chairman of Bengal Group Abul Khayer echoed the same confidence about holding the festival again.