Creativity comes in many forms and the PoilaBoishakh celebrations at DI were a testimony to this.
The sweltering heat has been keeping most indoors, but it couldn’t stop the mother-daughter duo of Anjana and Aparupa, who braved the scorching sun and arrived at DI at 7.30 on the morning of April 16, 2023. Armed with creativity and determination, the duo got to work and produced one artwork after the other. A few hours later, DI looked resplendent, decked up to welcome guests. The Entertainment Committee, led by Taniya, ensured that members and guests had a wholesome immersive PoilaBoishakh experience at DI.
Artistic alpona and ethnic earthen pots or ghots greeted members and guests as they walked into the premises, wearing their ethnic best, ready for the evening. Our DI children, Dylan and Jayden, looked dapper wearing dhotis, while Mishal and Suhana looked pretty in traditional Indian costumes. They welcomed all with warm smiles and a tika of cool chandan from khorimaati thalas decorated with flowers.
Indoors@DI was a cool haven on this hot and humid day. A beautiful selfie corner with traditional PoilaBoishakh decor saw many photos being taken. The stage, set up for our band for the evening, Banjara Notes, looked festive and colourful. Tables had been laid out, leaving space for a dance floor.
Promptly at 8 PM, our emcee for the evening, Raju Raman, welcomed all in exquisite Bangla and went on to quiz the crowd about the history of the day we had all gathered to celebrate. We learnt that Moghul ruler Akbar had initiated the Bengali calendar we follow.
Banjara Notes, a popular multi language band, took to the stage and gave us an evening of joyous music as they belted out one popular number after the other. Skilfully moving from one language to another, the band, comprising Debjani Ghosh, Shakhi Banerjee, Archita Sikdar and Kaushik Roy, sang in Bengali, Hindi and English.
Aar ei din moner khatae rakhbo resonated through the hall, contributing to making the evening memorable. The melodious ever-popular numbers of the ‘70s and ‘80s came alive as Banjara Notes moved from one song to another - Bahon mein chale aao, Pal pal dil ke paas, Maana ho tum behad haseen, Ai meri zoharajabi were among the hits that had the gathering not just foot-tapping but vigorously dancing as well. Bengali favourites like Hoy to tomari jonno, Tumi na thakle, and Jagorone had many singing along as well.
Jayajit Biswas, President of DI, eloquently welcomed all to the PoilaBoishakh celebrations. The band dedicated its next number, Bondhu tomay ey gaan shonabo bikelbelaye, to him. The President went on to thank the entertainment team for the apt decorations, Anjana for her beautiful alpona work, and ‘the quiet man behind the scenes’ Michael Rao, for their untiring efforts, despite the severe heat, in making the successful evening happen. A loud round of much deserved applause followed.
A medley combining A hundred miles and Jab koi baat was brilliantly performed. As the evening progressed, so did the pace. Banjara Notes performed much-loved retro medleys, some Bengali folk music, some Rabindra Sangeet, classical based music and ever popular peppy numbers. The joy and love for music was made evident by each member of the band, and this reflected on the gathering as well. Lured by the foot-tapping music and wonderful singing, members took to the dance floor with joy and abandon. Gulabi aakhen and Rangabati were some more numbers that drew people to the dance floor.
The announcement for dinner was made by emcee Raju, who too appeared enthralled by the music, for he could not help twisting a favourite quote by saying: If music is the food of love, then continue to savour! Keeping with the occasion, a delicious buffet resplendent with popular Bengali dishes had been laid out by Saqi. Members and their guests enjoyed the elaborate menu, each item as sumptuous as the next, be it the prawns, the fish fry or the mutton. The paneer, kofta and veg chops were delicious as well. The caterers have been a favourite choice for Bengali cuisine, and they lived up to expectations again that night.
All in all, a wonderful and happy way to usher in Bangla new year 1430. Shubho Nabobarsho!