As the clock struck 10, on the morning of India’s 77th Independence Day, DI celebrated the event by hoisting the national flag on its lush green grounds and proudly singing the national anthem. Our President, Jayajit Biswas did the honours alongside Vice Presidents Kisor Sen and Leslie D’Gama and Council members Michael N Rao, Samir Doshi and Tanya Robinson. The club-flag fluttered alongside the tricolour following the required government regulations.
Enthusiastic singers and members of the club Deepak Dutta, Tapasi Mukherjee, Sulagna & Raja Mukhopadhyay, Sharmistha & Sanjoy Mukherjee, Sonali & Utpal Ghosh, Anindita Saha, Mousumi Ghosh Dastidar and Tripti Ganguly lent their melodious voices to put up a cultural programme. Indoors@DI wore an elegant décor with tricolour balloons, flags and streamers strung across the court. The choir began their rendition by singing one of Tagore’s patriotic songs Ek Sutre Bandhiyachhi Sohosroti Mon which coarsely translates to ‘I have connected thousands of souls on the same string’.
A great son of Bengal, Kabi Nazrul Islam, the Bidrohi Kabi, or the revolutionary poet was remembered today through his song Ebar Nabin Mantre Hobe Janani Tor Udbodhon which is a devotional song dedicated to Ma Durga but was freely used to honour the other mother, Mother India during the freedom struggle.
Khudiram Bose was yet to witness his 19th birthday when he was sentenced to death for his role in the Muzaffarpur Conspiracy Case. It is documented that the young martyr went to the gallows smiling, with his head held high; saying that the freedom of his motherland was worth more than his life. On the fateful day, politician Pitambar Das wrote and composed the song Ekbar Biday de Maa, Ghure Asi in his honour. The song is written in the first person and roughly translates to, “Mother, bid me farewell once. I’ll come back to you soon in another birth. Today, let the entire country watch me while I wear the noose, smiling”. This heart-rendering song featured in today’s programme. A compelling poem on Women Empowerment, Kanyaslok by Mallika Sengupta was beautifully recited by Tapasi Mukherjee. For a few in the audience who follow Bengali, it indeed gave us goose bumps. A medley of several patriotic songs in Hindi was presented thereafter. Utho Go Bharata Lokhhi by Atul Prasad followed. Tagore’s Jodi Tor Dak Sune Keo Na Ase Tobe Ekla Chalo Re was sung not only by the singer-members but by all present.
Children are the future of the nation and the citizens of tomorrow. It was reassuring to see many of them, dressed in national colours, come to witness today’s solemn occasion. Jayden Robinson, a promising young lad of 11, said that “Independence Day is a reminder of the sacrifices made by our forefathers. It gives me immense joy and pride to be born in a country that is free from shackles. JAI HIND.” Suhana Chowdhury, an eighth standard student said that she enjoyed today’s programme, especially the Flag-hoisting ceremony. She fondly remembered the days when they would participate in the cultural performance. Unfortunately, this year had to be different due to ongoing examinations.
Jenny Selwyn, a septuagenarian and very senior member said: “Just want to appreciate the wonderful programme put up on Independence Day at the club. The performance by the seniors was very impressive and inspiring. Could have added a small bit in English which would have also been appreciated.”
Finally, the President wished all members a Happy Independence Day once again. He thanked the Entertainment Committee for organizing the cultural show. “I feel nostalgic”, he said, “and was taken back to my school days”. He continued, “The National flag stands for liberty, equality and justice and as citizens of free India it is our duty to uphold that spirit. It is our calling to honour the sacrifices of our freedom fighters who have given us a free nation. Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.”
Breakfast was catered by Deeya Bati. It comprised hot and fresh club kachoris accompanied by a bowl of steaming aloo subji, crispy kesari jalebis and kesari chai.
The rains came down from the heavens. Did it symbolize the tears of pain and grief that India had to shed during the Raj or the tears of joy, of gradually building a nation with an abundance of food, shelter and opportunities 76 years following its independence?
View more photos of the event here.