Kolkata, March 19, 2017: Over 70 unique artists from the two neighbouring countries -India and Bangladesh performed the popular Arabian Nights tale, ‘Alibaba and forty thieves’ in a peculiar 3D presentation in Kolkata city.
“The joint production has the feel of a Broadway musical and an effort to bring back fantasy element in our lives.” said Shamim Ara Nipa, the popular Bangladeshi stage actor, who portrayed the role of Marjina.
Nipa said she was a little anxious about the response of the Kolkata audience to the show, but as soon as the show got over they found there was no discrepancy between Dhaka, Chittagong, Kolkata. “Some works are universal,” she remarked.
“We have done several dance productions based on Tagore’s works as well as works of Kazi Nazrul Islam and folk culture. Art can’t have boundaries, our icons can’t be split by boundaries,” she further added.
Shibli Mohammed of the Srishti troupe in Bangladesh cited, “It is a huge production which incurred Rs 40 lakh to mount it.”
Shibli, who impersonated Alibaba in the play said,”We had done the rehearsal for three months in Dhaka where Sukalyan, a dear friend of ours, also participated with his own group.”
Sukalyan, who portrayed Kashem, is the founder of Sukalyann D Entourage dance troupe, which represented the Indian side. He had also conceptualized the whole thing with Nipa and Shibli.
Prominent Bengali singers Nachiketa Chakraborty, Srikanto Acharya, Lopamudra Mitra, Jayati Chakraborty and Raghab Chatterjee sang for the production. “Happy to do something different from the beaten track,” Srikanto remarked.
– Prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter: Nainamishr94
On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent
Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.
Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.
Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!
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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.
As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.
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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.
The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.
Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.