Follow by Email

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Basu Chatterjee - A Manzil Of Memories

It was the last part of 60s when a gentleman made a feature film 'Sara
Aakash' in Bollywood. He was Basu Chatterjee - the filmmaker for the
common man, of the middle class. The hopes, happiness, joy, sorrow,
aspirations, achievements of salaried middle class depicted Basuda in
his films and the common cinegoers identified with them. His heroes
were most ordinary in the story and the heroines were next-door-girls.
Basuda made so many successful films became popular and it was not so
easy to make such films at that time of heroism.

A unique and imaginative exhibition on Basu Chatterjee was inaugurated
by Basuda himself on 26 April, 2014 in Kolkata named 'Basu Chatterjee
- A Manzil Of Memories'. The posters of his films, publicity booklet,
still of his films and TV serials, DVD, Lobby Cards, 2 hand-written
manuscripts and print of his various films on ceramic tiles would be
exhibited there. Moreover, 16 LP records of his film songs will also
be exhibited there. This kind of exhibition was never happened before
in the country.

The exhibition will run from 26 April to 2 May, 2014 at Weaver's
Studio between 4 pm and 8:30 pm.

A. B.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Heat Wave In Kolkata : Died 3

Since Tuesday, heat wave is reigning in the city Kolkata for the 3rd
consecutive day as the maximum temperature is 5 degrees above normal.
41 degrees C recordrd yesterday in the city which was the second
highest after 19 April, 2009 (41.2 d C). 3 people died in the city due
to heat wave yesterday.

A. B.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cultural Heritage

Before the initiation of British Raj in India, along the west bank of
river Hooghly, only within an area of 100 kms, Portuguese, Dutch,
Dinemar, French, German merchants wanted to establish their trades.
Their trades never been fruitful, but, the towns like Bandel, Hooghly,
Chuchura, Chandanngar & Serampore still have the signs of their
presence and cultural memories. The inception of Bangla printing and
European education was held here. The work of writing history of this
area had been initiated two historian - Suranjan Das and Basudeb
Chattopadhyay. After the untimely demise of later one, this work
completed by Suranjan Das recently. He is the VC of Calcutta
University. The book named: Europe And The Hooghly : The European
Settlements On The West Bank Of The River (K P Bagchi). The book has
many rare photos of that period too. Andre Beteille, famous
sociologist and writer of India, will publish the book on 24 April,
2014 at 3 pm in Calcutta University campus auditorium of Alipore.
Centre For Social Sciences & Humanities is the organiser of this

A. B.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Gulzar To Get Dadasaheb Phalke Award

Gulzar is my one of most favourite poet. And filmmaker too. When I was
at high school, I used to listen the sweet songs penned by Gulzar -
from "mora gora ang lei le" of 'Bandini' to "dil dhoondta hai" of
'Mausam'....... In 1975, when the film Mausam released, I rushed to
the theatre to watch this national award winning film. I just at the
1st year then. The film was also with my favourite actors like Sanjeev
Kumar, Sharmila Tagore and music director was Madan Mohan - my most
favourite composer.

Another point to admire Gulzar is that, he has love for Bengali
literature. Classic writers like Rabindranath and Sharatchandra are
his favourite. He made a film 'Khooshbo' based on the timeless classic
of Sharatchandra - "Pandit Moshai". He made a very romantic film
'Izaazat' based on a classic of Subodh Ghosh - "Jatugriha". He had
chosen Suchitra Sen for the role of political leader in the movie
'Aandhi'. Uttam Kumar was also his favourite artist. Uttam played a
major role in the film 'Kitaab'. Gulzar made the Hindi version of
Shakespeare's 'Comedy Of Errors' - "Angoor" - inspired also from the
classic Bangla film "Bhrantibilas" of Uttam Kumar. Tapan Sinha of
Bengal once made a Bangla film 'Apon Jon' starring Shamit Bhanja and
Swarup Dutta. Gulzar later made its Hindi version 'Mere Apne' with
Mina Kumari in a pivotal role.

Gulzar is a poet. And a filmmaker. His contribution in literature and
films - noteworthy. His achievement is now being properly honoured
with the most prestigious award of film industry - Dadasaheb Phalke

A. B.

College Square, Kolkata

College Square of central Kolkata is an ancient place famous for a
swimming pool and Durga puja. It is situated on College Street, in
front of Calcutta University. It is one of heritage of the city
situated on College Street. Indian Coffee House, Hindu School,
Sanskrit College, Presidency University, Medical College & Hospital
are the other sites near College Square. So many boys and girls are
the member of this swimming club practises regularly.

A. B.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bengali New Year Book Festival (নববর্ষ বই উৎসব)

This evening I visited the book festival on the occasion of Bengali
new year (বাংলা নববর্ষ). The venue is College Square, Kolkata. Bengali
culture and traditional heritage are being depicted here by organising
cultural function, show of palanquin, small boat, dheki, chorka, jata,
bioscope etc. is an attempt to get familiar of ancient practices of
rural household traditions. The books (mainly Bengali books) are the
traditions of Bengali culture exhibited nicely by the publishers
participated here.

A. B.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bengali Food On Poila Boishakh

Bengalee like delicious foods, especially on Poila Boishakh. So,
various hotels and restaurants arranged attractive feast for Bengalee.
AUDH 1590: arranged special items for Nabo Barsho : raan
biriyani, shahi paya biriyani, kima biriyani, shikari kel biriyani,
mahi kofta biriyani, multani kanthal biriyani etc. And juicy pineapple
raita would be there with any item of biriyani. Approx cost for 2: Rs.

Park Pavilion: special items will be there for 3 days from today.
Moglai, Bengali or Chinese, you can get any items here. And the
special items are - Murshidabad mutton biriyani, mach paturi, murgi
dum, chana mahima polao, ratna moog, mohini sorse, bhapa mach, begun
malaikari, hot garlic veg, burnt garlic hakka noodles etc. Cost Rs
1200 for 2 persons. Vat extra.

The Gateway: here you can grab food items of Bangladesh like misti
kumro phul fry, begun bhorta, patol bhorta, enchor doi, mankachur
malaikari, patoler dolma, shol mach er bhorta, macher matha salon, rui
murighonto, tiger pron, 5 foron murgi, chicken kofta, murgir roast,
lau payes, pati sapta etc.Thali will be available for three days from
today at the cost of only Rs 1000-1200/-.

Aheli of Peerless Inn: special items of veg and non-veg for April-May.

Sonnet Hotel: special items are available here like ampora sarbat,
mochar chop, kumro phuler bora, loite mach er chop, hans er dim er
devil, aam kasundi, amra bata, kachu bata with sorse-narkel, chaltar
chatni, lau patai bhapa chingri, sorse ilish, deshi murgir jhol,
enchor kofta curry, jhuri alu bhaja, narkel diye cholar daal, ghee
bhat, basanti polao, misti doi, kalo jaam etc.It will available till
tomorrow. Cost: 999/-.

K9 of Park Plaza: here you can get the selected best items of the city
in one place like posto fried chicken of Coffee House, mutton tikia
roll of Nizam, alur dum of Decker's Lane, hakka noodles of Tangra,
lamb biriyani of Arsalan, mutton ghugni of Chittaranjan Park,
rasogolla and baked mihidana of K C Das. Cost: Rs 1000/-.

A. B.

Poila Boishakh - Bengali New Year

Today is Poila Boishakh, the first day of 1421 - new Bengali year.
Bengalee of West Bengal always love to celebrate the day with
traditional joy, happiness, respect, fun and rituals.

When the first light of the day about to break, the traders rush to
Kalighat or Dakshineswar to worship goddess Kali with their red book
(খেরোর খাতা) i.e. ledger book. Not only the traders, common people of
Bengali community go to Kali temple in the morning. Till 1980, a
musical function used to held on the morning of Nabo Barsho at
Basusree cinema hall. Most of the renowned performers of Bengal like
Hemanta Mukhopadhyay, Sandhya Mukhopadhyay, Dwijen Mukhopadhyay, Arati
Mukhopadhyay, Manabendra Mukhopadhyay, Pratima Bandyopadhyay, Shyamal
Mitra even Uttam Kumar used to perform here. I never had an
opportunity to present at that function, but, it was traditionally a
very popular event for which Bengalee may feel pride. Various clubs
and NGO's use to organise 'pravat pheri' with childrens to welcome
'Nabo Barsho'. Cultural programmes are being organised at the evenings
and above all, delicacy of foods, especially pure traditional Bengali
foods are the weakness of Bengalee on this Poila Boishakh.

When I was a school boy, my father used to take me with him for the
evening invitation of 'Haal khata' by traders. Wearing new dresses,
we, the brothers used to reach to the jewellery shop with our father.
And then, they welcomed us with cold drinks (orange squash). A new
Bengali calendar with a box of snacks & sweets were the main
attraction of this evening. Later, when I was in college, used to
watch 'nabo borsher boithak' on Doordarshan Kolkata. In fact, a day,
different from other 364 days, we used to enjoy very much.

A. B.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Charak Puja In Rural Bengal

Today is Charak Puja on Chaitra sankranti - the last day of Bengali
calendar year. On this occasion, Charak puja has been done this
afternoon. Here are some pics in rural Bengal, where I was present
and observed the joy of childrens too.

A. B.

Nabo Barsho Boi Utsav (নববর্ষ বই উৎসব)

Nabo Barsho Boi Utsav or a book fair would be organised for the first
time on the occasion of Bengali New Year 1421, by the Publishers &
Booksellers Guild. The book fair (নববর্ষ বই উৎসব) will run from today
for seven days (14 April-20 April, 2014). And the venue is College
Square (Vidyasagar Udyan). The pavilions would be decorated as huts of
Bengal. And not only books, - songs, adda, amusement, gift items,
heritage yard, special discount offers would delight the heart of
visitors. Today, at 5 pm, a huge rally would be there where the
eminent persons of Bengal will participate. And the fair will be
inaugurated at 6 pm today. The fair will remain open from 12 pm to 8
pm daily, from tomorrow, till 20 April, for all.

A. B.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bangla Nabo Barsho - 2 Days To Go

Bengali new year 1421 will start from 15 April, 2014. Hence, the idols
of Lord Ganesha are preparing by the clay artists. On Poila Boishakh,
the pujas of Lord Ganesha is a regular practice of traders. They also
open new ledger (খেড়োর খাতা) on this day. So, this red book is also
being prepared to fulfil the requirement of traders on Poila Boishakh.

A. B.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Gajon In Kolkata

According to some sociologist, Gajon is a strategy to remain intact
the prejudices of aboriginals. So called people of higher class are
the inventor of this strategy. Once upon a time the aboriginals used
to perform their horrid customs like Baanfora (বাণফোড়া), Kantajhap
(কাঁটাঝাপ) etc. Those customs are now being performed by the lower
classes of the society. And by this way, the due honour is being paid
to them by the people of higher class.

The other section of sociologists opined that a very ancient rumour is
behind this festival. The king of demons (the untouchables in modern
sense) was Baan (বাণ রাজা). His daughter Usha fell in love in her
dream with Aniruddha - the grandson of Lord Krishna. She sent her
'sakhi' Chitralekha to Dwarka to fetch Aniruddha. Then, Usha married
him secretly. However, the news licked and the king captivated
Aniruddha. But, being informed about it, Lord Krishna attacked the
kingdom of Baan by the help of Balaram and defeated Baan after a
furious battle. The couple Aniruddha-Usha went to Dwarka with Lord
Krishna and Balaram.

Another episode in vogue at some areas of Raar Bangla (রাঢ় বাংলা) has
been added to the above story. According to that episode, at the last
part of that battle, while Baan attempted to kill Aniruddha, the
'Sudarshan Chakra' (সুদর্শন চক্র) of Lord Krishna cut his body. In his
dying prayer, Baan said to Krishna that the sons of Aniruddha-Usha
shall familiar in the society as upper-class childrens according to
Krishna's class; but, at least a day may be fixed when those
differences would be abolished and childrens of upper class will get a
chance to pay honour to their maternal (lower-class) relatives. Lord
Krishna accepted this and the day of Charak or Gajon is that
particular day when the lower class people being worshiped by higher
class people.

Some people think, this Gajon or Charak Puja was famous as the puja of
Dharma Thakur - the popular God of Hindus belonged to madieval age.
But another part of the people think, it was the puja of Baba
Panchananda (পঞ্চানন্দ) or Panchu Thakur (পাচু ঠাকুর) or Baba Thakur
(বাবা ঠাকুর). Later, all these pujas have been converted into the puja
of Lord Shiva. Perhaps, for this reason, Neel Puja (নীল পূজা) is being
performed on the day before Charak Puja.

The Charak tree use to be cleaned on the eve of Charak. The Shiva
Lingo is being kept on a container with water. It is called 'Buro
Shiv' (বুড়ো শিব). The wedding of Lord Shiva, Agun Jhap (আগুন ঝাপ),
Kanta Jhap, walking on embers, Baan Fora, swing on Charak tree etc to
be seen as the performance on the day of Charak. Arrow-needle (বাণ
শলাকা) used to perforate in many parts of the body of devotee. This
custom was very painful and inhuman too. At present, it is not only
prohibited, but a punishable offence too. For the seek of religion,
the devotees eager to earn virtue, used to perform those hard work.
But, the educated section of the society protested against the
practice and during the reign of Lord Beadon, that inhuman practice
had been abolished by law from the year 1864-65.

'Song' (সং) or Clown is another part of Gajon or Charak. Several
stories are behind it. In one story, lovelorn Lord Shiva sent Nandi to
Himalaya to fetch Parbati. In the meantime, a dancer of heaven
entertained Lord Shiva by her unique disguise and song. Lord Shiva
became very pleased to observe her disguised dance. By this way, dance
in disguise became very popular on the occasion of Gajon - two
'Sannyasi' dance in disguise as Shiva & Parbati. It is the custom of

In old Calcutta, 'Song Jatra' (সং যাত্রা) was very popular. The song
of Kasaripara, Khidderpur, Benepukur, Jelepara was very famous.

Kasaripara was the area of north Kolkata where Baranasi Ghosh Street
is now. The utensils made of metal 'kangsa' were used to make there.
The song of Kasaripara was initiated in the last part of nineteenth
century. And the organisers of song were famous kangsa trader Tarak
Pramanik and editor of 'Hindu Patriot' Krishnadas Paul. The speciality
of that song was the horse-driven chariot on which the song was
decorated. The chariot used to go through the roads of city. The car
named 'Katra'. But the 'song' had to abolish by the elite section of
the society as it was vulgar, according to them.

Song of Khiddirpur: On the third decade of twentieth century, song
jatra was performed at Khiddirpur area. That song jatra was used to
start from Manasa Tala and Narkel Bagan of Khiddirpur. For this
reason, it was named as song of M. Tala & N. Bagan. The song was used
to perform from the last day of Chaitra to second day of Boishakh. It
was the song of protests by lower-class people against the injustice
of upper-class people. That song was performed for about twenty years.
After that, it was abandoned.

'Song' of Taltala : It was used to start from the then Haari Para
(হাড়ি পাড়া). And now it is Doctor Lane. Many 'Sannyasi's of Gajon
used to take part in it too.

'Song' of Benepukur: It was used to start on the last day of Chaitra
from ancient Benepukur area (on the east of Nonapukur Tram Depot).
According to Purana, Lord Shiva was married to Neel Chandika at the
end of month Chaitra. The 'song jatra' of Benepukur was based on this

And finally the famous 'song' of Jelepara: It was one of the oldest
and longest 'song jatra' of Kolkata. A creek was used to flow from
Hooghly river through Waterloo Street, Wellington Square and Moulali.
Later, the creek was shut and the Creek Lane was formed instead. So
many fishermen used to live beside creek. Hence, it was called
Jelepara. In the year 1882, a song jatra was initiated by the
fishermen. Playwright Amritalal Basu and Dadathakur (Sharat Pandit)
used to write the songs for this 'song' too.

A. B.

Durga Puja Pandals In Kolkata

A. B.