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An Ode to the Poets: BAGA celebrates Kobi Jayanti

July 2010
An Ode to the Poets: BAGA celebrates Kobi Jayanti
Since spring brings the Bengali New Year, traditional agricultural festivities, and general high spirits, it has become a time to celebrate favorite poets and bards. Hence, the Bengali Association of Greater Atlanta (BAGA) celebrated Kobi Jayanti (“poets’ anniversary”) at Shamrock Middle School on May 15, 2010.

After a lecture on the Upanishads as revealed to the West by Swami Vivekananda, provided by Swami Brahmavidyananda of the Vedanta Center of Atlanta, the music began. Against a backdrop of colorful murals representing doyens of Bengali literature (Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Sukanto Bhattacharya, Rajanikanta Sen, etc.), the youth of BAGA interpreted through dances and costumes the rich colors and pure joy of the season.

A popular children’s skit, “Birpurush,” showed a courageous boy who fights with dacoits to protect his mother while traveling thru the deep, dark forest in a palanquin. The song “anondo dhara bohiche bhubone (streams of joy flow through the universe)” was interpreted choreographically, and a children’s play explored the comedy of an overattentive mother-in-law giving too many sweets. Graduating seniors who were honored for their academic achievements thanked the community for their support and for the opportunities given them through the youth group, and gave touching anecdotes on the importance of understanding their heritage.

Following dinner of home-cooked Bengali dishes, including the favorite rosogolla, the evening concluded with a concert of Tagore songs by visiting artist Debangana Sarkar, accompanied by Amitava Sen on tabla and Raktim Sen on keyboard. She sang crowd favorites like “ami rupe tomay bholabo na,” “amar mallika bone,” and “prano bhoriye trisha horiye.”

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