Topic: Budhbarer Boithok – Udayshankar Birth Anniversary

Dec 9, 2020 10:00 PM Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi

From the Desk of the General Secretary, Rabindra Bharati Society

Dear Members,

Today’s Budhbarer Baithaki Adda on zoom is to reflect on the Memoires of the legendary world renowned dancer Uday Shankar whose 120th Birth Anniversary was yesterday, 8th December, 2020. We started with a clipping of a short dance recital of him and his troupe along with his spouse, famous danuese Late Amala Shankar.

Since I was away for a short while attending an important meeting, Shri Ranjit Nayak, Asst. Secretary of the Society, initiated the evening’s programme. He apprised all that Uday Shankar was an institution by himself. He was distinguished first for his choreography and soon rose to become an acclaimed dancer. He was the first person to adopt the dhrupadi styled dance and founded the Uday Shankar Dance Academy in Almora. This place was quite well known specially to Bengalis as Swami Vivekananda founded the Mayabati Ashram under the Ram Krishna Mission order in this city. Also it was here that Rabindra Nath Tagore stayed for quite some time for his youngest daughter Renuka or Rani’s treatment. Uday Shankar’s “Ram Leela”, “Kalpana” and “Shankarscope”, were his commended master pieces. He visited Shantiniketan to meet Kabi Guru who was 49 years his senior and on 12th July, 1933 performed a dance there which is mentioned in the “Prabashi” magazine.

After his delivery, Sri Nayak invited Shri Tathagata Mondal, who is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Sanskrit from Tirupati and also is a dancer of the Uday Shankar gharana. He read out a letter written by Kabi Guru in 1939 to Uday Shankar, which was much appreciated by all.

Next we watched in awe a group dance to the tune of Rabindra Nath Tagore’s song “ai udashi haoyar pothe pothe mukul guli jhore” by Hritaal Dance Centre under the able guidance of Jaydeep Palit, who was a disciple of the renowned dancer Late Amala Shankar.

Smt. Rumela Mukherjee and Shri Himadri Mukherjee then conducted the evening’s programme which was a garland of songs with few poems in between by our very own members.

Smt. Madhumita Nandi sang a Nazrul Geeti “akashe aj choriye dilam priyo”, followed by a Rabindra Sangeet “borisho dhora majhe shantiro bari” by Smt. Pratima Saha. She chose this song keeping in mind the current global turmoil and disturbance. Smt. Rupali Banerjee then recited a poem, “Ek Gaiye” by Kobi Guru.

Next Smt. Sunita Singh sang a baul styled Rabindra Sangeet “bhule jai theke theke”, followed by Smt. Jyoita Chatterjee’s Rabindra Sangeet “noy noy a modhur khele”. Then Smt. Ira Sarbagga recited a poem titled “Lojja Bostro” written by our very own member Shri Ranjit Nayak, enumerating how a lady clad a lunatic derobed woman on a rainy day. It truly touched the hearts of all present. She informed that today was actually Rabindra Nath Tagore’s Wedding Anniversary. It was on 9th December, 1883 and 24th Agrahan when he married Mrinalini Debi.

Smt. Seema Dey then rendered a puja porjar Rabindra Sangeet “oi shuni jeno chorono dhoni re”. On coming to know of Kabi Guru’s Wedding Anniversary today, Smt. Sangita Ganguly presented a Nazrul Geeti “sedin chilo ki godhuli logno” referring to that day. It was followed by a recitation, “Janmantor”, composed by Kabi Guru Rabindra Nath Tagore by Smt. Mohua Mukhopadhyay.

Then Dr. Shampa Roy Choudhury sang a prem porjayer Rabindra Sangeet “mori lo mori amai basite dekeche ke”. Since we are in the midst of winter, Smt. Namita Sanyal sang a Rabindra Sangeet “elo j sitero bela” reflecting of the season. Next Smt. Malabika Basu sang a Nazrul Geeti “prothomo prodip jalo”, also keeping in mind the special day in Kabi Guru’s life.

At the request of Smt. Rumela Mukherjee, a surprise element of the evening, Sri Himadri Mukherjee’s Rabindra Sangeet in his melodious voice “gram chara oi ranga matir poth” was a real welcome to all.

Md. Rafique, member of the Society, then presented the vote of thanks to all the members who performed to keep us entertained in the evening and also all those who were present.

I informed all that birth centenary celebrations of Sk. Mujibur Rehman, the founder of Bangladesh, is on in a big way this year, along with the country’s 50 years of Freedom Movement. They being our neighbours, on coming Wednesday, i.e. 16th December, 2020, we will try to do something relating to these glorious events.

Siddhartha Mukhopadhyay
2nd December, 2020

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