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ALUMNIBES - A Forum for Ex-students of BES School, Dadar, Mumbai

Platinum 2008

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Platinum Jubilee Program at Shanmukhananda Hall, Sion, Mumbai on 16.10.2008


                After the sublime invocation song, flash back of last 75 years was taken up by Smt. Sheela Roy. She mentioned how Shri Birendranath Sen and his wife Smt. Sisirkana Sen started a Bengali institution from scratches with a few students and a few rooms in a non-decrepit building at Parel. Many well meaning prominent Bengalis around that time assisted Shri Sen and Smt Sen in their endeavor. The Institution went from strength to strength over the decades and has today over 1500 co-educated students. Shri Gokul Chandra Pain’s achievement as Head Master for many years was spoken in glowing terms. Also many dedicated teachers and Ex-students were mentioned. The fund raising efforts of the School over the decades by holding various commercial programs like Kalyanji-Anandji night was told. What followed was dance items from Pre-Primary Section, and Primary section. The children looked beautifully attired in colourful costumes and trying to keep with the beats of melodious songs. A huge applause greeted them after completion of each dance.

            Shri Sabayasachi Deb Buramn ( 1968 ) enthralled the audience with his nostalgia and a few hilarious anecdotes from his student days. His script, a mixture of Hindi-Bengali-Marathi made every section of audience go into ruptures.

         The show stealer of the evening was none other than our ex-student, the renowned Jolly Mukherjee from Bollywood. He consciously followed the foot steps of legendary singer-composer, Rahul Dev Burman and that made him best qualified to sing the great RD Burman hits.

              The prize distribution ceremony proved to be a unique opportunity for many ex-student toppers of olden days, who were never felicitated in their whole lives and never got any prizes from School; compared with modern times, when there are plethora of prizes for the SSC toppers, subject toppers etc.

    The Chief Guest for the evening, Pandit Ajay Chakrabarty, the legendary classical music singer was gracious and dignity personified and distributed prizes for retired teachers of School. He also inaugurated the Souvenir which was being brought out for the Platinum Jubilee occasion

     Guest of Honour, Smt. Basanti Roy, Div. Sec. (Mumbai), SSC/HSC Board, Maharashtra, a charming personality, had many good words for School and regretted that, she could not attend the Bengali School, because she stayed to far away from Dadar. She mentioned  for the pride of School; when she mentioned that, there was never a complaint on her table regarding BES School.

        An announcement was made to inform the audience that Dr. Shibani Kanungo ( 1984 ) wanted to sponsor prizes for girl students of standard seven to eleven for their overall performance in School ( three prizes for each standard ). The prize money will be Rs.25,000/-.

         The Final program of the evening ‘Rituranga’ a dance item performed by standard ten students, depicting all the six seasons, was a great experience. Thus a grand evening in the life of BES School came to an end, which will be remembered for a long time.

                                                         - Shri Prodyot Nandy  


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Platinum Jubilee Program on 18th October, 2008


An evening to cherish forever…

          Impeded by the Mumbai traffic, my wife and I reached a little late at Rabindra Natya Mandir, for the much-awaited grand function of the 18th. Rushing through the outer

corridors, we were greeted by the strains of Ganesh Vandana in an evocative female voice, and I was sure of two things: one, that this had to be the very first item of the evening, and two, the voice could have belonged to none other than Smt Kaushiki Chakraborty Desikan. An atmosphere of great expectations was already created by the devotion resonating all around the exquisite auditorium…

      Ushered in towards our allotted seats among our batch mates, we settled down to soak in the well-lit stage décor. It was simple and elegant without too much decorative distractions; the focal points were plainly and squarely the star performers themselves.

     And what an ensemble it was! The radiant figure of Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty, and the sage-like presence of Shri Shekhar Sen flanked the glowing beauty of Smt. Kaushiki. Seated in a semicircle around them were the noted accompanying performers with their respective chosen instruments: the tabla, the sarangi, the harmonium, the flute, the guitar…

       The theme of the unique programme was already conveyed through the elaborate title: Bhakti, Sanmati, Sharanagati! An inspired creation of the National Award winning singer and a BES School alumni, Ms. Chhaya Ganguli. She had strung every item like pearls in a necklace worthy of offering to Goddess Saraswati herself!

       History and geography merged into expanding the canvas, as various regional flavours and legendary exponents of poetry and music exploded into a symphony of joy and devotion…The mesmerizing ambience was visited in spirit by immortals  like Meera Bai, Narsi Mehta, Nazrul Islam…as their timeless creations were presented with great love and reverence by the artistes on stage.

        Smt. Kaushiki demonstrated another aspect of her rare genius through the ease and dexterity with which she sang compositions from almost all corners of India, in diverse languages.

       Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty was like a monumental figure singing with sublime facility the most complex of musical offerings. He also spoke with clarity and candour about the finer points of the items that unfolded. Going beyond his role as artiste, he also made sincere appeals to the audience to shower its support and goodwill to the future of the school.

        Shri Shekhar Sen sang a special and hitherto unpublished song written by Kavi Pradeep, to bring alive the ‘Sanmati’ aspect. Later, responding to Chhaya Ganguli’s special request, he also performed a small portion from his much acclaimed solo act ‘Kabeer’, without the usual make-up and get-up of the great saint-poet! The sheer power of his voice and acting proved more than adequate!

           As the evening glided along smoothly, there were 

      impressive guest appearances by the key-board wizard Y.S.

      Moolky and the legendary arranger and saxophone exponent

      Manohari Singh. Age could never leave a mark on their

      persona, except as a mark of respect. They delighted the

      audience as worthy interludes.

        There was also a thoughtful inclusion of a short film, paying tribute to the very popular voice of yester-years, Smt. Juthika Roy. The two screens on two sides of the stage which were quietly announcing the items in progress, suddenly came alive with sound and movement through this nostalgic documentary.

        A high point of the rich tapestry of the programme was the weaving in of a splendid dance item by the gorgeous danseuse Smt Indrayanee Mukherjee. She was complemented by the melodious voice of Smt Smita Adhikari who sang the immortal Tulsidas bhajan ‘Thumaka chalata Ramachandra…” Without any props or stage-craft, young Indrayanee was grace and affection personified in the role of mother Kaushalya.

       The entire complex programme was beautifully conducted by the talented ‘sutradhar’

       Smt. Shailaja Ganguli, whose eloquence was remarkably soothing and perfect as she switched languages seamlessly…

       The grand finale of this memorable creative treat, I thought, was the very last item. A ripple of emotions ran through the wonderfully receptive audience as Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty announced that the ‘kirtan’ composition he was about to sing was originally composed five centuries ago by none other than Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu himself! And as the divine notes began to flow from the collective voices on stage, the audiences responded with their hands and body, clapping and swaying spontaneously! As if a slice of history from old Bengal and Orissa was re-enacted in distant Mumbai five centuries later! Such is the power of music and devotion, brought alive by gifted artistes…

       Doubtless, everyone among the privileged audience that evening, went back convinced that Sharanagati, or surrender, either to God or to music, can bring the greatest joy!

                                                          -Shri Ashok Roy

Website created by : Prodyot Nandy ( 1964 batch )
Platinum Jubilee logo by : Ashok Roy ( 1964 batch )
Technical Support by : Pratik Nandy, BE ( Comp.)