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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
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