Sharbojanin Durga Puja 2011

Sharbojanin Durga Puja 2011

A divine aura at the Granville Town Hall, Sydney, was created by the Bengali Community on the 3rd of October 2011, in heralding and rejoicing the arrival of the Goddess Durga , accompanied by her children, from dawn to dusk! The day was simply magical, events organized, each fraction of the program adding value and spiritual meaning to the auspicious occasion of the ‘Sharbojanin Durga Puja’ – the word ‘Sharbojanin’ indicating ‘United’ and an intended focus on shared love, compassion, trust and respect within the Bengali and invited non-Bengali community.

In the morning, soulful Vedic mantras were proffered by the Brahmin Priest, Sri Pinaki Bhattacharya, invocating the invincible Goddess Durga, whilst dedicated volunteering men and women were seen sincerely focused in their delegated duties to make the event a success. In the locale of the main pujas, it was delightful to watch housewives and professionals of both genders joining in speedily but caringly to arrange and prepare for a delightfully satisfying lunch and dinner, pioneered by Sri Lakshmi Gupta. After a satisfying culinary ‘Prasadam’ & lunch, a few heart rendering religious songs or ‘Bhajans’ by the vocally blessed Prabhu Haribakhati from ISKCON ( International Society for Krishna Consciousness), aptly followed by ‘Dhoop Arati’, a ritual to dearly welcome and nurture the coming of the divine spirit of Mother Durga on earth and was participated by a vast number of community members, dancing in inebriated spiritual trance to the beats of the traditional ‘Dhak’ – a sort of drum characteristically played in Bengal during the Durgothsav!

The eagerly anticipated cultural program was divided into two main parts. The first part involved a significant but comparatively brief program for the’ non-Bengali’ speaking audience, in particular reverence to a number of illustrious dignitaries who graced the occasion and shared their vision for the future on multicultural events as such. The invited stars of the program were namely, Hon. Laurie Ferguson, MP Federal Member for Werriwa, Hon Lynda Voltz, Senator, NSW Parliament, H.E. Lt. General Masud Uddin Chowdhury, High Commissioner of Bangladesh, Hon, Jawhar Sircar, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Govt. Of India, Hon. Amit Das Gupta, Consul General of India, Hon Swami Atmeshananda, Vedanta Ashram, Sydney, Hon Goutom Roy, Consul, Consulate of India, Councillor Julia Finn, Councillor, Parramatta City Council and Mr Amarinder Bajwa, President, United Indian Associations.

In essence, His Excellency Lt. General Masud Uddin Chowdhury, High Commissioner of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh said that the significance of Durga Puja was in ‘fighting the evil’ and that the spirit of righteous combat must be extant at all prevailing trying times.

Honourable. Swami Atmeshananda in explaining the significance of Durga Puja, urged the audience to look for inner strength in fighting the evil and see through what outwardly was perhaps less meaningful and vain.

In great appreciation for this cultural event in Sydney, Hon, Jawhar Sircar, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Govt. Of India, indicated to extend his future support in the possible joint collaboration of people of Indian and Bangladesh origin celebrating the 150th Anniversary of poet Rabindranath Tagore in Sydney!
Ihita Maitra then amazed the ‘non-bengali’ speaking audience with her voice, style and rendition of a couple of popular English songs! Rituparna Dhar then performed Bengali folk dance with extraordinary grace.

The main attractions of Bengali cultural program were as follows:
Mahisasur- Mardini – a medley of vedic chants, narration and songs to augment the advent of mother Durga on Earth to demolish the evil ‘Asura’ and restore peace on earth, directed by no other than the illustrious Sm. Kakoli Mukherjee, and the core rendition of the Vedic supplications by Councillor Prabir Maitra resonated a mesmerising affect in the audience! The group was accompanied well with ‘tabla’ played by Sri Santanu Kar.
Children’s’ Program – Under the auspices of Dr. Aparna Goswami, children between an age range of two to twelve, were directed to give the audience an astounding assortment of performances of dance, songs and recitation! Her performing prodigies consisted of Sudipto, Rika, Mika, Arpa, Orna, Oditi, Bineeta, Dhrubo, Adrika, Shanata, Niyomita, Atyan, Arpon, Arunima and Mithila.
Cultural Revue – The rich cultural heritage was showcased in a variety of songs and dances to Rabindrasangeet, Nazrulgeeti, Bengali Folk, Bengali Modern songs and the zesty Bollywood songs! Needless to say which ones were applauded the most! Excelling participants were Sumita De, Rita Ray Chowdhury, Ajanta Maitra, Ranjit Das, Indrani Mukherjee and Antara Sinha.
The whole program was professionally shepherded by the exceptional duo Master of Ceremony, Indrani Mukherjee and Antara Maitra!
One can only wait for another such professionally advanced, multicultural, tinsel town and enjoyable venture by the Bengalis with impatience!

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