The first time I went to Banga Sammelan it was year 2000 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Then I went for the Silver Jubilee Celebration in Madison Square Garden in 2005. Right from childhood, when I had just started to read magazines (then neither there was television nor was mass media so powerful), I came to know that Banga Sammelan in America was a very big event. Performers from Kolkata and rest of India perform, and they were very very famous artists. Then I had never thought that one day even I would perform in such a great platform. In that respect, I consider myself very lucky – especially the Silver Jubilee Celebration in Madison Square Garden. That was a very big event and all of us really enjoyed. We all traveled together, stayed together in the same hotel – it was great fun. This is really an added attraction in Banga Sammelan
Unless there is a special occasion program, this seldom happens in Kolkata. I remember Kalyan Sen Barat’s program – we worked very hard for it. There were lot of rehearsals in Kolkata, then just before Banga Sammelan, we had a couple of days rehearsal in New Jersey. Lot of people were involved in it. Our musician friends had gone from Kolkata – it was a large troupe. Another friend of ours, Tejen - he organized another beautiful program with Rabindranath, Atulprasad and Rajanikanta songs. That had a different feeling. I personally enjoy these kind of programs where everyone collectively put together the components to make a complete theme.
When we are traveling five thousand miles for such an event, staying together, performing together, meeting our overseas friends – this fun has an altogether different taste. I have enjoyed twice and I have no doubt in my mind I’ll enjoy this time (in San Jose) as well.
(as told to BanglaPodcast.com)