Vol. 5 Num 994 Sun. March 18, 2007  

Folk fiesta commemorating Waheedul Haque

The Chhayanaut Sangskriti Bhaban was decorated with flowers, lamps, gamchas and kulas as Chhayanat celebrated the 75th birth anniversary of late Waheedul Haque. Special programmes were held on March 16 and 17 to observe the day.

The daylong folk fiesta on the first day started with a Manipuri Poong chalam. Poong chalam is a musical instrument the Manipuris play during birth, marriage seasons, religious festivals and death.

Soon after that, Tagore exponent Dr Sanjida Khatun came on stage and gave a short speech and a summary of the day's itinerary. In her speech, Sanjida mentioned that Waheedul, one of the founder members of the organisation, was an ardent fan of folk music. He always stressed the need of folk culture to break its village shackles and enter the lives of the city dwellers.

The programme resumed with the Baul song Agey ki shundor deen kataitam by Baby Akhtar. Baul singers' Shirajuddin Pathan and Shunil Kormokar from Mymensingh performed a Maaljora baul number. The specialty of Maaljora baul is that it talks about human religion of truth and purity over religious animosity and became popular during the '30s. Through a question answer session the two singers proceeded.

Saidur Rahman Bayati from Manikganj sung songs which he wrote and composed himself. He presented a wide range of songs- Gajir gaan, Bichar gaan, Jari gaan, Dhua gaan, Ekdil peerer gaan and Bhashan jatra. His son Abdul Bashar Abbasi also performed.

After that there was a dance number by members from the Brotochari club.

A musical theatre 'Shri Radhar Poth Rudhdho' was acted out under the production of Manipuri theatre. For over 200 years the Manipuris from Kamalganj under Moulovibazar district have been performing this historical piece on Sri Krishna.

The evening saw the tiny tots of Chhayanat singing Hasan Raja's song. Artists from Sylhet, Jaypurhat, Rangpur, and Narail contributed with Bhawaiya, Baul, Lalon geeti and local folk songs.

Kissagan has been a popular form of entertainment for over four hundred years in greater Mymensingh. Named after its founder, Islam Uddin Kissadar, the songs combine local dance and acting to give a realistic effect. One of the better known artistes of Kissagan, Islamuddin from Mymensingh performed Shundormoti with his troupe.

Later that evening, artist Rafiqun Nabi inaugurated children's art exhibition. The presentation highlighted paintings by students of Nalonda, an art school founded by Waheedul Haque. The exhibition will continue till March 20.

On March 17, a children's handwriting competition was held in the morning at the same venue.

Kiron Chandra Roy presents a folk number at the function. PHOTO: STAR