The spell of breezes and rain gave way to the heat and dust that is practically a signature for the first day of the Bengali New Year. Pohela Boishakh has always been about waking up at dawn, swathing oneself in red and white, gobbling down the annual treat of panta with fish and pickles, and then losing oneself in the crowds at the Ramna botomul.
This year, BRAC University dared to break away from the norm and took the challenge of organizing a Boishakhi fair in collaboration with 5 other private Universities namely NSU, East West, South East, Eastern and United University. BRAC organizing committee comprised of JahangirAlam (Asst.Dircetor of student affairs), Shama Zainab(Director of Student affairs), Fakrul, Moinul, Rony, Salman, Nabil, Ishtiaq,Tanvir, Ahsan and Saif.
At 8 am the students of BRAC University commenced the festivities by taking to the stage with Borsho boron songs. The familiar notes of Tagore's “Esho hey Boishakh” filled the air, calling for one and all to throw out the old and tarnished and welcome in the fresh and new. This was followed by the Boishakhi parade, and students of all the six campuses took to the streets, starting from the Youth Club field towards Gulshan-2. The colorful masks and horse carriages added a youthful sense of zest to the entire procession. Afterwards the Boishakhi fair was inaugurated followed by the traditional kite flying coordinated by Saiful Bari and Afirul Haque.
The newly formed Art club from BRAC University coordinated by a student Fariha organized an art competition, which managed to unearth some latent talents amidst the various abstract drawings, colourful paintings and pottery submitted by the innovative contestants.
Rommyo debates coordinated by Tanvir and Ishtiaq instigated the Boishakhi spirit in the crowd during the afternoon, followed by Baul and Kobi songs by Kuddus Boyati, a must-hear to kick off the Bengali New Year.
The evening was ornamented by the cultural presentations by all six universities. Cheers and screams from their respective universities welcomed each set of performers taking the stage. Throughout the performances of dramas, songs, ads, band and baul songs the performers displayed their unique talents; spurred on by their local supporters who cheered, head-banged, danced around in circles, and created as much excitement in the moshpit as onstage.
The energy was dampened somewhat by the state of emergency situation, which demanded the fair should conclude by 7pm, which compelled the organizers to compromise with their offerings.
If the university performers had the audience grooving, the much-awaited performance by Habib brought the house down. His high-powered renditions of popular numbers like “Bhalo Bashbo”, “Din gelo”, “Nescafe-theme song”, “Maya Lagaise” and many more had everyone singing along and even those too shy to actually get up and start grooving were swaying in their seats, or just indulging quietly in the music as they relaxed after a long and tiring day.
The evening ended as all good things must but the enthusiasm and zeal from all the six universities persisted as everyone headed home. This was the first ever Pohela boishakh fair organized by BRAC university; and it truly was a successful one. Grameen Phone Djuice was the official sponsor for the entire event.