Bosanto ese geche , Kobider mritodeho chapa pore kagoje, Bosanto ese geche.
The cultural breeding ground and the pilgrimage for art, culture and dance – Shantiniketan, West Bengal has always attracted the learned from different parts of the world. Meaning “abode of peace” this place was previously known as Bhubandanga, but Maharshi Devendranath Tagore renamed this place as Santiniketan and also found an Ashram here in 1863. Rabindranath came here in 1873 for the first time.
With the onset of Spring Bishwabharati University at Shantiniketan gears up for the Basanta Utsav (celebration of spring), the annual Bengali festival to celebrate Holi. It was the poetic mind of Nobel-laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who introduced this lovely occasion in very special is riot of colors with yellow taking the centrestage. As it’s Spring and keeping to true to it’s spirit everyone is seen attired in colorful dresses.
The serenity of the place is further gives you a chance to meet, greet and interact with the artsy community who call this area home. The enthusiastic students and people visiting to see this frolic glory in Tagore’s educational institution are seen with abir smeared faces and each greets one other. Spring is greeted not only with colors, but also with songs, music and interesting rhymes.
Women in traditional get up – yellow sari, palash phool and all smiles all come under one roof cultural mix of dance and song in the campus. The entire feel of the place is eclectic as you get to see groups of people singing and dancing to the tunes of Rabindra Sangeet. It gives you such a “Carefree” feel. Songs like “Ore Grihobashi, khol dar khol laglo je dol, Sthaule jaule bono taule laglo je dol, dar khol” fills the whole air around. The pulsating dramatic vibrations in the campus depicts the truest spirit of the festivity.
The informal feeling in the air welcomes all its ex-students with much warmth. The ingrained beauty of Basanta Utsav lifts up your mood. It is great see the whole enthusiasm with which the students and teachers participate makes you realise that how nicely had Rabindranath Tagore managed to pulsate the beauty of life within each and every soul here, which still has not faded. There is something in the air of the place that ‘beauty’ gets so naturally blended with much elan.
The place has a unique energy to blend all in the same bright colors of the festival carefully nurturing the spirit of Basanta Utsav. All barriers break and people from varied background make this holy land their playground. This cultural extravaganza is a powerful depiction of the cultural heritage of India.
Spring is welcomed whole-heatedly as event the Baul singers entral you with “Baul gaan” (songs traditionally sung by a group of mystic minstrels from Bengal), which happens to be a major attraction here. The thought-provoking songs, sung by the baul singers on their “Ektara” (single string instrument), speak of life and faith and love in a distinct style.
Basanta Utsav is surely the soul of Shantiniketan. The air filled with melody will echo in your thoughts.
This entry has been shortlisted for Holidify’s Travelogue Writing Contest in association with Linger. The content and pictures may not be used without prior permission of the author.
Submitted by: Ayandrali Dutta
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