In an attempt to pay obeisance to Devi Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, Pujari a non profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia celebrated the spring festival namely
‘Saraswati Puja’ with great enthusiasm and fanfare on January 27, 2007 at Berkmar High School, 405 Pleasant Hill Road, Lilburn, GA 30047.
Pujari patrons from near and far including neighboring states, dressed in the colorful ethnic wear, assembled to invoke the blessings of the goddess for success in learning, arts and crafts and also to mark the onset of spring.
The protima (idol) was placed in a gorgeous rising sun background, highlighted with veena and swan decoration on the sides symbolizing the very essence of the goddess.
The day commenced on a somber note with a ceremonial ‘Puja’ and ‘Anjali’ that were performed with great reverence, followed by the unique event of ‘Hate Khori’ wherein young kids in the age group of three to four years started their scholastic pursuit by writing ‘Oom’ under the guidance of Pranab Lahiri and Shyamoli Das.
‘Prasad’ and ‘Bhog’ was served by Pujari members to the colossal gathering of devotees in a traditional fashion bringing back memories of this celebration from across the miles.
In keeping with Saraswati's connection to art and intellect, this auspicious day was marked with a wide array of contests and cultural programs performed by the young and the old alike.
The kids "Boshe Anko" competition coordinated by Mukta Saha and Kids "Quiz" coordinated by Dola Roy added great momentum to the afternoon festivities.
Some of the other programs that captivated the minds of the audiences included a
Kid’s variety program, coordinated by Sutapa Das, wherein the youngsters showcased their diverse talents thru dance, songs, poetry and instrumental renditions.
‘Saraswati Pranam’ performed by Elina Ghosh, Aditi Sekhar, Rini Mukherjee and Bebo Das, ‘Guru Bandana’ performed by Esha Mukherjee, Kriti Nandi, Kriti Lodh,Briti Nand and a ‘Kathak’ dance recital by Sejuti Banik, Ananya Roy kept the audiences enthralled. All three events were conducted under the able direction of Banhi Nandi.
A colorful dance program with a difference performed by the young artists namely Mishtu Ghose, Tania Roy, ParomaMukhopadhayay, Olivia Datta; directed by Rupa Bhaumik added a unique streak to the celebrations.
One of the main attractions of the evening included the hilarious kids play ‘Abaak Jalpaan’ enacted by Rounak Mukhopadhyay, Neel Bhattacharya, Dipra Banik, Arnab Chatterjee, Imon Ghosh, Ariaman Das and Suraj Samanta; that lightened the mood for the evening.
Last but not least, the much awaited star attraction of the evening - Kobi guru Rabindranath’s ‘Shesher Kabita’ performed with a modern perspective stirred the minds and left an indelible mark in the hearts of the audiences. This piece was presented by a group of very talented actors and actresses - Prosenjit Dutta, Jaba Ghosh, Shyamali Das, Sonia Nandi, Indrani Kar, Sudipto Banerjee, BishuBhattacharya, along with singers: Rupa Bhawmik, Sudipto Banerjee and Prabir Bhattacharya. The music was arranged by Tirthankar Ghosh. Direction: Banhi Nandi.
Needless to mention, Richa Samanta – the emcee for the evening persistently kept the people on both sides of the stage very well connected in her usual cheerful way.
A special issue of Pujari’s signature magazine ‘Anjali’, edited by Sutapa Dutta, was also brought out to commemorate this special occasion.
Overall a very successful event organized yet again by Pujari – keeping the Bengali traditions alive.