Sunday, June 23, 2024

Baishakhi thoughts

Jaya Ahsan’s laid-back Pahela Baishakh…
Pahela Baishakh comes once a year, bringing with it much joy to everyone. I am no different, as I also celebrate the occasion.
I wear a new sari on the day; the whole look for the day is very traditional Bengali. This is a day for wishing only good things for other people.
A special menu is cooked at home, while there is no shooting on the day. Every year, this day turns out to be perfect and I hope it will be same this year.
I usually go to Uttara on Pahela Baishakh, to spend time with my sister. We have fun, enjoy food together and have long chats. Shubho Nabo Barsho to all my fans and well wishers!
Sharmin Lucky on Baishakhi getup…
Throughout my college years, I was a regular at Chhayanaut’s Bangla New Year celebrations. The joy of ushering in the New Year would’ve been incomplete, if I missed the opportunity to go there. However, busy schedules do not allow me to attend the public celebrations nowadays. However, I will share the joy by watching the celebrations on TV.
This year I will spend Pahela Baishakh in Dhaka with my family.
I’ll put Beli flowers on my hair on the occasion and wear a Taant or a Jamdani sari. The colours will be that of the season.
Fresh green mango sherbet will be on my table for the day, while the menu will include Ilish and other Baishakhi specials.
I’ll make an appearance on Independent Television on the day; I will recite poetry. I will also host a programme for BTV and also recite a poem on New Year.
No matter how busy I get, I will not forget to exchange season’s greetings with my close ones. I’ll also have some gifts ready for my loved ones.
Brindabon Das on rural Baishakhi mela…
Rural Baishakhi mela (fairs) have left a big imprint on my mind and that influence is often demonstrated in my plays. I was born in Pabna’s Chatmohor– home to the traditional Charak Mela. This fair ran for three straight days and ended on Pahela Baishakh. Thousands of people from districts all around thronged the fairs every year. It wasn’t only the Hindus who participated in the festivities. The Charak Mela still happens. We used to take a month’s preparation for the fair, which featured puppet dance, circus, Nagordola etc. Puppet dance was my favourite. Sometimes I get nostalgic thinking about those golden days.
The fair from my childhood years had many other attractions. We were always excited about buying knifes, which was essential for cutting fresh mangoes. The special knives were only available at the mela.
The fair drew in such a large crowd that children almost regularly got lost at the venue. There was a special corner reserved for the lost children.
On some years, the rural fair even went on for two straight months. Relatives from distance places used to come to be a part of the festivities.
Shahnaj Khushi and her special menu on Pahela Baishakh…
I prepare a special Baishakhi menu on the day, with all Bengali foods to satisfy our palates. The Pahela Baishakh celebrations begin from Chaitra Shangkranti night, when Chanchal Chowdhury, Mosharraf Karim, AKM Hasan, Shamim Zaman come to our home along with their families. We celebrate Chaitra Shangkranti together, and at one past midnight, we enjoy Bengali dishes to usher in the New Year. Our adda session that follows, usually lasts till 4 in the morning.
A fresh menu is prepared for the following morning, with Ilish a must on the table.
Relatives come over on the Pahela Baishakh evening, a time when we enjoy special TV plays and later criticise our own works.
Tisha awaits the fun day…
Pahela Baishakh brings a different kind of joy as the day is very special to me. With the arrival of the Bengali month Chaitra each year, I begin to wait for Pahela Baishakh. On this day, I usually wear a white sari with red border. Bangles matched with the sari are a must, while a red tip adorns my forehead. I like to dress up for the occasion.
As there is no shooting on the first day of the New Year, I am relieved.
Before getting married, my routine for the day was different. It was my mother who ran all the chores. I used to love the food cooked by my mother.
Now that I’m spending the Pahela Baishakhs with my husband, it is I who cook, while both of us shop together for the occasion. I hope the Pahela Baishakh this year will bring joy to everyone.
Monalisa considers sharing the joy of New Year with street children…
Pahela Baishakh brings a message of joy for all Bengalis, including myself. I wait for the day eagerly and welcome its arrival.
A new sari for the occasion is a must for me and I have already bought a red one this year. I will wear the sari to go out and have fun, while I’ll also enjoy the occasion with my mother and sisters at home. When I go out on the street all dressed up, it pains me to see the sufferings of the street children. Their sufferings are a stark contrast to our ongoing celebrations. The affluent should start thinking about how to help these street children. At least it should be ensured that they get to enjoy a good meal and new clothes on the first day of the year.
I also want to contribute to these efforts. When I have the ability to help, I will definitely work for the betterment of street children.

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