Dilip Kumar Roy remembered through a cultural evening

Mumbai, February 03, 2015 (Washington Bangla Radio): An inspiring blend of youth and talent marked the 118th birth anniversary celebrations of Dilip Kumar Roy organized by the Sura Kavya Trust at the Satyajit Ray Auditorium(ICCR) .

Another interesting feature of this year’s presentation was that a major part of this creative enterprise, which  included music and dance, found performers from the United States of America rediscovering their roots and performing for the first time in the annual tribute to Dadaji.

                                                  Pankaj Saha


The conspicuous presence of young performers  also enriched  in a solo recital of the songs of Dilip Kumar Roy by Sounak Chattopadhyay. The well-known classical vocalist and disciple of Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan and Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan had regaled listeners two years ago with Dadaji’s songs. Since then he has included this musical form in his rich repertoire of classical and semi-classical presentations that help him to look beyond conventional themes and ideas. Sounak is not just a musical prodigy who shot into prominence after winning the first prize in the Dover Lane Music Contest but also a script writer and ideator who loves to think differently. His performances in India and abroad, mainly in the USA, and the albums he has published have confirmed the musical range that Sounak has mastered. His new presentation of Dilip Kumar Roy’s songs confirmed  his versatility and vibrant energy.

                                                       Mouli Pal

This year’s anniversary tribute also came alive in a unique blend of dance and music by two performers from America – the Boston-based Mouli Pal and Sujata Bhattacharya. Mouli received her training in Odissi from the redoubtable Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra and has now carried the skill and experience to America where she runs an institution to promote the creative discipline. Over the past year or so, she has been in touch with the Sura Kavya Trust to demonstrate the lyrical possibilities of blending a classical dance form with the spiritual insights of Dadaji’s music. During her years in Kolkata, Mouli had travelled frequently to Odisha to observe her guru’s immaculate skills in choreography and grooming young dancers. She has carried this experience to North America where she now lives and where she has set up a not-for-profit organization, Upasana that brings artists and connoisseurs to a single platform through a series of concerts and other events. In the process, she has become a cultural ambassador and performer whom we experienced  in a wholly new environment where she choreographed  and visually interpreted the mesmerizing appeal of Dadaji’s work. She was supported by songs rendered by Sujata Bhattacharya who is also based on Boston and shares Mouli’s artistic experiences. Their presentation was  Madhu Murali Baje.

The other non-resident performer this year was Mandira Sarkar who was at one time associated with All India Radio, Kolkata. She now lives in North America sustaining her commitment to music through recitals at the North American Bengali Conference and in the Republic Day, Diwali and Buddha Jayanti celebrations at the Indian Embassy in Washington DC. This was her first journey into the world of Dilip Kumar Roy, adding substance to the universal spiritual philosophy of the man who has inspired countless people with his music and his ideas.

                                                       Mandira Sarkar

Professor Supriyo Bhattacharya   set the tone for the evening with the Dadaji Oration to which Doordarshan veteran and poet Pankaj Saha  added his personal impressions on the evening’s dance and music offerings. All this made  this year’s tribute as meaningful and enjoyable as it has been in the past.