As spring descends on us, Bengalis all over the world celebrate the beginning of the calendar year – Shubho Nabo Barsho – Happy New Year to all. Of course, we had to celebrate it with our beautiful family and so we had the quintessential ‘adda’. All participated with enthusiasm recounting and sharing their past experiences of nabobarsho, followed by music, pictures and delicious food. A great experience as always and it makes us feel gratified in our quest to be able to provide this and a huge thanks to our elders who enthusiastically participate and make it so much fun.
Holi the festival of colours and love was even more special this year for our extended family who gathered together to celebrate at a function. A bit of colour smeared on each other and lots of laughter. A bit of music and lots of appreciation. And then a special gift for them, our first edition magazine, Bhalo Theko curated with articles and a collection of life stories written by our beloved elders. A flute recital and skit by the children’s group Prachcho, performances from our own family and some delicious snacks like chowmein, chilli chicken, momos and fish fingers made the evening perfect.
On Tuesday, 12th March our extended family gathered together at Jorasanko Thakur Bari-the ancestral home of Rabindranath Tagore. And what a treat awaited them. Built in the 18th century, it has been restored and serves as the Tagore museum and every evening there is a splendid light and sound show organised by Rabindra Bharati University. Our family were delighted to be together and witness the wonderful show. The organisers were kind enough to make special considerations for our seniors offering them prime seats in the front. It was truly a memorable evening with all raving about the experience.
Couple of weeks back, the picnic of our extended family made a grand start of 2019. The elders started with new year's greetings as they settled in the greens of CLGC - an oasis of trees, flowers with a backdrop of vintage cottage withing the busy traffic of central Kolkata. The winter sun was pleasant treat in the outdoor setting - a cosy picnic set-up with tea coffee and snacks to start with. Then started the impromptu performances followed by risking the traditional swings after decades. After sometime we all sat in a circle to enjoy a visual quiz organized by Santanu. Lunch was a delayed for many - but that is typical in a picnic. Having elaborate menu sitting together in outdoor setup made all our beloved elders radiate with joy. It was the best ambiance with the best people in a great weather - everything went in our favour to make this picnic memorable for all.
This winter Care Unlimited Team took the elders to Dakhineswar. Just when the winter started rocking we arranged an atfernoon River Cruise on Ganges for them. End of the month, we assisted the seniors at Tollygunge Home in performing the Christams Carol. Thus the month of December was quite eventful, and we feel privilaged to serve beyond our immediate extended family.
Couple of weeks back, we had our Bejoya Sommiloni... It was a gathering which all of us were looking forward to... our seniors had been demanding the same since the Pujo Porikroma. We all sat in a nice big circle ; talked about pujo & bijoya at their times and current times. We got to hear some lovely stories from the yonder days - relived those moments. Everyone got involved in animated discussions about their own stories. There was also some impromptu songs and recitations along with "singara and misti".... None of realized how the couple of hours passed by so quickly...
A wonderful beginning of the days of festivities! We had our third "Pujo Porikroma" yesterday.. before the start of the Pujo to bit the crowd... everyone was excited from the beginning of the week for the upcoming mega event. We all gathered together , and had tea while waiting for the bus... We all hopped on to the bus, and started cruising through the traffic - slowing down further at the famous Pandals of south Kolkata. Mesmerized by the beauty of the Pandals, many a times, despite their physical challenges, they could not suppress their desire to get down. Luckly we could take a few munites stop at Adi Ballygunge, Hindustan Park before taking them to enter the pandal of Samaj Sebi.... Most of them wanted another stop at Mudiali as the pandal was spectacular, but unfortunately there was no place to park. We finally took all of them to Saptaparni for our traditional Pujo lunch. Everyone of our seniors enjoyed this few hours to the maximum ...
Our last get together started late afternoon with the splendid songs from one of our seniors - she performed in front of others after several decades. Then the awesome performance of "Tin Roy" with coordinated efforts from our elders supported by our team members. You could see their excitement to perform in front of a 50 strong audience. It was fun to listen to some of our favourite childhood stories and lyrics in the voice of our elders.
The next performance, Debotar Gras, by the kids from Prachcho, was so lively yet so touching, that everyone stood up in applause at the end. The evening brought a different flavour - the seniors and the kids performing for each other. We, as facilitators, watched the wonderful interaction of the two diverse groups, and their appreciation for each othe
We had a long break in our group events, to let the summer heat pass by. We planned the recent gathering as a pure "Bangali'r Chaye r Adda" - an open format session where everyone participated. Sandwich and coffee was served in between. We played some music from old movies which portray a great era and creat the environment. Our elder members shared their own experiences of their past life - many relating to watching movies in their early days. All of them was in down memory lane. We are very lucky to get some beautiful stories from them. Their engagement level was evident from the faces radiating satisfaction and happiness even after the program.