The five and a half hour cultural evening at Rajshahi Bholanath Bisheswar Hindu Academy was abuzz with nearly 2,000 of former and present students of the 111-year old school and almost all were immersed in nostalgia.
Although performances by noted vocal artiste Rafiqul Alam and composer Anup Bhattacharya, who were students of the school in the '50s, were the main attraction, presentations of current students like Pial, Sangeeta Pal and Mousumi seemed no less important to the cheerful audience.
The academy organised the cultural evening, to celebrate its 111 years of glory and heritage at the school premises. Beginning at 6pm, the programme ended at 11:30pm on December 26.
The evening began with "Karna Kunti Sangbad" where young student Mousumi Moitra played the role of Kunti and Shukhen Mukhopadhyay performed as Karna.
Former student Tarun Kumar Das, a disciple of Pundit Raghunath Das, and music director of Rajshahi Betar enthralled the audience with his violin rendition while his brother Arun Kumar Das assisted him on the flute and son Tarun Kumar Das on tabla.
Anup Bhattacharya sang two songs and informed that there are at least three artistes from the academy who worked at Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra during the Liberation War. They are -- Rafiqul Alam, his elder brother Sarwar Jahan and Anup himself.
Rafiqul Alam came to the stage with a Shyama Sangeet, "Ma Tor Koto Rongo Dekhbo Bol", which was his first stage performance and it was at a function at the school in the early '60s.
Listening to the Shyama Sangeet, one of Alam's teachers expressed amazement and blessed him saying, "You will go a far way in music," recalled Alam.
Alam continued by saying that the education system of the Academy was different where teachers looked after every student personally.
At the programme Alam performed, "Ekti Doel Bon-e Dakle", "Kobey Shadhur Charan Dhuli", "Boishakhi Megher Kachhe" and "Bhalo Achhi Bhalo Theko".