Bengali musicians share their cherished memories on Pôhela Boishakh - Hindustan Times
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Bengali musicians share their cherished memories on Pôhela Boishakh

ByAbigail banerji
Apr 15, 2024 12:56 PM IST

Ringing in Pôhela Boishakh, musicians share their happiest recollections of this special Bengali festival.

A festive occasion for the Bengalis is Pôhela Boishakh, which is celebrated on April 14 and 15.  This day marks the first day of the month of Baishakh in the Bengali solar calendar. It is the start of the Bengali New Year or Nobo Borso.

Pôhela Boishakh wishes
Pôhela Boishakh wishes

We speak to a few Bengali musicians, who share their most cherished memories of this festival and how they celebrate Pôhela Boishakh.

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Singer Sharmishtha Chatterjee

Singer Sharmishtha Chatterjee(Instagram)
Singer Sharmishtha Chatterjee(Instagram)

I grew up in Shyamnagar, a small town in West Bengal by the Ganges River. It used to be surrounded by old temples and banyan trees. There, Nobo Borsho or Pôhela Boishakh was all about celebrating, with art, music, dance, food and a huge gathering of friends and family. My fondest memories of childhood have been wearing a new dress that my mom stitched for me. My grandfather would offer pujo on the first day of the New Year. He would also distribute sweets and fruits among the other villagers. In the evening, we would have a musical night at home with Rabindra Sangeet. It is nearly two decades since I have been living in Mumbai. I still wear something new on this day and offer pujo in an attempt to carry on my elder's tradition. I get Bengali sweets and mishti doi for desserts. 

 

Singer Arko Pravo Mukherjee

Singer Arko Pravo Mukherjee
Singer Arko Pravo Mukherjee

Poila Boisakh brings back memories of my younger days when we would get new clothes and have a huge get-together with my cousins and relatives. We would indulge in an authentic Bengali feast with all kinds of traditional dishes. My mother would sing Rabindra Sangeet, which is a memory I cherish a lot. Another special aspect of this day is that the festival falls on the birthday of my paternal uncle, Ashim Mukherjee, who incidentally introduced me to old classics of Hindi film music as a teenager and that has kind of inspired me and my music journey.

Singer Sudhir Yaduvanshi

Singer Sudhir Yaduvanshi(Instagram)
Singer Sudhir Yaduvanshi(Instagram)

Pohela Boishak is one of my favourite festivals and as a half Bengali, I have always admired and loved that part of my culture. Nowadays, I celebrate the new year with my Bengali friends, who always throw a party on this day. And as an adult, I can cherish the memories of my mum making some delicious rasgullas when I was a kid. So, I still ensure that I eat some rasgullas and chamcham on this day. This festival also brings back memories of my siblings and I getting dressed in traditional attire and roaming the streets having a lot of fun.

 

Singer Antara Mitra

Singer Antara Mitra
Singer Antara Mitra

Bengali New Year or Pôhela Boishakh is an important day in our lives. During my childhood, I remember there use to be a huge sale called Chaitra Sale. Mothers would make plans and shopping lists days in advance. Also, the variety of mishti sold during this festival was unbelievable. Unlike recent times, there’s sale all around the year. Those days used to be so special. We would buy new clothes to wear on this occasion and in our childhood, that used to be from the local markets. The festival is in summer and in the heat, the markets used to be so crowded.

 

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