San Francisco Bay Area Bihu 2003 Celebration

The Bay Area Assamese Community celebrated Bohag Bihu with great enthusiam amidst their day-to-day hectic life.Even though thousands of miles away from Axom,with war cries and economy in the doldrus,Bihu nostalgia was shared by all and celebrated with full jest as every year.
It was held on April 19 in the Indian Community Center in Milpitas, California.The evening started with an Art Exhibition at 3pm along with guest registrations.The exhibitors were Indranil Bora and Mahesh Baishya.Snacks were provided at this time where till pitha and tuna chops proved to big hits.The events started at 5pm as the Master of Ceremonies Taranushi Chaliha invited the new members of the community to come and introduce themselves.There were several new faces this year.Cultural show started soon after with the little kids. Kiran Bora and Kirby Choudhury opened with a Bihu dance.The other events from the little ones included rhymes and peotry recitation by Prerana Sarma and Shreya Bhattachyya,a piano recitals by Soumya and Priyanka Choudhury and flute recital by Runa Sarma. The children program ended by a wonderful classical song(a composition in Raga Malkauns set to Tintaal) sung by Aditya Nath.
Rupam Sarmah was next invited to the stage and fecilitated by Mahesh Baishya on behalf of the whole community for his wonderful achievement in bringing Axomiya music and intruments to the international music scene. This was fllowed by dinner at 7:30pm.
The second half of the cultural program was resumed at 8:15pm with the adults taking the stage.It was opened by traditional Axomiya Naamprasanga performed by a wide section of the community.It was followed by Borgeet,Lokageets,Bihu geets and Modern Indian songs, sung by Monalisa Bora,Moushumi Goswami,Abhranil Barua and Mamta Sing respectively.The next item was solo creative dance by Nilima Chaliha.A Bihu dance was performed by the troup "Jonaki Parua"that comprised of Manjit Borah(dhol),Sibasish Pujari(dhol),Hemanga Nath(taal),Uzzal Baruah(gagana),Gautam Rupak,Manoj Devsarma,Jugma Bora,Pritam Sarma,Tina Abdullah,Luna Bora,Jonali Bhattacharya,Mamta Sing,Monalisa Bora and Moushumi Goswami was a big hit.
A grand final was the Mukali Bihu where everyone in the crowd danced in tune with Abhranil Barua's extempore Bihu songs.
The skillful stage management by Manas Chaliha and Dipankar Talukdar had helped to make the cultural evening a success.
As the delightful evening came to an end, people carried with them the joy of the occassion,which will linger in their minds in the days to come.A lot of thanks go to all the people who worked behind the scene to make this Bihu such a success.With one more Bihu gone by,we are already looking forward expectantly for the next Bihu and Axomiya new year.

Mahesh Baishya, Dublin, California. e-mail : mbaishya@attbi.com