Kolkata, 16th October,2015. What do you get when you dress up 1500 students in traditional finery armed with dandiyas, jam pack them on the dance floor, and set them jiving to the pulsating tunes that that are jazzed up to get one and all grooving? There can only be one answer – Dhamaal!
Students of the Bhawanipur Education Society College (BESC) – the undisputed king of campuses in the city – set the ball rolling for the ensuing season of festivities in their characteristic way: unleashing Dhamaal, a nite of Dandiya and Garba.
The DJ was ready to belt out the chartbusters. The live band raring to go. The psychedelic lights and the sound systems fit for a high-voltage rock concert. The crowd set to do a sone-na-de. Yet, in keeping with the traditions of the institution and refurbishing the unshakable socio-cultural and traditional connect of the students, perhaps for the umpteenth time, the evening began with the customary aarti’s – the homage to Maa Ambe, before the Garba dancers took to the floor.
Legend has it that the devout cannot stay away when people do the garba around the Garba Deep – the flame of Life – and the evening was no exception. The lilting tunes had the revelers mesmerized as they joined in, their bodies melting into the tunes almost as if in a trance.
Garba celebrates the eternal cycles of life (the word itself can be traced back to the Sanskrit for womb) and is a tribute to Maa Ambe (another manifestation of Durga). Garba is traditionally danced in circles, symbolizing the cycle of time – birth, life, death, rebirth – with the only constant being God in the ever changing universe.
On another level, Garba is the celebration of the victory of good over evil – the celebration of Goddess Durga’s triumph over the dark side personified by the demon king Mahishasur. This celebration of life, that transcends all – religion, caste, creed or colour – is what Garba is all about, where women of all ages savor the rhythm of life as they move in a joyous circle of time around the Garba Deep.
Garba is no ordinary dance form – it is also a celebration of knowledge dispelling the darkness of ignorance. The Garba Deep, a specially created earthen pot with a lamp inside, around which the dance is performed symbolizing the all pervading power that illuminates and empowers all those that partake in the ritual. The Bhawanipur Education Society College (BESC) paid tribute to this power of knowledge and enlightenment annually, with eager students participating in this quest to be one with the fountainhead of Life.
However the stage exploded with life as the beats began to drum faster with the progression of the evening and as Garba fused into Dandiya. The clicking of the sticks, the swirling of the dresses and the yelps of sheer delight suppressed even the heavy duty speakers as BSES came on its own, celebrating Life in its own, inimitable way.
Like we say it in Bengali – Asche Bochor, Abrar hobe! (We will do it again the coming year)
Murtaza Khambaty is a second year student of BESC and is one of the most seen faces in the campus. He is a member of the Expressions Group of the college which looks after the media relations and the communication needs of the institution. A born leader, Murtaza is hailed in his peer group for his ability to pull off events single handedly and is admired for his affable approachability and strict, no-nonsense dedication to work.
Known for his ability of maintain his cool even while facing the most adverse situations and his resolve to stand for his friends at any cost, Murtaza is a keen writer – a chronicler of the life and times of BESC.
He has also been adjudged as the one “most likely to succeed” by his college mates.