Essex Indians (EI) Registered Charity 1186579 celebrated Saraswati Puja, Basant Panchami and Republic Day in a vibrant mood of togetherness and bonding – a much-awaited breath of fresh air with the easing of pandemic restrictions on 6th February 2022. EI took all necessary precautions and wearing masks was mandatory inside the hall. Trustees ensured covid-safe policy and a significant number of senior citizens joined the event as they felt very safe. People attended the event from distant places like Norwich, Harrow, Southall and Maidstone.
The Goddess of education, music and culture was worshipped meticulously with the chanting of Sanskrit mantras by our priest Sanjib Ghoshal. The atmosphere in Mayflower School Hall at Billericay, Essex was vibrating with eye-soothing decoration led by Chitra assisted by Suman, Prashanta, Shamik, Kishore, Monica and the generation next Rajat, Vaibhavi, Tista, Teerna and Manan.
Chief guests were Yetunde Adeshile, councillor of Vange, Basildon Borough and Voce chairperson of Community and Well-Being Committee and Dr Chukyudi Ukpaka, Chairman of Basildon Side by Side. The puja team spearheaded by Sayantini, Nandini, Sujata, Ria and Keya left the audience spellbound with their dedication. About 150 people, children and adults enjoyed an eventful day. The delicious bhog was prepared by Anirban, Arpita, Sutapa, Pooja, Chinu, Amrit, Sumana,Jayita and Chitra – all EI members along with the contribution of sweets from Arghya, Soma and Gurleen.
The cultural concert was led by Arpita which showcased a drama ‘ Gupi Bagha in Burgerland’ with the theme of ‘ healthy eating’ with a star cast of Iman, Solan, Arnav, Annika, Anshi, Hridya, Ayushi, Bihan, Soumili, Anikait, Aric and Arina, music score by Anirban and Ujjwal and prop and light coordination by Monica, Tripti , Chitra, Arun, Pooja, Sanchita, Amit , Rajat, Neel, Vaibhavi,Harmaan,Kristika Tista. While Prashasya, Chinu and Monideepa mesmerised the audience with Kuchipudi, Satriya and folk fusion dances, a dynamic atmosphere was created with a classical presentation by Arya, Bollywood by Teerna and Molly, band song by Samyak, magical flute by Mayukhjit, guitars by Rajat and Manan, popular Bengali songs by Iman, Tiyas, Ujjwal, Sutapa and Anirban and EI choir presentation by Sutapa, Sanchita, Shreyashi, Teerna, Tiyas, Gargi, Ujjwal and Anirban. Very young children like Pari, Bihan and Ayushi mesmerised the audience with their performances.
Arpita paid homage to our motherland India with the immortal poetry recitation ‘Bharat tirtha’ and Anirban – Ujjwal with musicians Hasan and Rizwan presented a tribute to the Indian National Army ( Azad Hind Fauz) with ‘Subh Sukh Chain’ EI trustees, Dr Dipankar Mukhopadhyay, Mr Upal Banerjee, Mr Biplab Rakshit, Dr Arpita Ray and Dr Anirban Mandal thanked everyone for coming together, enjoying safely, and making the event successful.