Prior to Puja, all the bhavans of the Visva-Bharati stages at least one drama in the Natyaghar(Theater). The turn of the acting gradually ends. Puja vacation is knocking at the door. The golden bloom of the sunlight puts tinge in the mind of the children,their mind started to look forward to there home. At the same time, on the day of Mahalaya at 3 in the afternoon, Anandabazar is organised which ends at 8.00 in the evening. Actually it’s a fair for just a few hours.
The students of the Ashram puts up shops in the GourPrangan- trading takes place. As parents and guardians comes to take their children’s to home on vacationresulting in increase in the number of buyers.
From the day before the festival, collections of bamboo, cloth etc. takes place for constructing the shops. Making dolls and necklaces, drawing masks, drawings of dies, and drawing cards have long been started. The festival day gradually approaches.
Tune of clarionet (Sanai) is heard from the dawn. The gong (Kansi) and drum (Dhak) starts sounding. Children begin to decorate the shops Professors also joinwith them. Flower-leaf, coloured-sari, colourful paper are accessories to decorate shops. By puttingone jar above another, and drawing on them a fine arcade is constructed and the decorations of the shopsare completed by noon.
Gaur Prangan is now non recognisable. The Circus Tent is in the middle. The owner of the Circus is students of the Kalabhaban. Elephants, horses, lions, tigers, bear all are there in circus. Acting of Drama is being held in SinhaSadan. Tickets are being sold here also. In the convenience store floraldresses are being sold. Beautiful floral ornaments are made by putting Red Rangan Flower (Jungle Geranium)and bud of White Tagor Flower (crape Jesmine) on the leaves of Jackfruit.String made of Fir seeds and Sandhyamoni (4 Oclock flower plant) seeds are being sold. Small childrenare selling prepared beatle leaf moving around in the fair. A boy or a girlof Kalabhaban may be seated there with white card and pencil. If you stand in front of them they will draw a sketch of yours and will ask money for that; someone may write poem or rhyme in your name and giving it to you they will ask money.
Manyfunny eventstook place in Anandabazar. In the food shop tea, coffee, ghugni, chop, beguni, peyanji, alukabli, misti are sold very fast. The variety of name of things and variety of shops attracts buyers. At 8 o’clock in the night, the lights were disconnected and signal is given to close the shops.Selling should stop at 8-30. That day, it is tradition that after calculating profit & loss, the profit amount needs to be deposited to the DaridraBhandar (Poverty fund) of wefare branch of employees of ViswaBharati.
Through this fair, many tasks are held which helped children to be emotionally strong and skilled. Through this children’s creative power, taste of beauty is developed, also managing and accounting capacity is practiced and theylearned the ability to work together.Bydonating profit to welfare branch power of sacrifice is increased.
Santiniketan,sKalabhaban is the place of worship of ShilpacharyaNandalal.Nandalals involvement was quite long in the history of Kalabhaban. Thatswhynaturally the student and professor of Kalabhanaall perceive the birthday of Nandalal as a memorable day. Nandalal was born on December 3, 1883. On December 3, in the early morning students of Kalabhabanuse to sing (Baitalik) while going around a part of the Ashram. Then the student and professors used to go out together for Banabhojan (picnic). All day spent rejoicing. In this way, the birthday of Shilpacharya became a festive day to the students and professors of Kalabhaban.
There can not be any action without reason. In 1972, problem relating to arranging financial help for a student of Kalabhaban, who met with an unexpected accident, made all to think about. Absence of a permanent fund wasstrongly felt. Just then, at that time only, Nandalal’s Birthday Celebration Festival, ‘Baroda Art Fair’, creation of perpetual fund all lead to the birth of SilpaMela. The main objective was to create a permanent fund for dealing with accidents and bad days.
The first fair was held at the Kalabhaban in 1973. Then its name was ‘Nanda Mela’. The next year, 1974 it was named as ‘NandanMela’. This offended some students and professors. Rabindranath Tagore’s named Kalabhabanworkshop as’Nandan’. Workshop ‘Nandan’ gave pleasure to Karmaveer (champion of work)Nandalalin his whole life. Therefore, in the name of Shilpacharya or in the name of his creation or whether it is in the name of arts, leaving theseargument it can be said that this fair is a popular festival of Visva-Bharati.
Various types of items of handicrafts are displayed in the fair, such as idols, dolls, toys, painted dies, paintings, photos, calendar, congratulations letter, brass jewelry, blouse pieces with batik work, scarf,vanity bag, appliqu? work etc. There are also tea and food shops. Tickets are sold for Acting of play and variety entertainment programmes. The fair compound are beautifully decorated. This decoration consists of art and beauty. Students are engaged in various ways in preparing for this fair and their professional skills are developed for making different types of saleable products.This gives an opportunity to the students to come close to their professors and gets the opportunity for getting GurmukhiVidya (direct learning from teachers contact So, inner soul of this fair embraces education, art and beauty.
Creation of permanent fund which was main objective of the fair that fund has now become treasure of Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth). The welfare capability of this fund has made the students of the Kalabhaban feel secured. Students can borrow from the fund if needed. Poor students can get help to run their studies. There are plans to provide scholarships to talented students and arranging art exhibitions outsideSantiniketanthe required expenditure will be incurred from this fund. Like this, Students and Professors are having many developmental plans.
Convocation is mainlyprogramme for bestowal of recognition for success. The successful students in examination of ViswaBharati are awarded AvugyanPatra and the same is presented to the student in the Convocation ceremony.
It is noteworthy, which we are not unaware of that,Rabindranath was not much trustful in the system of examinations, degrees, diplomas etc. For this reason, in the first phase of the Santiniketan Ashram, poet kept the students away from examination system and involved in education of making good human being in the liberal natural environment.
PramathnathBishi, the first student of Santiniketan commented- “At that time, the same boy in Santiniketan was able to study in higher or lower class according to the disparity of education; … a child may be in seventh grade in Bangla-English, he is the eighth grade in mathematics.”Needless to say, this style does not last forever. According to the need and pressure of different incidences later on poet has to accept prevailing education system i.e. examination etc.
Convocation ceremony started in Visva-Bharati. The annual convocation of Visva-Bharatiuse to be held with Paush festival (PoushMela) at Amrakunj in Santiniketan. On the second day of the PaushMela i.e. 8th Paush, at eight oclockin the morning in presence of many invited honourable guestsand uninvited mass gatherings, at the end of recitation of Vedic Mantra begins in the convocation ceremony. In the meeting, from the speeches of Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and the chief guest, full of knowledge and wisdom, many achievement and work of the Viswa-Bharati are unfolded. After delivery of the Acharya’s advice and blessings, with the Postgraduate Certificate or AvigyanPatra a piece each of Chhatim leaf and Saptaparni leaf are given as symbol of peace and harmony.
Many may know the reason and history for giving leaf of Saptaparni tree (Devils Tree). ‘Olympic Games’ began in the Golden Age of Greek civilization in Homer’s Country Greece. If one wins in Olympic Games, with the medal a beautiful bunch was given decorated with olive leaves. It is possible that, in view of this practice, giving Saptaparni leaf with the certificate of Visva-Bharati graduates was introduced. But we think more important mysterious reason is hidden in the leaves of Saptaparni tree. The initial motivation of MaharshiDebendranath to creatSantiniketan was ‘ChhatimaTala’. Two Satparni Tree standing in the infinite darkness gave him rest and comfort of mind. In Rabindranath’s words, “When my father was returning, after attending invitation,fromBhubanSinha’s house in Raipur, he felt attracted to these two trees in the middle of the field. In search of peace he accepted this land as donation from Sinhas of Raipur. “
In 1952, the convocation of the Visva-Bharati Society was held in Amarkunjgorgeously. SarbapalliRadhakrishnanprecided over the ceremony.In his speech in the context of giving advice to the new graduates he said, “Just now what PanditKhsitimohanSen spelt out towards you SattyannaPramaditbyam, DharmannaPramaditbyam, KushalannaPramaditbyam after that I think I dont have to say anything.
In the Visva-Bharati’s convocation, prominent personalities of the country and abroad use to be present as special guests. Not only Rajendra Prasad,Radhakrishnan prominent leaders of the country like Sarojini Naidu, Jawaharlal Nehru, AbulKalam Azad, LalBahadurShastri, Indira Gandhi and others have expressed their impressive views on in the convocation ceremony. At the ceremony, not only the political personalities; artists and poets, literary personalities, scientists, philosophers also accepted the invitation for convocation, and rendered immense respect to the organization of Rabindranath, in Amarkunj’sChayabithi. In particular, note that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru has repeatedly arrived at Amrakunja in Poushmela. He attended not only as the Prime Minister of the country, but also present in the play ground like ordinary people. Sometime he reached school and ate sitting with everyone. In the same way he mixed with the kids and played with them. In one word he became part ofSantiniketan. He alone use toamused the environment
Festivals promote equality in diversity, brings neighbours into congregation of happiness. Festivals endorse cultural exchanges and improve societys general psychological wellbeing. Rabindranath Tagore is one who realized that social alliance can be the inner strength of the progression of humanity. Tagore always wanted to encourage the creative self of person. According to him, the very notion of creativity is the “surplus” for our divine soul which connects one to the world. The consciousness of our personality reveals as mass awareness and reflects prominently distinct with the colour of our emotions. Rabindranath Tagore proposed whole lot various types of festivals capturing multiplicities and diversities of creation. As an unprejudiced person, Tagore valued all aspects of human creation through festivals. Conventionally, festivals are community specific, always celebrated by communities to practice ritualistic or religious activities. But Tagore’s understanding of festival speaks a different tale of our life. He encourages creativity as well as its application. In every aspect of Tagore’s philosophy, abstraction and concreteness set out hand to hand.