Ushering in the Bengali New Year, 1425, was a 200-feet long colourful alpana on the road leading to Andul Rajmath, the vast expanse of openness that is still not taken in this hamlet. The colourful alpana, that has become an infectious trend ever since the last Durga Puja, graced the bridge over the now dry Saraswati canal. It was painted by students of the Government Art College in Kolkata, who are residents of Andul, along with local artists, marked the beginning of yet another edition of Andul Utsav.
This was the fifth year of Andul Utsav, a unique festival dedicated to provide a platform to rare and popular folk forms of Bengal. Most of the traditional, less practised and even less remembered forms of rural art have found a platform and a decent viewership at Andul Utsav every year. The festival that is organised each year around Poila Baisakh is exclusively organised by locals.
This year’s nouveau attraction was Satabdi Roy, folk artist from Bangladesh who regaled audiences on Day I with her renditions from across the border. Kabigaan, an art form that is now only reminisced from the classical scenes of Anthony Firingee also found space in this year’s festival.
Purulia’s Natua dance, a combination of Chhau and Raibeshe was performed by a group at Andul Utsav while Naren Hansda from presented jhumur songs and dance this year. “The festival was successful and every one in the team worked hard to make it popular among the people of Andul and neighbouring areas. Many folk music lovers from Kolkata often visit Andul Utsav,” said Subhojyoti Ghosh, one of the organisers.