#California: Dakshini stepped to 37. This Bengali organization was born in Torrance, Southern California in 1985. Born at the hands of some enthusiastic Bengalis. The aim is to bring the country closer to the foreign lands. Bringing Bengali culture to the next generation and foreigners, and helping people. Every year Bengalis from a wide area celebrate Durga Puja by the hand of that South. The Dakshini tied the two Bengals together with a beanie thread.
After three eras, Dakshini is now a large family; In ideals, in conduct, a man of the heart, a close friend. Kash flowers on the edge of the Mojave Desert and cotton wool clouds over the Pacific Ocean mean that the Southern Joy has fallen. Weekend puja is held on October 7-9. Kushilvara is busy throughout the year.
Three days passed in the historic and beautiful campus of Torrance High School in the spirit of the neighborhood puja. Pratima brought from Kumortuli in 2013-2014 is a home girl Dasabhuja. Even before entering the premises, old and new songs can be heard from a distance on loudspeakers. Bengaliana in sari-Punjabi tangled inside. New clothes Ashak’s Gandhamakha Adda, Aarti in front of mother to Pushpanjali two-day breakfast, Guest artist’s fair for three days.
Every year there are various programs of artists from local to Kolkata. In 2022, Sourendra-Soumyajit, Beni Dayal, and Jayati Chakraborty are coming to light the stage. It is already heard that the house is full! During the quarantine period of 2020, the puja was not stopped, but was observed on a smaller scale. In 2021, masked Dhunuchi dance, vermilion playing, sitar-singing-poetry-drama took place with much fanfare. Post-Covid normalcy is back to normal, so this time the excitement of celebrating Puja is on the upswing.
Dakshina’s initiation into the ideology of Vasudhiva Kutumbkam, its USP and assimilation today of ‘Sabare Kari Kaka’ regardless of native-foreign-caste-religion-age-language. Every time the play is presented in the three-month rehearsal with Kachikachad, it is all a spectacle of the members’ writing-tune-costume-song-play-lighting artistry. On the other hand, artists work silently throughout the year to present new eye-catching pavilions.
Tea, Biscuits, Jhalmuri to Khichuri, Labra, Purple to Fish Soup, Lamb, and Mishti Mukha, nothing is left out. During Anandamukhara, departed members are remembered, their souls are prayed for peace, the mind is heavy. Again, seeing the next generation join in the puja, it seems that a piece of Bengal’s umbrella in the south of the joint family of Dakshina has kept Parvas as its home. Greetings from Dakshin to all. ‘Put your footprints on this butt.’
Report: Priyadarshi Mazumder, California