The Asom Association, Kuwait (AAK) organized “Zubeen Nite”, its inaugural “Rongali Bihu” celebrations on 10th April, 2009. His Excellency Ajai Malhotra, Ambassador, Embassy of India, Kuwait graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. The Chief Guest, Ajai Malhotra and the Guest of Honour Zubeen Garg, prominent singer from India, were felicitated with a bouquet and “Gamusa” presented by Miss Mamta Pradhan, Miss Sneha Khound, Miss Rabbab Rabbani and Miss Indrani Rajkhowa respectively. Garima Garg, Zubeen’s wife, was also felicitated with a bouquet by Miss Prachi Nath.
The programme commenced with the lighting of the Inaugural Lamp by His Excellency Ajai Malhotra, Zubeen Garg, Bharat Nanda (MD, Moashk), Bikash Jyoti Gogoi (President, AAK) and Jayanta Bardalaye (General Secretary, AAK). Gogoi welcomed the guests and dwelt on the significance of the occasion – the first cultural event organized by the Asom Association, Kuwait after its formation on 12th March, 2009. He traced the history of the people of Asom who came to live and work in Kuwait from the sixties onwards. He also outlined the aims and objectives of the Association including the necessity of passing on to the younger generation the traditions and culture of their roots. His Excellency Ajai Malhotra congratulated the community on formally forming an association and expressed his happiness on being part of the inaugural “Rongali Bihu” function. He also encouraged the members to be proactively involved in cultural activities that highlights the rich traditions of the northeastern region of India.
The cultural program started with a chorus, “Ture mure aalukore jatra”, presented by the members of the association. The team comprised of Anjali Rajkhowa, Ronita Dutta, Nilakshi Bora, Masum Rajkhowa, Jeeta Khound, Pranami Bhattacharya, Mamoni Nath, Aruna Dutta, Mouchumi Sharma, Geetashree Kalita, Anupam Rajkhowa, Aghore Bhattacharya, Dr. Debasish Sharma and Navojit Roy. “Ma aami Xadiya loi jamei” was presented as a chorus by Kiki, Khusi, Runjun, Gargi, Tanya, Ankit, Rizwan, Jill and Nupur, children of “Oomola Ghar”, an educational initiative of the association to introduce Axomiya culture to the young generation. This was followed by a group Bihu dance performed by Juhi, Jiri, Kimkim, Jubi and Osin to the tune of “Phul phulise boxontor”, a popular Bihu song by Zubeen.
Then came the moment that everyone was waiting for – Zubeen came on stage and started off with “Mayabini ratir buku”. He also sang a few hindi songs. Gargi, Kiki, Runjun, Khushi and Tanya from “Oomola Ghar” then performed a Bihu dance to the delight of all. A Bharatnatyam recital by Tanaiya was highly appreciated. Arnab Gogoi, Shyamal Barooah and Abhijit Sharma played the popular number “Hiya Diya Niya” as an instrumental medley.
The highlight of the evening was the second performance by Zubeen. He sang “Preetir Xubaxe” playing the guitar and dedicating it to two of his old friends – Bhargab Hazarika and Jayanta Bardalaye now living in Kuwait. He regaled the audience with a number of his popular songs and soon enough, the audience was on its feet.
As a token of appreciation, a memento was presented to Zubeen Garg and Garima Garg by Mamoni Gogoi, Pranita Goswami Devichoudhury and Rupalima Bardalaye on behalf of the Association. Jayanta Bardalaye thanked the Chief Guest and Guest of Honour for their participation and encouragement. He also thanked all the members and area coordinators for their help and co-operation both in forming the association as well as in organizing the function. The programme was compered by Biresh Khound, a senior member of the association.
- Jayanta Bardalaye, General Secretary, Asom Association, Kuwait