It was the initiative taken by an organisation functioning from Sovabazar Natmandir that prompted the Metro authorities to add Sutanuti to the name of Sovabazar station. It is the same organisation that has installed around 25 plaques in north Kolkata to acquaint citizens with the history of the area. Over the past 25 years, Sutanuti Parishad has not only been trying to protect the look of what is regarded among the oldest localities of Kolkata.
It has also been trying to reinforce the cultural assets that belong to the past but have an unmistakable impact on the present. When the Sutanuti Utsav opens on Wednesday with **puratani songs by Srikumar Chattopadhyay, how many can say that the influence of these songs are not felt by composers today? Or when kabigaan is presented the following day, won’t the thrill of these musical contests held more than a century ago spill over to an audience today?
There is music more in store for the audience in the silver jubilee year of the festival to be inaugurated by the Governor. More discerning listeners will watch out for new light to be thrown on the life and times of Kanan Devi on her birth centenary and on whether Bengal is losing its own identity in the face of external pressures. But whether it is a serious debate or a light recollection of musical tradition, the audience can look forward to keep munching the singaras and sweets that will be served – without forgetting that a festival of this kind cannot end without a sumptuous menu served with traditional elegance.