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Bihu festivity grips all, from commoners to stage hoppers

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  14 April 2015 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, April 13: The Bihu festivity never comes alone, and it leaves no area in public life in the state untouched. Every person, regardless of cast, creed and religion, feels the effect of Bihu - one way or the other. And the festivity does not get started just from the day of Bihu. In fact, the Bihu fervour gets started at least a month or so before the D-day with activities like Bihu workshops, lectures and training camps. Bihu songs at the staccato of dhools, pepa and other instruments rend the city air about a month before the actual festivity gets started.

On the eve of Rongali Bihu today, the atmosphere in Guwahati is reflected the best in the life of commoners for whom the time they enjoy, as Oscar Wilde says, is not wasted time. No matter how hard they feel the pinch, they spend their hard-earned money to buy edibles like curdles, beaten rice, juggery etc., without which they feel festivity is incomplete. It goes without saying that vendors and other traders too do a brisk business in this season.

Another remarkable feature of the festivity in Guwahati is of big budget Bihus, and over Rs 10 crore is being spent by various Bihu sanmilanis in the city this year. Though over 100 Bihu sanmilanis in the city are up for pulling huge crowds, as many as 34 of them have already got official approval for their extravaganzas. The rest of the Bihu sanmilanis are supposed to get approval within this month. And most of the 34 sanmilanis are ready with big budgets, ranging up to Rs 30 lakh. While Guwahati Bihu Sanmilani at Latasil has a budget of Rs 20 lakh, Pub-Guwahati Bihu Sanmilani has a budget of Rs 30 lakh, the budget of Japorigog Bihu is Rs 12 lakh, that of Beltola Bohagi Utsav is of Rs 25 lakh, Dakshin Guwahati Rongali Bihu has a budget of Rs 30 lakh, that of Kharguli Bihu Sanmilani is Rs 20 lakh, Hengrabari Bihu Sanmilani is of Rs 20 lakh and Ulubari Bihu is of Rs 30 lakh.

Stage hopping by artistes and audience as well is obviously being noticed during the Bihu in Guwahati. The likes of Jubin Garg, Priyanka Bharali, Angarag Mahanta, Chayanika Bhuyan, Babu, Gitali, Dikshu, Simanta Sekhar, Krishmoni Chutia and others literally race against time as they have to hop from one stage to another in the city, sometimes throughout the night. Though cultural nites steal the show during Bihu festivities, the importance of related activities cannot be ignored. Every Bihu sanmilani is a place there are a whole lot of activities for children like games and sports, programmes for essay writings, recitations, quiz contests, deliberations on various cultural and other aspects by prominent persolities and the like take place.

Bihu is the season when indigenous Assamese industries and economy get a boost. Indigenous weavers of gamosa and mekhela-chador get a wider market to sell their products even as there are reports of imported products posing a threat to their fortune.

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