Saturday, March 25, 2006

Last week, I opened my e-mail at work to find several e-mails from members of my AK crew. My inbox had a link to this blogspot as well as e-mails from several people about how, “Amader Sohini-ke amra Boston-e anbo.” [We will bring our Sohini to Boston] I can tell you that I was surprised and touched, but couldn’t possibly describe how much, so I’m not going to get all mushy and try (because I already cried at work). As Naina said in her first blog, many of us AK members, including me, are students and/or young professionals on limited budgets. However, as we did during the 2003 show, we put our money where our mouth is. We don’t just talk about being a big family, we act like one. Family-r karo biye hole jebhabe ghorer manushder ghore ashar bebostha hoye jaye, sherokom obostha! And just like you automatically form bonds with family members you had never met before, new additions to our Amra Kojon are welcomed with open arms on the very first day. I should know: back in 2002, I was a new addition myself.

I, like many others, I’m sure, have stories to fill many pages here. I’ll go easy for now. I still marvel at how, in just the year and a half I lived in Boston, I managed to make so many good friends in such a short time. Not just people to go out and have fun with, but people to call when things go wrong. Not since college have I looked forward to e-mail on a daily basis as I do now, with the AKotRo project approaching (especially since, as the only AK participant based in London, I’ve become the AK London contact by default!). I can already see that I am going to have an experience in London that was similar to my Boston one. When Taps and Sujan Bhai were in London last week, we trawled the town making presentations (Naina, you rock!) and drumming up interest from the local community. It was a buzz to see them again and to watch people’s reactions to our work. It was a good reminder for me too, of just how impressive we were. I watched clippings of our show with a sense of pride and achievement…..the weekly rehearsals, the sacrifices made, the big dinners, the informal music sessions, the weddings, the births, the road trips….this is a fun family. And soooo talented!

In London, I have been asked by many people if I really think that this AKotRo show is possible. Do I really think it can happen? It is a good feeling to be able to spread the word about our music and our culture. It is an even better feeling to feel the smile spreading across my face as I realize that I have no doubt that it is possible. I don’t just say that because I want us to succeed (although I do). I don’t say it just because Taps’ enthusiasm is infectious (although it is). I smile because I have the conviction of someone who is backed up and inspired by a hundred other people. I can look someone in the eye and say it will happen because I’ve seen us do it before and I know, I truly believe, that we can do anything we decide we want badly enough. If you have doubts, just ask me on April 22nd. I’ll be in Boston

- Sohini Alam
on behalf of Amra Kojon

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