"They say I'm a dreamer,
Ah, but I am not the only one."
There are many reasons why *I* will never lead AK. Mainly because a lot of people I hate will not be allowed to participate in it in any way.
Unfortunately, I have to swallow that bitter pill often given the platform that is our pride -- the fact that we are a close group of friends and music-lovers beyond the borders of country, class, religion and community.
But that platform does not spell out a lot of things that AK deals with every day -- both good and bad.
-The bond that makes our AK friends come from London and SFO and Albany and NY to support us or participate in our endeavors.
-The dedication that makes people donate 100 percent of their blood, sweat and time to working behind the scenes despite holding full time jobs and with very little rest or sleep. (Hey one even gave up his job a week in advance so he could help AK fulltime a week before our Nabo borsho show!)
-The belief that many have in us to give us their time and money so their our dreams can come to fruition.
These people, and I, cannot understand why, when we are trying to do something positive, something different, and something we believe could really make a better world, there are others who pour in cynicism, criticism and lies.
-Yes, we make mistakes. Our projects are great but we are not. We are humans and not even professional event organizers, but we try our best. When we know mistakes have been made, we feel worse than anybody else could and we apologise, sincerely.
-When Murphy's Law takes it's course and things go haywire, we try to learn from them to prevent it from happening the next time around.
-AK's unofficial disclaimer is that we do not intentionally leave anyone out of our planning and process. If you want to serve coffee or make copies just volunteer and we'd love to have you. But be on time and don't ditch us. Keep that commitment when you make it because we can't keep track. When there are so many people in charge of so many things that often we can't check every single aspect.
-We welcome criticism and no one has been more critical of our events than many of the most involved people themselves. But at same time we have to move beyond our mistakes. There's more work to do, more goals to meet, bigger projects to unveil and very little time. We can't afford to be bogged down by things smaller than our dreams.
I still remember the first Amra Kojon meeting at MIT where we met prospective sponsors and most of them laughed off the idea of a large-scale event showcasing 1,000 years of Bangla music with more than 100 singers on a stage as prestigious as Kresge.
But hey, it happened. And it was sold out. On a snowy weekday. And it received rave reviews in the media in Boston, NY, London and Dhaka. Don't believe me? Check our press clippings online at www.amrakojon.org.
About a year ago, another meeting took place when Taps voiced his dream for the project we now call AKoTRo or Amra Kojon on the Road -- a never-before attempt to take Bangla music chorus all over the globe -- a world tour, no less. Once again, we were met mostly with derision and cynicism. They said it was impossible. They said it could never happen. They said he was dreaming.
Well, guess what, it's happening again. I for one will be laughing on the other side of my face when I board that plane. Or when others board, in case I have to manage the home base if needed.
I do not understand Taps' obsession to involve and appease everyone, be they performer, organizer, one-time assistant or guest. But I respect it and I admire him for being able to do something I clearly cannot. For his sake and AK's, I am respectful towards all those people who crib and contribute nothing because it is not my place to tell them to shut up or stay out. Because the dream is no longer mine
alone and I have no rights sabotaging it for others. And AK needs the strength of diversity, of numbers, to succeed.
So if you want to come and join us, do. We want you. We need more dreamers -- and doers. But do so at your own peril because AK will monopolize ur life, make giant demands of your time, demand instant action and a commitment to have and to hold, for better, for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to
cherish, 'till death do us part. You can either believe or not. There is no middle-path. Call it a cult, if you must.
If you only want to party with us and not participate in the AK workload, still join us. Our parties very much capture the spirit of AK.
But the moral of my long story is, if you have nothing to contribute other than negativity, hysteria, criticism and lies, DON'T! And if you must, well, we've survived this long with the negativity, chances are we still will....
"I hope someday you can join us,
And the world will live as one."
- Auditi Guha,
on behalf of Amra Kojon