Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thanks to Nandini and Raja ...

Thanks to Nandini and Raja - our buddies across the Atlantic - we now have more pictures of the Amra Kojon in London experience.

Enjoy the pictures!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Behind the scenes....

Often we do not recognize the hard work of behind the scene friends of AK. We were able to succeed in our London tour because of their help.

On behalf of AK, we salute them for their support in completing our London concert.

Abu Kamal Azad, MA

Adnan Syed, NY

Ajay Vinoben, RI

Amlan Bhattachariya, RI

Asif Saleh, London

Atiqul Alam Jhontu, NY

Atiqur Rahman Sujan, MA

Dr. Dulal, MA

Goutam Chakraborty, Bangladesh

Iqbal Quadir, MA

Kabir Ahmed, Germany

Mahdi Imam, MA

Mohammad Hasan, MA

Monzurul Islam, NY

Mr. Britti, MA

Mr. Monju, MA

Mustahid Ahmed, MA

Naina Ahmad, MA

Rezbul Chowdhury Manna, MA

Rosy Singh, RI

Ruhul Abid Lekhan, MA

Shafique Khan Raja, MA

Shaheen Khan, MA

Shumona Haque, Bangladesh

Sohini Alam, London

Sudipta Sarker, MA

Sujan Bin Wadud, NY

Sujan Kabir, MA

Swami Yogatmananda, RI

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A fresh perspective from the inside.


All I have to say, I had a jomano 72 hrs with AK in London.....

It was my 1st time with them and hopefully the beginning of a lot more to come for me, In those 72 hrs i received the prestigious title of "Bandor" from Taposh da and Swapnadi's third son.

I loved how Andaleep bhai, Kash bhai, Shafaq Bhai and I gave a restless 5 hr crash course London tour from 5 am to 10 am.

AK rocks........I love you guys!

- Nafiz Ahmed

Friday, May 11, 2007

Thank you, from us at Amra Kojon

Time for pictures!

For those of you turning blue with anticipation - here are the pictures from the AK London Tour, thanks to Auditi, our resident media rep!

Enjoy, and don't forget to post your comments here on the AK blog. Your participation and comments inject life into the AK blog!

Note from BI

Dearest AK members,

Sorry mates, I have lost all words to praise your greatness and generosity. I am sorry that your kindness and love have overwhelmed me so much that it will take a while for my emotional state of being to be normal agin to deliver what I would like to say in saying "Thank You".

So, please be generous again to hear those words I would love to say to all of you for coming home at BI centre and the good works we did together in the weekend.

All I am able to say at these emotional moment is: " I love you Amra Kojon"!

I look forward to seeing you soon.

With Kindest regards from each one at Bengali International,

- Shams
President, Bengali International

How much would you pay?

Airfare = $577.00

VISA fee = $138.00

Goofed up at the VISA interview and had to pay more for the visa = $400.00

Since VISA did not make on time so had to go the New York Gas = $ 50.00

Park at the wrong spot in new your and the parking ticket =$45.00

2 missing easles =$60.00

Making a trip with the most favorite people of your life,

Staying under the same roof and sleeping on the floor,

Spending sleepless nights so we can have more fun,

Doing the performance of your life,

1st ever international concert,

All lathered up but no water to take shower,

Finally, the standing Ovation……………


- Dewan Kashem, Tuhin
on behalf of Amra Kojon

Thursday, May 10, 2007

AK's note to Drishtipat, London and Bengali International

Dear members of Drishtipat, London, and members of Bengali International,

There are literally no words left to describe the camaderie and warm reception that we've had the good fortune of experiencing with you guys over this past weekend. You've welcomed us into your tight circle of near and dear ones, and even in this short span of less than 3 days, we've bonded. We've bonded over our common love for Bangla gaan, our common passion for the promulgation of the Bangla culture, and our
obstinate refusal to let our individual differences stand in the way of cooperation, tolerance, acceptance and team work.

We are more than just another expatriate organization collaborating with each other:

We share a common vision and a common spirit. We want to be able to transcend the barriers of what makes us different from one another, and we want to be able to learn to value the richness that this very difference brings to our experiences and perspectives. Like you, at Drishtipat and Bengali International, we at Amra Kojon want to demonstrate through example that we can realize large dreams through the collective endeavors and passionate contributions of many. We want to demonstrate that we are a team displaying unparalleled professionalism in our volunteering commitments - achieving results through effective communication, individual ownership and commitment, and by holding our teammates close to our hearts.

We can not thank you enough for inspiring us. Seeing our spirit, and our vision for unity reflected so clearly in your midst reinforces the strength of our convictions.

Together, we can really make a difference. Amra Kojon would like to invite those who share our dreams of unity despite differences to come visit us in Boston this summer. Lets talk, lets party, lets brainstorm. Let us try to extend the hospitality that you've so warmly extended to us!

We really hope that you will seriously consider a Boston trip soon, and help foster this exchange of energy and life!

Thank you. You've made a deep impact on all the Amra Kojon members.

warm regards,

Auditi Guha,
Chetan Kothari,
David Upegui,
Dewan kashem Tuhin,
Fariha Chowdhury,
Fawad Reza,
Joy Alamgir,
Kabir Ahmed(Germany AK Rep),
Lali Basher,
Mohitosh Talukder Taposh,
Nafiz Chowdhury,
Nandini Chowdhury,
Nita Mahalanobish,
Nuzhat Karim Himi,
Pusha karim,
Rahul Ray,
Rezina Chowdhury,
Shafaq Islam,
Sohini Alam (London AK Rep),
Swapna Ray,
Syed Bashar Jami,
Zahid Osmani Mamun

on behalf of Amra Kojon

In front of the hall

All of us:

The women:

and the men:

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

some more quick snapshots to share...

Amra Kojon receives a standing ovation in London

For the first time, a 1500-strong audience at the annual Bengali New Year celebration in Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London, gave a standing ovation to a chorus group from Boston, USA as they wound their way through the crowds singing "Ami Banglay Gaan Gai."

"This is a big deal. You put up a great show. You really touched the audience and this has never happened before at a Bengali show in London," said Shams, president of Bengali International that organized the annual event on May 6.

Amra Kojon was invited to perform at the show this year and presented a medley of folk songs from both Bengals in a performance titled "Gaaner Feriwala" (Musical Nomads) to a packed audience at the London show this weekend, 6 th May, 2007.

Many identified with popular favorites like "Leelabali", "Shajher Belaa" and "Kaandey Hason Raja" and even joined in the final chorus with tears in their eyes.

This was Amra Kojon's first international concert and a dream come true. A dream to sing and celebrate together and their first step to spread Bengali music around the globe.

Amra Kojon literally means "a few of us" in Bangla. A few years ago, a group of music lovers from both Bengals came together in celebration of their motherland and language, beyond the borders of religion, country, politics and local organizations.

The group come a long way since and are proud and honored with their latest venture. For more information, please visit


Priyo Amra Kojon,

Dhonnobad, apnader doler shobaike.

In Sydney I can still re-call our beloved organization 'Amra Ka'jan Mancho sromik'. We work from 1994 to 1996 very well. The organization did not exist because of our various political agenda.

Apnader uddom jeno theme na jai. Bhalo thakun shushto thakun.

Anwar Akash
Bangla Academy Australia

Celebrating Humanity

I am back at work today and have been telling everyone about my experiences in London. I can't thank everyone at Amra Kojon enough for believing that this Colombian could make music with the team.

I had a great time and learned a lot about Bengali culture, music, food, language, and more importantly I learned about myself.

I have come to realize that when examined closely, the Bengali culture celebrates more than the people born to it, it celebrates humanity.

Thank you for letting be part of it all! I am a better person because of you!

Please thank Sohini for the great job she did as our ambassador. She is an oak, strong and resistant!

We'll keep on talking!

- David Upegui, MA
on behalf of Amra Kojon

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

We are all missing you ...

Dear Amra Kojon friends,

You have won us over. We are all thinking about the amazing weekend we just had with you guys. Congratulations on getting done what seemed like impossible a few months ago.

AK will be a known brand in London from here on.

Here is a comment I thought worth passing to you:

Looking forward to the next time we get together again.

- Asif Saleh
to Amra Kojon

Amra Kojon is back from London...

... and I am in a daze.

It has been an unbelievable trip -- from 22 of us on the same flight, meeting Sohini after so long, the amazing hospitality of Bengali International and Shams and adda at Asif Bhai and Eeshita's, to a standing ovation at the show, dinner at B.B. Chowdhury's and a long sleepless gaan-bajna session on Sunday night.
It was hectic - but so much fun!

We met an amazing bunch of enthusiastic, committed folks without whom this trip wouldn't have been worth it. And I hope we remain friends forever, that they too become a part of our Amra Kojon madness around the globe!

At the end of the day, it truly is a dream come true. And perhaps one small step towards our greater dream of taking Bangla gaan around the globe. (And please, can I be allowed my traditional caustic comment here? I stick my tongue out to gloat once again to all those who said it could never be done...nya nya nya nya nya!)

Even a week ago some of us were not sure we could go but it was worth all the headaches, confusion, sleepless nights...

Now, 24 hours later, it seems so surreal that I can't believe it really happened and I can't believe we did it. There cheers to Taps, to AK, to us and mostly to our new friends in London!

- Auditi Guha
on behalf of Amra Kojon

Hope all of you got across to the other side safe and sound!

Apneder kollaney ekta oshadharon weekend'er jonno thanks janatey likhtey boshlam. (This is Zubaer by the way, kala pola with the lal panjabi!) Apneder shob kichhu, pura ayojon shotti khubi mugdho korlo. Onek enjoy korlam, hoi choi gaan bajna hashi tamasha, Asif'er bashae jamming theke shuru korey, gotokal shara raater adda porjonto. Eto bhalo shobai - in both senses - bhishon omayik ebong oshombhob talented! Emon manusher pashey thakleo mon'ta bhalo hoy.

Annu ekta khub bhalo kotha bollo ajke bhor bela on the way back from the hostel - ami sure eita er aageo 100 bar shunsen kintu tao boltey hoy - eto bishudhho Bangali ayojon khub beshi dekhi nai. Khali bhedabhed shikhi amra, eipar bonam oipar, hindu bonam muslim. Amra Kojon'ke dekhlam ekta unit jara shomosto bhedabhed dhongsho korey disey. Ei hanahani ar hingsha'r diney Amra Kojon asholei ekta example shob Bangali'r jonno. Jak, apneder kachhey peye amra khubi anondo pailam, ar ami personally ekdom obhibhuto, apneder bonding, unity, friendship, and commitment to Bengali culture and music dekhey. (Oh aar gaan ja gailen mashallah! Oi niye ar kisu bolar baki rakhlen koi!!)

Apnera bar bar amader eikhane firey ashen, ei asha'i kori :-)

Best wishes,

Amra Kojon Sets its Sail!

After a few weeks of rigorous rehearsal, "Amra Kojon" finally set sail to England as a test run for the world tour. Against many odds, we hoped to take Bangla music all around the globe starting with our first show in London, UK. As soon as we landed in the UK, we were greeted by Sohini and our hosts, while lines of vans waited to take us to the Bengali International Center where we would reside for the next few days. From that point on, we fell into a rigorous routine of rehearsals, dinners, and gatherings that had been chalked out for us. We had to be well disciplined, professional and together we were fierce, and had tireless determination to achieve our goal. At times, with Taposh Da's one call, twenty five of us had to get ready in just a matter of minutes and be out the door! At the end of each day, we came back to the center, exhausted, but excited, as we sat and ate together, chatted, laughed, shared our thoughts, and slept under the same roof like one big happy family.

The day of the show, needless to say, I was excited, yet nervous beyond belief. The moment we had all been waiting for was finally here. For the first time, in a long time, my hands were cold before my performance and I felt the rush, the pressure, and the anxiety seemed overwhelming. When the trumpet started playing to introduce the beginning of our show, the cheering responses from the crowd, reassured us that we already had the audience captivated. When we entered the stage I noticed the entire auditorium being completely packed, with curious faces waiting to see what we had to offer. Standing on the stage at that moment with bright lights shining over us, I looked around and instantly felt so proud and gratified that all my fears just melted away. As we began the show, everything fell right into place and we captured the spirit of the audience. When we received applauds and whistles during the show, I knew we had accomplished what we came here to do. What an honor it was for "Amra Kojon", when the show ended with standing ovation from the audience! We were greeted with a cheering crowd just applauding and rushing over to shake hands to congratulate us. We did it! Against all odds that seemed so enormous at times, we finally made it happen!

We landed back in the U.S. with great pride and satisfaction as we look forward to a promising future ahead. Taposh Da always says, if you dare to dream, you might as well dream big, dream beyond limits and that's exactly what he had sought out to do. Many times we took one step forward and two steps back, but we kept going. It was not just the moment when I stepped on the stage, but the entire experience of so many of us flying across the ocean on the same flight, all of us staying under the same roof, singing "O amar desher mati" and feeling the same rush, anxiety and satisfaction, that made everything worthwhile, and turned it into a lifetime of priceless experience.

- Pusha Karim,
on behalf of Amra Kojon

Friday, May 04, 2007

Prepping to tour London!

Pictures from the last AK rehearsal before going on the London trip:

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Musical Marathon Torch bearers

My visit to the website of Amrakojon was an ecstatic joy I experienced after a long time. I sincerely apologise to Amrakojon specially its 'pranvomora' Mohitosh Taposh for not paying serious attention to their activities or visiting their website

As a matter of fact, I curse myself for being unresponsive to such an unbelievable musical expedition to conquer the world. Who can believe a group of 50 young Bangali students, scholars and professionals of Boston, getting together for a cultural show just like ordinary Bangalis everywhere in the world, will suddenly spring to their feet and set out on a Marathon to all directions of the world with the torch of Bangla music.

When I first heard about it, just like Hasina-Khaleda breed, I thought it was some kind of hoax for cheap popularity. Even the volcano of will, power and genius of 1971 could not convince us we the Bangalis are genuinely capable and talented people with proven records of unflinching faith in human dignity and universal human rights. What a pity we need to be reminded of our own genius by occasional wins in cricket, a Nobel prize or some military services rendered to the cause of world peace.

The generation that does not believe in Bangali genius must bow out. Thank you Amrakojon, Drishtipath, Porshi Mukto-Mona, Uttorshuri and others for rekindling our faith in us and remind us that weare the same people who said, long before America was discovered, 'Listen, Oh Ye Mankind! Man is the final truth and there is nothing beyond'.

My best wishes to Amrakojon for its global shows. I am truly impressed with the meticulous planning of this very complicated tour. I invite everyone to please visit thier site and join the spree.

Belal Beg