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The idea had been floating around for some time, but then in the middle of the tough winter months in 1981, some of the die-hard societal friendship explorers gathered at 18 Henry Street in Rockaway township to chat about finalizing the possible implications of creating an organization to foster the community's social needs. The individuals who showed up for this important event included Ajit and Binita Datta, Dilip and Rakhi Guha, Ajit and Indira Kesh, Rupak Raha, Kamal and Jhuma Sarkar, Rajat Mukherjee, Patina and Krishna Dhar, Asok Mukherjee, B.P. and Sunanda Mukherjee, Debdas Ghosh, Supradip Sen and the host family Himangshu and Kalpana Bhattacharjee.
The primary objective was to create a platform where our Sesame Streeters would be able to express their individual talents and creativities in arts, music and literature and participate in organized recreational activities. They foresaw the dire need of such an organization to provide opportunities to the children of this locality as well as to those from northern New Jersey at large. The gathered elites decided unanimously that they must form a club and immediately look for a place where children and parents and their friends could meet at least once a month, on a regular schedule.
However, success did not appear overnight. It was the relentless efforts from a few genuinely artful and artistic members such as Ruma Chatterjee, Baruna and Rama Haldar, Mitra Purkayastha, Kalpana Bhattacharjee, Krishna Kundu, Shubhra and Jiten Chakraborty, Manju Mukherjee and many other similarly talented people. Undoubtedly, it was an insurmountable task to teach the children the rich Indian and Bengali heritage in the form of singing, reciting and dancing, both in solos and in chorus. But these individuals were successful in motivating the youngsters, and in the process were able to provide a strong bond between teacher and disciple, an essential element for the continuation of the Indian musical traditions over the ages.
Cultural programs of music, dance, drama and dance dramas are among the prominent activities ICC has been offering with style and grandeur over the years. The youngsters now routinely display their expertise in various cultural events with superb eloquence. They also have acted as proud participants to large audiences in the North American Bengali Conferences held in New Jersey, Washington and Boston always leaving behind lasting impressions to the attendees.
In addition to cultural activities, from its inception ICC has been engaged in providing year- round social activities to its members, friends and well-wishers. These important activities include celebration of Durga Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Saraswati Puja, Baishakhi, organizing outdoor gatherings for the annual picnic and presenting prominent outside artists to convey cultural stimulus.
- The above is based on an article from a previous Durga Puja Brochure which was written by Himangshu Bhattacharjee.
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The Basiskahi event is scheduled to be held on April 15th. Please save the date.