Nightlong Indian classical music program announced amidst total mismanagement

Sangeet Mela 2012 Banner (click to enlarge)

The 2012 edition of the annual Bangla Sangeet Mela (previously known as Gaan Mela) program has been announced by the Information and Cultural Ministry of the Government of West Bengal. This has been posted in our Programs page.

Though this annual extravaganza covers a wide range of music performed at several venues in Calcutta for several days, Indian classical music is given a single nightlong slot. And that’s what we had always been interested in.

However, this year was quite different from the past years in terms of convenience. First off, the program had no prior information and its ads were published only today, the day it was being inaugurated! Also, the ads were not consistent across all the newspapers.

One of the ads told us that there will be tickets to this program, but none of the ads had any information about where or when the tickets will be available!

But as our program happens tomorrow, some of us went over to Rabindra Sadan for the tickets. I took a snapshot of the banner the organizers had up there – surprisingly it too didn’t have any information on when or where to procure the tickets.

The single ticket counter open at Rabindra Sadan was selling some theater tickets and the clerk (or anybody else) didn’t have a clue about what we were asking for. And to think all these happened as its inaugural program was being held at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, not far from where we were standing!

We tried to visit the website of the ministry – but all it had on the program was a short paragraph inside a PDF file, claiming it as “details”! The West Bengal Information and Cultural Center website maintained by the the Central Government didn’t have any sign of this program on their calendar of events in West Bengal either!

Not knowing what else to do, we returned without any tickets (or any information on how to procure them) from this extravaganza of mismanagement. We will try to return tomorrow afternoon there in the faint hope of getting hold of someone who knows which mountains the unfortunate music-lovers should move to get inside.