Long weekend of American Independence day was a good time for us recovering from the recent shock and having a great time with Bengali touch all around us. July 2nd, 3rd, 4th NABC 2009 (stands for North American Bengali Conference) was successfully held in San Jose McEnry Convention Center. I, Shusmita, Ahyan, Nitol and Amin attended it all the 3 days. Thousands of Bengali speaking people came from all accross USA and Canada. While most of the crowd seemed to be from West Bengal, there were a decent amount of visitors, artists from Bangladesh as well. Highlights of this conference for me were chat with Humayun Ahmed, the stage performance of Runa Laila and getting to know the Bangladeshi Comedian Naveed Mahbub.
The first night (Thursday) we had a little tough time to find a dinner place before attending Lopa Mudra, Srikanta and Anjan Dutta's music. The second morning I came with Nitol and Amin in the morning to listen to the opening speech of Humayun Ahmed before his film Amar Ache Jol was showed through projector in one of the film show room. We came back again in the afternoon with Shusmita and Ahyan to attend Rezwana Choudhury Bonna and Runa Laila's show. Also we got entertained by Naveed Mahbub's comedy show all the 3 days and the Taal Tantra by Fusion Band. The heart breaking news for us was that Bangladeshi Band Miles couldn't come to this event although they were hired and scheduled to perform. Shaan performed the last day although I believe Runa Laila's performance the earlier night was quite more impressive. The last day's afternoon will be memorable to me mostly for a nice chat with Humayun Ahmed.
When we were having some snacks in front of the Muktodhara's stall, we found that the famous Bangladeshi writer Humayun Ahmed is roaming around with Shaon, Bishwajit Da of Muktodhara and actor Faruk. So we approached him in the balcony and I politely asked permission to have some conversations with him. He gladly accepted. I have read so many of his books and am an avid fan of his writing style and 2 outstanding characters Misir Ali and Himu. I started with demand for a good writing from him on chess citing that he used to play chess early in his life and I myself am passionate about chess. He replied that he already had one named Khela which has been telecasted recently and will be shown in the coming Eid programs in Bangladesh. I was happy to know that and he went forward with some small stories. He was talking about his memories with his elder daughter Nova. I felt he misses her and informed that I met her in a few occassions during my stay in Atlanta as I got introduced to her husband. Humayun Ahmed was quite curious about Ahyan's name and Shusmita explained the meaning and it's origin. Shuvojit and Sudipta da joined us after a while. I took an autograph of him on behalf of Ahyan buying Misir Alir Choshma from Muktodhara stall.
The dinner we bought second day from the conference was so tasty that I was amazed despite I am not a good food seeker type of guy. We also bought some other books, T-shirts, CDs the last day. I had some conversations with Naveed Bhai on how he turned from Engineer to Comedian and what he is doing now-a-days in Bangladesh and in USA. I insisted him on strong online presence and looks like he is already aware of it.
I also met Sushanta Sir of Notre Dame College in the fair as he came to visit here to his son Sudipta Da's home. With initiative from Shuvojit we met him the next day for a buffet lunch in Hayward Pakwan as well as went for an afternoon gathering in Livermore in a nice lake.
Overall, it was a very good experience to attend the NABC conference this time. This also hepled me and Shusmita divert our mind to some interesting directions instead of looking back to the accident of Highway Five. Next year NABC will be hosted in New Jersey and we might end up going there.