Subject: Durga Puja 99 and Other Cultural Events
Dated: Sep 02, 1999
Dear Member,

It is that time of the year again when we start over fresh with new 
plans for the coming year. As you would know, we are starting our fiscal 
year 1999-2000 with Durga Puja in October. It is thus time to tell you 
about what we have been planning so far and what we have in store.

MEMBERSHIP
==========
First and foremost, we would like to remind you that membership needs 
to be renewed every year. Since this is the begining of the year, it 
would be to your advantage to become an annual member now and derive the 
membership benefits all year round. The membership rates were earlier 
notified by Email and they are also present on our web-page. You can take 
advantage of the discounted rates if you register by September 15.

            Fees on or before Sep 15      After Sep 15
----------------------------------------------------------
Couple                $60.00                $80.00
Single                $35.00                $45.00
Dependent/Student     $25.00                $35.00
Patron               $200.00               $200.00
----------------------------------------------------------
We highly encourage you to register through the web through your 
credit-card. Go to:
http://www.prabasi.org/Membership and type in your membership number and renewal code. These are uniquely 
generated for each member and is yours is given below (see footnote): 

Membership Number: 19982066
Renewal Code: 

WHY BECOME A MEMBER ?
=====================
Being a member of Prabasi benefits you in many ways. You will be able 
to attend SIX days of festival including three days of Durga Puja and 
one day each for Kali Puja, Saraswati Puja and Baishakhi. Considering 
that you paid $60.00 for a couple registration, that alone accounts to 
just $10.00 per day for both of you or just $5.00 per person per day. 
Looking at the number of programs that Prabasi brings you, it defininitely 
appears to be a good deal!

DURGA PUJA DATES AND POSSIBLE VENUES
====================================
The tentative dates for Durga Puja this year have been fixed on Oct 15, 
16 and 17. We have three tentative places right now: (1) Chabot 
College, Hayward (2) Pleasanton Fair Grounds and (3) San Jose Convention 
Center. We are fixing at one of the three locations. We'll let you know by 
the second week of September when everything is finalized.

OVERSEAS ARTISTS AT DURGA PUJA
==============================
We are negotiating with several artists to come and perform at Durga 
Puja. US regulations for P-3 visas (performing arts), have become very 
strict of late. All programs mentioned below are therefore subject of 
availability of the artist's visa and their acceptance of the terms and 
conditions of the contract. Here are some artists from Calcutta whom we 
have talked to.

(1) Swagata Lakshmi DasGupta, the number one and most sought-after 
modern and Rabindra Sangeet singer of Calcutta.
(2) Rezwana Bonya Choudhury from Calcutta who dazzled us during NABC.
(3) Indraneel Sen, well-known modern singer from Calcutta.
(4) Anup Ghosal, an established artist who has sung in several Satyajit 
Ray movies besides many others.
(5) Noted folk singer Pralhad Bramhachari and group.
(6) Mamata Shankar and group.

Once again, we are still negotiating with the above artists at this 
stage and there may be changes in the plan which we'll let you know by the 
second week of September.

MILLENIUM CELEBRATION
=====================
This is the end of the millenium, and we would be presenting quality 
programs throughout the year to celebrate this event. We are negotiating 
with some Bombay artists to stage a performance in the Bay Area. Among 
them are the following:

(1) Sharmila Tagore, who had earlier accepted our invitation to preside 
over at NABC, could not do so due to her husband's illness at that 
time. However, to keep her commitment, she has agreed to participate at 
Durga Puja and in all probability, she would be here.

(2) Abhijeet, one of the top Hindi film singers who was here at NABC to 
sing Bengali songs, would be here again, this time with his troupe. We 
are trying to close the deal for a program in the Sunnyvale Hindu 
Temple either on Oct 24 or Oct 26. Watch out for more news!

(3) Kumar Sanu and his orchestra is touring the United States from the 
middle of October to the end of November. We have spoken to his 
promoter and he has agreed to present a program either during Durga Puja or at 
Kali Puja.

OTHER LOCAL PROGRAMS AND FILMS
==============================
We would be having dramas by local Bay Area groups in the forthcoming 
functions. In addition we will be screening some good films at Durga 
Puja that we had acquired during NABC but could not show due to lack of 
time.

All in all, we have an exciting year ahead and we would like you to 
participate in the fun. Prabasi being a non-profit organization runs only 
on membership and advertisements. We therefore request you to renew 
your membership as early as possible so that we can continue to provide 
you with quality programs all year round.

N.B. Regarding registration, in case you have already registered, your 
renewal code shows up as "No". Please ignore the renewal code in this 
case.

- Anupam Bagchi
Prabasi Webmaster

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