Archives for category: out and about


Last night I watched an angel dance

On a London stage

In our BanglaTown

Wedged between tower blocks

And Aldgate wealth of chicken shops

And sarees.

First he balanced perfectly

On one leg and then on the other

His white lungi opened wide

His anklets stirred.

And we were in an oasis

Transported to somewhere else

He was the universal player of good deeds

A despatch rider from heavens above

The embodiment of getting it right

The message man to our souls.

An actor acting something unreal

A pretender rehearsed in his role.

We in from the rain of a November evening

Succumbed to the illusion

The stage lights warmed us

And the celestial beings

Folk-lored and globally-taled

Redundant and resident in

Beloved poems and nurseries

Joined in the dance.


When you need a clone, eh? When you need to get to all the magical plays and dramas, seminars and buzz around the Season of Bangla Drama. Facebook tells me what I’ve missed and I can tell myself what to look forward to. “Bonbibi” at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green Road went down a treat. Well done everyone.

Tonight I shall go to the Brady Arts Centre in Whitechapel E1 to enjoy first of all the exhibition “Retrospective” a display journal of the lead up to the festival of Bangla arts.  Always good to see how it’s done but also to enjoy another visual feast. Maraz Ahmed curated that with students from “Hands on Fashion” learning from him.

I’ll be in it to see “Hey Mahajibon-The Great Life”  and my friend, a lover of Tagore, will be with me. The director for tonight’s plays is Dr Ananda Gupta. Looking forward to performances full of music and drama and deep considerations about Buddha, mercy and forgiveness.

Again tomorrow I shall be in Whitechapel,  at the Idea Store for the Writeidea Festival  for some discussion with Owen Jones, a sell-out afternoon. Mercy and forgiveness are not on the agenda.

The Night Riders (2003)

The mini-cab crept slowly, Knight-Rider

Ninja Turtle-eyed

shifting into first gear

seeking lines against the blackness

of smoke-shadowed rising walls

of Aldgate alleyways

and licked the kerb.

“That’s it!” cabman shouting

touting for a tip.

Tipped out from a ratted hole

to yellow fusion and cacophony

I opened wide my eyes

and stepped the kerb.

Here was odoriferous stainless steel potted

waffled scarf Isle of Bengali

Here was to be smothered in third



love life and generosity.

I came in from the cold and held

my hands and palms



asking for a space.

“Hip Hop club over there!”

Nodding. Thanking. Not mocking

the restaurant delboys

I left the cuddling lane

and was hit

by mirrors and people in silhouettes

and couples on sofas

and bottles on floors.

I rooted my body against the speakers

of massive

with respect

CK replaced the cumin in my nose

and settled

on my back throat

I was gutteral tongue-ing

like the black rapper unseen

In Big Smoke

but spotted.

The Brylcreem mopped Cliffs of the outside

charmed me with

White Teeth


The night man on the rostrum

opened me, devoured me


Beanie Man, Red Man, Night Man

He warmed my right side, night side

and I brushed the dancers, sistren

balanced on 3 stripes and shell toes.

“DJ!  Kick that beat!  What was once dark Hip Hop

is now cool”

DJ T skidded tin-tinny bell,

an Eminem riff

on top of killing Kella fields of thunder

repeating and fine.

So my belly vibrated

to the heartbeat of a nation

One Love

And I felt soothed, safe and comfortable

in a darkened dance place.

Outside under street lights of

the brewery yard

Brudders in Bengali clapped, laughed aloud

Saw us through their almond eyes

Britishers fooled by music fashion

Tonight they are the spectators

as the kept-clean stage

fills tightly with the MC s shouts

for denim-clad jogger-swaddled


to come out

to twist tongues on gold teeth

and open mouth

the mics.

We formed one hunchback

we the children of the night

We dog-nodded our heads together

One Nation disturbed and at once still.

Licence ended


A 3 point plug interruption cut

the lasers.

Hunchback reared fragmented

shoe danced feet shuffled off

plucked handbags

from drink dribbled sofas

from amongst the stink spent ends

Outside creeping a corner a menace crawled


shut doors of curry houses

and silver belled boutiques.

“Come ride wid us:

We are the night riders

bandana-ed and slim

shady an solid

Goldie an rimmed

Geddin the car.”

The smiley taxi touts waved slender

brown arms into the early hours.

Here comes one DJ trundling a trolley

vinyl protected.

Swooped on, he lights a fag.

In the gap in the wall

Knight Rider has returned on time

Whispered in Micra.

***********************************************************************Gillian Muir 280803

It was night-time at 2.30pm today; so dull and cold and yuk but as ever Whitechapel was buzzing. All the mums were out with their buggies and their other children hanging on to the pram handles. The market stalls were busy. The beautiful textiles were shaking in the bitter wind. Business as usual.

Brady Arts Centre is always ready with warmth and a welcome.

Today it was busier than ever with  Maraz Ahmed  putting up the exhibition “A Retrospective- A Season of Bangla Drama”   almost single-handedly. I was invited into the auditorium to peek at the ongoing rehearsal for The Movement Theatre’s production tonight directed by Dr. Mukid Choudhury. It was a magical shot in the dark literally because the colours of the lighting and the costumes are awesome and the professionalism and dedication of the performers, all moving, were evident,  as it should be.

Tickets were sold out early. I love the strictness about not allowing latecomers and hopefuls around. It’s an insult to the troupe when people rock up late and loud. The audience wants to stay in the realm of fantasy not be interrupted by shuffling people.

Next year I’m booking for first night at first whiff.

The trick is in the fantasies about to unfold in Hanbury Street E1 and the treat? obvious.

I was priveleged to get into the auditorium today. Thank you, Ruksana.

I am Cinderella and belong to the RAGWORKS collection. I am showing off here because of

“A Season Of Bangla Drama 2012” for I can dance and I am gorgeous. Do you know I’m hand-made and composed of refreshed and recycled textiles?

I was recently displayed at the Hornbeam Café in Walthamstow as part of Black History Month awareness.  I may well be at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green  on Sunday 4th November if I can be hung.  I saw no picture rail.

I’ve been hung in the lovely welcoming  Stratford PictureHouse for a month and at The Mill in Coppermill Lane.

I am RAGWORKS  Cinderella.

This is Tagore’s signature in Bengali script

The Tagore Centre UK is the country’s number one institution dedicated to promoting the work and life of Rabindranath Tagore.  The Centre, founded in May 1985, is primarily a substantial lending library of Tagore’s work and life. We also organise performances, seminars, exhibitions and master classes run by and featuring renowned artists and scholars from the UK and all over the world.
The main centre is based in London but we also have a branch in Glasgow. We are a voluntary organisation that relies on donations, membership fees, ticket sales, funding and publication sales.
Our biggest achievement to date has been to secure Rabindranath Tagore’s work in the National Curriculum for schools in England and Wales, ensuring that children of all cultures are able to enjoy Tagore’s work and life.
Library The Centre is primarily a substantial lending library consisting of books, journals, photographs, CDs and videos of Tagore and his work. The majority of these are in English and available to all our members. As a publishing house, we have produced books aimed at children, students, scholars and the general public – many of these are translations of Tagore’s actual stories as well as information about the man himself. All of our publications, which we commission and produce, are in English.
Performances and exhibitions In addition to our publishing work, we organise theatre productions, dance performances and visual arts exhibitions by renowned artists from overseas, as well as homegrown talent from the UK. Many of these are based on Tagore’s work and to ensure we reach all audiences many of these events are held in venues ranging from local schools and theatres to more established ones such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.
Lectures, seminars and workshops The Tagore Centre regularly runs seminars, workshops and classes based on Tagore’s work as well as holding lectures given by distinguished scholars in their specialist fields with topics based on Tagore and his work. These are held at the Centre as well as other venues and all members are welcome to attend.
Contact details
Main Centre and Lending Library: Alexandra Park Library, Alexandra Park Road, London N22 7UJ
Telephone 020 8444 6751  

Hanbury Street in the Autumn sunshine. Brady Arts Centre all glorious and warm  for

A Season of Bangla Drama.