With many families confined to their homes around the world as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic since March 2020, Kaberi and Obhi Chatterjee used Zoom to organise a pilot Online Sahityasabha on 27 June 2020. The performance was streamed live on YouTube and has had almost 800 views. They continued to organise the Online Sahityasabha on the last Saturday of each month until June 2021, after which they reduced the frequency.
Hosted by Kaberi Chatterjee and produced with the help of Debangana Banerjee, Nripendra Singh Madan and Obhi Chatterjee, the ‘Online Sahityasabha’ series recreates online the tradition established by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in his home town of Santiniketan.
There, the Sahityasabha (“literary gathering”) takes place on Tuesday evenings. It is a performance at which schoolchildren from Patha Bhavan and Shikhyasatra are invited to perform their own creations, including works by Tagore, based on recommendations from their teachers. This is how they learn to become stage-free.
To allow both the performers and the live audience to join from different time zones around the world, the ‘Online Sahityasabha’ take place on the last Saturday of each month. Each episode brings together different performers and a guest of honour – mainly former students of Patha Bhavan or Shikhyasatra, as well as their children.
The first series of Online Sahityasabha ran from 27 June 2020 to 12 March 2022. Each episode has been viewed several hundred times.