GUWAHATI, Jan 16 � A first of a kind event united a large number of people on Magh Bihu yesterday. The young and old from varied backgrounds witnessed a huge Meji being put to the flames in Sonaram HS School playground, and all were left impressed.
Encouraged by the public response, Paschim Guwahati Nagarik Sojagota Mancha, which organized the event, stated its intent to make it an annual feature. �It will help fostering amity among people on an auspicious day of the Assamese calendar,� said RK Choudhury of the Mancha.
It was a spectacle for city dwellers to watch flames envelop the more than 30 feet tall Meji, which was made in the traditional style. The Meji�s huge size was only possible because of the space available in the field.
Mithun Negi, who is to appear in his HSLC examination this year marvelled at the sight, saying he had never seen such a structure being set ablaze. �Today I became aware of another facet of Assamese culture,� he remarked.
Interestingly, the event had received wide publicity on the internet, and social networking websites such as Facebook were used to spread the word. �Kamal Krishna Das, one of the organisers, said that the ceremonial burning of the Meji brought in people not just from West Guwahati but also from distant parts of the city. Among those present was a section of senior citizens, social workers and academics.
Before setting the Meji ablaze, a few respected citizens of Guwahati were felicitated by the organizers.