2017 Kolkata Times of India Bengali language “El Samay” on Tramjatra Melbourne

Posted Wed 27/9/17 by Roberto D'Andrea

Times of India Bengali language newspaper the El Samay writes about Tramjatra melbourne. BENGALI to ENGLISH TRANSLATION : "While tram routes in the city are being closed down under the pretext of developmental work, the celebration of this heritage and environment-friendly mode of transport took place far away in Melbourne. The ocassion was the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne. On August 22, the closing day of this two-week long festival, Melbourne Central Theatre screened the documentary film "Tramajatra" directed by Mahadev Shi. The film is his tribute to 'Tramjatra', a symbol of solidarity between Calcutta and Melbourne which has is now in its 20th year. Mahadev is involved with this popular project since 1996. He has recently formed the Calcutta Tram Users Association along with other gunzels of the city. Roberto D'Andrea, former Melbourne conductor is present in each and every frame of the film. He was the center of attraction in every Tramjatra, held in the city: 1996, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2012, 2013 and 2016. The documentary also received praise from the non resident Indians in the audience. On a different note, this screening event also took the form of a reunion. Some Australians who had come to see the film have a deep emotional connect with the Calcutta Tramways. One such person is Mick Douglas who in 1997, decorated the Tramjatra tram with Roberto in Belgatchia Depot. In 2005 he designed the "fusfus bondhu [friend of lungs]" T-shirt to promote that year's Tramjatra. He also edited the book 'Tramajatra' published in the same year. Craig Allen, who accompanied Roberto for the "Poribeshbondhu [Friend of the Environment]" Tramjatra in 2012; Malcolm Just whose tram poetry was translated in Bengali for use in the Tramjatras of 1996 and 1997; Andy Miller, who was in Calcutta for the 2001 "Bachcha (Children)" Tramjatra. The association doesn't end here. Roberto and Mahadev are decorating a Melbourne tram with Bashra Hassan. The appropriately named 'Tramjatra' tram (see design above) will begin its journey from October 5 in central Melbourne and move around the city for the next six months. Mahadeb has also been busy capturing the different details and intricacies of Melbourne's tram transportation system in his video camera. He has visited the tram museum and super stops for this purpose. He hopes the Melbourne model can help rejenuvate the tramways of Calcutta". Roberto