Pujan Goswami works as an executive at a company that imports and supplies medical equipment. His work life can sometimes be gruelling.
Around one year back he set up Jongshon - a 'collaborative hub' that brings together people from various artistic fields for live performances and other interactive events.
"Squeezed by professional life, this is my breathing space. I have my specific motive behind creating this platform, as I wanted to stay connected with the realm of art - my passion," says Pujan.
Jongshon serves as an umbrella to three separate platforms - Acoustica, Nondon and Udyog - which respectively promote musicians, artists and small scale entrepreneurs.
The hub's most striking venture is Acoustica under which promising singers perform live in front of audiences. The endeavor had been going on for more than a year, until it got hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, after taking protective measures, precautions and enforcing hygiene rules, they have resumed.
"I have played three times so far for Acoustica. After the lockdown, I did my first show on the platform. The best thing about Acoustica is the interaction between the audience and artistes. It's also a great platform to perform original scores," said Saugata Ghosh Druto, a vocalist of Otolanto and Alice in the Drunkard.
"Pujan Goswami deserves a big shout-out for putting out a physical show. He has resumed Jongshon, hosting events at a time when we can't even imagine attending any social programme. But he did it splendidly without compromising on proper health protocol," he added.
Four musical shows were arranged under Acoustica with lively performances by bands like Lubdhok, Druto, Patabahar and Spacepiper.
The latest installment took place at Studio 6/6 in Mohammadpur on December 25. A small studio decorated with lights and a plain backdrop welcomed all with warmth and aesthetic vibes. The walls of the space displayed paintings, photographs and digital art by young artists under their other venture called 'Nondon'.
"The concept behind the arrangement is to serve a viewer with never-ending charms. Usually, an art exhibition is rather quiet, and only selected visitors are allowed to go in there. Here, the ambience is created in a way that it attracts an audience to enjoy multiple forms of art, along with getting introduced to new artists," said Shafqat Amin Inan, a digital artist specialising in lyrics typography, whose 18 works were on display.
Five artists showcased their works, which were open for sale at the show. Freelance artist Akhi spoke about how hard it had become for artists to survive during Covid-19 pandemic. The situation is yet to change.
"I live by selling my art. It was extremely difficult to get by during the lockdown. 'Nondon' has been a good platform to showcase my works. I hope art-loving people will support such initiatives more and more, to keep the initiative growing."
'Udyog' is another initiative that supports small entrepreneurs to exhibit their products. From desserts, to clothing, to jewelries, this section of Jongshon is a hub of creativity and enterprise.
Emama Deena, a student of the University of Dhaka, turned her hobby of baking into a profession during the lockdown, and used 'Udyog' as an outlet. Another new venture, called 'Tulshipata', started their journey just a month ago with the motto to revive natural dye in a cost effective and sustainable way. They are selling the most in-demand product at present - face masks.
"We are selling two layered masks keeping innovative designs, colour and comfort in mind. This is the first time we are displaying our products directly in front of people and the response is pretty good," said Abu Sayef, one of the co-founders of the venture.
Here in Jongshon, the entrepreneurs believe in a fair share for the artists.
"Before turning to work to make ends meet, I had my own musical band. I come from a culturally rich family where I grew up singing, drawing, reciting and much more. I know how tough it is to survive here as an artist," said Pujan.
"I'm just trying to ease their struggle a bit. Due to financial constraints, we haven't been able to implement this dream project completely. Our online and offline platforms are open to the artists, they can post updates about their music and even sell their albums at our events."
Jongshon hopes to expand and come up with bigger ideas like stand-up comedy, film screening, poetry nights, green sustainable products and much more.