History

The Beginning

It was Saraswasti Puja of 2002, a few new Bengali residents of Sacramento were standing in front of 1317 Montridge Ct., El Dorado Hills, CA, reminiscing over the Puja celebrations in their homeland in India.  The participants in that gathering – Deb Saha, Udayan Chanda (UC), Arun Chowdhury, Samrat Basu, Anirban Bhattacharya, Suvayu Bose, and Joy Mukherjee – all felt the need to host their own Durga Puja in Sacramento and the idea of an organization was thus born.  In an hour, they came up with the name, Utsav, first proposed by Suvayu Bose.  Later Mala Paul designed the Utsav logo.

Few weeks after that momentous gathering of minds, several Sacramento Bengali old timers were contacted with the help of Mita Chakraborty.  Everyone who was spoken to, got excited at the idea of experiencing Durga Puja here in Sacramento with the help of their very own organization. Through this process of joyous interactions between the new arrivals and the old timers of Sacramento, Utsav found few strong pillars in the names of Adi and Mitra Choudri, Somen Nandi, Biswanath Mukherjee, and others, who had an immediate impact to make Utsav a grand success.

In July 2002, Utsav was officially formed. Adi Choudri, Deb Saha, Udayan Chanda, Arijit Chattopadhyay, and Joy Mukherjee – with smiles, happiness, and glitter in their eyes – signed the official paperwork.  We celebrated our first Durga Puja in October 2002. The participation of member families was outstanding and the joy was boundless. As days have passed, the Utsav tree has expanded and the bondage among families have grown deeper.

Utsav membership now includes 80-90 families, from which eight members are elected every year to serve as officers for two consecutive years. In the first seven years, many of our members have served our organization with the leadership of our following Presidents:

  • 2003: Arijit Chattopadhyay
  • 2004: Udayan Chanda
  • 2005: Mitra Choudri
  • 2006: Biswanath Mukherjee
  • 2007: Dipankar Chattopadhyay
  • 2008: Deb Saha
  • 2009: Adi Choudri
  • 2010: Sharmila Mukherjee
  • 2011-12: Joy Mukherjee
  • 2013-14: Ajay Joshi
  • 2015-16: Sanjib Nayak