My Poet, My City: Owning Tagore and the Bard in Allahabad

Reading Time: 18 minutes

Our Editor-in-Chief, Arindam, shares his personal relationship with Tagore. It deepened when he learned that Gurudev had a close connection with Allahabad, the scribe’s birthplace. Tagore’s niece was married to a legal luminary in the City of Confluence. Moreover, the Bard had an interesting relationship with the Indian Press. The three editorials of Tapati Sinha, Dr. Gauranga Mohanta, and Dr. Bina Biswas adds to the insight about Tagore. The curtain raiser and the four-day Special Issue, ‘Tribute to Tagore’ is for a keepsake, for all times, enriched with writers and from five countries. A Different Truths exclusive.  

As a very young child, I was scared of Rabindranath Tagore. A life-size portrait of his adorned the wall of our Allahabad home. My Jetha (father’s elder brother) took me on his lap and told me how ‘Rabi Dadu’ was very fond of children. And that he had written many poems for children. I was around five then. He read out some simple poems to me. Fear gave way to fondness. His birthday was celebrated in our home. My mother sang Rabindra Sangeet from the big, fat Gitabitan. Bapi (that’s what I called my father) and Jatha – and later, I – recited his poems. We also participated in the celebrations.

‘Rabi Dadu’ was present in all Bengali homes, our relatives and friends, in Allahabad, Varanasi, Mathura and Delhi. Probasi (domiciled or inland migrant) Bengalis stayed connected to their homelands through him – along with Swami Vivekananda and Netaji. At the age of six, I was told that he penned our National Anthem. Next, the Bard entered our classrooms and school books. I enjoyed reading his stories and plays but disliked it when we had to take exams. Sometime in my childhood, my mother told me that Tagore disliked school and that he was educated at home. Many years later, I too disliked school but there was no escape from it.

In 1981, I decided to be a journalist, after completing my post-graduation from Allahabad University. My first job as a cub journalist was with Himmat, Bombay. Its Editor-in-Chief was Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and Rajagopalachari. But, Himmat had to be closed down after 17 years. It was a sad announcement. All of us got busy with the last issue, a Collector’s item. Raj – that’s what we called Rajmohan – asked me to select some of his translated poems and write a small tribute. I looked back and realised that Tagore was still with me from home, school, college, and university to the workplace. His poems helped me tide over sadness.

I shared many of my happy and sad moments with Tagore.

One of my mother’s friend was Chitra Banerjee. We called her Chitra mashi. During one of her many visits at our home, she told me that Tagore stayed in a part of the same house, at 6, Hamilton Road, George Town. That was his niece’s home and she was married to a legal luminary, Sir Pyare Lal Banerjee. And that Tagore’s niece was her aunt-in-law. I listened to many interesting stories from Chitra mashi – earlier, I had heard many interesting anecdotes from my English professor, Manas Mukul Das, whose father had studied in Santiniketan and had acted in a play, as a boy, that Tagore saw, many, many moons ago.

The year was 2000. At that time I was heading the bureau of a prominent English daily, at Allahabad. I heard from Chitra mashi that a portion of the bungalow, where Tagore stayed and wrote some of his works and the plaque that it had, was removed by wayward descendants of that family. She was sad. I rushed with our photographer, who was roughed up by the occupants. I reported it. It was an all-edition story.  

But, removing the plaque does not change history.

Another connection of Allahabad with Tagore was with the Indian Press. “Between 1908 and 1914, Indian Press printed and published all Tagore works and made it popular. The books were printed by Indian Press, Allahabad and sold through Indian Publishing House, Kolkata. It consisted of 47 prose works and 40 poetical works, 87 books in all, including the Gitanjali, in 1911,” wrote Arindam Ghosh, a Director of the Indian Press, in Different Truths[i].  

He adds, “Tagore came to Allahabad in December 1914 and stayed at the residence of Advocate Pyarelal Banerjee, 6, Hamilton Road, George Town, Allahabad. Here Tagore gave finishing touch to his composition Gitali. Tagore met Chintamani Babu with the eminent artist Asit Haldar. Tagore requested Chintamani Babu if he could print the book in a fortnight. Chintamani Babu took Tagore’s request as a challenge as in those it was not digital or offset era so printing error-free books took months.

“Chintamani Babu gave instructions to his employees who undertook work on war footing. Chintamani Babu ordered the foreman of his Bengali section to keep all his compositors at their workstations for the next 24 hours including meal time. Such was Chintamani Babu’s dedication. He not only got this 200-page book printed in five days but also got it bound in five different ways. Tagore was amazed and remarked, “Does Chintamani Babu know any magic. Please let me know what can I do for you in return?” Chintamani Babu said he wanted to hear a Tagore song in his melodious voice. Tagore obliged by singing, Amar matha nata korey daayo…”

In the second part of the three-part series that was published in Different Truths, Ghosh[ii] wrote, “To enrich Visva Bharati financially, sometimes by the end of 1922, Tagore sent his emissaries namely Prashant Chandra Mahalanobis, Nepal Chandra Roy and Surendra Nath Thakur to Babu Chintamani Ghosh with a request to make some arrangement for the benefit of Visva Bharati. At that time Tagore was in Colombo. Tagore had that he would abide by whatever Chintamani Babu took. However, Chintamani Babu didn’t think like a normal businessman but like a true friend and advised Tagore that Visva Bharati must start its own publishing division and look into interests of publishing all Tagore works henceforth.

“Tagore was happy and pleasantly surprised by this advice of Chintamani Babu. He had a great heart and gladly relinquished the entire publishing right in favour of Visva Bharati and agreed to transfer the entire printed stock for Rs. 84,000/- which was equivalent to 33.33 percent of the actual sale price. At the time of stock and copyright transfer, Indian Press had more than 100 titles of Tagore’s works.

“Shishu Bholanath, printed in 1922, was the last book that Indian Press printed in 1922. Selling Tagore’s books was a lucrative business for Indian Press. In 1922, Tagore’s book sales fetched more than Rs. 20,000/-, but besides being a shrewd businessman, Chintamani Babu was a thorough gentleman and for him, it was more important to fulfil the poet’s request and he did so with the same open-mindedness and generosity that had characterised with all his business dealings with Tagore.”

During a casual talk with Kalyan Ghosh, son of Chintamani Babu, later, I learned that his father did not keep a single copy of the printed Gitanjali with him as it would have violated the contract and business ethics and also Tagore’s trust in him. Furthermore, his family had helped Tagore set-up the printing unit at Santiniketan.

In the third and final part of Tagore’s connection with Indian Press and Allahabad, Arindam Ghosh[iii] shares an interesting anecdote. “In 1935, at the age of 74 Tagore came to Allahabad for the last time with his musical troupe to perform and raise funds for Vishwa Bharati. Tagore requested Chintamani Babu’s son Hari Keshav Ghosh (popularly known as Patal Babu), who was heading the Indian Press then to make arrangements for a hall where Tagore can perform. Hari Keshav Ghosh could have easily said Indian Press and Tagore agreement was over in 1923 so why should he take the burden, but no like the able son of an able father Hari Keshav Ghosh talked to Gandhi, the owner of Palace Theatre to provide with his hall to Tagore free. Initially, Gandhi agreed but when he came to know that Tagore was raising funds he refused at the last minute to give his hall for free.

“Hari Keshav Ghosh could have informed Tagore of this fact, instead, he made a hall almost overnight in the Chintamani Ghosh building in the heart of the city at Civil Lines. On 19th March 1935, Tagore staged his work Chitrangada. Hari Keshav Ghosh provided the hall free to Tagore. Tagore’s Chitrangada was well appreciated, he raised funds by selling tickets for the show, thanked Hari Keshav Babu and left. The purpose of making the hall was solely to oblige Tagore. The hall is now popularly known as Raj Karan Palace (formerly Regent, Plaza, Kalpana). This shows the love that Indian Press had for Tagore even after their agreement came to an end a decade back.”

In a strange way, I felt that I owned Tagore or did Tagore own me, like countless others!

Tribute to Tagore: A Special Issue 

 

We had just completed our Special Issue on Autism Awareness that was featured between April 24 and 26. A thought crossed my mind. Should we venture into a Special Issue on Tagore? I developed cold feet. But, Anumita Chatterjee Roy, our Managing Editor, was full of enthusiasm. Before writing a prompt, I dashed out hurried messages to Dr Bina Biswas, a Tagore scholar, and Tapati Sinha, our Editor: History and Culture and a regular . Tapti di – that’s how I call her – is an alumnus of Visva Bharati.

Bina, one of my first few friends on Facebook, networked with a Tagore scholar and a in Bangladesh, Dr Gouranga Mohanta. Though he was in Europe, we chatted on Messenger. Our editorial board was ready. A hasty prompt was written and posted.  

Anumita and I thought that we would have a two-day spread of the special issue on Tagore. We were surprised by the flow of articles, stories and poems. Bina networked us with prominent writers.

After several sleepless nights and working round-the-clock, we present to you, a special issue, spread across four days, from May 7 to 10.

I thank our Contributing Editor, Tapati, for helping us with her advice. Thanks are due to both our Guest Editors, Gauranga and Bina. Last but not the least, I thank Anumita, to put her shoulders to the wheel.

I am lucky to have a dedicated team of editorial members, all the writers, poets and storytellers to work hard and keep with a deadline that was yesterday!

Editorials

Here’s what our celebrated editors say about Tagore.    

 

Growing up with Tagore’s Sensibilities

I feel blessed being brought up and educated at Santiniketan with the great opportunity to experience the concepts Rabindranath Tagore has endowed upon this earth. We were taught to refer him as Gurudev, the Great Teacher. Our day and night, every sphere of life was imbibed by his thoughts voiced through his writings. He is considered not only the greatest literary figure of India of all times but also respected as the Indian Renaissance man, a leading world writer, philosopher, educationist, environmentalist, rural activist and pragmatist who embodied India’s ‘modern consciousness’.

Tagore’s international impact was phenomenal in his lifetime and his global vision continues to have universal resonance even today. His belief in humankind affirms his vision of the ‘universal man’ in spite of the conflict of his times. 

Tagore wrote over one thousand poems, eight volumes of short stories, almost two dozen plays and play-lets, eight novels and many books and essays on philosophy, religion, education and social topics. His other great love was music.  He composed more than two thousand songs, both the music and lyrics. Two of them became the national anthems of India and Bangladesh.

A glimpse of the mysticism and sentimental beauty of Indian philosophy were revealed to the West for the first time when Gitanjali swayed the western intellectual world and Rabindranath was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, the first non-westerner to be so honoured. 

“These lyrics . . . display in their thought a world I have dreamed of all my life long. . . . Lovers, while they await one another, shall find, in murmuring them, a magic gulf wherein their own more bitter passion may bathe and renew its youth.”
          —W.B. said in the introduction to Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali.

He travelled across continents on lecture tours and tours of friendship. For the world he became the voice of India’s spiritual heritage; and for India, especially for Bengal, he became a great living institution.

In 1901 he founded an experimental school at Santiniketan, the Ashrama school of Patha Bhavana which modelled on the principles of humanism, internationalism and a sustainable environment where he sought to blend the Indian and Western traditions. Later it was expanded to Visva Bharati University a global university in the true sense “Where the world meets in a single nest,” as the name indicates, was meant to develop good fellowship and co-operation between scholars of both Eastern and Western countries. His multi-cultural educational efforts were an to many.

Tagore was not only a creative genius, an institution; his life and works go far beyond his country. He was truly a man of the whole Earth, with the best of both traditional Indian, and modern Western cultures, an epitome of World Culture.

 

Tapati Sinha,

Hyderabad, India

 

 

A Polyhistor, Tagore’s Influence was Far and Wide

 

Rabindranath Tagore is a polyhistor whose wide range of interests and engagements is awe-inspiring. On the occasion of his 157th birthday, his works are being re-visited throughout the world. Tagore invested efforts to write ‘Song Offerings’ in the form of prose poem – a significant breakthrough in English Poetry. ‘Lipika’, a collection of poems was also written in prose which Tagore categorised as ‘rhythmic prose’.

His poetic talent was so formidable that poets and intellectuals like Saint John Perse, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz, Victoria Ocampo, Boris Pasternak, and Anna Akhmatova were under his spell. More than 2200 songs and 2500 drawings and paintings that poet composed offer solace to the imaginative minds. Two of his songs are recognised as the national anthems of India and Bangladesh. His surrealist paintings aptly reveal his awareness of evil and darkness. Tagore’s experimentation with education especially child education is amazing. He placed much importance on the ‘mother tongue’ by which excellent education could be delivered to the children. The education system he devised helps students derive Ananda from their lessons. A civilization created by masculine force is a lopsided civilization to Tagore. He was very positive about the role of women who could create a new society. Tagore in ‘Kalantar’ opined that since the veil had been lifted from the minds of women, they could fully be emancipated.

Tagore’s multi-dimensional works are our large inheritance. We need to re-integrate him into the ever-changing world. What his contemporary intellectual friend, Romain Rolland wrote about him in 1931 is worth considering: “Tagore is the Great Sentinel. In tragic hours he is the vigilant and strong guardian of his people and of the world, the living symbol of the Spirit of Light and of Harmony, the song of Eternity that Ariel plays on the harp of gold, keeping himself above the sea of unrestrained passions.”

Dr. Gauranga Mohanta

Dacca, Bangladesh

 

The Universal Man

 

Tagore is a context none expects to successfully deal with in a comprehensive manner. Every other day new facets, new angles are offered by reflections that deviate from the routine.  Conversant studies on cultural, literary, political, philosophical and spiritual issues that have relevance even beyond the shores of India are ceaselessly casting light on the range of meanings that can be attributed to Tagore’s every piece in these respects. In this age when on the one hand religious bigotry is running amuck at certain parts of the world, another vast portion is afflicted by the directionless philosophy of life, Tagore’s ‘Religion of Man’ can soundly address all the issues therein that are teasing the minds of the people of the world. His idea of the ‘universal man’ as referred to in his famous exchanges with Einstein, is today the only clue to any global measure in bringing about awareness of alarming deterioration of the environment, the foremost crisis challenging each civilization. Acceptance of the unfamiliar, the crying need in the traits of different cultures, can only be achieved through a conviction of oneness of consciousness that Tagore preached throughout his life through his poems, essays, lyrics and public speeches.

In the pursuit of the wholeness in life, Tagore refused to be partisan, whether of a political or a religious doctrine or for that matter a philosophical system.  He was a unified man, a complete man, and was an example to our land and a missionary to the West. He still shows us the way to the final settling of our differences so that we can proclaim harmony and work toward strengthening our mutual strength.

Ensuring sustainability and achieving the desirable, both call for a thorough realization of the nature that manifests not only through the physical world of matter but also through the history of human mind. Tagore is unquestionably still our only plank in keeping ourselves afloat in today’s turbulent ocean of time with innumerable cross-currents often beyond our ken.

Dr Bina Biswas,

New Delhi, India

 

Curtain Raiser: Tribute to Tagore

 

In this Special Issue, we have writers and poets from five countries, India, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, and the USA.

A vice chancellor of a university in Bangladesh (Dr. Rashid Askari), a prominent human right activist from the US (Dr. Partha Banerjee), a renowned writer from the US, now in Kyrgyzstan (Michele Baron), an eminent writer and psychiatrist, who has authored 136 books and has lived in 11 countries (Prof. Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad), celebrated singer of Rabindra Sangeet of international acclaim (Pramita Mallick), acclaimed and writer from Hyderabad (Tapati Sinha), former dean of Kalyani University (Basudeb Chakraborti), an eminent writer from North Bengal (Ranjan Ghosh), to name a few, and many erudite Tagore scholars from India and Bangladesh. All of them enriched the Special Issue with their keen insight and scholarship.  

Day One: May 7

We open the Special Issue with Hayat Saif’s article, Gitanjali: Interactions of Bengali Literature with the World. The English translation of Gitanjali, “Song Offerings”, encases only 103, amongst which one poem is a combined translation of two other poems. Fifty-three of the poems are from Gitanjali, while the other 50 are from other publications. The facts about Song Offerings that had attracted the western world the most were perhaps the lack of verbosity and the stimulation of such deep-rooted thought and feeling of life with the use of such few words.

In the second article, Prof. Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad writes Tagore was nominated just once for Nobel and this was successful. The nomination came from the English poet, Thomas Sturge Moore. The stiffest competition came from Thomas Hardy who was the candidate put forward by the Royal Society of Literature. For the record, Hardy was nominated on more than twenty occasions and never succeeded, in the article, Rabindranath Tagore Edged Out Thomas Hardy to Win the Nobel in Literature.

In the third article, Tagore and Einstein: Two Kindred Spirits, Tirthankar Das Purkayastha, writes, about their unique . Tagore’s meetings with Einstein which took place in 1930 and which elicited reactions, both respectful and not-so-respectful, from the scientific community were significant if only because of the opportunity they offered to two great minds of the modern age to know each other.  The apparent dissonance between the temperament of a poet and that of a scientist renders such a meeting unlikely in the first place, leaving a little possibility of positive gain on either side.

In Musings of Tagore on Love and Mysticism, Ruchira Adhikari Ghosh writes, a relentlessly seeking, sensitive, intellectual soul, Tagore wanted to drink the elixir of life to the dregs. He found beauty in everything around him. Even the minuscule objects of daily life filled him with delight. The Sufi minstrel within him seeks the Divine amidst nature.

Navodita Pande, in the fifth article, Remembering Tagore, recalls, the poignancy and the deep feeling of emotion that flow with his thoughts – the sensitivity, the words and the meanings generated by every single sentence of his story or poem stand out to showcase not just his knowledge but also his deep-seated love for language and nationalism.  

We close day one with a brilliant short story by Michele Baron. She weaves lines from Tagore’s work into her narrative, seamlessly. firefly is a must read.

Day Two: May 8

The second day opens with the erudite article, Rabindranath Tagore: An Inquiry into Ideas and Ideals, by Prof. Anisur Rahman. He opines, in order to acquire a worldview for himself, Tagore strove to achieve a balance between Humanism and Naturalism, Individualism and Determinism, Hedonism and Asceticism, all of them being the various ways of apprehending the ultimate reality. This balance helped him determine his own perspectives on life and times, and his role as a literary writer and social interpreter.

In the second lead, Tagore, Ray and Basu: The Broken Nest, Charulata, and Stories from Rabindranath Tagore, Nilakshi Roy observes, there are many admirers of Satyajit Ray’s film, Charulata (1964), which is often seen as a retelling of the story of Rabindranath Tagore’s own time spent with his elder brother and his wife. That is not only a reductive interpretation but also sheer belittling of the prodigious talent of Tagore in rendering the twists and turns of human character and emotion. Moreover, there are significant differences or departures from Tagore’s original story Nastanirh (1901) that the logic of film demanded, that Ray incorporated to produce this classic film. And the recent faithful adaptation by Anurag Basu, in 2015, in his television series.

Aseem Asha Usman critiques the Bengali Renaissance and the role that Tagore played in it, in the article, Revisiting the Bengali Renaissance through the Eyes of Tagore.

In the fourth article of the day, Rabindranath Tagore: An Inspiration in Art, Sudhi Ranjan Mukherjee, tells us about the Poet-Painter’s concept of art and how the Alpana art of Santiniketan, influenced his work.   

In the pen-ultimate research paper of the day, Red Oleanders: An Evaluation of Translational Strategies of Tagore, Basudeb Chakraborti examines the translation of Rakta Karabi by the Poet. He says Tagore’s visit to Europe and America is one of the stimuli that leads him to write Rakta Karabi and then to translate that into Red Oleanders for pinpointing the crises of western civilisation to the western reading public.

We close the day with Atrayee Bhattacharya writing a modern version of Kabuliwala. This Mini’s world is that of crayons, TV, Cricket matches, and more. But, the echoes of the well-known story is distinct, in her short story, Kabuliwala of the Eden Gardens.

Day Three: May 9

We begin the third day with erudite scholar Ranjan Ghosh’s write-up, Aesthetics, Politics, Pedagogy and Tagore. He observes, Tagore rested on his desire for a far-off planet, listened to the invitation of a dream and did not allow the spaceship to rust. His journeys and envisagements, however, repeatedly narrated a new order without losing their connection with the world outside. Tagore’s projects – primarily his ashram school, the university and institutions in rural reconstructionism – could not have been isolated workshops operated and perpetuated through megalomania, self-immunity and an indulgent harvest of a swellhead nativist. Ideas across continents and cultures have always expanded on each other.

In the second lead, Nature and Environment as seen by Rabindranath Tagore, our Contributing Editor, Tapati Sinha observes, Tagore’s love of Nature was extremely subtle. For him the wide-open skies, spaciousness, and tranquillity of the countryside symbolised freedom.  His numerous writings reveal the intensity of his relationship with nature wherein Nature in her various moods has been the inspiration.

An Overview of the Ideas and Visions of Rabindranath Tagore, by Swapan Bhowmick, opines, rooted in the Indian reality, minus its dogmas, the flight of Rabindranath Tagore’s creative genius made him a global citizen. He delves into the world of his ideas and visions.

In the fourth article, Short Stories of Tagore: Vignettes from Human Life, Ruchira Adhikari Ghosh critiques eight well-known stories of Gurudev.

It was in the month of May, Lovita JR Morang, was in Shillong with a sole sojourn to be there, where Tagore lived, 99 years ago (first time in 1919). She walked the aka-beka (winding) roads of Laithumukhra then walked uphill Laban. The pine trees are still there tall but older. Under whose shades walked the poet laureate. She documents Bard’s journey and his stay, clicking photographs. Read more in her write-up, Tagore in Love: Letters from Shillong, Khublei Shibun.

We close day three with Tribute to Tagore: An eAnthology of Poems, where a bunch of poets offer their homages to the Bard, in verse.

Day Four: May 10

We open the fourth and last day of the Special Issue with Dr Rashid Askari’s brilliant piece, Tagore and Bangladesh. He states, had there been no stay in East Bengal, Tagore would have been a split soul – a divided personality. A complete and undivided Tagore is that Tagore who is made up of the combination of Calcutta and East Bengal, now Bangladesh. Tagore, however, considered Calcutta and East Bengal as one and the same country—two opposite regions of united Bengal. He could not stand the partition of Bengal (1905) and vehemently opposed it. He was fortunate enough to have died six years before the partition of India (1947) and did not have to suffer the trauma of partition of his beloved motherland.

Our Guest Editor, Dr Bina Biswas tells us about the love of Nature in Tagore and compares it with Wordsworth. Nature was organic to both these poets. Here’s an interesting insight into her interesting article, Organic Sensibility of Tagore.

In the third article of the day, Revisiting the Idea of School Education of Rabindranath Tagore, Dr Gauranga Mohanta, our Guest Editor, says, Tagore wanted to defend freedom he enjoyed in his family, for all humanity. He remained firmly opposed to colonial education that aimed at material . He believed that only education could promote freedom of humans and made real effort to carry out his educational mission almost unaided and alone.

In the next article, Mahaguru and Mahatma: A Reflection on the Relationship between Tagore and Gandhi, Pramita Mallick, explores the interaction between two great personalities, who shaped the destiny of modern India.

The erudite research article, In the Inner Recesses of his Heart: Painting of Rabindranath Tagore in the History of Art, by Dr Nachiketa Bandyopadhyay, observes, Rabindranath Tagore’s art combines both Indian and European aspects. The range of colours used in his work are reminiscent of the expressionist era, and Tagore’s style is close to that of Kandinsky, Picasso, and Matisse. It is also influenced by Japanese and Chinese art. It also documents what prominent art historians and critics said about Bard’s work. He examines Tagore’s paintings and its place in the history of art.

In the penultimate article, The Abode of Peace: A Nest Formed in the Universe, Sutapa Basu states that badly in need of funds for his ashram, Tagore sought donations from abroad notably England and was dismayed to encounter the cool British snub. This was a fallout of his strong denouncements against the British imperialistic attitudes as well as his relinquishment of the knighthood. Yet the poet in him keenly empathised with the pain of war-torn Europe. He visited many countries and reached out to other philanthropists who sympathised with his cause. Thus was born, Visva-Bharati, a nest formed in the universe with the purpose of sheltering all world ideologies without any clashes. As an undergraduate student of English Literature, Sutapa spent four halcyon years at Visva-Bharati University. She profiles the institution in Santiniketan.

We close the four-day special issue, on Tagore, with Dr Partha Banerjee’s, One Last Tagore Birthday Before My Death.  A Diaspora, he shares the agony of a Bengali far away from homeland. He confesses, there are quite a few other Bengali immigrants both from Bangladesh and West Bengal — highly educated, scholarly and erudite — who are satisfied with the small society they have and therefore do not feel any particular urge to invite outsiders like us. New Jersey or Long Island — where most of these more affluent, educated West Bengalis live — is like a group of islands only connected by long-distance, car-driven highways, creating more distances between people. We do not have the time or desire to go out of New York City to see either a Durga Puja or a Tagore performance and return more depressed that we never felt truly welcome.

Salutations to Tagore on his 157th birth anniversary. Please like, comment and share the contents with your family and friends. Happy Reading!

©Arindam Roy

Allahabad, India

Photos from the Internet

[i] https://differenttruths.com/history-culture/people/tagore-and-allahabad-indian-press-published-all-his-books-from-1908-14-including-the-nobel-prize-winning-gitanjali-i/ 

[ii] https://differenttruths.com/history-culture/people/tagore-and-the-indian-press-chintamani-babu-acted-like-a-friend-not-a-businessman-ii/

[iii] https://differenttruths.com/history-culture/people/the-last-visit-of-rabindranath-tagore-and-the-continuum-of-his-legacy-in-allahabad-iii/

 

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Arindam Roy has 37 years experience in various newsrooms. He was the Managing Editor of a reputed Gurgaon-based Citizen Journalist portal and has held senior positions in several publications. As Correspondent and Bureau Chief, he has written extensively for Associated Press, Times of India, Hindustan Times and multiple news outlets. He has contributed 13 chapters to various publications. Of these, seven chapters were published in two Coffee Table Books, published by the Times Group. He is a co-author of a novel, Rivers Run Back that he penned with Joyce Yarrow. The novel was launched at the American Centre, New Delhi, on January 2015. He lives in Allahabad.