News & Reviews

Rabisandhya : Celebrating Rabindra Jayanti Author:Debjani Basak   Posted On:2024-05-13

 

Amader chhoto nodi chole baanke, baanke…our tiny stream meanders past gently: Did Tagore write this children’s poem describing the beauty and simplicity of nature, or did he foresee the human psyche of today where we often digress from the depths of truth and stretch our arms towards imperfection? One wishes the social reformer was here today to guide us. Fortunately, he has left behind his immortal creations to help us reach a sea of wisdom and morality. 

Baisakh maashe tar hantu jol thake…. during the summer months, the water runs knee deep: Every summer on the 8th of May or on pochishe baisakh the world celebrates the Bard by intoning a few of his well-known works from a plethora of poems, songs, short stories, dramas and novels he had penned. On the 163rd birth anniversary of our beloved kabiguru, we too at DI,  honoured the legend for the very first time by presenting RABISANDHYA. 

Rabisandhya is an earnest effort made by the members of our second family, the DI family, to carry on the legacy of the polymath. The programme began with the song He nuton, dekha dik aarbaar…one of the last songs Tagore wrote in 1941 to celebrate life when the world was engulfed in the darkness of World War II and the philosopher was himself ailing. We are grateful to Mr. Dipak Dutta for the melodious rendition of this song and of Oi mahamanab aashe 

Paar hoe jaye goru, paar hoe gaari…the humble, domesticated cow crosses the river with as much ease as the wheeled and loaded cart. Bengali literature was reshaped during the Renaissance. The Educationist wrote numerous books for children and for adults alike. For the young, he wrote in simple and colloquial language that made learning fun. Aarjav Sen, 13 years old, recited a sweet verse called Majhi or boatman, who’d rather be home with his mother for dinner every night than be like his successful father who tours the world for days on end. The sensitivity of the young mind is poignant. For the adult audience, Smt. Tripti Ganguly narrated a heart-warming short story called Rathjatra where spirituality and belief in the equality of mankind are expressed as brilliantly as a golden sunflower! Thank you Tripti di, you made Tagore touch our souls through your recital. When the world is in the ugly grip of racism and religious divide, this tale is like a salve for the scars.  

Dui dhar unchu tar, dhalu tar paari…the embankments are high, sloping gradually down: Yes, if one wants to effortlessly tread through the crests and troughs of life, immersing oneself in Tagore’s songs, is the key. Many of these beautiful lyrics are vivacious and exuberating while others are soothing and elucidating to the broken heart. Mr. Manash Ghosh presented for the audience two numbers that are dedicated to the Almighty, namely, Chokher aaloy dekhechhilem chokher bahire and Tai tomar anada. Let us search our souls and seek happiness through God.  

Chik-chik kare baali, kotha nai kada; ekdhaare kaash bon, phule-phule sada…here the sand sparkles without a speck of dirt, there the riverbank is alive with milky white flowers: The year was 1913. The coveted Nobel prize for literature was awarded to the multifaceted genius for Geetanjali, a beautiful English translation of Tagore’s poems with an introduction by W B Yeats. The book of song offerings catapulted India onto the literary map of the world. Joy knew no bounds. Elocuting from the Geetanjali Smt. Aditi Dutta and Smt. Amrita Dutta held Zach’s Lounge in charmed silence as the mother-daughter duo managed to create emotional turmoil in the hearts of the listeners. Believe me, some turbulence can have quite a calming effect. 

Aashare badol name, nadi bhoro-bhoro; matiya chhutiya chole, dhara khoro toro…the rain clouds cause the river to swell and flow at a dizzy pace: just like a mother’s heart swells with love and pride at the sight of her child. No, but that was not the case when Kunti, mother of the Pandavas (ref: the Mahabharata) came to meet her eldest and illegitimate son Karna at Kurukshetra. Or did her heart miss a beat when she saw him as an adult confronting her youngest, Arjun, knowing that either way she would lose one child? The dialogue between the two that involves Karna’s indignation at being abandoned and disowned at birth for no fault of his own and Kunti’s justification that she too sacrificed her affections to a judgmental society, is intense. Tagore is smiling somewhere up there, listening to the powerful conversation reread by Sri Raja Mukhopadhyay and Smt. Paromita Roy. With eyes closed, one can visualize the scene through the drama-reading. 

Dui kule bone-bone, pore jae sara; borshar utsabe, jege uthe para…the rains have brought to life the forests on either side of the river, there is merry-making and mirth in every household of the village: At DI too, there is joy, there is peace and there is enlightenment as the program wrapped up with everyone singing Aalo amar aalo ogo, aaloy bhuban bhora….  

This evening's happenings were followed by a vote of thanks by our president, Mr Jayajit Biswas. We are thankful to the moderator Smt. Sulagna Mukhopadhyay, the Convenor Mr. Raju Raman and our council members, Leslie D’Gama and Tania Robinson for being with us.  

"Where the mind is led forward by thee 

Into ever-widening thought and action 

Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake."