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RABINDRANATH TAGORE : The Poet (Page 5)

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Posted: 17 March 2006 at 12:24am | IP Logged
Originally posted by Qwest

Originally posted by Qwest

 

Smita Sinha: Transition of a Tagorean by birth Part1
She was a toddler or just having crossed that stage in the famous Jorasanko Thakurbari during the last years of Rabindranath Tagore. The little girl of those days now is one of the living and aesthetically-active great grand daughters of the poet. How much she could imbibe from the magnetically creative milieu can not be assessed, as she, Smita Sinha, the well known actress in Bengali films and tele-serials was too small and too immature to learn therefrom. Actually Smita is directly a great grand daughter of Dwijendranath Tagore, the eldest brother of Rabindranath Tagore. A proven talent in acting both in stage and film, she combines the styles of the post-IPTA (Indian Peoples Theatre Association, the brainchild of Puran Chand Joshi, general secretary of the Communist Party of India) and all that she imbibed when she was groomed at Santiniketan. Smita spoke in a free-wheeling manner exclusively to netguruindia.com about her life, her pathos due to the annihilation of heritage, and her own reminiscences of the day - including some shameful anecdotes that are indelible in her memory - when Tagore bade adieu to the mundane world make the interview an interesting reading -

Smita Sinha: Transition of a Tagorean by birth Part 2

 On the Jorasanko Thakurbari: Part 2

My father was the grand son of Dwijendranath Tagore. Although born at Jorasanko Thakurbari, I was not fortunate to get a feeling of the grandeur of Jorashanko Thakur Bari. By the time I was born, the house was almost empty. However, I was fortunate to see and be amidst Rabindranath although I was merely seven and half years old when he died. All the brothers and sisters of Rabindranath were genius but they were overshadowed by his multifaceted talent and therefore talking about Thakur Bari, one only thinks of Rabindranath.
The No 6, Jorasanko, which is now known as Maharshi Bhavan, was divided into several portions, each belonging to one of the brothers. In Dwijenranath's portion my brother and I were the only two children. In Hirendranath's portion of the house Subho Tagore and his two brothers used to reside. Then gradually they sold off their portion and went away. Just beside them Ritendranath Tagore (whose wife was Amiya Tagore, the famous singer), another grandson of Hirendranath Thakur, stayed. They had a son and a daughter. So four of us were growing up together at Jorasanko. But, in the house where Abanindranath and Gaganendranath stayed, which was the original Baithakkhana of Dwarakanath Tagore, there were many children. So that was the place where we used to play. But when I was still a child, they sold off the house to a Marwari and it was demolished in front of our eyes. It was an agonising sight. Everywhere in the world all the heritage buildings, like William Shakespeare's house, are preserved as heritage of pride. But we are so unfortunate that in the same house at 5, Dwarakanath Tagore Lane, Abanindranath and Gagendranath grew up and created their matchless paintings, the famous Dakshiner Baranda the portico on the southern part of the building Now everything has gone out of existence. Now Rabindra Bharati's Rathindra Bhavan is the only symbol of that glorious past standing as the mute witness.

 

Smita Sinha: Transition of a Tagorean by birth Part 3


About Santiniketan:

Although I had spent quite a good part of my childhood in Santiniketan, my stay was intermittent to the zamindari attitude of my father. After staying there for a year or two, my father used to say, "Let us get back to Jorasanko." So I did not study in Santiniketan at a stretch. Often, I had to get enrolled in a school in Calcutta. In those days, enrolment in schools was not a problem. I was first enrolled in the infant class at Santiketan. Along with the studies, we could learn singing, stitching, and even crafts such as leather craft there. The milieu of Santiniketan in those days was absolutely different from the present one. We were never conscious about our dresses and used to attend school bare-foot. However, one thing hasn't changed. The classes are still taken under the trees. On most of the rainy days there were no classes and on some occasions classes were held at Singha Sadan or the library or other covered places. We did not have our own house in Santiniketan and we stayed at Dinendranath Tagore's house which is just behind the Ratan Kuthi. It was then the only pucca house there in those days. On the eastern side was s the railway line. The Santhal village was beyond the horizon.
We had our music lessons from Kanika Bandopadhyay or Mohordi. At that time she had just started teaching music. During our Sahitya Sabha sessions, we used to ask Sailajaranjan Majumdar, the great exponent of Rabindra Sangeet which what song we should sing, Sailajada chose and told us to learn a particular song from Mohordi.
In 1944, when I was a student of class six or seven, I came back to Calcutta from Santiniketan permanently. We had to do so due to the death of Dinendranath's wife. The house went into the possession of to his nephews since Dinendranath had no issue.
But Tagore never wanted Santiniketan to be a university. Once an institution is being converted into a university, it is likely to imbibe vices that destroy intrinsic virtues. It is very unfortunate that ideals Rabindranath stood for are now shelved. In the days of Rabindranath, Santiniketan was a very small place. The teachers had close relations with their students and the institution was like a close-knit family. But gradually as it grew in size, this we-feeling petered out. To put it candidly, Santiniketan was very good when it was poor. Rabindranath, even in his old age took his troop to different places and performed dance programmes to raise funds for Santiniketan. Decline in moral values, attitude towards life, which have engulfed the society, have affected Santiniketan too. The teachers have become more commercialised. I feel the trouble started when Visva Bharati came into being. Now the university is flooded with grants but the ideals are terribly missing. It is now exploiting Rabindranath. One major reason for Visva Bharati not leaving the copyright of Tagore's works is, by doing so, it will lose a large source of income.

Smita Sinha: Transition of a Tagorean by birth Part 4

On Rabindranath Tagore:

I remember Rabindranath very vaguely and faintly. I saw him basically in Santiniketan. He liked my mother very much. In fact, he was instrumental in bringing my mother to the Tagore family as his grand daughter-in-law. My grandfather, Ajit Chakraborty, was also very close to Rabindranath. He used to love my grandfather like his own son. He was the first critique of Rabindranath Tagore's poems and wrote it in a treatise Kabya Praikrama. He died at an early age of 32. At the time of his death, my mother was just eight-year-old and she had three younger brothers and sisters. My grandmother brought them up braving many odds. After the tragedy, Rabindranath took them to Santiniketan.My granny was appointed as the superintendent of the girls' hostel. So my mother's education was also at Santiniketan. After passing matriculation, my mother wanted to study further as Rabindranath was very keen to bring her his grand daughter-in-law. So my mother was married at an early age. Rabindranath himself was the Acharya at the marriage and he composed several songs and poems for that occasion.

Smita Sinha: Transition of a Tagorean by birth Part 5
The day Rabindranath died:

Oh, that day in 1941 is still vivid in my memory. Then I was a student at the Victoria Institution. I didn't know why my mother sent me to school knowing full well that Rabindranath's condition was very serious. My mother and others like Nandita Kripalni (daughter of Mira Devi), were by his bedside. At 12 PM the news came that Rabindranath was no more. The Chitpur Road was too packed with people to let the school bus enter Jorasanko Lane. I had to enter the house with great difficulty. The crowd was absolutely unruly. Nowadays when a celebrity like Satyajit Ray or any other famous person dies, the funeral is knitly-arranged. The deadbody is kept in Rabindra Sadan and the whole thing is done systematically. But on that day I do not think any leader was in the city who could control the mob. It was a shameful act of hooliganism. Young boys were climbing up the rainpipes. Commoners who thronged there thought that Rabindranath's body would be taken to Santiniketan and so they were abusing any one of our family whom they could come across. They were shouting: "Is Rabindranath only yours?"


I think his body could have been kept at our Jorasanko residence for a day or two since there were many steps in the staircase leading to the room where Rabindranath breathed his last and which is now visited by thousands. Anyway, he was taken to the burning ghat very quickly. I remember that the wooden staircase along which he was taken downwards, collapsed. In the courtyard, his head fell from the pillow and banged against the concrete. Amidst this pandemonium, people started tearing his beard and hairs. This agonising memory still haunts me. It was quite natural that thousands would throng the city on such a day. It was the responsibility of the leaders of the state at that time to ensure discipline. Sadly enough, none of the top leaders was present in the city. I don't know where Shyama Prasad was but Bidhan Chandra Roy was very much in the city.

anecdotes that are indelible in her memory - when Tagore bade adieu to the mundane world make the interview an interesting reading

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Posted: 17 March 2006 at 12:51am | IP Logged
Originally posted by amogh8188

Qwest Bhai aapko Pranam.
Ati uttam !!!!!!!!
Thanks, hope you will enjoy knowing little more about Guru ji.
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Posted: 17 March 2006 at 1:02am | IP Logged
Qwest ji - do you have the 'Lekhon' (shart poems) handy? - that won't even require translation
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Posted: 17 March 2006 at 1:13am | IP Logged
Originally posted by soulsoup

Qwest ji - do you have the 'Lekhon' (shart poems) handy? - that won't even require translation
No not really at this moment. Sorry
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Posted: 17 March 2006 at 1:14am | IP Logged
Posted on Sun, Jan. 01, 2006
The green-eyed monster: Jealousy in Tagore's novels
By Yasmin Faruque
Special to the Herald

Jealousy has been depicted as the green-eyed monster in Shakespeare's plays, such as "King Lear" and "Othello." King Lear's two elder daughters, Goneril and Regan, are jealous of their younger sister, Cordelia, whom they thought their father loved most. They both are married, yet they profess to love their father above everyone else. How the falsity of their protestations of love is proved beyond a doubt forms the body of this play. In the end, it is Cordelia who comes to her father's aid. The truth is, both Goneril and Regan want the lion's share of their father's kingdom, and they are playing up to an old man's craving for affection.

In "Othello," the plot is more complex. Othello, the Moorish general, is married to Desdemona, the daughter of Brabantio. Othello is black; Desdemona is white. So, a little racial tension does enter here.
However, the real emotion behind all these awful happenings is jealousy. The man who sets the wheels of these terrible events rolling is Iago, ostensibly Othello's best friend. He insinuates that Desdemona has cheated on Othello with Cassio, another of their friends. Iago is the arch-villain, concealing his ulterior motives under the guise of friendship. Now, Othello has given his bride a perfumed handkerchief as a token of love. When Othello asks for that handkerchief, Desdemona is not able to find it, for the scheming Iago has stolen it himself. Othello is so filled with anger that when they are together in their bedroom he kills her. This seems a gross injustice, as it in fact is; Othello has killed his innocent flower of a bride in a fit of jealous rage.

From Shakespeare to D.H. Lawrence, many writers have written about jealousy and its consequences, and Rabindranath Tagore is no exception. Tagore, one the world's most prolific writers, is best known as a poet and lyricist. However, the luster from his golden pen shone on all genres of literature: poetry, music, dance, opera, dramas, musicals, and last but not least, a dozen witty pithy and insightful novels.
In these novels, which he termed "dramatized metaphors of the novelist's own philosophy of life," Tagore deals with a range of emotions; however, in five of the 12 novels he wrote, jealousy looms large. These are "Jogajog" (Crosscurrents), "Chokher Bali" (The Scorned One), "Malancha" (The Garden-bower), Ghare-Bairy" (The Home and the World) and "Shesher Kabita" (The Ultimate Poem).

Crosscurrents
In "Jogajog" (Crosscurrents), we come across a scenario like this: Kumudini has been brought up in loving affection by her parents; she is very close to her brothers as well. When, after her parents' deaths, she is married into a wealthy family, she comes prepared to give wholly of herself. However, she had not reckoned with her husband, Madhusudan's contradictory nature; he manages to drive a wedge between himself and the person he most desires, Kumu. The more Kumu tries to fit in, the further Madhu drives her away. He is insanely jealous of her relationships with other people - especially with her eldest brother, just as Gertrude Morel is of her son Paul's relationships in D.H. Lawrence's novel "Sons and Lovers." She is as unwilling to let Paul have a relationship with Miriam as Madhu is of letting Kumu have a relationship with anyone but him.
Madhu knows what he is doing, and that makes him far more cold-blooded and calculating than any other character in any other novel, except perhaps Sandip in "Ghare-Bairey" (The Home and the World). There is an element of brute force in him, which may lend an illusion of masculinity, but it certainly does little to make him a better man.

The Scorned One
In "Chokher Bali" (The Scorned One), we meet a widowed mother, Rajlakshmi, who is so possessive of her son, Mahendra, that she tries to keep everyone who would have claim of closeness to him away. Mahendra, his parents' only child, is all Rajlakshmi believes she has in the world. Even Annapurna, Rajlakshmi's sister-in-law and Mahendra's aunt, is not allowed to get close to him.
When a childhood chum requests Mahendra's hand in marriage for her daughter, Vinodini, Rajlakshmi agrees readily. She cannot conceive of Mahendra turning this offer down. When he does, her feelings are hurt. Vinodini is later married to a distant nephew of Rajlakshmi's and soon after her wedding, is widowed. Mahendra marries Ashalata (Chuni), Annapurna's niece.
It is after this wedding that events take place so fast they spiral out of control. Rajlakshmi is loathe, nay, unwilling, to let the newlyweds alone. When Mahendra and Asha are together in their bedroom, she peeps in on them. Out of propriety, Mahendra cannot say anything, but he feels he has brought his child bride into an unhappy home. Rajlakshmi plunges into ostensibly teaching Asha how to keep house; however, this is just a ploy to keep the bride and groom apart. The conflict in this novel, mainly is situational; however, Rajlakshmi's pugnacity lends a hint of character conflict as well. Poor Ahsa, squeezed tight between a rock and a hard place, is the one who suffers most here; the appearance of the more mature, accomplished Vinodini only serves to remind Asha how immature and inept she is. Both Rajlakshmi and Vinodini take a sort of jealous pleasure in this. Mahendra, who had hoped for a happy home, has his hopes dashed by his jealously possessive mother and by Vinodini, who hopes to drive Asha from his heart and home.

The Garden-bower
In "Malancha" (The Garden-bower), we meet Aditya, whose name means "the sun," and Neeraja, his wife, whose name means "the lotus." Just as the lotus looks up to the sun for life and love, so does Neerja look up to Aditya. Neerja is bedridden because of a chronic illness. However, before she falls ill, she has 10 years of nearly perfect relationship with her husband. Aditya is an avid gardener, whose reputation rests in the beautiful flowers and perfect fruit he grows and ships all around. For 10 years, Neeraja co-operated with her husband; now, when she is ill in bed, she wishes for him to pay more attention to her. She is jealous of Sarala, Aditya's cousin, whom she sees as her rival in his work as well as in his life. Confinement has made her a mean woman; her meanness is more poignant when on her deathbed she curses Sarala. This is a futile jealousy, for nothing comes of it.

The Home and the World
In "Ghare-Bairey" (The Home and the World), we see that when the world calls Bimala, her home is left behind. Her undoing comes in the guise of her husband's friend, Sandip, who at first calls her to service for her country. He takes money and jewelry from her, saying these will be her contribution to the funs for the "nationalistic movement" homemade and home-consumed. However, his methods are based on brute force and infatuation.
He forces Bimala to denude herself; having taken from Bimala what to her was most precious, he reaches for her. Bimala knows what is happening cannot be for the good of all, and that it might prove disastrous. Yet, she is unable to stop herself. Bimala reminds us of Meggie O'Neill in Colleen McCullough's "The Thorn Birds," where Meggie, out of love with her husband, Luke, for his insensitive brutishness, conceives a child by Ralph be Bricassart, the local priest. She also puts us in mind of Lady Constance Chatterley, in "Lady Chatterley's Lover," by D.H. Lawrence, who out of frustration with her disabled, impotent husband, forms a relationship with Mellors the gardener. Gerald Chatterley is jealous of Connie's love for Mellors, as Luke is envious of Meggie's relationship with Father Ralph.

The Ultimate Poem
In "Shesher Kabita" (The Ultimate Poem), we see love blossoming between Amit Roy, the advocate, and Labanya Datta, the governess. This love is not consummated by marriage, and yet it is not futile - for it teaches both Labanya and Amit that true love endures. The first meeting between Amit and Labanya is a chance encounter; however, they continue to meet, and their relationship soon matures into love. There is an unspoken agreement between them to marry. The lady of the house where Labanya is governess looks on the young lovers with indulgence, and does everything in her power to unite the two.
At this critical juncture, Amit has all but forgotten about his first love, Katie Mitter, the sister of his friend Naren, whom he had saved from an undesirable situation in London seven years ago. Seeing Amit's commitment to Labanya, Katie is resentful. She had hoped that on the force of a promise made on that moonlit night, Amit is hers. It seems that Amit's betrayal and seeming neglect of her has turned Katie from a sweet, innocent girl to an embittered, disillusioned woman.
There is a bit of history on Labanya's side, too. Her father tutors students, on among whom, Shobhanlal, opens his heart to her, and a relationships begins. Labanya, haughty to a certain extent because of her quest for knowledge, refuses the young man. This hurts Shobhanlal's feelings, and he goes away.
When Labanya meets Amit, she thinks this is her chance to start over. She pushes Shobhanlal out of her mind. When he resurfaces, both he and Labanya have matured, and the attraction they felt when they were younger has ripened into love.
What Labanya and Amit have it infatuation, whereas between Amit and Katie the flame of love burns clear and true. The same is the case between Labanya and Shobhanlal.
In Dickens' novel "Great Expectations," we see that Pip loves Estella, but Dickens leaves it unclear if they marry in the end. We know for sure in "Shesher Kabita" (The ultimate poem), that Labanya and Amit never marry. Katie Mitter feels that on the force of a promise made years earlier, Amit is hers. In the end, Labanya marries Shobhanlal, and Amit weds Katie.
Katie is jealous of Labanya; yet she knows that it is impossible for any woman not to love Amit. Cissy and Lissie, Amit's sisters, side with her, too. Whereas in "Jogajog" (Crosscurrents), "Malancha" (The Garden-Bower) and "Chokher Bali" (The Scorned One), jealousy can be easily discerned, in "Shesher Kabita" (The Ultimate Poem) it is concealed. Herein lies the distinction between the two classes of novel.

Faruque attended Dhaka (Bangladesh) University and immigrated to the United States in 1994. She lives in Grand Forks.

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Posted: 17 March 2006 at 1:28am | IP Logged
Jaya ji,
Excellent post now you made me more desperate to go and meet her she leaves in my region I need to find a way to go and meet her. Thank you so much very good material to read and do some more brain storming.

Edited by Qwest - 17 March 2006 at 8:59am
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Posted: 17 March 2006 at 1:40am | IP Logged
Thx QWest ji Smile

I thought this was excellent analysis of some of Tagore's works on this aspect of human emotions... Also, this is great synopsis of the Rabindranath's novels, which I somehow think did not get its due (when compared to his songs and poems), when he was absolutely at par, if not better than Sharatchandra or Bamkim'babu..
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Posted: 17 March 2006 at 1:52am | IP Logged

Originally posted by jayc1234

Thx QWest ji Smile

I thought this was excellent analysis of some of Tagore's works on this aspect of human emotions... Also, this is great synopsis of the Rabindranath's novels, which I somehow think did not get its due (when compared to his songs and poems), when he was absolutely at par, if not better than Sharatchandra or Bamkim'babu..

You are absolutely right if you get a chance read I have posted an article in Abhi ji thread  this morning the Global concept the world is going to day in the same direction of emotion freedom and religion Tagore has thought and tried to implement that almost a century ago and one other think I find that between East and West they have a passion of the people for the people you has wrote in English and not got translated.



Edited by Qwest - 17 March 2006 at 1:53am

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