By Nita Basu
The evening of May 9 must have had the organizers of ‘Remembering the Master’, a programme on the 154th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, in a tizzy. The programme was an open-air one, in a Shantiniketan-like ambience, which had been threatened by the rain Gods! However, at 7 pm sharp, the evening did take off with an audio visual presentation of the life of the master, followed by tagore’s popular songs like ‘Hey nuton’, Ananda Dhara bohiche bhubone (based on raag Malkosh).
With the hint of a breeze blowing softly on the hot and sultry evening, ‘bhanga gaan’, the theme of this 25th Boishak, slowly gained momentum. (The adapted songs of Tagore are referred to as ‘bhanga gaan’). The 154th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, on 25th of Boishak, had started off without a hitch.
The bouquet of Tagore’s works were brought out in the form of a sonorous classical sitar recital followed by the semi-classical, the popular folk, and wrapped up with a Scottish ballad. The famous song ‘Phule phule dhole dhole’ was sung in English followed by the Bengali version. This was followed by the song made famous by Amitabh Bachchan himself ‘Jodi tor daak shune’ from the film ‘Kahani’ and was considered to be Gandhiji’s favourite protest song during the Indian Freedom movement.
Tagore found joy in different genres of music including Western music, and the influence is apparent. The closing song “purano shei deener kotha’ was influenced by the Scottish song ‘Auld Lang Syne’ (Should old acquaintance be forgotten..).
The programme at Gyaan Adab took the audience through the many faceted, creative genius that was Tagore. A talk was presented on Rabindranath’s influence on education. The talk provided interesting information and was concluded by reciting the poem that describes his ideal country, and has been learnt by every school child in India, ‘Where the mind is without fear.’ It is important to note here, that, Tagore was the creative mind behind the National Anthems of as many as three countries – India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The talk was followed by a soulful rendition of Rabindranath’s poem on Guru Gobind Singh, who was to the poet ‘a true national leader’ and, whose ambitions, he felt, were totally non manipulative.
Much as the audience would have loved more, the evening had to come to an end. The last two items were dance recitals “Sawana gagane ghor ghana ghata’ and ‘Gahana kusuma kunj majhe” from Tagore’s dance drama ‘Bhanu Singher padabali’ that chronicles the romance between Radha and Krishna.
Debanjali Ghosh, a young exponent of Rabindra Sangeet, summed up, “witnessed a very beautiful program on the auspicious occasion of Rabi Thakur’s 154th birthday by GyanAdab, a cultural association in Pune. All the songs were performed with the song/bandeesh they have been taken from. An audio visual on His life and some rare photographs. Ended with one of my favourite songs Shawana gagane ghor ghana ghata from Bhanu Singha’s Padabali. A presentation I will cherish all my life!”
The programme was presented by Gyaan Adab, Kalyani Nagar in association with Nandanik Sanstha, Pune.