Rabindra Utsav to tie up whole of India

Kolkata, July 18 (Calcutta Tube) Artistes and cultural personalities from across India will converge at a nine-day festival beginning here Aug 10 to salute Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore with performances based on his literary works as part of his 150th birth anniversary celebrations.

The Rabindra Utsav will be organised by non-governmental organisation Happenings Kolkata.

‘Artistes from all over the country will come to Kolkata to perform Tagore’s literary works. They will interpret Tagore’s message in their own way,’ Viji Iyengar, spokesperson of Happenings Kolkata, a non-profit company registered under the Indian companies act, told IANS.

‘Dak Ghar’ (The Post Office), a play by Tagore that describes the sufferings and emotions of a young bed-ridden boy Amal, who wants to cut the bonds of the narrow four walls and get absorbed in the limitlessness of the external world, will be presented in English and Hindi versions by Sunil Shanbag from Mumbai.

Neelam Man Singh Chowdhury, one of the leading protagonists of Punjabi Theatre, will present the literary genius’ story ‘Streer Patra’ (Wife’s Letter) in Punjabi.

It is about the conflicts of thoughts and idealism of contemporary Bengali society and a learned lady, who is much ahead of her time.

The gurus of ITC Sangeet Research Academy will present Tagore’s rich oeuvre of Rabindra Sangeet in a traditional Indian classical format.

Abraham Mazumdar will interpret and position Rabindra Sangeet in a western classical context. It will be a philharmonic approach.

Another attraction will be a theatrical presentation of Tagore’s revolutionary song ‘Aguner Parashmoni’ by using life-size puppets. The director and producer is Sudip Gupta.

As part of the festival, the lifers and other prisoners in West Bengal Correctional Services will present the short story ‘Tota Kahani’ in Bengali.

On the intellectual side, a dozen schools and colleges will hold discussions on the present education system and values vis-a-vis Tagore’s own ideas on the subject.

‘We are organising this Rabindra Utsav for the last few years in Kolkata. But this time we are organising it on a grand scale because of the special occasion. This is our homage to Rabindranath Tagore,’ Iyengar said.

The celebrations for Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary began across the country May 7 amid great enthusiasm.

Tagore was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize for literature, in 1913, for his collection of poems ‘Gitanjali’. He was born at Jorasanko in the northern part of Kolkata in 1861.

(Pradipta Narayan Tapadar can be contacted at pradipta.t@ians.in)

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