Rabindranath Tagore… Well, what to write about him? On the occasion of his birth anniversary, I saw lots of people putting up FB status messages. But I dared not to write any, for I really don’t consider myself to be competent enough to write about this great personality. Maybe, great is too shallow a word to use. To be honest, I started writing this article On Tagore at Sobhan’s request: “ Tumi aj Rabindranath k niye kichu likhbena ? “. This young writer friend-brother, whom I call “ the chocolate boy “ of the industry messaged me , initiating me to write something. And I was dumbstruck. Sobhan is someone, who , though being a Bengali, knows little Bangla , for his upbringing outside the state and coming that from him, made me realize that it really doesn’t matter how you read Tagore; it is just about reading Tagore, doesn’t matter who you are.
Tagore’s writings have a lot to offer , each and he is there in each and every fragment of our life. I am not a Rabindrik scholar to talk about Tagore, but Tagore’s writings and ideology have been imbibed in my visceral blood. And I believe, this happens for everyone. To start the day with , we pray to god and instead of singing the bhajans, or repeating the name of one particular god, have we ever thought of singing Tagore’s song “ Prothomo aadi tobo shokti “ or “ tomar pujar choley tomaye bhuley thaki? “ Tagore may be a Bengali but his prayer songs have an universal appeal and if we think, we will see that people belonging to any religion can actually sing it.No, I am not going to point out how Tagore exists in our quotidian lives. All I am trying to do is explicate what Tagore means to me and how I perceive Tagore. Rabindranath’s songs , poetry , prose …. all these give me inspiration. This prophet… Yes, I prefer to call him ‘ prophet ‘ has created a cornucopia of literature which is like “ el Dorado ‘ or ‘ Sob Peyechir Desh ‘ and he has become an epitome of Bengali culture. Even these days, a girl is praised, if she can sing Rabindrasangeet. A young Bengali child learns the 1st poetry of his life “ kumor parar gorur gari.. bojhai kora kolshi hari “. When I ponder upon this, it occurs to me that it is actually true for our lives. Tagore’s creations are like the utensils of our lives with which we cook the frosts and when there is smoke, we can actually say , ‘ Bipodey morey rokhya koro .. e nohey moro prarthona… bipodey ami na jeno kori bhoy ‘.
But I would not restrict Tagore to Bengali culture. Pablo Neruda , the great Hispanic poet derived his translations from Tagore. Jimenes translated a large number of Tagore’ s plays. And if you think that this happened decades back, well, let me tell you, that I know an artist , Jose Louis Seara , who created an installation art , inspired by Tagore’s poems. Seara, a very good friend of mine, explained how he finds solace in Tagore’s writings. However, it is a very pitiable situation that very few of us knew about his exhibition in Kolkata, India happened 2 years back.
Wrapping up, I would love to repeat again, that I am not worthy enough to write about Tagore but yes, it actually hurts me how people try to be hypocrites It may be true that one has not been introduced to Tagore but once introduced, one shouldn’t limit that to a single day. It is not a sin to ‘not know’. But at least, let us be honest with the great prophet. Isn’t it ? As for me, yes he is a prophet. Many of my writings have been inspired by him and I really can’t think of spending a single day without remembering him. This article is not enough, at least I am not satisfied with it . For me, it is a journey of knowing Tagore, it is a journey of understanding him. As I try to scribble the last lines of this article, I understand, I have a lot more to read on Tagore and a lot more to learn.
Where have all the tears gone?
Is this doggerel, my swansong?
Baffled, I ask my heart;
Happy for your ignorance? !!
In suffocation I thrive, my fallen ear rings smile;
The lace of the skirt still holds on to the body so fragile;
Let death overpower me before I die in your ignorance !!