Performance Cities

Ahemadabad

Bangalore

Chennai

Delhi

Hyderabad

Kolkata

Mumbai

Pune

 

 

 

 

 

Become a Sponsor

Contact the following by phone or email for more information or to become a sponsor of the 2015 India Tour.

Sankar Basu
98365 86488
basu.sankar@gmail.com

Debasish Mukherjee
84202 43096
premier.kolkata@gmail.com

Ramesh Vartak
98691 90862
artindi@rediffmail.com

 

 

 

 

Scenes from the Play

Act One

image 1

 

Act Two

image 3

 

The Play

Young Rabindranath, barely in his early teens, while walking down a winding red clay country road in the village of Bhubandanga, heard these lines from a stray folk singer, that stayed with him for the rest of his life. The lyrics mean something like this

How does this strange bird easily come and go…

Sometimes she’s inside the cage, sometimes out…

If only I could get my hands on that bird…

I’d sure try to tie her down, at least in my mind….

Rabindranath perhaps can be compared to that bird – who can not be tied within the finite boundaries of space and time, but one who can easily stay afloat in the sky, walk on the grainy soils on the earth, and dip in the depth of a bottomless ocean – with equal zeal and comfort.

Rabindranath not only assimilated the complete Indian literary universe of Upanishad, Kalidasa, Vaishnab Padabali, and all in his writings – but also embraced the world literature and philosophy like none before or after. Among the Indian poets and intellectuals, Rabindranath was at once a true Indian to the core, while he was also a world poet with no specific boundaries of country, religion or culture. Rabindranath was equally at ease with Classic English literature as he was with authentic Indian classics and contemporary writings, as well as regional and colloquial nuances of deep interior villages of rural India. Rabindranath was also a superb composer and genius lyricist creating more than 2000 compositions that are simultaneously classical, traditional as well as contemporary – creating a new unique genre of music that holds its own place among the rich and varied Indian musical diaspora. Rabindranath not only imbibed deep metaphysical and spiritual messages of Hindu philosophy as expressed in the Vedas and Upanishad, but also incorporated simple folklores and metaphors that touched the hearts and minds of rural Bengal and India.

Rabindranath was at one stroke a philosopher, a poet, an artist, a foresighted genius who transcended time and place and all boundaries of humankind. His international outlook on life and quest for free expression and spiritual liberation throughout his life was the main ingredient for his creativity. Time and again he said – “I belong to the humankind, religion of human spirit is my only religion”. Although Rabindranath wrote principally in Bengali, but he never wrote only for Bengal. Within the Bengali framework he upheld Indian philosophies and nationalism to the core, and deep within that his message was clearly universal and eternal.

‘A Humble Offering’, is our humble tribute to this myriad minded genius – Rabindranath Tagore.

 

The Acts

Act I

Invocation

Rabindranath Tagore was born at a time of tumultuous social upheaval in Bengal. Tagore's father Devendranath Tagore was a Hindu philosopher and religious reformer, active in the "Brahmo Samaj (“Society of Brahmā,” also translated as “Society of God”), which aimed to reform the Hindu religion and way of life. In this Act we learn about the deep bond that existed between Devendranath and his youngest child (of 14 children) - and how Rabindranath's philosophical foundation and convictions about the universe (and existence of a supreme creator) were influenced by his father.

Act II

The Awakening

Tagore's first awakening and connection to a supreme creator  was expressed in a poem he wrote when he was barely 19 years old - Nirjhorer Swapnabhango. He had a remarkable experience at dawn, while watching the sunrise through the leafy tops of some trees from his balcony - when he suddenly experienced a deep kinship with nature. He wrote " As I gazed, all of a sudden a veil dropped from my eyes. I saw the world bathed in an inexplicable brilliance, radiating waves of beauty and joy all around...."

Act III

The Shilaidoho Days

In 1890, 29 years old Rabindranath was given the responsibility of managing their family's large estate in Shilaidaho, (now in Bangladesh), by his father. He travelled to many adjacent villages as part of his duties. During his travels Rabindranath was exposed to inexplicable beauty of nature and divine tranquility. He got attached he called "Padma". He named it after the great river on which he spent most of his days. From his boat he could observe life on shore with immense interest and wonder. Nothing escaped his gaze.

Everything Tagore saw was imbibed in his memory, stored for later to be expressed as a poem, story, play or song. It was here in 1912 the poet started his translation of Gitanjali in English that earned him the Nobel prize in literature in 1913.

Act IV

Nature, His Classroom

From his earliest experiences with education, Rabindranath rebelled against existing education system. He hated its impersonal structures, stale ideas, and grinding repetitions. Because of this Tagore was mostly educated at home. The experience at Jorasanko (Tagore's birthplace) shaped his lifelong convictions concerning the importance of freedom in education. He created Santiniketan - an university where he stated goal was to create a poem in education.. "in a medium other than words". Throughout his life Tagore crossed regional, national and international boundaries integrating folk, classical, devitional, and many other forms of music.

Act V

Women in Tagore’s life

Tagore was also a man heavily influenced by the fascinating women who were part of his life. Gender gap and social issues were important parts of Tagore's work. Throughout his life Tagore's created a lot of positive energy about women; he believed in women empowerment, and had a lot of intelligent ideas about women but he could not go completely against his readership and the society as a whole. In this Act we explore three women who left an indelible impression on Tagore he often recalled in many of his works.

Act VI

Universal Rabindranath

Born more than 150 years ago, Rabindranath Tagore shone as a brilliant writer, musician and activist. It is important for us to ask - "Is Tagore relevant today?" The answer lies in the fact that Tagore's poetry and words - patriotic, pastoral and spiritual - in some ways are more relevant today than it was 150 years ago. Here is why.

We live in a world of constant connection and communication under incredible global pressure - of lifestyle images fabricated by marketers that are fed to us 24/7. Our youth have role models created by the media that push material wealth and excess - when much of the world goes hungry.  We have become numb and impersonal from barrage of media we are exposed to.... These are disconcerting, and we are worried about iour youth and the world they will inherit. But Tagore - philosopher, poet, musician, painter and visionary - gives us hope. He lights the way for cultural acceptance and tolerance He freely shares his vision of individuality and oneness with nature. Through his words and ideas our eyes have been opened... we have embraced his vision.... and we are moved to share this vision with the world.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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