|Dhritiman Chaterji and Soumitra Chatterjee
Though Rabindranath Tagore was always against institutionalised education and was taught at home for the most part, he had pleasant memories of his time as a student at St Xavier’s College, which finds mention in his writings.
On Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary, the St Xavier’s College Calcutta Alumni Association (SXCCAA) and the old boys’ association, Alumnorum Societas (ALSOC), will organise a special programme to pay homage to the Nobel laureate.
To be held at the college auditorium on Sunday at 5pm, it will include actors Soumitra Chatterjee and Dhritiman Chaterji reciting Tagore’s Shesher Kobita and commissioner of Calcutta police Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti, also reciting from Tagore’s works. Actor Arindam Sil will compere the show.
“I agreed immediately when I was asked to host the programme. Though I’ve had very little time to prepare, I always look forward to returning to the stage where I began my acting career,” said Sil.
“This occasion is special to us because Tagore was a student of this institution and it is the beginning of his 150th birth anniversary celebration too,” said Father Felix Raj, principal, St Xavier’s College. The present students and teachers of the school and college will also put up song and dance performances.
As a 14-year-old in 1875, Tagore studied at St Xavier’s in the fifth standard. In his writings, he mentions being inattentive in class and the kindness of his teacher, Jesuit priest Father Alphonsus de Peneranda.
The school records for 1875 misspell Tagore’s name as ‘Nobindranath Tagore’ and those for 1877 show that he failed to be promoted in 1876. In 1931, however, he donated a cheque towards the flood and famine relief fund set up by teachers and students.
There was a ime,
When the ocean was quiet and calm
Endless, blue and sublime,
Like Nature’s own soothing balm.
Times have changed.
Tumultuous and restless,
Tired of fallacious solace.
The waves are breaking free,
No barrier is strong.
Is this the sense of victory?
Is it over, the wait so long?
The ocean can only fume and fret,
Put up a brave face,
Concoct a violent threat.
the architect of intricate illusions,
Delicately, into a chimera.
Time has not yet