| Union minister of state for water resources Vincent Pala unveils the statue of Tagore at Rilbong. File picture |
Shillong, May 6: Altogether 150 singers will perform in front of the specially decorated life-size statue of Rabindranath Tagore at Brookside bungalow in Rilbong here tomorrow, to conclude his 150th birth anniversary celebrations.
Tagore’s favourite rajanigandha flowers will be imported from Calcutta to decorate the statue of the poet at Brookside, where he had first stayed as part of his Shillong visit. Tagore had stayed at Brookside in 1919 at an Assam-type building, which was subsequently christened Rabindranath Tagore Art Gallery by the state art and culture department. He visited Shillong on three occasions in the first quarter of 1900.
In the evening, dancers will perform Manipuri, Mohiniyattam and Odissi to pay tribute to the Nobel laureate. Munish Singh, regional officer, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), said that 150 singers from Shillong would sing four songs of Tagore in Bengali and Hindi tomorrow morning.
Bindo Lanong, deputy chief minister in-charge of arts and culture, will inaugurate the morning programme. In the evening, the function, which includes the cultural dances, will be officially inaugurated by Meghalaya governor R.S. Mooshahary. The function is being organised in association with the Tagore Sesquicentenary Birth Celebration Committee and art and culture department.
“The intention of holding the function is to culminate the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Gurudev in a befitting matter,” Singh said. He said that rajanigandha flowers liked by Tagore would be imported from Jagannath Ghat at Howrah, to decorate Tagore’s statue and the venue where the cultural programmes will be performed.
Last year, when the birth anniversary celebrations began, a four-day Tagore Utsav from May 6, had showcased dances and other art forms from the Northeast based on the poet’s works. Workshops, seminars and lectures on Tagore’s life and literary works were also held as part of the event.
A life-size statue of Tagore was also unveiled on May 9 last year by Union minister of state for water resources Vincent Pala at Rilbong.
Besides staying at the Brookside mansion, Tagore had also stayed at Jeet Bhoomi in Rilbong in 1923, where he wrote the drama Raktakarabi (Red Oleanders) and a poem Shillong Er Chithi.
Tagore again visited Shillong in 1938, and stayed at Sidli House on Upland road, Laitumkhrah, belonging to erstwhile late Maharani Manjula Devi.