Students take part in a cultural programme to mark the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore at Hirapur’s Harimandir in Dhanbad on Tuesday evening. Organised by the Bengali Association, the evening kicked off with president of the association Partho Sengupta garlanding a picture of the poet in front of a 50-strong gathering. Students from various Dhanbad-based cradles later took centre stage to give the bard a fitting tribute with music, dance and recitations. Picture by Gautam Dey
Music, dance dramas and Rabindrasangeet — the capital did not miss paying its cultural homage to Rabindranath Tagore on his 151st birth anniversary on Tuesday. But there was a notable exception.
Every year, a group of Tagore enthusiasts turned up on the century-old hilly retreat of Rabindranath’s elder brother Jyotirindranath’s, for a spontaneous tribute of music, dance and recitations. This year, they were nowhere to be seen.
Usually, the small group would sit on cotton mats or make themselves comfortable on the stairs of Jyotirindranath’s residence Shantidham, garland a picture of Rabindranath and host an hour-long programme. They did not even need microphones to make themselves heard above the chirping of the birds and the rustle of the breeze.
“The ambience is just perfect to remember Tagore. Sadly, the informal event did not take place this year,” said Sibnath Mazumdar, former general manager of SAIL and a regular to the programme.
Prodded about the reason, artiste Subir Lahiri, who had organised the programme a number of times in the past, said the hill was now under the district administration’s jurisdiction that had formed a trust for its upkeep and development.
“But had we taken the onus, the administration would not have objected. We know that an NGO is holding a weeklong programme on Tagore Hill. Our programme did not take place this year due to lack of initiative,” admitted another member.
Noted visual artiste Haren Thakur said he was away in Tripura. “I just returned to the state. I was under the impression that someone will take the initiative,” he rued.
The city, however, more than made up for this lapse by hosting a plethora of cultural programmes for Tagore at Mecon Community Hall and Union Club and Library.
“It was good to see homemakers taking a break from daily chores and children logging out of their social networking accounts and keeping cellphones on silent mode for an evening dedicated to the poet,” said architect Sudipto Chakraborty, after attending a programme at Mecon Community Hall.
The function at Union Club and Library in the evening was a must-watch, thanks largely to Calcutta-based Shrobanti and Arabinda Banerjee who rendered Rabindrasangeet, including from Shyama and Balmiki Pratibha.