The Telegraph
Saturday , May 10 , 2014
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Fitting, er, fitness tribute to Tagore
- Birth anniversary has right mix of tradition & offbeat

ADLS Sunshine School, Jamshedpur, staff learn yoga, while ninth grader Divya Jyoti Gopal (below) performs an asana during Geetpatanjali on Friday. Pictures by Bhola Prasad

When the occasion is Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s birth anniversary, it is usually a mix of music, poetry and plays. But, what was unique in Jamshedpur was that a school tried to mingle his creations with fitness on his 153rd birth anniversary on Friday.

Though The Tagore Society in Sakchi maintained tradition by taking out an early morning procession (prabhat pheri) and followed it up with a cultural programme, ADLS Sunshine School, in the same area, organised Geetpatanjali — a rhythmic yoga session with Rabindrasangeet for company.

“The name of the programme Geetpatanjali says its all. It is derived from two words — Gitanjali and Patanjali,” said Indrani Singh, principal of ADLS Sunshine School.

Conducted by expert Subhashish Bhaduri, the event, started with Tagore’s all-time favourite Ekla cholo re. Ninth grader Divya Jyoti Gopal mesmerised the audience with her Suryanamashkar, Dhanurasana and Gomukhasana.

To give the right mix of entertainment and health awareness, students recited Tagore’s verses, as well as performed asanas with Rabindrasangeet in the background.

The show-stealers were four deaf and mute children from Sidheswara School of Deaf and Dumb who performed yoga on the prayer song Aguner paroshmoni.

They also performed the national anthem — a Tagore composition — in sign language.

The programme also included teachers and non-teaching staff of the school. “Since teachers face a lot of stress, we thought of organising something for them. The asanas are meant to cure ophthalmologic problems, arthritis and spondylitis,” said principal Singh, who recited Upagupta, considered one of the masterpieces among Tagore’s poems, in English.

Festivities at The Tagore Society started from the crack of dawn. Around 1,200 people took part in the prabhat pheri that started from Rabindra Bhavan at 5.30am and traversed through Sakchi roundabout and Jubilee Park before culminating at the same place.

The procession was followed by floral tribute being offered to the Nobel laureate at Rabindra Bhavan. After that, students of Tagore Academy presented a cultural programme, while an art and craft exhibition was also inaugurated at Rabindra Bhavan. The Tagore Society also released its first Rabindrasangeet album by students.

“We look forward to this day. This is one of the few days when all branches of Tagore Society come together and celebrate,” said Society secretary Ashis Chowdhury.

The second half saw performances by art and cultural centres run by Tagore Society.

The Tagore Society events don’t end on Friday. Its members have lined up cultural programmes for the next two days as well.