Morning march to pay tribute to Tagore - Yearlong sesquicentenary celebrations kick off with music and dance extravaganza

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By SHUCHISMITA CHAKRABORTY
  • Published 10.05.11
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Patna, May 9: Residents of Beer Chand Patel Path woke up today to a band playing on the thoroughfare. But instead of popular Bollywood numbers, the residents got to hear songs of Rabindranath Tagore, popularly known as Rabindrasangeet.

When the sleepy residents peered of their windows, they spotted around 175 children and a number of adults following the band and singing Rabindrasangeet. They were taking part in the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of the poet, who wrote our National Anthem, organised by Rabindra Parishad.

S.S. Kareem, deputy manager, State Bank of India, stopped on his way to a morning walk to see the band and the procession.

“I was really surprised to see a procession so early in the morning. What stopped me was Tagore’s music. I have never seen such a musical procession before,” said Kareem.

Nisha Kumari, 13, an inmate of the orphanage, Kishore Dal Bal Niketan, found the celebrations unique.

“Tagore means a lot to me. His poem I can’t remember my mother is perfect for discovering one’s childhood. When I heard of the celebrations, I wished I could join it because it would allow me to be a part of the celebrations related to my favourite author,” said Nisha, one of the participants in the procession.

Rabindra Parishad kicked off the yearlong birth anniversary celebrations with a prabhat pheri (morning procession) in which a large number of students, teachers and committee members of the parishad and various schools took part. All were wearing T-shirts with a black and white imprint of Tagore. Some of them were also wearing hats with the Rabindra Parishad logo.

Rabindrasangeet like Oi mahamanabo aasche and Mamo chitte, nite nitte were performed, accompanied by instruments like harmonium and tabla.

The musical procession started from the premises of the institute on Beer Chand Patel Path and reached Rabindra Chowk, popularly known as Dakbungalow roundabout, where they garlanded a picture of Tagore.

Leena Mishra, principal, Kishore Dal Shishu Bhavan, said: “Every child has assembled for one reason — to salute Tagore. It is wonderful to know that Bihar is growing as a cultural hub.”

“We have not slept all night, as the celebration began at 9 last night. We watched slideshows on Tagore and the foundation of Rabindra Parishad in the city. Then, at 2.38am, the hour of the poet’s birth, members of Rabindra Parishad sang Rabindrasangeet. His janam lagna was celebrated as well,” said Jyotiprakash Chakraborty, the tabla player in the band.

He added: “But none of us are tired and we can go on for sometime. Celebrating Tagore’s 150th anniversary has inspired us with unending enthusiasm.”

Provas Roy, general secretary, Rabindra Parishad, and Sandip Roy, co-convener, All Bihar 150th Birth Anniversary Celebration Committee, also accompanied the procession. Later Governor Devanand Konwar inaugurated a cultural function. Art, culture and youth affairs minister Sukhda Pandey was the guest of honour.