Rabindranath Tagore was a great poet and a visionary whose philosophy is relevant more than ever today. Bhaswati Ramanujam, the founder of an NGO, The Peepal, that works with the elderly, has organised a fundraiser event, a musical, with the narrative in English, titled Everyone's Rabindranath that will bring to life the Nobel Laureate’s musical journey from age eight to 80. “During my interaction with people over the years,” says Bhaswati, “I have observed that both among Bengalis and other communities, Tagore is recognised for his songs and dance dramas, and not much for his essays. I am a Bengali, who has stayed outside Bengal and I have noticed that Bengalis too think they have a proprietorship over him. I believe Tagore is a man of global stature, that is why the name of the musical is Everyone's Rabindranath . Rabindranath is our own, which means he represents a way of thinking. He had a vision for India. His views on Nationalism and of objectification of women are relevant, especially today.”
To bring Tagore’s philosophy to the fore, Bhaswati has been organising Rabi Charcha , discussions on Tagore’s works, featuring luminaries such as Chiranjeev Singh. “We have had four panel discussions so far and plan to have them once every month.”
Bhaswati adds that tunes of other songs had inspired some of Tagore’s songs, for example, the tune of Robert Burns’ Auld Lang Syne inspired ‘Purano Shei Diner Kotha’ and ‘Basanti Hey, Bhabanamohini’ is set to the Carnatic raga, Meenakshi Me Mudam. “Tagore had met Savitri Govinda Krishnan when she was 14 in Chennai and took her to Shantineketan. She played an important role in getting Tagore acquainted with Carnatic music. We will be singing both the Bengali songs and songs that inspired his compositions. We will be introducing Bangaloreans to Tagore through Everyone’s Rabindranath, ” explains Swati.
Debjani Datta, a Rabindra Sangeet exponent has directed the programme with Odissi by Leena Mohanty, winner of Ustad Bismillah Khan Youth Award and Debasish Pattnaik. “The anchor for the show is KC Raja, who is 86-years-old and is a management guru.”
The Peepal was set up in December last year and at present has 84 senior citizens. “The elderly are not destitute. Our mission is to give them a platform to display their talents and engage in intellectually stimulating activities, such as visiting schools and orphanages to teach maths, painting, yoga, art and more.” concludes Bhaswati.
Everyone's Rabindranath will be staged on June 3, 6 pm to 8 pm, at Purandara Bhavana of the Indiranagar Sangeetha Sabha, tickets available at bookmyshow.com and Events High. For registration write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9731288878.