Romantic Songs of Tagore

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Author: Utpal K Banerjee
Publisher: Abhinav Publications, New Delhi
(Pp 226, ISBN: 8170175372, Rs 250)

Ogo shono ke baajaay (O dear, hear who does play), Tomaay gaan shonaaba (I’ll sing to you songs), Mane rabe kina rabe (Whether or not you remember me)… Songs which Rabindranath Tagore penned down right from the late nineteenth century are sublimely collected in this collector’s copy titled Romantic Songs of Tagore. Author Utpal K Banerjee compiles one hundred lyrics freely translated in full rhyme and keeping the poet’s original metrical pattern at the utmost possible intake. These romantic songs are picked up from Tagore’s masterpiece omnibus Geeta Bitan in three languages viz. Bengali, Hindi and English.

Rabindranath Tagore’s romantic poems are quite often found to be a duality of both divinity and humanity. His lyrics which are throbbed with inexplicable longings and unfulfilled desires, spiritually much akin to the Persian ghazals of un-required passion that had been popular during the 14th – 18th centuries. However, Tagore’s works gradually transited from sensual love to extra-sensual realms. Irrespective of beauty, he longed for the form beyond sensuality. When in his middle-aged period, he perceived love’s tryst being the type of waiting in a room’s corner but launching a sojourn with the flute playing hard sorrow and deep joy. Finally, Tagore found a stilled state beyond pain and enjoyment, focused in the light of an impending death. Author Utpal K Banerjee is a Tagore Research Scholar under Tagore National Fellow Scheme, Government of India for streamlining audio visual cultural archive of Indira Gandhi Centre for the Arts (2012-14).

–Jyaneswar Laishram

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