Tagore Utsav concludes in city
By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: The Central Government has earmarked Rs 1 crore to 2.5 crore for setting up of multi-purpose cultural complexes to further create awareness about the literary works of Rabindranath Tagore all over the country, Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Vincent H Pala said after unveiling a life-size statue of Tagore at Brookside Mansion here on the final day of the Nobel Laureate’s 150th birth anniversary celebration.
The Union Minister said, “One of these projects must come to Shillong city since it is considered to be one of the favorite destinations of the great poet.”
Meanwhile, a long-pending wish of the Tagore lovers of hilly state, where he wrote a few of his literary pieces, was fulfilled with the unveiling of the life-size statue of the Bard at Brookside Bungalow, where he visited the first time in 1919.
According to Pala, a proposal is also lying with the Central Government under which it will provide 60 per cent funds to the state governments to execute different projects on Tagore. The Union Minister also assured to erect a bust of Tagore at Sidli House in Upland Road here which he bought last year. The great poet stayed in the house during his last visit to Shillong in 1927. “I am lucky that I got the opportunity to buy the house where he stayed,” Pala asserted. A short cultural programme was held during the function with a chorus by people from several communities. Another cultural programme was also held at “Jitbhumi” where Tagore stayed in 1923. Artistes from Kolkata and Shillong performed in another function to celebrate the occasion at State Central Library Auditorium. Tagore’s Dance Drama Chandalika was performed by Gitanjali Dance Academy followed by a Khasi translation of Klanti Amaye Khoma Koro Probhu by the students of Government Girls’ HS School, Jail Road. Red Oleander presented Ek E Sutre Badha, Subroto Sengupta, a renowned exponent of Rabindra Sangeet, Kolkata presented a few solos and Techno India Group of Schools, Kolkata staged a short play Shey Ki Bhola Jaye – an opera the influence of western music on Tagore. A photo exhibition by city-based photographer Aly Shadap at Brookside Mansion displayed photographs of flowers, nature, paths, cottages etc. which found mention in the works of Tagore. A bookstall and two handicraft stalls displayed products based on Shantiniketan. Amar Kutir and Tapoti Mondal from Kolkata displayed the handicraft items and Vicky Publication coordinated participation of bookstalls from Kolkata and Guwahati. The food festival Thakur Barir Ranna (Foods from Tagore’s Kitchen) offered 14 veg and non-veg menus by the Bard’s descendents – Madhumita Halder and Saroja Tagore — and the recipes were supervised by Rilbong Sports and Cultural Club. “This food festival has a different ambience where special Thakurbari costumes, pillars and hanging lights can be viewed with exact replica of utensils that were used including the way of preparing and serving using banana leaves etc. in Tagore’s kitchen,” said MN Singh, Regional Officer, Indian Council for Cultural Relations.