This year marks the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore and this is their attempt at bringing back Tagore to the masses. The venue of the event is the Jayamahal Ladies Club premises and is so created that it is like a walk down memory lane.
To begin with, Goddess Durga is housed in a pandal, which is the replica of Jarasankho Thakur Baadi, the ancestral home of Tagore in Kolkata. The idol is made by Pal, an artiste from Kolkata, who comes down every year to provide idols to 28 different venues in Bangalore.
Then there is also the Tagore Exhibition, which houses rare artifacts and paintings from Shantiniketan. The highlight of the exhibition is Tagore’s last letter dated June 28, 1941 describing his surprise to Nandalal Bose on the appreciation for his art work in Paris.
The exhibition also contains letters written to Mahatma Gandhi, a life-long correspondence shared by them. There are also rare photographs of Tagore with the likes of George Bernard Shaw and a rather interesting illustration about the evils of hookah.
All these artifacts and letters belong to H K Kejriwal, co-founder of Chitrakala Parishat. The exhibition was inaugurated by him. He quoted some beautiful poems of Tagore in Bengali which seemed befitting for the occasion.
A documentary on Tagore by Buddhadeb Dasgupta was also showcased. An illustrated graphic novel called Durga Re-awakened by Mahan Datta and Shamit Bagchi retraced the significance of puja.
U R Ananthamurthy was the other guest of honour. “Tagore’s writing was a very big influence in our lives, and this is an excellent way of bringing back attention to one of the greatest literary figures in India,” he said. He also said that plans were underway to bring back Tagore, by directly translating his works in every Indian language and create a ‘Tagore Reader’.
“We need to stop looking westward and empower Indian languages, a philosophy both Gandhi and Tagore agreed upon,” he said. There was also Rabindra Sangeeth by Shrabani Sen to mark the end of a perfect evening.
Over the next four days, they have various events lined up, one of then being Muktaangan, where budding artistes can showcase their talent. This truly is a one of kind Durga Puja with an amazing experience for art lovers and admirers.