'Sanskriti express' brings Tagore's life history

The museum is open to public till Oct 24 at Ashokapuram rly station
Last Updated 22 October 2010, 15:54 IST

This was what Rabindranath Thakur popular as ‘Rabindranath Tagore’ wrote to his daughter Mira on the death of his younger son Samindranath, addressed as Sami, at the young age of 11.  

You can explore many such interesting facts in the form of photographs, letters and paintings related to the life of the nobel prize winning poet laureate, at ‘Sanskriti Express’ a mobile museum on train that has been stationed at Ashokapuram Railway Station on Manandavadi road. Divisional Railway Manager, South Western Railways (SWR), Mysore division, B B Verma inaugurated the museum on Friday, as part of 150th birth anniversary of Tagore.

In all, five coaches of the train forms the museum that has been divided into galleries-starting from the birth of the great soul at ‘Jibon Smriti’ to ‘Seshkatha’ last days of his life.

As is the order of life, the museum begins with a photograph of an imposing building ‘Jorashanko Thakur Bari’ the birth place of Tagore, followed by the portraits of his grandfather Prince Dwarakanath, father Maharshi Debendranath, mother Sarada Sundari Devi, sister-in-law Gyananandinidevi, wife Mrinalinidevi, elder daughter Madhurilatha...
To enable the viewers to know the exhibits, the writings in the form of captions and short stories in Bengali, Hindi and English makes for a fine reading giving a glimpse of Tagore’s family.

One such reading says-Dwarakanath initiated for the birth of Indian Railways. Rabindranath fondly addressed his wife as ‘Choto bou’ or ‘Bhai choti’. He was deeply hurt when his younger sister-in-law Kadambari Devi died at a very early age. The incident influenced him to bring out ‘Kori O Komol’ a collection of poems. Santiniketan, founded by Tagore that revived gurukul system in India can be seen in various hues here.

The other wings of Santiniketan, ‘Sriniketan’, ‘Kalaniketan’, ‘Udichi’, ‘Shyamli’ and other important occasions gives a peek into its activities. ‘Shyamli’ is a house made of clay and ‘Udichi’ built in 1938 stands testimony still to the architecturally well built with the modern duplex planning then. Tagore lived in this house until he fell sick.


The covers of ‘Gitanjali’ the famous work of Tagore that won Nobel Prize, published in different languages are also on display, along with nobel medallion and certificate followed by photographs of his plays-’Dakghar’, ‘Tasher Desh’,’Chandalika’ among others, being enacted by the artistes.

Another quite huge photo that has Rabindranath, Mahatma Gandhiji and Kasturba at Santiniketan on February 1940 is significant as Tagore requested Gandhiji to take charge of ‘Vishwabharathi’ at the meeting.

Ailing Tagore reclining on his favourite arm chair, the same chair decorated with flowers after his death, the final journey amid swelling followers and burning of his pyre brings to an end the ‘life history of the great man’ in the museum.

Interested can also buy the artefacts of ‘Santiniketan’ put on sale at the last coach.
The museum will remain open from 10 am to 7 pm till October 24. The entry is free.

(Published 22 October 2010, 15:54 IST)

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