Music is the language of heart. It is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart. If literature is the sun, Music is the sun beams. If literature is rain, music is the mesmerizing petrichor post rain. Music is the food of the soul. And when it comes to Rabindra sangeet ( songs written and composed by tagore) it’s not just singing it’s about feeling. Rabindra sangeet is like the breathings of heart put into words. Tagore said “The world speaks to me in colours, my soul answers in music.” The speciality of Rabindra Sangeet is that it needs to be felt. It is one of the most versatile form of singing. If you are sad, Rabindra Sangeet will make you cry but if you are happy that same song will make you happier if you truly understand the inner meaning. They fit into every mood. Gurudev has over two thousand songs to his credit and each song is an epitome of his unparalleled acumen. Tagore was a man far ahead of his time. His writing is always relevant, there’s always something new to find. Every time we enter a new age, we need to revise the questions he had raised in his writings because of the valuable guidance and insights they offer.
One of Tagore’s most famous Rabindra sangeet : ” Bhalobeshe sokhi “
ভালোবেসে সখী নিভৃতে যতনে আমার নামটি লিখো তোমার মনের মন্দিরে, ভালোবেসে সখী নিভৃতে যতনে আমার নামটি লিখো তোমার মনের মন্দিরে..
আমার পরানে যে গান বাজিছে তাহার তালটি শিখো তোমার চরণমঞ্জীরে, ভালোবেসে সখী নিভৃতে যতনে আমার নামটি লিখো তোমার মনের মন্দিরে..
ধরিয়া রাখিয়ো সোহাগে আদরে আমার মুখর পাখি তোমার প্রাসাদপ্রাঙ্গণে, মনে করে সখী বাঁধিয়া রাখিয়ো আমার হাতের রাখী তোমার কনককঙ্কণে..
ভালোবেসে সখী নিভৃতে যতনে আমার নামটি লিখো তোমার মনের মন্দিরে, আমার লতার একটি মুকুল ভুলিয়া তুলিয়া রেখো তোমার অলকবন্ধনে..
আমার স্মরণ শুভ সিন্দুরে একটি বিন্দু এঁকো তোমার ললাটচন্দনে, আমার মনের মোহের মাধুরী মাখিয়া রাখিয়া দিয়ো তোমার অঙ্গসৌরভে..
আমার আকুল জীবনমরণ টুটিয়া লুটিয়া নিয়ো তোমার অতুল গৌরবে, ভালোবেসে সখী নিভৃতে যতনে আমার নামটি লিখো তোমার মনের মন্দিরে..
English translation :- Do inscribe my name, my darling, with utmost care, Affectionately in the temple of your soul. Do pick up the rhythm in your feet-jewellery, That rocks the core of my heart. Keep my eloquent bird at your palace topiary with warm affection. Keep my love band fastened to your golden bangles without a miss. Carelessly keep a sprig of my creeper to your trussed hair. Make an impression of SINDUR in my memory – On your SANDAL dabbed forehead. Do smear the attachment of my loving mind – And aromatise your body. Plunder my eager and lively embellishments – Ennoble it as your pride.
Gurudev is often called “nibhrito pran er debota” i.e god for the lonely soul, friend of the lonely soul. If one has lost everything and everyone in life , one can survive by listening to Rabindra sangeet. That’s the speciality and potential of Rabindra sangeet. This may sound silly to you — but it can’t be explained in words, one has to feel it by himself. There is no single emotion that Tagore hasn’t depicted in his songs. Be it the feelings of a bride on the first night of marriage or the pains of a widow dejected by the society or an ugly girl. Loneliness, love, betrayal, affection, romance, separation, death etc Tagore has touched every emotion that Human heart experiences. Rabindra sangeet are literally untranslatable All bengalis are really fortunate that they can read and understand bengali.
Any discussion on Literature would remain incomplete without the name of Rabindranath Tagore. Popularly known as “Kaviguru”, “Gurudev” or “the bard of Bengal”. One of the most celebrated poet-laureate, writer, philosopher across the globe. The great Indian wordsmith that serves as an inspiration to millions even today. Who is not familiar with the short stories, dramas, songs and poetries penned by Gurudev but only a few of us know about the “inspiration” behind his great works. If I get a chance to write a book someday I would surely bring into light the contribution of “Kadambari devi” the inspiration behind Tagore’s writing and the guiding beacon of his life. From an innocuous beginning, she rose to become a literary companion and the enigmatic muse of Tagore. Her relationship with Tagore was controversial and had elements of tragedy.
Kadambari Devi was the sister-in-law ( brother wife) and the childhood sweetheart of Tagore. Kadambari Devi was the wife of Jyotirindranath Tagore and daughter-in-law of Debendranath Tagore. She was nine years younger than her husband.
At the tender age of 10 she was married in the most prominent Bengali families of nineteenth-century Kolkata- the Tagores. In the age of playing and enjoying childhood she was binded in the complex relationship of marriage. Her father was a domestic employee in Tagore’s Thakurbari. It is believed that Maharshi Debendranath, the great humanitarian and philosopher, selected her as his son’s wife, not giving thought to the class difference. He also arranged for her to be educated. The Tagores had always laid stress on education and encouraged their daughter-in-laws to study.
Kadambari’s journey in Jorashanko Thakurbari was not an easy one. Being the daughter of the watchman of Tagore’ house she had to face intense humiliation. She couldn’t mingle with the high class women of Thakurbari rather was not allowed to. She was always high hatted by the ladies of Thakurbari. They considered her inferior and looked at her with contempt. She felt neglected and left out. She had no companion in Thakurbari except her brother-in-law Robi. She was only two years older than Rabindranath Tagore. After his mother passed away in 1875, she was assigned the duty of taking care of the lonely and grieving motherless boy. Being in the same age group the duo soon became playmates and childhood companions. Tagore used to adresse her as notun bouthan( new bride). In his autobiographical masterpiece My Boyhood Days (Chhelebelai), Rabindranath depicts his first glimpse of Kadambari as, “A new bride came to the house, slender gold bracelets on her delicate brown hands…I circled around her at a safe distance, but I did not dare to go near. She was enthroned at the centre of affection and I was only a neglected, insignificant child …” Fortunately for the lad, the new bride, whom he addressed as notun bouthan/bouthakrun (the new sister-in-law), was assigned the duty of looking after him.
She was a very sensitive soul and cared for Tagore dearly. She would supervise the meals of Tagore as he returned from school. She was an excellent house maker and an outstanding cook. Tagore’s memoirs are replete with anecdotes about the duo’s mock fights, quarrels, followed by patch-ups. The two of them shared an unknown bond. Their relationship progressed through different stages; firstly as childhood companions, secondly as a mother and thirdly when both of them fell in love with poetry.
Though she did not write but she had a keen interest in literature. She had developed a literary sensibility, which enabled her to give feedback on Tagore’s creations. She was his best friend and harshest critic as well, incessantly urging him to bring forth his best. On the sultry summer afternoons, while her husband would be busy with his office work, Tagore would read out loud his poetry to Kadambari. She would keenly listen him and pass on her remarks. She would often tease him for his works but later convinced him to read them to her. At other times they would also read serialised versions of author Bankim Chandra’s novels in the popular journal, Bangadarshan.
Tagore confessed that he wrote most of his poems sitting next to her, and all the memories of those affectionate moments are still alive in those poems. At the age of 19, Tagore dedicated his famous lyrics “Tomarei koriachhi jiboner dhrubo tara” (Thou art the guiding beacon of my life) to her, exalting her for being his source of inspiration. He even nicknamed Kadambari after Hecate, the Greek goddess of night, moon, and magic.
She also learnt horse riding from her liberal husband JyotirindranathTagore. He was also highly intellectual and open minded person. He also possessed multiple skills like Tagore; he had a keen interest in painting, editing, theatre and music.
Years passed and Tagore and his notun bouthan transfigured from children to youths. Yet their comradeship remained intact.
Jyotirindranath juggled family business/estates with his creative pursuits. With the passage of time he got more and more involved with managing the family’s business. He had a busy schedule and could hardly spare time for his wife. Hence she always felt lonely and starved for companionship. Even after years of marriage the couple remain childless. She shied away from her women relatives to escape their sarsactic jibes. She didn’t want to be an object of their mockery. Her bold spirit brushed off all negativity that surrounded her. Her growing loneliness possibly acted as a catalyst and further pushed her closer to Tagore who spontaneously provided the companionship she craved for.
It was only in his company that she would be the happiest. She would forget all her sorrows and smile. His mere presence was enough to enlighten her mood. She saw him as her eternal comrade and never wanted to lose him. The childless, lonely, neglected wife had found solace in Tagore’s company.
But this simple and sweet relation of theirs could not last long as it fell into the eyes of their family. When Tagore was 17, he had a brief stint in England; however he maintained touch with Kadambari. Later, he got some of the letters published. Though they were outstanding literary pieces yet their emotional contents left his family baffled. The elders of the family started constructing his relationship with Kadambari as passionate and sexual. They soon decided to get him married. Kadambari was against the marriage; but being a low profile individual, in a patriarchal home, she could do nothing.
By this time she had grown possessive of Tagore. She feared that if Tagore was married, she would lose him forever. She would lose all rights she had over him. And the same happened. After his marriage to Mrinalini Devi, Tagore got engrossed with his work and his married life, Jyotirindranath barely had time for her and the other members of the family never considered her. Tagore had always been the ray of hope in her dark life but now She was left alone. She could not bear the widening gap between her and Tagore. She could not bear the pangs of separation from her beloved. This possibly drove her to take the drastic step. By a quirk of fate, she ended her youthful life by committing suicide on April 21th, 1884. About four months and ten days after Rabindranath’s wedding, she took her life, through an opium overdose. Her death left Tagore devasted and heartbroken. Tagore was deeply moved by her sudden death.
Tagore kept alive the memories of his beloved bouthan within his soul, lifelong. For years after she was gone, he continued to write about her. During a meeting with Nandalal Bose, Rabindranath confessed that most of his paintings with woman’s face were created keeping Kadambari’s face in mind. He penned the lyrics “Tobu Mone Rekho” (Pray, love, remember), which is a popular Rabindra Sangeet, in her honour. Another song composed in her memory, Amaar praner pore chole gelo ke (The one who went out of my life) too evokes pangs of separation, indicating the huge role she played in his life.
But while the mystery behind her death captured the attention of a nation, her life and contributions have often been overlooked in history. Though numerous theories have been forwarded from time to time, the mystery behind her premature death is yet to be unraveled. Till date, Kadambari Devi remains an enigmatic figure in the entire gamut of Tagorean literature.
It’s a high time for you to act. Water has crossed above our heads now. Situations are getting out of our control. Everyday millions of new corona cases are coming.Things are worsening day by day. We Humans have terribly failed to control the disaster. The virus has now become a threat to mankind. Every day lakhs of innocent lives are falling prey to the virus. Now you’re are my only hope. I’m desperately waiting for a miracle to happen. I’m as keen as mustard. As a Magician waves his magic wand and creates spell similary you recite some incantations that shall have a positive consequence on mankind. I don’t need to say how amazing you are. I’m always in a constant awe at you for your persistent efforts in bestowing us with good health and pleasure. You’ve always endowed us with immense positivity and strength, this time also give us the same courage and strength to fight our battle with the virus. And I’m very certain you won’t let your people down. Thank you for always protecting me.Thank you for giving me guardian angels helping me forever.
Dark clouds enveloping the evening sky, Frequent thunders and notorious winds whirling in full pace, Swaying trees and rumbling leaves, Whispering soundly in the ears of nature, Brace up ” kaal boisakhi ” is here.
Listen to the intense roar of the sky, Doesn’t it reciprocate to the emotions of thy heart. They are but the muffled moans of thy soul, Let them wail, let them cry, Let the kaal boisakhi carry out the darkness of thy heart.
Amid the panic of the moisture clad fury winds and the infuriate showers, Let the anxiety run its course, Let all worries flow with the rain. Drain out all past worries and embrace the rain. Let the storm carry away all the gloom and usher the downpour of prosperity and joy.
” Come on! This side.. Yaah keep it here, slowly….slowly “, said my Mother directing the coolies to keep the boxes in the living room. And my father was busy unboxing them . The living room was crammed with boxes, there was no space to even sit. ” Ahh! It’ll take the whole day to set the house ” my mother sighed dusting the ceiling. We had shifted to our new house in Siliguri. It was a 3 bhk flat. It had 2 bedrooms, 1 puja room, a big spacious dining hall, a kitchen and a room at the roof.This was the third time in the past two years that we were shifting. We had become accustomed to changing houses. Papa’s work was such that every year we got transfered to a different city. I studied in 6th standard then. I had become sick of changing schools. Barely I had adjusted in my previous school that I had to leave it. Ours is a nuclear family. I lived along with my Maa and papa. We lived on the 1st floor and our landlord lived in the ground floor. He was an old man in his late 70’s. I used to call him Dadu. He occupied only one room and the rest were given for rent. He lived alone. He had two sons but they resided out of the town.
Our new house was damnably beautiful and much bigger than our previous one. The rooms were very spacious and well lit. The architect of the house was very elegant and eye catchy. There was a small balcony too which became my favourite spot in the entire house as it had a swing. I used to spend hours sitting on the swing gazing at the starry sky, watching the setting sun, counting the migrating birds, watching the passer-by.
Everything was fine but there was one thing fishy about that house.The room on the roof always remained locked. The place owner did not give us the keys of that room. On being asked by he told that the room was once haunted, some evil forces had captured it years ago. And after lots of puja and recitations they had drove the spirits away. But since then he had locked that room and never stepped into it thereafter. Though now there were no more spirits and even the previous renters also didn’t make any complain but still he preffered to keep that room locked for safety purposes .
Now you must be wondering, why we chose to live in that house inspite of all this. Let me tell you, before shifting my Papa had already enquired about it from the neighbours and the family who previously resided there. And none of them spoke anything against it. In fact everyone praised the house and said the owner was a very kind hearted person. Morever the main reason behind choosing that house was that my school was at a walking distance from there.
Everything was going perfectly fine but the thought of opening that room and discovering what was inside kept tempting me. Now I was in search of those keys so that I could open the room and unveil the mystery behind it. My mind was not ready to accept that it was haunted, it said that there must be definitely something mysterious hidden over there. May be gold coins or maybe a hidden treasure, it could be anything as they show in the movies. My fancy thoughts kept me engrossed day and night. I couldn’t share all this to my parents as they would definitely not let me do anything. Now I had to solve the enigma all by myself.
One day when Mom and Dad both were at work, I came home from school in the name of sick leave. That day I had decided to excute my plan. I went ground floor to Dadu’s room, he was sitting on a chair reading newspaper. I told him that I was getting bored at home so I had come. He told me to sit. After a while I pretended to be hungry and said that I wanted to eat patties from the nearby shop. Dadu was such a kind person, he told me to sit and went to the shop to buy patties. As soon as he left, I began hunting for the keys. I searched almost everywhere in the room. Then my eyes fell upon the drawer. There were a number of keys kept in the drawer but only one among them had a key ring attached to it, that too a very beautiful one made of sea shell. I don’t know how but my sixth sense told me ” this is the one you’re searching for “. Without wasting a second I grabbed it ,closed the drawer and went upstairs. I was so hell excited that I didn’t even wait for Dadu to return.
On reaching the terrace, I closed my eyes and taking a deep breath put the key into the key hole and fastened it. The lock opened. My happiness had no bounds. I pushed the gate to discover the mysterious room. The floors of the room were marbeled. The pattern of which was very unique and praise worthy. The walls were painted in two colours. There was a large sized window almost the size of a small door where one could sit and even sleep comfortably. Since it was locked for long, cobwebs were hanging everywhere. And the most beautiful part was the ceiling, it had a gigantic and enormously beautiful chandelier( jhoomar) hanging. I had seen such chandelier only in movies. Seeing the chandelier I couldn’t resist my desire to see it lighted. I found the switchboard and turned it on.
The beauty of the room captivated me. I was dumbstruck and gazing idiotically at every corner of the room in amaze. The room looked no less than a palace. It was almost double of the rooms downstairs. The room was fully packed with furnitures like dressing table, bed, sofa set, Almirah, cupboard, antique dining set. All bathed in dust and none of them in proper condition. The glass of the cupboard was broken and I could see a shiny material behind it. I grew curious. I was damn sure it would be none other than the treasure. Thankfully it wasn’t locked, I opened the cupboard . But what I saw got me down in dumps. There was nothing but a bundle of Kanjeevaram sarees, a sindur box, a mirror and comb, conch shell bangles, alta and almost every other cosmetic item a women needs. “Whom does all this belongs to? Is there really a ghost living here? ” were my thoughts. I got very scared. I was afraid of my own shadow. It scared the living daylights out of me! I banged the cupboard door and ran out of the room in fright. I went downstairs.
My mom had already arrived by then. Seeing my numb face she got scared. And asked me what had happened. I explained her every little thing. She got mad at me and scorned me badly even beat me for my mischief. But more than anger she was scared for me because I had disobeyed the orders of the owner and got into room which was haunted . I had myself invited the trouble. She decided to tell everything to Dadu.
She dragged me downstairs to Dadu’s room. I was frightened as well as embrassed for my deed. She told Dadu everything and expressed her concerns for me. ” Don’t worry nothing will happen to your daughter and there is no ghost in that room.. I had lied to you ” Dadu said with grief in his voice. ” What! ” my mom exclaimed in surprise. Then Dadu told us the whole story behind the room at the roof. Dadu and his wife used to live in that beautiful house. They both loved each other very much. They had no one expect one another. Their sons had married and lived in other towns. They never came to see their old parents, last time they came at the rites of their mother. She passed 5 years ago due to illness. Dadu tried a lot but couldn’t save her life, he couldn’t gather sufficient money for her treatment and his ungrateful sons did not give a single penny. After her death, Dadu’s only support was gone. He went into depression, he even plead his sons to take him along with them but they refused. He had grown old and was no more in a condition to work. So to fill his stomach and to bear the charges of doctor in old age he put the whole house for rent. But he didn’t sell the room at the roof as it was very dear to him. He had many memories attached to it. It used to be their room. They had spent years together in that room. He kept it locked because he wanted that even if he enters the room years after he would find it in the same condition as he had left . Nothing would be altered. He would still smell her presence in the room. He had preserved the furnitures and all her belongings as her last memories. These things were dear to him more than his own life. He had told his sons to take the furnitures along with them but they denied calling it as ” waste”. And so he had to cook the story of the room being haunted so that he could keep his memories safely.
Dadu broke into tears as he narrated the story of his life. I noticed his failed attempt to gulp back his sobs. Tears rolled down his cheeks. My mother tried to console him. I etched towards him and wiped his tears then placed the key in his hands and asked pardon. He gave a weak smile and embraced me.
After that day, I had developed an attachment with Dadu. Whenever I was free I went to him, we spent time together. We used to go for walks. Sometimes we invited him for dinner. He had become like our family. After two years Papa got transferred to Dehradun and we had to leave that house. We had been used to changing houses and it was not a big deal but that house had emotionally bound us. It was very difficult to bid adieu but we had to do. Even when we went Dehradun, I remained in touch with Dadu through phone. It has been 10 years now but still if I go Siliguri, I never forget to pay a visit to him. He has grown older but the memories we shared are still fresh and alive. SOME MEMORIES NEVER FADE. WHEN SOMEONE YOU LOVE BECOMES A MEMORY, THAT MEMORY BECOMES A TREASURE❤.
My eyes are soaked in your longing, As the rose petals drenched in the morning dew. They yearn for your glimpse, As the sky longs to see the beautiful crescent moon suspended in her dusky abode.
You are the shimmery bright stars, that brightens the lane of my dark soul. You’re the gentle breeze of the summer evenings, That brush past carrying all gloom and worries.
You’re the serene moonlight on a dark tipsy night, You’re the gentle tide softly kissing the restless shore, You’re the glistening rays of the wintry Sun imparting warmth , You’re the rain drops slowly tickling the leaf surface.
You’ve captured my heart in the cocoon of your love, Scorching sun or stormy nights, it will survive the darkest plight. Whether or not it is watered, it will continue to burgeon and spread it’s magic with pride❤.
Every morning is a new song, Sing it with enthusiasm; In brokenness and wandering , It’s a ray of new hope. Wrapped in the blanket of the glistening Sun, Let yourself graze in the meadow of the blue sky; Calm your mind and strengthen your will; It’s a call for a new beginning. A fresh start, a new life ❤.
It’s the first day of the year, A fresh start, a new beginning, a new life The Sun is shining brighter than before, The air smells fresher than before;
Aam pallav hangings on the entrance, Doorsteps adorned with beautiful Alpona, New dresses and new ornaments , Newness sprinked in the fragrance of the season.
May the sweetness of sandesh carry away the bitterness of yesterday. Welcome the new year with arms wide open , Count your blessings and rejoice profoundly, Make merry and indulge in your heart’s content.
As your adorn Yourself in new shades today, Let the newness be seen in your ideas too keep the zeal and ardour alive in your heart, Let life be steered with fresh hopes and prosperity.