Hillary's gift to Mamata that was full of mistakes | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Hillary's gift to Mamata that was full of mistakes

kolkata Updated: May 09, 2012 11:05 IST
Sukumar Debnath
Sukumar Debnath
Hindustan Times
Sukumar Debnath


Even Rabindranath Tagore, who did not stick to conventional spellings, would perhaps not have permitted the bloomers that appeared on the mat that US secretary of state Hillary Clinton presented West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Officials at the American Center did not respond to queries about the origin of the gift.

The mat had Tagore's face at the centre. On the edges, words from one of his well-known songs - Aguner Poroshmoni Choaow Praney (Hold the magic stone of fire to the heart) - were inscribed. The word 'poroshmoni' was wrongly spelt.

While the next line should have been E Jibon Punyo Koro (Grace this life), in place of the word 'punyo' it was written 'rinyo'. To make things worse, as common a word as 'jibon' was also incorrectly spelt.

"Extreme care and caution should have been exercised in such instances," said Sahitya Academi president and noted poet Sunil Gangopadhyay.

This came on the eve of Tagore's birth anniversary, something patronised by Banerjee, who is greatly devoted to the poet.

Tagore was a non-conformist in the case of Bengali spellings as in many other spheres of human life. For example, he had his own way of spelling 'goru' (cow).

"Maybe the mistakes were by an artist ignorant of spellings or the song. But the product should have been carefully chosen for the gift. Tagore is the most eloquent exponent of Indian culture and such specimens hurt us all," said Ranjita Sengupta, a teacher and researcher on Tagore.