You cannot take Rabindranath Tagore out of the heart of a Bengali, and this year being the 150th birth anniversary of the poet-artiste, Bengalis in the city are brimming with veneration.
Several Durga Puja mandals have chosen Tagore’s life and legacy as their theme this festive season, which on Wednesday, the sixth day of Navratri and ends with Dussehra on Sunday.
The theme will be reflected not only in their pandal decors but also their cultural activities.
The Bengal Club, which is also celebrating the 75th year of its popular Durga Puja at Shivaji Park, has tried to recreate Shantiniketan inside its
While straw and jute mats on the ceiling evoke the rustic aura of the college that Tagore founded in Bengal, the walls are adorned with large prints of some of his drawings.
“We want to celebrate various aspects of Tagore’s personality — the poet, painter, composer and writer,” said Amit Chowdhury, vice-president of the Club, which has allotted a Rs 1 crore budget for the puja this year.
“Our shows will include a musical set to his songs,” Chowdhury added.
The mandal has also set up a spacious art gallery of Tagore’s famous paintings and a book fair dedicated to his works.
At Kemps Corner’s Tejpal Hall, one of the city’s oldest puja, is ready with an entertainment programme full of the Nobel-winning poet’s work.
There is musical medley planned for the first day, to be performed by students of the Trangan school of Rabindra Sangeet.
Other shows include a dramatic adaptation of Tagore’s novel, Chokher Bali, and dance dramas to be performed by Kolkata’s Mamata Shankar Dance Company.
“We can spend a lifetime celebrating Tagore’s work and never get tired,” said Susmita Mitra, entertainment convener at the Bombay Durgabari Trust, which has organised the event.
The Kalyan Cultural Association, a popular puja mandal in Navi Mumbai, also feels a similar dedication to the bard. They will showcase two dance ballets of Tagore songs as part of their cultural festival.