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Tagore’s notebook to go under the hammer

A notebook containing handwritten scribbles, notes, poems and lyrics by Nobel laureate, poet, writer and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore will go under the hammer in New York on December 13. Riddhi Doshi reports.

mumbai Updated: Nov 22, 2011 16:43 IST
Riddhi Doshi

A notebook containing handwritten scribbles, notes, poems and lyrics by Nobel laureate, poet, writer and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore will go under the hammer in New York on December 13.

It is estimated to fetch $250,000 (about Rs 1.25 crore). Bidders in India can bid for the book over the phone.

“The notebook contains handwritten notes, poems and songs that provide insight into Tagore’s creative process,” said Sotheby’s director Maithili Parekh.

Dated 1928, the notebook contains 12 complete poems and the lyrics for 12 Bengali songs. The book has been placed on the auction block by a descendant of a close family friend of the poet. “The friendship between the Tagore family and that of the present owner can be traced back to the mid-1800s. The notebook was presented by Tagore to the current owner’s family in the mid-1930s and brought to North America in the 1950s,” said Parekh.

Two of the song lyrics in the notebook were featured in the revised version of the dance drama Chitrangada, first performed in 1936. One of the rough drafts is of ‘Mon je bale chini chini (The heart says I know, I know)’, one of Tagore’s best-loved songs.

The 12 poems found in the notebook eventually featured in Mohua, the 1929 collection of Tagore poems.