A New Translation of Tagore’s “Rakta Karabi” – The Red Oleanders

Red Oleanders“Rakta Karabi” by Rabindranath Tagore has been considered by many pundits as one of the pillars of modern Bengali drama. The universal appeal of the play needed to transcend beyond the confines of the limited Bengali speaking populace and Tagore himself took upon the task of translating the play to English and gave it the title of “Red Oleanders”. Unfortunately, not too many productions of this wonderful play happened in the western world. One conjecture has been that Tagore’s language, in his translated works, failed to withstand the test of time as the English language evolved over the ages. Continue reading

North America Bengali Conference (NABC) and the North American Bengali

Undoubtedly, the North America Bengali Conference (NABC) or Bongosammelan, has become the key annual cultural event of the Bengalis not only belonging to the North America but also to the Bengalis all over the world. The amount of interest amongst the Bengalis back home in West Bengal is phenomenal. Artists of all genre’s (musicians, actors, writers) consider an invitation to perform at the NABC as a major achievement in their career. It was quite evident the other day when in one of the Bengali tele-serials/films, one of the characters (a musician) was expressing with pride about her recent invitation to perform at the Bongosammelan and highlighting the fact as a key measure of her success as a musician. Besides, any person who has been even loosely associated with any NABC organizing committee would know how they get deluged with requests from performers to get an invitation. However, the organizers of NABC are very careful and they place their bets only on the time tested popular artists with very few promising performers in the list. Continue reading