Rajar Chithi : A Playwright’s Note

Rabindranath Tagore in Berkeley CaliforniaAbout a year and half ago, when I was researching on Rabindranath Tagore’s visits to the USA, an incident caught my attention. It said, that apparently there was an assassination attempt on Rabindranath by some Indians during his visit to San Francisco in October of 1916. This piece of information shocked me to say the least and I started to dig into the matter further. I looked into several books on Tagore by well regarded scholars and slowly an image started to take shape. I’ll refrain myself from getting into the details of the various accounts published in several books (you may look for them in the attached bibliography), but just to put matters in context I’ll quote some references: Continue reading

“Ekti Gnaye Thaki” : A Preview

Simanti Dasgupta

ektignaye_norm Many of us will intuitively link the title of the play to Rabindranath Tagore’s well know poem, “Ek Gnaye” and correctly so. Sambhu Mitra and Tripti Mitra particularly immortalized the poem in their rendition of it in Bidhayak Bhattacharya’s celebrated radio play, “Tahar Naamti Ranjana”. “Ekti Gnaye Thaki”, written and directed by Sudipta Bhawmik, is the story of a sister, Ranjana and her brother, Rajat, reuniting after fourteen years. Rajat immigrates to the US with his family after Ranjana sponsors their green cards. The reunion is marked by its usual excitement followed by nostalgia for their “gnya” they left both behind. Rajat becomes a critical link for Ranjana to relive her past, while Ranjana helps him come to terms with his decision to abandon his familiar world in Gobindapur. Ranjana is also ill and Rajat’s presence offers a long-awaited emollient. As the brother and the sister often slip into the past, the rest of the characters are excited at the prospects of their future in the US, especially Rajat’s son, Rajib.

Continue reading

Durga Puja and Cultural Events: The 2009 New Jersey Lineup

Ujjaini MukherjeeIn New Jersey, Durga Puja is a special time when the festive mood brings with it a flurry of entertainment and cultural programs across the state. This year too the line up looks very promising although the spirits have dampened a bit due to the tough economic times and with the rejection of visas of few of the performers.  Still the combination of local talents and professionals from India is bound to enthrall the Puja attendees on the coming weekends.

I’ll try to briefly summarize the lineup this year, although the organizers have in many cases conveniently omitted the details about the local performers from their web sites. I tried to collect as much information I could manage. If any of you have more information, then please feel free to add them to this post as comments. Continue reading

Rabindranath – Universe and Beyond, 2009


Over MAY 15, 16 & 17, IIPA, New Jersey will be celebrating “Rabindranath – Universe and Beyond, 2009” at The Community Presbyterian Church of Sand Hill, South Brunswick, New Jersey.The three-day celebration is an attempt to expand the boundaries of appreciation of Tagore’s literary and musical works through a variety of presentations:

Friday, MAY 15 – Screening of Movie “Teen Konya.” 
Saturday, MAY 16 – Interactive talks with audio visual illustrations. 
Topics: Rabindranath’s Poetic Vision: A Synthesis of Arts & Sciences; Rabindranath in Translation; Disconnected Genius: Rabindranath, Dwarakanath; and Rabindranath & Folk Culture.

Sunday, MAY 17 – Rabindra Sangeet Soiree.

Tickets and Details: Please contact any of the following persons: 
Hirak Guha:(732) 821-8719, Subhodev Das:(609) 924-6709, Surya Dutta: (732) 422-0599, Dhriti Bagchi: (732) 577-9575, Jhum Basu:(732) 817-0264, Sushmita Dutta:732-658-1643, Priyoranjan Das: (732) 274-9654, Krishna Bhattacharya: (732) 536-6325, Narayan Ray:(908) 561-9766, and Zafar Billah:(732) 951-9962.