The Home Coming. Rabindranath Tagore Story. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

060. The Home Coming. Rabindranath Tagore Story. Reintroduced by P S Remesh Chandran

By PSRemeshChandra, 14th Sep 2014. Short URL http://nut.bz/zds4wvd1/ Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Rabindranath Tagore was an educator, social reformer, poet, playwright, novelist and short story writer. His poetical collection Gitanjali was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Home Coming is the tale of a 14 year old boy who was a nuisance to his mother, was sent away for studying and died there unloved and longing for his home. There has not been a single person in India who did not weep after reading this Tagore story.

The boy grew up lazy, wild and violent and thought about doing new mischiefs every day.

Phatik Chakravarthi was a fourteen year old Bengali boy whose father died very early. He grew up lazy, wild and disobedient. His younger brother Makhan Chakravarthi was quiet, good and fond of reading. Phatik thought about doing new mischiefs every day. One day he and his retinue of boys pushed into the river a wooden log meant to be shaped as the mast of a boat. Makhan, objecting to this and sitting firmly on the log, was thrown to water along with the log. At home, when he was questioned about this, he beat not only his brother, but his mother also. It was then that his uncle from the far Calcutta City arrived. He agreed to take the boy along with him to Calcutta to be educated there. The boy was only glad to leave, but the mother was only half-relieved and half-sad.

He missed the meadow, mountain and river in his native village, became a failure at school and began to always ask, when holidays would come.

Phatik’s uncle had three sons of his own and his aunt did not like this new addition to their family. A fourteen year old boy will have his own problems too. He was fast growing up. He was neither a child nor a man, crossing the line in between. He missed the meadow, mountain and river of his native village. Therefore it was no wonder he became a failure at school. He answered no questions, was beaten badly daily at school and ridiculed by all including his cousins. He grew impatient about returning to home and began always asking, when the holidays would come.

In his delirium, he talked about things in his native village, asked his mother not to beat him anymore and called out fathom-marks which steamer-sailors in his native village river did.

One day Phatik lost his lesson book and was scolded and abused much by his aunt. It served as the last hurt to break him. On a rainy afternoon after school, feeling fever and headache, he sought shelter somewhere and did not return home. He did not want to trouble his aunt any more. Police help was sought the next day. They found him and brought him home, shivering and fallen into a delirious state. He talked about things in his native village, asked his mother not to beat him anymore and called out fathom-marks which steamer-sailors in his native village river did. He moved restlessly, his hands beating up and down. His condition seemed critical to the doctor, and his mother in the village was sent for. When his mother arrived moaning and crying, and calling his names, he was nearing his eternal home which is Heaven. His last words were: Mother, the holidays have come.

Tagore’s story Home Coming was one of the two first glances into the grief and sorrow of little minds, the other being Coventry Patmore’s poem, Toys.

The question is how we treat our children. Children are the flowers of humanity. Yet, we do not see the grief in those tiny hearts. Up to four years, a child is said to be in the hands of the God, but since then they are this World’s property. A bit of love, a soft touch of solace or a tiny word of consolation would be enough for them, but we do not spare them. Millions of children are worn out for want of care, nursing, assistance. Tagore was purposeful in writing such a story as this to open the world’s eyes towards the world of children’s deep sorrows, unheeded by the grown up world. No wonder he was dedicated to children and started that India’s World University, Saanthi Nikethan, where teachers and students sat beneath mango tree shades and learned. Tagore’s this story was one of the two first glances into the grief and sorrow of little minds, the other being Coventry Patmore’s poem, Toys.

[Prepared in 1996]

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

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Tags

Appreciations, Articles, English Literature, Essays, Home Coming, Indian Writers, P S Remesh Chandran, Rabindranath Tagore, Reintroductions, Reviews, Sahyadri Books Bloom Books Trivandrum, Stories, Studies

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandraAuthor profile

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. Unmarried and single. Born and brought up in Nanniyode, a little village in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Kerala. Unmarried and single. Also edits and owns Bloom Books Channel.

 

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My First English Recitation Videos Took Thirty Years To Produce. P S Remesh Chandran

058. My First English Recitation Videos Took Thirty Years To Produce. P S Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

By PSRemeshChandra, 30th Apr 2014 Short URL http://nut.bz/2t3az9i6/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Why do human beings sing? It is an act of sublimity, melting him beyond medium, transforming him to deliquescence and ardence, preparing him for the nearness of god. God stands just behind those who sing, such close that we will wonder who actually sings. The delightful souls dead and gone who designed this world want to speak to the world again through their poems. Recitation is where they reincarnate. No living poets shall ever have a place here. Their time will come once they are tested.

P S Remesh My First English 01 The Ferrymanhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1lywUBFRSY

Saying poetry instead of singing has led to deterioration in the standard of poetry and recitation both.

P S Remesh My First English 02 Wander Thirsthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgKeTfCO6PU

Without music no poetry is born. If it is without music, it is not a poem. Others say it, we sing it; that is our motto. There are others in the world who sing poems and ours is an attempt to search them out, compliment them and supplement them and help them recognize that what they had been doing was right. Children of the world, we see in most poetry recitation videos, just say poems with more acting than music- an indication of what resource-less teachers had been doing in classes for decades, setting the wrong model. Large institutions and famous poetry recitation competition organizers across the continents like to blissfully forget that there is music in poetry. Of course, saying poetry is the first easy thing that comes into one’s mind when he finds himself unable to sing a poem, instead of trying earnestly to sing it. This wrong step, adopted by inadequately-trained teachers and academics through decades, has deteriorated the standard of recitation in specific and the standard of poetry in general. There has been no standardization done in the singing of poetry in the world, and no one can set rules too, for who are to do this? There are no role models. Only when better methods are introduced and accepted would the standard of recitation and poetry improve and be restored to what it had been in ages of creativity. Ours is an attempt to set a plain and simple model as a starting. Our resources are scanty, our attempt is pagan, and our acceptability may be only among the unorthodox, presently. But we do will set a trend. Others can discard it or build upon it.

Saying poems instead of singing it is licentious dealing with language. When you find the lines of a good poet hard to sing, know that that poem is locked.

P S Remesh My First English 03 Who Has Seen The Windhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyEJslvFrQI

When Kalidasa, the epic poet who wrote Shaakuntalam, was asked by his patron King Bhoja what his greatest wish in the world was, he replied that never once shall he have the misfortune of singing poems before the uninterested and the uncreative. It is a fear of all good poets. Therefore they lock their lines, using their own locking methods. Tagore, Tennyson, Matthew Arnold, Milton, Shelley, and Keats- all have done this. Some place the last word of a line in front of the next one, some stretch it into prose and some cause singers to stumble upon and fall over unnecessarily placed vowels and syllables. If you want to enjoy such poems, you must persevere. At one of your repeated attempts, it will click and the tune revealed. Once we unlock the tune we will laugh, will hear the poet also laugh, which is the real communion with the dead, the magnificence of dealing with those standing in eternity.

I only wish to outline what are the ingredients to becoming a musical recitation fanatic.

P S Remesh My First English 04 The Night Expresshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt5ZTy90ag8

I have my own views on why music should be incorporated into poetry and why recitation should be musical and used as substitute for instruction and the presence of a teacher. I have my own anticipations on the future of musical recitations and awareness of my own shortcomings and limitations in advancing a project of this magnitude and potential. I will speak about them in another article which I soon wish to compliment this present one with. In this article, I simply wish to record the story of how I became interested in poetry recitations and how my first English Recitation Videos came into being. What I intend to outline are the ingredients to becoming a musical recitation fanatic.

It was rumoured that there were televisions in three or four houses in Delhi, including one in the President’s House.

P S Remesh My First English 05 Indian Weavershttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un-pWZcPmv4

‘My first English recitation videos’ means, not the song videos which I viewed in my childhood but which I attempted to create in my youth. In my childhood years, there were neither videos nor cassettes, not even radios, in Indian villages. It was only rumoured that there were televisions in three or four houses in Delhi, the capital of the country, including one in the President’s House. It was when a few radios came up here and there- Murphy, Phillips, Toshiba and Soundistor- that people began to hear recorded music frequently. Before that, there were indeed gramophone players but they were rare, and were not accessible to us children.

The best thing a father can do to his children is to respect their mother.

P S Remesh My First English 06 Coromandel Fishershttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhL8txK6RGI

Even before I walked, I was told, I had learned to sing. I owe this to my mother and father. My mother was university-educated who remained without going for a job for fear of angering my grandfather who did not believe in women working and bringing home money. Like a typical Indian village landlord who he actually was, widowed and conservative, he was devoted and faithful to his children- all girls- and ruled home like a true patriarch. The benefit was we got the undivided attention of our mother. She was there to send us to school and she was there to see us back. What she learned- university science it was- she taught us her four children. My father was a European-travelled and liberal-minded high school English teacher who taught us that ‘the best thing a father can do to his children is to respect their mother’. After graduating in Bachelor of Arts from University College and Bachelor of Teaching from Mar Theophilus Training College, Trivandrum, he went to Malaysia and Singapore to work in a British cultural firm. After a few years he returned, got additionally trained for Certificate in Teaching English under the British Council of India and joined our native high school as an English teacher, to my luck. Had he remained abroad and made money and we children remained in our village, we would all have been rich and spoiled.

In school and village celebrations, my name would be called through loudspeakers, enrolled by my father without my knowing. How could I run away for public fright?

P S Remesh My First English 07 Where The Mind Ishttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwQWwZsiDI4

I loved to hear film music and we had no radio. There was a public radio kiosk in our village and one fine valve radio in the nearby tea shop. It was before the advent of transistors. There was a cinema theatre nearby and I used to go for second shows for listening to film songs. Knowing my craze, my father would give me money. Some Malayalam films were famous just for their number of songs. I could sing all of them which I did in home, in both male and female voices. I was not a singer but whenever I took part in competitions, I gave only the second prize to others. In school competitions and village celebrations, my name would be called through loudspeakers, enrolled by my father without my knowing. How could I run away for public fright? Fearing the shame of appearing public in a stage, I would go and do the thing. I was lucky there were no district level competitions then.

Even now I am a second man, the man behind the curtains.

P S Remesh My First English 08 The Forsaken Mermanhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKkurqG5zp8

It seemed my father took it up to make me a singer. He took me while I was in school to the All India Radio twice to see his friends, the now late Kamukara Purushothaman and Madavoor Bhasi. Kamukara was a very famous gentleman playback singer and music director and also a school headmaster who I think did his B.T. with my father. He was not there in the A.I.R. Madavoor Bhasi was a famous drama writer and producer who was my father’s school mate. He also was not there on the day we went to see him. You know there were no telephones then. My father could not take me again to the city for this purpose. Since his demise, I lost the only promoter I had. And I myself did not pursue the task of becoming a singer. Even now I am a second man, the man behind the curtains.

Singing English poems was a novelty in my village, was in the state, but what if it is in the world?

P S Remesh My First English 09 Fidelityhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O63AFcX1RYI

Living among Europeans and Far Eastern Asians refined my father in culture as well as in literary and linguistic skills. He was an ardent singer of English poems of great poets which he taught us also at very early ages. In high school, he was our English teacher and my class teacher and I had the opportunity for listening to his famous beautiful English recitations and orations in class. ‘Row Row Row The Boat’ and ‘Ten Green Bottles Hanging On The Wall’ were our daily bread. I heard ‘The Slave’s Dream’ he singing in another class. Before we were in the tenth standard, he had implanted in us all the zest and lust for singing English poems, which was a novelty in such a remote village as ours. In future years, I was to learn that it was a novelty in the state also. Today, when I come across English poem recitations in the internet and learn that it is a novelty and rarity in the world too, I do not wonder but only am sad. So, when I matriculated, I was fairly ripe for poetry. In college I did not gain much in poetry. There was only the usual saying of poetry and explaining and no music. I had learned in my school how to learn and soon found that college was no use to me. If I can learn new things in my way in leisure, why waste time? I was enrolled in the same college as my father studied, under the principalship of the same reverend father who taught him in his B.T. classes. Even then I did not gain much except seeing a cross section of the world, for there were brilliant students from almost all continents, a rarity then in Trivandrum but common in this particular institution. I was the only one coming from a remote hamlet but also the one among the three coming with a national merit scholarship. My class comprised of first class holders only, doing science. When I learned that I was the first in English class, I wondered how it can be with every other one speaking fluent English unlike me. I soon learned that it was not because I was the most brilliant but others had multi-diversions in life, brought from rich continental backgrounds. But I gained indeed in one thing- I got a mission, by way of the principal.

You will never see such a teacher in the corridors of a college; you try to become such an one.

P S Remesh My First English 10 Ozymandiashttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_exxBg5urk0

This learnèd father, clad in snow-white gown and black waist band, was a fine English teacher who taught only in post graduate classes. His poetry classes were sweet and famous and his orations liquid diction; I very much longed to sit in his classes and listen to that finery of speech. He will never go near an undergraduate class which saddened me. I cut classes, went secretly standing behind his class wall and enjoy. One day he caught me, looked straight through his thick glasses perched atop that long snow-white expanse and said nothing nor did anything. He was tall, strong and I have seen rebellious senior students coming flying out his office crashing his half-door and landing on the outside corridor, gasping! But one day when he caught me sitting under a canopied tree in a secluded spot in the campus in class time, I for the first time learned that undergraduate students with national merit scholarships were under observation. Without preamble, he asked me: ‘What is deficient in this college?’ I knew he was not an earthly academic professor and dean but a saint who wished to resign some day soon, start a seminary on some jungly river bank and lead a peaceful and secluded life nearer to god. I became bold and answered: ‘There is a deficiency of fine teachers who can be stooped before.’ There indeed were professors there who had written famous novels which became film hits and others whose works were approved text books in so many universities. I thought I would summarily be dismissed. He gave me a straight answer instead and left: ‘You will never see such a teacher in the corridors of a college; you try to become such an one!’

So, I became an English teacher at a place where no one knew me, in my spare time, as an amateur.

P S Remesh My First English 11 Twinkle Twinkle Little Starhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naF8H-4SIjQ

After college, mine were the years of purchasing poetry books of all famous poets and singing them. I mostly purchased Dent & Dutton, Rinehart and Macmillan editions. Those which could not be sung, I began to consider unfinished and inferior and throw away. I never went to a library for I was in the habit of making notations in books for later recitations which we cannot do in library books. Before it was three years, I already had the necessary collection and knew which songs I was going to sing in the future years. Even while employed full time in Kerala government service in the health services department, I was regularly invited to teach in institutions in my spare time. One senior friend of mine, who was to go abroad, could not keep his promise of attending one such institution. He begged me to go instead and I could not refuse, he being a talented actor and scholar and something like charismatic to me. So, I became an English teacher at a place where no one knew me, in my spare time, as an amateur. Though I was an amateur, do not think I was amateurish in my ways. Though I never wished to become a teacher and never had the orthodox characteristics of a teacher but the unorthodox ones of a writer, I was made a teacher. It was not a question of money but the beginning of my actual social service and execution of my mission.

For me it was the thrill of enjoying a song for the first time, and for the students the thrill of passing through the thrill of someone else’s first and fresh enjoyment.

P S Remesh My First English 12 What Is This Lifehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MuZDwnc_a0

In my first poetry class, the principal asked me to teach Byron’s The Prisoner of Chillon. I agreed. He himself was a fine poetry teacher but lazy, and whenever possible, he engaged others to do it. It was a fine class, according to students which included one of my unknown cousins, and also according to the principal. Actually it was the first time I was coming across this poem; I just sang it and explained it. It was a thrill to us all- for me the thrill of enjoying an exhilarating song for the first time in my life, and for the graduate students the thrill of passing through the thrill of someone else’s fresh and first enjoyment. My advice to me was, just never do this again! . I must admit I became somewhat famous in later years for my proficiency in singing poems and for singing them full from memory helped by music, for I never held a poetry book in my hand, in class. It was a challenge to mature students, the real challenge, and they took it up in equal stride. Music, according to me and in my experience, is the best means of instruction, especially in poetry. Even regular and famous class-cutters began to present themselves in poetry classes. Principals liked it.

I recorded with the inescapable background noise of carpenters carving, automobiles racing, dogs barking and crows cawing from all around the house.

P S Remesh My First English 13 Stopping By Woodshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGCceMlyqdA

Hundreds of beautiful songs have I taught and many hundreds more have I read, sang and enjoyed. My wish was to record them all. One related young brother of mine gave me a small battery-powered tape recorder and I began. I recorded many songs at my home, with the inescapable background noise of carpenters carving, automobiles racing, dogs barking and crows cawing from all around the house. I very much wished for a sound-proofed room and recording equipment which I never had, even till now. I took this small tape recorder- a very good one though without a shell- to our lonely farm house on a secluded spot three miles away. I even took it to my river and waterfall regularly. I did come up with many songs recorded in 60 minute and 90 minute cassettes. There were hundreds of them beautiful songs still remaining to be recorded. But before it was six months, my relative took away the recorder. So, that was the end of it for then, I thought! Or was that the end of it for ever?

It is time the world recognize musical recitation as an effective replacement for English instruction.

P S Remesh My First English 14 Song To The Menhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy6nlrKRH10

Fortunately my little sister, with her savings, purchased a brand new Sharp Double Cassette High Speed Tape Recorder With APSS Facility for me. I could now make copies of my crude recordings and could even bring out the ‘First Musical English Poetry Cassette For Pre-Degree Classes In India.’ I had made only a prototype in my view, hoping fully orchestrated versions could be released in future, but many teachers told me it immensely helped them to learn those tunes and inspire their students with them, as if they themselves had discovered those tunes. Anyway, it dramatically improved not only the recitational skills of their students but improved their memorization skills as well. That was when I first noticed it was better to teach tunes to teachers than to students; teachers could more effectively transmit them to multiple numbers of students. What actually needed to be done was incorporating music into teachers’ curriculum which was what the British Council of India had been doing in India in the post-colonial years and which might have been what actually convinced my father of the effectiveness of using music as a means of instruction. When I arrive at this inference, I know that the British Council of today is not the British Council of post-colonial years and those who head it now needn’t be as enthusiastic and zestful as their old counterparts in recognizing musical recitation as an effective replacement for English instruction.

I still do not know whether they recognized this project and are still looting money on my behalf, without my knowing.

P S Remesh My First English 15 Send Offhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3E2WXp7yo0

The impact of all these reading, singing, teaching, travels and meeting people had within this time evolved into a project in my mind- Project For The Popularization Of English Songs In India- in short PROPÈS INDIA. There were many agencies at that time which I could approach to sponsor, undertake, underwrite, finance or technically collaborate, namely, the Departments of Education, Culture and Human Resources Development of the Government of India, The British Council of India- India being a common wealth country- and a few others. I was young and green and wrote to them all, knowing not about how bureaucracy could get involved and turn things to their end without me ever knowing it. I still do not know whether they recognized this project and are still looting money on my behalf, without me knowing, considering the curious political and administrative set up in India. I even remember writing to the Queen of England, addressing her through her private secretary. Gradually I knew I was lonely- very lonely- with my father long gone and my principal, the saintly scholar, who had started a seminary on the banks of the Alwaye River after resignation, also long gone.

Chairman of the Kerala Film Development Corporation offered to rent recording floor with Nagra Recorder for 2000 rupees per hour. I could not afford.

P S Remesh My First English 16 To A Skylarkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFVoiRm-yEI

I now began looking for where and how I can re-record these songs in a professional studio. Kerala had a well-equipped film studio at Thiruvallam near Kovalam, owned by the Kerala Film Development Corporation Limited. It is a government-owned institution anyway. A famous writer, critic and littérateur became its chairman and I telephoned him to tell my need. I never expected positive response but he was ready to rent their recording floor with Nagra Recorder to me for 2000 rupees per hour, much lower than their usual rates out of goodwill, considering the genuineness of my request. It meant, to record one full hour, I will have to spend three or four hours in the studio. I could not afford that much money, in spite of being decently employed and having none other than my mother to look after, who anyway had her own sustenance.

Engaging fine singers, visualizers and orchestras, recitation videos could become prime-time programmes attracting whole student communities.

P S Remesh My First English 17 Dorahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2QIzDVo9Dc

Years went by, with my audio cassettes occasionally running and tempting me to visualize them. Now it was the time of television and then it was the time of cross-continental networks of television channels. I wrote to a few of them, requesting them to consider the viability of good musical recitation videos and their importance in the teaching of English. Designed well by talented producers and engaging fine singers, good orchestra and imaginative visualizers, they could become prime-time programmes within a few weeks, attracting whole student communities. None cared. Their no-response did not trouble me because I do not look at televisions. They may still be showing those long dreary videos of people speaking poems!

Me who do not still know where most of the key board letters are located can now produce video songs.

P S Remesh My First English 18 Patriothttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mR80hgFVUpc

Now came the time of internet and I thought the time was come, not mine but these songs’. My youngest brother taught me the basics of computer in his instrument and arranged for purchasing one for me. Within three years, I learned to do things which were only wild dreams when viewed from my background of a remote hamlet. Me who do not still know where most of the key board letters are located, who do not still know what the top-most row of keys represent and who never have used the two right-most compact rectangular sets of keys, can now produce video songs with no one else’s assistance. Last year, in 2013, I took up my cassettes and learned that except three, none of them would run for long disuse. I took them to a videographer interested enough to take spools out, clean, rewind and digitize, for a small fee. I knew he was doing this out of professional curiosity to see what was contained in them. He gave me wave sound rushes and I edited trimmed and converted formats in my computer. And here are my songs, the first batch. In two cassettes, spools spilled out of shells and it is time-consuming to recover music. Two others have to be spools taken out and soaked in solutions to clean. They are there lying in its place, waiting for their time, if it comes.

I am waiting for technology to come when songs could be lifted out of brain waves.

P S Remesh My First English 19 Lake Isle Of Innisfreehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faFK9_Gneug

I could recover only just a few of the recordings I made but the majority of my songs are considered to be lost, in its present state. I regret loosing Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Prisoner of Chillon, Allegro, In Memoriam, Elegy Written In A Country Church Yard, Deserted Village, Lotos-Eaters, Lady of Shallot, To A Skylark, The Cloud, Ode On A Grecian Urn, Parts of Paradise Lost and H. W. Longfellow’s The Slave’s Dream. I even had envisioned the full sequence of The Slaves Dream with following with a camera the undulating flight of bright flamingos over desert lands and kaffir huts and hidden streams, with a bright blue ocean brimming in the distance. Even if I am given technology and sponsorship it is very late now, for I have lost a few of my teeth and the former capacity of my lungs. I also regret to remember that what I recorded represent only two percent of what I could have recorded. I am waiting for technology to come when songs could be lifted out of brain waves, from tracks left behind when they were sung. Sometimes, I will come again in another generation, to finish up my work, and you will distinguish me from my very sound and style.

My next book is: Where Did Music Go From Poetry?

P S Remesh My First English 20 Vagabondhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K2ZWWvb0KU

Man has a brain for music. Music emotionally evocates him and makes him dance. Heart carries a beat similar to the one music has. When we were unborn infants, the lub-dub sound of our mother’s heart beat was the most conspicuous and continuous sound we heard in the uterus. Even while in embryonic stage it just got synchronized with our own heartbeat. This inner-aligned rhythm does not leave us even when we are grown up as it is incorporated into our brains. That is why this heart-beat content has enabled us to have a brain fitted to process any music which has a beat. Some researchers term this as the ‘Lub-Dub Theory of Music’ or the ‘Heart-Beat Theory of Music’. Beat of music brings back to our memory the comfort, coziness, warmth and safety we enjoyed in our embryonic days. Don’t forget that even after we have become adults, our coziest sleeping positions correspond with that of our fetus in our mother’s womb. Of course there have been other beats which we regularly have heard in the womb but they do not wash away the mother’s heart beat. Mother’s heart beat has been the natural setting for the audio receptability of a new born child and its susceptibility to music. Music also demanding dancing is unusual for other sounds we hear. It is most probably because music has the feature of moving, just as human beings also have the feature of moving. Movability or mobility is characteristic of both music and man. Heart-beat theory of music still has not been able to explain yet the fascination of human mind for music. I assure you, one of my next books would be ‘Where Did Music Go From Poetry?’

These songs are available for streaming, listening and free download in You Tube, Sound Cloud and Last FM.

Links to You Tube Videos of these songs are provided here. All the previous videos of these poems and songs have been replaced since then with newer ones with better audios. Altogether, about 90 videos in Bloom Books Channel were withdrawn from circulation and replaced with better ones.

E 001 If All The Seas Were One Sea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVDhdskuzeY

E 002 Ferry Me Across The Water

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1lywUBFRSY

E 003 Up Hill

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DycIRBgw1ps

E 004 Wander Thirst

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgKeTfCO6PU

E 005 Who Has Seen The Wind?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyEJslvFrQI

E 006 The Night Express

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt5ZTy90ag8

E 007 Indian Weavers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un-pWZcPmv4

E 008 Coromandel Fishers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhL8txK6RGI

E 009 Where The Mind Is Without Fear

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwQWwZsiDI4

E 010 Forsaken Merman

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKkurqG5zp8

E 011 Fidelity

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O63AFcX1RYI

E 012 Ozymandias

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_exxBg5urk0

E 013 Solitude Of Quiet Life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L66GcSKH6j8

E 014 The Sun With His Great Eye

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1riuYg9HlE

E 015 I Looked And Saw Your Eyes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2odQt1s6c8

E 016 When All The World Is Young

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIFwrlUNJ_g

E 017 Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naF8H-4SIjQ

E 018 Govinda’s Disciple

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxgGvw5SIqk

E 019 Leave This Chanting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHnjSnH1qa8

E 020 What Is This Life, If Full Of Care?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MuZDwnc_a0

E 021 Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGCceMlyqdA

E 022 Song To The Men Of England

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy6nlrKRH10

E 023 Send Off

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3E2WXp7yo0

E 024 To A Skylark

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFVoiRm-yEI

E 025 Arrow And The Song

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXW0OxOiWjY

E 026 Dora

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2QIzDVo9Dc

E 027 The Force That Drives The Water Through The Rocks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvVFyIgayR0

E 028 Patriot

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mR80hgFVUpc

E 029 Lake Isle Of Innisfree

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faFK9_Gneug

E 030 Vagabond

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K2ZWWvb0KU

[Updated as on 19 September 2015]

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The Emerging World Society. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan. Essay Reintroduced By P.S.Remesh Chandran. Sahyadri Books.

045.

The Emerging World Society. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan. Essay. Reintroduced By P. S. Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 11th Feb 2012.  Short URL http://nut.bz/2tge_ko-/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

 

A few recent leaders of India, who are neither writers nor philosophers, are fast bringing about laws to curb the use of international social media by the people of India. They are furious over the speed and completeness with which their clandestine favouritism and corruption are brought to daylight each day. It is really the Internet which brought the world people together. It is time these fools read what the famous philosopher and former President of India wrote on The Emerging World Society.

At one time the national leaders of India were noted writers, poets and philosophers.

India once had great philosophers, scholars and writers functioning as her national leaders. During those times no one betrayed the nation for money, personal gains or prosperity. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was a great visionary and a great writer whose Letters To A Daughter, Glimpses Of World History and The Discovery Of India still remain classics in the world literature. He was the first person who started great industries under government ownership and wished to make them remain so forever as state possessions. President Dr. S. Radhakrishnan also was a great writer, academician and philosopher who was the first academician in the world who boldly said, ‘we are faced with the paradoxical fact that educators have become one of the obstacles to education.’ The famous poets Rabindranath Tagore and Sarojini Naidu remained as pillars of national conscience and active participants in politics. India’s Father of the Nation Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a very truthful and frank person, the follies and wantonness of whom we came to know not from other people’s writings but from his own books. His famous autobiography ‘My Experiments With Truth’ remains unparalleled in world literature.

Top most authorities now shamelessly sell prestigious national institutions, industries and other properties to the private sector, and bark about principles of democracy and socialism.

Now things have changed unbelievably. Many among the national leaders, parliamentarians and ministers of India are jailed for corruption. Top most authorities shamelessly sell prestigious national institutions, enterprises, industries and other properties to private sector, and bark about principles of democracy and socialism. National reserves of even petroleum and gas are allocated to rich privates at throw-away prices and the huge commissions amassed from these deals are stashed away by them in foreign banks for their future enjoyment, just as the many presidents and prime ministers in the African continent and elsewhere do. The people of the world have begun to think that all Indian leaders have always been such cut-throats, cheaters and mother-sellers. That is why the philosophic writings of the former President of India Dr. S. Radhakrishnan are reintroduced here, just to show that many ingredients go into the making of a decent national leader, literary loftiness, social commitment and perfect education being just a few of them.

The gravity and pungency of his remarks on the state of affairs in the field of education and administration in India made his name conveniently not remembered.

Dr. Sarveppally Radhakrishnan was a great scholar, philosopher and statesman of India. He served as a Professor of Philosophy at the Mysore, Calcutta and Oxford Universities. He also was the Vice President and the President of India. Recovery of Faith, Our Heritage, The Present Crisis and Towards a New World are a few of his famous books. The Emerging World Society is an essay from his book The Emerging World in which he discusses how a world society is being born out of world’s unity and oneness. He shows how narrow our feelings of nationalism are and how dangerous militarism is to the world. Contributions of this great philosopher in the field of education are such admirable that his birth day is celebrated as the National Teachers’ Day in India. Because of the gravity and pungency of his remarks on the state of affairs in the field of education and administration in India, when authorities sometimes have to think about the world’s philosophers, his name is conveniently not remembered. In the content and style of his writings, he is in line with such great writers as H.G.Wells, George Orwell, Arnold Toynbee and Aldous Huxley. But many prefer him to be compared with Bertrand Russell.

There is no isolated existence of a single human group. Nations are interconnected by the world economy.

A world society grows in the hearts and minds of men. The present excitement, anger and violence are just the birth-pains of a new world order. The world already is one. The oneness of humanity is a historic fact. Man’s physical structure and mental-make up are the same all over the world. Birth, growth, old age, sickness and death are felt by all. We share a common origin and a common destiny. Thus the human race is already one. The world has already become a unit. We are standing on the door step of a single society. There is no isolated existence of a single human group. Nations are interconnected by the world economy. Industrialization and modernization are common practices. The language of science and the tools of industrial development are the same everywhere. Art, culture and science are common possessions. As a result of radio, television and the press, the most distant nations have become near neighbours and a world community has become possible.

Militarism is outdated in the modern world. Either we live together or we die together. It is either one society or no society.

Narrow nationalism and dangerous militarism do not fit a modern world outlook. They are oppositions to an emerging world society. The ancient Greeks spoke of war as the father of all changes but, in truth, war has only wiped out whole civilizations and destroyed entire peoples. That was the only change war brought. And new weapons have completely changed the nature of warfare. Each nation wants to become the world’s strongest military power. So they build nuclear weapons and Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles. They may some day wipe out the whole human race from the face of this Earth. No one will survive a nuclear war. Those who use them too would be destroyed. It is a dangerous illusion to think that those who possess them will win a war. There is no such thing as military invincibility. Either we live together or we die together. It is either one society or no society.

Nationalism has no relevance. Nation States are too narrow for the modern world where we have conquered space and move faster than sound.

Narrow nationalism is an old-fashioned thing. In India no one can admire publicly the fine music and literature of Pakistan. In Pakistan people cannot admire publicly the fine literature and cinema of India. If someone utters a word about the ancientness of Tibet or the independence of Burma, the Chinese government will put them in prison and silence them one way or the other. The British citizens who speak of Ireland’s rights for freedom are considered as traitors and put under surveillance. Everywhere nationalistic feelings are narrow and are obstacles to a progressive world outlook. Nationalism is a collective form of selfishness. Each race and nation thinks that they are the chosen people of God and the elect of the future. So the Greeks and the Spartans, the French and the Spaniards and the English and the French fought each other and just ruined themselves. Like Gandhi said, ‘it is in self-surrender that we fortify ourselves.’ Let the world society emerge and come into being. Nation States are too narrow for the modern world where we have conquered space and move faster than sound.

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010. Leave This Chanting. Rabindranath Tagore Poem. Appreciation By P S Remesh Chandran

010

Leave This Chanting. Rabindranath Tagore Poem. Appreciation By P S Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 22nd Mar 2011.| Short URL http://nut.bz/1zdohpx2/
First Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Poetry, Drama & Criticism

Link: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2012/03/010-leave-this-chanting-rabindranath.html

 

God was the most beautiful creation of mankind, created in his exact image- man’s own image- playful, lovely and comely, so that he can easily identify himself with God. So why not love him ardently and affectionately, and respect him beyond everything? After creating mankind, God did not wish to leave them alone but decided to stay with them, which was a great sacrifice on His part. Leave This Chanting is one of the most read poems of Rabindranath Tagore, with the most universal message.

A house in Bengal where veena, thabala and mridangam resounded day and night.

 

01. A Tagore Portrait 1886 By Unknown.

Rabindranath Tagore was an educationalist, poet and social reformer of India. He wrote hundreds of poems, plays, novels and short stories in English which enjoy universal appeal and esteem. He was a noted painter also. In a house where Thabala, Veena and Mridangam resounded day and night, it was no wonder music and rhythm found their way into his heart. Only the immovable things in Tagore’s House did not sing, dance or write. Santhinikethan was a model educational institution founded by him where all fine arts faculties enjoyed privileges. Educated in England and in India, he himself was an educational visionary with exceptional dreams. His hundreds of poems and songs written in the Bengali language brought renaissance to Bengal. He himself tuned his songs and rarely translated these songs to English himself, a very unfortunate affair.

A poem which exposed the pseudo-zeal of worshippers everywhere.

 

02. Tagore In 1925 By Unknown.

Politics also seemed to fit him well. Along with Mahathma Gandhi, Nehru and Sarojini Naidu- all writers- he served as one of the leading lights and sources of inspiration for the Independence Movement of India. His poem ‘Where The Mind Is Without Fear’ was a world famous creation in which he mixed fact and fancy, reality and dream and politics and poetry. Without telling it directly and plainly, he skillfully portrayed in this poem the wretched position into which the British Administration pushed India into, a country with a longer and richer heritage than England. Another famous poem, ‘Govinda’s Disciple’, was a satire on the greed for material wealth manifest even in supposedly spiritual people. This poem Leave This Chanting exposed the pseudo-zeal of worshippers everywhere and gained an important place in world literature for this reason. Just as ‘Where The Mind Is Without Fear’ contained his vision of a Free India, and Govinda’s Disciple the need for Renouncement of Material Wealth for Enlightenment, ‘Leave This Chanting’ contains his vision of Uncontaminated Worship.

God has gone out to stay with tillers, stone-breakers and path makers.

 

03. Close Family of Rabindranath Tagore By Unknown.

(Left to right: Mira Devi, youngest daughter, Rathindranath Tagore, eldest son, Rabindranath Tagore, Protima Devi, wife of eldest son Rathindranath Tagore and Madhurilata Devi, eldest daughter).

Leave This Chanting is an advice to worshippers everywhere, to seek God not inside but outside the temples, among labourers. The worshippers sing Manthras and count Rudraksha Beads inside the shut, dark, lone corners of their temples, but when they open their eyes their God is not to be seen anywhere there inside those temples. They must be blind to think that the God who created open lands and mountains and oceans would be pleased to stay inside their shut little temples. How could God rest in such suffocating places of confinement? Tagore was not new to sights of Jungle Shrines in Bengal where anyone could light a lamp and pray to the deity and stealthily come and go as he wished. (As Jungle Shrines are pagan places of worship in rustic jungles which are ideal places for Tagore’s kind of Gods to stay, a short note on Jungle Shrines is provided as Annexure at the end of this article). When at night a desperate human being seeks the solace at the door steps of a temple or a church, he finds that they are walled-in, closed and locked preventing entry. What kind of a temple and worship is that? So God has gone out to stay with the tillers, stone-breakers and path makers who do the dirtiest and the heaviest of works, opting to stay with them all day and night, in the heavy heat of the Sun and the chilling cold of the down pouring Rain, without minding his clothes getting covered with dust and dirty water. Those who seek God must put off their holy mantles, wear workers’ uniforms and come down to the dusty soil to be steeped in their own sweat and tears.

Release is after as many births and deaths as there are leaves in the huge banyan tree.

 

04. Tagore Born, Brought Up, And Passed Away Here By Mark Kobayashi-Hillary.

When and where will blind deity worshippers ever listen to good advice? They answer that they are after Deliverance, i.e. Mukthi or Moksha, which means release from the clutches of life. There is the story of a saint travelling to see God. On his way he came across a group of meditating saints who asked him to enquire with God when he sees Him when they would each be given their final release. He came back with the good news that the first saint would be given release after his second birth. This saint started wailing about the misfortune of the tediousness and boredom of passing through yet another life. His hoary wailing was to last till the end of his un-contented second life, so it is told. God’s message to the second saint was that he had to pass through as many births and deaths before his Release as there were leaves in that huge banyan tree standing above him. The instant he heard this ‘good news’ he began to shout and laugh out of beaming happiness now that he has been assured Deliverance some day, though in a far distant future, a day perhaps Aeons away. The amused and kindly God could not help himself from appearing there and offering this contended saint Deliverance then and there.

He will not leave the world any day: he has come to stay.

 

05. Tagore Reading To Others 1925 By Unknown.

Deliverance is for those who love this world and the life here. Mukthi or Release is not the leaving this world; it is divine attachment, not detachment. God created this world and decided to stay with this world forever. How tender, ardent, and comely such a God must have been! The result is mankind would feel he is one among them. He has joyfully taken upon him the responsibility of preserving and caring for his creations. Even God does not seek Moksha. He has come to stay till the end of the days, and he likes being bonded to this world. Most of his worshippers are but living in a virtual world of incense, meditation and flowers which displeases him much. He wishes them to come out of this world of illusion, to stand by him in the Sun and the Shower. There is no harm in their robes becoming tattered and stained like God’s, because they are standing nearer to their God now anyway. Those who seek God should be prepared to meet him and stand by him in toil and in the sweat of their brow.

Tagore acquainted himself with peasants and workers at Santi Niketan.

 

06. Tagore With Gandhi And Kasturba 1940 By Unknown.

Tagore was born in 1861 in Calcutta as the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi. At the age of 12 he conducted extensive travels in North India with his father. His first poem was published in 1877 at the age of 16. In 1878 he traveled to England for schooling but returned in 1800 without finishing and married Mrinalini Devi in 1883. He was 22 and she was 10, not unusual among Hindu Brahmins then. For the next ten years he managed their vast ancestral family estates in Bengal and Orissa where he acquainted himself with peasants and workers. As their Zemindar, he collected only a nominal rent from his tenants. His family’s famous Shelaidaha Estate is now in Bangladesh. In 1901 Tagore moved to the family estate at Santi Niketan (Abode of Peace) and found an ashram there- actually an experimental school. It followed in the lines of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum. Soon a Sri Niketan for rural agricultural development also was founded. His educational concepts as a writer and philosopher fruitioned here and the ashram later became famous as an experimental school for young men, equally famous as its annexed Viswa Bharati World University.

 

Tagore hated closed class rooms and loved to study in the open, under shades of trees.

 

07. Tagore And Jawaharlal Nehru 1940 By Unknown.

Debendranath Tagore’s family in Calcutta consisted of thirteen sons and daughters, his in-laws and their children, most of them poets, playwrights, composers, musicians, novelists and philosophers. Their concerts and plays were performed in their vast mansion and people gathered there to view. Classical Western music and Bengali music were regularly performed there. Their interests spread from making theatrical productions and publishing literary magazines, to managing vast family estates and mansions, even in Brighton in England.

 

Tagore loved studying in the open, preferably under tree shades, and hated closed class rooms. Swimming, trekking, gymnastics, judo, wrestling, literature, history, biology, mathematics, astronomy, drawing, Bengali, Sanskrit and English- all came under the syllabus he himself decreed for him. His self-decreed syllabus more than compensated for his lack of interest in regular academic instruction. In Santi Niketan and Viswa Bharati University, he gave importance to all these faculties to be instructed in the open. It was in Santi Niketan the great bulk of his literature was produced.

 

One of the few persons who renounced British Knighthood.

 

Tagore won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 for his collection of poems Gitanjali after it got translated into English. He was the first non-European to get the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Swedish Academy assessed the prize-winning Gitanjali as a ‘profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse’. He was knighted by the British in 1915 but unsuccessfully tried to renounce this title after the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, as a protest against Britain’s suppressive policies in India. His repudiation letter to the Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford was not accepted.

 

A prolific composer who set tune to more than 2200 songs, known collectively as Rabindra Sangeet.   

 

The talent of Tagore is spread over a variety of genres. There are fifty plus volumes of poetry and several volumes of short stories, besides eight novels and four novellas. Quite a number of essays, dance and musical dramas, travel diaries and two autobiographies were also spawned by him. Exhibitions of his drawings and paintings were held in Paris and London and throughout Europe. Tagore was a prolific composer of music who set tune to more than 2200 songs, flowing through the entire range of human emotions, this great mass of music generally known as Rabindra Sangeet. It is said ‘there is no cultured home in Bengal where Rabindranath’s songs are not sung. Even illiterate villagers are well-versed in his songs’. His achievements as a poet, philosopher, playwright, novelist, composer and visual artist reshaped the literature and music of not a few countries in his continent and other continents.

 

The National Poet of India passing away.

 

08. Tagore Portrait 1909 By Anonymous.

Tagore’s poems, plays, dramas, short stories, novels, essays and travelogues are noted for their simple and non-complicated language. His thousands of songs are noted for their rhythmic and lyrical quality. Letters from Europe and The Religion of Man are compilations of his essays, lectures and travelogues which gained for him an immortal place in world literature. The Religion of Man includes as appendix a brief note on his conversations with Einstein, titled ‘Note on the Nature of Reality’. The Complete Works of Tagore published in Bengali in connection with his 150th birthday came to eighty volumes. Tagore’s all works available in English were published as ‘The Essential Tagore’ by the Harvard University Press in collaboration with Viswa Bharati University in 2011. In 1940 Oxford University awarded him an honorary doctorate. He died on August 7, 1941 in Calcutta aged eighty. 

 

Tagore- an international influence.

 

09. Tagore With Einstein In Berlin 1930 By Unknown.

The more than thirty countries in the five continents which Tagore visited between 1878 and 1932 include England, United States, Japan, Peru Mexico, Argentina, Italy, Bali, Java, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Soviet Union and Sri Lanka. His travels in Russia, Europe and America in the 1930 were mostly lecture tours. His international friends included Charles F. Andrews, William Butler Yeats, Ezra Pound, Robert Bridges, Ernest Rhys, Romaine Rolland, Albert Einstein, Aga Khan III, Reza Shah Pahlavi, Henri Bergson, Robert Frost, Thomas Mann, George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells. Yeats wrote the preface to the English Gitanjali. Andrews came to live with Tagore at Santi Niketan. Mexico and Peru gave $100,000 each to Shanti Niketan School.

 

International celebrities and Nobel laureates influenced by Tagore.

 

10. Tagore At His Painting Desk 1932 By Unknown.

There is also a long line of international celebrities and writers, many of them Nobel Prize winners, who were influenced by Tagore directly or indirectly. Their names include Yasunari Kawabata of Japan, Vincenc Lesný of Czech Republic, André Gide of France, poet Anna Akhmatova of Russia, Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit of Turkey, Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral of Chile; Octavio Paz of Mexico; Zenobia Camprubí, Juan Ramón Jiménez, José Ortega y Gasset, and Jiménez-Camprubí of Spain. The sitar maestros Vilayat Khan and Amjad Ali Khan were also inspired by him.

 

Poems, novels, plays, travelogues, short stories, and memoirs written by Tagore.

 

Songs of Bhanusimha Takur 1884, The Golden Boat 1894, Gitanjali 1910, Wreath of Songs 1914 and The Flight of Cranes 1916 are original collections of Tagore’s Bengali poems. The Genius of Valmiki (Valmiki-Pratibha) 1881, The Sacrifice 1890, The King of the Dark Chamber 1910, The Post Office 1912, The Waterfall 1922 and Red Oleanders 1926 are his original Bengali plays. The Broken Nest 1901, Fair-Faced 1910, The Home and the World 1916 and Crosscurrents 1929 are his original Bengali fiction. My Reminiscences 1912 and My Boyhood Days 1940 are memoirs in Bengali. Thought Relics 1921 is one of the original works of Tagore in English.

 

Translations of Tagore from Bengali into English.

 

So many of Tagore’s Bengali works have been translated into English. They include Gitanjali: Song Offerings 1912, The Gardener 1913, The Crescent Moon 1913, Chitra 1914, The Post Office 1914, The King Of The Dark Chamber 1914, Songs Of Kabir 1915, The Spirit Of Japan 1916, Stray Birds 1916, The Hungry Stones 1916, Fruit-Gathering 1916, The Cycle of Spring 1919, The Fugitive 1921, The Wreck 1921, Fireflies 1928, My Boyhood Days 1943, The Home And The World 1985, My Reminiscences 1991, I Won’t Let you Go 1991, Glimpses of Bengal 1991 and The Lover of God 2003.

 

Critics are of the opinion that translations of Tagore’s poems into English are almost all inferior, unless Tagore himself translated them. Tagore, who was a gifted writer in English, but did not care to translate his poems into English or write them in English; only a few of them were written by him in English. That fact was, he thrilled in writing in Bengali.

 

Films in Bengali and Hindi based on Tagore’s works.

 

11. Leave This Chanting Video Title By Bloom Books Channel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHnjSnH1qa8

 

Quite a number of films were produced based on the novels and short stories of Tagore. The first one Natir Puja of 1932 was directed by Tagore himself, the only film ever directed by him. Then came Naukadubi 1947, Kabuliwala 1957, Kshudhita Pashaan 1960, Teen Kanya 1961, Charulata 1964, Ghare Baire 1985, Chokher Bali 2003, Shasti 2004, Shuva 2006 and Chaturanga 2008 in Bengali, directed by eminent directors at the time. Kabuliwala was directed by Tapan Sinha, Teen Kanya, Charulata and Ghare Baire by Satyajit Ray and Chokher Bali by Rituparno Ghosh. Balidan 1927, Milan 1946, Kabuliwala 1961, Dak Ghar 1965, Uphaar 1971, Lekin 1991 and Char Adhyay 1997 were Hindi films based on Tagore’s works.

 

The man who composed the national anthems of three countries.

 

India’s national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ and Bangladesh’s national anthem ‘Amar Shonar Bangla’ were Tagore’s compositions. The Sri Lankan national anthem ‘Namo Namo Mata’ was inspired by his work. Amar Shonar Bangla was written to protest the 1905 Partition of Bengal by the British along communal lines, dividing the Muslim-dominated East Bengal and Hindu-dominated West Bengal. Jana Gana Mana was written in a Sanskritized form of Bengali, to be used in Indian National Congress platforms. Namo Namo Mata’s composer Ananda Samarakoon was a student at Tagore’s at Viswa-Bharati University in Santiniketan and it is even doubted that Tagore himself composed the tune or wrote the lyrics.

 

Narrow-minded teachers like to reiterate that Tagore wrote prose poems and free verse.

 

In a house where tabala, sitar, harmonium, violin and tambourine resounded day and night from all rooms and all inhabitants were poets, musicians or composers, how could a child grow up without music in his mind? Many experts on Tagore Literature shamelessly and ignorantly claim that he wrote poems in free verse! Actually he was locking his lines as a challenge to music lovers and teachers, to prevent the haughty and the unpersevering among them from trying to access them without doing some hard work. We know Tagore had a built-in allergy towards narrow-minded academics and closed class rooms. All great poets from Tennyson to Tagore have their locking methods to prevent the non-interested and the un-tasteful from accessing them easily. The great poet Kalidasa, when asked what his greatest wish in life was, answered that ‘he never shall have the un-luck of having to recite poems before an un-tasteful audience! Un-tasteful teachers even go to the extreme of forbidding reciting poems tunefully by students; they are unable to sing them, so they do not tolerate students singing them. They will only permit poems to be spoken like prosaic uttering, in those ridiculous accents they teach of course, hiding from children the fact that accents are impurities on language, added by generations through time. Tagore wrote poems in finished metrical forms, with perfect music inborn, but he split his lines to confuse the reader. Once the lines are rearranged as they should be, they are no more free verse but perfectly singable songs. It is not any ‘licentious dealing with the language’ as Matthew Arnold pointed out, but the legitimate right of the reader and the singer to rediscover the original tune that was in the mind of the poet when he wrote that poem. An illustration of how easy it is to recast Tagore’s poems in the true poetic form and sing them in the original tune incorporated in them is given here. Links are also provided here to recitation videos to prove that Tagore’s poems are not prose poems or free verse constructions as many teachers and critics like to repeat but perfectly metered poems with their own tunes.

 

ANNEXURE I: ABOUT METRICAL FORM AND MUSIC IN TAGORE POEMS.

 

12. Where The Mind Is Without Fear Video Title By Bloom Books Channel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwQWwZsiDI4

 

Here is given a sample of the supposed free verse form Tagore used in writing ‘The Gardener 1915. See how it becomes a perfectly metered and singable poem by simply changing words in a line. It is clear Tagore wrote a perfectly metered poem and locked lines to prevent the ugly-minded and the un-interested from singing and enjoying it- a universal trend among brilliant poets.

 

I. Free verse form with lines locked:

 

‘Who are you, reader, reading my poems a hundred years hence? I cannot send you one single flower from this wealth of the spring, one single streak of gold from yonder clouds. Open your doors and look abroad. From your blossoming garden gather fragrant memories of the vanished flowers of an hundred years before. In the joy of your heart may you feel the living joy that sang one spring morning, sending its glad voice across an hundred years.’ (From ‘The Gardener 1915’).

 

II. Metrical form with lines recast:

 

The Gardener 1915

 

Who ‘are you, reader, reading my

Po’ems a hundred years

Hence? I cannot send you one single

Flower from this ‘wealth of spring,

 

One single streak of gold from yonder

Clouds. Open your doors

And look abroad. ‘From your ‘blossoming garden

Ga’ther fragrant mem’ries

 

Of the ‘vanished flowers of an ‘hundred years before.

In the ‘joy of your heart,

May you ‘feel the living joy that sang one

Spring morning, sending

Its ‘glad vo’ice across a hundred years.

 

(Recast in the true poetic form By P S Remesh Chandran)

 

See how easy it is to recast his poems. This technique can be applied to poems written by him in English and poems of his translated into English by others. (Link to a poem by Rabeendranath Tagore from ‘Love Songs of Tagore’, translated into English free verse from Bengali by Rabeendranath Chowdhury, and recast in the true poetic form by Remesh Chandran P S is provided at the end of this article. Free verse form dissuades people from singing them. Metrical form prompts them to sing them. Unfortunately Tagore chose to write in Bengali and even when he wrote in English, he locked his lines- a great loss to the English-speaking world.

 

ANNEXURE II: ABOUT JUNGLE SHRINES.

 

13. Govinda’s Disciple Video Title By Bloom Books Channel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxgGvw5SIqk

 

Jungle shrines are common in almost all states of India where anyone can light a lamp at any time of the day or night. In Kerala in the Trivandrum-Schencottah Route, turning right at Venkolla after Madathara will bring us to the Saasthaam Nada Marsh where there is one such shrine. It is situated in the middle of a dense forest but close to an inner-going forest road and is devoted to Saastha or Ayyappa, the son and manifestation of Lord Vishnu, himself a forest and mountain-dweller headquartered at Sabarimala. Lorries will stop there on their way to take in reed and bamboo loads, to pray for their safety through the climbs and descends in the steeply inclined and curvaceous hill tracts. They will dump oil bottles, cloth, incense sticks and match boxes under nearby rocks to protect them from rain and flash floods, so that the materials could be used by anyone any time. I myself was a frequenter of this jungle beauty spot inhabited by aborigines, and have liberally used these materials. After bathing in the cold and fresh forest stream and reposing lying on shaded rocks and shielding foliages for a while, I would light a lamp. When we light a lamp in this sequestered cool wilderness- if it is daylight fading and night approaching, the better- we feel the sublimity and pleasantness of God standing on our back and embracing us from behind. It is unique in that the traditional position of we standing in front of god is reversed. It’s like a father and mother holding child on their laps, not like the child standing in front of its father and mother for worshipping. This spot had the stone statue of a baby elephant. One day a real lone elephant- one among a herd which usually passes that way- gave the baby elephant a blow with its trunk and broke the statue’s trunk. It did not like the way the baby stone elephant held its trunk.

 

Bloom Books Channel has a video of this song.

 

Bloom Books Channel has a video of this song. A primitive prototype rendering of this song was made in a crude tape recorder decades earlier, in 1984. In 2014, a home made video of this song was released. In 2015, a third version with comparatively better audio was released. The next version, it’s hoped, would be fully orchestrated. It’s free for reuse, and anyone interested in can develop and build on it, till it becomes a fine musical video production, to help our little learners and their teachers. The other two Tagore poems available as recitation videos in Bloom Books Channel are Where The Mind Is Without Fear and Govinda’s Disciple.

 

You Tube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHnjSnH1qa8

 

External Links to Tagore’s works by the author.

 

1. Leave This Chanting: Poem

Article http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2012/03/010-leave-this-chanting-rabindranath.html March 2012

Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHnjSnH1qa8 June 2015

 

2. Where The Mind Is Without Fear: Poem

Article http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2014/10/066-where-mind-is-without-fear.html October 2014    

Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwQWwZsiDI4 May 2015

 

3. Govinda’s Disciple: Poem

Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxgGvw5SIqk June 2015

 

4. The Home Coming: Short Story

Article http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2014/09/060-home-coming-rabindranath-tagore.html September 2014 

 

5. Awakening: Poem Lyrics

http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2010/09/awakening-poem-from-bengal-recast-by.html September 2010

 

First Published: 22nd Mar 2011

Last Edited…….: 29 March 2017

 

__________________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
__________________________________________

 

Picture Credits:

01. A Tagore Portrait 1886 By Unknown.

02. Tagore In 1925 By Unknown.

03. Close Family of Rabindranath Tagore By Unknown.

04. Born Brought Up Passed Away Here By Mark Kobayashi-Hillary.

05. Tagore Reading To Others 1925 By Unknown.

06. Tagore With Gandhi And Kasturba 1940 By Unknown.

07. Tagore And Jawaharlal Nehru 1940 By Unknown.

08. Tagore Portrait 1909 By Anonymous.

09. Tagore With Einstein In Berlin 1930 By Unknown.

10. Tagore At His Painting Desk 1932 By Unknown.

11. Leave This Chanting Video Title By Bloom Books Channel.

12. Where The Mind Is Video Title By Bloom Books Channel.

13. Govinda’s Disciple Video Title By Bloom Books Channel.

14. Author Profile Of P S Remesh Chandran By Sahyadri Archives

 

Meet the author: About the author and accessing his other literary works.

 

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. Edits and owns Bloom Books Channel. Born and brought up in Nanniyode, a little village in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Kerala. Father British Council-trained English Teacher and mother university-educated. Matriculation with High First Class, Pre Degree studies in Science with National Merit Scholarship, discontinued Diploma Studies in Electronics and entered politics. Unmarried and single.

14. Author Profile of P S Remesh Chandran By Sahyadri Archives.

 

Dear Reader,

If you cannot access all pages of P S Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles
Visit author’s Sahyadri Books Trivandrum in Blogger at
http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/ and his Bloom Books Channel in You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/user/bloombooks/videos  

Author’s Google Plus Page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PSRemeshChandran/posts
FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum

 

Tags

 

Bloom Books Trivandrum, English Songs, Free Student Notes, Indian Poems, Indian Poets, Indian Writers In English, Leave This Chanting, P S Remesh Chandran, Poem Reviews, Poetry, Poetry Appreciations, Poets, Rabindranath Tagore, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, Tagore Poems.

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Comments

 

Rathnashikamani
17th Apr 2011 (#)

 

I love reading into the musings of Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali. There is always an unknown and revealing space in the inner sanctum of a poet with such a meditative composition of a divine song.

 

rama devi nina
29th Apr 2011 (#)

 

Ah yes, Gitanjali is one of my favorites by Tagore. You may have heard of Parameshwaraji, a famous person in Kerala. I used to visit him and share long discussions when he was admitted as a patient in Amma’s hospital in Cochin (where I do seva). He read my poems and then gifted me with Gitanjali. My favorite quote from Tagore (may not be exact–from memory):

“I slept and dreamt that life is joy.
I awoke and saw that it was service;
I acted, and behold! service was joy.”

 

PSRemeshChandra
19th May 2011 (#)

 

Tagore did not translate many of his beautiful Bengali Songs into English. His Udbodhan was translated into English by Mr. Rabindranath Chowdhury which has now been recast in the true poetic form, making it an exquisite piece of poetry that can be sung tunefully. The link to this recast poem is http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/2010/09/awakening-poem-from-bengal-recast-by.html

 

Divya
11th Jun 2012 (#)

 

Dear Remesh sir,
I liked the way you have given the beautiful explanation of God and his ways while analyzing this poem. The way you related Tagore’s understanding of life with apt photos is great. Congrats and thanks sir.

 

PSRemeshChandra
26th Jun 2012 (#)

 

Tagore’s family background with all in his large family being artists, litterateurs and musicians, and his national background of all geniuses of his time being optimistic about the future of mankind, contributed much to the molding of his mind, which thrilled at the prospect of creating music for a generation, just like touching the tightened string of a sitar. This ‘unknown and revealing space in the inner sanctum of his mind’ as Mr. Rathnashikamani phrases it, he attributed to the centuries-old light of thought, enveloping the heritage of India. Tagore composing his songs of the soul at the same time as Sarojini Naidu pouring out her heart through the melodious songs of hers, both in English, marks an immortal phase in the history of the world literature. Thank you, Rathnashikamani, by adding the beauty of your words to this simple page. @ Rathnashikamani.

 

PSRemeshChandra
26th Jun 2012 (#)

 

I do know about the person if it is Mr. P. Parameshwaran whom sister Rama Devi Nina is referring to here. He is a person dedicated to the spiritual up-liftment of India and keeps alive the interest of Indian society in religious awareness. He presenting a gifted poetess like you with a copy of Tagore’s Gitanjali is indeed a symbolic tribute to your singing soul. The line you quoted from Gitanjali, ‘I slept and dreamt that life is joy…..I awoke and saw that it was service…..’ reminds me of the famous lines of another poet of more than Tagore’s caliber: Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ‘Rime Of The Ancient Mariner’ has exactly similar lines. Perhaps Tagore was inspired by the exhilarating music in Coleridge’s lines or these two great souls in two different countries might have thought the same way. Do you still find time to do voluntary service at Amrithanandamayi Hospital in Ernakulam Cochin? @ Rama Devi Nina.

 

PSRemeshChandra
26th Jun 2012 (#)

 

When we sing, the playful god stands behind us. We will actually wonder who is singing, we or him. When we write about a person, imagine that person whom we write about is standing close behind us, watching what we are writing. It is like a little school girl writing an essay for her class describing the ‘role model of her life’, which is actually her mother, and the mother is secretly standing behind her, reading it. Surely the mother will want to kiss and embrace the daughter. When we write about bygone persons, remember that are standing behind us, reading it all.

 

PSRemeshChandra
26th Jun 2012 (#)

 

God is a playful being as any of us. He is not a revengeful person. When we see tiny little children, we see him; when we hold them, we hold him. He has a child’s mind. The radiance we see in the face and body of all little children is his feature. Their character is his character. He is our early childhood, and it is out duty not to fail him ever. Thank you, dear Divya, for enjoying this article. From the flow of your words it is only evident that you intended to write more things. So please do write. @ Divya.

 

sakshinarang
26th Jun 2012 (#)

 

A very nice interpretation….one of my favorite poems.

 

PSRemeshChandra
26th Jun 2012 (#)

 

Do you like to sing it dear Sakshi Narang? Leave This Chanting is one of the most musical poems of Tagore, with admirable lyrical perfection. He himself was a music composer who not only wrote but composed music also for hundreds of songs in the Bengali language which collectively is termed as Rabindra Sangeet. His English songs like Where The Mind Is Without Fear, Govinda’s Disciple and Leave This Chanting also are all exotic musical creations. As all talented poets of the past did, like Kahlil Gibran and many others, he locked his lines to the reader, by arranging the lines in the continuous flow of prose, without marking or suggesting where the lines should end or begin. He knew a persevering reader and singer will struggle for days on end and one day, at one blessèd moment, rediscover the real music hidden in them, which would the greatest thrill for that diligent and persevering reader. So, Tagore’s poems including Leave This Chanting provide us a double delight: we delight in its meaning and sense, and then we delight in its music. Or it also can be in the other order. @ Sakshi Narang.

 

First Published: 21 March 2011

Last Edited:       28 March 2017

 

Identifier: SBT-AE-010. Leave This Chanting. Rabindranath Tagore Poem.

Articles English Downloads Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

Editor: P S Remesh Chandran

 

 

 

 

 

 

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