A version of this post first appeared on the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust blog on 9 May 2013. 7 May 2013 was the 152nd anniversary of the birth of the Bengali creative genius and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore. This year is also the centenary of Tagore winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. We celebrated the occasion at Shakespeare’s…
On April 23, (with a little help from our friends AJ and Melissa Leon) people all over the world celebrated Shakespeare’s birthday. Those who used Twitter to wish Shakespeare a Happy Birthday included Stephen Fry, Arianna Huffington and Geri Halliwell. Shakespeare’s birthday is certainly one I cannot miss, since it happens to be my birthday too….
Ranajit Roy was renowned and widely respected for his integrity. His father, Shibdas Roy, was one of the early students at the school Tagore founded in Santiniketan. Thanks to being a very good singer, Shibdas Roy became one of Tagore’s favourite students and, later, an honorary teacher at the China Bhavan, teaching English to Tibetan monks. The family used to live in their ancestral home in Moukhira, about 18km from Santiniketan.
Today we witness the perils which attend on the insolence of might; one day shall be borne out the full truth of what the sages have proclaimed: ‘By unrighteousness man prospers, gains what appears desirable, conquers enemies, but perishes at the root.’ From Civilisation’s crisis – the last speech of Rabindranath Tagore, 7 May 1941….
So 2012 is over. Just to give you an overview, my blog had about 9,200 views during the year, of which just over 4,000 were in September. Looking ahead, 2013 is the centenary of Rabindranath Tagore winning the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Over the past two weeks, India’s news has been dominated by the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in Delhi. As India’s people, particularly the younger generation, seek a new dawn in attitudes towards women, they (and indeed people of other countries) may find that Tagore’s works could offer inspiration on changing society to empower and respect women.
Today has a special significance. Apart from being my father’s 79th birthday, the European Union (all 500 million of us) will receive the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. The EU’s Nobel Peace Prize comes at a time when parts of Europe are descending into Nationalism. In 1916-17, during the First World War, not long after winning his Nobel Prize for Literature, Tagore gave a series of speeches criticising Nationalism.
Last month, the makers of the film Sleepwalk with me proposed an evening where they were “encouraging everyone to host a pizza party and watch the movie with friends (pizza figures prominently in several scenes in the movie). And here’s the deal: Ira Glass and Mike Birbiglia will be video chatting with as many of these parties as possible.”…
In my previous post, I wrote about the world premiere of the third and final film of our Tagore dance film trilogy: Chitrangada. The first half of the evening was a performance of The Story of Gitanjali . This included poems from Tagore’s English Gitanjali recited in 13 European languages and the corresponding Tagore songs performed by Manini Mukhopadhyay, Sayan Bandyopadhyay and Kaberi Chatterjee, with Asit Ghosh on tabla and Tirthankar Roy on esraj. I narrated and directed the show.
As you will have realised, last Sunday was the world premiere of Chitrangada in Brussels. The English-subtitled version of the film is now available worldwide via the Internet. Before midnight on Sunday, 28 October, if you watch it or host a screening of it for friends or for people in your area, you can be part of…