Editor’s note

While initiating a new Gallerie series ‘Rediscovering India’, a volume on contemporary culture in Bengal, transmuted interestingly, into an issue where poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore got woven through all its features –– not just to celebrate his 150th birth year, but to have his footprints etched again where he once walked; where he once left a magnificent trail of literature, the arts and education. Above all, creative thinking.

Over the years, those footprints have been washed over by waves of debate on whether Tagore’s mind was indeed, as evolved and brilliant as believed by most, or was it as some like the formidable philosopher Bertrand Russell dismissed as, “unmitigated rubbish, cut-and-dried conventional stuff about the river becoming one with the ocean and man becoming one with Brahma. The man is sincere and in earnest but merely rattling old dry bones…” While I have much admiration for Russell, who had challenged my mind during senior school years, I differ with his view on Tagore, even as I am remotely not in the queue of sychophantic Tagore-worshippers.

In this issue

  • Tagore Moments
    The first Indian Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, had passionately responded to the ever-changing play of life.
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  • Chittaprosad. Voice of dissent
    Chittaprosad Bhattacharya who, collectors say, deserves enormously more recognition than he has received since he died in 1978, aged...
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  • Tagore Lost & Found
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  • Shakila, Queen of Collage
    Shakila is a remarkable woman whose journey as one of India’s leading collage artists began on a pavement in...
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  • In Praise of Junk
    Self-taught artist, Narayan Sinha transforms mundane objects into subliminal works that stay with you long after you have viewed them.
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  • Leena Kejriwal. East City. After the Campaign
    ! I came to Kolkata for my graduation, and at once hated it. Everyone spoke a language which I...
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  • Crafting Hope
    As in the rest of India, craft practice in Bengal is not merely decorative. Conceived with a creative vision,...
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  • Killing him softly with our love
    Rabindranath Tagore’s impact on Bengal and the world and how he continues to inspire me is a narrative that...
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  • The Last Poem
    In the midst of that day I was born I am lost ––
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  • Bengal Frames
    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it...
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  • Staging Tagore
    Bengal theatre was seeded during the British Rule, primarily as a medium challenging colonisation.
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  • With love
    This was a man who suffered profound losses in his personal love life. How were the women he loved...
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  • Dancing his Dreams
    Rabindranath Tagore had invented a departure from the classic Indian dance forms, choreographing instead, movements and expressions that flowed...
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  • Alokananda Roy
    Despite a demanding calendar, Roy has been a deeply involved activist in changing the lives of street children and...
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  • Old Narratives New Interpretations
    Given his magnificent breadth of creativity in several genres, if he could, Rabindranath Tagore would have directed a few...
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  • Tollywood in a Tizzy
    Kolkata cinema or Tollywood as it’s referred to has been moving up several notches recently with narratives that address...
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  • Boatmakers of Balagarh
    Payal Singh Mohanka and Leena Kejriwal pay just tribute to a disappearing community and a rural life that appeared...
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