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Kabi Pranam – A Tribute to Tagore

In the first segment of the 2011 production, Anubhav seeks to pay tribute to Poet Laureate Rabindranath Tagore on the 150th anniversary of his birth, through an offering of songs, narration and audio dramas.

The first audio play is an excerpt from Raja – The King which explores a deep philosophical concept. Rani or Queen Sudarshana pines for her king. She longs to see her king in his true form. At the advice of her dasi or attendant Surangama, she discards regal finery, pomp and show. It is through frugality, simplicity and a pure heart that she is successful in winning over her king. The king symbolizes one’s liberated form within oneself. This king cannot be perceived with materialistic vision but can only be realized within ourselves through unconditional love for others - devoid of pride, greed and ego.

In a variation of the same theme, the second audio play Dak-ghar - Post Office, written by Tagore in 1911 following a deep personal loss has a very simple story line. Amal is a sick child confined to his bed. He looks out of his window at the world outside and longs to be a part of it. He befriends all passersby, be it the curd-seller, the watchman or the flower girl. He is moved by stories of faraway places. Through his window, he sees a post office being built and he is convinced that the King has sent him letter that is awaiting delivery. This is the symbol of hope that he looks forward to during his battle with disease. While his passing away is no doubt tragic to all those surrounding him, it is also a symbol of liberation of the soul and a homecoming to the abode of a benevolent God, signified by the King.

This symbol of a Kingdom within our reach, but which cannot be seen or felt in our everyday world, appears in Tagore’s works. It stands for hope which aspires us to live on and do good. The image is perhaps a part of the mystical longing in his poetry to give and receive divine love.

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