Tag Archives: Rabindra Sangeet

Rupa Ganguly: The Multifaceted Woman

We know her as Draupadi, the stellar role she played in the epic series “Mahabharata” on Doordarshan India. That was the role which has many shades of positive and negative. Draupadi was a complex woman who was the wife to five Pandava brothers. The legend had it that she wanted a complete man like Narayana as her husband. But in the mortal world, such a person was impossible to exist. So God gave her five husbands who had been endowed with limited qualities. Combined they became a person very near to what is wanted to be her husband. It is even said by scholars that whole epic of Mahabharata was propelled by three women namely Satyavati, Kunti and Draupadi.

She had travails also and became the pawn in the quarrel between two cousin families. She was ogled by many lecherous kings and was rescued from their vices by Bhima who loved her more than all the brothers, although it was another matter that she liked Arjuna most. She was pawned by her mighty husbands in the game of dice among the hostile cousins. They lost her to Kauravas, who insulted her in the presence of elders. She then vowed and plotted to take revenge.

So this difficult role was performed by Rupa Ganguly. After that, she acted in some Bengali films. I also saw her in a TV serial Krishankali which was based on the novel of same name by famous Hindi writer Shivani. After that she also appeared in many TV soaps.

But now her another talent has been revealed. She is a singer. That she is a very good singer is attested by the Best Female Singer National award she has just bagged for lending her voice to two Rabindra songs in the movie “Abosheshe” released in 2011. She has rendered two Tagore’s songs -“Dure kothao” and “Bijon ghore” . Besides these two songs, she has also recorded an album of 10 songs. It is called “Anek Diyechho Nath”.

God knows why was she reluctant to reveal her singing talent to the public. It has been immediately appreciated. May be it is her turbulent life which has been filled with many painful incidents as revealed in the press. She has to move between Mumbai and Kolkata which shows that how unsettled her life had been.

Let us hope that her future be bright and she enthralls the audiences with her acting as well as singing.

It is Gurudeb Tagore all the way

Gurudeb Rabindra Nath Tagore is the only poet credited with having his poems adopted as National Anthems of two countries: India and Bangladesh. Gurudeb’s entire life was soaked in the poetry and music. If India were not divided in 1947 into India & Pakistan whose one limb was East Pakistan, Gurudeb would have been the poet of India and East Pakistan area which was in fact East Bengal.

Gurudeb Tagore’s family was aristocratic family and He did not attend the schools to get the formal education. He was tutored at home and by Nature when he was visiting his properties which are now in the Bangladesh. Otherwise they lived in Kolkata as was the custom in vogue during those days. Gurudeb is still revered in Bangladesh as in India.He started Shanti Niketan with the aim of educating the students in the natural environs. Mostly the education imparted was music, painting and other artistic streams. Many students of the Shanti Niketan attained fame in artistic fields. Students from all over India and many countries of the world study there.

Most people, like me, knew the fact of Gurudeb being the author of national anthems of India and Bangladesh. But there is surprise. When the national anthem of Sri Lanka was being played before the commencement of 2011 cricket world cup final played between India and Sri Lanka, I was a bit confused. The tune was almost identical to Indian anthem and like Indian counterpart belonged to Rabindra Sangeet developed by Gurudeb himself at Shanti Niketan.

Next day Times of India carried out a news item which disclosed the reasons for resemblance. It so happened that Gurudeb had a great impact on the Sri Lankan national anthem. Sri Lankan national anthem has been written and composed his student Ananda Samrakoon in 1939-40. It was adopted as the island nation’s anthem around 1952, though political turmoil has seen it altered over the years.

Some credit Tagore with having composed the music. It was Samarakoon’s six-month stint at Tagore’s arts college Shantiniketan that inspired him to begin the anthem. The style eventually developed to be the “first traditions of unique Sinhalese music”, wrote Sri Lankan news portal Lanka Gazette in celebration Gurudev’s 150th birth anniversary this year.
As every Indian knows,  Jana Gana Mana was written and set to music by the legendary poet and artist. The first 10 lines of his 1905 poem Amaar Sonar Bangla became Bangladesh’s anthem in 1972.