Two-day special UNESCO tribute to Rabindranath Tagore`s legacy

New Delhi: Rabindranath Tagore is the flavour at the UNESCO House on Avenue de Suffren in Paris this week as part of a literary initiative to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of the Nobel laureate.

He will share the limelight with poets Pablo Neruda and Aime Cesaire.

A two-day initiative, "High-Level Sponsoring Committee for the Reconciled Universal for Rabindranath Tagore, Pablo Neruda and Aime Cesaire", beginning Monday will strive to reconcile the literary ideas of the 20th century behemoths.

While Neruda, who won the Nobel Prize in 1971, preached multi-culturism and spent several years in India, Cesaire was the founding guru of "Negritude" - the concept of black identity in French literature.

The inaugural capsule will cast the spotlight on Tagore with "Remembering Tagore".

The tribute will feature a documentary on Tagore by Satyajit Ray, Hindi rendition of Rabindra Sangeet by Kavita Krishnamurthy, violin recital by L. Subramaniam, Rabindra Sangeet in Bengali by Shama Rahman and Shantanu Roy Choudhury, recitation of Tagore`s poems by Aparna Sen and a special composition, "Tagore Lounge" by percussionist Bickram Ghosh, a statement issued by the culture ministry and UNESCO said.

The programme will be webcast live.

Additional secretary Rakesh Garg from the culture ministry will represent the government at UNESCO.

Satyajit Ray was an admirer of Tagore as a man, a writer and visionary. The iconic filmmaker has not just made movies based on Tagore`s story like "Charulata" and "Teen Kanya", in 1961 he recreated the life of Tagore in an acclaimed documentary.

Krishamurthy, a leading playback singer with more than 15,000 songs to her credit, will sing "Surya Taaron se (Aakash Bhora Surya Tara)", "Teri Awaj Pe yadi" (Jodi Tor Daak Shone Keho Naa Ashe)", "Tum Kya Ho Bas (Tumi Kee Keboli...)" and "Man Mera udta Jaaye (Mono Mor Meghaero Shongeet) -- Hindi translations of Rabindra Sangeet.

Actress Aparna Sen will recite excerpts of Tagore`s poetry portraying emotional diversity and the splendours of nature.

Violin maestro L. Subramaniam will perform "ragam", "tanam" and "pallavi" - three variations of classical instrumentation music featuring popular Tagore songs and the classical ragas used by him.

Some of them share close links to Carnatic ragas because Tagore was influenced by pan-Indian and global musical genres.

Bangladesh-based vocalist Shama Rahman, a leading Rabindra Sangeet exponent, will sing songs from the poet`s compositions on love, prayer and patriotism to celebrate 100 years of the publication of "Gitanjali", the poet`s anthology of verses and lyrics.

Noted percussionist Bickram Ghosh has given Tagore`s music a contemporary twist in a special album, "Tagore Lounge", which will premiere at UNESCO.

He has blended Tagore`s songs with Indian classical ragas and new age "electronica" and acoustic soundscape to appeal to an universal audience.


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