TO: Ms. Aparna Chatterjee 31 December 2011 Thank you for giving the background of your poem and some of your family details which I found interesting. However, when you talk of divide between the British and the Indians, I presume, a much wider divide was in Tagore’s mind and that between the materialist West and spiritual India on which I read an interesting article by Swami Sunrilanda (captioned ‘The Eternal Universe) published only in yesterday’s ‘The Statesman’. Swami talks of the latest ‘crisis’ in Physics triggered by the recent discovery of the scientists that a particle called ‘neutrino’ travels some 60 nanoseconds faster than light thus challenging Einstein’s theory of relativity and calling for a major re-shuffling in Physics text books. Swami, very interestingly explains how Vivekananda’s worldview, non-technically, based on his own insight and on Vedic tradition gives a true perception of the Universe, where Western science stumbles on enigmas from time to time. So, do we eventually land on Tagore? A quote from one of his Rabindrasangeets may be relevant – “Kemon khela khelechhi-je aaji Tomar sasa Peyychhi ki khunje berai, bhebe na pai mone!”
In my bad translation, it may be somewhat as follows –
“What a game to-day I played with Thee Are Thee grasped or still on the flee!”
Wish you a very Happy New Year.
Yours sincerely, Rajat Das Gupta
Rajat Das Gupta
Excellent.Absolutely true, one feels so quite often.
Dear Mr. Das Gupta,
Thanks for your time to read and review my poetry with this interesting story that was once narrated to me by my Ma.
However, if I tell you the context, you'll realise that it's not a divide b/wn the British and the Indians that made me write this poem.
I've now lived in the UK for more than 13 years. It's like a second home to me - a bit like India being my Maike and UK being my Sasural ;)
I wrote this poem after having gone on a long walk alone....I was missing my family. We live in Leigh-on-Sea.
Usually, we all go on long walks together. But this day, I had to go on my own as Hubby was busy with his work and children had other commitments.
So, lost in the madding crowd, I was seeking the familiarity of my family. Hence, this poem came to me.
I'm sure it also happens in India, when you go out in the teeming millions, thinking of your home, and the cosiness it gives....esp. if your house feels like a home, and not a battleground for family politics. LOL :D
28 December, 2011 TO: Ms. Aparna Chatterjee I'm tempted to compare your state of mind with Tagore's when he was in England in his youth. I quote from his diaries, as follows - Rajat Das Gupta
["Here comes to my mind a fable. One clever jackal invited a wise crane for a feast. The crane saw at the invitation spot large dishes full of delicious sauces. After initial pleasantries, the jackal requested the crane to start the feast and at once started licking the dish. The crane with his long beak failed to lift anything to his mouth even repeatedly hitting the dish. At last he gave up and with his natural solemnity he sat in meditation by the side of the pond. The jackal once interrupted with his scoff, “Brother, why you are not eating? You have been given unnecessary trouble. My arrangements have not been up to your standard.”. Maybe the crane replied with modesty, “Ah no; your menu has been excellent, But due to my indisposition I have no appetite to-day.” Next day, on the crane’s invitation the jackal went to his place to find again arrangement of delicious foods but inside a long jar. It was tempting, but the jackal could not thrust his mouth inside the jar. The crane at once dipped his beak into it and engaged in eating. The jackal licked the outside of the pot and some waste straying here and there.
In our national feast the foreigners are similarly placed. The food is equally delicious for both, but the containers are different. If the British are the jackal, the pudding on their wide stretched bright silver dish are merely for our eye and we must return hungry. And if we are the meditative crane, the jackal cannot even see well what is there in our deep container. From far they have merely to smell its fragrance and go back.]