Rabindranath Thakur (anglicised as “Tagore”)1915, the year he was knighted by George V. Tagore repudiated his knighthood, in protest against the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919
I have the great honour to introduce someone today whom I believe to be a genuinely lovely person. Pendyala Pradeep is a reciter of classic Indian poetry and I have posted one of his recitations below. I am sure you will enjoy his recitation of Tagore’s Gitanjali.
By Pendyala Pradeep
Dear friends, I never miss reading the Poetry Corner on Plum Tree Books blog. It is my proud privilege to be a friend of Ms Niamh Clune, the creator of Plum Tree Books and Wednesday Plum Tree blog. I am an Anaesthesiologist working at Hyderabad, India. I love music, singing, mimicry, compering, tennis and of course, poetry.
Among the Indian poets, I love reading Rabindranath Tagore and Harivansh Rai Bachchan. I am going to share with you a poem by Rabindranath Tagore. I am also attaching the sound Cloud clipping. I am providing the English translation. Rabindranath Tagore (Thakur) the author of Gitanjali (An offering of songs ) became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. Gitanjali has profoundly fresh, beautiful and sensitive poems. Needless to say, the Nobel prize was given for the English version of Gitanjali.
(Editors Note…I have included the first few lines of the original as given me by Pendyala, in order to give you a flavour of the sound of this beautiful language. NC)
Light, my light, the world-filling light, the eye-kissing light, heart-sweetening light! Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the centre of my life; the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love; the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth. The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light. Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light. The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling, and it scatters gems in profusion. Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling, and gladness without measure. The heaven’s river has drowned its banks and the flood of joy is aboard.
When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down.
One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.”
Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!”
I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I?
I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.”
Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray.
With love from Dr. Niamh,
Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamhchildrensbooks.com