9 May : ‘Prabhat pheries’ (morning processions) and cultural programmes on Sunday marked the beginning of year-long celebrations of the 150th birth centenary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore across West Bengal.
The main function was organised at Tagore’s ancestral home at Jorasanko in north Kolkata where veterans joined young artistes in an overnight concert of Rabindrasangeet (Tagore’s songs) and recitation from his works.
The functions continued into the day as hundreds of Tagore admirers thronged the venue to pay tribute to the ‘biswa kavi’ (world poet).
A large number of people also gathered at the state government’s Rabindra Sadan-Nandan cultural complex where artistes enthralled them with rendition of Tagore’s songs and recitation of his poems.
At Shantiniketan where the Nobel laureate founded Visva-Bharati University, students and teachers did the rounds singing the poet’s songs in a procession known as ‘baitalik’ in the morning.
A special prayer was held under the shade of the Chatim Tree in Shantiniketan where Tagore loved to spend time in praying.
An hour-long programme attended by Visva-Bharati vice-chancellor Rajat Kanta Ray and other Tagore admirers at the poet’s Udayan home marked the beginning of the celebrations.
Tagore’s drama ‘Tasher Desh’ (Country of Cards) would be staged in the evening at the university complex. Hundreds of visitors from all over Bengal and foreigners have gathered in Shantiniketan.