Friday, August 22, 2003

Rabindrasangeet - after a long time

If you are a Bengali away from home - missing the 16 volume Rabindra Rachanaboli and the ubiquitious Geetobitan, hope is at hand. Rabindrasangeet.org is a searchable database of Tagore's song lyrics.

I remember hearing old 8-track tapes of Rabindrasangeet recorded from old 78s and LPs and from the radio. In my hands were meticulously organised index files, typed and handwritten on thin airmail paper. The lists included the name of the song, the singer and the corresponding page number in Geetobitan for each song. The rabindrik pronounciations and stresses along with the vocabulary of the songs were beyond the comprehension of an eight year old's ears otherwise.

For that matter, its the same way I watched the BBC productions of Shakespeare that they showed on Doordarshan. Rolling the words on my tongue and seeing them in print made it a much more enlightening experience all around! Thank you Baba!!!

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