Monday, October 4, 2010

Sanskriti Express-On Rabindranath Tagore

Indian Railways launched Sanskriti Express to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore. Throwing light on the life and works of the versatile genius Rabindranath Tagore, this mobile museum is visiting all parts of the country. The Sanskriti Express is at Chennai Central Railway Station between 3rd October and 6th October. On Sunday, I visited Chennai Central to see the mobile museum. There are 5 coaches. Rabindranath Tagore lived between 1861 and 1941. He was born on 7th May in Kolkata. He is fondly called Gurudev. When he was 8 years old, he started writing poems and published his first substantial poetry when he was 16. Rabindranath Tagore was a versatile person and explored various art forms. He was a poet, novelist, playwright, painter and musician who reshaped Bengali Literature and music.

He has to his credit

  • Over a thousand poems
  • 8 volumes of short stories
  • Almost two dozen plays
  • 8 novels
  • Books and essays on Philosophy, Religion, Education and Social Topics
  • More than 2000 songs and Composed music for them
  • Many paintings

Other interesting facts include

  • His offering of songs(Gitanjali) was introduced by W.B. Yeats.
  • He was the only litterateur who penned the national anthem of two countries-Jana Gana Mana, the national anthem of India and Amar Shonar Bangla, the national anthem of Bangladesh.
  • He won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • He was knighted by King George V, which he renounced later.
  • He founded the school which is now famously known as Visva-Bharathi University.
  • His meetings with Albert Einstein and H. G. Wells are evidence of his brilliance.

Source: Sanskriti Yatra Mobile Museum hand-out by Indian Railways. Photos: taken by me from the display.

I also bought a handbag and a mobile pouch from the souvenir shop in the last coach of the train.

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