Rabisarani Rabisarani

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In Santiniketan

January, 1937
Spends the first month of the year in Santiniketan.
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Shyamali

6th January, 1937
This building is about to collapse. The poet is sick in body, but alert as ever in discharging his responsibilities.
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Maghotsav

January, 1937
Not at all willing to observe Maghotsav in Kolkata--"The pomp of a meaningless ceremony at our house makes me immensely ashamed."
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Poet's feelings

January, 1937
"I am not at all embarrassed to celebrate the festival of 11th Magh in Santiniketan." Writes three new songs.
  • Shuva karmapathey dharo24th January, 1937
  • Hridoye hridoy asi mile jay25th January, 1937
  • Dukkher timirey jadi jwaley25th January, 1937
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Songs for the foundation day of C.U.

24th January, 1937
Shyamaprasad Mukherjee, Vice-chancellor of Calcutta University-requests the poet to write a song for the foundation day of the University. Rabindranath gives two songs. One is -- Shuva karmapathey. The other is -- Chalo jai, chalo jai. C.U. takes the latter.
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Tagore's letter to his sister mourning the death of Prof. Winternitz

31st January, 1937
Prof. Winternitz dies in Prague on 9th January, 1937. Rabindranath mourns the death in a letter he writes to his sister--"During my long life and extensive travels, I never met a savant more worthy of respect than the learned doctor…In him I have lost a faithful comrade, India has lost one of its truest pandits and best friends, and humanity one of its sincere champions."
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Poem – Africa

10th February, 1937
Mussolini's Italy has already invaded and occupied Ethiopia. At Amiya Chakrabarty's request writes the famous poem Africa.
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Kolkata

11th February, 1937
Arrives, stays at Prasantachandra's Baranagar residence.
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C.U. Convocation

17th February, 1937
Delivers the keynote address at the convocation of Calcutta University. It is called Chhatrasambhashan. This is the first time that the Convocation address is delivered in Bengali. This is also the first time that a non-official delivers the address.
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A striking prayer

17th February, 1937
He ends this historic address with a striking prayer--
O lord
Give us the pride that lies
In courting the impossible
And unbearable sorrow.
Lift us up and out of the enchanted
trance of emotionalism.
Sternly upbraid this wallowing in the
dust of meanness.
Remove the bondage of the slavery of the mind,
the perennial disability of fate,
put an end to the stupid sacrifice of
human dignity at the feet of the unworthy,
ruthlessly pulverize the shameful follies
piled up over the ages.
Let us lift our heads high
without fear
under the endless sky
in the magnificent light,
in the wind of freedom.
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Ancient literature of Rajasthan – A gift

18th February, 1937
Lovers of Hindi literature, Rambhadur Chokhani, Sitaram Sakseria and Bhagirath Kanoria present to him a collection of ancient literature of Rajasthan, suggest that Hindi Bhavan be set up and promise to raise funds.
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Attends 20th session of Bangiya Sahitya Sammelan

21st February, 1937
Goes by boat from Baranagar to Chandernagar, speaks at the 20th session of Bangiya Sahitya Sammelan and returns the same day.
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Addresses the Parliament of Religions

3rd March, 1937
Addresses the Parliament of Religions in the Town Hall convened as part of the centenary celebrations of the birth anniversary of Sri Ramakrishna on Religion of the Spirit and Sectarianism.
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Civil war in Spain

3rd March, 1937
Civil war is raging in Spain. Rabindranath issues a statement to The Statesman which contains an appeal--"In this hour of the supreme trial and suffering of the Spanish people, I appeal to the conscience of humanity. Help the people's front in Spain, help the Government of the people, cry in million voices, halt to reaction, come in your millions to the aid of democracy, to the success of civilization and culture."
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League against Fascism and War

3rd March, 1937
League against Fascism and War is set up at the initiative of Soumyendranath Tagore with Rabindranath as president. The other members are Nehru, Jayaprakash Narayan, Dange,etc. This mood will be reflected in the poem Chalti Chhabi written a couple of months later in May, 1937.
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Santiniketan

7th March, 1937
Returns to Santiniketan.
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Sir John Russell visits Santiniketan

8th March, 1937
Sir John Russell visits Santiniketan and Sriniketan with his wife and meets the poet. Later he writes--"It is rare to find so much of the university ideal realized within so small a compass."
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The literati of the literary club visits Santiniketan

14th March, 1937
The literati of the literary club Rabibashar come to Santiniketan. Received by the poet who addresses them,too.
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Poems

1937
Poems written from early March to late April are to be found scattered in the anthologies Senjuti, Nabajataka, Prahasini.
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Bengali new year's day celebration

14th April, 1937
Bengali new year's day is celebrated. Attends the inauguration of China-Bhavana and delivers the address China and India. Nehru's address is read in absentia. Nehru says-"China and India, sister nations from the dawn of history…have to play a leading part in the world drama, in which they themselves are so deeply involved." Gandhiji also sends a warm message.
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The ideals of Visva-Bharati

14th April, 1937
In his speech Rabindranath reiterates the ideal underpinning Visva-Bharati--"For this Visvabharati is, and will, I hope, remain a meeting place for individuals from all countries, East or West, who believe in the unity of mankind and are prepared to suffer for their faith. I believe in such individuals even though their efforts may appear to be insignificant to be recorded in history."
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Viswaparichaya

April, 1937
Poet's busy reading up all kinds of books on science that he can lay his hands on--preparing himself to write the innovative science primer Viswaparichaya with which he intends to inaugurate the proposed Lokesiksha Granthamala to be published by Visvabharati. Writing this science primer will consume much of his leisure when he'll be holidaying in Almora during the summer months.
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Letter to Hemantabala Devi

19th April, 1937
In a letter written to Hemantabala Devi at this time he says that he now reads more books on science than literature.
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At Almora

29th April, 1937
Arrives at Almora for summer vacation accompanied by Rathindranath, Pratima devi, Nandini, Nandita and secretary Anilkumar Chanda.
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Spends two months at Almora

1937
Spends May and June here. Even at 77, he's no less prolific--writing Viswaparichaya and much else. He has brought along certain sketches by Nandalal Bose. Around these sketches he weaves the poems of Chadar Chhabi. Writes other poems, too. And, of course, he continues to paint.
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Poems written in Almora

1937
These poems are written in Almora:--
  • Janmadin
  • Jalajatra
  • Bhajahari
  • Kather singi
  • Khatuli
  • Joginda
  • Budhu
  • Patharpinda
  • Khela
  • Chhabi-ankiye
  • Ajaynadi
  • Pichhudaka
  • Chalachal
  • Kandiya Naach
  • Bhagyarajya
  • Pisni
  • Tirthajatrini
  • Natun Kal
  • Hathat Milan
  • Gharer Kheya
  • Istishane
  • Sanir Dasha
  • Padmaye
  • Paler Nouka
  • Jatrapath
  • Basabadi
  • Akash
  • Kashi
  • Rikta
  • Jhad
  • Talgachh
  • Chalti Chhabi
  • Chadibhati
  • Prabashe
  • Bhramani
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Letter to Prof. Debaprasad Ghosh

12th June, 1937
Writes a long rejoinder in the form of a letter to Prof. Debaprasad Ghosh's critique of the orthographic reforms in Bengali proposed by Calcutta University and Visva-Bharati. This polemic will continue in the months ahead.
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Kolkata

29th June, 1937
Arrives at Kolkata.
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Santiniketan

30th June, 1937
Proceeds to Santiniketan.
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Vidyalaya reopens

1st July, 1937
Vidyalaya reopens at Santiniketan.
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Whitman

July, 1937
The students and teachers of City College, Kolkata organised a meeting in the memory of the great American poet Walt Whitman (1819-92). At their request the poet writes a short article praising Whitman.
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Bharatvarsha

19th July, 1937
Bharatvarsha commences publication. Rabindranath congratulates Pramatha Chowdhury.
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Patisar

27th July, 1937
Visits zamindari estate Patisar for the last time. Celebrates Punyaha.
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Poems in Santiniketan

1937
These poems are written in Santiniketan in June-July:-
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Protest meeting

2nd August, 1937
Poet presides over a massive protest meeting held in the Town Hall, Kolkata to express solidarity with political prisoners on a hunger-strike in Cellular Jail, Andamans to protest against inhuman treatment. The meeting demands that they be brought back to Bengal. A cable is sent to the prisoners in Andamans assuring them that the country is solidly behind them.
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Andaman Day

14th August, 1937
Andaman Day is observed in Bengal. Santiniketan observes it, too and the poet speaks on this occasion.
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Festivities

14th August, 1937
Presides over Briksharopan and Halakarshan festivals in the rural suburbs of Santiniketan.
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Varshamangal

August, 1937
Festivities cancelled in Santiniketan on account of bereavement in the ashram. Pandit Nityanandavinod Goswami's son Bireswar is dead. The poet decides to have Varshamangal performed in Kolkata.
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Kolkata

26th August, 1937
Arrives with the Santiniketan troupe of performers. Puts up at Prasantachandra's Baranagar residence.
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Varshamangal

September, 1937
Varshamangal is performed at Chhaya Theatre on Upper Circular Road consecutively on 4th and 5th September.
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New songs

September, 1937
These newly composed songs are sung in the performance:--
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Santiniketan

6th September, 1937
Back in Santiniketan.
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Illness

September, 1937
Suddenly falls unconscious in the Uttarayan house. Seriously ill for a couple of days. Dr. Nilratan Sarkar comes from Kolkata. Recovers.
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Poems for Prantik

1937
Writes a few of the poems later collected in the anthology Prantik between 25th September to 9th October.
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Back in Kolkata

12th October, 1937
Back in Kolkata for more medical care. Enjoys Rani Mahalanabis's hospitality at their Baranagar residence for three weeks.
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Visitors

October, 1937
Congress stalwarts like Nehru, Kripalani, Sarojini Naidu and Subhaschandra who has recently returned from Europe come to see him. Rabindranath goes to see Gandhiji who himself fell ill while preparing to go to see the poet.
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Letter to Nehru about Vande Mataram

26th October, 1937
A fierce controversy with communal overtones of Hindu-Muslim antagonism now rages around Vande Mataram. The Congress Working Committee is deliberating whether it should be adopted as the national song. The poet is asked for his opinion and he sends his opinion in writing to Congress president Nehru. Congress agrees with the poet's opinion and accepts the first two stanzas of the song as the national song.
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Santiniketan

4th November, 1937
Returns to Santiniketan.
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Prisoners

November, 1937
The efforts of Gandhiji and Rabindranath succeed. At last Bengal Government sets free 1100 political prisoners held in Andamans and other prisons of the country.
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Jagadish Chandra dies

22nd November, 1937
Jagadish Chandra suddenly dies in Giridih (now in Jharjkhand). The impact of this death obliquely enters the texture of certain poems--musings on death--written 8th and 25th December.
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Poush Utsav

22nd December, 1937
Poush Utsav is celebrated in Santiniketan. Delivers the address Pralayer Sristi on this occasion in which he expresses his anguish over Japan's continuing invasion of China.
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Two poems for Christmas

25th December, 1937
Writes two poems on kindred themes on the occasion of Christmas (no 17 & 18--Prantik).
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Written speech

December, 1937
As President of the Indian branch of New Education Fellowship he sends his written speech to its conference being held in Kolkata at this time.
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Visitors

31st December, 1937
A few members of the Fellowship come to Santiniketan to see the poet.
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