Greater Houston Community Celebrates Tagore Week 2017 with Pomp and Grandeur


HOUSTON: The greater Houston community celebrated Tagore Week 2017, as proclaimed by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, with much pomp and grandeur.

The week-long festivity, spearheaded by the Tagore Society of Houston and a number of local collaborating organizations such as ICC, Mahatma Gandhi Library, CRY, IMS, Bangladesh Association and Bangladesh Society, spoke a lot about the diversity of thoughts and confluence of global minds that Tagore represents.


What started with a scintillating talk by New York Times best-selling author and avid Tagorean Eric Weiner on April 29 at India House, concluded with an immaculate dance by Padmashri Aruna Mohanty and a dazzling duet by Padmabhushan Pandit Vishwamohan Bhatt and Pandit Subhen Chatterjee on the evening of May 7 in the Durgabari auditorium.

The community gathered for a  reverential garlanding event at Tagore Grove at Ray Miller Park on the breezy morning of May 7, where Pandit Vishwamohan Bhatt and Pandit Subhen Chatterjee paid their homage to Gurudev along with the leaders of Indian and Bangladeshi diaspora. Dignitaries attending the event included Swapan Dhairyawan, Atul Kothari, Shah Haleem, Zulfi Khaled Khan, Amir Khusroo, Sujit Sengupta, Mousumi Banerjee.


The cultural enthusiasts broke into a couple of spontaneous chorus songs to celebrate Tagore’s life and philosophy, signifying the transformation from ignorance to all-knowing. “The traveler has to knock at every alien door to come to his own, and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end,” — Tagore , Gitanjali.

The evening of May 7 featured a colorful burst of creativity ranging from TSH Youth Orchestra presenting John Denver and Tagore in a musical collage under the guidance of Anindita Roy; Kathak and Odissi dancers presenting nuances of Tagore’s creation, The Padavali of Bhanu Singha (Tagore’s nick-name) under the choreography of dance Gurus Supradita Datta and Soumee Chowdhury ; and a grand choral by 51 singers from India and Bangladesh, representing each states of the US, under the training of Kamalpriya Roy and Rupa Ghosh.

The next phase of the evening turned into a soul stirring experience with Padmashri Aruna Mohanty’s immaculate performance from Tagore’s “Sundari Radhe” to Jaydev’s “Geet Govindam” and a mesmerizing finale,  “Journey of a Soul”. Mohanty was introduced ceremoniously by Guru Rathna Kumar and Guru Supradipta.

The grand finale was by none other than Padmabhushan Pandit Vishwamhan Bhatt, accompanied by Pandit Subhen Chatterjee. The audience swooned in emotions as mellifluous Maru Bihag filled up the auditorium.

The evening was concluded by the triveni of Vande Mataram, Vaishnava Janato, and Raghupati Raghav, which conveyed the message of Humanistic Universalism that was inspired by Tagore. The evening was a depiction of a common man’s journey from darkness to light as a tribute to Rabindranath Tagore on his 156th birth anniversary.

The overseas artists were felicitated with a plaque engraved with Tagore’s famous quote, “where the mind is without fear…”

It was a befitting celebration of Tagore Week 2017 in Houston.