TSH Celebrates Centennial of Tagore’s Visit to Houston – Feb. 13-14, 2021

CG Aseem Mahajan with TSH board members. Photos by Indian Consulate staff.

CG Mahajan speaking at the Tagore Grove in Ray Miller Park.

By Partha Sarathi Chatterjee

Tagore Society of Houston (TSH) held 100 years commemoration of Rabindranath Tagore’s visit to Houston on February 13, 1921.

On February 13, 2021, TSH organized a socially distanced event at the Tagore Grove in Ray Miller Park in west Houston. Due to Covid restrictions, City of Houston allowed only a few attendees. TSH President Gopendu Chakrabarti welcomed everyone on a bitterly cold day to the historic celebration.

Consul General of Houston, Shri Aseem Mahajan, said “It’s great to celebrate the momentous occasion of Tagore’s visit a century ago. I look forward to working together to deepen the cultural ties and people to people contacts between India and US.” He offered flowers at the foot of Tagore’s statue at the grove.

Pradeep Anand, a long-time TSH supporter and adviser, gave details of Tagore’s visit to Houston, how his literary genius was embraced by the Texans and how almost 15% of the total US funds came from Houston. Surajit Dasgupta introduced the plans for Tagore Memorial Wall around the statue. Renowned Tagore exponent, Shreya Guhathakurta presented a Tagore song accompanied by English recitation by Partha Sen. Past TSH President, Debleena Banerji, recited the famous poem “Where the mind is without fear”.

Mila Sengupta, TSH Vice-President, gave a vote of thanks to the Consul General, dignitaries and office-bearers of other organizations and TSH supporters for making the event special. She also invited everyone to the online musical presentation with Tagore’s music and recitation on February 14th. The event was headlined by renowned Tagore exponent, Shreya Guhathakurta and elocutionist Bratati Bandyopadhyay. It was a huge success, with viewers joining the concert from across the globe. Two of the greatest artists of the generation performed a fabulous duet, which left the audience spellbound.

In short, the event highlighted Tagore’s message of a borderless world and mind without fear It was truly an event to remember and was a huge success, despite the inclement weather.

Tagore spoke to an audience of 7,000 Houstonians on February 13, 1921. The event was free to t he public courtesy of the Theosophical Society. The appearance helpd Tagroe raise funds for the Shantiniketan university.

Tagore told the audience, “Love is the ultimate meaning of everything around us. It is not a mere sentiment; it is the truth; it is the joy that is at the root of all creation. It is the white light of consciousness that emanates from Brahma.”An article about Tagore’s visit appeared in Rice Institure’s Thresher newsletter.