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Bollywood’s superstar Shah Rukh Khan mixes Rabindranath Tagore’s eternal symphony ‘Bideshini’ in West Bengal Tourism ad

The newest ad promoting Bengal Tourism is a visual treat full of Tagore's tunes, Bengal's majesty through a foreigner's eyes and SRK's natural charisma

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A fan Dangal between the onscreen Dangal girls for Shah Rukh Khan
Shahrukh Khan, VOA
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Kolkata, Feb 6, 2017:  Bollywood’s superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s signature style mixes with Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore’s eternal symphony in inviting tourists from faraway lands to Bengalin the latest advertisement to promote tourism, that cuts through stereotypes.

The three-and-half minutes long video montage takes viewers on a joy-ride from the chandeliered Rajbaris of Bengal, ceiling-high stacks of books in the narrow alleys of College street, immersive terracotta temples of Bankura, psychedelic masked Chhau dancers, Sundarbans mangrove’s fishermen with backward facing masks to the rolling tea gardens of Darjeeling hills — all through the experiences of a foreigner.

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The video, which has been receiving “an overwhelming response” from viewers on social media from all over the world, sees Shah Rukh, Bengal’s brand ambassador, crooning to Tagore’s “Ami Chini Go Chini Tomare, O Go Bideshini” (“I know you, oh lady from faraway land”) while serenading the foreigner in a tram car in typical Shah Rukh way.

“We have received extremely positive response from the ad and it is being shared all across on social media as part of our aggressive tourism campaign,” Bengal Tourism Minister Gautam Deb told the media.

According to Deb, “The essence of our tagline ‘Welcome to Bengal – The sweetest part of India’ is the state’s hospitality which caters to guests from India and abroad. We want foreigners to think of Bengal first when they see the ad and plan to visit India.”

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An Ogilvy & Mather, Kolkata, concept, the film has been directed by Prakash Varma of Nirvana films.

Instead of opting for typical and very age-old Bengal tourism props such as rosogollas (spongy sweetmeats) or hand-pulled rickshaws, the montage offers glimpses of relatively lesser known prospects such as the state’s relationship with graffiti art and its love for mustard-infused bhetki paturi (fillet of bhetki in banana leaf envelopes).

A touch of tradition is played out at the same time as the foreigner lady indulges in Sindoor Khela (women smear vermilion at each other at the conclusion of Durga puja), listens to Bengal’s very-own folk baul music and drives through the expansive Howrah Bridge across the Hooghly river.

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Reflecting the continuity of cultures, the viewer rides along with the fair lady, who has come to attend a wedding, in buses, a yellow cab, the toy train and the tram. Her journey in Bengal is matched to score with a Bong background laced in baul tunes and sounds of the Shehnai, with the lilting tunes of Tagore accentuating the ebb and flow of a sojourn. (IANS)

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

 

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8 must-read works of Rabindranath Tagore

Tagore was a versatile artist who provided an earnest insight into society and humanity with his various short stories, novels, essays, songs, plays, and paintings.

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Rabindranath Tagore was the pioneer of Bengali Literature. Wikimedia Commons
Rabindranath Tagore was the pioneer of Bengali Literature. Wikimedia Commons
  • Rabindranath Tagore was the pioneer of Bengali Literature.
  • He has many landmarks works to his name which continues to inspire masses.
  • His collection of poems, Gitanjali got him the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913.

The Nobel Prize-winning writer, Rabindranath Tagore, also known as Gurudeva or the Bard of Bengal, was the trailblazer of Bengali literature. He possessed literary genius through which he brought a revolution in Bengali literature and music.

A painting by mullti-talented Rabindranath Tagore.
A painting by multi-talented Rabindranath Tagore.

Tagore was a versatile artist who provided an earnest insight into society and humanity through his short stories, novels, songs and paintings. His works even today inspire the masses and young readers and writers. Here is the list of some of his remarkable works:

Gitanjali

One of his best work is a collection of 157 poems called ‘Gitanjali’. The poems in this book vary in their themes, from spirituality to complexities of life. It was originally written in Bengali and was later translated into English. This work was so remarkable that Tagore got a Nobel Prize for it in 1913.

Gitanjali is the landmark work of Tagore. Wikimedia Commons
Gitanjali is the landmark work of Tagore. Wikimedia Commons

 Gitabitan

Rabindranath Tagore was a skilled and sensible songwriter. Throughout his life, he wrote a total of 2230 songs which are popularly known as ‘Rabindra Sangeeth’. The songs were compiled in this exquisite book called ‘Gitabitan.’

Chokher Bali

Chokher Bali or ‘A grain of sand’ is a Bengali novel written by Tagore, which was later translated into English. The story revolves around an extra-marital affair and depicts passion, desires, relationships and honesty in all its complexities. The novel is well known for its portrayal of complexities in a relationship.

Gora 

Rabindranath Tagore wrote 12 novels, and out of these, this one is the longest and most complex. It raises a number of concerns, which are relevant to our nation even today. This book aptly reflects different social standards in colonial India.

Rabindranath Tagore produced many works which changed the literature in India. Image source: buddybyte.com
Rabindranath Tagore produced many works which changed the literature in India. Image source: buddybyte.com

Kabuliwallah(The Fruitseller from Kabul)

The Kabuliwala is about an Afghan vendor who came to Calcutta, trying to earn a living. Along the way, he creates an emotional bond with the narrator’s five-year-old daughter. It is a very touching and heart-warming story which will leave you emotional.

Ghare Baire (The Home and the World)

This book has an autobiographical aspect. It reflects upon the deeper meaning of life by showing the struggles of three individuals. The story represents a war between the western and eastern ideology. Tagore chose Swadeshi Movement as the backdrop for this novel and provided a deep insight into the Bengal history.

The Postmaster

This is another one of Tagore’s work which revolves around the search for the meaning of life. This story of a city man working as a postmaster in a village to earn his living will give you lots of food for thought. The story represents loneliness in a beautifully haunting way.

Shesher Kabita

This novel was first released in a serialised form in the magazine ‘Probashi’. It was published as a book in the year 1928. The translated version of the book is called ‘The Last Poem’ and ‘Farewell song’ in English. The book portrays the platonic love of a matured couple and its complication. It is an epic love saga.