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Home where Rabindranath Tagore found inspiration for his Epic ‘Gitanjali’ is now in ruins

Tagore used carriages lifted by men to reach 'Mahesh Khan', his home, which is 82,000ft above sea level

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Image Source: Firstpost (Shashwat Agnihotri)
  • Mahesh Khan is now home to leopards and leeches. Some furniture was stolen, others devoured by termites
  • Mahesh Khan is special to Tagore because it was there he conceptualised Gitanjali
  • Senior officials of the Forest Department of the Uttarakhand government say that there are no discussions or plans regarding renovation of the home

A dilapidated home in the dense forest of Uttarakhand, where leeches and Leopards now crawl and roam, is the same place where Rabindranath Tagore once found inspiration for this Epic ‘Gitanjali’.

Tagore named the home ‘Mahesh Khan’ where now jungle creepers and weeds have now taken over, and female leopards found it a great spot to deliver babies. When the wild cats left the place, deer took shelter during winter and rains. When the roof collapsed due to neglect and rains, leeches grew in abundance in the slush.

The big stones on which the Bard from Bengal wrote beautiful songs by using charcoal are either lost or stolen by those who discovered it first. Not just that, the furniture too. The mahogany reclining chair where his terminally ill daughter Renuka used to look at the stars  was stolen too.

Rabindranath Tagore became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Gitanjali or “an offering of songs” is a collection of 157 poems and was published on August 14, 1910. It became very famous in the West and was widely translated.

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“Mahesh Khan is special to Tagore because it was there he conceptualised Gitanjali. Tagore also composed several children’s poems, eventually compiled and published as Sishu (The Child, 1903). The English title was later changed to The Crescent Moon,” said Nasreen, a Kolkata-based Tagore researcher to Firstpost.com.

Image Source: Firstpost (Shashwat Agnihotri)

Historian Prasanta Paul, who meticulously chronicled the bard’s life, mentioned Tagore’s journey to Nainital and how he used carriages lifted by men to reach Mahesh Khan, which is 82,000ft above sea level.

Krishna Dutta and Andrew Robinson, the authors of the biography titled Rabindranath Tagore — The Myriad Minded Man, claim that the journey to Mahesh Khan was long and difficult, the poet sometimes carrying his ailing daughter in his arms. He kept her entertained and cheerful, for she was moody and high-strung.

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Renuka, Tagore’s daughter whom he affectionately called Rani, was 10-and-a-half years old when her father married her to a husband she had never met but in 1903, i.e. two years later, he returned with Renuka to Mahesh Khan as she was recuperating from tuberculosis. Doctors had advised that the Himalayan air would do her good. “He hoped the change of climate will help Renuka recover. But it did not happen,” said Tagore historian Professor Sitabrata Chattopadhyay to Firstpost. Renuka died in September 1903, the same year she visited ‘Mahesh Khan’.

Nasreen also adds that on his 154th birth anniversary, last year, in 2015, there was a plan to create a Tagore trail connecting Ramgarh, Almora, Ranikhet and Mahesh Khan but the move initiated by the Uttarakhand government failed for unknown reasons.

Senior officials of the Forest Department of the Uttarakhand government said, there are no discussions or plans regarding the renovation of the home.

-prepared by Ajay Krishna, an intern at NewsGram. 

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Gurgaon Literature Festival Celebrates its Second Edition at Cyber Hub

The event was conducted with great pomp and show as it witnessed the coming in of enthusiastic crowd who had a great inclination for art and literature

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Literature
The event was conducted with great pomp and show as it witnessed the coming in of enthusiastic crowd who had a great inclination for art and Literature.

Gurgaon Literature Festival, the flagship literary event on art and culture rolled out its second edition from 16th to 17th November 2019 at Amphi Theatre & Aditya Birla Arena in DLF Cyber Hub. In its second edition, this renowned literary conclave brought together hundreds of giants from all around India. Mental health, depression, addiction in art and literature were the recurring topics and overall theme of the event to create awareness about mental health problems. The chief guest of the event was Mohammad Kaif and DGP Haryana Manoj Yadav.

The series of events encompassed book launch which was followed by expert panel discussion leading to the award ceremony. The book launch event was carried forward by Manoj Yadav, Haryana DGP at 1 pm. Among other books, Daggers of Treason by Niraj Shrivastav secured the esteemed opportunity to be launched at the Gurgaon Literature Festival. Prior to the event, the DGP threw light on the thin line connecting the working environment of police and mental health associated with it.

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Gurgaon Literature Festival, the flagship literary event on art and culture rolled out its second edition from 16th to 17th November 2019 at Amphi Theatre & Aditya Birla Arena in DLF Cyber Hub.

Followed by an expert panel discussion that took place at 5 pm and The Session on Is mythology actually history? Arjun Raj Gaind, Niraj Srivastav, Antar and Sutapa Basu were among the speakers. Both of the days the GLF witnessed crowd from all across the NCR and other parts of the nation.

Literature
The event was conducted with great pomp and show as it witnessed the coming in of enthusiastic crowd who had a great inclination for art and Literature, Awards were also Distributed.

After the panel discussion, an award ceremony was conducted at 6 pm dissipating a token of appreciation to all the deserving candidates where Niraj Srivastav won the Best Historical Fiction award for his book Daggers of Treason. Daggers of Treason is a historical fiction novel, based on the life and reign of emperor Khurram Shahjahan. One of the four-book series titled ‘The Curse of the Mughal Series.’

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The event was conducted with great pomp and show as it witnessed the coming in of enthusiastic crowd who had a great inclination for art and literature. People who attended the event were greatly inspired by the plethora of perspective and consciousness a cultural event like this could instill in oneself.