Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

 Almost nine months ago at my mother’s passing, my brother Cyril Dabydeen quoted in his eulogy from Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali :

 “I know that day will come when my sight of this earth shall be lost, and life will take its leave in silence, drawing the last curtain over my eyes. Yet stars will watch at night, and morning rise as before, and hours heave like sea-waves casting up pleasures and pains.

When I think of this end of my moments, the barrier of moments breaks and I see by the light of death thy world…things that I longed for in vain and things that I got–let them pass.

I have got my leave. Bid me farewell, my brothers (and sisters)! I bow to you all and take my departure. Here I give back the keys of my door–and I give up all the claims to my house. I only ask for last kind words from you. We were neighbours for long, but I received more than I could give. Now the day has dawned and the lamp that lit my dark corner is out. A summons has come and I am ready for my journey.”

 Today, after seventy-one years of the passing of Tagore, we are unable to accept that he has given “up all the claims to my house”. With two national anthems in India and Bangladesh his memory is as fresh as the morning dew drops on a sunny day. It will not be diminished tomorrow.

 In my book, Watching You, A Collection of Tetractys Poems, Xlibris Publications (2012)  #78 poem is titled TAGORE’s MEMOIR:



stashed in pith

Tagore’s memoir

I come to make Mother Durga puja.


In yogi stance my body in loin cloth

Mother Durga

comes to me

as I


 The perfume of Tagore’s spirit will always be with us. His Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 will remain an indelible stain of  success that will make us continue to read of his stories, listen to his songs and recite his Gitanjali.


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