Tagore’s literary works to be released in Polish

Kolkata, April 12, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / Kreation Guru) A citizen of the world and a true son of India who brought fame and respect for his country is Rabindranath Tagore. He has adorned the history books of India with the life he lived and the contributions he made to Indian literature and music. He is famous as a Bengali novelist, poet, painter, musician and play writer. His book of poems, Gitanjali, lifted him to international acclaim and won him the Nobel Prize for Literature; he became the first non-European to receive this honourable award in 1913. He died in 1941 but his writings keep him alive even today not only in India, but even abroad.

The latest news from Warsaw, Poland claims that an anthology (a collection of literary pieces like short stories, poems or plays).of Rabindranath Tagore was released in Warsaw by the Indian ambassador to Poland, Deepak Vohra. The anthology is translated in Polish directly from Tagore’s original writings in Bengali. Deepak Vohra greatly honored Tagore by his comment when he said that though he (the ambassador) knows ten different languages, yet none of the languages is competent enough to describe Tagore’s genius. He further went on to speak to this effect that Tagore’s powerful and ingenious writings, music and paintings continue to be a source of inspiration to people, generation after generation, throughout the world. He released the book of the anthology on Saturday, April. 9, 2011.

The material that was selected for the anthology comprised of short stories, poetry, paintings, essays and letters, not forgetting the famous play called ‘Post Office’. These were all translated into Polish by the Bengali department of Warsaw University, headed by Elisabeth Walter. She was a student in Shantiniketan and studied Bengali language as well as Bengali literature. To this tremendous effort put in by the department at short notice, J. J. Singh, the president of the IPCCI (Indo-Polish Chamber of Commerce and Industry) said that this has brought India and Poland closer to each other which is significant as this year India will be celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore. He puts Gandhi and Tagore at par with each other in their contributions towards the country. Gandhi was a political idealist and Tagore was a literary idealist.

IPCCI has financed the anthology with a special introduction to it by Amartya Sen, a Nobel laureate from India. Bengali language and literature has been taught in Warsaw University from the 1950s. Hiramon Ghoshal went to Poland and taught Bengali to several eminent scholars of the university including Barbara Grabowska, Walter, Bozena Sliwczynska and Weronika Rokicka.

Two years back, Walter brought out the first Bengali grammar book translated into Polish. She also translated the play of Tagore, ‘Post Office’ into Polish which remains the favorite of the Polish actors and the public alike. This is the only play which they think of whenever they want to put up an Indian play. In fact, ‘Post Office’ in Polish language has bees shown on the national TV of Poland several times in the past twenty years.