The 159th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore was celebrated without fanfare this year amid the coronavirus-triggered lockdown, with netizens taking to social media to mark the day with live discussions and cultural performances.

Taking to Twitter, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee quoted the lyrics of one of Tagore’s songs (Rabindrasangeet) to pay tribute to him.

“‘Chironutaner dilo daak, pochise boisakh’ (this dawn invokes the new, marks new beginning). Homage to Kobiguru Rabindranath Tagore on his birth anniversary,” she tweeted.

The Creative Arts, a performing arts group, hosted an online programme on Facebook for children.

Visual designer and graphic artist Aniket Mitra shared an illustration of Tagore on social media, where the bard is shown discussing his ideas with other literary figures, including Shakti Chattopadhyay, Sunil Gangopadhyay, Nabanita Dev Sen, Bangladeshi writer Humayun Ahmed, at the iconic Coffee House on College Street.

Children from different countries, including US, England, Canada and Australia, recited Tagore’s ‘Bharat Tirtho’ in a video presented by elocutionist-actor-presenter Sujoy Prasad Chatterjee.

Various cultural organisations hosted online events on Zoom, Skype and similar other platforms on the occasion.

At Rabindra Bharati University’s Jorasanko campus, the ancestral home of the Tagore family, the usual crowd and flurry of activities were missing on Friday. Vice Chancellor Sabyasachi Basu Ray Choudhury paid floral tributes to the bust of the poet in a brief ceremony.

The scene was similar at Santiniketan’s Visva Bharati University, founded by Tagore, with Vice Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty, accompanied by a few ashramites (ashram members), gathering at the prayer hall, Rabindra Bhavan and Chhatimtala to fondly remember the Nobel laureate and his contributions.

The SFI unit of Visva Bharati posted a video of song- recitals by the students of the varsity on YouTube.

A short programme has been organised at Rabindra Sadan-Nandan area here later in the day, which will be conducted maintaining social distancing norms, sources in the information and cultural affairs department said.