During the year prior to Tagore’s death in 1941, it was an extraordinary interweaving of declining health and the unrelenting expression of creative powers. A series of medical tests was followed up with preparations for surgery. At the same time, there were poetic lines that came to him which he asked his associates to jot down. One of these poems composed during his last months was “Pratham diner surya”. There were songs as well that were composed just when he was struggling with failing health. It was this conflict that is depicted with great sensitivity in a three-CD Bhavna album compiled by Sanjit Sengupta.
On the 75th anniversary of Tagore’s death, it should take the significance of Baishey Sravan to a new level. Tagore was never afraid of death. He was only worried about the surgery that his doctors had advised. He had accepted their advice and merely asked when he would be moved into the Operation Theatre. Told that it would be in a day or two, he asked his helper to jot down the lines in the poem – “Tomar sristir path rekhechho aakirno kori”. Those were the heart-tugging lines that Soumitra Chatterjee recites with the sensitivity that he normally brings to his performances. The album called Belashesher Gaan reflects the wonder of the last year of Tagore with an impressive lineup of singers – Srikanto Acharya (Megh bolchhey jabo jabo), Swagatalakshmi Dasgupta (Pather sesh kothay), Mohan Singh (Na chahile jare), Ananda Narayan Biswas (Peyechhi chhuti). There are many ideas on the musical circuit that serve a limited purpose and are forgotten very quickly. This one with a cover designed by veteran Ramananda Bandopadhyay is destined to leave a more lasting impression.