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R.Gopolakrishnan describes his awareness, upon coming to America, that the beliefs and dreams of Americans are the same as those of the people of India and that the desire for peace, liberty, brotherhood and cooperation are not limited by national borders.

Interviewed in Kolkata, West Bengal, India by Kris Manjapra

Interviewed in Kolkata, West Bengal, India by Kris Manjapra

Interviewed in Shantiniketan, West Bengal by Kris Manjapra

hey never divorced but by the time I came to know Sudhin he was married to a Punjabi girl Rajeshwari who would sing Tagore songs and was educated in Santiniketan, was a Punjabi. But I learned later that Sudhin had promised not to see his first wife before he could marry Rajeshwari, a promise I learned long, long afterwards he could not keep. Towards the end of his life Buddhadeb's [Buddhadeb Basu] wife tells me -- Buddhadeb's wife Pratibha used to share the house here, and when I eventually came to Santiniketan almost every evening I used to go to her for all these old stories about writers. So she said that very late in life Sudhin used to go to the lake in the south and there meet his first wife and they would sit together, talk. Those were my favorite. She would not marry again. She died, she died after Sudhin and when Sudhin died she came there and people saw her for the first time because she never made any claim, but in Sudhin's will he left half his property to his wife, the other to his second wife.

So this division in one that one Himangshu Dutta was dependent for the text of his music which deviated quite from Tagore's perennial patterns and dynamism. This was important you know that the musician is looking for an adequate text where his autobiography will be spoken through a writer, a songwriter. This is a very important thing and .. and then.. then.. then the same thing was Dilip Kumar Roy was recomposing his life through his music and text all alone but was just not modern. Dilip Kumar Roy we cannot say that he was modern he was timeless. So he was, actually one can mention him in the same breath with Tagore, actually Dilip Kumar Roy, but I didn't dislike a musician who is pining for a suitable text and going to a lyricist, I should say in this context, for a text which serves the objective correlative of his inner life, of his outer life, of his failure in love and all that, and Himangshu Dutta was known for his singular agony because he... he fell in love desperately with a student.

She was a singer as well yes.
How did, you mentioned to Kazi Nazrul Islam, did she also, was she also a part of the ghazal and that tradition?
This, this, this entire tradition and I therefore from her I could imbibe and learn Nazrul's songs it was, actually you can imagine. I went to Santiniketan later, actually later after 3 years of demise of Tagore [Rabindranath Tagore] and there I espoused Tagore songs. The Tagore songs, Tagore music, Rabindra Sangeet entered my life a bit later when I was roughly ten... ten and from and when I was admitted to Santiniketan Patha Bhavan at the age of ten.

His songs were written by Ajay Bhattacharya, the brother of that great modern poet Sanjay Bhattacharya, and so I came to know both these trends. Actually to put it in another way I drew my sustenance from both these trends, that is when the singer is composing his own text that's one tradition, which was a very important tradition and let me be parenthetical here. What happened you know that Heine [Heinrich Heine] wrote about 350 lieder songs whereas Tagore composed and composed the mode melody and the text for his songs, and they, these are about 2500 on his own. Heine needed a Schubert [Franz Schubert] or Silcher [Friedrich Silcher] or Schumann [Robert Schumann], Tagore didn't need.

It was I think I should say 1945 or so and '41, 1941 you know Tagore died and so James Joyce and Virgina Woolf and but Tagore's death meant the emanation of modernity in Bengali literature and his songs also because in the entire corpus of his literature the music play a very predominant role and I was lucky enough to be acquainted with that trend, that timeless trend, Tagore music which has definitely molded my being.
How about the -- I believe the famous singer was Dilip, performance -- Dilip Roy?
Dilip Kumar Roy, yes

Yes, yeah it's ...it's very difficult to scan the timing, time but it was near your place, that's Mahanirban Road. 1, Mahanirban Road, I was -- there was musicians came, poets came, writers came and I was almost at age of six when I saw Tagore's funeral procession was gliding by and it was a congregation of life actually so one of the first poems I wrote under that occasion, on that occasion. Words came with, to put it in a very uncanny way, with the exit of Tagore, that great exit, that great tragic sense of life but which ... which was for me a celebration of a divinity. I didn't find, you know, find any pangs of separation from him because then he stayed on in my life, and it was a boon that I didn't see him otherwise.

Interviewed in Kolkata, West Bengal, India by Kris Manjapra

I have two last questions, first is connecting with what you were saying about the folk in the 1940's, also about your political activity, your writing, how did the Progressive Writers' Association, Progressive Writers' Movement which Tagore himself was involved
Yes
How did that connect with your?
Very much so, very much so

Interviewed in Dhaka, Bangladesh by Iftekhar Iqbal

Interviewed in Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America by Kris Manjapra

Interviewed in Kolkata, West Bengal, India by Kris Manjapra

Interviewed in Kolkata, West Bengal, India by Kris Manjapra

Dr. Tim Harper, Centre for History and Economics, Magdalene College, Cambridge University. Lecture entitled "Singapore 1915 and the Birth of the Asian Underground"

Interviewed in Kolkata, West Bengal, India by Kris Manjapra

Interviewed in Hillsborough, New Jersey, United States of America by Kris Manjapra

Interviewed in Columbia University, New York, New York, United States of America by Kris Manjapra

Interviewed in Kolkata, West Bengal, India by Kris Manjapra

I think....I don't know weather it know I was named by Rabindra Nath Tagore, my name was Nabaneeta, Nabaneeta means newly brought in....or newly born or newly married, so Naba is more new than Neeta is the others. So she....this is name that he gave me, and I have been very lucky I must say because I was three years old when he died.

Interviewed in Kolkata, West Bengal, India by Kris Manjapra

Interviewed in Kolkata, West Bengal, India by Kris Manjapra

The address of your childhood home
80B Vivekananda Road and it is a high road; one of the prominent roads of north Kolkata and it is almost a corridor which links up Vivekananda's ancestors' home and Tagore's ancestors' home. That way, it's a cultural path and we grew up in the atmosphere also in those days.

Interviewed in Kolkata, West Bengal, India by Kris Manjapra

The most famous member was Kali Prasanna Singha. He was a very important literate figure who wrote this Hutum Penchar Naksa thats now being re-edited and published. Some of these I can supplement with actual documentation later on if you wish. So, the Singha's then called Singhi-badi were very major Calcutta family. And you know, we were kayasthas [kayastha] . As with Brahmins, so with the Kayasthas', within the Kayastha samaj or the community there were two kinds of Kayasthas. One is abhijat, who were kind of the aristocratic kayasthas and householders, grihastha. This is been the place where we started the Sovabazar Rajbari, Sovabazar's Raja's of course and they were also kind of rivals to Tagore's and singha's were very important so my great grandfather married into Singha family and this was the lady who was called

This was the period of racism of the Raj... the early Raj.
1860s.... massive kind of uproar among the Europeans in Calcutta. But Ripon, the liberal Viceroy, wanted to push this through. And he was. Ramesh Mitter was also the earliest members of Congress as well. He was quite conservative I believe and he supported Tilak and he was in an age of consent and he didn't actually want it to be raised. It's quite interesting. He was one branch of the family, the other branch, his brother. His brother's son I believe was my great grand father and his name was very complicated. Tripundreswar Mitra but they all called him Tipen Mitra. He obviously a very bright lad I believe and the Singha's of Jorasanko. In Jorasanko there were actually two families that were very important. One was the Tagore family and the other was the Singha family.

Interviewed in Oxford, United Kingdom by Kris Manjapra