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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'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.