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Sunday, May 27, 2012

[mukto-mona] [Rabindranath & Nazrul] Relationship of Mutual Love & Respect Between Two Legendary Poets of Bangla

The advent of Nazrul into the world of Bengali literature occurred at such a time when Rabindranath Tagore has already made his mark as a poet of the universe and surpassed the age of 50. But to everyone's utter surprise Nazrul, although took birth on such an age that was dominated by Rabindranath, not only made his appearance felt emphatic within a little period of time but also proved that, he was a star capable enough to be illuminated by his own light without being overshadowed by Tagore's. And which is why it took only a year or so to make him a crony to Tagore which could not be achieved by any other poets of that time.
There was a huge disparity between the two poets both in their lifestyle and the way of practice of literature. The language of their poetry were not the same, they had different tones. Rabindranath is the forerunner, paving ways and Nazrul, the follower of the path but exclusively distinctive. Beside all these differences there are still few things that they both shared. Both of them stirred up by the rebellious songs drenched in love for humanity. In astrological views both of them were born in May. If we consider the Bengali calendar there we can also find the similarities. Rabindranath marks his appearance in Baisakh and to pay respect to the senior, Nazrul steps in on the next Jaistha.
Again, Rabindranath makes his departure in Sravan and to maintain the pattern of the birth, Nazrul leaves in Vadra. No, it is not my intention whatsoever to discuss these trifle similarities and dissimilarities of these two poets in this article, rather I would try next to clarify the intimacy that grew over time between these two great, despite their huge differences in both age and popularity.

Will it be sounding exaggerating if I say that Nazrul is the brainchild of Rabindranath Tagore? Then what possibly could Rabindranath cherished by –

"Je ache matir kachakachi
(He who is close to the soil)
Se kabir banir lagi kan pete achi"
(I am all ears to hear from that poet)

Isn't Nazrul the poet from the soil as craved by Tagore?

Rabindranath writes -

"Ayre nabin ayre amar kancha
(Come along the juvenile, the greens)
adh marader gha mere tui bancha"
(strike and Save those who are half-lived)

And the responsibility of waking up the people living in sheer distress under the colonial subjugation was automatically devolved upon Nazrul and which he accomplished with utmost sincerity.

Rabindranath writes –

"Bhang bhang bhang kara
(unbolt unbolt unbolt the prison)
aghate aghat kor"
(beat when beaten)

Nazrul chanted the song of breaking of the shackles.

Rabindranath called for giving voice to the tongue-tied people, asked to show the light of hopes to the hearts of millions that was tired, dried and broken. Nazrul responded immediately through his writings.

Tagore urged Nazrul to give a wake up call to those millions dozing in content, by making a fiery bridge in the darkness and posting the victorious pennant at the apex of the fort of bad times. Nazrul reacted by his fiery writings in 'Dhumketu' or the comet.

In his dedication message of the book 'Vasant' or 'The Spring', Rabindranath Invited Nazrul to the festivities of songs of upheaval. Nazrul accepted the invitation with jubilation and jolted the nation by his ballads. Long before Nazrul wrote his 'Agnibina', Rabindranath, the poet with prophetic views wrote –

"Agnibina bajao tumi kemon kore?"
(How do you play the fiery lute?)

that took the hearts of millions and Nazrul by writing 'Agnibina' and playing it added blazing fire to that tune.

In his childhood Nazrul was amongst the staunch admirers of Tagore. It is told that sometimes he used to adore Tagore by garlanding his portrait with flowers. There is a tale prevalent that signifies his sheer admiration towards Tagore at his teens. Nazrul was then a student of Searsole Raj High School. On one afternoon at the school playground, one of Nazrul's classmate was criticizing Tagore, that irked Nazrul so furiously that he hurled a piece of brick at the head of the boy who was making the comments and injured him seriously. The matter turned so severe that the local police had to act in and as a punishment Nazrul was to be in the prison for couple of hours.

In time of his posting in Karachi and at the milieu of his friends at Kolkata, Nazrul was always found captive of the songs of Tagore. Whenever he had to attend a meeting, he sang from tagore's. Rabindranath was all around his heart. In fact Nazrul's love and respect towards Tagore knew no bounds. Even the language that was used in Nazrul's wedding card of invitation for his controversial first marriage with Nargis on Ashar,3 1328, he resorted to Tagore's poem that said

"Jagater purohit tumi e jagat majhare
(You are the preacher of the world)
Ek chai ekere paite
(one wants to get one)
Dui chai ek hoibare"
(Two wants to be one.)

On the contrary, Kazi Nazrul Islam, the just deported havildar from the front manages to seize the eye and affection of Tagore within just one year of his literary works. This was a rare opportunity for Nazrul.

The father of Rabindranath Tagore was a kind of man who read 'Hafiz'. The thoughts of Sufism was thus a natural consequence to descended upon Rabindranath. Nazrul's poem 'Ashay' was published on 'Prabashi' of it's Poush circulation on 1326 which was based on 'Hafiz'. It was only then that Nazrul caught the eyes of Rabindranath. But Satyendranath Dutta's statement on this issue significantly shows that Nazrul was able to catch Tagore's eyes from the very beginning of his writings. When Satyendranath made his first acquaintance with Nazrul at the house of Gajendrachandra Ghosh on 38, Cornwallis Street, he gave Nazrul a deep embrace and blurted out "You have brought new waves, we are the non-entities, you have mesmerized the Gurudev (Tagore)"."Did Gurudev read my writings?" the only question that could come out off Nazrul, completely awe stricken by emotion. Satyendranth continued "It was Gurudev himself that once asked me whether I have read poems of Nazrul, and according to him your literature coupled with mysticism is bringing a new era to our literature". "It was said by Gurudev?" Nazrul could not finish his words in astonishment (as recollected by Pabitra Ganguly).

There were many occasions when Nazrul directly came in touch with Rabindranath. I'm going to talk about two incidents here. It is found from the writings of Nishikanto Roy Chowdhury that in the month of October of 1921 Nazrul came to Shantiniketan with Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah. Sudhakanta Roy Chowdhury, PS to Rabindranath also an admirer of Nazrul introduced him to the poet. He was also given the responsibility of taking care of Nazrul at Shantiniketan. Nishikanta Chowdhury, the brother of Sudhakanta Roy Chowdhury writes about Nazrul's visit to Shantiniketon along with Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah and his meeting with Rabindranath "The two strangers quite easily caught the eyes of Rabindranath sitting beside him. Indexing his finger to one of the strangers my elder brother Sudhakanta told me - 'look there is poet Kazi Nazrul Isalm'. The one sat beside Nazrul in Fez with beards of an admixture of black and white, told Rabindranath, "Mr. Kazi has sung almost all of your songs from Geetanjali for me on the train to here". Kabiguru said "Is that so! Hasn't he got an amazing memory power! Even I can not remember all the songs from my Geetanjali". Mr. Kazi told, "Gurudev I would like to hear a song and a recitation of your poem in your own voice." Gurudev quipped by saying, "How come! It was me on the otherhand who have long been waiting to hear your own songs and recitals. Now lets get started". Without a moments hesitation Nazrul recited from his poem "Agomony"".

But Nazrul's meeting with Rabindranath at Jorasako house in Kolkata is believed to be their first ever rendezvous as mused from the narration of Sabitri Prosanna Chatterjy. As she writes -

"I have seen people who have come to meet Rabindranath at Jorasako, to maintain a very low profile, no matter how famous they would be, have also seen very highly skilled orators take hiccups to talk before Rabindranath. But Nazrul's appearance to the Thakur house has been like a storm. Many told him, 'you cannot show your exuberance at Jorashako, in fact you won't find the courage to talk there dominantly'. But Nazrul proved that he was able to do that. Which is why one morning he stepped into Tagore's room making an ado saying "De gurur pa dhuiye" (wash the legs of Guru). But the poet, already aware of the ebullient nature of Nazrul did not let an iota of disgruntlement to fall upon his face."

Later there has been many occasions when Nazrul had direct interactions with Rabindranath. Had exchanges of their views. Although their relation went through different circumstances, but there had never been a crack in the fundamental relationship based upon mutual respect and affection. Rather the warmth and depth of that relation multiplied gradually over time. On the 6th of January 1922 when 'Bidrohi'(Rebel) was published for the first time in the weekly 'Bijli', the first thing Nazrul would do is to take a copy of it and rush to Tagore's house and recite it for him. On this context Avinash Chandra Vattacharya, the Manager of 'Bijli' writes - '...the next day Nazrul took four copies of 'Bijli' saying, 'taking it to Guruji'. In the evening Nazrul explained his venture to the house of Rabindranath in detail. 'I went to his house and started to yell at saying 'Guruji..Guruji'. From the upstairs Rabindranath asked, 'what's wrong with you Kazi? why are you yelling like an ox?' 'I am here to kill you Guruji, to kill you. Rabindranath retorted 'what's all about killing me, come upstairs and have a sit.' Nazrul got upstairs and told Tagore that, 'yes I am here to kill you, now sit down and listen.' Nazrul started to recite 'Bidrohi' from 'Bijli' aloud, standing in front of Tagore making vigorous movements of his body. When he was finished Rabindranath found himself in a state of trance and gazed at the face of Nazrul for some indefinite period of time and when he got his senses back he woke up from his chair and took Nazrul to his chests and uttered 'yes Kazi you are really out to kill me'.

On August 1922 when Nazrul published his half-weekly 'Dhumketu', he telegramed Tagore asking him to send a blessing message for 'Dhumketu'. The poet with foresights readily understood the inherent meaning of 'Dhumketu' and wrote an article for 'Dhumketu' that naively bore specific directions of politics and of mass upsurge.

"Ai chole aire dhumketu
(come along the comet)
Andhare Bandh Agnisetu
(tie the fiery bridge in darkness)
Durdiner ei durhgashire uriye de tor bijoy keton
(post your pennant at the apex of the fort of bad time)
Alukkhone tilok rekha
(ominous sign)
rater bhale hokna lekha
(let be written on the fate of the night)
jagiye dere chamak mere
(wake them up in a flash)
Ache jara ardha chetan."
(those who are dozing)

Rabindranath did not forget to add "Kazi Nazrul Islam Kallyanieshu" (May goods be with you Kazi Nazrul Islam) in the top of the letter. This blessing letter became customary for 'Dhumketu' to publish on the top of it's editorial column of its every circulation since its very first appearance. More later when 'Langol' was brought out under the guidance of Nazrul, Rabindranath sent the following blessing letter for the inaugural copy of 'Langol'-

"Jago Jago Balaram, Dhara taba moru-bhanga hal
(wake up Balaram, hold the helm broken in desert)
pran dao, shakti dao, stabdha karo byartho kolahol."
(infuse life, give strength, foil the fruitless ado)

In 1923 when Nazrul started his hunger strike in the prison of Hoogli, Rabindranath was then staying at Shilong. When he heard of Nazrul, he became restless and telegrammed him from Shilong where he requested Nazrul to give up the hunger strike saying - "Give up your hunger strike, Our literature claims you." But unfortunately the telegram did not reach the hands of Nazrul. Because the telegram was addressed to the Presidency Jail, while Nazrul was jailed in Hoogli. Rabindranath was not aware of the fact that Nazrul was shifted to Hoogli from Presidency earlier. In a letter to his son Rathindranath Thakur, Rabindranath later clarified the matter - "I sent a telegram to Nazrul Islam at the address of Presidency Jail. I told him to give up the hunger strike as our literature needs him. The jail authority has sent me a memo stating that the addressee could not be found. In fact they did not want to convey my message to him because although Nazrul was not in the Presidency Jail, but they must had the cognizance of his whereabouts. So actually they do not want to stop Nazrul from committing suicide."
In the trial of 'Dhumketu', Nazrul earned the respect from his fellow countrymen by accepting the option to go to the Jail. Even Rabindranath Tagore himself stepped forward to show his immaculate love and affection towards Nazrul by dedicating his lyrical ballad 'Vasant' to Nazrul. It is to note that this was for the first time when Tagore dedicated a book towards anyone away from his family members. It was February the 22nd 1923 when Tagore dedicated his book to Nazrul, who was then a prisoner of the Alipur Central Jail. In his dedication message the poet writes - "Sreeman Kabi Nazrul Islam Snehobhajaneshu" (Dear poet Kazi Nazrul Islam).
The point to note here is that Rabindranath had a hidden intention for adding the title 'poet' before beginning the letter. Because by that time there had been many Hindu poets and literateurs who still could not acknowledge Nazrul as a 'poet'. Rabindranath thus sent them a chilling answer by certifying Nazrul as a poet. Rabindranath called in his friend Pabitra Gangopadhaya and handed over to him a copy of 'Vasant' duly signed by him and said - "Nazrul has brought Spring to the life of the nation. This is why I have dedicated 'Vasant' to Nazrul. I would have been very happy to give it to him personally, But as I could not make it by myself, I thought you would be the right person to take it to him. You give it to him on behalf me and tell him not to be sorry for I could not give him this by my own hands. My blessings be always with him. And tell him not to stop writing poems ever. There may be many soldiers found to fight but we also need poets to inspire them to fight."

The gesture of meanness that was shown by the few Hindu poets and literateur that girdled Rabindranath by protesting his dedication of 'Vasant' to Nazrul had their faces unmasked overtly by Pabitra Gangopadhaya, also a Hindu by religion in his article 'Kabi Swikrity' (Certification of Poet).

This dedication message played a significant role in allaying the sufferings of Nazrul in the prison. Later Nazrul wrote about the matter - 'In that time Rabindranath dedicated his play 'Vasant' towards me. His blessings of dedication subdued all my sufferings and anguish in the jail.' It was learnt from the book of Pabitra Gangopadhaya that, 'Highly exulted, Nazrul pressed 'Vasant' to his chest and started to dance in excitement in the jail room. His madness was so violent that even the big officers of the jail had to run in to see the matter of the fuss. It is told that the receiving of 'Vasant' inspired Nazrul to write "Sreeshti shukher ullashe" (In the joy of creation).

Rabindranath sometimes commented on Nazrul, compared someone with him, and sometimes suggested while talking with him. These trifle incidents also proves the intimate relationship of these two poets and specially the inundation of affection of Rabindranath towards Nazrul.
On the month of June 1931, the two poets had a meeting in Darjeeling where they talked for long. The editor of 'Varshabani' Jahanara Begum writes- "Once Kabi da was with us for two months in Darjeeling. Rabindranath Tagore was also staying in Darjeeling at that time with his family along with Dinendranath, Pratima Devi, and Moitrei Dev. Kabi da made several visits to the Gurudev's place along with us. There he used to discuss with Dinendranath about music and poetry specially the comparative discussions on melody of Arabic and Persian tunes and ghazals."

The Rabindra Biographer Prabhat kumar Mukhopaddhya writes - "This time it was Nazrul Islam, Playwright Manmoth Roy and music artist Akhil Niyogi came to Darjeeling for traveling purpose. As a spokesperson Nazrul led a big team there to meet Rabindranath. The poet seemed to be very happy to find Nazrul amongst them and they discussed in length about many things for long." (from 'Lekhay lekhay roilo aral' - Compiled by Abdul Mannan Syed). Music artist Akhil Niyogi in his memorabilia titled "Rabindra Sreetikatha" elaborated Nazrul's meeting with Rabindranath in Darjeeling in detail - "We could never think that we will find these two poets together there in Darjeeling
that day the poet (Rabindranath) talked effervescently. His joys seemed to go unbridled to find Nazrul by his side. Many subjects came up in their discussion. What sort of songs Nazrul was writing in those days, what kind of songs were being sung in the theatres, if new literature works were being created, what was the actual condition of the plays in the country - were the main topics that the two poets talked about. Besides, they also talked about the foreign literature. Rabindranath requested Kazida to visit Shantiniketan. Kazida replied 'ofcourse I shall go'" (from 'Lekhay lekhay roilo aral' - Compiled by Abdul Mannan Syed).

The Darjeeling chapter of Rabindra-Nazrul also proves that, 'Shanibarer Chithee' (Letter of Saturday) and Sajanikanto Das no matter how much did they try, failed to succeed in embittering the relationship between Rabindranath and Nazrul. Many may get shocked I know, but it in fact is true.

In the Darjeeling peaks of Himalayas the genius of Rabindranath met with the genius of Nazrul. In this interview Rabindranath meekly stated that, 'Kabi holo amar treetiyo pakkho...ei bohirmukhi jhotikaborter paraspar karakamponer etihash aro nibir'(The poet is my third counterpart....the history of the mutual handshaking of these two outward storms are more deeply laid). He (Nazrul) asked, 'well, when you have been to Italy, did you ever meet Dananatsiour?' The poet laughed out childishly and replied, 'how would I meet him? He is more a mad than you.'.. (from Lekhay Lekhay Roilo Aral - Compiled by Abdul Mannan Syed).

When Rabindranath's 'Gora' was filmed, Nazrul played the role of its music director. The film contained songs both from Tagore and Nazrul. Viswabharati initially denied to issue the clearance certificate for the film. When the news was heard by Rabindranath, he himself wrote down the clearance certificate for the film.
Nazrul in his last ever recital of the poem titled "Aar jodi banshi na baje" (if the flute is not played again), on the occasion of a reception organized for him in Kolkata said, 'Rabindranath often used to tell me, 'Look unmad (crazy) a big tragedy like Shelly is waiting for you, you better get prepared'.

Nazrul in the beginning of his article featured 'Hindu-Musalman' writes - 'once I was having a discussion with Rabindranath on my problem pertaining Hindu-Muslim crisis. Gurudev told me, 'look, the tail that is lying outside is easy to cut, but who will cut the tail laid inside.'

On the Asar of 1338 Nazrul once again went to Darjeeling and met Tagore. This time, the editor of 'Varsabani' Jahanara Chowdhury accompanied him. Rabindranath and Nazrul both happened to be the regular writers for 'Varsabani'.

For several times Rabindranath and Nazrul exchanged letters between them. The rhetoric of these letters purports the fact that the relation of these two poets was very deeply rooted. On one hand there was no limitation in affection of Rabindranath for Nazrul, on the other hand Nazrul's reverence towards Rabindranath was unconstrained. On 1935 Nazrul wrote to Rabindranath asking him for an article for the 1st yearly issue of the second year of weekly 'Nagarik' published from Kolkata. Rabindranath in his answer to Nazrul on the August of that year writes –

I was very happy to find the letter from you. You have demanded something - It is very difficult for me to decline your request. My problem is, it is long far away for you to turn seventy-five, which is why you do not have any mercy for my weakening and enfeebling body. Had I a mantra to change your age, you would have learned. But unfortunately the days of Mahabharata have gone long away. Now human society is to live saving itself away from the touch of science. You are a juvenile poet, what this ancient poet can ask off you is pity. Do not embarrass the meager by begging off him. On this new age, the pilgrims of the literature have to collect their offerings from their very own. I heard that you took birth in Bardhaman. We live in the district next to it. If you ever can cross the border and come to our side, I shall be very happy. You can have my position seen in your own eyes.'

Affectionate Rabindranath
15 Bhadra, 1342

Nazrul grew highly emotional to have this letter and answered to the letter by writing a poem titled - 'Teertho Pathik'(stroller of pilgrimage). The poem was published in 'Nagorik' on its 1st yearly issue of the second year. The first stanza of the poetry is –

"He kabi, he hrishi antarjami, amai korio khama
(O the poet, the hermit, the mind-reader, perdon me)
Parvat shama shata dosh-truti o charane holo jama
(Hills of vices piled up on your feet)
jani jani tar khama nei, dev tobu keno mone jage
(know that there is no excuse for that, nevertheless why does it creep up in my mind, lord)
tumi maharshi koriacho khama ami chaibar age
(you are the great holy man that condoned me before I pleaded)
tumi shrostar sreshto srishti bishwer bishmoy
(you are the best creation of God, surprise to the world)
taba guno-gane bhasha-shur jeno shob hoye jay loy."
(I lose my language whenever I chant hymns on you
Either directly or indirectly for many times the name or the subject of Rabindranath Tagore came in to the poetry of Nazrul. Several lines can be quoted from poet's 'Amar Koifiyot' as an example.
Such as –

"Guru kon, 'Tui korechish shuru tolower diye dari chacha?'
(Guru says you have started shaving your face by swords)
'tobu jodi katha shone se pagal.'
(nevertheless had the mad listened)
'manilona rabi gandhire.'
(even Rabi did not listen to Gandhi)
'mathar upore jolichen rabi, royeche sonar shata chele.'
(Rabi is burning over the head, hundreds of golden boys are also there)

Similarly there are two incidents where the name of Tagore is found. One of the poem titled 'Mreeto tara' (the dead star) –

'Rabi o Sharatchandra biraje je gogon majhe',
(Rabi and Sharatchandra are on the sky)
'rabi o chandra temni joliche
(The sun and the moon are glowing like that)
daniche temni alo'.
(pouring light on us)

There is no scope of confusion that the 'Guru' in 'Guru kon', the first stanza of the poem refers to Rabindranath himself. It was Rabindranath that sometimes remonstrated or joked with Nazrul by comparing his poem to shaving by swords.

In answer to Tagore's poem '1400 saal' (year 1400) Nazrul composed another poem having the same title. Nazrul wrote several parodies based on either full or the part of a song or poetry of Rabindranath. Nazrul's parody on Tagore's song –

'tomari gehe palicho snehe tumi dhonno dhonno he',
(you are really great as for fostering them in affection in your house...)

was written at a time when he got very annoyed by the misbehavior of the Jail super of Hoogli, which was parodied as –

'tomari jele palicho thele tumi dhonno dhonno he.'
(you are really great as for fostering them in affection in your jail...)

Once Rabindranath had a dinner with few English men. On this event Nazrul wrote –

'Kalote Dhalote mileche bhalo mondo medur hawa
(The black and whites have made a good blend)
aami dekhi nai kobhu dekhi nai emon dinner khawa'.
(I have never seen such a fine dinner party)
But the group associated with 'Saturday's Letters' with all their efforts to break up this charming and cordial relationship between Rabindranath and Nazrul eventually failed in the long run. But once Nazrul was in discord with Rabindranath about the use of the Persian word 'Khun' (blood) in bengali. There is no such evidence that Rabindranath opposed the use of the word 'khun' only to antagonize Nazrul. The act of the instigation by the abettors afflicted Nazrul. This trifle event is still famous as 'Khuner Mamla' (Case of Blood). It was Promoth Chowdhury who took the initiative to alleviate the differences between the two poets. He took Nazrul to Tagore and reinstated their cordial relationship back. Promoth Chowdhury was successful to demonstrate that even Rabindranath in several of his articles used the Farsi word 'khun'.

Rabindranth did not posses only loves for Nazrul but also gave enough importance to him. His request to Nazrul to score and direct the music for the film based upon his renowned novel 'Gora' in 1936 bears the evidence of the fact. Nazrul performed the responsibility with sincerity.

Nazrul's poems are the best possible manifestation of his true reverence towards Rabindranath. Between 1935 and 1942 he wrote a good number of poems on the subjects that circles around Rabindranath that cannot be discussed within this short span of space. Nevertheless I can't stop myself but to cite a few parts from those poems.

On the last 25th Baisakh before the death of the poet, Nazrul composed a poem for Rabindranath titled 'Asru Pushpanjali' ( wreath of tears). Here are the few lines from that poem –

"Charanibinde laho asru pushpanjali
(accept the wreath of tears at your feet)
He Rabindra taba deen bhakta e kabir
(from the poor admirer of yours o Rabindra)
Ashiti barshiki taba janma utshabe
(on your eightieth birthday)
Ashiachi nivedite neeraba pronam
(have come to pay my homage)
he kabi samrat, ogo sreeshtir bishmoy".
(O the emperor of the poets, the wonder of creations)

On another poem Nazrul delineates a transparent picture of the rare merits of the poet of the universe –

"Manush e preethibite antare bahire
(men in this world both inside and outside)
kata she udar kata nirmal modhur
(how generous, pure and sweet they are)
kata priyojan prem-ras-sikta-tonu
(surrounded by dear ones full of love)
kata se sundar hote pare sharbarupe
(as many way as they could be beautiful)
bigraha tomar gorechilo ogo kabi.'
(created the portrait of you)
Nazrul gratefully remembered the event of the dedication of 'Vasant' to him by Tagore. Acknowledging the gift from the ancestor he writes –

"He sundar bonhi-dagdha more buke tai diyechile basanter pushpito malika
(O beautiful you have placed floral wreaths of spring on my blazed heart)
ekatha tumi janite he kabi mahahrishi tomar bidyut jhata ami dhumketu
(you knew that your electric glows are nothing but me the comet)
agooner foolki holo fagooner fool
(sparking fires are the flowers of spring)
agnibeena holo bajara kishorer benu
(fiery lute being the flute of the thunderous youth)
he ras-shekher kabi taba janmadine
(o the poet of humor on your birthday)
ami koye jabo more naba janma katha.
(I shall keep telling the tale of my new birth)
In his poem 'Kishore Kobi' Nazrul prays –

'Ogo o param rudra kishore
(O terrible youth)
tomar jabar age
(before you depart)
nirjib nidrito e bharat jeno go banhi rage
(the languid, sleeping India may be)
ranjito hoye othe
(colored in blazing tune)
Asurer bheeti jeno chole jay
(so the fear of 'Asur' is removed)
ogo sahay-sundar, paro proloy nupur pay
(O beautiful, wear the anklet of upheaval)
tomar je mahashakti kebol gyan-bilashir ghare
(the might of yours is only in the house of those enriched by knowledge)
ananta rupe rashe anande nitto poriche jhore
(is pouring down in the form of eternal joy and happiness)
greehaheen aganan bhikkhook khudhatur taba dware
(the starving and houseless beggars are at your doorstep)
bhikkha chahiche daya karo boli bare bare.'
(begging, have mercy on them, I appeal to you again and again)
On Sraban 22 1941, when Rabindranath breathed his last, Nazrul was petrified in shock so that he had lost a member of his family. That day in the human-sea at Jorasako, Nazrul was being followed by our former president Justice late Abu Sayeed Chowdhury. "The poet was sitting on a tool and looked bereaved, pale faced'. The late justice recollected this event while speaking on Nazrul on an occasion. Nazrul could not speak out of sadness". The 'Rabi-devout' poet composed his poem 'Rabi-hara' right on that day. Nazrul's life-long house-aid Kishore Shah told later - 'After returning home that day, Nazrul frantically recited 'Rabi-hara' in front of a mirror.' On the same evening the poem was telecasted on the Kolkata Radio in Nazrul's voice. Few lines of the poem is given here –

"Dupure rabi poriache dhole anta pather kole
(The mid-day sun droops down to the lap of eternal road)
sraboner megh choote elo dale dale udas gagan tale
(the up clouds of 'Sravan' came in dancing)
biswer rabi bharater kabi
(the Rabi of the universe, poet of India)
shyam banglar hridoyer chobi
(the image of Bengal)
tumi chole jabe bole.
(for you will go away)
tomar garobe garob korechi, dharare bhebechi shara
(...have taken pride of you, took everything for granted)
bhooliya giyachi kloibba deenata upabash khudha jara
(forgot all sorts of poverty and and wants)
mathar upore nitto jolite tumi surjer mato
(you were lighting on our head like the sun do)
tomari garobe bhabite parini amra bhagyahato.
(boasting on you we were oblivious of our despair)
bangali chara ki haralo bangali
(what Bengalis has lost - except the Bengalis)
keho boojhibena aar
(no one will realize)
Bangla chara e preethibite eto uthibena hahakar.
(without the Bengal no one will mourn in the world)
...amra tomare bhebechi sree
(we took you to be the blessing)
bhagabaner ashirvad
(from the God)
she ashish jeno loy nahi kore mrityur abashad'
(may not that blessing be withered away with your demise)

According to Nazrul researcher Dr. Rafiqul Islam - "Nazrul's respect and reverence towards Rabindranath was immaculate, cordial and passionate". Nazrul has always testified himself as a admirer and devotee of Rabindranath.

On the other hand there was no impurities in Rabindranath's love and affection for Nazrul. Defying all the criticisms and the browbeats from the anti Nazrul quarters when Rabindranath dedicated his lyrical ballad 'Vasant' to Nazrul, it was that day when it was decided that how close a man Nazrul was to Rabindranath. Bengalis will remember the inseparable relationship of Rabindrnath and Nazrul for ages with respect. The example of this relationship will motivate the future poets and literatures to grow friendship and respect towards each other for eternity.
[About the author: The writer Sheikh Muhammad Nurul Islam is a Nazrul researcher and an ex-journalist of 'Daily Dinkal' in Bangladesh. His works on Nazrul includes two books titled 'Nazrul Jiboner Asruto Kahini' and 'Nazrul Jibone Tragedy'. He also got numerous articles and research works published on various journals and newspapers. Presently he is suffering from 'Parkinsons Disease' and passing most of his time at his home.]
Rabindranath Thhakur and Jawaharlal Nehru, engaged in deep conversation on November 4, 1936 at the Sylvan retreat of the poet at Bolpur.
Mahatma Gandhi's promise of meeting Rabindranath Thhakur annually is honored when he visited him at Shantiniketan in this February 20, 1940 picture. Here Thhakur is in rapt attention to what Mahathma Gandhi is saying.
Poet Rabindranath Thhakur reclining in his bed in a railway compartment at Howrah station when he left for Shantiniketan after recovery from his illness. This photo was published on November 22, 1940.
A remarkable portrait of Rabindranath Thhakur taken during his last visit to Poona. This photograph is taken by S.P. Bhide who entered it in a Weekly Photographic Competition. This photo was published on December 25, 1932.
Sir Maurice Gwyer, Rabindranath Thhakur, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan come out from Sinha Sadan, Shantiniketan after the Oxford University Convocation on August 7, 1940.
Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba at a reception given by Rabindranath Thhakur at Shantiniketan in this February 20, 1940 picture.
Thhakur during his tour of the West in 1921.
In this rare photograph from The Hindu's archives, Helen Keller, the blind American author and labor rights activist, greets Rabindranath Thhakur at a meeting in New York in 1930. Tuesday, May 8, 2012, marked the culmination of the year-long 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Gurudev.
Rabindranath Thhakur, when in Berlin, paid a visit to Professor Albert Einstein in his cottage at Caputh near Berlin, where the two world famous men had an enjoyable time in this August 24, 1930 picture.
Muhammad Wohidul Islam
(LLM, Harvard Law School)
Legal Counsel
Qatar Investment Authority (QIA)