You actually need a lifetime to discover Rabindranath Tagore | Ayushmann Khurrana's image

You actually need a lifetime to discover Rabindranath Tagore | Ayushmann Khurrana

Apart from acting and singing, Ayushmann Khurrana has been writing poems since he was a child. Here, the actor talks about how he has been inspired by Rabindranath Tagore and has grown up on his works. Over to Ayushmann…

“It was in the year 1997 that I got the second prize in a poetry recitation competition in Chandigarh. I was in the eighth standard. It was a poem penned by me on the environment in Hindi. And the guy who got the first prize was from the MA Hindi department of Punjab University. The inspiration was Rabindranath Tagore who became a prodigy at the age of 16. Being in Punjab, my basic knowledge about Tagore was, as a man who wrote our National Anthem or maybe the first non-European to win a Nobel prize in literature in 1913. I tried reading Geetanjali in English and Hindi as a college student, but couldn’t get the hang of it as it got lost in translation. One Bengali pal described it as an equivalent to listening to Rafi saab singing in English. Sigh! I wish I knew Bengali only to enjoy the great literary works of Tagore. Though with the translations, it is 80% there.

“She is our own, the darling of our hearts, Santiniketan. In the shadows of her trees, we meet in the freedom of her open sky. Our dreams are rocked in her arms. Her face is a fresh wonder of love every time we see her, for she is our own, the darling of our hearts.” — Rabindranath Tagore

Located about 158 km northwest of Kolkata in Bengal’s rural hinterland, Santiniketan embodies Rabindranath Tagore’s vision of a place of learning that is unfettered by religious and regional barriers. Established in 1863 with the aim of helping education go beyond the confines of the classroom, Santiniketan grew into the Visva Bharati University in 1921, attracting some of the most creative minds in the country.

It was in 2004 that I visited Shantiniketan. It was an accidental visit as this was a part of Roadies. Yes, Roadies. I never expected to visit this place being a part of a reality show which was mostly adventure based. Out of all the contestants, I was the only one who was completely fascinated by this place. Smitten by its beauty and progressive stance of this age-old institute. Nobel winner economist Amartya Sen and legendary Satyajit Ray are the famous aluminise. Classes are held in the open. And a pagan (nature lover) like me got immediately connected with this place.

It was in the year 2016 when I was shooting for Meri Pyaari Bindu that I first got to play a Bengali character in my film. That too of a writer. It was an early morning shift on one mundane Monday in Kolkata. The entire city was painted in Mamata Didi’s favourite colour combination of white and blue. At one of the traffic signals, I could hear Rabindra sangeet playing out loud from the speakers. That immediately put a smile on my face. I thought that was a rarity. But I could hear these songs at every signal. Early in t

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