Ranu & Bhanu: The Poet and his Muse
Each day Rabindranath Tagore received hundreds of letters. One morning, he received a letter that left him amused. It was a letter from a twelve year old girl named Ranu who complained the poet was not writing any more stories. The tone of the letter aroused the poet's curiosity and he wrote to her. When Madhurilata, the poet's eldest daughter passed away suddenly, he was completely shattered. Struggling silently with his grief he went in search of Ranu, who he had not met till then. When she eventually appeared before him, Rabindranath wondered whether she was an angel who had just descended from the Heaven to soothe his grieving heart. An unusual relationship started between the fifty eight year old poet and the young Ranu. She brought him back memories of his dead sister-in-law, while he in turn became Ranu's very own Bhanu Dada. Even as the poet's own life got entangled with personal, social and political responsibilities, his restless soul cried out for Ranu's soothing touch.
Through her child like innocent love he regained his youthful spirit and creativity and, perhaps, had a glimpse into the world of enduring beauty.
One of the leading Bengali litterateurs of contemporary times, Sunil Gangopadhyay born in Faridpur, Bangladesh obtained a master's degree from Calcutta University. He has worked in several capacities and is presently associated with the Desh magazine. He is the Vice President of the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. Sunil Gangopadhyay's first literary contribution was through poetry. He was the founder editor of Krittivas. It was at the height of his fame as a poet, that he started writing novels. He has received the "Ananda Puraskar" twice and has also been awarded the "Bankim Puraskar". He was given the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1985. His novels have been made into films and have also been serialised for the television. A prolific writer of plays, critical essays and childrens stories, his career spans more than 50 years.
About the Translator
Sheila Sengupta is a freelance translator based in Delhi. She has worked as a Lecturer in Mathematics, and as a corporate executive in a consultancy firm. Sheila Sengupta has translated a collection of poems by Sunil Gangopadhyay titled Murmur in the Woods. She has also translated poems by Mandakranta Sen and Jibanananda Das. Her translations have been published in the Journal of the Sahitya Akademi, the journal of Poetry Society of India and the Parbaas magazine. Her forthcoming work includes a translation of Sunil Gangopadhyay's autobiographical writing - Ardhek Jibon.
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