Parjaay: Bhanu Singher Padabali (8)
Written on: 1877
Published in: Bharati
Collection: Bhanu Singha Thakurer Padabali
Notation by: Jyotirindranath Tagore / Sarala Debi
Notes: This song was first published in the year 1877. The Agrahayan number of 'Bharati' came out with this song in 1248B. This is the first song of 'Bhanusingha Thakurer Padabali'. It was penned by Rabindranath at the age of sixteen. The song has been referred to in Jibonsmriti by Rabindranath.
... It was a cloudy afternoon, rejoicing with the overcast interval I eased on the bed with my face down and wrote couple of words on a slate -
It was a kind of euphoria I felt after that. ...
He could find an vintage copy of Geetagovinda by Joydev published by Fort William, while he was accompanying his father in a boat journey in the year 1875. It was evident that he was not capable of enjoying the essence of it by then.
... I don't remember how many times I have tried with it. It was written in a prose form and the main challenge for me was to decipher the metering and read. It was only that day when I could read some of the verses in the proper way, I was particularly glad. ...
He was so impressed with it that he made his own copy of the same. He took almost two years to savour it completely. Afterwards he came in touch with the Prachin Kabya Sangraha (Collection of Vintage Poems) edited by Sarada Charan Mitra and Akshay Sarkar. His elder brother Dwijendranath was a subscriber, although not a regular follower, of the magazine. Rabindranath was keen to follow those poems, written by poets like Vidyapati in Maithili, on his own and not depending on the analysis provided along with. He used to keep notes for the difficult words as soon as he could find one. He was very much concerned about the young British poet Chatterton, which he heard from Akshay Sarkar.
... The dramatic story had seriously affected my imagination. He used to write poems by copying the style from old age poets, and those were beyond experts' apprehension. He had committed suicide only at the age of sixteen. I engaged myself for following Chatterton, albeit brushing aside the unwanted suicide chapter. ...
Hence, it was time to publish. At first it was read to someone who 'had no idea at all', and commenting at the end – 'It seems to be a good one'. It was then taken to someone who, according to him, was really a knowledgeable person, whose name he did not declare. It was represented as a old aged verse that was retrieved from the Brahma Samaj library. The person was so excited that he was determined to salvage a copy of the same for himself. He could certainly tell that poetry of this standard might not have been produced by Vidyapati or Chandidas. Nishi Kanta Chattopadhyay, a distant relative of the Thakurbari, had been to England for some research work., who had also received financial grant from Debendranath while at England. He had penned down a research paper on Indian Lyrical Poems with highest appraisal for the collection of these 'vintage' poems, for which he was even awarded a doctorate from a German university. Nishi Kanta's niece, Charubala was the wife of Surendranath Tagore. This feat of Nishi Kanta was ridiculed at by Rabindranath in his 'Jobonsmriti'.
It is evident from the contemporary literary criticism that this song, along with the other songs of Bhanu Singha Thakurer Padabali had received huge acclimation. Even the experienced critics were deceived and compelled to believe them to have been written by poets of the middle age. They had absolutely no idea of a young man of the contemporary period could have produced it.
The tune of this song appears to be composed by Rabindranath himself as he had already started composing. Prashanta Kumar Pal in 'Rabijiboni' has indicated that the song in its first publication in 'Bharati' (November,1877) was prefixed with the name of the raag - 'Behagra'. This is a typical raag of the 'Bishnupur Gharana' have close resemblance with the well-known raag 'Behag'. The only difference is that komal nishad is used while descending. Rabindranath was very much aquatinted with this form and he had aptly used this form in a number of compositions. The known tune of the song sounds very much like 'Behagra'. It was used in 'Ashrumati' , a play written by Jyotirindranath, where it was indicated as raag 'Jhijhit'. The original tune might have been altered by Jyotirindranath.
Gahana kusumakunja maajhe mridula madhura bangshi baje,
Bisari traasa lokalaje sajani, aao aao lo.
Pinaha charu neela basa, hridaye pranayakusumarasha,
Harinanetre bimala haasa, kunjabaname aao lo.
Dhale kusuma surabhabhara, dhale bihagasurabasara,
Dhale indu amritadhar bimalarajata bhati re.
Manda manda, bhringa gunje, ajuta kusuma kunje kunje
Phutala sajani punje punje bakula juthi jati re.
Dekha, lo sakhi shyamaraay nayane prema uthala jaay -
Madhura badana amritasadana chandramaay nindichhe.
Aao aao sajanibrinda, heraba sakhi shreegobinda -
Shayamako padarabinda bhanusingha bandichhe.
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