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Elizabeth Brunner

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fairy Tales around

16th June 1996

Elizabeth and her meeting Rabindranath Tagore

 

 

Sunday, the 16th of June 1996

            The workmen, who were suppose to come and work at my brandnew place, had let me down for the third weekend (weekends are the only times, when I am at home, they can work and repair all the water-marks in the rooms the last monsoon had left). So I decided to visit Elizabeth again. I had heard from Laurence that one of her trouble-tooth had been extracted and I wanted to see for myself how Elizabeth really was.

            The weather is most surprisingly strange: No more 'burning dry 49o C', but either 'moist 35o C' or 'moist 40oC'. I had mentally decided that this was the monsoon, though much too early. It was too humid and it rained too much for the time of the year. The birds also behaved strangely, flying very low, and I often watched them coming from nowhere just missing my car when I drove. This had not happened before. The humidity was too high. I believed all, men and beast, were suffering from some kind of equilibrium-shock because of this unprecedented weather.

            It thundered and rained all the way from Haryana to Rabindra Nagar.   -   Elizabeth sat on her bed, as usual, but her eyes where far away. She had only mild pain from the tooth-extraction at the moment. She told me that she believed, two more teeth would have to come out eventually.   -   Still, we enjoyed being together, once again, and I could watch how Elizabeth gradually became more lively in my presence.

            As Elizabeth was also willing to talk into the microphone, Dagmar asked her: "I would like to know how you caught Tagore that way, in that middle painting there, where he is reading a book. He looks as if he is in bed." But Elizabeth retorted, "in an easy-chair on the veranda of the 'small house'!   -    He would sit there and read and have a little nap. His hands would not move. He remained in the same position, he was not fidgity at all. And usually he dressed in a colourful kurta (an Indian gentleman's shirt)." Dagmar said, "how lovely. Sit a little and sleep a little. Just like you do these days."

..."Tagore looks as if he is in bed...

                Sir Rabindranath Tagore was born on 06.05.1861 in Calcutta and died 07.08.1941 also in Calcutta. He was one of India's greatest writer, painter, composer and philosopher.

                He founded the international university 'Visva Bharati' in Santiniketan(a few of hours train journey from Calcutta) where he tried to eternalize his ideals of a world citizenship. 

                Famous are his 'Rabindra Sangeets' and dance dramas. His songs and dances enchant the spectators with their free and flowing style (in comparison to conventional Indian music and dance).  

                He had three daughters and two sons. Unfortunately his wife Menalini passed away already at the age of 29, in the year 1902.  

                He was awarded the Nobel Price for Literature in 1913.  

                It is, perhaps, interesting to note that Tagore's birthday - seventh of May -  was Elizabeth's mother's and father's wedding day.  

 

 

 

Tagore's brother Jorashanko Scenes in Santiniketan

 
     

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Copyright Dagmar Barua 1997 Sass Brunner East West Trust, 75, Rabindra Nagar, New Delhi - 110 003