On Saturday, I had the pleasure of appearing at the Vancouver Tagore Society’s
West Coast Tagore Festival 2017.
I was one of eight reading with Ariadne Sawyer of World Poetry and World Poetry Café on Co-op Radio 100.5 FM. Ariadne read her poem “Tribute to Gandhi & Tagore,” then introduced the rest of us. The six ladies on the team each read two lines of the poem in their own language. Each read magnificently.
Together, this comprises the “Woven Tapestry of Word.”
I read the poem “Journey Home” by Rabindranath Tagore, India’s Nobel Prize for Literature winner.
This is the poem:
Journey Home – Poem by Rabindranath Tagore
The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long.
I came out on the chariot of the first gleam of light, and pursued my
voyage through the wildernesses of worlds leaving my track on many a star and planet.
It is the most distant course that comes nearest to thyself,
and that training is the most intricate which leads to the utter simplicity of a tune.
The traveler has to knock at every alien door to come to his own,
and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end.
My eyes strayed far and wide before I shut them and said `Here art thou!’
The question and the cry `Oh, where?’ melt into tears of a thousand
streams and deluge the world with the flood of the assurance `I am!’
The words resonate with me in that I had that long journey of the long, long goodbye with my Ann’s Alzheimer’s. Different journeys to be sure, but spiritually similar, I think. Still learning to deal with the latent sense of guilt and the slow struggle to full acceptance. Experiences like this help.
The event was held in Richmond BC’s Gateway Theatre and what a wonderful theatre it is.
It was hosted by Duke Ashrafuzzeman, a kind and generous soul who, with his team and Saturday co-host Kasturi Guha, worked long and hard to present this professionally done programme.
Duke’s Friday co-host was our talented Bernice Lever.
This great event has helped to open up new horizons for me, who works mostly in isolation, writing, writing, writing. And fighting technology – internet and computer programmes which seem to have been kidnapped and made far more complicated than it need be. Not to mention the multitude of evil-doers who invade and destroy. And the gremlins that have eaten up the whole of my gmail. Tabula rasa.
But this blog is to thank Ariadne Sawyer for inviting me onto the team, and to Duke Ashrafuzzaman and team for demonstrating courtesy, professionalism and open friendship.
I was introduced to this great Indian tradition by Gopakumar Radhakrishnan, who invited be to be a judge for the Rabindranath Tagore Award International 2017 English Language Poetry Contest.
I have been honoured by both events
This is what working together looks like.