‘My surname opened many doors’
Veteran actor Sharmila Tagore (above) has said that the Tagore surname is a great privilege and it has opened up many doors for her, referring to her lineage stretching to Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and beyond.
“I have this wonderful surname Tagore, which is my heritage, which has opened many doors for me. It’s been really a privilege to be born in this wonderful household. He unfortunately died in 1941 and I was born in 1944. I missed him by three years,” she said at an event recently.
“Gaganendranath Tagore was my great grandfather. My grandfather was the last one to wear the ‘jobba’ (long robe) as Tagore wore. Rabindranath Tagore taught my mother at Santiniketan and she had lots and lots of stories to say about him,” she added.
The 71-year old recollected that her mother had all Tagore books signed by the poet with little notes. “In my effort to show off, I took some of them to school and lost some of them. My mother forgave me. One them was the first edition of Gora (a Tagore classic). It was so annoying,” she said.
Reminiscing how she was introduced to the works of the great poet, Sharmila said: “I was all of 11 years when I was introduced to Tagore. In class, I was asked to write a poem. I came home and went straight for my mother’s book shelf and found a book caled Adhunik Kobita Sankalan. I went through it and chose a poem that I liked and copied it! And I took it to the school the next day. The teacher asked me, ‘Have you written this?’ I replied, ‘Yes’. Guess what it was! It was Proshno (Question) by Rabindranath Tagore! Of course, I was punished and I had to stand in front of all the classes. But I then thought that it was to my credit that I chose this poem.”