I was much flattered when a message from some Ms. Poonam Sagar popped up on my computer screen seeking my ‘permission’ to quote from my articles on Tagore which she discovered in Dr. N. D. Batra’s website for purpose of her contemplated article on the Poet.Though it is quite a few years that my pages are appearing on the said website, I never expected one could approach me for one’s purely literary research though, in fact, people contacted me from ‘ends of the Earth’ spotting me online, courtesy Dr. Batra. But, that is a different story.
Naturally, I guessed that Poonam must be at least Bengali knowing and/or had a Bengali mentor helping her in her Tagore based research but that was also not the case. So, it was clear to me, her literary flair was out of her own inspiration and spontaneous and she would even beat about the bush to discover an aesthetic treasure therein. Naturally, she could not miss Tagore however much Bengalees would treat the Poet as their own fiefdom availing their linguistic advantage. Incidentally I, as a Tagorephile, did translation of some work on Tagore to transmit him out of his Bengalee confinement, however trivially in the context of Tagore’s vast creation,, and long wished to find a suitable custodian and Poonam and/or www.indoindians.com have been my much coveted ‘windfall’. On a cursory glimpse I realized the website was a treasurer of literature, besides Tagore matters, to which I wish a closer look at my convenience and this may be my good pastime. Of course, this is going to be a bonus in addition my capital windfall which befell me just fortuitously.
In fact, I am primarily indebted to Dr. N. D. Batra (Professor of Communications at Norwich University, Vermont, USA) for giving me a foothold in the Cyber world. A copy of my ‘THE ECLIPSED SUN’ (TES) published in January 2002 made way to his University and instantly he took interest in it and published a large part of it in his website “ http://www.globaldiplomat.blogspot.com
It is my great honor that he placed my articles on Tagore side by side with his own brilliant pieces, often on the drastic impact of the Cyber Age on human civilization, a subject on which hardly anybody in India can speak authoritatively. At least, Indians still with an inchoate idea about this rather recent Internet phenomenon should regularly visit his site.
On Jun 11, 2010, Mr. Batra wrote in Times of India as follows –
“Online serendipity indeed can be a blessing. For example, sometime ago a Kolkata writer friend, a translator of Tagore’s poems and songs, sent me a piece which i published on my website more like a message in a bottle than for distribution. But to my great delight the piece was picked up by the Bulletin of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, as part of the 150th anniversary celebration of the poet’s birthday. Nothing is lost once it is in cyberspace and an obscure piece in a blog or social network can reach a universal audience.”
Without naming me, Dr. Batra was speaking of my article titled – “Excerpts from Tagore’s Letters & Diaries.” published in the May 2010 issue of the Bulletin.
I may mention here, Dr. Batra does not know Bengali but has a penchant for Bengali literature, I hardly noticed among the scholarly non-Bengalis. Further, when he had uploaded any piece of mine on his site, he had never done it casually but had attached those with appropriate pictures wherever relevant. My original TES published in January 2002 was rather a lackluster production without any such picture. So, the pictures which may be found in this Internet edition are all Dr. Batra’s contribution and has made it more attractive. It betrays Dr. Batra’s high aesthetic sense and imagination. Of course, Poonam / www.indoindians.com have done a highly commendable job by integrating my materials in Dr. Batra’s site, but without the latter’s background workings, they would find it difficult to give their work such a quality finishing.
My career resume was done by Mr. Tapas Saha which appeared in my original TES. Tapas was my school mate more than six decades back and knowing me intimately, did his job well. So, I have not tried to change his observation.