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Thursday, April 21, 2016

132nd Death Anniversary Of Kadambari Devi

Today is 21 April - 132nd Death Anniversary of Tagore's 'Natun
Bouthan' Kadambari Devi. She attempted to commit suicide by taking
overdose of opium on 19 April, 1884 and passed away just two days
later 21 April, 1884 at Jorasanko Thakur Bari.

When she died, Rabindranath was 23 and her age was 25. She was not
only Tagore's sister-in-law, she was his friend and playmate too. And
above all, within total 16 year's friendship she became the "total
support" of the poet's life. Much later, in the year 1917 the poet
wrote to another poet Amiya Chakraborty: "Once, when I was about your
age, I suffered a devastating sorrow, similar to your's now. A very
close relative of mine committed suicide, and she had been my life's
total support, right from childhood onward. And so with her unexpected
death it was as if the earth itself receded from beneath my feet, as
though the skies above me all went dark. My universe turned empty, my
zest for life departed."

Kadambari Devi helped much adolescent Rabindranath to grew as a poet
and in return the poet gave her a nickname 'Hecate' - The Greek
goddess of Moon. And Tagore dedicated more books to his 'Hey' than any
other. In his poem 'Rahur Prem' the poet confessed his love for 'Hey'
by this way: "From the very beginning of time, you have been my
partner because I am your shadow. You could better see me in your
smile and tears... You will be surprised to see me gazing on your face
in the pitch darkness when you are wrapped in a blanket of despair...

Tagore even admitted to the artist Nandalal Basu when he was in his
late seventies that it was Kadambari's eyes which lay behind the
hundreds of haunting portraits of women he painted in old age. One can
feel the presence of poet's 'Hey' in every poem and song based on
love. And for this reason, Kadambari Devi is still alive after 132nd
years of her death anniversary.

A. B.

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