2At times I really feel we are living in an error prone time. It is not easy to perceive a rather straight forward approach about almost anything, contradictions would be too real, confusion almost inevitable. Reading Rabindranath Tagore appears pretty surrealistic, well probably! Reading Tagore might now have become a fashionable thing, a past time only a few can afford. Consequently I am pretty confused about the relevance to recall Rabindranath at times. Maybe it is all about an error of perception, but let us find out how that perceptions can be.


4Is it ever possible to etch a permanent impression in ever fleeting time, say by the poems of ‘Balaka’ by Rabindranath? How does one transgress time? History books in essence records the history of wars, when societies went for turmoil, along with political revolutions or even industrialization. In reality history sets definite time limits; nobody tells us to transgress time except religion. Now ‘Religion’ – why does this crazy concoction still exist in our modern society- that has now become a big question to many. Now, what can the definition of religion be?


6Well the religion says I am a lone traveler among the vast space surrounded in emptiness, with a few stars far off as my companion, and that I have a soul- my companion, often as confused as me in setting values in life, how to move and in what direction.

On the other hand, this sculptured god, himself balancing his act with a smile, is perhaps also compelled now to pick up speed with us, and cannot afford to be stationary anymore! Gone are the massive Sinhasanas, we are now into the age of fleet-footed gods, performing acts of trapeze artists at times, looking at us from his high pedestal rather bemused!


8Rabindranath aspires to touch the truth at some point in some corner of space with a belief that ‘the iota of truth’ will eventually find a place in continuum. So, the black board will essentially remain blank for the newer generations to inscribe their personal versions of truth.


10Does Santiniketan teach us to get beyond the life-style barriers and mix with people to find out the essential character of life? Well, personally ex-students from this place can mix with all strata of life, Santiniketan usually provides that opportunity; but finding the innermost compassion? In my times during 1965-75 in Patha Bhavana, I was perhaps urged to be an individual with nice coordinates; but not exactly a compassionate person to be able to feel the mass within me. We were distinctly a creed apart, something different than the boys of Bolpur! Discrimination? Yes, ofcourse, it was always there; now the barriers have crumbled for a multitude of reasons, and we really do not know what to achieve in the social front apart from perhaps nurturing a typically Santiniketan-i psyche. Err, to be honest I really do not know what this particular ‘psyche’ is, but it exists never the less!


12Answers often remained hard to come across, even for Rabindranath. The perception of truth or error in life resurfaces time and again. These days Rabindranath is termed as a modernist or humanist. Being modern or human in the present intellectual plane essentially means a person who makes us aware about conflicts and contradictions of a complex life. ‘Hope’ is essentially a non-vocabulary in the intellect of the humanist or modernist; as hope remains too abstract or too unreal a parameter to precisely define.

Beauty, however undefined it is, still remains real.

It is nice to touch upon Rabindranath, the poet, at times. Thanks, Shubhashis.



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  1. Shubhashis Mitra says:

    Silali Banerjee:-
    Asadharon !! This time Philosophy instead of Journalism !! Being a student of Physics, you must have studied the “Theory of errors” !!

    These days I hear many bombastic words like gratitude, compassion, inner peace, meditation, purpose, meaning, attainment, kindness that I never heard before. Many discussions and thoughts on what is happiness and many advises on both giving up ego and loving self. All I can say is that pranks apart we were pretty happy, joyful and mostly harmless people with no hatred based on religion and such when we grew up there. No pretense of any saintliness or godliness etc. That was good enough I guess and that should be good enough for for our presents as well.

    Statistically, errors can not be avoided all together. These days psychs say perfectionism is bad for health.

  2. Shubhashis Mitra says:

    Barsanjit Mazumder:-
    This is what Promothonath Bishi said about error “Bhul Korite Sekho”

    Nilanjan Bandyopadhyay:- Opurbo

  3. Shubhashis Mitra says:

    Shubhashis Mitra:
    to Silali Banerjee- Interestingly, what I find most significant is the component of ‘hope’, whether it is embedded in any philosophy or not. Practically ‘hope’ is absent in almost all spheres of the modern thinking. Science in reality is actually based on hope, but philosophy of science has no place for such subjective entity like ‘hope’. Sometimes the feeling can be creepy, in yester-years the religious heads tapped this uncertainty with their preaching. It is a grey area of our times. I think the perceptions start to tread on uncertain path from here, where the probability of error remains pretty high depending on individual interpretation. That is the society we are in now, and this is the society we are leaving for our children.

  4. Shubhashis Mitra says:

    Sukumar Roy:-
    Error is bound to exist in all times whatever progress the society makes. Conventional wisdom rests both on truth & error. Every error need not to be always foolish. Error is the path to perfection ! By then, another new error has appeared & that’s how the society moves….
    Champions keep practising with one to another method until they get it right. A life spent making mistakes is still more honourable than a life spent doing nothing !

  5. Shubhashis Mitra says:

    Priyadarshi Datta:-
    That is how Tagore progressed he was quick to change practice as soon as it turned ‘not good for education’ .

  6. Shubhashis Mitra says:

    Silali Banerjee:-
    to Shubhashis Mitra -There is no our time. I always say the space and time, we grew up in. You will be surprised to find how much stone age beliefs and practiced are still prevailing even in so-called educated people. To make it worse coexisting with modern vices and pretenses, pretty much worst of both worlds. When you see it you get to like a reasonably good environment and way of life more than ever. Imperfections will not look that big! The comparative greatness is great enough!
    Since you studied Physics, time is only the fourth dimension of the space-time continuum, Einstein’s “Special Theory of Relativity”.

  7. Shubhashis Mitra says:

    Shubhashis Mitra:-
    Silali Banerjee- Liked your thoughtful discourse. An related probe- do we have time for philosophy at the present state of existence?

    Sukumar Roy:-
    Sukul da, each one of us wants more time, but normally used badly. Time moves in one direction, opposite to our memory. This delays our forward movement since future takes shape on the basis of present and present is a result of the past & hence accumulation of certain degree of inertia…In a way, time does not change us – it just unfolds us !

    Shubhashis Mitra:-
    Sukumar Roy- What a nice explanation! I was quite un-nerved (literally) by Gurudeva, Rabindranath Tagore’s ability to transgress time at ease,almost at the same breath in his flow of thinking, at those times it is difficult to locate where he belongs- to past, present or future. Its not exactly like the ‘Dhyan’ where time is usually condense into a single point (some may call it eternity). Tagore managed to float at ease between past, present and future, remaining always a Yogi of some inexplicable dimension.

  8. Shubhashis Mitra says:

    Sukumar Roy:-
    Existence of past, present and future only comes, how you define time. In reality, we are actually co-existing with past, present & future. It is impossible to exist in isolation either with past, present or future. Future is already decided at present that took ques from the past. Art is to dis-obey time with your existence that allows you to enter into the domains of eternity. As per laws of physics, no information is lost that captured everything in the past, present & decided-future. It is hence well possible to rest the self in domain/s of eternity & importantly without violating the scientific laws of nature !

    Shubhashis Mitra:-
    to Sukumar Roy- Wow! You said once, it is your pleasure to delve into philosophy now and then. Now, it seems you are quite deep into it. Personally, I hardly ever think much along these lines, rather allow me to just float along with time (in my spare time ofcourse), there might be a theory of free-floating; or some philosophy behind just letting loose-just like that. My small trysts with floating along time at times startles me with realizations completely impersonal…..perhaps I should try to pen down those too sometimes. In the meanwhile we deserve something more elaborate on ‘philosophy of science’ from you- from objective to subjective?

  9. Shubhashis Mitra says:

    Sukumar Roy:-
    Sukul da, Thank u. Yes, there is more to the truth than just the facts, which drives me to philosophy. Everything you can imagine is real somewhere in this cosmos. Your thought process is already real in the quantum world within u, in which all the information are embedded in 2D holograms. The starting point is to believe the self and you’re halfway there !
    Shubhashis Mitra:-
    to Sukumar Roy- Wow! Now you have taken me in my quantum brain space! I do feel that I exist- according to your logic- a real feeling for me to ponder seriously. I really suggest you make a contact with Dr Sumantra Chatterjee, our ex-student, Physicist and working with mysteries of brain in Bangalore only!

    Shyamal Mazumder:-
    “Who would have thought around 1900 that in fifty years time we would know so much more and understand so much less.”
    From Albert Einstein and the Cosmic World Order, by C. Lanczos (Wiley, New York, 1956).

  10. Shubhashis Mitra says:

    Sukumar Roy:-
    Free-floating – some ancient yogis is reported to have practiced. Since we are bolted with gravity in this planet, free-floating, scientifically, could be a situation where the gravity becomes insignificant within the gravity.

    Silali Banerjee:-
    “Briddha mahakal, likhitechhe bishwapatre jeeber khonik itihas.” — Quoting from memory, could be slightly off with words but the idea remains. Which piece is it from anyway ??

    Shubhashis Mitra :-
    To Sukumar Roy-Free floating can easily be a Brownian sort of motion inside a liquid, the liquidity can be a state of human perception where we are suspended eternally. So, in reality we might all be outside the purview of gravity- poets certainly always are, so was Rabindranath.

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