Rabindranath Tagore’s earnest letter to young fan Amina Mozahar | The Daily Star
04:49 PM, May 08, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:02 PM, May 08, 2021

Rabindranath Tagore’s earnest letter to young fan Amina Mozahar

Rabindra Bhavan, part of the Visva-Bharati university campus in Shantiniketan, has thousands of manuscripts and letters, as the secretary kept copies of the letters Tagore wrote to his fans and admirers. "Tagore also preserved the letters he received, and I came across one such letter two decades ago," shared Bhuiya Iqbal, a retired Bangla professor of Chittagong University.

"The letter was written by Amina Mozahar, a student of Aklam Ahmadia Junior Madrassa. It was sent from Aklam village of Swarupkathi police station in Pirojpur sub-division of the then undivided Bakerganj district, on 13th Joishtho, 1348." Amina did not know Tagore's address and sent the letter to Shantiniketan. At that time, Tagore was in Kalimpong and the letter was redirected to him. "Tagore wrote a reply immediately, and it was dated 17th Joishtho, 1348," shared Iqbal, who has written a number of books revolving around the correspondence between Tagore and his admirers. His books, "Rabindranather Ekguccho Potro, Rabindranath O Musalman Samaj" and "Rabindranath: Tar Chithi, Taka Chithi', focus on Tagore's letters. He found Amina's letter during his research one day, but faced difficulties tracing a copy of Tagore's reply to her.

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Iqbal found out that in his reply to Amina, Tagore had written, "Replied by Gurudev Ashirbad 4/6/40," and he began searching for the lost letter.  It took him around 20 years to collect a photocopy of it. "I collected the contact details of Amina's niece from an acquaintance and she emailed me a copy of the letter," Iqbal said.  In his reply, Tagore earnestly conveyed his blessings for Amina.

After completing her bachelor's and master's from Dhaka University, Amina Mozahar taught at several colleges and joined the East Pakistan Education Service. She also published a number of essays in periodicals like "Saugat", and wrote a textbook, "Bhasha O Birachan". She was first introduced to Tagore's poems through her textbooks and "Chayanika". Over time, she began to feel a kinship with the poet and thought of penning down a letter to him. Although she had requested Tagore to reply, she did not anticipate such a swift response. Her response has been preserved by the words of Kazi Saifuddin Omar in "Swarupkathir Prottonto Polligrame Rabindranather Chithi."

An excerpt from the publication says, "I couldn't read. My whole heart began to tremble again and again. I lay in bed and cried. Baba also wept while performing the Zuhr prayers."

The author is a freelance journalist who likes reading, planning, and scribbling. Write to her at mislammonamee@gmail.com.

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