[First published on Friday, February 10, 2006]
Whenever I set foot on Rabindra Sadan metro station, my eyes wander off to either side of the platform. On the walls across railway track, big white panels display Tagore’s writings in both Bengali and English. Immaculate and soul-searching, the writings let you discover the exceptional creative power and intellect of the great poet.
Even while you marvel at Tagore’s creative talent, trains pass at regular interval, devouring and disgorging mass of people. Looking around, it wouldn’t surprise that amid the rush to and fro, none would probably be remotely aware of what exists across the railway tracks.
There’s din everywhere. TVs’, perched high, entertain with high-pitched programs that ricochet off every nook and corner. You suddenly start ruing if it was the right place for those panels. Look closely, and your fear comes true. The panels are not clean, they sport layers of dust like an unshaven face.
And there lies the irony. We worship icons, but do not know how to take good care.