The American house where Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore stayed 110 years ago, where he translated Gitanjali and exchanged letters with William Butler Yeats, Ezra Pound and other prominent western writers, is now owned by two Bengalis, Kajol Mukherji and Mousumi Datta Roy.
Recently, Kajol Mukherji and Mousumi Datta Roy bought the house built in 1903 from an American gentleman, reports Ananda Bazaar. The previous owner was not ready to sell the house and Kajol and Mousumi had to work hard to convince him.
The house filled with the memory of Rabindranath is located inside the Campus of University of Illinois at Urbana Champion.
Many may have seen the web series titled "Rabindranath Ekhane Kokhono Khete Asheni" (Rabindranath never came here to eat) directed by Srijeet Mukherjee which is an adaptation of popular Bangladeshi mystery story with the same title. However, Rabindranath really came to stay in the house on American soil which is purchased by the two expatriate Bengalis.
The new owners said, the two-story white house with six rooms is built in English Vintage style. "The aesthetic, interior of the house carries an ancient aura with it," added Kajol. The 110-year-old house also features a bathtub and other elements from Rabindranath era.
Moushumi said, "After the Afghanistan incident when German Chancellor recited Rabindranath's poem 'Chitto Jetha Bhayshunyo' (Where the mind is without fear), I wondered, how relevant Rabindranath is in the western world!" She added how the Nobel laureate had tied East with the West and how people around the world can still feel connected to his words.
By owning the house of Rabindranath, Kajol and Mousumi aspires to revitalise the bond between the East and the West tied by Rabindranath.
In 1906, Tagore first came to Urbana to study agricultural economics and stayed there for a few days. In 1912, the poet returned to Urbana again with his wife Pratima Devi and stayed there for six months.
On 7th November 1912 Rabindranath wrote a letter to his brother Jyotirindranath Tagore, which reveals Rabindranath stayed in 508, High Street, Urbana, USA, the house now owned by two Bengalis.
The new owners have not disclosed the purchase rate of this house as they did not want people to associate the priceless asset with monetary value.
Moushumi expressed, every Indian has a right on this house. The new owners want to collect numerous things owned by Tagore and create a museum and archive on that house.