The White Lotus

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Author: Jaya Varma
Pages: 416
Year of Publication: 2011
Price: HB Rs 500, FB Rs 400
HB 978-93-5045-000-0 (9789350450000)
FB 978-81-5045-001-7 (9788150450017)

About the Author:
Jaya Varma (nee Bhattacharyya) was born in 1945 in Calcutta. She completed her graduation in Philosophy (Honours) from Calcutta University in 1965. She moved to Chandigarh in 1966 and lived there for the rest of her life except between 1987 and 1992, when she lived in Pune. She was trained in Rabindrasangeet and classical music and became the Director and Composer of the reputed Chandigarh Choir. Outside of music, she was the Associate Director for Biplab Roy Chowdhury’s award-winning Oriya film, Nirbachan. She has also written a novel (Made in Heaven) and two collections of short stories (Till Death Do Us Part and Children and Other Stories). A book containing her articles on spirituality, All for One God was published by Writers Workshop, India in 2009.

Mrs. Varma was diagnosed with pancreas cancer in August 2007 and she passed away in the early hours of May 27, 2008. This book, published posthumously, comprises her translations and interpretations of songs by Rabindranath Tagore, compiled by her husband, Keshav Varma.

“The devotional songs of Tagore, though beautifully written in simple, poetic words, had in each of them deep messages, camouflaged, that spoke of profound Hindu doctrines of our ancient scriptures – which very few recognized, let alone spoke, discussed or wrote about.

What I did was that I took off from each of these songs, and after touching the simple word-meaning on the surface, flew on the wings of my imagination and poetic urge … to a zone far above, deep into the serious practices for evolving spiritually and finally realizing God – precisely what I think Tagore meant to convey, which is valid for everybody, be he a Hindu, a Christian, Buddhist or a Muslim. This effort is not meant to be a work of ‘Translation’, but ‘Interpretation’, mine, to convey what I think Tagore meant to say.”

[Extract taken from the author’s note]

73 songs by Tagore, Mrs. Varma’s translations and interpretations

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