Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

Harindranath Chattopadhyay of more than just Bawarchi fame

A thread of rhythm runs through man,
And blossom and brute and the body of God;
But the critic, who oft is a lampless clod,
Still comes with his little endless span
A hollow phrase and a measuring rod.
         - Harindranath Chattopadhyay

Video link
Harindranath Chattopadhyay in Bawarchi
Clip: Harindranath Chattopadhyay (April, 1898 - June 23, 1990, Mumbai) as the fiercely patriarchal Daduji in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's year 1972 film Bawarchi. Quirky dialogues by Gulzar and a great natural act by Harindranath Chattopadhyay made this character very special and memorable. He also gave vocals to the refreshing classical based song bhor aayi gaya andhiyaara from this film.(video)  

The following year, in 1973 Harindranath Chattopadhyay was awarded Padma Bhushan in the field of Literature and Education.

Harindranath Chattopadhyay was a poet, a dramatist, a musician and an actor.

One of his most famous poems is Noon. The vivid imagery he evokes in his lines is mesmerizing.


The noon a mystic dog with paws of fire
Runs through the sky in ecstasy of drouth
Licking the earth with tongue of golden flame
Set in a burning mouth

It floods the forest with loud barks of light
And chases its own shadow on the plains
Some secret Master-hand hath set it free
Awhile from silver chains

At last towards the cinctured end of day
It drinks cool draughts from sunset-mellowed rills,
Then chained to twilight by the Master's hand
It sleeps among the hills.

Most of his poems are twanged with eastern mysticism and dealing with themes of birth, death, reincarnation and sort.A review of his early poems in Theosophist Magazine run by Annie Besant, July 1924-September 1924, and source of opening lines, here

You can check out some of his poems at Google books here, here and here 

Famous Siblings

Harindranath Chattopadhyay's elder brother was Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, a lesser known shadowy figure working subversively from European shores for Indian Independence.

Harindranath Chattopadhyay's elder sister, elder to both of them, was The Nightingale of India: SarojiniNaidu.

Related post:
A poem by Sukumar Ray

1 comment:

  1. What a terrific piece of triva ? Enjoyed Bawarchi to the max.Thanks for this gem and what a poem


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