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Raktokorobi: A Play by Rabindranath Tagore



    Raktokorobi a symbolic drama of Rabindtanath Tagore. The play was written at the hilly resort of Shillong in the year 1923.  At that time, it was given the title of Yaksapuri. It was renamed Raktokorobi when it was published in the Ashwin 1924 issue of the periodical Prabasi. The play depicts how human greed denies the beauties and naturalness of life, makes it a mere machine and a necessary ingredient for production, and what shapes human protests take against such a state. The story in brief of this play is as follows.

Raktokorobi: Theme and Characters of the play

      Yaksapur Kingdom



      Coolies and Mineworkers




      The royal ideal of the king of Yaksapuri is an exploitation of the citizenry; he has an insatiable greed for money. The coolies of the gold mine get burnt in the fire of that greed. In the eyes of the king, the coolies are not human beings, they are mere tools for acquiring gold; they are only small parts of machines bearing signs and numbers like 1, 2, or 3 and so on.

      They do not have any value as humans. Here, humanism and humanity are by the shackles of machines. There is no expression of life at Yaksapuri. Nandini is a symbol of life's complete expression' of love and beauty. Under the spell of his greed, the king of Yaksapuri does not feel the touch of joy in Nandini; the ascetic does not feel it because of his craving for religious reform; the pandits do not get it due to his scholarly and slavish instincts. Nandini, the symbol of love and beauty' beckons everybody from outside the iron net of Yaksapuri. Everybody becomes excited in a moment at this mirthful touch of free life.

      The king wants to get possession of Nandini, similar to the manner in which he extracts gold by force. But love and beauty cannot be obtained in this way. So the king cannot get Nandini despite her being within his reach. Similarly, the local leader and pandit, Kishor, and Kenaram all extended their hands beyond the net out of their eagerness to live in life's abundance. But Nandini loves Ranjan and has therefore awakened the feeling of love in him.

      But Ranjan is tied to the bond of the machine. This machine delinks his love from his life; the poet believed that this was the characteristic of a mechanized life. Nandini's lover has to be sacrificed at the altar of mechanization; and through this, life triumphs in order to search and get back love once more. Such point of view has been reflected in many poems, plays, and stories of Rabindranath. The poet searched for a balance between materialistic mechanization and the nature of life in the play Raktokorobi.

 Nandini as the Feminist Character

        The play is mostly confined to the beauty of the lady Nandin and the greediness of the king. The narrator wants to show, how lust was the king that he always thing about her. The king is used as the symbol of absorbent whereas the young lady is symbolized as the reflection new year, a change, or an opportunity that drives to a new world. The pandits and other alliances of a king are the symbols that always support the bad trend to germinate false culture which creates a means of destruction.  Workers are reflected as the normal citizens who are always deprived from opportunity and exploited in terms to generate revenue. Ranjan is characterized as the new possibilities but he is still attached with the typical thinking and webbed with lots of mechanisms. He lost himself in these traditional and conservative and fail to accept the beauty of the dawn. The play mostly revolves around Nandin and her character seems bold and challenging. She denies the king and loves the citizen, a worker, who never understands her. The play is sometimes a replication of contemporary scenarios and the social structure that every person traveled through. Gurudev has shown the connection of society with Lust and Love, greediness and charm, changes versus exploiter.  

The female character Nandin is so bold and courageous that she revolt against King and denies his lustiness. She also satire the pandits and other alliances refusing their proposal.  Gurudev creates the admirable and feminist character in Nandini. She is not only beautiful and charming but also the character to revolt against the bloodsucker. She is a symbol of dawn and the arrival of a new era. She tried her lover to pill out from traditionalism to modernism but he is stuck in such a way that he feels good with nails in his knees and can’t find a way to come out from the trap.

By Kumar Sargam

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Valmiki Pratibha : A First Musical Drama by Rabindranath Tagore

 Valmiki Pratibha

A First Musical Drama written by Rabindranath Tagore with a large variety of musical intonation and fragrance of Rabindra sangeet is called Valmiki Paratibha. It was the firstly written in 1880 and drama performed at Jorasako in February 1881. Rabindranath Tagore himself take an initiative to perform in this play as the leading actor – Valmika. He was just 19 years when he wrote this Musical Drama.  The play is blended with music dialogues, melody of raga crowned with emotions and aesthetics, and the proper rhythmic structure to convey the timing of the dialogues. In this play Gurudev replicated the story of Daku Ratnakar and his transformation of becoming the Sage Valmiki. The social message of the play is, worst man like Daku Ratnakar can transform to a kind Sage because of the inspiration and the worship so whoever are worrying about the negative side of their life can create a positive life if they wish to alter and mold himself/ herself and faith on god. The Drama also reflect the contemporary scenario of Bengal during 19th century.  It is a kind of Social message to the people that how a worst man become Valmiki with determination and faith with a small inspiration from the Widow and couple of Birds.  

Characters in Valmiki Pratibha

Daku Ratnakar (later Valmiki)

Fellow Dakus


Dove Couple


Goddess Kali, Saraswati and Laxmi

Summary of the Play

      Daku Ratnakar with His friends was wandering in the Jungle. His basic motive is to loot and rob the landlords and the citizens. He is also the great worshiper of Kali so one day he offer Bali to Maa kali and told his daku friends to bring a human for the same. The Fellows daku find a widow, a helpless woman and caught her forcefully for the Bali.

      One day Daku Ratnakar saw a Hunter killing a birds while his exile in jungle. The Bird hunted was one from the couple so the survivor birds was crying in search of her partner. She was in deep misery and died in sorrow of her partner. Seeing this all in front of him and remember the words of widow he determine not to continue the worst way and walked Meditation of goddess Saraswati.  

      Daku Ratnakar let her go after seeing her sorrow and misery. That changes his mind and he leave all the robbery and went for meditation and worship of goddess Saraswati and one day he blessed with her


A robber, looter, Daku Ratnakar changes his life and become the most prestigious Sage Valmiki with inspiration from the sorrow that he had faced during the Bali and bird hunting. This play is a replication of Ramayan story but Gurudev has connect this story with contemporary situation of Bengal. It was a social message that if you wish to convert yourself from worst to best than you have to determine and trust on yourself as well faith on almighty.  It is a story basically confined with a concept of transforming from Robber to Sage. A social message to become a good human with novelty is the main theme of the Play.

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 Kumar Sargam





    The entire global scenario of education is changed and shifted to the virtual mode due to the Covid-19 pandemic, lockdown, and physical distancing. It was just in a click without any preplanning, without any appropriate infrastructure and technical balancing, the classroom was structured in application mode where music and other practical oriented courses faces lots of difficulties in providing quality education to the students

The objective of the Research

To examine the usefulness of E- Learning classes

To evaluate the technique and infrastructure during online classes

To observe the learning friendly platform

To know the effectiveness of online classes

Few Sample Questions

Is Online music classes helpful to you? If Yes/No…  How and why?

Are the study material understandable?

Is the infrastructure appropriate to learn?

Which device you are using for class

Internet connectivity

Post class Riyaz

Are Videos during class helpful in learning..?


Global reach in a single click

Best in One on the module but less effective in mass learning

Online Class  mode is not compatible with music education

Practical demonstration with elaborative singing cannot be possible

Students are less interested in Online classes

Infrastructure is so poor in virtual education on both side

Internet connection and electricity is the worst

Reverse feedback



    As per the online survey and the experience, the virtual mode of teaching music is not so much deliberated as physical appearance classes. It is not effective and so meaningful for beginners because they are not aware of proper ear tuning and the commendable voice perfection in any scale or the notes of Raga. Musical nurture is only possible with one on one learning but it might affect but still can guide the students in theatrical part and the technique of practice if the learner is in advanced classes.

      The advanced level class can achieve 40-60 percent goal in practical aspect only with one on one learning in virtual mode. But the quality may decrease by adding the number of students either in theory or in practical classes. Thus E-learning and teaching are only formalities with no outcomes for the beginners and can be helpful to guide the students of advanced level in both theory and practical. It is nothing than the virtual blur if the students are left behind in virtual modules for teaching music in colleges and Universities. It might create a long-term impact and deteriorate the quality and real essence of learning Music and also drive us to the non-aesthetical world.


The full paper is published Scopus Journal 

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Notation System in Hindustani Classical Music


Notation System

          The notation system in Hindi is called Swarlip Paddhati which is recognize as the backbone of the transcribed music. In western music there are various pattern of notation system famous but staff notation in highly recognized in all over the world. Standard notation system is only the way to write music in a systematic way.

          In India there are various style of transcribing musical pattern were famous in different ages. Various scholars and intellectuals had done tremendous effort to form the oral tradition of Indian music. The renowned musicologist of 20th century Pt. Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande is one among the all who systematic the terms of Hindustani Classical Music and restructured in simple way that a normal person can understand the terms of notation. Later this notation system get recognized in Indian and widely Popular in transcribing the Classical Music. Another Musicologist and Singer of 20th Century Pandit Vishnu Digambar Palushkar has also created and developed the Swarlip but it become less popular and confined under his tradition only. 

Bhatkhande Swarlipi Paddhati :-

          Renowned Musicologist Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande introduce the simple format of writing music in early 20th century. The teaching and pattern later on famous with the name Bhatkhande notation system in Indian Music. This pattern of writing musical tones in widely popular in South Asian subcontinent. The main characteristic of Bhatkhande swarlipi in simple to understand. The terms symbol and signature used in identify the Swar, Taal, Matra are very simple and easily understood by the beginners too. Here are the list of symbol and sign used in Bhatkhande Notation system.


For Swar :-

1.       & (Das under any swara indicate the komal swar).

2.       A (standing line above the madhyam indicate tivra swar).

3.       No sign in any swar means ntural notes or suddha swara.

4.       . (dot under the each swara indicate the lower octave notes or mandre seaptak swara).

5.       . (Dot above the any swara menas higher octave notes or the tar saptak swara).

6.            (Semi Circle covering any swara from below mewans counting of all swar in one matra).

7.            (Semi circle above covering any swara means the mead or the rown note from where particular notes start to come to the main note).

8.       (lk) (Bracket swar mens the murki spell around one swar and above and below i.e., (lk) in hidden way.

9.       & (Dash in between the two swar means the enlargement of previous swar or sometimes counted as rest space.)

10.     · (· denotes the pause between the bandish poetry and usually being used as the long spell or previous alphabet to ornament the beuty of singing as well as playing instrument)

For Taal :-

·        X (cross sign below the bols of any tala means the sum or the first matra of tala. This type of signatue are commonly used in Bandish and tala).

·        0 (zero indicates the Khali of the tala. It is used in tala notation as well. In Bandish these signs are the time signature to identify the rotation of the Bandish).

·        1, 2, 3 (usually write under the first note of any vibhag to denotes the tali and counting of rhythm in music).

·        A&A&A&A (vertical lines used in separation the counting of rhythm in Bhatkhande notation system is called vibhag. This simplify the understand of raga and tala rhythm cycle with tali khali).






Understanding the Components of Tala



Sam/Sama literally means the co-join or come together of Tala. The musical composition comes together in the first beat of Tala in each rhythmic cycle of every Tala in Indian Music and Dance is called Sam. The Sama usually is the focused point where musical composition generally meets together with the first beet of Tala after each improvisation in every rhythmic cycle. Sama is like "Samata" which means equalize where both Tala and composition adjoin together to form the musical rotation. In Tabla, Pakhawaj or Mridangam Sam is, usually the first beat of every Tala. Generally, Sama is being shown with a bit louder sound than other beats by the percussionist and dancer or vocalist. The Sama is denoted with the "Andaz" or force expression in the first beat with or without the Tala. it is noticed that the Tala with its Theka gives an idea of how sound in a cycle, but there’s no way you know its tempo unless told the pattern of Laya has to be accomplished.


    Laya in Indian music means the systematic interval of time per beat. It can be defined as the movement of beats per second. The Tala shapes the metrical structure which occurs, in a cyclical harmony, Indian music is written and performed in a metrical system. The Tala is the metric form that takes place in a cyclical rhythm from the start to the end of any particular segment of song or dance, making it conceptually similar to meters in Western music. Here Laya, or the Tempo is counted as the speed of the beats or the distance of two beats counted in per second-meter frame. The interval of time is equal in all beats or there might be the systematic time format to structure a rhythmic cycle called Tala.

In music and dance, Laya (both rhythm and tempo) is always present. There are times when the rhythm is not easily apparent and is said to be hidden. This may happen either when the tempo is too slow to be discernible, or if there are interludes of silence in between. However, once the tempo increases, the rhythm becomes discernible. The Laya (tempo) of a musical composition is generally defined in relation to an average person’s heartbeat. A tempo roughly equal to the tempo of a heartbeat or beat per second is called Madhya Laya (middle tempo), half that speed means 2 seconds per beat is Vilambit Laya (slow tempo), double that speed means 2 beats per second is Drut Laya (fast tempo). Actually, Madhyalaya is the general and medium speed. Vilambit Laya means the slow speed is just half of Madhyalaya and Drut Laya means the fast speed, double the speed of Madhyalaya. 

In Indian Classical Music, We have various kinds of Laya and layakari. Apart from these Three forms Ati Vilimvit Laya 1/4 or 1/8 are usually in practice in Bada Khyal singing as per the specific Gharana. Laya of Dhrupad and Dhamar tradition is regarded as Vilimvit or Ati Vilimvit as per the Bani of Dhrupad Tradition.   Aad laya (Dedgun ki layakatri 3/2) , Kuaad Laya (Savagun Ki Laya 5/4), Kuaad ( Paunedo Gun ki Layakai 7/4 and Sometimes veterans use 3:4 or 4::3 Layakari as per their proficiency and practice. 


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