Jefe's House

Tag: rabindra bharati university

Rabindra Bharati University

by on Sep.20, 2018, under Film/TV, On the Road, Shaheb Cafe, Theatre

Yesterday I got a tour of the Drama Department at my Fulbright host institution, Rabindra Bharati University. I will teach a workshop or two here later. Click the first photo below to see the slideshow of this incredible, well-appointed performing arts program.

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Mine is not an official US Department of State website. The views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the Department of State.
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I’m not a card guy but…

by on Sep.01, 2018, under Film/TV, On the Road, Shaheb Cafe, Theatre

…I was strongly advised to take business cards for this thing.

biz card frontbiz card back


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Fulbright Scholarship Announcement

by on Jul.11, 2018, under Film/TV, On the Road, Politics, Shaheb Cafe, Theatre






My Experiences in India

shaheb – (India; also saheb, sahib; from the Hindi and Urdu sāhab, master; from Arabic ṣāḥib, companion; participle of ṣaḥiba, to become friends) 
1. formerly, a term of respect for any  male landowner
2. formerly, a term of respect for white European men during the British colonial era
3. (modern) any white man


fulbright header

Now it can be told. I’m so thrilled to have been named a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar, and will be spending 5 months of the 2018-19 academic year writing and researching in India. If you’d like to learn more about my intended goals, the full scoop is here in this handy dandy pdf of the press release.

As a Fulbright‐Nehru Fellow I will to travel to Kolkata, West Bengal, India to conduct research from my host institution, Rabindra Bharati University, where I will research early 20th century Bengali film and theatre and its impact on India’s nascent independence movement. I will also spend time in Bangalore, Karnataka, India observing the Bangalore Little Theatre’s (affectionately known as BLT) theatre education program and teaching a playwriting workshop to BLT members.

I’m proud to be one of over 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and/or provide expertise abroad for the 2018‐2019 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries.

Mine is not an official US Department of State website. The views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the Department of State.


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Happy 150th, Tagore

by on May.09, 2010, under On the Road, Shaheb Cafe, Theatre

Tagore Celebration in Kolkata, 5/8/10

Rabindranath Tagore (May 8, 1861 – August 8, 1941)  the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, was born 150 years ago this weekend.  Celebrations are underway in India, especially in his hometown of Kolkata, West Bengal, and across the globe.  Would that I were there.


A few of my pix from the historic Tagore family home Jorasanko, winter 2010, Kolkata.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Tagore family home, Jorasanko, earlier this year, which continued to turn me on to this Bengali Renaissance Man’s works in poetry, theatre, fiction and music.  Today Jorasanko is a museum operated by nearby Rabindra Bharati University named in Rabindranath’s honor and focusing on performing arts and the humanities.  My fellow travelers and I were fortunate to have a personal tour guide at Jorasanko, music faculty Prof. Ghosh.  He also took me to visit the campus and meet with the Performing Arts chair and some of the faculty, and I wound up giving an impromptu lecture and Q&A about contemporary US theatre to the bright, informed and eager undergrads in an Ancient Greek Theatre class.

The visit to Jorasanko and the university campus wound up indirectly turning me on to the works of Tagore’s precursors such as Ishwar Chandra Gupta (1812-1859), largely forgotten today in Tagore’s long shadow.

I leave you with one of Tagore’s poems:

Leave this chanting and singing and telling of beads!
Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of a temple with doors all shut?
Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee!



He is there where the tiller is tilling the hard ground and where the pathmaker is breaking stones.
He is with them in sun and in shower, and his garment is covered with dust.
Put off thy holy mantle and even like him come down on the dusty soil!







Deliverance? Where is this deliverance to be found?
Our master himself has joyfully taken upon him the bonds of creation;
he is bound with us all for ever.




Come out of thy meditations and leave aside thy flowers and incense!
What harm is there if thy clothes become tattered and stained?
Meet him and stand by him in toil and in sweat of thy brow.




The above poem is very Walt Whitman, eh?  It’s from Tagore’s Nobel-winning collection Gitanjali.

Rabindranath Tagore statue at the entrance to Rabindra Bharati University, winter 2010, Kolkata.

Einstein and Tagore in Berlin, July 14, 1930

[pix taken from and; the rest are mine]

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