Rabindranath Tagore's century-old piano refurbished at Kolkata workshop
A century-old piano of Rabindranath Tagore took three years to get repaired at a Kolkata workshop. The square grand piano once used by Gurudev while he was in Shillong, Meghalaya, is a rare model of that version.
It was kept in a school in Purulia for the last several years but was damaged competently. It came to Kolkata's Braganza workshop three years back.
Tagore had first arrived in Shillong on October 11, 1919, with his family and stayed for 20 days at Brookside bungalow in the Rilbong locality. His subsequent visits were made in 1923 and 1927.
During his stay in Shillong, the iconic poet had a Square Grand piano. He played tunes created by him on the piano.
The square piano is a type of piano that has horizontal strings arranged diagonally across the rectangular case above the hammers and with the keyboard set on the long side and the sounding board above a cavity on the short side. It has only one paddle and four legs.
After Tagore, his piano came into the possession of a man, named Santosh Kumar Sengupta, of Kolkata. He was a higher-ranked officer of the HMV music company and was also known as a Rabindra Sangeet singer. After him, the musical instrument was passed on to a school in Purulia.
Ramkrishna Mission school of Purulia now owns that piano. But the antic pace got completely damaged due to negligence. The authorities decided to get the piano repaired but it was difficult to find a proper mechanic for it.
Finally, the instrument was brought to Kolkata's Braganza music workshop. Pravat Ram, who took the initiative for the restoration of the grand old piano, said, "When it came to us, it was in a bad condition. Several parts were broken. It was before Covid. The restoration work was paused because of the pandemic as the mechanics were unavailable. Now it's ready to go back."