Special Tram rides to commemorate Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel prize

jpgKolkata (KOAA): Calcutta Tramways Company celebrated the centenary of Rabindranath Tagore winning the Nobel prize by offering special rides in a tram named Gitanjali.

The two-coach tram has been named Gitanjali after the book of poems which won the bard the Nobel prize in 1913.

The tram, in which the two conductors are from Melbourne, hosts an exhibition of his paintings and rare photographs of his numerous journeys across the world.

Designed by artist Hiran Mitra, the CTC tram was decorated with more than 50 black-and-white photographs of Tagore and his paintings, mostly collected from Visva-Bharati and Rabindra Bharati University.

City-based artistes sang Tagore’s songs and recited his poems as the tram trundled on the lengthy track across the city.

The celebrations, which ended today, was organised in association with Kolkata Melbourne Tramway Friendship Forum and Australia-based Connies.com and offered free rides to people between Belgachhia and Tollygunge, via Esplanade, for five days.

Roberto D? Andrea, a tram conductor from Melbourne, told that the ‘Tram Jatra’ (Tram Journey) was an effort to promote an efficient and environment-friendly form of urban transport.

Melbourne and Kolkata have two of the rare surviving tramway systems in continuous operation outside Europe. In the rest of the world, most tramways have closed down and were dismantled through the 1950s and 1960s.

The Kolkata Melbourne Tramway Friendship Forum has been organising theme-based tram rides almost every year to highlight the importance of the green mode of motorised public transport in Kolkata.

As part of the programme, a similar tram ride is also organised by the Forum in Melbourne and conductors play the roles of exhibition guides, yarning and giving away collectable tickets and cards.

“Through the yarning, singing and storytelling traditions, we have been a bridge between the two cities celebrating the similarities and differences of two of the world’s great tramways,” Andrea said.