The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee received the first copy of the book “President’s Lady” (Pranaber Preyosi) on his wife Late Smt. Suvra Mukherjee on July 13, 2017.
The book was received from Vice President of India, Mohd. Hamid Ansari who formally released it at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Ms. Sangeeta Ghosh, author of the book and all those who have brought out the publication were acknowledged.
Late Smt. Suvra Mukherjee was essentially a private person with a strong interest in music (particularly Tagore music) and paintings.
She confined herself to music, painting and writing. She tried to take Tagore music to a non-Bengali audience.
Born in Jessore (now in Bangladesh), she faced the uprooting that visited millions in the sub-continent as partition cut through not only the map, but also across the social and cultural fabric of the land.
She built a new life in Kolkata, with her love for the academic pursuits resulting in degrees in History and Political Science.
As the first lady, she brought her love of sangeet to the Rastrapati Bhawan, with her harmonium and tanpura, gifted to her by the Bengali music maestro DL Roy, accompanying her here.
Smt. Mukherjee was a vocalist, an exponent of Rabindra Sangeet and performed in the poet’s dance-dramas for many years in India, Europe, Asia and Africa.
She was also responsible for setting up the ‘Geetanjali Troupe’, with the mission of showcasing Rabindranath Tagore’s philosophy through song and dance.
The book recounts how in 2013, pushing aside protocol concerns, the First Lady sat with her troupe and sang her favourite numbers of Tagore on the occasion of Rabindra Jayanti.
She also authored two books- the first, ‘Chokher Aloey’ a personal account of her close interaction with former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi, and the second, ‘Chena Achenai Chin’, a travelogue recounting her visit to China.
Smt. Mukherjee was also a talented painter, with several exhibitions to her credit. In pursuit of this art, she drew inspiration from her mother, who was a critically acclaimed painter.
This bilingual compilation (English and Bengali) also contains reminisces of people who knew Smt. Mukerjee, including former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, Smt. Sheila Dikshit and other members of the Family.