Significance of the Title- ISC Rhapsody -Abhisara – The Tryst

Significance of the Title :

The title of the poem “Abhisara – The Tryst” written by Rabindranath Tagore, is taken from Bengali word ‘abhisar’ which means a secret and private meeting between the two lovers. Although the poem does not really presents a conventional romantic relation between the two main characters, but still there is a strong feeling of compassion and humanity in the monk’s heart.

The title is significant because it sets tone for the poem and hints at the central theme of love and union.

There is a dancing girl of Mathura, Vasavadatta, who is proud of her youthful beauty and her wealth and also there is a monk, who is indifferent to suffering and harsh weather.

In their first meeting, Vasavadatta stumbled over the body of Upagupta who was sleeping on the dusty road of Mathura city. There is a feeling of apology in Vasavadatta’s heart, towards the ascetic. She was fascinated by the simplicity and calm composure of the monk and she requested him to visit her home, and take rest there. She says –

“Graciously come to my house./The dusty Earth is not a fit bed for you.”

Her request was turned down by the ascetic politely but he promised to visit her when the right time comes.

After some time, they met again when the right time came, but this time, Vasavadatta is stricken with pestilence, her youth and beauty was vanished. The meeting of Upagupta and Vasavadatta outside the Mathura city wall when she needed some one the most to take care of her was no less than a tryst.

Upagupta, being a Buddhist monk, believed in selfless service to humanity. He attended and cared for Vasavadatta when the entire city showed apathy towards her.

Vasavadatta wanted to know who he is and Upagupta tells her –

“The time, at last, has come to visit you /and I am here Vasavadatta”

It was the secret meeting between them and it was a higher kind of love on display – spritual love.

The poem portrays the deep, spiritual connection between the monk and the dancer Vasavadatta, which transcends physical desire and is grounded in a deep sense of compassion and humanity. The title emphasize the importance of this meeting and highlights the sense of anticipation and longing that both characters feel.

The tryst also symbolises the meeting of the spiritual and physical realms. The monk represents the spiritual aspect of the union, while Vasavadatta represents the physical. The meeting of these two aspects represents the union of the divine and the mortal, mystical and spiritual traditions.

This way, the title, ‘The Tryst’ is significant in the sense as it presents the essence of the poem and sets the stage for the for the union between the monk and the dancer Vasavadatta, which represents the meeting of the spiritual and physical aspects of existence.

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