There was a time when in Bengal three leading figures of Renaissance congregated: Ramakrishna, Tagore and Vivekananda. It is said that in a sky the sun and moon can never co-exist at a time. The same is true for Tagore and Vivekananda.
Vivekananda was junior to Tagore by more than a year. He regularly visited Tagore’s house at Jorasanko in his childhood. Tagore himself taught him three songs. One of them was: Dui hridayer nodi, akotre mililo Jodi (If rivers of two hearts meet along…).
Vivekananda took exception to Tagore’s poetry, particularly his poems in Kori o komol,a collection of Tagore’s poems. According to Vivekananda these poems poured “a flood of erotic venom over Bengal.”It is believed that Kori o komol was dedicated to the memory of Kadomvori devi, Tagore’s elder brother’s wife, whom the poet loved a lot.
Nivedita, Vivekananda’s disciple, wanted a patch-up. She organized a tea party, on 29th January, 1899, where she invited both her master,Vivekananda and Tagore. Both came. Both graced the party. But they avoided each other.
When Nivedita wanted to go on a cruise with Tagore and his family on the river Padma, Vivekananda put his foot down. Her wish was negated.
Vivekananda died one short of forty years before Tagore’s. When Tagore came to know of it in Bolpur- Santiniketan, he felt as if a dagger piercing his heart.
Tagore chaired a condolence meeting of Vivekananda at Suburban school at Calcutta. There he paid a glowing tribute to Vivekananda seven days after the death of the monk.
The poet and the monk never met. Rivers of two hearts met merely in a song, not in reality, and that too at a time when the monk was not a monk, but just a boy, Narendranath.