President Pranab Mukherjee's Wife Suvra Mukherjee Passes Away

Published: 18th August 2015 11:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th August 2015 12:40 PM   |  A+A-

Beating retreat ceremony 6 - PTI

President Pranab Mukherjee's wife Suvra Mukherjee passed away today due to respiratory failure.

Suvra Mukherjee, who has been suffering from respiratory illness for some time, was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in a hospital in Delhi on August 7.

    >>Related: Things You Need to Know About Suvra Mukherjee, The First Lady of India

The India's first lady's ancestral home is in Bangladesh's Narhail district.

Suvra, an accomplished Rabindra Sangeet singer, was 74. The First Lady, who remained hospitalised for 11 days, breathed her last at 10.51 AM at the Army Research and Referral Hospital here.   

Mukherjee had cut short his visit to Odisha on August 7 and returned to the national capital after he was informed about his wife's health condition.       

Mukherjee got married to Suvra on July 13,1957. The First Lady hailed from Jessore, now in Bangladesh, and had migrated to Kolkata at the age of 10 years.       

"We are not like today's couples. It's not a lovey-dovey relationship and we don't express our emotions overtly," Suvra was quoted as having said on the eve of the crowning moment of her husband's political career when he assumed the office of President on July 25, 2012. Born in Jessore (now in Bangladesh) on September 17, 1940, Surva, a graduate, was an ardent fan of India’s national poet Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.        

She was a vocalist of Rabindra Sangeet and performed in the poet’s dance-dramas for long years not only in different parts of India, but also in Europe, Asia and Africa. Suvra founded the ‘Geetanjali Troupe’, whose mission is to propagate Rabindranath Tagore’s philosophy as expressed through his songs and dance-dramas. She was the guiding force behind all productions of the Troupe.     

Besides her love for music, Surva was also a highly talented painter who had many group and solo exhibitions to her credit. She considered her mother who was herself a painter as the source of her creative inspiration and her works won critical acclaim.          

She has written two books - 'Chokher Aloey', which is a personal account of her close interaction with the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and 'Chena Achenai Chin', a travelogue recounting her visit to China.     

Suvra had entered the portals of Rashtrapati Bhawan bringing in her harmonium and a tanpura, gifted by Bengali music maestro D L Roy. 

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