Rabindranath Tagore Touches Our Souls
NEW DELHI, (ANI) – On the birth anniversary of “the Bard of Bengal”, Rabindranath Tagore, who was a painter, patriot, poet, playwright, novelist, storyteller, philosopher, educationist, and a great humanist. He was the most remarkable literary personality in India.
Born on May 7, 1861, he revolutionized Bengali art, literature, and music. He became the first Indian to win Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. Tagore took birth in a Brahmin family in Kolkata and started writing poems at the age of 8. He created his first collection of poems at the age of 16 using the pseudonym “Bhanusimha”. In 1877 he released his first book of stories and dramas under his own name.
His creations touched many aspects of life, nature, human relations, nationalism, politics, and other socio-cultural ethos. He authored the national anthems of India and Bangladesh and created many other songs.
Let’s look at some of his remarkable creations:
It is a collection of poetry, the most famous work by Tagore, published in 1910. Originally written in Bengali, the poems were based on medieval Indian devotional poetry with a common theme of love and reflected the conflict between materialistic desire and spiritualism. It was translated into English in 1912 as ‘Gitanjali: Song of Offering’. It gained much popularity among European readers and the literary creation helped him in bagging the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.
Chokher Bali is a 1903 Bengali novel that can be translated variously as A Grain of Sand or Dust in the Eyes. It was Tagore’s first serious attempt at a novel. The story reflects complicated relationships and extramarital affairs. It shows how widows in society were isolated and deprived of many rights and their life was filled with emptiness and hopelessness. It depicts the life of a young widow, Binodini, and an extramarital affair with Mahendra. The book also depicted the issues of female literacy, child marriage, patriarchy within the family, and the fates of widows.
Published in 1910, Gora is set in the Kolkata of 1880s during the British rule. It deals with different themes of friendship, motherhood, love, caste discrimination, woman emancipation, nationalism, liberalism, and religion. The story revolves around the central character Gora, a staunch Hindu Brahmin. It shows how from being a follower of Brahmo Samaj, he turned into a practicing Brahmin because he believes that following customs is necessary and brings him close to his land.
The writer handled many aspects and political issues of the British era. Though Tagore was never actively involved in politics, he never detached himself from current events either.
The Home and the World
It is a 1916 novel that is all about Tagore’s inner conflict as a follower of western culture and his defiance against them. The story revolves around two main characters Nikhilesh, who is rational and opposes violence, and Sandip, the one who can do anything to achieve his goal. Set during the early years of the Indian independence movement, the novel was translated into English by the author’s nephew, Surendranath Tagore.
This is a collection of Bengali poetry that was published in 1894 and is one of the popular creations that he wrote between 1891 and 1901. Many poems in this collection were written during his stay at this place. The poet is in search of beauty and seems to be detaching himself from humanity.
His other creations also include Kabuliwala, Fireflies, Stray Birds, The Post Office, The Gardener, Nationalism, The Broken Nest, and Chitrangada, among others.
Tagore’s works will always be embedded in our souls, reminding us of his ideals and notions.