RABINDRANATH TAGORE(7th May 1861-7th August 1941) :- Sobriquet Gurudev, was a Bengali polymath whoreshaped his region’s literature and music . Author ofGitanjali and its “profoundly sensitive, fresh andbeautiful verse” he became the first non-EuropeanNobel laureate by earning the 1913 prize in literature.In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual andmercurial ; his seemingly mesmeric persona, floccoselocks, and empyreal garb garnered him a prophet-likeaura in the west. His “elegant prose and magicalpoetry” remain largely unknown outside Bengal.
A pirali Brahmin from Kolkata, Tagore wrote poetry as aneight-year –old. at age sixteen, he cheekily released his firstsubstantial poems under the pseudonym Bhanusimha (―Sun Lion‖), which were seized upon by the region‘sliterary grandees as long –lost classics. He graduated to hisfirst short stories and dramas and the aegis of his birthname—by 1877. As a humanist, universalist,Internationalist and strident anti-nationalist hedenounced the Raj and advocated for independence fromBritain. As an exponent of the Bengal renaissance headvanced a vast canon that comprised paintings, sketchesand doodles, hundreds of texts, and some two thousandsongs; his legacy endures also in the institution he founded,Visva-Bharati University.
Tagore modernized Bengali art by spurningrigid classical forms and resisting linguisticstrictures. His novels, stories, songs, dance-dramas, and essays spoke to topics political andpersonal. Gitanjali (song offerings ), Gora (fair-faced),and Ghare-baire(the home and the world)are his best – known works, and his verse, shortstories and novels were acclaimed –or panned—fortheir lyricism, colloquialism, naturalism andunnatural contemplation. He premed two nationalanthems the republic of India‘s Jana Gana Manaand Bangladesh‘s Amar Shonar Bangla.
E A R LY L I F E ( 1 8 6 1 - 1 8 7 8 ) : The youngest of thirteen surviving children, Tagorewas born in the Jorasanko mansion in Calcutta to parentsDebendrnath Tagore (1817-1905) and Sharada Devi (1830-2875). Tagore family patriarchs were the Brahmo foundersof the Adi Dharm faith. The fabulously loyalist ―Prince‖Dwarkanath Tagore, with his European estate managersand his serial visits with Victoria and other occidentalroyals, was his paternal grandfather; Dwaraknath‘sancestors hailed from the village of Pithanhog in modern-day Bangladesh. Debendrnath had formulated theBeahmoist philosophies espoused by his friend RamMohan Roy, and became focal in Brahmo society afterRoy‘s death.
[It] knock[s] at the doors of the mind. If any boy is asked to give an account ofwhat is awakened in him by such knocking, he will probably say something silly.For what happens within is much bigger than what comes out in words. Those whopin their faith on university examinations as the test of education take no accountof this.His Upanayan initiation at age eleven aungered a pivotal trip; in February 1873he decamped with his father for a months- long tour of the outer Raj. They visitedhis father‘s SANTINIKETAN estate and rested in Amritsar en route to theHimalayan Dhauladhars. Their destination was the remote hill station atDalhousie. Along the way Tagore read biographies; his stridently learned fathertutored him in history, astronomy , other modern sciences, and Sanskritdeclensions. He read biographies of Benjamin Franklin and others; they sharedEdward Gibbon ‗s The History of the Decline and fall of the Roman Empire; andtogether they examined the poetry of Kalidasa. In mid- April they reached thestation, and at 2300 meters (7546 ft) they settled into a house atop Bakorta Hill.Tagore was arrested by the region‘s deep green gorges, its alpine forests, and itsmossy streams and waterfalls. Through the months a frigid regime attended him:daily twilights spent bathing in icy dawn water.
He survived them, returned to Jorosanko, and wrote: he completed aset of major works by 1877, one a jokingly long poem in the Maithilistyle of Vidyapati. Published pseudonymously, the relevant expertsaccepted them as the lost works of Bhanusimha, a newly discovered17th-century Vaisnava poet. He debuted the short – story genre inBengali with ―Bhikharini‖(―The Beggar woman‖), and his SandhyaSangit (1882) includes the famous poem ―Nirjharer Swapnadhanga‖(―the rousing of the waterfall‖). Servants subjected into an almostludicieginentaion in a phase he later dryly reviled as the ―servocracy‖. his head was serially water-drunked—to quiet him. Herefused food to irk servants; he was confined to chak cercles inpuerile parody of Sita‘s forest trial in the Ramayana; and he wasregaled with the horrifically heroic and vituperative exploits ofBengali‘s outlaw- dacoits .Because the Jorasanko manor was in anarea of the north Calcutta rife with poetry prostitution, he wasforbidden to leave it for any purpose other than travelling to school.In reaction he became infatuated with the world outside and nature.Of his 1873 visit to Santiniketana he wrote:
What I could not see did not take me long to get over—what I did see was quite enough. There was no servantrule, and the only ring which encircled me was the blueof the horizon, drawn around these [sylvam] solitudes bytheir presiding goddess. within this I was free to moveabout as I choose
S a n t i n i k e t a n (1901-1932):-In 1901 Tagore moved to Santiniketan to found an Ashram with amarble-floored prayer hall—the mandir—an experimental school,groves to trees, ,gardens a library .there his wife and two of hischildren died. His father die in 1905.he received monthly paymentsas part of his inheritance and income from the Maharaja of Tripura,sales of his family‘s jewelry, his seaside bungalow in Pudi, and aderisory Rs 2000 in book royalties. He gained Bengali and foreignreaders alike; he published Naivedya (1901)and Kheya (1906) andtranslated poems into free verse. In November 1913, Tagore learnedhe had owned that year‘s Nobel prize in literature : the Swedishacademy appreciated the ideal stick –and for westerners – accessiblenature of a small body of his translated material focused on the 1912Gitanjali: song offerings in 1915 , the British crown granted Tagorea knighthood. He renounced it after the 1919 Jillian walabaghmassacre.
In 1921, Tagore and agricultural economist LeonardElnhirst set up the ―Institute of the rural reconstruction―,later renamed Shriniketan or ― abode of welfare‖, inSural, a village near the Ashram. With it, Tagore sought tomoderate Gandhiji‘s awaraj protects, which hevocationally blamed for British India‘s perceived mental—and thus ultimately colonial—declained. He sought aidfrom donors, officials, and scholars world vide to ―freevillage[s]from the shackles of helplessness and ignorance‖by ― vitlis[ing]knowledge‖. In the early 1930s he targetedambient ―abnormal caste consciousness‖ anduntouchability. He lectured against these, he penned Dalitheroes for his poems and his dramas, and hecampaigned—successfully –to open Guruvayoor Temple toDalits.
Works:-Known mostly for his poetry, Tagore wrote novels, essays, shortstories ,travelogues, dramas,and thousands of songs. Of Tagore‘sprose, his short stories are perhaps most highly regarded; he isindeed credited with originating the Bengal-language version of thegenre. His works are frequently noted for their rhythmic, optimistic,and lyrical nature. Such stories mostly barrow from deceptivelysimple subject matter: commoners. Tagore‘s non-fiction grappledchthonic history, linguistics ,and uttermost spiritually. He wroteautobiographies. His travelogues, essays, and lectures were compiledinto several volumes including Europe Jatrir Patro (Letters fromEurope) and Manusher Dharma (The Religion of Man). His briefchat with Einstein, ―Note on the Nature of reality‖, is included as anappendix to the latter. On the occasion of Tagore‘s 150th birthday ananthology (titled Kalanukromik Rabindra Rachanabali) of the totalbody of his work is currently being published in Bengali inchronological order. This includes all visions of each work and fillsabout eighty volumes.
Music and Art:-Tagore composed 2230 songs and was a prolific painter. His songscompose Rabindrasangit ( ― Tagore song‖), which merges fluidlyinto his literature, most of which—poems or parts of novels, stories,or plays alike—were lyricised. Influenced by the thumri style ofHindustani music, they ran the entire gamut of human emotion,ranging from his early dirge- like Brahmo devotional hymns toquasi-erotic compositions. They emulated the tonal color of classicalragas to varying extents. Some songs mimicked a given raga‘smelody and rhythm faithfully; others newly blended elements ofdifferent ragas. Yet about nine-tenths of his work was not bhangagana , the body of tunes revamped with ― fresh value‖ from selectwestern, Hindustani, Bengali folk and other regional flavors ―external‖ to Tagor‘s own ancestral bequest. In gauging the emotiveforce and range of ragas, he was rapt:
[…]the pathos of the purabi raga reminded Tagoreof the evening tears of a lonely widow ,whilekanara was the confused realization of a nocturnalwanderer who had lost his way. In bhupali heseemed to hear a voice in the wind saying ‗stop andcome hither‘. Paraj conveyed to him the deepslumber that overtook one at night‘s end.
NOVELS:Tagore wrote eight novels and foe novellas, among themChaturanga, Shasher Kobita, Char Odhay, and noukadubi. GhareBaire (The Home and the World) –through the lens of the idealisticzamindar protagonist Nikhil-repudiates the frog-march of nativism,terrorism, andrelogious querulousness popular among segments ofthe Swadeshi movement. A frank expression of Tagore‘s conflictedsentiments, it was conceived of during a 1914 bout of depression.The novel ends in grody Hindu-Muslim interplay and Nikhil‘s likelydeath from a head wound.Gora, nominated by many Bengali critics as his finest tale, raisescontroversies regarding connate identity and its ultimate fungibility.As with Ghare Baire matters of self-identity (jati), personal freedom,and religion are lividly vivisected in a context of family and romance.In it an Irish boy orphaned in the Sepoy Mutiny is raised by Hindusas the titular gora—―whitey‖. Ignorant of his foreign origins, hechastises Hindu religious backsliders out of love for the IndigenousIndians and solidarity with them against his Hageman-compatriots.
He falls for a Brahmo girl, compelling his worriedfoster father to reveal his lost past and cease hisnativist zeal. As a ―true dialectic‖ evincing ―arguments for and against strict traditionalism‖, ittackles the colonial conundrum by ―portray[ing]the value of all positions within aparticular frame[…] not only syncretism, not onlyliberal oethodoxy, but the extremist reactionarytraditionalism he defends by an appeal to whathumans share‖. Among these Tagore highlights―identity […] conceived of as dharma‖.
In jogajog (Relationship),the heroine Kumudini --- bound by theideals of Siva-Sati, exemplified by Dakdhyani—is torn between herpity for the sinking fortunes of her progressive and compassionateelder brother and his foil: her roué of a husband. Tagore flaunts hisfeminist leanings; pathos depicts the plight and ultimate demise ofwomen trapped by pregnancy, duty, and family honour; hesimultaneously trucks with Bengal‘s putrescent landed gentry. Thestory revolves around the underlying rivalry between two families—the Chatterjees, aristocrats now on the decline (Biproads) and theGhosals(Madhusudan),representing new money and new arrogance.Kumidini, Biprodas‘ sister, is caught between the two as she ismarried off to Madhusudhan. She had risen in an observant andsheltered traditional home, as had all her female relations.
Others wise uplifting: Sheshar Kobita—translated twice asLast Poem and Farewell song—is his most lyrical novel, withpoems and rhythmic passages written by a poet protagonist. Itcontains elements of satire and postmodernism and has stockcharacters who gleefully attack the reputation of an old,outmoded, oppressively renowned poet who, incidentally ,goesby a familiar name: ―Rabindranath Tagore‖. Though his novelsremain among the least-appreciated of his works, they havebeen given renewed attention via film adaptations by Ray andothers: Choker Bali and Ghare Baire and exemplary. In thefirst, Tagore inscribes Bengali society via its heroine: arebellious widow who would live for herself alone. He pilloriesthe custom of perpetual mourning on the part of widows, whowere not allowed to remarry, who were consigned to seclusionand loneliness. Tagore wrote of it: ―I have always regretted theending‖.
The latter work reveals Tagore‘s conflicted mind andcontracts the ambiguous munificence of western cultureand line-item revolution against it. These feature in two ofthe main characters: Nikhil, who is rational and opposesviolence; and Sandip, who as sumpter to his goals, will notbe stopped. they provided a lens through which can beunderstood the history and contemporary problems ofBengal. There is much controversy over whether Tagorewas representing Gandhi in Sandip. But many argue thatTagore would not even venture to personify Sandip asGandhin because Tagore could grudingly offer a sort ofderegatory devotion to Gandhi‘s antiquarian ardor, andGandhi was sententiously anti-violence while the libertineSandip would employ violence—in any respect—to twinbody and soul.
Poetry:- Tagore‘s poetic style, which proceeds from a lineage established by 15th –and 16thcentury Vishnava poets, ranges from classical formalism to the comic, visionary,and ecstatic. He was influenced by the atavistic mysticism of Vyasa and other rishi-authors of the Upanishadas,the Bhakti-Sufi mystic kabir, and Ramprasad Sen.Tagore‘s most innovative and mature poetry embodies his exposure to Bengalirural folk music, which includes mystic Baul balladas such as those of the bardLalon. These ,rediscovered and repopularised by Tagore ,resemble 19th centuryKartabhaja hymns that emphasize inward divinity and rebellion against bourgeoisbhadralok religious and social orthodoxy. During his Shelaidaha years, his poemstook on a lyrical voice of the moner manush, the Bauls ‗ ―man within the heart‖and Tagore‘s ―life force of his deep recesses‖, or mediating upon the jeevandevata—the demiurge or the nature and the emotional interplay of human drama.Such tools saw use in his Bhanusimha poems chronicling the Radha –Krishnaromance, which we repeatedly revised over the course of seventy years.
Tagore reacted to the halfhearted uptake of modernist and realisttechniques in Bengali literature by writing matching experimentalworks in the 1930s. these include Africa and Camalia, among thebetter known of his latter poems. He occasionally wrote poems usingShadhu Bhasha, a sanskritised dialect of Bengali; he later adopted amore popular dialect known as Cholti Bhasha. Other works includeManasi, Sonar Tori(Golden Boat), Balaka(Wild Geese, a nameredolent of migrating souls), and Purobi. Sonar Tori‘s most famouspoem, deling with the fleeting endurance of life and achievement,goes by the same name; hauntingly it ends: Shunno nodir tire rihinupori/Jaha chhilo leo gelo Shonar tori—―all I had achieved wascarried off on the golden boat—only I was felt behind.‖Gitanjali isTagore‘s best-known collection internationally, earning him hisNobel.