Short Essay On Rabindranath Tagore- The Indian Nobel Laurate-His Splendid Literary Work- Life hood & Philosophy.

 A Flash Back on Rabindranath Tagore- His Early Childhood, Education, Literary Works & Foundation of world class University, Global Roaming with Literature & Philosophy.




Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky-Rabindranath Tagore.


                        The name of a little boy was Rabi. He played with pen & paper. The strange habit of a very little boy was astonishing to his parents. Nobody knew then this pen would deliver a great kingdom of Bengali Literature, Arts & Culture. Later he was recognised as the world poet. He is Rabindranath Tagore-An Indian Laurate.

Every great one has some Unique features with them. This uniqueness makes them unparalleled. Rabindranath Tagore did not go for formal school education. Once he went to Presidency College in Calcutta (Now it is renamed as Kolkata) for a single day and he never attended any school further. He learnt everything at home. Very interestingly it is told, "What Rabindranath wrote in his life, one can't read through out one's life span." Really he wrote about many more subjects and domains. He is reflected as a natural poet, philosopher and social thinker.


Rabindranath Tagore- Childhood, Education & Career.

      Rabindranath Thakur was born on 7th May,1861 at Kolkata Jorashanko Tagore's family. He was the youngest son among the thirteen children of Maharshi Debendranath Thakur  & Sarada Devi. The nick name of Rabindranath was Rabi. At the age of 14 years he lost his mother. He accompanied with home servants mostly. He stayed at home & composed scripture from his very childhood. He composed his first poem at the age of eight. He started his journey as a little boy and ended as a great columnist of world literature. Tagore's family was then the most elite and educated family. Father, Debendranath Thakur was Zamindar (land lord). He had several estates all over India and abroad. Artist and culturist regularly visited at the Tagore's family. Subsequently, all the family member along with all bothers and sisters had the great opportunity to enrich themselves with loftiness of arts and cultural resources. The elder brother of Rabi Thakur, Dwijendranath Thakur was a poet and philosopher. Second brother, Satyendra Nath Thakur was the first non European civil servants in Indian British regime. Another brother, Jyotirindranath Thakur was a musician, composer & playwright. Rabindranath was mostly guided by his brother, Hemendranath Thakur. He was his home tutor and guide in educational & physiological development. In a short while he learnt drawings, anatomy, geography, history, literature and mathematics. Rabindranath Tagore was not bounded in formal school curriculum & time schedule. He studied every requisite subject and absorbed them in practicality. Later he wrote many more essays, articles, novel criticising the loop holes of our education system. He definitely incorporated his educational philosophy and thinking through his establishment of university at Shanti Niketan in Bolpur. 


                    Since his father, Debendranath Thakur had several estate through out India. So he extensively travelled to those estate for interaction to the tenants. As the youngest child, Rabi accompanied to his father travelled to several parts of his parental estates. While he was 12 years, he mostly enjoyed the one month trip to Amritsar. He was deeply impressed with melodious Guru Bani, the Sikh enchanting. He exclaimed as a dream of divinity. According to him, "Many a morning have I accompanied my father to this Guru Durbar of the Sikh in the middle of the lake and finding a stranger joining in their devotions they would wax enthusiastically cordial and we would return loaded with the sanctified offerings of sugar crystal and other sweets." Inspired by the gorgeous feelings of worship, culture and life style of Sikhs, he composed several poems and articles about Sikhism. Those are published later in the Bengali child Magazines.

 

             At the age of 16 years, he released his first substantial poem in Maithili Style of Poet Vidyapati. He used his pseudonym, Bhanu Singha. These poems were seized by literary authorities as it was reserved as long lost classic. Rabindranath had indicated that all these are retrieval composition of Vaishnava Poet Bhanu Singha.    The next year, 1877 he published his first short stories, drama under his real name. Since then he did not stop his pen of writings until he was fairly alive. Rabindranath Tagore, the genius invented the style of modern literature without similarity with the prevailing tradition. Later these artistic transformed to the fundamentals of more styles.


                     His father wanted Rabindranath to be a Barrister. Accordingly in 1878, he was admitted in University of London but he dropped out incomplete of a law degree. Perhaps he might come to the word as an angel of literature, not a lawyer. He was aspiring of independent study of literature. While staying at London, he read more about English literature of Shakespeare's play & writings. He gathered versatile knowledges of intricate composing style and exploration of thoughts of imagination that helped him to strengthen his literature to global horizon. In 1880, he returned to Bengal and devoted himself in composing of poems, short stories, novels and drama. These had a profound impact within Bengal itself and received national attention also.


Tagore in Shelaidaha: 

           At the age of 22, in the year 1883 he married to a 10 years old girl called Mrinalini Devi. They have five children and two of them died in childhood. Getting involved to family life, Rabindranath had to take charge of Shelaidaha estate (Presently in Bangladesh). In 1890, he started to manage his estate. He was more attentive to his writing than that of collecting the rents from local tenants. He astonished to the River Padma. He roamed through Padma with their large family barge ( also called Badgerow). During his staying in Shelaidaha, he met with Folk Baul singer, Lalan Fakir. He was mesmerised with the lyrics of Baul song that is fully intricated with rural life and culture. 


 Tagore's foundation of Shanti Niketan- Vishwa Bharati.   

         Rabindranath Tagore had a dream to set up world class deemed institute of art & Education. After returning to Bengal from Shelaidaha, in the year 1901, he came to his parental estate in Bolpur. He felt the existence of solidarity of nature to the soul of artist. He renamed it as Shanti Niketan that means the "home of peace." He found an Ashram (the residential school) with a marble floor prayer hall- mandir. It was his first experimental school equipped with a garden and a library. His soulmate, Mrinalini Devi died in 1902 in Shanti Niketan. He then mourned of her and devoted intensively in his own world of expression. With foreign participation he transformed it as a university- Vishwa Bharati that means "world in the lap of India." Thus it became the place of world culture harmony. Rabindranath created a world of legend classic- Rabindra Sangeet. With this unique cyclorama of songs & music, he formed an industry of arts & culture. Millions of people who live with Rabindra Sangeet. 


Tagore's Nobel Winning in 1913.

                     Rabindranath Tagore assembled his best poems in a single book called "Gitanjali" means songs offerings. In 1912, he published his book, Gitanjali. He came to the notice of Swedish Nobel academy. They astonished his composition. The next year, in 1913, he was nominated for Nobel laurate for his extensive work in literature. 


Tagore's Nationalism: Concept of Rural Socio-Economics.

       While he was on climax of his artistic world, Indian freedom movement was accelerated with activism of Mahatma Gandhi. Rabindranath Tagore took part with Gandhi with his write up. He compiled several novels and articles on protest of British colonisation. His essay "Nationalism in India" was praised globally He urged Indian independence. On protest of brutal massacre in Jaliwanwalabagh in 1919, he refunded his Knighthood. After end of first world (1914-1918), Gandhi announced the non-cooperation with non-violence movement. Tagore sought to enhance Swaraj & Swadeshi movement. He was more practical in establishing the rural economic reliance. In 1922, he found an Agri-Economic hub in a village, Surul, adjacent to Ashram. Later it was renamed as Shri Niketan or "abode of welfare".


His Theology & Socialism:

              By religion Tagore was from Hindu Brahmin origin. Early ages he was acquainted with Brahmo ecstasy in his thoughts & expression. Even after returning from London in the year 1880, he resolved to European novelty in Brahmo tradition. Taking the best from each, he compiled Kirtan, the story & novels of  Lord Shri Krishna and Tappas with Brahmo hymnody. While he was in Shelaidaha, he came contact to Baul Shah Lalan Fakir. He was inspired with folk tune & lyrics. Concisely he realised the eternal voice of humanity. He transited from religious to human spirituals. He broke his silence and axed on the orthodox communal untouchability with social discrimination. He expressed his condemn in his novel "Gora". He was not a blind religious maniac. He was highly influenced during his visit to Iraqi Bedouin camp. The tribal camp chief opened his eyes on new believe on humanity by exemplifying the thoughts of prophet, Mohammad who told to His follower, " A true Muslim is he by whose words and deeds not the least of his brother-men may ever come to any harm."  Tagore confined this in his diary. He confessed in his own word, "I was started to recognising in his words the voice of essential humanity."  He had faith & belief on divinity. But he could not blindly support religion ship which hamper the common interest of humanity. Even he relied more on scientific explanation over the orthodoxies. Once he criticised Mahatma Gandhi during earthquake in Bihar in 1934. Gandhi described it as seismic karma, the divine retribution avenging the oppressor to Dalit. Rabindranath Tagore rebuked Gandhi for his orthodoxies and sympathised the victims. He expressed this situation in his hundred lines unrhyme poem. Satyajit Roy, the Bengali film maker portrayed in his film, "Apur Sansar." 


His Travelogues:

                     In between 1878 to 1932, Tagore extensively travelled through the world to met nature & it's people around globe. He set foot on 32 countries in five continents. He met several renowned personality like European poet, Charles Andrews, Irish poet William B Yeats, Thomas S Moore and others. He also met with Great Scientist, Albert Einstein & Italian Politician, Benito Mussolini. He lectured in different university in Japan, America.

His Literary Work:

                               Rabindranath Tagore was not a man. He is rather a university of Culture & Education. Through out his long eighty years life span, he perhaps did not rest his pen. Contiguously he wrote for Bengali literature. He set his foot on composing Drama, Short Stories, Novels, Poetry and Song. He is the inventor of Bengali classic-Rabindra Sangeet. In this Short essay, all his works can't be discussed. We will discuss his detail works in another space.

His Eternal Demise: 

          His last five years were full of agony. He had to face two long chronic dieses. In last of 1937, he remained in comatose near to death. But he recovered after a long sufferance. The similar spell started in last of 1940 from which he never recovered. On 7th August of 1941, he left for his eternal journey. He wrote his last poem on the day before his last operation on 30th July, 1941. The lyrics of the last poem re as follows:
I'm lost in the middle of my birthday. I want my friends, their touch, with the earth's last love. I will take life's final offering. I will take the human's last blessing. Today my sack is empty. I have given completely whatever I had to give. In return if I receive anything-some love, some forgiveness-then I take with me when I step on the boat that crosses to the festival of the wordless end.- Rabindranath Tagore.


             At the  end of this English Short essay, we lost a great laurate from the universe. We will always mourn long for his contributions. The better understandings of his works are more expressive than the translated version. Those who know Bengali language will definitely apprehended deeply his literature.

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