admin@qs3 | May 5, 2018
Rabindranath Tagore, also written Ravindranatha ?hakura was a Bengali polymath who reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Author of Gitanjali and its “profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse”, he became in 1913 the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.
A Pirali Brahmin from Calcutta with ancestral gentry roots in Jessore, Tagore wrote poetry as an eight-year-old. At the age of sixteen, he released his first substantial poems under the pseudonym Bhanusi?ha (“Sun Lion”), which were seized upon by literary authorities as long-lost classics. By 1877 he graduated to his first short stories and dramas, published under his real name.
Gitanjali (Song Offerings), Gora (Fair-Faced) and Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World) are his best-known works, and his verse, short stories, and novels were acclaimed—or panned—for their lyricism, colloquialism, naturalism, and unnatural contemplation. His compositions were chosen by two nations as national anthems: India’s Jana Gana Mana and Bangladesh’s Amar Shonar Bangla. The Sri Lankan national anthem was inspired by his work.
The youngest of thirteen surviving children, Tagore was born on 7 May 1861 in the Jorasanko mansion in Calcutta to Debendranath Tagore (1817–1905) and Sarada Devi (1830–1875). Tagore was raised mostly by servants; his mother had died in his early childhood and his father travelled widely. The Tagore family was at the forefront of the Bengal renaissance. They hosted the publication of literary magazines; theatre and recitals of Bengali and Western classical music featured there regularly.
Tagore’s father invited several professional Dhrupad musicians to stay in the house and teach Indian classical music to the children. Tagore’s oldest brother Dwijendranath was a philosopher and poet. Another brother, Satyendranath, was the first Indian appointed to the elite and formerly all-European Indian Civil Service. Yet another brother, Jyotirindranath, was a musician, composer, and playwright.
His sister Swarnakumari became a novelist. Jyotirindranath’s wife Kadambari Devi, slightly older than Tagore, was a dear friend and powerful influence. Her abrupt suicide in 1884, soon after he married, left him profoundly distraught for years. Tagore largely avoided classroom schooling and preferred to roam the manor or nearby Bolpur and Panihati, which the family visited. His brother Hemendranath tutored and physically conditioned him—by having him swim the Ganges or trek through hills, by gymnastics, and by practising judo and wrestling.
After his upanayan (coming-of-age) rite at age eleven, Tagore and his father left Calcutta in February 1873 to tour India for several months, visiting his father’s Santiniketan estate and Amritsar before reaching the Himalayan hill station of Dalhousie. There Tagore read biographies, studied history, astronomy, modern science, and Sanskrit, and examined the classical poetry of Kalidasa. He wrote 6 poems relating to Sikhism and no. of articles in Bengali child magazine about Sikhism.
Tagore returned to Jorosanko and completed a set of major works by 1877, one of them a long poem in the Maithili style of Vidyapati. As a joke, he claimed that these were the lost works of (what he claimed was) a newly discovered 17th-century Vai??ava poet Bhanusi?ha. Regional experts accepted them as the lost works of Bhanusi?ha.
He debuted in the short-story genre in Bengali with “Bhikharini” (“The Beggar Woman”). Published in the same year, Sandhya Sangit (1882) includes the poem “Nirjharer Swapnabhanga” (“The Rousing of the Waterfall”).