Feature Image Credits: Wikipedia
Sir Rabindranath Tagore was a man with many talents. He was a Novelist, a Philosopher, an Educationist and a Painter. The Author of ‘Gitanjali’ (collections of poetries), Tagore became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. He was famously known as ‘Gurudev’ (Master Teacher), ‘Kabiguru’ (Master Poet) and ‘Bishwakabi’ (World Poet). He wrote and composed an entire genre of songs. Tagore is the only person till date to have composed the National Anthem of two countries- India (Jana Gana Mana) and Bangladesh (Amar Sonar Bangla).
‘Gurudev’ is also known as one of the best short story writers in the world. He began his career in short stories in 1877 at the tender age of sixteen. Tagore’s three-volume ‘Golpoguchchho’ (Bunch of Stories) remains among the most popular fictional works in Bengali literature. The first volume is a collection of eighty-four stories and his first story was ‘Bhikharini’ (The Beggar Woman). The short stories usually showcase Tagore’s reflections upon his surroundings, on modern and fashionable ideas, and on interesting mind puzzles.
So, let’s find some time out of our busy lives and go through few of the best works of Rabindranath Tagore. Though all stories are worth reading, but here’s a list of few short stories from Tagore’s Golpoguchchho which became epic.
The story of Kabuliwala is about the affection between Abdur Rahamat Khan, an Afghani immigrant dry-fruit-seller in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and Mini, a girl who he imagines as his child-figure in memory of his daughter, Amina who stays in Kabul with her mother. This story offers a more classical perspective on humanism, identify and difference.
Gora, an epic story by Tagore, debates a number of issues and is the reflection of complex diversity of social life in colonial India. The story describes how the society sets boundaries, cultivates thoughts and is a mixture of love and duty. The story takes place at a time when the Bengali society in Calcutta (now Kolkata) was divided into orthodox Hindus and the Brahmos who are modernised and have liberal thoughts.
Gora (Gourmohan) is the central character in the story who represents the undying spirit of struggle for freedom from the British. The story revolves around how people were subjected to societal demands and consequences offenders would face on violating such demands.
Ghare Baire or the Home and the World is a short story by Rabindranath Tagore in 1916. The book is a clear depiction of Tagore’s battle with himself, between the ideas of Western culture and revolution against the Western culture. These two ideas are portrayed in two of the main characters, Nikhil, a rational man who opposes violence, and Sandip, who will let nothing stand in his way from reaching his goals.
The book shows the clash between new and old, realism and idealism, the means and the end, good and evil within India and Southern Asia.
Nastnirh is a story based on the lives of ‘Bhadralok’ (wealthy Bengalis) who were part of the Bengal Renaissance and highly influenced by the Brahmo Samaj. Despite his liberal ideas, Bhupati (character in the story) is blind to the loneliness and dissatisfaction of his wife, Charu (another character in the story). It is only with the appearance of his cousin, Amal, who incites passionate feelings in Charu, that Bhupati realizes what he has lost.
Shesher Kobita recounts the love story of two characters named Amit Ray and Labannya. Amit Ray is a Barrister who meets Labannya is a car accident and their love story builds up in Shillong. They decided to get married and Amit’s aunt too agreed to the match, but the story ends with a twist. Labannya leaves Amit to marry another man and also leaves behind a letter bidding farewell.
Kshudhita Pashan (The Hungry Stones):
One of the greatest short story by Gurudev Tagore, Kshudhita Pashan is about a Tax Collector posted in a remote area under Nijam Rule. Inspite of warning of some supernatural presence from locals at his place of stay, he still decides to stay there. He gradually gets influenced in the palace’s ill-farmed history and refuses to return to the terms of real life.
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