Rabindranath Tagore Biography: Early Life, Education, Works and Achievements
Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti 2021: The birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore is observed on 7 May according to the Gregorian calendar but according to the Bengali calendar, he was born on the 25th day of Boishakh month. So, in West Bengal, his birthday as per the Bengali calendar is celebrated either on 8 May or 9 May. Rabindranath Tagore's birth anniversary is also known as Pochishe Boishakh. He was born in a rich Brahmin family in Kolkata (Calcutta) and was the youngest sibling in his family.
Born: 7 May, 1861
Place of Birth: Calcutta, British India
Penname: Bhanu Singha Thakur (Bhonita)
Father: Debendranath Tagore
Mother: Sarada Devi
Spouse: Mrinalini Devi
Children: Renuka Tagore, Shamindranath Tagore, Meera Tagore, Rathindranath Tagore, and Madhurilata Tagore
Died: 7 August, 1941
Place of Death: Calcutta, British India
Profession: Writer, song composer, playwright, essayist, painter
Language: Bengali, English
Award: Nobel Prize in Literature (1913)
Let us tell you that Rabindranath Tagore was a multi-talented personality with a great desire to learn new things. His contributions to literature, music, and his several works are unforgettable. People not only in West Bengal but also in the whole of India remember him and his contributions on his birth anniversary. Even in 1913, he was awarded the most prestigious Nobel Prize for his great contribution to Indian literature. Do you know that he was the first person from Asia to receive this award? We can't forget that he is the person who had composed the National Anthem of India.
Rabindranath Tagore: Early life and Childhood Days
He was born on 7 May, 1861 to Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi in the Jorasanko mansion which is the ancestral home of the Tagore family in Kolkata (Calcutta). Among his siblings, he was the youngest. He lost his mother when he was very young, his father was a traveller and so, he was mostly raised by his servants and maids. At a very young age, he was part of the Bengal renaissance and his family also took active participation in it. At the age of 8, he started writing poems and by the age of sixteen, he also started composing artworks and started publishing his poems under the pseudonym Bhanusimha. In 1877 he wrote the short story 'Bhikharini' and in 1882 the collection of poems 'Sandhya Sangit'.
He was influenced by the classical poetry of Kalidasa and started writing his own classical poems. His sister Swarnakumari was a well-known novelist. In 1873, he toured with his father for several months and gained knowledge on several subjects. He learned Sikhism when he stayed at Amritsar and pen down around six poems and many articles on the religion.
Rabindranath Tagore: Education
His traditional education began in Brighton, East Sussex, England, at a public school. In 1878, he went to England to become a barrister to fulfill his father's wish. He was not much interested in school learning and later also he joined University College in London to learn law but he dropped this and learned various works of Shakespeare on his own. He also learned the essence of English, Irish and Scottish literature and music; he returned to India and married Mrinalini Devi.
Rabindranath Tagore: Established Shantiniketan
His father bought a huge land for meditation and named it Shantiniketan. Debendranath Tagore founded an 'Ashram' in 1863. In 1901, Rabindranath Tagore established an open-air school. It was a prayer hall with marble flooring and was named 'The Mandir'. It was also named 'Patha Bhavana' and started with only five students. Classes here were held under trees and followed the traditional Guru-Shishya method of teaching. This trend of teaching revived the ancient method of teaching which proved beneficial when compared with the modernised method. Unfortunately, his wife and two children died and he left alone. At that time he was very disturbed. In the meantime, his works started growing and became more popular amongst the Bengali as well as foreign readers. In 1913, he gained recognition and was awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature, and became Asia's first Nobel Laureate. Now, Shantiniketan is a famous University town in West Bengal.
Let us tell you that Rabindranath Tagore envisioned a centre of learning which would have the best of both the east and the west. He established the Visva Bharati University in West Bengal. It consists of two campuses one at Shantiniketan and the other at Sriniketan. Sriniketan focuses on agriculture, adult education, village, cottage industries, and handicrafts.
Rabindranath Tagore: Literary Works
Japajog: Published in 1929, His novel is a compelling take on marital rape.
Nastanirh: Published in 1901. This novel is about relationships and love, both requited and unrequited.
Ghare Baire: Published in 1916. It is a story about a married woman constricted in her household trying to find her own identity.
Gora: In the 1880s, it is an expansive, exhaustive, and extremely relevant novel that deals with several themes like religion, gender, feminism, and also tradition against modernity.
Chokher Bali: In 1903, a novel which consists of various facets of relationships.
His short stories are Bhikarini, Kabuliwala, Kshudita Pashan, Atottju, Haimanti and Musalmanir Golpo etc.
Poems are Balaka, Purobi, Sonar Tori and Gitanjali.
No doubt he has changed the dimensions of Bengali literature as it was earlier viewed. Many countries have even erected their statues to pay tribute to the legendary writer. Around five museums are dedicated to Tagore out of which three are situated in India and the remaining two in Bangladesh.
He spent his last years in severe pain and even in 1937, he went into a comatose condition. After a lot of suffering, he died on 7 August 1941 in the Jorasanko mansion where he was brought up.