Our man, Rabindranath TagoreAtaur Rahman
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) is the greatest modern Bengali poet and the most brilliant creative genius produced by the sub-continent’s Renaissance.
Rabindranath Tagore’s entire being belongs to Bengal because he was out and out a Bengali and had written in Bangla with the exception of his Nobel Prize winning English collection of poetry ‘Gitanjali’ and a few other essays and different articles in English.
As a first non European, he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913, with special reference to his English ‘Gitanjali’ which is not entirely alike Bengali version of ‘Gitanjali’. Rabindranath Tagore was a myriad-minded man with multifaceted creative genius in art, culture and literature. He, in his life time traversed all the areas of literature with great success. It was out and out a victorious journey all through the way.
He took keen interest in performing arts, like stage acting and directing. In performing arts he took keen interest in music and dance.
He composed about 3500 songs which will be an up heal task for any composer to surpass him. Tagore himself was confident about the quality of both lyrics and tunes of songs composed by him and said that his all creative literary works may perish with time but not his songs. ‘It will remain evergreen and inspiring in the heart of the Bengalis as long as they exist in this planet,’ he hoped.
We can feel the truth such of his utterance as we now strongly realise that without Tagore’s songs our life’s sojourn will remain incomplete. Apart from poems and songs, he had written extra-ordinary travelogues, essays, novels, plays, dance-drama and musicals, autobiographical and history based articles.
He is known as one of the great short story writers of the world whose work can only be compared with Guy de Maupassant, O Henry and Anton Chekhov and few other renowned short story writers of the globe.
Rabindranath Tagore wanted to do some creative work secretly only to please his own soul, for instance painting. But that too became exposed to the humanity and his paintings can stand by the side of the work of the renowned painters of the world.
Rabindranath Tagore was a great traveler who had seen almost all the important places of the world. Though basically a poet, he was a philosopher, social reformer and activist who observed the political interplays around the globe with its many faceted evils along side its humane endeavors. His political views were reflected in his number of poems, songs, plays, novels, short stories mostly under the cover of allegories, symbols and metaphors.
He was also an educationist. ‘Bishwa Bharati University’ in Bolpur in Paschimbanga, incepted by Tagore, bears the testimony of his achievement in this direction. He was one who had also initiated a Bank for the poor with his Nobel Prize money at Shajadpur of the then East Bengal, now a sovereign country called Bangladesh.
Rabindranath Tagore was a prolific writer who had played with words for long 67 years as he had started writing from the age on only thirteen and continued upto the age of eighty when he died.
He was truly a Nationalist poet who tried relentlessly to mingle nationalism with internationalism towards human progress. He never gave in to ‘hyper nationalism’, which he thought pernicious for an individual as well as the mass people.
Though essentially a poet, Tagore tried almost everything in the creative world. He even made a movie based on his verse-play ‘Notir Puja’. Rabindranath Tagore in his pick of his creativity spent a good number of years, from 1889-1895, in our part of Bengal, especially in Shilaydaha, Potishar and Shajadpur.
In his own confession, he without ambiguity said he would not have been a complete Rabindranath if he had not seen joys and sorrows of the people living on the bank of river Padma with its storm and calm along with the flooded moonlit night sky, which moulded Tagore’s vibrant life. The songs of Lalon Shah and Gogon Horkora was the elixir in creating the inner being of Tagore, the universal man who aptly assimilated the entire world’s culture of the east, west, north and south which justifies his name ‘Rabi’, means the ‘Sun’.
He was and is truly our man and will remain so ever. We salute him for teaching us to love life and living.
The writer is an actor-director
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