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One big family

Rabindranath Tagore, the only English literature Nobel laureate from India, was remembered all over the world with year-long celebrations of his 150th birth anniversary.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2011 00:34 IST
P P Wangchuk

Rabindranath Tagore, the only English literature Nobel laureate from India, was remembered all over the world with year-long celebrations of his 150th birth anniversary.

I too paid my tributes to the great littérateur by reading and rereading his great works that include, besides his collection of 103 poems in Gitanjali, great essays and short stories.

Tagore works are a mirror to Indian society of his days and even today; and his ‘peep’ into human psyche makes one understand how and why mankind behaves the way it does. He reflects life in its varied forms –joyous as well as painful.

The pain and the ailments one suffers from are described by him thus: “This is something that can’t be written in words. He only knows it that sits in the bosom of the world and receives all its pangs in His own heart.

“The sky is dumb, the stars are mute, the night is still, and in the midst of it all that one sleepless cry.”

Tagore believed in the supremacy of a ‘Governor’ “somewhere up there” Because, as he says, “When, in that midnight, standing under the silent stars, I looked upon that figure (a female patient), my mind was struck with awe, and I said to myself: Who am I to judge her? O life, O death, O God of the infinite existence. I bow my head in silence to the mystery which is in you.”

But, more than that, one enjoys Tagore when he indulges in his philosophical thoughts. His essays make you wonder about his vision and universal outlook. For him, all boundaries were superficial, and the whole world a big family.

“The colouring of ideas which man gives himself is only superficial. The inner man remains as ordinary as ever. If someone, who could see right into me, were to write my biography, he would make me out to be no different from that lout of a Panchu (one of his characters). That shows the greatness of the humility of this great son of India. His world was a world of vision, peace and humanity. The rest is all superficial.