Rabindranath Tagore, a man of multiple talents, created so much art in his entire life that we still come across his works in one way or the other. Be it the national anthem of India or the beautiful song Ekla Chalo in Bachchan Sahab’s legendary baritone voice- Gurudev’s legacy lives on!
Here is a collection of facts that briefly sum up this legend’s entire life journey:
1. Rabindranath Tagore was an Indian poet, writer, composer, playwright, composer, philosopher, social reformer and painter.
2. He was born on 7 May 1861 in Calcutta of Bengal Presidency, British India (Kolkata in modern-day India.) named “Robindronath Thakur”. His parents were Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi.
3. Tagore’s mother passed away in his early childhood. Servants mainly raised him because his father used to travel a lot. His father taught Indian classical music to him and his siblings by inviting professional Dhrupad musicians to stay in the house.
4. Diversifying his knowledge, Tagore studied Anatomy, Geography, Literature, History, Mathematics, Sanskrit and English, but he disliked regular classroom schooling. English was his least favourite subject!
5. Rabindranath Tagore’s brother, Jyotirindranath Tagore, got married to Kadambari Devi. She was almost ten years younger than her husband. Kadambari Devi was only ten years old at the time of her marriage. Rabindranath Tagore was 2-years younger than her.
6. Kadambari Devi and Rabindranath Tagore became good friends and playmates. Her creative feedback & comments inspired many of Tagore’s poems. Although her relationship with Tagore was controversial, many people believe that Kadambari Devi had an affection for Tagore.
7. He was sent to a public school in Brighton, East Sussex, England. His father wanted him to become a barrister. Later on, he was enrolled to study law at University College, London. Still, he dropped out and independently studied Shakespeare’s Plays. He returned to Bengal in 1880 without a degree.
8. Tagore regularly published poems, stories and novels after his return to Bengal. These deeply impacted the people of Bengal but didn’t garner much national attention.
9. He married Mrinalini Devi in 1883, who was ten years old at that time. Just a few months after his marriage, Kadambari Devi committed suicide on 21 April 1884. Her demise deeply saddened Rabindranath Tagore. He penned down many poems & songs in her memory.
10. Tagore penned down 4 novellas and 8 novels in total. He also composed around 2230 songs, which are now known as Rabindrasangit.
12. In 1913, Rabindranath Tagore became the first non-Europian and the first lyricist to have won a Nobel Prize in literature.
13. Tagore wasn’t in favour of simply reading and memorizing the textbooks. He started a new school in Santiniketan and named it Visva-Bharati. The school followed a Brahmacharya System where Gurus gave emotional, intellectual and spiritual guidance to the pupils under the trees.
14. Tagore contributed his Nobel Prize money for the school. He taught classes in the mornings and wrote the textbooks for students in the evenings.
15. Leaving behind a legacy rich in art & culture, a truly versatile, intellectual and inspirational artist & teacher, Tagore bid goodbye to this world on 7 August 1941 at the age of 80.
Rabindranath Tagore originally composed Jana Gana Mana as Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata in Bengali. But the Constituent Assembly of India adopted the first stanza of the song as the National Anthem of India. Tagore also wrote Amar Shonar Bangla, the National Anthem of Bangladesh.
An “Indian Aristotle”, in a way, Rabindranath Tagore was a man of many ideas who has left behind a legendary and inspirational journey to read for us.
What's Your Reaction?
Love to watch films, love to write about films and most importantly love to think about films. A cinephile chatterbox with a Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication.