Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Bengali pride Tagore

Alongside Pahela Baishakh, 25th of this (Bangla) month occupies a special place among the Bengalis. This day has been bejeweled by the arrival of a great scholar Rebendranath Tagore who revolutionised Bengali literature and introduce its treasures to the world.

Every year the day is observed by Bengalis with much zeal.

Tagore was born into a distinguished family in Calcutta (now Kolkata), West Bengal. His father Maharshi Rebendranath Tagore, was a well known Hindu reformer and mystic and his mother was Srimati Sharada Devi. Tagore was home-schooled. He was taught in Bengali, with English lessons in the afternoon. He read the Bengali poets at an early age and began writing poetry himself by the age of eight. Tagore did have a brief spell at the St Xavier's Jesuit school, but found the conventional system of education uncongenial. His father wanted him to become a barrister and he was sent to England for higher studies.

In England, Tagore was impressed and inspired by John Bright W.E. Gladstone's "large-hearted, radical liberalism." In 1879, he enrolled at University College, at London, but was called back by his father to return to India in 1880. Three years later he was married. Tagore's family chose his bride, an almost illiterate girl of ten, named Bhabatarini (renamed Mrinalini). They went on to have four children; the eldest was born when Mrinalini was 13. Mrinalini died at the age of 30.

Full report here Nation

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