In 1901 he founded his school, the Santiniketan, at Bolpur as a protest against the existing evil system of education. The school was a great success and transfigured Viswabharati. On revisiting England in 1911 he brought with him the English Gitanjali, and it's publication in 1912 and the award of the Nobel Prize for literature the following year made him world-famous. This was the first award of that prize to an Asiatic. The rest of Tagore's life was spent at Santiniketan, except for several travels and lecture-tours in which he carried his message of human unity to all the important countries of Asia, America and Europe.
Tagore was a proud and ardent patriot. His most intense period of political activity was in the years following 1905, when the agitation against the partition of Bengal was at its highest speed. He renounced his knighthood in 1919 as protest against the Amritsar affair in a letter to the Viceroy, which is among the great documents of freedom. His patriotic poems and songs, particularly the latter, have passed into the common heritage of his country; the song “Bharata-bhagya-vidata” is now sung all over India and “Amar sonar Bangla” in Bangladesh as the national anthem.
In this respect I would like to discuss a few of his books which have stirred my heart towards having an unbounded pleasure of spiritual as well as real cultural life.
It is a remarkable short story where Tagore has tried to reflect a contrast between the two families comprising of conservatism and modernism. Hoimonti was educated in modern system of education where her father had influenced her by proper knowledge, culture, heritage and means to retaliate the real life situation. But as ill luck would have it, she was married with Opu, a son of conservative family. This family believed in superstitions and social customs. Opu’s father and mother had prejudice, which would influence Hoimonti tremendously. In the last Hoimonti was faded and her father-in-law was looking for another bride for his son.
This story is about a boy who doesn’t have a mother and was brought up by his aunt. He developed the character, which is different from his age group. He has an uncommon fondness towards the plants and trees. Bolai would not tolerate if anybody would weed out any plants and trees. He thought that every plant has a unique life, which is unknown to everybody. He showed all his love and sympathy even for the tree which grew in an unsuitable place. In the last his most favourite tree was cut down when his father took to Shimla for higher studies. Bolai’s aunt was shocked at the demolition of the tree, which she thought was the personification of Bolai.
The main characters of this story are a girl named Mini and Rahmat the Kabuliwala. Kabuliwala is from Afghanistan; he sells things from door to door. Once she was introduced to Mini, the talkative girl who was five years old. The man has left his daughter who is of Mini’s age back home. Mini and Kabuliwala developed a very good friendship. Kabuliwala used to bring dry fruits for Mini as present and showed the patience of listening to Mini. They used to tease each other about “going to in-laws house”. For some reason the man has to go to prison for eight years. After coming from jail he wanted to meet Mini. But, at that time Mini’s marriage ceremony was going on. In the past eight years she has forgotten her friend
Kabuliwala. She was not friendly like her childhood and was feeling shy seeing him. Kabuliwala could feel the distance the time has passed between them and his daughter.
It is a short story by Rabindranath regarding a postmaster. The postmaster was transferred to a village post office of India. Here he met a girl named Ratan with whom he would always continue conversation hours after hours. One day the postmaster fell ill, Ratan has looked after him and in this way a close relationship was developed between them. When the postmaster was transferred to the town again the girl became shocked and she asked him to take her with him but the postmaster was not in a position to take her. Rattan lived with the sheer pain of the lovely memory; she had spent with the postmaster.
I like Rabindranath’s book because I come to learn many things about the land, people and nature. We learn the problems, religion, culture and heritage of Bengali life. His books sometimes really create thrill, intuition and excitement for the readers by reflecting the social conflicts and contrast between conservative and modern educated people. Furthermore, his poetry ingrained in common life has been vividly contemplated in a significant manner, which stir my heart to a great extent.