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Rabindra Jayanti: A Tribute To The Bard of Bengal; Rabindranath Tagore 1

Rabindra Jayanti: A Tribute To The Bard of Bengal; Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Thakur is one such eminent name that needs no introduction. His mesmerizing verse of Gitanjali still touches every soul. Every year, his birth anniversary is observed as Rabindranath Jayanti, across the country and this year marks his 159th birth anniversary

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Rabindranath Tagore born on 7 May 1861 as Rabindranath Thakur, is also known by his pen name Bhanu Singha Thakur.  He is Asia’s first to win the Nobel Prize.

Tagore used to pen poetry, songs, stories and dramas and his writings also included portrayals of lives of common people, literary criticism, philosophy and social issues. While most of his writings are in Bengali, most of them were later translated into English.

A poet, musician, writer and even a painter, Rabindranath Tagore was one of the greatest minds of India. He has composed more than 2,000 songs and penned a large number of poems, stories, dramas and novels. Also known as the ‘Bard of Bengal’, Gurudev came from a notable Brahmin family and had a notable contribution in introducing the Indian literature to the world.

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Here are some interesting and lesser known facts about him:

First Non-European To Win A Nobel Literature Prize

Rabindranath Tagore wasn’t just the first Asian to win a Nobel prize, but also the first Non-European to mark his prominence in literature.

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First Recitation

Rabindranath Tagore’s first public recitation of his poetry was at the age of 14 at a Bengal cultural and nationalistic festival.

His poem on the greatness of India’s past, expressing sorrow at it’s present state, under Vritish rule, was acclaimed.

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Tagore’s Elder Brother

Gurudev’s elder brothr, Satyendranath Tagore was the First Indian to be in the formerly all-European ICS (Indian Civil Service).

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Made A School From His Nobel Prize Money

Rabindranath Tagore invested his Nobel Prize money in constructing the ‘Visva-Bharati’ school in Shantiniketan which gave the nation many distinguished personalities like Satyajit Ray, Amartya Sen and Indira Gandhi among others.

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Tagore Inspired 3 National Anthems

Most of us know that Rabindranath Tagore wrote the  national anthem of India, ‘Jana Gana Mana, but very few know that he also wrote the national anthem of Bangladesh, ‘Amar Sonar Bangla’ and the Sri Lankan national anthem, ‘Sri Lankan Matha.’

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Tagore Was An Avid Traveler

He traveled to 30 countries on five continents in a little over five decades in the late 19th century and the early 20th century.

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Earned A Worldwide Fame

Each time he visited a new nation, the government would pledge thousands of dollars to his Visva Bharati University in honor of his visit to their country.

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He Conferred The Title ‘Mahatma’ On The Father Of The Nation

It was Gurudev, who conferred the title, ‘Mahatma’ on the Father of the Nation.

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Tagore Was Colour Blind

At the age of sixty, Tagore took up drawing and painting and many of his work were successfully exhibited throughout Europe. His strange colour schemes and off-beat aesthetics made people realize that he was red-green colour blind.

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Preface Of Gitanjali Is Written By W.B. Yeats  

The preface of Tagore’s Gitanjali, was written by W.B. Yeats another great poet of the 20th Century.

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In Conversation With Einstein

Tagore was once invited by Albert Einstein at his home. Two of them talked about religion and science while their chat has been documented in ‘Note on the Nature of Reality.’

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Nobel Prize Was Stolen

Tagore’ s Nobel Prize was stolen in a theft at Shantiniketan in 2004. Hence, the Swedish Academy gave him the award again in the form of two replicas, a gold and a silver.

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Tagore Worked On All Genres

Tagore wrote novels, short stories, poems, dramas, songs and many more. He is believed to have worked on almost all kinds of genres.

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Tagore Was Knighted Once

King George V of England knighted Rabindranath Tagore in 1915 for his great contribution in the field of literature. However, he renounced his title, following the tragic massacre at Jallianwala Bagh in 1919.

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Like Father, Like Son

Rabindranath Tagore was the son of Debendranath Tagore, the person who played a major role in influencing the Bengali renaissance. Likewise, Rabindranath Tagore played a crucial role in discovering Bengali Art, Literatire, Music and Theatre.

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His Sister Was A Novelist

Tagore’s sister, Swarnakumari Devi was a renowned poet and a novelist. She was among the first women in Bengal to gain the importance in these fields.

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His writings pioneered the new ideas of social realism, colloquial dialogue and satire in the then Bengali literature. His acclaimed novels included, Gora, Ghare Baire (Home and the World), Sesher Kobita (Farewell, my Friend), and many more. His short stories included Postmaster, Kabuliwallah and others.

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Many of his novels and short stories have taken the form of cinema like, Natir Puja, Gora, Naukadubi, Teen Kanya, Megh o Roudra, Chokher Bali, Kabuliwala, among others.

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