Rabindranath Tagore – The Voice of India
In a world of literary magazines Tagore lived
Music recitals, and theatre he breathed,
His was a large social group of art lovers.
Oldest brother, a poet and philosopher,
In the Civil Service and elite group was another brother,
A gifted musician, playright, composer, one brother,
And a novelist one sister.
His sister in law Kadambari Devi
Was his close bestie
And a powerful influence on him,
Her sudden suicide devastated him.
The void left a profound mark on his literary life.
Causing a real emotional strife.
Tagore started writing poems around age eight,
He underwent the upanayana, a coming-of-age rite:
Shaved bald, and sent into retreat,
To chant and meditate.
He instead beat drums and played,
A sacred thread of investiture after which he received.
His first close contact with his father was on a tour.
He visited Shantiniketan full of greenery
Where he felt free with no ‘servocracy’.
He was exposed to astronomy,
And on biographies he was fed.
He travelled to England in early October,
With the intention to become a barrister.
He first stayed for some months near Brighton
Tagore was brought to London.
He enrolled at University College London.
But just over a year it became boredom.
Exposure to English language and culture brought gradually
To his passion, music, poetry and drama, a new creativity,
Permeating his earlier knowledge of Bengali.
Nevertheless, he never held on to English wholly
Or the traditionally severe Hindu religious observances
In his art or in his life but chose what he deemed best.
His earned him world repute with his literary activities
His volumes of short stories,
Novels, dramas, essays, travel diaries, autobiographies,
His songs, drawings and paintings.
And his poems having universal themes,
Lead him to more fame.
The voice of India he became sooner.
Being universally acclaimed as a prodigious writer
Of deep human concern, being a great thinker,
An outstanding philosopher,
And he bagged the Nobel Prize,
Surely, nobody could challenge the great rise.