The 25th day of the Bengali month of Boishakh, Rabindra Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, a world-renowned prolific poet and a charismatic personality whose literary compositions arrays poetry, songs, short stories, novels, and plays and the one who brought the notion of compassion to the fore and stressed on how we can live a life surrounding and benefitting others.
Today, May 9, is the 158th birth anniversary of Tagore. In his remembrances, every lane of West Bengal and Bangladesh celebrate the day with cultural programmes and events which is named as Kabipranam (a tribute to the poet). Every school, college, university, club or even small groups of artists mark the day with literature and music that connect them with the great poet. Kabipranam commemorates the songs (Rabindra Sangeet), poetries, dances and dramas, written and composed by Tagore. Bengalis around the world in their desire to feel the touch of their own language, celebrate the phenomenon called Rabindranath.
However, the rest of India, except a group of literary scholars and bookworms, hardly knows anything about Tagore except the national anthem. How many school, colleges, universities, or seminars are organised in rest of the country to discuss Rabindranath Tagore’s brilliant and thought-provoking poems, stories, novels, essays, and songs that reshaped and added a new dimension to country’s literature and music? While running behind higher marks and job-oriented courses, even educational institutions have forgotten to introduce their students to the one biggest canvass of art that the country is blessed with through the hands of Rabindranath Tagore.
He is forgotten. Even when cities like Paris, New York, London, and Chicago have given solid boost to the academies of Rabindra Sangeet and reported that the students and admirers of Tagore’s songs are increasing every day, his own countrymen have neglected him — his values and the essence of art that formed from his pen are only surviving predominantly within the Bengalis. There are hardly any decent translations of his compositions and the available ones mostly fail to carry the required emotion. The vastness in his writings made it difficult for ordinary multilingual readers to reach him. Why have we failed to reach him in every corner of the country? Who will take the accountability and at least use this moment to start spreading the phenomenon named Rabindranath? Even though we have wasted time, but please remember, we have way more to go.
Let us look back to a few famous quotes by Rabindranath Tagore
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky.”
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”
“Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.”
“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”
“It is very simple to be happy, but it is very difficult to be simple.”
“The small wisdom is like water in a glass: clear, transparent, pure. The great wisdom is like the water in the sea: dark, mysterious, impenetrable.”
“A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it.”
“Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf.”
“The flower which is single need not envy the thorns that are numerous.”
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