One of those great masters of literature Tagore's work left no human emotion untouched. The poet, novelist, essayist, philosopher and musician is being remembered on his death anniversary today, which is known as 'Baishe Shrabon' in Bengal (Shravan 22, in the Bengali calendar).
In the introduction to 'Gitanjali', for which Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize in 1913, WB Yeats wrote, "We write long books where no page perhaps has any quality to make writing a pleasure, being confident in some general design, just as we fight and make money and fill our heads with politics - all dull things in the doing - while Mr Tagore, like the Indian civilization itself, has been content to discover the soul and surrender himself to its spontaneity."
Tagore was also the first-ever non - European to have won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913. He was to be knighted by the British Empire, but he renounced that title after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919.
Tagore penned over 2000 songs, which are known as 'Rabindra Sangeet'. His works include hundreds of novels, short stories, dance-dramas, poems, essays and travelogues. Gora, Gitanjali, Rakta Karabi, Ghare Baire, Shesher Kobita, Raja O Rani, Tasher Desh, Dena Paona, Shanchayita are some of his best works, many of which have been translated into several languages.
He composed the National Anthems of two nations - "Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka Jaya He" for India and "Amar Shonar Bangla" for Bangladesh.
Quotes to pop into your brain.
"...Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit. Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action. In to that heaven of freedom, my father, Let my country awake."
"Deliverance is not for me in renunciation. I feel the embrace of freedom in a thousand bonds of delight."
"And because I love this life, I know I shall love death as well.
"He who has the knowledge has the responsibility to impart it to the students."
"In the night of weariness let me give myself up to sleep without struggle, resting my trust upon thee..."