Tagore is the true literary legend of India. From Nobel prize to penning national anthem of 2 countries, he had done it all. But until last month, I had not read much of him apart from some stories in the school text books. I had browsed through some pages of Gitanjali, only to realize that I was too young to appreciate the devotional poems. Last month however, I downloaded “Stories from Tagore” , a collection of short stories by Rabindranath Tagore and discovered the beautiful world of his stories.
These stories were written between 1890 to 1917. Originally written in Bengali, the trademark of his style is narratives reflecting the emotions, underlying the social and economic structure of that era. Each story shows that how we restrict our true emotion due to our mindsets, religion, social beliefs and moral obligations.
Like the story of Cabuliwala, where a small girl develops friendship with the hawker. The girl reminded the hawker of his daughter from his home in Kabul and he likes to stop by and talk to the girl. And then there is a story where a devotee servant, who have served his master’s family for generations is accused of kidnapping the child, whom he loved more than anything. He goes back to village and raises one of his son, exactly like the missing kid and does not realize that what fate had in store for him.
There are also stories of family disputes, floods, epidemic, personal conflicts and social taboos. Credit also goes to the translators of these stories, who did a brilliant job of exposing these stories to the greater number of audience. It will be interesting how western readers would interpret the books since these stories demand some sort of cultural understanding of India.
I rated “Stories by Tagore” by Rabindranath Tagore 4 out of 5 stars on the goodreads. We all deserve to be in the World of Tagore’s stories which is the beautiful journey into the former century of time.