Rabindranath Tagore was born in Calcutta on 7 May, 1981. He started to write poetries when he was 8 and by the age of 16, he was publishing his work with his own name. An eminent poet, visual artist, novelist, composer and playwright, Rabindranath Tagore is one of the biggest literary figures in India and the first Asian laureate to win the prestigious Nobel Prize in 1913. For his contributions to Indian literature and music, his life is celebrated with much fervour on the occasion of Rabindra Jayanti.
Youngest among his siblings, Rabindranath lost his mother at a very young age. His father used to travel a lot, and so he was mostly raised by his maids and servants.
Rabindranath Tagore began writing verses early, at the age of 8, but his father, Debendranath, wanted him to be a barrister. So he was sent to a public school in Brighton in England. Later, he enrolled for a degree in law at the University College of London. However, Rabindranath left London without completing the course and returned to India. While in London, he spent more time studying Shakespeare and moving around in literary circles, something that was close to his heart.
He was then sent to manage the family’s vast estates in Shelaidaha, now in Bangladesh. His benevolent attitude quickly made him a favourite among the ordinary people living in the estates. As a result, many of their dues were exempted. His stay in Shelaidaha was an excellent creative period for Rabindranath. References to the people and the region’s natural beauty found their reflection in many of his later creations.Guru Rabindranath’s birthday is celebrated ceremoniously by Bengalis across the world by holding a number of cultural programs in his memory. Plays, dance dramas, poetries and songs, all written and composed by the legend himself, are performed in various institutes and theatres on this day. In Kolkata, the festival is celebrated as Poncheeshe Boishakh and all the cultural activities are held at Jorasanko Thakurbari (Tagore’s ancestral home) and Rabindra Sadan (cultural centre). Shantiniketan in Birbhum, West Bengal also hosts grand celebrations to celebrate the birthday of its founder. Tagore’s work teaches us human values and care for others in society. But unfortunately, translation issues limit his works to only a section of the people in India.