Rabindranath Thakur, the artist of artists whose work transcended time, imagination and all other boundaries to a degree which we can even put a shadow on. Today, on his 160th birth anniversary, it feels like his creations are still so contemporary and enlightening that suit every season, mood, emotion and situation that cannot be just called as creation, rather can rightly be named as ‘Magic’.
Rabindranath Tagore was not just a literary genius who swayed mountains with words, the songwriter who won the first Nobel for the country but he is a cultural entity, the sophisticated adaptation of a behavioral asset within the Bengali community. A muse to many artists who came after him.
Today, more than one and a half-century since he was born and people still worship, study, and debate his style, his ideologies, and his work even after 160 years of his worldly presence. This is something incredibly tenacious strength of this masterpiece.
His place of stay, his art, scribbles, letters, songs, poems, short stories, and most importantly the very essence of his existence are documents of great Indian artistic history.
It is often contemplated that in Tagore’s work, the fine lines between the beloved and the almighty are faded. Tagore’s stay in east Bengal near the Padma river gave birth to aesthetically rich stories of the rural people, their struggles, their passions, their daily little defeats, which was later imbibed by Satyajit Ray in his filmmaking.
Tagore’s songs are a glimpse of light through little cracks which gives a peek to the almighty’s paradise. His muse was and is the one omnipresent and omniscient aspect that has eternalism in every part.
Tagore was not just a man of creative genius but a philanthropist. He founded Visvabharati at the dusk of his life. His temperamental attitude gave rise to many little out-of-the-box learning methods for students which are prevalent till now. Visvabharati is a structural milestone, a place that gave a legacy to the artistic emblem of Rabindranath Thakur’s life journey.
Visvabharati- Shantiniketan is a standing example of a diaspora of a world existing within a world. Someday standing right in the middle of the “Mela’r Math” at the dawn, amid the various hundreds of year old trees it feels that Tagore is still here, within the mists of clouds and the dancing of flowers.
Being a “probashi bangali” is somewhere between the lines of being the jack of many trades and master of none (though stronger proverbs do come to mind, let’s just stick to this one). Resulting in being taken away from glorious literature and cultural marathon a Bengali kid grows into. But still, when parents manage to inculcate some rituals to the daily cacophony of a kid’s life you get a chance to sit back and smile about the little things you cherish.
My first encounter with Rabindranath Thakur was such one such phenomenon. I met him through a small white book with solid images, Sahaj Path that took me into a small world of excellence through simple and folded lines that ignited the adherence for Thakur and his mighty creations.