Rabindranath Tagore Biography
Born on May 7, 1961 in Calcutta, Rabindranath Tagore is known for his many dimensions. Author of the national anthems of India and Bangladesh, Tagore was the first Asian ever to become a Nobel laureate after Gitanjali—a collection of poems by him, won him the Nobel Prize in 1913.
Tagore has been a significant entity in the Indian culture, especially in Bengal, for his contribution to the society as a writer, philosopher, educationist, poet and musician. His music, popularly known as Rabindra Sangeet is celebrated throughout Bengal and other parts of India.
Born into a rich Brahmin family, Tagore was a man of substance since his childhood and didn’t believe in traditional education. He wanted to explore the practicalities in this field and hence, left his school, to be home schooled by a number of teachers.
Tagore, along with his father Debendranath toured to the latter’s Santiniketan estate, where he explored subjects like Sanskrit, history, astronomy and poetry of Kalidasa. His journey with writing began in 1874, when a magazine called Tattobodhini anonymously published his poem Abhilash. Following it, there was no looking back as Tagore went on a spree of publishing more of his poems, one of which was Kabi Kahini, published in the year 1878.
He accompanied his brother Satyandranath to England in the same year and stayed there briefly before returning to India in 1880; that is when he officially commenced his career as a writer and poet. In the year 1883, he got betrothed to Mrinalini Devi Rai Choudhary and had three daughters and two sons.
Between the years 1884 to 1901, he took up many ventures like writing dramas such as Raja-o-Rani and many volumes of poetry, including Khanika and Sonar Tari. When his wife passed away in 1902, he wrote Smaran, paying tribute to her.
Tagore started penning down Gitanjali in 1909 and toured to Europe, where he met many English poets including J.B. Yeats, who was very impressed with Tagore’s work.
After winning the Nobel Prize for Gitanjali, he was honored with the title of Knight by British King George V in 1915, but he renounced the title post the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.
In his later years, he travelled across the world and established the Viswabharati University in 1921, to which he gave all his wealth. The man with many faces breathed his last on August 7, 1941.