Saturday, August 24, 2013

Book Review: Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore: A Journey To Infinity To Discover Yourself

You need to have a big appetite to digest each and every word of Gitanjali written by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941). The work was originally written in Bengali published over different Bengali books on poetry from where 103 poems have been picked, compiled and consolidated in this book. The translation has been done from Bengali to English by Rabindranath Tagore himself. Gitanjali in literal meaning denotes an offering of a handful of songs.

Gitanjali when was released first in August 1910, just one day before the date that became our Independence Day later (15th August). And then Gitanjali made Rabindranath Tagore the first non-European to win a Nobel for Literature in 1913. The book shook the whole world and placed India, Rabindranath Tagore and Gitanjali on international arena of literature.

These poems are only numbered, not titled. Hence each poem brings a different meaning to each of its reader without getting drifted away by the preconception got generated by reading a title. Each of the poem is thought provoking, intriguing, deeply meaningful and motivational. These poems in Gitanjali are building blocks of anyone within. You read a poem post which it forces you to interrogate yourself, discuss it with yourself to get deeper and deeper to conclude it. 

In poem no XXXVI Tagore seems to be interacting/ conversing with God telling to accept his prayer to him and fill in the unfilled portion within his heart. Tagore prays to God to give him strength to absorb his joys and sorrows faced in life and not to get drifted away by them. He further adds to his prayer to God to shower his blessings so that love becomes meaningful in life.

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