On the occasion of Kobiguru Rabindranath Tagore's 159th birth anniversary, let us take a look at some of his short stories, translated to English, that you can enjoy, as you self-isolate at this time.
The spooky story is set in a horror genre and revolves around a tax collector, Srijut, who stays at a former palace near the banks of Susta. Srijut shares his tales of unreal fascination towards a woman, whose spirit haunts the place and takes him to discover the palace in the petrifying hours of darkness. Apparently, Tagore was inspired to write this story after he had spent some time in Mughal emperor Shah Jahan's Moti Shahi Mahal, in Gujarat. The palace located near Sabarmati perfectly resonates with Srijut's adobe in the story.
The narration of this story would take you through a roller coaster of emotions. It revolves around the bond of between Mini, the daughter of a middle-class aristocratic family and a merchant from Kabul, who visits Kolkata every year to sell dry fruits. Be it Mini's questions or her companion's ridiculous replies, the story will make you smile.
The story revolves around the dilemma between the heart and the social notions of the protagonists. Hemant, a Brahmin falls in love with Kusum, an orphan belonging to a lower caste. As the story progresses, the plot reveals a tale of revenge, leading to the unsuitable match. The story subtly challenges the Indian caste system and beautifully presents the lives of the characters as you get a close peek of their circumstances.
This is a short story that might leave you in tears. It presents the life of fourteen-year-old Phatik Chakraborty, who is seen as a nuisance by his mother. The boy's life witnesses a major change when he is offered to stay in the city with his uncle. In a quest for happiness, Phatik does everything he could to win the affection and care of his near ones. The story ends as he waits for the holidays to unite with his mother in the village. With a wave of distress flooding over the pages, this story would make you cherish familial love.
Just like Tagore's other short stories, even this one manages to play a whirl of emotions as the reader engages with the lively characters. Revolving around the life of a postmaster and his household help, Ratan, the narration strikes a plethora of feelings. While the postmaster misses his home, Ratan is seen to build a bond with him. This story would make you think about the colours of human relations and question the foolishness of human nature that asks us to expect and hope, even when everything is falling apart. While reading this during the lockdown, you would be left amazed with the magic of the postmaster's simplicity and Ratan's tenderness.