Rabindranath Tagore’s 77th death anniversary: Rabindranath Tagore was India’s first Nobel Laureate and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for ‘Gitanjali’, which is Tagore’s best-known collection of poetry. Tagore breathed his last on 7th August, 1941.

The special bond that Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore shared is well known. Not many know that it was ‘Gurudev’ who gave the title of ‘Mahatma’ to the ‘Father of the Nation’.The Gandhi-Tagore dialogue is one of the most instructive and philosophically alive conversations of modern India. Schoolchildren still grow up learning the poem ‘Where the mind is without fear’ written by him.

Rabindranath Tagore was born on May 7, 1861 in the Jorasanko mansion in Calcutta to Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi. Tagore was primarily raised by the servants as his mother died in his early childhood and father used to travel extensively. In Pic: Thakur Bari Kolan , the ancestral house of Tagore in Calcutta.

The literary icon Rabindranath Tagore’s compositions were chosen by two nations as their national anthems: India’s ‘Jana Gana Mana’ and Bangladesh’s ‘Amar Sonar Bangla’. Even Sri Lanka’s national anthem is based on Tagore’s poem.

He was also an expert in music and wrote around 2,000 songs. Many of these songs were inspired by his travels around the world. It is said that he was influenced by English, Scottish and Irish folk music that he used to listen along with Hindustani classical music.

Like his father, Tagore loved travelling and between 1878 and 1932, he set foot in over 30 countries across five continents. During his trips, he also met Albert Einstein and shared a common interest of music. In Pic: Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Nobusuke Kishi, PM of Japan looking at the life size potrait of Rabindranath Tagore which was presented by the Indian Prime Minister to Japanese Statesman.

Tagore wrote eight novels and four novellas – Chaturanga, Shesher Kobita, Char Odhay and Noukadubi. He began his career in short stories at the age of 16 in 1877 with ‘Bhikharini’ (the beggar woman).