Life and times of Rabindranath TagoreMay 9th, 2010 - 8:33 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) Chronology of major events and developments in Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s life from 1861-1941:
– 1861, May 7: Born at the Jorasanko House of the Tagore family. He was the 14th child of father Debendranath Tagore and mother Sarada Devi.
– 1868: Admitted to the Oriental Seminary and subsequently to a regular school.
– 1869: Attempted his first verse after reading a Bengali translation of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre’s “Paul et Virginie”.
– 1870: Started learning music and to draw along with other subjects and practised wrestling and gymnastics.
– 1871: Admitted to the Bengal Academy, an Anglo-Indian School.
– 1873: Tagore’s ‘upanayan’ (brahminical initiation) performed; he wrote a play “Prithviraj Parajaya” (manuscript lost) and toured India.
– 1874: His poem “Abhilasa” (Desire) published anonymously; admitted to Saint Xavier’s School, Kolkata.
– 1876: Joined the short-lived Secret Society, modelled on Mazzini’s Carbonari; his first literary criticism of a book of Bengali poems “BhubanÂmohini Pratibha” appeared in Jnanankur, a journal.
– 1877: Wrote and recited poem on Delhi Durbar arranged by Lord Lytton Jan 1 to proclaim Queen Victoria; wrote his first long story “Bhikharini” (Beggar Maid) and his first unfinished novel “Karuna” and long poem “Kabikahini”.
– 1878: Went to Ahmedabad to study English; embarked upon his first foreign tour - September 1878 to February 1880 - and went to school at Brighton, England.
– 1879: Shifted to London and joined University College.
– 1881: Composed his first set of devotional songs; his first musical play “Valmiki Pratibha” was staged at Jorasanko; sailed for England April 20; started writing novel “Bauthakuranir Hat” (The Young Queen’s Market).
– 1882: Tagore, along with elder borther Jyotirindranath, established Sarasvat Samaj and wrote the poem “Nirjharer Svapnabhanga” (The Awakening of the Fountain).
– 1883: Tagore married Mrinalini Devi.
– 1886: Was entangled in controversies over social and socio-religious subjects; composed and sang the inaugural song for the second session of the Indian National Congress.
– 1888: Debendranath, his father, executed the trust deed of the Santiniketan trust on March 8; Tagore published “Samalochana”, a collection of essays on literary criticism.
– 1890: Attacked the anti-India policy of Lord Cross; took charge of the management of the Tagore Estate; sailed for England and also visited Italy and France.
– 1891: Wrote first six short stories, especially “Post Master”, and the first of “Chitrangada”; along with nephew started a Bengali magazine Sadhana; attended the festival connected with the consecration of the prayer hall at Santiniketan Dec 22.
– 1895: Penned short stories beginning with “Kshudita Pashan” (Hungry Stones).
– 1897: Wrote a comedy “Baikunther Khata” (The Manuscript of Baikuntha) and performed the role of Kedar in its stage presentation; wrote dramatic poem “Sati”.
– 1898: Became the editor of Bharati magazine and opposed the policies of the British; drew up plans for setting up a school at Santiniketan for imparting religious education.
– 1899: Tagore’s family moved to Santiniketan; he assisted Sister Nivedita (Margaret Noble) to organise relief for plague victims in Kolkata, delivered his first sermon in the temple at Santiniketan on its anniversary.
– 1900: Published “Katha” (plays and ballads) and “Kahini” (story-poems) and collection of short stories “Galpaguchchha”.
– 1901: Set up Santiniketan Dec 22 on the model of ancient forest schools (tapovana) of India and himself taught there; scripted play “Chirakumar Sabha” (The Bachelors’ Club).
– 1902: Tagore faced severe financial handicaps in running the school at Santiniketan for which he sold his personal property; wife died Nov 23.
– 1911: Composed “Jana Gana Mana”, which was declared India’s national anthem in 1950. It was sung at the 26th session of the Indian National Congress.
– 1912: “Gitanjali-Song Offerings” is published. It won the Nobel Prize for Literature a year later.
– 1913: Lectured in Chicago on the “Ideals of Ancient Civilsation” and “The Problem of Evil”; Calcutta University decided to confer a D.Litt degree on him, news reaches Shantinikaten about the Nobel Prize. The Macmillan & Co, London, published a popular edition of “Gitanjali”.
– 1914: Tagore received the Nobel Prize Diploma and Medal on behalf of the Swedish Academy at a special reception in Kolkata.
– 1917-1925: Toured the world, took to painting and attended lectures both in India and abroad.
– 1940: Condemned Russia’s aggression in Finland; was taken seriously ill Sep 26.
– 1941, Aug 7: Tagore died.
(Source: “A Centenary Volume: Rabindranath Tagore 1861-1941″ by Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyaya and Kshitis Roy, published by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi.)
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