BOOK REVIEW: MONIHARA AND OTHER STORIES

Author: Rabindranath Tagore ; translated by: Sunanda Krishnammurty

Pages: 126

(I borrowed it and it ‘s temporarily out of stock on Amazon. You know where else it’s stocked? Kindly let us know. )

 

There’s one thing I wish to do this week; sit on a mat and listen to Rabindranath Tagore. I don’t care if he speaks in Bengali, I will still listen. I want to curl myself to fit into his great mind. To close my eyes and listen to the lyrical power of his poetry. I could even learn Bengali to read his original works. I will listen to him who talks to me roughly 77 years after his death.

Tagore; a great thinker, who wrote everything there was to be written.

Reading the stories in this collection; I was awed by the admirable writing skill displayed. I was taken in by how playful the language used is.

“Monimalika was as efficient as she was beautiful.’’

READ ALSO: WHAT TIME IS IT IN YOUR HEART?

The stories in this collection include; Bereft of Moni, The Editor, The auspicious Moment, The Neighbour and The skeleton.

The exploration of the human nature in these stories is fascinating. Tagore juxtaposes the rich and the poor; town dwellers and villagers. He explores the customs of the Bengali, layers the women against a social backdrop (they all strikingly happen to be childless), the customs and  the complexity of survival. He traverses the world of the living and the mystical; it is no wonder he was so well travelled.

In these stories, you’ll be laughing yourself silly in some and in others; you’ll be thrown into a thinking deep end.

They say writers never die but great writers like Tagore write from the grave.

 “The oceanic depths of his mind, the divergence of his thoughts and the enigmatic quality of his creativity comprise an enduring legacy that invites a deeper engagement. One would devote their life to study Tagore’s works and it will be a life well spent.” – Tagore at home in the world Edited by Sanjukta Dasgupta and Chinmoy Guha.

Sample quotes from this anthology:

They analyse what is spoken by manner of speaking, and analyse the manner it is spoken. This is because a woman’s strength is based on a man’s love. It is her capital in the business of life. If she can turn the sail to suit the direction of the wind then the boat can cross over. That is why God has given women, rather than men, the scales to measure love.

 Monimalika didn’t talk much, nor did she mix much with neighbours. she wasted nothing; stored up everything she received except her husband’s love.

Perhaps those who have ice blocks for hearts and are untroubled by love, remain young for a long time. Like misers, they store everything.

The unfortunate man who is not loved by his wife is not necessary ugly or poor; he is merely meek.

To be happy, one must use one’s inclination and ability.

Ever since women and men were made differently, women have been practising the art of taming men by using many tricks. When the husband is already tame, the wife has nothing to do. All the weapons that she has inherited from her female ancestors, sharpened over a thousand years go waste.

Women want to bewitch men and win their love. If a timid  husband does not give his wife this opportunity, then he is unfortunate and she is even more so. With the magic of modern education, men have lost their God given natural barbarity and it has weakened modern day marital relationships.

Interesting? The comment section is wide open. 

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