Rabindranath Tagore was not just a man who wrote, “Jan Gan Man”, he was a poet, story writer, playwriter, composer and a great philosopher. More than anything else he was the only man who could think from a women’s point of view, their emotions, disappointments, sexual desires! Tagore has written many stories like – “Ghare Baire”, ” A Bird’s Nest”, “Chokher Bali”, “Mrinal Ki Chitti”, “The Two sisters”, “The conclusion”.
Rabindranath Tagore wrote for women freedom, equality, rights, dignity, power, sexual desires, emotions, inner feelings, highlighting their voice and used his pen as a sword to create a change in the society, which thinks that women can have no interest except cooking, cleaning and loving their families and children.
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In “Ghare Baire”, Bimala lives under the shadow of her husband Nikhil who is an elite and almost perfect. Bimala being a high-spirited woman had to follow common rules for Indian housewives, but when Sandip her husband’s friend, visits their house she finds a way to fulfill her desires and experiment. But in the end she returns to her husband. This was Tagore’s Bimala.
Charulata from “A Bird’s Nest”, who was bounded by her house walls, her husband filled with ambition and not focusing on his private life leaving Charulata feeling lonely. When Amal her brother-in-law a passionate singer comes to stay with them she finds solace in his company and develops affection for him, Amal inspires Charu to write songs and teaches her music. Charulata confronting her husband about her inclination towards Amal, shows how bold Tagore portrayed a female character who can talk about her love interest boldly in front of her husband, which is still rare in Indian society. This shows that Tagore was a far-sighted man.
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In “Chokher Bali”, Tagore writes about a woman who is a widow “Binodini” and her sexual desires. In Indian society, widows are supposed to live their whole life alone, and should not have any kind of sexual desires! what other people don’t get is that even a women can have sexual desires even a widow. Binodini who gets married at an early age to an old man, and is left alone after her husband’s death, finds another man attractive who is her friend’s husband, breaking her friend’s trust she elopes with her husband. It’s a story of distrust and adultery.
Mrinal Ki Chitti
In “Mrinal Ki Chitti”, originally named ”Streer Patra”, a woman named Mrinal fights for her identity. And raises her voice against the patriarchal society and norms created for a woman.Through this story, Tagore highlights the fact that a women identity should not be limited just to the inner walls of her household.
Through all these stories Rabindranath Tagore has reflected his thinking also. Rabindranath Tagore was largely influenced by his sister-in-law, who also fought against patriarchal society. His sister-in-law Jnandanandini used to travel alone even in her pregnancy days and she was the first one to step out of their joint family, to live separately. Another Sister-in-law of Tagore – Kadambari Dev joined their family at the age of nine and was Tagore best friend and his biggest critic also.