Hiatus over, bitches!
Ya, ’cause, theory papers over, I don’t need to pretend that I give a shit anymore.
So, yeah, yesterday was 151st Rabindra Jayanti, where we celebrate the Gurudev, Rabindranath Thakur, and few months back, a friend of mine asked, “Why do you guys give god-like status to this man?”
So here is my reasoning.
“It’s an insider’s joke and you’re on the outside”
Lol, just kidding. There’s more to this ofcourse.
So as apparent by that one question, people on the outside of the Bong culture just don’t get our obsession with the work and the persona of Mahakobi Rabindranath Thakur. So what if he just wrote numerous plays, 8 novels, 4 novellas, 84 short stories, 242 poems, 2,230 songs, 2 national anthems for 2 countries, the collection of his poems, stories, novels, plays and essays have been compiled into 26 volumes, was awarded the Nobel Prize at a time when Indians faced immense amount of oppression from the white dudes, and has actually created a whole genre in the Bengali Culture.
Granted he had tons of dough to get him around, but dude, no one can deny his sheer talent that he is still relevant to this day. He wrote about adultery without making it sound like a heinous crime, portrayed the female sexuality in a dignified light and in contexts that are still considered unconventional in these i-Tech times. And in a time when women girls were to indulge in this awesome adventure sport where they burned themselves – in Fire – ALIVE, because you know, their 50-something sugar daddy took off to the other world. And to make my point a little bit stronger – his plays are being adapted into movies with a homosexual point of view. Talk about adaptable! Ofcourse, kudos also goes to the director who is a master story-teller in his own right.
So that was the justification on behalf of the Obsess-ee, on to the Obsess-er.
We, the people of West Bengal, obsess over Tagore so passionately and vehemently, that we can actually teach a thing or two to all the fandom of this world because – We are Geeks. Yes, a society in its entirety made up of geeks. The Geekier you are, higher you stand in the ladder of the society.
Give us a book with characters and twists and turns, a book that will forever be engraved in our grey matter and we will stop our lives for it. We will take up the foetal position till the book is owned, while laughing and weeping with each of those fleeting words. Ask a bong about the craziest outdoorsy thing he has done in his lifetime, you might get a pause before the answer comes out, but ask about a mere character, and he will gurgle out an in-depth psycho-analysis including his dietary chart and bowel movement. We freaking look forward to winters in anticipation of the Book-fair! Oh yeah! We make a festival out of buying bags – yep, bags not bunch – of books.
So, you bring a society of geeks with a genius of a man, and don’t expect the obsession? J.K. Rowling wrote 7 books which captivated a generation of the world, and this guy wrote over tens of thousands of stuff, you seriously cannot wonder why generation after generation of a culture refer to him in almost God-like terms.