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Rabindranath Tagore

Book Review: The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore

Genre: Fictional autobiography
Copy: Paperback
Rating: ๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ–

Short Synopsis: Set on a Bengali noble’s estate in 1908, this is both a love story and a novel of political awakening. The central character, Bimala, is torn between the duties owed to her husband, Nikhil, and the demands made on her by the radical leader, Sandip. Her attempts to resolve the irreconcilable pressures of the home and world reflect the conflict in India itself, and the tragic outcome foreshadows the unrest that accompanied Partition in 1947.

What I liked:

1. The characters. Each POV from the three central characters brought me to their shoes. I struggled with Nikhil in keeping his morals, I lost my way to sensationalism and terror with Bimala, and I breathed in Sandipโ€™s clouded fanaticism. These internal turmoil that each character go through make the story relatable.

2.The depth in this slim volume. It talks about infatuation โ€” one that goes beyond the physical attraction. It weights the pros and cons of being infatuated with an idea. It tackles the concepts of freedom and bondage, pitting rationalism, nationalism and humanism against each other, backdropped by the political scenario of the Swadesi movement.

3. Tagoreโ€™s poetic power. I know people did not miss the faulty translations but that did not hamper Tagore’s beautiful prose.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore”

Writers Quote Wednesday: Freedom

Featured quote for Writer's Quote Wednesday

โ€œIs there any country, sir,” pursued the history student, “where submission to Government is not due to fear?” “The freedom that exists in any country,” I replied, “may be measured by the extent of this reign of fear. Where its threat is confined to those who would hurt or plunder, there the Government may claim to have freed man from the violence of man. But if fear is to regulate how people are to dress, where they shall trade, or what they must eat, then is man’s freedom of will utterly ignored, and manhood destroyed at the root.โ€

โ€• Rabindranath TagoreThe Home and the World

Last night, I finally finished reading Rabindranath Tagore’s The Home and the World. I’ve had this book for weeks but didn’t want to rush it to end. It was much more than a classic literary masterpiece to me. Each page was an awakening about the fragility of humanity. Each POV from the three central characters brought me to their shoes. I struggled with Nikhil in keeping his morals, I lost my way to sensationalism and terror with Bimala, and I breathed in Sandip’s clouded fanaticism.

This book resonated deeply, especially with what is happening to my country, the Philippines, and to the rest of the world. What is true freedom? How can we truly heal? Here’s an excerpt from the book that hits home:

And to anyone who hasn’t read it yet, I definitely recommend The Home and the World.  โค #makelovenotwar

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