Monday, May 7, 2012

It's Rabindranath Tagore's birthday!

His 151st birthday, to be precise. And I'm reading his short stories!

He was born on 7 May 1861 and died on 7 August 1941, as I learned from Wikipedia. First Asian winner of a Nobel Prize, too.

And as you can see, he was a FOX. Like a cross between Jesus and Santa Claus, only Hindu. That's him acting in one of his plays, The Genius of Valmiki:

The truth is, I'm feeling pretty guilty about using Tagore for Bangladesh. He lived in British Bengal, and was born and died in the bit that's currently in India. Plus, he was Hindu, and wrote about Hindus, while Bangladesh is Muslim.

On the other hand, Bangladesh venerates him as a national hero and uses one of his songs as its national anthem. Tagore also happened to write most of his short stories while managing his ancestral estates in Shelaidaha, in present-day Bangladesh.

 I was pretty sure Mr Tagore was my best choice (there aren't, sadly, a lot of internationally famous Bangladeshi writers around today), until I realised I could do books by the inventor of microfinance and founder of Grameen Bank, Mohammad Yunus:

Also a Nobel Prize Winner! For peace, though. Does that count?

If any of you strongly believe I should ditch Tagore and read Banker to the Poor or Creating a World Without Poverty, do leave me some comments.

No comments: