Its almost outrageous that I should consider reviewing the literary work of someone as globally renowned and acknowledged as Rabindranath Tagore. But our goal is to write about things that we feel are worth sharing, so here goes an attempt to explain my first experience with Tagore.
‘Mystic Moods’ is a compilation of 10 short stories more or less centered around the inherent darkness in the minds and hearts of all humans. The stories reflect some of the social evils of the pre-independence era such as child marriage and the reduced status of women.
‘The living and the dead’ is a dark comedy about a women assumed to be dead by others, believed to be dead by herself and actually alive. Entertaining and ironic, it is a reflection of the human fear of death.
‘Craving Stones’ is an out-an-out bone chiller with all the essential ingredients – an abandoned mansion , a lone bachelor , an ancient cook and wailings in the night. Vivid descriptions make you hair stand!
In ‘Metamorphosis’ , possibly the only story with an happy ending, we trace the story of a rebellious village girl who is married off to an educated young man who is taken in by her by independence and fierce nature. She does not fit in the traditional role of a wife, and her husband gives her several chances to be happy. No amount of cajoling or coaxing can turn her into a lady, it is something that she discovers for herself.
All of them are good in terms of story line, and the language is impeccable though certain beauty gets lost in translation from Bengali to English.
Verdict: Read more of Tagore.