Rabindranath Tagore Short Stories
Full Name: Rabindranath Tagore
Time: 7 May 1861 to 7 August 1941
About: Rabindranath Tagore (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941), sobriquet Gurudev, was a Bengali polymath who reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of Gitanjali and its “profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse”, he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.
In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his “elegant prose and magical poetry” remain largely unknown outside Bengal. Tagore introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language into Bengali literature, thereby freeing it from traditional models based on classical Sanskrit.
He was highly influential in introducing the best of Indian culture to the West and vice versa, and he is generally regarded as the outstanding creative artist of the modern Indian subcontinent, being highly commemorated in india and Bangladesh, as well as in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan. More…
- The Castaway
Towards evening the storm was at its height. From the terrific downpour of rain, the crash of thunder, and the repeated flashes of lightning, you might think that a battle of the gods and demons was raging in the skies. Black clouds waved like the Flags of Doom. The Ganges ...
- Once there was a King
“Once upon a time there was a king.” When we were children there was no need to know who the king in the fairy story was. It didn’t matter whether he was called Shiladitya or Shaliban, whether he lived at Kashi or Kanauj. The thing that made a seven-year-old boy’s heart ...
- My Fair Neighbour
My feelings towards the young widow who lived in the next house to mine were feelings of worship; at least, that is what I told to my friends and myself.
Gouri was the beautiful, delicately nurtured child of an old and wealthy family. Her husband, Paresh, had recently by his own efforts improved his straitened circumstances.
- The River Stairs
If you wish to hear of days gone by, sit on this step of mine, and lend your ears to the murmur of the rippling water. The month of Ashwin (September) was about to begin.
- The Elder Sister
Having described at length the misdeeds of an unfortunate woman’s wicked, tyrannical husband, Tara, the woman’s neighbour in the village, very shortly declared her verdict: ‘Fire be to such a husband’s mouth.’
- The Riddle Solved
Krishna Gopal Sircar, zemindar of Jhikrakota, made over his estates to his eldest son, and retired to Kasi, as befits a good Hindu, to spend the evening of his life in religious devotion.
- The Trust Property
Brindaban Kundu came to his father in a rage and said: ‘I am off this moment.’ ‘Ungrateful wretch!’ sneered the father, Jaganath Kundu. ‘When you have paid me back all that I have spent on your food and clothing, it will be time enough to give yourself these airs.’
- Raja and Rani
Bipin Kisore was born ‘with a golden spoon in his mouth’; hence he knew how to squander money twice as well as how to earn it. The natural result was that he could not live long in the house where he was born.
- The Supreme Night
I used to go to the same dame’s school with Surabala and play at marriage with her. When I paid visits to her house, her mother would pet me, and setting us side by side would say to herself: ‘What a lovely pair!’
- The Auspicious Vision
Kantichandra was young; yet after his wife’s death he sought no second partner, and gave his mind to the hunting of beasts and birds. His body was long and slender, hard and agile; his sight keen; his aim unerring.
- The Skeleton
In the room next to the one in which we boys used to sleep, there hung a human skeleton. In the night it would rattle in the breeze which played about its bones.
‘Mashi!’ ‘Try to sleep, Jotin, it is getting late.’ ‘Never mind if it is. I have not many days left. I was thinking that Mani should go to her father’s house.—I forget where he is now.’
- I Am Restless
I am restless. I am athirst for far-away things. My soul goes out in a longing to touch the skirt of the dim distance. O Great Beyond, O the keen call of thy flute! I forget, I ever forget, that I have no wings to fly, that I am bound in this spot evermore.
- From Afar
The ‘I’ that floats along the wave of time, From a distance I watch him. With the dust and the water, With the fruit and the flower, With the All he is rushing forward.
I have got my leave. Bid me farewell, my brothers! I bow to you all and take my departure. Here I give back the keys of my door —and I give up all claims to my house.
Art thou abroad on this stormy night on thy journey of love, my friend? The sky groans like one in despair.
- Journey Home
The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long. I came out on the chariot of the first gleam of light, and pursued my voyage through the wildernesses of worlds leaving my track on many a star and planet.
- I Cast My Net Into The Sea
In the morning I cast my net into the sea. I dragged up from the dark abyss things of strange aspect and strange beauty — some shone like a smile, some glistened like tears, and some were flushed like the cheeks of a bride.
Pluck this little flower and take it, delay not! I fear lest it droop and drop into the dust.
Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life. This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.
- I Found A Few Old Letters
I found a few old letters of mine carefully hidden in thy box— a few small toys for thy memory to play with. With a timorous heart thou didst try
If people came to know where my king’s palace is, it would vanish into the air. The walls are of white silver and the roof of shining gold. The queen lives in a palace with seven courtyards, and she
Freedom from fear is the freedom I claim for you my motherland! Freedom from the burden of the ages, bending your head, breaking your back, blinding your eyes to the beckoning call of the future;
- Keep Me Fully Glad
Keep me fully glad with nothing. Only take my hand in your hand. In the gloom of the deepening night take up my heart and play with it as you list. Bind me close to you with nothing.
- Hard Times
Music is silenced, the dark descending slowly Has stripped unending skies of all companions. Weariness grips your limbs and within the locked horizons Dumbly ring the bells of hugely gathering fears. Still, O bird, O sightless bird, Not yet, not yet the time to furl your wings.
- Endless Time
Time is endless in thy hands, my lord. There is none to count thy minutes. Days and nights pass and ages bloom and fade like flowers. Thou knowest how to wait.
O thou the last fulfilment of life, Death, my death, come and whisper to me! Day after day I have kept watch for thee; for thee have I borne the joys and pangs of life.
- At The Last Watch
Pity, in place of love, That pettiest of gifts, Is but a sugar-coating over neglect. Any passerby can make a gift of it To a street beggar, Only to forget the moment the first corner is turned. I had not hoped for anything more that day.
- Chain Of Pearls
Mother, I shall weave a chain of pearls for thy neck with my tears of sorrow. The stars have wrought their anklets of light to deck thy feet, but mine will hang upon thy breast.
- Distant Time
I know not from what distant time thou art ever coming nearer to meet me. Thy sun and stars can never keep thee hidden from me for aye.
- Brink Of Eternity
In desperate hope I go and search for her in all the corners of my room; I find her not. My house is small and what once has gone from it can never be regained.
You say that father write a lot of books, but what he write I don’t understand. He was reading to you all the evening, but could you really make out what he meant?
- Broken Song
Kasinath the new young singer fills the hall with sound: The seven notes dance in his throat like seven tame birds. His voice is a sharp sword slicing and thrusting everywhere, It darts like lightening – no knowing where it will go when.
- Baby’s Way
If baby only wanted to, he could fly up to heaven this moment. It is not for nothing that he does not leave us. He loves to rest his head on mother’s bosom, and cannot ever bear to lose sight of her.
- Brahmā, Vişņu, Śiva
In a worldless timeless lightless great emptiness Four-faced Brahma broods. nasad asin, no sad asit tadanim; nasid raja no vioma paro yat. kim avarivah? kuha? kasya sarmann? Ambhah kim asid, gahanam gabhiram?
- Clouds and Waves
Mother, the folk who live up in the clouds call out to me- “We play from the time we wake till the day ends. We play with the golden dawn, we play with the silver moon.” I ask, “But how am I to get up to you ?”
He whom I enclose with my name is weeping in this dungeon. I am ever busy building this wall all around; and as this wall goes up into the sky day by day I lose sight of my true being in its dark shadow.
Whey are those tears in your eyes, my child? How horrid of them to be always scolding you for nothing! You have stained your fingers and face with ink while writing- is that why they call you dirty?
- Closed Path
I thought that my voyage had come to its end at the last limit of my power, that the path before me was closed,
- Beggarly Heart
When the heart is hard and parched up, come upon me with a shower of mercy.
- A Moments Indulgence
I ask for a moment’s indulgence to sit by thy side. The works that I have in hand I will finish afterwards.
Bless this little heart, this white soul that has won the kiss of heaven for our earth.
- Baby’s World
I wish I could take a quiet corner in the heart of my baby’s very own world.
- Colored Toys
When I bring to you colored toys, my child, I understand why there is such a play of colors on clouds, on water, and why flowers are painted in tints —when I give colored toys to you, my child.
- Face To Face
Day after day, O lord of my life, shall I stand before thee face to face. With folded hands, O lord of all worlds, shall I stand before thee face to face.
- The Hero
Holding the sword on one hand And the necklace on the other,
- The Philosopher’s Stone
O touch my heart with the flame of a philosopher’s stone, Sanctify this life by consuming with Your fire.
The moment when tears flooded mine eyes in a monsoon of sorrow, Before the threshold of my heart stopped the chariot of my friend.
Why did I not strew the dry dust with my tears ? Who could guess that You would appear like an uninvited ?
- This Flame of Melody
This flame of melody that You have set inside my heart, That flame has pervaded all through-and-through.
You remain ever present Beyond my songs,
Gratifying all my thorns, The flower shall bloom,
- Reft From Love
If You cared not to fill the heart with love Why did You permeate the morning sky
- Knowing You
Countless are the persons You made me know, Sheltered me in countless homes,
O bend my head up to the dust of Your feet, Wash out all my vanity with mine own tears.
- The Last Spring of My Life
Before the end of this day I have to fulfill my desire – Just for this occasion the two of us will Go collecting all the spring flowers.
- The Bond of Treading the Same Path
Our paths came together without strings attached, The two of us dwell in the here and now.
When I was a very young wife, I gave birth to a dead child, and came near to death myself. I recovered strength very slowly, and my eyesight became weaker and weaker. My husband at this time was studying medicine. He was not altogether sorry to have a chance of testing ...
- The Renunciation
It was a night of full moon early in the month of Phalgun. The youthful spring was everywhere sending forth its breeze laden with the fragrance of mango-blossoms. The melodious notes of an untiring papiya (One of the sweetest songsters in Bengal.
- My Lord, The Baby
Raicharan was twelve years old when he came as a servant to his master’s house. He belonged to the same caste as his master, and was given his master’s little son to nurse. As time went on the boy left Raicharan’s arms to go to school.
- The Kingdom Of Cards
Once upon a time there was a lonely island in a distant sea where lived the Kings and Queens, the Aces and the Knaves, in the Kingdom of Cards. The Tens and Nines, with the Twos and Threes, and all the other members, had long ago settled there also. But ...
- The Hungry Stones
My kinsman and myself were returning to Calcutta from our Puja trip when we met the man in a train. From his dress and bearing we took him at first for an up-country Mahomedan, but we were puzzled as we heard him talk. He discoursed upon all subjects so confidently ...
- We Crown Thee King
When Nabendu Sekhar was wedded to Arunlekha, the God of marriage smiled from behind the sacrificial fire. Alas! what is sport for the gods is not always a joke to us poor mortals.
- The Child’s Return
Raicharan was twelve years old when he came as a servant to his master’s house. He belonged to the same caste as his master and was given his master’s little son to nurse. As time went on the boy left Raicharan’s arms to go to school.
- Master Mashai
Adhar Babu lives upon the interest of the capital left him by his father. Only the brokers, negotiating loans, come to his drawing room and smoke the silver-chased hookah, and the clerks from the attorney’s office discuss the terms of some mortgage or the amount of the stamp fees.
- The Devotee
At a time, when my unpopularity with a part of my readers had reached the nadir of its glory, and my name had become the central orb of the journals, to be attended through space with a perpetual rotation of revilement, I felt the necessity to retire to some quiet ...
- The Son of Rashmani
Kalipada’s mother was Rashmani, but she had to do the duty of the father as well, because when both of the parents are “mother” then it is bad for the child. Bhavani, her husband, was wholly incapable of keeping his children under discipline. To know why he was bent on ...
- The Homecoming – Rabindranath Tagore
Phatik Chakravorti was ringleader among the boys of the village. A new mischief got into his head. There was a heavy log lying on the mud-flat of the river waiting to be shaped into a mast for a boat.
- Living Or Dead? by Rabindranath Tagore
The widow in the house of Saradasankar, the Ranihat zemindar, had no kinsmen of her father’s family. One after another all had died. Nor had she in her husband’s family any one she could call her own, neither husband nor son. The child of her brother-in-law Saradasankar was her darling.
- The Victory
She was the Princess Ajita. And the court poet of King Narayan had never seen her. On the day he recited a new poem to the king he would raise his voice just to that pitch which could be heard by unseen hearers in the screened balcony high above the ...
- The Postmaster – Rabindranath Tagore
The postmaster first took up his duties in the village of Ulapur. Though the village was a small one, there was an indigo factory near by, and the proprietor, an Englishman, had managed to get a post office established.
- The Babus of Nayanjore
Once upon a time the Babus at Nayanjore were famous landholders. They were noted for their princely extravagance. They would tear off the rough border of their Dacca muslin, because it rubbed against their delicate skin.
- The Cabuliwallah – Rabindranath Tagore
My five years’ old daughter Mini cannot live without chattering. I really believe that in all her life she has not wasted a minute in silence. Her mother is often vexed at this, and would stop her prattle, but I would not. To see Mini quiet is unnatural, and I ...
- Subha by Rabindranath Tagore
When the girl was given the name of Subhashini, who could have guessed that she would prove dumb? Her two elder sisters were Sukeshini and Suhasini, and for the sake of uniformity her father named his youngest girl Subhashini. She was called Subha for short.