14 Rabindranath Tagore: Theory and Plays: Post Office/Muktadhara/Rakta Karabi/Chitra

Mr. Soham Bhattyacharya

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Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), a celebrated and significant figure as Poet, novelist, short story writer, playwright, song writer and composer, artist, nationalist- internationalist, educator, and social thinker in India. A larger than life portrayal and an iconic space to him has always remained highlighted in his native place Bengal (now in West Bengal as well in Bangladesh) and in India. His legendary presence in his contemporary twentieth century and a voluminous presence in posthumous celebration has been a matter of concern in the social-political and obviously in cultural arena of India and probably in the World. Placing India in the contour of world literature through his poems (songs as well) of ‘Gitanjali’, which was awarded Nobel Prize in literature during 1913, Tagore became indispensable in terms of defining the aesthetic and other nuances of Indian Writing.


With the aspects of audio-visual impacts attached with the medium of expression Drama, has always been an important area in world literature. From its inception, in ancient Greece-Rome and in other places of Europe, Drama entails moral commitments, religious convictions, and political changes in various countries. Martin Esslin confines the representation of Drama as, “Drama is a mimetic representation of life combining in itself the real and the fictional art and reality and presenting the events and characters within a dimension of space and time. It combines the qualities of narrative poetry with those of visual arts. It is a narrative made visible.”


Many of the specific conventions have been changed over time in the form and presentation of dramatic arts. However a drama with its specificities being different, in different period, has the direct presentation of actions and words by characters on a stage. A play (the written text of drama) contains the dramatic situation, dramatic conflict, climax, turning point and conclusion of the play. These aspects of drama being confirmed, Tagore offers a different approach towards drama. Placed in the World literary space or in the contemporary dramatists in Bengal, Tagore’s dramatic works were different from both. In his own words, “Drama has the responsibility of drawing apart the curtain of naturalism and reveals the inner reality of things. If there is too much emphasis on imitative naturalism, the inner view becomes clouded.” As observed by Sisir Kumar Ghosh, Tagorean drama captures “…The changing scenario, but each with a thesis, open or hidden, reveals a complex, evolving mind, a repertoire of versatility and development in theme, treatment as well as choreography far beyond the professional playhouse.”


His plays bear a continuous action on the stage and are set against a background which is extremely simple and unostentatious. He concentrates the attention of his audience on the atmosphere that he is creating. Edward Thompson says “We don’t need any scenery, the only background we need is the background of the mind.” At this outset if one looks for the evolution of Tagore’s dramatic works (both in Bengali and in English translation), even in the dance dramas, the more time goes on, the more he tries to reduce the scenery arrangements or the specifics of the plot. From ‘Valmiki-Pratibha’ (the first dance drama) to the works of Red Oleanders, the directorial instructions for scene arrangements and confining it to some stage-play becomes less important and Tagore tries more to concentrate on exposing the state of mind and it is the mind of those characters which becomes more important. The plot, tension oriented and a social resolution, these demands from conventional plays in the professional stages could not recognise these attempts and experiments of Tagore. To sum up the idea of experiments with theatre that Tagore attempted, as Kiranmay Raha puts it aptly, “Tagore never sympathized with the realistic trend that dominated the Bengali stage of his days. To him, the adornment of the stage by realistic sets and painted scenes was childish an intrusion.”


In the following sections four plays of Tagore are discussed with their relevance in the dramatic works of Tagore. A poet dramatist placed in the time when in Europe, Maeterlinck, Strindberg, Yeats and Elliot are prioritising the symbolist era. In Bengal, the colonial-educated middle-class engaging themselves in the plays of farce and of imitating the European stage types with plays of marvellous actions and scene-drops. These four plays of Tagore, however disconnects from both the varieties and places itself with the identity of ‘Indian’ plays.


2) THE POST OFFICE: Plot, Symbol and Other Aspects


The Post Office (1912) a translation of the original play Dakghar in Bengali, was written during what is known as the Gitanjaliperiod. A period when the poet Tagore wrote Gitanjali, the educator Tagore imagined Santiniketan and Visva-bharati and a dramatist Tagore, revealed some of both the aspects in The Post Office.


Operationally, The Post Officeis divided into two acts, the first being a little lengthier than the second. In Act I, the dialogue goes on with not more than two characters on the stage at any given point of time. In Act II, there is more of tension and there are more characters than two most of the time, the number getting augmented to seven at the end. The pace of Act I, is slow, whereas that of Act II is comparatively fast, so that from the point of view of the purpose of impression both the Acts are evenly balanced. The plot revolves around the protagonist boy Amal, a sick child. In Act I, the sick child sitting near the window cogitates and talks to the strangers that pass along and in Act II the child is in bed, and people talk to him or watch him sleep. In the first act therefore, the boy looks out (rather peeps in through his window) into the world in the second the world streams into the child’s consciousness. The story engages two planes, a mundane life goes on and then Amal (and Gaffer/ Fakir) adds the plane of imagination to it and then the revelation comes.


The plot can be identified from the presence of characters and their perspectives added to it. Starting with Amal, the meaning of Amal in Bengali is something pure and untouched by the filth. As Tagore writes in a letter to G.F.Andrews regarding The Post Office:“Amal represents the man whose soul has received the call of the open road—he seeks freedom from the comfortable enclosure of habits sanctioned by prudent and from the walls of rigid opinion built for him by the respectable.


Amal, can be seen as a symbol who connects to an imaginary plane, who leaves the mundane and parochial world at the end of the play, to something which seems death to the worldly characters of the play, but where the ‘king’, of whom Amal wanted to be the Post Man, will let him identify the Polar star. A star which remains as a symbol of absolute truth over the relative truth that decays with the time. This can only be shown by the ‘king’ who doesn’t ponder over the parochial ties. Tagore introduces the symbol of ‘King’ in many of his dramatic works, and each King has their own potential to attach to the play. In The Post Office, this King is absent in the stage, only Amal’s imagination brings his identity to the reality and the symbol of Amal’s character becomes prominent, as if he’s the soul which doesn’t end with the earthly death but attaches to the ‘being’ things of nature, of a world unbounded.


In Act II, when gaffer (fakir) and Amal talks on that imaginary plane, Amal asks, has the King sent a letter to Amal? The letter has “already started”, says Gaffer. In his musing eyes Amal sees clearly the progress of the letter: “. . . I can see it all: there, the King’s postman coming down the hillside alone, a lantern in his left hand and on his back a bag of letters; climbing down for ever so long for days and nights, and where at the foot of the mountain the waterfall becomes a stream he takes to the footpath on the bank and walks on through the rye.


. . . I can feel him coming nearer and my heart becomes glad.” Similarly like King, the symbol of gaffer also, recurs in many plays. A person with less earthly business and worldly attachments, with an eye of imagination, engages the protagonist to break the shackles in order to come to the resolution. Thakurda, in Bengali, is grandfather, a generation which reminds of the past but accepts the flow and freedom of the ‘coming generation’ very easily. A prominent modernist poet with the ‘renaissance’ of 18th century on the move in Bengal, places this gaffer in front of the characters who are busy in worldly business with cautious attention towards their social and provincial claims. In front of Amal, Gaffer only can thus roam in that plane and can remind Madhav, Headman and others that days are not far when the call of the ‘King’ will come. The symbol of death therefore becomes much more important, because it is to Gaffer only to whom Amal says before it ends, “I feel that mother and father are sitting by my pillow and speaking to me.” An adopted boy has never spoke of them until he sees the world beyond at the time of death, and reveals that the worth of being and knowing the own identity is only possible when the parochial ties are less.


These symbols of the play the role of what Eliot has identified as an ‘objective correlative’. It is defined as “a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula of that particular emotion; such that when the external facts, which must terminate in sensory experience, are given, the emotion is immediately evoked.” As can be seen in the dialogue between Amal and the Watchman, time has been the significant symbol of this play. Where Amal expresses his astonishment of a place, where time goes. This question comes from a Boy, who wishes to roam around the undiscovered and unseen places, but stuck in a room and the question is being asked to a person who reminds everyone that time is not waiting, in other words it says that things will decay as the time flows.


Finally, when Amal is no more, the girl named Sudha (means ‘nectar of immortality’) comes to see him. Sudha went to fetch flowers for worshipping, and gives the flowers to ‘sleeping’ Amal, with a reminder that, Sudha has not forgotten Amal. The ‘pure’ is always attached with the ‘nectar of immortality’ and the time cannot decay since it is pure (or truth) who has received the call of the ‘King’ to break the narrow chains and imagine beyond the horizon. In between it is the Post-office which harks back a symbolic clearing-house for the transmission of human aspiration uni-directionally and of the grace of response in the opposite direction.


The Postman’s are named after the seasons, who work there and a boy who dreams of a ‘imagined community’ without societal bounds, who can transcend this mundane being, can approach there. Tagore’s vision of ‘existing infinite in the finite’ thus dealt with the two planes in The Post Office.


Another reading before concluding the idea of The Post Office is to attach Tagore’s idea of Man and his own imagined community through the education. The colonial past and its effect in the feudal mind sets of his nation have been allegorically dealt in many of his work. As Tagore gives example of European education: “In Europe people are getting reared as they inhabit the society . . . The knowledge one derives there is not divorced from the people. . .


The institutions there are interlinked with the society; they are deriving their sap from the societal ground and giving fruit to the society.” Amal, here pleads to Madhav at the beginning that he does not want to become one among the ‘Pandits’. If his exploration and accepting nature and truth as it comes liberates the mind, then on the other hand Madhav, Headman and the Physician, all having a working identity in the village cannot accept his method and imagination. Whereas, each one of them has their own place in the strata defined in society, Amal can’t differentiate the strata and talks to each of the one in the same tune of melancholy. A dairyman and a watchman is praised of their work for the first time and finally when the ‘conservative’ fails, the state Physician comes and opens the window, thus liberates from the norms and rules which binds the mind and hinders it to seek freedom. To remind one of Tagore’s song: ‘Viswasathe Joge Jethay Bihaaro/ Seikhaane jog tomaar sathe amaro’(Where you roam along with the world/ I connect myself with you). This spirit of imagined community compels Tagore to allegorise and symbolise his plays where the songs and dialogues remains poetic with innate Indian figures and engages World with the liberated mind, and Post Office, the place from where the news of unknown new world will come and break the age old conservatism of the Colonial society.


3) CHITRA: Plot, Deviation from Myth and Other Aspects


Tagore’s poetic play Chitrangada(1892) (after the translation into English as Chitra for the English stage with elaborate stage instructions) got published as Chitra (1914) without the stage directions, finally reworking it into a dance drama in 1935. A poet-dramatist like Tagore, working on a piece of work for long forty years in different forms, certainly needs attention as a work of Indian literature as the literary and other collective angles evolved over this period.


Based on The Mahabharata legend of Chitrangada and Arjuna, the play is interspersed into nine balanced scenes. Where ‘godly’ characters of Madana (The god of love) and Vasanta(The god of Season) are present in four scenes and alternatingly in all other scenes the two characters Chitra and Arjuna are depicted as the story line builds up and finally with a climax. The scenes are arranged in a fashion where Arjuna comes to Manipur and meets Chitra (daughter of Chitravahana, the King). A princess, who is brought up by her father in a way so that she can perform the works with ‘masculine’ identifier, is defined as ‘Kurupa’ (the ugly). When she desires Arjuna and gets refused, with the boons of Madana and Vasanta she gets a ‘feminine’ outlook. Then Arjuna, desires her and she agrees to accept Arjuna. However a symbol of time attached with the ‘boon’ recurs in the thought of Chitra, and she reveals her true self to Arjuna, finally Arjuna accepts. The play ends with the hopeful spirit of Chitra, hat a successor of Arjuna is in her womb. The plot or the storyboard remains almost the same over the phases of change; however, the readings of the text can be multi-layered. Before going to unveil the possible symbols studied in this drama it is thus necessary to study the deviation of Tagore’s Chitrangada from the epic described one.


The Mahabharata version deals with Chitravahana and Arjuna in the centre of the plot denying completely the agency attached to Chitra. But, Tagore Keeps Arjuna as a signifier of the masculinity and victory and engages with Chitra’s evolution over time. Therefore even though the ‘Cult Value’ is lost it enables Tagore, to describe the myth in the modern narrative. As Satpathy describes, Tagore, after giving deft touches of signifiers for masculinity at crucial junctures, turns to the traditional Hindu view of maya: reality as illusion. “Alas, that this frail disguise, the body, should make one blind to the deathless spirit!.” Arjuna realizes this much later, almost at the end of the one year of feminine beauty granted to Chitra: “Illusion is the first appearance of Truth.” This shift from the text of Mahabharata is important as the figure of Arjuna remains in the mind of reader as a symbol of success but that successful ‘Man’ is somewhere lost in the vow of celibacy, and will be traced back to life by a Woman, Chitrangada. Therefore the idea of feminine gestures and beauty gets dissolved at the end of the Play, when illusion becomes the first step towards reality. A reality, that Tagore, repeats in many of his works, as the ‘humane’ reality.


At this point Tagorean changes in Chitra becomes much relevant, as the ultra-feminine beauty was at first needed to win the masculine figure. The gift of beauty is given by the Gods Madana and Vasanta for a span of a year. What is most remarkable is that there is no obvious exhibition of this symbol, which grows so naturally and spontaneously out of the story that it is not notices as a symbol in the beginning at all. Chitra who is brought up as a son falls in love with Arjuna who sends her away saying “I have the vow of celibacy, I am not fit for thy husband” So, she seeks the helps of the Gods-Madana and Vasanta to whom she says: “Had I the time needed, I could win his heart by slow degrees and ask no help of the Gods. But it is the labor of lifetime to make one’s true self fully known and honoured.” Her prayer is granted but with a significant difference Vasanta says “Not for a span of a day, but for one whole year the charm of spring blossoms shall nestle round thy limbs.” The significance of time is first indicated in Chitra‟s words: “had I but the time needed . . . it is the labour of lifetime to make one’s true self known and honoured”. The time element is significantly dipped into the play in the form of the God’s offer of beauty to Chitra for a span of a year. This central symbol so beautifully and organically stuck fast in the play is assisted by the symbolic Gods: Madana, the bodiless of God of abiding love; and Vasanta, the time-bound God of Spring without whose assistance Madana cannot function.


As asserted by K. R. Srinivasa Iyenger “Tagore rejected both ‘negations’—the ascetic’s denial of life as well as the sensualist’s denial of the spirit”. This implies that asceticism and sensuality negate the very essence of the life-force which thrives by striking a balance between sensuality and spirituality. This explanation serves Tagore’s ideal of woman in the modern era, where the identity of Chitra is portrayed, when Chitra speaks to Arjuna: “Would it please your heroic soul if the playmate of the night to be the helpmate of the day, if the left arm learnt to share the burden of the proud right arm?” and finally gets a tone of melancholy when Arjuna leaves her.


There arrives the queer moment, Chitra’s physical transformation was handled by Tagore when he reaches to the point when Chitra and Arjuna both realises the need of the inner beauty over the sensuality, but Chitra promises Arjuna, to brought up the child in a manner so that the child can be identified with Arjuna. A motherly identity posed to Chitra and thus the gender question was not solved in Chitra’s story, but the question itself was turned into a metaphysical question and at the surface, a feminine self was somewhere upraised.


A mainland story of India in Mahabharata, getting the ‘female self’ elements attached in the Tagore version, still has another version of reading. As can be seen from the greenery of the outset of Manipur depicted in Chitra, the dependence of the (urban) king on realising the worth of his India and himself, can be related to Tagore’s idea of Kingship in the colonial era. The aboriginals of North east with their differences of outlook from mainland India, were only understood with an illusion. Even the self-realisation of the king comes, but the authorities of aboriginals were still not met. Thus Chitra, with all its symbols and other questions remain significant with a vision of Tagorean nation, at individual as well as collective level of conscience.

4) THE WATER FALL: Plot, Politics and Other Aspects


The Water Fall, published in 1922 with its Bengali original Muktadhara. The insatiable craving of capitalist industrialization and imperialism had been temporarily diminished by the First World War. The war had deeply distressed the poet and the contradiction of what he called the Machine-Civilization was stark. Muktadhara, thus even being a Tagore play with its symbolic elements and allegories in it, is much more concrete in its set-up. With a proper background of the incidents and the incidents placed in a proper geometry of incidents, Muktadhara, somehow releases Tagore from his poetic dialogue to a more prose world, a world of incidents and actions.


‘Muktadhara’(meaning free stream in Bengali) is a Waterfall in fictional Uttarkut, ruled by an autocratic king, Ranajit. The waterfall flows from Uttarkut to a adjoining valley ‘Shiv Terai’. The people of ‘Shiv Terai’ lead their lives with the river. The tyrant king wants to bring ‘Shiv Terai’ under his control and decides to vanquish the people by damming the waterfall thus denying them water. So, the King employs the royal engineer Bibuti go as to build a great dam to prevent the water reaching the plains below. When the people of ‘Shiv Terai’ are informed about getting jobs, they welcome the idea of building the dam and celebrate in honour of the machine along with Bibuti. They realise their mistakes when the water is stopped from the mountain. The prince, Abhijit, learns that he was discovered by the side of the waterfall and adopted by the king. His love for the waterfall and sympathy for the people lead him to stop the King. He demolishes the machine and makes the waterfall free. In the process the prince is swept away with his mother ‘Muktadhara. By giving freedom to the waterfall, Abhijit releases the people of Shiv-Terai also to a new dawn.


The play has significant names of the places, of the characters, attached with the hindu mythology of India. Shiva being the god of both creation and destruction becomes important figure in this play. Firstly with the temple of Bhairav, who destroys all evils. The devotees describe as a Lord of Terror, as a Wreaker of Wrath and a Conqueror of Evil. Bhairav represents within his body the eternal peace of Shiva, his spirit of renunciation and simultaneously reminds us of the destructive powers. Then the place Shiv-tarai becomes important, as ruled by the rulers of Uttarakut, tarai is a place which means it is situated in the foothills of a mountain. Therefore it suddenly reminds of the geographic location of India and then remains the name of the character. ‘Ran’ in Bengali refers to war, an autocratic king who won wars, is termed as ‘Ranajit’, and ‘Bibhuti’ means a state of mind or salvation which is arrived through celibacy. Therefore the autocratic king and the inhuman scientist attached with the making of the dam, reveals the underlining imperial grab in India, where there is a resolution comes from a person named ‘Abhijit’, relating to the Vedantic idea of ‘fearless’ and thus dissociated from the heritable background of Ranajit. Thus Muktadhara, layered in the mythological attributes with the purpose of exposing the reality, engages with symbols in different planes.


Tagore’s engagement with the machine and the practices it generated was deep and philosophical. The play Muktadhara in Tagore’s own words “is a representation of a concrete psychology” which is explained further in a letter to Kalidas Nag that outlined the play’s treatment of this issue. Tagore wrote: “The machine is an important part of the play. This machine has injured the spirit of life and it is with this spirit that Abhijit has destroyed the machine, not with another machine.’’ Dhananjaya, a character of Tagorean dramatic attributes, who sings and who empathises with Abhijit, on the other hand, represents the humanity which is being oppressed by the machine and his message clearly is that, “I will triumph because I will not allow the machine and its injuries to overcome my inner spirit”


Finally, the play in its innate symbols reveals Tagore’s idea of Nation. As in many critiques of the play the urbanisation and modernisation during the imperial era was debated in Gandhian contour of rural upliftment. Kripalni and Sykes both suggests and points out: “The personality and the words of Dhananjaya is a remarkable anticipation of the shape and the struggle for independence was to assume later under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.” However Tagore has a more profound symbol for Dhananjaya as revealed in the play. Dhananjay, has the ascetic qualities in a humane manner, his devotion is towards the betterment of the men, placed in the contrast of Bibhuti, another devotee, who doesn’t have the ‘humane’ nature in the process of devotion. Thus Muktadhara, while being a play with the elements of on-going political ailments in the colonies, has the literary outreach as a drama even more. The grasp of imperialism whenever tracks back and ruin the society of ‘have nots’, it reminds the lines of Abhijit said to Prince Sanjay, “You will not fully understand it. For how are you to know that my life is a stream which must have its free course over the stones of the king’s house. Every man has the mystery of his inner life somewhere written in the outer world. The secret of my own life has its symbol in that waterfall of Muktadhara.


When I saw its movements shackled I received a shock at the very root of my being”.


5) RED OLEANDERS: Plot, Idea of Freedom and Other Aspects


Red Oleanders was written in 1923-24, originally written as Raktakarabi in Bengali by Tagore. The stream of consciousness that started in Tagore’s plays during Muktadhara, continues in Red Oleanders at a more complex yet well organised level. The usual discussion of symbols and literary attributes can be only attached once this phase of writing which the poet was going through is much clear. Tagore himself, comments on Raktakarabi, “It is a vision that has come to me in the darkest hour of dismay.” The ‘darkest hour of dismay’ enables Tagore to entail a story of town. A ‘dystopic’ town in the background again with the same engineering of characters and incidents placed in a well thought geometry of a town. Though Tagore, at first warns the reader in the introductory note of Red Oleanders, “is not at all from mythical times, nor can it be called metaphorical.” Then when the reader thinks of a real incident may have induced the dramatist, Tagore assures that, “the version of truth is the Poet’s version of truth”. There lies the masterstroke of Red Oleanders, in a dystopic town named Yakshapuri, where the people are engaged in digging out gold, scratching out from the earth as ordered by the King, the antagonist of the play. The people are made to forgotten the real joy and the sweetness of nature and are called by numbers. At one hand, the religious master and at the other the wine-seller keeps them alive to extract the gold, which signifies the ‘age-old death’ of lives. At this outset, a one-act play, even though the proper format of one-act is less followed, revolves around.


The plot or the synopsis should be treated with the name simultaneously, Red Oleanders, a flower, of which the garland is made and the protagonist lady, Nandini wears. Nandini doesnot resemble to one aspect as the entire play evolves and the characters are depicted through the eyes and words of Nandini. Therefore if Yakshapuri is the ‘Coke Town’, then Nandini is the conscience. Along with Nandini, the imaginary character of Ranjan is present in the play. Nandini, as posed with her simple poetic words with everyone in the town, reminds of the ‘flashed up’ or ‘unintended’ in the Yaksha town. The King and his iron made chamber with the networks of various workmen of various classes and the working men being reduced to numbers not being the gestures of a complete human, which Nandini brings to Yakshapuri. Therefore, if the King has brought Nandini to Yakshapuri, it reminds the Marxian idea of ‘consciousness’ which Nandini brings to Yaksha-puri. However, reducing the presence of Nandini only to conflict will not reveal the ‘archetype’ which Tagore attaches to Nandini, which is neither Sanskrit nor folk, but Indian in its nature. Captivated souls of Yakshapuri, suddenly changes its rhythm when Nandini enters the town. The King himself tries to detach the conscience named ‘Ranjan’ from Nandini, but when one after another disappears in the course of time, the King himself joins at last to break the shackles and the network of expropriation in the town. Once the realization of King and other fellow men in the ground has come to bring down the false notion of ‘Kingdom’, then only the dead Ranjan arrives, no more needed for Nandini, as the conscience of Ranjan has been transferred to many others.


This play has several layer of characters, some are known by names when the talk to Nandini, and when they returns to the world of excavation their number retains. A Kishore, Phagulal or a gokul is thus fearful and yet unknowingly happy while meeting Nandini. The class of Mayor, of Professor and of the other upper strata always faces Nandini with a feeling of conspiring against the system. The only person who cannot be fitted into this frame is ‘Bishu’, the poet-singer of the play. Who realises the consequences of the network of the town and the excavation, but identifies himself with the ‘other part of Ranjan (or moon) the part which is not lit up’, the part which is even being aware of the constant plunder of humanity, could not resist it. Thus, Bishu is the conscience who was silent till Nandini arrives with the advent of Ranjan.


The symbols of rebel against the inhuman extraction of wealth in the Post World War I scenario can be much vividly discovered, if the idea of ‘rebel for humanity’ is read in Red Oleanders. Tagore’s need of Nandini was to reject the defined masculinity in the capitalist world of War and exploitation. A fertile land in the end of the play with the fruits of earth could only be seen, as the fertility of mother nature can be obtained if it is not filled with the greed but with the masculinity of creation. As Mitra suggests, “This play has in it a total picture of the crisis in civilization of the contemporary world. It deals with the frightful dilemma of the modern man in the grip of an acquisitive society. And because the dilemma and the prospect have a larger-than-life nightmarish quality about them the form given to the play is larger than the frame of a picture depicting the particular and the individual.” Therefore with the arrival of spring the rebel within the woman, named Nandini, enables other to join the rally of humanity, of creation, of a society without a man being reduced to a mere worker for a machine.

The King-Bishu-Ranjan, can be conceived as the representative of various level of consciousness towards the humane treatment of power, and Nandini, becomes the archetype of India’s imagined soul, with the very own mythological subtexts attached. Tagore again comes back to the imagined community with boundaries of classes disappearing and the stigma of feminine self within a capitalist exploitative system has evolved.


Until unhindered freedom of humanity is restored, then we are reminded of the young boy Kishore, who says “I will fetch your flowers on the face of their torture.”


6) Conclusive Remarks


These plays discussed, if seen in the retrospect, it enables us to extract the poetic excellence but moreover the evolution of thesis of Tagore as a Humanist and as a Philosopher. From the individual (self) freedom through the openness of mind and liberating the soul in a converging and assimilating world of Post Office to the profound feminine self and the reality of ‘being’ of a person in Chitra. From the world of Abhijit to the World of Nandini, from the Nature to the assimilation of nature, the concrete vision of an ‘imaginary’ nation is found. A poet’s nation at the verge of extinction with the grab of modernity and greed, with unscrupulous masculinity overdoing the creative ‘Shiva’, the masculinity of Indian nature and finally a fear of a dystopic world, where the colonial powers define the nation within colonies, and fragments humanity. As said by the poet himself in Sadhana, “a man, who by his profession, is concerned with any particular aspect of life is apt to magnify its proportions; in laying undue stress upon facts, he looses his hold upon truth. A detective may have the opportunity of studying crimes in detail, but he loses his sense of their relative place in the whole social economy.”

you can view video on Rabindranath Tagore: Theory and Plays: Post Office/Muktadhara/Rakta Karabi/Chitra


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