They were Rarhi Brahmins and originally belonged to a village named Kush in the district named Burdwan in West Bengal. Rabindra-biographer Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyaya wrote in the second page of the first volume of his book named "Rabindrajibani O Rabindra Sahitya Prabeshika" that, "The Kusharis were the descendants of Deen Kushari, the son of Bhatta Narayana ; Deen was granted a village named Kush in Burdwan zilla by Maharaja Kshitisura, he became its chief and came to be known as Kushari. They hosted the publication of literary magazines; theatre and recitals of Bengali and Western classical music featured there regularly. Another brother, Satyendranath , was the first Indian appointed to the elite and formerly all-European Indian Civil Service. Yet another brother, Jyotirindranath , was a musician, composer, and playwright.
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Innocence lost — Stories by Rabindranath Tagore 6 Posted on October 27, The Stories of Rabindranath Tagore continued, some linked and some independent of the previous or the following stories. And when the characters involved are young and innocent children, the pain only doubles.
His trusted servant of many years asks for leave. Upon asking the reason, Raicharan, narrates his story. Wafadar Khokhababur Pratyabartan — The return of Khokhababu Raicharan grows up along with Anukul, serving him and taking care of all his needs. Anukul grows up to be a lawyer while Raicharan remains his trusted servant.
The little boy whom Raicharan calls Nanhe Malik Khokhababu , becomes his world and he takes every little care of him. Grief stricken himself, Raicharan loses his job and starts ignoring his pregnant wife and widowed sister. Soon, his wife dies post child birth. Although, saddened with the loss of his wife, Raicharan feels that he has no right to enjoy being the father of a child when his own master is childless because of his own carelessness.
Hence, he ignores the infant while his sister takes care of the motherless child. He now starts feeling that his nanhe malik has taken a rebirth in the form of his own son. He sells off his assets to bring him up as his master would bring up his own son. He enrolls him in the city school, calls himself his servant, pampers him with costly goodies time and again and heeds to his tantrums and needs.
As a result, his son grows up as an arrogant young boy, spoilt with all the pampering and treats Raicharan as a worthless servant, as he is unaware of the truth. But Raicharan, seeking to be taken back by them, receives no mercy. He leaves, dejected, having lost his Khokhababu once again, finds himself driven into the river waters, where he had first lost his nanhe malik.
And his strong belief that his own son is actually the reincarnation of his nanhe malik and the will to bring him up as his young master, gives an idea about how far a man can go to affirm that belief. But what strikes more in this story is how a child, born to a father who has spent his life serving others, is brought up in such a way, that he becomes arrogant, looks down upon people below his status and converts into a rich spoilt kid.
This proves that little children are innocent souls who can be moulded into any which way, whether good or bad, kind or arrogant. It is upto the parents or guardians to guide them onto the right track, with the right behaviour. In the case of the story, the little boy, with love from his father and aunt, could have grown into a loving, humble boy. Chutti Chutti — The Homecoming Phatik is a young boy who lives in a village with his widowed mother and brother.
The leader of the boys of his age group, naughty to the core, his life is full of pranks, playing games with his friends, little tiffs with his younger brother for which he often gets scolded by his mother — all in all, a carefree childhood. Then, one fine day, his maternal uncle comes visiting after many years. Seeing the plight, his sister and her children live in, he decides to take along Phatik back to his home in Calcutta, to enroll him in school and give him the education and upbringing that he deserves.
But unfortunately, this remains only a dream. Phatik is excited about his new school, but is time and again ridiculed by his cousins. His aunt too takes the sides of her sons and scolds Phatik for every little mischief that he knowingly or unknowingly does.
Phatik requests his uncle to be sent back. But his uncle is not ready to give up. A disheartened Phatik starts writing a letter in the name of his mother, where instead of complaining he praises the members of his new family and also asks her to permit him to visit him, for now he would neither be naughty nor fight with his younger brother. Later one day, when he is again severely scolded by his aunt, he decides to make the trip back home to his village, on his own.
His uncle, finding the boy missing is in panic mode, scolds his family for not cooperating in making the boy feel at home. When some fishermen bring an unconscious boy home, the uncle is shocked. They tell him that he was trying to go to his village via the river route. Finding the boy, burning in fever, the uncle fetches the doctor, who upon checking, conveys the news that the boy perhaps may not survive for long. He had taken over the duties of Phatik for his well-being, but now he has failed his sister.
Phatik, in his unconscious condition, keeps calling his mother. A story that turned tragic, which would not have been, if some simple behaviour patterns were checked. No person, whether young or old, likes to live in a hostile environment, where the people surrounding are looking to bring the person down all the time. But Phatik received none of these and the life of an innocent boy was lost.
Waaris Sampatti Samarpan — The trust property Yagyanath Kundu is a rich but miser man who lives with his son, daughter-in-law and grandson. Of all, he adores his grandson, Gokul, very much, playing with him all the time.
He has secretly hidden his wealth and treasure at a hidden place which no one knows about. When his son asks him money to give better treatment to his ailing wife, the old man refuses.
The son is rendered helpless as he watches his wife suffer and pass away for lack of a treatment which could have been easily afforded for. As years pass by, he soon starts behaving like a lunatic while the local boys start making fun of him. So, the old man offers to hide him in his house. Nitai happily tags along. The old man is happy to have the boy at his home and gets him all that he wants.
The boy too is happy living a comfortable life with the friendly old man. Soon, news spreads about a young boy living with the lunatic old man. He performs a pooja and tells the boy to make a promise that he will take care of the treasure and when his grandson arrives he would handover all the property to him. This statement he forcefully makes him repeat again and again, multiple number of times, till the boy is tired, exhausted and on the verge of fainting.
At this stage, the old man leaves him alone and seals the darkened place. But next morning, he gets a shock when he is awakened by his son, who tells him that he is looking for Nitai, who is actually his son Gokul.
Hearing this, the old man, shivers, left speechless, fear in his eyes for the ghastly deed he has done, points towards the place where he left the boy. But perhaps it is too late. Another story where a boy loses his life for no fault of his. A normal young boy, wanting to have a carefree life, but his fate his sealed for the old man he trusted turned out to be a merciless, selfish miser. He was a random boy who was made a victim by a crazy old man.
A price he pays with his life, for running away from home to escape going to school. But is that really a price he ought to pay for behaving like many other kids of his age and time, normally would?
An innocent boy, unaware of the adversities that lie ahead, loses his life. I thank Ms. Sayanee H. Lecter, for providing the information about jakh and throwing light on the whole ritual. Is it limited to being just the daughter or wife or the daughter-in-law? Does she not have her own individuality, independent of the relation that she is binded with the people in her life?
Does she not have her own say in matters, her opinion to be seeked, her acceptance or objections to the goings-on? But here too is a young child, who is quashed for no fault of hers. The story starts with Mrinal arriving at the holy place of Lord Jagannath, Puri. Once here, she writes a letter, the very first and last one, to her husband, explaining what pains she had to go through in his household. Not being happy with her ordinary looking elder daughter-in-law, she had wanted a beautiful one for her younger son, to show off to her friends and relatives.
Mrinal found her co-sister friendly but she had always been looked down upon by her husband and mother-in-law because of her incompetence. Thrust with conservative rules and regulations, both co-sisters had no say in the day-to-day decisions of the household. This also resulted in Mrinal losing her child during delivery as hygienic conditions were not provided because of conservative practices. A distraught Mrinal seeks solace in writing poems which her husband thinks is not something she should waste her time in.
Intelligent enough to solve accounting problems, her husbands rebukes the very idea and asks her to stay off such matters. But Mrinal continues writing secretly during her spare time, for that is the only thing that seems to give her happiness. A girl in her early teens, Bindu is an orphan and is left to work at a home to fend for herself. But her employers spare no chance to humilate or beat her. But the maasi herself is helpless in her own household.
However, it is Mrinal who decides that Bindu will not go back and will stay with them instead. Taunts for Bindu pour in constantly from their side. But Mrinal, works within the limitations that the household offers, starts taking care of Bindu, both growing fond of each other, gelling like a mother and daughter would. With this little love that she receives, Bindu starts living a joyous life, her innocent smile back on her face. However, this joy is only shortlived.
Mrinal is taken aback with this decision, but she pacifies a wailing Bindu that perhaps this will be good for her as she will have her own household from where no one can send her away. Only if her new maasi had refused the alliance, she would have been with her forever.
But that was not to be. A few days after marriage, Bindu returns, bruised and injured. Agitated with the condition she finds Bindu in, Mrinal quarrels with her in-laws and demands an explanation. Unable to see her new maasi fight with her in-laws for her sake, Bindu returns to her home. Mrinal, has had enough. She decides to take Bindu away from the place that is worse than hell, to a place where she could breathe in peace.
She decides to go to Puri. As she expected, her husband refuses to accompany.
List of works by Rabindranath Tagore