or is he? Next year will be the centenary of his Nobel, and he would have been 151. Tagore is hardly a household name outside of Bengal and wasn't otherwise earlier either but through his English and other language translations, through his talks and lectures and his quite out of the common dress and charisma, he left pieces of his legacy wherever he went.
Rarely has there been a man who holds the keys to a peoples' culture for so long. One major way of Rabindranath Tagore reaching the masses certainly has been his writing (be it verse of prose). The other way is by Rabindra Sangeet (Tagore music). Being the versatile genius he was, Tagore wrote the poetry and put them to tune as well. The reach of Rabindra Sangeet has traditionally been limited not only by the language but also the rigid following of the conventional methods by which they have been performed. The instruments used have always been the harmonium, tabla, and the metronomic rhythm.
However, as Rabindra Bharati (the university that Tagore founded) loses copyright over his works many talented musicians have started injecting fresh blood into Tagore's conventional music which is fast losing currency. The lyrics remain, the music is contemporary and energetic, thus starting to pull the youth of today back in.
This re-insurgence has started pulling people slowly back to Tagore's works as well.
KOOLSKOOL pays humble homage to Gurudev Rabindranath on his 150th year.