Thakur said “Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time”. Rabindranath Tagore who was the first Indian to win Nobel Prize wrote many pieces, he was an Indian polymath who excelled in poetry, story writing, painting, composing songs and reforming society with his strong seamless expressions.
Books create warm emotional bonds between adults and kids. Especially when the kids read books that have been read by their parents in their childhood. Books expands their understanding of the world and stimulate their imagination. Reading good books not only help kids in developing their language and vocabulary but also help them build critical thinking skills. Reading could help the child the opportunity to share cultural experiences to chart their own moral and ethical course.
Tagore’s Kadi-o-Komal was first collection of poetry for children. Here are some of his works that you can introduce your children to.
1. ‘The Postmaster’
The 'postmaster' is a sentimental piece that narrates about the love a young girl Ratan who had for a young postmaster who had come to work in the village of Ulapur. Different seasons portrayed the postmaster’s mood towards his surroundings, life in Calcutta as a city boy, and his relationship with Ratan.
Most of Tagore’s short stories are based in Bengal, highlighting Bengali people’s lives during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. ‘The Postmaster’ is one such story.
“Oh, if only some kindred souls were near – just one loving human being whom I could hold near my heart!”
This story churns out emotions, gives the reader a space to think and even reason. The story even makes the reader empathize with the protagonist.
You get a peek into Tagore’s favourite thematic subjects of fatherly affection and partings. The story is all about Abdur Rahman, ‘Kabuliwala’ or the man from Kabul. He is the seller of seasonal goods like Almonds & Cashew nuts from Kabul. Abdur longs for his family, especially his daughter. He is poor, hence away from his loved ones unlike the rich narrator of the story living in Calcutta.
In Calcutta Abdur meets Mini, the curious talkative five-year-old daughter of the narrator. Mini reminds Kabuliwala of his daughter. He brings small treats for Mini and soon the two develop a strong bond of affection.
Mini looks for Kabuliwalah, she waits for him to come with his big bag. She yearns to ask Kabuliwalah ‘What’s there in your big bag? ’
Mini wants to hear Kabuliwalah’s Voice Saying ‘There Is A Big Elephant In My Bag’. She misses Kabul’s almonds and raisins. She keeps waiting till someone yet again picks up the book to turn the pages till the end of the story where she meets her Kabuliwalah once again while she departs for her father in laws house & Kabuliwalah Returns From the father in laws house.
It’s time to re-explore the sentiments the story holds.
3. The Astronomer
The book is a conversation between a sister and a brother. The curious little sister thinks she can catch the moon and it isn’t really that far and tries to convince her elder brother the same.
But dada laughed at me and said, "Baby, you are the silliest
child I have ever known. The moon is ever so far from us, how could
anybody catch it?"
The book is also available in hindi version, the name is Tara Khojak.
4. The Prince and Other Modern Fables
The book has stories of a tribal girl who is mistaken for a fairy; a young man who tries to come to terms with his first heartache; a little boy who loses his mother; and many others. The book contains several short stories that reveal simple truths about life and is considered to be one of the best collections of short stories for children.
5. The Land of Cards: Stories, Poems and Plays for Children
Tagore’s unceasing creativity and versatility come alive in his writings. Tagore’s works convey his deep understanding of human relationships.
The play The Land of Cards is a satire against the bondage of orthodox rules. The other works in the collection like – The Post Office is about a child suffocated by his confined existence dreams of freedom in the world outside.
This book is a collection of some of his best works.