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“MY REMINISCENCE” is a short story written by Rabindranath Tagore about his days at a river-side. Tagore is nostalgic while he remembers his old good days with his brother and sister in law, where he once spent his days blissfully along the wooded banks of the river Ganges.
Tagore went to stay with his brother, Jyotirindra at Chandernagore, in West Bengal, after returning from his second voyage to England. He continues to recapture his joyful days which he spent along the wooded banks of the river Ganges. He describes the Bengal sky full of light, the south breeze, the flow of the river, the right royal laziness, the broad leisure stretching from horizon to horizon and from green Earth to blue sky, as food and drink to him.
Alter in the Tone
He felt indeed like home and deeply felt the caring of a Mother. He then alters his tone, while describing the changes in the environment caused by time. The greenery had been replaced by huge noisy mills, which are emitting smoke. Tagore talks about the midday glare of modern life that even hours of mental siesta have been affected to the lowest limit, and hydra-headed unrest has captured every area of lives.
Tagore spent his afternoons at the riverside singing old Vaishnava songs to his own tunes and playing the harmonium. Sometimes, he sang the songs with his brother, Jyotirindra, playing the violin, till the evening. They finally returned to their villa late on night after the place had calmed down.
At night, Tagore went on the terrace to view the river reflecting the moonlight, dark trees bordering the river banks and a silver streak, separating the land and water. He describes his villa as “Moran’s Garden”.
The villa had a stone-flagged steps that started from the river bed and led to various rooms on different floors. The rooms were not on the same level and not regularly arranged. The villa had a big sitting room with stained glass windows and colourful pictures. One picture showed a swing hanging from a dense branch with a couple on it.
The other picture had people walking on a stair case leading to a castle like palace in grand dresses and when the light fell on these glass pictures, the scene appeared to be alive. The topmost room of the villa had windows on all sides and treetops.
It should be noted that Tagore wrote his famous poem from this room as he clearly mentioned that he has used this room for writing poetry. He was then busy with the Evening songs and of the room he wrote: “THERE, where in the breast of limitless space clouds are laid to sleep. I have built my house for thee, O Poesy!”