Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Paresh Babu says it right

Okay just finished the Gora book. I took about a month plus. I thought that was quite long but gee the days just fly by these days. Thanks to the long weekend, I indulged and set aside time for this most thought provoking book. Tagore's characters have a way of representing themselves as though they were all a part of the reader, that's me I guess. In the end the story is about love and the freedom to do so... Actually I take that back (that description sucks)... its more than that.

Anyway, I finally found an answer to an old question that I thought I would find in an education journal. It started with the level 5000 Ecology module when the Professor gave us journals to read and instead of us coming up with answers, he told us to come up with questions... It might sound simple enough but those two questions we needed to submit for each journal were very difficult to generate.... Now when I have important lessons to conduct, I use this format. Getting a groups of students to come up with questions on a sheet of paper and then passing the paper around for the other group to answer.

Okay so Paresh Babu in the story goes on to tell his daughter:
"You know, my dear child," replied Paresh Babu, "I have always wanted you girls to think for yourselves, and not simply to take my opinions, or anyone else's, at second hand. To offer instruction on any question before it has really arisen in the mind is like giving food before one is hungry, - it spoils the appetite and leads to indigestion. But whenever you ask me any question, I am always ready to tell you what I know about it."

Another gem in that book is this metaphor used to describe the sudden revelation in Gora's life, that he's actually Irish instead of the Indian he so thought he was and the Brahmin he was about to be.

"In a single moment Gora's whole life seemed to him like some extraordinary dream... He felt as though he were like a dewdrop on the lotus leaf which comes into existence for a moment only." In the anthology on Rabindranath, nature played a huge part in his life; he'd meditate and find inspiration from mother nature and the mountains where his father had brought him to.

If only we had studied Tagore instead of Shakespeare...


Anonymous chapman said...

i'm so glad to hear you talking about this wonderful novel. for some reason tagore's novels are always considered less worthy than his stories, poetry, etc--i love them and've read all that are in translation (i.e. all but the first two).

reading him is like drinking cold water. it's so clear and has such integrity. and for me (a westerner) there's a special quality to reading books from india that were really not written to please or impress the west, but were really (in this case) a bengali talking to other bengalis about their own lives. it's like the difference between a stage show and a private conversation.

hope you enjoy the other tagore books--and maybe you'll pick up saratchandra too?-->

12:29 PM  

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