|The Champa Flower
SUPPOSING I became a
champa flower, just for fun, and grew on a branch high up that tree,
and shook in the wind with laughter and danced upon the newly budded
leaves, would you know me, mother?
You would call, "Baby, where are you?" and I should laugh to myself
and keep quite quiet.
I should slyly open my petals and watch you at your work.
When after your bath, with wet hair spread on your shoulders, you
walked through the shadow of the champa tree to the little court
where you say your prayers, you would notice the scent of the
flower, but not know that it came from me.
When after the midday meal you sat at the window reading Ramayana,
and the tree's shadow fell over your hair and your lap, I should
fling my wee little shadow on to the page of your book, just where
you were reading.
But would you guess that it was the tiny shadow of your little
When in the evening you went to the cow-shed with the lighted lamp
in your hand, I should suddenly drop on to the earth again and be
your own baby once more, and beg you to tell me a story.
"Where have you been, you naughty child?"
"I won't tell you, mother." That's what you and I would say then.
Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913
Greatest writer in modern Indian literature, Bengali
poet, novelist, educator, who won the Nobel Prize for
Literature in 1913. Tagore was awarded the knighthood in
1915, but he surrendered it in 1919 as a protest against
the Massacre of Amritsar, where British troops killed
some 400 Indian demonstrators protesting colonial laws.
Tagore's reputation in the West as a mystic has perhaps
mislead his Western readers to ignore his role as a
reformer and critic of colonialism.