In the year of 1916, exactly 100 years ago, 3 years since he became the first Non-European to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, Rabindranath Tagore, one of the most prolific artistic geniuses to come from India, published his extremely controversial and then much contested “The Home and The World“. It was a book that broke the mold and brought out women from the “anter mahal” (the inner chambers where women led secluded lives in 18th-19th century Bengal, albeit with consequences) and put a spin on on the Indian National Movement by defining and defying at the same time what a true patriot is/was. This novel has been since subjected to countless reviews, researches and critiques and has been subject of several dramas and filming, the most popular version being the one directed by Satyajit Ray, another first, the first Indian to win an Oscar!
On Aug 15th. 2016, India celebrates her 69th year of “Independence”; exactly 69 years ago, India regained her independence from the British rule after more than 200 years of colonization and exploitation. This act of regaining independence was the final culmination of the Indian National Movement, which began after the disastrous failure of the ill-fated attempt of 1857 Mutiny and would ultimately inspire many world leaders in their efforts gain freedom and equality, including Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. Interestingly 2016, nearly a 100 years after Tagore brought the traditional bengali woman to the man’s world in a startling attempt to emancipate women atleast in literature, the first batch women fighter pilots of Indian Air force, take to the sky, in a revolutionary departure from the historically masculine dominated world of military and warfare!
With such changes and events, colliding, it made sense to host a reading event that celebrated the long way India and her women had come along and “The Home and The World” seemed an apt book to do it with. Therefore with all humility and some pride I present “The Home and The World Read Along” for the month of August! It’s short novella, and does not require much time, but stitched together in those 120 odd pages is a story that speaks both of unique historical moment of time and of relationships that are timeless and abound through the ages!
I already have the honor of having Stefanie and Cleo join me for the event. Ruth also committed to check in and try and fit in with her schedule, and I am hoping many of you will join as well.( Please feel free to share the button above to share the love!) Like I promised Stefanie, I plan to provide an overview of the socio-political events that formed the background of this novel as well a summary of the position of women in India through centuries to help you better understand the book and provide you crucial clutches to navigate the specifics of the novel!
So come on and join us as we travel through time to the coming of age of an old country and her people!
19 thoughts on “Celebrating Freedom – The Home and The World Read Along”
I’ll try to join you if I can find a copy of the book, and if there’s an A to Z post between now and then you’ll be in there. Thank you for having such a timely idea and taking such time and trouble to share it with others.
Jane…I will be honored if you join…. nothing could make this event better than to be in the company of those who have introduced me to so many books and and showed me the way to host events and shared some of the best reading and blogging experiences! A big thank you as well for remembering me in your A to Z post and your kind words! You are the best! 😀
I just requested the book from the library! and it’s been filmed too you say? and won an Oscar? I will have to see if I can find a copy for viewing after I have finished or nearly finished the book!
The movie did not win an Oscar but the director did. The movie did win the Cannes Jury award! Sorry for the confusion! But yay on you getting the book! The film is available on the internet…will send you the link…we can do a virtual movie watching session!
I’m in, even though life is crazy at the moment. I think I might have even pulled it off my bookshelves, but I can’t remember. Looking forward to it, and to learning more about India.
BTW, I’ve almost finished A Doll’s House. Can you believe it? My brain is softball-overloaded, and it’s nice to sit on the grass now and then and read.
In any case, I’ll get up a post for the read-along when I’m able. Thanks for hosting!!
Thanks Cleo! You are the best! My support pillar and my cheering squad all rolled into one! We need to discuss A Dolls House..got much to think about! You are a genius …only you could manage Ibsen and Softball together!
Tagore is a favorite write of mine. I have read all of his short stories and I have a biography of him on my TBR pile. If I can find this novel I will try to join your read along.
Hey Sharon! Please do join us….and your reading of Tagore would enrich our reading experience! It will be brilliant all round! Hope to see you in August!! 🙂
I made it!
Here’s my starting post – http://bronasbooks.blogspot.com.au/2016/08/the-home-and-world-read-along.html
Thanks a ton Brona! What a fabulous intro! Anita Desai’s introduction is actually very good and a great insight into the novel!