Rabi Thakur – or Rabindranath Tagore, as the world knows him – was a magical weaver of tales. He was a versatile genius and also a highly empathic person who delved deep into the human emotions.
When Rabi Thakur wrote his stories, the world was very different than ours today.
Women were not allowed to express themselves, foreigners were sort of untouchables and romance was not candidly accepted. Rabi Thakur, through his tales spoke those many unspoken words and expressed the repressed emotions.
He understood the subtlety of love and how to express it in different relationships. Most of his stories that have been made into films revolve around the central theme of love. But each love is different.
Love is of lovers beyond this life; and in other a father’s love for his daughter. Then there is maniac love for jewels and the ideal love for the nation.
Here are the stories of Rabi Thakur that have been made into films –
#1 Natir Pujo, 1932
Made in 1932, Natir Pujo was the first story of Rabi Thakur made for the big screen. But more importantly, it is the only film in which Rabi Thakur was directly involved. He was involved in production as well as direction in Natir Pujo. Of course, he is also a part of the screen. No more words needed!
#2 Khudito Pashan, 1960
A dashing and friendly tax collector comes to a small town. He has his arrangements in an old mansion and against warnings from others about the place being haunted, he stays there. Instead of being horrified, he starts falling in love with an beautiful apparition. Does he know her? Is he shifting into another time?
Legendary film maker Tapan Sinha made Khusito Pashan with Soumitra Chatterjee in the lead role. The film is absolutely marvellous and it won the National Award. The play of light and shadows make this film watchable many, many times.
#3 Teen Kanya, 1961
Three stories in one, it was Satyajit Ray’s tour-de-force. The film has The Post Master, Monihara and Samapti. Each story and film is a class of its own. The stories are based on female characters – each one unique in its form and mind.
#4 Kabuliwala, 1957
When one sees a rustic and gruff kabuliwala, how many ever think of his softer side, especially as a parent? Stories on a father’s love are rare, even till today.
When Rabi Thakur penned Kabuliwala, it was a landmark. The film had been made equally beautiful with Chhabi Biswas as the Afghan Kabuliwala.
Kabuliwala has also been made more than once in Bengali and Hindi for the big screen.
#5 Ghare Baire, 1984
Ghare Baire (Home and the World) was directed by the legendary Satyajit Ray. This film was the Golden Palm Nominee in the Cannes Film Festival. Ghare Baire has been considered as one of the most significant films on the progress of women in the society.
The time when Rabi Thakur wrote his novel, it created a lot of controversy. The story was quite ahead of its time.
#6 Char Adhyay, 1997
Rabi Thakur wrote the short novel Char Adhyay in 1934. After more than six decades, this was made into a film in Hindi directed by Kumar Shahani. Like Rabi Thakur’s other stories, this questioned and broke the ice into blindly accepted ideals.