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The English translation of Ghare-Baire (1919), The Home and the World, was first serialised in the Bengali magazine, Sabujputra, in 1915. It follows the story of a wealthy and educated gentleman, Nikhilesh, his young wife, Bimala and his fiery friend, Sandip, a headstrong Swadeshi fighter. Under Sandip's influence, Bimala abandons the traditional role she has hitherto occupied and begins to step out of her confined world. But she is also dazzled by Sandip's rhetoric, unimpressed by the moderate politics and quiet determination of her husband and her transformation into a modern woman carries with it a great price. Translated by Surendranath Tagore, this controversial novel was condemned by many for being immoral and unpatriotic. But a few admired it deeply for the way it refused to sacrifice common-sense for fiery political rhetoric.
One of India's most cherished figures, Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1914) was a novelist, short-story writer, poet, essayist, painter, educationist and thinker, the first non-European to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913. He modernised Bengali literature, moving it away from its rigid classical form and strict linguistic structure. Known for works such as Gitanjali (Song Offerings), Gora (Fair-Faced) and Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World,) his novels, short stories and verse are considered part of the greatest of world literature, famous for their exploration of the political and the personal.