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Gora by Rabindranath Tagore - Book review


A precious masterpiece in literature

Book name: Gora 
Writer: Rabindranath Tagore 
Translator: Sacchidanand Vatsyayan 'Agneya'
Source: Read from library 
Language: Hindi (original in Bengali) 
Total page: 404 
Genre: Fiction 


It has been a long time since I have read any Hindi novel or books so this time, I decided to read a Hindi novel. When I saw this novel in the library in no time I picked it up. This is the fifth novel and largest in order of Tagore's twelve novels.

Plot summary: 

Set in the era of early 19 th century this novel is one of a complex novel was written by Tagore. The story starts with Binoy, an educated man summoning by love hearing a Baul singer. At the same time, he met a beautiful girl named as Sucharita and fall in love with her. Later he finds that she is the next door neighbour. Binoy becomes friend with her younger brother Satish which makes an easy entry to her house and meet her family.

Soon, they found that they belong to the different community. Binoy is a follower of Hinduism, worships the idols while Sucharita follows Brahmo Samaj, who does not believe in idol worshiping. Binoy's entry in her house raises many eyebrows in Hindu and brahiminical society and states that Brahm people are influenced by Christianity.

The person who gets most annoyed by Binoy becoming friendly in Brahm family is Gora (Gour Mohan) , the protagonist of a novel, a tall, broad shoulders, fair skin man who mostly resembles a foreigner among dark-skinned Bengali people. He is hardcore brahman who keeps his belief in Hinduism apex than to everything. He is an educated person who believes in the old age custom of Hinduism and thinks that India gets freedom only when it accumulate the scattered Hindu samaj. He has clear perspective in religion and he spreads it by travelling village to village.

Gora and Binoy have perfect friendship which gets affected by the increasing friendship between Binoy and Brahm family of Sucharita. Her family includes her foster father Pareshbabu, an intelligent, calm and modern thought of man. Her foster mother Vardasundari, a typical woman who love to show-off their children's work. Things become violent when the various circumstances led Brahman Binoy to marry her free- spirited Brahm sister Lolita. Horanbabu (Panubabu), to be a husband of Sucharita is a villain in this novel. Who take granted of loopholes of Hinduism to shape his bond with Britishers.

Gora's father Krishnadayal is a ritualistic man while his mother Anandmoyi is a liberal woman who does not believe in age old blind customs. Gora is their loving son. But what happens when Gora get to know the reality of his birth blood? Why his father never touched him? Would his nomad to a various village, people and Muslims affect his belief in Hinduism? Would he able to see the what the true religion is?

Last few pages simply pour various emotions in readers. Many power-pack conversations between characters on Hinduism, religion and Brahmo Samaj is simply awesome.

Writing style: 

The strength of this novel is powerful characters. The writing style is totally awesome. Tagore's work is translated into many languages which you can pick up as per your convenience.

My perception: 

Tagore's father Debendranath Tagore was an active member of Brahmo Samaj which aimed to reform the Hindu religion. Tagore wrote this novel to portray the conflict between Hinduism and Brahmo Samaj. Although this novel is written more than a century ago but many instances present in this novel is relevant in today's world too. The Hinduism is far depth concept and you can get to know that in this novel. You can also get the reflection of old Calcutta in this novel. A must read masterpiece novel written by a genius.

Halo of book: Excellent !!

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Until next time, Keep Reading :) 

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