Tagore and His India


Today’s needull is rare, very rare. A Noble laureate writing about another laureate. Amartya Sen writes about Rabindranath Tagore, India’s first Nobel laureate.

The profoundly original writer, whose elegant prose and magical poetry Bengali readers know well, is not the sermonizing spiritual guru admired – and then rejected – in London. Tagore was not only an immensely versatile poet; he was also a great short story writer, novelist, playwright, essayist, and composer of songs, as well as a talented painter whose pictures, with their mixture of representation and abstraction, are only now beginning to receive the acclaim that they have long deserved. His essays, moreover, ranged over literature, politics, culture, social change, religious beliefs, philosophical analysis, international relations, and much else. The coincidence of the fiftieth anniversary of Indian independence with the publication of a selection of Tagore’s letters by Cambridge University Press 3, brought Tagore’s ideas and reflections to the fore, which makes it important to examine what kind of leadership in thought and understanding he provided in the Indian subcontinent in the first half of this century.

The complete article

Amartya Sen

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Failure is Neither Fatal, Nor Final

This is another interesting ‘Rare Needull’ I came across in a monthly column at Hazlitt. In this interesting piece, the author examines her varied instances of failures, including her experience with a failed marriage, and how these experiences have affected her outlook on life and her ongoing recovery. The reason why you should read it is simple because her story is your story – after all, haven’t we all failed before!!

Marriage is presumed to be forever. After we married, my husband and I drove to Malibu and sealed our vows inside a bottle, and tossed them out to sea. In our minds, they were promises made like offerings to the universe. Our marriage was a sacred bond between us, so pure, the purest form of love we’d ever felt. We thought it would last for eternity.

Full Article Here

Hazlitt – Sarah Gerard

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The Tree of Gold

This is our second ‘Rare Needull’, from the same blogger. In this short account, we get to know about his first visit to a red light district and leaves us with a lot to ponder on.

“Thank you khoka (son)”, the middle-aged lady smiled as she took the condom from me in one of the alleys. Despite being dark, she had smothered her face with powder and her black pan stained teeth were in direct contrast with her white face. It was the same woman I had seen a while ago tying the hair knots of her daughter.

I did not return the smile. In my heart, I was terribly angry at being called a ‘son’ by this plump woman, dressed funnily in a nightgown despite the sun being high up, and someone who let people do anything to her for a few hundred rupees.

Full Article Here


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Rare Needull – A journey to the center of the world


This needull marks a new beginning for the Rare Needull series. We have mostly been recommending interesting articles from well known journals and magazines. Rare Needull will pick gems from the lesser known publications. Needull will try to provide these amazing written pieces the much needed visibility they deserve.

This is the story of a journey to one of the most restricted places for travel – Mecca. I am not sure if it is fact or fiction or a mixture of both. Reading this story, you will feel a sense of dread, anxiety and sometimes relief. In my view, this piece is a NewYorker quality story.

The first problem, and the realization that this could go really wrong, stuck at the first checkpoint, 15 miles from Mecca city. While I was in the queue, non-chalantly waiting for my turn, the call for prayer echoed through the complex. The devout Muslims, which most people there were, got on their knees like a remote control button. It took me seconds, which seemed like hours to me, to realize that I was about to do my first prayer in public. The next 15 minutes of standing, kneeling, prostrating were the most nervous 15 minutes of my life. I was clumsy all throughout but I guess, everyone was so engrossed in prayer that they didn’t notice my awkwardness. I sailed through this test, one of the many to come over the next 12 hours.

The complete article


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