BOOK REVIEW OF “GLEANINGS OF THE ROAD” BY RABINDRANATH TAGORE (TRANSLATED BY SOMDATTA MANDAL)

Book Title: Gleanings of The Road (Pather Sanchoy)

Author: Rabindranath Tagore

Translated By: Somdatta Mandal

Total Number of Pages: 224

Publisher: Niyogi Books Private Limited

Publication Date: 28 December 2017

Language: English

Format: Flexibound

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BLURB

Travels formed an integral part of the personae and creative artist that was Rabindranath Tagore. During his travels to England and the USA (1912-13 and 1920) Tagore wrote essays for publication in various Bengali journals. In 1939, Tagore selected fourteen of these essays and an appendix containing seven letters he had written to some of the teachers in the Shantiniketan ashram while he was on these trips, for publication as a volume. Tagore rewrote the original essays then using the colloquial instead of the formal language; he also revised the texts substantially. Later editions altered the number of essays, sometimes digressing from Tagore’s own selection, sometimes going back to Tagore’s original formal language. The travelogue provides an insight into Tagore’s perception of the different facets of western life and the diverse philosophical issues that cross his mind as he journeys from one continent to another. Translated from Bengali for the first time, Pather Sanchoy would be of interest to all those who enjoy exploring unknown territories geographically and psychologically.

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REVIEWED BY SOHINEE DEY

Rabindranath Tagore is an eminent name in literature which is going to be forever celebrated and honoured.

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Gleanings of The Road, translated from the original works of Rabindranath Tagore, Pather Sanchoy by Somdatta Mandal can be thought of as a travel journal where Tagore has accounted all the experiences he had and the things which he had visualised in the course of his journey. The original script is in Bengali which is highly acclaimed in Bengali literature.


Read my previous review of Ashutosh Gupta’s Equations of A Being


Whatever he perceived, he had transcribed those visions into words which were later on stitched together to form this book. This book imbibed with Tagore’s perceptions and his thoughts lets us explore his journey to USA and England through his eyes.

In this book, Tagore has spoken of the cultural differences he had noticed in Western Culture to that of Indian Culture. He lays out his honest unbiased observations and proceeds on to think what he finds lacking and what could be improved. Although, his discerning perspectives of his surroundings is the main focus point of the book, his empirical thoughts and philosophical musings when he draws inwards gives us an insight into the profound thinker he was.

This account is very honest, raw and original. Though the transcript was later on made public for readers; Tagore’s documentation was his own to keep during his travel and thus, he freely expresses his views, speaks of the yearning he feels to speak with people from different communities, observes the minute little changes he comes across on his journey and shares his experiences he had over the course of his travel. This book proves that Tagore was a traveller at heart. He was a wanderer at heart who always wanted to visit different places, meet new people and interact with them.

Never had I ever thought that I would be reviewing one of Tagore’s works. Receiving a review copy of Gleanings of The Road in itself was an honour. I lost myself in the book and felt as if I was travelling along with him. I loved this book and I am going to treasure every moment that I spent reading this piece of literature.

POESY IN CHRYSALIS RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ / ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


If you have read this book or the original version, would love to know what you have to say about the book 😊.


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