New Delhi: The women of Tagore household, who rarely find mention in Indian history, were real achievers, according to veteran actress Sharmila Tagore, who is also a descendent of family.
The actress was speaking at the launch of the book ‘Daughters of Jorasanko’ by Aruna Chakravarti, here last evening.
The semi-fictional book, is a sequel to the earlier, “Jorasanko” (2013) that chronicles the history of the Tagores, while offering accounts of the lives led by the women of the family.
“Being part of an illustrious family, the women in Jorsanko, lived under certain compulsions but still they were modern and the real achievers in many ways.
“Jnanadanandini was the first woman who travelled to England and Bombay on her own with three children. She was a feisty person and did many things on her own. In those times when women used to drape a single ‘thaan’ around themselves, she wore it in an erudite Parsi fashion,” she said.
While talking about the conflict that divided the family into Brahmo and Hindu households, Sharmila said that it was the women who fostered unity between the two.
“Every woman in Tagore family had something to offer towards the unity of the family. Even after separation, men spoke to each other in public spheres but the women were separated due to conflict which was quite sad,” she said.
The 71-year-old artiste highlighted the critical role played by Rabindranath’s wife Mrinalini in building Shantiniketan, which became the poet’s refuge during the latter part of his life.
“Mrinalini has a very important role in Shantiniketan. She sold off her jewellery and sacrificed everything to build it. And her health also suffered a lot.
“Swarnakumari Devi, the Nobel Laureate’s sister was among the first Bengali women writers at the time,” she said.
Sharmila also shared some anecdotes from the stories that she had heard from her grandmother.