Rabindranath Tagore was born in Kolkata on 6th May, 1861. As a child, he regarded schools as prisons where learning was forced on students. But he enjoyed poetry from the time he heard his first nursery rhyme. He started writing at the tender age of seven years.
When he grew up, he opened a small school called Brahmacharya Ashram, in Shantineketan, based on the Gurukuls of ancient India. He wanted the children to study out in the open and learn from nature, which he considered the best teacher. He taught the children through books which he wrote himself. Since the school was a big success, he decided to establish a university where students from all over the world could assemble. He felt they could teach as well as learn a lot from each other. He named the university Vishwa-Bharati. Srimketan was another institute he established with the aim of uplifting the masses in villages.
Rabindranath Tagore was also a great freedom fighter and fought with the weapon he knew best—his pen. His writings and speeches reflected his patriotism and thirst for a free India. He composed maruy songs which are collectively called Rabindra Sangeet, He has the unique honour as being the only composer whose songs Jana-Gana-Mana and Amur Sonar Bangla are the national anthems of India and Bangladesh respectively.
His versatile and great personality was acknowledged the world over when he became the first Asian to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 for his collection of 103 poems called Gitanjali.