The Flower School
Rabindanath Tagore is the iconic Bengali writer who brought India its first (only, so far) Nobel Prize in Literature. Through the innocent eyes of a school-going child, the poet captures the thrill and excitement of the blossoming of flowers with the onset of rains. The childlike description of the seasonal appearance and departure of flowers on and from the face of the earth touches everyone’s heart. A child’s fascination with flowers, her dread of the school, and love for her mother are depicted in this short poem with remarkable vividness. This is why this small poem has such time-less abiding appeal.
Explanation … When storm clouds burst and rains begin to fall from the sky in June, moisture-laden winds from the east brush past the bushes with great speed. A shrill sound emanates from the bamboo bushes.
A huge carpet of yellow-coloured tiny flowers seem to descend down on the grass, as the seasonal flowers erupt with astounding glee.
Prior to appearing on the grasses, the tiny flowers seem to go underground to finish their home tasks. Only after they finish the tasks, they venture to come to the open. Just as a child is pulled up for coming to class with incomplete homework, the same way the flowers do not dare to prematurely blossom on the earth. Such likening of the wild flowers with school-going youngsters is nothing but a figment of imagination conjured up by the poet, but it is so apt and enjoyable.
The rain’s arrival brings some respite from studies. The flowers come out to the open with frenzied excitement, the same way students welcome the start of the holidays.
As the winds sway the trees, the branches rub against one another and the leaves flutter filling the air with strange sounds.
The clouds roar with vigour and flowers of myriad hues make their appearance in unison.
The child is bewildered to see all these. He imagines that the abode of the flowers is in the starry sky, and they come to the earth on annual sojourns.
In his innocence, the child imagines that the flowers are keen to go back to their homes. The flowers’ mothers are there in the sky and the flowers can not remain away from their mothers for too long. So, they come, but go back hurriedly.
The child’s innocence is so endearing.
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