The Farewell Song

The Farewell Song
By Rabindranath Tagore

I came across this book in an exhibition. Since I had never heard of this book I called up my mother and she confirmed it was the translation of “Shesher Kobita”, one of the popular books by Tagore. I am no one to comment on Tagore’s works, still I am writing this because of two reasons. First everyone doesn’t have a guide who has read a lot of classic works and second for all those readers who are not aware of the classics written by Rabindranath Tagore. So the next time you come across this book you know where to look for details.

The story revolves around three characters Amit, Labonya and Shobhonlal who come from different backgrounds. Amit, an oxford educated bachelor from an extremely rich family who just enjoys life. Shobhonlal, a guy from a poor family but completed his education by sheer handwork. Labonya, the educated daughter of the principal of a college. The magical yet simple beauty of the story lies in the way these three people meet. Labonya and Shobhonlal study in the same college where Shobhonlal always tops and is her father’s favorite student. Although both are rivals and are vying for the topper position, Shobhonlal nurtures a secret affection for Labonya which he never reveals to her during their college days.

Tagore reveals his modern thinking when Labonya decides to work after completing her education so that she is not a burden on her father. She gets a job and goes to Shillong. At the same time Amit, who is also a poet, goes to Shillong on a holiday. The description of the chance meeting of Amit and Labonya, their thoughts along with the serene beauty of Shillong create the most romantic moment for a reader. From here the reader is taken to an amorous journey through the meetings and conversations of these two characters. The sudden arrival of Amit’s sister exposes the vast differences in their financial backgrounds. At the same time she also comes across a letter by Shobhonlal expressing his feelings. This leaves her completely baffled and she begins to see the practical side of things. What lies ahead is a series of events which affects the lives of all three characters and the people around them.

As usual the plot is great, each character has been described to the extent that the reader can almost imagine them standing right in front. It is really impressive as the story flows from romantic to practical. This is a must for all fiction lovers and particularly for the romantic ones. I would recommend it on a trip to a hill station. Additionally it is also a great book for all those who love to read and collect classics.


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