Originally written in Bengali in 1912 the play narrates the story of a young boy, Amal. Confined to his house because of illness, Amal experiences a journey of spiritual awareness, which bestows enduring happiness on him. The play has universal appeal which makes it truly a world classic.
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When this little play was performed in London a year ago by the Irish players, some friends of mine discovered much details allegory, the Headman being one principle of social life, the Curdseller on the Gaffer another; but the meaning is less intelle-ctual, more emotional and simple. The deliverance sought and won by the dying child is the same deliverance which rose before his imagination, Mr. Tagore has said, when once in the early dawn he heard, amid the noise of a crowd returning from some festival, this line out of an old village song, ‘Ferryman, take me to the other shore of the river.’ It may come at any moment of life, thought the child discovers it in death, for it always comes at the moment when the ‘I’, seeking no longer for gains that cannot be ‘assimilated with its spirit,’ is able to say, ‘All my work is thine’ (Sadhana). On the stage the little play shows that it is very perfectly constructed, and conveys to the right audience an emotion of gentleness and peace.
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