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'I was then about seven or eight. I had no useful role to play in this world; and that old palki, too, had been dismissed from all forms of useful employment...' Hidden inside an ancient palanquin on a hot, lonely afternoon, a young boy sets off on an imaginary adventure. He encounters gangs of bandits, arrives at palaces where kings bathe in sandalwood-scented water, and the hunter accompanying him gets rid of the tiger lurking in the forest with a bang! of his gun. The boy, gifted with a vivid imagination and a sensitive mind, grew up to become one of India's greatest poets and thinkers. In Boyhood Days, Rabindranath Tagore recounts his growing up years with gentle wit and humour. He describes life in nineteenth-century Kolkata when the only light in the evening came from castor-oil lamps; when hackney carriages raced through the city's streets and women travelled in palanquins to the Ganga for their bath.
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