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1887

July 1887.

I am in my twenty-seventh year. This event keeps thrusting itself before
my mind--nothing else seems to have happened of late.

But to reach twenty-seven--is that a trifling thing?--to pass the meridian
of the twenties on one's progress towards thirty?--thirty--that is to say
maturity--the age at which people expect fruit rather than fresh foliage.
But, alas, where is the promise of fruit? As I shake my head, it still
feels brimful of luscious frivolity, with not a trace of philosophy.

Folk are beginning to complain: "Where is that which we expected of
you--that in hope of which we admired the soft green of the shoot? Are we
to put up with immaturity for ever? It is high time for us to know what we
shall gain from you. We want an estimate of the proportion of oil which
the blindfold, mill-turning, unbiased critic can squeeze out of you."

It has ceased to be possible to delude these people into waiting
expectantly any longer. While I was under age they trustfully gave me
credit; it is sad to disappoint them now that I am on the verge of thirty.
But what am I to do? Words of wisdom will not come! I am utterly
incompetent to provide things that may profit the multitude. Beyond a
snatch of song, some tittle-tattle, a little merry fooling, I have been
unable to advance. And as the result, those who held high hopes will turn
their wrath on me; but did any one ever beg them to nurse these
expectations?

Such are the thoughts which assail me since one fine Bysakh morning
I awoke amidst fresh breeze and light, new leaf and flower, to find that I
had stepped into my twenty-seventh year.


Rabindranath Tagore

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