Coming Soon: Tagore Grove Memorial in Houston

By Pradeep Anand

HOUSTON: Rabindranath Tagore visited the City of Houston on February 13, 1921. He spoke at Rice University and our city played a significant role in Gurudev Tagore’s effort in raising funds for Shantiniketan. Houston was the number
one contributor on the tour that included New York, Boston, Chicago and many other U.S. cities. Houston contributed 15% of the US national total.

The step that Gurudev Tagore took 101 years ago in spreading his word about the universality of humankind and nature is being strengthened today by Tagore Society of Houston, by building a Tagore Grove at Ray Miller Park in
Houston. His statue already adorns the park.

Rabindranath Tagore is one of the few global icons of India. Besides being recognized with a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, his works have been used and quoted in several spheres-from the national anthems of India and
Bangladesh to Methodist Hospital welcoming its visitors in its lobby with his words- “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

Actor Martin Sheen often read a Tagore poem, My Country Awake, at Congressional hearings and universities, to inspire his audiences. Actor Gregory Peck read Audrey Hepburn’s favorite poem, Tagore’s Unending Love, at her funeral. While celebrities being moved by Rabindranath Tagore was special, nothing moved me more than when I discovered a friend, Jon, from Dallas, reading Tagore poems to his father as he was passing his last days on a hospital bed.

He said, “My father is dying, and I have been reading Tagore poems to him. My father was in the US Air Force and was posted in Calcutta during World War II. He discovered Tagore in Calcutta and wants to hear his words, his
poems, during his last days.” I did not know what to say. Thankfully, Jon continued, “My God, Pradeep,” he
said, “these are the most beautiful poems I have read in my life. It is a late discovery, but I am glad I discovered Tagore.”

Very simply, Rabindranath Tagore moves people in so many different ways and the Tagore Grove is a physical monument, in a neighborhood park, to inspire visitors with his words and spirit, to move them, contributing to their
lives and the universality of humanity and nature.

Tagore Society of Houston is a 501 (c)3 organization, and it seeks contributions from the public to speed up the completion of this project. To donate, please visit For further information, please write to