Xanthippe and Mrinalini

Tagore’s wife Mrinalini Devi had many good qualities. Her sacrifice to the cause of Tagore’s fulfilment in life, especially in connection with the founding of Santiniketan, was great. She did not hesitate in the least: rather, with immense joy she gave away even her personal ornaments and other belongings to run the school.

Now Xanthippe. What a contrast! Poor Socrates, the unparalleled philosopher of the time, suffered grievously at his wife’s hands. In other words, should we not rather say in the words of Xenophon, an intimate friend of Socrates as well as a military Commander that Socrates’ wife had a ‘shrewish temper, which Socrates bore patiently’?

I believe we can say without much ado that the wife of the poet was simply an embodied sacrifice, while that of the philosopher was a sad misfortune personified.