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Hindi poet Harivanshrai Bachchan

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Sur_Sangam

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Posted: 19 December 2006 at 3:44am | IP Logged

Hindi Poet Harivanshrai Bachchan

                              Harivansh Rai Bachchan

    Harivansh Rai Bachchan (1907-2003)
Bachchan was a distinguished Hindi poet (major works: Madhushala and Khadi Ke Phool). He is more commonly known as the father of popular movie star, Amitabh Bachchan.


Harivansh Rai Bachchan burst upon the horizon of Hindi poetry as a bright star one evening in 1935 with his recitation of Madhushala before a huge audience, unfolding to listeners an enchanting world which had the ring of Omar Khayyam to it.

He was to carve out another niche for himself decades later with his autobiography in four volumes, beginning with Kya bhoolun kya yaad karoon (What to forget and what to remember), regarded till date as a literary masterpiece.

In a literary career spanning over 50 years, he captured the imagination of readers and continued to hold it with an unbroken series of achievements.

Born on November 27, 1907, Bachchan had his early education in Allahabad. He went on to do his higher studies at the Allahabad University and the Benaras Hindu University.

He then taught at the Allahabad University from 1941 to 1952 before moving to Cambridge (in the United Kingdom) for research and obtained a doctorate.

On his return, Bachchan resumed teaching for a year before working as a producer in All India Radio. He later joined the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi in 1955 as an Officer on Special Duty.

He worked in the MEA for about ten years and was intimately associated with the evolution of Hindi as the official language.

His early writings consisted of the famous trilogy - Madhushala, Madhubala and Madhukalash, noted for its profound sensitivity and simple diction. This was followed by some of the finest lyrical poetry. He has about 30 collections of poems to his credit.

He translated the works of, among others, Omar Khayyam, the Bhagwat Gita, W B Yeats and Shakespeare.

His prose writing is equally important and his autobiography in four parts was chosen for the Saraswati Samman.

For Bachchan, who whipped up a literary frenzy and pleasant intoxication through his classic work Madhushala, poetry had always been a reflection of his own life tempered by poverty, tragedies, achievements and bouts of bliss.

Bachchan saw many a difficult day as his debt-ridden family managed to eke out a living without ever giving up their traditional hospitality to all those who dropped into their house for a hot cup of tea and lunch.

Bachchan's early years, when he juggled between school and giving tuitions to make a living, left a deep impression on his young mind as he vividly recounted the marriages, sicknesses and deaths that periodically occurred in his family as well as the moonlit nights spent on river banks, and tried to trap them in his poems.

Bachchan, who failed college twice, ironically went on to become the first Indian to acquire a PhD in English from the prestigious Cambridge University after securing a grant to pursue his research and studies in the UK.

His strong leaning towards literature saw him translate eminent Urdu poet Omar Khayyam's Rubayyat into Hindi while his love for English poetry saw him penning a thesis on the work of W B Yeats.

In recognition of his contribution to the world of literature and Hindi language, he was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1966.

He was also presented the Padma Bhushan, the K K Birla Foundation's first Saraswati Samman, Sahitya Akademy award, the Soviet Land Nehru Prize and the Afro-Asian Writers' Conference Lotus Prize.

The poet's relationship with the Nehru family began during his years in Allahabad. It was Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who got him a job in the MEA in Delhi as an under-secretary to translate official documents from English to Hindi, and which he continued in till his retirement.

For the last several years, he had been living with his film star son Amitabh Bachchan in Mumbai.




Edited by Sur_Sangam - 19 December 2006 at 10:35am

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Posted: 19 December 2006 at 6:40am | IP Logged

Harivanshrai Bachchan


Harivanshrai Bachchan

Birth: 1907
Birthplace: Allahabad
Profession: Poet, Bollywood Film song Lyricists
Family: Wife - Mrs. Teji Bachchan, Two sons - Amitabh and Ajitabh, Daughter-in-law - Jaya Baduri Bachchan, Grandchildren - Abhishek and Shweta Bachchan
"Madhushala" an eternal creation by Shri Harivansh Rai Bachhan was a craze and whenever Mr. Harivansh Rai Bachhan presented it on Stage the audience became so personally involved in it that the entire Hall seemed to be swayed under the influence of the message in it. Born in a middle-class family at Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh on 27 November 1907, Bachchan graduated from the Allahabad University in 1929, and very soon he was drawn into the vortex of the freedom struggle. Having a short stint as a journalist, he had joined as a teacher in the local Agarwal Vidyalaya. Alongwith the teaching job he had pursued his studies and obtained both M.A. and B.T. He joined the Allahabad University as a Research Scholar and later in 1941 a Lecturer in English Literature. Taking a sabbatical from the University, he went to Cambridge University for his doctoral work on "W.B. Yeats and Occultism." He was the first Indian to acquire a Ph.D in English Literature from Cambridge. Completing his research he joined to his alma mater and after a short stint, Bachchan joined AIR, Allahabad, as Producer for sometime. At the behest of Jawaharlal Nehru, he joined the Hindi Cell in the Union Ministry of External Affairs as an OSD in 1955 to translate official documents from English into Hindu which he had continued till his retirement. Undeterred by criticism and steeled by domestic difficulties like financial worries, loneliness, which was compounded by the untimely death of his first wife Shyama, Harivansh Rai continued to write, combining mature subtlety with discretion. His marriage with Teji Suri changed the course of his life and, by his own admission, his poetry. His creative career, which began in 1932 and continued till 1995, was a 63-year literary journey. Tera Har was his first collection lyrics. With the publication of Madhushala (House of Mead, 1935), a literary masterpiece of Bachchan, a rhapsody on wine and joy of living, his position as a major Hindi poet was firmly established. He burst upon the horizon of Hindi poetry as a bright star one evening in 1935 with his recitation of Madhushala, a cry straight from the soul of a young man who had suffered much, to a huge audience, unfolding to listeners an enchanting world with rings of Omar Khayyam. Longing for an eternal union with his beautiful beloved, the poem employs a range of symbols, especially that of wine, much as in the tradition of Persian poetry. (The meaning of these symbols of operates at many levels.) His Style The influence of Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyaat and its style he had written two other long poems, completing a trilogy with Madhushala, Madhubala (1936), and Madhukalash (1937). The underlying message of these three collections was the meaninglessness of the sordid worldly ambitions, greed acquisitiveness, bigotry and intolerance in religion, morality and behaviour. In a sad poetic irony, Harivansh Rai boldly challenged sickening conventionalism and moralist and thus, gave to Hindi poetry an entirely new dimension. The death of Shyama had a profound effect on his psyche, shattering all his hopes and dreams. His feelings of deep grief and pessimism were expressed through Nisha Nimatran (Invitation to Night, 1938), collection of a hundred lyrics. Harivansh had tried to evolve his own version of sonnet and in harmony with its own poetic style. Instead of following the traditional pattern of octave and sextet, his lyrics consisted of 13 lines suited to Hindi language. Beginning with a cry of loneliness and ending with an assurance, the basic imagery of these lyrics were linked with the darkness and the light symbolising his grief and hope. The poet had expressed his inner feelings in terms of the outer world, thus creating a universe of symbols. In the words of Mathur, "Nisha Nimatran will remain a highly moving poetic document of tragedy and suffering. In the entire modern Hindi poetry there is no work like Nisha Nimatran, which has portrayed grief or the sense of a tragic void in life so profoundly." Ekant Sangeet (Son of Loneliness, 1939), following Nisha Nimatran, was written during the period of 1938-39 when he was passing through a mental crisis. The lyrics reflect his sensitive mood oand the grim phase of his life. The collection marks the pinnacle of his poetic power and manifests the destiny of love-lorn grief and the experience of extreme loneliness. The poet had written that the darkness in which he had entered in Nisha Nimatran had led him to listen to the Ekant Sangeet, the song of solitude, and the music led him to Akul Antara (The Restless Heart, 1943). With the publication of Akul Antara the first phase of his writing had come to a close. Moved by Bengal Famine Satrangee (The Rainbow) was published in 1945. The Bengal Famine in 1943 caused Harivansh to move away from his earlier concerns. His new involvement in the human predicament resulted in the collection Bangla ka Kal (The Fate of Bengal, 1946). Bhupendranath Das translated the volume into Bengali in 1948. Aware of human suffering and a sensibility sharpened by private grief, in the same year (1946) he published Halahal. The Happy Mood Harivansh Rai expressed a happy mood after a long time, in 1950s, after publishing Milan Yamini (1950) and Pranav Patrika (1955), named after Tulsidas's Vinay Patrika. The poems of these two volumes had transcended the sensuousness of his early poems. Ghar ke Idhar Udhar (1957) was a work of transition in which the poet was gradually returning to share the glory of his clan and family. In the next collection, Arati Aur Angare (1958), he celebrated his return to one's own heritage. However, with the publication of these poems his first phase of writing, in real sense, ended. In his later works he charts his path from loneliness and futility of existence to the emerging joys of life. The element of irony returns in another form in his poems after 1958, the first manifestation being in Buddha aur Nachghar (Buddha and the Dance Hall). In his own opinion Buddha aur Nachghar was the turning point of his poetic career, as he was able to express the seen and anger of the society around him. In Tribhangima, Char Kheme Chaunsath Khoonte, Roop aur Awaz, and Bahut Din Beete he had experimented with the language of folklore. Bachchan moved on to social satire in these volumes. This time he was more concerned with contemporary life, the hollowness and villainy in society and politics. His desire was to live a full-blooded life on this earth, which is quite evident in his poems. This quality of the poet had made his the most liked and loved poet of Hindi. Do Chattanen Harivansh Rai's Do Chattanen (Two Rocks, 1965), contains fifty-three poems. Written between 1962-64, this collection of poems received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1968. Alongwith a number of other poems, the most important is the title poem 'Do Chattanen or Sisyphus vs Hanuman'. The poet presents two points of view of life by using Sisyphus, the symbolic character from the Greek mythology, and Hanuman as symbols. Both Sisyphus and Hanuman aspire to become immortal, but their means are different. The former symbolizes the faithless western man of 20th century and the latter immortality through devotion, absolute faith and humanity. Besides this long poem, the poet reacts to so many things during his seventh decade such as the Chinese aggression, Nehru's death, anger of youth, his old age, contemporary literary scene, academics, etc., in the rest of the work. "For its vigour of expression and maturity of outlook, the book has been hailed as an outstanding contribution to contemporary Hindi literature", says the Award citation. However, the poems of Do Chattanen represent clarity of meaning and lucidity of expression of Bachchan's poetry. All the experimental poems, including 76 poems chosen from a poetic career of 50 years, Kavitai ki Adhisadi, was published in 1981. The influence of Mahatma Gandhi on Hindi writers has been distinctly profound during the decades following the Satyagraha (1921) and before the end of the Second World War. And Bachchan too has not escaped from it. He had brought out his collection on Gandhi, called Khadi Ke Phool (1948), in collaboration with Sumitranandan Pant, which contains 93 poems of Bachchan and 15 of Pant. Both the poets had paid homage to Gandhi. Besides, he himself had written a collection of poetic tribute to the Mahatma in Soot ki Maal, mourning the death of Gandhi. Both these books on Gandhian themes are of great poetic value. However, the poetry of Harivansh Rai had brought range, delicacy of feeling, ruggedness, ease and strength to the romantic lyric. Being born in a family known for its scholarship in Persian and its devotion to Vaishnav faith, his poetry combines the best of Sanskrit and Persio-Arabiv poetic traditions. He had set a model of lyricism in Hindi and his contribution in changing the temper, approach and style of poetry during the 30s has been very significant. The varied influences of Kabir, Keats, Tagore and Omar Khayyam were evident throughout his poetry, as also a deep appreciation of Shakespeare. He had also translated Shakespeare's Macbeth and Othello, sixty-four Russian poems into Hindi entitled Chaunsath Rusi Kavitayen and 101 poems of W.B. Yeats. For his Hindi translation of Russian poems he was honoured with Soviet Land Nehru Award in 1966. Bachchan had also translated the Bhagvadgeeta in Awadhi entitled Janageeta (1958) and also in modern Hindi, Nagargeeta (1966). Some of his selected poems have been translated into many Indian and foreign languages. Besides, he had written essays, travelogues, and edited several volumes of his own poetry and that of his contemporaries. He has contributed to the Indian film Industry with his songs 'Rang barse' from Yash Chopra's 'Silsila' (1981) and 'Koi gata main so jata' for the movie 'Aalap' (1977). The great achievement of Harivansh Rai in prose writing was his autobiography in four volumes Naye Purane Jharokhe (Windows New and Old) beginning with Kya Bhoolon Kya Yaad Karoon (What to Forget and What to Remember). Considered as a seminal work which was to carve out another niche for himself, the work is distinguished by its graceful confession and intimate account of his innermost feelings in situations of great tragic dimensions. Awards
    Akademi award The Soviet Land Nehru Award Padma Bhushan (1976) The (first) Saraswati Samman winner (K. K. Birla Foundation)
  • Afro-Asian Writers' Conference Lotus prize
Memberships
    Nominated member by the President of India to the Rajya Sabha, 1966
  • Member of the Advisory Board for Hindi, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi (1963-67)
India lost this great poet of the Hindi language on 18th January 2003. He died of respiratory problems at the ripe age of 96. The funeral procession in Bombay was attended by thousands of people, among which many Bollywood stars, top industrialists and politicians, the BBC reports. His eldest son, Amitabh Bachchan, performed the last rites.



Edited by vinnie-thepooh - 19 December 2006 at 6:42am

vinnie-thepooh

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Posted: 19 December 2006 at 6:51am | IP Logged
This is one of his creation that I really liked and whenever I am low I read this....


Jeevan Main Ek Sitara Tha
Maana Voh Behad Pyara Tha
Voh Doob Gaya To Doob Gaya
Ambar Kay Aanan Ko Dekho
Kitne Iskay Taare Toote
Kitne Iskay Pyare Choote
Jo Choot Gaye Fir Kahan Mile
Par Bolo Toote Taaron Par
Kab Ambar Shok Manata Hai
Jo Beet Gayi So Baat Gayi

Jeevan Main Voh Tha Ek Kusum
They Us Par Nitya Nichavar Tum
Voh Sookh Gaya TO Sookh Gaya
Madhuvan Ki Chaati Ko Dekho
Sookhi Kitni Iski Kaliyan
Murjhaayi Kitni ballriyan
Jo Murjhayi Woh Fir Kahan Khili
Par Bolo Sookhe Phoolon Par
Kab Madhuban Shor Machata hai
Jo Beet Gayi So Bat Gayi

jeevan Main Madhu Ka Pyala Tha
Tumnay Tan Man De Daala Tha
Wah Toot Gaya To Toot Gaya
Madiralya Kay Aangan Ko Dekho
Kitne Pyale Hil Jaate Hain
Gir Mitti Main Mil Jaate Hain
Jo Girte Hain Kab Uthte Hain
Par Bolo Toote Pyalo Par
Kab Madiralaya Pachtata Hai
Jo Beet Gayi So Baat Gayi

Mridu Mitti Kay Hain Bane Hue
Madhu Ghoot Phoota Hi Kartay Hain
Laghu Jeevan Lekar Aaye Hain
Pyale Toota Hi Karte Hain
Fir Bhi Madiralaya Kay Andar
Madhu Kay Ghat Hai Madhu Pyale Hain
Jo Madakta Kay Maare Hain
Vey Madhu Loota Hi Kartay Hain
Va Kachcha Peene Wala Hai
Jiski Mamta Ghat Pyalon Par
Jo Sachchey Madhu Sey Jala Hua
Kab Rota Hai Chillata Hai
Jo Beet Gayi So Baat Gayi



Edited by vinnie-thepooh - 19 December 2006 at 6:51am

ani11

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Posted: 19 December 2006 at 7:12am | IP Logged

Thanks amit for this thread.He is my favorite poets of all the times and Madhushala is my favorite  and listen it almost everyday Smile



Edited by ani11 - 19 December 2006 at 7:52am

Bhaskar.T

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Posted: 19 December 2006 at 7:23am | IP Logged
Wow!!! Thanks Amit for starting this thread. He is my favourite too. Love his poems. More when they are rendered by BigB Tongue


Qwest

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Posted: 19 December 2006 at 7:56am | IP Logged
SS, Thanks great thread I only come know about him when I was reading about Amitabh Bachchan just few year back. Simly great thanks for sharing

Edited by Qwest - 19 December 2006 at 7:58am

Sur_Sangam

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Posted: 19 December 2006 at 9:58am | IP Logged

A rare Photograph of Hindi's three great poets

A rare photograph of 1940s
Sumitra Nandan Pant (seated), Harivansh Rai Bachchan (left) and Pt Narendra Sharma (right)




A rare Photograph of Hindi's three great poets

A rare photograph of 1940s
Sumitra Nandan Pant (seated), Harivansh Rai Bachchan (left) and Pt Narendra Sharma (right)

 

August 14, 2006

I will never use 'doctor' before my name: Amitabh Bachchan ...

By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service

Mumbai, Aug 13 (IANS) Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who has recently been awarded a doctorate by Britain's De Montford University, says he will never use the title before his name.

"I respect the university for this recognition, but 'Dr. Bachchan' is a term that shall remain always with the memory of my father (Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan). He was the true bearer of this title. I would never ever acknowledge the 'use' of this abbreviation before my name," said Amitabh who raised funds for the Mumbai blast victims during his trip abroad.

And now he is waiting for the green signal from authorities to distribute the money.

"We are going to distribute this personally to the victims as soon as we can obtain relevant legal permissions from the government to bring this amount in," Amitabh told IANS.

Excerpts from an interview:

Q: You've just been awarded a doctorate by the De Montford University.

A: It has been an extremely humbling experience. The honour and dignity afforded to me has been incredibly overwhelming. The pageantry and protocol, discipline and d?cor, procedures and grace - all were quite unbelievable and most un-deserving.

The university is the third largest in Britain and has a great history and tradition. For them to give recognition to an actor of the Indian film industry is a first not just for India but also for Britain.

Q: I believe you were mentioned in British parliament?

A: Yes, the ceremony and occasion apart, what is most breathtaking is that my name will go down the annals of British parliament and therefore in British history. The parliament acknowledged my contribution through a motion passed on the floor of the House of Commons, and to top it all, a confirmation of it by the Leader of the House Jack Straw in the august premises, during the day's proceedings and I sat in the gallery witnessing all this.

What followed thereafter were personal meetings, with almost half the cabinet, including Foreign Affairs Secretary Margaret Beckett, now very much in the news on Lebanon, and her great desire to seek autographs from me for the Indian staff working in her office, or else she would have 'a heavy price to pay'.

Q: Wasn't there a fund-raising dinner for Mumbai's blast victims?

A: The next day a dinner was held in my honour in the House of Commons for over 200 people and what was most gratifying for me is that the event, on my insistence, was turned into a fund-raiser for the Mumbai blast victims.

And may I add that the two largest donors were from Pakistan. We raised approximately 26,000 pounds and my dear friend and younger brother Amar Singh-ji, who had accompanied me, matched the entire amount to make it 50,000 pounds.

Q; How will you make sure the money reaches the victims?

A: We are going to distribute this personally to the victims as soon as we obtain relevant legal permissions from the government to bring this amount in. Rt. Hon Keith Vaz, MP, my friend and host will be writing to the concerned authorities for clearances.

Q: So a pleasurable experience?

A: Yes, I must tell you meeting the community in Leicester was another high. The affection and the love of the people never cease to amaze me, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

At the end of it all, I respect the university for this recognition, but 'Dr. Bachchan' is a term that shall remain always with the memory of my father. He was the true bearer of this title. I would never ever acknowledge the 'use' of this abbreviation before my name.

Q: Did you give a speech?

A: Yes I did. It was part of the protocol and a meticulously designed formal procedure.

Q: Were you accompanied by your family?

A: No. Jaya had to be in Mumbai to be with my ailing mother, now hospitalised, and also to be present a day before in parliament for her swearing in. Abhishek was in South Africa shooting for "Dhoom 2". But the family was more than ably represented by Amar Singh-ji (Samajwadi Party MP).

Q: Were you also there for a shooting?

A: I was shooting for "Baabul", left for Mumbai and connected to Delhi the next morning, witnessed the swearing in, came back to Mumbai by evening and at night took the flight back to London to resume shooting the following morning.

Q: British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) held a Bollywood weekend recently. Why weren't you there?

A: BAFTA is the British Academy of Film Theatre and Arts... I presume or something similar. It is not the British Academy For Trivial Amitabh!

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Edited by Sur_Sangam - 19 December 2006 at 10:33am

isq_luvshem

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Posted: 19 December 2006 at 1:30pm | IP Logged
wow.. thanx a lot for the articles Smile

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