Essay On Doyen Of Hindi Literature – Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan
On 27th November 1907, Dr. Harivansh Rai Srivastav was born in an ordinary Kayasth family in a small town near Allahabad. He was called Bachchan’ at home, which means ‘child’. He received his formal schooling in a municipal school and learnt Urdu, which was the family tradition. He completed his higher education at Allahabad University and Banaras Hindu University. From 1914 to 1952, he taught English at the Allahabad University. While doing doctoral thesis on W.B. Yeast he used ‘Bachchan’ as his last name instead of Srivastav.
Bachchan’s early years of juggling between school and giving tuitions to make a living had left a deep impression on his young mind. He started spending moonlight nights on a riverbank and tried to trap on pages through his poems. However, he went on to become the first Indian to acquire a PhD in English from the prestigious Cambridge University Bachchanji got instant fame after the publication of his poem Madhushala in 1935. He is popularly known for his poetic trilogy of Madhushala, Madhubala and Madhukalash. He recited his poems on different occasions to huge crowds and at various Kavi Sammelans. It hadbecome a literacy craze. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru got Bachchanji a job in his Ministry in Delhi as an under-secretary to translate official documents from English to Hindi. He continued this job until his retirement.
His fame was a unique occurring in Hindi literature, as it was mostly the gift of the 135-versed poem Madhushala. It is undoubtedly one of the most enduring works in Hindi literature. Madhushala made a place for itself in the hearts of millions with a simple understandable language and imagination. It was also translated into English and in different other languages like Marathi, Bengali and Malayalam. It became the first piece of Hindi poetry that was set to music, with its best selling cassettes and CDs attracting generations of listeners.
Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan was the poet of the masses. His poetries no doubt, a great gift to literature, but his greatest contribution is to bring Hindi poetry nearer to the masses. Bachchanji gave voice to the people’s feelings and maintained a distinct class of his own. He was a multi-lingual individual. He was fluent in Hindi, English, Urdu and Person. He prepared his own path and in the process gave a new path to Hindi poetry.
Bachchanji was a great poet who gave a new level of descriptions and thoughts to poetry. Without him, the position of modern Hindi would have remained incomplete. In all he had published 75 books which included three books for children. In a literary career of over 50 years, he captured the imagination of his readers and continued to hold it with an unbroken series of achievements. However, this big star of Hindi poetry passed away on January 18, 2003 at the age of 96. His death was a great loss to Hindi literature.
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