HINDI KALOLSAVAM 2008 GHSS KARAKUNNU The history of Hindi a major language of India. Hindi started to emerge as Apabhramsha in the 7th century and by the 10 century became stable. Several dialects of Hindi have been used in literature. Braj was the popular literary dialect until it was replaced by khari boli in the 19th century. Background: The period of Prakrits and Classical Sanskrit 750 BCE: Gradual emergence of post-vedic Sanskrit 500 BCE: Prakrit texts of Buddhists and Jains originate (Eastern India) 400 BCE: Panini composes his formal Sanskrit grammar (Western "India" then --- now probably in modern Afghanistan or Pakistan), reflecting transition from Vedic to formal Paninian Sanskrit 322 BCE: Brahmi script inscriptions by Mauryas in Prakrit (Pali) 250 BCE: Classical Sanskrit emerges. [Vidhyanath Rao] 100 BCE-100 CE: Sanskrit gradually replaces Prakrit in inscriptions 320: The Gupta or Siddha-matrika script emerges. Apabhramshas and emergence of old Hindi 400: Apabhramsha in Kalidas's Vikramuurvashiiya 550: Dharasena of Valabhi's inscription mentions Apabhramsha literature 779: Regional languages mentioned by Udyotan Suri in "Kuvalayamala" 769: Siddha Sarahpa composes Dohakosh, considered the first Hindi poet 800: Bulk of the Sanskrit literature after this time is commentaries. [Vidhyanath Rao] 933: Shravakachar of Devasena, considered the first Hindi book 1100: Modern Devanagari script emerges 1145-1229: Hemachandra writes on Apabhramsha grammar Decline of Apabhramsha and emergence of modern Hindi 1283: Amir Khusro's pahelis and mukaris. Uses term "Hindavi" 1398-1518: Kabir's works mark origin of "Nirguna-Bhakti" period 1370-: Love-story period originated by "Hansavali" of Asahat 1400-1479: Raighu: last of the great Apabhramsha poets 1450: "Saguna Bhakti" period starts with Ramananda 1580: Early Dakkhini work "Kalmitul-hakayat" of Burhanuddin Janam 1585: "Bhaktamal" of Nabhadas: an account of Hindi Bhakta-poets 1601: "Ardha-Kathanak" by Banarasidas, first autobiography in Hindi 1604: "Adi Granth" a compilation of works of many poets by Guru Arjan Dev. 1532-1623: Tulsidas, author of "Ramacharita Manasa". 1623: "Gora-badal ki katha" of Jatmal, first book in Khari Boli dialect (now the standard dialect) 1643: "Reeti" poetry tradition commences according to Ramchandra Shukla 1645: Shahjahan builds Delhi fort, language in the locality starts to be termed Urdu. 1667-1707: Vali's compositions become popular, Urdu starts replacing Persian among Delhi nobility. It is often called "Hindi" by Sauda, Meer etc. 1600-1825: Poets (Bihari to Padmakar) supported by rulers of Orchha and other domains. Modern Hindi literature emerges 1796: Earliest type-based Devanagari printing (John Borthwick Gilchrist, Grammar of the Hindoostanee Language, Calcutta) [Dick Plukker] 1805: Lalloo Lal's Premsagar  published for Fort William College, Calcutta [Daisy Rockwell] 1813-46: Maharaja Swati Tirunal Rama Varma(Travancore) composed verses in Hindi along with South Indian languages. 1826: "Udanta Martanda" Hindi weekly from Calcutta 1837: Shardha Ram Phillauri, author of "Om Jai Jagdish Hare" born 1839,1847: "History of Hindi Literature" by Garcin de Tassy in French [Daisy Rockwell] 1833-86: Gujarati Poet Narmad proposed Hindi as India's national language 1850: The term "Hindi" no longer used for what is now called "Urdu". 1854: "Samachar Sudhavarshan" Hindi daily from Calcutta 1873: Mahendra Bhattachary's "Padarth-vigyan" (Chemistry) in Hindi 1877: Novel Bhagyavati by Shardha Ram Phillauri 1886: "Bharatendu period" of modern Hindi literature starts 1893 Founding of the Nagari Pracharni Sabha in Benares [Daisy Rockwell] 1900: "Dvivedi period" starts. Nationalist writings 1900: "Indumati" story by Kishorilal Goswami in "Sarasvati" 1913: "Raja Harishchandra", first Hindi movie by Dadasaheb Phalke 1918-1938: "Chhayavad period" 1918: "Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachara Sabha" founded by Mahatma Gandhi. 1929: "History of Hindi Literature" by Acharya Ram Chandra Shukla 1931: "Alam Ara" first Hindi talking movie 1930's: Hindi typewriters ("Nagari lekhan Yantra")[Shailendra Mehta] 1936: Kamayani, the most celebrated Hindi epic poem, written by Prasad Our age 1949: Official Language Act makes the use of Hindi in Central Government Offices mandatory 1949-50: Hindi accepted as the "official language of the Union" in the constitution. Debates a, b, c. 1952: The Basic Principles Committee of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan recommends that Urdu be the state language. 1965: Opposition to "Blind Hindi-imposition by Congress" in Tamilnadu, where Tamil- the predominant Dravidian Language, lives brings DMK to power.Congress lost its base. 1975: English medium private schools start asserting themselves socially, politically, financially [Peter Hook]. 1985-6: Devanagari word processor, Devyani DTP software, both from Dataflow (?). 1987-88: Frans Velthuis creates Devanagari metafont. [Shailendra Mehta] 1990: According to World Almanac and Book of Facts Hindi-Urdu has passed English (and Spanish) to become the second most widely spoken language in the world [Peter Hook]. 1991: ITRANS encoding scheme developed by Avinash Chopde allows Hindi documents in Roman and Devanagari on the Internet. 1997: Prime Minister Deve Gowda emphasises promotion of Hindi and the regional languages, having himself learned Hindi recently. 1997: Hindi Newspaper Nai Dunia on the web (January) (Or was Milap first?) 1998: Thiru Karunanidhi, the DMK leader, recites a Hindi verse during a political campaign, indicating a change in views. Indian Poets Writing In Hindi Ajneya / Agyeya (1911–1987) Sachchidananda Hirananda Vatsyayan Ajneya is a pioneer of modern trends in the realm of Indian poetry. In literature, Hindi moved from a phase of revivalist cultural nationalism in the 1910s to mainstream Gandhian nationalism in the 1920s and the early 1930s. Over the following two decades Hindi, while firmly rooted in native ground, opened up and responded to various international literary movements by going through phases of Romanticism (Chhayavad, represented by the poets Nirala, Mahadevi Varma etc.), Modernism (Prayogvad, represented by Ajneya and the Tar Saptak poets) and, later, Progressivism (Pragativad, represented by Muktibodh and others). Through these greatly speeded up and therefore sometimes apparently contrary stages of development, Hindi came abreast of contemporary literary trends and movements sweeping the world. Ajneya bought experimentalism (prayogvaad) in the Hindi literature. Tar Saptak was an influential literary publication-series, launched in 1943, associated with a spirit of experimentalism in Hindi poetry, which, in turn, shaped the New Poetry or Nayi Kavita. In the 1950s, Muktibodh was a significant poet, but not very well known. From 1950 to mid-1960s, it was Ajneya who presided over Hindi poetry. The most prominent exponent of the 'Nayi kavita' (New Poetry) movement in Hindi, he edited the 'Tar Saptaks'. Ajneya edited many literary journals and also launched his own Hindi weekly, Dinaman, thus establishing new standards in the field of Hindi journalism. Ajneya has to his credit sixteen volumes of poetry, three novels, travelogues and several volumes of short stories and essays. Amongst the most well-known of his poetry anthologies are Aangan Ke Paar Dvaar, Chakranta-Shila, Kitni Naavon Mein Kitni Baar, Hari Ghaas Par Kshan-bhar, Indradhanu Raunde Hue ye etc. His major prose works include Shekhar : Ek Jeevani. Agyeya was an extensive traveller, and in course of his travels held visiting positions at various institutions around the world. He received numerous honours such as the Sahitya Akademi award, Jnanpith award, Bharatbharati award and the international Golden Wreath award for poetry. Shamsher Bahadur Singh (1911-93) --- Shamsher Bahadur Singh was born in Dehradun. He was associated with Kahani, Naya Sahitya, Maya, Naya Path and Manohar Kahaniyan, in editorial positions. He edited the Urdu - Hindi Kosh for Delhi University (1965-77). He headed the Premchand Srijan-Pith, Vikram University (1981-85). His poetry-collections include Kuchh Kavitayen, Kuchh Aur Kavitayen, Chuka Bhi Nahin Hun Main, Itne Pas Apne and Bat Bolegi. He received the Madhya Pradesh Sahitya Kala Parishad Tulsi Puraskar (1979) and the Sahitya Akademi award (1977) for his work Chuka Bhi Hun Nahin Main. Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh (1917-64) ---- Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh's first book was published in 1964, when he was on his death-bed : Chand Ka Muh Teda Hai ( The Face of the Moon is Crooked). Bhuri Bhuri Khak Dhul is another work of poetry by Muktibodh. Kath Ka Sapna and Satah Se Uthta Admi are collections of short stories and Vipatra is his novel. Muktibodh Granthavali ( Complete Works) has been published in five volumes. Muktibodh was the forerunner as well as the culmination of the whole progressive movement in Hindi poetry. Kunwar Narayan (b. 1927) --- Kunwar Narayan was born in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh. He received a Master's degree in English literature from Lucknow University. He is a businessman by profession. He has served as Vice-chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Academy in 1976-79 and as a member of the editorial board of Naya Pratik ( The New Symbol), a monthly magazine edited by S. H. Vatsyayan, during 1975-78. Among his important works are Chakravyooh (Poetry), Teesra Saptak (Poetry), Parivesh Hum Tum (Poetry), Koi Doosra Naheen (Poetry), Atmajayee (Epic), Akaron Ke Aas- Paas (Short Stories) and Aaj Aur Aaj Se Pehley (Criticism). Among the honours he has received are Hindustani Academy Award, Prem Chand Award, Tulsi Award, Vyas Samman, Kumarn Asan Award and Sahitya Akademi Award (1995). Address: S-371,Greater Kailash, New Delhi 110 048. Raghuvir Sahay (1929–1990) --- Raghuvir Sahay was born in Lucknow. His was a versatile personality in Hindi --- poet, translator, short-story writer and journalist. He was the editor of the weekly Dinaman. His books of poems include Log Bhool Gaye Hain (They Have Forgotten, 1982), which brought him the Sahitya Akademi Award (1984), Atmahatya Ke Viruddh, Hanso Hanso Jaldi Hanso and Seedhiyon Par Dhoop Hein. Shrikant Verma (1931-86) --- Shrikant Verma was born in Bilaspur, Madhya Pradesh. He received an M.A. in Hindi from Nagpur University. He moved then to Delhi, where he worked in journalism and politics. In 1976 he became an elected member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament. During the late 1970s and early 1980s he was an official and spokesman of the Congress (I) Party. He published nearly twenty books in Hindi. His important collections of poetry are Jalsaghar ( The Pleasure Dome; 1973) and Magadh ( 1984 ). His honours include visits to the Iowa International Writing Program (1970-71 and 1978), and the Madhya Pradesh Government's Tulsi Puraskar in 1976. Kedarnath Singh (b. 1934) --- Kedarnath Singh was born in Chakia in the Ballia District of Uttar Pradesh. He studied at the Benaras Hindu University where he received his Master's degree in 1956 and doctorate in 1964. He taught at various colleges in Benaras, Gorakhpur and Pandrauna, before moving to Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, as Professor of Hindi in 1978. He retired as the Head of Department in 1999 and was appointed Professor Emeritus by the University. He has published several books of poetry, works of prose, poetry translation and criticism. Among his works are Abhi Bilkul Abhi (Poetry), Zamin Pak Rahi Hai (Poetry), Yahan Se Dekho (Poetry), Akal Mein Saras (Poetry), Uttar Kabir aur Anya Kavitayen (Poetry), Kalpana Aur Chhayavaad (Critical Essays), Mere Samay Ke Shabd (Critical Essays), Adhunik Hindi Kavita Mein Bimb Vidhan (Research) and Pratinidhi Kavitaen ( Selected Poems). He has edited an anthology of Hindi poetry after 1960 for the Sahitya Akademi and has translated into Hindi the poetry of Brecht, Baudelaire and Rilke. In the cultural hub of Benaras, he was associated with the Progressive Writers’ Movement. The honours and awards Kedarnath has received include Kumaran Asan Award (1980), Delhi Hindi Academy Samman, Nirala Puraskar, Vyas Samman and Sahitya Akademi Award (1989). Address: A 88/3 SFS Flats Saket, New Delhi - 110017. Chandrakant Deotale (b. 1936) --- Chandrakant Deotale was born in Jaulkhera, Betul district, Uttar Pradesh. He taught literature in Government colleges of Madhya Pradesh. Among his publications are Haddiyon Men Chhipa Jvar, Deewaron Par Khoon Se, Roshni Ke Maidan Ki Taraf and Bhookhand Tap Raha Hai. Among the awards and honours he has received are Muktibodh Fellowship, Makhanlal Chaturvedi Puraskar and Shikhar Samman. Dhumil (1936-75) --- Sudama Pandeya 'Dhumil' was born in a village of Varanasi district (Uttar Pradesh). He obtained a Diploma in 'Electrical Engineering' from ITI, Varanasi and worked as an Instructor in the same Institute. Sansad Se Sadak Tak and Kal Sunna Mujhe are two of his poetry collections. Kal Sunana Mujhe was honoured with Sahitya Akademi Award (1979). Vinodkumar Shukla (1937) --- Vinod Kumar Shukla has more than twenty publications to his credit, including Laghbhag Jaihind (poetry), Vah Aadmi Naya Garam Coat Pahankar Chalagaya Vichar Ki Tarah (poetry), Nauker Ki Kameej (novel) and Perh Par Kamra (short stories). Vinod Kumar is the recipient of several awards including Shikhar Samman (1995), Muktibodh Fellowship, Raza Puraskar, Raghuvir Sahay Smriti Puraskar and the Sahitya Akademi Award (1999). Ashok Vajpeyi (b. 1941) --- Ashok Vajpeyi was born in Durg. He acquired a Postgraduate degree from Delhi University. He was a civil servant by profession. He edited journals like Poorvagraha, Kavita Asia and Bahuvachan. He was the first Vice chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University. Among his works are Shahar Ab Bhi Sambhavna Hai (Poetry), Ek Patang Anant Mein (Poetry), Agar Itne Se (Poetry), Tatpurush (Poetry), Kahin Nahin Vahin (Poetry), Ghaas Mein Dubaka Akash (Poetry), Tinka Tinka (Poetry), Bahuri Akela (Poetry), Philhal (Critical Essay), Samay Se Bahar (critical essay) and Thodi Si Jagah (Selected Love Poems). The awards and honours received by him include Dayawati Modi Kavi Shikhar Samman and Sahitya Akademi Award (1994) for Kahin Nahin Wahin (Poetry). Address : A4,First Floor, New Friends Colony, Dr.C.V.Raman Marg, New Delhi 110065. Leeladhar Jagoori (b. 1944) --- Leeladhar Jagoori was a teacher by profession. He has several publications to his credit including Shankha Mukhi Shikharon Par, Natak Jari Hai, Is Yatra Men, Raat Ab Bhi Maujud Hai, Bachi Hui Prithvi Par and Anubhav Ke Aakash Mein Chand. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award (1997) for Anubhav Ke Aakash Mein Chand (Poetry). Address: Jagoori Sadan, Joshiyara, Uttarkashi, Uttaranchl. Mangalesh Dabral (b. 1948) --- Mangalesh Dabral was born in Kafalpani, Tehri Garhwal. He is a poet, a journalist and a translator. He works with Jansatta, the Hindi daily published by the Indian Express Group. Mangalesh has published several collections of poems including Pahar Par Lalten (1981), Ghar Ka Rasta (1988) and Ham Jo Dekhate Hain (1995). He has also published a travel Dairy, Ek Bar Iowa (1996) and a collection of articles, Lekhak Ki Roti (1998). Awards and honours received by him include Omprakash Smriti Samman (1982), Shrikant Verma Puraskar (1989), Shamsher Samman (1995), Pahal Samman (1996) and Sahitya Akademi award (2000) for Hum Jo Dekhte Hain (Poetry).. He has translated from English into Hindi works of Berlolt Brecht, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Yannis Ritsos, Ernesto Cardenal, Pablo Neruda, Dora Gaben, Stanca Pencheva, Zbigniew Herbert etc. Travelled and gave poetry readings in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Russia. Visited Iowa city as fellow of International Writing Programme at the University of Iowa. Address: 337 Nirman Apartments, Mayur Vihar I, Delhi 110 091. Arun Kamal (b. 1954) --- Arun Kamal was born in Nasariganj, Rohtas (Bihar). He is a Professor in the Department of English, Science College, Patna University. He has several publications to his credit, including Apni Keval Dhar and Naye Ilake Mein. He is also the author of Kavita Aur Samay (Poetry and Time) – a collection of literary essays. He is the recipient of Bharat Bhusan Agrawal award and Soviet Land Nehru award. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award (1998) for his poetry collection, Naye Ilake Mein. Address : 4, 'Maitry' - Shanti Bhavan, R. Das Road, Patna - 800004. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Teji Grover (b. 1955) --- Teji Grover has published several collections of poetry including Lo Kaha Sanbari and one novel, Neela. Teji has translated a choice of Swedish poets into Hindi, working together with the Swedish writer Lars Andersson;The collection has been published by Vani Prakashan (2001) --- Barf ki Khusboo (The Fragrance of Snow). In 1989, she received the Bharat Bhushan Aggrawal Award for young Hindi poets. She lives in Hoshangabad. Gagan Gill (b. 1959) --- Gagan Gill was born in New Delhi and received an M.A. in English from the University of Delhi. She works as a journalist in Hindi and Punjabi, and has been the literary editor of the Hindi Sunday Observer and the Hindi editor of the Telegraph. Her first work, Ek Din Lautegi Ladaki (The Girl Will Return One Day), appeared in 1989. Other publications of Gagan include Andhere me Buddha, Yah akanksha samay nahin and Thapak thapak dil thapak thapak. Udayan Vajpeyi (b. 1960) ---Udayan Vajpeyi was born in Bhopal. He is a doctor by profession; teaches physiology. He is the author of several books. Anamika (b. 1961) --- Anamika, who holds a doctoral degree in Donne criticism through the ages and did her post-doctoral research on the treatment of love and death in post-war American women poets, is a Lecturer in English at Satyawati College, Delhi. She has authored several collections of poems, novelettes and a collection of short stories. Her works include Samay Ke Shahar Mein,1989, Beejakshar, 1992, Anushtup, 1998, Kavita Mein Aurat, 2000 and Khurduri Hatheliyan, 2005. She has also done several translations, including works of Octavio Paz and Girish Karnad. The awards and honours she has received include Bharat Bhushan Award for Poetry (1996), the Girija Mathur Samman (1998), the Sahityakar Samman (1998), the Parampara Samman (2001) and the Sahityasetu Samman (2004). Jnanapeeta awards 1965 G Sankara Kurup Odakkuzhal (Flute) Malayalam 1966 Tarashankar Bandopadhyaya Ganadevta Bengali 1967 Kuppali Venkatappagowda PuttappaSri Ramayana Darshanam Kannada 1967 Umashankar Joshi Nishitha Gujarati 1968 Sumitranandan Pant Chidambara Hindi 1969 Firaq Gorakhpuri Gul-e-Naghma Urdu 1970 Viswanatha Satyanarayana Ramayana Kalpavrikshamu (A resourceful tree:Ramayana) Telugu 1971 Bishnu Dey Smriti Satta Bhavishyat Bengali 1972 Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar' Urvashi Hindi 1973 Dattatreya Ramachandra Bendre Nakutanti (Four Strings) Kannada 1974 Vishnu Sakharam Khandekar Yayati Marathi 1975 P.V.Akilan Chitttrappavai Tamil 1976 Asha Purna Devi Pratham Pratisruti Bengali 1977 K.Shivaram Karanth Mookajjiya Kanasugalu (Mookajjis dreams) Kannada 1978 Sachchidananda Hirananda Vatsyayan 'Ajneya'Kitni Navon Men Kitni Bar (How many times in many boats?) Hindi 1979 Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya Mrityunjay (Immortal) Assamese 1980 S. K. Pottekkatt Oru Desattinte Katha (Story of a land) Malayalam 1981 Amrita Pritam Kagaj te Canvas Punjabi 1982 Mahadevi Varma Yama Hindi 1983 Maasti Venkatesh Ayengar Chikkaveera Rajendra (Life and struggle of Kodava King Chikkaveera Rajendra) Kannada 1984 Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai Malayalam 1985 Pannalal Patel Maanavi Ni Bhavaai Gujarati 1986 Sachidanand Rout Roy Oriya 1987 Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar (Kusumagraj) Natsamrat Marathi 1988 Dr.C. Narayana Reddy Telugu 1989 Qurratulain Hyder Urdu 1990 V. K. Gokak Bharatha Sindhu Rashmi Kannada 1991 Subhas Mukhopadhyay Bengali 1992 Naresh Mehta Hindi 1993 Sitakant Mahapatra Oriya 1994 U.R. Ananthamurthy Kannada 1995 M. T. Vasudevan Nair nalukettu Malayalam 1996 Mahasweta Devi Bengali 1997 Ali Sardar Jafri Urdu 1998 Girish Karnad Tuglaq Kannada 1999 Nirmal Verma Hindi 1999 Gurdial Singh Punjabi 2000 Indira Goswami Assamese 2001 Rajendra Keshavlal Shah Gujarati 2002 D. Jayakanthan Tamil 2003 Vinda Karandikar Marathi 2004 Rahman Rahi Kashmiri  SAHITYA ACADEMY AWARDEES - HINDI YEAR WRITER BOOK 1955 Makhanlal Chaturvedi Him-Tarangini (Poetry) 1956 Vasudevasaran Agrawala Padmavat Sanjivini Vyakhya (Commentary) 1957 Acharya Nerendra Dev Bauddha Dharama Darshan (Philosophy) 1958 Rahul Sankrityayan Madhya Asia Ka Itihas (History) 1959 Ramdhari Sinha 'Dinkar' Sanskrit Ke Char Adhyaya (A Survey of Indian Culture) 1960 Sumitranandan Pant Kala aur Bhura Chand (Poetry) 1961 Bhagwaticharan Verma Bhoole Bisre Chitra (Novel) 1963 Amrit Rai Premchand: Kalam Ka Sipahi (Biography) 1964 'Agyeya' (S.H. Vatsyayan) Aangan Ke Par Dvar (Poetry) 1965 Nagendra Rasa Sidhanta (Treatise on poetics) 1966 Jainendra Kumar Muktibodh (Novelette) 1967 Amritlal Nagar Amrit aur Vish (Novel) 1968 Harivansh Rai Bachchan Do Chattanen (Poetry) 1969 Shrilal Shukla Rag Darbari (Novel) 1970 Ram Vilas Sharma Nirala Ki Sahitya Sadhana (Biography) 1971 Namwar Singh Kavita Ke Naye Pratiman (Literary criticism) 1972 Bhawani Prasad Mishra Buni Huyi Rassi (Poetry) 1973 Hazari Prasad Dwivedi Alok Parva (Essays) 1974 Shiv Mangal Singh 'Suman Mati Ki Baraat (Poetry) 1975 Bhisham Sahni Tamas (Novel) 1976 Yashpal Meri Teri Uski Baat (Poetry) 1977 Shamsher Bahadur Singh Chuka Bhi Hun Nahin Main (Poetry) 1978 Bharat Bhushan Agarwal Utna Vah Suraj Hai (Poetry) 1979 Dhoomil Kal Sunana Mujhe (Poetry) 1980 Krishna Sobti Zindaginama-Zinda Rukh (Novel) 1981 Trilochan Tap Ke Taye Hue Din (Poetry) 1982 Harishankar Parsai Viklang Shraddha Ka Daur (Satire) 1983 Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena Khutiyon Par Tange Log (Poetry) 1984 Raghuvir Sahai Log Bhool Gaye Hain (Poetry) 1985 Nirmal Varma Kavve aur Kala Pani (Short stories) 1986 Kedarnath Aggarwal Apurva (Poetry) 1987 Shrikant Verma Magadh (Poems) 1988 Naresh Mehta Aranya (Poems) 1989 Kedarnath Singh Akaal Mein Saras (Poetry) 1990 Shiv Prasad Singh Neela Chand (Novel) 1991 Girija Kumar Mathur Main Vaqt Ke Hun Samne (Poetry) 1992 Giriraj Kishore Dhai Ghar (Novel) 1993 Vishnu Prabhakar Ardhanarishwar (Novel) 1994 Ashok Vajpeyi Kahin Nahi Wahin (Poetry) 1995 Kunwar Narain Koi Doosra Nahin (Poetry) 1996 Surendra Verma Mujhe Chand Chahiye (Novel) 1997 Leeladhar Jagoori Anubhav Ke Aakash Mein Chand (Poetry) 1998 Arun Kamal Naye Ilake Mein (Poetry) 1999 Vinod Kumar Shukla Deewar Main Ek Khirkee Rahathi Thi (Novel) 2000 Manglesh Dabral Hum Jo Dekhte Hain (Poetry) 2001 Alka Saraogi Kali-Katha : Via Bypass (Novel) 2002 Rajesh Joshi Do Panktiyon Ke Beech (Poems) 2003 Kamleshwar Kitne Pakistan (Novel) 2004 Viren Dangwal Dushchakra Mein Srashta(Poetry) 2005 Manohar Shyam Joshi Kyap (Novel) (No Award in 1962) Kabir (1398-1468 or 1440-1518) was born to Julaha (Muslim weavers) parents. Kabir is known for his voluminous Kabir Granthavali which contains various verse forms with love as the dominant motif. He employed the bhakti (devotional) sensibility to resist the world-view which imposed the degradation on him and his fellow low-born. His devotional couplets dohas have played a vital role in moulding the Indian ethos. Goswami Tulasidas (1532-1623) is the finest poet that Hindi literature has produced to date. His works, of which Ramcharitamanas (The Lake that is the Story of Rama) is unarguably the greatest, are relevant at three levels-aesthetic, moral and social. His lofty idealism continues to inspire his readers, even today. Bihari (1595-1664) achieved immortal fame by writing just one book Satasai (Seven Hundred Verses). His name finds mention in the Imperial Gazeteer alongwith Tulsidas and Surdas. He wrote in Brijbhasha ( a dialect spoken in the Brij region of Uttar Pradesh) about love. To him God was love, love God. His couplets have been compared to barbs, for they strike deep. Munshi Premchand (1880-1936) was the foremost novelist in Hindi and Urdu. His last completed novel in Hindi, also acclaimed as his finest, was Godan (The Gift of a Cow, 1936). The greatness of Godan lies in its unparalleled and indepth depiction of the Indian rural milieu. It has been translated into almost all the major Indian languages as well as many foreign languages. Premchand's other epic novels include Rangabhumi (The Theatre or Arena, 1925) and Karmabhumi (Arena of Action,1932) where the focus is on the nationalist struggle of the country. Maithili Sharan Gupt (1886-1964) is considered as one of the pioneers of 'Khari Boli' (plain dialect) poetry and the author of the first ever epic in modern Hindi literature. In his literary career spanning 57 years, Gupt has written over sixty works, comprising forty nine collections and seventeen translations of poetry and drama. He was perhaps, the only poet in Independent India to be honoured with the title 'National Poet'. In Saket (Ayodhya, 1932), the poet draws on the mythological tale of Rama, falling back heavily on Tulasidas's epic Ramcharitamanas. Also evident are influences of Valmiki's Ramayana, Bhavabhuti's play Uttara Rama Charita, Kalidasa's Raghuvamsa and the Mahabharata of Vyasa. Jaishankar Prasad (1889-1937) is one of the pioneers of the Hindi literary movement called Chayavada. Lehar (Wave), his last collection of poems was published before his great poem, Kamayani (1936), and clearly demonstrates his lyrical and narrative mastery. Alongwith Ansu (Tears), an earlier long poem and Kamana, an allegorical play, Lehar forms a prelude to Kamayani, an allegorical epic poem. His unique sense of history and remarkable insight into the spiritual malady that plagues modern civilisation, set Jaishankar Prasad apart from his poetic peers. Suryakant Tripathi (1899-1961) achieved fame through his pen-name 'Nirala' (the unique), deriving inspiration from the best minds of the Indian Renaissance, then flourishing in Bengal. Nirala was a born genius and sans formal education, studied Indian classics, philosophy and culture. Deeply rooted in Indian culture, he stood against the Establishment, gaining recognition as a poet of revolt. Besides twelve collections of poetry, which included Apara (The Earthly Knowledge, 1947) Nirala also penned six novels, many short stories, essays and criticism, and also translated from Sanskrit and Bengali. Renowned for his prose, Nirala is also associated with bringing in free verse in the modern era. Sumitranandan Pant (1900-77), author of twenty eight published works including poetry, verse plays and essays, was honoured with the prestigious Padma Bhushan (1961), Jnanpith (1968), Sahitya Akademi and Soviet Land-Nehru Awards for his immense contribution to the Hindi literary scene. His poetry epitomised the Indian thought of Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram (the true, the good, the beautiful). A prominent of the Chayavada movement, Pant's greatest poems were penned during this period. When the movement was on the decline, Pant was the poet who effortlessly made the transition from aesthetic mysticism to the temporal, doing so in terms of the Marxist ideology. This phase later gave way to the larger humanism of Aurobindo. Thus in his later writings, Pant the aesthete emerged as a thinker, philosopher and humanist. His finest work, by far, is Pallav, a collection of thirty two poems written between 1918 and 1925. Yashpal (1903-76) is renowned for Jhutha Sach (The False Truth, 1958-60), regarded as the finest Hindi novel written on the chaotic Indian scenario which followed closely on the heels of the Partition. A Marxist till the very end, Yashpal's ideology immensely influenced his writings. He has forty two books to his credit, excluding translated works. Hazariprasad Dwivedi (1907-79), a famous novelist, literary historian, essayist, critic and scholar, penned numerous novels, collections of essays and a historical outline of Hindi literature. His principal works include Kabir, and Banabhatta Ki Atmakatha (The Autobiography of Banabhatta, 1946), a literary depiction of the life and times of the classical poet. The latter is in the mode of a fiction within fiction. The author pretends to have accidentally found the entire work, his own role in creating it being 'minimal'. Mahadevi Verma (1907-87) was educated in Allahabad, where she founded the 'Prayag Mahila Vidyapitha', promoting the education of girls. An active freedom fighter, Mahadevi Verma is regarded as one of the four pillars of the great Romantic movement in modern Hindi poetry, Chayavada, the remaining three being Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala', Jaishankar Prasad and Sumitranandan Pant. She is renowned for her book of memoirs, Atita Ke Chalcitra (The Moving Frames of the Past) and Smriti Ki Rekhayen (The Lines of Memory). Her poetic canvas boasts Dipshikha (The Flame of an Earthen Lamp, 1942), a book comprising fifty one lyrics, all of which carry the maturity of expression and intense mystical quality peculiar to this great artiste. Her mysticism led to the birth of a movement called Rahasyavada. Mahadevi Verma has often been compared with Mira Bai, the great 16th century devotional poetess, in her lyrical mysticism and deep devotional offerings to the Almighty. Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar' (1908-74) emerged as rebellious poet with his nationalist poetry in pre- Independence days. After the country's Independence , he was often referred to as the national poet of India, though officially the title belonged to Maithili Sharan Gupt. He belongs to the generation immediately following the Chayavadi (romantic) poets. Dinkar is renowned for his personal lyrics, apart from a few historical and nationalist compositions. His verse play, Urvashi, (1961)is a dramatic departure from his earlier poetry of social concern, as it deals with love and passion, the earthy and the sublime, and man-woman relationship transcending the physical. A Jnanpith Award winner (1972), the book is the culmination of a poet's spiritual journey. It is a landmark document involving introspection and philosophical delving into the Kamadhyatma, The Metaphysic of Desire. Nagarjun (b. 1911), is amjor Hindi poet who has also penned a number of novels, short stories, literary biographies and travelogues. His Pratinidhi Kavitayen (A Collection of Representative Poems, 1984)was written over four decades. It contains almost eighty Hindi poems as well as a small section of poetry in Maithili, his mother-tongue, where he is better known as Baidyanath Mishra 'Yatri'. Nagarjun creates poetry out of the most mundane things in life, employing the language of everyday speech and thus bringing poetry as an art form closer to the common man. The most popular practising Hindi poet in the last decades of the twentieth century, Nagarjun is considered as the only poet, after Tulsidas, to have an audience ranging from the rural sections of society to the elitist gatherings. S. H. Vatsyayan (1911-87), (Sachchidananda Hirananda Vatsyayana), popularly known by his pen- name 'Ajneya' or Agyeya, was a pioneer of modern trends not only in the realm of poetry, but also fiction, criticism and journalism in Hindi. An eminent freedm fighter, Ajneya has to his credit sixteen volumes of poetry, three novels, travelogues and several volumes of short stories and essays. He edited the Saptak series which triggered new trends in Hindi poetry, known a 'Nai Kavita'. He edited many literary journals and also launched his own Hindi weekly, Dinaman, thus establishing new standards in the field of Hindi journalism.Ajneya was honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Award, Jnanpith Award, Bharatbharati Award and the internationally reputed Golden Wreath Award for poetry.His famous works include Amgan Ke Par Dvara (The Door Beyond the Courtyard) and a cycle of poems, Chakranta Shila. Vishnu Prabhakar (b. 1912), with several short stories, novels, plays and travelogues to his credit, won the Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel, Ardhanarishwara (The Androgynous God or Shiva). His biography of the eminent Bengali novelist, Saratchandra Chatterjee, Awara Masiha (Vagabond Prophet, 1974) is however considered not only, to be his magnum opus, but also one of the three best Hindi biographies written so far. Awara Masiha, a subtle combination of fact and fiction, took Prabhakar around fouteen years to finish. Phanishwar Nath 'Renu' (1921-77), popularly known as Renu, is one of the great Hindi novelists of the post-Premchand era. An active political activist, one of Renu's masterpieces is Maila Anchal (The Soiled Border, 1954), a social novel that depicts the life of a region and its people, the backward and the deprived. A trailblazer in the post-Premchand period, the novel radically changed the structure and narrative style in Hindi novels. The distinct feature in the novel is that it does not possess a structured plot or story in the conventional sense. After Premchand's Godan, Maila Anchal is regarded as the most significant Hindi novel. Shrilal Shukla (b.1925), an IAS officer, is renowned for his objective and purposive satire in contemporary Hindi fiction. In 1957, he published his first novel, Sooni Ghat ka Sooraj (The Sun of a Desolate Valley) followed by a series of satires Amgada Ka Pamva (Angada's Foot) in 1958. His Raag Darbari (Melody of the Court, one of the ragas, 1968) is the first satirical novel of its kind in Hindi spanning a wide spectrum of post-Independence rural India, specifically Avadh. It was Shrilal Shukla who took wit, irony and sarcasm to great heights in Hindi literature. Raag Darbari is generously peppered with folk witticisms of Avadhi, the powerful dialect in which Tulasidas, Malik Mohammad Jayasi and many Sufi poets made their mark. Mohan Rakesh (1925-72) was one of the pioneers of the Nai Kahani movement in Hindi in the 1950s. Rakesh made significant contribution to various genres, like nove, short story, travelogue, criticism, memoirs and drama. His Ashadha Ka Ek Din (One Day in The Rainy Month of Ashadha, 1958) is a historical play suggestive of the personal dilemmas of a present day writer. Ashadha Ka Ek Din is one of the first major original plays that revived the Hindi stage in the 1960s. Among his other plays is, Adhe Adhure (The Incomplete Ones) is extremely popular with the modern middle- class audiences, and Lehron Ke Rajhamsa (The Swans of the Waves), a close study of the renunciation of the Buddha, and its effect on his own people. Dharmavir Bharati (b. 1926) is a renowned poet, fictionist and editor. Essentially a romantic humanist, Bharati is famous for his poignant treatment of first love, his lyricism and humanistic vision. One of his famous works is Andha Yuga (The Blind Age or The Age of Darkness), one of the most celebrated modern Hindi plays. Bharati has been honoured with some of the highest literary and State awards, including the Padma Shri. Raghuvir Sahay (1929-90) was a versatile Hindi poet, translator, short-story writer and journalist. The editor of the weekly Dinaman, Sahay's five books of poems includes Log Bhool Gaye Hain (They Have Forgotten, 1982) which won him the Sahitya Akademi Award. The poet of the common man, Sahay dealt with topics hitherto unexplored by other Hindi male poets. His treatment of women in his works is extraordinarily sensitive. His Atmahatya Ke Viruddha (Against Suicide, 1967) comprises 36 poems. A powerful democratic sensibility and great concern for the dispossessed, especially women, is the hallmark of his works. The marginalisation of the average person, hypocrisy of the powers that be, and the brutish violence that has crept into the system are some of his principal themes. But perseverance and going on with life clearly emerge as his mottos. Nirmal Verma (b.1929) together with Mohan Rakesh, Bhisham Sahni, Kamleshwar, Amarkant and others, is credited with introducing and establishing the Nai Kahani (the modernist new short story) in Hindi literature. His technical wizardry and cosmopolitan sensibility render Nirmal Verma a one-of-a-kind artiste. Although he has published four novels, six collections of essays and cultural criticism, it is his short stories that beautifully bring out his ethereal sensitivity, lyricism and profound compassion. Kavve aur Kala Paani (Crows and the Black Waters, 1983) translated as The Crows of Deliverance, comprises seven of Verma's latest stories, which deal with the spiritual ills that afflict his characters, mostly from the urban middle class. Mir Amman (later 17th and early 18th century): Mir Amman is known for his tale Bagh-o-Bahar (The Spring Garden). Bagh-o-Bahar is a qissa, a tale of fair length. Mir Amman, an employee of the College of Fort William at Calcutta, wrote it at the request of John Gilchrist, the famous scholar. Mir Amman's tale is rather a retelling - in simpler and more effective Urdu - of a linguistically more elaborate and difficult Urdu translation of an 18th century Indo-Persian tale whose author is not known. In Persian it is usually referred to as The Qissa of Four Dervishes. Bagh-o-Bahar was prepared in 1801. Mir Taqi Mir (1723-1810): Mir Taqi Mir was the first of the top ranking poets of Urdu. His fame and greatness is based on his bulky volume of collected verse, i.e. Kulliyat-e-Mir, almost all of it on themes of love. His Muamlat-e-Ishq (The Stages of Love) is one of the greatest known love poems in Urdu literature. Mirza Ghalib (1797-1869): An aristocrat, courtier at the pre-1857 Mughal court, wit, poet and prose-writer in both Persian and Urdu, Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib was the greatest of all the classical Urdu poets, and his Persian verse is of the same high quality. His Divan-e-Ghalib has become the touchstone of poetic taste. In 1828 he compiled a combined selection of his Urdu and Persian verse Gul-e-Rana. His Urdu Diwan was published in 1847. Ghalib was a prolific writer of letters too. Ghalib's poetry is very philosophical and rich in meaning. He was undoubtedly the heavy-weight of Urdu poetry who ruled and continues to rule the hearts of connoiseurs of Urdu literature. At times quite difficult to decipher, his poetry has a depth that remains a benchmark in this beautiful language. Mirza Mohd. Hadi Ruswa (1858-1931): One of the pioneers of Urdu novel in the modern sense of the term, Ruswa was a versatile genius. He wrote fiction, poetry, plays, treatises on Religion, Philosophy and Astronomy. In his celeberated Umrao Jan Ada (a novel about a courtesan) Ruswa achieved an artistic success unequalled in his own time and for a long time afterwards. Sir Mohammed Iqbal (1877-1938): Born in Sialkot, Iqbal obtained a Ph.D from Munich for his work on the metaphysics of Persia. He developed his philosophy of Khudi (Selfhood) in which influences of Rumi and German Vitalism were assimilated into Quaranic thought. His principal works are Bang-e-Dara (Caravan's Call) 1924, Bal-e-Jibreel (Gabriel's Wing) 1935, Zarb-e-Kaleem (The Blow of Moses) 1936 and Armughan-e-Hijaz (The Gift of Hijaz) 1938. Some of his best known poems are Zauk-e-Shauk (The Longing), Masjid-e-Qartaba (The Mosque of Cordova) and Saqi Nama (Ode to Saqi). Premchand (1880-1936): Premchand was born on July 31, 1880 in a village called "Lamahi", about four miles from the city of Benares, to an ordinary working family. He is one of the greatest writers of the 20th century India who wrote both in Urdu and Hindi. A prolific writer, he wrote some 12 novels and 300 short stories. He brought into the ambit of literature the life of ordinary people of India - the masses in the villages among whom he lived. His best known works are Godan, Maidan-e-Amal, Karmbhoomi, Nirmala, Gaban, Sevaasadan, Manorama, Premaashram, Varadaan, Ranga Bhoomi, Prathijna, etc. Premchand's writings have been translated not only into all Indian languages, but also Russian, Chinese, and many other foreign languages. He spent his life as an ordinary school teacher, freedom fighter, social reformer and editor. Abul Kalam Azad (1888-1958): Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, one of the prominent Indian National leaders, was an eminent Urdu writer with a philosophical bend. His works include Tarjuman-ul- Quran (Commentary on the Quran), Tazkirah (Autobiographical Account) Ghubar-e-Khatir (The Dust of Memories). Universally acclaimed for its literary merit, Ghubar-e-Khatir represents Azad's versatile genius and multifaceted personality. It has its own place in the genre of epistolary literature. Firaq Gorakhpuri (1896-1982): Raghupati Sahai Firaq is one of the major Indian poets of this century, both in terms of contribution he made to the enrichment of Urdu poetry and the influence he exercised upon his age. Sublimation of pain and celebration of human love are the characteristic features of Firaq's ghazal. Firaq's first collection of verse is Gul-e-Nagma (The Music Flower) won the Sahitya Academy Award in 1960. Makhdoom Mohiuddin (1908-'69): Born in a village in Medak, a district of the former princely state of Hyderabad, Makhdoom Mohiuddin grew up to become a poet of incredible versatility. He is best known for his verse collection Bisat-e-Raqs (The Dance Floor). His published works include an essay Tagore amd his Poetry, a play, Hosh ke Nakhun (Unravelling), an adaptation of Shaw's Widowers' Houses, and a collection of prose essays. Bisat-e-Raqs is a complete collection of Makhdoom's verse including his two earlier collections Surkh Savera (The Red Dawn) 1944, and Gul-e-Tar (The Dewdrenched Rose) 1961 Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-84): The Urdu poet who became a legend during his lifetime, and who may be ranked next only to Ghalib, Mir, Firaq and Iqbal is Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Poet, journalist and liberal humanist Faiz was committed to the uplift of the downtrodden and the oppressed. Faiz published seven collections of verse, Naqsh-e-Faryadi being the first and the greatest. His collected works, Sare Sukhan Hamare appeared from London in1982 and Nuskha-hae-Wafa from Lahore and Delhi in 1984. Ismat Chughtai (1915-1991): A crusader for the rights of women and the downtrodden, Ismat Chughtai was a leading fiction writer in Urdu. Her major short story collections are Kaliyan (The Buds), Choten (Injuries), Chooi Mooi (Fragile), Ek Baat (A Point) and Do Haath (Two Hands). Her novels are Tehri- Lakeer (The Crooked Line), Ziddi (The Obstinate), Ek Qatra-e-Khoon (A Drop of Blood), Dil Ki Duniya (Heart's World) and Bahroop Nagar (The Deceptive Town) Rajinder Singh Bedi (1915-'84): Born and educated near Sialkot (now in Pakistan) Bedi started his writing career in Lahore where he worked for the All India Radio. Two of his collections of short stories, Dana-o-Daam (The Catch) and Grehan (The Eclipse) were published before the Partition. His novel Ek Chader Maili Si (A Sheet Soiled and Torn) first published in 1972 won the Sahitya Academy Award. Qurratulain Hyder (b.1927): A trendsetter in Urdu fiction. She began writing at a time when the novel was yet to establish itself as a serious genre in the poetry-oriented world of Urdu literature. She lifted it out of its stagnation, divested it of its obsession with fantasy, romance and facile realism. She offered it extraordinary range and depth and brought to its ambit, hitherto unexplored terrains of human thought and sensibility. A prolific writer, she has so far written some 12 novels and novellas, four collections of short stories and has done a significant amount of translation of classics. She received the Jnanpith Award on her later novel, Aakhir-e-Shab ke Hamsafar (Travellers Unto the Night). Aag ka Darya (River of Fire) is her greatest novel which is a tour de force in Urdu and possibly in Indian fiction as a whole. Saadat Hasan Manto (1912-55), one of the few Urdu writers who both shaped and flouted the prevailing ideologies of his time, continues to speak in a fresh voice to contemporary readers. A member of the Progressive Writers' Movement, which swept through Urdu literature from 1935 to 1960, Manto was a very controversial figure. Although he contributed to several literary genres, he was at his best in his collections of short stories. These stories written before Independence, reflect his genuine concern for progressive aims and portray the goodness of lower class characters who dwell on the fringes of society. His stories boldly challenged the conventional mores by unabashedly discussing male and female sexuality. A recurrent theme of these works is the exploitation of women by supposedly respectable men, focussing on the decrepit lives of prostitutes. Manto, like many of the Progressives, was deeply traumatised by the Partition. and expressed his feelings in many of his stories. He learnt to pen short stories by studying the works of the 19th century French and Russian realists. His stubborn upholding of his personal point of view and choice of subject matter, in the face of public censure, continues to inspire budding writers even today. Manto ke Numainda Afsane (Short stories of Manto), has been translated as Kingdom's End and other stories. Toba Tek Singh, Khol Do, and Thanda Ghosht are some of his stories known for the ambivalent depiction of man and his relationship with man, country and woman. Ali Sardar Jafri (1913): Winner of the 1997 Jnanpith award for his contribution to the enrichment of Urdu literature, Jafri was born in Ballarpur town of Uttar Pradesh. He is the third Urdu poet to have won the Jnanpith award, the other two being Firaq and Quarratulain Hyder. The books that established him as a distinguished Indian writer are Parwaz, Nai Duniya Ko Salaam, Khoon Ki Lakeer, Asia Jag Utha, Patthar Ki Deewar, Ek Khwaab Aur, Pairahan-e-Sharar, Lahu Pukarta Hai and Manzil. Phanishwar Nath 'Renu' (1921-77), popularly known as Renu, is one of the great Hindi novelists of the post-Premchand era. An active political activist, one of Renu's masterpieces is Maila Anchal (The Soiled Border, 1954), a social novel that depicts the life of a region and its people, the backward and the deprived. A trailblazer in the post-Premchand period, the novel radically changed the structure and narrative style in Hindi novels. The distinct feature in the novel is that it does not possess a structured plot or story in the conventional sense. After Premchand's Godan, Maila Anchal is regarded as the most significant Hindi novel. Shrilal Shukla (b.1925), an IAS officer, is renowned for his objective and purposive satire in contemporary Hindi fiction. In 1957, he published his first novel, Sooni Ghat ka Sooraj (The Sun of a Desolate Valley) followed by a series of satires Amgada Ka Pamva (Angada's Foot) in 1958. His Raag Darbari (Melody of the Court, one of the ragas, 1968) is the first satirical novel of its kind in Hindi spanning a wide spectrum of post-Independence rural India, specifically Avadh. It was Shrilal Shukla who took wit, irony and sarcasm to great heights in Hindi literature. Raag Darbari is generously peppered with folk witticisms of Avadhi, the powerful dialect in which Tulasidas, Malik Mohammad Jayasi and many Sufi poets made their mark. Mohan Rakesh (1925-72) was one of the pioneers of the Nai Kahani movement in Hindi in the 1950s. Rakesh made significant contribution to various genres, like nove, short story, travelogue, criticism, memoirs and drama. His Ashadha Ka Ek Din (One Day in The Rainy Month of Ashadha, 1958) is a historical play suggestive of the personal dilemmas of a present day writer. Ashadha Ka Ek Din is one of the first major original plays that revived the Hindi stage in the 1960s. Among his other plays is, Adhe Adhure (The Incomplete Ones) is extremely popular with the modern middle- class audiences, and Lehron Ke Rajhamsa (The Swans of the Waves), a close study of the renunciation of the Buddha, and its effect on his own people. Dharmavir Bharati (b. 1926) is a renowned poet, fictionist and editor. Essentially a romantic humanist, Bharati is famous for his poignant treatment of first love, his lyricism and humanistic vision. One of his famous works is Andha Yuga (The Blind Age or The Age of Darkness), one of the most celebrated modern Hindi plays. Bharati has been honoured with some of the highest literary and State awards, including the Padma Shri. Raghuvir Sahay (1929-90) was a versatile Hindi poet, translator, short-story writer and journalist. The editor of the weekly Dinaman, Sahay's five books of poems includes Log Bhool Gaye Hain (They Have Forgotten, 1982) which won him the Sahitya Akademi Award. The poet of the common man, Sahay dealt with topics hitherto unexplored by other Hindi male poets. His treatment of women in his works is extraordinarily sensitive. His Atmahatya Ke Viruddha (Against Suicide, 1967) comprises 36 poems. A powerful democratic sensibility and great concern for the dispossessed, especially women, is the hallmark of his works. The marginalisation of the average person, hypocrisy of the powers that be, and the brutish violence that has crept into the system are some of his principal themes. But perseverance and going on with life clearly emerge as his mottos. Nirmal Verma (b.1929) together with Mohan Rakesh, Bhisham Sahni, Kamleshwar, Amarkant and others, is credited with introducing and establishing the Nai Kahani (the modernist new short story) in Hindi literature. His technical wizardry and cosmopolitan sensibility render Nirmal Verma a one-of-a-kind artiste. Although he has published four novels, six collections of essays and cultural criticism, it is his short stories that beautifully bring out his ethereal sensitivity, lyricism and profound compassion. Kavve aur Kala Paani (Crows and the Black Waters, 1983) translated as The Crows of Deliverance, comprises seven of Verma's latest stories, which deal with the spiritual ills that afflict his characters, mostly from the urban middle class. Thunchat Ezhuthachan (16th century) is one of the giants among Malayalam poets. Believed to have been born in Trkkantiyur in Malappuram district, Ezhuthachan is considered as the father of modern Malayalam poetry, who gave the language a power not known before. He has also made significant contribution to the spiritual and cultural renaissance of the state. Mahabharatam is the most important among Ezhuthachan's poetical works, the rest being, Adhyatmaramayanam, Irupattinalu Vrttam, Harinamakirttanam, Cintaratnam, Devimahatmyam. His Mahabharatam, the greatest epic poem in Malayalam, though a rendering from the Sanskrit epic by Vyasa, possesses all the necessary attributes of an original work of art. Kunchan Nambiar (18th century) is considered as the creator of Thullal, a popular performing art of Kerala. Thullal avoids the high-brow rigidities of classical art forms like Kathakali and Koodiyattam, and also steers clear of the pedestrian folk forms such as Padayani. It blends the finer elements of both the genres, in formulating its strategies of performance and narration. Nambiar's Kalyana Saughandikam, (the golden water-lily) is believed to be the first among the forty odd Thullal songs he has composed for the stage. It was while enjoying the patronage of king Devanarayana of Chempakasseri, as a courtier that he composed the aforementioned Thullal song. His songs though dealing with puranic themes, abound in pungent and biting social criticism. Armed with satire and humour, Nambiar ridiculed the failings of his contemporaries and insisted on proper conduct and civilised behaviour from all sections of the society. O. Chandu Menon (1847-1900), is considered one of the two pioneers of Malayalam fiction (the other being C. V. Raman Pillai). A Munsiff and later Judge at Tellicherry of the erstwhile Malabar, Menon has to his credit two novels Indulekha and Sarada, the latter remaining incomplete. Indulekha occupies a unique niche among Malayalam movels, in that it marked the dawn of modernity in the literature, highlighting the value of English education and the right of women to assert themselves in issues like their marriage and education. Even as a work of art, the novel was a trendsetter in its wonderful delineation of characters. Kumaran Asan (1873-1924) is a reputed Malayalam poet. All his major works including Chinthavishtayaya Sita, belong to a certain class of poetic writing, casually mentioned in the texts on Sanskrit poetics as Khanda Kavya. Chinthavishtayaya Sita (Sita in Meditation, 1919) is regarded by many as the masterpiece of Kumaran Asan. It marks the zenith of poetic finesse in the career graph of Asan, wherein the authenticity of his unique vision resulted in the creation of an almost new Sita who could confront Rama without flinching. Veena Poovu (Fallen Flower), Nalini and Leela are some of his other great works. Vallathol Narayana Menon (1878-1958) - In the early decades of the 20th century, Malayalam poetry, fettered for a time by repetitive neo-classical works, was rejuvenated and liberated by the trio of Kumaran Asan, Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer and Vallathol Narayana Menon. Vallathol, the youngest of the three, knew little English; yet by his intuitive capacity, he imbibed the spirit of romanticism which infused new life in Malayalam literature. A classicist by discipline, Vallathol started composing poems at the age of 13. His mature poems in Sanskrit and in Malayalam appeared only after 1910, and he translated Rigveda into Malayalam at the age of 75. His major works include Magdalana Mariam (1921)- an exquisite narrative poem based on an episode in the life of Christ as depicted in the gospel according to St. Luke. A patron of Kathakali, Vallathol founded the Kalamandalam institute at Cheruthuruthy. When India won freedom, he was made the Poet Laureate of Malayalam Language and Literature. Vaikom Muhammad Basheer (1908-94) is regarded as one of India's most outstanding writers, on account of his superlative wit and originality. A freedom fighter, Basheer started writing short stories in 1937. Balyakalasakhi (Childhood Friend, 1944), a simple tale of love, friendship and tragedy, earned him a place in Malayalam literature. This was followed by Ntuppuppakkoraanentarnnu (Me Grandad 'ad an Elephant, 1951), the English translation of which, by R. E. Asher of Edinburgh University, won worldwide acclaim. Basheer's major works are peopled with characters drawn from his own Muslim milieu, whom he depicts in a manner that creates a strange combination of laughter and tears within the reader. Mathilukal (Walls, 1955) is another great novella by Basheer which was made into a successful motion picture by the renowned film- maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan. Changampuzha Krishna Pillai (1911-48) is one of the most popular poets in Malayalam literature, second only to Kunchan Nambiar in bringing poetry to the common man. If Nambiar is famous for his fine sense of humour, Changampuzha is renowned for his exquisite strain of lyricism. Belonging to the third generation of Romantics in Malayalam, he led pure romanticism to its very zenith. A prolific writer, with a writing career spanning two decades, Changampuzha produced more than 40, 000 lines of verse collected in around 44 volumes; this in addition to more than a dozen works in prose, including a novel, Kalittoli (Girlfriend, 1952) and an essay of literary criticism, Sahityachinthakal (Thoughts on Literature). Immensely well-read in world literature, especially poetry, Changampuzha translated many works into Malayalam. Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai (b. 1912) started off as a small-town lawyer but took to full time writing later and won himself the Sahitya Akademi Award (1957), Soviet Land-Nehru Award (1975) and Jnanpith Award (1984). His Chemmeen (The Shrimps) is one of the few works of fiction in an Indian language to gain worldwide recognition. The novel has been translated in all the major Indian languages and also in quite a few foreign languages. The film version of Chemmeen received the President's Gold Medal in 1966. O. V. Vijayan (b. 1931) is undoubtedly the pioneer of modern fiction in Malayalam. A cartoonist, novelist and short-story writer, Vijayan has to his credit five novels, including Khasakkinte Itihasam (The Saga of Khasak, 1969), Dharmapuranam (The Saga of Dharmapuri, 1985) and Pravachakante Vazhi (The Way of the Prophet, 1993) besides many collections of short stories and articles and a book on his own masterpiece, Itihasathinte Itihasam (The Story of the Saga). Vijayan who started his career as lecturer in Kerala, soon opted for full-time journalism and making cartoons. Madhavikutty (b. 1932) is the pen-name adopted by Kamala Das in her Malayalam writings. Though internationally renowned for her spirited poems in English, Kamala Das nee Madhavikutty has penned some brilliant short stories in her mother tongue. Her pseudonym represents the more intense and confessional self of this feminist writer. Her stories first appeared on the Malayalam literary scene in the 1950s, and later more frequently, in the sixties. She unleashed in them the pent-up world of female urges, frustrations and wild sexual fantasies, thus exposing the raw side of human identity. Madhavikutty's focus has always been on the tormented female self craving for love, but doomed to be cheated, exploited and abandoned. She replaced the self-pity that was a staple element of conventional women's stories with a subversive, vengeful imagination that demythified love, sex and even death. Her principal works include Naricheerukal Parakkumbol (When Bats Fly, 1960), Thanuppu (Cold, 1967), Madhavikuttiyude Kathakal (The Short Stories of Madhavikutty, 1982), and Neypayasam (Rice Pudding, 1991) and Ente Katha (My Story). T. Padmanabhan (b. 1931), a distinguished short-story writer in Malayalam, has been writing since 1948, except for a brief period between 1963 to 1969. He has been credited with bringing the modern Malayalam short story nearer to the subjective intensity of the lyric. Many of his works have been translated into various Indian and foreign languages. It was when the short story reached a saturation point as a result of the repeated depiction of romantic idealism and social commitment that T. Padmanabhan emerged on the scene with a unique and highly individualistic idiom. Among his major works are Prakasam Parathunna Oru Penkutti (A Girl Who Spreads Radiance, 1955), Oru Kathakrittu Kurishil (A Story writer on the Cross, 1956), Makhan Singhinte Maranam (The Death of Makhan Singh, 1958) , Kala Bhairavan and Gouri (1993). M. T. Vasudevan Nair (b. 1933), the famous Malayalam story-writer, novelist and editor has to his credit a number of fine films as well: he has written the script for a number of outstanding films besides having directed a few. Winner of several awards including the Jnanpith, Vasudevan nair, popularly known as M. T., burst into the literary scene with his maiden work, Nalukettu (the ancestral home of a Nair joint family), followed by Asuravithu (Asuravittu; Demon's seed: the son born to undo the family). The latter novel, written in a prose with poetic quality, bears the stamp of his genius, his mastery in subtle delineation of characters with great psychological insight.