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Harivanshrai Bachchan

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Harivansh Rai Bachchan is best remembered for his 142 verse lyrical poem Madhushala (The House of Wine), which was published in 1935. This work catapulted him as the foremost Hindi poet and was subsequently, translated into English and a number of Indian languages. The poem became a craze and was even performed on stage. Madhushala was a part of his poetic trilogy, the other two being Madhubaala and Madhukalash. It is on this trilogy that his fame rests. In 1969, he published the first of his four part autobiography Kya bhooloon kya yaad karoon. The second part Need ka nirmaan fir was published in 1970, the third Basere se door in 1977 and the last part Dashdwaar se sopaan tak in 1985. The series was well received and an abridged English translation by Rupert Snell, In the Afternoon of Time, was published in 1998. It is now considered to be a landmark in Hindi literature. Throughout his teaching career and while working in the External Affairs ministry and later, Bachchan published about 30 poetry collections as well as other works in Hindi like essays, travelogues and a few songs for the Hindi film industry. He also read his poems to large audiences. His last poem Ek November 1984 based on Indira Gandhis assassination was written in November 1984.


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