Harivansh Rai Bachchan was an Indian poet. He was a writer of the Nayi Kavita literary movement, a romantic upsurge of early 20th century Hindi literature.
Harivansh Rai Bachchan was also a poet of the Hindi Kavi Sammelan. He is best known for his early work Madhushala.
In 1976, he received the Padma Bhushan for his service to Hindi literature.
The early life of Harivansh Rai Bachchan
He was born in the village of Babupatti in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, British India on 27 November 1907 into an Awadhi Hindu Kayastha family.
From 1941 to 1957, he taught in the English Department at Allahabad University. After that, he spent the next two years at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, Cambridge University completing a Ph.D. on W.B. Yeats.
He started using the pen name “Bachchan” (meaning child) rather than using Shrivastava when he wrote Hindi poetry.
The writing career of Harivansh Rai Bachchan
Bachchan was fluent in several Hindi languages (Hindustani, Awadhi). He incorporated a broadly Hindustani vocabulary, written in Devanagari script. While he could not read Persian script, he was inspired by Persian and Urdu poetry, especially Omar Khayyam.
Works used in movies
Bachchan’s work has been used in movies and music. For example, couplets of his work “Agneepath” are used throughout the 1990 movie Agneepath, starring Amitabh Bachchan, and later in the 2012 remake Agneepath, starring Hrithik Roshan.
Mitti ka tan, masti ka man, kshan-bhar jivan– mera parichay.
(मिट्टी का तन, मस्ती का मन, क्षण भर जीवन, मेरा परिचय)
(A body of clay, a mind full of play, a life of a moment – that’s me)
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