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Mahadevi Varma

Mahadevi Varma best known as an outstanding Hindi


poet, and was a freedom ghter, womans activist and
educationist from India. She is widely regarded as
the modern Meera".[1] She was a major poet of the
Chhayavaad generation, a period of romanticism in Modern Hindi poetry ranging from 19141938.[2] With passage of time, her limited but outstanding prose has been
recognised as unique in Hindi Literature. She was a
prominent poet in Hindi Kavi sammelans (Gatherings of
poets).

family, she was very fortunate to be born into a liberal


family. Her grandfather had the ambition of making her a
scholar; her mother was uent in Sanskrit and Hindi, and
very religious. Mahadevi credits her mother for inspiring
her to write poems, and to take an interest in literature.
Mahadevi was originally admitted to a Convent school,
but upon protests and an unwilling attitude, she took admission in Crosthwaite Girls College in Allahabad. According to Mahadevi, she learnt the strength of unity in
the hostel at Crosthwaite, where students of dierent religions lived together and the mess was also according to
the religious requirement. Mahadevi started to write poems secretly; but upon discovery of her hidden stash of
poems by her room-mate and senior Subhadra Kumari
Chauhan (known in the school for writing poems), her
hidden talent was exposed. Mahadevi and Subhrada now
started to write poems together in their free time.

She was the Principal, and then the Vice-Chancellor of


Prayag Mahila Vidyapeeth, a womans residential college
in Allahabad. She was awarded Indias highest literary
award, for lifetime achievement, the Sahitya Akademi
Fellowship in 1979, followed by the Jnanpith Award in
1982.[3] She was the recipient of the Padma Bhushan in
1956[4] and the Padma Vibhushan in 1988, Indias third
and second highest civilian awards respectively.[5]

While others used to play outside, me and


Subhrada used to sit on a tree, and let our
creative thoughts ow together...She used to
write in Khariboli, and soon I also started to
write in Khadiboli...this way, we used to write
one or two poems a day...
Mahadevi Varma, Mere Bachpan Ke Din

Life

Mahadevi was born in Farukhabad in a kayastha family of lawyers. She was educated at Jabalpur- Madhya
Pradesh. She was the eldest child of Govinda Prasad
Varma and Hemaa rani and had two brothers, Jagmohan
and Manmohan, and a sister, Shyaama. She got married
to Dr Swarup Narain Varma in Indore when she was in
her childhood. She stayed with her parents while her husband studied in Lucknow to complete his education, during which time, she received her higher education at the
Allahabad University and passed her B.A.examination in
1929 and completed her masters degree-M.A. in Sanskrit
in 1933.

She and Subhrada also used to send poems to publications


such as weekly magazines, and managed to get some of
their poems published. Both poets also attended poetry
seminars, where they met eminent Hindi poets, and read
out their poems to the audience. This partnership continued till Subhrada graduated from Crosthwaite.

After the death of her husband in 1966, she moved permanently to Allahabad and lived there until her death.

3 Works

Mahadevi was appointed as the rst headmistress of Allahabad (Prayag) Mahila Vidyapeeth, which was started
with a view to imparting cultural and literary education
to girls through Hindi medium. Later, she became the
chancellor of the institute.

Mahadevi is considered to be one of the four major poets


of the Chhayavaadi school of the Hindi literature, others
being Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala', Jaishankar Prasad and
Sumitranandan Pant. She was also a noted painter. She
drew a number of illustrations for her poetic works like
Hindi and Yama. Her other works include short stories
such as Gillu () which talks about her experience
2 Early life
with a squirrel and it is included in the CBSE 9th class
course, and 'Neelkanth' which talks about her experience
In her childhood biography Mere Bachpan Ke Din (My with a peacock,which is also included as a chapter into the
Childhood Days), Mahadevi Varma has written that at a syllabus of Central Board of Secondary Education for the
time when a girl child was considered a burden upon the 7th graders. She has also written Gaura which is based
1

on her real life, in this story she wrote about a beautiful


cow. Mahadevi Varma is also known for her childhood
memoir, Mere Bachpan Ke Din and Gillu (
)", which
was inducted into the syllabus of Indias Central Board of
Secondary Education for the 9th grade.
The following are works of Mahadevi Varmas that employ her pets as characters central to that respective work:

EXTERNAL LINKS

[2] Mahadevi Varma: The woman who began the era of romanticism in Hindi literature.
[3] Jnanpith Laureates Ocial listings. Jnanpith Website.
[4] Padma Awards (PDF). Ministry of Home Aairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
[5] Padma Vibhshan

Neehar (1930)

[6] She is Proud Past Alumni Allahabad University

Rashmi (1932)

[7] " Internet Archive of Proud Past Alumni

Neeraja (1934)

[8] "" Internet Archive of Proud Past Alumni

Sandhyageet (1936)

[9] Fellowships Sahitya Akademi Ocial website.

Deepshikha (1939)
Agnirekha (1990, published after her death)
Compilations from these collections have been published
under various titles. Some of them include: (a) Yama
(Neehar+ Rashmi+Neeraja+Saandhyageet) (b) Sandhini
(c) Neelaambara (d) Aatmika (e) Deepgeet The additional feature in these collections is a new Bhoomikas
or introdictory note written in the inimitable style of Mahadevi. Stories She has written many notable stories
like (a) Ateet ke Chalchitra (b) Smriti ki Rekhyein (c)
Shrinkhala ki Kariyan (d) Gheesa

[10] Padma Vibhshan

6 Further reading
Gupta, Indra Indias 50 Most Illustrious Women
ISBN 81-88086-19-3
Schomer, Karine (1998). Mahadevi Varma and the
Chhayavad Age of Modern Hindi Poetry, New Delhi:
Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-564450-6.

7 External links
4

Awards and honours

Mahadevi Varmas creative talents and sharp intellect


soon earned her a prominent place in the Hindi Literary
world. She is considered among the four pillars of the
Chaayavad movement. In 1934, she received Sekseriya
Puraskar from the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan for her work,
Niraja. Her poetry collection (Yama, 1936) received the Jnanpith Award, one of the highest Indian literary awards.
She also Honored with Proud Past Alumni in the
list of 42 members, from Allahabad University
Alumni Association, NCR, Ghaziabad (Greater
Noida) Chapter 20072008 registered under society act 1860 with registration no. 407/2000.[6][7][8]
The Government of India bestowed her with Padma
Bhushan, Indias third-highest civilian award. She was the
rst woman to be awarded the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, in 1979.[9] In 1988, Indian Government bestowed
her with Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian
award.[10]

References

[1] Mahadevi Verma: Modern Meera

Mahadevi Varma at Kavita Kosh (Hindi)


Mahadevi Verma at Indohistory
Mahadevi Varma at Anubhuti
Some poems of Mahadevi Varma (in Devanagari
script)

Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses

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Text

Mahadevi Varma Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahadevi_Varma?oldid=724113345 Contributors: Ixfd64, Kaysov, Michael Devore, Vivektewary, Utcursch, Mukerjee, D6, Murtasa, VishalB, Velella, Knuckles, Rjwilmsi, Akv, Bhadani, Fred Bradstadt, GnniX,
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