Google Doodle on Friday (27 April 2018) celebrated Mahadevi Varma, a Jnanpith Award-winning Hindi poet, freedom fighter and champion of women’s rights. Born on the day of Holi in Farukhabad in 1907, Mahadevi Varma was an advocate for women’s right and an inspiration to women across the country through her literature and activism. Mahadevi is widely regarded as ‘Meera’ of the modern era. She was the major poet of a literary movement of romanticism in Modern Hindi poetry, Chhayavaad. She was the Vice Chancellor of Prayag Mahila Vidyapeeth which was a women’s residential college in Allahabad.
Mahadevi Varma championed the women’s rights and also explored the topics of tradition with great fondness. Her poignant poetry, and later, essays, often centered on the experience of being a woman. Her feminist work appeared in magazines and books, and her collection of short stories, “Sketches from My Past,” portrays the women she encountered while principal of an all-girls school.
Mahadevi Varma: Know All Facts About The Celebrated Hindi Poet
* She was married off at nine. However, her parents married her off at the age of 9, though she continued to live in Allahabad to complete her education while her husband stayed in Lucknow.
* It was her mother who encouraged her to write in Hindi and Sanskrit, even though both her parents wanted her to study further.
* She penned her first verses in secret, while pursuing a master degree in Sanskrit. However, her roommate and friend, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan (a well-known poet) discovered her talent soon.
* In 1933, Mahadevi became the first headmistress Allahabad Mahila Vidyapeeth and continued later continued to serve as the chancellor of the institute.
* Her story titled ‘Neelkanth’, about her experience with a peacock, her work Gillu made and her poem ‘Madhur Madhur Mere Deepak Jal’ was also inducted into the CBSE curriculum.
* She received the Jnanpith Award on this date in 1982 for her immense contribution to Indian literature. She was also honoured with Padma Bhushan in 1956, Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 1979, and Padma Vibhushan in 1988.
* Her works were published in women’s magazine ‘Chand’, and in many books such as Shrnkhla Ki Kadiyaan, and Ateet Ke Chalchitra.
* In the Google Doodle image drawn by guest artist Sonali Zohra, , Mahadevi Verma is seen seated in a backdrop of a sunset, under a tree in the countryside, busy writing. On the right side of the frame, her writings in the Devnagiri script are shown.
* Varma is revered as one of the foundational poets of the Chhayavad movement in Hindi literature, the Google blog said.
* “Today, Mahadevi Varma is considered one of the foundational poets of the Chhayavad movement in Hindi literature,” the Google Doodle post reads. The great women activist died on September 11, 1987.
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