Mahadevi Varma was an Indian Hindi-language poet, essayist, sketch story writer and eminent personality of Hindi literature. Let us remember on the occasion of her birthday.
Varma was born on 26 March 1907 in a Hindu Kayastha family of Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. She started writing poems when she was in school. She along with her friend Subhadra Kumari Chauhan (Later a prominent poet) used to go to poet meets and met a lot of poets in the country. Mahadevi Varma was married at the age of nine, according to the customs of that time. But she was to live with her husband only after the completion of her education. But she refused to stay with her husband after her education was over. She preferred to live alone.
She composed three prominent poems Nihar (1930), Rashmi (1932), Neerja (1933). In 1935, her collection of poems called Sandhyageet was published. In 1939, four poetic collections were published with their artworks under the title Yama. Apart from these, she had written 18 novels and short stories in which Mera Parivar (My Family), Smriti ki Rehaye (Lines of Memory), Patha ke Sathi (Path’s Companions), Srinkhala ke Kariye (Series of Links) and Atit ke Chalachrit (Past Movies) are prominent.
She is also considered the pioneer of feminism in India. She did a lot of work for women’s education and economic self-sufficiency. The way she has condemned social stereotypes made her to be known as a woman liberationist. She had also been called a social reformer due to the development work and public service towards women and their education.
She received the Jnanpith Award in 1982 for her poetry collection Yama. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1956 and Padma Vibhushan in 1988. Besides these, in 1979, the famous Indian filmmaker Mrinal Sen produced a Bengali film on her memoir Woh Chini Bhai titled Neel Akasher Neechey. She passed away on 11 September 1987.