Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’ (1899-1961) was part of a literary movement in Hindi called ‘Chhayavad’ which has been translated as both Romanticism and Mysticism. He was born and brought up in today’s West Bengal and has exposure to literary personalities and tendencies of Bangla. He was influenced by the religiosity of Vivekanand and Ramkrishna Paramahamsa whose writing and uttering has been translated by him in Hindi. He has learnt from practical Vedanta of Vivekanand to look poor, downtrodden and outcastes with a sense of respect. He was a poet who has experimented with poetry in each of his collections and has exhausted almost whole range of language in poetry starting from Sanskritised language to it’s colloquial form even to the extent of making it non-poetry. One of his classical poems ‘Ram ki Shakti-poojaa’ has followed Ramkatha of Krittivas Ramayan in which Ram is more humane and worried about his wife Sita. Another one, ‘Saroj-smriti’ in spite of being an elegy has humorous prose pieces describing the sorrow of girl’s father in searching suitable match for her. Some of his poetry is made of meaningless words.
Though he lived during pre and post independence period, Independence movement finds resonance in his writing in a suggestive way. His prose writings include a semiautobiographical depiction of a homo sexual and outcast character ‘Kulli Bhat’ who turns into local level leader of Congress campaign. He wrote a story titled ‘Devi’ (can be translated as deity) about a dumb beggar woman living on foot path. He was a writer who did not write anything in simple style and thus almost all of his pieces need some clarification and explanation, some of which will be attempted during presentation. His poetry communicates not only by the word meaning but he also tried to utilize sound of words to communicate, which may be clear by rendering of his poetic pieces.
This presentation is part of a larger project defending literary personalities of modern Hindi literature in the face of their portrayal as revivalists.