GAURA PANT 'SHIVANI' (1923-2003) was among the foremost Hindi writers of her time. Born in Rajkot, her childhood was spent in various places as her father moved from one princely state to another. As a young child, she was tutored by her scholar grandfather, Pandit Hariram Pande, a close associate of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya and one of the founding faculty members of Banaras Hindu University. At the age of twelve, she was sent, along with her two siblings, to Shantiniketan, where she spent nine magical years. Throughout her life, Shivani lived by the teachings of her gurus at the Ashram and looked upon Bengal as her second home. Her literary output that spans some forty works bears the deep imprint of both Kumaon and Bengal. Best known for her short stories, novels and newspaper columns, Shivani also wrote several travelogues and a three-part autobiography. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 1982.
Pande, Ira (Translator)
IRA PANDE started her career as a lecturer in Panjab University, later switching to editing and publishing, and later worked with several prominent English-language publishing houses. Her last editorial stint was as chief editor of the India International Centre's (IIC) Publication Division. In 2005, she wrote a memoir of her mother titled Diddi: My Mother's Voice, documenting the life and times of Shivani. In 2010, she got the Sahitya Akademi Award for her translation of Manohar Shyam Joshi's T'ta Professor, which also won the Crossword Book Award for translation. She writes a regular column for the Tribune.
-Padma Shri and late Hindi author Shivani's memoirs of studying at the experimental school set up by Rabindranath Tagore.
-A rare view and stories of life inside the Ashram, of how the students' intimate relationships and interactions with Tagore and other towering personalities shaped them.
-Includes tributes to other iconic personalities who called Shantiniketan their home, such as Satyajit Ray and Pandit Hajari Prasad Dwivedi.
-Written with such warmth and filled with laughter, this book can be enjoyed by both adults and children.
-Translated into English for the first time by Ira Pande, the author's daughter and Sahitya Akademi winner for her translation of Manohar Shyam Joshi's T'ta Professor
This charming memoir is a loving homage to a grand institution and its legendary gurus. Written from the perspective of a child and young girl, it retains the freshness and innocence of an age when experimental education was not merely a trendy movement. Shivani's vivid pictures of the Ashram and portraits of her teachers and fellow students remain as alive as they seemed when she first wrote this memoir nearly fifty years ago. Along with the moving tributes she wrote when some of her beloved contemporaries passed away, this slim memoir is a sort of diptych that captures the spirit of the Ashram and the liveliness of its inmates, many of whom went on to become iconic Indians. Shivani's recall of her time there takes the reader into an enchanted garden that remains as inspirational to her as it was when she went there all the way from Kumaon a lifetime ago.
|Amader Shantiniketan (Delightful memories of Tagore's school from one of India's foremost Hindi writers)
|May 24, 2021