"The Idea Of Love Lasts Longer In Poetry Than In Reality" says Shri Kunwar Narayan

Achievements, Personalities | by: Kabir Baruah |  Print
C.R. Park is proud to have Shri Kunwar Narayan as their resident. He is a renowned poet and a major presence in Indian literary landscape, often regarded as the leading living poet in Hindi. He has received numerous awards by the Indian Government, but his most recent award was the Padma Bhushan, which he received in 2010 for 'Literature and Education'.

Born in Faizabad not far from Ayodhya, Shri Kunwar Narayan's early years were spent in these two cities. After completing his schooling, he went to Lucknow for higher studies. He joined the Lucknow Christian College and then later the Lucknow University for completing Masters in English literature. Interestingly, he started off with being a science student but always had a love for literature. The group of boys he studied with, many of them were interested in literature – they often talked about literature and books. Reminiscing about that time, he explains that this was because the literary and cultural atmosphere was very rich. Acharya Narendra, the great socialist leader was the Vice Chancellor at that time. Economics and history were also being taught by eminent professors. Although Shri Kunwar Narayan was a student of Professor Siddhant, who later became the Vice Chancellor of Kolkata University, he used to attend lectures of various other professors, to which Professor Siddhant had no problem. In fact, he used to actively encourage it.

Kunwar ji's interest in literature began at a very young age – he had many influential Indian writers, freedom fighters and poets visiting his house when he was young, one of them being Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He used to talk to all these people whenever he got an opportunity; he says that this was an education in itself. The 1940's were very important years according to him, in world history as well as Indian history. He has faint memories of everything that happened then – the various movements and World War II. He feels that all these movements had a massive influence on the writers of that age. His own main influence was Gandhian Socialism.

He came to Delhi 15 years back, and initially stayed in Greater Kailash I. After selling off his house in Lucknow, he started looking for a proper place of his own in Delhi. He liked the ambience here in C.R. Park when he moved here. He found the people of C.R. Park culturally sensitive, and more inclined towards Literature. He feels that C.R. Park is slowly losing its cultural charm, and requests the residents to make sure that this doesn't happen. He likes his neighbours, and feels they respect literature, which he finds very rare.

He has received numerous awards, some recent ones being the Padma Bhushan which he received in 2010 and the Bhartiya Jnanpith Award (the greatest award in Literature). He has travelled all over Europe, and has received awards and accolades there too.

His wife Bharti ji, feels completely at home in CR Park, as she spent a significant part of her life in Kolkata. She studied at the famous Presidency College, and in fact would like to know if there is any old students association of her alma mater here in CR Park. Their son, Apoorv Narayan has translated many of his father's poems from Hindi to English, and has been highly acclaimed for these translations. Commenting on the soft power of poetry, Kunwar Narayanji states that poems are a universal language, and they join people together, unlike politics, which divides people.

On behalf of Samvada team, we wish him a long and happy life, and many more awards in the future.

Please view the Audio/Visual Interview Below!! 


Antariksh Aggarwal: on Tuesday, Jun 26 at 04:03 pm

His wife wanted to get in touch with old students of Presidency College Kolkata residing in CR Park, as she herself studied there and has very fond memories of that college.

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