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A celebrated work in Indian poetry, Madhushala (Hindi) is a collection of surreal poems by the famous Harivansh Rai Bachchan. Summary Of The Book Influenced by the distinguished Urdu poet Omar Khayyam and his Rubaiyat, Harivansh Rai Bachchan penned this impeccable work in the year 1935. Here, he puts together an assortment of 135 subdued verses, all relating to madhushala or the tavern. Written during the times when the Impressionist Literary Movement was in full swing in India, Madhushala (Hindi) exudes the refreshing change that came with the romantic upsurge of the early 20th century literature. The metaphoric verses carry strong philosophical undertones and showcase the magical Sufi spell. The poet relates to the ups and downs of life using implied comparisons to the tavern, the wine, the server and the glass. The imagery and the hidden meaning of the work brought both national and international recognition to Bachchan. Its astounding fame even earned the poet an audience out of Mahatma Gandhi, who greatly appreciated the work. Gradually, Bachchan’s personal recitations of Madhushala (Hindi) became a rising trend in elite social gatherings and poetic conventions. Despite the criticism it attracted for the apparent references to alcohol, it has remained a work of great taste. It has been performed on stage by famous dancers world over, and the audio company HMV has produced selected verses in the voice of the famous singer Manna Dey. About Harivansh Rai Bachchan Harivansh Rai Bachchan was a famous Indian poet. Sopaan, Basere Se Door, Nisha Nimantran, Madhubala and Madhukalash are a few of his other works. Born in 1907 near Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, Bachchan attended Allahabad University and Banaras Hindu University. He started his career as an English teacher in 1941, and later went to Cambridge University in 1952 for his doctoral studies on the works of W. B. Yeats. Upon returning, he worked at All India Radio for a while, before he joined the External Affairs Ministry. It was during this time that he translated many of Shakespeare’s works to Hindi, including Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet and King Lear. Rewarding his exceptional contribution to Indian Literature, the Government of India honored him with a Sahitya Akademi Award, a nomination to the Rajya Sabha and the Padma Bhushan Award. He was married to Teji Bachchan with whom he had two sons, including the famous actor Amitabh Bachchan. He was living in Bombay when he died in 2003, at the age of 95.
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