Leading voice of the Gandhian poetry society, veteran poet and professor Niranjan Bhagat breathed his last due to brain stroke on the night of February 1, 2018.
Born in a Gujarati family, Niranjan Bhagat has deeply influenced Gujarati Literature over his vast career spanning over 7 decades. Bhagat used lyricism and poetic melody to bring forth imagery and transcend places through his words. Inspired greatly by the works of Tagore, he also wrote 100 poems in English in the style of Gitanjali.
In addition to poetry and creative writing, criticism and editing, Niranjan Bhagat was a significant name when it came to translation. From translating Tagore to The Book of Job from the Bible, his translations have travelled all over the world. As a person who wanted to include as many people as he could to the literary culture, he regularly gave talks and introduced world poetry at the Gujarati Sahitya Parisha’s Govardhan Bhavan. He was one of the people who was keen to create a literary audience and encouraged recitations and discussions as often as he could. His publication Rajendra-Niranjan Yug gave a rise to the readership of poetry in the state.
Awarded the Sahitya Akademy Award in 1999, Niranjan Bhagat is an irreplacable loss to the world of Gujarati Literature and to the hearts of everyone who has ever read him.
It is befitting to end this note with the famous poem by him, ‘Hu to bas farva aavyo chhu..’,
હું તો બસ ફરવા આવ્યો છું!
હું ક્યાં એકે કામ તમારું કરવા આવ્યો છું?
અહીં પથ પર શી મધુર હવા
ને ચહેરા ચમકે નવા નવા !
-રે ચહું ન પાછો ઘેર જવા !
હું ડગ સાત સુખે ભરવા અહીં સ્વપ્નમહીં સરવા આવ્યો છું!
જાદુ એવો જાય જડી
કે ચાહી શકું બેચાર ઘડી
ને ગાઈ શકું બેચાર કડી
તો ગીત પ્રેમનું આ પૃથ્વીના કર્ણપટે ધરવા આવ્યો છું!
હું તો બસ ફરવા આવ્યો છું
– નિરંજન ભગત
To roam have I come
Not to do anything for you
Have I come
How sweet the wind on this path
How glowing the faces I see!
Return, I shall not
I shall slide into my dream
Taking seven happy steps on a trot
Wish I could find the magic
Or love, for a moment or two
Or sing with joy, a verse or two
To bequeath a song of love
For the earth’s ears
Have I come
To roam have I come
— A translation of “hun to bas farvaa aavyo chhu” by Salil Tripathi (source : scroll.in )
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