Posted: October 2, 2011 in Icons, The NamoLeague Times
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The name, Zaverchand Meghani, has a ring of familiarity attached to it, for anyone with a cursory interest in Gujarati Literature. An automatic humming of ‘Ho Raj Mane Lagyo Kasumbi No Rang…’ is bound to start with the mention of this name! Meghani, described by Mahatma Gandhi as a (Raashtriya Shayar) National Poet, continues to dominate the fancy of his readers, generation after generation.

Zaverchand Meghani was born on 28th August, 1896 in Chotila, in a Jain-Vanik family. His parents Father Kalidas and Mother Dholibai were actually from Bagasra, but had to move from village to village, due to the profession of his father, who was in Police and had various postings in different areas. Due to this, Meghani studied at various places and graduated in 1916 with English and Sanskrit from Shamaldas College in Bhavnagar. Meghani was married to Damyantiben in 1922 at Jetpur.

A novelist, a short story writer, a collector and editor of folk-literature, Meghani came to literature through journalism. He started his career with Jivanlal Ltd., an aluminum company in 1917 at Kolkata. He continued for 3 years. Meanwhile, he also visited England. Being exposed to Gujarati and Bengali literature, Meghani started writing in ‘Saurashtra’ a paper published in Ranpur. His journey with the pen never stopped and he authored more than a hundred books.

Meghani has penned 6 poetry collections, 13 novels, 6 short novels, 12 biographies, 4 play collections, 7 folk-song collections and a dozen books, based on critique of folk literature, besides 14 miscellaneous books.

• 1922 – Meghani’s first book was a translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s ballad Kathaa-u-Kaahinee titled ‘Kurbani Ni Katha’
• Further, he moved from one village to another, collecting folklores that he compiled into a book titled ‘Saurashtra Ni Rasdhar’
• 1926 – He made his foray into poetry with his book of children poems ‘Veni Na Phool’
• 1928 – Awarded with the ‘Ranjitram Suvarnachandrak’ for his extensive work on ‘Loksahitya’
• 1930 – Meghani was sentenced for 2 years in jail for writing the book ‘Sindhudo’ which contained war songs to inspire the youth of India
• 1931 – Wrote the poem ‘Chhelo Katoro’ based on Gandhiji’s visit to London for the round table conference
• 1933 – He lost his wife in Botad and in 1934 he moved to Mumbai to marry Chitradevi
• 1934 – Started writing the column ‘Kalam ane Kitab’ for Janmabhoomi. Meanwhile, he also started writing independent novels that established him as a great critic
• 1936-45 – Editor of Phulchhab newspaper
• 1942 – His book ‘Marela na Ruthir’ was published
• 1946 – His book ‘Mansai Na Deeva’ was awarded the ‘Maheeda award’
• 1946 – Meghani was elected to head the Gujarati Sahitya Parishad’s Sahitya Section
• 9th March, 1947 – He expired due to a massive heart attack at the young age of 50, at his residence in Botad

Zaverchand Meghani’s work justifies his vision and imagination, his ability to portray vividly and above all the storm and stress the people suffered from. He was a social reformer who discarded all conventions, and his novels are conclusive proof of this. All this he did for the freedom of the nation. He saw, he sang and he conquered. Today, Meghani lives in the memory of all those who knew him and who continue to read him as a national poet, unrivalled and unmatched.

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  1. peter says:

    Can someone explain meaning of song ” ho raj mane lagyo kasumbi no rang”?

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