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Jai Shankar Prasad Biography

The eminent Hindi writer Jaishankar Prasad was born on 30th January, 1889 in an aristocratic family of Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh. This celebrated writer of modern Hindi literature was a novelist, dramatist, poet and a story-writer. Prasad belonged to the Chhayavaadi school of Hindi poetry. He lost his father Babu Devki Prasad, a tobacco dealer at a very early age.

From the early days of his childhood he was interested in language, literature, history and had a special bent towards the Vedas, which is reflected, in his works.

Jaishankar Prasad’s initial poems like the Chitraadhar collection were written in the Braj dialect of Hindi, but his later works are in the Khadi dialect. He was influenced by Sanskrit dramas in his early days and Bengali and Persian dramas in his later years of his literary career. Along with Sumitranandan Pant, Mahadevi Verma and Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’ he was one of the four legendary figures of Chhayavad in Hindi Literature. His style of poetry was emotive and poignant. Some of his poetical works are Kamayani(1935), Kanan, Kusum, Prem Pathik, Jharna, Aansoo, Lehar, and Maharana ka Mahattva. He was an expert in blending philosophy with art.

Jaishankar Prasad’s most celebrated work Kamayani is an allegorical epic poem in which he dramatizes the tradition, culture and philosophy of India. The poem deals with diverse subjects but the central being the development of human culture. He has used various metaphors to portray this theme Manu represents human psyche, Shradha represents love and Ida represents rationality. His dramas mostly deal with historical characters of Ancient India namely Skandagupta, Chandragupta, Samudragupta, Ajaatshatru. His other popular dramas include Parinaya, Karunalaya, Taskiyya, Rajyashri, Kamana, Praayashchit, Kamana and Dhruvaswamini.

Jaishankar Prasad also wrote short stories, which dealt with historical, mythological, contemporary and social topics. Some of his famous short stories are Mamta, Bandi, Akashdeep(Katha Sangrah), Puraskar, and Chhota Jaadugar. Titali and Kankaal are few of his novels. This outstanding chayavadi lyricist and nature poet passed away on 14th January, 1937.