An acclaimed Hindi poet, essayist, and sketch story writer who had immense contributions to Hindi literature; Mahadevi Verma was born on March 26, 1907, and she died on September 11, 1987. She is considered one of the four major pillars of the 'Chhayawadi' era in Hindi literature. She was regarded as the 'Modern Meera'.
Varma is regarded as one of the founding poets of the Chhayavad, a romantic literary style in contemporary Hindi poetry. She was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 1956, Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 1979, and Padma Vibhushan in 1988.
She was a follower of Buddhism. She wrote about specific political, social reform, and women's issues.
The first works of 'feminist' literature in Hindi date back to Varma's writings and essays. One of her best collections, 'Srinkhalaa Kee Kadiyaan,' is regarded as illuminating the appalling state of Indian women and suggesting answers.
Her moving poetry and later writings frequently dealt with what it was like to be a woman. Her feminist writing has been published in books and periodicals, and her collection of short tales 'Sketches from My Past' depicts the women she met while serving as the principal of an all-girls school, Prayag Mahila Vidyapeeth.
While she firmly advocated for women's rights, Varma also spoke passionately about tradition and the past.
She revolutionized Hindi poetry in Khadi Boli, a feat previously thought to be achievable only in Braj Bhasha. Her unique approach involved incorporating the gentle tones of Sanskrit and Bengali into Hindi.
Her poetry is renowned for its deep emotionalism and intensity of feelings. It vividly portrays the most delicate expressions of the heart, placing 'Varma' among the finest Chhayavadi poets. She is honoured for her compassionate and truthful speeches in Hindi, particularly in her advocacy for the common people.
Through her cultural awareness, she showcased 39 significant pieces of Hindi poetry in her work, establishing connections to the Vedas, Ramayana, Theragatha, and the writings of Ashwaghosh, Kalidas, Bhavabhuti, and Jayadeva.
Beyond her literary achievements, she was proficient in music, infusing her songs with a euphonic style and sharp expressions. She was also a talented painter and a creative translator. Notably, she received all the major awards in Hindi literature during her illustrious career.