Veteran poet and author Kedarnath Singh, one of the doyens of modern poetry in Hindi, passed away on March 19. He was 83 years old. A prominent essayist and critic, he was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in Hindi in 1989 for Akaal Mein Saras (Cranes in Drought) — his poetry collection and the Jnanpith Award in 2013. He was living in New Delhi and had retired as a professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, where he served as the head of the department of Hindi Language in Indian Languages Center.
Additionally, his essays and stories like Mere Samay ke Shabd, Kalpana aur chhayavad, Hindi kavita mein bimb vidhan, Kabristan mein Panchayat and poem collections like Abhi Bilkul Abhi, Zameen pak Rahi Hai, Yahan se Dekho, Baagh, Tolstoy aur cycle, are also celebrated pieces of literature.
He was known for using simple premises and characters to build complex themes and narratives. With a tiger for a central character, his poem Baagh remained one of the most widely read, long pieces of poetry, after it was published in the mid-1980s. Born on July 7 in 1934 in eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Chakia village, he also received the coveted Kumaran Aashan and the Vyas Award.