Home Books Google doodle celebrates 111th anniversary of Hindi poet Mahadevi Varma

Google doodle celebrates 111th anniversary of Hindi poet Mahadevi Varma

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Google is celebrating eminent Hindi poet Mahadevi Varma’s 111th birth anniversary with a doodle. Painted against a rural backdrop, the doodle features an image of the bespectacled poet in her familiar white attire, penning one of her verses.

A Jnanpith awardee, Varma was born in 1907 near Allahabad, and grew up learning to write in Sanskrit and Hindi, thanks to her encouraging parents. She is best known as a transformative poet, and an advocate for women’s rights in India.

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While pursuing a masters degree in Sanskrit, Varma penned her first verses in secret — only to be discovered by her roommate and friend, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan. “As modern Hindi became more accepted in literary circles, Varma and Subhadra grew together as writers, reading aloud and publishing their work in the language,” the Google doodle says.

Today, Varma is considered one of the foundational poets of the Chhayavad movement in Hindi literature. Varma’s poignant poetry, and later, essays, often centered on the experience of being a woman. “Her feminist work appeared in magazines and books, and her collection of short stories Sketches from My Past, portrays the women she encountered while principal of an all-girls school,” the doodle, created by artist Sonali Zohra, notes.

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