V. V. Shirwadkar
27th February 1912 - 10th March 1999 )
A detailed list of his awards will be very long. However, without a mention of the following awards, one would not appreciate why he is considered such a great poet and writer. His play "Natsamrat" received Sahitya Academy Award in 1974. He received Ram Ganesh Gadkari Award of All India Natya Parishad in 1985. Poona University conferred on him the honourable degree of D.Lit. in 1986. In 1988 he received Sangeet Natya Lekhan Award. Topping the list is the "Dnyanpeeth Award", which he received in 1988. Considering his great contribution to Marathi literature, he was selected for this award. Earlier his senior friend, well-known Marathi Writer - Mr V.S. Khandekar had received this award. He was the first Marathi person to receive it and the second one is Kusumagraj.
What is he as a person?
While this gives a general overview of his literary work, to understand Kusumagraj as a person, one has to look at the other facets of his personality. He is the resource person for many a cultural and social movements in Nashik. E.g. Lokhitwadi Mandal was established by him in 1950. In 1962 he was elected and then continued till 1972 as President of the Sarvajanik Vachanalaya Nasik - one of the oldest and famous libraries of Nashik. The decade of 1962-72 was the Golden Period in the history of Sarvajanik Vachanalaya. He helps anybody who approaches him for guidance - for the social work, personal work, literary project or otherwise. Within no time he finds the potential of a person and guides him/her in that direction. However when it comes to any celebration for him, he prefers to take a back seat. His favourite writer is P.G. Wodehouse and the favourite actor is Charli Chaplin.
His social work
He has a deep sympathy for
the poor, needy people and a special soft corner for the Adiwasis
For the Adiwasis, he has
initiated a movement and has involved many volunteers. They have taken
up the work of adult education, providing medical help, cultural and sports
camps etc. for them.
Awards generated by him
When he received the most prestigeous "Dnyanpeeth Award", he was no doubt happy. But his empathy for his other friend- writers of Marathi literature gave birth to generating a similar kind of an award , which is known as "Janasthan Award"."Janasthan" is the old name of the Nashik City. He felt that there are many good writers in Marathi whose work is rarely appreciated by the State Awards. "Janasthan Award" is meant for such Marathi writers. In 1991, the first Janasthan Award was given to Mr Vijay Tendulkar, in 1993 to Mr V.D. Karandikar and in 1995 the Poetess Ms Indira Sant received this award. 1997 Janasthan Awardee is Professor Gangadhar Gadgil.
His vision is not limited only to literature, but expanses to cover other arts like painting, sculpture, music, dance, social work, science, drama, cinema, sports, adventures etc. There are many Indians who are doing fantastic work in these fields. He thought it fit to felicitate the outstanding work in these fields. So from 1992 the award named "Godavari Gaurav" is initiated .
Nashik city respects him as a "Rishi", because of his knowledge, his simple living ,his deep understanding of humanity and his unparalleled urge to help the society. For Nashikites, he is the living God. His polite demeanour makes everybody comfortable to be with him. In nutshell one can say that "Kusumagraj is Nashik and Nashik is Kusumagraj".
The books he authored are as follows -
Collection of Poems
Jeevanlahari, Jaicha Kunj,
Vishakha, Samidha, Kinara, Meghdoot (translated), Marathi Mati,
Edited collection of poems
Kavyavahini, Sahityasuvarna, Phulrani, Pimpalpan, Chandanvel.
Vaishnav, Janhavi, Kalpanechya Tiravar
Collection of stories
Phulwali, Jadoochi hodi (for
children), Chhote and Mothe, Satariche bol ani iter katha, Kahi
Doorche dive, Dusara Peshwa,
Vaijayanti, Kounteya, Rajmukut, Othello, Aamche nav Baburao,
One act plays
Divani dawa, Devache ghar, Natak basat ahe ani etar ekankika, Prakashi Daare, Sangharsh, Bet
Poems telling his life’s philosophy
looses its Literary Sun
He took in his stride to guide the people on issues like education (he felt the current education-exam system as cruel to the child), freedom of speech (recent confrontation involving Thakare) and other social issues. His residence became a place of Pilgrimage for everybody who matters in this state. The foundation Kusumagraj Pratishthan bearing his name, has contributed in a great way to the education and social work amongs the tribals and less previlages.
At Nashik on the Net, we salute the spirit of Kusumagraj.
here for the last moments of the Kusumagraj
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