Ramesh Chandra Shah's is a rare intellect, perfectly at home with the Tradition and at the same time contemporary enough to engage in a dialogue with the outsider. His insight into the twin worlds of the East and the West afford him the unique vantage point of an insider-outsider who can raise crucial questions regarding civilizations and cultures. This is also well reflected in his present novel, Poorvapar, wherein he addresses the eternal dilemma of the Indian mind-the acceptance or rejection of the world. It is a difficult theme explored in a novel way through the schizophrenic characters of Bansi and Bantu, one passionate about life and the other disillusioned from it.
Wading through the inevitable self-doubt, dilemma and self-critique, the novel arrives at the acquiescence of the unbroken flow of life-inherent in the beauty of Karma. As Bantu experiences, the dichotomy after all is not so discordant to him-"I felt there was something of me in Bansi, there was a part of me sitting in penance with him in the wilderness. Our paths were different, yet both necessary."
Born in Almora on May 11, 1937, Ramesh Chandra Shah is an eminent Hindi poet, novelist, critic and thinker. His major works include Gobar Ganesh, Poorvapar, Kissa Ghulam, Aap Kabin Nahin Rehte Vibhuti Babu, Safed Parde Par (novels); Harishchandra Aao, Nadi Bhagti Aayee, Dekhte hain Shabd Bhi Apna Samay, Anagarik (poetry); Chhayavad ki Prasangikta, Vagarth, Bhulne Ke viruddh, Alochana ka Paksha (literary criticism); Ancestral Voices (Four Lectures towards a Philosophy of Imagination). His special concern for children is reflected in his many poetry collections and plays for children.
He has received several awards including the `Shikhar Samman', `Bhartiya Bhasha Parishad Puraskar,"Vyas Samman' and Padma Sri' conferred by the Government of India. He served as Head of the English Department in Government Hamidia College, Bhopal till 1997 and thereafter as Director, Nirala Srijanpeeth-a writer-in-residence programmed of the State Government for three years. His works have been widely translated. Shah is a freelance writer and lives in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh).
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