translated from the Hindi by Rahul Soni
Shrikant Verma (1931–1986) was a central figure in the Nai Kavita movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Born in Bilaspur, he did his Masters in Hindi from Nagpur University in 1956, and then moved to New Delhi, where he worked in journalism and politics. Verma served as special correspondent for Dinman, a major Hindi periodical, from 1966 to 1977. In 1976, he was elected a member of the Rajya Sabha on a Congress ticket, and served as spokesman of the party through the late 1970s to the early 80s. He published two collections of short fiction, a novel, a travelogue, literary interviews, essays and five collections of poetry. Verma was a visitor at the Iowa International Writing Program twice (1970–1971 and 1978), and won the Tulsi Puraskar (1976), the Kumaran Asan Award, and the Sahitya Akademi Award (posthumously, for Magadh, in 1987).
Rahul Soni is an Editor-at-large at Asymptote, as well as a writer, editor and translator based in India. He founded and, from 2008 to 2012, edited Pratilipi, a literary journal, and Pratilipi Books, an independent publishing imprint. He is chief editor at Writer's Side, a literary agency and manuscript assessment service. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Almost Island, Biblio, Dhauli Review, Hindi, Indian Literature, Out of Print Magazine, Poetry International Web, Pratilipi, Recours au Poème, Tehelka, etc. He is currently working on a translation of Geetanjali Shree's novel Tirohit (HarperCollins, 2013) as well as on Shrikant Verma's Magadh (Almost Island Books, 2013). He was a Charles Wallace Visiting Fellow in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia in 2010, and received the Sangam House Fellowship in 2012.