Agyeya(1911-87) was the pen name of S.H. Vatsyayan, regarded as one of the foremost figures of Hindi literature who was instrumental in pioneering modern trends in the realm of poetry, fiction, criticism, and journalism.
His monumental novel Shekhar: Ek Jeevani, widely regarded as his masterpiece, was drawn from his own experiences in prison and has been published in Penguin Classics as Shekhar: A Life. The book tells the story of an Indian revolutionary Shekhar who finds himself enveloped by his past and wracked by a tumult of emotions on the night before he is to be hanged as a political prisoner.
Agyeya’s Prison Diaries and Other Poems, also represents the pre-independent India. The work was written while he was in prison as a revolutionary in the early 1930s and contains poems highlighting the horrors and tedium of imprisonment.
As riveting as his two works, Agyeya was a charming personality with his varied interests. Here are ten things about the author that you did not know: