Mr. Vasdev Mohi

Uttam Sahit Award

Recipient for year 2016

Name: Vasdev Mohi (Vasdev Vensimal Sidhnani)

Education: MA, M Ed

Birth Date: 2nd March 1944

Birth Place: Mirpur Khas (Now in Pakistan)

Address:
A-355 Nayannagar Sahijpur Bogha Ahmedabad-382345
E- mail: vasdevmohi@hotmail.com
+91-79-22818416/9427049946

Occupation: Retd. Lecturer HOD (Eng) the Indian High School Dubai(UAE)

Brief Profile

Vasdev Mohi is an eminent Sindhi poet, critic and short story writer. He has enriched Sindhi poetry with clarity of expression and profundity of thought. Vasdev Mohi was born at Mirpur Khas, Sindh (now in Pakistan) on 2nd March 1944. Having acquired his Masters degree in English literature from Gujarat University, he joined L.I.C. of India but after a short stint he joined the academic profession to teach English initially in Adarsh High School, Ahmedabad and then in Indian High School, Dubai, from where he retired as Head of English department. Vasdev Mohi emerged as an icon of first generation of modern Sindhi poetry, with sharpness of content and perspicuity of elocution, which is a rare combination in poetics of any language.

Mohi has a powerful grip on both traditional prosodic forms and modern sensibility of new poetry (Naee’n Kavita), which is far from pedantry. In new wave poetry his poignant imagery, coupled with a distinct diction and vocabulary has uplifted Mohi to the stature of a pinnacle of modern Sindhi poetry. With his very first collection of poems Tazad (Contradictions-1976) Mohi made a mark in Sindhi literary world on both sides of the border. After that he has walked steadfastly on the thorny path of literature in all the genres of poetry, prose, playwriting and creative criticism. Mohi's poetry simultaneously moves a lay reader as much as this can stir an intellectual reader with its impact and intensity. This leads us to a poet, who has a rare combination of lyricism of thought and lucidity of diction. Mohi has creatively written poems on a rustic character named 'Mankoo'.

Mankoo's characterization depicts the agony and anguish of rustic rural class of the society. This class, though physically has gone to urban cities is still emotionally and mentally living through sufferance of alienation, caused by uprooting from their soil. ‘Mankoo’ has been translated into Gujarati by Jayant Relwani as well as into Hindi by artist Bhanwar Singh Panwar and has been acclaimed in both the languages.

Mohi has successfully tried his hand at short story and collection of his short stories ‘Chequebook’ has been well received by literary fraternity and it has also been translated into English by Dr Vinod Asudani. In stories Mohi has mostly depicted the under privileged with close eye on human emotions and values. He has also written critical essays and papers for many national and international literary seminars. In criticism, his 'Post Independence Handbook of Sindhi Ghazal' is lavishly appreciated in India and across the border in Sindh. Mohi has about 25 books to his credit which include his original work, translated as well as edited books.

Mohi is recipient of Sahitya Akademi Award for collection of ghazals ‘Barf jo Thahyal’ (1999), which is also translated into English by Ram Daryani and Dr Vinod Asudani and is published by Central Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. Besides a variety of other literary Awards, he has also been accorded Lifetime Achievement Awards from National Council for Promotion of Sindhi language (NCPSL) and Sindhi Academy, Delhi.

Mohi was a member of Executive Board of Sahitya Akademi and Convener of Sindhi Advisory Board from 2008 to 2012. During his tenure he did exemplary work and gave impetus to a variety of literary activities, including convening Indo-Pak Sindhi writers' Seminar in New Delhi.. In 2009 he led a delegation of Indian writers to China and had discourses with Chinese writers on literature of both countries. Koonj, the literary digest, has brought out a special issue on life and works of Mohi. Sindhi Sangat, Mumbai in collaboration with NCPSL, New Delhi has produced a documentary on life and works of Mohi. Two audio CDs ‘Mahak jee Dhun’ and 'Ain Poi..' of Mohi’s ghazals composed and sung respectively by renowned singers Pavan Kumar and Ghansham Vaswani are also released.

Publications:

  • Poetry Collections: Tazaad (Contradictions) (1976); Subuh Kithe Aahe? (Where is Morn?) (1983); Mankoo (Poems related to one rustic character) (1992); Barf Jo Thahyal (Made oIce) - 1996; Mankoo (Gujarati) Tr Jayant Relwani (1997); Mankoo (Hindi) Tr Bhanwar Singh Panwar (2001); Chuhinb Mein Kakhu (Straw in the Beak) (2001); Rail Ji Patri Meri (Dust On Rail Tracks) (2009);English translation of Barf jo Thahyal, translated by Ram Daryani & Dr Vinod Asudani(in press)
  • Papers/Reviews/study: Gaalh Shairee-a-jee (Talk of Poetry) (2007); Virhange Khanpoi Sindhi Ghazal jo Handbook (Handbook of Post Partition Sindhi Ghazal) (2008)
  • Story Collection: Chequebook (2012); Daawat (Chequebook stories in Hindi, translated by Bhagwan Atlani, in press); That One Moment (Amazon’s Kindle edition of Chequebook stories in English, translated by Dr Vinod Asudani); Chequebook & other stories in English, translated by Dr Vinod Asudani (in press)

Translations:

Tanizaki's Japanese Novel (1976); Namakkal Ramalingam Pillai - Sahitya Akademi’s Monograph (1996); Antaral - Sahitya Akademi's End Century Meditations (2006); (All from English), Modern Indian Poetry-Hindi (1950-2010) (in press)

Editing:

Vijood Jo Khandahar (Ruins of Existence) Poems (1976) Jadeed Sindhi Shairee a jo Intekhab-1950-2010 (Anthology of Poems-2011) & its translation in Hindi 'Aadhunik Bharatiya Kavita ka Sanchayan-Sindhi', Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi (2012); and also its translation in English (in press); Sindhi Ghazal ji Choonda Tanqeed (Anthology of Critical essays on Sindhi Ghazal) by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi (2014); Collection of Sindhi Nonfiction Literature, by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi (2013); Paschimi Kshetra Kahani Sanchaya (2015); Paschimi Kshetra Kavita Sanchaya (2015); Gandhiji in Literature-Hindi, by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi (in press), Sarhad je Aar Paar (Anthology of Hind & Sindh poetry), by Sindhi Academy, Delhi (in press)

Awards:

Sahitya Akademi Award (1999) - on Barf Jo Thahyal; Kishinchand Bewas Award-Gujarat Sahitya Academy (1995) on Mankoo; Narayan Shyam Award- Best Mumbai (1997) on Barf Jo Thahyal; Sindhi Sahitya Academy, Gujarat State Translation Prize on Antaral (2010); NCPSL'S(HRD Ministry ND) Sahitkar Sanman Lifetime Achievement Award (2010), Priyadarshni Academy Literary Award (2011), Lifetime Achievement Award of Sindhi Academy, Delhi (2011), Gangadhar Mehar National Award for poetry (2012)

Cassette/CD:

  • Ghazals composed and sung by famous singer Pawan Kumar
  • Cassette-Mahak Jee Dhun (2003)
  • Ghazals composed and sung by acknowledged singer
  • Ghanshyam Vaswani CD - 'Ain Poi..' (2004)

Literary Digests On Person and Work:

  • Koonj Special Vasdev Mohi Issue-Oct 2006
  • Baqee Vasdev Mohi-Jan 2007

Documentary on Life and works:

By Sindhi Sangat, Mumbai in collaboration with NCPSL(Ministry of HRD) (2015)

Foreign Visits:

Led Writers' Delegation to China arranged by Sahitya Akadem, New Delhi and had discourses with Chinese Writers on literature of both countries in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai; also visited UAE. Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Kuwait etc. in individual capacity as well as pursuing career

Besides:

  • I have participated actively in National and International Seminars and presented papers on various literary topics viz Inernational Seminar at Karachi Pakistan in December 2004 Topic was Aesthetics of renowned poet Narayan Shyam; International Seminar organized by Sahitya Akademi at New Delhi in March 2008—Topic was Latest Trends in Sindhi Ghazal
  • I have presided over many seminars organized by Sahitya Akademi and other literary organizations/state academies
  • My books 'Gaalh Shairee-a-Jee' (Talk of Poetry) and 'Virhange Khanpoi Sindhi Ghazal Jo Handbook' (Post Independence Handbook of Sindhi Ghazal) are based on extensive research work and are widely acclaimed by critics
  • I worked as Convener of Sindhi Advisory Board, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi for the period 2008-2012. I also worked as an expert for selection of Junior-Senior Fellowships conferred by Union Cultural Ministry for three years (2010-2012).
  • At present I am member of Council for Promotion of Indian Languages (CPIL) under HRD Ministry, New Delhi, representing Sindhi.

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