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  `Shivani' (1923 - 2003)

Gaura Pant, well-known in the Hindi literature by her pen name `Shivani', was born on October 17, 1923 at Rajkot, Gujarat. Her father, Sri Ashwinikumar Pande was then the principal of the Rajkumar College in Rajkot.

Gaura spent nine years in Tagore's Santiniketan along with her elder sister and brother. She graduated with a degree from the Viswabharati in 1943. Her memoir, Amader Santiniketan recounts her days in Santiniketan. Rabindranath Tagore visited her ancestral house in Almora several times.

Her first short story was published in 1935 in a Hindi children's magazine when Gaura was just twelve years old. Since the publication of her story in Dharamayug in 1951 she became known as `Shivani'. She was a prolific writer, with more than forty novels, many short stories and essays, memoirs and other articles. Most well-known among her books are: Krishnakali, Mayapuri, Chaudah Phere, Lal Haveli, Smashan Champa, Bharavi, Rati Vilap, Vishkanya, and Apradhin. In 1982, she received the Padmashri award from the Government of India for her contribution to Hindi literature.

The beloved author died on March 21, 2003 in New Delhi. Her daughter, Ira Pande, has written a "biography-novel", titled Diddi: My mother's voice in 2005 (Penguin, India).

More on `Shivani' can be found here.

Published March, 2010

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