MUMBAI—Amitabh Bachchan released a coffee table book titled “Geeton Ke Darvesh: Gopal Das Neeraj” at his Juhu residence, “Janak,” in Mumbai recently. The book has been published by Help U Educational and Charitable Trust of Lucknow, U.P. to commemorate the contribution of Mahakavi Padma Bhushan Dr. Gopal Das Neeraj to Hindi literature as well as for penning a large number of songs for Hindi films.
The coffee table book has been dedicated to the doyen of Hindi Chhayawad poetry, late Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan. Dr. Gopal Das Neeraj, the iconic poet, has enthusiastically heralded the tradition of ‘Kavi Sammelan’ that was initiated by Dr. Bachchan.
Founder trustee of the Trust, Harsh Vardhan Agarwal, said that taking note of the popularity of Neeraj (as he is known) and his creative skills, he was invited to Mumbai by great filmmakers and music directors of the film industry. During his sojourn here for over five years, Neeraj came in close contact with Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor and Manoj Kumar besides famous music directors like S.D. Burman, Roshan, Shankar Jaikishan, Jaidev, Hemant Kumar and others. “Neeraj-ji has been awarded even for writing songs. His films include “Chanda Aur Bijli,” “Pehchan,” “Mera Naam Joker,” “Prem Pujari,” “Gambler,” “Sharmeelee” and more. The poet, who who was very close to the late Dev Anand, last wrote a song in his “Chargesheet” (2012).
Agarwal disclosed that the nonagenarian poet Dr. Gopal Das Neeraj, in a ‘phone conversation with Bachchan, thanked him for releasing the book on his poetic journey of about 78 years. Agarwal and his wife Dr. Rupal Agrawal have edited the book.
Dr. Agarwal said that the poet himself has mentioned that he was inspired to compose Hindi poetry after reading the poetic work “Nisha Nimantran” by Dr. Bachchan. Elaborating on the activities of the trust, Dr. Agrawal also said that the trust is actively involved in educational, cultural and other social welfare activities in rural as well as urban areas.
The book is available on Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Kraftly, Purchasekaro, and Pustakmandi.