Harivansh Rai Bachchan Age, Death Cause, Wife, Family, Biography & More
Harivansh Rai Srivastava
• 1968: awarded Sahitya Akademi Award
• 1976: honoured with the Padma Bhushan
• 1991: honored with Saraswati Samman for his four-volume autobiography, Kya Bhooloon Kya Yaad Karoon, Needa Ka Nirman Phir, Basere Se Door and Dashdwar se Sopan Tak
Physical Stats & More
in centimeters- 173 cm
in meters- 1.73 m
in Feet Inches- 5’ 8”
in Kilograms- 65 kg
in Pounds- 143 lbs
Date of Birth
27 November 1909
Babupatti, Raniganj, Pratapgrah, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, British India
Date of Death
18 January 2003
Place of Death
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Chronic respiratory ailments
Age (as on 18 January 2003)
Zodiac sign/Sun sign
Pratapgrah, Uttar Pradesh, India
Kayastha Paathshaala, Uttar Pradesh
Allahabad University, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh
Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Uttar Pradesh
St Catharine's College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England
Ph.D. from St Catharine's College, Cambridge, Cambridge University
Father- Pratap Narayan Shrivastav Mother- Saraswati Devi Brother- Not Known Sister- Not Known
Some Lesser Known Facts About Harivansh Rai Bachchan
Did Harivansh Rai Bachchan smoke?: Not Known
Did Harivansh Rai Bachchan drink alcohol?: Not Known
He was born in a Kayastha family.
He was the eldest son of Pratap Narayan Shrivastav and Saraswati Devi.
His parents used to call him “Bachchan” (meaning kid) at home.
He followed his family tradition of attending Kayastha Paathshaalas.
After receiving his formal schooling from a municipal school, he studied at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Allahabad University.
While studying at the BHU, he got influenced by India’s Independence Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi and took part in that.
At the Allahabad University, he taught in the English Department for two years (from 1941 to 1952).
After his teaching stint at the Allahabad University, he moved to St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, Cambridge University to pursue his Ph.D. It was there that he used “Bachchan” for the first time as his last name in place of Srivastava.
Harivansh Rai Bachchan is the 2nd Indian to get his Doctorate from Cambridge.
He had also served at All India Radio (AIR) in Allahabad.
In 1926, he married his first wife, Shyama, at the age of 19. At that time Shyama was only 14 years old. However, only 10 years after their marriage, Shyama died after a long spell of TB in the year 1936.
In 1955, External Affairs Ministry appointed him an officer on Special duty in Delhi. He served there for 10 years.
He was an ardent advocate of Hindi language and had been associated with the evolution of Hindi as the official language.
He had translated Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Othello in the Hindi language.
In 1966, he was nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
He was a good friend of the renowned Indian poets Sumitranandan Pant and Ramdhari Singh Dinkar.
Among his literary works, he is famous for his poem Madhushala (a ballad on alcoholic drinks).
He had penned the most famous Holi Song- “Rang Barse,” which was also used in the Hindi Film- “Silsila” featuring his son- Amitabh Bachchan.
His couplets titled “Agnipath” were used in the film- “Agnipath (1990)” again starring Amitabh Bachchan.
His couplets “Koshish Karne Waalon Ki Kabhi..” were used in the film- Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara.
The musical version of “Madhushala” was sung by Manna Dey.
On 18 January 2003, he breathed his last and on 19 January 2003, his mortal remains were consigned to flames amid chanting of ritualistic hymns at the Ruia Park crematorium in suburban Juhu in Mumbai. His elder son Amitabh Bachchan lit the funeral pyre. Among those who attended the funeral included politician Amar Singh, former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, film personalities Yash Chopra, Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Anupam Kher, Anil Kapoor and industrialist Anil Ambani.
He often used to introduce himself as-
Mitti ka tan, masti ka man, kshan-bhar jivan– mera parichay
(मिट्टी का तन, मस्ती का मन, क्षण भर जीवन, मेरा परिचय)
(A body of clay, a mind full of play, a second of life – that’s me)