Gitanjali Ghei was born in Meerut, near Delhi, on June 12, 1961 and spent most of her life in Mumbai, where she received education at the Fort Convent. She was a vivacious girl, with immense sympathy and deep feelings for others. She was also known for her mature thoughts, which earned her the nickname of Chintu Grandma (Little grandma). At the age of 14, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, a fact that everybody tried to conceal from her and her mother. Gitanjali fought with cancer for about two years, an extremely painful battle that devastated her body, and succumbed on August 11, 1977. After her death, several poems and notes written by her were discovered hidden in all kinds of improbable places. She had expressed her innermost thoughts in these writings, but had concealed them, in order to spare her loved ones of further sorrow and grief.
As a critique once said: " I doubt if there is any second to Gitanjali in the history of poetry, because who else has written so many memorable poems between the age of twelve and fifteen?" He also states that analyzing Gitanjali's work would be akin "to dissect the chants of St John of the Cross, the elegies of Rilke, and the later poems of Tagore."
I present here, a collection of a few poems by Gitanjali, all taken from the book "The Gitanjali Album" published by Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, Anand, India in 1992, and out of print ever since. I have also included some of her notes and musings, under the heading "Thus spake Gitanjali". I have found enormous satisfaction in reading these poems again and again, and believe that Gitanjali's message to humanity is worthy of sharing. One day, when I have more time, I would like to put up on net, the complete works of this remarkable poetess, and a much better account of her life. In the meantime, I would be grateful to any body who can give me further information/ personal reminiscence about Gitanjali's life (apart from all that is presented in the book).
NOTE: The .htm files were generated using a powerpoint presentation of a talk that I gave on Gitanjali's life and work. They are large in size and might take some time to download. If you have a slow internet connection, it might be easier for you to view the poems here.
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