Harivansh Rai Bachchan is the father of Bollywood matinee idol
. He is also a noted Hindi poet and best known for his work of Madhushala. Even today, Mr. Bachchan recites his father’s poem on stage and takes inspiration from his literary works.
Harivansh Rai Bachchan married social activist Teji Bachchan. Harivansh Rai Bachchan had British citizenship from 1907-1948 and later won Indian citizenship after India got freedom. He was the first son of the couple Pratap Narayan Shrivastav and Saraswati Devi.
His birth took place in Allahabad on 27 November 1907. He has translated Shakespeare's Macbeth and Othello in Hindi and also the Bhagavad Gita. In November 1984, he wrote a piece of poetry ‘Ek November 1984’ on Indira Gandhi’s murder.
Harivansh Rai Bachchan also translated Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat, Mr Bachchan studied at Allahabad University and Banaras Hindu University. Later, he came under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi for the Independence movement but gave it up thinking it was not his cup of tea.
He taught English at Allahabad University and later went to St Catharine’s College at Cambridge and spent two years doing his doctoral thesis on Irish Poet W.B.Yeats. It was here at Cambridge that he changed his name from Srivastava to Bachchan.
His thesis got him Ph.D. Degree at Cambridge. After returning to India from Cambridge, he pursued his profession in teaching and worked even in AIR, Mumbai. In 1955, Harivansh relocated to Delhi to join the External Affairs Ministry as an official on Special duty and served there for ten years.
He was one who worked for making Hindi as an official language. He became Rajya Sabha Member in 1966 and received Sahitya Akademi award. In 1976, Government of India honored him with Padma Bhushan for his colossal contribution to Hindi literature.
He was awarded the Soviet Land Nehru Award and the Lotus Award at the Afro-Asian writers' conference, for his remarkable contribution to the world of letters. Although he is no more, his son Amitabh still gets inspiration from his father.
Actor Amitabh Bachchan has devoted a single room with his father’s different photograph kept on the walls. It is said Harivansh Rai Bachchan had never been doubtful about his son Amitabh, but when the actor's name was linked with Bofors deal, he wanted to check the real fact from his son.
His son promised his father that somehow he would manage to come out non-guilty. Again, when Mr Bachchan had lost all the money that he invested for Miss World in Bangalore, he turned to his father for advice.
Due to Miss World contest held in Bangalore, it broke violence in many parts of the garden city, and even a section of BJP then threatened to disrupt the event, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan was hurt, and he told media that he was born to become controversial.
It is even heard that Harivansh Rai Bachchan would not allow Amitabh and his girlfriend Jaya Bhaduri to for a trip to London together. His father asked his son to get married to Jaya and then take her anywhere he pleased.
It was after his father’s advice, he proposed Jaya Bhaduri and got married instantly. Harivansh Raqi Bahchan’s musical version of Madhushala was sung by Manna Dey.
Some of his couplets ware used for Amitabh’s dialogue in ‘
’ (1990) and later on the same couplets were used in the remake of Agneepath (2012). Remember the iconic dialogue of Amitabh Bachchan 'Kar Shahpath, Kar Shapath, Kar Shapath, Agneepath, Agneepath, Agneepath? It was a dialect of Harivansh Rai Bachchan. His poem was first allowed for a song in the Movie 'Alaap'.
The song 'Koi Gata Main So Jata' was sung by Yesudas and music was penned by Jaideve. The song was featured upon Mr. Amitabh Bachchan and
who had a cameo in the movie. Alaap was directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee.
It was perhaps Jaidev’s best composition after ‘
.’ Even the famous Holi song 'Rang Barse' sung by his son Amitabh in the film 'Silsila' still has a huge fan base. This song was penned by Harivansh Rai Bachchan Harivansh Rai Bachchan married his first wife, Shyama when he was 19.
However, she died ten years later in 1936 for TB. Bachchan again married Teji Bachchan in 1941. He had two sons; one is Amitabh Bachchan and Ajitabh Bachchan. He passed away on 18 January 2008 in Mumbai. He was 95. After six years, even his wife Teji Bachchan passed away. It is uncommon to see such a noble family in Bollywood, where actor Amitabh remains devoted to his parents.