Renowned Marathi poet, Narayan Surve, who grew up on Mumbai’s streets and went on to win the Padma Shri, passed away at a hospital in Thane on Monday morning.
The 84-year-old was admitted to Thane Health Care Hospital on July 28 after he had a fall. He leaves behind his wife, two daughters and a son.
His first book Aisa Ga Mee Brahma, a collection of poems, was published in 1962. Surve, who never went to college, wrote about the lessons life on Mumbai’s streets had taught him in Majhe Vidyapeeth (My University) in 1966. Several local leaders, including Thane Mayor Ashok Vaity, and Members of Legislative Assembly from all parties had visited Surve in hospital.
“His poems provided an impetus to the mill workers’ struggle. He was going to guide us for the upcoming Sahitya Sammelan,” said Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde. “Now, we will be deprived of his guidance. He should have been awarded the Dnyanpith Puraskar. We will surely try for it because he was a poet of Vin Da Karandikar’s calibre.”
Poets Ashok Naigaonkar, Praveen Davane, Arun Mhatre, Ashok Bagwe and Prashant More paid their last respects. “Despite coming from a humble background, he went on to achieve national fame,” Naigaonkar. “With his demise, the common man has lost his voice. He was a great source of inspiration.”