An audiobook on the life and work of Nagarjun.

This is both a testimony and an ode to a life worth remembering. Nagarjun, born Vaidya Nath Mishra in 1911, was a traveller, a free thinker, and a poet who wove the reality of life under British rule in India seamlessly into his verse. In Mai Virat Hoon: A Tribute to Nagarjun, an audiobook by photojournalist Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury, the listener is introduced to both his work and life.

The script is in simple straightforward Hindi, and the narrative read out by Chitra Mohan is both compelling as well as soothing. Mohan maintains a fine balance and steers clear of both unnecessary inflections as well as a dry, flat reading. Tied in with the factual information of his birth in Tarauni, a small village in Darbhanga district of Bihar, and his boyhood is an analysis of his work, and the situations, ideas and subjects that influence his poetry.

Chowdhury intersperses each segment of narration of a major change or event in the poet’s life with a recitation of carefully picked poems. His powerful and emotive voice brings Nagarjun’s poems to life. Whether it is ‘Badal Ko Ghirte Dekha Hai’, perhaps the poet’s best known and loved work, or the Bengali ‘Bhalobasar Adan Pradan’, Chowdhury captures the essence of the words.

Mai Virat Hoon, conceptualised and created by Chowdhury, is a dedication to a life lived with freedom, empathy, creativity and fearlessness.

Listen to the the audiobook here.