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|Author||Harivansh Rai Bachchan|
|Publisher||Hind Pocket Books|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
Madhushala (Hindi: मधुशाला) (The Tavern/The House of Wine), is a book of 135 "quatrains": verses of four lines (Ruba'i) by Hindi poet and writer Harivansh Rai Bachchan (1907–2003). The highly metaphorical work is still celebrated for its deeply Sufi incantations and philosophical undertones and is an important work in the Chhayavaad (i.e. Impressionism) literary movement of early 20th century Hindi literature.
All the rubaaiaa (the plural for rubaai) end in the word madhushala. The poet tries to explain the complexity of life with his four instruments, which appear in almost every verse: madhu, madira or haala (wine), saaki (server), pyaala (cup or glass) and of course madhushala, madiralaya (pub/bar).
First published in 1935, the work got Harivanshrai Bachchan instant fame, especially when his own recitation of the poems became a craze at Poetry symposiums. When first published, it met criticism from many people for its apparent praise of alcohol. As noted in Bachchan's autobiography, after listening to the poems Mahatma Gandhi stated that these criticisms were unwarranted.
Madhushala was part of his trilogy inspired by Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat, which he had earlier translated into Hindi. The other titles in the trilogy were Madhubala (मधुबाला) (1936) and Madhukalash (मधुकलश) (1937).
Madhushala in Media
Over the years, the text has been choreographed and performed by celebrated dancers, a recording of selected Rubaai from Madhushala was released by HMV, where twenty stanzas were chosen and sung by Manna Dey, while the first one was sung by Bachchan himself. The music was composed by Jaidev. His son, actor Amitabh Bachchan, has read the verses on several occasions, most notably at Lincoln Center, New York City. Writing Madhushala with needle by Piyush Goel.
- Madhushala by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, in Hindi, Hind Pocket Books, 1999. ISBN 81-216-0125-8.
- Madhushala by Harivansh Rai Bachchan. Penguin Books, 1990. ISBN 0-14-012009-2.
- Madhushala by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, in German, Draupadi-Verlag, Heidelberg (Germany), 2009. ISBN 978-3-937603-40-7.
- Madhushala (The Tavern) www.cs.rice.edu.
- Harivanshrai Bachchan, 1907-2003 Obituary, Frontline, (The Hindu), February 01–14, 2003.
- Madhushala indianetzone.com.
- Madhushala Audio