B. S. Mardhekar

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Bal Seetaram Mardhekar
Born Bal
(1909-12-01)December 1, 1909
Faizpur, India
Died 20 March 1956(1956-03-20) (aged 46)
Delhi, India
Nationality Indian
Citizenship India
Education B.A. English language and literature
Alma mater University of Mumbai
Occupation Poet, critic, dramatist, novelist, short-story writer
Known for Introducing modernism in Marathi
Spouse(s) Homai Nulliseth, Anjana Mardhekar
Awards Sahitya Akademi Award

Bal Sitaram Mardhekar (December 1, 1909 - March 20, 1956) was a Marathi writer who brought about a radical shift of sensibility in Marathi poetry. He was born in a town called Faizpur in the Khandesh region of Maharashtra.

He was educated in Pune and London, and worked at All India Radio until his death. His earlier collection of poems, Shishiragam (शिशिरागम), was a product of Ravi Kiran Mandal poetry: sentimental and lyrical. But his later avant-garde poetry brought about a storm in the Marathi literary world. His poem with the title "पिपात मेले ओल्या उंदिर" (Mice Died in the Wet Barrel) appeared in Abhiruchi (अभिरुची) magazine in 1946.

Similar to what Baudelaire did in French poetry, Mardhekar brought a decadent urban ethos into Marathi poetry. Marathi bhakti (भक्ति) poetry and the poetry of T. S. Eliot and W. H. Auden had an influence on him.

In 1948, he was charged and tried for obscenity for some of his poems in Kahi Kavita. He was declared innocent of these charges in 1952.

Mardhekar was also an influential crictic and an experimental novelist. He attempted to bring in the consciousness technique in Marathi novels.

He received in 1956 Sahitya Akademi Award[1] for his work Saundarya ani Sahitya (A study of aesthetics) (सौंदर्य आणि साहित्य).

Published works[edit]



  • Shishiragam (1939)
  • Kahi Kavita (1947)
  • Aankhin Kahi Kavita (1951)
  • Kiti Tari Divsat


  • Raatricha Divas (1942)
  • Tambdi Maati (1943)
  • Paani (1948)
  • Mardhekaranchya Kadambarya (1962)

Aesthetics and Criticism[edit]

  • Arts and Man (1937)
  • Vangmaiyeen Mahaatmata (1941)
  • Two Lectures on an Aesthetic of Literature (1944)
  • Saundarya ani Sahitya (1955)


  • Karna (1944)
  • Natashreshta (1944)
  • Sangam (1945)
  • Aukshan (1946)
  • Badakanche Gupit (1947)

Short Stories[edit]

  • Natashrestha Appasaheb Rele (1944)


Further reading[edit]

  • Vijaya Rajadhyaksha (विजया राजाध्यक्ष): मर्ढेकरांची कविता. (The book received Sahitya Akademi Award in 1993.)
  • Manohar, Yashwant. Baal Sitaram Mardhekar. New Delhi Sahitya Akademi. 1997
  • M. V. Dhond: "Tarihi Yeto Vas Phulanna", Publisher- Rajhans Prakashan, Pune 1999
  • Deshpande, D.V. Mardhekaranchi Kavita. 1980
  • 'Aksharanchya Shrama Kela' (2000) by Vilas Sarang
  • कारुण्योपनिषद (Karunyopanishad) by Vinay Hardikar
  • Manohar, Yashwant. Keshavsut ani Mardhekar: Ek Taulnik Abhyas. 1982 ( a doctoral thesis)

Special Issues on Mardhekar[edit]

  • Satyakatha May 1956
  • Nabhowani. Year 1, Issue 9, March 1971

Translation of Mardhekar's Poetry[edit]