A Poet’s Parables has been compiled, edited and translated by Roopa Vajpeyi to celebrate the memory of her husband Kailash Vajpeyi—a poet and a thinker, a charismatic personality with a mesmerising voice and a vast and variegated spectrum of interests, ranging from poetry and literature to music, religion, philosophy, psychology and esoteric disciplines like astrology, Tantra and quantum physics.
These parables throw light on universal human dilemmas, leaping across geographical boundaries, historical contexts and linguistic barriers. They make all humanity one in its suffering, joys and conflicts. We are human and we experience happiness and sorrow, we face similar problems despite our differences. This is the message of these little tales, as also the fact that there is always a solution, sometimes a very simple one, which is happenstance and waiting to be lighted upon. The translations from Hindi into English will make them accessible to a larger readership.
KAILASH VAJPEYI, 1936-2015, a poet and thinker, was a pre-eminent figure of his generation in the world of Hindi letters. He wrote in Hindi and English, poetry as well as prose. He featured as a prominent face on television and a familiar voice on radio from the mid-1960s until his death. Born in Uttar Pradesh, Vajpeyi was educated at Lucknow University and moved to Delhi around 1960. His columns discussing books, arts, ideas, philosophy and religion appeared in leading Hindi and English newspapers, magazines and journals. He received numerous literary and cultural awards, published close to twenty books and made about as many documentary films. He travelled all over the world between 1970 and 2010. His poetry has been translated into several Indian and European languages.
He won a Sahitya Akademi Award (Hindi Poetry) in 2009 for his collection Hawa Mein Hastaakshar.
ROOPA VAJPEYI is an academic, educationist and .activist. Throughout her life until retirement she taught English and American literature in a women’s college at Delhi University. Between 1994 and 2014, she edited a journal and website in Hindi, English and other Indian languages, for the non-profit organisation Consumer VOICE. She and Kailash Vajpeyi were married for 50 years from 1965 until his death in 2015. She has translated and edited many of his poems and writings over the years, into English, Hindi and Spanish. Except for a brief hiatus in the mid-1970s, when the Vajpey is were teaching and doing research in Mexico City and in Texas, USA, they lived together in New Delhi. They have one daughter, Ananya Vajpeyi, who is also a writer and scholar.