Tripathi, Suryakant (c.1899–1961) By Makkar, Jap-Nanak
Suryakant Tripathi, better known as ‘Nirala’, was a poet, novelist, essayist, translator, and participant in the Chhayavad movement of the 1920s and 1930s. He is remembered for innovations in khari boli, evident in poems such as राम की शक्ति पूजा (‘Ram Ki Shakti Puja’) and his socially conscious commentary, exemplified by poems such as जागो फिर एक बार (‘Jago Phir Ek Bar’). Born Suraj Kumar Tevari in Mahishadal, West Bengal, he would later change his name to Suryakant Tripathi and write under the pseudonym ‘Nirala’, meaning ‘strange one’. In his childhood, Nirala learned Bengali, which would later open him to the influence of Rabindranath Tagore, while speaking a variant of Hindi at home.