A chapter of Lucknow's literary heritage concludes with the demise of Padma Shri Dr. Yogesh Praveen

Writer, poet, storyteller, essayist and orator, Dr Yogesh Praveen breathed his last in Lucknow, on April 12, 2021

On Monday, Lucknow lost one of its most revered author and historian, Dr. Yogesh Praveen. However, this is not a chapter we can turn over so soon or at all, for this renowned author's life was nothing short of a poem in itself that deserves its due attention. He is said to have mastered the skill of eloquently binding Lucknow's unique culture, its quirky language and nawabiyat into words, that tuned a heartstring at every read.

A man of many wonders, Dr. Praveen was a writer, a poet, a storyteller, an essayist and an orator par excellence, who knew how to blend the monotonous social constructs with Avadh's lucid lifestyle, illuminating each phrase with his Midas touch. He breathed his last on April 12, 2021 at the age of 81 years.

Words gain power when retold

"Lucknow Hai Toh Mahez Gumbad-o Minar Nahi,
Sirf Ek Shaher Nahi Kucha-o Bazaar Nahi,
Iske Aanchal Mein Mohabbat Ke Phool Khilte Hai,
Iski Galiyon Mein Farishto Ke Pate Milte Hai" – Yogesh Praveen

It is said that each word has the ability to cast a spell; that is precisely why they are called 'spellings' and Lucknow's Dr. Yogesh Praveen was one such person who had mastered this charm. An iconic legend with an in-depth knowledge of the city's literature and language, his magic gains strength at each reiteration, like that of a glorious epic.

Very popularly known as Lucknow's most ardent and passionate lover, this Padma Shri awardee was a gem who crafted over two dozen books, that mark his rendezvous with the raw beauty of Avadh. His famous books include Dastan-e Avadh, Tajdar-e Avadh, Bahar-e Avadh, Gulistan-e Avadh, Doobta Avadh, Dastan-e Lucknow, Aapka Lucknow, Lucknow Monuments (English), Sahib-e Alam, etc. His poetic creations include Shabnam (Urdu), Peele Gulab (Urdu), Anjuman (Ghazals), Indra Dhanush (Geet) and Sumanhar.

Besides that, his penmanship has lofted some of the famous documentaries and films based on Lucknow, immortalising his work as moving pictures. These include Shatranj Ke Khilari, Junoon, Umrao Jaan and Zahre Ishq. His songs were also voiced by Bollywood playback stars, like Asha Bhosle, Sudha Malhotra, Anoop Jalota, Udit Narayan and Usha Amoukar, among others.

A host of feathers donning his cap

Being the kind of personality that he was, Dr Yogesh Praveen had several honours suffixing his identity. Right from the Bal Krishna Sharma Naveen Award for Mayur Pank in 1973 to the civilian honour of Padma Shri in 2020, he had bagged so many titles and accolades that it's hard to keep a count.

He was even awarded Kala Sanskrit Samman in 1996 and Prasar Bharti Hindi Urdu Adab Award in1997. His other awards include Tulsi Award of U.P. Hindi Sansthan for the book Aprajita (1973), U.P. Sangeet Natak Academy Award (1998), National Teachers Award (1999), U.P. Ratna Award (2000), Kala Bhushan Samman by U.P. Govt., Hindi Sansthan (2002) and Yash Bharati Award (2006).

Dr. Yogesh Praveen will forever continue to live as a legend in the depths of his inked words and as an inspiration for the generations to come.

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