Read on to know more about Dr. K. P. Saxena, one of the greatest writer-poets that Lucknow has ever seen!
Dr. Kalika Prasad Saxena was a satirist par excellence, a lecturer of Botany, a prolific writer, a renowned columnist, a poet and a dialogue writer of Hindi films, all rolled into one. Born in 1932, K. P. Saxena was a true-blue Lucknowite, which is evident from his literary writings that have a unique Lakhnavi style of humour and satire. For his immense contribution to Hindi literature, he was also awarded the Padma Shri, by the then government of India in 2000.
KP & his early career choices
Having started his career as a lecturer of Botany in Lucknow's Christian College, he was a botanist who wrote textbooks as well, on related subjects. Saxena, famous among his friends as K.P., later joined the Indian Railways where he retired as a station master. This literary legend found his calling in writing eventually and wrote multiple books and even scripts for television and films.
K.P. & his words dipped in the aroma of Awadh
K.P. had an incredible way with words and over 17,000 literary pieces written in a span of 50 years, are proof of his virtuosity. K. P. launched and established 'Lakhnavi' lingo in the world of Hindi literature. Each of his works is a treasure trove of Lucknow's famous 'Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb' and witty words, soaked in the aroma of Awadh, making it relatable for everyone from the City of Nawabs.
K.P. & his Bollywood connection
It was in 2001, when renowned film director Ashutosh Gowarikar and Actor Aamir Khan, rediscovered this gem from Lucknow. While visualising the Awadhi speaking characters of 'Lagaan', the filmmaker found no one better than K. P. Saxena to write the dialogues of this period film. Though he was famous for satire writing, his versatility can be observed from the various accolades that he'd bagged for writing dialogues for films like Lagaan, Swades, Hulchul and Jodhaa Akbar.
K.P. & his famous works
Prasar Bharati Archives
The generation of the '70s and '80s, remembers K.P. to this day, as the extraordinary writer that he was. 'Paraag', a popular magazine for children, had a special story series- 'Bahattar Saal Ka Bachha', written by KP and his character 'Mia Tarbooji', is still a favourite among GenX.
From penning stories and columns in the 'Dharmyug' (a magazine famous in the '80s) to writing scripts for one of the longest-running soaps on Doordarshan, 'Bibi Nation Wali', Saxena has done it all. Another one of his famous works is a collection of satires, named 'Koi Patthar Se Na Mare', which is applauded for its peculiar style of sarcasm.
K.P. & his unending love for Lucknow
Even during his last days, as he was fighting cancer, K.P. did not let go of the connection that he had with Lucknow and his readers. He would refresh memories from the days of yore, through his columns in the leading Hindi newspapers. After his demise on October 31, 2013, the road leading to his house in Indira Nagar, was renamed in his honour! People who have followed his pieces, do claim that the expiry of this humorous artist, was the end of an unexampled era in satire writing.