By: Chandramauli Chandrakant, NIT Warangal AP
Shailendra Chauhan was born and brought up in Uttar Pradesh/ Madhya Pradesh. His father was a primary school teacher in Vidisha. shailendra completed his education from Vidisha. He did Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical branch from SATI in 1978.He joined as lecturer in SATI Polytechnic and served for two years then he shifted to MSEB. After leaving MSEB in 1982 he came to Allahabad in company Best & Crompton Ltd and involved in literary activties with full enthuiasm. He joined NTPC in 1984 in Allahabad itself after that he came to Kanpur on further posting.
His first poetry collection “Nau Rupaye Bees Paise ke liye” published in the year 1983 by Parimal prakashan.Same year he edited and published an issue of Dharati magazine focussing on Trilochan Shashtri who was conferred academy award for his poetry collection “Taap ke taaye huye din” The issue was unique and appreciated by readers at large. After ninteen years a poetry collection ‘Swetpatra’ was published from Sangh mitra prakashan, Vidisha (2002). Another collection “Aur Kitane Prakashvarsh” came in 2003 from Progressive publisher Nagpur. A thoughtful and penetrating poems were included in collection “Eashwar kee Chaukhat par” which got published in 2004.(shabdalok prakashan, Delhi). Recently one fiction book based on childhood memoirs “Paaon Zameen par” has been published from Bodhi Prakashan, Jaipur.
In year 1984 Shailendra shifted Kanpur from Allahabad. In Kanpur he came in contact with well known sharp left critic Hrishikesh and continued to write poems and short stories and comments in various magazines. Thereafter he met with Giriraj Kishor wellknown story and novel writer. For another two-three years he remained in close contact of veteran poet and play writer Mannu lal sharma “Sheel”
After Kanpur Shailendra shifted to Moradabad in year 1988 famous for brasswares where from he travelled in the valley of Kumaanyun and Garhwal.Poet Maheshwar Tiwari, Veteran Parsian theatre artist Master Fida Hussain, Dheerendra Pratap Singh professor of Hindu college, Mool Chand Gautam, Veeren Dangwal,T Machchi Reddy, Vachaspati, Balli Singh Cheema and artist Haripal Tyagi were among the friends and guide of Shailendra. They were loving him as younger brother.
Just after one year Shailendra again got transferred from Moradabad to Kota where he started a new inning along with Play writer and activist Shivram. Because of failure in political game these days Shivram was disappointed and quiet, Shailendra was full of enthusiasm and creativity so Shivram and his team again geared up with cultural and social enthusiasm. They became very close and a new era of cultural activities started.
The next destination for Shailendra was Jaipur the pink city, a great historical place of Mughal era. He was willing to be in Jaipur since long. I don’t know why? What was the attraction but he was very much eager to be in Jaipur. He stayed in Jaipur for about four years from 1990 to 1994 but very unsatisfied and much disturbed in his literary life. But most of the beautiful poems those afterwards published in his two collections “Swetpatra” and “Eashwar kee chaukhat par” were written here only. After office hours Shailendra use to be in small balcony of his first floor rented house sitting on chair wrote many a beautiful poems.
In 1994 he got transferred in a village where a NTPC Power Project was set up near Ghaziabad.It was not a good change for him but it was a change which was necessary for wanderer like him.Here his literary activities totally stopped only positive thing was that he could prepare his script of short stories that published in 1996 from Sharada Prakashan, Allahabad with title “Nahin yah koee kahani nahin”
His next destination was Faridabad. It was the time when Shailendra was a bit desperate about his literary activities. He was keeping mum to say anything about his contributions.He use to send some letters to editors of various Hindi and English dailes regarding social and political deteriorations particulrly in Indian polity. It was year 1995. After some time he came in close contact with Prakash Manu who was in very much in lime light for his recently published novels ‘Ye jo Dilli hai’and ‘Katha Circus’. He inspired Shailendra to write reviews of books in Sameeksha. Shailendra restored his writing again. Here one Shri Bhuvanesh Kumar got that much influenced with Shailendra’s poems that he published a small magazine Kavita solely focussing on Shailendra.Many articles, poems and stories got published in many literary magazines during his stay at Faridabad.
In 1998 Shailendra got shifted to Bhadravati in Chandrapur Dist of Maharashtra state. Many poems were composed during his stay at Bhadravati. Besides that many literary articles and criticism of literary books also pulished in various magazines and newspapers. He also wrote about tribals of vidarbh area. In year 2000 Shailendra came to Nagpur where he made a strong bridge between Marathi and Hindi writers. He became active in social circle and frequently participated in such seminars and workshops. From Nagpur he coordinated a cultural front ‘Vikalp’ and a literary movement ‘Sajha Sanskritik Abhiyan’. During his stay at Nagpur two poetry collections were published viz; Aur Kitane Prakashvarsh (Progressive Publication Nagpur) and ‘Eashwar kee chaukaht par’ (Shabdalok Prakashan, Delhi),in 2004. These books were came after long time as his first collection was published in 1983 from Allahabad. In Nagpur he was also associated with ‘Samanya jan sandesh’ a thoughtful magazine. He edited a very good issue on writer “Shri Rambriksh Benipuri”. He also wrote biographies of revolutionary freedom fighters viz; Mahavir Singh and Kundanlal Gupt.
Now it was time to move again. In mid 2005 he got transferred in avery small village of Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh. Ther he worked in tribals of Narmada valley in districts Dhar, Budwani and Jhabua. He wrote on tribals hardships. Same time he also wrote on historical places like ‘Mandu’. In Dec 2006 he moved in the Narmada valley of Gujarat ie; Narmada district (Rajpipla). This was also a tribal belt and most disputed Sardar Sarovar Dam was falling in this district. It became very firtile land for composing new poems. Again in mid 2008 Shailendra moved to ‘Baran’ in Rajasthan a border district of MP. There was ‘Sahariya’ tribe which attracted his attention and he organised a seminar calling all intellectuals of area to discuss about the life style of the tribals.
During this period one literary magazine “kramashah” focussed an eloborative special issue on Shailendra focussing his own writings and important write-ups about him by prominent hindi writers and his friends.
The next destination of Shailendra was Jammu, where he emerged as an inspiring figure for young writers. He got associated with Yuva ‘Hindi Lekhak sangh’ and actively participated in many programmes. He collected poems of young writers and make them to publish in literary magazines with his note/remarks. Fearlessly he wrote on Kashmir issue and admired by Kashmiri intellectuals. His own book ” Paaon Zameen par” was releasd in Jammu where in apart from local writers wellknown novelist Punni Singh from Agra, Critique Vachaspati from Varanasi and senior poet Mohan Sapra from Jallandhar were joined and expressed their views about the book. Mohan sapra presented his analytical paper. The journey of Shailendra is going on and now a days he is in Delhi and watching the life and culture of metro town.