Author Usha Kiran Khan passes away

The renowned writer published novels, short stories and plays in both Hindi and Maithili, including children's books

Hindi and Maithili author Usha Kiran Khan passes away on 11 February 2024 (photo courtesy @arf_nkm/X)
Hindi and Maithili author Usha Kiran Khan passes away on 11 February 2024 (photo courtesy @arf_nkm/X)
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NH Digital

Usha Kiran Khan, a renowned author who wrote in Hindi and Maithili writer, passed away today, 11 February, in a hospital in Patna.

Reknowned for her numerous story collections and novels, she had been honoured with such prestigious awards as the Padma Shri, the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Mahadevi Verma Award, the Dinakar National Award, the Bharat-Bharati and more.

Her demise has seen a wave of mourning swell across Bihar, including Mithila, her home base.

Usha Kiran Khan wrote dozens of stories and novels in both Hindi and Maithili, including several books for children. Her works have been translated into Oriya, Bengali, Urdu and English, among other languages.

Born on 24 October 1945 in Laheriasarai, Darbhanga district in Bihar, she went on to obtain a postgraduate degree in ancient Indian history and archaeology from Patna University and later completed her PhD at Magadh University.

She began writing in 1977 and has published more than 50 books: Bhamati, Srijanhar, Hasina Manzil, Doob-dhaan, Geeli Paank, Ghar Se Ghar TakVivash Vikramaditya, Kaasvan, Jaldhaar and Janam Avdhi are some of her works. The range of her writing encompassed plays as well.

'We have lost a special talent of our time'

Upon the demise of Usha Kiran Khan, senior poet and critic Vijay Bahadur Singh stated that her passing is an irreparable loss to literature and society: "We have lost a unique talent of our time."

Born into a prestigious and Gandhian family in Mithila, she was groomed under the tutelage of Nagarjuna, a renowned poet himself, with deep connections in literary circles.

She was married to the late Sanskrit linguist Ramchandra Khan, who served in the police and passed away just last year. Their eldest daughter, Anuradha Shankar, is now a deputy director general of police in the Madhya Pradesh state police.

"Due to the close relationship between my father and Nagendra," said Singh, "she always treated me as a brother and addressed me as such. Just a few days ago, when she came to bless her grandson Janmejay at his wedding ceremony, we had a pleasant lunch together."

Coincidentally, he recalled, another eminent scholar, Acharya Radhavallabh Tripathi, shared that joyous occasion with them.

Singh spoke of feeling a deep sense of personal loss today.

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