Mumbai: Noted Marathi poet Narayan Surve,
who depicted the struggle of Mumbai`s working class through
his works, passed away today at the age of 83 following brief
Surve, known best for his poetry collections like
`Majhe Vidyapeeth` (My University), was ailing for some time
and was in a private hospital in neighbouring Thane.
Through his poems, Padma Shri Surve described the
world of urban population that lived in Mumbai by doing
whatsoever work they could lay their hands on to eke out a
He brought before the world the bitter truth of those
whose life was a mess in search of a mere morsel and also the
lives of toiling workers whose life was filled with the
struggle to make a living.
Veteran poet Mangesh Padgaonkar described Surve as a
man who made it on his own despite humble beginnings.
"His love for poetry was not for commercial reasons
but spiritual practice," he said.
Another well-known poet Pravin Davne lamented that
Surve was not conferred the Jnanpith award.
Born on October 15, 1926, Surve was raised by a mill
worker. He grew up in the streets of Mumbai. He slept on the
pavement and earned a meagre livelihood by doing odd jobs. He
taught himself to read and write.
Surve actively took part in the workers` union
movement in Mumbai and supported himself as a school teacher.
Expressing grief over Surve`s demise, Maharashtra
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said, "We have lost a legendary
poet and thinker who represented the common man."
Deputy Chief Minister Chaggan Bhujbal said, "Surve had
become the voice of the depressed class through his poetry."
Union Heavy Industries Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said
Surve was "people`s poet and gave words to the pain and
suffering of the people who had no voice. He was the voice of
Mumbai`s working class in Marathi literature."
Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Surve
vociferously proclaimed social revolution through his
"He created a unique style of poetry using colloquial
language of workers," Shinde said and described Surve`s poems
like `Majhe Vidyapeeth`, `Jahirnama` and `Aisa Ga Mi Brahma`
as significant works.