D’s Poetry : Haiku 88 : Jhinabhai Desai

D’s Poetry is a living archive of all poetry penned by me, Divvya Nirula. Join me on this journey today as we discuss Jhinabhai Desai and the Gujarati haiku.

जप जाप जल तप वो
कामधेनु आयी ईहाँ
पीओ और पिलावो

Divvya Nirula

Jhinabhai Ratanji Desai was born in 1903, in Chikhli, Gujarat. Inspired by Gandhi and India’s bid for independence, he left his studied to join the Non-cooperation movement. He joined Gujarat Vidyapith as a teacher in 1926 and worked there for about 4 years. Almost a decade later, he became the principal at Rasthriya Shala and then of Sheth Chimanlal Nagindas Vidyalaya.

In addition to his patriotic endeavours, Desai was a prolific Gujarati language writer and poet. He wrote under his pen name Snehrashmi. Much of his writing was influenced by Gandhian philosophy. He published several anthologies of poetry including Ardya (1935), Nijleela (1984). He also wrote several collections of short stories such as Gata Aasopalav (1934) and Heera na Latkaniya (1962).

Interestingly, Jhinabhai Desai is also well known for introducing and popularising haiku in Gujarat. For he wrote his own original haiku and tanka in Gujarati. His haiku collections include Soneri Chand Rooperi Suraj (1967), Kevalveej (1984) and Sunrise on the Snowpeaks.

Desai’s works gave the haiku movement in India impetus, by inspiring both young and old poets to try their hand at this form of Japanese verse.


You are invited along on this journey of discovery and writing. For more poetry and verse by Divvya Nirula, please visit the archive for D’s Poetry.