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In memory of Mrs. Gaura Pant (source: Wikipedia)

Mrs. Gaura Pant, better known as Shivani, was born on October 17, 1923 in Rajkot, Gujarat. Her father, Mr. Ashwini Kumar Pande was a teacher and her mother was a Sanskrit scholar, and the first student of Lucknow Mahila Vidyalaya. Gaura Pant was the icon of Hindi story writers of the 20th century and her fiction themes focussed on Indian women. Gaura Pant passed away on 21 March 2003.

Gaura Pant spent nine years in Tagore's Santiniketan and graduated with a degree from the Viswabharati University in 1943. Memoirs of her days in Santiniketan are penned in her memoir Amader Santiniketan. Rabindranath Tagore has visited her ancestral house in Almora several times.

Gaura Pant published her first short hindi story in a children’s magazine when she was just 12 years old. Commemoration of her magnum opus Dharamayug in 1951 made her she became known as `Shivani'. With a prolific authorship of over forty novels, chronicles, short-stories and articles, she has left a mark of her own. Her impressive pen-ship is evident in popular books of: Krishnakali, Mayapuri, Chaudah Phere, Lal Haveli, Smashan Champa, Bharavi, Rati Vilap, Vishkanya, and Apradhin. Her writing has a flavour of Bengali culture and was largely inspired by Rabindranath Tagore. Shivani created her fictional universe from the part of her life she loved best-her childhood and early years. Time and again, she used location of Kumaon and Bengal as the setting of her novels. Shivani ji garnered a massive following in the pre-television 1960s and 1970s. Her literary works (like her most famous novel, 'Krishnakali'), were serialised in Hindi magazines like Dharmayug and Saptahik Hindustan, leading to her cult status as a Hindi magazine novelist. Through her writings, she also made the culture of Kumaon, somewhat known to Hindi-speaking Indians across the country. Her novel 'Kariye Chima' was made into a film, while her other novels including 'Surangma', 'Rativilaap', 'Mera Beta', and 'Teesra Beta' have been turned into Television serials. Upon her death in 2003, Government of India described her contributions to Hindi literature as, ...in the death of Shivani the Hindi literature world has lost a popular and eminent novelist and the void is difficult to fill. She wrote till the time she passed away in 2003. Gaura Pant was awarded the Padma Shri for her contribution to Hindi literature in 1982.