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Chinu Modi
At Ahmedabad, 1999
At Ahmedabad, 1999
Native name
ચિનુ ચંદુલાલ મોદી
Born Chinu Chandulal Modi
(1939-09-30)30 September 1939
Vijapur, Gujarat
Died 19 March 2017(2017-03-19) (aged 77)
Pen name Irshad
Occupation poet, novelist, short story writer, critic
Language Gujarati, Urdu
Nationality Indian
  • Master of Arts
  • Ph.D
Alma mater
  • Gujarat University
  • Gujarat Vidyapith
Period postmodern Gujarati literature
Literary movement
  • Hotel poets group
  • 'Re' Math
Notable works
  • Ashwamedh (1986)
  • Bahuk (1982)
  • Kalakhyan (2003)
Notable awards Ushanas Prize
Narsinh Mehta Award
Vali Gujarati Gazal Award
Sahitya Akademi Award


Chinu Modi (Gujarati: ચિનુ મોદી ), (30 September 1939 – 19 March 2017), also known by his pen name Irshad (Gujarati: ઈર્શાદ), was a Gujarati language poet, novelist, short story writer and critic from Gujarat, India. Educated in languages, he taught at various institutions and established himself as a poet and author. He was a recipient of several awards including Sahitya Akademi Award, Vali Gujarati Award and Narsinh Mehta Award.


Early life

Young Chinu Modi

Modi was born in Vijapur on 30 September 1939 to Chandulal and Shashikantaben. His family belonged to Kadi. He completed his primary education in Vijapur and secondary education from Sheth Hasanali High School in Dholka near Ahmedabad. He completed his matriculation in 1954.

He completed a B.A. in Gujarati and History in 1958 from St. Xavier's College, Ahmedabad, an LL.B. in 1960 from Sir L.A. Shah Law College in Ahmedabad, and an M.A. in Gujarati and Hindi subjects in 1961 from Gujarat University. He earned a Ph.D. in 1968 from Gujarat Vidyapith for his research Gujarati Bhashama Khandakavya (narrative poetry in Gujarati language). His guide for Ph.D. was Mohanbhai Shankharbhai Patel.


Chinu Modi in 1995
At Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, 1995

He joined H. A. Arts College in Ahmedabad and worked from 1961 to 1963. He taught at colleges in Talod and Kapadvanj later. In 1965, he joined Swaminarayan Arts College in Ahmedabad and taught until 1975. He served as a scriptwriter at Indian Space Research Organization, Ahmedabad from 1975 to 1977. In 1977–1978, he worked with Mansa College and Sabarmati Arts College. He joined L. D. Arts College in 1978 as a part-time professor. In 1994, he joined School of Languages, Gujarat University as a Reader and retired in 2001. He had also served as Dean-in-charge of Department of Journalism, M. S. University, Baroda from 1992 to 1994. He worked as a freelancer in field of advertising for few years.

He was a chairman of Kriti Film Cooperative Society from 1979 to his death. He was awarded Writer Fellowship from Department of Culture, New Delhi in 1979.


He suffered from acute breathlessness. After a heart attack on 16 March 2017, he was admitted to HGC hospital located at Mithakhali, Ahmedabad as he was suffering from multiple organ failure. On 19 March 2017, he returned to his home at Paldi, Ahmedabad where he died in the evening. His body was donated to NHL Medical College as per his wish.


Modi was a pioneering poet and also an acclaimed playwright, critic, fiction writer and translator. His works are translated into English, Hindi and other Indian languages and his plays are staged several times.

He had written both metrical and non-metrical form of poetry. His main contribution was in ghazal poetry. Along with ghazals, he had written in various genres; geet, sonnet, free verse and Khandakavya (long narrative poem).

He started writing poetry in 1955. Vyatan (1963) was his small and first poetry collection. His other poetry collections which consist of metrical and nonmetrical poems are Urnanabh (1974), Shapit Vanma (1976), Deshvato (1978), Kshano Na Mahelma, Darpan Ni Galima (1975), Irshadgadh (1979), Afawa (1991), Inayat (1996) and Nakashanagar (2001), Vi-nayak (1996), Ae (1999), Saiyar (2000), Shwetsamudro (2001), Gatibhas (2012), Agha Pachha Shwas (2007) and Khara Zaran. Bahuk (1982), based on Nalakhyan of Mahabharata, is a long narrative poem written by him. Kalakhyan (2003) is also long narrative poem composed in the Akhyana-style. His all muktak poetry, a subgenre of ghazal poetry, was published as A-mrut Muktako in 2016.

Modi is noted in Gujarati literature for his experimental plays. Dayal Na Pankhi (1967) is his first collection of one-act plays composed in a verse form and absurd style, followed by Callbell (1973), Hukam Malik (1984), Jalaka (1985), Ashwamedh (1986), Raja Midas (1992). ..... His other plays are Navalsha Heerji (1995), Khalifano Vesh Yani Aurangzeb (1993), Naishadhray (1996), Shukdan (2000), Memory Lane (2008), Matsyavedh (2006), Dholido (2008), Buddhidhan (2008), Natyavali (2014). His Shukdan is a Gujarati adaptation of Edmond Rostand's French tragi-comedy Cyrano de Bergerac and it is directed by Chintan Pandya.

Modi debuted in novel with Shaila Majmudar (1966; an autobiographical novel), followed by Bhaav-Abhaav (1969), Bhavchakra (1975), Leela Naag (1971), Hang Over (1985), and Pahela Varsad No Chhanto (1987), Kalo Angrej (1992), Manas Howani Mane Cheed (1996), Pichho (2004), Lisoto (2000), Daheshat (2004), Chukado (2004), Padchhayana Manas (2008), Nindrachar (2008).

Dabi Muththi Jamani Muththi (1986) and Chhalang (1997) are his collections of short stories.

Mara Samkalin Kavio (1973) and its expanded edition Be Dayaka: Char Kavio (1974) are a criticism of poetry of Manilal Desai, Ravji Patel, Labhshankar Thakar and Manhar Modi. His thesis Khandkavya-Swaroop ane Vikas (1974), Krishnalal Shridharani (1979) and Madhyakalin Gujarati Kavitanu Mulyankan (2008) are his other works. He edited Chandravadan Mehta's selected poetry in Chadho Re Shikhar Raja Ramna (1975). He also edited ghazal collections, Gami Te Gazal (1976) and Gujarati Pratinidhi Gazalo (1996). He had translated Vasantavilas, a medieval Gujarati fagu. He co-edited Madhya Yugin Urmikavyo (1998), a compilation of medieval Gujarati poems, with Chimanlal Trivedi.

Jalsa Avtar (2014) is his memoir.

He started Hotel Poetry Club, also known as, Hotel Poets Group, where he used to encourage young friends to read, write and to critique.


Chinu Modi and Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari
at Sahitya Akademi Award ceremony with Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, New Delhi, 2013

Modi won the Ushnas Prize (1982–1983) for his book Bahuk. He received the Kalapi Award in 2000, the Narsinh Mehta Award in 2008 and the Vali Gujarati Award in 2010. He was awarded the Teansmedia Award in 2004. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award for Gujarati writers in 2013 for his gazal collection Khara Zaran.

Personal life

Poet Chinu Modi with his wife Hansa
Poet Chinu Modi with his wife Hansa

He married Hansa on 21 June 1958 who predeceased him on 2 March 1989. They had a daughter, Nimisha Bhatt, and two sons, Ingit Modi and Utpal Modi.

See also

  • List of Gujarati-language writers
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