Anant Yashwant, also known as Nanda Khare, one of the most courageous voices in Marathi literature, died in Pune on July 22, 2022.
Khare was best known for two historical novels, Antajichi Bakhar, or Antaji’s Chronicle (1997) and Bakhar Antakalachi (2010), and Udya, or Tomorrow, (2015), a speculative novel about the near future that won the Sahitya Akademi award. Characteristically, Khare declined the award, noting that he had already received adequate recognition from his readers and that his reasons had nothing to do with politics.
He was keenly interested in deep geological and human time and evolution. His non-fiction work include Dnyatachya Kumpanavarun (1990), Jivotpatti ani Nantar (1999), and Kahani Manavpranyachi (2010). He translated from English into Marathi, edited and wrote extensively in the rationalist journal Aajcha Sudharak.
Khare also provided a lively, frank chronicle of his career as a civil engineer with a thriving construction business in Nagpur, in Dagadavar Dagad, Vitevar Vit (2002). His oeuvre was wide-ranging, erudite and experimental all at once, and unlike that of any other writer in Marathi.
His literary output aside, Khare was well-known in the Marathi public sphere as a person who loved ideas, rational debate and a rousing discussion on everything from politics to culture and agriculture to construction. He actively sought out conversationalists of all ages and persuasions, writers, researchers, activists, businessmen,…