CyberSansar : Exclusive
Upclose with Rastrakabi
Madhav Prashad Ghimire
-By Sampada Malla <email@example.com>
-Photos: CyberNepal Internet Magazine
(The article and photos may not be reproduced
in any medium without the written permission of the publisher.)
Rastrakabi Madhav Prashad Ghimire needs no introduction. His name
itself speaks about his glorified persona. An inspiration to all
the youths, the legendary figure is the pillar of today's Nepali
literature. All of us are proud to be Nepalese, aren't we? It is
our enriched culture, traditions and language that make us feel
proud of our identity. Not to forget that our elder generations
have gifted us with this privileged individuality. Mr.Ghimire has
devoted his entire life to ameliorate Nepali language and has gifted
the Nepali literature world with some precious jewels. Cybernepal
pays a tribute to this man who has enlightened Nepali literature
with his brilliant creations.
I was experiencing a mixed feeling of excitement and fear as I and
Abhinav Dai(Cybernepal's editor) stepped inside the poet's home.
For both of us meeting the legend was a dream come true. “Am I making
the right move? How can a girl like me even dare to throw questions
to such a huge personality? ”Myraid feelings started sailing like
waves inside me. We were ushered to a well furnished room(museum
of Rastrakabi's achievements) which was filled with numerous awards
and certificates of all sizes and structures. As we calmly enjoyed
the exhibited collections, we were told that they were lots of other
awards placed unorganized due to lack of space. I whispered to Abhinav
Dai, “Some years later this place will turn into a place of national
pride and importance.” I tried counting the awards but all my efforts
were in vain for there were so many.After a while, we were escorted
to the living room where the legend was waiting patiently for us.
“Kabibar, how does it feel to possess the prestigious title,'Rastrakabi'?”
My words humbly dropped as I began my allotted task. Gently curving
a smile in his lips, he said, “Ekdamai khushi lagcha. But people
have given me more than I actually deserve. I will serve my nation
until my last breath. ”The humility and the utmost enthusiasm of
the eighty five year old left me astounded.
Ghimire's bygone days
“I was very small when my mother died. So I
always craved for a mother's love and yearningly watched my friends
being pampered by their mothers.” Ghimire turned emotional as he
remembered his bygone days. He was born in Lamjung and spent his
entire childhood in its periphery. “I was a very mischievous child.
I always kept my elders on their toes. And yes, I had to speak a
lot.” As Rastrakabi spoke in eloquence, I could easily visualize
a childhood image in his facade. “Life in those days were very different
than today and Ghimire grew up with very little materialistic luxuries.
“We never complained nor did we realize how backward our society
was. We had never seen good roads so running through the steep mountains
was not tough at all. Walking miles for hours and hours, spending
dark nights were daily activities and we had adapted ourselves to
As Ghimire explained his school days and the myriad punishments
he was gifted with, I could feel a shrill in my spine. “Our school
was beneath the shades of a huge tree and wood logs were the board,
colorful stones were the chalks.I was a brilliant student. ”He asserted
that his family environment inspired him to excel in his studies.
During those days when illiteracy reigned supreme, I asked him how
he was inclined towards literature.He slowly looked at me and with
his potent gestures said to me,“You can't even imagine how life
was then. Now, you are surrounded with art and literature. But during
my times to get a glance of a book was very rare.”
His interest towards literature started blooming in his teen age
when he read the spiritual books like “Bedh” and “Chandi”. “I liked
these books because it not only provided people with entertainment
but also released a social message to them”, he expressed. In the
place where the availability of books were very rare, a book named
“Upadesh Manjari” reached Ghimire's place. The rhythmic poetry book
inspired him to open his pen and enter into the world of poetry.
At the tender age of twenty four, his work got first published in
Gorkhapatra which was the leading newspaper of the country. “I sent
my poem from Lamjung through the postal service. The post office
was situated in an hour walking distance from my school and it took
seven days for the postal materials to reach Kathmandu. I used to
regularly visit the office to check whether my poem had got published
or not. How beautiful those moments were!”Rastrakabi's squinting
eyes spoke more than his words. After some time, the Sanskrit and
Nepali language learned Ghimire settled in Kathmandu where his literary
life took its full speed. In his leisure times he loved reading
literary books of different languages, his favorite writers are
Kalidas, Khalil Jibran and Rabindra Nath Tagore.
Rastrakabi's literary journey
In Kathmandu, his talent immediately got recognized
and he was appointed as a writer in “Nepali Bhasha Prakashini Samiti”where
Nepali books were censored and published through the constant involvement
of the Rana government monocracy. After a time span of three years,
he was shifted to Gorkhapatra Dainik in the editorial department.His
contemporary writers and friends were distinguished personalities
like Laxmi Prashad Devkota, Balkrishna Sama, Lekhnath Poudel and
Amid numerous literary creations of Ghimire, one creation that led
him to a distinctive literary height was “Gauri”, a poetic novel
dedicated to his late beloved wife Gauri. “I created the novel with
words of tears and pains,expressing my feelings through the medium
of my skill.Lekhchu bhanera lekheko hoina.” Ghimire turned emotional
reminiscing those bitter days. “Sahitya bhanekai yehi ho, a powerful
translator of one's feelings and emotions.” I silently nodded and
recalled his poem, “Kalambir” which spoke about the powers of a
pen and how brilliantly he had played with the words to give them
a perfect shape and structure.
“Literature is like the stars in the sky which gift us with immense
beauty and light of knowledge. Since it is blended with the human
emotions, the readers not only take pleasures while reading it but
also learn the various values of life through various literary works.”
marked Rastrakabi. “And yes,a litterateur should be knowledgeable
about what he is writing and should take special care that his creations
do not impart wrong messages.”
Rastrakabi is also an eminent romantic lyricist and has played a
prominent role in its establishment. “I find the present generation
Nepali songs very appealing, though I do not like the excessive
tragedy in them”, he mildly spoke.
Ghimire's present days
A proud father of six daughters and two sons,
all highly educated; the precious jewel of the country is spending
his old days peacefully with his second wife, Mahakali. “I hardly
have time to write these days.Days pass in a wink of an eye as I
have to attend many functions,interviews etc.” Ghimire complained
with an innocent smile. These days he is engrossed in YogSadhana
and advises the youngsters to learn Yoga as it is very beneficial,both
physically and spiritually.
“It was definitely an experience of a lifetime, dai.” I said Abhinav
Dai as we returned back home. I knew that someday I would proudly
tell my future generations that I have received the privilege to
spend some beautiful hours with Rastakabi, endeavoring to feel the
lively presence of the country's living legend. Surely, a moment
to cherish all life long!
I gestured to ask myriad questions to
the legend. Some of them are listed below.
Kabibar, are there
scopes for professional literature in the present context?
The scope is slowly developing.But for a literature to sustain professionally,
it is very important that a country is well developed.Otherwise,
who would love to read a book when he is hungry or has no roofs
of shelter? So, only when the countrymen can meet their basic necessities
of life, professional literature will bloom with full beauty.
How do you analyze
the footsteps of the present young generations? Where are they paving
Most of the present youngsters are paving their way towards selfish
desires and motive. They wish to settle in abroad and lead a luxurious
materialistic life. They should in fact rise higher than their alone
desires and play an influential role in uplifting the country. I
also find a lack of responsibility in them. They have the responsibility
to hold their nation in their strong and rigid shoulders.
How would you like
to advise them?
The youngsters are an immense source of untapped energy, enthusiasm
and zest. They should utilize their talents and skills to produce
a fruitful output. Nepal nai nabhaye Nepali haru kaha rahanchan
raa? I would request the youngsters to play a radical role in taking
Nepal to greater heights.
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