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Saturday, 24 March 2012

On Mahakavi Laxmi Prasad Devkota…

Source: isikkim
By Rajen Upadhyay
Lakshmi Prasad Devkota, regarded as the father of romanticism in the Nepali literature, was deeply influenced by the writings of William Wordsworth, P.B. Shelley, Byron and John Keats. A pioneer of modernism in Nepali literature, Devkota is regarded as ‘Anshu Kavi’ (spontaneous poet). He could write poems with spontaneity even while signing autographs for his fans. His poetry depicts the romantic characteristics like humanism, metaphysical relationships, aesthetic values, past glories, praise of nature etc. Apart from romantic writings, he wrote some potent revolutionary poems possibly under the impact of P.B.Shelley.
The masterpiece which renders him an exalted position in Nepali Literature is his ‘Muna-Madan’, a short epic. In this the author depicts the deplorable economic condition of Nepal in the most celebrated characters of two youths Muna-a Nepali village girl and Madan-a Nepali peasant. The short epic can be compared to ‘Romeo and Juliet’ of William Shakespeare in the context of love and emotion ‘Muna-Madan’ is written in Jhyaurey prosody, the typical Nepali folk lore. This work of Devkota has even been translated into several languages like German, French, English, Russian, Hindi, Japanese, Chinese.
The glorious Nepali poet once visited the Demasong Valley. He was invited there by the APATAN Sahitya Parishad in November 1952. The Parishad is the pioneer literary association of Sikkim founded by four eminent Sikkimese Nepali poets namely Agam Singh Tamang, Padam Singh Subba, Tulshi Bahadur Chettri and Nima Wangdi Lepcha. This Association has contributed a lot in propagating literary ideas among the Sikkimese. He was felicitated at White Hall, Gangtok on November 15th 1952, where Lt. Kashi Raj Pradhan made an introductory speech about Devkota and Padam Singh Subba read the Letter of Appreciation. The then Sikkim Maharaja Tashi Namgyal roared in laughter when Devkota recited an English poem in Vedic prosody. His Majesty, the Maharaja of Sikkim Sir Tashi Namgyal was splendidly hailed by Mahakavi Lakshmi Prasad Devkota in a poem which read as follows:
Hail! Glorious ruler of this mountain state,
Sikkim, the paradise of peaceful peaceful hills,
This lively sweet abode of angels, great,
Great in thy name. Thy well known bounty fills
With plenty of thy kingdom. Stainless soul,
Deeply devoted to the God that thrills
Thy inmost depth, thou findest him all whole
Thy own angelic subjects in their wills
Amassed forever in love to their great good
Selflessly hast thou lived, the Buddha life
In thy keen veins where human love must brood
And multiply, rich and intense to thrive
Thy teeming millions to whom a holy shire
Thou dost with sense of human sacrifice aye in spire.
(Mahakavi Laxmi Prasad Devkota: 3rd from right in the first row on chair at a gathering of eminent literary personality of Nepali language and literature in Darjeeling in the1950s)
Born on 12th of November 1909 in Dillibazaar area of Kathmandu, Laxmi Prasad Devkota is arguably the best writer in the Nepali Language. His day of birth was the night of Gai Puja, when Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, is honoured. Considering this as omen, Devkota’s parents named him after the goddess. It was an omen indeed, but of a different kind. As it turned out, he was known as Mahakavi but the great poet lived and died a poor man. The God of Nepalese literature passed away at the young age of 50 on September 14, 1959.
About the author:
Rajen Upadhyay from Namchi, Sikkim is an Assistant Professor of History in the Namchi Government College. A passionate reader and sports enthusiast Rajen is working to revive the History of the land and its literature. You can read his blog sikkim-historyhunter

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