Monday, May 30, 2011

Preface: In the Battle of Kirtipur

Though I was acquainted with the compositions of Hridaya Chandra Singh Pradhan many years before, I realized the real Hridaya Chandra just few months back. The former acquisition went in quest of literary study but latter was how I came to know his entire literary ability.
In process of searching articles for ‘SATHI’, an english literary-magazine (where I am presently working as an executive editor), our editorial board decided to include a drama of Hridaya Chandra called ‘Kirtipur Ko Yuddha Ma’. Since the original composition was in Nepali, the foremost task was to translate it. Inspite of every effort, we couldn’t get it translated and finally I had to do it myself. The job of translating a drama and that also a portrayal of many ages back wasn’t so easy but I accepting the challenge made myself fortunate. 
When I went through the drama, I, at one moment decided to quit it because I thought I may not be able to give such a beautiful creation its real shape but it took me much endeavours and I eventually got it done but literally unjudged. It was during this time that I came to know how Hridaya Chandra’s writing actually is!  Though it is simply a one-act play but the sketches of the then situation and atmosphere is so artistically done that I guarantee when one goes through it, he might get back to that era. The location seems to gets flashed-back real and the characters seem to come out of the book and speak with the readers then and there.  A revolutionary warrior inside him comes out to fight  and slaughters injustice with the sharpened weapon of pen, he speaks against autocracy on behalf of his protagonist, who is a virtual (fictional) Hridaya Chandra himself.  
The marvellous usage of vocabulary, those typical languages, how simple words thread up to give a beautiful and dense meaning and the dialogues tend to represent the character’s frame of mind vivid. He hasn’t missed to furnish this drama with philosophical restraints of life, the suffering undergone by the prisoners and the sumptuousness of the rulers. Literature is meaningful only if it bears some tint of feelings and actions of the general people and his compositions have touched those traces of progressism and realism. His compositions are the true stories of lives then. His works have thus become living.
Talking about the drama, the story-plot is about the time when Prithivi Narayan Shah, the Great King of Gorkha, set up to unify all smaller territories into a single Nepal and during the stab, he came across Kirtipur. Though Kirtipur is a small town but Prithivi Narayan Shah and his soldiers couldn’t face the brave warriors of Kirtipur and his attempts failed thrice. There are many stories hidden in the womb of history because the winning-rulers generally dominated the losers’ history and established a new history of themselves being all the time true. Same happened here in Kirtipur! Prithivi Narayan Shah’s attack to Kirtipur the fourth time was a deception though everything is fair in war. It was a big festive occasion and he attacked the Kirtipures when they were enjoying. Moreover, some Kirtipures themselves betrayed their country by revealing secrets to Prithivi Narayan Shah. The battle started. The unprepared Kirtipures couldn’t confront the enemies  and finally they had to surrender. Most of the men died and so all the children, women and elderly persons had to fight in disguise. The war-prisoners had to cut their noses. Many repressions undertook place, transgressions went through and autocracies flamed up, but the history is still quiet because the winners were the next rulers and they engraved the truth deep inside the tomb of history. 
But Hridaya Chandra had an innovative knowledge of how the real history was. His creative ability and thorough study of the location (which still exists) demonstrates the qualitative greatness of his compostions, how important and precious they are! There are many of us, even the literature students not knowing the name of Hridaya Chandra because the improper custom of fame and awards has lured our present writers so much that such a true serviceman of literature gets overshadowed. But the time has come to explore the works of such a great writer like Hridaya Chandra and as a result, his drama ‘Kirtipur Ko Yuddha Ma’ has come out in the form of ‘In the Battle of Kirtipur’ before the readers world-wide.
Translation is a hard task and it becomes even harder when question comes of such old hands. I have tried my best to be honest with the true feelings of the composition  and loyal towards the goal of Hridaya Chandra Singh but since human beings are prone to errors, some might have crept in inspite of my unfailing efforts. I apologise if such mistakes have made this great composition disgraceful but I always look forward to rectifying these glitches and it would be a great help if you notified me about it. 
Lastly, I am thankful to the publisher for having faith in me and doing a great task of promoting our veteran writers globally and I can’t remain showering my humble gratitude to Mr. Suprad Chandra Singh Pradhan for his support in every step, by providing either materials or his invaluable guidance. And lastly, I am thankful to our entire team members for their unswerving endeavours to cast such a great doyen of Nepali Literature into the global arena. 

Jayant Sharma 
(Executive Editor ‘SATHI’ Monthly)


sanjay said...

I appreciate the labor you have put in developing this blog. Nice and informative.

Seru Raj said...


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