Where are your friends? Who go with you?
Which land is your home? What place do you seek, Traveler?
With what news do you roam?
My friend is decent diligence. Courage comes with me
The whole world’s my home
To heart-land I roam with hues of Humanity
Original Photography by Osman Bhatty
An excerpt from “Woods” a poem by Laxmi Prasad Devkota
Laxmi Prasad Devkota was born in 1908 on the night of Gai Puja during which the goddess of wealth, Laxmi, is honored [1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laxmi_Prasad_Devkota]. Seeing this as an omen his parents named him after the goddess but ultimately his life would choose to follow a very different path.
From an early age Devkota would show an interest in poetry, already having began writing before he embarked to Tri Chandra College in 1925 with high marks. Over there he would begin to read English poetry and elements of the romantic writers would be seen to be a great influence in his early works. After completing college he unsuccessfully tried obtaining a seat to pursue a Masters in English and would have to settle for a Bachelors in Law.
Returning home shortly after completing his second degree, he would feel the first shocks of what would become a life long struggle, poverty. It would also be at this time where he would write what is widely known to the greatest piece of Nepali literature, the Manu Mada. An epic poem telling the story of a businessman from Kathmandu leaving his newly wed bride to go work in Tibet against her pleas. He would fall ill on his journey home and be delayed. On returning home he would find Manu (his wife) passed away grief-stricken mistakingly believing that he had died on his journey. The theme of measuring oneself through his deeds rather than money, is frequented through his works.
Devkota would go on to write many more well-known poems and epics, influence Nepali literature in an invaluable manner, and also make significant contributions to his country’s modern essay. He would never escape the clutches of poverty that he wrote so beautifully about, and although reaching recognition in the late 1950s would pass away in 1959 unsure of his impact on the world.
Further Reading [2. http://literature.wnso.org/2002/munamadan.htm], [3. http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Laxmi+Prasad+Devkota].