Sahityabarta: Shrasta Ra Sirjana, an online literary talk show run by SahityaPost and broadcasted simultaneously through its official Facebook page and YouTube, is holding a literary programme in Dubai, UAE on the successful completion of its 50th episode. The programme is scheduled for Sunday, 27th August, 2023 and will be observed with a grand poetic meet, musical performance and conferring Sahityabarta Srasta Samman (literary honours) to some artists. Poet and cultural expert Tulasi Diwasa, novelist and Editor-in-Chief of SahityaPost Aswini Koirala and singer Raj Sigdel will be honoured with Sahityabarta Srasta Samman during the programme. Here, SahityaPost’s correspondent Janak Karki interviews Coordinator of the event, poet Jeevit Khadka Magar regarding the aforementioned event.
Sahityabarta: Srasta Ra Sirjana is organizing Sahityabarta Srasta Samman along with a grand poetic meet and cultural programme in Dubai. Poet Tulasi Diwasa is going to be honoured with Sahityabarta Bisista Samman. The event is also honouring SahityaPost Chief Editor Aswini Koirala and singer Raj Sigdel during the event. When organising a small programme even in one’s own country is not an easy task, planning such a grand event in a foreign land involves even greater challenges. In spite of those difficulties, what motivated you to organise such a programme?
First, my sincere gratitude towards poet and journalist Janak Karki and the whole SahityaPost family.
Quite true. Be it small or big, managing an event is always troublesome to some extent, but because significant works are done amid such difficulties, one with dedicated mission finds pleasure in it. If we can experience pleasure in organizing such meaningful events, we never find it a troublesome work. Taking such work as a burden ceases our progress, and ceasing of progress means remaining in status quo which is the result of the lack of creative ideas, hesitation, and staying contented with the present situation. As for motivation, one should first inspire the self. And I derive my inspiration recalling some significant works I did in my past and derive motivation from others’ works.
Time is considered the most precious asset in a foreign land. You have been preparing for an exemplary work managing your priceless time for the event. Financing is another barrier. How have you been balancing these two: time and money?
Precisely! It is true that life in a foreign country is like that of a machine. When such a busy schedule is at hand, every single minute comes to use for a creative writer. Well, regarding the financial aspect, to speak the truth, it the spirit, the gut, the dedication and the devotion of our team—and not me alone as an individual—that had led to the successful preparation of the event. Once in a casual talk, I proposed the concept of this programme to my friends (Deepak Raj Nyonghang, DG Sharma and Muna Pakhrin) but I myself was perplexed. Ridiculous, I thought. Because I didn’t have any experience of organizing any event in the UAE. But DG Sir and Deepak Sir urged me and said, “You just begin; we will stand by you.” What more did I need if there was such encouragement? It was like fueling a vehicle that was out of gas making it take speed on a broad highway. Since financial part is integral to an event, we decided to contribute from our salary and the programme took a concrete shape. Then we looked for different sponsors. Deepak Raj Sir played an important role in finding the sponsors. We also asked our friends and well-wishers to help. We approached different social organisations like Srijana Bachhan Dabali, International Nepali Society, Sagarmatha Sahitya Prathisthan and Jhapali Eakata Samaj for the sponsorship. We are very thankful to all who lent their helping hands for this event.
What is the objective of the programme?
Actually, we run Sahityabarta, a literary talk show with an artist every week on Saturday from 8 to 9 pm in the evening. We listen to the literary experiences of our guests. I don’t know whether it will be appropriate to call it an objective or not but we have a genuine desire to build a forum for bringing together readers/audience and the artist. It envision it to make a forum whence the artists express their creativity! Let the new generation be encouraged! We also thought that after each fifty episodes we would honour a literary figure in the coming days. This is what we aim.
Who are the different members working for this programme?
We are seven who are directly connected with Sahityabarta: Srasta Ra Sirjana. I, along with programme presenter DG Sharma, advisor and singer Deepak Raj Nenghang, singer Muna Pakhrin, patron to Sahityabarta, novelist and Editor-in-Chief Aswini Koirala, proof-reader Rajendra Tarkini and technician Raj Sitaula are in the team. This very team has recently completed 50 episodes of Sahityabarta through the Facebook page of SahityaPost.
Instead of this risking this restlessness, you could have stayed focused on your business. Or, one could have invested time and resources in a literary creation. But you and your team are putting constant efforts in promoting literature. It is a contribution worth remembering. How has it been possible for you to stand out against your own self-interest?
A little bit of broad mindedness! Broad thoughts and brought sights make everything broader. Pure and beautiful aims, paths and destinations are just enough to make it happen, I think.
How is the condition of Nepali literary institutions and creative writers in the UAE?
Happily, I must say, there are institutions established for the promotion of Nepali literature in the UAE. They are all working at their best for the promotion of Nepali literature. The literary contributions made by social organisations like Sirjana Baachan Dabali, Sagarmatha Sahitya Prathisthan, International Nepali Society and other institutions are remarkable. Tomorrow if anyone tries to conduct a study on Nepali literature in the UAE, she/he should not neglect these social institutions. The condition is that there should be dedication in the writers and the institutions. No significant achievement can be made if the writers, social institutions and the post-holders do not bear their responsibilities sincerely. Institutions are like an empty hive; if there are no hardworking bees, what is the use of that hive? Let’s hope that the Nepali literature in the UAE will garner a lot of refinement and improvement in the coming days.
Finally, you are free to express anything you feel like telling.
It is possibly for the first time that Nepali literary fraternity in the UAE is organizing such a grand event where a literary giant like Tulasi Diwasa will be honoured by Sahityabarta Bishishta Samman. This is a matter of pride for Sahityabarta. We are trying to make the event historic, highly significant and truly grand with coordination from different artists like famous journalist and novelist Aswini Koirala, singer Raj Sigdel and emerging ghazal writer Indira Adhikari. We are very excited for it.
Translated from Nepali by Shilash Thapa Tamang