Anwesha Khadka

Anwesha is associated with My City , Republica online.

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Published On: June 24, 2019 07:53 PM NPT By: Anwesha Khadka

Getting to know more about the author of ‘Yogmaya’

"For me writing is summing up the highs and lows of the society, and presenting them to the mass for a better change. Writing is also my companion, that has never left my side despite the odds," said Neelam Karki Niharika, a profound literary figure in Nepali literature. 

Born in 1974 in the land of Palpa, she began her journey in writing by getting her poem published for the first time in Kishan Magazine. She was then a a sixth grader.

During the times of her childhood her first published article was brought home by the local porter which was patience testing as it took time and also because it was her first piece of writing which was published. As a child, her dream job was being a teacher being influenced by her mother who was the only teacher at her village. After her first writing had been published in sixth grade she wrote various lyrical poems that couldn't reach the readers and remained unpublished.

Later when she went to a Mission Hospital in Papla she switched her dream job to being a nurse.

Until eighth grade she studied at the school her mother taught in which is located at Dhanewa. She completed her SLC from Janata Madhyamik Vidhyalaya located at Tansen. She proceeded with her further studies in Nepalgunj where she studied staff nurse. She did her BEd in Kathmandu, MEd in Kritipur and MA in Padma Kanya Multiple Campus.

Career and Challenges:

"I couldn't adjust to the shift changing schedule so that is when I switched to working at Radio Nepal.  Also I taught two subjects at colleges which was Nepali and Health education," said the novelist. She then started working in Nepal Television in the later years. She continued her writing work alongside. "As a writer the difficulty I often got was getting a late feedback. No doubt the newer the generation the better technology access they will get. At my time due to lack of quick communication I couldn't get a lot of feedback. Like my brother was in Russia and as he was my mentor from my childhood send him a copy of my writing to get some feedback would take weeks or a month at the most," she explained, “Also I can read in the middle of loud noises but I need silence to write.  That’s why I wrote ‘Yogmaya’ at night time.

Turning point of life:
"Well since my life is and has been going in a proper flow I can't relate to this so much," the novelist exclaimed, "This must also be because my family has always been supportive of me."

Personal Life:
“My brother, I, my mom and my dad this was my family in the past. And I am really happy I now have three more members in my family; my husband, and my two lovely sons. My husband has completed his MD and is working in the States hospital. As for my two sons one is 17 years old while the other is 12. Both of my sons write and my eldest son has published 3 books. As a mother I am really happy and proud and will always be no matter which field they progress in,” she said and smiled. She reported, “Also as I have been supported by my whole family I guess this is the reason I have come so far. As for my traveling reasons I come two to three times in a year in Nepal but as my children are studying there we have you can say somewhat settled there.”

 Birth of the Writing name:
"Whenever an article got published on the name of Neelam Karki my friends would tell me and I would hurriedly buy the newspaper only to find that it wasn't my writing. Once during a poetry competition I considered my poem to be hers as well then when the poem was recited by Sandhya Pahadi who ran a poetry program in Nepal Television back in those days. Then I knew it was my poem," said Neelam Karki Niharika.  "The title Niharika was added after a lot of suggestion by Har Hari Upadhaya who was program producer of Kantipur Television.

Why Yogmaya and which was the first targeted audience?
"Actually I started Yogmaya thanks to Dahal Yagya Niti sir who asked me to give her life a thought. I was more than happy to be able to present such brave character to the audience and aware them about such unsung character. With 2 years of research and work I finally was able to put forward the book," she smiled," Whenever I write a book I always set my targeted audience. As for Yogmaya the targeted group was all age."

Reaction on being awarded with ‘Madan Puraskar’:
“I was in America when the prize was announced. It was my younger son’s first day to school and I was driving him to school. I feel a phone call from Nepal as an emergency call. I quickly picked it up and it was Mani Sharma sir from Shangri-La Publication the publisher of the book. I congratulated him as well for helping me get the book published and research about the book. He gave me a ride to all the destined places where Yogmaya’s stories were. I still remember my husband misheard my son telling him ‘mom won the prize to mom got her car pulled by the police’.

Message for the readers and people about to read Yogmaya:
“This book rather than for being awarded it was for letting more people know about ‘Yogmaya’ and raise the issue of the past that is still prevalent now. I thank all the readers and people who are reading the book and giving it a lot of love and affection,” she exclaimed.

About the drama:
“Converting the book in an hour or two’s play is a really difficult job and I must say Tanka sir with his team has done a brilliant job on this. I am really satisfied with it. I feel that this drama is helping me fulfill the purpose of writing the book; in short getting more people know about ‘Yogmaya’,” she exclaimed.

Works of the writer:

  • Maun jeevan, Novel (1994) Launched by the then president of Nepali Congress and ex- Prime Minister Krishana Prasad Bhattrai.
  • Niyatiko khel, Novel, (1997)
  • Hawan, Story Collection (2006)
  • Brain fever, a long poem, (2006)
  • Neelam karki niharika ka kabita, Collection of Poems,(2006)
  • Kagaj ma dastakhat, Collection of stories (2007)
  • Beli, Collection of stories(2012)
  • Arki Aaimee, Novel (2014)
  • Chirharan, Novel published (2016), Awarded Padma Shree Puraskar 2072
  • Yogmaya, Novel (2018), awarded nepali literary award Madan Puraskar-2074.


Upcoming Plans:
 “Since my old books might not have reached the audience as targeted or people might not have been able to buy it in the past. I am planning to reprint Hawan, Beli, Arkiayamai and Chirharan by adding some stories. I guess the work will be completed within a few weeks at the most,” she said, “I hope these books will also receive good affection from my readers. I once again thank all my readers for their support and affection.”  








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