Peter J Karthak, author of Pratyek Thhaun: Pratyek Manchhe, passes away at 77

Published On: April 22, 2020 09:46 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 22: Peter J Karthak, the author of Pratyek Thhaun: Pratyek Manchhe, passed away today at Nepal Cancer Hospital, Lalitpur. He was 77. His first book in Nepali, Pratyek Thhaun: Pratyek Manchhe, won the prestigious Sajha Purashkar in 1978. He was a writer, musician, and a journalist. Pratyek Thhaun: Pratyek Manchhe was translated into English, titled Every Place: Every Person, in 2004.

Peter John Karthak was born in Shillong in 1943, and his family left for Darjeeling in the midst of World War II. Karthak grew up in Darjeeling. He came to Kathmandu in 1965, and spent the rest of his life here. 

Kathmandruids, launched in 2018 in Kathmandu, was Karthak’s latest and the first original novel in English. Talking to Republica in April 2018, Karthak said the idea of the novel came to him while he was working at Republica. “We were at a metropolitan event and a Kathmandu politician was sharing a very interesting story that was basically a mobster story. Others were eating and drinking and not really paying attention. But he certainly had me hooked."

For him, writing was a hobby. He would wake up really early in the morning and start writing until others wake up in the house. 

“My novel, 'A Young Wandering Mudlark in Old Kathmandu' is complete. 117,500 words. Revising now,” states his intro on his Facebook page. 

His last post on Facebook (on April 15 at 8:42 PM) reads: 

While I can't thank every encourager and well-wisher of mine for their kind words in my most trying moments, I'm at least obliged to inform you that my first chemotherapy session took place this afternoon at Nepal Cancer Hospital and Research Center.

The Doctors' Team and the professional and conscientious female caregivers took the best care of this Cancer Patient, and I must return the favour by not disappointing their kindness shown beyond their call of duties and obligations.Good Night to you all the Most Kind Souls!

He was diagnosed with cancer some two weeks ago, lumps on his neck were found to be cancerous. The doctors at Nepal Cancer Hospital advised chemotherapy, and the process was initiated last week. Karthak was home until Monday. His condition deteriorated, and was put on a ventilator on Tuesday.  

Karthak worked as the copy chief for The Week, Republica for six years, until he retired in 2015, after the earthquake. 

He is survived by his two sons, and his wife.

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