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Biography of Parijat

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					Biography of Parijat
                                    According to Parijat, Darjeeling is the mountain kissed
                           by the cold breath of Kanchanjungha. Yes, Parijat was born in
                           Darjeeling in 1937 probably in the month of April-May in a
                           tea garden called Lingya. Her real name was Bishnu Kumari
                           Waiba. Besides that, the name a Lama had given her was
                           Chheku Dolma. After coming of age, she changed her name
                           given by her parents and the Lama and called herself Parijat,
                           but the fact was that she only saw Parijat, the flower after she
                           had come to Kathmandu. She liked the name Parijat and after
                           learning that Parijat is not plucked from the plant but collected
                           when it falls to the ground, she exchanged Bishnu Kumari
                           Waiba with Parijat. It was with the name of Parijat that her
literary fame spread gradually all over the country. It was with this name that she became
immortal in Nepali Language literature.

Though her father was a resident of Darjeeling, his ancestral home was Sankhuwa
Shabha of Chainpur. The grandfather, Dhanman Singh Waiba had visited India for the
first time. Sardar Waiba was a rich person. Besides, Parijat‟s father had previously
worked in the Indian Army but when bad times started to descend gradually into Parijats
household, their prosperity also began to decline, disappear and the family began to sink.
Infact, there wasn‟t anything else for them in Darjeeling. So, they could not come up with
any particular source of income generation there. Though, there were a lot of financial
problems for them, her father was a homeopathic doctor. It was he who supported the
family any which way he could.

Parijat‟s fathers name was K.S. Lama and her mother was Amrita Lama. Amrita Lama
was K.S. Lama‟s second wife. After the death of his first wife, K.S. Lama had married
again. Parijat was the third child of the Lama couple. Eleven children were borne by
Parijat‟s two mothers.

Parijat used to fall ill frequently form early childhood. She would be defeated in quarrels
and games with friends in school and home due to her being physically weak. Paralysis
had started setting in since that time. Parijat was thirteen years of age when, for the first
time, this complex disease attacked her. Since then, joint aches and pains affected Parijat
a lot. Her father used to treat all of Parijats diseases. He was a doctor who had his own
methods and principals. So, Parijat had not seen another proper medical practitioner up
until 1954. Her father, due to his stubbornness had applied his medical skills on Parijat up
until that time. Had Parijat been given good and proper treatment since her early
childhood, she might not have had to lie in bed her entire life, was the opinion of the
people then.
Though she used to be ill, Parijat was introspective from early childhood. She was also
very obstinate. Parijat had said about her childhood- “My village was far from the town.
My house was in the middle of the jungle. Perhaps, at that time I might have
unconsciously wished to write, so I desired to walk in the forest. I wanted to sleep on the
ridge of the stream and dance on the road. Not only this, I used to go all over the hillside,
up and down and everywhere. At that time, all I wanted was to enjoy myself but was not
able to write poetry.

At a time when everyone feels like going to school and learn, Parijat liked walking, going
into the forest and passing her days going into the bushes and plucking and eating berries;
she would get her dolls married, used to catch and fly crickets. She used to go in to the
forest after collecting her friends and would bathe in the stream.

Since, her early childhood, her mind used to wander like a bird, hence, she was a
wanderer right from her childhood. More often, she used to walk alone. She would be
overjoyed with the pleasure of walking after getting wet in the water. So, she wanted to
pass her time on the moon-bathed land. She desired to pass the night in an isolated corner
of a garden. Besides, she desired to sleep at the resting spots for travelers. But as the days
passed, her thoughts too began to become meaningless. As soon as the sun had set, she
would be imprisoned. It seemed that her house had become a prison for her. She had to
struggle many times to break free from the imprisonment. When she could not succeed in
her endeavor to break free, she had to fight her parents a number of times. Due to various
compulsions, helplessness and situations, her strong and bountiful energy was kept a
captive. She had to put a lid over her desires to bring herself under control.

Parijat was expert in decorating the house and rooms from a very young age. She used to
search for and bring beautiful flowers to fill and decorate the rooms of her house. She had
this habit in Darjeeling and that continued even in Kathmandu. Noticing her love for
flowers, one of her friends, Roop Chandra Bist used to joke about it repeatedly. Bist used
to advice her not to pluck flowers because he liked to see the flowers wither on the plant.
Parijat used to say, “Flowers are my weakness. If there are no flowers in my room, it will
look like a strange place to me.”

Parijat had lost her mother when she was a child. So, she was quite a stranger to motherly
love, affection and intimacy. Parijat could not really get to know her mother. Parijat,
though born a woman, could not get the opportunity to collect the expertise and learn
from the experiences of her mother and become a mother of a worldly child, though she
might have experimented being the mother of a fanciful child. Parijat had said in this
context “I could not get to know my mother. I do not know what mothers love is.” So,
she was brought up and taken care of by her father. Dr. Lama was always busy due to
work and Parijat used to, in such situations lie and generally draw a different picture to
her father. As a result, she used to smoke from a young age, deceiving her father. Though
she had started smoking when she had started studying in class six. She had made herself
a habitual smoker in the company of her father‟s sister‟s daughter and with the full
knowledge of her horse-riding brother. She gradually went on smoking. She could know
the incessant longing for a cigarette after having her meal. As, she grew older; she found
cigarette smoking to be normal. After that, she started taking marijuana. She had
increased the palpitation of her heart by smoking marijuana. Parijat also fell ill after
smoking marijuana.

The responsibilities of the kitchen were handed over to Parijat at a very young age.
Parijat had a lot of interest in cooking but due to her physical condition, she was taken
out of the kitchen. She used to say, “Cooking was my interest and it was also my fathers
interest. I feel sorry even today for not getting to cook.” She passed the day collecting
twigs to bake potatoes, to eat birds by roasting them etc. Generally, she had to carry out
the entire household duties because she was the expert in domestic chores. Though she
was of a very young age, she was the President of the house.

Parijat studied in a Christian school in Darjeeling when she was quite young. These
schools were “Nepali Girls High School and Saint Teresa School. Because the Christians
ran Saint Teresa School, every student had to read the Bible. Hence, she had studied the
lessons of the Bible at a very young age. Though she had studied in a Christian school,
she did not change her religion. She was a Buddhist. She had read books on Buddha‟s
philosophy and the Geeta at the age of fifteen. Besides, she had also studied other
religious books. She had taken interest in scouts while in school and she got an
opportunity to join the girls scout. Parijat had studied from class two to class ten in
Darjeeling. After coming to Kathmandu, she was admitted in Padma Kanya Vidyashram
for the S.L.C. examination.

Parijat was interested in singing since the time she had been a kid. Her voice had been
sweet when she was young. Parijat had liked to sing, whether it was at school, home, get-
togethers or picnics and she had impressed quite a few people. But, her father had not
liked her singing. So, her voice started getting rusty and coarse. She also had been
interested in dancing as a kid but she was unable to take it up formally. She also had been
interested in writing but her written works were unbearable for her father. She had
wished to write and do various things publicly but Parijat could not come out openly out
of fear of her father. She did not quit singing, dancing and writing although it was done
on the quite without her fathers knowledge. Being obstinate, she had become victorious
in fulfilling her desires in her subjects of interests. So, she used to say- “I came through
in my journey after tricking my father. I was victorious in fulfilling my desires. I did not
receive any inspiration from my house and family. Yet, I fulfilled the objectives of my
life.”

Her father Dr. Lama had a great desire to teach science, English literature and
mathematics to Parijat. Dr. Lama wished to make his daughter a doctor but Parijat had
not even moved an inch towards realizing her father‟s ambition. She wanted to be
educated as per her wishes turning down the views of her father. In reality, she had never
purchased her school textbooks and would not study seriously. But she was more
interested in reading other books. In the face of such a strict and tough father, she
wrenched herself completely free. She had desired to grow up freely, even if it meant
becoming a rebel. There was regular dispute between father and daughter on this subject.
She said about it- “He (father) was pained with my obstinacy and I was pained because of
his compulsions.” No matter how many times she was chained, she broke free as many
times. She wanted to be independent, even if it meant revolting at home. She was
successful in her desire to become a writer due to her intense obstinacy. She became a
successful litterateur of this world.

During her days in Darjeeling, she had joy and sorrow in equal amounts. While she had
her share of various entertainments, love, good faith, pain and joy of her motherland, she
entered Kathmandu in November 1954 with her cousin (uncle‟s son). She appeared for
the S.L.C. examination from Padma Vidya Ashram in the same year and was placed
third.

During her early days in Kathmandu, Parijat stayed with Sukanya in a rented house at
Ram Shah Path. They shifted sometimes to Baneshwar and sometimes to Kirtipur. Parijat
had the natural art of making friends during the course of study. After she reached Padma
Kanya College to study I.A., Daya Singh became a close friend. As the friendship
blossomed, Parijat became the subject of love, pain and mercy of Daya Singh. Daya
Singh saw the tears when Parijat had cried and Daya Singh was the first to see all of
Parijat‟s joys.

Parijat was admitted to National College in the beginning of her I.A. course but she
attended that college for only a week. After that, she got her name registered in Padma
Kanya College. During her early days at Padma Kanya College, she used to take
marijuana. According to Parijat, when she was studying in Padma Kanya College, the
students there usually used to smoke cigarettes but Madhu Giri and Dev Laxmi had never
smoked. Daya Singh, Parijat‟s great friend also started smoking after getting into Parijat‟s
company. After Daya Singh, the cigarette was Parijat‟s only companion during the times
she was alone and lonely. Parijat smoked all her life, almost as if the cigarette had been a
lifelong friend.

During her period of study in Padma Kanya College, Parijat was of a different kind
altogether. She had started studying palmistry when she was a student of B.A. second
year. She had said about that time- “I concentrated in palmistry keeping all the other
subjects at bay.” She had attempted to acquire practical knowledge by becoming an
astrologer and by doing mathematical calculations of astrology and by making the
horoscopes of her friends. She had maintained this tradition when she became a teacher.
But afterwards, her father strongly prohibited her from practicing astrology. That cut
short her astrology practice.
Parijat had also taken interest in drama. She had done some roles in a few plays. She had
played a strong role of a heroine in a women oriented drama “Yug Ko Shikar” of
Govinda Bahadur Malla „Gothale‟. The director of that play was Shyam Das Baishnav.
The other litterateur was Chitaranjan Nepali who did a role in that play with Parijat.
Parijat passed her I.A. and B.A. in 1959 from Padma Kanya College. Ishwar Baral had
taught English to Parijat at that time.
While teaching Bishnu Kumari Waiba then, he had noticed a hint of greatness in the
future Parijat. After that, Parijat studied M.A. with English literature. Her‟s was the first
batch to study M.A. (English) at Tribhuwan University. Later, she became a teacher and
could not attend the M.A. classes. Parijat had to stop attending her M.A. classes
completely.

Parijat had started working in a school for a salary of Rs. 200/- per month since February
1961 Basudev Sharma Luitel and Kamal Dichhit had recommended her for the job at the
school. That school was Madan Memorial High School. She taught English, Geography,
Nepali and History of India in class ten. Besides, she also used to teach art to the students
of classes seven and eight. Although she could not show her artistic skills in the school,
she became a favorite of the whole school. She was skilled, efficient and good teacher.
She had also composed a prayer song to be sung by the students of school in the morning.
Kamal Dichhit wrote- “The children of our school used to sing that prayer song every
morning.” It was only after Bishnu Kumari Waiba composed the prayer song for the
school that the people in Madan Memorial High School realized that she was Parijat.

After she began to teach, she gradually started to fall ill. She became unable to attend
school. So, she took leave from Madan Memorial High School from 1962 onwards.
Parijat herself had not known that the disease would keep her sick throughout her life at
that time. Parijat had written- “I was crippled by gout for nearly nineteen/twenty years. I
was bedridden for two years. I finished the novel „Shirish Ko Phool‟ during that period. I
had to get the preface written by my favorite author and I fulfilled that longing
successfully.” Shankar Lamichhane had written one of the most unprecedented prefaces
for the novel.

Parijat had been close to the communist leader Nirmal Lama through her close friend,
Bhoopi Sherchan. After Nirmal Lama and Parijat became close, Nirmal Lama‟s brother
married Sukanya‟s sister. After that‟ Sukanya was also married to Nirmal Lama. After
Nirmal Lama and Sukanya were married, Parijat was seen to be happier and more
cheerful. After that, the talk of Parijat addressing Nirmal lama as Godfather was
published. Meanwhile, there was another tragedy in Parijat‟s and Sukanya‟s life. Parijat‟s
father, K.S. Lama died in 1972.

Parijat lived at Mahepi, Kathmandu. There were literary gatherings in her residence. The
people who collected there had been literature lovers. Sometimes, literary symposiums
would be organized and at other times, recitation programmes and introduction among
the authors. The contemporaries of Parijat had said- “The Mahepi of that time was
pleasant, bright and correct place for Nepalese art and literature.”

Parijat‟s sickness started giving her a lot of trouble from 1964. There had been an
indication that there was no treatment available for that disease anywhere in the world.
She was racked in pain after her arthritis went from bad to worse. She was bedridden for
the rest of the life since then. She was also troubled by ulcer after that. She was bedridden
at a young age.

To keep a check on her aches and pains, she started drinking „Bijuli Sarbat‟. In
connection with the „Bijuli Sarbat‟, Ramesh Shrestha writes- “One day, Parijat was
intoxicated. I requested her with love and respect not to drink. „Don‟t tell me that
Ramesh, I am very busy. Ramesh, I get tired, very tired. It‟s a little relaxation. It‟s
pretence to forget tiredness and pain. A little entertainment.”

A man keeps his hopes alive until he is breathing. So, Parijat‟s treatment, medication and
care went on regularly. But the hundreds of attempts could not be successful. After
suffering for three and half decades, her physical body could not take it anymore.

Parijat had tried to leave this wonderfully strange world time and again and on the
morning of 16th April, 1992 she left for her heavenly abode from Bir Hospital,
Kathmandu, taking leave forever. She had desired that her body should not be kept at the
Royal Nepal Academy. Her dead body was kept in Tundikhel. There was a steady flow of
men and women to pay their last respects. A green sari was wrapped on her dead body as
was her desire and a red colored shawl covered her. Eight women lifted her dead body as
she had desired. After that, her corpse was taken to Swayambhunath according to the
tradition of her Tamang caste for the final funeral rites.

The Kingdom of Nepal was shocked at the death of Parijat. Her death drowned all
sections of the Nepalese world in deep sorrow. After that, Parijat not only became the
property of the political class, but also the property of Nepali language and literature.

				
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