Articles, Blog

Maya Thakuri | Lightroom Conversation | Nepali Times

November 9, 2019


When I was a child, until 14-15 years of age I was very mischievous and foul mouthed I used to fight back whenever anyone said anything bad and as kids we fought all the time Because I did not get to eat much, I would get angry seeing others eat I swore a lot, and scolded people I am a factory of offensive words! Maya Thakuri
Member, Nepal Academy
Inside Born in Lucknow, on July 2 1946 Maya Thakuri’s first poems were hate letters to people who mistreated her Maya never went to school She taught herself how to read and write and is today a member of Nepal Academy and has published over eight anthologies of short stories In our conversation we talk about finding, creating and occupying spaces that were always built to exclude us. This photo is from many years ago I was so thin back then, unlike now This one is of my husband and me Taken a year or two after our marriage This one is of my sister and me This one is me and on the left is my sister I took this one in a library It has been over 50 years since I started writing stories In the early days, it used to be difficult to write since I did not get formal education Continuous practice and reading helped me improve I love reading different writers When I start reading, I forget the world around me I was a teacher at Gandaki Boarding School I taught for 6-7 years This photo is from my time When I think about how someone like me who never went to school actually taught at a school, It surprises me. In this photo from 1986, I am accepting the Mainali Story Award Padmawati Singh, a famous Nepali writer is offering me tika Today I am at Nepal Academy I do not know about others, but regarding this, I have realised that I was capable Because if I was not, they would not call me for the position I did not use any “source force” to get to this place Many people tell me I am everywhere, that I attend every event no matter how big or small and sit there quietly listening while other talk I say I feel like I am at a school or a college When intellectuals speak on different books, analyse its strength and weakness I feel like they are teaching me If a wealthy person invites me to a grand hotel, I’m there If a struggling writer launches a book with great effort and invites me at the inauguration, I attend that too But I am the one benefitting from it all Continuously attending such events for many years Reading the books they present to me Listening to others speak on the books Can you guess how much one can gain from it? I am the one getting free education This is positive thinking In writing, I make use of every single experience I have had everything I observed and all the feelings that surged from it Later, I understood my mother’s situation Though I was young, I collected a lot of experiences from home I do not have to create any artificial emotion I have everything inside me I have experienced it all Especially, how the wealthy behave with the poor, how men treat children, everything Sometimes I feel like I am all alone, No one else is in this world In this emptiness, there is no one except me And sometimes I feel like whatever I have received is a miracle Is it real or not? I came from a broken family I did not understand what a father’s affection was ought to be like I remember my mother always crying, always in pain But the life I have right now I have a daughter, two grandsons, my husband We all live as one family and help each other And another thing is I try to create a good relationship with everyone and behave equally without discriminating I have made a lot of friends During my childhood, I did not have any friends At this age, I have many close friends I feel really happy thinking about all I have today Thank you so much! Thank you

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