Never say goodbye

Fiction writer Ramesh Bikal has bid goodbye to this worldly life, at the age of 81, on Wednesday (Dec. 17) in hospital following a week in coma, after a chronic asthma attack. But he will continue to have a pride of place in Nepali literature. Influenced by the Marxist school of thought, he is recognised as one of the proponents of the existentialist and progressive stream in short stories, and his ouevres extend to the novel and the essay. A subtle reference is the vivid portrayal of the upheavals caused by economic inequalities in “Naya Sadak ko Geet” or the anti-feudal tone in “Birano Deshma”.

His literary contributions cannot merely be judged by the literary awards, of which he won several, including Madan Puraskar, and Mahendra Pragya Puraskar. Bikal, a major fiction writer, served Nepali literature for almost five long decades. He incisively scrutinised modern social conditions and spoke out against the existing social injustices in his works. Besides, his works are suffused with an artistic quality of considerable merit that will ensure him a lasting place in the modern history of Nepali literature. Ramesh Bikal Trust, dedicated to the promotion of Nepali literature, was recently established with Bikal and his family members donating property worth four to five million rupees, which is a rare example in Nepali literary circles. The inspiration will be there for generations of Nepali writers to come.