A little annoyed at the fact that I only got around to reading this classic today...
Reading Laxmi Prasad Devkota's MUNA MADAN was definitely a highlight of today. The English version I read has been translated by Ananda P. Shrestha. I bought the book from Jamal's Educational Book House (that's the name I think) for Nrs 195. They have a nice collection of short Nepali tales, folk stories and more; that is not a promotional plug, just sharing for potential book-readers out there and for those who are looking to purchase Nepali books during their next visit to Nepal.
I underlined a few lines from Muna Madan that I found beautiful and will share them below. If you plan to read the book in the future then you should stop yourself right now as what is written below will give away the story.
"I'd love to see your hands adorned, in ornaments of gold,
And build our crumbling house anew, for debt has made it old,"
"The country was so new to him, for days he lingered on,
Loved the place, forgot his home, for many days stayed on,"
"We've had no news from Lhasa, it has been so long,
On letters we're dependent, our hopes pinned all along,"
"My throat is dry, my chest burns, wipe these tears away,
I still have breath, still have hope, listen to me, I pray"
"Save me today brother, God will be with you,
For one who helps another, Heaven will be his due,"
"Though by caste a Kshatriya, with love your feet I touch,
For in the heart lies greatness, not in caste as such,"
"Was it wealth made you forget, or was it someone else?
Did others steal your heart my love, and take you somewhere else"
The Tibetan says, "It was by chance, the kindness I could show,
Charity seeks no return, remember us and go,"
"Life hangs, death awaits, the son so far away,
To see him is her only wish, ere she goes away"
"Live a life of tolerance, avoid its tearful bend,
Lead a pure and pious life, rewarding in the end,"
"All my deed goes with me, what else can I take?
Wealth we beget in dreams, is nothing when we wake,"
"There is no need to worry, you will soon be well,
Your wish it will be granted, this much I can tell,"
"Oh what peace lies on your face, Oh Mother please do speak!
Open your heart to me once more, your priceless words I seek!,"
"Muna's words strike the mind, and they pierce my heart,
'What's the use of wealth?', she'd said, so sweetly at the start,"
"Don't look down from above Muna, I am coming too,
Even with tears as token, I'll be meeting you,"
"I live and that is my disease, remove it with a cure,
Regarding illness of the soul, tell me of a cure,"