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Bala Krishna Sama (1903–1981) was a Nepalese dramatist. He is also regarded as the "Shakespeare" of Nepal. In Nepali language, he is known as “Natya Siromani”. As a dramatist("natak-kar") he was a literature great of Nepal. His contribution to nepali literature can never be forgotten. He was the son of General Samar Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana and Kirtirajyalaksmi Rana.
Sama completed his high school from Durbar High School in Rani Pokhari and took up science in Tri Chandra College. During his second year of academic studies, he was sent to Dehradoon for army training as an army captain, afterwards he became a Lieutenant Colonel, by the then prime minister Chandra Shumsher Rana.
In his own home, the environment was strained. Sama spent a lot of time alone at home finding peace in solitude and gradually he spent more time in art and literary activities. He started publishing his writings in reputed magazines such as Sarada, Udhyog, Shahitya Shrot, etc. Afterwards, he shortened his surname "Shumshere Jung Bahadur Rana" to "Sama" because he no longer wished to be associated with a ruling regime that had once governed Nepal with autocracy. His drama "Bhater" which was published in Pragati in 1953 clearly shows his feelings on the issue of human rights.
Rise to fame
Several of his dramas have been inspired by Shakespeare's works. His dramas such as "Prem Pinda", "Buhartan", "Tapobhumi", "Atyadhunikta", and "Bhater" present the social context of the Rana era; "Mukunda Indira" and "Mutuko Byatha" show the emotional and romantic side of Sama's personality. "Amit Basana", "Boksi", "Talamathi", and "Andhabeg" are based on the human psychology. And his dramas on historical personalities are "Amar Singh", "Bhimsen Ko Antya", and "Bhakta Bhanubhakta". "Birami Ra Kuruwa" deals with philosophy while "Prahlad" and "Dhruba" are based on religious figures. Bal Krishna Sama is known as one of Nepal's greatest dramatists. During his time, he was also considered as the "Shakespeare" of Nepal.
Sama also wrote stories, poems, essays, compositions, and biographies. His contemporaries Laxmi Prasad Devkota and Lekhnath Poudyal were involved in writing poetry. "Aago Ra Paani" and "Chiso Chulho" are his popular epics, he wrote an essay on Nepalese art entitled "Nepal Lalit Kala" as well as a biography Hamra Rastriya Bhibhutiharu and an autobiography Mero Kabita Ko Aradhana, Part I and II. "Kaikai" is his most well-known short story collection which was published in 1938.
He worked as a lecturer of Nepali language and literature in Tri Chandra College. In 1955, he became director of Nepal Radio and chief editor of Gorkhapatra. In 1967, when the Royal Nepal Academy was established, he became a member and later on the vice chancellor of the academy. He retired from work in 1971.
After his retirement, Sama continued writing and published many of his poems in nationally reputed magazines like Madhuparka, Ramjham, etc. He also read out many of his unpublished works during literary programs. Among his unpublished dramas are "Gangalal", "Aja", "Milinad", "Prem", "Chinta", "Prandaan", etc. In fact many of his works remain unpublished or incomplete.
He got married to Mandakini in 1921. Sama was awarded with the Tribhuwan Puraskar from Nepal Rajakiya Pragya Prathistan in 1972. The same year he received the Bishesh Upadhi from Tribhuvan University and in 1978, the Prithvi Pragya Puraskar from Pragya Pratisthan. He died in 1981.