Binod Bihari Verma

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Binod Bihari Verma
BinodBihariVermainMay2000.jpg
Dr Binod Bihari Verma, May 2000, Bhubaneswar
Born Binod Bihari Verma
(1937-12-03)3 December 1937
Baur, Distt Darbhanga, Bihar, India
Died 9 November 2003(2003-11-09) (aged 65)
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Pen name Vinod, Vinod Gopal
Occupation Writer: novelist, short story, biography, research; medical doctor; armyman
Nationality Indian
Period 1965–2005
Genre Rural life, social justice, historical
Subject Genealogy, Folk songs, biography, Literary criticism
Notable works Maithili Karna Kayasthak Panjik Sarvekshan
Spouse Pratibha Verma (1965 – till death)
Children 5: Two sons, Three daughters
Relatives Brij Kishore Verma Manipadma (Cousin Brother)

Binod Bihari Verma (1937–2003) was a Maithili littérateur by soul, medical doctor by profession and a defence officer by career. He is most noted for his pioneering work on Panjis, which are ancient genealogical charts, Maithili Karna Kayasthak Panjik Sarvekshan. He is also known for his depiction of rural poor of the Mithila region in his writings. During his lifetime, he worked as a medical officer in the Indian Army, as a lecturer in a Dental College, and as a Private Medical practitioner. He simultaneously carried on his literary works by independent publishing and in various magazines viz. Mithila Mihir and Karnamrit. He had command over a number of languages including Urdu, Sanskrit, Oriya, Assamese and Bengali and scripts of various Indian languages viz. old Maithili, Assamese, Gurmukhi, Oriya and Nepali.

Biography[edit]

Early life and education[edit]

Binod Bihari Vema was born in Baur( 26°3'17"N 86°20'46"E), District Darbhanga, Bihar on 3 December 1937 to a Maithil Karna Kayasth landlord Rameshwar Lal Das and Yogmaya Devi. His father, Rameshwar Lal Das, was a freedom fighter, a prominent Gandhian and tireless worker for the upliftment of the poor, and he inculcated these values in his children as well. These values are also reflected in the writings of Dr. Verma. He lived with his brother Anand Kishore Lal Das, as a joint family.

After finishing his primary school, which was at the Rasiyari village (across the mighty Kamla Balan) – there being no primary school in his village, he moved with his father and uncle to various places in South Bihar (now Jharkhand) who were trying to spread Gandhiji's message of achieving freedom through self reliance and nonviolence in the remote tribal areas of Chaibasa, Ranchi, and Singhbhum areas of South Bihar. He developed a close bonding with the tribal children of these places which gave him a rare understanding of the lot of the poor and the underprivileged and which is depicted so picturesquely in his writings. His sojourn in the villages and the tribal areas also gave him an insight into the diversities of human nature which was reflected in his writings. He initially studied at the District School, Chaibasa. He finished his secondary schooling at the missionary school of St. John's at Ranchi. He studied his senior secondary school at Langat Singh College, Muzaffarpur. Subsequently he joined the Darbhanga Medical College and graduated in 1962.

Army life[edit]

In 1962, in the heady days of Chinese invasion (Sino-Indian War) Dr Verma joined the Indian Army and was commissioned into the Army Medical Corps in 1963. The service life gave him ample opportunity to visit remote far flung border areas and gave him a rare insight into the lives of the people of Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Punjab, Assam and Goa among others. He was in effect, a lifelong student of the culture and language of all the various peoples he came in contact with. He tried to understand their language and read their folk tales and poetry. All these issues are vividly imbibed in his writings.

In 1984, he opted for permanent commission in the army. He fought in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, was involved in the Operation Bluestar in 1984 and the IPKF operations in Sri Lanka in 1988–1990, where he commanded the 404 Field Ambulance at Vavuniya. His dynamic leadership and clinical skills in these conflicts won him respect both from the men he commanded and from his seniors. He was greatly admired for his integrity and honesty. He took premature retirement from active army service in 1990, partly disillusioned with the war in Sri Lanka.

Later life and death[edit]

Subsequent to his retirement Dr Verma settled in Bhubaneswar, Orissa where he started his clinical practice and undertook literary tasks with renewed vigour. He had planned to settle down at Saharsa, where he had even built a house but due to the prevailing situation at the place and continuation of education of his children he chose Bhubaneswar over Saharsa. He used the excellent research and archives facilities available at Bhubaneswar at the State Library and the State Archives to further his research on his lifetime interests. Post 1990 was his most prolific literary phase with regular publishing of novels, biographies, and contributions to Maithili magazines. During this period he regularly visited local libraries, met various Oriya and Maithili literary figures and was generally involved in academic activities. He taught Biochemistry in a Dental college in Bhubaneswar. In 1999 he was diagnosed to be suffering from prostate cancer. After this period his literary work was interrupted frequently due to illness. He died on 9 November 2003 at Bangalore, fighting a long battle with cancer.

Life as a writer[edit]

Career overview[edit]

Dr. Verma began writing with descriptive stories and essays of the life and people around him form his school and college days. Subsequently, he came under the influence of Prof. Radha Krishna Choudhary, historian and writer, and his writings increasingly depicted poor and their lifestyle being disrupted by modernisation. his works are known for subtle depiction of poverty and the richness of the culture of common folk in the form of folk songs. In this he was influenced by Maxim Gorky. Under the guidance of Choudhary, he started the major study and research work of Panjis which culminated in his first published book Maithili Karna Kayasthak Panjik Sarvekshan in 1973. After this there was a lull in his literary work till he retired from the army in 1989. He began collecting and publishing his older works. He turned his attention to biographies and wrote the biographies of his mentor, Radha Krishna Choudhary, Sriram Sharma Acharya, and George Abraham Grierson. With the advent of Internet in India, he took to the new medium early and created a forum for online literary discussions, however due to his illness, he had to leave it prematurely.

Early writings[edit]

Verma began writing stories and poems in his high school days. These centred around the various people whom he met in real life. They contained vivid depiction of the life of the poor in post independent India. They also contained pieces which depicted his various experiences in school viz. dissection of a frog as zoology practical class. He also wrote poems which were patriotic and motivational. These works were published in various school magazines and occasionally in Mithila Mihir.

Mithila Mihir short stories[edit]

After this phase he began contributing regularly to various Maithili magazines, primarily, Mithila Mihir. They involved depiction of rural life. These were subsequently published as a short story collection Balanak Bonihar O Pallavi. He also wrote a social novel, Nayanmani during this period which was published in serial format in Mithila Mihir. This was subsequently published as a novel.

Panjik sarvekshan[edit]

In 1973, he published his magnum opus, Maithili Karna Kayasthak Panjik Sarvekshan. This work was a culmination of months of extensive research on the fast disappearing ancient genealogical charts. It exemplifies both his research and literary skills. It remains the only surviving record of certain groups of Panjis, which have now disappeared. In this work, his association with Radha Krishna Choudhary, came to the fore.

Later works[edit]

Subsequent to Maithili Karna Kayasthak Panjik Sarvekshan, there came a long hiatus in his literary life. He again started writing and publishing after 1990, after his retirement from the Army. He published his previous works as collections. He also started contributing frequently to Karnamrit, a new maithili magazine, as Mithila Mihir had stopped being published. He researched extensively on folks songs of mithila, the life and contribution of George Abraham Grierson, the biography of Radha Krishna Choudhary, and the literary history of Maithili. These culminated in various articles in the Karnamrit as well as various published books.

Pen names[edit]

Marriage and children[edit]

  • Married to Pratibha Verma at Patori Village (Saharsa Distt), Bihar on 4 July 1965 in a traditional Maithil wedding
  • Children: Three daughters and Two sons
    • Archana Verma:Daughter
    • Sharad Verma:Son
    • Varuna Verma:Daughter
    • Savita Verma:Daughter
    • Rohit Verma:Son

Major influences[edit]

Lifetime interests and researches[edit]

Places where posted while in the army[edit]

Places where stayed in civilian life[edit]

Major works[edit]

Published articles[edit]

  • Cancer: kaaran o upchaar – Mithila Mihir[4]
  • Charak – Mithila Mihir[5]
  • Maithili sahityak aajuk swaroop – (Co authored with RK Choudhary) Maithili Patrika[6]
  • Maithil karna kayasthak taal patra panji – Karnamrit[7]
  • Sahitya manishi Achyutananda Datta – vyaktitva o krititva – Karnamrit[8]
  • Sri Yatrik kavya soushthav – Karnamrit[9]
  • Bharatiya bhaasha sahityak mahaan gaveshak Sir George Abraham Grierson aa hunak Maithili seva – Karnamrit[10]
  • Deena bhadrik katha – Karnamrit[11]
  • Mahaan chitra shilpi Shrimati Ganga Devi: ek shradhhanjali – Karnamrit[12]
  • Aadhunik raajniti o maithili ke jivit rahbaak sankat – Karnamrit[13]
  • Manipadmak rachna ma mul tatva – Smarika[14]
  • Pravasi: Chhatham pushpa 1997 – 98 – Karnamrit[15]
  • Ananga Kusuma ma Manipadmak darshnikta – Karnamrit[16]

Articles on web[edit]

External links[edit]

  1. Maithili
  2. Mithila Online
  3. Balaanak Bonihar O Pallavi
  4. Maithil Karna Kayasthak Panjik Sarvekshan
  5. Nayanmani
  6. Tapasa Vai Ganga

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lib.washington.edu
  2. ^ Lib.washington.edu
  3. ^ Loc.gov
  4. ^ Mithila Mihir, Sunday 2 April 1962
  5. ^ Mithila Mihir, Sunday 21 June 1962
  6. ^ Maithili Patrika, 1973
  7. ^ Karnamrit March 1983
  8. ^ Karnamrit Oct – Dec 1987
  9. ^ Karnamrit Oct – Dec 1988
  10. ^ Karnamrit Oct – Dec 1989
  11. ^ Karnamrit Apr – Sep 1991
  12. ^ Karnamrit Jan – Mar 1992
  13. ^ Karnamrit Apr – Sep 1993
  14. ^ Smarika 1996
  15. ^ Karnamrit Apr – Jun 1998
  16. ^ Karnamrit Jan – Mar 2002