Cover of Muna Madan 2007 edition
|Author||poet Laxmi Prasad Devkota|
|Cover artist||Tekbir Mukhiya|
Muna Madan (Nepali: मुनामदन) is a short stort narrative by the Nepalese poet Laxmi Prasad Devkota and one of the most popular works in Nepali literature. Just before his death in 1959 he made his famous statement, "It would be all right if all my works were burned, except for Muna Madan." It is the most commercially successful Nepali book ever published.
Muna Madan is based on an 18th-century ballad in Nepal Bhasa entitled Ji Waya La Lachhi Maduni (It hasn't been a month since I came). The song, which is popular in Newar society, tells the story of a merchant from Kathmandu who leaves for Tibet on business leaving behind his newly wed bride. The wife is concerned for his safety as the journey to Tibet is filled with hardships, and she pleads with him not to go. But he leaves despite her protests. When he returns home after many years, he finds that she has died.
Muna Madan describes the life of a man (Madan) who leaves his wife (Muna) and goes to Lhasa to make money, and while returning he becomes sick on the way. His friends leave him on the road and come back home saying he has died. The story also shows the life of a poor woman who suffered much without her husband and later dies because of grief. Finally he is rescued by a man who is considered to be of lower caste in Nepal. That is why it is said that a man is said to be great not by caste or race but by a heart full of love and humanity.
When Madan returns to Kathmandu after regaining his health, he discovers that his wife is dead and becomes grief-stricken. Madan comes to realize that money is of no value at that point. In this poem, Laxmi Prasad has written that greatness is not measured by one's race, but by one's deed.
The epic poem has been adapted into a movie of the same name. The film has been directed by Gyanendra Deuja and stars national award nominated actress, Usha Poudel who made a debut in the role of Muna. Muna Madan was Nepal's official entry at the 2004 Academy Awards.
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