‘Satya Mohan’, a book on a true giant of history, launchedThe biography on the centenarian, a cultural institution in his own right, is a vivid account of his perspectives spanning the Rana regime to the current pandemic.
In 2019, during an event to mark his 100th birthday, Satya Mohan Joshi, a cultural institution, said living a hundred years is not a difficult thing; it’s a matter of refraining from negativity.
“I never complain. Instead I contemplate life and get energy from my best wishes,” he said, as he stood tall full of vigour.
Two months shy of stepping into the 103rd year of his life, Joshi on Friday exuded similar charm at an event to launch a book bearing his name “Satya Mohan.”
“Even after living for so long, I always felt that I didn’t know myself better, but this book written by Girish Giri helped,” said Joshi.
Joshi’s 308-page biography is an account of Joshi’s life, his works to preserve Nepal’s culture and arts and details socio-cultural changes from the time of the Rana regime to the current global pandemic.
“Giri himself became Satya Mohan Joshi… he became me… and wrote this book,” said Joshi at the event which was attended by people from various walks of life—cultural conservatives, literature lovers, art enthusiasts, teachers and journalists.
Born in 1919 in Patan, Joshi is celebrated for his achievements in the field of literature, history, and culture with more than 60 books on music, drama, culture, and history to his name.
“You can find all the watersheds of his 100 years in this book, and it’s written in a very lucid way,” said Jyoti Tuladhar, a critic and linguist who has already translated some of Joshi’s books in English.
“This book itself will speak of history. You will get to know about the 1990 BS (1934) earthquake, the 1951's establishment of democracy. His first visit to New Zealand and till this Covid era,” said Tuladhar.
A three-time recipient of the Madan Puraskar for his work on folk studies, Nepali numismatics and the traditions of the Karnali region, Joshi is a name among Nepalis that elicits respect, honour and reverence.
Before the launch of the book on Friday, there was a classical performance by Sukarma, arguably Nepal’s most sought-after folk classical outfit led by Dr Dhurbehs Chandra Regmi.
“This is such a blissful moment. We are full of energy and this is a privilege and great honour for us to play live in front of the country’s most venerated figure and such an august audience,” said Regmi.
Joshi’s contribution to Nepali culture, art and history are immense. He founded the Rashtriya Nach Ghar as part of his effort to keep Nepali culture and art alive. He has been honoured with an honorary Doctor of Literature degree by the Kathmandu University.
Giri, the journalist who penned the book, said that initially he didn't think he would be able to write a book about such a towering figure.
“As a journalist I had frequently met Joshi and I have written numerous articles about him,” said Giri. “But he never failed to amaze me every time I met him in the past few years as we have developed a better bonding. Sometimes our conversations would last for hours.”
Giri said he has known Joshi for the past three decades.
But about five years ago, he started considering writing a book on Joshi.
“His perspectives used to be so wise and wide that I thought he should tell his story in the larger interest of the people and the country, Giri told the Post. “The past seven months, I have totally dedicated myself to this book.”
The seven-month story also has something to do with Bhupendra Khadka, the owner of Book Hill Publications which has published Joshi’s book. According to Giri, Khadka persuaded him to work on the book on Joshi.
“Also, Joshi is a living heritage and has made immense contributions to the nation. In the present time there aren’t many such people. So it was inevitable to bring this book to transfer his knowledge to this generation and for the future generations,” said Giri.
At the event, Joshi, the man of the day, however, was characteristically humble as he spoke of the book on him.
“I am hopeful that this book will offer guidance to the future generations,” said Joshi.
Book is now available in market.