08 Mar, Gangtok (IPR) : “To say that the passing away of Indra Bahadur Rai is a great loss for Nepali literature is an understatement. Shri IB Rai, who devoted his entire life to writing masterpieces, was a literary giant globally.
The Late Indra Bahadur Rai, who along with Bairagi Kainla and Ishwor Ballav co-propounded a literary genre, namely ‘Teshro Aayam’, will be remembered as a master of the dimensional literature movement (‘Aayameli Andolan’). His quest to seek totality and modernity in Nepali literature, beginning in the early 60s, persisted within him and what came out of that quest was another movement called ‘Lila Lekhan’ in the 1970s.
However, his writings can hardly be confined to these stylistic genres. The reach of his pen was far too vast and whatever he wrote,he wrote penetratingly. As an Indian Gorkha, he felt an inherent impulse to reflect the angst, emanating from the existential struggles of a community that has historically grappled with an identity crisis.
His writings uncannily blended a local relevance with a transcendent universal appeal, thus enabling him to reach out to readers beyond the confines of his language.
He received several notable awards like Sahitya Akademi Award, Jagadambashri Puraskar and Agam Singh Giri Smriti Puraskar. He was also conferred with Doctorate of Literature(Honouris Causa) by the University of North Bengal for his notable contribution to Nepali literature.
The most salient and striking thing about Shri Indra Bahadur Rai was how almost all his writings were lionized by critics at the highest level and devoured by his readers.
If I am allowed to recall, we in Nirman Prakashan had the privilege of publishing his works under a series called ‘Indra Sampurna’ and other works. We will always cherish the honour that he gave us by so humbly allowing us to publish his works.
Our generation has been and generations to come will be so privileged to live off and draw from the legacy of cosmic proportions that he left behind.”
Apart from being a world class writer, late Indra Bahadur Rai was an ideal husband who loved his wife as his own soul. He had lost his wife, late Mrs Mayadevi Rai on 27 August 2017.
He is survived by his two daughters, a son and grandchildren. I convey my heart-felt condolences to the bereaved family.