Book Review of Munamadan || English



Title : Muna Madan

Author: Laxmi Prasad Devkota

Publisher: Sajha Prakashan, Kathmandu, Nepal

Publish Year: 1936

Subject: Narrative Poetry

Genre: Romance

Pages: 41

Language: Nepali


Is it a darkly passionate tale of love? Or should we call it a highly original gothic story? The classic narrative poetry Muna Madan by Mahakabi Laxmi Prasad Devkota is, in my opinion, a unique and gripping blend of these genres. Written in 1936, it is a folk epic novel full of desire, love, passion, humanity and regret, focusing on the main characters of Muna and Madan.

The book describes the life of a man (Madan) who leaves his wife (Muna) and goes to Lhasa to make money. Madan represents all the youths of Nepal who go abroad to earn money to earn their living.

The wife of Madan, Muna is the queen of love and sacrifice. She loves her Madan a lot so she is upset as she has to send him to a place, Lahsa, where there are lots of obstacles and risks. But finally, she accepts this challenge and stays in the country with her mother-in-law who is old and weak.

While returning home, Madan becomes sick on the way. His friends leave him on the road and come back home saying he has died. 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 mother and his beloved wife had already died. Madan comes to realize that money is of no value at that point.

The story also shows the life of a poor woman who suffered much without her husband and later dies because of grief. In this poem, Devkota has written about the biggest problems of the then Nepalese society.

Through the story of Muna and Madan, Laxmi Prasad Devkota wants to stabilize the facts of traditional societies, unscientific beliefs and the negative impacts of unemployment and poverty in Nepalese society. The poet has wonderfully defined love by writing about the relationship of Muna and Madan. 

Muna Madan is not what I would call an 'easy read'. There is dense description and some of the dialogue is written in dialect, which can be difficult to follow.

Nevertheless, I carried on and, all in all, I can highly recommend Muna Madan. I challenge you to remain unmoved after reading this exceptional book.

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