Birth: 5 April 1958, Kaski
Death: 14 November 2021, Kathmandu
In the darkness of the stage at Sarbanam Theater, as the spotlight was turned on, the audience could see just two things. One was a calendar with ‘2014’ written on it and another, in front of it, poet Vijay Bajimaya sitting in his wheelchair. As light gleamed on his wrinkled forehead, Bajimaya recited his poems and, in between, narrated the struggles of his public as well as personal lives.
Until the age of five, Bajimaya was physically fit. But, he was then trampled on by a horse and his legs suffered injuries. He still used to play and run but slowly—with more minor accidents—he couldn’t move his legs and had to resort to a wheelchair. But this didn’t stop his literary progression, nor did it stop him from making the most of his political, social, and business life.
His friendship and close relations with poets and writers inspired him to write. Celebrated litterateurs Sarubhakta, Jagadish Ghimire, Indra Mali, Tirtha Shrestha were his friends and relatives who helped Bajimaya throughout his literary journey.
Inspired by his friends, Bajimaya started his professional writing career with the poem ‘Prajatantra’ in 1973. He then published ‘Samaya Bhaneko Samaya Ho’ (poem collection), ‘Antatwogatwo’ (story collection). He also worked as a journalist. At the age of 15 in 1972, he became the editor of ‘Fewataal’, a local newspaper. Later, he also wrote and reported for other newspapers. Bajimaya also established a public library at home.
Before the 80s, poem recitation events were open to all and there were no entry fees. But Bajimaya started implementing a ticketing system for such programs so that writers and poets also got their fair share of earnings.
After 1985, he came to Kathmandu and started a hotel.
For his evergreen contributions to Nepali literature, Bajimaya got multiple awards such as ‘Byathit Kaabya Puraskar’, ‘Yuwa Barsha Moti Puraskar’, ‘Maanshree Puraskar’, ‘Rashtriya Pratibha Puraskar’, and ‘Gazalshree’.
Bajimaya, who remained a bachelor for life, died on 14 November 2021, at the age of 63, at his residence in Kathmandu. His funeral was held in his hometown of Pokhara.