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Rajendra Parajuli: Words are all we have

Rajendra Parajuli: Words are all we have

Rajendra Parajuli is a prominent name in Nepali literature. He is well known for his journalistic writings and critical reviews. A permanent resident of Koteshwor, Kathmandu, he used to write on discrimination, injustice, and socio-economic issues among others. The writer will now be remembered through his work.

Parajuli was rushed to B&B Hospital, Gwarko, Lalitpur, on the night of Sept 11. He was suffering from pneumonia and had developed some complications. He was admitted to the ICU and died at 7:00 in the morning the next day. He was 59. Parajuli was cremated the same day. He is survived by a wife, a son, and a daughter.

Some of his notable works are Koteshworko Keto, Shukraraj Shastri ko Chasma, Aghori, Aanayika, Jadako Bhok, Sapanama Marx, and Bikalpa Yatra. Jantarmantar, a collection of 15 short stories, was his most recent work. The stories in the collection deal with the issues in the country’s politics, the decade-long people’s war, and the effects of the economy and politics in Nepali society.

Parajuli has also written essays and poems in which he has explored various negative emotions like sadness and worry. He was passionate about reading.

He had been active in journalism for more than three decades. He worked at Nepal Samacharpatra, Abhiyan Dainik, Baarakhari, Nagarik, Himal Khabarpatrika, Spacetimes, Kantipur daily, and Capital magazine.

“Gaju, you must write and keep on writing, a senior writer who used to say such is no longer with us. My hands are shaking as I write these words. The eyes are filled with tears. Parajuli, who loved me dearly, my former colleague, brother, senior journalist, and writer, passed away during the course of treatment. Condolences,” wrote journalist Gajendra Budathoki on Twitter.

Nayan Raj Pandey, Parajuli’s friend for over 30 years, remembers him as someone with incredible strength and courage. According to Pandey, Parajuli was an honest reviewer who used to openly talk about both his and other people’s works. He took criticism well. Pandey says he has not been able to accept the fact that his friend is no more. “It feels like we will meet another day.”

Parajuli believed that you don’t write reviews to make someone happy or sad. A review, he always said, was a dissection of the book. He was also of the view that a review, good or bad, is an advertisement in itself.

Autobiographies, he felt, should not be a glorified presentation of the writer. Rather, the author should include his/her weaknesses as well. Working on an autobiography could well be a way of self-evaluation. He believed you were your own critic when working on an autobiography.

Birth: 24 April 1964, Kathmandu

Death: 12 September 2023, Kathmandu