From The Nepali Press
Charumati in Nepal
Main editorial in Kantipur, 2 February
FROM ISSUE #233 (01 FEB 2005 - 10 FEB 2005) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Sanskrit scholar Satya Mohan Joshi has proved that age does not matter when it comes to work as long as one has the willpower to do something. Joshi, 85, successfully produced the ballet of Charumati, daughter of Ashoka. He even managed to turn the story of Ashoka and his daughter's visit to Nepal and her eventual marriage to a Nepali youth into a ballet. Joshi worked intensely for 18 months without remuneration, believing that his main purpose was to start something novel in Nepal. This ballet will definitely make a significant contribution to Nepali Sanskrit culture. It will also give an interesting account of this particular history of Ashoka's visit to Nepal. He had come here with his daughter in search of peace after feeling exhausted from winning a big war. He was not an ordinary pilgrim but a devoted follower of the Buddha. During his pilgrimage, he built many religious monuments. The main theme of the ballet is the romance between Charumati and Debpal, a young Chettri. Their romance forged a new relationship between India and Nepal. It is really amazing to see how this ballet about ancient history has been able to mesmerise modern youth. Although the story is old, the ballet has managed to include modern elements to move with the times. Ballet is quite unusual for Nepalis. Stories of Kumari, Munamadan and others were usually presented through musical dramas. This ballet will definitely delight Nepalis. There are now plans to take this ballet to India as well. The Indians will not only get to know about Nepal-India relations of about 2,300 years back. They will also learn Nepal's Sanskrit traditions. At a time when art and culture are so influenced by the west, this initiative by Joshi and the Lalitpur municipality will make significant contribution towards promoting Nepali identity.