Unseen Artistry Of Ramesh Vikal


Hidden talents often remain concealed for extended periods, and even after the passing of writers or artists, their established talents continue to shine. An illustrative case of this phenomenon can be found in the life story of the renowned poet Ramesh Vikal. 

He was widely famous in Nepali literature for his versatility as a novelist, short story writer, humor and satire essayist, playwright, and children's author. Yet, hidden from the public eye, there was a lesser-known facet of his abilities. This concealed talent, distinct from his well-documented literary pursuits, adds an intriguing layer to his legacy. The context here is Ramesh Vikal’s hidden talent, and it is his art works, which he left behind and are now brought out in the under-review publication after the author’s demise. Was he such a polished artist, too? For many common readers, this is a new fact. 

But to a few senior authors and artists who were closely familiar with Vikal while he was alive, the fact can’t be so new because they knew Vikal was a talented artist, too, and they claim they even observed him painting, sketching, and playing musical instruments passionately.

A few quotes from such authors can be mentioned, for example, in the prefaces of this publication, too. The senior poet Rochak Ghimire writes, "Renowned Nepali artist Manuj Babu Mishra admitted to the fact that he moved towards painting due to the inspiration of Vikal’. Similarly, in the words of the noted artist K. K. Karmacharya, "His (Vikal’s) hidden talents went beyond painting and included sculpture and 

playing musical instruments like the flute, violin, harmonium, table, etc.".

The remarks are proof of how talented and passionate Vikal was to do paintings, sketches, and play musical instruments. However, this fact was limited to the knowledge of a few scholars. But the happy thing to note here is that it has been easy to view Vikal’s multi-faceted personality for common readers with the publication of the under-reviewed collection of art works of the late author. Coming to the structure of this newly published document entitled "Ramesh Vikal’s (Ravi Chalise) Hidden Talent", the efforts of the author, Dr. Yam Prasad Sharma, and the editor, K. K. Karmacharya, need to be noted because the duo of scholars have systematically introduced Vikal’s multi-dimensional personality to readers and viewers of art fields.

The publication is divided into six chapters. The first one is "Ramesh Vikal (Ravi Chalise) and his Artwork", the second is "Landscapes: Spots of Time in the Visuals of Nature, the third is "Portraits: Presentation of Personality and Mood, and the fourth is "Visual Compositions: Exploration of Ordinary Life. The fifth is "Vikal’s Sketches and Reflections of Life," and the last chapter is Conclusion."

In fact, there is a strong connection between Vikal’s literary vision and his artistic talent. If it had not been so, he would not have attached so much importance to ordinary life, the varied geographical beauty of Nepal, and the portraits of some of the heroes of the country and the world in his paintings. Vikal is imaginative in both fields.

Speaking particularly about his arts, what we find in this publication are his beautiful portrayals of Laxmi Prasad Devkota, Lekhnath Paudyal, Nati Kaji, Vikal’s own images, etc., from among the national personalities, and Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Rabindra Nath Thakur, Mother Teresa, etc., from among the world personalities. In addition to these personality-related themes, the common folks or subjects of public interest, especially appealing issues of society and matters of natural beauty, are things of portrayal in the sketches and paintings of Vikal.

In fact, Vikal was a reform-minded poet, and it was that reason that inspired him to write throughout his life. Or, we can also say that it was that point that gave him the strength to oppose injustices, exploitation, and discrimination through the medium of words. However, in terms of his artistic talent, the vision of the creator's portrayal is intertwined in both his writings and paintings: in writing, he has dropped appealing messages of common good to readers, and the same thing he has done in visual form through the medium of paintings and sketches. To summarise the importance of this publication, it seems that this document is precious because it will raise the curiosity of admirers about the creative talents of the late Ramesh Vikal. In fact, if we look at the domains of Nepali literature and arts, we find thousands and thousands of authors in the nation. Similar is the case in the arts fields, too. 

But the two-in-one (art of writing and art of painting) or multidimensional talent of writers and artists is a rare quality. This publication may not be complete, but it has focused on popular author Vikal’s hidden talent, and for this, the Vikal Foundation deserves praise.


 (Kafle is a former Deputy Executive Editor of this daily) 

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