The Lunatic | Four Levels

Four levels of the lunatic by laxmi prasad devkota.
DR Gurung

Four levels of "The Lunatic" ( पागल ). "The Lunatic" was written by Mahakavi Laxmi Prasad Devkota. Devkota was born on 12 November 1909 as the third son of Pandit Til Madhav Devkota and Amar Rajya Laxmi Devi. He was born in Dilli Bazar, Kathmandu on the day of Laxmi Puja, the Festival of Lights, which is celebration of Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth. He died on 14 September 1959 in Kathmandu. Devkota contributed to Nepali literature by bringing the Sanskrit tradition to its end and by starting modern Romantic Movement in the country.

" The Lunatic " is a satirical ( व्यांगात्मक ) poem composed by Devkota. In this poem, the poet presents the supermacy of emotion. This poem is his auto-biography where he expresses his anger at the inhumanity of mankind by weraring the persona of a lunatic. This poem is also a modern expression of his deepest personal feelings and a surgical exposure of the emptiness of the so-called intellectual aspirants of the time. The poet also focuses on the social, cultural, and political scene of the Nepal.
Also Read:
The Lunatic - WordMeanings And Translation In Nepali
The Lunatic - Translation In English By 'Laxmi Prasad Devkota'
The Lunatic - Summary in English (Laxmi Prasad Devkota)
The Lunatic - Questions And Answers

Four Levels of 'The Lunatic':

1. Literal Comprehension: This satirical poem is written by a great Nepali poet Laxmi Prasda Devkota. It deals with different perspectives of life. The poet begins by saying that he is mad. In the second stanza, he perceives the world differently from others. He supposes the existence of the thing which the world denies. He finds the fairy from heaven looking toward him and he communicates with the moon bird in a non-existing language. In the third stanza, he describes that when he is enjoying the starlight in the cold winter, when he is sad at the death of friend and at the old age of a young girl and to become the Budhha, people call him possessed and mad. In fifth stanza, he finds the wine of the Nabab only blood, the prostitute ( ) only a dead body, and the king only a poor person. He has proved that the so-called high persons are low. In the sixth stanza, he is in favor of the innocent persons of the world. Finally, the speaker behaves like a rebel. He criticizes the flatterers because they have deprived people of their rights and they have underlined their false actions. The poor people accept their falsity as good action, and then speaker gets angry because he thinks these man haters must be punished. The personal attacks all the ugliness and wants to bring a complete change in the society. In this poem the poet satirically accepts himself mad; he is opposite to the other world and people.

2. Interpretation: This poem is a satirical poem. This is an autobiographical poem. In this poem, the poet accepts himself as the persona of a lunatic as if it were a mask. Each stanza brings out a different aspect of the speaker's character like confidence, abnormality, imagination, sensitivity, rebellion, aggression, anger and awful majesty etc. This poem is at once a feeling of the poet and a surgical exposure of the hollowness of the so-called intellectual people of the time. The poem is the publicity of the prevailing social contradictions of the time. The poet has juxtaposed the lunatic circle onto normal social realities in a way that expresses defiance against the ruling class people for their monstrous exploitation of the common people. The two-way relationship, he so skillfully arranges between the normal and the lunatic circle serves him well to challenge the feudal establishment. This poem expresses the poet's emotional feelings towards the society who think him a lunatic. In fact he was considered a lunatic because of the lack of understanding capacity to his wit and intellectual talent.

3. Critical Thinking: There are different characters that make a person different from other. A person acts or shows his/her activities according to his/her characters. All the people cannot be similar. It is natural for us not to agree with what the person says. We know that we see the sight, hear sound, smell the scent, and touch the palpable thing. In general, the behavior of the poet or the person is really like that of a mad person. But when we see his activities with our inner eye that means literally or a critical view he is good and the other who think a good person bad or mad are the real mad or bad. He criticizes every kind of oppressors bitterly. We may find some absurdity in the poem, but everything he says becomes positive when we think wisely. What the society thinks good that is bad for him; and what he thinks good that is bad for the society. Therefore, this type of opposite relation makes him a lunatic; in fact he is right for the expression of the poem "Lunatic".
4. Assimilation: The poem conveys a very important message for this modern society. As this is a satire upon the then society and people it memorizes me an incident in my life. When I was in my village, there was a vast use of local wines. People of every age used to drink anytime anywhere. There was no any control of any kind. That resulted many problems and Violated social peace and security. I as a graduate person tried to control this. I suggested people about bad effects of drink and advised to stop it. But being an addicted village, all the people there thought me a mad and a lunatic like Devkota. I was alone there to fight against that tradition. I visited all political leaders there and the local administration and other concerned places but all was in vain. I was strong in my decision and aim. So, I continued my attempt. They cursed me saying opposite of time, society, world and a secular person. I replied them that I was a secular person because I disliked any kind of alcoholic drink. They could not understand me and my advice. They hated me in fact they were in a wrong way. They were damaging their wealth, prestige, and health. In other words, my values weren't shared by the majority in that society so I might be considered insane, regardless of my good advice.

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DR Gurung
A Learner (अज्ञान जस्तो ठूलो शत्रु अरु केही छैन।) 🙏🙏
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