The eldest child of the Nepali dramatist Bhim Niddhi Tiwari, Benju Sharma has a Master’s in Nepali literature and a PhD in Ancient Nepalese History, Culture and Archeology. She is currently an academic in the poetry section of the Nepal Academy and the editor of its literary journal, Kavita.
“I started writing poems when quite young,” writes Sharma, “as I had the good fortune to be the daughter of the famous literary figure Bhimnidhi Tiwari. The literary atmosphere at home, where writers often visited, was responsible for my keen interest in writing. Inspired by such creativity, I was groomed to be a persistent devotee of literature, especially poetry. The poems I write portray the anomalies, moral degradation, heartlessness, cruelty, absence of human values and deception in intimate relations found in present-day Nepalese society.
“I’ve published three collections of poems, most of which express a severe criticism of our society, its centuries-old superstitious beliefs, and those individuals whose words and actions degrade us. I write to protect and safeguard human values, peace and liberty as well as to inspire love. I write when I see human rights violated, love smashed and values trampled underfoot. My poems aspire for a society free of all forms of domination, equipped with democratic rights and ideal human values. When these essential qualities for civilized living are undermined and attacked, my pen feels a shock and is suddenly awakened to rectify those wrongs.
“The poem ‘Tradition’ stands against traditional superstitious beliefs and opposes blind faith in them. ‘This Moment I Am Thinking’ evokes the complicated and chaotic social, economic and political situation our country continually faces. ‘When I See You’ delineates the complete loss of desire and hopelessness following personal failure in love. ‘Distress’ similarly explores the mental condition created by adverse social and familial relations. ‘Desire for Unceasing Flow’ naturally advocates freedom as opposed to domination. Lastly, ‘War With Fire’ is a poem that reveals the rampant oppression of our women and inspires them to rebel against it with a strong fire burning within.”
Andolan Purvaka Banda Abhivyakti (The Stifled Expression of Revolt) Sajha Publication, Lalitpur, 1993
Sambandha Pradushan (Pollution of Relations) Royal Nepal Academy, Kathmandu, 2002
Itar Kinarako Waripari (Opposing Views All Around) Bhim Nidhi Tiwari Sahitya Samiti, Kathmandu, 2005
Curfew Sajha Publication, Kathmandu, 2011
Dehamukta (Free from Physical Existence) Sajha Publication, Lalitpur, 1987
Visangat (Incoherent) Juhar Raj Pandey, Kathmandu, 1992
Two Sisters: The Poems of Benju Sharma and Manju Kanchul, Book Faith India, 1998, translated by Wayne Amtzis and Manju Kanchuli
Days in the Life, translations from Nepali and Nepal Bhasa by Wayne Amtzis