Basant does not recall when he first began scribbling poems and humming lyrics. It must have begun way before he established himself as a reputed and successful poet, popular lyricist and prolific commentator on contemporary issues in and beyond Nepal. But those who kept a record say that his first poem ‘Tusharolai Piundai’ appeared in 1983 under the pseudonym ‘Simool’.
The debut in verse was followed by a spate of essays on contemporary issues. Published under his name, collections like ‘Rashtriyata Nadukhos’ in 2006 and ‘Samvad’ in 2008, heralded Basant Chaudhary’s entry as a promising thinker on the challenges confronting Nepal.
Then on, it was poetry and just poetry, his true passion. Basant Chaudhary’s first poetic compilation titled ‘Megha’ came out in 2011. It was followed by new works notable among them being ‘Mera Kavitaharu’ published in 2014 and Hindi poetry collection ‘Aansuon Ki Siyahi Se’ in 2015.Later, ‘Mera Kavitaharu’ was converted into an ebook.
The year 2017 witnessed a unique experiment. His book most aptly named ‘Basant’ appeared simultaneously in nine languages besides Nepali. Published in English, Hindi, Newari, Tamang, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Marwari and Bangla, ‘Basant’ introduced the tone and tenor of Nepali poetry to a diverse audience. The book is viewed as a milestone in Nepali literature. Almost on similar lines was the publication of his Hindi and English poems ‘Chahaton Ke Saaye Mein’ in 2018.
Lending literature a new life
Though unusually tight-lipped about his plethora of philanthropic activities, Basant Chaudhary has not succeeded in keeping the good work a secret. He has extended a helping hand to many in diverse domains of life – all his life.
Being a multi-faceted poet and writer of long standing and repute, Chaudhary has been committed to honouring and nurturing literature and the arts in all their forms. Perhaps closest to his heart is the Shree Lunkaran Das-Ganga Chaudhary Academy for Art and Literature which is named after his parents. The organisation honours both eminent and promising literati and artistes with cash awards and citations in five categories every year. This has enabled many budding and deserving artistes and writers to fulfil their creative aspirations and enrich Nepal’s world of letters.
Established in 1995, the Academy is run by Basant Chaudhary Foundation (BCF) https://bcfnepal.org/about-us. It has recognized more than a hundred literary figures selected with the utmost transparency, honesty, and fairness by the internal board. The Academy also hosts seminars, symposia, and festivals that celebrate Nepali literature and art to ensure their continuous progress in contemporary times.
In 2000, Her Majesty the late Queen Aishwarya was in charge of the Pashupati Area Development Trust. She appointed Mr Chaudhary as a Member Secretary of the Trust. Later, he was entrusted with the executive authority of the Trust by His Majesty the former King Gyanendra. Watch Reviving Our Spirituality, a documentary about the development and conservation efforts in the Pashupati Monument Zone.
Mr Chaudhary recalls this as one of the most satisfying projects of his life. He took this as an opportunity to uplift the aesthetics and sanitation of the revered Hindu temple while also promoting religious tourism in Nepal. He wanted to promote Pashupatinath globally to draw more Hindu pilgrims to Nepal from across the world.
During Mr Chaudhary’s tenure of five and a half years, the Trust cleared all 147 illegal houses and structures built around the temple’s premises and reacquired other encroached lands. After the demolition, the Trust, under his leadership, built new temple infrastructures and decorations, including landscaping. He also started e-Puja, an online portal to remotely perform prayers and rituals in Pashupatinath with its live telecast.
Many lovers of poetry often wonder how and why Basant Chaudhary started his Vishwa Kavya Yatra.
It was a fateful conversation way back on 20 April 2013 when he was releasing his book Megha in the United Kingdom. The honours were done by Nepal’s Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Suresh Chalise, at a grand ceremony on the embassy’s premises.
Towards the end of the literary event, a Nepali expatriate from the US, who was present on the occasion, suggested that similar events should be organised in the United States too. That got Mr Chaudhary thinking. While returning home, he drew out a plan for a series of poetry recitals for the Nepali diaspora, not only in the US but in several other countries. And thus began Basant Chaudhary’s Vishwa Kavya Yatra.
A big part of Mr Basant Chaudhary's literary journey has been print media. Besides poetry and songwriting, his other literary inclination was towards informing people. Providing everyday people with access to critical perspectives on the socio-economic ongoings of the country was his ultimate goal. This led him to publication work.
Best of Basant Chaudhary
Moments of Love
A patriotic song penned by Basanta Chaudhary and performed by various Nepali artists. A hearttouching song filled with nationalism and solidarity.
TIMI AAYAU | Nhyoo Bajracharya | Basant Chaudhary | Prabin Bedwal
“Sayaun Kaada” is a song which is really close to my heart and it’s one of my favorite songs. This was my first time working with Shreya Ghoshal in the year 2011. I found her very humble and down to earth, it felt like we’ve been working together for years. Her determination towards her work made this project even more interesting.
I’m very thankful to Mr. Basant Chaudhary for giving me this beautiful lyrics and for making this possible.
Being human means caring and having empathy for others. With that in mind, Mr Chaudhary has always pursued and honoured his moral obligation towards the community and fellow Nepalis by giving back to society and people.
From healthcare, higher education, and infrastructure to FMCG, agribusiness, and packaging, most of Mr Chaudhary’s ventures have been designed to positively impact Nepali society in the long run.