Stories in Garhwali language: A Brief History
There is a misconception that Garhwali is dialect of Hindi. In fact, Garhwali is an independent language and according to Dr. Govind Chatak, its origin is from Shourseni Rajasthani. However, Abodh Bandhu Bahuguna the renowned Garhwali writer showed his disagreement with this theory and he advocated the theory of Baldev Prasad Nautiyal who proved that Garhwali is derived from Vaidic languages. When it is confirmed that the great epic Mahabharata was composed in Garhwal that means there should be an independent language post-Mahabharat era and I do not have doubt that there was pre Garhwali language, which may be nearest to Shourseni Rajashthani but was not originated from Shourseni Rajashthani. Once, Rama Prasad Pahari a great supporter of Garhwali literature and famous Hindi story writer of his time wrote to me that we may find Garhwali words in the scriptures of two thousand five hundred old Ashokian pillar of Kalsi (Dehradoon district). The language of Garhwal after Mahabharata should be called Vaidic-Garhwali. According to Suresh Pokhariyal this Vaidic-Garhwali might have been the combination of Prakrit, Pali and Sanskrit. The changes might have come in Vaidic- Garhwali after the establishment of Kainturaian kingdom in Garhwal. It is a fact that the modern Garhwali have been the language of common man in Garhwal a sovereign kingdom for more than one thousand years or more. No doubt, it was adding many newer and newer words in its vocabulary.
According to Abodh Bandhu Bahuguna, we have apparent -proof of Garhwali prose from 1335 AD. He provided many chronological examples of inscriptions wherein we may find Garhwali prose.
We may divide Garhwali prose into three parts:
• Pre British era:
• The British era
• Post independent era
The real progress of written Garhwali prose started from British era.
Initial British Era Literature:
The early Garhwali prose writers Leela Nand Kotnala, Harikrishna Rudola and Harsha Puri published their morale oriented and social articles in Almora Akhbar . The translation of Bible published by an American society is supposed to be the first book of Garhwali prose (1892). However, Rama Prasad Pahari is of opinion that the translation of New Testament (1830) is the first published Garhwali book of prose. Govind Prasad Ghildiyal father of Rama Prasad Ghildiyal ‘Pahari’ translated Sanskrit classic Hitopadesh into Garhwali and he was the first Garhwali personality to publish Garhwali prose in book form (around 1900). Govind Prasad also wrote book titled “Birbal Ka Bheti Charit.
Chandra Mohan Raturi, Atma Ram Gairola and Bhava Nand Bahuguna are other Garhwali prose writers of initial British era.
Sada Nand Kukreti the editor of Vishal Kirti (Lainsdown) is the first modern Garhwali storywriter. His story ‘ Garhwali That’ was published in Vishal Kirti (Aug-October 19130). According to Rama Prasad Ghildiyal this story is one of the best stories of world of all languages of all time. The form, characterization and satire are in their best in this first Garhwali story. The language of this story is pure Dhangwali (spoken in Malla Dhangu). The characterization of a lazy woman in this story is so strong that the reader feels disgust and rage at the same time.
Bhagwati Prasad Panthari ‘s story collection ‘Panch Phool’ was published in 1947. Bwari is the best story of Panthari.
Raibar a Garhwali magazine published a special issue on Garhwali stories (1956) and it is the first Garhwali story collection of different writers. Stories of Dr, Shiva Nand Nautiyal, Bhagwati Charan Nirmohi, Dayadhar Bamarada, Kailash Panthari, Urvi Datta Uppadhyaya, and Mathura Datt Nautiyal of this special issue are milestone of Garhwali story writing.
The stories of Bhagwati Prasad Panthari, Durga Prasad Ghildiyal, Mohan Lal Negi, shiva Nand Nautiyal, Abodh Bandhu Bahuguna and Baldev Prasad Nautiyal published in Gad Myateki Ganga (1976) are the witness that different story writers have different ways of story telling of their time and most of the stories are aimed at social up lifting.
Mohan Negi published his story collections-joni par chap kile and burans ka peed. He is famous for stories on Garhwali villages. He least uses Hindi words and is supporter of pure Garhwali in Garhwali literature.
Durga Prasad Ghildiyal will be remembered for his contribution of strengthening story telling style in Garhwali literature. His story collections- Bwari, Mwari and Gari
were appreciated by critics and readers too.
Sudama Prasad Dabral ‘ Premi’ published gayatri ki bwe his first collections of stories (1986). He wrote more than fifty stories and memories and published in various newspapers and magazines.
Shakunt Joshi, Kashi Ram Pathik, Chandra Mohan Chamoli, Purushotam Dobhal, Puran Pant, Pratap Shikhar, Sada Nand Jakhmola, Lokesh Navani, Kanhaya Lal Dandariyal, Mahesh Tiwari also contributed for Garhwali literature by publishing Garhwali stories in various magazines from 1977 to 1985.
The history of Garhwali story cannot be completed without the references of stories written by Abodh Bandhu Bahuguna, Kusum Nautiyal, Dr Mahveer Prasad Gairola, and Bhishma Kukreti.
Abodh Bandhu Bahuguna wrote more than fifty stories of different subjects and he changed his style of writing time to time. He also wrote a novel in Garhwali. His contribution in all fields of literature is well known in literary fields. He was active in contributing for Garhwali literature till his death.
The senior writer of Garhwali, Dr. Mahaveer Prasad Gairola obtained his D.Lit degree at the age of eighty-two. Dr Mahaveer Gairola wrote a novel Parvati and tens of stories. We may find spiritualism and communism in his stories. He calls such ism as ‘adhyatmic samyavad’. Since he stressed on spiritualism and communism together his stories are not with realism but are with more of idealism. The writing of Gairola is representation of language spoken in Tihri Garhwal and specially Bhilangana valley.Kusum Nautiyal is credited in Garhwali story literature for her freshness, descriptions of natural beauty of Garhwal and characterization of women of Garhwal.
Bhishma Kukreti wrote and published more than thirty stories in Garhwali. His way of story telling is different than his contemporary writers , the subjects are also unique. His stories can be divided into two styles. His stories are either women centric stories or satire. In women centric stories, he deals with the physical and psychological pain of Garhwali women generated by old customs or by new social and economical changes and in satire, he punches on double standards of various socio-political groups and government agencies. Bhishma Kukreti a is stern advocate of pure Garhwali in written Garhwali literature. His story ‘kaira ko katal’ is the unique most among Garhwali stories because 90 percent words of this story have ka alphabet. Though, Bhishma Kukreti uses Dhangwali language (Malla Dhangu, Pauri Garhwal) but he frequently also uses words of Tihri Garhwal in his story.
Kali Prasad Ghildiyal is remembered for the uses of unheard emotions in Garhwali literature as in his story ‘roopa bodi’, a woman feels blissfulness when her husband beats her by a stick. His stories ‘kuch na bolyan’ and ‘viranu jeewan’ are also the examples of different emotions than average human beings.
Balendu Badola is also a famous senior Garhwali storywriter and he wrote tens of Garhwali stories. He has also written stories for children. Though he and Sudama Prasad Premi wrote a good number of stories but unfortunately both did not create their specific identity by forms and style. Balendu Badola also wrote shorter stories.Dhad a monthly magazine published the novel of Surendra Pal, (jalh) in series around 1990-1991.
Girish Sundariyal, Sanjay Sundariyal, Om Prakash Semwal, D.S. Rawat Dhannu, Harish Juyal, Chandra Mani Uniyal, Pritam Upacchyanak, Saroj Negi are the story writers of younger generation. They all came in the field of Garhwali story after 1995. Ram Prasad Dobhal writes stories for children in Garhwali.
Harsha Parvateeya published his first novel ‘gaini ka nau par ‘ in 2004 AD. The novel is about the ideal love, sacrifice and social responsibilities. The style of novel is simple and easily understandable. In the novel the idealism is more than realism.