Bal Krishna Sama
  Researched by Anisha Thapa
 
Bal Krishna Sama was born as the second son to General Samer Shumshere Jung Bahadur Rana and Kirti Rajya Laxmi in1902 in Gyaneshwor. As the son of a Rana - the then ruling regime in Nepal at the time - Bal Krishna Sama was able to receive the best education available in the country. Later on in life, he never experienced financial problems unlike many writers of his time.

Sama completed his high school from Durbar High School in Rani Pokhari and took up science in Tri Chandra Campus. During his second year of academic studies, he was sent to Dehradoon for army training as an army captain, afterwards he became a Lieutenant Colonel, by the then prime minister Chandra Shumshere who did not receive Sama's interest in writing positively. At the time, the Nepalese people suffered under a harsh rulership; they had to abide with the rules and regulations of an autocratic Rana government. Sama was not happy about leaving his studies mid-way and was less happy about the political situation of the country. He got married to Mandakini in 1921.

In his own home, the environment was strained. His grandfather Dambar S.J.B Rana used to beat up house servants violently creating ugly experiences for young Sama. And his father was more concerned about leading a luxurious lifestyle. Only his grandmother and mother showed compassion and kindness to the poor and needy. Sama spent a lot of time alone at home finding peace in solitude and gradually he spent more time in art and literary activities.

He started publishing his writings in reputed magazines such as Sarada, Udhyog, Shahitya Shrot, etc. Afterwards, he shortened his surname "Shumshere Jung Bahadur Rana" to "Sama" because he no longer wished to be associated with a ruling regime that had once governed Nepal with autocracy. His drama "Bhater" which was published in Pragati in 1953 clearly shows his feelings on the issue of human rights.

Bal Krishna Sama is known as one of Nepal's greatest dramatists. During his time, he was also considered as the "Shakespeare" of Nepal. In fact several of his dramas have been inspired by Shakespeare's works. His dramas such as "Prem Pinda", "Buhartan", "Tapobhumi", "Atyadhunikta", and "Bhater" present the social context of the Rana era; "Mukunda Indira" and "Mutuko Byatha" show the emotional and romantic side of Sama's personality. "Amit Basana", "Boksi", "Talamathi", and "Andhabeg" are based on the human psychology. And his dramas on historical personalities are "Amar Singh", "Bhimsen Ko Antya", and "Bhakta Bhanubhakta". "Birami Ra Kuruwa" deals with philosophy while "Prahlad" and "Dhruba" are based on religious figures.
No doubt Sama's contribution to Nepalese drama is immense and today Nepal can proudly present some of the best works in this field.

Sama also wrote stories, poems, essays, compositions, and biographies. His contemporaries Laxmi Prasad Devkota and Lekhnath Poudyal were involved in writing poetry. "Aago Ra Paani" and "Chiso Chulho" are his popular epics, he wrote an essay on Nepalese art entitled "Nepal Lalit Kala" as well as a biography Hamra Rastriya Bhibhutiharu and an autobiography Mero Kabita Ko Aradhana, Part I and II. "Kaikai" is his most well-known short story collection which was published in 1938.

As important is the role Sama played in changing the name "Gorkha Bhasa Prakashini Samiti" into "Nepali Bhasa Prakashini Samiti". He felt that the word "Gorkha" did not truly represent the people of Nepal and when Juddha Shumshere Rana became the prime minister of Nepal, Sama was able to bring its use into official work. He also became the chairman of the samiti for several years and worked as a lecturer of Nepali language and literature in Tri Chandra College. In 1955, he became director of Nepal Radio and chief editor of Gorkhapatra. In 1967, when the Royal Nepal Academy was established, he became a member and later on the vice chancellor of the academy. He retired from work in 1971.

After his retirement, Sama continued writing and published many of his poems in nationally reputed magazines like Madhuparka, Ramjham, etc. He also read out many of his unpublished works during literary programs. Among his unpublished dramas are "Gangalal", "Aja", "Milinad", "Prem", "Chinta", "Prandaan", etc. In fact many of his works remain unpublished or incomplete.

Sama was awarded with the Tribhuwan Puraskar from Nepal Rajakiya Pragya Prathistan in 1972. The same year he received the Bishesh Upadhi from Tribhuvan University and in 1978, the Prithvi Pragya Puraskar from Pragya Pratisthan. He died in 1981.