Cover of critical edition, 1994
|Original title||મારી હકીકત|
|Publisher||Gujarati Press (First edition), Kavi Narmad Yugavart Trust (Critical edition)|
Mari Hakikat (Gujarati: મારી હકીકત) is an autobiography by Narmadashankar Dave, popularly known as Narmad, a Gujarati author from Surat during 19th century India. It was the first autobiography of Gujarati language.[A] It was written in 1866 and published posthumously in 1933.[B]
Origin and publication history
Narmad had written his autobiography in 1866. He mentioned his intention at the start of his autobiography,
I am not writing this autobiography for anybody else but for myself. For me; it is not for recognition (I am already recognized), money or designation but for the encouragement [to me] in future from the past.
He further added that his life will give some message to people. Narmad was candid and outspoken and he believed that his thoughts and works are exemplar. To give insights in his mind and world around him, he chose to write as openly as possible about incidents of his life, people connected with that incidents, his relations with those people and the results of those relations.
Narmad had published collection of his essays as Narmagadhya: Book 1 in 1865. Suratni Mukhatesar ni Hakikat was published as Narmagadya: Book 2: Issue 1 in 1866 from page 1 to page 59. He intended to publish Mari Hakikat as a Narmagadya: Book 2: Issue 2. He later did not published it for people.
After death of Narmad in 1886, his close aid Navalram Pandya had published his biography, Kavijivan, in 1888 based on the autobiography. He mentioned that Narmad had printed only two to five copies and given it to his close aids and requested it to be published only after his death. Natwarlal Desai, his editor and son of another close aid Ichchharam Desai, also mentioned the same later. But later research found that Narmad had printed 400 copies of the autobiography. It is mentioned in Narmakavita (1866–67), just few months after his writing autobiography, where he had published list of all books along with number of published copies of each. Narmad may have destroyed other copies barring few but there has been no firm proof of it.
The limited print copy had 73 pages of two columned Royal size pages. It was page number 60 to 132 of Narmagadya: Book 2: Issue 2. It was printed in Union Press owned by his friend Nanabhai Rustomji Rani. Narmad's only son Jayshankar died in 1910 without any heir. He had assigned the management of these works to his friends, Mulchand Damodardas Mukati and Thakordas Tribhuvandas Tarkasr. They had transferred copyrights of these works to Gujarati Press in 1911.
Kanaiyalal Munshi had published few chapters in his Gujarat magazine in 1926 but stopped it when the copyright holder of his work, Gujarati Press objected. Later Gujarati Press published some excerpt from it in Diwali editions of Gujarati in 1930 and 1931. Finally in 1933, the birth centenary of Narmad, Gujarati Press published full autobiography. Later in 1939, they also published Uttar Narmad Charitra which included some notes, letters etc. as followup to autobiography.
Mari Hakikat is not in continuous prose and includes lots of notes. He had started keeping notes in 1854. He had written the first draft based on things told by his father and relatives, papers available in his home, his expense book and his memory. He organised all available information in timeline and filled gaps with other information. He had mentioned his autobiography as 'incomplete' and 'draft' and intended to rewrite it in future.
His prime motive for writing was his self encouragement. But his other motives were to start trend of autobiographies in Gujarati, to give insight in his life to his friends and clarify truths about his life as many information may not be available after his death. He had decided to write as truthful as possible including about his life and his relatives, friends and foes. He did not intended to hurt anybody. He later decided not to publish it to public as he intended it as his own encouragement. When Gujarati Press closed it operation, they deposited one copy of his limited copies printed in 1866, with some proofreading by Narmad himself, in M. T. B. College, Surat.
The first edition published in 1933 had several omissions and misprints. One more edition was edited by Dhirubhai Thaker. When Kavi Narmad Yugavart Trust, Surat established and decided to republish all works of Narmad, they examined and researched original manuscripts, limited copy and earlier editions. They also examined all literature of Narmad and extracted writings and letters autobiographical in nature. The critical edition including autobiography, autobiographical notes and letters was edited by Ramesh M. Shukla and was published by the Trust in 1994.
Contents of critical edition, 1994
The critical edition is divided in four sections.
The first section covers the autobiography written in 1866. It includes from his birth to 1866 divided in 10 subsections, Viram. All titles and subtitles of Virams were given by his editor Natwar Desai. It covers his life from 3 September 1833 to 18 September 1866. It covers his birth, his parents and relatives, his education, his formative years, his reformist stand, his rise and career. The second section covers essays and notes written by him which are autobiographical in nature. It includes notes and thoughts on his personal life, relatives and his own works. The third section covers letters written to various relatives, friends and people of his time. The fourth section covers appendices which include scans of his and his companions' writings, legal documents, notes and timeline.
Chandrakant Topiwala has highlighted candidness, honesty at the expense of narrative and efforts of introspection as major elements of the autobiography. He has also praised its prose. Dhirubhai Modi has criticised its language without beauty but praised its truthfulness and honesty. He has also praised it for its accuracy and efforts for writing it. Chandravadan Mehta had given tribute to author by saying,
Oh! Narmad. Your autobiography, even if it is incomplete, or even if it does not accepted in today's [literary] structure or tomorrow's, even if anybody had tried the same before, your [autobiography] has a clank of truth and thats enough. By knowing it, we will celebrate your courageous and honest book in Gujarati literature and will continue to tribute you by reading it.
However, Gujarati critic Vishwanath M. Bhatt noted that, Narmad's autobiography lacks coherence, order and the sense of discrimination about what to write.
Narmad:Mari Hakikat or Narmad:My Life, a soliloquy based on his autobiography and life, was written and directed by Harish Trivedi. It was performed by Chandrakant Shah. It was premiered in Dayton, Ohio, US in 1995 and later toured India, UK, France. It was critically acclaimed.
- ^In the 1840s, Durgaram Mehta had written his personal diary, Nityanondh but it was not an attempt of autobiography as in Western style. Mahipatram Rupram Nilkanth had written a biography, Durgaram Charitra (1879) based on the diary.
- ^Narmad had written his autobiography in 1866 but he had requested it to be published posthumously. It was published in 1933, on his birth centenary. Two autobiographies were published before it, Hu Pote (1900) by Narayan Hemchandra and Satyana Prayogo (1925-1929) by Mahatma Gandhi.
- ^Amaresh Datta (1987). Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: A-Devo. Sahitya Akademi. p. 527. ISBN 978-81-260-1803-1.
- ^ abcde"નર્મદશંકર દવે (Narmadashankar Dave)". Gujarati Sahitya Parishad (in Gujarati). Retrieved 25 October 2016.
- ^ abcdefPandya, Kusum H (31 December 1986). Gujarati Atmakatha Tena Swarupagat Prashno. Thesis. Department of Gujarati, Sardar Patel University. Shodhganga web (in Gujarati). pp. 200–220. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
- ^ abcdefghijklDave, Narmadashanker Lalshanker (1994). "Preface". In Ramesh M. Shukla. Mari Hakikat (in Gujarati) (1 ed.). Surat: Kavi Narmad Yugavart Trust. pp. 5–21, 172. Archived from the original on 2016-10-25.
- ^Bhikhu C. Parekh (1999). Colonialism, Tradition, and Reform: An Analysis of Gandhi's Political Discourse. New Delhi: Thousand Oaks, Calif. p. 346. ISBN 978-0-7619-9383-4. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
- ^Kumar, Alok. "India Foundation, Dayton, OH". OoCities. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- ^ ab"Narmad". Internet Archive. 24 September 2011. Archived from the original on 24 September 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
पुस्तक की आत्मकथा
वर्तमान में मै एक पुस्तक हूँ | मुझे पाकर मानो मानव ने एक अमर निधि प्राप्त कर ली है | मै उसे सदा ज्ञान – विचारो का दान देती रहती हूँ | मुझे आज ज्ञान – विज्ञान और समझदारी का , आनन्द और मनोरंजन का खजाना माना जाता है | परन्तु आदर – मान की यह स्थिति मुझे एकाएक या सरलता से नही मिल गई है | मेरा यह रूप सृष्ट – मानव की तपस्या और साधना का फल है |
सृष्टि के आदिकाल में तो मेरा सृष्टा बड़ी- बड़ी शिलाओं के उपर चित्रों तथा तस्वीरों के रूप में ही मेरा निर्माण करता था | वह मेरा रूप आज भी शिलाओं पर या कन्दराओ में देखा जा सकता है | लेखन कला की प्रगति के साथ मेरा रूप बदला, फिर मुझे ताड़ व भोज पत्रों पर लिखा जाने लगा | आज भी अजायबघर में मेरा यह रूप देखने को मिल सकता है | कुछ और समय पश्चात् कागज का आविष्कार हुआ तो मेरा निर्माण कागज पर होने लगा | यह कार्य सर्वप्रथम चीन में प्रारम्भ हुआ था | कागज के निर्माण तथा मुद्रण कला की प्रगति ने तो मेरी काय ही पलट दी | फिर तो मै नए- नए रूपों में अपने पाठको के सम्मुख प्रस्तुत होने लगी | मेरा आवरण भी आकर्षक बन गया | मेरी सुरक्षा के लिए मुझ पर सुदृढ़ जिल्द भी चढाई जाने लगी |
मेरा सृष्टा लेखक , कवि , इतिहासकार , कहानीकार, उपन्यासकार, नाटककार, निबंधकार तथा एकाकी लेखन कोई भी हो सकता है | मेरा यह लेखक पहले अपने विचारो तथा भावो को लेखनी द्वारा कागज पर लिपिबद्ध करता है | मेरा यह प्रारम्भिक रूप पाण्डुलिपि रूप को कम्पोजिटरो के हाथो में दे दिया जाता है जो मुझे टाइपो के सूत्र में बाँध देते है | इसके बाद एक- एक फार्म को मशीन पर छपने भेज दिया जाता है | छपने के पश्चात मै दफ्तरी के हाथो में भेज दी जाती हूँ | वह एक- एक फार्म को मोडकर सभी फार्मो को इकटठा करता है | जिन्द बैधती है फिर उस पर सुन्दर सा आवरण चढाया जाता है | तत्पश्चात इस पर मेरा और लेखक का नाम सुन्दर अक्षरों में लिखा जाता है |
इस प्रकार मुझे वर्तमान स्वरूप और आकार मिल पाया और मै पुस्तक कहलाने लगी मै दुकानदारों के माध्यम से पाठको के हाथो में पहुँच पाई जो मेरे सच्चे साथी है | मै ज्ञान- विज्ञान , आनन्द – मनोरंजन का भण्डार कहलाती हूँ | मेरे अभाव में पढाई – लिखाई कतई संभव नही | जिस देश व् समाज में मेरा सम्मान नही होता, वह असभ्य तथा अशिक्षित समझा जाता है |