“Chhapamar Yuwatiko Diary” (The Diary of a young Guerrilla woman)

Author: Dweep Subba / Labels: , , , , , , ,

“Chhapamar Yuwatiko Diary” (The Diary of a young Guerrilla woman)

“Chhapamar Yuwatiko Diary” (The Diary of a young Guerrilla woman)
Writer – Tara Rai “Anamol”
ISBN: 978 – 9993 – 3 – 0813 – 3
Binding: Paperback
Price   : 175/-
Published by: Ratna Pushtak Bhandar, Kathmandu
Year of First Publication: 2067, Nepal (Nepali Calendar).
Year of Tenth Publication: 2069, Nepal (Nepali Calendar).
Subject: Autobiographical Essays.

“Chhapamar Yuwatiko Diary” can be included as one of the bestseller in Nepal after having sold 50,000 copies in just two days and with the release of tenth edition of the book presently in the market. The book was also awarded the prestigious Madan Sahitya Puruskar, Nepal. The stories portray the life of a young 15 year old Guerrilla girl named Tara Rai also the writer of the book. The main reason behind terming the book as autobiography lays in the fact that the whole facts, situations have been seen and analyzed from the eyes and mind of the writer or the main protagonist of the book.

Tara Rai, the writer was educated till primary level and had joined the cultural wing of Maoist Movement at a very small age of 15 years. Within a short span of three months as a Maoist, she is captured by the Army personnel kept behind bars and then freed a year later. The entire stories have been incepted from behind the pillars, reminiscence of her becoming a Maoist without giving any second thought, her introspection on the difference in the human behavior.  Moreover, keeping aside the skepticism, she has triumphed as a runaway bestselling writer.

The oppressed voice of common men which is always made a scapegoat in the conflicts. The clash between the Shah armies and the Maoist forces in the streets and hills in a chaotic decade. The Maoist movements in Nepal structured by Maoist(s) like Tara and their dream of Independent Nepal and the Army men and their task of Peace restoration. The evolution of Tara’s story can be traced at such paradoxical juncture where Army men and Maoist killed each other not knowing they were men of the same nation.

The book has been reviewed by many critics, “most affiliated writers and critics terming it to be as a book of forgery and even accusing the people behind the book who helped to bring Rai’s book to the market of corrupting her attitude towards the Maoist forces” – The Kathmandu Post, but not of India, this is the first initiative as there lays some similarities in Gorkha (India) and Nepali (Nepal) language.  Though the Diary maybe a straightforward narration of Tara’s life but it should not be forgotten - that the story as its allegory also has the face of anxious Nepal and the cries, sorrows and the grief of a clamoring era.

She Writes… A Collection of Short Stories

Author: Dweep Subba / Labels: , , , ,

She Writes… A Collection of Short Stories.

She Writes… A Collection of Short Stories.
ISBN  : 9788184001242
Binding : Paperback
Price   : 299
Imprint : Random House India
Subject : General & Literary Fiction

The twelve featured writers are: • Anisha Bhaduri • Amrita Saikia• Geeta Sundar• Yishey Doma • Sheela Jaywant • Prarthana Rao • Aprameya Manthena • Chitralekha • Belinder Dhanoa • Santana Pathak • Jyotsna Jha • Shreya Manjunath


“She Writes” is a collection of short stories featuring the work of twelve contemporary female writers from across the country (India).  Random House India in association with MSN in the month of May 2012 had conducted a short story contest to hunt for India’s twelve finest women writers.  The twelve stories were selected from the thousands of entries. Finely blended, the book says every woman has a story to tell, the stories are based on three themes.
The themes are –
i)                   Woman in the City
ii)                Growing up in India
iii)              The man in my Life.

According to the theme, one can find stories like - a woman trapped in a stifling marriage makes a shocking discovery, a repressed memory is suddenly brought back by a dead tree, a self-styled nun finds unlikely love in a Tibetan monastery. Rich and deeply evocative, “She Writes” is a celebration of some of the most exciting writing talent in our country.

Preti Shrenoy in her introductory note scribbles words like “Each of these twelve stories here are remarkable in their own way. They are stories from women like you and me, based in different places like Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Bangalore and Gangtok”. True to her words, the stories are diverse giving a taste of the particular geography, myriad lifestyle and theme which has been woven deeply with the various stylistic characteristics that is superior enough to give a reader a second thought on reading the distinctive beautifully weaved stories. Certain evocative quotes were used as the catalyst for the upbringing of the collection of short stories. The quotes were taken from the Man Booker winning Book God of Small Things, Gone with the Wind and a quote by Oscar Wilde. All the stories revolve around the three quotes and one can find the incorporation of each topic somewhere in the stories.

“She Writes” has juxtaposed the myriad existence in a single shack of paper. Anisha Bhaduri, Sheela Jaywant, Yishey Doma, Dr Geeta Sundar among the twelve writers are published writers. While talking on some of the stories, the first story by Anushka Bhaduri has a newly wed middle class Bengali couple and their honey moon stay in Darjeeling is quite an interesting read. However, the protagonists name is spelt as Konika at times and as Konica in different sections of the story. Jyotshn Jha‘s story “The tourist" is about an Anglo-Indian girl Michele who unwillingly visits India and falls in love with a doctor but later finds out a shocking fact about him that shakes her. Stories like "White Chilly" by Dr. Geeta Sundar is a nice story that tells about an inexplicable bond between two women who meet during their walk, Yishey Doma’s story “Mantra’s of Love” portrays the anecdote of Yangchen, a nun, and Philip, a photographer from New York, who finds love in the hills during a trek to Dzongri. The other stories in “She Writes” are also very interesting after all they were selected from the thousands of entries from across the country.

So readers’ take your time, as the twelve dynamic stories will very much fit in with a cup of Tea or a Coffee. You won’t find any stereotype stories as the themes applied in it are vibrant, apt and the stories have no endings. The Collection of short story “She Writes” has the supremacy to quench the thirst of short story lovers and the publishers MSN and Random House in making the book available to the global audience. The Book “She Writes” is available in various book stores all around the world; all you need to do is visit some of it.


Gorkha Imagined: Indra Bahadhur Rai in Translation

Author: Dweep Subba / Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Gorkha Imagined: Indra Bahadhur Rai in Translation

Gorkha Imagined: Indra Bahadhur Rai in Translation, edited by Prem Poddar & Anmole Prasad and published by Mukti Prakashan, Kalimpong is a translated book from Nepali to English with short stories and Essays by Indra Bahadhur Rai. The book is unique as the stories contained in it have the supremacy to quench the thirst of every reader for the theme applied is Universal in approach. There are a total of ten collected short stories and Essay collected from his major works. Indra Bahadhur Rai, a successful Darjeeling born Nepali author, a leading Nepali Literati and the one to have forged the “Ayamik Lekhan” (the Dimensionist Movement of which Rai was the forerunner) saw his works at times come under controversy. “From the Introductory section, In short IB’s project is to infect Nepali literature with the intellectual incomprehensibility of his mentors such as Derrida, Lacan and Baudillard and put Nepali Literature out of reach of ordinary readers”. Besides, Literature and writer grow with the critical evaluation by the critics/audience. Rai portrays the identity of Gurkha in most of his work with the usage of theme/subjects like Refugee, Asylum seekers, migrant and many more related subjects. In this book, the readers will find problems of Gurkha Identity its various crossroads of civilization, political affairs and identity.
Furthermore, Prem Poddar in his Introduction provides a synopsis to the readers on the usage of thematic and stylistic characteristics as used by Rai in most of his works. His insightful overture provides a briefing of all the stories and Essays and gives a much insightful view of the book which will add an added dosage to the readers. Some of the short stories and Essay in the book are Jarr: Euta Bhayekai Katha, Ghosh Babu, Ratbhari Huri Chalyo, Kheer, Jaimaya Aphumatra Likhapani Aipugi and Pahar Ra Khola etc.

The first in the book and a very widely renowned story amongst Nepali populace “Jarr” (Adulterer) has a somewhat Shakespearian outlook, the story revolves around three characters Thuli (meaning eldest daughter), Rudraman and Harshajit. Thuli loves Rudraman, a Gurkha lieutenant but she is not able to marry him due to familial pressure and marries her paternal cousin Harshajit. After the marriage is done and half of her marriage life is lived, Rudraman again appears and tires to whip Thuli but he is caught and taken in the Village court. The inborn controversy in the story and the chivalry at the last of the story by Rudraman transforms the ferocious enmity into miteri (Fictive). The other story in the book entitled as “Ghosh Babu” translated equivalently by Michael Hutt portrays shades of Irony by presenting a Bengali drycleaner resident in Darjeeling. Moreover, the story gives a dimensional view of Darjeeling as it unfolds in its narrative. “Kheer” (a Nepali rice pudding) is a story full of allegory emphasizing on the importance and safeguard of Values and Wisdom along with the unique Gurkha Identity, Culture and Tradition that is in the brink of diminishment. “Jaimaya Aphumatra Likhapani Aipugi” (Jaimaya alone arrived at Likhapani) exposes the aftermath problems faced by diasporas Gurkha. The sad story is about the Gurkha family left in Burma ad their pathetic journey towards their once abandoned homeland with equally exigent and challenging situations. At last, Jaimaya alone arrives at Likhapani near Assam leaving back her memoirs in the native land and in the hollow pathways. Moreover the other stories in the book are also full of Gurkha ethos portraying Universal theme and motif.

“Nepali is the major language in Nepal but a minor one in India”. Nepali is one of the 22nd officially recognized languages included in the Indian Literary language approved by the Sahitya Akademi.  The Essay in the Book deals with India as a sovereign state giving respect to each and every religion and languages. The need to understand the churning issue of ethno nationalism is vividly described with much broader approach. The uneven development of the country and the differentiation among the classes, language is also very well defined in the translated version. 
The translators of the book Lt. Dorjee Tshering Lepcha, Amole Prasad and Michael Hutt are to be commended for their work (translation) as their vocation enthralls each and every corner of the Gurkha society by their equivalent writing skill and henceforth Mukti Prakshan of Kalimpong in making the book available to the global audience. The Book “Gorkha Imagined: Indra Bahadhur Rai in Translation” is available in various book stores all around the world, all you need to do is visit some of it.

“Call of the Hills”

Author: Dweep Subba / Labels: , , , , , , ,

Book Review...

Call of the Hills…
A Coursebook of Indian Nepali Literature in Translation (Volume I)
ISBN: 81- 86954 -88-0
Binding: Paperback
Price   : 100/-
Printed at: Trade Con, Kolkata
Published by: Centre of Advanced Study in Comparative Literature
   Jadavpur University
Year of Publication: 2012
Subject: (Coursebook) Essays and Literary Fiction.

 “Call of the Hills” is a course book which has been included in the graduation syllabus of Comparative Literature in Jadavpur University, Kolkata. The name of the book “Call of the Hills” is appropriate, for the stories contained in it deeply portrays the stories of the hills, mountains, precipice and the lifestyle of the people. The book has used English as its medium in translating the Nepali Stories into English. Altogether, the volume has a collection of three Essays and nineteen short stories written by seventeen eminent Nepali writers including three stories of Shiva Kumar Rai. The stories have been translated by students and Research scholars of Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Sikkim and Kolkata namely Martha Rai, Bishwa Devi Subba (Sikkim University), Gaurav Tamang, Gyanendra Mani Pradhan and Shradanjali Tamang (Darjeeling), Lee Pandi Fudong (Kalimpong), Sanchari Bhattacharya, Smita Basu, Debapritam Chakraborty, Rianka Roy, Shubojit Banerjee, Anshuman Bhowmick, Malini Bhattacharya, Satish Kumar and Ranjamrittika Bhowmick (Kolkata).The book is edited by Dr. Kavita Lama and Sayatan Dasgupta.

The translated stories are very strong having Universal motifs depicting the worldwide and everyday life of the Nepali speaking people of India with some stories based on the relevant social, political and economic realities. Provinces in India were created in independent India according to a language being spoken but due to the upcoming of various linguistic languages, no region/state speaks one language. For eg – languages that are spoken in Sikkim are Bhutia, Lepcha, Limboo, Gurung, Rai, Newar, Bihari, Bengali and Nepali etc. Likewise, Sayatan Dasgupta in his Introduction has given a wide view of the differences created by languages taking the linguistic cartography of South East Asia in general and the language Nepali in particular. Some of the stories contained in the book are Chaprasi by Achha Rai “Rashik” is a story woven into the social fabric of life in Darjeeling Hills and relate to the social, political and economic realities of the region, Bal Bahadhur Bishta Chettri by Ishwar Ballabh is written in a tongue cheek tone showcasing the oppression faced by a scarecrow, The Diamond Necklace (Hira ko Haar) by Shiva Kumar Rai focuses on human greed and awe for fame, authority and affluence and is also full of shock and laughter, The path a Thought Traverses ( Euta Vichar ko Yatrapath) by Indra Bahadhur Rai is a story written during the decisive period of the theory of “Dimensional Movement”, it is a story describing its theme from the language of painting, music and is presented in obliquities’ and Reality (Yatharta) by Jas Yonzone “Pyasi” focuses on love and social institutions, evoking a weird feeling and camouflaged on a ghost like story only to make the story turn more realistic with the befall of tragedy in the end. This is not the end, there are more stories of Lakhi Devi Sundas, Agam Sigh Giri, Guman Singh Chamling full of myriad thematic and stylistic characteristics and many more in the book and all you need to do is buy it from your nearest bookstores.

For me, The book tends to be important and of huge success in two ways; firstly Nepali literature which has remain untamed has not been exposed to the worldwide readers, this book with the works of seventeen writers holding different taste undoubtedly will bolster the outlook of Nepali Literature and satiate the thirst of the globalized readers’. Dr. Kavita Lama in her Foreward has stated words like “The number of translated works in Indian Nepali literature can simply be counted on one’s fingers”. True to her words, there are only few translated works but with the coming of such initiative and young talents from the hills, it might be the starting of a new era in the field of Translation and in the globalization of Nepali Literature.

Secondly, the book juxtaposes works of many eminent Nepali writers. Also the stories of the volume are being studied for the academic year 2012-13 in the Department of Comparative Literature in Jadavpur University. It is to be noted that students from myriad communities will also be learning and knowing the tradition of the Hills and also to mention the lifestyle of the Hill and Modus Vivendi of the Hill people. To strengthen the identity of the Gorkha speaking Indians through the usage of a pen and a paper is the success of this book.

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