A Flower in the midst of thorns, Autobiographical essays by JHAMAK GHIMIRE

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

“A Flower in the midst of thorns”
Autobiographical essays by

Writer: Jhamak Ghimire

Translated from Nepali by
Nagendra Sharma
Safal Sharma
Edited with an Introduction by
Govinda Raj Bhattarai

Publishers: Oriental Publications, Kathmandu
ISBN: 978 – 9937 – 8582 – 1 – 2
Binding: Paperback
Price   : -Rs 400/-, Hard Cover – Rs. 500/-, US$ 15.00.

“Flower in the midst of thorns” is an epoch making collection of autobiographical essays. The original book in Nepali “Jeevan Kadha ki Phool” was first published in the year 2010 which won the prestigious Madan Puruskar in the same year. Likewise, the translators, Nagendra Sharma and Safal Sharma after two years, globalized the book by translating the essays from Nepali to the language known by the world (English).

Jhamak Ghimire, was born with Cerebral Palsy in the year 1980. She started writing with her toes from the day she first wrote “Ka” in the sands with a twig. Also, a poet, she has won many awards for her writing in literature. It has been mentioned: Jhamak Ghimire to be equal to Hellen Keller of the West.
In the very first page, a reader can judge the philosophic depth of the writer by rendering masochistic lines that forays an array of myriad human feelings.

“For me, life is the best flowers of creation. I don’t know whether my life falls within the LIFE I myself have defined.”

Jhmak Ghimire ... An Inspiration.

The book, as its allegory flings a satire to the humans who have lost the essence of humanity. The book on the one hand has parably portrayed the inefficiency of the Government and politics of Nepal even terming the system to be disabled furthermore with lines like “We disabled are not sad at our own disability, but at the leaders who have disabled our country”. While on the other hand, her essays portray bottled personal hardships and distress, which she as a disabled had to face in a chauvinistic, superstitious, dark society. On reading chapters like “Caste Divisions and I, A Burden in the war against Discrimination, Disability and our society, Menstruation and Youth, Rays of Hope” etc, the reader will bump into the truth of the soul in the depth of imagination progressed with the passage of time. She found rays of hope when the elders in the society blessed her at Dashain to die soon instead of having led a crippled life. Her discourse on the position of the girl child, young women and the society shows the idiocy of the sycophantic, hangover society. “She has lashed out at everyone, including her old grandmother, mother, father and the social beliefs supporting them. She has dug into the roots of the religion that has fostered inequality”.

Until and unless the darker facets of a society cannot be brought in front, society cannot progress wholesomely. This book has a total of 47 astounding essays of manageable length covering Jhamak’s encounter with life from her birth in the year 1980 till present day. She has openly criticized the dogma of a traditional society, its obligations, ills within the culture and the superstitious belief of the Eastern psyche. On many terms, she has even rejected the existence of God. “God may not have physical form, but I do not feel that all the minute details of creation, sound, colours, sky and the stars could have come into being without a creator”.

No matter how much I try to bring out the flavor of this book, it will just turn out to be a “mission un – accomplished”.  For the essays in the book does not come from a research laboratory, but from the knowledge gained from a hard life of a crippled girl writing with her toe of amazing consciousness and courage that is priceless. 

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