Jaya Ojha’s ‘Rumani’ Launched

Shilash Thapa Tamang
Kathmandu, 5 August

Jaya Ojha’s novel Rumani was launched in a literary event held at City Max Hall, Bagbazaar on Saturday. The event was chaired by litterateur Bhuwan Hari Sigdel while critic Ashok Thapa and former Miss Nepal Malbika Subba were present as guest speakers. The event was attended by a number of writers, poets, critics, students, journalists and general readers.

Speaking on the book, actress Malbika Subba shared her experience of reading the novel. She introduced two of the characters of the novel, Heaven and Rashik, and said that she identified herself with the character Heaven. “The character Heaven has been presented as a bold, smart and valiant woman in different situations of the story, and I have lived like the character until I was forty,” Subba said.

Another speaker, critic Dr. Ashok Thapa, said the novel has incubated several questions for the readers pointing at the sensitivity of the characters. He said, “The author has frankly presented sexual scenes in the novel but she seemed to have generalized all the males in terms of sexuality.” Suggesting the author to be rather figurative in treading such a sensitive issue like sex, he questioned whether such erotic ideas had been employed as primary or secondary tool for the progress of the plot.

Speaking on the occasion, author Ojha said she would leave for her audience to decide whether the questions raised by the critics on her expressive frankness were pertinent.

Speaking as the event’s chairperson litterateur Bhuvan Hari Sigdel termed the novel as one that questions the traditional bars and limits. He said, “The author has drifted from the ordinary fashion of writing which is a must for contemporary writers. A writer must be anarchist in literature defusing the prevailing stereotypes.” He also argued that a writer should project the society’s future which the novel Rumani has attempted to do.

Rumani is Ojha’s third long fiction after Aavaran and Anurag. The novel has been published by Page Turner Publication and is priced 640 rupees.