Kathmandu, 31 July
Storywriter Ram Chandra Nepal’s new story collection Bastima Kuhiro was launched in an event organized by Oriental Publication at Hotel Hardik, Bagbazaar on Tuesday. The book was launched by Chief Guest, senior artist Madan Krishna Shrestha, critics Mahesh Paudyal and Dr. Ambika Aryal and session chair, Chief of Oriental Publication Hari Gautam.
Commenting on the book, critic Dr. Ambika Aryal observed the book is both conventional and experimental. She said, “The book begins with the woes of a teacher and moves on to different stories that give metaphorical and ironical representation to human conditions.” She also noted that the author has interestingly applied fantasy in some of the stories like the one where books and genres are depicted as characters. Critic Aryal also pointed out some gender issues in the book commenting that women are depicted only as weak characters.
Another speaker, celebrated critic Mahesh Paudyal shed adequate light on the different ideas the book unearths. “I was moved by different instances of the book,” he insisted referring to the authentic stories of Far Western Nepal the author has presented. Aarguing that the author himself belongs to the very region, he also deconstructed the present narration of people regarding Far West, and brought references of different poets and writers from the Far- West who have continued the legacy in literary history since the time of Pahalman Singh Swaar or even before. Critic Paudyal insightfully foregrounded different issues like the life of Nepali people at border towns, their micro-economic activities, the question of the relevancy of different revolutions at different times and so on. He also summarized the book as reflecting the socio-economic, political, cultural and linguistic condition of the country in general and that of the Far-West in particular. Renowned comedian Manoj Gajurel appreciated the book stating that such literature can unite Nepali society which has been fragmented by politics. Renowned travel writer Pratik Dhakal remarked that the author’s extensive experience of living in diverse geography can be observed reflected in his writing.
Speaking as the Chief Guest, artist Madan Krishna Shrestha said, like the title of book Bastima Kuhiro ( Fog in the Village), our life is fogged with so much of contradiction and confusion. Yet he pleaded everyone to remain optimistic saying that democracy would slowly wipe out the foggy atmosphere of the country.
Author Nepal addressed the event admitting some of the lapses mentioned by the critics, and asserted that he was committed to writing about ordinary issues like bread and plate.
Published by Orient Publication, the book contains a collection of 18 stories and will be available at 400 rupees.