An objerver-Loo-By Khagendra Lamichhane

Khagendra Lamichhane's View on Nepali Novel Loo in Republica Daily

 
EXTRACTS/Published in REPUBLICA on July 27,2012

   An observer  
 
THE WEEK BUREAU
 

KHAGENDRA LAMICHHANE

Badaa dukha au pidako saath bhannuprariraheko chha ki gaun ra thaun uhi bhaye pani aba hamro patta-thegana chahi badaliyekochha. Tapailai maloom jankari chhaina hola. Katai samachar-omachar, khabar-obar pani ta kasaile diyena. Na radiole kehi bolyo, na akhabarle kehi lekhyo. Netasetale pani kahin katai bolideyenan. Taba kasari thaha hunchha tapai lai? Tyesaile kitab pathaune thegana tala lekhidiyeko chhu saheb! Note garnuhola!
Shree Ganga Prasad urf Tute Pandit
Gram: Patharpurawa
Uttar Pradesh, Bharat 

–Loo by Nayan Raj Pandey

This is part from the epilogue from the novel “Loo” by Nayan Raj Pandey which focuses on the social setting of a Nepali village called Patharpurawa on the Nepal-India border.

The region has been neglected by the Nepali governments and disregarded by the Indian communities as well. Hence the locals suffer, caught in between the borders.

The epilogue is a letter sent by a fictional character “Tute Pandit” from the novel to the author. In the beginning of the novel, the village Patharpurawa is an ideal place of ethnic and religious harmony.

However, a clash arises due to a single incident. Amid government neglect and political disruptions, the scenario worsens and the village people who used to be pride themselves for being Nepali and used to fight against Indians who tried to demean them, end up being a part of the Indian territory – hence the address mentioned in the letter: Uttar Pradesh, Bharat.

By having this letter in the book, the novelist makes his point in such a witty way. How he uses this is also a great piece of political satire. A Nepali village has now shifted to India and yet no radio, newspapers or politicians cared to speak about it.

The region remains neglected and even so called intellectual minds like authors and writers remain ignorant about it. That’s my personal perspective on this.

The book pictures the deeply rooted reasons behind the Madhesh uprising, what the locals felt, why they chose to rebel and what government negligence has led to.

The book, as a whole, is a great read, hard to put down and I finished it in one go. How he incorporates its preface, epilogue and acknowledgement into the story itself is also very fascinating.

About Lamichhane

Lamichhane is a writer, theatre actor and a leading young playwright. He’s also the senior script writer and director of the famous radio drama series “Katha Mitho Saarangiko” on BBC 103 FM.

Paaniphoto, a collection of plays is his most recent work. The title play “Paani Foto,” which was also staged at Gurukul, with its simple storyline has been a favorite of many theatre goers.

Veteran theatre artists and gurus from Sunil Pokharel to Anoop Baral all refer to Lamichhane as one of the most promising young writers – not just in plays but in Nepali literature.

Originally from Pokhara, Lamichhane is a lover and follower of simplicity – in his writing style and real life as well. He mentions Anton Chekhov, BP Koirala, Nirmal Verma as his favorites among many writers whom he admires. Currently, he is working on the collection of dramas aired on Katha Mitho Saarangiko along with his short story collection.

(As told to Ujjwala Maharjan)

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