पुस्तक समीक्षा: चीरहरण

गुरु व्यास जयन्तीको दिन गुरु व्यासको सबैभन्दा चर्चित कृति महाभारतमा आधारित चीरहरण पढेर सकियो । नीलम कार्की निहारिकाको यो नेपाली उपन्यास पढ्न सकिन्छ कि सकिँदैन भन्ने द्विविधा थियो सुरुमा । मैले आजसम्म पढेका मध्ये सबैभन्दा ठूलो हो यो पुस्तक । त्यहीपनि कथानकमा जुन ‘फ्लो’ छ, त्यसले ५२२ पृष्ठ पढ्न धेरै समय लागेन ।
चीरहरण महाभारतभन्दा पृथक छ र छैन पनि । पृथक यस अर्थमा छ कि यसले महाभारतका नारीपात्रहरूका सुख, दुःख, पीडा र समस्याहरू देखाइएको छ । पृथक यस अर्थमा छैन कि यसले महाभारतको कथा (मैले जानेसम्म) परिवर्तन गरेको छैन । महाभारतमा रहेका जादुमयी कुराहरू, उदाहरणका लागि गुरु व्यासको जन्म, लाई जस्ताको तस्तै प्रस्तुत गरिएको छ ।

उपन्यासको सुरुवात जादुमयी छ । कुनै जलाशयमा सुभद्राबाहेकका सबै पात्रहरू आएका छन् । पालैपालो आफ्ना कथाहरू राख्छन् । पहिलो पुस्ताको पात्र सत्यवतिबाट महाभारतको कथा सुरु हुन्छ । दोस्रो पुस्ताको प्रतिनिधित्व अम्बिका र अम्बालिकाले गरेका छन् । तेस्रो पुस्ता कुन्ती र गान्धारी अनि चौथो पुस्ताका नारीका रूपमा द्रौपदी, चित्राङ्गदा, उलूपी र भानुमती वक्ताका रूपमा आउँछन् ।

पहिलो देखि चौथो पुस्ता (अझ पाँचौं) सम्म आइपुग्दा नारीले भोग्ने समस्या उस्तै छन् । सत्यवतीको वर्णन पढ्दा पीडा, आश्चर्य र साहनुभूतिका भावना जाग्छन् । त्यस्तै की दिदी अम्बाको पीडामा आँसु बग्छन् । अम्बिका र अम्बालिकाले पतिको मृत्यु पछि व्याससँग गर्ने नियोगका बारेमा जानकार हुँदाहुँदै पनि मलाई चकित पारिदियो । गान्धारीको हठात् गरेको आँखामा पट्टी बाँध्ने प्रणले पारेको असरको बारेमा सायदै कसैले याद गरेका होलान् । अनि कुन्ती र माद्रीले भोग्नुपरेका दु:ख र पतिको मृत्युमा सती जानुपर्ने विषयमा भएका वादविवाद र मत-मतान्तर दु:खद छन् ।

उपन्यासको आधाभन्दा बढी भाग द्रौपदीको कथाले लिएको छ । शिर्षक नै चीरहरण भएको र महाभारतको पनि क्लाइमेक्स द्रौपदीसँग जोडिएकाले होला । द्रौपदीको इतिहासमा पीडा, क्रोध र विद्रोह छ ।

उपन्यास समग्रमा विद्रोही किसिमको छ । पात्रहरूमा बारम्बार विद्रोहको आकांक्षा आउँछन् तर फेरि धर्म र कर्मको नाममा दबिन्छन् । सबै पात्रहरूले कुनै न कुनै समयमा सम्झौता गर्छन् । चीरहरणले धर्म र बाध्यता को नाममा महिलाप्रति हुने विभेद र अत्याचारका विरुद्धमा धावा बोलेको छ ।

उपन्यास राम्रो हुँदाहुँदै पनि बारम्बार दोहोरिने वाक्य, वाक्यांश र संवादले अलि झिंझो लाग्छ । उपन्यासमा थुप्रै गल्ती पनि भेटियो । ५२२ पृष्ठ सम्पादन गर्नु सजिलो कुरा होइन तर गल्ती नभएको भए अझ राम्रो हुनेथियो भन्ने मेरो विचार हो ।

पुस्तकको नाम: चीरहरण

लेखक: नीलम कार्की निहारिका

पृष्ठ सङ्ख्या: ५२२

When I died

I had been sick for some time. My parents, wife and children were sitting around me with grim faces. I had already lived more than twenty five years of my years and I felt like I was going to die. However, I did not want to die young. So I remembered my parents, my wife, my children and everyone who had been dear to me. All of a sudden, I lost consciousness. I stopped remembering anything.

When I regained consciousness, a man dressed in black was standing before me. He had a pale face with a big mustache and huge beard. His eyes were hollow. He looked at me as if he was disgusted with me. He produced a whip from the thin air and lashed hard at me. Before I could cry, the whip had tightened around my throat. I struggled but in vain. He was too strong.

He rose above in the air and I was dragged behind him. I tried to free myself again but I feared that I would fall down. He dragged me up to the clouds. He stopped and looked at me with disdain. He said, “Do you want to see your world before I take you to mine?” His voice was deep and sounded like he was speaking through a hollow bamboo. That moment I knew that he was death. I nodded slowly in affirmation to his question. He then told me to look down and that I did.

The world looked tiny from that height but Death mystically zoomed it for me. He said, “Look at your family for the last time.” And my children were in front of my eyes.

They were crying. My body lay amongst them. I called them out. But they could not listen to me. I tried to touch them but could not. I could do nothing to console them. Sometimes later, they carried my body to the crematorium and it was cremated. The existence of my body had come to an end.

Death did something and the time ran pretty quickly. My family was not sad. My children were playing. My wife looked a little weak but she was smiling. “They have learnt to live without you now,” Death said. He then showed me images from all around the world. Poor and rich, happy and sad, stupids and geniuses, religious and non-religious, rulers and the ruled, he showed me all sorts of people. “Why do you think I showed you all these?”

I noticed that the whip had gone away from my throat but still I could not speak. He said, “Everyone I have showed you and every life in this world, everything in this universe will die one day. They can’t escape death.”

“You know you must die. Yet you are scared of Death. You never lived life to their fullest because of the fear. You were also more concerned about afterlife than the life you lived. You donated to the poor to make your afterlife better, so that you can rest in heaven and avoid hell after death. That was very selfish of you. You followed religions in the hope that the door to the heaven will be opened. You looked after your parents because the scriptures said you will be in heaven after your death.

“You have not done anything that will make other people’s lives better. Give to the poor to see their smiles. Take care of your parents with all your heart. Start thinking that good things you do will make someone happy, that those acts will create heaven in your life. Stop thinking that your good deeds will land you to heaven only after your death. Stop fearing hell. Understand that your bad deeds will create hell around you. You don’t need to die to see the hell. Stop fearing death. Death will come to you for sure.”

I opened my eyes. The sun had risen up high. I was neither sick, nor dead. I recalled everything the man in black robes said in the dream. I smiled, got off from my bed and went to meet my life. It was grinning ear to ear.

What might happen to my body after my death?

I was really amused reading the question (If God doesn’t exist, what will happen after you die?) because I was thinking, “How would God’s existence or absence influence what happens after you die?”

Anyway, the first thing that would happen after my death is my consciousness would come to an end forever.

Another thing that would happen is that my name, my personality would all die with me. As soon as I die, I would become a “body” or a “corpse” (laas, shav in Nepali).

Then I would be cremated. My body would turn to ashes in hours. People would think I have rested in the sky. If I had decided to donate my organs after my death, my organs would be saving someone. If my body goes for donation to a medical institute, my “body” (body is what they would call) would be studied.

If I met death horribly, for example, sunk down into a lake or swamp, my body parts will decay therein or become fossilized. If I drown into a river, my body might be swept downstream, discovered horribly swollen, or may never be found, dismembered and fed off by fishes and even water itself. Still some of my body parts would be fossilized.

If my death occurs by being crushed over by a building or a rock or a mountain of a vehicle, my body parts might scattered here and there. It would never be donated but could be cremated, if lucky or would be fossilized.

It got too gory even for my own taste. Maybe you believe that God will take you or your soul will get to heaven (or may go to hell or remain in purgatory.) I can’t be as sure about that. I have never seen God do that yet except in some movies.

Originally posted as an answer on Quora.

I could not find a formula!

I was lazily scrolling down the questions and answers on Quora. When I had first known about that site, it was full of mind-boggling, interesting and informative questions and answers. These days, nice questions are rare and answers are more sarcastic than informative.

So, as I was scrolling down, I received a notification. Someone had requested answer to a question, “What is the formula for excellent essay writing?”

This is a popular question. A lot of people have already answered the question and yet people ask it over and over again. I looked at some of the answers and said to myself, “Why do so many people asking for a formula for writing an essay or an article or a story? And why, despite several answers, they are not satisfied?”


My brain began imagining fictional characters and scenes since I was seven. My first story (which has not yet been written on paper) was Shivam: The Sailor, inspired by stickers of ships with the name Shivam (probably the name of the company that produced them) under them. I imagined my stories in my native language Nepali but dialogues in English. And I used to tell them to my imaginary friends. The trend continued for more than five years with many superhero characters: Rakerilisis (Raker = Robotic, Ilisis = Hero; a name I had imagined myself) aka Ram, Vikram, Mike, Richard, Roger and many others.

In school, we were often given “handwriting” homeworks and teachers used to tell something like: “Copy two paragraphs from page number 34 stories”. At the age of twelve, I completely rejected the idea of copying down from the books. I brought the story of Rakerilisis (changing the name to Star Man, the hero) and Mike (the anti-hero) onto my handwriting homework. I was not sure how my teacher would react, but she praised it. I was encouraged.

I wrote more as years passed. I don’t remember most of them, some of the stories were lost before they came to paper and some after being penned. After I read an essay collection from Nagendra Raj Sharma, I started confidently writing essays and that inspired me to blog.

In all these years of writing my heart out, I never looked for a formula. Sharma’s essays had taught me that there is no real formula in writing. The basic structures of essay writing that we were taught in school need not be followed strictly. In a way, I rejected the concept of using formula on free writing.


Whenever I hear the word “formula”, I think of Mathematics and I also remember my father and some of my teachers saying, “Formula eases problem solving in Maths in many cases. With the help of formula, we don’t need to repeat the long process of derivation to solve similar problems.” This applied while I studied calculus in high school.

In free writing however, there is no short-cut. You have to go through the same basic process again and again even if you are a recognized writer. You always write for your target audience, you always need some knowledge in what you are writing for credibility, you must always convey a meaningful message you always wait for the response of the readers.

Writers have their own thought-processes and their own styles. Their processes amd styles may not work for others. They can’t even guarantee their process will work for themselves everytime. That’s why I haven’t found a hard and fast rule that applies to everyone. This must be the reason people are not satisfied with the “formula” others give.

The only thing that can help writers succeed is PRACTICE and PATIENCE. Practice makes them better than they were earlier. Patience helps them continue even when they are low. Writing again and again may be the only thing that promotes excellent writing.

**********

Note: First published on Blogger’s World.

भेडा

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नेपालको चुनावी सन्दर्भमा “भेडा” शब्द एकदम प्रचलित छ । कुनै बेला सर्वमान्य नेता गणेशमान सिंहले “काठमाडौंंका जनता भेडा हुन्” भन्नुभएको थियो भन्ने सुन्दा सानामा रमाइलो लाग्थ्यो । प्रजातान्त्रिक शक्तिलाई नपत्याएको झोंक थियो सायद उहाँको ।

वैशाख ३१ गते पहिलो चरणको स्थानीय चुनाव सकियो । “भेडा” शब्द फेरि चर्चामा आयो । पहिलेजस्तो नेताको भाषणमा होइन, जनताको सामाजिक सञ्जालको भित्तामा ।

भेडा को हुन् ?

वर्तमान सन्दर्भमा भेडा भन्नाले कांग्रेस, एमाले, माओवादी लगायतका लामो समयसम्म शासन गरेका दलहरूलाई भोट हाल्ने जनता हुन् रे । नयाँ दलहरूलाई भोट हाल्ने (खासगरी काठमाडौंको सन्दर्भमा) चाहिँ भेडा होइनन् रे । मलाई यस्तै भनेका थिए एकजनाले फेसबुकमा । यसरी बुझ्दा मतदानमा सहभागी अधिकांश जनता (म सहित) भेडा हुन् ।

अर्को परिभाषा पनि भेटिन्छ यदाकदा । “राम्रा”लाई भन्दा “हाम्रा”लाई भोट हाल्ने पनि भेडा हुन् । यसमा मेरो विचार के छ भने नि “हाम्रा राम्रा” हरूलाई भोट दिनु सर्वोत्तम हो । तर “राम्रा” जति “हाम्रा” हुन् भन्ने ग्यारेन्टी नभएसम्म जनताले आफ्ना नजिकका (“हाम्रा”) लाई नै भोट हाल्छन् । एउटा उखान छ त, “टाढाको देउता भन्दा नजिकको भूत वेश” ।

पुरानाका विरुद्ध नयाँ

यहाँ नयाँको पनि अपव्याख्या भएको देख्दा छ्क्क पर्छु म त । भर्खर खुलेका दलहरू अनि युवाहरू नयाँ हुन् रे । नयाँ हुन त सोच पनि नयाँ हुनु पर्‍यो नि । तालिवानहरू युवा शक्तिका रूपमा अफगानिस्तानमा देखा परे । तर तिनले पुरातनवादी शरिया कानुनमा जोड दिए ।

नेपालमा भएका “नयाँ” दलहरूमा पनि नयाँपन छैन । बाबुराम भट्टराईको नयाँ शक्ति पार्टीलाई नयाँ ठान्ने युवाहरू छन् यहाँ । भट्टराईको अध्यक्ष बन्ने सपनाको उपज थियो यो पार्टी । भयङ्कर ठूलो सभा गरेर पार्टी घोषणा गरे हाम्रा डाक्टरले ।  हजारौंले वर्ष दिन नपुग्दै पार्टी छाडे । बौद्धिकताको कदर भएन भन्दै थिए ।

दुई महिना अघि बीबीसी नेपालका पूर्वप्रमुख रवीन्द्र मिश्रले घोषणा गरेको तर दर्ता नभएको “साझा पार्टी” सामाजिक सञ्जालमा भाइरल बन्यो । युवाहरूलाई तान्यो पनि । कामनपाको मेयरमा पूर्वसचिवलाई उठायो । झट्ट हेर्दा उनी योग्री देखिए तर ब्यूरोक्रेटहरूलाई जनताले पत्याउने बेला भयो त । हुन त सबैलाई एउटै कित्तामा हाल्नु ठीक नहोला देश बिग्रनुमा कर्मचारीहरूको असक्षमताको ठूलो हात छ भन्ने अधिकांश ठान्छन् । अनि साझा पार्टीको घोषणा अर्को एउटा पार्टी विवेकशीलको विरुद्धजस्तो पनि देखियो ।

विवेकशील-मैले अलि भिन्न होला भन्ने ठानेको दल । भिन्नता देखाएको पनि थियो । टायर बालेर गर्ने आन्दोलनलाई प्लेकार्ड बोकेर, हल्लाखल्लाको विरोध छाडेर मौन विरोध सिकाउने दल । म कति इम्प्रेस्ड भएको थिएँ । स्वास्थ क्षेत्रमा सुधार हुनुपर्ने माग राखेर डाक्टर गोविन्द केसीले अनसन बस्दा साथ दिने पहिलो दल पनि यही थियो । तर त्यही अनसन ताका मैले स्वास्थ सेवा लिन गएका हजारौंले दु:ख पाएको देखें । काठमाडौंका निम्न/मध्यम वर्गीय र बाहिरबाट उपचारका लागि आएका जनताले दु:ख पाउनु जायज हो त भन्ने प्रश्न गर्दा जायज हो भन्ने पनि भेटिए । विवेकशीलले त्यस बेला एउटा आयामबाट मात्रै हेर्यो भन्ने मेरो ठम्याई हो । तर उनीहरू भर्खर पार्टीका रूपमा आउँदै थिए  अनि आन्दोलनको केन्द्रमा पनि थिएनन् । विवेकशील बारे मैले सोचेको पनि थिइन त्यो बेला ।

यसपाली चुनावमा काठमाडौं महानगरको मेयर पदमा २१ बर्षिय रन्जु न्यौपाने “दर्शना” लाई उम्मेदवार घोषणा गर्यो । उनको पहिलो अन्तर्वार्ता हेरिसकेपछि मलाई लाग्यो, “अरू कोही योग्य थिएनन् यो दलमा ?” अनि त्यसमाथि विवेकशीलको नारा, “काठमाडौंलाई फेरि सुन्दरमाडौं बनाउछौं” । काठमाडौं कहिल्यै पनि सुन्दरमाडौं थिएन । काठमाडौं काठमाडौं नै हो र काठमाडौं नै रहनुपर्छ । फेन्सीफुल शब्दको जालमा पार्न त पुरानाले नै जानेकै थिए त । नयाँ कसरी फरक भए ? सपना देखाउन त पुरानाले पनि देखाएकै थिए । गफकै राजनीति गर्ने भए नयाँ-पुरानामा नाम बाहेक अरू के फरक भयो त ?

नयाँ र पुरानामा खासै फरक रहेनछ भन्ने मलाई त्यो दिन थाहा भयो जुन दिन मैले मेयर उम्मेदवारले नसुहाउदो भाषण गरेको भिडियो हेरें । कति कृत्रिम र भद्दा थियो त्यो भाषण । विवेकशीलको मौन राजनीति तोडियो । गालीको राजनीति सुरु भयो । पुराना र नयाँ बिचको खाडल पुरियो । चुनाव अघिको मौन अवधिमा पनि हल्ला गर्न जब विवेकशील चुकेन, म हतास भएँ । नयाँ पनि पुराना जस्तै नै रैछन् । शक्तिमा नपुग्दै नियमको अपव्याख्या गर्न सक्ने दल शक्तिमा पुग्यो भने के होला ? मैले यही सोचेँ ।

पुराना दलमा सबै खराब नै छन् त ?

​एमाले, कांग्रेस, माओवादीमा फटाहा मात्रै छन् भन्ने ठान्छन् टीनएजर्स । नयाँ पार्टीका भविस्य यिनै मा अडिएको छ । हो, माथि पुगेका मिडियामा सधैं देखिने केही नेता खराब छन् जसले इमान्दार मान्छेलाई छायाँमा पारेका छन् । युवाहरूले छायाँमा परेका त्यस्ता मान्छेलाई नदेख्नु नै नेपाली राजनीतिको मूल समस्या हो । तर स्थानीय तह जनताले “हाम्रा राम्रा” मान्छे चिनेका हुन्छन् । अपवाद छाडेर जनताले धेरैजसो सक्षम मान्छे नै छान्छ्न् स्थानीय तहमा । त राम्रा मान्छे चुन्ने जनता भेडा कसरी भए ? केही खराब नेतालाई देखाएर जनता नै भेडा हुन् भन्नू कतिको जायज कुरा हो ?

नयाँहरूले बुझ्नु पर्ने

मेयर, उपमेयर र केही वडा पदमा एकदुई जना उठाउँदैमा विकल्प भइँदैन । यदि नयाँ दलहरूले बनेको “नयाँ” शब्द व्याख्या एकछिन मान्ने हो भने दुईजना नयाँ आएर केही हुँदैन, १६० जना पुराना आएपछि (काठमाडौंको सन्दर्भमा) । अनि जनतालाई भेडा भन्दा त्यसो भन्न हुन्न नभन्ने गणेशमानका पाला देखिका र भर्खर टुसाएका नेताहरुमा त म पटक्कै फरक देख्दिन ।

​के पढेलेखेकाले देश बिगारेका हुन् ?

“पढेलेखेका मान्छेले देश बिगारे ।”–कसैले लेखेको थियो फेसबुकमा । पुस महिनामा देखिएको यो पोस्टको बारेमा घरमा छलफल भएपछि डायरीमा टिपेँ । समाज, कलेज, स्कुल र आफैँलाई नियालेँ अनि फेसबुकमा भेटिएको त्यस वाक्यको पक्षमा केही तर्क निकालेँ । ती तर्क पालैपालो राख्छु । आफूलाई पढेलेखेका मान्छेमा राख्छु । यसो गर्दा म आत्मालोचना पनि गरिरहेको हुनेछु ।
१. पढेलेखेकाले सानातिना काम गर्दैनन् । उनीहरू सानातिना काम देख्दै देख्दैनन् । भन्नलाई काम सानोठूलो हुँदैन भने पनि खाना पकाउने, फोहोर सफा गर्ने, झाडी उखेल्ने जस्ता कामलाई तल्लो स्तरको देख्छन् । केहीले त्यस्तो ठानेनन् भने पनि सकेसम्म पन्छिन्छन् । मोबाइल र सामाजिक संजाल ती कामबाट भाग्न सहयोग गर्ने साथी भएका छन् ।

२. पढेलेखेका मान्छे घमण्डी हुन्छन् । मास्टर्स, पीएचडी गरेका विद्वानहरूले जुन सम्मान पाउँछन्, त्यसले गर्दा ती अभिमानी भइदिन्छन् । पीएचडी गर्ने मान्छेले एउटा विषयको सानो अंशमा विद्वता पाएको हुन्छ । तर ऊ यसरी प्रस्तुत हुन्छ कि यस्तो लाग्छ उसले नजानेको केही छैन । पीएचडी ज्ञानको अन्त्य होइन भन्ने बिर्सेर ऊ ठान्छ, “म जति जान्ने कोही छैन । मैले कसैको कुरा सुन्नै पर्दैन ।”

३. नजानेको कुरा ‘मैले जानेको छैन’ भन्न नसक्नु पनि पढेलेखेका मान्छेको अहमको पराकाष्ठा हो । शिक्षकहरू प्रायः यस्तो विमारीका सिकार छन् । विद्यार्थीमा पनि यो रोग सारिदिन्छन् उनीहरू । यो रोगले शिक्षक र विद्यार्थीलाई एकअर्काबाट टाढिन सहयोग गर्छ । शिक्षक र विद्यार्थी नै एकअर्कालाई विश्वास गर्न सक्दैनन् भने राम्रो पठनपाठन कसरी हुन्छ ?

४. आफूले बिगारेको कुरा पनि अरूले सपार्दिओस् भन्ने ठान्छ्न् पढेलेखेका मानिस । अधिकांश समय अरूलाई गाली गर्दै बिताउँछ्न् । कतिपय बुद्धिजीवीहरू त राजनीतिजस्तो तुच्छ केही छैन भन्छन् तर ताक पर्दा राजनीति आफैं गर्छन् ।

५. पढेलेखेकाले कुरा घुमाउन जान्दछन् । शब्दजालमा माकुराले पुतली फसाएझैं फसाउन उनीहरू माहिर हुन्छन् । नियम पनि उनीहरू नै जान्दछन् अनि नियम बङ्ग्याउन पनि । एकछिन कुनै चोकमा गएर उभिनुहोस्, जानाजान ट्राफिक नियम पालना गर्ने पढेलेखेका मानिस सयौं भेटिन्छन् । सरकारी काम नगर्ने, काम छिटो गराउन घुस दिनेहरू पनि पढेलेखेका मान्छे नै हुन् ।

आफूलाई सधैं सही र अरूलाई सधैं गलत देख्ने, अरूका कुरा सुन्न नचाहने, आफ्नो ज्ञान सीमित भए पनि सर्वज्ञ ठान्ने पढेलेखेकाहरूकै कारण हामीले दु:ख पाएका हौँ भन्ने निष्कर्ष पो निकालेँ मैले त । सहमत हुनुहुन्छ ?

बहत्तर सालको भुकम्प

गड्गड गड्गड गड्गडाउँदै

थर्थर थर्थर थर्थराउँदै

घरगोठ ढाल्दै, मान्छे मार्दै

मनहरूलाई कायल पार्दै

आयो

भोकमाथि शोक थपेर

शोकमाथि शोक थपेर
त्यो आएको दुई पल

कालको भोज थियो

प्रत्येक निमेषमा ऊ

अघाएको थियो

हरेकले उसलाई आँखाअघि

देखेको थियो

मान्छे कति निर्बल छ भन्दै

खित्का छाडेर हासेको थियो
पहाड बगे, फाँट फुटे

मन फाटे, आँसु बगे

उसले दिएको पीडाले

सबै निराश भए
भत्किए संरचना, भत्किए मन

राज्य निरीह देखियो

योजना लागू भएनन् 

एक जोडी कलाकारले

दिनरात जोडे केही मन

मनहरू बन्न अझै बाँकी नै छ

घरहरू बन्न अझै बाँकी नै छ

शिर सगरमाथाझैँ हुन अझै बाँकी छ