लेखक गनेस पौडेलको फेसबुक पोस्टले नेपाली साहित्य प्रकाशनका बारेमा उजागर गरेका प्रश्नहरू

हिजो साँझ कुमार नगरकोटी को नयाँ किताब आउनेबारे थाहा पाएँ । ७७७ पेजको, हार्डकभर ज्याकेट, झोला, बुकमार्क सहित मूल्य रू. २०२१ अरे । अनौठो चैं किताब एकपटक मात्रै छापिने रे । त्यसैले प्रि-अर्डर गर्नुपर्ने । जति कपि माग हुन्छ, त्यति नै छापिने रे । मार्केटिङ स्किम राम्रै होला किनकी चर्चा त निकै नै छ (सकारात्मक पनि नकारात्मक पनि) । फेसबुकमा यस सम्बन्धी सूचना देख्नेबित्तिकै “ओहो ! मूल्य धेरै भएन र? किन्नै नसकिने पो रैछ !” हीनभाव मनमा आयो । धेरैले यस्तै कुरा लेखेको पनि भेटेँ । केहीले आफैँ किन्ने, कसैले ग्रुपमा किनौँ भनेको पनि भेटेँ ।

बिहानसम्ममा मूल्यको विषयमा थुप्रै वादविवाद भइसकेछन् । अलि कम मूल्य भएको भए किन्थें भन्नेहरू देखिए । स्किम चित्त नबुझेर जोक बन्नु/गुनासो हुनु स्वाभाविक नै हो । यसैबीच यस्ता गुनासाका बारेमा अर्का लेखक गनेस पौडेलको को एउटा पोस्ट देखापर्यो फेसबुकमा । उनको ७ बुँदे पोस्टले नेपाली साहित्यमा रहेका केही समस्या उजागर गरेको छ ।

यो फोटोको ठाउँमा लिंक नै इम्बेड गरेको थिएँ । लेख्दा लेख्दै ढिलो भो, अकाउन्ट डिएकटिभेट गर्नुभएछ* ! धन्न स्क्रीनसट थियो !!

१. बुँदा नम्बर १ मा पौडेल लेख्छन्

“एउटा कथित पूर्णकालीन लेखकले औसत ३ वर्षमा यौटा किताब लेख्छ ।”

कुनै पनि सिर्जनामा सर्जकको कति मिहिनेत र खर्च परेको हुन्छ भन्ने लेखाजोखा गर्न असम्भव नै हुन्छ । पूर्णकालिन लेखकका लागि त लेख्नु सौख मात्र होइन, माम खाने दाम पाउने काम हो । परिश्रमको उचित पारिश्रमिक पाउनु श्रमिक अधिकार पनि हो । तर लेखकहरूले उचित लेखकस्व पाएका छैनन् भनेर उनी स्वीकार्छन् :

“सम्झौता पत्रमा बढीमा २० प्रतिशत रोयल्टी दिने प्रचलन छ । तर त्यो प्रतिशत देखाउने कागज मात्रै हो । बेस्ट सेलरै भनिएका किताबवापत पनि नेपाली लेखकले औसतमा २ लाख बुझ्छन् ।”

केही दिनअघि साहित्य सम्बन्धि छलफल हुने एउटा फेसबुक ग्रुपमा लेखकले कति रोयल्टी पाउँछन् भन्ने प्रश्न उठेको थियो । त्यतिबेला सालाखाला यति पाउँछन् भन्ने पनि कोही भेटिएनन् । जे होस्, आज जवाफ भेटियो ।
तर पौडेलले सातौं बुदामा रोयल्टी सम्बन्धि कुरा आफ्नो अनुभव हैन भनेका छन् । प्रकाशकहरूले खुल्लमखुल्ला यी कुरा नभन्ने भएकाले उनी आफैंले नभोगी वा आफ्नो नजिकका अरू लेखकले नभनी थाहा पाउन असम्भव छ ।
प्रश्न उब्जिन्छन्:
क) आफ्ना किताब कति बिक्री भए र कति आम्दानी गर्दैछ, त्यसबाट आफूले कति पाउँदैछु भन्ने कुरा थाहा पाउनु लेखकको अधिकार हैन र ? एकएक हिसाब हुनुपर्ने हैन ? ‘विश्वास’को आधारमा बजार कसरी चल्छ ?
ख) अनेकौं कुराहरूको गर्न सक्ने लेखकहरूले सम्झौता अनुसार रोयल्टी नदिने फटाहा प्रकाशकको भण्डाफोर गर्नुपर्ने हैन ? कानूनी उपचारमा ल्याउनुपर्ने होइन ?
ग) पूर्णकालिन लेखकले पनि उचित लेखस्व पाउँदैनन् भने तिनै कथित पूर्णकालिन लेखक र प्रकाशक रोयल्टीबाट बाँच्न सकिन्छ किन भनिरहन्छन् ?
घ) नयाँ साहित्यकारलाई भ्रममा फस्न नदिन स्थापित लेखक र प्रकाशकले सहयोग गरेका छन् त ?


२. दोस्रो बुँदामा रिसाउँदै भन्छन् :

दुई लाखले के यौटा पूर्णकालीन लेखकको ३ बर्ष कट्छ ? कथित सेलिब्रिटी बनाइएको लेखकले दालभात खानु पर्दैन ? रोग लागेपछि राज्य वा चन्दादाता गुहार्नु के लेखकको नियति हो ?

लेखकलाई काम बापत माम खान पुग्ने दाम दिने (र बाँच्न सजिलो बनाउने) जिम्मा प्रकाशकको हो, पाठकको होइन । किनकी उनकै अनुसार पाठकले एउटा किताबमा २००० नै खर्चिए पनि “कथित पूर्णकालिन लेखक”ले बढीमा पाउने ४०० रूपैयाँ हो । ५००० प्रति विक्दा लेखकको हातमा २० लाख हात पर्ने रहेछ । तर यहाँ प्रश्न उठ्छन्:
क) ५००० प्रति बिक्छन् ?
ख) ५००० मात्र होइन, ५०००० प्रती बिकून्, हार्दिक शुभकामना तर एकाध साहित्यकारको ब्राण्ड भ्यालु बढ्दैमा साहित्यको ब्राण्ड भ्यालु बढेको हुन्छ र ? अरू साहित्यकारले पनि सजिलोसँग बाँच्न पाउँछन् ?
ग) प्रकाशकले साहित्यको कन्टेन्ट भन्दा एकाध जनराका साहित्यकारलाई मात्रै पो प्रश्रय दिन्छन् कि ?
घ) नयाँ साहित्यकारलाई प्रकाशकले यसैगरी चर्चामा ल्याउन सक्छन् ? कतै स्थापितलाई मात्रै त महत्त्व दिँदैनन् ?


३. तेस्रो बुँदामा पौडेल लेख्छन् :

मलाई लाग्छ, कुमार नगरकोटीको यो किताब एउटा सिर्जनात्मक मात्रै होइन आर्थिक प्रयोग पनि हो । यस्तो प्रयोगका लागि एउटा उत्कृष्ट किताब चाहिन्छ जुन कल्प–ग्रन्थ छ ।

नगरकोटीको फ्यान फलोइङ देखेर चकित भएको छु । रचना राम्रो पनि होला । तर,
क) लेखक, प्रकाशक र लेखकका मित्रगणले राम्रो छ भन्दैमा उत्कृष्ट हुने ग्यारेन्टी हुन्छ र ?
ख) फ्यानहरूले मात्रै पढ्ने भए पछि उचित समालोचना कसरी होला ? उचित समालोचना बिना लेखकको सिर्जनात्मक ग्रोथ कसरी होला ?
ग) लेखक र प्रकाशकले “खतरा प्रयोग गरेको छु” भन्नु भन्दा पाठकले प्रयोग बुझ्नु र त्यसलाई मन पराउनु राम्रो होला नि, हैन र ?


४. चौथो बुँदामा भन्छन्, “सबै किताब सबैका लागि हुँदैनन्”  र पाँचौँ बुँदामा थप्छन्, “यो एउटा दर्शन हो ” ।

सबै किताब सबैका लागि हुँदैन । मान्छु । जस्तो कि यो किताब मेरो लागि होइन । न बजेटका हिसाबले न कन्टेन्टका हिसाबले । यो किताब धेरै साहित्यझैँ मेरो आधारभूत आवश्यकता पनि होइन । तर यो दर्शन हो भने सर्वसुलभ हुनुपर्छ । जहाँ, जहिले, जसले पनि दर्शन बुझ्न सक्छ । दर्शनले कुनै विभेद गर्न सक्दैन । विभेद गर्ने दर्शन त दर्शन नै रहँदैन ।

त्यसै गरी  पढ्न चाहनेले पढ्न पाउनुपर्छ भन्ने मान्यताले नै पुस्तकको महत्त्व बढेको हो । सबै किताब सबैको लागि नभए पनि सबैको बनाउने प्रयास गर्नुपर्छ भन्ने मेरो मान्यता हो ।

किन्नेले किनिहाल्छ भन्ने सोच पनि एकदम खतरनाक हो । यसले वर्गीय विभेदलाई बढावा दिन्छ । अस्वस्थ प्रतिस्पर्धालाई प्रोत्साहन गर्छ । गुणस्तरमा समेत असर पार्न सक्छ । फेरि बजारले निर्धारण गरेको मूल्य मात्रै किताबको मूल्य होइन । जीवनलाई निर्देश गर्ने किताबको बजार मूल्य नभए पनि त्यो अमूल्य हुन्छ । जति धेरै पाठकको दिलदिमागमा बस्न सक्यो, किताबको मूल्य बढ्दै जान्छ, हैन र ?


५. छैठौं बुँदामा ग्रुपमा किन्दा हुन्छ भनेपछि त असमञ्जसमा पो परेँ । ग्रुप बनाउन सजिलो नहोला । बन्यो भने पनि साना गोजी भएका पाठकको गोजी जोड्दा पाठकको समस्या त हल होला तर के लेखकको गोजी भरिएला ? १० जनाले २००० रूपैयाँ दरको १ प्रति किताब किन्नु र १० जनाले ३०० रूपैयाँ दरको १० प्रति किताब किन्नुमा कुनमा बढी आर्थिक फाइदा लेखकलाई होला ? लेखकलाई लेखेर खान पुग्दैन भनेर सुरु भएको बहस आखिरमा त्यहीँ पो पुग्यो त ।


“कन्टेन्ट इज् द किङ” साहित्य र चलचित्रमा अक्सर भनिन्छ । कन्टेन्ट राम्रो भएन भने ब्राण्ड र कमाइ मात्रैले केही हुँदैन । उदाहरण हो केही महिनाअघि रिलिज भएको डिज्नीको चलचित्र “मुलान” । साहित्यमा पनि स्थापित लेखक (ब्राण्ड) को पछाडी दौडनु एउटा उपभोक्ता (पाठक) का लागि रिस्क हुनसक्छ । किताब पनि एउटा उपभोग्य वस्तु भएकाले अरू सामान किन्दाझैं किन किन्ने, ‘मलाई काम लाग्छ कि लाग्दैन ? मूल्य बढी पो भयो कि ?’ भन्ने प्रश्नहरू गर्ने अधिकार उपभोक्तालाई हुन्छ । नगरकोटीको ब्राण्ड पछि फाल हान्नेले ब्राण्ड भ्यालु बुझेका होलान् तर यो अन्धाधुन्ध उपभोगको भीडबाट अलग रहन चाहेँ ।

नगरकोटीलाई यो स्किमले कति फाइदा गर्ला ? नेपाली साहित्यमा आउँदा दिनमा कस्ता “प्रयोग” होलान् ? नयाँ साहित्यकारलाई कसरी फाइदा होला ? बढी मूल्य राख्दैमा लेखक मोटाउँछन् भन्ने तर्क कति ठीक हो ? आदि इत्यादि प्रश्नको जवाफ छिटै पाइने नै छ !

*पुच्छ्रे टिपोट: सुरुमा “ब्लक खाएँ” लेखेकामा फेसबुकमा पछि त्यसो होइन भन्ने कमेन्ट आएपछि सच्याइएको । “कुतर्क गर्नेलाई ब्लक गर्छु” भन्नुभएको थियो । “बाघ कराउनु, बाख्रा हराउनु” भनेझैं भएछ । क्षमाप्रार्थी क

पुस्तक समीक्षा: झोला

‘झोला’ कथासंग्रहमा प्रसिद्ध आख्यानकार कृष्ण धरावासीका बाह्रवटा कथा राखिएका छन् । यीमध्ये केही पछिसम्म सम्झन सकिने खालका छन् । सबै कथाहरूको छोटो चर्चा गर्दछु ।

पहिलो कथा ‘झोला’ सर्वप्रिय कथा हो । सतीप्रथाको विकराल दृश्य प्रस्तुत भएको यो कथा ‘श्रुति संवेग’मा प्रस्तुत भएको थियो । त्यसपछि नै एउटा अनलाइनमा भेटेको थिएँ अनि बाबाले पढेर सुनाउनुभएको थियो । यस कथामा आधारित चलचित्र पनि बनिसकेको छ जसलाई धेरै प्रशंसा गरिएको थियो । यो कथासंग्रह को सबैभन्दा उत्कृष्ट कथा पनि ‘झोला’ नै हो ।

‘ठेकुवाकी आमा’ पनि मन परेको अर्को कथा हो । ठेकुवाकी आमाले ठेकुवा (छोरा) लिएर राजेन्द्र साहुसँग पोइल गएपछि कथा सुरु भएको छ । उसको विगत बुझेपछि उसले लिएको कदम ठीकै लाग्छ । तर पछि उसले गरेको गल्तीले ल्याएको वियोगान्तले रुवायो ।

‘ती दिन कहिले आउलान ?’ लेखनको दृष्टिकोणले अनौठो छ । यस्तो किसिमको कथा पहिले पढेको थिइनँ । पात्रहरूको नाम नदिई संवाद मात्रै दिइएकोछ । कसले बोलेको भन्ने बुझ्न चाहिँ बुलेट पोइन्ट हेर्नुपर्ने हुन्छ । कुनै आन्दोलन या द्वन्द्वकालको अवस्था छ भन्ने बुझिन्छ यो कथाका संवादमा तर पात्रहरूसँग कनेक्सन नभएकाले खासै मन परेन ।

चौथो कथा ‘उनीहरूले कहिले गीत गाए?’ म पात्रले सानैमा गरेको सोही प्रश्न र उमेर ढल्किएपछि पाएको प्रश्नमा केन्द्रित छ । यसले सामान्य कुरा देखाएर गहिरो भाव बोकेको छ । अर्को कथा ‘साँघु काट्नु’ले क्रान्तिकारीहरूले साँघु (पुल) काटेको कुरालाई एउटा बच्चा ले कसरी बुझ्छ भन्ने कुरा देखाइएको छ ।

‘भो छाड्नुस् ती पुराना कुरा’ले एउटी महिलाका निर्णयहरू प्रस्तुत गरेको छ । यद्यपि पात्रहरूको विकास राम्ररी गरिएको छैन । घटनाहरू कथाकै लागि मात्र भएजस्ता लाग्छन् ।

‘इस्कुस’ कथाले अनौठो यौन मनोविज्ञान समेटेको छ । बिहे गरेको छ महिनापछि श्रीमतीसँग भेट्न हिंडेको ‘म’ पात्रले इस्कुसलाई ‘विशेष’ देखेको कुराले हास्या सिर्जना गरेको छ । ‘विश्वास’ कथाले भने वर्षौंदेखि सँगै रहेका जोडीले पनि कसरी एकअर्कालाई शंका गर्न सक्छन् भन्ने देखाएको छ । यो कथामा शंकाले लंका जलाउँदैन । यो कुरा मनपर्यो ।

जातीय भेदभाव सानै उमेरदेखि कसरी सुरु हुन सक्छ भन्ने कथा हो ‘एउटा सानो केटो’ । ‘म’ पात्रले एउटा ब्राहमण केटोलाई कसैलाई पनि भेदभाव गर्न हुन्न भनेर सिकाएको यो कथा ठीकै लाग्यो ।

‘मह’ कथाले सोझालाई बाठाले कसरी झुक्क्याउन सक्छन् भन्ने देखाएको छ । त्यस्तै माथिल्लो पदका कर्मचारीको मूर्खता र सफाई गर्न पनि तल्लो पदका कर्माचारी पर्खिनै पर्ने “बाध्यता”लाई व्यङ्ग्य गरेको छ ।

‘मास्टरबाबु’ पनि मन परेको कथा हो । यसमा बाहिर एउटा र भित्र अर्को रुप भएको एउटा पात्रको बयान छ । यसको आश्चर्यजनक अन्त्यले मास्टरबाबुप्रतिको हेराइ नै परिवर्तन हुन्छ ।

संग्रहको अन्तिम कथा ‘बसकी केटी’मा बस यात्राका दौरान ‘म’पात्र र उसकी छेउमा बसेकी एउटी केटीको बारेमा छ । ‘म’पात्रका मनमा खेल्ने कुराहरूमा पुरुष मनोविज्ञान देखिन्छ ।

समग्रमा, ३.५/५

View my other reviews on Goodreads

7 Days 7 Books

7 Days 7 Books is a challenge on Facebook that has been running among Nepali book-lovers for a couple of years. The aim was to promote reading culture. This year, it got an extra agenda-“Make books tax free!”

The addition of tax on imported books and those printed in India/overseas should have affected the publishers and distributors, but it looks like they won’t be affected. Instead they would hike the price and make things difficult for parents and students (who are in compulsion to buy textbooks from abroad), and for book-lovers. “The total removal of tax in books would help a lot of students,” a lot of us argued. #Makebookstaxfree got into the internet, and there were campaigns against the taxes at several places, of which Patan was the first. I could not go there because the time clashed with my language classes but I gave my moral support.

The 7 Days 7 Books Challenge says, “Post a book’s cover everyday for 7 days without any review or explanation.” But when I was challenged by my friend Gauri Bomjan, I had a strong urge to at least explain why I chose those books. I thought, ‘Anyone can Google book covers and post them. If I don’t explain, people will not be attracted.’ But later I accepted the challenge as it was to see if I can be wrong. Since the challenge is completed, I now list the 7 books that I posted (all of which are Nepali) along with answers to “Why I chose them?”

Day 1: मोती र गुलाफ (My Translation: Pearls and Roses) by Shivahari Adhikari

I received this book when I was in Class 1 as a prize in a poem recitation contest. This book has 6 folk tales from 6 countries. This book is close to my heart, and since it came back to me after remaining at one of my neighbours for several years, my mother did not allow anyone to take it away.

Day 2: बनारसमा बेचिएकी बहिनी (My Translation: A Sister sold in Benaras)–Nagendra

We did not have book-shelves as there was no space in our house. (We still don’t have much space but we got our first book-shelf last week, thanks to my parents.) So, those days, books were stored in an old carton box. I used to extract books and magazines from it time and again. I found this book in that box when I was in Class 8 while we were shifting to our neighbour’s on rent (we were building a bigger house where our old small house was). Before reading this book, I thought essays were always factual with very little chance of bringing in fiction or personal opinions. This book changed my thought.

I have a deep respect for this book as a Guru for my essays and blogs. It has inspired the way I evaluate situations and people, and I have no shame in saying that Nagendra’s writing style has inspired some of my writings.

Day 3: धुवाँ (Translation: Smoke) by Atma Ram Sharma

My father got this book from his friend (the author). I read this book several times during my vacations during my childhood. I had forgotten it completely until I found it while looking for books to post for the challenge. The story collection has several stories of sorrow. I have never read it as an adult. So, the challenge has reminded me that I should read it again.

Day 4: एउटा कथा भन्नु न हजूरआमा (My Translation: Grandma, Please tell a story) by Ramesh Bikal

Ramesh Bikal is a writer who has written stories for all age groups. This books for children are noteworthy for their mythical and magical elements. My mother gave this book when I was in 15. I fell in love with the stories instantly. But as I haven’t read it for a long time, I have forgotten them. Another book in the to-read-again list.

Day 5: जंगबहादुर (Junga Bahadur) by Shree Krishna Shrestha

I read parts of this book in Sadhana Magazine. I read it last year in free times during my trip to Japan and wrote a review in Nepali. I looked for information on the author but could not find him then. After I posted this photo for the challenge, my teacher Nir Shakya wrote that Late Mr Shree Krishna Shrestha was a chemist and was also the Head of Water Resources Department. I had a mixture of emotions as I got some real info about the author after so many years, but after his demise.

Day 6: घनचक्कर (Ghanachakkar) by Sanjeev Upreti

Ghanachakkar is a crazy ride with one of the craziest narrators of all time. Set during the insurgency period Kathmandu, this novel is a psychological experience. I got this book as a prize in Class 9. I finished the book within five hours the day I got it, leaving me in hallucinations and confusion. I have read it several times since and each time I have found something new.

Day 7: लिखे (Likhe) by Sharad Poudel

I read some chapters of this book in Nawa Yuwa magazines of the late nineties. As with Junga Bahadur, I bought it immediately when I saw it in a book store. This novel shows real struggles of the so-called “untouchables” in a small village in the Western District of Baglung. The dialect, the life-style and the social problems have been captured so well that Likhe’s struggles in his young age can make one cry.

At the end, I realized that it is possible to attract readers to books by just showing the photos. So, why a long post as this? Because, (1) I can’t find peace until I write this and (2) I hope I can attract more readers through this article.

७ दिन ७ पुस्तक

फेसबुकमा केही वर्षदेखि नै ७ दिन ७ पुस्तक च्यालेन्ज देखेकाे थिएँ । नेपाली पुस्तकप्रेमीहरूले पठन संस्कृतिकाे प्राेत्साहनका लागि ७ दिनसम्म ७ वटा पुस्तक कुनै पनि व्याख्या वा समीक्षाविना पाेस्ट गरिरहेका थिए । समीक्षासहितकाे चुनाैति पनि देखेकाे हुँदा केही नलेखी फाेटाे मात्र राख्दा कसैले ‘ढर्रा पारेकाे’ भन्ने हाे कि भन्ने शंका जाग्थ्याे । गुगलबाट खाेजेर किताबकाे फाेटाे राख्न पनि गाह्राे छैन । व्याख्या वा समीक्षाविना पाेस्ट गरिरहँदा अरूलाई पठनप्रति आकर्षण गर्न सकिन्छ र ? भन्ने प्रश्न पनि मनमा थियाे ।

साथी गौरी बम्जनको च्यालेन्ज स्वीकार गर्नुअघि माथी उठेका प्रश्नहरू बारे सोचेँ । व्याख्या गर्न मन हुँदा पनि नगरेर फोटोहरू हालेँ । ती पुस्तकहरू यहाँ प्रस्तुत गरेको छु । अनि ती पुस्तक किन छानेँ भन्ने कुरा पनि समेटेको छु (च्यालेन्ज दौरान नलेखे पनि) ।

१. मोती र गुलाफ (लोककथा सङ्ग्रह)- शिवहरि अधिकारी

कक्षा १ मा छँदै पुरस्कार स्वरूप पाएको यो किताब धेरै नै प्रिय छ । यसमा भएका ६ वटा कथाले मन छुन्छन् अनि केही नैतिक शिक्षा पनि दिन्छन् । धेरै वर्ष छिमेकमा बसेर फिर्ता आएकोले गर्दा पनि यो किताबप्रती आशक्ति अलि बढी छ ।

२. बनारसमा बेचिएकी बहिनी (निबन्ध सङ्ग्रह)– नगेन्द्र

आठ कक्षामा छँदा किताब र पत्रिका राखेको बक्सामा एकदिन यो पुस्तक भेटेको थिएँ । टङ्कनमा धेरै गल्ती भए पनि यसले सुरुमै आकर्षित गर्‍यो । यी निबन्धहरूले निबन्धप्रतिको दृष्टिकोण नै परिवर्तन गरे । मेरा कतिपय ब्लग पनि यी निबन्धबाट प्रभावित छन् ।

३. धुवाँ (कथा सङ्ग्रह)–आत्माराम शर्मा

बाबाले ल्याउनुभएको यो किताब ५ कक्षादेखिका धेरै बिदाहरूमा पढेको थिएँ । सामान्य मान्छेका असामान्य कथाहरूले रुवाउँथे । नपढेको धेरै भएको हुँदा धेरै कुरा याद छैनन् । फेरि छिट्टै पढ्नुपर्ने पुस्तक हो यो ।

४. एउटा कथा भन्नु न हजूरआमा (बालकथा सङ्ग्रह)- रमेश विकल

रमेश विकलका कथा र उपन्यासहरू विभिन्न उमेर समूह लक्षित छ्न् । बालबालिकाका लेखिएका यस सङ्ग्रहका कथाहरूले कल्पनाको संसारमा पुर्‍याउँछ्न् ।

५. जंगबहादुर (ऐतिहासिक उपन्यास)–श्रीकृष्ण श्रेष्ठ

साधना मासिकमा जङ्गबहादुर उपन्यासका अंश पढ्दा आङ सिरिङ्ग हुन्थ्यो । सानोमा धेरै पटक यी अंश पढेको थिएँ । पूरा उपन्यास पढ्न भने पोहोर साल मात्र जुर्‍यो, त्यो पनि जापान टुरको दौरान । यस उपन्यासको समीक्षा पोहोर साल लेखिसकेको छु ।

६. घनचक्कर (उपन्यास)–सञ्जीव उप्रेती

७. लिखे (उपन्यास)–शरद पौडेल

पागलपनको कथा बोकेको घनचक्कर पहिलो चोटि पढ्दा कायल भएको थिएँ । कक्षा ९ मा एउटा प्रतियोगितामा पुरस्कारको रूपमा पाएको दिन करिब ५ घण्टामा पढिसकेको थिएँ । त्यसपछिका वर्षहरूमा पढ्दा हरेक पल्ट नयाँ कथा र सोच भेटेको छु । पढेका नेपाली उपन्यासमध्ये सबैभन्दा माथिल्लो तहमा घनचक्करलाई राख्ने गरेको छु ।

नवयुवा मासिकमा लिखेका केही अंश पढेको थिएँ । “जङ्गबहादुर”झैँ यो किताब पनि देख्नेबित्तिकै किनेको थिएँ । बाग्लुङको सानो गाउँमा अछुत भनेर ठूला जात भनाउँदाले दिएका दु:ख र लिखेले सानै उमेरमा गर्नुपरेको संघर्षले मुटु कुँड्याउँछ ।

अन्त्यमा, मेरा प्रश्नका जवाफ पाएँ । व्याख्या नै नगरे पनि पुस्तकप्रति आकर्षित गराउन सकिँदो रहेछ । त्यसो भए यति लामो लेख किन ? किनकी यो नलेखी चित्त बुझाउनै सकिनँ । अनि यो लेखमार्फत अझै धेरैलाई आकर्षित गर्न सक्छु कि भन्ने सानो प्रयास (आश) हो ।

पुस्तक समीक्षा : जङ्गबहादुर

साधना मासिक सन् नब्बेको दशकको उत्कृष्ट म्यागजिन थियो । यस मासिकका धेरै अंकहरू बाबाले संग्रह गरेर राख्नु भएको थियो, जसमध्ये धेरैजसो डेरा र घर सर्दा हराए । अब केही मात्रै बाँकी छन् । “जङ्गबहादुर” उपन्यास धारावाहिक रुपमा प्रकाशन हुन्थ्यो । गगनसिंहलाई मार्न फत्तेजंग, अभिमानसिंह राना र जङ्गले लिएको सपथ अनि कोतपर्वको विवरण भएका दुई भिन्न अंकहरू अहिलेसम्म पनि सुरक्षित छन् । उपन्यासलाई आधार मानेर सामाजिक शिक्षाको परीक्षामा जङ्गबहादुरको उदयलाई अंग्रेजीमा लेख्ने गर्थें । यो विषयमा मैले पाठ्यपुस्तक कहिले पनि हेरिन । तर बजारमा उपन्यास भेटिंदैनथ्यो ।

यसपाली पुसमाघतिर विशालनगरमा यो उपन्यास अचानक देखेँ । सपनाजस्तो लाग्यो । केही दिनमा पैसा जुटाएर लिएँ तर पढ्ने फुर्सद थिएन । पाँचौँ संस्करण रहेछ । मार्च महिनाको सुरुवातमा जापान भ्रमण ताका सँगै लिएर गएँ अनि पढें पनि । तर थकान अनि किताबमा भेटिएका गल्तीका कारण पूरै पढ्न सकिनँ । फाइनल एक्जाम सकिएपछि चाहिं फेरी थालेँ र पढी भ्याएँ ।

सबल पक्ष

१. उपन्यासले जङ्गबहादुरलाई क्रुर मात्र देखाएको छैन, उनलाई कुन परिस्थितिले त्यस्तो बनायो भन्ने पनि प्रष्ट बताएको छ ।

२. त्यस समयमा भएका षडयन्त्रहरू र हत्याकाण्डहरू कहाली लाग्दा छन् । रानी लक्ष्मीदेवीको उन्माद र राजा राजेन्द्रको अकर्मण्यताले घटनाक्रमलाई अगाडि बढाउन मद्दत गरेका छन् ।

३. कोतपर्व र भण्डारखाल पर्वको चित्रण उत्कृष्ट छ । हत्याका दृश्यहरू सजीव छन् । यसले पारेको प्रभाव माथि पनि लेखिसकेका छु ।

४. जङ्गबहादूरको प्रेमिल पक्ष अनौठो र रमाइलो लाग्छ । यो त्यत्तिकै आएको छैन । जङ्गकी प्रेमिका (पछि पत्नी) पुतलीले जासूस र सलाहकारका रूपमा जङ्गलाई सहयोग गरेकी छिन् ।

५. जङ्ग र उनका भाइहरू बीचको सम्बन्ध राम्रोसँग देखाइएको छ अनि डायमन शमशेरको “सेतो बाघ”को अन्त्यमा भएका घटना (जङ्गका छोरा नातिको हत्या) को बीजारोपण पनि यहाँ गरिएको छ । तर सेतो बाघभन्दा बढी तथ्यपरक छ ।

दुर्बल पक्ष

१. सेतो बाघमा जस्तो लेखकको विचार नै त आउँदैन तर “यसो होला भन्ने कसैले सोचेको भए” भन्ने किसिमका वाक्यहरू दोहोरिइरहन्छन् । यसले कथावाचनलाई अलि कम्जोर बनाएको छ ।

२. चरित्र चित्रण गर्ने केही वाक्यहरू दोहोरिइरहन्छन् । यसले कथालाई छरितो बनाउनबाट रोकेको छ ।

३. अलौ पर्वसम्म विस्तारमा भनिएको कथा त्यसपछि भने सारांश बन्छ । जङ्गबहादुरको बेलायत भ्रमण, मुलुकी ऐनको घोषणा, नेपाल-तिब्बत युद्ध जस्ता विषय केही वाक्यमा समापन हुन्छन् ।

४. जङ्गले इष्ट इन्डिया कम्पनीलाई भारतको सैनिक विद्रोहमा सहयोग गरेको प्रसङ्ग आएकै छैन ।

५. उपन्यासमा प्रिन्ट एरर धेरै छन् । सम्पादनको कमी छ । र पुस्तकको ISBN नहुनु आश्चर्यको विषय हो ।

पुस्तक : जङ्गबहादुर

विधा : ऐतिहासिक उपन्यास

लेखक : श्रीकृष्ण श्रेष्ठ

पृष्ठ संख्या : ३०२

प्रकाशक : कामना पब्लिकेशनस्                      

Battle Royale: PUBG, the movie, the novel

PUBG: “The original Battle Royale game”

PUBG_compressed

My best friend Anish introduced me to PUBG. The concept was simple. Maximum of 100 players dropped into an island fighting each other and the winner was the last one standing. It looked interesting but my phone could not meet its specifications. A couple of months later, Ashok (my friend from college) discovered an emulator for desktop. At least a dozen of us downloaded the emulator and the game. When the game downloaded, it said: “The original Battle Royale game is now installed on your device.”

The term “Battle Royale” intrigued me. I had seen the term before in Wikipedia when I read about the game but I had somehow skipped it. That time, I guess I only wanted to know why the game was popular. I did not give it another thought. While playing the game (and after going through a lot of “funny moments”, which were not so funny), a thought came into my mind, What if I could write a novel based on the game?

That’s why I looked if there was a novel like that. And (unfortunately for my creativity) I found the Japanese movie. Curious, I went through the Wikipedia, movie was actually inspired by a Japanese novel.

Battle Royale: The Movie (2000)

The Kinji Fukasaku movie destroyed my PUBG experience. It was unlike any of the games I had played. It felt scary, tumultuous, and even childish at times, but mostly it felt nauseous. I mean, who would be in a right state of mind when you are forced to kill your friends in an island. Crazy situation dictates crazy measures but the madness of the fifteen-year-olds disturbed me.

The movie, in my opinion, is not the best in terms of execution but the idea itself felt great. What would happen if 42 students are forced to kill each other in an island by the government? The question hooked me till the end. The outcome of the movie was not unexpected. I actually knew who were going to survive but still I hoped Kawada survived. The end of Kitano (former teacher and BR Programme Supervisor) too felt comical and I thought it could have been better.

Battle Royale: The Novel (1997)

battle royale

Koshun Takami, the author of the novel sent the book for a horror competition in 1996. The horror of being killed by your own friend is inexplicable but the book is more like dystopian adventure. The dispute of genre probably helped the book. Takami’s book became a best-seller and controversial because of its violence. It was banned in several countries. Even the Diet (Japanese legislature) was interested. Then later, it was made into a movie. I felt so excited when I read this history.

And I (wrongly) thought the movie was dark! The novel is even darker. It’s been inspired from the Pro Wrestling Battle Royale as described in the “Introduction” section. (You must have noticed a real long list of inspirations by now.) “I feel like puking,” Shuya Nanahara and Shogo Kawada say often in the book. That’s what I felt. Yes, the novel is even more nauseous than the book.

The book explains the motive behind the initiation of the Battle Royale Programme aka the Programme clearly than that in the movie. It goes in length inside the minds of each character to give the reader complete information about them. This scheme is great mostly and feels boring at times, but I love Takami for taking the risk. The end of the Programme Supervisor Kinapatsu Sakamochi is not comical but I did not feel the satisfaction. I wanted Nanahara to kill him instead of Kawada. Kawada did have personal issue with the government and Sakamochi is a government official but Nahahara had a personal vendetta against him. Sakamochi had raped his caretaker Anno and had killed his brotherly best friend, Yoshitoki Kuninobu.

Differences

Both the Battle Royale novel and the movie have the same basic premise: 42 students forced to kill each other by the government. However, the novel is about the revolt against atrocious Fascist government, while the movie is about the adult-teenagers (teacher-student) relationship. The attack on Kitano in the beginning and then his love for the disciplined Noriko (despite being the Program Supervisor) emphasize this. The movie also might have been made in a lighter tone to make it approvable for 15+.

The book is not just about the teenagers and the adults. It is about the system that has been economically successful but does not tolerate protest. Any protester is a threat to the government who is removed immediately. The Programme is about creating mistrust among people, to keep them divided and to rule upon them. It is a story of how three students deceive the government by trusting each other—an act that was totally unexpected in the state of chaos. Government is the villain in the book. Kinpatsu Sakamochi is only a scratch in a very long and webbed list of villains.

PUBG, on the other hand is a sort of distraction to the youth. A way to let out your frustration so that you can start something anew in an efficient manner. (I am reminded of Fight Club, which I watched today.) The game is addictive and I love the way it has been executed. However, in some years I feel it is going to fade away. I don’t know why. I just feel it. (Let’s say like Kawada’s sixth sense in the novel.)

To conclude this review…

I found the book and the movie influential, though the movie has a lot of issues. (Stephen King and Quentin Tarantino haven’t praised them just to make them popular.) Battle Royale also inspired gaming franchises, which will keep on increasing the popularity of both the book and the movie.

I still have a lot of things to say about Battle Royale—book and the movie, as well as some of the individual characters. I won’t include all of them here. I will come up with more essays on this topic. (That’s a sort of influence, isn’t it?)

“So it goes!”: A take on Slaughterhouse Five

I had never heard about Dresden, I had never heard about Kurt Vonnegut though I think I had heard the book’s name somewhere (I am not so sure) before I watched the Crash Course Literature videos on Slaughterhouse Five. At the end of those two videos, I felt I must read the book.

The first chapter of the book which seems like a preface or the background, is about Vonnegut trying to write a book on Dresden for more than 23 years. He thinks he can do it but cannot pull it up. While still writing the preface, he also adds a case of dialing a wrong number, which we know later on,  had been received by Billy Pilgrim–the main character of the novel. After he meets O’Hare’s wife Mary, he promises that he would not glorify war and call it the Children’s Crusade. Therefore, the Slaughterhouse Five is also known as The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death.

Billy Pilgrim’s Plot (Summary and Analysis)

Billy Prilgrim is a prisoner of war (POW) in Germany but he can time-travel. He can be in the moments of past, present and the future. Vonnegut says, “Billy has come unstuck in time.” The life of Billy Pilgrim is not shown in chronological order. In one moment he is a soldier, in another he is a twelve-year-old boy and quickly, he becomes an old optometrist who lives with his daughter in Ilium. He sees his infancy, childhood, adulthood, old age and even death.

On the day of his daughter’s wedding, he says he had been abducted by the toilet plunger-like aliens known as the Tralfamadorians. Billy says that he had been to the alien planet for years but nobody missed him because the aliens had warped the time in such a way that years would become less than seconds on the earth. The Tralfamadorians are able to see the fourth dimension–time and they can go to the moments again and again. The linear concept of time is absurd to them. On free-will, a Tralfamadorian says:

“If I hadn’t spent so much time studying Earthlings,” said the Tralfamadorian, “I wouldn’t have any idea what was meant by ‘free will.’ I’ve visited thirty-one inhabited planets in the universe, and I have studied reports on one hundred more. Only on Earth is there any talk of free will.”

–Chapter 4, Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut

The Tralfamadorians believe that what has to happen will happen. They cannot change the moments that have happened and will happen. They can see every moment that will occur but they can’t change the bad moments. They look for the good moments and find peace in it.

Billy Pilgrim himself has no free will. When he is twelve, he does not want to swim but his father forces him into the swimming pool. He does not want to come out of the water but it pulled out. He did not imagine marrying Valencia, yet he does. He wanted to die in the war but he survives instead of the characters around him who wanted to survive.

Billy Pilgrim also tries to find moment of happiness and solace but he never finds such an instance. In all the above examples, he is unhappy. Even in the moments he tries to be happy, he is reminded of the war and deaths. As the story progresses, we know that Billy cannot speak about the war to anyone and that has resulted in a mental disorder.

Billy’s mental instability is the result of the losses of his mother, his wife, his father-in-law and most of all, his experience during the war in Germany and in addition to that the fictions of Kilgore Trout. Despite his psychological imbalance, he is saner than the people who thought that bombings on Dresden were justified. Dresden was not a strategic point for warfare, there were no industries that produced weapons and hence, there was no logic behind the attack. Thousands of lives were lost for the show of unnecessary pride.

“So it goes”

This is a repetitive phrase throughout the novel. According to Nick Greene (2014), the phrase is repeated 106 times. Whenever death and destruction are mentioned, the phrase comes up. It is in accordance with the Tralfamadorian concept of time, life and death. The death is inevitable but there is nothing to worry about it. In other moments a dead person would always be alive.

I found this “Tralfamadorian” concept similar to the Bhagavad Geeta where Lord Krishna says to Arjun that there is no need to worry for someone’s death. The death is pre-determined. It’s not in the hands of humans to change it. And there is no need for regretting that.

Billy Pilgrim, too tries to take things as his fate and accepts that he had no power to change them. But it’s too difficult to get out of the trauma he feels. “So it goes”, might give him solace for a while but it is not a statement he wants to follow. It’s been dictated upon him by fate.

Some Memorable Quotes:

“Billy had a framed prayer on his office wall which expressed his method for keeping going, even though he was unenthusiastic about living. A lot of patients who saw the prayer on Billy’s wall told him that it helped them to keep going, too. It went like this: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom always to tell the difference.” Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future.”

–Chapter 3, Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut

“Everything is all right, and everybody has to do exactly what he does. I learned that on Tralfamadore.”

–Billy Pilgrim

“It was peaceful in the ruins.”

“American fighter planes came in under the smoke to see if anything was moving down there. They saw Billy [who was also an American] and the rest moving down there. The planes sprayed them with machine-gun bullets, but the bullets missed.”

“The blind innkeeper said that the Americans could sleep in his stable that night, and he gave them soup and ersatz coffee and a little beer.

“Good night, Americans,” he said in German. “Sleep well.””

[Americans had destroyed Dresden only two days ago. These lines brought tears to my eyes.]

 

References:

SparkNotes Editors. (2002). SparkNote on Slaughterhouse-Five. Retrieved September 10, 2017, from http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/slaughter/

Greene, N. (2014). 15 Facts About Slaughterhouse-Five. Retrieved September 10, 2017, from http://mentalfloss.com/article/58888/15-things-you-may-not-know-about-slaughterhouse-five/

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 । त्यही पनि 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 । 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 हुने थियो ।

पुस्तकको नाम: चीरहरण

लेखक: नीलम कार्की निहारिका

पृष्ठ सङ्ख्या: ५२२

Looking at the Negative Side of Things

Nothing in this world is perfect, including us. If we were perfect, we did would be so. Sometimes, I doubt even in the perfection of God. That story will be shared soon. However, this story is on the imperfection of humans, their creations and creativity.

I was brought into the reality of imperfection by an e-mail. Well, it was a regular notifying mail from Quora, a fantastic site where you can ask, pass and answer questions. That day, the question I was notified of was, “What do you think are the weakest points of the Harry Potter series?” (Something like that. I don’t exactly remember.)

I ignored at first. Though I believed that the Harry Potter series could have flaws, I thought knowing the weaknesses would just take the fun away. But there is another thing that makes one  do something, even when you do not want it to push you. Yeah, I am talking about curiosity. Curiosity made me dive into the ocean of imperfection.

From the connection between the Muggles and the Magical Worlds to the mathematical mistakes, from absurd Quidditch scoring to clumsy and witches and wizards all were included in the flaws of the series. One answer even pointed out that the horcruxes which become the central theme, aren’t introduced until the sixth book. “Looks like the series evolved on the go,” some had said.

By the end of that session on flaws of the Harry Potter series, I didn’t find myself being drained out of fun. Instead, I was looking at the negative side of the world’s best selling series and was saying to myself, “If I ever write a fantasy fiction, I will be careful not to make mistakes Rowling made.”

What more, I surfed the web searching the real negative criticisms on the Harry Potter series. Not only that, I came to know that even Tolkien was criticized for the Lord of the Rings. The last in the list of criticism was Amish Tripathi, whose Shiva Trilogy I had recently read.

I have also been reading negative book reviews on Goodreads recently (as eagerly as the positive ones). I have learnt that nothing is 100% perfect. That there is still some flaw even in the best of things humans do. So, why do I need to worry if I make some mistake? A mistake can be an opportunity for correction. A chance to make things better. (Even if not absolutely perfect.)

I have also understood that in life, perfection is not achievable but passion is. The passionate artists I mentioned above are the role models of those who want to do something new. They are the epitome of success. But they are also humans and they also make mistakes. Embrace their imperfections. It will make you happy. And next time you read anything or do anything, look at their negative sides. Next time you rate something (a book, a movie, music, an app, or anything), do not rate them to perfection. (Also, never rate them below average. There could be some positive in the worst work you believe. The creator might be discouraged by low ratings because it is their work that allows you to rate them.) You might have overlooked the flaws and the creator may not get an opportunity to improve.