महुवापोखरी नाइट्स

>> Tuesday, May 26, 2015

अजय प्रधान | June 12, 2011

- पहिलो अध्याय -

मेरो मन बिचलित थियो। मन मस्तिस्क लाई अनेकानेक बिचार ले बिथोलिरहेको थियो। म प्लेन को बिजिनेस क्लास मा थिएँ। रातको निस्पट्ट अँध्यारोलाई छिचोल्दै प्लेन एकोहोरो उडिरहेको थियो, वेन्कुभरबाट वाशिङ्टन, डी.सी. तिर । दिउँसो अफिस मा बार्बरा ले न्यु योर्क बाट फोन गरेकी थीइ, "भरत,” उस्को आवाज गम्भीर थियो, स्वर मा कम्पन, “लक्ष्मण इज इन जर्जटाउन यूनिवर्सिटी हस्पिटल। क्यान यू गो बी विथ हीम? ही नीड्स यू। लिसा नीड्स यू।” मैले अङ्रेजी मा सोधेँ, किन? के भो? इज ही ओके?" उस्ले सिर्फ एत्ती मात्र भनी, “ही इज सिक, टाइम इज अफ एस्सेन्स।" मन चसक्क भो। घाँटी सुक्यो। पानी पिएँ। एक् छिन् टोलाएर बसेँ। अनी घर मा फोन गरेँ, "कान्ता, म वाशिङ्टन जाँदै छु आज राति को फ्लाइट् बाट। बार्बराको फोन आएको थियो भर्खरै। लक्ष्मण हस्पिटल मा छ। क्यान् यु पाय्क माइ सुट्केस?" मेरो हरेक शब्दलाई गम्भीरताको वजनले छोपेको थियो। राति एअरपोर्टमा कान्ताले ड्रप गर्दा अङ्गालोमा मा कस्दै भनेकी थीइ, "प्लीज बी स्ट्रङ्ग फोर मी। सबै ठीक हुन्छ।" रोक्न खोजे पनि मेरो आँखा रसायो, हीउँद्को मौशममा बिहान पातमाथि पर्ने शीत जस्तै।

एयर होस्टेसले पातलो तर न्यानो ओढ्ने ल्याइ दिएकी थीइ। आफुलाई ओढ्नेले ढाकेर चिसो मन लाई न्यानो बनाउन खोजेँ। एअर होस्टेस ले ड्रिन्क्स अफर गरेकी थीइ। मन थिएन केही पिउने। मैले भने, "नो थ्यान्क्स।" तर एक छिन पछी मन फेरेँ, "वन स्कच प्लीज्।" बिज्नेस क्लासको बत्ती मधुरो भयो। मैले आँखा चिम्लेँ । मेरा बिचार श्रिन्खलाले मलाई मेरो अतीतमा डोर्यायो।

साँझको समय थियो। बयरको रुखको हाङामा चढेर लक्ष्मण र म बयर टिप्दै, कट्टुको खल्तिमा कोच्दै थियौँ। बिच बिचमा कुरुम् कुरुम् खाँदै पनि। मिठो मिठो, टर्रो टर्रो। बिहानै लक्ष्मण ले भनेको थियो, "ए भरते, आज बेर टिपेर खान पर्छ, बुझिस?" लक्ष्मण र मेरो उमेर दुई बर्षको फरक। उ १४ बर्ष, म १२। लक्ष्मण हाम्रो गाउंको घर संगैको डिट्ठाबाजेको नाति। डिट्ठाबाजे हाम्रो मौजाको हिसाब किताब राख्न लाइ मेरो हजुरबुवा ले बर्षौं देखि राखिबक्सेको नोकर। नोकर र मालिक को नातिहरु भए पनि लक्ष्मण र म सानै देखि अति मिल्थ्यौं।

बयरको रुख अङेनाको पछाडि पट्टीको बगैचामा उभ्भेको थियो। एक्कासी अङेनाबाट हजुरआमाको आवाज आयो, "ए छौँडा हरु, साँझ बयरको रुखमा भुत लाग्छ भन्ने था छैन?" झसक्क अली डर लाग्यो। म फुत्त हाङाबाट तल हाम्फालेँ। झन्डै खुट्टा मर्केको। लक्ष्मण भने हाङामै थियो निर्धक्क सँग, जिउले हाङालाई मन्द मन्द तल माथि मच्चाउँदै, मानौ हातिको काँधमाथि चढेको रिझन माउते जस्तो।

हाङाबाट लक्ष्मण खिस्स हाँस्दै करायो, "हजुरमा, अँध्यारो भा छैन, भुत आउने बेला अल्ली भा छैन।" अनी म तिर हेर्दै गिज्याउने पारामा भन्यो, "एई, तँ तेस्तरी किन तर्स्या? हजुरामा सँग कि भुत सँग?"

आफुलाई भने अलि अलि डर लागेपनि, डर लागेको स्विकार्नु त भएन, आफ्नो अभिमानलाई धरौटी राखेर कुन्ठिनु त भएन। भन्दिएँ मैले पनि, "काँको तर्सनु? जम्प गर्‍या नि, कस्तो मज्जा आउँछ। म काठमाडौं मा जहिलेनि एस्तरिनै जम्प गर्छु हाम्रो घरको पर्खाल बाट। " आवाजलाई हाङ्गातिर उचाल्न खोजे पनि नजर भने मेरो धर्ती तिर गाडीएको थियो। भुतको नामैले पनि कट्टु भिज्ने बेला थिए ति दिन हरु। मुटु अली अली ढुक ढुक भैरहेको थियो। धन्य, कट्टु भने अझ सङ्लै थियो।

उस्ले मलाई नचिनेको कहाँ हो र। भनी हाल्यो, "बुझिस, मर्दको छोराले डराउनु हुन्न। जे पर्छ पर्छ, डट्नु पर्छ। सुन्या हो कि हैन? हजुर मुमा होस् वा भुत, तर्सनु पर्ने किन? बरु सुन, भोली राती महुवापोखरी जानु पर्छ। नाटक लाग्छ रे। रामे र शत्रुलाई पनि भनौला।"

एक छिनमा झमक्क अँध्यारो हुन थाल्यो । साँझको हावा लाई हल्का चिसोपनाले आफ्नो अङालोमा बाँध्न थाल्यो। हामी भित्र कोठामा छिर्यौ अनि डस्नामा ओढ्नेले आफुलाई ढाकेर भोलिको नाटकको सपना देख्न थाल्यौँ। उस्ले म तिर एउटा आँखा झिम्काउँदै सुटुक्क काने खुशी गर्‍यो, "अनी सुन, झुमा लाई पनि लाने भोली। कसैलाई नभन।" झुमा रिझन माउतेकी १३ बर्षकी छोरी झुमरी। लक्ष्मणले उस्को नाम लाई छोट्याइ दिएको थियो - झुमा।

म भने बोल्दिन थेँ झुमा सँग धेरै। पोहोर साल उस्ले मेरो चुक्ली लाइदेकी थिइन् घर मा, "भरत बबुवा बाल्टी के पानी मे डम्बी डाल देल्कै।" मैले आफ्नै बिचार ले गड्यौँला बाल्टिनको पानी मा राख्दिया हो र? लक्ष्मणले उकासेर न हो। झुमाले गरेर बेत्था मा मैले मुवाँको चट्कन खानु परेको थियो। त्यस बेला देखी झुमा सँग मलाई रिस उठ्थ्यो। पख, झुम्री, म तँलाई पनि चट्कन नखुवाइ कहाँ छोड्छु र। गड्यौला को कुरा सम्झ्यो कि झुमा लाई गाली गरुम्ला केही कुरा मा भनेर सोच्दै बस्थेँ। तर झुमा अगाडि पर्‍यो कि खै किन हो बोल्ती बन्द हुन्थ्यो मेरो, घाँटी सुक्थ्यो।

म त्यस बखत काठमाडौं को सेन्ट जेवियर्स स्कुलमा ६ क्लास मा पढ्थें। लक्ष्मण भने गाउँकै बर्हथवा माइ माद्यामिक विद्यालयमा ८ क्लासमा पढ्थ्यो। म काठमाडौंबाट मिनपचास को दुई महिने बिदामा जाडो छल्न बुवामुवां सँग चन्द्रनगर पुग्या थिएँ। चन्द्रनगर, मेरो गाउँ। उस्बेला काठमाडौं बाट चन्द्रनगर पुग्न अहिले जस्तो महेन्द्र राजमार्ग बाट पथलैया हुँदै दक्षिण झर्ने बाटो थिएन। बिरगंज बाट ईन्डिया छिरेर रक्सौलमा ट्रेन समातेर सितामढी सम्म पुग्नु पर्थ्यो, अनी त्यहाँबाट नेपाल-भारत सिमा नजिक को सोनबर्षा हुँदै मलंगवा पुग्नु पर्थ्यो। मलंगवा, सर्लाही जिल्लाको सदरमुकाम। अनी त्यहाँ बाट दुई कोस उत्तर-पुर्ब हुँदैँ बयलगाडा बाट तीन घण्टा लगाइ मेरो गाउँ पुगिन्थ्यो। घरको विल्लिस जीप एउटा थिन त थियो, तर त्यो गूड्ने भन्दा बढी थन्कने नै हुन्थियो। कहिले के बिग्रने कहिले के। गाउँको बाटो कच्ची न हो। खाल्टा खुल्टी परेको। गाडीको पाङ्ग्रा के बच्थ्यो र। धन्य अहिले जाडोको मौषम थियो। बर्षा हुँदो हो त बाटो पुरै हिलै हिलो हुन्थ्यो।

. . . (to be continued)



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उद्धारको नयाँ नियम

भत्किएको घरको भग्नाबशेसमुनि
थिचिएको एक सिकिस्त घाइते
भाँचिएका हात खुट्टा
रगताम्य शरीर,गहिरा घाउ
असह्य पीडाको साथ
जीवन मरणको दोसाँधमा।
भर्खरै पुगेका एक
सरकारी उद्धारकर्मि
घाइतेको घाउ होइन
पहिले उनको छालाको रंग जाँच्छ,
उनको भाँचिएका हाड नाजाँचि
उनको थर र ठेगाना सोध्छ,
उनलाई भग्नाबशेसबाट उद्धार नगरी
पहिले उनको इतिहास केलाउँछ।
उद्धारकर्मि मानवीय उद्धार होइन
ऊनिलाइ त इतिहासको गल्ती सुधार्नु छ,
उद्धार भन्दा पहिले उनलाई
राजनीतिक समायोजन जो गर्नु छ,
उद्धारको नयाँ नियम जीवन मरण होइन
घाइतेको सामाजिक परिबेश पो बनेको छ।

अजय प्रधान । मे २६, २०१५

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मुस्कान, नजर, रहर, आँखा, धड्कन

>> Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ajay Pradhan


मुस्कान
मुस्कान उही
मिठास भरि
नजर उही
नशालु सरि
तिम्रो तस्बिरैले पनि
बोलाउला झरी--
वर आउ अलि
समेट मलाई,
मदहोस होउ
स्पर्श गरि
सम्हाल मेरो
बिचलित हृदय लाइ|
July 14, 2012

नजर
बाटो उही
दृश्य हरियाली
अम्बर चुम्ने
भबन अगाडी
कुर्छु निकै तिम्रो
एक नजर को लागि,
देख्छु शीशा भित्र
तिम्रो मुहार पारी
तर किन पाउँछु ती
नशालु नजर भारी
तडपिएको हृदयलाई
ढाके झैँ गरि?
July 14, 2012

रहर
अतितको सम्झनाले आज
म त एउटा सुस्केरा भएँ
गुनकेशरिको सुबाश बोकी
मन्द मन्द बतास भएँ
बाँधिएका मेरा विचार शृंखलाको
माला लिई आज म निकै बहें
मन्द मन्द बतास बनि
तिम्रो मुहार छुने एउटा रहर भएँ
Sept. 11, 2013

आँखा
दूर छ तिम्रो चंचल नजर
पास छ त सिर्फ तिम्रो याद
बसन्तले हरियाली ल्याइसकेछ
फूलबारी मा रंगिनता छाइ सकेछ
होसै भएन मलाई त, बुझ्यौ?
भुलेछु ति गाजलु आँखामा, सुन्यौ?
अनि मुटुले गरिदिएछ फरियाद
April 25, 2013

धड्कन
भन्छ डाक्टर, छैन ठीक तिम्रो मुटुको धड्कन
भने मैले, यो मुटु न त तिम्रो बस मा आउन सक्छ
न त छ यो मेरो बस मा नै
न तिमि यसलाई ठीक गर्न सक्छौ,
न म यसलाई सीधा बाटोमा ल्याउन सक्छु
छाडी सके मैले यसलाई सुधार्न
हुन देउ, जति बहकिन्छ, बहकिन देउ
कसैको सम्झना मा बहलिंछ भने, बहलिन देउ
त्यसैमा यसको सन्तुष्टि छ त म गर्न सक्छु नै के र?
बादल ले ढाक्दैमा, चाँदनी चम्किन छाड्छ र?
Nov. 25, 2012


Note:
I wrote these at various times in the last few years.
All of these poems are metaphorical.
Muskan and Najar are a Mona Lisaesque lyric, asking why the smile has a hint of sadness. They are to be read together. It depicts the thought process of a Louvre visitor.
Rahar is a brief lyric, singing song of the singer's yearning and desire.
Aankha is a haiku variant; unrhymed lines of seven, speaking of the spring season.
Dhadkan is a carpe diem noir; the narrator is living for today, carefree of the consequence.


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Motherland: Longing and Belonging

>> Monday, May 4, 2015

By Ajay Pradhan | Oct. 26, 2013 | May 4, 2015

Musky winds, this dewy night
Took my mind to a soaring height
Eyes wide shut, as they say
On the clouds, there I lay
Searching again for some light
Seeing nothing, but a nimble sprite.
From the misty lair high above, I looked down
Bejeweled like a bride, I saw my town.
There the mountains stood, donning white caps
And the valleys lay, with welcoming laps.
Come back, my son, they whispered from down there
Wander no more, you belong nowhere but here.
The moment of truth and of longing
Came rushing in torrents, too overwhelming.


Oct. 26, 2013

Note:

I wrote this poem in Oct. 2013 and posted on social media. At the time, I had suspended Humanature Journal from the public view. Now that I have reactivated it, I'm posting this poem for you all.

This metaphorical poem is evocative of Kathmandu, the city I grew up in. The "bejeweled bride" is the metaphor I used for Kathmandu, the "mountains" and "valleys" for the fathers and mothers in Nepal and "musky winds", "clouds" and "misty lair high above", the metaphors for Canada. The poem echoes the motherland's call for its children to "wander no more" and come home from abroad as they, the sons and daughters, "belong nowhere but" there in Nepal. I wrote it in the moments of intense longing for our motherland.

Given the devastation from the earthquake of April 25th, the wellspring of emotions has opened wide and in full force. The sense of longing and belonging is no stronger ever before than at this time of national disaster. I hope this poem is more relevant now than when I wrote it a year-and-a-half ago.


May 4, 2015

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Guest Column

आमा को वेदना 

अघि भर्खरै मात्र
सुनौला सपनाका असीम जिजीविषाहरूमा
मदहोश थिइन मेरी आमा
अनि अहिले  ती सबै सपनाहरु
छरपष्ट आखां अगाडि सुकाएकी छिन।
असैह्य वेदना र पीडा मन भरि बोकेर
आज मेरी आमा
अभिशप्त अकिन्चन हात फैलाएर
विक्षिप्त जिन्दगीको अर्थ खोज्दै छिन्
अफ्नै मझेरीमा।
 
मझेरी पनि कहां छ र यहां
सबै मरुभूमी भएको छ।
दैलो र आंगन पखाल्दै बगेका रगतहरु
रछ्यानका बालुवाहरुमा विलीन भएका छन।
अनि लाचार अनिर्णित  जिन्दगीहरु
बर्तमानको वेजोड अट्टहासमा
निरीह यथार्थ बोकेर
गोरेटो विहीन  भविस्यमा
समाहीत हुदैछन् ।
 
यहां,
समयको भीमकाया तारकाशुरहरु
निर्लज्ज भौंतरिरहेका छन्
निर्बोध मेरी आमाको पोल्टाभरि
खण्डहर  भित्र रुमल्लिरहेको
बर्तमानको बिस्कुन सुकाउदै।
 
यहां,
चारै तिर  कोलहाल छ
जीवन छजीवन छैन
विगत छविगत छैन
अनिर्णित आगतको पर्खाइमा
अभिशप्त वर्तमान छ
आंशु र रगतले भिजेको आमाको
चीसो निश्वास छ
अनि,  अभिशप्त यो जिन्दगी
आमाको क्रन्दनमा
धड्किदै छ, धड्किदै छ, धड्किदै छ।
 
मोहन कृष्ण श्रेष्ठ
सरे, क्यानाडा
 
२५ अप्रिल २०१५

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Ghost From the Last Century

>> Sunday, May 3, 2015

Ajay Pradhan | October 12, 2013

On the phone, she said, "I'll be there"

He replied, "Can't wait to see you"
Each excited, thinking of the other.
She arrived in a gleaming red sedan
He came by a rusty horse-driven cart
Her midriff-baring glittery Versace gown
Unmatched by his faded raw cottons
She walked by, her body undulating
The fragrance of her Chanel Coco Noir
Leaving his senses intoxicated in its wake
Unnoticed, but unfazed, he followed her
Wondering if she didn't notice him
Or simply played a joke and ignored him.
As he approached her from behind
He saw the doorman usher her into a theater
By the door, he saw a sign that said
"By invitation only: Premier of a love story
Spanning two centuries, a young woman in love
With a ghost that belonged to the past--
The Ghost from the Last Century."
Alongside was a picture of none but
The woman in Versace looking into the eyes
Of a man, no one else but himself.
Perplexed, he turned around
And looked into the mirror on the wall.
He saw the reflection of the doorman
And of the woman in Versace;
But he saw no reflection of himself.




Oct. 12, 2013

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The Prisoner and His Moon

Ajay Pradhan | March 28, 2014

Incarcerated for life

within the impenetrable walls,
bound by rules of law
that he has but grudgingly accepted,
sat the lonely prisoner
waiting for his daily ritual
that brought him some happiness
mindful of blissful days.
Like last night, as every night,
today he sat and raised his head
his eyes set beyond
the tiny window
set high up on the wall
and gazed at the immense sky,
waiting to see in the far distance
the one true pleasure of his life,
the sight of the shining moon,
beyond the bounds, true,
blissful sight, nevertheless.

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The Letter from Ibadan

By Ajay Pradhan | June 30, 2014

Kwame stood in his porch, sifting a pile of mail in front of the mailbox. He hadn’t bothered to check the over-stuffed mailbox in over a week. Why bother? Mailbox was always full of junk and unwanted mail—grocery flyers, vendor ads, dream-home lottery campaigns trying to sell dreams, invitation to become a Jehova’s witness, charity call letters, phone and utility bills and, of course, credit card collection notices. He’d rather ignore them; even better, toss them all in the rubbish bin.

Kwame pulled his house robe tighter around him. A rainy day in London turned the air nippy, even in June. The sun had taken a vacation this weekend, leaving the grey sky at the mercy of heavy, threatening clouds. Despite the raw weather, Kwame was in no hurry to get back into the house. He savored these moments of solitude. These were the moments when he could listen to himself, listened to his own heartbeats, and escaped from the world’s cacophony.

A lanky man in his middle age, Kwame lived in his two-storey red brick duplex in the town of Whitton in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. He preferred to live in this mostly middle and upper-middle class southwest borough of London for its large open spaces and expansive parklands and the uncluttered, clean-looking leafy residential neighborhoods with no crime that was rampant in central London. The world famous Kew Garden was in this borough.

A progressive at heart and a keen observer of politics and public policy at all levels of government, until not long ago the only thing conservative about Kwame was his clothes. Even his clothes were now less conservative. It was only in recent years that he started wearing faded jeans. As a young boy in the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria where he was born and raised, he grew up being told jeans were for the hippies of America. Now in them, he felt liberated from his own social past that was defined by conservatism. Study hard and become a lawyer or join the army or the government. Wear proper clothes. No jeans and definitely no faded jeans; others would think we're poor and can't afford nice terry cotton clothes. No movies and no music; they corrupt young men like you. No going out with girls. Oh, do not marry girls from another tribe—no, Kwame, no; do not marry a girl that is too attractive and who wears short blouses and shorter skirts; marry a homely girl that we will find for you, and raise kids with her. Attractive girls attract other men and the good family name will be ruined. Some conservative family influence had worked on him, others hadn’t. He became a lawyer and married someone his family selected for him.

In Whitton, his was a routine life, which reflected the color of the sky this weekend. His career had flourished. He had become an associate and was on path to becoming a partner, a coveted position, in the law firm where he began his legal career in London fourteen years ago. He built a career practicing anti-trust laws, helping small and mid-sized technology companies going after large multi-national conglomerates. Sometimes he felt that multi-national conglomerates were out to suck blood out of the poor and the voiceless by stifling competition in the marketplace. He believed that those big, greedy companies had to be reined in. He earned a good living, but his philanthropic heart made him donate quite a bit of it to charities in Nigeria. This was one of the sources of frequent conflict in the family. And a reason for missed credit card payments. He was good at what he did at work, but not so much with money at home.

He had voted for Liberal Democrats in all the municipal elections since he settled down in Whitton and was disheartened when they lost to the Conservatives in the last two elections of 2010 and 2014. He often wondered if he should not himself run for a public office. A black lawyer turned politician in a white upper-middle class suburbia of London? Good luck. He relished the thought but dismissed it every time it crossed his mind. Not because he believed it was far-fetched or impossible, but because he had become accustomed to the predictability of his grey life. Politics brought uncertainty in life—something he didn’t have the courage for. Instead of admitting to himself it was the lack of courage, he told himself it was the lack of appetite for it. Regardless, he had resigned to a life of routine and predictability. He feared unpredictability, sacrificed happiness for it and settled for routine.

But this day was not going to be routine for Kwame Odhiambo, a naturalized British citizen, born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria.

“Good morning, Mr. Odhiambo.” Kwame’s trance was broken by Mrs. Robinson, who was waving at him from the sidewalk at the end of his driveway, one hand holding an umbrella. Despite his repeated exhortation to the contrary, the elderly next door neighbor with proper English accent, always addressed him by his surname. He waved back at her, his hand full of flyers and envelopes, “Good morning.”

“You haven’t seen Django, have you?” The gregarious lady owned a terrier which always liked to roam around, without leash and with no owner holding it. He replied, “No, I’m sorry I haven’t.” She said, “Last time he wandered off all the way to the Bushy Park. Ob boy, what am I to do with Django! It’s not like I have good knees anymore. Anyway, have a good day.” Bushy Park was one of London’s largest Royal Parks. He felt for the lady, but it wasn’t like Django wandered around rarely; it was an everyday routine. The dog would of course return on his own. “Oh, almost forgot why I came here for. I’ve got a letter for you that I think the postman misdelivered to my place.” She handed him a purple envelope and left.

Kwame took a cursory glance at the envelope and was about to throw it away like other pieces of junk mail. But he stopped himself; it didn’t look like a piece of junk mail. He looked at it and checked the address. The postal address was his, but the envelope wasn’t addressed to anyone in specific. There was no sender’s name or address, either. He looked at the stamp and noted that it was postmarked in Ibadan, Nigeria. His heart skipped a beat. Of over 1.3 million people in Nigeria’s third largest city after Lagos and Kano, there was only one person he knew who lived there. He looked at the handwriting on the envelope, recognized it in a heartbeat, and there was little doubt who the letter had come from.

He tore open the envelope and retrieved a matching light purple letter.
Are you coming to Nigeria? I saw in dream that you were coming to Lagos. I’m in Ibadan for now, but will be going to Lagos for two months before leaving for Prague for graduate studies at the end of August. Are you coming?- Nziri
His heart was pounding. It was a brief letter. It had been three years. A flood of memories engulfed him in a flash. Until now, there was no communication in the last three years and very little of it since she left London straight for Ibadan for a good job five years ago. Since she got married three years ago to a man she met in Ibadan, he resisted his urge to communicate with her. The self-imposed silence suffocated him at times, but he dared not do anything that would or could be seen as interference in the newly begun chapter of her life. He wished her nothing but the best. The one comfort he derived was the occasional opportunity to read her poetry in an online Oxford Nigerian journal he subscribed to and to which he himself, an Oxford alumnus and a former visiting professor, contributed occasionally. The journal became the platform for occasional allegories, expressed in the form of reader comments he sometimes left or his feeble attempts at poetry that he posted, through which he expressed his feelings. The journal was his only means of knowing that she’s okay and telling that he’s okay, too. As long as he could continue this unique communication, he decided he could keep peace with himself and his past.

He had met Nziri Akintola Moyo at Oxford seven years ago. Nziri was a young student from Lagos, Nigeria’s large seaside metropolis they both came from. She was a public policy student at Oxford; he was a full-time lawyer practicing anti-trust law in London but was also a part-time visiting lecturer in law. Every Thursday he commuted from London to Oxford to teach a three-hour class at the Law School, housed in the Marshall Building. She lived in Martha Hall, an on-campus student dormitory. She was one of his students.

Nziri had sharp facial features, aquiline nose like the Romans, piercing brown eyes, radiant light skin tone, gentle curves other women envied and men admired and even fantasized about. She spoke English as if she was born and raised in England. She grew up speaking both English, Nigeria’s official language retained from the colonial era, and Yoruba, the native tongue of the Yoruba people in Western Nigeria and Benin. When she read prose, it sounded as if she was reading poetry.

They became close, not because they were both from Nigeria, but because they shared something in common—their love for poetry. After the first week of classes, Nziri walked up to Kwame in the class and calmly said, “If you think I’m in your class because I’m interested in anti-trust law or because I’m impressed by your successful law career, you’re mistaken.”

He gave her an incredulous look, not knowing what to say or whether to say anything at all. He was dumbfounded. He felt insulted and he felt a pang of anger. How dare she say something like that, a student to a professor? But he was speechless, his throat went dry. He felt threatened.

“Now, don’t feel threatened.” She said to the startled Kwame, as if she got her fingers on his secretly throbbing pulse. “I’m here for a reason. I’m in your class, not because I have a desire to excel in your class and pursue a career in anti-trust law. I’m here because I’ve read your poetry. In the Oxford Nigerian Journal.”

He let his breath out, which he was holding without knowing. He still didn’t know what to say.

“Do you have any voice? Or have you lost it?”

“Look, I don’t… I was… I mean I’m not sure what exactly it is you are saying,” he said, finally, at least haltingly.

“Professor, what I am saying is that I want to have coffee with you. And talk about poetry. Today. Now.”

“Look, I have to catch the train back to London.” Still feeling threatened, he wanted to avoid her. He wished she'd leave him alone.

[To be continued…]

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Iconoclast's View of the Corporation - A Critique of the Documentary "The Corporation"

Ajay Pradhan | December 22, 2005

I enjoyed reading Naresh dai’s report on the documentary, The Corporation. I regret not being able to attend the meeting and taking part in the discussion.

Obviously, the theme is a thought-provoking one; hence, I’m thinking out loud on these pages. I hope my thoughts are not too irrelevant in the context of the documentary’s subject matter. I haven’t seen the film; my observations are based on what I have read in Naresh dai’s report and heard from other people. Any comments are quite welcome.

I will warn you all, this is a critique and you will not find me agreeing with the overriding message of the film. If you are surprised that this is coming from me, someone who is trained to protect the environment, don’t. I’m not an activist.

I’ll begin by making a cheeky observation (apologies if you are their fan) on two stellar personalities shown in the documentary. Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein often criticize and contradict established social beliefs. But, they do not offer alternatives. Therefore, they are iconoclast, not visionary.

Chomsky is the academic equivalent of Ralph Nader. Klein, Chomsky and Nader are intellectual equivalents of political insurgents—they function best within their own comfort zone, far outside the social mainstream. If you ask them what the alternative to the capitalism-based corporate world and global trade are, they feel no obligation to offer any answer. I am surprised Nader wasn’t in the documentary. I have more respect for Michael Moore. He doesn’t pretend to be anti-globalist. His attacks tend to focus on ultra conservative fear-mongering that George Bush has come to be known for.

The Corporation appears to try to stand on the strength of these personalities who I will call social insurgents. Ironically, this strategy proves to be the documentary’s weakness.

Obviously, the documentary will appeal to those who do not need any converting—the leftist, the hardcore “green environmentalist”, the anti-globalization type, and the overall anti-capitalist. The movie seems to pack the message that these people want to hear.

I bet the documentary is a prized possession of the types who oppose the proposed twinning of Port Mann Bridge, a major bottleneck, and widening of Highway 1 from Langley to Vancouver. The documentary producer and directors must be a hero to those on the far left who profess that environmental protection and economic development are mutually exclusive. Ironically, this is exactly the ideology held close to heart by those on the far right as well. The only difference is in their priority.

This is an ideology I reject out of hand. Bill Clinton is the first prominent politician who saw big opportunity for economic growth in technological advancement that would protect the environment. When Bush replaced Clinton in the White House in 2000, Clinton’s optimism for coexistence, even mutual dependence, of the environment and economic growth was swiftly brushed aside. Bush’s new mantra was, “If you want economic growth, you must sacrifice the environment.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Sadly, the documentary will only appeal to those on the far left. It will fall into deaf ears among the types of conservatives led by Bush. In as much as the conservatives are seen as being buddy buddy with the corporate bosses, I think the film made them the target, but not the audience—an opportunity wasted. For the conservatives, and for that matter the corporate honchos, it will be very convenient to label such documentaries as left-wing propaganda, as they did Moore’s Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11.

I think The Corporation would have fared better had the directors borrowed the idea of doing a film from Moore. In Bowling for Columbine, Moore didn’t get leftist personalities to speak what he wanted to hear. He got the ultra conservatives’ one of the most shining star, Charlton Heston. Moore gave Heston, who is a former popular Hollywood star and was the head of National Rifles Association, long enough rope to hang himself with. Heston is the one who had the gun, but Moore is the one who ambushed Heston, with his message, “Gun kills.” That’s what I call the punch, not a morbid, repetitive message.

The directors of The Corporation appear to have failed to provide enough rope to any of their nemesis to hang themselves with. All they were able to do was to gather a bunch of the predictables, those who feel uneasy in social mainstream. In these personalities, the directors merely got activists. Activists don’t make things happen; they stop things from happening. To be fair, not all of which are bad. Often, their voices act as the source of social conscience. But, when it comes to finding tangible alternatives to solutions created by mainstream model of economic growth, their hands come up with nothing more than empty rhetoric.

If you ask me, there is really no real alternative to corporations as we know them, with logo or without. You can’t get to work tomorrow morning if it weren't for GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, or makers of mass transit vehicles. The Hudson’s Bay would not have been able to engage in fur trade 200 years ago were it not for the steel mills that produced railway lines. Your Zocor, Paxil, and Tylenol are in the medicine cabinet, thanks to the pharmaceutical corporations. Well, you get the picture.

Now, is it the responsibility of these corporations to protect the environment? Yes and no. Depends on how you look at it. A corporation does not have any more responsibility to protect the environment than an individual person. In this sense, yes, a corporation is indeed like an individual person.

But, protecting the environment is not one individual person’s responsibility. The responsibility is collective (note the emphasis). The collective responsibility is that of a society. The government is the steward of the society. It is up to the government and, by extension, the society, to see how they want the corporations to share the responsibility of protecting the environment. This is best done through a variety of instruments—legal (legislation and regulations), financial (tax incentives or penalties), educational (public image) and so on. If you have these instruments in place and enforce them, then you have a corporation that will have no choice but to internalize the environment into what the documentary appears to refer to as their bottom line—the profit.

Of course, if you, as a member of the society, can’t care less for the environment due to apathy or ignorance, you can surely bet that the corporations won’t, either. That’s why in the 1950s through late 1970s you had so much environmental pollution in North America. But, I doubt it’s the iconoclast’s social activism that will fruitfully tame the corporations. The better approach is to use social instruments that we know by another name—policy.
--■--

Note:

I wrote this as an email critique four years ago and I feel that I was probably too harsh on the opponents of corporations, globalization, and free markets. I'm not a conservative (neither fiscal nor social); far from it. I wrote this mainly to provoke thoughts. I'm posting this here now as I'm reading Arundhati Roy's latest book Listening to Grasshoppers: Field Notes on Democracy.

I see some similarities between Arundhati Roy and Naomi Klein. Both are very perceptive and analytical thinkers. They dig deep, when most of us simply observe the surface as thought it that was the truth. When most of us are satisfied with the surface, Roy and Klein go underneath it to explore what is often ignored by many. They both write to wake up the sleeping with their unsettling analysis of contemporary norms and events, when most don't have the audacity to question those norms and understand the events.

But, I do feel that as much as Roy and Klein are critical thinkers and observers, for which I respect them, they have yet to show the way forward to the awakened. That is why I seem to think of the word iconoclast when I think of them. I'll have to admit it, though, that I do not fully know the breadth of the work Roy and Klein have done. Therefore, my views will likely evolve as I know them better.

You are welcome to criticize this critique.


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Events in Egypt and fear mongering: A cognitive status quo bias

Note: This was posted on a social media on February 13, 2011.



A segment of the media and political pundits (mostly with conservative slant) likened Barack Obama's response to the events in Egypt to Jimmy Carter's handling of Iranian revolution that ousted the Shah in 1979. An American-friendly dictator's fall in Iran ushered in another dictator, Khomeini, who turned out to be an arch enemy of the United States.
For the U.S., Khomeini was unknown, undesired outcome; more importantly, his retrogressive theocratic agenda for the nation and nation's international relations was unforeseen and underestimated. Common citizens fell out of the frying pan, into the fire. Carter was roundly blamed for not doing enough to avert the ascendancy of theocratic dictatorship of Khomeini. People's revolution and clamor for freedom and human rights didn't yield the desired results.

Some conservative politicians, including Dick Cheney, and conservative media warn that fall of Mubarak's rule in Egypt could unleash an unknown series of pains for America; never even mind the instability that could ensue in the Middle East. In the days before Mubarak's fall, the message of this conservative punditry was that it is too risky for Egypt and the U.S. to see Mubarak go. Because the uknown, the pundits warned, was too risky and the change people wanted wasn't worth that risk.

In Nepal, just before the Shah Dynasty came to an almost abrupt end in 2008, political pundits warned that the end of monarchy would be too costly for Nepal, mainly because the risk was too great. The current political quagmire in Nepal probably does lend some credence to those warnings. The political pundits can say, "I told you so."

The subtext in the punditry about Iran, Nepal and Egypt is not hard to see -- averse risk; maintain status quo, even though status quo may mean having to accept and endure lack of freedom to choose.

In plainspeake, this is fearmongering.

In philosophy-speak, this is a form of a cognitive bias -- the status quo bias.

People whose decisions are influenced by this bias tend to be conservative in their thinking and behavior. They often tend to monger fear of the unknown as being too risky. To be fair, they do sometimes turn out to be prescient.

But, I think, just because the unknown is risky doesn't have to mean accepting and enduring status quo fraught with lack of freedom.

Because desire for freedom is a fundamental human right.

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The Economist asked and I answered

The Economist asked: Would the world be better off with fewer people? Join our latest online debate and share your thoughts.

I answered (152nd comment): The question is simplistic. Many of the world's problems have less to do with how many of us human beings are living in it than the way we relate to one another. The world's problem, in other words,are related less to physical structure of the global ecosystem (if I may use such a term) than with the function of it. In the U.S., there's a rich body of literature on institutional theory (relating to rules and relationships) that have put the oft-repeated but little substantiated notion that "overpopulation" is the cause of all the world's problem, under a critical lens. Works of Malthus and his followers like Paul Erlich, Anne Earlich, and even Garrett Hardin of the "Tragedy of the Commons" fame have been put under critical review. My belief is that many of the world's problems can be solved "culturally" than "physically", i.e., by developing new ways of managing what we have than by limiting our numbers. Demand-side management isn't always successful when done simplistically.

Read the debate here: 

http://sn.im/qnexg andhttp://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist?v=feed&story_fbid=119618353596

What do you think?

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Book Review: Seasons of Flight, a Novel by Manjushree Thapa

By Ajay Pradhan | June 1, 2011

When I set out to read this book, I expected a lot better story than what I completed reading. The story is poor in development of character, setting and plot. The narrative is poor and disjointed. So are the dialogs, as if the characters are too tired to speak them. 

It is surprising that the writer doesn't bother "knowing" or telling the name of the protagonist's home village or the town near where she works in Nepal. The writer keeps calling those places, "birth village" and "the town at the base of the hills". If the writer doesn't care to know the name of the place closely associated with the protagonist's life, even though the protagonist may feel emotionally disconnected from them, why would readers bother getting deep into the story? I have a feeling the writer took it as a style (a la Jose Saramago in his novels where he calls characters "the woman with goggles", "the boy with a crooked tooth", "the doctor's wife", etc., never using names for them). The allusion to Saramago's style is the best, yet false, compliment I could give this novel. This particular style didn't help because the writer was merely able to tell the reader that she, the writer--not the protagonist--is disconnected from the setting. 

This lack of writer's desire to tell a full story to readers was mismatched by her penchant for putting too much, even unnecessary, details when describing certain settings in Los Angeles. She literally puts a laundry list of plants and trees and birds as part of a setting. She fails to name people or setting that keep coming up in the story repeatedly and yet names people that come up not more than once or are less relevant to the context. She goes to the length of mentioning a series of bus numbers in the protagonist's route of commute, saddling the readers with unnecessary numerical details that don't add richness or context to the story and makes no sense to readers except perhaps to those who actually live in the area and know such trivial details already. She describes a setting where a lizard skitters into a mulberry bush, as if the story would convey an entirely different meaning had the bush been a raspberry bush. So, who cares whether the lizard skitters into a mulberry or raspberry bush; it would be enough for me to know that it skitters into a bush. It would be a different matter if she every now and then went to that spot to enjoy some mulberries. Then it would be a "part" of the setting. This is what I mean when I say narrative is disjointed. I'm using this example only to contrast her laundry-list details for one setting to lack of the most basic of details--the name--for a setting in Nepal. 

I think the writer succumed to some kind of pathological compulsion to display her reference-book knowledge of the names of plants, trees and birds. Who really is interested in a laundry list of all the species of plants and animals? Readers are looking for context and a good plot, with well developed characters and setting. The story is neither driven by plot, nor by characters. In literary terms, this story is not one that can be called delicate or etherial. 

I never got to know what the protagonist, Prema, really looked like. Whether she had long or short hair, curly or straight hair, whether she mostly wore jeans or kurta-suruwal, what kind of food she mostly ate--I have no idea. And about her lover, Luis--every time the writer mentioned him, I kept thinking of this Latino neighbor of mine who has a stocky built, punchy stomach, his eyesbrows bridged together, his brush-cut hairline barely an inch above his eyebrows, and his accent decidedly Latino, "Jyu wanna go have a Tahco wid me tonight?" You get the picture--a comical character, one that hardly makes for a central character romantically linked to the protagonist. I'm sure the writer didn't intend for this image to come to readers' mind. But, the writer didn't help me with a good character development. 

The inclusion in the story of description of Guatemala's history seems so peripheral to the overall context that I think it ends up distracting readers than holding their attention. Even though the writer apparently uses Guatemala to build a comparatory story about the displacement of her lover's father, it really didn't make for a compelling comparative narration for her own displacement. The similarity seems too artificial and contrived. 

Also, the writer depicts the protagonist's search for a living space in California, when considering moving out of Luis' apartment, as her quest for finding direction in life. That puts the book in a very shallow depth. It is a sad and poor metaphor for something as important as life's directions. 

I found it sort of irksome that the writer keeps mentioning Prema and Rajan, her boyfriend in Nepal, going to Maya Lodge where they often go to have sex, as if it is an act as banal as going to Starbucks. Lack of love, if it is what the writer attempts to depict, does not have to be portrayed in such sad and tasteless manner. Sex is an act of passion or love or both; the writer depicts neither. The writer simply lost the opportunity to tell a good plot around it. 

If the book had been written by somebody named Manjushree Pandey or Rajyashree Thapa, I doubt the publisher would have shown much interest. I kind of got a feeling that this book was written in haste, as a quick and necessary project, when the writer was traveling or not at her usual base. 

I expected a lot better story or a writing style from this writer; I found neither. I'm sorry that my review is a bit harsh, but I had heard good things about the writer's ability. Maybe my expectation was unrealistic. 

I think the writer does have talent, because I'm already starting to read the second of the several books by her that I recently bought in Kathmandu. I'm barely into 10-12 pages in her "Forget Kathmandu", but I already see a lot of potential in that book. But, that one is not a fiction. And, to be fair, my review of that book has to wait until I'm finished reading it. 



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Deepak Man Shrestha umm Thanks Ajay for the review. I was myself thinking of stat reading the books by Nepali writers...now i should be very selective based on reviewing the reviews!

Niraj Shrestha Ajay- I agree that first part of the book when the protagonist is living in Nepal has a fable like quality to it. It is almost as if the the writer had started the tale with 'Eka desh ma...'.

Niraj Shrestha (Sorry I hit the 'Enter' button too soon.) But this might have more to do with writing in English rather than trying to ape Saramago. Most of the readers of this work will likely not be too familiar with Nepal's history or geography or its ever-shifting political scene. So a village in Gorkha or a town in Myagdi ,even though named, will just be a Nepali village or a Nepali town. A Nepali reader would have provided her own context had the village or the town been named and located. (After all, a village in Dolpa is different from a village in Morang).
There is this price for writing in English and it is this loss of context. To capture the minutiae of rural Nepali life is hard enough in Nepali – to do so in a language foreign to the characters and their milieu would be doubly so. Not surprisingly, most successful English fiction from our part of the world center on the lives of middle class life where English is as much a part of daily life as is Hindi, Bengali or Urdu.

Manjushree is not the only writer who has had to resort to having seemingly nameless places. In the much acclaimed work of Canadian/Indian writer Rohinton Mistry, ‘A Fine Balance’, much of the action happens in an unnamed Indian ‘city by the sea’. The protagonist comes from a ‘village in the Mountains’. Naipaul’s famous work ‘A Bend in the River’ takes place by a great river somewhere in Africa. (Here even the country is unnamed). More recently, in Ethopian-American writer Dinaw Mengestu’s ‘ How to Read the Air’, a large swath of the work is occupied by the protagonist’s father trying to escape from Africa. Both the country and the port where he is trying to escape from are unnamed.

I found the second part of ‘Seasons of Flight’ (when Prema lands in LA and lives her ‘American’ life) more persuasive. Her first few months living with a Nepali ‘host’ family is very well captured as is her tentative forays into American mainstream. On the whole, I found it clear-eyed and honest (no false ending here) if not wholly successful.

Ajay Pradhan Deepak and Niraj, if you are interested in novels written in Nepali, I highly recommend "Karnali Blues" by Buddhisagar.

Ajay Pradhan Niraj, I'm not sure a price has to be paid when somebody writes a novel in English with Nepali context, characters and settings. I do not think it is the limitation of the language; rather I think it is the limitation of imagination. After all, there are novels of great literary influence that rely heavily on etherial metaphors, without actually describing or naming an object, a situation, a moment, a character, a setting, or a context. Despite that, or actually because of that, writers of such literary works have been able to elevate bar. I'm not saying that all writers have to name all characters in all novels. But, what I felt when I read this novel is that "the town at the base of the hills" as, in my perception, a working side note or a reminder the writer jotted down with the intention of "finding" the name of the town after a reference check. My point is, if the writers can't "live" in the setting, don't "know" the important settings enough, don't care to "get to know" their characters well enough, it will only set the readers on a course entirely unintended by the writer. The image of this Latino neighbor is an example of it.

Amulya Tuladhar Ajaya, finally i got a chance to savor ur literary genius, book review this time, loved it. a question of Manjushri Thapa, of whose books i have heard a ton but have never read word, since i dont read if i cant get it free from libraries or friends. question: to what extent does she transcend her class identity as the daughter of an ambassador and to what extent is it just a nice jumble of english, with nothing real to say, once the class content has been drained out??

Ajay Pradhan It's interesting that you are asking this question. In fact, I think she does use class identity liberally in this book. She seems unable to resist the temptation of inventing a social class of Nepali immigrants in America, a class she almost tautologically demeans (subtly, though) and insults just because those immigrants struggle for survival, toiling at menial jobs. I find it discomforting that she doesn't look through a critical social lens at the issue from multifaceted angles of social discourse, but looks down upon, through her characters and protagonists (e.g., her protagonist in this book avoids Nepali immigrants and she depicts Nepali immigrants as essentially social misfits in America and lost within their own small social circles) the immigrants with pre-conceived, rigid judgemental opinion. For someone born with a silver spoon in mouth, this is hardly surprising.

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जमरकट्टेल भाउज्यु क्यानाडा आइपुगिन्

Note: 

In March 2013, I was quite surprised and a bit puzzled at first to see a Nepali version of the "Jamarkattel Bhauju Arrives in Canada" comedy story I wrote in 2009. Somebody named Shashank Lama (reportedly from New York City) translated  my original story into Nepali and published on mysansar.com, a popular Nepali-language blog from Kathmandu. 


My English original is here on this blog: 

http://aspradhan.blogspot.ca/2009/03/jamarkattel-bhauju-arrives-in-canada.html

I stumbled upon mysansar.com by chance and saw the translated story in Nepali, At first I didn't realize it was a translation of the story I had written. I had not seen the translator's note, that was posted at the bottom of the translation. When I saw the Nepali title, I thought, hmm, it looks familiar. When I read the first paragraph, I realized it was what I had written, in English, a few years ago and posted on my blog and on some other social media and web portals. Because I did not see the translator's note at first, I thought that somebody stole my story and translated it into Nepali and was trying to pass off as his own. Turns out that was not the case. I saw at the bottom of the story the translator's name and a note saying that he had received my story through widely-distributed chain emails. Apparently, he did not know my name and simply credited the original story to Agyat (i.e., Anonymous). I was not unhappy that my name was not credited. In fact, I was flattered that somebody thought it was worthwhile to translate it and took the time to post it online on a popular blog. I read the whole translation and felt that the translator did a better job than I did.


Since then I have come across the monicker "Jamarkattel Bhauju" used by others on mysansar.com. I have also seen it on Twitter.


The translated version on mysansar.com is here:

http://www.mysansar.com/2013/03/4406/

Copied and pasted from mysansar.com below. I have also copied/pasted readers' comments below; many evidently liked the story, some didn't.


By mysansar, on March 23rd, 2013

आज नेपाली नयाँ वर्ष हो भन्ने कुरामा मलाई विश्वासै भएको छैन! नयाँबर्षको शुभकामना! जमरकट्टेल भाउज्यु भ्यानकुभर आएको हिजै जस्तो लाग्छ, तर तिनले नेपाल छोडेको त तीन महिना बिती सकेछ। धादिङ जिल्लाको सदरमुकाम धादिङ्बेसीको बासिन्दा हुन् जमुना जमरकट्टेल-उमेर ३६,तीन बालबच्चा र ४७ बर्षे श्रीमानको नाम चाँहीँ घनश्याम कृष्ण। जमुना घनश्यामको दोस्रो पत्नी हो। पहिलेको पत्नीबारे उनका नजिकका आफन्त बाहेक अरुलाई केही थाहा छैन,उनी पहिलो पत्नीबारे भन्न पनि रुचाउन्न। बच्चाबच्चीहरु हरी-११,सुष्मा-८ र लियोनार्दो-५ बर्षका छन्। सानो छोरोको नाम लियोनार्दो अर्थात लियो कसरी हुन गयो,त्यसबारे चाखलाग्दो सानो कथा छ। जसबारे म पछि भन्नेछु।
अँ साँच्चै त,मैले आफ्नो नाम उल्लेख गर्नै बिर्सेंछु।मेरो नाम रोहित हो,जब कतै मेरो नाम सोधिन्छ,मा ढाँचा पारेर भन्ने गर्छु “म भट्टराई,,,रोहित भट्टराई”-एकदमै जेम्स बण्ड शैलीमा! यस गन्थनलाई यतिमै सिमित गरौँ होला,कारण यो कथा मेरो बारे होइन। यो कथा त जमरकट्टेलहरुको बारेमा हो,खासगरी जमुना जमरकट्टेलको बारेमा! भ्यानकुभरमा सबैले तिनलाई जमरकट्टेल भाउज्यु भनेर बोलाउँछन्,तर त्यसरी सम्बोधन गरेको तिनलाई पटक्कै मन पर्दैनथ्यो। 
आफ्ना तिनजना बालबच्चा र जोइटिङ्ग्रे लोग्नेलाई क्यानाडा ल्याएको ३ महिना पछि एक अल्छिलाग्दो मध्यान्हमा तिनले बच्चाहरुको नाम परिवर्तन गरिन। हरी ह्यारी भयो भने सुष्मा सुजन भइन्। फुच्चे लियोको नाम फेर्नै परेन,पहिले देखिनै गोराको नाम पाएको थियो। खप्परै दह्रो! आफ्ना बच्चाहरुको नाम फेरेपछि आफ्नै पनि नाम किन नफेर्ने भने सोच तिनको मनमा आयो।थुप्रै नामहरु मनमनै खेलाइन,तर भनेजस्तो नाम भेट्टाउन सकिन।आफ्नो जमुना नामसंग मिल्दोजुल्दो अंग्रेजी छोटकरी नाम तिनले चाहेकी थिइन।१५ मिनट जति सोचेपछि तिनले आफ्नो नाम जिम्मी राख्ने निर्णय गरिन।’जिम्मी’ अंग्रेजी नाम हो भन्ने कुरामा तिनी ढुक्क थिइन,तिनलाई यो नाम मन पनि पर्‍यो।तर ठुले ह्यारीले प्रतिवाद गर्‍यो ” मुवा,त्यो त केटाको नाम हो,मसंग खेल्ने त्यो छिमेकी केटोको नाम जिम्मी हो”। ह्यारीले मुवा,,भनेर त्यतिमात्र के भनेको थियो,तिनले आदेश दिइ हालिन: “मलाई मुवा भनेर नबोलाउनु,मम वा ममी भनेर बोलाउनु, ओ के! यहाँ बसेपछि हामीले क्यानाडालीहरुले गरे झैँ गर्नुपर्छ। यो धादिङ होइन नि! हो त छोरा? उप्स! माइ सन! धेरैबेर घोत्लेर पनि आफुलाई उपर्युक्त हुने नाम फेला नपरेपछि तिनले छोरालाई भनिन: “ह्यारी,माथि स्याल्ली आण्टीको बाट एउटा अंग्रेजी पत्रीका मागेर लिएर आइज त”
स्याल्ली,उनिहरुको पंजाबी घरपट्टी आमै थिइन,जसको असली नाम सलभिन्दर कौर धालिवाल थियो।न्युटनको सर्रे स्थित धालिवालको जमिनमुनिको दुइकोठे एपार्टमेण्ट जमरकट्टेलहरुले भाडामा लिएका थिए।तिनै स्याल्लीले अंग्रेजी नामांकरण गर्न हाम्री जमरकट्टेल भाउज्युलाई उचालेकी थिइन: “देखो जमना बैन,अगर अंग्रेजी नाम नहीँ हो ना,काम मिलना बहुत मुश्किल होगा,राइट?” स्याल्लीले भनेको ठिकै त हुनुपर्छ,तिनलाई सबैकुरा थाहा छ्,कारण तिनी १२ बर्ष अगाडि पंजावको पटियालाबाट क्यानाडा आएकी थिइन।सम्पूर्ण धालिवाल परिवारजनको नाम अंग्रेजिकरण भैसकेको थियो।स्याल्लीको श्रीमान देभिन्दर सिं धालिवाल डेभमा परिणत भैसकेका थिए।डेभ र स्याल्लीको दुई बच्चाहरु थिए। उनिहरुको छोरो नरिन्द्रलाई नेड भनेर चिनिन्छ।अंग्रेजिमा ‘नेड’ नाम हुन्छ भन्ने कुरा मलाई थाहा पनि थिएन,मलाई थाहा हुने कुरा पनि भएन।सिमन फ्रेजर विश्वबिधालयमा अध्ययन गर्न म क्यानाडा आएको दुइबर्ष त हुंदैछ।मा स्थाई बसोबासको लागि आएको पनि होइन। म त बिद्यार्थी,दुनियाँदारीबारे मैले के भेउ पाउनु?!
ओहो! म त बहकिएर कता पो पुगेछु! अं त हामी के बारे कुरा गर्दै थियौँ? अं सम्झें,धालिवालहरुको बारेमा-धालिवालहरुको एकजना छोरी पनि छ,जसको नाम क्यारोलिन हो। तिनी क्यानाडामै जन्मेकी हुनाले तिनको पंजावी नाम थिएन।तर मैले बुझ्न नसकेको कुरो के भने पंजाविहरुलाई अंग्रेजी नाम पनि आफ्नो पंजावी नामसंग मिल्दो जुल्दो राख्नुपर्ने कारण के होला – उदाहरणको लागि डेभ -देभिन्दर,नेड -नरिन्द्र,रब्बी -रभिन्द्र र स्याल्ली -सलभिन्दर। यसबाट यो सावित हुन्छ कि उनिहरु आफ्नो मुल नाउंमा अझै टाँसिन मन गर्छन्,आफ्नो चिनारीलाई पुरापुर परित्याग गर्न हिचकिचाइ रहेका छन। फलस्वरुप ‘नेड’ जस्तो नौलो नामको अविष्कार हुन्छ। इमान्दारिकासाथ भन्नुपर्दा मेरो हेराइमा यो नाम अलि जंचेन।आखिर यो मेरो सरोकारको बिषय पनि होइन। तर मैले भन्न खोजेको चाँहीँ माइकल,विलियम,रबर्ट,पिटर,थोमस आदि मुल अंग्रेजी नाम राख्दा नै सजिलो र राम्रो होइन र? क्यानाडामा स्थाई बसोबास गर्ने चिनियाँहरुकै नाम लिउँ न – माइकल च्याँग,विलियम चेंग,रबर्ट चुंग,पिटर चाउ,थोमस चिउ ,,,,,
अब हामी जमरकट्टेलहरुकै कथातिर जाउँ,,,हामी अघि कहाँ पो थियौं? अं सम्झें,माथ्लो तल्लामा बस्ने घरपट्टी आमैसंग अंग्रेजी पत्रीका मागेर ल्याउन ठुलो छोरोलाई पठाइन।ह्यारिले स्याल्ली आण्टी कहाँबाट ल्याएको तिनबर्ष पुरानो पत्रीकालाई दुई मिनट जति ओल्ट्याइ पल्ट्याइ गरेपछि हाम्री जमरकट्टेल भाउज्युले आफ्नो लागि नयाँ नाम फेला पारिन्-जेनी! गजबको नाम फेला पारेकोमा तिनी दंग परिन।स्थानीय खैरेहरुलाई उच्चारण गर्न सजिलो होस् भनेर तिनले आफ्नो थर पनि परिवर्तन गर्ने कि भनेर सोचिन – जेनी जमर कोटेल वा जेनी कोटेल,,यस्तै केही सोचिन। फेरी यस्तो गर्दा कुनै कानुनी बाधा अडचन पो आउने हो कि भनेर निर्णय गर्न सकिन,थरलाई चाँहीँ नचलाएकै ठीक भन्ठानिन।
त्यसदिन देखि जो कोही भेटदा पनि “म जेनी जमरकट्टेल”,”तपाइंको शुभनाम” भनेर आफ्नो परिचय दिन थालिन्।क्यानाडामा बसोबास गरिराखेका प्रवासी नेपालीहरुले तिनलाई जमरकट्टेल भाउज्यु भनेर बोलाए भने तिनी तत्कालै सम्झाउंथिन: “मलाई जेनी भाउज्यु वा जेनी मात्र भनेर बोलाउँदा हुन्छ”। तर के गर्नु? भन्दा माने पो! ‘जमरकट्टेल भाउज्यु’ नाम त लिसो टाँसे झैँ छुटनै मानेन।
जेनी,ह्यारी,सुजन र लियो जमरकट्टेल – अब अंग्रेजी न्वारण गर्नलाई एकजना मात्र बाँकी थियो,त्यो हो जेनी जमरकट्टेलको जोइटिङ्ग्रे लोग्ने-घनश्याम कृष्ण जमरकट्टेल। परिवारको अंग्रेजी न्वारण चलेको बेला घनश्याम दाई घरमा हुनुहुन्थेन। क्यानाडेली केन्द्र सरकार अन्तर्गत मानव संसाधन बिकास बोर्डले सर्रेमा सन्चालन गरेको एउटा रोजगार एजेन्सिमा रोजगार सेमिनारमा भाग लिन उनी गएका थिए।जेनी भाउज्युले उनको लागि पनि एउटा नाम फेला पारेकी थिइन।
यस्तो रोजगार सेमिनारमा नअल्मलेर सेक्युरिटी गार्डको ट्रेनिङ्ग लिनु भनेर डेभले केही दिन अघि उनलाई सम्झाएका थिए: “घनश्याम भाई,तुसी इस्क्युरिटी गार्डका ट्रेनिङ्ग ले लो!ओ के! ए सेमिनार वेमिनार से कुछ बनता नहीँ,राइट?
जमरकट्टेल भाउज्युले प्रत्येक् चोटि बोल्दा प्रयोग गर्ने ओ के! र राइट! कहाँबाट टिपेकी रहेछिन भन्ने कुरा बल्ल तपाईंले बुझ्नु भयोहोला! होइन त? सेक्युरिटी गार्डको ट्रेनिङ्ग लिनु भनेर डेभले दिएको सल्लाह सुनेर घनश्याम कृष्णलाई बेस्मारी चित्त दुखेको थियो। धादिङमा हुँदा उनी शिक्षक मात्र नभएर उप प्रधानध्यापक पो थिए त! सेक्युरिटी गार्ड त यत्रो पनि गर्दिन! उनले मनमनै भने,तर डेभलाई केही भनेनन।
रोजगार सेमिनार सकेर सांझपख जब घनश्याम दाई घर फर्के, “क्रिस,किन ढिला आयौ” भनेर जमरकट्टेल भाउज्युले लोग्नेलाई जिस्काइन।”आज बेलुकी चतुर्वेदी दाइ कहाँ नयाँबर्षको पार्टी खान हामी जानुपर्छ भन्ने कुरा तिमीलाई थाहा छ् होइन? राइट? घनश्याम दाई अलमल्ल परे: “हैन के भन्दैछ्यौ? कसलाई क्रिस भन्या?तिम्लाई भन्या नि,अरु कोलाई भन्नु? मैले तिम्रो नाम फेरें। हरी र सुष्माको नामपनि फेरें। स्याल्लीले भनेको,यहाँ नाम फेरेन भने त कामै पाउंदैन अरे”-तर क्रिस नै किन? अरु नाम भेट्ट्याएनौ? घनश्याम दाइले सोधे।-कस्तो नबुझेको तिमीले? तिम्रो बिचको नाम कृष्णबाट लिएको-आदेशयुक्त स्वरमा जेनिले भनिन।घनश्याम दाइलाई नाम त्यति मन परेन।उनलाई आफ्नो नेपाली नाम नै प्यारो लाग्थ्यो।तर उत्पाते दिमाग भएकी आफ्नी स्वास्नीसंग यसबारे बहस नगर्ने निर्णय गरे,आखिर तिनिसंग बहस गरेर जितिने पनि होइन!-हेर है,आजको त्यो पार्टीमा आफुलाई घनश्याम कृष्ण भनेर परिचय नदिनु नी! मेरो नाम क्रिस जमर्कट्टेल भनेर भन्नु! भन्दयाछु-जमरकट्टेल भाउज्युले लोग्नेलाई चेतावनी दिइन।
चतुर्वेदीहरुले मलाई पनि नयांबर्षे पार्टीमा बोलाएको छ् भनेर जमरकट्टेल भाउज्युलाई थाहा थियो।दिउंसै फोन गरेर “रोहित बाबु,तपाइ चतुर्वेदिहरुको पार्टीमा जानुहुन्छ,होइन? तपांइको गाडीमा हाम्लाई पनि लगिदिनुस् है भन्न भ्याइसकेकी थिइन। भैहाल्छ् नी भनेर मैले भने।साँझपख जब म उनिहरुलाई लिन उनिहरुको जमिनमुनिको एपार्टमेण्टमा पुगेँ। जमरकट्टेल भाउज्यु पार्टिको लागि भनेर तम्तयार भएर बसेकी थिइन – तिनले जिउमा तीन टन सुनको गहना र मुहारमा एक पाउण्ड श्रिंगारको सामान पोतेकी थिइन होलिन,डलर शपमा पाउने अत्तर त एक लिटर नै जिउमा छर्केको जस्तो लाग्यो,तिनी जहाँ जहाँ जान्थिन,अत्तरको चर्को गन्ध रहिरहन्थ्यो।
तिनी झलल बलेकी थिइन।मलाई दुवै हातले हार्दिक नमस्कार गरिन,साथसाथै तिनले हातमा लगाएको सुनको चुरा मैले देखोस् भन्ने तिनको चाहना भएको जस्तो लाग्यो।पार्टिमा पनि सबैसित तिनले त्यही रितमा अभिवादन गरिन, ताकी तिनले घांटिमा,कानमा,हातमा,कम्मर वरिपरि र कांधमा समेत लगाएको सुनका गर गहनाहरु अरुले थाहा पाउन भन्ने तिनको इच्छा थियो।मलाई त ति गहनाहरुको नाम धरी थाहा थिएन। यदी कसैले तिनको गहनाको तारिफ गर्‍यो भने उज्यालो अनुहार पारेर बर्णन गर्थिन:”मेरो बुवाले दिइस्या, अनि यो कानको झुम्का चाँहीँ मेरो हजुरले मेरो जन्मदिनमा किन्दिस्या” आफ्नो लोग्नेलाई घरमा तिनले ‘हजुर’ भनेर बिरलै सम्बोधन गर्थिन। घरमा लोग्नेलाई ‘तिमी’,’घने’, वा घनश्याम भनेर पुकार्थिन। “घने,जाउ,त्यो गर!;”घनश्याम,त्यहाँ गएर मेरो लागि त्यो लिएर आउ”;”घनश्याम,बाथरुम सफा गर”। बाहिरका मानिसहरुबिच चाहिं लोग्नेलाई परम्पारिक सम्मान प्रदर्शन गर्थिन:”हजुर सुनस्यो न, ए हजुर,सुन्स्या हो कि होइन? अचेल हजुर दुब्लाएर कस्तो सिन्का जस्तो भइस्या छ”। वास्तवमै घनश्याम दाई दुब्लो पातलो थिए। तर जमरकट्टेल भाउज्युको त कुरै अर्को! तिनलाई खाइरहनु पर्ने,तारेको खाना भनेपछि त हुरुक्क! मिठाइ पनि खुबै मन पराउने! जिलेबी र लालमोहन त तिनको मनपर्ने मिठाइ! ४ फुट ११ इन्चिका जेनी जमरकट्टेलको जिउको पछाडिको भाग Banyan रुखको फेद झैँ फराकिलो थियो ।
जेनी भाउज्युको बुवा नेपालमा राजनीति गर्थे,राप्रापा धादिङ जिल्ला कमिटिका उपाध्यक्ष थिए,प्रशस्त जग्गा जमिन जोडेका थिए।भुतपुर्व राजा ज्ञानेन्द्रसंग नजिक रहेका रा.प्र.पा नेताहरुसंगको निकट पहुँचलाई भजाएर पैसा पनि निकै कमाएका थिए। जब माओवादी सत्तामा आए,उनले दल बदले र प्रचन्ड र बाबुरामको कट्टर समर्थक भएर निस्के।यती हुँदाहुँदै पनि माओवादी उग्र केटाहरुसंग उनको गम्भिर टक्कर नपरेको पनि होइन।जमुना जमरकट्टेलले नेपाल छाडने निर्णय लिनुमा यो पनि एउटा कारण थियो।
आफुलाई वाइस्याल हौँ भन्दै केही ठिटाहरु एकरात धादिङस्थित घरमा आएर उनिहरुको परिवार र सम्पत्तिको सुरक्षार्थ चन्दा मागेको दिनदेखी नै जमुना जमरकट्टेलले पनि देश छोडनेको लर्कोमा आफुलाई पनि समाबेश गरिन।चन्दा नदिएको खण्डमा उनिहरुको परिवारको सुरक्षा खतरामा भएको ति ठिटाहरुले खुलस्त रुपमा भने।तिनले त्यो धम्किको गम्भिरतालाई महसुस गरिन भने घनश्याम दाइले चैँ फोकट्या धम्की ठानेका थिए।आँखामा मुडकी भेट्टाए पछि उनले बल्ल कुरो बुझे,अझ “अर्को चोटि मुडकी होइन,गोली भेटछस” भनेर ति गएका थिए। तीन दिन भित्रमा उनिहरुले दस हजार रुपया बुझाए।त्यही तीन दिनमा तिनले अमेरिकाको लागि डि भि लटरी भिसाको आवेदन दिने कुरा सोचिन र लोग्नेलाई बताइन।लगालग दुइबर्ष फारम भरिन,तर केही हात लागेन।
त्यस्तैमा तिनको राम प्रकाश चतुर्वेदिसंग भेट भयो।चतुर्वेदी तिनको टाढाको नातेदार थियो,बेनिघाटमा बस्थे।उसले क्यानाडाको पि आरको लागि निवेदन दिएको थियो।अमेरिकाको चानस ढुक्नुभन्दा त क्यानाडाको पि आर मा कोशीश गर्नु भनेर उनले सल्लाह दिएका थिए।भ्यानकुभरमा नेपाली नयाँ बर्षको उपलक्ष्यमा पार्टीमा निमन्त्रणा दिने उनै चतुर्वेदी थिए।चतुर्वेदिबाट मद्घत लिएर जमरकट्टेलहरुले नयाँ दिल्लिस्थित क्यानाडेली उच्च कमिशनमा आफ्नो फाराम पठाएका थिए। दैव संजोगले एकैबर्षभित्र तिनिहरुको पि आर स्विक्रित भयो।जमुना जमरकट्टेलको लागि त यो वाइस्याल प्रति ठुलो बदला नै थियो।
पि आर भिसा पाएको दुई महिना भित्र जमुना जमरकट्टेल आफ्ना लालाबाला र जोइटिङ्ग्रे लोग्नेलाई लिएर थुप्रै आशा र उमंग संगालेर क्यानाडाको नयाँ अप्रवासी बनेर भ्यानकुभरमा आइपुगिन।सर्रेस्थित धालिवालको बेसमेन्ट एपार्टमेन्ट चतुर्वेदीले नै मिलाएका थिए।छिट्टै नै जमरकट्टेल भाउज्यु स्याल्ली धालिवालको लहलहैमा लाग्ने भैसकेकि थिइन: “हामी सस्तो सामानहरु किन्दैनौँ,हामी बालमार्ट जांदैनौँ,चुइँयाहरु मात्र बालमार्ट जान्छन,हामी भ्यानकुभरको डाउन टाउनमा गएर किनमेल गर्छौ” आदि ,,,,,
-बालमार्ट भनेको के हो ? जमरकट्टेल भाउज्युले स्याल्लीलाइ सोध्छे।
-यु डोन्ट नो बालमार्ट? एभरीबोडी नोज बालमार्ट ! क्यानाडामा बसेको बाह्र बर्ष जति भैसके पनि अंग्रेजी बोल्दा स्याल्लीको पटियाला लवज अझै छुटेको थिएन ।
-ए तपाईंले वालमार्ट भन्नुभाको?
-या या बालमार्ट !!!
स्याल्ली धालिवालले भनेकी कुरो हाम्री जमरकट्टेल भाउज्युले मनमा लिइ राखेकी थिइन।तिनी पनि धादिङ्को कुनै गए गुज्रेको परिवारबाट अवश्य थिइन। तिनको बुवा त राजनीतिज्ञ पो थिए।जब नेपालीहरुबिच किनमेलको कुरो चल्थ्यो,तिनी भन्थिन: “हामी त वालमार्ट जान्नौँ,सबै किनमेल रब्सन स्ट्रिटमा गर्छौँ”।
हालै भ्यानकुभरको अल्बर्नी स्ट्रिट्स्थित दामी सामान बेच्ने Holt Renfrew फेशन स्टोरमा तिनी छिरेकी थिइन, तिनले चारैतिर हेरिन।स्टोरमा काम गर्ने एकजना महिलाको आँखाले तिनलाई पछ्याइ रहेको थियो।त्यो Pretty Women चलचित्रको द्रिष्य जस्तै थियो, जहाँ अभिनेत्री जुलिया रबर्ट ठिक ढङ्गको लुगा नलगाइ उच्च्कोटिको सामान बेच्ने दोकानमा छिरेकी हुन्छिन र त्यहाँको कामदारले तिनलाई दोकान बाहिर निस्कन भन्छिन। स्वीटरको दाम $१९९,९९ देखेर जमरकट्टेल भाउज्युले लामो सास तानेकी थिइन,लेडिज ब्यागको दाम १४९,९९ $ देखेर तिनको ओठ कामेको थियो,पस्मिना शलको दाम २४९,९९ $ देखेर तिनको घाँटी सुक्यो।हिउंदे ओभरकोट किन्ने असाध्यै रहर थियो,तर $ ३९९,९९ दाम देखेर निधारमा चिटचिट पसिना आयो।आफ्ना बच्चा बच्चीलाई बोलाएर हत न पत त्यस दोकानबाट निस्किहालिन।त्यसदिनदेखी तिनले नगदी तिरेर वालमार्टमै किनमेल गर्न थालिन्।नगद पैसो चाँहीँ बटारेर ब्राभित्र राख्थिन।
यि सबै कुराहरु मैले कसरी थाहा पाएँ भनेर तपाईंहरु छक्क पर्नुहोला! जमरकट्टेलहरु बसेको त्यही बिल्डिङ्गको अर्को पट्टी एककोठे एपार्टमेण्ट भाडामा लिएर म बस्थेँ। घनश्याम दाई दुखसुखका कुरा गर्न म कहाँ आइरहन्थे।एकदिन यस्तै बसिबियाँलोमा क्रिस जमर्कट्टेल उर्फ घनश्याम दाइले आफ्नो कान्छो छोरोको नाम ‘लियोनार्दो’ कसरी रहन गयो भन्नेबारे मलाई बताएका थिए।६ बर्ष अघि जब तिनिहरु धादिङबाट काठमाडौ आएका थिए,जय नेपाल चित्रघरमा दोस्रोचोटी चलचित्र ‘टाइटानिक’ लागेको थियो।जमरकट्टेल भाउज्युले आफ्ना साथीहरुबाट त्यस चलचित्रको बारेमा राम्रो बर्णन सुनेकी थिइन। एकसाँझ लोग्नेसंगै तिनले त्यो चलचित्र हेरिन।तिनले चलचित्रको भरपुर आनन्द लिइन भने घनश्याम दाइले धेरैजसो उंघेरै समय बिताए।
चलचित्रको असरले जमुना देवी जमरकट्टेल नरम र कामुक भएकी थिइन।तिनलाई आफु बास बसेको ठाउंमा जान हतारो भैसकेको थियो।टाइटानिक जहाजको एकान्त बग्गीमा केट विन्सेटलाई लियोनार्दो डिक्याप्रियोले गरेको बाफिलो प्रेमको द्रिष्यलाई तिनले दिमागबाट हटाउनै सकिरहेको थिएन।जब जमरकट्टेलहरु घरमा पुगे,जमुना भोकाइ रहेकी थिइन,मेरो भनाइको आशय तपाईंले थाहा पाउनु भयो होला।तिनले लोग्नेलाई ओछ्यानतिर तानिहालिन।दुइहप्ता जति पछि आफु दुई जिउ हुन लागेको कुरो तिनले पत्ता पाइन र लोग्नेको कानमा खुसुक्क भनिन:”हजुर,सुनस्योस्न!छोरी जन्मी भने केट र छोरा जन्म्यो भने लियोनार्दो नाम राख्ने है”। वरिपरि कोही नभएको बेलामा जमुना जमरकट्टेलले घनश्याम जमरकट्टेललाई ‘हजुर’भनेको यो पहिलो चोटि हो। घनश्यामको मनमा अन्य नामहरु थिए,तर स्वास्नीसंग बहस गर्न उनले ठीक ठानेन।
मूल कथा अंग्रेजीमा थियो। इमेलबाट थुप्रै चोटी फर्वार्ड हुँदै म कहाँ आइपुगेको हो यो कथा। अंग्रेजी कमजोर भएका नेपाली पाठकलाई यस मिठो कथाको स्वाद चखाउने हेतुले मैले अनुवाद गरेको छु। यस कथामा बर्णन गरिएको पात्रहरु कुनै जिवित ब्यक्तिसंग मेल खान गएमा त्यो केवल संयोग मात्र हुनेछ। यो कथा धेरै अघि प्राप्त गरेको थिएँ, तर यसको सान्दर्भिकता अझै छ र भविष्यमा पनि भैरहन्छ भन्ने मेरो ठनाइ छ।)
लेखक -अज्ञात
अनुवादक – शशांक लामा

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37 comments to जमरकट्टेल भाउज्यु क्यानाडा आइपुगिन्

  • Jyoti from CANADA
    Great writing / तितो सत्य but this is personal details and attack my friends! You “the writer ” may have some issues with जमरकट्टेल भाउजु …
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  • Prakash Gautam
    अंग्रेजीमा हेर्न को लागिhttp://fc03.deviantart.net/fs45/f/2009/120/7/c/Jamarkattel_Bhauju_by_ajayPRADHAN.html
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  • indira
    कथा ठिकै लाग्यो मलाई त, जमरकट्टेल भाउजुलाई एकोहोरो खल पात्र बनाको मनपरेन, उनको तेत्रो संघर्स चै खै कता गयो क्यानाडा गएर श्रीमान् छोरा छोरी लानु अनि अझै कामको लागि संघर्स गर्नु तेत्रो परिवार एउटा गाडी बिना बस्नु र उनको ४ फीट ११ इन्च को उचाई को क सम्बन्ध अझ उनोको पछाडिको भाग कति मोटो छ भन्ने कुरा सान्दर्भिक लागेन जे होस् नाम फेर्ने चलन चै ठिक भएन, हुनत हामी आफ्नो देश नै छोडेर अर्कालाई अपनौना तयार भैसकेका बिचरा नेपालीहरुको दुर्दशा हो यो
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0
  • योगेश आदी
    अनुबादकले सरलतालाइ आत्मसात गर्दै कथाको मर्मलाई जिवन्त राखेको छ / पढ्दै गर्दा कथा अनुवादित नभै सर्जकले प्रारम्भिक नै नेपाली भाषामा लेखेको हो कि भन्ने प्रतित हुन्छ /
    कथाले बिचमा घोप्टो औंलो पाउन लागिसकेता पनि अन्तमा रमाइलो मोड दिन सकेकोले मनपर्यो / कथाकार र अनुवादक दुवैलाइ धन्यबाद !!
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • Mike
    शशांक जी ले कथाको बिषय वस्तु लाइ नेपाली मा निकै सरल र सहज रुपमा रुपान्तरण गर्नु भएको रहेछ. यसको लागि धन्यवाद, मै ले यो कथा को मूल कथाकार कै अंग्रेजी संस्करणमा पनि पढिसकेको हुँदा शशक जी लाई सोध्न मनलागेको कुरा चांही लेखकको अनुमतिमा लेखकको नाम नछाप्ने सर्त रुपान्तरण गरेर छाप्नु भएको कि आफ्नै मन खुशीले राम्रो लागेर छाप्नु भएको? नत्र भने कहीं कतै copyright हनन त् भएको छैन ?
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    • शशांक लामा, न्युयोर्क
      ति अज्ञात लेखकले उनको कथा हजारौ नेपालीको माझमा पुर्याए बापत मलाइ मुददा नहाल्ला , बरु धन्यवाद नै भन्ला! अ*ग्रेजीमा त्यो कथा फरर पढने कति पो छन् र ?
      मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8
    • jeevan verma
      पहिलो कुरा , तपाइले अंग्रेजी मा पठेको भन्दैमा कसरि अनुबाद गर्नु भो भन्ने जान्न मन लाग्ने नत्र नलाग्ने ? लग्दछ, तपाइले कथाको अन्त तिर ध्यान दिनु भएन | नत्र उहाले भन्नु नै भएको छानी त्यो उहालाई इमेल बाट प्राप्त भएको भनेर | नत्र एक पटक फेरी पढ्नुस
      मूल कथा अंग्रेजीमा थियो। इमेलबाट थुप्रै चोटी फर्वार्ड हुँदै म कहाँ आइपुगेको हो यो कथा।
      लेखक -अज्ञात
      अनुवादक – शशांक लामा
      मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2
  • Binod
    स्वाङ्ग पारेर ल्याइस्योस र हालिस्योस भन्ने नक्कली संस्कारमा बाँच्न चाहनेहरुलाई गतिलाई झापड दिएको छ यो कहानीले|
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2
  • Bishwaraj
    अहिलेको जमानामा लामो कहानी गर्नु बेकार छ-छोटो छरितो र मीठो भए पुग्छ- साह्रै लामो- अर्थ न बर्थ -
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  • डिल्लीरमण न्यौपाने
    कथै हो बास्तबिकता धेरै होला, बढाईचढाई अलि अलि होला / बिदेशमा पुगेर धेरै कुरा थाहा नहुने र अरुको अर्ति उपदेश मानेर नाम परिवर्तन गर्नेहरुको खिल्ली उडाएर मनोरंजन लिन खोजेको देखियो कथाकारले / त्यो भन्दा, जानी जानी (अलि धेरै नै पढेलेखेका र धेरै वर्ष विदेश भोगेका) बिदेशीको सिको गरेर बच्चा बच्चीलाइ समेत भ्रमित बनाउने नेपालीहरुलाई लक्ष्य गरेर लेख्ने हो भने अलि सान्दर्भिक हुन्थ्यो होला / पहिलो पुस्ता अम्रिका आउने इन्डियन हरुले दोश्रो पुस्ता (अम्रिकामै जन्मेको वा हुर्केको) लाइ ABCD यानेकि american born confused desi भन्छन / हुनत येस्मा अलिकति तिनको इर्श्या पनि लुकेको होला तर जति बिचार पुर्याए’नि दोश्रो पुस्ता केहि मात्रामा भ्रमित चै हुन्छ, संस्कृतिक र सामाजिक दुवै कारणले /
    अनुबाद अलि शाब्दिक (literal) देखिन्छा: जस्तै baniyan को रुख (बरको रुख) नेपाली भाषामा प्रयोग हुदैन कम्तिमा मोटोपना जनाउन / नेपालीमा फर्सी, कुभिन्डो, सुँगुर हुँदाहुदै कसले बरको रुख सम्झिरहोस? अनि हाम्रा किस्न दाइचै बारम्बार किन जोइटिङ्ग्रे भनिए? “थाहा” चाहियो ……
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  • maharjan
    कथा सटिक छ.
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Aakar Bhushan Nepali
    कथा आफैमा राम्रो छ| कथा जहिले पनि जीवनको एउटा पाटोको चित्रण हो भनेर बुझे कथाले कथा हुनुको धर्म राख्ला | तर कथाको बिषयबस्तुलाई आधार बनाएर सम्पूर्ण नेपाली डायस्पोरालाई देशछोडुवा, देशमा नै गरि खान नसक्ने भगुवा( सांकेतिक रुपमा नेपथ्यमा राष्ट्रघाती पनि ) भनेर आरोप लगाउनु आधारहिन मात्र नभएर, ज्यादै सतही र ईर्ष्यापूर्ण पनि हो भन्न सकिन्छ| कथा आफैले के राम्रो के नराम्रो भनेको छैन, तर कथालाई राम्रो भनि प्रसंशा गर्ने हरुले आफु अनुकुल विश्लेषण गरि बिदेशमा आफ्नो पाखुरी बजाएर गरि खानेलाई, मेहनतका साथ काम गरेर आफ्नो परिवार पाल्नेहरुलाई(समय र मौकाले साथ दिए परिवार आफै संग नत्र नेपालमा नै) गालि गर्नुको के विश्लेषण के ? क्यानाडामा McDonald, Subway, Windy’s, Petrol pump आदिमा काम गरि खाने मेहनती नेपालीलाई कुनै राजनैतिक पार्टीको हनुमान बन्नु पनि छैन र राजनीतिलाई हतियार बनाएर अरु माथि दलन गर्नु पनि छैन | संक्षेपमा जब सम्म हामी नेपाली mind set मा श्रम प्रति श्रध्दा हुदैन, McDonald मा काम गर्नेप्रति प्रसंशाभाव हुदैन, हाम्रो पनि प्रगति होला भन्नु दुस्शाहस नै हो |
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  • alis
    धेरै
    संदर्विक छ
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  • tulasi timsina
    मानिस ठाउँ अनुसार आफुलाई परिबर्तन गर्न चाहन्छ भन्ने कुराको ज्वलन्त उदाहरण , साथै कथा कसैको वास्तविक जिन्दगि संग मेल खान पनि सक्छ होसियार/
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  • Sarju Ranjit, Alberta, Canada
    एक दमै चाख लाग्दो र एथार्थपरक कथा/ लेखक र अनुवादक लाइ धेरै धेरै धन्यवाद/
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  • Durga Adhikari
    कथा असाधै सान्दर्विक अनि रोचक सैलीमा प्रस्तुत गरिएको रहेछ, धन्यवाद शाशंक ज्यु.
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4
  • Kamal Singh
    मजदुर को mind बनाएर हिड्नु पर्छ नेपाल छोडेर हिडे पछि . PR पाए भनेर हिड्ने नेपाली बुद्दिजिबि हरुको हालत असन तिर भारी खोज्दै हिड्ने भरियाहरुको भन्दा पनि गुज्रेको देखिन्छ
    नेपालमा रहुन्जेल नेपाल लै सरापेको सम्झनु बाहेक यी र येस्तै बसाई वाला हरुको जिन्दगि ज्यादै टिठ लाग्दो हुन्छ, मासु चाही खान पाउछ, कानुनको पालना गर्न त्येही पुगे पछि मात्र जान्दछ
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2
  • kishor lama
    जितमान राई ज्यु सुन र अक्टर नेपाल बाट नै लगेर गको होला नि राजनीतिज्ञको छोरि अनि टन्न दाइजो पाको होला , त्यति विचार नि लगाउन सक्नु भएन हजुरले ?
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2
  • jeevan verma
    सार्है राम्रो र सान्दर्भिक | मैला यस्ता नेपाली पनि देखेको छु जो आफ्नो छोरो ले नेपाली नै नबोलोस भन्ने चाहन्छन र भेट घाट मा र कहिले कहिँ बिना प्रसंग पनि प्याच्च अन्फो छोरो नेपाली बोल्न जान्दैन भन्छन | यदि नियालेर हेर्ने हो भने त्यसबेला उनि हरु को आँखा गर्व ले भरिएको राम्ररी नै देख्न सकिन्छ |
    लक्ष्मी प्रसाद ले धेरै पहिले भनेथे ” मानिस ठुलो दिल ले हुन्छ जातले हुंदैन” | आज जात पात त छैन पश्चिम भूत यसरि जागेको छ हामीले भन्ने बेला एको छ ” मानिस ठुलो कामले हुन्छा नाम ले हुँदैन ”
    फेरी पनि धन्य बाद राम्रो कथा पस्कि दिनु भएको मा
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 28 Thumb down 4
  • बद्री पोखरेल
    कथा शुरु गरे पछि अन्त्य नहोस भन्ने लागि रह्यो ,चखिलो छ ,सन्देस मुलक छ -“हाड निल्नु भन्दा पहिले आफ्नो घाँटीको size को विचार पुर्याउनु पर्छ,नामले होइन कामले पहिचान दिन्छ ” /
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2
  • मन छुने कथा, नेपाली संस्कृति कसरि परदेशमा हुर्किरहेकोछ- कथा ले चित्र दिएको छ
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2
  • ठुला ठुला सपना देखेर बिदेसिएका आप्रबासी नेपाली र बाध्यता अनि परिबेस ले गर्दा आफ्नो देस छोड्ने हरु को लर्को क्यानाडा र अमेरिका मा धेरै नै देखिन्छ. नाम परिबर्तन गर्ने सस्कार खासै पुरानो हैन, आज भोलि नेपाल मा पनि अंग्रेजी नाम राख्ने चलन छ. अलि अलि पढेकी जमरकट्टेल भाउजु क्यानाडा मा एउटा प्रतिनिधि मुलक पात्र हुन् जस्तो लाग्छ मलाई. यहाँ UNDERWARE र MOJA चै नेपाल बाट नै ल्याउदा सस्तो हुन्छ भनेर दर्जन दर्जन ल्याउने अनि गफ गर्दा चै मलाई त ADDIDAS र PUMA बाहेक अरु लुगा नै हैन भन्ने हरु को जमात पनि ठुलो नै छ. कथा ले क्यानाडा मा आएका धेरै नेपाली हरु को मनोगत भोगाई समेटेको देखिन्छ. नेपाल मा राम्रो जागिर खादै आएका हाकिम हरु ले MACDONALD मा BURGER र FRIES बनाउदै गरेको मनग्गे देख्न पाइनछ DOWNTOWN हरु मा. नेपाली श्रम बजार को उदेक लाग्दो यो आबस्था लाइ अब बन्ने नया संबिधान ले पार लाओस. अरु जमरकट्टेल भाउजु र घनश्याम हरु ले क्यानाडा र अमेरिका ताक्न नपरोस. जय देश
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 34 Thumb down 2
  • Bishnu Adhikari
    सशांक जी नमस्कार
    अंग्रेजी नबुझ्ने नेपालीहरुको लागि भनेर अनुवादित कथा पढ्दा अलि अलि भए पनि अंग्रेजी कथा एस्तो खालको हुदोरहेछ भनेर अड्कल काट्ने अवसर मिल्यो / अंग्रेजी कथाकारले पनि धर्दिङ्ग र जमरकट्टेल भाउजु एनी कि जेनी भाउजु को बारेमा बर्णन गरेकोमा खुसि लग्यो / म सम्पूर्ण विदेशमा बस्ने नेपालीहरुलाई के भन्न चाहन्छु भने जमरकट्टेल भाउजु ले जस्तै बिदेशमा बस्दैमा बिदेशी नाम राख्नु पर्छ भन्ने छैन/ नाम भन्दा काम ठुलो हो / राम्रो काम गर्नुस तपाइको नाम सबैको जनजिब्रो मा आफै झुन्दिना पुग्छ नत्र त Barak Hussain Obama अमेरिकाको रास्ट्रपति नहुनु पर्ने हो / तेसैले नाम तपाइको आफ्नो देशको पहिचान झल्कने हुनु पर्दछ /
    बिष्णु अधिकारी
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4
    • mike
      यो कथाको लेखक अंग्रेजी पृष्ठ भूमिको नभई नेपालमा नै जन्मेर हुर्केर अंग्रेजी सिकेर अंग्रेजीमा कथा लेखेको मात्र हो. त्यसैले बिस्नु जी लेखकलाई धादिंग र जमरकटटेलको बारेमा थाहा हुनु कुनै नौलो कुरो होइन, जसरि तपाईं हामीलाई थाहा हुन्छ.
      मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  • कोसेली
    शुरुमा “बालमार्ट” देख्दा “वालमार्ट” भन्न खोजेको होला भन्दै थिए – आखिर कथाको चुरो नै “बालमार्ट” मै रैछ नि☺ सारै हसाएर ल्यायो – कटि हास्नु…मो ट होए, हास्डा हास्डा मर्छु कि क्या हो!
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2
  • Samip
    बकवास , पुरै बकवास. लेखक महासय क्यानाडा धेरै ठुलो छ भन्ने थाहा छैन ? क्यानाडा को यो ठाउमा बस्ने भनेको भए राम्रो नकि क्यानाडा बस्ने आप्रबासी नेपालीहरुले .
    दोस्रो कुरो यो पी आर visa भनेको के हो?
    तेस्रो – जन्म देश लाई छोडेर P R लिएर बसेपछि “देश अनुसार को भेष” त गरेकै राम्रो नि , त्यहाँ को भाषा , पहिरन , संस्कृति जान्नै पर्छ सजिलो हुन्छ . नाम फेरेको मा पनि आपत्ति किन ? त्यसले सजिलो बनाऊछ .
    म पनि क्यानाडा को एउटा कुना तिर बस्छु , लागेको कुरा गरेको . लेख crative भयो भने स्तरिय हुन्छ .यो त पधेरो मा गरेको आइमाई को गफ को स्तर को लेख लग्यो
    त्यो देखि बाहेक आप्रबासी नेपाली हरु को संघर्ष त्यो बास्तबिकता हो
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 16 Thumb down 62
    • jeevan verma
      तपाई PR जान्नु हुन्न अनि क्यानाडा मा बस्नु हुन्छ | शंकै छ | कि त तपाई २० लख तिरेर क्यानाडा छिरेको हुनु पर्छ या के भनौ शब्द नै छैन |
      धेरैले मन पराएको कमेन्ट। तपाईँलाई नि? Thumb up 47 Thumb down 5
  • fug
    Good one. But i didnot see any ladies bag with 149 price tag at holt renfrew. May be the story was written long ago. I saw those bags ranging from 194 to 1900 dollars.
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15
    • शशांक लामा, न्युयोर्क
      Yeah, you are right! I got this story long before through email.
      मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
  • राजेन्द्र
    Stereotypical लाग्यो ।
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2
  • ranjan
    गजब को कथा !!!
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4
  • कथा पढुन्जेल रमाइलो नै लाग्यो तर घनश्याम दाई लाई पटक पटक जोइतिङ्ग्रे पति भनि सम्बोधन गरेको मा भने अलिक खल्लो लाग्यो है मलाई त .
    धेरैले मन पराएको कमेन्ट। तपाईँलाई नि? Thumb up 47 Thumb down 6
  • कथाले धेरै कुरा बोलेको छ । तर एउटा कुरा एपार्टमेण्ट भाडामा लिएर भर्खर कामको खोजि गरिरहेको परिवार कसैको पार्टीमा जादा सुन र अत्तरले झकिझकाउ त हुदैन होला हौ…कम गार्हो छ अर्काको देशमा सेटल हुन । त्यहि माथि एउटा सामान्य कार किन्न नसकेको अवस्थामा लेखक स्वम्ले ड्रप दिएको छ । खैर कथाले एउटा भिन्न स्वाद पस्केको छ…जो भए पनि लेखकलाई र अनुवादक शशांक लामा जीलाई साधुबाद ।
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 21 Thumb down 10
  • कृष्ण भारद्वाज, सिड्नी अष्ट्रेलिया
    धेरै राम्रो लेख, सारै सान्दर्भिक………यस्ता घटना धेरै ठाउमा पाइन्छ, आजकल बच्चा बच्चीको नाम अंग्रेजीमा राख्ने चलन छ, यो सारै घातक छ, आफनो पहिचान नै गुम्ने सम्भावना छ !
    मलाई पनि गोरेहरुले क्रिस, क्रिस भनेर सम्बोधन गर्छन तर मा प्रतेक पटक मलाई कृष्ण भनेर बोलाऊ भन्छु तर दुखको कुरा मेरो नेपली साथिहरु कृष्ण लाई किस्न किस्न भन्छन ! त्यसैले नाम आफ्नो पहिचान अनुसारको हुनु पर्छ र शुद्द उचारण हुनुपर्छ भन्ने मेरो विचार !!
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 21 Thumb down 9
  • स्वादिलो लाग्यो . धन्यवाद
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1
  • sabita
    धन्यवाद रमाइलो कथा को लागि..खित्ता छुटुन्जेल बनायो कथा ले.
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1
  • pramila
    After long time , I am satisfied by this story.
    मन परे हरियो नपरे रातो ! Thumb up 40 Thumb down 6

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