Saturday, September 3, 2011

No place like home

Thapa offers a mixed bag of stories on contemporary life in Nepal.

Nothing to Declare
Rabi Thapa
Rs 199; Pp 184
ISBN: 9780143415435
The 16 short stories in Rabi Thapa's debut collection Nothing to Declare is led by, quite aptly, “Initiation”. The story introduces the reader to the milieu of Nepalese society where adolescent Ashok is going through the thread ceremony to initiate him into adulthood, so to say. He rebels inwardly at the endless rituals but dare not protest as the relatives hover around while his cousins get their fill of pulling his legs at his scrawny and “freshly shaven body.” Ashok enjoys the sense of freedom only when he literally tries to follow his uncle Sano-mama's whispered words “Now you are man… you can leave home and go wander the whole world.”

Thapa's stories woven around a young protagonist from Nepal, whether at home or abroad, are a mixed bag. The initial promise shown in the first story is not carried through uniformly to the end.

However, the plots are interesting glimpses into the Nepalese society which is similar in many ways to neighbouring India's. In “Desire”, Subodh, the rich employer's son, falls for the charms of the maid servant but cannot reach out beyond the social hierarchy.

Full report here Hindu

No comments:

Post a Comment