Today, I take an opportunity to present you Prava Baral’s review on my short story collection, ‘Gulafsangako Prem‘. The English title is ‘The Rose: An Unusual Love Story.’
Before that, I present you a few comments by well-known writers on the book spoken during the launch program in Nepal:
Legendary writer Tulasi Diwasa: “This book fascinated me. I read all stories although I had initially thought to read just a few. I must say this book has a weight and it is an addition to Nepali literature as a good literary book.”
Writer Sushmita Nepal: “Loved all the stories and many of the stories touched my heart. I insist you read all the stories from this book”.
Writer and documentary maker Shekhar Kharel: “The stories in the book are not as a reader assumes while reading them. Many of the stories have surprising twists that the readers don’t even expect to happen and that is the beauty of Sangita’s stories.”
A Literary Rose Blossoming in the UK
– Prava Baral
A few days ago, I received a diasporic publication ‘The Rose: An Unusual Love Story‘. Dr. Sangita Swechcha is the author of this story collection. I had been reading her stories since the mid-90s in Madhuparka (a Nepali literary magazine). Her publications were rare after that; as a result, I also started forgetting her.
When I received ‘The Rose: An Unusual Love Story‘ – published as Sangita’s third literary child -I read it passionately. It was not difficult to understand that her writing career was on hold when she went to the UK for further studies.
The author, who is working in the UK after doing a PhD in Environmental Communications from a University in the UK, had already published her novel ‘Pakhalieko Siundo‘ and a joint-collection of stories ‘Asahamatika Pailaharu‘ both in 1993.
The newly published story collection ‘The Rose: An Unusual Love Story‘ has a collection of 20 stories. ‘The Rose: An Unusual Love Story‘ is the title story. The author compares the ups and downs of human life with the thorns and petals of a rose plant; just as there are thorn and flower in rose, human life has a cycle of good and bad times. The title story, written with a lot of emotions, is very beautiful.
Her stories are set in the UK, Australia, and Nepal. Characters of the stories have spoken about the society we live in and the ups and downs and struggles faced by Nepalis living in the UK. The stories Citizenship (Nagarikta), Senseless Letters (Arthabihin Patraharu), Diasporic Heart (Aapravasi Mutu), and Compromise within Differences (Asamjhauta Bhitrako Samjhauta) have spoken the pains and difficulties faced by Nepalis in a foreign land.
The stories Lauren’s Dads (Laurenka Daddyharu), Increasing Civilization (Badhdo Sabhyata), and Emily: My Neighbor (Emily Meri Chhimeki) have portrayed the mentality developed as a result of loneliness that comes with the domination of western culture over Nepali culture.
The story Shattered Dreams (Bikhandit Sapana) has portrayed the present-day irony of social media addiction, in which a mother does not even realize that her daughter has already died as she was too busy using social media. The story ‘Diary of the Depressed Heart‘ (Bikshipta Manko Sapana) makes readers very emotional — many Nepali couples imitate cultures of foreigners and do not even realize that their family is shattered and breaking apart. Such emotional issues make up the contents of the book.
The author portrays her special talent in weaving lively stories as a male narrator, even though she is a female. The expression that the author found Ratnapark and Bhotahity on the streets of the UK shows the love for the country; her stories also portray contexts where Nepalis have suffered because they migrated to a foreign land as the government could not create a situation where they could be employed and find a future back home.
The stories are not too long but of medium length. Beautiful sketches are drawn alongside each story. The foreword by the author has explained that the sketches were drawn by her husband and her daughter to give the stories some life.
It is not easy to spare time from the UK’s busy life and create stories and publish a book. The effort to contribute organic stories of the occidental world to Nepali literature from a diasporic land is especially laudable as not many books in fiction have come out from this sector. I would like to congratulate the author for these efforts and express my best wishes for the continuation of her efforts and publication of more books in the future.
The book ‘The Rose: An Unusual Love Story’ by Dr. Sangita Swechcha is currently being translated in English by Jayant Sharma and is seeking an international publisher for the release of its print version in 2020.
A review by Prava Baral, originally published in Nepali in one of the leading Nepali news sites OnlineKhabar.com. Translated in English by Thakur Amgai. The book ‘The Rose: An Unusual Love Story’ is forthcoming in English translation in 2020 first in e-book format.
Prava Baral: Prava Baral, born in a beautiful city of Pokhara, Nepal, is an author of four collections of poems and one travelogue. An editor of a few Nepali literary magazines, she also has won literary awards and recognition for her poems and her literary contributions.
Thakur Amgai: Thakur Amgai is a writer and translator based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He hails from Gorkha, in western Nepal. Travelling and farming, in addition to writing, are his special passions.
Presented by Dr Sangita Swechcha
Dr Sangita Swechcha is a Communications Professional, Researcher, and a Fiction writer. She has over 15 years of experience in international communications and media relations. She is a Guest Editor for Global Literature in Libraries Initiative (GLLI) and coordinating ‘Nepali Literature month’ – November 2019. She is a novelist and a writer who has written a novel ‘Pakhalieko Siundo’, a joint collection of stories ‘Asahamatika Pailaharu’ and a collection of short stories ‘Gulafsangako Prem’ in Nepali.
Forthcoming in English translations in 2020 in e-book formats first: A novel ‘Pakhalieko Siundo’ and a collection of short stories ‘Gulafsangako Prem’, titled in English as ‘The Rose: An Unusual Love Story’ (looking for international publisher/s for publishing print versions of these books). Her twitter handle: SangyShrestha. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Connect on Facebook.