A Review of ‘Pushpalata’, a Literary Treasure of Nepalese Diaspora

Raju Manandhar
An editor at Nepalese Australian

‘Pushpalata’ penned by theJapan-based young Nepali literary figure of considerable repute Harish ‘Kalpit’ is a compelling and phenomenal short story of high standard. It has a great potential to be a classic in Nepalese literature in the genre of ‘Love stories’. Exceptionally Heart-breaking and deeply moving with the striking message- Sacrificing the personal happiness and putting the beloved first is the best example of true love. Selfless devotion and love are worth worshipping. The story captures the essence of the deepest spiritual affections. ‘Kalpit’ is masterly at tugging at readers’ heartstrings.Thegripping narrative enhances the tragic magnitude of the platonic love.

The emerging writer in Nepalese literature and one best in Nepalese diaspora has been making a name for himself and more importantly earning the name for Nepal in diaspora literature with his consistently impressive literary works. It is ‘valuable and worth the time and efforts of the readers’ with a repeat value.

Like world class stories, his stories are neat, dramatic and full of atmospheres. They are characterized by a completeness of effect and can be read in a sitting. They present burning issues of life in artistic way and they are, of course, readable, thinkable, sensational and above all enjoyable. The ‘flash fiction’ of the promising master of story teller produces one single vivid effect.

In the line of the great masters, he has reasonably and finely put plot, characterization and style together.He has a story to tell and as ever he knows how to tell it.Like any great story, it is unpredictable, surprising, touching, heart-wrenching, traumatic, emotional, beautiful and so much more – a great twist at the end to delight the readers. It is a beautiful confluence of simplicity, originality, craftsmanship and technical excellence.

He weaves the agonizing chain of events into the storyline. Following the recently fashionable style, his story line, in general, advances at linear speed. The truth or fiction of his stories are arguably fictionalized account of original story marked by human misery and failures. He can carry the readers along his journey with his plots.

‘Pushpalata’ holds all essential elements that a great story encompasses. ‘Kalpit’ is capable of engaging character portrayal, creating fresh ideas rising from his setting. The appropriate inclusion of inciting action, conflict and resolution lends the story excellence that sets him apart from the writers of this generation. The story lingers in our mind long after it is over. Its main characters are people we tend to miss after the ending of the story.

He uses the effective and unique literary devices like similes and metaphors which make a story stand out – जसरी माकुरोआफ्नो जालोबाट मुक्त हुन  सक्दैन, त्यस्तै म पनि मेरो वर्तमानसँग जेलिएको छु।

It is written in conversational style which is the soul of a great story. It contains snappy dialogues like – अझसम्मअफिसको साडी फेरेकी छैनौ ?कहिले फेर्ने हो, दिक्क मान्दै अमर भन्छ।

Its monologues are also remarkably beautiful –

तिमी कति विवश रहेछौ उफ् …! मलाई किन सबै कुरा पहिलेनै भन्न सकिनौ । किन आफ्नो हृदय खोल्न सकेनौं।किन मलाईआफ्नो ठानेनौ। मैले ततिमीलाई हृदयमा सजाएकी थिएँ।आँखामा लुकाएकी थिएँ। तर …! तर …!

Some expressions are put in philosophical perspective -‘सुख मात सबै हाँस्छन्, दुःखमा हाँस्नु पोत ठूलो कुराहो, मेरो त सिद्धान्त यही छ।

It contains mild romantic shade of love –यसरी पुष्पलताको मुटु भित्र थाहैनदिई अनुरागले डेरा जमाइसकेको थियो। पुष्पलता हरदम अनुरागको कल्पनामा डुब्थिन्।

The popular literary tool ‘irony’ is used relevantly like in a Greek tragedy-तर एका एक तिनको उमंगको ज्योति झ्याप्प निभ्यो।औँसीको रातझैँ भयो/

The significant use of rhetoric is another strength of the story-के प्रेम प्राप्तिमा मात्रै हो र ?त्यो भन्दा ठूलो त त्यागमा/

The conflict of the story is intense, and it leads to profound suspense –छाती भित्र एक प्रकारको पीडा हुन्थ्यो।नदेखाउन सक्थिन्, नलुकाउन नै, दोधारमा परेकी थिइन्

The characterization of the protagonist and other characters are worthy of appreciation –नयाँ ठाउँ नयाँ परिवेश।तर पनि खुला विचार धारा भएकी पुष्पलताले चाँडैनै काम कासाथसाथै सबै सँग घुलमिल हुन सकिन्। हुन पनि पुष्पलाता जस्ती सर्वगुण सम्पन्न युवतीलाई कसले मनपराउँदैन थियो र।

The device ‘surprise ending’ is very skilfully applied which makes this story a little masterpiece in own right- टिरिरि कलबेलको यो आवाजले पुष्पलताकोअतीतछताछुल्ल भएर पोखिन्छ/ २ हातले आँखाको आँसु पुछ्दै ढोका खोल्न तल तिर झर्छिन्, तर कलबेल भने निरन्तर बजिनै रहन्छ टिरिरिरि…

Nothing is saying much if put thusly, ‘Kalpit’ is the Nepalese Chekhov, the Russian literature legend considered one of the most accomplished short story writers of any nationality, in the making. Following Chekhov’s romantic stories, ‘Kalpit’ too explores wide ranging themes such as frustration in love affairs, unfulfilled desires, contradictory social attitude to modern relationships, lack of communications between the lovers, miscommunication, and non-communication, etc. His stories mainly love stories are intense and evocative like that of the ultimate modern story writer Chekhov. ‘Pushpalata’ has a great potential of meeting considerable critical and public acclaim as his other stories.

नेपालीका लागि यो लिंकमा जानुहोला ।