Category Archives: Books

Death of Magazines

I didn’t buy the current issue of Himal magazine. I instead read it on it’s website.

This is the first time ever I read the only magazine I buy on its digital format. It is not that I have stopped paying for the print version of the magazine – which I’ve been buying for more than a decade — from now on. I know I will not stop buying it, but convenience of getting favourite magazines free on their digital forms, either on PC, Notebook or smartphone, is stealing the limelight.

Nonetheless, reading favourite magazines in their print versions is always an authentic experience (of reading). But, world is growing more digital every next moment. If you can get updated news in real time right on your smartphone, why bother for magazines — whose contents are no longer new and updated until next issue hits the newsstand.

Books will survive the ruthless Internet. So will newspapers and weeklies. But, I don’t think magazines with longer gap of publication will, such as: fortnightly or monthly. Even the glossy magazines with longer publication gap are meeting their deaths. I read recently on a site that Gourmet, National Geographic Adventure, American glossy magazines had to announce their closure in late 2009 with former after 70 years of publication.

Even in our poor country, where computers and Internet are still out of the reach of most of us, smartphones have made it easy to browse favourite contents on the Internet. And, mobile service providers have done an excellent job in providing their customers mobile internet service via GPRS.

Internet is now only a few strokes away for most Nepalis who use mobile/smart phones. Thus are magazines and books in their digital formats.

As I can’t get them here at local newsstands, I read Rolling Stone, Esquire, TIME etc. on their ebook formats. Will Himal be added to the list someday? Can’t say what happens next, but for now I love getting it in its print version.


What I’m Reading Lately?

लक्ष्मी निबन्ध सँग्रह, a collection of proses or say essays from Great Poet Laxmi Prasad Devkota
You know, I’m reading it keeping ‘बृहत् नेपाली शब्दकोष’ at my side as
many words and phrases are so complicated and difficult to understand
that one can hardly go to the next line without the help of dictionary.
After reading some from the collection, I feel contemporary Nepali
writers are like tiny lamps in front of his sun-like brilliance. Yes,
old writers had a good knowledge of Sanskrit language — which is a
foundation of Nepali language — so they could write with such
complexity and perfection. But, today’s writers lack Sanskrit knowledge
so their works also are mediocre.

I’ve a collection of some great works from the Great Poet Devkota such as: epic poetry Shakuntal, Sulochana, and lyrical poetry Kunjini, Muna-Madan etc. I’ve not read even a single leaf of Shakuntal (as I just can’t understand it and its Sanskrit terms), have read little of Sulochana and have never completed Muna-Madan, the magnum opus of the Great Poet.

I bet no one (except those who
major in Nepali literature) can well understand ‘लक्ष्मी निबन्ध सँग्रह’
without dictionary at their side. It’s a opus of the Great Poet one should
read at least once. It includes all styles and forms of essays, mostly
exemplification ones, I think.

Lal and Dahal

C.K. Lal and Bharat Dahal are my favorites columnists. Lal writes in ‘हिमाल खबरपत्रिका’  (a fortnightly) and Dahal in ‘नेपाल’, a weekly. Although, I’m not subscribed to any, I buy Himal and read Nepal on the web. 

I’ve been a regular reader of हिमाल खबरपत्रिका since 2056, Ashwin. Am not only a reader but I also boast a good collection of the magazine dates back to approx. a decade ago. One of the cupboards (bookshelf?) is filled up with hundreds of Himal magazines. I also had a good collections of विमोचन, युवामन्च, नवयुवा, मुना etc. Although no such magazines are available now in my ‘library’, I hope they were used for good purposes (I provided them to a local library, which is no longer in operation, under their special request). Now, I remorse for giving those ‘precious’ collections away for nothing.

I had a sort of craze for ‘’युवामन्च‘’. I was mere 12 when I started reading the youth magazine. Although I was never subscribed to this magazine too, I think I hardly missed any copies. I would go melancholy when I was unable to get a new volume of the magazine soon after its arrival in the bookshops. I remember, my sis had gone market and returned without the magazine, and I had gone so ’sad’ that I didn’t take meal that night. I really ‘adored’ the magazine but later it ‘’re-energized’’ itself with more pages, colour and adult contents (with more girls’ pictures), and since then I found not worthy to buy the magazine any longer and stopped.

Now, हिमाल खबरपत्रिका has been catering me, mostly about the politics and other current affairs.

Dinesh Dai: Bro-cum-Friend

I’m staring at a pile of books; they vary from literature to geography, history to sociology, anthologies to verses etc. These books, I hardly bought any of them but were by Dinesh, my elder bro, bro-cum-friend. He’s a real book-lover though he doesn’t read all them. He has a strange interest on collecting books and stuffs. Am wondering which to read first and when to finish reading them! Getting impatient to browse through these white leaves! Whenever he returns from market, most of the time he brings at least a book home and presents to me. I think he keenly wants me read all the books brought by him. Ha ha. Dunno when will I complete all these thousands of leaves! It’s fun to read O. Henry ‘s, an American short story writer, stories and at the same time I just can’t stop myself praising Ramesh Wikal‘s ”Abiral Bagdachha Indraawati”. A collection of heart-wrenching stories of trafficked and exploited women made me think seriously over the efforts we can create/make to control (eradicate?) heinous crime of women and children trafficking. Those stories were so well made and narrated that it nearly made my eyes wet.

It’s now 12:32 of midnight. Sleep is still not around.

तिर्खा एक : रूप अनेक !

तिर्खा एक : रूप अनेक

तिर्खा अर्थात प्यास । सबैलाई थाहा भएकै कुरा हो । जेठको भतभत पोल्ने धूपमा हामी तिर्खाले आकुलव्याकुल हुन पुग्छौँ  छट्पटिन्छौं । हुनेले डीप फ्रिजमा चिस्याएको "मिनरल वाटर, कोकाकोला" वा समुद्रपारबाट आयातित डिब्बाका डिब्बा "जुस", नहुनेले माटाको घैंटोमा भएको "पानी" पिएर आआफ्नो तिर्खा मेट्छौं । तर यहाँ एउटा गम्भीर प्रश्न उठ्छ, के सबै तिर्खा एउटै प्रकृतिका हुन्छन र ? जसरी सबै मान्छे एकै हुन्नन्, त्यसरी नै यो तिर्खा र तिर्खा उत्पन्न हुने परिस्थिति पनि एकै हुन्नन् । तिर्खाको विषयमा त्यसैले गहिरो अध्ययन एवं बहस चलाउनै पर्ने देखिन्छ । तिर्खाको बहुआयामिक नाम चाहिं "तिर्खालोजी" नै राखे हुन्छ । हुन त तिर्खालोजीको खोजिनीति गरेर यहाँ प्रथम "तिर्खालोजिस्ट" बन्ने प्यास यो पङ्तिकारमा छैन तैपनि आफ्नो बलबुतोले भ्याएसम्म हाम्रो समाजमा व्याप्त तिर्खाका केही ‘फ्ल्यास ब्याक’ राख्ने जमर्को गर्दैछु ।

तिर्खा नं – 1

ओम गणेशाय नम: नभनीकन कुनै पनि कार्यको शुभारम्भ नहुने बाजेको पालाले त उहिल्यै सिल्टिमुर खाइसके । अहिले त, खाने बेलामा पनि राजनीतिका कुरा नछाँटी, खाएको मोटा चामलको भात पनि रुच्दैन, न बिहारी भैयाले हरियै पारेर रँगाएको परवलको भुटुवा । अझ अचम्मको कुरो त मलाई मेरा एकजना घनिष्ठ मित्रले भने – ‘समसामयिक राजनीतिको बारेमा सर्रर नसोचीकन त उनलाई "सुची" पनि हुन्न रे ! यस्तो अवस्थामा मैले विषयप्रवेश राजनीति बाहेक अन्यमा गरेंभने ठूलो धृष्टता हुनेछ । त्यसैले राजनीति तिर्खा" बाट शुरु गरौं कि !

राजनीतिक तिर्खा हाम्रो देशको हावापानीमाटो सुहाउँदो छ । यो तिर्खा लाग्दै लाग्दैन, लागेपछि भने बडो खरो हुन्छ । यसले जुत्ताको तलुवा फटाउने लोकल कार्यकर्तादेखि पजेरोको टायर खियाउने राष्ट्रिय नेतासम्म सबैलाई सताएको छ । यो तिर्खा मेट्न जल होइन, जीवनजलरूपी कुर्सी र कालो कोट नै चाहिंछ । त्यो तिर्खा लागेपछि ढल्ने त्रास र ढाल्ने आशले हिक्क….हिक्क नै पार्छ । त्यसपछि त जनसेवा, देशविकास, आस्था, सहिष्णुता र नीति आदि त खोलैमा बगून् भन्नुपर्छ ।

तिर्खा नं – 2

वर्तमान युग गीतसङीत, प्रेम र फेशनको युग हो भन्दा फरक नहोला । शेक्सपियरका जमानाका रोमियोजुलियट र भारत वर्षका लैलामजनुको त बजार भाउमा भारी स्फीति आईसकेको छ । आज त टोल टोलाँ, लैलामजनुको भीड छ । क्याम्पस हापेर हिन्दी फिलिम हेर्न हलभित्र पसेका युवाहरु बाहिर निस्कँदा आफुलाई सारा शहरकै शाहरुख ठान्छन भने हाम्रा चेलीहरु करिना र काजोलको साख्खै बहिनी बन्न बुटिक र पार्लर धाउँछन् । हे दैव ! हालसालै मैले भर्खरै के.जी. मा पढ्दै गरेकी मेरी भान्जीसंग; "नानू ! तिमी ठूलो भएर के बन्ने ?" भनेर सोध्या थिएँ । डाक्टर, इंजिनियर र नर्स त परै जाओस्, स्कुलमा गुरुमाले सिकाउनु भएको बिरालो हिंडाई अर्थात क्याट वाकका केही नमुना देखाउँदै नानूले आफ्नो लक्ष्य मिस नेपाल बन्ने भएको जोडदार धोषणा गरिन् । फेशन तिर्खाको नमुना देखेर म एकछिन ट्वाँ परें । आउने दिनमा मेरी क्यूरी, मदर टेरेसा, नाइटिंङ्गेल र हेलेन केलरका निरस कथा मात्र होइन, पाठ्यक्रममा ऎश्वर्य राय, ब्रिट्नी स्पेयर्स र जियानी भर्साचीका जीवनी पनि समावेश गरिनु पर्ने मैले अन्तरदिलमा महसुस गरेको छु ।

पढाई कम, लभ लेटर, मुक्तक (पाङ न पुच्छरका) र गजल लेख्ने भावुक मुड प्रेमतिर्खाले ल्याउँछ । यो तिर्खा लागेपछि शरीर हिलियम ग्याँस भरिएको बेलुन जस्तो हुन्छ रेचन्चल, सल्बल ! पहिलो नजरमै परेको प्रेमको औडाहा सहन नसकेर एफ.एम.मा "सङ डेडिकेट" गर्ने तिर्खालुको त कुरै छोडौंती आआफ्ना स्थानमा छँदैछन्

तिर्खा नं – 3

पोहोरसम्म त्यही माझीवनको कुवाको पानी पिएर हुर्केको हर्के, अरबबाट के फर्केको थियो, उसको तिर्खामै परिवर्तन आयो । "यस्तो पाखाको ठाउँमा पनि कहीं बस्न सकिन्छ ? यस्तो गर्मीमा पनि एक बोतल कोक खान रहर गर्नुपर्ने ।" उसले मध्य माघको ठण्डीमा लामो सुस्केरा हाल्दै भन्या थियो । अर्थात उसको तिर्खाले नयाँ काँचुली फेर्र्यो, नयाँ आयाम पायो । यस्तो तिर्खालाई "फुइँ तिर्खा" भन्दा कसो होला ? हुन पनि यो तिर्खाले हामीलाई गाँजेको छ भूपिले भने झैं । बादल बनेर हामी आफ्नो भूईंलाई बिर्सन्छौं र पुन: पछारिन्छौं । फुइँ तिर्खाले हाम्रो समाजमा जरो गाडेको छ । न्वारान र दाहसंस्कार पनि दातृराष्ट्रको अनुदानको भरमा हुनुपर्ने हाम्रो देशमा हामी विम्पी, निरुलाज र म्याकडोनाल्डको धक्कु लगाउँछौं, पेपे जिन्ज, लिभाईज र रे व्यानको फूर्ति देखाउँछौं ।

आफ्नै चेलीलाई नरकमा बेचेर घर आर.सी.सी. गर्ने तिर्खा, अरुको खुट्टा तानेर भएपनि आफ्नो हात जगन्नाथ पार्ने तिर्खा ।  हाम्रो समाजमा ढल्न लागेको पार्टीपौवा बचाउने तिर्खा, आफू जन्मेको पाखापखेरोको निम्ति केहि गर्ने तिर्खा भने बिरलै पाइन्छ । यो चाहीं सरापै परेको हो कि ?

(संकलित )

Robinson Crusoe

I’m reading this fiction for quite some days. A dismal story of a poor helpless bloke who settles himself into a barren, desolate island unfortunately. But whether it was his destiny or he was forced to brace it, I can’t say now. Let me read it full. lol. He left his parents for his weird wants and desire despite his father’s mammoth affection and suggestions to not forsake them. He is really indifferent to their plea. But, sometimes when he involved himself in difficulties and misery, he tries to repent. But it’s already too late. He must face the severe consequences. Almost all of his story up to now is tied around voyages and a brief settlement in Brazil in a plantation. How he left his plantation/properties and embarked in a dreadful voyage with his fellows for the purpose of trifle trade and how he lost all of his crews in a horrific sea storm and found himself battling against the tides near a shore. The island, completely desolated, his new world where he’s marooned. He has no option but to embrace this new world and acquaint with it. He wept, he cried, he even blame the God for his misery. But later, he appeased himself by the facts that he still alive while all of his friends were dead, and he has landed in a island free from all kinds of danger, wild beasts, wild Negros and ills of human world.

Robinson Crusoe, I heard about this magnum opus of Daniel Defoe very long ago, I think when I was a 6th grader. The then social study teacher Ramchandra Naral had told about it and we all were thrilled at his graceful narration.