Dinbhari pani musale tyes raat dekayeko ramita ra uniharubata pradarshit chartikala samjhera mabhitra anek taranga khelirahe. Yauta jabo musale yeti thulo bidroha garna sakchha bhane manisjasto chetansheel pranile chahane ho bhane ke garna sakdaina ra? Malai estai lagyo. Musaharulai maile Bhutani Lhotsampa pratinidhika pratikka rupma anuwad bhayeko payen. Mero dhujadhuja bhayeko sirak Bhutani sattako pratik thiyo.
- Nirwasan, Teknath Rijal
This book captures the poignant details of Tek Nath Rijal’s ten-year imprisonment experience in Bhutan’s jail. One of the top leaders of Bhutanese refugees and a political and human rights activist, Rijal had been held captive from 1989 for rebelling against the Bhutanese King on the issue of Bhutanese refugees.
These lines from the book are really inspiring because it shows how Rijal regained hope and determination to move ahead despite the sufferings he endured. The only source of light in the dark room he was made to stay in was through a small hole in the wall. He was given food once a day, and in this jail account, he talks of an instance when he used to keep small pieces of food on the brick wall of the room. He then noticed a mouse eating his leftover food inside his cell one day.
As days passed, a whole bunch of mice came for food. He sort of felt that the mice were his friends as he had not only named every single mouse but the loneliness and void made him interact with them. But it so happened that when they didn’t get food for just a single day, the same group of mice tore his blanket into small pieces. After observing just a simple act of a group of mice, Rijal’s perception of life and revolution changed a lot and helped him to think beyond his jail life. If a group of mice can rebel for not getting food for a day, he thought a sane and an aware person can do anything to stand for his rights. He compared the blanket to the Bhutanese ruler and the mice to himself. At one point, he had almost thought of compromising, but then he got more motivated to rebel for his cause.
The group of mice stands as a metaphor for struggle and success. It was a natural instinct for them to rebel for food and similarly Rijal was motivated to rebel for his rights as well.
Rijal has explained every detail of his jail life in such a way that I felt really suffocated to imagine the kind of anguish he had to go through every single day. But at the same time, this book is like a light to darkness as it gives so much hope to move forward since it is based on reality.
Filmmaker Puri developed a keen interest in books since his schooldays. He still remembers the book he read after his SLC examinations which was on famous international personalities who earned success. “Reading that book made me realize that academic qualifications aren’t enough to achieve success and prove your identity in life,” says Puri.
He had always been good in studies but wanted to choose a career which was different. His passion for filmmaking thus led him to direct his first movie when he was just nineteen years old. Till date, he has directed twenty eight commercial movies with fifteen of his movies garnering huge success in the market.
He mentions that while working on the characters of his movies, he used to read books so that he could research well on the kind of character he wanted. “I read books on realistic issues if the topics were sensitive and helped me in field research.”
Indra Bahadur Rai’s books have inspired him a lot to make films. Maya Thakuri’s books have also equally inspired him while he ventured into mainstream filmmaking when it came to understanding women’s and children’s sentiments.
“Before, it was considered a crime to read books that were kind of revolutionary. If the cover of the book was rebellious, it would be hard to get our hands on such books.” He still recalls an event when he directed and acted in a play called “Shiva Ramko Janta” during his young days. Though the play got critical success, he was interrogated by the police and was questioned if he was funded for staging the play for the theme was on social revolution.
“But times have changed a lot and there’s freedom to do so much these days. Back then, I even bought cheap books without knowing its contents just because I wanted to read a lot. That habit hasn’t died till now,” says Puri.
Puri has been balancing his work as a CEO of Himalayan Television along with filmmaking. He believes that art is life itself. “Like there can be no particular definition of life and love, similarly it’s the same thing with art. The one who expresses only can understand its depth.”
Puris five picks
Pratinidhi Kathaby Indra Bahadur Rai
This is a collection of short stories and every story in this book captures varied characters who come from different levels, cultures and religions. I also read books to research on my characters so that I can develop the gestures, postures and personality of the character according to the reality. This particular book has helped me a lot to do research on my filmmaking. There are times when I cannot meet the concerned people to research in person, so that way books help me a lot, and Rai’s books has helped me a lot, inspiring me in filmmaking.
Bagh Pass by Kapil Kaphle
I think this book is a must-read for all those who are involved in journalism. The book has also tried to touch the topic of why people get forced to do journalism for the sake of money. The main idea of the book is that those who are doing journalism should be financially secure so that they don’t fall for money and are unbiased when producing news. If a person does journalism with dearth of money, then he may go to the extent of selling himself. Such characters also have been portrayed in the book. I found the book to be somewhat similar to Narayan Wagle’s ‘Palpasa Café.
Jalladko Man by Krishna Abiral
I read this book when I was hospitalized. I found it so captivating that after turning a few pages, I couldn’t stop myself for reading it continuously for five hours until I finished the whole book. The book is about a student who lives in TU’s hostel. He once witnesses a riot where a helpless person is about to die and no one dares to help him. That incident changed his life forever and he decides to rebel overnight. The book captures the period of the civil war of the country when many people willingly or unwillingly fought in the war. The book thus shows his journey and sufferings.
Purna Janma by Dr Kriti Swarup Rawat I’m currently reading this book which has been written by Norvic Hospital’s doctor Bharat Rawat’s father. The central idea of the book is whether or not to believe in rebirth. It has shown that the writer’s son who has studied medical science also believes in reincarnation. The book also talks about superstitions and spirits. There are much literature and many movies on reincarnation and the book talks about whether it’s a reality or an illusion by relating to a few such true incidences of India.
Lazza by Taslima Nasrin
I so wanted to read this book that after failing to find it here, I asked a friend in Pakistan to send a copy though it was in Hindi. Later, its Nepali translation was also found in the market. Nasrin is known for her being an unconventional writer, and in this book, she talks about inhumanity, violence and fundamentalism. The fact that the book was controversial made me want to get a hold of it even more and it turned out to be pretty impressive.