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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Editorial: Happy reading and writing

In a humid summer day some 13 years ago, I left my village in Baglung for higher education. Ever since,  I have been stuck in the complexities of a city life. Putting it more euphemistically, I have been pursuing my dreams in the cities.

Am I any nearer to those dreams after these 13 complete years of struggle? Or, are they receding further in the horizon?

As I often say, I was out there to change the world during my teenage years. But does that spirit live as vibrantly now?

It is easy to ask questions but not as easy to answer them. Pursuit of answers to these questions drives me to writing. And I have been writing for quite some time now.

On writing, when I find myself bewildered by my inability to translate my ideas into words, I remember a quote of veteran Pakistani journalist and writer Muhammad Hanif. On being asked how he developed his peculiarly elegant and humorous style in writing, he said; "Today I copied or imitated one writer, tomorrow another, the day after still another. I kept doing so until people started to say 'here, this is the style of Hanif!'."

I have also been copying and imitating the writing styles of a great number of writers in books, newspapers and magazines. If Hanif was honest, I should also reach somewhere in my writing venture!

And there is something more. This blog has made it easy for me to pretend to be an editor. I never know how much justice my editing does to the valuable articles of the contributors. Yet until they are ready to accept me as an editor, I shall keep editing their works!

The contents of the Dashain issue are of more serious nature. After a bit of contemplation, I have decided to keep, at least, this editorial short and light. But it will be a blunder if I forget to thank the contributors.

As during the earlier New Year issue, Avaya Shrestha, Jeremy R Hammond and Ramzy Baroud were prompt on providing me with their articles. New addition from the internationally acclaimed writers this time was Maung Zarni, literally the only voice of that stature speaking for the beleaguered Rohingya people in Burma amid the treacherous violence. All these authors deserve a special thanks from me.

The new faces from Nepal to appear this time are Saguna Shah and Prakash Lamichhane. The memoirs of both of them reflect the extreme end of despair. Their tales help us understand our society in a very intimate and personal way. Besides the personal relationship that I enjoy with either of the authors, now a professional dimension has come to be associated. I am elated for that.

And of course, despite his busy schedule, Aqeel Abbas completed a wonderful painting just in time for this special issue of my blog. He also deserves my full gratitude.

Now that we will be enjoying the longest festival holiday of the year in Nepal, I wish all the readers and contributors a happy and blissful holiday. Happy reading and writing!

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विजय कुमारको खुशी पढेपछि

जीवन, खुशी अहंकार

जीवनमा अफ्ठ्यारा घुम्तीहरुमा हिंडिरहँदा मैले कुनै क्षणमा पलायनलाई एउटा विकल्पको रुपमा कल्पना गरेको थिएँ, त्यसलाई यथार्थमा बदल्ने आँट गरिनँ, त्यो बेग्लै कुरा हो त्यसबेला लाग्थ्योः मेरा समग्र दुखहरुको कारण मेरो वरपरको वातावरण हो, यसबाट साहसपूर्वक बाहिरिएँ भने नयाँ दुख आउलान् तर तत्क्षणका दुरुह दुखहरु गायब भएर जानेछन् कति गलत थिएँ !

Read more from Dashain Issue

Debating partition of India: culpability and consequences

Read the whole story here

Why I write...

I do not know why I often tend to view people rather grimly: they usually are not as benevolent, well-intentioned and capable or strong as they appear to be. This assumption is founded on my own self-assessment, though I don’t have a clue as to whether it is justifiable to generalize an observation made in one individual. This being the fact, my views of writers as ‘capable’ people are not that encouraging: I tend to see them as people who intend to create really great and world-changing writings but most of the times end up producing parochial pieces. Also, given the fact that the society where we grow and learn is full of dishonesty, treachery, deceit and above else, mundanity, it is rather unrealistic to expect an entirely reinvigorating work of writing from every other person who scribbles words in paper.

On life's challenges

Somebody has said: “I was born intelligent but education ruined me”. I was born a mere child, as everyone is, and grew up as an ordinary teenager eventually landing up in youth and then adulthood. The extent to which formal education helped me to learn about the world may be debatable but it definitely did not ruin me. There were, however, things that nearly ruined me. There came moments when I contemplated some difficult choices. And there came and passed periods when I underwent through an apparently everlasting spell of agony. There came bends in life from which it was very tempting to move straight ahead instead of following the zigzag course.

Read more