Seto Dharti, Novel, Amar Neupane, 2012, (Madan Puraskar winner novel)

A Madan Puraskar winner novel ‘Seto Dharti’ written by Amar Neupane. The Puraskar (award), Madan Award is the biggest literary award in Nepali literature.

First published in the March of 2012, the book gained a rapid popularity among the book readers. It was a best seller in Nepal. The novel is about the bitter reality of a child widow in Nepali society. The story is painful and sad.

Summary of Seto Dharti

The story of the novel is based on the life of a girl named Tara. She is a simple girl living in a remote village. Like every other child, she also spends her time playing with other children. Like other girls in the village, she is married ogg at a tender age of seven. At that age, she didn’t not even understand what it meant to get married.

After marrying Tara, her husband had to go for his studies to Banaras, India. But, he died in the remote place, leaving his innocent wife, Tara, a child widow. The story is about all the difficulties in Tara’s life as a widow. After the death of her husband, she returns back to her parental home.

Once in her birth home, she tries to forget the pain and live her life peacefully. After the death of her mother, she had to take over all the responsibilities of the house.

As the time passed, and she became an adult, situation turned such that she had to leave the parental home and relocate herself to Devghat, a religious place in Chitwan. In the place, she constructs a small hut and lives a boring life.

The story mainly tries to reveal the terrible cultural practice, in the name of religion, called child marriage. This story also portrays the pain of a child widow living her whole life without company.

Listen “Seto Dharti” by Amar Neupane from Shruti Sambeg in the voice of Achyut Ghimire.

Chuli, Novella, Sarubhakta, 2018

Sarubhakta’s short novel “Chuli” is also translated to English language and published by the name ‘The Peak’. The novel is translated by Subhash Ghimire and is published by Sahityakar Sarubhakta Sarokar Kendra, Pokhara, Nepal.

Chuli is the story of human adventure and survival – a big peak os success. It is a wonderful fiction of a non-mountaineer that highlights the challenge of climbing, dangers, exciting and wonderful experience difficulties, magnitude of Everest, risk, accident, suspicious death experience, Geography, climbing narration, providing technical knowledge, atmospheric pressure, climbing tools to be used, the remote site name information, etc. This is a successful mountaineering fiction in Nepali literature.

A short part from the book “The Peak”, translated by Subhash Ghimire:
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Seto Bagh, Historical Novel, Diamond Shumsher, 1973

Seto Bagh is a historical novel by Diamond Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana. Brought up in Rana family, the family that ruled Nepal for 104 years as the de-facto-ruler prime ministers.

‘Seto Bagh’ means ‘White Tiger’ in Nepali. The novel published in 1973, revolves around the life of the Jagat Jung Rana, the eldest son of Jung Bahadur Rana. Jung Bahadur Rana is the ruler who started the Rana regime in Nepal that ruled the country for 104 years.

The plot is set around the time when Jung Bahadur Rana was in power and after his demise. It has been translated into French, English and Japanese.

The novel describes Jung Bahadur Rana losing his grip over the control of the palace and also the fall of his sons and the rise of his nephews to power. However, the novel is like a sequel to Diamond’s previous novel ‘Basanti’ where he wrote about the rise of Jung Bahadur along with his love life.

Seto Bagh is more like:

– a biography of Jagat Jung.

– describes the love relation between Jagat Jung and the Princess, the daughter of King Surendra Bikram Shah.

– starts with the mention of ongoing war between Nepal and Tibet. The love story between the two goes on as the war proceeds.

– the emotional state of Jagat Jung as he fights

– the urge to accept the Princess’ love.

– the fear of being called a sinner and cheat for stealing his cousin’s fiancé being greater than the courage of accepting his own feelings for her, he tries his best to make her hate him.

– With the help of their cousins and the support of their family, they are got married.

– Although his love life becomes successful, his chances of being the heir of the Prime Minister’ position (Shree 3 Maharaj) were dimmed.

– it shows the downfall of the bright and talented Jagat Jung and rise of his cousins.

– the sons of Dhir Shumsher Rana massacred their own clan in cold blood (Uncle and sons of Jung Bahadur Rana) for the power.

About Diamond Shumsher

The Seto Bagh writer Diamond Shumser was born on 5 July, 1918 in Palpa Durbar, Tansen. He enjoyed a privileged upbringing as a Rana son and was a captain in the Royal Nepal Army. In 1948, he wrote the novel Basanti. The Rana rulers thought it to be against the
Rana regime and he was arrested. He later joined the political opposition against the regime and was a member of the Nepali Congress Party from 1954 to 1987. He wrote this novel Seto Bagh in 1970. Diamond Shumser died at the age of 92 in Kathmandu in 2011.

Summary of Seto Bagh

As this novel is the historical novel, it is said that it does not resemble each and every historical events that happened through the time-line. Being based on the unspoken part of the fall of Jung’s own family, the novel presents the heart taking sequence of the conspiracy and the massacre that had thrilled the whole Nepal at that time. Jagatjung the lamp of the Jung family is the lead of the novel as the novel starts with him and ends with his death. The princess of Nepal falls in love with Jagatjung which leads to the broken promises of marrying Bir Shumser. The seedling of hatred gets planted here as in the novel when bubudhai (a woman who fed milk) of the princess came to know about the affair between Jagat and the princess, she had said, man can be not only the hound but also the demon for a girl. Later when they two got married, Bir Shumser also marries Dhanhajuri, the cousin sister of the princess, whose married life does not seem happy. As the tradition of the palace, Crown prince Trailokya marries two sisters of Jagat who give birth to a daughter and a son respectively. The crown prince and his brother were planning to make Jagat the prime minister of Nepal after the death of his father Jung Bahadur as Jung Bahadur had set up the roll of being prime minister on his own way where it will firstly go to his brothers and only to the sons.
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