HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Seven-year-old Tara is married, she is widowed at the age of nine, her family and in-laws cry in her husband’s memory. Even she is upset seeing everyone in that state, but deep down she is thanking God because now she can go back to ‘her’ home. After all what does a nine-year-old know about marriage? This is just a glimpse of the book Seto Dharti by Amar Neupane, which was launched on May 5, and is published by FinePrint.
The story revolves around Tara and her journey of life. Through all this, she ends up in an old age home and meets Jamuna, Parvati and her childhood friend. Professor Krishna Gautam, senior editor and one of the speakers at the event said, “Amar has done a beautiful job with comparisons and contrasts of various characters in the book and the language he uses just flows.” He also mentioned that the author has made a paradigm shift in the world of Nepali literature.
Another speaker Shivani Singh Tharu, a writer and presenter, was also full of praise for Neupane where she mentioned that usually most of the male authors tend to describe a woman only through her misery, but Neupane has not stuck to the cliché. “Reading Seto Dharti, any woman will be able to empathise with Tara and his work seems well researched.” And Tharu isn’t wrong! Neupane was travelling to Pokhara when he met an old lady who was married at the age of seven and became a widow at nine. As the conversation flowed she narrated her life story and Neupane with some guilt thought, “Here is a story that I can work on”. Later on for a week he stayed at an old age home with that old woman and her friends. He left the place after that but returned and this time his sojourn was for 17 days. “This was the time I plotted my story and observed and spoke to different people at the old age home.”