Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Author’s Say - Mahesh Paudyal

The story of this novelette is completely fictional, though it draws facts from the
Majhis’ real life. I have made a small attempt to lift the Majhi community’s plight—both economically forced and socially inherited—into the discourse of the mainstream children’s literature, so that children and young adults from both Majhi and non-Majhi communities see how negative culturing, though apparently trivial and at times pleasing, can lead to fatal tragedies. The real readers I have in mind are young adults, who have preferably crossed the water mark of the middle school, and are in a position to convince themselves that certain belief in our society needs a critiquing, because it has many provisions for unproductive culturing of children’s mind. I will be happy if Little Lovers is received as a social novelette against child marriage. Though the narrative itself doesn’t critique the practice overtly anywhere, the events unfold in such a way that the finale becomes evidently tragic. The fuel of the tragedy comes from Tilke and Lakhum, two Majhi men, who decide that their daughter and son respectively, when they come of age, shall marry one another. The children, Malashree and Bikawa, somehow come to know this, and in their fanciful pastime, try to enact adults’ matrimony. For this they undertake a number of life-risking games, which ultimately bring misfortune to them. I thank friends Rama Adhikari and Nitya Pandey for critically editing the language and giving suggestions for improvement at several points. I thank Chandrasekhar Paudyal, who made beautiful illustrations for the story. My friend and writer Kartikeya Ghimire deserves thanks for taking the pain to launch the book in its present form. I thank Innovative Nepal—Surendar G.C. of Dang in particular—for taking the responsibility to promote and distribute this book. I thank Bikram Sapkota, who took me to his home in Nuwakot for the first time, wherefrom I could imagine Sera, the setting for my novel. I am also indebted to Akash Subedi in the US, who agreed to be the first reader of my manuscript, representing my target audience. Suggestions to improve shall help me to perk up. (courtsy: 'Little Lovers' novelette page c n d)

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