Saturday, August 22, 2020

Charumati and Her Secret

Children's Story by Sushila Deoja, Translated by Mahesh Paudyal 

Author Sushila Deoja

“It’s wonderful; really wonderful. It’s going to be great fun, my dear friends,” said Charumati, who was busy talking on the phone.

“What’s wrong with Charu today? Who is it she is talking to, making such a big noise even on Saturday? She has spoilt my sleep,” said her mother, complaining with her father.

“Leave her. Maybe it’s one of her friends. She is a sixth grader now. While at home, she gets my mobile phone to play with. Why grumble, if she is talking to her friends?” said her father, wiping his face.

“Why such commotion since so early in the morning? Others’ children slumber till 10 o’clock on Saturdays. But ours starts hollering even before sunrise, and disturbs.”

Grumbling, the mother came out on the balcony. The father also sat nearby, pulling a chair.

“Listen to me. We must do it secretly, without letting anyone know,” said Charumati secretly on the phone kept underneath their ladder, and placed the receiver back.

Her father and mother gazed at each other in a state of doubt and fear.

“I don’t think Charumati is up to anything good. She looks like an upstart. Shall I slap her once and ask what it is?” said her mother with red eyes, fuming with anger.

“Oh no! Do not show the manners of a head-teacher at home. Instead, let’s feign that we heard nothing she said. I shall spy on her,” said the father, requesting his wife to stay quiet.

 “Fine; start spying on your own daughter. What a disturbance has come about even on a Saturday!” said the mother, muttering.

“Daddy, please give me five-hundred rupees as loan. I will return when I have enough saving in my piggy bag,” said Charumati, imploring.

“Why do you need money early in the morning?” her father asked. 

“Daddy, I urgently need it today. Please lend me that as loan without asking why,” said Charumati, holding her father’s hands tightly, and making a request.

Her father was at a loss. Finding himself in dilemma, he turned towards his wife.  

 “It’s needless. Why should you give her money so early in the morning? It’s the time of Corona pandemic. It’s terrifying to enter restaurants and eat anything there,” said the mother, annoyed.

Translator Mahesh Paudyal
Charumati was unhappy hearing her mother speak. She almost seemed crying, her eyes red with annoyance. The father realized that he had been trapped between the affairs of his wife and daughter. Deciding that he would spy on his daughter this time, he took out a five-hundred rupee note from his purse and gave it over to his daughter.

Charu was delighted. She hurriedly wore a new dress and walked out of home.

“Daughter, shall I take you on my scooter?” her father asked.

“You don’t need to, Daddy. I shall be back in twenty minutes. I shall walk,” Charumati said.

“Fine. Go and return well,” said her father.

Charu’s mother, on her part, continued to glare at her husband with red eyes.

“What a mess!” said the father to himself in a low tone.

Following this, he secretly wore a pair of black glasses and a fancy hat, and went after Charu.

Charu was busy walking on her own. Perhaps she was confused, unable to decide what she should buy for the five-hundred rupees she had in her hand.

On the way, people who, could recognize Charu and Krishna Guru smiled and took their ways. Guru, on his part, moved on, signaling the passersby to stay quiet.

“Oh, what’s wrong with Krishna Guru today?” was what people said, after having seen him walk in such a get-up.

Charu stopped outside a liquor shop.

“Oh God, it’s a mess! Is my daughter really going to have alcohol?” Krishan Guru thought.

In a short while, Charu’s friend Radha came out into the street, waving at Charu.

“Oh, shit! This the house of Charu’s friend Radha. What a fool I am,” thought Krishan Guru and slapped himself on his forehead for thinking nonsense.

From there, Charu and Radhika moved ahead, their hands locked in each other’s.

When Krishna Guru was at the market in the middle of the village, the number of people laughing at his get-up increased. Charu’s friends, who were studying in the same school as hers, could not control their laughter. They moved homewards, laughing out loud.

But Krishna Guru was highly elated. He cared for no one. After all, his daughter was not aware of his surveillance. He was contented at that.

When he was at the marketplace, Krishna Guru met Safal Guru—another teacher.

“Where are you going so early in the morning?” he said and almost spelled out Krishna Guru’s name. Before he had done that, Krishna Guru went rushing to him and shut his mouth. Then he whispered into his ears and told that he was spying on his daughter. Safal Guru could not help laughing, though he tried to keep his giggles as low as he could.

The two girls, Charu and Radha, were moving on their own accord. They went straight into the marketplace. The market had no customers; one could see only shopkeepers.

 “Sir, come with me. Let’s go to the hotel up there on the first floor and spy on the girls from there, sipping tea. There is no crowd, after all. Because of Corona fear, only a handful of people are coming out of home these days. We can see the girls clearly, no matter wherever they go.”

Krishna Guru nodded.

“Sister, would you give us a glass of luke-warm water each? I forgot to drink even a glass of water this morning, as my mind was completely on spying,” said Krishna Guru, looking at Safal Guru and the lady who owned the hotel, turn by turn. On seeing Krishna Guru’s get-up, the hotel owner broke into a giggle, and placed a jug of water on their table.

“Guru, let’s quickly eat whatever we want. I must soon walk after my daughter, spying,” Krishna Guru said, taking snacks in haste.

Taking a sip from his teacup, Safal Guru said, “It seems I must also come with you.”

“No, you don’t need to. If the girls see, there will be a mess,” said Krishna Guru, stammering.

On hearing them talk, the hotel-owner stared at them with doubt. She raised her ears with care.

“Sir, let’s go. The girls are returning. They have reached fairly far. One of them carries a red bag as well,” said Safal Guru, hurrying up.

 “Is that so? I was lost in the tea,” said Krishan Guru and paid the bill. Then they came out into the street downstairs.

When they were gone, the hotel-owner said to herself, “Unruly old men!” and laughed out loud.


Safal and Krishna Guru started keeping fast paces. Radha and Charu were much ahead of them.

“Sir, your daughter is just twelve. Do you need to doubt her so much and spy on her? I didn’t really like it, Sir,” Safal Guru said.

 “It’s not doubt, Sir. It’s love to some extent, and some fear too. We cannot rely on children these days. It’s a father’s heart, you know. I love her. I must be alert,” said Krishna Guru, laughing.

“That’s right. Sir, you are busy spying. But we have come outside my home. Let’ part for now.”

Safal Guru took leave of him.

“That’s fine. Goodbye,” said Krishna Guru.

At the moment of parting, Safar Guru giggled once again at Krishna Guru’s looks, and entered his gate. When he was inside his home, he recalled whatever Krishna Guru had said and laughed out to his satisfaction.

On the other hand, Charu and Radha were outside Radha’s house. They were talking. Krishna Guru was watching them, standing at a distance.

After some time, Radha went into her house. Charu also went her way. Krishna Guru followed her, taking quick steps. 

 “Oh God, the red bag in daughter Charu’s hand is missing!” said Krishna Guru to himself, after they had walked through a distance. He wondered what the red bag contained. He was impatient to know what was there inside it, but there was nothing he could do. He could not walk into Radha’s home. He feared that it would upset Charu and she might cry.

Helpless, he started following his daughter. On reaching home, Charu walked straight into her room on the first floor. Krishna Guru went into the washroom and cleaned his face and limbs. 

Having cleaned himself in the tap on the ground flood, Krishna Guru entered the kitchen. Seeing her husband’s get-up, his wife giggled.

“I had gone out to spy on our daughter,” he said, softly whispering into his wife’s ears.

“So what did you discover? How did your daughter spend those that hundred rupees?” asked Charu’s mother, apparently quite unhappy.

 “I don’t really know, but she bought something. He put in a red back and gave it to her friend Radha to keep. I haven’t been able to discover what lies inside the bag,” said Krishna Guru with a sigh.

“Maybe your loving daughter spent the money on a trivial thing. If it was a thing of use, she could certainly bring it home. Oh, how good she is in spending! A few days ago, she quarreled with me and broke her piggy bag. It has somewhere around five thousand rupees in it. She has finished it off, moving around with Radha and her brother form the maternal home. She doesn’t allow me to ask. If I do, she just says, ‘It’s a secret—Charu’s, and her mother’s,’ and laughs. I am quite worked up, Sir. Youd daughter doesn’t seem to be in good manners. What are we to do now? It has been a week she started going astray like this,” said Charu’s mother with a grim face.

 “Really? Why didn’t you tell it all to me when she was asking for five-hundred rupees? I won’t have given her any,” Krishna Guru said.

“Do not show-off. You always give in, whenever your daughter says. And now you boast off when she is away,” said his wife, fuming.

“Mom! Dad!” I am going said Charu, shouting from the courtyard.

“O God, where on earth are you going again?” said her mother, coming out on the porch.

“Did you forget out decision to visit maternal home today?” Charu said.

“Daughter, hadn’t we decided to go together?” the father said in a loving voice.

 “I am bound to reach rather earlier. I and Radha are going together. Daddy, you please reach at 1 o’clock at all cost. I will take my lunch at Radha’s and go. My lunch is ready there,” said Charu, joining her hands in request.

After this, father and daughter laughed.

Krishna Guru gawked, seeing his daughter move away.

“Why are you gawking at the road? Would you drink tea too, or it suffices you to spy on your daughter?” said his wife in a harsh voice.

“Hurry up. We should leave early so that we can reach there in time,” Krishna Guru said.

 “That’s fine. Why hurry? Even if we go slow, it is not more than an hour’s drive. If I drive, I think, I will be there in 40 minutes,” said his wife, laughing.

“Are you taking our vehicle? I feel it boring to take it out of the garage and keep it back,” Krishna Guru said.

“Leave it. You don’t need to take it out. You don’t need to drive and keep it back, either. I shall do everything. We must take our own car in such a time of Corona pandemic. Why should we hire a taxi used by dozens of people?” said his wife, announcing her decision.

 “OK. Your words are sensible,” said Krishna Guru, smiling.

“You have tea and put new dress. Rice will be ready in the rice-cooker in thirty minutes. Within forty-five minutes, I will take out the car and get it cleaned. We shall have our lunch thereafter and leave. Do not can glued to a comedy movie, forgetting  your tea. I am worked up with  your comedy,” she said and moved towards the garage, laughing.

Krishna Guru went into his room and wore a new pair of pants, a shirt and a pair of socks. Then he got hold of his binoculars and walked onto the roof of the house. Adjusting the binoculars—the best pair of his days—he smiled and said, “Look! Daughter Charu and Radha have just come out on the road; they are walking. This means, they spent a whole hour to have their lunch. Let me see where they will be going next,” he said, adjusting the binoculars on the stand. He started looking out carefully with his binoculars.

Charu and Radha moved on, taking quick steps. On the way, they also came across Safal Guru. He laughed on seeing them. He ran his eyes all round, perhaps to find if Krishna Guru was spying on Radha today as well.

“It seems everything will go wrong. Safar Guru cannot maintain any secret. What if he leaks this morning’s details to Charu?” though Krishna Guru and shuddered.

Even as doubts filled his mind, he observed more keenly from his binoculars. Thank God, Safal Guru didn’t go close to the girls. He kept his way, without caring to stop.

After that, Charu and Radha went to the bus park further away from their home and boarded a bus. He zoomed in the binoculars and observed keenly. They had boarded the route 21 bus that would take them to their maternal home.

After having observed this, Krishna Guru closed his binoculars, taking a breath of comfort. He packed it back into a carton and thrust it underneath the bed  where it was before. Then he hurried back to the kitchen.

“Where were you lost? Your tea has become cold. Leave it; take lunch instead. Else, we will be late,” said his wife, apparently unhappy.

 “Is the car in order?” Krishna Guru asked, taking his lunch.

“It is. Why? Was anything wrong?” his wife asked.

“No. But it has been three months since we stopped using. I was concerned if it refused to start,” he said.

“No.All is find. It got started easily.”

“That’s great. Do you know: Charu and Radha also a route bus?” he said.

“Oh God. I was wondering where you had gone. Means, you were on the roof with  your binoculars, spying on  your daughter!” said the wife, laughing.

“Dress up and come downstairs quickly. I will be starting the car at the courtyard,” Krishna Guru said.

“That’s fine, my hubby! Get into the car I have cleaned,” she said, giving her husband the key of their car.

Downstairs, Krishna Guru started the car and waited for a while, letting the engine purr.  

His wife showed up in a while, beautifully clad in a sari and a cholo.

“You move to the other seat. I will myself drive the car I cleaned,” said the wife, laughing.

Krishna moved a little, making room for his wife to seat on the driver’s seat. The wife started driving. The road was quite empty. Perhaps  it was because of pandemic, people in the city streets were scantier than those in the villages.

The town appears fully shut. Our village is far better. It’s quite near to the city, and the shops are all open,” the wife said.

“It’s unwise to open shops or do a lot of moving,” the husband said.

To her husband’s words, the wife nodded.

At quarter to one, Krishna Guru and his wife reached their ancestral home. Having parked the vehicle on the courtyard, they went straight inside to see their ninety-year-old mother. He was pleased to see Charu Radha and Saurav—his brother’s son—who were busy talking with their grandmother. He bowed down to his mother with respect. His wife also did the same, showing her reverence to her mother-in-law.

“Did you bow to  your grandmother, kids?” Krishna Guru asked.

“We did, Daddy,” Charu said.

“Brother, please give us some water. We are hungry.”

No sooner had Krishna Guru said this, his brother and his wife came into her room.  The sister-in-law brought a glass of water from the filter.

“Brother, did the kids eat anything,” Krishna’s wife asked.

“I don’t really know, Bhauju. Since early in the morning, they have been going to the roof. They only said it’s secret, and kept working, shutting the door. It’s only now they have come downstairs. They had also locked the door leading to the roof,” the brother said.

“Oh. Means, the kids bothered you a lot during lock-down,” she said. In the meantime, she remembered that Charu had mentioned about keeping things secret in the morning. Only now could she understand that Charu had phoned her brother and asked him to keep everything secret. She was now impatient to know what the kids’ secret was. 

 “It’s time we go to the rooftop. Uncle and my dad, you slowly lift Grandma and bring her on the rooftop. Others, you can come upstairs only in neat, fresh clothes today,” Saurva said.

“We are in neat dresses,” everyone said in a single voice.

Following this, Krishna Guru and his brother lifted their mother and took her to the rooftop. Others followed joyfully.

The rooftop had been beautifully decorated with color-papers. A small tent had also been erected. At one corner of the tent, pictures of the kids’ grandparents—father and mother of Krishna Guru—had been pasted. There also was something wrapped in a red cloth.

“Oh God, the red bag Charu had packed her purchase in the market is here. What does it contain?” said Krishna Guru to himself. His spying eyes  took no time in spotting the bag there.

“What’s there inside the bag?” he wondered.

“Grandma, Grandpa, Daddy, Mummy, Uncle and Aunt! You please sit on the chairs near those photographs,” said Charu, requesting everyone.

The kids clapped.

After that, Saurav said with joy, “I know request Sister Charu to lift that red cloth and reveal the secrecy of this event, the Mystery of Charumati.”

Quite curious, everyone got up from the chairs to see the thing underneath the red cloth.

The red cloth was gone in the blink of the eyes.

Oh, there was a wonderful cake underneath the red cloth. The first word written on the cake was “90”. The second line read: “Happy Birthday, Grandma.”

On seeing this, the eyes of all the elders had tears in them. The kids helped their grandmother slice the cake. They also put a paper-cap on her head. Then all of them sang together, “Happy birthday  to you, Granny!”

Then they added oil to the wick-lamp, lighted it and placed it near to their grandmother’s photograph. All of them put their hands together. The turn of the red bag came only after that. Radha brought the bag and handed it over to Charu. Krishna Guru observed keenly to see what lay inside the bag.

Inside the bag was a red shall, on which, the inscriptions read: “Hare Krishna!” There also was another thing wrapped in paper. Charumati tore the paper off and took out the thing. Oh, it was a framed photograph that showed Grandpa, Grandpa, Krishna Guru and his wife, his brother, his sister-in-law, Charu, Saurav and Radha.

Oh, how beautiful Charumati’s mystery was!

All of them gave their gifts to the grandmother, and sought her blessings. They bowed down to her feet.

After this, the kids pulled out the containers they had kept hidden on one corner. They contained curd, sweets, pulaw and other food items. All of them ate their lunch, enjoying.

Seeing their daughter, Krishna Guru and her wife had tears in their eyes. Their hearts leaped up with joy. They heads rose high. Standing together, Krishna Guru and his wife invited their daughter Charu to come into their loving arms. Charu and Radha came running into their arms. Saurav too ran into his parents’ arms. Then, they all placed Grandma in the middle and took group photos.

Friday, August 21, 2020

भँगेरो र भँगेरी

 - माधवप्रसाद घिमिरे

कुरा गर्छन् कसरी

भँगेरो  भँगेरी

चुरचुर गर्छ भँगेरो

चिरचिर गर्छे भँगेरी   

      चारा चर्न हुन्न है

       यता उता नहेरी

       यौटा आँखो तँ हेरी

        अर्को आँखो  हेरी   

टाप्पटिप्प कनिका

टिपिहालौँ नटेरी

चुर्र गर्छु  फेरि

भुर्र उड्नू तँ फेरि   

        जिल्ल पर्छ बिरालो

        हिस्सपर्छ बोहोरी

        कत्ति बाठो भँगेरो

        कत्ति बाठी भँगेरी   

                           (सवाई छन्द)

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The Lost Child

Children's Story 

- Mulk Raj Anand

It was the festival of spring. From the wintry shades of narrow lanes and alleys emerged a gaily clad humanity. Some walked, some rode on horses, others sat, being carried in bamboo and bullock carts. One little boy ran between his father’s legs, brimming over with life and laughter. “Come, child, come,” called his parents, as he lagged behind, fascinated by the toys in the shops that lined the way.

He hurried towards his parents, his feet obedient to their call, his eyes still lingering on the receding toys. As he came to where they had stopped to wait for him, he could not suppress the desire of his heart, even though he well knew the old, cold stare of refusal in their eyes. “I want that toy,” he pleaded. His father looked at him red-eyed, in his familiar tyrant’s way. His mother, melted by the free spirit of the day was tender and, giving him her finger to hold,

said, “Look, child, what is before you!”

It was a flowering mustard-field, pale like melting gold as it swept across miles and miles of even land. A group of dragon-flies were bustling about on their gaudy purple wings, intercepting the flight of a lone black bee or butterfly in search of sweetness from the flowers.

The child followed them in the air with his gaze, till one of them would still its wings and rest, and he would try to catch it. But it would go fluttering, flapping, up into the air, when he had almost caught it in his hands. Then his mother gave a cautionary call: “Come, child, come, come on to the footpath.”

He ran towards his parents gaily and walked abreast of them for a while, being, however, soon left behind, attracted by the little insects and worms along the footpath that were teeming out from their hiding places to enjoy the sunshine.

“Come, child, come!” his parents called from the shade of a grove where they had seated themselves on the edge of a well. He ran towards them. A shower of young flowers fell upon the child as he entered the grove, and, forgetting his parents, he began to gather the raining petals in his hands. But lo! he heard the cooing of doves and ran towards his parents, shouting, “The dove! The dove!” The raining petals dropped from his forgotten hands.

“Come, child, come!” they called to the child, who had now gone running in wild capers round the banyan tree, and gathering him up they took the narrow, winding footpath which led to the fair through the mustard fields. As they neared the village the child could see many other footpaths full of throngs, converging to the whirlpool of the fair, and felt at once repelled and fascinated by the confusion of the world he was entering.

A sweetmeat seller hawked, “gulab-jaman, rasagulla, burfi, jalebi,” at the corner of the entrance and a crowd pressed round his counter at the foot of an architecture of many coloured sweets, decorated with leaves of silver and gold. The child stared open-eyed and his mouth watered for the burfi that was his favourite sweet. “I want that burfi,” he slowly murmured. But he half knew as he begged that his plea would not be heeded because his parents would say he was greedy. So without waiting for an answer he moved on.

A flower-seller hawked, “A garland of gulmohur, a garland of gulmohur !” The child seemed irresistibly drawn. He went towards the basket where the flowers lay heaped and half murmured, “I want that garland.” But he well knew his parents would refuse to buy him those flowers because they would say that they were cheap. So, without waiting for an answer, he moved on.

A man stood holding a pole with yellow, red, green and purple balloons flying from it. The child was simply carried away by the rainbow glory of their silken colours and he was filled with an overwhelming desire to possess them all. But he well knew his parents would never buy him the balloons because they would say he was too old to play with such toys. So he walked on farther.

A snake-charmer stood playing a flute to a snake which coiled itself in a basket, its head raised in a graceful bend like the neck of a swan, while the music stole into its invisible ears like the gentle rippling of an invisible waterfall. The child went towards the snake-charmer.

But, knowing his parents had forbidden him to hear such coarse music as the snake- charmer played, he proceeded farther.

There was a roundabout in full swing. Men, women and children, carried away in a whirling motion, shrieked and cried with dizzy laughter. The child watched them intently and then he made a bold request: “I want to go on the roundabout, please, Father, Mother.” There was no reply. He turned to look at his parents. They were not there, ahead of him. He turned to look on either side. They were not there. He looked behind. There was no sign of them.

A full, deep cry rose within his dry throat and with a sudden jerk of his body he ran from where he stood, crying in real fear, “Mother, Father.” Tears rolled down from his eyes, hot and fierce; his flushed face was convulsed with fear. Panic- stricken, he ran to one side first, then to the other, hither and thither in all directions, knowing not where to go. “Mother, Father,” he wailed. His yellow turban came untied and his clothes became muddy.

Having run to and fro in a rage of running for a while, he stood defeated, his cries suppressed into sobs. At little distances on the green grass he could see, through his filmy eyes, men and women talking. He tried to look intently among the patches of bright yellow clothes, but there was no sign of his father and mother among these people, who seemed to laugh and talk just for the sake of laughing and talking.

He ran quickly again, this time to a shrine to which people seemed to be crowding. Every little inch of space here was congested with men, but he ran through people’s legs, his little sob lingering: “Mother, Father!” Near the entrance to the temple, however, the crowd became very thick: men jostled each other, heavy men, with flashing, murderous eyes and hefty shoulders. The poor child struggled to thrust a way between their feet but, knocked to and fro by their brutal movements, he might have been trampled underfoot, had he not shrieked at the highest pitch of his voice, “Father, Mother!”

A man in the surging crowd heard his cry and, stooping with great difficulty, lifted him up in his arms. “How did you get here, child? Whose baby are you?” the man asked as he steered clear of the mass. The child wept more bitterly than ever now and only cried, “I want my mother, I want my father!”

The man tried to soothe him by taking him to the roundabout. “Will you have a ride on the horse?” he gently asked as he approached the ring. The child’s throat tore into a thousand shrill sobs and he only shouted: “I want my mother, I want my father!”

The man headed towards the place where the snake- charmer still played on the flute to the swaying cobra. “Listen to that nice music, child!” he pleaded. But the child shut his ears with his fingers and shouted his double-pitched strain: “I want my mother, I want my father!” The man took him near the balloons, thinking the bright colours of the balloons would distract the child’s attention and quieten him. “Would you like a rainbow-coloured balloon?” he persuasively asked. The child turned his eyes from the flying balloons and just sobbed, “I want my mother, I want my father!”

The man, still trying to make the child happy, bore him to the gate where the flower-seller sat.

“Look! Can you smell those nice flowers, child! Would you like a garland to put round your neck?” The child turned his nose away from the basket and reiterated his sob: “I want my mother, I want my father!”

Thinking to humour his disconsolate charge by a gift of sweets, the man took him to the counter of the sweet shop. “What sweets would you like, child?” he asked. The child turned his face from the sweet shop and only sobbed, “I want my mother, I want my father!”

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

सुशीला देउजा लिखित महिमा बालउपन्यासको समीक्षा

याङ्जी थोकर 

बालसाहित्यकार सुशीला देउजाद्वारा लिखित बालउपन्यास ‘महिमा’ एक छोरीको सङ्घर्षको यात्रा
हो जसले आफ्नो पूजनीय बाबाको खोजी गरेकी छिन् यात्रामा सुख दुःखको कथाले मन नै छोयो । 

सुशीला देउजाको यसभन्दा अघि मैले बालचित्रकथा ‘बाघ र बाबा’ पनि पढिसकेकी छु मलाई त्यस कृति अत्यन्तै मनपर्यो । ‘महिमा’ बालउपन्यासले मेरो मन नै छोयो यस उपन्यासले बालबालिकाभित्र हुने आफ्नो आमाबुवाप्रति माया, सम्मान, त्याग आदि बुझाइएको  

यस बालउपन्यासको प्रमुख पात्र महिमा नै हुन् जो आफ्नो बाआमाकी प्यारी छोरी हुन् आफ्नो भाइको मायालु दिदी उपन्यासको प्रारम्भमा महिमाले राति सपनीमा आफ्नो बाबा देख्छिन् भन्छिन्, ‘बुवा ! बुवा !!  पर्खनुस् न बुवा ।’ यो आवाज सुनेर भाइ महेश ब्युउँझिन्छ र आफ्नो दिदी सुतेको ठाउँतिर जान्छ । महिमा आफ्नो भाइको धेरै ख्याल राख्छिन् । खाजा  बनाइदिने, लुगा मिलाइदिने, विद्याालय सँगसँगै लैजाने आदि गरिदिन्थिन् । यसबाट महिमा आफ्नो भाइप्रति निकै जिम्मेवारी देखिन्थिन् । 

महेश एक असल स्वभाव, आफ्नो दिदीलाई धेरै माया गर्ने भाइ हो महेश आफ्नो दिदीको मुड अनुसार दिदीसँग आफ्नो मनभित्र भएका कुराहरु सोध्थ्यो महेश जे कुरामा पनि आफ्नो दिदीलाई मात्रै देख्दछ  

इलाम जिल्लाको एउटा ग्रामीण क्षेत्रको पहाडी गाउँमा महिमाको घर थियो जहाँ आमाबुबा, महिमा अनि उसको भाइ महेश बस्थे निम्नवर्गीय महिमाका परिवारको आधार खेती नै थियो एकपल्ट गाउँमा पहिरोले महिमाको गैरीखेत लग्यो परिवारकै जीवन धान्ने त्यस गैरीखेत पहिरोले लगेपछि महिमाको परिवार धेरै दुःखी भए यसकारण, गाउँका पुरुषहरु भारतको सिलगढी कलकत्तामा काम गर्न जाने भनेर निधो गरे त्यस दिनको भोलिपल्ट नै सबैजना मुगलानतिर लागे गएको तीन महिनापछि महिमाको बुवाको चिठी आयो तर त्यस चिठी नै उसको बुवाको अन्तिम चिठी हुन पुगियो उसको आमा सधैँ बुवाको बाटो हेरीराख्थी भाइ भने बाबाले हामीलाई माया नै गर्नुहुन्न कि भनेर सोध्थ्यो  

मुगलान फर्किएका सबैजनासँग महिमाको बाबाको बारे कुरा हुन्थ्यो तर सबैले थाहा भएन भन्थ्यो बुवा गएको पाँच वर्ष भइसक्दा पनि केही खबर आएन महिमाले आफ्नो  आमाको आँसु भाइको बेचैनी सहन सकिन उसले आफ्नो बाबालाई खोज्न जाने निधो गरी आफ्नो आमासँग सल्लाह गरेर जाने निधो भयो उसले आफ्नो बुवासँगै मुगलान गएका गाउँका काकासँग बाबुको ठेगाना जाने बाटोको पत्ता लगायो बुवाको खोजी गर्न पुरै परिवार नै लागे खोजीको बिहानै आमाले यात्रामा चाहिने सरसामानहरु पोको पार्नुभयो सबैजनालाई बिदाई गरेर उनीहरु यात्रातिर लागे यात्राको पहिलो रातमा महिमाको सुधा दिदीसँग भेट भयो महिमाले आफू किन आएको भनी सबै कुरा बताई दिदीले पनि उसलाई सहयोग गर्ने बाचा गरे सिलगढीसम्म सँगै जाने पनि भन्यो  

यात्राको क्रममा महिमा महेशले रमाइलो ठाउँ देखे त्यो देखेर उनीहरु दुवैजना खुवै रमाए तर महिमाको आमा भने अलि चिन्तित देखिन्थी यात्रा गर्दागर्दै उनीहरु सुधा दिदीको काकाकाकी भएको ठाउँमा पुगे अनि भोलि बिहानै महिमाको बुवा काम गर्ने कम्पनीमा जाने निधो गरे  

बिहानै महिमाको बुवा काम गर्ने कम्पनीतिर लागे त्यता पनि महिमाको बुवाको केही अत्तोपत्तो भएन बुवाको खोजीको लागि यहीतिर आमालाई काम पाइन्छ कि भनी महिमाले सबैलाई सुनाए उसको सल्लाह ठीक भने ठेकेदारले आफ्नो छोरी नाति पनि हेर्ने मान्छे घरको ख्याल राख्ने मान्छेको खोजीमा रहेको भनी बताए त्यसदिनको भोलिपल्टदेखि महिमाकी आमाले त्यही काम गरिन् एकदिन महिमा घरमा एक्लै हुँदा उसले एकजना नयाँ साथी बनायो उसको नाम पवन थियो उनीहरु दुवैजना धेरै मिल्थ्यो कहिले बजार घुम्न जाने, तरकारी बेच्न सहयोग गर्ने, कहिले पिरो चट्पटे खाने आदि काम उनीहरु मिलेर गर्दथे । 

दिनहरु बित्दै गएको थियो महिमाले पनि एउटा घरमा काम पाई उसको भाइ विद्यालय जान थाल्यो एकदिनको कुरा हो, महिमा घरमा भाँडा माझ्दै थिई त्यतिखेर अलि एउटा ठूलो घर देखी जहाँ थुप्रै मानिसहरु लाइन लागेर खाना खान बसेका थिए भने कोही बैशाखी टेकेर उभिएका कोही ह्वीलचेरमा हिँडिरहेका थिए महिमालाई त्यस घरमा जान मन लाग्यो अनि उसले पवनलाई जाम् भने त्यो ठूलो घर सुधार केन्द्र पो रहेछ भनी पवनले भन्यो एकदिनको कुरा हो, महिमाले गाडीबाट चढेर भित्र जाने भनी पवनलाई भन्यो उनीहरुले त्यही नै गरे भित्र पुगिसकेपछि उनीहरुको भेट विक्रम सरसँग भयो जो सर त्यस सुधार गृहका प्रमुख हुन् उनले महिमालाई सबै कुरा सोधे महिमाले भने त्यसपछि उनले आफ्नी श्रीमती छोरीसँग भेट गराए  

विक्रम सर माया मेमले महिमालाई सहयोग गरिदिन्छु भने यो देखेर महिमा धेरै खुसी भइन् बेलुका घरमा उसले आफ्नी आमालाई भने आमा पनि धेरै खुसी भइन्  

भोलिपल्ट पवन महिमा विक्रम सरको अफिसमा गए त्यसपछि के भयो ? उपन्यासमै पढ्न मजा आउछ

वास्तवमा यस बालउपन्यास पढिसकेपछि ममा अर्को फूर्ति जागिरहेको हरेक छोरीले पनि यस्तो गर्न सक्लान् बाआमाको बुढेसकालको सहारा बन्न सक्छन् छोरीहरु पनि साहसी हुन्छन् जिम्मेवारीबोध गरेका हुन्छन् भन्ने यस बालउपन्यासले भनेका हामीले मिहिनेत गरे जे पनि गर्न सक्छौँ भनी यस बालउपन्यासमा भन्न खोजिएको हामी साहसी, मिहेनेती, सहयोगी, मनको सफा हुनुपर्छ यस बालउपन्यास महिमाको मात्र कथा होइन, हरेक  छोराछोरीको कथा हो जसको बुवा, दाजुभाइ, आफ्नो परिवारको खुसीको लागि सम्पूर्ण परिवार नै त्यागेर हामीभन्दा टाढा परदेश जानुहुन्छ जो आफ्नो परिवारको खुसीलाई सम्झी धेरै मिहिनेत गरेर काम गर्नुहुन्छ यस बालउपन्यासमा महिमा पात्रद्वारा आफ्नो बाआमाप्रति भएको आदर, माया, मेहेनती भाव, नयाँ सोचको चित्रण गरिएको । ‘महिमा’ बालउपन्यासमा नेपाली ग्रामीण ठाउँको निम्न वर्गीयहरुको दुःख, प्राकृतिक प्रकोप, परिवारप्रतिको माया, प्राकृतिक  सुन्दरताको मीठो बयान आदि चित्रणले गर्दा पठनीय छ । 

बालसाहित्यकार सुशीला देउजालाई धेरै धेरै धन्यवाद दिन चाहन्छु उहाँले एउटा राम्रो किताब हामीलाई उपहार दिनुभएको आशा फेरि पनि उहाँका धेरै राम्राराम्रा कृतिहरु पढ्न पाउनेछु मलाई ‘महिमा’ बालउपन्यास र ‘बाघ र बाबा’ बालचित्रकथा धेरै नै मनपर्यो । हजुरको अन्य कृतिहरु पनि पढ्न पाएँ हुन्थ्यो भनी पर्खेर बसिरहेकी छु । फेरि पनि धन्यवाद लेखक सुशीला देउजा दिदी !