2014 MAY 22 - A new book by Ramesh Ranjan, entitled Umas—a translation of his Maithili book Sanghor—was recently launched at a programme at the Shilpi Theatre in Battisputali. The programme, held on May 21, featured Pushpa Kamal Dahal as the chief guest, while other prominent figures such as Matrika Pokharel, Ram Chandra Jha, Ninu Chapagain and Ramesh Bhattarai were also in attendance.
Umas, translated into Nepali by Rajendra Bimal, revolves around the Madhes revolution. Amit and Anupama comprise the two main characters in the story, both of whom are looking to bring changes in the Madhes. At the launch, Bhattarai asked readers not to mistake Umas as a story of communism, but rather one that talked about the quest for a sense of belongingness.
The book calls for empathy for the people of the Madhes, according to Ram Chandra Jha, who added that Umas focuses on the problems and complexities to do with identity in the Tarai. The author himself clarified that one of the reasons he took up the project was because he felt there was firstly a lack of effort at translating books written in different languages into Nepali, and secondly, that even when books were translated, much of the spirit of the original was lost in translation.
The launch concluded with Dahal requesting the audience to read Umas if they wanted an insight into Nepal and its people. “You can’t understand Nepal if you don’t know what’s going on in the Madhes,” he said.
- MADHAVI MARASINI
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