Two years after the untimely death of Omnath Pokharel on 1 November 2012, Rup Pokharel, fulfilled his brother's dream to have these short stories published, Even though this dream was not to be fulfilled during his lifetime, Rup and editors Amma Raj Joshi and Tara Lal Shrestha have brought that dream to fruition.
Many great musicians, artists, and intellectuals have been more appreciated after their deaths than during their lives. Omnath Pokharel seems destined to such a fate.
He turned disappointment and frustration into eloquent and moving short stories as he captured the feelings of many Lhotshampas (Southern Bhutanese of Nepalese descent) during and after their forced exodus and exile from Bhutan.
This newly published book of thirteen short stories is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the pathos experienced by more than 120,000 exiled Bhutan citizens between 1990 and 2014.
Some of these stories narrate the traumatic condition of the Lhotsampa after the King of Bhutan ordered their forceful evacuation that brought them to the shanties of refugee camps in Eastern Nepal. (p 17)
Other stories depict the pathetic condition of individuals who were uprooted from their soil, livelihoods, and peaceful agrarian lives. Omnath Pokharel evokes human sentiments and feelings without being vindictive or malicious. (p 18)
These narratives are woven with the effects of dislocation of a group of people from their roots and the impacts of a state policy to decimate a class of people. (p 18)
Anyone interested in love, patriotism, and the impact of government on the human condition will find meaning in these stories.
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