Home Events Conversation with Madan Prize winning Author Amar Neupane

Conversation with Madan Prize winning Author Amar Neupane

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Kathmandu, April 12, 2016: BP Koirala India-Nepal Foundation, Embassy of India conducted the next-in-series of its ‘Conversations’ programme on 14th April 2016 at Tribhuvan University.  Amar Neupane, a Madan Prize winning writer, presented his book ‘Karodau Kasturi’ and the critique was presented by Rajendra Parajuli, an op-ed writer of Republica. The programme was attended by a mass of eminent Nepali writers, poets, professors and students from Tribhuwan University.

Talking amidst the programme, Amar Neupane shared that as a child he used to feel like it’s a monster coming to the class not a teacher, and turning the pages from textbook used to be like turning the metal tin.

He used to look like a disciplined and intelligent student from outside though he was completely different inside. While in the class, though he stared his teachers with eyes open, many a lot of things used to play in his mind. Whenever the teacher asked him to stand up and answer any questions, his mind would just go blank.

For him, the bells in schools felt holier than those in temples since the bell at the end of the class used to denote that it’s the time of teacher, the monster to leave the class and that at the end of the day would mean that they are free from the 6-hour jail.

During the exam, he used to feel the question papers like a heated tin. He really feared to touch and go through them. He couldn’t complete answering the questions in time because of fear of failing and not doing well.

Later, in his time as a teacher in a private school, he used to take the students more important subjects one can learn from than the books. One thing that really touched him in his career as a teacher was that the students used to celebrate the absence of teachers by singing and making loud noise. By knowing that, he asked himself if the teachers are there just to steal away the happiness of the students. He said that students love the days that are colored-red in the calendar and they desperately wait for these days to approach. One day on his way back home, he heard his students saying, “We come to school to be better human beings, but the teachers make us murgha (chicken)”. This particular expression by his students touched his heart.

After he completed his SLC exam, his teachers advised him saying he can be anyone he wants to be and can do anything and succeed in the field, but strongly urged him not to pursue his career in teaching and shared to him that life as a teacher is extremely hard and the teaching in all life is a tedious job.

Sharing his perspective about the present education and examination system in Nepal, Neupane said “Out of 6 lakh students taking SLC exam this year, question papers are the same for all those examinees though they are completely different from each other and have different unique talents of their own. It’s unfair to judge them on the basis of a single question paper at the end of an academic session. We need to have variety of methodologies to examine different hidden talents within a person, not just the memorizing and writing skills”. He further said that each of them are musk-deer in themselves hence need to be judged individually and in a way that encourages them to pursue their unique abilities. “People are the musk-deers who know their talents unlike those found in the forests. So, if we make them recognize their inner talents and passion, they would surely get successful in their future”, he stated with confidence.

Rajendra Parajuli, the Critique in the programme shared that the book follows nihilism and compares the life to zero. “It instills curiosity in the reader’s mind and makes them turn the pages one after another until they complete the book. It has an open ending and makes gets you to think after turning all the pages from the book is over”, said he.

On reply to the questions by the critic on why the second novels are mostly of lower quality than the first ones, he shared, “writers compose first novel with their heart. But, for second novel, it’s the brain that writers use the most. They try to be too conscious this time since they already have a famous book with huge fan-following and popularity in the literary scene”.

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As per the writer, Karodau Kasturi is the shadow-story of the shadow-character Haribansha Acharya who couldn’t know the good smell of musk deer and couldn’t become an actor for not knowing his true talents and hence not being able to reap the outcome of his true potential. He said that many a times he gets readers’ comments saying that this particular novel taking them to their childhood. “I get inner happiness when people can relate the story in the book to their own life”, he shared.

In reply to an audience question on who does it writer for and why and how he prepares the concept for a novel, he said that it’s the readers who are in his mind while writing a novel. “Had it not been for readers, I would not have brought my writings as a book. Instead, I would have torn away the manuscript after completing writing my feelings. I select the subject to include in the novel and visit different places that justify the story and help me get knowledge on the story and then only I sit for writing”, he remarked.

 

By Basanta Kumar Dhakal