From my own turf - 4
Celebrating the Journey so far
Connecting the WNO Convention
Rajiva Shanker Shresta
Before I dwell upon the issue further I would like to share here about the Sunday I happened to be in the company of litterateur Kamal Mani Dixit and Uday-editor Durga Prasad Shrestha. They had come all the way from Kathmandu to Siliguri in order to felicitate and hand over the Madan Smarak Samman for the year 2015 to the writer Kitap Singh Rai of the Dooars as his health did not permit him to travel all the way to Banaras/Varanasi where this literary honour is given every year under the auspices of Sri Vidya Dharma Pracharini Nepali Samiti, Varanasi headed by Shrestha with Bijya Kumar Shrestha as its general secretary at Chaukhambha. Way back in 2006, I had the rare honour of handing over this prestigious Madan Smarak Samman which is no less than the much hyped/coveted Madan Puraskar as octogenarian Dixit was sharing with the audience in the function held that was attended by a large number of young and old writers alike. Besides Prem Pradhan, Nar Bahadur Dahal, Subhash Chettri, I could see C. K. Rai, Mohan Thakuri, Jiwan Rana, Kalu Singh Ranapaheli and many others as the hall was packed to full capacity. Poetry reading session was quite interesting but the best part was pleasant meeting with Gopal Singh Vishwa. Sitting next to me introducing himself, Vishwa gave me his latest work of poems Yug ra Manchhe along with a recent issue of Naya Drishti – Aitihasik Lekh Vishesh to give fair idea on the literature from Bagrakote and the Dooars. This was further supplemented by a write-up Sahityik Gatividhi ani Duars by the award-winning writer Kitap Singh Rai circulated in the function. These along with a copy of Dark Fantasy – a collection of stories sent by Harish Moktan ‘Allare’ recently made new additions to our Jai Smriti Shodh Granthalaya. The function that went off smoothly was compered by Sukraj Diyali, known for writing teamed up with Kedar Gurung, Basudev Pulami, Bhanu Chettri and Narmaya Dangal for Mahanand Poudyal Unka Kritihruma (published by Karuna Devi Smarak Dharmarth Guthi in 2006), came to open the Guest List with my name first and later to give a copy of his geet-sangrah Gathaso. Well-known as the editor Bindu K. B. Nepali from Lumding Assam was the person felicitated in 2006. Umesh Karkidholi from AIR Kurseong had a long interview with Dixit. Ganesh Kumar Pradhan, president of Akhil Bharatiya Newar Sangthan, Siliguri Chapter was kind enough to drop me to the Kallani House at Mahatma Gandhi Road, where I had to attend that evening the funeral of Krishna Didi, who passed away suddenly the previous day.
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Another line that I came across to share here is borrowed from William Styron, “A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end.” Experiences many and varied that I thought would be interesting as well to many of my readers to know about when the book is The Newars World~Wide Connecting the Dots Sikkim. Institutions, Culture, Tributes, Literature, Life, Society, Festivals, Heritage and Book Review complete with an Index have been included here as perceived by me that needed to be brought forth in the present day context with an eye into the past. Since the most happening event of the Decade was taking place after five years when the World Newah Organization had its Inaugural Convention in London with the active support of the Pasa Puchah Guthi UK headed by Krishna Chakhun as the President. The Second WNO Convention 2016 USA being held at the Hotel Sheraton Baltimore from 25 – 27 March gives much needed boost to the slogan ‘The Decade of the Newah People’ and a time as well to stop awhile and ponder where and how far we have reached to review our achievements as well as failures to move ahead reenergised making it a turning point in the annals of the Modern History of the Newars the world over.
Limited being the scope of such works being appreciated or welcomed from the general public who seldom read but go in lengths commenting all about the book not read. When asked to be specific what exactly it lacked and what he had in mind to come forward with, they go mum turn blank. Almost every book has a line that the author welcomes any suggestion or comment that could be included in the next edition, but no such response reaches either. If the unsatisfied could bring to the notice of the writer or publisher, it would much enlighten them what the book actually lacked and what it missed in it. Bringing out a book needs much toil and sweat besides dedication filled with sincerity of the purpose until the last stage of printing and it is hatched. The journey thereafter is a different story altogether. Much depends on how the discerning readers receive the book and imbibe. Much courage needs to write about and honest communication is the best thing to stress. Without expecting much from the author and readers, any such publication that is just a compilation of personal notes that tries to appreciate the efforts our ancestors have made to place before the society under the section Institutions and Society, which comprises of the issues/factors that this book has come out with. It is brought out in a Limited Edition well knowing and understanding our limitations and readers are requested to get a copy soon. Else they might have to wait for the next Edition hopefully with their suggestions and comments duly taken care of. Sincere feedback is what we all need to move ahead in our life as our efforts need sincere evaluation from the society in general since the subject matter here itself go beyond any comprehension. Avid readers may not take my grumblings otherwise as these are my mere apprehensions that the book may not meet the fate otherwise - Once bitten twice shy. There are people who do not do rather care to do or return to the society but they leave no stone unturned to unmake and spoil the good work done by a few dedicated. Such is the way of the life here but yet we have to come out unscathed despite all the odds of being a clan unique in its own merits and characteristics.
THE NEWARS WORLD~WIDE Connecting the Dots SIKKIM ISBN 978-81-89602-06-2 eBook 978-81-89602-07-9 2016 Appreciations/Message: Dr. Bal Gopal Shrestha, President World Newah Organization Foreword: Keshab C. Pradhan, Chairman, Central Advisory Committee Sikkim Newar Guthi Pages xii+244+6 with pictures in 6 Black and White+12 Colour = 280 pages plus multicolour Cover and Dust Jacket with About the Author in both the Flaps and Excerpts on the back cover with picture Sunset from "Jaisri' Rhenock, Sikkim December 2011. Seal-wrapped fresh from the house of Karuna Devi Smarak Dharmarth Guthi printed at one of the best printing units in the region.
The taste of the pudding lies in eating and I request my readers to buy a copy in support of our efforts so that the funds regenerated could be used further towards our future endeavours. This book is Special publication on the occasion of the 2nd Convention, it is going to debut on March 26, 2016. Reserve a copy for you before it runs out. Limited copies are available…” as Daya Shakya wrote sharing my Facebook posting and you may be deprived of possessing such a publication that came out celebrating 150 Years of the Newars in Sikkim. This coincides with 25 Years of the Nepa: Pasa Pucha: Amerikaye and 15 Years of the Newah Organization of America, two premier Newar bodies in Maryland who have been rendering yeoman task towards the preservation, promotion and furtherance of our culture, tradition, language and heritage all these years there to replicate elsewhere. They are also extending much needed support to have the Convention organized successfully in an excellent manner possible. Both Karuna Devi Smarak Dharmarth Guthi and its pioneering publication Newa Varna, Lipi ra Bhasha Parichaya complete 20 Years. Incidentally, it is my 60 years in Gangtok when I came first in 1956 to study in the Sir Tashi Namgyal High School that recently celebrated 50 Years as Tashi Namgyal Academy.
I need not say much as it is but natural to nurture expectations from this new book to look forward from our esteemed readers. Ralph Waldo Emerson opined, "T’s the good reader that makes the good book." and we all agree, no second opinion!
Disclaimer: This is author’s personal account of memories updated to cherish and treasure often on a detour here and there en route to share the joy of the journey called life. Some names, quotes, places and events mentioned are just to connect with and no malice whatsoever intended. He can be reached at email@example.com