Sunday, 11 April, 2021

Inspiring Memories


Gandhi Raj Kafle


To look back on life through writing is an art and the person who does it is an artist. There are many delicate things, which can be better felt than to be written or explained in words. This is true to everyone; even a layman has oceanic feelings to share from personal memories.
In the under review book entitled, “Smritilokako Yatra” penned by Dr Anjana Wasti Bhattarai, the point again to admit is the same – this is an artwork of a litterateur, which is skillfully prepared out of a messy personal nostalgia of the author with a target to acquaint true self of her in a writing form.
This book has been divided into two parts. In the first one, the author opens memories from her very childhood days to the mature and experienced stage of age today. Similarly, in the second part, she has tributes to pay from her core of heart to persons who she believes are the most unforgettable ones to her. The book, which tells the story of the struggle-filled life of the author, runs through 242-pages.
Old is gold. If we ignore nostalgic memories and try to interpret the present only from a materialistic viewpoint in the race for living a better life, we perhaps miss some precious parts of our past. And it only narrows our definition of life.
However, Dr Anjana Bhattarai knows it better because her literary pursuit is deep. That is why she has been able to connect her past skillfully into a distant past and recent past in her description of her memories. In her wholesome life, there are many interesting things.
How she could continue her education when there was no social environment for women education. It was more difficult to obtain higher education for a woman hailing from out of the capital city of Kathmandu? How did she become a professor at Tribhuvan University? Her experience and inspiration tell some valuable lessons even for us today. The point, in essence, is that we must not lose the connectivity that our past times provide to our present.
However, time is a thing, which is the same always, if we closely observe its nature; it seems it is human beings who keep changing. But, if we interpret experiences of life from the way the author has done in this book assuming time does not change, we change, this interpretation about change, too, is important.
What is 'just' today was 'unjust' yesterday. Societies pass through evolution; some suffer, some rise struggling against social outlook and some even touch the zenith of career raising their qualities and being competitive. Is it not a struggle against time?
The life of the author, which is described in her memoirs and the respect, which she shows to important persons, should not be measured with today’s standard and values only. They should be read as explained in the context of the author because this experience of her is the by-product of socio-political and economic circumstances of that time. It is interesting to know our societies this way.
Certainly, there are gist things to write about for her and this memoir book is all about it. And, she fondly mentions -- her experience of going to learn together with her mother for the study is that story which explains how she was encouraged to study by her guardian even in an illiberal social environment of that time.
Too many women's home condition after marriage turns unfavourable, but to her, it was quite encouraging even in the time when societies had not given any importance to woman education.
Therefore, it is with a focused perception and family values through which she achieved one after another success in education and professional life, and finally reached the position of a professor at Tribhuvan University (TU). Behind all of her successes, there are innumerable inspirations and supports.
Certainly, these are stories that speak about the goal of woman empowerment and this goal will not be fulfilled until women will not empower themselves with quality of education and competition.
The book by Dr Anjana Wasti is a humble description of her life. It contains many things, which are inspiring even for today’s readers. Finally, the author deserves our praise for writing her book in simple and straightforward language.