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On the occasion of Father's day, Publication Nepa~laya has come up with Aalaka Atreya Chudal's 'Ninada Vallari'. Dedicated to her father, late Vishnu Raj Atreya, a prolific Sanskrit scholar himself, the book is an elegy written in prosodies or chhanda. This is the first book to be published under Nepa~laya Kavita, an exclusive imprint series promoting various genres of Nepali poetry.
According to a press statement released by Nepa~laya, Aalaka is currently a professor of South Asian Studies at Vienna University in Austria. A polyglot, she has published about half a dozen books prior to 'Ninada Vallari' in Nepali, German and English languages.
The press statement quoted her saying, "During this year long period, since I lost my father, I've realized a new dimension to mourning – it is impossible to express the full extent of grief through words alone. It has been proven over the years that total catharsis of grief requires equal measures of verbal as well as physical expression. Therefore, prosody with its performative dimension was a particularly therapeutic experience for me."
Aalaka had been home-schooled by her late father, who was better known by his pen name 'Lato Sathi'. Hailed as a prodigy, she had gone on to create a record by attaining the Master's degree in three different subjects, including Sanskrit grammar, by the age of eighteen.
"During the mourning period, I had been offended by several patrilineal traditions that forbade daughters from fully participating in death rituals. The married daughters were seen as the outsiders, who have branched out from their family of birth to the family of marriage. Needless to say, the exclusion felt painful. But on the other hand, my father had always valued literature above everything else. So, I resorted to expressing my grief and gratitude through it," she added.
Elucidating the importance of publishing prosodies, Bhushita Vasistha, the publishing editor of Nepa~laya says, "Semi-epics (khandakavya) have been a staple in Nepali literature until very recently. Although the trend of writing and publishing prosodies has suffered in recent times, the semi-epics like Lekhnath Poudyal's 'Rituvichar', Laxmi Prasad Devkota's 'Munamadan' and Madhav Prasad Ghimire's 'Gauri' retain their charm as classics. However, in the long tradition of epics and semi-epics, it is very difficult to locate a female poet. With the publication of 'Ninada Vallari' we hope to encourage new prosody writers, both men and women to take up the genre."
'Ninada Vallari' is priced at Rs 165 for the Nepali market and will be available in all the leading bookstores of the country. The ebook and audiobook can also be purchased from thuprai.com. The book will be available worldwide on Amazon.com.
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