Reading Chandra Kumar Phuyal’s recently published novel Gaurika was a wonderful experience. In 136 pages, the story of this novel depicts a burning contemporary social issue widely prevalent in Nepali society. The novel throws light on the life of Nepali people in hilly villages—the youths leaving homes for the Gulf countries for tough and risky jobs, families facing troubles back home, and some notable reparations and reunions in the end.
The predicament of Nepali migrant workersboth in Nepal and in foreign countries offers another facet of socio-economic reality of our times.
The narrative also captures family values—a vibrant spirit of Nepali society since time immemorial. Most importantly, the remaking of the once-demolished family and conjugal life of Gaurav and Gaurika probably attempts to demonstrate an attitude of affirming family system. A notable dark facet connected with foreign job is a growing rate of families tearing asunder. Portraying typical Nepali cultural, traditional and superstitious practices such as Bhajankirtan, Dhannach, Lakhenach and DhamiJhakri, the novel has also beautifully brought to light the hidden practices of the illicit relationship, romance and love affairs of youths.
Besides, the novel touches on the hardships faced by Nepalis during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. The author presents Nepal’s natural beauties and major tourism spots and the amazing progress of the UAE and its distinguished leadership. The typical family’s bond and responsibilities of the main character Gaurav and the tear-jerking sharing of the migrant-workers' troubles in host country through conversations are some of the heart-touching parts in the novel.
Gaurav, the protagonist, was born and raised in a remote village of Nepal. Like a rose amid thorns, Gaurav blooms as a carrier of revolutionary ideas in a society gripped by poverty, ostentation, superstation and discrimination. His wife Gaurika supports him in every step. The novel shows that pure love always wins and all the tides against love weakens and vanishes automatically.
Gaurika is about rural culture, lifestyle, traditions, extreme sorrows, joys, tears, success, failures, reunions, separations and romances of life. Phuyal has established Gaurika as a social reform engineer by speaking out against the Nepali society which always rejects a woman who has once lost her dignity.The author uses the right details to create a moving picture.
Writing a book is not an easy task in itself. It requires passion, an imagination of a theme and its subsequent plots, and an art of writing. InGaurika,Phuyal has so beautifully crafted the scenes and languages that the readers lose themselves in the plot.
Human sensibilities evoke the feeling of love and emotion in the very realistic setting. The writer is like a painter here who sketches and polishes with perfect carefulness and artistic notions. The writer knows how the protagonist has to command the situation to bring all repugnant atmospheres to his ease and favor. In this sense, the protagonist is a very dynamic character who can understand the world both from inner perceptions and outer appearances.
Readers won’t be bored. A sentimental reader may even cry at some points. However, at some points the book lacks enough dialogues and details. Love relations of main characters could have been further elaborated with exciting and fascinating events.
Yet, the novel is a complete package of several aspects and it will definitely be liked by readers of all ages. I hope this masterpiece will bring the author an incredible success inspiring him to produce more creations like this in the days ahead.