KATHMANDU, May 31: Fictionalized account of the historic portrayal of the last Malla King Ranajeet Malla written by a scholar of History, Yogesh Raj is to be launched on June 2.
The novel has been titled Ranahăr meaning defeat in war. The main protagonist of the story is Bhaktapur’s last Malla King, Ranajeet meaning victorious in war. It was during the Ranajeet Malla regime, Gorkhali King Prithivi Narayan Shah invaded Bhaktapur, the last Malla bastion of Kathmandu Valley.
The book has been meticulously crafted by Yogesh Raj, an acclaimed scholar of History with a keen focus in the History of Bhaktapur.
The most influential kingdom within the valley, Bhaktapur was ruled by King Ranajeet for almost half a century. Failing to foresee the impending danger from the Gorkhali King, the last Malla kingdom and hence the Malla era lost to the Shah king in 1769 AD. The book evolves around the historic situation of that period.
18th century was filled with series of tumultuous turn of events in the history of the Indian subcontinent. As the British empire expanded its colonies within its reach, the small Kings in the numerous hilly settlements south of the Himalayas were actively engaged in expanding their kingdom and their sphere of influence. The prosperous Malla Kingdoms within the Nepal Khaldo now known as the Kathmandu valley was an attraction for all.
The book also elaborates the events leading to the defeat and the ultimate surrender of the Mallas to the Gorkhali King. Author Yogesh Raj redefines the stories being told about this segment of Nepali history.
The Kingdom within the Valley were ruled by Kings related to each other. They spoke the same language and competed in building temples and artifacts. Despite the internal power conflicts and struggle to take over each other’s wealth and land, they would gather during times of joy and sorrow, during celebration and family griefs.
By the time Ranajeet Malla realized the danger of an attack by the Gorkhali King, it was already too late. Defeat was inevitable, and he could do nothing to protect his dynasty. However, he had some time before the final conquest took place. What did he do during this period? The book evolves around the particular time frame.
Ranajeet allowed the phases of victory and defeat to pass through him. Was it Ranajeet’s jeet – victory or hăr- defeat ? The book helps readers to interpret the situation and reach a conclusion.
The beautiful language skills used in narrating the story takes the readers close to an era in Nepal’s history.
“We feel privileged to have published this beautiful work of fiction by Yogesh Raj” said Saijan Maskey of Publication Nepalaya. “The special literary skills and styles he crafts makes this an important contribution to Nepali Literature.” she added.
Keeping with the author’s choice, the book is being launched without much fanfare. The book is being released coinciding with Nepal International Book Fair. The book will be available at the Fair and in book stores starting this weekend.