Saturday, 22 June, 2024

A Few Vignettes About Europe Visit


Gandhi Raj Kafle

How is Europe for Nepal in terms of travel now? The old-time stories are quite bitter. Travel was extremely hard. Even the visit of Prime Minister Jung Bahadur Rana to Britain 171 years ago was difficult. But, now stories are quite different because travelling there is innovatively fast and convenient with the introduction of various modern means of transport. In this context, what must be said is even Maharaja Junga’s travel account that came into book form in 1910 BS for the first time and is still available has to be read for comparative knowledge about European visits.

In today’s age, the norms of globalisation have become a living reality. With this, Nepal’s link to the whole of Europe is increasing tremendously. Yet, what must not be forgotten to say is Nepal’s connectivity with Britain is historically long compared to other countries of Europe. That is reflexive even in terms of the publication of books. There are so many writers and Nepali literature is enriched even with writings like memoirs and travelogue on Britain.

In this impressive literary background, a new entry in a travel memoir has been made by author Madan Rai ‘Lamakhule’. The title of this book is “Europe Yatraka Samjhanaharu” (Remembrances of Europe travel). Indeed, it is so because he has included a description of his travel to the European countries in it. But the major description (from page 21 to 194 in this 272-page literary piece) in the book is about Britain itself.

But wherever the author goes and how much he extends his description, he feels proud to mix up sentiments of his own Nepal in this travel memoir and his wish for the Nepali community abroad regarding their national identity is deep. Here, literateur Jay Chhangchha’s praise of the author’s patriotic feeling for his artistic expression about ‘Sakela Dance’ in the book, ‘You have come here far away from your homeland, but you have brought half of your Nepal with you’ is a noteworthy comment.

No doubt, ‘Sakela Dance’ is one of the important cultural identities of Nepal and author Rai has worded impressively after seeing a live show of it in England.
The UK is popular in Nepal by the name of ‘Belayat’. It is also that country with which we have a long relationship. Many Nepali, especially families of the Gorkha soldiers, visit there every year and England’s beauty has always been a notable thing for them. Madan Rai is also one of them. But, being a litterateur, he has a cause and it melted his heart and mind to write this book and his enjoyed visit to England and other European countries has come out for readers in the form of a travel memoir.

This book has two parts – the first part contains thirty-three pieces of writing and there are ten pieces in the second. He mentions prominent facts about England and it is interesting for readers. He gives his expression to his sentiments and it has enriched literary flavour to the facts which he has mentioned in the book. Here, what is also notable is that the author memorably gives space to describe themes like cultures, literature and arts of Nepal and supports wholeheartedly the activities conducted by the Nepali Diaspora in his writings about England.

The second part of the book in which the author has included ten more essays due to the extension of his England tour. Thanks must be given to the Euro vision because it eased the travel with tour package services. Booking the convenient bus from England and crossing the English Channel, the author takes advantage of the package and enjoys a visit to France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany and Belgium and writes artistically to share views about his visit.

Conclusively, what can be said is author Rai is expressively in line with the travel memoir in this book. Readers know that the countries he has visited and written about are developed compared to Nepal. It is not a new thing. But the literary sentiments of the author, which he has expressed keeping high hopes for the good of Nepal and Nepalis, is a notable point of this book. Publication of such books holds merit because they help foster the spirit of Basudaiva Kutumbakam. Indeed, author Rai deserves congratulations.