Nepali Times Asian Paints
Special
A pen between  her toes

THOMAS BELL


JANA ASENBRENNEROVA

In her autobiography, Is Life a Thorn or a Flower? that won this year's Madan Prize, Jhamak Ghimire writes about her struggle to learn the written word despite suffering from cerebral palsy that left her unable to speak and paralysed since childhood. Ghimire taught herself to write by clutching a twig with her toes.

At 30, Ghimire has now been thrust into celebrityhood with an autobiography that describes her struggle for self-expression, battling discrimination from the community and family, fighting fatalism and superstition in Nepali culture at the same time.

She describes the first time she wrote the letter 'ka'."I could not share that moment's joy with anyone, my first letter was written in the dust on the ground and in my heart I could pronounce it. I was so happy that I rewrote the letter many times."

Ghimire recalls how writing on the ground made her foot bleed, yet her initial efforts went unnoticed. "Just so that people would see what I had written I wrote a big 'क' and left it there, but far from looking at my letter people stepped on it and my first letter got erased without anyone seeing it."

Besides her prize-winning book, Ghimire has published four volumes of poetry, two books of short stories and many newspaper columns. "I am very happy to get the award," she wrote, replying to questions with a pen between her toes. "But at the same time I feel a sense of responsibility. I will start writing again soon." Ghimire's book will soon be published in English.

The prominent Nepali novelist and translator Manjushree Thapa praised Ghimire's work. "Jhamak Kumari Ghimire's expression seems to have gained elegance not despite, but because of, the physical challenges she has overcome," says Thapa, "she speaks for an entire generation when she writes: 'Father! Why are you siring /renegade children like me?'"

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1. Tashi Lama
Jhamak is truly a celebrity amongst all of us, her determination and will power is far more stronger then anyone of us. She showed what the human beings can achieve if there is this that strong will and determination, physically Jhamak is in such a poor state, but her mental state is super strong to withhold all this pain and hardship. She is an inspirational personality to Nepal and to all of us. With her strong will and determination, she surpassed all the barriers of word impossible! 

A big smile on her face lights her life to live with same dignity and determination and makes us think over and over again on our own will power and sense of determination!   


2. Alex Bickett
She has managed to do alot in her life with so little given to her! Bravo and inspiring.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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