When fame came to her as Nepal's famous 'singing nun' few knew the true story of the struggle of this refugee child growing up in Kathmandu. In fact, the outside world knew more about Ani Choying than Nepalis themselves. Now, Publication nepa~laya is bringing out the Nepali translation of Ani Choying Drolma's autobiography, Phoolko Ankhama.
Ani Choying's heart-rending story of her childhood and her decision to become a nun is told in simple, yet deep prose. Very early in life, Ani Choying learnt to be self-reliant, and was motivated to take up the challenges of life, and to help others like her.
Being born to her mother was the first good thing that happened to Ani Choying, and being a nun was the second best. "If I had not become a nun, I would have probably been an unidentified wife and a mother of probably 3-4 children," confesses Ani Choying. "My decision to become a nun and the blessings I from my mentors, has made my life more worthwhile. I am thankful that through the talent my Gurus helped me identify, I have been able to serve many people and our society."
Ani Choying's positive outlook on life has made her living proof that a troubled childhood is not the end of the world, but can open new horizons in life. Phoolko Ankhama is the Nepali translation of the original published in French in 2008 by Oh! Editions. French writer, Laurence Debril collaborated with Ani Choying in structuring the story.
Since then, the book has been published in 12 languages: French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, English, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Slovenian and Hungarian. The Nepali edition of the book has been translated in collaboration with Girish Giri.
"I could have written three books during the time I spent working on this," says Giri, "but it was a really worthwhile experience to collaborate with Ani on the Nepali translation."
Kiran Krishna Shrestha of nepa~laya says the book will be released before Dasain. "There are many books written and published around the world on Nepal, which remain unnoticed by Nepali readers," says Shrestha, "this book marks the beginning of our effort to bring world literature on Nepal to the Nepali public."
The book is being published in Nepali with formal arrangement with the original copyright owners, Oh! Editions of France.
For her part, Ani Choying says she is glad her book has come out in Nepali after being read in 11 languages. "I am glad my story is finally coming home to Nepal," she says. She has contributed all the earnings from her book to the welfare of kidney patients in Nepal.
The English translation of Singing for Freedom is published by Pier 9.
Patan's literary jatra
A pen between her toes, THOMAS BELL
Telling tales?, RABI THAPA
Collection of Wayne Amtzis poetry looks at Nepal's war in the context of the unhappy peace that preceded and followed it
Songs of peace, harmony and devotion, MEGAN MELINE
Nepal's singing nun, who wows the world with her music, recalls how it all began