Is Manjushree Thapa hinting at bringing an end to her Nepaliterature column just because someone questioned her? ("Mid-Column Blues," #95) I hadn't read much of original Nepali literature until Manjushree Thapa introduced me six months ago to a horde of already renowned as well as talented contemporary writers through her commendable fortnightly column in your paper. I am indebted to her, or shall I say Nepali literature is indebted to her. What Rabassa did to Marquez is seemingly impossible to repeat, but Manjusree Thapa is doing laudable work. Please carry on.
. Manjushree Thapa's soliloquy is justified from many angles-her own personal angst, the seeming futility of what she is doing, the present circumstances where Nepali literature, especially, seems to have taken itself to the back bench or burner, readers' apathy, or their direct provocation.
But Manju is aware of games and events having both silent and appreciative spectators as well as hooligans and hell raisers. Both parties respond to the experience in their own ways. Her weekly literary column in Nepali Times also has silent and appreciative readers. My major reason for buying Nepali Times is to read Manju's page, and appreciate her selection of writers and the translation of their works for the week. I read her head notes and translations with the acceptance that she has the freedom to be eclectic, euphoric, esoteric or idiosyncratic in her choice for the fortnight. And, to paraphrase what Indra Bahadur Rai said a long time ago, Manju reads and translates only who and what she likes and considers good. Life being short notwithstanding, what she reads, selects and translates is her own choice and freedom. Therefore, an abiding sense and sensibility on her part is to be kind and understanding to the writers and their works she is handling. That is being one-sided, yes, but that is it-so be it, so what?
My good friend Ramesh Shrestha of Bangkok wrote to me after he read Manju's translation of Bhuwan Dhungana's short Nepali story originally published in a Kathmandu vernacular magazine. Unlike Ajit bhai and I, who are fortunate to read both originals and translations in Kathmandu, Ramesh has access only to websites where Nepali publications are hosted, Nepali Times being one of them. Ramesh praised to high heavens both Manju's successful effort and Bhuwan's theme and its treatment, even making him claim that "our" generation (Bhuwan, Ramesh and I being MA mates at TU when Bhuwan was still a Koirala) "still" has the "best" writers in Nepal. While inflating "our" generation, Ramesh completely sidelined much younger Manju's role in it, but he made the point for all those who read Manju's weekly column: Yes, we read you, Manju bahini!
Peter J Karthak , Kopundole
. Dear Manjushree. I am not your "fan". But I like what you are doing for the Nepali language and read you without fail. Personally, I perhaps wouldn't eulogise a few of the Nepali writers you have selected for translation and praised. But I praise your effort. Yours is a small window, but an important one. Maybe it is a lattice, an ankhijhyal to the world of Nepal's literature. Thank you for bringing Nepal's literary activities to the notice of a wider world.
Kamal Dixit, Patan Dhoka
. Just because people don't write letters to the editor, it doesn't mean they don't read. Manjushree Thapa should get over her mid-column blues and keep on giving us her fortnightly treasures for the mind. We are the silent majority, and we don't want you to ever stop. Keep the gnats flying in the storm!
. I have been a regular and avid reader of your paper since its inception. But what irritates and exasperates me is the fortnightly column by Manjushree Thapa whose mind seems to have been filled only with the penchant for doing translations from Nepali into English, and that too sounding trashy and third rate. Why doesn't she embark on critical writings, make robust criticism, or hard-hitting comments on literary works by Nepali or foreign writers? I really wish she did not carry on with her usual boring translations. Otherwise, as Ajit Baral says, why should we read her column when we can read the original Nepali work? In writing all this, it has not in the least been my intention to harass and discourage Miss Thapa, rather still I have great regard for her and even highly apologise to her for it.
Rabindra Raja Shahi, Gaighat Campus, Udayapur