Bomble ghaite banayeka guranska botharu yiniharukai fossille ekdin sayad dekhaidine chha hami katro abhishap khepera jivan nauko bojhlai kandhma halera yahan hindeka thiyaun…
Chhewaima bagal lagayera sutiraheko euta Punjabiko lash ra muntoma mukh gadera euta bachchale dudh peiraheko chha. Yo jastako tyastai utrinu pardachha fossilma ra ma giddhaharulai pukara garchhu, “Nagajehai yiniharuka lashlai, yo itihasko smritichinha ho.”
- Page 50, Shirishko Phool by Parijat; edition 2041 BS (1984/85)
These lines have huge philosophical depth besides the depiction of an inhuman war. The message here is noteworthy: No war can be justified due to the inhumanity it creates.
The description of the war in Parijat’s words is harrowing. Notice the child who is breastfeeding on a dead body, Nature that has lost its beauty, and the call for the birds of prey to delay their devouring because humanity appears to have vanished from the scene. This must be caged in history.
Any war is hard to justify. It leaves behind scars that are hard to get rid of; the angst of vengeance is devastating. It can eat your soul; you may be alive but inside you, all are crumbling down.
For me, the novel has served as a source of inspiration for my poetic endeavors as well as my social standing as a woman. The novel is more than an anti-war work; it’s a call for all individuals like Suyogbir to leave Sakambari alone. It’s a warning for them to let women just be –they shouldn’t disturb their sanctity or play with their purity.
Fierce in her writings, yet sensitive in presentation, poet Momila Joshi has been hugely inspired by the work of littérateur Parijat. She remembers reading Shirishko Phool for the first time on a windy Chaitra (March/April) day in her hometown, Dhankuta.
“I had just passed my SLC examinations and read the book during my holidays on the veranda of my room. The weather created a perfect backdrop for my emotions,” she says.
Being young, she could not decipher the meanings between the lines; but in her second reading, years later, she was able to do so. Joshi takes out the same yellowing book bought by her at the Sajha Prakashan bookshop in Dhankuta and reads out the underlined sentences in red. Her voice is strong, and she transmits to the Death Valley where Suyogbir, the male character of the novel is fighting a devastating war.
Momila´s five picks
Shirishko Phool by Parijat
I love the book for its artistic expressions and anti-war sentiments.
Sumnima by Bishweshwar Prasad (BP) Koirala
This novel provides a perfect window to view the Kiranti and Aryan cultures. The novel balances love, parting and reunion in beautiful ways.
Antarmanko Yatra by Jagadish Ghimire
The autobiography portrays in striking details how an individual becomes egoless when he is near death. Its honesty touched me.
Madhavi by Madan Mani Dixit
I believe there is no book in the entire world that combines the heritage of the Vedic culture in a love story like Madhavi. The book is exceptional.
The Outsider by Albert Camus
What can I say? This book encompasses the reality of life. It shows how human beings live double lives. How we fake what we are in the outside and how we wear a mask to hide our real self. The main character in the book never hides his true self and thus is an outsider.
As told to Dikshya Karki