The novel Unfathomable, leads the reader down the dark alleys of the minds of those who are labeled and segregated as schizophrenic. The author has dexterously portrayed their strange world where they to be in ecstasy, in frenzy, in agony and in various inexplicable moods. And it is the so- called sane would that often them to such an unfathomable darkness where they hide their selves from the clever world. The author’s sensibility attempts to peep into inner lives her keen observation arouses in us a sense of pity. Unfathomable is indeed a fascinating mosaic of fragments of several stores skillfully woven. The novel Attach, of which Unfathomable is the translation, is the winner of Sahitya Akademi award 2003, and has already been translated into four other languages- Assamese, Oriya, Hindi and Maithili.
Bindya Subba is a celebrated Nepali writer. She has so far brought three novels, two volumes of short-stories, three volumes of memoirs and a collection of poems. She has also translated jainedra Kumar’s famous Hindi novel Tyagpatra (Resignation0 into Nepali.
An acclaimed post and a recipient of Sahitya Akademi award-1988 for the collection of his poems Asdim Basty and Other Poems, Manprased Subba has published seven volumes of poems and a novella. Some of his works have been translation into English, Maithili and Hindi.
This is perhaps the first time that a reader is thus writing a letter to another reader-that too in the preface. You are a redder and so I am. The only difference is that I have more privileged to experience the delight of reading Athah in its manuscript from itself you are reading it only today.
I presume you have already read the author of this novel! Apart from one translation novel (Jainendra Jain’s tyagapatra translated into Nepali) she has already given us one volume of short-stories (Kathakrama-1984) and one novel (Phoolharu, Pahadharu, Dharsaharu-1986). Meanwhile, she has been honored with “Vijayashere” for her contribution to Nepali literature and with Sarasota Puraskar and Diyalo Purasker for short-stories. Some of her short-stories have into a few Indian Languages.
You perhaps know that I, after reading her previous novel, have commented somewhere else, thus-“Going though this novel (Phoolharu, Phadharu…) we are reminded of the writing of one eminent woman novelist Parijat- particularly in the context of psychoanalysis of male character by a female author.” This time she has led the redder into a different world hitherto unrevealed, and she has been able to carve to carve a niche for herself in the field of waiting. She, in a line this book, has written-
“Beauty is everywhere; one only needs a heart to find it out.” This is corroborated by this work itself. Such a beautiful work has been created out of the would of mental absurdity and derangement-it is amazing and praiseworthy, indeed. As far as this aspect is concerned, this new fiction-work has, for now, no equal.
Backdrop of the novel is a mental absurdity and derangement-if is amazing and praiseworthy, indeed. As far as this aspect is concerned, this new fiction has, for now, no equal.
Backdrop of the novel is a mental hospital and the portents are its characters. It natures the story of an incestuous exploitation of Preeti who has charm in her eyes and alluring smile on her lips. She suffers from schizophrenia or “Split of mind’. There are the one with minds slit or ruptured. Egoist Aparajita gently pours her grief in words and tune-
No one understands the heart’s pang
That nestles in the darkness
I do not blame you
Nor want you to burn like me.
We wish we know her “heart’s pang.” We find lovelorn Sandhya in it and also Bharati, a one-time doctor, who now worships the stone smearing on it under the peplum tree. In the words of the novelist.” she, who kows the causes and causes and cures of various physical diseases, is herself a victim of such a disease that has rendered her unconscious of what is wrong with her. Escaping from the struggle of life laughs, cries and talks in a different would where neither conscious people thinking nor the help she needs reaches.” She-suffering from maniac depressive psychoses- keeps ruffling in the cup of depression and delirium alternately.
Robust Shashi bearing discontent and indignation in her countenance is jealous of her mother- for being in relation with her father! She has no feeling of guilt or embarrassment at all.
Also, there is Maya from Darjeeling, mentally left behind at a certain point of her past-who, though beyond fifty, believes herself to be only 35 years old. Touched by fragrance of the Hills and caught in the youthful moments of the past, she has neither the present nor future. She keeps swaying in a single line of a song –‘O! Listen, someone plays medal in that beautiful village.’ And there is the story of Ganga who was sold by her own father, tortured by the husband and humiliated by her own sister as second wife to her husband. Ganga even falls in her attempt to commit suicide.
And we meet Asmita, reped and forced to crawl through an extreme catastrophe of feminine existence, tone and traumatized. Dreadfully insulted and tormented she sees ‘an endless void’ in herself. Her story you into the depth of agony. To the pretty, brilliant and lively collegian girl like Asmita who was now moving though a heart- rending situation the novelist shows the new leaves of hope, thus- ‘flower once bloomed falls, but does not stop blossoming. It comes up on the other side of the stem. You are not just one blossom, my dear fool, but one whole plant that flowers again and again. Sometime from this branch and sometimes from the other.”
You will meet male inmates in the next section. There is Rajiv who, being the only son, was pampered and splint, hostile to his kin and writes letter to Sai Baba. He had broken his leg while attempting an escape by jumping over the wall.
And here we Gopal who, denying his wife the beauty of relationship, regards the physical relation with wife as the husbands right. The two live together-the man cold and hard to the wife who, in turn, is compelled to pull life through narrow alleys of helplessness.
One among such mental patients is Rajat. He is thoughtful. He can easily put forth his confessions but does not known the cause of his losing hold on to himself. Helpless is he with himself. Not only he but all the patients in that hospital are unaware of the causes of their suffering. What will be to them and how is their future? No one can say any think. This is why novel has been given the title-Athah (Unfathomable). A suitable title, indeed. Isn’t it?
Now, what shall I say to you? This is the story of those hapless minds that have been made to wander in the world of absurdity, deformity and illusion. Their poor stories are the cold breeze that passes ruffling our heart. Most of the characters in the novel are mentally deranged. The author defines this peculiar disease in these words. There are some diseases that demand medicines life-long. So is the mental lines which to be teased with medicine and familial care both. It is very difficult and challenging and can be comprehended only with the feelings of heart: otherwise all knowledge and power will be incapable of knowing the enigmatic nature of this disease. Any conscious man’s common idea cannot set it right. It is like a turbulent that rushes forward demolishing dams and dykes in its way.”
However, this novel is not about such disease and not of the disused either. This, in fact, is the melancholic expression of the shattered and severed minds that have now gone absurd and infirm, and also the streaming story of insensible and turbulent minds. It indeed needs your sensitive heart to get into it.
This subtly sensitive fiction-work has one thing to grip the reader-its graceful and elegant language. The narrative style is equally captivating. Overwhelmed is the reder in me by this fascinating style. I salute to her pen and perceptive heart.
This is all for now. But besides the things above, I do appreciate the sincerity of her feelings. The authors love for the Hills and beautiful nature has also found expression in the novel.
May the novelist bindya Scuba’s writing flow incessantly towards creating even more works such as this one-my best wishes to her.
And what is your idea about it? I would like to know. With my hearty greeting of new years.
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