By Tilak Niroula
Aina Ma Desh (A Country in Mirror), a novel by CM Niroula, can be considered a pioneering work in Nepali literature in terms of its structure, plot, and characters.
The characters have no obvious identities of their own, but their presence is quite evident though there is no connection of one to the other as the novel is not strung in a single storyline.
The stories are the representatives of our present and past. The author has developed his own style that even if they look like a long story, they at the same time could be fragmented and still makes lots of sense.
His stories protest betrayal, and they also challenge the regime. They are bitter yet sober. They are long but not boring to read, because it seems he has embedded many interesting Nepali jargons.
The novel comprises of many self-contained episodes (events). Each episode with a separate heading, deals on a different subject matters, which are subjectively picked by the writer. The strength of the novel is in the imagination and managing it creatively in getting it organised into a well-structured narrative.
The storyline performance, which uses the flashback technique, is superior. In an ideal manner, just like in a Hindi cinema, the plot moves through many obstacles to a positive ending.
To conclude, today is an age of specialisation in research. Most researchers confine their study to a narrow small area. But CM developed his unique expertise over a wider canvas of Nepali history extending from pre-historic times to the modern period. His first book on Nepali literature is a prized possession for many. His selfless devotion to a cause he believed in is the hallmark of his passion that spanned over two decades.
A must read. Total endorsement!