D. B. Gurung - Life and Letters
Thursday, 26 April 2012
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      Written, collected and edited by Ram Prasad Prasainram_parsain@yahoo.com   One of contemporaneous signatures in the field of Nepali writers in English, D. B. Gurung was born in a middle-class Gurkha family in Kathmandu. His family hailed to Kathmandu originally from Rumjatar, the... Read More...
Doing creative writing is not like running a news article based on a fact - D. B. Gurung
Friday, 27 April 2012
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      (Mr. Ram Prasad Prasain and his colleague Mr. Keshar Bahadur Balampaki met and talked about various facades of Nepalis Writing in English with D. B. Gurung. They prepared the questionnaires and emailed them to the novelist; and he answered them. It is written and personal interview. –... Read More...
Ancient Kapilvastu was Pretty Much Where The Tilaurakot Ruins are Today
Saturday, 04 August 2012
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[On the basis of the Ashokan edicts at Paderia and Nigliva and their location along with reports of Rohan L. Jayetilleke (Article in The Himalayan Voice, March 22,2010) and Robin Coningham of Bradford University we can accept the location of Kapilavastu in Nepal Tarai zone. In this context the... Read More...
Litterateur Gothale no more
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
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Famous playwright and novelist Govinda Bahadur Malla 'Gothale' passed away on Monday. He was suffering from asthma and other bodily ailments since long. Malla, 88, died at around 12 in the afternoon at the Himal Hospital located in Kamalpokhari where he was undergoing treatment since Dec 5. Born in... Read More...
2013 Monsoon Floods in Nepal and India: What happened and what could have been done?
Tuesday, 25 June 2013
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[This article is extracted from ICIMOD official website. To view full text with pictures, please visit the source : http://www.icimod.org/?q=10932. Editor]   While the world is waking up to the news of the horrific scale of the recent flood disaster in the Mahakali basin of Nepal and Uttarakhand... Read More...
Oh, Subru! Hi, Humanity
Monday, 06 May 2013
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IMAGE                                                                 — Ram Prasad Prasain   Retiring the tiresome day He bid and told me, Wrapping up the all conversations, “Sir, don’t send my body to my country” “Why?”  I was... Read More...
Roman to Unicode
Monday, 15 April 2013
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Buddha Was Born In Lumbini.html




Name: Dr Kavitaram Shrestha


DOB: 07/05/1948
Place of Birth: Ram Bazar, Okhaldhunga, Nepal
Recent Country/Place: Nepal
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Books published: 34
Organizational Involvement:
- Director, National/International Relations: Kist Medical Collage, Imadol-6, Lalitpur, Nepal
- Visiting Professor: International HealthDepartment of Public Health, University of – AberdeenMedical School, Polwarth Building, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, Scotland, UK
- Chairman: Consulting Associates for Research and Training Services (CARTS); Anamnagar, Kathmandu-32, Nepal
- Principal: PreciousNationalCollege, Maihpi, Kathmandu


 Awards/Rewards: Innovation Award, Sajha Bal Sahitya Puraskar BS 2058 (2001 AD, Mahendra Vidya Bhushan Feb. 1998, The Youth of the Year 2051 (1994), AsiaAfrica Solidarity Award Oct. 1994, Six Best National Film Festival Awards Wining Producer/Director in 1991, The Best Character Actor of the Year 91,� The Best Feature Film Storywriter of the Year ’91, Writer of The Best Children’s Book of the Year ’92, The Best Children’s Book Writer for the International Children’s Year ’82-’83


 You are raising the issue in Kapilvastu Movement Day. Why actually you think this movement is required? 


A false message is prevalent around the world that Buddha was an Indian Prince. The reality that Buddha was born in Lumbini under the Shakyas regime Kpilvastu, that falls in Modern Nepal is fully under shameful shadow. The fact that Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini was proven by King Ashok 23 hundred years ago as he positioned a stone pillar in Lumbini with an inscription highlighting that it was the birthplace of Lord Buddha. The marker pillar is still standing in Lumbini within the sovereign land of Nepal. The Indian Government has never opposed officially this fact. But it promotes the false impression that Buddha was an Indian Prince, with the evident fact that some part of the Kapilvastu lies in Indian soil and later part of Lord Buddha was spent in various areas that fall in modern India. Whole of the world is kept away deliberately from the fact that Lord Buddha in fact was a prince of Nepalese Soil and the irony is that the Nepalese authority never attempted to prove it for fear that it might lead to conflict with Mighty India. They simply escape taking a vain excuse that the self proving stone pillar is luminously standing in Nepalese soil and it does not need to be pointed out. Actually it is our privileged pride that Buddha was born in our gratifying soil and we can boast for it. It would nevertheless be an act of minimization to any in the world. How could it be taken as a confrontation with India or any in the world? Why are our officials so much scared? Or, are there any other reasons to be so shamefully quiet? In this odd and shameful situation the pride of Nepalese intellectuals around the world arose pronouncing loud that Buddha was born in Nepalese soil and burst out to celebrate the Kapilvastu Day on December 1 in 2008. December 1 is the glorified day when German Archeologist Anton F. had defined the Ashokan Pillar as a marker pillar of Lord Buddha’s birth place for the first time in 1935. After this Kapilvastu Day is celebrated every year worldwide and carried varieties of successful promotional activities around the whole year. This movement has now become an esteem symbol of the pride of nationalism among Nepalese intellectuals. In fact, it is needed extremely to work as a catalist for boosting the pride of nationalism in depressed Nepalese mind.


As a global advisor, what you would expect from this movement? 


a. World community would correct their false perception about the origination of Lord Buddha.


b. A big pressure would be created and the Nepalese officials would get energy to promote Nepalese pride.


c. India would realize that the Sun cannot be covered with a mere palm.


d. The glory of Kapilvastu and its vicinity consisting Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha together with Niglihawa, Tilaurakot and Ramgadh where Lord Buddha had spent his very significant part of his life till the age of 28 years would be promoted globally as a pride of Nepal.


We have seen different proofs that Kapilvastu, the birth place of Lord Gautam Buddha is in Nepal. But India is promoting its place making false Kapilvastu in its state. What may be the silent reason behind it?


 India has many places that Lord Buddha lived and worked in. They are renovating all of their ruins from Buddha’s time and want to prove that it was the real Kapilvastu. India in fact is cashing the privilege of the existence of some part of the Shakya regime in its land. This effort of theirs would definitely make their part more attractive for the world community as we are not doing any in our side even though we have the nucleus part of Shakya regime consisting the ruins of Lumbini, Niglihawa, Tilaurakot and Ramgadh. In fact, we are not panicking that they are doing their best, but our agony is that we are not doing anything– not even for the proper preservation.


 It is heard that most of school level educational materials as well as university references used and prescribed in India has rumor that the Birth place of Buddha is in India. This concept is aggressively globalized by Indian authority. How can we smash down such perception and flow the right information for seekers of the global community?


 It is true that almost all of the educational material all over the world reveal that the Birth place of Buddha is in India. Indian officials have done it long ago and it is not yet challenged by any authority officially. Our friends are now promoting all over the world as much as possible to correct them. The world would not like to entertain the false information any way. We only have to work harder. One day we will conquer.


What and how is your organization working in order to obtain your goal?


We had started this movement to work and disseminate our information on line. This movement has become so popular that now we have 20 national committees all over the world. All of these committees will work in their countries. At the same time the Global committee leads global movement and punch pressure to concerned authorities in the host country Nepal as well.


Why is Nepalese authority being failed to tell the truth?


They do not want to offend the mighty India.


Recently, Government of Nepal has declared Nepal Tourism year 2011. Does it really help to promote the Kapilvastu?


The tourism year is designed for whole of the Nepal. So Kapilvastu will not get a special concentrated focus even though Mt Everest and the birthplace of Buddha are the main points of attraction for tourists, Nepalese officials were never accountable for any campaigns in past and thus this one will also be completed routinely as before. Besides, there is also a pro-Indian interest and threat barricading the initiation of such promotion in Nepal. It will not make any difference especially for the Promotion of Kapilvastu. It is a waste of time energy and resources.


Nepalese people are spread all over the world for different objectives. What can be their role and support for the success of the movement?


The problem we discussed above is a pain in the sentiments. No intellectuals can remain silent once they are informed. It is expected that they would volunteer to raise awareness in mass.


How can be we positive that the real information is being passed to the researchers as well as global community?


The truth is always welcomed. We should prove our truth. Soon we will see the result.


What will be the responsibility of the individual to promote our national, historical as well as cultural heritages like Birth Place of Buddha?


Study the truth and disseminate it for others.


Lastly, would you like to give any suggestion for DreamLandNepal.com towards its motto “Nepal: Dreamland and Heaven of the Earth” or any matters that is not covered by the question but it is of real importance?


Thanks for providing me an opportunity to speak up. Please disseminate the news, information and thoughts related to this movement for the sake of mass awareness. Such material is posted in Kapilvastu day blog. Thanks.


(Online interview with Dr. Kavitaram Shrestha by Prashant Kharel regarding Kapilvastu Movement. – Admin)




Doing Creative Writing Is.html




(Mr. Ram Prasad Prasain and his colleague Mr. Keshar Bahadur Balampaki met and talked about various facades of Nepalis Writing in English with D. B. Gurung. They prepared the questionnaires and emailed them to the novelist; and he answered them. It is written and personal interview. – Editor)


Balampaki: Sir, could you share with me when and how did you start to leave marks in writing literature in English?


DBG: The story of my writing career, or perhaps, more aptly, the birth of my passion in writing goes back to more than three decades. And, of course, I started in English language, and certainly will continue and end up with the very language. Well, my mother tongue is undeniably Nepali, but I feel more comfortable with English language, which is owing to my schooling background. I went to English medium school. So far as I remember, I had my first poem published when I was in the fifth grade in the school magazine, and my principal highly appreciated it. That was the turning point: and I published my first poetry anthology in 1992, which was inspiring for me. But I wanted go for a full length novel in some secret chamber of my heart. And then I made the mark in 1998.


Balampaki: How do you usually find your ideas in writing? Do they come spontaneously or well planned?


DBG: Doing creative writing is not like running a news article based on a fact. There can’t be a swaying of leaves without breeze or smoke without fire; initially, you have to have some inspirations—a tug in the heart. You have the alpha ideas jutted down, which is not the same thing as you have completed a piece of art (writing), you have a rigorous task awaiting you in store in brushing it up to give the final shape, looking from different dimensions, like a sculptor does. As many a writer in Nepal, especially poets claim, I don’t believe in spontaneity; it’s a total bunk. I, perhaps, like every writer, do a lot of re-writing. It took seven long years to complete my twelve-page verse titled ‘Sleepwalk’. Certainly in longer works, you have plans; you have strategy to get along to get the right stuff you want.


Balampaki: What are the major challenges you have encountered in your writing career?


DBG: First and the foremost, you have to manage the time since you are not completely banking on your writing career for your livelihood. Second, your are concerned about the theme, subject, building blocks, plots, and of the characters in your book. And of course, language and researching on relevant issues are the pivotal elements in your creative endeavor, which means you have to read a lot of books.


Balampaki: Could you mention some names of any other writers (living or dead) that have shaped and influenced your writings and philosophy in your life?


DBG: Well, in fact, I don’t have great influence from any of the Nepalis writers, but when talk about the international writers, I’ve the following favorite writers to recall for now, they are: Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Hermen Hesse, Kazuo Ishiguro, Martin Amis, Czslaw Miloz, Joseph Brodsky, Pablo Neruda, James Baldwin, Kenzaburo Oe, Saul Below, James Baldwin, Walt Whitman, Donald Hall, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Alex Helley, Yukio Mishima, Yasunari Kawabata, Anita Desai, Rohinton Mistry, Vikran Seth, J.M.  Coetzee, V.S. Naipaul, Nadine Gordimer,Gabrial Garcia Marquez, Ben Okri.


Balampaki: Roland Barthes has already declared “The Death of the Author”. You have mentioned some where The Echoes of the Himalayas is your partial autobiography. Do you agree with the Barthean ethos of writer’s death? What is your role as a novelist in it?


DBG: Barthes’ declaration of ‘The death of the author’ is not always acceptable. Yes, a writer is a lonely being; he has to be alone and all by himself, which is not the same thing as he has to necessarily tell his own tale all the way. Most of V.S. Naipaul’s books look very autobiographical, but this is not the truth, he invents things based on his personal experiences; fiction tells the lies to tell the truth, which is a circus of human existence. Each of us goes through varieties of events in life, sometimes, even miraculous! Certainly, it’s not necessary every reader to know or feel about what sort of ethos a writer has gone through while penning his book; a reader’s ultimate concern is with the book not the writer. So, I disagree with Barthes in this sense. In fact, critics are liars, they don’t buy or write a book but make lots of noise about the book—and perhaps for them an author is dead. Echoes of the Himalayas is not an autobiography but a fiction based on many sizzling facts about Nepal and the Nepalis.


Balampaki: There are Nepali writers in English like: Smarat Upadhyay, Manjushree Thapa, Sheeba Shah, M. K. Limbu, Rabi Thapa and D. B. Gurung. So, I’d like to consolidate all of you as contemporary voices. Then, could you tell me what are the similarities among all of you? And, what are the features that differentiate you from them?


DBG: Well, in creative work, it matters what background an artist has come from: A white writer cannot explore into the heart of the problems of the black folks; a bahun writer cannot fathom into the core of a dalit’s or janajati’s plight. The only thing we share together is we write in English. We don’t have similarities; we have our own sound track. And it’s good we have to go this way. I cannot write like Sheeba’s aristocracy or Samrat’s sex, or Rabi’s homos, and they certainly can’t write like I do deeply dyed in ethno-identity issues.


Balampaki: Our times have been filled with the various –isms and schools of thought in literature. The political issues on identity, ethnicity, nationality, diasporas and globalization have overlapped our writings whatever the genres. Are these issues associated with your acclaimed novel, The Echoes of the Himalayas? And,how have you addressed the issues of ‘identity politics’ and ‘politics of resistance’ in it?


DBG: Before all, I must clarify that I’ve no penchant for any particular –ism or school of thought.  A writer reflects the ethos of the society. Sure, my novel is associated with the issues on identity, ethnicity, nationality, diasporas, and, of course, politics of resistance. When my protagonist Gagan is denied the citizenship of the country of his birth and origin, he goes through an identity crisis. He ultimately joins an ethnic political organization to resist against the injustice and discrimination drilled against him and the others of his kind. The novel ends with a political note of resistance, beckoning a civil war, which seems almost inevitable in the ethnic line unlike ideological-oriented Maoist People’s war.


Balampaki: How do you associate philosophy and creative writing? Where do you categorize your novel, a work of art or philosophy? What’s your philosophy to give birth many more Gagans on your creative journey?


DBG: It’s always an intrinsic tendency of an artist to spill the beans through creative endeavors—of  your set of original beliefs, your perception, your comprehension of the outside world and your inner self—all that complex matrix of life. This’s how they intertwine together as comfortable bed partners. My novel is a work of art with ingrained philosophical undercurrents. The creation of Gagan is the demand of time; more Gagans may born in different avatars in the subsequent works.


Balampaki: Gagan has been an archetype of our times. We are at the circumstance of disillusionment.  Has he achieved a deferred dream? If not, when will have that dream been fulfilled? Does it explode? Or prolong as a festering wound?


DBG:  The Maoist insurgency has shown us some glints of hopes that even ordinary citizens of ethnic backgrounds can hold high government posts; the situation has been visibly changed. A very inspiring example is the appointment of CoAS Chatraman Singh Gurung, which is, of course, not a positive impact garnered from the insurgency; he soared up to the top position because of his caliber and qualification. Another instance is the appointment of a farmer’s son of the Madhesi origin Ram Baran Yadav to become the first President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. Things are looking up; however, for millions their dreams are still deferred, not fulfilled or even festering like a wound, or even may explode if the ground realities are not realized by the state authorities.


Balampaki: What is the position of Gagan—of a rebel or a victim or an anarchist—in your mind during its writing?


DBG: Gagan is neither a rebel nor an anarchist, he is the victim of circumstantial compulsion. Circumstance has made him a crusader but not a rebel. Wait a minute, when one suffers injustice, why not he resorts to intellectual resistance against those who are not gods?


Balampaki: Eventually, could you give some genuine suggestions to this interviewer (researcher) and message to the common readers to enhance their creativity and reading culture?


DBG: There isn’t any hard and fast theory to enhance your creativity. First of all, you should have enthusiasm, strong will and conviction to put your thoughts into writing; and of course, a good command is language is paramount. Keep writing over and again until a voice from inside tells you ‘what not to write’. Reading is always a most. Read so much until your ears ring. Set a habit of reading over the breakfast, during break, before bed time—and even in the restroom. Ultimately, you have something unexpected, your hard-earned creative piece.


Balampaki: Sir, could you share your literary plans and creative journeys in the days to come?


DBG: I’m currently working on a novel, and I don’t have any specific plans for the future.


Balampaki: It is said that man is a political animal by nature. And, your protagonist Gagan finally has been affiliated and associated to an ethnic political organization in your novel. Do you have any affiliation or affinity to any political block? If not, are writers and poets always alien to active politics? Shouldn’t they voice for the voiceless? Shouldn’t they empower them? Shouldn’t they advocate on behalf of them? Don’t they have social responsibility to safeguard equality, justice and human dignity?


DBG: As I said already, I’ve no affiliation with any political party. This is the gross truth. Many great writers were (and are) active in politics, for example Nehru was, Vaclav Havel was, our own BP Koirala was. But I for one have always believed in the alienation of a writer from politics—because he has a tendency to become bias. A bias writer is as bad as a crook politician. He sees a tiny squeaky mouse running in the opposition party’s chamber, but he refuses to see a predatory beast roaming (the rot that has set) in his own party. So what intellectual honesty do you expect from such writer? A writer should be apolitical, non-partisan and unbiased so he can tell the truth, bash the evils and praise the good ones, and advocate for the voiceless for equality, justice and human dignity. Last but not least, when I sense if a particular political party really wants to do good for the people and needs my help, I may support it, which is my moral and intellectual right as a citizen of the country.


Balampaki: Let’s have a hypothetical question, where will be the position of writer D. B. Gurung at next 10 years in the literary domain of Nepali writers in English?


DBG: Who’ll decide my position and confer accolades? This lame duck Nepali-language-centric intelligentsia or these bias literary foundations? We English language writers have no room here. I write to placate my own creative thirst and keep writing as always. I don’t care about my position.


Balampaki: Thanks for your precious time for this interview.




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