Advertisement
Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021
Outlook.com
Review

Mater Linear

It is hard not to be reminded of the orphan heroes of Dickens. Only here the benefactors are replaced by benefactresses.

Mater Linear
Mater Linear
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

For readers mainly familiar with Samrat Upadhyay’s short stories (Arresting God in Kathmandu, and The Royal Ghosts are his two books of short stories, The Guru of Love his one previous novel), the expansiveness of Buddha’s Orphans comes as a surprise. Beginning in 1962 in Kathmandu with a child left in the heart of the city by his mother, who then drowns herself, the novel spans almost fifty years from King Mahendra’s early repressive rule to the fall of Nepal’s monarchy. It is at once a love story and a story of many abandonments: Raja by his mother; Kaki, the poor corn-seller who saves him, by Raja; Nilu, Raja’s wife, by her dissolute mother; Nepal by its rulers. One is drawn deep into the karmic heart of this story, because Upadhyay does not abandon his role as a masterful, unobtrusive storyteller. What emerges as wisdom and life’s mystery resonate because they are embodied in lives that stand for themselves, the author’s hand invisible.

It is hard not to be reminded of the orphan heroes of Dickens. Only here the benefactors are replaced by benefactresses. There is no passing through the underworld of thieves’ dens. Only the psychic underworld of the abandoned child, who with the help of powerful female spirits, Nilu and Ranjana, their daughter (Upadhyay is a strong believer in female spiritual power), achieves in the end a kind of weary wholeness.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

How Parag Agrawal Obsessively Focused On Controlling Hate Speech As Twitter CTO

How Parag Agrawal Obsessively Focused On Controlling Hate Speech As Twitter CTO

After taking over as CTO of Twitter, Parag Agrawal’s main focus was on using AI and ML to identify hate speech and bots that were used to spread misinformation through the microblogging site.

'Omicron Virus' Or 'South Africa Variant'? Here's What Not To Call New Covid-19 Strain

'Omicron Virus' Or 'South Africa Variant'? Here's What Not To Call New Covid-19 Strain

The Omicron variant of Covid-19 has led to several discussions on WHO's method of naming virus variants on Greek alphabets. But terms like 'South Africa virus' have remained in use.

IPL Retention, Live Updates: Rashid, Hardik Not Retained

IPL Retention, Live Updates: Rashid, Hardik Not Retained

Will the IPL team owners value loyalty, performance, or a combination of both while retaining players? As the drama unfolds, follow live updates here.

Opposition Unity: Act Fast Or Perish, TMC Makes Its Message Ring Louder

Opposition Unity: Act Fast Or Perish, TMC Makes Its Message Ring Louder

TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee is set to meet the leadership of the Shiv Sena and NCP in the backdrop of her deliberate decision not to meet Sonia Gandhi.

Advertisement