A book titled “The Silhouette of Truth”, the first collection of short stories by Omnath Pokharel, was posthumously published and released last week in Kent, Ohio.
The author expired untimely on Nov. 1, 2012 in Phuntsholing, Bhutan, before he could see his works published.
According to the author’s brother, Rup Pokharel, the book carries twelve short stories.
“The stories movingly narrate the traumatic condition of Lhotstsampa after the government of Bhutan ordered forceful eviction that brought them to the shanties of the refugee camps in Eastern Nepal,” said Dr Amma Raj Joshi, one of editors of the books.
“Stories such as ‘morbid reminiscences’, ‘deep-seated patriotism’ and ‘sustainable journey’ meticulously depict the pathetic condition of individuals, who are uprooted from the soil,” added he.
According to him, the ‘sustainable odyssey’, is a story of a Pagal Karma, a character, who sees problems in social set-up of Bhutan. He carries a mop in his hand symbolically to mop out all evils that have caused discrimination and invited suffering to the common people.
Prof. Dr. Abi Subedi of Tribhuvan Unversity, Kathmandu, Nepal, has illustrated in his blurb write-up: ” The ‘silhouette of truth’, presents multiple pictures of what may be called ‘truth’ through a dozen short stories written by the late Bhutanese Nepali writer Omnath Pokharel, in which pictures emerge out as silhouettes of people who suffer as exiled, evicted and ignored. Most important of all, they present a dramatic relationship between history and suffering, humanity and unsettling conditions of existence.”
Prof. Dr. Terry Lee Kuhn from Kent, OH, foreword writer and first draft reader of the book mentioned that the forced exodus and exile of the Lhotshampas is the foundation upon which these stories are built.
“They are based on real-life events in the lives of real people. The author has turned his personal disappointment and frustration into eloquent and moving short stories that reflected his humanitarian concerns for the poor and downtrodden, patriotism for the mother country Bhutan and what it means to be good and virtuous,” said Prof. Terry.
Late Omnath Pokharel was a representative victim of political upheaval that clouded Bhutan’s progress and prosperity in 1990s. Yet, he played no role in the politics, merited with a tag as a person not qualifying for so-call No Objection Certificate (NOC).
“His university degree as a good nation builder got no meaning in the nation,” his brother, Rup, clarified.
He is quoted in the book as saying, “I have done nothing wrong. I haven’t played any role in politics during or before 1990. The NOC is killing me softly. Let no individual be punished so badly on the Earth like me.”
The posthumous publication team members present during the book release were Prof. Terry Lee Kuhn, Tribhuwan University lecturer Dr. Taralal Shrestha, Chairperson of Literature Council of Bhutan Bhakta Ghimere and Rup Pokharel.
The 260 page book is priced at US $15 including shipping. According to Rup, it is available for the readers in Pittsburgh (PA), Phoenix (AZ), Salt Lake City(UT) Louisville (KY), Atlanta (GA), Grand Forks and Fargo (ND), Fort Worth (TX) in the US, and Adelaide, South Australia.
Readers can also purchase a copy of this book from BMS online store.