A Brief Introduction
The novel “Mayur Times” is written by one of the popular Nepali writer and editor of the newspaper. The author is the journalist and novelist too. He was the editor of the Kantipur daily newspaper for several years, after that he joined the Nagrik a daily renowned newspaper where he worked for the editor. Currently, he works in Setopati a digital newspaper in Nepal. He is so famous to the Nepali young readers. The first publication of the author is Palpasa Cafe which awarded him Madan Puraskar and made him more famous to the Nepalese readers. Mayor Times is the second publication of the author what became the best seller during its publication of first and second day. The author has got wide experience in the field of journalism. He brought this novel to encourage the journalist and to co-relate the different ethnicity in Nepal. It tells the story of two intimate friends Parag and Lisara. They both represent two different ethnicities in the context of transitional period of Nepal. They both were very close friends and worked for the newspaper called Mayur Times. The theme of this novel is dealing with the civil war but this novel is written after the civil war. This novel is written in the perspective of a small town newspaper in the Terai-region of Nepal. It is a fictional narration that how a journalist caught in the crossfire especially in Terai region.
Mayor Times is the story of ongoing conflicts in our country especially in Terai region. It shows the challenges faced by the journalist during the conflict time. The novel tries to cover the contemporary socio-economic issues like misuse of manpower and resources in the government sector. It also talks about the increasing division between hills and Terai. The novel also represents the law and security is not so hard due to the political pressure and the organizational power and threat to the media of revealing their truth. The book mainly represents the two characters, Parag Yadav who was born in Terai and grew up in the hills. Similarly, the other character Lisara Pun who was born in hills and working in Terai. They both were very close friends and completed their schooling together. They both worked together in Mayur Times as an editor and reporter. They had maintained the culture of diversity and excellent relationship. The novel not only highlights the two characters but also expresses the crimes and victims in the country lack of morality. Another important character in the novel is Mahima Poudel who was the Parag’s teacher and representing the good teacher in the society but she is one of the characters who suffered a lot in the novel. She was threaten in hills during the Maoist conflict and migrated to Terai but she also suffered in Terai a lot and the worst happened to her when her husband was murdered and she was compelled to resign the job and also threaten to leave Terai. And the two protagonists Parag and Lisara tried to bring justice through the help of newspaper but during the period they got threat and faced many challenges.
The strengths of the novel
The novel is written and based on the activities of Terai region during the Maoist conflict time. While going through the novel I felt the same as I had seen in Terai because I am also from Terai and I had experienced the conflict and the activities what was pressurized by so many organizational threats and no security from government as well as political control of the administration. By reading this novel I felt and experienced the story as I am one of the witnesses and victims of the event. It reminds me my past as I have experienced. It was really not the good time for anyone. By reading this novel I found my culture and language what encouraged me to understand and feel like a real one. The most important point of the novel is that the novelist tried to show the real communication and lifestyle of the people in Terai during the civil war. The political control, not feeling of security at that time, everywhere threat was common phenomenon at that time. The other most important thing in the novel is that it gives the visual representation to the readers. It clarifies the daily life activities of the journalists working not only Terai but also in Nepal. It also represents the truth revealed by journalist for the public and the situation of threat, pressure come from different armed organizations and groups. Similarly, during that situation the police, administration just become the audience to watch the activities and unsuccessful to do anything due to political power. I also felt the same while reading this novel because I am also from terai region. There I had seen insecurity, political instability, power controlling administration no law and rules obeyed by any other people. The civilians were compelled to live under the pressure of power and insecurity. The novel tries to bring all the lively activities of the time of civil war. It also shows the biasness of the ethnicity and taking the advantage of localization. But the novelist brought togetherness of both ethnicities who were very close and intimate friends to co-operating each-other so that the reader will feel or understand that we are living in the cultural diversity country. I feel and understand everything vividly the ongoing event in the novel. It also states the teacher’s appointment and teaching activities in Terai region. The recruitment process of the teacher was in the hand of local politician who decide everything. Similarly, the novel represents the character of the journalist whose job is to reveal the truth to give the justice to the civilian. The other interesting thing in the novel is even the journalists are threatening by different groups the police administration is unable to do anything. They are not coming to catch the criminals and mistakenly if they caught them very soon they leave the criminals by getting the pressure of the political power because they are protected by the politician. If there is any honest police officer who tries to do well they are just transferred from there to another place. Moreover, the novelist tried to bring the message through two protagonist of the novel who also represents different ethnicities.
The weakness of the novel
Although the novel tries to bring the message to the readers that this novel is based on the realities but it fails to show it in realities. The novel is more imaginary than it is in real. The novel is like filmy story what sometimes is based on the realities but becomes more imaginary. The novel fails to represent the duties and responsibilities of the police administration because during the civil war the main target of the Maoist was police and from the both side so many innocent people lost their life without any reason. The novel lacks the realities and appears to be more spicy and filmy. Similarly, the novel claims the story of the journalists and by a journalist it fails to cover many issues and crucial challenges faced by the Nepalese journalists. There are also some scenes which seems quite unbelievable and lacking the flavor of the Nepalese journalism. The author of the novel is a journalist and he tried to show the challenges and obstacles faced by Nepalese journalist in our community but he fails to express all the issues and challenges like collection of news what is truth and the news which can transform the society or aware the society so that it couldn’t happen time and again. The novel lacks the natural setting although it is based on the real truth of civil war. Something went like film in the novel. In the time of civil war there were many difficulties to breathe and survive of the civilians due to insecurity and sometimes due to the different ethnicities. I still can remember the day and time we passed in pressurized situation without any faulty reason. Maoist were coming to our house and threatening us for money and sometimes even food too. We were so much scared during that time. Indeed, I felt and understood the novel as one of the character of victims.
A Critical Study of Mayur Times (Nepali Fiction)
Written By: Narayan Wagle
Year of Publication: 2010
Total No. of Page: 231
Review by: Shaty Kumar Mahato
Kathmandu University, School of Education