D. R.’s novel “Sprouts on the Rock,” an interesting read

D. R.’s novel “Sprouts on the Rock” is an English translation of Tilasmi. Translated by Mahesh Paudyal, the novel in English is an interesting read in terms of its content and storytelling.

I usually put the book away if the story doesn’t suck me in even after I’ve thumped through at least 20-30 pages. But when I started reading Rai’s novel, it pulled me to the story, the story telling, and the dialogue between the characters. At times there is nothing as such to talk about as to what elements of the story make the story effective when the story interests the reader.

One thing I really need to highlight here is the novel “Sprouts on the Rock” deserves attention from the reader. This novel is also an example that to weave in a beautiful story we don’t need big content, nor do we need a sophisticated structure, but a simple story in chronological order can find a better flow and tell a beautiful story about the society, people living in the society, than a more complex structure and the story can leave a meaningful message.

Although there are many round and flat characters, the story revolves around two main characters Biraj and Dhanraj, their upbringing, schooling, family background, and future vision. The novel, to some extent, is capable enough to debunk the idea of what naturalists might say “human attitudes are shaped by environment and natural heredity.”  Biraj from his childhood is a person of a unique character. Even if he is hailed from a rich family, he sees everyone equally and vies for establishing an egalitarian society. We have rarely enough people who in their childhood think about people and the nation, but Biraj is brilliant. His conversations with his friends and family are very enlightening.

The author has done a brilliant job by bringing such a multifaceted character and putting him into dialogue. Any reader from younger generation reading this novel ends up realizing their own responsibility and duty towards people and the nation. I think that is something the novelist wants to emphasize, and he is very successful in doing so.

We really need to encourage such stories and fictional work to be read by as many readers as possible.

I really do not have much to say about the weaknesses of the novel besides its strengths. However, if the novelist had addressed a few things in this novel, he would have added feathers to the hat. For example, one of the strengths of the novel is dialogue, and that is also one of the weaknesses—the author could have introduced a bit more of a description between the dialogues to give the reader a feel of the scenario, the setting, the location, the gesticulations, and postures of the characters and so on. We as readers would like to experience gustatory, olfactory sorts of description.

The translation is very beautiful—clear and concise. However, at times, it might feel slightly awkward to the native tongue especially when it comes to the uses of idioms and very few dictions—actually, they don’t deserve to be mentioned here. I wish I could translate Nepali to English as beautifully as the translator has done in this novel. I recommend and strongly suggest, especially the reader of younger generation, please read the novel. The novel is enough to arouse the feeling of their duty and responsibility, nationalism and patriotism and future vision.

If the novel is well worth a read, it is better not to talk much about the novel besides teasing it a little bit out so the reader might be willing to “read, chew, and digest.”

Reviewed by Tulasi Acharya

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